The simulacrum is never that which conceals the truth-it is the truth which conceals that there is none. The simulacrum is true. Ecclesiastes

In Simulacra and Simulation, Baudrillard produces a theory about cultural materialism. What is the simulacra? First, simulacra is simply the plural of simulation. Simulacra is whatever replaces reality with its representation.

Baudrillard isn’t critical of simulacra per se, but instead of how they seem to replace the underlying reality when repeated too much. In the beginning of the book, he cites a fable by Borge.

Cartographers of the Empire draw up a map so detailed that it…

The founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, once came up with a heuristic to make decisions called The Regret Minimization Framework — the idea is to project yourself into the future and look back on your decision from that perspective, to know what you should do. After Bezos popularized this idea, many writers have used it to explain (or rationalize) why you should choose certain behaviors over others.

The framework I found, which made the decision incredibly easy, was what I called-which only a nerd would call-a “regret minimization framework.” So I wanted to project myself forward to age 80 and…

One of the most important physicists who ever lived, Isaac Newton, told us, that “Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.” After him, Albert Einstein wrote, “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.”

Physics is a very complicated subject. Newton and Einstein are two of the smartest people who ever lived, and yet, they both emphasized the importance of simplicity. And any person can see why. …

Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things — Isaac Newton

One book that I have read, by Baudrillard, fits this category. The entire book, and his entire line of thought (which include multiple books) can be summarized in a few sentences. Essentially, we create representations of reality (writing, signs, images), and eventually these representations change who we are, which also change our representations of reality (writing, signs, images). So, Baudrillard concludes, nothing is real, everything is hyper-real.

But here’s how he expresses this idea.

“Everything is metamorphosed into its opposite…

The problem with deciding or cutting off, is that it is not sensitive enough to the requirements of trial and error. If there was a list of things you had to do, and some of which, you perceived as more or less important than others, then you can, in an orderly way, rank each item according to how important it is relative to the rest of the group.

But it is more often the case that you simply do not know. …

Tulip Mania is known as a primary example of a bubble.

The Beginning of Tulip Mania

It all started in Holland, in the seventeenth century. Years before (in 1593), a botany professor from Vienna brought to Leyden, a city in the Dutch province of South Holland, some unusual plants from Turkey. The Dutch were fascinated with this new product, but were not very happy with its exorbitant price.

One night, a thief stole the bulbs from the professor’s house — the bulbs were then sold for a cheaper price but at greater profit (the professor’s costs were higher).

Over the next decade, the tulip became…

The Circadian Code is about Sleep.

Germ theory-and its related breakthroughs of sanitation, vaccination, and antibiotics-was the groundbreaking health development of the past century. It prevents infectious disease and led to the most dramatic rise in longevity in any century in human history. Yet living longer does not always mean living healthier. Chronic diseases of the mind and body proliferate among modern people, who’s lifestyles disrupt a deeply ingrained, primordial, and universal code to being healthy.

The Circadian Code, Satchin Panda

Circadian comes from circa, meaning “around” (or approximately”) and diēm, meaning “day.”

Which Kind of Shift Worker Are You?

Anyone who stays awake for more than…

In The Neurotic Personality Of Our Time, Horney discusses the nature of neuroticism and normalcy.

What is Normal?

One needs to compete with others to acquire power or wealth in society. Competition is difficult on each person, but especially on the neurotic.

Despite the happiness that life can offer, the facts of old age, sickness, and death remain. The individual is limited and isolated because he is unique and separate from others.

What is considered “normal” changes across time and from culture to culture. The neurotic is afflicted with many of the same problems of normal people. …

In Simulacra and Simulation, Baudrillard produces a theory about cultural materialism. What is the simulacra? It is whatever replaces reality with its representation.

The simulacrum is never that which conceals the truth-it is the truth which conceals that there is none. The simulacrum is true. Ecclesiastes

Disneyland masks the unreality of modern American society, says Baudrillard, because it acts as if it embodies the “unreal”, which suggests that whatever outside of it is “real.”

Disneyland is a perfect model of all the entangled orders of simulation. To begin with it is a play of illusions and phantasms: pirates, the frontier…

The idea of the superorganism by Howard Bloom, answers the question posed at the end of this article: Do nations embody the same psychological characteristics as individual human beings do?

According to Bloom, every nation is a superorganism, a cluster of billions of cells, that attempts to gain power, whenever an opportunity presents itself. And each superorganism has its neural net, or its collective consciousness. What forms this collective consciousness? Memes.

The way in which this superorganism animates its people (organisms) into action is through memes. Memes are clusters of ideas that self-organize; they use people to spread. This idea…

Farah Smiley

I write about the best quality ideas that I have discovered

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