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'[OT:] Russian forces storm school, captors slip aw'
2004\09\03@160807 by Robert Rolf

picon face
Last time the Russian army tried that most of the 'sleepers' died.
(Movie theatre in Moscow last year if memory serves.)

And since the school was rigged with explosives, you can bet
that the hostage takers had a 'dead man' switch in hand.

A terrible situation with hundreds of children dying when troops
stormed the school. And then dozens of the militants 'escaped' to a
residential area?? What kind of incompetent troops are they using?

And we have the gall to call hunans 'civilized'?
No other animal kills it own kind for emotional reasons.

R

www.cbc.ca/story/world/national/2004/09/03/russia_school040903.html
Last Updated Fri, 03 Sep 2004 15:31:59 EDT

MOSCOW - As many as 150 people were killed and 650 injured after
commandos stormed a school in southern Russia on Friday where armed
militants held hostages for the past three days.

Roland wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2004\09\03@164801 by hilip Stortz
2004\09\03@204107 by James Newton, Host

face picon face
Comparisons of the Russian army or militants with Animals are not
appropriate. Animals DO kill their own kind, and even eat their own children
when they get hungry. And they do so without guilt or remorse.

The "kind of incompetent troops" Russia uses are the kind they can afford.
The Russian army has just about always been under funded and equipped,
pushed beyond human limits, and exposed to situations where no one could
remain "human" and survive. I've met some of their sailors and was appalled
at the conditions aboard their ship and amazed at the good nature and
positive attitude they maintained anyway. Do you understand that these are
young men who have been conscripted into the military at gun point?
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/russia/army-intro.htm

Ask 'Nam vets how they were able to call themselves "civilized" after they
saw parents give a little girl flowers with a grenade in the stems and tell
her to run to the soldiers and hand it to them. That sort of thing is
documented. The ones who lived were the ones who blew the little girl away.
And when those soldiers came home, good "Christian" people called them baby
killers and spit at them. How much more does it hurt when it's true?
http://www.nchv.org/standdown.cfm

If human life in Russia has so little value, before we criticize, shouldn't
we have offered to adopt those orphans? 200,000 Russian babies are up for
adoption. The chancellor of Germany just adopted from there.
www.freep.com/news/nw/adopt18e_20040818.htm
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/asin/0595131948

And can we really understand what was going on there from our position so
far away? Is it not possible that the Russian government wanted to kill
those people? Or that the "militants" have been dehumanized by oppression
from the towns people whose children where killed. I won't pretend to know.
After you have seen your family starved, beaten, raped and murdered, would
you rather die, or kill one of theirs first? "...when life loses its value,
and is taken for naught, then the Pact is . . . to avenge."
http://www.lengel.net/gbs/image/hateus.html


We have problems at home that we have a much better chance of understanding
and fixing. I have a friend (acquaintance) who is going through the hell of
watching his teenage son throw away his life on drugs. I've been through
that before, personally, and I would rather spend my time comforting,
commiserating, and advising (as requested) this person than condemning these
people who I know nothing about. I've come to realize that all children die.
Not always physically, but the little boy or girl you were raising is no
more, just the same. At some point, we have to accept their loss, and get to
know the stranger who has taken that place. Some times they remember being
your child. Other times they are someone you really wouldn't choose to
associate with. I KNOW that pretending they are still that child does them
more damage than good. In some way, gently or deadly, they have to hit rock
bottom and choose to swim or not on their own.

In fact, I'll probably suggest that they give up on this boy and adopt a
Russian orphan.

P.S. I hate it when I can't keep my mouth shut on these issues... It makes
it so much harder to tell people not to post political stuff to the list.
There are so many better places for that sort of thing:


Oh, BTW, somebody involved in the stock market knew in advance and made
money from the 9/11 attack. Why haven't we been told who?
http://www.massmind.org/techref/other/911profit.htm

Weather satellite photos taken at night, over Iraq, show construction from
the refineries in Kuwait to the oil fields in Iraq BEFORE the US invasion.
Why hasn't anyone picked up this story?
http://www.massmind.org/other/war4oil

"Naturally, the common people don't want war, but after all, it is the
leaders of a country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple
matter to drag people along, whether it is democracy, or a fascist
dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no
voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This
is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and
denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to
danger. It works the same in every country"  -- Hermann Goering, Hitler's
Reich-Marshal at Nuremburg after WWII.
http://www.massmind.org/techref/other/war-machine.htm

We are better than Nazi's right?
http://www.ricksteves.com/news/archive/498hi.htm

The War Prayer, by Mark Twain: What? Don't you like to read what 'ol Sam
wrote?
http://www.massmind.org/techref/other/stories/mtwp.htm

9/11? So WHAT! 60,000 die on the roads every year.
http://www.massmind.org/techref/other/911.htm

The "Sane" automobile.
http://www.massmind.org/techref/idea/sanecar.htm

Violence is the last refuge of incompetence
http://www.massmind.org/techref/other/incompetence.htm

Memorial Guilt
http://www.massmind.org/techref/other/guilt.htm

Why I am an anarchist
http://www.massmind.org/techref/other/anarchist.htm

But we WON that one...
http://www.massmind.org/techref/other/nearfatboy.htm

A little slide show. Pretty pictures.
http://www.massmind.org/images/member/jmn-efp-786/war/index.htm

Lalo says:
I lost spirituality in Viet Nam. It walked away in a communion dress. Her
hair covering half her face like Veronica Lake. I was on this Christian
mission at the orphanage when she walked, ghost like, out of the chapel. The
cutest little five or six year old Vietnamese girl with half a face.

 Who will sit with the children
 and explain to them that
 Some Hawks make a living
 From eating the young ones
 Of the crows and the pigeons  
 
 When they are a little older
 What will we tell them of the children
 At Hiroshima, Dresden or Auschwitz;
 Of the twin towers and of our own war.
 
 How old will they have to be
 To learn about Collateral Damage:
 The child in the scope of my psyche  
 Who is part of the price of our "freedom."
 
 We may fail at many things by winning,
 But let's succeed at sitting with our children.

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> {Original Message removed}

2004\09\03@213733 by Russell McMahon

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> The "kind of incompetent troops" Russia uses are the kind they can afford.

No complaint with that comment - just an observation.

While there's little doubt that Russia suffers from chronic underfunding,
there's every reason to suspect that in this case the troops there were the
best available - and probably well up to being competitive with the best
anywhere on earth.

When you get somewhere between 300 and 1,500 civilian hostages held by
people who are quite prepared to die and completely prepared to kill their
hostages, it's got to be completely uncertain how things will go. In all
such cases (except one that I can think of *) its very easy after the event
to find fault, and to show how things could have been done much better.
Let's all be thankful that it wasn't us having to make the hard decisions,
this time around at least.



       Russell McMahon


* The one case where it would be hard to imagine a more successful operation
to free hostages was the Israeli's "Entebbe raid" in Uganda. Being able to
bring around 100 hostages home alive when they are 2,500 miles from home,
half way down Africa in a hostile country, with the loss of  5 lives on
their side (the mission commander and 4 hostages) (one absolutely
unavoidable) is a first class miracle. Having done it by flying in and
recovering the whole operation in 4 aircraft is icing on the cake. AFAIK
nobody has ever managed to match that level of success subsequently in
similar operations.

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2004\09\03@230303 by Bob Axtell
2004\09\03@233036 by David Koski
2004\09\04@004159 by Russell McMahon
2004\09\04@060853 by Nate Duehr
2004\09\04@080207 by Russell McMahon
2004\09\04@080849 by D. Jay Newman
2004\09\04@084403 by Spehro Pefhany
2004\09\04@090201 by hilip Stortz
2004\09\04@094416 by John Ferrell
2004\09\04@104909 by James Newton, Host
2004\09\05@084457 by Bob Japundza

picon face
For an informative and interesting history of the Chechen conflict,
see: http://slate.msn.com/id/2106287/

Regards,
Bob
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2004\09\06@065541 by Russell McMahon
face
flavicon
face
Russell stated:
> > Even though we KNOW that man is differentiated from the
> > animals, it is hard to find a sharp measure which is a clear
> > one. Carl Sagan tried immensely hard to show that there was
> > no quantum difference betwixt us and them. For me all he
> > managed to do was demonstrate that there was a difference but
> > that it is immensely hard to describe it  clearly.

James responded:
> Emotion in the face of logic, eh Russell? <GRIN> poke, poke.
> Check out
> http://www.koko.org If that doesn't convince you that there is little or
no
> (qualitative) difference between humans and animals, nothing will. She may
> not be anywhere near as intelligent as my little boy, but she speaks,
> dreams, listens, cries, loves, paints, laughs, MAKES UP words and
jokes....

I'll happily rise to the bait. Just remember who asked first (and who turned
the thread that I started onto its present direction) :-)

First a relevant aside while we are still cool, calm & collected.
An excellent musing on intelligence from SciAm / on a U Toronto site..


http://www.psych.utoronto.ca/~reingold/courses/intelligence/cache/1198yam.html

> Check out http://www.koko.org

My favourite is the Alex, African Grey Parrot. ("Wanna go back!") who seems
every bit as 'intelligent" as Koko. Alex & Koko both get passing mention in
the above article.

It is very hard to find out what the "experts" conclude about Koko. There is
a relevant chapter in a book on the above website but you have to join
($US25 minimum) to read it. There's lots else on the web but little
substantive. There is no doubt that Alex and Koko both have extremely
impressive capabilities which are similar to those exhibited by humans. But
to be convinced that "there is little or no
> (qualitative) difference between humans and animals" based on the joe
public level of evidence offered invites a degree of credulity which you
would be unhappy with in other areas. There is also quite obviously a
substantial 'cooking of the books" - no doubt with the best of intentions.
Koko IQ is reported in some places as 70-95 and in other places the upper
part of this range is quoted. 70 is marginal retarded for a human. Human 90
is entirely able to function very well in the day to day world. (50% of
people lie in the 89-111 IQ range). Clearly (?) Koko would not fit well the
normal understanding of IQ90, even with a less charming outer layer.

More *expert*  comment / analysis welcome.

rather than tucking this away at the bottom, what say i continue in a new
post - it is, after all, somewhat different in direction.



       RM


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2004\09\06@075415 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
Russell escrit:

> > Even though we KNOW that man is differentiated from the
> > animals, it is hard to find a sharp measure which is a clear
> > one. Carl Sagan tried immensely hard to show that there was
> > no quantum difference betwixt us and them. For me all he
> > managed to do was demonstrate that there was a difference but
> > that it is immensely hard to describe it  clearly.


James respondez:

> Emotion in the face of logic, eh Russell? <GRIN> poke, poke.


OK. Hold tight. Flames offlist please. Rude comments welcome on list within
allowable rules.

*Flame shields up*
*Weapons free*
*Fire at will*

I agree.
(How'm I doing so far?)
Or at least, that is a reasonable perspective for a person to have who
doesn't hold the point of view that i do :-)

Now, the following is science (or at least engineering) that necessarily
includes allusion to what may be seen as religion. NO specific "God/god" is
necessarily alluded to, although some gods exclude themselves by their own
job descriptions. If you can't consider this material when looking at
intelligence and origins then you might as well not even start to consider
the subject.

1.    The assertion that man is essentially no different than animals is an
ESSENTIAL belief for all those who take the (religious) position that there
is no God, no creator of the universe. If the process of "creation" can be
best explained by something like "First of all there was nothing, then it
exploded" [ :-) ] then there CANNOT* be any difference from men and animals.

* I say "cannot" - but there is always the possible that "aliens" seeded us
and them separately and instilled in us and them some fundamental
difference, but the aliens must in turn have arisen from "natural" causes or
from prior aliens and so on back to the beginning. [Don't even start to
think that that argument has to carry back beyond that point - it doesn't -
but that's another story.])

Without a universe creating God external to the universe man and animal are
essentially part of a continuum. It may be that man has crossed some
boundary that all other animals have failed to, but this would then be a
natural consequence of evolution. It is a difference of magnitude rather
than essential difference. It is also almost certainly a difference that can
be "undone" in due course by bio-engineering

Conversely:

2.    IF man (or womankind) is ESSENTIALLY different than (other) animals it
is solely because there is a creating God external to the universe.
No other basic assumption justifies the assumption of fundamental and
quantum difference twixt us and them. Such a difference may not be able to
be "un-done" by bio-engineering. Or may be, depending on the intention of
the creator.


The above two statements shouldn't be too hard for most people to agree
with.
An interesting necessary point arises from 1. above. While most are quite
able to handle 1, fewer seem able to address 3. rationally.

3.    If 1. above is true - ie if there is a continuum from animals to
humans (just possibly via aliens thrice removed) then there is just as
equally a continuum between inanimate matter and objects and humans. There
is no "reason" to consider anything to be any different in essential nature
than anything else. For those parts of the universe that find themselves
with the ability to 'think", the ONLY reason for thinking anything, doing
anything, desiring anything etc is "because I want to and/or because I can".
No decision / action / thought is better or worse than any other. No action
or thought has merit or value or meaning. The meaning of the term meaning is
meaningless :-).

Questions such as "what is the meaning of life" or "whether it is nobler in
the mind to bear the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune or, by
opposing, end them?" are as "meaningful" or meaningless as "what is the
meaning of a comet", "does a daisy love its seedlings?", "what is the merit
of hydrogen?" etc [[by all means provide better examples of the point I am
trying to make rather than picking holes in these particular questions.]]

We may deem questions such as the value or human-ness, or not, of an unborn
child / foetus, the merits of killing 600 people at Beslan, the merits of
killing 50,000 people at Belsen, or whether the Red Sox are the greatest
team ever as meaningful, valuable, interesting or useful as we wish.
BUT in fact, in the un-God-made universe of smooth continuum between hadron
and human, the questions have no meaning, no use, no value and no merit. For
in such a continuum everything "just is". Big deal. So what. I, as a semi
self-organising (just ask my wife) piece of matter may love my wife/partner
& children, seek to defend my family, love listening to Bach, enjoy skiing
and detest creationists, but, to the latest comet arcing in towards the
distant sun all beliefs/feelings/desires/motivations are as irrelevant and
unimportant as they are to me. Or to anyone else on this list, or planet.
For in such a world there is no meaning / merit / truth (apart from that
which documents what happens) / importance / merit or value. I am welcome to
ascribe whatever values or virtues to whatever I please. Or to not do so.
Nobody/thing can make me wrong (but many may claim that I am). The opinion
of said incoming comet, or several removes of aliens (if they exist) is just
as relevant or irrelevant as the opinion of my spouse/boss/peers/... .

Fortunately, I don't live in a universe predicated on such an assumption set
:-).

In my universe ...

4.    There can be and is truth, meaningfulness, relevance, merit, potential
for a break in continuum between hadron, haddock and human. Reason for life,
meaning of selflessness and more. Absolutes can (and do) exist. Only in a
universe created by an external being is this possible. This does NOT in any
way demand the existence of such a being - just notes the implication of
such existing or not.

Many people think that their universe looks like 4, even though it is really
3. The truly great * atheist philosophers accept quite happily that they
live in 3. In most cases people who demand a non God created universe,
nevertheless cannot stomach the wholly logical implications of 3 and demand
meaningfulness and all the rest of 4. Vast confusion necessarily results.

I'd be interested in any logical defence of the "meaningfulness" of the
various concepts mentioned in 3 in a universe that does not have an external
creator.


Russell McMahon


(*an oxymoron - as they would admit)


* Flame shields still up*

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2004\09\06@101752 by Jake Anderson

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<snip of much good posting>
> 3.    If 1. above is true - ie if there is a continuum from animals to
> humans (just possibly via aliens thrice removed) then there is just as
> equally a continuum between inanimate matter and objects and humans. There
> is no "reason" to consider anything to be any different in
> essential nature
> than anything else. For those parts of the universe that find themselves
> with the ability to 'think", the ONLY reason for thinking anything, doing
> anything, desiring anything etc is "because I want to and/or
> because I can".
> No decision / action / thought is better or worse than any other.
> No action
> or thought has merit or value or meaning. The meaning of the term
> meaning is
> meaningless :-).

<snip of much other good posting>
I think world 3 is the "real world" (though I do rather like the idea of an
after life and a meaning but to my mind no creator worth his salt would give
us our morals/general feelings of right and wrong then go and make a
universe such as this) but as a result of crossing that fuzzy line on the
way to "human" intelligence level I am free to define my own meanings of
things and from that build a world of right and wrong, other people of
course will do theirs and it will generally be slightly different,
occasionally it is drastically different and then it comes down to how
strongly I feel about it as to what I do about it. I do however recognise
this as being primarily a result of the social environment I grew up in and
given different circumstances *not* killing somebody for their lunch money
would be like committing violent crime is to me now.

In summary it comes down to something along the lines of, we are all the
most important people in our own personal universes, reality on the other
hand doesn't give a toss either way.
(but since I'm the most important person in my universe that's ok ;->)

something I find interesting to ponder is, is there something about the
physical constants/makeup of our universe that may lead to a favouring of
one kind of life over another. Personally it seems the smaller/more
efficient and the more willing you are to kill/eat/do anything to survive
the more your species will prosper.

personal view
humans have just taken "being mean" to a whole new level and dressed it up
as business.

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2004\09\06@111608 by Support - KF4HAZ

flavicon
face
<snip of much other good posting>
> I think world 3 is the "real world" (though I do rather like the idea of
an
> after life and a meaning but to my mind no creator worth his salt would
give
> us our morals/general feelings of right and wrong then go and make a
> universe such as this)
</snip>
Have you considered the possibility that genesis is correct,
that this world was "perfect" prior to man's transgression?
This would mean that the second law of physics was not in effect prior to
that act,
but rather was a result of man's condemnation.

KF4HAZ - Lonnie

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2004\09\06@115543 by D. Jay Newman

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face
> Have you considered the possibility that genesis is correct,
> that this world was "perfect" prior to man's transgression?
> This would mean that the second law of physics was not in effect prior to
> that act,
> but rather was a result of man's condemnation.

Not on this list.
--
D. Jay Newman           ! DCX - it takes off and lands base down,
.....jayKILLspamspam@spam@sprucegrove.com     !       as God and Robert Heinlein intended.
http://enerd.ws/robots/ !
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2004\09\06@140708 by James Newton, Host

face picon face

Russell replied:
> Russell escrit:
>
> > > Even though we KNOW that man is differentiated from the
> animals, it
> > > is hard to find a sharp measure which is a clear one. Carl Sagan
> > > tried immensely hard to show that there was no quantum difference
> > > betwixt us and them. For me all he managed to do was demonstrate
> > > that there was a difference but that it is immensely hard to
> > > describe it  clearly.
>
>
> James respondez:
>
> > Emotion in the face of logic, eh Russell? <GRIN> poke, poke.
>
>
> OK. Hold tight. Flames offlist please. Rude comments welcome
> on list within allowable rules.


<SNIP>

> 3.    If 1. above is true - ie if there is a continuum from animals to
> humans (just possibly via aliens thrice removed) then there
> is just as equally a continuum between inanimate matter and
> objects and humans. There is no "reason" to consider anything
> to be any different in essential nature than anything else.
> For those parts of the universe that find themselves with the
> ability to 'think", the ONLY reason for thinking anything,
> doing anything, desiring anything etc is "because I want to
> and/or because I can".

Very true. But consider this: I see no problem with this view. A rock
"knows" how to be a rock. It knows how to fall to earth, how to hold things
up, when to break, etc... A person with pebbles in his/her head needs no
reason to think other than "ug, want" or "ug, can"

> No decision / action / thought is better or worse than any
> other. No action or thought has merit or value or meaning.
> The meaning of the term meaning is meaningless :-).

So true! But that does depend on your definition of the word meaningless.
Can we agree that actions, et all have consequences? That these consequences
affect others and other things. MY definition of the word meaning comes from
the meaninglessness of actions that do or DO NOT affect others. And
conversely, those actions may have (my) "meaning" to others who are affected
by them. When I throw the rock, it has great meaning to the rock. "When life
looses it's value and is taken for naught..."

> Questions such as "what is the meaning of life" or "whether
> it is nobler in the mind to bear the slings and arrows of
> outrageous fortune or, by opposing, end them?" are as
> "meaningful" or meaningless as "what is the meaning of a
> comet", "does a daisy love its seedlings?", "what is the
> merit of hydrogen?" etc [[by all means provide better
> examples of the point I am trying to make rather than picking
> holes in these particular questions.]]

All these things gain meaning when we consider the consequence to others of
their answers (correct or incorrect). E.g. when I decide that a daisy DOES
love it's seedlings, if I feel the daisy has meaning (to me, e.g. I don't
want it to die) I may treat those seeds with great care. Does that matter?
Who knows? But the point is that our answers to these "meaning" questions
affect our actions and therefore may have (my) meaning to others. If you
decide that the meaning of life is to subjugate all things in the name of
your lord, this may have great meaning to me ("the inquisition, what a
show...")

{Quote hidden}

Ahhh... And here we come to the crux of the matter. Is the idea that right
and wrong are RELATIVE to others who are affected by your actions so
disturbing to you that you must reject it and embrace the idea that there is
an ABSOLUTE right and wrong? How lucky for you that you are aware of this
ABSOLUTE right/wrong. For you are tapped into the ABSOLUTE meaning which is
IRRESPECTIVE (disrespectful?) of the RELATIVE (my) meaning of your actions
to others. You have no need to feel guilt for your actions (except as
proscribed by your ABSOLUTE reference) or to consider the consequence to
others of your actions (except as...) or to look for any cause and effect in
the universe (except as...). You are truly free to decide and feel justified
in what you do.

> Fortunately, I don't live in a universe predicated on such an
> assumption set :-).

Fortunately from your point of view.. From MY point of view... It scares the
crap out of me that other people think there is some ABSOLUTE meaning which
I can not (I've tried) tap into. I have to find my meaning in the results of
my actions and feedback from the others around me where the word "others"
also includes animals, rocks, etc...

Although, I must say that your actions, personally Russell, have just about
always been idea from my point of view. I'm very impressed with your
apparent absolute reference and only troubled with its source.

{Quote hidden}

Errr.. That sounded like you agree with me and simply MUST follow emotion
(3) in the face of reason (4) in order to face the world?

I haven't found 3 to be so bad. Give it a try... You might like it.

> I'd be interested in any logical defense of the
> "meaningfulness" of the various concepts mentioned in 3 in a
> universe that does not have an external creator.

As would I... Until that jerk of a list admin comes along and shuts down
this "almost, but not quite, entirely unlike" religious thread.

---
James Newton, massmind.org Knowledge Archiver
jamesspamKILLspammassmind.org 1-619-652-0593 fax:1-208-279-8767
All the engineering secrets worth knowing:
http://techref.massmind.org What do YOU know?



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2004\09\06@141248 by James Newton, Host

face picon face
Have you considered the possibility that we are all being controlled by
Aliens in a huge "wetware" computer designed to calculate the "question of
life, the universe and everything"?

I.e. who cares when it is not provable one way or the other.

42, 76, and best wishes.

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> {Original Message removed}

2004\09\06@142808 by James Newton, Host

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Some of that seems to be true, although there are examples of groups who are
very aggressive being wiped out by cooperation of others. E.g. Germany in
WWI and WWII. More often it seems (I'd love to hear more on the subject)
that the very aggressive become victims of their own success. E.g. they eat
themselves into a famine or run out of room and drowned in their own shit.

There was a stunning bit in Discover magazine some time ago about Easter
Island and some evidence that its inhabitants simply destroyed their own
ecosystem (isolated as they were by the sea) and so died out. Tree huggers
(like my wife and I) have been warning of this possibility for a long time.
We had better find a way out of the Petri dish (space, undersea, etc.. ) or
stop populating pretty quick if we don't want to follow their example.

This also reinforces, for me, the idea that meaning is relative to ALL the
others in our world. Including people, rocks, etc... If we base our life on
transport from gasoline derived from oil, and consume it at a rapid rate, we
may find that the oil decides to stop existing (commit suicide or rebel) and
leaves us alone in the world.

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> {Original Message removed}

2004\09\06@145714 by Support - KF4HAZ

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If upon pondering the meaning of Life the Universe and Everything you arrive
at the answer 42 then obviously you have not defined your question well
enough.

I will give you a clue the question as stated is as follows;
Life the Universe and Everything
this is a simple 3 part equation,
the first part is the implied multiplication of Life times the Universe
now once you solve that you simply AND the result with Everything.
This give us the resulting 42.

KF4HAZ - Lonnie

----- From: "James Newton, Host" <jamesnewton@

{Quote hidden}

> > {Original Message removed}

2004\09\06@154308 by Roland

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>> No decision / action / thought is better or worse than any
>> other. No action or thought has merit or value or meaning.
>> The meaning of the term meaning is meaningless :-).
<big snip>

a lot of the views here are well laid out in "Conversations with god" (book
one)
and purports that big G really does'nt care, as least how we define caring.
Basically, a creator, that was perfect in it's unity, had no point of
reference. So it split itself in millions of little parts, causing
seperation, that it may witness itself, and in the process all the bits
will eventually realise that they are part of the same, and will again
reach unity. (not too well explained by me)

Anyway, the bottom line is that the guy who stole your car will not be
'punished' by god. So if you catch him, deck him!

My viewpoint... drumroll...
The basic function on this planet is to refine awareness. The rest is all a
backdrop, arbitrary, and changes modality over time. Now we have cars, and
we used to use donkeys...

So, in refining awareness, the next immediate problem is maintaining that
awareness, since we are all beings that are going to die. We have this one
grace/opportunity (the earth being your mother/cocoon), to raise awareness
to the point of maintaining it past death.
Now the late JC was not too clear when he promised eternal life. He did not
stipulate that eternal life(conciousness) is yours IF! you reach a level a
level of awareness similar to his. For the rest of us, it's lights out, and
your 'past' life is as meaningful as the memory you have of it right now.


Regards
Roland Jollivet

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2004\09\06@160921 by Peter L. Peres

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On Tue, 7 Sep 2004, Jake Anderson wrote:

...
> something I find interesting to ponder is, is there something about the
> physical constants/makeup of our universe that may lead to a favouring of
> one kind of life over another. Personally it seems the smaller/more
> efficient and the more willing you are to kill/eat/do anything to survive
> the more your species will prosper.

The problem with those is that they often fall into extremism, killing
diversity among their own. Then the next time they have a large problem
that cannot be solved in their canonical ways they go the way of the
dinosaurs. So you have to have a balance between brains and teeth. It also
helps if you apply some moderation in a system with limited resources,
lest you run out of them before finding something new. There you have
three characteristics which present day mankind imho does *not* possess
(or at least visibly apply). It seems to be 'pick any two', or less ;-(

Peter
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2004\09\06@200146 by Russell McMahon

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> Have you considered the possibility that we are all being controlled by
> Aliens in a huge "wetware" computer designed to calculate the "question of
> life, the universe and everything"?

What is the Matrix? :-)
Essentially comes under my "infinite regress of aliens" possibility.

> i.e. who cares when it is not provable one way or the other.

You make my point so well :-)
IF the universe is self creating from, literally, nothing then indeed who
cares about anything. What meaning, value, relevance etc can there be about
anything whatsoever. There can be no value to anything we do, no merit in
our "good" deeds, no "wrong" that we can do. No reason for angst over our
failures (indeed, no "reason" or "failures").

> 42

Next birthday! :-)


           RM

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2004\09\06@224452 by James Newton, Host

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>
> > i.e. who cares when it is not provable one way or the other.
>
> You make my point so well :-)
> IF the universe is self creating from, literally, nothing
> then indeed who cares about anything. What meaning, value,
> relevance etc can there be about anything whatsoever. There
> can be no value to anything we do, no merit in our "good"
> deeds, no "wrong" that we can do. No reason for angst over
> our failures (indeed, no "reason" or "failures").

The only meaning is relative. Think Einstien. See my other, much longer
post.

> > 42
>
> Next birthday! :-)

"What a drag it is, getting old..." I'll be 41 next.

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2004\09\06@224648 by James Newton, Host

face picon face
>
> My viewpoint... drumroll...
> The basic function on this planet is to refine awareness. The
> rest is all a
> backdrop, arbitrary, and changes modality over time. Now we
> have cars, and
> we used to use donkeys...
>
> So, in refining awareness, the next immediate problem is
> maintaining that
> awareness, since we are all beings that are going to die. We
> have this one
> grace/opportunity (the earth being your mother/cocoon), to
> raise awareness
> to the point of maintaining it past death.

<SNIP>

This is the function of
http://www.massmind.org to maintain awareness past death. A small project.

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2004\09\06@233947 by Russell McMahon

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> > > 42
> >
> > Next birthday! :-)
>
> "What a drag it is, getting old..." I'll be 41 next.

Ah - but is your 41 the REAL 41, as mine is the real 42 ? :-)

   RM

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2004\09\07@073458 by D. Jay Newman

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> > "What a drag it is, getting old..." I'll be 41 next.
>
> Ah - but is your 41 the REAL 41, as mine is the real 42 ? :-)

The REAL 41?

I'm 46 (47 in January). Now, do I count from:
 1. The day of conception?
 2. The day my mother finally gave birth to me?
 3. The day I came out of the incubator? (I had to be cooked a bit
    more before they would let me come home.)
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2004\09\07@090524 by Russell McMahon

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Prescript / Summary:

More on:

Don't think that all this stuff is just "academic" posturing. The concepts
of meaningfulness, morality and much more arise solely from the existence of
a creator external to our universe. You are not obliged to believe that such
a creator exists. But you can not meaningfully find meaning if you dismiss
the concept of such a creator. This is not religion - this is just reality
:-). The truly "great" intellectual atheists proudly proclaim the
meaninglessness and valuelessness of the universe they inhabit. Most others
who deny a creator attempt to dwell within the value set and concepts that
can only exist if there is such a creator. (Such people are even more in
deNile than the average Egyptian :-) ).
<<Desire to pun outweighs nagging feeling that that joke may get me into
trouble. Hopefully any Egyptians on list will understand>>


So:

> > > > Even though we KNOW that man is differentiated from the animals,

> > > Emotion in the face of logic, eh Russell? <GRIN> poke, poke.

Bear in mind that 3. immediately below is the "If there is no creator
external to the universe" postulate. ie the view held by many people.
If you are going to wade through this then do note this postulate 3.- it
forms the basis for much discussion.

{Quote hidden}

things
> up, when to break, etc... A person with pebbles in his/her head needs no
> reason to think other than "ug, want" or "ug, can"

It's not clear to me what point you are making (sorry).
But, give postulate 3.,  the rock, the person with cranial pebbles, the
concert pianist and the nobel laureate are all precisely equivalent. They
are all simply existing without significant purpose, meaning, value or
usefulness. Except as may be arbitrarily defined by one or more of the
self-organising collections of matter for purposes that "please" them. No
person has any claim on being able to make a binding or meaningful statement
on such things. There IS NO value in any of it. This is necessary fact,
given the starting premise. (One of the few absolutes is that there are very
few absolutes in such a system :-) ).

> > No decision / action / thought is better or worse than any
> > other. No action or thought has merit or value or meaning.
> > The meaning of the term meaning is meaningless :-).

> So true! But that does depend on your definition of the word meaningless.
> Can we agree that actions, et all have consequences? That these
consequences
> affect others and other things.

Yes.

> MY definition of the word meaning comes from
> the meaninglessness of actions that do or DO NOT affect others. And
> conversely, those actions may have (my) "meaning" to others who are
affected
> by them. When I throw the rock, it has great meaning to the rock.

No. No mechanism.
Perhaps you could put that as - "when the man hits me it has great meaning
to me".
But a comet would not be moved by that argument. The fact that some matter
reacts in a consistent manner to a stimulus (eg I feel pain and aversion) is
on a par meaningfully with the "fact" that eg zinc dissolves in hydrochloric
acid or that water changes state under certain conditions.
If I created a computer program with suitable hardware and sensors to
observe and record my reaction to being hit, would that create
meaningfulness in my reaction. If I hit the computer and it registered the
equivalent of pain and aversion, would that bestow meaningfulness on the
computer's reaction?

> "When life looses it's value and is taken for naught..."

Sorry. No can understand where that fits in. Anyway, life cannot lose its
value - it has none in this system (which many people choose to try and live
in).

> > Questions such as "what is the meaning of life" or "whether
> > it is nobler in the mind to bear the slings and arrows of
> > outrageous fortune or, by opposing, end them?" are as
> > "meaningful" or meaningless as "what is the meaning of a
> > comet", "does a daisy love its seedlings?", "what is the
> > merit of hydrogen?" etc [[by all means provide better
> > examples of the point I am trying to make rather than picking
> > holes in these particular questions.]]
>
> All these things gain meaning when we consider the consequence to others
of
> their answers (correct or incorrect). E.g. when I decide that a daisy DOES
> love it's seedlings,

Ah - meaning as you define it, yes. ie means something to me. Agree. But so
what. Who are you? What are you (you piece of evolved or alien created self
organising matter youi ?) Under situation 3. the daisy (or you) CANNOT love
its seedlings in a meaningful manner.
It can react to its seedlings and I guess we can call that love. Make it a
dog and puppies to give it a bit more reality by our standards.

> if I feel the daisy

-> dog

> has meaning (to me, e.g. I don't
> want it to die) I may treat those seeds

-> puppies

> with great care. Does that matter?

No it doesn't. Not under postulate 3. It is irrelevant.

> Who knows?

Anybody can know this just by thinking it through logically.
It MAY be something which I arbitraily assign importance to. But it is as
important or unimportant in reality as the zinc dissolving or the water
changing state. ie of vital importance if I wish to say it is, and of no
importance at all if I wish to say so.

> But the point is that our answers to these "meaning" questions
> affect our actions and therefore may have (my) meaning to others. If you
> decide that the meaning of life is to subjugate all things in the name of
> your lord, this may have great meaning to me ("the inquisition, what a
> show...")

Indeed. But under postulate 3. its all utterly irrelevant. The fact that
some of the randomly generated matter has self organised, and that some of
that is self organised in such a way that various parts of it reacts in a
consistent manner as other parts do to similar stimulii is of no importance.
For importance has no meaning. If we discovered that certain field
interactions caused some sorts of matter to behave in an otherwise
unexpected manner, would that have value or importance in the sense we know
we are talking about here. And this does happen. eg does quantum
entanglement convey moral/emotional/??? meaning or value to suitably
entangled objects? The answer would be (in anything except a discussion like
this) "of course not". BUT we take other parts of the same matter pool, note
that it reacts in a consistent manner to certain stimulii, and call this
"important". It can't be, of course, under postulate 3. (he said yet again).
You may argue that you think and that electrons don't. But you can also
argue that electroncs quantum entangle and you (presumably) don't. In a
postulate 3. universe thinking and entangling are (necessarily) natural
phenomena. Neither is better / greater /more important than the other. if
you HAD to assign "importance" or specialness to either then so far as we
understand it you'd probably have to choose quantum entanglement. (I say -
who are you to disagree? :-) ). (When did Einstein ever call your brain
spooky?)

Re the inquisition, Stalin's purges, Mao's even greater purges, Hitler, Pol
Pot, Napoleon and a few zillion others: Yes. Of great relevance under
postulate 4. (universe where meaning has meaning). UTTERLY irrelevant under
postulate 3. The matter may self organise more enthusiastically and
consistently undet the stimulii, but so what. Who cares? The self organising
matter groups "care".  So what? Who cares? .... (Weren't we here a moment
ago? ;-) ). Infinite regress. It doesn't *matter*. [[And YOU want ME to try
postulate 3. ! :-) ]]
Belsen, Beslan, Borodino, Bien Dien Phu, Belfast, .... - ALL utterly
irrelevant and unimportant!. Because, all together now , "there IS no such
thing as ....".

This will by now have got very annoying and repetitive and be sounding
really stupid. It is. But only because most people *insist* that they can
find meaning and value in a postulate 3. universe. You can't. Can't can't
can't!!!! Holds breath and turns  blue. Rolls on floor and shouts. Does no
good. People turn and walk away and go back to ascribing value to arbitrary
chunks of self organising matter for no logial reason.

*Real men* who believe that they are in a postulate 3. universe understand.

Nietsche understood. He inspired Hitler. The Ubermenchen is his concept.
Many of the better quotes in our repertoire are his. eg "The enemy of my
enemy is my friend". He knew and tought that all who dwell in a postulate 3.
universe have no meaning or purpose. Even though he knew it was pointless
:-).

Hard line committed atheists generally understand. The less committed who
just want to get on with enjoying life tend to flee from the fact. Which is
what I noted when I introduced postulate 3. (creatorless universe) and 4.
(created universe).Which is entirely understandable.

{Quote hidden}

We do!

> Is the idea that right
> and wrong are RELATIVE to others who are affected by your actions so
> disturbing to you that you must reject it and embrace the idea that there
is
> an ABSOLUTE right and wrong?

No no no!
No no  no no no no no no no no no no no !
Pause for breath :-)

*This is vital*

We haven't reached postulate 4. yet
This MUST be discussed within postulate 3. (4. will have its day)(not in
this post largely).
GOD IS NOT INVOLVED IN THIS under postulate 3.
The statement that there is no meaning and no absoluteness is not made as a
counterpoint to a God related alternative. It needs to be settled in its own
right. The temptation is strong to leap out of talking about 3. when we get
near the crux.
In the above I didn't mention absolutes existing or God (except to note that
they and He were absent from this concept) or whatever.
The points MUST be considered in isolation from possible alternatives.

> How lucky for you that you are aware of this
> ABSOLUTE right/wrong. For you are tapped into the ABSOLUTE meaning which
is
> IRRESPECTIVE (disrespectful?) of the RELATIVE (my) meaning of your actions
> to others.

See above. Be all that as it may, or may not, it's not where we are at yet.
We are not allowed to start on that lesson until we finish the present
exercise :-)

>You have no need to feel guilt for your actions (except as
> proscribed by your ABSOLUTE reference) or to consider the consequence to
> others of your actions (except as...) or to look for any cause and effect
in
> the universe (except as...). You are truly free to decide and feel
justified
> in what you do.

Same comment as above.

> > Fortunately, I don't live in a universe predicated on such an
> > assumption set :-).

> Fortunately from your point of view.. From MY point of view... It scares
the
> crap out of me that other people think there is some ABSOLUTE meaning
which
> I can not (I've tried) tap into. I have to find my meaning in the results
of
> my actions and feedback from the others around me where the word "others"
> also includes animals, rocks, etc...

Don't bother. If you only want to live in a postulate 3. universe then you
can happily make up your own. Choose from what others use or make up your
own. It's all rubbish, or gold, depending on what you want it to be.

> Although, I must say that your actions, personally Russell, have just
about
> always been idea from my point of view. I'm very impressed with your
> apparent absolute reference and only troubled with its source.

1.    Thanks. (I can always point out some non-ideal occasions if you have
forgotten them :-) )
2.    Bzzzt. Not permissible to discuss in this exercise. Please complete
current exercise.... :-)

But, cheating: I'm not claiming that you, or anyone, can be argued into "the
kingdom of God" OR into any other viewpoint that accepts a universe-external
creator. That's not my point in starting this line or discussion AND would
indeed be contrary to the proscription of religion etc on list. My point is
to try to examine the logical foundation for the alternative (or the lack of
logic of the alternative :-) ). IF there are absolutes of truth and meaning
then (I assert that) they are not going to be found by a fully reasoned and
logical path. Certainly logic and reason will take you to the jumping off
point, but ultimately jumping off is required. Just because you finally find
you have to jump, it doesn't mean that it's not the most reasonable and
logicval thing to do :-). If this is what you mean by "emotion" then guilty
as charged. I have terminology that to me makes more sense. But not here.

{Quote hidden}

No. Not at all. Won't even start to start again.

> I haven't found 3 to be so bad. Give it a try... You might like it.

I don't think you KNOW that you live in 3.
I don't think that most 3. dwellers know they are there.
This is not meant to be rude or arrogant (but may be both :-( ).
Just an observation that i consider factual. As I noted above, the "great"
intellectual atheists understand and proudly proclaim the meaninglessness of
the 3. they inhabit. Most other 3. dwellers look to 4.

If you have sorrow, anguish, mental pain, guilt, responsibility for past
deeds etc you are claiming universe 4. baggage. The baggage is pretty
pointless unless you claim the advantages as well, and you can only pretent
that they exist if you are committed to 3. If you love, believe in morals,
right/wrong, "should", not fair, noble, honest, ... you are using universe
4. concepts. All you are allowed in universe 3. are "because it feels good",
"because I want to", "because it feels bad if I dont".

There is no ought/should/must etc in universe 3. EXCEPT where it is driven
by the above allowed drivers. Loving self, family, friends, country becomes
"because i wish to". It may make you feel good (like zinc dissolving but
different) or because you may feel bad if you don't (like water changing
phase) but there is no merit in doing so or demerit in not doing so.
Regradless of what anyone else, or yourself, may say.
Just ask Nietzche :-)

Existentialism reigns in universe 3.
Like it or not.

> > I'd be interested in any logical defense of the
> > "meaningfulness" of the various concepts mentioned in 3 in a
> > universe that does not have an external creator.

> As would I... Until that jerk of a list admin comes along and shuts down
> this "almost, but not quite, entirely unlike" religious thread.

He must be on holiday or something.


       Russell McMahon.


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2004\09\07@091619 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
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> > > "What a drag it is, getting old..." I'll be 41 next.

> > Ah - but is your 41 the REAL 41, as mine is the real 42 ? :-)

> The REAL 41?

> I'm 46 (47 in January). Now, do I count from:
>   1. The day of conception?
>   2. The day my mother finally gave birth to me?
>   3. The day I came out of the incubator? (I had to be cooked a bit
>      more before they would let me come home.)

What is the answer?

   42

What is the question?

   What do you get when you multiply
   six by nine?

You have to have read the books :-)



       RM
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2004\09\07@100435 by Jake Anderson

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why does there need to be a creator for me to have an idea of what is moral?
I need a creator if I believe that my morals are the one true morals.

I can find meaning because meaningfull is *generally* an emotional response,
love hate etc, yet at the same time know "logically" that its all pretty
small
fry in universal terms.

personal view
basically my reasoning is driven by my emotional responses/desires/needs
over
which i exert limited controll (the desire is largley out of our hands as it
is generally biological survival programming at work, your choice of action
on that desire is another matter) which is why I eat sleep and procreate.
hobbys and the like are mearly a way of triggering emotional responses with
the logical part of the brain mmm feedback loops.

this still allows morals too, logical brain accepts that others
can have their own equally valid ones from their point of view,
emotional brain dictates how much i allow them to differ before
they are incompatible and reasoning brain determines appropreate
response, be it do nothing or stomp muggers heads.

scary possibilites are allowed in my world, but resoning brain
does a good job of looking after the emotional part and the
emotional part does a good job of rewarding with those nice
chemicals.

just because you understand how the rollercoaster works dosent mean
you cant enjoy the ride.

for an alternate spin try
just because you theres no myth dosent mean
you cant enjoy the ride.


> {Original Message removed}

2004\09\07@103932 by D. Jay Newman

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> What is the answer?
>     42
>
> What is the question?
>
>     What do you get when you multiply
>     six by nine?
>
> You have to have read the books :-)

I've read them. Even the fifth in the ever-increasingly misnamed trilogy.  :)
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2004\09\07@104007 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
> Don't think that all this stuff is just "academic" posturing. The concepts
> of meaningfulness, morality and much more arise solely from the existence of
> a creator external to our universe. You are not obliged to believe that such
> a creator exists. But you can not meaningfully find meaning if you dismiss
> the concept of such a creator.

Define "meaning" :)

I think "meaning" is pretty much, if not completely, independent of
/anything/ external -- including a creator. "Meaning" as it is commonly
used seems to be something that we can find only within ourselves; how
could it depend on anything outside?

But then, everybody has to find his/her/its own "meaning", and so it seems
yours is within a "created world" view. Mine may be elsewhere... Who are
you (or anybody) to judge that my "meaning" is not "meaningful"? Couldn't
that be just a lack of understanding on your side?

Of course, as long as you are after some "absolute meaning", that's general
and not individual, you may need some "absolute being" to create it. But
who says "meaning" needs to be absolute?

Gerhard
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2004\09\07@104240 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
>> on their faces.  Killing is not the differentiator between man and
>> beast, torture for sheer pleasure is.  Only humans are capable of that,
>> currently...
>
> For the most part I agree, but have you ever seen a cat "playing" with
> a mouse?

Yes. They play with their mouses for quite a long time, after they wounded
them so that they can be reasonably sure that they can't escape anymore.
Pet cats quite frequently don't even eat the mouses they catch.

Gerhard
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2004\09\07@105648 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
> We have our excursions into Nazism, but so far there is nothing in the West
> to compare in scale or range with what they did.

IMO both the slave cultures in the Americas and the genocide of the Native
American cultures do compare in premeditation, scale, range, and suffering.
(Well, depending on what your scale is.) They do not compare in
persistence...

> ** What the piece DOES have to say is that not all Germans were Nazis, or
> Nazi sympathisers, and that there is sometimes only so much that people can
> do in the face of overwhelming evil.

You may take into account that from the very beginning to the very end it
was only 12 years. No internet yet, or anything in terms of uncontrolled
easy-accessed world-wide communication. It seems most Germans did get an
idea of what really was going on only towards the end, and the full truth
only after it was over.

Gerhard
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2004\09\07@111619 by Ed Browne

flavicon
face

>>> on their faces.  Killing is not the differentiator between man and
>>> beast, torture for sheer pleasure is.  Only humans are capable of that,
>>> currently...
>>
>> For the most part I agree, but have you ever seen a cat "playing" with
>> a mouse?
>
> Yes. They play with their mouses for quite a long time, after they wounded
> them so that they can be reasonably sure that they can't escape anymore.
> Pet cats quite frequently don't even eat the mouses they catch.

In the wild, I can imagine a parent wounding the prey, then taking it back
to the lair to teach the offspring how to hunt.  Is some innate brain
pleasure center required to stimulate the "learning" play?  If so, wouldn't
people have needed this also?  Since we no longer need the brain center for
learning to hunt, like the housecat, is it now used for other less "moral"
purposes?

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2004\09\07@130438 by hilip Stortz

picon face
in which case god is one sick bastard, in my view.  after all, an
omnipotent being should have known we'd mess up, in which case the
garden was just part of a sick game.

Falcon Wireless Tech Support - KF4HAZ wrote:
{Quote hidden}

-- Philip Stortz--"In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I
didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a
Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I
wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a
Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up."
-- Martin Niemöller, 1892-1984 (German Lutheran Pastor), on the Nazi
Holocaust, Congressional Record 14th October 1968 p31636.

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2004\09\07@131910 by hilip Stortz

picon face
actually, we need some serious negative population growth soon!  i'm not
saying we need a lot of murder, or war (which actually has very little
effect on population), but we definitely need to stop reproducing so
rapidly and hope that the number of people drop by our actions before
the finite universe (earth realistically) does it for us, in what will
no doubt be a highly unpleasant way (though doubtless at that point,
we'll help with war and murder and make it worse, we're good at that).

"James Newton, Host" wrote:
------
> There was a stunning bit in Discover magazine some time ago about Easter
> Island and some evidence that its inhabitants simply destroyed their own
> ecosystem (isolated as they were by the sea) and so died out. Tree huggers
> (like my wife and I) have been warning of this possibility for a long time.
> We had better find a way out of the Petri dish (space, undersea, etc.. ) or
> stop populating pretty quick if we don't want to follow their example.
-------

-- Philip Stortz--"In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I
didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a
Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I
wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a
Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up."
-- Martin Niemöller, 1892-1984 (German Lutheran Pastor), on the Nazi
Holocaust, Congressional Record 14th October 1968 p31636.

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2004\09\07@132433 by hilip Stortz

picon face
i'll have to read that book!  it's almost exactly how i'd prefer to see
things (i'm not arrogant enough to think i know the "right" answer).  in
my theory, when you "die", the consciousness part gets dumped back into
the "pool" from which a random collection will be pulled for the next
"consciousness" that comes into our existence.  i.e., there is no
conservation of "self" after death, there is temporary partial unity
while in the "pool".  perhaps the unity just got bored, and needed
"time", i.e. for events to occur and provide entertainment, and more
remotely "meaning", for the unity to know itself.

Roland wrote:
{Quote hidden}

----------

-- Philip Stortz--"In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I
didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a
Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I
wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a
Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up."
-- Martin Niemöller, 1892-1984 (German Lutheran Pastor), on the Nazi
Holocaust, Congressional Record 14th October 1968 p31636.

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2004\09\07@133912 by Dave VanHorn

flavicon
face
At 12:25 PM 9/7/2004, Philip Stortz wrote:

>i'll have to read that book!  it's almost exactly how i'd prefer to see
>things (i'm not arrogant enough to think i know the "right" answer).  in
>my theory, when you "die", the consciousness part gets dumped back into
>the "pool" from which a random collection will be pulled for the next
>"consciousness" that comes into our existence.  i.e., there is no
>conservation of "self" after death, there is temporary partial unity
>while in the "pool".  perhaps the unity just got bored, and needed
>"time", i.e. for events to occur and provide entertainment, and more
>remotely "meaning", for the unity to know itself.

So is there a finite amount of consciousness?
Does this apply to other species as well, and other planets?
Other universes?

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2004\09\07@134639 by Support - KF4HAZ

flavicon
face
I would postulate that he did know having free will could cause us to fall,
but he already had a plan for if and when that happened.
No game, simply a superior being wanting someone to love him of their own
choosing.
Not meaning any disrespect Philip, but have you ever read the torah, the
Pentateuch, or some other reference to the garden?

KF4HAZ - Lonnie

----- From: "Philip Stortz" <madscientist.at.large@
> in which case god is one sick bastard, in my view.  after all, an
> omnipotent being should have known we'd mess up, in which case the
> garden was just part of a sick game.
>
> Falcon Wireless Tech Support - KF4HAZ wrote:
> >
> >  <snip of much other good posting>
> > > I think world 3 is the "real world" (though I do rather like the idea
of
> > an
> > > after life and a meaning but to my mind no creator worth his salt
would
> > give
> > > us our morals/general feelings of right and wrong then go and make a
> > > universe such as this)
> > </snip>
> > Have you considered the possibility that genesis is correct,
> > that this world was "perfect" prior to man's transgression?
> > This would mean that the second law of physics was not in effect prior
to
{Quote hidden}

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2004\09\07@140650 by Dave VanHorn

flavicon
face

>
>Does this apply to other species as well, and other planets?
>Other universes?

Interesting side thought.

A few thousand years ago, the idea of another continent was (apparently) unknown.
A few hundred years ago, the idea of another planet was unknown.
Somewhere inbetween, the idea of another solar system was unknown..
Same for Galaxies.
Most recently for Universes.

Any reason to think that the Universe is the highest order of place?

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2004\09\07@140941 by Robert Rolf

picon face
If a test tube full of amoebas divide in two every minute, and the
tube is full at 60 minutes, when was the tube HALF full?

The non intuitive answer is 59 minutes!

If the amoebae scientists find a way to to increase their living
space and resources 8 fold, how much longer can they live?

3 minutes!!

Is not our planet rapidly approaching the 59th minute??

Robert

Philip Stortz wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2004\09\07@150123 by hilip Stortz

picon face
i disagree whole heatedly.  one can find their own meaning, and purpose.
i believe there is obviously more to the universe than we have even
guessed, and i tend to believe in a grander intelligence, but i don't
find that necessary to have meaning, morality, or purpose in life.  i
think we all decide our purpose, independent of any possible "god",
after all, you basically have to, since you don't get to talk to "god",
and since there is no reliable reference as to his wishes (even the
christian bible has been re-written many times and exist in many
versions, what "god" wants seems to change over time based on those
documents, assuming they have any legitimacy at all, and since they were
all written by men, as their interpretation after christ was no longer
amongst us, they can only be the truth as those men saw it).  
i find great meaning in life.  to help others, to feed my intellect, to
refrain from those behaviors which harm others, to find joy and beauty
in nature and in others, and to generally make this a better place.  i
do not need a god figure to believe that i should make the world better.
i find meaning in tolerating and listening to other views, opposing
mine or agreeing with mine.  i don't need a god to have a morality, we
all define our own morality and it is drastically different for some
than for others, even amongst those who derive it from sacred writings. those who make a big deal out of being atheists do not necessarily
reflect the views and beliefs of other atheist or even of the majority,
they are often people trying to make a name for themselves or get
publicity, many preachers who try to get popularity certainly have
radically different concepts of morality than the majority of the "same"
faith, how many christians agree with jerry falwell?  
when you say "this is reality", it may be your' reality, but it is not
mine.  reality is an artificial construct to some point, being based on
our limited ability to sense and comprehend, and to model "reality" in
our own minds.  given that we are blind, deaf, and dumb, even with
sophisticated equipment to see IR, magnetic fields, etc. our "reality"
must be inherently flawed and a simplification at best.  there are many
phenomenon which we simply can't yet "sense", and even though we can
sometimes see beyond our basic senses, we do not do so most of the time,
therefore we lack most of the "data" presented even by the parts of the
universe near us that we have "seen" and "felt", how could we possibly
be aware of "the" reality even if there is a superior being?  and how
could we be aware of that beings views?  if there is a "god", we can not
begin to comprehend or understand that being, and any attempt on our
part to live and act as "god" wishes can only be a crude approximation
at best, we simply can not comprehend the thoughts of such a being, or
their desires.

the big bang doesn't mean from nothing so something, we just don't know
what there was before, or even at the big bang (though we've theorized
what was a tiny fraction of a second later).  besides which, "M" theory
is a newer theory, and explains where the stuff in our universe came
from before the big bang, in addition to suggesting there are other
universes and even "stuff" that isn't part of any universe at present. this developed out of the "flaws" in string theory, or rather the
discovery that string theory suggest several different formulas for
"everything", and there are some other theoretical supports for "M"
theory now that it's being taken seriously (for instance, gravity is an
extremely weak force, for some reason, one reason may be that it "leaks"
out of our universe).  of course the possibility of "M" theory being
correct suggest possibilities for a number of odd phenomenon.

you are of course free to believe what you wish, and that's a good
thing.  isn't there a passage in the bible that says "man has no
supremacy over nature"?  if so, and if you subscribe to that book, then
man can not be fundamentally different than animals and still be
consistent with that work, or we would have supremacy over the animals,
which are part of nature.  (i haven't read the bible, but i have been
exposed to some of it, and i have a great memory).

and yet, i consider myself a religious being, it's simply not any
organized or widely recognized religion, nor one that's standardized in
any way.  i feel it is wrong to harm others, and good to help them, and
i feel i must act accordingly or i have done something bad.

Russell McMahon wrote:
{Quote hidden}

-------

-- Philip Stortz--"In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I
didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a
Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I
wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a
Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up."
-- Martin Niemöller, 1892-1984 (German Lutheran Pastor), on the Nazi
Holocaust, Congressional Record 14th October 1968 p31636.

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2004\09\07@150139 by Support - KF4HAZ

flavicon
face
The average population of all the planets is Zero.
Since there are an infinite number of planets,
and only a finite number of them are populated,
Any number divided by infinity is zero.

KF4HAZ - Lonnie

----- From: "Dave VanHorn" <dvanhorn@...


> >Does this apply to other species as well, and other planets?
> >Other universes?
>
> Interesting side thought.
>
> A few thousand years ago, the idea of another continent was (apparently)
unknown.
> A few hundred years ago, the idea of another planet was unknown.
> Somewhere inbetween, the idea of another solar system was unknown..
> Same for Galaxies.
> Most recently for Universes.
>
> Any reason to think that the Universe is the highest order of place?

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2004\09\07@151731 by Dave VanHorn

flavicon
face
At 02:03 PM 9/7/2004, Falcon Wireless Tech Support - KF4HAZ wrote:

>The average population of all the planets is Zero.
>Since there are an infinite number of planets,
>and only a finite number of them are populated,
>Any number divided by infinity is zero.

Nope, There can't be an infinite number of planets.
The system would have infinite mass.

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2004\09\07@152237 by Dave VanHorn

flavicon
face

>
>and yet, i consider myself a religious being, it's simply not any
>organized or widely recognized religion, nor one that's standardized in
>any way.  i feel it is wrong to harm others, and good to help them, and
>i feel i must act accordingly or i have done something bad.

Exactly!

I take some heat locally, because I refuse to attend church services and pretend to beliefs that I don't really hold. To me, this is fraud of the worst kind.

I don't need a great guy in the sky to watch over me all the time, and make me do the right thing.

I do see huge potential for abusive social control (frequently realized) in organized religion.  I'm more of a cat-person in that regard. It's hard to herd cats.

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2004\09\07@154656 by Support - KF4HAZ

flavicon
face
So you are saying the universe is finite?
What exists beyond it's boundaries?

Appears you have not read the book ;-)

KF4HAZ - Lonnie

----- From: "Dave VanHorn" <dvanhorn@

> At 02:03 PM 9/7/2004, Falcon Wireless Tech Support - KF4HAZ wrote:
>
> >The average population of all the planets is Zero.
> >Since there are an infinite number of planets,
> >and only a finite number of them are populated,
> >Any number divided by infinity is zero.
>
> Nope, There can't be an infinite number of planets.
> The system would have infinite mass.

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2004\09\07@155500 by hilip Stortz

picon face
on the contrary.  i think we know about hunting from seeing it, in real
life or tv/movies.  however, to learn how to be good at it, definitely
requires a lot more learning than just knowing the basic idea.  indeed,
i'd say it takes practice to become "good" at it.  humans have to learn
almost everything beyond breathing, from one source or another.  i don't
think most 3 year olds know anything about hunting, i don't think most
people would be that good at it.  there is skill in nearly any activity
and that skill usually requires a lot of learning and practice to
develop.  and i think we all do learn the basics of hunting, even if we
never use them and never plan on it.  serial killers seem to usually
have a fair idea, and they get "better" fast in most cases, making them
harder to catch if they didn't make a major mistake early on.  hunting
other species is no different, even with advantages like modern rifles
with good scopes and all the other toys sometimes used (some "hunters"
really take all the "sport" out of it, some of the "toys" are
ridiculous, like automatic game feeders!)

Ed Browne wrote:
------
> In the wild, I can imagine a parent wounding the prey, then taking it back
> to the lair to teach the offspring how to hunt.  Is some innate brain
> pleasure center required to stimulate the "learning" play?  If so, wouldn't
> people have needed this also?  Since we no longer need the brain center for
> learning to hunt, like the housecat, is it now used for other less "moral"
> purposes?
--------

-- Philip Stortz--"In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I
didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a
Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I
wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a
Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up."
-- Martin Niemöller, 1892-1984 (German Lutheran Pastor), on the Nazi
Holocaust, Congressional Record 14th October 1968 p31636.

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2004\09\07@161011 by Dave VanHorn

flavicon
face
At 02:48 PM 9/7/2004, Falcon Wireless Tech Support - KF4HAZ wrote:

>So you are saying the universe is finite?
>What exists beyond it's boundaries?

Finite, but not bounded, appears to be the most recent consensus.
No boundaries, therefore nothing beyond them.
No restriction on the number of universes though.
What a universe "exists in", if that is even a meaningful question, I don't know.


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2004\09\07@162020 by hilip Stortz

picon face
nope, and i certainly don't mean to imply that christianity is unique in
any of it's flaws.  i do know enough to realize the serious study of
religions is a time consuming endeavor.

Falcon Wireless Tech Support - KF4HAZ wrote:
------
> Not meaning any disrespect Philip, but have you ever read the torah, the
> Pentateuch, or some other reference to the garden?
--------

-- Philip Stortz--"In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I
didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a
Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I
wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a
Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up."
-- Martin Niemöller, 1892-1984 (German Lutheran Pastor), on the Nazi
Holocaust, Congressional Record 14th October 1968 p31636.

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2004\09\07@162615 by hilip Stortz

picon face
we are past 60 minutes, considerably, and things are starting to degrade
because of it.  pollution, food supplies, peace, civil behavior towards
our fellow man, etc.  there are already too many rats in the cage!

Robert Rolf wrote:
>
> If a test tube full of amoebas divide in two every minute, and the
> tube is full at 60 minutes, when was the tube HALF full?
>
> The non intuitive answer is 59 minutes!
> ---------

-- Philip Stortz--"In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I
didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a
Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I
wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a
Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up."
-- Martin Niemöller, 1892-1984 (German Lutheran Pastor), on the Nazi
Holocaust, Congressional Record 14th October 1968 p31636.

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2004\09\07@163309 by Dave VanHorn

flavicon
face
At 02:56 PM 9/7/2004, Philip Stortz wrote:

>on the contrary.  i think we know about hunting from seeing it, in real
>life or tv/movies.  however, to learn how to be good at it, definitely
>requires a lot more learning than just knowing the basic idea.  indeed,
>i'd say it takes practice to become "good" at it.  humans have to learn
>almost everything beyond breathing, from one source or another.

It seems that the human head has pretty much reached the limits on how large it can be at birth, and how well the mother can accommodate it.  Still, there is very little "rommed" behavior at birth, beyond the ability to find a nipple, and make adults do silly things. :)  It seems that the adaptive brain needs to be substantially larger than the non-adaptive brain.

Insects know how to fly, navigate in the air, find food, avoid predators, all from birth!

This seems to be parallel to the computing world, hardware built to a purpose is smaller, and faster, and more efficient, than general purpose computers that are "taught" to do the same thing.  Of course if the requirements change, the non-adaptive brain or hardware, is essentially hosed. The flash micro can be reloaded, and the adaptive brain, if it survives the mistakes, can learn the new "right" way.

I have often thought that when a baby is born, there "isn't anyone home".
(this gets me in trouble with religious fundamentalists right away)
I don't value babies any less, but I notice that one behaves almost exactly like another.

Somewhere down the road, preferences and differences in ability/aptitude surface, and the "person" starts to develop. I've been watching this process again, with my Granddaughter, and I find it just as amazing and fascinating, as the first time.



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2004\09\07@163412 by hilip Stortz

picon face
not actually true, mathematically.  infinity does not mean "unlimited",
it means a number "beyond comprehension or expression", there is such a
thing as one infinity being larger than another, in this case, the
dividend is a smaller infinity, unless the number of inhabited planets
is incomprehensibly small, which of course has not yet been determined. for many people, 1 million is infinity, 1 billion is a larger infinity. how many orders of magnitude can you comprehend, or comprehend at least
well enough to do operations on that produce real numbers as results?

Falcon Wireless Tech Support - KF4HAZ wrote:
>
> The average population of all the planets is Zero.
> Since there are an infinite number of planets,
> and only a finite number of them are populated,
> Any number divided by infinity is zero.
>
> KF4HAZ - Lonnie
-------

-- Philip Stortz--"In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I
didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a
Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I
wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a
Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up."
-- Martin Niemöller, 1892-1984 (German Lutheran Pastor), on the Nazi
Holocaust, Congressional Record 14th October 1968 p31636.

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2004\09\07@163416 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> So you are saying the universe is finite?
> What exists beyond it's boundaries?

Finiteness does not imply boundaries.

>Since there are an infinite number of planets,
>and only a finite number of them are populated,
>Any number divided by infinity is zero.

If there are an infinite number of planets, a certain non-zero fraction
will be populated. A non-zero fraction of Aleph-0 is still Aleph-0 :)

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


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2004\09\07@164645 by hilip Stortz

picon face
or, what really, really offends me, is people praying for the outcome of
sporting events!  geez, like the other side isn't doing the same thing
and besides, what would be the point if there was "divine" intervention
in sporting events?  not to mention the way it trivializes everything
else people should care enough about to pray for.  i mean, if there is a
superior being in charge of everything, why are you wasting their time
with trivial matters?

i'm a cat person as well, you can train them, but they will always test
you occasionally.

any organization based on blind faith and not asking questions gives
someone unlimited power, and i've yet to meet a person who wouldn't be
corrupted by that kind of power.  not to mention one that doesn't
respect it's members ability to handle "the truth", (galileo (SP?, i'm
sure i have that wrong..) wasn't in trouble with the church for saying
the earth orbited the sun, he was in trouble for saying it in public,
the churches own astronomers had already told the church that it worked
that way, but the church was afraid it might shake people's faith... the
usual reason for executing someone, i.e. they are a threat the
established order of things).

Dave VanHorn wrote:
> -----
>
> Exactly!
>
> I take some heat locally, because I refuse to attend church services and pretend to beliefs that I don't really hold. To me, this is fraud of the worst kind.
>
> I don't need a great guy in the sky to watch over me all the time, and make me do the right thing.
>
> I do see huge potential for abusive social control (frequently realized) in organized religion.  I'm more of a cat-person in that regard. It's hard to herd cats.
------------

-- Philip Stortz--"In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I
didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a
Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I
wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a
Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up."
-- Martin Niemöller, 1892-1984 (German Lutheran Pastor), on the Nazi
Holocaust, Congressional Record 14th October 1968 p31636.


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2004\09\07@170329 by Support - KF4HAZ

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Quite true, the same can be said of our techno endeavors.
I find it a bit surprising that you have not studied that area as well,
you seem to be quite knowledgeable in so many other areas.

KF4HAZ - Lonnie

----- From: "Philip Stortz" <madscientist.at.large@

{Quote hidden}

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2004\09\07@170353 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> > What is the answer?
> >     42
> >
> > What is the question?
> >
> >     What do you get when you multiply
> >     six by nine?
> >
> > You have to have read the books :-)
>
> I've read them. Even the fifth in the ever-increasingly misnamed trilogy.
:)

So you understand "real 42" then ;-)


       RM

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2004\09\07@170355 by Russell McMahon

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> Since there are an infinite number of planets,

There are probably around 10^24 or so planets, give or take a few orders of
magnitude.
In this universe anyway ;-)


       RM

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2004\09\07@172118 by Russell McMahon

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> So you are saying the universe is finite?
> What exists beyond it's boundaries?

Standard answer is that NOTHING exists beyond its boundaries.
(It doesn't even really have boundaries as we usually mean the term).

Under big-bang concept space-time itself is created and expands. It doesn't
expand IN space. Space happens. Before the BB expands to a certain size
there is *utterly* nothing. Not space. Not vacuum. It is not "meaningful" to
discuss the nothing (AFAIK). It's as meaningful as meaning in a postulate 3.
universe ;-)



       RM

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2004\09\07@173353 by Support - KF4HAZ

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In that case my earlier post must be incorrect also.
42 cannot be correct for the following reason.
Life (to me) has an extremely high value
The Universe also holds an extremely high value (to everyone in it)
and the word "Everything" is essentially infinity.
Therefore
Life times the Universe results in infinity,
Infinity ANDed with Infinity is surely going to have bit positions that
correlate above 42 (%101010) and probably will not have bit positions that
do correlate in the lowest 6 bits.

;-) KF4HAZ - Lonnie

----- From: "Philip Stortz" <madscientist.at.large@

{Quote hidden}

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2004\09\07@175048 by Russell McMahon

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Here's some sage comment from someone else.
Happens to be my 23 year old son, but his views are shaped essentially
independently of my own. [He says that they are shaped by logic, a
metaphysics course at university and vast intelligence :-) ][Choose any 2
:-)]

Bertrand Russell was the other pesron I was trying to think of when I
mentione Nietzsche.

READ what Bertrand Russell Says (at end).
READ what Nietzsche says (elsewhere).
Recognise that these guys were atheists, brilliant, and logical thinkers.
It doesn't make them right about the exisence of God or not.
BUT as thinkers "happy" to live in the postulate 3. universe it provides
some incisive thinking on the real implications.

& READ what Iain says below - this is his summary of a Creator Free (TM)
universe .
__________________________________________________

IAIN SAYS:

We have two very simple points to the whole thing.

Meaning as defined from how I affect others?

Bertrand Russell had something to say about that. *

Basically, you enjoy your life and you find meaning in it. You die. Other's
are affected by their life, and they find meaning in it. They die. The world
is moved by your life, they laugh, cry, hate, love... all moved and modified
by things you have done - meaningful! They die.

You die, they die, the world dies, our sun dies, the universe ultimately
dies. Everything ends in death, everthing has only a fleeting and ultimately
eternally meaningless existence. (*EVEN* those who define meaning based on
how it affects others, which is a very good and honourable "relational"
viewpoint IMO)

Meaning in general?

Nietzsche had something to say about that.

Imagine we look at a patch of space-dust & rocks, and at a planet. One is
given more meaning than the other. The smooth courses of the planets are
somehow more significant, in our eyes, than one that simply randomly
plummets into the sun. Nietzsche's main point is that this is wrong. All
laws, values, and meaning-giving descriptions are irrelevant and totally
manufactured by our fevered minds. For him, there is no actual values,
truths or laws (perhaps not including, CS Lewis might say, those laws which
simply equate to observational factual statements about reality i.e. The
Fact That Rocks Go Down a.k.a. the 'Law' of Gravity).

Summary:

Those things which mean anything only mean what they mean because we have
decided to find meaning in them.
None of it matters anyway - everything will be swallowed up by the grave and
come to nothing (including those within our possibly vast network of those
whom we influence/affect).

Note: God isn't the question here, in fact Nietzsche and Bertrand would
probably both prefer people stopped talking about him and got on with facing
their predicament like real men.

~Iain


_______________________________________________

* Bertrand Russell said:

That man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they
were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves
and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms;
that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve
an individual life beyond the grave; that all the labors of the ages, all
the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human
genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system,
and that the whole temple of man's achievement must inevitably be buried
beneath the debris of a universe in ruins -- all these things, if not quite
beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain that no philosophy which rejects
them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on
the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul's salvation
henceforth be safely built.

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2004\09\07@180636 by Russell McMahon

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flavicon
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> any organization based on blind faith and not asking questions gives
> someone unlimited power, and i've yet to meet a person who wouldn't be
> corrupted by that kind of power.  

I'll come and stay with you for a while on my next trip :-)


       RM

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2004\09\07@182039 by Russell McMahon
2004\09\07@183045 by James Newton, Host

face picon face
When people start to bitch (OFFLIST please?) I will stop replying to these,
but so far I think it has been interesting and perhaps informative.

Russell said:
{Quote hidden}

Methinks you are avoiding the point.

{Quote hidden}

There are NO ABSOLUTES: Period! (sorry, I couldn't resist) But really, why
does any meaning have to be absolute? Why can't it mean one thing to me and
another to you? And yet another to a rock?

{Quote hidden}

How do you know? Have you ever talked to one? Have you reached a deep
connection with your local rocks? You the Lorax of rocks?
http://www.geekteacher.net/lorax.html
I'm joking but also serious. Again, the rock (or comet) knows how to be a
rock. When you hit it, it knows how to react. The rock knows that sufficient
impact MEANS it should break. Your "superior" connection to the divine
source of absolute meaning is preventing you from considering the point of
view of the comet. You are a comet bigot. <GRIN> You feel safe in excluding
the meaning of your actions to the comet from consideration since they have
no "absolute" meaning.

> The fact
> that some matter reacts in a consistent manner to a stimulus
> (eg I feel pain and aversion) is on a par meaningfully with
> the "fact" that eg zinc dissolves in hydrochloric acid or
> that water changes state under certain conditions.

But where do you draw the line? It is ok to kill and eat plants and chickens
but what about cats and dogs? Or is it ok to eat Koko? Or is it ok to eat
me? You see an absolute line there. I don't. From the point of view of a
rock, it is perfectly acceptable for you to eat me. From your point of view
(if your last name were Donner and it were REALLY cold) it might be ok for
you to eat me. From my point of view, it is bloody well NOT ok for you to
eat me. (Was it "City Slickers" where they one guy tells his friends to eat
him if he dies?)

Don't the American Indians give thanks to their brother fish for giving up
its life to feed them? There is a recognition that from the point of view of
the fish, life had meaning and its loss is terrible but necessary. I worry
that this concept is missing from so many peoples lives (perhaps due to
their religion?) and is leading us to a disrespectful existence which will
end when the rocks, trees, animals, etc... Have had enough of us.

On the other hand, the whole respect your environment thing didn't do real
well for the Indians now did it? Or maybe they are just waiting for the rest
of us to die out so they can resume the lifestyle that served them just fine
for how many thousands of years? It reminds me of "the Smokers" in the movie
"Waterworld"
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/asin/0783219857 Burning up the last of a
non-renewable resource.

> If I created a computer program with suitable hardware and
> sensors to observe and record my reaction to being hit, would
> that create meaningfulness in my reaction. If I hit the
> computer and it registered the equivalent of pain and
> aversion, would that bestow meaningfulness on the computer's reaction?

Yes. Why is that a problem? Meaning is relative and Kismet is happy.
http://www.ai.mit.edu/projects/humanoid-robotics-group/kismet/kismet.html

> > "When life looses it's value and is taken for naught..."
>
> Sorry. No can understand where that fits in. Anyway, life
> cannot lose its value - it has none in this system (which
> many people choose to try and live in).

http://www.taarna.org

<SNIP>

{Quote hidden}

Meaningful to who? Or whom? Or what?

{Quote hidden}

Yes it does, because it matters to the dog, the puppies, the daisies, the
seeds, and me.
No it doesn't, because it doesn't matter (probably) to the comet, the rock
the Governator and anyone else.
It must be... Anyone? Anyone? Relative to your point of view.

> > Who knows?
>
> Anybody can know this just by thinking it through logically.
> It MAY be something which I arbitraily assign importance to.
> But it is as important or unimportant in reality as the zinc
> dissolving or the water changing state. ie of vital
> importance if I wish to say it is, and of no importance at
> all if I wish to say so.

Yes, but only from your point of view.


{Quote hidden}

Irrelevant to who? To whom? To what? Irrelevant is again, relative.


> Re the inquisition, Stalin's purges, Mao's even greater
> purges, Hitler, Pol Pot, Napoleon and a few zillion others:
> Yes. Of great relevance under postulate 4. (universe where
> meaning has meaning). UTTERLY irrelevant under postulate 3.

Ahhhhemmm.... I think a few billion Jews / Russians / Chinese / etc... would
disagree on that point. It meant something to THEM. See, this is what scares
me. Unless I ascribe to YOUR definition of the universe (#4) and to your
definition of what is meaningful then you appear to think that what happens
to me is irrelevant.


<SNIP>

> This will by now have got very annoying and repetitive and be
> sounding really stupid. It is. But only because most people
> *insist* that they can find meaning and value in a postulate
> 3. universe. You can't. Can't can't can't!!!! Holds breath
> and turns  blue. Rolls on floor and shouts. Does no good.
> People turn and walk away and go back to ascribing value to
> arbitrary chunks of self organising matter for no logial reason.


<SNIP much going back and forth over the same point without resolution>

I don't understand why you can't accept that meaning can be (I think MUST
be) relative. Just like speed, time, voltage and a million other things.

---
James Newton, massmind.org Knowledge Archiver
TakeThisOuTjamesEraseMEspamspam_OUTmassmind.org 1-619-652-0593 fax:1-208-279-8767
All the engineering secrets worth knowing:
http://techref.massmind.org What do YOU know?



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2004\09\07@183803 by Ed Browne

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I don't see the contrarian viewpoint - in fact, I would argue that your
statements support my position or, at the least, are orthogonal to the
hypothesis.  My point isn't that we don't need to learn things, but rather
that there may be preexisting "connections" that promote learning behaviors.
Serial killers, for example, may be triggering one of these, if they exist,
that give pleasure in the hunt.  Most mammals require some programming after
birth - the higher the intelligence, the longer the programming process -
however, we do have preprogrammed brain sections (certainly sections of the
reptilian brain).

I'm proposing that animals might have a brain section programmed so that
they play with their game (like the house cat example) as a learning tool.
Likely people would have similar systems.  We ARE animals (perhaps
sophisticated ones (arguable ;-)).  Psychologists have proven that sadism
exists just below the surface in most people so my postulate is that
function and others may be carryovers from more savage times when it was
required for survival.

I'm raising my second family and my two year old has recently switched from
being completely trusting and oblivious to the possibility of any harm, to a
rather shy and timid child who's very much aware that she can be hurt.  The
switch was immediate and complete, not gradual at all, suggesting a survival
program kicked in.  I'm sure I remember similar instances when raising my
boys.  If these programs exist, then modern society may be running amuck
because of how the skill sets that you discuss below are being taught.  One
example might be the father that teaches his kid to hunt using the game
feeder that you talk about.  The kid is learning to trap, not hunt, and you
might imagine that the skill set that he takes into life might be different
from the one that learns to stalk and track.

Philip Stortz wrote:
---------------------------------------
on the contrary.  i think we know about hunting from seeing it, in real
life or tv/movies.  however, to learn how to be good at it, definitely
requires a lot more learning than just knowing the basic idea.  indeed,
i'd say it takes practice to become "good" at it.  humans have to learn
almost everything beyond breathing, from one source or another.  i don't
think most 3 year olds know anything about hunting, i don't think most
people would be that good at it.  there is skill in nearly any activity
and that skill usually requires a lot of learning and practice to
develop.  and i think we all do learn the basics of hunting, even if we
never use them and never plan on it.  serial killers seem to usually
have a fair idea, and they get "better" fast in most cases, making them
harder to catch if they didn't make a major mistake early on.  hunting
other species is no different, even with advantages like modern rifles
with good scopes and all the other toys sometimes used (some "hunters"
really take all the "sport" out of it, some of the "toys" are
ridiculous, like automatic game feeders!)

Ed Browne wrote:
------
> In the wild, I can imagine a parent wounding the prey, then taking it back
> to the lair to teach the offspring how to hunt.  Is some innate brain
> pleasure center required to stimulate the "learning" play?  If so,
wouldn't
> people have needed this also?  Since we no longer need the brain center
for
> learning to hunt, like the housecat, is it now used for other less "moral"
> purposes?
--------

--
Philip Stortz--"In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I
didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a
Jew.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I
wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a
Protestant.
Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up."
-- Martin Niemöller, 1892-1984 (German Lutheran Pastor), on the Nazi
Holocaust, Congressional Record 14th October 1968 p31636.

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2004\09\07@185248 by Dave VanHorn

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face

>
>I'm raising my second family and my two year old has recently switched from
>being completely trusting and oblivious to the possibility of any harm, to a
>rather shy and timid child who's very much aware that she can be hurt.  The
>switch was immediate and complete, not gradual at all, suggesting a survival
>program kicked in.

Very interesting. My granddaughter, at 26 mos, has had the same thing happen recently.
She used to enjoy sitting on grandpa's shoulders, or even my head, with no fear at all.
Now, she gets nervous, although she's never taken a tumble from there, or during any of our controlled roughousing.

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2004\09\07@185839 by Support - KF4HAZ

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face
11+4A=5B
I have read ALL the books including each re-write, was actually illustrating
an entirely different point (perhaps not so well)

KF4HAZ - Lonnie

----- From: "Russell McMahon" <apptech@

{Quote hidden}

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2004\09\07@190303 by Support - KF4HAZ

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<snip>
> There are NO ABSOLUTES: Period!
</snip>

Are you ABSOLUTELY certain of that?
KF4HAZ - Lonnie
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2004\09\07@200644 by hilip Stortz
2004\09\07@201038 by hilip Stortz
2004\09\09@125707 by Support - KF4HAZ

flavicon
face
Back in '81 I had to work on a computer program that used a 4 dimensional
matrix.
Talk about something that was hard to wrap your brain around!
Never did figure a way to plot it out on paper to document it.
You could only begin to get a partial grasp by reading the lines of code,
and even then it would give you a headache trying to visualize it.
X,Y can be hand drawn without much thought.
X,Y,Z is easy enough to picture, and even create a graphical image of,
but W,X,Y,Z is a mind bender.
KF4HAZ - Lonnie

----- From: "Russell McMahon" <apptech@
<snip>
> Consider a 1 dimensional universe. Objects in it are points or perhaps
lines
{Quote hidden}

drifting
> in time.) What the nature of this infinitely thin 3D collision would do I
> don't know. If "at an angle" to each other they collide across an
infinitely
> thin area as they slide through each other. This seems inobvious (to me)
but
> is the logical extension of the 1D and 2D cases.
>
>
>         Russell McMahon

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2004\09\09@135928 by Mike Hord

picon face
I usually picture W,X,Y,Z as a warehouse of properly labelled boxes,
each box being a 3
dimensional matrix in itself.  Usually best if adjacent "boxes" have
adjacent indices, but
whatever floats your boat.

This can be a helpful model for matrix comprehension, with added
dimensions being added
warehouses, industrial complexes, cities, etc., but it falls
dramatically short of visualization
for things like multivariant calculus.  My calc prof once had us go
through a mental exercise
considering the volume versus surface area of N-dimensional cubes.  Blech.

Mike H.

On Thu, 9 Sep 2004 11:58:40 -0500, Falcon Wireless Tech Support -
KF4HAZ <RemoveMEtechsupportspamTakeThisOuTfalconwireless.net> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2004\09\09@140228 by Lawrence Lile

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face
> Consider a 1 dimensional universe. Objects in it are points or perhaps
> lines
> which slide along a line. The line IS the universe. It has length. It may
> perhaps be wrapped in a circle or other shape to make it closed. The
> inhabitants (who cant get past each other :-) 0 cannot sense the extra
> dimensions involved in wrapping.

> Extend to 3 dimensions. They can collide at all places simultaneously
> (easiest to imagine two universes like ours which are identical but
> drifting
> in time.) What the nature of this infinitely thin 3D collision would do I
> don't know. If "at an angle" to each other they collide across an
> infinitely
> thin area as they slide through each other. This seems inobvious (to me)
> but
> is the logical extension of the 1D and 2D cases.

Note that in the 1D and 2D cases, objects can't slide past each other.  I would argue that in our universe, if it collides with another, objects can no longer slide past each other either, in a higher dimensional sense.  In other words, they go BANG against one another. Imagine two stars that were suddenly in the same place at the same time...... I would not like to be hanging around just then...


There are theories that universes DO collide, and these events are very energetic, possibly what leads to a Big Bang in the first place.  Hopefully they are also very rare. As far as we know, the Big Bang only happened once in all of history, if it happened at all (hey it is just a theory, well supported by some evidence)  










-- Lawrence Lile, P.E.
Electrical and Electronic Solutions
Project Solutions Companies
http://www.projsolco.com

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2004\09\09@160851 by Andrew Warren

flavicon
face
More and more off the original topic... Is anyopne even reading this
dumb thread anymore?


Falcon Wireless Tech Support - KF4HAZ <piclistEraseMEspam.....mit.edu> wrote:

> Back in '81 I had to work on a computer program that used a 4
> dimensional matrix. Talk about something that was hard to wrap your
> brain around!
> ....
> X,Y,Z is easy enough to picture, and even create a graphical image
> of, but W,X,Y,Z is a mind bender.

   It's hard to visualize a single 4-dimensional object, but not
   too hard to come up with a representation that's sufficient for
   "wrapping your brain around" all the dimensions...

   Does it help to imagine a 10x10x10 (X, Y, Z) cube with each of
   the 1000 cells divided into 10 sub-cells (W)?

   Or maybe 10 (w) individual 10x10x10 (X, Y, Z) cubes?

   Or a 10x10 (X,Y) array of 10x10 (W,Z) sub-arrays?

   -Andy

=== Andrew Warren -- EraseMEaiwspamcypress.com
=== Principal Design Engineer
=== Cypress Semiconductor Corporation

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2004\09\09@163555 by Bob Blick

face picon face
Andrew Warren writes:

> More and more off the original topic... Is anyopne even reading this
> dumb thread anymore?

Only reason I read this was because you were the poster :)

-Bob


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2004\09\10@082005 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
I liked Gerhard's recent post on the above thread.
However, as the thread has long ago got off the Russian Forces subject
(which was just meant to be an advisory post by me immediately after the
disaster) and has now been re-rehijacked onto something else again, I have
posted my response under:

   [OT:] The meaning of life, the universe and everything.

If anyone IS still reading this dumb thread still :-) they can look there.



       Russell McMahon

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2004\09\10@095103 by Jake Anderson

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face
must say i disagree with that as a topic tag
anybody worth knowing knows the answer is 42

hmmm i spose it may have some uses now that you mention it ;->

> {Original Message removed}

2004\09\11@041139 by Peter L. Peres

picon face

On Thu, 9 Sep 2004, Falcon Wireless Tech Support - KF4HAZ wrote:

> Back in '81 I had to work on a computer program that used a 4 dimensional
> matrix.
> Talk about something that was hard to wrap your brain around!
> Never did figure a way to plot it out on paper to document it.
> You could only begin to get a partial grasp by reading the lines of code,
> and even then it would give you a headache trying to visualize it.
> X,Y can be hand drawn without much thought.
> X,Y,Z is easy enough to picture, and even create a graphical image of,
> but W,X,Y,Z is a mind bender.
> KF4HAZ - Lonnie

And to avoid that you can use the simplest kind of universe, a
one-dimensional one. Russell did that. Two one-dimensional universes
(think each is a thin thread) can intersect at zero, one, or several
points, or can run together for a while and separate and then combine
again. Think two pieces of thread partially entangled. If the
intersections are points then probably nothing interesting would happen,
on account of the points being infinitely small on the scale of the people
in the universes. Interesting things may happen if they intersect such
that they run parallel or at a very small distance to each other at least
for some length, even if they do not intersect, such that tunneling or
whatever can happen between them. Expanding this to several dimensions is
easier I think.

Peter
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2004\09\11@041223 by Peter L. Peres

picon face

On Thu, 9 Sep 2004, Lawrence Lile wrote:

> Note that in the 1D and 2D cases, objects can't slide past each other.
> I would argue that in our universe, if it collides with another, objects
> can no longer slide past each other either, in a higher dimensional
> sense.  In other words, they go BANG against one another. Imagine two
> stars that were suddenly in the same place at the same time...... I
> would not like to be hanging around just then...

The 1d universes need not function as a normal 'dimension' as in z,y,z.
This is a Gedankenexperiment. For example if you pick t for the 1d case
the fact that objects cannot be slid past each other no longer bothers you
because you know you can't do that in the real (perceived, measured) t
axis. In a 2d universe objects can 'slide' past another but they could
also be made of 'fog' and be able to slide though each other. This can
also be pictured for the 1d case.

Peter
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2004\09\11@063434 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> In a 2d universe objects can 'slide' past another but they could
> also be made of 'fog' and be able to slide though each other. This can
> also be pictured for the 1d case.

I think fog is "cheating".
Fog works in 3D by having parts of it which are quite solid actually
displace around the disturbing object while maintaining the illusion that
the body as a whole passes through the fog. The fog particles actually move
within the 3D system. For this to work in a 1D system is impossible as there
is no alternative available dimension to use. In 2D the objects can pass
each other by not having true simultaneously identical co-ordinates.

Another version in 3D of "passing through" occurs with eg neutrinos, and to
lesser extent other particles which genuinely pass through. BUT this is
achieved because the solid body is riddled with holes (in fact is mostly
hole). In a 2D world the equivalent is having dotted lines which can pass
through the spaces in each other.

In a 1D world there is no equivalent unless you allow them to exist and not
exist (flash on and off) but this is arguably adding a time dimension.
Arguably all system that involves movement relative add a time dimension
(either continuous or quantised into snapshots of what happens from stage to
stage) so a 1D is at least 2D etc.

In a 3D system we have "quantum tunnelling" which allows you to cheat.
mayhaps you can invoke similar in 1 1D system to allow passing.

       RM




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2004\09\12@001453 by hilip Stortz

picon face
you can fool enough of the people most of the time, especially with
media controlled my mega corporations that just love the president and
wouldn't tell you if he raped choir boys (not that he does, i suspect
he's too incompetent for that.. or did i mean another word..).  there is
always a massive propaganda campaign before, during, and often after any
war on both/all sides, there is little effort by the media to debate
whether any of this propaganda is meaningful or sufficient justification
for the pending war.  note that i believe the dumbing down of u.s.
education is deliberate by many, as it allows politicians to more easily
pull the wool over the sheep that can't think and can only respond with
emotion.  by the way, i'm not joking, i do think it's deliberate on the
parts of many officials past and present.

Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
>
> > only countries and politicians "win" wars, the people on both sides
> > always lose, and lose a lot.
>
> In that sense I always wondered how anybody in his sane mind could say that
> war is good for the economy. May be on a very short time scale, while the
> country is making debts and pumping that money into the economy, producing
---------
----

-- Philip Stortz--"In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I
didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a
Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I
wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a
Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up."
-- Martin Niemöller, 1892-1984 (German Lutheran Pastor), on the Nazi
Holocaust, Congressional Record 14th October 1968 p31636.



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2004\09\12@001457 by hilip Stortz

picon face
of course!  the problem is that all law enforcement really accomplishes
is to restrict the people selling to the most violent and despicable in
many cases, and drives the profit margin up high enough to provide a
major economic incentive.  not many people in wyoming would make meth
amphetamine if it weren't for the fact that spending $100 lets you make
$10,000 worth of meth, economics like that are very attractive even to
non users in an economy like that in wyoming.  
now if morphine/heroin was "legal" (with some controls very possibly,
like for alcohol) the purity could be regulated, people could call the
police if they were sold bad stuff, or if their supply had been stolen,
and the price and profitability would go way down so that the brutally
violent didn't have an incentive to drive the reasonable out of
business.  i doubt it would have much long term affect on usage any way,
the same people who get addicted to illegal drugs are usually the people
who are alcoholics, it's genetic and some just choose a different poison
for various reasons.  
i'd point out that properly produced and purified, most street drugs are
no more dangerous than alcohol, and most are safer to the body.  not
that you can't od on anything (even water it turns out, it's true!), but
at least the other harmful effects that are purely created by the legal
system would be alleviated.  i just think that money would be better
spent figuring out how to really cure addiction (it's really a sick joke
currently) and to create a society that more people could face without
the need to run away one way or another.  the early settlers joked about
how the some indians would carry huge rolls of tobacco on expeditions,
and how addicted they were to it, seems that opinion changed once some
farmers realized that addictive crops are great cash cows and bought
politicians to make it happen.

i'm not judging how other people should live or what they should do with
their bodies, i think that's their job not the states, and the state
should at least tell the truth rather than exaggerating things as they
constantly do, which trivializes the hazards, the audience, and winds up
making it harder for anyone to find out the truth and make smarter
decisions.  the war on drugs has done a fine job of increasing the
damage done, and i think that's what some want, but i don't think it's
ethical in the least.  
just for reference, i slowly lost my best friend to alcoholism, i'm very
familiar with the problem, but the root of the problem was his life.  i
knew him long enough and well enough to know, in his shoes i might have
fallen down the same hole.

Russell McMahon wrote:
{Quote hidden}

-- Philip Stortz--"In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I
didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a
Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I
wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a
Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up."
-- Martin Niemöller, 1892-1984 (German Lutheran Pastor), on the Nazi
Holocaust, Congressional Record 14th October 1968 p31636.



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2004\09\12@001500 by hilip Stortz

picon face
now see, that's just backwards!  it only serves to make them more
dependent on illicit money and to alienate them from more legitimate
farmers and towns.  it's like encouraging straight kids to dump their
drug using friends, so then the drug users only have fellow drug users
as friends and never have a reason to not use drugs socially, are
further alienated (which is often part of the problem in the first
place), and feel that even if the stop their old friends won't like them
any more.  it encourages hatred and alienation, neither of which are
helpful or good in general.

Russell McMahon wrote:
------
>
> That may be. But from what my friend who was there in person said, the
> growing patterns changed while they were in control, and have changed back
> again. She encouraged them to grow other crops in the last few years but the
> opium income is superior. Some private US aid providers will not give $$$ to
> villages that are growing opium.
---------

-- Philip Stortz--"In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I
didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a
Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I
wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a
Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up."
-- Martin Niemöller, 1892-1984 (German Lutheran Pastor), on the Nazi
Holocaust, Congressional Record 14th October 1968 p31636.


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2004\09\12@004254 by D. Jay Newman

flavicon
face
> for the pending war.  note that i believe the dumbing down of u.s.
> education is deliberate by many, as it allows politicians to more easily
> pull the wool over the sheep that can't think and can only respond with
> emotion.  by the way, i'm not joking, i do think it's deliberate on the
> parts of many officials past and present.

[Rant on]
Says somebody who can't be bothered with the shift key. Studies have
shown that English is *much* easier to read if the proper capitalization
is used.

Due to a poor educational system, you would only have an emotional
reaction and not understand this, of course.
[Rant off]
--
D. Jay Newman           ! DCX - it takes off and lands base down,
RemoveMEjayEraseMEspamEraseMEsprucegrove.com     !       as God and Robert Heinlein intended.
http://enerd.ws/robots/ !
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2004\09\12@011141 by Kevin

flavicon
face
I just stopped reading all posts from that poster.
If he can't hit the shift key, I can sure as h@ll
hit the delete key  :)

Kevin

On Sun, 12 Sep 2004, D. Jay Newman wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2004\09\12@012919 by Ken Pergola

flavicon
face

Sometimes things aren't always as they appear. There are members on this
PICList who have disabilities and I feel they have every right to be a part
of this community as others without disabilities. I'm just a member but I
would imagine the administrators would hold the same viewpoint, but I don't
want to speak for them. We (including myself) must all maintain compassion
and count our blessings.

I'd hate to see people sign off this list because they don't feel respected
or they don't feel they belong. There is just too much we all can learn from
each other. I feel we must all think about our legacies...

Best regards,

Ken Pergola


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2004\09\12@022418 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> of course!  the problem is that all law enforcement really accomplishes
> is to restrict the people selling to the most violent and despicable in
> many cases, and drives the profit margin up high enough to provide a
> major economic incentive.

I suspect that you may not have a firm grasp of the meaning of the term "law
enforcement" as it applied to life in Afghanistan under the Taleban  :-)


       RM


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2004\09\12@022418 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> ... the president  ... i suspect he's too incompetent for that.. or did i
mean another word.

As far as I can establish, based on information available on the web,
including other people's analyses, the IQ of George Bush is PROBABLY around
135 +/- 5. Higher than the IQ of the large majority of the people on this
list.  Not the smartest US President ever, but certainly not the 'dumbest'.
Arguably somewhat brighter than the most loved President of relatively
recent times (whoever that may be :-) ). This "fact" apparently makes some
furious.

Bear in mind that I am not a US citizen or resident and am not at all
partisan in the area of US politics. I know what I would like to see in a US
President but am relatively free from the blind fury that grips many USites
over who should or shouldn't be C-in-C.

The following is NOT a comment on or criticism of Philip's comments:
Quite a few websites aim to portray GB as relatively stupid. To do this they
provide false stats and "information" that purports to be factual. This may,
perhaps, be good clean fun US style when there is nothing serious at stake,
but when it is done to attempt to alter people's opinion of his competence
and capability it is dishonest and constitutes an attempt to manipulate
people politically for one's own ends. All may perhaps be fair in love and
war - but when this extends to politics, as it inevitably does, it says more
about the manipulators than those they seek to disparage. Odds are that the
IQ of many doing this is lower than that of GB. Those who do not like what
he does or stand for are welcome to point out the facts.



       Russell McMahon

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2004\09\12@042620 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
Sometime very very very soon this thread is going to be shut down by admin
because we can't all get on well enough together and we are getting unruly
and uncivilised. No one person - some are louder than others but the aggro
is definitely exponentiating.

The value or otherwise of the thread is irrelevant - it would be nice if we
could get things under control without James having to lend a helping hand
:-(



       Russell mcMahon

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2004\09\12@074914 by D. Jay Newman

flavicon
face
> Sometimes things aren't always as they appear. There are members on this
> PICList who have disabilities and I feel they have every right to be a part
> of this community as others without disabilities. I'm just a member but I
> would imagine the administrators would hold the same viewpoint, but I don't
> want to speak for them. We (including myself) must all maintain compassion
> and count our blessings.

I'm sorry if the poster is disabled; I am very familiar with this.

I have seen a disturbing trend among young people to ignore case when
they are communicate via a computer.

Since the poster was bemoaning the demise of the US educational theory
and bringing up conspiracy theories to explain it, I thought that I'd
propose an alternative to his suggestions.

> I'd hate to see people sign off this list because they don't feel respected
> or they don't feel they belong. There is just too much we all can learn from
> each other. I feel we must all think about our legacies...

I would hate this also. However, I am extremely tired of listening to
conspiracy theories by kids. If I misjudged the original poster, then
I appologize.
--
D. Jay Newman           ! DCX - it takes off and lands base down,
RemoveMEjayTakeThisOuTspamspamsprucegrove.com     !       as God and Robert Heinlein intended.
http://enerd.ws/robots/ !
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2004\09\12@144512 by hilip Stortz

picon face
no, due to being dyslexic and dysgraphic, though i've received extensive
therapy for both!  no, i can't be bothered to use the damn shift key,
because for me, it's actually harder than good grammar, which many
others don't seem capable of.  yeah, when it's actually important, it
takes me serious proof reading to get it right.  
by the way, i have a 160 IQ, many dyslexics are geniuses, many people
who can capitalize correctly are morons, or spastic whining twits, which
are you!  
just because you don't like my opinion doesn't mean you can call me
names, however, if you want to go toe to toe linguistically, just let me
know, i was once famous for my brutal rebuttals and cut downs, most
learned quickly to be rational rather than calling names.  
did you know i also can't write in cursive?  i was taught many times to
some extent but never retained it.  my free hand writing has random
capitalization, including in the middle of words and the same word will
be capitalized differently if used more than once!  yeah, my brain
doesn't work like yours, but in a lot of ways it works better! obviously you're someone who can't be bothered with considering people's
individual problems, or saying something factual rather than making up
studies about capitalization, which obviously have never happened. however, i can tell you that studies show ignorant ranters tend to die sooner.

now go and make fun of someone's studer or some other problem they have.
smeg off!

"D. Jay Newman" wrote:
----
parts of many officials past and present.
>
> [Rant on]
> Says somebody who can't be bothered with the shift key. Studies have
> shown that English is *much* easier to read if the proper capitalization
> is used.
-----

-- Philip Stortz--"In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I
didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a
Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I
wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a
Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up."
-- Martin Niemöller, 1892-1984 (German Lutheran Pastor), on the Nazi
Holocaust, Congressional Record 14th October 1968 p31636.

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2004\09\12@145545 by hilip Stortz

picon face
yep, and you can miss the thoughts of a genius who often has creative
solutions.  but hey, if it's that hard for you to read...  see, it is
always hard for me to read.  i read dense technical tomes faster than
most with great comprehension, but i don't read email or fiction much
faster than those dense tomes.  yet i bother to read, even those with
poor grammar or logic.  of course all are free to delete.

Kevin wrote:
>
> I just stopped reading all posts from that poster.
> If he can't hit the shift key, I can sure as h@ll
> hit the delete key  :)
------
-- Philip Stortz--"In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I
didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a
Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I
wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a
Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up."
-- Martin Niemöller, 1892-1984 (German Lutheran Pastor), on the Nazi
Holocaust, Congressional Record 14th October 1968 p31636.

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2004\09\12@145836 by hilip Stortz

picon face
oh, i do have a firm grasp.  even there, many violated their laws, or
they would have run out of people to hang in the sporting arena the
world helped them pay for....  i was more referring to law enforcement
in some what more reasonable countries, where there isn't the death
penalty for nearly any crime and where there was at least some court
system that sometimes worked.

Russell McMahon wrote:
{Quote hidden}

-- Philip Stortz--"In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I
didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a
Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I
wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a
Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up."
-- Martin Niemöller, 1892-1984 (German Lutheran Pastor), on the Nazi
Holocaust, Congressional Record 14th October 1968 p31636.

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2004\09\12@150610 by hilip Stortz

picon face
that's some what surprising!  i guess it's further proof of some of the
flaws in iq test, or perhaps he cheated on that like he did on his
national guard duty.  in any case, it's possible to have a high iq but
be so grossly ignorant that you say and do stupid things, perhaps that
is the case here.  perhaps it's just his lack of exposure to the real
world and other views.  perhaps he's just arrogant.

i certainly don't appreciate anyone falsifying things to make their
point, it suggest that their point isn't valid or that they think we are
too stupid to understand the real reasons.  in any case, lying to make
ones point is reprehensible.

maybe bush is just pulling the wool over everyone's eyes doing his dumb
act while he is shrewdly and deliberately trying to dismantle the
constitution, a far more alarming possibility.

or perhaps like some he's just incapable of applying his intelligence
for some reason.  i've met people with a Ph.D. in physics who were
incredibly ignorant about large parts of physics and every thing else
and hence made embarrassingly foolish comments.  i suspect that may be
the case, a lack of a good understanding of history and the views of
others coupled with the arrogance to believe one is absolutely right all
the time and all who disagree are fools.  but i suspect rather that his
score was on one of the earlier iq test which were frequently inaccurate
with those of normal or better iq as they were originally designed to
detect low intelligence rather than measure high intelligence.

Russell McMahon wrote:
{Quote hidden}

-----

-- Philip Stortz--"In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I
didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a
Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I
wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a
Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up."
-- Martin Niemöller, 1892-1984 (German Lutheran Pastor), on the Nazi
Holocaust, Congressional Record 14th October 1968 p31636.

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2004\09\12@151740 by hilip Stortz

picon face
you did misjudge me, get the facts first!  always do research before
creating a theory, that's a basic rule.  i'm 41 by the way.  there are
conspiracies, that's the nature of things, it's in people's interest to
conspire.  there are also conspiracies of of intent without any explicit
communication being necessary.  
the drug companies don't have to talk to each other to decide that any
given migraine medicine should be $18-20 a dose, they just all have to
look at the same or similar market research data and all want to make
the maximum profit independent of what's reasonable in terms of profit
margin etc.  and these migraine meds are not new wonder drugs, they are
all very similar and based on a very old drug.  
drug companies whine about how much it cost to bring new drugs to the
market, and that sounds like a lot of money, until you realize how many
of those pills will be sold the first year, particularly if it's for
maintenance of a chronic condition like high blood pressure in which
case millions of people in the u.s. alone will be taking it every day,
producing sales of billions of pills so that the development cost are
actually insignificant even the first year a new drug is on the market. besides, it has been shown that most of the drug companies with the
highest profits actually tend to be those doing the least research.

there are conspiracies of all sorts.  to suggest that those with a
common agenda do not communicate with each other and produce a
collective strategy to achieve their goals is absurd.  many conspiracies
are open because they are not "sinister", many others are secret because
the public would scream if they new.  you think the players on a foot
ball team don't have a common plan?  well that's a conspiracy.  you
don't think some on the radical left and right have conspired to push
the political system around the way they want in secret?  you don't
think that the governments of nations have secret talks with each other
where they map out the limits of freedom and who gets to make a buck? what to you call echelon then?  and why is it many americans have no
idea what the nsa does or what those letters stand for?  people with a
common interest work together, and that is a conspiracy.  those on this
list conspire to further the use of electronics, it's done openly and
it's not "evil", but it's certainly a conspiracy.

"D. Jay Newman" wrote:
{Quote hidden}

------
-- Philip Stortz--"In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I
didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a
Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I
wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a
Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up."
-- Martin Niemöller, 1892-1984 (German Lutheran Pastor), on the Nazi
Holocaust, Congressional Record 14th October 1968 p31636.

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2004\09\12@152616 by Jinx

face picon face
Can this thread be taken out the back and shot please ?

It stopped being interesting a week ago

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2004\09\12@160109 by R. Burrage

flavicon
face
Philip,

The last time I was given an IQ test they estimated mine at something
over 165...in the middle of a nasty divorce...at which time I stopped
putting any credibility in them.  I still capitalize properly, do no
have dyslexia, use proper grammar when writing (but speak like any good
local redneck), type fairly well, read quite well, loved Ronald Regan,
appreciate George Bush (boff'em!), live a conservative lifestyle, and do
a fair job at most of the other issues you cite.  So, at least in my
opinion, your hypothesis below is incorrect.

Would you please stop your rants?  They have become boring.  Your
politics are your own.  You might just have fewer problems in general if
you would get your anger under control.

REB


Philip Stortz wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2004\09\12@160157 by Josh Koffman

face picon face
Well sadly Russell, you were right. This thread stops NOW. It is
degenerating into name calling and personal attacks. It ends here.
Direct complaints and flames to myself or the EraseMEpiclist-ownerspamspamspamBeGonemit.edu
address.

NO MORE POSTS.

Josh Koffman
PICList Admin #5
--
A common mistake that people make when trying to design something
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2004\09\12@161724 by Kevin

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Agreed, all in favor, stop posting. I will :)

Kevin

On Mon, 13 Sep 2004, Jinx wrote:

> Can this thread be taken out the back and shot please ?
>
> It stopped being interesting a week ago
>
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2004\09\12@232723 by hilip Stortz

picon face
and if people can't walk or see i don't let them into my store or my
house...  geez, tolerance and accommodation seems to be an ever fading
concept.  i have no problem with people who don't speak english well,
whether it's there first language or their second or more language.  be
adaptive.  i think most of us can understand southerners with heavy
accents, or scotsman or the irish, and even the english despite the fact
that they don't speak like we do.  learn to extract information from all
available sources, not just the ones that package it nicely and you'll
learn a lot more, and know a lot more people.

Kevin wrote:
>
> I just stopped reading all posts from that poster.
> If he can't hit the shift key, I can sure as h@ll
> hit the delete key  :)
--------

-- Philip Stortz--"In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I
didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a
Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I
wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a
Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up."
-- Martin Niemöller, 1892-1984 (German Lutheran Pastor), on the Nazi
Holocaust, Congressional Record 14th October 1968 p31636.

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2004\09\13@130958 by Peter L. Peres

picon face

On Sun, 12 Sep 2004, Kevin wrote:

> I just stopped reading all posts from that poster.
> If he can't hit the shift key, I can sure as h@ll
> hit the delete key  :)

Why don't you try to see the good side in things ? He's using punctuation
and paragraphs, no ?

Peter
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2004\09\13@131006 by Peter L. Peres

picon face

On Sat, 11 Sep 2004, Russell McMahon wrote:

>> In a 2d universe objects can 'slide' past another but they could
>> also be made of 'fog' and be able to slide though each other. This can
>> also be pictured for the 1d case.
>
> I think fog is "cheating".
> Fog works in 3D by having parts of it which are quite solid actually
> displace around the disturbing object while maintaining the illusion that
> the body as a whole passes through the fog. The fog particles actually move
> within the 3D system. For this to work in a 1D system is impossible as there
> is no alternative available dimension to use. In 2D the objects can pass
> each other by not having true simultaneously identical co-ordinates.

It works perfectly in 1d if the objects (their atoms) have defined
wave/particle duality. It just may take a long time for the objects to
pass each other and massive or rapid objects may obstruct the pipe ;-)

> Another version in 3D of "passing through" occurs with eg neutrinos, and to
> lesser extent other particles which genuinely pass through. BUT this is
> achieved because the solid body is riddled with holes (in fact is mostly
> hole). In a 2D world the equivalent is having dotted lines which can pass
> through the spaces in each other.
>
> In a 1D world there is no equivalent unless you allow them to exist and not
> exist (flash on and off) but this is arguably adding a time dimension.

Not really. At least I don't see it like this. If objects move then there
is a time dimension already, implicitly, even in a 1d space. And the flash
off flash on can be called particle/wave duality and it is quite real
afaik. There is no need to imagine it.

> In a 3D system we have "quantum tunnelling" which allows you to cheat.
> mayhaps you can invoke similar in 1 1D system to allow passing.

Yes, that's what I had in mind with 'fog'.

Peter
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2004\09\13@160622 by Support - KF4HAZ

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I never even noticed the lack of caps,
and my IQ is at least up there with yours,
I do tend to notice grammatical errors
(except my own, until after hitting send)
As for freehand, I seem to have trouble there too, nothing diagnosed,
and if I am not wearing my glasses, forget trying to read my writing.
As for the comments by DJN I have a real oddity for both he and you to
ponder.
Back in the days of CPM and Basic,
I used a variation of Basic that did not require spaces and I actually found
it easier to read code without spaces.
forX%=0to255:ifX%andM%=D%thenX%(X%)=Y%elseifX%andY%=M%thenX%(X%)=orD%elseX%(
X%)=0
next
To me the above code is quite easy to read and understand,
perhaps my brain is a bit more twisted that the rest of the worlds...

KF4HAZ - Lonnie

----- From: "Philip Stortz" <madscientist.at.large@

{Quote hidden}

sooner.
{Quote hidden}

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2004\09\13@165253 by D. Jay Newman

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>  I do tend to notice grammatical errors
>  (except my own, until after hitting send)

Likewise. I *hate* proofing my own stuff.

> As for freehand, I seem to have trouble there too, nothing diagnosed,
> and if I am not wearing my glasses, forget trying to read my writing.

Even if I'm wearing my glasses my handwriting is bad.

> As for the comments by DJN I have a real oddity for both he and you to
> ponder.
> Back in the days of CPM and Basic,
> I used a variation of Basic that did not require spaces and I actually found
> it easier to read code without spaces.
> forX%=0to255:ifX%andM%=D%thenX%(X%)=Y%elseifX%andY%=M%thenX%(X%)=orD%elseX%(
> X%)=0
> next

Ouch. Give me APL any day!  :)

> To me the above code is quite easy to read and understand,
>  perhaps my brain is a bit more twisted that the rest of the worlds...

Well, you *were* using BASIC. Wasn't it said
  "Those whom the gods would destroy, they first teach BASIC."?  :)

As for IQ, I find the traditional tests given to my generation as children
to be worthless indicators at best, and harmful at worst.
--
D. Jay Newman           ! DCX - it takes off and lands base down,
RemoveMEjayKILLspamspamsprucegrove.com     !       as God and Robert Heinlein intended.
http://enerd.ws/robots/ !
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2004\09\13@193836 by hilip Stortz

picon face
thank you!  i also spell check (the words i can spell check, i spell
very poorly though spell check is actually teaching me some habits die
hard).  i try to use good grammar and logic and good flow.  
i often cut and paste to rearrange an email.  i do spend some time on
many of them.  some things that are hard for others are easy for me,
some things that are easy for others are hard for me.  
other than capitalizing and a tendency towards run on sentences i think
i have excellent communication skills (other than the out of character
lashings i've been guilty of recently).  i really do try to contribute
positively and learn something.  i try and learn something every day and
from every one i meet.  i like to share, every one wins.  now if i could
only read faster...

"Peter L. Peres" wrote:
{Quote hidden}

-- Philip Stortz--"In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I
didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a
Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I
wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a
Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up."
-- Martin Niemöller, 1892-1984 (German Lutheran Pastor), on the Nazi
Holocaust, Congressional Record 14th October 1968 p31636.

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