Imagination

 “Some people permit themselves to become, in a sense, hypnotized into thinking that their imaginings are actualities.” 


“Good, bad or indifferent - the things you repeatedly imagine in vivid detail are accepted as real by your mind.”


“If memory is set up to use the past to imagine the future, its flexibility creates a vulnerability - a risk of confusing imagination with reality.”


credit: https://www.quora.com/What-knowledge-does-the-wealthy-10-percent-understand-that-the-other-90-percent-are-missing

Free will

“The basic case against free will is this. And again it’s the obverse of self. It’s the other side of the coin where you feel like you’re a thinker of thoughts. You feel like the author of intentions. You feel like you are subject. And commensurate with that feeling is you are in a position to do to decide to, I can lift my left hand, I can lift my right hand. And I can deliberate between the two. And I can have reasons for one and reasons for the other. And I’m in the drivers seat, I really am. And so that’s where everyone’s starting. The problem with that: objectively, everything we know you’re consciously aware of, all your thoughts, intentions, impulses, and your impulses to resist those impulses however whatever’s coming up for you. We know that’s all  proceeded by events in your nervous system of which you’re not aware. Of which you didn’t create. And the state of your brain in this moment. Every sense is the product of variables that you are not responsible for. You didn’t pick your parents. You didn’t pick your genes. You didn’t sculpt your genes. You didn’t pick the environment in which your genome was going to be expressed. You didn’t pick the way your interaction with the world, the way people sculpted by the microstructure of your brain so it is to give you the brain you have. You didn’t pick the number of receptors of every type of every synapse you didn’t pick the charges that are currently in place in your brain.“


Credit:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=aAnlBW5INYg

consciousness

“If you accept the irreducible existence of consciousness you’re giving up on science, you’re giving up on 300 years of human progress and human hope and all the rest of it.”

“consciousness is a biological phenomenon like photosynthesis, digestion, mitosis, you know all the biological phenomenon — and once you accept that, most, though not all, of the hard problems about consciousness simply evaporate.”

“Consiousness has to become accepted as a genuine biological phenomenon, as much subject to scientific analysis as any other phenomenon in biology, or for that matter, the rest of science”

“You cannot doubt the existence of your own consiousness.” — Decarte

“Consciousness is real and irreducible”

Mind-body problem: All of our consious states without acception, are caused by lower-level neurobiological processes in the brain, and they are realized in the brain as higher-level or system features.

Religious dualist: “ consiousness is not a part of the physical world. It’s a part of the spiritual world. It belongs to the soul. and the soul is not a part of the physical world. That’s the tradition of god, the soul and immortality.

Scientific materialists: “consiousness is not a part of the physical world. Either it doesn’t exist at all or it’s something else. A computer program or some damn fool thing, but in any case it’s not part of science.”

“There’s a sequence of neuron firings and they terminate where the acetylcholine is secreted at the axon end-plates of the motor neurons. When it’s secreted at the axon end-plates of the motor neurons, a whole lot of wonderful things happen in the ion channels.”

https://www.ted.com/talks/john_searle_our_shared_condition_consciousness#t-431650

“For the first time, we have found a connection between the brainstem region involved in arousal and regions involved in awareness, two prerequisites for consciousness.”

https://www.sciencealert.com/harvard-scientists-think-they-ve-pinpointed-the-neural-source-of-consciousness


“All of our conscious states without exception, are caused by lower-level neurobiological processes in the brain, and they are realized in the brain as higher-level or system features.”

 

“Many people are "materialists" which means they follow a philosophy that there is nothing supernatural to mind and consciousness. That they are products of matter and energy like everything else in the Universe. Further materialists believe that mind and consciousness are evolved properties of our biological systems.”

https://www.quora.com/Will-human-consciousness-ever-be-transferable-to-a-new-body-or-a-machine-e-g-a-robot-cyborg-computer-or-avatar-Can-you-transfer-your-own-consciousness-and-memory-and-leave-your-biological-body-without-creating-two-selves

Death

“I’ve always had this really strong sense that death was a terrible, terrible thing. I think that’s somewhat unusual. Most people end up compartmentalizing, and they are in some weird mode of denial and acceptance about death. I prefer to fight it.” — Peter Thiel in a Washington Post interview

“People say at 30, oh I only want to live to 90 but when they’re 90 they actually realize they maybe want to live to 91.”  — credit: Ray Kurzweil in an unknown YouTube video

“I want to live forever for the same reason I want to wake up tomorrow.” — credit: Ray Kurzweil in an unknown YouTube video

“Well I do have existential worries and I think I like anybody else am concerned about death its its its death in some ways unacceptable it’s just an astonishing fact of our being here that we die but I think worse than that if we live long enough we lose everyone we love in this world. People die and disappear and we are left with this stark mystery uh just the sheer not knowing of what happened to them.” — Sam Harris from a Big Think video

“..humans are selfish, they hate losing things. Death is seen as a loss of life, of opportunities, abilities, and talents. Its a loss of what was, what will be, and what would have been. Its a loss of experiences, memories, and most importantly, opinions. It is also an inevitable reminder that we’re mortal, not the invincible, powerful demi-gods some of us think we are (especially some teenagers). Its a reminder that we have limited time, and no one likes to feel they’re rushed.” — pulled a comment from Quora

“In short, death is the utter end of everything we know, the absence of everything we have, and a persistent reminder of how short life is, that is why it isn’t approved of by the majority of society.” — pulled a comment from Quora

“Because humans are selfish, they hate losing things. Death is seen as a loss of life, of opportunities, abilities, and talents. Its a loss of what was, what will be, and what would have been. Its a loss of experiences, memories, and most importantly, opinions. It is also an inevitable reminder that we’re mortal, not the invincible, powerful demi-gods some of us think we are (especially some teenagers). Its a reminder that we have limited time, and no one likes to feel they’re rushed.” — pulled a comment from Quora

In short, death is the utter end of everything we know, the absence of everything we have, and a persistent reminder of how short life is, that is why it isn’t approved of by the majority of society.” — pulled a comment from Quora

“I’m not arguing that consciousness is a reality beyond science or beyond the brain that it floats free of the brain at death I’m not I’m not making any spooky claims about its metaphysics” — — Sam Harris from a Big Think video

“Death is awful, and we need to get rid of it sooner rather than later. We need to lose this idea that not wanting to die is somehow crazy or deviant. Not wanting to die is actually one of the most rational beliefs a person can have.”


”We’re born only knowing life. I get that. However, I take another view because I’ve been asked, if you could live forever would you? Ok sure, that’s an attractive idea. But the way I look at it is, it is the knowledge that I am going to die that creates the focus that I bring to being alive. The urgency of accomplishment. The need to express love now not later. If we live forever, why ever get out of bed in the morning because you always have tomorrow. That’s not the kind of life I want to lead.”

“I fear living a life where I could have accomplished something and didn’t. That’s what I fear.”

Identity

there is no true fact of the matter about who is the “real” continuation of the original person, what matters is at most psychological connectedness.


 

Hope & Courage


“Because everybody had been told there’s nothing you can do, nobody had tried to do anything and paradoxically that might mean there’s a surprising amount you could if you just tried” - Peter Thiel


“Malcom Gladwell has a book the wisdom of crowds and I think one always has to contrast this with the madness of crowds. And the question of when is the crowd wise and when is it insane.”


“Contrarians are often wrong. But when they’re right, they’re often very right.”


“It’s not that people think your wrong, it’s that they aren’t even thinking about it”


Credit: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rVBRUyQya8Y


Afterlife

“Today!

People TODAY have a disrupted relationship with death. To “blame” for that is our scientific progress.

To believe in an afterlife has now rather become a choice than a commonly shared fact.

But for most of mankinds history it has been the other way around and death was seen as something natural, logical, approvable, as only the next step, not the end of all. It has often even been something to look forward to after a hard, difficult life as in “rest in peace”.

Now that all changed and for many people the end of their individual self for good has become rather a scary thing. They fear their ultimate end. They of course don’t approve.” — credit: pulled a quote from a comment on Quora

“In life, the human body comprises matter and energy. That energy is both electrical (impulses and signals) and chemical (reactions). The same can be said about plants, which are powered by photosynthesis, a process that allows them to generate energy from sunlight.

The process of energy generation is much more complex in humans, though. Remarkably, at any given moment, roughly 20 watts of energy course through your body — enough to power a light bulb — and this energy is acquired in a plethora of ways. Mostly, we get it through the consumption of food, which gives us chemical energy. That chemical energy is then transformed into kinetic energy that is ultimately used to power our muscles.

A Changed State

As we know through thermodynamics, energy cannot be created nor destroyed. It simply changes states. The total amount of energy in an isolated system does not, cannot, change. And thanks to Einstein, we also know that matter and energy are two rungs on the same ladder.

The universe as a whole is closed.

However, human bodies (and other ecosystems) are not closed — they’re open systems. We exchange energy with our surroundings. We can gain energy (again, through chemical processes), and we can lose it (by expelling waste or emitting heat).

In death, the collection of atoms of which you are composed (a universe within the universe) are repurposed. Those atoms and that energy, which originated during the Big Bang, will always be around.

Therefore, your “light,” that is, the essence of your energy — not to be confused with your actual consciousness — will continue to echo throughout space until the end of time..

If nothing else can assuage some of the fear of death, the below advice from physicist Aaron Freemen via NPR should do it:

You want a physicist to speak at your funeral. You want the physicist to talk to your grieving family about the conservation of energy, so they will understand that your energy has not died. You want the physicist to remind your sobbing mother about the first law of thermodynamics; that no energy gets created in the universe, and none is destroyed.

You want your mother to know that all your energy, every vibration, every Btu of heat, every wave of every particle that was her beloved child remains with her in this world. You want the physicist to tell your weeping father that amid energies of the cosmos, you gave as good as you got.

And at one point you’d hope that the physicist would step down from the pulpit and walk to your brokenhearted spouse there in the pew and tell him that all the photons that ever bounced off your face, all the particles whose paths were interrupted by your smile, by the touch of your hair, hundreds of trillions of particles, have raced off like children, their ways forever changed by you.

And as your widow rocks in the arms of a loving family, may the physicist let her know that all the photons that bounced from you were gathered in the particle detectors that are her eyes, that those photons created within her constellations of electromagnetically charged neurons whose energy will go on forever.

You can hope your family will examine the evidence and satisfy themselves that the science is sound and that they’ll be comforted to know your energy’s still around. According to the law of the conservation of energy, not a bit of you is gone; you’re just less orderly.” — credit: pulled a comment from Quora

Conspiracies

“Even if you’re not doing anything wrong, you’re being watched and recorded. And the storage capability of these systems increases every year consistently by orders of magnitude. Where it’s getting to the point where you won’t have to have done anything wrong you simply have to eventually fall under suspicion from somebody even by a wrong call. And then they can use the system to go back in time and scrutinized every decision you’ve ever made, every friend you’ve ever discussed something with and attack you on that basis sort of derive suspicion from an innocent life and paint anyone in the context of a wrong doer.” — Edward Snowden in YouTube video “NSA whistleblower” in the Guardian

“So essentially Charlie was selling bitcoins to a guy who was selling bitcoins to people who were putting drugs into their own bodies um and for this Charlie was charged with crimes that could’ve put him in jail for 20 years, what the prosecutors were shooting for.

We have banks that have ATM’s on each street corner in America and those banks know very well that cash is getting used for drugs and yet, that’s fine. They’re aloud to do that no one gets in trouble but Charlie sells bitcoin to a guy who sells bitcoin to someone who uses drugs and he goes to jail. He was an entrepreneur that started building this industry, built services that people found useful when bankers almost destroyed the world economy and none of them got in trouble whatsoever. And here we have this 23 year old kid he goes to jail because he started building an alternative.”

Ben Lawsky created this thing called a Bit license which is New York’s attempt to regulate this scary new technology. It’s now a law. And He has announced that he is leaving uh Government in order to set up his own private consulting firm to help companies navigate financial regulations such as the Bit license that he created. So we essentially had this beautiful new ecosystem being built, and Ben Lawsky comes by, says “I’m here to protect consumers. He builds a huge wall around the thing and then he sits outside the gate charging people to get in. This is the very definition of crony capitalism. And, for some reason Ben Lawsky even see anything wrong with that. I think history will not judge him as favorably as he thinks.

Ben Lawsky’s team at the DFS that was working on this bit license, bitcoin initiative have all ended up leaving the agency and going to consulting firms that are now working on these issues.

“There’s faking it till you make it… and then there’s committing fraud”

Entrepreneurship

“So I assessed my skills and I couldn’t really find much. I wasn’t really good great at school or finance or biology I didn’t really have any skills in of note so I figured you know what I do have is I’m persistent, I’m determined, and I’m smart enough that I can figure stuff out on the fly and so entrepreneurship seemed like a good path for me.” — credit: Bryan Johnson from a podcast interview with Tim Ferris

“A founder gets an idea >> builds the solution >>tries to sell it >> nobody buys the solution >> the founder runs out of money >> the startup dies.” https://medium.com/swlh/why-90-of-startups-fail-and-what-to-do-about-it-b0af17b65059

”I studied during that time a lot about science and technology and the realization that I came to is that the reason that our time and place is so unique in arch of humanity is we literally now have the tools to build the kind of world we can dream of so. If you take computer software, and biology, genomics, ai, virtual reality, and 3d printing we can literally program our existence. So I think of the time of da Vinci where had his great sketchbooks where he designed a flying machine and these really amazing ideas but he couldn’t build it he didn’t have the tools. We can literally build anything today and so as I realized that I thought this is like one of the biggest moments in the history of mankind or humankind how how do we the biggest question for me was what kind of world are we going to build?” — credit: Bryan Johnson from a podcast interview with Tim Ferris

“I would walk them through my pitch book and say here are the providers here’s what they do what I do I’m the same as everyone else except with me you get honesty, transparency, and great customer support” .. “Taking the potential objection,, and putting it right up front which was I’m the same as every other guy same product, different label except for this which was the relationship base” .. “I’m not sure if this is the right system. If your using this type system, this type system, this type system, and I would take all the potential weaknesses and put them right up front” — credit: pulled from an interview between Tim Ferris, and Bryan Johnson

The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won’t make a search engine. And the next Mark Zuckerberg won’t create a social network. If you are copying these guys, you aren’t learning from them. It’s easier to copy a model than to make something new: doing what we already know how to do takes the world from 1 to n, adding more of something familiar. But every time we create something new, we go from 0 to 1. The act of creation is singular, as is the moment of creation, and the result is something fresh and strange.” Peter Thiel, Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

“ambitious people should strive to create new things in the world that have the potential to move humanity forward by an order of magnitude. We should be creating one of something, where there was a zero before — as opposed to going from 1 to n (or more aptly, from n-1 to n). The highlighted examples of going from 0 to 1 include Google, Facebook, SpaceX, and Paypal. Examples of going from n-1 to n include the myriad of clean-tech companies have started in recent years, as well as restaurants, consultancies and law firms…the world (and especially the USA) is stuck in a cycle of n-1 to n thinking, which is based on its particular outlook on the future…the world’s attitudes toward the future into four categories, along two axes — indeterminate vs. determinate and optimism vs. pessimism. A determinate outlook says that we can affect how the future turns out, while an indeterminate outlook says that things are more or less left to fate. You can be either optimistic or pessimistic about either of those views..Since the 1980s,.., America has been stuck in a malaise of indeterminate optimism — we still feel that the future will be better than the present, but we have no idea how it’s going to happen.” Peter Thiel, Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

“Even in engineering-driven Silicon Valley, the buzzwords of the moment call for building a “lean startup” that can “adapt” and “evolve” to an ever-changing environment. Would-be entrepreneurs are told that nothing can be known in advance: we’re supposed to listen to what customers say they want, make nothing more than a “minimum viable product,” and iterate our way to success. But leanness is a methodology, not a goal. Making small changes to things that already exist might lead you to a local maximum, but it won’t help you find the global maximum. You could build the best version of an app that lets people order toilet paper from their iPhone. But iteration without a bold plan won’t take you from 0 to 1. A company is the strangest place of all for an indefinite optimist: why should you expect your own business to succeed without a plan to make it happen? Darwinism may be a fine theory in other contexts, but in startups, intelligent design works best.” Peter Thiel, Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

“All happy companies are different: Each one earns a monopoly by solving a unique problem. All failed companies are the same: They failed to escape competition.”

“as a business, you should strive for monopoly.. competition is very overrated. We live in a world where we’re always told to compete intensely. It’s how we’re educated. It’s how so much of our system is organized. I think that if you want to compete super intensely, you should open a restaurant in DC. There’ll be competition — but you won’t make any money or do anything.

Competition makes us better at that which we’re competing on, but it narrows our focus to beating the people around us. It distracts us from things that are more valuable or more important or more meaningful.”

“In business, you do have to think about money to some extent. If you weren’t thinking about that at all, then things would go wrong in fairly fast order. But I find that companies that are simply mercenary are quite uninspiring…I think a lot of meaning comes from a counterfactual sense that if we weren’t working on something, this problem would not get solved. That’s why I always differentiate between mission-oriented companies and social entrepreneurship. They both have a sense of doing something that transcends making money, but mission-oriented companies are often defined by a unique mission that maybe others don’t think is important, whereas a lot of the social entrepreneurship efforts gravitate towards things where you have many copycats doing relatively similar things.”

“I suppose, but I’m not trying to get more people to be entrepreneurs. I would like people to start more good companies and fewer bad companies. I think that’s the thing. I don’t think starting companies or starting startups is an end in itself. — Vox interview

“I believe in the ecosystem of solutions. So like I think that people working in apps and games and uh acting any profession we’re all equal contributors. Because innovations made in one area go to other areas. So I try not to ever single out any particular area as being or just fine with the other. We’re in this broad ecosystem of creation.”

“No so in 8th grade I remember I had these good friends in my neighborhood we were best buddies and I was annoyed because at school there were these cliques forming of jocks and stoners and nerds like these typical things how people organize themselves and they have these in group characteristics where they would conform with each others behaviors and say similar things and I was bothered because I wanted to be friends with everyone and so I did this like scrappy big data analysis where I went out and I evaluated all the different groups and the power structure within groups because there’s always people within the groups who allow new members to join the group and so I would befriend these people and I would say look I come in peace and I just want to be friends I have no agenda here and I became friends I think honestly with everyone in the whole school I just loved having friends and I loved to dance between the different groups because they saw the world so differently right it wasn’t just this this mono understanding of the world and so um I really enjoyed maintaining friendships and that was my first experience in in learning like social dynamics because it wasn’t natural for me I wasn’t good looking, I didn’t uh have expensive clothes, my parents we actually did had very little money, I wasn’t funny, I wasn’t witty, I wasn’t necessarily super smart so I didn’t have the natural things that get you entrance into that kind of club..I just took an interest in them I wanted to understand how they looked at the world what they experience, what they like, what they dislike, I just was uhm sincere, and I’ve I’ve always was have been curious, and so no I did not try to become like them, I just wanted to be friends and understand them.”

Hope to be the 10% of startups that succeed because

We focus more on the customers, less on the building

We have a high degree of focus

We understand the founder does not like working on the business alone

We know when to scale on-time

Living standard

“When you’re surviving, you can’t dream.”

There is either a money economy or a barter economy.

“Since the 70’s, the gap between the rich and poor has been growing…But has happened to the level of income of the poor…It’s risen but in comparison..but would it be better if it hadn’t risen at all..would it be better if you kept the difference the same but no growth at the bottom…well if we curtail the growth at the top…You’ll curtail the growth at the bottom…look the engine that leads to the miracles we’ve seen enables you to have a television camera lens that engine is ambition and drive to become wealthy” — Milton Friedman

“People say well isn’t it selfish that you want to get ahead? No, in a sense if you have a certain talent in a free society you should have the opportunity to discover what that talent is. Everyone has a natural talent for something and developing that talent. And by developing your talent by trying to meet your goals and ambitions not only helping yourself you’re helping others…you see it in pop culture..in every heavy in Hollywood..given all the flaws of human nature the system has worked” — Steve Forbes

“Everyone has a sinful view of making money. Our stores that made the most money, the happiest customers and the best coworkers. They were always the best motivated. And there’s a relationship between profits and those things. It’s not a sin to anybody.” — Kinko’s founder

“You know you hear land of opportunity, all this shit. That’s in their head. They must not ride through the same neighborhoods I ride through. They must not go through the same towns I go through. They must not see the same people I see on a daily basis. And they can’t do that riding around in a limo and a helicopter.” — Taxi driver

“Look there was never in history when the oridinary people have had the level of income and living that they now do..you have a system which is overwhelming yielding good results. There’s not question it’s not perfect that people get hurt but that’s true of any system.” — Milton Friedman

“Charles Darwin did not invent the term survival of the fittest. It was Herbert Spencer a social Darwinist. Who thought if we just allowed the rich to get richer that was good for society. We want to discourage the poor from having a lot of children and basically surviving. That kind of social darwinist notion has stayed alive in certain quarters and I believe it is there behind much of the economic policies we are now seeing.”

“See most people don’t realize, that the game of life will include the need to make money: period. I can have a long conversation why that is — it’s not anything about capitalism — it’s just the struggle for survival it’s rooted in the most primal forces which are the acquisition and competition over scarce resources which in todays world we just call it money. Ten thousand years ago before money, they called it something else. Native American tribes, what do you think they were fighting over? The same things as money. They didn’t have greenbacks, they didn’t have pounds and euros. They didn’t have little pieces of paper but they had other stuff. They use to fight over seashells, really, they used seashells they used seashells for money because they were they were rare. Everybody, throughout history, is fighting for something. Animals fight over pieces of land. Animals fight over females to mate with. They fight over males to mate with. We’re always in a competition. Even if you’re not in competition with other humans, you’re in competition with bacteria inside your body that would love to kill you and take over if they could but your immune system wins that battle.” — Tai Lopez on a YouTube video


“Humans have always loved organizing themselves in groups. This can be based on appearance, occupation, or wealth. Even if we somehow got rid of a currency driven society, people would still be divided based on their occupation. There will always be jobs that will be considered more distinguished and important. These jobs will likely require more education and inherent intelligence which will lead to distinction from other jobs.”

“Not being fair does not stop it from being there. You might think it’s unfair that John got the job but you didn’t. You might think that Sally should have won the competition. But they didn’t, and it happened for a reason. It could have been biological, it could have been cognitive, it could have been due to a host of other reasons. But there exists a basic similarity between everyone: we’re all different. And if we’re different, then how can we be expected to be treated the same? Social classes exist because we recognize this fact, and as long as two people stand on this Earth, there will be some form of social classification. 

“Inevitability of social class. It is human nature to form groups and fight for dominance and we see this through animals as well. Human beings long for power and many people use the idea of becoming part of higher class to motivate them to work harder in life and as proof that they have succeeded in life.”

“Fairness is irrelevant. It’s just life. Sorry. In life, people are born with everything in more, Whilst others are born with nothing more than dirt. It’s just luck of the draw and a relation into the family you’re born with. Society has made it nearly impossible for someone to go from nothing to having everything, much less taking his/her family with them. If people can change their mentality and if society can force itself to change and accept anything, Then things will change. But as things stand as they are, We will never change, And at times, it seems like that’s what this is.”

Luck and timing

“Our existence is amazing. Our existence is seems to be amazingly improbable because there’s something like there’s an enormous number genetically possible humans if you could compute it by looking at the number of genes leos and so fourth a back of the envelope calculations will tell you there about 10 to the 10,000th possible humans genetically you know that’s between a google and a google plex. So um the number of the humans that have existed 100 billion maybe 150 billion an infancemile fraction. So all of this we’ve won this amazing cosmic lottery. We’re here.” — Jim Holt Ted Talks “Why Does the Universe Exist”


“The earth is the only world so far to harbour life. There is no where else at least in the near future which our species could migrate. Visit? Yes. Settle? Not yet. Like it or not, the earth is where we make our stand. It is said that Astronomy is a humbling and character building experience.” - Carl Sagan

Religion

“Over the years you know I guess I use to think I was a very rational and logical person. And then I started reading like Dan Ariely’s “Predictably Irrational” “Think fast, think slow” and a whole bunch of other books like that and I was like wow I’m so irrational, I’m so illogical I was like “wow” I’m such a hypocrite “wow” I’m a disaster of a person. And it was one of the biggest revelations in my entire life and I just became self aware to a point where I wasn’t before.”

“The truth is that something really happens during silent prayer. At the biological level, our brain waves change and the two sides of our brain — the verbal, ego-driven, rational, materialistic left hemisphere and the silent, altruistic, poetic, intuitive right hemisphere — communicate more harmoniously with one another. Emotional blockages get subtly and gradually worn away, promoting protection from anxiety, healing from loss, and growth towards joy and inner peace. There may be a sudden breakthrough, but the process is more often gradual, perhaps almost imperceptible, which is why perseverance in the practice is advised.” — credit: Lionel Tiger from a Big Think video

“The question is to whether or not we are hardwired for religion and spirituality uh I think is a very important one when we look at how the brain works. It looks like the brain is able to very easily engage in religious and spiritual practices, ideas, and experiences. All the brain scan studies that we’ve done show that there are multiple parts of the brain that seem to get involved. So, it really does look like the brain is so easily capable of having these experiences. Now exactly how that ability got into the brain is of course a much more complex and both philosophical and scientific question. The scientist would say “oh maybe it was through millions of years of evolution that uh because being religious or spiritual was an adaptive process it got incorporated into the biological mechanisms of the brain” and there’s certainly a lot of reasons to support that. And of course if you’re a religious individual it also makes sense that if there’s a god up there and that we’re down here that we would have a brain that’s capable of communicating to god, praying to god, doing the things that god needs us to do. Otherwise there’d be this kind of fundamentally silly disconnect we wouldn’t be able to have any kind of interaction with god. So, it does look like the brain no matter how it got there does have this profound ability to engage in religious and spiritual experiences and that’s part of why we’ve seen religion and spirituality be apart of human history since the very dawn of civilization.” — credit: Lionel Tiger from a Big Think video

“I grew up in a religious household and the belief system that was taught to me was life, planet earth, was fixed and that we are on a predestined evolution of outcome. And that my responsibility in life was to play by a certain rule set and not create the rules. And then I fell out with my faith and realized we can actually program existence like biology and AI and all that kind of stuff. And I thought that was the most stunning discovery of my life. And I thought wait a second I’m going from this predestined world outcome to one where we actually if we want to create a thriving humanity no one’s going to do it for us. Like, it’s us. We gotta build this thing roll up our sleeves and get to work. That was probably the biggest one so once I realized I’m a disaster of a human I can’t think straight I’m illogical all that kind of stuff it was basically reoriented my identity and my aspirations of why do I exist? What, is there an afterlife? Is there a god? Why do I care about this life? Why do I get up in the morning? Right? All the questions that were burning inside of me and so um I basically at the age of 34 had to recreate myself from scratch. Like everything I knew was out the door and I had to sit down pen and paper and say “why do I exist?” and it was an amazing experience and I’ll write more about that in the future” — credit: Bryan Johnson from an unknown YouTube video

“They’re embedded in belief systems and what I look at is I see all the belief systems and when you line them up they’re not really compatible with one another so whatever they’re believing it can’t be a truth that applies to everybody because other people believe what they do with no less fervor and so I sit back as a person interested in objective truths and say “we’ll, it doesn’t look like that’s a path toward an objective truth. So, let people continue to think and say what they want. But, as a citizen of a country that is not founded on a on a on a religion it’s founded with sort of a secular construct in a way that protects whatever religion you want to express this is this is protected in the constitution the constitution doesn’t actually mention god ra rather controversial in its day. And it it doesn’t mention god cuz they don’t want legislation to tell you what gods to worship. They knew this. They knew how governments can persecute people who have belief systems that didn’t agree with the state. They knew this. So they created this freedom. And so we have these freedoms go ahead. But, if you’re going to create legislation that has to apply to everybody and your now going to put your belief system into legislation? That is not a free and open democracy.” — credit: Neil Degrasse Tyson from an unknown YouTube video

“It’s a of course a very vexing issue because people who believe devoutly in religion will tell you that there’s no question there it’s already answered which is that we’re obligated to respect and believe and follow the word of god however that word determined. I did with a colleague of mine who had been at the ucla medical school head of the psychiatric research institute Michael McGuire called “Gods Brain” where I think were able to suggest if not demonstrate that religion is really made by the brain it’s a secretion of the brain. And this gets us away from from the issue of whether religion is true or not true….The fact is there are 4200 religions in the world each of them believing that they are absolutely correct and everyone should follow their views and some 90% of the human beings are describable by themselves if not others as religious. So we’re not dealing here with a casual casual phenomenon even though no one has any evidence of the stories behind the religions and so I I I’m really interested in this massive unreality which is in fact finally a real reality namely religions. And so there are cathedral towns, there are tax exemptions, there are people donating money and still in America religions receive more money than any other part of the community. And so we we were fascinated with what animated this. And I said we were able to suggest if not if not demonstrate that the brain creates religion the brain consumes religion. The argument Michael McGire discerned in the uh matter of serotonin he discovered that serotonin in primates was associated with high status. And that when animals were in high status they felt better which is not unreasonable. If you took away their high status their serotonin levels would crash their brains would begin producing more cortisol and other neurotransmitters that are associated with feeling mean, and feeling bad, and feeling low. And so we decided that one of the ways of looking at religion is to what extent and how does it generate the serotonegernic uh uh juices that make us feel good. Hence, you go to a mass in a major cathedral or anywhere or a uh slum um baptism church and there’s music and color and activity and it appears people get some brain juice out of it. Again self created and self consumed is the story uh we think of religion.”

“The question is to whether or not we are hardwired for religion and spirituality uh I think is a very important one when we look at how the brain works. It looks like the brain is able to very easily engage in religious and spiritual practices, ideas, and experiences. All the brain scan studies that we’ve done show that there are multiple parts of the brain that seem to get involved. So, it really does look like the brain is so easily capable of having these experiences. Now exactly how that ability got into the brain is of course a much more complex and both philosophical and scientific question. The scientist would say “oh maybe it was through millions of years of evolution that uh because being religious or spiritual was an adaptive process it got incorporated into the biological mechanisms of the brain” and there’s certainly a lot of reasons to support that. And of course if you’re a religious individual it also makes sense that if there’s a god up there and that we’re down here that we would have a brain that’s capable of communicating to god, praying to god, doing the things that god needs us to do. Otherwise there’d be this kind of fundamentally silly disconnect we wouldn’t be able to have any kind of interaction with god. So, it does look like the brain no matter how it got there does have this profound ability to engage in religious and spiritual experiences and that’s part of why we’ve seen religion and spirituality be apart of human history since the very dawn of civilization.”

“Well there’s an argument about Europe which has tended in the years recent years to become less formerly religions. So the French for example rarely go to mass uh there are certain fictional religious observances but they don’t really obeyed by it but on the other hand they are the most enthusiastic pill poppers in Europe and it may be that they are taking the mass into their skull with a pill. So there is the pharmacological element of brain soothing.But let me back up for a second. What we described was a kind of molez of the brain called brain pain. That’s when you’re late for work when you’re driving from somewhere and you get a flat tire your working with someone who is a certified moron. And everybody has that. It’s in the nature of the human brain to observe, to seek up, and to conjure up problems evaluate the environment. In contrast, we suggested that one of the things that religion do is brain soothing they sooth the brain the way the spa does or a massage or excerise or going for a walk in the park. So there is a kind of uh bracket here between brain pain, brain sooth and religion may be one of the main producers of the brain soother uh phenomena in a way that’s not expensive, destructive, or difficult. All you have to do is show up Sunday morning.”

“The truth is that something really happens during silent prayer. At the biological level, our brain waves change and the two sides of our brain — the verbal, ego-driven, rational, materialistic left hemisphere and the silent, altruistic, poetic, intuitive right hemisphere — communicate more harmoniously with one another. Emotional blockages get subtly and gradually worn away, promoting protection from anxiety, healing from loss, and growth towards joy and inner peace. There may be a sudden breakthrough, but the process is more often gradual, perhaps almost imperceptible, which is why perseverance in the practice is advised.”

Psychology

“The normal way we conduct our lives is we reason by analogy,” Elon Musk says. “[With analogy] we are doing this because it’s like something else that was done, or it is like what other people are doing. [With first principles] you boil things down to the most fundamental truths … and then reason up from there.

I think it’s important to reason from first principles rather than by analogy. So the normal way we conduct our lives is, we reason by analogy. We are doing this because it’s like something else that was done, or it is like what other people are doing…”

“First principles is a physics ways of looking at the world. You boil things down to the most fundamental truths and then reason up from there. (For example) people may say ‘battery packs are really expensive and that is the way they will always be’. No. that’s pretty dumb. If you apply that reasoning to anything new. you wouldn’t ever be able to get to that new thing.”

Mourning death

“In life, the human body comprises matter and energy. That energy is both electrical (impulses and signals) and chemical (reactions). The same can be said about plants, which are powered by photosynthesis, a process that allows them to generate energy from sunlight.

The process of energy generation is much more complex in humans, though. Remarkably, at any given moment, roughly 20 watts of energy course through your body — enough to power a light bulb — and this energy is acquired in a plethora of ways. Mostly, we get it through the consumption of food, which gives us chemical energy. That chemical energy is then transformed into kinetic energy that is ultimately used to power our muscles.

A Changed State

As we know through thermodynamics, energy cannot be created nor destroyed. It simply changes states. The total amount of energy in an isolated system does not, cannot, change. And thanks to Einstein, we also know that matter and energy are two rungs on the same ladder.

The universe as a whole is closed.

However, human bodies (and other ecosystems) are not closed — they’re open systems. We exchange energy with our surroundings. We can gain energy (again, through chemical processes), and we can lose it (by expelling waste or emitting heat).

In death, the collection of atoms of which you are composed (a universe within the universe) are repurposed. Those atoms and that energy, which originated during the Big Bang, will always be around.

Therefore, your “light,” that is, the essence of your energy — not to be confused with your actual consciousness — will continue to echo throughout space until the end of time..

If nothing else can assuage some of the fear of death, the below advice from physicist Aaron Freemen via NPR should do it:

You want a physicist to speak at your funeral. You want the physicist to talk to your grieving family about the conservation of energy, so they will understand that your energy has not died. You want the physicist to remind your sobbing mother about the first law of thermodynamics; that no energy gets created in the universe, and none is destroyed.

You want your mother to know that all your energy, every vibration, every Btu of heat, every wave of every particle that was her beloved child remains with her in this world. You want the physicist to tell your weeping father that amid energies of the cosmos, you gave as good as you got.

And at one point you’d hope that the physicist would step down from the pulpit and walk to your brokenhearted spouse there in the pew and tell him that all the photons that ever bounced off your face, all the particles whose paths were interrupted by your smile, by the touch of your hair, hundreds of trillions of particles, have raced off like children, their ways forever changed by you.

And as your widow rocks in the arms of a loving family, may the physicist let her know that all the photons that bounced from you were gathered in the particle detectors that are her eyes, that those photons created within her constellations of electromagnetically charged neurons whose energy will go on forever.

You can hope your family will examine the evidence and satisfy themselves that the science is sound and that they’ll be comforted to know your energy’s still around. According to the law of the conservation of energy, not a bit of you is gone; you’re just less orderly.” — credit: pulled a comment from Quora

Education

“Science is more logical than faith. Science involves a process based on empirical evidence which removes all emotionally-driven conjecture and offers us the best possible method for discovering the truth about who and what we are.” — credit: Unknown

“So the way knowledge is acquired scientifically is you have an idea and you propose an experiement to test the idea and then if it’s an expensive experiment you probably don’t have the money to do it in your garage. So now you propose to get funding from sources typically if it’s pure research it will be the National Science Foundation, NASA has a research arm, uh if you’re in the other fields like biology, human physiology you might be getting a grant from the National Institute of Health. And so you have this idea you build an experiment and you test it. And if the results of that experiment match your expectations then the foundation of your idea gains some currency in the conversations you might have at the scientific coffee lounges, workshops, in the journals. You’re a comeptitor of mine and you so you know I don’t like you. Scientists, people too. And I think you’re wrong and here’s the experiment that I’m going to show that you’re wrong. So then you build an experiment and then you get a result that kinda matches that results. That’s kinda interesting. Because you had no intent of matching me. You don’t even like me. But now the results match. And someone else does it. You’ll always have some outliers just because of the experimentally uncertainties the way that experiments exist. There will always be some outliers. There’s a generally lean toward a truth an emergent truth. All these experiments point to approxamelty the same result with a few outliers. So now we come to recognize that this is the new truth. The new objectively established truth. And that’s what science does. It is the most effective way we ever devised a species as a culture in decoding what is and what is not true about hte natural world. Nothing rivals it. At all. So once we've done this, here is how the world works. And then we go on to the next problem. This is a celebrated thing. It’s what got us relativity, quantum physics, and gravity empowered the entire industrial revolution. You couldn’t have these machines.”

“If you don’t know something there’s no crime in that maybe you didn’t study it maybe you didn’t spend 16 years in school and you spent only 12 or 20 years in school as some people do to get advanced degrees so as an educator I will never hold someones absence of knowledge against them. The problem arises if you have an absence of knowledge and you either know or worse don’t know you have this absence of knowledge and then you have power over legislation that should be informed by that knowledge and is not and then you come to it aggressively in your ignorance that is a recipe for societal disaster.”

“So part of what it is to be educated is to have a keen sense of when you don’t know something and you either do the homework yourself you know just because you’re not in school doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t do homeowkr alright? Just becuase you’re not in school doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep learning. So that’s an obvious point the viewers of book TV ofcourse. But for the general population consider how many people you know who might have run down the steps.”

“You have to be very careful when you write things. You can’t take them back. And my more general thought is that once you start doing it, you have to do a tremendous amount and I’m not sure that’s worth my time.”

“It costs $100,000 to start a new software company. It costs maybe $1,000,000,000 to get a drug through the FDA. So you’re obviously going to have more video game companies than real drugs. That’s the world.”

“I have a slightly different cut on the Snowden revelations. I think it shows the NSA more as the Keystone Cops than as Big Brother. What is striking to me is how little James Bond-like stuff was going on and how little they did with all this information. That’s why I think, in some ways, the NSA is more in this anti-technological zone where they don’t know what to do with the data they find. So they just hoover up all the data, all over the world.”

“One way to think about this is that if the NSA bureaucracy actually knew what they were doing, they would probably need way less information. What’s shocking about Snowden is how much information they had and how little they did with it.”

“my sense is they’re quite good at getting data and they’re quite bad at finding any meaning or knowing what to do with it. I suspect that the bureaucratic momentum has pushed towards more and more data because, perversely, if you don’t know what to do with the data, the tendency is to just get more and more, even though that never actually solves the core problem.”

“I think “big data” is one of these buzzwords that when you hear it, you should almost always think “fraud,” because the problem is actually to find meaning within data. It’s to make big data small. That’s actually the core challenge. It’s not to collect more and more data.”

“I think The Social Network movie in 2010 was a cultural moment like the Wall Street movie. They were both intended to be negative on the industries. The Social Network was as negative as the Oliver Stone movie. But they both backfired in a weird way. I knew all these people who watched Wall Street and they were inspired by it to become investment bankers…People at Facebook — we were super nervous about how that movie was going to play out. There was a board discussion about how we’ve not been on the ball, and maybe we could have stopped the movie, and maybe we could have done all these things to change it. Then, when it finally came out, in fall of 2010, I believe, the whole company went to see the movie and just owned it. The movie was made to be negative on Zuckerberg, but people looked at the positive things — how hard Zuckerberg worked and how passionate he was.”

“It was this very strange combination of fact and fiction. There was one narrow scene with me: they actually filmed the entrance outside my actual office so they got that details right, but the key thing my character asked was this question “Who was Eduardo Saverin?” Which was not ever a question I asked.”

“Elite students climb confidently until they reach a level of competition sufficiently intense to beat their dreams out of them. Higher education is the place where people who had big plans in high school get stuck in fierce rivalries with equally smart peers over conventional careers like management consulting and investment banking. For the privilege of being turned into conformists, students (or their families) pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in skyrocketing tuition that continues to outpace inflation. Why are we doing this to ourselves?”

“Indefinite attitudes to the future explain what’s most dysfunctional in our world today. Process trumps substance: when people lack concrete plans to carry out, they use formal rules to assemble a portfolio of various options. This describes Americans today. In middle school, we’re encouraged to start taking on “extracurricular activities.” In high school, ambitious students compete even harder to appear omnicompetent. By the time a student gets to college, he’s spent a decade curating a bewilderingly diverse résumé to prepare for a completely unknowable future. Come what may, he’s ready — for nothing in particular.”


ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE


“When you and I have this conversation, we both grew up from a similar background. We grew up in the United States, we’re both white, they’re similar things that we share in common. Therefore, our conversation has a certain bound of surprise. It’s unlikely I’m going to say something that’s going to shock you out of you chair because your pretty familiar with my rough structure of intelligence. But an Artificial Intelligence is an entirely foreign form of intelligence. While we try to build our values and intelligence into that thing. It’s not necessary if you just let it run the output is going to be what we expect.”


“We can’t extend our thinking behind what we’re currently familiar with.”

Bryan continued, “Only through this coevolutionary approach can we amplify our intelligence...so going back to my girlfriends creation of music. When she’s playing with this AI, back and fourth in this coevolutionary process, it can give her beats that she would never get from another human because it’s combined all kinds of things that are foreign to us. And so that beauty and that co-creative process.”

Philanthropy

“You want to pick an issue where it both does some good on its own,” he says, “and at the same time helps draw awareness to a broader set

Healthspan

“Here in the United States we spend 50 times more money on treating diseases than we do on research and prevention..we need to change that ratio and put more effort to being able to solve these problems from the outset…the problems out there now are complicated. They’re complicated problems and not necessarily going to be solved by one genius working in isolation. So we want to change that. We want to support collaboration. Support collaboration between people who have different skills. So between scientists and engineers all working together contributing their unique knowledge to solving complex problems. The better we can be at solving our knowledge with each other efficiently and effectively, the faster everything will move forward.” — credit: pulled quote from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative website

“Ultimately, aging is very bad for you. It causes an immense amount of suffering and of course it kills 100,000 people a day which is twice as many as everything else that kills anyone all added together. I think it’s rather important to do this. I think that old people are people too so the fact that aging only kills old people is not a reason not to be working on defeating it.” — Aubrey de Grey

“Aging is simply the accumulation of molecular and cellular damage in the body. Damage that the body does to itself in the course of its normal operation just the same as a car damages itself in the course of its normal operation. And in the same way we know perfectly well how to kee the car going infinitely just by doing unusually comprehensive maintenance every year or so and that’s why we have cars that last more than 100 years old even though they were only designed to last maybe 10 years. Similarly, in the relatively near future we should be able to be in the position to do the same thing for our much more complicated machine that we call the human body.” — Aubrey de Grey

“We’d all like to live indefinitely. Research shows that people don’t want to take their lives or end their lives unless they’re suffering physical or emotional pain. And people think ‘I don’t want to live hundreds of years’ because they think of themselves as living as what today we think of as a 100-year old living a few hundred more years. And that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about being able to overcome disease and aging. And aging really is a disease-like process.” — credit: Ray Kurzweil from an unknown YouTube video

“Finding a more effective delivery method for therapies is something of high priority in the aging and medical field.” .. “Although rewriting one’s genetics might be the most surefire way to prevent aging in the future, we currently don’t know all of the genes involved in aging so we don’t know what to rewrite.” ..”Stem cell therapy and gene therapy are also probably more realistic in our lifetimes, but even then we don’t fully know all of the necessary targets to prevent aging. For the targets as do know though, those are probably the best solutions for now.” — credit: pulled email from a Phd Candidate researching aging

“Aging is a natural part of life, but that hasn’t stopped people from embarking on efforts to stop the process.

“Aging is mathematically inevitable — like, seriously inevitable. There’s logically, theoretically, mathematically no way out,” said Joanna Masel, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and at the UA.

“As you age, most of your cells are ratcheting down and losing function, and they stop growing, as well,” said Nelson, lead author of the study. “But some of your cells are growing like crazy. What we show is that this forms a double bind — a catch-22. If you get rid of those poorly functioning, sluggish cells, then that allows cancer cells to proliferate, and if you get rid of, or slow down, those cancer cells, then that allows sluggish cells to accumulate. So you’re stuck between allowing these sluggish cells to accumulate or allowing cancer cells to proliferate, and if you do one you can’t do the other. You can’t do them both at the same time.” — ScienceDaily title “It’s mathematically impossible to beat aging, scientists say”

“”Current understanding of the *evolution of aging* leaves open the possibility that aging could be stopped if only science could figure out a way to make *selection between organisms* perfect. However, the solution isn’t that simple, researchers have found. “

“There’s a certain class of people with depression that are resistant to drugs, pharmacology, psychiatry, counseling, they are chronically depressed. It turns out when you put them in a a brain scan, you find out that yes indeed there is a certain part of the brain that seems to be associated with this depression. By putting in probes, you can dampen the electrical activity of this and all of the sudden they are cured. You see someone who is chronically depressed, who wants to commit suicide by this, and afterword, just cured it’s remarkable.”


”People don’t like thinking about getting old and sick. They pretend it’s not going to happen, until it does.”

Limitless lifespan

“people are not just information. That’s why I prefer cryonics to uploading. If cryonics works, you can still be the same person. If you were uploaded onto a computer and you had all your information represented, it’s not clear whether that’s genuine immortality or not.”

“We’d all like to live indefinitely. Research shows that people don’t want to take their lives or end their lives unless they’re suffering physical or emotional pain. And people think ‘I don’t want to live hundreds of years’ because they think of themselves as living as what today we think of as a 100-year old living a few hundred more years. And that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about being able to overcome disease and aging. And aging really is a disease-like process.” “I want to live forever for the same reason I want to wake up tomorrow.”

“People always say they want to live every day as though it will be their last. I always have this contrasting view that I think I’d like to live every day as though it will go on for ever. If we had an indefinite life span, we would continue to work and start great new projects, we would be very careful about how we treated people around us because we would encounter them again.”


”The body changes, the mind doesn’t.”

Living standard

“But we all know that at some level its an illusion. Money isn’t even gold or paper today, it’s 0’s and 1’s in banking computers. What is it? It’s like a shape shifter or a canvas. It assumes whatever meaning or emotion we project on it. In the end, money isn’t what we’re after. It is it? I mean think about it. What do we really, really want. What are the feelings and the emotions we think money will create for us. The feeling of empowerment, or freedom, or security, or of helping those we love and those in need. Or just of having choice. Or the feeling of being alive. Money is certainly one of the ways we can turn the dreams we have into the reality we live. But even if money is just a perception, an abstract concept. It doesn’t feel that way when you don’t have enough of it. I’ve been there I bet you have too. And one’s thing for sure, you either use money or it uses you. You either master money or on some level money masters you. How you deal with money reflects with how you deal with power. It’s an affliction or a blessing. A gain or a burden.” — Tony Robbins

Morality

“What I mean by empathy is putting yourself in other peoples shoes. feeling what they feel.”

There is first-person morality (our prosocial motives) and third-person morality (how we evaluate others’, a key role of the RTPJ). Prosocial motives like empathy can be a mixed bag. Paul Bloom has an argument against empathy.


”men and women haven’t changed for 10,00 years.”


We’ve gone from clubbing each other with stones to shooting each other with automatic weapons

Media

The crazy people have all figure out how the media works and the smart people are sitting there on the side going like I’m too good for that, I don’t like it, or they think that because they’re right that’s enough. You also have to understand how to get attention for your ideas. Understand how social media works. How to generate, attention.