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The major problems in the world are the result of the difference between how nature works and the way people think. The dynamics of the natural world are complex, interconnected, and often nonlinear, while human thought and understanding tend to be linear and fragmented. This mismatch leads to misunderstandings, misinterpretations, and unintended consequences, giving rise to many of the significant challenges we face. In this context, it becomes evident that psychic processes, including consciousness, thoughts, emotions, feelings, and motivations, are deeply conditioned by the fundamental principles of nature and biological processes. Our ways of thinking and perceiving are inherently influenced by the intricate web of life and the physical world around us. Therefore, to truly understand the nature of our psychic processes, we must recognize and appreciate the profound impact of the natural world on the human mind.
What we mean by information — the elementary unit of information — is a difference which makes a difference, and it is able to make a difference because the neural pathways along which it travels and is continually transformed are themselves provided with energy. The pathways are ready to be triggered. We may even say that the question is already implicit in them.
The problem of mental health, therefore, must be considered in the context of the total systems in which the individual participates: not as a breakdown of an individual unit, but as a breakdown in the network of relationships.
We are constantly engaged in constructing a world, both physical and psychic, and the construction is guided by hypotheses derived from experience.
The mind is not an entity; it is a process. It is an ecology of ideas, in communication with an ecology of experience.
The individual mind is not an autonomous entity, but a part of a larger circuit, an ecology of ideas and relationships. The dance of consciousness is not confined to the skull, but unfolds in the interweaving of the nervous system, the body, the surrounding environment, and the social context. Our very thoughts and emotions are shaped by the constant flow of information through these interconnected layers, making a clean separation between 'psychic' and 'physical' impossible.
Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.
Yes, we have a soul, but it's made of lots of tiny robots.
There’s no polite way of telling people they’ve devoted their life to an illusion.
The opposition is indispensable. A good statesman, like any other sensible human being, always learns more from his opponents than from his fervent supporters. For his supporters will push him to disaster unless his opponents show him where the dangers are. So if he is wise he will often pray to be delivered from his friends, because they will ruin him. But, though it hurts, he ought also to pray never to be left without opponents; for they keep him on the path of reason and good sense.
Photographs have the kind of authority over imagination to-day, which the printed word had yesterday, and the spoken word before that. They seem utterly real. They come, we imagine, directly to us without human meddling, and they are the most effortless food for the mind conceivable. Any description in words, or even any inert picture exists in the mind. But on the screen the whole process of observing, describing, reporting, and then imagining, has been accomplished for you.
The war, of course, furnished many examples of this pattern: the casual fact, the creative imagination, the will to believe, and out of these three elements, a counterfeit of reality to which there was a violent instinctive response. For it is clear enough that under certain conditions men respond as powerfully to fictions as they do to realities, and that in many cases they help to create the very fictions to which they respond.
When all think alike, no one thinks very much.
It is often very ask yourself how you got at the facts on which you base your opinion. Who actually saw, heard, felt, counted, named the thing, about which you have an opinion?
There are portions of the sovereign people who spend most of their spare time and spare money on motoring and comparing motor cars, on bridge-whist and post-mortems, on moving pictures and potboilers, talking always to the same people with minute variations on the same old themes. They cannot really be said to suffer from censorship, or secrecy, the high cost or the difficulty of communication. They suffer from anemia, from lack of appetite and curiosity for the human scene. Theirs is no problem of access to the world outside. Worlds of interest are waiting for them to explore, and they do not enter.
Industry is a far better horse to ride a genius.
As you go further away from experience, you go higher into generalization or subtlety. As you go up in the balloon you throw more and more concrete objects overboard, and when you have reached the top with some phrase like the Rights of Humanity or the World Made Safe for Democracy, you see far and wide, but you see very little.
Only the consciousness of a purpose that is greater than any man can seed and fortify the souls of men.
For the real environment is altogether too big, too complex, and too fleeting for direct acquaintance. We are not equipped to deal with so much subtlety, so much variety, so many permutations and combinations. And although we have to act in that environment, we have to reconstruct it on a simpler model before we can manage it.
...A few executives here and there read them. The rest of us ignore them for the good and sufficient reason that we have other things to do....
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