Updated Quotes and Essay Topics
share link   society (45)    futurism (66)    singularity (16)   

Trickle-down economics is working in the sense that each rung on the ladder of prosperity is gaining better and better simulations of what the upper rungs used to have exclusively. It's no doubt that a high proletarian American can eat better every day than Charlemagne did occasionally. And the once-unique perks of Google, with signature chefs, back rubs, and mobile, on-site dentistry, is spreading to many unknown start-ups with significantly less significance than Google.

Perhaps the Singularity won't be this punctuated heavenly moment, but a rising golden tower of continued social stratification, with each strata fulfilling the wildest dreams of their ancestors.

share link   psychology (29)    society (45)   

The durability of the long-since debunked Freudian philosophies, speaks less to the quality of the psychology behind those ideas, and also less about the pioneering nature of them, but more about our natural human biases. We are all critical about the way our parents raised us. It's not very often you hear someone proclaim, "I was raised really well." Freud is now less a part of the world of psychology than of literature, being lumped in with mythology, with the gods being slowly replaced by bare human biases.

share link   evolution (43)   

Everything is maladaptive and adaptive. To argue whether or not something is or isn't natural is a bit of a moot argument, simply because the present is never the same nature that shaped our genes.

share link   computer_science (15)    technology (33)   

The reason Agile development works so well is that software is much like water. While it's important to architect and design code before building it, there's an infinite number of ways to get to the same business outcome. Whole features that were once thought critical may fall onto the floor of the editing room if a gun were put to the developer's head. Short two-week sprints are exactly that gun.

When building a house, one can't just skip building bathrooms or skip building a foundation. When building software, though, sometimes a sketch that's re-sketched a few times becomes a minimally viable product, and a few iterations later, one stand-out feature becomes a whole company.

share link   psychology (29)    philosophy (23)   

The experience of consciousness can be boiled down to a simple sensation: the feeling of inner complexity. I am complex, therefore I exist. It's a qualia, just like sight and smell, but of a lesser order, like our sense of balance. When we look at dogs and imagine that they're less human than us, or when our ancestors looked at slaves in an inhuman light, the assessment comes from a question: "Just how complex can their inner minds be?" Likewise, there are humans today whose minds are so much more complex (or more ordered, to use Kurzweil's terminology), that they would look down on us and think, "Well, just how conscious could those people be?"

share link   meditation (16)    evolution (43)   

A capacity for meditation may be an evolved trait, enabling us to switch temperaments when necessary. Human evolution is ultimately the evolution of choice, and so meditating may be yet another choice, one crucial when we join chaotic environments, like cities.

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share link   evolution (43)   
share link   technology (33)    computer_science (15)