We’ve somehow trained ourselves to discriminate people into ‘thinkers’ and ‘doers’.

As if anybody has ever been able to do anything, anything at all, without first thinking about the matter at hand.

OK, we are still able to react in a more or less ‘reflexive’ manner – for instance most of us no longer ‘think about it in real time’ when walking or biking – but we do consider the matter before starting the ‘exercise’…

How about putting it a little differently? As in ‘talkers’ versus ‘doers’?

You see, people are ‘recognized’ by the manner in which they interact with what surrounds them.

If a guy is adept at growing food he will be recognized as a farmer. Whose intellectual prowess will be gauged by the quality of his vegetables. OK, he also needs some skills and just a little bit of luck but that’s another story.

If another guy is adept at speaking about things that happened in the past he will be recognized as a historian.

And considered to be  a ‘thinker’ while the farmer is always branded a doer…

Maybe because vegetables are easier to gauge than words?

There is indeed a difference between the manner in which those two generic guys think.
Most farmers, specially those who have been trained ‘on the job’, think ‘on the go’ – similar to what happens in our heads when walking or riding a bike, while all historians employ what is known as ‘discursive thinking’.
Farmers also employ ‘discursive thinking’ when consciously planning something or when explaining to someone which is he right way to harvest a certain crop but the entire ‘historic thinking’ consists of very well organized and carefully worded ideas.

You see, the main difference between those two guys is that the farmer’s main goal is to actually do something while the historian mainly needs to convince ‘his peers’.
This is why the farmer’s thinking is concerned almost exclusively with practical things while the historian needs to keep both aspects in balance. Facts are, or at least should be, important – all ‘historical stories’ should be based on facts, right? – but words are at least as important. Whenever the words had not been chosen right, the resulting story was not intelligible. The entire thinking process had been a waste of time.

This very difference also hides a huge danger.
Fake vegetables are way easier to spot than fake ideas, specially when they have been worded by a ‘skilled poet’.

We must give to each its due – agriculture was a huge step forward from hunting and gathering yet modern civilization depends very heavily on discursive thinking – but we must also exert extreme caution when judging the merits of a particular idea by the beauty of the words used to convey it.

Vegetables haven’t hurt anybody yet – as long as they had been grown properly, anyway – while most tragic things that had fallen on our heads had started as ideas. Worded well enough to convince…

– Just read that no respectable cannibal would ever let himself be caught eating a clown and I cannot figure out why!
– Maybe because most clowns taste funny?

Foarte multi si-au adus aminte de Olivia Steer.

olivia Steer ciudata

Steer îl citează pe controversatul politician Ninel Peia care afirmă că infestarea cu rujeolă “s-a făcut artificial şi intenționat de către agenţi cu dublă comandă”.
“Un fapt este clar: de la începutul anului, s-au descoperit circa 4.000 de cazuri de rujeolă, din care 17 s-au finalizat, tragic, cu moartea bolnavilor. Totuşi, în ce stat European se mai înregistrează o epidemie de proporţiile astea? Niciunde! Informaţiile mele spun că infestarea s-a făcut ARTIFICIAL şi INTENŢIONAT de către agenţi cu dublă comandă, agenţi dubli, cum li se mai spune. La Arad şi Nădlac se îmbonlăvesc copiii dar peste graniţă la Nagylak, Mako sau Szeged nici unul? Şi ungurii au grad de vaccinare mai mic cu 10% decât românii. Valul de rujeolă a generat ceea ce se şi intenţiona: un val de emoţie uriaş care ar împinge opinia publică la acceptarea rapidă şi fără mari dezbateri a Legii vaccinării”, a scris Olivia Steer pe Facebook, potrivit Antena 3.

Acelasi lucru se intampla in Statele Unite. Si acolo se manifesta o oarecare reticenta impotriva vaccinarii si, la fel ca in Romania, au re-inceput sa apara focare de infectie.

MeaslesIncrease2

Toata chestia asta seamana foarte bine cu o vanatoare de vrajitoare.

In loc sa ne concentram pe cauza reala ale imbolnavirilor – neincrederea unora dintre parinti, ii acuzam pe cei care – cu naivitate, din dorinta de a-si face publicitate sau orice combinatie din amandoua, vorbesc mult despre lucruri pe care le inteleg pe jumatate.

Da, exista o legatura extrem de stransa, si extrem de evidenta, intre neincrederea in vaccinuri si campaniile de presa desfasurate de anti-vaxxeri.

Partea proasta este ca toate atacurile ad-hominem la adresa anti-vaxxerilor sunt, de fapt, atacuri indreptate direct impotriva gandirii de tip stiintific.

Stupoare?!?

Sa o luam metodic.

Cunoasterea de tip stiintific se bazeaza pe ipoteze emise de cei care pun la indoiala consensul valabil la un moment dat si verificate de ‘colegii de breasla’ ai celor care au formulat acele ipoteze.
Daca respectivii colegi sunt de acord cu ipotezele analizate acestea devin teorii ‘acceptate de lumea stiintifica’.
Si ‘asteapta linistite’ ca niste alti ‘cârtitori’ sa le puna la indoiala si sa formuleze noi ipoteze, care, la randul lor, vor fi puse ‘in discutie publica’.
Iar tot acest proces se desfasoara, cel putin teoretic, intr-o atmosfera de transparenta si respect reciproc. Doate datele disponibile sunt puse pe masa si intre cercetatorii care se verifica unii pe ceilalti exista relatii de colegialitate. Repet, aici este vorba de teorie, locusul acela unde sunt evaluate doar ideile, nu si oamenii care le promoveaza.

Privind dintr-un anumit punct de vedere, cei ca Olivia Steer sunt un fel de ‘fluieratori in biserica’. Li se pare ca un lucru nu este la locul lui si atrag atentia celorlati asupra acelei ‘neregularitati’.
S-ar putea sa se insele – cum credem noi, cei care ne-am vaccinat copiii, ca este cazul anti-vaxxerilor.
Sau s-ar putea ca o cat de mica portiune din informatia vehiculata in jurul acestui subiect sa fie, totusi, valabila.

Si uite-asa ajungem la povestea cu Pastorul si Lupul… aia in care Pastorul se tot plictisea si, din cand in cand, striga ‘Lupul’. Iar satenii ii sareau in ajutor… numai ca lupul nu venise… Si asta pana cand satenii s-au plictisit la randul lor… si nu s-au mai dus… numai ca de data aia Lupul venise….

In varianta povestita copiilor, Satenii il ajuta pe Pastor sa adune, a doua zi, animalele ramase iar acesta intelege, in sfarsit, morala povestii… numai ca asta este doar o fabula…

In lumea reala trebuie sa sarim de fiecare data cand cineva striga ‘A venit Lupul’.

Nu de alta, ci doar pentru ca sunt oile noastre in joc! Iar pastorul ala este angajatul nostru. Adica este responsabilitatea noastra sa alegem un pastor responsabil, nu unul care sa-si bata joc de noi….
Iar daca un trecator ‘are vedenii’ si striga degeaba… asta e. Ghinion. Ne gandim la cate pagube ar fi putut face Lupul daca ar fi venit cu adevarat si mergem mai departe…
Singura situatie in care am putea sa-l pedepsim pe cel care tras alarma aiurea ar fi aceea in care ar fi evident ca a facut-o ca sa isi bata joc de noi. Altfel, daca pedeapsa e nejustificata, sau prea mare, acelasi om – sau oricare altii, ar putea intoarce capul si s-ar putea preface ca n-au vazut nimic. De ce sa-si riste ei fundul pentru ‘oile comunitatii’?
Daca Lupul pe care il vad in momentul asta ‘se razgandeste’ si nu-i asteapta pe Sateni?
Sau daca e ‘inteles cu primarul’, acesta ii conduce pe Sateni pe cai intortocheate si pana ajung la locul faptei Lupul are timp sa-si ascunda urmele? Nu mai bine sa se faca ca nu vede, avand in vedere experienta predecesorilor sai?

Bine, bine, asta facem cu oile… ce ne facem cu pojarul?
Nu de alta, ne mor copiii pana termini tu povestea cu oile…

Pai ce sa facem, cumparam vaccin!

In America, locul ala unde spuneam ca a inceput miscarea anti-vaxxer, parintii carora le vine mintea la cap au de unde sa cumpere o fiola de vaccin! Aici … mai greu…
Trecand peste amanuntul ca noi, toti, platim niste impozite. Din care ar trebui cumparate inclusiv vaccinurile care sa ne apere, pe noi si pe copiii nostri, de tot felul de boli…

Chiar credeti ca mama bebelusului cu care am inceput articolul stie macar cine e Olivia Steer? Ca sa nu mai vorbim despre faptul ca acum 16 ani, cand ar fi trebuit sa fi fost vaccinata ea, mama, nu vorbea nimeni despre aiureli din astea…

Si nu, nu sunt de acord nici cu vaccinarea obligatorie!
Avem medici, ei trebuie sa decida daca un copil poate sau nu sa fie vaccinat. Pe semnatura si responsabilitatea lor!
Vrei sa-ti duci copilul la scoala? Scoti de la medic o adevarinta ca acel copil a fost vaccinat. Sau ca nu a putut fi inca vaccinat din cauzele 1, 2, 3 … consemnate precis, cu data, in fisa medicala a copilului si cu angajamentul ca, pe masura ce acele cauze vor inceta, copilul va fi imunizat de indata ce se va putea.
Altfel… tine-l taica acasa… sa te intrebe pe tine ce si cum cand s-o face mai mare, nu sa-l imbolnaveasca pe al meu pentru ca ai tu gargauni in cap…

Si lasati-o pe Steer in plata Domnului… cu cat o bagati mai mult in seama, cu atat mai multe trasnai o sa spuna…

Cum or fi reusind astia sa ne indrepte pe tot felul de piste false…
Sau ne-o facem cu mana noastra?
Dupa principiul ‘tara arde si baba se piaptana’…

NB. “Pojar” asta inseamna, de fapt.
“Incendiu”!
Iar ‘incendiul neincrederii generalizate’ nu poate fi stins atacandu-i, la persoana, pe cei care au curajul (inconstienta?) de a-si exprima sentimentele cu voce tare…
Ar fi similar cu a-i biciui pe canarii dusi in mina atunci cand gâfâie din cauza monoxidului de carbon acumulat in galerii…
Singurul remediu este redescoperirea respectului reciproc.
Intre medic si pacient, intre politician si alegator, intre specialist si profan, intre politicieni, intre specialisti, intre profani…

PS
Acum au inceput sa se cearte pe ambulante, pe asta cu vaccinarea au lasat-o deoparte…

Trump has been around for ages.

His buildings litter the world, his marriages were of a very public nature, his involvement with the media generated a lot of (fake?!?) reality (shows), he not only published a number of books – the most interesting, to me, being Think BIG and Kick Ass in Business and Life, but also pretended to educate us using an university he eventually had to close amid huge controversy.

Even if he was wearing a ‘fresh figure’ in politics when he presented his bid for the American Presidency he was nevertheless the epitome of a ‘public figure’.

Nobody could pretend he wasn’t aware of how Trump was going to behave.

Yet the Republican Convention nominated him as candidate, a considerable number of people had voted for him and more than half the Americans had chosen to stay home even if he was on the ballot.

People refraining from casting a ballot is easiest to explain. The alternative wasn’t any better.
Republicans nominating him as candidate is also relatively simple. They wanted so badly to ‘win’ that they had chosen not to consider all the implications.
Same thing goes for those who had voted for him. The majority of them are not the bigoted monsters the ‘other side’ fear them to be. They were just exasperated by what was happening to them.

What is harder to understand is what’s going on after the votes have been counted.

Remember that Trump was the known quantity here. Nothing surprising in his behavior.

What surprises me is that so many Republicans act as if they were hoping he was going to become presidential after the election, that the Democrats have not yet understood that they share the blame for Trump becoming what he is today and that so many of the public take sides instead of joining hands and mitigating the dangers of the current situation.

By ‘mitigating the dangers’ I don’t mean ‘impeachment’ or anything like that.

What I’m trying to say is that too many of us treat Trump as a symbol instead of as the symptom he is.

By either admiring or hating him, as a person, we allow ourselves to be divided into warring parties which no longer communicate effectively and meaningfully.

By either trying to emulate or to destroy him, or others like him, we only throw fresh fuel on an already blazing fire.

How about a little moderation?

We have learned to make, and tame, fire since humankind’s childhood.
In the last 70 years or so we have also learned to tame the atom. We are now able to build both atom bombs and power generating nuclear reactors.

How about re-learning to tame greed? For both money and power?

I’ve recently spent a few days in the Danube Delta.DSC_1146egreta mareWhen traveling on water, I was issued a ‘life-jacket’ – no picture, you all know what one looks like.

At one point, I was joking with the guide.

‘Harnessed like this, no one can do anything but wait to be rescued. It’s impossible to swim wearing such a thing.’
‘Ha!.
You thought this was meant to save your life, didn’t you?
Well, in reality its role is to keep your corpse afloat so that those looking for you wouldn’t have to dredge the river.’

I remembered the joke while reading this article.

“Apple doesn’t purposely make its terms and conditions long and boring and difficult to read. In theory it could shorten them, or summarise them, or pull out a few bullet points at the beginning to let you know if something has changed since you were last confronted with them. But if it was to do so someone could argue in court that insufficient emphasis was placed on something buried further down in the document. And Apple doesn’t want that to happen.”

People tend to treat it as if it was a ‘point’.
A theoretical concept that has been put on a table, studied from all angles, found desirable/unacceptable and which is now aggressively marketed by fervent apostles/rejected by ‘die-heart fundamentalists’.

I’m afraid it should rather be treated as a continuum.

People belonging to diverse cultures who freely decide to live together will, sooner rather than later, generate a meta-culture based mainly on intercultural mutual respect.
People belonging to diverse cultures who have to live together, without previously being asked whether they want this to happen or not, will, later rather than sooner, generate a meta-culture fusing together various cultural segments appropriated from the various cultures that were forced to coexist.
I am fascinated by the fact that both ‘extremes’ can happen simultaneously.
Individuals, usually unaware of what is going on, find ways of cooperating with members belonging to other cultures to impose/reject ‘cultural artifacts’ upon/coming from individuals belonging to other cultures.
The key of all this being a simple matter of ‘perception’.
We find it easier to cooperate with people belonging to cultures which we perceive as  ‘friendly’ and to treat with disdain those belonging to cultures which are different enough to be perceived as inferior. Hence ‘unfriendly’.

About the future, I mean!

no kids

This ‘piece of information’ keeps bouncing inside the Internet and is interpreted in various manners.

From ‘what to expect from leaders who are ‘this’ selfish’ to “I find it trashy and irrelevant. Merkel’s husband has two sons, btw.
Well… Macron’s wife also has her own children. And a few nephews.

What startled me was this reaction.
I’m under the stark realization that the most intelligent of the population have the fewest children, which might not bode well for voting statistics in the future.”

While the observation is, of course, correct, I’m afraid the interpretation attached to it is somewhat ‘confused’.

First if all, it’s not ‘intelligence’ that drives people to give birth to fewer children. Intelligence – coalesced at social level – helps a population to increase its living standard. As such, children no longer die young so parents no longer have to have so many of them. In order to have somebody help you in your older days you no longer have to give birth to more than two or three children.

If intelligence alone would have prevented people from having children Israel and the US would have been at least as ‘childless’ as Japan or most of the European Countries.
On the contrary. The US is still in a better situation than the EU, 1.8 vs 1.6, while Israel thrives at 3.1

Another way of making sense of what’s going on is to consider that people no longer make kids simply because they have reached the conclusion that ‘money’ can just as well help them cope during their older days. Since so few children live with, or at least near, their old parents this no longer seems so farfetched as it may look at first glance…

But what’s going on in Israel? They also have enough money…

The country needs soldiers to defend it’s very existence?

But, you know, Israel is a free country. Those kids could leave anytime before being drafted. As some of them do.

But most of them stay! Freely!

Then how about people giving birth having at least some connection with ‘hope’?
As in people having hope for a better tomorrow? One worth defending?

One worth making children for?

For a long time the Jewish people have written down their thoughts about the world.
At some point, about two thousands years ago, Jesus and his followers reinterpreted those ideas so new books had to be written on the same subject.
Another four centuries later the Councils of Hippo (393 AD) and Carthage ( 397) determined which of those books were to be included in what is currently known as the Bible.

The versions being circulated since were written in Latin, Hebrew, ancient Greek, Aramaic, ancient Armenian, etc.

By 1500 almost nobody but some of the priests were able to read any of them.

So Luther had decided he had to translate it. Into German.

And changed the world.

“Luther’s Bible introduced mass media, unified a nation, and set the standard for future translations.”

Since then, because modern languages are a work in progress, the Bible has been practically rewritten many times over.

Here are three versions of how Cain and Abel were born. Genesis 4:1-2.

And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord.

And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.”

King James Version

Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten[a] a man with the help of the Lord.” And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground.

English Standard Version

“Adam made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man.” Later she gave birth to his brother Abel.

Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil.”

New International Version

What next? I’ve counted 106 different versions, all written in English, on a Wikipedia page…

Luther had translated it because almost no one living in his times was able to read it by themselves.
Nowadays it seems that anybody who cares about the matter, writes their own!

I was under the impression that religion was meant to bring us together…

The Tower of Babel

11 Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved eastward,[a] they found a plain in Shinar[b] and settled there.

They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”

But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”

So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel[c]—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.”

Who is scattering us now?
Why are we doing this to ourselves?

a goal-oriented person or team works hard to achieve good results in the tasks that they have been given”

For the purpose of this post it doesn’t matter whether the goal has been assigned by somebody else or has been chosen by the  would be goal-achiever itself.

The problem, as I see it, is that those who focus too much on achieving a specific goal usually fail.

For at least two reasons.

First of all the goal itself might not be appropriate. Never was or something had changed.
For example, I had learned hard to become a mechanical engineer. Worked as one for 5 years and enjoyed every minute of it. I still love to fix things around the house.
But I gave it up when I realized I couldn’t feed myself in post communist Romania.

We consider ourselves to be rational. If this were true, all human goals would have been both appropriate and achievable.
How many of them really are?
Then why are so many of us willing to go to extreme lengths in order to achieve certain goals, against all signals suggesting that they should desist?

Even if the goal is reasonable, for instance to loose 20 pounds in a certain situation, if the would be achiever is excessively focused on that single goal it may try to reach it too soon, be unhappy during the entire duration of the process or even both at the same time.

So, should we give up all our goals?

That would be a goal too… so… no, obviously!

What I’m trying to say is that goals should be our stepping stones instead of being considered, any of them, ultimate pinnacles.

Before going any further I’d like to discuss the alternative suggested by Shane Parrish in at least two different articles.

Goal-oriented people usually fail, and other things I’ve learned about succeeding at work 2015 in BusinessInsider.com and

How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big, 2013 in Farnamstreetblog.com

There’s no real alternative? He is still focused on a specific goal, “success”, only he is wise enough to consider it in a reasonable way – as in ‘create as little disturbance as possible during the process of achieving it’?

Well, this is indeed a very important step forward.

Yes, forward!

I never said I was willing to give up goals altogether so I (think I) know where I’m headed!
The point is, and here I agree completely with Shane Parrish, that we should try to achieve our goals WITH at least some of those around us instead of being ready to reach them by CRUSHING, one way or another, everybody who might dare to even utter the smallest dissent.

In other words, there is only one legitimate goal that each of us is entitled to pursue at any length. Survival. All others are figments of our imagination and should be followed with discretion. Otherwise our actions might turn against us. And hamper our own survival.

Let me give you a very hot example.

Last year the American People had chosen their President.
This is a two step process. In the first one the parties nominate their candidate and then the entire people is asked to pick one of them for the job.

Almost the entire world knows that the American political scene is divided between the Democrats and the Republicans and that having your man at the helm is a big bonus for any party – the latter being valid in almost all countries, not only in America.

During the first of the two electoral steps, the Democrats have nominated Hillary Clinton while the Republicans have chosen Donald Trump. Apparently two completely different individuals.
A consummate ‘political insider’  versus a successful business man with a history of getting things done, seemingly at all odds.

Lets see how differently these two guys really are.

Hillary Clinton had identified, correctly, a huge number of issues and and formulated reasonable promises about each and every one of them.
Donald Trump had identified a huge pool of discontent and energized those who were waddling in there aimlessly.
Different indeed but only the opposite sides of the same coin. Political marketing at its  best. Or worse?

Hillary Clinton was a person who had no problem in using her, and her husband’s, official position and authority to achieve her goals, even if that meant bending the rules. Using a personal e-mail server, installed in a private setting, wasn’t a proper thing to do for a Secretary of State, was it?
Donald Trump is indeed a very successful entrepreneur. Only he did his ‘thing’ in a very ‘special’ domain. One subjected to various zoning laws and other heavy rules imposed by the ‘all powerful’ government.
I’m also going to remind you of the fortune he had inherited from his father – made using comprehensive political connections – and that Trump had used part of his money to curry favors with various political figures.

“Trump later told Politico, “As a contributor, I demanded that they be there—they had no choice and that’s what’s wrong with our country. Our country is run by and for donors, special interests and lobbyists, and that is not a good formula for our country’s success. With me, there are no lobbyists and special interests. My only special interest is the United States of America.”

And it’s not only that he had no qualms in using his money to convince politicians to do what he wanted them to do, he also tried to use governmental power to ‘convince’ an old lady, under the pretext of ’eminent domain’, to sell her house, at half price, so that he could build a limousine parking lot for a casino in Atlantic City.

These two candidates no longer seem to be so different anymore, do they?
Both equally ‘goal oriented’ – a.k.a. power hungry – and equally determined to use whatever ‘energy’ they could concentrate in that direction, including governmental power.

Then how come each of them had been nominated by their respective parties?
Considering that both parties paid lip service to the need to simplify the government…

Could it be that the real goal of both parties was to gain the Oval Office?
At all costs to the country at large?

I’m not going to pretend now that the survival of the US is in danger, just because Trump, currently acting like an elephant in a China shop, is the perfect opportunity for Putin to inflict as much damage to the US as he possibly can.

You see, Putin didn’t meddle into the election process because he had any hopes that he would be able to influence any of Trump’s decisions. Putin simply knew that Trump, once elected, will, in a ‘natural manner’, wreak havoc in Washington. What else could he have asked for?

Well, this may prove to be yet another ‘goal oriented’ failure… Had Clinton become President she would have probably continued to encourage the malignant growth of an already humongous government… this way the American People has the chance to wake up. Because of the tantrum Trump is throwing around…

And, maybe, the parties will also learn something.
Democratic government means governing for the country as a whole, not for the group which happens to control the power.
Real democracy is about honestly discussing the issues before the elections, so that as many as possible of the potential problems to become evident before the people having to choose a direction or other. Whenever the parties try to lure the population towards a particular ‘goal’, using any of the various tools devised by the political marketeers, the electoral process is no longer democratic.
In that case the whole thing has been demoted to ‘mob rule’. Which is dangerous.

Over reliance in our ability to choose a goal or to devise/run a system (government) is the deepest pitfall ever dug by humankind. For ourselves.

A system is nothing more and nothing less than a set of relatively stable interactions.
A system can be evaluated only from the outside.
A system exists only in the mind of the observer.

I’ll discuss these three affirmations from the bottom.

Even if the objects that compose the system exist ‘in the real world’, the system itself exists only in the minds of the observers – the person who had first identified the interactions and all those who agree with him.
To illustrate my point I’ll give you three examples.
–  A constellation is “a group of stars that forms a particular shape in the sky and has been given a name“. A long time ago, when those constellations had been named by our ancestors, people thought they were something totally different than what we think of them now. Yet they continue to exist as before and are identified using the same names.
– The Solar System. It works totally different today than it used to during Ptolemy’s time…
– The human body. Each of us temporarily inhabits one but we still don’t know exactly how it works or whether, in reality, it is but a small – and not even autonomous, part in a way larger system.

No system can be evaluated from the inside.
Apparently this is pure nonsense. I have just said that each of us inhabits a human body, which is a system by itself. Yeah, right. And when was the last time when you have fully understood how your body works? Or when any of us was able to do that… including here the doctors in the audience – exactly those people who do understand the meaning of “A physician who treats himself has a fool for a patient.” …
On the other hand, most of us – at least after a certain age and before dementia takes over – are ‘house trained’ and relatively polite. Because of our consciousness? Something that we hardly understand and sometimes think of as being somewhat separated from our ‘mortal’ body? Please remember, in this context, that some of us consider our souls as belonging to somebody else…

A system is nothing but a relatively stable set of interactions.
That have been either identified or established by us. The Solar System has been identified by us while the GPS (the Global Positioning System) was designed, and build from scratch, by us. Composed of materials found in the Solar System and obeying the same ‘laws’ as the rest of it but, nevertheless, something different. And to understand what I mean, please imagine for a moment that gravity would suddenly become a much weaker force. Big enough to keep the Earth together but not big enough to maintain Earth’s current orbit, at Earth’s current speed around the Sun. Nor big enough to keep the Sun together… Depending on how weaker the gravity would become the planets would scatter away while the Sun would become nothing more than a nebula… or, if the gravity would become reality small, it would be possible that the gases furiously escaping from the Sun would catch at least some of the planets from behind and melt them into a lot wider nebula….
Or, alternatively, imagine that the GPS satellites run out of power and no longer emit any radio signals. They would continue to orbit the Earth for a while but the GPS system would have been gone the minute when too few satellites would have remained active …

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