247 Matching Annotations
  1. Apr 2017
    1. the pity of an enlightened person would be responsive to this fact.

      An enlightened person would have pity for someone's general unhappiness, their lack of vitality, their loss of dreams, their self-destruction. Not for just suffering.

  2. Oct 2016
    1. But wordless conditioning is crude and wholesale; cannot bring home the finer distinctions, cannot inculcate the more complex courses of behaviour. For that there must be words, but words without reason. In brief, hypnopædia.

      language is key to conditioning. however, it is key that the students do not use this language to question their own conditioning.

    2. "… all wear green," said a soft but very distinct voice, beginning in the middle of a sentence, "and Delta Children wear khaki. Oh no, I don't want to play with Delta children. And Epsilons are still worse. They're too stupid to be able to read or write. Besides they wear black, which is such a beastly colour. I'm so glad I'm a Beta."

      school also conditions people to associate with certain groups.

    3. "Moral education, which ought never, in any circumstances, to be rational."

      should it? why is he saying this? perhaps moral education must not be based on reason, but based on pure dogma. after all, reasons can always be questioned. but truths you simply know, that you have always known, cannot be questioned.

    4. "The - Nile - is - the - longest - river - in - Africa - and - the - second - in - length - of - all - the - rivers - of - the - globe …" The words come rushing out. "Although - falling - short - of …" "Well now, which is the longest river in Africa?"

      they can regurgitate information but cannot understand it.

    5. It was decided to abolish the love of nature, at any rate among the lower classes; to abolish the love of nature, but not the tendency to consume transport.

      societies make decisions about what is acceptable to love based on economics. Love philosophy? well too bad, it is not economically viable. Love nature? well that does not feed anyone, so it should be eliminated. destroy yourself if necessary, for the sake of economic efficiency.

    6. The idea was to make them want to be going out into the country at every available opportunity, and so compel them to consume transport.

      similarly, modern students are encouraged to consume in order to fulfill demand. much of our childhood education, most of it outside of school, is commercial. it is oriented to make us consumers.

    7. and after two hundred repetitions of the same or a similar lesson would be wedded indissolubly. What man has joined, nature is powerless to put asunder.

      can these kids ever overcome their conditioning?

    8. He waved his hand again, and the Head Nurse pressed a second lever. The screaming of the babies suddenly changed its tone. There was something desperate, almost insane, about the sharp spasmodic yelps to which they now gave utterance. Their little bodies twitched and stiffened; their limbs moved jerkily as if to the tug of unseen wires.

      horrifying description

    9. "It might almost have been done on purpose."

      coincidence seems like intention - and yet what if it is?

    1. They learn to associate topsy-turvydom with well-being; in fact, they're only truly happy when they're standing on their heads.

      wow. the metaphors.

    2. that is the secret of happiness and virtue–liking what you've got to do. All conditioning aims at that: making people like their unescapable social destiny."

      this is a key theme of this book.

    3. Our colleagues upstairs will teach them to love it.

      biological conditioning is accompanied by psychological conditioning

    4. "We also predestine and condition. We decant our babies as socialized human beings, as Alphas or Epsilons, as future sewage workers or future …" He was going to say "future World controllers," but correcting himself, said "future Directors of Hatcheries,"

      Everyone is determined to be something. However, this is only an illusion of equality. Not everyone is subject to the same random chance that determines social conditions. The World Controllers cannot be determined. They are self-made, or put in position by privilege. He remains silent because he does not want to shatter the facade of equality.

    5. mere slavish imitation of nature into the much more interesting world of human invention.

      how is nature an imitation?

    6. a T for the males, a circle for the females and for those who were destined to become freemartins a question mark, black on a white ground.

      gender pre-identification by the state. They are marked as having a certain identity in order to fulfill the needs of the state. this world does not allow for any alternative identification.

    7. Made them taste the rich blood surrogate on which it fed.

      that is sadistic and creepy af

    8. If you knew the amount of overtime I had to put in after the last Japanese earthquake!

      He is making a trivialized, euphemistic reference to a disaster. And yet this massacre sounds unimportant - he literally laughs about it. He treats humans as a supply made to fulfill a demand.

    9. all the relevant information,

      relevant information = that information that is necessary for manipulation by the state

    10. No longer anonymous, but named, identified,

      why are the children named? to make them possible, even easy, to manipulate and control. only beings that we can reference and describe with words can be used to our advantage. the state names these embryos so that they can use them.

    11. You should see the way a negro ovary responds to pituitary! It's quite astonishing, when you're used to working with European material.

      pretty damn racist for the character to say - it is exploitation of blacks for their bodies, after all, and so it is a perverse form of slavery. Huxley might be a little racist here too, assuming that blacks are more reproductively fertile, which is only a subtle reference to their ´ĺack of civilization´

    12. Ninety-six seemed to be the limit; seventy-two a good average. From the same ovary and with gametes of the same male to manufacture as many batches of identical twins as possible–that was the best (sadly a second best) that they could do.

      the process is depersonalized, focused on numbers not people. It is all a mass production, a factory line.

    13. Standard men and women; in uniform batches. The whole of a small factory staffed with the products of a single bokanovskified egg.

      The key to social stability is the standardization of human personality.

    14. Making ninety-six human beings grow where only one grew before. Progress.

      progress ≠ quantity of humans in the world.

    15. the operation undergone voluntarily for the good of Society, not to mention the fact that it carries a bonus amounting to six months' salary

      Is it really for the good of society if you get six months salary for it? Also, where is the parenting when you can just leave your child when they come out?

    16. Not philosophers but fret-sawyers and stamp collectors compose the backbone of society.

      This is so often said. It's often said, however, by people who benefit by not being questioned. Furthermore, the 'backbone of society,' if anything, is culture and knowledge. Philosophy is productive of these things, while stamp collectors and sawyers are less productive.

  3. Jan 2016
    1. Anarchism is quite different from that.  It calls for an elimination to tyranny, all kinds of tyranny.

      Therefore, anarchism is not libertarianism and libertarianism is not anarchism.

    2. unaccountable private tyranny.

      Why is it better to be oppressed by the companies than to be oppressed by the government?

    3. The assumption is that by some kind of magic, concentrated private power will lead to a more free and just society

      "under conditions of perfect liberty, markets would lead to perfect equality"

    4. Primarily it is a tendency that is suspicious and skeptical of domination, authority, and hierarchy.

      Political skepticism.

    1. but as a warning to those who had become confused about the relationship between Buddhist teaching as a guide to the truth and mistook it for the truth itself

      This is how religion should be viewed. Doctrine is a guide to meaning and understanding, not a strict directorate of what meaning and truth is. Therefore, religious texts have limited value.

    1. In Lesson 1 we discussed using a CSS reset to tone all of these default values down to zero. Doing so allows us to work from the ground up and to specify our own values.

      I'm not sure if I need to do this.

  4. Dec 2015
    1. The Copy Principle only demands that, at bottom, the simplest constituent ideas that we relate come from impressions. This means that any complex idea can eventually be traced back to genesis constituent impressions.

      Is this really true that all ideas come from experience? For example, the idea of an ideal democracy may not come from experience. But on further analysis, it is clear that our ideas of an ideal democracy come from our perceptions of the failures of the current democracy, which we then use to construct ideals of a future democracy. We also recall our education about supposedly ideal democracies of the past, like Greece. Therefore, even this complex, non-sensory ideal is based on perception.

    2. impressions and ideas.

      Impressions are sensory, ideas are intellectual.

    3. Loosely, it states that all constituents of our thoughts come from experience.

      The word constituents just messes up this sentence and makes it more confusing. This illustrates one of the problems of philosophical language and obscurantism.

  5. Nov 2015
    1. The universal voice of mankind is always declaring that justice and virtue are honourable, but grievous and toilsome; and that the pleasures of vice and injustice are easy of attainment, and are only censured by law and opinion.

      This is Glaucon's primary argument in a sentence. He says that justice is not intrinsically good; it's merely a requirement for living in society. People don't want to be just. They need to be just according to law and to prevent people from hating them.

    2. And is not a State larger than an individual? It is. Then in the larger the quantity of justice is likely to be larger and more easily discernible.

      This is a sucky reason to start with the morality of the State. Individual morality involves less complexity, less potential for link-chains of consequences, less interconnectedness, less responsibility, and more adherence to human psychology. Therefore, we need to start with analyzing individual morality before societal morality.

      I think that Socrates' mindless mistake here makes his entire response to Glaucon inadequate and undermines the remaining chapters of the book as far as a direct justification for individual justice goes.

    3. Then they will need a market-place, and a money-token for purposes of exchange.

      This and the above is an early social contract theory justification of capitalism. Basically, the argument is this:

      1. No individual is completely self-sufficient.

      2. From 1, every individual must cooperate with other individuals to attain goods and services that fulfill his desires.

      3. Individuals produce goods and services more effectively when they specialize in the production of a particular good or service.

      4. If individuals are specialized in particular areas of production, a mechanism of free exchange is required for them to attain the products of other areas of production.

      5. Therefore, from 3, 2, and 4, a mechanism of free exchange is required for individuals to attain goods and services that fulfill their desires.

      6. Capitalism is this mechanism of free exchange. (maybe)

    4. And yet I cannot refuse to help, while breath and speech remain to me; I am afraid that there would be an impiety in being present when justice is evil spoken of and not lifting up a hand in her defence.

      Is Socrates defending justice because he wants societal acceptance, or out of genuine belief in justice?

    5. there is something truly divine in being able to argue as you have done for the superiority of injustice, and remaining unconvinced by your own arguments.

      It is the mark of profound wisdom to understand arguments without being consumed by them.

    6. I would ask you in your praise of justice to regard one point only: I mean the essential good and evil which justice and injustice work in the possessors of them. Let others praise justice and censure injustice, magnifying the rewards and honours of the one and abusing the other; that is a manner of arguing which, coming from them, I am ready to tolerate, but from you who have spent your whole life in the consideration of this question, unless I hear the contrary from your own lips, I expect something better.

      I agree with Glaucon. I don't want to hear praises of justice; I want to hear a fundamental reason for autonomous agents to follow principles of justice that's independent of society.

    7. panegyrists

      Definition: People who give speeches in high praise of something

    8. no one has ever blamed injustice or praised justice except with a view to the glories, honours, and benefits which flow from them.

      Arguments for justice are only motivated by societal benefits.

    9. 'But there is a world below in which either we or our posterity will suffer for our unjust deeds.' Yes, my friend, will be the reflection, but there are mysteries and atoning deities, and these have great power.

      Woah. This just got real.

    10. Still I hear a voice saying that the gods cannot be deceived, neither can they be compelled. But what if there are no gods? or, suppose them to have no care of human things—why in either case should we mind about concealment? And even if there are gods, and they do care about us, yet we know of them only from tradition and the genealogies of the poets; and these are the very persons who say that they may be influenced and turned by 'sacrifices and soothing entreaties and by offerings.'

      This is a very atheistic argument for such an early time. It gives us insight into Greek society - the Greeks didn't think anywhere near as highly of gods as our society does now. This is a valid argument, and it also provides insight into human nature. In this case, Glaucon is denying the existence of god in order to promote his argument. Often, people will reject hypotheses because they want increased freedom of action.

    11. For what men say is that, if I am really just and am not also thought just profit there is none, but the pain and loss on the other hand are unmistakeable. But if, though unjust, I acquire the reputation of justice, a heavenly life is promised to me. Since then, as philosophers prove, appearance tyrannizes over truth and is lord of happiness, to appearance I must devote myself.

      Several hundred years later, Machiavelli makes this same argument: the appearance of justice is better than actual justice.