the archives

dusted off in read-only


posts by NorthernPlato Candidate | joined 12 Jul 2004 | 25

posted 12 Jul 2004, 16:07 in Off-Topic DiscussionSex by NorthernPlato, Candidate

wow...really? no females at all? must admit, i was curious as to what could be polled about sex... gender..hehe..of course Fior Go Bas view post

posted 13 Jul 2004, 01:07 in Philosophy DiscussionThe Case of the Blind Brain and Other Strange Tales by NorthernPlato, Candidate

Good day all. This has been the most interesting series of posts that I have ever read online. If I may throw my two-cents in regarding my beliefs on "after-life" and ghosts, I'd like to follow-up on the whirlpool analogy. I don't post very much and I get frustrated that it takes longer to type something than it does to think, so please bear with me. I've always believed that the concept of 'soul' as a property that distringuishes individuals to be out of synch with the rest of nature. After reading Plato's Republic many years ago, I was intrigued by his imagery of an afterlife, though it seemed to be counter to what he argued via his idea of forms. Anywho, that night while watching stars cross the sky instead of sleeping, I envisioned a vortex to which we returned when we die. More of an image or concept instead of a concrete place; similar I believe to what nitrogen might perceive itself to be if it could ponder the idea of nitrogen fixation. My belief in the concept of souls is based on the idea that in a closed system energy cannot be created or destroyed (like a law of thermal-dynamics for souls). Basically, at creation, all of the 'energy' that can be used to create a 'soul' already exists and that every person (animal/plant/etc.) does not bring a 'new soul' in existance. Instead, each living organism posseses or accesses a portion of that 'energy'. However, because the system is closed and because new organisms are created/destroyed they 'recycle' that energy, leaving an imprint of what came before. This would be why some people might experience what they perceive to be moments of a previous life/existence. Having read some of Steohen Hawkins' writings on physics and given the idea of time as a constant (if that's the word i'm looking for) that has neither a beginning nor end, (excecpt for how we perceive it) than every possible moment in time already exists for every possible decision we can possibly make. This isn't to say that free will is percluded, but that it's analogous to a computer program - a user can only make choices that are available to be made according to the program. The user isn't forced to any particular action, but the ability to chose to perform the action is accounted for. Similarlly, one isn't limited to make choices of which they are aware, it is possible to perform actions one didn't originally understand to be possible. But I seem to have gone off on a tangent here. Right now, the only misgiving I have had is that existence would therefore not exist as anything more than an instant - that there was never a 'begining' to the system, simply that the existance of the system perpetuates itself, that there is no 'after' for an individual, at least not as we could perceive it. Because we would all be part of the system, we are therefore one and the same at the most basic level. Hence our need for community, language, culture, development, laws,religion,etc. which can be seen in almost all forms of life on earth and arguably in larger scale via planetary systems, galaxies and their specific anatomy. I could go on typing for hours really, and sometimes I believe that perhaps I should, but frustration at wanting it just to be done (re: laziness, not a very positive attribute in an asipiring author..ha!) always seems to get in the way and I lose the will to continue. If one continues the argument long enough, it becomes a justification for rules of conduct with others, as any wrong done to others it a wrong done to the self. Thank you for bearing with me and I'm interested in hearing the thoughts of everyone here. Not many people I know have a penchant for such discourse. Fior Go Bas view post

posted 14 Jul 2004, 16:07 in Off-Topic DiscussionYour top 5 fantasy series... by NorthernPlato, Candidate

Hey all, guess I'll throw my two cents in: Steven Erikson - malazan book of the fallen R. Scott Bakker - prince of nothing Ian Irvine - view from the mirror (I seem to be the only person that loved the series; now if I could only get the second series) Frank Herbert - Dune books Jacqueline Carey - Kushiel trilogy J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter (I have to say, after book 4 the series really matures. I also like how she builds on existing mythologies - after all, how many kids these days pickup Homer or that other guy(can't remember!?! I'm so embarrased - being at work is a pain :P ) Well, those are mine at the moment. Fior Go Bas view post

posted 19 Aug 2004, 16:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionNow Reading... by NorthernPlato, Candidate

I'm about halfway through GRRM's A Game of Thrones. I was really enjoying it until I reached a spot regarding a certain young girl and a certain letter she writes....I almost through the book across the room while shouting "stupid girl!" :x But I opted to put the book down gently and walk calmly downstairs and see if my landlord was up for a game of Halo. I'll probably finish the rest of aSoFaI after this book, if only because I hate starting something but not finishing it. But once that's done, I might have to start rereading some of my other books :? If only Erikson and Scott could be persuaded to write more quickly :P (these two have spoiled me as a reader. I think I expect too much now... :lol: ) Actually, I'm thinking of picking up Altered Carbon next time I'm at the bookstore. I started reading one day and got sucked in....hehe, the lady putting some books away started to give me wierd looks when she thought I might just sit down on the floor and keep reading... Fior Go Bas view post

posted 24 Aug 2004, 16:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionBook Club Talk by NorthernPlato, Candidate

Good afternoon all, I'm curious, what does a book club discuss? Would it be similar to book studies we all used to do in school? I didn't really appreciate how much more enjoyment could be taken from a book by really looking at it in great detail until my last year of high school (oac english lit. - and I don't want to even think about how many years ago that was :lol: ) but now that I've discovered quite a few new authors, I find that no-one I know likes to read that much, let alone dissect word usage, plot points, theme, etc (not for lack of trying - I sometimes feel like a pusher suggesting books to friends "hey buddy, you gotta try this one...") anywho, I'm all for it. I guess this is basically my long winded way of saying I'd like to join in. Fior Go Bas view post

posted 24 Aug 2004, 16:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by NorthernPlato, Candidate

plato (or was he a boxer?) view post

posted 26 Aug 2004, 14:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionNow Reading... by NorthernPlato, Candidate

I just picked up A Clash of Kings last night and started reading it this morning over breakfast. view post

posted 01 Sep 2004, 21:09 in Off-Topic DiscussionMisheard lyrics by NorthernPlato, Candidate

I've always like one my girlfriend pointed out to me, from a Alannis Morrisette (sp?) song: the lyrics are: "the cross I bear that you gave to me" heard as: "the cross-eyed bear that you gave to me" much different meaning :lol: I still can't help but smile every time I think about it.... view post

posted 18 Sep 2004, 16:09 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by NorthernPlato, Candidate

movie view post

posted 18 Sep 2004, 16:09 in Off-Topic DiscussionNow Reading... by NorthernPlato, Candidate

Just finished Storm of Swords. Impatiently waiting for Feast of Crows :lol: I'm thinking I might pick up altered carbon next ( a break from fantasy) view post

posted 20 Sep 2004, 01:09 in Off-Topic DiscussionBad, bad book. BAAAD. by NorthernPlato, Candidate

I hated JD Salinger's A Catcher in the Rye. Despised it really. I couldn't identify with Holden Caufield at all. I thought he was simply a whining underacheiver. I had friends in high school who said that they could identify with the character and even appriciated the symbolism (what was with the red hat anyway!!!) but I just couldn't get past Holden's constant whining. Then I found out that it was the favorite book (and inspiration - saving the children indeed!) of Mark David Chapman...grrrr. Wait a waste of a perfectly good tree. (/end rant) In a funny sidenote, the night I met my girlfriend (over 4 years - almost 5!) we were talking about books and a friend of mine brought up 'Catcher' and both she and I exclaimed "I hated that book!"...ahh love at first site :P Toodles Fior Go Bas view post

posted 20 Sep 2004, 01:09 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by NorthernPlato, Candidate

compassion view post

Origin of Morality posted 14 Oct 2004, 02:10 in Philosophy DiscussionOrigin of Morality by NorthernPlato, Candidate

just a thought that occured to me the other day while I was reading 'Calculating God' by Robert J. Sawyer. It was after the section about the how the numbers of digits on the hands influenced the developement of math. It's kind of a tangential line of thought...having nothing to do with my idea on morality, but it was the idea that was my inspiration. As back ground info (sort of a 'full disclosure') I've always been miffed when people compare degrees of grief over tragedy (ie. my cat/dog died gets the required 'my mother/father died' type of one-upsmanship at the office) as the experience is relative (before flaying me for the crime of relativism, let me explain :P ). If someone has never lost anyone/anything then the best that they can do is empathize with someone over that persons grief. However, if the person has lost something special (loved one, pet, ect.) then it is likely that they can identify with someone expressing grief. Losing something like a pet can be as upsetting as losing a parent, sibling or grand-parent. My reasoning is based in the loss of 'innocence' (how I used to refer to it) but now I've started refering to it as the rape of disillusionment. I've attempted to catergorize how any loss or crime leaves the affected feeling afterwards and all seem to have a common root. Having been stolen from quite a few times (funny how losing a bike was as painfull as the theft of a pen recently....though the pen did have sentimental value, it wasn't just a Bic :wink: ) and knowing women how have either been raped, known someone who has or had it happen in close proximity have been changed by the experience to having experienced loss of a loved one (grandparent) and 3 pets as well as going through my parents divorce several years back, I reflected on how these types of events can change a person. Now explaining this succinctly is a problem I'm having. I believe that as members of society we come pre-programmed with certain 'assumptions' about our safety and well-being. This is probably why young adults are often described as 'feeling immortal'...we've simply had less experiences that have stripped us of our illusions. Now how does all of this tie into the origin of morality? Well, I believe that the ability to hold a groundless belief is our species evolutionary pinnacle. More important than the opposable thumb. The ability to think abstractly (and by extension: language, math, art) is a by-product of our ability to fool ourselves. The belief in God is inherent in our minds, not because He necessarily put it there (though I don't rule out His existance) but because we believe in ideas without proof as an evolutionary development. For example, how could humanity ever have begun living in communities larger than the immediate family unit if everyone involved didn't hold the outrageous belief that their belongings, family, [i:n7kctjra]life[/i:n7kctjra] wasn't going to be exactly as it was when they left? Think about every time you leave your house - do you really expect that someone has broken in and either stolen everything or trash the place? Why not? In Sudbury alone, I'm surrounded by at least 100,000 people I don't know, and I know that crime exists. Then how do we do it? Imagine being the first members of Homosapien sapien (i believe i have that right - thats our species, correct?) and gathering in a community (village, tribe, whatever) and leaving to go out hunting or foraging, and returning to find something amiss. Obviously, as a community these types of actions (murder, rape, theft, etc) threaten the continued existance of the community and therefore must be curbed. Hence the creation of rules, laws and codes. Whether punishment or banishment, there must be some sort of deterant to these actions. Not because the actions themselves are 'bad' (afterall, stealing bread for your starving children cant be 'bad') but because these actions erode our confidence in the social unit. Hmm...just realized that I stated earlier that our ability to hold a groundless belief was our evolutionary pinnacle...sorry...I should write this stuff down better before posting...forming societies is the pinnacle....deluding ourselves is the method by which societies can form. I hold that this ability for dillusion is paramount to the creation of societies. Therefore, any other societies could reasonably be expected to have languange, math, religion of some sort, art, et cetera in a similar manner to our own varried cultures. Societies themselves have become the object of our evolution as opposed to our physical form. Now I'm not saying that our ability to have faith (groundless, unreasonable belief in our own welfare) is without its faults. After all, at its worst we have fundamentalism on one extreme and blind, naive trust on the other. But then, the ability for physical mutation and developement by nature for new species isn't without its flaws, namely cancer. But it by these traits that species (via mutation) and societies (changes in belief) can grow and evolve. I'll try to organize my thoughts on the evolution of societies and by extension language and science more fully so that it's not so scatter-brained. After all, I've been living in my head for the last 25 years and being a rather introverted individual, I've spent a great deal of time connecting seemingly random dots. Fior Go Bas view post

posted 15 Oct 2004, 19:10 in Philosophy DiscussionOrigin of Morality by NorthernPlato, Candidate

My bad. I hope no one else thought I meant that [i:317srmpe]our[/i:317srmpe] is the pinnacle of social evolution :shock: . That would be quiet arrogant of me. Now I have been known to be a little arrogant from time to time (but only the tiniest little bit of a speck so) but that's a little much even for me. I meant that the ability to develop societies at all was our species' greatest biological evolutionary leap. I hypothosize (sp?) that it wasn't until our brains were rewired to connect pain with abstract concepts like loss that we were able to classify actions causing loss as 'wrong', therefore giving us a reassurance that what we believed to be true would remain so and allow us to congregate in groups larger than the immediate family unit. I'm currently pestering my girlfriend to dig out her old university texts on the function of the brain so that I can determine how one could prove/disprove my hypothesis. Then I'll start politely haraasing the neurology professor at Laurentian. heehee. Right now I assume that if I'm correct, one would be able to compare the physiology of our brain with that of apes and then other mammals to determine what part of our brain seems to instictively understand personal belonging/sense of safety and experience 'pain' (for lack of a better term; betrayal was my other choice). As an aside, I once tried to imagine what it would be like to try to understand the world around me (immediate surroundings) without language and how I would communicate that idea to another without some common understanding. Try as I might, I couldn't see how that would be possible and I refuse to accept that the original members of our species came pre-programmed with the ability to create language. That must have been an evolutionary developement. Therefore, other mammals also need a method to communicate (which is obvious if one has ever watched two cats be introduced to each other for the first time or introduced a different animal such as a dog into the same environment). But then why did we develope the ability to gather in societies and not another species. It's really too bad that there are no other members of our Genus still kicking around; I wonder if we were alone in this developement or if others shared it. In my first post I stated that I believed that our ability to gather in societies came before our ability to develope language, and in this post I have used the term language to describe an ability that would predate the ability to develope societies. In the interest of semantics allow me to clarify my meaning; language would be the structed use of sounds/gestures to assign meaning to something other physical objects such as abstract ideas; in this post, where I used language I maybe should have used communication, which would allow common understanding but doesn't require grammar or have the need to express something other than the immediate physical space. Patrick view post

Sudbury Readings/Book Signings? posted 15 Oct 2004, 19:10 in Author Q & ASudbury Readings/Book Signings? by NorthernPlato, Candidate

Scott, I was wondering if you're promotion of TDTCB brought you to Sudbury and more importantly if promotion of TTT could possibly bring you up this way or somewhere dang near. Patrick view post

posted 17 Oct 2004, 23:10 in Philosophy DiscussionOrigin of Morality by NorthernPlato, Candidate

I'm not that used to discussing philosophy either, this is actually the first discussion that I've started; but welcome aboard :D . While reason may tell us to leave home to go to work, I'd argue against myself saying that hunger was the first motivation to leave home. After all, I'm sure that pre-society congregration of humans had a viable 'Meals-on-Wheels' program for the village. But if we as a species inherently place value on objects (whether sentimental or monetary, for example), and all members of the community need to work together (especially in a smaller, hunter/gatherer capacity) then if one member of the group fears for their belongings more than they trust in the community, then that member may not integrate into the rest of the group and the group loses as a whole. It would be similar to a soldier holding the line losing faith in the ability of others to safe-guard his person, he breaks from the line, followed shortly by others until the entire line is routed. The same can be said for the beginings of a society. If one person doesn't feel "safe" then others may not feel the same and society falls apart. Also, wouldn't be finding comfort from the fact that it's 'statistically' unlikely that yur house will be robbed, be the same as believing in an unfounded sense of security. Actually, I'm amazed at the number of people that feel the same way. For example, there is a large percentage of Canadians who believe that winning the lottary will be their retirement fund. Numbers and percentages are not a very useful indicator for rational behaviour. That is why I believe that we were meant to be irrational and that our behaviour is founded on irrational belief. My girlfriend just told me about a signing primate named Coco. I was saying that my hypothesis could be proved/disproved by comparing the neurological reactions in primates (and latter other mammals, perhaps) by testing for reactions to loss. Apparently Coco had a kitten that died and Coco showed the stages of mourning. I believe I'm off to read up as much as possible. If anyone knows of any similar studies that may have already been conducted, please let me know. Patrick view post

posted 27 Feb 2005, 22:02 in Philosophy DiscussionOrigin of Morality by NorthernPlato, Candidate

Wow...I've been away for awhile. It's great to see someone else from Sudbury around - I knew someone else had to have bought that other copy of TWP. Anyway... [quote:2mjk6dxw]I don't think the capacity for faith and morality are really connected. To me from my sociobiology background, morality is essentially an evolved capacity to allow cooperative groups. In order to cooperate we need some ability to project the feelings of others to understand them and respond to them.[/quote:2mjk6dxw] My original argument (perhaps not from this thread, but I guess I can merge them now) was that morality is based on unfounded perceptions, perceptions that are necessary to function in a group. Perceived safety (which is why a sudden death or accident is so traumatic to those around the victim, their perception of safety is shaken) is important to us so that we are less concerned about being harmed and are able to focus on getting ahead (ie. going to work, plowing the field, etc). Faith is an extension of that same 'evolved capacity'. Morality is a tool used to teach our children how to interact with others, how to preserve our illusion of safety. Faith is a tool used to restore trust in the illussions created by morality. Religion combines the two into one 'life-coping mechanism'. As societies grew, I believe religion was also required to create and maintain an administrative branch that cemented a sense of belonging by creating the abstract illusion of authority. I myself don't find anything special about humanity. We were simply the lucky ones chosen by evolution to develop an 'evolved capacity'. Watching any group of animals interact, I see the same potential for abstrtact thought, art and language. Most animals seem only an evolutionary push away from sentience. Communication and language play the most important role in developing the ability to process abstract thoughts and ideas, I believe. Patrick view post

posted 11 Mar 2005, 17:03 in Philosophy DiscussionOrigin of Morality by NorthernPlato, Candidate

Hey Faelcind, you know, nobody's ever recognized my signature before. You're close by the way. It is (supposedly) Irish Gaelic, and it means "Faithful unto Death". I "borrowed it" from the 2nd Battalion Irish Regiment of Canada. As for the connection of morality and faith, I'm saying that when a person says "what hurts me and makes me cry, must hurt them and make them cry, therefore I shouldn't do that", they aren't really talking about the action (what hurts me) they are really referring to the [i:bjqei7jc]illusion[/i:bjqei7jc] of reality they hold. People [i:bjqei7jc]believe[/i:bjqei7jc] their homes are safe and everything will be the same as when they left because the [i:bjqei7jc]need[/i:bjqei7jc] to believe this in order to leave home and function as a member of society. Therefore, society teaches its children and enforces these beliefs with laws and the idea that what you believe to be safe, others believe to be safe, and let's all take this for granted and go about our lives. When a person is victimized (by any destruction of this illusion) they are hurt. Therefore it is not the act that hurts most, it's the betrayal of our illusions. Basically, someone shined a bright light against our part of the cave wall and we realized that the safety we take for granted is crap. Now enter faith. Religion is used as a means to restore "faith" in the illusion, thereby letting us get on about our daily lives. I'm saying that both morality and faith are tools created by evolution to allow us to work as a society. My theory is that evolution didn't only create humanity, it created societies and that similar to the cells in our bodies, we are no more than parts of the greater organism. Well, in theory anyway. view post

posted 11 Mar 2005, 23:03 in Literature DiscussionStephen Erikson's Books by NorthernPlato, Candidate

I seem to be an oddball when talking about Steven Erikson's books. I loved GOTM (i like to hit the ground running), and I found the beginning of DHG to be kind of slow. MOI was great though. After having finished Midnight Tides, I can say I'm anxious to get back to the BB's. I went back and reread GOTM after finishing MT and found that I appreciated the book and the story more, probably because I knew where about in the mythology the story was taking place, and reading certain scenes (like the first one involving Cotillion (sp?) and Shadowthrone (i think that was his name) by the roadside was a treat. TMBotF series is one of the few books I've read where detail in the scenes that was miscellanous during the first read adds dimension during a reread. I'm looking forward to the next book in that series. view post

posted 13 Mar 2005, 18:03 in Philosophy DiscussionOrigin of Morality by NorthernPlato, Candidate

If you mean a sense of spirituality as believing or worshipping "God", no. I believe "God" is an abstract idea we created because we could, because it is a requirement of healing damage done to one's faith in the illusion of security. Does this mean I believe God doesn't exist? No. I don't buy any religions view of God simply they're all to self-serving. I do, however, believe that animals are capable of a sense of self. I'm not going to assume that we're the only creatures with a sense of self and/or community. I believe that our sense of self is much more developed. I believe I've hypthosised in earlier that it's our brains ability to create illusion (not the best word for what I mean, but it's stuck in the head at the moment) and create our capacity for language to define abstract concepts that seperates from most other creatures. Not that I believe other creatures (specifically mammals) incapable of achieving the same feats, I think they're just an evolutionary push away. I'd say we're simply an evolutionary crap-shoot, so to speak. Physically, we're very poorly suited to survival. So evolution tossed us opposable thumbs and a brain wired to form societies. view post

posted 15 Jun 2005, 15:06 in Off-Topic DiscussionAnd now for something totally idiotic - BK v McDonalds by NorthernPlato, Candidate

Between the two, I'm a McD's whore. I blame it on their fries. I think they sprinkle a mixture of salt and crack to keep you addicted. Kinda like Tim's coffee. Neither are at all palatable, but there must be some added narcotic.... But usually, if I must eat fast food, then I choose Subway. @ Echoex -no wonder I always feel like my heart's going to stop after eating poutine - I forgot the beleaguering amounts of alcohol to thin my blood first. Brillant! view post

posted 20 Jul 2005, 14:07 in Tour and Signing InformationR Scott Bakker in the UK by NorthernPlato, Candidate

I hope Sudbury is still considered in Canada :lol: Of course, any cross-canada trip should use the trans-canada highway, which incidentally has a Chapters just off of it, if you're driving though Sudbury. :D view post

posted 19 Aug 2005, 16:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionOur own unique, original euphemisms for naughty bits... by NorthernPlato, Candidate

I like the term snatch. Not quite as vulgar in conversation as cunt or pussy, but slightly humurous. Kinda conjures an image of entrapment, which I'm sure most guys would agree with. Also, vague reference to Eddie Murphy's Raw stand-up.....pussy-trap... :lol: anywho. I've always found it to be disenchanting when one reads romance novels where anatomy is referred to as his/her manhood/womanhood. Sheesh. Talk about *bad pun warning* beating around the bush.... :roll: oops...realised that I should include something original. I like to refer to breasts as The Ladies, as in: "I don't know why you insist on covering up with a towel everytime I poke my head in the washroom after you've showered. Don't you know that The Ladies miss me? C'mon, let me say hi to them...c'mon...." view post

posted 20 Oct 2005, 18:10 in Off-Topic DiscussionWords You Like or Don't Like by NorthernPlato, Candidate

I like the word parochial. Especially when used to describe someone's openmindedness (is that a word, i feel like there should be a hyphen...) or lack thereof. I also the word thereof apperantly. view post

posted 24 Oct 2005, 20:10 in Off-Topic DiscussionMovies...? by NorthernPlato, Candidate

My girlfriend and I really enjoyed '[i:usptlz7b]Closer[/i:usptlz7b]'. For a cast of 4 people, the movie relies heavily on the script and the actors' ability to deliever the dialogue. Funny, how most of Jude Law's movies involve him portraying infedility? I'm a big fan of both Clive Owen and Natalie Portman, so I'm kinda biased. Anywho, I really enjoyed '[i:usptlz7b]Closer[/i:usptlz7b]' and reccommend fully to others. Patrick[/i] view post


The Three Seas Forum archives are hosted and maintained courtesy of Jack Brown.