Logged off: meet the teens who refuse to use social media

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/aug/29/teens-desert-social-media

  • a backlash among young people has been quietly boiling.
  • “You start doing things that are dishonest”
  • weary of the pressures of sustaining an online persona
  • It became depressing. It was this competition of who’s the happiest
  • A desire to build authentic, offline friendships motivated some to quit
  • did so in order to “use time in more valuable ways”.
  • “mindless vortex of never-ending scrolling”
  • but there is a sense of privacy that is being breached as well
  • Constant screen time damages your ability to see, and it also causes internal damage, such as anxiety
  • when you do, it’s such a relief

Evidence is Piling Up That Facebook Can Incite Racial Violence

Source: https://tech.slashdot.org/story/18/08/21/2340213/evidence-is-piling-up-that-facebook-can-incite-racial-violence

Higher use of the world’s dominant social network has now been strongly linked with more attacks on refugees in Germany. From a report: Greater use, greater violence: Specifically, in towns where “per-person Facebook use rose to one standard deviation above the national average,” attacks on refugees “increased by about 50 percent,” the New York Times reported today, citing a University of Warwick study. Researchers there carried out a detailed analysis of more than 3,000 incidents in Germany over a two-year period. Crucially, the link held true regardless of the city’s size, political leanings, or economic status — and didn’t correlate with general patterns of internet use. Those findings strengthen the case that using Facebook in particular can be a driving mechanism of greater violence.

Greater scrutiny: That’s more bad news for the embattled social network, which has long portrayed itself as a benevolent company driven by a mission to draw the world closer together. But researchers recently found that coordinated hate speech and propaganda on the site helped fuel violence in Myanmar. And last year, Facebook itself eventually acknowledged that Russian agents had posted tens of thousands of inflammatory posts — which reached tens of millions of people — before and after the 2016 presidential election, in a massive campaign to deepen divisions in the United States.

大石头巷

文章一 – 树徳堂

几年前,因为真的喜欢沈复的《浮生六记》,就来苏州去了在一家医学院里的可园,没想到在学院大门口被一位中年保安拦住,说要有学院宣传部的证明才能进去,我当时只是背着包的旅行者,只能带着遗憾离开那里。

可以说,去苏州寻找沈复芸娘的清魂一直是我内心的情结。据我所知,沈复和芸娘在苏州活动的区域很多,比如《浮生六记》里提到的沧浪亭、可园、仓米巷等,当然我们最想去的是沈复的旧居,如今是大石头巷36号的吴宅,传说那个院子里不但有沈复夫妻住过的小楼“宾香阁”,还有苏州现存最精美的砖雕门楼——“麐翔凤游”。 那天上午我们坐高铁到了苏州,好友徐黎帆老师就开车带我们直奔可园,开始我们的寻访之旅。

Continue reading “大石头巷”

Hedonism holds the secret to a happier life, but not for the reasons you think

Source: https://qz.com/1356786/hedonism-holds-the-secret-to-a-happier-life-but-not-for-the-reasons-you-think/

  • Hedonistic philosophers knew better. This school of thought holds that pleasure is a good worth pursuing and that the ideal human life is filled with pleasure.
  • in Ancient Greece, the hedonist worldview did not necessarily descend into a life of gluttony and frivolity.
  • Epicurus ultimately advocates for a rather simple life
  • the highest pleasure you can achieve is the absence of pain
  • content with bread and water
  • once he’d sated his hunger, he thought no greater pleasure would come from actively seeking more elaborate dining.
  • the key to Epicurean hedonism is eradicating all anxiety
  • the Epicurean lifestyle of bread and water doesn’t sound particularly hedonistic or appealing.
  • stop desiring anything you don’t naturally need
  • If you think about modern stresses and desires about status and consumerism, there’s a lot of that we might be able to do without and probably would be healthy for us to do without
  • It’s easy to fall into false beliefs about what matters, based on the expectations of those around us

Science shows that luck is a self-fulfilling prophecy

Source: https://qz.com/1360304/science-shows-that-luck-is-a-self-fulfilling-prophecy/

  • how lucky we feel influences our future fortunes.
  • luck begets luck
  • This makes optimists the luckiest people of all
  • optimists are more likely to see other people’s experiences as lucky, while pessimists focus on misfortune in the same set of facts
  • “a significant positive correlation” between subjects’ level of optimism and how lucky they thought others were.
  • judgments about luck are inconsistent and changeable, “the predictable result of framing effects and idiosyncratic personality traits.”
  • most people mistakenly believe their success is the inevitable result of hard work or personal qualities, ignoring the fact that they’ve made a lucky draw in a numbers game.
  • people who acknowledge luck as an element of their success are more attractive to others.
  • the ability to recognize fortune’s role makes for a more humble person—and humility is a more attractive quality than arrogance.
  • luck is a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy.
  • Wiseman posits that feeling unlucky creates fear and anxiety, which in turn makes us less likely to see opportunities. Lucky people are, to some degree, those who keep their eyes, minds, and hearts open, making themselves available for fortune.
  • The luckiest among us, then, are great storytellers—magical realists who can see the upside of downturns and consider how much worse things might have been.
  • People who can spin a yarn that emphasizes what went right, rather than focusing solely on what went awry, ultimately create good fortune, and thus up their chances of getting lucky again

Key pointers from “The Great Man” Theory Debunked

Source: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-08-09/hitler-trump-great-man-theory-debunked

The “Great Man Theory” [Link] tells us that history can be largely explained by the impact of great leaders.

Herbert Spencer [Link] forcefully disagreed with the “Great Man Theory.” He believed that great leaders were merely products of their social environment. 

One of the significant shortcomings of many political philosophers is their ignorance of human nature.

Donald Trump, He’s a brute, a bully, and a demagogue, but he understands the zeitgeist, the spirit of the times and he adjusts his message to appeal to his base.

I have known many bullies; on the playground and in the boardroom. A bully may achieve short-term gain, but for long-term pain. It is very easy to destroy corporate culture, but extremely difficult, if not impossible, to mend a toxic workplace after the bully was dismissed. Now, extrapolate this to the world under Donald Trump.

China is building a large, new embassy at the mouth of the Panama Canal visible to every ship “as they enter a waterway that once symbolized the global influence of the United States.”

China is replacing U.S. influence in Latin America.

The elites are running out the clock in order to loot as much as they can before it hits the fan.

We dirt people will continue to suffer from stagnant wage growth while the so-called increase in national wealth goes to a tiny minority. [link]

It is said that every few generations, money returns to its rightful owners. That is what’s happening now.

or 5,000 years, China was a world superpower with only a short, two-century hiatus that is now ending as China again emerges as an economic superpower. Such a massive shift in wealth cannot be attributed to either leadership or the people below. It is a painful reversion to the mean. All the finger-pointing and wailing and gnashing of teeth … not even bombastic Trump and his tariffs can stem the tide and make Amerika great again as money continues to flow back to its rightful owners.

The USA is a declining, bankrupt, warmongering police state and most of its indoctrinated citizens think they live in a free, peaceful country.

China is a corrupt police state, but most of its citizens know it.

We have met the enemy, and he is us. The future awaits.