06 JAN 2018 by ideonexus

 American Exceptionalism Prevents Americans from Recognizi...

Americans enjoy lower qualities of life on every single indicator that you can possibly think of. Life expectancy in France and Spain is 83 years, but in America it’s only 78 years — that’s half a decade of life, folks. The same is true for things like maternal mortality, stress, work and leisure, press freedom, quality of democracy — every single thing you can think of that impacts how well, happily, meaningfully, and sanely you live is worse in America, by a very long way. T...
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21 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Humans Give Life to Iron

It is by the aid of iron that we construct houses, cleave rocks, and perform so many other useful offices of life. But it is with iron also that wars, murders, and robberies are effected, and this, not only hand to hand, but from a distance even, by the aid of missiles and winged weapons, now launched from engines, now hurled by the human arm, and now furnished with feathery wings. This last I regard as the most criminal artifice that has been devised by the human mind; for, as if to bring de...
Folksonomies: nature invention iron
Folksonomies: nature invention iron
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Pliny the Elder discusses the good and bad uses for iron and the poetic fact that nature rusts it away from us.

11 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 The Louse is Punishment for Regression

And this is the ultimate lesson that our knowledge of the mode of transmission of typhus has taught us: Man carries on his skin a parasite, the louse. Civilization rids him of it. Should man regress, should he allow himself to resemble a primitive beast, the louse begins to multiply again and treats man as he deserves, as a brute beast. This conclusion would have endeared itself to the warm heart of Alfred Nobel. My contribution to it makes me feel less unworthy of the honour which you have c...
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If we regress, nature will punish us with parasites.

28 MAR 2012 by ideonexus

 he Development of Moral Reasoning

The earliest stage Kohlberg described was one in which right and wrong are defined by punishment rather than by any larger principle. If something is followed by punishment, it was wrong; if it is not, it was right. The light-fingered 5-year-old mentioned before was at this stage. A second stage considers reward as an important indication that something is right. The stress in these early stages is on works, not faith—rightness or wrongness is identified in terms of what a person actually d...
Folksonomies: ethics morality
Folksonomies: ethics morality
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As defined by Lawrence Kohlberg.

02 FEB 2012 by ideonexus

 Nuclear Power Forces Man to Greatness

It is hard to think of fissionable materials when fashioned into bombs as being a source of happiness. However this may be, if with such destructive weapons men are to survive, they must grow rapidly in human greatness. A new level of human understanding is needed. The reward for using the atom's power towards man's welfare is great and sure. The punishment for its misuse would seem to be death and the destruction of the civilization that has been growing for a thousand years. These are the a...
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Because the alternative is self-destruction.

31 JUL 2011 by ideonexus

 The Stages of Moral Development

Kohlberg outlined a progressive process for moral development: 1. Avoiding punishment. Moral reasoning starts out at a fairly primitive level, focused mostly on avoiding punishment. Kohlberg calls this stage pre-conventional moral reasoning. 2. Considering consequences. As a child’s mind develops, she begins to consider the social consequences of her behaviors and starts to modify them accordingly. Kohlberg terms this conventional moral reasoning. 3. Acting on principle. Eventually, the ...
Folksonomies: development ethics morality
Folksonomies: development ethics morality
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Three stages of moral development, of which the third many people never reach.

18 JUL 2011 by ideonexus

 The Nurture View of Human Nature Spawned Social Programs

Spitz showed that early nurturing and stimulation are essential to child development, and he was not alone in this view. At the time, the field of psychology was dominated by the theory of "behaviorism," which proposed that all our actions, from the simplest smile to the most sophisticated chess move, are learned through reward and punishment, trial-and-error interactions with other people and objects in the world. Babies, according to this view. are born as "blank slates," without predisposi...
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Child welfare was probably inspired by the idea the nurture was the defining element in human development.

11 APR 2011 by ideonexus

 Cybernetics as a Trait of Living Organisms

One of the most characteristic properties of all living organisims, from the smallest to the largest, is their capacity to develop, operate, and maintain systems which set a goal and then strive to achieve it through the cybernetic process of trial and error. The discovery of such a system, operating on a global scale and having as its goal the establishment and maintenance of optimum physical and chemical conditions of life, would surely provide us with convincing evidence of Gaia's existenc...
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The feedback look, sensation and response to it, are a crucial characteristic of living beings. We feel that cold is a punishment, prompting us to find warmth, while learning skills involve feedback loops of rewarding.