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StrictlyLogical last won the day on January 3

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  1. StrictlyLogical

    The Trolley Problem

    The truth such "hypotheticals" reveals is that people like to think morality is only about choosing between sacrificing yourself or sacrificing others, so they manufacture a "situation" where those are the only choices. Of course, the set up is intended to imply (at least at the subconscious level) that non-altruism is akin to murder. Reality is not "jiggered" to force you to make a choice of sacrifices. Morality is about living. In almost any situation, it would require omniscience to validate with any certainty that your choices ARE limited. Since you are fallible and given that life is on the line, it would be IMMORAL simply to give up and kill yourself or the kids... i.e. the immorality would be to take any action which does not seek to save BOTH you and the kids. Trying some other action even in the face of near certainty of failure. E.G. steering back and forth to cause the car to roll over or slow down... trying to put it into a low gear / park or reverse... steer up against into the mountain to reduce your speed. But you know as I do, the type of person who poses these hypotheticals would not be happy with your answer.. they don't care about cars, gears, steering, or mountains... they just want to you answer whether you will sacrifice yourself or sacrifice others and then label you a martyr or a villain.
  2. StrictlyLogical

    Portrait Generator

    It should be pointed out that the portraits are not "painted" from scratch. The highly developed algorithm uses as source material real photographs, morphs them, combines them, varies them etc. The algorithm does not, for example, generate from scratch the delicate iris, the pupil of the eye, and then judiciously paint the highlights on the eye and generate individual eyelashes... it does manipulate, combine, and vary countless images of faces in ways which do not manipulate the original photographic information beyond a point the appearance of "photoreality" is destroyed. Here is an example from the site: It comes complete with amateur "poor" flash lighting (likely from a point and shoot camera) as well as "red-eye" such a poor photographic environment creates.
  3. StrictlyLogical


    This is a bald assertion and in the sense it is proposed, incorrect. A chunk of iron is not arranged nor functions anything like an iron steam engine. Dull inert iron begets... steam locomotives and transportation. You (or Nagel) are mixing WHAT things can combine to "form" with what things you can KNOW. These are categorically incommensurable for the "logic" purportedly being applied. The fact is that the "simple" elements DO combine, and by virtue of their natures in the context of the particular combination and the nature of that combination, DO, as you put it "form something". The FACT that one presently lack understanding about the "something" formed, and lack understanding about how it is formed, or as of yet do not understand enough about the natures of the so-called simple elements and how they behave in combination, does not "logically" necessitate that there is, as you (or Nagel) put it, "some other element". We know that people in the past invented Gods, Spirits, Ghosts, Spiritual Elemental forces and the like to try to explain why something occurred or behaved in ways we could not understand... so then was it was perfectly "logical"... that there must have been that "some other element"? This implies. in fact requires, an assumption of scientific omniscience... WE ARE FAR FROM IT. Here there is no "other element". LOGICALLY, the only "other" element, i.e. the other factor which has not been raised, is the fact of our ignorance, sheer ignorance of the identities of the so called simple elements in the context of the combination. Whether or not we CAN now know or CAN EVER know why or how the identities of the so called "simple elements" "form something" when in the context of a combination, that does not rebut the FACT that that it is the identity of those very elements, in the context of the combination, which "forms" the "something".
  4. StrictlyLogical

    Which Eternity?

    Nope. You stated there is "nothing outside the universe", when there IS no "outside the universe". No reification. Things ARE, and the universe is ALL of them/it. Collective noun?? Don't jettison concepts in favor of being concrete bound. Concepts like "electron" do not apply only to those particular electrons you've met in your life... You cannot reify that which exists... it already IS. We refer to things like "all the grains of sand in the world" to mean precisely those things which exist... the grains of sand, and they exist independently of your mind and your particular experiences of meeting them... you seen enough of them and have enough other knowledge (knowledge of geography, minerals, processes of erosion, surf, etc.) to form a valid concept. Seriously sounds like you are trolling... have you read ITOE? Concepts are precisely useful because we cannot keep in our minds every concrete as a concrete, nor deal with reality ONLY with our memories of the concretes we encounter... it's both highly inefficient and impossible to do so... speaking of reification or its obverse.... are you for real right now?
  5. StrictlyLogical

    Which Eternity?

    This is very interesting because it brings into focus an aspect of time, potentiality, and causality, namely, free will and the "man-made". If tomorrow a rock in my garden most likely would stay in its place.. what does it mean to speak of the "potentiality" of my deciding to move it tonight? Does the rock possess the "potentiality" of my free will to decide to move it? Or does potentiality only refer to the potential of the "actor" possibly acting in the future... so then is it I who now possesses "potential" (as a present existent), in regards specifically to the possibility of my choosing to and subsequently my moving the rock tonight? Is the potential describable in terms of my "tendencies" to "proclivities" in regards to noticing, caring about, or wanting to move rocks in a garden? What more is there here than an identification of the present "natures" of thing and acknowledging the operation of causality to predict the future? IF the "potential" is not merely an identification of my nature and the likelihood of the action I will take according to causality and free will, but "something more", what meaningful difference is there in conceiving of that "something more" versus not, i.e. is the concept of a something about the future actually existing in the present necessary? what for? Is there a concrete experiment which could be performed which could distinguish between the two and resolve what actually is true and hence necessitate the concept? Alternatively is there any reason why thinking about potentialities in a different way can improve one's life and interaction with reality, and hence prove "operatively" effective? [I assume here the "love of knowledge" stems from objective values and the love of life and that "philosophy" serves a living consciousness to flourishing in reality]
  6. StrictlyLogical

    Which Eternity?

    Sorry to interject, and I cannot speak for Grames, but everything which exists, exists now. That does not in any way detract from the fact that things existed "in the past" or that things (or states or configurations of things) will exist "in the future". I know it sounds like a semantic game, but it is not. The fact that we can remember and/or deduce the past from the present, or predict (to varying rates of success) future events from the present, does not serve enough to "equate" the fundamentally different categories of NOW versus "PAST" and "FUTURE". [ I do understand there is some nuance involved in talking about the fundamental differences without invoking the ancient fallacies that "change requires destruction and creation" (or there can be no change?) or "you cant stand in the same river twice"] So what is the status of traces of the "past"? Whether rings of a tree, or photographic remains from the 19th century, or actual memories in our brains, there exist states and configurations of things as they exist now, which are a result of causation which occurred in the "past" and involved existents as they were in the "past". But the existents are no longer as they were in the "past"... forms, chemicals, arrangements of matter change... although some preservation of states (or a clear connection of present states to those of the past) is necessary to deduce the past (chemicals in a photographic plate which have preserved their states which were caused by interaction with light at the moment the photograph was taken) [Aside: I accept the oddness that since time is always in motion, even the act of recalling the distant past involves processes which themselves involve time... to see an image of my childhood home, my visual cortex and associated systems are provided with something which has been stored for years, but the experience I have of seeing it in my mind, is already milliseconds old.. since the time of recall to the time of "display/experience" is not instantaneous....] In that sense things only ARE, but we see from what they ARE what they (or perhaps what other things) WERE. What about the status of the "future"? The "future" IS not, but it WILL be. What it will be is inexorably through causality linked to all that is now, so we have the luxury of being somewhat able to predict and project, what to expect existence to be in future, by thinking about it. That a ball will arc through the air into your baseball glove according to a parabola, and you can place yourself to catch it is a wonderful thing. But "time" is simply a measure of the changes in the things which exist... it is not that there is a ball and time and you somehow have figured out the relationship between the two, there is, was and only ever will be the ball. The FACT is that the ball, its attributes (position momentum weight size) and its arrangement in relation to the Earth its nature and the fact of gravity, all mean that there will be a causal chain of events which is not random. The facts of things that ARE do exist, and they will affect the future, but those facts of things as they are now, exist now. Again in that sense, things only ARE, but we can see from what they ARE what they MIGHT (or WILL) be. Although we can remember the "past" and predict the "future", although the "past" affected the present and the present will affect the "future", there IS only NOW. Moreover, since time is merely the fact that THINGS change, and "time" is not a thing in itself, there literally is no PAST or FUTURE. They do not EXIST now... All we should mean when we refer to various "points" in time are the THINGS as THEY WERE (or WILL BE) AT those times. Referring to a disjointed floating time is technically meaningless. There is no December 2, 2020 as such, but we CAN speak of THINGS AS THEY WILL BE on December 2, 2020. It's the same as the concept "number", one is no more correct to refer to a disembodied "past" or "future" (rather than referring to the past states of things or the future states of things) than to refer to "six" absent specifying six "what"? [As in "I saw Six running in the lobby today" ... "Six? You saw Six what running in the lobby?" ... "No just Six, I saw it running in the lobby" ... "Incredible... utterly fantastic numbers are not things... there are only numbers of things (and by measurement omission ... numbers of "anythings")] For clarity, I do not think you are wrong to see the "past" and the "future" in things that ARE, but the notions "past" and "future" can only ever mean what things were and what things will be, and the act of seeing those "in the things that are" is merely an identification of identity and causality as the prime "movers" of "change", not an identification of a literal past or future "in" the present.
  7. StrictlyLogical

    Which Eternity?

    contra the "non-manmade future" of Rand?
  8. StrictlyLogical

    Which Eternity?

    Upon confronting it, some find the FACT, that there simply is no unbelievable mystery, TO BE the greatest unbelievable mystery of all.
  9. StrictlyLogical

    Which Eternity?

    Does it "rule it out" or strictly define what one means (could possibly mean?) by such things as "exist(ed)" and "forever" (and "future")? I have a great deal of respect for many scientists who instinctively rely on a form of Rand's razor ("Concepts are not to be multiplied beyond necessity"), but I have encountered so many who completely ignore it or have no such internal regulator.
  10. StrictlyLogical

    Which Eternity?

    Which is why that picture is somewhat askew... most scientists say it but do not fully understand what they mean by "Time.. comes into existence" From what, from where and from when? Given conservation laws this is a perfectly rational conclusion/prediction which is to be commended. I have a Masters degree in theoretical particle physics... critical philosophical thought is not something which was encouraged in University... imagination and freedom to play and conjecture with math were however very much encouraged... uncritical extrapolations of QM were also very popular... "QM tells us there is a finite possibility (although incredibly small) that a basketball could tunnel through a brick wall" I was never happy with all the handwaving and the absence of any concrete proofs for such an assertion... which assertion completely ignores the nature and structure of basket balls and brick walls. Agreed. Certainly thinking of time as consciously subjective rather than objective and possibly relative, would be a mistake. I do wonder about reification of time as a thing, as an ever present Cartesian background, even locally, is simply wrong. The oscillating neutrino or the decaying muon is not a boat on a river, whose flow is independent of and dictates the motion of the boat... there is only the neutrino or the muon an fact that it changes... now we also see that those changes are relative to each other... fewer muons in motion decay compared to the number of muons which are stationary (relative to our reference frame)... we can see and measure relative time... but is there a river flowing past the muons at different rates? Such a concept is both superfluous, and a logical fallacy (something akin to begging the question or concept stealing... the river flowing metaphor has as it's referent a thing, namely water, which is in motion over time, and thus is ill suited to represent any explanation of time itself) The fact that things change IS time... time does however have magnitude and is relational because we can compare processes under different relative conditions... but just as there is no ether (absolute space) there is no "time-ether" either.
  11. StrictlyLogical

    Which Eternity?

    Yes, that would invoke time where one argues it is absent: "becoming" presupposes change which is time. If there was a "first" and no before, that implies no change into "first" from anything... but this starts to sound like "first" always was... (not even caused by the causeless since cause is becoming is time)... is there a problem if time is relative, and a measure of change of things that are... the no change and no time are a sort of eternity... but it is only an asymptote towards no change (but never reaching it) is in a sense both endless and finite... (no change would literally mean no time... so an infinity of no change is no time at all...) I think the problem is trying to think of time in terms of time... I wish I could word it better... time cannot form its own definition, and as such it must be defined with reference to other things that do not remain the same... and the measure of the non-sameness defines time. I think in the end time is relative and is defined based on real processes of existents... and measure of time going backward should be with reference to those processes.
  12. StrictlyLogical


  13. StrictlyLogical


    see integration (mental) in the Ayn Rand Lexicon online
  14. StrictlyLogical


    I believe your conundrum has been caused by your implicitly equating "subconscious" with "emotional". None of what you indicate represents a contradiction. Can you be more specific as to what has you confused? The DIM Hypothesis deals quite a bit with the subject, if you do not already own it, you should think about getting a copy (or borrowing one from a library).
  15. StrictlyLogical

    Good 2 Person Board Games

    My vote has to be for a game called Quarto The rules are simple but the gameplay is challenging. Board is a 4x4 grid and there are 16 pieces to play, each one of which is either tall or short, square or round, light or dark, flat or hollowed out on top. The player who places a piece to form a row of any of these "attributes" (all tall, or all dark, or all square or all flat topped) wins. The first player picks a piece for the second player to place, after the second player places his piece he picks from the remaining pieces, the piece for his opponent to place, and so on. Keeping track of all four aspects and how thy are forming opportunities on the board is a challenge but more tricky is the fact that at each turn, you pick a piece your opponent must place on the board... and hence you must guess where he could place it, and guess what piece he would give you for your next turn... etc So, Imagine something like 4 dimensional tic tac toe but all pieces are open to both players... and in the end someone wins when the loser literally hands the game away... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quarto_(board_game