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Self Improvement

93 STASHED IDEAS

Isaac  Asimov

It is changing, continuing, and inevitable change that is the dominant factor in society today. Science fiction may seem trivial to blind critics and philosophers of today but in its essence, it is needed for our own salvation.

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Self Improvement

Arthur Clarke

There's no real objection to escapism. We all want to escape occasionally. Science fiction is often very far from escapism but it's a fiction that does concern itself with real issues: the origin of man; our future.

Science fiction is very much concerned with real issues, reality.

Philip K. Dick

I bet on science as helping us. I have yet to see how it endangers us fundamentally. Science has given us more lives than it has taken; we must remember that.

Gene Roddenberry

Science fiction is a way of thinking. It is a way of logic that bypasses a lot of nonsense. It allows people to look directly at important subjects.

Ray Bradbury

Science fiction is the most important literature of the world because it's the history of ideas, our civilization's birth, and it's central to everything we've done.

Douglas Adams

Let us think the unthinkable, do the undoable, and prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all.

Stages of moral development

Lawrence Kohlberg questioned why children differed in their ethical judgements. They think more in terms of black and white, or egocentric, or rational.

In an experiment, Kohlberg gave children open-ended questions to explain their answers. From this, he identified three stages of moral development:

  • Pre-conventional stage. This ego-centric stage seeks pleasure and wants to avoid pain. "Good" is defined as whatever is beneficial to oneself, and "bad" is anything that will cause punishment.
  • Conventional stage. A sense of social belonging marks this stage. Approval is seen as a reward, and behaviour is adjusted to please others. The desire to fit in is motivating good behaviour.
  • Post-conventional stage. There is more self-reflection and moral reasoning. Principled behaviour is more important than blind obedience.

Lawrence Kohlberg's three stages of developmental progression from early infancy to adulthood maps almost perfectly onto Jean Piaget's psychology of child development.

What is important to note is that these stages also describe adults. Some people never get mature and may have no real moral compass (sometimes associated with psychopathy.) Then we all know people who are bound to the conventional stage where their image is most important. Those who don't develop past this stage are rigid in following the rules or the law.

If we are too focussed on why we should be grateful for the job we have, we may not realize that the work has become thankless, trapping ourselves in a stagnant career. Employers often milk the situation by cutting down pay, making employees work more hours for less.

Many employers virtually own the employees just because they provide a regular paycheck. One can be grateful if the employer truly deserves it, like if they go the extra mile to ensure their staff does not have problems.

Being Grateful For Your Job
  • In the 2020 debacle in terms of job and income loss, people who are employed feel a certain pressure to be grateful for it, and even have a measure of real gratitude. Many are thankful that they are still hired, still getting paid every month.
  • Jobs provided post-pandemic seem prized, with candidates in awe of the fact that they are being considered, shortlisted and interviewed, when jobs are so scarce.
  • While being grateful for what we have is a positive emotion with real benefits, there is a downside to this gratefulness, as it makes a person willing to endure unwelcome situations at work.

Gratitude has become a social norm, an internal voice that we must be thankful for a normal life. Suppressing negative feelings isn’t good, and we cannot ignore the problems we have (like workplace harassment or a bad boss) just by appreciating that we still get paid regularly.

Bypassing or avoiding negative feelings cuts off our connections with the signals given by them, resulting in us ignoring the signs of stress, fear, exhaustion and sadness.

Our Brain Needs A Filter

We all have thoughts and ideas floating in our minds, and need to review our ideas, deciding which of them have merit and can be brought to the world.

If there is no filter installed in our minds that only lets the approved ones through, we end up acting out stuff that could lead to disastrous outcomes.

  1. Stay grounded and in the present moment.
  2. Be self-aware, identifying and recognizing your thoughts, feelings and emotions in real time.
  3. Let your awareness discriminate between artificial and real, right or wrong, keeping a critical and objective mindset.
  4. Recognize that your thought is just a thought. We can let go of all the glitz, fear and drama for the moment.

Practising mindfulness sharpens our self-awareness skills, keeping us in the present moment.

In popular arts such as theatre, dance, music, and movies, the masses needed enough time and resources to enjoy these arts.

Technology made it possible. The industrial labourers of the 19th-century had more money, making it possible to enjoy entertainment venues and engage in recreation outside their work lives.

When the first explorers travelled to distant places, they were influenced by examples of other cultures' popular art, artefacts, and customs, such as drinking coffee.

The masses were seldom the first to experience exotic forms of popular culture. For example, Kabuki Theater was accessible to all classes of Japanese people, but Europe's aristocrats initially regarded it as high art.

Shakespeare is the first pop culture superstar

The Western world's first pop culture superstar was probably William Shakespeare. He wrote his theatre plays for a mass audience, fulfilling pop culture's art requirement that could be enjoyed by the masses.

Shakespeare's art bridged the 16th-century gap between popular and fine art. Several of his plays were set elsewhere in Europe, which exposed the common Englishman to wedding and courtship traditions of different classes and cultures.

The sewing machine made new fashions possible for everyone. Technology also aided new kinds of arts and items and made them accessible to everyone, not just the elite.

Radio, television, motion pictures, amplified music, computers, and the Internet changed society and the course of history.

By definition, popular culture, or "pop" culture, requires the masses to be engaged in practising and consuming culture, thereby making it popular.
There are three significant popular-culture markers:

  • Wedding ceremonies began traditions based on religious tenets and quickly became part of society.
  • Music performed from written scores. Renaissance composers committed music to paper, making it possible for others to perform it.
  • Fashion styles took clothing beyond functionality.

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