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Stuff that makes me appreciate the (alleged) fact of me being conscious
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In search of serendipity

In search of serendipity | Random cool ideas | Scoop.it
It means more than a happy coincidence. And it’s under threat from the internet 
Wannabe-Erudite's insight:

For the first time in a long time, the internet surprised me. I searched for one thing and found something unrelated. Here is the story...

 

Reading "The Double" by Dostoevsky, I came across the french term "sans facons". It means informal. When I think of something informal, I think of something which doesn't have a very specific protocol laid out for it. Expectations are loose, and one can look forward with interest rather than feed our pathetic attraction to certainty. When I perform a search on google, I find precisely what I expect to find, along with a sidebar filled with stories that claim to be news, but in truth are mild variations of past stories. Of course, the journalists and the headline writers (I have a hunch that that's an actual job. Kind of like SEO.)  try their best to explain why this time the news represents something truly unique. 

 

I digress. I bumped into this website http://www.sansfacon.org/  which led me to a guy named Eric Laurier who write papers about really dumb things which require a lot of smartness to write. His academic papers have an honesty to them. They don't claim that their revelations are important. Because let's face it, some of us are really tired of proving to ourselves and justifying that what we do matters.

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Peter Singer’s Drowning Child Argument

Peter Singer’s Drowning Child Argument | Random cool ideas | Scoop.it
Hey, so, suffering is bad, right?
Yeah, you know what? I’m going to go ahead and just assume that for some reason, starving to death and freezing to death and having a disease to death are all bad...
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This guy is The Shit.

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A Conversation with Peter L. Berger:

A Conversation with Peter L. Berger: | Random cool ideas | Scoop.it
On September 12, 2013, the eminent Austrian-American sociologist Peter Berger visited The Center for Faith and Inquiry at Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts. The following is a partial transcript of an interview conducted by Gordon College’s Gregor Thuswaldner.
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Quantum mechanics and scientific realism | Scientia Salon

Quantum mechanics and scientific realism | Scientia Salon | Random cool ideas | Scoop.it
by Quentin Ruyant One of the main tasks of philosophy is to clarify conceptual problems and sketch the landscape of possible solutions to these problems. Of course, individual philosophers often tend to defend specific positions, but what emerges at the level of the community is, generally, a landscape of possibilities. Take, for example, the question…
Wannabe-Erudite's insight:

I've been looking for an article that covers these ideas for a really long time. I definitely feel like I'm becoming a better googler.

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Philosophy And Depression

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The fact that others are better at expressing how I feel, makes me feel even worse. If I could do this, at least then my depression could be redeemed. 

 

(Truth be told, he is describing a lot of people.)

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Bragging in Hip Hop

Bragging in Hip Hop | Random cool ideas | Scoop.it
Hip Hop’s culture has long been immersed in what seems like a masquerade of rappers parading around making outlandish claims about their swagger, money, or general ability to make things happen in the world. Most people that don’t listen to rap/hip-hop name this the number one suspect for the reason they dislike the genre and/or art, and stick religiously by the claim. They most times forget to mention the Eminem songs in their libraries, but that’s another story.

Is it really okay to classi
Wannabe-Erudite's insight:

In his book Decoded, Jay Z compares this obsession of bragging in rap music with the topic of love in poetry. No matter how much you talk about it in both scenarios, it never gets old. - See more at: http://reyshizz.com/r13/the-real-reasons-why-rappers-brag-in-their-raps/#sthash.Ul5mijHg.dpuf

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How not to say the wrong thing

When Susan had breast cancer, we heard a lot of lame remarks, but our favorite came from one of Susan's colleagues. She wanted, she needed, to visit Susan after the surgery, but Susan didn't feel...
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Connecting the World from the Sk

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Wannabe-Erudite's insight:

The article states that the internet becomes accessible to an additional 9% of the worlds population every year. If the rate of growth stays steady, it will (only) take 13 years for the whole world to have internet. It will be interesting to watch how these numbers change with and without  Zuckerberg's help. 

 

Of course, I have no idea how likely it is that the rate of growth will stay constant.

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Why has human progress ground to a halt? – Michael Hanlon – Aeon

Why has human progress ground to a halt? – Michael Hanlon – Aeon | Random cool ideas | Scoop.it
Some of our greatest cultural and technological achievements took place between 1945 and 1971. Why has progress stalled?
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The Drowning Child and the Expanding Circle, by Peter Singer

'The Drowning Child and the Expanding Circle', by Peter Singer (New Internationalist)
Wannabe-Erudite's insight:

The same idea reflected off an artist struggling with the morality of his craft. http://aeon.co/magazine/philosophy/art-is-a-selfish-waste-of-time-says-effective-altruism/

Often economic growth in rich countries perpetuate exploitation in poorer ones. Conversely - and often simultaneously - growth has a trickle down effect, which creates an economic structure that directly feeds poorer countries. Charity (most of the time) doesn't create a structure, it just fixes specific problems one time. Mass produced culture, although it is appalling to most with the sensibilities that are potentially moved by this sort of argument, is a large percentage of GDP. In truth any art that has economic value, creates a trickle down effect through it's (modest) contributions to the GDP. This doesn't constitute a defense to any artist  who has "artistic integrity" which usually means reducing his ability to contribute to Charity or to the GDP. 

The arguments in the linked articles equally apply to enviromental impact.

A caricature of bourgeois charity: Sometimes the contributions to the activist's/volunteer's facebook wall is ≥ the cause in question.

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On the Ethics of Offensive Humor (Part One)

On the Ethics of Offensive Humor (Part One) | Random cool ideas | Scoop.it
Preliminary note: I will mention offensive jokes for the purpose of making a philosophical point.  In philosophical parlance, I'll be mentioning jokes rather than saying them.  If you're easily off...
Wannabe-Erudite's insight:

Here are my own thoughts on this subject (written before I saw this article).

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Falsehoods: Human Universals

Falsehoods:  Human Universals | Random cool ideas | Scoop.it
There are human universals. There, I said it. Now give me about a half hour to explain why this is both correct and a Falsehood. But first, some background and definition.
Wannabe-Erudite's insight:

A reminder of how important it is to "DEFINE YOUR TERMS". Fail to do so and you'll have a lot of unpacking to do in order to understand why everyone is so confused. Excellent article.

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Will the Humanities Save Us?

Will the Humanities Save Us? | Random cool ideas | Scoop.it
The humanities are of no use — and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Wannabe-Erudite's insight:

Caution: This is what age combined with a postmodern ethics can do to young idealists.

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School Shootings and Post-Structuralism - Everything2.com

As has been noted many times, the most fascinating elements of the phenomenon of school shootings are (1) the almost universal expression of some measur...
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The Darker Side of Aaron Swartz

The Darker Side of Aaron Swartz | Random cool ideas | Scoop.it
Swartz was brilliant and beloved. But the people who knew the gifted programmer best saw another side.
Wannabe-Erudite's insight:

Beautiful tribute to the life of an idealist. One who couldn't find what to be idealistic about.

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Under The Hood Of The All-Emoji Programming Language

Under The Hood Of The All-Emoji Programming Language | Random cool ideas | Scoop.it
The odd linguistic challenges you run into when writing a computer language in emoji.
Wannabe-Erudite's insight:

You can use emojis in Swift

http://www.globalnerdy.com/2014/06/03/swift-fun-fact-1-you-can-use-emoji-characters-in-variable-constant-function-and-class-names/

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Tetris effect - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tetris effect

The Tetris effect (also known as Tetris Syndrome) occurs when people devote so much time and attention to an activity that it begins to pattern their thoughts, mental images, and dreams. It is named after the video game .

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Pinocchio paradox - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pinocchio paradox

The Pinocchio paradox arises when Pinocchio says "My nose grows now" and is a version of the liar paradox. The liar paradox is defined in philosophy and logic as the statement "This sentence is false." Any attempts to assign a classical binary truth value to this statement leads to a contradiction, or paradox.

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Experience machine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Experience machine

The Experience Machine or Pleasure Machine is a thought experiment put forward by philosopher Robert Nozick in his 1974 book Anarchy, State, and Utopia . It is one of the best known attempts to refute ethical hedonism, and does so by imagining a choice between everyday reality and an apparently preferable simulated reality.

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Getting High for Higher Education

Getting High for Higher Education | Random cool ideas | Scoop.it
Two major problems faced by the United States are the war on drugs and the problems of higher education. I will make an immodest proposal intended to address both problems. In the case of higher ed...
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