Comment by “AmIFirstToThink” in the Hacker News discussion of the article:
It gives you a chance to put yourself on the shrink couch in the privacy of your room. You get to know yourself little bit more. You know how flimsy the safeguards are for you to not do the wrong thing. Laws, religious ethics are flimsy to stop you from doing the wrong thing. You realize that at the end of the day, it is up to you as the individual, to do the right thing in a situation.
In lieu of meaning, I mostly adopted the attitude of Alan Watts. Existence, he says, is fundamentally playful. It’s less like a journey, and more like a piece of music or a dance. And the point of dancing isn’t to arrive at a particular spot on the floor; the point of dancing is simply to dance. Vonnegut expresses a similar sentiment when he says, “We are here on Earth to fart around.
I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. I have approximate answers, and possible beliefs, and different degrees of certainty about different things, but I’m not absolutely sure of anything, and there are many things I don’t know anything about. But I don’t have to know an answer. I don’t feel frightened by not knowing things.
Fascinating talk by Kenneth Stanley on our society’s obsession with setting objectives and how this stunts our creativity. Some points:
You can only discover new things by not looking for them. The path to success is through not trying to succeed. To achieve our highest goals we must be willing to abandon them. It is in your interest that others do not follow the path you think is right (they will lay the stepping stones for your greatest discoveries).
Often, people never even think about asking questions that would produce a negative answer when trying to solve a problem — like this one. They instead restrict the universe of possible questions to those that might potentially yield a “yes.”
The metro wasn’t running and we needed to take the free shuttle bus instead. We sat near a large woman next to a small boy and listened.
Whatchyou talkin’ ‘bout the end o’ the world’? It be just a storm, not the end o’ the world! Who been givin’ you ideas ‘bout the a-po-ca-lypse anyway?! You wake up in the morning (snap) — happy. You go outside for a walk (snap) — happy.
Wabi-sabi (侘寂) represents a comprehensive Japanese world view or aesthetic centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”.
The majority of mortals, Paulinus, complain bitterly of the spitefulness of Nature, because we are born for a brief span of life, because even this space that has been granted to us rushes by so speedily and so swiftly that all save a very few find life at an end just when they are getting ready to live. Nor is it merely the common herd and the unthinking crowd that bemoan what is, as men deem it, an universal ill; the same feeling has called forth complaint also from men who were famous.
Ron Garret’s paper showing that observation (measurement) and quantum entanglement are the same things. Linked to from this HN discussion (emphasis mine):
It turns out that by thinking of measurement and entanglement as related phenomena we can shed quite a bit of light (so to speak) on the nature of physical reality. In fact, it can help us comprehend that which Einstein found most incomprehensible: the comprehensibility of the Universe.
In keeping with my commitment to use tools that reflect my own values, I’ve begun to use Django and Mezzanine for web development. Django provides the framework, Mezzanine provides the application. Integrated together, these tools offer a web development methodology that is open creative, efficient, and enjoyable.
You’ve made a commitment (a small commitment, in time only) to Python, a programming language that enshrines ideals such as “beautiful is better than ugly” and “now is better than never.