Sunday, 12 June 2016
US states I've been to
18. New York
20. North Carolina
21. South Carolina
26. New Jersey
31. New Hampshire
32. West Virginia
34. Rhode Island
States I've not been to
1. New Mexico
2. North Dakota
3. South Dakota
I guess I will have to visit the remaining ones at some point, just to complete the list. And why not complete the list of Canadian provinces as well, though Nunavut might be a bit challenging.
Though, next of the previously unvisited locations I was thinking I might visit India, Nepal, China, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Argentina, Chile, Yukon, Alaska, Hawaii and then perhaps Africa in some way. Brazil, Peru, Korea and Russia might be worth visiting at some point as well. Not necessarily in any particular order. Of these locations I'm thinking Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Yukon, Alaska and Hawaii might be decent enough to visit alone, but I'm thinking other location might be nicer to visit with some company.
Some Nietzsche quotes, just for the sport of it...
“I mistrust all systematizers and avoid them. the will to a system is a lack of integrity.”
"Two great European narcotics, alcohol and Christianity."
"You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist."
"Faith: not wanting to know what the truth is."
"A thinker sees his own actions as experiments and questions--as attempts to find out something. Success and failure are for him answers above all."
"Today as always, men fall into two groups: slaves and free men. Whoever does not have two-thirds of his day for himself, is a slave, whatever he may be: a statesman, a businessman, an official, or a scholar."
"They muddy the water, to make it seem deep."
"Is life not a thousand times too short for us to bore ourselves?"
"I know of no better life purpose than to perish in attempting the great and the impossible."
"It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book."
"To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering."
"Convictions are more dangerous foes of truth than lies."
"My solitude doesn’t depend on the presence or absence of people; on the contrary, I hate who steals my solitude without, in exchange, offering me true company."
"A thought comes when it will, not when I will."
"He who climbs upon the highest mountains laughs at all tragedies, real or imaginary."
"Many are stubborn in pursuit of the path they have chosen. Few in pursuit of the goal."
"One loves ultimately one's desires, not the thing desired."
"Most people are far too much occupied with themselves to be malicious."
"The vanity of others runs counter to our taste only when it runs counter to our vanity."
"Character is determined more by the lack of certain experiences than by those one has had."
"We would not let ourselves be burned to death for our opinions: we are not sure enough of them for that."
"Every word is a prejudice."
Sometimes it's almost scary how much I have in common with this guy.
Thursday, 9 June 2016
...but not all of them are worth the time it takes.
"Necessitarianism is stronger than hard determinism, because even the hard determinist would grant that the causal chain constituting the world might have been different as a whole, even though each member of that series could not have been different, given its antecedent causes."
Even if 99% of people are idiots, 1% is still plenty, and even if 99% of the things that the 1% does is idiotic, the remaining 1% is still amazing. That's the highest compliment and respect I can genuinely offer humanity. It's not exactly that people are stupid, it's something else, but there's definitely something weird, perhaps something wrong.
You can have something like soul, afterlife, rebirth and immortality from science. There are many ways. Maybe not particularly likely ways, but possible ways none the less. Perhaps you can even have a nearly rational reason not to kill yourself for a nihilist who values nothing, but the minimization of their own suffering. If quantum mechanics is true, there is a certain likelyhood that your essence will once again re-emerge as a continuum of your current consciousness (after more than astronomical timescales). It's only a question of how much suffering occurs between these occurrences and I would speculate that such suffering might be quite large and it would in fact be in your favor to live "forever" and strive for maximal control of your own experiences, even if your life was to be mostly mundane, uninteresting and to some extent pain. As long as you hold some power over your own destiny by staying alive as opposed to being dead (or "in between"), you might be better off. Not that you'd actually have any hope of control with these timescales, but one can always dream and at least you would maximize percentage of the time you are in control. Though, in general I'm in favor of persons right to end their life at will without regret should a need arise due to excessive pain or whatever. Anyway, in my ideal world, people would not die of old age or disease, but by their own hand and will after having lived a life they consider sufficient, some might perhaps say after having become bored of life. Whether that be 100 years or 100 million years.
What exactly does a hard determinist believe then? Is hard determinism defined well enough to answer this question? That there exists a random element to the way the world came to be? Where does random come from? Even though I'm a necessetarian, I can still make estimates of the state of the world and what would constitute a better world for me and others and how to go about it as long as I acknowledge my finite understanding of what is necessary. I'm simply an agent of necessity even when making these estimates. My experience of choice is simply an illusion, but it's a wonderful feeling none the less and no one can take it away from me.
When I inform you that you have misunderstood my position you need to acknowledge this and attempt to correct yourself before proceeding to attack my position, otherwise you will simply waste everyones time by continuously engaging in irrelevant strawman arguments which have nothing to do with my true position.
I'm not saying (necessarily) that your argument has formal flaws, but there's no point in engaging with the argument itself before we get over the justification for its premises and as far as I'm concerned, we're nowhere near. We should properly acknowledge that if the premises are not sound then the potential formal validity of the argument implies nothing of the truth and is quite irrelevant.
If your god existed and it was his will then he would find a way to convince me. As this hasn't happened, I can only conclude that he either doesn't exist or wants to remain hidden, both irrelevant to me.
"Never waste your time trying to explain yourself to people who are committed to misunderstanding you."
Not only is all matter and energy just a vacuum fluctuation. Time and space are vacuum fluctuations as well. You lower a particle with energy E=mc^2 into a black hole and it loses all of its energy and with it both time and space cease to exist, assuming they had any independent existence to begin with.
What kind of person would I theoretically consider an ideal girlfriend (to the extent such a thing can make sense for me)?
A person who does not want to have children under any circumstances and has no (intrinsic) will or need to use intoxicants or be religious. The first appears totally essential, at least as far as I can see, there would be irreconcilable conflict otherwise. The only theoretical circumstance (if one wishes to be not entirely absolute) might be if I was ultra rich, like on the order of tens of millions of euros (and/or immortal). Only then the price would not be too high. The last two are something simpler. I experience them as a strong preference mainly for emotional reasons and I have supporting evidence of their value in the form of naturally increased feeling of trust, comfort, respect and other small things which seem to come with the package, but they may not be trivially essential if the conflicts are not large and may be shadowed by other things. Minor controlled conflicts may even foster valuable diversity under some circumstances and may lead to higher value for the sum of all things, that's why I'm never quite absolute even if it might sometimes appear so. The optimal balance may be very difficult to achieve though.
As I have very little tolerance for negative emotional expressions and irrational behavior, it would be quite essential for my company to naturally behave in a manner consistent with this. I also strongly prefer people who are pragmatic, empathic, intuitive on a wide spectrum, motivated, positive, patient, faithful, dedicated, trustworthy, unprejudiced and in general kind and goodwilled. I'm a strongly independent and introverted individual who needs certain distance, personal space and time. Therefore, in order for both of us to enjoy each others company, these qualities would probably need to be shared to fair extent.
I see my life as a personal expedition rather than a routine, achievement, competition, ladder or any kind of typical structure with stereotypical goals. I can value friends, their support, their entertainment value, their diversity, their intimacy, shared experiences, perhaps even a single special extended friendship with closer emotional ties to the opposite sex, but I find it unlikely I would ever see or want anyone to be much more than that and even then people for me are only for the good days, on bad days I prefer to stay alone and away from anyone or anything.
I strongly prefer people who are in tranquil and healthy equilibrium with their mind, body and emotions. People who consider their body a temple without totally excluding the value of small healthy or nearly healthy indulgence on occasion. People who have no will for permanent decorative modifications and who despise vanity for the most part. People who are not bound by any rigid ideas, opinions, goals or habits. People to whom most things are not a big deal. Perhaps one could even say, the eccentrics who are just a little bit above or at a distance from their culture, society, upbringing, social group and in general everything. Timeless people, perhaps healthy nihilists. Someone who is consciously their own individual and do not primarily compare themselves to others even though they are always willing to learn from others mistakes. Someone who is not afraid to fail. Someone who does not primarily work to please others or conform to any groups. Someone who considers an experience, whether emotional or otherwise, mostly as a case of diversity, a thing to learn, discover and enjoy for its own sake rather than some consumable or essential, least of all routine. Someone who at least in principle always strives to outdo oneself without considering themselves incomplete or defective.
In general most of these qualities are something I consider relevant to my emotional comfort, trust and respect, not to mention pragmatism. Some are more essential, some are less. I think many of these are a lot to hope for based on my experience of the human race as it presents itself in this time and place. This is one of the reasons why in general I have never found it very worthwhile to waste much of my time or effort for such aspects of life. I have never been particularly interested in having any relationships of the typical kind or particularly concerned at all, at most I would say I've had some interest in having some kind of comfortable diversity in my life. Some value can be found if a person can constructively challenge me on matters I've been not exposed to sufficiently even if they possess some uncomfortable qualities. This list is of course to large extent a list of my own personal character traits, but there are also some which are to lesser extent descriptive of me than I would perhaps hope them to be.
Then again, I'm not sure I could actually be bothered to have anything. Conscious creatures tend to be bothersome even when they're fine, and I'm bothersome too. Perhaps if the circumstances were close to perfection, but they never are, are they? What would be the point otherwise?
In some sense people are only entertainment to me and my altruism is only a manifestation of the valuation of diversity for my personal purposes. Never the less I consider it likely that as long as I live as if I have a chance to live forever this way of thinking could in principle make my behavior maximally good (by some hypothetical average standard based on shared values of conscious creatures as far as we can understand such) and perhaps in practice more moral than the behavior of many other people. As a scientist rejecting all absolute points of view, I am forced to believe anything is possible and therefore I am naturally bound to the maximally good path. I will strive to save the planet, its inhabitants and optimize their freedoms for myself for selfish reasons, but I will do all that none the less. If I find a mistake, I will strive to correct it. Whatever I might benefit from other people, they should symmetrically benefit from me as well. Like the veil of ignorance, I should rationally do onto other as I would have them do to me, one way or another. Sometimes I might even be kind for the sake of being random or perhaps one should say diverse.
"God" help if I ever lose my will to live, luckily doesn't seem very likely to happen though as I seem to have it in my blood to go on forever so to speak.