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Posts Tagged ‘psychology’

Some thoughts on honesty / Пара мыслей о честности

In art, искусство, наука, ethics, творчество, философия, philosophy on October 30, 2013 at 17:15

Firstly there is a debate what is science. Is it only study of the subjects that could be described mathematically or proven in a simple experiment? What about the studies of complex systems in geography, biology, human behavior? I think it is all just about honesty. Scientific approach is the honest one. This I know, this I don’t know, this I suggest. No fairies, special dreams or unquestionable authorities.

Secondly… Apparently it is common for some professional artists, when they find out that they don’t have long to live, to destroy the artwork they think is “substandard”. I could understand when an artwork is overpainted immediately as it finished because it is disliked – it makes sence. But if it was kept for years there must be some perceived value in it, maybe only sentimental. So what? Do we bother what people think about us when we do not exist any more? Who are we fooling? What about next generation artists, depressed because they seems to have “bad painting” days while apparently “old masters” never had them?


Часто спорят о том, что является наукой, а что нет. Якобы если изучается то, что можно однозначно описать формулой или повторить в эксперименте – это наука. Тогда непонятно, что же такое изучение сложных систем в географии, биологии, социологии и т.д. Ведь не гадание же на кофейной гуще! По-моему, научный метод – это просто честный метод. Это я знаю, это я не знаю, это я предполагаю. Никаких фантазий, видений или непререкаемых авторитетов.

Оказывается многие художники, когда узнают, что им недолго осталось жить, начинают уничтожать те свои работы, которые считают недостаточно сильными. Я могу понять, когда избавляются от только что законченного рисунка, потому, что он не нравится. Но если работа сохранена, значит что-то в ней было. Может быть, только для самого художника, но какая разница? Какое нам дело до того, что следующее поколение будет думать относительно нашей работы и наших чувств? Кого мы пытаемся обмануть, заметая следы таким образом? И как насчет молодых художников, которые будут страдать от того, что у их кумиров из прошлого никогда не было слабостей и неудач, а у них – полно?

It’s OK as long as its not harmfull

In ethics, freedom, philosophy, relationship, religion on June 23, 2013 at 08:12

John Gray said in a recent interview: “I don’t care what people believe, unless it is in some way demonstrably toxic or harmful.”  This is somebody posing as original critical thinker – yet the phrase describes probably most of us with various opinions about many subjects. Each human think of different ideas as harmful, that’s it. Any religious fanatic would think that not following his understanding of his religion is harmful to people and he, being, of course, concerned about everybody’s wellbeing, would go any distance to convert all of us, to protect us from harm. Lots of horrible things are done not because of hatred but because of compassion, because of will to help to some “lost sheep”.  Non-fanatics may think the same, but they won’t actively go and try to “rescue” everybody they meet. Unless you live a life of apathy and indifference, you would find ideas, beliefs, sets of mind that you think are harmful. It could be just a waste of time in you opinion, or you could think “this may lead to violence, and that’s bad”.  Do psychologists, sociologist, historians, brain scientists write on when, how and which ideas become destructive for individuals or societies? Do they publish the results openly, without fear of offending supporters of these ideas? This may bring some clarity. Or maybe not, as the experts would probably disagree on what is destructive. For example, how much anger, procrastination or indifference is OK for each of us, could violent outbreaks in history lead to better future, etc…

What John Gray is afraid? “… the idea that human beings are, by their very nature, free is the one of the most harmful fictions that has ever been promoted anywhere.” So there is example of somebody who is actually after your freedom. Harmful illusion it is…

In Uncategorized on February 9, 2012 at 11:13

Sacrifices were not an aberrant or cruel activity – they were a sophisticated way of dealing with the necessity of killing animals in order to eat. In fact the rituals surrounding sacrifice suggest that the Greeks felt some unease about killing animals they had reared themselves. So the illusion was created that an animal went to its death willingly and before the killing all present threw a handful of barley at it, as if the community as a whole was accepting responsibility for the death. At the moment of the slaughter women would utter impassioned cries, again a recognition of the seriousness of what was being done in taking life”.

Charles Freeman, The Closing of the Western Mind (probably the same true about other ancient cultures too – A.C.)

Ideas and freedom

In freedom, religion on August 17, 2011 at 16:33

People who are not exited by anything in this life are boring. It is normal that a human being think about a certain idea, personality, work of art or activity much more and believes it to be more important than an “average” person would do. Only some ideas could be potential fertile grounds for hatred, cruelty, violence (e.g. nationalism, Christianity, Marxism, Islam – see the examples in the tumblr project from the previous post) and some couldn’t be (e.g. stamp collecting, humanism, pacifism)… This makes you think.

I am against banning any thought, moreover, I would like to have real freedom of speech when for grown up people there is no subject immune to honest discussion or mockery. My past interest in religion has been fueled by its absence in Soviet school curriculum. This turned it into a forbidden fruit. If it was discussed freely and objectively I am sure there were much less church-going people in Russia now.

I used to say that there is no reason to life apart from religion. I feel I have been lying to myself. Deep inside I always knew there were lots of perfectly good reasons. Did a collection of images illustrating that. You either live a full life or a life full of illusions.

Freedom, ideas and crowds

In books, freedom, philosophy, relationship, religion on August 14, 2011 at 08:17

I’ve started a new project: I collect stories of natural human kindness as opposed to idea-infused cruelty. I would appreciate any suggestions. Initially the idea appeared when an Orthodox Christian lady said to me that she is absolutely sure that non-Christians are incapable of good deeds. She also believed that non-christian souls won’t be saved and at the same time boasted about her “friendship” with pagans. All this seemed so perverted to me yet so typical of fundamentalism (which is the core of any viable religion) – and it eventually helped me to say final goodbye to religion. Another thing was that many religious people commenting my posts in both languages seemed either to judge me most of the time or even tell me what I must think and do. None of my true friends would ever done something like this, be so disrespectful of my freedom.

In the times of riots in Britain, once in the evening, I went to the shops here in Newtown and seen an interesting picture. Four teenagers, 2 girls, 2 boys, white and looking well of, were obviously ready for trouble. Empty yet aggressive faces, hoodies on, throwing traffic cones around. But in the small town like his there just wasn’t enough of them. It is illustrating to me the fact that people feeling themselves as a part of a crowd are losing their normal judgements, “going mad”. Obviously undeveloped brains are more ready for this sort of behaviour.

Both ideas and crowds (mad or organized) can make people cruel against their normal nature. We are born compassionate. It’s a social animal’s instinct. Even hungry rats can’t eat if they see other rats suffer (I thing this is from the book “Wild Justice” if I’m not mistaken). I remember reading a bit of Nazi official’s diary (in the book “What Is Good?”). He was organizing death camps or something like this but when he went to inspect what he’s done he felt terrified, he couldn’t bear that. Yet he didn’t repent: the Nazi idea and complacence to the authorities were stronger.

I thing the idea that people are born sinners, bad, cruel, homo homini lupus est, etc. leeds to a distorted world view. Being good is more about both going to you “roots” (natural empathy) and thinking free with a clear independent mind unclouded by invasive ideas (mems).

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