Tag Archives | Ideas

How do you learn to think?

Ian Sane (CC BY 2.0)

Ian Sane (CC BY 2.0)

This was taken from William Deresiewicz’s 2010 lecture “Solitude and Leadership.”

If you want others to follow, learn to be alone with your thoughts.

Let’s start with how you don’t learn to think. A study by a team of researchers at Stanford came out a couple of months ago. The investigators wanted to figure out how today’s college students were able to multitask so much more effectively than adults. How do they manage to do it, the researchers asked? The answer, they discovered—and this is by no means what they expected—is that they don’t. The enhanced cognitive abilities the investigators expected to find, the mental faculties that enable people to multitask effectively, were simply not there. In other words, people do not multitask effectively. And here’s the really surprising finding: the more people multitask, the worse they are, not just at other mental abilities, but at multitasking itself.

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Corporate Culture and the Survival of Artists

A street musician in New York City. Sergio Cruz / Flickr

A street musician in New York City. Sergio Cruz / Flickr

Miranda Campbell writes at Jacobin:

We’re living in an era where fame does not mean fortune, despite dominant perceptions that achieving visibility equates with financial success. Essayist David Rakoff lampooned the “old fantasy of carnal chaos of drop cloths, easels, turpentine, raffia-wrapped Chianti bottles holding drippy candle ends, and cavorting nude models,” highlighting instead how painful, tedious, and lonely artistic work can be.

Making art “requires the precise opposite of hanging out” and is often “a deeply lonely and unglamorous task of tolerating oneself long enough to push something out,” characterized by a “lack of financial security and the necessary hours and hours of solitude spent fucking up over and over again.”

But most people still consider making art a privilege, demonstrated by the knee-jerk reaction to conversations about artists being paid fairly for their work, particularly when the artist is, or is perceived to be, wealthy.

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The 6 Grand Illusions That Keep Us Enslaved to the Matrix

swirl-optical-illusion

Sigmund Fraud Via Waking Times:

“In prison, illusions can offer comfort.” – Nelson Mandela

For a magician to fool his audience his deceit must go unseen, and to this end he crafts an illusion to avert attention from reality. While the audience is entranced, the deceptive act is committed, and for the fool, reality then becomes inexplicably built upon on a lie. That is, until the fool wakes up and recognizes the truth in the fact that he has been duped.

Maintaining the suspension of disbelief in the illusion, however, is often more comforting than acknowledging the magician’s secrets.

We live in a world of illusion. So many of the concerns that occupy the mind and the tasks that fill the calendar arise from planted impulses to become someone or something that we are not. This is no accident. As we are indoctrinated into this authoritarian-corporate-consumer culture that now dominates the human race, we are trained that certain aspects of our society are untouchable truths, and that particular ways of being and behaving are preferred.

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The Matrix is Crashing

Still from The Matrix

Still from The Matrix.

Via Zen Gardner at Waking Times:

It is. It’s outdated programming and the engineers of deceit can’t keep up. The vibrational changes are exceeding their capabilities. You know how your phone or computer’s software goes out of date, and new programs can’t operate? It’s the same thing. The imitators of creation can’t maintain a current operating system any longer in the face of this Universal shift.

And it’s driving them nuts.

Just look at the desperation we’re witnessing. Crude military and police state maneuvers are only one aspect. The biggest clue is seeing the previously incremental and now hyperbolic use of monstrous lies that are becoming so transparent and unbelievable to just about anyone. Agreed, there are the entranced apathetics who swallow anything, but we’re witnessing a meltdown before our eyes.

If you can’t see it, look again.

You Want Proof?

First of all you’re in the wrong mindset if you’re looking only for data or left brained evidence, although it’s out there for those who can see.

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Edge.org Annual Question 2014: What Scientific Idea is Ready for Retirement?

Hartwig HKD (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Hartwig HKD (CC BY-ND 2.0)

via Edge.org:

Science advances by discovering new things and developing new ideas. Few truly new ideas are developed without abandoning old ones first. As theoretical physicist Max Planck (1858-1947) noted, “A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.” In other words, science advances by a series of funerals. Why wait that long?

What Scientific Idea is Ready for Retirement?

Ideas change, and the times we live in change. Perhaps the biggest change today is the rate of change. What established scientific idea is ready to be moved aside so that science can advance?

Read More: http://edge.org/responses/what-scientific-idea-is-ready-for-retirement

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Can Ideas Get You High?

Jacob Hnri 6 (CC)

If the answer is positive, there must be some very stoned disinfonauts out there! Jason Silva writes at CNN:

…I want big ideas to have aesthetic relevance. I want to tickle people’s intellectual sensibilities and instill a sense of wonder. I think big ideas should get people high!

My short videos, which I call shots of philosophical espresso, are trailers for these ideas. They are not a substitute for a book or academic paper — they are instigators. My work is simply another way for wider audiences to engage with these ideas. My goal is for those who might not be inclined toward heady discourse to find a way still to connect to these ideas.

Psychologist Nicholas Humphrey coined the term “the biological advantage of being awestruck” to describe his theory on why our unique ability to be enthralled was, somehow, biologically selected for in a Darwinian sense.

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Intellectual Incest

Via Skeptical Analysis:

Natural selection tends to avoid incest. Incest — more properly, inbreeding — allows recessive genetic traits to accumulate, often to the detriment of affected individuals. If a child gets a bad gene (doesn’t make a needed protein) from one parent, it’s best if the other parent doesn’t also contribute the bad gene.

Popular literature suggests wild populations, such as wolves, seek mates from outside their own packs. Also, primitive peoples may raid neighboring clans for wives, and friendly exchanges of eligible women between ruling European families provided genetic diversity while maintaining royal status.

Cultural and intellectual incest is a problem of a slightly different nature. Lack of cultural diversity can deprive a nation of the benefits of innovation and can also result in the development and retention of perverse cultural traits. Open societies are the fix. Honor killings within some European societies have lost fashion as a result of the cultural dilution that resulted from advances in communications and exchange of populations in the twentieth century.

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