31 OCT 2018 by ideonexus

 Adult is Not a Term of Approval

Critics who treat adult as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about bei...
Folksonomies: maturity juvenillia
Folksonomies: maturity juvenillia
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17 MAY 2017 by ideonexus

 Success as Proof of Virtue

Ivanka contrasts “proactive” people, who are “passionate and productive,” with “negative people,” those who are “swayed by the external and are frequently the victim of circumstance.” Her worldview, it turns out, is not so different from her father’s. Both see society through the lens of quasi-mystical corporate self-help, the sort pioneered by Norman Vincent Peale, author of The Power of Positive Thinking and a major influence on Donald Trump. In their schema, success is pr...
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10 MAR 2017 by ideonexus

 1937 Description of Lightspeed Travel

After a while I noticed that the sun and all the stars in his neighborhood were ruddy. Those at the opposite pole of the heaven were of an icy blue. The explanation of this strange phenomenon flashed upon me. I was still traveling, and traveling so fast that light itself was not wholly indifferent to my passage. The overtaking undulations took long to catch me. They therefore affected me as slower pulsations than they normally were, and I saw them therefore as red. Those that met me on my hea...
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01 APR 2015 by ideonexus

 We are Living in an Ancestor Simulation

Now we get to the core of the simulation argument. This does not purport to demonstrate that you are in a simulation. Instead, it shows that we should accept as true at least one of the following three propositions: (1) The chances that a species at our current level of development can avoid going extinct before becoming technologically mature is negligibly small (2) Almost no technologically mature civilisations are interested in running computer simulations of minds like ours (3) You are...
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See also Are You Living in a Computer Simulation? by the same author.

21 APR 2014 by ideonexus

 History in "A Song of Ice and Fire"

In this, the obvious contrast is with the only work of fantasy to compare in terms of ambition and achievement to Martin's own: The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien's Middle-earth, unlike Westeros, is the creation of a dauntingly learned scholar: his ambition was to fashion from the languages, literature and history of the early middle ages an invented mythology that would nevertheless retain the stamp of the period that had inspired it. Martin's approach is infinitely more slapdash. Just as the ch...
Folksonomies: history fiction
Folksonomies: history fiction
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ASOIF contains many references to real history.

24 JAN 2014 by ideonexus

 Geometry Sets the Mind Right

Geometry enlightens the intellect and sets one's mind right. All its proofs are very clear and orderly. It is hardly possible for errors to enter into geometrical reasoning, because it is well arranged and orderly. Thus, the mind that constantly applies itself to geometry is not likely to fall into error. In this convenient way, the person who knows geometry acquires intelligence. It has been assumed that the followmg statement was written Upon Plato's door: 'No one who is not a geometrician ...
Folksonomies: mathematics meditation
Folksonomies: mathematics meditation
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Makes me think about mindfulness meditation, which is fine, but there are meditative practices that are proactive as well.

13 OCT 2013 by ideonexus

 Anecdote About the Cuckoo Clock in China

The gaudy watches of indifferent workmanship, fabricated purposely for the China market and once in universal demand, are now scarcely asked for. One gentleman in the Honourable East India Company’s employ took it into his head that cuckoo clocks might prove a saleable article in China, and accordingly laid in a large assortment, which more than answered his most sanguine expectations. But as these wooden machines were constructed for sale only, and not for use, the cuckoo clocks became all...
Folksonomies: deception anecdote clock
Folksonomies: deception anecdote clock
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A salesman convinces his buyers that his faulty clocks will work once again once the birds come out of hibernation.

28 MAY 2013 by ideonexus

 A Succinct Response to Overgeneralization

I think you may be mistaking what are actually contrasting and often contradictory statements of discrete individuals across several communities for a monolithic statement of belief by a single collective mind.
Folksonomies: debate
Folksonomies: debate
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Posted to a forum.

13 APR 2013 by ideonexus

 Riddle of the Lily Pads

There is great truth in the oft-quoted riddle of the lily pads. A pond (a lake, an ocean, all apply) starts with a single lily pad. Each pad doubles per day; the pond will be full in thirty days. When is the pond only half full? On the twenty-ninth day. After the next day, the thirtieth, further growth is so fast it will, if somehow continued, overwhelm the pond and everything in it in a matter of hours.
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A lesson in exponential growth.

25 AUG 2012 by ideonexus

 Prayer is Silent Observation

Learning to pray, then as I understand it, is learning to listen with the mind and the heart – making oneself attentive to each exquisite detail of the world. It is a fearsome exhilarating task, best suited to solitude and silence. Such prayers are answered not with miracles tagged with our names, or those of our loved ones, but with beauty and terror. For the prayerful listener, the world becomes the sublime scripture, full of stories of structure and chaos, law and chance, complexificatio...
Folksonomies: observation prayer
Folksonomies: observation prayer
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Simply looking at the world for what it is and what it has to tell us.