Comments

  • What is Law?
    Does anything change because we discussed it here? I'm discussing it because I think it's interesting and I'm in a good mood which means I'm more open to different viewpoints.Benkei

    That's not quite what I mean. I don't want to make the boring "arguing about it on the internet won't change anything" argument.

    I want to ask what additional information the claim "the principle of non intervention is international law" transports above and beyond, say: "the principle of non intervention is a commonly accepted rule for state behaviour".

    If the procedure isn't law, what binding force does it have? None whatsoever.Benkei

    What is "binding force" in this context? If I have a gun and dictate a procedure, that procedure is certainly backed up by force. But you seem to refer to something more metaphysical.

    It's not the process that matters, it's the performative act of one or more persons, their intent on the outward effects of those performative acts and the social understanding and acceptance of a community of that intent and effect.Benkei

    I agree with this in general, but it describes essentially any form of social construction whatsoever. Since we're talking about what law is it seems there is something special about law compared to other social constructions.

    Such performative acts can certainly be a process, for instance where codification is concerned, but can be as "formless" as one person making a promise to another.Benkei

    I'm not really convinced that the bilateral promise or contract makes for a good base model of law. One of the common aspects of law is that it comes into effect precisely when bilateral relations break down.

    Yes, precedents create law too. But when a judge applies a customary rule, the rule existed prior to the judge declaring it law. It was law before the judgment or the judge wouldn't have included it in his judgment.Benkei

    How does a custom turn into a customary law though? I'm not familiar with that field, but isn't cutomary law usually called that because it has been applied by courts or other systems of dispute resolution in the past?
  • What is Law?
    Hanover and I have a long-standing disagreement about whether, for instance, international law is law or not.Benkei

    It's a pretty well tread argument. But why do we want to know whether international "law" is actually law? Would anything change about international relationships if it were called, say international norms?

    And I disagree that all definitions are arbitrary. If we are attempting to describe reality, in this case a sociological phenomena like law, just making stuff up doesn't really cut it.Benkei

    But describing isn't the same as defining. You can base your definition explicitly on a description, but it's going to be a generalisation with frayed edges.

    Just including a "procedural requirement" in the definition of law doesn't resolve much. Is this procedural law a law? Yes, it was done by procedure. Until you end up with the first law, which wasn't established by procedure and we have to conclude it isn't law, subsequently invalidating all laws deriving from it.Benkei

    Why would the first law not be established by procedure? The procedure doesn't need to be established by law. A constitutional assembly has / is a procedure, and isn't necessarily itself based on a law.

    Indeed if we did make an empirical study of laws, I think one can argue that laws are characterized by a process from which they derive their legitimacy, which is either a specific procedure or the more general process of custom.

    It also ignores the role of customary law. When a judge applies a rule based on custom, the judgment recognises a certain custom as law but it was law before the judge recognised it as such otherwise he would not have had an obligation to apply it in his judgment.Benkei

    On the other hand, if a judge or chamber sets a precedent by a specific ruling, that ruling will acquire the force of law only after it is established. And I think it's not convincing to argue that judgements only apply or "discover" laws. Every judgement also generates new law, even in civil law traditions. Law is in this sense better understood as a living matter, consisting of a constant feedback loop between custom, codification and application.

    We can take these elements together to arrive at a plausible description of a law: a law is an abstract and general rule governing behaviour that derives it's authority from a specific process of formation and is (at least intented to be) applied to individual cases by a formal process of interpretation.

    This of course only focuses on some aspects, not others. Whether or not this is a "correct" description doesn't not depend solely on my knowledge on comparative law, but also significantly on what the point of making the description is in the first place.
  • Conceiving of agnosticism
    A) one believes that god exists, or
    B) one believes god does not exist, (disbelief);or
    C) one, after due consideration, chooses not to commit to believing in god, nor to commit to disbelieving in god or
    Banno

    What does "not committing to a belief" here mean? Is it the quasi performative (because internal) act of open-mindedness?

    The reason I'm asking is because to me, the whole crux of the issue is whether or not there is actually a mental state that corresponds specifically to agnosticism about anything, as distinct from the mental state of simply having a belief or position that one is very unsure about (and that consequently might shift constantly).

    Placing the two possible existential statements within the scope of the two possible belief statements delivers four possibilities. One can:
    i. believe (god exists)
    ii. not believe (god exists)
    iii. believe (god does not exist)
    iv. not believe (god does not exist)
    Banno

    There is always the semantic problem that someone might consider only i. to actually be a theist position, and anyone not holding (at least) i. is therefore an atheist, since they lack the explicit belief "god exists".

    Going back to what I said above, it seems to me that splitting the quasi-epistemological position from the ontological one only makes sense if "not believe" refers to an actual mental state, rather than simply the absence of any mental state concerning the ontological statement at all.
  • Nietzsche's condemnation of the virtues of kindness, Pity and compassion
    Huh? Christians families are often very strong but they unite in the bile of "we are all sinners together but Jesus died for us!"Gregory

    Strong compared to whom? To their less traditional compatriots, yes. Not strong compared to, say, Vietnamese family structures.

    Thinking you are special is the core of Western cultureGregory

    Western culture is extremely individualistic, but that makes its family ties weaker, not stronger.
  • Nietzsche's condemnation of the virtues of kindness, Pity and compassion
    The West has a sickening over emphasis on family and this results from the beast of ChristianityGregory

    Family ties are weaker in the "Christian West" than anywhere else in the world, possibly as a result of the catholic church's ban on first cousin marriage.
  • What is Law?
    I reject procedural requirements because you end up with circular reasoning. Procedural laws are after all laws themselves, so you end up with: the law is only law when passed in accordance with the law. That strikes me as rather meaningless.Benkei


    But what if I simply make the procedural requirement part of the definition of the term "law"? Noone says the definition for a law must itself be a law. Like all definitions, it's arbitrary.

    Which causes me to wonder why we're asking what a law is in the first place? What problem are we seeking to solve by posing the question?
  • In praise of science.
    just because I do not understand how the universe can be 14bn years old, and 93bn light years across - if nothing can travel faster than light.counterpunch

    Completely random, but because I saw a video about that yesterday: the "speed of light" isn't a speed limit in the traditional sense. Objects can have arbitrarily high relative velocities. If you had a magical laser pointer that could transmit a Beam onto the surface of Mars with pinpoint accuracy, you could use that to write your name on the surface in giant letters, and the point on Mars' surface might move faster than light.

    However, what you cannot do is cause any effect faster than light. The limit is on "information" in a generalized physical sense, not on any object. So taking the laser pointer on Mars example: even if you write the letters arbitrarily fast, moving the pointer over the surface arbitrarily fast, it will still take 13 minutes for any movement of your arm to have any effect on Mars. And these 13 minutes can not be circumvented.
  • Climate Change (General Discussion)
    Hmm.. aren't greenhouses good for the environment? It is a "green" gas. That's good for nature.Kasperanza

    Just how old are you?

    And how do you know this is all due to CO2?Kasperanza

    We know because we know the physical properties of CO2.

    Why limit fossil fuels if climate change is inevitable?Kasperanza

    Death is inevitable, yet we don't drive without seatbelts or brakes.

    The government doesn't get things done. PEOPLE get things done.Kasperanza

    Does the government not consist of people?

    Policies don't save the planet. Businesses, products, and fossil fuels save the planet. Innovators and entrepreneurs save the planet with their ideas. People need to be FREE to test out their ideas.Kasperanza

    You complained above about a statement being "vague and without focus". This here is certainly vague and without focus. Just a collection of nice sounding words.

    I mean yeah it will effect us, but I don't see any impending doom.Kasperanza

    Do you care about people dieing preventable deaths?

    It makes zero sense to me.Kasperanza

    Because you're apparently completely unwilling to consider future consequences.

    i was talking about economic freedom, a freedom that is sustained with individual rights. Why would I advocate for a freedom in which murder is legal?Kasperanza

    Where is the line between murder and getting people killed via economic policy?

    Human beings are the standard of value. Individual rights allow for a rational freedom.Kasperanza

    So freedom is whatever is best for human beings?
  • Is existence a Simulation?
    If existence is a simulation how would that change how we see the laws of physics and how we interpret scientific discovery.SteveMinjares

    Nothing, really. Empirical science does not strictly speaking make a claim to represent basic ontological reality. That is itself an interpretation and not a necessary one.

    Will that mean metaphysics science bare more relevance than physical science?SteveMinjares

    No. Science would remain just as useful.

    If the simulation hypothesis is true than why bother with the external? Saying reality is a simulation is just a scientific way of saying reality is an illusion which further proves my last point I made a while back “time is an illusion”. The only true reality is really a matter of perspective of the mind.SteveMinjares

    Regardless of the ontological status of the external, it's nevertheless in your interest to avoid the very real pain and suffering that it causes. Jumping off a cliff because "reality is an illusion" isn't a good idea.

    This thought was inspired by this article.

    “Do We Live in a Simulation? Chances Are about 50–50” - By Anil Ananthaswamy on October 13, 2020
    SteveMinjares

    The math behind this is unfortunately mostly good sounding nonsense.
  • Climate Change (General Discussion)
    Hence the appeal of the Disney-themed toothpaste dispenser - high membership reward, little expense in joining. The expense in joining bit is insurmountable - what we want to achieve with something like climate change is going to require sacrifice - whether that's in terms of reduced consumption or in spending to fund community solutions. So social pressure to become a member needs to be higher. What we see in protest movements around climate change is the exact opposite. Basically, unless you're a government minister or the CEO of BP, you're not the target and so membership is optional. Middle class householders only need to take one glance at the giant leap they'd need to take feel members of the circus troop protesting outside their window, realise that non-membership will have no impact on their lives at all, to sit comfortably and watch the show.Isaac

    Interesting information, thanks.

    So is there something in the research that tells us how we increase pressure to become a member?
  • Climate Change (General Discussion)
    Well this is why I asked if all climate change is all bad. I imagine that colder climates that didn't allow crops, would allow crops. When some opportunities go away, new ones come up.Kasperanza

    And that would generally be true, if the rate of change is slow enough to allow ecosystems to adapt. But imagine what happens if 90% of all remaining fish in the oceans die off within a couple of years. Sure new fish will eventually repopulate the oceans, but that will take hundreds of years. Meanwhile millions of people rely on daily catches of fish to survive.
  • Climate Change (General Discussion)
    I mean how fast is too fast? Why not just burn more fossil fuels? Oh, things are too hot? Blast the air conditioning. Things are too cold? Turn up the heat. I don't really see why it matters what the climate does. As long as we have technology and fossil fuels, let the climate do what it wants.Kasperanza

    And where are you going to get food? We do not have replicators running on gasoline yet.
  • Climate Change (General Discussion)
    You think it's unlikely that anything gets done. So essentially we're doomed, in your eyes. Interesting perspective.Xtrix

    Well Things are already being done. Just not nearly enough things, though we're slowly getting better as the catastrophes are becoming more obvious.

    Extrapolating from the CoViD response, it seems likely to me that drastic action will only occur once it's undeniably obvious that a lot of people are dieing, and a lot more people will die in the short term (and if we're being realistic it probably helps if they're white or chinese). Something like a major food shortage that is felt even in European stores

    Are we doomed at that point? We've certainly doomed a lot of species on our planet. Unlike most, we have a lot more capacity to adapt though. Apart from recognising the stakes, I prefer to be optimistic about our ability to throw resources (and we do have access to tremendous amounts) at the problem until we stabilise. I don't think there's much use in fatalism either way.

    Does the science really say that all climate change is bad?Kasperanza

    Yes, it does. Though it's not so much the direction of the change as the rate of change that is the problem.

    Indeed, and yet above we were talking about 'popular and sought after' policies, not 'reasonable and scientifically well supported' ones. That the two are not the same is the crux of the problem.Isaac

    I didn't really talk about what's popular. I only said that individual consumer level actions are unlikely to be adopted by enough people on their own initiative to make a difference. You could take that to mean such measures aren't popular enough.

    As for measures in general, I think it's pretty hard to establish how popular exactly they are. There are broad majorities for robust action on climate change in many democracies, but I suspect most people don't have anything very specific in mind.

    Protests need to properly threaten the group they are protesting against, otherwise they're nothing more than virtue signalling. Governments have some quite well-developed means of gauging the mood in their key demographics - sophisticated multi-metric tools. Do you think they're going to throw those away because they see a few hundred hipsters having a street party?Isaac

    I think you're discounting the psychological effects that very visible movements have. The first goal would of course be to get enough critical mass going that the protests shift the general mood of the electorate. This has already happened with e.g. Fridays for Future. Of course a backlash is also possible, but I think would be unlikely.

    A large part of the reason why there isn't more electoral push towards dealing with climate change is that people are constantly being distracted by other, seemingly more immediate, issues.

    The "It's not practical to make the necessary changes" excuse is a fairly limp one. That there are limits to what can be done by individual choice is incontestable, but equally incontestable is the fact that most people are absolutely nowhere near those limitsIsaac

    I agree with you here, but I guess my question would be how you would address that if not by mass protest?

    we quite deliberately designed the system that way.Isaac

    I don't think that's a very accurate analysis of current democratic systems. Noone designed those systems to deal with Billionaires running influence campaigns on Facebook.

    The question should be "Why, when faced with such an obvious prospect of harm to the next generation, do people still consider their replacement Disney-themed electric toothpaste dispenser to be more important?"Isaac

    Don't we know the answer to that? I thought the psychology behind that was pretty clear, and it is your field.
  • Climate Change (General Discussion)
    Why would they need to be scared into providing a really popular and sought after solution?Isaac

    Why wouldn't they be? Is your impression that current governments around the world are on average very good at dealing with medium to long term crisis? If your answer is "no", I don't understand the point of this line of questioning.

    Presumably we're both aware of the basic reasons behind why many reasonable and scientifically well supported policies aren't enacted by governments around the world, democratic or otherwise, in fields like environmental protection, consumer protection, healthcare etc.
  • Climate Change (General Discussion)
    I get the theory, but doesn't it leave a rather unconvincing model of a governing system that somehow has no way of determining what services are required other than by waiting for the information to be painted onto a placard?Isaac

    We don't have a governing system whose goal is to determine what services are required though. LIke yeah it would be cool if we could simply expect the leaders we put in power (or that we are not willing or able to dislodge) to make the best decisions on the available evidence, but that isn't the case, is it?

    If people are willing to travel long distances without their cars, as in the example you give, but can't simply decide as an individual to do so, are you suggesting that information wouldn't come to light without a protest?Isaac

    No, I'm suggesting that the only way to get the powers that be to move is to properly scare them.
  • Free Speech and Censorship
    Even if I did believe in the computational theory of mind (I don't)NOS4A2

    What theory of mind do you ascribe to? How does an intention form, and how does it then get to have physical results, and how do these then in turn again travel "into" the mind?

    Feel free to give basic descriptions, I'm not expecting you to write a book here.

    I rest on the sensible fact that, until she is struck by something like a billiard ball or kinetic energy, every move she makes begins and ends with her. So unless something forcers her to move against her will there could be only one cause to her actions. There are probably a vast array of external and environmental factors she may be considering, of course, but the choice and the action itself comes from only one being.NOS4A2

    So, connected with what I wrote above, when does "she" begin? Does her mind rest somewhere fully formed for all eternity, or is it temporal, and if it's temporal, what causes it to change?
  • Climate Change (General Discussion)
    What would be the object of these protests if the changes required are considered too impractical to be adopted? Presumably, living in a democracy, such changes are going to be ephemeral at best, window-dressing at worst if the population hasn't the stomach to adopt them.Isaac

    Well, stuff that is impractical for the individual might not be if it was coordinated by the community. A simple example is avoiding to drive the car - impractical if you need to regularly travel longer distances without access to public transport. But can be solved communally.
  • The First Infinite Regress


    Interestingly, when I tried to reverse the why game with a child, they came back with a very simple answer: "because I want to".

    One could take that to indicate that asking "why" is only meaningful if we're referring to intentional actions, and that the infinite regress is therefore a symptom of asking an incoherent question.
  • Climate Change (General Discussion)
    If so, will we reach tipping points no matter what policies we enact?Xtrix

    Kinda hard to say since no-one knows what the tipping points are exactly, but I think it's unlikely enough will be done to avoid very serious climate changes.

    Will we actually turn ourselves into Venus?Xtrix

    That seems rather unlikely. The planet has seen runaway greenhouse effects before.

    If it's not too late, what exactly can we do to contribute to mitigating it?Xtrix

    The best way is probably to organise and join in mass protests. No individual consumer level decisions are likely to be very effective. Or rather the effective decisions are very impractical and so unlikely to be adopted by enough people to make a difference.

    Is there ANYONE out there who still doesn't consider this the issue of our times?Xtrix

    There are probably more people emotionally invested in the outcome of the next big soccer match than in climate change.
  • Eleven Theses on Civility
    If "incivility is anger directed at unjust civil ordering" it's difficult to object to incivility, and urge civility, isn't it? On the other hand, if it's merely rudeness, offensiveness or insolence (as "incivility" is typically defined) then the "Eleven Theses" don't seem so compelling.Ciceronianus the White

    I think the text perhaps suffers from not differentiating between different aspects of civility. The historical connection between the rules of "civil discourse" and the maintenance of structures of power seems clear to me. The English language remains a particularly striking example of this. But non-adherence to the rules of civility as established by the privileged is indeed frequently used as a method to minimise the influence of the marginalized.

    Yet any kind of conversation does need some standard of civility to allow ideas to be exchanged effectively. Perhaps we need to distinguish between the ad-hoc civility of a conversation and cultural standards of civility?

    However, civility towards others should be the basis of most people's politics, the recognition that it's guaranteed that people don't think the same should lead people to the conclusion that treating people who think differently from you rudely can only lead to its prevalence in discourse. Rudeness towards others fosters tribalism, close-mindedness, ignorance and activates nearly every psychological barrier to listening to or understanding others. Incivility towards structures needs to be earned and incivility towards people needs to be earned. But again I don't get to dictate for others, when it is or isn't earned.Judaka

    Perhaps we could call this "emotional civility", based on the respect for others as humans, rather than the performative civility of not using certain words etc.
  • The Ant and the Grasshopper: Immediate versus Delayed Return


    I think it's an interesting example to show the variety of different approaches that are possible in dealing with a problem. Historical studies often cause one to see social and political developments as inevitable, when in reality they're often anything but.

    It should also caution us to consider different cultural stances with the due respect, in order to avoid putting all our eggs into a single ideology.
  • A Global Awakening
    If the issue is that people understand/are aware, but don't care or feel overwhelmed, then that's another issue we have to deal with. That takes more education as well as more organizing.Xtrix

    Some people are aware, some are deliberately deluding themselves, some are being fooled, and some don't know.

    I think the problem is ultimately one of psychology, not of education in the strict sense. All our evolved responses for dealing with a crisis situation are at best useless and at worst actively counterproductive when faced with something like climate change. Ultimately, we need to change behaviour, not beliefs. Unfortunately, the behaviour we need to change includes that of those in power. But I think at this point it's more productive to ask how we can make people act in certain ways as opposed to warning them of the consequences of inaction. People will simply keep choosing inaction, because the facts are not suited to affect human psychology in the way we need it to be affected.
  • Is terrorism justified ?
    If there is a conflict between two powers and if one of the side is a superpower with unmatched military capability and the opposing side is poorly equipped militias. Symmetrical warfare for the militias will ensure total destruction of their force. They will resort to asymmetric guerilla warfare.

    One important feature of asymmetric warfare is that, civilians of enemy country are also counted as combatants. Another justification for targeting civilians lies in the fact that there will always be collateral damage on your side, your civilians are getting killed anyways, it only seems fair that you do the same in return.
    Wittgenstein

    I don't think the notion of "fairness" makes much sense here. All war tends to terrorize the civilian population where it's fought, so I think a general distinction between "regular warfare" and "terrorism" cannot be upheld. War exists on a spectrum where you can try to limit the terror inflicted, or you can try to increase it. In either case, you probably only have limited control over the actual result.

    So I think the question ties back to the question of when war itself is justified. I think these situations exist, though they are quite rare. If you are in that situation, what matters is how much you achieve for a given amount of terror. No matter how oppressed you are, acts of violence can only be justified if they are a rational means toward an end, and the entire path from decision to means to end is justifiable.

    I have explored that particular disagreement with @180 Proof in the Israel-Palestine threat. As emotionally unsatisfying as it may be to ask people to endure the unendurable because they simply have no plausible way to make a difference, I likewise see no way to ever justify objectively useless terror.

    Civilians were not the targets of the nuclear weapons used to end WWII in the Pacific.creativesoul

    That's technically true, but in this case it's the bad kind of technically true. Hiroshima was selected as a bombing site for a number of characteristics, and maximizing civilian casualties wasn't one of them. Neither was minimizing civilian casualties. The chain of events that lead to the targeting decision is well documented. I recommend "The Making of the Atomic Bomb" by Richard Rhodes for a very in-depth history. The bombs were definetly not dropped to destroy the japanese warmaking potential.
  • Ad hominem, Ad Schmominem


    I think the most common problem with the logical fallacies is that people interpret them as informal language and use them in informal debates. However, for most informal settings, especially discussions among laymen, reasoning that would be fallacious in a strictly deductive argument is entirely rational:

    Correlation does imply causation if you use imply in the informal usage of "is a common indication of".
    Absence of evidence is evidence of absence for many everyday applications
    Someone's character is often a good heuristic for the quality and trustworthiness of their arguments.

    With ad-hominem specifically, the most common rhethorical tactic to attack someone's argument by attacking their character is poisoning the well, which is not technically an ad-hominem attack, but has the same goal. If the well gets too poisoned, to stay in the metaphor, discussions tend to shut down or devolve into shouting matches, so in terms of having a healthy forum debate, I think that's one of the core things to watch out for.

    But of course it is occaisonally appropriate to call attention to posters that have a history of dishonest argument. However, it should probably be done in PM form rather than on the open forum.
  • Are You A World War II Nut?
    But once all your tanks and factories have been destroyed, the will no longer mattersFoghorn

    Didn't they move all those behind the Urals? Also I think the Soviet field armies were destroyed twice over, but were replaced regardless.

    That tends to be my view too. If we leave aside the issue of which side murdered more people than the other side, it seems to me that this was simply a struggle for resources, i.e. a continuation of the imperial expansions of the 1800s and early 1900s.Apollodorus

    I think it'd be a mistake to ignore the extend to which Hitler's ideology motivated the course of the war. Resources were but one part of the equation.

    Did Hitler think he could beat Stalin before Stalin made his own move on Germany?Apollodorus

    He just thought it was the natural course of events. To Hitler, nature ordained that Germany and Russia would be enemies and that the superior Germans would win.

    However, the rhetoric about Russia being England's weapon on the mainland suggests a lot of resentment about the UK's stubborn refusal to yield was part of the equation. To Hitler, that probably was a betrayal of their "race" just as the declaration of war over Belgium in WW1.
  • Are You A World War II Nut?
    While Germany could conceivably win WWI without too many things changing, it's very hard to see a situation where they could win WWII. It was essentially hopeless.Count Timothy von Icarus

    Literally just a few Paris Taxis away from victory :wink:

    Instead of invading France and attacking England Hitler might have done this.Foghorn

    In a way, Germany had won a war after the Munich agreement without firing a shot. Versailles overturned, a greater Germany realised. Of course it could only get there because it was planning a wider war.

    Yes, the key all along was a quick knock out blow. They came pretty close. A few changes here and there, and we'd be typing these comments in German.Foghorn

    Or so everyone thought at the time. In reality, a knock out blow would have to have been political, in the sense that the Soviet Union simply looses the will to fight. In retrospect, this seems unlikely.

    There are to be sure other histories, but none have the "I was there" feel and sense that Churchill's doestim wood

    Yeah, maybe, though of course there is no shortage of memoirs about the war.
  • Are You A World War II Nut?


    Why would you recommend Churchill? Certainly not for reliable information, right?
  • Evolution and awareness
    So.....the message won't be a message at all. It won't have any 'representative contents'. It isn't functioning as a medium through which you are being told something. It just appears to be, but isn't.Bartricks

    I don't think that follows. I am being told something, about the way the bot works for example. The message still represents something, it's just not communication.
  • Evolution and awareness
    Again: why is this apparent message not a message if I am a bot?Bartricks

    That's simply the definition of the word, isn't it? A message is communication, and we don't consider a bot to have a mind that would communicate with us.
  • Evolution and awareness
    This is tedious. This isn't a message if I am a bot, right? Explain that without vindicating my argumentBartricks

    Messages aren't physical. When we communicate, I'm really just talking to myself, that is I'm imagining what a mental model of you is saying. Nothing actually travels from your mind to mine here, that'd be telepathy.

    So really, it is a message unless I know based on other parts of my mental model that the message was caused by a process I don't consider sentient. From an epistemological perspective, truth and justification are congruent, since I can only ascertain truth via justification.

    The message stops being a message if I think you're a bot, not if you are a bot.
  • Evolution and awareness
    They're not 'word games'. Address the argument.Bartricks

    There is nothing further to adress. You haven't argued that there must in some way be a representer, only moved language around to argue that when people commonly use the term they refer to a situation where there is a "representer". I think that's also wrong, by the way, because when we talk about representation, we often talk about what something represents to us, not necessarily what the creator of some text intended it to represent. But again that's talking about usage of words, not about the world.
  • All that matters in society is appearance
    The video shows looks>>>>>personalityWittgenstein

    Seeing how the bit from the video is focused entirely on a first impression, where personality never enters the picture, I don't see how it could show any such thing.

    People always tell you that personality is the most important factor when it comes to attraction and dating. This isn't true in any way or form. It's useless to approach girls unless you have seen some indicator of interest. Every sexual encounter in all the species is initiated by the feminine gender ( sex ).

    Personality ( intelligence, character, ideals etc ) matter later on once you pass a certain threshold of good looks. ( this varies between girls ).
    Wittgenstein

    Since you don't wear you personality on your sleeve, it's fairly obvious that it would come in later than looks, unless you engage in some elaborate literally blind dating system. That's not the same as one or the other being more or less important. I think these kinds of distinctions more often than not create an illusion of clarity and predictability that simply doesn't hold up in reality. Who ends up dating who depends a lot on contingencies of the situation, mutual expectations etc. It's going to be impossible to isolate "beauty" as an independent factor from this melange.

    It has always been this way. In the past, the commercial aspect involved politics and tribal relations and the women did not possess a lot of control.Wittgenstein

    How do you know this? Have you perused the relevant sociological research?

    It isn't a worldwide, it is basic biology, we want to produce the best offspring possible. These days, women are in control of the dating market and they want the best looking guy out there to be their bf/husband. I don't see how you can change this.Wittgenstein

    And yet a cursory look around a busy city on a summer day (where there are no CoViD restrictions) would immediately supply you with dozens of counterexamples to this supposedly ironclad law. Now I understand it would be tempting to explain them all away by some contingency, as this line of thinking likes to do. But I think the far more plausible explanation is that while biological urges exist, and looks are a shortcut our brains use to judge the health and fitness of a potential partner, this is merely one factor in a vastly complicated psychological state.

    It seems entirely unconvincing to me to dial the clock back to 19th century mechanism when it comes to the dating behaviour of humans. Tempting perhaps, as such simple theories always are.
  • All that matters in society is appearance
    For this reason alone, I can always tell when someone is playing hard to get. For girls, a desperate guy isn't ideal in anyways. It's simple economics. Your value is determined by the number of people interested in dating you. The sexual market value of a 3/10 female is higher than a 7/10 male.Wittgenstein

    This kind of thinking might be related to a pervasive cultural trend to treat all kinds of relations as commerical relations, could it not? In which case it wouldn't actually be evidence of anything more profound than the zeitgeist.
  • All that matters in society is appearance
    Ugly people get treated like this every single day. He isn't a creep or a loser. Let's suppose he is average in everything except looks. Unfortunately they didn't let him off easilyWittgenstein

    Can you explain to me just what you're seeing when you watch that video?
  • All that matters in society is appearance
    It's not about being successful but ruining it. You could be an accomplished scientist but if you are ugly, people see see an ugly person before seeing a scientist. It's unavoidable. Imagine covering gold with poop, you would be disgusted.Wittgenstein

    Sure, prejudice of this kind is hard to avoid, though it's possible to be aware of it. But it's hardly a guarantee of a specific outcome. Beautiful people have it easier in life, that much is well established, though for beautiful women the effect can sometimes reverse in a professional setting.
  • All that matters in society is appearance
    Looking beautiful is all there is to success in society. I will elaborate more on this but I want you to think about it.Wittgenstein

    You might start your elaboration by addressing the numerous people who are not beautiful and still successful.
  • Evolution and awareness
    When it comes to a representative relation, what are the relata?

    Well, there is normally going to be someone to whom the representation is being made. Let's call them the representee.

    Then there is going to be the vehicle of representation. Let's call that the representation itself.

    And then there is going to be the one doing the representing. Let's call them the representer.

    The representer needs to be an agent.
    Bartricks

    You can play all kinds of word games like this, but none of this actually serves as an argument that all representation must be intentional. You're just using that as a premise.

    Can there be desires without a desirer? No. Can there be thoughts without a thinker? No. Can there be precepts without a perceiver? No. Can there be representations without a representer? No.Bartricks

    That's a clever sleight of hand here, but I notice that all your examples are about the passive, non-acting end of the relation. Only with representation do you suddenly switch to a supposed actor.

    Rather than prove your point, your list merely makes clear that we usually conceive of our relation with the world as some dualism, where information enters our mind from an outside source.

    And I illustrated with clear examples. Examples where a representer is absent, but everything else is in place. And bingo, no representation occurs.Bartricks

    Your examples are interesting, but you're merely using them as ammunition for your pre-existing beliefs, rather than really engaging with the concept of justification. You're not committing to an epistemological position, and so your argument can simply flow where it needs to in order to justify your view.

    Take your "letters in the cloud". How do we conclude that the letters are unrelated to the actual cake? You state that this is so, but how is the observer on the ground supposed to arrive at this conclusion? Somehow that person needs to decide whether or not the clouds justify a belief. How do they do that?



    I don't have a good definition of "information", I can only describe it. I'd say information is anything that changes a mental model in any direction, either increasing or Decreasing your certainty about a prediction or explanation. You can only gain information about things you do not already know, and the two are therefore related.

    Information seems to be very basic to the way our models of the world function, since it seems to be connected to entropy.
  • Evolution and awareness


    "Representer" is a word you just made up, and phonetic similarity to "representative content" isn't an argument. The term "representative" denotes a relation, not an actor.
  • Evolution and awareness
    1. If our faculties of awareness are wholly the product of unguided evolutionary forces, then they do not give us an awareness of anythingBartricks

    This premise is about "awareness" and much of the argument following is about "knowledge", but you don't seem to define either term here.

    You seem to use knowledge in the way of "justified true belief", but importantly you only seem to count intentionally transmitted information as justifying a belief. But why is that?
  • Transhumanism: Treating death as a problem
    The fragility of the individual, although it results in the death of each and every one of us, is not a weakness however, because this is the means by which life tests all the different boundaries of the the environment which it inhabits, thereby producing all the diverse individuals which provide its overall strength. We ought not seek to limit diversity, because that would be a self-imposed weakness, making the vulnerability of the individual, universal.Metaphysician Undercover

    Yeah, but "life", by which you presumably mean the process of evolution, is dumb. It needs diversity to survive because it cannot and does not predict the future. We're not so limited and it does us no good to mystify evolution.

    Besides our culture has already sidelined evolution, regardless of there still being genetic recombination.