Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Ayn Rand and the Myth of Chemical Evolution

During the Q&A session of one of her lectures at the Ford Hall Forum, Ayn Rand slyly evaded a query regarding her estimation of the Darwinian account of biological evolution by replying, "I am not a student of Darwin's theory." Many acolytes of  Rand who do claim to be "students of Darwin's theory" often rationalize her puzzling response by asserting that she must have been reluctant to commit herself to a more focused reply because she was, no doubt, simply unacquainted with the many technical details of the theory. However, we should point out that being unacquainted with the technical details of many things never prevented her from voicing authoritative-sounding opinions on them: music, painting, mathematics, homosexuality, to name just four. Yet she hedged when it came to the related subjects of the origin of the diverse species of life we find on Earth and the more fundamental problem of the origin of life itself — perhaps with good reason. She might have suspected that the entire Darwinian story was nonsense (or at best, highly inadequate), but demurred saying so publicly lest she receive the loathsome stigma of "creationist" by her critics.

One detail of the Darwinian paradigm Miss Rand probably did not know is that its account of the origin of life itself — which account goes under the general name of abiogenesis or chemical evolution (i.e., the putative genesis of biological organisms from previously existing non-living, non-biological chemicals) — violates a fundamental law of physics; and not just any old law of physics, but THE great law of physics, as it is the law that actually determines the ice-cold fact that time flows in one direction only. This law is the Second Law of Thermodynamics, sometimes poetically called Time's Arrow but in most other occasions (at least, informally) referred to simply as entropy.

There are different ways of thinking about entropy, but they all involve the idea of "states of disorderliness" of a system. Disorderliness, not orderliness. As a system becomes more disorderly, its entropy is said to increase; conversely, as a system becomes more orderly, its entropy is said to decrease. If the metric one uses to measure disorderliness is a macroscopic one like "energy," then entropy can be thought of as the amount of energy in a system that is unavailable to perform work; if the metric one uses is a microscopic one like "the configuration or arrangement of particles comprising the system," then entropy can be thought of as the inevitable tendency for the particles comprising a system to move from some initial arrangement that is improbable toward an arrangement that is more probable. The microscopic and the macroscopic are related, of course, for as a configuration of particles moves from one of low probability to one of high probability, less energy is available in the system to perform work. The arrangement of particles that corresponds to the maximum amount of unavailable energy is one that has the least order, i.e., that arrangement which is the most random and the most probable. Thus, the Second Law of Thermodynamics dictates that Time's Arrow move any system of particles from states of orderliness to states of increasing randomness. In other words, the inevitable result of time on any system is to cause it to have more disorder and more random configurations amongst its constituent elements.

Taken by itself, this consideration of Time's Arrow always to move systems in the direction of dissolution might be enough to dismiss any claims of abiogenesis regarding a configuration of particles (i.e., prebiotic chemicals) presumably moving from an assumed initial state of randomness to a final state of orderliness, i.e., a living organism. But there's a catch that is skillfully exploited by the advocates of chemical evolution: the mathematics of the Second Law of Thermodynamics tell us that an increase in entropy is inevitable only in systems that have partitioned themselves off from the rest of existence in such a way that neither matter energy can enter or leave. Such a partitioned off system is known as a closed system. Thus, in a hypothetical perfectly insulating Thermos bottle initially filled with ice-cubes and hot tea, Time's Arrow dictates that the hot tea shall NOT draw energy from the ice-cubes in order to keep itself hot and keep the ice-cubes cold, but, rather that the ice shall warm and melt, and the tea shall cool a bit, until the entire initial ice-cube/hot-tea "system" reaches one uniform temperature. There is no longer any available energy inside this Thermos to perform work; all of the particles inside the Thermos have reached their most highly probable arrangement, and the system has reached "maximum entropy" or equilibrium.

This is quite different, however, from a situation in which matter and energy can pass freely to and from the Thermos container itself. The Thermos is now not partitioned off from the rest of existence, and is "open" to it; so such a system is called an open system. In such a system, both particles (e.g., more ice-cubes) and energy (e.g., a heat source) can enter the Thermos from some other place and constantly replenish the initial conditions; so long as ice-cubes and heat were entering the Thermos from outside, the entropy inside the Thermos could be maintained at a constant, or even be made to decrease (by having a colder, lower-entropy outside environment, thus drawing heat out of the Thermos and causing the hot-tea itself to freeze into a low-entropy, crystalline structure of ice).  Thus, according to the advocates of chemical evolution, the Second Law of Thermodynamics remains inviolate in their various scenarios because the energy needed to "finance" the building up of orderliness from chemicals to living organisms is provided by stellar radiation, mainly from the sun. According to this view, the lowering of entropy in chemicals on Earth as they move from their initial high probability states as chemicals to their resultant low probability states as living organisms is compensated by the fact that the sun itself, which is financing the reduction in entropy on Earth, is moving toward a state of even higher entropy than it originally had at a faster rate. Thus, according to this view, the total entropy of the open Earth/sun system exactly obeys Time's Arrow, as it must, even if in a small part of that system — on Earth — the local entropy appears to have decreased with the emergence of life from non-life.

This is a very common view. So long as the system in question is open — permitting both matter and energy to pass through the system's barrier (i.e., the walls of the Thermos container, or the atmosphere of planet Earth) from some other place outside the original system —there is no violation of Time's Arrow, since energy can be imported from some other place to finance a local reversal of entropy.

Recently, however, a professor of mathematics at University of Texas named Granville Sewell took a second look at the Second Law of Thermodynamics and asked a simple, if profound, question: Can Anything Happen in an Open System? Given an open system between Thermos and Surrounding Freezer, does it follow that anything is as likely as anything else to occur inside the Thermos simply because ice has been made more likely? His answer may surprise you. And though the original papers are available online, you can watch two explanatory videos at the links below. The first is posted at University of Texas El Paso and narrated by Professor Sewell himself; the second is a simplified explanation of his position that was recently posted to YouTube. Though the first is quite a bit more challenging than the second, I recommend watching them both.

I.
http://www.math.utep.edu/Faculty/sewell/articles/secondlaw.htm
Granville Sewell narrates the basic position of his article regarding the 2nd law of thermodynamics: 
"Can Anything Happen In An Open System?"


II.
"Evolution is a Natural Process Running Backward"
(A simplified explanation of Granville Sewell's argument from his article "Can Anything Happen In An Open System?"







345 comments:

1 – 200 of 345   Newer›   Newest»
seymourblogger said...

I tagged your blog post but if you want to delete or add your call. The number of characters are at the limit allowed so adds must be balanced by subtractions to ......

Xray said...

Darren,

Are you a theist?

darren said...

Xray,

Are you a believer in abiogenesis?

seymourblogger said...

x-ray darren would make a great psychoanalyst. A great mirroring response.

And you are initiating "interrogation". Read Foucault on the genealogy of confession, questioning, interrogation. Amazing insights to be had. Lectures in Abnormal, College de France, 1974 - Michael Foucault

Xray said...

seymourblogger wrote (on Mar 12, 2012 09:02 PM):

[quote]"x-ray darren would make a great psychoanalyst. A great mirroring response."[end quote Janet]

Replying to a question with a question back is often a sign of evasion.
One could therefore get the impression that Darren, for some reason, does not want to show his colors.

[quote] "And you are initiating "interrogation". [end quote Janet]

What's wrong with asking questions that are relevant for the discussion?
Just curious: Do you think Darren is a theist?

Xray said...

darren wrote (Mar 12, 2012 08:13 PM):

"Xray,

Are you a believer in abiogenesis?" (end quote)

Darren,

There's tons of info to absorb on this topic; I can't say what I "believe".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abiogenesis

seymourblogger said...

x-ray answering a question with a question in mirror form is a technique to put the asker more in touch with the feelings behind their question.

Foucault carefully details the genealogy of:

confession
questioning
interrogation

showing how each changes, - "transforms" to use your term - as the church, the justice system, the bio-politics intersects with confession, questioning and interrogation. (Abnormal Lectures 1974 College de Paris)

I have no idea what a theist is. I do not care what label you want to pin on him.

It doesn't matter. Not. At. All.

I already said what I said about discussion on objectivist living. What part of that didn't you understand?

darren said...

Xray wrote: There's tons of info to absorb on this topic; I can't say what I "believe".

Talk about evasion! If you can't say what you "believe", why does it behoove anyone else (like me, for instance) to say what he believes? Double standard, perhaps?

I can tell you this much: I believe that all current theories of abiogenesis, or chemical evolution, violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics. I thought I had made that clear in the post.

You should watch the two videos of Granville Sewell I linked to, if you haven't done so already.

Xray said...

What double standard? If I were a theist or an atheist, I would state this clearly.

[quote]"I can tell you this much: I believe that all current theories of abiogenesis, or chemical evolution, violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics. I thought I had made that clear in the post." [end quote]
You had also made this quite clear on SOLO.

On SOLO you wrote (on Sun, 2012-02-19 05:44):
"That's why scenarios of chemical evolution violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics: the scenarios all REQUIRE, by the NATURE OF THE PROBLEM AT HAND, to make use of a concept like "useful work" or "directed energy" but the concept isn't forthcoming in classical thermodynamics, so the theorists engage in the usual sort of "hand-waving" type of argument: SOMEHOW, random, uniformly-dispersed energy, like that radiating out from a star, was able to sequence the precursors of biologically important molecules like proteins and nucleic acids. How could uniformly-dispersed, high-entropy energy like that coming from a star, impose a higher degree of order on a chemical system thus lowering its entropy? Easy. SOMEHOW. But doesn't that "somehow" assume a violation of the 2nd law? "Let's not discuss it." (end quote)

There is an interesting artice in the Scientific American (Oct 28/2008 issue) discussing just that.

Here is a link to the preview site: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=how-nature-breaks-the-second-law
[quote] In Brief:
Waste is unavoidable—a sad fact of life quantified by the famous second law of thermodynamics. But if the world is steadily becoming more disordered, how do you explain the self-organization that often occurs in nature? At root, the trouble is that classical thermodynamics assumes systems are in equilibrium, a placid condition seldom truly achieved in the real world.

A new approach closes this loophole and finds that the second law holds far from equilibrium. But the evolution from order to disorder can be unsteady, allowing for pockets of self-organization. [/quote]

So if the equilibrium of systems that is assumed in classical thermodynamics is a condition seldom truly achieved in the real world, and unsteadiness factors in, allowing for pockets of order and self-organization, how do build this into your theory?

curioushairedgal said...

British author,Martin Amis wrote a novel called Time's Arrow. A quote says "To remember a day would take a day,to remember a year would take a year."

It made me think of how and whether our memory "progresses" as our perception of time changes as we grow older. However, I don't know (remember) how I remembered when I was a child, when time appeared to last longer (which is how I remember it felt now when I observe how kids perceive it).I can only remember the things I remembered as a child NOW. And in my future, in ten years from now,I will only remember in my then NOW. In that sense, in terms of remembering the division b/w past, present and future is irrelevant, as I will always and only remember in the NOW.

Einsteins' quote that the distinction between past, present and furture is only an illusion led me to this place: http://everythingforever.com/ and I found some interesting things there.

"Today the second law of thermodynamics is used like a road map of timelessness. It describes all possible states for our universe, claiming generally that there are more disordered states than ordered states. Consequently most scientists believe the universe is becoming increasingly disordered with time. Most believe our beautiful universe is dying. This has long been the most disappointing lesson of science because it suggests the evolution of time has no purpose or meaning. In fact the second law is like a black cloud hanging over humanity.

The great news is that science is beginning to realize that time ends at absolute zero, not disorder. Although it is certainly true that entropy, the measure of spent energy is always increasing, it is incorrect to imagine the universe is becoming disordered. " (quote from homepage)

According to Gevin Girbran, author of the web page and the book Everything Forever, our own time and the universe expands from Alpha towards Omega, which is absolute zero. (De Lillo's Point Omega, abbey?)
"If the zero in our future is the order of balance, what then is the dense (Alpha) singularity in our past? Just think in terms of the mathematical plane. Zero has a positive and a negative side. If you slice zero in half then you have a pure positive and a pure negative side. The singularity in our past is the positive half of zero, infinite, but still only half of the larger whole. Alpha is like all the white checkers divided apart from all of the black checkers, waiting for the game to begin. It is like a pendulum swung all the way to one side, the most imbalanced state. So in terms of probability, Alpha is the absolute most improbable state in all of reality, which is why time rushes so fast away from Alpha, which creates the big bang. Zero on the other hand is perfect balance, which makes it the most probable state in all of nature. So considering the big picture, the arrows of time for all universes naturally travel away from imbalance and travel toward balance. In timelessness history naturally traces backward to a big bang, and traces forward to a seemingly empty universe." Evolution as a natural process running backwards.

I'll probably spend next week reading this book, or whatever parts of it I can find. Thought it might be interesting.

Xray said...

Darren wrote (on March Mar 13, 2012 11:14 PM)
I can tell you this much: I believe that all current theories of abiogenesis, or chemical evolution, violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics. I thought I had made that clear in the post. (end quote)

You also made that clear on SOLO where you wrote on Sun, 2012-02-19 05:44):

"That's why scenarios of chemical evolution violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics: the scenarios all REQUIRE, by the NATURE OF THE PROBLEM AT HAND, to make use of a concept like "useful work" or "directed energy" but the concept isn't forthcoming in classical thermodynamics, so the theorists engage in the usual sort of "hand-waving" type of argument: SOMEHOW, random, uniformly-dispersed energy, like that radiating out from a star, was able to sequence the precursors of biologically important molecules like proteins and nucleic acids. How could uniformly-dispersed, high-entropy energy like that coming from a star, impose a higher degree of order on a chemical system thus lowering its entropy? Easy. SOMEHOW. But doesn't that "somehow" assume a violation of the 2nd law? "Let's not discuss it." (end quote Darren)

There is an interesting artice in the Scientific American (Oct 28/2008 issue) discussing just that.

Here is a link to the preview site: http://www.scientificamerican....
[quote] In Brief:
Waste is unavoidable—a sad fact of life quantified by the famous second law of thermodynamics. But if the world is steadily becoming more disordered, how do you explain the self-organization that often occurs in nature? At root, the trouble is that classical thermodynamics assumes systems are in equilibrium, a placid condition seldom truly achieved in the real world.

A new approach closes this loophole and finds that the second law holds far from equilibrium. But the evolution from order to disorder can be unsteady, allowing for pockets of self-organization. [/quote]

Darren,

So the equilibrium of systems assumed by classical thermodynamics is seldom truly achieved in the real world, and the unsteadiness allows for pockets of self-organization. How do you integrate this into your theory?

Xray said...

Seymourblogger wrote on Mar 13, 2012 10:52 PM:

"I have no idea what a theist is. I do not care what label you want to pin on him." (end quote Janet)

Janet,

Let's do a test run and apply to your above statement what you suggested doing:

"Anything which is asserted that vehemently can also be read as its opposite. (Freud and Lacan) And it is no secret the level of denial Rand maintained at different times." (end quote Janet)

Okay, read as its opposite, we get: "I know perfectly well what a theist is and I do care what label you want to pin on him [= Darren].

On OL you wrote:
"Darren knows better than to argue for Intelligent Design, ..."(Janet)

http://www.objectivistliving.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=11653&st=480&p=156838&#entry156838

Surely you will agree that to comment about something like "Intelligent Design" implies having an idea what a theist is.
Your OL post therefore qualifies as evidence: you do know what theist is. Of course you do.
The next question to ask is why you have denied it in your reply here.

Xray said...

XrayMar 15, 2012 08:18 PM
Darren wrote (on March Mar 13, 2012 11:14 PM)
"I can tell you this much: I believe that all current theories of abiogenesis, or chemical evolution, violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics. I thought I had made that clear in the post." (end quote)

You also made that clear on SOLO where you wrote on Sun, 2012-02-19 05:44):

"That's why scenarios of chemical evolution violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics: the scenarios all REQUIRE, by the NATURE OF THE PROBLEM AT HAND, to make use of a concept like "useful work" or "directed energy" but the concept isn't forthcoming in classical thermodynamics, so the theorists engage in the usual sort of "hand-waving" type of argument: SOMEHOW, random, uniformly-dispersed energy, like that radiating out from a star, was able to sequence the precursors of biologically important molecules like proteins and nucleic acids. How could uniformly-dispersed, high-entropy energy like that coming from a star, impose a higher degree of order on a chemical system thus lowering its entropy? Easy. SOMEHOW. But doesn't that "somehow" assume a violation of the 2nd law? "Let's not discuss it." (end quote Darren)

There is an interesting artice in the Scientific American (Oct 28/2008 issue) discussing just that.

Here is a link to the preview site: http://www.scientificamerican....
[quote] In Brief:
Waste is unavoidable—a sad fact of life quantified by the famous second law of thermodynamics. But if the world is steadily becoming more disordered, how do you explain the self-organization that often occurs in nature? At root, the trouble is that classical thermodynamics assumes systems are in equilibrium, a placid condition seldom truly achieved in the real world.

A new approach closes this loophole and finds that the second law holds far from equilibrium. But the evolution from order to disorder can be unsteady, allowing for pockets of self-organization. [/quote]

Darren,

So the equilibrium of systems assumed by classical thermodynamics is seldom truly achieved in the real world, and the unsteadiness allows for pockets of self-organization. How do you integrate this into your theory?

Xray said...

XrayMar 15, 2012 09:32 PM
Seymourblogger wrote on Mar 13, 2012 10:52 PM:

"I have no idea what a theist is. I do not care what label you want to pin on him." (end quote Janet)

Janet,

Let's do a test run and apply to your above statement what you suggested doing:

"Anything which is asserted that vehemently can also be read as its opposite. (Freud and Lacan) And it is no secret the level of denial Rand maintained at different times." (end quote Janet)

Okay, read as its opposite, we get: "I know perfectly well what a theist is and I do care what label you want to pin on him [= Darren].

On OL you wrote:
"Darren knows better than to argue for Intelligent Design, ..."(Janet)

http://www.objectivistliving.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=11653&st=480&p=156838&#entry156838

Surely you will agree that to comment about something like "Intelligent Design" implies having an idea what a theist is.
Your OL post therefore qualifies as evidence: you do know what theist is. Of course you do.
The next question to ask is why you have denied it in your reply here.

Xray said...

Darren wrote (on March Mar 13, 2012 11:14 PM)
I can tell you this much: I believe that all current theories of abiogenesis, or chemical evolution, violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics. I thought I had made that clear in the post. (end quote)

You also made that clear on SOLO where you wrote on Sun, 2012-02-19 05:44):

"That's why scenarios of chemical evolution violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics: the scenarios all REQUIRE, by the NATURE OF THE PROBLEM AT HAND, to make use of a concept like "useful work" or "directed energy" but the concept isn't forthcoming in classical thermodynamics, so the theorists engage in the usual sort of "hand-waving" type of argument: SOMEHOW, random, uniformly-dispersed energy, like that radiating out from a star, was able to sequence the precursors of biologically important molecules like proteins and nucleic acids. How could uniformly-dispersed, high-entropy energy like that coming from a star, impose a higher degree of order on a chemical system thus lowering its entropy? Easy. SOMEHOW. But doesn't that "somehow" assume a violation of the 2nd law? "Let's not discuss it." (end quote Darren)

There is an interesting artice in the Scientific American (Oct 28/2008 issue) discussing just that.

Here is a link to the preview site: http://www.scientificamerican....
[quote] In Brief:
Waste is unavoidable—a sad fact of life quantified by the famous second law of thermodynamics. But if the world is steadily becoming more disordered, how do you explain the self-organization that often occurs in nature? At root, the trouble is that classical thermodynamics assumes systems are in equilibrium, a placid condition seldom truly achieved in the real world.

A new approach closes this loophole and finds that the second law holds far from equilibrium. But the evolution from order to disorder can be unsteady, allowing for pockets of self-organization. [/quote]

Darren,

So the equilibrium of systems assumed by classical thermodynamics is seldom truly achieved in the real world, and the unsteadiness allows for pockets of self-organization. How do you integrate this into your theory?

darren said...

Xray copied/pasted some text from Scientific American that claims:

>>>>A new approach closes this loophole and finds that the second law holds far from equilibrium.

There's nothing new about this approach. The concept of a dynamic equilibrium state called "far-from-equilibrium" was coined by Belgian chemist Ilya Prigogine. He based it on his study of hexagonal convection-cells that spontaneously appear when heating silicon oil and other viscous liquids ("Benard cells"). He then extrapolated the idea that hexagonal convection cells form spontaneously in viscous liquids at high heat to the idea that a similar kind of spontaneous self-organization regulates the biosphere; i.e., if boiling silicon oil can spontaneously form geometrically identical convection cells, it follows that amino acids that are all left-handed can spontaneously self-assemble and correctly fold into functional proteins, or that nucleic acids that are all right-handed can spontaneously self-assemble into a DNA molecule and spontaneously code for proteins that are biologically meaningful to an organism's survival.

Several things about this:

1. One has nothing to do with the other. Living organisms are both complex and specified; they are not endless boring repetitions of a typical unit-cell-pattern, such as you see in solid crystals or Benard convection cells in certain boiling liquids.

Let me just say, Xray, that you appear to be extremely confused about how to think about living organisms. Crystal structures and Benard convection cells are similar to the repetitious patterns you find on certain kinds of wallpaper. The sort of complexity-specificity exhibited by living organisms is NOT like patterned wallpaper. The long strings of amino acids comprising the primary structures of proteins, and the strings of codons comprising DNA sequences, are NOT like repetitious patterned wallpaper; they are literally alphabetic/linguistic in nature. They are similar to long sequences of a written language — text—that "spell" something meaningful to the organism's biochemistry. So when you think of proteins and nucleic acids, don't think "wallpaper"; think "language." That will give you a clue as to how irrelevant is the idea of "little pockets of self-organization" along the way to entropic dissolution.

2. Later research confirmed that Benard cells form in order to hasten entropy; they dissipate heat more efficiently than the random bubbling we normally see in the so-called "turbulent flow regime." Not even a knee-jerk atheistic Objectivist Darwinist would claim that living organisms self-assembled themselves in order to hasten entropy, or that living organisms are more efficient configurations for the dissipation of heat.

3. The basic argument of your Sci-Am article has already been address and refuted by Granville Sewell's paper on the meaning of an "open system." See the two videos I posted above.

seymourblogger said...

This is an incredibly beautiful and patient reply. It's like listening to a teacher you always wanted to listen to about something very difficult. Thank you.

Xray said...

Darren,

As always, audiatur et altera pars.
Here for example is an excerpt from physicist Mark Perakh's detailed critique of Sewell's theory: http://www.talkreason.org/articles/Sewell.cfm

„As a female becomes pregnant, a process starts wherein the entropy of the fetus, and with it of the entire female body gradually decreases and this is in no way contrary to the 2nd law because this law does not prohibit entropy decrease in open systems. The mass of the fetus increases along with its development, and entropy is an extensive quantity, this contributing to the increase of the total entropy of the "mother + fetus" system, but the differentiation of the fetus's tissues is a domineering process resulting in a net decrease of entropy of said system (with a concomitant increase of the universe's net entropy).

An animal's body constantly exchanges energy and matter with its surrounding, so it is an open system for which entropy decrease is possible. Were Sewell right, such growth and development would be impossible, as would be the evolutionary process. The very existence of Sewell as a living person testifies against his anti-evolution pseudo-thermodynamic arguments.“
(end quote)

PJ Cornell said...

Soundbite of the day:

"The sort of complexity-specificity exhibited by living organisms is NOT like patterned wallpaper."

Lol.

That having been said, the kind of gross exception to the second law is possible, to my mind, under only one circumstance: an infinite universe model.

In such a case, anything that can exist -- does exist.

But here's where atheism crumbles: it is possible to conceive of a "God" which in a monistic universe. Thus, if we appeal to an infinite universe model to explain life, we must, ironically, abandon atheism.

Theists have them coming and going.

Jacob Wyatt said...

Janet and Darren:

May I syndicate this post?

darren said...

Aut disce aut discede

>>>>As a female becomes pregnant, a process starts wherein the entropy of the fetus, and with it of the entire female body gradually decreases and this is in no way contrary to the 2nd law because this law does not prohibit entropy decrease in open systems.

Even Perakh's first sentence above is incorrect. The reason a developing fetus is not in violation of the 2nd law is not *because* the fetus-mother system is "open"; the reason is that fetal development is an ENCODED PROGRAM that can direct and guide the energy that is available to it in the form of calories from food. There's nothing random about the way a fetus develops; that's why human fetuses always develop according to their encoded programs into human babies, and horse fetuses always develop according to their encoded programs into horse babies. It's the encoded program that provides the DIRECTED ENERGY — the "housekeeper" — I posted about so often on SOLO. Without the encoded program — i.e., programmed INFORMATION — you don't get fetal development simply because there's an "open system." Perakh is mistaken.

Sewell claims that just because a system is open, and matter+energy are allowed to cross the border of one system into another, it does not follow mathematically that, ergo, the probability of ANYTHING occurring past that border approaches "1." The mathematical significance of an open system is simply that the second system is now open to certain possibilities flowing into it, IF the kind of matter+energy flowing into it is the kind of matter+energy that, by its nature, is likely to create a certain event or condition in the second system.

IF your front door is open, a delivery truck with a free laptop you have won from a sweepstakes you entered might stop by and deliver a laptop to your living room. There's a probability approaching "1.0" that IF your door is open to the outside world, your winning a sweepstakes prize will result in a laptop crossing the border — the threshold of your door — and flow FROM the outside world-system INTO the inside-home system.

BUT IT DOES NOT FOLLOW THAT SIMPLY BY LEAVING YOUR DOOR OPEN AND ALLOWING SUNLIGHT TO FLOW IN, YOU HAVE A GREATER CHANCE OF A LAPTOP APPEARING IN YOUR LIVING ROOM THAN IF YOUR DOOR WERE CLOSED.

darren said...

Perakh seems to think that solar energy by itself increases the chances of e.g., stray dust particles in your room self-assembling in just the right way that a laptop could appear. You will recognize that absurd argument as similar to Peter's argument on SOLO that sunlight coming into the messy apartment was the ultimate cause of the books self-assembling on the shelf in alphabetical order.

Sewell is far more careful than Perakh (and, needless to say, Peter from SOLO) in his analysis of what happens when you open the border between one system and another. Perakh seems to think that if you open the door and allow energy to stream in, everything will go his way: you'll simply get a measurable increase in usable energy inside the home, and therefore a lowering of entropy (with a corresponding increase of entropy in the outside world). Not so. Energy flowing into your living room from the sun will also provide destructive cross-reactions with existing arrangement of things in your home that were already at a lowered entropic state and raise their entropy. For example:

1) All those framed color photographs hanging on your living room wall will fade under the influence of inflowing solar energy ("fading" is caused by the destructive randomizing of the volatile color dyes in a color photograph). That's a RAISING of entropy in your home, not a lowering of it.

2) The guitar you like to leave on a stand so that you can grab it and play a resounding E-major chord when you feel like it will begin to crack under the constant influx of solar energy and the strings will untune themselves, because heat from sunlight tends to make many materials (like nylon or metal guitar strings) expand; so your perfectly tuned guitar will become untuned. That's a RAISING of entropy in your home, not a lowering of it.

So just opening the door to the outside world and allowing sunlight to inflow across the border in no way increases the chances of a specific event appearing inside the home, such as a laptop computer. What the open door does (as mentioned above) is allow events from the outside world that can in fact cause laptops to appear — events like "sweepstakes" and "laptop factories" and "delivery trucks" — to converge in your home. Obviously, with the door closed and your home completely cut off from any contact with the outside world — a closed system with no matter or energy permitted to cross from the outside world to your home, or vice-versa — laptop factories, sweepstakes, and delivery trucks would have no effect on your home. Opening your door opens your home-system to those possibilities; but it's not on account of sunlight streaming in!

Sewell is right about this, but his basic argument, though framed mathematically, is really just common sense.

darren said...

Recapping my critique of Perakh's silly response above, here is chemist A. E. Wilder Smith from his book "The Creation of Life: A Cybernetic Approach to Evolution":

"PROGRAMMING THE CELL: ENERGY CONSIDERATIONS

The laws of thermodynamics today present no difficulties in accounting for ontogenetical evolution [NB: "ontogenetical evolution" = "ontogeny" = fetal development]. There are no difficulties of a thermodynamic nature in accounting for the huge decrease in entropy involved when a zygote (fertilized egg) develops to a fully grown adult organism. This increase in order is, thermodynamically, accountable for on the basis of prior programming on the DNA/RNA/ribosome systems present in the original zygote, and an adequate supply of coupled energy, derived from nutrient catabolism, to finance the complex robot known as the fertilized egg up to the adult state.

Thus, on the basis of these two points, the whole process of ontogenetical upward evolution can be relatively easily accounted for, even though the mechanisms involved are fantastically complex. For all onto genetical development is attributable to preprogramming . . . Accordingly, the enormous complexity of the human brain (and other organs) is not to be accounted for on the basis of chance development as far as ontogeny is concerned. Rather it is to be referred to perfectly ordered coding systems which direct the whole development of the organ.

On the other hand, things are not so simple when it comes to accounting for the evolution of phylogeny [NB: "phylogeny" = evolution of one species into another species"]. The general Neo-Darwinian position is that this development was not coded or programmed, but that chance and long time spans plus natural selection were the sources of this order. But the thermodynamic side of this position is much less clear than in the case of ontogenetic development. For the energy relationships and coding or programming arrangements are not immediately discernible in this scheme of things."

Jacob Wyatt said...

http://thegoism.net/the_third_watch/2012/03/18/defiance-in-the-face-of-decay/

darren said...

It's fine with me, but it's Janet's blog, so we should wait for a reply from her. Thanks!

Jacob Wyatt said...

Cool. She said it would be ok (over email). Check out this link to see my take on it.

http://thegoism.net/the_third_watch/2012/03/18/defiance-in-the-face-of-decay/

darren said...

Good work, JW. Thanks!

I left a reply on Third Watch, by the way.

Xray said...

Darren,

On SOLO, I wrote:
"We find mathematical structures and "intelligent" solutions in nature"
(end quote Xray)

You replied:
"In biological nature; not in non-biological nature or in an assumed prebiotic nature." (end quote Darren)

But doesn't this contradict what you wrote about hexagonal Benard cells that "dissipate heat more efficiently"?

seymourblogger said...

Your obsession with your non-contradiction template which you lay over everything like Borges disintegrating map of the world, is not the only way to think x-ray.

Apparently physics has give it up. You might want to go argue with them to get them to reinstate it.

darren said...

@ Xray: "But doesn't this contradict what you wrote about hexagonal Benard cells that "'dissipate heat more efficiently'"?

Resarch into Benard cells shows they increase entropy, not decrease it, and thus hasten equilibrium, not delay it.

Life requires *directed* energy to delay, or undo, the inevitable disorderliness that results from the 2nd law of thermodynamics. An unguided process that hastened life's demise by dissipating its energy even more than already occurs, thus making energy less available to it, is scarcely an example of something capable of abiogenesis.

You need forces capable of building things up, Xray; not tearing them down with greater efficiency.

Xray said...

It does show though that mathematical structures (as in the hexagonal Benard cells) are also found in non-biological nature. (you denied this in your reply on SOLO).
As one can read in the Thegoism blog, at least a few theists (like e. g. J. Wyatt) seem to be aware that:
"Theism does not necessarily follow from the non-viability of our current understanding of Evolutionary Biology." (J. Wyatt)
http://thegoism.net/the_third_watch/2012/03/18/defiance-in-the-face-of-decay/

Nor btw would atheism necessarily follow from abiogenesis: For to a theist who e. g. conceives of his god as "all powerful", creating life from non-life would just be another manifestation of this all powerful god at work.

darren said...

>>>>Xray: It does show though that mathematical structures (as in the hexagonal Benard cells) are also found in non-biological nature. (you denied this in your reply on SOLO).

You constantly remind us on this blog, Xray, that English is not your native language. If we don't sedulously dot "i's" and cross "t's" you manage to find amusing ways to misinterpret and misunderstand what was posted. I'm not saying you do this intentionally, by the way, or that you're aware of your misunderstandings when trying to grasp a thought expressed in English.

It's quite clear to all of us from the brief excerpt you copy-pasted above from SOLO, that my statement "In biological nature; not in non-biological nature or in an assumed prebiotic nature" was specifically in response to your assertion that we find "intelligent solutions in nature," and NOT in regard to your assertion in the same sentence regarding non-biological mathematical structures. If you read through all of my old posts on SOLO, you will see many references to regularly-ordered structures like crystals (I've mentioned them a number of times here, too) which repeat a unit-cell pattern according to strict geometrical/mathematical laws. For some reason, you think this represents an "intelligent solution" to a problem. Would you mind explaining what problem water molecules, for example, encounter when the temperature drops to 0-degrees C? When ice crystals start spontaneously forming, you believe that that is a mathematical "solution" to WHAT problem? Please specify WHAT problem water molecules encounter whose intelligent solution is "ice-crystals."

>>>>Xray: 
As one can read in the Thegoism blog, at least a few theists (like e. g. J. Wyatt) seem to be aware that: 
"Theism does not necessarily follow from the non-viability of our current understanding of Evolutionary Biology." (J. Wyatt)

Naturalism doesn't necessarily follow from it either. It all depends on what the specific non-viability is. If you claim that thermal energy by itself from stars can lower the entropic state of a system — incrementally nudging non-living elements toward a state of being living organisms — then my earlier claim was that any hypothesis making that assumption was guilty of violating the 2nd law of thermodynamics. Unless you wish to revamp the basic laws of thermodynamics, you'll have to recognize the difference between "non-viability" and a "cul-de-sac."

Finally, my arguing that the lowering of entropy by means of directed entropy requires intelligence is not the same thing as arguing for theism. My argument may imply theism, but it doesn't rest on the assumption. As far as the issue of directed energy is concerned, it makes no difference what the source of the intelligence is.

By the way, I'm sure you've had lots of time by now to watch those two videos I posted of Granville Sewell's arguments regarding the 2nd law. Rather than scouring the Internet looking for attempted refutations as a substitute for checking your own premises, forming your own opinions, and posting them, why don't you tell us in your own words what you thought of them?

Xray said...

@Darren Mar 23, 2012 07:20 AM

„You constantly remind us on this blog, Xray, that English is not your native language. If we don't sedulously dot "i's" and cross "t's" you manage to find amusing ways to misinterpret and misunderstand what was posted. I'm not saying you do this intentionally, by the way, or that you're aware of your misunderstandings when trying to grasp a thought expressed in English.“ (end quote)

What I find quite interesting: In all the years I have been writing on English-speaking forums or blogs, I have rarely come across a native speaker of English (not even fierce debate opponents) who has had difficulty understanding what I was saying.

Whereas you have already, within a short time span, complained twice (and in quite a patronizing way) about my 'non-native speaker English'. Which allegedly makes it difficult to discuss with me.
This makes you an exception in my little private statistics, an exception which makes me curious.

Let's consider the following possibilities:

a) My English is really bad, but the many native English speakers I have conversed with so far were all merely too polite to tell me that.
b) You are using the „non-native speaker of English“ argument as an evasion tactic each time you to want to direct the attention away from something else.

How likely is a)? How likely is b)?

It is true that, despite being fairly fluent in English, I'm definitely no-native speaker of English.
It is therefore to be expected that language mistakes on my part will occur.
Which doesn't mean that these mistakes are always serious enough to hamper your understanding of what I mean.
So if you converse with me, I'm afraid you will just have to live with my posts not being those of an Anglo-American native; you can always ask questions for clarification if the way I phrase something should really pose a serious obstacle for your understanding. (Which I doubt, given your intelligence).

Xray said...

@Darren: "For some reason, you think this represents an "intelligent solution" to a problem." (end quote)

Not necessarily to a "problem". Fine-tuning in the sense of more effectiveness can also occur in in non-problematic situations.

For example, if heat is to be dissipated more effectively and the hexagonal Benard cells achieve precisely that, then their structure in this specific context can be considered as an "intelligent solution".

Xray said...

Is is warranted at all to equate entropy with simple "disorder" (as it often happens in everyday speech)?
The equlibrium achieved in the final stage of the universe can also be regarded as the highest form of order.
Couldn't one therefore also argue that the universe is constantly moving toward a final stage of highest order?

seymourblogger said...

x-ray I disagree with darren about the problem being your English. YOur English is excellent.

Your problem is your literalist perception of everything. In "fear of horses" which had nothing, BTW, of my seeing you as a friend as you supposed, but seeing that the literal translation "fear of horses" did not make sense, if he was a great warrior. Barbara Branden in her lectures on critical thinking remarked on this hunch aspect, this uncanny uncomfortableness which leads to an intuitive insight. She did not bring the Law of Non-Contradiction into it at all. That was your explanation of shy you pursued it.

Then you criticize Babette Babich's rewriting of her own work in English into German, and her German writing into English. She is not t-r-a-n-s-l-a-t-i-n-g her own work. She is rewriting it in another language she knows so well she thinks in it.

Her German degrees and studies are exceptionally impressive. She is the foremost Nietzsche scholar in the world. I think she knows exactly how she wants to express herself on Nietzsche in either German or English. And it is not likely she will proceed in trying to get an exact literal translation which you have accused her of not doing.

This is exactly what is wrong and it has nothing at all to do with your not being a native English speaker. Early translators of Nietzsche before Kauffman, got him terribly wrong, and delayed his entrance into the American and English scholarship scene. (See Kauffman's intro with examples.)

No, your problem is far more serious. You are in possession of an obsessional/compulsion neurosis. I suggest you begin to read Freud. His early case studies are good beginnings. If you read Interpetation of Dreams, Freud will explain, through his own dreams, his own obsessional/compulsion neurosis. Your activity in translating makes good use of your obsession and at the same time reinforces it. You are in a circular trap of your own making. That's what neurotics do, and we are all neurotic, so don't feel attacked if you can help it.

Should you become an inspired translator, well, I can only say the world needs them desperately. If only you put your talents to use with Lou Andreas-Salome and her still untranslated work, I would be forever in your debt and so would women everywhere, not to mention many men. I would even work with you on it I love her so much. She was Nietzsche's "lover" as you probably know. And she went to Vienna to get Freud, but he got her. Sort of. She refused to become analyzed, although she became an analyst, a very gifted one.

And I have not mentioned Rilke.

darren said...

>>>>Xray wrote: . . . I have rarely come across a native speaker of English . . . who has had difficulty understanding what I was saying.

See what I mean, Xray? Many thanks for proving my point. At no time have I ever complained that *I* have difficulty understanding *you*. I asserted that *you* have difficulty understanding *me* (and others on this blog). I wrote that *your* peculiar understanding of English often causes *you* to misunderstand and misinterpret what was posted by others. Re-read my last reply to you — carefully — and you can confirm that for yourself.

darren said...

>>>>Xray wrote: . . . if heat is to be dissipated more effectively and the hexagonal Benard cells achieve precisely that, then their structure in this specific context can be considered as an "intelligent solution".

Wrong. Only if there were alternative choices open to the system, each with a similar probability (or maybe even greater probability) of occurring, could the best choice be considered "intelligent." The reason Benard cells occur is because they must. That's completely different the intelligent solution of a functional protein or nucleic acid. There are many, many, many, many choices open to amino acids left on their own (i.e., outside of an already existing system that makes pre-programmed intelligent choices inside of itself such as a living cell) to form all kinds of polypeptide strings that are utterly useless and functionless: the amino acids are of the wrong kind; or they are of the wrong number; or they are of the wrong chirality (i.e., they might be right-handed molecules instead of the necessary left-handed ones); or the bonding between one amino acid and the next is of the wrong kind. There's very little chemical or physical restriction on how amino acids can string themselves together to form polypeptides when left on their own; but inside a cell, with a mini-computer program in its genome called DNA, which literally (i.e., "literally" = "linguistically" or "by means of code") instructs other cellular organs as to what amino acids are required, and in what order, to build the primary-structure of a protein that actually does something useful inside the organism, that's obviously an example of an intelligently guided solution . . . because without those instructions (or, without the correct instructions) useless polypeptide strings get formed, or injurious ones do. It is the programming inside the cell, specifically, the linguistic code of DNA (and RNA) that is the "directed energy" I wrote about earlier, and on SOLO, that can take caloric energy derived from food, and coupled together — caloric energy from food and preprogrammed information providing direction from DNA (or RNA) — can reduce the entropy of a living system so that it stays ordered, structured, and (to use a term an Objectivist can savor) "integrated."

However, you clearly have no understanding of the 2nd law and the importance of it in relation to the origin of life. To efficiently make energy UNAVAILABLE is to INCREASE entropy. That's the opposite of what's needed for life.

darren said...

>>>>Xray wrote: The equlibrium achieved in the final stage of the universe can also be regarded as the highest form of order.

In other words, maximum entropy — i.e., death — is the highest form of order according to you?

Scientists routinely refer to the maximum entropic state of the universe as the "heat-death of the universe." In your opinion, how is "heat-death" the highest form of order?

seymourblogger said...

"Anything which is asserted that vehemently can also be read as its opposite. (Freud and Lacan) And it is no secret the level of denial Rand maintained at different times." (end quote Janet)

Okay, read as its opposite, we get: "I know perfectly well what a theist is and I do care what label you want to pin on him [= Darren].

And I mean it!" by Rand is of a different magnitude and order of my saying I don't know what a theist is and I don't care what label you want to pin on him

The key is the word vehement. I was responding to you in a pretty matter of fact manner. Not vehemently at all. Rather privately.

Rand is asserting "And I mean it! in public. In linguistic theory, this is performative language, a performative statement, far different than had she typed it in a comment on a site somewhere in the sky. She cannot be held with her feet to the fire for every single comment she ever made. Neither can I. As much as I try to be aware of what I say online, to be responsible for what I say, I am bound to exhibit contradictions and changes to the way I think. If you don't believe me go to the dailykos and under abbeysbooks read my praises for Obama, which are now indelibly engraved in cyberspace to my great embarrassment.
I have no intention of remaining the same. Deal with it.

seymourblogger said...

This is for Darren and X-ray:

...Take, for example, the story of the woman to whom a man sends an ardent love letter. She asks him what part of her seduced him the most. What else can he answer? Her eyes, of course. And he receives in the mail, wrapped in brown paper, the woman's eye. The man is shattered, destroyed. The woman sets herself as the destiny of the other. Literalizing the metaphor, she abolishes the symbolic order. The sign becomes the thing. The subject is caught in the trap of his own desire. She loses an eye, he loses face.

This is you x-ray. In the future I will only remind you of this story.

seymourblogger said...

A story told a number of times in different books by Jean Baudrillard. This quote came from Forget Foucault/Forget Baudrillard p.92-3.

Xray said...

@Janet Mar 25,2012
<...>
"This is you x-ray. In the future I will only remind you of this story."
(end quote)

Janet,
Again you are trying to put your 'pomo grid' over everything, like a person that would squeeze ketchup over every food, and then try to convince others how great it tastes.

This is you, Janet. In the future I will only remind you of this coment of mine. :-)

seymourblogger said...

x-ray the excerpt is not POMO as you indicate.

http://www.amazon.com/Story-Eye-Georges-Bataille/dp/0872862097

It is in a 1928 novella by Bataille. Bataille's work was an inspiration to Baudrillard as well as Foucault. His work "anticipated" post modern thought, much as Rand's does. The only difference is that Rand was popular fiction and Bataille was literary fiction.

As usual your anger and hostility allow you to shoot first and aim afterwards.

Xray said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
seymourblogger said...

x-ray I deleted your comment about Babich because we have been over this before. Elsewhere. I do not want it to come up on a google search here which of course is why you put it here.

You are not familiar with Lacann's neologisms, his twisting or words and signs. Babich is. I will take her credibility over yours 24/7.

The argument is different on my turf, isn't it. You can't get cohorts to slam me here and use up my 5 posts a day as happened on objectivist living. A level playing field tilted in my choice of direction. Darren is excruciatingly patient with you. Lucky you.

Xray said...

@seymourbloggerMar 25, 2012 11:12 PM:

"x-ray I deleted your comment about Babich because we have been over this before. Elsewhere. I do not want it to come up on a google search here which of course is why you put it here." (end quote)

I have no idea what you are talking about; I'm not computer-savvy at all.
I took it over here because I have the habit of providing my sources, that's all.
Since you can't read OL anymore, I brought it over here again to both refresh your memory and provide the material also to those who read here.

@seymourbloggerMar 25, 2012 11:12 PM:
"The argument is different on my turf, isn't it. You can't get cohorts to slam me here and use up my 5 posts a day as happened on objectivist living. A level playing field tilted in my choice of direction." (end quote)

I'm not interested in any 'turfs' belonging to specific individuals. Nor do I need 'cohorts'. I prefer to paddle my own canoe.
In what direction you choose to 'tilt' your blog is your own business and not the focus of my of interest. I'm interested in exchanging thoughts with others on topics that interest me.
I prefer forums to blogs though because the have a clearer layout and are more user- friendly to navigate.
Can't you transfer this place into a forum?

@seymourbloggerMar 25, 2012 11:12 PM:
"You are not familiar with Lacann's neologisms, his twisting or words and signs. Babich is. I will take her credibility over yours 24/7." (end quote)

Are German Grammar mistakes also part of the twisting process? :-)
As for "credibility", you come across as quite uncritical to me when it comes to your 'gurus'; as if their word is gospel to you. "Guru bias" one could call it.

Xray said...

@darrenMar 25, 2012 01:31 AM

>>>>Xray wrote: The equlibrium achieved in the final stage of the universe can also be regarded as the highest form of order.

In other words, maximum entropy — i.e., death — is the highest form of order according to you?" (end quote)

The universe won't be "dead". For it will still exist, albeit in another form, with all life being extinct. As for the thermal equilibrium the universe will have reached at this tage, "equlibrium" may well be regarded as a form of order. A kind of 'final order' replacing all previous forms of order.
It all depends on the perspective from which you regard it.

"Scientists routinely refer to the maximum entropic state of the universe as the "heat-death of the universe." In your opinion, how is "heat-death" the highest form of order?" (end quote)

Scientist are humans and frequently have to resort to everyday language that is fairly unprecise. The "heat death" refers to the extinction of all life, to the extinction of all stellar systems, etc., but the universe will still exist - in a completely different form though.
It is only our anthropocentric perspective that prevents us from seeing order also in the final thermal equilibrium of the cosmos.

Xray said...

Darren,
You obviously don't believe in chemical evolution.
But surely you will agree that non-life preceded life.
So how did "life" come into existence in your opinion?
Do you believe in a dualistic deity who via supernaturual powers suddenly injected, 'abracadabra'-like, the program "life" into non-living matter?

seymourblogger said...

x-ray this is a post on a blog. It is not a dissertation defense.

As for gurus, I am following Benjamin's suggestion for style. Juxtaposing fragments, so the "author" can disappear. None of the people I quote has ever posited a theory. Theories can be used against that for which they were invented.

Dealuze's A Thousand Plateaus was used by an Israeli general.

Lacan of did what you are accusing Babich of doing. Language is always in Saussurean flux. Your over correction is addressed in LaBovean theory as a way of signaling "class affiliation".

curioushairedgal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
curioushairedgal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
curioushairedgal said...

(This is in reply to XRay in relation to Babich. Already typed one reply but it failed to show, so if double comments appear, sorry, my bad)

@XRay on BB (March 18th, OL):

I just googled "Babich and Ayn Rand" and got a link to a passage of Babich's book on Nietzsche's Philosophy of Science where she writes [bolding mine]:
BB: "This fear stems in part from the tendency to conceptual solecism that equates Nietzsche's thought with that of Ayn Rand and other more classic proponents of aristo-vulgar esoteric doctrines".

Here is the German translation (going by what you said, I assume it was done by Babich herself):
BB: "Diese Furcht unterscheidet sich von der Neigung zur begrifflichen Sünde, die Nietzsches Gedanken mit denen von Ayn Rand und anderen eher klassichen Fürsprechern aristokratisch-vulgären esotersichen Doktrinen verbindet."

Note that "stems" in the English version is mistranslated in her German version as "unterscheidet", which means something else: 'differs'.
As for the term "begriffliche Sünde", (her translation of "conceptual solecism"), it does not exist in German.
"Solecism" has to be translated as e. g. "Sprachschnitzer" (language blunder), "sprachliche Ungereimtheit", etc.
Grammar mistake: it is not "vulgären esoterschen, but "vulgärer esoterischer".

I'd recommend reading BB's work in her native English.

For if one random single sentence in German already shows a number of mistakes, one can imagine what the rest looks like ...
________________________________________________________________

unterscheidet= discerns (http://www.dict.cc/?s=unterscheidet)
to discern = to detect, to come to know or recognize mentally

begriffliche (Unschärfe) = lack of conceptual clarity ( http://www.dict.cc/?s=begriffliche)
Sünde = transgression (http://www.dict.cc/?s=S%C3%BCnde)
which is close enough to "conceptual solecism" (solecism as in incongurity, mistake) to me, though it is true I'm a non-native English speaker and don't speak German at all.

While I roamed the net for the past hour or so, this is what I thought about:

I cnduo't bvleiee taht I culod aulaclty uesdtannrd waht I was rdnaieg. Unisg the icndeblire pweor of the hmuan mnid, aocdcrnig to rseecrah at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mttaer in waht oderr the lterets in a wrod are, the olny irpoamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rhgit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whoutit a pboerlm. Tihs is bucseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey ltteer by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Aaznmig, huh? Yaeh and I awlyas tghhuot slelinpg was ipmorantt! See if yuor fdreins can raed tihs too.

I'm absolutely certain you are able to read and fully understand what's written.

It's not about correct/incorrect, as Janet says, that's thinking within the dialectic. When one is set on finding faults, one always will, as my reply to you proves and as I'm sure you could prove also by finding faults with/in my reply, and we could go on with the dissection, demonstrating our intellectual abilities with no purpose other than to compete I guess and prove eachother wrong. It would not be about exchanging ideas, which is what you say you're interested in.

darren said...

>>>>Xray wrote: The universe won't be "dead". For it will still exist, albeit in another form,

"Heat death" doesn't imply that the universe would cease to exist. It implies it would be dead.

>>>>with all life being extinct.

With all energy unavailable for performing work because all energy will be uniformly distributed.

>>>>"equlibrium" may well be regarded as a form of order.

You mean "complete disorder" is really a form of "complete order"? You missed your calling in life, Xray. You should not be teaching kindergarten. You should be teaching post-doctoral physics students in thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, and information theory.

>>>>Scientist are humans and frequently have to resort to everyday language that is fairly unprecise.

Unlike non-scientist kindergarten teachers, who use language with the utmost mathematical precision.

seymourblogger said...

On entropy and disorder:

Verdict of a Chinese writer on a monstrous tree that is at once a blackberry and a bamboo: 'any disorder appearing in nature is the sign of a hidden disorder in the administration of the Empire...Order restored in nature clearly indicates satisfaction in heaven.' Our current blossoming of monsters and clones, hybrids and chimeras, our systematic mixing of mores and cultures, sexes and genes, cannot but attest to an irremediable disorder in the highest spheres of the Empire.

Jacob Wyatt said...

"It is only our anthropocentric perspective that prevents us from seeing order also in the final thermal equilibrium of the cosmos."

That would be a very insightful thing for a altruist-nihilist to say.

That is a very ignorant thing for an egoist/Objectivist to say.

I have gotten to know you a little bit.

YOU should know better.

Order IS anthropomorphic. Order in the absence of intelligence is an absurd concept. Order presupposes the existence of intelligence. Thus, the concept of "non-anthropomorphic order" is a contradiction.

Jacob Wyatt said...

"So the equilibrium of systems assumed by classical thermodynamics is seldom truly achieved in the real world, and the unsteadiness allows for pockets of self-organization. How do you integrate this into your theory?"

That would be a very insightful thing for a Nihilist to say.

That is an ignorant thing for an Egoist to say.

I've gotten to know you a little bit.

YOU should know better.

Order pre-supposes intelligence. "Order sans intelligence" is a contradiction.

darren said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jacob Wyatt said...

Testing.

PJ Cornell said...

Um...You might want to check out the last few comments on this thread:

http://thegoism.net/the_third_watch/2012/03/18/defiance-in-the-face-of-decay/#comments

darrenwrede said...

No, I have not deleted anyone's comments.

abbeysbooks said...

At the very worst we can paste them by hand.

Xray said...

 Darren wrote:
 


"Even if a nucleic acid  like DNA magically appeared first, it would
never be able to reproduce: the ribose sugar twin-spine of the DNA
molecule requires enzymes -- a kind of protein(!) -- in order to form.
Hence, there's a chicken-and-egg paradox in the problem of origins:
amino acids cannot put themselves into the correct sequence; they must
be INSTRUCTED to do so by means of pre-programmed information on the DNA
molecule. However, the DNA molecule cannot invent itself by itself; it
requires highly specific proteins in order to do so. Ergo, proteins
require nucleic acids; nucleic acids require proteins.


It's fairly obvious that neither one of these appeared before the other; they both had to appear together." (end quote)

And that "instructor "must have been a god, you think? I call this the idea of an "abracadabra god".
But kep in mind that the  history of mankind is also the history of humans projecting into a "god" all that which they were unable to explain. Thunderstorms, flashes of lightning, the rainbow, etc. - all these phenomena were attributed to a "god", not to natural causes.
Mankind has only just begun to emerge from the age of darkness, if you think in a cosmic time frame. 
Maybe several thousand years from now, we will be looked upon by our 'descedants' as ignorant ceatures who still had no idea about how matter can intelligently program itself. Ever thought of that possibility, Darren?
 

abbeysbooks said...

Well he knows and will do it when he does it. Or not. I said I would help him.

abbeysbooks said...

BTW Nietzsche is a "closed" system, but it can hardly be called a system. A system of aphorisms. Babich has a book on Nietzsche's philosophy as a philosophy of science. http://books.google.com/books/about/Nietzsche_and_the_sciences.html?id=4K7aAAAAMAAJ Just a preview at google but what a preview!

Darren Wrede said...

>>>>Xray wrote: And that "instructor "must have been a god, you think?

Reread my post.  I said nothing about an instructor.

>>>Xray wrote: I call this the idea of an "abracadabra god". 

As I wrote nothing about an "instructor," I call your idea about my idea a "straw-man."

>>>>Xray wrote: But kep in mind that the  history of mankind is also the history of humans projecting into a "god" all that which they were unable to explain. Thunderstorms, flashes of lightning, the rainbow, etc. - all these phenomena were attributed to a "god", not to natural causes. 

Keep in mind that idolatry takes many forms. Randroids worship matter, energy, and chance, foolishly believing these three things can explain everything — like primitives and their naive belief in a pantheon. Your argument is silly, even for a generally ignorant kindergarten teacher: that thunderstorms might have an explanation purely in terms of matter, energy, and chance, in no way means that codes have such an explanation.  DNA and amino-acid sequences in proteins are linguistic structures first and foremost, chemical structures secondarily and incidentally — the chemistry of nucleic acids, for example, is merely the vehicle in which a sequential code is expressed. It's the code that's significant, not the chemistry.

The significance of Atlas Shrugged lies in its code; i.e., the sequence of letters conveying meaning to a reader; not in some special physical property having to do with the chemistry of ink and paper.

To explain lightning flashes is one thing; to explain coded sequences using an arbitrarily chosen chemical alphabet is quite another. That you stubbornly believe the sort of explanation of the former "must" also be the sort of explanation of the latter is nothing but an assertion of faith on your part.

>>>>Xray wrote:  Mankind has only just begun to emerge from the age of darkness, if you think in a cosmic time frame.  

Like all Randroids (including Alisa Rosenbaum herself) you are extremely impressed by technology. The problem is that you confuse it with "knowledge" in general, and with "science" in particular. A number of thinkers, far greater than the twits with whom you are so impressed (like that know-nothing fraud, George H. Smith), believe that we are, in many ways, sinking into an age of darkness. That we have antibiotics and smart-phones does not necessarily portend that the future is bright.

>>>>Xray wrote:  Maybe several thousand years from now, we will be looked upon by our 'descedants' as ignorant ceatures who still had no idea about how matter can intelligently program itself. Ever thought of that possibility, Darren? 

I've thought about the notion that 26 letters, 1 space, and about 7 punctuation marks, could have self-assembled themselves on 1,100 paper pages and called themselves "Atlas Shrugged." Ever thought about that possibility, Xray?  A unicellular organism contains far more encoded information than Atlas Shrugged. If the elements comprising something as complex as a unicellular organism can self-assemble, then surely something much simpler, such as Atlas Shrugged, could have self-assembled. Wouldn't you say so, Xray?

Darren Wrede said...

Our favorite Yentavist, Ellen Stuttle, recently knelt down and intoned the following heartfelt prayer on Sense of Life Objectivists (SOLO):
 
>>>>"Since we don't know how abiogenesis happens, who knows what abiogenesis violates or doesn't?"
 
In other words, Stuttering Stuttle believes that it has already been established that abiogenesis does, in fact happen (or DID, in fact, happen long ago) but that the only knowledge we currently lack is the precise mechanism by which this statistical miracle occurs or occurred. 
Um, wrong. 
We do not even know IF abiogenesis, in fact, happens or happened. And the claim of many origin-of-life researchers (a claim with which I agree) is that any imaginable scenario in which matter, energy, and time interact to produce a biologically meaningful unit (such as a functional protein, a functional nucleic acid, or a functional cell) would necessarily entail a violation of the 2nd law of thermodynamics. 
Since abiogenesis has never been observed to happen — even when human intelligent designers known as "laboratory technicians" circumvent blind chance by intentionally combining specific chemical inputs for the intentional and intelligently guided purpose of obtaining a desired chemical output — Stuttle's whimsical assertion that it actually occured in nature is really a very touching instance of faith. 
In fact, so poignant is her naive faith in dumb matter, deaf energy, and blind chance to self-assemble into biologically meaningful units given "lots" of time — like believing letters on Scrabble pieces would self-assemble into meaningful units such as short-stories and novels given "lots" of time and lots of shaking in a cardboard box — if she were just a wee bit younger, I would enthusiastically cast her in the lead role for an Objectivist/materialist/reductionist/Darwinian remake of "Song of Bernadette." 
Faith is a beautiful thing, even when the objects of one's adoration are matter, energy, time, and the iron laws of probability.

Darren Wrede said...

Since the Yentavist calling herself "Xray" is simply too bloody stupid to click on the "Load More" button at the bottom of the comments page, I am wasting some valuable time by reposting my reply to her last insipid comment — a reply I made 4 days ago — so that she won't crack another tooth nattering on SOLO that Darren hasn't answered her moronic questions. (It's the altruist in me. I care about her teeth.)>>>>Xray wrote: And that "instructor "must have been a god, you think?Reread my post.  I said nothing about an instructor.>>>Xray wrote: I call this the idea of an "abracadabra god". As I wrote nothing about an "instructor," I call your idea about my idea a "straw-man.">>>>Xray wrote: But kep in mind that the  history of mankind is also the history of humans projecting into a "god" all that which they were unable to explain. Thunderstorms, flashes of lightning, the rainbow, etc. - all these phenomena were attributed to a "god", not to natural causes. Keep in mind that idolatry takes many forms. Randroids worship matter, energy, and chance, foolishly believing these three things can explain everything — like primitives and their naive belief in a pantheon. Your argument is silly, even for a generally ignorant kindergarten teacher: that thunderstorms might have an explanation purely in terms of matter, energy, and chance, in no way means that codes have such an explanation.  DNA and amino-acid sequences in proteins are linguistic structures first and foremost, chemical structures secondarily and incidentally — the chemistry of nucleic acids, for example, is merely the vehicle in which a sequential code is expressed. It's the code that's significant, not the chemistry.The significance of Atlas Shrugged lies in its code; i.e., the sequence of letters conveying meaning to a reader; not in some special physical property having to do with the chemistry of ink and paper.To explain lightning flashes is one thing; to explain coded sequences using an arbitrarily chosen chemical alphabet is quite another. That you stubbornly believe the sort of explanation of the former "must" also be the sort of explanation of the latter is nothing but an assertion of faith on your part.>>>>Xray wrote:  Mankind has only just begun to emerge from the age of darkness, if you think in a cosmic time frame.  Like all Randroids (including Alisa Rosenbaum herself) you are extremely impressed by technology. The problem is that you confuse it with "knowledge" in general, and with "science" in particular. A number of thinkers, far greater than the twits with whom you are so impressed (like that know-nothing fraud, George H. Smith), believe that we are, in many ways, sinking into an age of darkness. That we have antibiotics and smart-phones does not necessarily portend that the future is bright.>>>>Xray wrote:  Maybe several thousand years from now, we will be looked upon by our 'descedants' as ignorant ceatures who still had no idea about how matter can intelligently program itself. Ever thought of that possibility, Darren? I've thought about the notion that 26 letters, 1 space, and about 7 punctuation marks, could have self-assembled themselves on 1,100 paper pages and called themselves "Atlas Shrugged." Ever thought about that possibility, Xray?  A unicellular organism contains far more encoded information than Atlas Shrugged. If the elements comprising something as complex as a unicellular organism can self-assemble, then surely something much simpler, such as Atlas Shrugged, could have self-assembled. Wouldn't you say so, Xray?

abbeysbooks said...

Stumblin Stuttle  is passive/aggressive. She sometimes posts a comment that is intelligent and informative but the next one is likely to be stupid, and unnecessarily  aggressive. Hard to get a dialogue with her so I have been sucked in one too many times.

Xray said...

The multirepeated parts (starting with "Gee") in my previous post don't belong here, but since there is no edit button, I can't delete them. 

Darren Wrede said...

Ain't it grand? The Yentavist called "Xray" denies she's a Randroid or an Objectivist; yet the first thing she does when she can't answer my arguments regarding the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics is run to an Objectivist site frequented by Randroids.
 
Does she run to a chemistry site? No. A physics site? No. A mathematics site? No. A pro-Dawkins site or a pro-Darwin site? No. She runs to a Randroid site, of all things, called SOLO (Sense of Life Objectivists) hosted by an opera-touting drama-queen who knows less about the issues involved than he does about music notation (and he knows precious little about that).
 
Let's tune our Randroid Listening Device to SOLO's frequency and listen to Xray's recent invocation and prayer:
 
>>>>"Ellen,
>>>>What is it that Darren does not understand about the Seconcd Law of Thermodynamics? Your input would be much appreciated."
 
A rough translation from Randroidese into standard English:
 
"Please, Ellen! Tell me what to think! I don't know anything about the 2nd Law so I can't refute Darren's arguments, let alone understand and evaluate them! I simply want to defend materialism and atheism at all costs! Those are high, noble values that have not only added to Mankind's moral stature since those glorious days of the Renaissance, but more importantly, they are values of which our Savior -- Alisa Rosenbaum -- approved. Please, Ellen! HELP ME BE GOOD."
 
I don't know about you, but I found it rather moving: the supplicant begging for help from someone equally ignorant as she. (Sigh.) So beautiful.
 
>>>>"Imo the many insults Darren has made against you can be interpreted as a reaction of someone who is well aware that your knowledge could burst his bubble."
 
They can be interpreted as lots of things, Xray. You commit the common error of Randroids by confusing your subjective opinion with fact; a nasty habit of thought that began when you started to confuse Alisa Rosenbaum's opinions with fact.
 
IMO, YO is seriously handicapped by the fact that you don't know anything about this subject and you clearly have no intention of changing that situation.

abbeysbooks said...

MALE NIPPLES obsolescent! Oh no. I like them. They are sexy. You can suck them, bite them, put nipple clamps on them and pull them, or put nipple rings in them so you can pull them in passion! Please Tom, don't let Darwinian evolution evolve them out of existence! What will I do without them!

I wonder if Darren is ready to get screwed by me yet. Someone at Randroid Belt solo said I was going to screw him. Does anyone think that person is clairvoyant?  I hope so. X-ray, stay away, he's mine! He likes his nipples.

abbeysbooks said...

Do I see a flash of insight here, Darren?

abbeysbooks said...

x-ray in bemoaning someone not answering yes or no to a question means that you don't know the difference between a question for informational exchange and a question that falls into the category of interrogation a very different kind of question used in legal discourse.

curioushairedgal explained this to you but you don't seem to understand this any better than you understand what Darren is saying to you with great kindness and patience. 

Your incessant arguing on this subject borders on an obsessive/compulsive disorder.You have no desire to know anything about this scientific discussion, you only want to interrogate someone.

If you don't understand what I mean you are going to have to read Foucault's genealogy of questioning. Almost all journalists use the method of interrogation when interviewing. For interesting interviewing that is knowledgable and empathic read Sylvere Lotringer's interviews with Burroughs, Foucault, Baudrilard among others. 

You need to really read these people not learn about them second-hand.

Emmi Pikler's work is a case in point. You are familiar with it as you said. But you are completely ignorant of the inherent respect Pikler has for the infant.So I know you don't have that kind of respect for the children you teach and you certainly don't show it to Darren or me, but you grovel for learning at the feet of George H. Smith and Ellen de Fuddle. You always go to the 35th raters for information and "knowledge" which I doubt either of them have much of. Tuttle was a Jungian practitioner - analyst? - . Jungians dwell in the mythological and do not consider much about the transference or the counter-transference. This shows in Duddle's de Fuddle's comments. 

abbeysbooks said...

I think schotzi is spelled with an "a"? Schatzi? "precious one"

Xray said...

Darren wrote:
"Ain't it grand? The Yentavist called "Xray" denies she's a Randroid or
an Objectivist; yet the first thing she does when she can't answer my
arguments regarding the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics is run to an
Objectivist site frequented by Randroids." (end quote)

Here is another piece of evidence showing how easily poor Darren jumps to false conclusions.
Darren, if I were an unempathetic person who did not care about your awakening to reality, I might be tempted to feed your illusion about me being an Objectivist and then gloat over you barking up the wrong tree.
But being an empathetic person, I remind you again that all arguments against my position that go by the assumption that I'm an Objectivist are based on a false premise. Do you want to to base your arguments on a false premise, Darren?

Darren wrote:
"Please, Ellen! Tell me what to think! I don't know anything about the
2nd Law so I can't refute Darren's arguments, let alone understand and
evaluate them! I simply want to defend materialism and atheism at all
costs! Those are high, noble values that have not only added to
Mankind's moral stature since those glorious days of the Renaissance,
but more importantly, they are values of which our Savior -- Alisa
Rosenbaum -- approved. Please, Ellen! HELP ME BE GOOD."
 
I don't
know about you, but I found it rather moving: the supplicant begging for
help from someone equally ignorant as she. (Sigh.) So beautiful." (end quote)

We are all laypersons, including yourself.
Ellen is highly intelligent, has a razor-sharp intellect and also has connections to physicists. I would be stupid not to ask someone like Ellen for her input.

Darren Wrede said...

Thanks for the spellcheck tip! I had originally looked up the correct spelling on Google and then just plain forgot . . . (as per your spelling of it, I'll remember to capitalize it from now on, too.)

Thanks, also for the tip on Point Omega. Sounds right up my alley and may read that before some of the other works you've mentioned. Re film reviewing: yes, you're correct. One reason for that, of course, is that most film reviewers have never made a film in their lives and simply have no idea what to talk about when reviewing one.

By the way, I'm planning a series of posts on your Movies blog, starting with a kind of "mini-course" on filmmaking: lighting, sound, editing, screenwriting, directing — just some fundamentals. Thought your audience might find it both interesting and useful. It would include short video clips that I'll edit out of various feature films to demonstrate various points (e.g., Andre Bazin's ideas from "What Is Cinema?" regarding the aesthetic of "mise en scene" vs. Eisenstein's ideas from "Film Form" regarding the aesthetic of "montage"; we could use one or two famous scenes from "Citizen Kane" (or even "Touch of Evil") contrasted with the amazing high-board diving sequence in Riefenstahl's "Olympiade". Lots of great material from which to choose.

Darren Wrede said...

>>>>Xray wrote:  "We are all laypersons, including yourself."
That doesn't make our arguments equal. What is your point?
>>>>Xray wrote:  "Ellen is highly intelligent, has a razor-sharp intellect"Yes, I've heard that — but only from Ellen.  Can you point to something she has written that strikes you as having originated from a highly intelligent, razor-sharp intellect?>>>>Xray wrote:  "and also has connections to physicists."LOL! "Connections" to physicists? Are physicists especially difficult to find? Is physics knowledge difficult to look up — on the web, in a book, at the library? I don't think so. Ellen claims to be married to a physicist. Considering that I get my physics knowledge directly from physicists through their books and lectures (for example, my arguments on "logical entropy" come from the famous "Lectures on Physics" by Richard Feynman), I have little doubt that Mr. Stuttle, physicist,  would be in basic agreement with me, not you or the other clowns at SOLO or OL.>>>>Xray wrote:  "I would be stupid not to ask someone like Ellen for her input."

You would be stupider still for not taking the initiative and looking up the information yourself.

abbeysbooks said...

OH you really do know this stuff! I took a course with Amos Vogel at 10 am and he was still absolutely mesmerizing. This paper by Maslowski on PO includes the Gordon 24 Hour Psycho piece in it. She is including Antonioni's L'aventura as well as Ester's time in the desert. But her paper is about Time rather than the Hollywood cliche of plot and action referring to time.Only 11 pages. I expect to meet her when I do my paper at the DeLillo conference this next weekend. I couldn't get it to do what I wanted though. I think I just should have written the short intro and then provided links. It's just not good.

Maslowski is a beautiful writer. she is reading and viewing through Deleuze and I haven't read his Cinema books yet. There is a beautiful site - on my blogroll - that includes links to that site and every classic film you can think of is there with clips and analysis by Deleuze. Very excessive!

abbeysbooks said...

She just wants to fight and argue. I give up. for the 100th time LOL!

abbeysbooks said...

Here's a site you will love and never finish with: http://cengizerdem.wordpress.com/ He has articles on Deleuze but at the moment I can't find my Deleuze link to the film website with scenes from Touch of Evil, Leni's, and all the rest. I even found Stromboli there. the entire movies are linked. OH Lady from Shanghai with the mirror scene.

No nipples tho!

Xray said...

 Darren wrote:
>>>>Xray: It's a pity you snapped and lost it on SOLO
right in the middle of the 'directed energy' discussion, which was then
abruptly cut off by your being banned.



>"I have a different recollection of events from yours: I deny that I
"snapped." I demanded proof from Porky Perigo that he was, IN FACT, the
original author of something; he, on the other hand, demanded that his
arbitrary assertion of authorship should be taken as proof. He "ejected"
me when I refused to accommodate my understanding of reality to his
arbitrary, power-lusting whim." (end quote)

Perigo did not eject you because of that ridiculous 'authorship' skirmish between the two of you.
He ejected you because you became too personal in your insults against him, in the snide remark you made about his relationship with Michael Moeller. That did it for Perigo.

Darren wrote:
"In any case, the "pity" is on your part,
not mine: I've continued the discussion on directed energy on a better
site, and on my own terms. (I'm touched, however, that you regret, with
pity, that Jabba-the-Linz "ejected" me from SOLO.  (end quote)

Your conceit clouds your assessment of reality. I wrote "It's a pity" because it angered me that you were evicted before openly revealing yourself as a theist over there.
For I did not believe that you are "thorough-going agnostic", as some others seemed to think. I thought (and still think) that you are a theist. Who for some reason does not want to admit this.

Darren wrote:
"I've continued the discussion on directed energy on a better
site, and on my own terms."  (end quote)

By "better site" -  do your mean this little blog here? :D

abbeysbooks said...

Tell x-ray honey that "this little blog corner" gets way more hits than objectivist living. Open the code and if you can read it then you will see. The best one by MSK on Q&A of Ayn Rand's lectures has only gotten around 26,000 over about 6 years. And that's with the name recognition of Ayn Rand to pimp it. I am almost there with a rather insignificant blog post in around 6 months. I know MSK is math challenged and still thinks he is doing much better than I, but that's because he is math challenged. 

Xray said...

Darren wrote:

>>>>Xray:  "All those using directed energy can only
operate within a larger system which in turn provides them with energy.
Would you agree so far?"



"I have never denied it. And I've been the first to point out that the
housekeeper requires caloric energy from the food* she consumes (food
that is ultimately made possible by the sun's radiant warmth and light)
in order to go about her task of tidying up the room.


Once more, Xray:  SO????" (end quote)

From the above it follows that all 'housekeepers/programmer/designers' are physical existents operating within a physical system.
The assumption of an 'intelligent designer' would therefore also have to place this being as an existent of the physical world. Correct?

Darren Wrede said...

>>>>Xray: "From the above it follows that all 'housekeepers/programmer/designers' are physical existents operating within a physical system."

Huh? Why must it follow that "ALL" housekeepers/programmers/designers are physical existents operating within a physical system just because the concrete examples I used to illustrate directed energy happened to be physical entities within a physical system?

Because I happened to have used white swans in my illustrations, according to you it must follow that "ALL" swans must be white? According to you "swan-ness" depends on being white. Why?

>>>>Xray: "The assumption of an 'intelligent designer' would therefore also have to place this being as an existent of the physical world. Correct?"

According to you, since Jane Doe The Housekeeper is a physical existent in the physical world, and John Doe The Programmer is a physical existent in the physical, and Joe Smith the Graphic Designer is a physical existent in the physical world, it follows that ALL POSSIBLE entities that use directed energy to lower entropy in their local system must also be physical existents in the physical world. Correct?

Your logic is faulty. Don't check Ellen Stuttle; check your premises.

By the way, Xray, how did you like those videos I posted on Granville Sewell and the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics? Why don't you tell us what you learned from them?

Darren Wrede said...

>>>>Xray: "Perigo did not eject you because of that ridiculous 'authorship' skirmish between the two of you.
He ejected you because you became too personal in your insults against him, in the snide remark you made about his relationship with Michael Moeller."

I didn't know Porky Perigo was such a sensitive lad. He normally shows such witless condescension to others with whom he disagrees that I naturally assumed he was made of tougher stuff. Guess I was wrong.

Anyway, Porky was the one who kept declaring how "in love" he was with Moeller, and how much he wanted to marry him. He said so publicly. Personally, I think they both deserve each other and would make a lovely couple.

However, Porky certainly waited a long time to eject Good Sir Darren for any wisecracks the latter might have made regarding the former's fantasized trysts with Moeller; in fact, Porky waited until that "ridiculous" authorship skirmish to do so.

So you are claiming that the authorship skirmish was merely a convenient excuse, a "casus belli", on Porky Perigo's part for ejection; the real reason being a deep well of resentment he had dug because of well-deserved insults he apparently suffered at the virile hands of Good Sir Darren. Correct?

>>>>Xray: "it angered me that you were evicted before openly revealing yourself as a theist over there."

You're so sweet to reach out to me this way, Schatzi! I'm touched. And I thought you simply enjoyed my stimulating company!

>>>>Xray: "By "better site" - do your mean this little blog here?"

Yes, this little blog where you apparently prefer to spend more time than you do on SOLO or OL.

Xray said...

 Darren wrote:
>>>>Xray: "From the above it follows that all
'housekeepers/programmer/designers' are physical existents operating
within a physical system."



Huh? Why must it follow that "ALL" housekeepers/programmers/designers
are physical existents operating within a physical system just because
the concrete examples I used to illustrate directed energy happened to
be physical entities within a physical system?

Because I happened to have used white swans in my illustrations,
according to you it must follow that "ALL" swans must be white?
According to you "swan-ness" depends on being white. Why?" (end quote)

Wrong analogy. The existence of black swans is an empirical fact.

Darren wrote:
"Your logic is faulty. Don't check Ellen Stuttle; check your premises." (end quote)

Check your analogies.

But no programmer/housekeeper/designer has yet been found to exist outside the physical world, which is why my inductive reasoning is perfectly justified.
By having to use examples of 'designers' that are part of the physical world, you got yourself caught in the corner of your own premises, so to speak.
For you cannot come up with any concrete example of a designer that is not part of the physical world.

Darren wrote:
"By the way, Xray, how did you like those videos I posted on Granville
Sewell and the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics? Why don't you tell us what you
learned from them?"
(end quote)
Sewell sits in the same epistemological trap as you: he is factually unable to place any intelligent designer outside the physical world. 

Darren wrote:
"Yes, this little blog where you apparently prefer to spend more time than you do on SOLO or OL" (end quote) .

I find blogs tedious, but as I don't like unfinished discussions, I'm still here.

Darren Wrede said...

>>>>Xray wrote: Wrong analogy. The existence of black swans is an empirical fact.

Wrong premise. According to you, the concept "swan" and the concept" "green", taken together, represent an "epistemological trap" because -- as yet -- no green swan has been empirically observed. Wrong.

>>>>Xray wrote: Check your analogies. But no programmer/housekeeper/designer has yet been found to exist outside the physical world, which is why my inductive reasoning is perfectly justified.

Check your logic textbook.

So-called "inductive reasoning" doesn't establish a necessary logical connection between past observations, just correlation. No matter how consistent the correlation one observed in the past between ruminants and cloven-footedness, it doesn't follow that it is therefore a logical contradiction to posit the possible existence of a ruminant that is not cloven-footed. In fact, one would be required to posit the existence of such an anomaly if one had good reason for doing so.
Similarly, Schatzi, if one has good reason for positing the possible existence of an entity capable of using directed energy that was itself non-material, then one ought to do so.

I'll remind you, too, that "inductive reasoning" is not a branch of logic — logic is strictly demonstrative and deductive — but, rather, a branch of rhetoric. "Induction" is a mode of argument or persuasion, not proof.

>>>>Xray wrote: By having to use examples of 'designers' that are part of the physical world, you got yourself caught in the corner of your own premises, so to speak.

What made you think I "had" to use examples of physical designer, rather than simply choosing to do so? And why don't you tell us what you believe are my own premises? (This should be amusing!)

>>>>Xray wrote: Sewell sits in the same epistemological trap as you: he is factually unable to place any intelligent designer outside the physical world.

Where, precisely, did Sewell – whose topic was not intelligent design but "Can ANYTHING happen in an open system?" – talk about an intelligent designer?

(LOL!! A worldly acquaintance of mine once told me long ago that German people lie a lot. At the time, I didn't know what he was talking about, but thanks to your constant fabrications, Xray, I've come to see the truth in what he said.)

>>>>Xray wrote: I find blogs tedious, but as I don't like unfinished discussions, I'm still here.

And we find you tedious, but we figure you might eventually learn something so we let you stay here.

By the way, how did you like the article from Science Magazine on "Relative Differences: the Myth of 1%"? and the audio debate on Darwinism I linked to between Meyer/Sternberg and Shermer/Prothero? You can lie again if you wish; it'll be soon be clear enough whether or not you followed up on these resources.

Xray said...

Darren wrote: 



"Wrong premise. According to you, the concept "swan" and the concept"
"green", taken together, represent an "epistemological trap" because --
as yet -- no green swan has been empirically observed. Wrong." (end quote)

What are you talking about? I said nothing about green swans. I pointed out to you that black swans do exist. Didn't you know? 

"Where, precisely, did Sewell – whose topic was not intelligent design
but "Can ANYTHING happen in an open system?" – talk about an intelligent
designer?" (end quote)

Sewell is clearly an intelligent design advocate. And like all ID advocates, he cannot present one single intelligent designer that is not part of the physical world.

I'll remind you, too, that "inductive reasoning" is not a branch of
logic — logic is strictly demonstrative and deductive — but, rather, a
branch of rhetoric. "Induction" is a mode of argument or persuasion, not
proof.
(end quote)
You would therefore call the theistic inductive ID argument "Show me one program without a programmer" a mode of persuasion?

Darren Wrede said...

>>>>Xray: What are you talking about? I said nothing about green swans. I pointed out to you that black swans do exist. Didn't you know?

And didn't you know that simply because white swans and black swans exist, that fact doesn't logically exhaust the category of "swan" and that, in principle, "green swan" is not an invalid concept?

Didn't you learn that from George H. Smith, or the taped logic course given by Leonard Peikoff?

>>>>Xray: Sewell is clearly an intelligent design advocate.

WHERE, PRECISELY, DID SEWELL – WHOSE TOPIC WAS NOT INTELLIGENT DESIGN BUT "CAN ANYTHING HAPPEN IN AN OPEN SYSTEM? – TALK ABOUT INTELLIGENT DESIGN?

I know it's difficult for you, Eva, being both a lying German and an ignorant Randroid, but try not to be such a cunt about this, OK? Try actually to answer the question. If you need help, ask Ellen Stutter (if she hasn't gone senile) or George H. Smith (if he isn't in hiding for tax-evasion). I'm sure either one would come to your aid.

>>>>Xray: You would therefore call the theistic inductive ID argument "Show me one program without a programmer" a mode of persuasion?

Why is the request to show how a program can appear without a programmer necessarily "theistic"?

Xray said...

Darren wrote:
 "(LOL!! A worldly acquaintance of mine once told me long ago that German
people lie a lot. At the time, I didn't know what he was talking about,
but thanks to your constant fabrications, Xray, I've come to see the
truth in what he said.)" (end quote)

I ask myself how you can expect to be taken seriously while spouting such subcellar nonsense. You're getting increasingly confused, aren't you.

Darren wrote:
WHERE, PRECISELY, DID SEWELL – WHOSE TOPIC WAS NOT INTELLIGENT DESIGN
BUT "CAN ANYTHING HAPPEN IN AN OPEN SYSTEM? – TALK ABOUT INTELLIGENT
DESIGN? (end quote)

Cool it a bit. There's no reason to to cyberyell. 

Sewell needn't explicitly talk about an intelligent designer. For the info is all over the net that Sewell is intelligent design advovcate.

In the second video btw, which has the "simplified version" of Sewell's arguments, in the very first sentence, the speaker says "in the current debate between Darwinism and Intelligent Design".

Darren wrote:
"I know it's difficult for you, Eva, being both a lying German and an
ignorant Randroid, but try not to be such a cunt about this, OK?"
(end quote) 

It's easy as pie for me, Adam, being a German who is able to put two and two together. when it comes to types like Sewell. Sewell is an ID advocate. Simple as that. Therefore we can enter this into evidence and take it from there. OK?
Just as for example you would not have to prove to me that Perigo is an Objectivist.  :-) See what I mean? D 

So let's be economical and not waste time over facts which are already known. 

And do you seriously believe that I'm a Randroid? LOL! Boy are you barking up the wrong tree here! Priceless!

Darren wrote:
"By the way, how did you like the article from Science Magazine on

"Relative Differences: the Myth of 1%"? and the audio debate on
Darwinism I linked to between Meyer/Sternberg and Shermer/Prothero? You
can lie again if you wish; it'll be soon be clear enough whether or not
you followed up on these resources." (end quote)

I scanned over it but we need not go into that. For I'm interested in what  YOU believe re the 'intelligent designer' issue. 
Hence my direct question. do you believe that the 'intelligent designer' is a God?
Note that I asked you what you BELIEVE.

Darren wrote:
"Why is the request to show how a program can appear without a programmer necessarily "theistic"? (end quote)

Can you think of another intelligent designer than a god?
You made a quite interesting remark on OL about this though - which I wanted to save for later, but now that you address the issue: remember what you wrote there about the identity of the designer? 

Darren Wrede said...

>>>>Xray: I ask myself how you can expect to be taken seriously while spouting such subcellar nonsense. You're getting increasingly confused, aren't you.

Interesting, Eva. That wasn't exactly a denial that German people lie a lot. Does your evasive silence toward this accusation mean you consent to its truth?

>>>>Xray: Cool it a bit. There's no reason to to cyberyell. 

Wasn't a cyberyell. Just making the font big enough in all caps so that you could see it clearly. I thought, perhaps, your eyes were failing you now, just as your mind has failed you.


>>>>Xray: Sewell needn't explicitly talk about an intelligent designer. For the info is all over the net that Sewell is intelligent design advovcate.

So you judge a mathematical argument someone makes by what others assert to be his philosophical position on biological origins. That sounds fair. Nothing like judging an argument on its own merits! (LOL!)

>>>>Xray: It's easy as pie for me, Adam, being a German who is able to put two and two together. when it comes to types like Sewell. Sewell is an ID advocate. Simple as that. Sewell needn't explicitly talk about an intelligent designer.

"Adam?" You have the wrong blog, Eva. You've gone as senile as old Ellen Stuttering Stuttle.

>>>>Xray: Just as for example you would not have to prove to me that Perigo is an Objectivist.  :-) See what I mean? D 

The reason one need not bother proving that Porky Perigo is an Objectivist is that he openly admits to being one. Your example is irrelevant.

Now, if you're claiming that Sewell is an ID advocate based on the implications of what he says about the 2nd law of thermodynamics, I would claim that you are a Randroid based on the implications of what you have said about everything. See what I mean? :)

>>>>Xray: And do you seriously believe that I'm a Randroid?

Not a mere Randroid, but an unthinking, knee-jerk Randroid. It's apparent to all that you haven't had an original thought in that tiny German head of yours for years.

>>>>Xray: 
I scanned over it but we need not go into that.

Why shouldn't we go into that? What are you afraid of?

>>>>Xray: For I'm interested in what  YOU believe re the 'intelligent designer' issue.

And I'm interested in what YOU believe regarding the letters, spaces, and punctuation marks in Atlas Shrugged being able to self-assemble if given enough time and enough random shakes in a big box of separate characters. You do believe that, don't you? Or, let's put it this way: is there any reason why you would NOT believe this?

>>>>Xray: Can you think of another intelligent designer than a god?

Anything that chooses among possible ends (goals) and chooses among possible pathways toward those goals (means) is, by definition, an "intelligent designer." Except for you, Eva, that includes all human beings, some other species in the animal kingdom, possibly species in the plant kingdom, as well as possible extra-terrestrial life (the NASA-related program, "Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence", or SETI, would agree). It is only fearful Randroids like you, Eva, (and the alcoholics on SOLO and OL like Porky Perigo and Michael Stuart Kelly) who feel the need to harp on "God" and "Deities". But that's only because they are unable to counter any of the arguments on the issue of sequencing: sequencing of letters in novels, sequencing of amino acids in proteins, sequencing of nucleotides in DNA. The issue is identical in all three contexts, and their answer to the sequencing problem is: blank out.


>>>>You made a quite interesting remark on OL

You're confused and bemused, Eva. I've never posted to OL.

Xray said...

Darren wrote:
"Adam?" You have the wrong blog, Eva. You've gone as senile as old Ellen Stuttering Stuttle. (end quote)

I replied back with "Adam" because you called me "Eva".  (which is 'Eve' in English )

Since my name is not Eva, I countered by addressing you with a name that is not yours either. Tit for tat.  :-)

Darren wrote:
"You're confused and bemused, Eva. I've never posted to OL."
You are confused and bemused: My name is not Eva.  

Darren wrote:
"I've never posted to OL." (end quote)

You posted on OL as 'AristostlesAdvance'.
I recently even linked you here to a posting exchange you had as AA with George H. Smith on OL, to refresh you memory.

Darren wrote:

And I'm interested in what YOU believe
regarding the letters, spaces, and punctuation marks in Atlas
Shrugged being able to self-assemble if given enough time and enough
random shakes in a big box of separate characters. You do believe
that, don't you? Or, let's put it this way: is there any reason why
you would NOT believe this?

As a debate opponent, you are a materialist's/naturalist's dream, lol, since you constantly provide the other party with arguments that support their position.
(Here's a tip from me, Darren: in a debate, never provide the other party with an argument that they can use against your own position).

Well, the materialist (or naturalist, a term that I prefer)   will have a field day with your AS comparison: 
AS is an example of matter (which existed in the form of a physical entity known as Ayn Rand) organizing other matter.   
Certain forms of matter can organize other matter. No leap to the supernatural is therefore needed.  

curioushairedgal said...

Here's a cool short piece I've stumbled upon here http://sashawantsmore.tumblr.com/, thought it might be an interesting read, given the debate.

Planning Ahead Can Make a Difference in the End



by Aaron Freeman
You want a physicist to speak at your funeral. You want the
physicist to talk to your grieving family about the conservation of
energy, so they will understand that your energy has not died.
You want the physicist to remind your sobbing mother about the
first law of thermodynamics; that no energy gets created in the
universe, and none is destroyed. You want your mother to know that
all your energy, every vibration, every Btu of heat, every wave of
every particle that was her beloved child remains with her in this
world. You want the physicist to tell your weeping father that
amid energies of the cosmos, you gave as good as you got.
And at one point you'd hope that the physicist would step down from
the pulpit and walk to your brokenhearted spouse there in the pew
and tell him that all the photons that ever bounced off your face,
all the particles whose paths were interrupted by your smile, by
the touch of your hair, hundreds of trillions of particles, have
raced off like children, their ways forever changed by you. And as
your widow rocks in the arms of a loving family, may the physicist
let her know that all the photons that bounced from you were
gathered in the particle detectors that are her eyes, that those
photons created within her constellations of electromagnetically
charged neurons whose energy will go on forever.
And the physicist will remind the congregation of how much of all
our energy is given off as heat. There may be a few fanning
themselves with their programs as he says it. And he will tell
them that the warmth that flowed through you in life is still here,
still part of all that we are, even as we who mourn continue the
heat of our own lives. And you'll want
the physicist to explain to those who loved you that they need not
have faith; indeed, they should not have faith. Let them know that
they can measure, that scientists have measured precisely the
conservation of energy and found it accurate, verifiable and consistent
across space and time. You can hope your family will examine the
evidence and satisfy themselves that the science is sound and that
they'll be comforted to know your energy's still around. According
to the law of the conservation of energy, not a bit of you is
gone; you're just less orderly. Amen.


 

abbeysbooks said...

I was thinking the same thing when I read it!

Darren Wrede said...

Like!

Xray said...

 Darren wrote:
>>>>Xray: "You posted on OL as 'AristostlesAdvance'. "


Darren: "I have never posted on OL under any name." (end quote)

Tsk, tsk, Pinocchio, but isn't it strange how very much those posts by AristotlesAdvance and Darren resemble each other?

Can you believe it, they even both chose an example with the letters from Atlas Shrugged!  SUCH a coincidence,  LOL!
Enjoy:



'AristotlesAdvance' on OL wrote:
"Given 26 letters of the
alphabet in a Scrabble box, how many 3-letter combinations can we
generate that include an "A", a "T", and a "C"? (end quote)


'AristotlesAdvance' on OL in another post:
"Not having done a character
count on AS, I have no idea what that might be. Let's say it's a
million characters. We can now calculate the following: the odds of
AS having occurred by chance (let's say, by means of monkeys typing
keyboards over a very long period time) are 1 chance in 27^1,000,000,
which is approximately 1 chance in 10^1,500,000. That's a bit above
our threshold of 1 chance in 10^142."


(end quote)

'Darren' here wrote:

"And I'm interested in what YOU believe
regarding the letters, spaces, and punctuation marks in Atlas
Shrugged being able to self-assemble if given enough time and enough
random shakes in a big box of separate characters. You do believe
that, don't you? Or, let's put it this way: is there any reason why
you would NOT believe this?" (end qiote)

Priceless, don't  you think so, Pinocchio? :-)

abbeysbooks said...

So x-ray thinks darren is AA on OL because he used a well known little 3 letter scrabble story and something else. 

You were near the crime scene. You have a gun registered in your name that is the same make of gun that was used in the murder.

Your car is the same color as the car seen driving away from the murder.

Arrest her boys! She can pay a lawyer to PROVE she's innocent!

Xray said...

 Darren wrote: 
>>>>Xray: "AS is an example of matter (which existed in
the form of a physical entity known as Ayn Rand) organizing
other
matter."



"Wunderbar! So you believe that the non-material part of Alisa
Rosenbaum — her mind — had nothing to do with the organizing of letters
on paper. It was simply the material part of her — electro-chemical
twitchings along her arms, hands, and fingers, combined with the innate
chemical properties of the pen or pencil that was used to scratch out
meaningful marks on reams of paper before her secretary typed it up."
(end quote)

No mental activity can exist without a physical substance (the brain) making such process possible.

Darren Wrede said...

LOL!


The use of Scrabble letters being shaken in a box, or put in a randomizing lottery tumbler, or blown higgledy-piggedly by a powerful electric fan so that they would fall where they may, are all standard hypotheticals used by mathematicians, philosophers, logicians, information theorists, etc., to illustrate why meaningful sequences of symbols are highly improbable, and why there are many more meaningless sequences produced by random causes (such as shaking, tumbling, etc.) than meaningful ones. These examples (and many more like them) are found in many different sources, online and at the library.


The argument that if a complicated thing such as a protein sequence could have come about through purely random physical forces then it certainly follows that a simpler thing like an 1,100 page novel could have come about by exactly the same means, is also not original with me or anyone else. It's a standard example in the literature critical of Darwinism, materialism, and gradualism.

abbeysbooks said...

I'm now waiting for Godot.

curioushairedgal said...

Here's some food for thought
http://crestondavis.wordpress.com/2012/04/09/the-truth-as-paradoxical-meaning-
less-ness/

from one of the wonderful blogs on Janet's blog roll. It's not directly related to the "debate" above, or it is, in case you're curious.

curioushairedgal said...

If it weren't for Sasha, I would have never discovered you. And if it weren't for you, I would have never known about her. I've always liked that.

abbeysbooks said...

Oh I like it too! 

Xray said...

>>>>>Pino wrote:
>>>>Eva: "No mental activity can exist without a physical substance (the brain) making such process possible. "



Pino: "But you again proffered an answer to a question that wasn't asked. I
did not ask if mind can exist without matter. In fact, that's irrelevant
to the question that I did ask."
(end quote)

If you realize what I'm  getting at, the relevance will no doubt be clear to you.      

"However, I will take your reply as a "yes."
(end quote)

Correct.

>>>> Pino: "I see the attraction of such an explanation for you, Eva: matter causing
other matter causing other matter causing other . . . etc., forever, in
both directions. We needn't bring anything supernatural into the
explanation, such as "mind" or "intelligence" or (God forbid!) "talent"
or "ability."
 (end quote)

Neither mind nor intelligence nor talent belong to the supernatural.
For example, I happen to have a natural talent for easily learning foreign languages. I'm sure you have some natural talents as well.

>>>> Pino: "Your answer shows why you are not a "naturalist", but a true
"materialist". And since you also believe that what we call "mind" is
reducible to physical/material causes and physical/material effects, you
are actually a simple, old-fashioned "reductionist."
(end quote)

If you took your blinders off, you would realize  that I'm neither a reductionist, nor a creationist, nor an Objectivist .
 
>>>>Pino: "Scientific researchers, too, are simply "lucky," and not "achievers."

I can see why this position would be comforting to you, Eva, as it must be comforting to other Randroids like you. "
(end quote)

C'mon, Pino, surely you will know  that Objectivists have a lot of admiration and respect for high achievers, to the point they even call   "prime movers"  
those outstanding "men and women of the mind". 

abbeysbooks said...

I am finding this blog better than ever. Davis has pared down his verbiage and addressed single concepts. He is a Christian within post modern thought. Where foucault seemed to be going just before his death with Seneca and Stoicism.

Home soon.

Darren Wrede said...

>>>>Eva Braun wrote: "If you realize what I'm getting at, the relevance will no doubt be clear to you."

Despite your inability to express yourself clearly in several languages, Eva, I realize very well what you're getting at. You hold two opinions, one of which is relevant to this topic, the other, irrelevant:

Opinion 1) mind requires a material substrate (irrelevant)

Opinion 2) mind itself is material (relevant).

If you contact George H. Smith in debtor's prison during visitor's day, I'm confident he can explain this to you. He might also be able to review for you the important difference in philosophy between a "necessary cause" and a "sufficient cause."

Regarding Randroids' apparent admiration for achievers:

Randroids say they admire achievers because Alisa Rosenbaum wrote a big novel glamorizing them; but the Randroids' premises regarding metaphysics and psychology contradict their claims of admiration: If mind is ultimately matter (as you and other Randroids believe), then mind obeys the same laws of matter as all other matter. On the microscopic level, all of those laws are stochastic in nature — they require a random variable to describe them mathematically.

This means that the output of those stochastic mental processes — outputs that we call "thoughts", "ideas", "concepts", "insights", "realizations", etc. — are no different in character from the outputs of any other kind of random process . . . such as letters on wood chips dropping from a rotating tumbler. Do Randroids such as you admire the rotating tumbler when letters drop out of it at random in a pattern that begins "Who is John Galt?" . . . No? Then you can't seriously claim to admire some other stochastic process (i.e., the mind of Alisa Rosenbaum) that does exactly the same thing. The most you can say about the letters coming out of the tumbler is "How lucky!" And that is ultimately the most you can HONESTLY say about Atlas Shrugged having "tumbled out" of the stochastic material mind of Alisa Rosenbaum.

The admiration you and other Randroids profess to feel for Alisa Rosenbaum and her long novel must therefore be phony; it's simply play-acting, as you all pretend to be characters in Atlas Shrugged tanning themselves in the sunlight of Galt's Gulch.

By the way, it seems that German is not your native language either.

curioushairedgal said...

That post of his on risking the fantasy of love reminded me of De Rougemont's wager. I failed to see the Christian element in his agape too. Travel well.

abbeysbooks said...

I have just read his earlier posts that are openly Christian and I think his appointment is in that department. A gape is the love of the neighbor, the "friend", the companion. Between Edward and Jacob.Sortta. The husband, not the lover.Or the lover turned husband and companion with dwindling passion. De Rougemont's scourge of passion/love/death which was in opposition to his agenda! But he did a great genalogy of Courtly Love. I just can't get there to post it. Other stuff keeps demanding my attention. It's getting worse

curioushairedgal said...

Back in my days of De Rougemont, I read it as love of the other.It is true, though that I haven't re-read him in ages.
Shit, tenaj, what can I freaking do from here. Nothing. Just be strong...blah, I have only words.

abbeysbooks said...

Looks like I won't run out of work to do!

curioushairedgal said...

oh, the implosion, I missed that that was where your thoughts were.Yes, there's still work to be done, as they taught us in Marxism, labour makes a man lol

abbeysbooks said...

How can we distract Darren from x-ray arguments?

curioushairedgal said...

Don't think he wants to be distracted.
I can say I'm eagerly awaiting those movie posts he promised, but maybe his real name really is Pinocchio (Darren, this is a joke, I know your real name is Clark Kent :)

Darren Wrede said...

>>>>CHG: "I know your real name is Clark Kent :)"

Yes. And YOU are my Lois Lane. ;)

curioushairedgal said...

LOL Gee, mister, thanks. :)

Xray said...

Janet wrote:
"So x-ray thinks darren is AA on OL because he used a well known little 3 letter scrabble story and something else." (end quote)

Darren aka Pinocchio was wise enough to kept his mouth shut when confronted with the evidence. For if he had protested, he would only have dug himself in deeper.  :)

abbeysbooks said...

Does it even matter? I can't imagine why.

Xray said...

 
>>>Darren: "By the way,
it seems that German is not your native language either." (end
quote)This is getting more and more amusing: so you think I'm a
'Randroid' and my native language is not German. 
Which do you
think is my native language then? TIA for your help. :-)  The
next thing I'm waiting for is that you claim I don't exist at all.
Or  - here's another option for you: I might be
"supernatural'. Since you believe in the supernatural, you can't
definitely rule it out, can you? :-)But kidding aside, you
really do have a talent for barking up the wrong tree.







>>>>Darren: 
"Opinion 1) mind requires a material substrate (irrelevant)


Opinion 2) mind itself is material (relevant)."  (end
quote)




Opinion 1) is absolutely relevant because: 


It makes go up in smoke any claims about mind existing apart
from a material substrate, and is thus an excellent refutation of a
position that introduces the supernatural in its argumentation.





>>>>Darren: "Regarding Randroids' apparent
admiration for achievers:


Randroids say they admire achievers because Alisa Rosenbaum
wrote a big novel glamorizing them; " (end quote)




You  ave the sequence wrong: It is not because Ayn Rand
wrote a big novel glamorizing achievers that the people you call
'Randroids' admire them.


They admired Ayn Rand because they could relate to what she
wrote about achievers. Surely you as an ex-Objectivist will have to
agree.

If not, feel free to explain why you don't agree.





>>>>Darren: "but the Randroids' premises
regarding metaphysics and psychology contradict their claims of
admiration: If mind is ultimately matter (as you and other
Randroids believe), then mind obeys the same laws of matter as all
other matter. " (end quote)





I don't think Ayn Rand's position was that mind is ultimately
matter. And I sincerely doubt that the Objectivism courses you
attended made you believe that she was a reductionist. 

Darren Wrede said...

First prove to us that you've met with George H. Smith in prison and that he taught you to recognize the difference between "necessary causes or conditions" and "sufficient causes or conditions." Distinguishing between "necessary" and "sufficient" is key to your understanding why you are unable to grasp even simple arguments on this topic. Without such proof from you, Eva Braun, there's not much point in my wasting time to explain the obvious again. If you really don't grasp the difference between a process like novel-writing and a process like dice-throwing -- if you really don't see any categorical difference in the way the two sets of character sequences are produced -- then you're hopeless. Take heart: all Randroids are hopeless, so you've got lots of company.

abbeysbooks said...

Darwin and Ayn Rand and the famous Q & A where she dodges the question of Darwin and Randroids argue forever on why she might have avoided answering it. We know Rand memorized Nietzsche from age 16 or so until middle age, and was a devout student of her master. Here's Nietzsche on Darwin. He is discussing Dr. Ree's book

...That past was unknown to Dr. Ree, but he had read Darwin. So it happened that in his hypotheses, most amusingly, the Darwinian brute and the ultramodern moral milksop who no longer bites walk hand in hand, the latter wearing an expression of bonhomie and refined indolence, even a shade of pessimism, of fatigue - as though it were really not worth-while to take all these things (the problem of morality) quite so seriously. GM p. 156 

Nietzsche here is reversing Darwin's theory of progressive evolution, much like that well known poster of the human gradually regressing, turning into the slimy monster crawling out of the mud.

Xray said...

Darren wrote:
 First prove to us that you've met with George H. Smith in prison and
that he taught you to recognize the difference between "necessary causes
or conditions" and "sufficient causes or conditions." (end quote)
Another irrelevant sideshow where you throw in George H. Smith to deflect attention from the real issue. 

"Without such proof from you, Eva Braun, there's not much point in my
wasting time to explain the obvious again." (end quote)
Are you copping out, Pinocchio? :)

"Take heart: all Randroids are hopeless, so you've got lots of company. "

You still think I'm a 'Randroid'. Priceless! You would not see the truth even if it bit you.












 


 

Xray said...

Darren;

Let's say  the 'housekeeper' sees a dirty pullover and decides to wash it. Does she decrease entropy by doing so?

Darren Wrede said...

Housekeepers? LOL! It's actually the sun that sees and recognizes pullovers from other things (towels, rugs, sleeping cats, et al.); and the sun that exercises judgment regarding the pullover's state, i.e., that "it's dirty." Clearly, the sun discerns the difference between "clean pullovers" and "dirty pullovers." So why bring "housekeepers" into your question?


You're probably tacitly assuming that housekeepers have some special ability or abilities (e.g., "recognition", "discernment", "judgment") that the sun doesn't have. That's fine, but if so, it would contradict the position you've maintained in your earlier posts on this topic.

Xray said...

Darren wrote: 








"Housekeepers? LOL! It's
actually the sun that sees and recognizes pullovers from other
things (towels, rugs, sleeping cats, et al.); and the sun that
exercises judgment regarding the pullover's state, i.e., that
"it's dirty." Clearly, the sun discerns the difference
between "clean pullovers" and "dirty pullovers."
So why bring "housekeepers" into your question? 



You're probably tacitly assuming that housekeepers have some
special ability or abilities (e.g., "recognition",
"discernment", "judgment") that the sun
doesn't have. That's fine, but if so, it would contradict the
position you've maintained in your earlier posts on this topic."
(end quote)




Like so often, you don't know what I'm getting at. My
focus is not on the housekeeper here, but on entropy. 


Again, I ask you: if does the housekeeper washing a dirty
pullover decrease entropy? 
I'll await your reply before continuing.   

Darren Wrede said...

>>>>Xray: "Like so often, you don't know what I'm getting at."


I know that you are committing the Fallacy of the Stolen Concept given your previous posts on this topic. Therefore, it is completely irrelevant what you believe you are "getting at." You are committing a logical fallacy — I don't have to waste time replying to it.

abbeysbooks said...

HELP! What is the Fallacy of the Stolen Concept? Please explain so I can understand it. I never even heard of it before.

Darren Wrede said...

Hi abbeysbooks,

The most common way of committing this fallacy is to assert X while tacitly denying (that is, denying by stealth) something on which X depends. One therefore "steals" an assumption into a discourse, while openly stating its opposite, or denying something on which that tacit assumption is either a cause or an effect.

I would class it as a material fallacy (an error having to do with the facts of an issue) rather than a formal one (an error having to do with the logical form of an argument).


For most of the discussion on entropy and messy apartments Eva Braun has claimed that the housekeeper's use of directed energy — her unique ability to distinguish among alternatives, choose purposeful ends, and put things into meaningful sequences by exercising powers that material nature doesn't have — discernment, judgment, projection, imagination, reason, goal-setting — is superfluous to the whole analysis; because, in Eva's view, the housekeeper needs food to survive and her food ultimately requires the random energy of the sun's light and warmth. So according to her, the sun — not the housekeeper — is ultimately responsible for cleaning up the apartment and organizing it.


In Eva's last post, however, she brought in by stealth the premise that the housekeeper (and not the sun) is the one exercising a unique power in the apartment; for she did not pose the question in such a way as would be consistent with her earlier position. She unwittingly admitted, by the way in which she posed the question, that notions such as "clean" and "dirty", as applied to objects with a purpose such as "pullovers", are notions that housekeepers have, not stars. The sun's radiant light and warmth does not know of such things as "clean" and "dirty," nor does it know of things that have definite purposes such as "pullovers".


Of course, had Eva tried to be consistent with her past position, she would not have been able to ask the question at all, for its absurdity would be immediately apparent: the sun cannot distinguish a purposeful object like a pullover from a pile of rubbish that might have blown into the apartment through an open window: how would it know which was a thing called a "pullover" and which was the pile of rubbish? How would the sun distinguish teleological concepts -- concepts relating to the idea of ends, goals, and purposes — like "clean" and "dirty"?


Of course, just because this last position is absurd, it doesn't follow that Eva and her Randroid co-religionists on SOLO or OL won't hew to it. I'm waiting for her to wiggle out of her stolen-concept fallacy by admitting (with a straight face) that sunlight and sun warmth make the above sorts of distinctions.


That'll be fun.


Just FYI: You can find examples of the "fallacy of the stolen concept" pretty much everywhere, in every field. Alisa Rosenbaum claimed (I forget in which essay) to have officially identified and named it (naturally, her worshippers agree). The great thing about this name is that it allows one to exercise moral condemnation against one's opponent; i.e., the latter did not merely "make an invalid assumption" or "implicitly contradict himself"; the latter "STOLE" something! He's morally dishonest (even if he doesn't realize it). By accusing someone of having engaged in "concept stealing" during the course of an argument, a Randroid can excuse himself from having to reply to his argument. By referring to the practice as a kind of theft, doubts are cast regarding the opponent's honest, integrity, intentions, etc. It's very convenient for the Randroid as it supplies an instant and ready-made response to opponents.



Hope the above explanation was clear.

abbeysbooks said...

This kind of thinking is also used indiscriminately to falsify history, premises, events, one's own life storyetc.

The film that does this has bought the rights over which the author no longer exercises any control unless stated in the contract of the sale.

The film "rides" on the coat tails of the image of the book and the name recognition of the book. Then it justifies what it does by saying the film and the book are separate and dolts like you accept that statement.

The filmmaker "steals" the book to promote the film the filmmaker wants to make. In certain cases they can't get away with it. Such a case was Gone With The Wind which they didn't dare tamper with. But that was 1939.

As long as dolts do not call them on this theft, they have stolen the reality of the meaning of the book that was so loved it was bought to sell the movie. Baudrillard calls this The Perfect Crime. No body, no crime scene, no justice, no nada; hence, The Perfect Crime.

Xray said...

Janet wrote: "HELP! What is the Fallacy of the Stolen Concept? Please explain so I can understand it. I never even heard of it before." (end quote)

The term "stolen concep"t was coined by A. Rand, and as far as I know, is only used by those familiar with Objectivism.
It addresses something fairly simple: Rand calls "stolen concept" a term that is used ("stolen" or "smuggled in") by an individual into his/her argumentation while at the same time this individual is trying to negate the validity of this very term.
Example: Suppose John makes the statement: "The truth is that there is no truth".



Since John bases his own argumentation on that which he wants to deny
("truth"), the argument collapses because of the stolen concept fallacy.

For, in order to support his own epistemological
position, he has "smuggled in" (or "stolen") the very concept which he wanted to refute.
Statements containing stolen concepts are self-defeating because their contradictions undercut the epistemological position of the argumentator. 

(I personally would prefer to call it the "sticky"
concept fallacy because the speaker has been unable to 'rid' his mind
of a concept, he/she has been unable to conduct his/her argumentation without
it; but then terminology issues are not really a problem as long as it
is unambiguously clear what is meant.)

As for Darren arguing that my use of the term 'housekeeper' was a "stolen concept", this is of course absurd.
For I used his own term 'housekeeper' not in an attempt to deny the existence of a housekeeper in the scenario described by me.
What I wanted to find out was whether Darren realizes that the housekeeper, in her attempt to create order, would actually increase the entropy of the pullover. 

abbeysbooks said...

The truth is that there is no truth is a violation of Russell's Theory of Types. Different orders.

Xray said...

Darren wrote: 
"I know that you are committing the Fallacy of the Stolen Concept given
your previous posts on this topic. Therefore, it is completely
irrelevant what you believe you are "getting at." You are committing a
logical fallacy — I don't have to waste time replying to it." (end quote)
My use of the term housekeeper was no Stolen Concept fallacy. See my previous post to Janet where I commented on it. 

Darren wrote:
"In Eva's last post, however, she brought in by stealth the premise that
the housekeeper (and not the sun) is the one exercising a unique power
in the apartment; for she did not pose the question in such a way as
would be consistent with her earlier position. She unwittingly admitted,
by the way in which she posed the question, that notions such as
"clean" and "dirty", as applied to objects with a purpose such as
"pullovers", are notions that housekeepers have, not stars. The sun's
radiant light and warmth does not know of such things as "clean" and
"dirty," nor does it know of things that have definite purposes such as
"pullovers"." (end quote)

Yet another example of Darren having no idea what the focus of my post was. My point was that the housekeeper, in her attempt to create order, actually will increase the entropy in the pullover

Darren Wrede said...

>>>Eva Braun: "My use of the term housekeeper was no Stolen Concept fallacy."

I never said that your mere use of the term "housekeeper" entailed a stolen concept. You've replied to something that wasn't said.

I wrote that your assumption that the housekeeper can do what you previously claimed only the sun can do -- apply directed energy and discriminate among objects -- was stolen into your question.

>>>>Eva Braun: "My point was that the housekeeper, in her attempt to create order, actually will increase the entropy in the pullover"

Your "point"? You made no point. You asked a question.

Xray said...

Darren wrote:
Your "point"? You made no point. You asked a question. (end quote)

Form is irrelevant here. For questions can also be used to make a point.
The housekeeper, whose creating of order includes washing the dirty pullover, increases the pullover's entropy. Do you agree?

Darren Wrede said...

 >>>>"increases the pullover's entropy"

??? INCREASES the entropy of the pullover? Why would cleaning it make it more disorganized?

Xray said...

Darren wrote:
??? INCREASES the entropy of the pullover? Why would cleaning it make it more disorganized? (end quote)

Because every act of washing results in the fibers becoming more disintegrated. Fluff, lint, fabric pilling etc. are evidence of this process.

Darren Wrede said...

Dry-clean it.

And your own explanation answers an earlier question of yours. Viz.,

To lower the entropy of a system requires selection of specific elements within that system in order to steer them toward lower-probability states. I've been referring to "selection" and "steering" as "directed energy."

The reverse doesn't follow, however. It doesn't follow that simply to input directed energy into a system, its entropy must therefore be lowered.

Xray said...

Darren wrote:
"Dry-clean it." (end quote)

Dry-cleaning too has a weakening effect on fibers:

http://www.ehow.com/about_6731078_harmful-dry-cleaning-solvents-clothes.html

Darren Wrede said...

>>>>Eva Braun wrote: "Dry-cleaning too has a weakening effect on fibers"

A "weakening effect" compared to what?

Not compared to letting the pullover deteriorate by not cleaning it all (hint: that's why people have their pullovers dry-cleaned; they find that it EXTENDS the life of their clothing. To extend the life of something is definitive proof that one has slowed, or at least temporarily reversed, the constant onslaught of entropic decay.). Try to stay in the context of the example, and try to check your premises. You often don't.

While you're checking your premises, you can also check these articles on dry-cleaning, also on eHow:

http://www.ehow.com/how_7633434_dry-clean-dry-cleaning.html
http://www.ehow.com/feature_12163109_dry-cleaning-101.html
http://www.ehow.co.uk/about_6533510_do-dry-cleaners-clean-clothes_.html

"Industry experts say almost any fabric will benefit from dry cleaning because even cottons can lose their shape and color over time in conventional washing machines. Fabrics particularly suited to dry cleaning, however, include natural fabrics such as wool and silk, which will shrink in water, or synthetics such as rayon or polyester, which can attract oily stains that respond well to dry cleaning solvents. Some particularly delicate fibers such as cashmere and suede will show inevitable wear over time and should be expected to have short life spans, even if they are dry-cleaned."

You have also continued to evade the fact that no one ever claimed inputting directed energy into a system ipso-facto lowers the system's entropy. We said the reverse: in order to lower a system's entropy, directed energy must be applied to it. It's a simple point in logic. Ask George H. Smith to explain it to you.

Xray said...

 
>>>>Darren wrote:



"A "weakening effect" compared to what?" (end quote)

"Dry cleaning can also weaken clothing fibers. Repeated use of
hydrocarbon-based solvents dissolve the bonds between the fibers. This
can lead to weakening of the fabric and eventually to tears. Overall,
these weakened fibers make the clothes look worn."Read more: Harmful Effects of Dry Cleaning Solvents on Clothes | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_6731078_harmful-dry-cleaning-solvents-clothes.html#ixzz1tkRBtXx6>>>>Darren wrote: "Not compared to letting the pullover deteriorate by not cleaning it all
(hint: that's why people have their pullovers dry-cleaned; they find
that it EXTENDS the life of their clothing." (end quote) An newly-bought, but never-worn suit that hangs in the closet for years will have long life too. Regular dry cleaning would not extend the life of the suit.However you slice it, every act of cleaning is also an 'attack' on the garment fibers.  >>>>Darren wrote: "It doesn't follow that simply to
input directed energy into a system, its entropy must therefore be
lowered."(end quote) Of course not. If e. g. one uses directed energy to smash an item to pieces, its entropy is increased.   

Darren Wrede said...

>>>>Eva Braun: "An newly-bought, but never-worn suit that hangs in the closet for years will have long life too."


My reply related to your original example of a dirty pullover, not your changed example of a new unworn suit.


>>>>Eva Braun: "Regular dry cleaning would not extend the life of the suit."


Which is probably why no one would think of dry-cleaning a new unworn suit — and why this new example of yours is therefore irrelevant to the discussion. Try to stay in context.


>>>>Eva Braun: "However you slice it, every act of cleaning is also an 'attack' on the garment fibers."


So is every act of wearing the suit, traveling in the suit, working in the suit, sitting and getting up in the suit, sleeping in the suit, getting caught in the rain in the suit, spilling coffee on the suit, etc. All of the above raise the entropy of the suit more, and raise it faster, than dry-cleaning the suit . . . which is why people choose to dry-clean their suits: it extends the life of the suit given the context that they are wearing it under the normal human conditions of daily living.


Check your premises a little more often and you won't stray from the context so much. I'm sure George H. Smith can give you some tips and pointers on this.

abbeysbooks said...

All of this ping-pong is entropic.

Xray said...

 Janet wrote:
"All of this ping-pong is entropic."
(end quote)

It's entropic, you say?
Hmm, given your penchant for postmodernism, you must be  to be delighted, with everyhting disintergrating, dissolving, and all that.  :)

Xray said...

Darren wrote.
"My reply related to your original example of a dirty pullover, not your changed example of a new unworn suit."
(end quote)

You had first changed from washing to dry-cleaning because you wanted to mitigate your forgetting that every act of cleaning also contributes to raising the entropy of a garment.
   
But if you equate the lowering of entropy with a mere creating of order, you will often come across similar scenarios.

abbeysbooks said...

Well since this game of ping-pong is disintegrating, it feels entropic to me x-ray. About my post modern postion of being happy with disintegration, that's really not what post modern thinking is about at all. It is an exciting time as the Dialectical Discourse changes.

And whaddayouknow. The great Von Mises is on the side of post modern thinking. I bet you didn't know that. I bet the ol and solo randroids are gonna be upset about that. Von Mises and Foucault on the same side of the ship, accompanied by Nietzsche and Baudrillard and Rand. Although Rand is with them unknowingly, by default, as part of her unknown knowns, as Zizek would say.

abbeysbooks said...

I answered you on this blog post but not under reply.

Xray said...

Janet wrote:
"The great Von Mises is on the side of post modern thinking. I bet you
didn't know that. I bet the OL and SOLO randroids are gonna be upset
about that." (end quote)

Mises thinks values are are subjective. You are wrong in assuming that OLers don't know this.
Do there exist verbatim quotes from Mises where he says he is "on the side of postmodern thinking?"   

abbeysbooks said...

x-ray the label "post modern" is only used by us idiots talking about it. It really has nothing to do with post modern thinking.

Scholars do not stand up and say, "I am on the side of post modernism! I am a post modernist!" Are you an idiot!

No it has nothing at all to do with subjective values. And supply and demand is about subjective values BTW.

Watch and learn. It will all be revealed to you when I am ready to do so. and yes there will be quotes and page numbers "especially for you" as they say in India.

You remind me of all the Rob Pattinson and Kristen Stewart fans who will not believe they are a couple until and unless they face the cameras with microphone in hand and say out loud, "Yes we are a couple." And then make a big smooch for the TV audience. 

I don't know where all the idiots come from. And I put you in that box.

Xray said...

Darren,
I think all your directed energy stuff has one purpose: to argue for intelligent design.  Let's therefore dig a little deeper into the problems ID advocates are confronted with:

Over at SOLO, I asked Richard Goode: http://www.solopassion.com/node/8922#comment-109227
"Would be interesting to hear Intelligent Design advocates'
explanations as to why "housekeeper type entities" purposely caused e.
g. ticks and roundworms to exist. " (end quote Xray)

He replied:  "One such ID advocate's explanation is that of Marcion.
Marcion declared that Christianity was distinct from and in
opposition to Judaism... He rejected the entire Hebrew Bible, and
declared that the God of the Hebrew Bible was a lesser demiurge, who had
created the earth, but was (de facto) the source of evil.Marcionites held maltheistic views of the God of the Hebrew
Bible... that he was inconsistent, jealous, wrathful and genocidal, and
that the material world he created was defective, a place of suffering;
the God who made such a world is a bungling or malicious demiurge.
You can call me a neo-Marcionite if you like. The basic idea is that
there's a good god and a bad god. The bad god purposely caused to exist,
e.g., ticks and roundworms, because he's bad. Mmmkay?
In Marcionite belief, Christ was not a Jewish Messiah, but a
spiritual entity that was sent by the Monad to reveal the truth about
existence, and thus allowing humanity to escape the earthly trap of the
demiurge." (end quote R. Goode)He believes in "malevolent design", so to speak.


The premise (treating the contents of a religious text as if they had
status of objective fact), has of course no epistemological leg to
stand on, but his answer is interesting since it shows how difficult it
is for ID-advocates to explain an intentional creation of ticks,
roundworms & Co. by a [good] designer god.


How do you explain it, Darren? 

Darren Wrede said...

>>>>Eva Braun wrote: "You had first changed from washing to dry-cleaning because you wanted to mitigate your forgetting that every act of cleaning also contributes to raising the entropy of a garment."


Wrong. Only SOME acts of cleaning do that, and only in SOME contexts. I've explained why in two separate posts. I've also posted links to articles from your own source — eHow — contradicting you. Try rereading them. Better yet: ask your tax-evading hero, George H. Smith to reread them for you and then explain them to you. You'll listen to him.

You've dropped the context again and haven't checked your premises. Are you unable to do so? Or are you simply unwilling?

abbeysbooks said...

I think she's getting tired. Why don't you let her go to sleep for awhile? She'll be back and rarin' to chomp at you again!LOL!

Darren Wrede said...

>>>>Eva Braun wrote: "Do there exist verbatim quotes from Mises where he says he is "on the side of postmodern thinking?""


Janet doesn't need verbatim quotes to draw this conclusion. You said so yourself two weeks ago in this post:


>>>>"It is not always necessary to say something explicitly if the implication is quite clear."


Remember posting that, fräulein Braun? Hmmm? :)


According to you, verbatim quotes are unnecessary for drawing conclusions if an "implication is quite clear."


Janet was simply following your own suggestion.


Enjoy. ;)

Darren Wrede said...

>>>>Eva Braun opined: "I think all your directed energy stuff has one purpose: to argue for intelligent design."


You're in good company. I'm willing to bet a lot of your fellow non-thinking, knee-jerk Randroids around the Randroid Belt (on SOLO for example) think so, too.

Poor dumb benighted creatures.


There's still time for you to escape the Randroid Belt, Eva. To do so, all you have to do is . . . leave.

curioushairedgal said...

"The strains of silence in literature, from Sadet to Beckett, convey complexities of language, culture and consciousness as these contest themselves, and one another. Such eerie music may yield an experience, an intuition of postmodernism but no concept or definition of it. Perhaps I can move here toward such a  concept by putting forth certain queries. I begin with the most obvious; can we really perceive a phenomenon, in Western societies in general and in their literatures particularly, that needs to be distinguished from modernism, needs to be named? If so, will the provisional rubric 'postmodernism' serve? Can we then - or even should we at this time -construct of this phenomenon some probative scheme, both chronological and typological, that may account for its various trends and counter-trends, its artistic, epistemic and social character? And how would this phenomenon - let us call it postmodernism -relate itself to such earlier modes of change as turn-of-the-century avant-gardes or the high-modernism of the twenties? Finally, what difficulties would inhere in any such act of definition, such a tentative, heuristic scheme?" - Ihab Hassan, Toward a Concept of Postmodern

As you continue to operate with obviously insufficient knowledge of what postmodern thinking is, the perception of which is nevertheless very firmly set in your mind, I have gone through the trouble of finding some related material on the web for you. And free to download.
Here's the link to a reader in which various authors, including Eco, Baudrillard, Hassan above deal with what you have obviously managed to pinpoint with such certitude, the meaning of postmodernism.
http://www.scribd.com/doc/46990863/Hassan-Ibn-Toward-a-Concept-of-Postmodernism
I hope you read it, it will also help you understand better what the purpose of Darren's "directed energy stuff".
And hey, no need to thank me, after all isn't that's what we're here for, exchange of information. I believe you said so in some comment here. Unless, of course, all of this isn't too "tedious" for you.

abbeysbooks said...

Interesting as I feel I go in and out, back and forth. As Eric Packer does in Cosmopolis.
http://www.ku.lt/sociologija/files/2002_nr.02.116-124.pdf 
The last paragraph below.


Thus, it can be concluded that in the postmodern discourse on power these theories canbe ordered by starting from Bourdieu (with his
closeness to traditional approach on power by
emphasis on sources and domination dimension of power), further, Foucault (with his
deconstruction of mechanics of power and focusing on locality), and finally, Baudrillard
(with his irony, gaming and profit of simulation of world). However, such schema is too
simplified that it is better, as Kellner proposes,
to adopt Ernst Bloch’s notion of
nonsynchonicity. Therefore Kellner argues that
“we are currently in a transitional
nonsynchonic social situation in which we live
in many worlds at once, and thus need a multiplicity of viewpoints to make sense out of various domains of our social experience” (Kellner
1989; 142). Thus, at times we still face the accumulation of power resources and struggle for
domination; “at other times we are confronted
with the more subtle forms of disciplinary or
normalising power or the panoptic powers of
surveillance which Foucault describes so well;
and sometimes we find ourselves in the new
situations which Baudrillard evokes, as when
we are confronted with political or religious
simulacra or with media signs which attempt
to seduce us into purchases, normalised
behaviour, voting or whatever” (ibid.; 142).

curioushairedgal said...

 Yes, I feel the same, the constant play which in turn again questions itself.

Xray said...

Pino wrote:
>>>>Eva Braun wrote: "Do there exist verbatim quotes from
Mises where he says he is "on the side of postmodern thinking?""



Janet doesn't need verbatim quotes to draw this conclusion. You said so yourself two weeks ago in this post:


>>>>"It is not always necessary to say something explicitly if the implication is quite clear."

IN this context , the question in is whether the implication IS quite clear" that Mises was on the side of postmodern thinking. Janet made a mere allegation, so I asked for a little more.
Feel free to elaborate why you (too) believe Mises is on the side of postmodern thinking. IF you believe it, that is. I have  my doubts about this.

Xray said...

Curioushairedgal wrote:
"As you continue to operate with obviously insufficient understanding of
what postmodern thinking is, the perception of which is nevertheless
very firmly set in your mind, I have gone through the trouble of finding
some related material on the web for you. And free to download.

Here's
the link to a reader in which various authors, including Eco,
Baudrillard, Hassan above deal with what you have obviously managed to
pinpoint with such certitude, the meaning of postmodernism.
http://www.scribd.com/doc/4699...  "  (end quote)


It's quite firmly set in my mid because I've been relying (among other authors), upon on the very source you recommended to me: Ihab Hassan.
I attended a seminar on postmodern literature quite a few years ago and still have the notes. Hassan's list where he contrasts Modernism and Postmodernism is lying right in front of me as I'm typing this.
I also made various comments on OL where I argued that Rand is no postmodern writer, again with I. Hassan's Modernism vs. Postmodernism in the back of my mind.
.  
"I hope you read it, it will also help you understand better what the purpose of Darren's "directed energy stuff" is."
(end quote)

Lol, do you really believe that Darren 'directed energy stuff' has anything to do with postmodernism?








 

Xray said...

Janet wrote:
"x-ray the label "post modern" is only used by us idiots talking about it. It really has nothing to do with post modern thinking.

Scholars do not stand up and say, "I am on the side of post modernism! I am a post modernist!" Are you an idiot!"
(end quote)

Too bad that they don't stand up and say that! Just think how this would economize things, Janet: No more stuff for us idiots to speculate about, instead we would have the weighty words "I am postmodernist!" coming out straight from the scholar's mouth!!
But before we can revel in such scenario of wonderful simplicity, the epistemologist in me rears its skeptical head again, and ruins the whole thing by the 'wet blanket' argument : "But what if the scholar only pretends to be a postmodernist?" :-) 

Xray said...

Janet wrote:
Watch and learn. It will all be revealed to you when I am ready to do
so. and yes there will be quotes and page numbers "especially for you"
as they say in India. "(end quote)

Oh my god - a - a revelation!! And especially for me! I'm soo thrilled and of course can't wait to see it.
I can imagine that is typical for self-appointed gurus to suggest to their flock that they have some real cool revelation aces up their sleeve to keep them in breathless suspense. :-)

 Janet wrote:
"You remind me of all the Rob Pattinson and Kristen Stewart fans who will
not believe they are a couple until and unless they face the cameras
with microphone in hand and say out loud, "Yes we are a couple." (end quote)

I'm afraid I belong to the opposite type of person, Janet: I would have sensed those two were in love even before they themselves became fully aware of it. :-)
I've always had an intuitive radar for such things.

abbeysbooks said...

Not too hard to spot a pretender. There were a number of them at the recent DeLillo conference I read at. When *I get into that you can read how they are exposed.

A post modernist is not identified by their posturing but by the way they are thinking about a problem or object they have observed and identified. If the person challenges you in the dialectic, as u do, then they have not learned how to think that way. It is not a matter of replacing the dialectic, but of having another way of looking at things. Poetry is still another way. I am using POMO thinking to read through media, as one example. I learne this from Diane Rubenstein a prof at Cornell. Babette Babich has her own way of doing it with Nietzsche, Heidegger and Arendt. This is what makes it so joyful. It is so individualistic. The dialectic Discourse is monotonous, gray and boring as Foucault the great stylist said.

abbeysbooks said...

Well can't you use your intuitive radar in other ways. Extend it a bit maybe?

I said I would "reveal it" - your words to put your stamp on it - as whenever I say what I am thinking you then nag me to hurry an post if. an you nag like a kinergarten kid who wants something an has to wait. The Japanese culture tells their children, "Later." Of course later could be a very long time later. But you are like an oral aggressive child, demanding demanding the answer right now. Remember that Meatloaf song: I wanna know right now! Let me think on it baby, no I wanna know right now!

abbeysbooks said...

Don't bite CHG. She wants to fight with you.

curioushairedgal said...

Somewhere on that list is decentering put in postmodernism column, I believe, together with anti narratives, in accordance with Lyotard's claim of postmodernism abandoning the grand-narratives being one of its determining characteristics.
Yes, I believe Darren's post entitled Myth of the Chemical Evolution has very much indeed with postmodernism, Chemical Evolution being the grand-narrative which is being decentered, as the title itself clearly suggests.

Here's a quote from another Hassan's text found here http://www.ihabhassan.com/postmodernism_to_postmodernity.htm
"Every generation, of course, reinvents, reinvests, its
ancestors--this, too, is hermeneutics. And so we look back on Lawrence
Sterne’s Tristram Shandy (1759-1767) and say, here is an instance, or an antecedent, of postmodernism. We can say the same of Franz Kafka’s The Castle (1926) or Jean-Paul Sartre’s Nausea (1938) or James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake (1939).
But all this simply means that we have internalized some of the
assumptions and values of postmodernism and that we now reread the
past--indeed, re-appropriate it--in their terms.



       This tendency, inevitable perhaps and sometimes enabling, can
become offensive when postmodern ideologies cannibalize the past,
incorporating it wholly into their flesh. Put more equably, we need to
respect the otherness of the past, though we may be condemned to revise
it even as we repeat it. In this, as in literary studies generally,
postmodern theory, at its best, can prove beneficial: it can become a
heightened mode of self-awareness, self-critical of its own assumptions,
its own bleached myths and invisible theologies, and tolerant of what
is not itself. But this calls for pragmatism, to avoid the extremes of
dogma and skepticism. For the latter, as T. S. Eliot said in his Notes Toward a Definition of Culture, can be a highly civilized trait, though when it declines into pyrrhonism, it becomes a trait from which civilizations can die.
"

Here Hassan argues for caution, for postmodernism to not become itself the dogma, the ideology that such very thinking is set out to question and decenter.He identifies the danger of postmodern being used as yet another hermeneutics tool. Of saying with certainty, this is what our ancestors thought! I have had a first hand experience of what happens when such kind of certainty becomes the opium for the masses.
Did you use postmodernism as yet another tool of hermeneutics in your abovementioned arguments on OL?

In reply to Darren above you say :
"Discussing with those holding opposing views on certain issues is an
excellent mental exercise in sharpening one's own thinking. 
I therefore encourage challenge in philosophical discussions because it pushes forward intellectual development."
An excellent mental exercise and intellectual development are two different things not to be confused. With the first one, you pump up what is already there, the latter demands more. What you've been doing here  is exercise, just exercise. And there are connections that your enjoyment of the exercise prevents you from seeing. As Anais Nin said in a very postmodern way, we don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.

curioushairedgal said...

CrazyHeadedGirl LOL

abbeysbooks said...

At OL selene commented with a list comparing Nietzsche and Rand in two columns. Yuk! As if that is the way to knowing, to add them up and subtract them as if in a bookkeeper's log book on profit and loss. Nietzsche is in the blood flowing in Rand's veins! Nietzsche is in the marrow of her bones, the synapses in her cortex.

Poor x-ray.

curioushairedgal said...

 OL certainly sounds like a place for "challenging philosophical discussions". I assume that's why she likes it there.

Darren Wrede said...

>>>>Eva Braun went into denial by writing the following: "IN this context , the question in is whether the implication IS quite clear" that Mises was on the side of postmodern thinking. Janet made a mere allegation, so I asked for a little more."



You asked for "a little more" of something you previously claimed one need not offer in discussion: verbatim quotes. You claimed that implication was enough. Therefore, you should have asked Janet to clarify the implications of Mises's writings that suggested to her that he was on the side of post-modern thinking. But you didn't demand to see "a little more" implication; you demanded verbatim quotes, something categorically different from implication, and a clear contradiction of your earlier position. You can confirm this with George H. Smith if he's ever released on parole.

You failed.

Darren Wrede said...

>>>>Eva Braun (Hitler's mistress) opined the following: "Another example of you trying to escape a direct challenge by directing the attention away from the issue. This seems to be your preferred tactic whenever we get to the core of an issue. "


The core of the issue is whether all current theories of chemical evolution implicitly smuggle into their scenarios a violation of the 2nd law of thermodynamics. I assert they do. Many assert they do. I assume the race, religion, and sexual orientation of those hewing to this position are irrelevant to their arguments. Obviously, you believe otherwise.


>>>>why "housekeeper type entities" purposely caused e. g. ticks and roundworms to exist. "


I dunno. The intent of a "housekeeper type entity" in exercising *choice-contingency* (a/k/a "directed energy") on matter and energy is outside the scope of the question of whether or not entropy can be lowered without it. It lies more in the realm of speculative theology rather than biochemistry, information theory, classical thermodynamics, or statistical mechanics. You and other Randroids seem to be extremely hung up on it. I suspect this is why you also reject all the evidence in favor of the Big Bang scenario: you dislike the fact that a scientific theory might have religious implications.

So?


>>>>"You are of course well aware of the dilemma you land with an assumed 'divine programmer'."


You are of course well aware of the dilemma you land with an assumed "self-assembly" of the sequential elements of life (e.g., amino acids sequenced into functional proteins; nucleotides sequenced into functional nucleic acids like RNA and DNA). The dilemma is: you implicitly assume a violation of the 2nd law of thermodynamics.


Regarding Burnsy: I haven't read his recent posts on SOLO, or any place else for that matter.


>>>>"Are you a Christian too?"


Are you a Nazi or Marxian Communist? You must be. The Nazis and the Marxian communists held a very Darwinian view of reality. Nazi and Marxian-communist atrocities were often committed in the name of Darwinian assumptions on evolution. Nazi eugenics programs put into practice the earlier writings of American eugenicists in academia, all of whom were strict Darwinists. Darwin's "bulldog" — his promoter and propagandist — Thomas Huxley, explicitly wrote that Darwinism provided a "respectable" intellectual/scientific framework for eugenics. The Nazis agreed. The Marxian communists agreed. Since Nazis and Marxian communists were Darwinists, and since you are a Darwinist, doesn't that imply you are on the side of the Nazis and the Marxian communists? Would you claim that was a sound conclusion validly derived from sound premises using sound logic?



Yes or no?

Darren Wrede said...

LOL!


She brags that she's not a Randroid, and the first thing she does is to quote from Atlas Shrugged!


The irony of that obviously escapes her.

Darren Wrede said...

>>>>CHG: "As Anais Nin said in a very postmodern way, we don't see things as they are, we see them as we are."


Fantastic! Love it!

abbeysbooks said...

And contradictions don't exist.

Check your premises.

Contradictions don't exist is part of the ongoing dialectic. Assuming linearity, contradictions will merge into a new thesis. This is progress.

Darren when the fuck are you going to resurrect that essay you did on the Cambrian period, abrupt changes, i. e. Events rather than ongoing progressive Darwinian adaptation of the species.

And I know now why Rand evaded the evolution question. She knew her Nietzsche and Nietzsche trashes it.

Peikoff's 1991 intro for Atlas is a gold mine. He states he will let Rand speak for herself as the intro and he does. From her Journal. Excellent!

That and Francisco's explanation of the San Sabastian Mine disaster where he explains implosion to Dagny. Perfect! Just perfect!

Wynand's imp[losion was in the service of trying to save Roark, and when he closed the paper at the end as a fuck you to Toohey and the rest when it was too late.

But Francisco lays it out to Dagny so perfectly that it is the template for Eric Packer in Cosmopolis. I haven't read Atlas since 1960. It is even more ghastly than when I checked it out in 1969 and was revolted by her sentences. Her sentences and style are an exact mirror of what she is writing about, even more so, "worse" as Nietzsche would say. Could any style mirror the awful bureaucracy better than Atlas. I don't think so.

abbeysbooks said...

You have become a killer Darren.

abbeysbooks said...

Jesus Eva wants an immediate diahrrea pouring forth right after I say something. I am just opening the book reading here and there and out pops all this Von Mises has to say about dialectics, non-linearity, and historical events rather than progression. Wow!

Cambrain period. Please?

abbeysbooks said...

Oh trust me it definitely is!

abbeysbooks said...

I tried to stay out of the dialectic at OL but the bombardment of attacks forced me to either respond or ignore. I referred to the different Orders and the Discourse, but then they made fun of that so I decided it was hopeless there. I refused to open up a blog on bebating Foucault \ wisely I think - and they were furious I wouldn't play their game of ping pong and defend him.

Rand lays this out clearly in her few sentences analysis of Dagny's error in Atlas. You cannot make people learn. and they can't understand if they don't put in the contemplation time it requires.

Everything is knee jerk reactionary outbursts. All is projection. Jung said it too. In fact he just about attributed projection to everything in his final years. Evidently no counter-transference problems for him!

See Greenson in his text on Transference on about page 50 describing a patient. And he hates her, this beautiful elegant woman. And I knew when I read it that he hated Monroe in the same way. Marilyn didn't stand a chance with him as her analyst. What a beast. I fear I'll never get to that either.

Arguing in the dialectic was Something Baudrillard did as Lotringer says to him in the Interviews and which Baudrillard agrees with. Foucault never did and to read Foucault's Interviews is mesmerizing. However they were edited by the great one. Baudrillard did not exert that level of control.

I met Nin twice and photographed her. She was beautiful. She studied analysis with Otto Rank and did analytic work herself. I even saw Anna Freud once. At a distance.

abbeysbooks said...

I find it difficult to imagine how post modern thinking can become dogma. All of the writers in this vein are so different. There is no linear progression of it at all. And adding Zizek and his reading of Lacan and "floating signs" so wonderfully described by Rubenstein and Butler, it feels to me as if my head is expanding into an explosion. I see no closure anywhere.

As Nietzsche says in his Genealogy, thinking is circular ever widening to the outer edges then circling back on itself.

Non-linear.

And Rand firmly places thinking on that straight line, progressing into the idealistic horizon the Shangri-la of Galt's Gulch.

Nietzsche acknowledges Schopenhauer as his master, to whom he addresses when he writes. Rand is always addressing Nietzsche whether knowingly or not. And she constantly contradicts his POV. His view of the world was not acceptable to that 16 year old girl living under the Soviets. But when she got to the US she was immersed in him for Fountainhead. N is underground for Atlas and Atlas suffers in comparison to Fountainhead IMO.

Xray said...

Darren wrote:
>>>>"Are you a Christian too?"


Are you a Nazi or Marxian Communist? (end quote)

Again, you have evaded answering asimple question by asking a question back.
I'm neither a Nazi nor Marxian Communist. I have now answered your question.

My question to you: Are you a Christian?

Xray said...

 Darren wrote:
>>>>"LOL!


She brags that she's not a Randroid, and the first thing she does is to quote from Atlas Shrugged!

The irony of that obviously escapes her." (end quote)

I did not brag, but stated a simple fact: I'm no Objectivist. Never was one either.

As for quoting from Atlas Shrugged: I have also quoted from Kant when discussing with Kantians, quoted from the Bible when discussing with Christians, etc.
So naturally I will quote from text corpora that the participants on specific forums/blogs are familiar with. 
What specific quote from quote from AS was it? You can put it here again and in the context where I quoted it. We can go through it in detail if you like.

curioushairedgal said...

I'll play a bit with this cannibalization of the past that Hassan mentions. There was a country that was a grand-narrative, it had a beloved blue-eyed dictator, dreams of prosperity,then all the little narratives popped up, claiming they were repressed, that their past was neglected, that the grand- narrative is a lie. So all the little - narratives of past reclaimed, revived nationalistic feelings,religious feelings, past dreams of glory and medieval battles ate up the grand-narrative.People marched with certainty that that was what their ancestors wanted, that they were enacting their unfulfilled dreams. But in doing so they became grand-narratives themselves, bigger and worse than the one before and their words became the ones written in blood for the kids living now in their little grand narrative boxes.Nothing expanded in this case and everything became more enclosed. Some people call it progress, some are nostalgic for that country that now seems much like Galt's Gulch. Some are crushed under the weight of this newly found uncertainty of multiple renewing little-narratives continuing to appear and find ony certainty in this pyrrhonism Hassan talks about. And some who are rare ask themselves what was my myth, do I still believe in it, what were my false assumptions, how was I opressed, was it real, did we ate up the grand-narrative in order to bring back the glory of the past only to realize that there is no past, no brave and righteous ancestors, just us eating ourselves up?

You're right, post-modern thinking can't become a dogma. If it does, it isn't postmodern thinking.

So much of Nietzsche is in the Fountainhead, the eternal recurrence, the Dyonisian hero or rather the heroine, the yes-saying....Reading it made me dance inside, made me burn, and I read it in a day and went to bed with it under my pillow. Everything just chrystallized. N at 16, Rand at 36. Atlas never came close.

"What you feel in the presence of the thing you admire is just one word - 'Yes'. The affirmation, the acceptance, the sign of admittance. And that 'Yes' is more than the answer to one thing, it's a kind of 'Amen' to life, to the earth that holds this thing, to the thought that created it, to yourself for being able to see it. But the ability to say 'Yes' or 'No' is the essence of all owenrship. It's your ownership of your own ego. Your soul, if you wish. Your soul has a single basic function - the act of valuing.'Yes' or 'No' , 'I wish' or 'I do not wish'. You can't say 'Yes without saying 'I'. There's no affirmation without the one who affrims. In this sense, everything to which you grant your love is yours.
-In this sense, you share things with others?
No. It's not sharing. When I listen to a symphony I love, I don't get from it what the composer got. His 'Yes' was different from mine. He could have no concern for mine and no exact conception of it. The answer is too personal to each man. But in giving himself what he wanted, he gave me a great experience. I'm alone when I design a house, Gail, and you can never know the way in which I own it. But if you said your own 'Amen' to it - it's also yours. And I'm glad it's yours."- TF, p.539

"It must be done in a way it cannot be taught". John Cage

curioushairedgal said...

But don't you see that he is not evading. He is giving you the answer by asking the question, by mirroring your approach of "sound conclusions validly derived from sound premises using sound logic".

I guess you need a verbatim quote of his saying that he is a Christian so you can prove yourself you're right. So you can then quote him and put everything into neat little boxes.

curioushairedgal said...

I love Nin, first read her too early to get much, then later in uni.
I love your stories.
OL people and their idea of fun make me stand firmly on that other side of love/hate dichotomy.

curioushairedgal said...

Glad you liked it!
Like for all the exclamation marks!

Xray said...

 CHG wrote:

"An
excellent mental exercise and intellectual development are two
different things not to be confused. With the first one, you pump up
what is already there, the latter demands more."
(end quote)

I was not confusing "mental exercise" and "intellectual development", but have found constant mental exercise to be a good basis for further intellectual development.
For example, my studying  of criminal cases where I went through lab reports, read many trial transcripts, interrogation transcripts, etc,  was an excellent mental exercise in separating knowledge from mere speculation.
As I later became interested in philosophy, this previous mental exercise has proven valuable in epistemology discussions as well as in ethics where preferred values are frequently posited as if they were of objective fact.
So I consider mental exercise as necessary to keep the brain 'well-oiled' so to speak, which will make it good deal easier to climb to higher stages of intellectual development than if one has never done any mental training. Just as no one aspiring to climb a high mountain would do so without exrecising before.
I consider all those posting on philsophy fums as seekers, as 'homines philosophici viatores'.

I don't adhere to any specific philosophical school. I prefer 'philosophical patchworking' instead, crafting  elements from various philosophies into my personal quilt, so to speak, in addition to my own thoughts.
The advantage of proceeding like that: it makes you independent of philosophical schools or complete systems. It does not get you into a corner where you have to defend a whole  philosophy X against opponents who have found contradictions in that philosophy.
The patchwork model is also 'open' because the quilt is never finished. And if parts should not fit anymore for some reason, there is no problem in discarding them.

abbeysbooks said...

No it isn't. Darren's real real name is Nerrad.

abbeysbooks said...

Yes x-ray u are a nazi - commie - as you are an authoritarian interrogator trying to trap people. Just because you haven't the power to put them in a camp or Lubyanka on their way to a gulag oesn't lessen the fact that that's exactly what you are. Have you seen the German film White Ribbon or read Doeblin (sp?) or seen ALL of Fassbiner's films. He spells it all out for you especially in the TV series one Alexanderplatz.

It's a psychological state of mind. And plenty of X'ntians were Nazis. Most of Soviet X'ntians were in the camps. And you need to read Kundera on Kafka to see how the GPU grew from simple familial interrogation.

You do not question x-ray. You interrogate. That makes you an authoritatian, a potential political fascist, a Nazi or a Stalinist.

abbeysbooks said...

Very nice. Mirroring reveals the concealed feelings.

abbeysbooks said...

"It must be done in a way it cannot be taught". John Cage

OMG! Alain Schremmer use to say, "If children were taught how to talk, 1/2 would never learn how!"

Yes on Atlas too! The intro by Peikoff. The world as focus not a person as Fountainhead. Rand's Journal 1946! Foucault was a child!

abbeysbooks said...

| Jonny Gordon-Farleigh |
With the publication of his new book The Faith of the Faithless, I spoke to philosopher Simon Critchley about why a counterfactual faith is so important to modern politics, why it offers an “archive of possibilities” for those involved in political transformation, why there is still an obsession with “big men”, and what the the true political terrain is today…

http://stirtoaction.com/?p=1174#comment-5543   An interview which includes much on Occupy. Critchley edits the Read series. Reading Lacan by Zizek.

curioushairedgal said...

Touché!
'nerad' is a noun in Bosnian.

curioushairedgal said...

 Can you tell me more about what from Hassan has entered into the quilt?

Xray said...

CHG wrote:
But can't you see that nothing is evaded. The answer is given by asking
the question, by mirroring your approach of "sound conclusions validly
derived from sound premises using sound logic". (end quote)

The question to ask is: What does Daren hope to gain from "mirroring my approach"?
What is the advantage (from his point of view) of not answering a simple question directly; a question which he could easily answer, for either he is a Christian or he is not.
Can one therefore infer that Darren, for some reason, does not want to answer my question?

curioushairedgal said...

Well, Darren obviously doesn't want to answer your question,not much inferring needed there. Wait, you never answered if you're Nazi/Communist?
"We thought we had the answers, it were the questions we had wrong". U2

abbeysbooks said...

Ah so this is why you interrogate. Interrogate creates resistance. Resistance creates secrecy, stubborn opposition, non-compliance, withholding. Do you want a mutual exchange of understanding?

abbeysbooks said...

I have already told you why he mirrors you. The same reason an analyst does it. It uncovers for the questioner the feelings lying behind the question. Another reply: How will my answering that help you? Or: Are you asking me that because..............(and you put in your guess as to why the questioner is asking that question of you). 

I might say: Are you asking me if I am Christian because...............

you only want to converse with Christians?

you prefer not to converse with Christians?

you want to argue religion with me? 

And so on. It would depend on what I felt was your reason for asking the question.

abbeysbooks said...

Yes. A well asked question is one half the answer. Bacon

curioushairedgal said...

 Bono probably got it from Pogo.
XRay has it all spelled out for her. You'd think an interrogator is to expect resistance, then go for some form of torture...with x-rays or something. But she puts all this into "mere speculation" box.

curioushairedgal said...

Tenaj san is not a guru, she is a sensei.

Darren Wrede said...

>>>>Eva Braun: "I'm neither a Nazi nor Marxian Communist."


How can that be? You agree with both of them on Darwinism.

Darren Wrede said...

As all young intellectuals of his day, Mises started out as a socialist but quickly dropped that when he began studying the dire consequences central government planning had on a number of disparate ethnic/linguistic groups in Austro-Hungary.


He embraced the subjectivist approach to social science and economics — often referred to as the "subjectivist revolution" — spearheaded by Carl Menger. Mises later made important contributions to what became known as "Austrian economics" — which, by the way, was as much of a revolution away from many of the premises and ideas of the British classical school of economics (Adam Smith, David Ricardo, John Stuart Mill) as it was a revolution away from (and a definitive refutation of) the Marxian school of thought.


The book to read on this is not Mises's "Human Action" but, rather, his "Theory and History" in which he contrasts the essentially discrete "jumpy" nature of unique historical events with the smooth linearity of theory-in-general with its (by necessity) assumptions of an internally coherent cause-and-effect. The book is probably the least read of all of his prolific output and yet one of the most important.


In sum: he reminds us always to keep the distinction between the a-theoretical events of history — which are unique, discrete, sudden, knowable to us only "ex post" — with the sort of predictive knowledge possible within a theoretical framework.


I don't know what Mises's views were regarding Darwinism as they applied to biology; I do know he was unhappy with attempts to impose Darwinian assumptions into the social sciences, especially economics.

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