Dear Diary Moments:

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d63
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Re: Dear Diary Moments:

Post by d63 »

Dear Diary Moment 10/9/2021:

Am presently reading the latest edition of New Philosopher. And today I came across Patrick Stokes’ “To Boldly Go and Not Come back”. It basically brought me back to the Philosophy 101 conundrum of the teleportation problem: that once you are disassembled for sake of transport to somewhere else, you more or less die even if the person that arrives at the other point is an exact replica of you with all the memories you have up until then.

Reading it, I suddenly realized there may be a more realistic, practical, and less sinister way to approach this technology. And I bring this up for any aspiring ScyFy writers out there as an old ScyFy fan myself. It seems to me that the best way to avoid the teleportation conundrum is for the body of the original subject to remain in place in a sleep state while the technology creates an exact replica of it with all its memories (an avatar (up until then that, in turn, creates other memories that are transmitted back to original subject.

But then this creates another problem. What happens if that replica/avatar recognizes that they’re being used by the original subject and that their existence is short term? What happens if the replica/avatar rebels against the original self?
Vitruvius
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Re: Dear Diary Moments:

Post by Vitruvius »

d63 wrote: Sat Oct 09, 2021 8:58 pm Dear Diary Moment 10/9/2021:

Am presently reading the latest edition of New Philosopher. And today I came across Patrick Stokes’ “To Boldly Go and Not Come back”. It basically brought me back to the Philosophy 101 conundrum of the teleportation problem: that once you are disassembled for sake of transport to somewhere else, you more or less die even if the person that arrives at the other point is an exact replica of you with all the memories you have up until then.

In Star Trek "Enterprise" Emory Erickson, the inventor of transportation technology specifically denies that the person disassembled is not the person who arrives at the destination. (S4 Ep 10)

The fact he was lying to Jonathon Archer throughout the episode - should not cast doubt on this statement, because he was lying in order to retrieve his son who had been left, suspended between realities in a long range transporter accident.

This, and about a hundred other transporter accidents in the Star Trek universe could not have occurred if the metaphysical problem exists, because one could just get the transporter to "replicate" the crew member from their last transport pattern.

In Star Trek Next Generation (S6 Ep 4) for example, Scotty cycles himself into a transport buffer - and waits 75 years for rescue, while his colleague's pattern degrades and was lost.

If the transporter merely took a molecular photo and recreated it, it would work more like Bio-Printer 745, originally aboard the SS Nautilus, in Red Dwarf Series XI.

Star Trek transporters don't work like that. Crew members do not, as Stokes puts it:

"step into a machine that disintegrates them, and then constructs a perfect replica of the now-dead crew member on another planet."

The crew are regularly translated into energy, and back into matter somewhere else. If one wanted to pick holes in transporter technology - the energy requirement of transporting someone elsewhere would be effectively infinite, given that E=MC2.
d63
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Re: Dear Diary Moments:

Post by d63 »

Dear Diary Moment 11/11/2021:

I have, throughout my process, pimped what I call the nihilistic perspective that recognizes that there is no solid criteria by which to judge action. And today, while reading the latest issue of Philosophy Now, I came up against the one argument that presents a legit counterpoint to my position: that the criterion of not killing or robbing or raping (etc., etc. (anyone seems solid enough. And it does seem solid. But the term “seem” or “seems” is an important qualifier here. It just all came to me today.

The problem with presenting the prohibition on killing, robbing, rape, or even torture as anything more than a human construct is that it tries to present such moral assertions as if they had the same objective status as the laws of physics. The problem, with this, of course, is that while we can easily violate a social norm or moral criteria, what we can’t violate are the laws of physics.
d63
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Re: Dear Diary Moments:

Post by d63 »

Dear Diary Moment 11/14/2021:

Just started today on my second immersion in Levi R. Bryant’s Difference and Givenness: Deleuze’s Transcendental Empiricism and the Ontology of Immanence. And already it has proven a real walk down memory lane in that, it having been years since the first run, this immersion has brought back a couple of understandings that I latched onto, but have either forgotten the source of or completely forgotten due to disuse.

For one, there is Deleuze’s recognition of aesthetics as not being just about the nature of beauty, but a study of the sensible (how the mind commandeers raw reality (as well. This one stayed with me. But I had forgotten the source of it.

The other is the three means by which we analyze any given proposition: the syntactic, the semantic, and the existential. And these are important to understand. And I, in my excitement, use to cite the model all the time. Unfortunately, I got distracted along the way and it got buried –which is what makes it such a pleasure to see it resurrected.

But it is important to the extent that we utilize all three. The syntactic is the domain of symbolic logic in which the only thing that matters is if one argument follows the other. The semantic is the domain of the analytic in which the only reality that matters lies in an exact understanding of the terms we are using to define reality. The existential, finally, is pretty much what most of us are utilizing day to day as we deal with the day to day.

And let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that the existential is the only approach that matters. None of us are beyond utilizing the semantic or syntactic to make an argument, regardless of their limitations.
d63
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Re: Dear Diary Moments:

Post by d63 »

Dear Diary Moment 11/19/2021:

Reading Fredric Jameson's foreword to Layotard's The Postmodern Condition, something crystallized for me today as concerns the continental tradition that centers around its Marxist roots: that it has been haunted by a dialectic between French based radical self creation (think Deleuze and Guatarri's schizo-process (and Hegelian totality: Žižek’s 'the truth is out there'. Radical self-creation succumbs to the apparent futility of trying to beat the Capitalistic system from the outside (while trying attack it from the inside (while Hegelian totality attempts to beat it from the outside through transcendent de-ontic assertions that seem to be right, even to the point of seeming perfectly founded.


Then you have a pragmatic like Rorty who recognizes the potential for radical self-creation in a writer like Derrida while recognizing a seemingly transcendent/founded criterion for truth: the question of if it works to further social justice. In a sense, even though Rorty is part of the Anglo-American tradition, he does seem to work as a kind of synthesis in the dialectic of the continental tradition.
d63
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Re: Dear Diary Moments:

Post by d63 »

Dear Diary Moment 11/25/2021:

On this particular broach of Deleuze’s Difference & Repetition (original text I mean), I came across something that I hadn’t noticed before that I thought might have been a conscientious aesthetic move. I could be reading myself into this. But then hopefully some of my fellow and more advanced Deleuzians might either confirm me or break my heart –especially those who write books about this kind of thing with extensive bibliographies: Ian? Claire?

What I had noticed was that Deleuze had titled his introduction ‘Repetition and Difference’, the mirror opposite of Difference and Repetition. And the effect this had while reading the intro was to be able to look to the top of the page (of both pages (and see both phrases mirroring each other like some ongoing repetition. And to me, it seemed to suggest the intertwined nature difference and repetition in the way Deleuze seemed to understand them.

Now once again: I may be reading myself into this. First of all, I have always argued that the creative act never seems that far from Deleuze’s mind. But then, as I have also pointed out before, this is coming from a guy who worked his way to Deleuze from a young man who thought it his manifest destiny to be rock star. Secondly, it looks exactly like the kind of clever avant garde move I would try to make, especially if I were working w/ my personal editor Mary Jane.

And of course, I have no way of knowing how the original French version was formatted. Still…..
d63
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Re: Dear Diary Moments:

Post by d63 »

Dear Diary Moment 12/4/2021:

I’ve recently come to realize that a real world example of Deleuze’s “image of thought” in Difference and Repetition are the trolls we tend to encounter on these boards. This particular conceptual model was meant to confront various false presuppositions we tend to accept without really thinking about them. The main one was this assumption that philosophy is, by obligation, committed only to the pursuit of the true. But that is not what philosophy is made to do. What philosophy is about (as Deleuze would later articulate w/ Guatarri in What is Philosophy (is conceptual play for the sake of creating yet more concepts. It’s a kind of brainstorming activity: a creative act. Beyond that, it is a matter of of playing those concepts and conceptual models against reality until we are either forced to drop them, revise them, or accept them as a workable description of how reality works. And we see, once again, the pragmatic overlap between Deleuze and Rorty on this matter.

The troll is a slave to the Image of Thought. This is why they hide in the shadows and wait for any one of us to make one statement that we haven’t fully backed so that they can pounce on us with their gotcha moments in order to stroke their own egos: their guru complexes. This is because their mediocrity prohibits them from participating in the creative process philosophy is actually about. And they always rationalize it through a false criteria based on the standards of science, not philosophy.
d63
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Re: Dear Diary Moments:

Post by d63 »

Dear Diary Moment 1/23/2022:

Went, in my study point (yet again), through Joe Hughes’ section on Deleuze’s embrace of the univocity of Being. (Just can’t seem to back away from the hope of breaking through this particular creative hymen.) And while it didn’t give me quite the brain strain it did yesterday, I remain, for the most part, aloof. However, I did come to a couple of realizations.

For one, Deleuze’s embrace of univocal being (that which sees being as being said in the same way of all things (makes perfect sense given that he is treating difference and repetition as actually existing things –that is as compared to thinking of them as mere abstractions: the relationships that emerge between the “actual” things that can be empirically observed as hard objects.

(And note the overlap here with Rorty’s disdain for any talk about “ontological status”.)

For another, I’m starting to better appreciate Deleuze’s concern with Aristotle’s breakdown from a given genus to a given species: that any given difference that emerges is always the product of a pre-determined form.

It’s not much. But it could be a stepping stone towards shifting my mind through the chaos of lines and shapes on the poster to the 3D seascape within.
d63
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Re: Dear Diary Moments:

Post by d63 »

Dear Diary Moment 3/17/2022:

One of the things I got from my immersion in Buchanan’s book on Jameson is the distinction between philosophy and theory –that is even though theory can be considered an extension of philosophy. While philosophy tends to focus on the basic issues concerning human existence (free will vs. determinism, subjectivity vs. objectivity, ethical relativity vs. ethical absolutism, etc., etc.), theory tends more towards the political in its advancement and its (or not so much) embrace of Marxism.

My having recognized that my primary embrace has been theory (I’m not as read in more classical philosophers such as Plato or Aristotle or Descartes as I am the continentals), I now see why I have always felt a kind of disconnect to what I read in magazines like Philosophy Now and New Philosopher. They always feel kind of Philosophy 101 to me with writers that have a better understanding of it than I do. This is why more and more I find myself reading articles and finding nothing to respond to.

And don’t get me wrong: I respect what both magazines are doing and will continue to support both. Still, I’m haunted by that disconnect that I feel as concerns their more topical approaches. I sometimes feel like I've outgrown it. Although, other times I feel like I'm just burnt out.
d63
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Re: Dear Diary Moments:

Post by d63 »

Dear Diary Moment 4/7/2022:

I recently subscribed (via Philosophy Now (to The New Humanist. And one of the extras I got out of it was Roy Speckhardt’s book Creating Change Through Humanism. And reading it, it clearly feels like a manifesto –most of which (if not all of which (I agree with. At the same time, I can see why many rightwing Christians might have read secular humanism as just another religion, as they tried to argue to the Supreme Court back in about the 80’s or 90’s, that is as it applies to what was and is taught in public schools.

But as secular humanists (most of which are either committed Democratic progressives or who feel the Bern of Social Democratic principles), we know better. Our mission (should we choose to accept it (is to keep articulating the distinction between secular humanism and religion proper until everyone is clear that they are two completely different things; until everyone is clear that while religion proper is based on intuitions, secular humanism is based on things as they actually are. And we have to do it without succumbing to the Libertarian claim that the market (given its resources (has exclusive claim to the reality we all share.
d63
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Re: Dear Diary Moments:

Post by d63 »

Dear Diary Moment 4/14/2022:

As I immerse myself in my graphic guide Introducing Fractals (the kind of thing I read when I have a lot of stuff that needs to be done around the house since it doesn’t require the kind of commitment that hardcore theory does), I’m finding a lot of my initial impulses about it confirmed, that is even though there are a lot of influences that are out of my pay grade: most notably things like Cantor sets or the Mandelbrot whatever or anything that remotely resembles calculus. Grade school algebra is as far as I got. Still I’m getting a blue-collarized sense of it and its connection to chaotics. In other words, I’m getting it at a metaphorical level which seems appropriate given my background and influences. Here I would put forth the kind of fractal causality at work in the computer models that weathermen tend to work from –models, BTW, that have greatly improved their ability to predict weather patterns.

But the main thing I want to point to here is how much fractal mathematics and geometry and the resulting chaotics must have influenced Deleuze. His folds within folds outside of folds are clearly an expression of fractal causality. And we see this same influence at work in other continental thinkers such as Layotard’s model of us like ball bearings engaging in exchanges of communication that results in acts and complex systems of displacement. What is interesting here is that neither Deleuze nor Layotard nor any other continental thinker (as far as I know (ever even mentions fractals or chaotics. It's like it was always working in the background.
d63
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Re: Dear Diary Moments:

Post by d63 »

Dear Diary Moment 4/16/2022:

In the words of Kyle from South Park: I learned something today. I learned that, according to fractal geometry, many systems that are immediately accessible to us are the composite effect of subsystems that follow patterns very similar to the composite effect of what we immediately perceive. The way limbs break out from branches on a tree is similar to the way branches break out from the trunk. The turbulence we see in an ocean is the composite effect of individual instances of turbulence within the flow and ebb of water that, in turn, are the composite effect of instances of turbulence. It’s basically about the economy of nature in that it creates complexity by repeating patterns that seem to work (and think Deleuze and Difference and Repetition here). And we see a similar dynamic at work in the brain.

And given the last point, you have to wonder to what extent fractal geometry plays a part in the psychedelic experience since a lot of what you see tends to consist of tiled images that create a composite effect. And here we need to consider Dennett’s point in Consciousness Explained that the psychedelic experience tends to work in terms of patterns and geometry because the way we normally engage with reality starts with recognizing the basic shape of things then goes on to fill in the details.
d63
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Re: Dear Diary Moments:

Post by d63 »

Dear Diary Moment 5/14/2022:

Reading Jameson, I'm starting to think that we might achieve a little more clarity if we (as Voltaire advises: define our terms and make a distinction between critique as theory practices it and criticism as it is generally practiced. Critique, it seems to me, is about bouncing off of a given text (in the fullest postmodern sense of anything that can be interpreted: enter hermeneutics (while adding a touch of one's own. And here we're in line with Deleuze's understanding of critique as being both negative (that which seeks flaws in the text (and positive in that it adds something to the jam. (See his preface to Difference and Repetition: philosophy as detective/sci-fy utopian novel.)

Criticism, on the other hand, is always a value statement. It is always about whether a given text is of value or not. Compare, for instance, Roger Ebert's site and Anthony Lane's movie critiques in The New Yorker. Ebert’s site is clearly criticism in that it that it gives you clear sense of what movies or TV series you should watch and what to avoid –that is with some really good writing. Lane (who borders on critique in the context of theory), in comparison, seems to focus mainly on the writing. He writes all these interesting points about a given movie (bounces off of it), but always leaves you thinking:

Yeah! Yeah! Right! But did he like the movie or not?

Jameson, of course, refers to what he is doing as “dialectical criticism” when I would argue the better description would be “dialectical critique”. But the dialectic has always been one of those terms or conceptual models that the more I learn about, the less I seem to understand or know: the less clear my definition. My understanding has always felt visceral and oblique. So it may well be that Jameson’s dialectical criticism is the very definition of critique.
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