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aries1988 : mind   34

futurists and historians
What best distinguishes our species is an ability that scientists are just beginning to appreciate: We contemplate the future. Our singular foresight created…
history  future  mind  animal  human  question  opinion  futurism  historian 
march 2019 by aries1988
Paul Bloom on Cruelty – Econlib
I think that's one of the biggest mistakes we make about morality. I think that the reality is that fully appreciating someone's humanity opens up so many positive things--you can't be human without it; you can't have a decent relationship. It's the foundation of love, and friendship. But, it carries with it so many terrible risks. Really loving somebody, really knowing somebody opens up the possibility for love; but it also opens up the possibility for hatred.

we need to respect the fact that often we had no bad intentions and we will be right; and yet we can appreciate that our own small acts when accumulated makes people's lives miserable. And so we should stop these small acts.

The first point is that the robots are probably sentient. I mean, it's impossible to know. It's the standard, you know, undergraduate dormitory argument at 2 in the morning, how can I know you're conscious? How can you know that I'm conscious? But, these robots are of such sophistication, complexity, it beggars belief that they don't have feelings.
utilitarianism  human  cruel  thinking  movie  culture  debate  mind  other  love  family  morality  anger  incel  mob  robot 
october 2018 by aries1988
One is the loneliest number: the history of a Western problem | Aeon Ideas
loneliness is not a universal condition; nor is it a purely visceral, internal experience. It is less a single emotion and more a complex cluster of feelings, composed of anger, grief, fear, anxiety, sadness and shame. It also has social and political dimensions, shifting through time according ideas about the self, God and the natural world. Loneliness, in other words, has a history.

The contemporary notion of loneliness stems from cultural and economic transformations that have taken place in the modern West. Industrialisation, the growth of the consumer economy, the declining influence of religion and the popularity of evolutionary biology all served to emphasise that the individual was what mattered – not traditional, paternalistic visions of a society in which everyone had a place.

In the 19th century, political philosophers used Charles Darwin’s theories about the ‘survival of the fittest’ to justify the pursuit of individual wealth to Victorians. Scientific medicine, with its emphasis on brain-centred emotions and experiences, and the classification of the body into ‘normal’ and abnormal states, underlined this shift. The four humours (phlegmatic, sanguine, choleric, melancholic) that had dominated Western medicine for 2,000 years and made people into ‘types’, fell away in favour of a new model of health dependent on the physical, individual body.

my claim is that human emotions are inseparable from their social, economic and ideological contexts. The righteous anger of the morally affronted, for instance, would be impossible without a belief in right and wrong, and personal accountability. Likewise, loneliness can exist only in a world where the individual is conceived as separate from, rather than part of, the social fabric. It’s clear that the rise of individualism corroded social and communal ties, and led to a language of loneliness that didn’t exist prior to around 1800.
mind  state  modernity  19C 
october 2018 by aries1988
Is there any real distinction between ‘high’ and ‘low’ pleasures?
The difficulty with resolving this disagreement about the kinds of pleasure is not that we struggle to agree on the right answer. It’s that we’re asking the wrong question. The entire debate assumes a clear divide between the intellectual and bodily, the human and the animal, which is no longer tenable. These days, few of us are card-carrying dualists who believe that we are made of immaterial minds and material bodies. We have plenty of scientific evidence for the importance of biochemistry and hormones in all that we do and think

Eating illustrates how the difference between higher and lower pleasures is not what you enjoy but how you enjoy it.

Mill was therefore right to believe that pleasures come in higher and lower forms but wrong to think that we could distinguish them on the basis of what we take pleasure in. What matters is how we enjoy them, which means that higher and lower pleasures are not two discrete categories but form a continuum.

When we learn how to take pleasure in bodily things in ways that engage our hearts and minds as well as our five senses, we give up the illusion that we are souls trapped in mortal coils, and we learn how to be fully human. We are neither angels above bodily pleasures nor crude beasts slavishly following them, but psychosomatic wholes who bring heart, mind, body and soul to everything we do.
body  mind  pleasure  philosophy 
september 2018 by aries1988
徐賁:「強制說服」下的羊群變異──五七幹校與中國知識分子|深度|探索學院|端傳媒 Initium Media
思想改造是一種 「強制說服」(coercive persuasion),在各國普遍存在於一些強制社會化程序中(如罪犯改造、戒毒、反邪教、心理治療等)。而在中國語境裏,強制說服則是一種意識形態主導的大規模思想改造,其涉及面之廣、強制手段之發達是其他國家難以相比的。

「認知失調」。它指的是人在接觸到一些有違原先信念或價值的事情之後所出現的衝突狀態。這種衝突會引起不適和焦慮,而當事人則會採取化解措施。許多知識分子在被改造時,會在自己的獨立人格理想與被迫的無條件服從之間感受到一種惱人的矛盾衝突。倘若放棄獨立人格,許多人會為此感到羞愧。為了平息內心的羞愧,他們需要為自己的放棄找到合理解釋,勸藉自己稱這是一個正確選擇。自己選擇放棄獨立人格不是因為懦弱和害怕,而是因為有了新的「覺悟」,是一種思想「進步」。這種調適開始是一種自我欺騙,但最後會弄假成真,「轉變」便是弄假成真的結果。

再也不可能恢復到1949年以前的狀態了,他們已經固定而持久地變成了一個具有中國特色的新品種——狡黠、精明、犬儒、善於偽裝。半個多世紀以來中國知識人的人格破損、自尊心坍塌、道德意識崩潰,已經在新環境下適者生存需要的過程中演化出新的「文化人」基因。

德熱拉斯(M. Djilas)在著名的《新階級》一書裏指出,無論為意識形態的思想改造投入多少人力物力,「這一切手段所收穫的效果並不大。在任何情況下,效果與所花費的力量及方法都不相稱」,它之所以還在繼續,不是因為它真能改變人們的思想和信念,而是因為它能「使一切與官方不同的意識都不可能表現出來」。
opinion  history  china  mao  intelligentsia  mind  education 
june 2018 by aries1988
Resilience and ingenuity – a Tajik teacher's hydroelectric station made from Soviet scraps | Aeon Videos
In doing so, the film is both a chronicle of his remarkable life and a robust reminder that genius is not confined to the places where it is most lavishly rewarded and popularly celebrated.
stans  life  soviet  history  engineer  village  electricity  invention  mind 
june 2018 by aries1988
The Stroop test: how colourful is your language?
The Stroop Task - you can try this classic psychological experiment for yourself.Photograph: Pete Etchells for the Guardian Welcome to the first in a new series…
mind  language  trick 
july 2016 by aries1988
The Bitter Fight Over the Benefits of Bilingualism

Bilinguals have lots of experience with these skills. The bilingual mind is in constant conflict, explains Ellen Bialystok from York University, one of the leading researchers in this field. For every utterance, a choice is made to focus on the target language, so there is a constant need to select. She says that this constant experience leaves its mark on the brain, strengthening the regions involved in executive function.
language  brain  mind  bilingual  research 
july 2016 by aries1988
How Facebook Warps Our Worlds
The Internet isn’t rigged to give us right or left, conservative or liberal — at least not until we rig it that way. It’s designed to give us more of the same, whatever that same is: one sustained note from the vast and varied music that it holds, one redundant fragrance from a garden of infinite possibility.
Facebook  opinion  mind  social-network 
may 2016 by aries1988
BBC - Future - How to learn 30 languages
What’s more, unless you want to sound like a stuttering robot, those words and structures have to make it to the tip of your tongue within a split second, meaning they have to be programmed in both explicit and implicit memory.

according to the critical period hypothesis, there is a narrow window during childhood in which we can pick up the nuances of a new language.

Keeley’s theory is that learning a new language causes you to re-invent your sense of self – and the best linguists are particularly good at taking on new identities. You become a chameleon, he says.

He recently ran a survey of Chinese speakers learning Japanese to examine their ego permeability – with questions such as I find it easy to put myself in other’s shoes and imagine how they feel or I can do impressions of other people, and whether you can change your opinions to suit the people you are near. As he suspected, the people who score highly on these traits had much greater fluency in their new language.

Speaking with slightly pouted lips instantly makes you sound a little bit more French, for instance.
language  mind  learn  expert  memory  howto 
december 2015 by aries1988
Finding Time to Read
If you’re a ‘knowledge worker’ you’re paid to use your brain so it’s in your best interest to make that brain as big as possible.

Remember the tagline of this website: Mastering the best that other people have already figured out. That’d be nearly impossible without reading. In fact, it is largely through reading that we walk this path.

Charlie Munger, voracious reader, billionaire, and vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, once commented In my whole life, I have known no wise people (over a broad subject matter area) who didn’t read all the time – none, zero.
reading  mind  intelligence  howto  habit 
november 2015 by aries1988
Ellen Langer — Science of Mindlessness and Mindfulness
Social psychologist Ellen Langer defines mindfulness with counterintuitive simplicity: the simple act of actively noticing things — with a result of increased health, competence, and happiness.
mind  placebo  brain  body  interview 
september 2015 by aries1988
A Dying Young Woman’s Hope in Cryonics and a Future
Cancer claimed Kim Suozzi at age 23, but she chose to have her brain preserved with the dream that neuroscience might one day revive her mind.
death  brain  science  medicine  future  mind 
september 2015 by aries1988
Science Isn’t Broken
Instead, you can think of the p-value as an index of surprise. How surprising would these results be if you assumed your hypothesis was false?

Researchers often make these calls as they go, and often there’s no obviously correct way to proceed, which makes it tempting to try different things until you get the result you’re looking for.

They’re just falling prey to natural human biases that lead them to tip the scales and set up studies to produce false-positive results.

What makes science so powerful is that it’s self-correcting — sure, false findings get published, but eventually new studies come along to overturn them, and the truth is revealed. At least, that’s how it’s supposed to work.

Science is not a magic wand that turns everything it touches to truth. Instead, science operates as a procedure of uncertainty reduction, said Nosek, of the Center for Open Science. The goal is to get less wrong over time. This concept is fundamental — whatever we know now is only our best approximation of the truth. We can never presume to have everything right.

As a society, our stories about how science works are also prone to error. The standard way of thinking about the scientific method is: ask a question, do a study, get an answer. But this notion is vastly oversimplified. A more common path to truth looks like this: ask a question, do a study, get a partial or ambiguous answer, then do another study, and then do another to keep testing potential hypotheses and homing in on a more complete answer. Human fallibilities send the scientific process hurtling in fits, starts and misdirections instead of in a straight line from question to truth.

The uncertainty inherent in science doesn’t mean that we can’t use it to make important policies or decisions. It just means that we should remain cautious and adopt a mindset that’s open to changing course if new data arises. We should make the best decisions we can with the current evidence and take care not to lose sight of its strength and degree of certainty.
science  scientist  opinion  research  mind  human  people  truth  instapaper_favs 
august 2015 by aries1988
Johnson: The influence of English: Deep impact | The Economist
In many of the cases, the English version is simpler: ich erinnere das nicht is shorter and more straightforward than ich erinnere mich daran nicht. But even fairly complex grammar is usually easy for native speakers; the mind is a miracle that way. So the change to English betrays not simply a preference for simpliclity; it shows that speakers of German or French find themselves thinking rather a lot in English, so much so the English patterns spring to mind as readily as the German.
language  deutsch  mind  people  english  français 
july 2015 by aries1988
人工智能:何时是“他们”,何时是“我们”? | 科学人 | 果壳网 科技有意思
这种种现象,背后的逻辑往往是8个字:非我族类,其心必异;因此,对于这些异类,就完全不必也不该采取和同类相同的道德标准,怎么狠就怎么来吧。

从以居住地为依据的诸侯国,扩展到以身份认同为主的民族国家(比如“炎黄子孙”就曾被用作与“夷狄”区分开来),人类对于“我的同类”的认定范围,不断的扩大开来,善待自己的同类,甚至可以为了保护自己的同类而作出自我牺牲,而这显然是不利于自己的基因延续的。

无论是出于何种原因,借用道金斯在《自私的基因》一书中的话来说就是: “只有人类,才能够反抗基因的暴政”。
ai  human  biology  mind  enemy  distinction 
june 2015 by aries1988
Learning How to Exert Self-Control - NYTimes.com
Adults can use similar methods of distraction and distancing, he says. Don’t eye the basket of bread; just take it off the table. In moments of emotional distress, imagine that you’re viewing yourself from outside, or consider what someone else would do in your place. When a waiter offers chocolate mousse, imagine that a cockroach has just crawled across it.
howto  learn  goal  self  help  emotion  mind  body 
may 2015 by aries1988
How Mindfulness Can Jumpstart Our Exercise Routines - NYTimes.com
Of course, being aware and in the moment during exercise also means experiencing, fully, your twinging muscles, declining pace, hunger, and unbecoming spite when a grandmother passes you on the trail. But even these aspects of exercise should be more tolerable with mindfulness, Ms. Tsafou said. As she and her colleagues wrote in the study, mindfulness “facilitates the acceptance of things as they occur,” enabling us to “accept negative experiences and view them as less threatening.
health  exercising  mind  body 
february 2015 by aries1988
A Meditation on the Art of Not Trying
When you’re nervous, how can you be yourself? How you can force yourself to relax? How can you try not to try? It makes no sense, but the paradox may be essential to civilization.

He calls it the paradox of wu wei, the Chinese term for “effortless action.” Pronounced “ooo-way,” it has similarities to the concept of flow, that state of effortless performance sought by athletes, but it applies to a lot more than sports. Wu wei is integral to romance, religion, politics and commerce. It’s why some leaders have charisma and why business executives insist on a drunken dinner before sealing a deal.

Hence the preoccupation with wu wei, whose ancient significance has become clearer to scholars since the discovery in 1993 of bamboo strips in a tomb in the village of Guodian in central China. The texts on the bamboo, composed more than three centuries before Christ, emphasize that following rules and fulfilling obligations are not enough to maintain social order.

Taoists did not strive. Instead of following the rigid training and rituals required by Confucius, they sought to liberate the natural virtue within. They went with the flow. They disdained traditional music in favor of a funkier new style with a beat. They emphasized personal meditation instead of formal scholarship.

“Particularly when one has developed proficiency in an area, it is often better to simply go with the flow. Paralysis through analysis and overthinking are very real pitfalls that the art of wu wei was designed to avoid.”

“Getting drunk is essentially an act of mental disarmament,” Dr. Slingerland writes. “In the same way that shaking right hands with someone assures them that you’re not holding a weapon, downing a few tequila shots is like checking your prefrontal cortex at the door. ‘See? No cognitive control. You can trust me.’ ”
mind  taoist  chinese  workflow  GTD  debate  success  work 
december 2014 by aries1988
Dispelling the Myth of Deferred Gratification
Underlying self-discipline and grit is the idea of deferring gratification—for example, by putting off doing what you enjoy until you finish your "work." The appeal to many educators of transforming kids from lazy grasshoppers to hardworking ants explains the fresh wave of interest in a series of experiments conducted back in the 1960s known as the marshmallow studies.

What mostly interested Mischel wasn't whether children could wait for a bigger treat—which, by the way, most of them could. It wasn't even whether those who waited fared better in life than those who didn't. Rather, the central question was how children go about trying to wait and which strategies help. It turned out that kids waited longer when they were distracted by a toy. What worked best wasn't (in Mischel's words) "self-denial and grim determination," but doing something enjoyable while waiting so that self-control wasn't needed at all.

It shouldn't be surprising that the kids' capacity to figure out a way to think about something other than the food was associated with their SAT scores. It's not that willpower makes certain kids successful; it's that the same loose cluster of mental proficiencies that helped them with distraction when they were young also helped them score well on a test of reasoning when they were older. (In fact, when the researchers held those scores constant, most of the other long-term benefits associated with their marshmallow-related behavior disappeared.)

Perhaps the broader message for educators is this: Focus less on "fixing the kids" and more on improving what and how they're taught.
teacher  children  education  opinion  learn  experiment  gratification  classic  myth  mind 
september 2014 by aries1988
How a password changed my life. — Medium
In my mind, I went with the mantra that I didn’t type a password. In my mind, I was reminding myself to “Forgive her”.

That simple action changed the way I looked at my ex wife. That constant reminder that I should forgive her, led me to accept the way things happened at the end of my marriage, and embrace a new way of dealing with the depression that I was drowning into.

Seeing how these reminders helped to materialize my goals kept me motivated and excited. I’ll admit this: It is difficult to come up with your next goal. Sometimes it’s hard to identify what we need to change, or where we need to walk towards to.

Make sure your goals are realistic, and avoid being too dreamy when you phrase them. It’s important to build a metric around your goal so you can measure its success along the way. For example, if you’re on a hunt to get a better job, don’t use things like BeTh3NumberOne! but instead go with KickASS@LinkedIn! and use the new connections, groups and number of resumes sent as a metric to validate your efforts to land a new job. Being the number one is great, but being able to measure where you are and where you’re going is important, specially when there’s a big gap between those two points.

This feeling of micro achievements, this thought of ‘my mantra helps me to get things done’ can build up a momentum that motivates you to stay focused on achieving your monthly goals. It’s a tiny habit that has the power to transform.
life  management  success  GTD  tips  mind  self 
august 2014 by aries1988
No Time to Think
To get rid of the emotional static, experts advise not using first-person pronouns when thinking about troubling events in your life. Instead, use third-person pronouns or your own name when thinking about yourself. “If a friend comes to you with a problem it’s easy to coach them through it, but if the problem is happening to us we have real difficulty, in part because we have all these egocentric biases making it hard to reason rationally,” said Dr. Kross of Michigan. “The data clearly shows that you can use language to almost trick yourself into thinking your problems are happening to someone else.”
happiness  creativity  howto  self  life  mind 
august 2014 by aries1988
夺魁者本色 « 学而时嘻之
他们发现女学霸对其所在宿舍来说是一盏明灯。如果一个女生的入学成绩比较弱,但是她有成绩好的室友,那么她在大学的学习成绩会因此受益。她很可能被室友激励,甚至可能得到了室友的直接帮助。可是男生宿舍里没有这样的效应。数据显示,那些学习最好的男生,甚至对自己宿舍其他人的成绩有个负面影响!

比如为什么大多数政客是男的。这不是因为选民有性别歧视,事实上女候选人真参选的话,她获得的政治捐款和得票率都并不比男的低。女政客少,是因为女人不爱参选。女人不参选,是因为她们能合理对待自己当选的可能性。我上初中的时候经常踢足球,大部分男生都参加,而且是一本正经地分队比赛。有一次极其难得,几个女生要求跟着一起踢。她们在场上几乎不起作用,但已足够让我们受宠若惊。比赛中一个女生问了我一个问题,这个问题令我终生难忘。 她问我,为什么球出界了让对方掷界外球 — 难道不应该谁踢出界谁负责把球捡回来发球吗?…
competition  comparison  mind  peer  female 
august 2014 by aries1988
Stewart Lee on the German sense of humour | World news | The Guardian
The German phenomenon of compound words also serves to confound the English sense of humour. In English there are many words that have double or even triple meanings, and whole sitcom plot structures have been built on the confusion that arises from deploying these words at choice moments. Once again, German denies us this easy option. There is less room for doubt in German because of the language's infinitely extendable compound words. In English we surround a noun with adjectives to try to clarify it. In German, they merely bolt more words on to an existing word. Thus a federal constitutional court, which in English exists as three weak fragments, becomes Bundesverfassungsgericht, a vast impregnable structure that is difficult to penetrate linguistically, like that Nazi castle in Where Eagles Dare. The German language provides fully functional clarity. English humour thrives on confusion.
language  humor  human  mind  comparison 
december 2013 by aries1988
Why Our Brains Make Us Click on Lists
the headline catches our eye in a stream of content; it positions its subject within a preëxisting category and classification system, like “talented animals”; it spatially organizes the information; and it promises a story that’s finite, whose length has been quantified upfront. Together, these create an easy reading experience, in which the mental heavy lifting of conceptualization, categorization, and analysis is completed well in advance of actual consumption—a bit like sipping green juice instead of munching on a bundle of kale. And there’s little that our brains crave more than effortlessly acquired data.
mind  explained  life 
december 2013 by aries1988
一个没有性魅力的人,做什么事都不会成功
没人想和一具僵硬、胆怯、充满抵抗的身体做爱。那么我们想和什么样的身体做爱?人类数千年的文化艺术作品为我们提供了无数香艳的可视档案,象征画派莫罗描摹的在希律王面前跳舞的莎乐美、法国洛可可画家布歇尔笔下骄纵可爱的小贵妇、安格尔画笔下散发着奶味体香的大宫女、沃特豪斯画作中诱惑水手的海妖塞壬……或者当你直接面对那些描绘罗马人集体沐浴、全称狂欢的画作,直接就是一部古典主义版本的情色A片,画面中充溢着丰乳肥臀、肤若凝脂、自信与娇羞于一体的古代女人们,提醒着我们那是一个淫荡和纯真没有什么区别的时代。

在错误的教育与道德认知的限制之下,人群中的“性呆板”、“性僵硬”、“性冷淡”、比比皆是,在大多数情形之下,这是一个女性的命题。女孩一般都会受家庭以及社会观念影响而或多或少地限制了本身便该有的天然的性的吸引力,不懂得如何正确而快乐地使用它,从而使自己的人生缺乏了一种巨大的乐趣。而乐趣还只是其次,导致我们举手投足是否能呈现出强大气场,常常隐藏于一种难以言说的“吸引力”之中——那就是来自于力比多的魔力。当一个人从自己的身体开始,到自己的灵魂都能够刻骨热爱,毫不掩饰的时候,他(她)便具备了一种胜利意志的暗示,他(她)就算天生不美,却爱自己的每一寸肌肤,相信自己内在的巨大能量,谁会不爱他(她)呢?那便是一个所向披靡的人。
essay  sex  life  human  mind  success  self 
november 2013 by aries1988
Disruptions: Minecraft, an Obsession and an Educational Tool
Around the world, Minecraft is being used to educate children on everything from science to city planning to speaking a new language

“Kids are getting into middle school and high school and having some ugly experiences on Facebook and other social networks without an understanding of how to interact with people online,” he said. “With Minecraft, they are developing that understanding at a very early age.”
game  mind  children  instapaper_favs 
october 2013 by aries1988
WEB • Jason Trigg – Programmeur au grand cœur | Courrier international
Selon ses calculs, il suffit de 2 500 dollars pour sauver une vie humaine. Là où il travaille, un analyste quantitatif peut facilement gagner plus de 100 000 dollars par an. En donnant la moitié de son salaire de Wall Street, explique Trigg, il peut sauver davantage de vies qu’avec un salaire de chercheur.
from:kindle  money  mind  choice  philanthropy 
july 2013 by aries1988
Explore – How to be a minimalist, from the always-brilliant...
Get rid of the unnecessary
Create structure
Stop searching for hidden meaning
Embrace what is solid
Lose yourself in patterns
Don’t fear empty space
Stay clean
Be bold and colorful
Don’t be too expressive!
Less is more…but less is more difficult than it looks.
life  minimalist  mind  art  list  howto  advice  GTD  self 
january 2013 by aries1988
“Dexter” and British Psychologist Ask: Who Wants to Be a Psychopath?
Psychopaths tend to be fearless, ruthless, capable of extraordinary focus, and they are cool and decisive in high-pressure situations that make others quail. Psychopaths excel at reading other peoples’ facial expression, which comes in handy if they want to manipulate someone. The big difference, Dutton said, is that monks are motivated by compassion for others, whereas psychopaths seek only their own pleasure. But maybe this difference is not so great (and this is my point, not Dutton’s). After all, many modern gurus–notably Chogyam Trungpa, who helped bring Tibetan Buddhism to the west decades ago—act like narcissistic monsters. That’s one reason why I’m so down on Buddhism.
http://www.instapaper.com/read/333030877
interview  success  book  TV  explained  psychology  behavior  mind 
october 2012 by aries1988
What's Wrong With the Teenage Mind?
What happens when children reach puberty earlier and adulthood later? The answer is: a good deal of teenage weirdness. Fortunately, developmental psychologists and neuroscientists are starting to explain the foundations of that weirdness. The crucial new idea is that there are two different neural and psychological systems that interact to turn children into adults. Over the past two centuries, and even more over the past generation, the developmental timing of these two systems has changed. That, in turn, has profoundly changed adolescence and produced new kinds of adolescent woe. The big question for anyone who deals with young people today is how we can go about bringing these cogs of the teenage mind into sync once again.
http://www.instapaper.com/read/250140928
youth  mind  teenager  instapaper_favs 
august 2012 by aries1988

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