#antimilitary #comedy #kubrick What if a US general goes insane and orders a nuclear attack in Russia during the Cold War? That’s the question that Dr. Strangelove, a Stanley Kubrick movie from the 60s, explores. It’s a critic against the military with a lot humor and irony. The character interactions are great and the plot, although surreal and quickly spiraling out of control, will make you think about the dangers of an arms race.
We recently made a day trip to nearby Konstanz, right on the border with Germany. The city is a well-known shopping destination for Swiss people because of low prices and easy access but the city has more than that. Inhabited since the Stone Age, in the 1400s the town-state asked the Old Swiss Confederacy to become a member but they were weary of large members and they voted against it. It’s also the home of the Council of Constance, where the Church fixed a pesky situation with three people claiming to be the Pope.
Using a grid of checkboxes to represent our lives in terms of number of years, months or weeks looks very useful to remember that the clock is ticking and that it’s up to us to decide what to do with the time we have left. Here are the pictures from waitbutwhy but I recommend reading the whole article.
AI is now beating human Go champions. From the article, on the fear of building something more powerful than ourselves: Kwon even went so far as to say that he is now more aware of the potential for machines to break free from the control of humans, echoing words we’ve long heard from people like Elon Musk and Sam Altman. “There was an inflection point for all human beings,” he said of AlphaGo’s win.
Doing what you think you should do means doing what you think a better you would do. It is not doing what others tell you to do or what you think others expect from you. And not doing what you want means ignoring your instinctive responses which is likely inappropriate (system 1 reactions) or plainly wrong (cognitive biases). It is not ignoring the inner voice that tells you what makes you really happy or that tells you that your body needs rest and that you are done for today.
Jesse Itzler, a 40 years old entrepreneur marathon runner, invites a US Navy SEAL to live with him for a month in order to get out of his routine, get more fit and shake things up. I started reading Living with a SEAL because I found the freely available first chapter funny, I came out with more than I had imagined: inspired and motivated to try harder at developing mental toughness.
Here are some extracts of Neil DeGrasse’s recent opinion piece on the Huffington Post: What is the essence of science? Do whatever it takes to avoid fooling yourself into thinking something is true that is not, or that something is not true that is. How do you “do” science? Conduct experiments to test your hypothesis and allocate your confidence in proportion to the strength of your evidence.
It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important. ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince The recent movie is beautiful and full of life lessons. Recommended.
The Enchiridion of Epictetus is a compilation of 51 tips on how to live a happy life based on stoic ideas. Here are two of the tips: Upon every accident, remember to turn toward yourself and inquire what faculty you have for its use. If you encounter a handsome person, you will find continence the faculty needed; if pain, then fortitude; if reviling, then patience. And when thus habituated, the phenomena of existence will not overwhelm you.
[Flashback starts]Aeson, a male elf wizard, Arveene, a female elf druid, and Rupert, a puppet-sized warforged are aboard a flying caravel along with the ship’s crew and they are about to crash-land. Arveene decides to take hold of the steering wheel to try to crash into trees instead of the hard rock they are presently directed towards. Aeson casts protection spells on everyone and they all brace for impact.[Flashback ends]