The other day I came across an article that highlighted Carl Sagan’s critical thinking toolkit. Being very familiar with Carl Sagan, I knew what this was, but simultaneously, I was in a debate with some people promoting pseudoscience. This caused me to realize the profound importance that is thinking critically and applying the scientific method to our problems instead of relying on faith and/or baseless intuition.
So I asked myself, What is the most important piece of knowledge that every human being should understand?
I started to think… there’s a lot of vague (but important) motto’s like ‘Never give up‘ or ‘always follow your dreams‘ that are very valuable pieces of information. Perhaps a more practical piece of information would have a larger effect such as the knowledge of economics or a basic understanding of every human language.
“We talk about civilization as though it’s a static state. There are no civilized people yet, it’s a process that’s constantly going on… As long as you have war, police, prisons, crime, you are in the early stages of civilization.”
“At the beginning of World War II the U.S. had a mere 600 or so first-class fighting aircraft. We rapidly overcame this short supply by turning out more than 90,000 planes a year. The question at the start of World War II was: Do we have enough funds to produce the required implements of war? The answer was No, we did not have enough money, nor did we have enough gold; but we did have more than enough resources. It was the available resources that enabled the US to achieve the high production and efficiency required to win the war. Unfortunately this is only considered in times of war.”
During the thousands of years of monetary system, most workers have been paid just enough to make it necessary that they return to work, even when higher wages have been possible. How else can the wage-payer keep the workers coming back?
“You know that you can’t go out there and change the world tomorrow morning. It just takes time, and the realization of that does not produce frustration. What produces frustration, is when you expect the world to join with your cause it’s so reasonable. It is not reasonable to unreasonable people.”
This is such a beautiful discussion. Even if you do not watch Naruto, you should be able to understand this discussion.
Will society ever exist in peace and understanding? Is it possible for humans to understand one another? In my opinion, I think it is. In the future, we will communicate in different ways then we do now. Our current communication is harmful to understanding. In a future world, we would communicate similarly to how scientist and engineers communicate. These people transcend language barriers as it is required for their jobs. There is no room for open interpretation in building a bridge.
What is so compelling about this discussion is the reality that both people (Pein and Naruto) suffered from the same societal problems and decided to respond in similar ways. Both idealistic dreamers wished to change the world for the better and create a better future, but failed to understand one another’s past. Similarly, our society creates instances of this exact phenomena. Through poverty, wars, and other problems we are constantly creating hate and people who seek revenge. If we truly want to reach a level of peace, we first need to understand this and wash away the past. Only once we start to treat each human being (note: expand it to every conscious being) like we treat our ‘family members’ will we start down the road of peace. We need to see each other as brothers, sisters, and loved ones and not as ‘outsiders’ to build past this cycle of hatred.
People often ask me why I trust people as I do, and this is precisely why. The world will never get better without this level of trust, and there is too much to gain from trying it out. Trusting others is a prerequisite to achieving a more civilized society.
It’s been a tough 1.5 months for me, but I am now alive and back towards achieving my goals in life. I have struggled this past month with life and inspiration, but I survived through it and have learned a few important lessons through it:
1) Having a dream or purpose is critical towards sustained happiness.
2) Working towards something you love is better than living aimlessly and doing whatever you want, when you want.
3) I can use my ‘rage’ or my ‘anger’ to help fuel me and my determination when the going gets tough.
4) I don’t need to be accepted.
Anyway, I also got a chance to watch the entire 128 episodes of Hunter x Hunter (2011) in my anger/depression filled month, and WOW, what an excellent anime. I am completely in love with Komugi.
There will likely be posts to follow on how great Komugi/Meruem are.
Oh, I also got accepted into UIC. I have about 23 days to decide whether I will accept their offer or not. If I do accept, it’s guaranteed debt, but I think it could be the experience I need, hmph.
I’ve also grown addicted to chess. I’ve actually checkmated a few people already!
Another key to life might be to make the best out of your low times. I can see that even in my depressed/anger filled month, I have been productive to an extent.
Today, I was fortunate enough to come across Issac Asimov’s self proclaimed favorite story: The Last Question.
This is by far my favorite story of all those I have written.
After all, I undertook to tell several trillion years of human history in the space of a short story and I leave it to you as to how well I succeeded. I also undertook another task, but I won’t tell you what that was lest l spoil the story for you.
Now let me tell you what makes this statement quite amazing. Issac Asimov is the author of over 500 books and an estimated 90,000 letters and postcards. [*] He is one of the most prolific science fiction writers to date.
I will provide the original text here as well as the audio book format for your convenience. I suggest that you take the time to read it line by line, not giving in to curiosity and skipping to the end. The story continues to gain momentum the further you read into it and comes to a sensational close.