It Comes Undone-Think About It
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Scooped by Eli Levine
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Absolution

The American public and, indeed, the American citizen is the ultimate cause of all problems within the American social system.  It is because of citizen demand for sub-optimal policy choices, sold to them by shills and shysters, that we get sub-optimal policy choices in our society which then tarnishes our entire nation and our viability as a country.  It is through their democratic voice, or lack of giving a voice, that we get the dysfunctional policy choices that we get, which then sets our nation, our society, and our world backwards and degrades the overall quality of life and well-being for the general public.  Unless a new leadership emerges to counter the incorrect and sub-optimal policy recommendations of our current leadership gives and to rise above the idiotic, the delusional, the misinformed, and the ignorant elements within our society, we are never going to be able to achieve the optimal quality of life we could potentially achieve with what we've presently got.

A democratic society is good for holding leaders to account.  However, the quality of that role depends largely upon the quality of the citizens' abilities to make choices for themselves on the collective and individual level.  If the ability of the public is compromised by leadership elements or by their own human fallibility, the system breaks down, and those moments of light which democracy brings forth may not be worth the long term costs of having a generally erratic and temperamental, incoherent, and not necessarily inclusive method of reaching decisions.  Like any relationship, it takes intelligent and sensed decision making by both partners in order to achieve optimal results.  Failure to do so will result in collapse, catastrophe, or else otherwise mediocre performance by the society.

Quite honestly, if a government and its members are able to know their own interests accurately, and are otherwise able to achieve them effectively, a hybrid of democracy and dictatorship becomes the preferable option in the long term, due to the stability of a well-functioning leadership who manipulates the society to positive ends and is affirmed by the society for doing a genuinely positive job at governing.  Knowing what the people need and want is a significant piece of the governing puzzle.  However, a too much chaos in the system leaves it destabilized in the long term. Too many voices with irrelevant or harmful ideas and methods of going about things will bring down the entire system, or else, make it significantly more difficult to achieve the fundamentals of survival, let alone, the ability to thrive as a society of individuals.

This is the ultimate conundrum of society.  While I agree that voting and access to the governing should be cheap and easy, I also think that not everything or everyone should be listened to.  Opinions are not, after all, equal in common reality.  A person may believe in the geocentric universe quite honestly.  However, all evidence points to it being quite an incorrect view of how the universe is and how it works.  The same principles apply in the world of policy, even if we're less clear about what actually is happening and how things actually are and are working.  A person may believe in a policy or in a method of organizing and managing a government and a society.  However, even though it may be possible to implement those ideas, it doesn't mean that it's an actually beneficial, healthy, or sustainable thing or set of things to do.  You can eat doughnuts everyday, all day for months and years.  However, just because you can, doesn't mean that you should and, quite honestly, it will lead to your death much sooner than it otherwise may have been, thanks to all of the health problems that it creates.  A society can operate on fossil fuels for energy or with the wealth being concentrated in the hands of a few with the democratic processes otherwise shut down to anything opposing the immediate desires of the elite.  However, that doesn't mean that a society should operate and function in such a condition and, having things be as such, the lifetime of the society will be shortened due to environmental and social pressures (assuming that no additional external catastrophes happen along the way).  This is going to be a moment of absolution for our society throughout these coming years and decades.  I don't know how we're going to do with the present set of socially illiterate people at the helms of our societies and the bumbling, incompetent nature of the general public to compound the problems that we're facing.

 

That's all I've got to say for now.  A shame I don't have better news to give.  I wish I could do something about it.  However, I need the permission of the society and its leadership in order to do that.

 

Shame, things were starting to look so cool.

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Rescooped by Eli Levine from Science Education and Communication
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Telling the Scientific Method Story

Telling the Scientific Method Story | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
The science gap is huge. One of the biggest misconceptions hindering the advancement of scientific literacy in society is also one of the most crucial - the scientific method. And no wonder. Most p...

Via Matthew Russell
Eli Levine's insight:

Indeed, there is no actual way of getting around hard facts, other than to deny them completely and rationalize it accordingly.  This is just a psychological maneuver, rather than anything that does anything to change the nature of our universe.  And it's shocking to me that so many people (including myself) can be guilty of this kind of ignorance.  The only difference between myself and, for example, a Young Earth Creatisionist, is that I acknowledge my potential to do this and, therefore, work to humble myself before the vast extension of knowledge and awareness that I cannot ever have.  They think they got all the answers, all lined up neat in a row.

 

And that's the difference.

 

Think about it.

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Rescooped by Eli Levine from Peer2Politics
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Stephen Hawking: 'Transcendence looks at the implications of artificial intelligence - but are we taking AI seriously enough?'

Stephen Hawking: 'Transcendence looks at the implications of artificial intelligence - but are we taking AI seriously enough?' | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
With the Hollywood blockbuster Transcendence playing in cinemas, with Johnny Depp and Morgan Freeman showcasing clashing visions for the future of humanity, it's tempting to dismiss the notion of highly intelligent machines as mere science fiction. But this would be a mistake, and potentially our worst mistake in history.

Via jean lievens
Eli Levine's insight:

To this, I say "meh."

 

What have humans done with our current biological brains but make a gigantic mess of our planet without having the sense to even acknowledge and clean up after ourselves?

 

The sooner we correct our brains' function and perpetually limited perception, much like how we correct our vision with glasses, or our hearing with hearing aids, the sooner we'll be better off.

 

Good riddance to bad rubbish.

 

Think about it.

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Rescooped by Eli Levine from Bounded Rationality and Beyond
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A Brief Guide to Embodied Cognition: Why You Are Not Your Brain

A Brief Guide to Embodied Cognition: Why You Are Not Your Brain | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it

Embodied cognition, the idea that the mind is not only connected to the body but that the body influences the mind, is one of the more counter-intuitive ideas in cognitive science. In sharp contrast is dualism, a theory of mind famously put forth by Rene Descartes in the 17th century when he claimed that “there is a great difference between mind and body, inasmuch as body is by nature always divisible, and the mind is entirely indivisible… the mind or soul of man is entirely different from the body.” In the proceeding centuries, the notion of the disembodied mind flourished. From it, western thought developed two basic ideas: reason is disembodied because the mind is disembodied and reason is transcendent and universal. However, as George Lakoff and Rafeal Núñez explain:

 

Cognitive science calls this entire philosophical worldview into serious question on empirical grounds… [the mind] arises from the nature of our brains, bodies, and bodily experiences. This is not just the innocuous and obvious claim that we need a body to reason; rather, it is the striking claim that the very structure of reason itself comes from the details of our embodiment… Thus, to understand reason we must understand the details of our visual system, our motor system, and the general mechanism of neural binding.

 

What exactly does this mean? It means that our cognition isn’t confined to our cortices. That is, our cognition is influenced, perhaps determined by, our experiences in the physical world. This is why we say that something is “over our heads” to express the idea that we do not understand; we are drawing upon the physical inability to not see something over our heads and the mental feeling of uncertainty. Or why we understand warmth with affection; as infants and children the subjective judgment of affection almost always corresponded with the sensation of warmth, thus giving way to metaphors such as “I’m warming up to her.”


Via ddrrnt, Alessandro Cerboni
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Claudia M. Reder's comment, May 19, 2013 8:28 PM
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/2011/11/04/a-brief-guide-to-embodied-cognition-why-you-are-not-your-brain/
Alexander Vorobiev-Char's curator insight, February 4, 2014 2:14 AM

Соответствуют ли Ваши мысли возможностям Вашего тела? Что из них первично?

Eli Levine's comment, February 4, 2014 9:35 AM
This sounds like an analogy to a government sitting within a society. For example, while a government does technically control the body society through the production of laws (to a limited extent), the body society also influences and effects the government (brain) to produce different results. This is how government can be working independently of (and sometimes, contrary to) the rest of society, just as the society can also work independently of (and, sometimes, when the government isn't being cooperative with society's needs) contrary to the government.<br><br>Thanks for this! :)