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« Watching the World Fall Apart II | Main

July 17, 2017


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Don Stewart

I have found it very helpful to read these two books in tandem this summer:
How Emotions Are Made by Lisa Feldman Barrett
Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst by Robert Sapolsky

Both books, I think, put to rest any notion that there is some innate, perhaps gene-driven, human nature. Instead, we get from Barrett several key points:
*You can change who you become tomorrow
*Degeneracy: many combinations yield the same output
*Core systems serve many purposes; one to many
*Simulation: the brain guesses what is happening in the world. Allows the brain to impose meaning.

From Sapolsky, we get these notions:
*Context is everything
*Anything you can measure in the nervous system can be changed by experience
*Socioeconomic status is the worst human innovation yet
*Moral Heroism is usually a result of doing the right thing because it isn’t the hardest thing.
*Stress leads to habitual decision making, while ignoring new information

The message here is somewhat similar to the message from Permaculture: build an infrastructure which facilitates doing the right thing.

The message is both optimistic and pessimistic. Optimistic because, sitting in our armchair, we can imagine a world reconfigured in such a way that ‘the right thing’ is the easiest thing to do. I can easily describe my ideal garden or the politicians who should really be running Washington. Pessimistic because hard experience has taught us that building the right garden is actually pretty hard work, at least initially, and that campaigning for some politician is almost certain to lead to disillusionment.

Don Stewart

Godofredo Aravena


You are lucky, there are still some topics that invite you to read.
It is not my case, as I find that most of the books around are just half way opinions. Sadly, Youtube and the whole Internet is very much the same. Nothing really interesting and useful.
The worst of all, they do not lead to any useful conclusion, they focus on a few pixels of our big Gigapixels picture. Leaving more questions in the end, and no answers.
Nobody is looking into the picture. It is all about having something to say (to sell, or to get “likes”).
It is all about pixels.
Unfortunately for me, my theories give better and more practical explanations for all these topics. Just a few lose ends, that unfortunately nobody is yet even seeing. My lose ends would be something interesting to read and talk about (discuss).
The very bottom of the things is that it does not make sense to try to dig into our system and its problems, since there is nothing to save and to do. This is a system without a purpose rather than just keep on rolling, that based on its concept it can only fail in the end. A totally unreal system, which cannot be repaired, neither will accept alternatives, because any of them imply radical changes. A system in overshoot will necessarily require big corrections.
Godofredo Aravena

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