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Everything posted by lemur

  1. Back to the OP: no, no science intelligent or otherwise can be pursued without some level of philosophizing. Even discussing and deciding what science means or can mean requires philosophizing. Obviously there is a timeless authoritarian dream of establishing meanings, definitions, protocols, etc. in a way that requires no creative input or critical thought, but that dream is applied to all types of ways of knowing, not just science. E.g. Law, religion/theology/spirituality, history, practical skills, etc. all have both authoritarian and non-authoritarian approaches possible. Of course, authoritarians will insist that the authoritarian approach is the only true approach to anything, but that's because that is part of authoritarian philosophy, or rather "anti-philosophical practice."
  2. I wasn't trying to, so sorry. I was just expressing my general observation of how these ideologies work in practice. What other link is there between accepting evolution and responsibility regarding human population growth management? The ideal of scientific value-free objectivism would assume that acceptance of truth precedes one's interest in the consequences. However, for many if not most people the acceptance or rejection of knowledge hinges on the consequences of accepting that knowledge. People simply ignore inconvenient truths and embrace those that they can deal with. It is pathetic, but what possible way is their to overcome such stubborn interest-driven mind-control? All "social Darwinism" means to me is applying evolutionist logic to human life and history. I know there are moral attitudes such as "let the weak die because it's good for the progress of the species" but that is just one branch, imo. Generally, I see social Darwinism as the general notion that human culture and biology evolves according to the logic of survival of the fittest. Generally, I think there is as much or more social-economic force against letting nature take its course as there is supporting it. Ironically, social darwinism is often used to validate the position of the wealthy, for example, even though wealth is used to insulate people against environmental challenges that could potentially drive individuals and families to extinction. I'm not for anyone going extinct but it is worth noting, imo, that survival-of-the-fittest type evolution is just one way among many in which human culture, economics, and biology evolve. Maybe not presently, but if sustainable resource and labor self-sufficiency could be achieved at the urban level it would be quite interesting how much room for population growth existed just on Earth alone.
  3. I understood and accepted evolution long before I ever even studied or understood creationism or Judeo-Christianity generally. However, now that I do understand the worldview that goes with religious perspective, I think it is narrow to say what you have, which many others say as well, that belief/acceptance of evolution should somehow be used as a litmus test for people's right and ability to have their own worldview regarding reproduction. People who are religious believe in an infinity bounty of the universe, even if it is yet only potential or nascent. They basically think that God will provide for however many people inhabit the universe. They assume that technological advances and cultural reforms will be the miracles that pave the road to an ever abundant future. There is certainly no counter-evidence for this in history and social darwinists, with their emphasis on extinction of less fit organisms to pave the way for an enhanced elite to survive and progress harbors a cynicism that others have a right to eschew, imo, regardless of how much evidence supports this way of looking at ecological history. Personally, I believe that reforms could be made that would neutralize CO2 output in ways that would liberate reproductive freedom by reducing per capita CO2 output and, more importantly imo, fossil fuel usage. However, I do understand how people have come to see climate change mitigation as a new malthusianism that substitutes ecological disaster for the tradition war/famine/plague scenarios of malthusian overpopulation. I would say if you want to garner support for climate change mitigations the way to do that would be to frame it in positive terms. I watched a speech by Bill Gates in which he was extremely optimistic about CO2 neutrality. If you clearly describe cultural and industrial practices that will achieve emissions standards and present them as doable and desirable and explain why and how, I think there would be more support. The problem is that right now people have the idea that they will not survive the economic and cultural reforms called for so they give up even considering them. Read the rest of his post. I found it to be a pretty well elaborated counter-malthusian position. The Texas-area part was just the part I liked best because it was a concrete comparison, including noting that the density would not much exceed the density of many urban cities.
  4. This is classic Malthusian logic. Jackson was presenting the classical counter-argument to Malthusian, namely that in practice Malthusian pessimism has always been transcended by new technologies and growth sustainability far beyond what was predicted to be bearable in the past. Then the solution is not to abandon the ideology of individualism because people are appropriating it for unsustainable cultural choices. Instead you should be pointing out how certain individual choices curtail the freedom of other individuals. In fact, most widespread cultural practices are widespread precisely because people fail to act independently and instead respond, usually sub-consciously, to conformist influences. Many people, for example, could change their lifestyles in a way that drastically reduces their driving and substitutes walking or cycling, both of which allow for much denser urban living. However, for individuals to choose to walk or bike requires them to appear non-conformist to their peers, which is enough to deter many people from even thinking about making such choices. If people, with or without government involvement, would choose to promote cultural independence by withholding judgment of cultural choices on a conformist basis, more individual freedom would be exercised to experiment with more sustainable living practices. So it's not really individual freedom that is the barrier to greater sustainability but conformism.
  5. I wish there was more information available on exactly what quantities of resources are needed per person and what the most efficient practices are and where the bottlenecks for refining them to increasing levels of efficiency are. What tends to happen in population vs. resource availability discussions, in my observation, is that people avoid even considering what maximum-efficiency living would or could be. It's like they hold some fear-based bias that prevents them from even touching that topic for fear they might have to actually live that way. To me there is no more progressive research, in terms of sustainability of population growth, than to model potential future cultures of living that would be required to sustain populations at particular levels of resource-availability. The biosphere project, for example, is a very good example of an attempt to create total self-sustainability for/by a handful of individuals. Projects to design long-term space-station or space-voyage vessels would be similar. I don't know if a region with the area of Texas could ultimately sustain 7 billion people, or how the resources would have to be managed to make it. I just think you have to discuss this in specific terms instead of just assuming it's not possible. Overpopulation fear, imo, has degenerated into an intuitive reaction against any large number of humans as inherently unsustainable. That's far from scientific, don't you think?
  6. First, I really liked your comments on population growth. I didn't know the area of texas was sufficient for the global population at a reasonable density but it is a good thing to know for discussions about "overpopulation." As for the individuals versus minorities, states, etc. this comes down to a question of interpretation to me where the correct interpretation of "republic" may not become clear until you really think about what it means to apply rights and freedoms at a super-individual level instead of to individuals. E.g. consider protecting freedom of speech for groups instead of individuals. If that was the case, an organization could sue for infringement of its freedom of speech but if an individual sued the same group for infringing her/his freedom of speech, the court would tell the individual that the court doesn't protect individuals and that they would have to find another organization who would support theirs. Then, if that individual couldn't find such an organization, s/he would be effectively censored/suppressed. This would not fit my idea of people having freedom of speech. Now take an economic example of an individual working independently in a "free market" with their own business. Imagine a trade-union, labor-union, or other professional organization would 'discipline' that individual for acting independently of the organization's rules or norms and the union was able to prevent the individual from doing business independently. Would that be a free market? What if one or several corporations monopolized demand for certain goods or services in a way that prevented individuals from entering or exiting those markets? Would that still meet the criteria of a free market? In short, what situation in which individual rights and freedoms are hindered by other individual's coordinating their activities collectively DOESN'T interfere with the individual freedoms and rights of a free republic? In fact, if your main objective was to control individuals and curtail their rights and freedoms, what more effective method would there be than organizing individuals into corporations, organizations, etc. and then recognizing the rights of those groups over that of individuals thus obliging individuals to seek the mercy of group-based authorities?
  7. First, I think you are framing the individualism issue the wrong way around. The responsibility of government is not to show benevolence to individuals but to prevent them from interfering with each other's lives, esp. where they bond together in formal and informal organizations, corporations, and other collectives. The point is not that protecting some individuals against others is benevolent - it's that preventing some individuals from dominating others preserves the freedom necessary for a republic. Second, elections do not actually express any collective will, as collectivists like to believe. Instead they represent political platforms created by individuals or elites that are put to a vote for validation. The only way elites could truly be prevented from claiming popular support for their platforms/ideologies would be to strongly encourage voters to abstain from voting unless they were absolutely convinced that a certain political platform was valid. If that would be encouraged, there would be very little voter turnout. Instead, popular media campaigns encourage people to vote because "it's their democratic right" and campaigns are used such as telling people that if they don't vote, the candidate that's been demonized will be (re)elected. This generates voter turnout, which generates the impression that the politics of elites are actually popular. Mass democracy is simply not democratic. It's authoritarianism checked by popular power to not re-elect the tyrant. What IS democratic about it is that it provides an impetus for participatory civil discourse where individuals discuss politics and governance in their everyday lives, which encourages them to act consciously in their own daily activities, which is the ultimate exercise of popular democracy. Once people become resigned to elect dictators and obey their policies instead of criticizing them, 'democracy' becomes a legitimating tool for authoritarian submission.
  8. In theory, maybe, but in practice the causes of domination is submission to the will of another. Now, what are the causes of submission . . . Dominance generally need not be dominant. It is possible for equality to be dominant and for domination/submission to play a non-dominant role in culture. Think of gender egalitarianism where people still use domination/submission for erotic stimulation. Dealing with these kinds of issues purely at the level of abstract logic doesn't always work. You need concrete examples to consider how things work in practice.
  9. Well you could fluff it up before planting. At least the muddin' will have uprooted all the ground cover and aerated the soil, though.
  10. It's more like saying, "Does cessation ever cease?," or "does dominance dominate?" It's not nonsense. It is just presuming that the fact of determination or causation in the physical universe could be caused or determined by something more than the mechanical nature of matter-energy itself. It's not nonsense. It's just a different level of analysis. Like asking what causes conservation of matter/energy. Technically, conservation of matter/energy is just a generalization about the behavior of matter-energy, but if you thought of it as a determining principle of that behavior, then you could ask if it has a cause other than the inherent nature of the phenomena. To me, the reason science is a philosophy is because there is reasoning involved in deciding what constitutes a fact and why. Empiricism is a philosophical issue, as is positivism. When I hear scientists brush off philosophy in favor of claiming that their facts are simply self-evident, I wouldn't call such people scientists but rather technicians. Yes, they can work with facts but can they critically theorize about them as masters of their own theories and methodologies? Probably not. More likely they just tap into someone else's methodology or theory and perform testing of some aspect of that theory. Yes, such people get awarded PhDs as a form of professional recognition and for job status. Are they masters of the philosophy behind the work they do though? Many people are not; they just apply what others have theorized and philosophized without critically engaging those theories/philosophies.
  11. The Schwarzschild radius is the radius at which the gravitational field reaches light-constraining levels, but I don't think it's accurate to infer this as the volume of the black hole. It's just the point at which all signs of anything falling into the hole disappear. Also, how could you be sure that TBB did not occur within a BH derived from a preceding universe? If the S. radius delineates a radical transformation point where all forces and energies get converted from extensive to intrinsic, then why shouldn't that intrinsic force result in an expansion of spacetime within the intrinsic universe inside the BH? To conceptualize this realistically, I think you would have to look at spacetime purely as an effect of force/energy without the assumption that volume is mutually excluding such that a BH expanding intrinsically would have to be expanding extensively into the universe that is feeding it. I would assume that everything that enters a BH would not just be crushed into oblivion but that the very forces that make it up all get converted into a universal force that propagates intrinsically. This is where I get somewhat confused, because how can anything propagate and grow intrinsically? If all the energy of an object is simultaneously released as radiation but the radiation can't radiate anywhere, what happens to it? This is where I think the logic of TBB comes in, insofar as it contains the idea that spacetime itself can expand as a product of energy. Since spacetime is a function of energy and gravity, it seems possible that spacetime could be generated intrinsically within the BH, creating a new universe insofar as spacetime itself could propagate intrinsically - of course, from the perspective of an observer evolving within that universe, it would appear to be expanding since expansion itself is the produce of spacetime being generated, no? So I think the universe that would form as a result of intrinsic propagation of force/energy within a BH would literally resemble the big bang, where differentiation of radiation/energy and matter/gravitation would only occur after some time, probably only once enough spacetime was generated for energy-density levels to be less than that of a BH. I don't know if intrinsic propagation is something that has been talked about elsewhere, maybe with a different name. I'm not trying to be speculative. I'm really just wondering what could occur within a BH and whether any reputable cosmologists have already considered this and somehow ruled it out. I read, for example, in Hawking's book that people entering a BH would be turned into spaghetti, jokingly, but I don't think he specified any positive hypotheses about what could in fact occur with matter/energy/force once inside. I believe he dismissed wormholes, or at least said that they would be highly unstable if they existed. This was an old book and I don't know if there are others who participate in cosmological discourse in an active way.
  12. Science is a branch of philosophy. That's why science degrees are called "PhD," which means doctor of philosophy.
  13. really? I felt it coming on some level. It's as if Earth is ready to expand and reproduce itself across the universe and all that was needed was a first sign that a fertile bride is there somewhere, maybe not this planet but just over the horizon of discovery.
  14. Aren't these just definitional/nominal issues? Aren't finite-ness and infinite-ness questions of framing relative to other things? What does all this have to do with the cause of causation? To me, causation is an analytical extrapolation of something that is inherently undefined in nature. I would guess it would be possible to develop a consciousness that conceptualizes all empirical events in terms of isolatedness from other events, thus rendering causation unimaginable. So the question becomes, what causes causation at the subjective level. But without even taking it that deep, there is an irony in the fact that epistemology breaks with the logic of cause and effect to the extent that it is rooted in cognitive voluntarism rather than physical determinism. Still, I tend to attribute causal determinism to logical sequences even though I know it is ultimately my own volition that enables me to reason out the logical consequences of ideas. Some people are able to simply reason on the basis of sequential associations instead of logic, which while frustrating demonstrates that cognition is not enslaved to reason.
  15. My guess would be that it focuses on seeking prey with whichever eye it catches first glimpse of that prey. Maybe it is able to focus with both eyes for depth triangulation when necessary. Otherwise, I think it seems handy to keep the other eye at a different angle to check for threats - like extended (active) peripheral vision. If a chameleon could read, I think it would use one eye to read and the other to watch out for threats and potential prey (or mating opportunities), the same way reading-humans use their peripheral vision and other senses to pay attention to such things.
  16. So causation itself is the beginning without antecedence so causation itself has no cause? How ironic.
  17. If it was (false) testimony not proven by evidence, why was it allowed to weigh in your conviction?
  18. I don't think there are many people who don't believe most of the misleading discourse they consume. There are simply so many layers of BS that most people dig through one or two and believe the third one because it seems distinct from the other BS they dug through to get to it. People who support the left are as vulnerable or more so than those for the right, imo, simply because they are more prone to trusting government than distrusting it the way republicans do by definition.
  19. This logic might have made sense in an economy where scarcity was a naturally persistent basis for value. In such an economy, it would have been necessary to devote labor hours away from non-essentials to perform more essential labor, such as food production, building, or infrastructure work. Today, however, economic recession is caused by depreciation due to oversupply, currently real-estate to be specific. This wouldn't be cured by firing lots of scientists who study non-essentials because even if those scientists go to work building real estate, the value of real-estate will only keep dropping due to overabundance. Currently, governments are trying to stimulate spending as a means to stimulate revenues, income, and thereby GDP but what new expenditures are resulting in new labor needs? What could research scientists do that would possibly have more value for the economy than measuring the size of ant feet?
  20. The irony is that the creative intelligent men who actually have a good enough intellectual relationship with their wives to fruitfully collaborate with them would be the men who would be "stealing" their wives' ideas and taking credit for them. Apparently it would be better for men to take wives purely as housekeeper/nanny/prostitute, avoid engaging with them intellectually, and then write an honest monograph instead of a collaborative work disguised as one. On the other hand, it might be that Einstein knew very well that he benefited from his wife's thinking but he avoided noting this explicitly in order to avoid being dismissed by his scholarly peers as being a secretary to "women's physics." He might have done more for the reception of his wife's theories by keeping her contribution a secret than if he had openly credited her. Of course, I'm not corroborating with the sourceless OP because I also don't have any sources on this topic, but it is interesting to think that such evidence would have been suppressed in an effort to shield Einstein's radical work from ad hominem criticism.
  21. Are there any actual photos of this planet/star or are there only artistic renderings? That's all I can seem to find on google anyway.
  22. But that was my whole point, i.e that force can be converted into energy, and that spacetime could be a product of energy and gravity, NOT a fixed container that the universe expands INTO. It sounds like you're assuming that for the universe of the BBT to expand, there needs to be some volume surrounding it for it to expand into. It could be that the energy inside a black hole becomes spacetime without the blackhole needing to grow in volume as viewed from outside. But you're assuming that once matter is crushed, it cannot generate spacetime where there was previously none. Isn't this the whole premise of BBT?
  23. When GDP or revenues are growing, it is a pretty straight-forward strategy to attempt to increase one's own share of the growth by maximizing one's income. When the opposite is occurring, the question is how to spread the revenue/income losses in a way that prevents certain industries or individuals from getting cut off completely. This becomes especially worrisome when the approach is taken that some expenditures/industries/incomes should be cut out of the budget completely to maintain or raise revenues/incomes for those who don't get cut. Nevertheless, preventing the cuts ultimately comes down to fiscal power, I think. If you have the power to control spending, you can cut expenditures or not. That's why government is working so hard currently to wrest spending-control away from private individuals and firms by means of deficits, taxes, etc. To the extent that science can control the spending that funds it, it will be able to prevent or mitigate cuts; but the question is what the best strategy is to do so. Personally, I think the best way to avoid losing more than less is to voluntarily reduce your budget to demonstrate how much you could do with how little. That way, funders can get an idea of at what point they will start losing intelligent minds to the food service industry.
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