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Thread: This actually hurts my brain a little bit.

  1. #151
    Dark Lord mountmccabe's Avatar
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    Default Re: This actually hurts my brain a little bit.

    "Shamanism" is a word/concept I failed to use but would've made more sense.

    The lightening god bit was just an example. Other deities based on natural objects and forces - the sun, important animals - also account for a reasonable amount of important gods.

    Zeus wasn't the first god in any sense. He is a complete, complex character. That sort of thing doesn't spring from nothing - that character was built over time in stories by many, many poets.

    My main point was that while of course you can't jump to something along the lines of a Christian God with complex powers and desires without some sort of precedent that doesn't matter because there is plenty of precedent. Small, additive steps all the way back to "your father is still with us, young warrior, he will watch over you as you make us proud."

    Or, rather, further than that. Whenever people were figuring out that it's a good idea to bury the dead and that you can gain power/comfort people by telling them you have special revelation/powers.
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  2. #152

    Default Re: This actually hurts my brain a little bit.

    Quote Originally Posted by thelastgreatman View Post
    You just imagined a woman with multiple layers of a perception you already have.
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  3. #153
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    Default Re: This actually hurts my brain a little bit.

    I can't believe I just skimmed 6 pages of this. Especially when my first response to the first post was "Pretty colors!" and second was "Oh, that's how you spell cassiopeiae".

    randy (I'm tired of typing your user name because it is annoying), I take it you don't believe in dental primates?

  4. #154
    Dick Nicewonger kreutz2112's Avatar
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    Default Re: This actually hurts my brain a little bit.

    Quote Originally Posted by thelastgreatman View Post
    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/81bc32e4-d...nclick_check=1

    It's a long article, goes into a big discussion about the effect that disallowing free will would have on society, blah blah blah. But that's the study I'm referencing.
    I don't believe that...if I am interpreting it correctly. They are proposing our brain knows we are going to think about raising our hand before we even think it...OR...we think about raising our hand, an electric charge builds up and then we raise our hand? If its the former situation it's complete BS, and the latter is pretty much the dogma of how our entire nervous works.
    Last edited by kreutz2112; 02-22-2008 at 09:55 PM.
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  5. #155
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    Default Re: This actually hurts my brain a little bit.

    Quote Originally Posted by kreutz2112 View Post
    I don't believe that...if I am interpreting it correctly. They are proposing our brain knows we are going to think about raising our hand before we even think it...OR...we think about raising our hand, an electric charge builds up and then we raise our hand? If its the former situation it's complete BS, and the latter is pretty much the dogma of how our entire nervous works.
    I think this oversimplifies the question of 'free will'.

    Someone offers you an ice cream cone. Your immediate "gut" response is, "yes, I like ice cream, I want that cone.". You have no choice -- you like ice cream and your body offers an immediate 'yes I want' reaction. But does that mean you take the cone? no. there's another level of cognition that kicks in that says, "hmmm, should I really have that ice cream cone? let me think about it." it's that second level that is free will. Wanting the ice cream cone is instinct, its not free will. Choosing whether or not to accept it is free will, however.

    Denial of the existence of that second level - the brain's 'editing level' ... leads to all sorts of obvious contradictions.
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  6. #156
    Peaceful Oasis TomAz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thelastgreatman View Post
    That force is a reality--at least it is to me because I've felt it, to an extent that further description would get me ridiculed. If you try not to think of God as the supernatural being that created the universe and instead think of it as an ever-present vibration that came into existence with the universe... that God is what would happen if you could step outside of everything in this universe and perceive it all as energy... a totality of life, basically, not something separate from our lives.

    At least, that's the only way it made sense to me.
    you should read John Shelby Spong. one of his big things is that people should get away from thinking of god as a 'being' like you and I are 'beings'. he talks of a 'non-theistic God'. he's pretty smart and kinda witty too. you might like him. he's also from new jersey just like you.
    Quote Originally Posted by captncrzy View Post
    HAY CAN SOMEONE DRIVE DOWN TO THE FESTIVAL GROUNDS AND SEE IF THE BEER BARN IS REALLY A BARN?

  7. #157
    Peaceful Oasis TomAz's Avatar
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    Default Re: This actually hurts my brain a little bit.

    also kreutz if you don't believe in free will I'm gonna kick your ass at Coachella. that'll show you. ha ha.
    Quote Originally Posted by captncrzy View Post
    HAY CAN SOMEONE DRIVE DOWN TO THE FESTIVAL GROUNDS AND SEE IF THE BEER BARN IS REALLY A BARN?

  8. #158
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    Default Re: This actually hurts my brain a little bit.

    There's much more in-depth analysis of the studies. You've got the pertinent names right there, check it out for yourself. I already read it.
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    Default Re: This actually hurts my brain a little bit.

    Quote Originally Posted by mountmccabe View Post
    "Shamanism" is a word/concept I failed to use but would've made more sense.

    The lightening god bit was just an example. Other deities based on natural objects and forces - the sun, important animals - also account for a reasonable amount of important gods.

    Zeus wasn't the first god in any sense. He is a complete, complex character. That sort of thing doesn't spring from nothing - that character was built over time in stories by many, many poets.

    My main point was that while of course you can't jump to something along the lines of a Christian God with complex powers and desires without some sort of precedent that doesn't matter because there is plenty of precedent. Small, additive steps all the way back to "your father is still with us, young warrior, he will watch over you as you make us proud."

    Or, rather, further than that. Whenever people were figuring out that it's a good idea to bury the dead and that you can gain power/comfort people by telling them you have special revelation/powers.
    That's another good point. Doesn't sensation of interaction with the spirits of dead loved ones kinda prove that their must be something to an afterlife. Again, the supernatural--the things that don't fit into our five senses but we experience nonetheless--is the quality that I don't see how it could be just a natural burst of imagination, the only one of its kind.
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  10. #160
    Dark Lord mountmccabe's Avatar
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    Default Re: This actually hurts my brain a little bit.

    You realize that we don't agree on this, right?

    It is easy to think about people that aren't near you physically; that doesn't prove that an incorporeal essence of them is with you. We still think about people that are deceased; same thing applies.

    I can guess/make up stuff about what someone who isn't present would want; that means neither that I'm right nor that I'm communicating with them. I can guess/make up stuff about what someone who isn't present because they are deceased would want; same things apply.

    Now maybe we are talking past each other because I am showing my skepticism, positing natural explanations for supernatural feelings... but that's my point.

    My intent is not to deny the possibility of supernatural existences, my intent is to say that this complexity argument - whether applied to the eye, the existence of life, our conceptions of god, lightening - doesn't hold water. Pointing out something we don't understand doesn't prove the existence of the supernatural.
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  11. #161
    Peaceful Oasis TomAz's Avatar
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    Default Re: This actually hurts my brain a little bit.

    why does existence exist? why is there being at all instead of just nothingness?
    Quote Originally Posted by captncrzy View Post
    HAY CAN SOMEONE DRIVE DOWN TO THE FESTIVAL GROUNDS AND SEE IF THE BEER BARN IS REALLY A BARN?

  12. #162
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    Default Re: This actually hurts my brain a little bit.

    Deep Thread.

    serious business.

  13. #163
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    Default Re: This actually hurts my brain a little bit.

    Quote Originally Posted by kreutz2112 View Post
    Nothing existed before the big bang. Time nor space has a beginning or end.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stefinitely Maybe View Post
    This is where my brain starts to hurt.

    DOES. NOT. COMPUTE.
    I do not comprehend it either. To really make my brain hurt, I contemplate the possibilities of either absolutely nothing, no space or time, and something suddenly occuring from nothing, or the possibility that there was no beginning, that everything has always been here.

    Since I cannot comprehend either, I wonder if maybe there is a third possibility that my small human brain cannot consider.

    I end up thinking that hey, we are here now, does it really matter what came before?

  14. #164
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    Default Re: This actually hurts my brain a little bit.

    Oh, by the way--that fucking woman twirling gif ONLY SPINS ONE WAY. IF you look, there is no way to interpret the way that her right breast pops out from behind her back first other than to conclude that she's spinned clockwise. Um... clockwise... well, right to left in any event.
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  15. #165
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    Default Re: This actually hurts my brain a little bit.

    i can see her spinning both ways.

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    Default Re: This actually hurts my brain a little bit.

    Horseshit--you're allowing your brain to play tricks on you. Don't follow the leg, follow the tits.
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    Default Re: This actually hurts my brain a little bit.

    Quote Originally Posted by thelastgreatman View Post
    Don't follow the leg, follow the tits.
    ....

  18. #168
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    Default Re: This actually hurts my brain a little bit.

    Physicist Neil Turok: Big Bang Wasn't the Beginning
    By Brandon Keim Email 02.19.08 | 8:00 PM
    The Big Bang was big, but it wasn't the beginning, Cambridge University mathematical physicist Neil Turok says. He theorizes that the universe is engaged in an eternal cycle of expansion and contraction: There have been many Big Bangs, and there will be many more.
    Cambridge University

    For decades, physicists have accepted the notion that the universe started with the Big Bang, an explosive event at the literal beginning of time. Now, computational physicist Neil Turok is challenging that model -- and some scientists are taking him seriously.

    According to Turok, who teaches at Cambridge University, the Big Bang represents just one stage in an infinitely repeated cycle of universal expansion and contraction. Turok theorizes that neither time nor the universe has a beginning or end.

    It's a strange idea, though Turok would say it's no stranger than the standard explanation of the Big Bang: a singular point that defies our laws of physics, where all equations go to infinity and "all the properties we normally use to describe the universe and its contents just fail." That inconsistency led Turok to see if the Big Bang could be explained within the framework of string theory, a controversial and so-far untested explanation of the universe as existing in at least 10 dimensions and being formed from one-dimensional building blocks called strings. Within a school of string theory known as m-theory, Turok said, "the seventh extra dimension of space is the gap between two parallel objects called branes. It's like the gap between two parallel mirrors. We thought, What happens if these two mirrors collide? Maybe that was the Big Bang."

    Turok's proposition has drawn condemnation from string theory's many critics and even opposition from the Catholic Church. But it's provoked acclaim and wonder, too: He and Princeton University physicist Paul Steinhardt published Endless Universe: Beyond the Big Bang last year, and Turok -- also the founder of the South Africa-based African Institute for Mathematical Sciences -- won 2008's first annual TED Prize, awarded to the world's most innovative thinkers.

    Turok spoke with Wired.com about the Big Bang, the intellectual benefits of cosmology and his bet with Stephen Hawking.

    Wired: In a nutshell, what are you proposing?

    Neil Turok: In our picture, there was a universe before the Big Bang, very much like our universe today: a low density of matter and some stuff called dark energy. If you postulate a universe like this, but the dark energy within is actually unstable, then the decay of this dark energy drives the two branes together. These two branes clash and then, having filled with radiation, separate and expand to form galaxies and stars.

    Then the dark energy takes over again. It's the energy of attraction between the two branes: It pulls them back together. You have bang followed by bang followed by bang. You have no beginning of time. It's always been there.

    Wired: But isn't there still a beginning?

    Turok: Imagine you have a room full of air, with all these molecules banging around. The vast majority of time, these molecules spread uniformly -- but once in a trillion trillion years, they all end up in the corner of the room. If you look at the room and run the clock forward, they'll eventually make themselves uniform: But it would reverse, and you'd watch them flying into the corner. Then they'd fly out again.

    If this is right, it means that time runs forward for a while. Then there's a random state without an arrow of time, then time runs backwards, and then time runs forward again. That's the bigger picture: We're still very far away from understanding it, but that would be my bet.

    But my main interest is the problem of the singularity. If we can't understand what happened at the singularity we came out of, then we don't seem to have any understanding of the laws of particle physics. I'd be very happy just to understand the last singularity and leave the other ones to future generations.

    Wired: How do you test this theory?

    Turok: If the universe sprung into existence and then expanded exponentially, you get gravitational waves traveling through space-time. These would fill the universe, a pattern of echoes of the inflation itself. In our model, the collision of these two branes doesn't make waves at all. So if we could measure the waves, we could see which theory is right.

    Stephen Hawking bet me that we'll see the signal from inflation. I said that we won't, and he can take it for any amount of money at even odds. So far he hasn't named an amount. He's richer than me, so he's being nice.

    Wired: You've said the standard explanation of the Big Bang is Rube Goldberg-ian, but this seems like quite the convoluted contraption, too.

    Turok: The structure of the sandwich was forced on theorists by mathematicians: It's basically the only way you can make the equations consistent and avoid infinity. The extent to which we believe it derives from the mathematics. We're not smoking something and making it up.

    However, I feel that the main role for these scenarios of the early universe is to stimulate our thinking. I don't necessarily believe any of them. The most important thing is that the only intellectually honest way to study such questions of cosmology is to make the most precise model you can. I think of the whole thing as a giant intellectual exercise, a stimulating exercise, to make us better appreciate the universe.

    Wired: It's stirred a lot of emotion for an intellectual. When Alan Guth criticized you and your theory at a conference, he showed a picture of a monkey. Is this sort of vitriol normal?

    Turok: The monkey was maybe a bit exaggerated. But I'm actually good friends with Guth, and I'm sure he did it as a joke. I meet him regularly at conferences, and he's a reasonable guy. The field is driven by reason. The inevitably human things that come into it don't matter in the long run.

    In the end, bad ideas will not survive. If you have a good, clean idea that's elegant and precise and agrees with observations, it'll get through.

    Wired: The Catholic Church hasn't been very receptive to your ideas, either.

    Turok: I think they like the Big Bang for obvious reasons. It's a creation event, and they find that appealing. Whereas if you talk to most physicists, they'd prefer that there was not a creation event, because there are no laws of physics that indicate how time could begin.

    I'm not motivated by [theological considerations]. I'd be perfectly happy with a mathematically precise description of how time began. I see science and religion as being two completely different things. I don't see science as relevant to the question of whether or not there's a God.

    If the world is cyclical, in a sense you still need a policeman to enforce the laws of physics. If you need a God to do that, fine -- but I think that's a belief in why the world is the way it is. Science studies how the world operates, not why it's here.

    Wired: To many people, science is valuable because of the metaphors it gives us -- a poetry of the natural world. Does your work resonate that way with you?

    Turok: We need poetry as well as science, but it's completely irrelevant to the science. That doesn't motivate me either. I just feel incredibly lucky and honored to think about these problems and try to make models that may or may not be relevant. It's a fantastic privilege to ponder these questions -- even if we don't succeed, even if all we do is appreciate how hard the problem is, it brings us together. The world is an incredible miracle, and we have to do whatever we can to appreciate it.

    Wired: Whatever you find, though, it's not going to have much everyday importance.

    Turok: No, but one of the extraordinary things about the field is that whatever culture people come from, they all love this stuff. The popularity Hawking has achieved is due in part to him being an exceptional individual, but it's also because the questions and the science are inherently fascinating.

    It's been amazing to see students from all over Africa, from countries that have been disaster areas for 30 years, come to the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences and try to best Einstein.

    The side effects are quite good, too. I teach math to hundreds of students every year, and because the stuff we work on is high-powered and rigorous, we add to the intellectual environment. Many of the brightest students love to do this. It's like the Apollo moon program, which had a huge spinoff in technology. So even though this kind of science and thinking has no intrinsic economic value, it's hugely motivating and quite cheap.

    Wired: With all your work with students from Africa, what do you think of James Watson's remarks on Africans evolving to possess less intelligence than other racial groups?

    Turok: I think he's nuts. My students are highly motivated and have a very high success rate. If he really believes they're inferior, he should just come to the institute. I guarantee that if he spends an afternoon with these students, he'll revise his opinion.

  19. #169
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    Default Re: This actually hurts my brain a little bit.

    Called it.
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    Default Re: This actually hurts my brain a little bit.

    Quote Originally Posted by TomAz View Post
    also kreutz if you don't believe in free will I'm gonna kick your ass at Coachella. that'll show you. ha ha.
    Tom I think I made it pretty clear that I believe in free will.
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  21. #171
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    Default Re: This actually hurts my brain a little bit.

    and...J and Randy, I posted that article in the Science thread already.
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    Default Re: This actually hurts my brain a little bit.

    Quote Originally Posted by mountmccabe View Post
    You realize that we don't agree on this, right?

    It is easy to think about people that aren't near you physically; that doesn't prove that an incorporeal essence of them is with you. We still think about people that are deceased; same thing applies.

    I can guess/make up stuff about what someone who isn't present would want; that means neither that I'm right nor that I'm communicating with them. I can guess/make up stuff about what someone who isn't present because they are deceased would want; same things apply.

    Now maybe we are talking past each other because I am showing my skepticism, positing natural explanations for supernatural feelings... but that's my point.

    My intent is not to deny the possibility of supernatural existences, my intent is to say that this complexity argument - whether applied to the eye, the existence of life, our conceptions of god, lightening - doesn't hold water. Pointing out something we don't understand doesn't prove the existence of the supernatural.
    Well, I've actually felt dead people before in a very tactile way though. I suppose you could just chalk it up to the wishful thinking by the brain, but I know exactly the vibration my dad feels like.


    As far as God goes, the problem is how could you conceive of the supernatural in the first place? I suppose it might just be a unique aspect of our rationalization capability, but it would be an incredibly unique one. Saying that they invented Zeus to explain lightning doesn't quite fit. Natural brain would go: saw dark clouds; started raining; loud booms come from sky; streaks of light start happening right before loud booms. Wouldn't the brain naturally just say that dark clouds cause all these things? Where does this unique extra level of rationalization evident in the invention of God come from?
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  23. #173
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    Default Re: This actually hurts my brain a little bit.

    Quote Originally Posted by kreutz2112 View Post
    and...J and Randy, I posted that article in the Science thread already.
    I called that years ago.
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    Dick Nicewonger kreutz2112's Avatar
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    Default Re: This actually hurts my brain a little bit.

    Called what?
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    Default Re: This actually hurts my brain a little bit.

    ... everything that dude said. =)
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  26. #176
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    Default Re: This actually hurts my brain a little bit.

    Wow you can call that kind of stuff? It's almost as if you are conceiving of something you had no prior knowledge of. You would be invaluable to any physics department in the entire world.
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    Default Re: This actually hurts my brain a little bit.

    Quote Originally Posted by thelastgreatman View Post
    Oh, by the way--that fucking woman twirling gif ONLY SPINS ONE WAY. IF you look, there is no way to interpret the way that her right breast pops out from behind her back first other than to conclude that she's spinned clockwise. Um... clockwise... well, right to left in any event.
    Well, if you save the .gif file and view it, it only spins in one direction, and slowly. That is the file that people keep posting here. However, for some reason, if you view the image from the original website, it spins much faster, and does seem to change directions.

    It didn't seem logical to me; I looked at the source code for the page, and did not find any javascript or anything that would explain it. I thought possibly there were 2 images being displayed on top of each other or something.

    Anyone figure this one out?

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    Default Re: This actually hurts my brain a little bit.

    It's an optical illusion, but only if you follow the leg. The leg is the distraction point.
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    Default Re: This actually hurts my brain a little bit.

    Quote Originally Posted by kreutz2112 View Post
    Wow you can call that kind of stuff? It's almost as if you are conceiving of something you had no prior knowledge of. You would be invaluable to any physics department in the entire world.
    Not true--I have experienced certain weird things about a kind of energy that I believe permeates the world, and I applied the way that it works to the prior knowledge of universe theory I had.
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    Default Re: This actually hurts my brain a little bit.

    Quote Originally Posted by thelastgreatman View Post
    Oh, by the way--that fucking woman twirling gif ONLY SPINS ONE WAY. IF you look, there is no way to interpret the way that her right breast pops out from behind her back first other than to conclude that she's spinned clockwise. Um... clockwise... well, right to left in any event.
    Quote Originally Posted by thelastgreatman View Post
    It's an optical illusion, but only if you follow the leg. The leg is the distraction point.
    These comments are the most ridiculous things you've said in this thread.
    Quote Originally Posted by SoulDischarge View Post
    See how wrong you are, Tommy? Randy is agreeing with you.

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