node created 2019/09/29
The concentration camps, by making death itself anonymous (making it impossible to find out whether a prisoner is dead or alive), robbed death of its meaning as the end of a fulfilled life. In a sense they took away the individual’s own death, proving that henceforth nothing belonged to him and he belonged to no one. His death merely set a seal on the fact that he had never existed.
"The Origins of Totalitarianism"
What I worry about is kids growing up in a society where they say "If I send this email or if I visit this website, then somebody may think I'm a terrorist. I'm not going to talk about this issue, I'm not going to read this book, I'm not going to explore this idea."
The mass of mankind is divided into two classes, the Sancho Panzas who have a sense for reality, but no ideals, and the Don Quixotes with a sense for ideals, but mad.
Harrington has Shewn that Power always follows Property. This I believe to be as infallible a Maxim, in Politicks, as, that Action and Re-action are equal, is in Mechanicks. Nay I believe We may advance one Step farther and affirm that the Ballance of Power in a Society, accompanies the Ballance of Property in Land. The only possible Way then of preserving the Ballance of Power on the side of equal Liberty and public Virtue, is to make the Acquisition of Land easy to every Member of Society: to make a Division of the Land into Small Quantities, So that the Multitude may be possessed of landed Estates. If the Multitude is possessed of the Ballance of real Estate, the Multitude will have the Ballance of Power, and in that Case the Multitude will take Care of the Liberty, Virtue, and Interest of the Multitude in all Acts of Government.
You can not, without guilt and disgrace, stop where you are. The past and the present call on you to advance. Let what you have gained be an impulse to something higher. Your nature is too great to be crushed. You were not created what you are, merely to toil, eat, drink, and sleep, like the inferior animals. If you will, you can rise.
Believing in progress does not mean believing that any progress has yet been made.
The Third Notebook, December 4, 1917
People think being alone makes you lonely, but I don't think that's true. Being surrounded by the wrong people is the loneliest thing in the world.
We are so accustomed to disguise ourselves to others that in the end we become disguised to ourselves.
User: "I'm having a problem."

Programmer: (without checking anything else) "You should upgrade."

(time passes)

User: "I upgraded. It's still happening."

Programmer: (radio silence... they've already moved on)
Our evolution within terrestrial physical reality "forced" us to participate in well-calibrated local marketplaces of ideas, and our psychology evolved specifically so that we had a fine-tuned balance of what we subjectively "wanted" and what we found ourselves coming to believe, despite that initial-condition "want" -- dissenting views in a room have both a repulsion but also a very specific gravity -- a closeness that emerges amongst holders of opposing ideas, when these ideas have manifested and are walking around in human bodies within shared meatspace -- we start to empathize with holders of countering views that we're forced to share physical space with. We talk about empathy like it's feelings for the other pieces of meat, but it's perhaps better conceived as a kinship of one tight bundle of ideas for another. It's evolved and it's ancient and it's a very specific foraging strategy for 2D terrestrial creatures finding information/food under those constraints.

And now, we've designed systems that aren't nearly as clever and well-calibrated as our meatspace selves evolved to be. In the purely physical space we evolved for, we had to share space with people we probably disagreed with, and we developed unique tendencies based on the nature of living on a 2D terrestrial plane. Heck, we'd have different psychology favoured if we made it to this level of the great filter, but happened to evolve in the air (3D grid) or within a more one-dimensional environment or some hyperdimensional space.

Speaking of high-dimensional space: enter the internet. Might our prior foraging strategies and adaptations stacked onto our prior foraging strategies... might they fail now? Foraging strategies are informed by the math of the landscape. [..] Our psychology is tailored to adapting to physical reality on a plane, and the internet might totally fuck that up. (What is an internet bubble? Maybe it's just my stepping out of the 2D terrestrial grid and engaging through a hidden, non-spatial dimension with some foraging target I can sense near me?) It's like all places are piped into one another, outside physical reality. This isn't Kansas. It's the formation of a hyperdimensional object. It's no longer a 2D grid, and our predispositions and adaptations for navigating such a grid might drive us to extinction.
Talent hits a target no one else can hit. Genius hits a target no one else can see.
An efficient and valuable man does what he can, whether the community pay him for it or not.
I should say that when people talk about capitalism it's a bit of a joke. There's no such thing. No country, no business class, has ever been willing to subject itself to the free market, free market discipline. Free markets are for others. Like, the Third World is the Third World because they had free markets rammed down their throat. Meanwhile, the enlightened states, England, the United States, others, resorted to massive state intervention to protect private power, and still do. That's right up to the present. I mean, the Reagan administration for example was the most protectionist in post-war American history.

Virtually the entire dynamic economy in the United States is based crucially on state initiative and intervention: computers, the internet, telecommunication, automation, pharmaceutical, you just name it. Run through it, and you find massive ripoffs of the public, meaning, a system in which under one guise or another the public pays the costs and takes the risks, and profit is privatized. That's very remote from a free market. Free market is like what India had to suffer for a couple hundred years, and most of the rest of the Third World.
Talk titled "Sovereignty and World Order" at Kansas State University, September 20, 1999
If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.
It's true that I detest organised, bigtime, major league religions... but I love spiritual individuals, you can see the universe in their eyes, if you're really looking... I love people, I hate crowds, groups, organisations... soon they become zealots, then they start wearing hats... then they have fight songs and come and visit you at 3 am in the morning...
Some bad companies: no big deal, no one's making you stay, leave if you don't like it.

Some bad unions: all unions are awful and the solution is to not have unions.
I will, in fact, claim that the difference between a bad programmer and a good one is whether he considers his code or his data structures more important. Bad programmers worry about the code. Good programmers worry about data structures and their relationships.
A man's work is nothing but the slow trek to rediscover, through the detours of art, those two or three great and simple images in whose presence his heart first opened.
I think the university should tolerate a large diversity of opinion, which it does not. I think there is a severe failure - the failure is one of honesty, in my opinion. That is, I don't believe that scholarship within the university attempts to come to grips with the real structure of the society. I think it is under such narrow ideological controls that it avoids any concern or investigation of central issues in our society. And this is not merely a matter of opinion; I think this is easily demonstrable.
That God does not exist, I cannot deny, That my whole being cries out for God I cannot forget.