January 10, 2022

Noah Trenaman

re: cognitive freedom & what to do with it

I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.

— Thomas Jefferson

Intellectual and moral blindness is a dilemma which man inflicts upon himself by his tragic misuse of freedom and his failure to use his mind to its fullest capacity.

— Martin Luther King, Jr.

Don't be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind...

— Romans 12:2

It is not enough to have a good mind; the main thing is to use it well.

— Descartes

Faith in reason, I wasted my life playing dumb.

— Sufjan Stevens

...but the most appropriate attitude may be a bitter determination to be as competent as we can...

— Nick Bostrom

re: nonviolence

Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.

– Isaac Asimov

Is it then the part of a good man to harm anybody whatsoever?

– Plato

“Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword."

— Matthew 26:52

It is good for us at certain times that ourselves should be like a mere window–as clear, as luminous, and as invisible.

— G.K. Chesterton

Through nonviolent resistance we shall be able to oppose the unjust system and at the same time love the perpetrators of the system.

— Martin Luther King, Jr.

"I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves."

— Matthew 10:16

re: being kind & gentle

I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it for I shall not pass this way again.

– Unknown

Humility has infinitely deeper roots than any modern men suppose; it is a metaphysical and, one might almost say, a mathematical virtue.

– G.K. Chesterton

What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.

– Kurt Vonnegut

re: letting in more light

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

— 1 Corinthians 13:12

These alone [sensation and reflection], as far as I can discover, are the windows by which light is let into this dark room: For methinks the understanding is not much unlike a closet wholly shut from light, with only some little openings left, to let in external visible resemblances, or ideas of things without.

— John Locke

Our heads are just houses
without enough windows.

— Arcade Fire

And every state of mind, left to itself, every shutting up of the creature within the dungeon of its own mind - is, in the end, Hell. But Heaven is not a state of mind. Heaven is reality itself. All that is fully real is Heavenly. For all that can be shaken will be shaken and only the unshakeable remains.

— C.S. Lewis

Most of the physical world is invisible to us.

Similarly, most of people's minds are invisible to our own.

It is as if we are mostly in darkness.

Yet, there's a tiny bit of the physical world that we can sense and perceive, where we find beauty at every corner.

And further yet, there's a tiny bit of others that we can understand and empathize with, where we find the deepest friendship.

Wherever we can, we should orient ourselves to let in more light. It seems to be universally good.