09 NOV 2019 by ideonexus

 Darwin, Bach, and Professional Decline

What’s the difference between Bach and Darwin? Both were preternaturally gifted and widely known early in life. Both attained permanent fame posthumously. Where they differed was in their approach to the midlife fade. When Darwin fell behind as an innovator, he became despondent and depressed; his life ended in sad inactivity. When Bach fell behind, he reinvented himself as a master instructor. He died beloved, fulfilled, and—though less famous than he once had been—respected. The less...
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02 MAR 2019 by ideonexus

 Scientific Laws Mean That God has No Freedom

he one remaining area that reHgion can now lay claim to is the origin of the universe, but even here science is making progress and should soon provide a definitive answer to how the universe began. I published a book that asked if God created the universe, and that caused something of a stir. People got upset that a scientist should have anything to say on the matter of religion. I have no desire to tell anyone what to believe, but for me asking if God exists is a valid question for science...
Folksonomies: science religion
Folksonomies: science religion
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20 NOV 2018 by ideonexus

 Portrait of Social Media Psychosis

A Muslim woman with her burqa on fire: like. A policeman using a baton to beat a masked antifa protester: like. Hillary Clinton looking gaunt and pale: like. A military helicopter armed with machine guns and headed toward the caravan of immigrants: like. She had spent a few hours scrolling one afternoon when she heard a noise outside her window, and she turned away from the screen to look outside. A neighbor was sweeping his sidewalk, pushing tiny white rocks back into his rock garden. The s...
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04 NOV 2018 by ideonexus

 Controlling Randomness in Rhyming Games

Specific Rhyme Repertory: This straightforward strategy requires the counter to select a rhyme of a specific length that will achieve the desired result. Extension of Rhyme: The counting-out rhymes are modular and extendable, and if the rhyme is about to end on someone that the counter does not want to be selected, the counter can spontaneously add an additional phrase or rhyme of the proper length to achieve a different result. Skipping Regular Counts: The counter simply skips himself or h...
Folksonomies: games randomness
Folksonomies: games randomness
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27 JUL 2018 by ideonexus

 How Social Media Annexes Your Cognitive Landscape

In my 2016 book, Deep Work, I proposed a strictly binary approach to social media: you should perform an honest cost/benefit analysis on the social media platforms in your life, and quit all services that don’t provide substantially more benefits than costs with respect to things you truly value. The issue with this idea, as I discovered, is that many people could identify a small number of important benefits provided to them by particular social media platforms that couldn’t be easily r...
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27 JUL 2018 by ideonexus

 Prolongation of Human Infancy

Prolongation of Human Infancy.—-Nevertheless, as Professor Butler has recently pointed out, the doctrine of the prolongation of human infancy, which Professor John Fiske has so ably shown to be part of the theory of evolution, was anticipated by Anaximander of Miletus, who flourished about 565 b.c. Professor Butler’s discovery, however, was itself anticipated by Burnet in his Early Greek Philosophy (95, p. 74) by a couple of years. Burnet, after quoting the Theophrastean account of the sp...
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27 JUL 2018 by ideonexus

 Our Modern Worldview and Morality is Shaped by Science

To begin with, the findings of science imply that the belief systems of all the world’s traditional religions and cultures—their theories of the genesis of the world, life, humans, and societies—are factually mistaken. We know, but our ancestors did not, that humans belong to a single species of African primate that developed agriculture, government, and writing late in its history. We know that our species is a tiny twig of a genealogical tree that embraces all living things and that e...
Folksonomies: science humanism morality
Folksonomies: science humanism morality
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27 JUL 2018 by ideonexus

 Human Progress Confounds -isms

It should not be surprising that the facts of human progress confound the major -isms. The ideologies are more than two centuries old and are based on mile-high visions such as whether humans are tragically flawed or infinitely malleable, and whether society is an organic whole or a collection of individuals.43 A real society comprises hundreds of millions of social beings, each with a trillion-synapse brain, who pursue their well-being while affecting the well-being of others in complex netw...
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27 JUL 2018 by ideonexus

 The Progressive Effects of Education

Homo sapiens, “knowing man,” is the species that uses information to resist the rot of entropy and the burdens of evolution. Humans everywhere acquire knowledge about their landscape, its flora and fauna, the tools and weapons that can subdue them, and the networks and norms that entangle them with kin, allies, and enemies. They accumulate and share that knowledge with the use of language, gesture, and face-to-face tutelage. [...] The mind-altering effects of education extend to every s...
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