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aries1988 : thinking   61

回应赵皓阳:知识错漏为你补上,品性问题还需你自己努力|广场|端传媒 Initium Media

最近名为赵皓阳的作者写了一篇题为《香港这座城市还有救吗》的文章,在中国内地广为流传。作者在浸会大学读过一年制的研究生,他形容香港学生“幼稚病”、跟“用爱发电”的台湾人一样“蠢”,批评香港学生会“假民主”,港生不懂殖民历史,香港基础教育质量比不过内地,学生质素“不足以在一个大市场中与大陆青年竞争”。同时,他认为香港社运是民众被蛊惑,“受西方价值观冲击”,上街游行可以获得“虚伪的满足感”,其实是用肉身在供养资本家。他表示,除了他,香港无人意识到地产问题才是香港真正的威胁。

从文章看来,赵的知识体系用一句话就可以概括:“所有问题的根源都是资本家吸血普通人”。如果要再复杂一点,那么不是“教育出了问题”,就是“年轻人太蠢被煽惑”,三板斧来回使用。而政治体制在他眼中有如不存在。

赵先生此文的问题不是他知识太匮乏,而是品性太差。用他的话来讲,他不是“蠢”,是“坏”。这种“坏”意在撩拨内地已有的“仇港”情绪,用虚构故事和错误事实制造中港矛盾。不仅如此,赵还在文章里流露出对精英阶层深深的向往(尽管他本人并不在列),和对普通人追求更好生活的鄙夷。这种“社会达尔文主义”思想的传播,从源头上试图抹去普通人抗争及争取权利的合法性。用赵先生的理论来讲,他所做的事,是在替权力和资本压榨普通人。知识问题我们可以为他补上,品性问题还需要他自己努力。

1985至1988年是台湾反公害运动和环保运动快速兴起的时期,当时的环保和反核人士中也有不少是民主运动的支持者,因此环保及反核力量也被视为对威权政府的挑战。这些挑战国民党的“党外人士”在1986年组成“民进党”,环保和反核是为党纲。

台湾公民社会不断针对能源转型进行不同论述、攻防,并无台湾人如同赵文所述“相信真的用爱可以发电”。当赵文指出,“更惊讶的是,这在台湾还真普遍有人买账,还真很多人觉得用爱发电这个概念好”时,其实台湾读者也很惊讶赵文有这种惊讶——这样理解一个口号,不是曲解,就是愚痴。

香港地产霸权的问题来自殖民时代的政商结构,而中国在香港回归后仍拒绝改革香港的殖民地式官商勾结政经结构,特首选举制度、立法会中的“功能组别”的设计,都是维持这一结构的具体表现,商界向来偏建制、支持政府决策,垄断的庞大资本力量与政治权力结合,成为最难打破的天花板。

中国恰恰是香港“双轨”土地制度的学习者。和土地私有的地方不同,香港土地所有权归政府所有(港英遗留)。港府通过售卖​​土地在规定期限的“使用权”予土地开发者或使用者,也就是内地所熟悉的“卖地”。

这是公民与政府之间一个复杂、多元的博弈过程。市民运用了民间宣传、网络联署、和平游行示威、非暴力不合作运动等多元方式,一起向政府表达民意。当然,香港相对成熟的公民社会也助力不少,这次不少教会和牧师、专业组织、行业协会也参与其中,人们尝试用各种新的方式进行连结。这不是乱,是人们在互动、连结、组织、发声。

如果有人看到这里还是不屑一顾,大概是觉得这些绝食行动看上去都没有“出事”,绝食者依然“安全”。这么想的人,请扪心自问自己的良心和人性去了哪里。牺牲当然不是一件必然的事,任何人也没有资格要求别人牺牲,抗争是表达反对观点的形式,而不是满足变态看客的一场好戏。

从写法上,这篇文章确实具备如今内地舆论场上常见的爆款文特点:一个耸动的标题、“我有一个朋友”式难辨真伪的举例、东拼西凑的数据和口语化的语言。这些都和备受争议的“咪蒙体”如出一辙。文章的文字粗劣,经不起推敲,但能在第一时间把握住大众的情绪。

内地大众本来就因为信息差无法了解到香港反送中游行的全貌,相关新闻只能在互联网的角落中流窜,在这样的时机,突然出现一篇洋洋洒洒几千字分析香港局势的文章,且作者传递的观点其实与自己曾接触过的观点相似,颇能给人一种恍然大悟之感,自然在墙内赚得了顶级流量。

赵先生的思路既把经济发展列为重中之重,又堵死普通人选举、游行的权利,这与中国执政者的思路如出一辙。1989年之后,“发展才是硬道理”成为被宣扬的价值观,经济发展成了政权合法性的来源。按照这个思路,经济发展最后落到普通人身上,只剩下一个选项:努力赚钱。

努力赚钱当然没有错,但背景是赵先生所讲的房地产资本家吸血,这意味著如赵先生所说年轻人(无论是香港的还是内地的)再努力也买不起房。那么努力赚钱为的是什么呢,为的是给资本家打工。赵先生的这套思路和价值观绕了一圈,就是为了忽悠普通人。
explained  debate  china  today  social-network  thinking  hongkong  youth  propaganda  buzz  2019 
22 days ago 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
任剑涛:现代法兰西文明的矛盾性由何造成?
政治理论上的后发性,使得法国很矛盾。要注意先发建立现代国家,但后发规范现代国家。法国的矛盾在启蒙运动时比较突出,尤其是当现代文明骨干要建构现代国家的时候。来自日内瓦的卢梭带着非常矛盾的现代文明建构体系,跑到法国搅动了一池春水。

只有立宪民主国家加民族国家才是真正意义上的现代文明国家,而法国一半领先一半滞后,所以它很矛盾。因而法国带给我们的现代文明建构是个矛盾体。这跟英格兰不一样,英格兰在1215-1688年的四百多年间渐进磨合出一个典范,其现代文明中没有介入太多情感因素,而经验主义进步也是一样。而法国不仅在建立现代国家过程中是分裂结构,理论上是情感跟理性战斗的结构,而且法国人期望通过理想建构——而不是经验磨合,要通过理性的设计,搞出美轮美奂的文明体。

笛卡尔就是建构理性主义的代表,他希图通过自己的设计而走出与培根经验道路完全不同的法国道路。笛卡尔理念跟卢梭理念结合,对法国政治产生了极大的推进作用。这样的矛盾结构在法兰西极为深刻,揭示出后发现代国家建立现代文明的不易。

一般而言,行政如果要追求效率就一定是实行单一首长制,但在法国却是双重首长制。中央派出的机构首长和本地选出行政官员共同执政。

一直到今天,法国对于建构现代政治的矛盾依然存在。一方面,热情万丈,想要建立完美政权的乌托邦主义一直延绵了下来。另一方面,法国的左右互搏没有引领法国走向现代文明的康庄大道,这种极端形态对构建现代文明的启示,是法国对后现代文明建设的贡献。
français  thinking  philosophy  civ  world 
september 2018 by aries1988
中国人的公平观:表面追求大公无私 私下热爱厚黑学
这种历史上轮番争夺帝位的事件在日本的思维模式中却很难,因为A 的对立面不是非A ,而是B ,因此A 只能做自己的事,不能去想B 的事,A 也不能去占有属于B 的东西,这或许是日本天皇可以保留,实行君主制的逻辑根源。
theory  book  chinese  culture  thinking  comparison  concept  private  collective  justice  ethic 
september 2018 by aries1988
Understanding China’s Rise Under Xi Jinping -- By The Honourable Kevin Rudd
the territorial expanse of the Chinese Empire virtually doubled, occupying some 10 per cent of the world’s land area, 30 percent of the world’s population, and 32 percent of the world’s economy.
Nonetheless, for those who are professionally charged with interpreting China’s future, as you are in this great military academy, it means that we must also take time to understand China’s past. To understand how China perceives the world around it. And to understand how it now perceives its own national destiny in the turbulent world of the 21st century.

# Xi’s Political Authority

there is the personality of Xi Jinping himself as a source of political authority. For those who have met him and had conversations with him, he has a strong intellect, a deep sense of his country’s and the world’s history, and a deeply defined worldview of where he wants to lead his country. Xi Jinping is no accidental president. It’s as if he has been planning for this all his life.

# Xi Jinping’s View of the Party

The Communist Party would continue, therefore, as an unapologetically Leninist party for the future.

China’s historical greatness, across its dynastic histories, lay in a strong, authoritarian hierarchical Confucian state.

# Seven Core Priorities

China’s emerging worldview, in my own estimation, is best understood as a set of seven concentric circles.

## The Party

## National Unity

From Beijing’s perspective, Tibet, Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia and Taiwan represent a core set of security interests. Each within itself represents a confluence of external and internal security factors.

## The Economy and Environmental Sustainability

Indeed, the systematic treatment of the environment as simply an “economic externality” to the Chinese development process led to wholesale environmental destruction. China is now paying the price.

## China’s Neighbouring States - Securing China’s Continental Periphery across Eurasia

Historically, they’ve been the avenue through which China’s national security has been threatened, resulting in successive foreign invasions.
The failure of the Great Wall of China to provide security from foreign invasion is a classic case in point.

## China’s Maritime Periphery - East Asia and the West Pacific

Xi Jinping has made plain he does not see China’s role as simply replicating the current US-led liberal international order for the future.
China has consistently said that this was an order created by the Western, victorious, and by-and-large colonial powers after the Second World War.
australia  origin  history  usa  world  china  future  sinology  politics  diplomacy  analysis  xi  thinking 
march 2018 by aries1988
The Myth of a Kinder, Gentler Xi Jinping - The Atlantic
In 2004, the day before the 15th anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre, Kristof wrote that Chinese leaders “knew that after the Chinese could watch Eddie Murphy, wear tight pink dresses and struggle over what to order at Starbucks, the revolution was finished. No middle class is content with more choices of coffees than of candidates on a ballot.” Mann called this idea the “Starbucks Fallacy.” Indeed, in December, Starbucks opened its largest store in the world in Shanghai – a 29,000 feet emporium with 400 staff. The company’s CEO said he expects China to be the company’s biggest market. Chinese political polling data is terrible, and it’s impossible to say if China’s middle class is “content” with their choice of coffee over candidates. But for Xi, it’s certainly working.   
thinking  west  china  future  democracy 
march 2018 by aries1988
‘Reason is non-negotiable’: Steven Pinker on the Enlightenment
What is enlightenment? In a 1784 essay with that question as its title, Immanuel Kant answered that it consists of “humankind’s emergence from its self-incurred immaturity”, its “lazy and cowardly” submission to the “dogmas and formulas” of religious or political authority. Enlightenment’s motto, he proclaimed, is: “Dare to understand!” and its foundational demand is freedom of thought and speech.

The thinkers of the Age of Reason and the Enlightenment saw an urgent need for a secular foundation for morality, because they were haunted by a historical memory of centuries of religious carnage: the Crusades, the Inquisition, witch-hunts, the European wars of religion.
bbc  podcast  leader  thinking  rationalism  history  reasoning 
february 2018 by aries1988
中国现在能不能做到类似大东亚共荣圈的「大中华共荣」? - 知乎
我们要与对人民的权利戕害的一切势力作战。我们要不断地重复,在我们的国家,过去有哪些人,他们狂妄的行动,曾经造成过哪些本来没有必要造成的苦难。我们要不断地重复,为上述行为的一切辩护,甚至是拒绝采取立场的冷漠,都是这些罪恶继续的土壤。如果我们不能做些什么作出清算,我们也要对它们的不正当性一遍又一遍地声明,才能消灭它们继续产生的一切基础。
china  asia  thinking  essay  future  history  manifesto 
february 2018 by aries1988
He died as he lived: David Hume, philosopher and infidel | Aeon Ideas

Ever tactful, Boswell immediately brought up the subject of the afterlife, asking if there might not be a future state. Hume replied that ‘it was possible that a piece of coal put upon the fire would not burn; and he added that it was a most unreasonable fancy that we should exist for ever’.

Boswell persisted, asking if he was not made uneasy by the thought of annihilation, to which Hume responded that he was no more perturbed by the idea of ceasing to exist than by the idea that he had not existed before he was born.
scotland  death  religion  thinking  leader  philosophy  19C 
february 2018 by aries1988
Radical Islam and the alt-Right are not so different | Aeon Essays
But just as today, the rapid, radical changes produced counter-cultural pressures, with social revolutionaries and anarchists propelling a wave of transnational terror that began shortly before the assassination of Russia’s Tsar Alexander II in 1881. This terrorist wave extended through to the assassinations of the prime ministers of France in 1894 and Spain in 1897; the empress of Austria in 1898 and the king of Italy in 1900; and finally, the killing of United States president William McKinley in 1901. It involved bombings of ‘bourgeois’ civilians in cafes and theatres across Europe and North America before abating with the onset of the First World War.
thinking  world  future  radicalism  youth 
november 2017 by aries1988
异乡人──胡清心:异议者的修炼,是坚持跟内心黑暗打仗|深度|端传媒 Initium Media
我总认为自己是天生反动的,文革也算了解,因为父母在那段时间吃过苦,而自小在基督教家庭教会成长,政权的凶险也是亲身经历,不过宗教自由等论辩无从说起,只是觉得这个政权和政党对我们充满敌意。可是,遇见那些头头是道为政权维护的人,辩着辩着反倒自觉理亏,好像自己对共产党的不满,只是出于私人恩怨。

然后,思考的深度就停留在这里。这些问题太难回答,而在公民身份和政治生活被刻意淡化的环境中,确实找不到足以让我系统地整理自己的感受与想法的框架。日常生活有太多琐碎与精彩充斥,对社会政治的思考就算一晃而过,也匆匆被束之高阁。
self  learn  politics  thinking  china  story  family  1989/6/4 
november 2017 by aries1988
Are We Ready for Intimacy with Robots?

Hiroshi Ishi­guro builds robots. Beautiful, realistic, uncannily convincing human replicas. His quest? Untangle the ineffable nature of human connection.

in Japan: the Advanced Telecommuni­cations Research Institute International in Nara and the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory on the campus of Osaka University.

Hiroshi Ishi­guro

the capacity to imbue such a machine with humanness—that ineffable presence the Japanese call sonzai-kan.

Ishi­guro believes that since we’re hardwired to interact with and place our faith in humans, the more humanlike we can make a robot appear, the more open we’ll be to sharing our lives with it.

He is convinced that human emotions, whether empathy or romantic love, are nothing more than responses to stimuli, subject to manipulation. Through the fluid interplay of its pneumatic joints, the arch of its mechanical brow, the tilt of its plastic skull, the many subtle movements achieved through years of research studying the human template, the android becomes more able to span that gap, to form a perfectly engineered bond with us. An elaborate metaphysical trick, perhaps—but what does that matter, if it fills a need? If it feels real?

Designed with the physical proportions that its human owner prefers, the preferred voice timbre and eye color and personality type, and the ability to recall and riff on its owner’s personal stories and little jokes, android will captivate human.

someone would be left alone in their advanced age to relive the joy of having a child through the cradling of a robot with stunted limbs.

The countless ways in which we judge someone based on their appearance all evaporate in the face of this neutral appearance, as Hiroshi calls the Telenoid’s blank, abstract body. And what is left in its place is that ineffable thing he has been trying to define: a distinctly human presence, free of the uncanny. It is an outsider, like its maker—but one who manages to trigger our affection. While holding the android, it hardly matters that this humanness is emitting from something that barely resembles a human at all.
human  body  android  idea  research  thinking  history  japan  japanese  reportage  interview  invention  story  emotion  office  journalism 
october 2017 by aries1988
LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman: ‘Board games inspired my business strategy’

Settlers of Catan is part of a group of so-called “German-style board games” which reward strategy rather than luck and are less centred on themes of conflict than many US board games. Devised in 1995 by designer Klaus Teuber, it has also been reimagined as a very popular app. Set on a fictional island in Viking times, the aim is to collect and trade commodity cards (such as wool, grain and brick), before exchanging them for plastic roads and settlements to occupy the board. Points are awarded for things like having the longest road, and the first player to reach 10 points wins.

He says he prefers games to that other great standby of American males, hanging out watching sports. “People are bad about social stuff. They get uncomfortable in silence. One of the benefits of a board game is it replaces the silence, it keeps the momentum of the conversation going.”

Discussing books he has read recently, he enthuses about Nonzero by Robert Wright — “one of my favourite intellectual authors. Basically, his theory is you have cultural evolution because you have a preference for non-zero sum games.” As society evolves, there are more and more interactions where both sides come out a winner.
game  comparison  technology  siliconvalley  american  entrepreneurial  politics  human  ai  thinking  future 
october 2017 by aries1988
Aerodynamics For Cognition | Edge.org
By studying how birds fly and the structure of their wings, you can learn something important about aerodynamics. And what you learn about aerodynamics is equally relevant to then being able to make jet engines.                                 

The kind of work that I do is focused on trying to identify the equivalent of aerodynamics for cognition. What are the real abstract mathematical principles that constrain intelligence? What can we learn about those principles by studying human beings? 

We already do this to some extent. If you’ve ever used the strategy of gamification, where you’re using an app or something that gives you points for completing tasks, or if you make a to-do list and you get satisfaction from checking things off, what you’re doing is essentially using this external device as a mechanism for changing the environment that you’re in.

What machine-learning algorithms do when they're solving this problem is recognize that the thing you should be doing is exploring more when you first arrive in the city and exploiting more the longer you are in the city. The value of that new information decreases over time. You're less likely to find a place that is better than the places you've seen so far, and the number of opportunities that you're going to have to exploit that knowledge is decreasing.

My colleague Alison Gopnik, who has been pursuing this, has a hypothesis about cognitive development. When we look at children, that variability and randomness that we see is exactly a rational response to the structure of the problems they're trying to solve. If they're trying to figure out what are the things in their environment that they will most enjoy, then putting everything in their mouth is a pretty good strategy in terms of maximizing their exploration.

In the first half of the 20th century, it was disreputable to try to study how the mind works because minds were things that you never saw or touched or intervened on. What you could see was behavior and the environment that induces that behavior, so the behaviorist psychologists said, "Let's get rid of the mind. Let's just focus on these mappings from environment to behavior." That's where a lot of behavioral data science is. If I show you this, then you click on this. If you've seen these webpages, then you're likely to go to this webpage. It's a very behaviorist conception of what underlies the way that people are acting.

In Australia, in the last year of high school, you have to make a decision about what you want to study at university. It was 1994, I was sixteen years old, and I had no idea what I wanted to do. I knew that I liked math, but I certainly didn't want to make a commitment to doing that for the rest of my life. I said, "Okay, I'll study the things that we don't know anything about—philosophy, psychology, anthropology." That was what I went to university to do.

One of the ways in which human beings still outperform computers is in being able to solve problems of reasoning about why you did the thing you did, what you're going to do next, what the underlying reasons were behind things that you did.

We as human beings are used to being surrounded by intelligent systems whose thoughts are opaque to us. It's just that normally those intelligent systems are human beings.
ai  thinking  research  human  interaction  communication  motivation  consciousness  brain  maths 
october 2017 by aries1988
There is no such thing as western civilisation | Kwame Anthony Appiah | World news | The Guardian
culture was the “pursuit of our total perfection by means of getting to know, on all the matters which most concern us, the best which has been thought and said in the world”.

Often, in recent years, “the west” means the north Atlantic: Europe and her former colonies in North America.

here’s the important point: it would not have occurred to Herodotus to think that these three names corresponded to three kinds of people: Europeans, Asians, and Africans. He was born at Halicarnasus – Bodrum in modern Turkey. Yet being born in Asia Minor didn’t make him an Asian; it left him a Greek. And the Celts, in the far west of Europe, were much stranger to him than the Persians or the Egyptians, about whom he knew rather a lot. Herodotus only uses the word “European” as an adjective, never as a noun. For a millennium after his day, no one else spoke of Europeans as a people, either.

The natural contrast was not between Islam and the west, but between Christendom and Dar al‑Islam, each of which regarded the other as infidels, defined by their unbelief.

Only in 1529, with the defeat of Suleiman the Magnificent’s army at Vienna, did the reconquest of eastern Europe begin. It was a slow process. It wasn’t until 1699 that the Ottomans finally lost their Hungarian possessions; Greece became independent only in the early 19th century, Bulgaria even later.

modern concept of western culture largely took its present shape during the cold war. In the chill of battle, we forged a grand narrative about Athenian democracy, the Magna Carta, Copernican revolution, and so on. Plato to Nato. Western culture was, at its core, individualistic and democratic and liberty-minded and tolerant and progressive and rational and scientific.

So how have we bridged the chasm here? How have we managed to tell ourselves that we are rightful inheritors of Plato, Aquinas, and Kant, when the stuff of our existence is more Beyoncé and Burger King?

No Muslim essence stops the inhabitants of Dar al-Islam from taking up anything from western civilisation, including Christianity or democracy. No western essence is there to stop a New Yorker of any ancestry taking up Islam.
culture  history  thinking  west  concept  islam 
september 2017 by aries1988
East Goes West

In the life of a Chinese tourist, guides play an especially prominent role—translator, raconteur, and field marshal—and Li projected a calm, seasoned air. He often referred to himself in the third person—Guide Li—and he prided himself on efficiency. Everyone, our watches should be synchronized, he said. It is now 7:16 P.M. He implored us to be five minutes early for every departure. We flew all the way here, he said. Let’s make the most of it.

We might think you could just make a fake card or manipulate the records—no big deal, Li said. But, if you get caught, the fine starts at eighty-eight hundred euros, and they take away your license! That’s the way Europe is. On the surface, it appears to rely on everyone’s self-discipline, but behind it all there are strict laws.

In Europe, he warned, tactfully, Throughout our trip, breakfast will rarely be more than bread, cold ham, milk, and coffee. The bus was silent for a moment.

some of his older travellers used to have a habit of hiding cash in the toilet tank or the ventilation ducts. The worst case I’ve had was a guest who sewed money into the hem of the curtains,

At a Malaysian casino hotel in 2005, some three hundred Chinese visitors were issued special meal coupons bearing cartoon pig faces. The hotel said that the illustrations were simply to differentiate Chinese guests from Muslims, who don’t eat pork, but the offended Chinese tourists staged a sit-in, singing the national anthem.

Handy and Karen kept an eye on every cent. Within a few days, they could tell me exactly how much we’d spent on each bottle of water in five countries.

On average, a Chinese tourist buys more than a thousand dollars’ worth of tax-free stuff abroad—more luxury bags, watches, and designer clothes than any other nationality, including the Japanese, according to Global Blue, the tax-free-shopping refund service. Chinese tourists abroad spend nearly twice as much on shopping as they do on hotel rooms. Several in our group told me how sorry they were that we weren’t stopping at a place called Aotelaise. The name baffled me. Someone explained that it’s a new Chinese word: outlets.

I didn’t sense overwhelming sympathy. The Chinese have been the world’s most abundant migrants, but these days many believe that they have better job prospects at home than abroad.

He was a sanitation specialist by training, and he couldn’t help but notice Milan’s abundant graffiti and overstuffed trash bins. As Li had explained it, The government wants to clean, but it doesn’t have enough money. Handy tried to be polite, but he said, If it was like this in Shanghai, old folks would be calling us all afternoon to complain.

I was struck that, for all his travels, Zhu saw an enduring philosophical divide between China and the West: two different ways of thinking, as he put it. We will use their tools and learn their methods. But, fundamentally, China will always maintain its own way, he said.
europe  china  tourist  story  youth  gaijin  reportage  travel  shopping  thinking  anecdote  world  work  stereotype  tourism 
august 2017 by aries1988
Young Men Are Playing Video Games Instead of Getting Jobs. That's OK. (For Now.)

Games, with their endless task lists and character-leveling systems, their choice architectures and mission checklists, are purpose generators. They bring order to gamers' lives.

Video games, you might say, offer a sort of universal basic income for the soul.

There's a fine line between that psychology and good game design." This was true long before the rise of computer gaming. "People will never stop playing chess, because it's a great game. The discussions I hear are more about how can we keep these games interesting to keep playing."

One way to do that, it turns out, is to give people a sense of earned achievement. "What games are good at—what they are designed to do—is simulate being good at something," Wolpaw says.

Did all those hours playing games make me feel fulfilled? Did they make me feel as if I had made good decisions in my life? Yes—and no. At times, I found video games an entertainment experience as smart and satisfying as any novel or movie or television show I have ever absorbed. At other times, I have let go of my controller late at night, overcome by existential emptiness and the realization that I have, yet again, just spent the better part of a day engaged in an activity of no practical value to me or anyone else. I enjoy games, but not without some reservation. Sometimes I go weeks without playing. And if I had to choose between gaming and work, I know I'd pick the latter.
comparison  gaming  work  opinion  story  life  job  psychology  man  unemployment  society  economy  thinking  wellfare  question  individual 
july 2017 by aries1988
Back on his pedestal: the return of Friedrich Engels

Finally they came to Mala Pereshchepina, where the local authorities were only too glad to get rid of what was by now a legally toxic artefact.

The artist’s timing is impeccable. June’s UK general election saw a surge of support for the Labour party led by the far-left Jeremy Corbyn. Like Bernie Sanders in last year’s US Democratic primaries, this ageing socialist appealed first of all to the young.

Even now, when — for all the excesses of capitalism — the stark exploitation Engels evoked has disappeared in the western world, The Condition of the Working Class is an uncomfortable read. The homelessness of the rising generation; the precariousness of freelance work; the feared mass unemployment once artificial replaces human intelligence; the long, spiky tail of the banking collapse of 2008; the end of the postwar expectation that children will ascend further and richer than their parents — these are plausibly presented by the left as a 21st-century equivalent of the Condition of the Working, and even Middle Class of England, and the rest of the capitalist world.

It’s the only building left where Engels definitely was. He worked with Marx at a table, still there, with the books they both used. When I take Chinese visitors to see it, some of them cry.
uk  politics  communist  leader  thinking  russia  today  sculpture  economy  crisis  history  art  manchest  artist 
july 2017 by aries1988
How quantum superposition could unravel the ‘grandfather paradox’ | Aeon Videos
could the concept of quantum superposition remove what seems so paradoxical from this tale of time travel and murder once and for all?
time  video  quantum  Physics  fun  thinking  experiment 
june 2017 by aries1988
Joan C Williams on Trump, elitism and the white working class
Progressives often confuse them with the poor — an entirely separate class. Williams defines the working class as households that earn more than the country’s bottom third but less than the top 20 per cent, plus some slightly better-off families that include no college graduate. This group is “the middle 53 per cent of American families”, whose family incomes in 2015 ranged from $41,005 to $131,962.

Many stereotypes about WWC men came together in the hapless cartoon character Homer Simpson. American progressives showed respect to ethnic and sexual minorities, not to the WWC. But then the WWC made Trump president.

“I think Trump just needs to keep on being Trump. That’s the sobering fact. The irony is that Trump is the most hysterical, emotional president in living memory, he’s like a caricature of a woman out of control, but following his gut connects him to the white working class. His continuing gestures of disrespect to cultural elites, through Twitter and other means, are just inestimably delicious.”

So far she’s unimpressed. “Just read the frigging New York Times, listen to NPR [National Public Radio], key outlets of the progressive elite: story after story of an outpouring of compassion for immigrants.

“Do I feel sorry for immigrants? Yes. But that’s not the point. An outpouring of compassion for immigrants, in the absence of offering dignity to the white working class, will hurt immigrants because it’s just another expression that elites have ‘feeling rules’ — who you should feel sorry for.” Elite “feeling rules” ordain compassion for ethnic and sexual minorities and “perhaps women”, she says, “but the white working class are just ‘fat, stupid and ignorant’. So the elites are saying, ‘Oh, my God, we just heard this cri de coeur from the white working class, let’s express sympathy for immigrants!’ Talk about a recipe for Trump’s second term.

Generally, says Williams, progressives need to tone down the PC talk. They can still fight (albeit more quietly) for women and minorities, but they will achieve nothing unless they can build the black-and-white working-class
politics  working-class  usa  society  inequality  immigration  thinking  2017  trump 
may 2017 by aries1988
Andrew Sullivan: Why the Reactionary Right Must Be Taken Seriously
Reactionism is not the same thing as conservatism. It’s far more potent a brew. Reactionary thought begins, usually, with acute despair at the present moment and a memory of a previous golden age. It then posits a moment in the past when everything went to hell and proposes to turn things back to what they once were. It is not simply a conservative preference for things as they are, with a few nudges back, but a passionate loathing of the status quo and a desire to return to the past in one emotionally cathartic revolt.

Politics comes before economics, Anton insists. Free trade may boost our economy, encourage efficiencies, and advance innovation and wealth, but it affects different people differently. And this matters in a democracy. A society’s stability and fairness and unity count for more than its aggregate wealth — especially when, as in recent decades, almost all the direct benefits have gone to the superrich, and all the costs have been paid by the working poor.

Why is my country benefiting foreigners and new immigrants, many of them arriving illegally, while making life tougher for its own people? And why doesn’t it matter what I think?

A nation, they believe, is not just a random group of people within an arbitrary set of borders. It’s a product of a certain history and the repository of a distinctive culture. A citizen should be educated to understand that country’s history and take pride in its culture and traditions.

I read the Christian traditionalist Rod Dreher with affection. His evocation of Christian life and thought over the centuries and his panic at its disappearance from our world are poignant. We are losing a vast civilization that honed answers to the deepest questions that human beings can ask, replacing it with vapid pseudo-religions, pills, therapy, and reality TV.

Because in some key respects, reactionaries are right. Great leaps forward in history are often, in fact, giant leaps back. The Reformation did initiate brutal sectarian warfare. The French Revolution did degenerate into barbarous tyranny. Communist utopias — allegedly the wave of an Elysian future — turned into murderous nightmares. Modern neoliberalism has, for its part, created a global capitalist machine that is seemingly beyond anyone’s control, fast destroying the planet’s climate, wiping out vast tracts of life on Earth while consigning millions of Americans to economic stagnation and cultural despair.

Beyond all that, neo-reactionaries have a glaring problem, which is that their proposed solutions are so radical they have no chance whatsoever of coming into existence — and would be deeply reckless to attempt.

There is, perhaps, a way to use reactionary insights and still construct a feasible center-right agenda. Such a program would junk Reaganite economics as outdated but keep revenue-neutral tax reform, it could even favor redistribution to counter the deep risk to democracy that soaring inequality fosters, and it could fix Obamacare’s technical problems. You could add to this mix stronger border control, a reduction in legal immigration, a pause in free-trade expansion, a technological overhaul of the government bureaucracy, and a reassertion of Americanism over multiculturalism.

The left, for its part, must, it seems to me, escape its own bubble and confront the accelerating extremism of its identity politics and its disdain for millions of “deplorable” white Americans.
thinking  essay  politics  conservatism  conflict  immigration  american  usa  2017  liberalism 
may 2017 by aries1988
The Kekulé Problem - Issue 47: Consciousness - Nautilus
I call it the Kekulé Problem because among the myriad instances of scientific problems solved in the sleep of the inquirer Kekulé’s is probably the best known. He was trying to arrive at the configuration of the benzene molecule and not making much progress when he fell asleep in front of the fire and had his famous dream of a snake coiled in a hoop with its tail in its mouth—the ouroboros of mythology—and woke exclaiming to himself: “It’s a ring. The molecule is in the form of a ring.” Well. The problem of course—not Kekulé’s but ours—is that since the unconscious understands language perfectly well or it would not understand the problem in the first place, why doesnt it simply answer Kekulé’s question with something like: “Kekulé, it’s a bloody ring.” To which our scientist might respond: “Okay. Got it. Thanks.”

Problems in general are often well posed in terms of language and language remains a handy tool for explaining them. But the actual process of thinking—in any discipline—is largely an unconscious affair. Language can be used to sum up some point at which one has arrived—a sort of milepost—so as to gain a fresh starting point. But if you believe that you actually use language in the solving of problems I wish that you would write to me and tell me how you go about it.
thinking  language  brain  linguist  scientist  dream  consciousness 
may 2017 by aries1988
Yuval Noah Harari challenges the future according to Facebook
If Facebook really attempts to formulate a set of universal values, it will enjoy one big advantage over many previous institutions that attempted to do so. Unlike the early Christian church, or Lenin’s Communist party, Facebook is a truly global network with close to 2bn users. Yet Facebook also suffers from one big disadvantage. Unlike the Christian church and the Communist party, it is an online network.

Physical communities have a depth that virtual communities cannot hope to match, at least not in the near future.

People estranged from their bodies, senses and physical environment are likely to feel alienated and disoriented.

People feel bound by elections only when they share a basic bond with most other voters. The ancient tribes along the Yellow River lacked a common set of values, and consequently they were unable to unite through a peaceful democratic process. It took a lot of violence to hammer them together into a single empire.

If something exciting happens, the gut instinct of Facebook true-believers is to draw their smartphones, take a picture, post it online, and wait for the “likes”. In the process they hardly pay attention to what they actually feel. Indeed, what they feel is increasingly determined by the online reactions rather than by the actual experience.

(A blueprint of such an alternative model has actually been suggested recently by Tristan Harris, an ex-Googler and tech-philosopher who came up with a new metric of “time well spent”.)
2017  future  thinking  opinion  Facebook  community  human  social-network  online  body  comparison 
march 2017 by aries1988
Are Liberals on the Wrong Side of History?

for many pundits, too, now is the only time worth knowing, for now is when the baby is crying and now is when they’re selling your books.

one wonders whether what Mishra traces through time might really be not a directional arrow but more like a surfboard, rising and falling on the quick-change waves of history.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s romantic reaction to Voltaire’s Enlightenment—with the Enlightenment itself entirely to blame in letting high-minded disdain for actual human experience leave it open to a romantic reaction.

father of the Romantic movement, of both the intimate nature-loving side and the more sinister political side, with its mystification of a general will that dictators could vibrate to, independent of mere elections

cold Utopianism and hot Volk-worship

the idea of Rousseau, the Genevan autodidact, as the key figure in the romantic political reaction against modernity, even as the godfather of Nazism, was present in Bertrand Russell’s A History of Western Philosophy, back in the nineteen-forties

in China the minds evolved but not the makers. The Chinese enlightenment happened, but it was strictly a thinker’s enlightenment, where Mandarins never talked much to the manufacturers.

Sapiens, a bracingly unsentimental history of humankind

By humanism Harari means, instead, the doctrine that only our feelings can tell us what to do—that we ought to give as much freedom as possible to every individual to experience the world, follow his or her inner voice and express his or her inner truth.

we have merely a self-deluding, narrating self, one that recites obviously tendentious stories, shaped by our evolutionary history to help us cope with life.

The argument of Candide is neither that the world gets better nor that it’s all for naught; it’s that happiness is where you find it, and you find it first by making it yourself.
book  thinking  debate  today  history  culture  crisis  opinion  liberalism 
march 2017 by aries1988
John Green: Author of An Abundance of Katherines and Looking for Alaska

in my opinion, the central problem of human existence: I am stuck in my body, in my consciousness, seeing out of my eyes. I am the only me I ever get to be, and so I am the only person I can imagine endlessly complexly.

That’s not the problem, actually. The problem is you. You are so busy taking in your own wondrousness that you can't be bothered to acknowledge mine.

On some level, I have to take it on faith that you are as complex as I am, that your pain and joy and grief are as real and as meaningful as my own.

I would argue that books, more than other media, allow us to live inside the lives of others because we have to translate scratches on a page into ideas and make the story ours.

nonliteral ways constantly—in fact, it’s impossible for me to imagine something so endlessly fascinating and complex as myself without symbol and simile and metaphor.
thinking  human  society 
january 2017 by aries1988
Joseph Henrich on cultural evolution, WEIRD societies, and life among two strange tribes

To anthropologist Joseph Henrich, intelligence is overrated. Social learning, and its ability to influence biological evolution over time, is what really sets our species apart.

If we look at the earliest human societies, the first time you see monumental architecture, it’s always religious. It’s always a temple or a tomb. This seems to help consolidate power and expand this fear of reliable social interactions.

If we look at the smallest-scale human societies, hunter-gatherers, they still rely on all kinds of social norms and beliefs to cooperate even when they’re cooperating in relatively small bands.

We learn about ourselves by seeing ourselves projected in other peoples and other cultures and other societies.

HENRICH: In my latest project I’m really looking at the kind of spread of the Western church into Europe and how it transformed the social structure in ways that I think led to individualism, it led to a different kind of cultural psychology that would eventually pave the way for secular institutions and economic growth. The church is the first mover in that account.
thinking  culture  evolution  human 
january 2017 by aries1988
The history man: how Saul Friedländer told his own story

But when he began working on Nazi anti-Semitism in the early 1960s, little had been written on it, and it was not regarded as an entirely respectable subject either in West Germany or in Israel. Where Memory Leads offers a close-to-the-ground view of the debates, scholarly and less scholarly, that erupted in both countries from the Auschwitz trials of 1963-65 to the so-called Historians’ Battle of the late 1980s. It is a powerful reminder of just how much intellectual labour was required in West Germany to get the country to where it is today, the most historically self-aware democracy in the world. But engaging with Nazism was no simple matter for Israeli historians either, especially after 1967. The founders of the new state wanted to turn their back on a European past of victimhood and celebrate the virile heroes of the war of independence. They did at first not take kindly to Friedländer’s insistence that this too was part of the country’s past, and it took time before the political elite became as comfortable as it is today invoking the memory of the Holocaust.
holocaust  intelligentsia  book  thinking  isreal  jewish  question  deutschland  ww2  leader  germany 
november 2016 by aries1988
Time to Dump Time Zones
Designed for the railroad era, they have no place in our globalized, interconnected world.
thinking  time 
november 2016 by aries1988
Andrew Sullivan: My Distraction Sickness — and Yours

At your desk at work, or at home on your laptop, you disappeared down a rabbit hole of links and resurfaced minutes (or hours) later to reencounter the world. But the smartphone then went and made the rabbit hole portable, inviting us to get lost in it anywhere, at any time, whatever else we might be doing. Information soon penetrated every waking moment of our lives.

My breathing slowed. My brain settled. My body became much more available to me. I could feel it digesting and sniffing, itching and pulsating. It was if my brain were moving away from the abstract and the distant toward the tangible and the near.

Remember, my friend Sam Harris, an atheist meditator, had told me before I left, if you’re suffering, you’re thinking.

If you’re watching a football game with your son while also texting a friend, you’re not fully with your child — and he knows it. Truly being with another person means being experientially with them, picking up countless tiny signals from the eyes and voice and body language and context, and reacting, often unconsciously, to every nuance. These are our deepest social skills, which have been honed through the aeons. They are what make us distinctively human.

in a controlled and sequestered world that exists largely free of the sudden eruptions or encumbrances of actual human interaction.

The reason we live in a culture increasingly without faith is not because science has somehow disproved the unprovable, but because the white noise of secularism has removed the very stillness in which it might endure or be reborn.

From the moment I entered a church in my childhood, I understood that this place was different because it was so quiet.

this silence demarcated what we once understood as the sacred, marking a space beyond the secular world of noise and business and shopping.

The only place like it was the library, and the silence there also pointed to something beyond it — to the learning that required time and patience, to the pursuit of truth that left practical life behind.

Has our enslavement to dopamine — to the instant hits of validation that come with a well-crafted tweet or Snapchat streak — made us happier?

just as modern street lighting has slowly blotted the stars from the visible skies, so too have cars and planes and factories and flickering digital screens combined to rob us of a silence that was previously regarded as integral to the health of the human imagination.
technology  culture  internet  meditation  distraction  essay  attention  habit  reading  information  brain  silence  thinking  family  today 
september 2016 by aries1988
李笑来 - 知乎Live分享 - 我的读书经验 - 简书

大量閱讀學術論文,真的是非常鍛鍊閱讀理解能力的,請注意我的措辭啊,不是閱讀能力,而是閱讀理解能力。重點在於理解能力,這個我一會兒還會從新提起。

所以有寫作目標的人相對來看,在閱讀的時候更容易做到有目的的閱讀和主動閱讀。

從書本當中去獲得知識的時候,最重要的一點是什麼?最重要的一點是隻字不差的閱讀,然後讀不懂的地方反覆去讀,直至把那個傳遞的信息深刻的印在自己的腦子裡。應用在自己生活當中。

阅读一定要在安静的地方吗?你觀察一下大自然你就知道了,這個傲嬌的物種必然很快滅絕。如果你只能在安靜的地方讀書,那就完啦,你隨時都有可能被打斷的。
reading  tips  thinking  howto  academia 
september 2016 by aries1988
Utopian for Beginners

In his preface, Quijada wrote that his greater goal was to attempt the creation of what human beings, left to their own devices, would never create naturally, but rather only by conscious intellectual effort: an idealized language whose aim is the highest possible degree of logic, efficiency, detail, and accuracy in cognitive expression via spoken human language, while minimizing the ambiguity, vagueness, illogic, redundancy, polysemy (multiple meanings) and overall arbitrariness that is seemingly ubiquitous in natural human language.

What if, they wondered, you could create a universal written language that could be understood by anyone, a set of real characters, just as the creation of Arabic numerals had done for counting? This writing will be a kind of general algebra and calculus of reason, so that, instead of disputing, we can say that ‘we calculate,’ Leibniz wrote, in 1679.

seventeenth-century bishop and polymath, John Wilkins, who tried to actualize their lofty ideals. In his Essay Towards a Real Character, and a Philosophical Language, from 1668, Wilkins laid out a sprawling taxonomic tree that was intended to represent a rational classification of every concept, thing, and action in the universe. Each branch along the tree corresponded to a letter or a syllable, so that assembling a word was simply a matter of tracing a set of forking limbs until you’d arrived on a distant tendril representing the concept you wanted to express.

Wilkins’s taxonomic-classification scheme, which organized words by meaning rather than alphabetically, was not entirely without use: it was a predecessor of the first modern thesaurus.

the equally ambitious desire to unite the world through a single, easy-to-learn, politically neutral, auxiliary language

Among the Wakashan Indians of the Pacific Northwest, a grammatically correct sentence can’t be formed without providing what linguists refer to as evidentiality, inflecting the verb to indicate whether you are speaking from direct experience, inference, conjecture, or hearsay.

For Quijada, this was a revelation. He imagined that Ithkuil might be able to do what Lakoff and Johnson said natural languages could not: force its speakers to precisely identify what they mean to say. No hemming, no hawing, no hiding true meaning behind jargon and metaphor. By requiring speakers to carefully consider the meaning of their words, he hoped that his analytical language would force many of the subterranean quirks of human cognition to the surface, and free people from the bugs that infect their thinking.
language  story  linguist  russia  thinking  instapaper_favs 
august 2016 by aries1988
洞见是如何产生的?

使用思维导图可以比较好地解决这个问题。画思维导图能帮助我们跳出一词一句的细枝末节,站在篇章结构的角度对一篇文章进行审视,厘清作者的行文思路,从而对文章有更深入的理解。这种方式同样适用于大块头书籍阅读。每次读完一本书后,尝试着将书中主要观点以及读书笔记提取出来加入到思维导图中,中间如果有记忆模糊的地方再回去重新读一遍。这样的阅读方式比起浮光掠影地翻完一本书,效果要好很多。
thinking  pkm  knowledge  how  to  reading  notes 
august 2016 by aries1988
Earfare: Maria Popova, Curator of Brain Pickings via Tim Ferriss Podcast
While she rarely accepts requests to speak at professional conferences, Popova will almost always do stuff for students even if it takes up my reading and writing time.

If I can help one young person even consider a life path other than the corporate gristmill; if I can persuade one aspiring journalist to consider not working for Buzzfeed and refuse to feed the public’s appetite for mindlessness and mediocrity and to assure this young person to have faith in the possibility of building a life and a career based on E.B. White’s journalistic ideal of lifting people up rather than lowering them down, then it’s worth my time.

In mentoring and sharing with students, friends, and kindred spirits, Popova enthusiastically believes that creative culture is woven of these invisible threads of good will between people who believe in one another and art is carried on the wings of this kinship.

It’s just the record of my thought process… trying to navigate my way through the world and understand my place in it and understand how we relate to one another. How different pieces of the world relate to eachother and sort of create a pattern of meaning out of seemingly unrelated meaningless information.
summary  podcast  thinking  opinion  life  tips  reading  howto  choice  art 
august 2016 by aries1988
從Kindle電子書的Page Flip看兩種「脈絡」觀的典範更替 | Rocket Café 火箭科技評論
阅读迷人之处何在?一书在手乐趣无穷,它的入口极其简单,但进入后与文字交流的体验异常丰富。文字解读的空间感多层饱满,贴近细微、拉宽辽阔,深浅几乎无限;时间感更是魅力无穷,随情节与心情急行缓步,文字音符在心中演奏成声,阅读的每一刻都是独具风格的即兴演出。这些都不只是心思内在与物质设计无关的过程,而是手指、书面、文字、眼光协调一体的实作,是电子书的设计形式可以左右的深刻体验。

阅读,一直都是双手并用,心思不断调控决策,在文字的「虚拟空间」「意识之流」中频繁往返的积极活动。不管是要往前重访故事人物之前出现时的场景对话,恍然大悟回头确认是否「读懂了之前」原本困惑的段落,浏览尚未阅读的章节预感走向以免迷失方向,甚至探望在另一条分歧路上的读者分身确定仍在等着会合。

想想其他日常动作应该有助理解,假设你是右撇子,试着只用右手去转开果酱瓶盖、在平滑桌面的一张纸上签好你的名字、为你的衬衫扣上钮扣,你会意识到被你长期忽视的左手,如何朴实忠诚而低姿态地扮演着辅助的角色。留意你自己的阅读习惯,每次右手拨页离开之际,左手的食指(以我的习惯)总是默默地卡位等着阅读视线的归来,「拨页」是「在」与「不在」 ,「离开」与「留守」同时俱在的阅读动作,它说明了阅读跟其他许多的社会实作,一样是「身体化」(embody)的活动。
analysis  kindle  reading  thinking  habit  gadget 
august 2016 by aries1988
Lunch with the FT: Rob Rhinehart — FT.com
“Humans have this novelty bias where they think that new information is somehow more relevant, but most of the information generated in a day is noise and what’s really important is the patterns that have held true through generations. I feel like I could be reading a philosophy book that has held true for centuries or I could get stressed out by what’s on the news today.”

really creative work comes from states of flow and concentration, and it’s really hard to get into that and it’s really easy to become distracted from that. I think having that flexible day allows people to increase the chance of entering that creative flow, and that’s good for them and it’s good for the business.”
thinking  opinion  leader  entrepreneurial  food  revolution  body  nutrition  lifestyle 
july 2016 by aries1988
From relativity to quantum theory – our physical world explored through coffee | Aeon Videos
From relativity to quantum theory – our physical world explored through coffee — via @aeonmag
Physics  coffee  talk  life  discovery  thinking 
june 2016 by aries1988
The End of Reflection
If you are awake for 16 hours, turning on or checking your phone 85 times means doing so about once every 11 minutes (and doesn’t account for internet use on a computer), and 5.05 hours is over 30 percent of the day.

Being distracted by the second task didn’t hurt actual performance on the first task, but it did impair the subjects’ ability to be introspective (again, by accurately self-reporting how they did). The finding supports previous widespread evidence that multitasking leads to lower cognitive performance. (With, again, other studies showing some beneficial effects of multitasking.)

Finding moments to engage in contemplative thinking has always been a challenge, since we’re distractible, said Nicholas Carr, author of The Shallows. But now that we’re carrying these powerful media devices around with us all day long, those opportunities become even less frequent, for the simple reason that we have this ability to distract ourselves constantly.

Nevertheless, he sees our current direction as indicative of the loss of the contemplative mind, he said. We’ve adopted the Google ideal of the mind, which is that you have a question that you can answer quickly: close-ended, well-defined questions. Lost in that conception is that there’s also this open-ended way of thinking where you’re not always trying to answer a question. You’re trying to go where that thought leads you. As a society, we’re saying that that way of thinking isn’t as important anymore. It’s viewed as inefficient.
thinking  research  today  reading  brain  device  human  google  zeitgeist 
june 2016 by aries1988
Edge People
Undergraduates today can select from a swathe of identity studies: gender studies, women’s studies, Asian-Pacific-American studies, and dozens of others. The shortcoming of all these para-academic programs is not that they concentrate on a given ethnic or geographical minority; it is that they encourage members of that minority to study themselves—thereby simultaneously negating the goals of a liberal education and reinforcing the sectarian and ghetto mentalities they purport to undermine. All too frequently, such programs are job-creation schemes for their incumbents, and outside interest is actively discouraged. Blacks study blacks, gays study gays, and so forth.

I prefer the edge: the place where countries, communities, allegiances, affinities, and roots bump uncomfortably up against one another—where cosmopolitanism is not so much an identity as the normal condition of life.

If identification with a community of origin was fundamental to my sense of self, I would perhaps hesitate before criticizing Israel—the Jewish State, my people—so roundly. Intellectuals with a more developed sense of organic affiliation instinctively self-censor: they think twice before washing dirty linen in public.
thinking  essay  identity  nation  intelligentsia 
may 2016 by aries1988
Alone in the Alps

I’ve been hiking the Via Alpina on and off for a decade, often without realizing that I was on it. Five interlocked trails crisscross all eight countries of the Alps: Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Slovenia, and Switzerland.

It’s one of the distinctive pleasures of Alpine hiking. The glamorous vast multiplicity, all made up of differences, mediaeval, romantic differences, D. H. Lawrence wrote, in Mr. Noon, his semi-fictional account of crossing the Alps with Frieda Weekley after their elopement.

In the Alps, it’s still present in the shifting styles of church towers, village fountains, sheepcotes, hay barns. It’s there in the odd bits of language that filter through even if you’re an incurable monoglot like me. (How nice it is to learn that the German word for the noise cowbells make is Gebimmel, and that the Swiss-Romanche word for boulder is crap.) It’s there in the restaurant menus: daubes giving way to dumplings, raclette to robiola; and in the freshly incomprehensible road signs, which in Slovenia are clotted with impenetrable consonant clusters, as if vowels were an indulgence. Somewhere between Strmec and Cmi Vrh, I ate a pršut (prosciutto) sandwich.

That linkage across time—the sense of being led by the tracks of others who were there before you—is reassuring, especially in the more remote places.

It was as if a second hike, joyous and invigorating, had begun to superimpose itself on the one I thought I’d taken. I’d experienced this alchemy before—the day’s accumulated fretfulness and discomfort turning into pure exhilaration, though seldom this intensely.

Via Alpina was waiting for a prophet to acclaim it.

When I look at the footage now, it seems the perfect emblem of that place: wild and dreamlike and marvellous.

I then headed north into Austria, and resumed following the Purple trail. One stretch of it passes near the Altaussee salt mine, where the Nazis hid some of their stolen art. I dropped down from pristine meadows—still emerald green in August—and looked at the old railbeds, with salt crystals glittering along the tunnels and a subterranean chapel dedicated to St. Barbara, the patron saint of miners. Years-old swags of fir hung on the walls, smelling as if they’d just been cut, the salt air keeping them unnaturally fresh.
travel  rando  alpes  story  moi  self  hostel  idea  sleep  fun  animal  mountain  europe  diversity  thinking  nature 
april 2016 by aries1988
Why we need German thinking - FT.com
Germans are frequently wrong. But if we anglophones had listened to them, we could have avoided the pre-2008 push for home ownership, the creation of exciting new derivatives, extreme inequality and the war in Iraq. We need German thinking.
germany  german  thinking 
june 2015 by aries1988
The Problem With Positive Thinking
Positive thinking fools our minds into perceiving that we’ve already attained our goal, slackening our readiness to pursue it. What does work better is a hybrid approach that combines positive thinking with “realism.” Here’s how it works. Think of a wish. For a few minutes, imagine the wish coming true, letting your mind wander and drift where it will. Then shift gears. Spend a few more minutes imagining the obstacles that stand in the way of realizing your wish. This simple process, which my colleagues and I call “mental contrasting,” has produced powerful results in laboratory experiments. When participants have performed mental contrasting with reasonable, potentially attainable wishes, they have come away more energized and achieved better results compared with participants who either positively fantasized or dwelt on the obstacles. Mental contrasting spurs us on when it makes sense to pursue a wish, and lets us abandon wishes more readily when it doesn’t, so that we can go after other, more reasonable ambitions.
howto  psychology  success  self  thinking 
october 2014 by aries1988
谁的相信与不信
人说,玉有灵,即使雕为镯亦在生长。其实,被灌输亦如此。这种错信在你不知觉中盘根错节的生长,刀斧不侵,可护出一座森然鬼宅,挡秋光风雪,只一人画地为牢。于是,你更加深切地去不相信那些值得相信的,亦更深切去相信那些并不值得相信的,并为此添砖加瓦或是穷词辩护。本末倒置后,人懒了,思想亦被养惰了,有了标准,自己设的,于是可按部就班,可剽窃抄袭,可发福,可木滞,可望洋兴叹。 一个人,总是该多问些为什么的,在你还年轻的时候。而现在,你最应该问的该是,为什么这个能够允许我们问为什么的时代,还迟迟不到来。
http://www.instapaper.com/read/339950980
youth  china  future  thinking 
november 2012 by aries1988
成圣又如何
然而,作为一个政治家,个体“成圣”与否真的有那么重要吗?我们真的需要圣人们治理国家吗?还是,我们只需要一群正常人和一个好的制度而已? “成圣”是儒家这个盒子里的最高境界,但终究只是一个盒子里的最高境界。西人说:Think outside the box. http://www.instapaper.com/read/215577984
china  paragon  system  thinking  zeitgeist  comparison 
august 2012 by aries1988
科学新闻没告诉你的那些事儿 - 死理性派 - 果壳网 guokr.com
科学新闻里经常出现互相矛盾的内容。比如有些研究认为手机辐射跟脑癌之间存在关联,有些研究又说这种关联证据不足。对此我们应该怎么办?科学新闻可没有告诉我们。但对于一个死理性派,他会开始分析这些结论是通过什么方法的出来的,然后判断哪个结论更为靠谱。
http://www.instapaper.com/read/254968888
anti-intellectualism  science  thinking  reason 
august 2012 by aries1988
载人航天有什么用?
我的答案是:天下没有不蒙人的政治,但也许可以有不骗人的政治?如果你脸皮没有厚到去宣传太空实验、“太空育种”的程度,那就使劲宣传靠谱得多的“技术反哺社会”吧!比如观察者网上马平的文章《技术制高点必须自己爬》,就是这样的好宣传文章。
http://www.instapaper.com/read/299906600
thinking  nation  astro  debate  science  public  politics 
july 2012 by aries1988

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