Context as a replacement for “self”

A fugue on symbols, consciousness, zen, choices, and enlightenment People are happier when they think less about themselves. In this essay I want to propose a computational reason for that difference. In Godel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid, author Douglass Hofstadter describes a process where a brain mirrors the external world, and gradually starts […]

Infrequently Asked Questions

These questions are rarely asked, which is unfortunate. I have gathered their answers here, for your edification. Q. If I am navigating a high-dimensional space, how do I avoid getting lost? A. Move slowly and observe as much as possible. Q. Do I currently believe anything that is false? A. Yes. Almost certainly. It would be very […]

Energy, Emotion, and Capital

Consider the economy as software governing a chemical reaction. Note: Previously, I wrote about one way I look at money: as a mathematical language. Because people found that essay interesting, I thought I’d write another in the same vein: let’s look at the economy as a process of energy, as if it were a chemical […]

Why the Something Feels the way it Does

A just-so story. At first, there was nothing. This was very confusing. “Why is there nothing?” Everyone asked. “Wait — who is doing the asking?” Clearly, this wasn’t going to work. So we decided that there would be something. We called the something a game, because we were playing at creation. The first game wasn’t all that interesting. […]

How to Be Happier

Put down that selfie stick, and get on your hoverboard! Consumer culture has produced two perfect metaphors, which will allow me to illustrate a great approach to better happiness. Consider: The World as a Selfie Stick Some people treat the world like a selfie stick. They keep it at arm’s length, and use it to create […]

Fairy Tales, Adapted For a Modern Audience

The following fairy tales have been adapted from their original format, to fit your modern perspective. The Boy who Cried Wolf Sheep image from pixabay. There once was a young shepherd boy whose job was to watch the sheep and make sure they didn’t run off. He cared about his job, and he loved the sheep. The […]

Moral Dilemmas For Your Consideration

Are you bored of the trolley problem? Is it too simple to be of any use in determining what it means to be good? Why not explore some of my nightmares, instead? Each of these scenarios comes from dreams or other hallucinations I have experienced. Many of these nightmares would reoccur until I found a […]