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"You said some truths that were hard to hear. It’s why I like you." - Cathy - The Big C season 2 episode 10 - How Do You Feel?

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"That’s why I don’t form attachments. It’s partly because I’m buddhist, partly because I’m not very good at them." - Lee - The Big C season 2 episode 10 - How Do You Feel?


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"Even if the open windows of science at first make us shiver after the cosy indoor warmth of traditional humanizing myths, in the end the fresh air brings vigor, and the great spaces have a splendor of their own." - Bertrand Russell, What I Believe

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"A basic law of economics is people pay a lot for things they love. A basic law of psychology is people love a lot the things they pay for." - Dan Gilbert

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"It can’t be that happiness is simply what happens when you get what you want because people get what they want and they’re not always happy." - Dan Gilbert

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"When people say “I can’t imagine that,” they’re usually talking about their own lack of imagination, and not about the unlikelihood of the event that they’re describing." - Dan Gilbert

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"Why do we make decisions that our future selves so often regret? (…) all of us are walking around with an illusion, an illusion that history, our personal history, has just come to an end, that we have just recently become the people that we were always meant to be and will be for the rest of our lives. (…) At every age, people underestimate how much their personalities will change in the next decade. (…) The bottom line is, time is a powerful force. It transforms our preferences. It reshapes our values. It alters our personalities. We seem to appreciate this fact, but only in retrospect. Only when we look backwards do we realize how much change happens in a decade.(…) Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they’re finished. The person you are right now is as transient, as fleeting and as temporary as all the people you’ve ever been. The one constant in our life is change." -

Dan Gilbert - The psychology of your future self

he shows graphs of data on how people do change less and less with getting older (but still underestimate how much they will change). imagine cheating this trend and changing more and more. that would be a fun life, isn’t it?


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"The center of the bullseye insight is the nature of the self and whether or not it’s an illusion and whether one can cut through that illusion at will. When you look for yourself you fail to find it in a way that is clear and compelling and frees you from the tyranny of your own thoughts and the suffering you were experiencing a moment ago. That’s the center of the bullseye for me and the ability to do that is available through the practice of meditation and psychedelics don’t address that issue in a precise way. I mean you can be hurled past any self-problem on the right drug and experience this glorious freedom from self, but one thing you get with that is this understanding which I think is a fallacious understanding that somehow freedom is dependent upon altered states of consciousness, unless you’re seeing everything in technicolor or the peak of the fireworks show you’re not gonna be experiencing the most profound spiritual experience you can have and certainly you’re not gonna experience it once you come back down and everything is normal again. But the insight into selflessness that you get to through meditation is that ordinary waking consciousness, precisely the consciousness we’re having this conversation in (…) is already completely free of the self, and that can be recognized. The place you wanna run the experiment is in ordinary waking consciousness. You don’t need to be experiencing synesthesia for the first time on ayahuascha (…) in order to experience the relevant loss of self." - Sam Harris

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"All people ought to be offended at least in their deepest integrity by the religious proposition that without a supernatural celestial dictatorship we wouldn’t know right from wrong." - Christopher Hitchens

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"We’re offending people but we’re also telling them they’re wrong to be offended." - Sam Harris

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"In our world surely the worst thing anyone can say is no further inquiry is needed." - Christopher Hitchens

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Hitchens:I would never give up the claim that all religions are equally false, because they're forced by preferring faith to reason. Latently at least, equally dangerous.
Dawkins:Equally false but surely not equally dangerous.
Hitchens:No, latently I think so, because of the surrender of the mind. The eagerness to discard the only thing that makes us high primates - the faculty of reason. That's always deadly (...) They're all equally rotten, forced, dishonest, corrupt, humorless and dangerous.
Harris:There's one point you make here, that I think we should say a little more about, is that you almost can never quite anticipate the danger of unreason. When your mode of interacting with others and the universe is to affirm truths you're in no position to affirm the liabilities of that are potentially infinite. We just don't know. Take stem cell research. You don't know going in that the idea that the soul enters the zygote at the moment of conception is a terrible idea. It seemed a totally benign idea until you invent something like stem cell research where it stands in the way of of incredibly promising life-saving research. There's something about dogmatism, you can almost never foresee how many lives it's gonna cost, because its conflict with reality just erupts in.

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"…and its beauty is indeed enhanced by knowing what it means. But you still don’t actually have to believe it, it’s like reading fiction, you could lose yourself in fiction and be totally moved to tears by it but nobody would ever say you’ve got to believe that this person existed and that the sadness that you feel really reflected something that actually happened." - Richard Dawkins

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"If it’s possible to love your neighbor as yourself, I’m interested in learning how to do that. I just don’t think we have to believe anything on insufficient evidence in order to do that." - Sam Harris