User:Gun Powder Ma
Range of topics
- History of pre-industrial technology
- History of architecture
- History of writing
- History of navigation
- Military history
Outlook on the nature of discussions:
- In some ways the observance of rules and the using of criteria resemble the employment of spectacles. We look through them but not at them. (Gilbert Ryle)
- Contra principia negantem non est disputandum (approx. "It is not possible to argue with someone who negates the principles of communication/of a discussion".) (Latin phrase)
- Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth. (Gandhi)
- The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. (Bertrand Russell)
- A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. (Winston Churchill)
- In the name of tolerance we should claim the right to not tolerate intolerance. (Karl Popper)
Outlook on history:
- Happy the people whose annals are boring to read. (Montesquieu)
- Insanity in individuals is something rare - but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. (Friedrich Nietzsche)
Outlook on military history:
- When they make a desert, they call it peace. (Tacitus)
- Si vis pacem, para bellum. ("If you seek peace, prepare for war.") (Vegetius)
- The only reason why the Roman Empire stopped expanding is because Chuck Norris said that it had gone far enough. (Chuck Norris facts)
- No quarter to fanatics.
- Be polite, but avoid political correctness.
- Don't be an appeaser, don't be a warlord.
- Have fun at Wiki, because otherwise it is not worth it.
- For conjecture there is the whole Internet, but Wiki is for facts.
- The opinion that everything is subjective is also a subjective opinion.
- The opinion that everything is subjective allows for one exception. Itself.
- Be reasonable, stay open minded, but don't shy away from coming to conclusions.
- Life is short and Wikipedia's huge, and whatever we are contributing here, in a hundred year's time, or perhaps already tomorrow, nobody will give a damn about, so let's try to be nice to one another and have a good time.
Personal observations at Wiki:
- Put two people in a room, and you will get out three opinions.
- Political correctness does not solve problems, it ignores them.
- Keeping a balanced view does not mean that the hypothesis that the earth is flat is to be presented as equally plausible. It does not mean that the denial of the holocaust deserves half of the article's space. Is does not mean to merely 'list' views indiscriminately without considering their intrinsic value. It means that facts and arguments should be presented according to their truthfulness, accuracy and verifiability, even if this effectively means the virtual exclusion of other 'ideas'.
- Presenting a multitude of different angles on subjects often leads paradoxically to less objectivity, since it buries the more viable standpoints among the lesser ones and tends to treat all views indiscriminately.
- There are lies, damned lies and Wikipedia maps of ancient empires.
- Truth at Wiki is sometimes a function of the willingness to make reverts.
- For edit-warring, it takes only one user, but for finding a solution both.
- Everyone is biased, but people who are aware of their biases are usually less so.
- "Eurocentrism" is usually the convenient blame by which another ethnocentrism tries to sneak in.
- Mottos suck, lets get down to business. ;-)
The rise of the robots and the bleak future of mankind
I am glad to discover that the Unabomber ranks among the 1000 most read Wikipedia articles because it tells me he hits a nerve with people. And I believe he is right overall: his pessimistic outview is the most realistic and radical solutions are required to save humanity from being superseded by the machines. The fastest developing species on earth by a ridiculously huge margin have been for many decades now robots, computers and artificial intelligence (AI). They started on a very low basis but they are developing exponentially. It is only a matter of time when their evolution curve will cut ours and the minute we are relegated to the second most intelligent race on earth, our fate has been taken from our hands. As for Wikipedia, it takes no genius to foresee that the wisdom of mankind arduously collected here will be tapped by AI and used coldly against us.
So if you want to know about the real important stuff, not just what you consider important in Wikipedia, read this:
- The sceptic outview: Why The Future Doesn't Need Us (Text) by Bill Joy
- The apocalyptic outview: Industrial Society and Its Future, by Ted Kaczynski
- The positive outview: The Age of Spiritual Machines, The Age of Intelligent Machines, The Singularity Is Near by Ray Kurzweil
When real men wore long hair...
One World. One Dream. Free Tibet 2008
Bob Marley, poet and a prophet
Marcus Crassus, a Roman face through and through
- Quite amusing: 1859: The Year a Masterful Chinese Chef Established the Celebration of Thanksgiving
- Tremendous Edit for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Boratistan
Hall of pretty intelligent comments
Trying to archive here a rare animal on Wiki, intelligent observations:
- On designations such as "ancient" and "medieval"
- Difference between presenting a neutral point of view, and being 'neutral'
- Not every fact tag makes sense...
Yes, I love bridges, and if bridges were women, they would love me, too. The following selection concentrates on extraordinary, but less well-known bridges, just to please the eye and calm the mind.
Pont Julien, France – timeless
Pont Flavien, France – majestic
Römerbrücke, Germany – supreme
Eleutherna Bridge, Greece – archaic
Pont-Saint-Martin, Italy – daring
Pons Cestius, Italy – patient
Puente Romano, Spain – limitless
Eurymedon Bridge, Turkey – undiscovered
Kemer Bridge, Turkey – Mediterranean