Category Archives: Discernment/Wisdom

THE BED OF PROCRUSTES

From Amazon:
The Bed of Procrustes takes its title from Greek mythology: the story of a man who made his visitors fit his bed to perfection by either stretching them or cutting their limbs. It represents Taleb’s view of modern civilization’s hubristic side effects—modifying humans to satisfy technology, blaming reality for not fitting economic models, inventing diseases to sell drugs, defining intelligence as what can be tested in a classroom, and convincing people that employment is not slavery.
From Me:
Insightful
Entertaining
Overstated
Lots to ponder
Some to dismiss
Glad I read

WHY I AM NOT ON TWITTER OR FACEBOOK

Image result for FACEBOOK DANGERS

Echo chambers abound.  In other words, on Facebook and Twitter you “gather” with like-minded people who confirm your entrenched views.

Funny name that Facebook.  There is no real face to face interaction and “gathering” or connecting is all virtual.  Real person to person interaction has gone the way of the Dodo bird!

Great pooling of ignorance.  Yes, there are thoughtful people on both Facebook and Twitter, but there are many more who are ignorant, and a large percentage seem not to know it!

The ancient Greeks said that to “learn is to suffer.”  Real learning usually means we have to unlearn something that we believed to be true.  This rarely happens, though I know of a few examples like the Westboro Baptist woman who realized via social media that her views were wrong.  But these kinds of examples are rare, very rare.  Probably not wise to build a case for something based on rare examples.

Let’s say you spend twenty minutes a day on Facebook and /or Twitter.  That adds up to a little over 120 hours per day.  Now think what you could do with 120 extra hours!

 

 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT!

https://reason.com/archives/2018/02/11/the-applied-theory-of-bossing

HT: Micah Mattix’s excellent email blast, Prufrock

Two “much food for thought” insights from the article above:

Adam Smith spoke of “the man of system” who “seems to imagine that he can arrange the different members of a great society with as much ease as the hand arranges the different pieces upon a chess-board.” [Richard] Thaler and his benevolent friends are men, and some few women, of system. They hate the Chicago School, have never heard of the Austrian School, dismiss spontaneous order, and favor bossing people around—for their own good, understand. Employing the third most unbelievable sentence in English (the other two are “The check is in the mail” and “Of course I’ll respect you in the morning”), they declare cheerily, “We’re from the government and we’re here to help.”

The great essayist Lionel Trilling wrote in 1950 that the danger is that “we who are liberal and progressive know that the poor are our equals in every sense except that of being equal to us.” The same may be said of Burkeans or conservatives, too. He also wrote that “we must be aware of the dangers that lie in our most generous wishes,” because “when once we have made our fellow men the object of our enlightened interest [we] go on to make them the objects of our pity, then of our wisdom, ultimately of our coercion.”

From C.S. Lewis:

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be “cured” against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.”