Can life really be cruel and yet worth living? That is the question I ended up with starting from a hypothetical situation. And I appreciate that the situation I will describe is contrived and artificial. I hope you can see that, despite it being artificial, the conflict it describes is real, albeit exaggerated to some… Continue reading Mind Over Matter?
At first I wanted to title this post simply “Tune Yourself”. Then I realized that is insufficient. Tuning can mean a lot of things. Generally speaking, I assume it refers to an increase of performance. It suggests fiddling or adjusting with some inner parameters. The reason I changed it to “Jazz-tune Yourself” gets at the… Continue reading Jazz-tune Yourself
When was the last time you felt moved to tears? For me, it came quite unexpectedly just the other day. I was listening to some music on the YouTube channel of Yohan Kim. My intention with this post is to describe both the delight and also the melancholy I experienced as honestly as I can.… Continue reading There Is A Place For Everyone – and Everything
During my teens, I believed that for the past three, four thousand years humans and their general cognitive abilities did not evolve much. As I am listening to Iain McGilchrist’s “The Master and His Emissary,” however, I am moved to reconsider. His exposé of how human thought writ large—most prominently described across the ages in… Continue reading The Pain of Progress
As the current year, 2021, comes to a close, one thought keeps reverberating in my mind: life comes with its own flavors of energy, and through our conscious experience, we have a say about which energy is being expressed through us. Ultimately, there is only one form of energy (or life), but it comes in… Continue reading Choosing the Flow for 2022
As I am listening to Iain McGilchrist’s “The Master and His Emissary“, different images keep occurring to me. Some of these images leave me in a state of deep resonance. One way to express this state is: life without faith is like accepting that I am merely a (biological) robot. The first image I’d like… Continue reading A Way Without a Goal?
The inspiration for this post comes from a recent conversation between Jordan Peterson, Steven Pinker, and Jonathan Haidt. During the first half hour of the video, they explore moralization as a source of violence justification. The more people frame an issue in terms—that is, impose a narrative—of good and evil, the greater the chance that… Continue reading Gravity, Chaos, and Conscious Choice
Have you heard of Goodhart’s Law? If not, I have come to believe it is a crucial piece in understanding why complex systems in which intelligent agents adapt their behavior can easily deteriorate over time: If agents are rewarded for optimizing a proxy, and they have limited resources to spend on improving their condition across… Continue reading The Goodhart-Sinclair Trap
Have you heard about—and maybe believe—the “lab leak hypothesis” related to COVID? The idea is this: people tasked with doing basic research on respiratory viruses might have been partly responsible for the outbreak. Why partly? Their work would have included “gain of function research”, which seeks to investigate more aggressive versions of the virus, artificially… Continue reading Playing With Fire
Earlier this week, I took part in an empathy circle practice organized by Rebel Wisdom together with Edwin Rutsch and a group of facilitators. I was part of a group of five people, and after we engaged in this practice, we all reported on the effect this had: each of us, in different words, experienced… Continue reading Reciprocal Openings