Tag Archives: Ray Kurzweil

On Being Given to Know

We may speculate, and it is interesting that we do speculate, on the following questions.

  1. What if we could upload books to our brains?
  2. What if a machine could tell us what was true?

It is interesting that we speculate, because I think the questions do not ultimately make sense—not the sense that seems to be intended, whereby something can be got for nothing.

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NL XLI: What Barbarism Is

Index to this series

Civilization being agreement, barbarism has no chance in the long run (41. 67):

41. 76. For barbarism implies not only a quarrel between any barbarist and any civilized man; it also implies a quarrel between anyone barbarist and any other; and that any state of harmony between them is merely this quarrel suspended.

The barbarist is somebody “who imitates the conditions of an uncivilized world” (41. 53); but an actual attempt to bring about those conditions will need cooperation, and this will be a step towards civility. Here perhaps we should distinguish cooperation from the kind of coerced organization seen in a fascist state. Specific examples will be considered in the later chapters of Part IV of the New Leviathan. We are now considering “What Barbarism Is,” in general terms.

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