Politics, God and Religion vs. Science


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Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Apr 17, 2013 - 10:07pm PT
I was trying to highlight the problem of language. Language is a limited technology, yet it can generate infinities (unendingly different strings of meaning). It's one of the reasons folks in cognitive science and AI were so interested in how people learn and understand language.

You have no idea how much i appreciate and agree with that concept!

most of my professional career has been spent matching information technology capabilities with people's needs and problems

my conclusion is that MOST of the problems that plague humans are due to the boundaries, limitations, abuse, and disabilities of human language

we overhyped pokeymons have so impressed ourselves with the hubris of our language that we are destroying ourselves on the razor edge of linguistic limitations

we might still have a chance for survival of the species if we can grow up past this obsession

we too can look like Mars
we too can look like Mars
Credit: TomCochrane

Apr 18, 2013 - 12:37am PT

Apr 18, 2013 - 01:03am PT
Another rumination on the soul: Perhaps the soul does not reside "in" the individual to which it is attached. What if a person's soul consists of all the memories or perceptions of that person by others? When the person dies the soul lives on for a while in memories held by others. This would be a little like the stages of death formulated in some African religions. First there is the death of the body, then years later the second and final death as memories of that person fade and disappear.

OK, back to objective/subjective discourse.


Apr 18, 2013 - 01:05am PT
That goes for the soul of Trad.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Apr 18, 2013 - 01:08am PT
First there is the death of the body, then years later the second and final death as memories of that person fade and disappea

Any chance a second burial payment from the SS Administration might be forthcoming?

Apr 18, 2013 - 01:13am PT
Any chance a second burial payment from the SS Administration might be forthcoming?

2 cents for a gentle breeze.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Apr 18, 2013 - 01:18am PT
2 cents for a gentle breeze.

For $3. 50 I was hoping for a trained Raven to repeat "nevermore" until sunrise the following day.

Credit: Ward Trotter

And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted- nevermore

Poe The Raven

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Apr 18, 2013 - 01:23am PT
a person doesn't have a soul...(a common misconception)

a person IS a soul

a person HAS a body...(sometimes)

Credit: TomCochrane
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Apr 18, 2013 - 01:28am PT
a person IS a soul

For Poe his soul was in the shadow of the raven floating on the floor.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Apr 18, 2013 - 02:16am PT
A sound is not the excitation of waves. A sound is a word that objectifies a subjective audio experience. This is subtle thought.

could be... but the hypothesis that sound is also something objective works quite well too. You see the fallen trees in a forest at the bottom of an avalanche run out, toppled by the wind blast, "the sound" of the avalanche, the pressure of the atmosphere.

Both of these things cannot be true.
Either the sound originates in the world externally in relation to the the listener or it is manufactured by the listener internally and then superimposed upon the world.
I'll go with the less romantic notion that sound is produced externally.
There is plenty of secondary evidence that supports this contention, such as purely visual indications as noted above.
There is no evidence that points to a subjective origin of sound waves.
There is a subjective experience of sound waves, however, of course.
The interaction of the subjective and the objective is the sum total of the art of music..
If the experience of sound were confined to either one or the other i'm afraid music would not exist as we know it.

In the video above it is clear that the man is drinking a relatively inexpensive Pinot Noir and that he likes his steak rare . This is what he gets for talking to a dude who wears undersized sunglasses in a dark interior .
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Apr 18, 2013 - 02:40am PT
there is a subjective part of perceiving sound as well as an objective part...

Yes, of course. This is central to the creative process in music.
Composers who write pieces for ensembles can clearly hear clarinets or cellos or timpani.

The more practiced they are at this skill the more elaborate the parts. A composer may be playing a sequence of chords at the piano and suddenly hear an 8 measure melodic line from an oboe- as clear as a bell. This melodic line will be perfectly pitched and display a rather aesthetic line , perhaps resembling an ocean wave as it progresses across the staff. Much like an elaborate dream, leaving the composer as astounded as a dreamer might be at the uncanny intricacies of a dream just dreamt.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Apr 18, 2013 - 02:46am PT
we sometimes "hear" something that isn't what was played...

I don't understand. Do you mean an hallucination?

Oh now I know what you mean. I'm sorry I was thinking as a composer.

Yes. As I stated earlier music as an art form is the synthesis of objective and subjective sound..
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Apr 18, 2013 - 03:01am PT
an "illusion"

Yes. And by that you mean the listener hears a combination of harmony , melody, and lyrics and then fashions a subjective response that is as unique as his/her fingerprint.
This is the magical setting that often applies when music is performed.
The audience consists of hundreds, or thousands of these individual responses.
The performer must be cognizant of this and simply do his/her best to produce and manage the actual objective framework that allows the listener to experience both the sound and its internal consequence.

Edit: I'm sorry. By 'illusion ' you were referring to these specific things:

hearing a missing fundamental frequency, given other parts of the harmonic series
Various psychoacoustic tricks of lossy audio compression
Binaural beats
Deutsch's scale illusion
Glissando illusion
Illusory continuity of tones
McGurk effect
Octave illusion/Deutsch's High-Low Illusion
the Shepard tone or scale, and the Deutsch tritone paradox

Perhaps those can be discussed in due course.

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 18, 2013 - 09:10am PT
Study Suggests Life is Older than the Earth

Staff Scientist Alexei Sharov of the National Institute on Aging in Baltimore, and Theoretical Biologist Richard Gordon of the Gulf Specimen Marine Laboratory in Florida, took Moore's Law, replaced the transistors with nucleotides the building blocks of DNA and RNA and the circuits with genetic material, and did the math.

The results suggest life first appeared about 10 billion years ago, far older than the Earth's projected age of 4.5 billion years.

As our solar system was forming, pre-existing bacterialike organisms, or even simple nucleotides from an older part of the galaxy, could have reached Earth by hitching an interstellar ride on comets, asteroids or other inorganic space debris a theoretical process called panspermia.

Mckinleyville, Ca
Apr 18, 2013 - 11:46am PT
given Sharov and Gordon, you could say that eventually we will create god (the singularity?)...which would be another kind of Big Bang

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 18, 2013 - 11:50am PT
I've been curious about this question for a while. The problem is that we are dealing with a sample size of one. One planet and one time that life began.

--We see conclusive evidence of life going back to a very early time. Since it happened so rapidly, that suggests that the beginning of life is easy.

--So I was curious if life had begun more than once on Earth. I asked an evolution prof, and he said that all life shares a universal genome, so it looks like life began only once and that all life is the child of that original beginning.

--This begs the question (for the third time): how easy is it for life to form?

We have no idea, or at least I am too ignorant of the topic to give a good answer to that.
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Apr 18, 2013 - 01:02pm PT
What if a person's soul consists of all the memories or perceptions of that person by others? When the person dies the soul lives on for a while in memories held by others

If that were true you would have no connection to your soul, since others' perceptions of you are unknown to you and not part of your own experience. So they are not part of you. And all of the perceptions within you, and their relationships and the world-view you have constructed, and your self image, are all unknown to others, who have their own perspectives and make their own impressions of you. So I do not think this idea will hold up.

I still think this is the hardest question there is, but it seems to lie in the relationships those observations have, the model made of them, and central to that is the image of one's own self. I agree its more in the realm of software than hardware and could potentially be transferred to another medium (a back up disk, so to speak) if we could imagine a sci fi technology to do it.

Although, if there were such a thing as a "clean slate", maybe a Terry Schiavo type brain, it would still perceive its environment and maybe have a sense of self and that would qualify as a soul to me.

Base104 my understanding is that over 90% of the time in the history of evolution was spent evolving the first cells. The cellular chemical processes that are common to life seem to just be more and more complex ways to burn energy. That part must have been driven by thermodynamics. A turning point occured when the processes created cell walls, separating the inside from outside and making all things possible. It could be that they just surrounded themselves with their own byproducts, which created a kind of bubble, and there was some benefit to enclosing the process in it. I recommend Dawkins' books, particularly the Blind Watchmaker, for his explanation of pre-cellular 'replicators'. I know Dawkins can sometimes rant but when he's explaining biology he's the best.

Apr 18, 2013 - 01:50pm PT
Base, as for doubting everything in the universe . . . .

Well, . . . what is the difference between that and experiencing doubts when you are dreaming? Or to use Ed's reference to "The Matrix," how do we know that we are not hooked up to a machine in the year 2412, experiencing these very same perceptions here at the computer screen over and over and over? As in "Bladerunner," how do we know that memories and artifacts have not been installed in the waking dream we call our lives?

Well, we don't, and we may not need to know either. What you have that you can call your own [sic] is perhaps the same that everyone else has: WYSIWYG.

Just for the heck of it, suppose that you ARE living in a dream. So what? What really changes for you or about you or the experience you call your life? If you recognized that you lived in a dream, how would you BE (or attempt to be, ha ha) different--and why? I think in some very important respects, nothing would change in the living of your life. Sure, you'd have many new questions you'd be interested in answering, but that's just another, er. . . pleasant diversion for you.

Memories are unreal objects by unreal subjects. No? Then bring yours out and show them to us. Or, show us your mind. Or show us "You."

Perhaps some of you have heard the story of the test a Zen master gave to a supposedly recently realized monk. The master pointed to a half-filled container of water on the floor and asked the monk whether it was half full or half empty. The monk kicked the container over and walked away.

Mckinleyville, Ca
Apr 18, 2013 - 02:23pm PT
WYSIWYG...I like that. Could also stand for "whizzy-wig". Lot of that going around lately.

(sorry, I know i don't belong at this coffe table, but like to listen in)

Social climber
Some Rehab in Bolivia
Apr 18, 2013 - 02:25pm PT

Politics SUCK!!!...

Organized Religion is nothing more than a money making SCAM!!!...

Science IS the ticket!!!...

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