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August 23rd, 2017 Total archive posts: 984
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Star Wars Uncut

I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that Star Wars Uncut has been released and is pretty entertaining if you're a big fan of the movie.

by Christopher Heiser on August 21 16:13

Empathy

Sent to me by my sister--a first, I think--is a neat animation that fronts a talk on the subject of human empathy. I must admit that I've always felt that the human instincts of aggression (based in a strong sense of self-preservation) are more fundamental than those of group well-being, but the speaker makes a decent case for empathy as the stronger organizing principle.

I think it's worth noting that the "group identification" he discusses is a double-edged sword. While it can conceivably lead to a global state of harmony, it's also a powerful tool used by those who market goods, services, and dogma to the masses. But I think it can be argued that the ability of humans to remotely perceive what's happening across the world (with television, the internet, etc.) is one of the keys to making the speaker's vision a reality. However, the dark side is that these technologies also have the ability to rapidly subdivide groups based on their members' strongest feelings and create echo chambers that have the pernicious effect of insulating them from understanding the global human experience.

Telesensing is something that could dramatically alter this equation, and it's a subject that I think about often. But that's for another post. Without further rambling, here's the video:

by Christopher Heiser on August 21 16:06
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