quora

The question assumes that 1) consciousness arises from a brain, and 2) electrochemical systems are something other than consciousness. In my understanding, both of those assumptions are problematic.

1) The view that consciousness cannot exist without the brain and/or that consciousness is purely a function of the brain is known philosophically as reductive materialism or The Mind/Brain Identity Theory.

As incredible as it sounds, there are some scientists who have reason to suspect that brain activity, while tightly correlated to our conscious experience most of the time, may not be correlated at all in some cases, and should not be assumed as the absolute cause of consciousness.

Here are some scientific links that I think support a skeptical position toward mind/brain identity theory:

  1. Long Term Memories May Not Be Stored In Synapses Afterall
  2. Consciousness Does Not Reside Here
  3. Is your brain really necessary?
  4. Recent findings force scientists to rethink the rules of neuroimaging
  5. Neural activity in the brain is harder to disrupt when we are aware of it
  6. Human Thought Can Voluntarily Control Neurons in Brain
  7. ‘Brain waves’ challenge area-specific view of brain activity
  8. Synchronized brains: Feeling strong emotions makes people’s brains 'tick together’
  9. Inducing Disbelief in Free Will Alters Brain Correlates of Preconscious Motor Preparation

Consciousness Independent of the Brain - Dr. Bruce Greyson


There are also studies that states states of consciousness which we might think of as heightened such as trance or psychedelic experience are associated with less brain activity rather than more.

  1. Neural correlates of the psychedelic state as determined by fMRI studies with psilocybin
  2. Neuroimaging during Trance State: A Contribution to the Study of Dissociation

2) If we admit that there is evidence to suggest that mind/brain identity is not as clear cut as it seems, then we can begin to take philosophical questions such as the hard problem of consciousness more seriously. We can ask 'what are flavors and colors, feelings, music, etc doing inside of an electrochemical system like the brain? Where are they? Why are they “here” in our subjective awareness but not “there” in the structures and functions of cells? How do we know that it is consciousness that arises from chemistry rather than chemistry which arises from the limitations of one frame of perception to access the whole of another? Could chemistry be an appearance within consciousness?

Certainly I’m *not* advocating a solipsistic view, where brain chemistry appears as a kind of personal dream, rather the evidence seems to fit better with awareness of some kind being what we are really seeing from a distance when we think that we’re looking at forces, fields, laws of nature, charge, symmetry, etc. Matter and energy could be a spatially and temporally shifted frame of reference in which subjective experience is collapsed into symbols, like in a dream. In a dream we might be worried about something which then 'manifests’ in a dream as a situation that dramatizes these worries. Characters and settings are realistically conjured up which represent subjective states.

The brain may be no more the cause of consciousness or awareness in general than the Latin alphabet is the cause of Shakespeare. Sure, Shakespeare used the alphabet to communicate his ideas, but the ideas themselves cannot be reduced to letters and syntax. This is why artificial intelligence has a problem…it necessarily approaches consciousness from the outside in, from the syntax of cognition or neurology rather than the fundamental qualities of perception upon which cognition is based.

In my view, the most important clue that we have as to the nature of consciousness is the existence of what is known as qualia. Qualia is a contentious term, especially for those who subscribe exclusively to mind/brain identity. It’s a word that sounds vague and made up, but it serves the purpose of addressing the distinction between what is known as neural correlates of consciousness (NCCs), such as changes in blood flow in the brain, opening of calcium ion channels in neurons, electrical spikes, etc, and our direct experiences, such as the flavor of a banana, the feeling of anger, etc.

Whether we think of the NCCs as the 'actual’ phenomenon or the aesthetic qualities (qualia) as the 'actual’ phenomena says more about our philosophical bias and the way that we think than it does about nature. When it comes down to it, even science is based on a subjective evaluation of our own perceptions. We can test our naive perceptions against measurements that we perceive to make with physical instruments, but we could dream of doing such tests as well. In a sense, philosophies such as panpsychism and idealism are actually more skeptical than mind-brain identity as they do not discriminate between the unreliability of our conscious experience in general and the unreliability of the same experiences when they happen to include 'scientific content’.

If we doubt our own sensation and awareness absolutely, then that would actually include all of our scientific knowledge as well, as it is derived from a perceptual and cognitive consensus of human investigation. Science is an experience just like music or hunger. If the world that we experience in our direct frame of reference is really an 'illusion’ or 'epiphenomenon’ of a deeper physical phenomenon that can only be known indirectly, then we have not eliminated our naive belief, we have only shifted it to naive belief in educated disbelief.

Princess Kaguya is based on a historical Japanese literary tale. Cultural significance and value aside, the subject matter and what Takahata did with the source material is nothing short of stunning. The film reads like something straight out of a fairy tale, retaining the essence of the source material, but with the addition of surprisingly feminist messages, something you’d not expect from a story set in hierarchical Japan. It does so subtly, with none of the in-your-face winking that comes across as overly-determined to be unconventional *coughfrozencough* In the end, Princess Kaguya harkens back to the golden age of Disney fairy tales, except without the sugar-coating and romance-centered plot. It is a refreshing break from fast paced smoke and mirrors of animated films today

I won’t pretend that I’m an expert in this field. I’m not a film critic, I’m just an 18 year old who happens to love animation. I will say again that I have nothing against Big Hero 6, which is wonderfully made. It is certainly deserving of recognition. It isn’t Disney’s fault that ignorant voters keep shoving awards their way, but it certainly isn’t fair for the other filmmakers whose work don’t even get considered because they aren’t mainstream enough, or, as one Academy voter said, “Freakin Chinese F*ckin things”.

Award shows are biased. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion, and maybe my favorite film of the year might be regarded as trash by many others. Voters for the Oscars, the most prestigious film award in the world, don’t have to appease the public, but they do owe it to the filmmakers, who put sweat and blood into their art, to at the very least judge the films by their own artistic merit. When the day comes that they do, I would say any film that wins is deserving of that award. Until a day comes, and as long as the Oscars remains an award for popularity instead of merit, I will continue NOT to care about who deserves an Oscar.

—  “Fredster” Chwong on why The Tale of The Princess Kaguya was deserving of an Oscar [LINK]
The Internet is Over

Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m just drawn to things on the internet that fill me with rage. My primary rage honeypot is Quora. They keep sending me these weekly digest emails and I have yet to unsubscribe because the lists of questions people are asking are like some glorious shipwreck.

I’ve gotta vent some of this anger. So join me and take a look at these assholes.

I sold my company five years ago and have built a net worth of ~$10 million, but compared to my friends I feel like a loser and still keep trying hard at startups that stress me out and make me miserable. What should I do?

Is it too late to start programming at 14 if I want to work at Google?

How can I make life miserable for my ex?

How do vegetarians feel about being made of meat?

My wife is infertile. Should I divorce her to marry someone else?

I manage a young startup company in the valley. My only employee is great but he is also a new father. Which means leaving work between 6 and 7 pm. I understand him but it’s hard for a startup that the commitment lasts for work hours only. What would you do as a CEO?

It’s been fun, everyone. But the internet is over. Actually, it might actually be that humanity is over and I’m just reading about it on the internet.

Edit: I decided this should be its own blog.

What does it feel like to live in a super-large house?

A number of interesting answers to this question have been posted at Quora, you can check them out for yourself here. Some excerpts:

Phil Zogran says he attended a mansion in Greenwich, Ct. and describes it as follows:

“Well, it feels luxurious and you feel powerful and free. You walk around in amazement at it’s beauty and strength while marveling at the architecture. You feel rich and secure surrounded by two foot thick walls and slate floors. Every other day I could sample a new bedroom. One could spend hours just exploring the different spaces imagining what each was meant to provide for. You could shout or the dog would bark and there would be a deep cavernous sound reverberating from the high ceilings and large rooms.”

An anonymous user who grew up in a mansion is particularly fond of the spaciousness:

“We also have a lot of space which I would consider wasted. For example, we have a front hallway that is as wide as some rooms - and it’s just used as a hallway and that’s it - it was really long too. But maybe that’s part of the magic of the house - the impracticality of having such a large space for no good purpose can almost feel relaxing - and expansive. I love it.

To me, I love the idea of spaciousness and the feeling that goes with that. There’s something really peaceful about that.”

Among many other interesting replies, Logan Forbes’ answer is espially detailed (but unfortunately refuses reproduction outside of Quora).

What are your experiences?

Quora: How To Ask Questions That Further Your Agenda

Posted by: Varda Epstein in Varda March 19, 2015

Pallywood propagandists have found a new front for brainwashing people to their cause. It’s called “Quora.”

For those of you unfamiliar with this social network, Quora is a place where one can ask and answer questions. It’s set up so that users can meta-blog, that is to say, you can use it like a blog. You have a lot of the bells and whistles you’d find on WordPress or Blogspot and you can incorporate media in your responses. Responses can be “upvoted” or “downvoted” and anyone can comment on responses.

I opened an account in 2009, when Quora was still new. I thought I’d try it out and if I liked it, fine. If not, so no biggie. Nothing ventured nothing gained, right?

Back then, I mostly answered questions about food and babies and Pittsburgh. You can list your areas of expertise and then people can choose you to answer their questions. If you answer questions on a specific topic often enough, you become known as an expert on that topic.

At some point, Quora began sending me digests via email. I’d scan the contents and delete. But one day, something caught my eye in a digest, a question about Israel that was obviously written to assert an anti-Israel agenda.

Now I see stuff like that and it burns me up. I have to answer.

And so I did.

Do Israelis and Palestinians both eat hummus? IS THE POPE CATHOLIC?

Eventually, Quora came to see me as an “expert” on Israel and on “Palestine” which meant that I am now listed as someone who can answer questions on these topics. But really, sometimes the questions are so ridiculous I can’t treat them seriously, as was the case with this question: Do Israelis and Palestinians both eat hummus?

I mean, COME. ON. That one is so transparent it can’t possibly be anything but a pretext for asserting that:

A) Israelis and “Palestinians”are both human and therefore we should make peace with each other
B) Israelis stole “Palestinian” food culture
C) They are “Palestinians,” not “Arabs”

“A” would be the pretext of leftist Jews. “B” would be the pretext of those who are anti-Israel. “C” would be those seeking to delegitimize Jewish claims of indigineity to Israel through the use of misleading words and phrases.

I feel it’s important to answer these questions so as not to let the lies dangle there in this very public forum where sheeple who do not know better will just swallow the false assertions whole. So I answer them as best I can. Now this is something anyone can do. Which is the reason I’m writing about it here; to tell you that if you have a knack for confronting these &^*@#%$, please open a Quora account and get cracking.

To that end, I’ve decided that I will share here on Israellycool, the Quora questions I answer, by way of illustrating how you can actively help Israel through this particular social network. If you’ve got an internet connection and access to Google, you can do this just as well as anyone else. Not sure of the facts? Look it up. Find the facts and use them in your fact-based responses to their lies. By way of example, here’s a question from last night:

Q: Why are so many Israeli nationalists opposed to Sweden’s recognition of Palestine?

My answer:


We wouldn’t have any objection if they’d build their state in the territories already given to them for this purpose, for instance Transjordan (77% of the original territory promised to the Jews for a Jewish National Home as per the Balfour Declaration and the San Remo Conference), Gaza (from which 8,500 Jews were expelled in order to gift the territory to the so-called Palestinians for their state), or in the Sinai (which Egyptian President Sisi recently offered to the so-called Palestinians for their state, an offer that was rejected out of hand).

Unfortunately, it isn’t about recognition of a state called Palestine. That isn’t what they want. What they want is for the Jews to be expelled from Israel and they want the territory for themselves, lock, stock, and barrel. They don’t acknowledge archaeological artifacts, history, and accounts in both the bible and the Quran suggesting Jewish indigeneity in the territory now called Israel. They don’t acknowledge a state called Israel. They don’t acknowledge any form of Jewish rights to the territory.

They say this frequently in their PA funded television fare and on television talk shows. Their clerics blare it in their mosques, and they prove it by refusing every offer Israel has ever made to settle the Arab war against the Jews. Even when Ehud Barak offered to cede parts of Jerusalem and to offer the Arabs full autonomy over the Temple Mount, the holiest Jewish site dating back to before Mohammed was a twinkle in his mother’s eyes, Yassir Arafat, negotiating for the Arabs, refused.

They want the whole thing. And until they get it, they will shoot rockets at Jews, run them over at bus stops, stab them in the streets of Jerusalem, damage the Jerusalem light rail system to the tune of millions of dollars, and cry foul when Israel defends itself.
It’s all a crock of propaganda, which many of us have taken to calling “Pallywood.”

Recognize them all you want. But then what are you going to do about recognizing Israel? What part are you going to let the Jews have? And what will your God say about it if you say the Jews have no right to the territory He gave them, both according to the bible AND the Quran?
Keep in mind also, that Israel is surrounded by 22 Arab states. Rich states, loaded with oil and wealth. Is there some reason they can’t take in their brethren?

That’s a rhetorical question. Because we know that Sisi did exactly that only a few short months ago, and the Arabs refused, because it’s not about statehood and never was. It’s about coveting what belongs to the Jews.
Furthermore, more Jews were expelled from Arab nations than the number of Arab refugees created by the war the Arabs inflicted on Israel in 1947. a full 860,000 Jews were thrown out of Arab nations and they were not allowed to take their savings with them.

The nascent state of Israel took them in. But there was no population exchange as is usual when there are conflicts over territory. The Arab states kept their refugee brethren refugees in perpetuity, to keep the lie alive, that they deserved their own state on Israeli territory.

This is why Israelis have a problem with Sweden recognizing “Palestine.” “Palestine” is a myth that takes away recognition of Jewish rights to the Jews’ indigenous lands. It’s a ploy to destroy the Jewish state. It’s a ploy to prevent the settlement of an old conflict THEY started and refuse to settle in a properly dignified manner, no matter how much land Israel cedes for the sake of peace. Because they don’t want this settled in any way that allows a Jewish presence to remain in Jewish territory. Because they don’t acknowledge that Jews are human beings who deserve respect.

Recognize them all you want, but recognize them on territory they already have. Otherwise, I’m afraid your antisemitism will be showing.

Thus far, a woman with a typically Arab surname is commenting on my response, trying to get the ball back into the anti-Israel/leftist/Arab corner. This happens. When it does, you just keep answering with facts and eventually they give up and go troll someone else.

That’s a win for our side.

What do residents of Hawaii know that most people don't?

  • There are no billboards in Hawaii
  • People from Hawaii (of non-Hawaiian ancestry) generally do not like being referred to as Hawaiian.  Hawaiian refers to the indigenous Polynesian people of the Hawaiian Islands or their descendants.  I think it is sometimes said by mainlanders in the same context of how someone could be Californian, but the two differing meanings are too easily confused and misinterpreted.
  • That flip flops are called slippers (pronounced slippas)
  • There are two Hawaiian holidays that are observed statewide; Prince Kuhio Day (March 26) and Kamehameha Day (June 11), both of which honor Hawaiian royalty of the past
  • That it will rain at a moment’s notice, rain hard for five minutes, then be sunny again immediately after (as if it never rained at all)
  • That Hawaii is the only state in the United States whose land mass is still growing (due to volcanic activity)
  • There are no snakes in Hawaii
  • That the “w” (in the Hawaiian language) sometimes has a “v” sound, depending upon usage.  Hawaii is properly pronounced Ha-vai-ee.  But when people thank you for correcting them, you shouldn’t say “You’re Velcome.”
  • Never make fun of Samoans, no matter how tempting.  Ever.
  • People from Hawaii love Las Vegas.  If you visit the California or Fremont hotels (in downtown Las Vegas), you’ll probably see more people from Hawaii than anywhere else on the planet (other than Hawaii, of course)
  • Pidgin English (a local broken-English dialect) is not easily imitated by people who did not grow up speaking it.  If a mainlander tries to speak it, it will hit a nerve on the back of the locals’ necks
  • Pupu means appetizer.  I know, I know, where you come from, it means ‘shit’.
  • Always remove your shoes before entering someone’s home
  • Hawaii is the only state in the US that grows coffee
  • There is no concept of Daylight Saving Time in Hawaii
  • It has the highest population of Japanese Americans in all 50 states, about 17 percent
  • Hawaii’s state fish is likely unpronouncable by most people.  It is called Humuhumunukunukuapua'a (now say it three times real fast)
  • There is only one area code in Hawaii, 808, but you still need to dial it for long distance calls to other islands
  • Aloha means both hello or goodbye
  • Hawaii is the most isolated, populated place on Earth, literally in the middle of nowhere.  2,400 miles from California and 3,800 miles from Japan
  • The Hawaiian alphabet consists of only thirteen letters, the shortest alphabet in the world. The five vowels are A,E,I,O,U. The seven consonants are H,K,L,M,N,P,W, and the glottal stop (looks similar to an apostrophe ), called an okina [‘], is considered a thirteenth letter.
  • Hawaii consumes six times more Spam than the national average (in the US)
  • It is not uncommon to refer to an unrelated elder as Aunty or Uncle [1]
  • The island of Lanai (which Larry Ellison recently purchased) was once the home of the largest pineapple plantation in the world, at one time producing 75% of the world’s supply of pineapples
  • The third Friday of August is Statehood Day, which celebrates Hawaii becoming part of the Untied States (in 1959)

[1] See also Why do people from Hawaii call their unrelated elders “Auntie” and “Uncle”?

Incidentally, addressing one of the question details, if you try to walk on molten lava, you will undoubtedly burn to death.  That stuff is pretty hot.

Read other answers by Garrick Saito on Quora:Read more answers on Quora.

via Quora http://ift.tt/1FWJ40Z
El escritor que no escribe

Hace poco leí en Quora una pregunta que decía, más o menos así:

Soy talentoso, ambicioso y creativo, recien despedido de mi empleo por razones fuera de mi control, pero no encuentro la motivación para empezar mi propio startup ¿Qué hago?

Inmediatamente me recordó lo que contaba un escritor en Twitter, no recuerdo quién exactamente, acerca de que se había encontrado a un sujeto que decia que era escritor, pero que no había escrito nada en cinco años y le preguntó ¿qué podía hacer?

La respuesta, era naturalmente que podía:

  • Ponerse a escribir, porque si no había escrito nada en cinco años ¿cómo en el mundo podía decir que era escritor si no realizaba la actividad que define a un escritor?
  • Aceptar que llamarse a sí mismo escritor no era más que una fantasía porque ¿cómo en el mundo podía decir que era escritor si no realizaba la actividad que define a un escritor?

Es como decir que eres futbolista y no haber jugado un partido de fútbol en años. O que eres herrero y no has hecho nada con metal en años. O… esa es la idea.

En el caso del talentoso, ambicioso y creativo emprendedor que no había emprendido nada, quizás, lo mejor que podía hacer era dejar de imaginar que posee cualidades sobresalientes y que, ay, sólo le falta motivación para que el mundo se entere de ellas y ponerse a hacer algo.

Entre las respuestas alguien comentó que cuando pasados los años, nadie va a juzgar a nuestro talentoso, ambicioso y creativo autor de la pregunta por todos los planes, fantasías e ilusiones que se hizo, sino por aquellas cosas que realizó. Lo cual es duro, pero cierto.

Por supuesto, el mejor consejo que recibió fue que dejara de perder tiempo buscando el apoyo moral de desconocidos en el internet y empezara a hacer algo, lo que fuera. Si le parecía muy difícil empezar su propio startup, que empezara por algo más fácil, como encontrar un empleo. O asear su casa. O lo que fuera. Algo.

Soñar no cuesta ningún esfuerzo… por lo mismo, no da ningún resultado.

ASK ME SOME QUESTIONS!
  1. What’s your name?
  2. Given the choice of anyone in the world, alive or dead whom would you want to have a meaningful conversation with?
  3. Would you like to be famous? In what way?
  4. Before making a phone call, do you ever rehearse what you’re going to say? Why?
  5. What would constitute a perfect day for you?
  6. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
  7. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 25 year old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you choose?
  8. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?
  9. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common?
  10. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
  11. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
  12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained one quality or ability, what would it be?
  13. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?
  14. Is there something that you’ve dreamt of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?
  15. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
  16. What do you value most in a friendship?
  17. What is your most treasured memory?
  18. What is your most terrible memory?
  19. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?
  20. What does friendship mean to you?
  21. What roles do love and affection play in your life?
  22. How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s?
  23. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?
  24. What is your meaning of life?
  25. What’s a naughty* thing you have done as a kid? As an adult?
  26. If you were going to become intimate with your partner, what would be important for him or her to know?
  27. What do you like about yourself? Hate about yourself?
  28. What’s the most embarrassing moment in your life.
  29. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?
  30. Are you getting annoyed by my questions already? On a scale of 1-10, how annoyed are you? Do you get annoyed easily?
  31. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?
  32. If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven’t you told them yet?
  33. Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?
  34. Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?
  35. Why do you think America’s healthcare is not as good as Britain’s or Canada’s?
  36. When is the last time you called in sick?
  37. Didn’t your mom ever tell you not to talk to strangers?
  38. What are you on?
  39. What’s your favorite time of day?
  40. What was your New Year’s resolution this year? How long did it take you to break it?
  41. What is your biggest regret?
  42. What’s the last thing you ate?
  43. What’s the last impulse buy you made?
  44. What was the last thing that made you feel like an idiot?
  45. What did you get for Christmas last year?
  46. Why don’t we take the day off and go to the beach?
  47. What would come up on a Google search of your name?
  48. When and where was your best vacation?
  49. What’s the strangest dream you’ve ever had?
  50. What’s the last event you dressed up for?
  51. What color hair do you prefer in the opposite sex?
  52. What’s the most expensive thing you have on right now?
  53. Who is your role model?
  54. If you could only wear one color for the rest of your life, which color would it be?
  55. Why don’t they make mouse-flavored cat food?
  56. What’s your favorite memory?
  57. Do bald people use soap or shampoo on their head?
  58. What are your nicknames?
  59. What’s the plural form of mongoose?
  60. What’s the funniest thing you’ve heard today?
  61. Why do you press harder on the remote when you know it’s the battery that’s going dead?
  62. What’s the color of your toothbrush?
  63. Why do we answer the phone with “Hello” when the better answer would be “Who is this”?
  64. If quizzes are quizzical then what are tests?
  65. What’s your ringtone?
  66. So do you have a crush on someone right now?
  67. What are your nervous habits?
  68. Do you like sushi?
  69. When was the last time you sat and looked at the stars?
  70. Do you ever spit?
  71. How do you feel about long distance relationships?
  72. Where are your ticklish spots?
  73. How often do you cook your own food?
  74. Do you have any pets? What are their names?
  75. So what brand of underwear are you wearing?
  76. When was the last time you drank a bottle of alcohol by yourself?
  77. Have you ever regretted loving someone?
  78. When was the last time you were super happy?
  79. On a scale of 1 to 10, how happy are you with your life right now?
  80. Do you prefer the sunrise or sunset?
  81. Have you ever been in a car accident?
  82. What kind of fashion sense attracts you?
  83. What’s your favorite hair style on a woman?
  84. Are you afraid to ask people out on dates?
  85. What’s the usual age range you look at for dates?
  86. What are the positive parts of being single?
  87. What are the negative parts of being single?
  88. How well do you handle rejection?
  89. What’s the longest relationship you’ve ever been in?
  90. How do you handle disagreements?
  91. Would you prefer to have 5 acquaintances or 1 friend?
  92. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  93. What’s the worst that could happen?
  94. Something about the surroundings of wherever you are.
  95. What are the most interesting things to see in your country?
  96. What do you think of the weather?
  97. If they are married or have a significant other, I ask how the two met.
  98. If we are meeting in a work capacity, I always ask how they got into that field or position
  99. How highly do you rate personality in someone else?
  100. Ask me a random question :)
Amazon door desks

Amazon used to have a bunch of desks made out of doors to convey a sense of “frugality” and startup-ness to its employees. This was around the time Jeff Bezos first started the company. Some are still in use today, but less so. Ironically enough, it turns out that these desks are actually pretty expensive and were more chosen for culture than as a cost-savings measure.

[Quora]

How can I make my life simpler?

There is some excellent advice from Calvin & Hobbes on this subject:

(Disclaimer: All the comic strips (including characters: Calvin & Hobbes) used are attributed to Bill Watterson and I am not the owner of  comic strips or the  content in them)


1) Learn More swear words

Calvin: Life’s disappointments are harder to take when you don’t know any swear words.


2) Don’t be too harsh on yourself!


3) Know thyself. May be you are too cool for the world!


4) Try having an alter-ego. Makes you all powerful and life much simpler :)


5) Life needs its cheap thrills .


6) Ignorance is bliss. Lesser you know, the lesser problems you see


7) At times all you need is “A swift kick in the butt” to see life in a saner perspective.

Its totally  worth the dollar. Admit it, you need it :)

8) Remind yourself that you really don’t need A LOT  to be happy.


9) Get Unstuck. Just got one life to live. 


10) Finally, lets remember why we are here. To explore!




Update: I  felt the urge to explain my answer since some Quorans might dismiss this answer as more of a joke and not the serious answer that they were looking for.

So first off let me start by pointing out that its no co-incidence that Bill Waterson decided to name his cartoon characters after the  18th Century philosophers Calvin & Hobbes. Under the  humorous exterior Bill Waterson doles out some serious advise through them. If you scrape the surface you would see what I mean.
 
Some of the advise in the above answer may be intuitive, other may not make that much sense.  Below I make an attempt to explain the ones that perhaps aren’t that obvious:
 
a) Learn more swear words - To me this is all about being yourself and moving on. Disappointments happen to everyone but few know how not to look back and move on. If swearing helps, so be it :)
 
b) Try having an alter-ego. This one is a favorite of mine. You might wonder how can that help. But then think again. What are role models after all… but an additional source of belief and faith that the “goal” you have set out to achieve!  Also, I can’t think of a better example than that of Steve Jobs using the “Pirates” symbolism to inspire his Apple team to go create stuff beyond the ordinary.
 
c) Other advise: “Don’t be too harsh on yourself”, “ Life Needs its cheap thrills” and “Ignorance is Bliss”:
These  to me  are just  different  ways to say that  “Don’t take life too seriously!"  and be happy. I, personally, find it extremely difficult to work productively if I am NOT HAPPY! When I am happy the main motivation to work is not that I am reprimanding my self for not measuring up to my self-defined standards, or fear/external pressure,  or any such negative emotion. Its simply the pleasure that I draw from work.  Then its almost like writing an answer on Quora.. :)

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