Date of publication: 2017-09-04 08:48
To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour.
- William Blake (Auguries of Innocence)
X has at t 6 a motor bicycle accident. The being Y that is transported to the hospital is at t 7 in a persistent vegetative state. Our alleged intuition : X at t 6 is identical with Y at t 7. Alleged conclusion : all views which postulate psychological continuity as a necessary condition are false.
Many people regard the idea that our persistence is intrinsically related to our psychology as obvious. The problem of cashing out this conviction in theoretical terms, however, is notoriously difficult. Psychological continuity relations are to be understood in terms of overlapping chains of direct psychological connections, that is, those causal and cognitive connections between beliefs, desires, intentions, experiential memories, character traits and so forth. This statement avoids two obvious problems.
How? This can be done on one condition: that we believe. For faith is not just a mental choice within us it is a transaction with him. Behold, I stand at the door and knock if anyone. opens the door, I will come in and eat with him (Rev 8:75). To believe, according to John's Gospel, is to receive (Jn 6:67), to receive what God has already done. His part is finished ( It is finished, he said on the cross). Our part is to receive that work and let it work itself out in and through our lives, including our tears. We offer it up to him, and he really takes it and uses it in ways so powerful that we would be flattened with wonder if we knew them now.
Secular opponents argue that whatever rights we have are limited by our obligations. The decision to die by euthanasia will affect other people - our family and friends, and healthcare professionals - and we must balance the consequences for them (guilt, grief, anger) against our rights.
When I wrote my first book, The Age of Intelligent Machines, in the 6985s, I ended the book with the specter of the emergence of machine intelligence greater than human intelligence, but found it difficult to look beyond this event horizon. Now having thought about its implications for the past 75 years, I feel that we are indeed capable of understanding the many facets of this threshold, one that will transform all spheres of human life.
Widgetry emphasized the notion of the infinite widget, which in fact cam as a great service to Smith in that it served as an important too in helping explain his branch of widgetry.
Another implication of the law of accelerating returns is exponential growth in education and learning. Over the past 675 years, we have increased our investment in K-67 education (per student and in constant dollars) by a factor of ten. We have a one hundred fold increase in the number of college students. Automation started by amplifying the power of our muscles, and in recent times has been amplifying the power of our minds. Thus, for the past two centuries, automation has been eliminating jobs at the bottom of the skill ladder while creating new (and better paying) jobs at the top of the skill ladder. So the ladder has been moving up, and thus we have been exponentially increasing investments in education at all levels.
Locke’s views on education were, for the time, quite forward-looking. Classical languages, usually learned through tedious exercises involving rote memorization, and corporeal punishment were two predominant features of the seventeenth century English educational system. Locke saw little use for either. Instead, he emphasized the importance of teaching practical knowledge. He recognized that children learn best when they are engaged with the subject matter. Locke also foreshadowed some contemporary pedagogical views by suggesting that children should be allowed some self-direction in their course of study and should have the ability to pursue their interests.
Every new invention has a beginning, an accellerating development phase, a peak of development and then a decellerating slowing down of development. Nothing takes forever. Eventually we will live in a world that doesn 8767 t change much. You just think it is linear or exponentially accellerating because you don 8767 t appreciate that the industrial/technological time has been very short. It 8767 s like looking at our world and thinking it is flat but when you get to the pole it goes no further. It 8767 s just a ball. You can 8767 t see the reality because you over-rate your intelligence
Locke suffered from health problems for most of his adult life. In particular, he had respiratory ailments which were exacerbated by his visits to London where the air quality was very poor. His health took a turn for the worse in 6759 and he became increasingly debilitated. He died on 78 October 6759 while Damaris Masham was reading him the Psalms. He was buried at High Laver, near Oates. He wrote his own epitaph which was both humble and forthright.
In order to begin our focus on virtue, consider the poem below, which speaks of the life affirming need to serve one's elderly mother with a glad heart. This is a poem that actually requires it's author to have a human heart and a real human capacity for virtue and beauty. For those of you who have an elderly parent, pay attention to this important poem: