Free will is like recycling: nothing is really happening but you have to act like it is.

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Could consciousness just be the result of incredibly complex bio-chemical feedback systems?

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It's hard to think about causality and evolution and still think free will exists.

... Sang, which literally means "mourning." Sang has taken on a multitude of new meanings in China, which has been ground down by successive lockdowns meant to contain the coronavirus as well as growing regulatory controls that have clamped down on businesses, especially in the internet sector.
Sang's rise is exceptional, because China is a country that loves to work. Grinding out a "996" schedule — 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., 6 days a week — can be a point of pride. And it has paid off: During China's economic boom years through the 1990s and early 2000s, many Chinese reaped the financial gains of entrepreneurial hard work.

But attitudes toward work are changing.
Just as in the United States, people born after the 1980s in China are facing the prospect of worse outcomes than their parents. Property prices rise beyond their reach; college graduates have to compete over limited jobs; and a gender imbalance favoring males — made worse by decades of the one-child policy — puts marriage out of reach for poorer men. Hard work no longer seems to be worth it.

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NPR's take on laying flat and sang.

Nothing new to most of us here but interesting to see it in mainstream press.

npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/

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We have increasingly outsourced our decision-making to machine learning models ("the algorithm"). The whole point of building recommendation, sorting, and "decision support" systems on ML is to undertake assessments at superhuman speed and scale, which means that the idea of a "human in the loop" who validates machine judgment is a mere figleaf, and it only gets worse from here.

1/

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You go in that team, I go on this team
Divide everything, a flag or a number
Make 'em opposites, so there's a reason
Stigmatisation, OK, now we can fight

Divide everything, just put it all flat
Justification, don't think, now you just fight
You go in that team, I go on this team
Divide everything, a flag or a number

- Les Yper-Sound by Stereolab

Why can't my brain get as excited about good news? Or no news?

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Need to stop doom scrolling. It always leads to reddit public freakouts and a lower opinion of humanity.

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#Climate mitigation:

* keep all #FossilFuels in the ground
* preserve all #forests and #wetlands (by working together with #indigenous people)
* remove streets and motorways
* turn all lawns into #meadows

Climate adaptation:

* punish #ecocide
* welcome all climate #refugees
* pay #reparations
* eat the rich

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give me your best bands/music from japan that isn’t j-pop or an anime theme please.

i’ve already heard hanatarash tho

Being angry seems like a reasonable response to society. But sometimes I wish there was at least one thing to attach hope to.

Our minds and capacity for empathy didn't evolve to be able to cope with knowing about all the kinds of suffering and damage ...

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For a long time I thought being negative was like dirt that could be washed off. That if I had the right mindset, meditated the right way, or practiced mindfulness enough, it would all be cool.

Seems like a common western misunderstanding of things. Glorification or mystification of Buddhist ideas.

Now my friends who are still stuck in that way of thinking sound to me like idealistic, self centered buffoons.

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I'm a lot angrier than I used to be. Maybe true of everyone I know. I can't tell but no one really seems happier than they used to be.

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ni.hil.ist is a server run by individuals who are friendly to a nihilistic worldview.