Playboy: If life is so purposeless, do you feel its worth living?
Kubrick: Yes, for those who manage somehow to cope with our mortality. The very meaninglessness of life forces a man to create his own meaning. Children, of course, begin life with an untarnished sense of wonder, a capacity to experience total joy at something as simple as the greenness of a leaf; but as they grow older, the awareness of death and decay begins to impinge on their consciousness and subtly erode their joie de vivre (a keen enjoyment of living), their idealism - and their assumption of immortality.
As a child matures, he sees death and pain everywhere about him, and begins to lose faith in the ultimate goodness of man. But if he’s reasonably strong - and lucky - he can emerge from this twilight of the soul into a rebirth of life’s élan (enthusiastic and assured vigour and liveliness).
Both because of and in spite of his awareness of the meaninglessness of life, he can forge a fresh sense of purpose and affirmation. He may not recapture the same pure sense of wonder he was born with, but he can shape something far more enduring and sustaining.
The most terrifying fact about the universe is not that it is hostile but that it is indifferent; but if we can come to terms with this indifference and accept the challenges of life within the boundaries of death - however mutable man may be able to make them - our existence as a species can have genuine meaning and fulfillment. However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light.”—Stanley Kubrick in interview for Playboy, Stanley Kubrick Interviews, University Press of Mississippi, 2001, p.73 (via amiquote)
“How many of those ancient points of light were the last echoes of suns now dead? How many have been born but their light not yet come this far? If all the suns but ours collapsed tonight, how many lifetimes would it take us to realize that we were alone?”—Carl Sagan (via aastronaut)
Frightening accurate and insightful debate piece between Jeffrey Arnett, Clark University research professor and author, and Jennifer Silva, author and postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School.
Silva- “I think that a big problem for working-class young people is lack of know-how and social ties. Most young people from disadvantaged or even middle-class backgrounds now want to go to college. But far less actually enroll or graduate because the steps they need to take – taking the right high school classes, taking SATs, participating in sports or activities, getting financial aid – are very confusing. The growing competitiveness, cost, and complexity of the higher education system has made it increasingly difficult for young people to navigate the system, earn a degree, and get a white collar job. Even knowing how to fill out the financial aid forms if your parents can’t help you can be a barrier for working-class youth. So even if the opportunity is there, the know-how is lacking. That can make it feel like it is impossible to finish school and “grow up. And once they get there, they are even less prepared for this new world of college, and often have no idea how to choose a major and then use that major for a job. More privileged kids can draw on their family connections, their private college coach, or their college fund. But we have a whole group of working-class emerging adults who need guidance. And who also need jobs.”
"Working-class young adults learn not to expect loyalty from their jobs or permanence from their relationships. They take risks, often without guidance from others and with imperfect knowledge, to try to create lives that feel stable and worthy. And when they fail, they must pick up the pieces on their own and start again. When jobs are short-term, families are fragile, institutions are bewildering, and trust is in short supply, taking sole responsibility for one’s own fate‒what we could call optimism‒lends a sense of control and meaning to one’s coming of age journey. Such belief in oneself proves a vital mechanism for coping with the chaos, hopelessness, and insecurity that threatens daily to strip their lives of dignity and order. In my interpretation, these young adults numb the ache of betrayal and the hunger for connection by reaching for images of themselves as masters of own fates. But in doing so, they obscure the larger social forces‒the decline of good blue-collar jobs, the increasing costs of education, the privatization of risks, the growing gap between the haves and have-nots‒that works against them. Perhaps without this optimism, they might build communities of solidarity that demand better wages and bigger safety nets."
We travel for many reasons – entertainment, growth, comfort, appreciation, ego, and, probably, some of each in different amounts at different times. I like to think that I travel to grow — ideally, uncovering some remaining piece of information that will help me be a better person. Hoping that…
Would you let a startup track your social media accounts and credit-card transactions in exchange for cash?
"…and the feed of transactions from a credit or debit card. The New York City-based startup plans to make money by charging companies for access to trends found in that information, after it has been removed of personally identifying details."
“What an astonishing thing a book is. It’s a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you’re inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.”—Carl Sagan, Cosmos (via victoriousvocabulary)
CLASSIC STBYM: Whether awake or dreaming, our neocortex is always shuffling about data and creating stories. But what if you could enter your dream and become the master of your fate? Join Julie and Robert as they weave a tale about how and why we lucid dream.
A particularly providential shower by physicist results in a remarkable insight about the cosmos.
Misleading title, but an interesting idea put forward by Harvard astrophysicist Avi Loeb. He proposes that over the course of the history of the universe, there must have been a period of time as things cooled from the extremely hot origins to the extremely cold current state during which conditions may have been favorable for life to form not just on Earth, but nearly universally.
Abstract: In the redshift range 100 <~ (1 + z) <~ 137, the cosmic microwave background (CMB) had a temperature of 273–373 K (0-100 *C), al- lowing early rocky planets (if any existed) to have liquid water chem- istry on their surface and be habitable, irrespective of their distance from a star. In the standard ΛCDM cosmology, the first star-forming halos within our Hubble volume started collapsing at these redshifts, allowing the chemistry of life to possibly begin when the Universe was merely 10–17 million years old. The possibility of life starting when the average matter density was a million times bigger than it is today argues against the anthropic explanation for the low value of the cosmological constant.