PEG 2.0

Writer & entrepreneur. Bio.

This is my very, very personal blog.

All work that is my own is my copyright; rights reserved. Toutes mes oeuvres sont protégées par le droit d'auteur.

I have even seen a picture of a family wedding that took place in June 1939, in the garden of a Polish country house I now own. All of these pictures convey a sense of doom, for we know what happened next. September 1939 brought invasion from both east and west, occupation, chaos, destruction, genocide. Most of the people who attended that June wedding were soon dead or in exile. None of them ever returned to the house.
Let me end by pointing out what I’ll call the “Tegmarkian slippery slope.” It feels scientific and rational—from the perspective of many of us, even banal—to say that, if we’re conscious, then any sufficiently-accurate computer simulation of us would also be. But I tried to convince you that this view depends, for its aura of obviousness, on our agreeing not to probe too closely exactly what would count as a “sufficiently-accurate” simulation. E.g., does it count if the simulation is done in heavily-encrypted form, or encoded as a giant lookup table? Does it matter if anyone actually runs the simulation, or consults the lookup table? Now, all the way at the bottom of the slope is Max Tegmark, who asks: to produce consciousness, what does it matter if the simulation is physically instantiated at all? Why isn’t it enough for the simulation to “exist” mathematically? Or, better yet: if you’re worried about your infinitely-many Boltzmann brain copies, then why not worry equally about the infinitely many descriptions of your life history that are presumably encoded in the decimal expansion of π? Why not hold workshops about how to avoid the prediction that we’re infinitely likelier to be “living in π” than to be our “real” selves?

In another highly publicized incident, Beard retweeted a message that she had received from a twenty-year-old university student: “You filthy old slut. I bet your vagina is disgusting.” One of Beard’s followers offered to inform the student’s mother of his online behavior; meanwhile, he apologized. Beard’s object is not simply to embarrass offenders; it is to educate women. Before social media, she argues, it was possible for young women like those she teaches at Cambridge to enjoy the benefits of feminist advances without even being aware of the battles fought on their behalf, and to imagine that such attitudes are a thing of the past. Beard says, “Most of my students would have denied, I think, that there was still a major current of misogyny in Western culture.”…

The university student, after apologizing online, came to Cambridge and took Beard out to lunch; she has remained in touch with him, and is even writing letters of reference for him. “He is going to find it hard to get a job, because as soon as you Google his name that is what comes up,” she said. “And although he was a very silly, injudicious, and at that moment not very pleasant young guy, I don’t actually think one tweet should ruin your job prospects.”

She told how God chose a woman to be the Great Sanctuary of our Lord, Jesus.
And about how we are mothers, not only to our children but also to our spouse, just like Mary was mother to her spouse, who is Christ.
Through humility, service, prayer, we give birth to our husbands, who may never know, appreciate, or even welcome the life we want to give them.
In a sense, it was a new cosmology allied to a new moral metaphysics, constantly in ferment, producing movements and sects and new beginnings, but never straying beyond the boundaries of the world in which it believed: a universe of Darwinian struggle that, precisely in its savage economy of “nature red in tooth and claw,” demanded of conscience that it assist evolution in its ascent towards higher ethical realizations of the human essence. In Cowling’s account, one comes to see not only the broad unity of the school of “ethical earnestness,” but the final incoherence of its ethos: the closed order of nature is at once merciless chaos and the source of our ethics; morality is both obedience to nature and rebellion against nature’s implacable decrees; progress demands at once universal brotherhood and (especially among socialists) a ruthless eugenic purification of the race. What unifies this farrago into something like a moral vision is its most obviously religious element: complete devotion to the future as an absolute imperative, requiring in consequence a renunciation of all faith in and charity towards the past”or, for that matter, the present.
She was notorious for a forthright foulmouthedness which was only enhanced by the beauty of her voice. When presenting a paper on pleasure, she distinguished extrinsic pleasures - things we enjoy because of the description they fall under - and intrinsic pleasures - things we enjoy regardless of how they are described; and she cited, as an example of the latter, “shitting”, strongly pronouncing the double “t”, and with such sternness that her academic audience were too daunted to laugh.
Chastity is a decision to die to self and to selflessly love. People who practice it regard all people as intrinsically valuable, reject their objectification and uphold love as a choice in a culture that calls it a feeling.
Arleen Spenceley (x)

(Source: chastitymodesty, via alwaysabeautifullife)

Wallace’s annotations suggest that he had been reading too closely, searching for too much validation, guidance, or comfort in the books he read, to the point that his reading only wound up reinforcing his worst tendencies. Wallace found no escape from himself while he was reading; rather, his personal library remained just that: personal, continually bringing him back to his own struggles and inadequacies.

(Source: airows, via etonnement)

reidkelley:

brused:

cassbones:

inspookableassghosts:

you have a fundamental misunderstanding of how math works

hey that means charity will also get unlimited money so I’m game

so both charity and I get unlimited money, sounds like a win win situation.

And thus was the monetary system of the world destroyed. Chaos ensued. Magical genie buttons are dangerous.

reidkelley:

brused:

cassbones:

inspookableassghosts:

you have a fundamental misunderstanding of how math works

hey that means charity will also get unlimited money so I’m game

so both charity and I get unlimited money, sounds like a win win situation.

And thus was the monetary system of the world destroyed. Chaos ensued. Magical genie buttons are dangerous.

(Source: eternalgirlscout)

May 68 everywhere!

May 68 everywhere!

(via indefensible)

explore-blog:

James Baldwin on the creative process and the artist’s responsibility to society – absolutely spectacular read from 1962 

explore-blog:

James Baldwin on the creative process and the artist’s responsibility to societyabsolutely spectacular read from 1962 

(via womeninluxury)

m4zlum:

The 82 year old Khalil walked 3 days to save his grandson from IS/ISIS. They only have each other now.

m4zlum:

The 82 year old Khalil walked 3 days to save his grandson from IS/ISIS. They only have each other now.

(via alwaysabeautifullife)

It is not a journalist’s job to protect us from the ugly facts. Neither is it his job to protect the sensitive from the painful truth or anyone, really, from anything.

In fact, speaking more broadly, it is not a journalist’s job to make the world a better place, to ensure our right thinking, or to defend the virtuous politicians that sophisticates like himself voted for while excoriating the evildoers elected by those country rubes on the other side. It is not his job to do good or be kind or be wise. The idea that any of this is a journalist’s job is a fallacy that seems to have infected the trade in the 1970s, when idealistic highbrows began to replace the Janes and Joes who knew a good story when they heard one.

Because that’s the journalist’s job: the story. His only job: to tell the whole story straight.

In the greater scheme of things, Williams’ suicide is a small story, but it is part of a bigger story: the story of our country and our world. That story unfolds only slowly, and no one knows what wisdom it will ultimately reveal. The best we can do is tell each chapter whole and true, without piety or fear or favor.

Andrew Klavan, “Report the truth — the whole truth — on Robin Williams’ death” (via wesleyhill)

I would just like to take this moment to say that that is the biggest bunch of self-serving, self-aggrandizing, falsely noble bullshit I have read in a long time. “The story of our country and our world” my eye.

The details of Robin Williams’s suicide are no more relevant to “our country and our world” than the details of anyone else’s suicide. If journalists have some moral obligation to “tell each chapter whole and true,” they’re leaving a great many chapters wholly untold, and indeed unacknowledged.

But that’s the nature of the beast, isn’t it? All the stories can’t be told, so all of us who are in the business of writing have to choose. And when journalists like Klavan choose to write about exactly how Robin Williams took his own life, are we really supposed to believe that he does so out of some high-minded devotion to “the story of our country and our world”? People have a perverse and often malicious interest in the sufferings of celebrities and will pay to read about them. They won’t pay to read about a worn-out junkie who deliberately overdoses in a cheap apartment in the San Fernando Valley. Let’s at least be honest about that.

If Klavan wants to write “without piety,” then he should start by ceasing to be so piously sanctimonious about his own motives.

(via ayjay)

(via ayjay)

A bogus dichotomy between religion and equality has been set up, resulting in a succession of comparatively trivial new stories about receptionists being banned from wearing religious jewellery or nurses being suspended for offering to pray for patients’ recovery. Adopting the rhetoric of persecution on such matters obscures the very real persecution of Christians being killed or driven from their homes elsewhere in the globe.

Most of the world’s Christians are not engaged in stand-offs with intolerant secularists over such small matters. In the West, Christianity may have increasingly become embraced by the middle class and abandoned by the working class. But elsewhere the vast majority of Christians are poor, many of them struggling against antagonistic majority cultures, and have different priorities in life.

The paradox this produces is that, as Allen points out, the world’s Christians fall through the cracks of the left-right divide – they are too religious for liberals and too foreign for conservatives.