Saturday, July 11, 2009
Ryan Reynolds has landed the coveted role of “Green Lantern,” getting the starring role in Warner Bros.' live-action film based on the DC Comics hero.
Ryan Reynolds: Deadpool AND The Green Lantern.
You figure it out. I'm done caring about superhero movies.
Remember Ceiling Cat is Watching you meme? Well, I have a Part 2.
Meme: a postulated unit or element of cultural ideas, symbols or practices, and is transmitted from one mind to another through speech, gestures, rituals, or other imitable phenomena.
Ideas are not finite, discreet, entities which can be packaged, and transferred from one incorporeal mind to another incorporeal mind.
Brain states, if we are uncomfortable with "idea" are, again, not discreet entities which can be packaged and transferred from one brain to another brain.
An idea is not an entity.
A brain state is not an entity.
If we want to talk about ideas / brain states as finite nuggets which are transferred from one mind to another via language, speech, gestures, rituals then we need to read Wittgenstein. Wittgenstein explained how language is not the transfer of one idea from one mind to another mind. Language is a game. Or read Roy Wood Sellars and his explanation of language.
When I say "the apple is red" I do not take my idea "apple is red" and somehow shove it into your little fucking brain / incorporeal mind with my magical virus words.
No one actually thinks than an idea or brain state is a little virus in my mind / brain which somehow poofs off into your mind / brain unless you’ve had the particular vaccine which applies to that particular idea / brain state. But the only way to maintain that "meme" is sensible is to tell that exact story: Some little finite and discreet idea "goes" from my "mind/brain" to your "mind/brain" via "language".
"meme" is a half-assed attempt to get Darwinian Evolutionary Theory to apply to Culture Studies. And it is fucking stupid.
Friday, July 10, 2009
Huffington Post, that bastion of journalistic integrity, has a "story" which is little more than a picture dump of Emma Watson attending the premiere of 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince' wearing a leather halter dress.
I can't think of a comment at the moment. I can't think of much of anything, actually.
Emma Watson is hot. And a good actress. And hot. And she has that accent. And the hot. And she over-pronounces everything. And the being hot.
1) Truth is a thing already existing in reality which is discovered.
2) Truth is a thing created by beings who create truths.
Which would you say is the case?
If truth is a thing discovered then it is impossible to discover truth absent epistemology and ontological metaphysics. To discover a thing in that which exists one must determine both what exists and how one knows anything about that which exists. It makes no sense to maintain that truths are discovered in reality yet maintain that one need not discern what is reality and how one knows anything about said reality.
If truth is a thing created then just fucking create a truth. If truth is not beholden to anything except one's intentions and capacity for creation then just fucking make something up and move on.
If 1 & 2:
If it is the case that truth is both 1 and 2, that truth is both discovered and created, then I think both sets of criteria apply. One needs to understand both the process of discovery and the process of creation.
However, there is an obvious conflict here. If truth is discovered then any created truth must be beholden to those things discovered. If truth is created then there seems to be some flexibility with regard to that which is discovered.
My guess is that a person would want to say that truths are created based upon what is found. Except there is an obvious heirarchy or sequence here. First one finds what there is. Second, one makes something out of that which is. This would put "what there is" primary and, so, primordially true whereas the second step would not be truth qua truth but rather would be a creation which, to some degree, involved truth as an ingredient.
Following the tradition of Prophesy Fulfilled: A Funny Achewood I would like to present A second funny Achewood strip.
We're up to two funny Achewood strips! Stay tuned for the third funny Achewood, foretold in the Dead Sea Scrolls and the prophesies of Nostradomas.
And remember, if we get to 5 Funny Achewood Strips you get a free sub!
Thursday, July 9, 2009
The above video is a guy using the argumentative style of Pascal's Wager to explain Global Climate Change. I suggest watching the video.
The question I have, though, is that while the video seems to be compelling it follows the same argumentative structure of Pascal's Wager. So if one finds the above argument compelling for action with regard to Global Climate Change would it not follow that one must also find Pascal's Wager a compelling argument for action with regard to belief in God?
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
So, I hate Japan. As a result of this the news that Japan be full of pussies made me lol:
In this age of bromance and metrosexuals, why all the fuss? The short answer is that grass-eating men are alarming because they are the nexus between two of the biggest challenges facing Japanese society: the declining birth rate and anemic consumption. Herbivores represent an unspoken rebellion against many of the masculine, materialist values associated with Japan's 1980s bubble economy. Media Shakers, a consulting company that is a subsidiary of Dentsu, the country's largest advertising agency, estimates that 60 percent of men in their early 20s and at least 42 percent of men aged 23 to 34 consider themselves grass-eating men. Partner Agent, a Japanese dating agency, found in a survey that 61 percent of unmarried men in their 30s identified themselves as herbivores. Of the 1,000 single men in their 20s and 30s polled by Lifenet, a Japanese life-insurance company, 75 percent described themselves as grass-eating men.I can appreciate the lack of an interest in materialism and a more contemplative life. But that doesn't mean that one needs to stop liking tits.
So this evening I went to the bar with two people from the department because one of them called from my driveway asking if I wanted to go. And given how creepy that is I found it best to just go along with what they asked. At the bar we were talking about what we'd like to be known for in the department (in terms of specializations / areas of knowledge) and I mentioned that I was pretty sure no one knew me or thought of me having a specialization. Both of the people corrected me, however, and stated quite plainly that everyone in the department knew me because, apparently, I am the solipsist in the department.
Now, I'm ok being the departmental solipsist. The problem is that most people don't know what the fuck that means. So, since you're reading this, and you're obviously interested in exactly what the fuck it means when I say I am a solipsist, I'm going to explain it.
Solipsism is the philosophical idea that one's own mind is all that exists; this is the barebones, elementary understanding most people have. So when, in conversation, someone finds out that I am a solipsist they say "So you do not think I exist?" And that question is exactly the worst way to articulate the question with which solipsism as a philosophical problem is concerned.
First, let's rephrase that question to be more accommodating. Rather than the confrontational statement "I do not think you exist" let's rephrase it to be a question: "What is it for me to think that you exist?" Solipsism is not positing an ontological condition or denying that which is the case. Rather, solipsism is an inquiry into knowledge; it asks what one knows, how one knows, and what that type of knowledge does.
So let's try to answer the question. First, though, let's address the question of what it is to say "My mind exists" since solipsists have no problem with that statement. Solipsism takes thought as a primary phenomena; that which cannot be doubted. When Descartes applied doubt he ended at "I cannot doubt that I doubt", which has its problems. So, a more thorough conclusion would be: "Doubt cannot doubt doubt". Doubt is a self-reflective and self-acknowledging primary state; it does not go away; doubt does not dissolve doubt. This is why solipsism maintains the position "My* mind is all that exists" as the most fundamental; doubt/thought cannot be doubted or thought away; thought is primary.
So, then, when moving from "My* mind is all that exists" to "other things exist" what sort of knowledge claim is being made? It cannot be a knowledge claim of the same sort of direct, indubitable (now by definition) knowledge. Rather, something has to be assumed or posited. That there is another entity, that this entity has a mind, that this entity has phenomenal experience, are all assumptions or, at best, consequents of things posited. And since these assumptions or posits are not a priori, self-evidently true, they have a degree of wonk to them. As philosophers we do not want wonk. So, in pursuit of a wonkless philosophy I am a solipsist.
But why don't we want wonk?
Here's what happens if one has wonk in their philosophy:
Player A: Other people exist because I experience them as existing.
Player B: So all things experienced are true? If one experiences God and another does not experience God then there is a God...to that one person and not the other?
Player A: Well, no....
Player A: Other people exist because it seems like they exist.
Player B: So, "seems" is a reliable and true method of detecting that which is the case? If I think it seems like I have cancer then I need not seek out a doctor to verify my having cancer?
Player A: Well, no...
Player A: One can claim that there are other people without having certainty of there being other people since certainty is not epistemologically available to human beings.
Player B: Are you certain of that?
Player A: Yeeeeeennnnnooo...FUCK
Here's the problem: What is it to claim that there are other people? The answer is going to be based upon an assumption, based upon an appeal to experience, based upon some attempted claim at self-evidence of experience. But these are all flawed methods of pseudo-knowledge because they are not certain. Moreoever, the sort of knowledge claim used in positing other people will not carry over to other sorts of knowledge claims. When one inquiries into whether or not one has a particular medical condition one will not utilize "seems" or "suppose" but rather will engage in an inquiry into verification whereby a degree of certainty is found within a particular context. One fucking looks to see if one has an open wound.
But to "fucking look" is an exercise in a particular kind of empirical knowledge which is founded upon a particular understanding of how it is that empirical knowledge can be trusted and reliable. Yet the fundamental claim of "there is another person" or "there is an external reality" does not follow this same sort of verification based upon a foundational understanding of knowledge. Rather, the claim itself becomes the foundation. One states that "when I look and see that there are other people I know there are other people because I look and see that there are other people" and so engages in a circular argument based upon an appeal to an empiricism which is, again, circular. And that shit don't fly round here.
If you can destroy any of that feel free. I would like to be wrong about this.
*The "my" claim posits some sort of entity "me" within which thought occurs. And that position is, ultimately, indefensible. So "my" mind is a sloppy way of saying "there is thought".