• My favorite metaphors
    Maybe another downer bit lacking the contextualizing net of Borges work.

    ”This City is so horrible that its mere existence and perdurance, though in the midst of a secret desert, contaminates the past and the future and in some way even jeopardizes the stars. As long as it lasts, no one in the world can be strong or happy. I do not want to describe it; a chaos of heterogeneous words, the body of a tiger or a bull in which teeth, organs and heads monstrously pullulate in mutual conjunction and hatred can (perhaps) be approximate images.” — Narrator, The Immortal by Jorge Luis Borges

    This quote stood out to me palpably.

    The narrator is describing a city immortals have built and abandoned, possibly through excessive cycles of time. It is as disorienting as any of Borges metaphorical precursors/parallels like the Library of Babel or the Book of Sand or the memory of Funes, the Zahir, the Aleph, et cetera. These associative elements/themes/motifs echo and mirror the total work metaphorically/fractally.


    Net of Indra

    Far away in the heavenly abode of the great god Indra, there is a wonderful net which has been hung by some cunning artificer in such a manner that it stretches out infinitely in all directions. In accordance with the extravagant tastes of deities, the artificer has hung a single glittering jewel in each "eye" of the net, and since the net itself is infinite in dimension, the jewels are infinite in number. There hang the jewels, glittering "like" stars in the first magnitude, a wonderful sight to behold. If we now arbitrarily select one of these jewels for inspection and look closely at it, we will discover that in its polished surface there are reflected all the other jewels in the net, infinite in number. Not only that, but each of the jewels reflected in this one jewel is also reflecting all the other jewels, so that there is an infinite reflecting process occurring. — Francis H. Cook
  • Inspirational quotes!
    "At least you aren't the animal who checks his pocket parasite when standing in a checkout line."

    InspiroBot 2.0 (Flesh Version)
  • Sight or Sound?
    Hearing is less important from a standpoint of being able to function independently in the world.

    I'll keep my sight. Without hearing I'd be able to sleep in really noisy places. Would open up new opportunities to be at ease in otherwise unbearably noisy places. Restaurants would be serene.
  • What was the last truly great Final Fantasy game?
    You guys didn't fight Zeromus on the moon? It was epic.

    FF II (JPN 4)
    FF III (JPN 6)
    FF VII

    These were memorable but probably has more to do with when I played them. Don't like the aesthetic turn FF developed with later games. Nabuo Uematsu really did an excellent job with the music though. Remake remastered score is awesome.

    Upcoming XVI looks like it might have fun gameplay.
  • The Perfect Food Is Grass
    Hay is for horses and legumes (beans/pulses) are for homo sapiens. We can predigest them in our exogenous mechano guts.

    As growing plants they've added benefit of being well known nitrogen fixers, a means to more sustainable food production. Long live the Tepary bean. We may need it when all the fields have become arid.

    Long live the leguminous peanut, the most addictive of fake nuts.
  • Philosophical justification for reincarnation
    Reincarnation is no more consoling than whatever the alternatives are. When whatever pops again to call itself "I am what I am what I am" it might be another you or me. It might again carry disappointing features of its kin.
  • Type or stereotype?
    Some cultural/racial stereotypes might be primed and diffused purely by jokes with lost origins. To what extent this actually causes unwarranted prejudice or harm is a wonder.

    In Hawaii the Portguese guy was always the butt of the bar joke, portrayed as a total idiot. It seemed so bad as to convey that the only reason for creating a bar joke at all was to shit on a whole ethnicity. The elementary school yard was rife with these.

    Now ponder the historical cause of portraying the Portuguese this way:

    they (the Portugese) were second in command after the white people on the plantations. And they always referred to themselves as Pawdagees. They were under the haoles (white man) but above everyone else. They were the luna (boss), the paniolo, the guys on horseback who made everyone work. And with someone strict over them-some of them were really mean-the workers made jokes about them. That's why a high percentage of the jokes in Hawaii are directed towards the Portuguese community. — Frank De Lima...
  • Confusing Sayings
    1. Look before you leap but if you decide to leap after you've looked, don't hesitate.

    2. Many hands make light work depending upon what in hell is going on.

    3. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth until after the Greeks have left. Or look directly in the mouth of a gift horse gifted by Greeks.

    4. The squeaky wheel gets the grease because silence is golden.

    5. You're never too old to learn unless you are too old to care.

    6. Absence makes the heart ache and familiarity makes the head ache.

    7. Don't rely on idioms to mend your clothes.
  • Here's a [Hypothetical] Question
    We just ceased. Here we are again.

    I don't think mass blinking out of existence would make much of a difference if being is inevitable. There is no time for non-being so "in no time" being will be, whatever the variant flavor is.
  • Taxes.
    Toiling your own field, planting a seed, watering the seed, and using the sun to grow wheat for flour is somehow appropriating the product and labor of others. Few greater absurdities have been spoken.NOS4A2

    Depends on whether or not you can pay loan off on the tractor you couldn't afford in full, I guess. Technically many folks might be legally appropriating the product and labor of others through debt.
    When the highly efficient firms come to price you out and your left with a mountain of debt, there will be no crying "force and coercion" as a consequence of free market action. Shit happens.

    There will be no monolithic state to punish you for defaulting, just a mob of racketeers working for the transient emanation of their local government. Then you can just defend yourself with guns. Pow pow!
  • Sodium Chloride And Philosophy
    An odd idiom but idioms are odd.

    The Latin word sal (salis is the genitive) means both "salt" and "wit", thus the Latin phrase cum grano salis could be translated to either "with a grain of salt" or "with a grain (small amount) of wit", actually to "with caution"/cautiously.[3] — wikipedia: Grain of salt

    Apply a modicum of wit/caution toward whatever comes your way.
  • How does evolution work
    If a species is defined as that which cannot reproduce outside ones species, the first of a species must be lucky enough to have a mate that evolved like them.Gregory

    Interbreeding populations would drift slowly away form each other on the basis of some kind of environmental separation prior to genetic separation. Any genetic differences between two populations less frequently interacting that affect fitness might help to accelerate speciation over time, probably. It (speciation) takes a village (population) and time, if asexual reproduction isn't in play.

    Polar bears can breed with brown bears to produce fertile grizzly–polar bear hybrids;[4][30] rather than indicating that they have only recently diverged, the new evidence suggests more frequent mating has continued over a longer period of time, and thus the two bears remain genetically similar.[29] However, because neither species can survive long in the other's ecological niche, and because they have different morphology, metabolism, social and feeding behaviours, and other phenotypic characteristics, the two bears are generally classified as separate species.[31] — Wikipedia: Polar Bear
  • Zero And The English Plural
    Some nouns can be used indifferently as mass or count nouns, e.g., three cabbages or three heads of cabbage; three ropes or three lengths of rope. Some have different senses as mass and count nouns: paper is a mass noun as a material (three reams of paper, one sheet of paper), but a count noun as a unit of writing ("the students passed in their papers"). — Wikipedia: Mass Noun

    There was zero toilet paper in the Philosophy Salon's water closet.

    When essays were written on the toilet paper they became toilet papers, such that at any time there could also be zero toilet papers in the Philosophy Salon's water closet.
  • The Riddle Of Everything Meaningful
    Can't wait for the disappointing answer to this hot mess of a riddle.

    But will it be kept from us forever because the answer would ruin the point behind the question? Is this just a charade to generate conversation?

    Once the donkey gets the carrot, the donkey stops.
  • Existential angst of being physically at the center of my universe
    Doesn't seem that this question is coherent. Why is it like to be this, assuming being like this (whatever this is) is a universal experience for beings like me. How else is it supposed to be like?

    If you weren't at the center of your own perspective where would you be and if you were blind, would you have use for stuffing strange significance in the metaphor of looking from a center?

    "God (or Bob) is an (un)intelligible sphere (body), whose center is everywhere and circumference nowhere." ~ Quoted Through the Ages
  • Silver! and Reddit
    These younger, smart as a whip kids got the fat cats of Wall Street running scared and the kids are willing to hold the line.ArguingWAristotleTiff

    Eh, I doubt it. Wallstreet will always have the upper-hand at exploiting and exacerbating these trends. Their fingers are in every pie.
  • Planet of the Apes?
    Curiosity is likely to chimpanzees to deserted cities and presents them with an
    unparalleled opportunity and mental/verbal challenges.

    Just saying there is probably a lot of contingent factors and evolutionary happenstance that gave our species the edge which took great spans of time and fortuitous (or calamitous) incidents, also intra or interspecies competition/cooperation. Learning to cook food might be necessary step in that direction and an abandoned city might be somewhat invisible/negligible to chimp populations over an evolutionary span. Initially there might be no food for a chimp in a city, so chimps in a city wood either move out or die there.

    If food were available in such a setting there wouldn't be much of a city left uncovered to differentiate it from nature.
  • Planet of the Apes?
    I think that it's fair to assume that it won't take long for chimpanzees to learn the use of knives, axes, spares and ropes. It is also conceivable that the use of such tools would revolutionize their way of life.Jacob-B

    I don't think it is likely, beyond a chimpanzee using these objects indiscriminately (ie. swinging on a rope, throwing knife like it would throw a rock). You're probably leaving out any number of some crucial elements of what shaped the human experience, like developing a sophisticated language over time and a consistent exposure to a the benefit of burnt plains (food cooked by accident).

    If pristine lighters existed on the the Earth in the proximity of all ape tribes for 100ks of years, we might or might not be surprised that no animal learned how to use them in all that time. "Fire burn! " as Frankenstein's monster said.
  • GameStop and the Means of Prediction

    This guy says the institutional side actually drives a large proportion of the trend upwards on the basis of algorithms/automated strategy.
  • The Shoutbox
  • The Shoutbox
    99* £0.99 = £98.01
    99* £0.999= £98.901
    99* £0.9999=£98.9901
  • The Shoutbox
    So the point still stands that if the top 1% own 1% then the bottom 99% own less than 99%.Michael

    So is it impossible to account for whatever fraction of wealth is unaccounted for in the 99% by moving to the right of the decimal point? How far do we move to the right of the decimal point to capture the missing wealth?
  • The Shoutbox
    Zeno of Elea's modern day descendants could never enter the 1% wealth tier because of this problem. How do you round up to a pence if you only ever own infinite fractions of one?

    No penny leaves the mint with all its atoms.
  • Seeing Faces in Almost Everything
    But you didn't see any genitalia? Sorry, guy, but your missing out on the benefits of pareidolia.
  • There Is No Free Lunch
    Yes, I am reminded of picking all those so called "free" wild blue berries on the slopes of Denali national park.

    They weren't free because they were not freely given by an agent. The bushes did not give them freely. And since I had no teeth because of the work required to maintain teeth (teeth do not "freely" maintain themselves) I had to crush the berries first on a rock to taste them. The work of that crushing, was just like the work of the picking, the cost of traveling to Denali was arduous. The swallowing was also very difficult. How I wish such mechanics were as smooth as nature and as ignorable as the best kinds of autonomic nervous function.

    Yes, nothing is free, except when somebody gives you something freely. The sinister (costly) aspect of such giving is implicit. Why would a coworker buy another coworker lunch? Why would blue berry bushes hang their costly carbohydrates on stems? What future acts of quasi enforced reciprocity has now been sown into these absurd relationships?
  • Why do you post to this forum?
    As a totally depressed ignoramus I don't really post in the main forum.

    I've resigned myself to the Lounge. No questions are worth asking, except those that are (but what are they?).
  • Definitions of Beauty
    Once heard the experience of a man who was changing his hormonal make up toward a female/feminine profile and what was emphasized was a tremendous shift in his aesthetic experience of beauty. The gist was that the aesthetic field somehow broadened away from a a more narrow, possibly sexual preoccupation, to encompass more general phenomena (ie. the stark beauty of a variety of mundane scenarios of being in the world somehow ballooned). But this could just be anecdotal testimonial hormonal drama of an n of 1.
  • Get Creative!
    Empty Lives (Lyrics)

    JJ's got a piece (&) he's learning
    How to use it
    If he can't find release then someday soon he's gonna lose it
    But nobody sees him turning or knows that inside he's learning
    Looking for a chance to go out inside a fiery blaze

    Jodi has a chance and she knows she has to take it
    Because she's the only one who JJ understands will never fake it

    Now who do you think you're fooling
    Why would I walk on by
    I can see what you're doing
    But I just don't know why

    You don't want to have to climb your mountain
    Want to sail away to some other shore
    Are you going to find somebody there who loves you more

    You don't want to think about the future
    If there ain't no light (life) to see

    But I'm gonna show you there's a light (life) when you're with me
  • 1 > 2
    Where do the italicized quotations come from and why does anyone take them for granted as common belief?

    If a mindless insentient group (collection of organisms) can exist prior to the development self-reflection and counting its constituents (selves) by some language then isn't that a case where a group exists prior to the concept of the self?

    Or are we talking purely about the hypothetical sequential emergence of these concepts? Why not simultaneous emergence of self (1) aside other (2)?

    Surely it helps to have multiples of a kind in order to say that at any time there is only 1 of a kind out of other possibilities (2, 3, 4..). There is one what? One what? There is two what? Two what?

    Cue the mirror!
  • Get Creative!
    Interesting ball game.praxis

    Just a Magic the Gathering (card game) reference, fun and extremely expensive game many kids in U.S. are exposed to in junior high or earlier, since 1990s. Somewhat reminescent of DnD. The premise is that you are a spell caster who uses a deck of 60 cards (colored mana and spells) to reduce your opponents life to 0 from 20. Deck construction can be thematic from fundamental color types to a multitude of (sub)category types out of a potential pool of 20,000 distinct cards. Lots of great art on those cards. Maybe that is part of the reason they were/are so expensive.

  • Everything's A Problem (For Me)
    We can make it all fit by a selfish abuse of language and anthropomorphism (in a selfish poetic coup d'état).

    Things are like selfish selves insofar as things lack consideration for others by default. Or the consideration (or lack-thereof) that things have for others (things) are merely a feature of their nature, whether changeable or not.

    Those inert things (selves) that can be manipulated to serve life/agency of the manipulator (self/thing) must be arranged. Those things that are resistant to a favorable arrangement by the inescapable fact of their being (thingness) are more selfish than things that aren't. But it is relative to the self/thing seeking to order things for itself.

    Saying that everything is selfish is the ugly permutation of another neutral statement: things are what they are. But who is telling you what a thing is but some beautifully suspicious SELF for apparent or suspicious REASONS. Philosophers are selfish untrustworthy pricks, just like everyone else.

    When the selfish wind rushes down in a storm across the plain, the strong obstinate selfish oak breaks under its force. When the selfish lighting bolt strikes the brush, it births a selfish fire that eats up the homes of selfish humans. When a selfish lover caresses its beloved, it requires a selfish arrangement of things just so.
  • Get Creative!
    Is that Rudy G? Good image for a magic card.

  • Get Creative!
    Has someone been juggling?
  • PURRfectly RATional To Be IrRATional Paradox
    Is there a difference, a distinction, between youre behavior (in the jungle) and the rat Y's behavior (in the scenario described in the OP) in terms of information available for deduction (a sound) and the deduction made (defensive behavior)? No!TheMadFool

    If a rat smells cat urine and perhaps there is time-sensitivity gradations to this smell, such that a rat smells recently discharged urine, then the rat reacts as if a cat were present. But this representation in language of "cat is likely present" as affirming a possible consequent through representative logic is quite human. I can't say that this necessitates any conscious mental, logically represented, working hypothesis for the rat but maybe it isn't needed. We as humans can rationalize a rat's behavior, but what is going on in the mind of a rat?

    Let's say I smell cat pee on my rug but I own no cats. Is this again an example of affirming the consequent in as far as I conclude that a cat must have peed on my rug? What if I take a chemical sample of this odor to a lab which confirms that there is cat DNA in such sample. I then further conclude that it is likely a cat peed on my rug, but am I still not affirming the consequent? At what point of conclusion is the fallacy overcome in terms of probability? To what extent is the investment in obtaining this certainty rational or irrational?
  • PURRfectly RATional To Be IrRATional Paradox
    I'm deeply intrigued by this claim. Can you edify me on this most fascinating idea of "neither rational nor irrational"?TheMadFool

    I'm not committed to this claim. Just being wary of transferring aspects of human experience (reasoning in abstract) to animals. I see reason as self-aware abstraction, though insofar as most of what a brain does is not conscious, I'm probably wrong.

    In what circumstance of living my life, making decisions actively or passively, am I neither being rational or irrational, or is everything to be subject to such kind of analysis?

    Does an animal run from predators as a tried and true effective strategy because said animal "wants to live"?
  • PURRfectly RATional To Be IrRATional Paradox
    If this fails to convince you, the theme of this thread - it's rational to be irrational or it's irrational to be rational (sometimes) - is transferable to humans.TheMadFool

    Well you're example of associative learning is a kind fundamental to life it seems.

    The other day I was witness to a cattle egret that walked up to me after I had turned on my pressure washer. They associate the sound (x) of lawn mowers with easy access to insects(y). This scenario was somewhat novel I thought. No lawn but I was surprised he was still getting insects from what the pw gun by force unsettled from nooks and crannies.

    I aimed by gun to the surface very close to the bird and it got soaked and blown but it didn't retreat. I would say the bird was being neither rational or irrational in the human sense of the term. There is not way it could weigh the pros an cons of the novel situation. Of course there may be context specific stimuli for the bird which I'm totally unaware. Like if an engine is humming but there is a doglike/catlike creature somewhere in the vicinity, do they decide not to engage?
  • Word of the day - Not to be mistaken for "Word de jour."
    Same as ullage?

    Long ago I saw a documentary film were a guy on the deck of a ship was cracking open a Roman(?) era amphora of wine and tasting it. The wine was brilliantly colored. Still looking for that scene.
  • PURRfectly RATional To Be IrRATional Paradox
    The purring cat and the squeaking mouse, like every other life form capable of thought, whether simple or complex, relies on rationality to survive, cats have to be rational to capture rats and rats, similarly, have to be rational to escape cats.TheMadFool

    Can't we flat out reject this? The behavior of cats stalking rats and rats running from cats is a consequence of natural selection, which is not a process that involves rational decision making in the ordinary sense.

    It maybe the case there are cats/rats that have learned techniques by which they're comparatively better at what they do than on average but it's still unlikely that any process of rationality is involved.

    There is no need to affirm a consequent. If you hear a sound that causes you to run for cover, then you run for cover. As to whether said rat is actually thinking, "is that really a cat?", I doubt it.

    If an animal is incapable of rationality then isn't it also incapable of irrationality?
  • Are shamans glorified faith healers?

    No, haven't been, but what is the significance of Iquitos or Summats with regard to millennial shamanism?

    Is everyone gulping down ayahuasca in those places by way of "shamans"?