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Old April 15th, 2018, 09:20 AM   #1
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What does it take to innovate in ideas? I think it takes a willingness to make assumptions, put together a fragmentary outline of ideas, & sail out into the unknown. & take your chances that people may not cheer you on – especially if your innovation crosses lines into their territory.

I think it’s funny that anyone tries to take possession of ideological terrain - & yet it happens. If real estate is a kind of fiction – mostly for legal purposes, to facilitate development & progress – what is the status of unreal estate? It probably bears looking into.

& thus the title – quoted by Patton (the actor) in the movie Patton (allegedly, Pres. Nixon’s favorite movie) – quoting Napoleon, who is turn was punching up Georges Danton (early in the French Revolution).
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Old April 16th, 2018, 07:37 AM   #2
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Wow, I sure as blazes wish people in science forums appreciated the notion of stepping into the unknown. More times than not, the folks in a science forum are acting like the church of old, controlling even what can be thought about. They have their truths, and by god, no one better commit the heresy of questioning their truths.

"Unreal property", that is the space between my ears.

Perhaps we have taken the notion of property rights too far? It is nice to get paid for writing a book or inventing something, but perhaps there should be limits on these rights? Thoughts never stand alone, but come out of knowledge that has increased for centuries. They have a universal quality. How tightly can we cling to an awareness as ours and ours alone? Of what value are these ideas if they are not shared? If you knew how to cure cancer, would you keep this cure to yourself unless you paid millions of dollars for it? Some may, but I think most of us freely give away information for the good that information may do.

If no one will do good just for the desire to do good than perhaps we should pay children to attend school? I mean can we think on this? Do we want to raise children to do the right thing because we share this planet and life is better when we do the right thing, or do we want to prepare them for industry because industry needs programmed humans?

I can think of a few different ways to go with what you said. Personally, I thrill at the idea of a universe being more than the individual.

And if my spell check had its way, this discussion would not be possible. I hate what spell check and "technological correctness" has done to our language and limits of thought.
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Old April 16th, 2018, 07:58 AM   #3
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Wow, I sure as blazes wish people in science forums appreciated the notion of stepping into the unknown. More times than not, the folks in a science forum are acting like the church of old, controlling even what can be thought about. They have their truths, and by god, no one better commit the heresy of questioning their truths.

...
Yah. You would think that a science forum would be more open to new thinking than not. Sure, you have to show a line of thought & maybe some examples, or refer to some citations that back up the new idea - or @ least allow for the possibility.

But otherwise, science should be looking for new paradigms. The old ones - like the properties of antibiotics that made them work like miracle drugs @ first - are wearing off - the targeted bacteria are learning how to cope with the medical basis of antibiotics. & because bacteria have much shorter & faster lives than humans, plus massive numbers of individuals/colonies on their side, they can run through variations much faster, & spread any immunities they discover quickly. The human issues of not quite taking all the medication to full course (but I feel better!), or doctors overprescribing antibiotics even when their use is not indicated (a very pushy patient), & medications that aren't pure or aren't in sufficient concentration to kill all the bacteria - aren't helping.

In the World, we basically need a crash program to develop either new antibiotics altogether, or new approaches to bacterial/infectious control - or both, of course. It doesn't hurt to have more than one string to your bow. But all of this means that we need to consider any idea that looks @ all possibly productive.
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Old April 16th, 2018, 08:11 AM   #4
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I think our present problem is education for technology is not exactly education for science. Liberal education with its focus on "how" to think, instead of one "what to think" is better for science. No Child Left Behind made matters worse as teachers must prepare students to pass the test, and that requires knowing the right answer, not knowing how to think.

At least for awhile, we dropped education for logic in favor of focusing on memory. We replaced the Conceptual Method of education with the Behaviorist Method and the Behaviorist Method is also used for training dogs. Memorizing the time's tables is not equal to logical thinking. Modern math has become more popular and is encouraging logical thinking, but I worry this is being put on children who are too young and immature, leading to discouraging children from doing math?

And learning how to think is not the whole of it. Thinking requires a lot of energy and our brains much rather operate on automatic, than waste energy thinking every minute of the day. We react to people who look different automatically, as we drive our cars on automatic. When we learn a new dance we are awkward and make mistakes, but once our muscles have learned the movements and we can do them without thinking, we go on automatic and become graceful. We become one with the music, and egoless. So now let us ask, why should we think at all?

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Old April 16th, 2018, 08:57 AM   #5
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...

And learning how to think is not the whole of it. Thinking requires a lot of energy and our brains much rather operate on automatic, than waste energy thinking every minute of the day. We react to people who look different automatically, as we drive our cars on automatic. When we learn a new dance we are awkward and make mistakes, but once our muscles have learned the movements and we can do them without thinking, we go on automatic and become graceful. We become one with the music, and egoless. So now let us ask, why should we think at all?
Does thinking require more energy than merely physical work? It's a good question - Lenin (I think it was) finally decided that the two were equally important, & that adequate food & drink were important for both sets. (A far cry from the Nomenklatura, of course, but this was early days in the USSR.)

We have to think when we're faced with novel situations. Agriculture was presumably discovered when discarded seeds that people brought home with them sprouted, & we discovered we didn't necessarily have to go out & forage for edible plants. The application of thought - fertilizer, water, weeding, tools for all that, working out seasons to plant & harvest, crop rotation - all required applying thought & recordkeeping. Then there are related steps - milling, making flour, baking, preserving food, domesticating animals as labor/sources of milk & meat & eggs.

The price for all this diversification of food is that the situation in the World becomes more & more a balancing act - more water over there, more fertilizer, more fuel for tractors & combines. Agriculture is a constant adjustment of behavior to weather, market conditions, cost/benefit of feed, medications, fertilizers, labor, financing. So much so that agriculture in the US is a big business - there are very few small family farms left by now.

So we've traded a natural set of variables for somewhat reduced impact of the natural set, but much greater impact from social variables - What happens if red meat is reduced in everyone's diet? What if more people want more low-fat milk, cheese?
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Old April 18th, 2018, 08:44 AM   #6
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I think we need to improve the popular understanding of thinking. Knowing two plus two equals four is not exactly thinking. It is remembering and it takes almost zero energy. Presidents who brag of making decisions without thinking too much, like Bush Jr. and Trump and the public who vote for them are a horror to democracies and the liberty and justice for which we stand. Perhaps our most serious ignorance is as our failure to understand how brains work, and that 90% of time we are running on automatic without thinking to conserve energy. This is why we are more apes than more intelligent animals.

For most people figuring out what 364 x 673 is, requires some effort in thinking, not like knowing the answer to 2 x 2. Understanding economics requires a lot of thinking and this different from following the party line. Deciding what we should do to reduce crime and other social problems, should be about gathering information and doing a lot of thinking, rather than being a knee-jerk reaction to someone doing wrong. I am afraid religions appeal to our instinct to avoid thinking and function on automatic. Religion gives us an idea of good and evil, and from there, our reactions are knee-jerk reactions.
The average person does not do much thinking.

The following is an understanding of thinking that we should all know. Especially in a democracy, this understanding of thinking is very, very important.
Here is a brief explanation of fast and slow thinking.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhQ16ik7HFk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sl9syVaVje8
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Old April 18th, 2018, 12:24 PM   #7
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But now, everybody does science

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For most people figuring out what 364 x 673 is, requires some effort in thinking, not like knowing the answer to 2 x 2. Understanding economics requires a lot of thinking and this different from following the party line. Deciding what we should do to reduce crime and other social problems, should be about gathering information and doing a lot of thinking, rather than being a knee-jerk reaction to someone doing wrong. I am afraid religions appeal to our instinct to avoid thinking and function on automatic. Religion gives us an idea of good and evil, and from there, our reactions are knee-jerk reactions.
The average person does not do much thinking.

...
Christianity (the one I know best) for a time warred on Natural Philosophy (the old name for Natural Sciences). Early on, as Christianity broke away from Judaism, Christianity wanted to distinguish itself from Jewish & Greek philosophers & in government service as administrators. That meant that early Christianity stressed salvation over education, & spent a lot of time & effort sorting through the various theories & theologies on the meaning of Christ, His mission, His life & death, the Father, the Church, the Bible (which scrolls? How decided?) & even once the core Bible & theology were more-or-less agreed on, the church exerted itself to stamp out all theological disagreements.

& of course the Old Testament & New Testament were written & compiled without any benefit of Greek science, & long before Western Civilization began its long climb out of the Dark Ages & into the Enlightenment.

I'm not sure that Christianity is opposed to science as such. But Christianity isn't interested in science for its own sake - Christianity is interested in gaining souls for God. Everything else is peripheral to their mission.

So while science grew out of Christianity - no one else in West Civ. could read or write, after all - it grew by coopting some Greek natural philosophy, & carefully vetting & adopting some Greek philosophy. Later, Christianity also absorbed Greek & Roman philosophy & science that had been preserved by Muslim culture - but Christianity still tried to serve as a gatekeeper on the content that passed into the West.
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Old April 20th, 2018, 08:34 AM   #8
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Christianity (the one I know best) for a time warred on Natural Philosophy (the old name for Natural Sciences). Early on, as Christianity broke away from Judaism, Christianity wanted to distinguish itself from Jewish & Greek philosophers & in government service as administrators. That meant that early Christianity stressed salvation over education, & spent a lot of time & effort sorting through the various theories & theologies on the meaning of Christ, His mission, His life & death, the Father, the Church, the Bible (which scrolls? How decided?) & even once the core Bible & theology were more-or-less agreed on, the church exerted itself to stamp out all theological disagreements.

& of course the Old Testament & New Testament were written & compiled without any benefit of Greek science, & long before Western Civilization began its long climb out of the Dark Ages & into the Enlightenment.

I'm not sure that Christianity is opposed to science as such. But Christianity isn't interested in science for its own sake - Christianity is interested in gaining souls for God. Everything else is peripheral to their mission.

So while science grew out of Christianity - no one else in West Civ. could read or write, after all - it grew by coopting some Greek natural philosophy, & carefully vetting & adopting some Greek philosophy. Later, Christianity also absorbed Greek & Roman philosophy & science that had been preserved by Muslim culture - but Christianity still tried to serve as a gatekeeper on the content that passed into the West.
I am in agreement with everything you said, but unfortunately, western religions beginning with Judaism, then Christianity and Islam, tend to promote ignorance. For awhile Islam advanced collecting and retaining knowledge and some Muslims are very proud of how the Quran has more scientific correctness than Christian Bible. But we can see today some Muslims are fanatical and also advancing ignorance. Christianity is a miracle based religion. Judaism and Islam are not miracle based. The focus on miracles makes Christianity more superstitious with a stronger need to reject science than Judaism or Islam, except for the fanatics of all faiths who are problematic to everyone and this is not restricted to the past.

When science realized algae could validate what the Bible said about the river turning red and frogs dying, I excitedly passed the information on to my preacher nephew and he was very displeased with me for suggesting the story was not a miracle. He totally rejected the science and was angry with me for saying there is a scientific explanation. The problem clearly is believing the Bible is God's truth and jealously defending oneself as an authority on God's truth. This is especially important if it means one's position in a society and ones economic position in that society, but scientists can be just as ego-driven and defensive. And all this begins with a false explanation of creation leading to false notions of human reality, our ability to think and why we do good and wrong, and from here all other judgments are based on a false belief, including very serious political decisions that affect all our lives and even our wars and our criminal justice system and our economy.

I never argued religion because I thought it rude and inconsiderate, and I still feel terrible if what I say troubles a religious person, but I now understand how much is on the line and ever since Bush and Cheney used the Christian Right to promote their neocon agenda, I have been determined to speak in favor science over religion. Nothing makes our actions right when they are wrong, and false beliefs lead to wrong actions.

OUR BRAINS WERE NOT GIVEN US TO BY GOD WITHOUT GOING THROUGH THE PROCESS OF EVOLUTION. WE DO NOT JUST THINK, BUT THERE ARE DIFFERENT QUALITIES TO OUR THINKING. SOME THINKING CAPABILITY IS A MATTER OF GENES BUT MOST OF IT IS LEARNED, INCLUDING THE ABILITY TO BOND OR THE LACK OF THE ABILITY TO BOND. OUR HUMANNESS IS A MATTER OF CONDITIONING AND LEARNING, NOT GOD GIVEN. WE MAKE EACH OTHER HUMAN NOT A GOD
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Old April 20th, 2018, 09:43 AM   #9
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In the kingdom of the blind,

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I am in agreement with everything you said, but unfortunately, western religions beginning with Judaism, then Christianity and Islam, tend to promote ignorance. For awhile Islam advanced collecting and retaining knowledge and some Muslims are very proud of how the Quran has more scientific correctness than Christian Bible. But we can see today some Muslims are fanatical and also advancing ignorance. Christianity is a miracle based religion. Judaism and Islam are not miracle based. The focus on miracles makes Christianity more superstitious with a stronger need to reject science than Judaism or Islam, except for the fanatics of all faiths who are problematic to everyone and this is not restricted to the past.

...
Judaism seems to value knowledge, even just for its own sake. This includes languages & cultures - throughout Western Civilization history the more assimilated Jews (speaking - & reading & writing - the dominant language[s], participating in the dominant culture[s]) have been @ the forefront of a lot of advances in culture & science & technology. & literature & the social sciences, but also medicine, law, finance. I don't know if the wide exposure to languages & cultures helps explain the numbers of Jews (even if non-practicing) lauded for advances in sciences & letters.

I think second & third languages are good things in & of themselves - we can escape the worldview we grew up, if we only grew up in one. Or @ least learn to view that upbringing with fresh eyes - a useful thing in the World, where not everyone shares our culture, language nor ideals. As such, exposure to other ways & means helps us to think outside the box, as it were. & the sides of the box can be very confining.
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Old April 20th, 2018, 09:44 AM   #10
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Isn't god giving Moses a couple of stone tablets on a mountain top a miracle?
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