‹ First  < 41 42 43 44 45 >  Last ›
 
   
 

First post. Introduction and invitation.

 
Traces Elk
 
Avatar
 
 
Traces Elk
Total Posts:  5591
Joined  27-09-2006
 
 
 
15 November 2008 13:05
 
burt - 15 November 2008 04:14 PM

Good grief, you’re using words I barely recognize to describe a satorial faux pax, at least as far as Santa Cruz was concerned.  De rigeur was jeans and a T-shirt with hair in a pony tail.

By the early 90’s? Get outta town, Burt. By then the hippies were gone and the wine and cheesers had taken over, both in town and on campus. The only hippies left in SC by that time didn’t have twenty-five bucks to spend on a boiled artichoke and a sandwich.

We’re tryin’ to tell stories, here, and you’re reciting the wrong stereotype for the time and place. Anyway, I was expecting you to dash my vision of the aging preppie with a battered 70’s Saab and a heart of gold to tell me you’d slouch in there from Watsonville in a pair of snakeskin cowboy boots and a bolo tie, doin’ the boot-scootin’ boogie trying to get your artichoke boiled.

P.S. The terms are “sartorial” and “faux pas”, and if you weren’t reading-impaired, you’d have picked that up somewhere. At least you got “de rigeur”. One-for-three from three-point range.

 
 
burt
 
Avatar
 
 
burt
Total Posts:  14779
Joined  17-12-2006
 
 
 
15 November 2008 14:31
 
Salt Creek - 15 November 2008 06:05 PM
burt - 15 November 2008 04:14 PM

Good grief, you’re using words I barely recognize to describe a satorial faux pax, at least as far as Santa Cruz was concerned.  De rigeur was jeans and a T-shirt with hair in a pony tail.

By the early 90’s? Get outta town, Burt. By then the hippies were gone and the wine and cheesers had taken over, both in town and on campus. The only hippies left in SC by that time didn’t have twenty-five bucks to spend on a boiled artichoke and a sandwich.

We’re tryin’ to tell stories, here, and you’re reciting the wrong stereotype for the time and place. Anyway, I was expecting you to dash my vision of the aging preppie with a battered 70’s Saab and a heart of gold to tell me you’d slouch in there from Watsonville in a pair of snakeskin cowboy boots and a bolo tie, doin’ the boot-scootin’ boogie trying to get your artichoke boiled.

P.S. The terms are “sartorial” and “faux pas”, and if you weren’t reading-impaired, you’d have picked that up somewhere. At least you got “de rigeur”. One-for-three from three-point range.

I wondered about “s” or “x” but decided you would correct me when wrong.  And isn’t reading impaired, it’s incipient dyslexia—too much work with permutation groups (an occupational hazard for mathematicians): if I had a dog it would go “foow.”  grin

Obviously you hadn’t visited Santa Cruz in fall 1990.  When my wife got there she took one look around and exclaimed “Hippiedom lives.”  There was one difference though, it was the only place in the world where I could sit at a table in a coffee house and overhear two bedraggled hippies at the next table discussing stock options and their next ipo.

 
keith
 
Avatar
 
 
keith
Total Posts:  138
Joined  11-01-2008
 
 
 
18 November 2008 00:04
 
Salt Creek - 15 November 2008 03:17 PM

 

As for what I’ve had to tell Keith about his manifesto on “Truth”, perhaps a remedial review is in order for you. Keith appears to have written a very earnest essay of no mean length which aims to inform us of the truth that the concept of Truth is outmoded. He’s proven it to us. You filosofeazers. Always getting hosed by your own retards.

You keep returning to this SC. But what you’re talking about is essentially what Karl Popper did to Logical Positivism’s last ditch ‘truth’ defense in the mid 1930s. The mouse that the Vienna Circle finally brought forth from the mountain of all of its scholarly papers and discussions was that our only meaningful statements are those that can be objectively verified*. Popper basically stepped on the mouse (or in your terms, ‘hosed them by their own retards’) in pointing out that they could offer no such verification for this statement. Very simply: Yes, there was indeed a massive and definitive intellectual judo flip, but it was your/our side that went down, and has been there ever since. Objective proof is finally just as irrational – as a basis for our assignation of qualitatively greater certainty to some of our proposals (your ‘truth’ understanding) – as the theist’s ‘Jesus told me in my heart’. Neither of the main relevant trends from the past 80 years ((A) continued disintegration of our commonsense truth understandings, through the writings of all credible academic epistemologists, (B) the rise of post-structuralism/knowledge-relativism) could have happened if we had indeed been able to hold the bunker from which you are now still taking your lone sniper shots. Remember our discoveries, in the 60’s and 70’s, of those die hard Japanese soldiers abandoned on far flung pacific atolls by the Imperial Navy’s retreat, who were still in their own minds fighting WW2? I’m afraid that your position is like theirs, but less tragic in that this particular war has not yet been lost. It’s simply moved to other fronts, including the one that ‘Truth?’ deals with; on which, as explained therein, I believe that we have a real chance of turning the whole thing around. As noted many times now, I admire your Samurai spirit and bushido, but I’d rather have you here with me, fighting where you can make some difference. In this spirit I’d ask you yet again to try re-reading ‘Truth?’ as a prelude to actually responding to its specific arguments. I believe you’ll find that several of these logically preclude the kind of simplistic blanket rejection [“No dismissal of our ‘truth’ concept can possibly be coherent because, of course, it can’t be true”] implied by your above ‘review’. 

BR,

Keith

*As expressed in its final mantra ‘The meaning of any statement is its verification procedure’.

 
keith
 
Avatar
 
 
keith
Total Posts:  138
Joined  11-01-2008
 
 
 
18 November 2008 02:09
 

BTW, and further to the aging hippies diversion; ‘I are one’. I used to deal in the substance that Logic of Scientific Discovery would abbreviate to if we hadn’t chickened out through insertion of the small c. And Ken Kessy’s ‘Electric Cool Aid Acid Test’ was perhaps my favorite book from that era.  confused

 
Traces Elk
 
Avatar
 
 
Traces Elk
Total Posts:  5591
Joined  27-09-2006
 
 
 
18 November 2008 05:57
 
keith - 18 November 2008 05:04 AM

I believe that we have a real chance of turning the whole thing around. As noted many times now, I admire your Samurai spirit and bushido, but I’d rather have you here with me, fighting where you can make some difference. In this spirit I’d ask you yet again to try re-reading ‘Truth?’ as a prelude to actually responding to its specific arguments.

You believe it, huh? Make some difference, huh? What is this? Groundhog Day, where anything different is good? Not much difference, AFAIK. You want to substitute adoption of one text for adoption of another one. Funny, that. I just asked the other day, what’s the difference between a tautology?

If I wanted to be convinced via an argument, there are billions of fucking texts I can read, Keith. You haven’t really explained how yours is better. It’s just another fucking text, and doesn’t really stand out except by your constant maintenance of it here in a forum, where you behave like a fucking evangelist for it. Sure, it beats the Bible, hands down. That ain’t saying much, I can tell you.  I’m just making sure that whoever reads your argument below in which you assert “the obsolescence of objective proof” also has an alternative viewpoint to read. One which points out the confusion that has evidently just swept you off your fucking feet.

keith - 18 November 2008 05:04 AM

Neither of the main relevant trends from the past 80 years ((A) continued disintegration of our commonsense truth understandings, through the writings of all credible academic epistemologists, (B) the rise of post-structuralism/knowledge-relativism) could have happened if we had indeed been able to hold the bunker from which you are now still taking your lone sniper shots.

You apparently believe both of these trends are relevant outside of philosophy circles. Maybe you don’t really, but you certainly apply rhetorical flourishes as if you did. I bet you can’t tell me your basis for believing it. It would be interesting to see you point to some data that indicates how “influential” these trends have been, outside philosophy, that is. You’re giving post-structuralism and knowledge-relativism some respect outside the areas where they’re “applied”. Referring to statements of post-structuralists themselves that they are influential doesn’t count. “Academic epistemology” is to scientific practice what bubblegum is to steak. Or, if you prefer, soy burgers.

Sure, we can all just end up in a big shouting match that “proves” how relevant we are. When it comes to trumpeting its own “relevance”, philosophy is as loud as anything, Keith. When it comes to proving its relevance, it sucks. Philosophy says, “I have X billion adherents. That means I’m the big cheese of the century.”

keith - 18 November 2008 05:04 AM

Yes, there was indeed a massive and definitive intellectual judo flip, but it was your/our side that went down, and has been there ever since.

Yes, Keith. This is your argument. Not an argument, really, but an assertion. It goes with the whole “relevance” thingy. If I wanted to be convinced by a fucking argument, there are so many choices, and so little time. Thanks, but I haven’t lost confidence in the scientific method simply because some whiny post-structuralists have baldly asserted that knowledge is toast.

keith - 18 November 2008 05:04 AM

Very simply:  Objective proof is finally just as irrational – as a basis for our assignation of qualitatively greater certainty to some of our proposals (your ‘truth’ understanding) – as the theist’s ‘Jesus told me in my heart’.

Ah, here we go. Perhaps a glimmer of an opening to where we can agree. You now say “some of our proposals”. What say I let you handle those “some of our proposals” and you let me handle mine, after you tell me, of course, which proposals we are talking about. I don’t want to be a philosopher, Keith. At least, I don’t want to behave like one, if that involves, for example, watching my language so that I don’t slip up and say “the dinosaurs became extinct 65 million years ago” or “the solar system is the result of gravitational self-accretion of a cold pre-solar nebula”, as if they were true statements, without always qualifying them with the prefix “current knowledge suggests”. That’s philosophical bullshit, Keith, aimed at some other project, and it’s about where the granola starts creeping in for you. I can smell woo woo just around the corner.

Don’t call it “proof”, Keith. You’re battling ghosts. If you want to say that supporting one’s argument with objective evidence is irrational, or that there is no objective evidence for anything, well, I guess you’re going to say so. Welcome to solipsism, bub. So far, all you’ve had to offer is your text on “Truth”, and no evidence to recommend it over other texts. You could, for example, give some evidence that your “text” can cure theists of their fixation on their own “Truth”. Let’s have some testimonials, shall we? rather than just another pile of bloviated exegesis of your own work. Philosophy has gotten more and more obnoxious to the degree it has stopped trying to show how relevant it is and replaced that with trying to tell people explicitly how relevant it is. That this coincides with the rise of the practice of amateur philosophy in internet forums is also what I would call a “relevant” trend.

[ Edited: 18 November 2008 07:00 by Traces Elk]
 
 
Traces Elk
 
Avatar
 
 
Traces Elk
Total Posts:  5591
Joined  27-09-2006
 
 
 
18 November 2008 06:22
 
keith - 18 November 2008 07:09 AM

BTW, and further to the aging hippies diversion; ‘I are one’. I used to deal in the substance that Logic of Scientific Discovery would abbreviate to if we hadn’t chickened out through insertion of the small c. And Ken Kessy’s ‘Electric Cool Aid Acid Test’ was perhaps my favorite book from that era.

Ray: See, a lot of guys I know think that you’re… confused. But I know it’s just an act. Wanna know how I know?
Watts: Enlighten me.
Ray: Because you radiate this sexual vibe and I know that if you wanted, you could be a girl
[snaps fingers]
Ray: like that.
Watts: Ray, this is 1987. Did you know a girl can be whatever she wants to be?
Ray: I know. My mom’s a plumber.
Watts: That explains a lot about you, Ray.

It’s not so much to say the content of Ray’s declaration that his mom’s a plumber explains so much about him. It’s the fact that he wants to make the declaration that is informative.

 
 
Traces Elk
 
Avatar
 
 
Traces Elk
Total Posts:  5591
Joined  27-09-2006
 
 
 
18 November 2008 07:03
 
keith - 18 November 2008 07:09 AM

And Ken Kessy’s ‘Electric Cool Aid Acid Test’ was perhaps my favorite book from that era.

Keith, one of the bad side effects of disenchantment with “Truth” (whatever good it may do) is that it seems all-too-often to lead to a disrespect of accuracy. One suspects that this analysis puts the epistemological cart before the horse, and wants to suggest that a disenchantment with Truth serves mainly to cover up an incompetence in maintaining accuracy.

I’ve never been all that naive about what makes the Ken Kesey types shrink away from truth, and what causes them to decide that simple inspection of the evidence is insufficient (or maybe just too, um, unsatisfying).

Too many looks spoil the froth.

Hairball philosophy will probably win out over scientific accuracy as the primary influence on the activities of human beings in the long run, and is the principal reason that I make myself indifferent as to which arguments of philosophers eventually win out. It’s all the same bullshit. That is why I do not join in your project. You don’t want me.

[ Edited: 18 November 2008 07:33 by Traces Elk]
 
 
burt
 
Avatar
 
 
burt
Total Posts:  14779
Joined  17-12-2006
 
 
 
19 November 2008 09:57
 

Keith, it doesn’t suggest eliminating the concept of truth itself as you would like, but you might find the book The Incomplete Universe by Patrick Grim of some interest in your project.  From the flyleaf:  “The central claim of this powerful philosophical exploration is that within any logic we have, there can be no coherent notion of all truth or of total knowledge.  Grim examines a series of logical paradoxes and related formal results to reveal their implications for contemporary epistemology, metaphysics, and the philosophy of religion.  He reaches the provocative conclusion that if the universe is thought of in terms of its truths, it is essentially open and incomplete.” 

Somehow I’m reminded of the phrase that got al Hallaj in trouble: “An al Haqq!”

 
keith
 
Avatar
 
 
keith
Total Posts:  138
Joined  11-01-2008
 
 
 
20 November 2008 22:27
 
burt - 19 November 2008 02:57 PM

Keith, it doesn’t suggest eliminating the concept of truth itself as you would like, but you might find the book The Incomplete Universe by Patrick Grim of some interest in your project.  From the flyleaf:  “The central claim of this powerful philosophical exploration is that within any logic we have, there can be no coherent notion of all truth or of total knowledge.  Grim examines a series of logical paradoxes and related formal results to reveal their implications for contemporary epistemology, metaphysics, and the philosophy of religion.  He reaches the provocative conclusion that if the universe is thought of in terms of its truths, it is essentially open and incomplete.” 

Somehow I’m reminded of the phrase that got al Hallaj in trouble: “An al Haqq!”


Hello Burt, and thanks for the tip.

Patrick Grim’s book does sound interesting, so I will look for it as soon as I get back to civilization (and Barnes & Noble). From what you’re saying Grim’s conclusions would seem to have a lot of cross links to Gödel, not to mention the points made in your paper on intrinsic limitations to full self-consciousness for AI.

From a quick Google search al Hallaj also sounds like a rather interesting character. Kind of an Islamic Meister Eckhart. Although intended in a very different (in fact 180 degrees opposite) way, his quote reminds me of a much more recent one from Tom Delay. When smoking his cigar in a Washington restaurant, and politely told by the waitress that this was against the law: “I am the law!”. Methinks that al Hallai and Delay pretty well represent opposite ends of the spectrum of human quality.

BR,

Keith

 
burt
 
Avatar
 
 
burt
Total Posts:  14779
Joined  17-12-2006
 
 
 
20 November 2008 22:57
 
keith - 21 November 2008 03:27 AM
burt - 19 November 2008 02:57 PM

Keith, it doesn’t suggest eliminating the concept of truth itself as you would like, but you might find the book The Incomplete Universe by Patrick Grim of some interest in your project.  From the flyleaf:  “The central claim of this powerful philosophical exploration is that within any logic we have, there can be no coherent notion of all truth or of total knowledge.  Grim examines a series of logical paradoxes and related formal results to reveal their implications for contemporary epistemology, metaphysics, and the philosophy of religion.  He reaches the provocative conclusion that if the universe is thought of in terms of its truths, it is essentially open and incomplete.” 

Somehow I’m reminded of the phrase that got al Hallaj in trouble: “An al Haqq!”


Hello Burt, and thanks for the tip.

Patrick Grim’s book does sound interesting, so I will look for it as soon as I get back to civilization (and Barnes & Noble). From what you’re saying Grim’s conclusions would seem to have a lot of cross links to Gödel, not to mention the points made in your paper on intrinsic limitations to full self-consciousness for AI.

From a quick Google search al Hallaj also sounds like a rather interesting character. Kind of an Islamic Meister Eckhart. Although intended in a very different (in fact 180 degrees opposite) way, his quote reminds me of a much more recent one from Tom Delay. When smoking his cigar in a Washington restaurant, and politely told by the waitress that this was against the law: “I am the law!”. Methinks that al Hallai and Delay pretty well represent opposite ends of the spectrum of human quality.

BR,

Keith

LOL 

You probably won’t find the Grim book at Barnes & Noble, it’s an academic book from MIT press and is out of print.  Amazon has copies at ridiculous prices ($127+ when the publishers list price is $35).  It does deal with the Gödel results among other things, but is more general. 

BTW, in your quest to eliminate “truth” I suspect that there is one final truth that you won’t be able to get rid of, namely the openness of mind to infinite possibility—what it seems to me you want to eliminate is anything that stands as a veil to that by being taken as a finality. 

Here is an image I’ve enjoyed playing with for a while: consider a circle with a single point missing at the top.  Leading out of this point in the counter-clockwise direction is an arrow labeled “subject” and out of the point in the clockwise direction is an arrow labeled “object.”  Somewhere on the circle between these two is a slash labeled “Cartesian Cut.”  In that cut there is a Maxwell Demon who receives sensations and labels them as “me” or “not me.”  The former he throws to the subject side of the circle and the latter to the object side.  This cut is movable, however, and sometimes this demon plays the Buddhist game of “not me, not me” tossing more and more onto the object side so that the subject becomes more and more tenuous.  At other times, the demon begins tossing everything to the subject side, identifying “me” with more and more until the objects fade from view.

 
Traces Elk
 
Avatar
 
 
Traces Elk
Total Posts:  5591
Joined  27-09-2006
 
 
 
21 November 2008 07:37
 
burt - 21 November 2008 03:57 AM

BTW, in your quest to eliminate “truth” I suspect that there is one final truth that you won’t be able to get rid of, namely the openness of mind to infinite possibility—what it seems to me you want to eliminate is anything that stands as a veil to that by being taken as a finality.

Naturally, the mind must remain open to stuff like the following:

burt - 19 November 2008 06:06 PM

If one observes, however, one notes that the plane has enough power that it can fly straight up, indicating that the later scenes, in which the pilot is is essence using the propeller to maintain the plane in an attitude where it can come down almost as a helicopter, appears quite reasonable.  No violation of aerodynamic laws, just a very talented pilot motivated by survival panic channeled into right action.  People can, on occasion and when properly motivated, do extra-ordinary things.

When engaging in openness of mind to infinite possibility, one has to take the thick with the thin. Some of it is very thin.

 
 
burt
 
Avatar
 
 
burt
Total Posts:  14779
Joined  17-12-2006
 
 
 
21 November 2008 08:13
 
Salt Creek - 21 November 2008 12:37 PM
burt - 21 November 2008 03:57 AM

BTW, in your quest to eliminate “truth” I suspect that there is one final truth that you won’t be able to get rid of, namely the openness of mind to infinite possibility—what it seems to me you want to eliminate is anything that stands as a veil to that by being taken as a finality.

Naturally, the mind must remain open to stuff like the following:

burt - 19 November 2008 06:06 PM

If one observes, however, one notes that the plane has enough power that it can fly straight up, indicating that the later scenes, in which the pilot is is essence using the propeller to maintain the plane in an attitude where it can come down almost as a helicopter, appears quite reasonable.  No violation of aerodynamic laws, just a very talented pilot motivated by survival panic channeled into right action.  People can, on occasion and when properly motivated, do extra-ordinary things.

When engaging in openness of mind to infinite possibility, one has to take the thick with the thin. Some of it is very thin.

You’re getting old, Salty.

 
Traces Elk
 
Avatar
 
 
Traces Elk
Total Posts:  5591
Joined  27-09-2006
 
 
 
21 November 2008 08:38
 
burt - 21 November 2008 01:13 PM

You’re getting old, Salty.

Oh, aren’t we all, Burt? Eventually we all get old enough that we turn into worm food and stop (as individual proponents) bullshitting other people (as potential converts) about the infinite possibilities of possibility.

That’s why I take such comfort in the laws of aerodynamics, Burt, as written down by people like Prandtl. They have a kind of agelessness about them that I never tire of. It’s the possibility of impossibility that you won’t ever get over, as long as you live.

 
 
keith
 
Avatar
 
 
keith
Total Posts:  138
Joined  11-01-2008
 
 
 
10 December 2008 01:29
 

This post is primarily for Salt Creek, but may also be of some interest to others who have been following this long thread. Since starting the thread I’ve made considerable changes to my essay (‘Truth?’). These have been largely in response to the criticisms received here; some of which have been explict, as in SCs case, but many of which have been implicit (in the sense of misunderstanding, and the implied requirement from that for increased clarity from my side). I’ve now substituted the full revision at the blog site:  http://poppersinversion.blogspot.com . I’ve also pasted in here the essay’s penultimate paragraph. This contains one of the several explict challenges to SCs ‘straw man’ charge that have now been incorporated into the essay. I’d invite SC to address this, and/or any of the others, as an alternative to continued unsupported assertion of the straw man charge.

Best regards to all,

Keith

———————-

In final conclusion: ‘Our’ knowledge (rational/scientific/observation-based knowledge, and all of the beautiful and satisfying subjective knowledge that can be seen to flow from this [ref. ‘Consilience’, ‘Unweaving the Rainbow’, ‘The Soul of Science’, ‘The Elegant Universe’, anything by Carl Sagan, and so on]) does not need the illusory reinforcement of being representative of the actual state of reality. To circle back at last to my header statement: We know why we believe what we believe. We can defend it elegantly and sufficiently upon that basis. And wherever we cannot - wherever we find some proposal of ours to be opposed by some more reasonable logically exclusive proposal - we can honestly set ours aside in favor of that alternative. This is in direct contrast to the kind of knowledge against which we have been contending – explicitly, ever since Athens, but probably for a lot longer. All of that stuff can be seen to rest entirely upon the ‘truth’ illusion. It has always lived by this, and so could at last die by it; if we dare to push our attack at the level beneath its deepest defense. Let me restate clearly that I am not proposing abandonment of our ‘truth’ concept because I have something against the word. I am proposing abandonment of our idea that we possess a special and qualitatively better kind of knowledge – which I believe myself to have shown to be (A) widely held*, and (B) an illusion** – and I am suggesting abandonment of the most explicit words (‘true’ and ‘truth’) through which we have observably been maintaining this idea as our most elegant and direct way of embarking upon the project. To preempt a frequent objection that has been raised to earlier drafts of this essay: It is irrelevant that those who will still wish to maintain the idea will oppose us by attempting to shift it to other words. Of course they will. But so what? When this happens we will simply point out that its invocation through such alternative words is every bit as absurd as it was through the primary words (indeed, perhaps more so, in that more of us will by then know better). Basically, this objection seems as strange as would be that of the generals in charge of Army A to allowing their champion to defeat the champion put up by Army B, on grounds that Army B would then put up another champion. The retort of Army A’s champion is obvious.

* For the most compelling corroboration of this claim I would suggest a fresh look at our world’s present plethora of logically exclusive and irrational knowledge systems. To deal only with the tip of this iceberg: The defining proposals of Christianity logically exclude those of Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, and so on. Each of whose defining proposals logically exclude those of all of the others. None of these can be seen to be in any sense rational, as they are all logically excluded by our system of directly observation based knowledge (science). So to maintain any one of them - in preference to the others and to our observation based system - that one must be understood to have some additional, and reason independent, property. Most simply; it must be offered and accepted as a special and better kind of knowledge. To drive this nail one last time: I am saying that our world could only be as it can be seen to be by virtue of our having been doing the thing that I claim that we have been doing. Explicitly, non-rhetorically; I would ask all who claim to follow reason, yet who would dismiss this essay on the easy and superficial ‘straw man’ charge, to answer me here.

** If Point 1 stands: if we create all of the divisions through which we can have knowledge; then we have never had a special and better kind of knowledge. Reason and ‘truth’ are simply, at this deepest accessible level, mutually exclusive.

 
burt
 
Avatar
 
 
burt
Total Posts:  14779
Joined  17-12-2006
 
 
 
10 December 2008 08:23
 

Keith, I appreciate your efforts to clear out the clutter of the chattering mind, but do have a question:

In the space of pure reason that remains, devoid of thought, with all theories, beliefs, suppositions held in suspension, (that transparent space of crystal clear perception tinged with golden shimmer), where is the heart?  wink

 
‹ First  < 41 42 43 44 45 >  Last ›