Ming the Mechanic
The NewsLog of Flemming Funch

Tuesday, November 26, 2002day link 

 What I know for certain
picture There is very little I know for certain. I know that I am conscious of my own existence, and I'm aware of many changing perceptions of the world I appear to be in, and I have abstract thoughts and feelings related to my experience. That's about it. Anything that my perceptions or my thoughts or my feelings are telling me is something I'm guessing. An abstract over-simplification of something that possibly is real. I have formed a certain extensive mental model of what the world is like, based on what I have perceived and thought, and then tested and verified, but I know it is only my best guess, even when it works well. The only thing I know for sure is that I am conscious right now, and conscious of my own consciousness. One of the first things I notice is that my consciousness returns after times when I haven't been conscious, so one of my first logical guesses is that my own existence is more fundamental than my consciousness, and I keep existing even when I forget to notice it. All that it takes to bring me back is that I notice.
[ | 2002-11-26 03:53 | 22 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

Arch-skeptic Michael Shermer says some good things about intuition in The Captain Kirk Principle - Intuition is the key to knowing without knowing how you know:
"Intuition is not subliminal perception; it is subtle perception and learning-- knowing without knowing that you know. Chess masters often "know" the right move to make even if they cannot articulate how they know it. People who are highly skilled in identifying "micromomentary" facial expressions are also more accurate in judging lying. In testing college students, psychiatrists, polygraphists, court judges, police officers and Secret Service agents on their ability to detect lies, only the agents, trained to look for subtle cues, scored above chance. Most of us are not good at lie detection, because we rely too heavily on what people say rather than on what they do."

[ | 2002-11-26 04:14 | 7 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Underwater mystery
picture More about the possible man-made structures seen on sonar 2000ft underwater off the west coast of Cuba. Still nobody has gotten around to sending a submarine down there to take real pictures, so there is much speculation. The most controversial aspect is that the water depth would indicate that the structures would be at least 50,000 years old.
[ | 2002-11-26 04:40 | 2 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 The State of Grace Document
picture Tom Atlee mentions the State of Grace Document, which is an innovative alternative to contracts in various kinds of relationships, including businesses and personal relationships. It was conceived by Maureen McCarthy. As opposed to contracts, which usually have the premise that the other party quite likely will try to screw you, the State of Grace document has the premise that the parties both want to remain in or return to the state of grace that they started out with, where they're aligned and things are just flowing naturally. So, when a time of transition arrives, where it is no longer working, the point would either be to find the way back to that state, or to revise the agreement, or to realize that it is no longer there, so the relationship is ending. Maureen says:
"The State of Grace Document is a radical new way to see the world. It's a tool for those who are searching for a non-litigious way to resolve a difficult situation. Or in the cases where [we] would never resort to that, but the pain of a bad ending leaves us exhausted, it's a remarkable path to peace. It's a concept not yet in practice that will cause great change in the world when adopted because it addresses the potential for problems up front in a loving manner. As a society we avoid saying the marriage could end before the ceremony has begun, the job might not work out as planned, or the business partnership might not be the best route as we move forward. Reality says it's all possible, but it seems so distasteful to acknowledge it. With the State of Grace Document a new and very elegant approach has been created to address the possibilities, while keeping the love, honor and integrity intact."

[ | 2002-11-26 19:10 | 14 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

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