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Philosophers, it turns out, can't think their way out of a paper bag.
  • Dinosaurs laid eggs. They did not lay chickens.



  • Sound is created by the displacement of air. A tree falling displaces air as it plummets towards the ground. When it makes impact, it displaces a lot of air.

    This notion that a thing isn't real unless perceived by humans is quaint, at best. It explains a lot about our relationship with the world around us.



  • If you stop pouring long enough to measure, the glass is half-full. If you stop drinking for that same purpose, it is half-empty. It is halfway to it's desitination.

    This is, of course, an approximation. Measured with enough precision, you'll always find it to be slightly over in one direction or the other. If not, wait a few minutes for evaporation and condensation to work their magic.

    That said, there's nothing inherently optimistic or pessimistic about how one views a glass of water. To someone drinking their recommended 64 ounces each day, "Half-Full" could mean discomfort, with more to come. Depends how big the glass is, and how many they've already had. We can't assume infinite thirst on the part of the observer.

    Further? MY glass contains water, Diet Coke, or whatever else I might be drinking. YOUR glass contains only cooties.



  • If you believe in an infinite God, why is it so hard to accept that there are things about him you'll never comprehend? Of course he can create a rock so heavy that even he can't lift it. And yes, he can certainly lift that rock. It's not a contradiction.

    (seriously, pick any concept out of science-fiction or fantasy. if a genuinely religious person tells you it's not possible... re-classify them as something else)



  • Yes. That dress, those pants, whatever you're holding up... They absolutely make you look fat, and I can tell you this without even looking. If it was flattering, you wouldn't have asked -- trust your instinct.
Any questions?

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
darkravine
Jun. 20th, 2005 08:09 pm (UTC)
You make my head hurt sometimes. Love that last one though :P

So ... The Dead Zone good or bad this year? I'm told that last year sucked, so just wondering.
bdbdb
Jun. 20th, 2005 10:31 pm (UTC)
Too early to tell I'd say. Last week was good. :) Walt Bannerman=yummy!
technomonkey
Jun. 20th, 2005 11:37 pm (UTC)
Last year
I'm 1/3 through Season 3, and am enjoying it so far. Perhaps less cohesive on what it wants to be than prior years, but still good.

Two discs to go before I can start on the TiVO'ed Season 4 episodes....
self
Jun. 21st, 2005 09:49 am (UTC)
Dead Zone
My theory is that any show, whether intensely good or intensely bad, loses it's intensity when you take suspense out of the equation. You don't have to wait for new episodes, you don't have to wait for what's coming after the commercial; it's not going to thrill or disappoint nearly as much.

But, yes. 3rd season sucked. 4th season redeems itself very quickly, and seems to remember who the characters are again. (Nobody makes you want to claw your eyes out when they walk onscreen anymore...)
_allolex
Jun. 22nd, 2005 06:12 pm (UTC)
Nits and Kudos

Words that involve human senses tend to me anthropocentric. "Sound" is something perceived by humans because of our sensitivity to the crowding of air molecules. (The fact that other creatures perceive things similarly is not really relevant.) If we didn't have this perception, we'd understand things differently. For example, "stuffy" is the perceived lack of oxygen (not air) in an enclosed space. What if we, like plants, respirated carbon dioxide?


Same goes for human inventions like gods. Would an entity with all of this supposed power and "infiniteness" really care about my opinion? Would it care what I did? (Notice how I carefully cover the dominant Judeo-Christian paradigms with these two questions?)


What do you have with a contextless glass at the 50% mark?


Totally agree with the pants remark.


self
Jun. 22nd, 2005 06:49 pm (UTC)
each point in turn
The tendency is as you describe, but as much as it's correct from an observational standpoint, I'd argue that it's wrong from an ethical one.

I mean, if a tree falls in your living room and no one's around to hear it, I can agree. But this is always described as happening in a forest, so the indigenous life forms are extremely relevant. They're the crux of the issue.

Let's put it another way. If a tree falls in a forest which happens to be densely populated with deaf people, and every single one of them stands witness to the event, does it make a sound?

To even consider the question implies that they're not really human. Which, granted, my hypothetical forest creatures aren't. But, that's still the level where this bothers me. Both groups are as real as we are, and every bit as worthy of consideration. To believe otherwise is to... be part of our culture.

-----

That's where the word "if" comes into play. I happen to agree with you, but you're arguing a different point.

-----

An imaginary construct. Also? Cooties.

-----

It's so true.
_allolex
Jun. 23rd, 2005 10:32 am (UTC)
Re: each point in turn
We could keep going like this for days! I like the deaf scenario. We, as hearing people, have trouble thinking in terms beyond our ears. I think to a deaf person, it would be not so much "sound" as "vibration". In Bloomfieldian terms, we could reduce this arguement to "is the presence of a human relevant to the displacement of air molecules by a falling tree?" Bloomfield wasn't right about much, but I think this logic works.
_allolex
Jun. 24th, 2005 09:22 am (UTC)
Re: each point in turn
isotripy
Jul. 27th, 2005 04:36 am (UTC)
yeah I've always agreed with the first one, what is a sound - its vibrations through air, it doesn't matter if someone hears it!
BTW will you add me?
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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