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Philosophy

Nobody is Perfect

All the events in the news last year has revived thinking on punishment, justice and forgiveness. Especially those who have produced major works for humankind.

There are a lot of factors and there is a lot of injustice. It can be easy to say that there is so much injustice we should just punish all these abusers and criminals with no possibility of forgiveness or reentry into society.

But is that appropriate? Is every bad person a monster that should be locked away, deprived of a way to make a living and opportunity for social connection?

Hierarchy of Integrity

I've been thinking a lot lately about health, safety and security. I think originally I was interested in studying ideas around the environment and the environment's impact on me and also my impact on the environment. My focus here was on capturing all the possible bad things that can happen and then how to mitigate, detect and prevent them. But unexpectedly I found that it also tied in with another hot topic for me lately: respect and integrity.

Big Bang Reality Check.

I was reflecting on some recent ideas about the "human centric" understanding of our universe. Our minds and bodies are naturally designed to work within a certain size of objects, quantities, spaces and within human perception. And for everything outside that space we scale things to fit our understanding.

Self-Respect

An actionable definition of self-respect is sorely missing from the general public, academic and religious literature, philosophy, everywhere. By this I mean a useful understanding of what self-respect is, how it can be obtained and the positive consequences and advantage of having it. In addition literature often confuses self-esteem and self-respect without properly distinguishing between the two.

Moments of Weakness

It can be tough for a man to change his mind once he speaks. But not his thoughts. But isn't a journal a place for thoughts? A journal should be the only place a man can state something only to change his mind later.

But look at the Mark Twain journals. He poured his heart out (to the shock of readers) and it's cast him in a different light. Like we never knew the real Mark Twain. It's assumed that the things he wrote he believed for all time. He hasn't given the opportunity for growth, fleeting feelings, etc.

Science of relationships Part II

Pondering science of people again. What are the building blocks of relationships? What are the fundamental concepts of communication? Then it occurred to me that the relationship between politics, interpersonal relationships and all possible communications can be described simply as below:

Fragmentation of Our Country

I've noticed a new type grass roots organization lately. Across all levels of government and in communities a very distinct type of activism.

For example:

  • Legalizing the sale of marijuana when it is still a federal offense.
  • States that refuse to implement Obamacare.
  • States that refuse to accept gay marriage is protected by law.
  • A religious group rallies to vote members of their church into the school board and effectively control it.
  • Developing a community money pool to ignore some minor laws.

SciFi Musing #2: AI vs human genome

Fully conscious, self-aware, complex and possibly even immature electro-mechanical machines are just one more step (and probably not even the last) in what is a long series of developments that started with the invention of computers (arguably earlier if you consider hunting dogs and the like). It started with basic stuff like calculators. Smart homes, cars and phones are automating our lives. It's a matter of time before these machines learn and build their own knowledge systems. And it's just a matter of time before one of them becomes self-aware.

SciFi Musing #1: Scientific Knowledge is outpacing mankind's ability to handle it

CRISPR describes a mechanism that bacteria use as a defense mechanism against viruses. It involves incorporating a part of the virus DNA into their own DNA to use as a fingerprint to quickly identify a repeat invasion. It is also a method for coopting those genes for cutting in (or out) specific gene sequences in a cell. Any cell. I learned about it from Radiolab's latest broadcast and the power of this tool is mind blowing.

SciFi Musing #3: Wealth gap will lead to Genetic gap

I don't know whether to be excited or terrified by the thought that we could soon have the ability to genetically modify our children's genome. This could be accomplished by tweaking the genes in young embryos or later on by "patching" the genome.

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