On Freedom and other ideas
Aphorisms are higher-level thoughts about lower-level functions, willed thoughts about unwilled behaviors.
Utopian politics are always based on a simple idea: no one is allowed to be unhappy. The logical extension of this idea is—get rid of all the unhappy people.
The Internet is a collective state of anxiety.
The guilt of digital vulnerability: you cannot draw a line between yourself and the search engine optimization of your name.
The hyper-modern Twitter academic has traded the spirit of scholarship for the neurosis of scholarship.
Usually, philosophers take both sides of an issue because they understand it.
Cultural humility simply means admitting that culture does not improve but decays—that learning means conserving what is not yet lost.
Intelligence is active. Most technology, not incidentally, pacifies us.
The invention of the watch was more radical than we realize, akin to the printing press. Imagine what it must have been like before we could carry Time around with us? It must have been revolutionary. The watch represents the beginning of the subordination of human beings by their own machines. The watch is the beginning of the domination of (mechanical) Time.
No society is free of pathological cruelty—a civilization is successful largely to the extent to which it diverts and diffuses its pathological tendencies.
The melancholy of pragmatism comes in having surrendered hope.
In various ways, we are too busy craving to stop and think.
Bureaucracies express themselves in numbers, individuals in words. Thus, the more numbers, the less individuality.
Let’s adjust machines to Man, not the other way around.
The metaverse: a spiritual jail—a purgatory.
Heidegger: technology is a mode of revealing. My question: what has it revealed?
Whether by aliens or AI or both, there is no doubt that in the next few centuries, human beings will be ‘discovered’.
Pessimism leaves room for happiness. Depression, by contrast, is just a kind of disappointed optimism.
It is frightening to discover that you are what the world is: that no one line separates you from what you criticize.
Civilization has been gradually weened off of the sublime and onto kitsch. We have been divested of moral depth and aesthetic feeling.
Freedom is a binding agent.
Moral intuitions are easily manipulated, hacked, rewired without our realizing it.
The loss of the physical, biological world is part of a long, spiraling process which may continue indefinitely and forever.
We should take seriously the idea that beauty is discoverable only under certain cognitive conditions: that the possibility of the fructification of the Beautiful within us makes us in part responsible for its existence.
An indifference to nature actually makes us beasts. Without respect for non-rational, intuitive forms of knowledge, we become remarkably stupid.
Calculated, perpetual cruelty is the special domain of the human species.
Rousseau was concerned with what degrades and what ennobles. His was a good, healthy kind of philosophy—and it was based on fables, stories, reveries, moods.
Social anxiety is essentially the anxiety of having nothing significant to share or receive.