Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Hostility to the notion of limits to growth

by Jerome a Paris Thu Dec 20th, 2007 at 10:56:46 AM EST


This is why climate change and energy security are such geopolitically significant issues. For if there are limits to emissions, there may also be limits to growth. But if there are indeed limits to growth, the political underpinnings of our world fall apart. Intense distributional conflicts must then re-emerge - indeed, they are already emerging - within and among countries.

(...)

The optimists believe that economic growth can and will continue. The pessimists believe either that it will not do so or that it must not if we are to avoid the destruction of the environment. I think we have to try to marry what makes sense in these opposing visions.


The above quote, from this article by Martin Wolf, recently described as the "conservative doyen of British economic commentators", exemplifies the problems we are facing:

  • peak oil, climate change, or a combination of both is going to force us to limit our energy consumption one way or another;
  • our current economic model is predicated on growth, which itself cannot, in the framework of our existing institutions and mindset, happen without a plentiful, and itself growing, supply of cheap energy in the form of hydrocarbons.

Martin Wolf, to his credit, realizes that these two realities are incompatible, and is looking for compromise. But he is not quite looking in the right place yet:


The response of many, notably environmentalists and people with socialist leanings, is to welcome such conflicts. These, they believe, are the birth-pangs of a just global society. I strongly disagree. It is far more likely to be a step towards a world characterised by catastrophic conflict and brutal repression. This is why I sympathise with the hostile response of classical liberals and libertarians to the very notion of such limits, since they view them as the death-knell of any hopes for domestic freedom and peaceful foreign relations.

Acknowledging reality (and the likelihood of conflict) and trying to prepare for it is not "welcoming conflict." The meme that environmentalists and socialists are those looking for conflict, even after 6 years (and counting) of pointless but massively destructive and destabilising wars of occupation in Afghanistan and Iraq, which were encouraged and cheered on by all "serious" people is, quite frankly, pathetic.

A note to serious people: we are NOT LIKE YOU. We are not scared of others, and we are not selfish, petty, vicious-minded, cowardly looters trying to get away with it on someone else's dime. YOU are the problem, not us.

The reality of resource depletion and climate change is not going to go away. What CAN change is the following:

  • the link between well-being and growth. Growth is convenient in that it helps hide inequality and paper over social ills. But money does not bring happiness, once basic needs are fulfilled. We have to stop trying to value everything in monetary terms and end the dominance of (often short-termist) financial analysis of everything - which just also happens to help concentrate incomes in a staggering fashion in a small number of (investor class) hands;

  • as a first step towards that, a reassessment of how value-added and growth are counted. Burning the roof to get heat should not be counted as creating value, but with today's GDP accounting, it is. As long as the destruction of assets (scarce resources, public goods like the environment, etc) is not counted against the creation of income, things like digging and buring coal will look to be "cheap" and we'll continue to do them, even as they kill us;
  • war and conflict will not make us more prosperous nor safer. We have to get rid of politicians who think these are natural solutions to scarcity (I'll take mine and fuck the others), and who use demagogic arguments and fearmongering to get elected. Selfishness is the default mode for societies only when politicians tolerate it or encourage it, as they have in particular in the past 35 years. The discourse that national security comes through military action, macho posturing, bluster and the "might is right" mindset, which has been thoroughly proven by Bush's grand Iraqi Adventure to be catastrophic, needs to be labelled as such by the opposition, loudly and repeatedly. If the case against it is not made, the mindset will not change - or will be forced about by catastrophic change at some undefined point in the future). Taking a stand now can and must be done, to undercut the monopoly of "serious" people on geopolitical discourse.

Reality is creeping in the minds of the saner members of the punditocracy, but has not yet driven them to abandon their existing prejudices, fed by 25 years of propaganda and the virtual prosperity of ever larger financial bubbles. We have to shout louder to help them get it before it's too late.

Display:
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/12/20/8528/5635

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 at 11:05:43 AM EST
over there from RFK (18 March 1968 in a speech in Kansas where he stated):


GNP counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage.  It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for those who break them.  It counts the destruction of our redwoods and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl.  It counts napalm and the cost of a nuclear warhead...It measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.  And it can tell us everything about America except why we are proud we are Americans.


In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 at 02:52:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is why I sympathise with the hostile response of classical liberals and libertarians to the very notion of such limits

One may understand where MW's sympathies (and antipathies) lie. But what will his sympathies change if the limits are really there? He's being borderline flat-earther.

Those for whom he feels antipathy see the need for adjustments to the notion of growth as current financial capitalism sees it. That means recognizing the limits of a finite planet, and distributing the gains of growth more fairly. Both imply allocating resources towards more stable and sustainable economic activity, and away from bubbly finance. Martin Wolf may not like it, but it may turn out that he has to lump it.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 at 11:20:38 AM EST
It fully encapsulates the dilemna of people like him, who are (mostly) reality-based and, while they have clear political/ideologicla preferences, are able to see that phtysical limits might be a problem.

Saying "I like hostility to such limits" at least acknowledges the limits, and signals a message of hope (not certainty) that somehow these limits can be ignored. The fact that it is hope rather than certainty in his case makes me somewhat optimistic that something is finally percolating.

Because the inevitable conclusion of acknowledging the limits is that the whole "free markets will let the non-zero games play out in the most efficient way" is completely false.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 at 11:31:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"acknowledges the limits", I'm not so sure, he's very ambiguous there.

When I think of the dangers of conflict, I don't like the limits either. But that's where the current model of growth is taking us. Wolf frames the issue as if the "socialists" who believe in "birth-pangs" or whatever (strawman) are somehow responsible for running mankind into danger. And he appears to be declaring sympathy with climate change or peak oil deniers. Finally, he bases his entire case on the rising tide argument re economic growth.

What he needs to decide is what he really has to say about global warming and finite resources. But maybe the financial system will give him a big prod before he makes up his mind.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 at 11:55:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For if there are limits to emissions, there may also be limits to growth. But if there are indeed limits to growth, the political underpinnings of our world fall apart.

Still, I never thought I'd read these words--even an admission of possibility-- from him.
Of course he bases his arguments on "revealed truth"-- he always has. But he's not a fool, and such insights have happened before.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.

by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 at 02:17:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A very poignant post. Nominating John Edwards would be a first step for the American electorate to recognize what is the essence of your post, social justice comes before greed which the word 'growth' has replaced in our lexicon.

Otherwise; praying that Hillary Clinton will recognize the futility of what her husband and his minions (Robert Rubin etc.) have espoused; you can be greedy and have social justice at the same time.

by An American in London on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 at 11:24:02 AM EST
The first paragraph of Wolf's article is the only one not behind a subscription wall and it is thus:

FT.com / Columnists / Martin Wolf - The dangers of living in a zero-sum world economy

We live in a positive-sum world economy and have done so for about two centuries. This, I believe, is why democracy has become a political norm, empires have largely vanished, legal slavery and serfdom have disappeared and measures of well-being have risen almost everywhere. What then do I mean by a positive-sum economy? It is one in which everybody can become better off. It is one in which real incomes per head are able to rise indefinitely.
It really annoys me how fond people are of the idea that there was no economic growth before the industrial revolution. Personally I would take a longer view and claim that the "current system" has been in existence and providing growth, prosperity and political advances since at least the 14th century (in Europe).

On the other hand, I do have to agree (and I know some people here will disagree with me) that political liberalism, an open society, social mobility, etc, are politically easier if there is strong economic growth. If the pie is expanding rapidly there is less incentive for defending privilege at all costs.

It the limits of growth are breached there are two posibilities. One is catastrophic overshoot and collapse, followed hopefully by another cycle of growth (which implies great hardship and then a slow opening up of society again), and the other is a sort of stationary-state economy. I have a hard time imagining how that would work, but one possibility is to consider three economic sectors whose business cycle is not synchronised, so when A is growing B is peaking and C is in a recession, and so on. The total amount of resources used by all three sectors might stay roughly constant but all three sectors would independently appear to follow normal business cycles. I am afraid, however, that such a system would appear to people in it to have inflation with negative "real GDP growth".

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 at 02:32:18 PM EST
I need to check references, but the very notion of the Industrial Revolution has been called in question by historians for some time now, the accent being on the longer term process from the "mid"-Middle Ages on.

As to the economic underpinnings of freedom and democracy, it's a two-way deal. Not chicken and egg, but a dynamic interlinking. (The "success" of the Nazi economy was posited on war and could only lead headlong into that, thus containing the seeds of its own demise).

All of which doesn't counter Wolf's point. I think the distribution graph Jerome posts does that most effectively. For the greater part of the population today, growth is barely perceptible.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 at 03:46:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... the Industrial Revolution, as opposed to the Mercantile and Agricultural revolutions (at least) that came most immediately before it, was not the economic growth, but the increased reliance on fossil fuels.

That is, innovations always come in waves, and the waves of innovations themselves comes in waves of bigger innovation waves separated by less dramatic innovation waves. If you want to label the biggest wave of innovations in a particular period a Revolution, then if you look around, you will find others just as dramatic.

Now, certainly it is likely to have felt "especially Revolutionary" inside England, since that was the wave of innovations that led to the reversal of the balance of trade between the Indian subcontinent and the European subcontinent, which was, in turn, the foundation for the establishment of the Raj. After all, the armies and munitions that England used to conquer India primarily originated inside India ... the power that came from England was its superior financial clout.

However, with respect to our current limits of growth, what is critical about the changes in institutional structures associated with the Industrial Revolution and later fossil fuel waves of innovation is the way that we have become dependent upon regular, annual economic growth.

That is, technological growth, resulting from more efficient use of given material inputs by a given population, necessarily involves innovation, and so inherits the wavelike character of innovation.

By contrast, extensive growth, resulting from acquiring more material input per person, permits economic growth without improved material efficiency, and so can proceed on a regular annual basis, except for the occasional recessions ... provided that it is possible to acquire an every increasing material input per person, and possible to generate the effective demand for the newly produced products.

At one time, conventional wisdom took both requisites for ongoing extensive growth for granted ... but as a result of the Great Depression, our societies learned that effective demand could not be taken for granted (of course, some individuals understood that previously, but there is a big difference between a conclusion of individual analysis and having that knowledge sink into the structure of social institutions).

Now, we are entering a period when as societies we will discover that the material input requisite can't be taken for granted either.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sat Dec 22nd, 2007 at 07:26:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bruce, can you develop this comment (and the one about Justinian's Flea) into a diary?

This is an important insight, at least for me.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Dec 22nd, 2007 at 10:00:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, given that I have four days off rather than just the weekend, I reckon I can.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sat Dec 22nd, 2007 at 11:48:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Next Economic Revolution: Economic Growth and the Steady State

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 at 03:48:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks, I saw that but I haven't read it yet.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 at 04:22:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In The Great Transformation, Karl Polanyi notes the important qualitative difference between growth rates high enough to keep ahead of Malthus, and rates that leave societies in what he terms the Malthusian trap. If I recall, he sees the industrial revolution as the turning point in this regard.

Words and ideas I offer here may be used freely and without attribution.
by technopolitical on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 03:23:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think that the "Information Revolution" currently just begun is a second revolution that will dwarf the Industrial Revolution.

The challenge is. as Jerome says, the "sustainability" of the growth enabled by this revolution in terms of minimising the calls upon finite resources.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 06:14:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm going to take the long view again and claim that the information revolution (at least in Europe) dates back to Gutenberg's movable type printing press.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 06:45:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I doubt that matching the Industrial Revolution in significance is possible: After all, what happened then was the disassociation between production and physical labour. The 'information revolution' is so far 'merely' a revolution in the speed and capacity of bulk transmission of information. Important? Yes. A match for mechanisation, in terms of social, political and economic consequences? No, definitely not.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 06:49:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well - yes and no.

It's possible to imagine a world in which industrial production is steady-state, or nearly so, and on a replacement only basis, and most of the value comes from culture.

You could then have continuous growth, literally only limited by people's imaginations.

This issue is more complicated than it looks, because the real reason 'growth' is necessary is because capitalism relies on deferred gratification and the promise that things will be better tomorrow - in the sense of better everything, from faster cars and computers to less time spent on chores.

Of course the promise is a lie, because the cost is excessive. When you spend 8-16 hours a day working and another couple of hours commuting, an iPhone is a poor consolation prize.

If culture and deep inventiveness became core values, replacing the idea of accumulation as 'progress', that would certainly be revolutionary.

By deep inventiveness I mean the creativity needed to produce Maxwell's equations or relativity, rather than the creativity needed to produce an iPhone.

Currently we're wasting bright people by making them to do pointless and often silly things. Freeing up people from the work -> consume treadmill might create some unexpected results.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 07:57:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
JakeS:
I doubt that matching the Industrial Revolution in significance is possible: After all, what happened then was the disassociation between production and physical labour. The 'information revolution' is so far 'merely' a revolution in the speed and capacity of bulk transmission of information. Important? Yes. A match for mechanisation, in terms of social, political and economic consequences? No, definitely not.

It's sometimes hard to estimate the significance of a revolution when you are only half way through it.  The industrial revolution is still playing out with the roboticisation and outsourcing of production to China etc.

The information revolution has the capacity of extracting hugely greater value from a given set of resources.  It take very little materials to build  amobile phone and transmision network, but think of the amount of time and materials saved by having say (a delivery van) contactable at all times.

PCs are becoming more powerful by orders of magnitude but often take less physical materials to build.  The bigger problem is that all consumer durables are becoming non-durable, and you have to throw away your v=car, phone, PC after shorter and shorter intervals.  We have to do something radical about making manufacturers 100% responsible for the maintenance/recycling costs of their wares to break that cycle.

So it IS conceivable that we can achieve sustainable growth from diminishing resources - and at a micro level we already are in many industries.  This is partly why more recent Oil price shocks have had less impact that the previous ones.  The problem is whole economies are still becoming more resource dependent and so hugely incremental efficiencies will be required to ofset resource depletion all the time.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 08:28:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Still, I stand by my estimate of the Industrial Revolution as the most significant event in human history (bar one: Agriculture is indisputably more significant) - and likely to remain so. For three reasons: Industrialised agriculture, industrialised manufacturing and industrialised, scientific medicine.

Without these three advances, you'd die from diseases that are today considered trivial (at least in the developed world) and every citizen not working as a bureaucrat, soldier or parasite (nobility, clergy, etc.) would be tied up producing foodstuffs and very basic commodities.

The ability to efficiently produce basic things like food and clothes in bulk quantities, combined with the industrialised distribution systems for these goods (as well as for clean water) are quite simply the underpinning of every creature comfort you or I currently enjoy.

Ultimately, satisfaction of basic human demands - heat, air, water, food, shelter - must surely rank as more important than any other advance. And industrialisation, for the first time in human history, provided the tools to ensure that those demands are reliably met for the vast majority of the population (notwithstanding the fact that the world lacks the political will to use the tools in this fashion).

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 08:32:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Information precedes praxis; to build a steam engine you have to know how to build a steam engine.  

Praxis informs information; building a steam engine teaches one how to build a better steam engine.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 11:54:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I identify three phases in history.

In the first iteration, Society was decentralised but disconnected, and "market presence" was "physical" ie buyers and sellers met physically in a market forum.

In this current second iteration, Society has become centralised, but connected, and market presence has been through (increasing consolidated) intermediaries.

The next, probably final, iteration - "Society 3.0" - will be decentralised but connected, and market presence will be a "network presence".

The transition to Society 3.0 manifested itself most memorably in Napster, the out-rider of the "peer to peer" markets to come.

I give banks (ie credit intermediaries) between 2 and 5 years before they are "Napsterised" and after this happens, progress to a fairer society will be rapid.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 12:09:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ChrisCook:
I give banks (ie credit intermediaries) between 2 and 5 years before they are "Napsterised" and after this happens, progress to a fairer society will be rapid.

I.E i HAVE SPARE CASH, YOU NEED A LOAN, we transact a loan over the internet with a third party insuring my risk that you might default?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 12:20:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Along those lines, yes.

Except that the parties to the credit transaction (which may be settled in money or even "money's worth") will be members of the "third party".

ie a form of mutualised credit I call a "Guarantee Society".

Investments are something else, and distinct IMHO from credit (= time to pay").

Here I see investors in productive assets (eg property renewable energy) connected "peer to peer" with people who need investment. The difference being that the investment vehicle would no longer be the existing sub-optimal "Corporation".

This will be superseded by partnership based forms such as US LLC's and UK LLP's.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 12:28:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ChrisCook:

Except that the parties to the credit transaction (which may be settled in money or even "money's worth") will be members of the "third party".

ie a form of mutualised credit I call a "Guarantee Society".


How is that different from a Credit Union?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 12:41:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A credit union takes in deposits and lends them out. That's all. There is no credit creation not backed 100% by reserves.

Credit Unions create no credit "ex nihilo", as a bank does, based upon the amount of capital set by the Basel-based BIS.

www.zopa.com and www.prosper.com essentially disintermediate/ Napsterise credit unions, but lack a guarantee function.

The idea of a "Guarantee Society" is that bilateral "trade" credit - ie from seller to buyer - is subject to a mutual guarantee by members of the GS collectively in respect of which the users of the guarantee pay an amount into a "default pool".

Settlement of the credit granted may be either in conventional money, or, if the seller agrees, in "money's worth" (ie barter).

The result is of banking without the bank as intermediary, although there is a requirement for a service provider to manage the system, allocate "guarantee limits" manage defaults etc.

ie the bank becomes a service provider.

But note that this model facilitates the creation and circulation of wealth through "mutualising" credit creation.

Equitable investment of existing wealth is another matter entirely.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 01:29:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is there not a danger that such Guarantee Societies will attract the highest risk borrowers who cannot get loans elsewhere and thus represent a sub-prime risk?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 01:57:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We are talking "bottom up" community based groups here, probably both geographical and functional. ie any group of individuals with a "common bond".

But local groupds will be able to link together to form "pools of pools" and so on...

Conventional "microcredit" Grameen Bank style relies upon small groups of guarantors.

And when you think about it, all that credit derivatives are is a form of time limited guarantee, but not exactly a transparent one...

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 02:27:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ChrisCook:
We are talking "bottom up" community based groups here, probably both geographical and functional. ie any group of individuals with a "common bond".

But local groupds will be able to link together to form "pools of pools" and so on...

Sounds like the credit union movement to me....

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Dec 22nd, 2007 at 06:21:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Guarantee Society concept enables the membership of Credit Unions to engage with each other and with businesses in mutually beneficial credit creation, and with the additional possibility of settlement of this bilateral credit in what would essentially be a "local currency".

Existing credit unions would manage the process and the default "pool", and handle accounting and defaults etc as "service providers".

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sat Dec 22nd, 2007 at 07:08:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It depends on how you define the terms,  If we define the industrial revolution as being essential about mechanisation of largely pre-existing processes - replacing horses with engines, muscle with coal and oil power etc. - then that process has been largely over some time - electric toobrushes notwithstanding.

What has happened since - automation, miniturisation, nanotechnology, electronics, digitisation, bioengineering and computerisation etc. are largely about "the knowledge" revolution - doing totally new and previously unimaginable things - didn't really get going until the middle of the last century - is ungoing, and is qualitatively different.  I don't think we are even beginning to see its potential yet.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 12:05:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Still, I stand by my estimate of the Industrial Revolution as the most significant event in human history (bar one: Agriculture is indisputably more significant) - and likely to remain so. For three reasons: Industrialised agriculture, industrialised manufacturing and industrialised, scientific medicine."
-----------

To build on some ideas in earlier replies, here is a parallel:

You quite properly count agriculture as a great revolution, and count as one aspect of the greatness of the industrial revolution the emergence of industrialised agriculture.

Likewise, however, one can regard much of modern physical technology (both production and products) as a sort of "informationalised industry", made possible only by the explosion in information technology. The information revolution thus gets an increment of credit as a part of the industrial revolution, in addition to its other revolutionary aspects.

Words and ideas I offer here may be used freely and without attribution.

by technopolitical on Sat Dec 22nd, 2007 at 03:47:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... communication revolution that was:
The 'information revolution' is so far 'merely' a revolution in the speed and capacity of bulk transmission of information.

To the extent that it has happened yet, the Information Revolution is a revolution in the speed and capacity of the customized transmission of information.

And if we are going to move from a paradigm of throwing material and energy at the inefficiency of one-size-fits-all designs to a paradigm of mass roll-out of designs customized to be efficient matches to their context, the "Information Revolution Thus Far" would seem to be an essential pre-requisite.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 at 03:11:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There are "Straussian" overtones here. Economists like to feel they delivered us from barbarism by creating a world that is not a "zero-sum game."

I could rant some more about that, but the key objection is that there seems to be a huge correlation between measures of improved wellbeing and energy usage, particularly fossil fuel exploitation.

That suggests that things weren't so much "zero-sum" as mostly a product of growth. If Wolf is admitting that, it's an interesting admission, although of course he wouldn't admit that "growth" is purely a matter of energy consumption, he'd try to make some claim that trade is the engine...

As for the future, the key is to rethink "productivity" which tends to be measured in terms of return on human or capital input. The future of "growth" is in "productivity" that is increasing output for static amounts of energy input. At least, that my utopian idea for the day.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 10:08:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The future of "growth" is in "productivity" that is increasing output for static amounts of energy input. At least, that my utopian idea for the day.

Well, that's not a very novel idea.

Increasing output for the same or smaller energy use is the history of basic/process industry for the last 30 years.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 10:32:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
or the last 4000 years.  How did they build those pyramids?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 12:07:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Theres good evidence that it was a social welfare scheme to keep people busy during the two  to three months a year when agricultural work was impossible. an early example of socialist work schemes to keep the population in food and loyal to the empire.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 12:29:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sure the guys at the wrong end of the whips appreciated it!

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 12:37:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Um, no. Actually not. If you look at most industrial processes, energy use for production has not deviated significantly in 10 years or so.
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 01:01:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... the Industrial Revolution that is positive sum, and much that is new. Its just that the positive sum part is not the new part. The revolution in trade from luxuries to staples that saw Egypt emerge as the granary for Roman cities was positive sum ... it was, indeed, positive sum in precisely the Ricardian comparative advantage sense.

After the cold spell that allowed the Bubonic plague to climb down from the upper Nile River Valley to the Mediterranean world, that reliance on rapid transport across the Med turned from a blessing into a curse ... and undermining Justinian the Great's reconquests of North Africa, Iberia and Italy (guess who recently read Justinian's Flea?) ...

... but then after the collapse of that system emerged the North Atlantic economy built on the heavy horse-drawn moldboard plough and the three-field system, and the growth that followed from that was positive sum growth as well.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sat Dec 22nd, 2007 at 07:41:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just to quote myself. Something will need to replace capitalism/consumerism. Here's my recent essay on what:

After Capitalism, What?

Economists and business leaders are unwilling even to consider the question. Some have said that the wealthy will just retreat behind their walls (like in apartheid South Africa) and defend themselves against the hungry mob.

But can you buy the loyalty of the guards? Most palace coups are done by insiders. The wealthy don't seem to realize that there will be no place to hide this time.

Policies not Politics
---- Daily Landscape

by rdf (robert.feinman@gmail.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 at 03:49:30 PM EST
I'm not familiar with Martin Wolf's work, so I will give him the benefit of the doubt for the moment.  Let us accept his thesis that ongoing and sustained (if somewhat cyclical, and very unevenly distributed) economic growth is at least one of the reasons behind the relative peace and stability of the western world since WW2.  It is intuitively obviously easier to maintain social harmony if most of the people are at least a little bit better off with each passing year (even if they feel the super rich are coining it).

Conservative economists are forever using the "trickle down effect" analogy to explain why even massively increased profits are ultimately to everyone's benefit through investment and jobs.  Capitalist growth also depends on a growth in consumer consumption which means at least some of the incremental growth in wealth has to be shared.

The corollary of this argument is that if Growth becomes negative due to absolute external constraints - peak, oil, climate change etc. - then it will become a lot more difficult to maintain social order and international peace.  People whose living standards are being squeezed will look at the super-rich and expect them to take the bulk of the hit - and the natural response of the elite will be to say that someone else is to blame - Russia, Venezuela, Arab Oil producers etc. - and hence the resource wars will intensify.

The really annoying people are the socialists and environmentalists who point out  that such conflicts are not inevitable if we have better efficiencies, less waste, fairer distribution of wealth allied to changes in our profligate life styles.  These naysayers and prophets of doom have been arguing against growth as the panacea for everything for years, and the growth has always come through in the end - thanks to technology, the outsourcing of production to China etc., and ubiquitous power of Branding to create new markets.

The significance of Martin Wolf's remarks may be that he realises that we are running out of magic bullets to keep the growth engine running, and that an end to sustainable growth may indeed be appearing on the horizon.  For those who have always believed in growth as the panacea for everything, that is an appalling vista.  It means the reds, pinkos and the greens have been right all along.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 at 06:21:23 PM EST

The significance of Martin Wolf's remarks may be that he realises that we are running out of magic bullets to keep the growth engine running, and that an end to sustainable growth may indeed be appearing on the horizon.  For those who have always believed in growth as the panacea for everything, that is an appalling vista.  It means the reds, pinkos and the greens have been right all along.

Exactly - except that we'recoming to an end to "growth", as currently defined. We have not tried "sustainable growth" yet.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 02:21:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Let us accept his thesis that ongoing and sustained (if somewhat cyclical, and very unevenly distributed) economic growth is at least one of the reasons behind the relative peace and stability of the western world since WW2.

No, let's not.  :-)

Look, if process A and process B are concurrent you have to prove A caused B.  Merely saying A caused B, because it fits a particular philosophy or ideology, is a gross violation of Intellectual Honesty.  

For example:  is it not more likely there are feedbacks between A and B and it is more likely the increase in political stability - not slaughtering each other & not spending money in preparation to slaughter each other - was the Trigger Affect for widespread economic growth in Europe post WW2?  Rather than the reverse?

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 12:13:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... Democratic Republic of Congo over the past two decades, its hard to avoid seeing peace and political stability as strong pre-requisites for economic growth of the kind experienced in the EU over the same period.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 at 10:03:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
European Tribune: Hostility to the notion of limits to growth
... I sympathise with the hostile response of classical liberals and libertarians to the very notion of such limits [to growth], since they view them as the death-knell of any hopes for domestic freedom and peaceful foreign relations.
Yes, he sympathises, but does he have any substantive criticism of the Club of Rome's Limits to Growth models or of the environmental economics of, say, Hermann Daly, or is it all ideological opposition?

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 06:52:09 AM EST
Martin Wolf - Hostility to the notion of limits to growth
It is far more likely to be a step towards a world characterised by catastrophic conflict and brutal repression.

And how lucky we are that we haven't seen any of that during the last fifty years.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 07:47:39 AM EST
He's just concerned that his (our?) band of oppressors is going to turn to infighting.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 07:56:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He's just concerned that this time it could be his ass on the line, and not someone else's - someone far away whom he can ignore.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 07:58:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It could have been so much worse. I am currently reading a book on the history of the 30 years war. What we did, especially in Bohemia and Bavaria, isn't exactly things that instill national pride...

Something of a Kongo style holocaust.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 10:32:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have a horrible suspicion that future historians will regard the period post WW2 until now as the age of Plenty - and Waste, of relative peace and prosperity.  I sincerely hope I am wrong and that Vietnam, Cambodia, Rwanda and current famines will not seem like small local issues compared to what future generations will have to endure.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 12:11:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As stated before, the main issue is: are we as a species able to shift our center of consciousness up.
Become more compassionate, visionary, loving.

What is needed is a spiritual renaissance, in order to recognize the whole again. All esoteric traditions of all great religions offer tools to explore the spiritual domain.

If we continue using the intellect-sec, we will remain stuck in -ever partial- perspectives and not be able to shift up [note: I'm a PhD researching 'Decision making processes in a transition towards a sustainable energy regime'].

Consequence: involution, collapse. Alternative: abundant clean energy and other resources for all. And a platform to address other pressing issues.

See for example
http://www.trecers.net/ http://www.gezen.nl/www.gezen.nl/indexb329.html?option=com_content&task=view&id=60&Itemi d=68
http://www.teslamotors.com/display_data/21stCentElectricCar.pdf
http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/content/2007/20070416_energy/video.htm
http://www.projectbetterplace.com/
http://www.google.org/recharge/index.html
http://www.google.com/corporate/green/energy/index.html
http://www.wie.org/j28/business.asp
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7987612343225687713

What is needed is the will to engage our potential. In order to be able to will this, we need an inward turn.

There we recognize that we always have been already ONE. No big deal and at the same time the quintessential deal.
See http://www.bigpicture.tv/videos/watch/07e1cd7dc

Pace e Bene, Emil Möller, Netherlands

by emilmoller (emil@beyondthewalls.eu) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 at 08:05:14 AM EST
Thank you for the resources, Emil, especially

_See http://www.bigpicture.tv/videos/watch/07e1cd7dc _

Chopra has always made sense because he is able to ´whole-think´, to integrate most current conditions and knowledge to a oneness of health and sustainability.

I hope you can write more about this and your work on ET!

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 at 08:32:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Chopra? Gimme a friggin' break! The man is a class-A woo-woo. His 'thinking' on quantum mechanics are astrology-grade nonsense. That kind of thing is exactly what we don't need, and frankly, I though that progressives had learned their lesson after the Sokal Hoax.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 at 09:28:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I´ll give you a break. (;  I don´t know quantum mechs from a whole in the ground and have never heard him talk about it.  However, in overall health, medicine, tradition++ WITH Common Sense, I found him believable.  So, give me some pointers.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 at 10:00:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He has some straaange ideas about a universal consciousness-field or something like that. To me it sounds like the evil stepchild of Platonic dualism and New Age mysticism, but I can't really give you a summary of his ideas on that subject, because they don't make a whole lot of sense. Which wouldn't be so bad if he didn't keep making half-assed references to quantum mechanics and quantum field theory to justify his magical thinking. On top of that, he's generally fond of po-mo-babble and tends to deploy a bunch of really irritating canards along the lines of 'science has been wrong before' and 'science doesn't know everything [implying that therefore it knows nothing].'

But I haven't really spent much time on dissecting him - I just noted some of the quantum mechanics abuses and general anti-science red flags, and filtered him out. You'd be better off browsing Respectful Insolence or Denialism; they seem to find it amusing to fisk him. You'd have to go back in the archives a while, though, because both seem to have grown tired of posting about him - not that I blame them.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 at 01:20:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for the explanation, Jake, but I find the links unconvincing because they are based on a rigid view of science-nothing-but and keep bouncing back to a shared, personal dislike as support for their argument.

It does not seem far-fetched at all for a ´full human being´... to be more than the sum of its studied parts.  A lot of people snicker at terminology, like New Age, and are not willing to consider a farther development of consciousness that is experienced and not researched yet.  

A lot of knee-jerk reactions come from the connotations of words also and/or the hidden agendas of personal gain, but I cannot discard the ´woo´ just yet.

 

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 at 02:16:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for the explanation, Jake, but I find the links unconvincing because they are based on a rigid view of science-nothing-but

Well, if you want to convince me that I should go 'beyond science' or somesuch, you really need to make a good case for why that's going to be worth the bother. Science has, for the last several centuries, been coming up with exceptionally good descriptions of the world (not to mention neat technological spin-offs) with an efficiency and rapidity that is simply unmatched by any other human endeavour in the history of mankind.

So, if you want me to do something other than science in order to understand some part of the world, then you need to convince me not only that that part of the world is inaccessible to science (which is a pretty extraordinary claim in and of itself) and that your ideas of how to investigate it actually make sense. You also have to convince me that your new field is at least as interesting to study as science. That's a darn tough job.

and keep bouncing back to a shared, personal dislike as support for their argument.

That really is not a particularly fair summary of their posts. They don't base their judgement of Chopra as a woo-woo on their dislike. They dislike Chopra because they judge him to be a woo-woo. And considering the things they quote him as saying, they aren't too far wrong about that.

It does not seem far-fetched at all for a ´full human being´... to be more than the sum of its studied parts.

Lots of stuff 'doesn't seem far fetched' but still turns out to be wrong. Like the Aether. Or phlogiston. Or epicycles. History is littered with ideas that seemed good at the time. Most new age woo-woo doesn't even rise to that level.

A lot of people snicker at terminology, like New Age, and are not willing to consider a farther development of consciousness that is experienced and not researched yet.

The problem isn't that it's not researched yet. The problem is that none of these guys seem to have a clue how to start researching it. If they can put up a falsifiable hypothesis or propose an experimental design that'll let us measure whatever it is they claim exists, then we're talking. Vague feel-good statements about 'conciousness' and 'experience' just don't cut it.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 at 02:56:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"If our brains were simple enough to understand, we'd be too stupid to know what a brain was".

Science has been immensely useful in describing the world outside the mind - as experienced by the mind. But current scientific methods are less useful in experiential study. Ask a victim of Altzheimers. Or someone with bipolar disorder or a dog.

When the measuring instrument has a mind of its own, some new thought (by minds) is required. I read a lot about the physiology of the brain. I'm quite aware of Learned Behaviour theory. But I do not understand 'Belief'. I know it can exist. But I don't know what it is or how it could be scientifically examined.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 at 03:15:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure what you're getting at here? Because science does not (yet) understand the brain, science never can understand the brain?

I'll freely grant you that the brain might be the limit of scientific knowledge. Every new line of research might be the limit of science. It's always possible - in a strict philosophical sense of 'possible.' We don't know that the barrier isn't there, because we haven't tried to go beyond it yet.

But the flip side of that is that we don't know that it is there either until we've actually hit the barrier, and it makes no sense at all to assume when going into a new avenue of study that it's impossible to carry to a successful conclusion. Such an assumption would be a show-stopper. If the limit is there, we'll find it. The hard way.

Now, IANAD, but your medical examples seem rather poorly chosen. We can slow down Alzheimers. We can't stop it yet, but there are credible research programs that are trying to figure out how to do that. We do understand many of the proximate causes, and several of the ultimate causes underpinning the disease. Same with bipolar disorder. I don't understand 'belief' either, but I have a couple of more or less credible guesses, as have the people who are actually researching it. I don't know where you're getting with the dog, though?

The salient point, however, is that you can always find a subject that's on the frontier of science, because, to paraphrase a famous populariser of science (whose name escapes me at the moment) 'as the island of our knowledge expands, so do the shores of our ignorance.' Pointing out that science can't explain everything (yet) is nothing more than an exercise in perpetually moving goalposts.

And it is a fundamental misconception that the instruments we use to measure brains have 'a mind of their own.' I am not involved in that kind of research, but my understanding is that we use (mainly) 3d-NMR imaging, ultrasound Doppler and image contrasting to measure and interpret blood flow in different regions of the brain. I see a lot of electrical circuits, a couple of piezo-electric crystals, a RF emitter and some big-ass magnets in those experimental setups. Don't see no minds, though.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 at 10:47:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It seems you just proved Sven´s and my doubts, no?  (;  There are areas pure science has not reached (yet) therefore....

Don't see no minds, though.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 06:28:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The operative word here is yet.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 06:44:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But the flip side of that is that we don't know that it is there either until we've actually hit the barrier, and it makes no sense at all to assume when going into a new avenue of study that it's impossible to carry to a successful conclusion. Such an assumption would be a show-stopper. If the limit is there, we'll find it. The hard way.

It is even more uncertain: how do we know that a barrier is a barrier? How do we know that we NEVER EVER get to know the other side? All we can surely know is the possibilities that we experienced!

I am rather optimistic about mind research. As we try to build robots, we may conclude that most key qualities (including bias in strength of earlier of first experiences, say) are kind of necessary to a cybernetic system of certain complexity level.

On the other hand, will the knowledge of human mind would necessarily be spread without reservations and just as openly as the knowledge in fundamental physics?  Couldn't that knowledge be "worth" more restricted?! We even have commercialization of "standard" scientific research under way.

The NLP (Neuro-lingquistic programming) development is interesting. The NLP guys do not want themselves to register their discipline as science by official institutions. Either they do not wish to bother with merely academic status (and perhaps "open source" standards), or prefer to make money - it depends how cynically you want to see them. Their approach is pragmatical foremost, but they possibly have much interesting knowledge and experience, and there is a vague philosophy behind. If someone would wish, some interesting science could be made of that, I think.

by das monde on Tue Dec 25th, 2007 at 05:05:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As I understand it, they're explicitly developing tricks that work - analysing the tricks might help understand how things are put together, but that's not really what they're at - they're oriented towards theraputic results rather than building a science of mind.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Dec 25th, 2007 at 05:07:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But they formulate and use rather sensible models how the mind works. Much of their therapy is based on successful models. That is quite a scientific aspect. In aggregate, NLP is probably more complete and scientific than Freud.
by das monde on Tue Dec 25th, 2007 at 09:19:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure what you're getting at here? Because science does not (yet) understand the brain, science never can understand the brain?

I'll freely grant you that the brain might be the limit of scientific knowledge. Every new line of research might be the limit of science. It's always possible - in a strict philosophical sense of 'possible.' We don't know that the barrier isn't there, because we haven't tried to go beyond it yet.

Hmmm... there are many scientific studies about the brain that explain a wide range of mental phenomena. From a great variety of disciplines.

It's possible that the mind is an emergent property of the brain and thereby has to be explained and understood in its own terms. This can be to a greater or lesser degree. A lesser degree might be pictured as the emergence of waves in water, and the greater degree as the emergence of matter from quantum interactions (at this point someone and migeru may flame me for getting my physics so crude and wrong).

We have had a couple of runs at a purely 'positivistic' understanding of the brain/mind/human psychology (cue B.F. Skinner) and these have not been very fruitful. This is not to say that the angle should thereby be closed, but if you are a government that has to decide which research programmes to fund, you might more successfully go for some mix of qualitative and quantitative research (and if you're a research department applying for funds you should always use the over-abused 'interdisciplinary' buzzword).

You can either base this on a pragmatic estimation that the science to go quantitative all the way is not there yet, or on a philosophical hunch that the mind is an emergent phenomenon.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Wed Dec 26th, 2007 at 07:15:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
nanne:
A lesser degree might be pictured as the emergence of waves in water, and the greater degree as the emergence of matter from quantum interactions (at this point someone and migeru may flame me for getting my physics so crude and wrong).
No, I'll just give you a few pointers.

Wikipedia: Quasiparticle

In physics, a quasiparticle refers to a particle-like entity arising in certain systems of interacting particles. It can be thought of as a single particle moving through the system, surrounded by a cloud of other particles that are being pushed out of the way or dragged along by its motion, so that the entire entity moves along somewhat like a free particle. The quasiparticle concept is one of the most important in condensed matter physics, because it is one of the few known ways of simplifying the quantum mechanical many-body problem, and is applicable to an extremely wide range of many-body systems.
In fact, there is a theoretical model where an electron gas of integer charge forms elementary excitations of fractional charge!
Wikipedia: Fractional quantum Hall effect

There are two main theories of the FQHE.

  • Fractionally-charged quasiparticles: this theory, proposed by Laughlin, hides the interactions by constructing a set of quasiparticles with charge , where the fraction is as above.
  • Composite Fermions: this theory was proposed by Jain, and Halperin, Lee and Read. In order to hide the interactions, it attaches two (or, in general, an even number) flux quanta to each electron, forming integer-charged quasiparticles called composite fermions. The fractional states are mapped to the integer QHE. This makes electrons at a filling factor 1/3, for example, behave in the same way as at filing factor 1. A remarkable result is that filling factor 1/2 corresponds to zero magnetic field. Experiments support this.
Quantum mechanics is pretty mind-blowing as far as the nature of physical reality goes.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Dec 26th, 2007 at 07:30:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem is that none of these guys seem to have a clue how to start researching it. If they can put up a falsifiable hypothesis or propose an experimental design that'll let us measure whatever it is they claim exists, then we're talking. Vague feel-good statements about 'conciousness' and 'experience' just don't cut it.

Barbara was telling me once about the intriguing claims of a certain esoteric researcher (for lack of a better term). Apparently this person refuses to disclose her method in detail on the grounds that it is dangerous in the hands of untrained practitioners, or something like that. But the problem is that this prevents her claims from being confirmed independently, and that means that I don't have to take the claims seriously.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 at 04:50:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That´s a long littany against and it only says you see no reason to look into it.  There seems to be a lot of so and so called it ´whatever´, but little understanding of context.  You will convince yourself of what you need, when you want, so I don´t need to convince or prove and the vigor against doesn´t convince me.

I´ve heard Chopra speak in favor of garlic, ginger,... the harm of artificial chemicals, or using motors near the head...´  I didn´t need more ´proof´ because it confirmed my knowledge and experience.  He spoke as a doctor who used reason and Common Sense to integrate health into the bigger picture of western lifestyles, so I contrasted the information and decided it was good.  I couldn´t care less about qm in this context, because it´s irrelevant.

If I get other direct material and it doesn´t add up for me, I will know it and/or contrast it again.  No prob.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 at 05:39:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is historically the greatest enemy of science.

Of course the world is flat! Otherwise we'd fall off!

Of course there have to be ether, and light cannot possibly have a fixed speed! That would result in all sorts of senseless absurdities in the very nature of time and space itself!

Etc.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 at 07:05:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Your examples have nothing to do with common sense, and everything to do with mistaken science.

And it's fairly obviously tautological to say that bad science is the enemy of good...

Jake S puts it better below when he says common sense is fine but can't replace controlled studies.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 05:48:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The world being flat was a commonsense understanding that was repeatedly debunked by rational argument based on visible evidence, since the days of the ancient Greeks and Chinese.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 01:03:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mostly it was a myth created by Washington Irving in his history of Christopher Columbus, that has taken hold.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 02:31:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It still makes sense from a common sense perspective. Even as I had seen pictures of the planet from space, done the math, calculated how things should fall and then done the experiments to prove that the world really is round, it still felt wrong.

It took a Newtonesque experience to actually understand gravity and the nature of the planet, so it made sense to me.

With quantum mechanics I'm not there yet, if I'll ever be. Sure, it can be both a particle and a wave, and stuff depends on if you look at it or not. I've done the math, know the theory, have done the laser experiment and seen it being proved with my own eyes, but still, it doesn't make sense!

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 05:30:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I would have to agree. Even for such a simple concept as inertia. With movement in a circle, for example, it feels like there is an outward force, and should the rope be cut, the object would move outwards, possibly in a spiral fashion... The actual tangental trajectory seems quite counterintuitive.

I remember quite well how as a small child I learned something about inertia. Not believing it I constructed experiments in a moving car. Throwing an object, and observing how it landed right in my hand, and did not move backwards as my hand ceased to impart impetus upon it, I verified to my satisfaction that it did indeed seem correct, no matter how counter to common sense. Galilean inertia is hardly a new or strange theory. No, physics does not seem 'rational' or 'sensible' or whatever. It just measures out correctly!

by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 06:00:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Aristotelian physics is common sense. It's just all wrong as a predictive model.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 06:32:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed. Much of physics and science is quite counterintuitive. Which just goes to show how far common sense gets us. And how experiential (as opposed to experimental) evidence will often lead us astray.
by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 06:56:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We always reason through metaphors or mental models. The question is whether a mental model allows one to arrive at the correct conclusion or not. Acquiring "physical intuition" is building new mental models. Mathematical physics is augmenting the mental models with mathematical models but in the end it's still just metaphors.

The problem in this thread is that on the matters that often seem more important or meaningful to us as human beings, not even the evidence or its interpretation is unambiguous and then you can get competing models (including competing logics) which all claim to give the correct answer but are mutually nonsensical. kcurie made a comment to that effect regarding economics in reaction to Jerome's deconstruction of Greenspan.

I just do not get anything... It seesm like Greenspan is saying this stuf because it can.. but one could make another narrative, as the one Jerome is doing.. but there is actually not fundamentals to support one or the other.

Economics is void of any of the scientific fundamentals.. it does not even have a set of standard data features whcih could be analyzed.

...

Add to this the contamination of non-enquiring scientific minds with no freaking idea about maths and you get a very awful picture... economic articles keep on sounding as other purely symblic knowledge ... like astrology...being everythign reduce to a competition of naraatives (which is not small featrue but still...).

In these important matters one can see as we have seen here debates on perceived credibility of sources. Is Chopra an authority on a crackpot? Depending on whether you use Ayurvedic Medicine or Quantum Mechanics to answer the question you'll get a different answer.

We also have a basic disagreement on "science". To some it represents methodological scepticism that can be applied everywhere and is more or less successful depending on the subject matter. To others it represents the scientific establishment, or academic "hard science" with little bearing on meaningful issues. Ultimately it is a disagreement on whether to take things on faith.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 07:26:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That´s a long littany against and it only says you see no reason to look into it.

A summary that is as wrong as it is unkind. I gave you pretty explicit reasons why I don't see a need to look into it. I furthermore gave you a step-by-step guide of how to convince me that I'm wrong about the need to look into it. Just come up with a testable model, design a couple of experiments and show that there's a promising preliminary result. If you have a revolutionary development, that should not be that hard.

There seems to be a lot of so and so called it ´whatever´,

A rather heavy-handed accusation. I am going to have to ask you to quote the parts of my posts here where I refer to 'so-and-so-says' - the only place I've done that is when I referenced Orac and MarkH at the end of a post that explained - at some length - why I am unconvinced that Chopra is worth spending my time on.

but little understanding of context.

It's not my job to research every woo-woo claim that someone throws up on the 'net. Show me an experimental design that might actually work. That's the kind of context that matters.

You will convince yourself of what you need, when you want, so I don´t need to convince

Doggerel.

or prove and the vigor against doesn´t convince me.

I'm not asking you to be convinced by my vigour. I'm asking you to stop fencing with straw men and either evaluate my objections in some fashion or concede them. Your choice. Put up or shut up, as they say on the other side of the Pond.

I´ve heard Chopra speak in favor of garlic, ginger,... the harm of artificial chemicals, or using motors near the head...´  I didn´t need more ´proof´ because it confirmed my knowledge and experience. [Emphasis mine - Jake]

The plural of 'anecdote' is 'anecdotes,' not 'data.'

He spoke as a doctor who used reason and Common Sense to integrate health into the bigger picture of western lifestyles,

Common sense is all well and good, but it does not and can not replace controlled studies. Lots of things that were considered 'common sense' turned out to be wrong. Geocentrism, astrology, the divine right of kings, etc.

I couldn´t care less about qm in this context, because it´s irrelevant.

Sloppy thinking is rarely completely irrelevant. If somebody says things about QM - a field in which I am competent to evaluate what he's saying - that are not only embarrassingly wrong but downright absurd, then I have to question either his honesty or his ability to judge his own competence. Which one is at fault matters less than nothing to me; either one makes me highly suspicious of him in fields where I can't judge his competence directly or haven't taken the time to read his opinions.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 at 11:24:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is nothing unkind about different people having different interest priorities, so don´t find offense.  On the other hand, my definition of Common Sense is an innate, personal knowing integrated from experience that continues to adapt to new information as I live and learn.  Not anything related to mass-belief.   And the repetitive, offensive wording like ´po-mo (?), woo-woo, new age, crank, doggerel, wacky´, et al, prove nothing, yet when you wrote ´guess´ I thought you got the idea.

You are supporting your view with jumping links that may be credible science and I don't need to read them thoroughly to discuss the central point:  Science is GOOD, but it is not... ´everything there is´.  For example, science is beginning to understand pieces of brain functions, but AFAIK it cannot explain, cell memory, olfactory triggers, a sneeze, or a yawn yet, and we are not going to stop experiencing them because of it.  If that´s not a good example, take exams´ first-guess, intuition, mind, gut feeling, chicken soup for a cold, or people acting out under a full moon like yes-today  (:  etc., etc., etc.

I´ll ignore your demands for scientific study on what science hasn´t answered for us because I´m not denying science.  If pure science was my vocation, I´d have studied it, so I leave that to you/science when it´s time.

In the meantime, I guess I have become more and more of a generalist instead of a specialist, which is just a non-exclusive, different view, with the same human value.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 09:52:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is nothing unkind about different people having different interest priorities, so don´t find offense.

I do not find offence at your difference of priorities, or at the fact that you note said difference. What I find unkind is that you summarise my post(s) as nothing but an out-of-hand dismissal when I have in fact gone to some length to explain the reasons for my dismissal.

On the other hand, my definition of Common Sense is an innate, personal knowing integrated from experience that continues to adapt to new information as I live and learn.

And I largely agree with that definition, apart from the fact that I see nothing 'innate' about common sense, simply learned behaviour. What I point out is that common sense is all well and good when you're dealing with common phenomena. If you throw me a ball, I don't roll out Newton's Second Law and the Navier-Stokes equation to determine the motion of the ball and then look up which nerves to activate in order to move my hands to intercept the trajectory. I just use my common sense and experience with thrown objects to catch the ball (or not, as the case often is - I'm bad with balls).

But once you venture into the uncommon - when you look at the cell, or inside the atom, or when you fall ill - you are better off supplementing your common sense with the kind of uncommon sense derived from systematic controlled experiments. After all, controlled experiments are the best-yet way to learn from other people's mistakes.

And the repetitive, offensive wording like ´po-mo (?), woo-woo, new age, crank, doggerel, wacky´, et al, prove nothing, yet when you wrote ´guess´ I thought you got the idea.

You may rail and rant all you want against 'offencive wording' (I would note, however, that I am much kinder to Chopra than most of the critiques I've read), but that does not detract from the fact that many of the rhetorical gambits used in this thread have been doggerel, many of the ideas promoted have been admitted and/or shown to be new age, several passages that I have quoted in my posts have been indistinguishable from po-mo-babble [1] and taken together this makes "wacky" and "crank" among the kinder of the terms that I could have applied.

(Po-mo is shorthand for post-modernist. Means different things in different disciplines (which should raise red flags right there, by the way...). Used here in a pejorative sense where it denotes a position of extreme epistemological scepticism couched in fancy but vacuous and/or nonsensial rhetoric. The left-wing version of Intelligent Design, if you will.)

You are supporting your view with jumping links

Yes. That's called providing references and giving credit where credit is due. I kinda like those concepts.

that may be credible science and I don't need to read them thoroughly to discuss the central point:

True. That is also in the nature of references. Then again, in some cases you do need to read them thoroughly for other reasons. Going through Bronze Dog's doggerel list is a good idea all of its own - it'll both sharpen your thinking considerably and give you a pretty good idea what arguments any sceptic who's been on the 'net for more than a month has already heard a bazillion and one times before.

Science is GOOD, but it is not... ´everything there is´.

I see your straw man...

For example, science is beginning to understand pieces of brain functions, but AFAIK it cannot explain, cell memory, olfactory triggers, a sneeze, or a yawn yet, and we are not going to stop experiencing them because of it.

...and raise by an argument from ignorance.

- Jake

[1] I would love for someone to prove me wrong on that count - just take one of those passages and explain in your own words what it says.

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Dec 25th, 2007 at 02:03:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Keep it to a million words or less and I may find time.

I understand your self-importance requires attention, but I recommend you can take your frustration to the source.

Next!

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Tue Dec 25th, 2007 at 05:34:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
you may not want to read what appears to you to be unduly long answers, but there is no need to show disrespect to someone who is trying to expalin his positions.

And you do lose the ability to argue back if you refuse to read his points.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Dec 25th, 2007 at 06:06:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As far as this thread goes, it appears it's been a while since metavision stopped trying to argue back.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Dec 25th, 2007 at 06:18:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I can distinguish quantum mechanics from a hole in the ground and I haven't heard anything coming from Chopra or others like him, or from their fans, that doesn't sound like patent nonsense. You are free to call this _ a rigid view of science-nothing-but_.

The problem is that you can currently only access quantum mechanics at the level of popular science, which is to say in metaphorical language, and so it is not impossible that you find Chopra's metaphors more appealing. But that doesn't mean that there is an underlying theory or that the underlying theory is compatible with quantum mechanics let alone more effective than it.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 at 04:40:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Something tells me I really should write a diary about quantum mechanics, by the way.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 at 04:56:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You're going to attempt explaining QM to this band of pecklesniffers in 1,200 words or less?

Brave man.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 at 05:07:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I could also just refuse to countenance to comments mentioning quantum mechanics by people who haven't read Feynman's QED: the Strange Theory of Light and Matter. But that would be rude.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 at 05:19:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Reading thaaat, would be rude, so don´t do me any favors.  (;

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 at 06:02:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Chopra is an M.D. endocrinologist.  AFAIK, his knowledge of QM comes from John Hagelin, winner of the Jack Kilby Award for Innovation in Science for his paper discussing supersymmetric grand unified field theory, when both were heavily involved in the Transcendental Meditation movement.  Chopra has since moved on while Hagelin is still involved with TM and Mararishi International University.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 at 05:27:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Innovation in Science for his paper discussing supersymmetric grand unified field theory

Supersymmetric GUTs are a prime example of intriguing scientific innovations that didn't make it.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 at 05:37:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deepak_Chopra

haven´t looked at his site.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 at 06:09:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know the merits of Hagelin, but it would appear that either he's a crank or he's a poor teacher or Chopra is a poor student.

The CV given in the link you provide contains a few - ah - interesting lines that make me go for crank:


  • 1975: Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, Dartmouth College
  • 1976: Masters of Arts Harvard University
  • 1981: Ph. D. in physics Harvard University where he studied under Howard Georgi,
  • 1979-1995:Publishes ([3]) a number of peer-reviewed papers in particle physics dealing with supersymmetry and grand unification theory. This includes an article presenting the first successful superstring theory, the E8 x E8 heterotic superstring theory, which he conceived and published in cooperation with the CERN researchers John Ellis and D.V. Nanopoulus.
  • 1982: Researcher at CERN (the European Center for Particle Physics) in Switzerland
  • 1983-1984: SLAC (the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center).
  • 1984: Moves to Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa and founded a graduate program in Theoretical Physics.
  • 1992: Is selected as Presidential Candidate by the Natural Law Party in the USA
  • 1992: Receives the Kilby Award, for scientists who have made "major contributions to society through their applied research in the fields of science and technology". The award states it is for "a scientist in the tradition of Einstein, Jeans, Bohr and Eddington".
  • 1994: Awarded an Ig Nobel Prize for his experimental conclusion from a rigorous scientific study, published in the peer review journal "Social Indicators Reserarch", that found that 4,000 practicitioners of the TM-Sidhi program who gathered in Washington, D.C. for the Summer, caused a 23.3 percent decrease in crime in that city during an 8 week period. This annual award is for ten achievements that "first make people laugh, and then make them think."
  • 1994: Last published Physics research.
  • 1999: Published a study (made 1994) on the preventive effect of TM-Sidhi program on crime in Washington, D.C.. See "Further reading" below.

When I read that CV, I think Michael Behe. It reads like the CV of a real scientist who became enamoured with woo-woo somewhen in the early 90s.

In general, however, I could care less about where Chopra - or anyone else - learns their quantum mechanics. If they can solve the Schrödinger equation, they could have learned it from David Letterman, for all I care. Touting his teacher(s) reeks of credentialism and argument from authority.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 at 11:41:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem is that you can currently only access...
an angle of the whole picture, which you find more appealing to the most developed part of your brain? (i

I don´t talk qm, or popular science, nor do I associate it with Chopra, so beats me what it´s doing here.  That´s square stuff.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 at 05:59:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I guess it was JakeS who brought up QM after you singled out and praised Chopra.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 at 06:52:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed. I pointed to his whacky ideas about QM because those are the most obvious cases of him being 'not even wrong.'

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 at 11:47:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, and I wholly agree with this:
JakeS:
Sloppy thinking is rarely completely irrelevant. If somebody says things about QM - a field in which I am competent to evaluate what he's saying - that are not only embarrassingly wrong but downright absurd, then I have to question either his honesty or his ability to judge his own competence. Which one is at fault matters less than nothing to me; either one makes me highly suspicious of him in fields where I can't judge his competence directly or haven't taken the time to read his opinions.


We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 04:53:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Metavision, you've engaged in some retaliatory rating on this thread that, honestly, disappoints me.  You have been an active participant in this site long enough to know that ratings should not be used to express your disagreement with a comment or as a means of retaliating against other users who have downrated or criticized one of your comments.  I should not have to explain this to you.

I do in fact think that JakeS has taken a tone in this thread that is at times needlessly aggressive, but it's also clear that your ratings are not limited to those comments and are being used to express general disagreement with him, as are your ratings of Colman, Jerome and Migeru in this thread.  This is inappropriate behavior, as I think you are aware.  Please consider this your first warning.

And as a general note to all the participants in this thread, I do hope that everyone will take a few moments to step away from this thread and think about maybe toning it down a few notches.  I don't care if you think you're right, if you can't be respectful to each other, you shouldn't be posting here.  Period.  That goes for all of you.  Knock it off.

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Tue Dec 25th, 2007 at 10:09:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
JakeS:
He has some straaange ideas about a universal consciousness-field

I would say this is not so much Chopra as Rupert Sheldrake:

Morphic field - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Morphic field is a term introduced by British biologist Rupert Sheldrake, the major proponent of this concept, through his Hypothesis of Formative Causation in the early 1980's. It is described as consisting of patterns that govern the development of forms, structures and arrangements. As a new theory challenging established concepts, Sheldrake's theories have received criticism by some members of the scientific establishment, have been ignored by others and have been taken as a possible new line of research by borderline researchers.

I do not like Chopra very much, he is not an original thinker - he is taking his ideas from different sources, what he sales has been thought by others before him, however, he is good at marketing.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 05:56:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I met Sheldrake at a seminar once: very interesting guy.

He was talking about the "extra sensory perception" of animals. ie things they "pick up" that we don't.

There are plenty of things out there relating to human and animal consciousness etc that science cannot currently explain.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 07:10:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ChrisCook:
He was talking about the "extra sensory perception" of animals. ie things they "pick up" that we don't.
You mean the fact that the human sensory system doesn't pick up all the physical stimuli that exist?

Like different sizes and shapes of vocal elements and auditory elements allowing for the production and perception of sounds humans cannot? Or the fact that bees can see in the ultaviolet, or snakes in the infrared? Or the fact that dogs have much more sensitive smell, both in intensity and variety? Or...?

How is that extra sensory? Maybe extra human-sensory, but still not unphysical nor supernatural.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 07:19:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, beyond that. He was referring to other behaviours more along the lines of telepathy.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 07:48:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Such as?

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 07:49:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Awareness of a remote event: someone's death, for instance, or someone's approach.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 07:56:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Such as this?

The Register: Cat senses impending death

Dr David Dosa, also of of Brown University, elaborated that on one occasion Oscar had curled up on a female patient's bed, prompting staff to "make calls and set up vigil". When the family arrived, the grandson asked his mother why the cat was there, and she explained: "He is here to help Grandma get to heaven." Grandma died an hour later.

Thomas Graves, a feline expert and chief of small animal medicine at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, described Oscar's actions as "such a cat thing to do", but admitted: "Those things are hard to study. I think probably dogs and cats can sense things we can't."

Dr Teno concluded: "I don't think this is a psychic cat. I think there's probably a biochemical explanation."

Someone's approach is not a remote event, and it is not an event that cannot be conceivably be sensed. Humans have built motion detectors to supplement our senses.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 08:16:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When I say "approach", I mean when an animal senses someone at a distance way beyond any possibility that a conventional (animal) sense of smell, hearing etc can detect.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 08:21:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If the animal's sharper-than-human senses cannot detect someone approaching and we cannot effectively communicate with animals, how can you make the claim that their behaviour is a reaction to someone "approaching"?

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 08:43:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think they're talking about the observation that dogs are often observed to spend more time at the front door of a house when their owner is about to return home. Even granting that this is an actual effect and not just confirmation bias (which is by no means certain), the fact that most people return from work on pretty regular hours makes this is an example of learned behaviour that would have done Pavlov proud. But for some reason a lot of woo-woos seem to prefer viewing it as an example of telepathy.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Dec 25th, 2007 at 02:08:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, by the way...

Wikipedia: Ethology

Lorenz's collaborator, Niko Tinbergen, argued that ethology always needed to pay attention to four kinds of explanation in any instance of behaviour:

  • Function: how does the behaviour impact on the animal's chances of survival and reproduction?
  • Causation: what are the stimuli that elicit the response, and how has it been modified by recent learning?
  • Development: how does the behaviour change with age, and what early experiences are necessary for the behaviour to be shown?
  • Evolutionary history: how does the behaviour compare with similar behaviour in related species, and how might it have arisen through the process of phylogeny?


We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 08:19:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Taking his ideas from different sources is really what I liked most about him because he picked out what he found best from science, culture and tradition, to integrate it into a different view of health and medicine.

You are absolutely right about his marketing and I am still staying out of discussing other sciences, about which he could be a heretic.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 09:52:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
metavision:
taying out of discussing other sciences, about which he could be a heretic.

Now I am curious what that might be, I have read some of his work, but didn't consider anything heretic - but then maybe I am heretic too. :-)

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 10:38:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It must be the part about material sciences Jake and Migeru have read and I have missed, but they quote around him for some reason.  I'm no help.  

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 01:10:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He's not a heretic, he's a snake-oil salesman who uses scientific-sounding catchphrases to peddle his wares.

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Deepak Chopra

He claims to be influenced by the teachings of Vedanta and the Bhagavad Gita from his native India, and quantum physics.

...

Principal themes

Many of Chopra's themes and beliefs are stated in his first book, "Creating Health" in 1986. He launched himself as a staunch advocate of the interconnection between mind and body, advocating meditation and self-awareness as primary factors in both illness and healing. He deepened these themes in "Quantum Healing" (1989), where he examined the mysterious phenomenon of spontaneous healing of cancer. Here he introduced quantum physics as a means of understanding the mind-body connection, arguing -- as he would in many other books -- that consciousness is the basic foundation of nature and the universe.

...

Criticism

Chopra has been both appreciated and criticized for his frequent references to the relationship of quantum mechanics to healing processes, a connection that has drawn skepticism from some quarters because it can be considered as possibly contributing to the general confusion in the popular press regarding quantum measurement, decoherence and the Heisenberg uncertainty principle.[7]

Biologist PZ Myers has also criticized these claims in depth. [11] In October 2006, Myers again criticized a blog post by Chopra [12] for displaying a lack of understanding of genetics. [13] Fellow science blogger Orac has also criticized Chopra's views [14]

In 1998, Chopra was awarded the Ig Nobel Prize in physics for "his unique interpretation of quantum physics as it applies to life, liberty, and the pursuit of economic happiness." [15]



We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 01:23:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jake, your referral to the Sokal hoax seems odd.

Sokal intended to expose postmodern 'reasoning' / abuse of language.

To me this is a subset of exposing BS, which is indeed essential in making headway in anything associated with vested interests.

An interesting approach can be found at http://www.pupress.princeton.edu/video/frankfurt/

Chopra points to a larger whole and implicitly invites you to use the scientific method to see what his point amounts to.

The tools in such an endeavour should be suited to explore the relevant domain: one's (your) interior. This transcends (and includes) the rational mind. On http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integral_theory you can find some inroads.

I'd appreciate your comment on the content of Chopra position and mine as well.

This would illumine the readers of ET.

Thanks,

Emil Möller

by emilmoller (emil@beyondthewalls.eu) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 at 01:32:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe it would be better for you to summarise Chopra's position or your own, rather than expecting JakeS to do your work for you. He's already explained that Chopra fires enough of the heuristics that he uses to weed out paths of investigation that seem unlikely to be fruitful to convince him not to bother paying too much attention to him.

For a start you could explain what you mean by "spiritual".

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 at 01:55:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I really don´t see any competition or dare here.  I´ll take that as a skeptic way of saying you want to learn more?  (;

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 at 02:24:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jake, your referral to the Sokal hoax seems odd.

Sokal intended to expose postmodern 'reasoning' / abuse of language.

And Chopra strikes me as practising po-mo-babble.

Chopra points to a larger whole and implicitly invites you to use the scientific method to see what his point amounts to.

'Cept that he's not, to my knowledge actually employing the scientific method.

What's his model? What experiments can be used to test it? How is it falsifiable? How does it tie in with the rest of our physical/chemical/medical knowledge? What theories does it unify? What data does it explain better and/or more elegantly than previous theories? Can you point to any papers in the relevant scientific literature? What future research does it open up?

These are basic, basic questions that should be immediately answerable by anyone with a half-serious scientific program.

The tools in such an endeavour should be suited to explore the relevant domain: one's (your) interior. This transcends (and includes) the rational mind.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, but what experiments can you make? What data have you got? Where is this stuff published? How many citations does it get?

On http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integral_theory you can find some inroads.

I don't know what I'm supposed to look for there. It sounds an awful lot like po-mo or new age nonsense. Take something like this, for example:

The essential characteristic of this stage is that it continues the inclusive nature of the pluralistic mentality, yet extends this inclusiveness to those outside of the pluralistic mentality. In doing so, it accepts the ideas of development and hierarchy, which the pluralistic mentality finds difficult.

What does that even mean? I mean, I understand all the words, and I recognise the syntax. But I still can't read it.

I'd appreciate your comment on the content of Chopra position and mine as well.

As I said, I can't comment on the contents of Chopra's position, since I've yet to hear him put forward a position that actually has any content to comment on. While I'll be the first to admit that I haven't studied his writings extensively, everything I've read from him has been, to use a phrase borrowed from Intellectual Impostures, either true but trivial, or else interesting but false.

I will note, lastly, that anyone who claims to have a theory founded upon quantum mechanics but does not mention the Planck constant and either the Schrödinger equation, one of its standard solutions or a commutator relation is very likely full of horse manure.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 at 02:33:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Chopra <...> implicitly invites you to use the scientific method to see what his point amounts to.

Wouldn't it be better if he were to use the scientific method so that we could all see what his point amounts to?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 at 05:03:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It would make the scientists happy.  (;  He uses it in medical science at least, but is that the only, overruling method?

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 08:38:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is the known method that most reliably weeds out wrong inferences and theories.  And that is an empirically supported statement.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 08:47:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He uses it in medical science at least, but is that the only, overruling method?

I'm sure you don't need medical science to cure people of obese bank accounts, but if you're trying to cure real humans of real diseases you should certainly give reality-based medicine the place of honour in your armamentarium.

Because quackery kills.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Dec 25th, 2007 at 02:23:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't see how esoteric traditions are going to help develop new energy technologies.

Engineering is materialistic and not spiritual because it is constrained by the laws of physics and the physical environment.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 at 04:28:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I wish I could explain why that is short-thinking and why the terminology of ´hostility´ towards a wider view is a waste, but it takes too long.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 at 06:14:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Try us. I have an open mind. It just has a strict door policy.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 at 11:53:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You 'have an open mind' to preemptive ridicule?  That´s not very scientific, Jake, so I hope you can see my view from other posts.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 08:52:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Unfortunately I can't see your point of view, because it seems to be too poorly formed to be rigorously evaluated. From what little I have been able to parse from you and your references, it looks like a lot of confused magical thinking written in an extremely non-standard version of English. This assessment may be unkind, of course, and I'm prepared to be proven wrong. But I don't think I will be.

Furthermore, I take severe exception to the insinuation that I have dismissed and ridiculed your ideas based solely on my own ill-founded prejudice. This new-age bunkum has had more than a fair hearing here, and (as usual, I might note) its apologists have presented nothing new whatsoever. Lots of martyr complex, lots of hazy allusions to magical spirits, lots of putting words in people's mouths, but zero substance.

I ask for an explanation of what Chopra says that makes sense, and I get a laundry list of crankery and quackery. I ask for a falsifiable hypothesis and a means to test it experimentally, and I'm told to go pray and report back to my local priest. I ask for an explanation what some new-age advocates that you linked to approvingly are saying - because they don't seem to be using the same version of English that I am, and the request is ignored.

I then conclude - after giving what you have to say a treatment that is entirely too unprejudiced and open-minded considering the number and severity of crank-indicators in the opening posts in this conversation - that you have nothing to say that I've not heard from every other freaking crank I've ever met on the 'net (and several I've met in real life). From young-earth creationists through 9/11 troofers to postmodernists.

You then have the gall to tell me that I am employing 'pre-emptive ridicule' and being unscientific. I like to think that I have a thickish skin, but unfounded, juvenile accusations against my intellectual honesty are not on the list of abuses that I am prepared to let pass without comment!

Having noted this for the record, we can now return to our regularly scheduled friendly-if-somewhat-snarky progressive blogging.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Dec 25th, 2007 at 02:57:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
English is not the first language for the majority of us on the site, so some slack should be given on that particular front - and, in fact, specific effort should be made to investigate whether what appears to be an insult or a mysterious turn of phrase may just be imperfect mastery of ther language.

There are many "non-standard" version of English on ET, so this is not a fair point to criticise as such.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Dec 25th, 2007 at 06:05:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Point taken.

However, there's gibberish that's gibberish because of poor grasp of language and then there's gibberish that's gibberish because of poor grasp of the underlying concepts. I'm less forgiving of the latter than I am of the former, and I get the distinct impression that that's what we're dealing with here.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Dec 25th, 2007 at 06:15:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jake, you're quite a character.

Thanks for all your efforts on this blog of serving what you cherish.

Keep up the good work.

Kind regards,

Emil

by emilmoller (emil@beyondthewalls.eu) on Thu Dec 27th, 2007 at 03:07:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... part of it, its only a part. Much of the trickiest aspects of technological change will be in the social arrangements that are complements of the engineering.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 at 10:17:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Emil, I hope you have not been totally discouraged from writing a diary sometime.  You have a lot of valuable knowledge to be added here.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 at 06:17:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks Chara, if the readers take the domain issue seriously, good might come out of all this.

Kindly, Emil

by emilmoller (emil@beyondthewalls.eu) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 02:38:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree with metavision, me to I would enjoy a diary by you, emil. :-)
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 04:10:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is perhaps worth noting that so far, out of the twenty-some posts in this thread from Chopra-apologists, not one has even attempted to answer the questions I posed early on in the conversation:


  • What's his model?
  • What experiments can be used to test it?
  • How is it falsifiable?
  • How does it tie in with the rest of our physical/chemical/medical knowledge?
  • What theories does it unify?
  • What data does it explain better and/or more elegantly than previous theories?
  • Can you point to any papers in the relevant scientific literature? What future research does it open up?

Should I take that to mean that none of you - who have waxed so eloquent about the virtue of this 'new scientific paradigm' is prepared to take a stab? If you can answer these questions - or even just a substantial subset of them - I'd be convinced that you have a scientific program. Game, set, match. If you can't or won't, then I'm afraid that it's Game Over.

As an aside, by my count Chopra is up to 135 on the Crackpot Index. Simply explaining what his model is and how to test it experimentally would reduce that score by the next best thing 50 %, so if you want a fruitful discussion, I suggest that's where you should start.

I'll check back on this thread while it's still on the list of recent diaries, but until and unless the Chopra apologists show me something with a little substance - preferably a model and an experimental design or two - I am probably going to find more productive uses of my time than matching woo-woo replies to the various entries in the Doggerel Index.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 12:14:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The way this thread develops to me is an important pointer as to why our world community is in the lamentable state it is in.

Jake cs uses the proper tools for the material and intellectual domain. For the spiritual domain other tools are required. When tools for domains are confused, threads like this and other non life serving phenomena appear.

'models' are tools from the intellectual domain. These can be used to give hints of results of investigations in the spiritual domain, but no more

'spiritual' = the domain where all esoteric traditions refer to as being the common ground for all and everything

'experiment' = go meditate (tool of the spiritual domain) and report to a community of those who have gone before you. Same as with any other field where training is required to appreciate qualities there. Pony riding, quantum physics, family sensitivities, etc

'falsifiable' = when those who have gone before one see one's still in flatland. Unfortunate detail: the rest of the world suffers from the consequences of one's inability to see a larger picture. That is: a picture from the next domain [the domains are nested: material is transcended & included in the intellectual and the intellectual is t&i in the spiritual]. That's the point in my 1st posting

'tie in' = physical correlates of inward states are there. Imo a focus on tieing in is mainly relevant for those more or less arrested in flatland.

With so much suffering present and coming/potentially averted, it (and a lot of other stuff) can be seen as a repression of emptiness (http://www.zen-occidental.net/articles1/loy4.html)

'what theories does it unify' = all. Use the tool indicated before and return with what one has learned. Before that time better eat much fibers and have good sex.

'what data etc' = same story + that it's the only way to serve our children. As long as the chaotic nature of reality is not taken as modus operandi, we'll be typing away until eternity come.

'papers in the etc' = same story: condensates in the intellectual domain of experiences in the spiritual domain are futile when seen in the light of the insights they contain.

Perhaps http://www.amsterdamhermetica.nl/ can be of interest.

For those interested in a way to navigate chaos towards a regime with less suffering [my bottom line]
http://www.schumacherinstitute.org.uk/
http://www.drift.eur.nl/?publications
http://www.urgenda.nl/?page=signup_en
http://www.econcern.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=185&Itemid=66

Emil Möller

by emilmoller (emil@beyondthewalls.eu) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 02:29:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You get points for trying. No points for content or style, though.

You'll have to do better, and until you do, I'm afraid I'll pass up on the whole meditation thing and to stick with eating plenty of fibres. Good sex would be nice too, but I'm afraid none is forthcoming...

  • Explain what you think the effect you claim exists is supposed to be doing in sufficient detail that it is possible to analyse causal mechanisms. If I perform action A on object B what is supposed to happen to object C?
  • Sketch an experimental setup for falsification in sufficient detail that it's possible for independent researchers to replicate your experiment. I.o.w., deduce from your causal mechanism presented in point 1) a method by which consistent and observable results can be generated in the laboratory.
  • Describe the results of your measurement in sufficient detail that independent researchers trying to replicate your effect will know whether they observe the same results you do. I.o.w. what voltages am I supposed to get when I measure? Which distributions of data?

Concrete and concise make convincing.

Happy Yule and a joyous new year.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 03:46:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I always like your comments, but I do agree with metavision that you do not appear to be open to new or different things. How do you want to understand meditation if you are not willing to learn the basic tools. Its like me refusing to study chemistry to understand chemistry. Over the years I have learned that there is more than science. To me science descibes what can be perceived and measured consciously at this point in time. So many things were in the realm of magic, until someone came along and has been able to either measure it or make it visible. Then they became scientifically acceptable. However, these things excisted before they were proven scientifically.

Here a link to some SCIENTIFIC research on meditation. http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/full/101/46/16369 :-)

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 04:07:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We can meditate all we want but it won't lead to progress on the "quantum theory of consciousness" or suchlike.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 04:56:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
uh, do you have a link to back that up?

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 05:39:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Everything I've read about "the quantum theory of consciousness or suchlike" has been patent nonsense.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 06:47:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
who patented sense?

you are always so reactively dismissive of anything you don't approve of.

why would that be, do you think?

it smacks of a kind of absolutism, in its way, doesn't it?

hope that's not too tiresomely sanctimonious....lol!

if you are going to be ET's james randi, it's nice to have emil back for balance, n'est ce pas?

what made you so allergic to anything 'mystical'?

enquiring minds...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 07:11:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You have things that can be proven or disproven, and you have things that can be believed.

We're not saying that we understand  everything, but that if you have claims about the world, it should be possible to make these claims in ways that can be proven or disproven. Just responding "you don't get it" when we ask this takes us nowhere.

If you are saying anything beyond "we don't know everything yet", than say what !!

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 07:59:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Jerome, as stated before: when one is willing to use the proper tools for the relevant domain, proof is there.

If one wants to take the proof from that domain to one lower (the intellectual), this is not possible. Same applies when going from the intellectual to the physical.

Re 'what': perhaps comparing people from the headlines nowadays with people from http://web.hec.ca/leadergraphies/ and http://www.big-picture.tv/ can give you a taste.

All psychological models I know of indicate a growth pattern. Names differ, trend is always similar. See http://wilber.shambhala.com/html/books/inpsyc_preface.cfm/

'Growth' is from Pol Pot cs to Albert Schweizer cs.

Personal note: I am rather taken aback by the sharp tone, a lack of curiosity and the über like status of 'science'.  

Is there something inherently good and/or defenseless being discredited and/or hurt?

Emil

by emilmoller (emil@beyondthewalls.eu) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 08:24:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
what you're trying to say. There's no lack of curiosity, quite the contrary. Just a desire for some step-by-step explanation that I could follow of what you are claiming.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 08:33:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
FCOL, Jerome, the superiority stinks.  It's called English, oh, happy open minds.  

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 01:32:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]


In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 05:47:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For Crying Out Loud!
Don't you have TribExt installed? Double click the acronym, it should expand via the wonderful IAE. (Idiotic Acronym Expander) (Or IdEA - Idiotic Expander of Acronyms! As in I had no idea, but now I do!)
by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 06:04:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I use Safari. Thanks for the response!

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 07:00:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Heretic!
Wait! Can the Pope be be guilty of heresy? Hmmm.
by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 07:08:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jerome, what you state here must be liberally interpreted in order to not smell like political correctness / tongue in cheek.

How come I have to repeat myself so often?

How often should I do this in order to make a point?
Or am I being gullible / naive and am I being tossed around by the real science guys or thereabouts?

Step by step:

  1. determine if you appreciate the human qualities in http://web.hec.ca/leadergraphies/ and http://www.big-picture.tv/. When in doubt: use as reference current headlines, Cheney, Guantanomo Bay, Josef Stalin, Hyjacking Catastrophe, The Corporation, Who killed the electric car, Edgar Hoover, Mao

  2. see what the people whose qualities you appreciate have in common / what distinguishes them from the reference group

  3. explore methods and tools having the potential to bring forth those qualities in yourself

  4. Blog your findings

Horses can be led to the water, but can't be made to drink.

Cheers,

Emil

by emilmoller (emil@beyondthewalls.eu) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 04:00:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I failed. Is there any way you can enlighten me, or am I doomed to remain stupid?

More to the point - why should I be doing anything? You're the one trying to convince me of something. At least show me something to tempt me, insterad of just telling me how narrow-minded and boneheaded and stupid I am.


In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 05:46:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jerome,

Stating on the outset that you've failed means you don't want to enter the trajectory proposed.

That's ok, but that does not mean that you can't; it's not your inability in the sense of insufficient qualities.

Stating that one can't while one doesn't want is what Sartre calls bad faith.

I'm not calling you the names indicated or any other. I try to make a case without any penalizing labels, since that is neither my style nor productive.

You as Jerome don't have to do anything. You as an intellectual have a moral obligation to use your qualities to relief suffering on this planet.

When confronted with fundamental issues as I tried to raise here, an intellectual should be curious in the sense of inquiring within and go out on a limb to get to the root of the matter.

Are you not tempted by the perspecetive to develop your Buddha, Jesus, Lao Tzu, Dalai Lama, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa, Albert Schweizer cs qualities?

Emil

by emilmoller (emil@beyondthewalls.eu) on Sat Dec 29th, 2007 at 03:56:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
1) determine if you appreciate the human qualities in http://web.hec.ca/leadergraphies/ and http://www.big-picture.tv/. When in doubt: use as reference current headlines, Cheney, Guantanomo Bay, Josef Stalin, Hyjacking Catastrophe, The Corporation, Who killed the electric car, Edgar Hoover, Mao

  1. see what the people whose qualities you appreciate have in common / what distinguishes them from the reference group

  2. explore methods and tools having the potential to bring forth those qualities in yourself

  3. Blog your findings

Argumentum ad handwavium, in other words... Can we cut back on the logical fallacies, please? They're getting tiresome.

Horses [Sceptics] can be led to the water [kool-aid], but can't be made to drink.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Dec 25th, 2007 at 04:18:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
emilmoller:
If one wants to take the proof from that domain to one lower (the intellectual), this is not possible. Same applies when going from the intellectual to the physical.
The latter is called technology.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 08:44:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What you are saying makes no sense to me whatsoever. You are claiming that there is a "higher" domain or some sort (spiritual? soul? what?) without any evidence for it. You are inflicting your own mythological structure on reality - progress from higher to lower - and expecting other people not to challenge it or subject it to scrutiny as we would any other.

First show that the domain that your "tools" work in even has any meaning.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 02:21:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... existence of the domain as it is purported to exist, or its position as being a "higher" domain.

I am very suspicious of appeals to higher domains that are by definition not subject to appeals to evidence as representing running away from the messiness and imperfections of immanent reality to a transcendent "higher reality" that is neither messy nor imperfect.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 02:50:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I would go even farther than that, and remind the reader of Carl Sagan's invisible dragon. Readers unfamiliar with the story can head over to Bronze Dog's digs and read it there.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Dec 25th, 2007 at 04:23:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I cannot give you any link to anything on "consciousness" that mentions "quantum mechanics" in any way that makes any sense. Or, to paraphrase JakeS paraphrasing Sokal, in any way that is true [consistent with what we know about QM], nontrivial and relevant.

Maybe you can give me such links and then I can tell you why the mentions of QM are a load of humanure.

All too often in connection with these topics QM is mentioned by the likes of Chopra to confuse, not to enlighten, since the audience doesn't know much about QM in the first place and so they have to go by things like "it sounds scientific" and "it sounds reasonable" or, worse, "it is intriguing" or "why not?".

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 08:26:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
a) "mystical" ~= "spiritual" ~= "religious" ~= "faith" ~= "superstition". And that's from the guy who thinks that (say) meditation is a useful tool but the stories told around it are mostly nonsense.

b) Why is it, when the the people that do understand what QM is about point out that various mystics are in the habit of citing QM - or relativity, or whatever - to give their beliefs a spurious flavour of science that everyone starts calling us meanies? If their beliefs are so wonderful why do they need the patina of science?

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 02:18:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Meditation is fine and well, and if you claim that it calms your mind, or gives you more energy or contributes to your wellbeing then this is entirely believable. It does not have to be falsifiable and all that jazz, since it is a statement of the subjective effect of mind exercises on yourself. It's like I say: "this thing makes me happy", no one will ask me to prove it!

But the sort of mystisism that this seems to be about involves a strange leap of faith:
JakeS:

1994: Awarded an Ig Nobel Prize for his experimental conclusion from a rigorous scientific study, published in the peer review journal "Social Indicators Reserarch", that found that 4,000 practicitioners of the TM-Sidhi program who gathered in Washington, D.C. for the Summer, caused a 23.3 percent decrease in crime in that city during an 8 week period.

Okay, how does that work? What is the method of action where by this gathering of people caused a drop of crime in the area in which the collected? Because if none can be proposed one would be inclined to think it was coincidental. But what is really not convincing is a bunch of drivel about energy fields or cognitive synergy or whatever. Really, one has to do more than mimicry of the language of science to be scientific.

From above:
emilmoller:

The way this thread develops to me is an important pointer as to why our world community is in the lamentable state it is in.

Jake cs uses the proper tools for the material and intellectual domain. For the spiritual domain other tools are required. When tools for domains are confused, threads like this and other non life serving phenomena appear.

'models' are tools from the intellectual domain. These can be used to give hints of results of investigations in the spiritual domain, but no more

'spiritual' = the domain where all esoteric traditions refer to as being the common ground for all and everything


Wait! I think this thread is great! From the side of JakeS it has little to do with the lamentable state of the world. In fact, I would say, if our world followed the rigor with which Jake seems to operate, it would not have such a state. To take an example: it is pretty clear from a scientific standpoint that CO2 is a big problem. Has been for quite some time, actually. Took long to catch on popularily, but this is hardly due to thinking only in the material/intellectual domain and not the spiritual! All the scientific evidence points one way, we have the technological ability to do something about it. And we have a bunch of people who think it would be too expensive, or that they can more easily profit from not doing anything, etc, etc, etc. A bunch of greedy, shortsighted bastards. A bunch of greedy, shortsighted, gullible bastards that don't believe in physical, material limits to a finite world, among other things. With proper material scientific foundations we avoid stupid things like that. The problem is too little, not too much science.

I don't understand how we need the spiritual to solve the problems of the world. Unless:
BruceMcF:

Yes, technology, so while engineering is a ...  part of it, its only a part. Much of the trickiest aspects of technological change will be in the social arrangements that are complements of the engineering.

Yes, we need social change. And if the claim is that if people meditated more and drove less, the world would be better off. Yes, indeed, I believe it. However, if there is bizarre stuff in there about how the 'energy' fields of these meditators will cause quantum-string vibrations and excitations in a molecular magnitronic potential... Well, it's impossible to take that bit seriously. If you want to be spiritual, be spiritual. But, please, keep off the language of physics. Really. You might confuse someone to think that the two are actually related. Or you should make clear that you are speaking metaphorically. Except, aren't metaphors most effective when people know what they refere to? If you wish to construct a useful metaphor for people to explain something spiritual, shouldn't you use a field in which they have some experience, rather than drawing together a bunch of impressive sounding vocabulary from physics?

And we do have to defend science from the kind of intrusions that uses the language of science and claim to be scientific, and are anything but. Or someone will convince us that all we need to do is meditate for an hour a day, and the collected energy-consiousness field will make everything great. No need for actual action in the world, no need for actual reduction in driving. Just meditating will suck the carbon right out of the air!

So, to sum up: meditation as mental training: just fine, no problem. The link Fran provides, its about measurable changes in the brain due to meditation. Seems scientific and believable. (I haven't looked in detail)

Meditation as some kind of mystical link to spiritual whatever... Either this is religious, has no bearing on material reality and I don't care, or else you have a lot of work to do to show a link to the real world. And, no, "try it and have faith" doesn't cut it. Now we are back to religious nonsense again, no different from all the other lies being peddled by other faits!

by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 05:44:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
someone:
Okay, how does that work? What is the method of action where by this gathering of people caused a drop of crime in the area in which the collected?

There are experiments going on on this topic and others. I don't know how serious they can be taken. But I consider it a good thing that they are done, at least they might help to clarify the next step.

If you are interested, there is a site where you can participate in some of the experiments.

THE LARGEST MIND OVER MATTER EXPERIMENT IN HISTORY

The Intention Experiment is a series of scientifically controlled, web-based experiments testing the power of intention to change the physical world.

Thousands of volunteers from 30 countries around the world have participated in Intention Experiments thus far.
 

I am curious about the outcome - and just want to stay open minded. To many things I didn't believe in or even smirk about when I was younger, just to find out that there might be more to them and have experienced them myself. :-)

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 06:38:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There are experiments going on on this topic and others. I don't know how serious they can be taken.

They generally can't. I don't exactly have in-depth knowledge of the field (it's a bit - ah - esoteric for my taste), but my impression is that they completely lack a viable model for what they claim to be looking for. They get a lot of anomalies (especially when their controls are (deliberately) sloppy), but there's anomalies in any data set, and you can always fit some non-trivial function to any kind of noise. Without a model to fit against, that tells you less than nothing.

But I consider it a good thing that they are done, at least they might help to clarify the next step.

Well, they take up space in the university basement. And funding. And they aren't exactly doing wonders for the good names of the universities in question. So it's not entirely without costs. And as long as they don't have a plausible model for what they think is supposed to be going on, it's hard to see how they can prepare for any next steps... But sure, let's give it a shot - after all, it's not my university's funds they're siphoning.

<blockqoute>If you are interested, there is a site where you can participate in some of the experiments.</blockqoute>

From what I can read of their website, they're associated with Princeton's ICRL project, which is an off-shoot of the PEAR project - a poster child for precisely the failures that I lambast such projects for above (AFAIK, PEAR was closed down recently for failure to produce results, but that's another story).

Also, they're shilling for a book, which is usually A Bad Sign.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Dec 25th, 2007 at 03:59:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
someone:
And we do have to defend science from the kind of intrusions that uses the language of science and claim to be scientific, and are anything but. Or someone will convince us that all we need to do is meditate for an hour a day, and the collected energy-consiousness field will make everything great. No need for actual action in the world, no need for actual reduction in driving. Just meditating will suck the carbon right out of the air!

THE LARGEST MIND OVER MATTER EXPERIMENT IN HISTORY
The mini-Gaia project.
An ecosphere with an artificially raised temperature - a little like global warming. Can we lower the temperature with our thoughts?

To impede our current trajectory of increase in atmospheric temperature due to heat trapping due to increased concentrations of, among other gases, CO2, we need to do a bit more than sit around going "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can". Can we please have some serious approaches to solve serious problems? This is like the other (new-age mysticism) side of the reckless optimism coin that hope for groundbreaking technological progress so that we may live the easy life. Not so different that the free-marketistas and their endless faith in 'innovation' and 'spontaneous' technological 'evolution'.

As far as I can tell, the only difference between these people and the Governor of Georgia's approach to problem solving is that the latter puts Jesus in the mix:
Georgia governor leads prayer for rain - Los Angeles Times

Bowing his head outside the Georgia Capitol on Tuesday, Gov. Sonny Perdue cut a newly repentant figure as he publicly prayed for rain to end the region's historic drought.

"Oh father, we acknowledge our wastefulness," Perdue said. "But we're doing better. And I thought it was time to acknowledge that to the creator, the provider of water and land, and to tell him that we will do better."

I don't smirk in disbelief when I read this. I bonk my head against my desk in frustration, and bury my face in my hands in despair.

by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Tue Dec 25th, 2007 at 06:56:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think Jake has been asking for convincing, scientific discussion of certain claims all along.

When I read Emil say this:

the rest of the world suffers from the consequences of one's inability to see a larger picture. That is: a picture from the next domain [the domains are nested: material is transcended & included in the intellectual and the intellectual is t&i in the spiritual]

I am eager to see his scientific backing for it. Because I do not accept transcendentalist esoterica, I am causing suffering to all that lives? I look forward to Emil's justification for that.

Compared to that, the usefulness or not of meditation is really a bit of a sideshow, imho.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 06:06:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
but I do agree with metavision that you do not appear to be open to new or different things.

Appearances can be deceiving. It is precisely because I am open to new and different ideas that I have to do some kind of sorting of people's suggestions. If you want me to take something seriously, you have to give me reason to believe that it isn't nonsense. Else, I could spend the rest of my life studying one strange notion after another without ever having the foggiest idea what good it's going to do for me or anyone else.

I don't think you are seriously suggesting that I ought to be 'open to the idea' that the moon landing was a hoax. I don't think you are seriously suggesting that I should be 'open to the idea' that Earth was created in six days six thousand years ago. I don't think you seriously suggest that I should be 'open to the idea' that homeopathic 'remedies' (i.e. vigorously shaken bottles of pure water) confer any real medical benefit.

So why should trancendental meditation get a free pass?

How do you want to understand meditation if you are not willing to learn the basic tools.

I'm not unwilling to learn the basic tools, as long as the expected outcome stands in some reasonable proportion to the time commitment. I am, however, unwilling to accept at face value the often outrageous and frequently worse claims of miraculous magical power that are attributed to meditation. As I said above, I do not hand out 'get out of critical scrutiny free' cards for weird philosophies just because their adherents are sincere.

If you want to convince me that meditation is a good way to spend my time, then convince me on the merits. Don't try to recruit me into a cult and especially don't try to sell me snake oil. Chopra fails on both scores, as does his local apologists.

Over the years I have learned that there is more than science.

A fairly trivial observation. I don't know why people seem to keep thinking that I disagree with it.

(But if I had to guess, I'd say that it's because they don't understand or accept that I won't go along with their rhetorical two-step and accept that 'more than science' equates to their favoured kind of hand-waving magic.)

To me science descibes what can be perceived and measured consciously at this point in time. So many things were in the realm of magic, until someone came along and has been able to either measure it or make it visible. Then they became scientifically acceptable. However, these things excisted before they were proven scientifically.

I don't know where you're going with this, because that seems to be my point you're making? Science works. If you think you have an interesting effect, submit it for scientific scrutiny. Most of the time, it'll turn out that what you thought you were seeing was in fact confirmation bias, selection bias, placebo effect, wishful thinking or sensory illusions. That's the breaks of the game. But if the effect is genuine, we'll find it. Eventually.

Here a link to some SCIENTIFIC research on meditation. http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/full/101/46/16369 :-)

Typing in all caps went out of style with FORTRAN :-P

That being said, that paper isn't terribly revolutionary [1]. From what I can read from the abstract, it says that meditation is coincident with enhanced levels of certain neurological processes associated with the ability to concentrate, which is entirely plausible and not exactly unexpected. If you wanted to convince me that meditation is a good idea, then this is the kind of thing you need to put forward [2].

That is, however, very much beside the point, since the discussion so far has been about whether or not we should accept the whole mythological baggage that some feel should go along with meditation. Meditation was presented as a 'tool' with which to 'explore the spirit realm' - and it was that notion which I rejected for lack of plausible mechanism and being untestable, not meditation en bloc.

- Jake

[1] Contrary to popular imagination, few - if any - papers are truly earth-shattering, but that's a different story.

[2] That being said, further studies are required to determine whether meditation is superior as a concentration-enhancer to - say - solving mathematical problems.

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Dec 25th, 2007 at 03:33:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jake, I do not know what you consider miraculous outcomes of meditation. I do not know Transcendental meditation, however, I do know about other forms of meditation. Btw. I teach meditation, but have no desire whatsoever to sale it to you or prove anything.

I do not need scientific prove, I get all the prove I need from my own experience and from what I see and hear from my students. Sometimes it does seem miraculous - but I also admit, not everbody has that experience. Not everybody has the patience and discipline to pull it through until they get an effect. Meditation is work, which I consider worthwhile for myself.

Chopra is not synonymous with meditation for me. All those philosophies are not needed if you practice it regularely.

Oh, and I am a great friend of the placebo effect - isn't it wonderful that believe can effect such a change and even without the negative side-effects.

If you really want prove about meditation, there is only one way - do-it-yourself. Noone can prove it to you, it is something you have to experience yourself and you might end up dismissing it. Thats fine too. :-)

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Dec 25th, 2007 at 04:26:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sorry that you got the impression that I was knocking on meditation. I wasn't. I'm pretty sure that it can have some kind of utility, if nothing else then as a psychologically acceptable way to de-stress in a culture where simply taking ten minutes off is considered a moral failing (that as well is an interesting subject but for another time). What I objected to - and continue to object to - is all the metaphysical claptrap that some people seem to enjoy imbuing it with.

Oh, and I also like the placebo effect, although I have some ethical qualms about employing it in medical practise (since it would involve lying to your patients by claiming that you're giving them medicine when in fact you're giving them placebo). And if I get cancer, I'll go with the chemo rather than the homeopathic remedies magic water...

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Dec 25th, 2007 at 05:07:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
emilmoller:
When tools for domains are confused, threads like this and other non life serving phenomena appear.
Yes, and you want to use spiritual tools to do energy technology.
'models' are tools from the intellectual domain. These can be used to give hints of results of investigations in the spiritual domain, but no more
I suppose mumbo-jumbo about chi counts as a model, too?

I'll grant you the interpretation of experiment but this...

'falsifiable' = when those who have gone before one see one's still in flatland. Unfortunate detail: the rest of the world suffers from the consequences of one's inability to see a larger picture. That is: a picture from the next domain [the domains are nested: material is transcended & included in the intellectual and the intellectual is t&i in the spiritual]. That's the point in my 1st posting
The ability to falsify a claim should not only be accorded to more senior experts, but to anyone who reproduces the experiment and fails to reproduce the results. You're using argument by authority. There is an aphorism that new scientific ideas are accepted when the old scientists die off and that is the reason why argument by authority and excessive deference to those that have gone before is an impediment to progress.
'papers in the etc' = same story: condensates in the intellectual domain of experiences in the spiritual domain are futile when seen in the light of the insights they contain.
In other words, you claim that to condensate insights from the spiritual domain in a language accessible to intellect is futile. Fair enough. Don't write a diary, then, it would be futile.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 05:08:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru, spiritual tools make one desire to reduce suffering.

Since there is an increasing recognition of the up to now presumed other (car, tree, dog, person) as being fundamentally the same as oneself. Differences are there, can be celebrated and are required for the play we enact on our Planet, but are secundary.

When experiencing this, energy technology or a listening ear for your neighbour becomes self evident. Rather than something you do because it should be done and/or depleting your good do account.

Up to the time some % of people (here are some interesting issues) reach a higher level of awareness, efforts to reach significant/sufficient developments re sustainability are futile.

This is so, given the chaotic structure (or lack of structure) of our world society. The intellect + current structural/institutional arrangements are unable to properly use the technologies that can set us free.

Reading newspapers, blogs like this one and an occasional structure-exploring book suffices to illustrate this.

'Chi' (life force) is a by product of following your Tao, Wu Wei wise. Perhaps we could set up an experiment and see what works.

'Those that have gone before' = those who know their trade (like mathematicians) and can judge the proper usage of the tools of the trade by anyone claiming something in the field of mathematics. Not: judge all possible outcomes. This belongs to a proper usage.

Thus: authority in the sense of being an authority re a specific field (ranking higher in knowlewdge): yes. Being authoritarian (repressive): no.

Writing here is my investment in a group of intellectuals in order to probe the potential for a transcend and include of the intellectual domain.

A fixation on this domain muffles humanity's potential for growth / reducing of suffering.

Emil

ps: really guys, where's all the resistance coming from re ideas that indicate our common potential to overcome the usual dead ends?

by emilmoller (emil@beyondthewalls.eu) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 08:54:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I suppose this is your central claim. Is that right?
emilmoller:

Up to the time some % of people (here are some interesting issues) reach a higher level of awareness, efforts to reach significant/sufficient developments re sustainability are futile.

This is so, given the chaotic structure (or lack of structure) of our world society. The intellect + current structural/institutional arrangements are unable to properly use the technologies that can set us free.

Reading newspapers, blogs like this one and an occasional structure-exploring book suffices to illustrate this.

Can you point to a community or communities (preferably contemporary but, if you must, also historical) with a relatively high fraction of people at a higher level of awareness?

What is a higher level of awareness? Awareness of what? How do I know a person with a higher level of awareness when I see them?

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 09:11:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nobody here has devalued science, but ´material science titles´ desperately want to overrule ANY other possibility.  WTF?  Eco-no-mic science?  Does social, political, psychological science exist?  Feelings, love, caring, literature, music, anyone?  

Limited, closed-circuit thinking:

meditation = not measured, not interested, not valuable.

chi = not measured, not interested, not valuable.

´spiritual/metaphysical..............´ = not measured, not interested, not valuable.

Amazone curative plants known by natives = not measured, not interested, now science finding valuable.

Person = Body of scientifically measured, material parts with a lot of other strange, undiscovered, unexplained parts.  What´s so difficult about that?

ROUNDED self-development helps one and all in society, AFAIK, (otherwise why education-for-all, science included) therefore it will improve social well-being and progress of all sorts.  That´s pretty much what my sig means.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 09:53:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We are not overruling anything. Science is open to novelty - is all the time.

But until you can apply the scientific method to your claims (which I'm still not sure I have seen, beyond "we don't knoweverything", which nobody contests), these will remain in the realm of belief rather than in that of empirical fact.

That may be enough for you, and that's fine. But don't claim it's a fact when you refuse to follow the steps that can convince others that it is so. Or it's just proselytism.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 10:52:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
  1.  Representative 'science' here is NOT open to anything but.
  2.  Science is not everything.
  3.  Personal knowledge exists regardless of science.
  4.  It is knowledge as valuable as material science.
  5.  Repeating ad nauseam the openness of science and denying everything else is not science, it's rigidity.
  6.  Nobody is forced to acknowledge, think, discuss or study what they don't want to, but they are free to stop parrotting self-praise over their institutionally-limited, merry-go-round ´science´ titles.


Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 01:53:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
1 Define representative Define 'science'. Define here. Define open.
  1. (sic) You're claiming some kind of higher truth. Scientific method has a lot of relevance in dealing with that.
  2. Sure. It's also called belief.
  3. Prove it.
  4. That's your belief.
  5. We'd be happy to qcknowledge, discuss, study lots of stuff, but what???? What am I supposed to acknowledged, study or discuss? Consider this a good faith question and please tell me what I should consider. Surely you can summarise whatever theory or facts you think are relevant here?


In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 03:28:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
this is becoming caricature like

don't we have anything more fulfilling to do than to spend Earth's valuable resources on much ado about nothing?

who on earth could benefit from these discussions?

admittedly not a strictly scientific approach, but after reading all the presumed or otherwise scientific stuff here I think little persuasive power is being generated to bring out the best in all of us

and this is precisely what I see as the responsibility of the intellectual elite, us. See GB Shaw: http://www2.bc.edu/~anderso/sr/gbs.html

for your information: the Planet is having a bad case of humanity and the cure might be a good sneeze

get a life

Emil

by emilmoller (emil@beyondthewalls.eu) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 04:16:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the Planet is having a bad case of humanity and the cure might be a good sneeze

You seem to be hinting at the destruction or expulsion of a great number of humans. Is that correct? And because they don't fit with your notions of a higher plane of consciousness?

I suggest you're every bit a part of the snot as everyone else, emil. Pretentions to higher consciousness aside.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Dec 25th, 2007 at 05:52:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I sense a contradiction with the call to compassion in the top-level comment by emilmoller:
As stated before, the main issue is: are we as a species able to shift our center of consciousness up.
Become more compassionate, visionary, loving.
Unless this is a sort of old-testament prophet warning humanity of impending disaster unless the right spiritual path is taken.
If we continue using the intellect-sec, we will remain stuck in -ever partial- perspectives and not be able to shift up [note: I'm a PhD researching 'Decision making processes in a transition towards a sustainable energy regime'].

Consequence: involution, collapse. Alternative: abundant clean energy and other resources for all. And a platform to address other pressing issues.



We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Dec 25th, 2007 at 08:27:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
how low can you go???

You overstudy every word to nitpick it to death, but you won´t even read a single link from emil.  Shame for what ET wants to represent because it´s a huge waste of education to resort to THIS, or to ´not understanding´.  Elitist puke.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Tue Dec 25th, 2007 at 11:12:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How low can you go?

Emil has shown that under his talk of compassion and higher consciousness there is a reservoir of hatred for humanity.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Dec 25th, 2007 at 11:43:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru, it's almost as if you find your words soothing. Making up for my obscenities.

All, as asked before: how many times should one / I repeat myself?

How much discipline re reading someone's postings, asking for clarifications, setting out from benefit of the doubt can be asked?

Why do all of the readers implicitly comply with Migeru's interpretation? These words would make quite a ripple irl in the social circles I live in.

Emil

by emilmoller (emil@beyondthewalls.eu) on Thu Dec 27th, 2007 at 03:21:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Higher upthread I wondered why emil was suggesting that those who didn't share his view, or awareness, or whatever it may be called (no snark), were causing suffering to the rest of the world.

No reply.

Now it's elimination of the lower orders of humanity that he's implying.

I'm not going to get emotional, but this is not elitist puke or other that I'm giving you, metavision. I have suffered enough in my life from religiously-minded people who always end up by:

  1. self-righteously projecting the world's suffering on the failings of others;

  2. comforting themselves with visions of the destruction of the un- (righteous, aware, conscious, whatever).

This is not a matter of "superior" people refusing to look into something that may be interesting, since (as we all agree) science doesn't know everything. This is emil, after many requests, refusing to explain what he means by a higher, or spiritual, domain, other than saying "there are tools, use them and you will see..."

If that's the best he can do, (on the positive side, because the negative is pointed out just above), then it's no good.

Sorry for the bold.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Dec 25th, 2007 at 12:02:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is that an insult or a compliment?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Dec 25th, 2007 at 02:17:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not an Old Testament warning. Those stated there would be an exterior instance judging and punishing those that wouldn't have followed rules given by the judge/executioner.

It's an image arising from studying patterns of men thinking they're free, thinking science will deliver solutions or whatever. Perhaps I'm blind to the happy ending that awaits us on the horizon, but my best knowledge and intuitions tell be otherwise. Call me to an ethically dominated stance.

What does one do after reading contemporary media and
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collapse:_How_Societies_Choose_to_Fail_or_Succeed
http://www.amazon.com/States-Denial-Knowing-Atrocities-Suffering/dp/0745623921
http://books.google.com/books?id=vP0dAAAAMAAJ&q=ISBN+0-8164-9358-8&dq=ISBN+0-8164-9358-8& ;ei=5wF0R4XwA4HGiQGQiuF2&pgis=1

Blog?

re 'unless the right spiritual path is taken': see my previous wonder re the suggestive tone implied here.

Emil

by emilmoller (emil@beyondthewalls.eu) on Thu Dec 27th, 2007 at 02:51:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
re the 1st point: partly right; all sentient life forms will suffer, with the ones least able to adapt suffering most. Read: the poorest people. Re plants, animals, eco systyems I have no oversight to say anything sensible about their future suffering.

re the 2nd point: wrong. When you would have read my previous postings & links, you wouldn't have brought this up.
Redundantly (again): I'm not in the cursing business and your suggestion I am calls for a correction.

I claim no other status re being snot for myself, except that I am somewhat aware and try to do something about it.

Again: why this animosity, this not being curious re motives or the subject matter I try to convey, this focus on non-essentials?

Emil

by emilmoller (emil@beyondthewalls.eu) on Thu Dec 27th, 2007 at 02:23:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't care what stories you want to tell to explain things you don't understand - it's roughly the same thing I think a lot of scientists (see cosmology) do when they're afraid or embarrassed to say "I don't know" - but don't expect other people to believe in them or value them above other stories.

The point here, I think, is that while meditation (for instance) is a valuable piece of technology, the fact that we don't really understand how it works doesn't mean that a pile of woo-woo pieced together from bits of QM, ancient texts and whatever else you're having explains anything at all.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 02:30:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Poetry doesn't 'explain' anything either. It is not intended to. It exists in another domain. Like analogue tape, the poetic loop is only activated when it passes across the head.

Poetry is a dialogue between the writer and reader, or hearer, or, in a wider sense, observer. The subjective is part of the equation. This does not mean that poetry, art or even the spiritual, cannot be analysed. But in the end, the power in it is how your total experience interfaces with the symbology of the creator. There can be no mismatches. However you 'feel' about the experience of the dialogue is true for you.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 03:24:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sure: to be very imprecise, poetry is about communicating things by language side channels (or main channels, depending on whether you thing the apparent content is the most important part of language). That's fine, and perfectly worthy. But clouds don't feel lonely in any sense I can think of.

Same with the myths and stories associated with meditation, physical culture, martial arts and so on where what they're doing is communicating ways to trick your mind and body into effectively doing something. It's when you move outside that and start claiming that the stories have something to do with reality that the problem arises. So chi as an imagined  feeling of energy flow that assists in getting your body and mind to co-ordinate to do something is fine. Chi as a unifying force which you can use to affect people at a distance is, uh, less than proven ...

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 03:37:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From the subjective poetic point of view, it matters not whether chi is less than proven. However I am equally sceptical about it becoming an external force. Where is the line?

I presume you have never taken heroin, opium and possibly no other external mind-altering drug beyond the low-level endorphin experience of alcohol. I also assume you have not undertaken a rigorous 3 years of constant meditation. But you may have experienced the sublime transcendantal euphoria of hearing a particular piece of music (for example)  in which your world suddenly seems perfect, unending and, for just a moment, you become at one with everything.

Is this a change in mind equivalent to hearing the voices of a schizophrenic or the irrational fears of a paranoid, or the narrow-minded blind conviction of the fundamentalist Christian? All of whom believe they are right.

These experiences or states may be 'tricking' the mind and body, but, like poetry, it is the 'tricking' that becomes part of the experience and if rewarding, affects the future interpretation of experience.

There is a tendency to equate science with reality, and everything else is fiction. That seems to preclude the possibility of art also being about reality. That which is not fully communicable by numbers and words, but must be experienced without them, is indeed hard to convey in scientific terms:-)

The fact that often the discussion of science, and the use of science in discussion, pass through the medium of words and numbers puts the arts lot here at a disadvantage sometimes. That is why some of us like to put up pictures and videos.

I think 'll get me coat....

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 05:42:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the arts lot

Please... :-(

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Dec 25th, 2007 at 12:39:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is a tendency to equate science with reality, and everything else is fiction. That seems to preclude the possibility of art also being about reality.

Look, if the newagers were talking about art, or poetry, or even literature, I'd give them a shrug and a pass. But they are not. They are talking about medicine. They are talking about quantum mechanics. They are talking about crime prevention. And so on and so forth. Those are all serious real-world issues, and fucking around (you should excuse my French) with nonsensial babbling about spirit planes when faced with real and serious issues is doing humanity a severe disservice.

The Pope doesn't suddenly become entitled to immunity from criticism for his genocidal policies on reproductive health just because he claims that the BS he spews is an art form or should be interpreted artistically (not that he even goes as far as to acknowledge that, but that's for another diary). Neither does Chopra. Or anyone. Reality is not a matter of taste, or subject to popular vote, or revealed through divine intervention. Superstition kills people every day precisely because too many people fail to grasp this simple fact of life.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Dec 25th, 2007 at 04:50:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Poetry doesn't 'explain' anything either. It is not intended to. It exists in another domain.

Poetry certainly may explain things. That is, it may be explicative, or more suggestive... There are many kinds of poetry, but essentially, it's a form of concentrated, reflective, possibly embellished, linguistic communication.

Unless you can explain what the "other domain" is.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Dec 25th, 2007 at 12:20:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As I have said several times here already (pay attention!): that other domain is the interface with the subjective - something that is rigourously excluded from most science. I might provoke you further by saying that science is basically about things, whereas the arts is about people and how they modulate each other :-)

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Dec 25th, 2007 at 12:29:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Seen across its history, I'm not sure that "the interface with the subjective" is an accurate (even partial) description of poetry, but let that go. If you're saying it's not science, then of course I agree. What I don't understand is why it should be of any relevance to this discussion. It seems to me like another attempt to say: there are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamed of in your philosophy.

Why, yes.

So what are they and how can they be defined and discussed? A question that, in this thread, lacks answers.

And no, your references to mind-altering drugs, meditation, or music are not answers.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Dec 25th, 2007 at 01:01:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you insist on having the arts or spirituality defined and discussed in YOUR terms, then of course we shall go nowhere. And that has been one of the subthemes of this thread.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Dec 25th, 2007 at 03:01:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I take that to mean they can only be discussed in YOUR terms. And with an elephant's memory for all you may have already said.

You're not saying what the relevance of art is to the debate here.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Dec 25th, 2007 at 05:01:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, I mean discussing in both terms.

The relevance of art and spirituality is not to this specific debate, but to the discourse in general. This debate has simply exposed the incuriosity of some debaters.

I have to put some more time into a diary about it - time that I don't have right now. It is an important point, and one that has raised some polarising passion. I believe in convergence, not divergence.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Dec 26th, 2007 at 04:23:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
towards what?

Why isn't anyone on the other side of the debate able to give me a brief description of what their ideas /concepts are? I got the point that they are outside of science, but can't they be described in a post here?

I've been asking questions, and I'm called incurious?

If you have information or something to convey, and I'm failing to get it, it is your failure as much as mine, you know. At least mine is acknowledged.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Dec 26th, 2007 at 05:53:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ernst Eduard Kummer (1810-1893), a German algebraist, was rather poor at arithmetic. Whenever he had occasion to do simple arithmetic in class, he would get his students to help him. Once he had to find 7 x 9.  "Seven times nine," he began, "Seven times nine is er -- ah --- ah -- seven times nine is. . . ."  "Sixty-one," a student suggested. Kummer wrote 61 on the board.  "Sir," said another student, "it should be sixty-nine."  "Come, come, gentlemen, it can't be both," Kummer exclaimed. "It must be one or the other."

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Dec 26th, 2007 at 06:04:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When out to dinner, Caltech students reportedly have a rule that the youngest non-math major figures out the bill, as math majors are hopeless.

Now what was your point again?

See Vedic Mathematics.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Dec 26th, 2007 at 06:08:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Presumably, your point is that either he is right, or he is wrong? Such narrow-mindedness...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Dec 26th, 2007 at 06:12:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The point is whatever you wish it to be ;-)

I really do not want to incur your wrath again. But I am simply trying to represent an alternative point of view that I believe to be important and, in the long run, contribute to defining what change should be - because I think we can all agree that 'changing the game' is what we are all about. We just disagree on the methods.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Dec 26th, 2007 at 04:46:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sheesh, do you always have to weasel out of your own traps? If you post a parable in the middle of an argument there must be a point that you were trying to make. And you say you were trying to represent a point of view. Which is it? I still don't get it, I must be thick. Spell your point out for me.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Dec 26th, 2007 at 04:56:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why shouldn't I weasel out of the trap? I want to survive - like you ;-)

I cannot spell it out. As several have argued, maybe you don't have to get it, but be it or do it.

Or maybe I can - in another frustrating manner. You insist on reason. I insist on poetry. You insist on boxing. I insist on wrestling. You insist on the external. I insist on the internal. You like sanity. I like insanity. You like logic, I like anomalies.

But the only real difference between us (the above are not real differences in the human scale of love), is that you are not me.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Dec 26th, 2007 at 05:20:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
art and spirituality

I'm questioning the relevance of art to this debate. Spirituality seems to me to be at the heart of it, since that's emilmoller's subject from his first comment.

Bringing in art seems to me equivalent to bringing in extra-sensory perception: it's a way of presenting the imo strawman argument that there are other approaches and science doesn't understand everything. No one is denying science doesn't understand everything. So what? That does not prove in any way that such a thing as a "spiritual dimension" (level, sphere, zone, whatever) even exists. And, when asked to discuss this by defining and explaining his idea of spirituality, emil just says there are tools, go away and use them for three years, and You Will Understand.

For me, that just won't cut it.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Dec 26th, 2007 at 08:02:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
it's like a monk commenting on the role of sexual intercourse in his life

one has to have had first hand experience in order to say something sensible about it

I am not able to reveal anything resembling what I would be trying to describe

I can and did point to the consequences of engaging oneself re spirituality: Nelson Mandela in stead of Al Capone. I hope this makes readers curious re the qualities inherent in the domain I refer to.

I wonder why it is so hard to accept the fact that a specific domain demands other research skills than an other domain. When the differences in qualities and the possibilities to attain them does not persuade, I will not be able to do that neither.

Emil

by emilmoller (emil@beyondthewalls.eu) on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 02:17:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I brought art into the debate because to me it is a more accessible subset of spirituality and that an understanding of it requires a different set of tools.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 03:02:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
'spiritual' = the domain where all esoteric traditions refer to as being the common ground for all and everything

Abstract religion.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 02:48:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
meditate for 3 years and then inform us about how abstract and how much religion-like it is
by emilmoller (emil@beyondthewalls.eu) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 04:19:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And if I have and still think that the common ground of esoteric traditions is abstract religion?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 04:22:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Then I suppose you haven't done it properly or you haven't done it enough.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 05:15:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I really enjoyed the Bill McDonough video and want to read about your work.  

The posters in this thread use their non-scientific capabilities everyday, so I find the sudden reductionism hard to believe, unless they are caught up in the ´spirit of the season´.  (;  No excuse for the toxicity though, nor for my own lack of patience.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Tue Dec 25th, 2007 at 11:37:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hi Charu,

More time spent in this thread seems wasted for a host of reasons. So I suggest we continue elsewhere.

I couldn't find your @; could you send a @ to emilmoller@yahoo.com

Thanks,

Emil

by emilmoller (emil@beyondthewalls.eu) on Sat Dec 29th, 2007 at 04:06:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry for the switch, Jerome!

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 at 02:24:51 PM EST
I don't react to comments on astrology or equivalent anymore.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 at 05:32:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No games here from me.  I consider it a worthy conversation, so dismissal is just ´serious´.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 at 05:43:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It´s the silly season,
there is still an almost full moon,
there is a diary with the word ´hostility´ and discussion ´blooms´.....  
wooo, wooo.

<disappear into another thread>

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 02:27:05 PM EST
did you troll-rate me on purpose?

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Tue Dec 25th, 2007 at 11:22:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, since your comment is clearly trolling for a hostile rejoinder, as is the other top-level comment that you have posted recently.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Dec 25th, 2007 at 11:39:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That is a scientific misreading!

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Dec 25th, 2007 at 12:30:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If it's a misreading it's because I've never been good at reading poetry.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Dec 25th, 2007 at 03:04:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
discussion ´blooms´.....  

I so disagree with what you're implying there, metavision. Discussion doesn't have to "bloom" along the lines you would like it to. And if you mean that discussion has been stifled, then I think you're plain paranoid. There are simply a fair number of people on either side of a debate. We don't all agree. Deal with it.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Dec 25th, 2007 at 01:17:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
  1. On my post
  2. Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 01:53:26 PM EDT

  3. I numbered the first line "0" --because that would be my grade for the ´pro-science´ arguments here--but for some reason science, I mean Scoop, posted it as a "1".

Just as it´s doing here (sic).


Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Tue Dec 25th, 2007 at 10:59:35 AM EST
The thought police gets in everywhere!
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Dec 25th, 2007 at 01:08:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Sorry, couldn't resist.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Dec 25th, 2007 at 04:59:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Display:
Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]

Top Diaries