95 Matching Annotations
  1. Feb 2020
  2. Jan 2020
    1. Thus we talk of being in a mood rather than a mood being in us,

      because the mood constitutes the world - we are IN the mood; contained by it. we do not create the mood - mood comes first.

  3. Dec 2019
    1. twelve of “the most influential conceptions of imagination”

      Check this out!

  4. Nov 2019
    1. Today our God is abstract, distant, formless, and silent — in other words, merely conceptual. This is what happens when a god becomes neurologically weak.

      This is what we mean by "GOD IS DEAD." We must create a new God based on our own new values

    2. If our whole culture comes to agree that software is a form of "art," for example, then you'll automatically start to conceptualize software differently, and perhaps change your relationship to it.

      And your children will find it difficult to change their relationship to software, always apprehending it as art. Art in a sense is not just an ethereal concept, but a very physical structure that we are actually physically brawling over, wresting territory from one another: art is the set of neurons that is used to conceptualize art.

    3. If a child hallucinated one of his voices with particular strength at the temple of Osiris, while bathing in the imagery, mythology, and personality of Osiris — well, it only makes sense for that voice to 'be' Osiris.

      We have so much ritual and symbolism so that we inevitably associate our sense of the "God" in the same way as others. It causes us to have an embodied They with a real voice which we can communicate with. This is what is meant by a personal relationship with god.

    4. As he grew up, he would internalize other voices, such as those of his bosses, priests, or political leaders.

      The literal voice of The They in Heidegger's vocab

    1. We don't need neuroscience to reason about these agents because we can 'feel' them, through introspection, pulling at our psyches

      There's a reason these systems are so frequently personalized and seen as "agents" - e.g. the temptation on the shoulder and guilt on the other shoulder

    2. higher-order brain systems don't need to create agency 'from scratch' out of mindless robotic slaves. They inherit agency pretty much for free.

      their components have agency, and therefore agency is not an emergent property of the brain

    3. Von Neumann computer architecture, whose parts never have to worry about where their energy is coming from.

      Inactive silicon components will keep existing and receiving energy, will inactive neurons will be discarded or repurposed

    4. Well, they're out of work. They're unemployed

      Your brain's unemployment rate determines the availability of labor in the brain - how much mental capacity you have

    5. of the "selfish" neuron

      individual neurons have motivations, desires, and behaviors?

  5. Jun 2019
    1. Nothing is easier to erase than a dialectical effect

      Because the next thesis will burn it to the ground

    2. if moral equality is an obstacle to human excellence, then so much the worse for moral equality


  6. May 2019
    1. “I disappeared into books when I was very young, disappeared into them like someone running into the woods.”

      Sometimes I literally ran into the woods

    1. The first difficulty is that the robot’s utility function did not quite match our utility function. Our utility function is 1 if the cauldron is full, 0 if the cauldron is empty, −10 points to whatever the outcome was if the workshop has flooded, +0.2 points if it’s funny, −1,000 points (probably a bit more than that on this scale) if someone gets killed … and it just goes on and on and on.

      But it is very difficult to fully express these utility functions in code. The goal is to literally turn our ethics into code -- to translate them into coherent data structures, algorithms, and decision trees. We want to deduce our moral intuitions and more.

    1. Wherever Germany extends her sway, she ruins culture

      And Germany has certainly extended its sway into America. Deeply and irrevocably.

    2. the extent to which a spirit is sui generis, the limits of that which he can allow himself—in other words, the limits of that which is beneficial to him—become more and more confined

      If you are uniquely talented, there are only a few limited places where you can express your unique talent.

    3. without even a thought of what I was squandering and how its place might be filled.

      It's okay that I've squandered some of my strength, wasted some of my talent. Because it's been an essential reminder that I AM TALENTED and I do have a GREAT GIFT to offer the world without question.

    4. enough to discourage the strongest and most heroically disposed intestines.


    1. Thanatos is the irrational urge to destroy the source of all sexual energy in the annihilation of the self

      Therefore there are really only two drives: (a) Thanatos - the drive to destroy oneself, which leads to all self-destructive behaviors and its logical maximum suicide, and (b) Eros - the desire to replicate oneself, which leads to all self-reproductive behaviors, sex, and more, has its logical maximum in reproduction. It's just an attempt to cause your information to continue to exist. You can make friends, you can preserve your thoughts via books, you can build something; they're all attempts to ensure that we continue to exist in some way.

    2. Eros (the life instinct), which covers all the self-preserving and erotic instincts, and Thanatos (the death instinct), which covers all the instincts towards aggression, self-destruction, and cruelty.

      This is why they called him Thanos - he is the death instinct! It is literally a war of complexity vs simplicity, life vs entropy.

    3. virtue of his possession of an immortal soul, he was now seen as being part of the natural order, different from non-human animals only in degree of structural complexity

      Therefore our ethics must be an ethics of increasing complexity.

    4. originated in the emotional crisis which he suffered on the death of his father and the series of dreams to which this gave rise.

      Dreams associated with traumatic events, used to process these traumatic events. What dreams did I have?

      1. Dream of the inky black void, running through it to smash glass walls after glass walls.
      2. Running away from a soldier and hiding in a cave
      3. Running down the street and then leaping into the air and swimming, swimming through the sky
    5. many neuroses (phobias, hysterical paralysis and pains, some forms of paranoia, and so forth) had their origins in deeply traumatic experiences which had occurred in the patient’s past but which were now forgotten–hidden from consciousness.

      This is so true. I have traumatic experiences and possibly complex PTSD associated with the past.

    6. semiotics

      The study of signs and symbols

    1. “Hiking through the Grand Canyon is the closest to hell that I expect to come before I get there when I die,” Fedarko told Outside in August, after pulling out of 105-degree weather to rest. He wrapped up the hike on November 18. “There’s no exaggeration. That’s not hyperbole. It’s absolutely the most physical challenge that Pete and I have endured in our lives.”

      Damn! I want an experience like this

  7. Apr 2019
    1. nt colonies teach us self-organization stems from an adaptation that compresses information about the environment. Our economy and political system are similar forms of information compression

      I really like the way information compression is being used as an analytical tool for creating models here. makes a lot of sense

    2. The problem is that political competition can also falter. When it does, politicians have less incentive to promise fair outcomes.

      Our economy suffers from extreme inequality due partly to inadequate competition. The problem is that our parking brake for inequality is politics, and our politics is also noncompetitive

    3. Preferential attachment is a type of positive feedback loop.

      Money begets money, followers beget followers, fame begets fame, etc, positive feedback loops.

    4. Most of us are unaware of how our actions lead to self-organizing behavior.

      This is what Adam Smith realized in a Wealth of Nations

    5. these producers need only a small set of information to figure out what to do: market prices.

      Our economic system arises from abstraction and information compression on a huge scale

  8. Feb 2019
    1. offers a whole new way of understanding the world.

      This is a new way of understanding the world. Not the only way or the way we must understand the world. It adds to scientific models, doesn't replace them.

    2. Venter can tell you almost nothing about the species he found.

      Clearly we haven't replaced the model with data - the data doesn't offer a complete view. We can't explain how these species survive, their environment, or how they function within the ecosystem.

    3. Petabytes allow us to say: "Correlation is enough."

      It has enough predictive power we don't need to worry about finding a model of causation.

    4. we don't know how to run the experiments that would falsify the hypotheses — the energies are too high, the accelerators too expensive, and so on.

      We essentially cannot collect enough data and have to resort to speculation. Is this true?

    5. With enough data, the numbers speak for themselves.

      It doesn't matter what underlying model the data might be approximating. It doesn't matter that the data science doesn't understand the theory. With enough data, it doesn't matter: we can make accurate predictions regardless.

    6. That's why Google can translate languages without actually "knowing" them

      Is this similar to Searle's chinese room problem? It seems like it.

    7. Kilobytes were stored on floppy disks. Megabytes were stored on hard disks. Terabytes were stored in disk arrays. Petabytes are stored in the cloud.

      Where will exabytes be stored? Interplanetary clouds? :)

  9. Jan 2019
    1. Wisdom isn’t correlated with knowledge, it’s correlated with being in touch with reality—it’s not how far to the right you are on the graph, it’s how close you are to the orange line

      And a good part of this progress is the attempt to grow closer to reality. The core component of wisdom is HONESTY.

  10. Nov 2018
    1. This is particularly plausible for moral judgments in favour of inclusionary moral commitments, which are typically beyond the scope of evolutionary explanations

      There's no reason natural selection would favor inclusion - not everyone shares enough genes with you for you to care about them

    2. The fact that on our planet this capacity has evolved only in one species suggests as much

      How the HELL do we know that other species don't have the capacity to make moral judgements? Isn't it the possibility that they feel moral intuitions and make moral judgements as well? Think bonobos, elephants, dolphins, and other highly social, intelligent animals

    3. Instead, we tend to regard fitness-enhancing judgments as true, because this tendency increased the reproductive success of our ancestors.

      It's not that are moral intuitions are true and we just so happened to get them through evolution. It's that we just so happened to get them through evolution, and we therefore view them as true.

    4. more constrained scope

      Evaluative realism is slightly broader than moral realism; he's only addressing moral realism here

    5. invoke historical considerations

      Historical events as well as the process of evolution explain our moral judgements

    6. serve the evolutionary debunker’s purposes just as well

      Das is saying that EDAs aren't necessarily about evolution. They just use any explanation for our moral judgements that doesn't assume our judgements are true. Then, they say based on this explanation, our moral judgements are not justified.

    7. scientifically informed historical explanations of our moral endorsements do not involve an appeal to mind-independent truths

      According to the scientific evidence, the best explanation for our moral beliefs is evolution, not the world of Forms (mind-independent truths)

    8. orthogonal to empirical issues.

      Many authors say that whether the evolution of moral judgements is true or false doesn't matter in deciding if an EDA succeeds or fails. He disagrees: if their empirical claims are wrong, the EDA fails.

  11. Apr 2017
    1. the pity of an enlightened person would be responsive to this fact.

      An enlightened person would have pity for someone's general unhappiness, their lack of vitality, their loss of dreams, their self-destruction. Not for just suffering.

  12. Oct 2016
    1. But wordless conditioning is crude and wholesale; cannot bring home the finer distinctions, cannot inculcate the more complex courses of behaviour. For that there must be words, but words without reason. In brief, hypnopædia.

      language is key to conditioning. however, it is key that the students do not use this language to question their own conditioning.

    2. "… all wear green," said a soft but very distinct voice, beginning in the middle of a sentence, "and Delta Children wear khaki. Oh no, I don't want to play with Delta children. And Epsilons are still worse. They're too stupid to be able to read or write. Besides they wear black, which is such a beastly colour. I'm so glad I'm a Beta."

      school also conditions people to associate with certain groups.

    3. "Moral education, which ought never, in any circumstances, to be rational."

      should it? why is he saying this? perhaps moral education must not be based on reason, but based on pure dogma. after all, reasons can always be questioned. but truths you simply know, that you have always known, cannot be questioned.

    4. "The - Nile - is - the - longest - river - in - Africa - and - the - second - in - length - of - all - the - rivers - of - the - globe …" The words come rushing out. "Although - falling - short - of …" "Well now, which is the longest river in Africa?"

      they can regurgitate information but cannot understand it.

    5. It was decided to abolish the love of nature, at any rate among the lower classes; to abolish the love of nature, but not the tendency to consume transport.

      societies make decisions about what is acceptable to love based on economics. Love philosophy? well too bad, it is not economically viable. Love nature? well that does not feed anyone, so it should be eliminated. destroy yourself if necessary, for the sake of economic efficiency.

    6. The idea was to make them want to be going out into the country at every available opportunity, and so compel them to consume transport.

      similarly, modern students are encouraged to consume in order to fulfill demand. much of our childhood education, most of it outside of school, is commercial. it is oriented to make us consumers.

    7. and after two hundred repetitions of the same or a similar lesson would be wedded indissolubly. What man has joined, nature is powerless to put asunder.

      can these kids ever overcome their conditioning?

    8. He waved his hand again, and the Head Nurse pressed a second lever. The screaming of the babies suddenly changed its tone. There was something desperate, almost insane, about the sharp spasmodic yelps to which they now gave utterance. Their little bodies twitched and stiffened; their limbs moved jerkily as if to the tug of unseen wires.

      horrifying description

    9. "It might almost have been done on purpose."

      coincidence seems like intention - and yet what if it is?

    1. They learn to associate topsy-turvydom with well-being; in fact, they're only truly happy when they're standing on their heads.

      wow. the metaphors.

    2. that is the secret of happiness and virtue–liking what you've got to do. All conditioning aims at that: making people like their unescapable social destiny."

      this is a key theme of this book.

    3. Our colleagues upstairs will teach them to love it.

      biological conditioning is accompanied by psychological conditioning

    4. "We also predestine and condition. We decant our babies as socialized human beings, as Alphas or Epsilons, as future sewage workers or future …" He was going to say "future World controllers," but correcting himself, said "future Directors of Hatcheries,"

      Everyone is determined to be something. However, this is only an illusion of equality. Not everyone is subject to the same random chance that determines social conditions. The World Controllers cannot be determined. They are self-made, or put in position by privilege. He remains silent because he does not want to shatter the facade of equality.

    5. mere slavish imitation of nature into the much more interesting world of human invention.

      how is nature an imitation?

    6. a T for the males, a circle for the females and for those who were destined to become freemartins a question mark, black on a white ground.

      gender pre-identification by the state. They are marked as having a certain identity in order to fulfill the needs of the state. this world does not allow for any alternative identification.

    7. Made them taste the rich blood surrogate on which it fed.

      that is sadistic and creepy af

    8. If you knew the amount of overtime I had to put in after the last Japanese earthquake!

      He is making a trivialized, euphemistic reference to a disaster. And yet this massacre sounds unimportant - he literally laughs about it. He treats humans as a supply made to fulfill a demand.

    9. all the relevant information,

      relevant information = that information that is necessary for manipulation by the state

    10. No longer anonymous, but named, identified,

      why are the children named? to make them possible, even easy, to manipulate and control. only beings that we can reference and describe with words can be used to our advantage. the state names these embryos so that they can use them.

    11. You should see the way a negro ovary responds to pituitary! It's quite astonishing, when you're used to working with European material.

      pretty damn racist for the character to say - it is exploitation of blacks for their bodies, after all, and so it is a perverse form of slavery. Huxley might be a little racist here too, assuming that blacks are more reproductively fertile, which is only a subtle reference to their ´ĺack of civilization´

    12. Ninety-six seemed to be the limit; seventy-two a good average. From the same ovary and with gametes of the same male to manufacture as many batches of identical twins as possible–that was the best (sadly a second best) that they could do.

      the process is depersonalized, focused on numbers not people. It is all a mass production, a factory line.

    13. Standard men and women; in uniform batches. The whole of a small factory staffed with the products of a single bokanovskified egg.

      The key to social stability is the standardization of human personality.

    14. Making ninety-six human beings grow where only one grew before. Progress.

      progress ≠ quantity of humans in the world.

    15. the operation undergone voluntarily for the good of Society, not to mention the fact that it carries a bonus amounting to six months' salary

      Is it really for the good of society if you get six months salary for it? Also, where is the parenting when you can just leave your child when they come out?

    16. Not philosophers but fret-sawyers and stamp collectors compose the backbone of society.

      This is so often said. It's often said, however, by people who benefit by not being questioned. Furthermore, the 'backbone of society,' if anything, is culture and knowledge. Philosophy is productive of these things, while stamp collectors and sawyers are less productive.

  13. Jan 2016
    1. Anarchism is quite different from that.  It calls for an elimination to tyranny, all kinds of tyranny.

      Therefore, anarchism is not libertarianism and libertarianism is not anarchism.

    2. unaccountable private tyranny.

      Why is it better to be oppressed by the companies than to be oppressed by the government?

    3. The assumption is that by some kind of magic, concentrated private power will lead to a more free and just society

      "under conditions of perfect liberty, markets would lead to perfect equality"

    4. Primarily it is a tendency that is suspicious and skeptical of domination, authority, and hierarchy.

      Political skepticism.

    1. but as a warning to those who had become confused about the relationship between Buddhist teaching as a guide to the truth and mistook it for the truth itself

      This is how religion should be viewed. Doctrine is a guide to meaning and understanding, not a strict directorate of what meaning and truth is. Therefore, religious texts have limited value.

    1. In Lesson 1 we discussed using a CSS reset to tone all of these default values down to zero. Doing so allows us to work from the ground up and to specify our own values.

      I'm not sure if I need to do this.

  14. Dec 2015
    1. The Copy Principle only demands that, at bottom, the simplest constituent ideas that we relate come from impressions. This means that any complex idea can eventually be traced back to genesis constituent impressions.

      Is this really true that all ideas come from experience? For example, the idea of an ideal democracy may not come from experience. But on further analysis, it is clear that our ideas of an ideal democracy come from our perceptions of the failures of the current democracy, which we then use to construct ideals of a future democracy. We also recall our education about supposedly ideal democracies of the past, like Greece. Therefore, even this complex, non-sensory ideal is based on perception.

    2. impressions and ideas.

      Impressions are sensory, ideas are intellectual.

    3. Loosely, it states that all constituents of our thoughts come from experience.

      The word constituents just messes up this sentence and makes it more confusing. This illustrates one of the problems of philosophical language and obscurantism.

  15. Nov 2015
    1. The universal voice of mankind is always declaring that justice and virtue are honourable, but grievous and toilsome; and that the pleasures of vice and injustice are easy of attainment, and are only censured by law and opinion.

      This is Glaucon's primary argument in a sentence. He says that justice is not intrinsically good; it's merely a requirement for living in society. People don't want to be just. They need to be just according to law and to prevent people from hating them.

    2. And is not a State larger than an individual? It is. Then in the larger the quantity of justice is likely to be larger and more easily discernible.

      This is a sucky reason to start with the morality of the State. Individual morality involves less complexity, less potential for link-chains of consequences, less interconnectedness, less responsibility, and more adherence to human psychology. Therefore, we need to start with analyzing individual morality before societal morality.

      I think that Socrates' mindless mistake here makes his entire response to Glaucon inadequate and undermines the remaining chapters of the book as far as a direct justification for individual justice goes.

    3. Then they will need a market-place, and a money-token for purposes of exchange.

      This and the above is an early social contract theory justification of capitalism. Basically, the argument is this:

      1. No individual is completely self-sufficient.

      2. From 1, every individual must cooperate with other individuals to attain goods and services that fulfill his desires.

      3. Individuals produce goods and services more effectively when they specialize in the production of a particular good or service.

      4. If individuals are specialized in particular areas of production, a mechanism of free exchange is required for them to attain the products of other areas of production.

      5. Therefore, from 3, 2, and 4, a mechanism of free exchange is required for individuals to attain goods and services that fulfill their desires.

      6. Capitalism is this mechanism of free exchange. (maybe)

    4. And yet I cannot refuse to help, while breath and speech remain to me; I am afraid that there would be an impiety in being present when justice is evil spoken of and not lifting up a hand in her defence.

      Is Socrates defending justice because he wants societal acceptance, or out of genuine belief in justice?

    5. there is something truly divine in being able to argue as you have done for the superiority of injustice, and remaining unconvinced by your own arguments.

      It is the mark of profound wisdom to understand arguments without being consumed by them.

    6. I would ask you in your praise of justice to regard one point only: I mean the essential good and evil which justice and injustice work in the possessors of them. Let others praise justice and censure injustice, magnifying the rewards and honours of the one and abusing the other; that is a manner of arguing which, coming from them, I am ready to tolerate, but from you who have spent your whole life in the consideration of this question, unless I hear the contrary from your own lips, I expect something better.

      I agree with Glaucon. I don't want to hear praises of justice; I want to hear a fundamental reason for autonomous agents to follow principles of justice that's independent of society.

    7. panegyrists

      Definition: People who give speeches in high praise of something

    8. no one has ever blamed injustice or praised justice except with a view to the glories, honours, and benefits which flow from them.

      Arguments for justice are only motivated by societal benefits.

    9. 'But there is a world below in which either we or our posterity will suffer for our unjust deeds.' Yes, my friend, will be the reflection, but there are mysteries and atoning deities, and these have great power.

      Woah. This just got real.

    10. Still I hear a voice saying that the gods cannot be deceived, neither can they be compelled. But what if there are no gods? or, suppose them to have no care of human things—why in either case should we mind about concealment? And even if there are gods, and they do care about us, yet we know of them only from tradition and the genealogies of the poets; and these are the very persons who say that they may be influenced and turned by 'sacrifices and soothing entreaties and by offerings.'

      This is a very atheistic argument for such an early time. It gives us insight into Greek society - the Greeks didn't think anywhere near as highly of gods as our society does now. This is a valid argument, and it also provides insight into human nature. In this case, Glaucon is denying the existence of god in order to promote his argument. Often, people will reject hypotheses because they want increased freedom of action.

    11. For what men say is that, if I am really just and am not also thought just profit there is none, but the pain and loss on the other hand are unmistakeable. But if, though unjust, I acquire the reputation of justice, a heavenly life is promised to me. Since then, as philosophers prove, appearance tyrannizes over truth and is lord of happiness, to appearance I must devote myself.

      Several hundred years later, Machiavelli makes this same argument: the appearance of justice is better than actual justice.