science

92 Think about infinity like a child

Space and time Early in life I realized that I was not the same size as some people even though I looked much like them. Gradually I became aware of things beyond myself and developed a concept of small and large. That was easy with physical objects. Sensing different sizes of time intervals was a completely different experience. At first it seemed everything took a long time. Eventually I realized that some things take longer than other things. That probably was the beginning of comparing spatial to temporal measurement. Because I see motion, I conclude that time is passing. Objects …

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77 Do not kill unbelievers

You already know this This is self-evident: People who lean on you for validation are so insecure that they beg for your reinforcing belief. “I know beyond a shadow of a doubt” hides “I am trying to convince myself (and I’m not succeeding without your help).” Anger is a defense mechanism even when there is no attack. Being upset that I do not believe always reveals the upset person’s weakness, doubt, and uncertainty. The person fears the weakness, not my unbelief. Appropriately withholding belief is an act of generosity: Galileo contributed to science by refusing to believe the geocentric model …

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72 More Mind Games

I’m not letting go of eternal life! The mind games of article 61 and article 62 continue to haunt me and beckon me to exist forever. Let us add one more thought to those articles. Metaphysics of eternal existence The articles together probe existence beyond physical manifestation. This follows Plato’s form of the good in which an idea extends without, or before and after, the presence of a tangible object. Existence extends beyond physical matter. Inadequacy of physical resurrection The articles recognize that the simplistic appeal of physical resurrection is not an answer to end all questions. What we now …

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60 Accomplish anything together?

What is the benefit of settled safety? The miracle of cooperation allows humans to achieve nearly anything. This is the promise of the Ernstraudian Way, the reason we are here together. The principle Fairness equalizes participants in democracy. In a large group, we trust that somebody will become aware of shortcomings, allowing us to perfect the system as we go along. An authoritarian individual is corrupted more easily than a majority. Public trust establishes continuity of the body. The method Democracies combine individual personal contributions to a social contract. People share diverse talents for the common good. They learn practical …

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43 Price of safety?

Article 11 of this blog considered how we use our time on the world stage. Article 17 raised issues of sharing resources among the whole human family. Today we consider the cheerful aspect of morbidity. I have seen a billboard proclaiming that the first human to live 1,000 years has already been born. Instead of considering that a triumph of science, think of its consequences. Granting all people equal right to live, how would that lifespan affect the population? Even if human fertility were limited to 20 of the 1,000 years of human lifetime, population expansion would become problematical. Can …

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41 Think first!

Richard Feynman, Nobel laureate in Physics, explained that he maximized his utility by multiplying the need for a task by his ability to perform it. People regarded some things more urgent than physics research, but his skill set did not match those other needs. Society thrives by combining the talents of diverse workers. It takes all of us. People do not always behave logically. Emotions carry more weight; we do the things about which we feel best. Sometimes that coincides with logic. Previous articles have considered resolving differences in people’s perceptions and expectations. We are hard-wired for collaboration, and the …

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39 I want this result, but

Four steps to resolution “I want this result, but …” precedes failure. It is a self-limiting belief. Success follows “I want this result bad.” That is an ungrammatical way of stating a goal. Today we seek the sweet spot between abandonment (too little) and unrealistic demands (too much). My first illustration is universal healthcare, an economy of scale that is working well for the industrial countries other than the United States. They have comparable, frequently better, health statistics at a much lower fraction of people’s total income. As with public water supply and fire protection, a universal health maintenance program …

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