Badiou’s Event reminds me of the libertarian (wrt determinism) Robert Kane’s theory that while we typically follow a deterministic streak, we’re capable in certain situations of completely free action, or self-forming actions.

The question his theory begs, is that what are the preconditions for situations where we can perform self-forming actions, or truly exert free will? Where do those instances arise from, if not the grand causal chain.

But perhaps it is actually not that there are stimuli arising from outside the causal chain, but instead the ability for self-forming action is a psychological phenomenon we can exert in reaction to a sufficiently novel situation borne of the causal chain - enough that it might be perceived to be be unassociated with causality (or at least our limited view as it pertains to the quotidian cause-and-effect of our typical experience). Perhaps it is a phenomenon akin to Badiou’s event that allows us to exert self-forming action.

NB: The question is, still, of course, how exactly do we do that in physical terms?

Do your pupils constrict if you look at a bright light in a dream?

Creativity always finds a way to beat logic with its own stick.

It is ironic that these New Atheists simultaneously champion empiricism as the only valid mode of thought, while necessarily denying conscious experience in favour of the sweet, stupid embrace of physicalism.

A lucid dream is kinda the opposite of psychosis, being conscious in your dream vs dreaming in your conscious

Worry and care, like hate and love, share an immanent nature. Both are stressful. It seems a contradiction to do good for people, to maintain friendships, without caring for them, but is it? Or perhaps worry is only a poison unto caring, and it is caring unskillfully which manifests itself with worry?

Perhaps a good early example of memetic or semantic warfare, which is I think becoming a particular area of interest in our age, is the apologist school of early Christian philosophy. Clement of Alexandria would redefine words, such as gnosis from the gnostics, and say that he was ‘reclaiming’ the word for the “true faith.” another eg philosophy from the greeks.

Are expanding intellect memes the Western equivalent of the haiku?

The intro to the Big Lez Show, in which Lez bursts through a sign for the show, and asks of us “what the fuck?” is perhaps a metaphor for the whole storyline of the show.

I wonder if Arthur Conan Doyle saw himself as Watson, in the stories. Watson’s role is to commit to page Sherlock’s adventures for later publication. This is quite a bit different to many stories, which tend to feature some analogy of the writer as the protagonist. Upon further investigation, I learned that Doyle was a doctor himself, and that he based the character of Holmes on a professor of his while he was studying.

A common mistake people seem to make, on both sides of an argument, is to mistake the criticism of an ideology for the criticism of all its aspects, and everything it has wrought. For example, it is clear that even if you believe capitalism is bad, it has inspired (even if you believe non-optimally) many beneficial innovations - the same easily applies to religions, and to most ideologies. This confusion seems to be quite common and to cause a lot of issues in discussion. It occurs both in the case that the person criticising an ideology falsely disdains all aspects and products of it, and perhaps more commonly that a person defending an ideology believes falsely that a criticism is a claim that all aspects and products of the ideology are bad.

Why not set up a charity which connects the homeless etc with companies who would otherwise be spending money on securing a vacant location. While the properties remained vacant, people would live there for free, under the agreement that they will provide ‘security’ for the premises. The companies will save money, and we’ll gain much short-term housing for people who need it.

In the book On The Beach, the characters often have disdain for when people make reference to the radiation coming in September. It’s a little like the regular taboo of death we have - people delude themselves into thinking it won’t happen until it comes.

I wonder to what degree our education, by which we gain more and more preconceptions, diminishes our ability to infer. Perhaps this is why children are so naturally creative, yet many people lose much of this as they grow older.

When we make fun of an ideology by using its language and semantics ironically, are we not unwittingly becoming agents for the proliferation of the ideology?

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I often observe that many defenders of capitalism hold its central dogma to be, and the basis for its natural place as our ruling ideology to be, that competition is inherent in the human nature. Further, that it is the fundamental key to our unique evolution and progress as a species. While likely inherent, I think it’s important to note that all lower animals compete. Higher animals (those considered as more intelligent and successful) work together, and we at the top of this hierarchy cooperate and empathise beyond any other species. It is very intuitive to us that what may be achieved through joint effort is greater than when working alone. This leads me to think that actually the key to our social evolution and progress is instead based in our ethical sensibility, and our capacity for empathy - this is what is unique. A better argument for some kind of capitalist system (though I do not entirely agree) is rooted in a case for necessity for property rights to maintain society, which is well made at the beginning of The Machinery of Freedom by David Friedman.

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Perhaps the belief in artificial intelligence relies on a belief in human exceptionalism. Artificiality is defined as that which is not natural. If humans are natural, is not everything we create natural? In the same way an ant hill or a bird’s nest are seen as a part of nature. Is not everything a product of nature? What is the difference between a crab and a robot, anyway?

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A primary issue in improving one’s life seems to be connecting the ‘reflective mind’ with the ‘working mind.’ It’s generally very easy to come to a conclusion on the right way to act in most given situations (though much more difficult to develop any kind of general rule to apply), yet one often finds onesself not taking this action when actually beset by the situation. I think it speaks to some ill of disconnection between these minds - it’s almost as if we’re walking around on autopilot, sometimes, slave to our habits and tendencies. I think that to defeat this, and to make changes to how we act, we not only need to identify and realise the correct behaviour in retrospect, but practice mindfulness and reflectiveness as we actually engage in life, so we can engage in the right behaviours. It won’t do to be trapped in the past, realising our mistakes, meanwhile reinforcing the very habits that leads to us making these mistakes. Also helpful in this kind of situation may be to identify the pattern, rather than necessarily just the mistake in an individual event - no two events are exactly alike, but if we realise the shared nature between multiple events in which we have acted unskillfully, maybe it will enhance our working mind’s ability to identify the pattern in new, distinct events, and allow us to act in a superior manner. Then, through mindfully building an alternative habit of dealing with events of a certain pattern, we may change our default behaviour.

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A Boring Story by Anton Chekhov is an interesting short story which I think speaks to many human tendencies. Among academics, the inherent superiority which some seem to feel over others. Of the ageing man in general, it seems to speak of the coming forth of repressed emnity, which has previously been tempered by a will to succeed in society. For all such observations, it also seems to reveal the contradictions in self, as our protagonist seems as weak to the behaviours and attitudes he despises as those he targets. On the face of it, mortality is the central theme, but I think it also speaks to the necessity of mindfulness. To me it is also a comment on the ultimate unsatisfiability of scientism; while this could be partially projected bias, the protagonist certainly seems to lament not having some kind of belief of ideology to tie his individual ideas together - but without ever considering that it is religion or philosophy he misses. Katya is his equal opposite, to art as he is to science - yet in art it is unrewarding, vanity and lack of talent (arguable), and in science it is. They both profess to hate opinions of their area they themselves hold!

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A key issue which almost all political and societal theories of organisation share is ultimately that of those with power practicing corruption, using power to gain more power and often destroying the integrity of the system in the process; a process which seems rather similar to a positive feedback loop. This is easily seen in instances of democracy, socialism, the free market, etc. Perhaps we could examine natural examples of negative feedback loops, for ideas on solutions. What if the political power of an entity could rise through disturbance in the system (society), when it is needed, but the very act of exercising this power and of calming the disturbance, diminishes the power of the entity which acts. This prevents the growth, and self-sustenance of needless power structures, the positive feedback loop of power begetting power, thus and thereby preventing corruption.

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Adventure Time is probably one of the most thoughtful and interesting television shows around at the moment. It leads me to wonder why, in popular society, and with television and film media especially, the idea of a work being ‘adult’ or ‘for adults’ is synonymous with its being vulgar.

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Perhaps the primary function of democracy is not, or rather should not be, including the wider citizenship in the decision-making process. The wider citizenship generally do not have, and should not be expected to have, the understanding required to make informed decisions on extremely complicated and multifaceted matters of state. This is enough of an issue before we consider confounding factors of psychic abuse through propaganda and advertising. Rather, it seems that the truly positive and necessary function of democracy is lending the citizenship power to depose a despotic and corrupt regime, without bloody revolution.

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Whatever one thinks of Al Gore, it may be wise to note that ManBearPig did turn out to exist.

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We seem to find ambiguous statements ‘cool’ or entertaining. Particularly, ambiguous statements which speak to several, equally consistent inferential conclusions. These conclusions are often mutually exclusive, but no less or more likely than any other. They can all be easily derived by the perceiver of the communication, given the set of shared assertions (or pre-conceptions) we’re working with, in combination with the statement itself. There is an artful aspect to this, but perhaps such statements are also enjoyable because they expose to us to the limitations of language and logic, specificity and correctness; for a moment pointing us towards the realisation that we are just pointing.

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The greatest boon to the proliferation of the alt-right is its relative lack of substance. The power of the movement draws from the same font as the success of positively inclined abstract nouns in political propaganda, allowing large numbers of people who don’t particularly agree to effect political change in broad strokes. Contrast this with the present-day leftist movements, which seem to be tearing themselves apart amidst in-fighting over details (and pronouns).

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Perhaps capitalism proliferates in a similar way to a satellite virus, its host virus being ideology - even that which is anti-capitalist in nature.

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Idea: Academic papers should be translated into Esperanto, by journal-employed translators. Esperanto should also be part of the ‘academic toolkit,’ and expected knowledge for researchers. This would help break down barriers in the international science community, which can be read about here.

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Gay marriage is a bad thing. Why are we moving to adopt the social norms of an authoritarian past? Why are we fighting to allow a religious institution in the state, which has been the enemy of a group of people since its inception, to move into a position of power over it, and to absorb it? I think it may well be moving backwards.