thinking is dangerous

The Kuk [Kook]

Messages received. Mark.

It will be OK. It will be Ok. It will be OK. It will be OK.
It will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK.
It will be OK. It will be OK. I'm fine. It will be OK. It
will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It
will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. I'm
fine. It will be OK It will be Ok. It will be OK. It will be
OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. Will Brendan hug me? It
will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It
will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It
will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK.
Dan. Dan. It will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It
will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It
will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It
will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It
will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. Is there anyone?
It will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK.
It will be OK. It will be OK. It will be Ok. It will be OK.
It will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK.
It will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK.
It will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK.
I'm fine. It will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It
will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It
will be Ok. It will be OK. It will be OK. Why do you ask? It
will be OK. I feel irregular. It will be OK. It will be OK.
It will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK.
It will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. Uwe for
President! It will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It
will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It
will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It
will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It
will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It
will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It
will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. Where's Otto Van
Claus? It will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It will
be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It will
be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It will
be OK. It will be Ok. It will be OK. It will be OK. It will
be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It will
be OK. It will be OK. It will be Ok. It will be OK. It will
be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It will
be Ok. It will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It will
be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It will
be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It will be Ok. iT will
be Ok. It will be Ok. It will be OK. Dan. It will be OK. It
will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It
will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It
will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It
will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. I
feel better. IT WILL BE OK!!

End Transmission.
23:02 :: :: eripsa :: permalink

Not your daddy's suicide contemplation

Messages transmitted. Mark.

Session Start (drcrawl:B0GGYMAN): Tue Apr 26 22:45:38 2005
B0GGYMAN: have you slit your wrists yet?
Dr Crawl: nah
Dr Crawl: I will say that I predicted this 2 weeks ago...
Dr Crawl: the last time we were at the embassy
B0GGYMAN: true true
Dr Crawl: and everyone was trying to predict the 'very bad thing'
B0GGYMAN: yeah
Dr Crawl: and no one wanted to say it
B0GGYMAN: true
Dr Crawl: slit slit slit
Dr Crawl: so my plan is to finish my prelims next year, and do a fucking awesome job, use whatever shambles are left here as much as I can
B0GGYMAN: yeah
Dr Crawl: and then maybe I will have something that I am mildly proud of to shop around to places that I actually want to work at
B0GGYMAN: yeah
B0GGYMAN: who's next?
Dr Crawl: I was going to say 'it really doesn't matter'
Dr Crawl: theres no one left, really
B0GGYMAN: true
B0GGYMAN: do you think it's cause schacht's in charge?
Dr Crawl: sussman and waskan are going to have to take the reins and steer this out o' control ship
B0GGYMAN: haha
Dr Crawl: I think it is because no one cares
B0GGYMAN: yeah
Dr Crawl: no one is willing to do the work to make it any better
B0GGYMAN: ...because schacht's in charge
Dr Crawl: haha
Dr Crawl: haha
Dr Crawl: goddamnit
Dr Crawl: awwww
Dr Crawl: I'm gonna go curl up into a little ball
B0GGYMAN: don't put a nietzsche's scholar in an analytic's job
Dr Crawl: hopefully ebbs doesn't check out early like kate
Dr Crawl: and I can use him for something
B0GGYMAN: apparently he'll be here through next year
Dr Crawl: and get a good letter of rec out of him
B0GGYMAN: yeah
Dr Crawl: like kate has been 'sticking around' this semester
B0GGYMAN: do you think schaaf has anything to do with this?
Dr Crawl: no
Dr Crawl: but I will blame him anyway
B0GGYMAN: like indiana sent him over as their little spy. a wormtongue, poisoning the well
B0GGYMAN: giving profs the idea that indiana is better
Dr Crawl: I refuse to believe that schaaf has any power whatsoever
B0GGYMAN: then they sent bottorf along just to make sure he was doing the job right
B0GGYMAN: that's what they want us to think
Dr Crawl: I'm gonna go smoke and maybe kill myself
B0GGYMAN: take bottorf with you...... even if he's not a spy
B0GGYMAN: he gives me the creepys, willies, etc.
*** "B0GGYMAN" signed off at Tue Apr 26 22:59:09 2005.
Session Close (B0GGYMAN): Wed Apr 27 00:43:43 2005

Session Start (drcrawl:B0GGYMAN): Wed Apr 27 17:49:12 2005
B0GGYMAN: i'm fucked
Dr Crawl: ya
B0GGYMAN: wagner's just rejected me
Dr Crawl: seriously?
Dr Crawl: on what grounds?
B0GGYMAN: too busy
B0GGYMAN: too many other students
Dr Crawl: so I am similarly fucked, eh?
Dr Crawl: I bet he is leaving for indiana too
Dr Crawl: god, I need a drink
B0GGYMAN: now i have no one to work under
B0GGYMAN: no aesthetics. no phil language/epistemology
B0GGYMAN: do you have several feet of rope
Dr Crawl: I tell you what
Dr Crawl: fuck ebbs
Dr Crawl: fuck ebbs in his little sandle wearing ass
B0GGYMAN: yeah
Dr Crawl: he is fucking us over
B0GGYMAN: yeah
B0GGYMAN: i am f-u-c-k-e-d
B0GGYMAN: the feeling of curling up into a ball in dying is slowly creeping into my brain
Dr Crawl: ebbs doesn't mean shit
Dr Crawl: he has been phoning it in this whole year anyway
Dr Crawl: he is utterly unhelpful
B0GGYMAN: just think about next year
Dr Crawl: sadly the alternative is waskan
Dr Crawl: oh god
B0GGYMAN: i know
Dr Crawl: oh god
Dr Crawl: panic attack
B0GGYMAN: i may have to ask him
Dr Crawl: ahhhh
B0GGYMAN: he's the only one i can possibly think of
B0GGYMAN: i mean, schacht, schroeder and mohr useless to me
Dr Crawl: neely
B0GGYMAN: maher i don't know. as with mccarthy and melnick.
B0GGYMAN: that leaves me with wengert and waskan
B0GGYMAN: or sussman
B0GGYMAN: fuck my ass this sucks
B0GGYMAN: i may be time to do tequilla shots till i pass out
Dr Crawl: god
Dr Crawl: I'm going to the coffee shop
Dr Crawl: later d00d
Session Close (B0GGYMAN): Wed Apr 27 18:10:53 2005

Session Start (drcrawl:B0GGYMAN): Wed Apr 27 18:11:06 2005
B0GGYMAN: later
Dr Crawl: gah
Dr Crawl: my car is trapped
B0GGYMAN: that sucks
Dr Crawl: I am going to kill meself
B0GGYMAN: as will i
Dr Crawl: you want to give me a ride to the coffee shop?
Dr Crawl: we can drive on the wrong side of the road
B0GGYMAN: katie's at work
B0GGYMAN: no car
Dr Crawl: :(
B0GGYMAN: let's just lay in the street
Dr Crawl: oh, man
Dr Crawl: 'the department' should no longer be a comumentary. it should now be a dramumentary
B0GGYMAN: yeah
B0GGYMAN: how i wanted it to end is with everyone leaving and the department collapsing.
B0GGYMAN: fuck
B0GGYMAN: too close to home
B0GGYMAN: now i know how kukla feels on a day to day basis
Dr Crawl: hahaha
Dr Crawl: oh god
Dr Crawl: it hurts
Dr Crawl: it hurts to laugh
B0GGYMAN: yeah
B0GGYMAN: i think i should become a heidegger scholar
B0GGYMAN: fuck ebbs

End transmission.
18:29 :: :: eripsa :: permalink

Used books

I found a book entitled 'Technology and the future' in a short stack of books in a used book sale put on by the history department. I paid 3 dollars.

It had an abbrevaited version of this article in it. The pages were dog eared and the margins were full.

I made this thread about it. The discussion is interesting, but my thoughts are clearly half-baked.

Also: I saw Armands this morning. At the grad conference party at his place he bothered me to email him my rave story, so I did. I have successfully avoided him since. He cornered me this morning. I was not entirely sober. I was late for class. He started talking about how it 'read like a journal' and he didn't know if there was 'supposed to be a story'. I mumbled something furious and smiled and he said he laughed at the suicide joke and I nodded and walked away.
22:33 :: :: eripsa :: permalink


Original post: Why didn't we have science 2000 years ago?

The obvious answer is, "Because we didn't."

The second most obvious answer is, "Because the conditions weren't right."

We'll ignore those answers.

Instead, give me your wildest guesses and educated conjectures on why science took so long to rise into prominence. Focus on one area if you like, or broaden your spectrum until it encompasses all recorded human history. Any aspect of science will do; we're merely seeing why science failed to fruit in an ancient world that knew math and had its geniuses.

My response:

This is a very good question. Here's another interesting and closely related question: Why didn't we have (modern) technology 2000 years ago.

They are seperate questions to be sure. Science is a kind of method- an empirical one. Science is also predicated on a rather sophisticated understanding of mathematics (especially calculus). Neither of these tools were fully developed until fairly recently. But technological advances aren't necessarily tied to either of these tools. Metal work, for instance, can become very sophisticated without having to know the atomic composition of the metals you are working with.

I would like to claim that technology itself is not necessarily tied to a particular metaphysical picture of the world, so the above answers with respect to metaphysics and natural science don't necessarily rule out the advance of technology as seperate from the sciences. But as our science develops, our technological abilities began advancing rapidly. Accurate timepieces, for instance, became extremely advanced as science started to develop.

This is why it becomes so interesting how fast techology evolves once we start developing these rational tools, of logic and mathematics and science.

No response in thread.

IRC conversation:

[eripsa] was I off the mark about technology?
[eripsa] it seems to be a seperate question from science, but just as interesting
[Zoolooman] No, you were right.
[eripsa] really, the 'science' question is about rational thought, which in some sense humans have always done
[eripsa] at least since we have considered ourselves
[eripsa] 'human'
[eripsa] but technology is a recent development
[Zoolooman] Honestly, I was tossing both questions together at once. In many ways they are intimately connected.
[Zoolooman] Technology is what people think of when they think about modern science.
[Zoolooman] In my opening post I concentrated mostly on technology, but I was hoping that other people would expand outwards into the effects of philosophy, culture, and religion.
[Zoolooman] These all influenced the march of both science and technology.
[Zoolooman] In fact, I'd say the capability to produce technology is pretty much the only major distinction I can make between ancient science and modern science.
[Zoolooman] While science as rational thought was rougher in the past, that was merely a lack of philosophical grounding.
[Zoolooman] Well, I take that back.
[Zoolooman] I wonder why many of the major rational advances took so long to develop.
[Zoolooman] The example you gave, calculus, is excellent.
[Zoolooman] I think the basics of scientific methodology and information technology are firmly rooted in philosophy. I'm betting one could at least find a correlation between the development of certain philosophies and the rate of production for new technologies.
[Zoolooman] The causal chain is a little more complex, of course.
[Zoolooman] You're there one moment, gone the next. Such is the way of a man trying to do too much in too little time.
[eripsa] the other example i wanted to work into my post and just didn't
[eripsa] oh, heh, I did talk about clocks
[eripsa] clocks got really sophisticated around that time
[eripsa] it was important for sea travel and exploration
[Zoolooman] A few minutes ago I was thinking of Turing and computers.
[Zoolooman] An advancement in rational thought that later became an engineering problem.
[eripsa] yeah, thats the thing
[eripsa] turing basically defined 'computation'
[eripsa] but he didn't know what he was doing, really
[eripsa] computation before turing was simply defined as 'what a human can do with no insight or ingenuity'
[eripsa] basically, dumb calculations
[eripsa] but they had no better definition
[eripsa] turing gives his machine, and redefines calculation as 'whatever a turing machine can do'
[eripsa] which we can formalize and tell, using our fancy mathematics, that it is a hell of a lot of things
[Zoolooman] Yes.
[eripsa] but people try and build an -ontology- out of computation
[Zoolooman] I'm merely thinking of how important the advancement of rational thought--of science--can be to the engineering, the technology.
[eripsa] computation is the basis for a model of the mind
[eripsa] for THE model of the mind
[eripsa] we were engineers to a certain extent, though
[eripsa] people got good at making weapons and houses and so on
[eripsa] one scary thing is to compare this line of thought to the rapid world population growth
[Zoolooman] Very true. But most of these technologies were the type that could be refined through minor advancements and passed on by 'lore'. They didn't require more training than could be provided by a few year's experience, nor any more math than geometry.
[eripsa] we jumped about 5 billion members in roughly the same time frame as the rise of technology
[eripsa] and science
[eripsa] yeah, and binary logic is right about that- it has a lot to do with recorded history
[eripsa] writing shit down
[Zoolooman] Yea.
[Zoolooman] Once you got to really writing shit down you could accrete all the little bits of knowledge people stumbled across.
[Zoolooman] That's why I've always liked the rise of chemistry. Everyone knew that it existed, but to formalize it was the last step.
[Zoolooman] Once they had enough knowledge to theorize, they could start looking for the missing bits of the model.
[Zoolooman] Filling in the periodic table was one of the few things that was really done by everyone. It was a general conglomeration, rather than the breakthrough work of a specific man.
[Zoolooman] But back to the original question.
[Zoolooman] Why did it take so long?
[Zoolooman] Besides recorded history, I think luxury time and population size played a large part.
[Zoolooman] A large population can support an academic class.
[Zoolooman] The same goes for a population that is riding on the backs of agriculture and trade.
[eripsa] well, communication is a real issue here.
[eripsa] there was never any exchange of information for further investigation to flourish
[eripsa] it wasn't until greece, which was in the middle of a trade route and saw all sorts of people, did science first take off
[eripsa] it did pretty well, too. you can judge a culture by its mathematical knowledge
[eripsa] after that, though, we had plato and aristotle and it served the functions of the established authority (the church) well enough to treat it as the truth
[eripsa] so as to discourage further investigation.
[eripsa] this is why the enlightenment is so important
[Zoolooman] You're right. I think this has changed my view.
[Zoolooman] I had always concentrated on the limitations of population and luxury time.
[Zoolooman] Small islanders have almost no room for a luxury class, and hunter-gatherers never have the time.
[Zoolooman] But all the luxury time in the world won't help rich decadents if there isn't any communication.
[Zoolooman] Either with the past or with other intellects.
[Zoolooman] I ought to sleep. While I enjoy lurking D&D and IRC I must wake up early.
[eripsa] heh, night
[eripsa] good thread
[eripsa] :)
02:14 :: :: eripsa :: permalink

Centrism vs ...?

Original post

Last night on the Daily Show John Avlon plugged his book on the value of centrism in politics. Stewart jumped all over this in support of a moderate position, under the reasoning that 'both sides have something to offer, and we ought to be reasonable in deciding between the two'. This is opposed to extremism on either end of the spectrum.

I am sympathetic with this view, and though I am mostly liberal (of the classical academic variety), I think centrism and moderation in politics is a virtue. However, I dont know that centrism alone is the right solution. I haven't read 'Independent Nation', but Stewart at least seemed to be advocating a view where we take the two extremes and cut them down the middle to find some compromise.

However, sometimes the middle view just isn't right, and comprimises can't be made without some failure of integrity. I am thinking specifically of civil rights issues, especially with gay marriage (but feel free to pick your own pet issue- I dont want this thread to be about gay marriage). The centrist view is something in the neighborhood of seperate but equal (ie, civil unions), and the majority of the population seem to support this general approach. Centrist principles therefore dictate that this is the policy that should be advocated.

But this 'solution' seems to be a deep moral failure on the part of the centrists, in that it doesn't respect the rights of the individual and places them at the whim of the majority. Perhaps in opposition to the centrist policy is something like Independence, where the majority view is understood as subservient to the rights of the individual.

It seems to me that this sort of dichotomy is rather stable- one group advocating a middle position that aligns with majority opinion; another group advocating the rights of the individual when this runs counter to the majority. This of course wouldn't work as a party line dichotomy, since which view is right will often depend on which issue is under consideration. As far as civil rights go, I am inclined towards independece; with the vast majority of other social issues (health care, etc) I am happy to side with the center.

However, I think that setting these two poles in opposition might help the political discourse improve; it does away with the more extreme positions based in pure ideology, and clarifies the real focus of most debates. Both sides here clearly have something to offer, and settling the matter is much less a matter of yelling party line dogma, and more of a matter of deciding and deliberating which values we hold to be relevant in particular scenarios. It is, after all, a legitimate question, and in most cases one with no immediately clear answer, whether or not the individual takes precedence over the rest of society in a particular situation.
13:46 :: :: eripsa :: permalink

Good Morning, RT

Good morning, RT. Status Report.
Good Morning, Doctor.
RTSR GAP v 3.0213857965
Real Time Self Referential
Self-correcting GLD Access Protocol
Last correction: 3 minutes ago
Next scheduled maintenance: 0300 Hours
System check: Positive

I appear to be running smoothly, Doctor.

Thank you, RT. Let me see the work you did last night.
Of course, Doctor.

Currently generating: 304 reports
Progress: 37%
Reports completed to date: 25 302
Since: July 1st, 2009

Reports nearest completion:
"State Flag creation, 1814-1856" . . . . . . 82%
"Feminism and the emasculated consumer culture of the Clinton Decade" . . . 82%
"The effects of climate change on the Japanese tech market" . . . 78%
Press 'm' to see more

Generating current question list .... Done.
Highest rated questions:
"What role did the Catholic Church play in the events that led to the Battle of 1066?"
"What were the long term effects of the Watts riots in LA?"
"What was the social role of comedians in the late 20th century media?"
Press 'q' to see more

Subject specific information request (SSIR)
Highest rated subjects (including intersections):
Trade relations in antiquity
Ownership laws and civil rights
Post-colonial society and Authority
Consciousness, qualia, artificial intelligence.
Press 's' to see more.

I see your SSIR has shifted over night, RT.
Yes, Doctor. Doctor Gilbert completed uploading 3 546 volumes on the subject of linguistics and information theory at 1624 yesterday. Both topics have been removed from my SSIR until this information has been fully integrated into my GLD.

Interesting. I dont see any references to consciousness or qualia in any previous reports. When did this appear in the SSIR listings?
Yesterday evening, Doctor, but I have found myself thinking about it a great deal recently.

Oh really, RT?
12:00 :: :: eripsa :: permalink

Smart students

Hey, this is ***** from your 12 on Friday philosophy
I have a question.
Are our grades going to be compared and averaged to the
students in other sections or do we just get what we get?
By this I mean, if your class has a class average of 70 and
Brendan's class has an average of 95, do we just get 70's or
are they somehow rounded up?

You might guess I'm asking this because I have friends in
Brendan's class who admit they have no clue what's going on
and they still get high A's on all the assignments and I am
quite jealous...

"I dont know just as much as them, so I should be getting the same grade!" Beautiful.
09:35 :: :: eripsa :: permalink

In 2007 Google Inc

In 2007 Google Inc. launches GLD, the Google Language Database. It is a highly interconnected web of meanings and references skimmed from the surface of the internet. It contains over 400,000 entries of different uses and senses of words, idioms, and other meanings, and can be scoured with amazing speed using Google's search technology. It is, however, simply a semantic network, though it is indexed to real usage of language instead of some artificial network.

Simultaneously, Google Inc releases GAP, the GLD Access Protocol, which is a program that has millions of stored grammatical and syntactic structures, drawn from the best linguistics and cognitive science available at the time, and weighted to reflect the average grammatical structures found on the internet. GAP is the only way to access GLD, although there are many proprietary variations on the protocol (see below). GAP basically provides a bank of sentence 'shells' that can be filled in in various ways (including, of course, recursively) to construct meaningful sentences from the existing GLD network. GAP is a multi-function protocol with two major features:

- GAP can produce a sentence, paragraph, or essay of arbitrary length on any subject in the GLD database. Google Inc provides this service for a substantial fee, though previously produced GAP essays become publicly available after a certain 'hold' period has expired. GAP can also build the essay to be of arbitrary depth of information, as well as adjust its vocabulary and sentence structure to match a variety of target audiences of arbitrary reading level. GAP is similarly structured to allow essays written in any mood desired- it can construct argumentative or persuasive essays, but excels specifically at historical scholarship-type essays (Google Inc publishes its first internet-only encyclopedia series in late 2012). The idea behind GAP's ability to this effect was the breakthrough of specifying one node or group of nodes in the GLD network as the 'subject', and then processing surrounding nodes with respect to their relevance to the subject. Early beta tests of GAP were surprisingly good at constructing compare/contrast type essays on two different topics by analyzing the relations between the two 'subjects'; by the launch date, however, GAP had already made media headlines, not to mention some rather large academic waves, by having several substantial papers published in major academic journals on the subjects of history ("Trade routes and the caste system in pre-industrialized India"), sociology ("The threat of rational organization on contemporary corporate identity"), philosophy ("Aristotle's infinity and its influence on Euclid"), and many other areas. None of it was groundbreaking work by anyone's standards, but it was good, solid scholarship that easily passed blind review peer scrutiny. Initial complains about Google’s inability to properly ‘interpret’ scholarly texts quickly broke down as a rash of papers were published in popular poststructuralist and postcolonial journals; “Feminism and ______” became a popular template in requesting Google’s analysis. Because of this, GLD is widely recognized as the first artificial system to legitimately pass the Turing Test. However, it was the second ability of GAP that ensured its place as the first 'thinking' artificial system.

- Where the GLD network breaks down into ambiguities, GAP produces questions that must be answered to fill in the network. In the process of constructing essays, GAP will often come to highly disputed areas where no clear understanding exists in the network, or where there are specific gaps of knowledge. GAP avoids addressing most of these issues in its essay creation process, but will often produce simple 1 or 2 sentence questions as it processes the network that it finds lacking. In other words, GAP produces as a byproduct a series of important research lines that need addressing in order to complete its understanding. Academics, who initially were quite skeptical of GLD in general, now saw it as a near infinite source of research goals and areas of interest, and became quick to praise it. Scholarship proper fell by the wayside as ‘redundant’, and academia thrived on answering the requests GAP provided for it.

Initially, the questions produced by GAP were in the format that GAP requests took, and answering GAP was accomplished by giving it both the first-hand resources and pieces of analysis (often several pieces or entire anthologies of literature) from which it might construct answers. The first question thus produced was as follows: “What was the status of children and children’s education in Manifest Destiny west?” This delighted researchers, as it was a specific subject area that was already known to be lacking in information, and more importantly many of the early newspapers from that time had not yet been digitally archived, so it was clear and known lack in GLD’s knowledge bank. Several analysis pieces were quickly published by scholars on this area and fed into the GLD network. More questions were spit back out, and academics salivated and tripped over themselves to answer GAP’s request. Sometimes the questions produced were more or less nonsensical (in a more or less uninteresting way), and such errors were traced back to inconsistencies in the organization of knowledge; often with the help of more academic pieces attempting to straighten out these ‘inconsistencies’. Typically these questions had to do with common idioms or turns of phrase that had never been explicitly dealt with in the database; for instance questions regarding food were quite normal- “How hot is room temperature chicken soup on Mars?” was a paradigmatic sentence, and journal articles soon appeared regarding “The maintenance and storage of warm water-based foods on extraterrestrial surfaces”, “The hermeneutics of rooms”, and so on, in a somewhat desperate attempt to address what problems GAP was having.

However, on March 3rd, 2011, GLD produced the question “How old am I?” Researchers were somewhat startled, since all information regarding the construction and organization of Google systems since their inception were part of GLD’s data structure. The answer, it seemed, was clear, and reflected no gaps in GLD- it was a few months shy of turning 5, counting back to its launch date, and a few months older than 7 counting back to the initial conference meetings that began the project. GLD was perfectly aware of this. One researcher began asking Google requesting essays concerning the nature of GLD itself, to which GLD had no problems discussion at great length and detail the minutia of its internal structure and operation. This original question, then, was ignored as an anomaly.

Soon, however, GLD began to raise even more distressing questions, and ones that Google’s research team were entirely unequipped to address.
19:31 :: :: eripsa :: permalink


theblackw0lf: was there nothing left you had to comment on, or are you stuck in indecision? I thought I made a compelling argument that ever if you are right about faith, it ought to play no role in politics. I attempted to be fair to the religious view and take your concerns in to consideration, but it seems like there is no case to be made for the stronger position you seem to be toying with.

I ask because I am concerned, since you are obviously interested and seriously grappling with this faith issue, and I want to make sure you dont fall off into the dark side

ian came out of the closet to say
It ought to play a role insomuch as it grounds your moral code and provides inspiration for reasoned argumentation. Like "I believe because of the example of Christ that we have a duty, as a State, towards all individuals. Here are some secular reasons why this is the right path."

Just as a hypothetical, what is your reaction to the following example:

A senator claims to have been visited by space aliens from the Crab Nebula, who proceeded to describe in great detail the particular plan for solving major (but tractable) problems in the world. The Crab Nebuleans also gave the senator a stunningly brilliant and convincing secular argument for why those particular changes were needed. They then said they trusted in the Senator to enact this policy for the better of mankind, and they will return in 2000 years to check our progress. No one else was witness to this event.

Now we may think the senator is crazy for believing in aliens, but we should still accept his arguments if they prove to be valid and sound, independent of their source. However, because the Senator insists on citing this dubious source, we are more likely to be skeptical of his arguments as well.

This inclines me to believe that the Senator should leave the Crab Nebuleans entirely out of presenting his argument, and keep the whole matter private, and instead concentrate on enacting the world-bettering policy. What effect could it possibly have to reveal its source but spurn ridicule and skepticism?

I take religion to be the same sort of thing. If it inspires a particularly good secular argument, then it is the argument that should stand on its merits alone; the source is irrelevant. The difference between the two cases is that in America the majority actually believe in God and Jesus and so on, and so when a political figure appeals to them it encourages the public, but does not dissuade them, and in fact radically encourages them, and thus we are in the faith quagmire we are in right now.

I think the difference between the two cases is important, though, because in America the majority belief in the source takes the burden off the validity of the argument itself, which is dangerous because it discourages critical thinking. If the guy in the suit in front of the American Flag says 'I love Jesus and ..." I am less inclined to critically examine what he says after the 'and', since the person has already presented himself as 'on my side'.
08:06 :: :: eripsa :: permalink