Monday, May 16, 2011

Aphorisms / Random Thoughts Part 1

If you focus hard enough, every aspect of your experience can feel separate from yourself. Everything including thoughts, feelings, impulses, what you see, what you hear, etc. If that is the case, what is the self that connects all these things? It must be that thing that binds these experiences together, so that your feeling of fear can affect your impulses, which can affect what you see, etc.

It seems that the human body is experienced very much like a large computer network, and we are in the unique and bizarre state of being the system administrator and ever component of the network at the same time. Not everything meshes together nicely; we're not so much one person as many, but we're also not completely many either. Somehow we're in between one and many, in between Parmenides and Heraclitus.

"Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes." - Walt Whitman

We often love our sadness. It is though by grasping and clinging to it, the experiences that created our sadness can be made sensible.

The desire for power and control is natural. The man who does not seek power already feels powerful. Nobody feels weak and acts weak without cultivating a power hungry soul.

It is a testament to the goodwill innate to human nature that we are best at killing other humans after convincing ourselves that they aren't really human.

Life is proof that entropy is a long term, not a short term, phenomenon. Death is proof that entropy always wins in the end.

We are at our happiest when the various parts of ourselves are harmonious with one another. Happiness is the smoothness of functioning of the human organism.

Need is a funny word. We don't really need anything, not even to live. The universe will keep going without us. We want to live. Anyone who appeals to their needs is, fundamentally, appealing to their desires.

If I had a God, it would be me.

Violence is as natural to human beings as cooperation. The world has never existed in a state of purely one or the other.

It says a lot of good about a man's view of himself when he sees an enormous mountain and wishes to place himself at the top of it, above it.

I'll concede that men are the equal of ants when ants are crawling on the moon of their own volition.

If someone made a pill that would make whoever took it as muscular as a bodybuilder with no side effects, many of us would feel guilty for taking it.

No amount of evidence will convince someone who wants his opinion to be true for reasons other than consonance with the evidence.

Speaking to the hearts and minds of those who want to listen will do a thousand times more to change the future than voting.

The safest place during any natural disaster is "somewhere else."

You don't need to romanticize the past in order to come to grips with the fact that we have problems in the present. Things can be better than they were while still not being as good as we'd like them to be.

The hardest answer to accept, regarding whether success is the result of hard work or luck, is that it can result from either but neither guarantees it.

Negative rights are positive rights. Everything expressed as a right is a demand on my behavior, whether that demand be addition to or subtraction from that behavior.

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