Saturday, November 10, 2018

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Enlightenment Now...

When Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence that certain truths were held to be "self-evident", he was not recording a timeless fact, he was asserting one into being.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Combinatory Play,,,

The human mind, with its recursive combinatorial power, can explore an infinite space of ideas, and is not limited by the quantity of any particular kind of stuff in the ground. When one idea no longer works, another can take its place. This doesn't defy the laws of probability but obeys them. Why should the laws of nature have allowed exactly one physically possible way of satisfying a human desire, no more and no less?

Steven Pinker, Enlightenment Now

Sunday, June 17, 2018


"Information will never replace illumination." Susan Sontag asserted in considering the conscience of words. "Words are events, they do things, change things," Ursula K. Le Guin wrote in the same era in her exquisite meditation on the magic of real human communication. "They transform both speaker and hearer; they feed energy back and forth and amplify it. They feed understanding or emotion back and forth and amplify it."  But what happens when words are stripped of their humanity, fed into unfeeling machines, and used as currencies of information that no longer illuminates?

Thanks to language, ideas are not just abstracted and combined inside the head of a single thinker but can be pooled across a community of thinkers. Thomas Jefferson explained the power of language with the help of an analogy: "He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper of mine, receives light without darkening me."

Monday, May 28, 2018

Franklin D. Roosevelt

"Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort."