300-Word Sunday

On why we need (some) adversity, losing arguments, The Selfish Gene, and more

Hello friends!

Vizi here.

Let's jump right in.

Here are 3 aphorisms to reflect on, 2 philosophical jokes, and 1 heuristic.

Enjoy!

3 Aphorisms

I.

What's simple is not foolish. What's complicated is not clever.

II.

Rain may not be pleasant, but it helps flowers grow. Similarly, no one wishes for adversity; but no one can grow without some.

III.

Contrary to popular belief, the human mind doesn’t seek truth and accuracy.

Our minds didn’t evolve to be scientific tools; they evolved to be survival tools.

In other words, Nature didn’t design them to be truthseekers—She designed them to be useful for our emotional, mental, and social fitness.

Art of the Week

Birmingham, 1845 by Charles Rudd

2 Philosophical Jokes

I.

“When I was a child I wanted to be a standup comedian; but then I studied philosophy, so I became the joke.”

H/T Mahmoud Rasmi

II.

“Richard Dawkins in his book The Selfish Gene seems to argue that our genes try to perpetuate themselves by fashioning our actions in such a way as to assure their own survival. Human behavior or culture is, on this sociobiological view, largely determined by our genes’ desire for self-preservation. This reductionist account certainly needs supplementation. Note, for example, that different cultures with essentially the same genetic pool engender completely different behaviors. Note, too, that we can carry the reduction even further. One might argue that it is not our genes that are selfish, but a particular chemical bond in the genes. Our actions are not determined by our genes after all but by a chemical bond in them that is trying to perpetuate itself. I am being simplistic, but so is his thesis.”

H/T John Allen Paulos

P.S. Yaneer Bar-Yam wrote a great paper on this topic. Get it from here.

1 Heuristic

Never argue with someone who, prior to the beginning of the discussion, already made an unconscious decision to disagree with whatever you are going to argue.


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Until next week,

Vizi Andrei

Creator of The Sovereign Artist