Individuals are turning ever more aspects of their lives into managerial problems that require technological solutions. We have access to an ever-increasing array of free and inexpensive technologies that harness incredible computational power that effectively allows us to self-police behavior everywhere we go. As pervasiveness expands, so does trust. Our willingness to delegate tasks to trusted software has increased significantly. Individuals are growing increasingly realistic about how limited their decision-making skills and resolve are. Moreover, we’re not ashamed to discuss these limits publicly. Some embrace networked, data-driven lives and are comfortable volunteering embarrassing, real time information about what we’re doing, whom we’re doing it with, and how we feel about our monitored activities. Put it all together and we can see that our conception of what it means to be human has become “design space.” We’re now Humanity 2.0, primed for optimization through commercial upgrades. And today’s apps are more harbinger than endpoint.
… Their [philosophers] comments suggest consuming digital willpower may not be as innocent or simple as it may first seem. However, an emerging strain of philosophical inquiry could upend these traditional criticisms and open the door to guilt-free willpower enhancement.
… the will is a flexible mesh of different capacities and cognitive mechanisms that can expand and contract, depending on the agent’s particular setting and needs. Contrary to the traditional view that identifies the unified and cognitively transparent self as the source of willed actions, the new picture embraces a rather diffused, extended, and opaque self who is often guided by irrational trains of thought. What actually keeps the self and its will together are the given boundaries offered by biology, a coherent self narrative created by shared memories and experiences, and society. If this view of the will as an expanding and contracting system with porous and dynamic boundaries is correct, then it might seem that the new motivating technologies and devices can only increase our reach and further empower our willing selves.
I really don’t see the point of reading in straight lines. We don’t think like that and we don’t live like that. Our mental processes are closer to a maze than a motorway, every turning yields another turning, not symmetrical, not obvious. Not chaos either. A sophisticated mathematical equation made harder to unravel because X and Y have different values on different days.
L’esprit de escalier: (French) The feeling you get after leaving a conversation, when you think of all the things you should have said. Translated it means “the spirit of the staircase.”
Waldeinsamkeit: (German) The feeling of being alone in the woods.
Meraki: (Greek) Doing something with soul, creativity, or love.
Forelsket: (Norwegian) The euphoria you experience when you are first falling in love.
Gheegle: (Filipino) The urge to pinch or squeeze something that is unbearably cute.
Pochemuchka: (Russian) A person who asks a lot of questions.
Pena ajena: (Mexican Spanish) The embarrassment you feel watching someone else’s humiliation.
Cualacino: (Italian) The mark left on a table by a cold glass.
Ilunga: (Tshiluba, Congo) A person who is ready to forgive any abuse for the first time, to tolerate it a second time, but never a third time.
These words! Pena ajena needs to be in my vocabulary because that’s me when watching Something About Mary.
I often feel like I want to think something but I can’t find the language that coincides with the thoughts, so it remains felt, not thought. Sometimes I feel like I’m thinking in Swedish without knowing Swedish.
Human intelligence: Historical influences, current controversies, teaching resources.
THIS IS SO COOL!
a who’s who in psychology and philosophy
Is it Possible to Learn So Much Your Brain Gets ‘Full’?
Northwestern psychology Prof. Paul Reber answers in Scientific American. Excerpt:
The human brain consists of about one billion neurons. Each neuron forms about 1,000 connections to other neurons, amounting to more than a trillion connections. If each neuron could only help store a single memory, running out of space would be a problem. You might have only a few gigabytes of storage space, similar to the space in an iPod or a USB flash drive. Yet neurons combine so that each one helps with many memories at a time, exponentially increasing the brain’s memory storage capacity to something closer to around 2.5 petabytes (or a million gigabytes). For comparison, if your brain worked like a digital video recorder in a television, 2.5 petabytes would be enough to hold three million hours of TV shows. You would have to leave the TV running continuously for more than 300 years to use up all that storage.
it’s been going well. i’m trying to be good. but my mind is not where i’d like it to be. trying to be good, beyond manifestation in behaviors; being good in essence. in “eat, pray, love” (which was an EXCELLENT book! need to buy/request as gift), the author speaks of learning to regard your thoughts as just thoughts and not as facts, but i just can’t stop thinking of thoughts as mini-reflections of you, and that the thoughts you don’t want to have or agree with represent a subconscious desire for an alternate plot and are, in fact, perhaps the most important ones. but maybe that’s just an illusion caused by their saliency. i’m not in an objective or educated enough position to take a reasonable guess; i haven’t taken any personality or motivation classes. i kind of want to. i should sketch out my schedule for next year and see if i can take them. also, sign up for CJ classes. i think i am switching to pragmatism and just finishing the degree and moving on. who knows. facelys is supposedly going to grad school in spain, so how fucking amazing would it be if i could do the same? although i don’t speak spanish fluently. okay, i don’t speak spanish. i still cannot even express enough how much spain moved me, how much that ACHIEVABLE situation shook me to my core and opened up a whole new world and a whole new world of want. suddenly, a goal appears out of the fog. finally. something to move towards. because if you don’t know where you’re going… you can wander into some cool shit, but you also don’t know when you will be able to feed yourself again. sometimes you take more risk than others but it’s there, always, underneath; the possibility, possibilities. you are so many kinds of awesome! and you have me doing sappy shit already, too, even as i wince when you call me baby. mixed. feelings. damned if you do, damned if you don’t. i am in between a rock and a hard place, but to a lesser extent. maybe like a mattress and a wall or the floor, like not that serious. speaking of floors, they advertise on the floor of the mall now. seriously? i wasn’t saturated enough with marketing, actually. the constant bombardment from all 4 walls, hanging from the ceiling, embodied in the original survey monsters, and shaped into irrationally pompous adolescent animal control teams in headsets and forest green blazers—i think i’ve seen bow ties—this was definitely not at it’s full potential. i completely agree with you. look at all that unharassed space on my retina, just receiving photons from a nondescript, plain tiled floor. what a waste. the world is turning into the Tim and Eric show. that is my armageddon prophesy. the media, marketing, advertising, sales hounds, dogs, bulls, vultures will assault our consciousness at hyperspeed in concentrations as ridiculous as the ingredients of our favorite new energy drinks—to keep us going for life life life! but nobody really uses them for life. at least no one i’ve met. they use them for routine, for productivity, for not living life. you really think an energy drink will get you outdoors and into nature, like actually realizing and appreciating the environment you’ve been blessed with? i have lost the most respect for humanity while working at the mall. i have not learned more overarching and negative themes across people anywhere else. i mean, really. i had no idea. sometimes i doubt my own social cognition. i just looked for that phrase for like 15 minutes, thinking presence of mind, the i self me self shenanigns, used monica’s child psych text and google to try and find it, and it turns out to be exactly what you said? that i suck at social situations? i didn’t realize you could even look at it as a science and as much as i’d like to, i’m happy not seeing it that way. maybe i would be more enriched but i think maybe you live a little more this way. who knows. “the object concept—the idea that objects have their own independent existence, characteristics, and locations in space—is fundamental to an orderly view of physical reality.” —-who wants an orderly view when you can have ACID?!