Jim B. wrote:
Jim, I'm not trying to engage in some esoteric ~*~*let's re-evaluate the nature of reality and the words we use~*~* kind of discussion here. I'm trying to appeal to a deep and abiding sentiment that God has given us, but that we obscure with noise.
I agree, but I think you miss one of my points. People have or are capable of actual agency
. Noise is primarily self-generated. We are not condemned to being passive recording instruments. External stimuli is important but not pivotally.
And I'm not speaking to *you* per se. This is...okay here's what's going on "behind the scenes" in my mind, since I'm not trying to win a debate here and I am trying to have a genuine exchange of meaning and I get the feeling that I've been making this too one sided.
In my model of reality I have exemplars; people that I consider to exhibit the best human qualities and who have the best type of life FOR ME. I am 100% absolutely reading my worldview and value system into you, into anyone reading this, and into the world at large. I'm doing that on purpose. I'm trying, I suppose, to be persuasive, not to have a logically rigorous argument.
Of those people who are exemplars, I don't know any of them who pay any attention to the news. I myself have almost no reference to "daily affairs" outside of niche sports reporting, and actually I've cut that out recently too. The feedback that I've had from those exemplars, when it's been available, and my own experience, is that I haven't lost anything of value by giving up the news and I have gained considerably.
That's a statement rife with value judgments and you have no reason to share them with me. I'm not asking....I'm trying to find a way to use this recent tension of news/politics/information/reality to intervene with how things could look differently if people were all ~*~*JUST LIKE ME~*~*. That's purposely what I'm trying to do and all my arguments and language are colored that way. I am purposely treating everything and everyone else in existence like an undifferentiated mass with generic tendencies. If you don't fit into that average blob of humanity because you have qualities a standard deviation or two away from the mean, and the news is crucial to something in your life....you're right, I haven't tried at all to really figure it out. I'm not really trying to do that at all, actually.
I'm pretty sure this would be a conversation that could benefit from a lot of those things one misses out on over the net. Or maybe I just pissed you off. I'm sorry. But now that I've gotten that off my chest, let me listen to you and do more responding to your points and questions and less trying to impose my worldview.
sgttomas wrote:The other aspect is how we are as biological entities, and how essentially irrational, emotional, and self-deluded we are.
We are meaning making machines. (I hate that expression) We can make "sense" out of anything. Most of it isn't really as great as we think, if we were to see it through, or see the big picture. It just happens, automatically. When we are bombarding ourselves with a constant stream of chaos we are not capable of drawing valid conclusions. It happens too quickly, and it triggers too many confirmation bias emotions and automatic thought patterns inside of us.
Again, I agree but... I take a slightly different view. When you say "essentially," then what's the point of trying to evaluate anything rationally and dispassionately? Can we bootstrap ourselves up out of our own essence? Seems that nothing short of divine intervention could remedy such an essentially fucked up situation. This may be an Islamic doctrine (?) I happen to attribute the potential for actual agency maybe more than you. All human faculties are subject to perversion. By your logic, because our 'natural' faculties for productivity and self-sustenance can be so easily perverted into greed and selfishness, then we should not live in societies that put such high value on personal property and wealth-accumulating as capitalist societies do, or we should at least reject those values as much as possible. But unless you're going to live in a commune way out in the wilderness, you ARE in such a society. Money is everywhere and virtually everything, just as media are ( they closely related, of course!). We are all guilty, all tainted, all immersed in the cesspool. That's all kind of beside the point...Yes, external stimuli matter but they're not pivotal.
I'm not trying to draw out such wide sweeping conclusions. I'm just asking you to stop watching the news. That's all. That's all I'm saying. You can get better information streams from other sources that will be easier to process and result in better conclusions about life and what not. The news is a problem. Because of it's format. It's hard to digest. It lacks nutrients. Agency etc. I'm not talking about that. I don't think this is an Islamic doctrine in that sense. Yes, the serenity of life and the mode of being and how to attain it certain does come from that. And yes, I want you all to have that. Not all of my exemplars are Muslims. My dad's a Christian.
That's not what I'm saying. I'm acknowledging that I get caught up in current events despite not seeking out the news in any capacity. A friend told me about the story and it sounded interesting. It *IS* interesting to me. There are threads of arguments that I started picking at back in my university days and it's fascinating for me to re-evaluate them now. But I really don't think it's important *as news*.
...I mentioned my friend told me about this story. Well, I'm not denying a person find out ANY information about the outside world. I'm asking you to consider the way that you access it and in what quantities. See, I'm still engaged in this story, and yes, it happens to still be making some "news" but it won't in another month...and I'll still be working my way through some of the questions and issues. You will find out the important things in life from the social circles you have, and I do NOT mean Facebook. That's just another news media, and it's a particularly insidious and revolting kind.
And how do you think that I access it? Seems you're making unfounded assumptions about me. Perhaps it's time for some self-reflection about how you come to form global judgments about others based on very slight evidence?
I've been talking about the importance of trying to inform oneself as best as one can IN PRINCIPLE. I've said nothing about how one goes about doing this. You're making a lot of assumptions.
You said you watch the news. I'm saying you shouldn't. You said Al Jezeera is better than Fox. I'm saying watch neither and you'd get better outcomes. I don't want to draw in any other assumptions about you as a human being, other than the complete generalizations I'm making about humanity. Maybe that's confusion, maybe it's "unfair". I just saw some of my friends talking about the news and I wanted to interject with a radical proposal. Maybe you really should watch the news...actually, my Dad does watch some news because he has to council his congregation and it helps to not be completely clueless about current events, but he doesn't relish the task.
The most important thing is occurring right now beyond the realm of news and without anyone's knowledge, save maybe one or a few persons. 10 years from now it's going to obliterate 20% of civilization and upend the entire world into chaos. But go ahead, worry about Supreme Court elections....I didn't know you were on the Senate sub committee of whateverthenameis who will be making those decisions.
LITERALLY! The moment has passed. The decision is done, in that sense. Do you have ANY impact on those policy decisions. Do you have ANY influence. How can something that you have no power to affect, have no influence to shape, have no voice to be heard actually be "important" in any sense?
So are you among that handful of people with real knowledge about what's going on? If not, then "Physician, heal thyself."
I don't understand why some people get themselves so agitated about things that will never be within their agency. I don't think that's healthy, psychologically. And yeah, I'm claiming that adopting more of this kind of perspective actually does have within it the property of self healing. ....I don't think I'm the only one who makes these observations.
sgttomas wrote:How can you adequately inform yourself of even one of those issues? You're talking about climate change....I'm vastly more knowledgeable in that area than you and I don't see it with any concern whatsoever that the general public become "informed"....because they cannot. In a very, very complex world it's just the ego and ideological simplification that makes you think you even can attempt to understand any of those issues. I'm not saying avoid trying to learn about them, but why not go read a book about the history of the Supreme Court? ...or, if you want to be more entertained, subscribe to the podcast More Perfect. I don't have a problem with that. I subscribe to a few podcasts that I suppose are based on current events. Some of them are just entertaining, while others give me the door to open should I choose to follow it. But it's a very limited stream and it already comes with quite a bit more "clothing" than the news cycle can. I told you about my paradigm for taking a piece of information and becoming informed about it. I'm not telling you to bury your head in the sand, I'm saying that you're running around like a dog in an offleash park if you watch the news. Just one excitement to the next. It isn't noble.
Setting aside all the condescending ad hom, which seems to be your schtick, as I've said, we each have to decide what is important for ourselves and inform ourselves as best as we can. I am not a doctor and will never have more than the slightest superficial knowledge about the sub-specialty that deals with my particular illness but I still have to decide. In a similar sense, I am a citizen in a civil democratic. The categorical imperative means I must decide certain things. Your talking about something different. about immersion, idolatry, pre-occupation, allowing oneself to be seduced. That's a different matter. Yours is a quantitative point, mine is a qualitative one.
Yes. I agree. ...well, even more than that. I'm practically saying it's a binary point. I'm not trying to ad hom you. It's not a debate. I'm not using dirty tactics to win. I'm trying to be provocative because...well, yeah I'm kind of an asshole behind this keyboard and this persona...actually we all come across a lot more like assholes behind keyboards. Part of it is dis-inhibition, part of it is that we miss out on the other social cues like, I'm making understand and soft faces when I type things to you, and my body posture is relaxed and inviting, and I'm feeling bad that you're expressing frustration and other darker emotions about how my posts are making you feel, which is understandable. I'm open to your criticism and I'm sorry that it felt like a personal attack.
This isn't about you, per se. It's all of us. And why isn't that hypocritical given my other comments about people's shitty ability to understand the world and the use of partial models to make decisions? Because I'm just saying the news isn't helping, and you'd have better models without it. I don't have perfect models. I have models that are almost entirely not informed by the daily newsfeed.
It's just about the news. Not how we make decisions. How we make decisions in light of the input sources. News is bad. Other sources of information is good.
sgttomas wrote:Your argument - in my reading of it - is that it is important to draw false conclusions about things. Let's pick apart one of your "informed beliefs" about the world that has been programmed into you by the chaos and emotional turmoil of the news. Let's talk about climate change, specifically coal -vs- photovoltaics. Do you have an "informed belief" about it?
Your making a whole raft of assumptions again. Your confirmation bias, along with a touch of moral and spiritual and intellectual superiority, is showing!
Sorry that really didn't come across correctly. I was trying to say that I am going to purposely mis-characterize your argument ("in my reading of it") because...shit I dunno...that didn't work! I only really know one or two things with any degree of competency. That's why I picked the one topic.
I would like to know what you think about that subject though. In my experience with other people they have never heard of the most crucial aspects of this from any news source. It's too dense to present in news and it doesn't have an ongoing cycle of repeated "hits" to jog the newscycle into keeping it current.
...I may have decided to ask you about Islamic extremism, but I don't like to stereotype myself
I am precisely saying that the news affects people's behavior. I'm asking you to think critically about how that process actually occurs, and to be honest with yourself about how well informed you really are, and if you wanted to be adequately informed about any serious and complex issue just how much time and energy would you have to invest into it?
It. Changed. Nothing.
How are you qualified to pass judgment on what extent I think critically or how honest I am about...oh, anything?
When this thing passes from the news cycle in a few weeks (let's say), how long will you hold onto the memory of it when it comes to the next election cycle? Maybe you have a big bookmarked list of every news story and how you feel about it. Perhaps you then rank those stories in terms of importance to you. Maybe you then go through that list with whatever candidate publishes about their position (which may or may not reflect their actual beliefs, or be indicative of their future actions). I'd like to see how "informed" you would sound in a conversation with experts from each of those fields.
That's a spurious argument. I wouldn't sound very well-informed talking to ANY expert about ANYTHING that I decide about EVERYDAY. How informed would you sound talking to a climatologist? How informed would a metaphysician sound talking to an ethicist about ethics, etc?
Couldn't you, though? If you invested time into one or two issues? Couldn't you become that knowledgeable? I bet you could. I could pass muster with climatologists, for the issues I care about. I wouldn't do well with either the metaphysician nor the ethicist. I read what you and met and Metacrock have to say to learn more about those things.
You don't have to care. I'm not saying your value system is wrong. I was trying to use these subjects to illustrate how my value system would interpret the "news" and the information about our world, and how the outcome would be different, and maybe you like that outcome better, or maybe you don't.
Jim B. wrote:
How do figure there are very few facts? Do you mean as a state of affairs or things we justifiably know? Or do you know? Opinions would still be facts. That I believe something is still a fact. Even interpreted epistemically, I would question your assertion. We all know many facts.
IMO, yours is just a more impacted ideology, especially in light of all the unfounded assumptions you make about me.
I didn't mean it so personally. I was purposely treating you as an undifferentiated mass. I'm also making all of those accusations about myself. I considered that to be obvious. Maybe it wasn't. As in: here are the things I discovered about myself, then I discovered that I'm not really a unique snowflake, but I have to deal with all these silly biological and hormonal issues that we all do. Oh, and the news is fucked.
We really don't know as many facts as we think. It's something I am forced to confront on a daily basis and actual things happen when I get the two confused. It's a fact that people have opinions. You must have been really upset to call opinions facts. ...didn't you watch Inside Out
But there is wisdom. Wisdom dictates that Trump is a terrible, horrible, awful result. Really awful. It's scares me. It really does. Stop watching the news. You need to prepare yourself for what's coming.
Please stop the apocalyptic hinting and tell us what's coming and how you think you know? What is the secret to your "Wisdom"?
What wiped out the previous civilizations on Earth? It's coming. I don't know that it's 10 years away, but none of us know the Hour. Precautionary principle would be to not worry about the daily affairs as much as the longer trends in history, and to galvanize one's self with the wisdom we have procured through those hard fought battles.
It's just a conversation. I'm not going to prove that.