Lawrence Krauss: From a Cosmic Perspective, We're Irrelevant. It's Up to Us to Give Our Lives Meaning.
Lawrence Krauss: The picture that science presents to us is, in some sense, uncomfortable because what we’ve learned is that we are more insignificant than we ever could have imagined. You could get rid of us and all the galaxies and everything we see in the universe and it will be largely the same. So we’re insignificant on a scale that Copernicus never would have imagined. And in addition, it turns out the future is miserable. So the two main lessons that I like to say I like to give is first we're insignificant and second the future is miserable. Now that - you might think that should depress you, but I would argue that, in fact, it should embolden you and provide you a different kind of consolation.
Because if the universe doesn’t care about us and if we're an accident in a remote corner of the universe, in some sense it makes us more precious. The meaning in our lives is provided by us; we provide our meaning. And we are here by accidents of evolution and the formation of planets and we should enjoy our brief moment in the sun. We should make the most of our brief moment in the sun because this is all we have.
And even if we’re so rare that we're the only life forms in the universe, which I doubt, that makes us, in some sense, while we're more insignificant, we're more special. We are endowed with a consciousness that can ask questions about the beginning of the universe and learn about the universe on its largest scales and experience everything that it means to be human. Music, art, literature, and science. So for me it should be spiritually uplifting that we're not created with a purpose by someone who takes care of us, like a mannequin or with strings determining everything. We determine our future. And that makes our future more precious.
Directed / Produced by
Jonathan Fowler & Elizabeth Rodd
The physicist on the spiritual consolations of realizing we're probably unique in the universe, and not part of some greater plan.
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The Oxfam report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency."
- A new report by Oxfam argues that wealth inequality is causing poverty and misery around the world.
- In the last year, the world's billionaires saw their wealth increase by 12%, while the poorest 3.8 billion people on the planet lost 11% of their wealth.
- The report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency." We explain what Steven Pinker's got to do with it.
Moans, groans, and gripes release stress hormones in the brain.
Could you give up complaining for a whole month? That's the crux of this interesting piece by Jessica Hullinger over at Fast Company. Hullinger explores the reasons why humans are so predisposed to griping and why, despite these predispositions, we should all try to complain less. As for no complaining for a month, that was the goal for people enrolled in the Complaint Restraint project.
Participants sought to go the entirety of February without so much as a moan, groan, or bellyache.
- Facebook and Google began as companies with supposedly noble purposes.
- Creating a more connected world and indexing the world's information: what could be better than that?
- But pressure to return value to shareholders came at the expense of their own users.
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