Widen Your Horizons

Suppose one man likes strawberries and another does not; in what respect is the latter superior? There is no abstract and impersonal proof either that strawberries are good or that they are not good. To the man who likes them they are good; to the man who dislikes them they are not.

But the man who likes them has a pleasure which the other does not have; to that extent his life is more enjoyable and he is better adapted to the world in which both must live.

What is true in this trivial instance is equally true in more important matters. The man who enjoys watching football is to that extent superior to the man who does not. The man who enjoys reading is still more superior to the man who does not, since opportunities for reading are more frequent than opportunities for watching football.

The more things a man is interested in, the more opportunities of happiness he has, and the less he is at the mercy of fate, since if he loses one thing he can fall back upon another.

[Bertrand Russell]
The Conquest of Happiness, p.111, 112

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The things that we dislike we'll try to get ourselves into. Then not only do we have another thing that we get to like, which makes life a little bigger, but we also have one less weak thing inside of us.

[Andrew W.K.]

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[...] as that which contains the potentials for change, the genome of the individual organism is what the computer engineers would call a bank, providing storage of available alternative pathways of adaptation. Most of these alternatives remain unused and therefore invisible in any given individual.

Similarly [...] the gene pool of the population is nowadays believed to be exceedingly heterogeneous. All of the genetic combinations that could occur are created, if only rarely, by the suffling of genes in sexual reproduction.

There is thus a vast bank of alternative genetic pathways that any wild population can take under pressure of selection [...]

[Gregory Bateson]
Mind and Nature, p. 196

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1 comment:

  1. The things that we dislike we'll try to get ourselves into. Then not only do we have another thing that we get to like, which makes life a little bigger, but we also have one less weak thing inside of us.

    [Andrew W.K.]

    ReplyDelete