recentpopularlog in

robertogreco : fate   6

Welcome to the new age of uncertainty | World news | The Guardian
"Much of our current mood of uncertainty has specific causes. Some of it is due to the consequences of the 2008 financial meltdown. The resultant rise of zero-hour contracts, exploitative internships and the Sisyphean labour of so-called portfolio careers has made the future seem head-spinningly uncertain. That mood is also due to the agenda, pursued by successive governments, of introducing choice into public services, from education to hospitals. The reason I was sitting in a school hall listening to a headteacher make her case to look after my daughter for five years was that the government has extended choice to state education. Thanks to that policy, I’m encouraged to explore a dizzying array of choices (girls only, mixed, grammar, mixed, faith, academy, comp) and yet I’m uncertain which is the best option. My only consolation is what Bertrand Russell wrote in The Triumph of Stupidity: “In the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.” The parents who know, with vexing self-confidence, which school would be best for their little horrors are really deluded, while I’m a genius because of my very uncertainty. That must be what’s happening."



"What the headteacher meant, I suspect, when she said she would prepare children for jobs that don’t yet exist, is that kids should emerge from her school literate, numerate, with some experience of coding, probably little French but maybe some Mandarin, be unlikely to respond to a teacher telling them to pipe down by pulling a knife and generally able to initiate social interactions without going pre-verbal or sub-automatic. But most of all, I suspect she was extolling the virtues of a very old way of being, one set out by the poet John Keats nearly 200 years ago, when he wrote about “negative capability” – roughly, the ability to thrive in uncertain circumstances – of which more later."



"Good for Jonathan Fields. His life story is a homily to mastering uncertain conditions. There is, though, another option. Instead of mastering uncertainty, go with the proverbial flow and accept that uncertainty is the cosmic deal. Keats, when he coined the phrase “negative capability”, imagined something along these lines. Negative capability, he supposed, was “when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason” – and Keats took that passivity or willingness to let things remain uncertain to be essential to literary achievement."



"In 1996, Belgian Ilya Prigogine, a Nobel laureate, argued in The End of Certainty: Time, Chaos, and the New Laws of Nature that uncertainty is an inherent cosmic expression, deeply embedded within the core of reality. To be fair, Buddhists got there before Prigogine. But what is striking is that some psychologists have applied the Nobel laureate’s thoughts on uncertainty in physics to our human lot. We may think we’re particularly cursed, that our current uncertainty is an unusual fate, but rather, uncertainty is deeply embedded in the structure of reality. In the face of that (possible) truth, what’s the best solution to living in uncertainty? Acceptance – even of the very anxiety we feel in the face of that uncertainty."
uncertainty  anxiety  brexit  ilyaprigogine  2016  stuartjeffries  choice  paradoxofchoise  wernerkarlheisenberg  jonathanfields  bertrandrussell  stupidity  confidence  self-confidence  genius  fate  psychology  politics  education  parenting  johnkeats  nagativecapability 
july 2016 by robertogreco
Money and Morality: Are the Rich Different? The Rich Buddha Weighs In | Ordinary Times
"The webcasted potion of the discussion ended with Matt Hutson suggesting that we’d be better off if we could shed the “just world theory rationalization”, and my suggesting that would result in our species as a whole sinking into an irreconcilable existential funk. After the HuffPo host signed us off, Matt, Paul and I chatted a while longer, and Paul had an interesting take.

What he said is that people at the top tend to see their position in the world as being earned, and people at the bottom tend to see their position as being a product of fate, and that both groups probably over-emphasise the role agency or fate in their circumstances, and he has some research data to go along with the observation. What he suggested is that what’s important is maintaining a balance between the two views, to realize the circumstances of our birth are accidental, as are many of the things that happen to us between birth and death, but that along the way we do have the opportunity, if we take it, to alter the trajectory of our lives, for better or worse.

What I realized in that moment is that a lot of the writing and rumination that I do is a long-running version of the Serenity Prayer, but rather than being a mediation in service of overcoming addiction, it’s a meditation in service of urging myself to take best advantage of my circumstances and what agency I have, without losing sight of the fact that what agency I have rests on a foundation of happenstance."
wealth  circumstance  happenstance  2013  money  serenityprayer  agency  luck  fate  success 
january 2014 by robertogreco
Neuroscience Challenges Old Ideas about Free Will (Gazzaniga)
I think we will get over the idea of free will and and accept we are a special kind of machine, one with a moral agency which comes from living in social groups. This perspective will make us ask new kinds of questions.

[from http://bigthink.com/ideas/41140?page=all :

Much as evolutionary psychology has drained some of the mystery from collective human nature—helping to explain, for example, why humans instinctively form hierarchies, or why the sexes differ on average in their attitudes toward sex—neuropsychology will drain some of the mystery from individual human personality. And where understanding improves, tempered judgments may follow. I believe it actually will become harder to speak of Faulkner’s Jason Compson as “evil” in a metaphysical sense—or as a raging but thwarted id, or an instrument of repressive patriarchy—rather than positing some kind of defect in his orbitofrontal cortex. The latter description will become the literal one, while the others shade back further into metaphor [...]

We might see fiction starring the neuro-era equivalent of Hamlet (or Alex Portnoy), paralyzed by detailed awareness of his every mental process. We might also see a backlash in the other direction: a New Opacity favoring third person limited narration, and emphasizing everything we still can’t understand about each other. Most likely we’ll see versions of both, plus a dozen other new schools. Regardless, neurology won’t discourage us from self-contemplation any more than astrophysics keeps us from gazing at the stars. ]
neuro  fate  philosophy  emergence  social_network  interview  psychology  literature  prediction  brain  via:Taryn 
november 2011 by robertogreco
Boston Review — Leland de la Durantaye: How to Be Happy
"Wallace’s conclusion is simple. “Whether there’s ‘choice’ involved is, at a certain point, of no interest . . . since it’s the very surrender of choice and self that informs the love in the first place.” This is radical and right and ultimately his last word on free will and choice. Whatever love is, we do not choose it. In the case of Michael Joyce, it means to “consent to live in a world that, like a child’s world, is very serious and very small.” Whether Joyce chose the life he is leading cedes to another concern, whether it matters, and whether any of us really chooses.

…Which is to say, we are free to speculate on the fates of others, about the degree to which others are conditioned by their circumstances and the degree to which they condition those circumstances, but where we should end, ethically, is simple and clear, and everyone has always known it. We should wish them well."
writing  literature  philosophy  davidfosterwallace  happiness  empathy  thisiswater  love  michaeljoyce  infinitejest  human  fate  time  language  compassion  aristotle  fatalism  richardtaylor 
march 2011 by robertogreco
Ian Bogost - There are no Blown Calls in Football
"issue is not that World Cup football suffers from blown calls. The issue is that in WC football blown calls do not exist as a concept in the game. Short of financial collusion or threat, refs' perspective on game is a part of the game, no different than quality of a cross or accuracy of a shot on goal. This is quite a different attitude than other sports take regarding officiating.

The idea that a sport could so willingly & systemically embrace perspective is beautiful to me. Not only because it highlights the changing specificity of moment-to-moment configurations of player, ball & officials, but also because it underscores the role of unfairness & randomness in human experience. Perhaps this is 1 reason why Americans dislike soccer so much: we are obsessed with fairness & transcendental truth, while football shows us that the universe is cruel not (just) through God's will, but because so many factors come into play all at once that it's impossible to account for them all."
football  worldcup  ianbogost  2010  fairness  us  perspective  empathy  truth  control  randomness  humanexperience  experience  world  fate  coincidence  ambiguity  complexity  americahatesgray  sports 
july 2010 by robertogreco
click opera - Hayao Kawai, the self, and the great mother
"laid out 3 key points...distinguishing Eastern mind: tendency to introversion, location of consciousness outside self, strength of "great mother inside"...lack of distinction in Eastern world btwn consciousness & unconsciousness...Eastern philosophy seeks self in its own unconsciousness...when Westerners say word "mind" refer to consciousnes...Eastern self lives in unconsciousness...lack of knowledge of self. self in Westerners is put in centre of consciousness...self is seen as strong, central & independent - & yet frail...surrounded by unknown, able to be overwhelmed & undermined at any moment by powerful "instincts" & "impulses" from somewhere else...Westerners tend to find meaning of their life in a fight w/ fate & own nature, whereas Easterners tend to find meaning of life in "tasting their fate"; accepting it, & living in harmony w/ their own nature. typical Western dramatic hero struggles against inevitable, whereas typical Eastern hero "tastes" & accepts it."
west  east  japan  culture  society  momus  harukimurakami  hayaokawai  psychology  psychoanalysis  self  consciousness  unconsciousness  meaning  life  perspective  family  community  individuality  fate 
december 2009 by robertogreco

Copy this bookmark:





to read