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12 posts tagged with HumanNature. (View popular tags)
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If we're not in pain, we're not alive

You invest so much in it, don't you? It's what elevates you above the beasts of the field, it's what makes you special. Homo sapiens, you call yourself. Wise Man. Do you even know what it is, this consciousness you cite in your own exaltation? Do you even know what it's for?
Dr. Peter Watts is no stranger to MetaFilter. But look past his sardonic nuptials, heartbreaking eulogies, and agonizing run-ins with fascists (and fasciitis) and you'll find one of the most brilliant, compelling, and disquieting science fiction authors at work today. A marine biologist skilled at deep background research, his acclaimed 2006 novel Blindsight [full text] -- a cerebral "first contact" tale led by a diverse crew of bleeding-edge post-humans -- is diamond-hard and deeply horrifying, wringing profound existential dread from such abstruse concepts as the Chinese Room, the Philosophical Zombie, Chernoff faces, and the myriad quirks and blind spots that haunt the human mind. But Blindsight's last, shattering insight is not the end of the story -- along with crew/ship/"Firefall" notes, a blackly funny in-universe lecture on resurrecting sociopathic vampirism (PDF - prev.), and a rigorously-cited (and spoiler-laden) reference section, tomorrow will see the release of Dumbspeech State of Grace Echopraxia [website], the long-delayed "sidequel" depicting parallel events on Earth. Want more? Look inside for a guide to the rest of Watts' award-winning (and provocative) body of work. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Aug 25, 2014 - 78 comments

A million conspiracies in your everyday life

A reddit thread entitled “What is a ‘dirty little (or big) secret’ about an industry that you have worked in, that people outside the industry really ought to know?” gives a profound glimpse into human nature. Corners are cut, be it for sloth or greed, and people, animals, and tax dollars all suffer for it. The thread contains material for dozens, if not hundreds, of documentaries, and just goes on and on. And on. [more inside]
posted by blook on Aug 19, 2013 - 127 comments

"If we continue to stay together, we will kill each other."

Why the students at one prominent South African university, once a model of racial harmony, chose to resegregate. "UFS hadn’t remained segregated after apartheid’s end—it had integrated and then resegregated later. I wanted to know why the white students raised those ancient flags, and why the black students had left Karee. I uncovered a tale of mutual exhilaration at racial integration giving way to suspicion, anger and even physical violence. It seemed to hold powerful implications well beyond South Africa, about the very nature of social change itself. In our post–civil rights struggle era, we tend to assume progress toward less prejudice and more social tolerance is inevitable—the only variable is speed. But in Bloemfontein, social progress surged forward. Then it turned back."
posted by bookman117 on Jun 24, 2013 - 10 comments

I Know What You Think of Me

"I’ve also been written about, in ways I could find no fault with but that were nonetheless excruciating for me to read. It is simply not pleasant to be objectively observed — it’s like seeing a candid photo of yourself online, not smiling or posing, but simply looking the way you apparently always do, oblivious and mush-faced with your mouth open. It’s proof that we are visible to others, that we are seen, in all our naked silliness and stupidity." -Tim Kreider writes about finding out what people really say about you, and how it's all okay.
posted by smock smock smock on Jun 18, 2013 - 46 comments

Human Nature

A cover of Michael Jackson's 'Human Nature' by Vindicatrix. [more inside]
posted by ennui.bz on May 14, 2012 - 7 comments

Do you.

"We're starving." - Charlie Kaufman's BAFTA Screenwriters lecture, recorded September 30, 2011. PDF transcript.
Previously 1, 2
posted by timshel on Jan 14, 2012 - 20 comments

The Case For Enhancing People

Just as Dante found it easier to conjure the pains of Hell than to evoke the joys of Heaven, so too do bioethicists find it easier to concoct the possible perils of a biotech-nanotech-infotech future than to appreciate how enhancements will contribute to flourishing lives. One of the chief goals of this symposium is to think about the indispensable role that virtue plays in human life. The chief motivating concern seems to be the fear that biotechnologies and other human enhancement technologies will somehow undermine human virtue. As we will see, far from undermining virtue, biotech, nanotech, and infotech enhancements will tend to support virtue; that is, they will help enable people to be actually good.
posted by jason's_planet on Dec 30, 2011 - 22 comments

...a fundamental element of human nature LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

Chomsky-Foucault Debate in 5 seconds (SLYT)
posted by cthuljew on Oct 3, 2011 - 73 comments

Hearts of Darkness

This article, about rape in the Eastern Congo, (nytimes, bugmenot here) makes for hard and disturbing, yet important, reading. [more inside]
posted by sy on Oct 7, 2007 - 38 comments

Ten Evolutionarily Obvious Truths About Human Nature

Women won't sleep with random attractive strangers? Damn.
posted by Citizen Premier on Jul 5, 2007 - 129 comments

'Killing: the dead elephant in the living room

'Enemy Contact. Kill 'em, Kill 'em'. The Price of Valor. Invisible Casualties. The Psychological Effects of Combat. The Psychological Consequences of Killing: Perpetration-Induced Traumatic Stress. Soldiers, Self-Defense, and Killing in War - (PDF). Psychological and Psychosocial Consequences of Combat and Deployment with Special Emphasis on the Gulf War. Military Leaders’ Obligation to Justify Killing in War. And, from last year, come The Killer Elite, From Hell to Baghdad - The Killer Elite Part II, and The Battle for Bagdhad - The Killer Elite Part III--Evan Wright's Rolling Stone articles recently published as Generation Kill. They are well worth re-reading in this context.
posted by y2karl on Jul 21, 2004 - 51 comments

Rwandan genocide, The Holocaust...America?

Becoming Evil : Boston WTKK-FM radio's Jay Severin advocates genocide of American-Muslims - this is the advocacy of domestic terrorism. And not the mere targeting of civilians but the murder of over three million men, women, and children. Why shouldn't Jay Severin be arrested and charged, under the Patriot Act, with aiding and abetting US domestic terrorist groups which advocate such violence? [Scroll down towards the bottom of the Globe story for a transcript of the quote in context.]
James Waller has studied the process by which individuals and society come to commit mass atrocities , and says of his theories: "...[the] explanation simply allows us to understand the conditions under which many of us could be transformed into killing machines. When we understand the ordinariness of extraordinary evil, we will be less surprised by evil, less likely to be unwitting contributors to evil, and perhaps better equipped to forestall evil." Hesiod Lists some of WTTK's advertisers : Purina, Hilton Resorts, 99 Restaurant and Pub, A.T. & T. Wireless. Still, Orcinus is my favorite "rise of extremist terrorist hate speech in America" news source. Germany has laws against such hate speech - which it believes to be so dangerous as to override free speech considerations - But we've got the USA PATRIOT Act, right?
posted by troutfishing on Apr 27, 2004 - 104 comments

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