Author: Andrew Meintzer

Intuition Can Save Your Life

    I think that rationality is important. However, I recently learned about the significance of emotion and intuition, and that they are almost inexorably linked with rationality. On their Mixed Mental Arts podcast, Bryan Callen and Hunter Maats helped me understand this by discussing research by scientists like Jonathan Haidt and David Sloan Wilson. To summarize and simplify my perception of the science, our rational decisions are influenced by our intuitions. So for the most part, it seems like our emotional impulses make us think we’re behaving rationally, while we really are rationalizing our preconceptions. I’m not a neuroscientist or...

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Nuclear Weapons are Dark Magic: Part 1

  Part 1: What do Nukes Say About Humanity?   I’m not the first person to point this out, but it seems like nuclear weapons are the strongest representation of at least a few important philosophical concepts. They show both humanity’s incredible penchant for destructive power, and our profound desire for innovation.   These ideas are interconnected, especially in terms of atomic and thermonuclear bombs. Innovation can feed the urge to devastate your enemy because the better your advancements are, the greater ability you have to inflict harm. By the same token, when you have a stronger desire to decimate, it can ignite a white hot fire of motivation to improve your technology. We saw this with World War Two and the Cold War, particularly the former. During the latter, weapons advancements significantly improved. But according to my amateur knowledge, they mostly built on technology that already existed. In terms of World War Two, as Joe Rogan likes to say, there was less than 50 years between when the airplane was invented, and when it was used to drop the atomic bomb! That’s insane! To me, it’s evidence of our desire to innovate to a fault, and of how homicidal urges can lead to greater advances.     The time gap between when scientists first split the atom, and when the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki,...

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