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Everything is amazing...

Postby uninfinite on May 29th, 2016, 12:55 pm 

Have you ever just looked at it, and marveled at how extraordinary it all is; that we are here - surrounded by an infinite universe we are now coming to understand?

Have you ever looked at the moon, and seen - not just a luminous disc in the night sky - but a great lump of rock in space, reflecting the sun's light down on the dark side of the earth?

Have you ever looked at a fly, and seen how complex its body structure is - and thought about its life cycle, and how surreal that is?

Are you not amazed?
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Re: Everything is amazing...

Postby zetreque on May 29th, 2016, 1:45 pm 

Sounds like you are getting into biomimicry :)

I find that the more science I understand about a phenomenon the more amazing it is. Like rainbows. Understanding them make them so much more beautiful. It also lets you see more of them if you know which direction in relation to the sun to look.

Nature by Numbers
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Re: Everything is amazing...

Postby uninfinite on May 29th, 2016, 1:58 pm 

Great video. Thanks for that. I write here and on another, politics forum. There I meet with a lot of discontent, and here with a lot of metaphysics, when really, like I say, everything is amazing..
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Re: Everything is amazing...

Postby DragonFly on May 29th, 2016, 2:21 pm 

I, of the endless forms most beautiful,
Am stunned that my glass to the brim is full,
Life’s wine coursing through me, as ‘magical’,
On this lovely, rolling sphere so bountiful.
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Re: Everything is amazing...

Postby uninfinite on May 29th, 2016, 10:03 pm 

Image
Last edited by uninfinite on May 29th, 2016, 10:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Everything is amazing...

Postby uninfinite on May 29th, 2016, 10:03 pm 

Image
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Re: Everything is amazing...

Postby Eclogite on May 30th, 2016, 2:54 am 

My contribution is weak. It was triggered by the line from Dragonfly "Am stunned that my glass to the brim is full."

I often hear people arguing whether the glass is half full or half empty. I feel compelled to intervene: "look you fools, you have a glass!"

Is that the sort of thing you meant?
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Re: Everything is amazing...

Postby zetreque on May 30th, 2016, 2:59 am 

haha, yes, some people don't even have a glass. Way to see the good. Gratitude...
We can still see the bad in the world, but those who can also see what is good in every situation are happier.
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Re: Everything is amazing...

Postby uninfinite on May 30th, 2016, 9:02 am 

Eclogite » May 30th, 2016, 7:54 am wrote:My contribution is weak. It was triggered by the line from Dragonfly "Am stunned that my glass to the brim is full."

I often hear people arguing whether the glass is half full or half empty. I feel compelled to intervene: "look you fools, you have a glass!"

Is that the sort of thing you meant?



It's difficult to articulate precisely what I mean, but I'll try. Look at that picture of the stars through the trees - how beautiful a reality that is; and then consider that the image is captured by technology and published via another technology, and again those are amazing realities.

And then consider your remark. It is firstly a metaphor - which is an abstraction. Secondly it makes a metaphysical point about satisfaction with relative amounts of a material want. And thirdly, it's a sarcastic barb. So then ask yourself, where the source of discontent in the world is?

It's not with reality, is it?
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Re: Introspection

Postby Faradave on May 30th, 2016, 10:37 am 

uninfinite wrote:Have you ever just looked at it, ... we are here - surrounded by an infinite universe we are now coming to understand?

Image
- John Archibald Wheeler

"Eye can see my Umbilicus." - Faradave
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Sonder

Postby uninfinite on May 30th, 2016, 11:12 am 

sonder
n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.
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Re: Everything is amazing...

Postby Lomax on May 30th, 2016, 3:31 pm 

Sometimes I rewatch this to remind myself.
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Re: Everything is amazing...

Postby zetreque on May 30th, 2016, 3:36 pm 

Lomax » Mon May 30, 2016 12:31 pm wrote:Sometimes I rewatch this to remind myself.


Everything has always been amazing. :) No matter how good things are, people will always want more. It's part of life. The problem is rudeness and lack of awareness about how amazing it is. That ignorance ruins it for others and comes back on ourselves.
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Re: Everything is amazing...

Postby uninfinite on May 30th, 2016, 4:07 pm 

Lomax » May 30th, 2016, 8:31 pm wrote:Sometimes I rewatch this to remind myself.


Great video. Very funny and apt, but only almost the exact same point. Into that mix, I'd throw the realism/metaphysicalism debate; and ask the question why we need to embelish the amazing reality of things with hopeful metaphysical fictions?

The Recursion Scenario
The Evolutionary Argument Against Reality
Is Consciousness an Illusion?

Is it the same reason people get off an aeroplane and; having partaken of the miracle of human flight, do nothing but complain? And which is the cause, and which the effect?
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Re: Everything is amazing...

Postby zetreque on May 30th, 2016, 4:11 pm 

Coincidentally, Today I have stumbled onto groups of thousands of people complaining and petitioning about airplane noise. As well as a plane that kept buzzing my house all morning vibrating the windows. The amazing experience is definitely subjective (depending on where one is standing/sitting). Amazing to the person flying, not so to the person (persons living under flight paths) being harmed by the noise and air pollution.
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Re: Everything is amazing...

Postby uninfinite on May 30th, 2016, 4:19 pm 

zetreque » May 30th, 2016, 9:11 pm wrote:Coincidentally, Today I have stumbled onto groups of thousands of people complaining and petitioning about airplane noise. As well as a plane that kept buzzing my house all morning vibrating the windows. The amazing experience is definitely subjective (depending on where one is standing/sitting). Amazing to the person flying, not so to the person (persons living under flight paths) being harmed by the noise and air pollution.



Here, it's been blowing a bloody gale all day - and tomorrow, the construction noise will begin again. I sympathize. I wouldn't have to think long if I had to give up one of my senses - it would be hearing. Ahhh, the blessed silence. Never again to hear a child's laughter, an uplifting piece of music, or the guy upstairs taking a leak!
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Re: Everything is amazing...

Postby Braininvat on May 30th, 2016, 4:45 pm 

Lomax » May 30th, 2016, 12:31 pm wrote:Sometimes I rewatch this to remind myself.


I was going to post the Louis CK clip when I saw the topic. Glad you did. One of my favorites. "You're sitting in a chair....IN THE SKY!"

Louis' s standup routine used to include a bit called White People Problems, which makes a similar point. So quickly we start to feel entitled to something utterly extraordinary that humans lacked for 99.99% of our history.

I had the honor of meeting Louis before he was so famous. He was visiting my neighbor (who was also in standup comedy for several years) and stopped to talk with me about car repair (I was buried in the innards of an old Honda civic). I had no idea who he was, at the time. A really nice guy, totally unpretentious. Yeah, have sort of a man-crush.
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Re: Everything is amazing...

Postby Braininvat on May 30th, 2016, 5:01 pm 

uninfinite » May 30th, 2016, 1:07 pm wrote:
Lomax » May 30th, 2016, 8:31 pm wrote:Sometimes I rewatch this to remind myself.


Great video. Very funny and apt, but only almost the exact same point. Into that mix, I'd throw the realism/metaphysicalism debate; and ask the question why we need to embelish the amazing reality of things with hopeful metaphysical fictions?


I suppose it's because we are mortal and all the amazing comes to what seems an abrupt end. So there's this wish for some transformation, some spinning off into another dimension, some metaphysical moth bursting from a chrysalis, to offer hope that our tiny sparks of mind can keep participating in the cosmic shindig. It's similar to that sad wistful feeling of, "well, crap, now that I've acquired some wisdom and some skills and am really enjoying this amazing world, I have to die." Hence all those boring memoirs....
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Re: Everything is amazing...

Postby Lomax on May 30th, 2016, 6:37 pm 

uninfinite » May 30th, 2016, 9:07 pm wrote:
Lomax » May 30th, 2016, 8:31 pm wrote:Sometimes I rewatch this to remind myself.


Great video. Very funny and apt, but only almost the exact same point. Into that mix, I'd throw the realism/metaphysicalism debate; and ask the question why we need to embelish the amazing reality of things with hopeful metaphysical fictions?

The Recursion Scenario
The Evolutionary Argument Against Reality
Is Consciousness an Illusion?

Is it the same reason people get off an aeroplane and; having partaken of the miracle of human flight, do nothing but complain? And which is the cause, and which the effect?


Bravo - Bertrand Russell made a similar observation (in which book, I don't remember). He blames metaphysical idealism on sexual frustration, and I do think it has a lot to do with frustration at least, most of the time.
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Re: Everything is amazing...

Postby Braininvat on May 30th, 2016, 8:51 pm 

I would see it (as per my previous post) as more derived from the sense of mortality. Russell may be right, in regard to the English especially*, but his stress on the sexual aspect is too Freudian from where I'm sitting. But I can agree that frustration with some aspects of life can send some into the comforting embraces of ethereal metaphysics.

*jk
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Re: Everything is amazing...

Postby uninfinite on May 31st, 2016, 1:10 am 

Braininvat » May 31st, 2016, 1:51 am wrote:I would see it (as per my previous post) as more derived from the sense of mortality. Russell may be right, in regard to the English especially*, but his stress on the sexual aspect is too Freudian from where I'm sitting. But I can agree that frustration with some aspects of life can send some into the comforting embraces of ethereal metaphysics.

*jk



I really wish you would name the text you're talking about. You're making it very hard to comment; but I'll venture a few thoughts, at risk of possibly discussing the wrong idea. I think I've encountered the theory, that for knowledge of mortality we live in a state of angst and dread - but I don't recall any sexual aspect to Russel's argument.

Arguably, knowledge of mortality should make every moment more precious, and everything more special, rather than less. And speaking for myself, I can accept that individual mortality is a necessary aspect of evolution - the means by which I came by my evolved senses and sensibilities. It would therefore strike me as disingenuous to take all that I have been loaned for granted - and live in resentment of the day the loan must be repaid. Rather I think it's incumbent upon me to use the gifts of evolution to further the interests of my species. The individual may die - but the species lives on.

And again, I find the reality is more comforting and purposeful than the fond illusions we have invented to obscure the reality.
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Re: Everything is amazing...

Postby BadgerJelly on May 31st, 2016, 3:48 am 

I have an exercise for you.

Look at anything in your home. Why is it there? Who bought it? Why did they buy it? Who made it? Why did they make it that way? What is practical about it and what is aethetically pleasing about it? What directed the object to become the way it did? How much of it is practical, aesthetic and happenstance? What is it made of? Where did its elements come from? Who gathered them? What are there imperfections? Does the object possess practical imperfections? Are these imperfections pleasing to you? Can you find parts that are both impractical and that aesthetic value to you? What are these parts? Do they enhance the more pleasing parts of the object or distract from them? Can you choose for them to distract or enhance from your pleasure of the object?

Once you 've done this with several objects go for a walk and look around at things. If you are anything like me you may notice something you have been distracted from before??
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Re: Everything is amazing...

Postby Braininvat on May 31st, 2016, 9:22 am 

Unin, I agree. Our finite spans give shape and meaning, and sometimes luster and vibrancy, to our moments. I was joining Lomax and Lord Bert in speculation on the sources of metafuzziness and timor mortis in some individuals. I'm sorry, I don't know the text to which Lomax referred. Could it be in Russell's autobio?
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Re: Everything is amazing...

Postby Lomax on May 31st, 2016, 9:48 am 

Braininvat » May 31st, 2016, 2:22 pm wrote: Could it be in Russell's autobio?

I had a feeling it was in the autobiography actually. I read too much Russell too young and it's all blurred into one to some extent, so I wouldn't recommend trawling through the entire autobiography on the off-chance.
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Re: Everything is amazing...

Postby Lomax on May 31st, 2016, 11:42 am 

Braininvat » May 31st, 2016, 1:51 am wrote: Russell may be right, in regard to the English especially*, but his stress on the sexual aspect is too Freudian from where I'm sitting.

None of us are sexually frustrated here in England, btw. We have all tacitly agreed to just never have or even think about sex, ever.
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Re: Everything is amazing...

Postby Braininvat on May 31st, 2016, 11:58 am 

Hehehe! And that was precisely my experience when I was 20, visiting England, and attempting to chat up young ladies. That tacit agreement was fully enforced as soon as I ventured in their general direction.
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Re: Everything is amazing...

Postby uninfinite on May 31st, 2016, 11:48 pm 

So the brute biological facts of sex and death are what prevent us from a more elevated, intellectual appreciation of the wonders of reality? I don't think that's it. My theory is we are slightly too intelligent for our own good, and would be happier if we were complete morons; because we're just about smart enough to live in anticipation of a million problems, we're nonetheless too stupid to solve!
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Re: Everything is amazing...

Postby zetreque on May 31st, 2016, 11:56 pm 

uninfinite » Tue May 31, 2016 8:48 pm wrote:So the brute biological facts of sex and death are what prevent us from a more elevated, intellectual appreciation of the wonders of reality? I don't think that's it. My theory is we are slightly too intelligent for our own good, and would be happier if we were complete morons; because we're just about smart enough to live in anticipation of a million problems, we're nonetheless too stupid to solve!


I like that assessment. Except maybe we are smart enough to solve them, but too stupid to go through with it as a whole species cooperating. So again we are right there at that level of cooperating just enough to be smart, but not enough making us stupid.

There needs to be another leap in consciousness... I can think of a couple star trek episodes that sort of explore this idea.
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Re: Everything is amazing...

Postby uninfinite on June 1st, 2016, 12:19 am 

zetreque » June 1st, 2016, 4:56 am wrote:
uninfinite » Tue May 31, 2016 8:48 pm wrote:So the brute biological facts of sex and death are what prevent us from a more elevated, intellectual appreciation of the wonders of reality? I don't think that's it. My theory is we are slightly too intelligent for our own good, and would be happier if we were complete morons; because we're just about smart enough to live in anticipation of a million problems, we're nonetheless too stupid to solve!


I like that assessment. Except We ARE smart enough to solve them, but too stupid to go through with it as a whole species cooperating. So again we are right there at that level of cooperating just enough to be smart, but not enough making us stupid.

There needs to be another leap in consciousness... I can think of a couple star trek episodes that sort of explore this idea.


The spark of intelligence is a mysterious thing. It can arise from the gutter, and disappear for generations from the great houses. Stupid people do not necessarily breed stupid children. Stupid cultures do that. More generally, there is a remarkable average to human intelligence the world over - that could just be the consequence of how big a head can be pushed through a birth canal. A principle that's demonstrated by the Zika outbreak. If that thing takes hold we could all end up - taking a giant leap backwards. But just ignore the 150 scientists who warned that the Rio Olympics should be cancelled. Afterall, they spent billions on that stadium!
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Re: Everything is amazing...

Postby Braininvat on June 2nd, 2016, 1:10 pm 

More generally, there is a remarkable average to human intelligence the world over - that could just be the consequence of how big a head can be pushed through a birth canal.


I always take that birth canal theory with a grain of salt. Bearing in mind that head size doesn't precisely correlate with intelligence. If you google "famous people brain size," you find autopsy results in various articles, indicating that Lord Byron's brain was something like 30% larger than Einstein's. And there was some remarkable disparity between the brain of, IIRC, Byron and Anatole France, I think France's was half the size of Byron's. Just stand in a crowd of people, and you will notice quite a range of head sizes, dimensions that often, quite dramatically, do not relate to an individual's intellectual capacities.

My theory is we are slightly too intelligent for our own good, and would be happier if we were complete morons; because we're just about smart enough to live in anticipation of a million problems, we're nonetheless too stupid to solve!


If you have tongue planted in cheek here, then my following comments may be unnecessary.

This is a very popular theory, and I'm not sure why. Perhaps it's that cultural meme of the "happy idiot." If you are unable to do your tax returns, then you are spared a certain misery. However, morons, in my experience, often suffer considerably from their limited intellectual resources and tend to be more often prey to fears and dark emotions which they cannot resolve by thinking things through and interacting skilfully with others to solve problems. It might be a bit better, for them, if we were all morons, but I suspect the impairments to problem-solving skills and coping with irrational fears would still generate a lot of misery, albeit with more company. If only we could test your theory by slipping through a wormhole to a couple millions years ago, and finding quantitative measures of happiness to compare modern humans and, say, Australopithecines. Their lives were certainly simpler. But if simplicity were a measure of happiness, then homeless people would be the happiest people on the planet.
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