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Escape Velocity

If you could build a large catapult that would hurl you skyward at eleven kilometers per second (yikes) you would be able to escape the gravitational pull of the Earth and move out into the empty spaces of the Solar System. Eleven kilometers per second is known as the escape velocity and just to give some measure of its magnitude it is 30 times greater than the speed of sound. So, it’s quite fast...

Artificial Minds

There are more than a few commentators who believe that the next step in evolution is being crafted through artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. George Carlin claimed that the role of humanity was to invent styrofoam, since nature didn’t have the means of achieving this without aid. Having achieved this we can now be dispensed with. Well the same story could apply, but replace styrofoam...

Why You Can Know F*ck All

The world we experience is our representation of it – not the world as it really is. In fact, we can’t know the world as it really is because we have no access to it. So, is sugar sweet? In its own right sugar seems to be just a particular molecule with various properties – sweetness not being one of them. Sweetness is something a human tongue adds – it is a subjective...

Spiritual Imagination – A Luxury Item

I happened to recently watch a discussion between two of the best known contemporary “spiritual” gurus. I’m not going to mention names because I don’t want it to get personal, and these people seemed pleasant enough. However, after about ten minutes I did start to question whether these people lived on the same planet as me. Much of the talk was around topics such as mindfulness, being in the...

The Law of Repulsion

I guess most people reading this have heard of the Law of Attraction. Its claims is that by focusing the mind on the things we want we can achieve them with pretty much zero effort. The Law of Attraction is very popular – millions of hopefuls visualizing untold wealth, fame, endless sexual conquests, a private jet, or whatever a particular person’s thing happens to be. It doesn’t work. If...

Security or Freedom – Your Choice

We all want security and we all want freedom. It’s not going to happen. Security and freedom sit at opposite ends of a scale, and to have one means abandoning the other. This manifests in many areas of life. Most people want a stable relationship, typically marriage, but they also want the freedom to engage with other sexual partners. This often causes problems, as is testified by very high...

Skin in the Game

There are two ways to live a life. We can live the life of an animal or that of a human being. Human beings are surprisingly rare. The life of an animal is easily defined – all our efforts, aspirations and dreams are geared toward one thing – survival and procreation. That the activity of most of us is concerned exclusively with this is easy to show – earning money, seeking...

The Prison

Then it is all mere Maya, with which the Brahman deceives himself. – Upanishads Here is a description of the walls and iron bars that comprise your prison. You are driven relentlessly by the will-to-life to maintain your existence and seek as much power as possible. The driver is your desires, and these can never be wholly satisfied. If your desires are not met you feel pain. This is the...

Forces, Laws and Things

The world seems to be driven by forces of various kinds, gravity being one of the primary shapers of the structure of the universe. In fact it wouldn’t be too much of an exaggeration to say that the stars, galaxies, black-holes and the like are merely coincidental. They come and go as gravity pulls masses together and then other forces blow them apart. That a particular star came into...

The Creation-Destruction Asymmetry

I wouldn’t class myself as a misanthrope, I’m not interested enough to hate people. However I have come across a few misanthropy groups. It is something of an oxymoron to have a misanthropy group, since misanthropists hate people it is assumed they would not want to participate in a group. Nonetheless it is interesting to see what happens in these groups. Once the members have all told each other...

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At his best, man is the noblest of all animals; separated from law and justice he is the worst. #aristotle

There are just two conditions under which we can be happy - before we even suspect our own nothingness, and after we have stared it in the face enough that we are no longer intimidated. Any position between these two is a cause of great unhappiness and anxiety.

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