The Blind Looting the Blind - Kevin Williamson touches on many of the points discussed yesterday about top-down control of complex systems. You can't plan for creativity, novelty, and u...
15 hours ago
Relatively uninhibited philosophizings on self and kosmos whenever the mood strikes...
"As recently as the 1950s, possessing only middling intelligence was not likely to severely limit your life’s trajectory...The 2010s, in contrast, are a terrible time to not be brainy...We must stop glorifying intelligence and treating our society as a playground for the smart minority. We should instead begin shaping our economy, our schools, even our culture with an eye to the abilities and needs of the majority, and to the full range of human capacity...Smart people should feel entitled to make the most of their gift. But they should not be permitted to reshape society so as to instate giftedness as a universal yardstick of human worth."I just read an outstanding piece in The Atlantic that addresses an issue that's concerned me for some time. It decries the glorification of smart people and the corresponding derogation of not-so-smart people in our increasingly meritocratic society.
Me: Sitting at the bedside of a good friend who seems, for reasons I don't fully understand, to be virtually comatose and close to death from cerebral hypoxia associated with an advanced stage of Alzheimer's. What an awful, cruel disease Alzheimer's is!
Tom: Terrible, terrible. While I have no faith in the Gods that write books, I do hope that there is some sort of "veil" we pass through after death where we get some sort of explanation what life, in general, and our life, in particular, was all about.
It's not that I think a life between just birth and death is meaningless. It is just that I think a reason and meaning for having been alive is due us. In Hamlet, the Bard talks about "defeated joy."
Me: Tom, if we die and that's the end of our personal existence and consciousness, it won't matter to us whether we find out why we were here or not. But if we go on to inhabit forever and ever some conscious afterlife, as much as I, like you, would love to believe that we would learn the answers to all our pressing questions and reap huge benefits from this, I'm more inclined to think that posthumously everlasting life could eternally make the trials and tribulations of this ephemeral lifetime seem like a joyous picnic by comparison.
In other words, if so much inequality, injustice, and suffering can dominate this life, what's to stop this from occurring on a far more iniquitous and torturous scale in any life to come? A supremely loving, just, and merciful God? What God is that? One of the "Gods that write books"? Any God that created and sustains THIS unholy vale of earthly tears?