THINKERS JULY 09 2013: THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION

Extropia DaSilva: OK so shall we get things started?
[2013/07/09 15:32]  Extropia DaSilva: so my topic this week is the following question…
[2013/07/09 15:32]  Zobeid Zuma: BTW… The original Everquest was a blatant ripoff of D&D. It was virtual D&D world.
[2013/07/09 15:32]  Extropia DaSilva: where the hell is everybody? Ahahaha…no seriously it is….What is the best question to ask yourself?
[2013/07/09 15:33]  ArtCrash Exonar: hmmmm interesting
[2013/07/09 15:33]  Extropia DaSilva: so my friend on Facebook reckons ‘am I being as humane as I can, right now’?
[2013/07/09 15:34]  Extropia DaSilva: (not ‘should I be on FAcebook during working hours)
[2013/07/09 15:34]  ArtCrash Exonar: “Am I engaging in self deception?”
[2013/07/09 15:34]  Extropia DaSilva: Of course. You are an artist.
[2013/07/09 15:34]  ArtCrash Exonar: haha
[2013/07/09 15:35]  Extropia DaSilva: But self deception…as in fooling yourself?
[2013/07/09 15:35]  ArtCrash Exonar: I don’t want to ask if I am being ‘authentic’ because I think even being inauthentic is being authentic. That is a circular question.
[2013/07/09 15:36]  ArtCrash Exonar: Self deception as in ignoring evidence to the contrary of one’s opinions
[2013/07/09 15:36]  Extropia DaSilva: I hear a lot of OPINIONS contrary to what I think.
[2013/07/09 15:37]  ArtCrash Exonar: not opinions, evidence. There is a difference.
[2013/07/09 15:37]  Extropia DaSilva: Those who voice them obviously think they are, or have, evidence.
[2013/07/09 15:37]  Extropia DaSilva: I suppose the scientifically minded would actively seek to debunk everything?
[2013/07/09 15:38]  Extropia DaSilva: ..
[2013/07/09 15:39]  ArtCrash Exonar: Another important question to ask oneself “Am I doing things that will advance my quality of life as opposed to doing things that will degrade my quality of life?”
[2013/07/09 15:39]  Extropia DaSilva: I wonder how you would know if, subconsciously, you are filtering our contrary evidence?
[2013/07/09 15:40]  Ari (arisia.vita): welcome Tara
[2013/07/09 15:40]  ArtCrash Exonar: I think you have to attempt to see yourself ‘objectively’. Notice I say attempt.
[2013/07/09 15:40]  Extropia DaSilva: I used to try and read anything for the first time as if I was coming across it for the first time and had not formed an opinion.
[2013/07/09 15:40]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): Hey, Ari!
[2013/07/09 15:41]  Extropia DaSilva: But that is hard to do and it is so easy to slip into ‘oh I know what this person is trying to say and I agree/disagree’.
[2013/07/09 15:41]  Ari (arisia.vita): and Art, your question, and I suppose all questions, assume an ability to accurately predict the future?
[2013/07/09 15:41]  Extropia DaSilva: Hello Tara..
[2013/07/09 15:41]  Extropia DaSilva: today we ask..
[2013/07/09 15:41]  Extropia DaSilva: What is the best question to ask yourself?
[2013/07/09 15:41]  ArtCrash Exonar: Extie, a great quote about that: “There is a difference between an open mind and a gaping hole.” haha
[2013/07/09 15:42]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): Mmmmm – There’s a difference between an open mind and goatse.cx?
[2013/07/09 15:42]  Extropia DaSilva: yeah a variation on ‘do not open your mind so much your brain falls out’.
[2013/07/09 15:42]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): Best question to ask yourself…
[2013/07/09 15:42]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): “What am I doing?” comes to mind…
[2013/07/09 15:42]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): “Who am I?”
[2013/07/09 15:42]  Extropia DaSilva: so who ARE you?
[2013/07/09 15:43]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): Oooh – I don’t think we have enough time to answer that.
[2013/07/09 15:43]  Extropia DaSilva: You mean…what defines me?
[2013/07/09 15:43]  ArtCrash Exonar: I think an unimportant question to ask oneself is “Who am I?” Because there is no consistent answer to that question and it can lead to self obsessed depression when one finds out ‘there is no one there.’.
[2013/07/09 15:43]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): *nods* What is it about me, that makes me uniquely me?
[2013/07/09 15:43]  Extropia DaSilva: that wonderful hair!
[2013/07/09 15:43]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): Nah – I’m sure Cake sold a lot of this hair.
[2013/07/09 15:44]  Extropia DaSilva: But seriously, I suppose it is the accumulation of your life experiences.
[2013/07/09 15:44]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): I may well be the only *male* in SL wearing it…
[2013/07/09 15:44]  Zobeid Zuma: /me is back… “Sorry, I sort of tuned out for a minute.”
[2013/07/09 15:44]  Extropia DaSilva: Nobody has had, nor could have, quite the same set of life experiences as you. In this reality, anyway.
[2013/07/09 15:44]  ArtCrash Exonar: Who you are is for others to decide, because that is an everchanging point, and will be different for every observer.
[2013/07/09 15:44]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): *nods* Naturally, Extropia. And “those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
[2013/07/09 15:45]  Extropia DaSilva: Society is the mirror in which we see ourselves, Art?
[2013/07/09 15:45]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): Oh, now – *THAT* is an interesting attack on the question, ArtCrash.
[2013/07/09 15:45]  Extropia DaSilva: I think what Art says is true in SL. The world is collaboratively constructed and so is the identity of every avatar.
[2013/07/09 15:46]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): Have we brought Einstein’s SR and GR to societal interactions?
[2013/07/09 15:46]  ArtCrash Exonar: I’m not saying we should pay attention to what others think of us, but they will decide who we are for their purposes. Our own ‘point of view’ in the ‘now’ isn’t something we want to label in general.
[2013/07/09 15:46]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): And if so – what in society plays the role of The Speed of Light In Vacuum?
[2013/07/09 15:46]  Extropia DaSilva: I definitely feel my identity was shaped to a great extent by interactions with you guys and other residents of SL.
[2013/07/09 15:46]  Zobeid Zuma: something about Einstein’s fear of relatives?
[2013/07/09 15:47]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): Oh, indeed, Extropia.
[2013/07/09 15:47]  Extropia DaSilva: the Dunbar number?
[2013/07/09 15:47]  Zobeid Zuma: I’m really having trouble focusing today. @.@
[2013/07/09 15:47]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): I thought that was Nicholai Tesla, Zobeid.
[2013/07/09 15:47]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): The Dunbar Number may apply in some way.
[2013/07/09 15:47]  Extropia DaSilva: the limit of minds that the human brain can comfortably keep track of?
[2013/07/09 15:47]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): /me is wanting to use the Dunbar Number in a story construct…
[2013/07/09 15:48]  Extropia DaSilva: BTW why do social networks etc not limit the ;friends’ you have to Dunbar’s number?
[2013/07/09 15:48]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): And I just realized that Heinlein kind of approached it without specifying it in Citizen of the Galaxy with looking at the Free Traders splitting into new ships…
[2013/07/09 15:49]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): Because “Friends” is a mis-nomer. G+ handles it better, I think.
[2013/07/09 15:49]  Extropia DaSilva: In SL you have ‘friends’ and friends. The latter you can name without having to consult your friends’ list.
[2013/07/09 15:49]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): *nods*
[2013/07/09 15:50]  ArtCrash Exonar: Yes, also it is interesting that the category ‘friend’ in SL stops some from taking new ones because the new prostect doesn’t fit the RL category at all.
[2013/07/09 15:50]  ArtCrash Exonar: prospect
[2013/07/09 15:51]  Zobeid Zuma: hmm…
[2013/07/09 15:52]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): I know Singularity has its “Contacts” tab in the chat panel, but that does split into Friends and Groups, but perhaps largely because that’s the terminology SL stole from Facebook.
[2013/07/09 15:52]  Extropia DaSilva: Sometimes I think it should have been called ‘contact’ and then SL would track how often you interact with this person via messages or requesting/sending TP, nearby chat etc and then upgrade you to ‘friends’ if the interaction is deep enough to merit it.
[2013/07/09 15:52]  ArtCrash Exonar: So what is an important question that YOU would ask yourself? Anyone?
[2013/07/09 15:52]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): That it’s meant to be a bit less familiar, more formal, by identifying them in inventory as “calling cards”
[2013/07/09 15:52]  Extropia DaSilva: My Ari would be ‘bestest friend’ by now:))
[2013/07/09 15:52]  Ari (arisia.vita): I am honored
[2013/07/09 15:53]  Extropia DaSilva: hmmm…
[2013/07/09 15:53]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): Hum – tracking interaction would be a neat feature for a TPV to add.
[2013/07/09 15:53]  ArtCrash Exonar: I don’t think SL stole anything from facebook because SL was around before it.
[2013/07/09 15:54]  Extropia DaSilva: ‘Is this the best use of my time’?
[2013/07/09 15:54]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): That’s a good one, Extropia – although there’s great subjectivity in “best use”.
[2013/07/09 15:54]  ArtCrash Exonar: That is a good question to ask regularly, but the most important of all questions?
[2013/07/09 15:54]  Extropia DaSilva: ‘if this was my last day would I be doing what I am doing right now’?
[2013/07/09 15:55]  Extropia DaSilva: Is there a god?
[2013/07/09 15:55]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): “Have I killed anyone yet today?”
[2013/07/09 15:55]  ArtCrash Exonar: The god question was important to me when I was young, but I find it completely unimportant now.
[2013/07/09 15:55]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): “God” is a bad concept – how do you tell a god from an extremely advanced alien?
[2013/07/09 15:55]  Extropia DaSilva: oh? What changed your mind?
[2013/07/09 15:56]  ArtCrash Exonar: Education
[2013/07/09 15:56]  ArtCrash Exonar: haha
[2013/07/09 15:56]  Extropia DaSilva: How did that refute the ontological argument?
[2013/07/09 15:57]  ArtCrash Exonar: There is a great list out there of all the gods that someone compiled. It is amazingly long. Thousands of gods. That basically says it all for me.
[2013/07/09 15:57]  ArtCrash Exonar: The question of god does not answer the question of existence at all.
[2013/07/09 15:57]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): The opportunity cost of Pascal’s Wager, then, ArtCrash?
[2013/07/09 15:58]  ArtCrash Exonar: The opportunity cost of the Flying Spaghetti Monster more likely.
[2013/07/09 15:59]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): *chuckles* The Invisible Pink Unicorn (BBHH) is a much nicer athiest’s god.
[2013/07/09 15:59]  Extropia DaSilva: WOO-HOO my latest article just got published on H+.
[2013/07/09 15:59]  Extropia DaSilva: ..sorry. Distracted.
[2013/07/09 15:59]  ArtCrash Exonar: what is H+?
[2013/07/09 15:59]  Ari (arisia.vita): congrats Exti
[2013/07/09 15:59]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): Congrats, Extropia!
[2013/07/09 15:59]  Zobeid Zuma: I remember reading somewhere that the oldest proper noun that we have surviving record of is… Bast.
[2013/07/09 15:59]  Extropia DaSilva: Bast?
[2013/07/09 15:59]  Extropia DaSilva: What does it mean?
[2013/07/09 16:00]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): http://hplusmagazine.com/2013/07/09/web-awake/
[2013/07/09 16:00]  Zobeid Zuma: Bast. The ancient Egyptian cat goddess, remember?
[2013/07/09 16:00]  Extropia DaSilva: …no.
[2013/07/09 16:00]  Zobeid Zuma: tsk…
[2013/07/09 16:00]  ArtCrash Exonar: The Eqgyptians were latecomers in the world. Earliest would have to be Sumerian of some sort, no?
[2013/07/09 16:00]  Extropia DaSilva: Only ones I know is um..Isis and Anubis.
[2013/07/09 16:01]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): Hummmm… Aye – Gilgamesh, perhaps.
[2013/07/09 16:01]  Zobeid Zuma: Isis isn’t even an Egyptian name. It was the Greek name for Aset.
[2013/07/09 16:01]  ArtCrash Exonar: One of my SL friends is DJ Anubis… heh
[2013/07/09 16:01]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): Huh – didn’t know that, Zobeid.
[2013/07/09 16:01]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): Ah, well, she looked hot enough on Saturday Morning Cartoons for me not to give a damn.
[2013/07/09 16:01]  ArtCrash Exonar: Isn’t the Thothica person Anubis too?
[2013/07/09 16:02]  Zobeid Zuma: And apparently Anubis is the Greek name for Anapa. (I had to look that one up.)
[2013/07/09 16:02]  Extropia DaSilva: well there you go. Egyptology: not my strong point.
[2013/07/09 16:03]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): So probably many, if not most, of the commonly known names for the Egyptian pantheon are greek names.
[2013/07/09 16:03]  Zobeid Zuma: I took a course. Fascinating stuff, I recommend it. 😀
[2013/07/09 16:03]  ArtCrash Exonar: Did anyone see the Werner Herzog documentary of the 40,000 year old cave paintings? Very thought provoking. The concepts were very modern seeming.
[2013/07/09 16:03]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): Oh, indeed – I did too. Read Hesiod’s Theogany. What a *MESS* that was.
[2013/07/09 16:04]  Extropia DaSilva: I know of some very ancient cave paintings and statues which look rather like men in spacesuits.
[2013/07/09 16:04]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): Meso-American stuff, among others.
[2013/07/09 16:04]  ArtCrash Exonar: The idea that stuck with me with the cave paintings was that this was 30,000 years prior to anything we know as ‘history’. Mind boggling
[2013/07/09 16:04]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): And that tribe that knows of Sirius-B
[2013/07/09 16:05]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): History is just recorded knowledge – whether that recording is pictoral, pictographic, heiroglyphic, or polysyllabic.
[2013/07/09 16:05]  Extropia DaSilva: But if history begins with the written word and those paintings are a form of ‘written’ communication, history HAD begun when they were daubed on walls, no?
[2013/07/09 16:06]  Zobeid Zuma: I don’t think paintings count as writing.
[2013/07/09 16:06]  Extropia DaSilva: Hieroglyphs are paintings.
[2013/07/09 16:06]  ArtCrash Exonar: Well, my point is that everything that comprises culture, we see as happening more recently, when perhaps that isn’t the case.
[2013/07/09 16:06]  Zobeid Zuma: Heiroglyphs are a phonetic alphabet.
[2013/07/09 16:06]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): Why not, Zobeid – even today, we say “A picture is worth a thousand words”. You can still see the bull’s head in the capital A
[2013/07/09 16:06]  Extropia DaSilva: well…stone carvings but pictures not words.
[2013/07/09 16:07]  Zobeid Zuma: One of the reasons it took so long for scholars to figure out heiroglyphs was that they assumed “picture writing” instead of a phonetic alphabet, which it actually is.
[2013/07/09 16:08]  ArtCrash Exonar: As an artist, I studied ‘modern art’ history. I have since seen similar things in many cultures going back even to cave paintings, and re invented indepenantly many times
[2013/07/09 16:09]  Zobeid Zuma: Well, it’s all about symbolism.
[2013/07/09 16:09]  ArtCrash Exonar: I think Jung noticed this too and thought that some of this symbolic stuff was hard wired.
[2013/07/09 16:09]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): *nods* I just discovered the Symbolists – I can’t wait to find out how they relate to the Pre-Raphaelites, who they resemble to *my* eye.
[2013/07/09 16:09]  Extropia DaSilva: Is that related to Noam Chomsky’s views on language?
[2013/07/09 16:10]  Zobeid Zuma: You need symbolic thinking to get powerful and sophisticated responses from art. Which is why abstract art falls down so badly.
[2013/07/09 16:10]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): Hummm…. WHo was it that did General Semantics back in the 50s?
[2013/07/09 16:10]  ArtCrash Exonar: Abstract art succeeds well because of its ability to ‘suggest’ any imagery your brain makes of it. It is ‘poetic’ in that sense.
[2013/07/09 16:11]  Zobeid Zuma: bleh…
[2013/07/09 16:11]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): Assuming it succeeds at all, ArtCrash…
[2013/07/09 16:11]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): Modrien works for me – Pollock most assuredly *DOESN’T*.
[2013/07/09 16:11]  ArtCrash Exonar: Well, it’s my main thing, so that is how I look at it and why I love it.
[2013/07/09 16:11]  Extropia DaSilva: Someone like Alfred Korzisby? Something like that…
[2013/07/09 16:11]  Zobeid Zuma: By that standard a Rorschach test is highly successful art. :/
[2013/07/09 16:11]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): *nods* Right, Extropia
[2013/07/09 16:12]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): I just got done accessing my third-level brain.
[2013/07/09 16:12]  Zobeid Zuma: I actually like some abstract art, but I don’t expect too much from it. It’s lightweight.
[2013/07/09 16:12]  ArtCrash Exonar: Pollock if looked at closely in small bytes and pieces as he meant it to be looked at is quite different than looking at the whole. Try it sometime go look at a few square inches of a Pollock and see all the amazing iconography you will find.
[2013/07/09 16:12]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): Alfred Korzybski
[2013/07/09 16:13]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): It’s … paint splatters.
[2013/07/09 16:13]  ArtCrash Exonar: I’m serious go look and then decide.
[2013/07/09 16:14]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): Maybe – I’ll have to go find a high rez image.
[2013/07/09 16:14]  Extropia DaSilva: What Pollock and other abstract artists tried to do is to not mimick nature. It was argued by some other artist (I forger who) that you can never represent nature in a painting because nature is dynamic and the observer is selective and this is at odds with the static nature of a painting. So some artists moved to art which has nothing to do with representation and is all pure abstract.
[2013/07/09 16:14]  Ari (arisia.vita): may I say the art on the walls in this room is lovely to me
[2013/07/09 16:14]  Extropia DaSilva: Who was it who did the white square on a white background?
[2013/07/09 16:15]  Second Life: Sylfie Del Vanima (sylfie.minogue) is online.
[2013/07/09 16:15]  Ari (arisia.vita): no one will ever know Exti, he signed it in white… 🙂
[2013/07/09 16:15]  ArtCrash Exonar: That ‘pursuit of flatness’ thing was the beginning of conceptual art and was pushed by two famous critics. Greenberg and Rosenburg. It is not the aesthetic of the abstract expressionists.
[2013/07/09 16:16]  ArtCrash Exonar: Key word being expression
[2013/07/09 16:16]  Extropia DaSilva: so Art…what IS Art?
[2013/07/09 16:16]  ArtCrash Exonar: Oh I have a great definition of art
[2013/07/09 16:17]  Ari (arisia.vita): Art is the joyful reaching out of one so filled with beauty that there is not room enough in him/her to contain it.
[2013/07/09 16:17]  Zobeid Zuma: bwaha! 😀
[2013/07/09 16:17]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): Damn – Google Image Search added some new sizes to the size specification drop-down. 70MP images…
[2013/07/09 16:17]  Zobeid Zuma: Ari, you remind me of that movie about Beethoven….
[2013/07/09 16:17]  Ari (arisia.vita): ?
[2013/07/09 16:18]  Ari (arisia.vita): I hope you enjoyed it 🙂
[2013/07/09 16:18]  Zobeid Zuma: I only vaguely remember this scene, but some young man — a fan, I guess — was having a conversation with Beethoven.
[2013/07/09 16:18]  Extropia DaSilva: ‘If you cannot piss in it and it is signed and displayed in a gallery, it must be art. What else could it be’?- Marcel Duchamp, commenting on his artwork ‘urinal’.
[2013/07/09 16:19]  ArtCrash Exonar: Art is observation by a person of something that is otherwise non functional. It may be beauty, or meaning or boredom or disgust or anything. But the decision as to what art is lies with the observer.
[2013/07/09 16:19]  Zobeid Zuma: What is music? Young man says, it’s a striving towards some sort of spiritual greatness, yada yada…
[2013/07/09 16:19]  Extropia DaSilva: Oh that Beethoven. I thought you meant the movie with the St Bernard.
[2013/07/09 16:20]  ArtCrash Exonar: I encourage people to go to a famous museum and scoff at something that you don’t think should be there. That is your artistic taste at work.
[2013/07/09 16:20]  Zobeid Zuma: Beethoven says no no… If you heard a ballad it makes you feel sad. If you heard military music, it makes you want to march. It’s like hypnosis! The listener has no control over the feelings it invokes.
[2013/07/09 16:21]  Extropia DaSilva: Me points to the pink flamingo and scoffs*
[2013/07/09 16:21]  ArtCrash Exonar: haha
[2013/07/09 16:21]  Extropia DaSilva: Awww I love ALL of Scarp’s stuff!
[2013/07/09 16:21]  ArtCrash Exonar: But it’s an ironic pink flamingo!
[2013/07/09 16:22]  Extropia DaSilva: …
[2013/07/09 16:22]  Extropia DaSilva: Ok well…
[2013/07/09 16:22]  Tara Li (tarali.jie): I have to disagree with Beethoven on that.
[2013/07/09 16:22]  Ari (arisia.vita): before we run out of time…
[2013/07/09 16:22]  Ari (arisia.vita): My question is the same one Wells posed in “The Time Machine”: What does the future hold for us?
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