Sunday, March 08, 2009

The Digital Pack-Rat, Vol. 13

Lucky thirteen! A fairly large one today, too--I have let this get away from me.

I'll start with one posted on Evolving Thoughts, (and later posted as a comment in the Dennett thread), commenting on the arguments regarding consciousness. Worth reading the original, BTW, and the comments.

It seems to me philosophers have somewhat been seduced
By the metaphor of storage, and conclusions it implies.
The self, itself, it promises, is something that’s produced
Via information transfer in that blob behind our eyes.
All too often this assumption underlies their exploration;
The conclusions that it leads to seem a normal path to follow
But inherent in the metaphor is one sort of explanation;
By removing those assumptions, it’s a tougher bite to swallow.
If the structure of the person helps to form what’s introspected
(And the social and environmental atmosphere as well)
Then feelings, thoughts, or memories just cannot be dissected
From the person as a whole, as information one could tell.
“Ah, but that’s just further information”, I have seen in practice,
When I try this explanation—and I want to pull my hair—
You could stuff it in, of course, but it’s like sitting on a cactus:
Just because it can be sat on, doesn’t mean the thing’s a chair.

Next, a short little verse inspired by George Will's habit of making shit up:

Republicans observe the news
And don't like what they're seeing;
They dream up facts to fit their views,
Then Will them into being.

A poll gets pharyngulated, and all the votes coming from PZ's link get deleted. Too bad, because I know more on the topic than the author of the poll does. Guaranteed.

I'd wager I've read much much more on such topics
Than he has, and yet he deleted my vote!
With evidence rarer than snow in the tropics
The chances of life after death are ... remote.
But out with the bath-water, there goes the baby,
Throw out the bad votes and good votes as one:
The lesson that's there to be learned is that maybe
An internet poll should be nothing but fun.

A little musing on the topic of spirituality--all the benefits of religion, without the actual social part of getting together with your fellow humans:

I'm spiritual, but not religious;
egotistical, not prestigious;
belligerent, but not litigious;
deviant, but not prodigious.

Take the extreme, remove the part
that shows I have a working heart;
Whatever's left is what I am,
Because I do not give a damn.

The benefit, but not the cost
Is mine--if something might be lost,
It's paid by others, not by me--
Three cheers for sociopathy!

Ack! The real world beckons! I guess there will be a volume 14 up very soon, but this one gets cut off prematurely.

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