You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.
A feeling I got from working at Google was that technology could solve any problem. Yes it’s fantastic, but what I realized later was there’s technology and there’s people. Google had its list ordered: Technology. People. And I think the right order is: People. Technology. You have to think about people first and technology second. Hopefully technology gets out of the way.
Date: Tuesday, October 29
Location: Cafe Cumaica, San Francisco, CA
The site, inspired by an exercise in The Artist’s Way, unsurprisingly, encourages people to write 750 words everyday. It’s not…
This was a really fun interview to do. Thanks, Megan, for including me in this amazing project!
'…just about all members of Congress are drawn from the…top 10%—as are almost all their friends and associates, and even the media who report on them. Get it? The bottom 90 percent of Americans—most of whom are still suffering from the Great Recession, most of whom have been on a downward escalator for decades—have disappeared from official Washington.'
The confidence people have in their beliefs is not a measure of the quality of evidence but of the coherence of the story that the mind has managed to construct.
Every so often, I get to read an email like this and it MAKES MY WHOLE FREAKING WEEK.
Thank you, Scott, for doing the right thing.
And thanks to everyone who registered, everyone who held drives, and especially everyone who’s gone on to donate stem cells over the past two years.
You are great.
What I had to say to you, moreover, would not take long, to wit: Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow.
The ocean waves, the universe peoples.
“Look at your conversations,” he says. “You’ll see over and over again, to your surprise, that this is the process of analogy-making.” Someone says something, which reminds you of something else; you say something, which reminds the other person of something else—that’s a conversation. It couldn’t be more straightforward. But at each step, Hofstadter argues, there’s an analogy, a mental leap so stunningly complex that it’s a computational miracle: somehow your brain is able to strip any remark of the irrelevant surface details and extract its gist, its “skeletal essence,” and retrieve, from your own repertoire of ideas and experiences, the story or remark that best relates.
Cognition is recognition,” he likes to say. He describes “seeing as” as the essential cognitive act: you see some lines as “an A,” you see a hunk of wood as “a table,” you see a meeting as “an emperor-has-no-clothes situation” and a friend’s pouting as “sour grapes” and a young man’s style as “hipsterish” and on and on ceaselessly throughout your day. That’s what it means to understand. But how does understanding work? For three decades, Hofstadter and his students have been trying to find out, trying to build “computer models of the fundamental mechanisms of thought.
Voyager 1 is in interstellar space, but hasn’t left the solar system. Here’s why:
Based on new analysis of data collected by Voyager 1, NASA determined that it entered interstellar space on or about August 25, 2012. See this post or this post from earlier today for more. But it hasn’t exited the solar system.
There’s lots more detail in this article from NASA, but in essence interstellar space begins when our sun’s solar wind ceases to blow. Normally, its outward breath of charged particles inflates the inner solar system in a protective bubble, keeping interstellar wind from sterilizing the whole lot of the planets. That point at which the solar wind ceases to push outward and the charged particles of interstellar space take over is the border it’s just crossed.
But the solar system extends far beyond that. The Oort cloud is a proposed region nearly a light year away from the sun, dating from the formation of the solar system, full of icy debris and trapped comets, that is still subject to the gravitational effects of our home star (as well as neighboring stars). Sadly, Voyager 1 won’t reach the near border of the Oort cloud for at least 300 years, and its power source will be extinguished by 2025. Makes you wonder … where does the solar system really end?
So Voyager 1 is outside of the tent, but it’s still in camp.
Of course I’ll hurt you. Of course you’ll hurt me. Of course we will hurt each other. But this is the very condition of existence. To become spring, means accepting the risk of winter. To become presence, means accepting the risk of absence.