Addiction

July 27, 2010

Paul Graham: The Acceleration of Addictiveness. Basically, he says that one of the consequences of technological development is that as things get better, they get harder to leave alone. I liked this:

Which means that as the world becomes more addictive, the two senses in which one can live a normal life will be driven ever further apart. One sense of “normal” is statistically normal: what everyone else does. The other is the sense we mean when we talk about the normal operating range of a piece of machinery: what works best.

These two senses are already quite far apart. Already someone trying to live well would seem eccentrically abstemious in most of the US. That phenomenon is only going to become more pronounced. You can probably take it as a rule of thumb from now on that if people don’t think you’re weird, you’re living badly.

One of the reasons I haven’t blogged so much is that I’m trying to live well by not spending quite so much time on the computer.

I will dispute something he said in the footnotes:

I suspect the recent resurgence of evangelical Christianity in the US is partly a reaction to drugs. In desperation people reach for the sledgehammer; if their kids won’t listen to them, maybe they’ll listen to God.

I think people are reacting to a lot more than drugs. Besides encouraging more addictive behaviors, modern society as a lot of other negative traits: faithlessness, rootlessness, materialism, etc.

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News

July 17, 2010

A few notes before I go to bed:

Last night Julia and I attended Music Under the Star at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. Brave Combo performed. We danced the Chicken Dance, but Julia was inside looking at exhibits so we missed the Hokey Poky. (We danced a few other times too.) It was a lot of fun.

Today was my second day as an ordinance worker at the San Antonio Temple. (The first time was last Saturday.) It’s very inspiring, and I’m having to brush up on my Spanish.

My last post was linked at The Other McCain! Today at that web site I found a link to this: America’s Ruling Class — And the Perils of Revolution. It’s scarily accurate.

Back from vacation

July 14, 2010

Now that my vacation is over, I should probably start blogging again. So here are some links:

What’s been taking up my time the last couple of days: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality. It’s a retelling of Harry Potter, except this Harry is committed to science and rational examination. It works as a novel, too: the characters are very well drawn.

Sex, Science, Monogamy and Survival

More on Sex and ‘Science’

Think about it: all the great apes, except humans, are sexually promiscuous. And they all (except humans) have small populations confined to limited areas in the tropics. Now, correlation does not imply causation, but isn’t it just possible that monogamy has contributed to our success as a species?