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Happiness is not the absence of problems; it’s the ability to deal with them.
~ Steve Maraboli


(Artwork by: Paul Bond)
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We're here for such a short trip. Stomp upon the terra, kids. Make your mark. Make motherfuckers smile. Leave nothing unsaid. Empty your tank. Help each other shine. Abandon all the differences we use to separate us and unite against the only real enemy: that stupid fucking grave that waits for us all. Rage against death by making some art today.
~ Kevin Smith


(Artwork by: Wojciech Grzanka)
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In the twenty-first century censorship works by flooding people with irrelevant information. We just don't know what to pay attention to, and often spend our time investigating and debating side issues. In ancient times having power meant having access to data. Today having power means knowing what to ignore.
~ Yuval Noah Harari


(Artwork by: Alexander Maskaev)
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"When I was a boy and would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.' To this day, especially in times of 'disaster,' I remember my mother words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers, so many caring people in this world."
~ Fred Rogers


(Artwork by: Regina Mendonça)
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"In my work with the defendants (at the Nuremberg Trials 1945-1949) I was searching for the nature of evil and I now think I have come close to defining it. A lack of empathy. It’s the one characteristic that connects all the defendants, a genuine incapacity to feel with their fellow men. Evil, I think, is the absence of empathy."

~ Captain G. M. Gilbert (Army psychologist assigned to watching the defendants at the Nuremberg trials.)



(Artwork by: Isaiah Stephens)
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The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our rightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.
~H.P. Lovecraft


(Artwork by: Hüseyin Şahin)
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Priorities: Thoughts on Human Welfare

It is human nature that we all desire to be happy. We go about it in many ways, but no one would argue that being unhappy is desirable. It follows then that we’d want to focus on the things that make us the happiest. Regrettably many lives are prioritized quite differently.

A significant portion of society rushes around in dire need trying to keep life moving along. Not everyone lives this way. There are those who know little of this desperation, who soak up life like a sponge taking immense pleasure in the journey. The difference lies in the emphasis that is given to priorities, specifically the things deemed most important to happiness instead of the moment.

Time

As we grow older we discover that among all things valuable, the limited time we have on earth is one of the most precious. Happiness is achieved by not wasting a moment of it. Time is the great equalizer among all walks of life as it can never be bargained for. No matter how successful, rich, popular or well liked we are, our days are filled with the same twenty-four hours as everyone else. Time, once lost, cannot be recovered. We can get more money, repair old friendships, restore lost credit, but time not spent well is precious time wasted.

When we are young time seems almost infinite, in big enough supply to ensure that we have all the days we will ever need to accomplish everything we hope to do. But our time is limited even if we don’t accept it, and if we don’t value every moment, we will inevitably look back only wishing we had more.

Some people talk of “killing time” as though it was a hindrance. What a terrible thought. If we value our time so little that we’d rather lose it than enjoy it then we really need to reevaluate how we are spending our days.

Life is the accumulation of all our moments, not just the big ones. How many of us would pay considerably for a chance to just to relive even five seconds of some moment in our past? What sense does it make to take the present moments for granted, passed over as though they were nothing more than a build up to something bigger? We won’t get the chance to experience the same time over again, so we need to consider what we may be missing by letting it carelessly slip by.

It is inevitable that everyone must spend some of their life sacrificing time to secure a future or help those around them. But we must consider carefully how we dole out our available time. What is the full cost of our next major purchase? Will any of the things we are focused on now even matter in a few years?

Experience

No matter how well a meal is prepared, it has little value if it’s never eaten. Yet how many of us spend the bulk of our lives preparing for a meal we only hope to eat? Preparation and material goals have their roles, but we must put aside some room for life experience and the things that build memories or we risk producing a rather mediocre existence.

Do we value possessions more than substance? When we compare a good distant memory to something we purchased long ago, the value of each becomes apparent. Good memories grow fonder with time whereas the things we acquire lose their excitement. Yet many people will focus a large part of life only working towards material possessions. There are certainly times when we need to save for tangible items that improve the quality of our lives, but no one wants a life made of up of only a series of remodeled kitchens.

What we experience is the substance of our past and few happy people have their purchases listed among their life’s highlights. It is important to take the time to make those memories by ensuring that life experience is among our top priorities.

We have only a single life to spend. Happiness is all around us and doesn’t cost a thing if we are willing to treat our entire life as an adventure. But this doesn't happen if we prioritize trying to get “things”.


People

What is achievement if it cannot be shared? What is fun if it’s accompanied only by solitude? Whether we succeed or fail, laugh or cry, with the right attitude we always have an unlimited source of happiness to be found from the genuine relationships with other people. Happiness begins internally but is amplified when shared with those we care about. We must be asking whether we give proper emphasis to those we care about. Do we make them a priority in our lives the way they should be?

It is difficult to quantify the value of friendship and love as neither can be simply acquired. It is easy to recognize the value of each. No matter what we find in life, few things will ever be as important as the people closest to us. It is unfortunately a poor human habit to take people for granted.

Who among any of us is not guilty of having made a priority out of far less important things than those who we care most about? We should not need a reminder to love those who mean the most to us but it’s far too common to find things like work, money, and an assortment of items that take on more importance than relationships.

Failing to see how detrimental prioritizing the wrong things can be is excruciatingly short sighted. There are simply too many relationships broken apart because the needs of the day are made to take on a higher priority than the needs of the relationship. With love as a priority, how could things like money and petty disagreements ever compete?

True love would have one go to the ends of the earth to ensure the other’s happiness. If we want this in return we must offer it first and show it in our actions by keeping our friends and family a top priority. At times, we may have to swallow our pride and set other needs aside, but the payoff is far greater. If we achieved everything but had no one who cared we might still find life to be lonely and shallow. Yet if we lost everything but still had our friends and loved ones around, we’d manage just fine and even find good reasons to be very happy.

People won’t always wait around for us to figure out our priorities. It’s unreasonable to expect love and friendship in return without first showing it with what we choose to prioritize. Do our actions show that we prioritize those we care about? There are no substitutes for genuine love and friendship. If the only ingredient in happiness was the love of another we’d still be lucky. The choice to put those we care about most at the top of our priorities is critical to our ultimate happiness.

Many things will matter, but surely not everything. Never forget to assess your priorities.


(Artwork by: Ernesto Arrisueño)
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A Mind Blowing Revelation on The Evolution of Intelligence
(Written by Tim Maudin)
(Artwork by: Stuart Littincott)

Of all the billions of species that have evolved on earth, only one has developed intelligence to the level of producing technology. Which means that kind of intelligence is really not very useful. It’s not actually, in the general case, of much evolutionary value.

We tend to think, because we love to think of ourselves, human beings, as the top of the evolutionary ladder, that the intelligence we have, that makes us human beings, is the thing that all of evolution is striving toward. But what we know is that that’s not true.

Obviously it doesn’t matter that much if you’re a beetle, that you be really smart. If it were, evolution would have produced much more intelligent beetles. We have no empirical data to suggest that there’s a high probability that evolution on another planet would lead to technological intelligence.
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Many people live habitually as if the present moment were an obstacle that they need to overcome in order to get to the next moment. Imagine living your whole life like that. Always, this moment is not quite good enough because you need to get to the next one.
~ Eckhart Tolle


(Artwork by: Thomas Barbey)
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A Brief Thought Experiment ~ Emergence

Of the 26 letters in the English alphabet, none imply anything complex. They represent a sound or character. Yet arrange them with other letters to form words, and meaning has emerged.

Take these words and form sentences, then form paragraphs, and ultimately you can produce content that inspires emotion, passion, and inspiration.

That writing can produce feelings in others is a profound concept.

Emergent Properties

By taking single elements that lack any deep meaning on their own, and organizing them into complex arrangements, you can express deep qualities that are not easy to construct. This is the essence of emergent properties.

Somewhere along the spectrum that ranges from individual letters to written content, you transition from mere symbols to profound meaning - but where? This is not so easy to answer.

While it is silly to look for profound qualities in a single letter, it is quite common to recognize them in writing. It is easy to accept this leap without any need for mystical or supernatural explanations.

Atoms

We are all made of atoms. Everything in the known universe is made up atoms. Arrange them into certain forms and you have a molecule - something much more meaningful.

With enough of the appropriate molecules,  you have biological matter, and ultimately, with all the right combinations, life emerges - matter becomes self aware. Quite a leap.

It would be just as ridiculous to look for self awareness in a single atom as it would be to search for such qualities as inspiration in a single letter. 

By following the same reasoning, self awareness may be said to be an emergent property of a complex arrangement of atoms just as inspiration is described as an emergent quality of a complex arrangement of letters. 

The Spectrum

What if along the spectrum of emergence, self awareness is equitable to words rather than writing? Words have meaning. They have qualities of much more substance than single letters. Yet despite being higher along the spectrum, words are not the pinnacle.

We look at the spider building its web and admit there is something remarkable about this process. Yet we attribute little more than instinct to the spider - certainly nothing close to human intelligence.

We do this only because we're aware of something much greater.

Instinct is rudimentary in comparison to self awareness. If we knew of nothing more complex than instinct, on what basis could we offer judgement?

We're not aware of something more profound than self awareness because we've not observed it. But what if self awareness represents only the tip of the iceberg? 

Perhaps self awareness is a mere building block to something far more profound - something that if arranged in just the right manner will produce emergent qualities beyond the scope of our imagination.

____________________________________________

SOURCE
All Content from the book...
Mind Games: 25 Thought Experiments to Ignite Your Imagination
https://www.amazon.com/Mind-Games-Thought-Experiments-Imagination/dp/0692604790/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1505516954&sr=8-15

(Artwork by: Marcelo Nunes)
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