I was thinking, the other day…
“You are essentially a different person every day of your life. You know, you’re similar, but you’re more tired, you’re more rested, you’re exhausted, you’re refreshed, you have vitamins and food and nourishment in your system, you just had your heart broken, you haven’t slept in days… You’re a different person all the time, and you go onto that stage–you’re in the neighborhood of who Lex Fridman is–you’re in the Lex Fridman neighborhood. Which Lex Fridman am I going to get?”
–Joe Rogan, Lex Fridman Podcast #300
“In fact, it’s Douggie’s growing conviction that the greatest flaw of the species is its overwhelming tendency to mistake agreement for truth. Single biggest influence on what a body will or won’t believe is what nearby bodies broadcast over the public band. Get three people in the room and they’ll decide that the law of gravity is evil and should be rescinded because one of their uncles got shit-faced and fell off the roof.”
–Richard Powers, “The Overstory” p.84-85
“Maybe it was real, maybe it wasn’t, but it doesn’t really matter at the end of the day… Different things are real in different ways, and what’s more real than having that tangible of an impact on a community?
And that’s what’s particularly cool about mythology and cryptids and spirituality… (whether that is spirituality as a religious practice or spirituality as…a practice of attenuating the things that you believe and hold true about yourself and draw inspiration from…) A thing is notable for what it represents. In every possible case, there are things that…are fundamentally altered from their original intention or meaning or harmlessness–in ways that are really profound and disturbing–or in ways that are really…excellent and wonderful…
It may have started out as something innocuous, or it may have started out as something silly or half-hearted or selfish…but what it has become is so fundamentally different from all of those things. It has been…claimed and canonized in this really…interesting and beautiful way.
What power does a thing have, except for the meaning we give it? Sometimes that’s enough for something to be real.”
–The Cryptid Keeper Podcast #55 “The Hodag”
“Literature gives us a chance to examine what is broken, and to take our suffering and find meaning in it, and to try and bring it to some kind of wholeness. When we read a spooky book, even if it’s a playful spooky book–a story about a haunted street sign or something–kids get to experience fear and anxiety and tension in a safe space (their bedroom or their classroom or the library) and they get to practice these emotions. You read a spooky book, and you feel a little anxiety, you feel a little bit of fear, and your brain starts working on those emotions, trying to figure out: how do I navigate this thing called fear? How do I deal with my anxiety? How do I succeed in a world that can be absolutely terrifying? …what you’re really doing, is: you’re practicing bravery.”
–Josh Allen, Am I Write Podcast, hosted by Sheridan Sharp
“People know many things, and half of them are wrong. If only we knew which half, we’d have reason to be proud of our intelligence.
What is knowledge? A belief that is shared by all the respectable people in a community, whether there is any evidence for it or not.
What is faith? A belief we hold so strongly that we act as if it is true, even though we know there are many who do not believe it.
What is opinion? A belief that we expect other people to argue with.
What is scientific fact? An oxymoron. Science does not deal in facts. It deals in hypotheses, which are never fully and finally correct.”
–Orson Scott Card, “Hidden Empire”
“[Richard] Feynman in the essay, ‘The Value of Science’–he didn’t have the internet, of course–but he thought about this. …what lessons can this tremendously successful way of looking at the world teach us in our wider society? Is there anything applicable? Call it a transferrable skill–that nature forces into you–that you can then use. And he said that there is, that the most important thing–is what you started with–is admitting that you don’t know. He said, ‘science is a satisfactory philosophy of ignorance.’ …we keep asking about the meaning of it all, and you get all these people, like you said with the internet, and everyone is certain, everybody knows how to do it. Everybody knows how to run a country, everybody knows how they should behave, what god they should worship, and so everybody knows this, knows it. And he said no, the open channel is to admit that we don’t know and understand it, and therefore our responsibility is to leave something for future generations to discover. To leave–admit that we don’t know now, therefore, our responsibility is to hand over our civilization and our planet to the next generation, intact–so that they can acquire some more knowledge and find out a bit more. But that requires you to say, ‘I might be wrong here.’ He said, that’s what democracy is. If you think about what democracy actually is, it’s admitting that we don’t know how to run a country because it’s too hard. So every four or five years we change.”
–Professor Brian Cox, on Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend