If I Get Canceled, I Want Friends, Not Allies

I want friends whose minds are not tethered to mine in bonds of allegiance but spin freely of their own accord.

#ethics-personal, #friendship, #philosophy, #social-media

Spiritual Coaches Are on the Rise

As more and more Americans call themselves spiritual but not religious, spiritual coaches give us a glimpse of the allure and the hazards of 21st-century D.I.Y. religion.

#alternative-and-complementary-medicine, #crystals, #entrepreneurship, #occult-sciences, #philosophy, #religion-and-belief, #women-and-girls

The Ethics of Abortion

The law professor Kate Greasley examines moral quandaries around life, personhood and bodily autonomy that underpin the abortion debate.

#abortion, #audio-neutral-informative, #birth-control-and-family-planning, #law-and-legislation, #philosophy, #pregnancy-and-childbirth, #roe-v-wade-supreme-court-decision, #supreme-court-us, #united-states, #women-and-girls, #womens-rights

How Democrats Can Win the Morality Wars

First, they have to understand the deep philosophical differences underlying these conflicts.

#christians-and-christianity, #conservatism-us-politics, #democratic-party, #discrimination, #ethics-personal, #freedom-of-religion, #homosexuality-and-bisexuality, #law-and-legislation, #liberalism-us-politics, #midterm-elections-2022, #philosophy, #rauch-jonathan-1960, #republican-party, #united-states, #united-states-politics-and-government

Courage Seemed to be Dead. Then Came Zelensky.

Can economics make sense of heroism?

#capitalism-theory-and-philosophy, #economics-theory-and-philosophy, #evolution-biology, #internal-sub-only-nl, #philosophy, #zelensky-volodymyr

Whatever Happened to Identity Politics?

A conversation with the philosopher Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò about how “elite capture” has changed the conversation about social justice.

#books-and-literature, #discrimination, #elite-capture-how-the-powerful-took-over-identity-politics-and-everything-else-book, #internal-sub-only-nl, #philosophy, #race-and-ethnicity, #taiwo-olufemi-o, #united-states-politics-and-government

Searching for What Connects Us, Carlo Rovelli Explores Beyond Physics

The physicist ranges widely — from black holes to Buddhism to climate change — in his new book, “There Are Places in the World Where Rules Are Less Important Than Kindness.”

#books-and-literature, #carnell-simon, #philosophy, #physics, #rovelli-carlo-1956, #writing-and-writers

How to Pray to a God You Don’t Believe In

I like my religion inscrutable.

#children-and-childhood, #jews-and-judaism, #philosophy, #religion-and-belief

The Man Who Made Thinking Sexy

Jerry Z. Muller’s “Professor of Apocalypse” tells the story of Jacob Taubes, who is largely forgotten today but was at the center of intellectual life after the war.

#books-and-literature, #columbia-university, #jews-and-judaism, #muller-jerry-z, #nineteen-hundred-sixties, #philosophy, #professor-of-apocalypse-book, #scholem-gershom, #sontag-susan, #strauss-leo, #taubes-jacob, #taubes-susan

Wittgenstein’s ‘Private Notebooks’ Shed Some Light on an Enigmatic Genius

These journals offer a view of the philosopher’s preoccupations, his sexual anguish, his struggles with work and his time in the military.

#books-and-literature, #content-type-personal-profile, #perloff-marjorie, #philosophy, #private-notebooks-1914-1916-book, #wittgenstein-ludwig

How the ​​‘Homeless Billionaire’ Became a Philosopher King

Money can buy influence over nearly anything in the world — including in the world of ideas.

#berggruen-institute, #berggruen-nicolas, #content-type-personal-profile, #high-net-worth-individuals, #los-angeles-calif, #philosophy, #singer-peter-1946

Are We Measuring Our Lives in All the Wrong Ways?

The philosopher C. Thi Nguyen believes that to understand modern life, we need to understand how games work.

#computer-and-video-games, #fitbit, #games, #klein-ezra, #philosophy, #science-and-technology, #twitter

How to Process the Covid Deaths of Anti-Vaxxers

Don’t give in to schadenfreude. It warps the soul.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #deaths-fatalities, #ethics-personal, #philosophy, #religion-and-belief, #vaccination-and-immunization

Exploring mind-bending questions about reality and virtual worlds via The Matrix

Virtual worlds might be digital, but they can be as real and meaningful as our physical world, philosopher David Chalmers argues in his new book, <em>Reality+: Virtual Worlds and the Problems of Philosophy.</em>

Enlarge / Virtual worlds might be digital, but they can be as real and meaningful as our physical world, philosopher David Chalmers argues in his new book, Reality+: Virtual Worlds and the Problems of Philosophy. (credit: Aurich Lawson | Getty Images | David Chalmers)

There’s a famous scene in The Matrix where Neo goes to see The Oracle. He meets another potential in the waiting room: a young child who seemingly bends a spoon with his mind. Noticing Neo’s fascination, he tells him, “Do not try and bend the spoon. That’s impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth.” And what is that truth? “There is no spoon,” the child says.

The implication is that the Matrix is an illusion, a false world constructed by the machines to keep human beings sedated and docile while their bodies serve as batteries to power the Matrix. But what if this assumption is wrong, and the Matrix were instead just as real as the physical world? In that case, the child would more accurately have said, “Try to realize the truth. There is a spoon—a digital spoon.”

That’s the central argument of a new book, Reality+: Virtual Worlds and the Problems of Philosophy, by New York University philosopher David Chalmers. The Australian-born Chalmers is perhaps best known for his development in the 1990s of what’s known as the hard problem of consciousness. Things like the ability to discriminate, categorize, and react to environmental stimuli; the brain’s ability to integrate information; and the difference between wakefulness and sleep can all be explained by identifying an underlying mechanism.

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#books, #gaming-culture, #philosophy, #science, #science-philosophy, #technology, #technology-and-culture, #technophilosophy, #the-matrix, #virtual-reality

We’re Probably in a Simulation. How Much Should That Worry Us?

Virtual reality is getting very real — real enough to call into question what “reality” even means.

#chalmers-david-j, #computers-and-the-internet, #philosophy, #social-media, #virtual-reality-computers

Michael Schur’s Unending Quest to Be Perfect

The comedy writer, known for shows like “Parks and Recreation” and “The Good Place,” has a surprising new project: a book about moral philosophy that explores how to be a good person.

#books-and-literature, #content-type-personal-profile, #ethics-personal, #how-to-be-perfect-the-correct-answer-to-every-moral-question-book, #philosophy, #schur-michael, #television, #the-good-place-tv-program, #writing-and-writers

Diet Culture Is Unhealthy. It’s Also Immoral.

Resolve, this year, to just say no.

#diet-and-nutrition, #philosophy, #pinker-steven, #weight

Death Is for the Living: Lessons From Religious Scholars

There is so much to learn from facing the about what is unknowable.

#anxiety-and-stress, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #deaths-fatalities, #philosophy, #religion-and-belief

How We Make Sense of Time

January 2022 arrives as our methods of keeping time feel like they are breaking. Calendar pages turn, yet time feels lost. In this year of all years, what does it mean for a year to be new?

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #lunar-new-year, #new-year, #philosophy, #physics, #rosh-hashana, #seasons-and-months, #space-and-astronomy, #watches-and-clocks

Better Living Through Stoicism, From Seneca to Modern Interpreters

The philosophy — which, among other things, counsels how to deal with catastrophe — has experienced a revival over the past decade or so, with another uptick in interest at the start of the pandemic.

#books-and-literature, #holiday-ryan-1987, #marcus-aurelius-antoninus, #philosophy, #seneca-4-bc-ad-65, #stoicism

Why Jesus Never Stopped Asking Questions

Jesus liked to turn the tables on his interlocutors, especially those who were in the business of asking questions themselves.

#bible, #christians-and-christianity, #jesus-christ, #philosophy, #religion-and-belief

Sylvère Lotringer, Shape-Shifting Force of the Avant-Garde, Dies at 83

He succeeded in making French philosophy hip and provoking mainstream American culture, but he couldn’t vanquish his childhood memories of Nazi rule.

#book-trade-and-publishing, #books-and-literature, #columbia-university, #deaths-obituaries, #i-love-dick-book, #i-love-dick-tv-program, #lotringer-sylvere, #philosophy, #semiotexte, #writing-and-writers

What Astroworld, the Rust Shooting and the Surfside Collapse Have In Common

From the Salem witch trials to the Astroworld disaster, conspiracy theories and reformist narratives have battled for dominance in the American consciousness. 

#accidents-and-safety, #astroworld-music-festival-stampede-2021, #computers-and-the-internet, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #fringe-groups-and-movements, #occult-sciences, #philosophy, #qanon, #rust-movie, #social-media, #stampedes, #surfside-fla-building-collapse-2021

How I Became Obsessed With Accidental Time Travel

The web is awash with ordinary peoples’ stories of “time slips.” Their real magic is what they can tell us about our relationship to time.

#philosophy, #time

Imagination Is More Important Than You Think

Our society isn’t good at cultivating the faculty that we may need the most.

#aristotle, #empathy, #imagination, #philosophy, #plato-428-348-bc

The Resilient Beauty of Flowers

Flowers testify to life’s transience, but they are also rugged emblems of resilience.

#beauty-concept, #flowers-and-plants, #gardens-and-gardening, #philosophy, #poetry-and-poets

My Thoughts on Life After Death

Death, for all of us, is a journey interrupted.

#deaths-fatalities, #internal-sub-only, #jesus-christ, #philosophy, #religion-and-belief, #sendak-maurice

On Charles W. Mills, a Great Philosopher We Lost This Week

A tribute to Charles W. Mills.

#black-people, #charles-w-mills, #internal-sub-only, #liberalism-us-politics, #philosophy, #united-states-politics-and-government, #whites

Searching for Plato With My 7-Year-Old

In Athens with his daughter, Thomas Chatterton Williams could finally pay homage in person to the classical education his own father gave him.

#aristotle, #athens-greece, #greek-civilization, #parenting, #philosophy, #plato-428-348-bc, #socrates, #tinos-greece, #travel-and-vacations

What Psychology Tells Us About Self-Awareness

We know what we’re feeling, just not how and why we got here.

#epley-nicholas-1976, #gottlieb-lori, #memory, #philosophy, #pipher-mary, #psychology-and-psychologists, #storr-will

What Would Real Sexual Liberation Look Like?

The philosopher Amia Srinivasan explores the complex interactions among desire, love and politics.

#audio-neutral-informative, #dating-and-relationships, #philosophy, #polyamory-and-non-monogamous-relationships, #srinivasan-amia, #the-right-to-sex-feminism-in-the-twenty-first-century-book

I Can’t Stop Wondering What’s Going On Inside My Cat’s Head

How my new pets got me to consider life’s deepest mysteries.

#animal-abuse-rights-and-welfare, #animal-behavior, #animal-cognition, #animals, #artificial-intelligence, #cats, #descartes-rene, #dogs, #philosophy

The Zen of Weight Lifting

Chop wood, carry water and other lessons that apply far beyond the gym.

#anxiety-and-stress, #exercise, #health-clubs, #heart, #mental-health-and-disorders, #philosophy, #weight-lifting

What is the Lindy Effect?

A technology lawyer named Paul Skallas argues we should be gleaning more wisdom from antiquity.

#archaeology-and-anthropology, #content-type-personal-profile, #greek-civilization, #philosophy, #skallas-paul

How to Think Outside Your Brain

The days when we could do it all in our heads are over.

#brain, #education, #education-k-12, #intelligence-and-intelligence-tests-iq, #memory, #philosophy, #psychology-and-psychologists

Reading Dan Frank, Book Editor and ‘Champion of the Unexampled’

Alan Lightman, Janna Levin and others recall the editor who shaped their work and a literary genre. Plus, more reading recommendations in the Friday edition of the Science Times newsletter.

#black-holes-space, #blackburn-julia, #books-and-literature, #gleick-james, #letters, #levin-janna-1967, #lightman-alan, #philosophy, #popova-maria, #science-and-technology, #writing-and-writers, #your-feed-science

Errol Morris: What We Believe About Beliefs

What you think you know is probably wrong — and that’s putting it nicely.

#morris-errol, #philosophy

The Theory of Good Enough

Letting go of perfectionism is a formidable task.

#jigsaw-puzzles, #philosophy, #puzzles

Michel Foucault’s Ideas and the Right, Left Debate

How the right learned to love relativism and the left learned to love power.

#conservatism-us-politics, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #foucault-michel, #philosophy

A Complaint Against Liberal Modernity, and a Solution: Faith

In “The Unbroken Thread,” Sohrab Ahmari sees Western society as having overreached on freedom and lost a sense of rootedness in tradition and community.

#ahmari-sohrab, #books-and-literature, #conservatism-us-politics, #ethics-personal, #philosophy, #the-unbroken-thread-book

What Pop Stoicism Misses About Ancient Philosophy

It’s not about self-improvement. It’s about being a good member of society.

#ethics-personal, #marcus-aurelius-antoninus, #philosophy, #seneca-4-bc-ad-65, #stoicism

‘Be Kind Whenever Possible. It Is Always Possible.’

We asked readers about their life philosophies. We published a selection of their responses last weekend, and now are highlighting several more.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #philosophy

How Can I Justify Bringing New Life Into This Terrible World?

In a time of Covid-19, climate change and catastrophe, having a baby is an act of radical hope.

#arendt-hannah, #birth-control-and-family-planning, #birth-rates, #books-and-literature, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #kafka-franz, #kant-immanuel, #millennial-generation, #parenting, #philosophy

Medical School Needs a Dose of the Humanities

The horrors of Covid-19 may give proponents of the liberal arts an unexpected opening.

#books-and-literature, #colleges-and-universities, #humanities, #medical-schools, #philosophy, #washington-university, #yale-school-of-medicine

The Codes That Guide Our Lives

We asked readers what philosophies they live by. Their inspirations include Emerson, Niebuhr, deceased family members, a sign at a boat dock and a pet.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #philosophy

Opportunities Out of the Tragedies of the Pandemic

When life is disrupted by crisis, some people see opportunities — for change, action, introspection — they might not otherwise.

#brooklyn-nyc, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #frizell-st-john, #gagetollner-brooklyn-ny-restaurant, #philosophy, #psychology-and-psychologists

The Muslims Who Inspired Spinoza, Locke and Defoe

A novel written by a 12th-century Arab writer about a boy alone on an island influenced the Daniel Defoe classic ‘Robinson Crusoe.’

#books-and-literature, #freedom-of-religion, #locke-john, #mill-john-stuart, #muslims-and-islam, #philosophy, #spinoza-baruch, #translation-and-interpreters

Memes for sale

The creator of the Nyan Cat, Chris Torres, has organized an informal collection of meme originators – the creators or original popularizers of meme images — into a two-week-long auction of their works. Under the hashtag #memeconomy the creators of memes like Bad Luck Brian, Coughing Cat, Kitty Cat Dance, Scumbag Steve, Twerky Pepe and some others are finally finding a way to monetize the creation of genuine cultural phenomenons that have been used freely for decades.

They’re mostly being hosted on booming new crypto art and collectibles platform Foundation, which launched in February and has already hosted $6M in sales of over 1,000 NFTs. I have a lot to say about NFTs and can’t say them all here, but I found this project fascinating and wanted to note it. The fact is that memes are Internet art (sorry). They are unique creations that took elements of participatory and performance art and injected them into the veins of the internet. In many ways, they have millions of creators, as the original editions may have planted the seed but every use and permutation gave them additional strands of DNA, crafting their cultural importance upload by upload. They have let us express ourselves — our desire, disgust, joy and lust — when words just wouldn’t suffice.

These “originals” are made original by the act of them being minted on the blockchain by the original artists. I know, it’s a distinction that may seem slim when the same images can be had anywhere at any time, but that’s the beauty of the re-organization that is happening within all of DeFi and crypto at the moment. We are stripping out layers of commerce and communication that benefited only platforms and participants that took part in the origination and sale of art from the perspective of frameworks like the DMCA and DRM. Those relationships are being rethought. The recapture of value for works that have already been broadly distributed has been historically relegated to ‘licensing them for t-shirts’. And extremely rarely elevated to the level of fine art sale.

Now that we’re all living on the Internet, Internet art is just art. And so are memes.

That’s why it’s fascinating to see some of the people who have created things that have let so m​any of us express ourselves get paid.

One famous case of this, of course, is the Pepe and its creator Matt Furie. Though Furie’s attempts to redeem Pepe have focused on attempting to reclaim him from a legacy of racist and hateful memes, Pepe and his friends are a cool cast of characters and it would be heartening to see Furie reclaim them by minting them himself.

 

I spoke a bit to Torres about the project and why he got interested in it.

TC: Why did you decide to organize this informal schedule of meme NFTs?

Torres: The idea has always kind of been in the back of my mind since discovering the NFT universe. The idea of NFTs were always so attractive to me, a place where you can create your own original art and gain proper attribution for your work. Memes have always had a rough time on the Internet, because their creators are usually taken advantage of, and I have personally seen artists have their works stolen and monetized to the tune of millions of dollars without even proper credit. So the idea has always been down deep in my subconscious but this week things have really amped up enough to finally give me the power I need to make it happen!

TC: How did you get in contact with the creators?

Actually, they all contacted me! It’s unbelievable knowing I’m in direct contact with some fantastic iconic internet legends from the past. Some of these have existed solely as enigmas on the Internet, it’s great connecting with them. Things started with casual conversations with Bad Luck Brian, but then Trollface messaged me, then Me Gusta, then Kitty Cat Dance, then things just kept amping up.

TC: How has it felt to have your creation formally rewarded after spending so long in the cultural meme-ory?

It’s still very surreal, to be honest. The NFT community is full of very talented people with so many thoughts and ideas on how to build a better future for the crypto space. I’ve actually used this power for good this week by starting up #Memeconomy with all these talented meme creators and will be trying my hardest to get these guys the recognition they deserve.

TC: What excites you about NFTs and art?

The number one thing that’s kept me excited for NFTs is just knowing that it’s a perfect way to empower artists to take ownership of their own works. I’ve been hanging out in the Clubhouse chats, reading everything I can on Twitter, and just have been losing sleep being so enthralled by it all. Every day I wake up and there’s a new meta of NFTs out there. It’s cool to see all this artistic knowledge evolving in real time. I absolutely live off that energy, and it’s inspired me to be more creative than ever.

The world of NFTs is complex and fascinating and deserves a deeper look that looks at the economic, ecological and technical aspects. We’ve already hosted and written about various projects in the space. Stay tuned for more.

 

#articles, #energy, #meme, #nyan-cat, #philosophy, #steve, #tc, #viral-videos

Is This the End of French Intellectual Life?

The country’s culture of argument has come under the sway of a more ideological, more identity-focused model imported from the United States.

#books-and-literature, #france, #magazines, #philosophy, #politics-and-government

How to Reach People Who Are Wrong

In the post-Trump era, research suggests the best ways to win people over.

#books-and-literature, #conservatism-us-politics, #democratic-party, #grant-adam-m, #intelligence-and-intelligence-tests-iq, #liberalism-us-politics, #north-america, #philosophy, #republican-party, #united-states, #united-states-politics-and-government