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  • Deep Songs
    Ultra deep song about acculturation, the Italians, and all that... ;-)

    Boy went back to Napoli
    because he missed the scenery
    The native dancers and the charming songs
    But wait a minute, something's wrong....

    Hey! Hey!
    Now it's hey Mambo, Mambo Italiano!
    Hey Mambo, Mambo Italiano!
    Go, go, Joe, you mixed up Sigiliano.
    All you Calabrese do the mambo like crazy.
    And hey Mambo! Don't want to tarantella,
    Hey Mambo! No more-a moozzarella.
    Hey Mambo! Hey Mambo Italiano.
    Try an enchilada with a fish-a-barcalada.

    Hey goombah!
    I love-a how you dance rumba.
    But take-a some advice paisano,
    learn how to mambo.
    If you're gonna be a square,
    you're never gonna go nowhere.

    Hey Mambo, Mambo Italiano!
    Hey Mambo, hey Mambo Italiano!
    Go, go, Joe, shake-a like a Gioviano.
    Hello quesadicha,
    you getta happy in the feets-a
    when you Mambo Italiano!
    Shake-a baby, shake-a,
    'cause I love-a when you take-a me.

    Hey Jagool!
    You don't-a have to go to school,
    just make a little beef flambino.
    It's-a like-a vino.
    Kid you're good-lookin',
    but you don't know what's-a cookin' till you

    Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!
    Shake-a baby, shake-a,
    'cause I love it when you take-a me
    by the pizzeria down-a where I'm gonna be-a.
    Don't ya tell your mama.
    Mama's gonna tell-a papa.
    There's-a nothin' to it.
    Come on baby let's-a do it!

    Hey Mambo, etc

  • Deep Songs
    Not really a fan of his political philosophy, which my French schoolboy memories limit to the idea of a social contract between inherently free individuals, accepting to live in society and the rules that go with it.

    I want to read the Confessions though, because he had such a strong and funny personality and style. He was a rockstar of philosophy: brilliant, mesmerizing, physically beautiful, sexually active, and vain.


    Meanwhile, James Boswell [a friend and biographer of Hume], then in Paris, offered to escort Thérèse Levasseur [JJ's steady girlfriend] to Rousseau.[52][51] (Boswell had earlier met Rousseau and Thérèse at Motiers; he had subsequently also sent Thérèse a garnet necklace and had written to Rousseau seeking permission to occasionally communicate with her.)[52] Hume foresaw what was going to happen: "I dread some event fatal to our friend's honor."[52][51] Boswell and Thérèse were together for more than a week, and as per notes in Boswell's diary they consummated the relationship, having intercourse several times.[52][51] On one occasion, Thérèse told Boswell: "Don't imagine you are a better lover than Rousseau."[52]
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Jacques_Rousseau
  • Deep Songs
    Of course JJ was behaving as a provocateur in the querelle des bouffons, courting scandal, and that's what he got, but as you said he also opened a breach in the Parisians' cultural mépris for those funny Italians. So he was excessive in his pamphlet but maybe that's what it took to make an impact.
  • Deep Songs
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a composer, with some modest success. Two pieces written by him:





    I got interested in the querelle des bouffons, in which Rousseau successfully defended Italian opera against a bunch of narrow-minded Frenchmen, including Rameau. I basically agree with Rousseau that melody trumps harmony, especially if one cares for the taste of the people. The people want something they can sing, not several intertwined melodic lines and complex harmonies. Rameau and all the other French musicians at the time were performing for Versailles, first and foremost, while Vivaldi was playing for the general public.

    Now listening to Rousseau's compositions to try and figure out if he was worth anything as a musician. Jury is still out. It is simple alright, but that's part of the idea to write for the people rather than for the court. It does sound like a mishmash of Italian and French influences, not terribly original.


    Je crois avoir fait voir qu'il n'y a ni mesure ni mélodie dans la musique française, parce que la langue n'en est pas susceptible ; que le chant français n'est qu'un aboiement continuel, insupportable à toute oreille non prévenue ; que l'harmonie en est brute, sans expression et sentant uniquement son remplissage d'écolier ; que les airs français ne sont point des airs ; que le récitatif français n'est point du récitatif. D'où je conclus que les Français n'ont point de musique et n'en peuvent avoir ; ou que si jamais ils en ont une, ce sera tant pis pour eux.

    ... that there is neither measure nor melody in French music, because the language is not capable of them; that French singing is only continual barking, unbearable to all unprejudiced ears; that its harmony is brutal, without expression and feeling uniquely like schoolboys' padding; that French airs are not airs; that French recitals are not recitals. Hence I conclude that the French have no music and can have none; or that if ever they had some, they would be so much the worse for it.

    – Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Lettre sur la musique française)
  • Being a Man
    As per a hadith (a saying of the prophet Mohammad), honorable men are those who treat women honorably. The basic idea is that the strong must respect the weak, as in the OP:

    you should never use your physical strength to harm those weaker than you,BigThoughtDropper
  • Transhumanism with Guest Speaker David Pearce
    Would you enjoy playing a game of chess against a grandmaster other than to say you did so?Outlander

    This happened to me once, in an airport lounge. I had hours to wait and the old gentleman next to me in the lounge was reading a chess magazine. I asked him if he wanted to play. He did, though he did not look particularly excited about it, like if playing chess was a bit boring to him... Anyway, I looked around the airport shops for a set, found one, and came back to the lounge with it.

    What followed was rather humbling. I could not make it pass 20 moves in any of the six or seven games we played. When I congratulated him, he said he was a grandmaster.
  • Is my red innately your red
    Sorry, didn't see that.

    unless that biological account has learned from constructivists like Piaget, Maturana and Varela.Joshs

    Exactly. A non reductionist account, an account that would start from the innate, pre-theoretical assumption, axiom, presupposition or a priori -- however you want to call it -- that our capacities for observation, perception and logic help us notice patterns, and thus give us a modicum of understanding and control over things and events. The non reductionist account would then use these capacities to explore and explore further the world, until such a point when one could propose a well-evidenced, logical theory for animal perception, how it emerged in evolution, how it works, what's its bag of tricks, and why it is indeed so useful to us.

    (IOW, the exact opposite of what most materialists have been busy doing)

    Such an exploration and validation of perception by itself may look circular, but I rather see it as an outward spiral, that starts from a kernel of intuition and explores the surroundings by going around in a spiral.
  • Deep Songs
    For me it's just a good example, maybe the best, of a metaphysical presupposition, if we even want to call something so typically automatic a presupposition.j0e

    Yes, it's a good example of what Collingwood called an absolute presupposition, although you are right that it looks more basic. Perhaps Kant's a priori is a better way to look at it, like our sense of space and time?
  • Deep Songs
    As an aside, note that the use of 'they', speaking of oneself, is spreading in the language, which points to the idea that the unity of the mind is not always a given.
  • Deep Songs
    Now that is deep.
  • Deep Songs
    I Me Mine is a great entry on the subject, thanks.


    All through the day
    I me mine, I me mine, I me mine
    All through the night
    I me mine, I me mine, I me mine
    Now they're frightened of leaving it
    Everyone's weaving it
    Coming on strong all the time
    All through the day

    I me mine
    I me me mine, etc.

    All I can hear
    I me mine, I me mine, I me mine
    Even those tears
    I me mine, I me mine, I me mine
    No-one's frightened of playing it
    Everyone's saying it
    Flowing more freely than wine
    All through the day

    I me mine
    I me me mine, etc.

    All I can hear
    I me mine, I me mine, I me mine
    Even those tears
    I me mine, I me mine, I me mine
    No-one's frightened of playing it
    Everyone's saying it
    Flowing more freely than wine
    All through your life
    I me mine
  • Deep Songs
    Thanks. This posting was prompted by

    How did Descartes know that he was alone in his mind? Why not "We think, therefore we are."? ... How much confusion in philosophy results from reifying the 'I' which we learn to use in ordinary life?j0e

    Me, myself and I do like Lady Day: we always use the "royal we".
  • Deep Songs
    Me, myself and I
    Are all in love with you
    We all think you're wonderful
    We do

    Me, myself and I
    Have just one point of view
    We're convinced
    There's no one else like you

    It can't be denied dear
    You brought the sun to us
    We'd be satisfied dear
    If you'd belong to one of us

    So if you pass me by
    Three hearts will break in two
    'Cause me, myself and I
    Are all in love with you
    We all think you're wonderful
    We do

  • Is my red innately your red
    unless that biological account has learned from constructivists like Piaget, Maturana and Varela.Joshs

    Exactly. A non reductionist account, an account of the mind that gives justice to it rather than try to eliminate it, is not logically impossible, whereas a reductionist account of the mind would be self-contradictory
  • Transhumanism with Guest Speaker David Pearce
    Only the implementation details (gene-editing, synthetic gene drives, cross-species fertility-regulation, etc) are a modern innovation.David Pearce

    Exactly. Yahweh has given way to Science as the Supreme Being in many modern minds, and therefore science is now required to deliver the same stuff that Yahweh was previously in charge of, including paradise. The Kingdom of God has been replaced in our imagination by the Kingdom of Science.
  • Is my red innately your red
    following Husserl and Merleau-Pontus, the ‘physical’ is a higher order derived product of constitution, and can’t be used to ‘explain’ the fundamental basis of color in perception. .Joshs

    It cannot be used to 'explain away' perception in an eliminative manner -- one cannot say on the basis of one's perceptions, that perception is an illusion -- but I see no reason why one could not provide a reasonable account of biological processes involved in color perception, in an affirmative manner: "Perception works, and this is how it works, based on my perceptions" may be a circular argument but not self-contradictory.
  • Transhumanism with Guest Speaker David Pearce
    Base-editing is better than CRISPR-Cas9 for creating invincibly happy, healthy babies:David Pearce

    It seems to me that you are indulging in a vision of a paradise, that probably serves the same purpose as the Christian paradise: console, bring solace. It's a form of escapism.


    Isaiah 11:

    6 The wolf will live with the lamb,
    the leopard will lie down with the goat,
    the calf and the lion and the yearling together;
    and a little child will lead them.
    7 The cow will feed with the bear,
    their young will lie down together,
    and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
    8 The infant will play near the cobra’s den,
    and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.
    9 They will neither harm nor destroy
    on all my holy mountain,
    for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord
    as the waters cover the sea.
  • C.S. Lewis on Jesus
    Fans of Lewis's Narnia books may wish to check this precursor: The Magic World, by Edith Nesbit.
  • Transhumanism with Guest Speaker David Pearce
    Researchers call for greater awareness of unintended consequences of CRISPR gene editing
    9 APRIL 2021
    by The Francis Crick Institute

    Researchers at the Francis Crick Institute have revealed that CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing can lead to unintended mutations at the targeted section of DNA in early human embryos. The work highlights the need for greater awareness of and further research into the effects of CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing, especially when used to edit human DNA in laboratory research.

    https://www.crick.ac.uk/news/2021-04-09_researchers-call-for-greater-awareness-of-unintended-consequences-of-crispr-gene-editing
  • Transhumanism with Guest Speaker David Pearce
    We could start with something easier, like improve human and animal welfare and combat climate change.
  • Transhumanism with Guest Speaker David Pearce
    It's hard to imagine, I know.David Pearce

    It's also very hard to do, I know.
  • Transhumanism with Guest Speaker David Pearce
    My point was rather that no centralized decision making system can be perfect in its implementation (although they tend to look perfect on paper, but that's often due to their naivety) and that such systems tend to fossilize or at least age poorly over time. Too conservative, not addaptative enough. Darwinian systems are better from this point of view, more evolutionary and more creative.
  • Transhumanism with Guest Speaker David Pearce
    Critics protest that a notional civilisation with a hedonic range of +90 to +100 would "lack contrast" compared to the rich tapestry of Darwinian life.David Pearce

    I suspect that, were we to live in such a civilisation, our mean hedonistic expectation will simply adjust to somewhere around 95. Anything below 95 will be deemed a disappointment if not a "micro-agression", and anything above 95 will get recorded as satisfying and truly a pleasure. In short, I suspect the gradient is relative, not absolute.
  • Transhumanism with Guest Speaker David Pearce
    the parasitic worm Onchocerca volvulus that causes onchocerciasis aka river blindness?David Pearce

    While it is possible to eliminate viruses or parasites that play no ecological role, to try and change a whole ecosystem is very risky. Perhaps you can understand why with a metaphor. Darwinian life is akin to capitalism. It's ugly, but it works. It works without anyone telling the system how to work, it self regulates. Your imagined life would be akin to centrally planned economy: it's nicer in theory but it doesn't work very well in practice because it relies on a few people at the top making the right decisions at all times, and they sometimes do mistakes, or just abuse of their position.

    A decentralized, self-regulated system is more resilient than a centrally regulated system. And that's a dimension on which Darwinian life will always trump engineered life.
  • Transhumanism with Guest Speaker David Pearce
    Yes, humans are "playing god". Good. We should aim to be benevolent gods.David Pearce
    If we manage to survive the storm that's coming, that is.
  • Transhumanism with Guest Speaker David Pearce
    Okay, I'll leave it there I guess. My main point is that to me, life is the supreme value. Not pleasure or the absence of suffering or sentience, but just life. Ugly as it is. Beautiful as it is too. And the idea of us fixing the whole of nature to save deers, when we can't even fix our disastrous effect on the climate and when nature is fast disappearing around us strikes me as premature.

    So in terms of priorities, let's fix ourselves first. Let's reduce our ecological footprint and not send the climate into thousands of years of desertification. Once that is done, IF that is done, maybe we can start to work on reforming the diet of tigers, if there are still around.

    But then, there is also the question of us Homo sapiens being only one species among many. We are not gods and should not behave as gods. Nature made us, she's our mother, and we should respect her I think.
  • Transhumanism with Guest Speaker David Pearce
    I figured it is easier to destroy all Darwinian life first, and then reconstruct it better. Androids will dream of electric sheep soon enough.
  • Book Club: Being & Time, by Martin Heidegger.
    It's a work in progress. Thanks for the assistance.
  • Transhumanism with Guest Speaker David Pearce
    The horrors of "Nature, red in tooth and claw" are too serious to be written off with jokes about eating lettuce. For the first time in history, it's technically possible to engineer a biosphere where all sentient beings can flourish. I know of no good moral reason for perpetuating the horror-show of Darwinian life.David Pearce

    You'd be glad to know, then, that "Darwinian life" is fast disappearing from our planet. The Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services released on 6 May 2019 states that, due to human impact on the environment in the past half-century, the Earth's biodiversity has suffered a catastrophic welcome decline unprecedented in human history. An estimated 82 percent of wild mammal biomass has been lost, while 40 percent of amphibians, almost a third of reef-building corals, more than a third of marine mammals, and 10 percent of all insects are threatened with extinction. We are on our way to cure the biosphere of all Darwinian evil.
  • Transhumanism with Guest Speaker David Pearce
    I deleted it because I couldn't tell if you (Olivier5) meant it in good humour or not.fdrake

    I was dead serious (pun intended).

    I see a contradiction in hating life as it is (Darwinian life, which is the one and only life we know) and hating death at the same time. Either life is bad and death is good, or vice-versa life is good and death is bad. Someone assuming that life is a tragedy and death is also a tragedy, is a bit too hard to please in my view.
  • Book Club: Being & Time, by Martin Heidegger.
    mostly Neo-Kantians and Logical Positivists, Cartesians (rationalists) and secular humanists, and, of course cosmopolitan 'cultural relativists'180 Proof

    That's lot of people, a bit too many for my purpose, with is to position Heidegger within his socio-historico-philosophical context. So I will try to narrow down your list to keep it manageable, based on your indications and a few searches I did.

    Heidegger was 'competing' and 'co-navigating' most directly with neo-Kantian (eg in Marburg, Freiburg and Heidelberg, with Cassirer, Rickert, even Husserl I guess) and with 'left Hegelians' such as Marx. While the neo-Kantian were well-established, they showed little interest in ontology. The Hegelians on the other hand were interpreting their sense of History as the meaning of Being, and cared a lot about Being, therefore. Only thing was: the left had stolen the Geist of Hegel. Being was Marxist, and History was seemingly on their side. Russia had just fallen, the spartakists had hastened Germany's defeat in WW1, and the Right Hegelian school, who once dominated the university of Berlin, had all but died out.

    If this 'situation analysis' is correct, Heidi might have tried to use the academic fame of phenomenology (whence he comes) to rebuild a philosophical sense of Being and History that wouldn't be Marxist. Ergo, Heidi was a late Right Hegelian.
  • Transhumanism with Guest Speaker David Pearce
    Intelligent moral agents can do better.David Pearce

    Intelligent moral agents can do far better than bioengineer cats for the moral satisfaction of seeing them eat lettuce.
  • Transhumanism with Guest Speaker David Pearce
    power breeds complicity, whether we like it or not.David Pearce

    Sometimes, wisdom consists in not acting even when you could act. We should leave other species alone, to the extent possible, eg by way of nature reserves.

    Humans would (I hope) rescue a small child from the jaws of a lion.David Pearce

    I live in a very old city, Rome. Here, humans were at some point sending children into the jaws of lions for fun. And worse things. And people would go to see the show. But the interesting thing here is that those kids often went into the lions' jaws willingly. All they had to do to live was to perform some rites for the emperor's worship, but they would rather not.

    They were called martyrs, which means "witness", for they bore witness that there was an entity greater than the emperor, and that only He should be worshipped.

    I'm not a believer anymore but those guys were onto something. In secular terms, , they 'witnessed' that no man is a god, that no man deserves to be treated as a god, and that no man should act as a god.

    This idea is behind my fears of your technological utopia. We are not gods.

    I note that this idea is now a truism, and you must have encountered it. But it wasn't a truism 2000 years ago, and it is the Christian martyrs who hammered it into the social conciousness by willingly enduring the worst sufferings for the sake of it, for centuries. Because amongst the endured Romans who went merrily to the theater, week after week, to see some stupid Christians get fed to the lions, SOME felt their heart melt. SOME understood that these guys were serious, that there was something deeply subversive in their acceptance of pain and death. They were telling the antique world: "We don't give a shit about your power, about all your tortures, about all your refined ways to kill. We're not afraid. We're the captains of our own souls, and we will pray the way we want to pray. Thank you very much."

    And quite a few of them Romans came to think in petto that those Christians were admirable. That's how the martyrs won them out, ultimately. By the virtues of suffering. Life is complicated.

    No one deserves to be disembowelled, asphyxiated or eaten aliveDavid Pearce

    Death is a necessary aspect of life. Logically, death is simply the absence or end of life so death is logically necessary if life is to exist. Practically, entropy can't be beaten forever and thus all living creatures beyond a certain complexity threshold die, ultimately.

    And when we die, our meat isn't lost on the livings. Tigers or worms, someone will eat you. And that may sound bleak but that is not a tragedy. That is simply the price to pay for the immense privilege to have lived.
  • Transhumanism with Guest Speaker David Pearce
    your recent comment has been deletedDavid Pearce

    Strange... I wonder what problem they had with it.

    Anyway, I suspect felids are not particularly interested in your advice. You are welcome to change yourself into some computer if you want to, but leave cats alone. They can make their own life choices.

    Why do you think death is problematic? If suffering is the problem, death is a perfect solution for it. There is a contradiction in hating life as it is and hating death at the same time. Either life is beautiful hence death is bad, or life is shit hence death is a bliss.

    But "life is shit and death is bad" makes no logical sense to me.
  • Book Club: Being & Time, by Martin Heidegger.
    And yet I found BT worthy of study in order to grasp the 'anti-modern' appeal of this 'phenomenological ontology' chimera to subsequent p0m0 generations180 Proof

    P0m0 = postmodernism?

    One question has nagged me: who was Heidegger responding to? Who are his philosophical enemies or frenemies? Husserl obviously, whom he must have taken as a point of departure, but other (most probably German) philosophers must have been in the background of his thought as well. I started reading B&T and he doesn't cite names. Would you know? This would help situate him.
  • Transhumanism with Guest Speaker David Pearce
    Unless rather naively we believe in free will, neither tigers nor psychopaths are to blame in any metaphysical sense for the suffering they cause.David Pearce

    What about the suffering tigers anihillate? When their prey is dead, the prey won't suffer anymore. That's chalked up as a positive, right? If life is an abomination, death ought to be a blessing.
  • Book Club: Being & Time, by Martin Heidegger.
    My reluctance to read B&T relates to ontology, which I think is a waste of time. Why did Heidegger dwell into this particular topic? It seems he did so against Husserl. After all phenomenology is based on the idea that we don't have access to noumena, only to phenomena, and therefore we must study phenomena.

    Isn't a phenomenology of being a contradiction in terms? Isn't it doomed to fail?
  • Transhumanism with Guest Speaker David Pearce
    A civilised biosphere will be vegan.David Pearce

    A tiger does not apologize.
  • Sex and philosophy
    Freud wrote about sex, perhaps a little too much.

    Feminists have written tons of tomes about it, some of them interesting.
  • Transhumanism with Guest Speaker David Pearce
    Well, until such a time when we can engineer every single life form on earth to do exactly what you think is good, I'm going to read the Dimension of Miracles again.

    There's this surreal scene when Carmody finally makes it back to earth. He finds the vegetation rather different than what he remembers, until he meets a T-Rex cub, who kindly invites him for dinner. He then realizes that he is back on earth alright but not at the right time: he's in the jurassic.

    So he follows young T-Rex to his home and has dinner with them T-Rex folks. He is the first mammal they encounter who can speak, most mammals they know are quite dumb, so they are fascinated by Carmody, especially when he tells them that he comes from the future. Then the T-Rex father, a self-satisfied, rather conventional fellow, asks Carmody about the future of the relationship between dinosaurs and mammals... To which Carmody politely answers that in the future, the relationship between dinosaurs and mammals is better than it ever was.

    Maybe our future relationship with ants will be even better!