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  • brinny
    replied
    "I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells." ~Dr. Seuss

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  • annabenedetti
    replied
    There is no Sleepy Hollow on the Internet, no peaceful spot where contemplativeness can work its restorative magic. There is only the endless, mesmerizing buzz of the urban street. The stimulations of the Net, like those of the city, can be invigorating and inspiring. We wouldn't want to give them up. But they are, as well, exhausting and distracting. They can easily, as Hawthorne understood, overwhelm all quieter modes of thought. One of the greatest dangers we face as we automate the work of our minds, as we cede control over the flow of our thought and memories to a powerful electronic system, is the one that informs the fears of both the scientist Joseph Weizenbaum and the artist Richard Foreman: a slow erosion of our humanness and our humanity.

    It's not only deep thinking that requires a calm, attentive mind. It's also empathy and compassion. Psychologists have long studied how people experience fear and react to physical threats, but it's only recently that they've begun researching the sources of our nobler instincts. What they're finding out is that . . . the higher emotions emerge from neural processes that "are inherently slow." It takes time, the researchers discovered, for the brain "to transcend immediate involvement of the body" and begin to understand and to feel "the psychological and moral dimensions of a situation." . . . . The more distracted we become, the less able we are to experience the subtlest, most distinctively human forms of empathy, compassion, and other emotions.

    Nicholas Carr, The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains

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  • annabenedetti
    replied
    Before Frederick Taylor introduced his system of scientific management, the individual laborer, drawing on his training, knowledge, and experience, would make his own decisions about how he did his work. He would write his own script. After Taylor, the laborer began following a script written by someone else. The machine operator was not expected to understand how the script was constructed or the reasoning behind it; he was simply expected to obey it. The messiness that comes with individual autonomy was cleaned up, and the factory as a whole became more efficient, its output more predictable, Industry prospered. What was lost along with the messiness was personal initiative, creativity, and whim. Conscious craft turned into unconscious routine.

    When we go online, we, too, are following scripts written by others - algorithmic instructions that few of us would be able to understand even if the hidden codes were revealed to us. When we search for information through Google or other search engines, we're following a script. When we look at a product recommended to us by Amazon or Netflix, we're following a script. When we choose from a list of categories to describe ourselves or our relationships on Facebook, we're following a script. These scripts can be ingenious and extraordinarily useful, as they were in the Taylorist factories, but they also mechanize the messy processes of intellectual exploration and even social attachment. As the computer programmer Thomas Lord has argued, software can end up turning the most intimate and personal of human activities into mindless "rituals" whose steps are "encoded in the logic of web pages." Rather than acting according to our own knowledge and intuition, we go through the motions.

    Nicholas Carr, The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains

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  • Ask Mr. Religion
    replied
    Originally posted by Town Heretic View Post
    Depends on the current. With Evo, that philosophy led to a tragic outcome because it was too broadly applied. Sometimes we fall in love with our methodology at the expense of the point of adopting one.
    Tragic indeed. Sigh.

    AMR

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  • Town Heretic
    replied
    Originally posted by annabenedetti View Post
    Do not swim with the current that is carrying you.

    Evoken
    Depends on the current. With Evo, that philosophy led to a tragic outcome because it was too broadly applied. Sometimes we fall in love with our methodology at the expense of the point of adopting one.

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  • annabenedetti
    replied
    One great splitting of the whole universe into two halves is made by each of us; and for each of us almost all of the interest attaches to one of the halves; but we all draw the line of division between them in a different place. When I say that we all call the two halves by the same names, and that those names are 'me' and 'not-me' respectively, it will at once be seen what I mean. The altogether unique kind of interest which each human mind feels in those parts of creation which it can call me or mine may be a moral riddle, but it is a fundamental psychological fact. No mind can take the same interest in his neighbor's me as in his own. The neighbor's me falls together with all the rest of things in one foreign mass against which his own me stands cut in startling relief. Even the trodden worm, as Lotze somewhere says, contrasts his own suffering self with the whole remaining universe, though he have no clear conception either of himself or of what the universe may be. He is for me a mere part of the world; for him it is I who am the mere part. Each of us dichotomizes the Cosmos in a different place.

    William James

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  • annabenedetti
    replied
    "Learning how to think" really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think. It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience. Because if you cannot or will not exercise this kind of choice in adult life, you will be totally hosed.

    David Foster Wallace

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  • Selaphiel
    replied
    "Not ignorance, but ignorance of ignorance is the death of knowledge."

    -Alfred North Whitehead

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  • Dillpickle27
    replied
    "Fear only exists in our minds it's not real it's a product of your imagination" Will Smith ,After Earth

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  • Dillpickle27
    replied
    "You can never return home because home is a memory in your mind" Thomas Wolfe

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