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Messages - BeardFisher-King

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256
Literature / Re: Stephen R. Donaldson
« on: January 04, 2018, 07:48:51 pm »
I've read the first 2 of the Gap Cycle. To me, they were ok, but nothing is call groundbreaking. But, ibwithold my verdict until I finish.

I guess that I'm fairly new to sci-fi, but I have read a few series in the past year or so. Gap Cycle would be near the bottom of a very short list.

I think you'll be pleasantly surprised as you continue the series. The stakes continue to be raised in the final three books. Book 1, "The Real Story", is the weakest book. Just not much going on, it seems. Persevere, my friend. The hard-SF just gets harder. And Donaldson's "zone implants", well, let's just say that Bakker is not alone in tackling the moral implications of neuroscience.

"We have committed a crime against your soul". This mantra runs through the series. In my youth, I read those words somewhat indifferently, as I recall. "What's the diff, as long as the story's good?" was my thinking. But my thinking changed between reading Donaldson and reading Bakker.

257
Literature / Stephen R. Donaldson
« on: January 04, 2018, 04:09:27 pm »
Thing Called Sarcellus showed interest in SRD's latest, The Seventh Decimate, so I thought I'd start a thread for all things Donaldson.

I enjoyed Seventh Decimate for its simpler structure. A single POV from the protagonist, a prince fighting for his kingdom's survival. Donaldson is very good at constructing characters with conflicting motivations and at describing the mental conflict and how it resolves into action.

NB: No spoilers for Seventh Decimate for awhile (till 2/1?)

258
"Pedal Giant Animals" by Whitaker/Wyatt.
-lyrics have a SF/fantasy blend that may appeal to TSA Forum folk.

259
Neuropath / Re: Countering the Argument with Thorsten
« on: January 04, 2018, 05:21:49 am »
Tleilaxu, I am surprised by your questioning me as to why I think anything, since your deterministic stance should inform you that no one knows why one does anything. Correct?
Wat

Now that's terse!

260
Neuropath / Re: Countering the Argument with Thorsten
« on: January 04, 2018, 05:16:57 am »
I think Free Will is mis-understood in this discussion. Much of what we "decide" does indeed come from "something" before, but not all of it. Sounds like from this discussion it's all or nothing - either "I'm" making all of my decisions or it's an illusion and all coming from coding/environment, et al. That's not really the rub. We are, we will be, discovering how decisions are made from the biology/environment of the brain/mind ... but where Free Will comes into play is, well, for a lack of a better way of putting it, when it "matters". For the big stuff beyond choosing between ketchup and mustard, for the things that define our character - I believe we are choosing that. We decide, and yes, impacted from what has come before, but not completely, what our action will be when confronted with the right thing vs our perceived self interest. In short, we are accountable for when we murder and we are heroes when we rise to save another at risk to ourselves.

Thanks, Tao, for adding another voice to this discussion.

I'm inclined to the view that the free will/determinism debate is a collision of two ways of looking at the world. There's the reductionism of science, where there are only causes and effects. Then, there's the Lebenswelt, the world of appearances, the human world. The scientific perspective may always view mental states such as self-consciousness and the will as illusory. In the Lebenswelt, free will is an aspect of viewing other humans as fellow subjects and not as mere objects, which, I believe, is an aspect of Kant's categorical imperative; that we "act so as to treat rational beings always as ends in themselves and never as means [to an end] only".

This view is my amateurish paraphrase of Roger Scruton, who refers to this two-viewed outlook as "cognitive dualism". His latest book, On Human Nature, deals with these issues. I would also recommend The Soul Of The World, the work that inspired me to take philosophy seriously.

261
Literature / Re: Matchy, non matchy (brent weeks)
« on: January 04, 2018, 04:43:11 am »
Probably.
Like click bait for Bakker. How fun.

You asked for it  ;D

"Release the Kraken!"

Bakker any chance you can write a book I don't need to read for 6 months to try and figure out the fucking ending ???????????????????????????

God, I love this post!
(btw, merch, no chance. NFW.)

We should make a Bakker Bashing thread :P

Just for the record, Redeagl started it!

262
General Misc. / Re: NFL I - And so it begins..
« on: January 04, 2018, 04:37:47 am »
Quote
Good NFL QBs are in short supply, and the college game is not the best preparation for NFL QBs. So, yes, Washington needs to lock down Cousins. His numbers are more than respectable for an also-ran team.

MSJ, I heard some sports talk speculating that the NFC is a deeper conference than the AFC and that the NFC non-playoffs teams are much closer to competing than those in the AFC. Your thoughts?

Question wasn't addressed to me, but I'll chime in. Agree with first assessment, disagree with the 2nd. While it does appear the NFC has more mojo than AFC, it's not by much and I agree with MSJ, there's parity so hard to say which is stronger than which any more. I think you can make those determinations with divisions, though.

Thanks for chiming in, Tao. I didn't mean to be exclusive.

With the high level of parity in the NFL, I would agree that any difference between the conferences would be slight. What is striking in the league is how close the also-ran teams are to making leaps forward. How do the LA Rams go from dogmeat to prime rib in one season? New coach, some key acquisitions, better QB play....boom! The St. Louis Rams pulled off the trick in the late 90s, then got lucky when the backup turns out to be the future Hall of Fame QB, Kurt Warner. The opportunity to improve rapidly makes the NFL the most enjoyable league to follow.

263
General Misc. / Re: NFL I - And so it begins..
« on: January 03, 2018, 09:22:30 pm »
I seen that about Dalton. Only reason I ever had any interest in the Bills is because Tyrod Taylor is my FF QB. And, I was pissed when the benched him for one game. I was going good in that league til that moment.

I'm really interested in how the Skins handle Cousins. They can franchise him again at 34.6 mil, that's more than like 10mil then the highest paid QB. I can't see them doing it honestly. But, how do we let him walk? He threw for over 4,000 yards and 20 TD's. All while not having, imho, a WR worth a lick, Jordan Reese (TE) injured, and a plethora of other injuries.  So, he put up great numbers with below average NFL talent. We just have to give the man a contract and be done with it. Its not worth resetting our franchise again over. But, Cousins holds all the cards, yet hasn't won a playoff game. And, that what the organization keeps saying when any word of contract comes up. Its a team sport and I don't care how good one player is, he won't by himself, get you to the playoffs or, he'll, 8 wins for that matter. Pay the man and build around. He's as good as any other young QB in the league at the moment.

Good NFL QBs are in short supply, and the college game is not the best preparation for NFL QBs. So, yes, Washington needs to lock down Cousins. His numbers are more than respectable for an also-ran team.

MSJ, I heard some sports talk speculating that the NFC is a deeper conference than the AFC and that the NFC non-playoffs teams are much closer to competing than those in the AFC. Your thoughts?

264
Neuropath / Re: Countering the Argument with Thorsten
« on: January 03, 2018, 09:12:23 pm »
"Exactly"? I don't understand this response:

1. Tleilaxu is making a deterministic stance, correct?

2. I'm asking him how his deterministic stance justifies asking me a "why" question, correct?

3. You're claiming that I'm equating fatalism with determinism, correct?

4. I respond that, no, fatalism is not determinism, correct?

5. You respond, "Exactly"

Not following you.

265
General Misc. / Re: NFL I - And so it begins..
« on: January 03, 2018, 08:01:02 pm »
It's very cool to see the Bills make the playoffs, especially when they did so when the Bengals eliminated the Ravens on a late touchdown by Bengals QB
Andy Dalton.

I hear that upwards of $70K has been donated by Bills fans to a charity sponsored by Andy Dalton.

266
Neuropath / Re: Countering the Argument with Thorsten
« on: January 03, 2018, 07:29:17 pm »


Tleilaxu, I am surprised by your questioning me as to why I think anything, since your deterministic stance should inform you that no one knows why one does anything. Correct?
That makes no sense ... unless you feel that fatalism is the only thing outside of your preferred philosophical bases of thoughts/actions. If that's the case, I can see why you're confused.

As to the "98% sure" qualification, does it or does it not imply some form of measurement? If it does, then wouldn't you agree that it is a singularly inapt way to discuss your "feeling" of suspicion that Thorsten is lying?
It does not.
I think its clear to all involved when a turn of phrase is being used, though thankfully Tleilaxu has clarified and confirmed as well, so at least this specific case has been cleared up.

In generally, a % is a unit-less number, but that doesn't mean that it can be applied to all ideas with any amount of accuracy, implied or explicit. A % is a calculated value of some portion of some whole amount. When used outside of the framework it was intended - ie mathematically - its little more than an adjective.

Are some adjectives more precise than others? Of course.
But I'd say its a pretty big leap from 'I like to use this phrasing rather than that' to calling someone out as bogus, claiming some kind of egregious behavior, and calling them singularly inapt. All of which are personal insults that inflame the situation, all for a mild disagreement on preferred grammar.
As you've so masterfully demonstrated, words are important. After all, how many have we used now to examine the three symbols "98%"? So for someone who has, in the past, so easily taken offense at particular words and ideas, I'd suggest curtailing your word choice to allow/promote civil conversation that will likely be more palatable to all involved.

In no particular order:

1. My reference to egregious behavior was not towards Tleilaxu, but towards the presumed nefarious behavior of Thorsten. To expand my original sentence: "Claiming expertise falsely is egregious behavior, and if Thorsten did so, shame on him." Honestly, Wilshire, how could you read  that sentence within the context of the discussion of Thorsten's putative expertise as a reference to Tleilaxu?

2. I did not personally insult Tleilaxu. The word "bogus" was referring to his false precision of certainty within a thread that is explicitly dealing in concepts such as measurement, the status of free will, et al. Similarly, I referred to his metaphor as "singularly inapt", in other words, way off target. Neither of these references are personally directed.

3. The "98% sure" qualification does, in fact, imply measurement. The whole point of choosing between metaphors is to choose between implications. That was the reason why I began this entire interrogation. What struck me originally was "Why 98%?  Why not 90%?"; hence the unnecessary/false/bogus precision.

4. Fatalism is not determinism.

267
Literature / Re: Matchy, non matchy (brent weeks)
« on: January 03, 2018, 01:29:54 pm »
I just stumbled onto this insanity accidentally. Man, that escalated quickly!

268
Neuropath / Re: Countering the Argument with Thorsten
« on: January 03, 2018, 01:20:59 pm »
Tleilaxu, I am surprised by your questioning me as to why I think anything, since your deterministic stance should inform you that no one knows why one does anything. Correct?

As to the "98% sure" qualification, does it or does it not imply some form of measurement? If it does, then wouldn't you agree that it is a singularly inapt way to discuss your "feeling" of suspicion that Thorsten is lying?

269
Neuropath / Re: Countering the Argument with Thorsten
« on: January 02, 2018, 09:22:58 pm »
Whose idioms are allowed, and whose arent? Are you the decider of that, BFK?
Seems to me like you're claiming some kind of expertise, falsely, which I think someone pointed out is "egregious behavior" - would you like to suggest appropriate punishment?
Must we all communicate on the grounds that you define, else risk ridicule? I certainly don't want to risk being called out as 'egregious' and 'bogus', can you help me avoid that?

But wait, "98% sure" is no more precise than 'pretty damn sure' in this context, is it? Well, unless you're prepared to describe concretely what a % of the esoteric concept of 'sure' looks like. I'd appreciate your expertise on the matter.

Also, please clarify:
"Telling of" what?
"tactic" of what?
I'm having difficultly discussing those parts because I feel I have to guess what you mean, and I wouldn't want to run afoul some kind of obvious conversational ques that might raise your ire.

When someone chooses a certain idiom as opposed to another, I think it is interesting to analyze that choice. In this case, to use a mathematical percentage to describe a level of certitude might display a desire to ground one's view in the firm terrain of science. Of course, I'm certainly (well, almost certainly...  ;) ) over-interpreting the remark, but if you actually consider the matter, why write "98% sure" when "pretty sure" fits the bill? Well, especially given the nature of the topic under discussion, perhaps there was a subconscious desire to be extra precise.

I don't find anything in my post that demonstrates any ire or that proposes that I desire to arbitrate any usage. I'm merely pointing out an interesting rhetorical device (the faux measurement of certainty) that actually is no more informative than the use of qualifiers like "somewhat and "very". God knows I've used it myself unthinkingly. "I'm about 75% sure that M--- will be late." So, yeah, just a verbal tic. But there's always deeper ways to look at things.

I appreciate TLEILAXU's reference to the necromancy of dead threads. He's a sharp and attentive reader.

270
Neuropath / Re: Countering the Argument with Thorsten
« on: January 02, 2018, 07:06:35 pm »
Necromancy initiated:
I was 98% sure Thorsten was lying his ass off until I clicked the link leading to his website. In any case, it's a good lesson that despite how brilliant and eloquent some brains are, that doesn't guarantee that they will be able to see themselves as what they are.

1. "98%"? Why the bogus precision? Are you trying to "science up" your claim?

2. Brilliance and eloquence don't "guarantee" anything, but those are good qualities to bet on.
@1: No, it's just the way he e.g. said he had a background in quantum mechanics that looked like a tactic I feel I've seen before.
@2: Right. Being a physicist obviously requires a big brain, but having a big brain does not necessarily mean you will realize e.g. the illusion of volition.

Claiming expertise falsely is egregious behavior. I never considered the possibility in Thorsten's case, probably because I don't address issues like volition, self-consciousness, intentionality and the first-person perspective from a physicalist stance.

What I find telling in your brief remark was the "98% sure" qualification. Instead of using vague descriptive adjectives such as "very", "almost completely", "pretty damn", etc., you couldn't resist the false precision of "98%". There's an interesting tactic, if you think about it.

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