Afraid to Turn the Knob

"To ask the question is to answer it."

If this doesn't happen—if I break—I'm going to war.

A few years ago I began thinking of mathematics as a vast landscape, with uncharted territory (indeterminate statements), which on occasion needed new axioms to be mapped properly, due to Gödel. But now I'm thinking it's better to think of it as a vast archipelago, with axiomatic causeways connecting one mapped island to another. Islands separated by vast amounts of mysterious ocean, our feeble little brains slowly crawling the beaches and painstakingly mapping the details, forever condemned to remain completely uncertain of the topology of the vast ocean floor surrounding us.

eminently corruptible
a willing infidel

“You can say ‘Gee, your life must be pretty bleak if you don’t think there’s a purpose,’ but I’m anticipating having a good lunch,” Watson told Dawkins.

"I do kind of. I can't explain it right now." "Another dent here, another dent here."
"I'm sorry for your loss, your mother was a terribly attractive woman."
"Come on lets shag ass."
"Have you met someone else?" "I couldn't even begin to think about knowing how to answer that question."
"God dammit don't do that to yourself, I'm the one that failed them, or anyway, it's nobody's fault."
"Immediately after making this statement, Royal realized it was true."
"I can't stop thinking about you."

If I ever happen to go someplace like this, I'm going to need to buy a really nice camera.

"Ah-ha, minor corneal damage. Page me if it spreads to the other eye."
"What is this, what's going on? Why are you squeezing me with your body?"

With respect to the "religion", I think it could do a lot of good, leveraging a currently untapped market of people who are growing increasingly disgusted by religion, but who aren't yet able to see they can live without religion. It'd be atheism for the less considerate. Setting aside for a moment that the very idea of starting a religion could, without much effort, be labeled a compromise where none-be-deserved, I think it could be done without any other compromise. We needn't include any sort of superstitious or mystical claims. Though, would we want to avoid further hijacking of religious terminology, to avoid further blurring of the words? For instance, numinous/spiritual type experiences? Certainly god would be a difficult issue to talk about. But emphasis of reason, and evidence, and rationality, and consistency would all go a long way to helping the world. As well as a positive message, which is not as difficult as many people believe.

I think at the heart of the issue with creationists/IDers, and in general with mystical thinking, is the notion that something can lie outside the purview of science. Now I find that difficult to swallow, through the following reasoning. Currently we know that our bodies are made of protons, neutrons and electrons, interacting through three or four well understood forces. We have mathematics that explains these particles and the interactions between them extremely well. Suppose we are missing something---either a particle, a force, or some other ingredient, sub-atomic or macroscopic, it doesn't matter---what can we say about this missing ingredient? At first, you might think "nothing at all", but that isn't true... suppose this missing ingredient is in fact observable, we simply haven't yet observed it. Wait, I'm getting off topic... if it is to have any influence whatsoever on reality, it MUST be observable, else Occam must execute it. Now this is the bread-and-butter: phenomena only come in three real flavors: deterministic, (in which case the setup/input completely determines the outcome/output), probabilistic (in which case the setup describes a set of potential outcomes, and typically corresponding likelihoods for each distinct potential outcome), and completely random, in which the outputs are completely independent of the inputs. Unfortunately for god, mathematics has provided us with very good tools to detect and distinguish, and quantify, all three of these kinds of phenomena. Including some sophisticated measurements of random. Furthermore, the pace with which these tools have evolved has only increased in time, and no clear limit to their sophistication is within sight.

I think I might agree with the global falsity stance of error theory, as it appears to describe the illusory conflict I had previously noted between moral relativism and moral absolutists. (I.e., absolutists claiming relativism disqualifies the system from being morals, and relativists claiming there can be no such thing as absolute morals.)

Neo-conservatives are unlike old conservatives because they are utilitarians, not moralists, and because their aim is the prosperity of post-industrial society, not the recovery of a golden age.
-Irving Kristol

The problem I have with Irving is that he says he's not after a recovery of a golden age, and yet he says, "People need religion. It's a vehicle for a moral tradition. A crucial role. Nothing can take its place. " Which is EXACTLY trying to recover a golden age, or at least preserve a perceived golden age, which is similarly irrational.
Or this!!!:
If you have standards, moral standards, you have to want to make them prevail, and at the very least you have to argue in their favor. Now, show me where libertarians have argued in some comprehensive way for a set of moral standards. ... I don't think morality can be decided on the private level. I think you need public guidance and public support for a moral consensus. The average person has to know instinctively, without thinking too much about it, how he should raise his children.

What the hell!! one minute they're "not moralists", and the next you're claiming you're better than the liberals because they lack moral standards and you don't??? Will someone PLEASE take the microphone away from these clowns?

From here:
Comment 18:
This is the thinking behind the populist nonsense that advanced education is only for the elite. All through our history as a species, those in power have voiced concerns over an educated populace, and passed these fears on to their inferiors, who regard the educated as a threat to their egos because it gives them “ideas”. To those in power, education should be confined to grinding out millions of identically-minded coolie workers with just enough know-how to stoke the fires of commerce, but not enough to think for themselves. This is what underpins the right-wing cultural engine that propagandizes intellectualism as suspect and has for decades.
They helped me remember, it is the "noble lie". Comment 29 said the noble lie is occasionally noble---I must add, but it is ALWAYS a lie! How is it that the people who argue morals are absolute appear less moral than I do as a moral relativist?

Our identities are not controlled entirely by ourselves, they are also imposed upon us.


Nothing Left to Burn

"Bring your hips to me"

What a weird idea. Still seems very likely impossible though. It's hard to imagine a plant that can grow significantly faster than the fastest growing plants we have.

"Nothing shocks me. I'm a scientist."

Logicomix just enlightened me to the tragic parallels of Socrates' hemlock and Turing's chemical sentence, which is thought to have driven him to suicide. It's discouraging that in more than 2400 years, humanity still hasn't learned not to commit terrible acts against one another, especially for such innocent acts. How many Geniuses have will killed for jesus? And what price has humanity paid for it?

Too much fantasy and not enough reality is a bad thing.

Is there a contradiction between the phrase "buy American" and "no socialism" or "capitalism only" or that whole line of thinking?

I think possibly the real issue with mind-blindness is that all humans communicate expecting others to understand them, it seems that is an implicit presumption when communicating. But if the words or symbols, or the pattern of ideas, is not shared between the communicators, then both the speaker and listener run the risk of thinking that the communication is successful, when in fact it isn't. If the disagreement between patterns of thought is very great, then it will be obvious that communication has broken down, but, if instead it is only slight, with words and phrases taking on slightly distorted meanings, or interpretations, then a much more sinister problem arises, with both sides believing, the listener believing they have received correctly, and the speaker believing they have sent correctly, when in fact both have failed.

Lots of weird dreaming last night. I only remember two, in the first, I was with my roommate, we were going somewhere, so we got in a helicopter, which is weird since neither of us are pilots. I think he was flying it, and we were doing fine, but then we went much higher and it just turned off. It was weird, my reaction was like, "really? the helicopter just turned off? bummer…" So we crashed. I remember a sort of calmness during the descent, even though I thought it would most likely kill us both. Instead when it crashed we both got thrown into the ground real hard. I laid for a minute, sort of amazed I didn't die, then I heard him groan, and I was even more amazed we both survived. Then, sometime after that I either woke up and realized it was a dream, or began to realize in the dream, but I don't remember anything after that.

The other dream, I was playing a video game, taking turns with someone else, but I don't know who. I wasn't very good, and it was some weird mario-like game, in 3d. And thats about all I remember.

I <3 Criticism. No, really, I really really really want to know what I do wrong, what I am wrong about, where I am wrong. I really want to know how to be a better person, a smarter person, a kinder person. A more emphatic person. (Thats a joke, I mean empathetic.)

I want to have my hand on mystery again.
I like the term clock recovery.
De novo.
"It's made with real bits of panther, so you know it's good."

Perish the thought.

Puzzles about secrets are not meant to keep secrets, but to challenge the curious. When it's desired that a secret remains so, the carrier simply never speaks of it.

The Kopp-Etchells effect is beautiful.

Looking through the list of requests on facebook, and seeing that a group I just joined, (looking for a million evolution supporters by june), is encouraging me to invite my list of friends, I had an epiphany: the most ingenious use of social networking sites is to pass on the activity of spamming to the users! Friends, or even acquaintances (like much of facebook), must respond much better to junk mail from people they know, instead of computers or nigerians, right?

What gives? Give it to me.

It can't come and go that quick, can it?
I need thawing. I need time to learn, and recall, and adjust. Clarity is tremendously helpful. It is motivating and inspires confidence. I just need to keep it in my head, to avoid the doubts that do nothing constructive; to stay on track, on aim for the target.
I think it's important to remember that these aren't things I want to change to make you happy, they are things I want to change to make me happy. I don't want to be distant, or unexpressive. I want to be able to pick up on your feelings.
But it will take me time to grow out of my shell. As I learn to be more comfortable around you, I can then think more rationally, and not over-think, and maybe even just feel, eventually. I don't want to live my whole life without feeling.

"When there's nothing left to burn you have to set yourself on fire."

I'd love to turn you on.