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Richard Nixon's glittering half-life sarcophagus / Re: Academia Ghetto Thread
« Last post by Freeky on March 24, 2017, 12:31:09 am »
That sucks, Nigel.  :sad:
Question for all you spags:

If you have an online friend and you are concerned that they might be bipolar, do you risk offending them and say something? Or let it be?

Online friend? Doubt if it'd make a difference one way or another. Unless they're asking you. Upswing or downswing?

Upswing. They didn't ask, or I would have just told them. It would be completely unsolicited and therefore potentially offensive.

Lot of variables I'm not aware of but in my experience, manic phase - it'll be in one ear and out the other. If it goes in at all. Usually the time to mention it to me would have been after the party but by then the damage is done. Tough call. You're Nigel. Go with your instincts.
Bring and Brag / Re: P3nT's Shoops
« Last post by P3nT4gR4m on March 23, 2017, 11:53:08 pm »
Here he is after the blender treatment, with a dash of shoop to wash it down.

Or Kill Me / Re: You're not conscious
« Last post by Cramulus on March 23, 2017, 08:54:36 pm »
I'd like to take a sec to touch some of my own skepticism and uncertainty:

There's all this talk about the "centers" - mental, emotional, physical... Each center is an "apparatus" or "mind" that dictates certain functions.

A lot of people have chopped up the centers into various subparts. One system tells you that each center has its own intellect, emotion, and movement. Another system will tell you that the physical center (more often called the "moving center") has three parts: motor, instinct, and sex.  Et cetera.

I think this is kinda dodgy and hard to verify, especially since the centers are all working at the same time. If I want a healthy sandwich, is that intellect? emotion? body? a mix of all three, right? so how are these categories useful?

The self is a funhouse mirror - if you go looking into your own mental processes through the lens that there are two centers, God and the Devil, you will be able to recognize your thoughts and behaviors as either belonging to God or the Devil. What you seek so shall you find. So how can any of these divisions be "real"?


What I think is key here is that we're trying to figure out where our thoughts come from.

And through doing that, we're trying to develop something outside of those forces, which can moderate it.

I used to think of emotions as these more or less automatic processes that get in our way. I saw the rational, logical mind is the real self we have to listen to. After all, of all the centers, the intellect seems the most under our control. So isn't that the self?

But this line of self-observation illuminated to me the ways that my intellect is also mechanical, that it has its own needs which are sometimes in conflict with other parts of me. And if I focus on intellect, I become unbalanced. The consciousness we're working on is something outside of the intellect, something that can moderate it or make room for it as needed by the harmonious, combined self.
Or Kill Me / Re: You're not conscious
« Last post by Cramulus on March 23, 2017, 08:34:53 pm »

Yeah the language here is tricky, since we’re talking about hyper-subjective internal experiences. I’m thankful that this thread hasn’t gotten too mired in definitions. I’ve intentionally shifted between terms like Consciousness, Mindfulness, Self-Awareness and Self-Remembering, even though they are not technically interchangeable, and none of those are 100% accurate to what we’re talking about.

The way that I’m discussing consciousness here, it’s something aspirational - a clear state of mind that we can achieve through self-observation and intentional effort. The little sparks we get from time to time are the tip of the iceberg.

If most of your thoughts and behaviors are mechanical, there’s a level of selfhood that you’re missing out on. The consciousness I am pointing at is a path to build a “real self”.

Some people call this the development of the “soul”. I’ve avoided talking about the soul, because that word comes with a lot of baggage. But it’s worth mentioning: in this scheme, people aren’t born with a “soul” (whatever that may be). One can develop a “soul” over a long period of time through conscious labor and intentional suffering. But we’re in deep metaphor country here. Let’s not worry too hard about metaphysical stuff like that - for now, let’s stick to the practical.
It really is a testament to how successful society IS, that so many people seem to feel they can opt out without immediate dire risk to their survival.

Truth. Just like only a person lucky enough to be born into the most fabulously wealthy civilization in human history could somehow end up believing that poverty itself arises only from bad choices or moral weakness, or only a person born under the fairest laws in history could somehow think injustice is a only a delusion in the minds of its victims. In past ages, when the whole world was hostile and the state really was out for your blood, no one would deny that some people got the short end of the stick by chance of birth and deserved something better than they had the power to earn for themselves. It's a serious indictment of humanity that once presented with the tools to eradicate disease, poverty, and starvation, we choose instead to just stop seeing those things as problems.
Literate Chaotic / Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Last post by tyrannosaurus vex on March 23, 2017, 08:25:30 pm »
Next on my plate: Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue, by John McWhorter. (Thanks to QGP for the recommendation). It's an audiobook because a) I only read audiobooks & idgaf, and b) in an etymology book it's helpful to actually hear the language. So far it's entertaining, even though the author likes to go on tirades against The Etymology Establishment and the grammar police. It's sort of adorable to hear someone have such strong feelings over a subject so thoroughly nerdy.
Oh, and it's conflicting with my preadsorption that I was going to finish Monday, and also I might not be able to go to Manitoba.

This A&P assignment is already interfering with my research. Not only that, but while teaching Principles required a weekly 2-hour meeting, plus 2 3-hour sections, plus one office hour, plus two to three hours of grading, it was possible to get it done in 12 hours a week, max. A&P requires one three-hour weekly meeting, two hours of dissection, two 3-hour sections, 2 hours of open lab, and, for the first year, sitting in on another TA's 3-hour section. How many hours am I getting paid for? NOT SIXTEEN.
Literate Chaotic / Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Last post by Mesozoic Mister Nigel on March 23, 2017, 08:05:45 pm »
I haven't read much Campbell, but I loved the Power of Myth series. Your review makes me want to add him to my reading list!

I don't think you would go wrong to put him in your list. As a bonus, beyond the interesting subject matter, the writing itself is eloquent and even poetic, without being needlessly flowery or pretentious like some spoofs of "letters home from the Civil War". It's almost depressing because it presents a higher version of the English language that has been almost completely lost, even in the formal academic writing of today.

Hahaha, formal academic writing... don't get me started. It was never meant to be beautiful, and the recent shift toward making it READABLE is a vast improvement over the shitty vocabulary vomit of most late-20th-century science writing.

A truly beautiful writer has always been a rarity, and it's encouraging to hear that Campbell was one.
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