Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Sightwalk in Germany Scoops Google Street View in 360° Navigable Photos of German Inner Cities : Bonn Berlin Düsseldorf Hamburg Köln München Stuttgart

Sightwalk in 360° navigable panorama photos reminiscent of Google's Street View shows locations in selected inner cities in Germany: Bonn, Berlin, Cologne (Köln), Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Munich (München), Stuttgart.

Hat tip to CaryGEE.

The Good Life and Virtue, Practical Wisdom and Eudaimonia : Declining Sales for High-End Goods Last Year : Happiness on Less : Keep it Simple

Are you caught up in the vicious cycle of ownership? Are you working around the clock to pay for what you have or think you want?

Due to the financial recession, sales of high-end goods -- except in China -- have declined in the past year. What does that mean?

What do we really need?

Albert Einstein is said to have used only one kind of soap, even for shaving, as he found multiple soaps for various uses "too complicated".

A sign of the times is found at the New York Times as Stephanie Rosenbloom reports on Consumers Find Ways to Spend Less and Find Happiness.

Part of the secret is to keep things simple.

But what about that taste for luxury?

Perhaps an Aristotelian doctrine of temperance is best:

See Virtue, practical wisdom and Eudaimonia.

So, You Know the Ropes? You Are an Expert? The Power of Ignorance May Be Eluding You - See Anthony Tjan - Harvard Business Review

The Power of Ignorance - Anthony Tjan - Harvard Business Review
"[W]e often see some of the most creative and entrepreneurial insights coming from younger people. Wisdom and experience help to grow and sustain a company, but generating novel ideas requires a certain amount of naïveté. In the context of entrepreneurship and idea generation, ignorance equals open-mindedness."
That's right, and this also applies to law and science. If you want to improve upon what the mainstream is thinking and writing, ignore them for a moment, and then reassess any given question, issue or problem fresh -- from anew. You may then see that the path of alleged truth is littered with errors and that there are other, better solutions possible.

This is the ESSENCE of progress. And this idea is not anything really new.

Nicolas of Cusa, born in Kues, just over the hill from where the Law Pundit presently resides -- and whose ideas had a great deal of influence on Johannes Kepler, the scientific giant of the 17th century who discovered the laws of planetary motion -- in the year 1440 wrote the pioneer work De Docta Ignorantia (Of Learned Ignorance), essentially alleging that "truth" is transcendental and that reality always has a dual character, one part visible rationality and one part invisible spiritual creativity. Religions encompass a similar idea in their more benign doctrines.

Cusa's principle of Learned Ignorance applies not only to science and religion, but also to law and politics, where rational thought and experience, combined with an empirical approach to problems, are alone often not sufficient to arrive at the solutions that are required.

Something more -- an oft intangible vision -- is needed.

Institutions such as the U.S. Congress, for example, are on the other hand increasingly filled with well-meaning "rational" people who nevertheless often are visibly overwhelmed by their jobs in Washington D.C. They may e.g. think their purpose is to legislate. But in fact laws are only a final mechanism of a much longer process of dealing with society's norms.

Before you legislate, you must have UNDERSTANDING (this is different than mere knowledge, which is neutral, and totally useless without understanding). That understanding is often lacking in the heads of legislators.

According to "the power of ignorance", for example, vexing political, judicial and legislative problems such as abortion in the U.S.A. will not be solved by those who think they know the answers about abortion, but rather it is far more likely that those who say "I do not know what the right solution is" will be the ones to arrive at workable policies, because they will consider more alternatives for a problem whose core is in the first instance metaphysical, i.e. involving the fundamental nature of being and the world.

Those are the hardest problems. All of nature casts seed in great abundance, but only a few of any of the seed survive. Who is to say what God intends.

Take a look at the Albert Einstein quotes at for some good ideas about problem-solving and the power of ignorance in the highest intellectual spheres.

My favorite from Big Al is: "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."

Everyone in law, mainstream science and politics ought to have that motto inscribed on their desk, especially the people who are fanatically and often erroneously attached like groupies to a particular legal way of thinking, to a given academic school of thought, or to the inflexible platform of one or another political party. They are often sticking like glue to doctrines that in the first place created the problems we face.

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