Author Topic: Edicts  (Read 1480 times)

chaotic neutral observer

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Edicts
« on: May 09, 2021, 03:57:56 pm »
#1: Faith is Sin.

Unwavering belief in the rightness of one's thoughts and actions is a fundamental evil, since it admits no possibility of error.  Even if the root of the belief is benevolent, or benign, you cannot have faith without closing your eyes.  And once your eyes are closed, you are ready to trample over anything and everything.

All of my beliefs are false.
Some of my beliefs are correct to within a decimal place or so, but limited by my senses and mental capacity.
Some of my beliefs are models; I know them to be false, but they're good enough for practical purposes.
Some of my beliefs are generally reasonable, but flawed in ways that I'm unaware of.
Some of my beliefs are honkier than gooseshit.  I'd like to think that I'll correct these when I become aware of them, but this doesn't happen as often as it should.
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chaotic neutral observer

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Re: Edicts
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2021, 04:12:02 pm »
#1: Science is Destruction.

Science is not a fountain of knowledge and enlightenment, that improves humanity's condition.  That might be its ostensible objective, and even an occasional side-effect, but that's not what it is.

The fundamental basis of science is that the sole test of any hypothesis is experiment.  But experimentation does not tell you when something is true, only when it is false. It lets you construct models, but the models are not true; they are a set of refined guesses that aren't proven false yet.  Science's function is to strip away the errors and lies from the vast volume of human ideas, while sometimes adding new ones.  What we're left with, is something that looks like knowledge and enlightenment....but that's not science.  That's science's leftovers.

Science isn't the steak.  Science is the cleaver.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2021, 08:05:35 pm by chaotic neutral observer »
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chaotic neutral observer

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Re: Edicts
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2021, 04:28:07 pm »
#1: Magic is Real.

Magic is real and beautiful and horrible and spectacular and mundane and difficult and ON SALE AT DEPARTMENT STORES WORLDWIDE.

They probably taught you some basic magic in school, but didn't make a big deal out of it.  Most of the time, it fades into the background.  You see, usually you'll just be paying someone else to do magic for you, often by buying some trinket that has it built-in.

If you want to actually practice magic, expect it to take at least two years of hard study, four if you do it at one of the major academies, and possibly decades if you want to delve deep into the mysteries.  There will almost always be math involved.

There's a lot of fake magic out there, but there's a simple way to identify the real thing:

It's obvious when Real Magic fails.
When fake magic fails, nothing happens.  But, that's pretty much the same as when the fake magic "works".

True, when Real Magic fails, sometimes nothing happens...but the potential exists for it to blow up in your face.  If your magic doesn't backfire from time-to-time, the chances are good you're not doing anything at all.

Mispronouncing a word in the Lord's Prayer causes you to grow mushrooms out of your eyeballs?  Real Magic.
Using the wrong syntax to command the demon living in your computer makes it delete all your files?  Real Magic.
Sticking the wrong crystal up your butt causes you to puke rainbows?  Real Magic.

You know what they call alternative medicine that works?  "Medicine."
You know what they call magic that works?  "Technology".
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chaotic neutral observer

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Re: Edicts
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2021, 04:34:07 pm »
#1: The Principle of Symmetry.

Any horrible truth I discover about humanity in general applies to me too.  If civilization is a thin veneer, and people are barely domesticated barbarians, then I'm no exception.  If humans are gullible sheeple, then I am one as well.

We're all the same.
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chaotic neutral observer

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Re: Edicts
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2021, 04:38:54 pm »
#1: The Principle of Asymmetry.

Any horrible truth I discover about myself doesn't necessarily apply to everyone else.  My flaws are not universal; my delusions are not shared.

We're not all the same.
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Re: Edicts
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2021, 04:42:44 pm »
#1: Notice Confusion.

"I notice that I am confused" is a mantra I learned from an article on rationalism...or perhaps it was Harry Potter fanfiction.

Regardless, it is useful to recognize the symptoms of confusion in myself.  Sometimes it means I have insufficient information; sometimes it means I have wrong information; and sometimes it means I'm experiencing cognitive dissonance.

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Re: Edicts
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2021, 04:57:05 pm »
#1: More.  Weight.

"More weight" were the last words of Giles Corey, as they piled stones on his chest, to force him to confess during the Salem Witch Trials.

(...more accurately, they were trying to force him to plead guilty/not-guilty, so that the trial could proceed, and they could convict him, execute him, and seize his property.  By dying without trial, his assets would pass to his heirs, instead.  But that's not really relevant, here.)

This idea recurs in a number of cliches:  "pedal-to-the-metal", "balls-to-the-wall", "go-big-or-go-home".

Apply this principle universally.  If what you're doing isn't Big, it's not worth doing.  Fail spectacularly.  Succeed spectacularly.  Do it FOR SCIENCE.  Do it for the lulz.  If it isn't Big, why are you doing it at all?

More. Weight.
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chaotic neutral observer

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Re: Edicts
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2021, 05:38:03 pm »
#1: Righteousness

Morality is an individual person's idea of right-and-wrong.
Legality is the government's idea of right-and-wrong.
Ethics is a philosopher's (or corporate headquarters') idea of right-and-wrong.

Justice, however, is an ideal, perfect and absolute--and therefore, subject to being used as a label to justify mushy human constructs.
If an individual wants revenge, they call it justice.  The government tacks "department of justice" on their legal institutions.

Beware of conflation of the above concepts, especially when the labels get swapped around.
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Re: Edicts
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2021, 07:52:53 pm »
Nice.

Doktor Howl

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Re: Edicts
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2021, 09:56:03 pm »
I'm enjoying the hell out of this.
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Re: Edicts
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2021, 05:09:50 pm »
You know what they call magic that works?  "Technology".

Yep.  We build aircraft because we couldn't make magic carpets work.
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Re: Edicts
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2021, 02:30:00 pm »
#1: All Damage is Permanent

Nietzsche wrote:  "From the military school of life.—That which does not kill me, makes me stronger."

But Nietzsche was a sickly little geek with delusions of grandeur and an opium addiction.  His military career consisted of contracting diphtheria, dysentery, and syphilis; then, he tore some muscles while jumping onto a horse, and was scarcely able to walk for three months.

Wishful thinking does not trump the second law of thermodynamics.

Expenditure of energy allows for the creation of new things...but you can never restore what is lost.

Wounds may heal, but the scars will remain.
The toothpaste cannot be returned to the tube.
This elevator only goes to the basement.
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Re: Edicts
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2021, 11:44:34 pm »
#1: All Damage is Permanent

Nietzsche wrote:  "From the military school of life.—That which does not kill me, makes me stronger."

But Nietzsche was a sickly little geek with delusions of grandeur and an opium addiction.  His military career consisted of contracting diphtheria, dysentery, and syphilis; then, he tore some muscles while jumping onto a horse, and was scarcely able to walk for three months.

Wishful thinking does not trump the second law of thermodynamics.

Expenditure of energy allows for the creation of new things...but you can never restore what is lost.

Wounds may heal, but the scars will remain.
The toothpaste cannot be returned to the tube.
This elevator only goes to the basement.

1.  You're not wrong about damage being permanent.

2.  I bet I could make a machine to stuff the toothpaste back in the tube.

3.  Elevators ONLY ever go to the basement.
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chaotic neutral observer

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Re: Edicts
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2021, 02:32:22 pm »
2.  I bet I could make a machine to stuff the toothpaste back in the tube.
Well, sure, if you want to hasten the heat-death of the universe.
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Re: Edicts
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2021, 05:09:53 pm »
2.  I bet I could make a machine to stuff the toothpaste back in the tube.
Well, sure, if you want to hasten the heat-death of the universe.

 :regret:
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