Politics, God and Religion vs. Science


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Social climber
An Oil Field
Jun 20, 2013 - 05:01pm PT
Come on, John,

Fill us in on your education.

The carpool means nothing because for all I know, they read this thread and email you stuff just to twist heads. You don't understand jack sh#t of the substance of those messages.

I spent the time to go Google the topics of the "discursive mind," "Qualia," and other little name dropping hints that have peppered your posts for a thousand days. I read up on the topic, and have a very limited, but at least a little, understanding of these words and their origins in popular current psychology theory.

I don't parrot anything such as a f*#king carpool full of Cal-Tech physicists. That is intellectually dishonest. Do you even understand the equation F=MA?

Why are you so SHY?

Jun 20, 2013 - 05:37pm PT
Great video post, HFCS. Illustrates the power of the mind, of consciousness. Can anyone doubt it now? Clearly "things" are a consciousness construct. Chuckle.

When I first met Largo he was either in a program or had left a program at the Claremont School of Theology. Correct me if I'm in error, John.

Jun 20, 2013 - 06:28pm PT
I don't have any answers--not really. Answers only make people dig in. All I have are questions, which are disappearing for me, one by one. No answers, just questions that are disappearing. It's a new kind of problem solving.

Werner's last post seems about right to me.

. . . what is mysterious about energy?

What is energy? Where is energy? Get to the bottom of it.

You take so many things for granted, Base. If you look down into anything as far as you can to its ultimate foundations, you'll only end up at a belief or an assumption.

Everything is completely mysterious. You don't seem to see any of that. About the only thing that I've read here from you in this thread that you think is exciting, amazing, or wondrous is skydiving. So, let's run with that: why is skydiving so exciting, amazing, and wondrous, and why is the rest not? It wouldn't have anything to do with subjectivity, experience, or interpretation, would it?

No one is liable to impress you, Malemute, because impressions require plasticity. Your mind seems set.

Dr. F., you're pretty funny. You start a thread called "Politics, God and Religion vs. Science," yet when one shows the soft underbelly of science and its practices, you complain that the thread has been derailed.

MH2, I have no interest in bringing you to see the world that is unfolding in front of me. I have no theories that are dear to me anymore, and I have very few beliefs (which I'm working on to destroy). I've already said that I might be crazy or that what I report is crazy.

I Do think I understand everyone else's paradigm pretty well here. Let me see if I can characterize it correctly.

Take a blank piece of paper, and pretend that it stretches to infinity. That represents the universe to you. Now take a pencil and put a dot on it. That represents a consciousness to you. An infinitesimal consciousness exists in an infinite universe. I have it right, don't I?

What I'm beginning to see is the opposite. The paper is my consciousness, and the dot is the universe. It's a different paradigm. (Both are metaphors, which only point.)

Any time I am aware that I'm seeing an object As An Object (that I think is real, serious, and concrete), I try to relax and consider the same questions that I put forward about energy. Can I get to the bottom of the object? Where is it? What is it? Can I resolve or grasp it? Can I pin down exactly "what it is?" If I can't, then it's a belief. If it is a belief, then I see if it's true no matter what could happen, under any possible circumstances, under any possible conditions, whether there is a scintilla of a doubt about its everlasting and always-existent existence. No? It's not? Then that makes my belief faulty. That means to me that it's not true. Hence, I get to cross-off another belief from my list. As I do so, I feel freer, more spontaneous, lighter, more authentic, and reality is getting pretty darned amazing. At least I don't have to jump off any cliffs. Life looks mysterious (can't explain it), open-ended (it's not anything in particular; it's fluid), yet remarkably intelligent in a way that I can't articulate. Everything seems to be showing up exactly where and when it needs to be. Remarkable. Emaho!

Jogill: A video proves something to you? Really? (I don't admire your standards for evidence and reasoning.)


Jun 20, 2013 - 07:17pm PT
The earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth.

All things are connected like the blood that unites us all.

Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it.

Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.

Our God is also your God.

The earth is precious to him and to harm the earth is to heap contempt on its creator.

Chief Seattle

Stupid white man killed all the intelligent people and then made himself as the impostor God in the form of scientism .....

Social climber
An Oil Field
Jun 20, 2013 - 07:23pm PT
Normally, I could care less about someone's education. In this case I feel it is important. If you have followed this thread from the beginning, Largo has been baiting everyone with odd language, and although quick to criticize, has never been willing to explain, much less help, others to understand his ideas.

So I am calling him out. I've tried to do this a couple of times already.

I believe that he has a solid background on many of these topics and has left little nibbles along the way instead of explaining things clearly. How many of you really understand what he is talking about? Writing is his occupation. We all know how good he is at communication.

That is why I think his reluctance to explain this odd lexicon is deliberate, and he has been baiting us along for ages. I do not enjoy or respect that. I expect a free exchange of knowledge.

I'm curious if his now famous "carpool" of physicists, whose only purpose I can surmise was to confound Ed, was around long before he admitted it.

This whole thing has bugged me for quite a while.

Maybe he will parse quotes to play me or others for the fool in a book he is writing. I have no idea. I just know that I do not trust him, and haven't for a long time. He is quick to criticize, but not so quick to sit us all down and simply explain what he has learned so that we can contemplate it.

As to why, I have no idea.

Geez. I can't believe that I'm driven to flaming someone on purpose. I do not like negative ideas. They turn your soul black. So to speak.

If you just go Google his language, you will find the roots of them. Wiki has a page on the discursive mind theory. Qualia is in the dictionary.


Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 20, 2013 - 07:29pm PT

I don't parrot anything such as a f*#king carpool full of Cal-Tech physicists. That is intellectually dishonest. Do you even understand the equation
I don't parrot anything such as a f*#king carpool full of Cal-Tech physicists. That is intellectually dishonest. Do you even understand the equation F=MA?

I have to notice that anytime I ask you a difficult question that you often do what in psychology we call a "reversal," in this case, once again insinuating that I am some kind of scholastic fraud and am "intellectually dishonest." BASE, I take none of this stuff personally, but this kind of approach is not something I give much cred to.

BTW, my years of suffering through lectures by Cal-Tech folks began in my first year of grad school, when my girlfriend was Janet Wilts, and her father, Chuck Wilts, who wrote the Tahquitz guide books, was a prof at Caltech, and used to drive us up to Idylwild. You're the first person to call me intellectually dishonest for listening to old Chuck, who was a know-it-all but a very kind and generous man who is sorely missed by those who knew and loved him.

The whole business of whether I understand equations is curious to me. I could grill yu on the nuances of the subjective adventures but what would be the point? If it makes yo ufel better, BASE, I have no qualifications at all. But what the hell does Newton's Second Law have to do with what we're talking about?

Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 20, 2013 - 08:12pm PT
I'm ready to rip into religion..

but I won't rip into this
Stupid white man killed all the intelligent people and then made himself as the impostor God in the form of scientism .....

Now we all know what's going on,
it speaks for itself


Social climber
An Oil Field
Jun 20, 2013 - 08:15pm PT

Skydiving from airplanes is fun, but not very intense. Skydiving from airplanes is really scary at first, but after a thousand jumps it is like going surfing or something. It is not uncommon to see your buddies falling asleep on the ride to altitude.

Jumping Half Dome for the first time totally twisted my head. If you look at a jumper, it looks crazy because they are falling so fast. From the personal perspective, it goes by very slowly.

I've talked a lot about science and nature, but you guys aren't into that. I love the complexity and beauty of nature.

I respect you Mike, because you seem like a great person who I would enjoy meeting and spending an evening around a campfire with, listening to you talk about your experiences.

Climbing. Climbing happens very slowly compared to jumping off of something. A wall is like going to war. The impression is low intensity and drawn out. A totally different type of experience than BASE, which is like shooting up a dose of Life. It is so beautiful to do those big objects with long delays, flying over to basket dome and back. If I could make a drug that felt like that, I would be rich. It is an incredibly rich experience if you have the right type of mind. Some people just go into overload, but when I ever did a big cliff, my mind would clear itself of all pre-jump anxiety in the millisecond that my right foot left the edge.

If you have ever seen an eyeball instantly dilate, it is kind of like that with your awareness. It happens instantly.

Time dilates. Your senses become fully aware. I can still feel and smell that first jump off of El Cap thirty years ago. Nothing is like it. I can barely remember the first time I got laid, and a girl I once loved is a weak aching memory. I can barely remember her voice.

It is much different from climbing. The only thing even close was soloing at my absolute limit. Everyone goes on about the movement of climbing, but when you have pro in your face it became like exercising. That said, waking up on El Cap is interesting. You are dreaming along about your cheating girlfriend, then you wake up.

You blink your eyes open and see how far it is to the top. You roll over and look down and go, "Sh#t," You know that you have days to go.

There are other experiences, too. I've sought out experience like some people do with rare coins. I've done so much weird sh#t that I don't even tell people about all of it. Normal people either don't believe it or think it is a waste of time.

When my son was born, I started to experience real fear. My life totally changed and soloing and jumping scared me. Sure I often didn't have the balls to solo tons of routes, but when soloing I never felt true fear. Intense moments are strange. Conscious thought vanishes and you just do, ya know?

I feel very strongly that experiences happen in the brain. Werner likes to say that we exist in the heart, but you can get a heart transplant and still be the same person.

You should hear about my worst grizzly bear encounter up in ANWR. That one didn't scare me either. I was on the edge of an F5 tornado a month ago, and that one just left me speechless. There is a little blurb about it in the New Yorker if you care to read it:


I suppose that I could meditate, but it is easier to just go out and find experiences. I'm careful not to characterize them too much. Just go watch that one minute video that HFCS posted to see how easy it is to play the fool under the tutelage of a faker. Really. It is a page back. All of you spiritual guys ought to watch it.
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 20, 2013 - 08:18pm PT
Dr. F., you're pretty funny. You start a thread called "Politics, God and Religion vs. Science," yet when one shows the soft underbelly of science and its practices, you complain that the thread has been derailed.

it was an expression of emotion
sorry, it wasn't a complaint, I just never thought it would go this way.
I will have more to say about this topic soon.

But to use the words, funny, yes. . it is funny


Jun 20, 2013 - 08:30pm PT
An infinitesimal consciousness exists in an infinite universe. I have it right, don't I?

You are infinitely wrong. That's impressive.

Richard Feynman is a good example to take. For a paradigm I like this:

Each piece, or part, of the whole nature is always an approximation to the complete truth, or the complete truth so far as we know it. In fact, everything we know is only some kind of approximation, because we know that we do not know all the laws as yet. Therefore, things must be learned only to be unlearned again or, more likely, to be corrected.......The test of all knowledge is experiment. Experiment is the sole judge of scientific “truth”.

Feynman describes a meeting with someone a little like MikeL:

Some years ago I had a conversation with a layman about flying saucers — because I am scientific I know all about flying saucers! I said “I don’t think there are flying saucers”. So my antagonist said, “Is it impossible that there are flying saucers? Can you prove that it’s impossible?” “No”, I said, “I can’t prove it’s impossible. It’s just very unlikely”. At that he said, “You are very unscientific. If you can’t prove it impossible then how can you say that it’s unlikely?” But that is the way that is scientific. It is scientific only to say what is more likely and what less likely, and not to be proving all the time the possible and impossible. To define what I mean, I might have said to him, "Listen, I mean that from my knowledge of the world that I see around me, I think that it is much more likely that the reports of flying saucers are the results of the known irrational characteristics of terrestrial intelligence than of the unknown rational efforts of extra-terrestrial intelligence." It is just more likely. That is all.

Also a good reminder:

We can't define anything precisely. If we attempt to, we get into that paralysis of thought that comes to philosophers… one saying to the other: "you don't know what you are talking about!". The second one says: "what do you mean by talking? What do you mean by you? What do you mean by know?"


Jun 20, 2013 - 08:31pm PT

Here is a little better explanation of the mysterious nature of energy:


Social climber
An Oil Field
Jun 20, 2013 - 09:24pm PT
F=MA is a really cool equation.

Imagine Boot Flake, which probably has a mass of thousands of kilograms. That is just mass. If you were floating in space and got "underneath" Boot Flake, you would feel nothing. Its mass is too small to have much gravity on its own.

Now go down to El Cap Meadow and imagine Boot Flake not falling on you, but just laying on you. You would be crushed. The only significant difference is acceleration, which is caused by the Earth's gravity, and gravity is actually a weak force.

See? Mass is accelerating and will crush you. That is the difference between force and mass.

That is the best attempt at explaining it that I can. Ed or Gill should jump in here to illustrate this.

Imagine Newton figuring all of this out back in the late 1600's. His equations are still used to send spacecraft all over the solar system, from landing rovers on mars to sending a probe onto Saturn's moon Triton. Many of the current probes have complicated navigation involving multiple slingshots around planets these days. It is cheaper than using a more powerful rocket. The speeds are so much slower than the speed of light that relativity isn't a big factor. Newton's work is totally amazing, and engineers use that work to build huge bridges, buildings, you name it. He figured that out, including the mathematics required, all on his own.

It is a huge mistake to take the quantum world and try to apply it to large scale objects. Sure, a subatomic particle behaves very odd, but don't try to scale it up and say that a person or an elephant or a mountain cannot be completely understood with classical physics.

Recommended reading: QED by Richard Feynman. That book explains the quantum world in a way that we can understand, at least a little. It is a thin little book that took me a long time to read.

The best book of all regarding how to critically think and judge things is Carl Sagan's The Demon Haunted World. That is a tremendous book.

Look. Science just is. It isn't there to make you happy or sad. Nature is just nature and that is all that there is too it. Science isn't a spiritual pursuit, and attacking it to reinforce a spiritual concept is just nutty. Science worship is also nutty.

And yeah, Largo. I do think that the car pool is a dirty trick. I live next door to two famous AI researchers. I could certainly engage them to write posts for me, but I would not consider it without crediting their every statement. Stealing ideas or arguments from others without crediting them is a sort of heresy. I can't believe that you did that. If you did that in science it would be considered as sloppy at the least or as fraud at the worst. That is why you see so many citations in a peer reviewed paper.

I have had long discussions with the husband, and he said right away that you can't approach AI without considering subjective experience. Subjective experience is the way we humans perceive things, and if you approach AI with an objective of human intelligence as your working model, you must understand subjective experience.

To come to an objective conclusion requires a lot of work. It isn't a very natural way of day to day thinking. You have to set down some rules.

If you live and believe in the subjective world, you can end up thinking that you have some sort of invisible force field such as in the video that HFCS posted earlier, which is damn funny to watch. At some point you need a small amount of proof, lest ye join the scientologists and end up paying a grand for a 50 dollar audit meter.

Social climber
An Oil Field
Jun 20, 2013 - 09:35pm PT
I will create a "Largo" post. It starts with a snipped line, sometimes out of context, a line beneath it, and then a brow beating.

Here we go:

But what the hell does Newton's Second Law have to do with what we're talking about?


I figured that you understood a lot about math and physics. Your knowledge about Hilbert Space really impressed me.

John, I don't like to be mean. I just want you to know that I believe you haven't been coming clean.

Jun 20, 2013 - 10:42pm PT
JL is a man of mystery, BASE.


Jun 20, 2013 - 11:14pm PT
Dr F -- "I'm ready to rip into religion."

Go ahead, but it won't help you.

I was actually LMAOF when I wrote,

"Stupid white man killed all the intelligent people and then made himself as the impostor God in the form of scientism ....."


Unfortunately a lot of it is true ..... :-)

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 20, 2013 - 11:17pm PT
If you live and believe in the subjective world

You have no other alternative but to live in a subjective world, BASE, because you're a subject with experience. The illusion that you live objectively is something we deserve to hear explained. And I don't mean to imply that as subjects, our discursive minds doesn't objectify things, but that info stream is always delivered to you by way of your subjective experience. An object can't have experience.

And the "objective world" you keep talking about. As a reductionist, you are honor bound to reduce things to the basics - quantum. But now you say what a huge mistake it is to apply QM to the meta or mega world. That gives us two objective worlds and two sets of laws - QM, and classical. Both of these are considered "objective," so far as I know, but a reductionist would have to by nature prefer the quantum world because it forms the basis for the higher structures. Unless you mean you are a reductionist to a point - meaning you stop at a place beyond which your beliefs no longer hold up. Anyhow, I was just curious what "objective" world you were refering to, plus that pesky business of energy, which isn't even there in the classical sense, according to some (my buddies included).

It would seem that your fixed, everlasting and selfsame "objective" world is playing tricks on us, changing hats at different stories, as it were, and here and there, smply vanishing from sight. What's up with that?


Hebrews 1:3
Jun 21, 2013 - 06:45am PT
Proverbs 21:23 He who guards his mouth and his tongue,
Guards his soul from troubles.

photo not found
Missing photo ID#307797

Proverbs 21:30 There is no wisdom and no understanding
And no counsel against the Lord.

The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Jun 21, 2013 - 07:13am PT

Social climber
An Oil Field
Jun 21, 2013 - 10:35am PT
I had never really considered many of these topics until this wonderful thread showed up. It has made me stare off into space and ponder odd things, and it did bear some fruit. It still could if everyone was open.

Subjective experience is all over the map. You could be an eyewitness to a murder and be totally wrong in your memory, or subjective experience of the event. This isn't pie in the sky stuff. It is well known that eyewitness testimony is unreliable, but prosecutors still have people executed with it. I find that an abomination. F*#k prosecutors.

Sagan's The Demon Haunted World, which is mainly about junk science, carves through things such as alien abductions, psychics, and wha wha of that nature. That is a GREAT book. I had always thought of Sagan as a pop science writer, but that book belongs on every bookshelf. It is very useful.

To turn subjective evidence into objective evidence, you must use the scientific method. That is its only purpose. You must be very rigid in your methods, and be willing to discard your most precious theories.

As per reductionism, it isn't necessary for me to have a vast knowledge of the topic. We do lower open hole logging tools down every well and pull them up very slowly. They can be induction, simple gamma counter, neutron bombardment, the photoelectric effect, NMRI, you name it. I don't need to know a whole lot about how they work. I just need to know how to interpret them. In reality, we do know how they work, because you get odd info in odd lithology.

It is sort of like needing to know what time it is. You don't need to know how to build a watch. We all do this on a daily basis.

Science as a whole must look into every nook and cranny, but the load is spread far and wide. The scientists at Schlumberger design the tools and then publications of how they work and how to interpret them. That is a huge part of the job, and I look at probably 50 to a hundred wells each day, and that well may have twenty different curves to interpret.

There are some brilliant minds here, and I could teach almost any of you how to I do my job, or the basics of it, in a year or so. Just the basics. You would all make excellent techs, and I promise you that it would be exciting. There is so much information locked up in rocks.

The PE curve is great, but most wells didn't run one (because it hadn't been invented yet). Sandstone is 1 or 2. Limestone is 5. Dolomite is about 3. It is very useful. Einstein's Nobel Prize was for his discovery of the photoelectric effect. Relativity was still being dismissed by other scientists, which is normal. Scientists must be skeptical.

Scientists must be skeptical. Skepticism is also a very useful tool for anyone, and I highly encourage it, as well as critical thinking skills.

Go look at those people on the Republican thread. They behave like angry children at best, and like speaking snakes at their worst.

I'm trying to be open. Don't attack me. Help me.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Potemkin Village
Jun 21, 2013 - 10:45am PT
The problem with the neuroscience backlash...

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