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Messages - Cainad (dec.)

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« on: November 11, 2008, 03:21:51 pm »

Bring and Brag / Re: RWHN's Pun House
« on: November 11, 2008, 03:14:33 pm »
Lawyer: "Doctor, did you say he was shot in the woods?"
Witness: "No, I said he was shot in the lumbar region."

The Richard Nixon school of ballet and the arts / Re: So. Anonymous.
« on: November 11, 2008, 02:41:36 pm »
Gay men are just gay because they don't have the social skills to hook up with chicks.

But surely you knew that already.  :kingmeh:

Obvious troll is obvious.

I think that's what the :kingmeh: indicates. But perhaps I'm biased because I made that smiley.

Literate Chaotic / Re: Favourite/ Least favourite STAR WARS character
« on: November 11, 2008, 03:59:42 am »
Iptuous wins.

Srsly though,

Favorite: R2D2
Least favorite: Teen Anakin

The Richard Nixon school of ballet and the arts / Re: So. Anonymous.
« on: November 10, 2008, 10:47:27 pm »
yiffy isnt actually sex, dont they just  :fap: in their costumes while humping each other?

didnt someone important once say hate the sin not the sinner?

Yeah, but do you have any idea what they did to that guy? Srsly.

Literate Chaotic / Re: The Religious Case Against Belief by James P. Carse
« on: November 10, 2008, 06:43:42 pm »
{My comments are in braces}

Part 1: Belief

Summoned to Rome in 1633, the aged and ailing Galileo Galilei made the arduous journey from Florence carried on a litter through mostly dreadful weather. He was, however, confident that the Inquisition would rule in his favor. He had reasons for thinking so. Pope Urban VIII had been a firm champion of his work and once had even written an ode in his honor. He was at the pinnacle of his scientific career. Although his discoveries had been received with some controversy, especially in the church, he had admirers at all levels of the hierarchy. He was probably the most famous person in all of Europe. Before his death he would be visited by a parade of notables, including Thomas Hobbes and John Milton. He regarded the trial largely a nuisance, a costly interruption of his work. What is more, it seemed highly improbable that the pope would make himself a fool in the estimate of the intellectual world. Galileo was nonetheless aware that there were powerful people outraged by his ideas. He was well aware that the outcome of every Inquisition was unpredictable. And in the background, there was always the possibility, however remote, of torture and prison, common features of an ecclesiastical trial.

The Inquisition, as history cannot forget, did not bear out his confidence. After months of interrogation, the exhausted, seventy-year-old Galileo gave in to the demands of the papal officers and signed his famous "abjuration." Specifically ordered to reject Copernicus's theory that the "earth is not the center of the universe," he agreed it was false and swore never to teach it again. The statement he was then forced, or chose, to sign is stark. Its decisive sentence leaves little ambiguity: "With sincere heart and unfeigned faith, I abjure, curse and detest my errors." And then, as if this were not enough, he added the disturbing promise, "Should I know any heretic or person suspected of heresy, I shall denounce him to this Holy Office." The confession, extreme as it was, softened but did not prevent his punishment. He was exiled to his farm in the village of Arcetri, near Florence, where he was held under virtual house arrest for the remaining eight years of his life.

The typical view of this event is that it demonstrates an inevitable conflict between religion and science: on one side is a set of fixed beliefs, and on the other is open and free inquiry into the nature of the physical world. But there are problems with this view. First, when Copernicus published his De Revolutionibus ninety years before Galileo's trial, he was largely unchallenged by both the church and the scientific community. In fact it had become a fairly typical element in the discourses among scholars. Second, nowhere in the transcript of the trial nor in his published works is there any suggestion that Galileo questioned the church's authority in matters of faith, as Martin Luther had a century earlier. On the contrary, he professed his devotion to the Church, even after the trial. What are we to make of this?

Part of the answer lies in the fact that Galileo accepted the church's authority in matters of faith. In his view, this authority did not extend to matters of science, or knowledge. He treats the two as distinct throughout his writings. For him, neither the church nor the scriptures had anything to do with his experiments. This worked both ways: if the church had no role in judging the accuracy of scientific research, neither did science offer basis for improving or rejecting belief. "The phases of Venus had no theological significance; the Bible was silent on the velocity of falling objects."

There is a deeper issue in the conflict between Galileo and the church. He was passionate about empirical knowledge, about discovering the truth of physical things through repeated experimentation and observation. Though he sometimes spoke as if there could be a catalogue of scientific knowledge that would account for all the mysteries of the material universe, the actual course of his life reveals that he accepted nothing as a settled conclusion. He always made further observations and improved the manner of doing so, while taking careful notes. It was not enough to prove wrong Aristotle's teaching that objects of different weights fall at different speeds; he went on to write a treatise, De Motu, on the laws of motion, after years of careful experiments and calculation. He was dedicated to discovering the truth, but his life reveals that there is no end of truths to be discovered, and none of them are beyond challenge."What drove him, in other words, was not his knowledge but his ignorance. He knew that he did not know. He also knew he would never know it all."

Since associating Galileo with ignorance may seem odd, it is important to have a very clear understanding of what is involved in making this connection. "Ignorance" can be understood in at least three very different ways:

1) Ordinary ignorance. This is simply lack of knowledge of one kind or another. We can satisfy this ignorance with bits of intelligible information, but there is no end of things that we do not know. In one respect ordinary ignorance is a trivial phenomenon, but it does have larger consequences when the object of our ignorance is of great consequence. {Note that this is essentially the same point about ignorance that Nassim Nicholas Taleb makes in Black Swan: what we don't know is often far more significant than what we do know.}

2) Willful ignorance. This is a subtler and potentially far more dangerous form of ignorance. It is, simply, when we are aware that we don't know something, but choose not to know it.
I avoid asking a friend what he truly thinks of me, even though it is perfectly evident there are strong feelings involved. We are aware that our teenage children have a full world outside our own, but we deliberately shield ourselves from it. Creationists act as if they are oblivious to the huge and tumultuous field of evolutionary theory.... The rich will often make a conscious choice to shield themselves from the circumstances of the poor; there are matters there that they would rather not know.

A particularly apt example of willful ignorance is the debate over the personhood of a fetus. So-called right-to-life ideologies claim scientific support for their belief that personhood begins at the moment of conception. That may well be true about personhood, but there can be no scientific support for the notion. Anyone who is even faintly familiar with scientific methodology knows perfectly well that not only the beginning, but the entire phenomenon of personhood–indeed, life itself–falls well outside the capacities of science. It is in this sense that those who firmly believe that personhood begins at conception are willfully ignorant: they intentionally overlook the great mass of scientific work that leaves that question unanswerable. To call on scientific authority in this case is a false gesture, and they know it.

3) Higher ignorance. This third type of ignorance is so different that it seems not to deserve the name at all. It is found at the heart of philosophical and religious traditions from their earliest appearance but there is no simple way to define it. It is this kind of ignorance that describes the inner dynamic of Galileo's life work. As Nicholas of Cusa put it in his De Docta Ingnorantia (Concerning Learned Ignorance): "Every inquiry proceeds by means of a comparative relation, whether an easy or a difficult one. Hence, the infinite, qua infinite, is unknown; for it escapes all comparative relation."
By "comparative relation," Nicholas means simply the way one finite thing can be compared to another. No matter how many of these relations we might perceive, they will never add up to the infinite. Thus our ignorance of what things truly are. Truth, after all, is not only infinite, "but something indivisible.... Hence, the intellect, which is not truth, never comprehends truth so precisely that truth cannot be comprehended infinitely more precisely." No matter how many truths we may accumulate, our knowledge falls infinitely short of the truth.

It is important to understand that this higher ignorance is a learned ignorance. It is not simply the common truism that the more we know, the more we realize that we don't know. "The more aware we are of the limitations of our knowledge, the more awake we are to the world's enormous varieties." {This is of particular interest to me, because it seems very similar to the BIP. Specifically, the "larger," inescapable interpretation of the BIP wherein we are free to learn and explore infinitely, but we will always be constrained by our physical, biological limits}

Asserting the equivalence of learning and ignorance provides a convenient lens through which we can recognize a pattern of thought familiar to a great many thinkers throughout history. The Roman philosopher Plotinus referred to the real as One; the only way to observe it is to be outside of it, but to be outside of it would be to pluralize it, in which case we are not observing the One. This line of thought influenced the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic mystics, who typically said that to know God is to be God, therefore all things divine remain hidden from us. We can even trace this thinking into the modern period. Kant claimed that we cannot know a thing as it is in itself, and therefore the ultimate nature of the world is inaccessible to the rational mind. Nietzsche declared that objective knowledge is only the result of creative thinkers and not a representation of anything. Heidegger wrote that the question "Why is there something rather than nothing?" is perfectly unanswerable.

Higher ignorance is well represented in the great religions. Enlightenment for the Buddha, for example, is impossible without the suspension of the speculative mind, and even then the elevation to ever higher levels of purified mindfulness never ends. The transcendent deity of Hinduism, Brahman, cannot be defined except to say it is "not this and not that" (neti neti). The Tao te Ching states that life is a journey that stops nowhere and is of no permanence. The phrase "by the will of Allah" in Islam reflects an awareness that what that will is cannot be predicted. The rabbinical tradition in Judaism is a discourse in which no one has the final word.

To be continued...

The Richard Nixon school of ballet and the arts / Re: Trolls in Party Hats
« on: November 10, 2008, 02:29:45 pm »

Or Kill Me / Re: To the undecided voters
« on: November 10, 2008, 02:25:47 pm »
In Australia you're "forced" to vote.

Note: this not preclude you from ticking every box and spoiling the ballot, or never registering.  I actually think that's a fairly good system.  Apathetic people never register, pissed off people spoil their ballots and create markets for niche political parties who then become the butt of jokes on various satirical current affairs programs.  Everyone wins.
Cain, our mainstream parties already make satire obsolete, do you really want niche parties for the truly demented?

On second thought, that would be absolutely hilarious.

Is it too Pinealist for me to say that, as a Discordian, I would approve of this?

Or Kill Me / Re: Dear Sophisticaton
« on: November 10, 2008, 04:36:55 am »

I agree with Payne. That bit is really striking. It's sort of a switch from self-deprecation to snide comment.

Discordian Recipes / Re: CUPCAKES!
« on: November 10, 2008, 04:31:38 am »
Red velvet cupcakes with vanilla cream cheese frosting:

Camera phone, but they'd probably be shitty pictures either way. I was lazy and didn't feel like finding my piping bag, so I used a big ziplock bag, cut one of the bottom corners off, and used that. I think it worked decently well, even if they won't be winning any cute cupcake awards.

Red velvet?



Discordian Recipes / Re: Add your eccentric food habits/tips/quirks here!
« on: November 10, 2008, 04:29:32 am »
chocolate belongs in mole sauce.

mole sauce belongs on chicken. looks like you're wrong.


Or Kill Me / Re: The Provolone Cheese Provokes me
« on: November 10, 2008, 03:40:16 am »
I suppose this was not the most acceptable location for the question presented prior to this modification, regardless the question is to be reformulated if presented again in the same or similar manner.

jesus tittyfucking christ.

doesn't anyone have anything interesting to say?

If you're looking for something in the tl;dr department:


Or Kill Me / Re: The Provolone Cheese Provokes me
« on: November 10, 2008, 03:10:41 am »
Greetings EV,

I don't know where your mind is, but when you find it, give it this message: the "Or Kill Me" subforum is for rants. That is, if you've got an idea that involves yelling at people, it goes in here. What you've got here is better reserved for Apple Talk, our 'general inanity' forum.

Random, incoherent silliness isn't really our thing here. We tend to focus more on creating new ideas and projects for making meatspace weirder, rather than just adding to the already infinite weirdness on the internet.

So welcome, check out the GASM Command subforum, and then bring your swimsuit for a visit to the pool on the roof! And by swimsuit, I mean hermetically sealed environmental protection outfit.

Principia Discussion / Re: Guess I will say "hi" for once
« on: November 10, 2008, 02:31:53 am »
Welcome, uh... GTA.r? Congratulations on having one of the hardest-to-abbreviate names I've seen.

The abbreviation for Eater of Clowns is EoC.

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