Wednesday, December 21, 2011

When a sense of morality looks not toward others for cues, but back to that which looks?

The other day I was thinking about what might be called social organisers. It’s the sort of thing that meerkats and other social animals might be described as using, where they react to where they should be and what they should be doing, in terms of the social structure. These sorts of cues come from the other animals in the social group (like alpha males or alpha females) as to what to do.

Okay, so what happens when this social structure, that kinda doesn’t exist but does (as much as stopping at traffic lights doesn’t exist…but does)…what happens if it folds over onto the viewer itself for what to do? Instead of consulting an external source on what actions to do, it consults the same creature that was otherwise supposed to be observing external sources for this info. And suddenly the creature is its own source of morality? Seemingly. Suddenly the external, existant structure (hey, that alpha is gunna bite you if you go near it’s food, that’s real!) becomes what is on the inside? It might explain voices from god, knowing what’s best for others (hello Vox!) and stuff like that. Just take a structure which really operates from scanning for external cues but shift where it scans to the individual who scans. Not too big a jump since its set to look at other individuals like it already. Now, in the hurly burly of a single mind, every cue to do something is a bit like a bull in a china shop, setting off other thoughts (which are being scanned since were scanning the scanner) else which is a cue, which itself sets off thoughts…and so on.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Let's talk about life

Seems a big title really, though I'm not sure this will be a big post.

Okay, lets say you have A, which passes a chemical process to B which passes a chemical process to C, which snatches some chemicals out of it's local environment and pushes them to A.

So you've got this loop.

Is life A, B & C?

I'd argue no. Life is actually the pattern between A, B & C. A, B & C are just the materials the pattern is rendered with.

I think the question is, do patterns (or at least this type of pattern) exist, or just some sort of delusion being pimped? I think life is pretty rare (outside of this planet), but so are some cosmological events. However, life could potentially extend to other planets, while a strange sort of sun or odd orbit of planets will just remain as is (or collapse). However, this does make me think of both cancer (spreading wantonly) and black holes (while the remain the same, their overall effect does want to spread itself around).

I don't have much more to add really, just leaving those question marks there.

But lets take the pattern as being the case. What's interesting is when you change to 'A life'. To a particular life, I think the material matter. Take for example if someone is atomically cloned. This isn't a cellular cloning, where you take a cell with genetic material and let it grow and split and grow, doing the job it does and pretty much ending up with a result much like it's original. No, atomic cloning is where you have some fantastic machine that reads each molecule and much like a photocopier but in 3D and...err, atomically, it builds an exact duplicate (well, as exact as the machine can manage - which is beyond cellular cloning and certainly beyond human detection). So, few, after all that there's a duplicate of another life. Is it the same life? It's the same pattern of life. Can you just kill the original?

Here I think I'll reference causal destiny, simply because it's a cool sounding name. The original life form comes from the birth delivered by another life form, which came from...well, you can see where I'm going. This going back and back, until you hit where a repeating pattern suddenly found itself rendered on a cooling planet. The planet itself, which birthed the chance for rendering, if you go back it's space dust. Then back and back, eventually to the big whatever the hell happened. And then back prior to that or whatever.

Meanwhile the atomic clone - well, lets say the machine has a number of blocks provided to it, full of molecules of various types to draw from in it's process. Kind of like ink in a printer. You look at the history of these blocks and well, it's not the same dealio, obviously.

So, why take this very moment as the whole sum of what you are? To do so means the atomic clones are interchangeable with the original. But if you take the history as being part of the being, that's just not in the atomic clone. No disrespect to atomic clones out there - this is a much separate time line. It's not just that the atomic clone can't pass for the original, it's also that the original can't pass for the atomic clone. Even though to our feeble short term senses and perception, they can.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Does my optimism look big in this?

A comment by Bakker here

Few things more difficult (on a Sunday morning no less!) than trying to figure out why code that seems so clear to you is causing everyone else to gap. My guess is that it’s intentionality that’s the problem?
I’m saying fantasy is a stark cultural expression of the problem of nihilism – perhaps the starkest. What makes worlds worth dying for is their meaningfulness. What makes worlds fantastical (not at all worth dying for) is their meaningfulness. I’m saying the dilemma that confronts us on the question of consciousness (how can the experiential frame of right and wrong be wrong?) also seems to structure the competing cultural roles of scripture and fantasy.
Is the human soul scripture or is it fantasy?

My responce, which I now feel oozes more optimism than I would have expected from myself:

Look, you can pitch the idea of there just being a planet with very, very complicated waves of chemical reactions roiling across it’s surface (and airs) as much as waves of much simpler chemicals roil across it’s seas. And there being alot of evidence, so far, for there being nothing else to the picture. Though the big bang still looms as a big ?

I’ve thought about what if I were trapped in the matrix and knew it? For myself, it seems a matter of caring about something because this is where it’s happening for me. Perhaps if I were immortal I’d not bother, laugh and wait for it to break down around me. But otherwise, what, throw away caring at all because I’m stuck in a joke? Like as if I should chastely hold back caring for the real reality, even if that holding back is the rest of my life? That’d be the last laugh, surely? It reminds me of the christian I spoke to recently, when I asked him why couldn’t he live with uncertainty. His one word utterance of “Death” makes me suspect absolute honesty and direct person to person talking at that very brief point.

What makes worlds worth dying for is their meaningfulness. What makes worlds fantastical (not at all worth dying for) is their meaningfulness.

And the in between? Where you propose a fantasy that strikes someone as something they would like to care about in the real world? Particularly if we go back in time a bit and have the idea of female equality, for example. Suffragette fantasy eventually seeps into a reality people will, well, not die for, but sacrifice some of their finite lifespan for? Men don’t want to waste their lives doing the dishes, but now even my dad does a fair bit.

This is a choice because it’s ‘a fantasy’ so you can slowly ruminate on it all on how it feels or might feel, rather than jump to an immediate knee jerk responce dictated by actual circumstance because of darwinistic instinct to survive? You can even just forget it. As opposed to religious scripture, which seeks to dictate actual circumstance.

But all that’s a kind of wank. It doesn’t matter except on the apparent fact people dare to care about stuff to begin with. Millions out there, daring – it’s really hard to comprehend.

Too feel good an assessment?

Ugh! Cringe! Still, it's like turning over earth, gotta start somewhere even though after the first spadefull it still looks a mess of weeds and the spade just clanged against a rock anyway.

I rather like my chemical waves image. I think it's clear cut, helps start from a fresh sheet of paper. Oh, but why ever start if everythings that way? As I say, I think I'm bloody minded.

I would like to say that my 'make what you can of the matrix' comment actually has a backfire condition I think, in terms of living inside man made systems. As in, if you start treating capitalism (or heck, probably any old 'ism) as the natural order of things, then you start advocating for the choices of someone, while genuinely thinking your not because "it's the nature of things".

Occasionally I wonder if making what I can of this world is somehow advocating for some alien thingie or others intent. If I were a writer of some kind, I could flesh that out into a story. But I feel blank, maybe the N word* creeps up me in feeling no impulse to bang it out and certainly anyone who writes seems to be miles ahead of me. If I wanted to change someones mind, can't I just say? If I wanted to write entertainment, well I don't know how to and learning seems an exercise in not wanting to change someones mind.

I think there was more I wanted to give disclaimers for, but I'm A: tired of writing now and B: have given some impression of embarressment. Not that I think the structure has merit, but I feel a bit

when saying it.

* I mean nihilism? What did you...did you think I meant Nig...wait, we can't say that! Nihilism is fine to say in public but there is a limit...ah, the joys of this semantic landscape...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

If the other kids were jumping off a bridge...

Some highlights of a recent "Come up to you in a public space and talk about god" encounter. Cherry picked, of course (to save you the effort! ;) )

Me: "So, it's like jumping off a bridge then?"

Didn't see that one coming, I admit

"Why can't you live in uncertainty"

Followed with alot of rambling related to his god idea, but the poor guy had had a dangerous illness in the past. Were all cornered animals and sometimes when the corner shrinks in fast...

Me: "Basically if your god tells you to do something, you just would. So you've given up any sense of personal responsiblity?"
"Why wouldn't I?"

But you know what got me? After twenty minutes (I know it was twenty minutes because I had started my stopwatch prior, for another thing entirely) I said I had to go now. And he just grunted something and abruptly walked away. Now I looked after him as he went and...I wasn't there, to him, anymore. Like it was nothing? Or was it rage, like this account? Maybe I'm just being sensitive and making it up, but I felt a real severance of connection there.

Some older lady came past and during the convo said "God!? Bah!", which got a "How do you think god feels about that?". Good on you older lady, you've more gumption that me! And besides, supposed builder of entire universes is upset by a bah? It kind of becomes clear who is being upset and exactly where they are (hint: in a nearby three pound brain).

Saturday, September 17, 2011


I really find the term 'Athiest' kind of weird - like you have to have a name to distinguish yourself from those who have adopted a religion?

Some people have tatoos, for example. They are 'Tatooed'. But you don't have a name for people who don't have tatoos. They aren't called 'Tatoo athiests'.

In a way I think athieism practice just supports religious behaviour.

Or have the religious so skewed this species thoughts that it goes from the exception to inverting itself to being the default and get another kind of exception - who has to name themselves now. So they name themselves athiests?

I guess, though, that everyone thinks of themselves the default and the other guy making the exception (except when we think what weve done is great, then were 'exceptional'!).

But really, when a new person boots up/is born, I think there's a blank there*. Really I see that as the default.

* Along with alot of inclinations toward instinctive behaviours - including, often enough, following an alpha male. Sometimes a really, really powerful alpha male. Sometimes they wear a cape and live in an ice fortress, sometimes they wear a toga and live on a cloud. But always a strong inclination to follow the alpha (actually, alpha females too).

Friday, August 19, 2011

A vox on you!...or, on me?

From here

Bakker doesn’t realize that what he decries as “certainty” is actually nothing more than experience-informed probability calculation and pattern recognition. There is no reason one cannot take a logically sound position with confidence without having to assume the total impossibility of error in doing so.

You know, this repeated some of my own wording for how I navigate life, in terms of working from probables – which creeped me out a bit.

UPDATE – Sweet Friedrich Nietzsche, but R. Scott Bakker really can be a wangsty little girl. Now he’s whining that I have “lot’s and lot’s of theories” about him, which is ironic considering the amount of erroneous psychobabble he has been directing in my direction from the start. I have no theories, I have merely read his books and observed his behavior.

Except does he practice it? He has no theories? Yet to say something isn’t a theory is to assume the total impossiblity of error in doing so?

I mean, the wording above is actually quite subtle – “There is no reason one cannot take a logically sound position with confidence without having to assume the total impossibility of error in doing so.”

Yes, so he says there’s not reason you can’t do that. He’s not actually saying he does it, in saying so, though.
But lets read it charitably, for a moment. What does it mean when he says he simply acts as if he knows?

Does that fire off a belief instinct in others to believe him? Does it fire it off inside himself?

Can you say “Everything I say might be wrong” then go on for six years speaking only as if your right, relying on one disclaimer utterance from years prior? Does this work?

And because everyone else prudently avoided bringing it up…

Dr. Evil: You know, I have one simple request. And that is to have sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads!
Is he just having us on? Everyone did read the sharks with lasers bit, didn’t they?

The primary difference between Bakker and me is that he insists on operating in relative ignorance while avoiding the use of objective metrics that can be verified by third parties.

This isn't any method used in the practice of science? Which third parties? The ones of his choosing?

If you ask a thousand people to measure something by using a certain metric and they all report the same result, you probably have an objective metric.

The pornography observation about the first book would also be reported by every single person over a sample of a thousand or more people? This is obviously not the case?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Gravitus of Significance - or - "Don't stand in the fire!"

Ages ago I had this conversation on the forums with a guy. The thread was about alot of stuff, but it got to the point where the example was something like this: Every round something is in the fire, it has a 25% chance of being burned.

And basically two camps came about, over whether that 25% stacked. Some said it did and some say it didn't. I'll go with the latter, because I'm not part of that camp and so its interesting.

Basically, IIRC, their arguement that the 25% chance in one round in no way correlates with the 25% chance in the next round. They aren't connected, they'd say. They don't stack. They don't add up to a greater chance. It's only ever 25%, into perpetuity.

Of course, they were saying it from the safe space of it being a made up world. But regardless, I can allllmost humour this perception in my head. Which makes it interesting.

The question is, is the idea of one being alive atleast partially the instinct/reflex to stack those odds?

I can almost frame it in my head, but it's hard to do. That the sum of 'you' is the conclusion, if you were standing in the fire, the odds ADD UP? That it's NOT the same percentage every single round. That it's MORE than that!?

A logica construct insisting that this instance does adds up, when actually it doesn't (and remember, I'm in the camp that said it does add up). And if this logica construct ever resolved itself with the rest of the universe, it would flatten into it (instead of being an abberant bulge) and instead simply state there is no difference between one round and the next? Harmony with the universe means thinking from the frame that when your standing in the fire, the moments do not add?

And yeah, 'logica' is made up, but it sounds more fun that way...

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Arguments Demand

Quoted without any real context, but still fun. More fun if said while on the ridge of a mountain in a thunderstorm, with swords made of lightening in each hand. Rather than sitting at a 'puter with a blankey over ones lap to keep away the chill...
But if I’m wrong, you haven’t yet provided a single argument as to _why_

Yes, but this seems the core of your certainty, the last nub. That you have to be disproved or otherwise you have asserted something of substance?

Do I have to disprove the jehovah's witnesses at the door, otherwise if I can’t I must accept some substance to their assertions?

Feel free to say yes. I can think of no arguments against saying so. In your case or in theirs.

Edit: I was a bit naughty not to provide context. After thinking about it, what the person was saying came in two parts - an idea, and then the phrase 'we have reason to do this' and 'we should do this'.

I was really aiming at the 'we', 'have reason' and especially 'should' part. Sadly I kind of aimed at the whole/both things at once, which added obsfucation to things.

I'm hoping there will be a third edit, where what is meant by 'we should' is described. I guess I should (ha, there's that word again!) list the whole conversation. But I'm not sure what I'm aiming for with this blog yet. Currently I'm just indulging the one model (my own). Whether it's applicable is interesting, but I'd like to actually finish a draft of that model first.

Anyway, I further asked:
Does the link cover what you mean by ‘We should’? I’ve looked through, but might have missed it?

It’s just that ‘We should’ are two of the most explosive words in the world, and you’ve put them together. I imagine most wars start with a ‘We should’.

Maybe I make a great fuss of what is just a term of phrase. It could be just a silly fear and missplaced awe I have for those words. But dread I do find in those few inky marks (well, pixelley marks).

Second edit: No luck - on 'We should'
It is simply a fact that “we should…” is not an argument.

So, my responce
If you had said ‘Those three people over there should…’, you’d probably find those three people would prickle at you telling them what do do
Why is that, if it’s not an argument your pitching to them?

I'm actually really surprised at someone saying 'We should...' is not in itself an argument? Somehow if you say 'we' - which is to refer to every single human on the planet (!!!), it becomes less argumentative than if you only refer to two or three people and what they should do? Wow?