[FoRK] Re: "Thanks for the Facts. Now Sell Them."

Lion Kimbro <lionkimbro at gmail.com> on Fri Apr 20 13:12:06 PDT 2007

On 4/20/07, Tom Higgins <tomhiggins at gmail.com> wrote:
> Semantical two stepping and linguistic half shadings are nice if you
> are into that sort of thing, problem is not everyone wears the same
> tinted shades.

  All language shades, all language values, and so on.
  You are hardly immune, and if you believe you are, you just
  haven't studied yourself enough.


> Are you or are you not attributing a value to the universe?

  Of course we are!

  We're saying that the universe is of **profound value.**

  If you don't want to think that the universe is valuable,
  be my guest.

  But we think this is something people can find a lot of value in.

  Here are two Albert Einstein quotes for you:
  * "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though
nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."
  * "I answer, the man who regards his own life and that of his fellow
creatures as meaningless is not merely unfortunate but almost
disqualified for life."

  Valuing is a creative act that people *do.*

  You don't have to do it, if you don't want to,
  but many of us see great value in it.


> >Again, I'm not saying that a mountain rock is "alive" and thinks
> >and so on;  But it very clearly takes part in the life of the worm that
> >lives in it, and can be considered part of the life of the worm."
>
> Takes part in how? What Attributes does it bring to the game such that
> it takes part in? And what is the Universe exactly, this thing we are
> branding as a thing in itself with attributes.

  Well, it supplies all the dirt that the worm eats.


  The Universe is everything.  It's all the stuff, it's all the space,
  it's all the rules, it's everything.  It's even you.  You are made of
  Universe.  It's "that stuff behind the mathematical symbols."
  It's all the stuff that happens.

  It's the set "U".

  What else would it be?


> >  The book doesn't say that the universe has an independent
> >  consciousness-- it says that the universe has become conscious,
> >  and that scientists (who we presume are telling the story to you)
> >  are telling its story to you.
>
> Again, Universe what? "Has Become Conscious" how, why and to what
> extent? "Telling its story" means what?

  It's simple:

  At some moment "t," there was the first Conscious express in the
  Universe, regardless of how you decide to define Consciousness.
  At the moment t-1, there *wasn't* any Consciousness.

  So at moment "t," the Universe became Conscious.

  You and I evolved, and we can understand ideas.  We did science,
  and studied the Universe.  We learned about the Cosmic Microwave
  Background Radiation, we used standard candles to figure out where
  things are, we did a bunch of research to figure out how everything
  was more or less set up and progressing.

  Thus, we have learned the story of the Universe.

  So, we say: "The Universe sees itself through us, and has learned
  its own story through us."

  This isn't "Mr. Universe."  This isn't some "God on a cloud."
  This is as plain and simple as you, and me.  We don't fool anybody,
  and if anybody starts to get the wrong idea, we say, "No, that's not
  what we're talking about here."

  There *are* some people, who make arguments that "thinking" is
  a fair word for the process of evolution.  Ideas form and spread
  within our own brains, perhaps just like evolution:  Bad ideas are
  snuffed out, good ideas are repeated and spread.  Is "thinking"
  a fair word for the process of evolution that played out on earth?
  I don't know about that one, myself.  But if it's true that ideas
  form by evolutionary processes within our brain, I think it's a
  **really neat** similarity, and I wouldn't feel ashamed about
  talking about the grand thinking process that took place on Earth.
  (Just as long as everyone understood what we were talking about.)

  There's got to be place for poetry in life, and even living poetry,
  as long as you see reality straight.


> Again, when you try to wrap something simple in the emperors new
> jiggey you will run into problems, unless you get an "on faith" buy
> in...which as we can see from this exchange is not happening.

  Eh?

  I understand what you mean by "Emperor's new jiggey," you are
  saying that we're dressing up something in ways that are meaningless.
  (I *strongly* disagree, and will argue that you already have a "dressing"
   for the universe, you just can't see that you have a "dressing,"
   because you're so used to it.)
  But the "on faith" and "we can see from this exchange," I'm not
  getting it.

  If I were to describe your world, I might describe something like so:
  * It's a barren environment, cold, and very strict & unfriendly.
  * The universe is alien to us, we are totally different than it.
  * It has a sort of somber feeling.
  * Imagination is folly, unless kept in a very safe box, and
    not to be applied anywhere outside of that box.
  * The people here are mad;  The best we can do is snicker.
  * Our side is the smart ones, and we're the only reason
    anything good really happens here.

  I'm not saying that you actually *SAY* any of this.  And I won't
  give voice to my personal speculation of what you think.
  But I will say that this imagery is *invoked* not just by the arguments
  you make, but even by the very language you use.

  We are talking about the exact same science, the exact same
  world, the exact same universe, but using dramatically different
  language.

  I posit that language is: inherently symbolic, meaningful,
  and **consequential.**

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