Thomas Richardson

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Thomas Richardson
Posted 5 days ago
Yuval Noah Harari: What explains the rise of humans?
Is there a potential to create even more layers of fiction? for example, the way that banks and online trading works is basically by trading money between them that doesn't exist. for example: a bank has £1,000,000. the bank keeps this money and creates £100 million 'digital money' and lends this out to consumers who then sign it over to home owners who then spend it on cars or more property or use it to buy their shopping from a supermarket and it goes on and on without real money ever being needed (nobody buys a £1million house cash in hand). at every stage people are withdrawing this money, but that comes out of the £1 million of real money the bank has, and though thats much smaller thats ok because nobody ever takes out all their money in a single go (in fact banks dont allow you to do this!). So we are basically pushing around money that has been created from thin air that stands in for paper of no value that stands in for tradeable goods that DO have value. I guess this a fiction of a fiction? haha!
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Thomas Richardson
Posted 5 days ago
Yuval Noah Harari: What explains the rise of humans?
just to note, the majority of evolutionary scientists agree with you on the second point you make: evolution is NOT a ladder or a race to the top, but a branching bush where some branches are grow better in the current ennvironment, but would wither in others. By our scientific definitions we ARE arguably the most adapted species, but only on earth as it currently is. this may change if the earth conditions change
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Thomas Richardson
Posted 5 days ago
Yuval Noah Harari: What explains the rise of humans?
I think you're both right. you make the very valid point that everything that has happened to us could in theory, eventually, happen with other species. however this doesnt refute this talk, because he's not arguing that we are the only species that could do this, but that we are the only species that has been able to do it thus far. if we hadn't done it, another species would have!
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Thomas Richardson
Posted 5 days ago
Yuval Noah Harari: What explains the rise of humans?
hmmm, i think it requires a bit more. If you observe a banana tree growing from a seed, why would you try it yourself? because you IMAGINE the outcome to be the same. while some imitation is simple, for complex phenomena like agriculture it requires a sophisticated way of 'simulating' the world, which is essentially the basis of what we all imagination
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Thomas Richardson
Posted 18 days ago
Roxane Gay: Confessions of a bad feminist
Theoretically feminism is a mess. But that's a GOOD THING. a movement where everyone agrees and no dissent is tolerated is a bad movement, the fact that feminists constantly debate different issues and that two feminists can disagree is a sign that the movement is intellectually healthy.
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Thomas Richardson
Posted 18 days ago
Johann Hari: Everything you think you know about addiction is wrong
I think you hit on an important point: while we consider mental illness as separate boxes and labels, at the end of the day they are a collection of vague symptoms with their own causes, that we have chosen to group together in a certain way. As you rightly point out, there aren't hard boundaries between them: an eating disorder can be framed as an addiction to starving yourself, which came as a strategy to reduce bad feelings I think that our lives are a constant process of managing our emotions (or regulating our emotions as academic psychologists say) and that most mental illnesses are just ways of managing out emotions that we consider to be 'bad'. its like staving yourself may have worked as a strategy to manage bad moods, but only temporarily and at a cost to your body.