Autopilot, by Andrew Smart (Chapters 8 & 9)

After some delays, here it is, the last two chapters of Autopilot. And gosh if they aren’t disappointing. Let’s start from the top. Chapter 8: Six Stigma as Seizure I don’t even have any notes on this chapter besides, “Still not really on topic and the analogy is largely vacuous and suspect in general.” but…

Where Democratic Despots Rule

For me, Jacobin is like that ex of yours that you want to keep getting back together with. Occasionally they’ll do something really good and neat that reminds you why you loved them. But then they’ll just put forward these completely inane ideas that make you realize why you can’t ever be together again. Okay,…

Port Truckers are a Symptom of a Rigged System

Recently, USA Today had an investigative report on port truckers, the people who bring goods from warehouses to your favorite (or least-favorite) retailer. The article is, naturally, a somewhat lengthy one but the main details concern the ways that workers (especially immigrants who speak little English) are exploited by one-sided contacts. In these contracts, workers…

Autopilot, by Andrew Smart (Chapter 5)

Chapter 5: You are a self-organizing system As far as I can tell from my notes, this chapter starts off really interesting but then falls flat after that. The reason why it starts off so interesting is because Smart quotes Peter Kropotkin. Kropotkin, for those who don’t know, is a notable anarchist communist thinker who…

Autopilot, by Andrew Smart (Chapter 2)

This chapter focuses on noise and its benefits to the brain as well as returning to the resting brain. And as far as the resting brain goes, it’s pretty interesting: When you activate your default mode network by doing nothing, it becomes robust and coherent. So, somehow our brains seem to violate the second law…