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    • A Question about Love (Last post by Adi)
    • Yes. Gender and sexuality often cannot be assigned or confined to a single label. Human relationships in general, whether romantic, sexual or otherwise, are always rather complicated.
    • Science discovers God (Last post by Lykeios)
    • This same argument could be used to cite the existence of many different Gods. The forces of nature of which he speaks could very well be represented by my Gods. It doesn't have to refer to the Biblical God. This doesn't prove to me the existence of any one God but speaks to the existence of many. My Gods are forces of nature. They act upon the universe. They (in some cases) predate the universe. It's an interesting thought but I don't think he really succeeded in proving the existence of the Biblical God. I would need much more proof than this to get me to believe in that particular God.
    • Planet discovered orbiting Proxima Centauri (Last post by Loudzoo)
    • Although hundreds of exoplanet discoveries have been made in recent years this one is particularly interesting. Not only is it orbiting our nearest stella neighbour but it is slap bang in the habitable zone and potentially only slightly larger than Earth! Watch the vid for more details: The abstract for the paper can be found here: Aliens picking-up our signals will be looking forward to watching the London Olympics in a few weeks :P
    • Potential : Dr. Jordan B. Peterson (Last post by Lykeios)
    • Very interesting. I like that he essentially says we get beyond being a "good citizen" to be a good person. The idea of being a good citizen doesn't really appeal to me. I think I should be a good person first then worry about my impact on society. I think being a good person will necessarily mean I am a fairly good citizen. I don't care about being a good citizen though. It seems to me that striving to be a good citizen is fairly restrictive. We should not be slaves to society's wishes but find out for ourselves what makes us a good person. I'd rather be a good person than a good citizen. Thank you for sharing this, Alex.
    • FAQ and Article Updates (Last post by Akkarin)
    • The library is back up but the problem hasn't yet been sorted so be careful. The FaQ update has gone live. Please PM me if there's something which needs looking at.
    • Monthly Council Reports Transparency (Last post by Wescli Wardest)
    • Quote: That's part of what this temple was founded on, curiosity about each other, curiosity about the world around us, curiosity about how the universe works. I was taught in our own seminary to question my leaders, to question things around me, to ask when I didn't understand. Knowledge is one of the tenets. And it was structured so that people would have a safe and relatively free place to be curious and explore. And that means some things do not need to be shared with all. And if you have a question about a certain something I’m sure one of us would be more than happy to expound if it is proper to do so.
    • 5 ways to build lasting self-esteem (Last post by Akkarin)
    • 5 ways to build lasting self-esteem Spoiler: Everyone is in favor of high self-esteem — but cultivating it can be surprisingly tough. Psychologist Guy Winch explains why — and describes smart ways we can help build ourselves up. Many of us recognize the value of improving our feelings of self-worth. When our self-esteem is higher, we not only feel better about ourselves, we are more resilient as well. Brain scan studies demonstrate that when our self-esteem is higher, we are likely to experience common emotional wounds such as rejection and failure as less painful, and bounce back from them more quickly. When our self-esteem is higher, we are also less vulnerable to anxiety; we release less cortisol into our bloodstream when under stress, and it is less likely to linger in our system. But as wonderful as it is to have higher self-esteem, it turns out that improving it is no easy task. Despite the endless array of articles, programs and products promising to enhance our self-esteem, the reality is that many of them do not work and some are even likely to make us feel worse. Part of the problem is that our self-esteem is rather unstable to begin with, as it can fluctuate daily, if not hourly. Further complicating matters, our self-esteem comprises both our global feelings about ourselves as well as how we feel about ourselves in the specific domains of our lives (e.g., as a father, a nurse, an athlete, etc.). The more meaningful a specific domain of self-esteem, the greater the impact it has on our global self-esteem. Having someone wince when they taste the not-so-delicious dinner you prepared will hurt a chef’s self-esteem much more than someone for whom cooking is not a significant aspect of their identity. Lastly, having high self-esteem is indeed a good thing, but only in moderation. Very high self-esteem — like that of narcissists — is often quite brittle. Such people might feel great about themselves much of the time but they also tend to be extremely vulnerable to criticism and negative feedback and respond to it in ways that stunts their psychological self-growth. That said, it is certainly possible to improve our self-esteem if we go about it the right way. Here are five ways to nourish your self-esteem when it is low: 1. Use positive affirmations correctly Positive affirmations such as “I am going to be a great success!” are extremely popular, but they have one critical problem — they tend to make people with low self-worth feel worse about themselves. Why? Because when our self-esteem is low, such declarations are simply too contrary to our existing beliefs. Ironically, positive affirmations do work for one subset of people — those whose self-esteem is already high. For affirmations to work when your self-esteem is lagging, tweak them to make them more believable. For example, change “I’m going to be a great success!” to “I’m going to persevere until I succeed!” 2. Identify your competencies and develop them Self-esteem is built by demonstrating real ability and achievement in areas of our lives that matter to us. If you pride yourself on being a good cook, throw more dinner parties. If you’re a good runner, sign up for races and train for them. In short, figure out your core competencies and find opportunities and careers that accentuate them. 3. Learn to accept compliments One of the trickiest aspects of improving self-esteem is that when we feel bad about ourselves we tend to be more resistant to compliments — even though that is when we most need them. So, set yourself the goal to tolerate compliments when you receive them, even if they make you uncomfortable (and they will). The best way to avoid the reflexive reactions of batting away compliments is to prepare simple set responses and train yourself to use them automatically whenever you get good feedback (e.g., “Thank you” or “How kind of you to say”). In time, the impulse to deny or rebuff compliments will fade — which will also be a nice indication your self-esteem is getting stronger. 4. Eliminate self-criticism and introduce self-compassion Unfortunately, when our self-esteem is low, we are likely to damage it even further by being self-critical. Since our goal is to enhance our self-esteem, we need to substitute self-criticism (which is almost always entirely useless, even if it feels compelling) with self-compassion. Specifically, whenever your self-critical inner monologue kicks in, ask yourself what you would say to a dear friend if they were in your situation (we tend to be much more compassionate to friends than we are to ourselves) and direct those comments to yourself. Doing so will avoid damaging your self-esteem further with critical thoughts, and help build it up instead. 5. Affirm your real worth The following exercise has been demonstrated to help revive your self-esteem after it sustained a blow: Make a list of qualities you have that are meaningful in the specific context. For example, if you got rejected by your date, list qualities that make you a good relationship prospect (for example, being loyal or emotionally available); if you failed to get a work promotion, list qualities that make you a valuable employee (you have a strong work ethic or are responsible). Then choose one of the items on your list and write a brief essay (one to two paragraphs) about why the quality is valuable and likely to be appreciated by other people in the future. Do the exercise every day for a week or whenever you need a self-esteem boost. The bottom line is improving self-esteem requires a bit of work, as it involves developing and maintaining healthier emotional habits but doing so, and especially doing so correctly, will provide a great emotional and psychological return on your investment.
    • Yoga Camp (Last post by Edan)
    • Yoga Camp - Day 20 - 'I Am Worthy'
    • the Human Potential - a very real awakening of the... (Last post by OB1Shinobi)
    • this, to me, is a great example of something a jedi might do what i see is someone who enjoys learning, and who is willing to experiment and try new things in order to make life better, even if he has to scrap it together with pvc and bicycle parts inquisitive, resourceful, and visionary thanks for sharing this!
    • Rants far and wide (Last post by rugadd)
    • Why must I be afraid of my own opinion? Why can't people be left alone in the "wrongness" of their view? Why can't people accept suffering for its legitimacy as part of life? GRARARARARARARARAAAAAA!!!
    • Microsoft's 'teen girl' AI turns into a Hitler-lov... (Last post by JamesSand)
    • Quote: Assuming ignorance by Occams Razor works when the issue it is assumed on/for matches a Gaussian distribution. Seeing as that which was fed to the bot was rather one-sided, the assumption of ignorance seems a lot less likely than the assumption of intend. I was assuming ignorance by the bot designers of the eventual outcome, not of the people "feeding" it information. Quote: Who knows if it were trolls, ignoramuses or people pointing out a morality flaw in a new technique. Oh, trolls, I feel confident enough in that, but I'm not too bothered by what they thought they were doing at the time, only by what they achieved. Quote: I believe it to be somewhat telling that apparently our first dominant instinct in this case was to flood the thing with racism and bigotry. This may have to do with where it was "released". As alluded to earlier - what if the program was given free reign somewhere else, or not identified as to it's purpose? If you put your nice scarf in the kitty litter tray, you can bet it's going to smell like cat piss. (I still hold that the people who wrote the program either didn't know, didn't think, or it didn't occur to them that Twitter is the communications equivalent of a kitty litter tray - I'm fairly sure it's not worth any of their jobs to intentionally make microsoft look foolish) I never saw the thing in operation, so all my thoughts on the matter are wildly speculative. Anyway, the Marines have a phrase - Good Initiative, Bad Judgment - that probably applies to these sorts of endeavours.

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