17 OCT 2021 by ideonexus

 Philosophers are "Loafers"

We were not originally made to be learned; we have become so perhaps by a sort of abuse of our organic faculties, and at the expense of the State, which nourishes a host of loafers whom vanity has adorned with the name of “philosophers.” Nature created us all solely to be happy—yes, all, from the crawling worm to the eagle that soars out of sight in the clouds. That is why she has given all animals some share of natural law, a share of greater or less delicacy according to the needs of ...
Folksonomies: commentary
Folksonomies: commentary
  1  notes
 
17 OCT 2021 by ideonexus

 Humans Trained Themselves in Symbolic Thought

From animals to man, the transition is not violent, as good philosophers will admit. What was man before the invention of words and the knowledge of tongues? An animal of his species, who, with much less native instinct than the others, whose king he then considered himself to be, could not be distinguished from the ape and from the rest, except as the ape itself differs from the other animals; which means, by a face giving promise of more intelligence. Reduced to the bare “intuitive knowle...
Folksonomies: philosophy empiricism
Folksonomies: philosophy empiricism
  1  notes
 
28 FEB 2021 by ideonexus

 Evolutionary Origins of Play

There are several kinds of speculation about the origins of play: (a) The first holds that play originates as a mutation and therefore an amelioration of dangerous adaptational conJicts. According to John Allman in Evolving Brains, this play mutation constitutes a pre-existing genetic function. (b) Some scholars claim the most fundamental conJict arises between dangerous and mutually threatening opponents. In studies of such conJicts, 80 percent of the time creatures from ants to mammals ac...
Folksonomies: play evolution
Folksonomies: play evolution
  1  notes
 
08 NOV 2019 by ideonexus

 Inculcating a belief is like charging a battery

Inculcating a belief is like charging a battery. The battery is thenceforward disposed to give a spark or shock, when suitably approached, as long as the charge lasts; similarly the believer is disposed to respond in characteristic ways, when suitably approached, as long as the belief lasts. The belief, like the charge, may last long or briefly. Some beliefs, like the one about Hannibal, we shall probably retain while we live. Some, like our belief in the dependability of our neighborhood cob...
Folksonomies: belief
Folksonomies: belief
  1  notes
 
07 NOV 2019 by ideonexus

 "Scandals" - Animals Evolved from Cancer Cells

Panchin knows the idea of cancer-derived animals sounds far-fetched — so much so that, in the paper, he and his co-authors refer to them as Scandals (an acronym for “speciated by cancer development animals”). [...] According to Panchin’s three-step scenario, a Scandal would start off as a cancer, but not just any cancer. It would have to be transmissible, so that it wouldn’t die when its host did. Then the cancer would have to spread to other species, and then independently evolve...
Folksonomies: evolution biology cancer
Folksonomies: evolution biology cancer
  1  notes
 
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 ...
  1  notes
 
10 MAR 2017 by ideonexus

 The Bird Clouds

We supposed at first that the mental unity of these little avians was telepathic, but in fact it was not. It was based on the unity of a complex electromagnetic field, in fact on "radio" waves permeating the whole group. Radio, transmitted and received by every individual organism, corresponded to the chemical nerve current which maintains the unity of the human nervous system. Each brain reverberated with the ethereal rhythms of its environment; and each contributed its own peculiar theme to...
Folksonomies: otherness alien other
Folksonomies: otherness alien other
  1  notes
 
10 MAR 2017 by ideonexus

 Adapting to Obsolescence

Jobs are lost to automation, innovation, obsolescence, the moving finger of fate. The carriage industry was devastated by the automobile, and the men who made surreys and broughams and hansoms had to learn something new; the Pullman porter union was hit hard by the advent of air travel, and the porters sent their sons to college; the newspaper business was hit hard by Craigslist. Too bad for us. I know gifted men who were successful graphic designers until computers came along and younger pe...
Folksonomies: automation
Folksonomies: automation
  1  notes
 
19 MAR 2015 by ideonexus

 Make It a Treat

"Make It a Treat" is similar in spirit to "everything in moderation," but still very distinct. "Moderation" suggests a regular, low-level intake of something. MIAT asks for more austerity; it encourages you to keep the special things in life special. I apply this rule in a variety of ways. For instance, I wear makeup and high heels on special occasions. But if I dressed up all the time, it would become ordinary, and I would receive fewer compliments. If makeup and heels was my everyday look, ...
Folksonomies: humor moderation
Folksonomies: humor moderation
  1  notes
 
31 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 The Fallacy of the Insect Age

To end on a more cheerful note, I think I have found a fallacy or two in some of the more spectacular arguments used by the Insect Age enthusiasts when they are hardest pressed. For one thing, the fact that insects as a class are 300,000,000 years old, if it is a fact, while we have been here only about 1,000,000 years, or 3,000,000 at the outside, does not prove to me that the insects are bound to win. It takes more than mere old age to get along these days. I think it quite likely that the ...
Folksonomies: humor logical fallacy
Folksonomies: humor logical fallacy
  1  notes