The answer is always "yes and no". May 16, 2013
Loneliness is the inability to find company in knowledge. Loneliness is not about people, it's about meaning. May 16, 2013
Words use us to be spoken otherwise they would not exist. May 16, 2013
The world divides into poets and poems. When you are a poet, what poem are you writing? And when you are a poem, who's writing you? May 15, 2013
Children raise parents. May 3, 2013
Life is plural. May 2, 2013
There is a cosmic battle going on between time and space, and we are caught in the middle. When one wins, the world will end. Apr 17, 2013
It is easy to confuse when and where. Apr 16, 2013
We are almost certainly the leftovers. Apr 5, 2013
Ideology is a study of causes, not of effects. Apr 2, 2013
We can only fail. Just try to fail better. Apr 1, 2013
Good can only triumph over Evil by employing extreme evil, thereby fulfilling the mission of Evil. Mar 31, 2013
Life was obviously invented by a dead person. Mar 28, 2013
It's not about where you are but about who's around you. Mar 26, 2013
The present always feels premature even though the future is often overdue. Mar 25, 2013
Is there such a thing as "the pursuit of happiness"? Isn't happiness precisely the state of not pursuing anything? Mar 15, 2013
The only thing that is worse than not finding the solution to a problem is to find the right solution to the wrong problem. Mar 10, 2013
Freedom fighters don't exist anymore: the only people willing to give their life for a cause are terrorists and soldiers. Mar 7, 2013
The history of the world in a nutshell: the luxuries of the previous generation become the necessities of the new generation. Mar 7, 2013
Science is not a catalog of certainties but an endless exploration of uncertainties. Mar 6, 2013
How do imaginary objects travel through time and culture? Mar 5, 2013
Do we live in the age of local globality or global locality? Jan 24, 2013
I will not know who you are until you tell me who i am Jan 23, 2013
Only by mourning our impotence can we assert our power. Jan 17, 2013
Beauty is everywhere. Unfortunately, we are nowhere. Dec 30, 2012
We think we are the protagonist of our life's story, but, by the end, we realize that we have merely been a supporting character in the biographies of everybody else. Dec 26, 2012
Loneliness is a cancer only if you let it grow. Taken in small doses, it is the most powerful medicine, the only one capable of resurrecting a person. Dec 5, 2012
The choice is not between being philosopher or not being philosophers, it's about being good or bad philosophers. Dec 5, 2012
Let us not pretend otherwise: we are surrounded. Dec 3, 2012
There is no apocalypse coming. We have been living inside the apocalypse ever since. We will disappear when it's over. Nov 19, 2012
Nothing is trivial in history. Nov 13, 2012
Life might not be worth living but neither is death worth dying. Nov 13, 2012
No matter how far you run, the distance remains the same. Nov 8, 2012
Every minute makes sense to the minute after it but not to the minute before it, Nov 3, 2012
History has been shaped by people who knew what Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, etc really meant regardless of what they actually said
My guess is that the greatest unhappiness would be a utopian world in which everybody is equally happy. Oct 15, 2012
Sadly, psychologists (and society at large) think of solitude as a disease instead of a magical experience that helps you become you Oct 12, 2012
It is becoming increasingly difficult to disappear Oct 12, 2012
I don't want technology to keep me alive forever, i want technology to multiply me so that many copies of me can multitask on many projects at the same time Oct 7, 2012
Philosophy is the discipline of turning solutions into problems, science is the discipline of turning problems into other problems, and art is the discipline of turning anything into a problem Sep 14, 2012
If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a marketing commercial to sell ducks Sep 3, 2012
You are a question that is never asked Aug 27, 2012
One of the most difficult (and consequential) things in life is figuring out whether a question is stupid or not. Aug 11, 2012
You are what you read. Make sure you want to be what you read.
You should contradict yourself at least once a day. Jul 31, 2012
We often forget that there are two alternatives to "bad": "good" and "worse". Jul 26, 2012
Send me a copy of your past Jul 25, 2012
Human civilization, from the Pyramids to the iPhone, is the story of turning the impossible into the inevitable (and a lot of it is not about genius but simply about education) Jul 24, 2012
If i am the question, you are the answer (Remix: if the question is me, the answer is you). Jul 16, 2012
Most people you meet have jobs that you are happy you don't have. Most people think the same of you. Jun 14, 2012
Machines don't think, they do something else. Machine intelligence is as much an oxymoron as human furniture. Jun 7, 2012
Machines must be understood not programmed. Jun 7, 2012
We are not what we are. Now the question is: are we what we are not? Jun 6, 2012
Silence is our shared vocabulary; not the silence of our voices, but the silence of their answers. Apr 10, 2012
If i am stupid, i am not intelligent enough to realize it. Apr 9, 2012
Most of the interesting thoughts of the world will never be tweeted. Apr 8, 2012
The human race is a basement full of old scratched warped records: whenever you play one, you end up listening more carefully to the noise than to the music. Mar 12, 2012
We are meaningful contradictions that give meaning to the meaningless contradictions of the universe (including ourselves) Feb 3, 2012
Longevity made a huge difference for civilization: it takes about 20 years for the human brain to fully develop and become "creative" and the life expectancy of early humans was about 20. Jan 27,2012
We should always remember that whatever we think about the brain is coming from our brain. Jan 23, 2012
I observe the universe aware that it knows me a lot better than i know it, but nonetheless certain that what we are prevails over what it is. Jan 23, 2012
Predictions about the future are always about what will happen (eventually). It would be much harder to predict what will never happen. Jan 2012
Thinking about nothing makes it something. Thinking about something makes it nothing. Jan 2012
There is an infinite number of possible DNA combinations that yield conscious beings. Will they all exist? More than once? Some never will? Dec 2011
Why are compassion and altruism good? The most "altruistic" countries have the highest suicide rates. Would altruism lead to extinction? Dec 2011
The sexual behavior of plants displays a mindblogging variety, from hermaphrodite flowers to subterranean sex of aspen. Even ordinary grasses, of which there are dozens, employ the most bizarre strategies to mate. Dec 2011
Art has to be misunderstood by society in order to be great art. Nov 2011
The metabolism of the vegetable world yields beautiful flowers, delicious fruits and nutritious nuts, and, at worst, dead leaves. The metabolism of the animal world yields disgusting stinking excrements.
Due to how often and far we travel and how the lifestyle of each generation changes, our immune system has always been obsolescent. Oct 30, 2011
When all the continents were united in one solid mass, the dinosaurs ruled. The mammals began the dominant animals only when Pangeae split. Oct 30, 2011
Evolution did not design us to believe only true facts, nor to buy only useful products, nor to say only meaningful sentences. Oct 18, 2011
High-tech has become the discipline of complicating simple things. Oct 4, 2011
Maps and clocks are the human equivalent of spiderwebs. Sep 13, 2011
The most amazing thing about the laws of nature is that you don't need to know them in order to survive. In fact, nobody knows them - science is just an endless approximation. Sep 12, 2011
Paths are usually not made by the people who walk them. Walking people create shortcuts, not paths. July 27, 2011
"Only when the tide recedes do you find out who's been swimming naked" (Warren Buffet). "We're all naked" (piero) July 21, 2011
Physics is an illusion. What it reveals is the structure of our brain, not the structure of the universe. July 12, 2011
Astronomers give tours of the galaxy as viewed in their telescopes. Google should give tours of the Web as digitized, minced, sorted and blended inside its server farms. July 8, 2011
The world is divided into the ordinary and the extraordinary. The problem is deciding which is which. July 7, 2011
What we understand is not enough to understand why we understand it. July 7, 2011
Since we came to this world we only heard lies. But it's the lies that make it interesting. The truth would devastate us. June 27, 2011
The most powerful knowledge is the knowledge that induces people to radically change their concept of what knowledge is. June 22, 2011
"A man is infinitely more complicated than his thoughts" (Paul Valery) "A man is infinitely more complicated than his actions" (piero) June 12, 2011
We always forget that the longest living beings on this planet have no brain: trees and bacteria. June 2, 2011
Opiate use increased 35%, cocaine 27%, cannabis 8.5%. Why do more and more people need to get high more and more often? June 2, 2011
Why do we try to explain mysteries instead of cherishing them? May 2, 2011
Principles of Covariant Wisdom Apr 20, 2011
Success in solving a set of problems inevitably creates a new set of problems, and a system that is incapable of solving the new set of problems. Apr 7, 2011
Is there an end to science? Science is not a catalog of certainties but an endless exploration of uncertainties. Feb 21, 2011
It has become cheaper to produce/accumulate information than to understand it. Feb 21, 2011
Time is the thing that acts on all the things that do not act on themselves. 7:36 PM Feb 17, 2011
The severity of a problem increases exponentially with the time it takes to realize that the severity of a problem increases exponentially with the time it takes to realize that the severity of a problem increases exponentially with the time it takes... . February 16, 2011
Einstein was wrong: God did play dice with the Universe. The question is: who won?. February 13, 2011
The only way to know what i know is to know what i don't know. February 7, 2011
Would the world be a better place if everybody shared the same opinion, e.g. if everybody agreed with you on everything? December 27, 2010
We keep changing the question but the answer remains the same. December 26, 2010
Most of a person's life is about making sure that her/his world does not become just a ghetto. December 23, 2010
We change so much that we become the change to which we have to adapt. December 21, 2010
In 1894 Ubu, an imaginary character, invented Pataphysics, the science of imaginary solutions. Someone should invent a new science to study imaginary problems. And the real problems caused by their solutions. December 15, 2010
The world is simpler than the brain that conceives it. December 9, 2010
The scientific paper with the best title ever probably was "Does The Flap Of A Butterfly's Wings In Brazil Set Off A Tornado In Texas?" (Ed Lorenz, 1972) but few people noticed the effect that the paper itself had: thousands of papers and books and tv shows have been made that mimic that title. Just like the butterfly that set off the tornado. So the paper can actually be read as a prophecy about itself. November 12, 2010
We dream unreal worlds. A computer dreams the real world. November 10, 2010
A comedian is someone who tells the truth. Truth is the set of all jokes told by all comedians in the world. September 21, 2010
Consciousness's drive to total knowledge will eventually create a universe in which everything is alive and conscious and in which every conscious being is eating other conscious beings in order to survive; a world of pure cannibals. 11:22 AM Aug 12th
Is there a difference between forever and never? 10:17 PM Aug 3rd , 2010
The next time you say forever think of never. July 21, 2010, 2010
We are overrated. 7:00 PM Jul 7th , 2010
Nature is a vast cemetery. Every little piece of nature is something that died (stones from dead volcanoes, rivers from dying snow, forests from rotting organisms). Even the living flesh is made of the plants and animals that you killed to eat. And yet each dead thing is a seed. The seed will trigger a chain reaction of global metabolism. Each tomb is the embryo of a whole universe. Jun 13, 2010
Civilization is self-organizing creativity that eventually transforms itself into organized mediocrity. May 26th, 2010
Thankfully we cannot understand the universe. Can the universe understand us?) 7:23 PM May 3rd , 2010
Most difficult is making sense of other people because they are trying to make sense of me, so the sense changes all the time. 8:48 AM Apr 27th , 2010
THere is no sense in the world. It is our brain that tries to make sense of the world. 8:47 AM Apr 27th , 2010
(We speak as if we were one soul in one universe instead of multitudes of yesterdays in waterfalls of emptiness) 8:12 PM Apr 2nd , 2010
We are swimming in the lake in which future generations will drown. 1:33 AM Mar 10th , 2010
Human civilization had unknowingly reinvented what nature had been doing for centuries. Does human civilization always recapitulate nature? 8:23 PM Mar 1st , 2010
Biologists realized the living organisms are feedback systems only after engineers realized that machines are feedback systems (1949) 8:22 PM Mar 1st , 2010
History is the impossible becoming inevitable. 4:13 PM Feb 19th , 2010
Decay/erosion is also one of the few physical processes that leads to chaotic shapes rather than geometric shapes. 5:21 PM Feb 17th , 2010
Decay/erosion terrifies us but is in fact a fascinating process, and occasionally inspires great art. 5:21 PM Feb 17th , 2010
The meaning of life is the loss of meaning. We are programmed to find meaning in the loss of meaning. 5:20 PM Feb 17th , 2010
Our brain tries to make sense of decay/erosion in terms of rebirth, metamorphosis, cycles, but decay is actually irreversible. 5:19 PM Feb 17th , 2010
Processes of decay and erosion rule the universe. 5:19 PM Feb 17th , 2010
11:05 PM Jan 24th 2010 Does an easier method to find information increase or decrease the motivation to create new information?
11:05 PM Jan 24th 2010 Search engines have made it easier to find the existing information. They do not create more information.
11:04 PM Jan 24th 2010 Before the invention of search engines, the information was already there.
11:00 PM Jan 24th 2010 Globalization means the extinction of the "other".
10:59 PM Jan 24th 2010 Art was function in ancient times, representation in Greece, exploration in the renaissance, creation for the romantics, and now discovery
10:36 AM Jan 22nd 2010 "What I cannot create I do not understand" (Richard Feynman, 1988) "What i cannot understand i do not create" (my ideal scientist)
11:37 PM Jan 21st 2010 The part is the sum of its wholes.
11:19 PM Jan 21st 2010 A colossal amount of creativity is prematurely terminated because it has no customers.
11:19 PM Jan 21st 2010 If we could get rid of the customers, there would be a lot more successful startups with a lot more creative products.
3:29 PM Jan 20th 2010 Knowledge is overrated, truth is underrated.
11:35 AM Jan 20th 2010 Knowledge is depreciating at an accelerating pace
10:11 PM Jan 18th 2010 If we assume that what we cannot explain does not exist, then we have understood everything - philosophy becomes the science of inexistence
10:10 PM Jan 18th 2010 Answers to most questions are trivial. A civilization may never find the answer to a question because it does not look in the right place.
10:10 PM Jan 18th 2010 Intelligence is measured by the questions you ask not by the answers you find.
10:09 PM Jan 18th 2010 There is also a cognitive closure for civilizations: there is a limit to what a civilization can know.
10:09 PM Jan 18th 2010 The cognitive closure: there is a limit to what a mind can understand (to the questions it can answer).
10:09 PM Jan 18th 2010 Is an age defined by the questions it asks or by the answers it provides?
Jan 25, 2010 Certainty is a by-product of confusion
Jan 18, 2010 The greatest philosopher of the last century: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/g/groucho_marx.html less than a minute ago
Jan 17, 2010 The boundaries of my language are the boundaries of your world (paraphrasing Wittgenstein)
8:34 PM Jan 16th , 2010 Philosophy is the art of turning solutions into problems
7:39 PM Jan 16th , 2010 Einstein had the idea for general relativity on an elevator at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Berlin
9:16 PM Jan 14th , 2010 Darwin came up with a scientific explanation for evolution by observing the mockinbirds of the Galapagos
9:16 PM Jan 14th , 2010 Galileo proved Aristoteles wrong by dropping balls from the leaning tower in Pisa, thus paving the way for Newtonian Physics
9:15 PM Jan 14th , 2010 It's amazing what things change thistory: a leaning tower in Pisa, the mockinbirds of the Galapagos, an elevator at the Wilhelm Institute...
1:17 PM Jan 13th , 2010 Bottom line: no matter how much knowledge you learn, you never know the truth.
12:28 AM Jan 13th , 2010 After Jesus tells him the truth, Pilate asks Jesus "What is truth?" (John 18:28-38)
12:28 AM Jan 13th , 2010 Moses does not understand Khidr's actions because he doesn't have Khidr's knowledge (Sura 18:60-82 of the Quran)
12:27 AM Jan 13th , 2010 Zeno's paradox applied to knowledge... Gilgamesh tries in vain to gain knowledge from Utnapishtim but keeps falling asleep...
12:27 AM Jan 13th 2010: Poetry is the art of listening to silence. Poetry then turns it into signs that other minds turn into voices.
10:59 PM Jan 12th 2010: Silence is the sound of wisdom. Nothing speaks louder than silence. Nature is always silent.
10:58 PM Jan 12th 2010: Marie Curie said that the more we understand the less we fear. I think she got it all wrong: the more we know, the more we fear.
11:51 AM Jan 12th 2010: Einstein said that humankind cannot solve its problems at the same level of consciousness from which we created them
11:27 AM Jan 12th 2010: Adolf Wolfli,a patient in a madhouse, compiled an imaginary autobiography of 25000 pages, 1600 drawings, 1500 collages and 100s of songs.
12:52 AM Jan 8th 2010: Doctor Faustroll was born in 1898 in Circassia at the age of 63 and died the same year at the same age
12:34 AM Jan 8th 2010: Getting ready for monday's Art/Science evening in San Francisco: http://www.scaruffi.com/leonardo/jan2010.html
12:05 PM Jan 7th 2010: is it good karma or bad karma when you happen to be in both places where they are dropping the only two atomic bombs, and you survive both?
11:55 AM Jan 7th 2010: Someone survived both atomic bombs in Japan and lived to be 93! http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/07/world/asia/07yamaguchi.html?ref=world
11:54 AM Jan 7th 2010: The meaning of life: http://www.scaruffi.com/monument/hikes09/pinyo012.jpg
9:41 PM Dec 26th, 2009 One wonders what would happen if each www page linked to 10,000 pages: would the www evolve its own consciousness like the human brain did?
7:36 AM Dec 26th, 2009 The network of the world-wide web is way behind the network of the brain in number of connections: each page links to only a few pages.
7:36 AM Dec 26th, 2009 The closest thing to a brain that we have built is actually the World-wide web, that contains 53 billion webpages, each linking to others
7:36 AM Dec 26th, 2009 The complexity and the intelligence of the brain is due to the connections, not to the neurons themselves.
7:35 AM Dec 26th, 2009 A human brain has about 100 billion neurons, with an average of 10,000 synapses per neuron, which yields about 500 trillion synapses
7:35 AM Dec 26th, 2009 In a democracy the people control the media but the government tries to use the media to create consensus on its policies.
8:01 PM Dec 25th, 2009 In a dictatorship the government controls the media but the people try to use the media to create dissent on the policies of the government
8:00 PM Dec 25th, 2009 In a dictatorship the people are forced to consent. In a democracy the people are free to dissent. The media play opposite roles.
8:00 PM Dec 25th, 2009 I am thinking of a whole number between 1 and 2.
3:15 PM Dec 25th, 2009 The devil is in the details. Probably god too. But life is definitely not in the details. Life is in the whole.
4:22 PM Dec 18th, 2009 My existence is a message in itself. I am the reader, not the writer.
8:32 PM Dec 16th, 2009 I swim into myself: i am the sea, not the swimmer. Or maybe both.
8:27 PM Dec 16th, 2009 Or maybe i am both the hiker and the trail.
8:27 PM Dec 16th, 2009 I crawl on myself: i am the trail, not the hiker.
6:06 PM Dec 16th, 2009 Getting ready for tonight's LASER: http://www.scaruffi.com/leonardo/dec2009.html
7:04 AM Dec 9th, 2009 This change took place roughly at the time of the industrial revolution.
5:05 PM Dec 4th, 2009 What changed in the human mind that made it more pleasant to read a story written in ordinary languages than a poem written in rhymes?
5:04 PM Dec 4th, 2009 Then in just two centuries Poetry has been surpassed in prestige and popularity by a rapid succession of arts: fiction, cinema, music.
5:04 PM Dec 4th, 2009 For thousands of years in all civilizations of the Earth the dominant art was Poetry.
9:17 AM Nov 20th, 2009 More sophisticated laws simply create more sophisticated criminals.
6:19 PM Nov 1st, 2009 Death is the simplest of all mysteries: to die is to have been.
Humans argue about what is true and what is not true. Other animals don't have this problem. They fight over resources (food, land, sex), but not over truth. Oct 21st, 2009
As the number of dictatorships decreases, the appeal of democracy also decreases. The citizens of democracies feel confused and disoriented. Oct 21st
In politics, democracy was a lot more popular when it was the opposite of fascism and communism. Oct 21st
Light defines darkenss, and darkness defines light. Oct 21st
People define their identity by what they are not. That's what sets you apart from other nations, religions,etc. You are what you are not.4:40 PM Oct 18th
Something exists only because its opposite exists.3:50 PM Oct 18th
Friendship is a way to cope with enemies. Altruism is a way to cope with selfishness. Love is a way to cope with hate.1:01 PM Oct 18th
If life is a fight, the question is simple: how can we fight back when w don't know who it is that we are fighting?2:27 PM Oct 11th
When they are not thirsty, they keep riding their horses through the desert, happy to be alone, counting their pathetic treasure of sand.9:45 PM Oct 10th
The individuals of the affluent society are becoming nomads in an existential desert. When they are thirsty, they look for an oasis.9:44 PM Oct 10th
Preparing to chair the next Leonardo Art Science Evenings. If you live in the Bay Area, see http://www.scaruffi.com/leo...1:34 PM Oct 8th
Art and science cause a fundamental change in the nature of reality itself.8:58 AM Oct 8th
Written an article on happiness: http://www.scaruffi.com/phi...11:24 AM Oct 7th
I think that immersive interactive post-narrative art is the first significant paradigm shift since the invention of poetry.12:45 AM Oct 6th
Alcohol/drugs must serve another purpose that has more likely to do with the way we distorted human life from school to office to retirement9:13 AM Oct 4th
The persistent appeal of alcohol/drugs in the West is puzzling in an age in which very few men have physically demanding jobs or go to war9:12 AM Oct 4th
Alcohol/drugs were popular in agricultural societies because they gave strength to men who had to endure terrible conditions (work and war)9:11 AM Oct 4th
Orphans of history, we test blindfolded the invisible foundations with our cane.5:47 PM Oct 3rd
Mark Rothko: "without monsters and gods, art cannot enact a drama."8:05 PM Oct 2nd
Wealth and security seem to make people unhappy. Maybe wealth and security are biologically "wrong". They go counter our genetic program.12:02 PM Oct 1st
What makes people happy/unhappy? Rich countries don't fare well in suicide rates. The country with the best social net (France) is worst.12:01 PM Oct 1st
Interesting statistics on suicide rages: http://bit.ly/zKcaK12:01 PM Oct 1st
Jorn Barger's Inverse Law of Usenet Bandwidth: "The more interesting your life becomes, the less you post... and vice versa"11:06 AM Sep 29th
We should update Jorn Barger's Inverse Law of Usenet Bandwidth to the age of Facebook and Twitter.11:05 AM Sep 29th
A comedy of clowns rehearsing each other's part and never performing the comedy in front of a real audience. We die before we can learn it.7:57 PM Sep 22nd
We must never forget this is only a comedy. The funniest part is that we forget this is only a comedy.7:27 PM Sep 22nd
The universe is a giant mirror. When we look at Nature, we stare at ourselves. When we look at a city, we stare at ourselves. We are them.7:05 PM Sep 22nd
Wisdom is being able to see the comedy in the tragedy. There are no tragedies in life: just life itself, that follows its natural course.7:01 PM Sep 22nd
Life is a comedy. We play a part and people laugh at us. Enlightenment/wisdom is when we start laughing at ourselves.
We may have forgotten how to listen. (From my book "Synthesis")7:03 PM Sep 18th
A life is a symphony of selves that often pull in different directions. (From my book "Synthesis")7:02 PM Sep 18th
Both Relativity and Quantum Physics assign a key role to the observer: reality is relative to the observer, and the observer creates it. Sep 9
We carefully separate the human mind from Nature but nature is an illusion of the human mind and the human mind is a product of Nature. Sep 9
I elaborated on the idea that the GPS is reducing our ability to explore: http://www.scaruffi.com/phi/syn37.html
The generation that is growing up with the GPS is rapidly losing the ability to map the territory.4:04 PM Sep 8th
I heard the noise in the forest of a thousand silent trees.4:04 PM Sep 8th
I'm back after a week on the mountains. The best music is silence.9:58 AM Sep 8th
In the 1980s there was also the fear that Japan would overtake the USA. Maybe the 2010s will be the decade of fearing China.6:21 PM Aug 25th
Then came the fear of the nuclear holocaust in the 1960-80s, the Y2K in the 1990s, and now "global warming/climate change" in the 2000s.9:35 PM Aug 23rd
I am trying to list the mass hysteria of the last decades: It all started with the paranoia of the UFO invasion in the 1930-1950s9:34 PM Aug 23rd
When we become adults, our minds have died but are still unburied. The purpose of adult life is to give them a proper burial.9:19 PM Aug 22nd
Will the next age be about building smarter and smarter minds? Or will we simply becomevery dumb beings guided by machines in everything? Aug 21
We build smarter and smarter machines, and dumber and dumber minds. It is inevitable that machines will become more intelligent than minds. Aug 21
We have invested less and less in minds, because we don't need them as much as we used to. We have "intelligent" machines to replace them. Aug 21
Will the next age be about minds simulating computers? Aug 21
The information age was about using the computer to simulate the human mind. Now that computers are doing more than minds, what next? Aug 21
Just published a new book http://bit.ly/UTWQn8:11 PM Aug 19th
We think that we pollute nature: but aren't we part of nature? Whatever we do, isn't it an act of nature.12:56 PM Aug 17th
Humans separate themselves from Nature. We talk of Nature as if we were not part of it. For example, who is smarter, us or nature?12:55 PM Aug 17th
There are many ways to answer a question, but the one that allows for no further debate is not to answer it at all.10:23 AM Aug 16th
A reader asked me which of the chapter of Nature of Consciousness http://www.scaruffi.com/nat... needs more updates: Physics10:13 AM Aug 16th
The best books are those you don't want to finish reading because you hate the idea that they end (inspired by my reader Emanuele Maniscalco2:27 PM Aug 13th
Good turnout at yesterday's LASER: http://www.scaruffi.com/leo... Fun presenters and audience. The next one's on september 1412:06 PM Aug 13th
The fact that each of us is a different universe sounds wonderful but could be the reason why it is so difficult to communicate and share.5:59 PM Aug 7th
Each of us is her/his own universe with its own laws of nature.5:59 PM Aug 7th
Revised the article on why i think Pakistan (not Afghanistan) is the problem: http://bit.ly/qWuzn1:48 PM Aug 5th
We create our own inner universe to be comfortable with the outer universe that we (urban geographically-confined beings) don't experience.9:43 AM Aug 5th
Wendy Angel commented "We are the universe". I wonder if we "become" a universe (because we are so out of touch with the one out there).9:42 AM Aug 5th
We think we know where we live, but we only live where we know.3:08 PM Aug 4th
We are literally out of touch with our planet, not to mention with the rest of the universe (that we will never experience).3:07 PM Aug 4th
Posted on Facebook: We think we know where we live, but we only live where we know. (I'm meditating on the fact that we will never see/hear/smell/touch most of our planet, not to mention the rest of the universe: our direct experience of the world is geographically very limited, and otherwise indirect and approximate).
Every time i summit a mountain i realize that so few people see so much of the planet. Most of the planet is not seen by anyone or by a few.3:06 PM Aug 4th
Sometimes it is the pursuit of happiness that makes people unhappy.10:29 PM Jul 28th
(The tweets below have mostly become part of my book "Synthesis", published in august 2009)
To become moral animals, Robert Wright wrote, humans must first realize how thoroughly amoral they are.10:24 AM Jul 28th
Also related to the discussion on natural/unnatural is evil: is evil natural? is evil another word for "unnatural"?8:43 AM Jul 24th
The Internet (Facebook, blogs) also allows everybody to become a critic, and how many readers you get mainly depends on your networking.10:26 PM Jul 23rd
The value of the Academia is that it provides a system for each member to capitalize on other member's ideas, i.e. a positive feedback loop.2:37 PM Jul 23rd
The Internet (YouTube, Twitter, Facebook) allows anybody to become an artists, a philosopher, a scientist; but it has no way to capitalize.2:37 PM Jul 23rd
We now have two asynchronous cultures: academic culture, which is a bureaucracy, and popular culture, which is an Internet-based democracy.2:35 PM Jul 23rd
In modern high-tech western society there are many more independent artists than ever, but they don't constitute a positive feedback loop.9:41 AM Jul 23rd
The cycle of cultural and scientific creativity is limited to the Academy, which is ultimately a bureaucracy. We bureaucratize creativity.9:40 AM Jul 23rd
The diluted nature of modern western society might explain why cultural creativity is declining: artists can't influence artists.9:39 AM Jul 23rd
Artistic movements in history have been self-sustaining cycles of ideas. That requires a closely knit community. Today it's unlikely.9:37 AM Jul 23rd
Ethical principles vary wildly among cultures and ages. Is it human conscience that varies with space and time and causes different ethics?9:36 AM Jul 23rd
Ethics is the social definition of conscience. Does ethics (embedded in laws) create our conscience or is ethics based on human conscience?9:33 AM Jul 23rd
Ethics, the definition of natural/unnatural and conscience influence each other, but i cannot figure out which one came first.9:31 AM Jul 23rd
What is our natural conscience before it is conditioned by the laws created by religion and state? What would i feel guilty of in the wild?9:29 AM Jul 23rd
Are there unnatural things? If yes, are they good or bad? Are civilizations unnatural?Are laws unnatural?9:28 AM Jul 23rd
Does life always self-destroy, everywhere in the universe?4:06 PM Jul 22nd
What will be the next human-engineered threat to life on this planet? What will people be scared of two or three decades from now?2:51 PM Jul 21st
It is getting easier and easier for human society to destroy the planet. The odds that we will succeed increase with industrial progress.10:53 AM Jul 21st
Over the last 50 years alone, we've had two close calls that we may destroy the planet: first the nuclear holocaust and now "climate change"10:49 AM Jul 21st
Whatever we end up doing, even if we destroy the whole planet, it's in our genes, and therefore it's "natural".10:46 AM Jul 21st
Discussion with my housemate about what is natural and unnatural for humans. Ultimately, no behavior is "unnatural", by definition.7:41 AM Jul 21st
Most animals protect themselves from change; they fear change. Humans instead cause it. We value originality, exploration, innovation.8 minutes ago
We value exploration and innovation, i.e. new things. What is the survival advantage of new things?Wouldn't it be safer to stick to the old? Jul 20
Is it genetic that we tend to think of original thinkers as superior people? What is the biological value of originality?4:16 PM Jul 13
As a race, what makes us the same is what sets us apart: evil.3:44 PM Jul 8
The closer one looks at the context the more diluted evil becomes. Evil acts are not the deed of one man but the product of a civilization.12:50 PM Jul 8
If it's the intention that defines "evil", then the more rational a decision is the more evil it can be; the more irrational the less evil.12:36 PM Jul 8
We could not agree whether evil is extreme madness or extreme rationality. Western law considers madness an extenuating circumstance.12:35 PM Jul 8
Maybe the ultimate evil is to deny that evil exists and pretend that there are always justifications for what happen, as historians do.9:50 AM Jul 8
"What makes it immoral if you lose and not immoral if you win?" (Robert McNamara, about exterminating civilians in wars)4:15 PM Jul 7
I "discovered" a new route to reach the top of the second highest mountain in California. Why are we proud of exploring and discovering?10:28 AM Jul 7
We are a noise surrounded by silence; and it's the silence that truly defines what we are.10:06 AM Jul 2nd
There was a time when WRITERS exerted the greatest influence on nations. These days it's marketing that shapes the daily lives of people.10:03 AM Jul 2nd
The production of souls is more important than the production of tanks (Stalin, 1932). He neglected marketing: marketing engineers souls.9:36 AM Jun 29
Stalin said that writers are engineers of the soul. He was right. Except they are highly imprecise engineers who "engineer" by accident.6:53 PM Jun 28
Readers of my books send me the most unpredictable emails. They misunderstand what i read and are influenced by it.6:52 PM Jun 28
The fiction of our science is the psychology of our religion.2:58 PM Jun 27
No matter how far we look, we only see finite things existing for finite eras; and still we believe that the infinite exists, e.g. people who believe that immortality is possible 2:43 PM Jun 26
What is a telescope to blind people?2:42 PM Jun 26
If we thought more highly of ourselves, we would not watch bad films and read bad books just because they are publicized.2:37 PM Jun 26
Life is a question in the form of an answer.10:23 AM Jun 26
There would be zero business for new films or books if everybody spent their lifetime watching and reading the (far superior) classics.11:01 PM Jun 25
Marketing is a scary human invention. Marketing consists in erasing the memory of good things so that people will buy bad things.10:59 PM Jun 25
In order to have people watch a new film or read a new book, they have to make sure that people will never know about old films and books.10:58 PM Jun 25
Extraordinary people use words and tools to hide the truth and distort reality.7:03 PM Jun 25
Ordinary people use words and tools to tell the truth and describe reality.7:03 PM Jun 25
Fear of the world created the gods that created the world that we fear.4:04 PM Jun 25
"Temos, todos que vivemos, Uma vida que ‚ vivida E outra vida que ‚ pensada," Fernando Pessoa1:36 PM Jun 25
An increasing number of people live by themselves, drive alone to work, work in a cubicle, eat alone... they used to be crowded activities.10:46 AM Jun 24
Back to loneliness: i think it truly defines our age. People have never been so far from family and had so superficial friendships.10:45 AM Jun 24
Were we immortal, we would all commit suicide. Jun 23
Modern western life has turned family into an option and friendship into a transient quality. Therefore the culture of loneliness, the need to organize spare time. June 23
Notable books on empires: Santossuosso's "Storming the Heavens", James' "Rise and Fall of British Empire", Chambers' "The Devil's Horsemen" June 22
Interesting how wildly different empires are: Rome, Mongols, Britain had virtually nothing in common (before, during or after their peak) June 22
Removing the unpredictable from life means removing the very essence of the human experience. June 22
Organized activities for singles have two drawbacks: they inevitably lead to loneliness later in life, and don't prepare people for it. June 22
In the USA lonely people do not commit suicide as much as in Russia: they are kept alive by organized activities (gyms, dancing, etc). June 22
The highest rates of suicide are in the former communist countries of Eastern Europe, then Japan/Korea. June 22
The list of "happiest" countries in the world consistently includes countries such as Finland that have a very high rate of suicides. June 22
People need to organize their spare time when they live unhappy lives. The more unhappy the more desperate to find things to do.
Members of other animal species fight over resources (food, land, sex), but not over truth. June 22
Humans argue about what is true and what is not true. I think other animals don't have this problem. June 22
These days i'm more interested in regress than in progress. There is evidence just about everywhere. June 22
"'History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake" (James Joyce) June 22
Life is not a journey, it is a destination. Maybe an infinitely distant point.
The essence is absence.4:16 PM Jun 19
Yesterday i wrote a note to myself that i should never write notes to myself. Jun 17th
Eternity is the poetry of amnesia. Jun 17th
Only silence truly exists. Jun 17th
In a mirror what is left is right and what is right is left. Life is a mirror. Jun 17th
We are doomed not only to repeat history but to never understand our role in it. Jun 17th
Being is in time. Even space is in time. We can control space but not time. In order to control time, we have to die. Jun 17th
When we go back to a place in space, it looks different. If i could go back to a moment in time, would it feel different? Would it be me? Jun 17th
Beauty is not in the eye of the beholder but in the mind of the thinker Jun 12th
The gap between reality and meaning in the digital age has increased. Jun 12th
I hate what i love. I love what i hate. Jun 11th
"Is there an ethics of curiosity ? Most Scientists would say: No. Most Artists would say: Yes" (Roger Malina at yesterday's LASER) Jun 11th
"All knowledge is conditioned by the structure of the knower" (Varela) Jun 11th
India has had three Muslim presidents, a Sikh prime minister and a Catholic party leader. Jun 10th
Iran under the ayatollahs has become the common enemy of both Jewish Israel, the Sunni Arab countries and the Christian western powers. What unlikely religious alliance. Jun 10th
Westerners see a war between Muslims and Jews, but the real war seems to be between Sunnis and Shiites, a veritable civil war within Islam Jun 10th
I don't understand the deadly hatred between Shiites and Sunnis, but it turns out they have always killed each other more than Muslims-Jews Jun 10th
Chatting with Dorion Sagan about his forthcoming book on gradient reduction as the driving principle of the universe Jun 9th
I imagine hell as a very crowded and noisy place. Think of Facebook :-) Jun 9th
For most people the most difficult thing is to be comfortable with themselves. Loneliness and silence are poetry to some, but hell to most. Jun 9th
(Why i always pick on Pakistan: i am studying its history and i just have a lot more data about Pakistan than other developing countries) Jun 6th
More than 50% of Pakistani women over 15 are illiterate, only 8% are employed. Less than 1% of Italian women are illiterate, and 50% work. Jun 5th
The gap between the life of a Western woman and the life of a woman in the developing world has never been so wide. Jun 5th
In the near future the harshest "chauvinists" might be women who look down on fellow women who use gender as an excuse for lack of ambition Jun 5th
A new generation of women is indifferent to the old feminist issues: they feel they can succeed and don't need discrimination as an excuse. Jun 5th
Ideologies are sets of beliefs that help us believe the world makes sense. Jun 2nd
Existential thread: Each of us is a lifelong project to build a coherent theory on top of a blatant contradiction May 30th
Existential thread: we are, first and foremost, vast contradictions. May 30th
Excellent examples of low-tech: Microsoft Bing and Google Wave. May 30th
In the age of wikipedia and google, ordinary lives are mostly overflowing with disinformation. May 29th
...as if i had never existed... May 28th
We are what we find, not what we search. May 28th
I was reminded of Iranian poet Rumi because Physics agrees with him: "We come spinning out of nothingness scattering stars like dust" May 27th
"Let the beauty of what you love be what you do" (Jalal ad-Din Rumi) May 27th
In the age of search engines, we are what we search. Or are we what we find? Do we create or are we created? May 26th
Robert Hanson on Futarchy
Mecca before Mohammed, where all "idols" were worshiped, is my ideal. Mecca after Mohammed, when all "other" idols became taboo, is hell.
I confess a deep antipathy for monotheism: I have always found the ancient polytheistic religions to be much more "civilized" and tolerantless than 5 seconds ago
90% of our cells are not human cells: they are bacteria (although they weigh a lot less than human cells). We are a collection of organisms.
Creativity requires discontinuity.
The society of gyms, movie theaters, salsa classes, is the opposite of a creative society. It's just killing time while waiting for death.about 1 hour ago
Today life is tightly structured from childhood to death. Even entertainment (fun itself) is becoming more and more structured.
Peace and wealth yield structured lives (ultimately, monotonous predictable lives) that are not conductive to creativity.
Still fascinated by creativity. Creativity's peaks seem to correspond with periods of great instability: Athens, Florence, the 20th century (a century of two world wars and a Cold War).
1% of the world owns 40% of the world's wealth. Who owns 40% of happiness? 40% of creativity? 40% of morality?
We perceive subjects everywhere in Nature. Therefore spirits and gods. Therefore religion.
A new perspective: we don't perceive things as objects but as subjects, that's why we assign them a "mind" (nasty weather, computer sucks..)
Good presentation tonight on collaboration: http://steveomohundro.com Best question: how can we make cooperation go viral?
My definition of love is about sacrifice. The more you love the more you're willing to sacrifice. Sofia says it's an unreal romantic idea.
Ongoing chat with my friend Sofia on "love". Quote: "Your definition of Love is only an idea. Mine is a grounded way to care for the other".
We are the only animal (probably) that has a theory of mind (we can escribe mind states to others). We ascribe mind states to things too.
Useful reading to understand the 2012 phenomenon: "Supersense" by Bruce Hood. Our brain is designed to make us believe in superstition.
Good article in Scientific American about "improbable planets". People who watch "Star Trek" literally don't know what they are missing.
The other country to watch out is Bolivia: 50% of the world's lithium (a key ingredient for batteries).
Morocco has the largest reserves of posphate in the world. A key ingredient for agriculture. The world will run out of it in a few decades.
My notes on Pakistan at http://www.scaruffi.com/politics/paki09.html#paki0509b (if you are Pakistani, you won't like it...).
Another interesting read: A History of Pakistan and Its Origins by Christophe Jaffrelot (to appreciate Pakistan's hidden agenda).
Just attended a lecture on Afghanistan by these authors: http://www.invisiblehistory... Recommended. Investigative journalism at its best.
The mind is a sense to discover what the other senses can't grasp: by thinking we perceive things that we don't see, hear, smell, etc.
About this article: I agree that the USA dollar "should" lose its status to the Chinese currency but i don't think China agrees.
The USA and China will eventually sign a treaty that basically will put China behind the dollar in exchange for a degree of control on the dollar.
Art/science fusion: read my (very old but still meaningful) manifesto.
Sending out the invitations to the next art/science evening in the Bay Area.
Ancient literature was meant to be recited aloud, for a group not in private. As literacy spread, we stopped listening and started reading.
The 2012 phenomenon and previous ones also have to do with the eternal belief that I must live in a very special age. Every human felt so.7:17 PM May 19th
And a desire to reconnect with an ancient past, the ancient past that was the exact opposite of the society we have created6:47 PM May 19th
The modern person looks forward to the end of the world because it means an end to loneliness, neurosis, alienation. Not bodily but mental.6:43 PM May 19th
The medieval person looked forward to the end of the world because it meant end to warfare, famine, disease.6:42 PM May 19th
The appeal of these "prophecies" is that we fundamentally dislike our world and our lives and look forward to an end of some sort.6:41 PM May 19th
On 21 Dec 2012 at 11:11PM the sun will be aligned with the center of the Milky Way for the first time in about 26,000 years)6:39 PM May 19th
For those who don:t know: the Mayans were a rather backward civilization compared with contemporary India, China, Arabs, etc).6:34 PM May 19th
For those who don't know: 2012 marks the end of the 26,000 year Mayan calendar)6:33 PM May 19th
I was reading about the 2012 phenomenon. Apocalyptic dates seem to pop up more frequently in our age than in past ages (remember 2000?)6:31 PM May 19th
A child without a toy is a grown up. Now that we have toys all our lives we never fully grow up. Modern society is a society of children.5:32 PM May 19th
A man without land is nothing" (Irish proverb). "A woman without a man is nothing" (Chinese proverb). And both implied so much suffering.5:05 PM May 19th
Too many voices talking at the same time. We need better ears. We've invented tools to talk all the time but haven't improved the listening.4:40 PM May 19th
The relationship between beauty and beholder is roughly the same as the relationship between a formula and a scientist who doesn't get it10:59 PM May 18th
I travel a lot. I hike a lot in the wilderness. Is what I learn far from here worth what I forget about here?11:36 PM May 13th
Great civilizations are those that do NOT learn from the mistakes of past civilizations11:21 AM May 13th
We are a noise surrounded by silence. And it's the silence that defines what we are. Nobody really pays attention to the noise except us.11:11 AM May 13th
If you look close enough and long enough, everything is transparent.12:12 AM May 13th
Very few things are inevitable in life, not even life itself.10:44 AM May 12th
The Greeks believed that destiny and chance determine success and failure. The USA view: your actions alone determine success and failure.
The USA is creating an idiot-proof society. Europe is creating a genius-free society.1:03 PM May 9th
Since i realized that we are not comfortable with ourselves anymore, i make a point of listening to silence. The best stories are there.
Physicist look for a unified theory of all particles and puzzle why they are all different. Biologists are more tolerant of diversity.
I think art came first. Science is an evolution of art.7:37 PM May 5th
A skeptical physicist asked me "what do art and science have in common?" My answer: "They both come from the same mind".7:37 PM May 5th
Each point in space is the junction of several routes. Do routes end? Each point in time is the junction of several stories. Do stories end?8:10 PM May 4th
Talent is overrated. Luck is underrated.
Understanding is a nonlinear process.9:41 PM Apr 30th
We underestimate the ingenuity of idiots
If we could measure it, we'd find that the vast majority of the world's creativity is in the slums and poor villages of the developing world.
Nature is a poet that never uses the word 'I'
I think the human race was not meant to have spare time: people don't know what to do with their spare time.
A lot of modern music is about sampling and remixing: isn't that true of people's relationships too?
I did a little research on the India-USA treaty from the Chinese viewpoint