The Merits of the Milesians

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Philosophy Now
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The Merits of the Milesians

Post by Philosophy Now » Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:52 pm

Chad Trainer seeks out the causes of the birth of Western philosophy.

https://philosophynow.org/issues/69/The_Merits_of_the_Milesians

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Re: The Merits of the Milesians

Post by uwot » Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:00 pm

Philosophy Now wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:52 pm
Chad Trainer seeks out the causes of the birth of Western philosophy.

https://philosophynow.org/issues/69/The ... _Milesians
A splendid article, and if that's your bag, you might also appreciate my own contribution.
Philosophy Now wrote:
Sat Sep 27, 2014 3:09 pm
Will Bouwman on how Thales, Anaximander, Pythagoras, Parmenides & Zeno established empiricism, maths & logic as dominant features of Western thinking.

https://philosophynow.org/issues/104/Ph ... d_Branches

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Re: The Merits of the Milesians

Post by -1- » Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:57 am

uwot, I read your contribution and it was way superior to this article.

You connected the whats to the whys. I got more deep thought of he ancients out of your article thant from the other two: one preseented here as an OP, and one in a textbook. The textbook I had read was really stupid: it treated the claims of The... forgot 'is name, Anaxemader, Anaxamender, etc., as curious stupidities. Your article showed how very reasonable these men's ideas were.

I read the entire article in one shot, while I wanted to leave it 2/3rds through, because of my horribly strong ADD. But I persevered, because your words were gold.

I don't remember a thing now I read. I am also very forgetful. But I remember that when I was reading it, I kept saying, yeah, this is reasonable, yeah, this is reasonable, meaning the theories of these ancient Greeks. And KUDOS TO YOU for bringing their thoughts to me, to us, without making fun of their curious, and with hammering sense into them. These old guys are more deserving of human memory, is the thought that comes to one after reading your article, than than after reading the other two articles.

The article that is not yours but was published in Philosophy Now is a summary, an analysis of the work of these ancient guys, but it does not give any indication of their thoughts, theories. Whereas yours not only tied their thoughts and theories to their locale and kronos, but yours gave an as detailed as possible dynamic description how these men arrived at their conclusions, not just the mere conclusions. Yours was clearly written, readable, entertaining, informative, and smart. The PN article (the one we discuss) was hazy, non-informative, a bit hifolutin', and altogether a waste of time to read, compared to your piece.

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Re: The Merits of the Milesians

Post by uwot » Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:50 am

-1- wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:57 am
uwot, I read your contribution and it was...a bit hifolutin', and altogether a waste of time to read...
Cripes -1-, that's the best review I've ever had. Thank you.

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Re: The Merits of the Milesians

Post by -1- » Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:19 am

uwot wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:50 am
-1- wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:57 am
uwot, I read your contribution and it was...a bit hifolutin', and altogether a waste of time to read...
Cripes -1-, that's the best review I've ever had. Thank you.
Is your misquoting me (out of context) a sign of humility, sense of humour, or early onset Alzheimer's?

Or maybe you are a busy person and you indeed skimmed my review, really skimmed it, and those were the only words in succession that your roving eyes picked out.

Or maybe you thought, "this was too easy. It can't be this easy. Life is not meant to be easy." Subsequently and consequently you compensated.

Or maybe you had a strict upbringing (like I... I went to the Toronto Separate School District... dis was di strict one), and praises were considered anti-rods, which spoiled the child. Hence, praises give you the heebee-jeebees.

Or maybe you went to Yale... and at Yale, they beat your self-worth out of you... A failed product of the yustice system.

Or you've got into Dadaism in your philosophical direction... or into newspeak, or nospeak, or Speakpigeon.

At any rate, you're welcome.

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Re: The Merits of the Milesians

Post by uwot » Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:02 am

-1- wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:19 am
Is your misquoting me (out of context) a sign of humility, sense of humour, or early onset Alzheimer's?
A bit of both.
-1- wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:19 am
Or you've got into Dadaism in your philosophical direction...
See joke above. I dunno; self-deprecation was compulsory for tall, drop-dead gorgeous smart arses where and when I grew up. England were world champions, the Beatles were redefining music, Monty Python did the same for comedy, British motorbikes were the best in the world and we'd won the world war not long ago. Clearly god was an Englishman and it was a bit unseemly to rub it in.
-1- wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:19 am
At any rate, you're welcome.
Again, thanks. I don't know if you have seen this, but it's another thing I knocked up. https://willijbouwman.blogspot.co.uk

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Re: The Merits of the Milesians

Post by -1- » Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:48 pm

I checked it out. (I did not read the text -- too much separation, it's like reading a list, instead of reading a story. A story maaaaybe I can read; lists are definitely out.) But I am not saying that your effort was a list -- only that it gave the impression of one. And that was enough to turn me off.

On the other hand, the visuals were impressive. Well chosen, and delightful. They were beautiful.

I can't attest to the contents. Since reading it was beyond what I am capable of.

Nice work. Did Emmy and Issy read it? And did they respond in a way that made you think they "got" it?

I ask because teaching relativity theory without the student's fundamental understanding what really happens is futile. Sure, they will learn the surprising differences between our expectations and what actually happens... but if they don't understand it, then these remain curiosities, oddities, and perplexing anomalies to our daily expectations. And indeed to understand relativity you first must down the oddities, then work through the math, and finally MAAAABBBE get the picture of what's really happening. 99.9 percent of the population will never achieve that, no matter how much they study and how much they apply the math and memorize the oddities.

So to expect of a child to make sense of this is, in my opinion, a bit too much. Newtonian physics is more appropriate to introduce children and wives to physics with, because the concepts are at-hand, self-evident, transparent, and comply with human intuition.

And teaching relativity is a child's play compared to teaching concepts and math of quantum theory.

I would stay away from popularizing physics at this deep level. The best one can expect as a result of it is a bunch of dilettante thinkers, such as myself, arguing on physics and philosophy forums what oddity means what, saying the biggest stupid things, without any correspondence to the findings of the fields or to the theory behind it.

Of course you have the freedom of speech, and whatever, blah blah blah, but your story may be scarier to young children than stories of krampus or of the devil or of giant space-goats that eat planets, roaming the universe. You see, as I see it, children up to 28 years of age need for their sense of security a stability of a world view. This is one huge attraction behind religion -- its tenets and dogmas are tailor-made for humans, they are not counter-intuitive, they are very believable, and they don't deny your reality. They work with your reality. So does Newtonian physics, but relativity and QM turn more people into trembling cowards than running out into the battle field and slashing the enemy at a high risk that the person will himself or herself will be slashed.

In summary: as a guiding motive, but not restricted to this only very example: it is more humanly negotiable by the mind to imagine to be cut up into little pieces than to realize that the material the human is made up of is incredibly small, with huge spaces in-between them, which are not even sure to exist, only in the sense of a statistical probability. THIS they should not show to little children.

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Re: The Merits of the Milesians

Post by -1- » Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:59 pm

uwot wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:02 am
I dunno; self-deprecation was compulsory for tall, drop-dead gorgeous smart arses where and when I grew up.
Funny... because where I grew up, the behaviour you described applied to short, squat, dark-haired, hooked-nosed, fat Jews like me. The tall Aryans got laid, so they did not bother, did not need to bother, with the effort of creative expressions and scientific scrutiny. They were rich and got laid with anyone they wanted, all on the account of being tall and blonde and strapping. Or tall and blonde and willowy, in the case of women.

Where I grew up, the Aryans had a complete lack of guilt -- historically based or otherwise. They were raised in an atmosphere, a family atmosphere, of attainable entitlement to the better things found in this world. We, small, swarthy, fat busters, had to bust ourselves to gain any sort of acceptance by what was a very critical crowd.

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Re: The Merits of the Milesians

Post by uwot » Sun Nov 26, 2017 2:59 pm

-1- wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:48 pm
I checked it out. (I did not read the text -- too much separation, it's like reading a list, instead of reading a story. A story maaaaybe I can read; lists are definitely out.) But I am not saying that your effort was a list -- only that it gave the impression of one. And that was enough to turn me off.
Fair enough; it won't suit everyone.
-1- wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:48 pm
On the other hand, the visuals were impressive. Well chosen, and delightful. They were beautiful.
Thank you.
-1- wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:48 pm
I can't attest to the contents. Since reading it was beyond what I am capable of.
The idea was to write the book I wish I could have read when I was 15. Asterix and Tintin, mostly, so that's the format I pinched.
-1- wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:48 pm
Nice work. Did Emmy and Issy read it? And did they respond in a way that made you think they "got" it?
Yes, but they're my daughters and were perhaps being polite.
-1- wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:48 pm
I ask because teaching relativity theory without the student's fundamental understanding what really happens is futile.
That's exactly what I am trying to address. Relativity does not explain "what really happens"; it is a bunch of mathematical formulae that accounts for the data and predicts future observations. That is not to deny, or even belittle it in the slightest; relativity theory is a work of genius and does its job extremely well. Which is all the more remarkable, given that special and general relativity are based on antithetical premises: special relativity is based on the assumption that spacetime is a void; whereas general relativity treats it as a 'fabric' that can be warped and twisted.
-1- wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:48 pm
Sure, they will learn the surprising differences between our expectations and what actually happens... but if they don't understand it, then these remain curiosities, oddities, and perplexing anomalies to our daily expectations. And indeed to understand relativity you first must down the oddities, then work through the math, and finally MAAAABBBE get the picture of what's really happening. 99.9 percent of the population will never achieve that, no matter how much they study and how much they apply the math and memorize the oddities.
99.9% will never understand the maths behind hydrodynamics, but anyone can turn on a tap and see what actually happens. The problem, in my view, is that some people don't understand that mathematical models, no matter how accurate, do not necessarily describe actual events. The obvious example is Ptolemy's geocentric model of the universe, which accounts for the phenomena surprisingly well, given that the physical model, on which it is based, is total bollocks. You can see people tying themselves in knots, for instance, trying to account for time dilation while mistaking the observations for reality, or treating one inertial frame as privileged. The same is true of spatial dilation; people, even some physicists, insist that because moving objects appear different sizes, they have actually shrunk. Whack a Lorentz transformation on to an object that is, in fact the size it appears to be and, whoops-a-daisy, it should now appear even shorter.
-1- wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:48 pm
So to expect of a child to make sense of this is, in my opinion, a bit too much. Newtonian physics is more appropriate to introduce children and wives to physics with, because the concepts are at-hand, self-evident, transparent, and comply with human intuition.
Well, in terms of cosmology, you're talking about absolute and infinite space, absolute time, instantaneous transmission of gravitational influence, a god that occasionally stirs things to keep it all running smoothly and the claim that "whatever is not deduc’d from the phænomena, is to be called an hypothesis; and hypotheses, whether metaphysical or physical, whether of occult qualities or mechanical, have no place in experimental philosophy." https://newtonprojectca.files.wordpress ... tte-a4.pdf
-1- wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:48 pm
And teaching relativity is a child's play compared to teaching concepts and math of quantum theory.
Yeah, the maths of QM is tricky, but again, what makes the concepts confusing is mistaking the map for the territory. Quantum field theories have some scary sums in them, but the basic concept is simple enough: There's some field of influence, the strength of which we can measure by observing the behaviour of detectable particles in it. However, we can't see the field directly, unless we hit it hard enough to knock a lump off.
-1- wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:48 pm
I would stay away from popularizing physics at this deep level.
Mad dogs and Englishmen...
-1- wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:48 pm
The best one can expect as a result of it is a bunch of dilettante thinkers, such as myself, arguing on physics and philosophy forums what oddity means what, saying the biggest stupid things, without any correspondence to the findings of the fields or to the theory behind it.
Well, there's the ones who are puzzled, sometimes because they have been misinformed, and there's the ones who are not puzzled, usually because they have their own bat-shit theory.
-1- wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:48 pm
Of course you have the freedom of speech, and whatever, blah blah blah, but your story may be scarier to young children than stories of krampus or of the devil or of giant space-goats that eat planets, roaming the universe. You see, as I see it, children up to 28 years of age need for their sense of security a stability of a world view. This is one huge attraction behind religion -- its tenets and dogmas are tailor-made for humans...
By humans. Cause and effect.
-1- wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:48 pm
...they are not counter-intuitive...
Depends on your intuitions.
-1- wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:48 pm
...they are very believable...
They are very widely believed, but I don't think they are intrinsically believable, or everyone would believe all of them.
-1- wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:48 pm
...and they don't deny your reality. They work with your reality. So does Newtonian physics, but relativity and QM turn more people into trembling cowards than running out into the battle field and slashing the enemy at a high risk that the person will himself or herself will be slashed.
Well, Newtonian physics works with the 'reality' of absolute time and space, neither of which are 'real'.
-1- wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:48 pm
In summary: as a guiding motive, but not restricted to this only very example: it is more humanly negotiable by the mind to imagine to be cut up into little pieces than to realize that the material the human is made up of is incredibly small, with huge spaces in-between them, which are not even sure to exist, only in the sense of a statistical probability. THIS they should not show to little children.
I dunno. It's no more crazy that tooth fairies. Maybe I'll write a book for little children: 'Tim the atom' or something.

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Re: The Merits of the Milesians

Post by uwot » Sun Nov 26, 2017 3:01 pm

-1- wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:59 pm
uwot wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:02 am
I dunno; self-deprecation was compulsory for tall, drop-dead gorgeous smart arses where and when I grew up.
Funny... because where I grew up, the behaviour you described applied to short, squat, dark-haired, hooked-nosed, fat Jews like me. The tall Aryans got laid, so they did not bother, did not need to bother, with the effort of creative expressions and scientific scrutiny. They were rich and got laid with anyone they wanted, all on the account of being tall and blonde and strapping. Or tall and blonde and willowy, in the case of women.

Where I grew up, the Aryans had a complete lack of guilt -- historically based or otherwise. They were raised in an atmosphere, a family atmosphere, of attainable entitlement to the better things found in this world. We, small, swarthy, fat busters, had to bust ourselves to gain any sort of acceptance by what was a very critical crowd.
Too bad we each grew up where we did.

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Re: The Merits of the Milesians

Post by -1- » Sun Nov 26, 2017 6:25 pm

uwot wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 3:01 pm
Too bad we each grew up where we did.
When time travel permits, you and I are going to trade places in 3D in the past. If it's okay with you too.

But wait! It had already happened. Because I'm absolutely sure that if it had happened, then we both cried out, "Yikes", or "Sh'ma, o Yisroel" or something, and scurried back into our respective little time-travel capsules to switch back to the original spot again.

What did Elliott, the poet, say? "Who would I be, if I were someone else? Genghis Khan? Julius Caesar? Only one thing is for sure: I would not be me."

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Re: The Merits of the Milesians

Post by -1- » Sun Nov 26, 2017 6:35 pm

uwot wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 2:59 pm
Maybe I'll write a book for little children: 'Tim the atom' or something.
Write a tome titled "Tom the Atom".

Even atoms are not the same as when I used to be young. I mean some of them. They are not as great as they have been cracked (split) up to be.

I have in my plans to write a children's book, "Spenser, the Walking Soap Dispenser." Details of the contents are sketchy at best at this moment, but I'm sure it's going to be a best seller.

Maybe I should make it a Broadway show instead. I dunno. I may change my mind again, and make it into a new World Religion.

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Re: The Merits of the Milesians

Post by -1- » Sun Nov 26, 2017 6:39 pm

uwot wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 2:59 pm
Maybe I'll write a book for little children: 'Tim the atom' or something.
"Tim" should be reserved for naming the hero when writing a physics book for children on time, or on etymology.

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Re: The Merits of the Milesians

Post by -1- » Sun Nov 26, 2017 6:52 pm

"whatever is not deduc’d from the phænomena, is to be called an hypothesis; and hypotheses, whether metaphysical or physical, whether of occult qualities or mechanical, have no place in experimental philosophy." https://newtonprojectca.files.wordpress ... tte-a4.pdf

Is this the famous ...hypotheses non fingo – “I do not formulate hypotheses”? Because pronounced and written, "fingo" in my language (I'm giving away too much) means, literally, and figuratively, "farting". Gerund and adverbial form of "to fart".

When I first read it, in this context, I laughed myself silly for days: "Newton's non-farting hypothesis." "I don't make hypotheses when farting." "My hypotheses are not the same as farting. Mental or gastrointestinal alike."

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Re: The Merits of the Milesians

Post by uwot » Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:23 pm

-1- wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 6:52 pm
Is this the famous ...hypotheses non fingo – “I do not formulate hypotheses”?
Kinda.
-1- wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 6:52 pm
Because pronounced and written, "fingo" in my language...
Hungarian, eh?
-1- wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 6:52 pm
...(I'm giving away too much)
Too late; they're on their way.

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