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jerryking : socrates   4

Opinion | How Plato Foresaw Facebook’s Folly
Nov. 16, 2018 The New York Times | By Bret Stephens, Opinion Columnist

Technology promises to make easy things that, by their intrinsic nature, have to be hard......The story of the wildly exaggerated promises and damaging unintended consequences of technology isn’t exactly a new one. The real marvel is that it constantly seems to surprise us. Why?......Part of the reason is that we tend to forget that technology is only as good as the people who use it. .....It’s also true that Facebook and other Silicon Valley giants have sold themselves not so much as profit-seeking companies but as ideal-pursuing movements.....But the deeper reason that technology so often disappoints and betrays us is that it promises to make easy things that, by their intrinsic nature, have to be hard......Tweeting and trolling are easy. Mastering the arts of conversation and measured debate is hard. Texting is easy. Writing a proper letter is hard. Looking stuff up on Google is easy. Knowing what to search for in the first place is hard. Having a thousand friends on Facebook is easy. Maintaining six or seven close adult friendships over the space of many years is hard. Swiping right on Tinder is easy. Finding love — and staying in it — is hard.

That’s what Socrates (or Thamus) means when he deprecates the written word: It gives us an out. It creates the illusion that we can remain informed, and connected, even as we are spared the burdens of attentiveness, presence of mind and memory. That may seem quaint today. But how many of our personal, professional or national problems might be solved if we desisted from depending on shortcuts?... struck by how desperately Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg sought to massage and finesse — with consultants, lobbyists and technological patches — what amounted to a daunting if simple crisis of trust. As with love and grammar, acquiring and maintaining trust is hard. There are no workarounds.
arduous  Bret_Stephens  Facebook  Greek  op-ed  pretense_of_knowledge  Socrates  technology  unintended_consequences  shortcuts  fallacies_follies  philosophy 
november 2018 by jerryking
31 Fantastic Pieces Of Advice For Surviving Your First Year On Wall Street
Knowing what you don't know is more useful than being brilliant.

"Confucius said that real knowledge is knowing the extent of one’s ignorance. Aristotle and Socrates said the same thing. ... Thin...
advice  humility  information_gaps  uncertainty  pretense_of_knowledge  Socrates  Wall_Street 
september 2014 by jerryking
Science Fiction, the Only Literature of Ideas Today
January 24, 2008 | - The Informed Reader - WSJ | by Robin Moroney.

Science fiction has become the last bastion for the literature of ideas, says journalist Clive Thompson in Wired......By questioning society’s basic rules and speculating on how other worlds might work, on the other hand, science fiction can raise fresher, more provocative questions. The authors’ alternative realities serve as thought experiments in the tradition of Socrates, Thomas Hobbes and Simone de Beauvoir. In Cory Doctorow’s “After the Siege,” rich countries try to violently stop poor ones from using a technology that can duplicate objects, posing fundamental questions about international law, justice and property. Philip Pullman’s “His Dark Materials” trilogy examines the foundations of religious authority.

Given the philosophical potential of science fiction, it is no wonder that the genre recently has lured away such high-profile literary writers as Philip Roth (“The Plot Against America”) and Cormac McCarthy (“The Road”) from the realistic, contemporary plots for which they are better known.
science_fiction  literature  fiction  books  ideas  alternative_realities  thought_experiments  questions  Socrates  writers 
january 2010 by jerryking
Killing Gossip With Kindness - WSJ.com
JANUARY 6, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | By JEFFREY ZASLOW.
Before saying something to or about someone else, ask yourself: "Is it
kind? Is it true? Is it necessary?" These three questions have been
around for centuries, attributed to Socrates and Buddhist teachings, and
linked to the tenets of Christianity and the Jewish prohibition on
"lashon hara," or evil language. Replace words that hurt with words
that encourage, engage and enrich."
etiquette  Jeffrey_Zaslow  discretion  scuttlebutt  Socrates  public_decorum  gossip  think_threes  grace 
january 2010 by jerryking

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