Apology: My Reflections on Forums of Science/Rationalism

Regarding my prior experience that upset people here...

Anything that doesn't fit anywhere else below.

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Apology: My Reflections on Forums of Science/Rationalism

#1  Postby Scott Mayers » Nov 21, 2019 11:22 pm

I was thinking of not bothering to respond to you guys given the prior insults I've received of the few threads I've been involved in here. But since I have nothing to risk by speaking and this might help to affect change in your perspective, I thought about a way to express rationally the difference of your perceptions regarding science to something I tried before elsewhere. Maybe it might help some reader even if not you guys in particular.

The present University education appeals to a different approach to the way it used to be done because of practical reasons. In the early 1960s, the Western world, as represented most significantly by the U.S. versus the Soviet Union in that time, had a concern about the education of the the Western world because the interest in science and logic was waning. When Sputnik raised fear that the Soviets were gaining leverage and power in the new age, our governments had to try to determine why. One major factor was that those taking a University degree lacked the patience to learn the traditional bottom-up approach of the prior generations all the way back to the Greeks. This 'foundational' approach turned off most people because here in the West, children were (and are still) raised with more freedom granted to the children in earlier life that the older world used to expect of them with more discipline that was UNIFORM across various ways of parent's means to raise them.

It WAS the 60's generation of a cultural revolution also, which encouraged people to be more favorable to emotional concerns over mere logical ones. People here could not be patient enough to step back to the ways of foundational thinking and time was perceived an issue the West felt they could not afford if they were to compete with the Soviet Union. As such, a new restructuring of HOW education regarding science and other intellectually related courses were redrafted to consider a top-down approach. This style is done by 'abstracting' the educational expectations of students to not prove up front what is or is not true or discoverable about nature but to focus on stating the general facts without constructing it. It relied on memorizing skills rather than intellectual understanding but would at least be able to attract more students than it was presently attracting.

Also, the approach had to appeal to average success rates in outcomes so that people wouldn't require an extensive education to get students a degree in some aspect of science sooner rather than later. This then reversed the role of the philosophical logic to be placed in a post-graduate education. That is, you don't get the emphasis to understand WHAT you are learning until a post-graduate level degree. It made it easier to also permit those with an undergraduate degree to become FUNCTIONAL in real life. Most of the people working IN the field of science would be the relative LABOR anyways. This works better in a free society because we chose our fields where in the past one used to normally take on whatever work their parents did or become apprenticed in some trade under the discipline of more controlled environments of their students.

Thus, the general change was to teach science by rough general educational abstracts that rely on the rote variety of learning with only instances (samples) of reasoning sparkled throughout. This also favored our Western variation of religious backgrounds who believed their children are only their own to be privileged to affect their means of acquiring logical thinking. Eastern style countries were more forcefully in sync among the variations in backgrounds.

There was a disadvantage that came from it though. In particular, those who prefer to learn by understanding things step by step, were now expected to follow the abstract way of learning that focused on faith in those parts you couldn't understand. The modern training also emphasized clerical productivity to be sure those being trained in science would FOLLOW strict common standards when 'doing science' rather than thinking. The foundational thinker was forced to simply look on their own if they didn't like it. They weren't (and still aren't) admired where they question the authority of the teaching because the significant emphasis early on was to be sure one knew processes of organized behavior and given the emphasis in the Capitialistic West to favor copyright respect of 'owners of information', the added emphasis of getting people to simply learn to 'prove' things by REFERENCING their work was more important than understanding.

As such, this clerical approach favors the general population but tends to disfavor those who are more interested in understanding and who often loathe mere 'authority'. How, for instance, is it more important that you remember to give credit to some OTHER person's thinking elsewhere when you can derive this from your own perspective if you understand the foundations TO THINK? For instance, why is it important that you respect the particular labels of some theory as though the people who first stated it is relevant to the actual matter of the theory itself?

So many of you here learned from this top-down educational process. Note too that it favors those who can also afford the costs of the latter education in Universities and they in turn are reliant on the prior elementary and secondary educational quality that differs from ones' economic class or other unrepresentative factors of people from differing backgrounds NOT of the 'average' middle class.

Now let me introduce the relative comparison of most of what I am calling your “top-down” education in contrast to the “bottom-up” (or 'foundational') education with an analogy. The term, 'foundational' is identical in comparison to constructing a building from bottom-up literally. And in this way, most of today's learning then might be thought of as teaching people that respects those on various floors built upon that foundation.

Because people come from different backgrounds, each floor then going up, including the ground floor, can represent the various backgrounds of individuals. It can be also relatively comparable to treat in some instances the top floors as those who might have potentially better economic backgrounds. The most (the middle) fall in between the basement foundation and the high-rise's penthouse.

So far, so fair?

Now treat each floor as the place we are born into and we learn from there about the rest of the world. This example shows so far how sensible this newer approach is. If we 'abstract' education, we are seeking a general way to teach people from variable backgrounds without referencing their unique differences, right​?

[NOTE: If I use the words “modern era” or “post-modern era”, it refers to the change from foundational learning bottom up AFTER the beginning of formal 'science' and rationalism, to this newer abstract way of teaching that favors top-down education from about the 1960s on. The “Modern Era” is the renaissance from the rediscovery of the intellectual material lost of the Greeks and the evolution of rationalism furthered by the “age of Reason”often also referred to as the “age of Enlightenment”.]

One major problem of this new top-down approach occurs because the bottom floor and the contrasting penthouse at the very top are unique whereas the vast majority of floors are in between. If you were born to those of the basement, you are forced to relate to all those above; if you are born to the penthouse, you have the least force to conform where you have power and are least concerned to understand all those beneath you. The rest (the middle) may have the belief that their own perspective is more universally 'fair' for learning abstractly as they can look both up and down to get a better perspective about reality then either of the others.

Note that the learning of those on the unusual top or bottom are less popular but also have the common feature of understanding from one another kind of thinking that is 'directed' and thus more non-abstract.
Also, the penthouse kind of people may have resources that permit them full access to ALL floors because they represent those in power, like the OWNER of the whole building. They thus may also then relate to those who are on the bottom in ways that seem at odds. [like how the right-wing conservative parties might tend to be of those with more solitary powers that might appeal to their foundational thinkers born closer or AT the bottom.

With this analogy of a high rise set, let me now try to express what I am seeing that I don't think most of you are. I'm foundational thinking. My own origin was more from the bottom floor yet mixed with the fortune of transient access to all the floors because of my own parents occupation: the military. This can be found also in those families who work in occupations such as janitors and servants because they work more broadly (in abstraction in reality) to all floors in practice. They work more often for those of the owners themselves from the penthouse and so have variable access to more floors than those 'classes' of the middle floors.

This makes those on the bottom recognize also a reality that imposes upon them to have to work much harder than all other to APPEAL to. One advantage is that you also get to see those on the bottom who don't even have the fortune of a building to live in let alone to be on the bottom. Many considered Aboriginal in most countries, for instance, are often of this extreme because they lacked the fortune of the stage of more settled development....they lacked knowing of high-rises because they were more often laterally transient, a mere difference in evolutionary stages of 'civic' development. [I'd say 'civil' but this is considered a bad word to some as it might imply as it actually does to most of those in the high rises as lacking intellectual capacity. So 'civic' might help better as it relates more directly to say a city or town settlement that formally has a developed infrastructure that takes many generations of civic experience to set up.]

Being that we all learn AT LEAST from where we are, the 'top-down' approach -- as I'm calling it here -- favors those living in the average middle in a popular way that can blind them to the variations of the minorities that they don't directly relate to. Unfortunately, given their relative power, they also mistake HOW to interpret what to do to fix this because they classify the problem literally to 'cultural' distinctions rather than to 'economic' ones. So you get today's odd beliefs by the majority to think that people's successes are due to not embracing WHERE THEY ARE literally, such as to entice the Aboriginals, for instance, to embrace tribal heritage as a virtuous concept. Again, this also comes from the 1960s evolution to favor emotional-thinkers with more precedence just as it favors the independence of people on floors where no one want to move DOWN but only UP. The impression of that 'penthouse' is of luxury in capital and most emphatically thought of as a 'culture' in and of itself.



Today we have the relatively SUDDEN impact of technology that is affecting rapid changes. The 'smart' cell phone and the Internet have created a kind of novel means of connecting people more directly and it tends to ISOLATE those within their own groups more than ever. They think they are varied among themselves because they literally don't have to move but actually ARE more 'pure' to some classist type of thinking without realizing it. In fact, this is more coming from the middle floors of this imagined high-rise model because they represent what used to be more solidarity across many floors than to the narrowed limits of their own. We no longer HAVE TO speak nor get to know individual's by also getting to know their families. A cell phone, for instance, enables one to only get to know one person of even a larger family unit people used to require some extended expectation to get to know more. If, for instance, a friend you might know of no longer requires you call the house land-line phone, should your friend drop off the edge of the world, the family they come from might not even know you personally and so wouldn't necessarily inform you of your friend's cause of disappearance. This is less so for those connected among their social kinds more -- and of their own floors -- but makes it harder for those of different floors less able to connect with ease. If I know you and you are from a ten floors above me, unless I actually have access to your floor, should I attempt to call you but you don't answer for whatever reason, I'm at a loss to determine anything for lacking the same social network associated of those on independent floors.

This is meant to discuss something about 'science' as I see it versus you but you may already see, should you invest in the time to read, that this difference in understanding relates more to where we are born into economically than due to the 'culture' that is falsely touted as what distinguishes one's OPTIONAL choices of lifestyle within the same floors. That you might, for instance, interpret the reason for one born on your floor as 'variable' can be misled as to be 'fair' when you see one whose ancestral (ie, genetic) roots are variable within your floor. You might see someone with aboriginal ancestry who normally comes from outside among you as progressing 'equally' among you when they are permitted their freedom to choose their 'culture' that happens to embrace it by their ancestry.

In contrast, the actual aboriginal is not failing for not embracing their culture outside the building but from not being permitted the choice to live in the building at all. Yet, because of the majority of modern peoples live within this hi-rise are biased to their own floors with priority, they interpret success among their own floors as to the QUALITY of lifestyle they are enjoying, a 'cultural' factor versus the QUANTITY of power they have for being born in better circumstances. When people who can afford to go to zoos, watch variable displays of entertainment from various sources BY VOLUTION, they presume all, if not most, have the same intrinsic fortune to place value IN 'culture' over 'economic' reality. They then falsely interpret the reason for economic differences is itself 'culture' and so opt to affect changes that foster this distinction in kind to the power they have to directly relate to those of their own interests.

Given that perceptions we hold also relates to the nature of educational priority that fosters 'observation' from ones' perspective of their peers, many place the related virtue in whatever kind of emphasis in 'science' to be that of perspective, and not with an emphasis on attempting to determine what is true by understanding the building as a whole from the ground up. This is an anti-foundational crowd that then disrespects those that attempt to draw them DOWN to the basement to see the cracks in the foundation necessary to hold them up where they are. The fortune of most to now live in floors above the ground who are faithful of the foundation and who have had the fortune of not being required to LOOK DOWN, just place faith in the abstracting that LOOKS UP and ignores or trivializes the meaning of the factors that assured their floor exists. Thus, it is frowned upon to by isolated people on all floors to 'discover' things by a real foundation but at best, to a virtual one, ....their OWN.

The foundational approach is LOGICAL, meaning that one constructs an understanding of what they learn by being sure to get down to the ground floor and walk outside to first recognize the reality. It may look pretty to look out your window from your floor and believe the factors you see SPEAK regarding your observations are themselves so plain to see as 'beautiful' and so should be conserved. Yet, it misses the realization that perspective of observing itself is something that differs in a way such that those on the upper floors tend to dictate the interpretation of reality being observed itself in a more conservative mindset. The upper floors within the middle always have more power of the institutes that dictate how all others beneath them are expected to accept authoritatively. Yet the authority comes also BECAUSE of their fortune to go to those institutes that are designed best suited for the way they were taught. The 'abstract' learning then treats those averages who go to University from the upper floor with the allowance of those thinking foundationally to only permit the 'foundational thinker' to learn FROM their floor UP!

ALL learning is always 'empirical' in default because we cannot NOT learn from where we initially observe from. BUT, today's emphasis to interpret one's floor AS the foundation, makes anyone even attempting to go back to the ground floor seem odd because they think it is reinventing some unnecessary wheel of discovery they believe is either completed already or lacks their capacity to relate to for insisting there is cracks in the foundation that needs repairs.

The word, “logic”, foundationally, came from the root, “log” (record by scroll created ancient books as logs when rolled up and something you 'look' up as data to analyze and reason from). This used to include meaning what today is called, 'science'. However, since no one wants to look at foundations – just as we don't want to have to think of where or how are waste is equally significant to who we are – as our civilized high-rise grew very large, the means of many to require learning foundationally was too burdensome. Instead, what made sense to most is to use your 'senses' almost strictly. It was Galileo who recognized that he could not appease the relatively pampered authority who controlled the media of educational matters to use the traditional logic to overthrow the poor thinking of his generation. Instead, people related to the means of literal DEMONSTRATIONS that easily entertain ones minds and understandings better with ease, that introduced the need to add a dimension of logic we call 'science' now.

Logic is still the father of thought. The error in the capacity of those on par with the average then found his initial approach insulting, just as my own insistence here to use logic with more emphasis here earlier with you guys.

The word “science” does NOT originate simply from a word meaning “knowledge”, but comes from the variable related phonetic based roots that give us, “sense” and “see” and “scents”, LITERALLY. These are the factors of 'observing' that gives science today its popular definition. But what falsely evolved to mean by those of the upper floors to interpret that ONLY observing is the first foundation of reasoning, is in error of assuming one's own capacity to see from their own FLOOR is itself of observations that are 'foundational'. This is not true and it also disrespects the actual intention of logic that came before it.

The Church in Galileo's day acted as the authority that dismissed any logic that was not 'authorized' by the 'floor' of the Papacy itself. Galileo actually proved what was mistaken about the independence of mass to the force of gravity through a LOGICAL set of arguments, NOT the 'empirical' ones. Note that, the word, 'empirical' is literally a term respecting the 'empire', NOT the intellectual capacity of logical thinking across the population.

But, if you read his earlier efforts, you'd see that, just as I seem 'condescending' by some of you before, the same insult was taken for preferring LOGICAL argumentation by the Papacy in kind to Galileo's time. The Pope's character not so subliminal reference of insult was to label the idiot in his logical treatise as “Simplicio” (simple-minded). Note though that Galileo didn't interpret the Pope necessarliy AS a bad person but the coinciding words that happen to fit with anyone, such as the Pope, would be hard not to take insult to. Please do not compare me here to Galileo as to how some have used this comparison to justify some false analogue of their own. Just because many WILL use it in rhetoric does not mean this isn't ever a valid representation of some person's point in general. And, I have to point out that where you DO use this to dump on someone, you have to recognize the point I'm making about the floor analogy and a point of contention I make against the 'empire' of reasoning that favors demonstrations with strictness, the process of observation is relatively SHALLOW and thus 'simple' in the same way if you disrespect the logical foundations. We ALL 'observe' without choice. Logic itself is also induced when we are learning of patterns of sounds used to develop language PRIOR to formulating some 'grammar' (a logic machine of communication negotiated upon for common understanding). Where 'science' looks at real world machines that are unbiased to human influences, you cannot presume the patterns we see ARE the actual machines we are observing. We look at patterns of what mechanism of reality we are observing to HINT at how the machine works. But the logic of these machines presumed (as a 'theory') do not necessarily fit with the particular actual mechanism.

The bias by the Pope was not merely something wrong with Aristotle either. This is falsely assigning Aristotle's thinking as what caused the dictates of the latter Church that evolved since then as 'empirical' arrogance of preference to appeal ONLY to the Pope's own 'floor' of reasoning just to be permitted a pass. Thus my distaste for the censoring and insults against anyone, not just me, of those who come to these forums of expected rational superiority to be self-defeating for counter-condescending those proposing 'theories' that challenge the status quo. Those thinkers, regardless of apparent 'simplicity' are actually the ones attempting to BE 'rational' by from their own perspectives you might miss.

The most common annoyance I notice against the 'deviant' by many in this community (science or other intellectual online forums) deals with some expectation that others coming to these sites are to have some 'etiquette' of conduct that respects the set of people upon the 'floor' of some upper-level perspective that demands others to come UP to them when the fact of where this floor is puts an unfair imposition upon the 'deviant' to require to HAVE the same economically viable position that many of you falsely interpret is non-extant. I spoke as I did in the thread on “D&D” initially for another unstated example I will now give:

I belong(ed) to a group here in my city of which I now know some of you here come from. I don't want to out you and will not. But the group itself is a 'skeptic' group of which I was/am most unwelcomed and have been abused by the particular ones who have the most power there. The group is a 'skeptic' group composed mostly of 'atheists' and of prior university students of some form or another. I only met one actual physicist there thus far but many are either undergrads of some general science area, or of qualifications that aren't directly about physics.

My own background is self-taught although all science and math courses I have taken places me in the top 99th percentile. I don't believe it is necessary to go to University anymore given this day of the Internet and while I respect science, I don't respect the politics of the institutes and how our system here in Canada favors what is called, “multiculturalism” in our laws. Before pouncing on me to this, I know many of different cultures but the particular constitution here favors a SELECT set of cultures and has ONLY EVOLVED out of a conservative interest by those 'catholic' French (formal 'Catholics') or the English loyalist of the Anglican establishment, both original “loyalists” to the counter-intellectual period of ENLIGHTENMENT that formed the United States. The French here (Quebec) were abandoned by the very 'enlightenment' from France to which the English were also at war with. Note the enlightment was not only a movement FOR intellectual development but a counter revolution against 'empires' of the literal “Imperialism” as related to colonialism that now gets used BY the very 'loyalists' here to pass off their own debt to the rest of civilization for crimes of the past that aided in abuses of various people from differing backgrounds.

Our system is thus not truly 'multicultural' in universal respect, but was set up out of 'observing' the American's formulation of its First Amendment that demanded government be separately ruled without cultural favor.

The term they used regarding culture is “religion” but is what 'culture' here outside of U.S. and in preference of the British misdirection implies religion by fact of how we here associate one's culture as tied intrinsically to their genetic roots. If you are born here of Aboriginal decent, but raised by adoption to a non-Aboriginal family, our arrogant, and I will say directly, racist system, treats this opposing enlightened concept of adopting one's personal choice of lifestyle as a crime of 'cultural genocide'.

The groups here that are from the University system are raised in a climate of today's demand to correct the actual crimes of the past thinking in this deceptively false way related to my points about science her. The need to detract one's attention of those most fortunate towards the 'cultural' excuse is used BY specific ingroup cultures of the establishment who want to have their cake and eat it too. The Eastern provinces consist of the power-cultures regarding historical loyalists who now, in recognition of the risk of others demanding reconciliation, like our Aboriginals, are doing whatever it takes to hide the fact that the root biases of Canada's past against them was due to assimilation programs by past governments who passed control of the projects to their 'Christian' related organization. That is, the government of the past transferred the power to religious affiliations to run schools and other programs with the intent to alter the Aboriginal's cultures. THEY thought that the problem of distinction between the 'civilized' world was due to their lack of knowing who the Christian God was.

Today, and since 1982, officially, our new imposed Constitution was cleverly written to feign a trademarked concept labeled, “Multiculturalism” from an original “Biculturalism” to hide the nature of its intended specificity. Quebec wanted to separate and because the bicultural confederates of our country's foundation is of mixed Anglican and Catholic English and French in power wanted to find a justification to create a means to conserve 'distinct' status, the idea of hiding this unusual special bias for making laws that permitted religious conservation, was set up to both entrench those in power by formal Constitutional guarantees of their supremacy, AND to appeal to a means to legislate 'culture' (ie, religious) laws because the mere 'bicultural' system would lack sincere logical foundation.

I only digressed to this to help those not in the know of what the complexities are that lead to our University or other formal education. We have a 'separate' school system permitted to derail funds that would normally go to 'public' institutes in taxes to favor the option of the religious and/or the French, with most significance. This would obviously prove pure bias had the constitution dictated only a bicultural system. So to add apparent force and repair, the Indigenous (Native, or Indian) population was also granted a right to act as 'distinct' Nations within this nation. This sets up the problems of how our University system tends to bias people to FAVOR something religious, ...even of the non-theist or scientific community.

Now, back to the group I was in: I noticed that though I like (and still do to some extant) most people there, I noticed that besides the nature of those staying in the group to be of a better off via having better education and jobs, there was (still is) a tendency to attract those who are more powerfully linked to favor this very 'multiculturalism' (by majority staying only) and to a few other factors that they themselves don't notice:

(1) The group is run by more 'feminist' arguers of a modern style who intrinsically push out those who disagree with their views or at least expect others to keep their mouth shut on those issues and define the group as such. I'm talking of the kind here that favor a belief that women as a class represent members that should EACH be entitled to certain default faith in things like a right to be trusted uniquely upon things like the present accusation of women against men for presumed assaults. This reverses the role when and where in law one is persumed 'innocent' until proven guilty.

Most, if not all the rest, are 'general' feminists, including myself, who simply believe in assuring equality by preventing abuses but recognize that both men and women of the past have defined these things through things like religious beliefs among other things.

(2) Comparing various groups available here, the skeptic group has an oddly high minority of women and of the relatively few, are from the established white or University educated. This is not bad about those women who participate but presents a point about which I am going later when you add up the 'diversity' apparent. Also, in stronger relation, where you consider the LGBTQ community in general, you would find more of these in that community of the few than by what is representative of the population. It's not a place to meet single women, for instance, if you are straight. Though not essential for many of us, this 'observation' is most clear when you contrast them to other groups available.

These first two are not meant to establish bias against women, sexual preferences, or the gendered of any sex, but to point out the lack of variability you think would stand if the group is not biased to favor specific classes.

(3) We have varying people who have come from the Aboriginal community but never stay. Southern Asian and/or some Middle Eastern representation are there but still of nothing unusual you'd expect that DO normally also fit in with what is considered 'white' normally, and University affiliated. The Natives are uncomfortable from my own communications with them and to the observations with respect to economic class.

(4) Everyone in this group with contrast to another 'general' defined meeting group of similar or broader interest, always orders food and/or drinks wherever we meet. This you would have to definitely see for yourself because while other groups do have people of even some similar wealth, the stark contrast suggests a bias of wealth and comfort taken for granted.

(5) Most but a few a handful of us have cars. I am usually the only one you'd find getting to these meets by bus.

(6) Many of these people travel lots and often to similar places. I was shocked at how many people in one subgroup (a reading group) actually had some relation to Washington D.C. (I happened to live in Virginia in a suburb there for my first three years of schooling.)

(7) Oddly, the majority of some group meets, ....especially the pub ones, are BALD!??? One day in one meet I was only one among five others who still had hair. One female was at that meet and I remember making a joke about feeling out of place with this woman.
...

(8) And here is where the most unusual congregation of people compared to any group that I've seen are ....wait for it.....D&D players!

Okay, you may still think that my own relative observations cannot account for all such groups of people. I recognize this fact but the point gets missed about the 'foundational' approach of thinking that is amiss with most people regarding skepticism, atheism, or rationalism, that I find even in personalities online. There is a constant distaste for those thinkers who come alone with unusual non-empirical tones when they attempt to join in on these intellectual sites.

I DO respect people here as with other communities of similar level of educational interests. But there IS a bias to disrespect foundational logical thinkers and expression and an air of condescending character towards anyone proposing non-conventional ideas. And given that many appear to be related to SELF-LEARNING, why on Earth are these people being targeted for daring to speak differently.

One major factor outside of merely the financial classes involved that you guys don't notice, is that you are often targeting others with certain unusual behaviors that often relate to mental illnesses. Contrary to those who also give voice to these people (I myself included), is that the WAY some people communicate in these forums are avenues of these people to speak in the ONLY places they CAN go to. In this era of the tech problems, the ONE advantage of many to go to forums who have disabilities as such are that they lack conventional styles of communication in which they are already isolated. The Internet forums actually provide a place that can potentially act to advance one's capacity to communicate in ways they were not permitted before, like those meeting groups that I at least DO push myself out to go.

Also, those who come from perhaps a religious background also, while their thoughts may be odd, insulting their efforts doesn't help.

I believe I covered most of the points here. I intended mainly to express an argument FOR the logical parts of reasoning that gets overlooked here. So let me get back to that before closing.

The means of 'observations' do NOT have an interpretation outside of those agreeing to what they share in common. Agreement is a big part of the peer process in science but the 'peers' no longer HAVE TO require the formal University institutes favored set of magazines because the Internet, as a next evolution similar to the “library”, is the next best thing for people who normally lack access to be able to utilize to both learn as well as speak and reflect. Insults from this community to conform, as my reference before to the Goths of South Park that I mentioned in the thread on Dungeons and Dragons, is an exaggerated but realistic factor of this general tendency world-wide to segregate into separate groups in ways that some think they are trying to defeat the outside pressures of conforming. The rational thinking groups are supposedly intent on trying to PROVE validity to the process of free thought. And yet, this behavior that I'm pointing out is NOT appropriate if this is the true goal.

Logic, as I hope to have provided here, is not something you always need some 'empirical' stat to measure up against. The tendency to assume one provides evidence on a forum is also not logical because it relies on linking out the effort to outside sources when those outside sources don't prove the potential of skeptical thinking that can be utilized to full effect here.

You don't have to agree to someone stating some theory. I have one that I'm likely never going to be able to present simply because I'm forced to BE on an upper-level floor just to begin an appeal. The 'proof' is NOT a collection of 'observations' alone. These only act as the assumptions going into a necessary logical machine that can get tested later on. But we need the thinking of the “Modernists” that have been now dominated almost exclusively by a private privileged class of the “Postmodern” thinkers that begun with the 1960's drug taking influences. I'm not against THAT, but how has this fuzzy thinking given precedence over the original 'rationalism' from the Modern era?

This tract or 'thread' is my 'apologetic' for the unconventional thinking that I proudly embrace. And I hope that you can appreciate my effort in trying to communicate this. Please don't underestimate my education nor of others for not being conventional. I can and do respect the contemporary intellect but not to the point of disrespecting myself or others who get pushed to conform without fair recognition of the problems.

Thank you if you read. I hope to possibly be welcome by you again, some of which I know here ARE of that group here in Canada. I'm here non-anonymously and on all sites I use forums with in hope to 'test' whether I can be non-anonymous without risking my personal concerns but respect the anonymity of those who doubt it yet. I believe the online bullying is rarely from some 'evil' group intent on terrorizing society. Give me, a Nihilistic Logical Atheist, and anyone else without ground in religious intolerance at least the one last vestige of humanity to believe in. It is the only thing that is left for many people out there who are more isolated than ever.

Scott...November 21, 2019.
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Re: Apology: My Reflections on Forums of Science/Rationalism

#2  Postby Fallible » Nov 21, 2019 11:36 pm

Jesus Christ.
Sorry that you think you had it rough in the first world.
You ought to get out a map sooner than later.
Knowledge has turned into a trap; you have to slow down.
Get out of your head and spend less time alone.
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Re: Apology: My Reflections on Forums of Science/Rationalism

#3  Postby Svartalf » Nov 21, 2019 11:42 pm

Well, Jesus Effin' Christ on a Harley Davidson... sorry mate, but that wall of text was a straight tl:dr for me.
PC stands for Patronizing Cocksucker Randy Ping

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Re: Apology: My Reflections on Forums of Science/Rationalism

#4  Postby Spinozasgalt » Nov 21, 2019 11:50 pm

I've clearly missed recent events here, because I have no idea what any of this is about. :?
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Re: Apology: My Reflections on Forums of Science/Rationalism

#5  Postby Thommo » Nov 22, 2019 12:01 am

Well, I drifted off part way through, because I could not find anything I recognise as an apology, anything I would recognise as representing the academic traditions of the mid 20th century and earlier (sources, citations and evidence are certainly not a new invention), or anything that holds true to my own area of study (I studied mathematics, latterly logic, in the UK).

I do appreciate that this must have taken a lot of effort, but I sincerely think it's misplaced. The fundamental problem is that you frequently appeal to a tradition of logic, and of formal logic that you only borrow legitimacy from. You don't use it as anything more than a label to provide an excuse for not providing evidence, which even in the mid 20th century would have required, at minimum, citations and links to primary sources when making an argument.

As an analogy, consider Ayn Rand's objectivism. She would appeal to objectivity and rationality, but only insofar as to claim that's what she was doing and claim that everyone else was not, regardless of the objective or logical merit of her arguments or theirs.

I also found this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etymological_fallacy idly springing to mind.
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Re: Apology: My Reflections on Forums of Science/Rationalism

#6  Postby Thommo » Nov 22, 2019 12:18 am

Spinozasgalt wrote:I've clearly missed recent events here, because I have no idea what any of this is about. :?


Whether D&D players are unpleasant, bigoted introverts and whether the obsolete physical theory of a steady state universe can be preferred to a big bang model if you ignore enough evidence.

And knee-high boots of course. Oh, and Zelda, I forgot about Zelda.
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Re: Apology: My Reflections on Forums of Science/Rationalism

#7  Postby SafeAsMilk » Nov 22, 2019 12:35 am

Holy fuck, that's gotta be a copypasta :lol:

Seriously, props. You'll often see me complain about the low effort trolling we get around here, OP is a masterpiece whatever it says.
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Re: Apology: My Reflections on Forums of Science/Rationalism

#8  Postby The_Piper » Nov 22, 2019 12:42 am

Yep, I made it to sentence 2 of paragraph 2. That's further than most of the posts and threads to this point.
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Re: Apology: My Reflections on Forums of Science/Rationalism

#9  Postby Spinozasgalt » Nov 22, 2019 1:31 am

I had a longer look.

I see a convoluted metaphorical story about a building to demonstrate that a great system builder philosophy is better than a particular one. Then the metaphor is tortured and twisted to be about economic or social class or something thereabouts. Then there's a bit about Galileo and the Pope, and some - what looks like just mistaken- etymology that is doing too much lifting. And then it starts to sound like a Jordan Peterson piece about feminists being mean.

You guys are the bad guys in all of this, I think. Stop being the Pope, please.
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Re: Apology: My Reflections on Forums of Science/Rationalism

#10  Postby felltoearth » Nov 22, 2019 1:40 am

Spinozasgalt wrote:Stop being the Pope, please.

If I had a choice I would be Father Guido Sarducci.
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Re: Apology: My Reflections on Forums of Science/Rationalism

#11  Postby Hermit » Nov 22, 2019 1:50 am

Thommo wrote:...I could not find anything I recognise as an apology...

In its longwinded way all of it was an apology. Let the dictionary be your friend. From the Cambridge Dictionary:
apology noun (EXPLANATION)
[ C ] formal
a formal explanation or defence of a belief or system, especially one that is unpopular


So it turned out to be more of an exposition or defence of the author's views than an apology as popularly understood. Scott Mayers made this much explicit in the very first paragraph: "I have nothing to risk by speaking and this might help to affect change in your perspective". No "sorry" there, nor can that word be found anywhere in the 6226 word text, that would take eleven A4 sized pages to print out.

Still, I continued reading, but by the tenth paragraph I had enough of the waffling and started skipping bits. Halfway through I gave up altogether. It reminded me too much of the style the priests of my childhood sermonised - trying to be conversational while delivering a sermon and remaining thoroughly irrelevant throughout. The biggest difference is that the priests' sermons only lasted a fraction of the time.
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Re: Apology: My Reflections on Forums of Science/Rationalism

#12  Postby Thommo » Nov 22, 2019 1:58 am

Scott Mayers wrote:Logic, as I hope to have provided here, is not something you always need some 'empirical' stat to measure up against. The tendency to assume one provides evidence on a forum is also not logical because it relies on linking out the effort to outside sources when those outside sources don't prove the potential of skeptical thinking that can be utilized to full effect here.


There's a kernel of truth here, but it's surrounded by a morass of confusions and evasions.

Let's give three examples of objects derived from logical axioms in a consistent manner:

Euclidean space
Minkowski space
Pseudo-Riemannian manifolds

All of these are equally logical. Each can be rigorously defined. Each is consistent. Each is the logical consequence of a relatively simple set of axioms in a formal system. Logic alone does not allow us to choose between these objects. Each simply is a well defined structure that is studied in mathematics.

However, there's something important about these three spaces. The first was the assumed ontology of Newtonian physics. It's pretty good for making predictions. If you want to drive your car from London to Birmingham it'll get you there with more than enough precision. The second was the assumed ontology of Einstein's theory of special relativity. This is harder to work with, but provides a more accurate set of predictions which explains previously unexplained physical phenomena (such as the lack of a luminiferous aether). The third is more complex still and is the framework of Einstein's theory of general relativity. Again it's harder to work with but more accurate at prediction of observations for a range of physical phenomena.

Logic does not allow us to prefer one or other of these theories. All are logical. As far as logic is concerned all could be true. The same is of course true of Last Thursdayism. Or a world orchestrated by an evil genius. Or solipsism.

So we need more to choose between them. And since we are talking about the ways the universe presents data to us when we talk about how the universe is, that is the minimal additional requirement we can impose - that we prefer theories that accord with fact. Still, this doesn't help us when it comes to Last Thursdayism or solipsism. At that point we do finally stray into the realm of philosophy and logic and we start appealing to principles such as parsimony or Occam's razor. These are logically sound principles in themselves that advise us on a probabilistic basis only when to prefer theories - simply put if one theory involves all the same assumptions as another theory, plus additional assumptions, then the one with additional assumptions has provided additional sources for potential error. Those additional assumptions should be thrown out if the two theories make the same predictions in terms of observables.
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Re: Apology: My Reflections on Forums of Science/Rationalism

#13  Postby Thommo » Nov 22, 2019 2:00 am

Hermit wrote:
Thommo wrote:...I could not find anything I recognise as an apology...

In its longwinded way all of it was an apology. Let the dictionary be your friend. From the Cambridge Dictionary:
apology noun (EXPLANATION)
[ C ] formal
a formal explanation or defence of a belief or system, especially one that is unpopular


So it turned out to be more of an exposition or defence of the author's views than an apology as popularly understood. Scott Mayers made this much explicit in the very first paragraph: "I have nothing to risk by speaking and this might help to affect change in your perspective". No "sorry" there, nor can that word be found anywhere in the 6226 word text, that would take eleven A4 sized pages to print out.

Still, I continued reading, but by the tenth paragraph I had enough of the waffling and started skipping bits. Halfway through I gave up altogether. It reminded me too much of the style the priests of my childhood sermonised - trying to be conversational while delivering a sermon and remaining thoroughly irrelevant throughout. The biggest difference is that the priests' sermons only lasted a fraction of the time.


You're right, and I later discovered that he'd even explicitly used the term apologetic later in the essay.

I personally wondered why not be upfront with that rather than use a word which primarily connotes differently and thus would attract attention on an entirely different basis. It's not really a big problem though.
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Re: Apology: My Reflections on Forums of Science/Rationalism

#14  Postby Spearthrower » Nov 22, 2019 4:03 am

Wow, just wow.

You know what I thought when I say the thread title?

I thought... ok, fair enough... the guy started on the wrong foot, found himself in a hole he was only digging deeper, but it was unintentional and now he wants to find a way to reset. I am always up for giving people a 2nd chance.

How wrong I was.

This is yet more of the Special Me Syndrome that we already have with certain other posters here. The subtext of the verbose diatribe is that Scott is a special thinker and everyone else here is just too limited by the paucity of their abilities to comprehend it... but we should simply lend undue deference to whatever Scott says because he knows better than us.

Here's my answer Scott: get over yourself. That is the only way you're going to find that you can have a normal conversation with people here. Next, learn that when you make a claim, you support that claim. No amount of words about how you're right and other people are wrong is going to act as a proxy for supporting your claim with evidence. Finally, if you want to make sweeping derogatory assertions about out-groups, check you're not just spouting your unthinking bias first... and if challenged, remember the prior point: if you can support your claim, then regardless of whether it's comfortable or not, then you might have a point... but if you can't support it, won't support it, and just keep repeating that same derision, expect to be treated accordingly.

This is NOT an apology, it's a hubristic attack on everyone here couched in apologetic defense arguing that you were right all along.
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Re: Apology: My Reflections on Forums of Science/Rationalism

#15  Postby Spearthrower » Nov 22, 2019 4:53 am

So many of you here learned from this top-down educational process... I do declare without bothering to discover whether this is true, in the same way that I declare that people who play a game I don't like are all pampered, culturally ignorant, upper middle class race realists based on nothing other than my subjective assumptions.

You're offended? Well, sorry, but that's just the gospel as stated... you say it's wrong? That's because you don't like the revealed truth. The fact that you say it's not relevant to you and ask me to support my contentions simply underscores that I am right. Just genuflect to the force of my argumentation for your own good.


You're espousing religious methodology, Scott. You're not engaging in any form of reasoned discussion. You've tried to set up scenarios where you can make any declaration you like, and anyone asking you to support your claims can be dismissed on genetic grounds rather than addressing the substance of their response.

Any time you find yourself believing that the reason why your ideas aren't being accepted is everyone else, you're all but certainly wrong.

If you want to generalize, you need data to generalize from... not the proudly presented contents of your navel. When that generalization is about a group of people you're talking to, regardless of whether you can accept it or not, they know more about themselves than you do. Your derogatory simplification of the out-group offers no utility in terms of defining what's true about them, it's only spotlights a flawed thinking process in your own mind which you should be seeking to resolve.

Start again, and this time instead of spending 10,000 words bemoaning that everyone else has a smelly bum, write about how smelly yours is; you might find that exposes some hard truths for you to consider and may even forge some actual relationships with other people who can appreciate your self-honesty.
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Re: Apology: My Reflections on Forums of Science/Rationalism

#16  Postby Macdoc » Nov 22, 2019 4:59 am

I really need an effective yawn ...

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Re: Apology: My Reflections on Forums of Science/Rationalism

#17  Postby Cito di Pense » Nov 22, 2019 5:01 am

Scott Mayers wrote:How, for instance, is it more important that you remember to give credit to some OTHER person's thinking elsewhere when you can derive this from your own perspective if you understand the foundations TO THINK? For instance, why is it important that you respect the particular labels of some theory as though the people who first stated it is relevant to the actual matter of the theory itself?


Holy cow, Scott! The requirements for citation are for (1) avoiding reinvention of the wheel (that's charity) and (2) preventing plagiarism -- which, while not particularly charitable, is central to your complaint that nobody will bother to give you credit if somebody has already published a particular result. That's not your most serious problem, though. Your problem is that you do not support your declarations with evidence. The part of your essay that relates to the structure of the scientific enterprise, and your comments about conformity, sound like pathetic, whining excuses to me.
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Re: Apology: My Reflections on Forums of Science/Rationalism

#18  Postby Cito di Pense » Nov 22, 2019 5:05 am

Spearthrower wrote:So many of you here learned from this top-down educational process... I do declare without bothering to discover whether this is true, in the same way that I declare that people who play a game I don't like are all pampered, culturally ignorant, upper middle class race realists based on nothing other than my subjective assumptions.


Academic publishing in science is also a game Scott does not like, but it's not as if all games have equally-arbitrary sets of rules or sets of rules aimed at making the experience wonderful for everyone who plays. Democracy at work!
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Re: Apology: My Reflections on Forums of Science/Rationalism

#19  Postby Cito di Pense » Nov 22, 2019 5:42 am

Scott Mayers wrote:My own background is self-taught although all science and math courses I have taken places me in the top 99th percentile. I don't believe it is necessary to go to University anymore ...


If you study science and maths via open access online courses, all you know is some crude measure of what percentage of the subject matter you have "mastered", determined by testing that is often severely limited by the technology of the platform on which it is delivered. You are apt to learn very little about how you stand in relation to others studying the same syllabus. None of that will prepare you to take your place as a world-class theoretician. For that, you need a dialog with others working in the field. That dialog has not worked out particularly well for you, has it?

Scott Mayers wrote:Please don't underestimate my education nor of others for not being conventional. I can and do respect the contemporary intellect but not to the point of disrespecting myself or others who get pushed to conform without fair recognition of the problems.


Minimally, that's going to require you providing evidence (as opposed to flat declarations) that you have acquired an education, rather than simply a vocabulary of some mishmash of social ± educational theory.

Scott Mayers wrote:But we need the thinking of the “Modernists” that have been now dominated almost exclusively by a private privileged class of the “Postmodern” thinkers that begun with the 1960's drug taking influences. I'm not against THAT, but how has this fuzzy thinking given precedence over the original 'rationalism' from the Modern era?


Well, that's us told. Scott, there's nothing in any of the copious verbiage you've posted here and on several other websites which indicates you're even in the 99th percentile of those who have mastered writing essays in the English language. All we have is a load of poorly-organized rant that shouts nothing so loudly as wishing to get it all said. I know the feeling, but we've seen what happens when one declines to springboard one's ideas from the thoughts of others.
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Re: Apology: My Reflections on Forums of Science/Rationalism

#20  Postby Spearthrower » Nov 22, 2019 6:00 am

Cito di Pense wrote:
Scott Mayers wrote:My own background is self-taught although all science and math courses I have taken places me in the top 99th percentile. I don't believe it is necessary to go to University anymore ...


If you study science and maths via open access online courses, all you know is some crude measure of what percentage of the subject matter you have "mastered", determined by testing that is often severely limited by the technology of the platform on which it is delivered. You are apt to learn very little about how you stand in relation to others studying the same syllabus. None of that will prepare you to take your place as a world-class theoretician. For that, you need a dialog with others working in the field. That dialog has not worked out particularly well for you, has it?

Scott Mayers wrote:Please don't underestimate my education nor of others for not being conventional. I can and do respect the contemporary intellect but not to the point of disrespecting myself or others who get pushed to conform without fair recognition of the problems.


Minimally, that's going to require you providing evidence (as opposed to flat declarations) that you have acquired an education, rather than simply a vocabulary of some mishmash of social ± educational theory.



I cannot fathom how taking online courses in math and science let you arrive at the conclusion that you're in the 99th percentile; in fact, that conclusion would make me question the efficacy of knowledge about both math and science.

I assume you could compare your scores to other people who have taken those courses if the results are published, and that could give you a comparison to those people, but those people are not the set by which you could compare your actual relative ability.

As a particularly avid consumer of online courses, I don't for a moment believe that taking these courses means I am an expert in any of these fields. In fact, I take it to mean quite the opposite: that I am an interested layman. Having experienced a university education and being involved in educating at a university level, I know that even the best of these online courses represents only a fraction of the breadth and depth of information expected in a single trimester of a degree level study. Further, at university, you will also have more opportunities and expectation to synthesize the knowledge from multiple related courses through tutorial classes which take place with a small number of students and a tutor leading a discussion on a particular topic; that the measurement of knowledge garnered from a course isn't constrained by multiple choice questionnaires showing that you can reproduce what you were taught, but rather, one's knowledge is measured by the ability to produce a novel argument in essay format about a topic from within the course's remit allowing much greater variety of expression, but also measuring the degree of synthesis of information rather than of accurate regurgitation.

I'm leaning towards Dunning-Kruger here. I find it's often the case where hubris apparently takes the place of substance. I think it's even more compelling when a person believes that their knowledge of one field represents a superior insight into a completely different field than relevant expertise in that field. It's not at all surprising to me any longer after years of witnessing these special me sorts that it's a knowledge of philosophy (at least a knowledge of the history of philosophy) which is meant to offer superior insight into physics. The latter is just much harder to gain expertise in, and the former seems to offer the special me sorts the pretense that they can circumvent the complexity with argumentative subversion.
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