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kme : philosophy   82

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How original is Miller? |
No, really, why one more command-line data-manipulation tool? I wrote Miller because I was frustrated with tools like grep, sed, and so on being line-aware without being format-aware. The single most poignant example I can think of is seeing people grep data lines out of their CSV files and sadly losing their header lines. While some lighter-than-SQL processing is very nice to have, at core I wanted the format-awareness of RecordStream combined with the raw speed of the Unix toolkit. Miller does precisely that.
butwhy  unix  commandline  textprocessing  onethingwell  philosophy  explained 
december 2018 by kme
Can there be anything good in the experience of illness? | Aeon Essays
‘Everyone who is born holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and in the kingdom of the sick,’ Sontag wrote in Illness as Metaphor (1978). ‘Although we all prefer to use only the good passport, sooner or later each of us is obliged, at least for a spell, to identify ourselves as citizens of that other place.’ If philosophy is about the pursuit of the good over the course of a human life, surely there’s an obligation to examine what’s worthwhile in the near-universal encounter with illness.

Even in the absence of complex philosophical or theological systems, personal testimonies of illness often speak of it as morally improving. There is talk of having learned important lessons about life, ‘deep truths’ essential to living well that only charged confrontations with one’s felt mortality can provide. Many ill persons talk of becoming kinder, gentler, more appreciative, less egotistical. The thought is that being unwell somehow enabled the person to acquire or develop these qualities.

When you are healthy, the biological body effortlessly realises your commands, and offers few obstacles to your will. But in illness, the body strains, resists. Desires cannot translate into action and the world seems to wither, becoming uncanny and oppressive. When you are unwell, you understand, in a radical way, how your experience is contingent upon your embodied self. A medical description of the dysfunctions of the biological body does not exhaust what it is like to be ill, says Carel. No one experiences only the physical reality of diminished lung capacity. They feel frustration at being unable to quickly nip upstairs, or anxiety at everything seeming to shrink and cave in on itself. Dreams and ambitions dissolve as the fragility of one’s aching lungs protest. Sickness is not just the experience of pain and malaise, but also of acute vulnerability in a hostile world that refuses to accommodate itself to your struggles.

A second set of detractors observes that illness does not make everyone morally better. Illness can edify, but it can also tarnish. It can make people less kind, less patient, more self-absorbed. It might build vices, not virtues, and erode what virtues we had in the first place. The psychotherapist Kathlyn Conway, in her memoir Ordinary Life (1997), describes how, as the symptoms of her breast cancer grew, her compassionate concern for others shrunk – not least because coping with illness demands so much energy. Certain vices might even be necessary in these circumstances. Carel found that learning to be rude was an essential strategy for shrugging off the insensitive stares and intrusive questions of strangers. If so, talk of the ennobling effects of disease might just make the whole experience harder.
health  wellness  sickness  philosophy  suffering  meaningfulness  mortality  perspective 
november 2016 by kme
Why we need to move empathy from personal emotion to collective moral concern | Aeon Videos
Affective empathy - mirroring someone's response (only so useful)
Cognitive / perspective-taking empathy - really trying to put yourself "in their shoes"; speaker believes we should "universalize our moral concern" to make that larger step to being emotionally concerned with one image / individual, to move to make changes in a collective realm.

Adam Smith's theory of moral sentiments: What is it that humans possess that is the basis for our morality? It's our imaginative capacity for the changing places "in fancy" with the sufferer.

"Empathy appeals to the individual because being able to see someone else's perspective allows us to function in our relationships [...], but when you can ramp empathy up to the collective level that's when you can start shifting politics. [...] The lesson of history is that empathy has opened the door of our moral concern, and then rights and laws have come along and universalised that moral concern. They've opened that "door" more permanently."
empathy  video  philosophy  politics  change  beinghuman 
september 2016 by kme
The lack of diversity in philosophy is blocking its progress | Aeon Ideas
Second, although philosophy doesn’t simply march forward, it does benefit from encountering and absorbing new perspectives. In How to Do Things with Pornography (2015), Nancy Bauer emphasises the ‘progress that results when people – and not just professional philosophers – commit themselves to the task of making their own most deeply held assumptions … visible and subjecting them to scrutiny’. Philosophical education is about challenging all people to reason for themselves, and much philosophical scholarship is about finding important ideas in what other people have thought and said.
I had no background in classical Indian philosophy, but have dipped my toe in lately. Given my linguistic limitations, I’ve mostly read works by North American scholars who analyse ancient South Asian writers: works such as The Bodhisattva’s Brain, Mark Siderits’s Buddhism as Philosophy (2007), Barbara Stoler Miller’s 1986 translation of the Bhagavad-Gita, and Pankaj Mishra’s An End to Suffering: The Buddha in the World (2004).
philosophy  education  diversity 
july 2016 by kme
Dieter Rams - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia []
Good design:

* Is innovative
* Makes a product useful
* Is aesthetic
* Makes a product understandable
* Is unobtrusive
* Is honest – It does not make a product appear more innovative, powerful or valuable than it really is. It does not attempt to manipulate the consumer with promises that cannot be kept.
* Is long-lasting
* Is thorough down to the last detail
* Is environmentally friendly
* Is as little design as possible
In Gary Hustwit's 2009 documentary film Objectified, Rams states that Apple Inc. is one of the few companies designing products according to his principles.
design  philosophy  apple  fanboy  minimalism 
june 2016 by kme
The Philosophy of Color Perception | The New Republic
In her new book Outside Color, University of Pittsburgh professor M. Chirimuuta gives a serendipitously timed history of the puzzle of color in philosophy.
perception  color  vision  philosophy 
may 2015 by kme
Søren Kierkegaard - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
So, for example, for one to truly have faith in God, one would also have to doubt one's beliefs about God; the doubt is the rational part of a person's thought involved in weighing evidence, without which the faith would have no real substance.
faith  belief  philosophy 
april 2015 by kme
UNIX pipes as IO monads
[Wadler97] How to Declare an Imperative. ACM Comp. Surveys, Vol. 29, No. 3, September 1997
haskell  shell  unix  monads  computing  programming  philosophy 
april 2015 by kme
Tim Lott – Zen Buddhism and Alan Watts
The first principle of Zen, voiced by the philosopher Lao Tzu, is ‘Those who know don’t say, and those who say don’t know.’ Zen is not proselytising, quite the reverse. It asks you to come to it, in supplication, and to tease it out. Another Zen saying is, ‘He who seeks to persuade does not convince.’
zen  philosophy  alanwatts 
december 2014 by kme
[Tutor] What is "pythonic"?
Nothing is really private in python. No class or class instance can keep you away from all what's inside (this makes introspection possible and powerful). Python trusts you. It says "hey, if you want to go poking around in dark places, I'm gonna trust that you've got a good reason and you're not making trouble." After all, we're all consenting adults here.
python  programming  philosophy  culture  consentingadults 
march 2013 by kme
ChuckJ's Blog - Fatherly Advice To New Programmers
...Removing All Doubt
Chuck Jazdzewski

"It is better to be silent and thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt." -- Silvan Engel
programming  philosophy  advice  fatherlyadvice 
march 2013 by kme
Why Software Should Be Free - GNU Project - Free Software Foundation (FSF)
"The associated psychosocial harm affects the spirit of scientific cooperation, which used to be so strong that scientists would cooperate even when their countries were at war. In this spirit, Japanese oceanographers abandoning their lab on an island in the Pacific carefully preserved their work for the invading U.S. Marines, and left a note asking them to take good care of it."
gnu  fsf  freesoftware  philosophy 
january 2013 by kme
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