LEGAL PADS

The last of my blogs (“Jeanne Robertson’s Last Performance”) has her suggestions about collecting her scripts or materials. Her tool of choice was mostly simple yellow legal tablets. She also wrote a book detailing for us how to see what is in front of us. I took her advice.

My reading choices became more of a search for interesting ideas and good writers. My Son, Dan recommended SAPIENS by Yuval Harari, which stayed on the best seller list for 60 plus weeks.

I clipped and I ” cherry picked ” all kinds of comments and ideas from Harari’s book Then he wrote a new one. And another!

My LEGAL PAD (the list to follow ) has grown. I don’t if I could organize it if I had the energy. Hear is the list. Do your own cherry picking.

YUVAL HARARI’’S BOOKS

HIGH LIGHTS

  1. Sapiens
  2. Homo  Deus
  3. 21 Lessons  for the 21st Century

In a nutshell  #1 dealt with our past.  2.  Our future, and 3. The Present

SAPIENS;

We are the deadliest species in the annals of biology

PAGE 4 SUMMARY

13.5 Billion years ago—BIG BANG

Sapiens show up  70k, 70k ago neanderthals  soon gone

Clue to Sapiens—gossip ability—led to communities, Law,religion,rules,communication.

Biology rules—hormones, genes, synapses

150 is ideal number for groups.

Page 360, parents in full retreat

From 1000 ad to 500 ad, not much happened.

500 million people in 1500 ad.  2014 there are 7 billion.

Happiness bulb born with, doesn’t change much.

Artificial Intelligence is the future.  Not religion, God, Nature etc.

2—HOMO DEUS—a brief history of tomorrow

**deals with future.  Mankind’s quest to upgrade humans to gods.

**mankind has almost and will conquer the  three remaining super problems: famine, plague, and war.  No need to work.  Task—find
“happiness.

**artificial intelligence—where to go from here.

**homo sapiens may be more like Neanderthals the future homo deus.

**homo deus is where mankind is headed.

21 LESSONS for the 21st century

Protecting ourselves—war, ecology

What to do with fake news, terrorism

How to prepare our children for the future

“When has history been fair”?

Current problems:  climate change, dying liberal democracy, a new world war? Fake news,  technology goes wrong, immigration, the meaning of life today,.

Technology giving us the power to “reshape and reengineer  humanity.

‘the reliance on the heart may prove to be the Achilles heel of liberal democracy.

Some folks are smarter than others.  Listen to algorithms.

BxCxD=AHH!  Biological knowledge multiplied by computing power multiplied by  data = ability to  hack humans c

Page 2

Some other good stuff:

THE BODY by Bill Bryson

*page 14 on skin color—sliver from cadaver, one millimeter thick from epidermis.  That’s all

*memory:  recall a deck of cards after 30 minutes.  Oriental girl 17 seconds?

*  teenagers in cars.   Another teenager in car?  Rate goes up 400x. page pp 63

* human brain shrunk size of  tennis ball

*  EXERCISE:  80% us men are overweight, 77% women.  35% are obese.

* FITBIT—tie to dog to up totals for job

* BIPEDS== YES BUT BACKS, KNEES. PELVIS—CHILDBIRTH.

*weight  for women in 1960 was 144 to 166. Men 166 to 196.

*  SITTING TO  MUCH.

*  I was your first wife!

* Asthma—good section pages 216-221.  SMOKING  FOLLOWS

*  HICCUPS—one guy had  them 67 years!

*

OUTLIERS—The Story of Success/by Malcolm Gladwell

CANADIAN JR. HOCKEY ALL-STARS (born n Jan.  Why? The outlier?

10,000 hours.  Bill Gates and PC.   BEATLES—Pretty bad. Hamburg strip clubs . HAD TO PLAY 8 HOURS.  PRACTICE,.

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING JEWISH.  JOE FLOM AND HOSTILE TAKEOVERS.  WHEN TIME CAME, TIME WAS IN.

–BORN IN DEPRESSION—TAKE NO CHANCES.

JEWS AND THE GARMENT INDUSTRY.  3RD GENERATION  WERE LAWYERS AND DRS.  THE CHILDREN OF THE BOOK.

A CULTURE OF HONOR.  SOUTHERNERS CALLED ASSHOLE WILL FIGHT YOU.

KOREAN CO-PILOTS AND NYC  AIRPORT CONTROL.LERS

NOT OUTLIERS AT ALL.  They are products of history and community, opportunity and legacy.  Their success is not exceptional or mysterious.

Due to advantages, inheritances, , luck, some earned,,come not, variables critical to making them who they are.

MICHIO KAKU

HIGH POINT LECTURE WITH NIDO QUEBEIN—OUTSTANDING HOUR.

THE FUTURE OF HUMANITY

WILL FUTURE PIONEERS SEARCH SPACE FOR A NEW SAFE HOME AS THE AFRICANS DID, KNOWING THEIR GENERATION WOULD NOT BENEFIT, BUT OFFSPRING MAY?

—-NEAREST STAR TO US IS 4.2 LIGHT YEARS AWAY.

—-THREE WAVES OF SCIENCE MECHANICAL, ELECTRICAL, TECH.

—ADVANCED CIVILIZATIONS SEEM POSSIBLE

——-ADMIRAL ZENG OF CHINA, BOATS 5X TIME COLUMBUS.  NEXT EMPEROR BANNED SCIENCE.  LET TO POVERTY AND DOOMED ANY PROGRESS

—PRESERVING HUMANS  BY FREEZING NOT A  CRAZY IDEA?

—-ARE WE IN THE LAST GENERATION TO DIE— IMMORTALITY NEAR?

—-FARMER===EVERY CHILD MAKES YOU RICHER.  CITY==EVERY CHILD MAKES YOU POORER!

SCHIZOPHENICS.   EVERYONE TALKS TO SELF.  NO LEFT BRAIN TO PREFRONTAL CORTEX—-VOICES SEEM REAL.—

CLIMATE CHANGE—SEE ADDENDUM YUVAL HARARI’’S BOOKS

HIGH LIGHTS

  1. Sapiens
  2. Homo  Deus
  3. 21 Lessons  for the 21st Century

In a nutshell  #1 dealt with our past.  2.  Our future, and 3. The Present

SAPIENS;

We are the deadliest species in the annals of biology

PAGE 4 SUMMARY

13.5 years ago—BIG BANG

Sapiens show up  70k, 70k ago neanderthals  soon gone

Clue to Sapiens—gossip abillity—led to communities, law,religion,rules,communication.

Biology rules—hormones, genes, synapses

150 is ideal number for groups.

Page 360, parents in full retreat

From 1000 ad to 500 ad, not much happened.

500 million people in 1500 ad.  2014 there are 7 billion.

Happiness bulb born with, doesn’t change much.

Artificial Intelligence is the future.  Not religion, God, Nature etc.

2—HOMO DEUS—a brief history of tomorrow

**deals with future.  Mankind’s quest to upgrade humans to gods.

**mankind has almost and will conquer the  three remaining super problems: famine, plague, and war.  No need to work.  Task—find
“happiness.

**artificial intelligence—where to go from here.

**homo sapiens may be more like Neanderthals the future homo deus.

**homo deus is where mankind is headed.

21 LESSONS for the 21st century

Protecting ourselves—war, ecology

What to do with fake news, terrorism

How to prepare our children for the future

“When has history been fair”?

Current problems:  climate change, dying liberal democracy, a new world war? Fake news,  technology goes wrong, immigration, the meaning of life today,.

Technology giving us the power to “reshape and reengineer  humanity.

‘the reliance on the heart may prove to be the Achilles heel of liberal democracy.

Some folks are smarter than others.  Listen to algorithms.

BxCxD=AHH!  Biological knowledge multiplied by computing power multiplied by  data = ability to  hack humans c

Page 2

Some other good stuff:

THE BODY by Bill Bryson

*page 14 on skin color—sliver from cadaver, one millimeter thick from epidermis.  That’s all

*memory:  recall a deck of cards after 30 minutes.  Oriental girl 17 seconds?

*  teenagers in cars.   Another teenager in car?  Rate goes up 400x. page pp 63

* human brain shrunk size of  tennis ball

*  EXERCISE:  80% us men are overweight, 77% women.  35% are obese.

* FITBIT—tie to dog to up totals for job

* BIPEDS== YES BUT BACKS, KNEES. PELVIS—CHILDBIRTH.

*weight  for women in 1960 was 144 to 166. Men 166 to 196.

*  SITTING TO  MUCH.

*  I was your first wife!

* Asthma—good section pages 216-221.  SMOKING  FOLLOWS

*  HICCUPS—one guy had  them 67 years!

*

OUTLIERS—The Story of Success/by Malcolm Gladwell

CANADIAN JR. HOCKEY ALL-STARS (born n Jan.  Why? The outlier?

10,000 hours.  Bill Gates and PC.   BEATLES—Pretty badl Hamburg strip clubs . HAD TO PLLAY 8 HOURS.  PRACTICE,.

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING JEWISH.  JOE FLOM AND HOSTILE TAKEOVERS.  WHEN TIME CAME, TIME WAS IN.

–BORN IN DEPRESSION—TAKE NO CHANCES.

JEWS AND THE GARMENT INDUSTRY.  3RD GENERATION  WERE LAWYERS AND DRS.  THE CHILDREN OF THE BOOK.

A CULTURE OF HONOR.  SOUTHERNERS CALLED ASSHOLE WILL FIGHT YOU.

KOREAN CO-PILOTS AND NYC  AIRPORT CONTROL.LERS

NOT OUTLIERS AT ALL.  They are products of history and community, opportunity and legacy.  Their success is not exceptional or mysterious.

Due to advantages, inheritances, , luck, some earned,,come not, variables critical to making them who they are.

MICHIO KAKU

HIGH POINT LECTURE WITH NIDO QUEBEIN—OUTSTANDING HOUR.

THE FUTURE OF HUMANITY

WILL FUTURE PIONEERS SEARCH SPACE FOR A NEW SAFE HOME AS THE AFRICANS DID, KNOWING THEIR GENERATION WOULD NOT BENEFIT, BUT OFFSPRING MAY?

—-NEAREST STAR TO US IS 4.2 LIGHT YEARS AWAY.

—-THREE WAVES OF SCIENCE MECHANICAL, ELECTRICAL, TECH.

—ADVANCED CIVILIZATIONS SEEM POSSIBLE

——-ADMIRAL ZENG OF CHINA, BOATS 5X TIME COLUMBUS.  NEXT EMPEROR BANNED SCIENCE.  LET TO POVERTY AND DOOMED ANY PROGRESS

—PRESERVING HUMANS  BY FREEZING NOT A  CRAZY IDEA?

—-ARE WE IN THE LAST GENERATION TO DIE— IMMORTALITY NEAR?

—-FARMER===EVERY CHILD MAKES YOU RICHER.  CITY==EVERY CHILD MAKES YOU POORER!

SCHIZOPHENICS.   EVERYONE TALKS TO SELF.  NO LEFT BRAIN TO PREFRONTAL CORTEX—-VOICES SEEM REAL.—

CLIMATE CHANGE—SEE ADDENDUM

NEW BOOK-“RANGE” by David Epstein

TIGER WOODS VS ROGER FEDERER OR 10,000 HOURS (MALCOLM GLADWELL AND “OUTLIERS (TIGER),  OR FED AND A DIVERSE BACKGROUND.

MERH CD’/ MERCEDES

AVERAGE AGE OF A FOUNDER IS 45

EVERYONE  NEEDS HABITS OF  MIND THAT ALLOW THEM TO DANCE ACROOS THE DISCIPLINES

NO TOOL IS OMNIPOTENT

TO APPLY KNOWLEDGE BROADLY REQUIRES BROAD KNOWLEDGE

OLYMPIANS AT 12-13 -RANGE

MUSICIANS —TRY AND CAN USE 3 OR MORE INSTRUMENTS

DAVE BRUBECK  (TAKE FIVE)  COULDN’T READ MUSIC

TO ACQIRE KNOWLEDGE SLOWLY HELPS YOU MAKE THE RIGHT MATCH

WINNERS NEVER QUIT  (YET TO HONOR OR GOOD SENSE (W. CHURCHCHILL)

YOUNG PEOPLE SHOULD TAKE RISKS

“SUNK COST FALLACY”  CUT AND RUN,  KNOW WHEN TO FOLD.  DEAD HORSE.

IN GOD WE TRUST.  ALL OTHERS BRING DATA.  NO DATA—REASON

THE GAME IS THE BEST TEACHER

BREAKTHROUGH AND FALLACY LOOK A LOT ALIKE  INITIALLY

“IT IS AN EXPERIMENT, AS ALL OF LIFE IS AN EXPERIMENT”  OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES.

********

“The Biggest Bluff”  by Maria Konnikova

Author Konnikova is a professional psychologist who selects professional poker as a place to examine self, skill, luck and life.  Below are simply some conclusions she arrives at.  P.S.—She hired Eric Seidel, world champion of poker, as her coach:

And the biggest bluff of all? That skill can ever be enough. That’s the hope that allows us to move forward in those moments when luck is most stacked against us, the useful delusion that lets us push o rather than give up. We don’t know, we can’t ever know, if we’ll manage or not. But we must convince ourselves that we can. That, in the end, our skill will be enough to carry the day. Because it has to be.

Admitting to unknowing, accepting a lack of agency without resorting to gimmicks, and instead attempting to analyze the unknown as best we can with the tools of rationality: those are some of the most powerful steps we can take.

Those afraid of the universe as it really is, those who wish to pretend to nonexistent knowledge and control and a Cosmos centered on human beings, will prefer superstition.

Nothing is all skill. Ever. I shy away from absolutes, but this one callout for my embrace. Because life is life, luck will always be a factor in anything we might do or undertake, but should chance go against us, all our skill can do is mitigate the damage.

I hope I can keep playing for a very, very long time. I don’t want to have to retire. This game is just too damn interesting. It’s such a beautiful game.

And it is. It really is.

*******************************

THE GOD DELUSION  by Richard Dawkins

The religion of one age is the literary entertainment of the next.

Ralph Waldo Emerson.  

If people wish to love a 7th century preacher more than their own families, that is  up to them, but nobody else  is obliged to take it seriously.

Behead those who say islam is a violent religion.

I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in  the name of conservatism.

We who love science must remember that the enemy of our enemies is our friend.

George W. Bush says God told him to invade Iraq ( a pity God didn’t vouchsafe he a revelation  that there were no weapons of mass destruction.)

One of the truly bad effect of religion is that it teaches  us that is a virtue to be satisfied with not understanding.

Politics has slain thousands, but religion has slain its tens of thousands.

Those who can make you believe in absurdities can also make you commit atrocities.

There is in every village a torch—the teacher

And an extinguisher—-the clergyman.“

That it will never come again

is what makes life so sweet.

 There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,  

than are dreamt in your “philosophy”.

What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of humility. This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism.

The idea of a personal god is quite alien to me and seems even naive.   Einstein

Everybody gets absolutely frantic about it because you’re not allowed to say these things. Yet when you look at it rationally there is no reason why those ideas shouldn’t be as open to debate as any other, except that we have agreed somehow between us that they should’t be.

The priests of the different religious sects…..dread the advance of science as witches do the approach of daylight, and scowl on the fatal harbinger announcing the subdivision of the duperies on which they live.       Thomas Jefferson

SEPTEMBER 2021—BOOK COMMENTS CONTINUED

“Fields of Blood” (Religion and the History of Violence ) by Karen Armstrong.

At first this book seemed too deep.  Indeed the detail and scholarship are thorough.  Looking again I saw this as an excellent text for religion majors.

Atlantic Christian College , my alma mater, changed its  name to Barton.  I never knew much about the namesake (Barton Stone) but found these on page 274  of Fields of Blood:

 “…Barton Stone railed against the aristocratic clergy who tried to force the erudite faith of Harvard on the people.

“Enlightenment philosophers had insisted that people must have the courage to throw off  their dependence on authority, use their natural reason to discover the truth, and think for themselves.”

“When Stone founded his own denomination, he called  it a ‘declaration of independence’:  bringing modern ideals of democracy equality, freedom of speech, and independence … (to  the populace).

Armstrong demonstrates again and again that the great spasms of cruelty and killing through history have had little or no religious overlay. In modern times Hitler, Stalin and Mao were all atheists, and the power behind the Holocaust, Armstrong says, was an ethnic rather than a religious hatred. An overemphasis on religion’s damage can blind people to the nonholy terrors that their states inflict. NYT REVIEW by  James Fallows—2014) 

 …the main hope for peace is to keep faith and statecraft separate.

****ENLIGHTENMENT NOW  by Steven Pinker.  Sub- title is spot on (the case for reason, science, humanism, and progress).

This was a “stumble on” that  is very good.

Louie: CK “The foundations of capitalism are shattering…” REALLY?

“…maybe we need some time where we are wandering around with a donkey with pots clanging on the sides…”

Flight—-sat on runway 40 minutes. 

  ??? miracle of human flight—-sitting in a chair in the sky—New York to California in 5 hours is slow?  Used to take 30 years and many would die, with an arrow through your throat.  They’d put your hat on a stick and bury you and keep walking!

Page 9 on what educated Englishman  (1600) would believe…witches, werewolves, unicorns, base metal to gold, etc.  century later he believes none of these.

Thomas Jefferson:  light from me doesn’t diminish my flame.  Instruction is the same way…

“Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory”

Chris Rock:  “ this is the first society in history where the poor people are fat.”

“…global  citizen is 125 times more likely to die in an accident…” than a terrorist attack.  for Americans—3000 times!

“We have at our fingertips…all the works of genius prior to our time…”  plus that of our time.   Those before had neither,

Three main threats:  Overpopulation, Resource Depletion, and Pollution.

NASA:  Man is the lowest cost, 150 pound, non linear, all-purpose computer system, which can be mass produced by unskilled labor.

“…society advances funeral by funeral!”

God and reason:   “…faith, revelation, scripture, authority, tradition, and subjective appeal are not arguments at all.”  

Incompatible beliefs, how many gods?, different religions, different sources, which miracles?,  what  they demand. 

human errors, factual errors, plagiarism, scientific absurdness.

*****CHERRY PICKING OTHERS (lOVE  AND THEFT—DYLAN)

FORGET THE ALAMO.  This book contends much of “Alamo lore” is Alamo myth!

Real reason?  Europeans were choosing cotton for clothing.  This part of Texas was ideal for cotton  farming—if you had slaves to do the work.  Mexico was anti-slavery.

*******

AMERICAN HAPPINESS AND DISCONTENTS

the unruly torrent

(2008-2020)  by George Will

CTE—1966- bear bryant’s heaviest player weight 223 lbs.  2011 NFL had 320 players weighing 300.

two bad features—violence and committee meetings (huddles)

…not the rules but the fiction that football can be fixed and still resemble the game fan relish.”

louisville brought pros and strippers to the bball dorm 22 times in 2 years.  pitino—duh?  yet hired by Iona.

“Drugs drain sport admirable excellence, which elevates as well as competitors.”

Wills cites vague “einstein” stanza from DESOLATION ROW.   Final one clearer?

Yes, I received your letter yesterday, about the time the doorknob broke

When you asked me how I was doing, was that some kind of joke

All these people that you mention, yes, I know them, they’re quite lame

I had to rearrange their faces and give them all another name

Right now, I can’t read too good, don’t send me no more letters no

Not unless you mail them from Desolation Row

“Do not speak unless you can improve on silence.”

ON VIETNAM

Easier to muddle through than to admit you were wrong

Westmoreland ( “never had general so effectively willed away the facts”)

Famous photo?   plain clothed Viet  Cong who had just cut the throat of a South Vietnamese  officer’s wife, six children, and  the officer’s Mother. 

NO WAR IS OVER UNTIL THE LAST VETERAN IS DEAD

Size of our universe

page 55 —ton of facts

If there were only 3 bees in America, the air would be more crowded  with bees than space is with stars.  

A dog was trained to emit a whimpering sound every time it heard the word HILARY.

“College:  The best seven years of my life!”

there is something to be said for exposing yourself to ideas other than your own.

Will—Chernow’s GRANT is great history writing.

More dying by lifestyle increasing!

ON EUTHANASIA—-Pages 354-355.

“I am doing everything I can to continue to live.  No one should have the right to prolong my death.”

People spoke jauntily of “the conquest of space.” Well.

The universe, 99.9 (and at least fifty-eight other nines) percent of which is already outside Earth’s atmosphere, is expanding (into we know not what) at forty-six miles per second per mega parsec.  (One megaparsec is approximately 3.26 million light years.) Astronomers are studying light that has taken perhaps 12 billion years to reach their instruments. This cooling cinder called Earth, spinning in the darkness at the back of beyond, is a minor speck of residue from the Big Bang, which lasted less than a billionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second 13.8 billion years ago.  The estimated number of stars—they come and go— is 100 followed by twenty-two zeros. The visible universe (which is hardly all of it) contains more than 150 billion galaxies, each with billions of stars. But if there were only three bees in America, the air would be core crowded with bees than space is with stars. The distances, and the violently unheavenly conditions in “the heavens”, tell us that our devices will roam our immediate cosmic neighborhood, but in spite of Apollo 11’s still-darling achievement, we are not really going anywhere.

EUTHANASIA (PAGES 354-355

Cederquist says the most common reason for requesting assistance in dying is not “intolerable physical suffering”. Rather, it is “existential suffering”, including loss of meaning,” as from the ability to relate to others. The prospect of being “unable to interact” can be as intolerable as physical suffering, and cannot be alleviated by hospice or other palliative care.

In some countries, doctors actively administer lethal injections. No U.S. jurisdiction allows doctors to go beyond writing prescriptions for lede-ending drugs to be self administered orally by persons retaining decisional capacity.

Almost 30 percent of Medicare expenditures are for patients in the last six months of life, and about 16 percent of patients die in, or soon after leaving, intensive care units. Financial reasons should be decisive in setting end-of-life policy, but Cederquist notes that reducing “expensive and inappropriate care”— costly and agonizing resistance to imminent death “is the lowest-tech thing we can do in medicine.”Hence the importance of “slow medicine geriatrics,” avoiding a “rush to those interventions that build on each other”and thereby enmesh doctors and patients in ethical conundrums.The American Medical Association remains opposed to physician assistance in dying; the California Medical Association has moved from opposition to neutrality. Litigation has been unsuccessful in seeking judicial affirmation of a high that California’s legislature should establish. Legislation to do this has been authored by Assemblywoman Susan Eggman, chair of the Democratic caucus.

There are reasons for wariness. An illness’s sox-month trajectory can be uncertain. A right to die can become a felt obligation, particularly among bewildered persons tangled in the toils of medical technologies, or persons with meager family resources. And as a reason for ending life, mental suffering itself calls into question the existence of the requisite decisional competence.

Today’s culture of casual death (see Planned Parenthood videos )should deepen worries about a slippery slope from physician-assisted dying a further diminution of life’s sanctity. Life, however, is inevitably lived on  multiple slippery slopes:Taxation could become confiscation, police could become instruments of oppression, public education could become indoctrination, etc. Everywhere and always, civilization depends on the drawing of intelligent distinctions.

Jennifer Glass, a Californian who died August 11, drew one. She said to her state legislators, “I’m doing everything I can to extend my life. No one should have the right to prolong my death”.

The Economist reports that in the seventeen years under Oregon’s pioneering 1997 law, just 1,327 people have received prescriptions for lethal medications—about seventy-four a year—and one third of those did not use them. Possessing the option was sufficient reassurance.

There is nobility is suffering bravely borne, but also in affirming at the end the distinctive human dignity of autonomous choice.Brittany Maynard, who chose to be with loved ones when she self-administered her lethal medications was asleep in five minutes and soon dead.

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