On the Question of Being Born Good or Evil

On the question of whether people are born good or evil, the answer is, “competent”. Man—the species—is born competently equipped for his survival. To be “born good” therefore refers not to man, but to his environment, namely to be born in an abundant environment in which there is room for growth. To be “born bad” means to be born in a restrictive environment in which the survival of one comes at anothers’ expense.

For example, in a hypothetical environment with a carrying capacity of precisely X...

The Will to Meaning

Who, after All, Moves Whom First, Man or His Reality?

“What is the meaning of life?” That question is wrong, because life doesn’t have meaning. Life is meaning. Moreover, a meaning in life isn’t something you claim for yourself, but that which you grant others. Life grants the universe its meaning. We create meaning by making room for meaning. Meaning fights a counter force it must push away—a counter-meaning. Life is that pushing force.

The fact that life is meaningful suggests a free will...

On the Matter of Earliest Memories

By Vincent van Gogh

Great Italian inventor Leonardo da Vinci once recollected a childhood memory from the first year of his life. From the Codex Atlanticus,

“It seems that it had been destined before that I should occupy myself so thoroughly with the kite [a bird], for it comes to my mind as a very early memory, when I was still in the cradle, a kite came down to me, he opened my mouth with his tail and struck me a few times with his tail

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On the Realness of Movement

Some people suffer from a rare condition called akinetopsia, which means motion blindness. These people cannot perceive moving objects the way others do. To them, moving objects appear as static objects, disappearing and reappearing in different places along their paths. For example, normal people perceive a train passing them by in one fluid motion. People with akinetopsia perceive the train as snapshots of a train ‘jumping’ from one spot to the next at certain intervals, but without movement...

Why Do Animals Have Four Legs?

All terrestrial vertebrate animals have four limbs (plus head and tail), except for snakes, who used to have them, but lost them again through evolution. But why do they have four limbs?

Evolutionary biologists will answer the question without answering it. They will explain that terrestrial vertebrates descended from a fish-like ancestor that had four limbs. C’est tout. But this answer does not satisfy. The answer insinuates evolution works at random, with no regard for form...

Permissionless Culture

How Decentralized Technology Will Forever Change the Way We See Art

Painting by Piet mondrian

After literature and music, fine art remains a last bastion of cultural elitism. Arguably, the centralization of paintings and sculptures by the world’s best artists in private collections has robbed society of emotional growth. How much longer will we tolerate this egotistical crime against humanity? Today, emerging internet technologies not only enable permissionless innovation, but also provide tools for people to both create and copy culture in ways that cannot be censored. Like a Beethoven...

Why Pegida Exists

Root of Evil, or Response to Self-Hatred?

Imagine, hypothetically speaking, that in the near future all native German women would give birth to four children per woman, even though they knew they could only raise and educate two of them. Perforce, because German society could no longer provide for its people, chancellor Merkel decided to send this population surplus to Turkey, for example, first as guest workers, next in the light of some kind of family reunion, and lastly as so-called refugees. The first and...

On the Purpose of Socialism

Self-Determination or Managed Freedom?

Der Rhein bei Säckingen (1864) by Hans Thoma

In On Anarchism, famed intellectual Noam Chomsky writes,

“And that’s one of the main purposes of socialism, I think: to reach a point where people have the opportunity to decide freely for themselves what their needs are, and not have the ‘choices’ forced on them by some arbitrary system of power.”1

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The Trouble with Diversity

Diverse Societies Offer No More Stability than Monocultural Ones

Photo by AM Renault | CC BY

The historical events that gave rise to multicultural nations and cosmopolitan cities also institutionalized new and upcoming forms of social oppression, notably racism. Since people can never change their ‘race’—unlike their religion or nationality—racial discrimination both corners its victims and persecutes their offspring. But in the globalizing West, the public preoccupation with racial inequality obscures an undercurrent of failing multiculturalism. The West is in a...

On Language Versus Metaphor

Ohhh ... Alright ... (1964) by Roy Liechtenstein

Similar to the chicken or egg problem, which came first, language or metaphor? The classic book Metaphors We Live By (1980) by Lakoff and Johnson explores how metaphors shape our understanding of the world, because they help us understand one thing in terms of another. The authors provide many examples, such as Time is Money or Life is Hard. But they do not explore the origin of metaphors. What was the evolutionary advantage to think about the world in terms of metaphors?...