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Messages - sciborg2

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1
General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« on: March 02, 2021, 12:20:02 am »
"Man's search for meaning is the primary motivation in his life and not a 'secondary rationalization' of instinctual drives....Unmasking [of hidden motives] should stop as soon as one is confronted with what is authentic and genuine in man, e.g., man's desire for a life that is as meaningful as possible. If it does not stop then, the only thing the 'unmasking psychologist' really unmasks is his own 'hidden motive' -- namely, his unconscious need to debase and depreciate what is genuine, what is genuinely human, in man."
  - Viktor Frankl

2
General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« on: February 28, 2021, 06:57:03 pm »
"An angel is depicted there who looks as though he were about to distance himself from something, which he is staring at. His eyes are opened wide, his mouth stands open and his wings are outstretched. The Angel of History must look just so. His face is turned towards the past. Where we see the appearance of a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe, which unceasingly piles rubble on top of rubble and hurls it before his feet. He would like to pause for a moment so fair, to awaken the dead and to piece together what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise; it has caught itself up in his wings and is so strong that the Angel can no longer close them. The storm drives him irresistibly into the future, to which his back is turned, while the rubble-heap before him grows sky-high. That which we call progress, is this storm."

Walter Benjamin, Theses on the Philosophy of History



"MYSELF: I know why it mattered to you. Because if the sense of your world had been lost, then the mountains of skulls piled in the ossuaries of your temples would have had no sense either, and your altar stones would have become no more than butcher's slabs stained with the blood of innocent human beings!

MONTEZUMA: Now look with the same eyes upon your own carnage...."

-Italo Calvino interviews Montezuma

=-=-=

One cannot ignore the marginal, the "little", the liminal, the "zara hatke" [somewhat odd], the woman we see only when we squint a little -- in these cracks may rebellion, and the promise of a better tomorrow, be found.
  -Qalandar

Above all, some of them, a mere handful in any generation perhaps, loved -- they loved the animals about them, the song of the wind, the soft voices..... On the flat surfaces of cave walls the three dimensions of the outside world took animal shape and form.

Here -- not with the ax, not with the bow -- man fumbled at the door of his true kingdom. Here, hidden in times of trouble behind silent brows, against the man with the flint, waited St. Francis of the birds -- the lovers, the men who are still forced to walk warily among their kind.
-Loren Eisley, 'The Inner Galaxy'

3
General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« on: February 28, 2021, 01:11:40 am »
"An angel is depicted there who looks as though he were about to distance himself from something, which he is staring at. His eyes are opened wide, his mouth stands open and his wings are outstretched. The Angel of History must look just so. His face is turned towards the past. Where we see the appearance of a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe, which unceasingly piles rubble on top of rubble and hurls it before his feet. He would like to pause for a moment so fair, to awaken the dead and to piece together what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise; it has caught itself up in his wings and is so strong that the Angel can no longer close them. The storm drives him irresistibly into the future, to which his back is turned, while the rubble-heap before him grows sky-high. That which we call progress, is this storm."

Walter Benjamin, Theses on the Philosophy of History



"MYSELF: I know why it mattered to you. Because if the sense of your world had been lost, then the mountains of skulls piled in the ossuaries of your temples would have had no sense either, and your altar stones would have become no more than butcher's slabs stained with the blood of innocent human beings!

MONTEZUMA: Now look with the same eyes upon your own carnage...."

-Italo Calvino interviews Montezuma

=-=-=

One cannot ignore the marginal, the "little", the liminal, the "zara hatke" [somewhat odd], the woman we see only when we squint a little -- in these cracks may rebellion, and the promise of a better tomorrow, be found.
  -Qalandar

4
General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« on: February 22, 2021, 04:51:24 am »
"we’re riddled with pointless talk, insane quantities of words and images.... What a relief to have nothing to say, the right to say nothing, because only then is there a chance of framing the rare, and ever rarer, thing that might be worth saying."

-Gilles Deleuze

"Formerly no one was allowed to think freely; now it's permitted, but no one is capable of it anymore. Now people want to think only what they are supposed to think, and this they consider freedom."

–Oswald Spengler

5
General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« on: February 18, 2021, 12:51:39 am »
"The values of contemporary capitalism are drawn out into a suffocating eternity: it was always like this, and it always will be; the Flintstones and the Jetsons were, after all, basically the same people. But meanwhile those strange shapes and patterns on the cave walls still glimmer, beckoning us in — if we knew how to understand them — to a world impossibly different to our own."
    -Sam Kriss

6
General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« on: February 13, 2021, 07:13:49 am »
In the pre-modern world, when people wrote about the past they were more concerned with what the event had meant. A myth was an event which, in some sense, happened once, but which also happened all the time. Because of our strictly chronological view of history, we have no word for such an occurrence, but mythology is an art form that points beyond history to what is timeless in human existence.
 -Karen Armstrong

Myths are things that never happened but always are.
 -Sallustius


7
General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« on: February 08, 2021, 11:56:44 pm »
"At a time when over the whole world a nameless drama is taking place and when men are fighting each other without any idea why because they’ve never had the courage to go down into the depths of the drama of their consciousness, this is not the time to destroy a spirit who has never had any other idea than to bring to light the drama of his consciousness in order to teach others to recognize all their own interior enemies so as to destroy them.

The enmity that each man harbours in himself, of himself towards himself."
   -Antonin Artaud
 

8
General Misc. / Re: Crash Space or just politics?
« on: February 07, 2021, 10:35:05 pm »
I think it might be "just politics", as in something like this has happened before.

However technology is like gasoline on a grease fire.

9
Could sea creatures unlock the origins of the mind?

Quote
When it comes to understanding the mind, philosopher, writer and diver Peter Godfrey-Smith suggests marine life may hold some illuminating answers. Among the vast array of marine life, shrimp, coral, and cuttlefish exhibit amazing levels of consciousness and the octopus with its many tentacles and 8 limbs-- functions as a creature with multiple “selves.”  What can we learn from the way these animals experience the world? Could sea creatures unlock the origins of the mind?

KCRW’s Jonathan Bastian talks with Peter Godrey-Smith about his new book “Metazoa: Animal Life and the Birth of the Mind” about his exploration of levels of consciousness and “self” among some of his favorite undersea creatures.

Quote
Is there this problem of projecting our human way of thinking, our human way of understanding self on to these creatures?

Godfrey-Smith: “There is a problem there and this is a good point to talk about the octopus. One of the reasons octopuses are an important case in the story, is the fact that there's a kind of ‘centeredness of self’ that we humans, and probably lots of other mammals and vertebrates have as a consequence of how our nervous systems are set up and our bodily organization There's a ‘centeredness of self’ that might be absent or very different in some animals with different organizations and the octopus is the outstanding case, because most of its nervous system is not concentrated in the head between the eyes but spread through the body, especially in the upper part of the arms. There's a gigantic network of control devices and sensors in the arms, which is larger than the central brain.

So when we look at an octopus and try to imagine what it's experience is like, one of the big questions is how we should tackle these differences in organization that might imply differences in the kind of “selfhood” that's present there. This is another question, which I'd love to give a definitive answer on how to handle this but I think it has some very puzzling features.”

10
General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« on: January 26, 2021, 07:12:58 am »
"...after so many names and so many unnamings, so many disappointments, so many dullings and dyings, what we nickname God must seem obscure and impossible.

That does not mean It will ever have been captured by the names of what has died."
   -Catherine Keller

11
General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« on: January 24, 2021, 02:09:46 am »
Every man is a quotation from all his ancestors.
  -Emerson

Thus, the task is, not so much to see what no one has yet seen; but to think what nobody has yet thought, about that which everybody sees.
  —Erwin Schrödinger

12
General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« on: January 23, 2021, 08:41:53 am »
Every man is a quotation from all his ancestors.
  -Emerson

13
Good to see you're back to posting this stuff, pretty cool :)

"One way or another, the world will go on being the place of epiphanies."
  -Roberto Calasso, Literature and the Gods

14
Food for thought? French bean plants show signs of intent, say scientists

Quote
...Together with Vicente Raja at the Rotman Institute of Philosophy in London, Canada, they used time-lapse photography to document the behaviour of 20 potted bean plants, grown either in the vicinity of a support pole or without one, until the tip of the shoot made contact with the pole. Using this footage, they analysed the dynamics of the shoots’ growth, finding that their approach was more controlled and predictable when a pole was present. The difference was analogous to sending a blindfolded person into a room containing an obstacle, and either telling them about it or letting them stumble into it.

“We see these signatures of complex behaviour, the one and only difference being is that it’s not neural-based, as it is in humans,” Calvo said. “This isn’t just adaptive behaviour, it’s anticipatory, goal-directed, flexible behaviour.”

The research was published in Scientific Reports. “Although the research seems sound, it is not clear that it teaches us much new about plant sentience or intelligence,” said Rick Karban, who studies plant communication at the University of California, Davis. “For more than a century, scientists have been aware that plants sense aspects of their environments and respond, and understanding how plants [do this] is an active area of current research. Whether you choose to consider these processes sentience or intelligence depends entirely on how to choose to define these terms.”

Calvo acknowledges that this experiment alone doesn’t prove intent, much less consciousness. However, if plants really do possess intent, it would make sense. All biological organisms require the means to cope with uncertainty and adapt their behaviour to pass on their genes, but the timescale on which they operate makes this particularly imperative for plants: “They do things so slowly, that they can’t afford to try again if they miss,” Calvo said.

One possibility is that this “consciousness” arises out of the connections between plants’ vascular systems and their meristems – regions of undifferentiated dividing cells in their root and shoot tips, and at the base of leaves.

In a separate paper, Calvo and his colleagues set out a theory of plant consciousness based on integrated information theory (IIT) – a leading theory of consciousness – which posits that we can identify a person’s (or any system’s) level of consciousness from the complexity of the interactions between its individual parts.

Others rebut such claims. IIT is based on an assumption that everything material has an element of consciousness, even nonliving complex systems: “It cannot have any special significance for plants,” said Jon Mallatt at the University of Washington, US. He believes claims about sentient plants are misleading, and risk misdirecting scientific funding and government policy decisions.

Calvo said he was happy to be disproved, but experimentally, rather than on theoretical grounds. In another paper scheduled to appear in the Journal of Consciousness Studies, he proposes a set of experiments which may settle the matter once and for all. “If successful, these experiments could position plants as the next frontier in consciousness science, and urge us to rethink our perspectives on consciousness, how to measure it, and its prevalence amongst living beings,” he said. The gardening gloves are off.

15
Can Self-Replicating Species Flourish in the Interior of a Star?

Quote
The existing view of biological life is that it evolves under suitable conditions in the low-temperature world of atoms and molecules on the surface of a planet. It is believed that any plausible extraterrestrial form of life must resemble the life on Earth that is ruled by biochemistry of nucleic acids, proteins, and sugars. Going against this dogma, we argue that an advanced form of life based upon short-lived species can exist inside main-sequence stars like our Sun.

PBS Space Time throws a bit of cold water onto this idea of sidereal ecosystems, bringing us back down to Earth.

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