Friendship produces between us a partnership in all our interests. There is no such thing as good or bad fortune for the individual; we live in common. And no one can live happily who has regard to himself alone and transforms everything into a question of his own utility; you must live for your neighbour, if you would live for yourself. This fellowship, maintained with scrupulous care, which makes us mingle as men with our fellow-men and holds that the human race have certain rights in common, is also of great help in cherishing the more intimate fellowship which is based on friendship… For he that has much in common with a fellow-man will have all things in common with a friend.
Tag Archives: philosophy
Collaboration is a documentary film that was created to record the process of an experiment in collaborative work within the context of the scientific community as well as to be a companion piece to the larger PhD thesis of student from Denmark named Alfred Birkegaard. The film discusses why work in groups of large, diverse numbers is so important in the scope of education and scientific research, the challenges ahead in attempting to apply collaborative work in both educational and professional settings, and also introduces audiences to bio-hackers and biochemists blazing the trail of open source and collaborative work in both Denmark and America.
The lesson to be learned from Collaboration affects more people than those who are currently in, or looking to become involved with, any greater scientific or academic community; although the scientific community is comprised of many people who wouldn’t consider themselves a part of it. The film also makes you re-think how you, and how we as a whole, seek to answer the tough questions, and why the current approach isn’t the best, as proved by how fast problems can be solved when openly sourced vs. when worked on by a single team of scientists.
This is an area I’m very interested in so may write more about it in another post.
Complement with Adapt Why Success Always Starts with Failure
Jason Silva hosts Shots of Awe, a short documentary series produced and distributed by TestTube (a Discovery Digital Network) that summates some of mankind’s most daunting scientific pursuits into fun and exciting videos, each only a few minutes long, that the layman can understand. All of them produced with hi-octane music and graphics that aims to get the viewer excited, which he does without in any way dumbing down what he says. Some of the topics covered:
Engineering Our Own Divinity: The buildings and spaces we build create a feedback loop that informs the lives we live, so we directly control the world and life we experience.
Digital Shamans: A syllabus of books written by brilliant people whose texts are geared towards thinking beyond the limits of the reality most believe we live in.
Psychedelic Technology: The very first thoughts an inventor has that lead to the invention of a previously uncreated technology are in fact hallucinations – thoughts that are not bound by the present reality.
Existential Bummer: Our most extreme emotions of happiness and love are often tinged with a hint of sadness, and Silva theorizes that it is because we have an understanding of the fleeting nature of all living things – that we and every living thing we love will die.
Artificial Intelligence: Fears that machine will eradicate us, its creator, are unfounded. Artificial intelligence is just an extension of intelligence beyond the bounds of physicality, it is us.
We’re On the Right Track: Despite doom and gloom theories about the disastrous state of present day society, hard data indicates that humanity is prospering as greatly as it ever has – the odds a man will die at the hands of another man, on a global scale, are the lowest they have ever been in history, for example.
This article eloquently describes, via the philosophy of Lao Tzu, one of the reasons I like to spend as much time as possible in and around nature.
Complement with a Bjork song on a similar theme
This is an article written by a woman who grew up an evangelical christian but then lost her faith in that religion. It’s insightful to read a first hand account of someone’s loss of faith. She calls for more stories of loss of faith that are beyond the well known reason overcoming faith explanation.
What if we had different kinds of stories of faith lost today, beyond the usual narrative of rationality trumping emotion? What emotions would become possible then? Awe—without the undergirding dogma of the evolutionary biologist or a purpose-driven God. Gratitude—to nobody in particular. An aliveness to a changeable and often uncertain world as it is, at this very moment.
It links to previous posts on the subject of Wonder and Awe.
One emotion inspired our greatest achievements in science, art and religion. We can manipulate it – but why do we have it?
Empathy isn’t just something that expands your moral universe. Empathy is something that can make you a more creative thinker, improve your relationships, can create the human bonds that make life worth living. But, more than that, empathy is also about social change — radical social change.
Philosopher Roman Krznaric believes that the 21st century needs to shift from introspection to outrospection, the ultimate art form for which is empathy. He explains in this RSA Animate video.
I discovered this thanks to the insightful and inspirational Brainpickings website.
I very much believe in what he is saying and have often thought it. I have a sense of social justice and a natural desire to understand people and discover new things. That’s why I work in the charity sector. However I have fallen foul of the introspection curse. Sure it has been invaluable to me and helped me discover a great many things but it has also been a bit of a curse. If we all put more effort into empathy maybe we can not only achieve the social changes we so desperately need but be happier individuals too. Because I believe if Outrospection and Empathy are more widely encouraged more people will realise that happiness is found by looking beyond themselves – making others happy makes you happy. Other Non-Western cultures understand this, I’m thinking of the African philosophy of Ubuntu, for example. I think we have too often forgotten it as a central tenant of life and suffer as a consequence. Let’s all make more effort hey!