Curiosity Over Pride (FYI: To comment, send an e-mail to

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hints of Future Posts

Robert Wright talks on optimism at the 2006 TED conference.

I thought Cotton might particularly enjoy the notion of a moral revolution.



Dink said...

"We've come to far to screw it up now"

SNORT! I loved the low-key humor he used.

So to tie together this and Deb's nearly simultaneous posts, I don't know if I'm capable of the abstract leap to postively correlate my self-interest with the self-interest of those on death row.

The correlation to various degrees of strangers is abstract and takes a certain building of logic over time. And for people to make that logic journey requires certain conditions (Maslow's hierarchy of needs such as safety, consistant nutrition, parental ego-creation, etc.). So we have 6+ billion of us in different stages of that logic journey. Daunting.

When people say human life is precious, I secretly always want to ask "In what context?". In the context of our species resulted, through of series of unlikely events, from stardust to creators of the internet? Sure, that's amazing. In the context that individuals of our species aren't plentiful and easy to replace? Mmmm, not as such.

(Short on time now, looking forward to reading other's comments later.)

Debra said...

I ALMOST got all the way through Robert Wright's presentation before my daughter's download kicked in and the sound went kaput.
He may be TALKING about optimism, but he LOOKS really depressed...
I don't believe in ANY form of progress in history...
THAT ONE, he is taking on FAITH.
I suppose it all depends on what you believe in, right ?

Cottonbloggin said...

I'm most certainly not an evangelical Christian, so I'm most decidedly NOT looking for a moral revolution. I'm looking for a personal / political revolution, since those are the platforms which--if changed-- create the foundation for a moral re-evaluation.

nitpicky... but I've learned to split hairs with the best of them, and pay attention to seemingly insignificant details.

so on the topic of details, I have to say that very little of the presentation was original. I don't see him advocating for anything other than the "golden rule" of treat your neighbor the way you'd like to be treated, even though he did do a good job of dressing it up for a modern audience.

Though it is always good to hear one say these things.

yoyomo said...

An offering from the esteemed Mr.Wright for your perusal.

In the spirit of your 1% and 99% walnut shells here is an offering from under each:

99% Shell

One Percent Shell

And in case you ever wondered where I picked it up, here is the secret source of my sarcastic charm. It's also a good source of factual info even if one doesn't always share the same conclusion.

yoyomo said...

Oh, I forgot. The last three links contradict Mr.Wright's causes for optimism.

Thai said...

Yo, not really.

@Deb- is there a diagnosis category known as "Semitic OCD"?

Considering what happened in the Holocaust museum today, I am begining to wonder.

... In the mean time, please stay tuned).

The need to get agreement on the basics has made me realize that the slow spiral toward my "fractal game" may take a while (work is crazy, blogging sometimes needs to take backseat to fatherhood, etc...).

Slowly I hope to get into how closed systems, the conservation of risk, time dilation, evolution, faith, religion, fractals are all related to that favorite subject of mine: teams and cooperation. For complexity is nothing but a fancy term word cooperation.

... Which reminds me, I just watched (again) Remember the Titans.

If you have never watched it, you should. It is the classic Hollywood in every good sense of the word. Indeed, I think it would make even Johnny Wooden proud.

Debra said...

Thai : link, please stay tuned.
You know, rather regularly on my FORUM which I have already spoken about here, there are little science posts with "research" like this.
I have taken to modifying the word "scientific" to read "chiantifique", perhaps Cotton will enlighten us. Or SS.
Personally I can SEE the following scenario in my head : Junior (19-30) is having a good time. He has JUST got his own place for the FIRST time in his life (if he has poor or very understanding parents, he MAY be living at home, or in an apartment that Mommy and Daddy are paying rent on).
When the dishes pile up over a period, of, say, a week, it really doesn't bother him too much. And besides, WHAT dishes ? He eats out a lot, goes to takeout places, so he keeps the dishes at a minimum. All in all, he spends very little time HOME. It's not really a place that he understands (yet).
When he hits 30 or so, this little scenario, endlessly repeated, starts losing some of its charm. And after a while, he gets REALLY REALLY tired of it. So... what does he do ? I'm not sure he starts thinking about anything, Thai, as our society is extremely ingenious at inducing us NOT TO THINK IN WAYS THAT COUNT. It encourages us to think in ways that are evident in your link...
He confusedly feels that it is time to settle down. Find some "permanent" companionship. Like Mom and Dad. Or... UNLIKE Mom and Dad if they didn't do it to his satisfaction.
How does that sound for a story line ?

yoyomo said...

I seriously doubt anything written by Robert Wright inspired anyone to violence; to the contrary.

Dink said...

So Yo, its time for you to go. As SS correctly foresaw, it was actually time for you to go a few days ago. So do not post here anymore.

There actually is a way to make the blog private, but I would prefer not to make the effort.

The Wooden link didn't go through....

"our society is extremely ingenious at inducing us NOT TO THINK IN WAYS THAT COUNT"

Perhaps just good ol' human nature? We limit ourselves to the known?

Thai said...

His "farewell talk" at the TED conference.

Just type John Wooden UCLA Basketball coach into Google video and tons of stuff will come up.

He was the greatest basketball coach of all time anywhere (I think there is no disagreement on this issue). The man understood teams/cooperation as well as anyone who has ever lived on this planet.

The Most Fabulous Objects In The World

  • Hitchhiker's Guide To The Universe trilogy
  • Lord of the Rings trilogy
  • Flight of the Conchords
  • Time Bandits