God’s Debris: A Thought Experiment - by Scott Adams

my notes:

Every generation of humans believed it had all the answers it needed, except for a few mysteries they assumed would be solved at any moment. What are the odds that you are the first generation of humans who will understand reality?

All that is needed to build machines is the knowledge that when one thing happens, another thing happens as a result. We don’t understand why electricity travels or why light travels at a constant speed forever. All we can do is observe and record patterns.

Your soul, according to you, knows the difference between your brain and everything else that is not your brain. And it never makes a mistake in that regard. That means your soul has structure and rules, like a machine.

The best any human can do is pick a delusion that helps him get through the day.

The maps were made by the people who went first and didn’t die.

You can’t judge the value of a thing by looking only at costs.

Religious people are happier, they live longer, have fewer accidents, and stay out of trouble compared to nonreligious people. From society’s viewpoint, religion works.

The advice to ‘be yourself’ is obviously nonsense. But our brains accept this tripe as wisdom because it is more comfortable to believe we have a strategy for life than to believe we have no idea how to behave.

Our arrogance causes us to imagine special value in this temporary collection of molecules.

Everything is made of some other thing. At the lowest layer everything is exactly the same. Matter is uniform.

Every species takes advantage of other living things to ensure its survival. That is the normal way living things reproduce.

Humans believe organic things are more important than inorganic things because we are organic.

When you have a thought, it is coupled with a physical change in your mind that is specific to that thought, and it has an instant gravitational ripple effect throughout the entire universe.

There is nothing mystical or magical about the performance of geniuses just because they are unaware of how they do what they do.

Like math geniuses, so-called psychics don’t know how they do it. They only know that it works.

Every person has the opportunity to improve their average contribution to society regardless of what he has done in the past.

If you seek to influence someone, don’t waste time giving advice. You can change only what people know, not what they do.

A woman needs to be told that you would sacrifice anything for her. A man needs to be told he is being useful.

Without trust, you can communicate only trivial things.

Your problem is that you view conversation as a way to exchange information. Conversation is more than the sum of the words. It is also a way of signaling the importance of another person by showing your willingness to give that person your rarest resource: time.

Don’t judge people by their mistakes, but by how they respond to their mistakes.

Writing your goals every day gives you a higher level of focus. It tunes your mind to better recognize opportunities in your environment.

Intelligence is a measure of how well you function within your level of awareness. Your intelligence will stay about the same over your life. Awareness is entirely different from intelligence; awareness involves recognizing your delusions for what they are. Most people’s awareness will advance one or two levels in their lifetime. Awareness is about unlearning. It is the recognition that you don’t know as much as you thought you knew. Awareness does not come from receiving new information. It comes from rejecting old information.

There is no good or bad in anything, just differences in usefulness. People at all levels have the same potential for being useful.

Ideas are the only things that can change the world. The rest is details.