Sunday reading links (August 30th 2020)

Here are more interesting things I have read in this edition of #SundayReading.

1. There's something called Second-system effect. I have lived it, and I never knew it was already known phenomenon.

The second-system effect (also known as second-system syndrome) is the tendency of small, elegant, and successful systems, to be succeeded by over-engineered, bloated systems, due to inflated expectations and overconfidence.

2. Mario Vargas Llosa won Nobel Prize in Literature way back in 2010. During one of Nobel laureate meetings he gave a speech titled Confessions of a Latin American Liberal. Powerful and always worth re-reading.

By agreeing to live with those who are different, human beings took the most extraordinary step on the road to civilization.

A view

3. The great disillusionist, reminds of Giacomo Leopardi, a famous Italian.

One can measure the extent of a society’s civilisation by the diversity of opinion it is willing to countenance.

4. Robert Anton Wilson is an author whose time is yet to come, I believe. Here's one of his interviews, and I'll select an answer to a question What are the fundamentalists afraid of? He said:

Themselves. What they’re afraid of is change. One etymology of “devil” traces it to “double.” It’s the shadow, the repressed part of the self. What they’re afraid of is what Freud called the unconscious: parts of their nervous system which they have blocked off from conscious perception. The only way they know how to handle it is the traditional human way of picking scapegoats and ritually driving them over a cliff. You can study how widespread this phenomena is by studying anthropological texts. The fact is we’re living at the time of the greatest acceleration of change in human history, and it’s not letting up: the acceleration itself is accelerating. The rate of change is getting faster all the time. So people with rigid mental sets, people whose nervous systems are heavily imprinted with a past reality, for them the world gets to seem stranger and stranger and therefore more and more sinister, more and more frightening. This is why the average liberal becomes a conservative within about 10 years. His nervous system isn’t changing any more but the world is. So the world begins to seem stranger and more frightening and he begins to see “those conservatives have got something there; there’s something sinister going on. We’ve got to slow down a little. Let’s not get too reckless.” And of course in 20 years he’s a reactionary.

Happy reading, until the next time.