A Momentary Flow

Updating Worldviews one World at a time

In physiological terms everything ugly weakens and saddens man. It reminds him of decay, danger, powerlessness: it actually makes him lose strength. You can measure the effect of ugly things with a dynamometer. Whenever man gets depressed, he senses something ‘ugly’ is nearby. His feeling of power, his will to power, his courage, his pride – all are diminished by ugliness and increased by beauty … Ugly things are understood as signs and symptoms of degenerescence … Any sign of exhaustion, of heaviness, … the whiff, the colour, the form of dissolution … all produce the same reaction, the value judgement ‘ugly’. A hatred springs up here: who is man hating here? But there is no doubt: the decline of his type.

(Twilight of the Idols (1889) by Friedrich Nietzsche)
Are ugly people oppressed? – Jonny Thakkar – Aeon

The definition of love (erôs) in the Symposium situates the philosopher midway between the lack of wisdom and its possession: thus “the philosopher will never attain wisdom, but he can make progress in its direction … . Philosophy is not wisdom, but a way of life and discourse determined by the idea of wisdom” (p. 46, italics in original). Socrates is himself the very incarnation of philosophy thus understood.

What is Ancient Philosophy? // Reviews // Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // University of Notre Dame

Descartes was no fool; by parsing reality into the res extensa and res cogitans he captured something critical about human experience. You do not need to be a hard-core dualist to imagine that subjective experience might not be amenable to mathematical law. For Douglas, ‘the attempt to force experience into logical categories of non-contradiction’ is the ‘final paradox’ of an obsessive search for purity. ‘But experience is not amenable [to this narrowing],’ she insists, and ‘those who make the attempt find themselves led into contradictions.’

Margaret Wertheim – The limits of physics

Philosophy is to be studied, not for the sake of any definite answers to its questions, since no definite answers can, as a rule, be known to be true, but rather for the sake of the questions themselves; because these questions enlarge our conception of what is possible, enrich our intellectual imagination and diminish the dogmatic assurance which closes the mind against speculation; but above all because, through the greatness of the universe which philosophy contemplates, the mind also is rendered great, and becomes capable of that union with the universe which constitutes its highest good.

Bertrand Russell, The Problems of Philosophy (via man-of-prose)

(via moloweez)

Is this life real?
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Philosophers and physicists say we might be living in a computer simulation, but how can we tell? And does it matter?
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Our species is not going to last forever. One way or another, humanity will vanish from the Universe, but before it does, it might summon together sufficient computing power to emulate human experience, in all of its rich detail. Some philosophers and physicists have begun to wonder if we’re already there. Maybe we are in a computer simulation, and the reality we experience is just part of the program. Modern computer technology is extremely sophisticated, and with the advent of quantum computing, it’s likely to become more so. With these more powerful machines, we’ll be able to perform large-scale simulations of more complex physical systems, including, possibly, complete living organisms, maybe even humans. But why stop there? The idea isn’t as crazy as it sounds. A pair of philosophers recently argued that if we accept the eventual complexity of computer hardware, it’s quite probable we’re already part of an ‘ancestor simulation’, a virtual recreation of humanity’s past. Meanwhile, a trio of nuclear physicists has proposed a way to test this hypothesis, based on the notion that every scientific programme makes simplifying assumptions. If we live in a simulation, the thinking goes, we might be able to use experiments to detect these assumptions. (via Is this life real or a simulation? – Matthew R Francis – Aeon)

Is this life real?
-
Philosophers and physicists say we might be living in a computer simulation, but how can we tell? And does it matter?
-
Our species is not going to last forever. One way or another, humanity will vanish from the Universe, but before it does, it might summon together sufficient computing power to emulate human experience, in all of its rich detail. Some philosophers and physicists have begun to wonder if we’re already there. Maybe we are in a computer simulation, and the reality we experience is just part of the program. Modern computer technology is extremely sophisticated, and with the advent of quantum computing, it’s likely to become more so. With these more powerful machines, we’ll be able to perform large-scale simulations of more complex physical systems, including, possibly, complete living organisms, maybe even humans. But why stop there? The idea isn’t as crazy as it sounds. A pair of philosophers recently argued that if we accept the eventual complexity of computer hardware, it’s quite probable we’re already part of an ‘ancestor simulation’, a virtual recreation of humanity’s past. Meanwhile, a trio of nuclear physicists has proposed a way to test this hypothesis, based on the notion that every scientific programme makes simplifying assumptions. If we live in a simulation, the thinking goes, we might be able to use experiments to detect these assumptions. (via Is this life real or a simulation? – Matthew R Francis – Aeon)