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1
Interzone / Re: More on nihilism.
« Last post by crow on April 21, 2014, 04:38:42 AM »
On my journey outwards, into the universe, I encountered only calm, peace, grandeur and order.
I came to be part of it, in all its timeless vastness. It accepted me, without hesitation.
I lingered for millennia, and nothing threatened or warned. I was it and it was me.
I assume that was God, and I was included in it.
Whatever it was, it really needs no name.

No earthly experience references any of that.
I feel at a loss, among what seems to be madness, in a world of people.

But you see, I know my true nature.
The nature of others is mystery beyond mystery.
2
Interzone / Re: More on nihilism.
« Last post by Imposition on April 21, 2014, 04:12:14 AM »
Thank you. A bit intellectual for me, but I'll work at it.

Ok.

Do you feel the universe operates without purpose?
That it is completely random?

Do I feel this? No. Do I think this is the case? Maybe.

There are two levels of cognition operating here. Intuition and rational reflection.

I know why I may feel (i.e. intuitively) that the universe operates without purpose, because i've done a lot of evolutionary psychology, and I know i'm 'hard-wired' to process things, on an intuitive level, in terms of agency and intentionality and purpose (because, in our evolutionary history, most of the patterns and structures we were confronted with WERE put in place by agents - traps, marks in the sand, artefacts, etc).

But I don't believe the universe acts 'randomly'. I think there are patterns, and that there is structure. Whether these patterns and this structure is at root informed by intentionality is another question - one which I don't think about much these days. These patterns and the order and structure manifesting them are interesting, aesthetically beautiful and compelling to me whether or not they were initially caused by some process animated by a prior purpose.
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Interzone / Re: More on nihilism.
« Last post by crow on April 21, 2014, 04:05:29 AM »
Thank you. A bit intellectual for me, but I'll work at it.
Do you feel the universe operates without purpose?
That it is completely random?
4
Interzone / Re: More on nihilism.
« Last post by Imposition on April 21, 2014, 03:51:28 AM »
I can, if you're willing to you're willing to consider the response carefully.

(First off, who cares? Nihilism is, in my opinion, a mistake. It's a nice idea in theory, but fails to take into account human psychology and the need for 'illusions'. Sure, go through a period of 'freedom' in order to 'choose' your battles, but this, like like Sartre's existentialism, assumes that after you violently dislocate motivation from its point of contact with 'reality' (i.e. after you go through the process of nihilism, or 'cleansing the doors of perception' to see the Void) motivation just doesn't wither and die. In other words, if you dwell on the fact of the matter than objective meaning is an illusion, it might be quite difficult to ever give a shit about anything ever again. For, how can you simply forget the fact that objective meaning is an illusion after you have realised this? That would require a process of 'getting dumber' again after you have 'gotten smarter'. Also, some people who i've spoken to around here seem to think that after you learn the facts that deconstruct objective meaning, you will suddenly be able to see that certain values are somehow objective (authoritarianism, paganism, perennialisn, deep ecology, or whatever), while other values are somehow not (liberalism, christianity, humanism). If nihilism is true, no values are binding whatsoever. Certain values may preserve the natural world better than others, for instance, but so what? It is a further leap from this to the conclusion that you SHOULD follow them.)

To the question. There are two meanings of the word 'meaning'. On the first, 'meaning', is just the way in which a language represents/refers to the things it does. The meaning of 'cat' is the cat over there. The meaning of 'happiness' is a certain mood grounded by certain neurological processes. The cat being happy means the cat over there is in a neurological state. Obviously even a nihilist accepts this sort of meaning. His words still refer to things due to being involved in a language community which has conventions regarding what words refer to/represent/mean. 'Cat' in my language convention that i share with other speakers of English means a certain mammal with four legs that has been bred from other mammals over a long period of time to chase mice and balls of string and shit on your carpet while only being concerned with your existence when it is time for dinner. 'Cat' (i.e. the set of symbols c-a-t) in the language convention that speakers of French share means nothing - it picks out or refers to no object in reality (I know not what set of symbols in French picks out the appropriate mammal).

On the second meaning of 'meaning', meaning means(!) purpose. Then what does purpose mean? Purpose means some prior intention informing an activity. You moving your arm to pick up the beer is an activity informed by a prior intention (your intention in drinking the beer). A nihilist uses the conventions of his language ('meaning' in the first sense) to convey the idea that there is no purpose informing his activities other than his own wishes and desires. Similarly, he uses language to convey the idea that there is no purpose informing the activities of the universe because those activities are not caused by an agent, and only activities that are caused by agents can have purpose.
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Interzone / More on nihilism.
« Last post by crow on April 21, 2014, 01:48:26 AM »
Nihilists claim there is no meaning in anything.
Perhaps that is why they so often fail to understand what I write.
They assume it has no meaning.
In spite of the fact it does.

Why would a nihilist write anything?
Whatever it is they write, it would have no meaning.
If communication is not their goal, why write at all?

Do nihilists assign any meaning they choose, to what they read?
Do they have no meaning to convey, when they write?

Who can explain this to me?


6
Interzone / Re: Strength Training
« Last post by Tree on April 20, 2014, 06:25:42 PM »
How to Get Strong and How to Stay So, by William Blaikie

Quote from: Preface
Millions of our people pass their lives in cities and towns, and at work which keeps them nearly all day in-doors. Many hours are devoted for days and years, under careful teachers, and many millions of dollars are spent annually, in educating the mind and the moral nature. But the body is allowed to grow up all uneducated; indeed, often such a weak, shaky affair that it gets easily out of order, especially in middle and later life, and its owner is wholly unequal to tasks which would have proved easy to him, had he given it even a tithe of the education bestowed so generously in other directions. Not a few, to be sure, have the advantage in youth of years of active out-door life on a farm, and so lay up a store of vigor which stands them in good stead throughout a lifetime. But many, and especially those born and reared in towns and cities, have had no such training, or any equivalent, and so never have the developed lungs and muscles, the strong heart and vigorous digestion—in short, the improved tone and strength in all their vital organs—which any sensible plan of body-culture, followed up daily, would have secured. It does not matter so much whether we get vigor on the farm, the deck, the tow-path, or in the gymnasium, if we only get it. Fortunately, if not gotten in youth, when we are plastic and easily shaped, it may still be had, even far on in middle life, by judicious and systematic exercise, aimed first to bring up the weak and unused parts, and then by general work daily which shall maintain the equal development of the whole.

The aim here has been, not to write a profound treatise on gymnastics, and point out how to eventually reach great performance in this art, but rather in a way so plain and untechnical that even any intelligent boy or girl can readily understand it, to first give the reader a nudge to take better care of his body, and so of his health, and then to point out one way to do it. That there are a hundred other ways is cheerfully conceded. If anything said here should stir up some to vigorously take hold of, and faithfully follow up, either the plan here indicated or any one of these others, it cannot fail to bring them marked benefit, and so to gratify the author.

Advice and motivation from the late 19th Century on the fundamental importance of maintaining physical vigor and health. A bit repetitive, but stirring. Worth reading, if not skimming.

Read it for free here or here.
7
Interzone / Re: Tell me about your education.
« Last post by NHA on April 20, 2014, 11:47:23 AM »
Nobody gave a fuck about anything when i was in high school. The school was mostly concerned with discipline, and creating future workers that knew how to show up on time.

Grade school is where most of the core indoctrination took place. I remember being scolded in 2nd grade for saying that i was indifferent to what was going on in Somalia at the time.

It feels like things are slightly different now though. I'm 30, and people in their late teens and early 20s seem much more whiney about liberal political "issues" - particularly issues that claim to be feminist.
8
Interzone / Re: Police misconduct against Hessians/Punkers
« Last post by NHA on April 20, 2014, 11:33:39 AM »
Consider the personality type that is attracted to institutional law enforcement in the first place.

The whole "protect and serve" schtick is nonsense:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/subway-stabbing-victim-sue-city-cops-didn-stop-attack-article-1.1409451

9
Interzone / Re: Tell me about your education.
« Last post by Transilvania on April 20, 2014, 10:08:01 AM »
In most classes, indoctrination is present - not a centrally organized schema but usually following the personal beliefs of the instructors, which don't differ much. In a typical class, there are a few cheerleaders, a few malcontents, and everyone else just tries to stay awake. Very few students give a shit one way or the other, which is why the level of understanding is so shallow. Most passively accept what they're told because they don't care enough to disagree.

This too- this is probably the biggest manifestation of how shitty and unoptimized education is.
10
Interzone / Re: Tell me about your education.
« Last post by dawn on April 20, 2014, 09:58:37 AM »
In most classes, indoctrination is present - not a centrally organized schema but usually following the personal beliefs of the instructors, which don't differ much. In a typical class, there are a few cheerleaders, a few malcontents, and everyone else just tries to stay awake. Very few students give a shit one way or the other, which is why the level of understanding is so shallow. Most passively accept what they're told because they don't care enough to disagree.
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