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posts by DrunkenAfficianado Commoner | joined 29 Sep 2006 | 7

posted 29 Sep 2006, 15:09 in Philosophy Discussion"Have you ever met someone who is smarter than you?&quo by DrunkenAfficianado, Commoner

Intelligence, education, "smarter", "less smart", and ignorance are all conceptual labels one uses to delineate entities according to suppositions about what those various labels "mean" about how those who are labeled "act" when witnessed by an individual. But consider the possibility of a freakishly intelligent person deliberately feigning stupidity to derail some process via a seemingly "goofy" accident-- what I am thinking of here is the possibility that it is Pinky and not the Brain that is the true genius of the "Pinky and the Brain" cartoons, because Pinky saves the Earth from "world domination" everytime, through what seems to be pure chance or idiotic mistake, for the "good" of everyone. Is the Brain really "smarter" than Pinky? Snarf.... view post

posted 29 Sep 2006, 16:09 in Philosophy DiscussionOmar Khayyam (Warrior-Poet) by DrunkenAfficianado, Commoner

The Fitzgerald/Sullivan version of the Rubaiyat is problematic for several reasons, and amazing for several reasons. First, it was the original "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" because the majority of versus attributed to Khayyam are actually bastardized from Hafiz. It is the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald because the original artist was Edmund Sullivan, the author Edward Fitzgerald-- the combination of the two names gives us Edmund Fitzgerald, from whence Gordon Lightfoot penned his song in rememberance of the ship of the same name. And make no mistake, the book as a literal translation is a shipwrecked mismatch of three or more Sufi poets, none of which were Khayyam. Second, it is from the illustrations of the Sullivan version that Einstein got his famous quote that "God does not play dice with the Universe." Indeed, God plays chess with her as seen on plate XLIX with the quatrain: 'Tis all a chequer-board of Nightsand Days Where Destiny with Men for Pieces plays; Hither and thither moves, and mates, and slays, And one by one back in the Closet lays. Ironically, it seems somewhat inferred from Plate XIV that man plays dice with Death. To put forth a point to Sokor, Khayyam argues that one should "die one's own prayer rug with wine" which has been taken by several critics that Khayyam holds that devotion to the Divine transcends the mere outward prohibitions of religion, in this case the prohibition of wine by Islam, if wine would bring one closer to the Divine. Khayyam was an algebraicist and an astronomer. I would suggest to anyone that the works of Idries Shah be consulted first when forming an opinion on Khayyam, especialy his seminal work The Sufis, and then the classic actual translation by Robert Graves and Omar Ali Shah taken from a 15th century manuscript from a mosque under the protection of Jan Fishan Khan, the great uncle of the Shahs. To Edge of Certainty, the English translation was a deliberate shipwreck, a deliberate maiming of the originals, for many reasons, one of which was to see if anybody even noticed, another to simply make money on a book from a far away place in the British Empire. At the time, late 1880's, such was the vogue. But have no doubts, the text was corrupted, enough for Graves and Shah to retranslate an original copy from a mosque in order to do justice to it. Quattrains, what were left of the actual verses of Khayyam were also placed out of order in the "wreck." And almost every other translation other than the Graves/Shah is merely a new reading of the Fitzgerald, which accomplishes nothing but to reiterate a bad reading until the bad reading is taken as gospel. The Wreck is finally actually two books, the bad verse and the individual pictures that transcend the language they are supposedly illustrating. That is, a person can look at the pictures and find a completely different meaning, in some cases sublime, than what is presented in verse. And in some cases this was to get past Victorian censorship. Consider the Plate XVIII, there are roses growing from the skeletons heart because during the crusades, warriors had small pouches containing the rose seeds at their hearts to mark their unmarked graves if they should fall. Wheat grows from his belly because it was what he ate, and hallucenogenic mushrooms grow from his skull forming a halo, and now the careful observer is given the biological etomology of the halo given as an artistic indication of holiness in the world's great religions, especially Christianity, Buddhism, and Hinduism, and in the latter two mentioned the mushrooms are considered a holy sacrement. Again, any interested party should get The Sufis and the other works of Shah and Robert Graves, so the "riddles" mentioned in the post can be answered. The writer Coleman Barks gets his name from Plate/Verse LV. A poorly chosen name at that as any real Sufi will neither flout nor howl as his "conditioning" is his "key." Peace. Tamam Shud view post

posted 29 Sep 2006, 16:09 in Philosophy DiscussionDrugs by DrunkenAfficianado, Commoner

I have used these drugs in my life: cannabis, alcohol, dimethyltriptamine hydrocholoride, dextromethorphan hydrobromide, coccaine, LSD 25, MDA, MDMA, crystal meth, heroine, opium, morphine, codine, psylicibine, psylicine, valium, vicodin, and nicotine. I have never used mescaline or done peyote. Drugs are like firearms. They can be used to control or they can be used to free and protect. But it is extremely easy to make a stupid mistake that will change the user's or another's life forever with drugs, just as it is with a firearm. Freedom comes with responsibility. When a person is not responsible, they have no business with guns or drugs. And yet, most of the people who use and profit from drugs and weaponry are irresponsible, thus creating a wretched need for legislation in order to control those who refuse to control themselves. In a society controlled by governments more interested in their own longevity than the rights or wellbeing of its citizenry, drugs that allow a freedom of insight or religious, physical ecstacy are not allowed because they threaten "order" because questions began to be asked that no one can answer with any kind of righteousness. I believe the literary works that this site embraces were written in sobriety, despite the fact that drugs are mentioned within the books. When one is high or transcendent, it is damned easy to see what art needs to be created, but it is almost impossible to then go and do the actual work necessary to bring the art/work to fruition unless one has some ability to become sober as the need arises and the work demands. What good is your great idea if you are too wasted to go get paint or sit at the computer to write. "Oh, I'll do it tomorrow" is the great mantra of the user. Finally, one is seldom arrested or blackmailed for some stupid event when one is sober, though it does happen. view post

posted 29 Sep 2006, 17:09 in Philosophy DiscussionThe problem of evil by DrunkenAfficianado, Commoner

It sems that Nietzsche is used as a philosophical lynchpin of the Prince of Nothing series, and here I am thinking of the original quote from Nietzsche in the first book, where it is suggested that human beings have no free will in their thoughts or behaviors, that wha they think is only a product of their genetics and behaviorism. Much has been argued from an occidental, Judeo-Christian view on the subject of good vs. evil. But I have found it more appropriate in my experience to consider suffering and freedom as aspects of what defines good and evil. I have known many Satanists who argue their religious choice is a choice for freedom over their bodies and sexuality and minds. In this sense, they have made a choice of religion in order to embrace free will, and they would argue that to deny them that right would cause them suffering for no "good" reason. Thus, despite being Satanists, they have made what would ethically be considered a "good" choice. Conversely, consider the conservative who is "sure," another thematic aspect of the books, so sure that he is willing to cause immeanse suffering or "evil" to achieve the ends he believes should be "right." Here we enter a real world scenario: do people actually have freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of sexuality, freedom of thought? And why are those freedoms so terrifiying to the power structures of organized religions and governments and their faithful followers? But freedom requires responsibility. One person might argue, "Look, I'm not 'really' free unless I am allowed to go kill the last elephant for my billiards table and the last tiger for my tiger penis soup." And that quickly, the individual has overstepped the bounds of what is appropriate for the community. In this example, wild, endangered animals should be viewed as the property of the entire world community and posterity, and not subject to the whim of a economic tyrant in the name of individual freedom. In this case, the suffering felt by the individual is less important than the enormous suffering that would be caused to posterity and humanity as a whole by the exstinction of priceless species. What I wish to point to at this point is that when a sentience is so self-absorbed that he can no longer feel empathy or a common bond with the other sentient beings on this planet, he has become a non-human virus. "My SUV is soo important, it is more important than the enitre environment of the planet, and it is more important than the death of the human species due to global warming!" At this point, the individual sentience is no longer "pro-humanity" over "pro-self"; he has become "pro-bad things." This is the form of evil we see in the Inchoroy-- a sentience concerned only with its own sexual gratification no matter at what cost; and the more anguished the victim the more pleasure. I am not sure I agree that a "reason" or "rational" was needed for their evil. The fear of being damned in the Outside seemed too trivial. The mere unthinking consumptive reasoning of a "terrible" two-year old seemed more plausible for their characters. Finally, I want to say this, this form of evil is not merely embodied in the hands of sociopaths. I have met person after person who feel their individual "need" outweighs the needs of anybody else or any group, even if it is such a minor things as knowingly checking out with 27 items in the express line or stealing a ceramic bowel from a bistro because they simply "wanted" it. When confronted gently, they react at first with anger that anyone would even mention what they had just done to their face, then when it is proven beyond a reasonable doubt, they argue that some other person or circumstance "forced" their hand-- as if they were the slave Nietzsche speaks of in the opening quote. They would rather blame anyone else, even in giving up their own free will, than to acknowledge that they had a choice. And in giving up their own freewill, they have no difficulty in using another sentient being as a slave. And it is at this point that the once human sentience has become an "evil" virus in a human host. Mahayana Buddhism wishes for a release of all suffering for all sentient beings through loving-kindness. From this point of view, God is not necessary, but the "Golden Rule" is imperative. view post

posted 29 Sep 2006, 18:09 in Philosophy DiscussionPerceptions of Reality by DrunkenAfficianado, Commoner

In Hinduism, the Atman and the Brahman are One. That is, the Objective and the Subjective are One. J. Krishnmurti reiterates it, as does the fictional Dunyain. So called "objective" measures are tools created by humankind. An examination of number theory leads directly back to Euclid. An examination of standard units leads back to the Old English "rod" that got it's length from it's use as an astronomical device to calculate the 13 lunar monthes of 28 days each, with a day and 1/4 left over, with respect to the Solar year. Time is not "objective" or "standardized," unless agreed to by a populace. The Romans had no "0" or negative numbers despite the fact the Greeks had them for 350 years prior. If time is not a standard, then how can any objective reality exist simply because it is "framed" or "bounded", by physics or mathematical language? What if a sentient being deliberately disbelieves "math" as derived of Euclidean geometry? What if A. Crowley is correct in stating 0=63 in order to make Kabbhalistic sense, and thus creates a "new" metric which is an "accepted" "Objective" measure? Suddenly, the freewill of the individual observing sentience determines how raw sensory data is processed into usuable information. If another sentience, who assumes there must be an "objective" reality begins to attempt a meaningful communication with the first observer without the new metric, he will assume the first sentient being mad or insane, whereas the being might be working on a completely different and entirely legal level of insight. Thus, to argue for objectivity is the first shackle of slavery. Objectivity is allowing mere quantity rather than quality to affect one's perception of the IS. If you can control my method of perception and thus my gathering and use of meaningful information, then you have control of my mind. That is slavery. Metrics are tools to benefit sentient beings. When they lead to slavery, they should be eliminated. And yes, there are accepted non-Euclidean geometries such Reiman and Lobochevsky.... view post

posted 29 Sep 2006, 18:09 in Philosophy DiscussionInfinity, destiny and The Prince Of Nothing's philosophy by DrunkenAfficianado, Commoner

In the series "Freewill" is an illusion, as is "good." While it is argued that the Dunyain is a superior lifeform because he can enslave according to his superior techniques of communication, he has no freewill as he must always find the shortest path and he has to go to his father. I felt cheated by the last book as it was half the length of the first two, and seemed like merely the attempt to honor the contract to the book company. We were not allowed to see if the Holy War had meaning, if the Inchoroy could be defeated by humanity in some final battle, and if the belief that if they had killed enough souls, that they could block out judgement was merely a belief or an actual viable possiblity, versus a rationalization for evil acts. Thus, we are not allowed to see if infinity actually exists. We come to the separation of Nietzsche from Shoepenhaur, and though Nietzsche was Shoepenhaur's student, Shoepenhaur feels like he should have come later as I simply find a solution to the problems Nietzsche raises in the Shoepenhaur. Kant also creates positive solutions. None of the characters in the book had freewill because they were characters in Bakker's book. He made them do what they did. In the end they were more of a character study viewed through a philosphical lens, especially the rationalizations in the second book. But what does it mean for actual humans living an everyday life? While Thomas Covenant was irreverant and caustic and a rapist, he was also willing to suffer complete loss to protect the land. The Dunyain is unwilling to accept anything less than total dominance. In the end, I view the series as viable art because I seriously was forced to ask questions of my own life experience from a Nietzschen point of view. But I did not enjoy them as much as many other works of a fantasy or speculative fiction genre precisley because they allowed me no escape, which is why I read the genre. In terms of control, I prefer the Asimov Foundation series because there exists Hope. In many ways, these books should be compared more to the Elric/Stormbringer sagas than Covenant, precisely because there is no hope. And while we are dealing with a Second Apocalypse, we do not see an endgame, merely the taking of Shimeh, which despite the deaths and suffering seemed unApocalyptic since no final battle with the Inchoroy ever insued. There is no hope in these books, which is a viable artistic conceit but not an enjoyable one to read. Instead there are too many rationalizations for a complete lack of free will which just pisses me off....There I've said it. view post

posted 29 Sep 2006, 19:09 in Philosophy DiscussionTranshumanism and Genetic Engineering by DrunkenAfficianado, Commoner

The qustion which we voted on was too broad and too simplistic to be given a simple "yes" or "no" answer. I state "no" because I have no faith in the power structure that determines what traits are positive and what traits are negative. I am against forced eugenics, forced abortions, cloning, the theft of geneics from a "superior" specimin against his or her will in order to "protect" the genetic strain for the power structure. I am against the harvesting of human organisms for the benefit of other humans for cosmetic reasons or even for medical necessity. To argue that some humans should be harvested so that some other humans can have a life of less woe is literally throwing the baby out with the bathwater, or in poker terms throwing in the good money after the bad. In many cases, such as blindness and some forms of autism, the infirmity of the biological parents--syphallis in the case of blindness and herpes in the cases of autism-- is a direct cause. There was a choice made to not use protection, and a genetically defective human was created by people who were too unconcerned to take precautions. And while that would be worrying enough, I met several "scientists" while at university that thought such infants should be given over immediatly to medical research. The idea that scientists that use the multi-million dollar tools of university research faciltiies without a shread of ethics, let alone morality, fills me with abject dread. Some postualted that the Dunyain is a "good" entity, a beneficial lifeform, yet nothing could be farther from the truth. At viable levels, genetic engineering is expensive, thus only the rich will have access to it. Not all of the rich look like Paris Hilton. It is easy to say that eugenics is great, and that people should be able to order their babies like at a fast-food place. But an examination of the children from the eugenics camps of the Nazis in Norway proves a very different point. The Liebensborn as a rule did not end up in positions of power 50 years down the road. Many of them ended up lower middle class mechanics and such. It is the genetic diversity, American hybrid vigor, that is the most sought after conception of beauty in Hollywood. I can only think of the Southpark where Christopher Reid kept eating human fetuses for super strength, and never have I so shouted with support for Gene Hackman's Lex Luther.... I tell you what, let me experiment on you and your children first, then we might switch somewhere down the road.....does the eugenic plan still sound so good? view post


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