Want to start a startup? Get funded by Y Combinator. June Technology tends to separate normal from natural.
The first month with five Wednesdays since the new blog launched, which was this last August, I decided on the spur of the moment to ask my readers to propose a topic for the fifth post of the month, and a substantial plurality of them asked for a discussion of reincarnation, which they duly got.
The level of interest and the quality of the conversations that resulted were more than enough to make me decide to try it again, and so when November rolled around the same question got asked.
The competition this time was a good deal fiercer, with quite a few readers asking for an essay on democratic syndicalism and other alternatives to the asphyxiatingly narrow range of systems of political economy that most people these days are willing to think about.
I long ago lost track of the number of times such a conversation came to an abrupt end when the other person asked me whether Druids believe in gods, spirits, and the like, and I said yes. At that point a good many people back nervously away, sometimes literally.
What would your feelings be, seriously, if your cat or your dog began to talk to you, and to dispute with you in human accents?
You would be overwhelmed with horror. I am sure of it. And if the roses in your garden sang a weird song, you would go mad. And suppose the stones in the road began to swell and grow before your eyes, and the pebble you noticed at night had shot out stony blossoms in the morning?
My reaction, no matter how vividly I imagined these scenes, was the precise opposite of the horror that Machen apparently assumed everyone would feel.
Had our rhododendrons suddenly developed musical talents and began singing, weirdly or otherwise, I would have sat down right there on the Beauty Bark to listen and applaud, and had the stones next door come to life, I would have petted one of them to see if it would purr.
My reaction to these things, in a word, would be wonder, not terror. His concept of sin, expressed in this and other stories, can be defined quite precisely as disturbing the hierarchy of being.
In his mind, and the minds of a great many others of his time and ours, rocks, roses, cats and dogs, and humans occupy rigidly defined and defended steps on a ladder that, not coincidentally, ranks human beings above every other being with a material body, and only a single step or, for those who believe in angels, two steps below God.
The traditional belief in nature spirits also threatens that alleged status, and in an even more forceful way. Even among those human beings who accept the possibility that there may be other vertebrates more or less as intelligent as we are, the attitude toward these other vertebrates tends to copy the attitude that so many people in modern industrial civilization have toward people of other civilizations: As far as I know, every one of the traditions of thought that take nature spirits seriously also rejects the claim that human beings are the masters of the planet.
Not only that, most of these traditions of thought assign human beings a relatively modest place in the overall scheme of things, usually somewhere toward the middle of that spectrum of being that extends from pond scum at one end to gods at the other.
In the last fifth Wednesday post, back in August, I started off by pointing out that we all know more than we can prove. During those four and a half years I had quite a few opportunities to get used to the reality of death. Rather more than once, I went over the course of a single evening from providing personal care to a patient, to taking vital signs to track the dying process, to cleaning up the corpse and getting it ready for the morticians.
Persons have rights; objects do not. That by doing so, we might be losing something considerably more important than monetary profit is not something that enters many minds these days. Now consider the possibility that the forces of nature might also be persons, and see where that takes you.
The philosopher Martin Buber pointed out most of a century ago that broadly speaking, human beings have two ways of relating to what they encounter in the world around them.
Approach the same thing from one way and then from another way, and the interactions that result are utterly different. This object is making noises that sound remarkably like human speech.
Modern industrial civilization is terrified of the I-you relationship, and goes to really quite astonishing extremes in its attempts to force all relationships into the I-it mode. The insertion of technology into human relationships is another expression of the same terror of the I-you relationship.
The internet, to cite the extreme example, is among other things a very effective way of filtering human interaction out of communication.
Pay close attention to the terror and the glee, and you can see the rot at the heart of the entire project of modernity: The kind of power our culture teaches us to crave is the kind of power you can only have over dead things, objects rather than subjects.Jean-Jacques Rousseau was one of the most influential thinkers during the Enlightenment in eighteenth century Europe.
His first major philosophical work, A Discourse on the Sciences and Arts, was the winning response to an essay contest conducted by the Academy of Dijon in In this work. Ah, but super-human AI is not the only way Moloch can bring our demise. How many such dangers can your global monarch identify in time?
EMs, nanotechnology, memetic contamination, and all the other unknown ways we’re running to the bottom. We seem to have established a nascent tradition here on kaja-net.com around fifth Wednesdays, and I’m by no means distressed by that. The first month with five Wednesdays since the new blog launched, which was this last August, I decided on the spur of the moment to ask my readers to propose a topic for.
In common usage, the word "human" generally refers to the only extant species of the genus Homo—anatomically and behaviorally modern Homo sapiens..
In scientific terms, the meanings of "hominid" and "hominin" have changed during the recent decades with advances in the discovery and study of the fossil ancestors of modern kaja-net.com previously clear boundary between humans and .
The truth is the human condition is the agonising, underlying, core, real question in all of human life, of are humans good or are we possibly the terrible mistake that all the evidence seems to unequivocally indicate we might be? While it’s undeniable that humans are capable of great love, we also have an unspeakable history of brutality, rape, torture, murder and war.
A Spiritual Perspective. By Wade Frazier.
Part 1 (IEEE Computer, December ) Introduction. With the death of Isaac Asimov on April 6, , the world lost a prodigious imagination. Unlike fiction writers before him, who regarded robotics as something to be feared, Asimov saw a promising technological innovation to be exploited and managed. The more consistently one attempts to adhere to an ideology, the more one's sanity becomes a series of unprincipled exceptions. — graaaaaagh (@graaaaaagh) February 5, Meeting with a large group of effective altruists can be a philosophically disconcerting experience, and my recent meetup with Stanford Effective Altruist Club was no exception. Human nature is a bundle of fundamental characteristics—including ways of thinking, feeling, and acting—which humans tend to have naturally.. The questions of whether there truly are fixed characteristics, what these natural characteristics are, and what causes them are among the oldest and most important questions in philosophy and kaja-net.com science that examines human nature .
Revised February How I Developed my Spiritual Perspective. My Early Paranormal Experiences. Research and Activities – Notes from My Journey.