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Showing posts from August, 2009

Is Depression a Disease?

There are reasons to doubt that depression is merely a psychological malfunction. In this article at Scientific American, scientists discuss that depression might actually be a mental adaptation that brings certain cognitive advantages to the individual, albeit at significant costs.

Depression's Evolutionary Roots

Pink - Please Don't Leave Me

Please don't leave me
I always say how I don't need you
But it's always gonna come right back to this
Please, don't leave me


On Envy

"If you desire glory, you may envy Napoleon. But Napoleon envied Caeser, Caeser envied Alexander, and Alexander, I daresay, envied Hercules, who never existed. You cannot, therefore, get away from envy by means of success alone, for there will always be in history or legend some person even more successful than you are. You can get away from envy by enjoying the pleasures that come your way, by doing the work that you have to do, and by avoiding comparisons with those whom you imagine, perhaps quite falsely, to be more fortunate than yourself."
Bertrand Russell, The Conquest of Happiness

Disbelieve

X: I would like to disbelieve in a God who, if existed, would tolerate my disbelief.

Cargo Cults: Witnessing the Birth of Religion

'Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic'
Arthur C. Clarke

Cargo cults are religions based on an interesting interaction: the arrival of technologically advanced people into a primitive tribal society that has no way of understanding the technology of these foreigners, the "cargo", except in terms of divine wealth and magical thinking. These Cargo cults were documented in New Guinea and countries in South West Pacific Ocean, and sprang up independently in islands that were separated both geographically and culturally. The birth of cults was greatly enhanced during the WWII by the movement of soldiers into these areas.

Following are extracts from wikipedia:

"Members, leaders, and prophets of cargo cults maintain that the manufactured goods ("cargo") of the non-native culture have been created by spiritual means, such as through their deities and ancestors, and are intended for the local indigenous people, but that, unfairly, the…

Hope and Desire

Sanza speme vivemo in disio.
Without hope we live in desire.

Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy

Bicameralism

"It is one of those books that is either complete rubbish or a work of consummate genius, nothing in between!" Richard Dawkins, on The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind.

Extracts from wikipedia:

* The concept of schizophrenia as a result of civilization has been developed further by psychologist Julian Jaynes in his 1976 book The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind; he proposed that until the beginning of historic times, schizophrenia or a similar condition was the normal state of human consciousness. This would take the form of a "bicameral mind" where a normal state of low affect, suitable for routine activities, would be interrupted in moments of crisis by "mysterious voices" giving instructions, which early people characterized as interventions from the gods. [Source page]

* According to Jaynes, ancient people in the bicameral state would experience the world in a manner that has similarities to th…

Enjoyable Tolerance

Me: God, I am being so rational! :(
Aati: Rational people don't fall in love. They fall in enjoyable tolerance.

Post-22 Reflections

...There was once a dream that was Happiness. You could only whisper it. Anything more than a whisper and it would vanish... it was so fragile....

My 22nd birthday (on 8 August) is past, and i feel so old and weary, like a Werner's Syndrome of the mind. There has been too much free radical damage, and too little repair.

I have seen life, about one-third of the average human life span. And i do not like what i see. I have seen the loneliness which gnaws at the heart of human condition. I have seen the upholding of traditions at the cost of individual happiness. I have seen the malice and darkness that resides in the soul. I have seen Eros being turned into vice. I have seen humans being born in chains. I have seen infinity withering away into decay. I have seen Hell being paved with good intentions. I have seen the volcanic anguish of a muffled scream. I have seen bitterness which permeats the endocardium. I have seen society invent insanity. I have seen the beauty in life being cruc…

Elaborate Fiction

We are living in worlds of elaborate fiction...