Looking across the street every day in California and seeing the homelessness crisis in full swing is an ever present reminder of what this economy and this society can do to you if you slip up for even a second and / or have even a minor run of bad luck.
Working in software isn't always easy or fun or fulfilling but its still an incredible privilege to be working in this industry.
I'm a senior software engineer with decades in the industry, but a few years ago I completely burned out, ended up addicted to alcohol, and lost everything.
And when I say lost everything, I mean everything. I ended up in a homeless shelter.
Climbing out from there to get back into the industry was an insane battle. I finally got control over all of it and back on my feet, but I have a new found respect for just being able to keep a roof over my head and pay bills now.
That's all I want. I use my free time to give back to society now.
I’m 57. I’ve worked as a photographer for 32 years, made a great living and traveled the world. I’ve collaborated with incredible people, and seen (and documented) amazing things.
I live in a beautiful house (I paid it off years ago) in a great city. I have zero debt and have so many options about what I’ll do.
My retirement investments have been done very well (good luck getting me to stop working). I have a wonderful family and an incredible daughter.
I never take any of this for granted. I am so thankful. My siblings, cousins, aunts, etc see me like an alien creature. At 57 I’m the oldest living male in generations of my family.
I was fortunate enough to find a company where I live that wrote their major systems in assembler in the late 1960's; they use UNIX/Linux to glue modern systems to a vertical wall of technical debt. This is an endless amount of fun.
I go only so far into these legacy systems (we even have an emulated VAX running VMS, which I keep at arm's distance). I should be thankful for having an unprivileged VMS account. I don't want to run that system.
One of the many reasons I would never move to the US is that in Europe I don't feel like a minor slip up or bad luck will send me into financial ruin. I'll need surgery on my shoulder soon and hopefully it should be fully covered by my health insurance, no added charges. It's an example that comes up again and again and I'm sure people in your position worry less about it, but it's something I keep seeing play a role with my acquaintances and online
Ethics aside, the taxes I've been paying out of my salary since I've been in the industry allows me today to benefit from an incredible financial safety net as I'm attempting to put together my own R&D software company.
Your perspective of US life is just shaped by what they report on in the news/reddit/here/etc. Nobody reports on the people that live boring, comfortable lives.
I personally would not want to live in that system. I am 29, debt free, with a university education from one of the countries top universities where I spend 1.5 years extra for an exchange and having needed hospitalisation multiple times in my life. This experience is something that, statistically, not many US citizens my age have (especially the debt freeness), and I have had enough interactions with exchange students who expressed genuine surprise I had no second thought of going to the hospital to appreciate this carefreeness over the benefits the US system might bring for people like me in the happy path.
But that's personal opinion of course.
While Germany and the other European nations are far from perfect and I like some of the business aspects of the US, coming from money matters more in the US than in Europe, statistically.
I wanted to reciprocate revealing something along the lines, but apart from ourworldindata.org (which has a numeric approach instead of notional), I can only find the promising JunkChart, https://junkcharts.typepad.com/junk_charts/ , and The Economist's Graphic Detail, https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail?page=1 , blogs.
Edit: the said branch of The Economist seems very promising: the latest article, "Just like modern humans, honeybees avoid each other amid plagues // They segregate behaviours in different parts of their hives to prevent parasites from spreading" as a stub shout heading reads «Social distan-sting». Thank you dear editor!
I think you've got that backwards. Everyone is thankful for money and possessions. A job is just how you happen to get them. Would you be unhappy to be very wealthy, without a job?
> seeing the homelessness crisis in full swing is an ever present reminder of what this economy and this society can do to you if you slip up for even a second and / or have even a minor run of bad luck.
I've known a lot of homeless people. Their circumstances are overwhelmingly caused by drug addition or mental illness. Not that anyone will admit to it.
If you're willing and able to work full-time, you can manage a reasonable living. There are government and private programs to support the disabled, unemployed, keep the impoverished who don't fit those categories from starving, etc. Not to mention charities, and friends/family groups who will help most anyone who doesn't get enough support from those programs, or just had "bad luck". Mental illness and drug addition does a good job of cutting you off from all those sources of support.
I happen to enjoy my job very much. I'd feel useless and bored without it.
You could even do all the parts of your job that you enjoy, while skipping all the unpleasant parts of it.
Absolutely. Working on stuff for my job that I’m passionate about gives me great fulfillment. Being paid for my skills is recognition from society as to the value I provide.
> Working in software
is a heluva lot better than stoop labor, what people have done for millennia. Every time I work on the yard I'm reminded again at how hard stoop labor is, and how I'm glad to work sitting in a comfy chair in a warm house with the stereo playing in the background. And I can play on HN when waiting for the test suite to run.
To an extent. Some people are predisposed to addiction and the poor are much less likely to have the knowledge or support required to recognise or battle addiction.
I wager that poor people are far better at recognizing addiction than non-poor. I hired a stoner once, not recognizing it. He robbed the company blind to pay his dealer.
Social workers are always trying to get the homeless addicts into rehab. They generally refuse to. It is their choice, not lack of money. In fact, I suspect that the lack of money is caused by their choice to be addicted. After all, addicts lose interest in their jobs and employers don't want stoners and drunks coming to work.
The majority of addicts are people who have experienced trauma. Often this is childhood trauma, specifically sexual, emotional or physical abuse. Of course it may also have occurred in adulthood. Veterans are one common example but there are millions of other causes.
Shit happens man. You can be an armchair judge but it’s all too easy to go off the rails in this world. Be compassionate! Instead of “you made some bad choices” maybe try thinking, “there but for the grace of god go I”.
It seems to me your language above suffers from a false dichotomy.
One might start with a binary question such as "Do we have free will or not?".
However, a better question is "Under what conditions and to what extent are we conscious of our choices, rational in how we evaluate them, and informed enough to predict how they will play out?"
A fairly useless way to think about when it comes to solving problems in our society.
At the end of the days, people's choices are determined by large number of factors, most of which we are unaware of or currently ill equipped to understand.
It would be like a person having a seizure and people deciding to blame said person for making a choice to be corrupted by a devil.
Assume we know the person's addiction and subsequent dysfunction is from said mental illness. The person doesn't want to be treated, as is often the case. Do you
A: let him carry on as is, resulting in both self-harm alongside other externalities
B: Violate his right to self determination and have him committed to a mental institution.
Nobody chose anything without being dictated by physics, biological, sociological, and cognitive factors.
I.e. I think we overestimate how much of a 'choice' certain outcomes are for most people.
I’ve often contemplated that given that the part of me that has a poor work ethic and refuses to get help has generally won out, I would easily be on the streets if I was born into a family of low socioeconomic status, rather than having lots of savings and living in a nice apartment. Also, I’ve spiraled downwards many times, and I’m lucky that food, isolation, internet are my vices, rather than hard drugs.
In the times I’ve finally “decided” to improve my life, I honestly have no explanation for why I did that, versus continue to spiral downwards.
It's interesting how much these kinds of choices are affected by people around you. E.g. when I had classmates depending on me to finish a part of a project, or a partner needing a good night sleep, I am much less likely to goof off into the wee hours of the night playing video games or such.
Makes me wish I could have recognized this way earlier and set up periodic "check-ins" with a group of friends. I've seen some people accomplish this via "life coaches." Some people have really involved parents. Explains why people with poorer backgrounds may do worse - less of this kind of involvement. Conversely I wonder if church/temple participation helps the other way.
At least when it comes to addiction, there can be no recovery unless there is a conscious choice to do something about it. Nobody can save these people unless they want to be saved.
> How much of a choice is it to be attracted to a given individual?
Don't confuse ones' choices with ones' desires. You have free will, you can indulge in the bad predilections, or not. Your choice.
Nobody said making the better choice is easy.
If I had my druthers, I'd eat nothing but donuts and ice cream all day. But I choose otherwise.
Choices or no choices, or free will, doesn't absolve someone of consequences, responsibility, or reality stemming from actions being undertaken.
In the end, you can say it is a choice, but what is a choice worth, if you don't know anything about preconditions (the knowledge, the impulse control, the education, the emotional point of reference, earlier experiences, etc). Not talking about how drugs affect your ability to choose and execute what you have chosen to do.
> I know that some people
Addiction is NOT a choice, and it is a form of chemical imbalance that happens in our complex brain that makes the person get into addiction with any substance. It could be said like any other mental health illnesses. AND when the person who got addicted doesn't get enough support and the compassion (likely not from you) to the way where they can be able to stay away from their addiction, there is a possibility that such person could go worse.
Drinking alcohol is a choice, so is sticking the needle in your arm.
> likely not from you
I support programs for treatment for addicts. Successful treatment, however, involves the addicts accepting responsibility. Nobody ever said recovery is easy. It isn't. Compassion is in order to help them recover.
But ultimately it's still up to them to make the choice.
I think the evidence suggests a different understanding:
1. One individual’s willpower varies significantly over time (over a day for example)
2. One individual’s set of options varies in many ways — not limited to education, awareness, culture, economic opportunity, and luck.
3. Many important actions are not consciously decided.
This plays out in many ways.
Many individuals that achieve some kind of success mistakenly over-attribute it to hard work or intelligence —- and downplay the role of culture, opportunity, privilege, and luck.
I don't buy it.
Furthermore, when people take responsibility for their lives, they tend to have much better outcomes. I'm old, and I've observed this play out constantly. Blaming others and circumstance might make one feel better, but it is completely useless.
And lastly, successful treatment for addiction and alcoholism involves the person taking responsibility for the addiction.
I didn't assert that.
That's a big claim to make. Do you have any sources?
"60 Minutes" also ran a segment on the Seattle homeless a couple years ago. They went in looking for people who were down on their luck. They found drug addicts and alcoholics.
I haven’t seen these videos yet, but I’m curious if they went to shelters or streets.
This is a take on the issue by the Seattle Times:
Drug addiction and alcoholism is the proximate cause of a lot of calamities in peoples' lives.
You wrote "90%" -- a specific figure -- as opposed to writing "most" or "many". Why did you choose this number? Do you have a reference you can share?
"I can't afford this" is a lot more difficult of a circumstance to be in than "boy that was a dumb idea to purchase some pricey, fancy, but nasty cheese on a whim"
In the future, be thankful with your wallet.
Pretty cool, huh? :)
Belongs under the Eurkaryote heading, no?
Would love to hear more about this!
That said, just as the other poster I'm also thankful for pedants like yourself. This is a mistake I probably make myself all the time.
Alcohol in the medical field is critical in doing good. A lot of harm has been prevented by alcohol.
Only true in dense cities and perhaps onboard seafaring vessels. Most of humanity could find unpolluted sources of water.
You could also say that, without the crutch that was small beer, humanity might have been motivated to learn and implement water treatment/purification techniques and proper sanitation systems centuries earlier.
Yes, I’m saying maybe a god exists and loves us because they gave us bread.
— Benjamin Franklin
He never said that.
Looks like he actually said something similar about wine though:
We hear of the conversion of water into wine at the marriage in Cana, as of a miracle. But this conversion is, through the goodness of God, made every day before our eyes. Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards, and which incorporates itself with the grapes to be changed into wine; a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy! (from a 1779 letter from France to his friend André Morellet)
1. Every morning, before I allow myself to look at email/news/etc, I think of three things that I am grateful for.
2. Every night at bedtime, my partner and I tell each other three things we are grateful for about each other and one thing that we are grateful for about ourselves.
I find that bookending my days with gratitude like this makes it easier to live each day in a state of thankfulness.
But I only mean this as a joke. I think it is great to have "rituals" that help us look and appreciate more stuff what we have already or where we are and where we came from.
It’s great giving the children an opportunity every night to share what they are thankful for. My favorite was ‘blankets’ :)
7, 23, 24 were driven by the common unusual political occurrence of fair economic opportunity. These rare times where a balance of power occurs, by special circumstances, between the former autocratic rulers and everyone else.
In Britain (7), domestic Royal monopolies were abolished etc creating an economic and legal environment where entrepreneurs would be rewarded. So people started investing their very expensive free time tinkering because it might lead to profit.
Ancient Greece (23) developed the Solonian Constitution which similarly protected the property rights of ‘citizens’ like never before, so Athens became a cultural center of tinkerers, hustlers, thought leaders, influencers etc, and the ideas are what we still have today. Because unlike with Ancient Phoenicia, the Greeks wrote on clay, not on perishable papyrus.
(24) Obviously the US Constitution managed to establish unusual property rights for its European male citizens, and again we see hustlers, thought leaders, influencers etc, because their efforts are far more likely to be rewarded. But this time we see what this political environment looks like close up and we see regular people’s bright ideas materialize in society because the law protects them.
I am thankful that we still today, I mean 11/26/2021 today, still maintain the balance of power that enables our egalitarian laws to stand, and hope that some new technology won’t kill that balance.
Socrates (Athens= 470–399 BC
Plato (Athens) 423-348 BC
Aristotles (Athens) 384–322 BC
Archimedes (of Syracuse) some 2-3 centuries later 287-212 BC
Euclid (of Alexandria) was active in Alexandria around 300-270 BC
Hyppocrates (of Kos) 470-360 BC
Pytagoras (of Samos) 570–495 BC
Thucydides (Athens) 460-400 BC
Herodotus (of Halicarnassus) 484-425 BC
Aesop (?) 620-564 BC
Solon (Athens) 630-570 BC
Pericles (Athens) 495–429 BC
Aristophanes (Athens) 446-386 BC
Sophocles (Athens) 497-406
>That some unknown miracle blend of circumstances happened to arrive in Athens in 500 BC leading a tiny city of 250k people to produce Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Archimedes, Euclid, Hippocrates, Pythagoras, Thucydides, Herodotus, Aesop, Solon, Pericles, Aristophanes, and Sophocles, and that it might be possible to intentionally recreate such conditions today around the world and spur incredible human flourishing, and why aren’t we working on this?
is more accurately something like:
In the course of several centuries over a vast territory comprising almost all inhabited mediterranean countries some 10-15 people excelled in their fields and many of them happened to live in the main city (and cultural capital) of the area.
Sounds a lot less a miracle, between 630 and 300 BC is three centuries.
> In the course of several centuries over a vast territory comprising almost all inhabited mediterranean countries some 10-15 people excelled in their fields and many of them happened to live in the main city (and cultural capital) of the area.
Your restatement excluded what I think is the most interesting part:
>> and that it might be possible to intentionally recreate such conditions today around the world and spur incredible human flourishing, and why aren’t we working on this?
"Why aren't we working on this" seems like a very good question, one that you don't hear very often - "Why don't we even encounter these sorts of questions more often?" might be an interesting sibling question.
The article seemingly conveys (at least to me) the idea that "by miracle" all those famous philosophers, writers and mathematicians were in the same place at the same time (and possibly had coffee or dinner together), this simply never happened.
So, if the idea is about creating brand new conditions (which ones?) capable to create a city/location where - over three centuries - a handful of people, excelling in their field lived, this has already been done, let's say Rome 200 BC - 100 AD, London 1600-1900, i.e. more or less the capitals (administrative and/or cultural) of large empires that lasted several centuries.
If you reconsider the idea under this reframing, does it seem like more of a reasonable, "maybe worth a try"-class idea?
 where "such conditions" ~= "of the kind, character, quality, or extent"
All of them producing and moving world forward. It is crowded competition, actually.
Socrates was even refusing to write at all. All we know is what Plato wrote for his own reasons.
Like seriously, it was way more violent and bloody then your average western society now. And we don't even go to regular wars against other cities and don't keep slaves. Neither of those two are collaboration.
And now you can actually become citizen without being born from citizen father.
(23) is because it's not independent random events. First, Plato literally taught Aristotle and was taught by Socrates. Second, Athens was the capital of an empire (okay, technically a league) so of course the best and brightest descended on Athens.
So, literally like Hollywood attracting actors or SV attracting startups, it's a self-perpetuating cycle.
I hope everyone who reads this is having a good day today. May you all have fortune and blessing in your lives.
We might not be alone inside the KBC Void, but if we aren't, they and us are on a pretty isolated island of sapients in the currently-known universe.
Sapience is astronomically, vanishingly rare as far as we can tell so far. Some of us treasure it and are thankful for it accordingly. Perceiving reality at the level we do, with the understanding we only scratched an atom of the total surface so far, is both inspiring and humbling at the same time.
(I think there was a podcast on Hidden Brain about this. Also video like this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwKPFT-RioU).
It's really good to periodically think about how much we benefit from, say, the miracles of air conditioning, available infrastructure and cheap travel beyond your town, clean water and air, medicine, vaccines, public health -- and reset what you're grateful for. And stop making every little transgression of modern life feel like a disastrous setback.
But of course it's very unfashionable to point this out when someone's <xyz> cause is being neglected, or is in the news and everyone is outraged. Of course when you make such comparisons you get hissed out of a room for being so callous, because anyone's relative suffering is supposed to be treated with utmost respect. And the short, acute, headline making problems are always louder than the long progression of gradual improvement.
But taken in perspective, by intelligent people who can discuss such things, we've really reached the age of 1% problems. (which are being exposed because our huge disastrous human-generated conflicts, etc. are decreased compared to 100 years ago). Health, social issues, etc. are such luxuries to have problems about now (and glad to have them discovered and debated), but remember how wonderful a time we live in. We aren't generally dying of terrible diseases during childhood, etc. or because of world wars. More people are living longer to experience the wonders of humanity than ever before. Although, things like climate change we'd better allow to rise to the top of our list of problems, soon...
Anyway, definitely very thankful for all these things, and all the daily unsung people who make our humanity's progress possible.
The Earth will lose its oxygen in about 1 billion years and undergo runaway warming in about 1.4 billion years. By the time the Earth is eaten by the Sun (if it is; mass loss by the Sun might prevent this), the Earth will have been sterilized for longer than it has currently existed.
Although I'm not sure it's really correct to be thankful for effects of observer selection bias.
I think one day I was probably in the shower and thinking about how awesome it was to have a hot shower. Then I started thinking about how great not having to use a "night soil pot" or an outhouse is, especially in hot or cold weather.
I don't think I've spent as much time contemplating the joy of HVAC systems, but I know I've thought about them from time to time.
You haven't spent enough time in hot, humid climates. Go to Houston in the summer and you will not have to contemplate for long.
2020 paper published in Cell:
"Short-Term Consumption of Sucralose with, but Not without, Carbohydrate Impairs Neural and Metabolic Sensitivity to Sugar in Humans"
From Huberman Lab (deep link to part where he talks about this):
Takeaway: if you consume artificial sweeteners with foods that increase blood glucose, your brain will learn to secrete insulin in response to artificial sweeteners even when consumed by themselves. So if you drink diet soda all the time with and without snacks - you can throw your insulin regulation system out of whack and even cause pre-diabetes!
This is based on a misunderstanding regarding the rise of qualia. It is processing power and not sensor capacity or at least both together in some combination with processing power doing the heavy lift. Humans have less cones but several OOM more neurons to make sense of what we have. So no - the shrimp doesn't see in spectacular color.
Or maybe we'll just have bionic hyper-spectral eyes which plug directly into the optical nerve.
> "This hole...! It was made for me!"
> A short horror manga story by Junji Ito. A boy named Owaki, and a girl, Yoshida, meet on Amigara Mountain, where an unsettling discovery has been made. An earthquake has created a huge fault in the mountain, and human-shaped holes are scattered across the face of the fault line. It soon becomes clear that the holes are "calling" to the people they are shaped like. So what happens when they enter the hole? Well, you can be sure that massive amounts of claustrophobia and Nightmare Fuel are involved.
Well, let's think about if this would be fine.
If there were a 10:1 female to male ratio, I think we'd expect that a modern, "civilized" society would be reasonably fine for everyone. There'd probably a lot more polygamy and polyamory than we have now, but the polygamy wouldn't be the "old school backwoods fundamentalist" type, because women would be in charge of the government and effectively make all the laws. I wouldn't be surprised if there were also a requirement that all healthy males donate at the sperm bank once a month from the onset of puberty to age 50 or so. This doesn't seem too onerous.
If there were a 10:1 male to female ratio ... it would be a dystopian hellscape that's makes me shudder just to think of it. Women would have basically no rights. There'd be an incredibly high level of violence. Nearly everyone except the alpha males would be miserable a lot of the time.
Anyway, that's my idea of how things might be like in an extreme scenario. If we're talking 1.1:1 or 1.2:1 either way it might not be a big deal, though I'd expect men outnumbering women to get bad at a surprisingly low ratio, well before even 2:1.
Note that this isn't because I think men are inherently bad and women inherently good. It's simply that nearly everyone has a very strong genetic drive to reproduce. In the world with more women than men, everyone who wants to have a biological child can do so quite easily. In the opposite world, most men cannot do so, which means reproduction is a scarce resource. And we know what humans do in response to a very strong need for a scarce resource.
Gratefulness seems to be primarily a ternary operator: "<SOMEONE> is grateful to <SOMEONE> for <SOMETHING>." (like "a ? b : c" in C).
That second SOMEONE is the one that the being grateful is directed at, as they are responsible for things being the way they are. (Being grateful to anyone not causally connected to what one is grateful about seems most weird.)
Does that not mean that every grateful person acknowledges God's existence, at least implicitly?
No. It means that the emotion of gratefulness isn't always a simple reduction to what you have there. Similarly, I think thwave who replied to you is also wrong. The emotion doesn't have to always follow such a simplified framework or be legibly caused. Of course it has to have some causal chain, but I think the legibility could be as opaque as "X is grateful for Y because Z suggested that maybe they should be" where Z didn't have anything to do with Y, Y doesn't necessarily do much for X, and so on. It doesn't make the emotion of gratefulness any less valid. I expect the ways the emotion could come about is varied enough to avoid these simplifications.
How does one go about (accurately) decomposing causality in a system this complex and poorly understood though?
For example, someone who does not open the canal to water the garden is the reason and cause of the garden drying up and the non-existence of bounties. But the existence of the garden’s bounties is dependent on hundreds of conditions besides the man’s duty and the bounties come into being through dominical will and power, which are the true cause.
Yes, ‘association’ is one thing and the cause is another. You receive a bounty, but the intention of a person to bestow it on you was the ‘associate’
of the bounty, not the cause. The cause was divine mercy. If the man had not intended to give you the bounty, you would not have received it and it would have been the cause of the bounty’s non-existence. But in consequence of the above rule, the desire to bestow cannot be the cause of the bounty; it can only be one out of hundreds of conditions.... from meaning of Quran "
It is also common to be grateful to <SOMEONE> for <ATTRIBUTE>. For example, I'm grateful to various people for who they are, by which I mean their worldview, their values, and their personality. Generally speaking, these aspects are not under full control of the individual -- they are the result of a complex interaction of their genetics, their experiences, their intentions, their opportunities, their choices, their habits, and much more.
I'm not following.
I liked the article but this strikes me as strange because this is clearly not the same for everyone. Depending on who you ask there's a sizeable population of people who, because of environment and genetics, cannot focus on the "love" parts of relationships and are predisposed to focus on fears of abandonment etc to stay in relationships without lots of help and drugs.
Be happy you got a decent dice roll if you regularly feel positive about your relationships, triply so if this "positive affect" guides the majority your life decisions!
Is anyone thinking about what to do? It's only a matter of time before we have another flare 2X or 3X the magnitude of the Carrington event.
Emergency and catastrophe planning has to happen at the national level. I would like to see more leaders (especially these days) come into office with ideas about how to recover from catastrophic events quickly.
Me too. I'm hoping we'll get lucky and a relatively small-scale catastrophic event will occur, demonstrating to us how ill prepared we are both materially and socially/culturally/cognitively/etc, and that lesson will provide the incentive for us to launch a serious project to get our act cleaned up.
And in the event that no political leaders rise to the occasion, I am hoping that normal civilians realize there is a problem and begin seriously discussing the risks we are running, perhaps eventually leading to some sort of a plan that our leaders do not have the ability to formulate, or perhaps even realize we need.
The current pandemic makes me pessimistic regarding this. There is basically no wake up and preparations for a 10%+ mortality virus. And that without discussing where the virus came from...
If the grid just shut off power for 24 hours until the CME passed would that solve the problem?
I can easily go 24 hours without power, but not months.
Just as remorse should lead to rectifying action, thankfulness should lead to reciprocal action to provide objective value.
What's interesting is the impetus between internal perception and outward action both share is a sense of indebtedness. Thankfulness becomes a passive accumulation of debt in this lens, whereas remorse casts our hero in a more active role.
I think also actions spawned from thankfulness will be more comedic [dynamic] in nature and whereas those from remorse will tend toward the tragic [static]. The efficacy of either approach will reflect the constraints of the systems they are acting within and how well conceived the individual's solution is.
Not sure where I'm going with this. Spitballing, not preaching ...
I strongly disagree. I moved to a new city and the experience allowed me to truly appropriate all the things I have. My living situation only improved slightly but being thankful has massively improved my mental health.
Yes it is; it makes me feel good.
Think about it; how many of your ancestors did have the option of having a hot shower every morning. Think about the labor involved!
That's the one to keep coming back to. Could've been nothin.
> That even if, as most scientific-minded people seem to assume, there is no afterlife, that’s not ideal, but is much better than other possibilities like, say, being tortured for eternity.
Like, we could all be a bunch of Boltzmann brains popping into existence in an empty universe, writhing with unimaginable pain in every pseudo-neuron of our temporary brains. But it's not like that, at least yet. Which is pretty cool.
 (Start at 2:15) https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/radiolab/articles/cellm...
If zero-calorie sweeteners didn't exist I feel like we would view discovering one as a holy grail/miracle drug
I bet a ton of obesity has been prevented just due to diet soda
Imagine if the same thing existed for carbs
#5 is like: I'm thankful that you can smoke a cigarette and not die immediatelly of it.
Do you think those are unhealthy too?
> Aspartame is one of the most rigorously tested food ingredients. Reviews by over 100 governmental regulatory bodies found the ingredient safe for consumption at current levels. As of 2018, several reviews of clinical trials showed that using aspartame in place of sugar reduces calorie intake and body weight in adults and children.
The same science claimed that DDT is safe, eating sugar is good, mRNA vaccines are safe, etc.
Does anybody know other theories about this?
That, and the collapse of Dutch East India outposts to British East India company opened up access to new trade. Resources from the new world also jumpstarted the process. It was the perfect combo of corporate incentives and unrestricted access to global resources that propelled people to wealthier lives and thus, higher level of productivity (you can spend years researching on steam engines if you don't have to spend your life farming). This is exactly the state of America since after WW2, if you were to compare.
In comparison, China was not handed any colonies, lacked the corporation structure and was caught up in dynastic infighting. There was no new world to extract resources from and almost certainly wasn't united the way it is today.
No systemic incentive structure and inability to access global resources left people in poverty or produced little in the way of innovation.