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About isaac

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    Isaac Z. Schlueter
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  1. Dondigitalia, you make a lot of good points. Personally, I believe that the Copenhagen interpretation is a good example of how bad science can happen when good scientists fall victim to bad philosophy. The Heisenberg uncertainty principle only states what we can know - it does not state what is. (Heisenberg himself, in his analysis of the principle, blurs the distinction badly.) When dealing with questions of certainty and knowledge, it makes perfect sense to say that the "exactness" of the location * the exactness of the momentum cannot exceed some fixed value. And, when dealing with q
  2. Chances are, you didn't actually see, dream, or experience the experience that you're going through during deja vu. If you really think about it, deja vu feels completely different than actually half-recognizing something that triggers a memory. Think of it this way. A coworker comes up to as you walk into work, when you were up too late the night before. You haven't finished your morning coffee or checked your email yet. Your stomach hasn't finished turning your breakfast into blood sugar. You're just getting rolling, and your brain is in a particularly shaky state. Situation 1: You
  3. For clarity, it should be noted that "objectivism" was not a proper noun prior to Ayn Rand. It meant, in short, "not subjectivism," and still does in many contexts. After Ayn Rand capitalized the word and made it popular, it came to mean "Ayn Rand's philosophy," including, of course, egoism, capitalism, atheism, her view of concept formation, etc. - all of which is not directly implied by stating that one is not a subjectivist. The meaning of a word is all about context. Kelley means atheist, capitalist, etc., when he calls himself an Objectivist. That's not right. He ought to call him
  4. Well, logging into blogger and changing my profile doesn't do it. Maybe I'd have to post something. Or maybe I just missed the boat and will have to wait for the 0.1 release. Meh. GC: As you may have heard, MT is not going to be free any longer. However, b2evolution has pretty much all the same doodads as MT, and then some, and is very much free, and has a much simpler setup than MT. (All php/MySQL - No perl.) It's a cousin of Wordpress (both are decended from the original b2/CafeLog) but it's got much more going for it in the way of features. In fact, if you wanted to set up a metab
  5. So, let's say that someone has a blogger account. How do you sign up for gmail? Is it a "don't call us, we'll call you" sorta thing? (Since switching to b2evolution, I haven't used the blogger much. She is not so rich in features, after all, and php/MySQL is more fun than recreating the page each time.)
  6. Speaking of English, I heard once years ago that "As American as Apple Pie" is actually a phoetic anglicization of a french phrase that was popular before the Revolution. Something about this thread got me thinking about that, and now I can't seem to dig up the reference, or remember what the french phrase was. Any ideas?
  7. Capforever, Yes, that is amusing I have been in love with english as far back as I can remember. In high school, when I studied Latin, and learned more about the history of what happened on The Islands to make the language what it is, it became even more appealing. English truly is a "bastard tongue" in many ways - it doesn't really fit into a category nicely. It was once almost purely Germanic, but two infusions of Latin made it closer to a Romance language in many ways than a Germanic. (First was in the first century AD, when Rome conquered about 2/3s of the English Isle, and the
  8. Re: Of/about... Knowing of something doesn't necessarily imply that you know much of anything about it, except that it exists. I.e., if someone says, "I have to go to the store to pick up a pack of gahoozits," then all you really know about gahoozits is: 1. They are things that exist. 2. They can be acquired at stores. 3. They come in packs. That isn't much. Learning that cars exist doesn't make you an automotive engineer, or even tell you what they are. It does tell you that they have some properties - i.e., that there is an "about" to learn - but it does not tell you what those pro
  9. The ridiculous title is a joke, sort of. The essay uses a several reductions to absurdity to show that most of the discussion of this topic is misguided.
  10. You and Sloman have similar opinions of the debates by academics surrounding Nagel's article. He simply provides much more analysis of the situation, and doesn't set up a strawman to criticize Nagel. There's a big difference between knowing OF something and knowing ABOUT it. I know OF performing open-heart surgery. But I know quite a bit less ABOUT it than a doctor. We can speak of things that we know OF without knowing much of anything ABOUT them.
  11. Bob, Check out Jarvis's Violinist Example. Even if unborn humans are composing sonatas, abortion would not be unjust killing in the vast majority of cases. And you're right, this belongs in the abortion section. Though I am by no means an expert in the field of prenatal neurology, I've heard it quoted often that a fetus starts having some sort of brain activity around 28 weeks after conception, and it is at that point that we can say that it has some sort of human consciousness. (It's likely closer to a lower animal than to an adult human at that early stage of development, but it's som
  12. Yep, the news has broken, alright. If you could email me the pdf, or a link to it if it's really big, I'd absolutely love it. Technical is good ones. Thank you. isaacschlueter is the beginning part, and then an @ of course, and then hotmail.com (Fighting spambots.)
  13. Bowser, are you using the term "intentionality" in the philosophical sense? Or do you mean Making a genetic fallacy about DNA. That's classic. Is your wit intentional? (Or is it just a series of states with no correllation to anything outside itself? Ok, I'll stop with the puns, I promise.) And how! Stephen, that's fascinating! I've read about projects that do things that could have conceivably yielded stuff like this, theoretically, blah blah, but someone's actually doing it? Wow! Do you know specifically when it will be published? Are there any web references you could pro
  14. Bowser and Ash, you should both read Nagel's What is it like to be a bat? and Sloman's What is it like to be a rock? Both articles lend a lot of good analysis to this discussion. Sloman's is one of the best discussions of this problem that I've seen. Also, both of them say a lot of the same things that you guys are saying. It's just that rationalists of all varieties like to sieze on the "what is it like to be" question with glee, in ways that are clearly not what Nagel was getting at. That's actually what the Sloman article is all about - rationalists thinking that the words like "co
  15. His point was that, whether you get your ideas from reading tea leaves or studying the evidence - if they come to you in the laboratory or in the bathroom - that's not relevant. What is relevant is that your theory holds water and makes risky predictions. I should have known better. Forget I asked.
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