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From “Look To Windward” By Iain M. Banks

They talked, usually, in a small bare cell set aside for the purpose. All it contained was a single S-shaped curl-seat and a small window.

It was the old monk’s prerogative to use the first name of those junior to him, and so he called Quilan ‘Tibilo’, which made him feel like a child again. He supposed this was the desired effect. He in turn was expected to address Fronipel as Custodian.

‘I feel . . . I feel jealous, sometimes, Custodian. Does that sound mad? Or bad?’

‘Jealous of what, Tibilo?’

‘Her death. That she died.’ Quilan stared out of the window, unable to look into the older male’s eyes. The view from the little window was much the same as from that of his own cell. ‘If I could have anything at all I would have her back. I think I have accepted that is impossible, or very unlikely indeed, at the very least . . . but, you see? There are so few certainties any more. This is something else; everything is contingent these days, everything is provisional, thanks to our technology, our understanding.’

He looked into the old monk’s clouded eyes. ‘In the old days people died and that was that; you might hope to see them in heaven, but once they were dead they were dead. It was simple, it was definite. Now . . .’ He shook his head angrily. ‘Now people die but their Soulkeeper can revive them, or take them to a heaven we know exists, without any need for faith. We have clones, we have regrown bodies – most of me is regrown; I wake up sometimes and think, Am I still me? I know you’re supposed to be your brain, your wits, your thoughts, but I don’t believe it is that simple.’ He shook his head, then dried his face on the sleeve of his robe.

‘You are envious of an earlier time, then.’

He was silent for a few moments, then said, ‘That as well. But I am jealous of her. If I can’t have her back then all I’m left with is a desire not to have lived. Not a desire to kill myself, but to have, through having no choice, died. If she can’t share my life, I would share her death. And yet I can’t, and so I feel envy. Jealousy.’

‘Those are not quite the same things, Tibilo.’

‘I know. Sometimes what I feel is . . . I’m not sure . . . a feeble yearning for something I don’t have. Sometimes it is what I think people mean when they use the word envy, and sometimes it is real, raging jealousy. I almost hate her for having died without me.’ He shook his head, hardly believing what he was hearing himself saying. It was as though the words, at last expressed to another, gave final shape to thoughts he had not wanted to admit to harbouring, even to himself. He stared through his tears at the old monk. ‘I did love her, though, Custodian. I did.’

The older male nodded. ‘I’m sure you did, Tibilo. If you didn’t you wouldn’t still be suffering like this.’

He looked away again. ‘I don’t even know that any more. I say I loved her, I think I did, I certainly thought I did, but did I? Maybe what I’m really feeling is guilt at not having loved her. I don’t know. I don’t know anything any more.’

The older male scratched at one of his bare patches. ‘You know that you are alive, Tibilo, and that she is dead, and that you might see her again.’

WTF?!?!

Theese are most read stories on BBC dated 31 may 2011 WTF ?!?! WTF!??!?!?!?

wtf

Basic laws of human stupidity.

I recently found this page by by Carlo M. Cipolla which Mr. Cipolla defined the basic structure of Stupidity and clearly defined it in 5 simple laws.

We always use the term “Stupid”  But how we use it and what we mean by calling a person stupid is a bit vague. After reading his article about Stupidity, I recently acquired a cleare picture about Stupidity in general.

Here are the laws he mention.

1. Always and inevitably everyone underestimates the number of stupid individuals in circulation.

Number of stupid people is always higher than we assume.

2.  The probability that a certain person will be stupid is independent of any other characteristic of that person.

Stupidity has no bounds every race, gender, age and social group has their own share of stupid people.

3. A stupid person is a person who causes losses to another person or to a group of persons while himself deriving no gain and even possibly incurring losses.

This one is the most important one, a criminal or a bandit gains by making other people loose things but stupid people has no gain or direction in their actions.

This part is directly from his page ( HERE )

THE POWER OF STUPIDITY

It is not difficult to understand how social, political and institutional power enhances the damaging potential of a stupid person. But one still has to explain and understand what essentially it is that makes a stupid person dangerous to other people – in other words what constitutes the power of stupidity.

Essentially stupid people are dangerous and damaging because reasonable people find it difficult to imagine and understand unreasonable behaviour. An intelligent person may understand the logic of a bandit. The bandit’s actions follow a pattern of rationality: nasty rationality, if you like, but still rationality. The bandit wants a plus on his account. Since he is not intelligent enough to devise ways of obtaining the plus as well as providing you with a plus, he will produce his plus by causing a minus to appear on your account. All this is bad, but it is rational and if you are rational you can predict it. You can foresee a bandit’s actions, his nasty manoeuvres and ugly aspirations and often can build up your defenses.

With a stupid person all this is absolutely impossible as explained by the Third Basic Law. A stupid creature will harass you for no reason, for no advantage, without any plan or scheme and at the most improbable times and places. You have no rational way of telling if and when and how and why the stupid creature attacks. When confronted with a stupid individual you are completely at his mercy. Because the stupid person’s actions do not conform to the rules of rationality, it follows that:

a) one is generally caught by surprise by the attack; b) even when one becomes aware of the attack, one cannot organize a rational defense, because the attack itself lacks any rational structure.

4. Non-stupid people always underestimate the damaging power of stupid individuals. In particular non-stupid people constantly forget that at all times and places and under any circumstances to deal and/or associate with stupid people always turns out to be a costly mistake.

5. A stupid person is the most dangerous type of person.

Nature of the danger is very unpredictable and thus it very hard to predict or defend.

All in all the article was very good check it out in detail at -> THE BASIC LAWS OF HUMAN STUPIDITY by Carlo M. Cipolla

Cheers

Caveman theory.

Entrance chapter of Michio Kaku’s book “Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100″ Has a very interesting observation in the entrance chapter, He talks about why the first video calling system and the paperless office assumptions in the last decade or so failed miserably and in the mean time the usage of paper in the office is increased.

Its called “Caveman Theory”

It has it’s roots in about a hundred thousand years ago, our ancestors from then were identical to us, by that I mean completely identical, he also adds a shaved specimen of that time would be undistinguishable from the other billions of us today, and the instincts we had back then are still the same.

We were hunters by nature and holding a catch and presenting them to the tribe is preferred against telling the story about a great hunt, so we like to handle things physically rather than fictional representations, like books, shopping or other things we prefer to do ourselves in real life.

We were hunters so we like watching from a safe distance while the subject or subjects we watch are fighting or doing many other things as long as we are a safe distance away from the main event so we like Tv shows, Reality thingies and like the dramas we are watching on Tv and other worthless mediums.

We were hunters so we don’t like being watched by strangers, average man reacts negatively to a gaze totalling 4 seconds by a stranger and He is more likely to show a violent reaction after 10 seconds to an uninvited strangers gaze.

We were the clan so we like gossip, social media and other things related to our clan mates, social curiosity was improving our chance of survival and that’s facebook for you.

We like talking face to face because the clues we got from body language odour and pheromones are also a part of the communication thing so video calling is always weird to us.

All and all our clan is a little bit larger than our ancestors first developed those traits so we are slowly overcoming them, and by that I mean veery slowly :) .

Thanks for reading and Thanks Dr. Kaku for the great book buy it and read it, link below.

PS: It would have been much better for me if Dr. Kaku hadn’t had to dumb things down that much, read more people! Everybody is getting dumber every passing second and poor man has to tune it down just to sell books :) .