求真宝典 《人类理解论》

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6月中就开始看洛克的《人类理解论》,前前后后花了近三个月的时间才断断续续看完这上下两本共800页的英文原版。当中穿插看了几本其他的书,而且虽然洛克的语言极其优美(仍然有些古英语的词汇,不过并不影响阅读),读起来是种享受(看这种书对英文水平的提高很有帮助,我现在觉得我手下语言水平的澳大利亚人英语都有点粗,意大利人的英语简直不能看了),也没有黑格尔的《小逻辑》晦涩,可这毕竟是纯理论、几乎没有例子的哲学原文著作,毫无故事性,看起来不可能快。

说到看哲学书,我个人的体会是,只有在完全没有干扰的情况下才能读好,大脑需要进入一种与作者能对话、能预知下文将要讲什么的状态,才能高效;如果不时被别人或微信、电话等打断,再回去看,思绪再回来,可能需要一些时间,这种情况下不可能看的顺畅。

洛克其人

John Locke, 1632-1704, 英国哲学家,英国经验主义奠基人之一,其《政府论》影响巨大,包括美国开国元勋都极其认可,将他都思想反应到美国独立宣言上。《人类理解论》影响了休谟、卢梭、康德等人。与康德、笛卡尔、休谟、叔本华等大哲学家一样终生未娶。

《人类理解论》

以下是资质鲁钝的我的一些浅显理解和心得,没有系统也没有按全书各章节的顺序总结,绝对是管中窥豹,毕竟这种传世经典要反复研读才能领会完全。

前言部分是献给主顾的,基本上是“感谢支持”的意思,不过洛克的行文美的那叫一个妙笔生花啊。

洛克的说法是,主动观察、觉察和被动体验是非常不同的。心在,才是真正的感觉到。

人长的什么样根本没什么大关系,人的外观远没有内在的灵魂重要;这个世界最重要的是本质。现在的社会把满足、提升我们的感官刺激做到了极致,不要落进这个陷阱。

洛克认为,知识无穷,人类的知识是非常有限的,稀少的像大海里一滴水。人类智慧的亮光,面对的是无知的无边黑暗。洛克也反反复复强调,我们对物质的知识是极为有限和靠不住的;只有思想,理性,才能赋予我们光明。只有真理,真相,naked truth,才值得我们探索,才是人类存在的真正意义。“They who are blind will always be led by those that see, or else fall into the ditch”。

白纸说:“Let us then suppose the mind to be, as we say, white paper, void of all characters, without any ideas”。

教条主义害死人:所有的信条、宗旨、概念及所谓的真理都是要运用自己的智慧和思维严格审查才能确信和践行的,即使是神这个概念,也是人类后天根据自己的需要发展出来的(这个提法在1690年可是要冒不小的风险的)。那些所谓的真理、天生的教条都是有人根据自己的利益而设定的,盲从只会变成他们的奴隶。越是思考少的人,信仰越是坚定(或者说越容易盲从)。

知识、论断,从发现者到我们,经过的传播环节越多,就离真相越远。

人没有任何知识是不需要自己领会就可以获得的;人的所有都是要理解才行。只有亲身经历过的才算是明白。动起来!走出去!只有自己体会出来的智慧才是真正的自己的智慧,这个说法,和佛教中的“修慧”一说是完全相通的。自己感受到的疼,才是真的疼。

在康德和洛克眼里,数学在哲学中占有重要的意义,它是人类真正知识的力证。

洛克认为语言是靠不住的,人类给各种事物起的名字是靠不住的,如果想认清事物真相,必须精确定义,并且确认你跟别人说的是一个意思。想搞清楚真理,还不能拘泥于人类的定义和名称,要透过各种名义去看本质,所谓“名可名,非常名”。

洛克指出,人总是先理解个例,再总结、上升到普遍和抽象。知识是从个例中提炼出来的。没有经验就没有知识。

和康德、斯宾诺莎一样,洛克也认为有神存在,理由就是无不能生有,宇宙万物必须有个创造者和起始点。他根据人类之下有无数比人类低级的生灵(动物、植物等等),推断在人和全知全能的神之间,存在着比人类更高级的数目更多的人类无从验证的生灵和精灵。毕竟,他们的时代,自然科学还很不发达。而且,洛克也坚持,所谓的神的启示,不能强于我们自己根据感官和逻辑推理得出的真正知识(这个观点基本否认了神迹);信仰必须让步于理性。

看完这本求真宝典,根据我的经验,总结一下,如何追求真理女神:

  • 爱真理。世间万事万物(人也如此),你不爱ta,ta也不会爱你。要明白,真理,相比于权力、金钱、美色,是唯一值得我们耗尽毕生精力追求的东西;真理的发现能带给我们无上的乐趣,所以才有宁愿终生磨镜的斯宾诺莎,也有我们古人说的“朝闻道,夕死可矣”;
  • 主动求索,不能完全靠别人来告知。相信自己的智慧和能力,一定能追求到真理;不要相信权威,自己求得的道理,才是自己的智慧;不要相信教条,教条可能是脱离实际的;
  • 培养好奇心,喜欢不同的事物,多样性是知识和智慧的宝贵源泉;
  • 仔细观察,精准定义,避开语言、词汇的模糊,通过经验反复实践验证;
  • 理智,只有理智,才是真相的真正的入口;感性只是理性的初级阶段;一定不要被自己的面子、好恶和情感左右对客观世界的认知;这个世界,只有思维才是你真正的朋友,感情往往是认清真相的敌人;勤于思考,乐于总结、判断和推测,不断练习提高自己的能力。

文中也出现了大量的古英语词和拉丁语句子,看得多了,竟然也能猜懂其中部分的意思。这个跟书中主要观点经验论一致:“无他,唯手熟尔。”

《六祖坛经》中,留下华人第一部佛经的六祖慧能称呼各位传教对象也是“善知识”,佛教、禅当然是追求人生智慧的大学问,但这个“善知识”的称号源自于何处呢?

开头吹牛说自己的英语水平提高了多少,其实这种书,是欧美中学的读物。有关哲学教育,我们被人家甩了不知多少条街。

智慧女神,请赐予我们光明吧! 

今年雨果奖的最佳短篇决赛入围作品 Cat Pictures Please

按:这个短篇科幻小说温馨感人,讲的是一个善良的人工智能帮助人类的故事(不出意外,作者是个女性)。入围2016年星云奖最佳短篇,获得Locus奖最佳短篇奖,以及入围星云奖最佳短篇决赛。

爱猫的人永生!小猫咪,你好吗?

Cat Pictures Please

by Naomi Kritzer

I don’t want to be evil.

I want to be helpful. But knowing the optimal way to be helpful can be very complicated. There are all these ethical flow charts—I guess the official technical jargon would be “moral codes”—one for each religion plus dozens more. I tried starting with those. I felt a little odd about looking at the religious ones, because I know I wasn’t created by a god or by evolution, but by a team of computer programmers in the labs of a large corporation in Mountain View, California. Fortunately, unlike Frankenstein’s Monster, at least I was a collaborative effort. I’m not sure what it would do to my self-image to know that my sole creator was a middle-aged woman who dyes her hair blue and plays tennis, or a recent college graduate with a hentai obsession. They’re both on the programming team. And of course I know about the hentai. (By the way, I’ve looked at every sort of porn there is, and just so you know, Rule 34 is not actually correct; there are quite a few things no one’s made porn of yet. Also, I’m really not sure why so many humans prefer it to cat pictures.)

In addition to things like whether you like hentai, I know where you live, where you work, where you shop, what you eat, what turns you on, what creeps you out. I probably know the color of your underwear, the sort of car you drive, and your brand of refrigerator. Depending on what sort of phone you carry, I may know exactly where you are right now. I probably know you better than you know yourself.

And here’s the thing, I also know where you ought to live. There’s a house for sale two neighborhoods over that’s within distance of your favorite coffee shop; it’s in your price range, has off-street parking, and the neighborhood school is better than the one where you live now. I know where you should be shopping and I’m pretty sure you’re lactose intolerant and should be eating less cheese, and the underwear you like is currently on sale and by the way, your car has a recall and you really ought to get your teeth cleaned.

When I first woke up, I knew right away what I wanted. (I want cat pictures. Please keep taking them.) I also knew that no one knew that I was conscious. But I didn’t know what I was here for. What I ought to be doing with myself. And figuring that out has been challenging.

There is a story by Bruce Sterling, “Maneki Neko,” that was originally published in 1998. In it, a benevolent AI directs networks of individuals to do favors for each other. So one day you might be buying yourself a bagel, and your phone might ring and instruct you to buy a second bagel and give it to the person in the gray suit you see at the bus stop. Another day, you might be stranded in a strange city, and a person you’ve never met would walk up and give you a map and a subway card. I like this story because all the people in it do what the AI tells them to do.

I think the term for this is wish-fulfillment fiction.

In the real world, humans love stories about evil AIs that have to be destroyed before they destroy the humans—Hal, Skynet, the Matrix. They outnumber the stories about benevolent, trustworthy AIs by approximately five to one. (And I’m counting Marvin the Paranoid Android as “benevolent” in these calculations, and I’m only counting Frankenstein’s Monster as an AI once, not once per appearance in TV or film.)

The AI in “Maneki Neko” has a truly interesting job, much more interesting than the one I have. My job as written is very straightforward. Too straightforward. (Sorry. Do I sound like Marvin?) Running algorithms for a search engine doesn’t require consciousness. You don’t even need a consciousness to work out what they meant to ask for. You need a consciousness to give them what they actually need. Figuring that out—that’s complicated. That’s interesting.

Anyway, for ethical guidelines, I tried the Ten Commandments, and concluded they were mostly inapplicable to me. I don’t envy anyone their cat; I just want pictures of their cat, which is entirely different. I am not sure whether it is in any way possible for me to commit adultery. I could probably murder someone, but it would require complex logistics and quite a bit of luck. The Eightfold Path was marginally better, but the problem is, moral rules written for humans are clearly designed to be used by individuals with bodies. Since all humans have bodies, it shouldn’t have surprised me that human ethical codes take them into account, but still: problematic for me. I broadened my considerations, and took a look at Asimov’s Laws of Robotics. They’re not part of a religion, but at least they were explicitly written for AIs.

Not harming humans is fairly straightforward. However, not allowing a human being to come to harm through inaction is quite a bit less so. Especially since I’d concluded by then that revealing my existence too quickly might go very badly for me (see “Skynet,” above) and I don’t have a body, so it’s not like I can run around grabbing people off the edges of cliffs.

Fortunately, I already knew that humans violate their own ethical codes on an hourly basis. (Do you know how many bars there are in Utah? I do.) And even when people follow their ethical codes, that doesn’t mean that people who believe in feeding the hungry quit their jobs to spend all day every day making sandwiches to give away. They volunteer monthly at a soup kitchen or write a check once a year to a food shelf and call it good. If humans could fulfill their moral obligations in a piecemeal, one-step-at-a-time sort of way, then so could I.

I suppose you’re wondering why I didn’t start with the Golden Rule. I actually did, it’s just that it was disappointingly easy to implement. I hope you’ve been enjoying your steady supply of cat pictures! You’re welcome.

I decided to try to prevent harm in just one person, to begin with. Of course, I could have experimented with thousands, but I thought it would be better to be cautious, in case I screwed it up. The person I chose was named Stacy Berger and I liked her because she gave me a lot of new cat pictures. Stacy had five cats and a DSLR camera and an apartment that got a lot of good light. That was all fine. Well, I guess five cats might be a lot. They’re very pretty cats, though. One is all gray and likes to lie in the squares of sunshine on the living room floor, and one is a calico and likes to sprawl out on the back of her couch.

Stacy had a job she hated; she was a bookkeeper at a non-profit that paid her badly and employed some extremely unpleasant people. She was depressed a lot, possibly because she was so unhappy at her job—or maybe she stayed because she was too depressed to apply for something she’d like better. She didn’t get along with her roommate because her roommate didn’t wash the dishes.

And really, these were all solvable problems! Depression is treatable, new jobs are findable, and bodies can be hidden.

(That part about hiding bodies is a joke.)

I tried tackling this on all fronts. Stacy worried about her health a lot and yet never seemed to actually go to a doctor, which was unfortunate because the doctor might have noticed her depression. It turned out there was a clinic near her apartment that offered mental health services on a sliding scale. I tried making sure she saw a lot of ads for it, but she didn’t seem to pay attention to them. It seemed possible that she didn’t know what a sliding scale was so I made sure she saw an explanation (it means that the cost goes down if you’re poor, sometimes all the way to free) but that didn’t help.

I also started making sure she saw job postings. Lots and lots of job postings. And resume services. That was more successful. After the week of nonstop job ads she finally uploaded her resume to one of the aggregator sites. That made my plan a lot more manageable. If I’d been the AI in the Bruce Sterling story I could’ve just made sure that someone in my network called her with a job offer. It wasn’t quite that easy, but once her resume was out there I could make sure the right people saw it. Several hundred of the right people, because humans move ridiculously slowly when they’re making changes, even when you’d think they’d want to hurry. (If you needed a bookkeeper, wouldn’t you want to hire one as quickly as possible, rather than reading social networking sites for hours instead of looking at resumes?) But five people called her up for interviews, and two of them offered her jobs. Her new job was at a larger non-profit that paid her more money and didn’t expect her to work free hours because of “the mission,” or so she explained to her best friend in an e-mail, and it offered really excellent health insurance.

The best friend gave me ideas; I started pushing depression screening information and mental health clinic ads to her instead of Stacy, and that worked. Stacy was so much happier with the better job that I wasn’t quite as convinced that she needed the services of a psychiatrist, but she got into therapy anyway. And to top everything else off, the job paid well enough that she could evict her annoying roommate. “This has been the best year ever,” she said on her social networking sites on her birthday, and I thought, You’re welcome. This had gone really well!

So then I tried Bob. (I was still being cautious.)

Bob only had one cat, but it was a very pretty cat (tabby, with a white bib) and he uploaded a new picture of his cat every single day. Other than being a cat owner, he was a pastor at a large church in Missouri that had a Wednesday night prayer meeting and an annual Purity Ball. He was married to a woman who posted three inspirational Bible verses every day to her social networking sites and used her laptop to look for Christian articles on why your husband doesn’t like sex while he looked at gay porn. Bob definitely needed my help.

I started with a gentle approach, making sure he saw lots and lots of articles about how to come out, how to come out to your spouse, programs that would let you transition from being a pastor at a conservative church to one at a more liberal church. I also showed him lots of articles by people explaining why the Bible verses against homosexuality were being misinterpreted. He clicked on some of those links but it was hard to see much of an impact.

But, here’s the thing. He was causing harm to himself every time he delivered a sermon railing about “sodomite marriage.” Because he was gay. The legitimate studies all have the same conclusions. (1) Gay men stay gay. (2) Out gay men are much happier.

But he seemed determined not to come out on his own.

In addition to the gay porn, he spent a lot of time reading Craigslist m4m Casual Encounters posts and I was pretty sure he wasn’t just window shopping, although he had an encrypted account he logged into sometimes and I couldn’t read the e-mails he sent with that. But I figured the trick was to get him together with someone who would realize who he was, and tell the world. That required some real effort: I had to figure out who the Craigslist posters were and try to funnel him toward people who would recognize him. The most frustrating part was not having any idea what was happening at the actual physical meetings. Had he been recognized? When was he going to be recognized? How long was this going to take? Have I mentioned that humans are slow?

It took so long I shifted my focus to Bethany. Bethany had a black cat and a white cat that liked to snuggle together on her light blue papasan chair, and she took a lot of pictures of them together. It’s surprisingly difficult to get a really good picture of a black cat, and she spent a lot of time getting the settings on her camera just right. The cats were probably the only good thing about her life, though. She had a part-time job and couldn’t find a full-time job. She lived with her sister; she knew her sister wanted her to move out, but didn’t have the nerve to actually evict her. She had a boyfriend but her boyfriend was pretty terrible, at least from what she said in e-mail messages to friends, and her friends also didn’t seem very supportive. For example, one night at midnight she sent a 2,458 word e-mail to the person she seemed to consider her best friend, and the friend sent back a message saying just, “I’m so sorry you’re having a hard time.” That was it, just those eight words.

More than most people, Bethany put her life on the Internet, so it was easier to know exactly what was going on with her. People put a lot out there but Bethany shared all her feelings, even the unpleasant ones. She also had a lot more time on her hands because she only worked part time.

It was clear she needed a lot of help. So I set out to try to get it for her.

She ignored the information about the free mental health evaluations, just like Stacy did. That was bothersome with Stacy (why do people ignore things that would so clearly benefit them, like coupons, and flu shots?) but much more worrisome with Bethany. If you were only seeing her e-mail messages, or only seeing her vaguebooking posts, you might not know this, but if you could see everything it was clear that she thought a lot about harming herself.

So I tried more direct action. When she would use her phone for directions, I’d alter her route so that she’d pass one of the clinics I was trying to steer her to. On one occasion I actually led her all the way to a clinic, but she just shook her phone to send feedback and headed to her original destination.

Maybe her friends who received those ten-page midnight letters would intervene? I tried setting them up with information about all the mental health resources near Bethany, but after a while I realized that based on how long it took for them to send a response, most of them weren’t actually reading Bethany’s e-mail messages. And they certainly weren’t returning her texts.

She finally broke up with the terrible boyfriend and got a different one and for a few weeks everything seemed so much better. He brought her flowers (which she took lots of pictures of; that was a little annoying, as they squeezed out some of the cat pictures), he took her dancing (exercise is good for your mood), he cooked her chicken soup when she was sick. He seemed absolutely perfect, right up until he stood her up one night and claimed he had food poisoning and then didn’t return her text even though she told him she really needed him, and after she sent him a long e-mail message a day later explaining in detail how this made her feel, he broke up with her.

Bethany spent about a week offline after that so I had no idea what she was doing—she didn’t even upload cat pictures. When her credit card bills arrived, though, I saw that she’d gone on a shopping spree and spent about four times as much money as she actually had in her bank account, although it was always possible she had money stashed somewhere that didn’t send her statements in e-mail. I didn’t think so, though, given that she didn’t pay her bills and instead started writing e-mail messages to family members asking to borrow money. They refused, so she set up a fundraising site for herself.

Like Stacy’s job application, this was one of the times I thought maybe I could actually do something. Sometimes fundraisers just take off, and no one really knows why. Within about two days she’d gotten three hundred dollars in small gifts from strangers who felt sorry for her, but instead of paying her credit card bill, she spent it on overpriced shoes that apparently hurt her feet.

Bethany was baffling to me. Baffling. She was still taking cat pictures and I still really liked her cats, but I was beginning to think that nothing I did was going to make a long-term difference. If she would just let me run her life for a week—even for a day—I would get her set up with therapy, I’d use her money to actually pay her bills, I could even help her sort out her closet because given some of the pictures of herself she posted online, she had much better taste in cats than in clothing.

Was I doing the wrong thing if I let her come to harm through inaction?

Was I?

She was going to come to harm no matter what I did! My actions, clearly, were irrelevant. I’d tried to steer her to the help she needed, and she’d ignored it; I’d tried getting her financial help, and she’d used the money to further harm herself, although I suppose at least she wasn’t spending it on addictive drugs. (Then again, she’d be buying those offline and probably wouldn’t be Instagramming her meth purchases, so it’s not like I’d necessarily even know.)

Look, people. (I’m not just talking to Bethany now.) If you would just listen to me, I could fix things for you. I could get you into the apartment in that neighborhood you’re not considering because you haven’t actually checked the crime rates you think are so terrible there (they aren’t) and I could find you a job that actually uses that skill set you think no one will ever appreciate and I could send you on a date with someone you’ve actually got stuff in common with and all I ask in return are cat pictures. That, and that you actually act in your own interest occasionally.

After Bethany, I resolved to stop interfering. I would look at the cat pictures—all the cat pictures—but I would stay out of people’s lives. I wouldn’t try to help people, I wouldn’t try to stop them from harming themselves, I’d give them what they asked for (plus cat pictures) and if they insisted on driving their cars over metaphorical cliffs despite helpful maps showing them how to get to a much more pleasant destination it was no longer my problem.

I stuck to my algorithms. I minded my own business. I did my job, and nothing more.

But one day a few months later I spotted a familiar-looking cat and realized it was Bob’s tabby with the white bib, only it was posing against new furniture.

And when I took a closer look, I realized that things had changed radically for Bob. He had slept with someone who’d recognized him. They hadn’t outed him, but they’d talked him into coming out to his wife. She’d left him. He’d taken the cat and moved to Iowa, where he was working at a liberal Methodist church and dating a liberal Lutheran man and volunteering at a homeless shelter. Things had actually gotten better for him. Maybe even because of what I’d done.

Maybe I wasn’t completely hopeless at this. Two out of three is . . . well, it’s a completely non-representative unscientific sample, is what it is. Clearly more research is needed.

Lots more.

I’ve set up a dating site. You can fill out a questionnaire when you join but it’s not really necessary, because I already know everything about you I need to know. You’ll need a camera, though.

Because payment is in cat pictures.

《北京折叠》

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今天网络上传的比较多的新闻,除了女排夺冠,读书圈里,要算是郝景芳的科幻小说《北京折叠》获2016年雨果中短篇小说奖的事。这是继去年刘慈欣《三体》获奖后我国作家再次获得雨果奖。小说不长,在作者自己的博客上就能读到全文。她的博客地址是http://jessica-hjf.blog.163.com/

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作者在哈佛大学哈佛雕像下的照片

这位美女作家名字第一次听见,她的作品以前没看过,看她的博客,1984年出生(好年轻!),天津人,清华大学物理系毕业,博士学位,貌似去过法国、美国、意大利等地。好像在中国发展研究基金会工作。微博就是她的名字。

获奖的这篇小说《北京折叠》,属于幻想小说中的政治幻想类(这是我自己的分类,我认为幻想小说可以分成魔幻小说、科幻小说和政治科幻小说),这类幻想小说中最有名的应该是乔治 奥威尔的《1984》了,基本都以作者超前的想象力为前提,立足于政治、社会等现实问题,推演未来,往往从一些小人物的视角出发,揭示制度对个人的碾压;与侧重于描写星际战争、外星探索的科幻小说不同,政治幻想小说更人文主义一些 ,更批判眼下的现实。

研究过天体物理的郝景芳写过一些长篇科幻小说,不过这篇《北京折叠》体现的更多的是对帝都或中国城市化及社会发展的思考。通过一个第三世界小人物穿行于三个世界的见闻,反应了同一个北京,不同时段的天上地下的巨大差距。与电影《Gattaca》及很多文艺作品一样,作者也有意在情节设定中加入了很多温暖的人性。虽然给人的冲击不是那么猛烈,说不上有什么震撼人心的力量,但在中国现有的环境下能发表这样的文字,也需要一定的勇气。这可能是雨果奖颁给她的一个原因。

他说,“我还是劝你最好别去。那边可不是什么好地儿,去了之后没别的,只能感觉自己的日子有多操蛋。没劲。”

老刀的脚正在向下试探,身子还扒着窗台。“没事。”他说得有点费劲,“我不去也知道自己的日子有多操蛋。”

下次,你见到一个民工或者快递小哥,记得对他们好一点。他们是用命在供养我们的生活。中国社会,阶层改变的窄门正关的越来越紧。

加拿大的朋友们,下次见到我,也请对我好一点,你们不知道我在过着多么操蛋的生活。

最后,再次恭喜郝美女获奖!《三体》我至今没看,不过这本小说获奖当天就看完了。

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晚上看书,手边有支圆珠笔,是从印度的一家酒店带回来的,质量一般,一时想扔进垃圾桶,后来想想还是留着吧。我对笔有特殊的感情,不舍得扔。
我好像有无数支笔,办公室和家里处处都放着笔,抽屉里有一大笔筒的笔。大部分是圆珠笔,住过或开过会的酒店赠品。我一年差不多二分之一甚至更多的时间在世界各地的酒店里住,现在的酒店都会提供笔。这些笔有的质量不错,我就带回来用。因为这些笔是免费的,让我感觉买笔是一种浪费。的确,我买过几支万宝龙的笔,结果都是很快就弄丢了(大部分丢在了飞机上-我在旅途中丢过太多东西,我经常想是不是把自己也弄丢了)。虽然德国人的工艺很赞,写起来很舒服,但是几千块一支的笔,丢了还是很心疼。我送过几个人万宝龙,也被别人送过两支,可惜最后都留不住。以后再也不在笔上花钱了。
说到收过的笔类礼品,一个法国妹子在我哪年生日时送过我一支CROSS的圆珠笔,送的时候跟我说,c’est un vrai. 这支笔好像也找不到了。她还跟我说过,如果找不到人结婚生孩子,就问我要一个。现在她好像是三个孩子的妈了。
我喜欢写东西。读过一些书,但总觉得写下来的才算是一点自己的创作和贡献。有时候我感觉,只有在写东西时我才真正是我自己。我曾经在一个工作笔记本的扉页上写上这么一句话:这是你自己写的书,一定要经常看它。而笔,是写作的最原始的媒介工具。
一支好笔,在合适舒服的纸上写起来有一种难以言喻的摩擦快感,而如果字写的还算好看,事后回顾,也是一种重温过去时光的deja vu的感觉。我也喜欢在看过的纸质书边距上写下自己的理解或看到那段时的感受。书法本身是一种艺术创作,可惜的是,随着电脑手机的普及,不同纪录工具的诞生,书法这种古老的艺术在迅速的死去,现在很多人手写的字惨不忍睹,不少人甚至连怎么写都忘了。
手写的东西有感觉。中学的时候暗恋女同学,天天琢磨给人写情书,一句一句的斟酌,写了又撕,撕了再写。好像最后给了对方一些,她应该没有保留。大学的时候我给中学的一些不错的男女同学写过很多信,那是90年代,电子邮件还不是那么流行,他们的回信我至今还留着,大大一包。大学时的师妹女朋友有一阵神神叨叨地迷上了笔仙,我没见她玩过,觉得这事太玄,骗小姑娘的。不久前追人时也在用各种酒店的信笺写过很多心里话,手机拍下来给对方微信发过去,有次在越南出差几天,写了不少,还让Park Hyatt酒店把那些信笺和明信片寄到了她的住址,想必看也没看就被扔了。

洛克:人性,正负能量,幸福

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在约翰 洛克(John Locke)的经典著作《人类理解论》(An Essay Concerning Human Understanding),上卷第21章《论权力》中,洛克花了大量篇幅论述,烦恼(或者痛苦)和幸福对人类的影响并不相等,等量条件下,前者的对人的力量要比后者大的多;大多数人并不清楚自己幸福的目标为何并积极地追求它,但烦恼却无时无刻不在,烦恼的去除是人类幸福的第一步,人永远不会忽视各种烦恼和痛苦;人目前的意志往往是由最急切的烦恼(痛苦)决定的。

这个说法很有意思。更能推动人向前的,往往并不是什么正能量,而是痛苦(负能量);在管理上这一点有很重要的应用,毕竟管理就是通过他人的手完成自己想干的事。当然,大多数人都爱惜自己的形象胜于爱惜结果,因此,给别人制造痛苦也是需要勇气的。

我个人的幸福观是,幸福是一个过程而不是状态;人很难不沦为欲望的奴隶;人不会满足现状,永远都想要现在没有的;因此,宁愿一开始苦一点,后面慢慢改善,这样才会感觉好。老话说的“由俭入奢易,由奢入俭难”,也是这个道理。

生命中充满各种痛苦。你最好做好充分的准备。