Miscellaneous

Paul’s Daily Half-Dozen for August 26, 2018

Do you feel you have an adequate understanding of the logic of the sciences?

Are you more safety-conscious than you should be, about as safety-conscious as you should be, or less safety-conscious than you should be?

What would be the top two advantages or benefits to living in a small town of two to four thousand people? What would be the top two drawbacks or disadvantages?

In general, do people think they have more control over their lives than they actually do, about as much control as they actually do, or less control than they actually do?

How important to you is politics irrespective of whether you enjoy discussing politics?

Do you love human nature?

 

 

13 thoughts on “Paul’s Daily Half-Dozen for August 26, 2018”

  1. I’ll take a pass on the first five questions, and pass on several quotes on the sixth which make sense to me (there’s a pun there, which I can’t help because it’s in my nature):

    “Man has conquered almost every dangerous thing in nature, except human nature.”

    “Don’t expect too much from human nature: remember, man is made up of pounds of muscle but only ounces of brain.”

    “The man who has a good opinion of himself is probably a poor judge of human nature.”

    I don’t know who originally said these things, but it seems safe to assume the last one wasn’t said by Donald Trump.

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  2. Do you feel you have an adequate understanding of the logic of the sciences? – No, my understanding is quite inadequate. But i won’t be like that forever if i keep reading this blog 😀 (Not sponsored by Cafe Philos)

    Are you more safety-conscious than you should be, about as safety-conscious as you should be, or less safety-conscious than you should be? – I’m a mixed bag. Sometimes i care a lot, sometimes nominally, and others i just throw myself on the catapult 😀

    What would be the top two advantages or benefits to living in a small town of two to four thousand people? What would be the top two drawbacks or disadvantages? A close-knit community, what do you makes an impact. Disadvantages would be embarrassing things i did would be heard all over the town, and people there might not be knowledgeable about the outside world.

    In general, do people think they have more control over their lives than they actually do, about as much control as they actually do, or less control than they actually do? – Paradoxically, it’s more and less. As long as uncertainty exists, we will never have full control over our lives. And this is not a bad thing. We also have control over what we can do. We don’t have to be restricted by our friends and family. “Believe in yourself and the world will be at your feet” – Swami Vivekananda

    How important to you is politics irrespective of whether you enjoy discussing politics? – It’s important, but i do not centre it around my life. Too much politics will expose you to radiation 😀

    Do you love human nature? – We can be so benevolent and so malevolent. I love human nature in that we embody theatre. We can we very good, its just that most of us choose not to be 😀

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  3. yes.

    probably yes. but with effort, just right.

    advantages: everyone knows you
    you know everyone
    disadvantages: everyone knows you
    you know everyone

    so much less

    desperately important

    mostly…but that mob mentality glitch scares the ever-loving crap out of me.

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  4. Fun questions today!

    SCIENCES: As much as anyone, I suppose! I certainly spend enough time thinking within and about the scientific mindset. I’m not always sure it IS a single, unitary mode of thinking, when so many epistemologies seem to sneak by beneath its aegis, some more convincingly than others! But I am content with my rendition of the whole, and I would hope reasonably aware of its context relative to others.

    SAFETY: I am, even I would admit, overly safety-conscious, especially in certain situations. In many respects my social anxiety disorder is a physical manifestation of a fear of harm, and it has often, even routinely, prevented me from taking advantage of many opportunities in life. But fear is a tricky beast. And I would not want to swing so far in the other direction that, like some, I am shocked and gobsmacked when my actions result in harm to myself or others. In short, I know that I have a bias, but it is the bias I would choose to have when considering its natural opposite.

    SMALL TOWNS: This is not a theoretical question for me, I grew up in a town of 3,000. I’m not sure everyone experience small town life in the same way; it matters a lot whether that town is wealthy or poor (like mine), and it matters a lot where you sit in the hierarchy of power within that town. In a little community, family identity matters a lot, and only a monumental effort could possibly change it for either an individual or their family. This is an advantage or a disadvantage depending on how you look at it. Life is very predictable in a small town, and that can be very comforting in a way. Social malfunction is not erased by small town living (as many urbanites often seem to imagine it would be), but you do tend to know what to expect. Everyone knows who the drug dealers are, what streets to avoid, whose wife or children are getting hit by a drunk boyfriend. It doesn’t stop any of it from happening, but there’s less chaos than you experience in a big city. Here in Fremont, where I now live, crime is something that might just sort of happen to you; in Waterford, where I grew up, “random” crime did not happen. It always wore a familiar face, for better or worse.

    Small towns are demonstrably easier on the environment, and I think they encourage inter-cultural contact more than most people realize. While cities may be more diverse, they are also more anonymous, and neighborhoods can become insular in a way that is inherently impossible in a little town. Small towns can be very difficult to leave, and even harder to come back to later if you do leave. They are loci of linguistic specialization, and carry a mountain of symbolic value even for people who have never lived in one. Have you ever noticed how the great urban religions – Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, etc – idolize, even sort of fetishize rural life?

    CONTROL: I think pretty much everyone over-estimates the amount of control they have over their life. Your words and thoughts are all borrowed from others, or else they would have no meaning; you are, at most, a syncretist of cultures.

    POLITICS: Politics can be not important at all, or the most important thing in the world, depending on how fatal it is currently getting.

    HUMAN NATURE: It is my constant obsession and fascination in life. I do love it, but not in the trivial sense of liking everything it does. I love it more like you love a partner over the long term of a relationship, with all of the little elations, rages, confusion, and enlightenment in turns.

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  5. I only have enough energy for one question. So….”Do you feel you have an adequate understanding of the logic of the sciences?” Yes. EXCEPT the logic of the science of Philosophy. Then again, from my perspective (admittedly a possibly flawed perspective) Philosophy is as much a Science and NASCAR racing is a Sport. There. I’ve probably insulted both philosophers and car racing fans with a singular statement. Ok, so I’ve never taken a class in Philosophy, but I’ve done some studying on my own…. And it seems to me that the rules it hews to, the logic it follows is arbitrary, if not downright imaginary. Now you’re (rightly) thinking, “Goodness! I’m glad Carla only has time for ONE question! Just imagine the damage she could do with a HALF DOZEN!”

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    1. ROFLMAO! You’re both a constant delight and you’re as crazy as a dancing June bug, Carla, but I love you. Of course, you’re not yet — yet — as crazy as me (but I do see progress being made on that).

      As you might recall, I took my degree in philosophy, and without trying to be insufferable about it, may I suggest that both the strength and weakness of formal or academic philosophy is that it has but one rule — and one rule only — whatever position you take must be logically arrived at. Strict logic is the name of the game.

      Within the bounds of that single rule, anything goes. Naturally, that leads to all sorts of lunacy at times. Because strict logic can easily go awry when it is not reality-checked against empirical evidence. The sciences are just as rigorous when it comes to logical reasoning as philosophy, but the sciences, as you know, check everything against empirical evidence.

      Having said all of that, philosophy now and then does get something right. Strange discipline though. No wonder I liked it.

      Just my two cents.

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      1. Of course you’re right, Paul. I just like to have Fun with Philosophers. In fact, Garnet (remember Garnet?) immersed her self in philosophy about a half-dozen years ago, and I memorialized the incident in an entertaining essay. Although the essay is hidden way back my ‘Garnet’s Secret’ blog on Blog Spot, I have transferred it here to my WordPress blog for your reading pleasure. Check it out!

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