Why don’t they thank the losers?
When the game has been won, the champion crowned, why don’t they thank the losers? Without the losers willingness to compete, to accept the possibility of defeat, there could be no competition. So, next time they are busy singing “We are the champions” don’t forget the losers. Without them there could be no champion of the world.
"‘If you were alone on a deserted island with a pig, would you eat the pig or starve to death?’
[Assuming that there is no chance of rescue for you or for the pig, you are both going to die because there is no food on the island. You can kill the pig, eat it and live a few more days in guilt knowing that you killed it. Or, you can put your arm around the pig and die together, the pig comforting you in your death and you comforting the pig in its death, knowing that you both died as friends not enemies.]"
Andrew Kirschner (via veganzen)
The source of creativity
Ideas can’t come from nowhere. Good art does not just appear. They must have a source. What is the source of creativity?
People talk of a moment of inspiration that sets the ball rolling, an object, a thought, an observation from which everything else coalesces. The trigger unleashes a torrent, idea combined with idea, word with word, brush stroke with brush stroke, to create something beautiful, the brilliant insight or exquisite design.
The most creative of people immerse themselves in the creativity of others. They sort the good from the bad, what works from those that do not. Their brains they fill, full of images, songs, ideas and theories, from which they can modify and combine at a later date. This immersion, too, provides trigger points.
So, what is the source of creativity? It’s ideas having sex. It’s a bit of this combined with a bit of that to create something beautiful, something insightful, something great.
Sustainability & economic growth
Opponents of economic growth argue that we should end economic growth because growth leads to increased material consumption, which on a finite planet, is unsustainable. The problem here is that economic growth and consumption growth are not the same thing. If we produce products and services using resources, physical, labour and/or time, then we produce something of greater value, hence economic growth. Another example is recycling, which keeps materials inside the human economy, turning something which has effectively zero economic value into a positive causing economic growth. Recycling, though, does require energy, but in some cases, aluminium for example, the energy required in much lower that than producing new products using raw material.
What people really want is not zero economic growth but sustainable raw material consumption. For some raw materials this means not increasing the rate in which we extract them—in other words zero raw material growth. For other materials, of which there are many, take fish for example, what is necessary is a decrease in the rate of extraction to sustainable levels. This is what fish quotas are designed to do. This is exactly what we should be doing with many other natural resources.
Non-renewable resources, like oil, uranium, bauxite (aluminium) and iron ore (steel), though are different. Their extraction can never be sustainable. So what rate should we extract them? It depends on how we use them. If we burn oil to keep ourself warm, we only benefit. But if oil to help us extract iron ore and use it to produce a knife or a bridge, not only we benefit but also future generations—our children and our children’s children. Ultimately, non-renewable resources should be used in this way, to benefit future generations, not just ourselves.
"If all I can really know is my sense-impressions, then how can I ever know you? Are we not forever cut off from each other by the walls of our bodies? If this is so, then there would seem a need for some special, intuitive faculty which would allow me to soar beyond my senses, plant myself within you and empathise with your feelings; and this remarkable capability was know to some eighteenth-century thinkers as the imagination. Human compassion was possible only by virtue of this quirky, enigmatic, somewhat fragile power. The imagination was a form of compensation for our natural insensibility to one another. …. If only I could know what it was like to be you, I would cease to be so brutal to you, or come to your aid when others were treating you badly.
The only drawback with this doctrine is that it is obviously false. Sadists know exactly how their victims are feeling, which is what spurs them on to more richly imaginative bouts of torture. Even if I am not a sadist, knowing how wretched you feel does not necessarily mean that I will feel moved to do something about it. Conversely, people who come to the aid of others may be, so to speak, imaginatively tone-deaf, unable to re-create in themselves in any vary vivid way the feeling of those they help out. The fact that they are unable to do so is morally speaking neither here nor there."
Terry Eagleton | How to Read a Poem | p24
It may be true that imagination by itself does not result in more compassionate towards others, but being able to use your imagination to empathise, tell what other people are feeling, does help you to recognise how your actions affect others. Whether you act on this information doesn’t depend on your imagination but your morals. You need both imagination — to tell how other people fell or could feel — and morality — to tell you what to do — to achieve the virtue of compassion.
The beauty of a desolate landscape is in its ability to silence the mind and focus the senses.
Climate change and the precautionary principle
The precautionary principle, basically, states that in an event of an unknown, like the effects of human activity on the climate, you should take the lower risk option. In the case of climate change, the options are:
- Continue emitting carbon (business as usual) by burning fossil fuels and other sources, and risk the planet warming resulting in sea levels rising, more extreme weather, mass extinctions, famines and mass starvation, or
- Reduce carbon emissions which would, presumably, have less extreme consequences.
Presented in this context, the better option, to reduce carbon emissions, is a no-brainier. But when you look, closer at the precautionary principle things are not so simple.
If we apply the precautionary principle to simpler situation, a problem occurs. Take the decision to go outside or to stay home as an example. If I go outside, it could rain then I would get wet and could catch a cold. I could get run over by a car. I could get hit by lightening. If I applied the precautionary principle here I would never leave the house. I would, in fact, never do anything.
Choosing between the options depends on your propensity of risk. If you think the risk of getting struck by lightening is extremely rare, you don’t have a problem leaving the house. But if you think the risk is high, for example there is a thunderstorm, then you stay inside.
This highlights the problem with the precautionary principle. It depends on your propensity for risk and how risky you think the situation is. If you are someone that is risk adverse or sees the risks posed by climate change as large, then you reduce your emissions when you use the precautionary principle. But if you are someone that likes taking risks, like miners or oil company employees, or don’t know about or research the risks of climate change, then you choose business-as-usual. Oil companies and coal miners, as well as any other large user of fossil fuels, also see the option of reducing their carbon emissions as considerably higher risk, a risk to their bottom line.
Not only introverts but also sensitive people or anyone who or suffers from anxiety, fear or agoraphobia. Seems to be a link there …. between introverts sensitivity / anxiety. As people can become less sensitive or suffer less from fear/anxiety, does that mean people can become less of an introvert?
Freedom is a very loosely defined word.
- Freedom from life
Freedom from death
- Freedom from pain
Freedom from pleasure
- Freedom from our bodies (illness, disease, obesity, eating/starvation/hunger/indulgence, glasses, addition[drugs/alcohol/cigarettes/smoking])
- Freedom from our minds (fear, anxiety, depression, desire/want, anger, self-doubt, ego, love, lust, worry, boredom, loneliness, jealousy)
- Freedom from reality (drugs and alcohol)
- Freedom from work
Freedom from leisure
- Freedom from government / society / religion / war / slavery / marriage / parents / homework / imprisonment
- Freedom from oppression / abuse / exploitation / discrimination / violence
- Freedom from money / debt / bills
- Freedom from technology (computers / the internet / television / telephones)
- Freedom from choice
- Freedom from suffering
- Freedom from freedom
- Freedom to kill
Freedom to create life
- Freedom to inflict pain and suffering
Freedom to give pleasure and happiness
With all those conflicting freedoms, no one can be against freedom. No wonder political parties use freedom in their slogans and governments in their constitutions and anthems.
As a motive force in politics, freedom can do nothing more than create unity.