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What are you watching?

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--- Quote from: MSJ on March 17, 2016, 11:35:40 pm ---In all seriousness, whether its aliens or not, I really don't think so. But, I do think there is a case for there being some advanced society that existed that travelled the world and was lost to history somehow. Having pyramids on every continent for example, that are all eerily similar in style. How did so many different cultures come up with same exact design?
--- End quote ---

Our brains are structured and fuction the same, regardless of our "culture."  This means there are ways in which everyone, regardless of where they were born, or where they live, will deal with similar stimuli similarly.  Consider, beliefs are fashioned to be psychologically pleasing, to diffuse or to eliminate psychological dilemmas.  Since we are all human, since our psychology is then eminently similar, shouldn't the expression of said psychology be also similar?

To get deeper, our "differences" are more pronounced in our "conscious" minds, since this is where we posit ourselves as "individuals" and so separate from each other, so the more we think of ourselves as selves, the less likely it seems to us that we should have things in common.  Of course, our conscious mind is just the tip of the ice berg.  Our unconscious mind is the real driver, as research has continued to show.  Bakker speaks about this often and "the darkness the comes before" is exactly a reference to this.

To bring this back around, religious beliefs and especially the symbols that go with them, i.e. pyramids, mandalas, trinities, what would become "alchemical" symbols like trees, lakes, gold, more ancient symbols like the Great Mother, or the Old Wise Man, or literal "events" like a Great Flood, permeate all of our unconscious minds.  Simply because these are not individual symbols in the sense that they are tied to a certain person, or culture, time, or place, they are tied to the fundamental way in which our brain is structured, the way our brains function, and specially, how our brains makes sense of itself and the world.

So, to sort of give a TL;DR, I don't see why there needs to be some "lost advanced culture" traveling the ancient world to spread these ideas.  They were, in fact, still are, present in the very fabrics of our minds.  We as humans all started in the same place, we traveled the world, we brought (realistically speaking) the same brains everywhere and so the same problem solving methods, the same thought processes, to deal with the stimuli of the world.  Consider, our brain is our measuring stick for the world.  We brought that same measuring stick with us everywhere we went.  Is it a surprise then that things turned out the same size over and over again?

--- Quote from: MSJ on March 17, 2016, 11:35:40 pm ---There is a lot of interesting ideas put forth that doesn't have to explained by ancient aliens. I mean look at the history that you was taught as a kid. Every decade, evidence is found that pushes the timeline back farther and farther, on how humans advanced as a species. Its all very interesting to me. Now granted,  some episodes and the theories they put forth are absolutely bat shit insane, I agree. I just believe that the history we were taught about how humans advanced is not the way it truly happened.

--- End quote ---

Well, here I agree.  We fancy ourselves much smarter than those who came before us.  The truth is, they were probably smarter then us, in general though.  Consider, we looked at Egyptian hieroglyphs for years and years and contunually misinterpreted them, seeing what we figured we should see.  Consider this case. We saw that painting and of course figured, "look at those silly primitives, pouring water on the ground to consecrate it before they moved their sacred statue on it" because that fits our narrative of unsophisticated, superstitious primitives.

The real fact of it is they were actually very clever.  They didn't need all sorts of high tech nonsense to achieve great things.  They didn't need aliens, or some high tech culture to teach them how to solve problems, for the same reason why a basketball player doesn't need a physicist to teach him about vectors, arcs, air resistance, centrifugal versus centripetal forces and a whole host of other very important things, just to toss a basketball into a hoop.

We've got tons to learn from ancient peoples, because they lived and thought, far more in concert with the world around them.  This post is probably long enough as it is though.

Great post H., but I'm telling all of you "reasonable" people, when Quetzalcoatl comes back and dawns a New Age of enlightment, I'll say I told you so.  :)

I tend to agree with a lot of what you said, but I still think there are certain things that can't be explained away by, "That's the way we're programmed. ". I really believe the truth lies somewhere in the middle. They have already established that Columbus was not the first to reach the New World. The Mayans, Inca and all the South American people all have oral legends of white skinned, blonde haired men that came and taught them mathematics, astrology and so on. There is always some truth to any legend. And, I for one won't discount the oral traditions. When the Spanish landed there, they thought they were their Gods returned, because of their skin color. Bad mistake. Will we ever know the true story behind these legends? I doubt it. But,  I do believe there is more there than meets the eye.

Francis Buck:
So I came into this thead expecting people making lists of their favorite shows. Turns out it was better. But for the spirit of the board, I'm watching:

Better Call Saul

And that's it. I was watching Fargo's second season, and I will be watching GoT. At this point, I think Fargo and Better Call Saul are easily the best dramatic television on-air right now (or now-ish). They're both astonishingly good -- at first it was in spite of their premise, but later it was just plain great storytelling. I mean really, a Saul spin-off and a show based on the movie Fargo? The former I was interested in but had very low expectations for, and the latter I completely wrote off until I kept hearing about how great it was.

BCS is not only just as good as Breaking Bad, but I think it has the chance to be better (way too early say). It's like Breaking Bad without resorting to "easy" drama and tension with violence and drugs and so forth. What's amazing is not just the similarity in quality, but in tone. You could literally watch all of Breaking Bad and then immediately jump into BCS as if it were the same show, and it works flawlessly. The prologue of BCS, in itself, an incredible epilogue to Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad spoilers:
(click to show/hide)I legitimately got chills from the first couple seconds of BCS's prologue. We know Walter is dead, but it opens with a shot engulfed by the color white, first from snowfall and then from (hilariously and depressingly) the powder of the Cinnbabon store Saul/Jimmy is now working at. The scene is shot in grayscale, which only emphasizes the sensation -- Walt is dead, but the after aftermath of his actions are all-consuming for those who where involved and lived to the tell. Whatever doubts I had about the show evaporated almost immediately.
Fargo...Fargo is just some crazy good shit. Season two especially, having moved further from the format of the movie that inspired it, also has some of the boldest decisions in storytelling on TV that I've seen since...I don't even know. It's effortlessly great, and I can only see it getting better the more it develops it's own identity.

Game of Thrones...well, it went from it's highest highs in season four to its lowest lows in season five, IMO. I'm not a book purist by any means -- in fact many of the original things the show has done were fantastic additions to the series, especially work-arounds of POV characters. But it has rarely improved on the books (even on parts that weren't great to begin with), and season five was pretty goddamn dismal in a lot areas, despite having one of the best large-scale action sequences in TV history, pretty easily rivaling that of most big-budget fantasy movies. But it wasn't enough. I actually think the next season will be better -- the freedom of not having any real source material to adhere to may allow for a more natural plot development than the half-in, half-out nature of season five -- but ultimately I'm less excited about GoT then I ever was, and that sorta sucks.


Ancient Aliens

Now that I'm finally on-topic, I'm kinda tired of writing so this will be briefer than I intended, and hopefully I'll get around to expanding on my thoughts (heh).

1. I like watching Ancient Aliens because it gives me ideas for sci-fi and fantasy stories, but the inane stupidity of certain things gets old after a while, and I definitely think a lot of borders on being offensive to other cultures and their heritage by robbing them of value because it's just impossible that people could have built a fucking pyramid.

2. I really don't think aliens of any kind (other than perhaps microbial ones) have had any meaningful impact on humanity -- or earth -- whatsoever, though I do believe the universe is probably brimming with life, inteligent or otherwise, and our perceived notion of an "empty cosmos" is more because the cosmos is inconceivably gigantic (both in space and time) to an extent that no human can begin to imagine. We can't even really fathom the size of our own solar system, let alone our galaxy -- or the other however-many-billion galaxies out there. As some guy on that show The Universe once said: Assuming our universe is uninhabited based on our current investigations is akin to taking a dixie cup, dipping it into the foam on the seashore, and declaring the ocean void of fish when it's empty.

3. I strongly agree with MSJ's (and other's) notion that past societies were a bit more sophisticated than we give them credit for. Well, a lot more sophisticated actually. Philosophically, we're still struggling with the mere possiblity that free will doesn't exist, whilst many Buddhists realized -- and fully integrated -- such a notion into their ideology a thousand years ago (though to be fair so did many other religions).

4. I also pretty strongly believe that there were relatively advanced cultures from our past that, from being surrounded by more primitive societies, lacked the supportive "infrastructure" to sustain for any significant length of time. I also think that the common notion of "civilization" only starting 10,000 or so years ago is very likely to be challenged continuously. The timescales involved -- and the specific circumstances required to preserve any evidence of such societies -- are so demanding that, to me, there's simply no way there aren't vast and complex civilizations that existed, but which we simply have no way of knowing about. And I'm not even talking the typical lost civilizations you see referenced, like Atlantis or whatever. I mean history books worth of peoples and customs we literally have no clue about whatsoever.

Native American cultures still have oral histories about woolly mammoths. There were monitor lizards the size of cars in Australia less than ten thousand years ago. And we now know -- or at least, can reasonably theorize based on current knowledge -- that humanity spent a big portion of it's increasingly-recent history living alongside other Homo sub-species, with at least the Neanderthals and Denisovans as contemporaries. I'm not saying every legend is rooted in historical fact -- which at times seems like the secret premise of Ancient Aliens -- but I also think a lot them come from relatively minor embellishments on things that only SEEM crazy and mythical to us today.

The meaning of "human" history changes significantly if you consider how much neanderthal DNA we all have, on the magnitude of several %. Disregarding that history would be like ignoring wolves in the lineage of modern day domestic dogs. "Species" as a taxonomy group is at best poorly understood, and at worst an irrelevant separation of a genus into smaller parts. Increasingly evidence shows there us no meaningful grouping past genus. Therefore, one might say that the histories of our other, now defunct, members of our homo genus, especially those that we share DNA with, is equally important as our own sapiens history.

For a comical take on ignorance/mental blind spots, check out the "Flowers for Charlie" episode of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia (season 9, episode 8).


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