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Everything posted by DocWatts

  1. I would contend that questions like this are a misapplication of skepticism. We can't be %100 certain that 1+1 = 2, because we can't be %100 certain of (almost) anything. And asking for complete certainty about knowledge is not reasonable. Any sort of (relative) Truth is going to be tied to a purposeful context, and you yourself make decisions every day based on a far more reasonable threshold. As human being we use heuristics to get an innate sense of how likely something is. Obviously these will be more refined in a wise vs a foolish person and will never be completely correct in all circumstances, but any good epistemology will take into account how heavily (and mostly successfully) we use hueristics to navigate Reality. While absolute skepticism can't be refuted, it's also not helpful for understanding Reality. All it really does is bar the path of inquiry to Truth.
  2. Thanks! Also, to add a bit more context as to Putin himself; I'll preface this by saying that I'm in no way justifying the Ukraine war or the numerous human rights violations of Putin's regime. But it's helpful to understand that from the chaotic state that the country was left in during the economic freefall of the 90s, it was basically inevitable that a strong man would end up in control in that sort of survival situation. The reason that Putin's regime was able to stay in power is that he was the first post-Soviet leader to impose some actual limitations on the blatant looting of the State by Russian oligarchs and cartels, which did eventually help to stabilize the Russian economy and improve quality of life.for ordinary Russians. While Russia of course still problems with corruption of course, the days of oligarchs using the State as thier personal piggy bank were put an end to. Tldr; Putin was a direct result of the botched way that capitalism was implemented in Russia, and the rise and survival of his regime hinged using strongman tactics to stabilize a desperate economic situation.
  3. I was initially drawn here by Leo's videos on epistemology and sociology, so I'm aware of that. My point was more that Carl-Richard's breakdown between psychonautics and spirituality is a useful and clarifying distinction. Simplifications for the purposes of clarification are perfectly fine, so long as it's clear that it's a simplification in context.
  4. I'd highly recommend a book by Hubert Dreyfus called 'What Computers (Still) Can't Do', as it takes a penetrating look into the epistemic foundations of AI. He uses philosophical critique from phenomenology (a field of philosophy which analizes our direct experience) to explain why past attempts to develop a general problem solver AI were doomed to failure. And what modern attempts at AI can learn from these failures. This book won't help you learn how to code or develop algorithms, but I could see it being useful for thinking more deeply about one's overall approach to AI in a broad sense.
  5. I really like this explanation. Breaking it down to different areas of emphasis is actually quite helpful.
  6. Of course Putin is the proximate cause of the Ukraine war. But the US and Western Europe share much of the blame for the geopolitical situation that gave rise to Putin's regime, and more broadly for much of the antagonism between Russia and the West. After the Soviet Union collapsed, the US and Western Europe had an opportunity to integrate Russia into Europe and make that country into a long term ally. Had they extended the equivalent of a new Marshal Plan to help Russia ease the transition away from communism and into a market economy, Russia could have avoided the economic collapse of the 90s that led to so much suffering for ordinary Russians and resulted in that country becoming a mafia state due to the way that capitalism was implemented in Russia. To put this in context, you need to understand that the deprivation in Russia was on par with the Great Depression. And sadly the newly emerging Russian democracy that Mikhail Gorbachov fought so hard for was smothered in the cradle. Instead of a helping hand, Russia was subjected to a brutal application of economic Shock Doctrine, in which privitizarion was carried out for the benefit of multinational corporations and millionaires, with close to zero consideration given to the effects that this would have on ordinary people who suddenly found themselves without support structures.
  7. All good points. Definitely don't try to read Kant, Hegel, or Heidegger directly since they require specialized knowledge to get value out of. You'd be better off seeking out contemporary sources that can put their ideas into context. Plenty of YouTube channels and philosophy books specifically made to make these ideas accessible to non-specialists that exist.
  8. Because a large part of being conscientious and mindful person involves caring about the well being of other people, which can't be disentangled from wider societal issues, which necessitates engaging with politics. The world needs conscientious people to be politically engaged. By intentionally staying disengaged, all you're really doing is ceding power to make collective decisions to people who are going to use that power in an unmindful way.
  9. Since you mentioned that you already have some basic familiarity with philosophy, here are some of the more important Western philosphers that are worth getting at least a basic and passing familiarity with. This has less to do with them being 'right', and more to do with the fact that their ideas have been highly influential. Any history of Western philosophy will have a section on each: Plato (early idealism) Aristotle (early empiricism) Rene Descartes (rationalism and skepticism) Immanuel Kant (integration of rationalism and empiricism) Hegel (idealism and dialectics) Nietzsche (early postmodernism) Heidegger (phenomenology)
  10. I agree, and that's why we need to work towards building a society where everyone has opportunities to self actualize, live authentically, and heal from their trauma. But I also think that third wave feminism has positive aspects you're not seeing. Not forcing everyone in society (including trans and non-binary folks) to confirm to gender roles that they're not comfortable with helps those individuals live a life of dignity and authenticity. Those people are also part of the few whose experiences count.
  11. First off thanks for sharing that; it's understandable why a reasonable person would develop a shadow around aspects of SD-Green under those circumstances. But I would also suggest that our life experience, while invaluable, also bias the hell out of us, and cause us to overgeneralize. Especially if those life experiences were negative and happened at a formative time in our lives. Similiar to how a person who grew up and spent a lot of time around around highly misogynistic men might come to an untrue generalization that all men are pigs. Or that a person who grew up in an inner city ghetto with a high crime rate might develop racist attitudes and beliefs as a result of their negative experiences. From an epistemic perspective, something can be confirmation of our direct experience and still be wrong or highly partial because of our biases and limited sample size. A person who claims that most men are misogynistic assholes may be accurate to a person's limited life experience, but not generalizable to society at large. Prejudices are formed for reasons that make sense, at least from a highly limited and partial point of view, after all.
  12. @Tyler Robinson Perhaps you didn't intend it this way, but this sounds to me like a demonization of people exploring gender roles that they weren't assigned at birth. Why are you uncomfortable with some women moving into traditionally masculine roles, and more men exploring femininity? Is moving beyond gender essentialism a problem if doing so helps a person live more authentically?
  13. I'd second starting with epistemology, then branching out to whatever aspects of philosophy seem interesting to you. Ken Wilber might be a good place to start, especially if you're interested in both Western and Eastern philosophy, since he explains his epistemology in a pretty apptoachable way. George Lakoff wrote a book called 'Metaphors We Live By' that's also a good example of practical applications for epistemology. Picking up an introduction to phenomenology is also a good way to get a solid epistemic foundation. There's also a series of short books titled 'A Very Short Introduction to:' which are a good entry point to a bunch of different philosophers and concepts.
  14. Demonizing feminism may mean that you've developed a shadow around SD-Green. The core of feminism is healthy and making a positive contribution to society. The idea that feminism is primarily motivated by misandry is an emotionally engaging way to onboard alienated people into a right wing radicalization pipeline.
  15. I'll restrict myself to Hegel since I'm far less knowledgeable about Spinoza, but you make a good point. Hegel was very insightful in his criticism of Kant's transcendental idealism for bifurcating Reality into a knower and an unreachable 'thing in itself'. Implicit notions that human beings are connected to an Absolute through a Great Chain of Being have been common throughout much of human history. Hegel's contribution was to reinvigorate this idea in a society that was losing its taste for esoteric mysticism. The way he was able to do this was by thoroughly secularizing it using the tools of a rigorous process oriented method (his dialectics). So while precursors to embodiment could be extracted from implicit notions within Hegel's dialectic of the Absolute, it took until the advent of phenomology to work out the specifics of how embodiment is actually disclosed to us in our direct experience. And of course it's worth bearing in mind that we're just talking about the West specifically, as Eastern philosophers had already been exploring embodiment for thousands of years by this point.
  16. Rationality is a powerful cognitive tool that only becomes a problem when misused in a reductionist way (the same goes for empiricism). Unfortunately Western philosophy has made this mistake over and over, and it wasn't until Heidegger and later Merleau-Ponty that this epistemic error was deconstructed in a penetrating way. The fatal error of all rationalist epistemology is the mistaken assumption that the mind is disembodied (ie a detached observer), rather than being embodied and embedded in a world.
  17. Great list. Would highly recommend Hannah Arendt and John Rawls in particular.
  18. That's only true if you conflate all of the gaming industry to what the AAA studios are doing. Indie gaming is better now than it's ever been. No way that highly creative, thoughtful games like Undertale or Disco Elysium would have came out in 2009. Calling these more creative types of games needles in a haystack would be seriously overstating things. It's the equivalent of saying modern movies suck because you don't like corporatized big budget superhero movies, while ignoring the more low profile art films that are still coming out, and aren't even that rare. Nostalgia goggles just makes us think that everything was better during a formative period in our life, when that's often not the case.
  19. Because 1+1 = 2 is a clearly defined operation within an abstract formal system that operates according to strict rules, created for the express purpose of allowing humans to manipulate Reality. 1+1=2 isn't expressing any deep Truth about the nature of Reality, it's an abstraction of our experience within Reality and nothing more than that.
  20. This cartoon actually does a decent job in giving one a sense of some of Alfred North Whitehead's ideas. ( Fun fact: Whitehead actually knew Einstein, and much of Whitehead's philosophy is an attempt to integrate 20th century revolutions in science into a construct aware framework)
  21. Hello everyone.
  22. High quality 20th century Western philosophers such as Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, and Alfred North Whitehead all engaged with the problems of Western philosophy that you outline. If you're into Heidegger I'd highly suggest checking out Merleau-Ponty and Alfred North Whitehead in particular. Both do a really good job deconstructing the epistemic problems of materialist philosophy. Merleau-Ponty tackles the meaning of embodiment in a very penetrating way, and Alfred North Whitehead outlines a very sophisticated treatment of the dialectics between Being and Becoming in his process-relational philosophy. Both philosophers are very good for cultivating Construct awareness.
  23. Besides showing what a despicable human being Ron DeSantis is, this is also a good case study for how the SD-Red/Blue doesn't understand SD-Green. Tldw; DeSantis misleads and then strands migrants seeking asylum as part of a political stunt for his racist Voters, and is now being investigated for human trafficking. The hope was that the progressive community at Martha's Vineyard would show themselves to be hypocrites by reacting in the same way that Republicans would when someone needs help; slamming the door in these people's face. Apparently it didn't cross DeSantis's selfish mind that the folks over at Martha's Vineyard would go actually out of their way to help these people. On a related note, I could also mention the disturbing parallels in the contemporary far Right to attitudes common in early 1930s, when Hitler announced to the world that Germany would happily oblige other European countries that wanted to import Germany's "criminals" (ie its Jews). Which was intended to imply of course that it was hypocritical to criticize Germany's cruelty, because of the supposition that everyone else shared the Nazi's contempt for the people it was being cruel to
  24. I was curious about Spiral Dynamics after hearing someone mention it during a podcast that was about George Carlin (of all things), which led me to Leo's Spiral Dynamics series.