Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Liberalism is Abnormal

Walter Kronkite Impersonator


Edmund Burke, Thomas Sowell, William F. Buckly and millions of others be damned, liberal researchers claim liberalism requires more though than conservatism.  They may be right...

Insecure prigs on the left enjoy confirming their own biases against conservatives. We're low-brow neanderthals, unthinking dullards, and news like this really cheeses them off:
PRINCETON, NJ -- Political ideology in the U.S. held steady in 2011, with 40% of Americans continuing to describe their views as conservative, 35% as moderate, and 21% as liberal. This marks the third straight year that conservatives have outnumbered moderates, after more than a decade in which moderates mainly tied or outnumbered conservatives.. (Gallup)
Conservatives outnumber liberals 2-1.  That can't be possible!  There must be some explanation! Academe is full of social scientists who are eager to keep their liberal confreres firmly ensconced in their comfy intellectual lazy-boy recliners:
New research provides evidence that, when under time pressure or otherwise cognitively impaired, people are more likely to express conservative views.  (Is Conservatism our Default Ideology?)
To get people to answer questions presumably without thinking, researchers had people respond while "cognitively impaired." In one case, they had respondents perform tasks that distracted them during the Q & A period.  Another part of the study involved asking drunk New Englanders questions as they exited a drinking establishment.  All quotes are from the article Is Conservatism our Default Ideology?...
“Bar patrons reported more conservative attitudes as their level of alcohol intoxication increased,” the researchers report.
Yeah, we all know that drinking turns people into conservative, risk-averse, ration decision-makers... (eye roll)
“The bad news for liberals is we’re saying that conservatism has a certain psychological advantage,” Eidelman said. “The bad news for conservatives is that someone who has a knee-jerk conservative reaction may change their mind about an issue after giving it more thought.”
Or not. Could it be that conservative thought just instinctively makes more sense? Pay people to sit on their asses and mooch off of the government, and you will produce more moochers. Building ponzi schemes that pay out more money than they bring in will produce deficits. You can't rack up debt forever... Are these the crazy, knee-jerk conservative ideas the researchers have in mind?
Of course, it’s an open question as to what percentage of the population genuinely ponders political issues, rather than simply going with their initial instincts. This suggests liberals face a significant challenge in converting people to their cause.
As Eidelman puts it: “It might take a little extra effort to convince yourself (to support a liberal position), and a little extra work to convince others.”
Yes!  Reality-defying Rube Goldberg schemes are hard to explain!  More so when they fly in the face of human nature and historical empirical data, as liberal fantasies dressed-up as "policy" so often do.

The thesis, which their study supposedly confirms, is that low-effort thought promotes political conservatism. It's a good laugh line, but it has led liberals into their normal patterns of illogic.

Saying that A (little thought) causes B (political conservatism), does not mean that A exclusively causes B.  A passing car causes a dog to bark. But that is not the only cause.

This also flies in the face of the evidence all around us.  Plenty of liberals and ideological agnostics land themselves in trouble for failing to think through the consequences of their actions, and most conservatives came to their beliefs only after growing up and realizing (by observing and thinking) that liberalism makes no sense.
More disturbing for liberals, the study suggests that conservatism may be the "default" condition.
Yes.  We are hardwired to look before we leap, which is what makes it so dismaying to watch liberal lemmings (and those who think they are conservative) go over the cliff because their latest political hero told them to.

The Study

88 comments:

Always On Watch said...

Uh, oh! Duck is going to have a quacking meltdown because of the photo in this post!

Always On Watch said...

“Bar patrons reported more conservative attitudes as their level of alcohol intoxication increased,” the researchers report.

Well, I speak from personal experience here....The more I drink, the more I "become myself" and make utterances that are brutally honest.

Just sayin'.

Ducky's here said...

I was wondering if you'd see that oe.

But remember, the Conservative relies on revealed truth. Pull out the Bible or Hayek. For the right it's all dogma.

Her new book is receiving pretty good reviews, AOW. A little more conventional than some expected.

Silverfiddle said...

@ Ducky: For the right it's all dogma.

What a stunning piece of psychological projection.

Ducky's here said...

Your morning Taibbi


Off topic but a funny short read on Obummer's latest bend over.

Thersites said...

Conservatives rely on the "Revealed truth"... much as liberals rely on the "truth du jour" printed in the morning edition of their local newspaper.

Is fiber "good for me" or "bad for me" this week, ducky?

Transient or transcendent truths... which would be better to know?

Z said...

I love the image/caption!

I had the same thought after reading the sentence about conservatism being the 'default' condition...

Am not sure why you add "and those who think they are conservative" in the last sentence of your post, SF ??

Funny, my conservative friends can support their points, my liberal friends just kind of spit and grumble and it's "anything BUT Republican"... I don't call that thinking.

conservativesonfire said...

The default condition is always to the survival mode. Liberalism is not survivable.

Silverfiddle said...

Z: There are plenty of conservatives out there who can't explain themselves, and there are others who blindly follow politicians who incorrectly label themselves conservative.

Not thinking is a malady that knows no ideology. I am taking pokes at the survey and nothing more. And to be fair, I am really poking at those who grabbed a few sound bites from this survey and gleefully shouted them through megaphones without actually reading the whole thing.

Mark Adams said...

Funny, the more I think of a liberal position, the more conservative I become... sober or with a few too many. :)

Z said...

Mark, good man :-)

SF>..that's what I thought. Thanks very much

Hack said...

Excellent post.

Ducky's here said...

@FarmerJohn - Transient or transcendent truths... which would be better to know?

------------

Ask a mystic. That's the only way to reach transcendental truth.

Another reason conservatives don't get it.

Anonymous said...

The picture is interesting.

Did Woody Allen recently have plastic surgery perchance?

~ FreeThinke

PS: You did know, did you, that CRONKITE is an anglicization of KRANKHEIT -- is German for illness or disease? How astonishingly apt that turned out to be, didn't it? - FT

Lisa said...

Liberalism has to be abnormal.
Only in liberal land does the fact that that millions of people who are no longer in the job market=lower unemployment.
Or if you are against this ridiculous health care bill you are either a racist or you don't care about the poor.
Not only is it abnormal it's illogical because they don't want to tax the rich more to help the economy which is not good which they deny, but they want more taxes on the rich so they can convince the poor that they are now paying their fair share even though the poor people won't benefit from it.
When liberals act on their uncontrollable impulses it's because they feel guilty so it must make them feel good to say they want the government to take care of all those people so they can pretty much say "see we really do care".

Anonymous said...

i gotta get me some transcendental truth....finally, i'll be clued in .
is that ducky for real?

Ducky's here said...

For extra credit, good book

Lisa said...

How about this?

Liberalmann said...

Funny, the last election proved to everyone that extreme conservatism is dead and progressivism was prevalent. Too bad the current crop of GOP candidates still cling to wingnut lunacy.

viburnum said...

Liberalmann...."the last election proved to everyone that extreme conservatism is dead and progressivism was prevalent."

Psst! Hey Buddy! Wake up! You slept right through 2010

Ducky's here said...

viburnum, L'il Ricky Retardo is gone.

The Tea Baggers hope of a fringe candidate is gone. The far right is dead.

Darth Bacon said...

Dwucky, your posts are becoming more dismal by the day.

Ducky's here said...

Actually Lisa, the official unemployment rate hasn't changed much since unemployment figures were first compiled in the 40's.

If you want a more thorough view of the state of the labor force use the U1-U6 tables like any normal progressive would.

More proof that the thesis about kneejerk fringe righties is correct. They just find thinking difficult.

Ducky's here said...

... I mean calculation of the official rate. of course the rate has changed.

Jersey McJones said...

While many people identify themselves as "conservative," many among them, when you ask them about specific issues, with the issues explained and not just framed as political soundbites, these same people are really politically moderate-to-liberal. The social conservatives, the religious right, are different, though. They tend to march lock-step on most issues, even those issues that really have no religious implication.

JMJ

Finntann said...

"40% of Americans continuing to describe their views as conservative, 35% as moderate, and 21% as liberal."

Or in other words...

75% aren't liberal!

I wonder what the other 4% are though ;)

Cheers!

viburnum said...

Ducky: "L'il Ricky Retardo is gone."

I never bought into Santorum. Authoritarians of either stripe annoy me. You might want to wait until the Senate results come in before pronouncing the right dead though. The Democrats are seriously exposed there.

Finntann said...

The problem with Charles Pierce's book is that it is an intellectually dishonest case of mental masturbation.

I won't say he is wrong, but he is certainly biased. The greatest idiocy is that of assuming that it is a flaw found only in your opposition and not yourself.

He despises Hannity, Rush, Beck and yet is no more than a mere reflection of them in a mirror.

-FJ said...

Marxism isn't transcendental, duckman? Youre gonna need a new shtick then...

Don't worry, the Times will tell you something differently next week. If there's one good thing about the front page, it'll be different tomorrow.

-FJ said...

Transcendentalism is a philosophical movement that developed in the 1830s and 1840s in the New England region of the United States as a protest to the general state of culture and society, and in particular, the state of intellectualism at Harvard University and the doctrine of the Unitarian church taught at Harvard Divinity School. Among the transcendentalists' core beliefs was the inherent goodness of both man and nature. Transcendentalists believed that society and its institutions - particularly organized religion and political parties - ultimately corrupted the purity of the individual. They had faith that man is at his best when truly "self-reliant" and independent. It is only from such real individuals that true community could be formed.

Ducky's here said...

He despises Hannity, Rush, Beck and yet is no more than a mere reflection of them in a mirror.

------
No, his writing an humor are more sophisticated.

Ducky's here said...

Sorry Farmer, Marxism is solidly materialist.

Finntann said...

"The Democrats are a timorous collection of trimmers and hedgers, one more bad beat away from whimpering themselves into a gelatinous goo just liquid enough to ooze under the door of some lobbying shop. They couldn't get laid in a whorehouse if they drove up in a Brink's truck"

Is hardly sophisticated, it's simply polysyllabic, he's crass more than anything else.

But then again, there's no accounting for taste.

Cheers!

98ZJUSMC said...

“Bar patrons reported more conservative attitudes as their level of alcohol intoxication increased,” the researchers report.

Probably, the most scientifically accurate part of the survey. Inhibitions reduced or removed and PC inclinations subdued.

98ZJUSMC said...

But remember, the Conservative relies on revealed truth.


As opposed to the Pavlovian response of the PC leftist, thumbing through his holy cards of Alphonse Sharpton of the Blessed Camera Crew and Our Mother Jackson of the Wayward Narrative.

Revealed truth is just so false, isn't it? It's just no fun if you can't make it up as you go.

98ZJUSMC said...

The greatest idiocy is that of assuming that it is a flaw found only in your opposition and not yourself.

The default Leftist position.

98ZJUSMC said...

@ Ducky: For the right it's all dogma.

What a stunning piece of psychological projection.


Understatement of the year, SF.

98ZJUSMC said...

For the right it's all dogma.


..and remember, that's the dogma of revealed truth, as opposed to that messy, self contradictory, intellectually dishonest, ever changing kind that is discussed, shaped and warped over 4 bottles of Boone's Farm and a few grams of hash.

98ZJUSMC said...

Mark Adams said...
Funny, the more I think of a liberal position, the more conservative I become... sober or with a few too many. :)


Anyone, who is truly honest with themself, comes to the same conclusion. Many, have travelled that road.

Well said.

98ZJUSMC said...

Jersey McJones said...
While many people identify themselves as "conservative," many among them, when you ask them about specific issues, with the issues explained and not just framed as political soundbites, these same people are really politically moderate-to-liberal. The social conservatives, the religious right, are different, though. They tend to march lock-step on most issues, even those issues that really have no religious implication.


Redefining terms must we, Mr. Kaplan?

But....the Guardian just told me that Liberals are more likely to believe in God. How can that be?

jez said...

"Conservatives outnumber liberals 2-1. That can't be possible! There must be some explanation!"

Yes there is: liberalism, and especially socialism, is taboo in your culture.

As Silverfiddle knows but chooses not to emphasise, there are intelligent and worthy people to the left *and* to the right. The thoughtful traveller is best advised to seek them out rather than muck about with the many idiots also to be found on either side.

Anonymous said...

Ancient wisdom neatly sums up our taunts and jibes and diatribes once again:

"The partisan, when he is engaged in a dispute, cares nothing about the rights of the question, but is anxious only to convince his hearers of his own assertions."

~ Socrates (470-399 B. C.)

I doubt if there is a soul alive who isn't madly in love with his own assertions. If you find one, please le me known so I my fall down and worship at his feet.

"Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away."


~ I Corinthians 13 (KJV)

Charity, of course, is an older name for Love.

~ FreeThinke

Speedy G said...

Marxism is solidly materialist.


Isn't that great! Materialism transcends all! lol!

Speedy G said...

In their (Paul Davies and John Gribbin) 1991 book "The Matter" Myth in the first chapter titled "The death of materialism" they wrote:

Then came our Quantum theory, which totally transformed our image of matter. The old assumption that the microscopic world of atoms was simply a scaled-down version of the everyday world had to be abandoned. Newton's deterministic machine was replaced by a shadowy and paradoxical conjunction of waves and particles, governed by the laws of chance, rather than the rigid rules of causality. An extension of the quantum theory goes beyond even this; it paints a picture in which solid matter dissolves away, to be replaced by weird excitations and vibrations of invisible field energy. Quantum physics undermines materialism because it reveals that matter has far less 'substance' than we might believe. But another development goes even further by demolishing Newton's image of matter as inert lumps. This development is the theory of chaos, which has recently gained widespread attention.

...but don't lament, duckmeister, the Monad Theory is destined to make a comeback in some Newspaper of the future...

jez said...

Oh goodness me, no. Quantum theory is not in opposition to materialism. What do you think QM describes, if it is not matter?

Anonymous said...

"There is no life, Truth Intelligence nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-All. Spirit is immortal Truth. Matter is mortal error. Spirit is God, and Man is His image and likeness, therefore Man is not material, he is
spiritual."


~ Mary Baker Eddy

"There is nothing either right or wrong, but thinking makes it so."

~ Shakespeare

Submitted by FreeThinke

Speedy G said...

What do you think QM describes, if it is not matter?

Photons and gluons are "matter"? Who knew?

Speedy G said...

from Wiki on the topic of "matter"

Quarks and leptons interact through four fundamental forces: gravity, electromagnetism, weak interactions, and strong interactions. The Standard Model of particle physics is currently the best explanation for all of physics, but despite decades of efforts, gravity cannot yet be accounted for at the quantum-level; it is only described by classical physics (see quantum gravity and graviton).[37] Interactions between quarks and leptons are the result of an exchange of force-carrying particles (such as photons) between quarks and leptons.[38] The force-carrying particles are not themselves building blocks. As one consequence, mass and energy (which cannot be created or destroyed) cannot always be related to matter (which can be created out of non-matter particles such as photons, or even out of pure energy, such as kinetic energy). Force carriers are usually not considered matter: the carriers of the electric force (photons) possess energy (see Planck relation) and the carriers of the weak force (W and Z bosons) are massive, but neither are considered matter either.[39] However, while these particles are not considered matter, they do contribute to the total mass of atoms, subatomic particles, and all systems which contain them.[40][41]

"Spin" it anyway you like, but "force carriers" likes photons and gluons aren't "matter". (Spin distinguishes matter from force carriers rather than mass.)

May the Life Force "be with you."

Ducky's here said...

You get your epiphanies by reading Wiki, Farmer?

Sorry transcendence is not available to reason.

Speedy G said...

...and neither is abiogenesis through materialism.

Speedy G said...

The point is, ducky, that "transcendence" (ie- understanding) can only be achieved through the differential opposition between two dualities either accumulatively or reductively. Materialists posit their in terms of Space-Time and Energy-Matter dualities. There are no photons or gravitons or gluons. It's a fiction which allows one to "translate between" (trancend) the referential dualities. e=mc^2 (where c^2 mediates the space-time matter-energy duality coordinate barriers).

That's why they call it "dialectic". The very concept of the monad was derived by Liebnitz in his studies of conatus.

So may your vis viva always outweight your vis mortua so that you continue to enjoy monadic conatus.

Speedy G said...

Ex astris, Scientia!

-FJ said...

Omne vivum ex ovo!

jez said...

That distinction is not relevant to your previous comments, and I can't think of any way it could ever be important. Photons & gluons are not in opposition to materialism. QM does not invoke any world beyond matter and energy, it falls entirely inside the purview of the materialist.

-FJ said...

QM does not invoke any world beyond...

Mathematics comes from "what" world? The equality "sign" originated in"what" world?

Do you really think that there are " equal" things? These are all fictional concepts. They may be "useful" to human survival, but they are all signifiers and signs, nothing more.

Materialists who postlulate ambiogenesis or "historical determinism" are talking out of the crack of their *ss. Causality is a fiction. Get over yourself, jez. The "proton" is "no longer a particle. Its a new, mathematical ration of unknown "materials" and "energy". wtf was energy, again? You keep proving youself wrong and then redefining your terms of reference with new theories. You describe more accurately, but you are no more closer to the "truth" than Leibnitz was.

-FJ said...

Force "carriers" like photons and gluons were invented to complete dualisms to explain the fact that their masses were zero, and they could never travel "slower" than the speed of light (being both everywhere, but no where). They were invented to bridge the duality gap between the behavior of particles and waves and to account for the "warp" in Space-Time aka "gravity.". They were invented to "theoretically" explain why results in experiments fell into one "color" category or another (probablistically... not deterministically).

QM invokes nothing BUT worlds beyond matter and energy. There is no world where there are "equal" things. No two snowflakes are alike. No two photons (which are really "bunches of energy") are alike, either. Quantitatively OR Qualitatively except in a "mathematically perfect" world.

If gravity is "real" then so is it's spiritual equivalent.... LOVE.

-FJ said...

There are weak-force loves and strong-force loves. There's love for the petit objet a... and love for the Other. Just because I can divide concepts dialectically and relate them mathematically, does that make them true? A dualism is a dualism, nothing more.

-FJ said...

If I place a man in an MRI and detect and increase in brain activity in a subject when I show him a picture of his wife, have I collected evidence of the existence of a LOVITRON? Or is it merely a weak love force? Inquiring minds wish to know, jez.

-FJ said...

...or is it the elusive Higgs Boson... the hypothesized force carrier in the hypothesized Higgs Field?

-FJ said...

btw- The Boson-Fermion duality is a real kick in QMs butt.

-FJ said...

In other words, the transcendent understaning originates in the positting of the fictional duality, not the "reality" of the supposed underlying "materialism."

Right Wing Theocrat said...

One thing all these liberal brainiacs haven't figured out, even with all the intellectual prowess between them, is that if you want to bring people across to your side, it's not a good start to call them stupid.

jez said...

"Mathematics comes from "what" world?"

An interesting question, but not germane to this. Important thing is, mathematics is a good language for expressing physics, which is a description of how material (as in materialism) behaves.

"Causality is a fiction."

Punch yourself in the nuts as hard as you can, and then see if you can convince yourself that your agony has nothing to do with causality.
It may well be that causality is an emergent property of systems sufficiently larger than the Planck scale (and sufficiently slower than the speed of light, and sufficiently less dense than a black hole, and sufficiently less whatever than whichever half-understood buzz-word physics you want to type into Bing), but that doesn't make it fictional.

Newtonian ballistics is still good enough to sink ships, remember.

"wtf was energy, again?"

Capacity to do work.

"The "proton" is "no longer a particle"

Or are we just getting better to grips with what it is to be a particle on the smallest scale?
Eventually this conversation descends to a semantic squabble over "particle", I can't be bothered with that. But if your saying that materialism demands that the nature of matter be like billiard balls, then I disagree. Please permit materialists to be surprised by the nature of matter.

"You keep proving youself wrong and then redefining your terms of reference with new theories. You describe more accurately, but you are no more closer to the "truth" than Leibnitz was."

That's physics doing what it says on the tin. Theories improve as more evidence is incorporated. That's a good thing.
Agreed, this "only" gives us ever-improving models, not absolute "truth". Science cannot offer supernatural revelation, but unfortunately if you follow any of the disciplines that promise such revelation (mysticism, theology, even art), it's very very easy to find yourself talking total bollocks. Whereas experiment keeps physics grounded. Even when pursuing bad ideas like philostogen, experiment kept us from going too badly wrong, and eventually led us to reject it. Science rocks! Good luck waiting for academic theologians to reject eg. Islam.

Experiment could do the same job for your lovitron theory, if anyone found it plausible enough to spend time investigating it, experiment would probably lead us to reject it.

Which is exactly what happens with the Higgs Boson. (although the theory being more developed than with your lovitron, the experiment to find it is more precisely specified. ie if we don't find it in Geneva, it's pretty likely that it doesn't exist at all. The lovitron theory is so vague, it could be anywhere, or anything.)

"In other words, the transcendent understaning originates in the positting of the fictional duality, not the "reality" of the supposed underlying "materialism.""

I'm arguing against the idea that QM contradicts materialism. All this duality stuff is not my area of interest, but it looks like you agree. (are you saying that physics does nothing to demonstrate or contradict the universe's supposed underlying materialism?)

-FJ said...

It may well be that causality is an emergent property of systems sufficiently larger than the Planck scale (and sufficiently slower than the speed of light, and sufficiently less dense than a black hole, and sufficiently less whatever than whichever half-understood buzz-word physics you want to type into Bing), but that doesn't make it fictional.

from Wiki on "Quantuum Physics":

The Copenhagen interpretation - due largely to the Danish theoretical physicist Niels Bohr - remains the quantum mechanical formalism that is currently most widely accepted amongst physicists, some 75 years after its enunciation. According to this interpretation, the probabilistic nature of quantum mechanics is not a temporary feature which will eventually be replaced by a deterministic theory, but instead must be considered a final renunciation of the classical idea of "causality". It is also believed therein that any well-defined application of the quantum mechanical formalism must always make reference to the experimental arrangement, due to the complementarity nature of evidence obtained under different experimental situations.

If it isn't "deterministic", it's only "probablistic"...(correlation coefficients not "equal" to 1) this doesn't make the information any less "useful", but a "material cause is not the same as a "formal" cause. Theseus' ship will sail in either case.

I find it funny that you'll accept the "conception" of a materialist drawing boundary lines around a "bunch of energy" and calling it a "photon", but you "draw the line" against fictionalizing concepts at drawing a line around a human mind and pronouncing the cumulative products of his mental cogitations a "soul".

As the trancendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson stated in his seried of essays upon "The Conduct of Life"

The spiral tendency of vegetation infects education also. Our books approach very slowly the things we most wish to know. What a parade we make of our science, and how far off, and at arm's length, it is from its objects! Our botany is all names, not powers: poets and romancers talk of herbs of grace and healing; but what does the botanist know of the virtues of his weeds? The geologist lays bare the strata, and can tell them all on his fingers: but does he know what effect passes into the man who builds his house in them? what effect on the race that inhabits a granite shelf? what on the inhabitants of marl and of alluvium?

-FJ said...

(cont)

We should go to the ornithologist with a new feeling, if he could teach us what the social birds say, when they sit in the autumn council, talking together in the trees. The want of sympathy makes his record a dull dictionary. His result is a dead bird. The bird is not in its ounces and inches, but in its relations to Nature; and the skin or skeleton you show me, is no more a heron, than a heap of ashes or a bottle of gases into which his body has been reduced, is Dante or Washington. The naturalist is led from the road by the whole distance of his fancied advance. The boy had juster views when he gazed at the shells on the beach, or the flowers in the meadow, unable to call them by their names, than the man in the pride of his nomenclature. Astrology interested us, for it tied man to the system. Instead of an isolated beggar, the farthest star felt him, and he felt the star. However rash and however falsified by pretenders and traders in it, the hint was true and divine, the soul's avowal of its large relations, and, that climate, century, remote natures, as well as near, are part of its biography. Chemistry takes to pieces, but it does not construct. Alchemy which sought to transmute one element into another, to prolong life, to arm with power, — that was in the right direction. All our science lacks a human side. The tenant is more than the house. Bugs and stamens and spores, on which we lavish so many years, are not finalities, and man, when his powers unfold in order, will take Nature along with him, and emit light into all her recesses. The human heart concerns us more than the poring into microscopes, and is larger than can be measured by the pompous figures of the astronomer.

and QM can't ever contradict the "materialist" paradigmas it has subsumed "spirit" into the realm of "energy". But what QM can't due is distinguish between Plato's Ninth and Tenth categories of motion, that which moves, and that which "moves itself". And spiritualists/transcendentalists have. They call it's "point of origin" the soul.

Thersites said...

... but that doesn't make it fictional.

Perhaps an "error" would be a preferable term?

Nietzsche, "Gay Science, 112"

Cause and Effect. We say it is "explanation "; but it is only in "description" that we are in advance of the older stages of knowledge and science. We describe better, we explain just as little as our predecessors. We have discovered a manifold succession where the naive man and investigator of older cultures saw only two things, "cause" and "effect,"as it was said; we have perfected the conception of becoming, but have not got a knowledge of what is above and behind the conception. The series of "causes" stands before us much more complete in every case; we conclude that this and that must first precede in order that that other may follow - but we have not grasped anything thereby. The peculiarity, for example, in every chemical process seems a "miracle," the same as before, just like all locomotion; nobody has "explained" impulse. How could we ever explain? We operate only with things which do not exist, with lines, surfaces, bodies, atoms, divisible times, divisible spaces - how can explanation ever be possible when we first make everything a conception, our conception? It is sufficient to regard science as the exactest humanizing of things that is possible; we always learn to describe ourselves more accurately by describing things and their successions. Cause and effect: there is probably never any such duality; in fact there is a continuum before us, from which we isolate a few portions - just as we always observe a motion as isolated points, and therefore do not properly see it, but infer it. The abruptness with which many effects take place leads us into error; it is however only an abruptness for us. There is an infinite multitude of processes in that abrupt moment which escape us. An intellect which could see cause and effect as a continuum, which could see the flux of events not according to our mode of perception, as things arbitrarily separated and broken - would throw aside the conception of cause and effect, and would deny all conditionality.

Thersites said...

Nietzsche, "Gay Science 115"

The Four Errors. Man has been reared by his errors: firstly, he saw himself always imperfect; secondly, he attributed to himself imaginary qualities; thirdly, he felt himself in a false position in relation to the animals and nature; fourthly, he always devised new tables of values, and accepted them for a time as eternal and unconditioned, so that at one time this, and at another time that human impulse or state stood first, and was ennobled in consequence. When one has deducted the effect of these four errors, one has also deducted humanity, humaneness, and "human dignity."

Thersites said...

Useful errors such as "causality", albeit useful, are still errors (therefore, "fictions"). Some are "intentionally" and others "unintentionally" made. But the source of that "intent" can only lie in the "soul" of those who "experience" it.

from the Jowett summary of Plato's "Laws"

What is the name which is given to self-motion when manifested in any material substance? 'Life.' And soul too is life? 'Very good.' And are there not three kinds of knowledge—a knowledge (1) of the essence, (2) of the definition, (3) of the name? And sometimes the name leads us to ask the definition, sometimes the definition to ask the name. For example, number can be divided into equal parts, and when thus divided is termed even, and the definition of even and the word 'even' refer to the same thing. 'Very true.' And what is the definition of the thing which is named 'soul'? Must we not reply, 'The self-moved'? And have we not proved that the self-moved is the source of motion in other things? 'Yes.' And the motion which is not self-moved will be inferior to this? 'True.' And if so, we shall be right in saying that the soul is prior and superior to the body, and the body by nature subject and inferior to the soul? 'Quite right.' And we agreed that if the soul was prior to the body, the things of the soul were prior to the things of the body? 'Certainly.' And therefore desires, and manners, and thoughts, and true opinions, and recollections, are prior to the length and breadth and force of bodies. 'To be sure.'

Speedy G said...

Are you familiar with the concept of "quantuum entaglement" and the idea that the results will vary based upon the experimental setup? This is due to the fact that the quantum and qualia are never the same... another duality.

Is a non-materialist perspective "useful"? Gauging from the arguments over the existence of qualia in the above link, I'd have to state, "yes." For only from "opposites" can there be a "generation" (a fundamental philosophical principle on the order of a "first" principle). ;)

jez said...

FJ:
"If it isn't "deterministic", it's only "probablistic"...(correlation coefficients not "equal" to 1) this doesn't make the information any less "useful", but a "material cause is not the same as a "formal" cause."

What do you mean? What does material vs form have to do with it?
Despite non-deterministic elements of QM, causality remains largely intact. Although it might break down at extreme scales, it is still correct to associate the cause (punching yourself in the nuts) with the effect (agony).

"I find it funny that you'll accept the "conception" of a materialist drawing boundary lines around a "bunch of energy" and calling it a "photon", but you "draw the line" against fictionalizing concepts at drawing a line around a human mind and pronouncing the cumulative products of his mental cogitations a "soul"."

Can you share the joke?
1) sufficiently dim light is always received in quanta, a tap tap tap of raindrops rather than a continuous trickle of water. For this reason, it is completely natural to call these indivisible photons "particles".
2) By declaring the QM understanding of small particles to be "matter", I do not insist that they be bound in the manner of a billiard ball, if that's what you mean.
3) I absolutely do not object to giving names to emergent properties of large systems. Even though I would not expect that any element of a weather system or a brain behaves in opposition to the primitive laws of physics, it still makes sense to consider weather and mind as a system and to study meteorology and psychology in their own right.
4) Notice I use the term "mind" rather than "soul", because "soul" is encumbered with cultural ideas such as immortality and non-material spiritual essence. There is no evidence for these things, and they get in the way of any seriously scientific consideration of the mind. Notice that we don't (any longer) imbue the weather with any spiritual motivation, having discovered adequate materialist explanations for eg. rainbows.

"QM can't ever contradict the "materialist" paradigmas it has subsumed "spirit" into the realm of "energy"."

What does this even mean? Are you claiming that "spirit" has something to do with probability wavefunctions?

"QM can't due is distinguish between Plato's Ninth and Tenth categories of motion, ... spiritualists/transcendentalists have. They call it's "point of origin" the soul."

Is there any way of telling whether they're talking bollocks?

jez said...

Thersites: love the Nietzsche.

Speedy:
"Are you familiar with the concept of "quantuum entaglement""

yes.

"This is due to the fact that the quantum and qualia are never the same"

Disagree, it's more deeply built into the universe than that, it's like conservation of energy -- I expect that either would happen in a universe which did not contain any subjective entities to experience it.

Speedy G said...

Notice I use the term "mind" rather than "soul", because "soul" is encumbered with cultural ideas such as immortality and non-material spiritual essence. There is no evidence for these things, and they get in the way of any seriously scientific consideration of the mind.

lol! Materialism doesn't encumber the believer with any cultural ideas and/or non-belief in spiritual essences?

And there may exist no "direct evidence" for these things, yet they form part of even your underlying pre-suppositions as evidenced by the following statement:

It may well be that causality is an emergent property of systems ...

...and so I must ask, emergent from "what". Information moves from where, to where? Does matter which enter's a black hole erase ALL previous evidence of a particle's former existence?

Omne vivum ex ovo!

Which came first the chicken or the egg?

...and what is the essence of "life" that transforms an "inanimate" object into a self-moving "animate" one? Is quantuum physics close to revealing it? The "human" element?

Abiogenesis, even if not stated, is the "materialist's" logical answer and the default basis for his supposedly non-existent metaphysics. This means that perhaps Nietzsche was right in his postulated "Theory of Eternal Return"... in a theoretical parallel quantum multiverse or with an eternal sequence of never ending big bangs.

Disagree, it's more deeply built into the universe than that, it's like conservation of energy -- I expect that either would happen in a universe which did not contain any subjective entities to experience it.

I agree, it is deeply built into the universe... including the presence of subjective entities to experience it. But what materialism has so far failed to determine is where these "subjective entities" came from.

And personally, I'm not willing to preclude any possibilities at this point. I'm a Deist. To my mind, G_d set the universe in motion... and didn't stick around to take "requests". But he did leave a record of what He did for us to figure out our place in this world.

And we're also speaking of the human condition in most of our human affairs, not the inorganic already-in-motion physical world. The placebo effect is not "null", and psychology is a field completely divorced from quantum physics to self-movers. Could it be that manque is the true human condition? Possibly. But what would acceptance of this possibility mean for us... the destruction of all "hope"... upon the human psyche? No "hope" of justice or redemption? Eternal Recurrence can be a bitter pill for humans to swallow. I'm for letting them have a "choice" whether or not to follow the rabbit down the rabbit hole. Not just arbitrarly "precluding" it.

jez said...

"lol! Materialism doesn't encumber the believer with any cultural ideas and/or non-belief in spiritual essences?"

Thanks for saying "non-belief" rather than "dis-belief".
Specifically, materialism doesn't get in the way of doing science, which spiritualism kind of does, in that the moment you ascribe some observation to the activities of angels, you're not longer doing science but something else.
Like you, I don't rule anything out, except that while doing science it is necessary to restrict oneself to the materialist realm. This is why I objected to your Davies and Gribbin quote in the first place. I repeat: quantum mechanics is not in opposition to materialism.

"emergent from "what"?"

Emergent from primitive physics. Just as tornadoes and tsunamis arise from a system where every element obeys simple laws but the interaction is chaotic, so might causality, on the large scale, arise from somewhat non-deterministic and/or non-chronological laws on the quantum or relativistic scales.

You go on to complain about "information", and I expect you're inspired by the 2nd law of thermodynamics, via information's relationship with entropy. In which case I need only point you towards the 2nd law's "closed system" clause.

"Which came first the chicken or the egg?"

The egg, since chickens evolved from egg-laying ancestors.

"Is quantuum physics close to revealing it? The "human" element?"

No, of course not. Do you expect it to? If so, blame the non-scientists who talk so much bollocks about it.

"Abiogenesis, even if not stated, is the "materialist's" logical answer and the default basis for his supposedly non-existent metaphysics."

What's wrong with a little mystery? I'm happier with the answer "I don't know" than I am with some vague ad-hoc spiritual formulation that, to me, is indistinguishable from bollocks.

"But what would acceptance of this possibility mean for us... the destruction of all "hope"... upon the human psyche? No "hope" of justice or redemption?"

Probably something like adulthood. After all, no-one has a deeper-rooted sense of justice than a child who perceives some "unfairness" -- also no adult is as capable of redemption as a child.

"Eternal Recurrence can be a bitter pill for humans to swallow."

Have you read Milan Kundera's the unbearable lightness of being?

Anonymous said...

SIMPLE GIFTS

'Tis the gift to be simple,
'tis the gift to be free,
'tis the gift to come down where you ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,

It will be in the valley of love and delight.

REFRAIN: 

When true simplicity is gained,

To bow and to bend we shan't be ashamed.

To turn, turn will be our delight,

'Til by turning, turning we come round right.



'Tis the gift to be loved and that love to return,

'Tis the gift to be taught and a richer gift to learn,
And when we expect of others what we try to live each day,

Then we'll all live together and we'll all learn to say,

REFRAIN

When true simplicity is gained,

To bow and to bend we shan't be ashamed.

To turn, turn will be our delight,

'Til by turning, turning we come round right.



'Tis the gift to have friends and a true friend to be,
'Tis the gift to think of others not to only think of "me",

And when we hear what others really think and really feel,

Then we'll all live together with a love that is real.
 
REFRAIN:
 
When true simplicity is gained,

To bow and to bend we shan't be ashamed.

To turn, turn will be our delight,

'Til by turning, turning we come round right.


~ Elder Joseph Brackett (composed 1848)

Submitted by FreeThinke

jez said...

Free Thinke:
Please, make things as simple as possible, but not simpler.

Thersites said...

I don't believe in angels. So how is my belief getting in the way of "science" again?

jez said...

I'm not saying that believers can't be physicists, only that they must suspend their supernatural beliefs while doing science.

Anonymous said...

Ballade Of A Talked-Off Ear

Daily I listen to wonder and woe,
Nightly I hearken to knave or to ace,
Telling me stories of lava and snow,
Delicate fables of ribbon and lace,
Tales of the quarry, the kill, the chase,
Longer than heaven and duller than hell-
Never you blame me, who cry my case:
"Poets alone should kiss and tell!"

Dumbly I hear what I never should know,
Gently I counsel of pride and of grace;
Into minutiae gayly they go,
Telling the name and the time and the place.
Cede them your silence and grant them space-
Who tenders an inch shall be raped of an ell!
Sympathy's ever the boaster's brace;
Poets alone should kiss and tell.

Why am I tithed what I never did owe?
Choked with vicarious saffron and mace?
Weary my lids, and my fingers are slow-
Gentlemen, damn you, you've halted my pace.
Only the lads of the cursed race,
Only the knights of the desolate spell,
May point me the lines the blood-drops trace-
Poets alone should kiss and tell.


L'ENVOI

Prince or commoner, tenor or bass,
Painter or plumber or never-do-well,
Do me a favor and shut your face
Poets alone should kiss and tell.


~ Dorothy Parker

Submitted by FreeThinke

jez said...

Free thinke: if I'm boring you then by all means, don't read me ever again. By the way, I wouldn't want to compete against you in an ear-chewing contest.

Anonymous said...

The paranoid personality always assumes every criticism is directed specifically at him and him alone.

Paranoia and most other mental disorders stem from extreme egocentrism.

Paranoiacs take themselves much too seriously and seem largely devoid of any discernible sense of humor.

~ FreeThinke

jez said...

Paranoid? Ho ho. You're the one in the clutches of a conspiracy theory that you're desperate to convince us all of, but which no-one else considers plausible.
And yes, I'm aware that you didn't address me by name, so feel free to pretend have been addressing someone else if it somehow amuses you.
(Sorry to be humorless, but your dismissive characterisation of mental illness is offensive. I think you'll find it's more complicated than that.)

Anonymous said...

"Sorry to be humorless ..."

I don't know how sorry you might be, but at least half that statement is certainly true.

I told you a long time ago that we are not each other's type. As far as I am concerned, you live in a Parallel Universe. It's quite impossible for us to communicate with any degree of warmth or understanding because of that. It's almost as if we were members of two different species.

Apparently, you are one of "The New People." [So by the way are many who imagine themselves to be "conservative."] I find most of you a chilly, emotionally sterile, rather depressing lot. It's probably because "we" handed you a bleak new world with dismal prospects for your future. In many ways I feel sorry for you. I doubt if you will ever be able to enjoy life as I have, and being a generous-spirited fellow at root I wish you could.

I don't really know you at all, nor you me. You're, apparently, well educated in areas where I am completely uninformed -- just as you are woefully ignorant of things I happen to know quite a lot about.

The difference between us is that I am willing to admit my deficiencies, while you seem blissfully unaware of yours.

I don't believe in taking "offense" at much of anything. It's a waste of energy, but I admit to being annoyed by those who make a virtual career out of being "offended" by an ever-growing number of things that are rarely-if-ever any of their proper business.

I find amusing as well as revealing that you would take umbrage at something Dorothy Parker said decades before you were born, and assume it was posted entirely for your benefit.

One of those, "If the shoe fits," situations, I suppose.

Take care.

~ FreeThinke

jez said...

Communication is fraught, we don't get each others' jokes, and we despise each others' opinions. In fact, I think you're the humourless one and consider myself somewhat wry. 3verything you frequently complain about, I see in you, egocentrism included. Your opinion of me is just as warped, for example I often announce my own shortcomings, yet you declare me unaware of them. Time and again we demonstrate how we edit incoming opinions so that they align neatly with our prior beliefs; we must either agree or disagree, completely.
Out of interest, what topics do you find my ignorance to be woeful? I don't wish to argue, but I do wonder if I'd concur...

Anonymous said...

" I do wonder if I'd concur..."

In all probability you wouldn't, so there's no point in my saying anything more -- to you.

I'm not here to be cross-examined, catechized, chastised, counseled and condemned.

My objective is to share. Disagreement is perfectly acceptable. Badgering one another, because our views are incongruent is not.

This is not a courtroom, and no one is on trial here.

Many of my dearest, longtime friends are liberals, but -- usually at my insistence -- we have made a pact never to talk politics for the sake of friendship.

Blog relationships may blossom into friendship, but because blog contributors tend to "let it all hang out," alienation and too often animosity -- sometimes startlingly ferocious -- are far more likely to develop than friendship.

The internet certainly brings out the worst in people. I suspect this occurs because net venues -- no matter what the subject matter might be -- provide a focal point for expressing the frustration, dissatisfaction, gnawing anxiety, and increasing sense of helplessness that gives reign to all that free-floating hostility out there.

Direct expression of hostility is taboo in normal, face-to-face business and social contexts. On the net anything and everything is possible. The animosity and censoriousness we see on blogs and interactive websites is disturbing -- even frightening -- because most of us don't want to see human nature unmasked and unfettered.

As has often been said, despite the magnificence of the best that human achievement has to offer, the veneer of Civilization covering our essentially feral nature is extraordinarily thin and fragile.

I'd go so far as to say that without observing and showing respect for a certain decorous hypocrisy that I'd prefer to think of a good etiquette, Civilization could hardy exist at all.

We are by nature a fractious, contentious, disputatious and belligerent lot -- unless we make a continual effort to reign ourselves in for the sake of keeping the peace.

Most people would find undiluted sincerity intolerable.

~ FreeThinke

jez said...

What was that you were quoting about the talked-off ear? ;)

There's no hostility on my end, Freethinke, it's all in your reading. First sentence of this comment, for example, was a joke. Don't get me wrong, I do genuinely consider you long-winded (furthermore I consider brevity to be the greatest courtesy a writer can pay his reader), but it was intended to provoke a smile, and if I'm very lucky a twinkle-eyed nod of self-recognision. Maybe a murmured "touche" would escape your lips, and perhaps a small glass of dry sherry be raised in my direction.
I doubt any of that will happen, you must imagine me spitting and cursing at my machine as I write even this.
And even as I wrote my previous comment which I intended to be calm and discursive, even-handedly considering ourselves from each perspective, all you read was insult. I wonder how!

Anonymous said...

I have a feeling, it's a feeling,
I'm concealing, I don't know why
It's just a mental, sentimental alibi

But I adore you
So strong for you
Why go on stalling
I am falling
Our love is calling
Why be shy?

Let's fall in love
Why shouldn't we fall in love?
Our hearts are made of it
Let's take a chance
Why be afraid of it

Let's close our eyes and make our own paradise
Little we know of it, still we can try
To make a go of it

We might have been meant for each other
To be or not to be
Let our hearts discover

Let's fall in love
Why shouldn't we fall in love
Now is the time for it, while we are young
Let's fall in love

We might have been meant for each other
To be or not to be
Let our hearts discover

Let's fall in love
Why shouldn't we fall in love?
Now is the time for it, while we are young
Let's fall in love


~ Diana Krall

Presented by FreeThinke §;-D

jez said...

Don't toy with me, I've been hurt before.

Anonymous said...

(Oh, baby mine)
I get so lonely when I dream about you
Can't do without you
That's why I dream about you
If I could only put my arms about you
Life would be so fair

(If you would)
We two could hug and kiss
And never tire, I'm on fire
You are my one desire
I get so lonely when I dream about you
Why can't you be there

Tossin' and turnin' in my slumber
(Oh, baby)
Holding you it seems
(Oh, baby)
I give you kisses without number
But only in my dreams

(Oh, baby mine)
I get so lonely when I dream about you
Can't do without you
That's why I dream about you
If I could only put my arms about you
Life would be so fair

Tossin' and turnin' in my slumber
(Oh, baby)
Holding you it seems
(Oh, baby)
I give you kisses without number
But only in my dreams

(Oh, baby mine)
I get so lonely when I dream about you
Can't do without you
That's why I dream about you
If I could only put my arms about you
Life would be so fair

(Oh, baby mine)
Life would be so fair

(Oh, baby mine)
Life would be so fair


WOULDN'T IT?

~ FreeThinke §;-D