February 4th, 2010

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From Twitter 02-03-2010



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Philosophy 101

What would you recommend that people read to gain major insight into human nature in a hurry? Off the top of my head, I've come up with the following, roughly in order of increasing abstraction, with tl;dr summaries:

  • any one of the Christian Gospels ("no one's good enough to earn their way into heaven; accept it, but make an honest effort anyway")

  • I Am a Strange Loop ("a system is a mind to the extent that it implements simplified symbolic representations of things, particularly itself")

  • Inside the Monkeysphere ("there's a limit to how many people we can think about as more than one-dimensional stereotypes")

  • The Tao of Pooh ("forcing square pegs into round holes is bad; look for square holes instead")

  • Lila: An Inquiry into Morals ("things are simultaneously parts of various small- and large-scale patterns, e.g. atoms / living cells / thinking people / socializing crowds, whose usefulness depends on context")