“Of course, more or less everyone has come to depend on the Internet in this way. Increasingly, however, I rely on Google to recall my own thoughts. Being lazy, I am prone to cannibalizing my work: something said in a lecture will get plowed into an op-ed; the op-ed will later be absorbed into a book; snippets from the book may get spoken in another lecture. This process will occasionally leave me wondering just how and where and to what shameful extent I have plagiarized myself. Once again, the gates of memory swing not from my own medial temporal lobes but from a computer cluster far away, presumably where the rent is lower.”—THE WORLD QUESTION CENTER 2010 — Page 4
“To sit around being happy all the time is not the goal. In fact, that‘s kind of a downside. Because if we were to just stimulate our pleasure centers and sit around in a morphine high at all times — that‘s been recognized as a downside and it ultimately leads to a profound unhappiness. We can identify things that make us unhappy. If we have diseases that rob our faculties or cause physical or emotional pain — that makes us unhappy and prevents us from having these moments of connection with another person, or a connection with an idea, then we should solve that. But happiness is not the right goal. I think it represents the cutting edge of the evolutionary condition to seek greater horizons and to always want to transcend whatever our limitations are at the time. And so it‘s not our nature just to sit back and be happy.”—Ray Kurzweil: The h+ Interview | h+ Magazine
“Nothing much is going to happen in the next 10 years. Of course, that’s not counting the diesel-excreting bacteria, the sequencing of your entire genome for $1,000, massive banks of frozen human eggs, space tourism, the identification of dark matter, widespread sterilisation of young adults, telepathy, supercomputer models of our brains, the discovery of life’s origins, maybe the disappearance of Bangladesh and certainly the loss of 247m acres of tropical forest.”—Top scientists share their future predictions - Times Online
my friends are nearly exactly evenly divided between kind, mature, responsible, practical, and grounded types and kind, angsty, drama-driven, mercurial, sentimental, elusive writers.
this is an apt summation of my own divided self.
with the grounded types, i behave accordingly. its like when your parents tell you, when you are visiting family or entering the china section of a department store. be on your best behavior.
be on time, do not delve into the depths of your emotion (at least not right away), be appropriate.
with my writer friends, i am more free. if i cancel at the last minute, they are not bothered, and may in fact, be pleased, as they have been wanting to stay home and read something, or they simply savor the solitude. if i am tardy, they are not bothered, as they have been observing the young girls talking in the booth behind them or watching the waitress as she walks through the restaurant.
in kind, they understand when i say, i am sorry I am late, i came across a stooped elderly couple, slowly emerging from a worn powder blue dodge dart. he was wearing a faded hat and she was wearing slacks. and i began to wonder where they came from and where they were going, what they might have been like in their younger years, and if in fact, he should even still be driving. it was a warm day and a still moment and had i not been seeing it with my own eyes, i would have thought it somehow out of a movie, or that it could be the beginning of a short story. it could have been that, or something else, do you ever have those moments in life that feel like art but are a reality, right in front of you? anyways, that is why i am late.
“There are some societies today completely untroubled by moguls, like, say, Sweden. You look at all the statistics that technocrats use to determine where people are doing just great, where society is thriving, and Sweden’s been in the top five percentile for decades. Sweden does everything perfectly from a technocratic policy perspective, Sweden’s like Oz, apparently. And then you ask Swedes about their future and so forth, and they’re like: “Bring the razor and the bathtub! When can I die?” There are penniless, vitamin-deprived guys in the Dharavi slums of Mumbai who are upbeat and perky compared to Swedes.”—The WELL: Bruce Sterling: State of the World 2010