Ming the Mechanic:
Thursday, October 24, 2002

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Thursday, October 24, 20022002-10-24 22:38
7 comments
pictureby Flemming Funch

  • Richard Caetano is thinking about how we structure our thinking, and about how we represent truth. He believes that "Truth is Localized". Several apparently contradictory truths can exist because they apply to different branches of a logical tree. I might be opposed to using fossil fuel, but I might love my sports car. Those truths can co-exist if they're sort of attached in different places. Interesting discussion, but I wouldn't necessarily look at it like that. It is more a matter of how we abstract a more primal reality into symbolic form. If we forget that we're over-simplifying the process oriented reality into objects and then further into abstract labels and ideas, and further into our reactions to these, then we might run into logical problems at some point. It can sometimes be a philosophical trap to try to solve a problem logically at an abstract level, when the components don't really exist at that level. I can say "I like red!" when I'm shopping for Ferraris, and I can say "I hate red!" when I'm trying to drive it through stoplights in downtown L.A. If I just look at the words, and treat them as reality, it seems like I'm contradicting myself. It is simply two similar sentences that are being used about very different realities. They're abstracting very different things. Simply put: the context is different, and I'm not contradicting myself, because I'm talking about different things. The words don't tell you that.

    Then Cass at ThoughtsOnThinking suggests that maybe perceptions, viewpoints, and opinions are "localized". Hm, I wouldn't say that either. It all depends on how far you abstract. Everything can be abstracted endlessly. I might make a very specific observation, expressed in a set of perceptions, checking my watch, writing down what I see and hear, and that might be very localized. Or, my mind might have some wires crossed and I have generalized certain perceptions, so they exist separately from anything to perceive. E.g. I might go around and see clearly that people are being mean to me, and they're whispering to each other about me, and they're getting ready to finish me off.

    But all that does indeed throw some wrenches into a project of trying to invent universal data structures - ways of storing any kind of information in an ordered fashion. We can't just say that colors belong over here, and feelings belong over there. Because the meaning of any information depends ... on a lot of factors in the people who will use them, including their context, their intention, their modus operandi, and the level of abstraction involved.

  • Building Online Communities. Some good learnings from techie communities.

  • Oblivion awaits. Hilarious writeup of what the record industry's actions would sound like if discussed as strategies. "Their combined efforts have gone beyond killing their e-businesses and are close to destroying an entire industry."

  • Tomorrow morning I travel to Utah for a retreat with a small group of futurists. A couple of days of hiking and deep dialogue about big things. I might or might not get online.

    "I always wanted to be somebody, but I should have been more specific." --Jane Wagner


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    7 comments

    25 Oct 2002 @ 08:23 by martha : Here ming
    Well, after reading your link on community I thought I might quote a few lines.
    "You need a reason to exist.
    You must know why your site exists. Otherwise, you cannot
    judge the effectiveness of any policy. Worse yet, how will visitors know if they want to join the community? What benefit does a user derive from participating? Why should anyone care? Without an underlying goal, it's extremely difficult to guide users in constructive ways. It would be like starting a company and forgetting that, at some point, you need paying customers.

    Once you've found your goal, stick with it. It's fine -- and necessary -- to shift your focus to meet the needs of the community. Lacking a plan, though, you can only make guesses. Users will pursue their own goals if yours isn't plain."

    I know you have been pushed by a number of individuals to put more thought into the above quote. I am awaiting the new site design with anticipation. And just to set the record clear. I am my own person and speak only for myself.  



    27 Oct 2002 @ 02:15 by gyrfalcon : God is a gerbil.
    You have to understand that there is Absolute Truth and Relative Truth. One may hold truths ( or lies ) about the self that arn't really true, but are based on isssues relating to the way one was reared as the model of self was created. But if part of your physical anatomy is characteristic say having big feet, that is a truth,how those big feet affect your belief "truth" of self, that is abstract and relative to how you cope with having big feet. But to say that God is a Gerbil is no-truth or a lie.
    Ostensibly you can think that anything is true, if you consider it enough. But the truth is there are truths that are TRUE! For example you can't say that there was a Jesus and that there wasn't a Jesus. Both those beliefs can't exist simultanously, either one or the other is true!
    In the case of L.Ron Hubbard again it is a truth that there was a man on this planet called that, as to whether he was a con-man or a consciencious truth bringer is negotiable, that truth is relative to the individual experience of the man. But the truth that he existed as a being is undeniable. THUS WE HAVE ABSOLUTE T.R.U.T.H.!



     



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    Other stories in
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    2012-01-02 13:52: 2011 Accomplishments and 2012 Aims
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    2010-06-22 00:27: Inventory
    2010-06-19 23:10: Conversations
    2009-10-28 12:31: Then a miracle occurs



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