It is as if the author insists on his right to masturbate in public.
Well, he wouldn’t be the first philosopher to stroke his ego in the forum. It has been said that Diogenes of Sinope, that uber-cynic, believed that people should follow the examples of dogs (modern word cynic= Greek kynikos, which is the adjetive form of kyon, which means dog) Because of this, Diogenes believed that people should be unafraid to perform natural bodily functions in public. Which he unabashedly did, including, at least one time, masturbation.
So it would seem that Andy has a historical precedent in this.
Of course, this would seem to be one of those snarky comments that Andy seems so negative about. But what can I do? I am just some forum wise guy. Just like the noble dog, I am unashamedly exhibiting my true nature.
“Quantum mysticism is pre-critical. It cannot be criticized in the here and now.”
Don’t blame Andy for that one.
…this forum filled with wise guys, always ready with a witty crack to deflate the ego of a wannabe soothsayer.
Andy wants to share his revelations and that’s fine. Us wise guys are here to show him how difficult that can be when you have no idea who you’re talking to. I post my philosophical stuff in hopes it will be shredded to pieces by qualified shredders(wise guys). It’s the only way to learn how to talk about it and to learn if you really have the slightest idea what you’re talking about. Aside from that, I find it relaxing and therapeutic to come here and be silly. I think Andy needs to lighten up and make it less about him and focus on the stuff, or perhaps give a humble recounting of the journey that took him to wherever it is. And get a new avatar!
Quantum humor is tough.
“Two quarks walk into a bar. Er, no… they just appear (briefly) at the barstools without traveling the distance from the door to the bar. The first quark says, “Let’s get some action at a distance!” Then the second one says, “Okay!” Then there’s a punch line, but we can’t perceive it.”
Enlightening people is cool, and so is liberating faith-heads.
But first, I want to make your coffee shoot through your nose.
I will admit that I have read through the first 10 or 15 % of the paper, but the perpetual name dropping and frequent references to famous colleagues (Crispin Wright was his advisor and he had mutual friends with Christopher Htichens) just got to be overly self-indulgent on the writer’s part. Obviously Mr. Ross is well educated and extremely well read, but the “sioa, goof, and bopp trinity” and all the acompanying quasi-scientific jargon was more than I could handle after a point.
On to Sander’s statement that it’s as if the author insists on his right to masturbate in public, perhaps this little exerpt from the paper will shed some evident light on the “issue”
”“Well, there’s a come-on if ever I heard one! How about checking out my metaphysical endowment and seeing how hypocritical a glossolaliac can be?
Sigmund Freud, in my opinion rightly, opined that civilization was built upon sexual repression. For this reason, I find it sinister that a British government organ today (approximately) pronounced that we should all have sex every day to reduce our chances of heart disease and cancer. Is this good science or a bid to keep down the malcontents? An attempt to persuade all those angry young Muslims to pleasure themselves to images of scantily clad lovelies in order to reduce the suicide bomber rate, perhaps.
Sounds like bogus science to me. I go with Mohandas K Gandhi, who opined that not ejaculating was the key to spiritual health and well being. He even subjected himself to the torment of sleeping with nubile young ladies to test his powers of resistance, and was old and wise enough to remain chaste!
I think I could go for that — if only I could find a supply of bashful cow-eyed virgins to practice with.”“
Come to think of it, didn’t Gandhi prattle on in his squeaky voice for hours on end until no one bothered to listen to him anymore?
Enlightening never strikes twice in the same place. How could you tell?
As a younger man I saw myself in heroic manner as a lightning rod for the raw power of the heavens. Well, it happened. My pre-reading is the work of genius I always wanted to extrude. There are ideas there that can save our tired culture from the ravages of overly zealous I-ists and give the business of spinning out “deep” ideas a new lease of life. However, they require a rather patient mining operation before they can be refined sufficiently for everyday usage.
First, in anticipation of the day when I proceed with the second semester of reporting on my researches into the agenbite of inwit, I guess I had better parse my cryptic reprise of the kernel doctrine, appended as an apparently mad signature:
The Mind’s I—Gene’s I—See?
ICGG, He C me, not?
Cloop ergo not not.
Voluptuaries of the enlightened mind will doubtless recognize the “The Mind’s I” as a genially assembled anthology of readings edited by Douglas Hofstadter and Daniel Dennett, both of whom loom large in my personal pantheon, an anthology now over a quarter-century old (ah, how one is driven by sheer masochism to savor the sweet pain that accompanies nostalgic remembrance of times past!). As for the “Gene’s I” that dashes in to qualify the seeing eye, readers of my pre-reading (either in the “real time” of the first posting of those gems or in the pickled piquancy of their Rosssblog concatenation) will naturally discern the genocentric trace of Goof, the God of our fathers, the trace that betrays the divine sustenance behind the Dawkinsian demagogery for selfish genes.
So much for line 1. The acronymic “ICGG” is a texted analog of “I see GG”—where “GG” is of course the aforementioned personification Gene Goof of the Abrahamic attractor for the gene-driven zombies who shuffle behind the monothee. And “He C me” makes eminent sense in the orthodox dogma of the great “I am” who indeed notoriously sees me and my sins in the terms of the central dogmap we call the Bible. The “not” is the Gordian knot of inwit, always negating manifest truth in order to test its awful power. Do He or do He not? That is the question.
Now, here comes the logical crunch. A G-loop is of course a Gödelian loop, as served up to a thirsting world by Douggie Hofstadter almost three decades ago in his report on the eternal golden braid. In my new instantiation, the “Goof Gloop” is the I-see-He-see loop, with a “not” twist to give it that Gödelian agenbite that prompts the AtheEisegetean inwit to pull a wry smile, and naturally triggers a paradox that may not stand unchallenged.
The loop that apparently may not without risk of dizzying Gödelianism be allowed to stand unchallenged is a “Cloop”—a see-loop—where the I-see-He-see variant is a hottie, so to speak (assuming you are ready to accept that the self of Gene Goof is none other than your very own self-alienated self peeking through the mystic mist at its own gene-rooted self), and the notted version is, well, a nottie. (Apologies to Paris Hilton, who never asked to be dragged in this ironic fashion into a New Age fragment of hot-doggerel.) The “ergo” word is of course Latin, a deferential nod to Descartes, whose Cogito ergo sum—I think therefore I am—launched us all into the Age of Me. Finally, the conclusion of the reductio ad absurdum triggered by the Gödelian construction is of course the negation of the not-twist.
A pedantic aside may assist the more earnest seeker here. Devotees of the intuitionistic brand of logic will insist that not not A is not yet A, not yet the assertion of that doubly negated proposition. Only a classical thinker would accept that final affirmation. So we cannot uncontroversially affirm the see-loop in all its positivity. The shadowy intuition of doubt clouds the final reciprocity of the seen seer.
What drove me to this extremity of cryptic logicism? A hint may suffice. Anyone who knows the traditions of that august newspaper known to Americans as the London Times knows too that its celebrated daily crossword is second to none. Its cryptic clues are no less obscure and convoluted than my loopy tetragrammaton. And I, yours truly, bearer of the depicted eye, did spend some of the best hours of my higher schoolyears puzzling with my colleagues over the said crossword. Skilled devotees of that chequered mandala can do their daily puzzle in minutes, but this skill is as finely honed as that of the solver of the Rubik cube. The devotees who polish it off in the minutes they spend each morning in the commuter trains that daily dock in the terminals of North London tend to be higher civil servants, Whitehall mandarins, with Oxbridge degrees in the classics, and deploy a mastery that transcends my modest attainments in the puzzle stakes.
So let me stop there, humbled enough by my own reminiscences to wish only now to slouch dejectedly bedward.
Lots of questions, some hope for clarifying answers from the bright folks who reside here:
Guiding or perhaps forcing threads of myth through the all but microscopic needle-eyes of cogent 21st-century world views can amount to anything from somewhat fun to life consuming.
First though, the one thing I most expect and in fact enjoy seeing from a confident philosopher is what undoubtedly appears to be great, overbearing narcissism. For some, it may be a relevant value judgment to say that one person has just the right amount of narcissism, another not quite enough or none at all, with someone else having way too much. To me it’s irrelevant so long as such a description roughly fits the person’s skill level, knowledge base, and either culmination or innovation talent. Would I prefer to pay big bucks to see a play or opera staffed by mild-mannered dweebs like me, or by super-men and women? (Guess.) I willingly pay good money to experience a bit of massive ego from time to time and usually enjoy the experience tremendously, though I’ll admit to appreciating a freebie now and then, as on this forum.
How is philosophy useful today, and was it ever “good” for anything? Reasoned perspective, it seems clear, cannot easily be dismissed, yet over-reaching attempts to recast civilization is worthy of being spat upon, right? To be considered philosophy rather than something contained within fields of cognitive or social science is in itself, to me at least, by default a threading of the needle as per my above strained and contrived metaphor. What else is it? I’m counting on being corrected by someone here.
About a decade ago, I purchased a copy of the 4-volume Collier-Macmillan Encyclopedia of Philosophy, which works for me as an oversized anthology of humor, seemingly written in the style of The Onion publications or MAD Magazine. When all that we are able to know much about is that which gets passed down from previous generations of thinkers, what do we do with such information once it’s been determined not to be as correct as was once assumed? How do we react to subjectively-derived information that’s been found to be mistaken on not just one or two, but many levels? Some positions could even be termed entirely irrelevant, which, to any good philosopher, amounts to being considered mistaken: about as bad as things can get for any decent philosopher. My own reaction is often disbelief, or at least a feeling of disbelief. (“What?—my arms ultimately derive from fish fins?”, “My ability to speak to my own interior is actually a manifestation of phenomena closely related to schizophrenia and hallucination?” “Matter and energy are closely tied up with time?” “The self is a fiction?” “No magical Creator-of-the-universe exists?” “Coincidences can seem so mysterious yet they’re in fact meaningless?”, as well as many other such apparent bafflements.) How did we get to where we are? My feelings often mutter things to me that are in complete disagreement with what I actually know about.
It seems obvious that most everyone has extraordinary numbers of little anciently-derived—highly subjective—threads scurrying around, quietly searching for validity or at least some hint of validation even if remote. What do we do with them once we see them as false, delusional, ill-considered though for their time, at least an improvement?
What do we do about these niggling little threads scurrying about in our heads? Ignore them? Work with the illusions that seem useful and entirely beneficial? How do we derive a sense of life meaning powerful enough to end up supplying us with all the many assorted chemically-induced pleasures we need? And where are we without those pleasures? We’re suicidal is where we are. I‘m not talking about frivolous and momentary sources of pleasure here.
However the question gets approached, it often seems to me that striking out with further and further conclusions will only exacerbate our seemingly innate tendency toward myth building, and the potential power of myth is extraordinary. Can we survive without it? Is it even possible that buying into a myth does not automatically equate to being bamboozled?
Can we survive without it? Is it even possible that buying into a myth does not automatically equate to being bamboozled?
That’s got Newspeak written all over it. Being bamboozled does not automatically equate to being bamboozled. I knew this day was coming.
One of the highest callings we have as hominids is to try to mitigate suffering where we find it.
Okay. That’s one answer. I see you’re suffering, here, pal, so I’m gonna do my best to step up to the plate and do some serious mitigatin’.
Here’s the thing, H-man. You can abandon all pretense of meaning anywhere in the universe, even in that character, there, that keeps eisegetically farting at us and then ostentatiously sniffing the air in its vicinity. If only Sander were here.
So, let’s assume you have abandoned the meaning. Even the meaning of “meaning”. Now notice: Your heart continues to beat, you breathe in and out, you get hungry and eat, and so on. For awhile, anyway.
Do you see - anywhere - in all that, any need for, uh, whatever it was…? What was it? Bamboozlement?
I call it the “fuckification process”, i.e., being alive. We’re all in for it. The darkness at the end of the tunnel. Yet all we hear, day in and day out, in these forums is weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth about the meaninglessness of it all. Do you think this philosophy bullshit is anything but whining? Good for a laugh:
I agree with your assessment, Salt Man. My own niggling doubts about things actually make my life interesting, otherwise I doubt that I’d even be capable of discussing the matter. But my hard-earned peace of mind is not the subject I’m exploring. As though you didn’t already know it: I don’t care on any great emotional level about the destiny of humanity. I’ll be long gone well before the matter has been settled with finality. Meanwhile, I do enjoy the chemistry of the debate. But I haven’t had even one suicidal thought in about 10 years.
Andy’s Gesthemanic-depressive gibberish has nothing to recommend it over the work of much plainer apologists like Alister McGrath. I call what Andy produces “nerd-rotica”, a play on ‘neurotic’ with a couple of other resonances.
Finality, futility. Who cares? I do! So what?! The only path out of that swamp is flat black nihilism.
Joni Mitchell joins us from the title track of her 1974 Hejira: “Each so deep and superficial, between the forceps and the stone…”
It was trite moping even then, still managing to say what was needed. Minimalist moping minstrelsy.