[08-05-2019 11:41:35] > His 1999 book The End of Time advances timeless physics: the controversial view that time, as we perceive it, does not exist as anything other than an illusion, and that a number of problems in physical theory arise from assuming that it does exist. He argues that we have no evidence of the past other than our memory of it, and no evidence of the future other than our belief in it. "Change merely creates an illusion of time, with each individual moment existing in its own right, complete and whole." He calls these moments "Nows". It is all an illusion: there is no motion and no change. He argues that the illusion of time is what we interpret through what he calls "time capsules", which are "any fixed pattern that creates or encodes the appearance of motion, change or history". via
[02-05-2019 10:56:12] > The internet was originally seen as an antidote to state censorship and control—largely because it was once functionally impossible to monitor or control anything other than physical access to an internet connection and because of the lack of regulations pertaining to the use of internet technology. However, both the will and the ability to restrict the types of information citizens can access over the internet have never been greater—even as the internet itself has never been more important. The fact that some social media platforms choose to engage in politicized self-censorship is but one manifestation of a larger and more terrifying trend. via
[09-04-2019 12:10:12] > In the 21st century, we have reached an absurd state where our existence on this planet can come to an end with the push of a button. And even at the individual level, many live like modern-day slaves, spending hours on end working, commuting, and being busy and tense all the time. It’s only natural that antidepressant prescriptions are skyrocketing. Unlike human society where chaos seems to be prevalent, the more we delve into nature, the more we reveal a wondrous wisdom. Every element and every being appear to be harmoniously connected to each other. Nothing exists in isolation. Every life form contributes to the rest of the system. via
[14-03-2019 11:12:19] > When AI/sensors kill people: Possibly because of faulty sensor readings, the automated system pushed the nose of the Lion Air plane down. The pilots repeatedly counteracted it and pulled the nose back up, only to be overridden by the system again. Each interval took about 15 to 20 seconds, leaving a repetitive signature on the data for the plane’s vertical speed. Why Investigators Fear the Two Boeing 737s Crashed for Similar Reasons
[27-02-2019 15:43:53] > Given this impossibility of global coordination, we will continue to behave in our own self-interests. And we’ll continue to make suboptimal decisions. We’re playing a rigged game, and every time we do, our pace of life accelerates, and the world moves faster. The acceleration of our collective pace of life is not a result of stupidity or irrationality; rather, it is a symptom of what is perfectly predicted by the prisoner’s dilemma at a global scale: Hyperrational individuals making hyperrational decisions on how to spend their time by launching into an inescapable arms race of productivity. Burnout is inevitable. We are Optimizing Ourselves to Death What happens when tech gives us more leisure time? We work.
[22-02-2019 12:23:32] >
[05-02-2019 19:29:54] > For the Stoics, living in agreement with Zeus’s providential order came with specific requirements such as caring for the well-being of others—not only our own near and dear, but all of humankind. Just as Zeus’s concern for human beings extended to everyone, ours should, too. Einstein’s God, by contrast, doesn’t care about anyone or anything. Thus, Pigliucci’s argument for embracing a similar humanitarian outlook appeals to an evolutionary understanding of social behavior: Care for others is produced by the “prosocial instincts” in human nature. But can we bank on those—and, assuming that we can, how far will they take us? As Adam Smith noted, perhaps with a hint of melancholy, we seem to help each other best when we act selfishly. He may be wrong, but is Stoicism really going to help us overthrow capitalism? modern stoicism
[05-02-2019 15:25:34] > our entire lives are framed around becoming cheaper and more efficient economic instruments for capital. That, taken to an extreme, has pretty corrosive effects on society, particularly young people. via
[31-01-2019 11:54:01] > onebillionhappy.org
[29-01-2019 08:54:04] > What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for a worthwhile goal, a freely chosen task. Viktor Frankl
[2019-01-11 18:05:44] > You could never convince a monkey to give you a banana by promising him limitless bananas after death, in monkey heaven. Only Sapiens can believe such fictions. POWER AND IMAGINATION
[2019-01-06 16:01:11] >
[2018-12-23 13:23:26] > In the end, everything ends up making sense. There’s a reason you don’t want to unveil the truth in the first place, but maybe we all should go through that process and become aware of our own selves. Otherwise this situation might take us to places we don’t want to be.
We have to be very careful on how we craft these stories. In the end, social media is shaping our culture and society in ways we’re not seeing coming. These platforms are steering our society to places where these fictional stories that shape our identities will make us pay a very high price. (..) Depression, Self-Identity and Reality: Living in a Fictional Story Created by Social Media
[2018-12-13 11:29:02] > Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft are well positioned if the hype around virtual and augmented reality pans out; all expect A.I. to change pretty much everything. But it does mean the technologies that got them to this point--mobile computing, web search, cloud storage--won't keep improving at anything like the rate of the past few decades. One leading contender to become the dominant industry of the 21st century is synthetic biology, where the price of reading and printing DNA (as Ginkgo Bioworks does) is falling exponentially in the same way the price of bits was 50 years ago. But maybe it will be robotics or space exploration or carbon capture. "The asteroid has hit, the dinosaurs are dying off, and the little mammals that were hiding underground are sticking up their heads and saying, 'It's our turn now,' " says Blank. source
[2018-12-13 08:27:40] > Must read: Why Technology Favors Tyranny: Artificial intelligence could erase many practical advantages of democracy, and erode the ideals of liberty and equality. It will further concentrate power among a small elite if we don’t take steps to stop it. (..) The race to accumulate data is already on, and is currently headed by giants such as Google and Facebook and, in China, Baidu and Tencent. So far, many of these companies have acted as “attention merchants”—they capture our attention by providing us with free information, services, and entertainment, and then they resell our attention to advertisers. Yet their true business isn’t merely selling ads. Rather, by capturing our attention they manage to accumulate immense amounts of data about us, which are worth more than any advertising revenue. We aren’t their customers—we are their product. (..) Currently, humans risk becoming similar to domesticated animals. We have bred docile cows that produce enormous amounts of milk but are otherwise far inferior to their wild ancestors. They are less agile, less curious, and less resourceful. We are now creating tame humans who produce enormous amounts of data and function as efficient chips in a huge data-processing mechanism, but they hardly maximize their human potential. If we are not careful, we will end up with downgraded humans misusing upgraded computers to wreak havoc on themselves and on the world. If you find these prospects alarming—if you dislike the idea of living in a digital dictatorship or some similarly degraded form of society—then the most important contribution you can make is to find ways to prevent too much data from being concentrated in too few hands, and also find ways to keep distributed data processing more efficient than centralized data processing. These will not be easy tasks. But achieving them may be the best safeguard of democracy.
[2018-12-13 08:27:03] > there is no room in Einstein’s philosophy for free will: ‘Everything is determined, the beginning as well as the end, by forces over which we have no control … we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible player.’ - What Einstein meant by ‘God does not play dice’