It is as if this unexpected correlation provided us with the missing piece of a “Rosetta stone” in which two known codes — the sound waves and the electric waves generated by sound — could be exploited to decipher a third one: the electric code generated in the absence of sound, which in turn could hopefully lead to the discovery of the “fingerprint” of human language.
Our brain always chooses bigger dopamine hit. This is the basis of addiction. This happens with food, Netflix, alcohol, drugs, porn and social media - notifications. Some produces high stimulation (drugs) and some aren’t that high (food). The dangerous loop is the initial high becomes new normal slowly. Over a period of time the dopamine receptors shrink in size as well affecting the efficiency of everyday activities.
Spending more when your income rises is as tempting as eating more after you exercise. It feels earned and justified. This is doubly true for spending because people’s lifestyle expectations are driven by their peers. When everyone spends more, you feel entitled to spend more.
As for somebody who writes, it shouldn’t matter anyway who reads him, or if anybody reads him at all. That shouldn’t be his concern. A writer’s sole commitment is to his thoughts. Everybody else can wait.
Once you realize that orthodox privilege exists, a lot of other things become clearer. For example, how can it be that a large number of reasonable, intelligent people worry about something they call "cancel culture," while other reasonable, intelligent people deny that it's a problem? Once you understand the concept of orthodox privilege, it's easy to see the source of this disagreement. If you believe there's nothing true that you can't say, then anyone who gets in trouble for something they say must deserve it.
Why in the world are we not embarking on widespread public-health testing? Why is the FDA still regulating tests, saying they may only be performed in a medical setting? By what possible right or common sense can the FDA tell me that I cannot send samples of my body to a lab, and the lab cannot tell me what’s in them?
This thing could be over in weeks if the FDA allowed cheap, fast, relatively inaccurate, cash-and-carry, completely unregulated tests.
Anyone who controls the UI can exploit these weaknesses to change our behavior. If you’re using an app, website or media source that’s “free”, it’s designed to let someone into your head, for the purpose of changing your behavior. It’s designed to let them achieve their goals, at the expense of your goals.
Mild or otherwise, these incentives are also pervasive. Everywhere we turn, we face pressure to adopt crony beliefs. At work, we're rewarded for believing good things about the company. At church, we earn trust in exchange for faith, while facing severe sanctions for heresy. In politics, our allies support us when we toe the party line, and withdraw support when we refuse. (When we say politics is the mind-killer, it's because these social rewards completely dominate the pragmatic rewards, and thus we have almost no incentive to get at the truth.) Even dating can put untoward pressure on our minds, insofar as potential romantic partners judge us for what we believe.
In other words, we do need to teach rationality and critical thinking skills — not just to ourselves, but to everyone at once. The trick is to see this as a multilateral rather than a unilateral solution. If we raise epistemic standards within an entire population, then we'll all be cajoled into thinking more clearly — making better arguments, weighing evidence more evenhandedly, etc. — lest we be seen as stupid, careless, or biased.
Spending time online, too, has affected our breath. “When we’re engaged in technology we’re doing these subconscious breath-holds a lot,” she says. It can happen when concentrating on writing an email, but also when mindlessly scrolling through social media. “And the things we see online can make us feel inadequate or anxious, so there’s an emotional factor that can affect breathing. I don’t know if anyone comes off social media feeling better.” There are also postural issues that can hamper our respiratory system, whether you are hunched over a laptop or, head down and neck bent, looking at your phone.
Gladwell does not cultivate gravitas and doesn’t much mind if you disagree with him. He is an intellectual hedonist: his big idea is that ideas should be pleasurable. Rather than trying to persuade, he seeks to infect readers with his enthusiasms: isn’t this interesting? This ethos has birthed a whole publishing industry. It’s only a slight exaggeration to say that, without Gladwell, there would no Freakonomics, no Nudge, no TED Talks, no “Smart Thinking” section in Waterstones. For those who find the whole genre unbearably superficial, Gladwell is to blame.
At a time when the government is supposed to be answering tough questions, we are being fed updates about a non-event with such promptness that makes you wonder whether this is the most important case in independent India’s history. The answer is clearly no. But then, who’s asking the right questions anyway?
I might have a snobbish personality on Twitter but I am super-interactive on private messages. If somebody asks me a genuine question, I do respond with a genuine answer. That’s the set principle. Still, whenever somebody asks me about creativity and how to get better ideas or how to write, etc. I am dumbstruck because I don’t know the answers to any of these questions. The very essence of creativity is hidden in its obscurity. When Michelangelo got down to work and created David after two years of labour, he was not showing the world how creativity flows but hiding his secrets. Nowhere can you find the recipe of his masterpiece. Nope, that’s not how creative folks function. With practice, we hone skills but with time, we hone life. And therein lies the crux of being. Stay away from anybody who can talk for even 30 minutes on this subject. There is a reason why even the most creative of folks don’t understand creativity. Why? Because that’s how it is supposed to be.
This strategy of cooperation, drawing on the respective skills of human and machine rather than pitting one against the other, may be our only hope for surviving life among machines whose thought processes are unknowable to us. Nonhuman intelligence is a reality—it is rapidly outstripping human performance in many disciplines, and the results stand to be catastrophically destructive to our working lives. These technologies are becoming ubiquitous in everyday devices, and we do not have the option of retreating from or renouncing them. We cannot opt out of contemporary technology any more than we can reject our neighbors in society; we are all entangled. To move forward, we need an ethics of transparency and cooperation. And perhaps we’ll learn from such interactions how to live better with these other entities—human and nonhuman—that we share the planet with.