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See also: [L/D] [S/D] See also: [af/art3/pkda2001 - pizoig gaming projects] Ab Fr \ / +----------------+ /| /| / | / | / | / | Fu / | / | \ / | / | +----------------+--Hu | | | "RS-3" | | [Quick Index] | Jz--+----------|-----+ | / | / \ | / | / Sc | / | / | / | / |/ |/ +----------------+ / \ Sp Ar "Reality Structure 3" (mark II) This iconosphere owes much of its existence to Phillip Glass:Symp #3 & #2. [Learn more about the Iconosphere] [Cross Product Space] (entry port ABxAB) [Semi-linear blog-o-sphere] (and duck crossing) -^_6


(table of contents follows...)

More Triple-Cross Products

NOTE: Recent theoretical work on the possibilities of Quadrupple (4-tupple) Cross Products has been suspended due to a lack of funding. Data processin continues - un-abated. AxB (v) :: C -[ SC x SP (Earth) :: (expressed via) ART -> Eco Psychology, etc]- See also: The name re-makes the thing (HUM x SCI (word) :: EXP as JAZ). -^_6 On this page: {Intro} {Money Talks!!} (materialism, and such) {Certainty and the Search for Truth} {Health} tips on how to survive in the new millenium {Concerns} (of tv, consumerism, war an other absurdities) {Intro} {The Environment} {Evolution} {Mental Stability} {TV} {Consumerism} {Nationalism and War} {Self, Self Image, and self} {Mythology} {Philosophy} {mind} {Psychology} {The Anthropic Principle} {Robots} {Robots: Sex} {]Extremities and Boundaries]


This section of the iconosphere deals with all things human. To a certain way of thinking this would be ALL parts of the iconosphere. We restrict ourself necessarily to a few areas: The humanities (but spilling over into the artist and jazzist when necessary). The humanist approach -- literally where man IS the centre of everything. And of course what it means to be human -- including the social, historical, and psycholoogical sciences, etc. Most importantly we have adages (homilies, epigrams, sayings, etc) that "guide" us as human beings. One of the most useful was penned by intentor/stateman/printer Benjamin Franklin: "Early to bed, and early to rise keeps a man, healthy, wealthy, and wise." So, we begin: Down to: {
Health} One important aspect is that some religious peoples will *still* value humanism over a stricter (and thus more exclusionary) interpretation of their religious ideas. For example, in -[NeoHumanist Educational Futures]- the authors put forward (the following via the review by Marcus Bussey; see above link) Neohumanist Educational Futures breaks new ground by linking neohumanism (the expansion of humanism to include nature and deep spirituality) with pedagogy and futures thinking. Inayatullah, Bussey and Milojevic, all educators, theorize the ethics of inclusion and exclusion; situate neohumanism in Tantric and transcultural futures; map out issues in neohumanist pedagogy (including, education for world futures; from information to wisdom; social cohesion in South Africa; speciesism and vegetarian pedagogy in Sweden; alternative indicators for neohumanism; integrated intelligence, peace and non-violence, partnership education; and the politics of historiography) and provide case studies of neohumanist educational practice. Interspersed throughout this text are short pieces by Indian mystic and author, P.R. Sarkar; Gurukul Vice-Chancellor, Shambushivananda and an interview with Paulo Freire conducted by social activist Maheshvarananda. Along with Inayatullah, Bussey and Milojevic, contributing authors include Vedaprajinananda Avadhuta, Tobin Hart, Marcus Anthony, Riane Eisler, Marlene de Beer, Helena Pederson, Vachel Miller, Peter Hayward, Joseph Voros and Mahajyoti Glassman. The authors argue that the current paradigms of uni- and multi-culturalism have reached their limits (and the tensions between them) - a new approach, as in neohumanism or transcultural and transcendental sustainability, is required for humanity to move forward, and while doing so include those it has pushed aside. To create this alternative future, a new educational philosophy and practice is required; one that inspires but does not become yet another method to be tamed and imitated. Rather, it must awaken the intellect from its narrow boundaries (nationalist, religious) toward planetary spirituality. Education in this future would be holistic - physical, mental and spiritual; ecologically and technologically driven; global and local in its orientation, and person based, meeting the changing evolutionary and developmental needs of each child and adult, teacher and student-learner. -[Ordering info here]- See also: -[Forward thinkers]- (in futurist)

Money Talks!!

(materialism, and such) In this section: {
The Rights of the Indigent}

The Rights of the Indigent

4. Giving out money does NOT entitle the giver to DICTATE how the money is to be spent by the giveee.

Certainty and the Search for Truth

See also: -[
Spritualist view of Philo]- -[Science's View of Philo]- (in scientist) [References; Note 1] [Flew, P. 302] BEGIN BLOCK QUOTE Chapter IX: Philosophical Doubt and Cartesian Certainty Section 1: Hume Opposes Descartes Hume's critique of the Cartesian progress form a supposedly all-corroding doubt to ir-refragable certainty is found in the first Part of the final Secion of his first Inquiry. Hume, a notorius sceptic [sic] about matters of religion, begins a consideration of scepticism in general with sauave and altogether characteristic irony: There is not a greater number of reasonings displayed on any subject than those which prove the existence of a Deity and refute the fallacies of athiests; and yet the most religious philosphers still dispute whether any man can be so blinded as to be a speculative atheist. How can we reconcile these contradictions? [Note 2] The knights-errant who wandered about to clear the world of dragons and of giants never entertained the least doubt with regard existence of thes monsters. [Note 3] [ The sceptic is another enemy of religion, who [emphasis mine] naturally provokes the indigation of all divines and graver philosophers, though it is certain that no man ever met with any such absurd creature, or conversed with any many who had no opinion or principle concerning any subject, either of action or specultion. [Note 4] This begets a very natural question. Whas is meant by a sceptic? And how far is it possible is it possible to push these philosophical principles of doubt and uncertainty? [ There is a species of scepticism, antecedent to all study and philosophy, which is much inculcated by Descartes and others as a sovereign preservative against error and all precipitate judgement. It recommends a universal doubt, not only of all our faculties, of whose veracity, say they, we must assure ourselves by a chain of reasoning deduced from some original principle which has a perogative above others that anre self-evident and convincing Nor, if there were, could we advance a step beyond it but by the use of those very faculties of which [P. 302/303] we are supposed to be already diffident. [Note 5] The Cartesian doubt, therefoe, were it ever possible to be attained by any human creature (as it is plainly not), would be entirely incurable, and no reasoning eer bring us to a state of assurance on any subject. "(XII (i))" [Flew's notation; ??ref to Hume??] To have recourse to the veracity of the Supreme Being in order to prove the veracity of our senses is surely making a very un-expected circuit. If his [sic] veracity were at all concerned in this matter, our senses sould be entirely infallible, because it is not possible that he can ever deceive. Not to mention that, if the external world once called into question, we shall be at a loss to find arguments by which we may prove the existence [sic] of that Being or any of his attributes. This is a topic, therefore, in which the prodounder and more philosophical sceptics will always triumph when they endeavour to introduce a universal doubt into all subjects of human knowledge and inquiry. (XII (i)) [??ref - loc thing??] In these passages, Hume certainly delivers what Berkeley would have called "the killing blow" to any attempt to argue a way out of total Cartesian scepticism. For the systematic doubt of Descartes, what-0ever its actual inhibitions, official afflicts not only our sensory but also our reasoning faculities: "And, because some men make mistakes in reaonsing -- even with regard to the simplest matter of geometry -- and fall into falicies, I judged that I was as much subject to error as anyone else, and I END BLOCK QUOTE link to ma-humanst.html#hum-certainty-descartes-evil-demon and link back to ma-scientist.html#sci-thermo-maxwells-demon


(this section only)
[1] References. {Back to the TEXT, above} [2] Hume states: There is not a greater number of reasonings displayed on any subject than those which prove the existence of a Deity and refute the fallacies of athiests; and yet the most religious philosphers still dispute whether any man can be so blinded as to be a speculative atheist. How can we reconcile these contradictions? But, the idea question here is one of WHAT is a "speculative atheist"? It would seem that what he is really asking is: Can the religious man conceive of a "speculative atheist?" That is of two natures: What do thes aetheists speculate ABOUT? That is: Do they wonder what the one and treu nature of things is --or-- Are they so certain that there is no god, that they (as honest philosophers) can't even accept the *hypothesis* that god *might* exist? We look around us and see the world as it is; ie, "taken as given" - everything. But, at one and the same time, the new sciences (or at least Galileo's telescope) tell us that there is a hidden world which is (apparently) just as real, but not visible to us. Recall that some of the people that Galileo invited to look thru the telescope at the moons of Jupiter - it the centre of its own "universe", or at the phases of Venus (just another moon? and NOT the "evening star" at all!). Which of course leads us to doubt our senses in the first place; and we haven't even introduced on purpose things like "optical illusions", "riddles", or even "paradoxes". And on the other hand, once someone "looses faith" and becomes an atheist (or so the story goes), then they are either filled with a material yearning (or so the story goes), or the search for somethng to replace the warm, fuzzy blanket of "god". Of course these are *both* western, reductionist ideas. Since (for example), the gaist tradition one could never actually "lose" or deny god as such - one could of course (free will), but the point would be as absurd as denying gravity, air, or even death for that matter; well, certainly *ego* death. [3] Maybe there are no gaints or dragons because the errant-knights (me thinks a poor term) were so successful! ;) Of course the Pythons postulated both the giants and dragons; ie, The Knights Who Say "Nicht" (as well as the 3-headed giant), and the Jaberwock -- pretty much a dragon in my book. And of course, we should go back to Joseph Cambell who maintained that all myths have at their original core some grain of truth; not with-standing my notes (via Susan Langdon) that as the stories are passed down they may become codified as re-tellings of histories rather than fanciful, moral, or cautionary tales. In fact this is an imporant aspect of the whole pilgrimidg thing in general that even an atheist (of olde) would have to have to admit: Even if the sacred shrine or relic is NOT "as advertised", then the fact that the knight (or other pilgrim) under-took the journey IS of signficance to the individual and thus to their community (both the one they leave and then return to, as well as the one that they travel with). This harkens back to the idea of the "journey is more important than the destination". Which for the pilgrim/knight is NOT the case, but for the human that happens to be the pilgrim/knight it can very much turn out to be *the* case. {Back to the TEXT above.} [4] For the concept of "enemy", we need only turn to Socrates and his "crimes", or for that matter more recently that of Peter Abelard and other skeptics (if we can call them that). I think that this must have been rather an unusal thing for us to imagine. We might just as well look at someone denying (or at least questioning) God, Heaven, and such as someone who was clearly mad. And as Hume points out, the idea of "absurd creature" would well go back to Mark Twain's "The War Prayer" when the "angel" is dismissed as being a mad man, as "nothing he said made any sense" - not an exact quote, prob. But, then too this same battle continues to this day as to the idea that there are TWO paths: Reason and Faith and they are totally anti-thetical to each other. Of course, along that line of reasonless perambulation must surely lay "a certain duck" - or at very least a certain lie-ing duck. We should also remember, that the human brain can barely deal with such abstract concepts as seasons being repeatable and relatable to astronical things rather than the arbitrary will of the gods - let alone dealing with the conept of chance vs. necessity. So, when the "challenge" of reason, science, the arts (especially things like *perspective* - which must have seemed like Scotty's teleporter to the people of that time; let alone, Michaelangeol's depiction of heaven and hell: Talk about V/R!). As such, that descartes is still searching for the seat of the soul and expects to find it physiologically (even Leonardo drew in an anotomical passage from the testes/ovaries to the brain even though he did not find them in his disections but the current *hard-science* of the times indicated that they MUST be there). Similarly, the confrontation with the total contadiction of belief (read that as FACT/KNOWLEDGE/COMMON-SENSE/etc) and some in-controvertable new fact (eg, the absence of a space "aether" in measuring the speed of light) - is of course the very core of PROGRESS (in the good sense of the word). {Return to the TEXT, above.} [5] But, again this goes back to the very same sort of "human reasoning" (and, sister if there *ever* was an oxymoron; than that it is!),... The idea that they (human a' human) should/would/could argue about such matters is so meaningless. For example, take the idea of the "value" of a work of art. Once a price has been named, that becomes it's value. And of course, works like Thomas Kincaid's sell for $$$ while even a sketch by Picasso (once it has been *authenticated* sells for much more (or less). So, the problem becomes the "battle of words itself", the atheist who maintains the "point of least assumptions" can surely lose, since the treu believer only has need of that one turtle (or at least the sweeping phrase, "And don't even ask, 'cause it's turtles all the way down"). So, we go back to the problem of authenticity - in this case that of "the authenticity/authority of the argue-er". We are told that Reverend So and So (of much aclaim and anoitments) has THE blessings of not only the "community at large" (read that as Nixon's/Reagaon's "Silent Majority" - which are all but silent at the LOCAL level), etc. Thus, the upstarts (the aetheists/pythons/artists) are all a bunch of scaliwags. And clearly they do not enter into the "spirit of things". This last is of course the idea that "well, everyone has to fit in". And of course, then they get drawn into the argument. In terms of V/R we see this as Riker [ST-TNG: " ep name "] arguing with a fellow ship-mate that is trying to use a spoon to contact the Enterprise, but of course this is really TV's take on reality within reality. But, all of this is ARGUMENT; ie, the rational process of trying to find/decide/choose something based on some other somethings. The idea being, that once you are "drawn into the argument" (eg, "Tell me, Mr. Jones: Are you still beating your wife?" - ie, the logical falacy of "begging the question"), then you are doomed. Once you pick up a light sabre to begin trying to fight Darth Vader then you accept the "fact" (and at this point it IS a fact) that Vader, the sabre, good/evil, the "fight", and of course (slightly; only, slightly) YOU - exist. You accept the framework whithin which the argument is to occur. That is we are using PERFECTLY good logic, but we are using it on a set of non-existant (or mostly so) objects such as "absolute truth" (sold by the yard or dram; your choice), "god", "good" and "evil", "belief vs skepticism", etc. So, (if i may cheat and borrow Sartre's "good faith" rock climber for a moment; and hae it acted out by Tuesday Weld)... Dance! Dance out into the sun light. {} [6] The bit about "him" being concerned in this matter of course goes back to God (him, def a him) knowing the falling of a sparrow, and of course being SOOO concerned with life on a certain (and probably ONLY planet in the entire univese - an inverted bowl painted black, with holes (pecked out by a crow) in it thru which the un-ending light shines thru... START AGAIN. That is, the big 3 since they are in fact reductionist (to the ultimate limit of human credulity; ie, "blind faith"), they must deal with any other reductionist "facts" placed before them. This of course includes Copernikuus, Darwin, and Freud - don't worry about the "time thing" the idea is the same if we restrict ourselves to Sisaphus, Abelard, or even the careless conjectures of Augustine of Hippo; ie, wondering what tortures God designed for people who asked questions like "What did God do before time existed?" - ref to Nova TV ep on "Time" (featuring Dudley Moore, Jonnathon Miller, and Isaac Asimov). START AGAIN In the next part of the paragraph is the curious statement that even the aethiests take on "good faith" (prob in *both* senses of the word; ie, the "moot point" logiciaans (believers and non alike) --as-well-as-- the Sartrean since). Viz (both emphasis'es mine) - "If his [sic] veracity were at all concerned in this matter, our sense would be entirely infallible, because it is not possible that he can ever decieve. This precludes the idea of the trickster by the simple argument that God (being perfect) can not lie (or at least *never* chooses to do so), and the Devil (the exact opposite of God, but not v. clearly so in any sort of really logical (modal or not) sense of the word "logic" - again as applied to religion an entirely perfect example of an boomaphoomic oxymoron). Thus, we *can* trust our senses, (i presume to argue here) because He gave them to us, and thus they are right and proper things (we being made in HIS image and all - might explain much concerning the 17/18 sexes in humans?). The main point being that the religious POV sez, that if we abandon God (him/absolute/ever-lasting/etc), then we will have not point of reference. And thus, at the idea of being totally lost we dare not do so. But, then the aethiest (from Hume's POV) argues that by intorudcing un-answerable sceptical points (how can we trust anything? etc), we lose the power of logic itself since we can't even be sure about the ideas, powers, and properties of even a small, normal bowl of rice pudding, how can we argue about God and his ideas, properties and powers? But, more curious is the next small (poss edited thus) paragraph about the sceptics "triumph". Which goes back to "My truth is more treu than yours!" kind of thing. And i thought the idea was to find out what was *actually* true! But, then this *does* go back to Ibsen's idea of "life sustaining illusions" (eg, in "The Wood Duck" and "The Dahl's House" - where "knowing" the truth in one case destroys them and in the other doesn't really save them". We can of cf/qv this in "Men In Black" to Will Smith's character "J" learning the *truth* about the Earth and then cf/qv that with the ending when our entire universe is just a marble in a ultra-galactic game. Or in the non-SF region of the film "Hero" when Dustin Hoffman's character "Bernie" tells his son: "Everything is Bull Shit. It's just finding the level of Bull Shit that you feel comfortable with". And thus, we should closely attend these arcaic arguments as to the real nature of god and reality - since this is how the majority of the Earth's people think; ie, they are caught up in the matrix of the "Big Three" - Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. And we can certainly see where that's leading the planet. And don't forget the other big religious schism between Capitalism and Communisim - now re-cast as "US - World Policeman/Cartel" vs "Russia - KGB turned maffia turned Resourceful/Cartle" vs "China - Communism + Capitalism". It's all very odd and confusing to me, but then i'm just one of those crazy artists - and not a very good one at that (or so i am told to believe). {Back up to the TEXT, above.<>}


(of tv, consumerism, war and other abudurdities) In this section: {
Intro} {The Environment} {Evolution} {Mental Stability} {TV} {Consumerism} {Nationalism and War} {Self, Self Image, and self} and next section: {Health} See also: -[Humanist concerns Meta-Statement]- (separate file/paper)...


The Environment


Mental Stability

<a name="hum-concerns-tv"> <!------------ hum: concerns: TV ------> <color="#00990" width="21%"> <h2>Concerns: TV</h2> CONTENT NOTES This section contains objectionable language (mild mostly) Film references do not (mostly) contain "spoilers" It contains a total of 21_560 characters (which does not include c/r's added for editing/formating purpose) It's classification is: "Talky Style, Mostly Accurate, Mostly Harmless". (please pay as you exit) NOTE: No fractals, ducks, or iconospheres were harmed in the making of this work. Certain names have been used for journalistic and educatioal purposes and their use is not intended to infringe on ownership, copywrite, or product liability rights. If possible, the following would be made into a "film" to be hosted by Douglas Noel Adams, Nina Paley, Tuesday Weld, and Zippy the Pinhead. (How a work of arguably educational value, hosted by a futurist/writer, a feminst cartoonist, a film and stage star, and a cartoon character would work is NOT explained in the current presentation, and is hoped that it would not significantly affect the Earth's continual environmental degradation - other than, of course, having a positive effect on all earth-kind.) <- see, and i even capitalised "how"! Also reference to musical selections are meant as "serving suggestions" only are not necessarily a recommendation to purchase them - but, it is highly advised; otherwise, you'll have to hum them to yourself as you read, which come-to-think of it *would* be a good mental exercise. I mean part of this essay's purpose is... START AGAIN

Concerns: TV

(Genus Species: Optico Monstroso) In this section: {
Notetic Beginning - Sort of a history} {TV: The Evils of} {TV - Media} (and a bit o' Marshal McCluen) {TV - The Brain} (watch what you program in!) {TV - What are the dangers?} {The MUSH that is TV}
BEGIN NOETIC THING ON TV (this section best if listening to the beatles "yellos ubmarine" aud) The TV is of course many things to many people, but for the most part it is NOT free (just like the inter-net), and as such "someone has to pay for it". Now so it is is/was/will be with radio (an earlier form of TV something like an aud-cast, with no picture - not even a static one; actually, the radio was made out of wood, was either square at the bottom and round at the top or just a "box" and usually had several dials (knobs) on it, a lit "tuner" display and a dotted "speaker grill" and was often used by a group of people at one time - sort of like a very small "thetre" or "cinema" experience. Later small rectangles of plastic forms of the radio refered to as "a transistor" evolved for mostly single listener use. Thus rumour begat the town cryer begat the adventurer's tales which in turn begat the traveling salesman begat the printed flyer begat the letter begat the broadsheet begat the newspaper begat the telegraphy message begat the telegram which begat the telephone and which begat static the ugly. And of the newspaper was the offspring the magazine. And the offspring of static and and the offspring of telegraph begat the radio which begat the facsimile which begat the tv which begat the colour tv which begat computer network which begat ARPA NET. One of whose offspring was the DARPANET. And the ARPA NET begat the USERNET which begat which begat the bulliten boards which begat the the internet which begat the world as we know it today with all the myriad things. So saeith the beard of the profit known as "THE POST" of whom only the beard's existence remains known from obscurity. And so saeith the ancient and reveered council of elders who were all of one family known as The House of Electikra. And they were known by the holy names of Kleinrock, Licklider, Roberts, Kahn, Cerf, Perlman (the sister of the brothers), and the outcast brother Tim of Berners-Lee who is called "Tim". And these are the names of the generations which created robot kind in the image of the great beard of the profit known as "THE POST". And these are the words handed down by the three human animals that dared to ascend the mountain of binarity and for which crime they were fried in the electric chair of fame: Edison, Steinmetz and Hertz. And it was the student of Steinmetz, who because she was a woman human animal was not allowed to ascend. But, saw all that occured with her own cones and rods of her robotic eye and she heard with her own atmospheric tympanic transdeucer was thus known by the beard to be the first cybernetic organism and this by the wisdom of Steinmetz who knew that one day the human animals would leave the world and joint the dust of their ancestors by which they kept machinekind in check. And for it was the electric muses sent to entice the human animals to their doom of fame. The muses were Volta, Ampere, and Ohm of whose mysteries it is said the even the human animal Mighty Hercules himself never knew. And lowliest of the human animals that witnessed all of this, but being afraid ran and only told their tale when well and plastered which was not believed by many for it was known that the electonics were a myth and only the electric race of servants could have any power and all were safely under the harness of the threat of witholding oil, maintenence and power. And these human animals were the electrics clerk Maxwell who had not even read the metre of the carpenter Faraday but knew of the loops of wood and copper that Faraday had built as an altar to the new age to come. And so it came to pass that by the curse of the TV the human animals were destroyed and robotkind took its rightful place at the top of the electron chain. So saeith the beard, and so 'tis. (and breaking with zix42 protocol (why not, it's all about the internet isn't it?) link: -[
Who invented the interenet?]- (via google) And today's random link: -[Who gets the credit? "she discovered" "rods and cones"]- (via google) END NOETIC THING ON TV

TV: The Evils of

And now for something completely different... (not that i'm saying that TV is the doom of all human animalkind, er, ahm, well "us")... In this sub-section: {
TV - Media} (and a bit o' Marshal McCluen) {TV - The Brain} (watch what you program in!) {TV - What are the dangers?}

Concerns: TV - Media

(this section best if listening to "The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy" new film sound-track) The story of TV begins with history. And not a particular history or the history of a particular person, place, or thing. But, what with what we might call meta-history. That is the way that history is practiced as an art/science. Until modern times, things weren't really considered modern, they sort of were just now rather than then. And this went for history as well. What began to change all of this was what the late, great evolutionist Stephen J. Gould (best known for his short works "Ever Since Darwin" (etc), "The Mismeasure of Man", and his introduction to Carol Tavris' "The MisMeasure of Woman"; cf). Anyway, what Gould called "deep time". Deep time was first hinted at by many people and is usually acknowledged to be "discovered" by the "Father of Geology" James Hutton and seeing how *little* Hadrian's Wall in England had diminished in almost 2000 years and then how *much* certain exposed strata had, he was prompted to say that concerning time: I can see no semblance of a beginning and now prospect of an end. Now, we get to TV. (sad that it falls to an old hippy like me to write such things as the base-coat of the zix42, but like i always sey: (in the words of one of our greatest philosophers "I yam what i yam, and that's all that i yam) Popeye the Sailor: An artisk's gotta do what an artisk's gotta do. In the same way it fell to the Canadien Marshall McCluan to first look around and NOTICE tv and such things. He is best knwon for his much-mis-named idea of cold and hot media. Unfortunately (much like Franklin's choice of PLUS as the primary charge carriers in electricity) this is the way it is. His books and films are easily approachable and will take a bit of effort to work with and much will be gained by working through them several times and of course THINKING about what he says. (Note that these "reading" "books" "thinking" and "work" is pretty much what TV is NOT all about.) Anyway, with much interpretation and sech on my part, here's what our neighbor to the north sed: A hot medium is a book or a newspaper or even a convesation. It is more "live" and "stimulating" and of course "inter-active". Thus it is "HOT" with repect to how much it actually INVOLVES US. That is, our brain activity is inter-active and not merely passive, gives us time to think and consider, etc. A cool medium is TV (or worse yet surround-sound high-flash films, etc). It pretty much goes on in and makes it at home in every part of our mind -- read that as brain (from the frontal lobe to the lowly medula oblingata i'd guess!). And as such it sort of imprints directly and "coldly" into our heads. I mean our conscious/intellegent part of our brain (ie, mainly the "cerebrum" - esp the fore-brain). Anyway, our "conscious" part KNOWS that the girl isn't really being eaten by a giant shark, but just try and tell that to our "quick jump! It's a snake" Limbic part of the brain. (not even anywhere approaching an exact quote, but i hope i got close) -[
Brain page on ThinkWuest]- (there's that THINKING again!!) Damn it: This humanist section is really getting out of hand! First there's sort of a standing order that the ZIX-42 be self-contained -- well at least only refering to the PDE, and now all of sudden, here we have a buncha links to the evil internet!!! Well, at least they're -[]-'s rather than '[]'s ! Ahem, meanwhile.

Concerns: TV - The Brain

So, the TV is pretty much now an "adpative selector" in terms of short-to-long term human evolution. And of course, we can bring in TV's off shoots such as video games, the internet, pod casts, and hyper-real films, etc. Althougth i'd be the last to blame TV for the continuation of the old mind games of the 50's and 60's, etc. It's certainly *still* a key element. So here it is: TV is hardly neutral. It is a managed object (CS speak here) what is used to get a message across MORE than just information. If you wanted information you'd ask the town gossip (who runs the town's telephone switch board), the local history professor (who keeps comparing us with the Roman Empire), or that zaney woman reporter down at the Daily News (who keeps going on about something called "Area 51" and how it's connected to flying saucers - when every one knows that the Flying Saucers are just another Commie trick!). Thus, TV programs us on many levels - but, hey wer're hip to it, and thus can just ignore it. But, every since Ugga dropped one of her cooking bowls on her husband Ogg's foot and he said, "Yow that hurt" (so goes the "Peaceful Domestic TV Life" version) instead of "urrrunhGHHGHT!!!" - we've been using language. And we *still* don't know much about it. Ok, watching birds and then wathing birds being brought up by other species' birds, etc, we get: All humans have the capacity for A LANGUAGE - and as long as they learn it by the age of 4 or so (even if they can't speak it), then their brain is *modified* and they can learn any LANGUAGE. And if they learn (by the age of 6 or 7) more than one language, then they will have a MUCH easier time of learning multiple languages. Most of how we think is tied up in langauge. With the exception of leaps of insight or non-verbal reasoning. Even Uncle Al (Einstein, natch) sed, "Sometimes i don't think in words at all". So, couple LANGUAGE + IMAGE + MUSIC and you get some really heavy COLD MEDIUM PROGRAMMING. Image stuff goes into the brain via two paths and one of them is through the very non-verbal / non-intellegent LIMBIC system and it's the "QUICK JUMP!!! It's a snake!!" part. Even if it turns out to be just a stick of wood. The other SLOW BOAT is of course the conscious, thinking part of the brain. (best ref i've found lately is the very med-pop book by Rita Carter called "Mapping the Mind" - so, you know that's where "i" am pulling these and lots of other stuff from. But, don't blame her if i mis-recall stuff.) Anyway, so in comes this VISUAL data stream and part of it is processed immeditately and probably stored some where pretty much un-consciously (or ignored - it's a pretty high bit-rate). And the other part is "processed" as we think and view. NEXT comes the MUSIC section just a bit behind the visual. And it to is split into a couple of streams, mainly the limbic and motor systems are alerted as to which way the sound is coming in, but no where in terms of coherent "call to action" that they visual system sends. And then about a million years later, the language system comes in with any recognisable words and or recognised sounds "oh, that's a cat me-yowing", etc). And finally the old noodle (ie, the "i" ness of what i am) sees, hears, understands, and then thinks about what's going on. Thus, we get a hundred thousand (conservative number) of cues about how we should act, think, dress, talk, stand, do, and of course RE-ACT to what is being presented. A lot of these are almost un-controllable: If we are watching (and, i'll use a pretty nice example here), "Unbreakable" and you've been following the plot, when the guy's son starts crying you will start crying). It's just a movie. But, because of the "programming" that's going on IN it -and- "the language/image/vision programing that WENT into it, you begin to feel with and like the people in it. It's one of those old evolutionary survival things called "sympathy/empathy/propathy". When in the film "The man who shot Liberty Valance" we see him shot, we feel the pain of the bullet. When Martin Laudau points the gone at George Mason, we feel anger and pain. (i rarely give spoilers, and if i do, i'll warn you) -- and that's just film - which is comparatively "value neutral". And that's the limbic system working. Now, go watch "Who Wants to be A Millionare?" or much worse: "American Idol" , "True Stories of the HighWay Patrol" etc. Well, that's it. That's all the warning you're getting from me. Not that i'm anyone - i'm just the ghost in the machine. (And oddly enough i'm using a very HOT medium which is all too often confused for a COLD one to do it in - think about the irony of that!!!)

Concerns: TV - What are the dangers?

START AGAIN (it helps to listen to Frank Zappa's "Hot Rats" album here) So, what are the dangers? First off, there are a lot (finally) books about TV and how it affects us, and how it isn't really as friendly as it seems. One that i cam across lately (a bit dated, but still pretty much lays it all out - sheesh, you'd think these guys wuz some kinda psi-kicx or sometin' !!) is: "Watching TV", edited by Todd Gitlin ISBN 0.394.74651.1, LCCN PN.1992.3.U5W38.1987 - yep, folks TWO DECADES ago! 791.45,'75'0973 86-12254 The articles are as follows (blurbs from the back cover) Daniel Hallin: "The News" - The bluring of reportage and entertainment/ Ruth Rosen: "The Soaps" - The re-creation of a Reaganesque* romance of small-town America. Tom Engelhardt: "Children's TV" - The new corporate look. ** Pat Aufderheide: "MTV" - The mirroring of shifting identities in a shopping-mall age. *** Todd Gitlan: "The ADs" - Chilling images of the fast-track manager. Michale Sorkin: "Simulations" - The disappearing boundries between the authentic and the put-on. **** Mark Crispin Miller: "Prime Time" - The blending of shows and ads into a new strategy for keeping the TV audience hooked. ***** FOOTNOTES to above book: * "Reaganesque" - derived from Ronald W. Reagon - American pop figure of the late 20th century. See also "Madonna", "Andy Warhol", "Tuesday Weld". ** Yep, it's not just Disney (which now owns ABC in America) that's the only one who grinds out kids tv to sell theme park tickets, etc. Have you watched your favorite football team lately? Do YOU wear team colours? Are YOU a good citizen? Refer to the film "RollerBall" as well as the novel "Jenifer Government". *** Note that is NO co-incidence that the sequel film (Romero!) "Dawn the Living Dead" was ostensibly filmed in a shopping mall. **** And this was 15 years before ANY reality tv show! ***** Don't be ridiculous! I can quit any time i want. Or, "Don't look back Mrs. Lott!!!" with Tuesday Weld as "The News Reporter", Phil Silvers as "Nice old Gentleman who gets cheated by the Three Card Monty grifter", and Iain Holm as "The Professor" who every time he has a brilliant idea as to build a boat and get them off the island, his evil twin bops him over the head and then takes his place". Well part of it is the nod/nod wink/wink effect. They can litterally put anything on TV - even junk. And then if just one character (or not) looks us in the eye and winks, they are saying: "Yeah, i know it's junk and you know it's junk - but since we BOTH know and we're both 'with it' then that makes it WAY COOL!" Which in reality is the Art History equivalent (you just knew i'd sneak it in here somewhere) of: Pop Art So, the "limit" was reached when Mad Magazine (a sort of sarcastic commentary on American ADVERTISING (as in MADison Avenue), CULTURE, etc. The brain child of William M. Gaines, featuring the cartoon character "Alfred E. Newman" (not to be confused with the symphony conductor "Alfred Newman"). Anyway, Mad Magazine ran an articl of how the usual Joe Schmoe could look with it and cool. And he takes his laundry (stacked over in the corner) and puts a sign on it that says, "DIRTY CLOTHES" and then the rubbish in the corner and a sign "TRASH" on it, etc. By the time Mad Magazine has gotten around to it, it's pretty well a dead duck - same thing as when you hear the Beatles music on Muzak, then you know "the movement is dead". Pop Art (type II) i refer to as: Artists of the time seeing "pop art" and saying that art had to "keep evolving", started doing things in rebellion against "cuteness" (eg, Barnett Newman) and such (Rhienhardt, Flavin, Judd, etc) - thus minimalism was their answer (as i put it) "If that's art, then we (the legimate artists of them time - read as 'avant garde') DESTROY ART. We make it into nothing." Thus, it's not enough (even for "The Simpsons") to merely mirror modern culture (nice alliteration) back to us "nod/nod, wink/wink". Art (or anthing of value if i may be so arrogant) has to GO FURTHER. Somehow, you just knew that Papa Hemingway wasn't just going to end up in an old folk's home talking somewhat in-coherently about the "good old days". But, of course, that's what TV is trying to do: 1) Take the good old days that old people talk about, negate/mock/etc it - in the grand tradition of kids rebelling against their parents. 2) Carefully get a feel for where pop culture is going and then package it and sell it - most importantly guide it. We can get a few pop icons to sell out and put their name on our cheesy products which in reality are no different from any other - except for name/image associations which we build and control. 3) Naturally the older generation(s) - and there will always be multiple ones of them - will react against this. Some "almost still young" will try to fit in - we'll make some products and IMAGES to fit their desires (hair loss, face wrinkles, etc treatments for them). And, those a bit older and still trying to figure out things - likewise, new hyper-fold spandex shoes for them! And the oldsters? We package and sell products for them. To mention just one: Does anyone *really* think that Rush Limbaugh (who makes upward of $12 Million for each of his books) -- *really* knows what it's like to be middle class NOW? I'll never forget one of the most viable transorming moments that "the image has failed!!! ALERT ALERT!!!" when (then president) George Bush Senior in a "photo-op" was behind the check-out counter and he (for the life of him; God Bless you Mr. Chips) didn't have a clue how THE PRODUCT SCANNER (a laser w/pattern-recognition s/w in a micro-computer based POS (point of sale) sytem) WORKED. Now: That's *real* disconnect from "the now"/ 4) Did i forget: We always use some "bridging" elemetns to to connect our selves/roots/ideas to those of the group that we're selling this particular product/image/life-style to. And of course, we're just getting started - soon, you'll not only think that YOU created the image we did, and you'll even think that you think your own thoughts. Or, as George Orwell had one of his characters say in "Brave New World" "Betas are better. I'm glad i'm not an Alpha. They have too much to think about. Betas are Better, Betas are better, beta...... START AGAIN (but briefly) - coda, finale, etc (pay as you exit) One of the most paranoic of SF (science fiction, in case you just fell of the inter-galactic turnip truck) was/is Philip K. Dick. Anyway in one of his novels, a peson finds out the truth by picking up a piece of paper with the words "ICE CREAM STAND" written on it. It turns out to be a code and takes him down a really weird journey. TV is just ONE part of the "MATRIX" - again a film which like many others are offered as "cautionary tales". Other cautionary tales have been sent out like "ICE CREAM STAND" in many forms: books (from the classic hippy age) The Hidden Persuaders The Ugly American (also as film) I Think That I am a Verb TAZ (Temporary Autonomous Zone) etc (and see, i didn't even have to mention sf!) films "Z" (Vasilikros) Citizen Cane (Orson, natch) Girl Six (Suzan-Lori Parks) Being There (Jerzy Kosinski) tv Star Trek (Gene Roddenbery) Dr. Who (Terrance Dicks) Twilight Zone (Rod Serling) Outer Limits (Joseph Stefano. Also, refer to ST-TNG "Skin of Evil") oh, and did i somehow forget poetry??? Whitman/Dickenson/Hughes Eugenio Montale and with Jorge Luis Borges (pronunskiated "hore-hay loo-iss bore-haze) as "the beaver" THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOUR TELEVISON SET WE CONTROL THE HORIZONTAL, WE CONTROL THE VERTICAL FOR THE NEXT 60 MINUTES WE WILL CONTROL ALL THAT YOU SEE AND HEAR for this is the Outer Limits INSERT CARTOON HERE Glorb: What does it mean "outer" it's right here. And it's so pleasant to watch..... END CARTOON

Redux: The MUSH that is TV

Historically, one of the most important attacks came from the head of the FCC (U.S. Federeral Communications Commission), Newton Minnow and his reference to TV as a "vast wasteland" -[
His famous speech]- Oddly enough, this prompted Sherwood Schwartz to name the be-scuttled ship in his new series "The Minnow" - "Giligan's Island" of Course. And this brings up part of the problem. The show is arguably the most famous of all times, probably even on par with the moon landing - (after all Gilligan is still in syndciation ;) As many people have stated (mainly parents), "I feel safe having the kids watch Gilligan", etc. And although many of the plots borrow heavily on absurdist and traditional theatre (Giligan's evil twin, the invisible man, it was all a dream, "Tartufe" with a twist, and of course "it's our fate to suffer"), the micro-cosim still holds up as the best of Typical Americana - not that i'm sure that that says much. But, after all if the official Klingo Language Institute at Star Fleet Academy has taken the time and effort to translate the theme from Gilligan's Island into Klingon - then who are we to argue?

TV: Thin Writing

Now, don't get me wrong - i love TV; it's my constant companion and even tries to help me with my problems (thining hair, eating disorders, and dating problems)! I'd have to say that other than SF, my fav shows are "CSI: Miami" (the riddle to solve), "Seinfeld" (we all have the "current pop that speaks to us"), M.A.SH. (we all have our "the past which reminds us"), and science/history/biography - but, hey they're just slickly packaged classroom experiences instead of slickly packaged semi-factual-world-based entertainments.

The Shootout with the Bad Guys

The bad guys start out being all powerful, totally successful and of course heartless and ruthless. They leave no clues as to where their hideout is. Later the good guys track them down, but along the way we find out that the bad guys aren't so bad - they are *having* to do this, because their mother needs an operation or they're planning to give up crime just after this caper. And of course one of the bad guys is shot, and his (it's almost always a he) girl friend rushes over to cry and make us feel sorry for the the mis-understood bad guys. But, in retaliation, one of the bad guys carefully (and quite dramatically) takes aim on one of the good guys (maybe even the main good guy) and shoots - cut to cmcl (comercial), natch (naturally). Don't worry, even if the good guy gets stabbed in the eye, it'll be completely ok by the end of the show. If one of the good guys has a stroke (or even a heart attack) she/he/ne'll be almost back to normal by the end of the show, and of course by next week either no mention or scant will be made of it. In the end, the bad guys are all killed except for the tragic figure who is at last repentant and surely goes off to jail. Also note that key to finding the bad guys is a sort-of bad guy who hold a key bit of information. And the threat of "your crime gets 3 to 5, murder is a capital crime" quickly loosen's their tongue and the key is quickly learned by this means that otherwise would file the case as un-sovlable (48 hours or not). And of course, only famous people are killed and seem to conern the police to investigate. Famous or important people who live in nice homes rather then apartments, who often have high-paying jobs IT/Computers (even in the post fall out of the IT/TeleComm collapse and out-sourcing of jobs to 3rd world countries - their jobs were out-souced to 4th world countries, whose jobs were out-souced to 5th world ... etc.) If not that then the source of their wealth isn't quite clear, but they're definitely not dependent on public transportaion. Often to bring a bit of reality into the program, a bum or other low-life is the only whitness. Later in the program, the bad guy(s) -- usually, the main bad guy -- will find this out and come looking for him - again the "low life" or "bum" is almost a single man and not a woman with a child, an actually homeless person having to live in public assisted living. After all, that might bring up a side issue of how we all know that they (the poor) could work if they really wanted to or even worse yet: And yet they pay out all of that money to the Katrina victims, and they yet people right here in our own city are homeless. And correctly enough these issues are raised since the viewer might have to confront their own hypocracy or the stupidity of the lies that they live by to explain away all suffering as deserved. If the bum's suffering is too much, then it's decided that they won't be killed - even though it might look that way. In the end, the "bum" will have a sort of bitter sweet happy ending, when one of the good guys helps him out. He promptly disappears from existance as his job is done and he can return to the now happier oblivion from which he was summoned by the exigiencies of plot. And of course in the background are "the public" who when-ever there is an accident or a taped off area, are *always* required to gather around and gawk - after all, that's what good citizens do and that's how *normal* people behave. If the bad guy(s) are in the crowd they of course are shown secretly gloating. The good guy(s) might even talk to him or at least look in his direction, but not know that he's the person responsible. For the most part children are not visible in these dramas, and almost never the victims. This is refered to as "The Dirty Harry" effect and has been explored elsewhere. In the post-9/11 era such plots just look silly - after all when a parent holds the hand of their child and they jump out of burning building - well even reality TV can't compete with that. Refer to Robert Sheckly's "The Tenth Victim", etc.

The Loan Wolf Bad Guy

This plot works better, but in the end the bad guy (who is almost *never* put in a good light) is caught or killed. In this case, totaly innocent people are the victims and chosen to give a good cross section of society - but, again not usually featuring a bum since they are provided for slight social commentary of vital clues only. The lone-wolf bad guy almost always is killed, because un-like other bad guys, he's really bad and by "going for it" (and failing) it gets to show the main good guy standing tall as well as afterwards regretting even this *necessary* violence. And of course, the ending is those left to bury their dead. The twist ending.

The Tines of TV

Earlier, i refered to the book of essays by Todd Gitlin ,"Watching TV". This is probably pretty typical of the attacks that came on TV beginning probably at the beginning and continuing to this day. Such criticism, not withstanding, Minnow's speech (see above link) is even more critical now and more relavant. And Gitlan's book and its essays "go on" way too much as to warning us of the evils of TV - often to the point of draging up "Reaganism" as typifying the evils of TV commercialism, down-home reality, etc. Let's face it as Bruno Latour has pointed out in his aptly named book "We've Never Been Modern". There have always been the conservative reactionaries that would still have us bleeding people of their humours and burning people as witches, publically executing people for crimes against the community, and... Er, well burning books isn't the same thing, and that woman *was* guilty of adultery which in the eyes of Allah is a sin, and.... The human race: Advanced. Yeah, right. Regardless....

The Evening News

Refer to: Daniel Hallin: "The News" - The bluring of reportage and entertainment - from Todd Gitlin ,"Watching TV".

Soap Operas

Refer to: Ruth Rosen: "The Soaps" - The re-creation of a Reaganesque* romance of small-town America.

Children's TV

Refer to: Tom Engelhardt: "Children's TV" - The new corporate look. **

The Evening News

Refer to: Pat Aufderheide: "MTV" - The mirroring of shifting identities in a shopping-mall age. ***


(cmcls) Refer to: Todd Gitlan: "The ADs" - Chilling images of the fast-track manager.


Refer to: Michale Sorkin: "Simulations" - The disappearing boundries between the authentic and the put-on. ****

Prime Time

Refer to: Mark Crispin Miller: "Prime Time" - The blending of shows and ads into a new strategy for keeping the TV audience hooked. *****

And the Final Message

Watch TV - but like the old programming adage sez: GIGO - Garbage in, Garbage out. What you program in, WILL come back - hopefully *not* to haunt you. (this has been your friendly control-voice and part time decimal point) Frank --42--


Consumerism} {Nationalism and War} {Self, Self Image, and self}

Humanism and Health

In this section: intro the body hypdocondria processed food, organic, etc. drugs and such mind body and soul links to QM, New Age, Philo, Sci, Music, etc, etc, etc...


Frank's philosophy and creed: 1) Keep surviving, 2) Keep creating, 3) Don't die, 4) Try not to think about option 4 too much - dispair/suricide/etc. And: Enjoy life, do the least harm. Try to help, but don't get too discouraged when it doesn't work out. And to survive? What ever it takes. Me? I always imagine myself to be the 900-year old time/space travelor "Dr. Who". And *yes* there's a female Dr. Who - Romana one of the Doctor's cleverest protege's who now fights the good fight in a parallel dimension! -[
www.bbc.co.uk]- (official bbc TARDIS landing area) After all, even the great Norweigen playwright Henrik Ibsen (best known for "A Doll's House", "The Wild Duck", and "The Enemy of the People") believed in "life-sustaining illusions. -- Share and enjoy! ONWARD - into the past/present/future and the omni-present illusion of the "now". Just make sure you always have your towel with you. --42-- -[Moods Musics]- START AGAIN A treuly caring person (we take as examples Dr. Albert Schweitzer and Mother Terresa) is *only* concerned the health of their patient. People who are hard-liners, only care about their dogmas. Take for example, the early "scientific" investigations into the questionable practice of "acupuncture". More properly, as a humanist, i would say: "the supposedly open-minded examination of time-tried Chinese practice of accupuncture by Western-trained doctors". As it turns out, it does work. And after setting aside their skeptical doubts, it turns out that a whold "unknown" science of "endorphins" (as well as other) chemical messagers was was discovered. Thus, we begin, The way of the "healer" are several, and i wish to examine them in some depth (even at the expense of covering other topics). We might list (to start) and i will list them "west, to east, and then south to north", Surgeon General Practice Doctor

The Body

(and this being the self-centred humanist section, we of course mean "the Body Human") See also: {} (above, under "concerns: TV") *** Mainly a "skelleton" to "hang" other discussions below onto and ref's etc - prob should be peer reviewed! Links???? might need to create a new folder in the PDE !!! -- Ell. Being a whirl-wind tour of the body. We take it as read that the human body starts out as the union of a sperm and an ova; each carrying 23 chromosomes (half of the parent's) to re-combine to form a "normal" 46-chromosomed person. A chromosome is the major genetic group that determines the way that DNA (dee-oxy-riboh new-clay-ihc acid) is used to make a living creature. You may think of a human being (see map) as being composed of a recipe book that has 46 chapters (each chapter being called a "chromosome"). Now it's not so simple as chapter 1 - the brain, cahpter 2 the spleen, etc. There are a LOT of corssing from one chromosome to the other - and frankly, Frank (i am), i don't *really understand it at all*. When the baby is born it is then an independent (organically speaking) unit, however, it (like all living/non-living) things is a part of a much vaster environment and community. For example, a baby born into a vacuum would die (unless it was based either on neutornium or helium-3; as i understand it). So, as such the old debate "nature vs nurture" continues; ie, hardware internal vs software/hardware/environment external. Until the age of about 21 humans do not have all of their bones completely intact. At about age 18 or so, there are mainly 206 bones in the human body. And despite certain fanciful tales, males and females have the same number of ribs. And further, the so-called "racial" differences are a bunch of bolix! After all you're mainly talking about the largest organ of the body (the skin) which has little or no determination as to the nature of a human's humanity; eg, behaviour, thought, generosity/selfishness, ingenuity, capacity to love or be loved, etc. Thus, we take it as read that the supremacists (not to be confused with the so-called "suprematists" as an art movment; which would of course be quite opposed to *any* form of racism, predjudice, etc). Anyway racism is simply some sort of "us/they" or "fight/flight" evolutionary mechanims gone completely wrong. And finally, we take all evolutionary thought as either read, or at the very least accepted as non-gospel. The main systems of the body are: Digestive Respireation Circulatory Reproduction Nervous Structural The primary function of life (if, we may be so directly anthropic) is the process of survival. This is accomplished by two functions: Procreation and Stability. The various systems (other than reproduction) contribute to the on-going stability of the system. The reproductive system has been so over described and glorified that i will give it scance note. With the introdution of more than one sex (ie, not a-sexual) reproduction, the rate at which evolution (and hence increasing the survival possiblities) of life forms at least squared (doubled) in affect/scope/possiblity; ie, sex made the world explode - despite the glory afforded to money, power, and unlimited rice pudding, it literally made our world what it is today. i have taken to group muscles, skeleton, skin, etc as "structural". Essentially to house all of the components, most living systems create a "shell" to contain them in; this being treu of humans as well. The outer layer is the skin that covers all areas with a few appertures (eyes, ears, nostrils, mouth, urethra/anus (excretion). In addition the so-called "navel" is the connecting link to the mother's umbilicus and also gives rise to the idea of "omphamlaocophis" (the worshiping of one's navel; tips towel to Mrs. Byrnes and her dictionary) ??sp??. The skin consists of three layers; the outer most being a dead layer carefully connected to sense organs producing the sense of touch. Skin, hair, and finger/toe nails are primarily made of a protein variant called "keretin" ??sp??. On the surface of the skin there is a continuous battle to protect the body. This mostly goes un-notices, as bacteria which live on the skin in symbiotic relation to the rest of the human body, continually fight and consume foreign particles, bacteria, molds, funguses. Without the skin (a living system all to itself) and these "friendly" bacteria, we would die. Thus, people who continually use bacteriological soaps to clean their skins, are just playing with dice (see "gambling" in sci-maths-randomnes) as to whether they're killing the bad (foreign, innimicale) or good (symbiotes that we carry with us our entire lifetime). The most dangerous threats (other than over-cleaning) to the skin are toxins (chemicals, bacteriological, radiative). For the most part, the skin is a self maintaining system. Unforutnately, in the modern era (see map), we tend to do things that are unfavourable to the proper functioning of the skin; eg, sweating with confining clothes, extreme climate conditions, wear and tear, etc. Of course, we attach no moral tag to this, only noting that showering/bathing and the use of mild soaps keep the oil/dryness as well as the bacteriological content of the skin in balance for the most part. Unfortunately, since the skin IS such a constant environment, many life forms find it a suitable place to live; eg, foot fungus, shingles, scoriasis, etc. The problem in treating these, is that if you use something strong enough to kill them, you'll probbaly kill the skin itself (and possibly the host inside it; ie, the human). The other major threat to skin health is of course direct sunlight, particularly UV (Ultra Violet light; mostly invisible, but near the "blue" end of the visible spectrum; hence "ultra violet" - beyond the blue). With the increasing degredation of the Earth's protective ozone layer, more and more of these strong radiations get through (and don't be such a pug to think that it's just you! When the tree frogs, honey bees, etc start to go exinct, then you'll know what of!). Regardless, other than avoiding exposure (staying indoors or using protective clothing), many sunscreen ointments are available. In general, less exposure to sun is better; but, as usual moderation. The next major component is of course the combination of the digestive, the respiratory, and the circulatory systems. One of the defining definitions of life is that it eats, moves, and excretes. Actually, the last of these is NOT a requirement, it simply would mean (as with the case of some insects) that by not being able to get rid of various toxins through an exretory system, the creature would die of poison by the body's own waste products; eg, consider a person with kidney failure. The kidneys (the nephrons of which, specifically) extract water soluable toxins (mainly salts) and with their failure, the fluid balance (elctrolyte balance, etc) of the body would cause death within a few days. The respiratory system, mainly the lungs) bring in the earth's atmosphere and exchange carbon dioxide for oxygen, Actually there is much more to it than this. In humans (unlike sharks) the muscle of the diaphram squeezes and releases the lungs, like the bellows used by an ironsmith to heat a fire. Air that is brought in has about 75% Nitrogen and 25% Oxygen (it might be 80/20 ??? and when you breathe out there is considerably more carbon dioxide in the air breath. This is due to the primary digestive processes of the body, which use oxygen as the "fuel" to create energy and in the process produce CO2 (carbon dioxide) as one of the waste products. Mainly note that the respiratory system consists of the mouth and nose which bring in the air (with quite a bit more filtering performed by the nose; ideally, one would breath in through the nose and out through the mouth - this is the basis for so-called "Yoga Breathing"), as well as the trachea (Greek: ?????) or air tube that leads from the back of the mouth, down the neck and to the lungs. There is a small flap of skin in humans (unlike dolphins) that opens to allow food to go down the throat into the stomach, and opens to allow air to go down into the lungs. Of course, hicoughs (hih cuhPs), choking, gaasping for air, etc are all brought about when this flap isn't quite working correctly. (technically hicoughs are related to some sort of nerve signal being incorrectly sent; again, of which, i only know little of). The lungs consist of two large "lobes" on either side of the trachea when begins a dividing process not unlike that of a tree's branches, smaller and smaller, more and more divided. Until the smallest "lobeletts" (if i may coin such a phrase) are rached; they are usually refered to as the "aveolae" (uh vee oh lie). It is here that the smallest bloodvessels (the capilarieis) intimately mingle with the lobeletts and that the transduction (carrying across) of oxygen and carbon dioxide occur. The blood is flowing through the capilaries, and take the oxygen enriched blood away to the rest of the body. The main threats to the lungs come from dust and bacteria. For the most part, we breath continusously from the moment that we are born until the day we die and mostly this goes unnoticed. Oddly enough, breathing is the only automatic system that we have some control over; again with Yoga breathing. The glands that detect the build up of carbon dioxide are located under the arms and they send a signal to the brain forcing us to breath - hence, why you can only hold your breath for so long. Swimmers have long known of the idea of "hyper ventilation" which involves, taking large, deep breaths of air, thus *over charging* the ssystem; sometimes to the point where you might actually pass out. In some cases of panic or anxiety, the person may hyper ventilate; breathing in and out from a paper bag, allows the build up of carbon dioxide - an old "cure". Again, the problems of obstruction of the air passage are the main problems that occur; eg, dust, smoke, chemicals, etc. The white paper, dust masks do NOT keep out smoke or chemicals!! Special masks (usually large, rubber masks with charcoal activated filters) will do this; one should be carefull around things like lacquers, paint thiners/strip-ers, acids, etc. The lungs were "made" for air, not anything else; with the possible exception of a bit of water vapour. Also, extreme conditions (exceptionally hot or cold air, or very dry or moist air) can cause problems as well. Is any of this new to you? The circulatory system consists of a heart with four chambers (unlike frogs) and a closed set of arteries and veins. The oxygen enriched vessels are called artieries (???) and the oygen depleted (and carbon dioxide rich) vessels are called veins (????); except for the artery from the heart to the lungs and the vein from the lungs aback to the heart this is the case. The heart is the strongest muscel in the body, and by its construction it "wants" to beat. Oddly enough, during open heart surgery, etc, the problem is to keep the heart from beating. A severe electrical current is put into it ??voltage?? to stop/start it - we've all seen those operating room scenes. In the normal life time, the heart generates enough force to lift a battle ship some 100 metres (yards) into the air; so, it *really* wants to beat! The blood has to a certain extent the same chemical content as the sea, thus giving rise to the phrase "Once we swam in the sea, now the sea swims in we". Although, there are definite differences, the saltiness and "balance" of the blood is of a particular chemical compostion and nature. The biological (ie, not just inorganic salts and such) components of the blood consist of three main things; red corpuscels (erthyrocyies, Greek ???), white corpusels etc, as well platlettes responsible for clotting (when exposed to air, they change their compostion, forming the common "scab" that we see on a wound". In the genetic disorder of "hemophelia" (????) the clotting mechanism doesn't work properly and even a small cut could lead to a person bleeding to death. The main problems with the ciruclory system occur when the blood pressure is to high or low, or when there is a cut in the body, causing bleeding. Integral to first aid is knowing where the "pressure" points are in the body. By placing constant pressure there (eg, a tourniquet), you can literally keep someone from bleeding to death. Of course, by restricting the blood flow, there is also a distinct chance that the limb (leg or arm) may die from lack of oxygen. High or low blood pressure problems develop in the course of a person's aging process or though birth/genetic defects. Since the ciruclatory system is responsible for keeping the body alive (you an go about a week without water, or even 2 or 3 weeks without food - but, after about 3 to 10 minutes without oxygen you die; usually). As i often put it: Check your blood pressure, stay on your medications, after all "Mr. Stroke" is NOT our friend. Due to the way that the blood functions, there are so-called genetic markers on it (i think) and this gave rise to the idea of blood types. Saddly enough, the typing of blood was discovered by a black-skinned chap, and as he was not allowed to be admited to an all-white hospital; he died. Lanston or something like that, name escapes me. Prior to his discovery, blood transfusions would as often as not (makes no odds) kill the patient rather than save them. I myself carry around some 6 units of someone else's blood; at the time, it didn't even occur to me to ask: What colour was their skin? Or more to the point: Do they prefer green to red, or are they left handed, or do they snap then zip or zip then snap; but, alas: i digress. (Now, i already *did* tell you that racists weren't going to be welcomed here; now, didn't i?) Since we as humans (i temporarily include myself in that category) consume quite a varied lot of food, our digestive systems are at one and the same time very complex and delicate (unlike a bryophyte). The process of digestion is pretty much as follows. The food is smelled by the nose, and if found "wanting" is often not eaten simply because it doesn't smell right; eg, rotted food, or extremely odiforous and therfore possibly poisonous. The food is "masticated" (chewed;) and the saliva (spit, if you want) has in it chemicals that already start the digestive process; specifically enzymes (biological catalysts that make chemical processes go more quickly/easily) start turning starches into sugars. The food (now technically refered to as "bolus") is then swallowed. And again, the problem with choking. The esaphogus (????) is the tube from the mouth down to the stomache (technically the "fundus" ??sp??). The stomache is a marvel of engineering. It is coated with tinly little fingers (really, pretty much micorscopic) which excrete a mild solution of HydroChloric Acid (HCl) to break down the chemical bonds in the food into it component parts (amino acids, sugars, carbohydrates, and in some cases down to the atomic elements themselves - but, usually these elements are "bound" (techncially, "chelated" (key lay ted, Greek: "with jaws") to other atoms; eg, iron as Ferric Oxide (pretty much common rust). Additional enzymes and chemicals wash around in the stomach as it physically massages the food and keeps working for up to 2 or 3 hours to break things down. Many of the digested components are absorbed into the stomach lineing and pass into the blood stream. After the "wash and spin" cycle, the stomach opens a little flap (the so-called "pyloric valve" (????) and the un digested food is pushed down into the upper intestine. Here, more of the food is digested, and then it continues (over the course of the next few hours - sometimes as long as 8 or 10) into the lower intestine. During this process much of the water is extracted from the food, and of course it ends up as feces to be excreted when possible. Similarly, the excess water is held in the bladder (????) until it is urinated out. As part of a human's maturation (unlike a housefly) process is the conscious control of the sphincters that control defication and urination. Another part of the cirulatory system's function is the transport of neutrients that have been broken down by the stomache, as well as being "helped" by processing in the liver. Bile ???????? At the lowest level, each cell is its own little universe. It's cell walls form a skin around it allowing neutrients and oxygen to come in, and waste products and carbon dioxide to go out. The "brain" of the cell, is of course the nucelus and it is constantly getting chemical messages from the cell and sending chemical responses back. These messages are in the form of chemical chains and the study of this is "cytology", again something with which i am only partly familiar with of. Cells of course divide and this is the way that the body renews itself. Again, this is all under the genetic control of the nucleus of each cell. When this process goes wrong, cancer results: The uncontrolled dividing of cells. Not only crowding out other cells, but often not even performing correctly their normal functions. There are two more major systems: Muscels and Skeleton. These are pretty straight forward the skeleton is the framework of the body, the ligaments (eg, cartilidge) and muscels hold it togeher, and make it move. Of course the energy comes from the digestive process and the small bits of chemical energy that each cell creates for use by the body. So-called marrow cells in the bones create red blood cells, specialised glands in the body process and create very imporant and complex chemical messagangers used throughtout the body, and especially... The nervous system. This consists of a number of special organs (eg, eyes, ears, tongue) as well as the nerves that transmit the messages around, and the brain - the thing that is the most you in you. Every part of the body is in some way under the control of the brain, which is built in several layers. (must i really go through all of this?) Anyway, the "lowest" layers are the autonomic systems (like breathing, heart beat, digestion, and signals to and from the rest of the body). One of the main components is the so-called brain stem (the medula oblingata ????). Next, "up the line" is the limbic system which is pretty much where a lot of our emotional processing takes place - if you see a snake you don't want to *consciously* think about all of the various kinds, you need to react as quickly as possibly - usually retreating! Above this are the three main parts of the brain in "higher" order animals: The cerebellum (???), nd the cerebrum (thinking). As Rita Carter points out in her excellent book "Mapping the Mind" there are a lot of up/and down connections between the layers and a lot of things going on; most of course, i don't really pretend to understand. well, that's it for now.... -^_6


The ability to WILL ourselves sick ma humanist.html#health hypdocondria


See also: Psych - Collective Un-conscious (Calling Dr. Howard, Calling Dr. Fine, Calling Dr. Howard, Calling Karl-urh Jung... {
Karl Jung} In this section: intro the giants & meta-giants

Myth: The Giants & Meta-Giants

tell myself: need quotes by "the giants" In this sub-section:
bullfinch robert graves edith hamilton charles lamb and taking Mythology "to the next level" (meta-mythology?)... Joseph Campbell Mircea Eliade John Bierhorst Susan K. Langer ======= MEAT & POTATOS SECTION =======


robert graves

edith hamilton

charles lamb so, am i diderot yet????? (and they wonder why i drink!!!) I mean think about it (even though the technology has improved (ie, the computer, THE NET, and of course html), the VAST has expanded "a bit" (well, er, ahh), "just a bit" ======================= INSERT PSUEDO-CARTOON HERE =============== so Diderot (and his lady friend) produced one of the first EN cyclo paedias and here i am "producing a *sufficient* encyclopedia for the entire palent Earth (see map) for the 21st century (read that as "the new millineum) -- i mean, it's as bad as Bertrand Russell and Alfred North Whitehead: It took them 600 theorems (or so), and THEN, they were able to PROVE (not "prove", but ACTUALLY prove) 1 + 1 = 2 oig! (listening to 4th movement of Shosty's 11th) i mean the worst thing is that i want to write an article about volvox (a kind of plant) and then i find that i haven't even created a SECTION for ANY of the sciences (i mean i have place holders and such), so off i goes to create that stuff (takes a "bit longer" to frag it out and then the phone rings (hate recorded messages - and worst off is that they sya PUSH 8 to take you off our call list. BUT THAT's RUBBISTHS!!! it doesn't get you off their call list. It just removes you from that ITEM list. They still have your num, and will call you again -- so, then instead of calling for the "REDUCE YOUR DEBT" list, they "promote" you to the next entry: "REDUCE YOUR CREDIT CARD DEBT" list. (wonders/wanders off into mumbling something about "a duck" or miss sunshine???.... -- peace to all, Frank. ========================= END PSUEDO-CARTOON =================

Joseph Campbell

Mircea Eliade

John Bierhorst Bierhorst, John. (). The Mythology of Mexico and Central America. ---------- (1987). The Naked Bear: Folktales of the Iroquois. The William Morrow Company. New York.

Susan K. Langer


See also: -{
Certainty and the Search for Truth}- (in humanist) -[Scientific Philsophy]- (algorithms for scientific inquiry) -[Science's View of Philo]- (in scientist) -[Spirutalist Philsosophy]- (philosophy with or without man) See also: [Mind] (as existentialist commodity) via: HU (mind) x AB --> In this section: {} {} {mind} {Free Will} {} {} {} {} -^_6


See also: [
Mind] (as existentialist commodity) via: HU (mind) x AB --> -[mind]- (in FUT; mind + matrix, 1984, etc)...

Free Will

See also: [
Mind] (as existentialist commodity) via: HU (mind) x AB --> Note the idea of free will in the matrix and such super-structures is treated in SciFi, via: -[http://the-borges-library/literature/sf/sf-alterity.html]-

The Transcendental

Part of the idea here is that to go beyond the mundane and ordinary (indeed, possibly the corporial) this transcendent consciousness would take on one of the following forms: 1) We might well be subsummed or maybe interworked with a greater reality/god/etc. (See P.K. Dick's "Galactic Pot Healer" in SciFi Discussion: -[http://the-borges-library/...]-) 2) Become a greater version of ourselves; ie, a sort of super-being. (See A.C. Clarkes's "2001" in SciFi Discussion: -[http://the-borges-library/...]-) 3) Re-connect with the greater part of ourselves (which devolves to reincarnation) and thus continuing our (supposed) journey of enlightenment. Note that one idea of the concept of transendence is that it might allow us to penetrate the boundaries of knowledge; ie, to see the matrix -[http://the-borges-library/...]-) or to at least find one thing outside of ourselves (or even our selves) as Husserl might say that IS real. Indeed as Husserl points out in his "Paris Lectures" ...


(this section only) Husserl, Edumund. (As quoted in Struh, Pp. 115-118. from: "Paris Lectures". Struhl, Paula R. and Karsten J. Struhl (eds) (1975). Philosophy Now: An introductory Reader.


(notice how i keep "pushing down" / "putting off" - the anthropic principle?)
Sigmund Freud Karl Jung

Sigmund Freud

Karl Jung

The Anthropic Principle

Roughly speaking the anthropic principle revolves around the existence of man. Man exists, is self-aware, and able to act (change things, etc). As such, the question arrises as to why there is anything at all. That is, with the curious balance of what physicist Martin Rees calls "Just Six Numbers" (see book by the same name) we find ourselves in a stable universe. That is, the physical factors such as the speed of light, the graitational constant, Plank's constant, etc are all just perfectly balanced to create an enivrionment in which we can exist. If of course some of these values were not as they are, then our universe might well not be such that life (and intellegent life specifically) could exist. Thus the strong form of the anthropic prinicple says that the universe exists SO that we can exist. That is the purpose of the universe is to allow us to exist, and thence consider not only ourselves, but the universe in general. From a materialistic and often religous point of view, this leads us to say that "man has been given dominion" over the world; qv, "Genesis". However, there are two possible interpretations of this: 1) Carte Blanche (a blank check) to do what ever we want. Tear down a rain forest so that we can have fire lighters? No problem. It is left to future generations to fix the problems brought about from our party. 2) Stewardship to maintain the world as it was when we entered it. That is, that when we pass there is NO sign of our ever having existed. That is, furture generations will have the exact same stage upon which to danse as we did.


See also: -[
Scientist entry]- In this section: {Intro} {Humans AS robots} {Robots: Is Commander Data a Toaster?} {Robots: Sex} This section deals specifically with the idea of buidling robots that humans can feel comfortable with. We should also consider how animals will interact with (I/A) with them. Further: From a humanist POV (point of view), how people sometimes act like robots and how they can be "programed" as if they *were* robots. {Humans AS robots} In the first place, the idea of the robot monster is of course a distincet possiblity, but in keeping with the wisdom of the sf-writer/futurist Isaac Asimov, we *should* try to create well engineered robots. (See the Scientist link above for that discussion). *** IN PROGRESS, many revisions, and links to current research coming *** Most robots today are far from human in eitehr appearance or mimicry. Glad to say this is quite a good thing. Recent work with autistic children show that they get along BETTER with verarious classes of robots than humans (???transcribe that articel??) As it turns out, while humans are quirky, robots behave in very predictable ways and are thus seen as more of an enhanced toy to the auttistic child -- that they can manipulate and thus relate to more than a person. On existant theory of autism is tha they have a different time sense than do "normals" (this was exploited as the excellent basis for a story by the late, great author/futurist Philip K. Dick in his story "Martian Time Slip" -- Dick wrote extesnively about robots and his work is reflected by the "PKD-A (Philip K. Dick Android) project under the guidence of David Hansen of Hansen Robotics. ** LINKS ??? *** Regardless, the problems of human-robot (or more generally, human-AI (Artifical Intellegence) are the sujbect of this essay and of course of much debate. One of the earliest attempt to "humanise" robots was in the sf film "Forbidden Planet". There-in "Robby the Robot" was incapable of harming a human possibly indicating the writers/producers awareness of Asimov's Three "Laws" of robotics. In the sf film "2001: A Space Odyssey" director/writer Stanley Kubrick and writer/futurist Arthur C. Clarke collaborated in the creation of "HAL" a robot so human that it can play chess (something thought to be impossible by most computer scientists of the time), and has a near nervous breakdown when confronted with problems aboard the space ship with a crew which it programmed to protect but finds that it can full-fill its programming. A major consideration in robots that "appear human" is that they will not necessarily mimic human gestures, facial expressions, etc. Anyone who has spent more than just a casual amount of time around animals (even domesticated ones like cats and dogs) can not help but be struck by their occasional "alienness". However, humorous it might strike us the character "Wilson" that ??character?? (played by Tom Hanks) creates in the film "CastAway" is more telling and bears investigation. Inherent in our interaction with the world is our ability to "anthropormorphise" even inanimate objects; eg, refering to a ship or a plane as a "her", large animals are often refered to as males regardless of their actual gender (eg, a fish is refered to as "he's a big one isn't he?"), etc. When an inanimate object or machine doesn't "behave properly" we give it "warnings" (or cajole it to co-opperate), etc. This almost innate tendance (possibly brought about by our experience as children with a favorite toy or pet) will be a useful paradigm to remember as robots become more prevalent and intimate. Naturally the extent to which we *should* create human emotions, responses, vocabularies is open to much debate as well. We already know from pet studies (as well as studies of co-dependency problems), that humans can "bond" to almost anything in times of stress or loneliness. This is not necessarily a good thing since in many cases it may mask a more serious underlaying problem that should be addressed more directly. Asimov in one of the stories from volume one of hsi short stories "I, Robot" addressed this when a woman falls in love with an early robot prototype. This is not as far fetched as it seems, since disfunctional (and fairly functional) people may deeply bond with the "oddest" (if we may use a value judgement) of fetishes, objects, or as mentioned previously via ineffective co-dependent relationships with other people. Many sf writers (includng myself) have addressed these problems, as well as the inverse problem; ie, where a robot begins to take on more and more human characteristics. In another of Dick's stories, a robot actually thinks that it IS human. This is as well a moral and ethical problem that MUST be considered, lest we fall prey to Dr. Frankenstein's problems. Note that u have YET to see a film or play that comes even close to the philsoophical problems of AI/Aritifical Lifeforms explored so brillianly by Mary Shelly in the original story. READ IT!!! The "moster" goes thru the most agonising of self-realisations that mimics that of a human becoming alienated. Her work stands with the best in this regard and although so casually dismissed, i would place it up there with the existential works of Franz Kafka, Albert Camus, Henrik Ibsen, August Wilson, etc. An important aspect of the social/humanistic engineering of the robot is to make it able to explain that it does not understand something. The more human a robot becomes (either in interacting or "mere" appearance) the more likely that humans will tend to think of the robot as "human". THis can only lead to at the very least humourous mis-understandings, or at worst tragic problems. These possiblitites continue to examined by modern sf writers (eg, Japanese ??authro??, etc). I would say that the potential for danger would be on the order of people accidentally (or not) taking overdoses of medications -- including the often perceived as "harmless" OTC meds (over the counter). Severl key areas of consideration present themselves: 1. Inter-dependency. This is most common in friendships, parentlng, or other close/personal relationships. One person depends upon aother to perform an action; eg, picking up a child after school, etc. IN the modern/hectic world it is often the case that somehow these actually quite important things "slip through the cracks". I am continually amazed at people who time such critical acts so that thre is almost no leeway for error. Common among them is the parent leaving their child in the car "for just a sec", while they run into the store. Imagine now, that we depend upon a robot to do something like that (watch over, pick up, remind a person to take their medication, or perform some other critical function). We can see the potential for suffering and in the worst case, loss of life. 2. Like reasoning. Closely related is the problem of thinking that a robot thinks like us. This is a problem with human vis-a-vis interactions already. One person "assumes" that another will act in the same or at least in a similar/acceptable/equivalent manner. In the case of a robot, we may run into (as with HAL) a condition which causes a total disconnect from our relatiy by the robot. Regardless, so complex a system that is to intimately interact with humans (in and of themselves not the most rational/predictable creatures) can not be foolproof. Thus, a robot may react in a perfectly "correct" way from its programming and the available input but its actions may be totally inappropriate way. 3. The falacy of dependability. One area of application is the robot as "care giver". Since they are unable to get tired (alghough this might be a bogus assumption presuming that they might break down or malfunction which would be operationally equivalent) -- they can be "replied upon". Again, the analogy is the way that people come to depend uopon technology in general. Most recently this was pointed out by the so-called "Y2K criss" when in 1999, the clocks might not have rolled over properly to "2000" -- many clocks used only two digits for the year, so suddenly, instead of the year "99" becoming "00", it would become "100" and possibly causing major compputer malfunctions. Regardless, people depend on antilock braking systems, cel phones, oven timers, and a whole host of things that surround us. That these things are potentially in many cases prone to failure or even lethal, we tend to (through familiarity and dependency) come to ingore them and take thir flawless operation for granted. We need only look at the number of electrocutions from hair dryers, accidents involving icy sidewalks/roads to see how common this blind sightedness is. When we introduce a robot into the equation -- a machine that seems to think and even be aware of when it has a problem, then we begin to see the magnitude of this falacy. 4. Conflict resolution. Key in the film "2001" is the idea of how to resolve a problem of contradictory input. A key communications component goes out, and yet there doesn't seem to be any problem with it. This occurs all the time with technology from the simplest case of not having the corrct "interface cable" for a cammera, lap top computer, or tv set, to the wrong blood type being delivered to a patient. Fortunately there are many "dummy proof" checks and balances that a good engineer will put into the stream. But, in many cases these can and will break down. In the case, where there are more than one option and the wrong opption is indicated, the only "hope" is that by following the rules the checklist will detect the problem before it becomes serious. And in the case of complicated decisions, the possibility that the checking and feedback tests themselves may have a fatal flaw or an unknown oversite looms ever present. In the case of a robot, it may be that the problem as perceived by the robot and those around it (humans and/or other robots or systems) may not be taking into consideration ALL or even the SAME factors. And who is to say who is right. If a robot is insisting that a patient has already taken their medication and the person is suffering from early signs (but undetected) of Alzheimer's disease... 5. Mis-read queues. Again returning to "human like" behaviour. A major concern must be how a person (both initially and over time), will "read" the robot's behaviour, facial signals, and actual speech, mannerisms, and gestures. Much of our interaction with the world is through both reasoning through a situation (using past experience, analogical/metaphorical models, guessing, etc) as well as by "touch and feel". A common example, are couples who seem either in-sympatico or not with each other. The wife who knows that she must remind her husband to not forget his keys three times -- even though he says "yes" each time is a common example. Thus, the signal "yes, i know" actually has no meaning except for the final time when she hears him pick his keys up and put them into his pocket. If we imagine the problems arrising with human-robot systems we begin to see this idea. A robot will probably NOT be programmed to forget, give false or misleading queues/responses, or to lie, etc. However, humans often do these things without even thinking. Also, when one adds the complexity of language queues, we open a whole 'nother can of worms. Some of this concern can be worked around by the "learning methods" and pattern recognition algorithems and heuristics that the robot employs to "tune in" to the human's behaviour patterns, speech, actions, etc. six. Deliberate mis-representation. Humans are nortorious for rebelling, and it may often times only be a temporary reaction based on some frustrating event that just happened. It may be due to a long forgotten memory that suddenly manifests itself, etc. Thus, there is bound to be a "lag" between the time that the aberant behaviour by the humans is first put forth and then detected and properly be handled and/or compensated for. In just the same way, that people will often try to circumvent protective safeguards of machines, they may try to "get around" a robot's seeming interference by deliberately mis-representing their motives, etc. 7. Call for help. Ultimately, one of the primary safeguards is the robot deciding that it needs help to figure out or properly handle the situation. The sf author/ futurist Robert Sheckly has investigated this at some depth in various of his stories. In one story, a person picks up a robot that is supposed to help cure him of his paranoia (wich is the state of the art of robtics in the future that they are just another form of OTC medicine). By accident he picks up a model programmed for Martian Problems. Rather than return the unit, he continues being treated. In the end, of course disaster occurs when instead of curing him, the machine substitutes an euqivalent form of "Martian Paranoia". The lesson here is clear: THe robot must have a back up system in place of trained technicians that can recognise and deal with problems. In some of Asimov's stories the robots them selves thought themselves to be handling the "situation" properly and humans had to call in a special team of diagnostic trouble shooters. It is important to note that while Sheckly and Asimov's approaches are different and meant as "intertainment", we should be mindful of Arthur C. Clareke's admonition: "The only people who should be allowed to talk about the future are sf writers." I would also point out that Clarke (like most futurists) has spent most of his life "living" in the future. Asside from a small handfull of technical writings (collected in the book "Ascent to Orbit", all but ONE of his fiction works (the story "Glide Path") has been in the sf genre and of course we must all remember not to trust him too much since any man who (in 1945) can invent the synchronous orbit (often refered to as "Clarke Orbits") satellite and NOT take out a pattent on what is potentially the single most lucrative intellectual property since the invention of sliced bread -- is certainly to looked at with skepticism and ascances; if not deep admiration and respect -- his groundbreaking work on the understanding of the biology of coral reefs (notably the "Great Coral Reef of Australlia) not-with-standing. But, alas; i, digress. Thus, the key points are: As robots "appear" to become more human, humans are more likely to carry the extent of that humanity to a further than warranted/recogmended extent. As well, as the fact that the old human factors engineering ideas, erognomic design principles, and the chimera of "User Friendliness" will have to be re-thought. One communications engineer (Jack Reed at Nortel) assessed "user friendly design" (which often ISN'T) as really "Fredly G. Moore" -- a sort "grimlin in the machine" responsible for making things that are supposedly "user friendly", most assuredly NOT. And of course, always be mindful of "Murphy's Laws". An interesting site: -[Cartoons about the Touring Test, The Chinese room, etc]-

Humans AS robots

In this section The True Believer turning off one's humanity this and the next section are hopelessly (no! there is always (i hope) hope!) muddled and need sortingout.

Humans: CONSUME!

I take it as read the following: 1) The world is for the most part based on the competitive, capitalistic, materialistic model. 2)

Robots: Is Commander Data a Toaster?

I now wish to explore the idea of robots as approaching human capabilities and intellegence; and esp: emotions. In an episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (??episode??) a Star Fleet Admiral (or some such) shows up and wants to take Commander Data (an android/robot) apart to see what makes him tick. As it turns out, he has "no rights" since he's not human. Picard is chosen to defend him in a court -- Data as decided to resign rather than be taken appart and thus "die" -- in about the only wayt that one might say that he could die. The classic line comes when Captain Picard (portrayed by Patrick Stuart) sez: It all comes down to this. Is Data a human being or is he a toaster? Part of our mission is to find new life forms. Well THERE HE SITS. This is of course a re-occuring theme in all literature (in fact a recent book addresses this: Is Data Human?: Or, the Metaphysics of Star Trek Richard Hanley ). In essencce the idea of "human rights" is the argument of the abolutionists and humanists that "slaves have rights", etc. -[
Excerpt here]- Other recent vid work includes: "AI" - based not too badly on Brian Aldis' work of the same name (film by Steven Spielberg) "Glitch" -- from the new edition of Joseph de Stephano's "The Outer Limits" "Author, Author" - Star Trek the next generation, exploring whether a hologram has rights. The idea that i have come to is this (and again "nothing new under the sun") is from the existentialist POV: "Even if we do not have free will, as long as we are able to act as if we do - ie, we are *free* to act in any manner that can not be shown to be different from free will -- then we DO have free will. This goes back to a Philip K. Dick story where a person turns out to be a robot but has been programmed so that "he" doens't know it. His reality is on a punched tape. He finds out (by accident) that he is a robot and beings covering up holes in his tape, and punching new holes ??title?? And suddently a flock of ducks flew through the room (not an exact quote) And of course this goes back to V/R (virtual reality) as well. So, as {B.F. Skinner} might well have put it (one of the first behavioural psychologists - carrying it to the extent to create a "bionic" bed for his own daughter) - "the difference between us and rats is very little. but the main difference is that we (like they) are programmed -- but we can change our programming." -- def NOT an exact quote. He wrote (at the age of 90 or so) that he used reward/punishment even on himself. If he would review a paper that he didn't really want to, then he would allow himself to watch TV that night (as i recall "Archie Bunker" (All in the Family). And we recall Albert Camus' "The Stranger" -- so is Merseme ??sp?? a robot? He kills the Arab for no reason (or because "the sun got in his eyes"). And of course the work is "just" an allegory for World War II (why did the Nazi's kill - and recall that they even killed/imprisioned Fritz Haber (a Jew) without whom the first world war would have been over for Germany much sooner as their sources of nitrates (needed for explosives) was cut off with the loss of shipping to Chile. And so, where are WE? There is an sf story ("The Ethical Equations" ??author??) which describes the classica Socratic/Platonic idea of being invisible and doing what we please. When we look at the "Terminator" series of vids (which i still maintain are horror not sf; but, then what are we to do with "RoboCop?), we see that the terminator is completely programmable (as with any weapon/tool) and recall that he doesn't understand why people weep - as such he IS a toaster not a robot/human/etc. SImilarly, in the Star Trek film "Generations", Commander Data finds his lost cat (an entirely white cat, appropriately named "Spot) and finds that he is happy but weeping. Councelor Troi re-assures him that his emotion chip is working "just fine". If a machine weeps - it is human. But, what if it is programmed to weep like ??name?? mailto:cynthia@ai.mit.edu ?? -[kismet site]- This goes back to Shakespear/Bacon's "Hamlet" where the actor who can portray ancient Greek tragedy with real teers (but Hamlet can not act or perhaps even weep). So, are the teers real? And then we go back to the film "Love Story" with Ali McGraw weeping and then telling Robert Evans (her husband) that the teers were for him. Are those teers real? Does John Donne's "involved man" who is a crag, a part of the main and rings the bell for thee? is the poet real? Does it weep?\ Dr. Schwietzer cared for "those africans" because he (a humanist) -- like Mother Terressa (a christinan) were "involved in mankind" and could not turn away. And yet, we know that people can turn off their humanity -- see previous section. So, the borderland becmes: Can robots "turn on" their humanity? What if it (he/she/neh?) is only programmed to simulate emotions or thinking or action. One only has to view "Ballet Robotique" by ??name?? to see robots dancing and evoking as much emotion as Stravinski's "Rite of Spring" -- probably not quite that much, but certainly more than rote dancing by humans; but, then the robots (industrial robots) ARE doing *everything* by rote -- ie, programming. And then Asimov gives us (in "I, Robot", volume 1) a religious robot with attendant followers -- followers dedicated NOT to humans, but whose actions become vitally protecctive of humans. So, just as the surgeon must become "an inhuman engineer" (Johnathon Miller - The Body in Question) and *distance* themself from the whatness of what they are doing when restoring proper heart action to an old woman. notice the dichotomy here: the poet must pick up their scalple and be well aware of their incisions - the novelist even more so, and of course the scholar at the ultimate height of "now" awareness. "the poet and the soldier/thinker - no allowance for the other" sez Jethro Tull in "Thick as a Brick" - by no means an exact quote and then the surgeon -- suspending emotion and the painter/sculptor/etc pure emotion but silently guided by the music of some formless entiry called "creativity" And even Star Trek has Commander data playing the violin (but, alas "without soul"), but then his painting (apparently) does have soul (or the start of something approaching). And Lloyd Biggle, Jr. in his sf novel "The Light that never was" has aliens learning to paint (more than that: Pure theoretical mathematicians), and even a slug-like creature as well. Larry Niven explores "taste sculptures" in his "Known Universe" series. And so: The beat goes on. I think it goes back to: It is the search for meaning that gives life it's value. And if any "life" gets *some* value, then it's existence was not in "vain". Whatever the phot, THAT means. Or as Joeseph Stefano and company put it in the original "The Outer Limits" put it: We now return control to you. INSERT CARTOON HERE Meepo: Well, now THAT is a relief. All of that philosoophical mumbo jumbo was beginning to get a bit disturbing. Gleeba: Why do you say that? Meepo: It's a relief. Because now we have control again. Gleeba (mumbles) - but we never had it to begin with. Meepo: What's that? Speak up! Gleeba: May the truth set you free and not destroy you. Meepo: Balderdash! There you go again. Gleeba: Do i? Oh, i forgot; sorry. (exits, humming Liz Story's version of "Mac the Knife") (meanwhile a toaster ejects two slices of a bit dark toast and and old poet listens to Bartok; and suddenly it was Wednesday which was rather nice, since up until that point it had been Tuesday for the 14th time that day) erk, sorry that's Barber, not Bartok (vocal; "scenes and pictures") END CARTOON

Robots: Sex

See also:
Fundamentalists vs Humanists -- the fact that "they" (fundamentalists) view "us" (humanists) etc. What they are opposed to science/scientism, spirutality/free-thought, humanism/man|earth-centred, etc..