Tuesday, August 29, 2006

why ive set up this blog

Its pretty much to improve my writing skills and have the odd preachy rant; instead of subjecting my flatmates to it instead.

Recommended Reading

Anything by Fritjof Capra. Im reading his most recent 'the hidden connections' at the moment, but 'the turning point' and 'tao of physics' are excellent also!!

Some of my favourite quotes

'We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started, and know the place for the first time. ' - T.S. Eliot

'In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is stoned to death.'
- Joan D. Vinge

'The world is governed more by appearances than realities, so that it is fully as necessary to seem to know something as to know it.'
Daniel Webster (1782 - 1852

'In America, through pressure of conformity, there is freedom of choice, but nothing to choose from.'
Peter Ustinov (1921 - 2004)

'The only way to make a man trustworthy is to trust him.'
Henry Stimson

'Men have become the tools of their tools. '
Henry David Thoreau (1817 - 1862)

'Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language. '
Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889 - 1951)

'Do not ask me who I am, and do not ask me to remain the same'
Michel Foucault

Ever felt mentally frozen, well it might just be information overload!!

"At a certain stage, people will be confronted with more information than they effectively can process: this situation we may call information overload (Berghel, 1997; Kirsh, 2000). This means that part of that information will be ignored, forgotten, distorted or otherwise lost. The problem is that we cannot say which part that is: the only way to tell is to compare the information that eventually got processed with the information that we initially got subjected to; yet by our assumption, the latter is too large for us to consider. By definition, the separation between the information that is processed and the one that is not, happens in an only partially conscious, haphazard way, as consciously rejecting information requires processing it. The result is that an individual in a situation of information overload will not only miss out on potentially important information, but moreover be aware that something is missing, while not knowing precisely what is missing and thus feeling a loss of control (Wurman, 1990). Frantic efforts to compensate for the missing data by garnering additional information are self-defeating, as they will merely further bring into focus the intrinsic limitations of the human capacity for cognition. Although from a theoretical point of view the existence of such hard-wired limitations is obvious, in practical situations it is very difficult to estimate precisely how much information a given individual can assimilate. Incorrect estimates will lead either to misplaced confidence, as when a person believes that he or she is well-informed but actually has overlooked some crucial pieces of the puzzle, or to feelings of guilt or shame, as when people know that they cannot cope with the situation, but believe it is because they haven’t researched it hard enough or are too stupid. As Csikszentmihalyi (1990) has studied extensively, a basic condition for well-being is that the challenges of the situation match a person’s skills; whenever the challenges become higher than the skills, well-being is replaced by anxiety and loss of control."

its human nature right?

annoyance no 1

Peoples inability to separate institutionalised and socialised behaviour from whats 'human nature'.

Why its a problem.

Because so much crap is justified on the grounds that its 'human nature'. I.e Greed, bitchiness and gossiping, excessive competitiveness etc. It means no-one feels they have to change their ways or try to rise above the 'ego'. Its a problem because it creates alot of unnecessary conditions of sadness, hurt, violence. In otherwards its at root of many of our social problems.