31 OCT 2018 by ideonexus

 Kayfabe

Although the etymology of the word is a matter of debate, for at least 50 years “kayfabe” has referred to the unspoken contract between wrestlers and spectators: We’ll present you something clearly fake under the insistence that it’s real, and you will experience genuine emotion. Neither party acknowledges the bargain, or else the magic is ruined. [...] The aesthetic of World Wrestling Entertainment seems to be spreading from the ring to the world stage. Ask an average Trump support...
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16 APR 2018 by ideonexus

 Pianos Make Music Accessible Like Computers Make Math Acc...

Though it has become a naturalized part of music-making since the first one was built in 1710, the pianoforte (its name means "soft-loud") was a technical marvel for its time, a machine that changed music in ways that are hard to imagine. Computer pioneer Alan Kay once observed that any technological advance is "technology only for people who are born before it was invented,' and in the case of the piano, this applies to no one alive today. Seymour Papert, the MIT researcher, concluded, "That...
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22 NOV 2017 by ideonexus

 Removing Prepositions in Defining Thought

Having turned my back on propositions, I thought, what am I going to do about this? The area where it really comes up is when you start looking at the contents of consciousness, which is my number one topic. I like to quote Maynard Keynes on this. He was once asked, “Do you think in words or pictures?” to which he responded, “I think in thoughts.” It was a wonderful answer, but also wonderfully uninformative. What the hell’s a thought then? How does it carry information? Is it like ...
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21 NOV 2017 by ideonexus

 Anecdote of Shamans Responding to Star Trek

DI for documenting his journey to shamanism in the 1994 book Of Water and the Spirit: Ritual, Magic, and Initiation in the Life of African Shaman. He writes about the proverbial dive into the rabbit hole as he was studying with the elders of his community and balancing his newfound wisdom with his Western education. Some paints a picture of a different path to knowledge that contradicts the norms of Western conventions. According to him. the Dagara have no word for the supernatural. "For us, ...
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20 JUL 2017 by ideonexus

 The Need for Moral Universals in Democracy

Working societies — if they are to endure, grow, and cohere, if they are to prosper, hang together, and really mature — need moral universals. Moral universals are simply things that people believe everyone should have. In the UK, those things — those moral universals — are healthcare and media and welfare. In Germany, they are healthcare and media and welfare and higher education. And so on. Moral universals anchor a society in a genuinely shared prosperity. Not just...
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27 DEC 2016 by ideonexus

 History of the Concept of Art

Nowadays when someone speaks of "art" you probably think first of "fine arts" such as painting and sculpture, but before the twentieth century the word was generally used in quite a different sense. Since this older meaning of "art" still survives in many idioms, especially when we are contrasting art with science, I would like to spend the next few minutes talking about art in its classical sense. In medieval times, the first universities were established to teach the seven so-called "liber...
Folksonomies: science art humanities
Folksonomies: science art humanities
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15 JUN 2016 by ideonexus

 Living Things Renew Themselves

Renewal of Life by Transmission. The most notable distinction between living and inanimate things is that the former maintain themselves by renewal. A stone when struck resists. If its resistance is greater than the force of the blow struck, it remains outwardly unchanged. Otherwise, it is shattered into smaller bits. Never does the stone attempt to react in such a way that it may maintain itself against the blow, much less so as to render the blow a contributing factor to its own continued a...
Folksonomies: life entropy syntropy
Folksonomies: life entropy syntropy
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21 MAY 2016 by ideonexus

 Essay Writing is About Figuring Things Out

To understand what a real essay is, we have to reach back into history again, though this time not so far. To Michel de Montaigne, who in 1580 published a book of what he called "essais." He was doing something quite different from what lawyers do, and the difference is embodied in the name. Essayer is the French verb meaning "to try" and an essai is an attempt. An essay is something you write to try to figure something out. Figure out what? You don't know yet. And so you can't begin with a ...
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14 MAR 2016 by ideonexus

 "Colic" Means "I don't know why your baby is crying"

The strict medical definition of colic is a condition of a healthy baby in which it shows periods of intense, unexplained fussing/crying lasting more than 3 hours a day, more than 3 days a week for more than 3 weeks. There’s that word there, unexplained. For years I thought this word “colic” described a phenomenon that was understood and therefore natural. The etymology of the word, pertaining to “disease characterized by severe abdominal pain” in the early 15th century suggests ...
Folksonomies: nominal fallacy
Folksonomies: nominal fallacy
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02 JUN 2015 by ideonexus

 Language as Set Theory

The revolution in our understanding of the logic of names began with a basic question: Where do the meanings of words live? There are two likely habitats. One is the world, where we find the things that a word refers to. The other is in the head, where we find people’s understanding of how a word may be used. For anyone interested in language as a window into the mind, the external world might seem to be an unpromising habitat. The word cat, for example, refers to the set of all the cats t...
Folksonomies: semantics set theory
Folksonomies: semantics set theory
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