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icosahedron last won the day on March 9 2011

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  1. Exactly! You need multiple, overlapping, and not necessarily one-to-one containment hierarchies. That is, for each quasi-independent aspect that you want to focus on, you need a hierarchy; and then, you tie the hierarchies, one for each aspect, back together at corresponding nodes, i.e., where they line up. This is exactly how transparency books of the human body systems work: each page layers on the next system, bone, organ, nervous, blood, muscle, etc. each system has it's own transparency layer in which it is a complete hierarchy; but you need multiple such systems to cover off the w
  2. If I actually thought this was yet a serious possibility, I would be trying to find a decent place to build a self-sufficient life -- farm animals, vegetable garden, good house, maybe some close friends on an isolated property. I grew up on a farm so I can kinda take care of myself if I have some "seed corn" to start with. Point being, I don't want to have to rely on the grid for energy or food. My only problem is communication, I'd probably commit suicide if the internet was lost, it would depress me to such a degree because it would spell the beginning of a dark age -- literally. Not rea
  3. A. Proof cannot begin without having a functioning thinking apparatus, which must exist at minimum as such a facility that understands what proof is. As soon as you reference proof, you reference the existence of your facility with such apparatus, and hence you reference, by containment, Existence. B-G: Similarly. I don't see the issue here. Existence came first, I'm along for the ride -- or maybe I should say, inside for the ride. - ico
  4. Powerpoint is an inferior tool in this day and age if you really want to present sizzling, hyperlinky stuff. Which is ABSOLUTELY a better way to present knowledge. Peikoff was not being metaphorical: knowledge is hierarchical, and one's organization of it ought to reflect as closely as possible the structure of it ... with appropriate unit economies used to reduce its size without disconnecting pieces of it, folding it up "algorithmically" and "structurally" so that it fits in one frame of thought at each "page", but allows quick navigation to deeper and/or more over-arching concepts. Yo
  5. At the end of the day, however, God is a postulate with no evidence, i.e., an arbitrary postulate. And one can, if one cares to, realize that even the postulate of God may not contradict the facts of Existence without becoming invalid; however, that is NOT the sort of "God" that traditionally is associated with the sound/symbol "G-O-D". THAT God, the God of the various monotheistic philosophies, contradicts him/her/itself, and therefore Existence, in some fashion. Contradictions not only cannot exist, they do not exist, period! So, if you create the perfect God in the image of Existence,
  6. As an afterthought, if my hypothesis is more or less correct, then anything that alters brain chemistry can have the effect of altering the process of forming associations among neurons, and hence likely result in a different dendrite web that gradually forms and might have formed otherwise (and may or may not be reformable, not sure there is good science on that yet). In particular, medications which alter brain chemistry as a side effect should be looked at very closely prior to use. My arch-example in this regard is cholesterol lowering drugs. Cholesterol is instrumental in allowing th
  7. Okay, the video is pretty simple to explain. The baby thinks it understands the nature of its mother better than it does any other single entity of its experience -- even including itself! And it has never before seen its mother NOT respond in her characteristic ways, so this is an unparalleled pattern of behavior for this creature that the baby thought it recognized so well. Interesting! Let's explore ... and maybe get a bit uncertain, learning new things here, wonder why mom isn't "normal" all of a sudden ... hmmm, in a new place too, strange ... etc. The baby alters its behavior as a c
  8. Alright I must admit I missed the "quiet and 100 yards away", tho' I'm still not happy being exposed to that when I'm grieving. But I guess I can get philosophical about it at that point -- still don't get how this is free speech, rather than free assembly. Is the media just calling anything under the First Amendment "free speech"? Or did the Supremes actually state it that way? And please: free assembly and free speech are different. Neither of these are the root Right (life, property, self-determination -- one of these will do, depending on how you do the math -- they are logically e
  9. You mean, like there might be Martians we haven't found yet? That's arbitrary. True, but you are confusing "a long time" with "eternal", psychologically. A long time looked at from the perspective of an even longer time is a short time. Time periods are relative. Presumably, if the creature is alive and conscious, it will die of boredom if it does nothing. It needs something interesting to do, and it knows it has a long time to do it, so it will pick something ambitious, eventually. And then it will want to improve its project. And eventually that death knell will loom large, be
  10. When does this cross the line into harassment? When someone goes to the hospital? Why must I be subject to the outbursts of others, exactly? Shared pain?
  11. And, if it is public property, then we each own a share, so why not vote on it? -- just to underline the absurdity.
  12. Oh, let's make it even more realistic. You have a 10 year old daughter and neighbors watching this go down. And you don't have a house in the Hamptons to escape to. - ico
  13. Let me change the context slightly to show you what I see. Imagine if someone decides to stand in the street out front of your house, yelling obscenities at/about you at the top of their lungs so that you can hear them over the television and can't sleep because of the noise, and holding signs that indict your character, and harassing you and/or your visitors as they try to pass. What are the essential differences between this context, and standing outside a funeral doing the same thing -- other than the fact that, at the funeral, the obscenerators are actually subjecting EVEN MORE peopl
  14. AP - The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the First Amendment protects fundamentalist church members who mount anti-gay protests outside military funerals, despite the pain they cause grieving families. Now that is just not right. The Supremes once again show that they have no philosophical compass. Sheesh. - ico
  15. Au contraire, mon frere Grimes: it MAY BE a positive development, long term, if it wakes the honest folk out of their slumber. The world wars were awful, but as they were unavoidable, they did provide an excuse to blow up the fascists -- and to this day, European politicians are wary about being labeled fascist, which is a good thing. People in a fog will wake up when they see some sharp light source, even if the only light sharp enough comes from the headlights of a mac truck bearing down on them at high speed. It may be too late for them so save themselves, and that would be terrible,
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