Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

IF YOU REALLY WANT TO KNOW WHAT I HAVE AGAINST “MOTIVATIONAL EXPERTS,” I’M GLAD YOU BROUGHT THE SUBJECT UP

Four of the most egregiously unfair and misused words in this language are “You can do it.” And I’m guilty at abusing them, too.
Because in using those words to urge our children or employees or students or anyone else forward in the performance of a task they’ve not done before or at which they are [...]

IF EVERYTHING IS PROGRESSING LIKE THE IDEA OF PROGRESS SUGGESTS IT SHOULD BE, WHY DOES IT FEEL LIKE THINGS ARE GOING WELL FOR ONLY A FEW?

One week a few years ago, I chanced upon two mostly forgotten books, and probably would not have spent much time with either had not both mentioned—on the very first page—an event that itself has been mostly long forgotten: the Century of Progress Exposition that the city of Chicago staged in 1933-34 to commemorate the [...]

HERE’S A BOOK THAT SUPPORTS “THE BEST GUESS I’VE EVER HAD”: THAT NO ONE REALLY HAS MUCH OF A CLUE ABOUT WHAT’S SUPPOSED TO BE HAPPENING HERE; THAT EVERYONE IS GUESSING

Anyone—and it might be anytwo, or at best anyfive or anysix—who has been paying attention to the progressive content of my thinking through the years understands that I’ve been on some sort of journey.
It is my belief that it is not all that remote from a journey that most all who have ever lived participate [...]

SO FAR, THE SINGULARITY VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPT. HAS BEEN SOUNDING TEN ALARMS WHILE RUSHING AROUND TRYING TO FIND SMOKE

I don’t often experience writer’s block. Sleeping on a topic overnight is nearly always enough to return a free flow of ideas and images. But it was not working that way with this thing called The Singularity. For days, I tried without success to tie a literary bow around a supposition that had fast become [...]

WHEN YOU GET AROUND TO ORGANIZING THE DINNER PARTY OF THE AGES, I’D LIKE TO BE SEATED BETWEEN MR. SHAKESPEARE AND MR. JESUS, IF YOU DON’T MIND

I always seek to break the news gently, but it can be disconcerting to some folks when I reveal that the two brains in history intriguing me most are Shakespeare’s and Jesus Christ’s, in that order.
Neither choice is by any means unique, and the subject of Jesus’s brain is probably the most enigmatic. What can [...]

IF YOU ARE WONDERING WHY WE HAVEN’T REACHED A POINT OF AUTOCATALYSIS SUFFICIENT TO MAKE UP FOR ALL THE ENTRENCHED STUPIDITY, HERE’S SOME ACADEMIC DISCIPLINES TRYING TO FIND THE ANSWER

A long-time friend and colleague valued for many reasons, not the least of which is the expansive range of his scholarly interests, writes:
“I often get lost in the soup of new economic titles that try to capture the behavioral side of economics, an area that has languished until recently. Books on neuroeconomics, behavioral economics, economic [...]

JUST WHEN I WAS READY TO DISCUSS WHAT WE COULD DO TO ENCOURAGE NEW THINKING SKILLS IN A SEMINAR AT HER EMPLOYER, I GET THIS QUESTION ABOUT BELIEVING IN GOD

I am accustomed to being questioned by prospective business clients on all kinds of issues. What I’m not accustomed to is having them ask me, unexpectedly and point-blank, as happened over dinner not long ago, “Do you believe in God?”
But it happened, and I replied immediately, “I don’t believe in your God.”
I think that’s the [...]

I OFTEN SAY, “ARGUE FOR YOUR LIMITS AND YOU GET TO KEEP THEM.” OTHERWISE, SIMPLY ASSUME THAT YOU ARE GOING TO CHANGE PERHAPS MORE OFTEN THAN YOU REALIZE

Sometimes I’m bemused at the question, sometimes a little exasperated: Can people really change?
I suspect the reason that anyone would ask the question has to more to do with the nature of consciousness than anything else. Consciousness appears to be the paragon of immediacy. “We” may have trouble staying in the here and now, but [...]

MORE AND MORE ATTENTION IS BEING PAID TO THE BRAIN’S POWERS OF THIN SLICING

My all-time favorite description of what time is comes not from a scientist but from a writer of pulp science fiction, the late Ray Cumming. In 1922, he observed that time is “what keeps everything from happening at once.”
This is more than a not-half-way-bad way of describing time. In fact, it’s such a doggone-good way [...]

YUP, YUP, YUP, YUP & YUP! HE’S GOT THIS RIGHT!

Quote of the day from James Scott’s new book, Information Warfare: The Meme is the Embryo of the Narrative Illusion:
“The meme is the embryo of the narrative. Therefore, controlling the meme renders control of the ideas; control the ideas and you control the belief system; control the belief system and you control the narrative; control [...]