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Speck. Splinter. Smithereen. (One)

Explosions, bouts and squirts of creativity are treasures whenever, everywhere. In 2022, I am trying an experiment. I intend to write down every neural ping, zig and zag. At the end of every week, I am going to publish a batch of these aphorisms and bits of inspiration, and by so doing, explore the parts of my brain where the map says 'There be dragons'.

I advise caution. Treasures they may be, however implausibly, but treasures too are often haunted or cursed.


Glue is the glue that holds glue together.

The foremost ethical imperative is to keep writing essays about ethics.

Creative writing is a socially acceptable exercise in multiple personality disorder.

It's often said that what authority figures fear most is critical thinking, because it jams the wheels of obedience. That's not necessarily true. If critical thinking is applied selectively, if some things are relentlessly questioned and doubted, but not others, then critical thinking can be a great boon to conformism. Perhaps what a dictator or a cult leader would fear more is the combination of critical thinking and humbleness. Not just the predisposition to question, but the humbleness to doubt oneself and one's saints every day.

In developing abstract intelligence, nature went gradually from information circuits processing very concrete tasks (such as retreating from a pain stimulus) to very abstract ones, like the ability to do math. In AI, we have gone exactly the opposite direction. Waterbears don't seem to do much of either and they will likely outlive us all. Perhaps intelligence is where we went wrong.

There is a saying in tech that "being late is as good as being wrong". I have found that this excuse doesn't work when you're running late for a birthday party. It also doesn't work well for a funeral eulogy.

There is no force in our society that does more damage than bullshit. It supports entire structures of pointless occupations and anti-human practices, malicious activities and facetious busywork. But worse, it holds resources away from good work that helps people, and resists systemic change towards improvement for less bullshit, because bullshit is self-fuelling. It holds us back from addressing problems as diverse as inequality, purposelessness and nature destruction. It props up corrupt religious institutions and cruel oligarchs. Sooner or later, many human problems can be traced back to the low-effort, low-grade evil, low-quality dishonest mental numbness that is bullshitting.

I'm not so much into tech as I am into people. It's just that the tech keeps being in the way.

Things so arcane that only 15 people in the world care about or understand them are the only things worth arguing about.


Thumbnail Image: Kylaborg

The Ferridge

Wry writer and profligate pixelsmith

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