Jump to content


Senior Members
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by lemur

  1. If you really want revenge, the best way to pursue it is to come up with something that will enlighten the person. You don't want to just harm them in retaliation without them knowing that it was you or why. You want to make them aware of what damage they did to incur wrath so that they will understand the gravity of what they did to you. If you just do something covert to hurt them, they may never even understand it let alone reflect on their own deed that earned them revenge.
  2. Has anyone noted that if the "ask" portion of don't ask don't tell is repealed, people may be asked to disclose their sexuality, At that point it may be illegal to discriminate as a result of admitting your sexuality, but that doesn't mean discrimination won't occur covertly, as it does in most forms of discrimination most of the time. If people fear covert discrimination, an open sexuality-disclosure policy may result in more people lying about their sexuality than by not telling about it. What would be the point of that? Why should people have to disclose sexual-orientation and why would people openly discriminate against them when they did, presuming there was some other means of covertly discriminating against them instead?
  3. It is completely reasonable to note that someone's rhetoric propagates a certain worldview or attitude and to explain that publicly and give suggestions for how to express the same views without negative effects. I think that is the constructive approach to addressing such things. The problem is when people jump on criticism as a way of undermining or marginalizing people to bury them and move on. This is the impression I got with the "insanity" label. Popular culture has a poor track record of being superficial and unconstructive when it comes to criticism. This is because people tend to act like fearful sheep(le) who want a spotless leader whose shadow they can hide in OR they want to destroy that leader the moment a spot is found because they think they had the right to trust that person to lead them. It's all symptomatic, imo, of a general attitude of seeking others who will take responsibility for one's own life. Then, when you're unhappy about your life you can always blame the leader(s) and clamor for new ones. Of course every new leader gets destroyed because these sheeple are destroying them but that's just all the more reason for them to validate their own middle-position and criticize "extremes." The flock will eventually melt down to unsustainable levels this way, imo, but I wonder how long that will take.
  4. So are they giving serious consideration to the opposing viewpoint and engaging it constructively then?
  5. From a discourse-analysis perspective, this is very anti-democratic political rhetoric. Not only are these critics saying that they disagree with their opponents or that their opponents are wrong or misguided and giving their reasons, they are elevating ad hominem attack to the level of labeling them insane. At the point that one or only certain political perspectives are validated as "sane," that means democracy has reached a point where political censorship is exercised through mental-health diagnosis. If we're now wise enough to see that homosexuality was only pathologized as insanity to punish and correct people's sexual behavior, why can't we also see that doing the same thing to certain political views is problematic. Obviously people are going to say that this is just humor and not meant that seriously, but let's face it, part of the reason this kind of humor is so popular is because people like to play with the notion of really meaning something without having to reasonably defend it. So they will instigate a discourse about the insanity of a certain party to propagate the idea without actually subjecting it for discussion. In this way they can advance a political agenda to completely disarm their opponent without even taking their views into serious consideration. Is their any more anti-democratic approach to public discourse possible than this?
  6. The problem with revenge is that it can instigate a vicious cycle of grudges and feuding. Eventually one side has to take the initiative not to retaliate or it will go on forever. People realize this and try to stop other people from taking revenge, e.g. "I don't care who started it, I'm ending it." The problem with this is that people who avoid revenge because they understand the vicious cycle potential are vulnerable to having their tolerance tested. As Moontanman indicated in post #6, some people can endure a lot and maintain rationality and composure - but what about when such people finally reach their boiling point? Ultimately, I think people have to reach an awareness of their own retaliatory behavior as itself cruel, instead of only focussing on justifying it in light of what they are retaliating for. At that point, people realize that they themselves are in need of forgiveness instead of seeing themselves as the ones in the position to forgive someone else. As the prayer goes, "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." This is also theoretically the reason why Jesus is quoted as having said, "let those without sin cast the first stone." I.e. People judge and punish with a harsher spirit/attitude than when they are begging for mercy against their own judgment and punishment at the hands of others.
  7. It is interesting to think about how skilled people are in scale-modulation in controling their perspective of how dire or insignificant events, actions and their potential consequences are or could be. On the far end of the scale-continuum is the millions of years that will render everything ever done by humans (possibly) meaningless. On the other end of the scale-continuum is the perspective that every photon emitted by an atom has a measurable effect on something else. In between those two poles, you can figure out various levels of embracing or dismissing the awareness of causes and consequences. The question is what leads a person to note causes/consequences at one scale at one moment and attempt to influence the situation - but at another moment relativize what's going on by claiming that at some point in the future it won't ultimately matter anyway? If you think you're going to die anyway eventually, for example, why not stop avoiding risky behavior immediately that would expose you to HIV or something else that could shorten your lifespan? If you think nothing you do is going to matter in 1000 years, why not lie, cheat, and steal as much as you think you can get away with and never do anything to make anyone else's life better?
  8. I'm sorry. Maybe I should have specified that this was just something someone posted in another forum. I do not know of any institutional source regarding this. I assumed it was common discourse. It also makes sense to me that it would take a supernova to eject heavier elements out of a star. Maybe the heavy materials for the planets arrived from other sources than the sun.
  9. Assuming the solar system began as a single, undifferentiated cloud of energetic matter, it is strange that the cloud congealed into multiple gravity wells. After all, if a center of gravity was emerging within the cloud, why wouldn't the heaviest matter sink to the center and cause a single gas giant to form and eventually ignite into a fusion reaction (star)? I have read that the sun has supernovad in the past and this is perhaps how the heavier materials for the planets emerged from it. But why wouldn't the matter that emerged from an exploding star simply fall back into it? Is it just random chance that certain bits of matter did not attain escape velocity but yet also were ejected at an angle and speed that caused them to attain the orbits that they did?
  10. How is this the opposite of what I'm saying? It sounds like you're saying the same thing.
  11. I think you have to pay attention to the fact that the word "reasonable" is derived from a verb, "to reason." This idea presumes that individuals can reason their way to valid decision-making, recognition of facts, and truth. If you don't believe that reasoning results in reasonable thoughts and actions, then you fall into cultural relativism where everything is arbitrarily dependent on paradigms or the whims of the dominant individual or institutions. If the dominant institutions produce a definition and criteria for what counts as "reasonable action," then the actual process of reasoning is lost and "reasonable" becomes another tool for arbitrary cultural authority. Ideally the "culture of reason" should remain faithful to the principle that critical reasoning possesses the capacity to arrive at truth and legitimate actions when done in good faith. It's a different story when people set out to reason their way into pre-selected conclusions. At that point reasoning just becomes rhetorical exercises in rationalizing emotionally-governed will.
  12. If you have the opportunity to discourage or prevent suicide, I would recommend taking advantage of it to prevent death. I saw a random kid with shoe untied today and asked him to let me tie it because I thought there was a chance he would trip and hurt himself on his loose laces. I wouldn't spend lots of time tying kids' shoes but at the moment it seemed like an easy way to prevent injury. Why not prevent suicide when it is convenient? Of course, how can you prevent it except by spending time with other people? People commit suicide when they're alone (generally anyway). Other options are to make plans to talk to them or see them at a later date. That way, they feel like suicide would be letting someone else down, which people don't usually want to do. So it might be worth it to them to persevere just because they don't like the thought of disappointing others.
  13. Plus, wherever you go or stay for a year, at the end of the year you will be a year into the future relative to yourself a year before. The problem comes when you measure time from two different clocks moving at different speed, both visible from the same observer. Do you measure your own time relative to the other clock, or do you measure the other clock's time relative to the one in your gravity/velocity situation?
  14. it's funny that everyone responds with regards to a certain kind of love, assuming that it is the defining kind. When people talk about "giving love," it can mean anything from feeding a child or friend to consoling someone to a general feeling of happiness in everything you do as a result of having spent time with a "loved one." I'm sure you could operationalize various kinds of love and distill them to specific ingredients including hormones, psychological mechanisms, and social patterns. Why does it make people feel happy to play with a baby, even when it's not their own? There are complex cognitive-emotional patterns involved, which include biochemical responses, PLUS many people probably wouldn't acknowledge the feeling they get from someone else's baby as love, just because they would feel it is inappropriate to love someone else's baby - so there's some reporting/perception bias there too.
  15. My general perception is that children usually mature to be a couple inches taller than their parents. If this would be a constant rate, human height would increase 1-2 feet every 12 generations. Presumably, this rate has increased - otherwise ancient humans would have been the size of rodents. Likewise, it is hard to imagine that average human height will be 10+ feet tall over the next decade or so. So what are are parameters of generational height increase and are we just in a period of history where rapid height increase is due to advances in nutrition and exercise/physical activities that influence growth?
  16. But how much of this energy is translated into kinetic energy adding to the revolution speed of the planet? In the short terms this would be negligible, but what about over billions of years?
  17. No field is "recession-proof" to the extent that there the number of personnel in any field, even a very essential one, can usually be cut. Accepting that there is always a risk that you will be one of the job-losers, a recession-proof field would be one that gives you more functional breadth and flexibility outside of your specialization. For example, an economist who know insurance business very well could perhaps more easily get a job in insurance or become an agent then someone who knew nothing about insurance. A scientists who understand agriculture very well could more easily grow their own food while unemployed. A scientist who understands building materials and structural engineering could more easily design and build a house to live in. Generally, if your scientific knowledge can be applied in a way that you can do on your own without investing loads of capital in expensive equipment, you could start your own business.
  18. The military's interest is not in passing through physical walls but in passing through any time of boundary designed to prevent penetration and influence by military power. Thus, the metaphor of passing seamlessly through a wall should be understood more as having the symbolic meaning of achieving military goals with minimum collateral damage. If the military can achieve its goals without inserting its physical presence into a resistant territory, it would do so. The reason it has to physically "invade" is to overcome the psychological territorialism that occurs when people assume they are dominant just because there are no occupying soldiers in their territory. Bureaucrats can preach all day and night to the population that they are not an autonomous state but often times they will just ignore that until an occupying force makes itself physically imminent. The problem is that if combat results, the cost is violence and casualties. The question is how many casualties and/or damage has to be sustained before people give up the will to resist power with destructive violence.
  19. I would guess that most evolution takes place as arbitrary changes among a large population over a long period of time. A certain mutation probably spreads through countless migrations and interbreedings among herds without ever really making a difference one way or the other. If it is somehow a timebomb, the species could go extinct at some later moment when environmental stresses put the species to the test. Otherwise, species probably usually just go on surviving despite random deaths of large segments of the population. Then, whatever morphological changes are noteworthy through time, scientists scrutinize those to theorize a relationship between the visible morphological change and whatever conditions stressed the species to near extinction at some point. But I'm guessing most species would change morphologically through time whether or not those changes were particularly beneficial to the survival of individuals. It's just that Darwinists look for meaning in genetically determined traits; not necessarily that organisms without the new features died off without reproducing. They may have just interbred with others that had it and assimilated to the mutants.
  20. In an empirical sense, you cannot really go beyond claiming that space extends to the furthest observation of matter/energy. To claim that space continues beyond that, you need to extend your perception from the empirical to what can be imagined as potential based on your empirical knowledge, correct? Space can then be described as deviation from a single point of simultaneous space/time. The moment a point is differentiated into multiple points, space-time becomes an issue. Space/time is basically variability in the paths energy can take to return to its source. All matter-energy was presumably together in a single point prior to the big bang or whatever causes it to begin expanding and separating. If the big bang had produced only EM radiation, the entire contents of the universe would be expanding in a single spherical plane (presumably) with all energy concentrated in the skin of the bubble. However, because matter travels at different speeds according to its momentum and gravitational relations with other matter, the objects in the universe are moving in different directions at different speeds. Space can be attributed to this fact, I believe, but others may disagree with my generalization. If space is conceived in this way, as a product of relationships between matter as a result of energy/gravity dynamics, then I think you could also say that matter and energy stretch space as they move. So, for example, as two galaxies move away from each other, it is as though they were stretching the space between them. Likewise, if an observer in either galaxy looks off in a direction away from the other galaxy and there is nothing to see, then could it also be said that space ends in that direction? Saying this is problematic insofar as one can know without seeing that light emitted in the direction of nothing continues to radiate indefinitely in that direction at the speed of light (unless lack of gravity causes it to curve around through space-time curvature). Still, how can space be said to extend beyond the forward-most photon of light emissions from a given source? Therefore, I would say that space ends at whatever point a photon, particle, or object has reached. Maybe it would make sense to use the term, "spatial potential" for space that is perceived as extending beyond a given entity's path as an assumption of physical potentiality. Just as potential energy is distinguished from kinetic energy in the sense it is energy that is not yet actual/expressed; the same could be said of spacetime beyond the front of a moving object. So, for example, we know that the Earth will return to its current position in a year's time, but couldn't it be said that the point in spacetime where the Earth will be in a year is still potential rather than actual?
  21. Why doesn't anyone tackle those bridge budgets line by line? Why is it that people can clamour for budget cuts in government but then they assume that costs are fixed for private contractors and businesses?
  22. I think you meant to say "snake oil." Fish oil is supposed to be really beneficial, containing omega-3 acids, whatever those are. Snake oil is the stereotypical term for a placebo sold by scam-artists.
  23. How is the saliva being extracted, how much do you get out of the poor animal, and how is it ingested?
  24. Ever been to an emergency room? I try to avoid it but whenever I go, it is incredibly busy. Are all these people there because they have one of these unpreventable diseases you mention or are they there with something that was helped along by poor diet, insufficient exercise, too stressful lifestyle, etc.? The problem economically with preventive medicine is that if it really works, it would reduce medical revenues. Then, if health care workers wanted to continue making the same amount of money they would either have to charge more for the patients whose problems didn't get prevented OR lose revenue. Some people will argue that if preventive care really works then it's worth spending the same amount of money for it. Yet if revenue levels are maintained at the level that results in current economic pressures and lifestyles, I doubt that prevention would have much if any effect. Ultimately I think it is the stress and haphazard lifestyle activities caused by economic demands on people that result in unhealthy bodies, but the consumption and leisure opportunities produced by these bodies are what makes high-paying medical careers so interesting to go into. "Work hard, play hard, and when you get sick from it nuke the problem" seems to be the driving force behind both health problems and their expensive and therefore lucrative resolutions.
  25. My impression is that much scientific work has evolved in the direction of discursive-positioning. People are not so much interested in the substantive content of publications as they are in using these publications to establish the status and disciplinary affiliations of the writer. In this way, scientists are able to secure institutional positions and career stability. This is a rather cynical point of view, but the fact is that I rarely if ever see scientists who break with all the conventions of academic procedures and whose work/ideas are still noted and respected. I once heard someone say that if a researcher would develop a cure for AIDS, it wouldn't matter who they cited or what was on their CV. With many other less blatantly relevant research, however, I think more people submit to the authority of journals and publishers to accept or reject work than that they actually read and (attempt to) judge for themselves. There is a fear of going out on a limb to declare a piece of marginal writing as having potential, so people take the safe route and reject things until others have accepted them. This gives publishers and editors too much power over validation and it is disappointing that so many scientists shirk democratic participation in validation discourses by insisting on peer review by "experts" instead. There is too little checking and balancing of authority in contemporary scientific discourse, imo.
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.