Erlend K

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  1. Platos republic would be a totalitarian dystopia, with little regard for the individual, political self-determination and free expression. Each of us would from an early age have to squeese into one of platos 3 made up "types of people" and spend our life fufilling the role "appropriate" for our assignes caste. Political power would be concentrated in one absolute bloc, the ruling caste. The majority of us, put into one of the two non-ruling casts, would have no means of influencing this echo chamber of aloof rulers. Massive propaganda efforts would make us submit to our "natural place" in society, convincing us that what the ruling caste decrees as idea for the city per definition has to be ideal for each of us as individuals. There would be no room for dissidents. I havnt read More, so I have no comment about his idea.
  2. What is sexual energy? Is it just a pretensious way of saying "horny", or is it something else?
  3. Gandhi's autobiography - The Story of My Experiments with Truth
  4. hi again @supremeyingyang Thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts. We both agree that multiple potential paths lay before humanity. Wich one we end up traversing depends on human decisions. There are powerful forces pulling us towards the cliff. We have a responsebility for futrue generations to do our best to puch towards safety. Each of us only have enough power for a light push, but if enough caring people join, we can do it. Catastrophes usually change peoples ways. Look at the cultural impact of WW2 as a prime example. I thought my point was pretty self evident. I might have been mistaken. I can elaborate on it later if you want. I don't have time right now.
  5. Hello @Joseph Maynor! Thanks for the input! "First of all, you don't even have compassion for yourself yet." This is a weird shot in the dark. Having been away from this forum for a while, I forgot about the community's tendency for such random, unfounded bursts of psychoanalyzing to pathologize contrarian ideas. Luckily the shot completely missed its target :). I have plenty of self-compassion and a genuinely great life. If I had to pay a fine to be allowed to write, I would gladly pay it. Contentment comes from within - Meaning comes from without. From purposeful engagement with the world. Contentment is a goal fit for animals - Meaning is a goal fit for humans. Even tho you have bought into an ideology telling you that meaning comes from solving your own problems, this is an extremely sad, egocentric way to lead your life. Focusing on yourself, obsessing over your own petty problems is a horrible long-term strategy for living a meaningful life. I am obviously familiar with Bukowski. ‘SO YOU WANT TO BE A WRITER’ is a stirring, soulful poem, but its message is BS. If you want to write, write! You don't need anyone's permission. With a few, rare exceptions, even the greatest writers start out mediocre, struggling to master the craft. They practice, practice, practice. Experiment, attend workshops, seek constructive criticisms and meticulously hone their skills for years. Going through this path of mastery is precisely the source of their humility and self-appreciation in relation to this mastery.
  6. Thank you for the tips @Robert I guess you are right. This is just the only forum I have been active on over the last year, so it feels like my online home, and was the first place I thought about asking for feedback. I would love to find a writers group. After reading your reply, I searched a bit trying to look for an online writers group, but I couldn't find one for essay writing, witch is what I'm primarily interested in.
  7. Hey @supremeyingyang First of all, thanks a lot for the compliment! It makes me feel both humbled (a bit awkward, actually) and deeply motivated to keep at it, striving to master this craft. Your third line made me stop an ponder for a while. I'm not sure if you mean my forum post or my article. My forum post was written in the tone it was, due to the enormity of the stakes. I know it seem pessimistic when it's all put together in a few paragraphs, but every single one of my statements are highly plausible. Overwhelming forces pull humanity in the wrong direction, a couple missteps in the coming decades is all it will take for us to burrow ourselves so deeply, that before we know it we will no longer, ever be able to crawl back up. Many leading experts believe 3 degrees warming is plausible. There is no question what will happen then. My description is a distillation of the conclusions of various UN, Pentagon, CNA’s military advisory board reports. The ever-increasing concentration of wealth is widely agreed upon by economists unless income is radically redistributed. AI is already in the process of killing jobs. Certain developing countries like India will be particularly hard hit by job loss, combined with climate change-induced droughts, which will massively destabilize this nuclear-armed giant. Similarly with its hostile nuclear-armed neighbor, Pakistan. When asked what keeps him up at night, Obama famously replied "Pakistan". Designer babies are right over the horizon, with China currently leading the charge as the west have a lot of moral scruples with this idea of playing god. If the rich are willing to pay fortunes to enroll their kids in elite school and universities, they will no doubt be willing to pay even more to genetically enhance the intelligence, creativity, sociability etc. This will give their kids a massive edge over poor kids, and the cement of class differences will dry, never to soften again. Those living through this century does not have the luxury of sticking our heads in the sand, ignoring the gravity of the era we will live through and focusing on the petty positives. Like the generation living through the 1930-40's didn't have the luxury to stop being pessimistic about the Third Reich and focus on the positive. I am for acknowledging and celebrating the positive, but we have a historic responsibility to take on this unprecedented danger, exceeding even that of the early-mid-20th century. There's an idea by Jordan Peterson I find intensely inspiring. Bear with me here. Despite his propensity for pseudo-intellectual bullshit, he has one great idea. Meaning comes from striving towards some important goal. The more important the goal, the more meaningful your striving becomes. From this, he draws the conclusion that in order to live a maximally meaningful life, aim for the highest possible good, tool yourself into someone who can achieve this end, and spend your life going for it. I agree. Dedicate your life to this struggle - THE struggle of our generation - together we might tilt the balance in the right direction.
  8. That's cool as fuck! Best of luck!
  9. Wow, thank you so much, @ChimpBrain! Both for the praise, and for pointing out those typos. I corrected them now.
  10. I do, Robert. I practice the three trainings of the Dharma: Concentration, Wisdom and Morality. Currently, my main spiritual practices are Samatha-Vipassana and generosity/random acts of kindness.
  11. Put your alarm clock on the opposite side of the room, and use an annoying alarm bell. That way it's not possible for you to snoose. When you first get out of bed to turn of the alarm you are up already and can just get on with your day.
  12. Hi everyone. The way I see it, humanity is at a crossroads. The way we deal with the inevitable transformations that will happen in our lifetimes will likely determine the entire future of humanity. Global warming is due to exceed two degrees, possibly three degrees. The last time the world was three degrees warmer was during the Pliocene, three million years ago, when beech trees grew in Antarctica, the seas were 80 feet higher and horses galloped across the Canadian coast of the Arctic Ocean. Three degrees would be nightmarish. It would mean casualties in the hundreds of millions, unprecedented refugee streams all across the third world leading to massive destabilization of already weak states, mass unrest, civil wars, failed states, resource wars, a boom of Islamist terrorism, epidemics of antibacterial-resistant bacteria. The collapse of nuclear-armed Pakistan and (probably) Iran will likely mean terrorist acquisition of nuclear weapons, ushering the age of nuclear terrorism. Nationalist, racist sentiments in the first world will lead us to seal off our paradisic bubbles from them. Leaving this 2/3 of humanity to rip itself apart. Meanwhile, the first world will develop evermore refined AI. AI will replace the majority of labor, leading to near-universal unemployment, and the means of production controlled by a tiny group of multinational corporations. Biotech will reach the point where designer babies become the norm. Scientists have already genetically increased the intelligence of mice. In China, genetic engineering is already used on humans to cure genetic diseases. Designer babies are right around the corner. Humanity will for the first time in its history split in two. The old homo sapiens specie living in the climate change-wrecked, war-torn remains of the third world. A new, superior specie: Smarter, stronger, healthier, happier than the primitive homo sapiens, and deeply embedded with nanotech/AI breakthroughs that lie just a few decades ahead of us. Surveillance will be truly panoptical, big data owners will know you better than you know yourself: Cambridge Analytica and the Chinese social credit system is just the naive beginnings of what we might see in the coming decades. Nuclear weapons will be evermore cheap and readily available. Antibacterial resistant bacteria can be printed with biological 3D printers. Economic inequality keeps skyrocketing. The 1% is projected to control 2/3 of the global wealth within a few decades. Democracy may not survive all the stress that is about to be put on it. Even if it survives it might be irrelevant, as the real power increasingly shifts towards multinational giants. I believe it's the responsibility of every decent person living through this monumental time period to make whatever contribution they can to nudge the development just ever so slightly in the right direction. My passion is writing. I will try to make my contribution by slightly nudging the zeitgeist through my writing. For this, I need to master the craft of writing. Step 1 is to train writing essays, ask for feedback/criticism and take this in. I just published my first essay on Medium.com. I would appreciate anyone checking it out. I would welcome any criticism, and feedback on how I can improve. My first essay: Sorry Libertarians But Scandinavia Is Indeed Socialist - And Just So Happens To Be The World’s Most Prosperous Region
  13. Intuition is not an oracle. It's a set of coars-grained heuristics that the autopilot part of your mind use for making snap judgements. No, you shouldn't blindly trust the judgements of this mental mechanism.
  14. Thanks for the reply, @Joseph Maynor Sorry for my late response. I meant to come back to you, but had a quite busy week and forgot about it. At first your notion of "Enlightenment" stroke me as slightly contrived, but after some reflection, I came to appreciate it. it. I like it's process- and present-moment orientation. The only issue I have with appropriation of the term is its inherent multivalency. In it's most pueril conceptualization, «Enlightenment» is the escapist fantasy of achieving everlasting euphoric bliss In it's most fatuous conceptualization «Enlightenment» is merely the smug pet name of every «new age»-dupes' 'mystical' experiences. In, perhaps a more innocuous conceptualization, «There are no enlightened beings, only enlightened action". If you decide to stick to the term «Enlightenment», you are now forced to repeatedly make explicit this definition as «Locating and embodying Existential Truth.». Elsewise, you will continually invite misreadings of what you are trying to communicate. What are your thoughts about this?
  15. The question asked was "What is truth" (with a lower case "t")? The essence of "Truth", with a Capital "T" is an entirely different question. I agree that we should be careful with Western philosophical notions of truth. Not cynical or dismissive, but careful. Just like we should be careful with Eastern, mystical and 'new-age' notions of Truth. What's right in front of us is mere appearances - the proverbial shadows on the cave wall. The wise approach would be (as your last paragraph seems to suggest you agree on) - adopting a Socratic stance, knowing that we don't know what "Truth" is. From there we can open-mindedly cull glimpses of Truth from the multitude of available sources, mindfully resisting the temptation of labeling whatever seems true at our current stage of insight "The Truth". Not throwing out the proverbial babies of either western or eastern philosophy, but accepting that we might never fully grasp the essence of "Truth" - Yet keep looking.