Fifths

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Location: Between here and there, out of time, and in love with BSoD <3

Joined Mar 20, 2012 at 09:55PM EDT


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Commented on Brownmane the Knight's wall

Read your post on the forum. I don’t believe in a hard, objective right or wrong when it comes to human conduct, but I do believe that there are objective states of mental health and sickness. In the same way that we can say that the morbidly obese smoker is less healthy than a athlete, I think we can also point out lifestyles that are less conducive to healthy functioning and the good life we all seek to enjoy.

I think you’re unhealthy, that your hedonistic perversions are just as unbalanced and harmful as the repressive Victorian attitudes towards sex you like to criticize. I’m not condemning you as a bad person, I’m just saying that I think you’d be happier if you found a way to curb your appetites as well as your misanthropic tendencies. Just speaking from personal experience, I became a lot happier when I decided to stop hating humans.

Jul 18, 2013 at 11:13AM EDT

Commented on Sonata Dusk's wall

I remember once hearing on the radio when I was young that there would be a “very rare viewing of Venus visible tonight.” and then going outside to watch for it. I thought I was witnessing such a rare and mysterious thing when I saw it.

I feel kind of…disenchanted now realizing how often Venus is visible. I mean damn, I see it every night as I’m walking home, that obnoxiously bright fuck.

Jul 17, 2013 at 10:32PM EDT

Commented on Platus' wall

This is one of my favorite movies. I think you’ll really like it if you haven’t seen it already.

Jul 17, 2013 at 11:44AM EDT

Commented on Sonata Dusk's wall

So I went to bed after a long night of studying astronomy. It was 4 in the morning by the time I eventually went to sleep, really hot, and my brain was going a million miles an hour, so it wasn’t really very good sleep. It was that kind of sleep where you’re semi-aware of your surroundings. I’m kind of a slob, so my surroundings consist of a lot of books, instruments, and plates strewn about.

Anyway, so I’m having this weird semi-sleep and I dreamt that I was the center of gravity and all the objects in my room were orbiting about me. In my haze, I kept making deductions about the objects, the eccentricity of their orbits, how the fork serving as a moon to the plate was effecting its rotation. When I woke up the next morning, still really hazy, I reached over to the nearby cup and was astounded when I discovered water in it! I had been theorizing all night whether its orbit would permit liquid water or not.

Then I drank the water.

Jul 14, 2013 at 01:54PM EDT

Commented on Platus' wall

Alright, we seem to have three arguments going on.

1: The use of language in discussing philosophy.

2: The assumption of basic beliefs, namely that humans can know the world.

3: Whether the categories of the biological sexes are naturally derived or socially construed.

I’m going to continue this via private message just so it gets less messy. I’ll get back to you some time later tonight. I do appreciate the discussion though…it’s good for me to familiarize myself with someone who isn’t steeped in the analytic tradition.

Jul 10, 2013 at 11:39AM EDT

Commented on Platus' wall

I don’t see the problem here. It doesn’t matter that you can point out individuals who fall out of the norm, it is very clear that all humans have features which are striving to meet the paradigm examples of male or female. My genitals aren’t just some entirely accidental feature, but exist to function in some capacity.

Maybe you can knit-pick about what exactly constitutes the necessary and sufficient conditions for being male or female are, but it’s manifestly obvious that the foundations for these categories comes from nature, not convention.

Jul 10, 2013 at 02:40AM EDT

Commented on Platus' wall

Well, I don’t think that really works. Texas sharpshooter fallacy is when one assumes there is a pattern at play when really the apparent pattern can be explained just by statistics. It’s not as if we just created this category for biological sex based on a set of arbitrary features that just so happen to be possessed in common by a number of separate individuals. It’s quite obvious that the separate features of biological sex function together toward some purpose, namely procreation. If an individual possesses some of the features but not all, that doesn’t discount the categories as arbitrary, it just points out a biological aberration: It’s clear from basic biology that, from a purely evolutionary standpoint, that humans have a functional design which divides them into male and female. Gender is a different story, but sex strikes me as a really hard sell.

Jul 10, 2013 at 01:56AM EDT

Commented on Platus' wall

Eh no, I don’t think that really works. I think that the shift from thinking in terms of a geocentric universe to a heliocentric universe would be an example of changing discourse as opposed to changing the underlying structure of language: We have to learn to think around commonsense beliefs like “the sun rises” and “the earth is at rest,” but the fundamental structure of language itself is untouched. Those beliefs were counter-intuitive to what the people of the time grew up believing, but they were just as easily expressed in language as was a description of the geocentric universe. The idea that language, when reduced down to its most basic, can still be flawed, that parsimony will still lead us to error, sounds much more like a problem with fundamental language as opposed to a mere objection against common discourse. I don’t think there’s any reason to express an idea in more complex terms than is necessary.

And no, it is absolutely necessary to assume that we have at least some acquaintance with the basic structure of reality. If you go about questioning that first order of comprehension, you remove your tools for ever hoping to find any kind of knowledge about anything whatsoever. You make for yourself a problem that is impossible to solve and damn yourself to a black abyss of confusion and despair. Trust me, I’ve done it.

Jul 10, 2013 at 12:51AM EDT

Commented on Platus' wall

The test for whether a thing makes sense =/= you being able to recast the sentence in synonyms. Philosophy, because it is so given to abstraction, has a bad habit to start forming these systems of thought that only have meaning in reference to themselves. I haven’t read Butler…yet…so I won’t say anything other than her stuff smells fishy to me.

Perhaps you can explain something to me about Butler because I just can’t figure out how this idea is supposed to work and I’m really curious: How is sex, not gender but biological sex, supposed to be socially constructed?

Jul 10, 2013 at 12:27AM EDT

Commented on Platus' wall

I fail to see how you can talk your way out of a problem when the problem is language itself. Let’s assume that you’re correct and the language we use to think and communicate with is fixed to find in favor of one ideology or another: The table is slanted, the game is rigged. If you really believe that on this fundamental level language is flawed, then why are you still talking? The statements you are using to dismiss our language depends on the credibility of that language to stand. You’re basically just making a longwinded version of the statement “This sentence is false.” over and over again.

I have to believe, that is I find it a necessary assumption of doing philosophy, that human beings do have some fundamental acquaintance with reality, that our language and thought is capable of depicting it, and that the search for truth is a discovery, not a construction. If I want to read fiction, I’ll read Milton or Homer.

Jul 10, 2013 at 12:04AM EDT

Commented on Platus' wall

I’m bringing this on here just to keep Pony General from morphing into philosophy general.

Now I haven’t read Judith Butler so I won’t claim expertise, but this sounds an awful lot like world salad to me dude. Beware those charlatan philosophers who claim to be profound but are really just babbling inane nonsense. A true philosopher tries to avoid the pitfalls natural to language and tries to be as clear as he possibly can; a sophist revels in those pitfalls in order to trick people out of their money.

Jul 09, 2013 at 06:51PM EDT

Commented on Sonata Dusk's wall

It’s the song that plays when you go to the observatory to look at the moon in Majora’s mask.

Jul 09, 2013 at 05:29PM EDT

Commented on Sonata Dusk's wall

Dude, is someone seriously advocating removing the Van Allen belts? Aren’t those the things that cause the Northern Lights? Who would be nuts enough to remove one of the most beautiful sights you can see on this earth just to protect a few fucking satellites?

Jul 08, 2013 at 12:23AM EDT

Commented on Sonata Dusk's wall

Oh, I’ve got three more general astronomy questions I was hoping you could help me with if I’m not becoming too much of a pain.

1: My book keeps mentioning how scientists are able to figure out the mass of a planet by observing the orbit of one of its moons and…something to do with Kepler’s third law. I’m confused, I thought Kepler’s third law merely described the relationship of an orbiting body’s ellipse and the length of its year, how could this be used to figure out the mass of the object round which it orbits?

2: I’m having trouble understanding how tides forced the moon into its current synchronous orbit with us. I understand how it’ll eventually force the earth into synchronous orbit with the moon because the tides are pushing against the continents, but that seems different from the mechanism described in my book (it said something about a tide going down and freezing in the moon’s core…or something…)

3: More on tides: I don’t understand why spring tides occur during full moon and neep tides occur during quarter moons. Shouldn’t the moon and the sun’s gravitational effect on the earth counter each other most strongly when they are on opposite sides of the planet as opposed to when they form a right angle with it?

Oh, by the way, I think I more or less get black bodies and black body curves now, so thanks for that.

Jul 07, 2013 at 11:58PM EDT

Commented on Sonata Dusk's wall

Oh…yeah that is pretty cool. I don’t know why my book didn’t mention those moons, it only talked about Titan and some geyser moon.

Jul 07, 2013 at 09:40PM EDT

Commented on Sonata Dusk's wall

I’ve just been too embarrassed to respond because I don’t know how to respond to your question about the blackbody curves…I’m still pretty confused as to just what the fuck they are and what they signify.

I got the Mercury thing though.

Also, I didn’t see what the big deal about Saturn’s moons were honestly. The Gallilean moons struck me as much more interesting. I like how Io is basically a big hunk of dough getting kneaded by gravity.

Jul 07, 2013 at 07:07PM EDT

Commented on Sonata Dusk's wall

Hey, two things I’m having trouble understanding that I was hoping you could help me with.

1: Could you explain to me the concept of a black body and black body curves? I’ve read all the stuff about it, but I just can’t seem to make it click together in my head.

2: I read something that said because Mercury has three sidereal revolutions to every two orbits it has around the sun, the day on Mercury has the sun rising, receding eastwards, and then continuing on its normal westward route. I must have been trying to figure out the geometry for this sucker for over an hour, but I just can’t make that work. Does the eccentricity of Mercury’s orbit have anything to do with it?

Jul 05, 2013 at 07:30PM EDT

Commented on Sonata Dusk's wall

Probably not. I’ll have all my science gen eds done after this summer and I really don’t have the time or money to just be throwing on extraneous classes.

Still, this class has reminded me how much I love science and has actually got me considering specializing in philosophy of science when/if I get into grad school (It’s like science without all the fieldwork. Like hell I’m going to get out of my comfy armchair when I can just make you grunts gather information for me.) If I do decide to go into that field, I’ll have to be more than just passingly acquainted with what modern science and all this quantum madness is about, so you can bet I’ll be studying astronomy and physics further then.

Jul 04, 2013 at 11:42AM EDT

Commented on Sonata Dusk's wall

So today’s astronomy lesson was about the sun and took a look at nuclear fusion in greater detail and holy fuck, that shit was so tight. It’s like fucking magic.

Anyway, something puzzled me though. If a proton gives off a particle when it is converted into a neutron, how is it that neutrons are slightly more massive than protons?

Jul 03, 2013 at 12:33PM EDT

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