I think that this explains a lot of the growing distrust of authorities:

[…] the West has formulated a symbolic representation of the ideal human being, and that ideal human being is the person who speaks the truth to change the world.

So, when untruths are spoken it clashes with our perception of the ideal.


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Sleep is still a mystery but here’s a pretty good summary of the state of the latest theories of sleep: “While We Sleep, Our Mind Goes on an Amazing Journey

The waking brain is optimized for collecting external stimuli, the sleeping brain for consolidating the information that’s been collected. At night, that is, we switch from recording to editing, a change that can be measured on the molecular scale. We’re not just rotely filing our thoughts—the sleeping brain actively curates which memories to keep and which to toss.

About the importance of sleep:

Good sleep likely also reduces one’s risk of developing dementia. A study done in mice by Maiken Nedergaard at the University of Rochester, in New York, suggests that while we’re awake, our neurons are packed tightly together, but when we’re asleep, some brain cells deflate by 60 percent, widening the spaces between them. These intercellular spaces are dumping grounds for the cells’ metabolic waste—notably a substance called beta-amyloid, which disrupts communication between neurons and is closely linked to Alzheimer’s. Only during sleep can spinal fluid slosh like detergent through these broader hallways of our brain, washing beta-amyloid away.

And about the importance of not going to sleep too soon:

Sleep reinforces our memory so powerfully—not just in stage 2, where we spend about half our sleeping time, but throughout the looping voyage of the night—that it might be best, for example, if exhausted soldiers returning from harrowing missions did not go directly to bed. To forestall post-traumatic stress disorder, the soldiers should remain awake for six to eight hours, according to neuroscientist Gina Poe at the University of California, Los Angeles. Research by her and others suggests that sleeping soon after a major event, before some of the ordeal is mentally resolved, is more likely to turn the experience into long-term memories.

The importance, or lack thereof, of dreams is still much debated.

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The other side of the Peter Principle


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How to ask for a favour

  1. Be direct
  2. Explain why
  3. Provide exit

The third step is in my view the most important and is often overlooked in other social interactions as well. It is the genuine expression that you are asking, not commanding, and provides the other other person with the choice of granting the favour or not.


How to grant a favour

  1. To it or not
  2. Don’t be a jerk about it
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TIL: This thing exists

Today I learned that this movie exists:

It isn’t all bad though. It isn’t like a “the ship rose from the depths of the ocean” kind of thing.

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A little something for the conspiracy-types

I recently got a comment on this blog from someone who seemed to believe that BIG PHARMA wasn’t actually trying to find any cures because there was too much money in people being sick. This was, of course, coupled with a vaccines-are-bad and in-my-day-people-got-immunity-the-natural-way.

And they did, and most of them survived. Some didn’t.

But I just read something that I will paraphrase here:

Tobacco companies kill their best customers. Condom companies prevent their future customers from being born.

That’s how it works. The pharmaceutical companies are no saints but as long as they experience the pressure of competition, they will act in a similar way – killing diseases.

And regarding vaccines, in USA where everything seems to be about money, it is not the pharmaceutical companies that excert the biggest pressure towards vaccination. It’s the insurance companies, because they have to pay for the sick people.

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So. We are going to get upload filters and a link tax

This is not great. The European Parliament chose to view the internet as a place for big corporations, not individual expression.

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Social Justice

I wonder if there is an older record of the concept of social justice than the story of Naboth’s Vineyard from 1 Kings 21. The conclusion, in 1 Kings 21:17-19

Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite:
“Go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, who rules in Samaria. He is now in Naboth’s vineyard, where he has gone to take possession of it.
Say to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: Have you not murdered a man and seized his property?’ Then say to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: In the place where dogs licked up Naboth’s blood, dogs will lick up your blood—yes, yours!’”

frames the punishment for the injustice Ahab, almost 3,000 years ago, as a judgement from God. This is of course to say that even a king cannot act unjust and is believed to have been written more than 2,500 years ago.

See also John Milton’s attempt in 1649 to explain essentially the same thing, to justify the execution of King Charles I, in “The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates“.

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TIL: Dune

Today I learned that Dune, while originally printed in the sci-fi magazine Analog in two parts, was first published as a book by a publishing company specializing in trade magazines and automotive manuals.

They only got to publish the first of the Dune series.

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The future is bright

I finally have a plan for retirement. I am going to do this:

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