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Neil Postman — Foreword to Amusing Ourselves to Death

We were keeping our eye on 1984. When the year came and the prophecy didn’t, thoughtful Americans sang softly in praise of themselves. The roots of liberal democracy had held. Wherever else the terror had happened, we, at least, had not been visited by Orwellian nightmares.

But we had forgotten that alongside Orwell’s dark vision, there was another — slightly older, slightly less well known, equally chilling: Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. Contrary to common belief even among the educated, Huxley and Orwell did not prophesy the same thing. Orwell warns…

Young people will play video games and create entire new worlds inside various digital metaverses.

The COVID shock just accelerated these trends. Now a large percentage of the world is locked in their dwelling; their only means of interaction is through internet-connected machines. Whether you like it or not, your online avatar will only grow in importance. The metaverse is now, and you are participating in its creation.

The metaverse will be anything the human mind can dream up and it won’t be held back by the traditional physical laws we take for granted in meatspace. Entire new economies and…

This story is from 2012, but still rings true at the circumstances the West places on refugees.

On Thursday, in despair at his imminent deportation and the expulsion of his son, Mr Bravo took his own life. … But for Mr Bravo, hemmed in by Britain’s asylum laws, it was a final, astonishing act of paternal love. If he had remained alive, his son would have been returned to Angola with him. Now that Mr Bravo is dead, Antonio at least will have a chance to achieve their joint dream of building a successful life in Britain.

In situation X <environmental cue>, I will do behavior Y <concrete thing> to achieve Z <subgoal>.

Find that external cue for the behavior you want. That is, the cue you need for the desired behavior is the environment, so say “After X <environmental cue>, I will do Y <concrete thing> to achieve Z <goal>.”

For example, when this workshop ends in 30 minutes I am going straight to he library to read the 4 pages i need to achieve the subgoal of summarizing them for my thesis.


Buddhism, mixed with my current interests in economics, privilege, immigration, etc. Email <my username>

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