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Messages - Dylar

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Interzone / Re: Tell me about your education.
« on: April 21, 2014, 01:12:55 PM »
A couple of thoughts:

1. I suspect genuine cynics are vanishingly rare.  Having a position makes you a target for those who hold another position, and "cynicism" is a natural and not unreasonable defense mechanism for folks who don't have the stomach to fight it out over ideas.  Cynicism of this sort isn't a set of beliefs, or stance in relation to "reality," it's a practical social response to the basic incivility of most of those with strongly held opinions.  I'd add that a lot of what gets called "cynicism" is just so much projection on the part of accusers.  Our skepticism is a reasonable response to the errors of others; their skepticism is obviously not in good faith, since, after all, we're right and they're wrong, and, accordingly, we reconstruct their lack of faith as "cynicism."

2. All experience is mediated through interpretation.  It's nice to say that when interpretation falls away, you're just left with the reality, but that's really just another way of saying, "Only death is real."  While yet we live, all we're doing is interpreting our experience of life.  Hence the value of evidence.

Interzone / Re: Tell me about your education.
« on: April 21, 2014, 12:40:38 PM »
Well, if the problem is the tendency to fall down the rabbit hole into our own abstractions, then it seems to me that the solution is probably evidence, or a reliance thereon.

Interzone / Re: Tell me about your education.
« on: April 21, 2014, 12:25:56 PM »
I hesitate to label absolutely everybody a leftist, simply because they get too wrapped up in the importance of intellect. Although, really, I believe that being too intellectual results in leftism.
I aim for balance, where the right tool is the one used, depending on the task at hand.

The problem with intellect, is that it depends, for its validity, upon a starting baseline that conforms to Reality.
This being so rarely the case, the validity of intellect itself, is thrown into question.

It seems to me that the phenomenon that you describe is the common problem of becoming wedded to our abstractions.  Folks become so enamored of the models, theories and symbols they've developed to investigate and understand reality that mistake the symbol for the thing it stands in for, and, in doing so, immerse themselves in unreality in the name of investigating reality.  Is that what you're driving at here?

Interzone / Re: Tell me about your education.
« on: April 21, 2014, 10:02:38 AM »
I see absolutely nothing wrong with asking folks to provide the evidence that their conclusions are based upon.  I don't know everything, and, to top it off, I don't live inside your head.  Evidence is just the reality-context I need to evaluate—and often enough, simply to understand—the arguments others advance. 

That said, what I often see folks asking for is not evidence, but proof.  The latter is a lazy man's game, and, "Prove it!" generally means something more along the lines of, "I need you to do my thinking for me."  Too, the demand for "proof" is frequently deployed as a sort of rigged carney game, designed to protect the one demanding it from having to engage with troubling ideas and concepts in any sort of serious or honest way.

Interzone / Re: Fourth-generation warfare
« on: April 17, 2014, 02:56:06 PM »
He could have (and, it's Portland, so it's a near certainty) pissed undiluted AIDS into the water system and no one's health would actually be threatened.

Interzone / Re: Fourth-generation warfare
« on: April 17, 2014, 11:10:52 AM »
Urine isn't toxic.

Interzone / Re: A good day
« on: April 15, 2014, 01:59:23 PM »
I don't think most pay attention to the details of the performances of others, but when you decline to perform at all, they notice.  It confuses and therefore angers them. 

Interzone / Re: A good day
« on: April 15, 2014, 11:31:05 AM »
Fly fishing is definitely what you make of it.  It's much like mountain climbing in the sense that there's a whole industry (gear and apparel, private "trophy water," "destination" fly fishing in exotic locales etc.) that's been built up around the twin principles of, A.) making hard things eas(y/ier) and B.) catering to the egos and feeding the insecurities of anglers.  It's a sport full of dilettantes and gear hipsters, most of whom really ought to be old enough to know better.  It's also a sport that will take you places you can get lost in, if you're of the right mindset.  Trout don't give a shit about whether you perform the self for them. 

Interzone / Re: A good day
« on: April 14, 2014, 09:44:30 PM »
Pollen has been tolerable, so far.  It's only recently gotten warm, and we've had enough rain to beat it down so far.  I'm fairly tolerant of the stuff, anyway.  I'm among the roughly 20% of people who don't react when exposed to poison ivy, too.  The weather still hasn't settled down into a predictable pattern yet, and it has my trout acting a little wonky. 

Interzone / Re: A good day
« on: April 14, 2014, 07:28:08 PM »

Nothing beats getting out.

Interzone / Re: Critical thinking
« on: April 08, 2014, 01:02:38 PM »
As you say, a crow is a crow, and a human a human.  A crow has no need for abstractions, nor the brain to conceive them, but part of being human is being not-crow, and what is meet for a crow is not necessarily so for a human.

Interzone / Re: Critical thinking
« on: April 08, 2014, 12:45:54 PM »
...and a crow can't teach you particle physics, or, for that matter, how to cook.  A place for everything, and everything in its place.

Interzone / Re: Critical thinking
« on: April 08, 2014, 11:56:18 AM »
Tell that to a Moroccan goat herder. Not all humans are paranoid, neurotic, jangle-brained Westerners.

The life of a Moroccan goatherd isn't less filled with abstractions than a jangle-brained Westerner; fewer abstractions and different abstractions, but abstractions nonetheless.  The human brain was built to fly.

Interzone / Re: Critical thinking
« on: April 08, 2014, 11:16:10 AM »
Evaluation is an active mental process built on top of the snap judgement simian heritage.

How simian are you, to understand a simian mental process, or the lack of one?
I have learned, from spending vast amounts of time around wild creatures, that they possess a very workable substitute for the abstract constructions humans use to perform the simple act of evaluation.
They keep it very simple. Which is something humans seem incapable of.
I often admire creatures of the wild. I find it rather rare to do the same with humans.

It's a matter of design.  Humans are not built to "keep it simple" any more than crows are built to use walking as their primary mode of travel.

Interzone / Re: Deep Ecology is bullshit
« on: April 02, 2014, 12:40:38 PM »
Can you breathe virtual air?  Eat virtual food?  Drink virtual water?

Why would we design AI to depend on such things? Even humans could be bioengineered to eliminate such dependancies. Or at the very least, to significantly minimize them. The desire to continually rely upon them is pre-emptive atavism.

A tofurky in every pot and a unicorn in every garage.

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