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Discord Now Fully Linked With 420chan IRC

The means of travel influences perspectives

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- Sun, 11 Feb 2018 03:26:46 EST blmfRlfa No.208711
File: 1518337606245.jpg -(291606B / 284.77KB, 880x1443) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size. The means of travel influences perspectives
What do ya think? I think the kinds of transportation people use highly influences their perspectives of the world they live in and their relationship with it.

There's a certain malaise to skating through the city, an art to performing tricks. I'm not saying all skaters have the same perspective, that'd be ridiculous to say, there are other experiences that influenced whom that individual is and is becoming.

Drivers see a fast-moving world and only brief impressions of what's going on around them. The Situationists of pre-motorvehicle times surmised the concept of a "derive" as a "rapid passage through varried ambiences" and a kind of drift through their environment, perhaps with a destination in mind, but allowing their selves to be deviated or "drawn by the attractions of the terrain and the encounters they find there."

The Situationists believed their was a psychogeography to our environment, subtle and not-so-subtle influences through sensations (from without) and our feelings and thoughts (from within), and their interrelation. Unlike the idea of drifting, it seems like most drivers travel from point A to point B. They see people also driving in their hunks of metal and/or plastic asides them as obstacles, as annoyances, and yeah occasionally pleasant too. Nonetheless the overarching behaviors and feelings from their interactions within traffic are negative and may transfer over to the times they aren't driving.

I think the Situationists were wrong to say a derive is or has to be rapid. Walking and going on bicycle rides allow for alot more deviation from routine than a car does. (Albeit I'm forgetting the car adventures people can go on, its alot easier to get out of the city with a car than by any other means, and in rural areas you pretty much need a vehicle to get around.) Being a bicyclist as a part of traffic the bicyclist seems to take on a similar mindset as the driver. Though there's a big difference between a "joy-rider" and a "regular commuter".

A major difference between a car and a bicycle is that the driver of a car is surrounded by a ton of steel or whatever, with a motor powered by gas, and the bicyclist maybe wears a helmet and pedals everywhere. Even a seemingly coy person can be aggressive behind the wheel of a vehicle. I think a point of consternation between the avid driver and.bicyclist ra-ra-raing schism is the outspoken and sometimes reckless spirit of bicyclists on the road versus vehicles being potential death-bringers and that there's a lopsided infrastructure that favors vehicles. Perhaps the outspokenness of some bicyclists is to make up for their vulnerability. In a way the bicyclists behavior is a softer variant of how motorcycle gangs sometimes have small ball-bearings hanging from the sides of their handlebars -- to smash a drivers window. Around motorcycles there's a veneer of a wild spirit and something else, (a laughing in the face of death?). Since alot of the early motorcyclists were military veterans from World War II.

Walking in comparison to 20+ MPH is a slugs pace. In a way there is so much more going on in the world to a walker because of the amount of exposure to details going on and a deeper interrelation with what's going on. By taking the bus and light rail a public-transiter is around other people way more. Their still enclosed in a hunk of metal and plastic, but sharing that space with a bunch of other people, with a bus driver sort of regulating what's going on on their bus. On public transit there's still a certain etiquette of interaction socially. With light-rail there's a sorta more of a free-for-all with the operator a buttons' push away! That seems to go well, most of the time...
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Eliza Drogglelare - Thu, 31 May 2018 12:22:27 EST /tjfruPD No.209248 Reply
1527783747741.jpg -(221662B / 216.47KB, 1200x800) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size.
Below are some video examples of psychoregional exploration:

London Psychogeography [Euston to Waterloo] https://youtu.be/0WGbOCtns8Y
Derive Final Project [Brazil] https://youtu.be/Bseqv3Y-xQk
Psychogeography (Alfama, Castelo, Mouraria) PARATÍSSIMA LISBOA https://youtu.be/urCTtTySHtw
ESMEGMA JAZZ | Karma coupons for a demanding liver https://youtu.be/-ivnPLVxXTk
From Hill To Sea - Dispatches from the Fife Psychogeographical Collective - 2010-14 https://youtu.be/KozGcZqLo4U
Psychogeography https://youtu.be/CpnG6PLtMME
Cape Town a Psychogeography https://youtu.be/q_Z8abdLPmQ
Alsace. Psychogeography. Wandering through Alsation Space https://youtu.be/l474lVuENyM
Psychogeography Project - MEDS1101 https://youtu.be/xIKe-4AcuzA
Psychogeography [Edmonton] https://youtu.be/h85HdKYby-8
DERIVE 東京 × Tokyo #1 https://youtu.be/4BSdwtoDrOc
Derive Project [Denver, CO] https://youtu.be/W2EV0xCbHSY
Million Mask Psychogeography [London] https://youtu.be/lFEV8UMTHgQ

Group 5 Video essay (Psychogeography and Drifting) https://youtu.be/wU-6N6l0Cn0
Situationism (psychology) - music improvisation https://youtu.be/EPVWCe7fXBU

Moby - Go https://youtu.be/p7Sl0wMz95w
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Hugh Worthingshit - Thu, 31 May 2018 16:23:41 EST uhpIZv0K No.209256 Reply
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I definitely agree. Real estate developers lately have been big on the “psychology of placemaking” and studies are showing that walkable places are better for people’s mental health, particularly older people.

There’s a big aspect of how we see space and its possibilities in modern development. I don’t think people are happy sitting alone in their cars for hours a day and you get something out of going into public and seeing your neighbor.
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Shitting Gassledeg - Fri, 01 Jun 2018 12:11:20 EST 2LwLwSlz No.209259 Reply
My only comment on this topic is that for most of human history the means of transportation directly created the global psychology because it was the speed at which thought itself moved -- when horses were the fastest means of travel, an idea could cross the globe no faster than a horse. Thus the explosion of advancement in speed of transportation technology went along with an explosion in the low latency of the global consciousness.

That is until we get to the age of telecommunication, when our thoughts were enabled to travel faster than we ever physically could. At that point transportation stopped being the primary influencer on psychology, as most mental 'travels' people went on became increasingly through media and not through physical travel. Thus I would suggest looking at how the internet distorts psychology through its role as a 'tele-travel' system, and how such imaginary travels now have a much larger mind-share than their physical journeys, at least for most people. Could this be a source of the modern malaise; we think in fantasy because all we perceive is fantasy and thus we end up becoming imaginary even to ourselves, as we are subconsciously aware that the adventures which influenced our perspectives are themselves false?

Holism Fractalism

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- Fri, 01 Jun 2018 11:28:45 EST pEHNHTp/ No.209257
File: 1527866925305.jpg -(465583B / 454.67KB, 2153x1136) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size. Holism Fractalism
**i. Introduction**
I tried to make a link elsewhere between Lambda Calculus and computational thinking and what that means in regards to our existence. This triangulation led to Philosophical Lambda (a personal interpretation of Lambda Calculus with regards to existence). Philosophical Lambda is supposed to be a system like Lambda Calculus but a bit informal and with different symbols; but with similar principles behind everything and with SETS! Its purpose is mainly to illustrate an idea and so its a bit superficial.

The link between Lambda Calculus and existentialism was made through Descartes’ cogito

**ii. Cogito**

In cogito, Descartes states, “I think, therefore I am.” Thus, tying his ability to think logically to his existence. Meaning that thinking, including the ability to doubt, is used by Descartes as proof of existence. Or rather, proof of certainty. Descartes can doubt or trivialize everything as inessential except for the ability to think. He seeks to establish certainty with this line of thinking.

I would also say that playing music is a form of proving your existence. And dancing. And drawing. But thinking proves existence in a more intellectually-stimulating kind of way.

I’m going to interweave prose (these words here) with symbols that carry within them the logic behind prose (philosophical lambda (ΦΛ)). Thus, “I think, therefore I am” can be said in symbolic logic as:

I think → I am (If I think, then I am)

Since we can frame it in formal logic, we can also frame it in Philosophical Lambda. This is the portal we use to connect everything.

When Descartes reached the conclusion “I am,” he basically said “I can doubt everything and anything except that I am.” Again, trying to reach certainty.

Let’s dip our toes in some of that Philosophical Lambda with introducing sets.

Let’s create a set of what is “I”:

I = [culture, language, race, sex, gender, arms, legs, torso, brain, thought….etc]????

We can say that “I” is a set that is composed of our culture, our language, our race, our sex, our gender, our body parts, out thoughts, etc.

Descartes said that we can remove everything from inside that set except for thought, since “I” only exist as a thought. Thus:

I = [thought(thinking)]
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Better alternative

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- Tue, 08 May 2018 21:23:25 EST Irsa/pK4 No.209180
File: 1525829005146.jpg -(19154B / 18.71KB, 189x267) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size. Better alternative
Its evident that anyone who initiates themselves into contemporary United States politics will effectively have no self-agency at all. Notice how Bernard Sanders was brought down and how the obstensively bright Elizabeth Warren is simply ignored and it goes without saying the Republican party is a perverse cabal.

So how can anyone be expected to have confidence in new leadership branded by either group when these impressionable, and desperate, folks must submit to party lines without deviation?

There remains nothing inspiring at all to be witnessed in contemporary United States politics. I have the impression whatever faceless dipshits either party would round up for the next cycle effectively have zero testicles.

My point is, they’re coming for us again, so what exactly gives them any credit whatsoever c o m p a r e d t o a new party, possibly a coalition of defectors, who would be capable of ushering in some delicious innovation?

I presume its been attempted before, even so given the current state of things, they have simply not done it right.
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Thomas Blambleham - Sat, 12 May 2018 14:36:58 EST Irsa/pK4 No.209208 Reply
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>>209207
You may be correct though many people need food right now.

Government subsidies can establish agricultural practices like you have described.

Indeed we wont need hillbilly farmers anymore if greenhouse projects are established. In fact, such farms may become public institutions.

However, its necessary to have people take care of and raise the crops. If the general public is so inclined, there may be no difficulty finding people willing to participate.
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Phineas Summerfeg - Sat, 12 May 2018 22:14:11 EST 2LwLwSlz No.209209 Reply
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>>209208
So many of the problems we have in the world today wouldn't exist if we had superior technology. Many of the things we fervently debate are made completely irrelevant by certain technologies, and most people don't seem to deny this point. So my question is, why don't people just focus on increasing the rate of technological progress as the most expedient political philosophy in general?
For example, why debate endlessly between capitalism and communism when we all know that post-scarcity manufacturing would make both obsolete and most people seem to agree it is possible and imminent?

It's like being fervently committed to a side in horses vs mules for moving carriages when you already know Benz is in the workshop putting together the first automobile. Why isn't everyone able to see the writing on the wall, say 'fuck horses AND mules' and go see if Benz needs a hand?
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Esther Hengerhidge - Sun, 13 May 2018 02:39:34 EST Irsa/pK4 No.209211 Reply
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>>209209
You are correct. However we must consider the consequences of such progress.
For one, we must consider the finitude of certain resources. Oil us an example of a soon to be extinct resource. So what then of essentials like food?

This is why comprehensive studies and reviews are necessary of topography, seasons, and weather patterns. The public may participate if they can. Communal farming can be made possible on a grand scale with technological advancement, and our common man can be employed at such farms to maintain, grow, and harvest. However, this would require subsidies, which is undeniably possible provided the public is enabled and Monsanto does not interfere.

Politic Board

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- Sun, 04 Mar 2018 10:10:22 EST pq+VuhoO No.208893
File: 1520176222269.jpg -(17989B / 17.57KB, 470x264) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size. Politic Board
Havent been on here in years? Anyone know what happened to /pol/?
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Phoebe Turveyhall - Sat, 28 Apr 2018 11:06:29 EST SGCbMw+u No.209142 Reply
>>209140
Yeah cus a bunch of retards from /pol/ came here. Like /pol/ was literally where we quarantined the commies and politically active/politically retarded children, but then Spunky just haaaaad to start secretly banning literally every right-wing poster on /pol/ like a fascist dick, and then some of them went crying to 4-chin saying ‘hey let’s go to 420chan pol and troll these alt-left fascists that keep banning right-wing thought’ and then /pol/ became the worst cesspool it’s ever been and was deleted. And now the entire 420chan now has to deal with the faggots usually contained in /pol/ and they’re going to /pss/ and /b/ and shit.
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Hugh Sushshit - Wed, 02 May 2018 16:36:09 EST 4+oWREai No.209166 Reply
What really happened was people that go to sad-chan found this website and simply posted the vile they tend to post elsewhere. That vile isn't welcome here, so the bans were more than justified. The posts, over 90% of the time, went into the quackery and race baiting garbage you'd expect from orange-chan.

So because we had a political board with the same exact tagname from orange-chan, it often tended towards attracting their ilk and then they would spill over to the rest of the site. It was attracting alt-right/lite nutjobs; They didn't like getting banned so they took out their grief on the rest of the site.
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Charles Pellersodging - Wed, 02 May 2018 17:09:26 EST kon48sdM No.209167 Reply
>>209166
Yeah, as has been said many times ITT, faggots from the future and cripplechan mistakenly believe that all chan's will put up with their shit.

Most people don't actually have the kind of cognitive dissonance required to waste hours on end watching anime, playing video games and beating it to traps and tentacle porn while at the same time believing they have some moral conservative high ground.

I never let it get to me though. It's awful rich being called a "degenerate" for being bi and doing drugs by someone who never went to college, lives with their parents at age 25, masturbates 5 times a day and pisses in bottles.

"In a real fourth Reich you'll be the first to go" and all that.

dont hurt me

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- Wed, 11 Apr 2018 19:13:03 EST cR5+dCK2 No.209072
File: 1523488383497.jpg -(8916B / 8.71KB, 480x360) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size. dont hurt me
what is love?

I am kind of stuck with what I interpreted as a Nietzschean conception of Love. So basically in terms of determinate desire and full mutual power over the other.

Where am exploring right now but its hard to find anything is the phenomenology of love. What also would be interesting is a kind of history of love where one could see how malleable the conception is
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Phineas Dipperway - Wed, 18 Apr 2018 10:07:15 EST T1mjyx/4 No.209121 Reply
>>209112
there so many way to approach that shit. When I said power over the other its kind of one determines the others identity and ditto. how this happens no clue.

Think anybody this deep into philosophy to answer such a question is either anti social, dilluted by self imposed philosophcial dogma or doesnt think its worth exploring cuz its derivable from implicit statments from other philosophers
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Phoebe Turveyhall - Sat, 28 Apr 2018 11:20:02 EST SGCbMw+u No.209148 Reply
>>209072
OP, I think the issue with love is I think a lot of people love wrong. Plain and simple. They’re too stupid and too trapped within societal expectation to love properly. Hell, the vast majority of people who ‘loved’ me in my life all loved out of fear and selfishness. I didn’t care for it. Love stemming from fear and selfishness is disgusting. I only take part in love that stems from passion and altruism. And I’ve never been happier or more romantically/sexually active. And yes, I have multiple partners. I don’t care, and neither do they, because we’re not afraid nor selfish toward one another.
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Cornelius Subblepet - Sun, 29 Apr 2018 22:03:49 EST brei4qhw No.209153 Reply
>>209072
I think we could pare down the scope of debate if you would specify what kind of love we are talking about. As I'm sure you know the Greeks had several words for love;
are we talking about eros? Erotic, sexual love? (It seems so from the general discussion)
are we talking about philiae? Companionate love?
Or are we talking about love in a more abstract, universal sense? Like agape?

The only thing the different feelings have in common is the quality of the emotion they bring up, so to really analyze their causes and effects I think we need to specify particular types.

Am I wrong to be pissed off about reductionism in rhetoric?

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- Mon, 09 Apr 2018 22:17:38 EST VhdWon+z No.209054
File: 1523326658031.png -(249250B / 243.41KB, 500x491) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size. Am I wrong to be pissed off about reductionism in rhetoric?
Can- can I just through this out here while I'm baked enough to do so.

Am I an asshole for getting legitimately intellectually pissed off when I see some fucking reductionist bullshit either in Political news or otherwise?

I ultimately understand that from a "ethical" standpoint I should let people believe "that which they wish to" but when it's so fucking stupid and either morally or factually too simplistic or out of context or talking cross purposes or using logical fallacies or literally any god dam thing any rational person can think of.

Am I WRONG for getting actually "annoyed" on an intellectual level, not a personal one? I've studied, I'm read, I'm in college, I've suffered the bullshit of academia, I've been in this since BEFORE 2016. So- am- am I wrong to be insulted?
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Henry Blorringway - Mon, 16 Apr 2018 16:09:57 EST KdSY7mf7 No.209103 Reply
>>209088
OP means 'sophistry' when he says 'reductionism.' He does explain what's wrong with sophists, which everyone should already know.
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Jack Nattingsutch - Mon, 16 Apr 2018 21:41:38 EST VhdWon+z No.209105 Reply
>>209088
I did.

>>209103
Ish. Sophistry- as I understand it, implies that the argument is plausible. I have no issues with arguments that can be described as "incomplete" what I do, more specifically, have issues with are arguments which begin with an overly simplistic understanding of the subject matter (read: literally anything) and then proceed through the argument.
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Phoebe Turveyhall - Sat, 28 Apr 2018 11:15:09 EST SGCbMw+u No.209146 Reply
>>209105
OP, the less info and the less complexity used to argue something, the less logical it is. Reductionism always leads to greater illogic, always. Ever heard of Occam’s Razor? It’s ugly and everyone abuses it to win arguments.

God should be VAC b&

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- Tue, 06 Feb 2018 12:54:26 EST xc7CY0zb No.208664
File: 1517939666716.jpg -(152017B / 148.45KB, 1920x1200) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size. God should be VAC b&
God is a concept that defies logic and language.
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William Hebbletid - Thu, 19 Apr 2018 07:53:10 EST 8gq7GAVV No.209131 Reply
>>209130
>alue claim about the goodness of home, food, and drink

No you fucking retard. That's not a value claim. That's simply a physical necessity of your biological existence. You need a safe clean place to sleep, clean yourself and expel waste for your health, and you need food and drink to continue your existence. There is nothing to discuss on those points, they are cold hard biological facts.
You can go say "yeah but let's discuss the value claim on food and drink and sleep, but that's fucking bullshit because without it you fucking die a horrible death.

You have got a point on the second one, but it's only a slight point. Following dreams does require some philosophical thought on value, meaning etc. in a universe that lacks these. But you still don't need religion for any of those.
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Lydia Hecklekick - Thu, 19 Apr 2018 11:33:28 EST bz58Upde No.209132 Reply
>>209131
Jesus why do you have to be so vitriolic. Here's my advice to you; stop doing a bunch of coke before you log onto /pss./ Pack exactly one marijuana, put it to your lips, ignite, and inhale before you post again.

>>That's not a value claim.
Yes, it is. I'm sorry this degenerated into Philo 101 but actually it's you who should be sorry so not really. It might be an extremely basic value claim that almost everyone would readily assent to without any argument, but that doesn't change the fact that it is a value claim. Did you never learn to analyze which parts of a philosophical statement are claims? (Have you never even been in an actual philosophy class? It's ok I won't tell.) If I were a nihilist, I would argue that it is an unwarranted leap to claim that you can ascribe 'goodness' to things that are intrinsically meaningless and only lengthen the amount of time you suffer before dying. And if those statements weren't philosophical value claims and I said that, you would literally have no recourse to defend your opinion. So you better damn well hope they are value claims!

If you want to follow this idea to a deeper level (and I don't mean you, because you will sperg out on some minor misplaced turn of phrase and never actually engage the substance of my comments, but I mean anyone else who may be reading) you could say that sentient (not sapient) life itself must make a value claim even in order to maintain biological existence. What I mean is, a cell maintains homeostasis completely instinctually...instinctual isn't even the right word as it doesn't really have discrete behaviors, it just exists and its various organelles operate. So it does not need to have the opinion that it is 'good' for it to continue eating to survive.
But, as soon as something has a brain stem big enough to coordinate complex behaviors and select between them, every living organism on earth must, at a fundamental, pre-verbal level, assent to the idea that it's daily quest for food is 'good'; it's neuronal pathways balance and coordinate desires and output from different brain regions to select the food seeking behavior over others. But it doesn't always happen this way. Sometimes, for various reasons, an animal will refuse to eat and starve. Even without making a claim about animal consciousness, we can say that the neuronal pathways of the animal in question altered their philosophical opinion about the value of food, thus even for animals these aren't just 'cold hard biological facts;' the idea that food is good, that life is good, is something that the information processing capacity of life constantly weighs out, and occasionally rejects. It's not a given, there's nothing intrinsic about life that says it *has* to seek survival (many organisms fundamentally fail to survive) so the claim that survival or any of the things necessary to it is a given that doesn't constitute a value claim is false.

>>does require some philosophical thought on value, meaning etc. in a universe that lacks these. But you still don't need religion for any of those.
To say that something has value and meaning we have to reach into the branch of philosophy that is metaphysics. We cannot get it from physics (using these terms in their Platonic distinctions.) And we're back to my earlier claim that you ignored that 'religion is metaphysics for the masses.' All religions are watered down metaphysical ideologies pre-packaged for mass consumption. Now that doesn't mean they are all equally valid or good, and the vast majority of them aren't. But if you say religion is useless as such, then you're basically saying metaphysical thinking is useless as such, which means you can only be a logically atomistic materialistic reductionist or else a nihilist, as all other philosophical stances become incoherent without metaphysics or are forced to hide their metaphysics in different places and claim that's not what it is.

Everything you are saying is in defense of some bullshit you claimed earlier which was clearly indefensible, and you were just hoping it wouldn't come up and you wouldn't actually have to defend it by chesting up and acting goofy. Essentially in order for us to be talking about the same thing and for you to win this argument you have to prove both that you don't use metaph…
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Phoebe Turveyhall - Sat, 28 Apr 2018 11:09:50 EST SGCbMw+u No.209144 Reply
>OP thinks humans are rational
There’s the giant hole in your argument, OP. Humans just believe whatever the fuck they want to believe.

Has Rationalism Failed? Do we need to rediscover the idea of Truth?

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- Sat, 21 Apr 2018 05:34:22 EST Nwy2IF3I No.209138
File: 1524303262008.jpg -(20998B / 20.51KB, 494x604) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size. Has Rationalism Failed? Do we need to rediscover the idea of Truth?
I want to talk about the concept of knowledge and truth and how we approach its understanding. I am not convinced that logic and reason can serve as the only tools for understanding truth. Here is an example using atoms I have provided to make my point more clear.
>500 BCE Leucippis develops a theory on atomism. It is the idea that everything is composed of indivisible elements called atoms.
>Early 1800s Dalton develops his own atomic theory, where he specifically says “Atoms cannot be subdivided, created or destroyed”
>1879 – 1918 Many scientists such as William Crookes discover “subatomic particles” such as protons and electrons, which are smaller than atoms.
>1964 Gell-Mann and Zweig both develop the Quark model showing that hadrons (such as protons) are made of quarks, which are smaller than subatomic particles.
We run into a bit of a problem here. Either we conclude that Leucippis and Dalton are wrong because things are made of smaller things than atoms and atoms can be subdivided. Or we can conclude that Gell-mann and Zweig actually discovered atoms, to be consistent with Dalton’s definition, and we need to rename what atoms used to be called, since Daltons atom was something that could be subdivided. But maybe we might discover something smaller than quarks and where does this end? Then we need to either rename what an atom is yet again or call it the sub-sub-sub-atomic particle.
All of this means that truth is constantly unfolding and reshaping itself. Even now, if we define anything we might end up realizing it wasn’t what it seemed to be at the time and there is a whole new deeper area on the topic to explore. Maybe rationalism has failed to grasp the nature of truth reshaping itself, so all arguments rationalism creates become undone every time a new phenomenon is discovered.
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Alice Greenshaw - Sat, 21 Apr 2018 11:39:01 EST DVMFurmR No.209139 Reply
While I agree with the general sentiment that there is more to truth than rationality alone, I think the particular problem you bring up (that the meaning of scientific terms gets constantly redefined) isn't a serious blow against rationality. It's just an admission of the fallibility of human language.

'Atom' is from the Greek 'A' meaning non or anti, and 'Temos' meaning cut. 'Atom' just means 'uncuttable.' So does that mean the things we call atoms aren't really atoms since they are clearly cuttable? No, not at all. 'Atom' is merely a symbol for a human concept, and the fact that the same symbol has been used to describe completely different ideas is unremarkable (especially considering Dalton's use of the term was an intentional callback to Leucippus' idea.)

When Leucippus posited the atom, he was right in one sense -- reality is made of indivisible elements. He was just wrong about their exact nature (they are strings, apparently, not what we call 'atoms.')
When Dalton posited his atom, he was right in some slightly more specific sense -- the world is composed of the atomic elements. He was just wrong about the fact that they were properly described as 'atoms' since they were indeed divisible.
And so on. With each generations the meaning of a scientific terms may expand or contract, but this is precisely because it is just a symbol humans use as a short hand to communicate ideas about an underlying reality.

There may be more fundamental limits to our ability to use rationality to understand the world, but I don't think the fact that humans are pretty careless with their use of symbols is one of them.
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Phoebe Turveyhall - Sat, 28 Apr 2018 11:08:20 EST SGCbMw+u No.209143 Reply
This is why you always need to accept change and accept that science continually changes and pretty much always will.

Philosophers

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- Fri, 13 Apr 2018 13:06:00 EST jxB3eYCC No.209080
File: 1523639160033.jpg -(92333B / 90.17KB, 750x833) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size. Philosophers
Straight up, I’m sick of people quoting the same few philosophers 24/7. Like I’m in several debate groups and right now the only thing they’re willing to talk about is Stirner as if he’s the only good philosopher. I came in with some Gaddafi quotes and ideas and nobody has any interest in that, because nobody popular references Gaddafi or his philosophical work. Sup with that? You guys got any obscure philosophers you love?
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Nathaniel Shakelock - Sun, 15 Apr 2018 13:39:29 EST /tjfruPD No.209090 Reply
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>>209080
John Cowper Powys seems pretty neat. Such as The Complex Vision (although I've barely delved into it) https://archive.org/details/complexvision00powy . Also works about Phenomenology, particularly from Merleau-Ponty https://archive.org/details/TheStructureOfBehaviour, but is that really that obscure though? I was introduced to Phenomenology through The Spell of the Sensuous https://archive.org/details/AbramTheSpellOfTheSensuousPerceptionAndLanguageInAMoreThanHumanWorld, an ecological philosophical book. Some of those ideas are opening up into a kinda new field of study and practice of ecopsychology, which has some philosophical underpinnings.

>>209087
Obscure to most. What you're ignoring is that dialogue did occur between thinkers of that time and within niche fields, influencing others even outside that dialogue. Besides, popularity doesn't determine validity.
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Phoebe Turveyhall - Sat, 28 Apr 2018 11:02:54 EST SGCbMw+u No.209141 Reply
>>209087
Lol wow dude, you’re actually arguing against reading philosophy that isn’t mainstream, and you’ve even got stupid reasoning backing it up.
Good job. You’re one of the idiots who constantly repeat the same bullshit as everyone else with no ability to think freely.

Race: Harris, Pinker, Murray et al vs. Klein, Turkheimer, Harden et al

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- Fri, 20 Apr 2018 02:04:12 EST GM3Biux6 No.209133
File: 1524204252461.jpg -(173373B / 169.31KB, 1280x720) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size. Race: Harris, Pinker,  Murray et al vs. Klein, Turkheimer, Harden et al
I'm going to start this out with a call to extreme discretion when it comes to the subject matter, its underlying data, and its implications. I would prefer those who are genetic reductionists- or even more troublesome 'racial' essentialists, and those who are environmental reductionists to reconsider posting here. Here is a timeline, just to give some context (the timeline, or the he-said:she-said drama, is not what is important here, but it's necessary to get it out of the way first).
>September 1994:
Murray and Herrnstein publish The Bell Curve; Hernnstein dies shortly thereafter
>April 2017:
Harris interviews Murray on Harris' Waking Up podcast, in an episode titled 'Forbidden Knowledge'. One of the topics discussed was the lack of due diligence practiced by some critics of The Bell Curve
>May 2017:
Turkheimer, Harden, and Nisbett release an OpEd on Vox titled 'Charles Murray is once again peddling junk science about race and IQ' and subheaded 'Podcaster and author Sam Harris is the latest to fall for it', critical of the podcast between Harris and Murray
>March 2018:
Klein releases an article on Vox titled 'Sam Harris, Charles Murray, and the allure of race science', and subheaded 'This is not “forbidden knowledge.” It is America’s most ancient justification for bigotry and racial inequality'
>April 2018:
Harris discusses with Klein on Harris' Waking Up podcast, in an episode titled 'Identity & Honesty'
>Peppered throughout this debacle
Pinker peppered his support for Harris
>Topics for discussion:
What did Harris, Murray, and/or Pinker get right?
What did Harris, Murray, and/or Pinker get wrong?
What did Harris, Murray, and/or Pinker neglect to mention that would have aided his/their claims?
What did Harris, Murray, and/or Pinker omit that would have detrimented his/their claims?
What did Klein and/or Turkheimer, Harden, and Nisbett get right?
What did Klein and/or Turkheimer, Harden, and Nisbett get wrong?
What didKlein and/or Turkheimer, Harden, and Nisbett neglect to mention that would have aided his/their claims?
What did Klein and/or Turkheimer, Harden, and Nisbett omit that would have detrimented his/their claims?
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Lillian Hacklekod - Fri, 20 Apr 2018 09:53:04 EST bz58Upde No.209135 Reply
1/3 of the threads on the front page of this board are about race. Enough.
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Charlotte Nungershaw - Fri, 20 Apr 2018 21:56:06 EST GM3Biux6 No.209136 Reply
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>>209134
Excellent points. I'll highlight what I thought was germane to your post:
>1 world who believes all things should be known regardless of how such knowledge is used. And another world of people who believe ideas should be repressed if they are used unethically.

Harris seems to come from the tradition of English Liberalism/The Enlightenment (Mills et al.) Get the data first, sift out what is junk, analyze it, form models upon it, and test the models against each other and reality. Then and only then may moral frameworks be set up from all that (a la The Moral Landscape).

Klein, on the other hand, has a moral basis in mind when it comes to data accumulation, data analysis, and data dissemination. To him, it seems worth it due to the incendiary nature of the subject matter, but people such as Harris (and myself for that matter) are flabbergasted. How could Klein et al morally dismiss or dampen knowledge on a subject without sufficient knowledge from it? And how could he get sufficient knowledge of it if he morally dismisses or dampens key components?

This goes right back to the Peterson-Harris debate, where Harris deconstructed Peterson's true:correct dichotomy through various scenarios (e.g. the cheating spouse). Klein, however, seems to be even more devious than Peterson. Instead of ceding ground that these models may be correct, but not 'true', he waffles back and forth on whether or not they are correct and in which areas they may be correct or erroneous.
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Charlotte Nungershaw - Fri, 20 Apr 2018 21:57:26 EST GM3Biux6 No.209137 Reply
>>209135
WADR, I checked each and every page on this board before making this post, and none of the threads seemed to be discussing this topic cogently, especially through the lens of Harris et al vs Klein et al nobump

this cunt

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- Thu, 25 Jan 2018 05:37:13 EST XRtggDpr No.208623
File: 1516876633072.jpg -(5723B / 5.59KB, 256x162) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size. this cunt
so Jordan Peterson has recently been interviewed on britains channel 4 by Cathy Newman and there has been a substantial reaction to it. Peterson's fanboys are all claiming his victory as if this interview was a major debate. I'm going to try and summarise it so that we can all critique the ideas as much as we want and give our opinions, discuss etc. There was a thread about this on /b/ but I thought i'd move the topic here to /pss/. btw here s a link to the interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMcjxSThD54
the yellowtext below is jordans answers


Newman: you've said men need to grow up, why?
>because theres nothing good about it and men are left useless and miserable if they dont take responsibility over their lives.
A crisis of masculinity, what do you do about it?
>you tell them to grow up and take responsibility, live a life worth living
the majority of your listeners is male?
>yes apparently. Men have something to offer and set the world straight.
what's gone wrong then?
> all sorts of things, men never receive encouragement. Men are starving for my message,

[2:30] does it bother you that 80% of your audience is male
>no, it's just the way it is.
whats in it for women then?
> well men are their partners so they have an interest in men's well-being.
so you're saying women have a duty to help fix the crisis of masculinity?
>depends if they want competent men and partners. If you don't want that you want a partner you can dominate.

[3:45] so women want to dominate is that what youre saying?
>no i'm saying women will settle for a weak partner who have had impaired relationships with men
do you think alot of women are doing this?
>I think a substantial minority of women do that and it's very bad for them
how can you say that? maybe women want that, it's a vast generalisation
>I'm a clinical psychologist
So you've done the research and its shows women are unhappy dominating men?
>I didnt say they were unhappy, i said it was a bad long term solution, it might make them happy in the short term.

[5:00] it seems to alot of women that they are still being dominated
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Fuck Drevingdore - Thu, 12 Apr 2018 04:34:20 EST Nwy2IF3I No.209074 Reply
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>>209070
>That's not meaning, you retard.
2018 and people calling anyone with a different point of view a retard. Philosophy has come a long way hasn't it.

>That's just math and physics combining into "the easiest and most effective way how to stack bricks."
If you take everything at face value you would reach this conclusion but it is very ignorant to argue that this is all that is happening. The Egyptians built pyramids to honor their dead and 1 pyramid was for 1 person. The idea was that bigger pyramids would be for people who were revered greatly in life and the gods would be appeased by that. So lets not take this pyramid building at face value because its full of meaning too.
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Wesley Hunkinfuck - Thu, 12 Apr 2018 04:52:42 EST ogjfl7YN No.209075 Reply
>>209074
>lets not take this pyramid building at face value because its full of meaning too
>The Egyptians built pyramids to honor their dead

And the Aztecs built them as temples or palaces or any number of things. The point is not that those cultures had no reason for building them. The point is that that reason is disconnected from them being built in a pyramidal shape. A monument for the dead doesn't necessitate it be in the shape of a pyramid. However, if you want to stack big stones with only slaves and ropes, it'll be easiest and strongest if you do it in pyramid.

>that this is all that is happening.
I'm not saying that it's all that is happening. My point is that in saying "both cultures built pyramids therefor pyramids must have intrinsic meaning" is conflating meaning with the practical limitations of physics. I'm sure if Ancient Egyptians had modern construction equipment, they would have built something very different to honour their dead.
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Matilda Nubblestuck - Thu, 12 Apr 2018 12:50:44 EST /KXzHYRx No.209078 Reply
>>209071
Most people are ignorant of the sapient/sentient distinction so I was using sentient as a catch all. However, I don't know if I entirely agree with your premise.

I think, in order to colonize space, a sentient computerized fungus would need to understand the 'meaning' of existence about as well as we do if it was indeed colonizing by means of starship rather than some natural process. It would need to be aware of what it was any why to understand that it needed to get off world, at least as minimally as we do.

And I mean, by the definition of an alien intelligence much, much more sapient than we are, we might hardly seem more aware of our surroundings and the meaning of our own existence than even an ordinary fungus...

>>209073
>>of course there's going to be semantics
Well there's a difference between discussions on meaning have a semantic component and hiding behind mere semantics.

The two "mutually exclusive" statements you quote are by two different people, so the whole segment is irrelevant.

Anyway, you are conflating different definitions of the term 'meaning' which is why I think you are coming across problems. For example you are conflating the 'meaning' of meaning which is 'the sense of a term' where sun = bright fusion ball, and the 'meaning' of meaning which is 'the purpose or function of a thing' where sun = God.

My basic point is that while alien life certainly won't have exactly the same interpretations of what meaning means and what means what as we do, there will still be a need for 'meaning' in order to categorize their existence, and in broad strokes a lot of the things will be the same. Many of them will live around giant exploding fusion balls. Many of them will in their primitive stages conflate the idea of a unified sustaining ball of fired with a unified organizing external consciousness, and the influence of this idea will stretch far into their futures.

>>ants have symbolic comunication
Animal communication is distinct from language. That's just a basic fact you should know and can look up. The key difference is that humans can invent new signs and signals, whereas all other animals have a fixed number of signs they can use, so they aren't arbitrarily symbolic and generative. Conflating the intelligence of ants and humans doesn't get you out of this bind either. You should study Hofstadter's system of categorizing the intelligence of systems by their level of recursiveness.

As a simple example, a toilet is an intelligent system. It 'knows' how much water it has in it, and maintains an internal equilibrium in order to keep that water level within a consistent range. A single cell is an intelligent system; it manages an internal environment to maintain homeostasis against an external environment. But we can measure just how much less information processing capacity a toilet or worm has than a cat or a human, in surprisingly precise terms. That they all may be classed as intelligent systems, yet that we are the only one of them has ever harped on about 'meaning' is unremarkable. We are the only one that talks about anything; yet they all have, for their own purposes and within their own scope, a utility for 'meaning.' The 'meaning of life' for a human may be to struggle to comprehend life as a limited biological organism containing an unlimited infinite subjective interiority in a constant search for meaning, and the 'meaning of life' for a toilet may be to fill with water to get shit in, and there's no contradiction in that.

>>Can the colony have a concept of meaning that the individual ant does not?
It expresses a deeper meaning while having a shallower consciousness of it. The individual ant has sensation, pain, hunger, excitement, so it has a, very small, interior sense of its own life. There is 'something it is to be like' an ant. Yet the ant has no idea what it's really doing or why. It doesn't know why it makes the tunnels, it doesn't know why it carries the larvae, and it definitely doesn't understand that without all the other ants working together, it couldn't survive at all.
So in that sense it knows less than the colony, which has all kinds of knowledge -- it is reactive the geographic and climatic conditions, it is capable of responding…
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Bush Say's He Is An "Exception" To The Law.

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- Mon, 02 Apr 2018 17:23:10 EST LahQAHJd No.209002
File: 1522704190158.jpg -(144714B / 141.32KB, 805x448) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size. Bush Say's He Is An "Exception" To The Law.
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article3603.htm

Obey the law and keep Bush off the Illinois ballot, say state Libertarians

06/03/03: (LP) Illinois should obey its ballot access laws -- and keep President George W. Bush off the 2004 ballot.

So said the Libertarian Party of Illinois, after Republicans revealed that they would not nominate their 2004 presidential candidate until seven days after the Illinois deadline for certifying candidates for the November ballot.

The Republican National Committee (RNC) has requested that the Illinois State Board of Elections ignore the law, and place President Bush's name on the ballot anyway.

"The Republican Party needs to abide by the same rule of law as everyone else," said Illinois LP Executive Director Jeff Trigg. "You can be sure if the tables were turned -- and it was the Libertarians nominating their presidential candidate seven days after the deadline -- they wouldn't lift a finger to help us stay on the ballot."

The Republican Party will nominate its presidential candidate -- almost certain to be incumbent George W. Bush, who faces no significant opposition and has already announced he will seek re-election -- at its national convention on September 3, 2004. That's 61 days before the November 2 general election.

However, Illinois state election law requires presidential candidates to be certified at least 67 days prior to the general election.

In response, the RNC has asked the State Board of Elections (SBE) to grant them an "exception" to the law. The board said it would consider the request at an upcoming meeting after getting a legal opinion from Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

But Libertarians said the State Board of Elections does not have the authority to grant exemptions -- and thus arbitrarily decide which political parties must follow the law.

At a press conference in the State Capitol Press Room in Springfield on May 19, Trigg said the only way Bush can qualify for the ballot is if the Illinois General Assembly changes the law.

"The SBE should not have the authority to arbitrarily change deadlines in the election laws to accommodate any candidate," he said. "Anything short of legislation passing through the General Assembly to solve this problem is blatantly wrong."

Noting that Libertarian candidates have been kept off the ballot in the past because of restrictive ballot access laws, Trigg said the law should be enforced equally.

"Libertarians don't believe President Bush should be kept off the Illinois ballot because of a technicality, any more than they believe their own candidates should suffer the same fate," he said. "But the fact is that Libertarian and other candidates have been taken off the ballot on technicalities -- and the Republican Party needs to abide by the same rule of law as everyone else."

If the SBE does grant Bush an exemption to the law, it will merely prove that Illinois has a "double standard," said Trigg.
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Phoebe Bindlepodge - Tue, 03 Apr 2018 11:19:00 EST wb7Rwj19 No.209012 Reply
>>209002
Dunno why you’re posting news from 2003 but Trump definitely does the same thing.
In fact his lawyers’ defense in the Zervos case was literally “he’s the president so he can’t face charges”. Despite the legal precedent set by many other presidents.
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William Parryfield - Wed, 04 Apr 2018 12:29:56 EST qofsR6ta No.209020 Reply
>>209002
In the U.S narcism is virtue. This is well reflected in these institutional loopholes.

asdf

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- Tue, 03 Apr 2018 10:36:26 EST T1mjyx/4 No.209011
File: 1522766186065.jpg -(24371B / 23.80KB, 1278x990) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size. asdf
This board is making me fucking depressed. There is obviously so much potential. Even though some people on this site would be classified as part of the tyrannical majority, we have surly some talented fuckers some living the aesthetic ideal, epistemically virtuous, intellectually curiosus and engaged... But what do we have in the end, just silence, or worse... fucking mainstream topics no proper new ideas debates just basically nasty pre programmed debates

Why not argue fucking Hegels moral philosophy? is it the most complete? I think fuck yes but what follow? mere analyisis of a given ethical fiber? why are current philosophers neglecting this?
Did Russel bastardize Wittgensteins project? how can it be taken further?
Value-free economics?
Can we find a way to find determinate forms of organization from biopolitical analysis(criticism)?
how does liberal political philosophy avoid its focus on consent?
Go fucking specific exclude board normies...

Isiah Berlins dichotomy should be replaced? sublate core principle of negative freedom? Can you cut confucius head with humes gioutinne? is nationalism esentially the superego or in other words the determinate mixture of the imaginary and the symbolic?

Type GTFO is dare you
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Hedda Pittworth - Tue, 03 Apr 2018 13:31:37 EST PKcNxe+J No.209014 Reply
I mean I agree with your premise but you come across as a little concern trolly because while proposing a bunch of interesting questions you aren't really taking a stance on them which means we have no real content to react to. In general if you don't like the content of the board the only thing you can do about it is post the kind of content you would like. Anyway, I'll take a stab at a few of these.

>Why not argue fucking Hegels moral philosophy?
I think it is too relativistic, that 'what is good is what is good for the tribe.' It can be a dangerous combination when paired with an equally Hegelian view on rationality -- together they can easily lead to what most people would identify as moral and ethical atrocities.
>> why are current philosophers neglecting this?
Modern philosophy has more or less retreated from the sphere of ethics. Modern philosophy mostly grovels on the floor, begging positivistic science for one more breath before the guillotine falls.
>>Did Russel bastardize Wittgensteins project? how can it be taken further?
Not really, I think Russel's view on Wittgenstein (toward the end) was a pretty apt way of evaluating the latter's contributions. I don't know if Wittgenstein's larger philosophical project could be much advanced, even in principle, without running into the same problems once again.
>>Value-free economics?
That's like asking if we can have value free mathematics. Any method of organizing society must eventually come up against the concept of value, or else we must say a glob of mud is exactly as 'valuable' as a kilogram of anti-matter, which would lead to a catastrophic breakdown of civilization. Whatever describes that system of value will eventually recreate what we know as economics.
>Can we find a way to find determinate forms of organization from biopolitical analysis(criticism)?
Absolutely, but I think we would end up re-treading a lot of the same ground ordinary politics has. Ultimately any form of organization requires appeals to systems of values and ontological assumptions, and we're back within the specter of metaphysics and ethics.
>how does liberal political philosophy avoid its focus on consent?
What? Isn't liberal political philosophy entirely about consent, i.e. the consent of the governed to establish the government as they will?

Can you cut confucius head with humes gioutinne?
>Nope, Confucius will saves and takes no damage. Is-ought is useful in a lot of circumstances, but because Confucius' theory is essentially a metaphysical one is is immune to such criticism. It is also neither perfectly rational nor empirical for the same reason.
>> is nationalism esentially the superego or in other words the determinate mixture of the imaginary and the symbolic?
Ugh, what? That's a pretty damn gross thought. If anything, the nation-state is a manifestation of the id; a sublimation of the need to control and be controlled. Maybe superegoic forces lead people to the idea of creating society, but it invariably gets redirected to the most idic impulses; greed, domination, dogmatism, obedience, etc. Idk what you're implying by 'determinate mixture of the imaginary and symbolic' other than to suggest that the need for a controlling state is perhaps the manifestation or symbolic proxy of confused desires for closer proximity to authoritative (parental) figures.

>>type GTFO is dare you
GTFO! ;)
>>
village druunk - Tue, 03 Apr 2018 16:41:16 EST MOGdYtlU No.209016 Reply
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>>209014
I knew somebodies ego would itch, didnt expect such a modest ego but heyo its somehting
Point was just to shit something out of anger/boredom and hope something sticks for the future, dont think this theard can do much.

(1) Hegel is basically ALL about relative absolutes, (or knowledge basically being contigently static) meaning although the nature of knowledge tend to change there are things we can call absolute within a the context (zeitgeist (i know hegel didnt coin it)). Some goes for this moral7ethical philosophy. Ethical life conists of certain core eternal prinicples and certain core contigent principles which precicly does not allow for thoese artocities cuz our conception moved beyond that. Is concept of rationality is basically aristotelian i do see what is wrong with that

(2) yeah pretty much. I think this speard of "analytic philosophy" is sadly just because employability or precieved employabilty

(3) Wittensteins project is see similar to for example foucault in that they are largly negative projects. Russel just interpreted in that that we need logical positivsm more. Aristocrat who blew himself up to much with wittenstein imo

(4) yeah idk i just wanted to econ in here

(5) This is exctly the sphere that needs reform and i think zizek is working on it very well so far

(6) it is haha and fuck that. As spengler put it "These English Classicists, all of them of high social standing, helped create liberalism as a philosophy of life as it was understood by Frederick the Great and his century: the deliberate ignoring of distinctions that were known to exist in the practical life but were in any case not considered as obstacles; the rational preoccupation with matters of public opinion that could neither be gotten rid of nor hushed up, but that somehow had to be rendered harmless. This upper-class Classicism gave rise to English democracy -- a superior form of tactics, not a codified political program. It was based on the long and intensive experience of a social stratum that habitually dealt with real and practicable possibilities, and that was therefore never in danger of losing its essential congeniality"

(6) that sounds like bullshit, but can sb elborate?

Hermeticism

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- Fri, 23 Mar 2018 14:18:37 EST dhnaDuI4 No.208962
File: 1521829117679.png -(1135732B / 1.08MB, 949x750) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size. Hermeticism
Should I feel like an insane person for wanting to read about Hermeticism? I can't help but find it really intriguing. My girlfriend fell asleep beside me and while she was asleep I started reading the Kybalion. She awoke a while after, unbeknownst to me, and started reading what I was reading. When I realized she was awake she was very suspicious and did not seem happy that I had been reading about it.

She said she won't stop me reading about it but she doesn't want me to become brainwashed or something. I don't know if I'm stoned but I can't tell if I'm being lured into a cult or what. But I can't help but find it really interesting to read about. Anyone know what the fuck is going on?
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Reuben Dinnerstock - Wed, 28 Mar 2018 15:04:18 EST dhnaDuI4 No.208992 Reply
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It's just when I read about people who practice the occult, including magic and rituals and all that stuff, they sound so casual about it, and it seems so sincere. I often read their response to skepticists as "Try it out first, and see for yourself" and it all seems convincing. I mean, if it really all can be just boiled down to physics, and life really did begin with the Big Bang, then what the fuck brought those tiny particles of matter into existence in the first place? What caused them to move and cause friction?

How can anyone know? Is the universe infinite? But the very fact that absolutely any of this exists, that billions of years of events in the cosmos unfolding and the evolution of life lead me to THIS moment of being stoned on my laptop after working a day in some factory, questioning the reality and endless possibilities of it all, to a bunch of strangers from all over the world who I have never and probably will never meet... is nothing short of an example of how fucking little we know.

Ok I am baked but my point still stands. We don't know anything outside of materialism and physics, which are great things to have knowledge of, but to think that they are the only aspect of our reality, given how ridiculous reality is itself, is IMO folly. Plus Hermetic/occultist imagery is badass. I am gonna be open minded about it and I'm gonna give it a shot, why the fuck not
>>
Phyllis Nenningville - Wed, 28 Mar 2018 17:47:24 EST 8gq7GAVV No.208993 Reply
>>208992
>then what the fuck brought those tiny particles of matter into existence in the first place? What caused them to move and cause friction?

Nothing. Shit isn't hard mate. Nothing did all that. Since nothing is the complete absence of anything, there's nothing stopping nothing from generating something. Of course, when something arises from nothing, nothing no longer is nothing, it now is everything. And since everything is in one point, a singularity, it will expand into a big bang. Now there's a whole universe instead of nothing, so something cannot arise by itself anymore - nothing no longer exists.

Basically.
>>
Nicholas Bummletedge - Sat, 31 Mar 2018 00:13:15 EST QqPfCVO2 No.208995 Reply
Hermeticism is an interesting topic if you enjoy studying religion. It's basically what's left of Western mysticism after orthodox Christianity took over. Even Goetic magic can be an interesting read. Both Goetic magick and hermeticism often get derided as 18th century inventions but really they're remnants of pre-christian Greek religion that were synthesized with judeo-christian beliefs. If you're studying pre-christian mysticism/spirituality then hermeticism is very much an important subject.

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