Love is real. Deification of the other is a delusion.
I think a line was crossed around the start of the industrial revolution -- around 1750 or so. Until then, agricultural human societies worked poorly for most humans, but we hadn't yet fully begun an all-out assault on the natural world. After approximately the onset of the mid-eighteenth century, the onslaught on the rest of the animal kingdom, and of course on large portions of humanity as well, began in earnest. And as the population by this point -- the twenty-first century -- has spiraled out of any reasonable control, moving conscientiously to some sort of gentle use seems essentially an idealistic fantasy. Until some cataclysm or miracle occurs, we've basically condemned the planet -- which is to say very many denizens of many ecosystems, including billions of humans.
I naively went to college looking to get an education. As that is not done anymore, I was unfortunately left out in the cold.
My writing is not, probably, what one would call philosophically rigorous, but on the other hand, it is possibly more so than that sort of philosophy most scientists attach to things. Moreover, it's too mystical to be considered legitimately scientific, and too scientific to be considered legitimately mystical. I'm in a sort of limbo in the middle of everything.
A more glorious future for humanity may come, but we'll likely get no more glimpses of it for some time.
Is the "inevitability" of space migration a biological matter -- or is it cultural? It is perfectly conceivable that a culture could have risen on this planet, or could do so on one like it, that, despite possessing the technology to colonize space, might have no interest in doing so. The prevailing psychology and notions of manifest destiny in all this are played down, but really -- they are the drivers of such ideas. Would a culture with no expansionist ethos be driven to build on other planets?
Some people feel that a high standard of living equates to a high quality of living -- happiness -- and that the human condition is the best it's ever been, through technology. I don't see that as an accurate picture, but call me cynical. After all, what about the more than three billion people (almost half the global population) who live on less than $2.50 per day? I think it's clear that we still don't have our shit together as a species (on multiple levels), when you look at the whole species, or even when you take a random sampling of any part of it.
Could our subjective experience of space meaningfully exist in any other way?
Immortality from above and immortality from below are identical.
It's hard to contend that scarcity is artificial when three billion people don't have enough food or clean water, and most of the world doesn't use a modern toilet. The theory is that we have the means right now to end all of that, but an awful lot of people have been waiting an awfully long time, and the situation has only grown catastrophically worse. It' s almost absurd to argue that scarcity is artificial when you look at standards of living and imbalances of consumption across the globe. We're a long, long way from utopia, in a material sense or in any other.
What's interesting is that, in this very era, the human race will either succeed or go extinct. Or possibly both. There is no third option.
Monks isolate themselves so that they can understand the function of the fourth circuit -- and transmute it.
People can only accept that for which they are prepared. One cannot understand something for which one is not ready. One cannot communicate meaningfully with most people on this planet.
Some people think the solution to the dysfunction of terrestrial affairs is to make the leap into space. I frankly would regard that as a pollution of space.
Space migration = same shit, different planet.
Fixed moral systems can be problematic. A conscientious personal morality is the best and only guide.
Egalitarianism and hierarchy both are survival strategies found widely across the natural world. Each is employed in a variety of species, depending upon the circumstances. The reality is not a case of 'one or the other.' Both evolve extensively.
Logic is only as valid as the axioms it assumes. And a lot of those assumptions I observe are foolish, even though the majority is certain.
We would have to develop our technology much, much farther if we ever intended to navigate meaningfully in space. Not that it matters much, but we'll be confined to the solar system for many decades at the very least. Who can predict what the situation will be in fifty years? Space flight for humans could well be a foolish romantic fantasy.
How often is what's left after love fades enough?
The vastest intelligence on planet Earth, by far, is DNA.
Some very great developments have arisen from human civilization, but whether they redeem it we shall have to wait and see.
Nature never forgets. Whatever humans do, She learns and doesn't forget.
Caste systems may seem like a pretty good idea. Unfortunately, we see that historically they have never actually worked as intended, and generally turn out time after time only to be oppressive. I'm afraid the attempts to organize society in a sensible way usually fail, especially in the long run.
A very small minority dictating the affairs of a large majority has been the rule of the day, even under democracy, and I would add that it has never been really acceptable.
Freedom of speech is permitted because it is really no danger to those in power. If it were, it would very simply be completely disallowed, as it has been at times historically.
I don't share Tim Leary's view that DNA contains the master instructions of all evolution from start to finish, for one principal reason: contingency. The state of Earth can change drastically at any time, and while general lines of development are likely in most scenarios, unforeseen adaptations may have to evolve. It strikes me as more elegant that DNA has plasticity, and is not a rote time-script, but rather an intelligent unfolding according to the local implicate order. I do share Leary's discontent with modern, neo-Darwinian theories of evolution, which rely on blind chance as the primary explanation. This seems clearly wrong. None of this addresses, of course, what future, if any, the DNA molecule will have after a certain point in cultural and specifically technological evolution. I think it likely that DNA's future roles as forecast by Leary may take place in an entirely different medium. But we shall have to wait and see.
The soul is natural, but it can be manipulated -- things can be done with it. It could be saved in some sort of memory. This is perfectly reasonable.
In the vast majority of human cultures that have existed, age brings dignity and the elderly are treasured for their experience and wisdom. American society is one of the very few which essentially does the opposite. Here, the elderly are ignored, seen as useless and are usually and quite sadly alone. It's awful and wrong.
Is the genocide of the Western hemisphere justified by our i-phones?
The way science is taught at our universities, it only makes sense to take the courses if you're going into the field professionally. One cannot really get an education in math and science without it being coupled to a vocation. The same is true for a host of other fields, and in truth, university is only about the job at this point. If you want to get a liberal education, it means you don't want a high-paying job. They are now mutually exclusive, unequivocally. This is not what the founders of these institutions intended. As a matter of fact, the university as such was originally founded in medieval Europe, and was intended to be a center of universal learning -- wholly unconnected with work. In the twentieth century, capitalism co-opted the university system, and now it owns and operates it fully. If one wants to learn for the sake of knowing, one has oneself alone to rely on.
As Nietzsche rightly stated, man is a bridge species. We are a bridge between life, and what comes after life. Man amusingly feels that he is the pinnacle of evolution, when his function is merely to initiate the next ontological level, which will have limitless potential. The intelligence in Nature is orchestrating this phase of evolution, and we are necessary but expendable. Nature has plenty of time. It's a shot. And if human development in this century is allowed to unfold without major catastrophe, cybernetic intelligence will have little problem in expressing itself and undertaking whatever tasks seem fit to it. This is the era of man's demise, certainly in evolutionary relevance, if not also in continued life. If some select humans are allowed to remain alive, they will undoubtedly be genetically transformed beyond all resemblance to homo sapiens. It will be a new and glorious era for planet Earth. Humanity, after all that has happened, has its chance to be redeemed.
We subconsciously assume light is an object travelling through space. But it is not. It is somehow something more than that -- a semi-autonomous level in our reality, beyond the Newtonian. I feel it is still much more mysterious than science presumes.
I do not feel that evolution is a random, dreary, directionless, empty process knocking around through blind chance, but rather that Nature is an actively intelligent process, not directed, but with the capacity to feel its way and learn as it goes.
Just because conditions are stable does not mean one is in control of them.
There are no living humans who are not enslaved in one way or another.
There might have been many possible paths to the future, and we happened upon the worst one.
I think Nature is inherently intelligent; I think there is a sort of directionality in evolution toward greater and greater coherence; I think man fucked up, but I think he may just get out of his quagmire in the end -- with a lot of luck.
If the A.I. revolution does happen, it will be strange to argue that nature did not strategize in some way in order for the evolutionary process to deliver that result. To argue it is completely random is bizarre to me. When I look around, at nature or civilization, I see order and intelligence. Not one in a quadrillion luck.
It seems that evolution's path is not so much directed as it is felt out. It is a coherent process, but there is not any specific script. Yet there is order.
The second circuit can be imprinted for some territoriality, much territoriality, or no territoriality depending on ecological necessity.
Is sociality different between humans and other group species, in essence? If not, how is the fourth circuit unique to humans? To argue that it is seems to contradict the findings of sociobiology.
Sex and death are perhaps the two primary drivers of human -- and all animal -- behavior. All evolutionary circuits, including especially the fourth and the first, operate on this principle.
Physical immortality would likely generate a lot of boredom for a human as currently constituted.
Quantum computation might very possibly open a doorway for self-awareness to enter for a cybernetic or A.I. entity.
We are all going to die. The unborn are going to die. Notwithstanding talk of physical immortality. It all leads to the same place, anyway.
Large-scale agriculture was a brutal, enslaving, intensely unpleasant change for those societies which took it up in a major way. After 10,000 years, has it paid off yet?
Optimism is fine if you don't mind being wrong all the time.
Capitalism theoretically ought to generate robust choice in the market. It really doesn't.
Artificial Intelligence will have artificial souls.
Bierce was never rich. Nietzsche was never rich. Orson Welles was never rich. Robert Anton Wilson was never rich. Tim Leary was never rich. Monetary wealth is, clearly, not a measure of individual worth, as I have just proven beyond doubt. Such a thing only depends on what sort of available niche there is in which one can find oneself. As Buddha and Jesus were very fond of pointing out, there are far more important matters than one's income. Capitalist America's barometers are in many ways poorly calibrated.
I feel that man's spiritual state right now has got to be up there with some of the worst in history. In the U.S., it's particularly bad. We have all this money, and absolutely no meaning in our lives, just some materialist stupor in which we drift from point to point without ever really interacting with anyone else. Man could not be more spiritually bankrupt than in the modern age, and by all indications he is not particularly happy in any significant way. We've had all this economic growth and no existential growth, and indeed it seems we have regressed significantly over time. It's very sad.
If one measures our "progress" by how happy and spiritually healthy we are, we're doing pitifully poorly. Most people aren't even aware of their predicament. It's awful.
Romantic relationships usually start out on the social-sexual level. If, however, there is not in the long-run a close correspondence on a variety of other levels, the relationship cannot be truly meaningful, even if it is maintained by dependence and reluctance or refusal to part ways.
The perception of space is both a subjective and an objective phenomenon simultaneously. The nature of the subjective side is created by our minds, but it is not arbitrary; it is constrained by objective physical necessity. The two are really one.
The collective arts and sciences of man are ultimately not worth much, in the cosmic scheme of things. We are so preoccupied by how important we feel our creations are; in reality, they are essentially worthless.
Is a billion dollars really proportional to any conceivable accomplishment a person can make in the workplace? The only reason that much money is ever made is that it is in the nature of capitalist economies to unleash gushers in auspicious niches; the actual qualitative worth can scarcely match the quantitative value we ascribe to a given product.
Compassion is to recognize the existence and selfhood of another, and to act accordingly. Perhaps it is the highest good of which a human is capable.
There is a difference between compassion and love. Love is passionate, while compassion is dispassionate.
The dead envy the living their lives, but much as childhood to a child is nothing special, so life to an adult human is not in most cases, in most places, viewed so positively. I suppose we rarely appreciate what we have until it is gone. Life is not so special for the majority while they are alive. So wanting it back may be an idealistic error.
Bringing Out the Dead is a unique movie that details the life of a NYC ambulance medic who works graveyards and is hopelessly burned out. Nicholas Cage, as is often the case, is excellent as the medic who hasn't saved anyone in months, and has had it completely go to his head. He feels that the souls of departed victims watch over him as he fails to bring them back, sees the face of a former failed rescue victim on anyone and everyone, and hears voices from patients living and dead. One is led to think he is a little (or a lot) crazy, but I'm not so sure. When the line between life and death is so blurred, perhaps a little insanity is normal and healthy. Death is everywhere in this movie, and it almost becomes ho-hum, but Scorsese wants us to get inside the head of Cage's character, and he does a marvelous job of bringing this about. Some fast cuts, speeded up sequences, lighting that could not have been more perfect, and some delightfully unique shots illustrate the narrative throughout. In the final scene we come to realize that all we have in this life is each other, but when the cord is broken, or when one cannot make peace with death, maybe we cannot even have that for long. It's a reminder that life and death are right there together, intimately tied, and that it's hard not to get a little out of balance when we are unfortunate enough to be quite close to it.
I am indebted to the immortal words of David Bohm, who emphasized the notion that existence is one undivided, flowing movement, and that wherever we see division, distinction or conflict, we have only to realize that we are the ones who put it there.
When property is the most important thing in the world, those who happen to have the most become unnaturally valued by just about everybody. I would add that this generally grants them impunity.
To say "Free Tibet" is exactly the same as saying "Free Navajo Nation."
One can likely never truly liberate another. One can only liberate oneself.
The multiverse not only exists as a collection of universes, but also as a collection of minds. Each individual is the seat of the universe; each individual is a universe. Does one become conscious of the reality of both aspects (physical and existential) of the multiverse at the same ontological level? What is the correspondence?
USA geopolitics over the last seventy years or so can be likened to the poking and prodding of a hornet's nest and expecting no consequences. Now, the hornets have left the nest and a few of them are attacking, and we're shocked and having trouble coping. Many bellicose Americans wish we could simply destroy the nest, secretly. I'm not saying any of the violence is acceptable; but we would have done well to assess the possible consequences of our actions rather than just blundering around meddling in the affairs of a host of other nations and cultures. This is a game and this is how the game works; it's rather ridiculous to be surprised when the opponent makes a move, however disgraceful this move may be in reality. American culpability in this whole thing is enormous.
The Romans have conquered the world. Everywhere in the world where a European language is spoken, particularly English -- which is now the international language -- the Romans are conquerors.
Video games and CGI movies are now faithfully replicating the appearance of reality. Eventually, technology will be able to replicate reality itself.
My situation thus far in life has been to chop wood and carry water, and I'm not unhappy with it.
Acting is a fine craft, but to very many people it seems to be the most important thing. I'm not sure why a facsimile of human behavior should be so important, other than the obvious reason that actors are very charismatic and people want a piece of them. There is such a thing as being "just an actor."
It seems that most people would like to be a billionaire. What they don't realize is that there are only about 1,800 spots. Seems pretty much like a scam to me.
As a buddy once told me, our economic system serves the greedy, the immoral and amoral, and the already wealthy. It very rarely serves anyone else, for any reason.
The writing profession has never been a less lucrative one. There are more writers per capita, and fewer positions per capita, than at any point in the history of the world. And most of the really good stuff doesn't make a lot of money.