Politics, God and Religion vs. Science


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Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 20, 2013 - 08:26pm PT
the subjective is also just an approximation which makes the whole thing an even more an interesting puzzle..

Also worth mentioning is the bedrock issue for all esoteric practices - that all things and all forms are impermanent. The seeming constants in reality are mostly about behaviors rather than things. One can hardly call gravity or the speed of light a thing. Same with raw awareness, surly another undefinable, ungraspable potentiality existing only in concert with things, ergo the seamless middle ground.

Cool stuff.


The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Apr 20, 2013 - 10:33pm PT

‘In the anechoic chamber, you become the sound.’

And this is a very disorientating experience. Mr Orfield explained that it’s so disconcerting that sitting down is a must.

He said: ‘How you orient yourself is through sounds you hear when you walk. In the anechnoic chamber, you don't have any cues. You take away the perceptual cues that allow you to balance and manoeuvre. If you're in there for half an hour, you have to be in a chair.’

Apr 20, 2013 - 10:57pm PT
Being on a pointy isolated mountain summit is close to being in an anechoic chamber, sound-wise.

Apr 21, 2013 - 12:29am PT
So here is an example of an excluded middle.

Thoughts are not real. There is nothing that we can point to empirically that would justify believing that a thought exists scientifically or empirically.

Thoughts are not unreal, either. We have them, they have us, or we are observant of them almost each and every moment of most of our lives. Thoughts are indeed manifestations that are undeniable on any individual's level.

The excluded middle--to wit:

Thoughts are not existent or non-existent.
Thoughts are not existent and non-existent.
Thoughts are neither not existent nor not non-existent.

The great mystics argued that every "thing" is like that.

Apr 21, 2013 - 12:40am PT
What would you have to go on in defining yourself if all there was was you? Our interactions with the world around us tell us who we are.

In daily behaviors, there is no need to define yourself or anything else. In practice, when you need the salt, the milk out of the refrigerator, or your wife to yell to when you can't figure out where the leftovers are, you don't need to define anything. It all just "happens" seamlessly and effortlessly. You don't need to know who you are because you already know That you are, and that's all you really need to know. The rest is a distraction, an amusement, a divertimento.

Apr 21, 2013 - 12:55am PT
You don't need to know who you are because you already know That you are, and that's all you really need to know.

In advanced Alzheimer's, this is true. Elsewhere, the issue of who you are comes up occasionally, though usually not around the household. Your ability to give a coherent description of who you are may be important to a policeman or a doctor.

Apr 21, 2013 - 01:06am PT
From the note linked to by Ed:

A variety of previous research has provided “lots of hints that there’s some sort of association between intelligence and entropy maximization,” says Alex Wissner-Gross of Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

The inverted pendulum example immediately makes one think of Werner.

Apr 21, 2013 - 01:07am PT
Who are you really ...... ?

Don't tell me what you think you are .......

Apr 21, 2013 - 11:36am PT
Some times what we learn in school makes us blind ......

Apr 21, 2013 - 12:08pm PT
Your ability to give a coherent description of who you are may be important to a policeman or a doctor.

Give them name, rank, and serial number. You can describe your feelings and perceptions if you need to but . . . . what, you need to provide some kind of existential description?

Your mind is over-working this thing.

Apr 21, 2013 - 12:29pm PT
Give them name, rank, and serial number.

Ha, ha. That would do. Usually, behavior depends on context. Unless you are some kind of absolutist. Or robot?

Apr 21, 2013 - 01:10pm PT
how does that differ from our robot above?

Robot is limited.

Human being is unlimited .........

Apr 21, 2013 - 01:44pm PT

It may be that I think too much. I view myself as having an active imagination.

When you say:

we could be reasonably skeptical that things exist AS WE THINK they do (all the more so for things like thoughts, concepts, minds, identities that we believe we are internally aware of

Why, I'm not even sure I'm "me."

I wonder what it would be like if you were lifted out of the life you are in now and put down in a yurt in Mongolia 800 years ago, or today for that. Would daily life still be seamless and easy? Would you still be you? Would you change? Similar things have happened to people and they learn from and adapt to the radically new environment and language. Learning and memory come to the forefront when the world around us changes.

Without concepts, minds, identities, and memory, we would be different, whatever YOU THINK those things are. Consider Ed's curiosity about personhood/consciousness in the absence of memory.

We have plenty of examples, and I have seen many through work, of people who have lost most or all of their ability to exhibit memory in the usual ways. However, if you hand them a spoon they may use it to eat with. If you start a song they may join in. They may still be able to walk or catch a ball tossed toward them.

It may be hard to tell whether an old person simply lacks motivation or truly cannot do a thing they used to do. There is often memory loss and less ability to form new memories in old age. I can't think of any example of a person who never had a working memory from birth on, but it seems that there could be such people, in care of family or institutions.

Hebrews 1:3
Apr 21, 2013 - 02:52pm PT
Psalm 23: The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord

photo not found
Missing photo ID#299784

John 10:1 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6 Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them.

7 Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. 12 But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. 13 The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. 15 As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.

17 “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. 18 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”

26 But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. 27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. 30 I and My Father are one.”

...and the sheep sing, Grazin' in the grass is a gas, baby, can you dig it!
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Apr 21, 2013 - 04:21pm PT
"(i) in systems with translationally symmetric dynamics,
(ii) as τ → 0, and
(iii) if the system and its environment are deterministic."

where τ, the "horizon time" is a parameter (only 2, the other one is the "causal Temperature") [horizon time is the time at the edge of the causal volume, which defines what can and cannot interact with the system]

If you could pretend for a moment that you are, say, Isaac Asimov , or any science popularizer, and dash off a laymen's explanation fit for us plodding types, it would be appreciated.
I have had college- level physics and math and could probably , with herculean effort, stitch together a plausible version for myself. But then I might get it wrong and hence forth go through life with an aberrant notion of causal entropy and the connection that it has with observation.

Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Apr 21, 2013 - 05:00pm PT
What I gather then is that intelligence in it broadest sense is a type of player with increased entropy . The upright pendulum is better positioned to deal with further increases in disorder. Despite a greater apparent instability.

Here's a tangentially related piece I saw the other day.

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 21, 2013 - 05:09pm PT
You anti science guys give zero thought to the imagination that it takes to solve a problem or have a good idea pop into your head.

That's all I do is work my brain. Do you guys spend 18 hours each day meditating?

I meditate by thinking, but it isn't restful. It is a lot of work and poops me out. Oh for the days when all I had to do was play.

Play is underrated. I advise young people to play as much as possible. Screw work.

Seriously, though. I am paid to think. Right now I am onto a hot new play and I just figured out how it works. Now we try to get some leases to drill.

My dream is to get on the boat and head off across oceans. I've just got to pay the house off...then I'm free. I'm getting close.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Apr 21, 2013 - 05:18pm PT
Are humans becoming gradually stupider?

A shocking hypothesis:


Ever since reading this my imagination has run predictably amok.

For instance, it is surmised that serial killers, to pick just one example, may have unfortunate genetic endowments that predispose their sociopathic behavior.(of course this is not the full explanation for any given killer of this type)
Could this be a relatively recent mutation that would normally have been selected out in primitive human groups, as clearly detrimental to the functioning and survival of those isolated groups?
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Apr 21, 2013 - 05:55pm PT
A very recent article for you high ascenders out there:


not bad, right now projecting April 21, 2013 at 15:14

Well, Ed, looks like you will be off by over 2k. Not a bad guess though.

Apr 21, 2013 - 06:39pm PT
Who are you really ...... ?
Free Energy ÷ Temperature > 0

Long live humanoids!

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