Posts Tagged ‘life’

NZ road safety ad

I came across this road safety ad about a year ago and apparently wanted to post it here but forgot. Now I found it in my drafts and watched it again. I still think the idea is brilliant, since it gets the message across very effectively without the shocking blood and gore – so let’s finally put it up here!

Stephen Colbert interviewing Neil deGrasse Tyson

Neil deGrasse Tyson makes astrophysics accessible to the average people by his enthusiastic and entertaining way of telling stuff and Stephen Colbert’s fun way of leading the interview is a quality bonus to this video. If you are only slightly interested in the questions why we should raise our scientific literacy and what makes astrophysics valuable to everyone, you should really watch this entertaining talk:

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Atomkraft? GTFO!

(Bild-Quelle: Uni Frankfurt)

Fukushima ist alles andere als ein erledigtes Thema, auch wenn es in den Medien ein wenig untergeht. Es ist immernoch nicht klar, in welchem Umfang das Innere der Kraftwerke und insbesondere die Brennstaebe in den vier Abklingbecken zerstoert wurden. Unglaublich! Eine wahre Hilfslosigkeit macht sich breit: Derzeit ist das Japanische Militaer dazu gezwungen Schulhoefe umzugraben, damit der nukleare Dreck unter der obersten Erdschicht verschwindet. Erinnert ein wenig an “unter den Teppich kehren”. Was aber wenn eins der Kids anfaengt eine Burg zu bauen? Continue reading

Athene’s Theory of Everything

Are you in the mood to think about how we see ourselves, why we believe in the things we believe and how we act upon those believes? Then you should consider watching this clip of ‘Athene’s Theory of Everything’, which is trying to explain and to unify all of our current philosophical questions with up-to-date scientific facts.

Don’t watch it, if you are stressed or not open minded for philosophical thoughts! You will be advised in the beginning of the clip, that the matter is complicated and multiple viewings might be required. But it is worth your attention and turns out to be very interesting, even when watching it for the the first time and when you might not be able to follow many of the details. Just play it again another day.

Among physics and biology, it even mentions the Mirror Neurons – a topic of the talk i have been putting up here in my previous post. I can’t stress enough that you should be advised to take some time to let all the ideas sink in, since it is quite condensed – especially if you are new to thinking about the ideas on how the world and we as human beings operate. However, it is presented in a very clear and calm way. In my opinion it is definitely something to take into consideration when discussing how ‘everything’ works…

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The Empathic Civilization

Like I promised in my previous post, here comes another clip from RSA Animate, presenting a speed paint to a talk by Jeremy Rifkin called ‘The Empathic Civilization’. It is about the question of how we (and apparently also other mammals) feel empathy for something that can be observed happening to others. Like when we watch a movie, the same neurons fire in our brain processing what we see as if we would experience it ourselves. Scientists call this function in our brains the mirror neurons.

It is a remarkable discovery and he is talking about how it might have evolved from the bond that our ancestors in the cave had with their tribe (viewing other tribes as aliens), to religious groups believing to belong to each other up to the bond we feel towards the people of our same nation (and in many cases being hostile towards people of other countries). He then poses the very interesting question, if this evolution could extend over the whole planet to make us feel connected to one another as a whole ecosystem.

This is especially interesting to those who are working on ways how to convince people that we are not so different from one another. We should really stop treating people from other countries, religions and families as aliens. This is a very outdated concept in many parts of the world. The idea that, with our technology advances, it could be some day possible to overcome the differences between all of us and create what he calls the empathic civilization – where we act as a family of beings and not individuals. Think of the possibilities in sustainability and social equality that arise if we could just trigger these mirror neurons in each and every one of those who still live by the imaginary boundaries of nations, blood ties and religions.

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Smile or Die

If you are fed up with all the people who do not seem to realize, that some things are going wrong, maybe those might just not feel they would be allowed to say what they think. We live in a society where realism is not always appreciated. Even so far as to distort reality into a point of view where we are not making any changes, even when they might be absolutely necessary. The constant “everything is ok” and willful ignorance that is going on especially in the corporate world and politics does not contribute to our progress as a society at all. It is harmful in just the same way as the constant fear and depression that we perceive most of the time through the media. In fact, people might start to feel powerless with the constant good mood in the same way as they would with the constant negativity they are confronted with – especially if they don’t believe it. The solution? Just acknowledge the facts that you have at hand and act accordingly! Smile or complain whenever you think it’s appropriate but never stop acting upon what you think is right or wrong!

RSA Animate published a fantastic talk on this topic by Barbara Ehrenreich on positive thinking accompanied by a kind of speed paint to what the talker is saying. I really love all of their videos (and I will post some more here later). This clip unfortunately has some pretty bad audio, but the message is clear…

And while you are at it, you might also want to check out my previous post ‘Everything is OK‘.

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Everything is OK

First of all: maybe I tricked you a bit with the title there to get your attention. Please accept my apology for that! But the following is really important to me. Since you are apparently still reading this, let me take the opportunity to clarify: I believe there are probably bazillions of things that are not OK at this very moment…

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Meditation on Things

“Man…. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.” — Dalai Lama Continue reading

Real Life Habits of a Programmer

I came across this list some time ago and today i found it again in my bookmarks: People collected and voted on a list of habits that a person might have attained by working as a programmer and which he/she applies to real life. Some of them are pretty accurate, for example:

“I now consider 256 to be a nice, round number. Occasionally I’m caught off-guard when non-programmers don’t get that.”

“I tend to take things hyper-literally. For example, my wife was annoyed when she used to ask “Do you want to take out the garbage?” (no) instead of “Will you take out the garbage?” (yes). Whether this is a result of programming, or just an innate trait that helps in programming, I cannot say.”

“Knuth would kill me, but I try to optimize every single path that I take, from college to home or just to the bathroom. I also tend to try to optimize the flow of people serving things in restaurants. But that’s just sad.”

“I temporize way too much in conversation. Things that anyone else would say as fact, I will still throw a “probably” or “perhaps” on, because I know there could always be that one edge case where a meteor strikes my neighborhood and I wouldn’t after all be able to make it out that day to Thanksgiving dinner.”

“I try to compress orders at restaurants by giving all necessary information in one packet. This frequently does not work, because the order taker’s task buffer is limited to one piece of data at a time.

Fast Food [Guy|Girl]: Can I take your order?

Me: number 6, BBQ, diet cola, debit.

FFG: What dipping sauce would you like?

Me: BBQ, diet cola, debit.

FFG: What would you like to drink?

Me: Diet Cola, debit.

FFG: Is Pepsi OK?

Me: [ponders Abstract Base Classes and the FFG’s lack of Polymorphic Behavior] Sure. I’ll pay with my debit card.

FFG: And how will you be paying?

Me: [sighs] debit.”

“I google everything.” with the user comment “”ARE YOU CHEATING ON ME?” — “Hangon, lemme Google that quickly.””

Find the complete list here:

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