on truth’s value

The real searcher after truth will not receive the old because it is old, or reject the new because it is new.  He will not believe men because they are dead, or contradict them because they are alive.  With him an utterance is worth the truth, the reason it contains, without the slightest regard to the author.  He may have been a king or serf – a philosopher or servant – but the utterance neither gains nor loses in truth or reason.  Its value is absolutely independent of the fame or station of the man who gave it to the world.

Robert G. Ingersoll

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A Thousand Years of NonLinear History

A Thousand Years of NonLinear History is a must read for anyone remotely interested in cylical or systems thinking.  To approach the history of mankind with the same model as a scientists approaches a thermodynamics problem could be one of the most ingenious ideas I’ve read to date.  De Landa walks you (through myriads of systems storytelling) into the philosophical world of Lavas and Magmas, Flesh and Genes, and Memes and Norms on a quest, not for optimum efficiency or evolutionary fitness, but for a moment or two of balance between the phase shifts that are our historic eras.     In my opinion, every scientist, designer and thinker should read this book – if only for the priveledge of following the thoughts of such a well-learned man.

Check out some of my favorite quotes, ideas and the loads of references I’ll be reading up on:

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