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post #121 of 150

All three of us feel the same way about eugenics, we've just ironed out a lot of terms and our disagreements are clearly just trivial things.

 

I'll just answer the OP's question of why people don't just trust in science. The reason people don't settle for the standard explanations given by science or religion is because they think there's something more to existence than that. They might explore deep into religion or science or fringe fields beyond the standard, guess and hypothesize and maybe discover new truths, etc. But all advances and discoveries begin with the ability to say "I don't believe it". There's many people in science and religion who tell you not to question sacred cows, and that's not a virtue like the article the OP linked suggests, instead it is like having your mind trapped in a box, and not good for human progress.

post #122 of 150

And what exactly does Eugenics have to do with Sound Science? 

 

Well, unless we're talking about engineering a superior race of headphone listeners with perfect hearing.  Now that would be interesting.  

 

post #123 of 150

My thoughts exactly. You'd think a topic derailed on post 4 would be closed, but I guess views are more important to a site which has become entirely about advertising and profit.

There is a politics subforum for people who like giving amateur history/philosophy lessons to strangers on the internet. This thread was obviously meant to be a satiric jab at the typical arguments given in this forum, and in glorious irony, or perhaps appropriateness (I can't tell which), it's been ignored in favour of pedantic rambling about eugenics. Curse you, internet.

post #124 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edwood View Post

And what exactly does Eugenics have to do with Sound Science? 

 

Well, unless we're talking about engineering a superior race of headphone listeners with perfect hearing.  Now that would be interesting.  

 


Well, I am sorry to say that I was the one who opened that can of worms. It was just used as a (small) example in argumentation. Not very wisely chosen it seems, since the example took on a life of its own...

 

However much I am against eugenics, I actually think the superior race of headphone listeners sounds interesting!

post #125 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef View Post

My thoughts exactly. You'd think a topic derailed on post 4 would be closed, but I guess views are more important to a site which has become entirely about advertising and profit.

There is a politics subforum for people who like giving amateur history/philosophy lessons to strangers on the internet. This thread was obviously meant to be a satiric jab at the typical arguments given in this forum, and in glorious irony, or perhaps appropriateness (I can't tell which), it's been ignored in favour of pedantic rambling about eugenics. Curse you, internet.


I wonder why this thread was not moved to that politics subforum. You mean here on Head-fi? I have just looked and not found anything.

 

I felt that the original post was a bit satiric-bordering-to-sarcastic. In my attempt to show that science cannot always be trusted, I opened a can of worms. However, the discussion on the whole was interesting, albeit not being even remotely connected to sound science.

While I enjoy using analogies, I must learn to choose them more wisely...

post #126 of 150

Without understanding history you are doomed to repeat it. Just like eugenicists in the past had no ethical foundation for the pursuit knowledge, people today seek knowledge without knowing why, and accumulate gratuitous knowledge. This is related to sound science because a lot of people like to accuse every subjective experience of placebo. They don't question why they do it, and they don't see how fruitless it is to argue that way, and most tragically, they don't see how they are trying to shut people's minds from scientific inquiry. But what they say does have a function, and it's usually just to piss off or make sad people who believe in cables. It's like an artist who subconsciously gravitates towards drawing very morbid pictures because he does not consciously try to make his paintings capable of imparting new ways of seeing things or a sense of joy. And so it goes with all fields, people unconsciously create knowledge which makes us feel dead and depressed, and reinforce divisiveness, between nations, religions, individuals, etc.

post #127 of 150

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by haloxt View Post

Without understanding history you are doomed to repeat it. Just like eugenicists in the past had no ethical foundation for the pursuit knowledge, people today seek knowledge without knowing why, and accumulate gratuitous knowledge. This is related to sound science because a lot of people like to accuse every subjective experience of placebo. They don't question why they do it, and they don't see how fruitless it is to argue that way, and most tragically, they don't see how they are trying to shut people's minds from scientific inquiry. But what they say does have a function, and it's usually just to piss off or make sad people who believe in cables. It's like an artist who subconsciously gravitates towards drawing very morbid pictures because he does not consciously try to make his paintings capable of imparting new ways of seeing things or a sense of joy. And so it goes with all fields, people unconsciously create knowledge which makes us feel dead and depressed, and reinforce divisiveness, between nations, religions, individuals, etc.


The part I highlighted, makes for a nice retort to the OP's post.

 

One fundamental argument for another.  An impasse is created and usually the truth is somewhere down the middle.

 

There are those here who show sympathy for those swayed so easily by what they perceive.  In the same way, I have profound sympathy for those who blindly follow scientific theory and who choose not to make their own conclusions based on their own analysis of their own observations as well as the scientific evidence, not necessarily conclusions by scientists based on evidence garnered through their own experiments.  Scientists do their experiments and this is hugely valuable to us.  However, their methodology and the conclusions they come up with aren't by any means above reproach.  One way we see potential fault in the conclusions made is when they go against what we personally observe.  It's this suspicion that provides the motivation for scientific inquiry, clarity and consistence, and this is very sadly shunned here.  


Edited by aimlink - 5/31/10 at 8:02am
post #128 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef View Post

My thoughts exactly. You'd think a topic derailed on post 4 would be closed, but I guess views are more important to a site which has become entirely about advertising and profit.

There is a politics subforum for people who like giving amateur history/philosophy lessons to strangers on the internet. This thread was obviously meant to be a satiric jab at the typical arguments given in this forum, and in glorious irony, or perhaps appropriateness (I can't tell which), it's been ignored in favour of pedantic rambling about eugenics. Curse you, internet.


Someone's bitter and defensive...

post #129 of 150

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Danneq View Post


I remember something about experiments with infants which seemed to indicate that already at that tender age we have a sense of aesthetic appreciation. So it seems to be hardwired in our DNA.

However, I feel that Existentialism (being from Sweden, I prefer that name to Pragmatism) fails to focus on what creates our concept of the world - language. Without language and the level of abstraction we can attain through it, I cannot see it possible to do anything but lead a basic existence. But mankind does so much more than this besides basically being an animal.

 

I found an interesting parallel between Ludwig Wittgenstein and Laozi (Lao Tsu), the mythical figure who supposedly created taoism who supposedly lived in the 6th century BC. I find them both very interesting since they both talk about language itself. We take it for granted that language is an exact tool, but it is really very vague and has no connection with what can be called a "reality". Unfortunately I cannot see our intellect being able to work without the use of language.

Wittgenstein thought that language works when it comes to a strictly practical level, but as soon as we come into the realm of abstract concepts ("truth" and so on), we are lost. His solution in the preface of his work Tractatus is simply this:

 

 

It is fascinating to me that is basically mirrors what Laozi wrote about 2500 years earlier in Tao te ching:

 

 

and

 

 

 

Laozi points out that language and our thoughts functions through opposites.

Now, this is a modern translation of a 2500 year old Chinese work, so we are again faced with the inexactness that language gives us.

 

I write this since my impression is that this thread is basically just a matter of different people using abstractions as something absolute. While people think they are discussing actual things they are just arguing about the words and concepts themselves.

Our thoughts are chained to our language...

 

I strongly disagree with this statement. It's not that existentialism fails to recognize that language shapes existence, it's rather that it believes that experience, not existence shapes existence. I think Lao Tsu agrees with this point as well, in that he states that "the tao that can be spoken of is not the eternal tao."

 

Language cannot express absolute truth. I think that in this sense, Lao Tsu is more in concordance with existentialism than with a linguistic view. This does not mean that human are no different than animals. It just means that this difference is not linguistic.

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by aimlink View Post

 


The part I highlighted, makes for a nice retort to the OP's post.

 

One fundamental argument for another.  An impasse is created and usually the truth is somewhere down the middle.

 

There are those here who show sympathy for those swayed so easily by what they perceive. One way we see potential fault in the conclusions made is when they go against what we personally observe.  It's this suspicion that provides the motivation for scientific inquiry, clarity and consistence, and this is very sadly shunned here.  

 

Except most "experientialists" on this site are not really willing to think critically about their experience. That is, to determine if what they are experiencing is true. For example, through dbt. 


Edited by Antony6555 - 5/31/10 at 8:57am
post #130 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Antony6555 View Post

 

Except most "experientialists" on this site are not really willing to think critically about their experience. That is, to determine if what they are experiencing is true. For example, through dbt. 

 

I have a feeling that you'll accept critical thinking as having been carried out when the outcome is that they conclude that the dbt's have uncovered the truth on the matter? 

 

Does this have to be the case all the time, i.e., that they are 'experientialists'?

post #131 of 150


I hate the new quote system. Regardless, I have no clue why "experientialists" should have a problem with dbt. It does not ask you to reduce sound (or your experience of the sound) to a graph (quantify it). All it asks you is to demonstrate that you actually hear a difference. It does not require you to hold a scientific viewpoint. I'm not an advocate of the "science can explain everything viewpoint." But all dbt asks us to be is rational at a basic level. Without the basic level of rationality, the hobby devolves into showing-off toys (and one's ability to spend money).

Quote:
Originally Posted by aimlink View Post

 

 

I have a feeling that you'll accept critical thinking as having been carried out when the outcome is that they conclude that the dbt's have uncovered the truth on the matter? 

 

Does this have to be the case all the time, i.e., that they are 'experientialists'?


Edited by Antony6555 - 5/31/10 at 9:59pm
post #132 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by aimlink View Post

Scientists do their experiments and this is hugely valuable to us.  However, their methodology and the conclusions they come up with aren't by any means above reproach.  One way we see potential fault in the conclusions made is when they go against what we personally observe.  It's this suspicion that provides the motivation for scientific inquiry, clarity and consistence, and this is very sadly shunned here.  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by aimlink View Post

I have a feeling that you'll accept critical thinking as having been carried out when the outcome is that they conclude that the dbt's have uncovered the truth on the matter? 

 

Does this have to be the case all the time, i.e., that they are 'experientialists'?


You understand the point of dbt, yes?
 
differential experience - sighted expectaion = differential experience: external effects are real
differential experience - sighted expectation = identical experience: external effects are not real
 
The point is to isolate effects 'in the head' from those 'in the world'.  It's the only accepted method for showing effects are real in medicine because people's lives depend on it.  It is done because effects of expectation and multimodal integration are powerful and real, because the brain by its very design must integrate both prior and sensory sources of information to inductively infer events of an external world.
 
This recognition of human cognitive processes and the ability to control for their effects and isolate the multiple sources of conscious form, and to evaluate external efficacy in a methodologically controlled fashion are to me the very definition of 'critical thinking', 'scientific inquiry, clarity and consistence'

Edited by eucariote - 5/31/10 at 10:04pm
post #133 of 150

@Anthony 6555

Quote:

I strongly disagree with this statement. It's not that existentialism fails to recognize that language shapes existence, it's rather that it believes that experience, not existence shapes existence. I think Lao Tsu agrees with this point as well, in that he states that "the tao that can be spoken of is not the eternal tao."

 

Language cannot express absolute truth. I think that in this sense, Lao Tsu is more in concordance with existentialism than with a linguistic view. This does not mean that human are no different than animals. It just means that this difference is not linguistic.

 

Well, actually (the younger) Wittgenstein, who's basic philosophical stance I see as being close to Lao Tsu, came to a similar conclusion as Lao Tsu in his Tractatus. Well, I have not studied Existentialism too much, just a bit in Philosophy and History of ideas classes about 10 years ago.

I would say that Wittgenstein differs from other language philosophers in that he sees how limited language is and draws the conclusion that it can only be used on tangible things. Matters such as absolute truth cannot be discussed as they are meaningless.

So I think it goes well with Lao Tsu.

 

I do not really understand how existence can shape existence. You need not clarify since this thread has run its course. I was talking from a human perspective and we need to understand existence to be able to handle it in some way. That existence shapes existence sounds to me like a very "zen" way of seeing things. More of an ideal than practice for people. It seems like what Lao Tsu were striving for, but the people around him were confused by the five colors and sounds and what else. I suggested that we have a way of handling existence and that is shaped by the "categories" in our mind. A sort of system for making the world easier to understand and handle. And that is where language comes into play...

post #134 of 150

I can see how at least at some level what they are saying is similar. That is, both seem to agree that language cannot express absolute truth. However, Lao Tsu does seem to believe in an absolute truth, just one that cannot be expressed. Wittgenstein, from his linguistic perspective, views anything that cannot be expressed as non-existent. This is my problem with this view-just because something cannot be expressed (has no linguistic form) does not mean it does not exist.

 

To the second part of your statement, I think that language essentially provides what you describe: a way of organizing meaning, or of organizing information. The problem is, language actually has the tendency to distort our ability to perceive things correctly. Neitzche, for example, noted that language was primarily shaped by utilitarian and social concerns. That is, language serves primarily practical and social concerns-those concerns that are related to daily life. Language is not, and has never been, designed to represent truth objectively. That is why Lao Tsu, I think, emphasizes moving away from a linguistic understanding of existence.

 

I wouldn't claim that existence shapes existence. Rather, from a Taoist perspective, existence just IS. It's simply an inherent part of reality.

 

By the way, you are probably the only head-fi member I've heard who has really studied philosophy, I'm surprised. I am actually a philosophy major in college too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Danneq View Post

@Anthony 6555

 

Well, actually (the younger) Wittgenstein, who's basic philosophical stance I see as being close to Lao Tsu, came to a similar conclusion as Lao Tsu in his Tractatus. Well, I have not studied Existentialism too much, just a bit in Philosophy and History of ideas classes about 10 years ago.

I would say that Wittgenstein differs from other language philosophers in that he sees how limited language is and draws the conclusion that it can only be used on tangible things. Matters such as absolute truth cannot be discussed as they are meaningless.

So I think it goes well with Lao Tsu.

 

I do not really understand how existence can shape existence. You need not clarify since this thread has run its course. I was talking from a human perspective and we need to understand existence to be able to handle it in some way. That existence shapes existence sounds to me like a very "zen" way of seeing things. More of an ideal than practice for people. It seems like what Lao Tsu were striving for, but the people around him were confused by the five colors and sounds and what else. I suggested that we have a way of handling existence and that is shaped by the "categories" in our mind. A sort of system for making the world easier to understand and handle. And that is where language comes into play...


Edited by Antony6555 - 6/1/10 at 12:11am
post #135 of 150

Well, you cannot get any disagreement from me. Only in the one small interpretation of Wittgenstein. He did not say it out loud, but my interpretation of him is that he does not exclude the possibility of an absolute truth. It is just that language is too imprecise a tool for us to even be talking about something like that. If it cannot be brought down to a concrete level, it is best to skip it all together. So one can also see how Wittgenstein's unwillingness to discuss abstract concepts such as truth has its basis in a insight similar to what Nietzche's view on language.
It might not be a correct interpretation of Wittgenstein and perhaps I am more projecting my own thoughts on to him.

 

I do believe in absolute truth in the meaning of an absolute reality. However I do not believe that man ever reach that, except for perhaps an inexact approximation of what might be reasonable according to either science or just agreement. Our senses and our intellect (which language is a part of) is the main obstacle in my view. So for me it is no point in striving toward an absolute truth since we wouldn't know it even if we were hit by it in the head...

I certainly do agree that language can distort our ability to perceive things correctly. In my view, after I got this thread to go down the drain by using Eugenics as an example of unscientific science (based on value judgments), there was a lot of discussion about "truth" and a lot of people seemed to have different definitions. In all quite an interesting read even if it does not have much to do with sound science...

 

I do like Lao Tsu's view that if you stop struggling to understand reality and just let go, you will get an intuitive understanding. Too bad that it does not work too well when you are tied up by duties in society. He (if he was a real person) fled into nature to be able to write Tao te ching...

 

Well, there are other people than techies here. There are others here who studied philosophy but did not like it very much. I majored in Anthropology and minored in Practical Philosophy as it is called in Sweden. It deals with moral philosophy.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Antony6555 View Post

I can see how at least at some level what they are saying is similar. That is, both seem to agree that language cannot express absolute truth. However, Lao Tsu does seem to believe in an absolute truth, just one that cannot be expressed. Wittgenstein, from his linguistic perspective, views anything that cannot be expressed as non-existent. This is my problem with this view-just because something cannot be expressed (has no linguistic form) does not mean it does not exist.

 

To the second part of your statement, I think that language essentially provides what you describe: a way of organizing meaning, or of organizing information. The problem is, language actually has the tendency to distort our ability to perceive things correctly. Neitzche, for example, noted that language was primarily shaped by utilitarian and social concerns. That is, language serves primarily practical and social concerns-those concerns that are related to daily life. Language is not, and has never been, designed to represent truth objectively. That is why Lao Tsu, I think, emphasizes moving away from a linguistic understanding of existence.

 

I wouldn't claim that existence shapes existence. Rather, from a Taoist perspective, existence just IS. It's simply an inherent part of reality.

 

By the way, you are probably the only head-fi member I've heard who has really studied philosophy, I'm surprised. I am actually a philosophy major in college too.


 


 

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