Notes from Kindle

April 2020 · 3 minute read · Tags: [Books snippets notes]

Bhagavad Gita: The Song of God - Swami Prabhavananda, Christopher Isherwood, and Aldous Huxley

Contemplation of truth is the end, action the means.

Krishna, who is here the mouthpiece of Hinduism in all its manifestations, finds it perfectly natural that different men should have different methods and even apparently different objects of worship.

Feelings of heat and cold, pleasure and pain, are caused by the contact of the senses with their objects. They come and they go, never lasting long.

You should not grieve for what is unavoidable.

Work done with anxiety about results is far inferior to work done without such anxiety, in the calm of self-surrender.

The abstinent run away from what they desire But carry their desires with them: When a man enters Reality, He leaves his desires behind him.

It is better to do your own duty, however imperfectly, than to assume the duties of another person, however successfully.

Action rightly renounced brings freedom: Action rightly performed brings freedom;

Only that yogi Whose joy is inward, Inward his peace, And his vision inward Shall come to Brahman And know Nirvana.

Certainly, if a man has no control over his ego, he will find this yoga difficult to master.

The nature of the relative world is mutability. The nature of the individual man is his consciousness of ego.

I am knowledge, that brilliant lamp, dispelling its darkness.

Notes from a Dead House (Food For Thought) - Fyodor Dostoevsky

Man cannot exist without work, without legal, natural property. Depart from these conditions, and he becomes perverted and changed into a wild beast.

I did not understand till long afterwards why this labour was really hard and excessive. It was less by reason of its difficulty, than because it was forced, imposed, obligatory; and it was only done through fear of the stick.

If the laugh of a man you are acquainted with inspires you with sympathy, be assured that he is an honest man.

The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood - James Gleick

“Theories permit consciousness to ‘jump over its own shadow,’ to leave behind the given, to represent the transcendent, yet, as is self-evident, only in symbols.”

gene has its cultural analog, too: the meme. In cultural evolution, a meme is a replicator and propagator—an idea, a fashion, a chain letter, or a conspiracy theory. On a bad day, a meme is a virus.

The extra drumbeats, far from being extraneous, provide context. Every ambiguous word begins in a cloud of possible alternative interpretations; then the unwanted possibilities evaporate.

Redundancy—inefficient by definition—serves as the antidote to confusion. It provides second chances. Every natural language has redundancy built in; this is why people can understand text riddled with errors and why they can understand conversation in a noisy room.

There is a progression from pictographic, writing the picture; to ideographic, writing the idea; and then logographic, writing the word.

The written word—the persistent word—was a prerequisite for conscious thought as we understand it.

“The larger the number of senses involved, the better the chance of transmitting a reliable copy of the sender’s mental state.”

The availability—the solidity—of the printed book inspired a sense that the written word should be a certain way, that one form was right and others wrong.

Precomputation plus data storage plus data transmission usually came out cheaper than ad hoc computation.

Knowledge has a value and a discovery cost, each to be counted and weighed.

“Electricity in our hands is the same as thunder in the hands of nature”

“Intelligence, thus hastily gathered and transmitted, has also its drawbacks, and is not so trustworthy as the news which starts later and travels slower.”

Even liars often tell the truth. The pain begins only with the attempt to build an airtight vessel.