Archive for the ‘philosophy’ Category

Thinkers Live in Tents

People who are opinionated and closed minded (sometimes euphemistically characterized as being "strong in their convictions") live in castles. Interested only in the defense of their opinions, they throw up walls and embattlements from which to protect and defend their firmly entrenched beliefs against attack. Castles by their very nature, while good for defense, are set in stone and cannot move, which is just fine with the opinionated person.

In contrast, good critical thinkers live in tents. Interested only in moving their opinions as close to the truth as possible, they must be able to pull up tent stakes and relocate as new arguments and new evidence cause them to reconsider their opinions. Tents by their very nature are not defensible, but that's fine. The critical thinker doesn't regard a criticism or disagreement as an attack to be defended against, but rather as a helpful tip that suggests a better campsite just over the next hill.>


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Posted: November 8th, 2010
at 1:17pm by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: life,"ninja",development,philosophy

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Secrets of the Centenarians

My ninja, please! Most ninjas don’t make it this far… but the elders live far past 100. But, seriously, this is an interesting photo essay/article/interblog from the NYT profiling some venerable old human beings. If you get the chance to take a peek, say in the next 100 years, you will be amazed, astounded, and regaled.

OK, maybe not. But I thought it was interesting.A Here’s the link: click me.

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Posted: October 25th, 2010
at 11:55am by Black Ock

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Categories: life,weaponry,9th dan,health,philosophy

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Stephen Fry : What I’d Wish I’d Known When I Was 18

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The Counterintuitive World

Back during World War II, the RAF lost a lot of planes to German anti-aircraft fire. So they decided to armor them up. But where to put the armor? The obvious answer was to look at planes that returned from missions, count up all the bullet holes in various places, and then put extra armor in the areas that attracted the most fire.

Obvious but wrong. As Hungarian-born mathematician Abraham Wald explained at the time, if a plane makes it back safely even though it has, say, a bunch of bullet holes in its wings, it means that bullet holes in the wings aren’t very dangerous. What you really want to do is armor up the areas that, on average,Adon’t have any bullet holes.AWhy? Because planes with bullet holes in those places never made it back. That’s why you don’t see any bullet holes there on the ones that do return. Clever!

On a related note a related because it involves both an air force and some counterintuitive statistical reasoning a Henry Farrell writes about a passage from Justin Fox’sAMyth of the Rational Market involving the great behavioral economist Daniel Kahneman. Here is Kahneman reacting to an Israeli Air Force flight instructor who told him that whenever he chewed out a student he got better performance the next time out,Abut whenever he praised a student he got worse performance:

As a man trained in statistics, Kahneman saw thatAof course a student who had just brilliantly executed a maneuver (and was thus praised for it) was less likely to perform better the next time around than a student who had just screwed up. Abnormally good or bad performance is just that a abnormal, which means it is unlikely to be immediately repeated. But Kahneman could also see how the instructor had come to his conclusion that punishment worked. "Because we tend to reward others when they do well and punish them when they do badly, and because there is regression to the mean," he later lamented, "it is part of the human condition that we are statistically punished for rewarding others and rewarded for punishing them.">

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Posted: October 11th, 2010
at 8:24am by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: weaponry,science,philosophy

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Who Got that Vocab?!

just-world phenomenon

The just-world phenomenon, also called the just-world theory, just-world fallacy, just-world effect, or just-world hypothesis, refers to the tendency for people to want to believe that the world is just so strongly that when they witness an otherwise inexplicable injustice they will rationalize it by searching for things that the victim might have done to deserve it. This deflects their anxiety, and lets them continue to believe the world is a just place, but often at the expense of blaming victims for things that were not, objectively, their fault.

Another theory entails the need to protect one’s own sense of invulnerability. This inspires people to believe that rape, for example, only happens to those who deserve or provoke the assault. This is a way of feeling safer. If the potential victim avoids the behaviors of the past victims then they themselves will remain safe and feel less vulnerable. (Wikipedia)

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Posted: September 20th, 2010
at 8:42am by Black Ock

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Categories: not ninja-worthy,who got that vocab?!,philosophy,ethics

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Wildman at Work

Ultimately, in the argument about work and how it should be done, one has only one's pleasures to offer. It is possible … to be in one's place, in such company, wild or domestic, and with such pleasure, that one cannot think of another place that one would prefer to bea€" or of another place at all. One does not miss or regret the past, or fear or long for the future. Being there is simply all, and is enough. Such times give one the chief standard and the chief reason for one's work. -AWendell Berry, "Economy and Pleasure" (Continue reading the article by clicking the link below)>

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Posted: July 14th, 2010
at 7:45pm by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: art,green,web,politricks,et cetera,philosophy,ethics

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A Transumer Manifesto

The manifesto says that ownership is a last resort, a tradeoff, always looks better in hindsight and experiences provide more lasting happiness than material possessions. What do you you think?>

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Posted: July 2nd, 2010
at 12:47am by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: myninjaplease,life,too good to be true,green,business,philosophy,trade

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Talking to Yourself is Good?

Two things. First, in giving words to (or writing onto paper) an issue and adding the clarity and clarifications required to make something understandable to someone else has the same impact on your other-than-conscious. You may think that you're being clear about an issue in your head, but you rarely are. You're more likely to be half articulating the issue and then immediately looping into theA same consciously derived result you keep on getting which is failing to remove the problem or blocker.

And this is the second point. By talking to yourself (again, words or paper is good - words may be better because of how unusual you may experience the sensation), your conscious brain gives a clear set of instructions to your other-than-conscious brain. You ask yourself the question and often answer it very quickly yourself because the totality of your resources (conscious and unconscious) are now engaged to a common endeavour (and in most cases, you knew the answer to the problem: it just needed unlocking by you being clear with yourself)>

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Posted: June 29th, 2010
at 5:11pm by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: life,weaponry,fo' real?,science,boredom killer,philosophy

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Science Historian Cracks The Plato Code

Plato was the Einstein of Greece's Golden Age and his work founded Western culture and science. Dr Jay Kennedy's findings are set to revolutionise the history of the origins of Western thought.

Dr Kennedy, whose findings are published in the leading US journalAApeiron, reveals that Plato used a regular pattern of symbols, inherited from the ancient followers of Pythagoras, to give his books a musical structure. A century earlier, Pythagoras had declared that the planets and stars made an inaudible music, a 'harmony of the spheres'. Plato imitated this hidden music in his books.

The hidden codes show that Plato anticipated the Scientific Revolution 2,000 years before Isaac Newton, discovering its most important idea - the book of nature is written in the language of mathematics. The decoded messages also open up a surprising way to unite science and religion. The awe and beauty we feel in nature, Plato says, shows that it is divine; discovering the scientific order of nature is getting closer to God. This could transform today's culture wars between science and religion.

"Plato's books played a major role in founding Western culture but they are mysterious and end in riddles," Dr Kennedy, at Manchester's Faculty of Life Sciences explains.

"In antiquity, many of his followers said the books contained hidden layers of meaning and secret codes, but this was rejected by modern scholars.

"It is a long and exciting story, but basically I cracked the code. I have shown rigorously that the books do contain codes and symbols and that unraveling them reveals the hidden philosophy of Plato.

"This is a true discovery, not simply reinterpretation."

This will transform the early history of Western thought, and especially the histories of ancient science, mathematics, music, and philosophy.

Dr Kennedy spent five years studying Plato's writing and found that in his best-known work theARepublic he placed clusters of words related to music after each twelfth of the text - at one-twelfth, two-twelfths, etc. This regular pattern represented the twelve notes of a Greek musical scale. Some notes were harmonic, others dissonant. At the locations of the harmonic notes he described sounds associated with love or laughter, while the locations of dissonant notes were marked with screeching sounds or war or death. This musical code was key to cracking Plato's entire symbolic system.

Dr Kennedy, a researcher in the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, says: "As we read his books, our emotions follow the ups and downs of a musical scale. Plato plays his readers like musical instruments.">

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Posted: June 29th, 2010
at 2:35pm by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: hood status,myninjaplease,music,9th dan,science,philosophy,security,language

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