Nicholas Lukowiak

Belleville, NJ, United States

About Nicholas

Bio

At times I may seem contradicting, ambiguous and vague. Ask me what I mean, I will provide a defense/explanation for anything unclear.

A self proclaimed Zennist
Stresses pragmatic and existential positions in argument
Stresses the importance of psychology, and related fields, in the naturalizing of philosophy
+ Believes naturalized and feminist epistemology should be regarded more often in debate
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23 years old from New Jersey (Just outside of Newark).
Dual B.A. in Philosophy and English
Prepping to teach ESL abroad
Working on first novel series

My goal in life is to simplify various multidimensional concepts so anyone can understand and find use with them. These concepts include but are not limited to true globalization (singularity), politics/corporation partnership, religious belief, philosophy (psychology), group dynamics in thought, and of course education. All in the pursuit of creating revolutionary education lessons and theories (paradigms) that can allow students (and my readers) to adapt to their environment and the ever changing future while maintaining critical thought values.

My extreme passion is the cognitive understanding of the human mind-brain.
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"Artist, poet, physicist, astronomer, dancer, musician, mathematician are captives from an older time, a different kind of society, in which, ultimately, they were the creators of all primary values."
- Kenneth Rexroth (San Francisco Letter)

The above Beatnik is responding to the notion of how we should look collectively at the way information is centralized. To not just let academics and private communities dictate values of what we know, learn and study. But determine that for oneself on one's own terms, freely. How this is done is by constant concern of where the values of society come from and are formed; questioning the foundation in which culture is molded.

". . . We should be on our guard not to overestimate science and scientific methods when it is a question of human problems; and we should not assume that experts are the only ones who have a right to express themselves on questions affecting the organization of society."
- Albert Einstein (Why Socialism?)

An idea worth spreading

Talk to strangers,
do not fear anything,
and never be afraid to say "I don't know,"
Don't judge people on how they look,
their age,
or anything else tangible,
judge people on what they preach and question.
Live life.
Find the memento mori

I'm passionate about

Cognitive (evolutionary) studies, writing, religion, philosophy, psychology, [human] nature and astronomy.

My personal e-mail: beatnick114@gmail.com

** Check out my blog

Talk to me about

Anything + Everything
If you do not know what you want to do with your college education
If you just need to talk to somebody

People don't know I'm good at

Cooking

My TED story

Found TED off of stumbleupon.com and I was always "liking" (a function of SU) videos of talks on here decided to join. Now a huge advocate of TED.

2 years later - Not as active as I once was, but still partial partisan!

Favorite talks

Comments & conversations

177615
Nicholas Lukowiak
Posted 5 months ago
"What is happiness?"
It must be a situation of 'speaking past one another' It's all relative of course and we are speaking in generalities. However, if I were to be a skeptic - no, all lawyers are not helping others unless they are paid. Doctors do not always help others who are high risk and low reward - "health insurance?". A farmer does not necessarily produce to 'help' others, but to provide services for others, they would not have otherwise. Same goes for doctor and lawyer. A job position does not denote their innate desire to help others. While I agree that is in our natural to be altruistic, i does not mean that is the measure of our culture as it exist today. Substantial happiness, at least what you made example of, is momentary happiness. Indeed I will be happy when I meet a like minded person, but does not mean they will create a platform for me to be happy for the rest of my life - that is up to me ultimately. Happiness is both an external and internal dilemma, both a momentary and lifelong concern. At which points and dimensions are we better off being happy than others? When is that happiness biased or misguided? These questions are the reason for my conversation. As a person, and what is my own personal happiness, would that not be further biased to add into a conversation about happiness? How can we fairly discuss emotion if we have emotions about the topic? I think the knowledge of happiness haphazardly (by being the opposite of sadness, created by fear in ignorance) is what causes some of the most destructive forces in humanity. Involving topics of religious fundamentalism and nationalism - via wars, crusades and politics. While I also think knowledge of happiness is what we should all struggle to question and find for ourselves to aid others to do the same. While we are naturally designed to be altruistic (social altruism) I argue we do not act on that nature as often as we should. Making a job-choice no more than any other choice we make.
177615
Nicholas Lukowiak
Posted 5 months ago
"What is happiness?"
I like to give time before I respond - but since the conversation is ending soon I will respond quicker (or feel free to e-mail me). Well you can do a few things Greg, you can create deluded thoughts: "Everything can only get better before they become worse" or "As long as you think positive, positive things will come." However, if you are like me and are in constant existential crisis (due to the actual state of the world) you find happiness in knowing people would be better if they were given the opportunity. So I stopped blaming humanity and others (cultures, religions and/or traditions), and I began to blame education systems and how we teach people. And it allows me to misdirect all the angst I would have for life and drive it towards learning how to better educate children (or anyone else). Another outlet is writing and social networks in order to get some thoughts shared. In short: Finding a series of procedures, methods and/or interest to benefit others in manners which make you a more well-rounded individual. Society (at least Euro-Americana) is not set up to be altruistic - we have designed economies and politics to be lead by capitalism, which is designed to let the winners keep winning (money makes more money). We have chances to develop financially, but the chances of a middle class citizen rising in class status is near impossible - the system is not meant for that to happen, hence 'middle class'. A true way to help? Start businesses in third world countries. Schools. Factories. Employ the people. Provide products they would not normally get in their areas (nutritionally). Be a social entrepreneur; a mentality where the money you make isn't necessarily 'not for profit' but for profits to allow more people to make profits. Your business in Peru or Ecuador won't make you "rich" by first world standards, but, you will be 'rich' by that countries standards. With more ability to help. Seeing the world as open-sourced is the key.
177615
Nicholas Lukowiak
Posted 5 months ago
"What is happiness?"
We do not know how to make you 'feel' like that^ with a magnet (yet), but we know that the baby will do things to your body-mind-brain which are empirically founded. There is evidence to support we trick ourselves on a daily basis to believe in falsehoods and otherwise straight-our illusions. We do this as a defense mechanism and is no different than what mirror neurons do - except, the more we understand them, the better we can consciously use them.
177615
Nicholas Lukowiak
Posted 5 months ago
"What is happiness?"
'Tricking' would be more like it, because in the process of tricking we are reprogramming. Otherwise, to reprogram, would take a lot more effort than simply showing your body 'how your body SHOULD move and function'. At least in the case of using a series of mirrors to repair a hurt arm - in notion mirror neurons are repairing or replacing functions to do so properly. But now involving 'trickery of emotions' again, I say yes. Consider market advertisers - and how they create commercials for kids with dazzling images, happy people, exciting events and attractive characters. This commercial was designed to be an entire source of positive stimuli to attract the child into asking their parents to buy this candy, toy and/or game. A better example is Public Relation Experts - their job is to make their company (or who they represent) to look like the best you'll ever see. They will smile, they will be well spoken, they will care about what you have to say (or seem that way), small talk expert, etc. They were TRAINED to be expert at relating and handling the general public. While we talk to this PR we are under 'their spell' they have done everything to bring down our defenses as an individual in order to sell to us, or make their stance look at the more better. We reprogram our mind over time, but to go from 'one state of mind' to another, in a few moments is a type of mind trickery. "Changing thoughts" is one thing, but I don't think it changes chemistry for the long run unless it's impacting. "Manipulating thoughts" is another, and effects the moment, and after enough time will have a lasting impact. I know this all doesn't sound 'positive' but essentially, we are not the most clever creatures - we only think we are. We adapt and respond to our environments far more than we think about how we are adapting and responding. Let's put it this way - I put a magnet on the side of your head - you see images. I put a crying baby in your arms you feel.
177615
Nicholas Lukowiak
Posted 5 months ago
"What is happiness?"
I do not think 'critical thinking' is what prevents a consciously aware individual from not getting dismayed by the current state of the world - I think it's another irrational state of mind; the deluded assurance that things will get better, even without any evidence of such. (Making 'assumptions' more so advanced biases.) Like your farmer example: That person is trying to make a living (make wages and income), but, we [not that we necessarily overlook that fact] prize him for the fact he is farming. No deeper concerns for what he is growing, how he is growing, etc. We are content at the fact of 'he is a farmer' because we relate 'farming' with benefit. However, expanding such an example, there is a double-edge sword to being a farmer also: If they do not grow corn, for instance, they risk losing their farms due to lack of government aid. AND when they do grow corn, their other crops suffer. Again we are supporting the farmer, but not necessarily supporting his choices of crops (which he had none). There are always dimensions of reality which we do not consider, but if considered would change our perspectives and grant a newer (perhaps higher) awareness. And whatever one may call this process (metacognition or enlightenment) it does not seem to be pleasant when pushed 'beyond a certain line or limit.' As if we are programed to limit our desire to investigate the truth when it becomes clear "the more you know, the more you don't know and you get depressed'. It seems to me, at least. I think we are naturally social creatures with the drives to be altruistic and become happy from that. However, our systems do not align with that. Religions and politics prevent humans from being human by means of 'capping our knowledge' and not allowing us to be creatively independent, which would result in politics and religions anyways, but ones where they are designed to help people be people and not fill in the gaps of society with their lives...
177615
Nicholas Lukowiak
Posted 5 months ago
"What is happiness?"
I don't think phenomenology is good exercise in philosophy beyond a psychological attempt to label stimuli and their affects on the mind. Yes, happiness exist outside of the 'mind' or else we obviously can not talk about it. It's just immaterial, not material. Emotions exist; we can scan someone's mind when they are experiencing Euphoria. There is no question that 'happiness' is real and affects individuals ability to think, but the question is "how is that universal?" What makes us 'happy' or makes people 'happy' is based on a variety of 'things' or 'moods' or 'states of mind' at a given moment in time. Dependency-issues shouldn't be the difference between considering something exist whether something exist 'inside' or 'outside' of the mind. Obviously, if there is an experience to denote, it can be quantified from the internal. More difficultly what is 'externally happiness' is a question and concern of the ancient philosophers themselves (Aristotle being one of my favorites). Happiness is not in the 'something' as much as the reaction to 'something' so I can see your confusion there. _ // Meaning, you may feel happy now, but if you would know more details about what makes you feel happy, you wouldn't be it anymore?// That is a much clearer question, in which I say yes. Where we gain moments of happiness -whether is be unconscious (sociability (band wagon), altruism, optimism, confirmation of current knowledge) -or- conscious (positive emotions) - seems to be from places we often do not investigate in great lengths. "Why question a good thing?" And I think when one questions a 'good thing' it does not necessarily lose that quality, but the 'question of quality' is re-investigated in a superposition (a process of metacognition) and even if it does not decay/decrease in the quality of happiness, the quality is still being questioned and during which time is not a pleasant state of mind - since it cannot be pleasant while its bewildered.
177615
Nicholas Lukowiak
Posted 5 months ago
"What is happiness?"
I think most do just fine with that already lol. Most of the young adults I interact with may discuss the state of the world as being in a constant crisis, but they still stress about becoming an independent - monetarily. It has come to the point, for most, where they assume 1. the next generation will be better, 2. it can only get better and/or 3. I'll try to do my part, later. Same old issues. It's just a matter of privileges and the education to how and why to aid strangers. In my demographic, people are more often suspicious of others. No trust for the person who has never been met before, and no interest in randomly finding ways to trust them. It's not necessarily inhumane to treat others and view the world this way, but it only keeps social-cultural trends indoctrinated for generations before change can be seen by history. Take the country-sized piece of plastic in the ocean - our radiation problems in the Pacific Ocean - revolutions in S. America, W. Europe - yet, most of the people I know just worry about becoming a teacher, or just wondering what they should do with their lives. I think a lot of issues can be resolved (for individual Americans) is when they realize a simple thought: our government and system has been designed to take jobs away from Americans, we as young Americans should take our B.A degrees (and their debts from them) to other countries that are in need of those skills. Do not want to forever leave your family? Ever heard the phrase: 'you need experience to get experience' in response to the job market? Well, that may be the real cost to 1. help the world and settle that inner need to help, 2. learn about the world, and. 3. gain real experience to better yourself for where ever you end up. I do think people can be happy, I just don't think they will be happy, without making a life involved with helping others. And not just their families and friends, but with anyone they come across, and by seeking/keeping their options open.
177615
Nicholas Lukowiak
Posted 5 months ago
"What is happiness?"
Sorry sometimes I write so quick I am not totally there. It's funny though how content and contention mean totally different things in English, I thought the context would explain: being actively content (contention). I have found a lot of scholars discuss happiness in terms of 'altruism' and 'optimism'. Cognitive biases effect/distort our ability to form ideas of the future and our current decision making. Optimism, trying to find the brighter side of things, can also do that; we attempt to make decisions based on what is more pleasant. Also we make choices on what is (not necessarily altruistic) socially altruistic. We will give up, sacrifice, and even surrender freedoms to the groups we identify with and want social-acceptance within (think about fundamentally religious people, or cult followers). So between 'helping the ourselves within the pack' and 'looking at the bright side of life' we are also designed to seek self awareness.... But, often the other two prevent that. This is what I have came to discover. Now in my search to ask "well is happiness a type of cognitive bias?" No one has really said no. While it is a ;guiding force in our lives' no one understands exactly how so... But, to investigate the matter under pretense it is actually a 'bias' and not a 'guiding force' let's us be more skeptical to the research and develop new ideas about what emotions do to our ability to process information (practically, logically and/or critically). Emotional intelligence theory suffers from these type of questions "are emotions a strain or cushion or neither towards our developing psyche?" I choose my own happiness - I practice Zazen and read about theology, religion and philosophy. What brings me my individual joy is learning how others think and what they can possibly believe in. I could be happy for no-reason at times, but at others, I need every-reason to pull me out of a sad state of mind. I can come and go to the happiness from the sadness..