• god must be atheist
    3.5k
    Can an infinite number of anything -- say up-quarks -- be contained in a finite container? I would think not.Bitter Crank

    You're absolutely right. An infinite number of something not infinitely diminishing in size, is going to NOT fit in a finite-sized container. But even an infinite number of elephants can fit in a smaller space than the entire universe. For instance, the elephants can be lined up head-to-tail in a straight line. That line could be infinitely long, with an infinitely large number of elephants.

    Now supplant "elephants" with "people", supplant the line with a line of hotels, or chain of hotels, like Hilton, and bang, Bob is your uncle.
  • god must be atheist
    3.5k
    It feels like my body compels me to ask dumb ass questions everyday, and I can't help it.john27

    Obviously, you have to rely on a different part of your body to make up questions. I usually just go where my nose points. **

    ** Evolution very smartly made men's noses point toward the same direction where their compass points, This way we can mask our hidden agendas.
  • Bitter Crank
    10k
    I don't know why I am here to be honest. Here, in the philosophy forum. To be quite frank, I actually dislike philosophy quite a bitjohn27

    I would say the forum is a warm place to sit. But... since this is all virtual, it's no nicer than wherever you are.

    Perhaps you could provide a sample of your stupid stupid stupid thoughts. They may be stupid, or not. I take it you are a young man, so your friends are like as not also young. Young people are usually kind of wrapped up in their own stuff (which is normal) and so your seeming irrelevant off the wall questions annoy them. Maybe.

    Actually, I find a lot of philosophy to be pretty tedious. There are many threads here to which I have nothing to contribute. There is a huge literature of philosophy on one hand (which is where many people focus) and there is the practice of philosophizing on another hand. Bits and pieces are pure gold, and there are also piles of ashes.

    The Forum is a serious project, however, so outside of the shout box one should do the best one can.
  • john27
    89
    Perhaps you could provide a sample of your stupid stupid stupid thoughts. They may be stupid, or not.Bitter Crank

    I think some of my more memorable ones is asking why etre(to be) is a verb(an action) in French class, saying that I believed pedophiles could be considered courageous in a 6 hour long car ride, saying that world peace can only be attained through the total eradication of tradition in another long car ride, and after watching the Truman show asking my family the question, "would you leave?" and deeming them inhumane because they didn't account for the full scope of life...

    I'm sure theres more, but these are the ones I remember pretty clearly.
  • john27
    89
    Obviously, you have to rely on a different part of your body to make up questions. I usually just go where my nose points. **god must be atheist

    Unfortunately, I don't think I have a choice in the matter.
  • god must be atheist
    3.5k
    It's a matter of choice whether you have a choice in the matter. If you have no choice in choosing the matter of your choice, then try picking up a different approach. Like this old soul told me once, "Life is not to be lived, but to be experienced. Don't travel and seek far-away places in search of happiness or love. All is at our fingertips, now with the advent of the Internet, and in the recent past, in reading books, and listening to music on equipment that electronically reproduces sound.

    Most of all, don't question anything. If you do, they will turn on you. Have I ever told you how I lost my left leg in Africa, on the shores of the Upper Nile, where I set out to posit questions to crocodiles and hippopotamuses? Don't ever question, only listen, if you have questions. Truth will out. Nobody can keep information in. The answers will come to you at last, when all is one and one is all. To be a rock, and not to roll."

    By the way, this was not philosophy either. It was just an advice saying that if you have only questions that are unwise to ask, then wait until your curiosity gets satisfied by the person volunteering the answers without prodding. Like this here, my advice here. You never asked for it, and yet here it is.
  • john27
    89


    You are right. I just hope I can hold out until then.
  • god must be atheist
    3.5k
    You are right. I just hope I can hold out until then.john27

    Good luck to you. I usually tie the waiting period for an answer to a superstitiously decided outside event that has no causal relationship to getting the answer. Like I hold my water, or count backward by one down to zero from two million. This works for instance when you wait for your city bus to turn the corner and finally come to the stop you're waiting at. If you need to know the meaning of life, for instance, then you need to start the countdown from a larger number than two million.
  • Valentinus
    1.6k
    The Forum is a serious project, however, so outside of the shout box one should do the best one can.Bitter Crank

    It is serious and there is little of its kind to be found elsewhere.

    Very little. I am reconsidering my decision to call the whole thing off.
  • Bitter Crank
    10k
    I think some of my more memorable ones is asking why etre(to be) is a verb(an action) in French class, saying that I believed pedophiles could be considered courageous in a 6 hour long car ride, saying that world peace can only be attained through the total eradication of tradition in another long car ride, and after watching the Truman show asking my family the question, "would you leave?" and deeming them inhumane because they didn't account for the full scope of life...john27

    Of course pedophiles could be courageous. Sexual object choice has nothing to do with courage. HOWEVER: Bringing up anything about pedophiles is a risky conversational gambit, because pedophilia is such a psychologically charged issue. Long car rides and holiday meals are two settings where one should stick to pleasant neutral topics. Not that I followed this advice when I was younger.

    Why should one stick to pleasant neutral topics? Because on long car rides and at holiday meals you and others cannot make a quick strategic withdrawal. The inflammatory topic, once brought up, sits there and sizzles.

    "Etre as action verb" wouldn't be worth a major upheaval, I wouldn't think... The way some people exist in the world "to be" doesn't involve much action. For others, just being in the world is like a cyclone. Most of us are in-between.

    It's possible that you like to arouse people, get them stirred up, play a game of uproar. Carefully timed remarks can start brawls. I have been accused of starting fights, and then sitting back and watching. WHAT! ME? Yes, me. Fact is, I have always enjoying stirring people up. Is that bad? Well, it can make one unwelcome, even among one's loving relatives. Rattling people's cages just to have them snarl at each other can be amusing, but it is unwise--if one wants to be invited back in the future. Or, another possibility, they get wise and gang up on you.
  • god must be atheist
    3.5k
    The fox being a foxy lady? I wish.
  • The Opposite
    1k
    you want to see God inside a foxy lady's hole?
  • Bitter Crank
    10k
    If God is omnipresent, that means... yes, in a fox's hole, lady fox or gentleman fox -- and all other holes, as well.
  • Bitter Crank
    10k
    I suppose for an omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent being, black holes are nothing special. Just one more wrinkle in time.
  • T Clark
    7.2k
    I suppose for an omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent being, black holes are nothing special. Just one more wrinkle in time.Bitter Crank

    No, no. This is where you're supposed to make a reference that, from anyone else, would be considered racially insensitive, but, since you are an old coot, everyone laughs and shakes their head. It is one of the primary benefits of being old.
  • Outlander
    1.4k
    Anyone here long enough to give a rundown of the "history" of this site and the presumably other site as alluded to under the "blog" link on the header or is that simply forbidden knowledge, esoteric in nature for the "in crowd" alone?
  • Bitter Crank
    10k
    Like, black holes no matter?
  • Bitter Crank
    10k
    Once upon a time there was Philosophy Forum, owned by Paul. It lasted for about 10 years. It was a healthy forum (active, orderly). Paul decided to sell the site; either he found a buyer or a buyer found him -- I don't know. I also don't know why anybody would buy a philosophy site--the profit potential just doesn't seem worth the lost opportunity costs. Anyway, it was sold.

    My memory of the post-sale forum is kind of fuzzy, but things didn't go well and the forum fizzled. (This took time; it wasn't instant.).

    Eventually it became apparent that the forum site was sick, dying, and then dead. Dead as a doornail, to quote Charles Dickens, dead as Jacob Marley.

    A small group of participants in Philosophy Forum (the old one) decided to start a replacement. This was done, named THE Philosophy Forum. It was intended to be like the old forum in its healthy incarnation, and this happy state came to pass, and here we are.

    People tend to come and go in public fora, whether they be live or virtual. The same was true in the old forum, and is true now.

    The experience of THE Philosophy Forum is pretty similar to that of the old forum. Eventually we reached the top of Google's search results for 'philosophy forum'. Not quite as surprising an event as encountering an alien colony on the moon, but worthy, none the less.

    There are others here who can provide more detailed information.
  • T Clark
    7.2k
    There are others here who can provide more detailed information.Bitter Crank

    You left out "And they lived happily ever after."
  • Bitter Crank
    10k
    This fairy tale isn't over yet.
  • tim wood
    8.1k
    Arbery's killers convicted on most counts and all the ones that matter. Eleven white and one black juror.

    From the internet:
    "Georgia led the nation in lynchings from 1900 to 1931, with 302 incidents, according to The Tuskegee Institute." And

    The Arbery verdicts have been a long time coming. And with other recent history speak well of and for Georgia, its history bloody indeed and in need of all the rehabilitation and curative therapy it can get.

    The table below is worth a look, although I suspect it must be incomplete. For purposes of comparison, ME 1, a white man. VT 1, a white man. NY, 2, one white, one black. NJ 2, one white, one black. The rest of the NE, zero. And in the rest of the country, lynching black men seems to have been almost exclusively a southern practice. Maybe Arbery and some other cases are steps away from that history. A work-in-progress.

    Lynchings: By State and Race, 1882-1968 *
    State White Black Total
    Alabama 48 299 347
    Arizona 31 0 31
    Arkansas 58 226 284
    California 41 2 43
    Colorado 65 3 68
    Delaware 0 1 1
    Florida 25 257 282
    Georgia 39 492 531
    Idaho 20 0 20
    Illinois 15 19 34
    Indiana 33 14 47
    Iowa 17 2 19
    Kansas 35 19 54
    Kentucky 63 142 205
    Louisiana 56 335 391
    Maine 1 0 1
    Maryland 2 27 29
    Michigan 7 1 8
    Minnesota 5 4 9
    Mississippi 42 539 581
    Missouri 53 69 122
    Montana 82 2 84
    Nebraska 52 5 57
    Nevada 6 0 6
    New Jersey 1 1 2
    New Mexico 33 3 36
    New York 1 1 2
    North Carolina 15 86 101
    North Dakota 13 3 16
    Ohio 10 16 26
    Oklahoma 82 40 122
    Oregon 20 1 21
    Pennsylvania 2 6 8
    South Carolina 4 156 160
    South Dakota 27 0 27
    Tennessee 47 204 251
    Texas 141 352 493
    Utah 6 2 8
    Vermont 1 0 1
    Virginia 17 83 100
    Washington 25 1 26
    West Virginia 20 28 48
    Wisconsin 6 0 6
    Wyoming 30 5 35
    Total 1,297 3,446 4,743
    *Statistics provided by the Archives at Tuskegee Institute.
  • Bitter Crank
    10k
    Tim, I read history; I think knowing our history is important. Statistics on lynching supply valuable insights. However...

    1) Arbery was not "lynched"; he was murdered. George Floyd was not lynched. All lynchings are murders, but not all murders are lynchings.

    2) The number of lynchings per year had been decreasing for decades, and by the 1930s the numbers per year were in the single, then low single digits. Fewer lynchings IS progress, but lynchings are still a horrible crime.

    3) A better metric for the last 50 years is the rate of violent deaths at the hands of civilians. This metric shows where interpersonal violence is higher now.

    Lowest rates of violent death by state 2020

     New Hampshire 12 0.9
     Maine 22 1.6
     Vermont 14 2.2
     Idaho 41 2.2
     Massachusetts 160 2.3
     Hawaii 41 2.9
     Oregon 125 2.9
    Rhode Island 32 3
     
    Highest rates of violent death by state 2020

    Alabama 471 9.6
    Tennessee 663 9.6
    South Carolina 549 10.5
    Mississippi 315 10.6
    Arkansas 321 10.6
    Missouri 723 11.8
    Louisiana 734 15.8
    Puerto Rico 529 16.7
    DC 201 28.2

    Why is the southern group of states so much higher than northern group of states?

    According to David Hackett Fischer, among others, the cause is the nature of English immigration in the 17th century. Puritans from the east coast of England settled in New England, and cast a long shadow of Yankee culture across the northern tier of states. The Puritans believed in the role of a strong state to achieve a good society (the city on the hill).

    English Cavaliers from southern England settled in the south. Unlike the Puritans, the Cavaliers were against the interfering regulation of the state. Justice could just as well be done on a do-it-yourself basis. They were not particularly cooperative among themselves. They were an "honor" oriented culture where one's personal worth was easily subject to devaluation (insult was readily taken). They tended to be more extreme in their emotional reactions (as opposed to the straitlaced, self-controlled Puritans). The upshot is that Cavaliers were far more likely to take offense and act on it violently. The Cavaliers cast a shadow across the southern tier of states 

    It isn't just racism that was at work in the numerous lynchings in the south. It was also the easily offended honor (think "white women") and do-it-yourself justice.
  • tim wood
    8.1k
    Points taken. I would argue that every lynching/murder of every black person was racist and expect to be 100% correct or close to. And while I respect distinction made where appropriate, do you really suppose the Southern lynching of black men had anything to do with honor? Or could have anything to do with honor?
  • Bitter Crank
    10k
    Of course lynching could have something to do with honor, but let me clarify. "Honor" here does not mean "high respect; great esteem derived from noble and notable achievements". The 'honor' I am referencing is much more a special right, or impunity, granted or seized, available only to whites, particularly white males, and dominant white males, at that. This version of 'honor' is a personal asset and somewhat fragile -- apparently easily besmirched by insufficient deference.

    So, this "honorable" person is a walking, talking hair trigger time bomb, whose anger at being insufficiently deferred to can be set off by a small slight. I'm not quite sure what the problem of the Cavaliers was in England, but in this country, 18th into the 19th century, you have a small group of white people exploiting a larger slave population. The ruling whites were likely hyper alert to signs of insufficient deference, and for good reason.

    I readily grant that lynching black people was racist. But a much smaller number of whites were lynched too. They were probably boat-rockers, of some sort. During the 1919 Red Scare (distinct from the race-riot 'Red Summer' of the same year) labor organizers came in for some very harsh treatment, at a time when the ruling class was hyper vigilant about labor organizing, unions, communism, reds, racial liberation, and so on.

    A century after the rate of lynching had greatly declined, the "honorable" hair trigger time bombs in the south are still very touchy about their assumed prestige and high status. Worse, their culture has migrated out of the south. Poor urban blacks in the north, often in gangs, exhibit exactly the same kinds of walking time bomb touchiness--within their own group. It's the result of DIY justice, wearing your honor on your sleeve, being easily insulted--and at the same time, not having substantial real prestige and status.
  • Hanover
    7.2k
    course lynching could have something to do with honor, but let me clarify. "Honor" here does not mean "high respect; great esteem derived from noble and notable achievements". The 'honor' I am referencing is much more a special right, or impunity, granted or seized, available only to whites, particularly white males, and dominant white males, at that. This version of 'honor' is a personal asset and somewhat fragile -- apparently easily besmirched by insufficient deference.Bitter Crank

    This is not how I understanf the honor culture to be. My understanding is that it is most prevalent among the Celtic settlers in the US, not of the English, but of the Scots-Irish, having settled in the Southern Appalachian region and maintaining the mores of their isolated lifestyles of their homeland.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_honor_(Southern_United_States)

    They were not from English aristocratic stock like the slave plantation owners. They were poor and uneducated, and many still are to this day. Their communities were white, and their feuds were with whites, the most notable being the Hatfields versus the McCoys. Such feuds were common, and they didn't often nvolve blacks.

    This is not to say that racism didn't find its way to these regions, but racism isn't part of the honor culture. It's part of the ignorant, isolated culture.

    I add the word "isolated" here because education alone isn't the cure for racism. The Nazis were well educated and sophisticated. The cure for racism is exposure to and interaction with the other. As Elie Weisel says, you've got to get to know the other's story.
  • Bitter Crank
    10k
    Thanks for your input. I've been reading Albion's Seed by David Hackett Fischer. He takes the 4 main groups of English / Scottish: the Puritans, Cavaliers, Scots and Irish, and Quakers, then traces how their native culture in England translated to the colonies. I have not read all that much of this long, many footnoted book. It's quite good.

    You might be interested in D. H. Fischer's discussion of how the peculiarities of speech in SW England transplanted to Virginia formed the beginnings of the southern American style of speech. He provides quite a few examples, but from Sussex comes twixt, bandanna, bimebye (by and by) bide (for stay) dis and dat, wud for with, fambly, flapjack, fust, his'n, holp, hotted up, innards, lay off, leastways, such like, mess of greens, moonshine, passell, pekid (sick), skillet, traipse, and unbeknownst.

    From Hampshire came chitlins for entrails, no count, dawg (dog), whopper (or whoppah) for anything big. [It's hard to get this stuff down because Spell Check wants to spell everything its own way]

    More later.
  • god must be atheist
    3.5k
    This gave me a scare.

    I put a remark in a thread. Okay, nothing special.

    Then five minutes later I put another remark in the same thread.
    The computer answered, "your request could not be completed."
    I was surprised. Tried it again. No difference in answer.

    I tried 24,493 times more again. Same thing, over and over again.
    I concluded I broke some rules and was being punished for it severely.

    Then I went to the list of topics for discussion, and saw that the thread I was participating had disappeared. It finally dawned on me that I was not the guilty party to blame this time.

    It was a stupid thread all right, but that normally is no cause for deletion. After all, if any replies get forthcoming in a thread, at least one person, if not more, think that the thread's original post is stupid. Otherwise it's not discussed. It's not fun in these parts to agree in written form with other posters.
  • unenlightened
    6.1k
    Bin there, done that, had the minor heart attack, and felt almost insulted that it was nothing to do with my pearls of devastating wisdom.
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