Member 2829
4 entries

-J- (M, 30)
Immortal since Jan 18, 2011
Uplinks: 0, Generation 3
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    From gamma
    Starvation pill
    From GUSTS
    On death and dying
    From wordofcommand
    From Apollo
    Thoughts on Darwin and Marx
    From darrengroucutt
    Now playing SpaceCollective
    Where forward thinking terrestrials share ideas and information about the state of the species, their planet and the universe, living the lives of science fiction. Introduction
    Featuring Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames, based on an idea by Kees Boeke.

    When I think, study, learn, or even act (or try to), I do so under the pre-supposition that the past - the classical - is better than the modern. In the simplest of explanations, I would argue that modernity is embodied by decadence and stupidity. Of course, this doesn't apply to all, but for the most part, the world in which we move on a daily basis is intellectually becoming worse and worse. Personally, I take it as valuable every time an old man says "Damn kids and their music..." or "back in my day..." as if their 'day' was a better time - and it was.

    Here is an excerpt from an essay by the great scholar Harry Neumann:

    "Moral relativism (...) is a modern phenomenon alien to classical thought. Classical philosophers, or even sophists were not generally moral relativists, for they were convinced that absolute values existed by nature and that reason could apprehend them. This lack of moral relativism is perhaps the greatest difference between modern and ancient thought. For the ancient philosophers or scientists (except the sceptics), the existence of an objectively knowable, absolute good was not doubtful. Moral relativism was rejected by Greek thinkers because their theorizing, however lofty, never lost sight of a very practical question: What is the best way for me to live or how can I be happy? All participants in Plato's dialogues regard this as the main question. It is also the central concern for both Athenians and Melians in Thucydides' famous Melian Debate. It is, indeed, a universal question which all men, consciously or unconsciously, ask themselves always. Yet, modern theorists often feel it unscientific to inform scientific speculations with this all-too-practical concern. They, therefore distinguish, implicitly or explicitly, between themselves as objective scientists and themselves as subjective mortals. For as scientists they attempt to avoid the "value-judgements" necessarily made by them as men*. Classical philosophers and scientists saw no need to avoid "value-judgements" in their science, since their differences concerned not the existence but the mode of being of being of the absolute good; its existence was, to put it in modern terms, a "fact" and not a "value" to them..."

    (*Neumann has a citation here)

    I find the ultimate cause for modern decadence to be moral relativism. Our attachment to material things and insistence on perpetuating the problem of boredom (which I'll get into in greater detail in another entry sometime in the future) becomes problematic with the commercialization and marketing and consumption of practical digital technology: smart-phones, mp3 players, video games in general, GPS, etc. - the list goes on, and I think we all know what I'm talking about - convenience and boredom - so I'll continue. Everything is done out of and for the sake of convenience, not a moral objectivity - whatever it would be for an individual nation. I'm not promoting any religion of any sort - I'm only promulgating the problem of moral relativism.

    I'll skip some transitional yammering and get to the point: I strongly believe in the progression of science, but it becomes problematic (I should say, I has become problematic), when we make science itself devoid of value judgements, or of an objective moral aim.

    Practical scientific achievements are consistently doing nothing for a 'good' of a society which society itself can be aware of. Perhaps marketeers/corporations act under the presupposition that it is best that the masses remain stupid and bored for the sake of the aristocracy - a presupposition that dates back to the days of slavery, not only in America, but all the way to ancient times as well.

    If you've kept up with me thus far, you'll have perhaps noticed a problem in my presuppositions: I presuppose that it is not good to be stupid and ignorant.

    I'll close: For those with the will to succeed among the aristocracy, one must let go of his presupposition that everyone is equal and worthy of intelligence. Those who will remain attached to convenience deserve their place among the masses who presuppose equality, along with moral relativism. Let us leave them to perpetuate their own problems, boredom, and illusions of the intellect. Remember: classical philosophers still acted under the presuppositions of slavery and class systems of inequality.

    If one is going to act and think and study under the thought-cloud of equality (the most modern I can think of are things like p2p networks that create a model for theoretical business structures, societies, or even civilizations), one must acknowledge and understand the presuppositions behind these areas of 'progress,' as well as the consequences.

    P.S.: Back to moral relativism one more time: I think that without an objective value or aim for science, the nihilism of equality will ultimately lead us to self-destruction. And I'm guilty of saying this out of a certain presupposition as well - that it is not better to perish than it is to survive. I've read some convincing arguments against such a presupposition as well... the great tragedy of existence, tragedy as a model for existence or life, life as a cycle - nothing, something, and then nothing again, etc. There are many ways we can perceive the possible future of mankind as philosophical. Or perhaps, we can see ourselves as a growing virus/cancer, with or without a mastermind? A hive-mind? This all sounds science fiction, but it comes from the same source that our great books come from as well - books like Orwell's 1984, Huxley's Brave New World, Moore's V for Vendetta and The Watchmen, Kubrik's Space Odyssey, Zamyatin's We, etc.
    Mon, Apr 11, 2011  Permanent link

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    5.6k Saturn Cassini Photographic Animation from stephen v2 on Vimeo.

    From NASA (Astronomy Picture of the Day)
    Explanation: What would it look like to approach Saturn in a spaceship? One doesn't have to just imagine — the Cassini spacecraft did just this in 2004, recording thousands of images along the way, and thousands more since entering orbit. Recently, some of these images have been digitally tweaked, cropped, and compiled into the above inspiring video which is part of a larger developing IMAX movie project named Outside In. In the last sequence, Saturn looms increasingly large on approach as cloudy Titan swoops below. With Saturn whirling around in the background, Cassini is next depicted flying over Mimas, with large Herschel Crater clearly visible. Saturn's majestic rings then take over the show as Cassini crosses Saturn's thin ring plane. Dark shadows of the ring appear on Saturn itself. Finally, the enigmatic ice-geyser moon Enceladus appears in the distance and then is approached just as the video clip ends.

    Tue, Mar 15, 2011  Permanent link

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    First, early philosophers created "good" and "human value" based on nature - as metaphor to the events that are. "The good is like the Sun." Etc.

    Then Nietzsche came and recognized that this meant nothing. Platonism was the object of "leisurely intellectual speculation," as stated by Harry Neumann, mentor of a philosophy instructor I've been studying under. The lack of meaning and value to reality opens doors to human creativity at its full potential, rather than interpretations of interpretations (the way history has always unsatisfactorily proceeded).
    This is metaphoric in that the universe has been thought of as a series of timeless, cyclical happenings. Truth comes from untruth, like the universe comes from nothingness. Infinity is the limit of the mind. Our minds have historically been evolving towards an understanding of nothingness, like the universe's timelessness, and boundless possibilities.

    It's difficult to verbalize the metaphoric connection of the mind to the extent of our knowledge of the physical. After all, language is a hindrance, no? But this inclines me to promote the study in physics, rather than philosophy, since metaphysics, like ethics and other fields of philosophy, continually seems to serve no purpose other than that in government power, and speculation on present science. I mean, if I wanted to be the next dictator, I'd study under Neumann and join the military (considering there was no need for family connections, or ties with secret clans/cults, if you wanna believe in that). But my objective is knowledge, and philosophy provides an ability to grasp our mental evolution, but perhaps it's limited to the extent of our knowledge.

    Sun, Feb 6, 2011  Permanent link

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    "How compact your bodies are! And what a variety of senses you have! This thing you call language, though; most remarkable! You depend on it for so very much, but is any one of you really its master? But most of all, the aloneness... you are so alone. You live out your lives in this shell of flesh - self-contained; separate. How lonely you are - how terribly lonely."
    -Medusan ambassador Kollos speaking through Spock; Star Trek: S3-E5

    “In his life-form, the individual is necessarily only a fraction and distortion of the total image of man. He is limited either as male or as female; at an given period of his life he is again limited as child, youth, mature adult, or ancient; furthermore, in his life-role he is necessarily specialized as craftsman, tradesman, servant, or thief, priest, leader, wife, nun, or harlot; he cannot be all. Hence, the totality- the fullness of man- is not in the separate member, but in the body of the society as a whole; the individual can only be an organ. From this group he has derived his techniques of life, the language in which he thinks, the ideas on which he thrives; through the past of that society descended the genes that built his body. If he presumes to cut himself off, either in deed or in thought and feeling, he only breaks connection with the sources of his existence.”
    -Joseph Campbell; The Hero With A Thousand Faces

    “We are all star stuff that has attained consciousness.”
    -Carl Sagan
    Sun, Jan 23, 2011  Permanent link
    Categories: quotes, buddhism, space, star trek
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