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:

«Oldest   ‹Older   201 – 345 of 345
Darren Wrede said...

>>>>Eva Braun: "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."


But you were responding to me, not some Randroid. So why quote from Atlas Shrugged?


In any case, Eva, we've previously established that you're intellectually lazy (by not following up on the many links I've posted, and by not doing your own research); naive and gullible (by assuming that a halfwit like Ellen Stumble can teach you anything about physics); and now we establish that you're a coward: had you any intellectual courage, you would dare to quote the Bible to the Randroids and Kant to the Christians.


The specific quotes from Atlas are on SOLO. I'm not your private research assistant. Do your own investigation.


Maybe you can hire George H. Smith to do some of this work for you when he's released on parole. You can be a sort of "Halfway House" for him to re-integrate himself into the workforce and the world of legitimate taxpaying citizens.

curioushairedgal said...

"(...) you would dare to quote from the Bible to the Randroids and Kant to the Christians."
Yes!
Screw up the boxes, XRay!

Xray said...

Janet wrote:
"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. " (end quote)

Tsk, tsk, Janet, in what a contradictory muddle you have landed yourself!
 
On the one hand, you see no problem in "cheering" Darren for allegedly having "become a killer", while at the same time you fly off the handle and resort to name-calling because you obviously can't bear my asking him a simple - and from the context of the discussion, perfectly warranted - question.
Why do you and Darren have such problems in maintaining a civilized discourse? 

abbeysbooks said...

Neither Darren nor I suffer fools gladly.

abbeysbooks said...

T and H is the one I'm reading and you stole my quotes out of my mouth. Thanks a bunch. It's 1959 and something was certainly in the air then altho I was just becoming awake - just on my way. Almost Foucauldian in your comment eh? I think so.

abbeysbooks said...

Just a teacher by default. I got divorced and saw that I could take it seriously instead of a gap to be filled until I had children. While I was going through my divorce my first grade class saved my sanity. My sanity because how in fuck could I make a mistake like that when I had really thought and reasoned about such a move as marriage. That must mean my reasoning abilities were in grave disorder!

abbeysbooks said...

My "killer" reply to Darren was a JOKE my literal minded one. My reply to you was not.

Go take Eysenck's questionaire on authoritarianism. I gave it to my 1970's smash the system hippies. When they corrected and scaled their own answers they were shocked!

Xray said...

CHG wrote:
"Well, Darren obviously doesn't want to answer your question,not much
inferring needed there." (end quote)

Indeed it sticks out a mile that he doesn't want to answer. Do you have an idea why he is so evasive about it?" 

CHG wrote:
"Wait, you never answered if you're
Nazi/Communist?" (end quote)

I did answer that.
Here is the quote again:

[replying to Darren]:
>>>>"I'm neither a Nazi nor Marxian Communist. I have now answered your question." (end quote)



.

Xray said...

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

curioushairedgal said...

Are you kidding' me?!?

Yes, I know why he's not answering. The reason is there, in all the comments. It's in his last reply to you, to this very answer you gave. Think. If I give you the answer it will be my answer, it won't be yours.

Xray said...

 I accidentally clicked on 'reply' in my previous post before finishing, sorry. The quote was from Darren:
"How can that be? You agree with both of them on Darwinism." (end quote)

My focus is less on Darwinism than you think. It is more on whether matter can intelligently organize itself.

curioushairedgal said...

Oh, kids. Mine make me go insanely sane, sanely insane...been reading Dolto today, what I could find online,I guess that's why word play is on all day.

I responded to Xray's comment because I sensed a tone of that OL condescension I hate.
You are an enabler,not all teachers come with that gift. Most don't.
..really thought and reasoned about such a move as marriage...can't say I did that. But I did wonder looking back whether it would have made any difference.
I miss my students.

curioushairedgal said...

Whenever you comment there's an edit button right below so you can make changes.
It's not about Darwinist/Christian/Nazi/Communist. It's about the logic behind such 'boxes'. Think.

Darren Wrede said...

>>>>"My focus is less on Darwinism than you think."
 
I didn't ask you about your focus.
 
>>>>"It is more on whether matter can intelligently organize itself. "
 
Then you're a Darwinist. That's what Darwinism claims.

abbeysbooks said...

Just because we project intelligence into it doesn't mean it is.

I am more interested in why this is so incredibly important to x-ray.

abbeysbooks said...

My copies of Dominique are in hostage. It's a beautiful case study. More of her needs to be translated into English. She's easier to understand than Lacan. He said she was the clinical perfection to his theory. She is too. If you read Dominique you will see him change from appointment to appointment. An incredible thing to happen when a child or anyone is in treatment. And she makes you see completely different.

abbeysbooks said...

Because we don't suffer fools gladly as I said before. You don't participate in a civilized Discourse. You interrogate and I don't think you know the difference. A pity.

Xray said...

Janet wrote:
"You don't participate in a civilized Discourse." (end quote)
Classic case of projection on your part I would say. :-)

Janet wrote:
"My "killer" reply to Darren was a JOKE my literal minded one. "

I know you used the term "killer" jokingly (for you were quite obviously not addressing a gangster boss :-),  ; but jest can reveal a lot.

Xray said...

 CHG wrote: 

"Are you kidding' me?!?" (end quote)


Why should I be kidding you? 

CHG wrote: 
"Yes, I know why he's not answering. The reason is there, in all the
comments. It's in his last reply to you, to this very answer you gave.
Think. If I give you the answer it will be my answer, it won't be yours." (end quote)
I'm curious to see if your answer is the same that I have.

Xray said...

Janet wrote: :
"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." (end quote)

You are mistaken to think that I have any dog in that fight. I'm interested in working out my  personal philosophy, and whether Rand has been influenced by NIetzsche interests me only marginally.

abbeysbooks said...

Asking for proof etc., define terms, check your premises do not belong in discourse, they belong in interrogations. No you don't participate in civilized discourse, you interrogate. If you are fuzzy about the meaning of discourse and interrogate then I refer you to Foucault: The Order of Things, The Archeology of Knowledge, and his Abnormal Lectures at the College de France 1974. It's all there. Get busy. Ellen Buttle won't know any of this nor Georgie Porgie Puddin Pie.

You can't say jokes reveal a lot in one context and then demand proof in another. One could say it's hypocritical in the dialectical discourse, or just plain sloppy reasoning. Go back to 101 logic. And your smileys don't mean good will, they are masks for the opposite. Smiley's are "floating signs" like "Have a good day!"

abbeysbooks said...

Projection is a defense mechanism first described by Anna Freud. A defense mechanism, is by definition, unconscious. What you need x-ray is some serious courses, a private tutor as you are woefully illiterate in the area you are engaging in. There is nothing wrong with not knowing, but your problem is that you don't know you don't know. What Zizek calls the unknown unknowns. as opposed to the known unknowns; the known knowns; and the unknown knowns. 

INstead you are playing a game here. Do you know the game you are playing? If you don't then read Eric Berne's Games People Play. That book will get you far in life.

Xray said...

CHG wrote:
"Can you tell me more about what from Hassan has entered into the quilt?" (end quote)

My quilt so far contains only few elements (the 'panta rhei' principle for example), and postmodernism in its "disjunctiveness" and "indeterminacy" (two terms used by Hassan ) is related to panta rhei. The postmodern movement  brings to mind that that nothing is 'set', so to speak. 

I well remember the time when, all of a sudden, the postmodernists came cracking into the orderly world of structuralism
like an earthquake. Suddenly "deconstruction" instead of construction
was on the agenda; instead of seeking meaning one got the refusal to
offer meaning, and so on.


Suddenly it was 'chic' to quote Foucault & Co as the vanguard of the new movement.


Here is where working with a dialectic analysis makes sense:


Philosophical or political movements leaning heavily toward one side are
most likey to be followed by movements that are antithetical to them.


Therefore it was only logical that the 'order' sought by the
structuralists was to be followed by postmodern 'chaos'. (I'm using the
term "chaos" merely descriptively, not as negatvie value judgement.
Chaos can be quite inspiring actually).

curioushairedgal said...

"Are you kidding me?" was rhetorical, like "I can't believe it" or something.No need to start interrogating right away.

You don't want an answer from Darren but a confession. If you were interested in anything other than your "gotcha" moment, you wouldn't have to ask why he's not answering. You would have figured it out by now.

Why should it matter so much what, if any, beliefs Darren has? It shouldn't. Unless you're biased about how crucial the answer is for this mental exercise of yours. Given your insistence on the subject, your bias is huge.

Is the answer you have same as mine?

curioushairedgal said...

To incorporate disjunctiveness requires the quilt to disjunct.
To incorporate indeterminacy requires the certainty of the quilt to become indetermined and more. As Hassan says
"By indeterminacy, or better still, indeterminacies, I mean a complex referent that these diverse concepts help to delineate: ambiguity, discontinuity, heterodoxy, pluralism, randomness,revolt, perversion, deformation. The latter alone subsumes a dozen current terms of unmaking:decreation, disintegration, deconstruction, decenterment, displacement, difference, discontinuity,disjunction, disappearance, decomposition, de-definition, demystification, detotalization,delegitimization-let alone more technical terms referring to the rhetoric of irony, rupture, silence."

deconstructions instead of construction
seeking meaning replaced by refusal to offer meaning
All this is dialectic.
Derridian deconstruction of meaning is not the opposite of construction of meaning.
See here for why (one of cool blogs Janet has on blog roll, you can see for yourself!):
http://limmoraliste.tumblr.com/post/17905513118/in-the-1971-interview-positions-derrida-states

When you get this, you'll see that seeking meaning was not replaced by refusal of meaning. Meaning/refusal of meaning, dialectic. Key notion in what you say is authority, seeking meaning FROM an authority, refusal BY an authority to offer meaning.  Authority is disjuncted, it's power is indetermin-ized. For this you will have to turn to Foucault.

Order/chaos, another binary. You may think you use it only descriptively, without negative connotations but juxtaposing them as you did in your reply echoes lean too much to one side, you'll end up far up the other.That is what the dialectic teaches.That's why within the dialectic you always choose order and remain quite inspired by the chaos. To do what? Wrapped up in your quilt, standing on the orderly peer, inspired by the tempestuous sea below, but not enough to jump in and feel it.
Have you read Eco's Foucault's Pendulum?

abbeysbooks said...

What has this woman of my mind turned herself into! Like little Eunice in Singapore who went on her school's swim team, and Sumi becoming a famous composer, and Avery a Dante musician, and and and oh the terrible devastating loss of all the genius's in the world because no one sees them in time.

curioushairedgal said...

'woman of my mind'...shit, tenaj,how do I respond to that.
The power of your voodoo works in the virtual world too, which makes it not so virtual.
Main difference being, no geniuses here,except in spiritu because they wrote books with inspiring titles.
You and your talking cure.

Darren Wrede said...

>>>>Eva Braun: "You are of course well aware of the dilemma you land with an assumed 'divine programmer'. For going by this premise, ticks, roundworms, rat fleas, etc. must also be the result of 'divine programming'."


I said nothing about the "divine". However, someone who did accept that idea might reply that ticks, roundworms, rat fleas, etc., are no more of a dilemma within a metaphysical system than the notion that absurdities like you and George H. Smith must also be the result of such programming. Both of you are potentially a lot more pernicious than a tick, a roundworm, or a rat flea, and Smith is a lot uglier than all of them. The conclusion would have to be that IF there were such a thing as a "divine programmer", one would have to assume that He, She, or It, had a rather sick-and-twisted sense of humor; like a stand-up comic who tells jokes that we just don't get.


However, as I said above, I said nothing about the "divine." I will note, however, the conceptual and mathematical absurdities of the current Darwinian scenarios when it tries to explain away the fact that species in two unrelated phyla in two unrelated kingdoms both have precisely the same trait, e.g., the hemoglobin molecule exists in mammals and it exists in the roots of certain beans as part of their mechanism for fixing nitrogen in soil.


The dilemma, of course, is this: (1) it's conceptually absurd, even within Darwinism itself, to claim that there was a distant common ancestor that was part-bean and part-mammal, or part plant and part animal, and which later diverged into the two separate kingdoms and then into distinct phyla. No Darwinist maintains such a thing (though I'm sure many around the Randroid Belt would believe it). (2) it's mathematically absurd to maintain — as most knee-jerk Darwinists do — that this is a case of so-called "convergent evolution", i.e., the exact same set of randomly-occurring beneficial mutations occurred in widely differing environments, in wholly different kingdoms and phyla, in geologically distantly separate times from each other, and BOTH sets of chance mutations just happened to have been selected by Natural Selection. Bullshit!


Probabilities multiply with one another: therefore, the total probability of such a convergence occurring is the product of the probability of the first event occurring (which is a small fraction above zero) and the probability of the second event occurring (which is also a small fraction above zero). The total probability of BOTH events occurring is the product of the two fractions, which equals an even smaller fraction. That fraction, in fact, is so small, that most mathematicians would simply say that as a matter of plausibility, it is ZERO, i.e., such a convergent evolution, as happenstance, has a zero chance of occurring. Only an ideologically committed Darwinist and Randroid would continue to claim that because the product is not precisely equal to zero, the result is somehow plausible.

Xray said...

Darren wrote:
"The specific quotes from Atlas are on SOLO. I'm not your private research assistant. Do your own investigation."
(end quote)

Do you know the content of the AS quotes?

Darren wrote:
"Maybe you can hire George H. Smith to do some of this work for you when he's released on parole." (end quote)

Interesting, the amout of rancour have against Ghs.
My guess is that you are probably envious because he has  published books and articles and you haven't.   

Xray said...

"But you were responding to me, not some Randroid. So why quote from Atlas Shrugged?" (end quote)

Why should I not quote from AS to an ex-Objectivist?
Does there exist any rule which says that says non-Objectivists can't quote from AS to ex-Objectivists? :-)

Xray said...

Janet wrote: (paraphrasing D'Anconia)
"And contradictions don't exist." (end quote)

Contradictions do exist. On a surface level.
But as for the truth, it is always consistent and contradiction-free. 

abbeysbooks said...

In the 1996 intro to Atlas Rand says that Dagny's error is overestimation of people, their potentail, her own ability to teach them, to inspire them with her energy and commitment, etc.

Might I say the same of you here with x-ray?

Darren Wrede said...

No rancour. I just find it amusing that you admire such a moron like him.


In fact, I'm published. And I didn't have to fuck Roy Childs for it, either.

Darren Wrede said...

Conversely, why would a declared non-Randroid like you quote from Atlas Shrugged in the first place?


Perhaps because you are a Randroid?

curioushairedgal said...

 Yo, Wrede, this is excellent!

Xray wrote: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.

DarrennerraD wrote:But you were responding to me, not some Randroid. So why quote from Atlas Shrugged?

Xray wrote: Why should I not quote from AS to an ex-Objectivist?

Does there exist any rule which says that says non-Objectivists can't quote from AS to ex-Objectivists? :-)

DarrennerraD wrote: Conversely, why would a declared non-Randroid like you quote from Atlas Shrugged in the first place?


Perhaps because you are a Randroid?

Xray, do you see? Do you see the DISJUNCTION of who SHOULD quote what to whom because it can be logically inferred from the evidence? What's with that which can be logically NOT inferred?

Xray said...

CHG wrote:
"And one more question. If you leave parts of a reply to you unanswered,
does that mean you're agreeing or it's simply irrelevant to you?" (end quote)

If replies are extensive, I often don't have the time to address all points in my answer, so it is often piecemeal-wise that I then  answer to these points in my later posts.

CHG wrote:
"To incorporate disjunctiveness requires the quilt to disjunct."
(end quote)
Any philosophical quilt will disjunct eventually because it is, like everything else, subjected to entropy. Nothing is here to stay untransformed.
That's why all dogma goes against a fundamental cosmic principle.
Postmodernists, one has to give them that, have often incorporated the idea of entropy into their writings.
In sharp contrast to Rand, who, while she did show a disintegrating world in AS, finishes the novels with an optimistic  "We are going back to the world" [and rebuild it just as it is 'right'] scenario.  

CHG wrote:
"When you get this, you'll see that seeking meaning was not replaced by
refusal of meaning. Meaning/refusal of meaning, dialectic." (end quote)

I wrote refusal to "offer" meaning by postmodern authors.
A definite meaning where the reader can hang his hat on.
Rand for example does offer meaning. This does does not mean one has to agree with 'her' meaning. 

CHG wrote:
"Key notion in
what you say is authority, seeking meaning FROM an authority, refusal
BY an authority to offer meaning.  Authority is disjuncted, it's power
is indetermin-ized. " (end quote)

No. It is about seeking the meaning the writer intended. It has nothing to do with regarding an author as authority.
For example, one can reject a book because one does not   agree with the meaning offered in it by the author.

CHG wrote:
"For this you will have to turn to Foucault." (end quote)

Foucault's ideas too will be (and probably already have been) replaced by
new, other philosophical hypes pervading the academic world.
These movements come in waves, and waves are a passing thing.
 

Xray said...

CHG wrote:
"Screw up the boxes, XRay!" (end quote)

It's Darren who has it in boxes.
He seems to think only Objectivists "ought to" be adressed by quotes from AS. :-)  

abbeysbooks said...

I refer the world to read this review of Jameson (scroll down) http://www.unemployednegativity.com/ Jameson is rereading Hegel's old dialectic in terms of Deluze's Difference and Repetition to spout off the top of my head. gone is the ole thesis-antithesis - synthesis - thesis progression. I haven't read Jameson except in essays online but he is my contemporary and a major philosophical force.

Hegel: The Owl...... can only be described in its Twilight. And there is Meyer's Twilight of Courtly Love: it can only be described when it is over. Baudrillard says this in Forget Foucault about Power. So does Rand in Atlas. Power is impotent without knowledge, and knowledge is impotent without power. They exist in relation to each other. Neither is separate. They are wedded.

Xray said...

CHG wrote:  
"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. " (end quote)
Important point.

CHG wrote:
"Did you use postmodernism as yet another tool of hermeneutics in your abovementioned arguments on OL?" (end quote)
I have the impression that it is actually Janet who proceeds like that, by looking at virtually everything with her postmodernist glasses on.

Xray said...

Darren wrtoe:
The conclusion would have to be that IF there were such a thing as
a "divine programmer", one would have to assume that He, She, or It,
had a rather sick-and-twisted sense of humor; like a stand-up comic who
tells jokes that we just don't get. (end quote)

Would you opt for discarding the idea of a "divine programmer" then?

curioushairedgal said...

Okay, after reading our reply I punched my self in the face, real hard. Now, when I regained consciousness, I can proceed with replying to you. What can I say, I am a sucker for self-inflicting pain.
Hermeneutics=interpretation= one "proper" reading, or as you say below, the one writer intended=supposition there is one TRUE meaning (the one author intended) and that any reading by the reader is suspectful i.e. most probably wrong as Shakespear is unlikely to return from beyond the grave and say: "But, the only thing I thought and wanted to say when I wrote Hamlet has a million thoughts is just...."!!!

Palimpsest, kaleidoscope are some of the tropes associated with postmodern lit crit. You know how there is a limited number of beeds and pebbles etc. in a kaleidoscope. And the one turning it gets different images. Imagine a book as a kaleidoscope, and the reader as the one turning.S/he is not the one telling you in which way and how to turn it, nor can s/he tell you which image to like the best. Tenaj is the one turning the kaleidoscope when she is READING ( I repeat, reading NOT interpreting)any work THROUGH Baudrillard or Nietzsche.

Postmodernism is not glasses (a tool!) you put on to see "better". Postmodernism is the way in which your brain works, the thinking, then you put glasses on you want to read THROUGH.

All of the above is on google.

I thank you for one thing though. I miss my students, and I had many like you, unwilling to read anything, no research reading apart from strictly obligatory,waiting for the "authority" paid for the job to deliver. They just expected to come to classes, have me dictate while they meticulously write everything down, correct me if I mispell anything on the board and then be gone certain that they have everything needed for their exams. They were expecting to be delivered a fixed meaning of a book, there has to be one, what else would I be doing there. So thank you for reminding me how much I want to go back.

abbeysbooks said...

You explain so clearly that I cannot believe it! Your students are/were so lucky!

curioushairedgal said...

Must be knocking myself unconscious first that brought it all on!

curioushairedgal said...

Nope, you're wrong.
See my reply to Darren aka nerrad aka Clark Kent (but really Kal-El whom no box could hold) above.

abbeysbooks said...

Really I am in awe of how you explain all this.

curioushairedgal said...

Nothing is here to stay untransformed.
Well, nothing except for YOUR philosophical quilt, or rather, the way you make it.

I know what you wrote. Meaning/refusal to offer meaning is STILL within the dialectic. They refuse TO OFFER because it is then putting themselves into a position of authority, the authority which GIVES meaning, and it's interpretation.
If you say Rand offers meaning, it means you are seeing it through interpretation, that there's one TRUE meaning (that you can agree/disagree with, with thesis, anithesis etc., but that remains forever uncertain as Rand is long gone), that Rand is an authority on her work, that the meaning is to be offered to the reader, not 'read' by the reader.

"One can reject the book...". Yes, if that one is seeing the book as having only ONE TRUE MEANING, that is intended by the author, the authority who has written the book. See kaleidoscope above.

"These movements come in waves, and waves are a passing thing."
Yeah, yeah, nothing remains ( except for your philosophical quilt!), panta rhei. You seem to direct your XRay eyes everywhere, except turn them onto yourself. You too shall pass (but NOT the quilt!), agreeing, disagreeing, remaining firmly in your box that looks like a warm quilt (that shall not pass!), made out of bits and pieces of things NOT understood.

Please, do not dissect my replies. Try and understand them as a whole, as they usually stick to one topic only. Which I believe is now fully exhausted.

abbeysbooks said...

As to x-ray I can remember too well my own Randian dogma an the patience someone had in deconstructing it little by little, in conversation after conversation until the lightbulb flash went on in a totally different context. Without his good-humored patience but there might I go.

curioushairedgal said...

Just an attempt at dislodging.Waiting 4 the lighbulb.

abbeysbooks said...

So Sewell's article by being refused falls into the trenches alongside the Dominating Discourse. And this is how it is done folks. Soon it will be covered by silt and road dust until it is forgotten. Wait! Nerrad went and uncovered it for us!

abbeysbooks said...

But eva can't leave. Haven't you seen Bunuel's Exterminating Angel?

Darren Wrede said...

>>>>Eva Braun: "Would you opt for discarding the idea of a 'divine programmer'"


A "divine" programmer is irrelevant to this discussion; one may discard the notion or not, as one wishes. Only you and your fellow Randroids on SOLO and OL have obsessed over it. My argument has always been that we must distinguish between "chance-contingency" (random energy that raises entropy) and "choice contingency" (directed energy capable of lowering it), lest we smuggle into scenarios of chemical evolution a violation of the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

Darren Wrede said...

You're right. It is like a scene from "The Exterminating Angel" — one of the great films by one of the great filmmakers. Have you read Bunuel's autobiography, "My Last Sigh"?

Darren Wrede said...

No, I maintain that it is only Randroids like you and your fellow cultists at SOLO and OL who would even think to quote from Atlas Shrugged in almost every discussion. You probably acquired that bad habit from Alisa Rosenbaum herself, who routinely quoted her own fiction works (mainly AS) in her other "non-fiction" essays, as if her own fiction dialogue, in the mouths of her own fiction characters, comprised scholarly source material.

Xray said...

Janet wrote:
"In the 1996 intro to Atlas Rand says that Dagny's error is
overestimation of people, their potentail, her own ability to teach
them, to inspire them with her energy and commitment, etc." (end quote)

I'm  surprised that Rand thought of Dagny as someone interested in teaching others. 
As for Dagny being in error about other people's potential - can you think of an example where this was the case? 
It is true that Dagny misinterpreted certain situations, but imo this was not due to her overestimating other people's potential. 
As for Dagny's own potential of inspiring others - but wasn't this actually an outstanding feature of her  character? Imo one of the reasons why she became to three other outstanding characters (Rearden, D'Anconia and Galt) the love of their lives was because they found her inspiring.  

Janet wrote:
"Might I say the same of you here with x-ray?" (end quote)

Like I stated said above, I disagree with Rand's assessment of Dagny here.

But if you should believe that being in error about these things would apply to me - when I think about it , the errors I have made in my life were very rarely connected to my wrongly assessing people.
I've always been an intuitive person, having no difficulty in sensing what makes people tick. .  

Being an inspiring and committed person and spotting potential in humans an essential part of my job as a teacher of the young. 
When I present to a kid a 'positive vision' of what he /she can become - there exists one text that I always have in the back of my mind because it has had a tremendous influence on me ever since I read it for the first time (which was during my grammar school ('Gymnasium' in German) graduation exam, where I chose this specific text out of several others for interpretation. 

It is a text by Bertolt Brecht: "Über das Anfertigen von Bildnissen"
http://www.praxis-staeck-schmidt.de/world-wide-net/Lesen/Bildnis.htm

I couldn't find out if there exists an English translation on the net, but if you or others should be able to find one, TIA for giving the link; it would spare me the effort of translating it myself here.  

abbeysbooks said...

Actually I hope no one comes up with it in English as I would like to read YOUR translation.

You can argue with Rand about Dagny. It's a quote.

Brecht: Now that's impressive. Yes I know you are intuitive. Remember fear of horses?

We rarely if ever get to see that side of you here, at OL or SOLO.

More please.

abbeysbooks said...

Vija Kinski: Money talks only to itself.

Michel Foucault:Language - literature - refers only to itself. (Since Don Quixote)

And of course non-fiction refers only to the Dominating Discourse. Sinc3e Ran's Objectivism was not the Dominating Discourse,Ran referred only to herself. Do u like my syllogism?

abbeysbooks said...

Oh no. It is wonderful I imagine.

My d key doesn't work very well. Rand ran didn't she.

curioushairedgal said...

Yes!

curioushairedgal said...

 Haven't been able to find the translation. It would be great if you could do it. I remember Mother Courage was the first play local theater put up during the war. And it was great, people were happy that there's at least some purpose to mayhem around, if it weren't for the war, they would have never understood it so fully.

Xray said...

Darren wrote:
"A "divine" programmer is irrelevant to this discussion; one may discard the notion or not, as one wishes." (end quote)
But you do think of a "programmer" as relevant? 

For your focus quite obviously IS on the idea of a 'programmer'. All your "directed energy to create order" posts point in this direction.

Darren wrote:

" it's conceptually absurd, even within Darwinism itself, to claim
that there was a distant common ancestor that was part-bean and
part-mammal, or part plant and part animal, and which later diverged
into the two separate kingdoms and then into distinct phyla. " (end quote)



What are you talking about? Mammals developed a good deal later than
other life forms;  since you are of course aware of that, your
"part-bean, part mammal" example is no more than a poor attempt to cloud facts with
fiction.



The distant common ancestor of man and chimp was a mammal. Humans
genetically have more in common with chimps than horses have with
donkeys.



I Kenya btw, Christian evangelical groups are trying to stop the displaying of pre-hominide fossils at a museum.

No surprise there. It would attack their belief that God created man in his image. :-)

Darren Wrede said...

>>>>Eva Braun: "But you do think of a "programmer" as relevant?"

I think of a "program" as relevant. So do many biochemists and molecular biologists today.

>>>>Eva Braun: "For your focus quite obviously IS on the idea of a 'programmer'. All your "directed energy to create order" posts point in this direction."

It's only obvious to unthinking and gullible Randroids like you, Eva. You obsess over possible religious implications of a scientific theory (that's why you reject the Big Bang hypothesis). That's a psychological problem on your part. See a shrink.

>>>>Eva Braun: "What are you talking about? Mammals developed a good deal later than 
other life forms;"

Precisely my point, genius. The odds of the same benevolent mutations happening a second time in mammals, after they supposedly happened the first time in beans, and then being selected yet again by Natural Selection, are essentially zero. Ask George H. Smith or Ellen Stumble if you have a problem figuring this out on your own.

>>>>Eva Braun: "The distant common ancestor of man and chimp was a mammal."

The question, again, is: how did the exact same trait -- the hemoglobin molecule -- develop in both bean and man? You're smart enough to understand that simple question, no?

And regarding putative "common ancestors" of man and chimp: Precisely what "common ancestor" would that be, Eva, eh? :) You mean, the one that exists only in your imagination and has never actually been discovered, because — according to that wonderfully convenient excuse — "the fossil record is incomplete"? THAT "common ancestor"? :) Show me a photograph, OK? :)

>>>>Eva Braun: "Humans genetically have more in common with chimps than horses have with donkeys."

And obviously that doesn't prove much of anything, right Eva? Because a horse can mate with a donkey and produce offspring; but a human cannot mate with a chimp — which proves that, genetics aside, horses and donkeys have a lot more in common than humans and chimps. So much for your silly obsession with genetic similarities and differences.

>>>>Eva Braun: "I Kenya btw, Christian evangelical groups are trying to stop the displaying of pre-hominide fossils at a museum. No surprise there. It would attack their belief that God created man in his image. :-)"

In the United States, pro-Darwin materialist knee-jerk morons (your kind of people, eh, Eva? :) ) are crying because a judge in Tennessee recently ruled that it's OK to criticize Darwinian theory in the classroom. I guess before that ruling, it was technically illegal to question the theory or criticize it in the classroom. How do you like that for scientific "open-mindedness," eh, Eva? :)

Xray said...

CHG wrote:
"Why should it matter so much what, if any, beliefs Darren has? It
shouldn't." (end quote)

It matters a lot to me in this context to know  from what backround someone is arguing.

Should it turn out that Darren argues from a religious biblical background (like many ID advocates), I'd know where I'm at.
My persistence in this issue is for pure clarification purposes.

CHG wrote:
"Hermeneutics=interpretation= one "proper" reading, or as you say below,
the one writer intended=supposition there is one TRUE meaning (the one
author intended) and that any reading by the reader is suspectful i.e.
most probably wrong as Shakespeare is unlikely to return from beyond the
grave and say: "But, the only thing I thought and wanted to say when I
wrote Hamlet has a million thoughts is just...."!!!"
(end quote)

I don't know why you have so completley misunderstood what I wrote. I neither said nor implied that an author's intention is the "true meaning" of a text. A text exists as a corpus countless individuals can 'interact' with (reception history deals with this), and no two people read a text in the same way, to each it "means" something else.
For example, you said that "The Fountainhead"  had you tremble all over.

Whereas when I read TF, I switched between boredom and anger because the main characters were so devoid of empathy.

As for terms like true "true" or "false" - they don't apply when it is about personal preferences or dislikes. So if Jane prefers pizza over pasta (or Tolstoj over Turgenjew),  her choice is neither 'true' nor 'false'.

When it comes to what the author intended, - let's take the simple case of an author, learly stating his /her intent, (as Rand often did) -  one can of course agree with the philosophy behind it or not.
I don't agree with Rand's opinion that Howard Roark is "as man should be". While I  don't dispute the truth of her stating this, I have a totally different idea about how "man should be". 


Janet wrote:
"You can argue with Rand about Dagny. It's a quote."  (end quote)

There exist a lot of Rand quotes I'd have liked to argue with her about. :) 

Xray said...

Darren wrote:
"You obsess over possible religious implications of a scientific theory (that's why you reject the Big Bang hypothesis)." (end quote)

Your cluelessness manifests itself again: I don't reject the Big Bang hypothesis.

Darren Wrede said...

>>>>Eva Braun: "I don't reject the Big Bang hypothesis."


Interesting. Most other Randroids do. They jump with excitement and start doing the Snoopy Dance every time some flaw in the hypothesis is pointed out publicly in the press, because they're hoping to replace it in their lifetimes with some version of a steady-state model more in sympathy with the diktat "Existence Exists!" Jawol!

How do you manage to reconcile your non-rejection of the Big Bang hypothesis with its obvious religious implications? Do you go into denial and compartmentalize?


Just wondering.

Darren Wrede said...

>>>>Eva Braun confessed the following: "It matters a lot to me in this context to know from what backround someone is arguing.
Should it turn out that Darren argues from a religious biblical background (like many ID advocates), I'd know where I'm at."

Why can't you know where you're "at" based on the arguments, as opposed to the background? Are you unable to assess an argument on its own merits? What can a "background" tell you that the argument itself cannot?


Only Nazis and Marxian communists insist that the background of their critics (race, religion, class) is relevant to their critics' arguments.


I knew you were lying when you denied you were a Nazi or a Marxian communist. Your confessed need to know the "background" of the argument (or the "background" of the arguer), instead of simply focusing on THE ARGUMENT, PER SE, can only come from a Nazi or a Marxian communist.


Thanks for admitting that, Eva! At least we've got that straightened out.

Xray said...

 CHG wrote: 
"Yeah, yeah, nothing remains ( except for your philosophical quilt!),
panta rhei. You seem to
direct your XRay eyes everywhere, except turn
them onto yourself. You too shall pass (but NOT the quilt!), agreeing,
disagreeing, remaining firmly in your box that looks like a warm quilt
(that shall not pass!), made out of bits and pieces of things NOT
understood." (end quote)

But of course the quilt won't remain either! It will perish as I pass away. Since all that exists is subject to entropy, this comprises the 'quilt' as well.

kidkennedy said...

Only the ego decides yes and no. The ego wieghs and thinks, the soul does not.
The ego's objective is to create identity...to separate.
The soul is pure love. It can not be shared because it does not belong to anything or anyone. The soul is life longing for its self.
When you listen to a symphony.......you love. Your ego will tell you that you are recognizing love. The composer's love and the listener's love are one and the same (from the soul).
The more that the ego say's yes to the soul, the smaller the ego becomes.

Last night, we went to a Lucinda Williams show. It was a small venue in an old adobe home and the kiva's were lit bright with warming fires.
We had to share a table with two other couples  and you have no idea what forced sharing with strangers does to an introvert like me. I was afraid that the situation would lessen or dampen my experience.
She sang so sweetly alone with her giutar "If we lived in a world without tears how would sorrow know which back door to come into.....how would broken know the bones"
She was so painfully beautiful in her performance and lyrics that i thought i might bleed.
The entire room full of people were all in love at the same time. That is soul.
My bf held me close and kissed my temple all night. At the end of the show, everyone at our table hugged each other, misty-eyed and completely moved into another plane of existance from our experience. It was the best night of my life. I have a love hangover from it this morning......so forgive me.
We were not sharing anything with the artist or the audience.....we simply were one. One soul. Pure love.

curioushairedgal said...

I read you here and I say yes too,the dizzying power of it all is in your words. A wondrous moment.
You know, Ayn knew, Neitzsche knew, it's like tracing it back to make the experience live now.Coming into it.
The lyricism of your introvert soul is beautiful, this mythical thread needed some music. Lucinda is just as you describe her.Oh, dude...

curioushairedgal said...

"When it comes to what the author intended, - let's take the simple case
of an author, learly stating his /her intent, (as Rand often did) -  one
can of course agree with the philosophy behind it or not.
I don't
agree with Rand's opinion that Howard Roark is "as man should be". While
I  don't dispute the truth of her stating this, I have a totally
different idea about how "man should be"."
How do you know what Rand meant?
And no, the answer isn't because she said so. Take it further. How do you know what Rand meant when she said Roark is as man should be?

When I say walking stick, do I mean a stick that's walking or a stick that's used for walking?
Or that famous Maigritte's "ceci n'est pas une pipe"? What's with that? Is writing "ceci est une pipe" really a pipe?

And can I just note that TF didn't make me tremble. I said it made me burn. How do you know what I meant when I said burn? You thought it was tremble?

The answers to all these questions should bring you to the death of the author. Roland Barthes, 1967 essay.
Here's the pdf http://www.tbook.constantvzw.org/wp-content/death_authorbarthes.pdf
 

curioushairedgal said...

 Exactly. She reads you just as she reads Janet or Rand or anyone else, I believe. She assumes there's the intention, the reason to be dug up, xrayed through unless stated 'clearly' as in Rand's case. She want to know where she's at but doesn't see that she's been there all the time.

curioushairedgal said...

Is your way of making the figurative quilt also subject to entropy?

I'll repeat here what I've already said in my reply to you above. You say:"For example, one can reject a book because one does not   agree with the meaning offered in it by the author."

How do you know what the meaning offered by the author is?

Please read this reply in connection with the one above.

Xray said...

 Janet wrote:
"Yes I know you are intuitive. Remember fear of horses?" (end quote)

The "fear of horses" thing was more an issue of common sense than of intuition.
I thought that it made no sense for a chief to be called "Young Man Afraid of his Horses".  
I then started to think about a reason for him having this odd name, but the possible 'explanation' I could think of turned out to be wrong, as I later learned. 

CHG wrote.
"Haven't been able to find the translation. It would be great if you could do it."
(end quote)

I'm always hesitant to translate into English because it is not my native language.  Translations are usually done into one's native language.
 

Xray said...

 Darren wrote:
"And regarding putative "common ancestors" of man and chimp: Precisely
what "common ancestor" would that be, Eva, eh? :) You mean, the one that
exists only in your imagination and has never actually been discovered,
because —
according to that wonderfully convenient excuse — "the fossil
record is incomplete"? THAT "common ancestor"? :) Show me a
photograph, OK? :)"
(end quote)

Educate yourself a little: here is a link to the videao "The fifth Ape"
http://www.objectivistliving.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=12085&pid=162851&st=0&#entry162851

"Because a
horse can mate with a donkey and produce offspring; but a human cannot
mate with a chimp — which proves that, genetics aside, horses and
donkeys have a lot
more in common than humans and chimps. So much for
your silly obsession with genetic similarities and differences."  (end quote)

In the video I linked to, the reseacher does not rule out that theroetically humans and chimps could produce offspring. But I doubt such experiments have ever been performed because they are regarded as unethical.

Xray said...

 Darre wrote:
"How do you manage to reconcile your non-rejection of the Big Bang
hypothesis with its obvious religious implications?"
(end quote)

The error of religionists re the Big Bang is to think of it as a creatio ex nihilo.
But the Big Bang theory is not about something from nothing. It is about matter being concentrated to point of extreme density before expanding.  

abbeysbooks said...

Give it a whirl. We will help you. I love Brecht.

Darren Wrede said...

>>>>Eva Braun: "But the Big Bang theory is not about something from nothing."


We didn't say that's what it was about. But it has IMPLICATIONS regarding origins. Even Randroids recognize that.


>>>>Eva Braun: "It is about matter being concentrated to point of extreme density before expanding."


And the IMPLICATIONS of that theory regarding origins?

curioushairedgal said...

 I agree with Janet.

Xray said...

CHG wrote:
"How do you know what Rand meant?
And no, the answer isn't because she
said so. Take it further. How do you know what Rand meant when she said
Roark is as man should be?" (end quote)

Ayn Rand was not the type to make 'cryptic' statements, was she. She was not the type who would 'camouflage' her messages in any way. Hence there is no need to unnecessearily complicate things. So if the Roark character figuring in the text corpus TF Roark was to her "as man should be", one can infer that she meant what she said. 
See further elaborates on this "man as man should be" in TF, 25th anniversary ed. paperb, page 696.

Xray said...

Darren wrote:
"Why can't you know where you're "at" based on the arguments, as opposed
to the background? Are you unable to assess an argument on its own
merits? What can a "background" tell you that the argument itself
cannot?" (end quote)

It is the background from which someone is arguing from which offers clear insight into this individual's premises. 
It is the background which provides the 'explanation' for e. g. obviously nonsensical arguments.
If, for example, you are (seriously, not ironically) told by person X that the world was created in seven days, it allows the inference that X is arguing from a religious biblical background that 'explains' the inanity of the argument. 

Xray said...

CHG wrote:
 "Is your way of making the figurative quilt also subject to entropy?Flux
in this lifetime?
Todo passa, todo se transforma here and now, not when
I'm dead?" (end quote)

Since permanent transformation is a cosmic principle, it naturally makes the 'quilt' subject to transformation during my lifetime as well.

Janet wrote:
"As to x-ray I can remember too well my own Randian dogma an the patience
someone had in deconstructing it little by little, in conversation
after conversation until the lightbulb flash went on in a totally
different context."
(end quote)

All attempts to hold onto  dogmatic thought systems are bound to fail because they violate the universal principle  of permanent transformation.
Not  allowing fresh and inspiring elements into a philosophy
(ideologists hardly ever allow this) is putting it on life support.

In resisting these perfectly
natural and creative transformations, the
dogmatists have to pay a price they never wanted: without intending it,
they in fact contribute to that which they wanted to avoid at all costs:
the death of the dogma.

Humanity is definitely moving away from dogmatic thought systems. The signs are
everywhere.

Darren Wrede said...

>>>>Eva Braun: "It is the background which provides the 'explanation' for e. g. obviously nonsensical arguments."

What if you don't know anything about the background? You wouldn't be able to respond to the argument and would look like a twit, staring dumbly at your feet. (Come to think of it, Eva, that is what you look like.)Most people with normal brain functions are able to evaluate arguments on their own merits, without knowing anything about their opponents' background, which might tell them something about a person's motives for having put forward an argument, but is irrelevant to the argument's truth or validity.But, then, most people aren't Randroids.It's apparent you're the kind of Randroid who is more interested in the motives of the person making an argument, rather than the truth or validity of the argument, per se.That's typical of Randroids, just as it was typical of Rosenbaum herself.

abbeysbooks said...

OK x-ray I agree with you. You are right but for the wrong reasons. 
http://aynrand2.blogspot.com/2012/05/zizek-actuality-of-ayn-rand-journal-of.html

abbeysbooks said...

How a man should be. This is Nietzsche through Rand. arriving to us from x-ray. 
http://aynrand2.blogspot.com/2012/05/zizek-actuality-of-ayn-rand-journal-of.html  How many hours this took me to untangle in my mind. Whew!

Xray said...

 Darren wrote: "What if you don't know anything about the background? You wouldn't be
able to respond to the argument and would look like a twit, staring
dumbly at your feet. (Come to think of it, Eva, that is what you look
like.)" (end quote)

Pure wishful thinking on you part, lol. That would suit my to think of me as a 'twit', wouldn't it. 

Xray said...

 Janet wrote: 
"OK x-ray I agree with you. You are right but for the wrong reasons. 

http://aynrand2.blogspot.com/2... " (end quote)

I'll reply to you over there as soon as I get around to. 

Darren Wrede said...

What if you don't know anything about the background?

Answer the question.

abbeysbooks said...

Your way of quoting past threads forces you into linear thinking BTW. I know you are used to it at objectivist dying, but to do it here means that you think you require it to be able to reply properly. So you use it when you don't need to use it. It has a name, a definition. It is called perseveration. Do you want to try to stop?

It forces you into the he said,she said modality.  All this may just be a platform problem. A software problem. I've seen the same els3ewhere used more viciously and I don't mean OL or SOLO.  People fit into the template and then can't think out of its particular box.

Xray said...

Darren wrote:
"And the IMPLICATIONS of that theory regarding origins?"

When discussing about possible origins here, all one gets is an infinite regress, which even a six-year old can detect; it WAS actually a six-year-old once asked me this:
"If God made the world - then who made God?
Smart kid, eh? 
So all one can do is to put up an arbitrary 'stop sign' in one's mind re causality, and either claim that god "always was", or that matter "always was".

Xray said...

Darren wrote: 
"What if you don't know anything about the background?"


 (end quote)

I'd try to find out more.

abbeysbooks said...

For Dareen and x-ray



Darren wrote: 
"And the IMPLICATIONS of that theory regarding origins?"

When discussing about possible origins here, all one gets is an infinite regress, which even a six-year old can detect; it WAS actually a six-year-old once asked me this:
"If God made the world - then who made God? 
Smart kid, eh?  
So all one can do is to put up an arbitrary 'stop sign' in one's mind re causality, and either claim that god "always was", or that matter "always was". 

Ahhhh Darren gotcha!  Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics - Dreyfus and Rabinow How awfully post modern of you! The POMO statement that causality has always been seen by precession, inferring the cause from the effect(s).

No causes, no origins because of infinite regression and no idealistic horizon either for the same spinning off into infinity. Just Events, discontinuous, abrupt, spiraling outwards to ......???? Like Borges description of the resonances of a book.

Are you giving up on linearity Darren? And linear dialectical discussion/arguments with x-ray?

abbeysbooks said...

Causes belong in the Order of Production: statistics; probability theory; prediction; accumulation; survival; etc.

abbeysbooks said...


This contrasts with the philosophy, which focuses its attention on fractures. Its interest is on the effects of interruptions and boundaries. The problem is no longer the foundation of a term or an and idea, but rather its transformation. In the center of the history of thought now is discontinuity.


Article summarized here:  http://gpdh.org/2012/05/16/foucault-revisited-for-the-digital-humanities/

abbeysbooks said...


 Even the units “book” and “work” are not backed up: A certain number of characters mark the boundaries of a text and a certain number of texts can be assigned to an author, indeed; but: the discursive unity of a text is never clean and severely cut, it is a knot in a net in which one text refers to others texts. Foucault wants to have a “pure description of discursive events” as a horizon for the study of a particular object.


http://wethink.hypotheses.org/280 

abbeysbooks said...

If you would register at disqus replying would be a piece of cake.

Darren Wrede said...

>>>>Eva Braun: "I'd try to find out more."


At no time would you ever attempt to focus just on the argument itself?

Darren Wrede said...

>>>>Eva Brain finally confesses that: "all one can do is to put up an arbitrary 'stop sign' in one's mind re causality, and either claim that god "always was", or that matter "always was"."


That's the first coherent reply you've posted, as well as the most honest. I guess we have that six-year-old to thank for that.


The "stopping point re causality" you admitted to is called a "First Cause". If the choice of a First Cause — according to you, an ever-existing God or ever-existing matter — were *arbitrary* (as you asserted), then there's no particular advantage in choosing one First Cause over the other: God as First Cause is just as good an explanation as matter as First Cause. According to you, we may as well toss a coin to decide between them, right?

abbeysbooks said...

Aaaaagggggggghhhhhhhh!

abbeysbooks said...

Ah Darren you won. Don't torture. Go listen to Cowboy Junkies instead. Reading Foucault puts that baby to bed. Also Sontag's Against Interpretation.

Xray said...

Darren  wrote: 
"At no time would you ever attempt to focus just on the argument itself?"
(end quote)

Without the argument present, I wouldn't even think of the person's background.
From an argument like e. g. "The world is 6000 years old and I can prove it!" I would conclude that I'm discussing with a biblical creationist. I'm sure you would infer the same.

You for example are totally mistaken in going by the premise that I'm arguing from an Objectivist background.

Xray said...

 CHG wrote: 
"And can I just note that TF didn't make me tremble. I said it made me
burn. How do you know what I meant when I said burn? You thought it was
tremble?" (end quote)

I recalled something going in the direction of "intense emotion", but didn't take the time to check and mistakenly wrote tremble instead of burn. I stand corrected. Okay, TF made you burn then.

Darren Wrede said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGE-DWS2CWc

"When an irresistable force –
– such as you;

Meets an old, immovable object –
– like me;

You can bet –
– as sure as you live . . .

SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE,
SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE,
SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE!"

Who needs Alisa Rosenbaum and her discordant Randroids? There's some great philosophy presented by the Maguire Sisters (thanks to the immortal Johnny Mercer, who wrote both the lyrics and the music for this one). Their tight harmonization (the fruit of many hours of rehearsal, I'm sure) is fantastic.

By the way, Ms. Sontag is featured prominently on my bookshelf, including her important "On Photography."

We're in sync, tenaj.

Darren Wrede said...

>>>>Eva Braun wiggled around in denial: "Without the argument present, I wouldn't even think of the person's background."

In other words, at no time would you ever FOCUS on the argument itself, right?

The argument is simply a way for you to speculate on background, and therefore to psychologize regarding motives. Right? That's your only interest: psychologizing on someone's motives.

e. g. "The world is 6000 years old and I can prove it!" I would conclude that I'm discussing with a biblical creationist. I'm sure you would infer the same.

I wouldn't infer anything. I'd wait to hear the person's ARGUMENT. The ARGUMENT. Get it? The ARGUMENT. If the person said, "my proof is that it says so in the Bible and I regard the Bible as an infallible source of historical truth" then and only then would I conclude that my interlocutor is a Biblical literalist. But if he offered some other kind evidence, based on geology — even if completely wrong — I would have no reason to think he or she was a Biblical literalist.

Conversely, someone who is a Biblical creationist (not a "literalist", but a "creationist") might claim that he accepts all the current thinking on the age of the earth. You forgot about that possibility, Eva Braun, in your Nazi-like zeal to judge motives rather than to assess ARGUMENTS.


From an argument like e. g. "The world is 6000 years old and I can prove it!" I would conclude that I'm discussing with a biblical creationist. I'm sure you would infer the same.

abbeysbooks said...

Nice memory with that link. That was the time of Dixieland and jazz. Errol Garner on the piano at the Venture Inn in Philly saying to me, "Sit up there on top of the piano honey and sing! Helen Morgan used to do that. Go ahead."

Xray said...

Janet wrote: 

"And the IMPLICATIONS of that theory regarding origins?"



When discussing about possible origins here, all one gets is
an infinite regress, which even a six-year old can detect; it WAS
actually a six-year-old once asked me this:
"If God made the world - then who made God? 
Smart kid, eh?  
So
all one can do is to put up an arbitrary 'stop sign' in one's mind re
causality, and either claim that god "always was", or that matter
"always was".

Ahhhh Darren gotcha!  Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics - Dreyfus and Rabinow
How awfully post modern of you! The POMO statement that causality has
always been seen by precession, inferring the cause from the effect(s).
(end quote)

Janet,
In case you think that the second part of the quote (starting with "When discussing about possibe origins here ..." ) is also from Darren - it was I who wrote this.

Xray said...

Darren wrote:
 >>>>Eva Braun wiggled around in denial: "Without the
argument present, I wouldn't even think of the person's background." (end quote)

I was merely pointing out that an individual's argument is the 'corpus', so to speak, from which certain conclusions re this person's philosophical/religous/political background can be drawn.
Background checking then serves to verify or falsify the conclusions.

Darren wrote:
"I wouldn't infer anything. I'd wait to hear the person's ARGUMENT. The
ARGUMENT. Get it? The ARGUMENT. If the
person said, "my proof is that it
says so in the Bible and I regard the Bible as an infallible source of
historical truth" then and only then would I conclude that my
interlocutor is a Biblical literalist. But if he offered some other kind
evidence, based on geology — even if completely wrong — I would have no
reason to think he or she was a Biblical literalist." (end quote)

My aproach is a good deal more economical: I would just ask the person directly if he/she is a biblical creationist (or literalist, a subcategory of biblical creationism). 

Darren wrote:
"Conversely, someone who is a Biblical creationist (not a "literalist",
but a "creationist") might claim that he accepts all
the current
thinking on the age of the earth. You forgot about that possibility, Eva
Braun, in your Nazi-like zeal to judge motives rather than to assess
ARGUMENTS." (end quote)

Since my example was about an individual who did NOT  accept  the current thinking on the age of the earth,  your critique does not apply.
"Biblical creationist"  is the broader category, comprising biblical literalists as well as those who read the bible less literally. Hence my calling a young earth advocate a biblical creationist  is perfectly warranted. There is no need in this context to use the subcategory 'biblical literalist'.
A biblical literalist is therefore always also a biblical creationist, but a biblical creationist is not necessarily biblical literalist. 

As for you believing that' I'm an Objectivist: this is as false an inference as it woud be if e. g. someone who happened to discover this blog here should infer that I'm an advocate of Nietzschean and Foucauldian thought because I'm posting here.

Darren Wrede said...

>>>>Eva Braun repeated: "I was merely pointing out . . . "


In other and fewer words, at no time would you ever focus on the argument itself.

Xray said...

Darren wrote:
"In the United States, pro-Darwin materialist knee-jerk morons (your kind
of people, eh, Eva? :) ) are crying because a judge in Tennessee
recently ruled that it's OK to criticize Darwinian theory in the
classroom. I guess before that ruling, it was technically illegal to
question the theory or criticize it in the classroom. "
(end quote)

Can't resist regaling you with a passage from Bill Bryson's wonderful book "A walk in the woods", p- 144/145:

Bill Bryson:

"While we while we waited on a bench outside the motel office, I bought a copy of the 'Nashville Tennessean' newspaper out of a metal box, just to see what was happening in the world. The principal story indicated that the state  legislation, in one of those moments of enlightenment with which the Southern states often distinguish themselves, was in the process of passing a law banning schools from teaching evolution. Instead  they were required to instruct that the Earth was created by God, in seven days, sometime before the turn of the century. The article reminded us that this was not new in Tennessee [Bryson then mentions the 1925 Scopes trial in Dayton, where the state prosecuted a schoolteacher for teaching Evolution].

Bryson  continues: "As nearly everyone knows, Clarence Darrow, for the defence, roundly humilitated William Jennings Bryan, for the prosecution, but what most people don't realize is that Darrow lost the case. Scopes was convicted  and the law wasn't overturned in Tennessee until 1967. And now the state was about to bring the law back, proving conclusively that the danger for Tennesseeans isn't so much that they are descended form apes as that they may be overtaken by them."  
[end quote Bill Bryson]

Priceless, isn't it Darren?  :-)
Just curious: Bryson wrote this in 1997 -  has the state of Tennessee been successful in passing the law?

.

Xray said...

Janet wrote:  
"Your
way of quoting past threads forces you into linear thinking BTW. I know
you are used to it at objectivist dying, but to do it here means that
you think you require it to be able to reply properly. So you use it
when you don't need to use it. It has a name, a definition. It is called
perseveration. Do you want to try to stop?



It forces you into the he said,she said modality.  All this may just
be a platform problem. A software problem. I've seen the same elsewhere
used more viciously and I don't mean OL or SOLO.  People fit into the
template and then can't think out of its particular box. "(end quote)

What do you mean by "quoting past threads"? I have the netiquette habit of providing, if possible, links to my sources.
But if you think this is not necessary here on your blog, just let me know. 

As I wrote a while ago, I find blogs pretty unnerving because the various replies are aways 'embedded' in all kinds of places, so I have to scroll back and forth all the time to retrieve the posts I want to reply to. 

Re your rejection of "linear thinking": blogs are in themselves a VERY linear thing, far more than forums. You always have to scroll up and down, back and forth. Have you ever thought of opening a forum instead a sticking to a host of linear blogs?

Xray said...

Darren wrote:
"I think of a "program" as relevant. So do many biochemists and molecular biologists today. " (end quote)

Which again takes us to the question whether a programmer also has to exist.
For if yes, then this programmer also caused ticks, roundworms, rat fleas etc. to exist. In short, all the nice little critters which I suppose got no passenger ticket for Noah's Ark. :-)

Xray said...

Darren wrote:
"If the choice of a First Cause — according to you, an ever-existing God
or
ever-existing matter — were *arbitrary* (as you asserted), then
there's no particular advantage in choosing one First Cause over the
other."
(end quote)

By "arbitrary", I was not referring to the choice between positing matter or god as First Cause. Instead I was referring to the act as 'arbitrary' that puts up a 'stop sign' in the mind to end a  causality chain.

Darren wrote:
"God as First Cause is just as good an explanation as matter as First
Cause." (end quote)

Neither choice 'explains' anything.

Xray said...

Janet wrote: 
"Actually I hope no one comes up with it in English as I would like to read YOUR translation." (end quote)

You would be disappointed of the result. For my aversion against translating does not make me a good translator. Translating has always been what I liked least in my studying of foreign languages. So much gets lost in translation anyway, even by first-rate translation pros.

Xray said...

CHG wrote:
"Whenever you comment there's an edit button right below so you can make changes." (end quote)

I can't see any edit button.
Maybe one has to do extra registering in order to be able to edit?

Xray said...

Darren wrote:
"[Rand] routinely quoted her own fiction works (mainly AS) in her other
"non-fiction" essays, as if her own fiction dialogue, in the mouths of
her own fiction characters, comprised scholarly source material." (end quote)

One comes across this kind of circular reasoning quite often when discussing with orthodox Objectvists, who often quote Galt's speech to critics, obviously believing that what is said in there constitutes objective evidence refuting the critics' case.
 

abbeysbooks said...

If you would register with disqus.com through this blog (the logo is at the very top of the comments) then you will always be able to check the replies of all the people you want to folow by adding them to your follow list and they will all show up. You will also have a category of "replies to you" which you can click on and get all your personal replies, then there is a click of "your comments" so you can see what you wrote in a stream. 

Then right in disqus you can click on reply to a comment that you want to reply to. You can also see who is following you. Maybe they are just reading, maybe not, but they have put you on their follow list.

You will also be able to reply to many other blogs who are netted into disqus without registering or putting in a code for each of your comments. 

All your complaints will be put to rest. Disqus is an open system as opposed to a closed system blog owned by someone who decides who can say what, when they can say it, where they can say it, how they can say it, and why they can say it - in other words those blogs that have a Dominating Discourse that includes and marginalizes or refuses admittance to all others. Or as Lacan and Zizek might say, "a blog run by a big Other".

No I am not going to set rules here by which you can abide by or not. You are free to comment and take the consequences of what you say. 

People know what they say. They often even know why they say what they say. But what they don't know is what they say does. - Michel Foucault.

And good work of what I attributed to Darren!

abbeysbooks said...

And then you would enter the "psychological swamp of interpretation" as Baudrillard tells us. All psychological interpretation lies within the dialectic. He said what, why he said it, when, how, in what context which is what the Dominating Discourse is. You can dig in there and have an entire career made on it when all you have done is add some more fluff to it all.

I know from my Vietnamese friend who studied in Germany and Paris, speaking both languages as well as English. His English was wonderful so I am assuming he made the same effort with the others. What he told me was, "The Germans like to get at the ROOT of the problem." Might we say origin? I certainly used to and would argue all night trying to get there. Of course one never can get resolution, just agreeing to disagree. 

Slip into a reading through........and it becomes just your reading. Then you can read it through another.....and another.......and it keeps decentering.

I must admit I am more than a little annoyed with Cronenberg for missing the incredible importance of Eric Packer's relation with his wife Elise Shifrin in Cosmopolis, and so avoided my reading of Jesus overturning the tables of the money changers to Packer's destruction of cyber capital in one fell swoop, that I want to beat and torture and kill him! Also my reading of Cosmopolis through Ayn Rand who has told DeLillo how to do it fictionally and Baudrillard who has told him how to do it philosophically.

But Rand did it before the post moderns in her fiction. As did Bataille and Klossowski, and even tho her writing can be considered as "trash" as can Stephenie Meyer's, it does not take anything away from their cultural and intellectual influence.

abbeysbooks said...

My Singapore frilends laughed at me saying I wanted to get at the "root" of things. Laughing she told me Asians, Singaporeans were on the surface.

abbeysbooks said...

On each disqus comment in your dashboard at the far right are 4 buttons: edit; rdeply; delete; and CONTEXT! At the top it may say darren replied to you or x-ray commented or x-ray commented to CHG. If you forget what you said to what why then just click on context and an entire thread can appear. Like magic!

abbeysbooks said...

Ah but it is a wonderful way to learn to think differently. Just do it anyway, it won't matter if you make mistakes or it can be improved on. I was listening to Errol Garner in the mid 50's play piano in a small private jazz place called the Venture Inn in Phillay. I was watching his hands on the keys so I was quite close to him. He turned to me and said, Just hop on top of the piano and sing! Little Helen Morgan used to. So can you. Go on, go ahead. But I was too shy to sing and make mistakes. I had been brainwashed by music teachers into thinking I couldn't sing, when everyone can sing, even Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan!

curioushairedgal said...

I was not disputing the fact that Ayn stated Roark is "as man should be". Yes, he was. It is a fact she said it. What I was aiming at was what this "as man should be" is. How do you know what Rand meant when she wrote Roark, as man should be? The point of all of this is to get you to consider that all the reader has is a reader's point of view. The author is dead. You are reading everything through yourself, and in every reading, as in every translation, there are things lost, inevitably. (Which kinda makes the argument of things lost in translation you made re translating Brecht irrelevant. Things get lost anyway, what matters is what gets across, and the heart of it usually does as language works in mysterious ways. But if you hate translating then I understand completely.)
One example is this burn/tremble thing. I intuitively knew you understood my 'burn'. Pointing out your choice of words was not to pick holes in your comment. The intention was to draw focus on how even though we shared a very similar or even the same comprehension of the word, we expressed it differently, and if it weren't for this blog, it would have never been known.
Reader's perspective is the first step. It can take one towards relativity, every reader has her/his own reading, we each see things differently, we agree to disagree etc... As Janet pointed out to me a while ago, implications are then that there's no wrong or right, no good or bad, everyone has the right for their own perspective even if that perspective propagates the annihilation of, let's say, a race of people. Tracing back the thought(s) of a book is what opens the book up. Like us, the author, though now long dead, was a reader at one point in time. What is it that the author/reader did with her/his work? What is it that I as a reader, and author of these words, do with that book now? How can I as a reader come as close to the author/reader that Rand was?
These questions all have to do with postmodern tropes; 'kaleidoscope', 'destabilization', 'disjunction' of what is established, accepted, including such concepts in the reader's mind. The perspective of me as a reader, then the author as reader, than those authors s/he read as readers makes a book spiral out. It sorta makes it irresponsible to stick to only one perspective, that one which positions the reader into the center of all things without taking into account how the reader too has too be destabilized in the ongoing decentering of postmod thinking.


 

Xray said...

Janet wrote (quoting Foucault)
People know what they say. They often even know why they say what
they say. But what they don't know is what they say does. - Michel
Foucault.(end quote)

I think one can frequently make a pretty good guess about what it does that one says. 

curioushairedgal said...

I'm typing on some prehistoric computer and disqus won't save edit so here it is:
Xray, strike what I wrote above about understanding your hating the translating. It would be wonderful if you just focused on what gets across, as so much does when you're translating someone you love! I have proof of this other than experiential.

Darren Wrede said...

>>>>Eva Braun wrote: "...who often quote Galt's speech to critics..."

My point, moron, was that, in her supposedly non-fiction works, Alisa Rosenbaum often quoted her own fictional dialogue from her own fiction characters from her own own fiction literary works intending such quotes to serve as scholarly source material. Randroids like you and others on SOLO and OL quote from Rosenbaum's fiction works to each other — not to critics, but amongst yourselves — as if any of this had anything to do with scholarship. It doesn't. It simply helps foster a cult mentality.

Darren Wrede said...

>>>>Eva Braun evasively wrote: "By "arbitrary", I was not referring to the choice between positing matter or god as First Cause.


I know.


>>>>"I was referring to the act as 'arbitrary' that puts up a 'stop sign' in the mind to end a causality chain.


I know. The implication of your assertion — which you evade as a huge "blank-out" — is that, THEREFORE, it makes no difference if one chooses God or matter as a First Cause. That's the implication you evade.


>>>>"Neither choice 'explains' anything."


Then you prefer an infinite regress to an arbitrary stopping point. In your view, an infinite regress would "explain" something.

abbeysbooks said...

Language has lost representation. What Benno says in Cosmopolis, "People keep trying to put the sign and the sound together and they don't fit." (Close to his meaning anyway.) Signifiers now "FLOAT!" This is the point. They float. The signifier is no longer attached to anything. Language refers only to itself. Money talks only to money, to itself.What Randroids are doing is almost self-referential, Rand refers only to Rand, Rand talks to herself.

This is the problem of information, money, sex circulating globally, rising and setting with the sun; in orbit; asymmetrical; radical.

So your point of Objectivism being part of her fiction is true but unacknowledged by her disciples or even herself. Rand's work is a floating sign in a way that becomes more obvious in a work of fiction such as Cosmopolis, itself a "floating sign" that can be read in an infinite number of ways.

abbeysbooks said...

Foucault says this in his Lectures on Abnormal at the College de France. He is referring to a well known and respected psychiatrist (Lacan) who in doing an evaluation of a criminal reverts to his delinquent boyhood to show his linear path toward criminality. In other words, condemning him by precession. It was pre-ordained that he would do this. Foucault is exposing that way of thinking in a very revered authority figure. One did not throw the gauntlet to Lacan lightly in the mid 70's in France.

Hence he said:

People know what they say. They even often know why they say what they say. But what they don't know is what they say does. - Foucault


In other words, Discourse CAN KILL!. Of course this is what Lacsan's evaluation accomplished. The criminal was executed.

Take the US wars in the Middle East. Patriotism and Nationalism were the words used to convince the masses of the necessity of declaring war after 9-11 and then extending it to Iraq.


Bust used "only words" but those words have killed, maimed, mutilated, murdered, etc " thousands of innocent people.


And then we can go to Hitler, but let's not. Just words.

Darren Wrede said...

>>>>"Which again takes us to the question whether a programmer also has to exist."


Not so different from the questions implied by the fact of the Big Bang: the original singularity of compressed matter/energy had to have a cause. Where did it come from? How did it get here? What brought it forth? How? That you habitually evade these questions doesn't mean they aren't implied by the theory. Those are the religious implications of the Big Bang theory. They don't disappear just because you choose to evade them.


>>>>"For if yes, then this programmer also caused ticks, roundworms, rat fleas etc. to exist."


So what? If yes, then this programmer also caused an ignorant twat in Germany calling itself "Xray" to come into existence apparently for the purpose of misleading young children in their early education, as well as causing a prick in the U.S. (now in hiding for tax evasion) calling itself George H. Smith to appear, apparently for the purpose of writing an execrable book exhorting readers to accept the idea that rationality requires the belief that matter self-organizes itself in contradiction to the 2nd law of thermodynamics, and that programs, books, plays, symphonies, and scientific theories are capable of appearing on their own if only given enough time for ink, paper, and "natural selection" to sort through all the possibilities until the "right" combination of words, notes, or mathematical symbols, gets chosen as "more fit" than the other combinations. Sounds stupid to me (not surprised you admire him; for those are truly profound thoughts that only a Randroid could love).


I fail to understand why you believe that ticks, worms, and fleas are "evil" or contradictory to the idea of a programmer whereas "Xray" and "George H. Smith" are assumed to be good. If given the choice between a planet inhabited by nothing but ticks, roundworms, and rat fleas, or a planet with nothing on it but a twat calling itself Xray, a prick calling itself George H. Smith, and excrement calling itself Lindsay Perigo, I would choose the former as being far more benign — and more intelligent.


>>>"In short, all the nice little critters which I suppose got no passenger ticket for Noah's Ark. :-)"


Apparently, you're hung-up on the Bible. You're a mentally ill Yentavist. See a shrink. :)

Xray said...

 Darren wrote:
[quoting me] >>>>"Neither choice 'explains' anything." (end quote Xray)



"Then you prefer an infinite regress to an arbitrary stopping point. In your view, an infinite regress would "explain" something." (end quote Darren)

You youself have just quoted my reply where I verbatim stated: "Neither choice [First Cause or infinite regress] 'explains'' anything.", and from this you conclude that infinite regress explains something to me? Huh??

This is as absurd as if you had stated: "Neither the theory of scientist A  nor the theory of scientist B explains anything about issue Z ",  and replied: "In your view, the theory of scientist  B would "explain" something. " 

Darren Wrede said...

This is why, Eva, you have the fine reputation that you do: a 9th-rate mind and an intellectual blank-cartridge. The choices before you regarding issue Z are not "A" or "B"; they are "A" or "Not-A". "Not-A" includes "B", "C", "D", etc. It includes everything but "A". Get it?

Issue Z=Origin of the Universe
Theory A = An infinite regress;
Theory Not-A = No infinite regress (= an "arbitrary" stopping point chosen as a First Cause).

"Not-A" includes all arbitrary stopping points: God, matter, elves, etc.

The only alternative to an infinite regress is "no infinite regress", which means "some point at which the causal chain stops", which means "the stopping point must be assumed to be eternal (causeless) or self-caused, and like a big finger on a big hand, capable of knocking over the first domino that will then continue on its own knocking over the dominoes in front of it.


You assert that neither "An infinite regress" nor "Not-an-infinite-regress" explains anything. That leaves you with only one possible position: "There is no explanation at all."


That's a very un-Objectivist position for a Randroid to hold. Why don't you simply admit this is what you believe?

Xray said...

Darren wrote:
"This is why, Eva, you have the fine reputation that you do: a 9th-rate
mind and an intellectual blank-cartridge. The choices before you
regarding issue Z are not "A" or "B"; they are "A" or "Not-A". "Not-A"
includes "B", "C", "D", etc. It includes everything but "A". Get it?" (end quote)

If you think your attempts to cloud issues with a smokescreen is going to throw me off track, you are sorely mistaken.
For question was whether infinite regress or first cause EXPLAINS anything.

Darren wrote:
"You assert that neither "An infinite regress" nor
"Not-an-infinite-regress" explains anything. That leaves you with only
one possible position: "There is no explanation at all."



"That's a very un-Objectivist position for a Randroid to hold."  (end quote)
Indeed is an un-Objectivist position. Does it finally begin to dawn on you now that I'm no Objectivist? 

Darren wrote:
"Why don't you simply admit this is what you believe?" (end quote)

There is nothing to 'admit' because I have been clear as bell about this:  there is indeed no explanation at all.
For what would e. g. first cause "explain"? That something "always was" - this is no explanation. The human mind can neither grasp infinity nor can it grasp eternity. The reason being that the human brain is just not hardwired that way.

abbeysbooks said...

You are both wrong. It is your thinking this way and/or how to get out of it that creates the problem and the argument/discussion.

Read Foucault - both of you - on infinite regress or searching for the origin or its inversion - the horizon that ever recedes.

It can never go anywhere except in mutual or solitary thinking/ masturbation. Goes nowhere except to display how much of the Dominating Discourse you have absorbed. Why Foucault tosses it under the bus. Take this discussion/argument and do a genealogy on it and it glimmers anew. But wait, Nietzsche already did it in Genealogy of Morals.

How about that!

Xray said...

Janet wrote:
"I had been brainwashed by music teachers into thinking I couldn't sing,
when everyone can sing, even Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan!" (end quote)

Cohen "spoke" more than he sang, and Dylan with his thin and rasping voice could barely carry a tune, but oh how I LOVED his songs!!  Still do.
 

Xray said...

Darren wrote


"My point, moron, was that, in her supposedly non-fiction works, Alisa
Rosenbaum often quoted her own fictional dialogue from her own fiction
characters from her own own fiction literary works intending such quotes
to serve as scholarly source material. Randroids like you and others on
SOLO and OL quote from Rosenbaum's fiction works to each other — not to
critics, but amongst yourselves — as if any of this had anything to do
with scholarship. It doesn't. It simply helps foster a cult mentality." (end quote)

Your inability to grasp the nucleus of an issue manifests itself again: 
Don't yu see that it is totally irrelevant whether it was Rand or her disciples who treated/treat her fictional work like a source of scholarship. For the basic mistake of proceeding like that remains the same. Got it now?

abbeysbooks said...

nerrad you are getting into a meta level here with x-ray. Is she following you. Until she registers at disqus I have quit trying to track her comments. X-ray is confabulating the whole post and thread by refusing to use disqus. I am tired of it.

curioushairedgal said...

Žižek, Buddhism and no Ego
"This is why, for Buddhism, the point is not to discover one’s “true
Self,” but to accept that there is no such thing, that the “Self ” as
such is an illusion, an imposture. In more psychoanalytic terms: not
only should one analyze resistances, but, ultimately, “there is really
nothing but resistance to be analyzed; there is no true self waiting in
the wings to be released.”72 The self is a disruptive, false,
and, as such, unnecessary metaphor for the process of awareness and
knowing: when we awaken to knowing, we realize that all that goes on in
us is a flow of “thoughts without a thinker.”"
http://www.bigthink.com/ideas/slavoj-zizek-on-buddhism-and-the-self?page=1

Xray said...

Janet wrote:
"X-ray is confabulating the whole post and thread by
refusing to use disqus. I am tired of it." (end quote)

What I'm tired of is the totally impractical software for the reply system here. This was actually the the reason why I 'jumped up' for this answer to the bigger 'reply' box at the top of the page:

For the in reply system here, replies to specific posts are progressively 'indented', thus allotting a narrower and narrower space to each subsequent reply (this can be carried to the extreme of leaving barely more than one letter per line (!) .

fk.cinnamongirl@gmail.com said...

Yes!...Truth is absence of the illusion of Self so "True Self" is an oxymoron.
"Thoughts without a thinker".....the quantum soup.
Every thought is a quivering squiggle in an infinate sea of (collective) thought that orchestrates the silent symphony that is all of life.
When Foucalt says what he does about people not knowing what their words DO, Bhuddism takes it even deeper to say that we know not of what our thoughts DO.
On victimization....
Everyone is the victim and the perp on variable levels.
The Tao says "Shit Happens". We fall into a trap by judging the shit as right or wrong. Sympathy would have no role or purpose if we thought beyond good and evil.
ps....i allow myself one dumb blonde thing per week. This week, i forgot to save my contacts before deleting my old email address.
My new email is on my profile for you (for a short time).

kidkennedy said...

For Younglove....the ps applies to you too (hoping you will see this on dashboard).
shoot me mail so i can have you on file (dont want to join google+)

younglove said...

Mwah

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