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Mushrooms can communicate with each other


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#21 shiftingshadows

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Posted 01 May 2022 - 12:17 PM

There are now humanoid robots that are much more agile than humans, & which have better balance.
AI beats humans at chess and Go, just for starters.
Scientists argue about wether viruses are alive; and evolution would not have proceeded as it has, (and will), without them.
Both chimpanzees and humans eat other intelligent species.
The Chimps hunt other monkeys, and humans eat octopi.
And no mass can reach light speed, and astronomical distances are unimaginable, making 'contact' pretty much a joke.
And humans mistreat most animals they consume, which has become even more extreme with every advance in technology.
And most human communication is shall we charitably say, as Hitchen's might have said, 'rather uninspiring'.
And let's not forget about half of all animal species are parasites, large carnivores often being eating their prey before it is dead, and insects routinely lay eggs inside of living paralyzed prey so that their off spring can eat them from the inside.
It seems to me the Disneyesque and Christianesque idea that all life is special and sacred is rather naive.
About human war, torture, slavery, etc for thousands of years, a reminder should suffice.
Like wise for the fact that most life forms, most of the time are engaged in competitive struggles.

All of which leads me to wonder what so many humans think is so important, about the possibility of 'aliens'.
And to to wonder what miracle we think will happen if we discover a few new facts about how other organisms communicate.

Considering how humans treat each other, I doubt that if it were proven that cows knew they were being raised for "meat consumption" (incidentally a polite euphemism ) and were therefore often afraid, that it would stop, meat eaters.

I doubt the major organized religions, and their believers, will 'change their spots', whether evidence of life on mars, etc., is found or not.

I enjoy science, but doubt its ability to address, the issues that are at the core, of the universal problems of human suffering.

Edited by shiftingshadows, 01 May 2022 - 01:01 PM.

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#22 TVCasualty

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Posted 02 May 2022 - 08:54 PM

Well as they say, "That's life!"

 

Maybe all this life/consciousness stuff only works the way it is?

 

Evolution has had plenty of time to adopt another approach to life, but there have been none that outcompeted the one we embody (yet; it's still a work in progress and we only just got here, relatively speaking).

 

Besides, if not for all the death, depredation, and (what is perceived to be) suffering that appears to be an apparently-inevitable consequence of being alive and possessing awareness then Earth would not be Earth, it would just be a big wet space rock that nobody ever heard of. Possibly with a lot bacteria and other microbes, but not much else.

 

 

 

All of which leads me to wonder what so many humans think is so important, about the possibility of 'aliens'.
And to to wonder what miracle we think will happen if we discover a few new facts about how other organisms communicate.

 

 

Watching the Lex podcasts featuring Dr. Walker (she's been in two) offer some compelling answers to why it can be useful and productive to think about alien life, and what it can teach and reveal to us (about ourselves, the Universe, technology, etc.).

 

It ties in with the brand new and still-evolving Assembly Theory (first proposed by Lee Cronin), which IMO has the potential to become as powerful and enlightening in our understanding of reality as Chaos Theory.

 

I suspect that a synthesis of the two Theories will be as significant as Relativity in terms of helping us understand reality and existence, if not more so.

 

In her case thinking about alien life even results in a career, which is pretty cool IMO. Nobody pays ME to think about aliens (etc.) so I'm jealous, but money isn't everything. Some people collect stamps, and love it. We gotta pass the time somehow, after all.

 

But more importantly unexpected, counter-intuitive, or previously unimaginable discoveries (not so much miracles) can revolutionize our scientific and technological knowledge and understanding, but we won't discover anything if we're not out looking. So where do we look?

 

Just like with search engine rabbit holes, it's common in science to look for one thing and end up finding something else that we did not expect, or even conceive of looking for.

 

That's how we got penicillin, microwave ovens, Corn Flakes, quinine, X-rays, LSD, and a bunch of other arguably-useful/enjoyable stuff. The space program is ironically a major source of handy stuff we use "down" here on the ground that has nothing to do with space exploration, so funding it has paid off well in terms of the tech it spawned. Seems a better use of funds than making nuclear missiles (etc.), at least.

 

 

I enjoy science, but doubt its ability to address, the issues that are at the core, of the universal problems of human suffering.

 

 

 

Dr. Walker addresses this very concern, which is one reason I've become a fan (she is also really, really smart). She and Cronin are helping steer science in a fascinating new direction. With testable hypotheses and predictions too, so it's the real deal.

 

IMO the usefulness of science depends on what it is focused on, largely determined now by who controls the funding.

 

If society could come together for a "Moon shot" level of collective, cooperative effort at understanding consciousness and how to enhance it the benefits may well include learning how to eliminate, or at least minimize pain and suffering for all conscious life forms.

 

By "enhancing" consciousness I tentatively mean cultivating a greater awareness of the external world that is integrated into a rational framework of interpretation (of that data combined with our thoughts and memories in general) based on logic and critical thinking (but that does not reflexively reject intuitive leaps) that is focused on meaningfully correlating the content of our minds. That's a rough draft of the idea.

 

 

Then again, if we give our consciousness a major upgrade it may reveal to us that the pain and suffering we eliminated turned out to serve critical functions in the development (and resilience) of advanced life forms (such as us). The podcast addresses this, too.

 

So eliminating pain and suffering is probably not possible in any real, meaningful sense without also eliminating higher forms of life altogether. Or entropy, but that's probably even harder to eliminate than pain.

 

Or in other words it's ALL part of the fun. Even the parts that really suck; without them we wouldn't even be here at all.

 

 

 

 

 


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#23 shiftingshadows

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Posted 03 May 2022 - 03:07 PM

Of course sometimes I enjoy the role of 'the devil's advocate',

which is often useful because it challenges assumptions that are taken for granted,

which may actually just be abstractions that are questionable.

 

Ecology challenges the whole notion that there are separate organisms.

At the simplest & most obvious level, without plants there would be no animals (on earth).

 

And somewhat  more "recently" 4 discoveries, further drive home the point that there are NO separate organisms.:

1) mitocondria

2) the microbiome

3) horizontal gene transfer

4) a virus made the placenta possible.

 

We have no real in depth understanding of the roots of thought itself.

We have only a beginning understanding of the how the the microbiome affects the brain.

We have only a beginning understanding of the how our organs, cells, and brain communicate with each other.

 

Of course it is fascinating that some plants can warn each other of insect infestations,

and that when one gets a little more intelligence, "going up the evolutionary scale",

one finds first deception, and then lying a little further up.

squirrels-pretend-to-bury-nuts:

https://outdoors.sta...s-in-the-ground

 

So yes, I enjoy, learning about, communication among life forms;

but I expect the fascination with "aliens", and life on other planets,

says more about the searchers. than it does about the possibilities.

 

I expect "The Drake equation" leaves out a lot of factors, that would lead to many further improbabilities.

such as:

1) without an asteroid strike, there would never have been a chance for mammals to become dominant.

2) actually 5 Major Mass Extinction events

3) life may have begun in undersea hydrothermal vents

4) plants and fungi 'fused' to form lichens, which 'ate' rocks. to form soil, which made large plants which created oxygen to make animals possible.

 

There are so many linked chains of improbable events, that placing hope and emotion, on discovering (intelligent) life else where,

when every day most folks make a miserable job of it, seems to me amusing.

The same goes for placing hope and emotion, on the mushrooms talking,

and us learning important secrets, from charts of their electric impulses.

 

Mostly we already have an idea as to what we need to, or should do,

and engage in a mix of, procrastination, self deception, avoidance, acting out,

and in general anything to avoid to dealing with the real issues.

How do I know?

Because I have a mirror.

 

At the moment, a final point, I just recently learned more about about are the Bonobos.

Unfortunately we are much more like the more violent and aggressive Chimpanzees;

than the sexier and happier Bonobos. Seems like we took 'a wrong turn', long ago.

 

"Demonic Males: Apes and the Origins of Human Violence"

by Dale Peterson  (Author), Richard Wrangham (Author)"

 

If I wrote a science fiction novel, in which aliens were contacted,

once they saw and observed us they they would be unable to stop laughing.

...and we would be Unable to get anything out of them...

 

Or a science fiction novel, in which dolphins were understood,

and they they too. would be found to be secretly laughing at us.

 

After all, world wide, all very young children, laugh at all the "adults", already...


Edited by shiftingshadows, 03 May 2022 - 03:16 PM.


#24 TVCasualty

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Posted 06 May 2022 - 11:00 AM

There are so many linked chains of improbable events, that placing hope and emotion, on discovering (intelligent) life else where,

when every day most folks make a miserable job of it, seems to me amusing.

The same goes for placing hope and emotion, on the mushrooms talking,

and us learning important secrets, from charts of their electric impulses.

 

 

That chain of improbable events might be the story of how we got to where we're at on Earth, but thanks to things like convergent evolution and the presence of all of the building blocks of DNA being found on meteorites it seems to me that life is probably present throughout the Universe wherever it can exist.

 

One of Dr. Walker's points is that we really don't know the boundary conditions of life yet, which makes both looking for it and knowing when we find it potentially much more difficult than is often appreciated.

 

Convergent evolution reveals multiple independent paths to the same complex traits (e.g., eyes), so it's not unreasonable to extend this to the existence of life itself. All the things that happened to life forms on Earth shaped the creatures that evolved on Earth, but that really doesn't tell us anything about anywhere else since our understanding of life in the Universe only has a single data point which is not enough to extrapolate very much from.

 

 

And I don't know if it was mushrooms talking or mushrooms inspiring other stuff in my head to start talking, but what was said to me after I ate 7 grams of them changed everything (that mattered) for me, permanently. The insights they gave didn't come from analyzing brain imaging data; the mysteries of consciousness and self-awareness are still mysteries.


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#25 shiftingshadows

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Posted 06 May 2022 - 01:02 PM

Yes there is more we don't know than what we do know.

As regards: "And I don't know if it was mushrooms talking or mushrooms inspiring other stuff in my head to start talking, but what was said to me after I ate 7 grams of them changed everything (that mattered) for me, permanently."

2 points come to mind:

1) Mushrooms or mycelium 'talking' to each other would seem different from, what psilocybin (etc.) does within the human brain.

An analogy would be if coffee plants communicated to each other (either through their roots or scents in the air) about pests,
so that the other plants could make chemicals, the bugs don't like, which would be very different from, the buzz we get when we drink it.
(I saw a documentary about bushes in Africa that do this, but the message was about deer not insects)

2) Some people have had their lives changed by LSD which is not alive, and probably for some, the changes partly came, or seemed to come, from messages.

- - - - - - -

. My point about the interconnectedness of life, is that if we can't exist without plants, and plants can't exist without pollinators, and so on, all the way down into our cells which are a symbiosis of bacteria (the mitochondria) and the rest of the mammal cell, is that it makes the question, of its occurring elsewhere in a similar form, even more unlikely.
. And it would also seem to make the question of what is life? even more complex.

- - - - -

. What I found very surprising, was the relatively new understandings of cells at the nano-scale. I had always thought of life as wet, as protoplasm, (except for the mysteries of seeds)...
until seeing videos like these, perhaps a few years ago. Again what we don't know is much greater than what we do know.

[Direct Link]



[Direct Link]



[Direct Link]

 

- - - - - - -

- - - - - - -
 
Jared Rutter (U. Utah, HHMI) 1: Mitochondria: The Mysterious Cellular Parasite
 
at 3 minutes in he gets to Mitochondrial origins
 
 
- - - - - - 
 
microbiome & brain
 
 
- - - - - - -
 
How many bacteria vs human cells are in the body?
 
Your Very Special Bacterial Cloud
- - - - - 
How the placenta evolved from an ancient virus
 
 
 
- - - - - - 
 
some of our less gross companions
 

Edited by shiftingshadows, 06 May 2022 - 01:34 PM.


#26 shiftingshadows

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Posted 07 May 2022 - 04:14 PM

"(I saw a documentary about bushes in Africa that do this, but the message was about deer not insects)"

 

here's one where elephants are the problem for the trees

 

[Direct Link]



#27 Moonless

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Posted 10 May 2022 - 08:19 PM

Hey shiftingshadows,

 

After reading the entire post it seems like you and Skye actually have a similar cosmology/world view/ claim on life being extremely interconnected. I know you probably didn't mean it but it was kind of a put down when you told him it's easy to talk about beauty when your life isn't in agony. You don't know what they've gone through and even if you do this is not the place to lay it out and make value judgements on it. When you write I can clearly see a web of life, even your claim about carnivores and parasites proves that. Even with much of interconnection between life forms seemingly nasty and grotesque to you it is still cyclic. Please remember that interconnection is not happy, but it is a neutral thing.

 

When you look at nature as an arms race where it is every man for himself you are missing the clear facts, which you yourself have stated, that things work and bleed into each other at many levels. Even the carnivores who devour their prey and the parasites who suck away life from their host play the game with the same rules. No debt is unpaid, life eats life, and the cycle continues.


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#28 shiftingshadows

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Posted 10 May 2022 - 09:22 PM

When you say:

" I know you probably didn't mean it but it was kind of a put down when you told him it's easy to talk about beauty when your life isn't in agony. You don't know what they've gone through and even if you do this is not the place to lay it out and make value judgements on it."-- in regards to my post of: 09 April 2022 - 08:44 AM; ... what you say, Moonless, only seems to be a relevant post, because, you took what I said out of context.

 

In particular, what I wrote was, starting with a quote from Skywatcher was:

..."and this, Skywatcher,  "but what is perceived as beautiful is a choice of the minds eye my friend." is very easy to say when you're not getting eaten from the inside out! Or you mother is Not dying from ebola. or your kid doesn't have a deformed brain from the Zika virus; flowery words are cheap, my friend.

 
But it's not just you, living in a relatively hygienic & modern western country has insulated us all and makes outside reality easy to forget,
 
but much of it is unfortunately , being a little more direct, this time, absolutely horrifying.
As indeed Marlon Brando says near the end of the movie: Apocalypse Now."
 
(and its easy to go back a page,  Moonless, and read my post in its entirety)
 
It would SEEM THAT, because, I don't entirely agree with your view, you miss-interpret me, to make your point seem better or superior.  But 'I know you probably didn't mean it', or realize that, that was what you were doing.

Edited by shiftingshadows, 10 May 2022 - 09:28 PM.


#29 Moonless

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Posted 10 May 2022 - 10:12 PM

It was my intention of reading every post on this thread to get the full picture and context before posting. It's all good since you had no bad intent but if my take seems incorrect to you perhaps choose your words differently as I read it multiple times and am having trouble seeing it differently.

 

I came off a little combative, well, it was frustrating to read how you responded to Skye. But I wanted to build between your idea of humans having a good reason to fear things in nature and Skye's idea that interconnection is cosmically beautiful. Those two things exist at the same time!

 

Oh and its not actually easy to go back and read that post in it's entirety! Some people have to read stuff multiple times. :D



#30 shiftingshadows

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Posted 10 May 2022 - 11:54 PM

"But I wanted to build between your idea of humans having a good reason to fear things in nature and Skye's idea that interconnection is cosmically beautiful. Those two things exist at the same time!"

 

Seems fear has gotten a bad name because folks are into self-help psychology / yoga / meditation etc., but if the fight or flight response wasn't wired-in, at a more primary level than critical thinking, we would all have been lunch for lions a million or 2 years ago, in Africa, and there would be no humans today.

 

This is reality - for me - not some philosophy about how everything is balanced cycles. We all have heard about yin and yang for decades.

 

No one would be here to philosophize today, if part of the 'real intense fight or flight response' wasn't to shit one's self or pants, so one can run faster, with an empty gut.

 

That's how scary the world often is, and we evolved to cope with this shit.


Edited by shiftingshadows, 10 May 2022 - 11:58 PM.


#31 shiftingshadows

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Posted 11 May 2022 - 02:12 PM

This is just the beginning of what's coming, and as long as we're not quite in the same mess yet, we can philosophize all we want...for a little while longer.

 

https://duckduckgo.c...C. &t=h_&ia=web

"HOTTER THAN HELL Pakistan city now the hottest place on Earth at 52C where homes don’t have air con & it’s too hot to touch the floor" says one of the links.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- -

 

My point about the interconnectedness of all life, also seems to have been misunderstood by all.

My point is not that this is beautiful, or a miracle. (Although its ok to feel this way).

The point is that just as within the body the liver communicates with the gut, the adrenals with the brain and every organ and system, with every other organ and system; and just as we exchange Pheromones with members of the opposite sex we are attracted to, - just so all related organisms 'communicate' with one another. ( and incidentally no 'higher' consciousness is involved in any of these 'communications'). Why point this out?

 

1) Because there is (until proven otherwise) no reason to suppose mushrooms are exchanging exciting secrets with one another.

and 

2) Because the related subject, also mentioned in these threads, of the possible 'communication of aliens with us': "the great human species" presumes that we are separate and special. Whereas in reality we are not separate from all other life on the planet anymore than our livers are independent from our bones, etc. for example.

 

The whole fantasy of 'communication of aliens with, the oh so special us' , seems both rather arrogant, and to smack of the religious notion that humans are a special separate creation, IMO.

 

And we are about to pay the price of for our arrogance, by destroying the rainforests, and polluting the oceans, which are the sources of the oxygen we all need,  ***

Would seem, perhaps just a little doubtful, that either aliens or mushrooms, could possibly save us from all this don't you think? ***

 

Again, as I 'said' before:

..."but much of it is unfortunately , being a little more direct, this time, absolutely horrifying.

As indeed Marlon Brando says near the end of the movie: Apocalypse Now."
 
Which title, now seems to have a  prophetical and larger metaphorical (and perhaps literal) meaning.
Incidentally the sacrifice of the water buffalo in the film, was real (it was filmed outside of the US).
So an animal was harmed. 
Perhaps the buffalo in her afterlife is philosophizing that:
'But it works well in the narrative and helps set the mood'.

 

https://en.wikipedia.../wiki/Pheromone

 

https://duckduckgo.c...a=b&t=hr&ia=web

 

***  and as if that was not enough the atmosphere has also been filled with plastic nano particles world wide, and often killer smog in many of the major cities. Not to mention more and more radioactive hot spots, etc., Oh and I forgot ozone and mercury in fish and....The long list of insults and destruction of the biosphere is now called a major extinction - but also includes new creations such as antibiotic resistant bacteria, and pesticide resistant insects, and stock piles of bioweapons and research into creating even more bio & robotic weapons, more sophisticated than just drones.

And yet we have the blindness to look for other intelligent species. Seems astounding, does it not?


Edited by shiftingshadows, 11 May 2022 - 03:43 PM.


#32 TVCasualty

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Posted 13 May 2022 - 10:12 AM

Life: It's complicated.

 

Any further analysis seems to require choosing a perspective to analyze it from. There seems to be two.

 

One is to assume an underlying intent to it all, maybe with a conscious designer (God) or as some kind of self-organizing collective consciousness (Oneness, I guess). The other is to assume everything has emerged from physics and chance (strict Materialism).

 

If life is explained by Materialism then the concept (and perception) of "beauty" is merely an incidental trait that emerges when we perceive certain arrangements of reality. In that case our capability for perception/awareness of beauty is either reinforced or selected out based on its effect on our collective reproductive success. Since we still do possess an awareness of things that we label "beautiful" then awareness of beauty is therefore a successful survival adaptation.

 

If life is explained by some kind of underlying Intent (whether singular or collective) that's beyond our current understanding (to put it mildly) then beauty exists among a wide spectrum of conscious experience that I have to assume exist for reasons that matter, so to speak. But then so would every other conscious experience, including the really unpleasant ones like terror and agony (etc.). In this view it's ALL part of the fun for reasons that have yet to be revealed to us, even the very not-fun parts.

 

 

 

I guess what I'm getting at is that our thoughts and feelings are either incidental evolutionary quirks whose ultimate function is the successful propagation of DNA and nothing more or else they are a meaningful aspect of something so much more than the reality we can perceive that we can only imagine it as a blinding white light or an overwhelming fractal kaleidoscope, which I guess represent the boundary of our imagination and awareness while embodied in a physical form.

 

 

I don't know for sure which one is true (yet), but I do know that I would prefer that all the beautiful things (and people!) I've admired and been in awe of and all the terror and agony I've endured weren't incidental irrelevancies in the eternal quest of making better DNA copying machines.

 

 

I don't know if this is the kind of stuff that mushrooms talk about amongst themselves, but it's what they like to talk about with me. The insights gained by cross-species communication in general could be vast, and that's just among species found here on Earth.

 

Finding and communicating with species not from Earth would almost certainly give us important pieces to this puzzle that we currently lack and may not be able to discover any other way. We'll only know when we do it, and one thing that's remained constant as we advance our science and technology is that the Universe continues to be full of surprises.



#33 shiftingshadows

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Posted 13 May 2022 - 12:00 PM

As far as philosophy goes, I tend towards non dualism and 'don't know mind', and also like what I know of Taoism, sort of stuff.

Stoicism also seems interesting, but I claim no competence in that regard.

 

And a quote from Ajhan Sumedo:

"Thinking about awareness, is not awareness;

But awareness of thinking is awareness." 

 

And I take this to mean that no concepts what so ever,

can ever be what we feel we are seeking,

but is actually, always, already, present.

 

What I like about Taoism is that it embraces paradox,

unlike the big 3 religions from the near East.

For example trying to relax ensures tension,

trying to be spontaneous,

ensures self consciousness,

Likewise for trying to be good etc. etc...

And so seeking also can never be peaceful resting.

This negates the popular idea that 'hope' is good.

 

So in a sense, it seems, the purpose, of philosophy, conceptualization, etc.,

is to give one the courage to let it go...

from these points of view...

 

https://en.wikipedia...wiki/Nondualism

https://en.wikipedia...Advaita_Vedanta

 

https://en.wikipedia...i/Ajahn_Sumedho

 

'don't know mind'

https://duckduckgo.c...a=b&t=hr&ia=web

 

Tao Te Ching free pdf

https://duckduckgo.c...a=b&t=hr&ia=web

 

chuang tzu free pdf

https://duckduckgo.c...a=b&t=hr&ia=web

 

.   So 'don't know mind' reminds me that scientists can't really define life, as the case of viruses, highlights.

 

.   Taoism relates to finding no security in concepts of ' good and bad'.

.   For example many of the baby boomers, their kids, and grand kids would not exist were it not for Hitler & WWII.

And the same goes, for the thousands of refugees. and who then became immigrants, and their kids and kids' kids.

 

.   The paradox of hope, which ignores the miracle of the present moment, frees me from hoping to be saved, by anything;

be it mushroom or alien communication.

(none of this  means I negate the value of enjoying and learning from tripping.)

 

.   And a sense of humor suggests that were the aliens to arrive on earth, there are many other species  that are less self destructive & aggressive  than we are, that they might prefer to communicate with, than us. The Koala bears probably feel better to hangout with. And dogs and otters are just as playful. We and our massive egos might just end up being ignored. So much for getting saved.


Edited by shiftingshadows, 13 May 2022 - 03:12 PM.


#34 TVCasualty

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Posted 15 May 2022 - 12:29 PM

Taoism seems to help people cope with existing (and is good at it) but doesn't actually explain anything.

 

As such it's very useful, but it's not a substitute for science as far as understanding what's going on is concerned. We may never fully grasp our origins and purpose (if we have one), but we certainly won't if we don't look and science is the most effective tool we've ever developed for this task, at least so far.

 

We may yet develop an even more effective approach to exploring reality but if so I would bet that science discovers it, not philosophers or Theologians. That includes the new category of "machine scientists" (which are a unique and specialized form of algorithm), which is explained the article linked below.

 

This is every bit as mind-blowing to me (esp. with regards to its potential) as any insight I've ever gained from philosophy (including various manifestations of Taoism), if not more so: https://www.quantama...-data-20220510/


Edited by TVCasualty, 15 May 2022 - 12:30 PM.

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#35 shiftingshadows

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Posted 15 May 2022 - 06:08 PM

I'm no good at mathematics. but like yourself found the article fascinating.

 

As regards ..."We may never fully grasp our origins and purpose (if we have one),"'...

 

My view is that the universe cannot have one, and so nothing in it can have an ultimate purpose either.

 

I suspect because humans do an odd 'thing' called: 'talking to ourselves', which in a sense involves splitting ourselves,

 

that we have a hard time grasping that, that which is unitary has no need of communication or purpose,

 

and would, in fact, have to split itself to indulge in communication.

 

I also suspect because humans do an odd 'thing' called: 'believing there is a future' (which notion is facilitated by language);

 

that they like wise, get confused as regards purpose.

 

And lastly it seems to me that humans constantly forget or repress the fact that life is "always hanging by a thread".

 

It would also, seem to me, that beliefs, in 'purpose' or 'meaning' are perhaps some sort of compensation,

 

for what little comprehension of our mortality does leak thru our defenses.

 

Of course the way I see the world, and my views of humans are mot popular.



#36 shiftingshadows

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Posted 15 May 2022 - 07:17 PM

It also seems to me that ideas of 'human purpose' are linked
to the same arrogance that assumes evolution is progress to one grand universal perfection,
and that we are at the wonderful peak of this pyramid, due to our cleverness.

Not only is this idea a misunderstanding of evolution , but Ironically, due to chance, we are more closely
related to the aggressive Chimps, than to the more peaceful and happier Bonobos.
(as the video touches upon; unfortunately it's low resolution, but the data is good)

I would say very loosely speaking that our lineage "took a wrong turn" long ago,
and that: "closing the barn door after the horse has escaped is of no use".

The idea of some grand universal perfection, is of course also part of many religions.
Of which many tolerate abuse of women.

[Direct Link]


Edited by shiftingshadows, 15 May 2022 - 07:21 PM.


#37 TVCasualty

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Posted 19 May 2022 - 08:35 AM

It also seems to me that ideas of 'human purpose' are linked
to the same arrogance that assumes evolution is progress to one grand universal perfection,
and that we are at the wonderful peak of this pyramid, due to our cleverness.

 

 

It seems equally valid to me to think of ourselves (along with every other living life form) as the literal embodiment of the peak of a massive stack of prior events/phenomena/assembly, by definition. Each subsequent generation becomes that peak, and it's only a "peak" because it serves as a convenient and easily visualized metaphor for being on top of a giant stack of all that's come before.

 

The current state-of-the-art in Evolution (so to speak) has to exist right now, in the present because it's the only place-time it can. But it's not due to our cleverness, of course.

 

 

Evolution does seem to have a "direction," IMO. Not towards "perfection" or anything abstract but towards greater complexity and interconnectivity.



#38 shiftingshadows

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Posted 20 May 2022 - 10:45 AM

.   A common theme of movies is the spy, who has done great work for his country, risking his life for his country, even committing murder, only to discover he has been 'set up' or 'played' and the purpose that motivated him was bogus.

(Then the rest of the movie he has to deal with it, with lots of near escapes; etc., ... by now we all know the formula).

 

fiction, right?

 

Then we remember the Vietnam war, and all the mangled vets...

 

Life is full of such examples, were folks get 'the rug of their assumptions' (purposes) 'pulled out from under them'.

 

For contrast there is the phrase: "to do something for its own sake", and all that, that implies. ...

 

- - - - -

 

as regards evolution this may be of interest

 

the book:

 

Human Errors: A Panorama of Our Glitches, from Pointless Bones to Broken Genes by Nathan H. Lents 

 

‘Amazon says’ :

“We humans like to think of ourselves as highly evolved creatures. But if we are supposedly evolution’s greatest creation, why do we have such bad knees? Why do we catch head colds so often―two hundred times more often than a dog does? How come our wrists have so many useless bones? Why is the vast majority of our genetic code pointless? And are we really supposed to swallow and breathe through the same narrow tube? Surely there’s been some kind of mistake? As professor of biology Nathan H. Lents explains in Human Errors, our evolutionary history is indeed nothing if not a litany of mistakes, each more entertaining and enlightening than the last. The human body is one big pile of compromises. But that is also a testament to our greatness: as Lents shows, humans have so many design flaws precisely because we are very, very good at getting around them. A rollicking, deeply informative tour of humans’ four-billion-year-and-counting evolutionary saga, Human Errors both celebrates our imperfections and offers an unconventional accounting of the cost of our success.”

 

and (one of many) videos by NATHAN H. LENTS is a professor of biology at John Jay College, CUNY and the author of Not So Different: Finding Human Nature in Animals. He has appeared as a scientific expert in a range of national media, including The Today Show, NPR, Access Hollywood, 48 Hours, and Al Jazeera America. He lives in Queens, NY.

 

At 6 minutes in: ( constraints vs. perfection)

At 8:30 minutes in: ( human exceptionalism)

at 29 min in: death  (aging, death …)

IMO, it all seems interesting

 

[Direct Link]

 

.   I would also say that. as regards increasing complexity (which you mention) humans are doing the same thing as bacteria and dogs etc.: being born or given life, eating, shitting, reproducing, aging, suffering along the way, and dying,

 

... and then being eaten, or recycled by fungi and bacteria. In repeating cycles, as atoms and molecules go thru the carbon, nitrogen, & water cycles. This has been so, almost from the beginning, millions or perhaps even billions of years ago.

.   From this point of view there has been no increasing complexity, only life remaining true to its definition.


Edited by shiftingshadows, 20 May 2022 - 10:46 AM.

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#39 TVCasualty

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Posted 23 May 2022 - 11:16 AM

.   A common theme of movies is the spy, who has done great work for his country, risking his life for his country, even committing murder, only to discover he has been 'set up' or 'played' and the purpose that motivated him was bogus.

(Then the rest of the movie he has to deal with it, with lots of near escapes; etc., ... by now we all know the formula).

 

fiction, right?

 

Then we remember the Vietnam war, and all the mangled vets...

 

Life is full of such examples, were folks get 'the rug of their assumptions' (purposes) 'pulled out from under them'.

 

For contrast there is the phrase: "to do something for its own sake", and all that, that implies. ...

 

- - - - -

 

Not sure what this is supposed to mean in the context of this thread.

 

 

 

“We humans like to think of ourselves as highly evolved creatures. But if we are supposedly evolution’s greatest creation, why do we have such bad knees?

 

 

I don't understand the relevance of that book to this thread. It just seems to be explaining the basics of Evolution from an entertaining perspective.

 

In any case, "highly evolved" does not imply perfection, or optimized engineering or whatever. It is a fact that we are highly evolved (by definition), and obviously not perfect.

 

The thing about our so-called evolutionary 'flaws' is that if life could only ever manifest in an ideal, optimized state of maximum efficiency, resilience, performance, etc. then we would still be waiting to exist.

 

Also, we have yet to discover anything in the Universe that is as complex as the human brain, so there seems to be an evolutionary advantage to developing one since here we are.

 

But Evolution is also an eternal work-in-progress, so it may turn out that abstract intelligence eventually gets pruned from life on Earth; hard to say since it only just got here, relatively speaking.

 

 


 



#40 shiftingshadows

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Posted 23 May 2022 - 05:05 PM

....We may never fully grasp our origins and purpose (if we have one), but we certainly won't if we don't look and science is the most effective tool we've ever developed for this task, at least so far.

 

.....and

 

"shiftingshadows, on 20 May 2022 - 09:45 AM, said:

 
.   A common theme of movies is the spy, who has done great work for his country, risking his life for his country, even committing murder, only to discover he has been 'set up' or 'played' and the purpose that motivated him was bogus.
 
(Then the rest of the movie he has to deal with it, with lots of near escapes; etc., ... by now we all know the formula).
 
fiction, right?
 
Then we remember the Vietnam war, and all the mangled vets...
 
Life is full of such examples, were folks get 'the rug of their assumptions' (purposes) 'pulled out from under them'.
 
For contrast there is the phrase: "to do something for its own sake", and all that, that implies. ...
 
- - - - -
 
Not sure what this is supposed to mean in the context of this thread.

 

My remarks about purpose, were simply a response to your suggestion that we might have one, and due to the fact that many other folks (including some I have recently come across) have the assumption that: if only they knew, their purpose, they would be better off. Hence examples calling that assumption into question.

 

As regards evolution, life, complexity, direction, and what constitutes progress, etc., I suppose it depends on how one defines the terms and the yard stick or values one uses to measure or suggest some answers.

 

You are of course right that our threads here, tend to drift from time to time.

I have no idea what the mushrooms are "talking" about, but it does seem their mycelial threads are confined to a purposeful search; never-the-less, it would seem searching implies exploring/wandering before knowing, I suppose?






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