12 OCT 2014 by ideonexus

 The Absurd Visions from a Post-Hypnotic Suggestion

I hardly heard him for trying to keep track of what was going on in my skull. I knew it was just post-hypnotic suggestion, even remembered the session in Missouri when they'd implanted it, but that didn't make it any less compelling. My mind reeled under the strong pseudo-memories: shaggy hulks that were Taurans (not at all what we now knew they looked like) boarding a colonists' vessel, eating babies while mothers watched in screaming terror (the colonists never took babies; they wouldn't st...
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A character debunks all the crazy things running through his head with rationality.

01 SEP 2014 by ideonexus

 Literature Asks Questions without Offering Answers

Even when writers profess to know nothing about the inner man, they often make the profession in a way which suggests that they really know plenty When D. H. Lawrence says (in his essay on Benjamin Franklin) "The soul of man is a dark forest," he says it with a kind of knowing Satanic smirk, so that the profession of ignorance actually becomes a species of knowledge. When I first read that ominous Lawrence sentence I was young and it was news to me that my soul was a dark forest. For several ...
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02 JAN 2014 by ideonexus

 Imperialism and Feudalism are Mountains Weighing Down the...

There is an ancient Chinese fable called "The Foolish Old Man Who Removed the Mountains". It tells of an old man who lived in northern China long, long ago and was known as the Foolish Old Man of North Mountain. His house faced south and beyond his doorway stood the two great peaks, Taihang and Wangwu, obstructing the way. With great determination, he led his sons in digging up these mountains hoe in hand. Another greybeard, known as the Wise Old Man, saw them and said derisively, "How silly ...
Folksonomies: government revolution
Folksonomies: government revolution
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The Chinese overthrew kings just as Americans and Europeans did.

22 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Spirituality from Science

There have, however, always been men of high and disciplined spirituality who have insisted on their direct experience of something greater than themselves. Their conviction of the reality of a spiritual life apart from and transcending the life of the body may not lend itself to scientific proof or disproof; nevertheless the remarkable transformation in personality seen in those who rightfully lay claim to such experience is as objective as tomorrow's sunrise. Millions of lesser men draw str...
Folksonomies: science spirituality
Folksonomies: science spirituality
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A belief in something greater than oneself is not necessarily belief in the supernatural.

21 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Evolving Levels of Thought

Gradually, at various points in our childhoods, we discover different forms of conviction. There’s the rock-hard certainty of personal experience (“I put my finger in the fire and it hurt,”), which is probably the earliest kind we learn. Then there’s the logically convincing, which we probably come to first through maths, in the context of Pythagoras’s theorem or something similar, and which, if we first encounter it at exactly the right moment, bursts on our minds like sunrise with...
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As we grow older, based on experience.

11 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 We Must Become Comfortable with Large Numbers

Borel makes the amusing supposition of a million monkeys allowed to play upon the keys of a million typewriters. What is the chance that this wanton activity should reproduce exactly all of the volumes which are contained in the library of the British Museum? It certainly is not a large chance, but it may be roughly calculated, and proves in fact to be considerably larger than the chance that a mixture of oxygen and nitrogen will separate into the two pure constituents. After we have learned ...
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In order to understand why a million monkey on a million typewriters might produce a great work of art.

28 MAR 2012 by ideonexus

 The Virtue of Courage

Kids need to know that nonconformity requires courage. There are plenty of nonconformists to draw upon as examples, secular and religious people alike, from Socrates to Martin Luther King to Michael Newdow—people whose strength of conviction led them to face with dignity and courage the consequences of stepping outside of the norm in the name of heartfelt principles. It isn’t easy, but doing what’s right can be well worth it. The second reason is even more daunting. As noted above, rel...
Folksonomies: virtue humanism
Folksonomies: virtue humanism
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Nonconformity requires courage. So does accepting non-existence after death.