Comments

  • Why do we do good?


    "Because there's a conflict in every human heart, between the rational and irrational, between good and evil. And good does not always triumph.

    " Sometimes, the dark side overcomes what Lincoln called the better angels of our nature."

    - Apocalypse Now
  • Chomsky's Mysteries of Nature: How Deeply Hidden? Reading Group
    I’ve never forgotten my German linguistics professor demonstrating the original purpose of vocal chords by lifting the end of a table as he spoke (they close the windpipe to maintain air pressure in the chest under load).Srap Tasmaner

    As any weight-lifter knows, it's dangerous to hold your breath while lifting a load. Your lung expansion is maintained by your ribs and diaphragm, not your trachea. This is why linguistic professors shouldn't play pulmonologist.
  • Chomsky's Mysteries of Nature: How Deeply Hidden? Reading Group


    Chomsky's primary opponent was Skinner. You're kind of dancing on Chomsky's shoulders claiming to have killed him.
  • The existence of ethics
    OK. But you can't do without argument, analysis, and theory.

    There once was a guy who had no theories and life was constantly like salt on a wound. A simple case of a dead raccoon on the side of the road was too much for him. That it had been killed and nobody cared, it overwhelmed him.

    He had to grow some theories to act as buffers on what you're calling the "absolute.". That pain remains unassailable. Theories do put distance between us and the absolute. And that's a good thing. It's a necessary thing.
  • The existence of ethics
    For Nietzsche, morality isn't essentially a set of true or false statements. It's an activity. A society is doing something with its ethical approach. Look to a society's narratives to see the unfolding drama.
  • Chomsky's Mysteries of Nature: How Deeply Hidden? Reading Group

    I'm going to have to ponder that for a while.
  • The existence of ethics


    Well, yeah. I said "Nietzsche." You said "perspective."
  • Chomsky's Mysteries of Nature: How Deeply Hidden? Reading Group
    However, if I had to attack it, I don’t see any alternative to people who currently ridicule “mysteriansim”, like Dennett or the Churchlands. I’d say that we don’t know what we don’t know beforehand, and that many times in the past something seemed impossible, yet was achieved by a lot. Therefore, those who say that there are forever mysteries, will be proven wrong as was done before. That would be the idea. I think this completely misses the point,Manuel

    Could you explain why it misses the point?
  • The existence of ethics


    Just don't want you to be typing stupid stuff on the internet when you should be in the hospital.
  • The existence of ethics
    You have a raging pain in your kidney? Are you peeing blood?
  • Chomsky's Mysteries of Nature: How Deeply Hidden? Reading Group
    People working on UG might agree that what they have so far is a bit Keplerian, but they’re all looking for that Copernican breakthrough simplification.Srap Tasmaner

    I don't think so. They've reconstructed proto-Indo-European. They know how, for instance, Semitic languages imagine events vs other languages. The very act of analyzing languages implies a common ground. I think the science of linguistics, the child of Chomsky, is much more sophisticated and complex than you're thinking.
  • Chomsky's Mysteries of Nature: How Deeply Hidden? Reading Group


    I don't know if you have any interest in this question, I was just curious: if you were going to launch a serious attack on the OP essay, or on innate language capacity, how would you do it?
  • The existence of ethics
    Valuing is the existential foundation of ethics, I say. The question that remains is, what does this tell us about our ethical affairs in terms of their nature, their essence?Astrophel

    Values vary by culture and class, as Nietzsche pointed out.

    If there's a foundation, it's the complex of human emotion that gets sorted post hoc in ethical terms.
  • Chomsky's Mysteries of Nature: How Deeply Hidden? Reading Group
    But that there exists in the human brain a capacity for acquiring language is hardly metaphysics.Xtrix

    :up:
  • Chomsky's Mysteries of Nature: How Deeply Hidden? Reading Group

    Yep, but the basic idea is nothing strange. You're born with an innate capacity for walking, but the structures needed for walking won't form until you try to walk. And if you never try, you'll never walk. Innate capacity doesn't mean assured ability.

    Doesn't mean Chomsky is right, just means his view is entirely possible.
  • Chomsky's Mysteries of Nature: How Deeply Hidden? Reading Group
    don't smoke pot, cigarettes or drink caffeine
  • Ukraine Crisis
    I'm not sure there's much difference.jamalrob

    Political realism is about what influence and power are, among other things. It's a view at odds with constructivism.
  • Ukraine Crisis
    It seems the most reasonable assessment, and this is from American academics. It goes back to what I was saying over a year ago here, that there's a basic disconnect between the (ostensibly, at least) ideologically-driven American foreign policy and the Russian realpolitik.jamalrob

    Is there some overlap between political realism (from the article) and realpolitik? Sorry if that was answered in the article, a paywall kept me from reading the whole thing.

    There is realpolitik scattered through the west's Russia policy post WW2. Is Russia likewise adulterated with a certain amount of ideals? That would be weird if they aren't, although I'm not sure what those ideals would be.
  • The Shoutbox
    I dreamed I met some guys who proposed to take over the world through boycotting. I didn't want to tell them it wasn't going to work.

    When I woke up I started wondering why not.

    One of the main reasons, I think, is the bread and circuses of our time. They keep people fat and stagnant.
  • The Secret History of Western Esotericism.
    Voodoo magic is pretty easy to explain. They just make you say what you want over and over as if you already have it. It's just the power of an unconflicted will.

    I'm sure a lot of magic is like that.
  • Chomsky's Mysteries of Nature: How Deeply Hidden? Reading Group


    Tigers are pre-wired to hunt. Humans, to speak. You're the one who's trying to make it into something spooky.
  • The Thickness of the Present (revisited)


    Sort of in line with that: I've been thinking lately that imagination increases options and possibilities. A lack of imagination closes down options.

    Or we could say that imagination is about flexibility in our modeling of the world.

    So who has a keener sense of time? The imaginative person or the non? I'm not sure.
  • The Shoutbox
    New way to ruin the children's lives: show them films of predators eating prey that is alive--ideally,Bitter Crank

    As a child, I saw a cat presenting a half dead mouse to her kittens. They tortured it for a while and then ate it.

    I think most people are profoundly and pervasively deluded... Jung's shadow and what not
  • The Thickness of the Present (revisited)
    Furthermore, the division between the (thick) present, the past and the future is perspectival and context dependent, but it is nevertheless real since it is causally effectivePierre-Normand

    What separates the present from the past?
  • The Shoutbox


    No, it's either swinging a battle-ax into some idiot's head or drinking tea with your pinky up. One or the other.
  • The Shoutbox


    Well so think about our ancestors who were always gutting people and having plagues and just generally getting all up in the blood and gore on the regular. I'm guessing they were a little numb to all of it?

    Which is better? Sheltered and sensitive? Or exposed and numb?
  • The Shoutbox
    Did you watch? Details please. How did the hawk go about it? How big was the hawk?Bitter Crank

    It was pretty horrifying actually. Hawk held squirrel on the ground and squirrel was wiggling. Hawk picked chunks of fur out and spat them away, occasionally jamming its claws into squirrel repeatedly like it was dancing on it. Finally squirrel stopped moving and the fur tossing continued. I got out of the car to go inside and hawk jumped up and flew off with squirrel in its claws.

    Ah, nature, so restful.
  • The Shoutbox


    I started filling a bird feeder in my front yard and it ended up being a squirrel feeder.

    Last week a hawk got a big fat squirrel and ate it in the driveway.

    So it was a bird feeder after all.
  • The Shoutbox
    I saw some in a grocery store parking lot in Arizona.
  • The Secret History of Western Esotericism.
    I used to be fascinated by the Golden Dawn. Lots of cool stories.
  • Examining Wittgenstein's statement, "The limits of my language mean the limits of my world"


    A soft version of Sapir-Whorf (and by implication Witt's assertion about the limits of his world) is accepted by linguistic scientists and can be supported by research. So your language can be demonstrated to influence your outlook on the world.

    A hard version of the thesis isn't generally accepted or seen to be supported by research.
  • Examining Wittgenstein's statement, "The limits of my language mean the limits of my world"


    A cool way to see the implications is to follow the the story of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. It's cultural relativity. Whorf tried to prove it by analyzing the Hopi language. He thought he discovered that they have no words for segments of time and so have no concept of discrete time.

    His research was flawed and useless, but there's other research that concentrates on color.
  • The Shoutbox
    I dreamed I was going around picking up stray dogs and I wondered if it counted as kidnapping.
  • Joe Biden (+General Biden/Harris Administration)
    would say bluntly, that for the US to behave reasonably, to take into account other countries and to form alliances, the country needs a real threat of nuclear weaponsssu

    You really only need allies when you're fighting for your life. Otherwise, why care what Europeans want or need when they wouldn't piss on you if you were on fire?

    That's just the 21st Century reality I think.
  • Chomsky's Mysteries of Nature: How Deeply Hidden? Reading Group
    Others who use this term are misled by it, as if experience were "not physical" or "spooky".Manuel

    OH, I see what you're saying. :up: