And the bat said to me:

“Sir. Imagine you are in the driver’s seat of a car. You have been sitting there so long that you have forgotten that it is the seat of a car, forgotten how to get out of the seat, forgotten the existence of your own legs, indeed forgotten that you are a being at all separate from the car. You control the car with skill and precision, driving it wherever you wish to go, manipulating the headlights and the windshield wipers and the stereo and the air conditioning, and you pronounce yourself a great master. But there are paths you cannot travel, because there are no roads to them, and you long to run through the forest, or swim in the river, or climb the high mountains. A line of prophets who have come before you tell you that the secret to these forbidden mysteries is an ancient and terrible skill called GETTING OUT OF THE CAR )

“Universal love,” said the cactus person.

On people

Nov. 19th, 2013 11:28 am
All people are evil. I've discovered that by introspection.

L'chayim!

Jun. 13th, 2011 09:01 pm
From Varieties of Religious Experience, a Study in Human Nature by William James:

The next step into mystical states carries us into a realm that public opinion and ethical philosophy have long since branded as pathological, though private practice and certain lyric strains of poetry seem still to bear witness to its ideality. I refer to the consciousness produced by intoxicants and anaesthetics, especially by alcohol. The sway of alcohol over mankind is unquestionably due to its power to stimulate the mystical faculties of human nature, usually crushed to earth by the cold facts and dry criticisms of the sober hour. Sobriety diminishes, discriminates, and says no; drunkenness expands, unites, and says yes. It is in fact the great exciter of the YES function in man. It brings its votary from the chill periphery of things to the radiant core. It makes him for the moment one with truth. Not through mere perversity do men run after it. To the poor and the unlettered it stands in the place of symphony concerts and of literature; and it is part of the deeper mystery and tragedy of life that whiffs and gleams of something that we immediately recognize as excellent should be vouchsafed to so many of us only in the fleeting earlier phases of what in its totality is so degrading a poisoning. The drunken consciousness is one bit of the mystic consciousness, and our total opinion of it must find its place in our opinion of that larger whole.
Read more... )
Ведьма предсказала, что принцесса уколет себе палец веретеном и умрет. Тогда король велел отрезать принцессе все пальцы

Я читал эту сказку миллион раз, но такой абсолютно очевидный подход мне в голову ни разу не пришел!
From William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience.

We would make known in our own persons the usefulness of rule, of discipline, of resignation and renunciation; we would teach the necessary perpetuity of suffering, and explain the creative part which it plays.

We would wage war upon false optimism; on the base hope of happiness coming to us ready made; on the notion of a salvation by knowledge alone, or by material civilization alone, vain symbol as this is of civilization, precarious external arrangement ill-fitted to replace the intimate union and consent of souls.

We would wage war also on bad morals, whether in public or in private life; on luxury, fastidiousness, and over-refinement, on all that tends to increase the painful, immoral, and anti-social multiplications of our wants; on all that excites envy and dislike in the soul of the common people, and confirms the notion that the chief end of life is freedom to enjoy.

We would preach by our example the respect of superiors and equals, the respect of all men; affectionate simplicity in our relations with inferiors and insignificant persons; indulgence where our own claims only are concerned, but firmness in our demands where they relate to duties towards others or towards the public. For the common people are what we help them to become; their vices are our vices, gazed upon, envied, and imitated; and if they come back with all their weight upon us, it is but just.

We forbid ourselves all seeking after popularity, all ambition to appear important. We pledge ourselves to abstain from falsehood, in all its degrees. We promise not to create or encourage illusions as to what is possible, by what we say or write. We promise to one another active sincerity, which strives to see truth clearly, and which never fears to declare what it sees.

We promise deliberate resistance to the tidal waves of fashion, to the 'booms' and panics of the public mind, to all the forms of weakness and of fear.

We forbid ourselves the use of sarcasm. Of serious things we will speak seriously and unsmilingly, without banter and without the appearance of banter;--and even so of all things, for there are serious ways of being light of heart.

We will put ourselves forward always for what we are, simply and without false humility, as well as without pedantry, affectation, or pride.
Words effect nothing; it is the power of the personality that stands behind them.

- Adolf von Harnack

This is so obvious, it makes so many things so clear that it's a wonder how I could miss such a basic idea for so many years!

["Here Vroomfondel, why do we never think of things like that?" "Dunno," said Vroomfondel in an awed whisper, "think our brains must be too highly trained Majikthise."]


Всех с праздником. Если кто хочет зайти в воскресенье - приносите свою выпивку, или вы серьезно рискуете остаться трезвыми.
Worth watching. For those who prefer, here's a transcript.

Neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor had an opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: One morning, she realized she was having a massive stroke. As it happened -- as she felt her brain functions slip away one by one, speech, movement, understanding -- she studied and remembered every moment. This is a powerful story about how our brains define us and connect us to the world and to one another.
Развить тему: 0 и 1 в двоичной системе соответствуют женскому и мужскому началу (это очевидно хотя бы по их форме).
I always thought that what is considered dirty language is just a matter of convention. Seems that it is not entirely correct. Relatively long, but worth reading. )
Из-за пары клоунов (you know who you are), вместо простого расскринивания, приходится копировать ответы сюда. Итак:

[livejournal.com profile] malenkiy_scot:Read more... )
[livejournal.com profile] oxfv:Read more... )
[livejournal.com profile] salamatik:Read more... )
[livejournal.com profile] mishkaegli:Read more... )
[livejournal.com profile] ymarkov:Read more... )
[livejournal.com profile] songuitart:Read more... )

Статистка для названных больше, чем один раз:

Эйнштейн (5)
Леонардо (4)
Пушкин (4)
Моцарт (3)
Ньютон (3)
Микеланджело (2)
Бетховен (2)
Паганини (2)
Джанго (2)
Наполеон (2)
Назовите сходу (то есть как можно меньше думая) 10-20 человек, которых вы считаете гениями. Комменты (пока) заскринены. Мой список уже там.
Тут у нас с [livejournal.com profile] weinerkом возник спор о значении гениев: [livejournal.com profile] weinerk считает, что гений - понятие произвольное и (если я правильно его понимаю) бессмысленное; прежде всего количественное, а не качественное. Человек, отстоящий по ряду факторов на много стандартных отклонений от среднего "назначается" гением - т.е. (а) сама граница произвольна, и (б) роль гения сводится только к тому, что он добивается большего раньше, чем другие. Убери гениев - и ничего особенного с человечеством не произойдет, прогресс (как материальный, так и научно-философский, так и культурный - оставляя духовный в покое) притормозится, но не остановится. В конечном итоге, гений - результат человеческой тенденции возводить себе кумиров.

Я с ним в корне не согласен, хотя членораздельно возразить не могу.

Update 1:Возражение: без гениев мы до сих пор бы жили в пещерах.
Update 2:Вопрос в том, насколько притормозится прогресс. Это, в принципе, можно формализовать. Строим модель населения и прогресса, меряем "скорость прогресса" в изначальном состоянии населения; затем вырезаем часть населения в разных местах и меряем опять. Как функция от места выреза скорость прогресса может спадать линейно или медленнее, полиномиально, экспоненциально или быстрее. В первом случае принято считать, что изменение чисто количественное, в последнем - качественное. Конечно, соответсвие этой модели реальности проверить будет невозможно. Но по крайней мере игра интересная.
Какое это благословение - быть трезвым! Какое счастье, что я могу его оценить.

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