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"Why Physicists Make Up Stories in the Dark"

10.06.16

This move beyond the visible has become a fundamental part of science’s narrative. But it’s a more complicated shift than we often appreciate. Making sense of what is unseen—of what lies “beyond the light”—has a much longer history in human experience. Before science had the means to explore that realm, we had to make do with stories that became enshrined in myth and folklore. Those stories aren’t banished as science advances; they are simply reinvented. Scientists working at the forefront of the invisible will always be confronted with gaps in knowledge, understanding, and experimental capability. In the face of those limits, they draw unconsciously on the imagery of the old stories. This is a necessary part of science, and these stories can sometimes suggest genuinely productive scientific ideas. But the danger is that we will start to believe them at face value, mistaking them for theories.

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"The Gnostic Saint"

29.07.13

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Impecabilidade

28.05.13

It seems to me that enough values that did not depend on us are in the process of dying so that at least we do not desert those for which we are responsible. I have no illusions as to the fruitfulness of this attitude. But at least it is in my nature, and I am holding on to it.


Albért Camus

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"Sentience Everywhere: Complexity Theory, Panpsychism & the Role of Sentience in Self-Organization of the Universe"

22.04.13

 

 

Philosophical understandings of consciousness divide into emergentist positions (when the universe is sufficiently organized and complex it gives rise to consciousness) vs. panpsychism (consciousness pervades the universe). A leading emergentist position derives from autopoietic theory of Maturana and Varela: to be alive is to have cognition, one component of which is sentience.  Here, reflecting autopoietic theory, we define sentience as: sensing of the surrounding environment, complex processing of information that has been sensed, (i.e. processing mechanisms defined by characteristics of a complex system), and generation of a response.  Further, complexity theory, points to all aspects of the universe comprising “systems of systems.” Bringing these themes together, we find that sentience is not limited to the living, but present throughout existence. Thus, a complexity approach shifts autopoietic theory from an emergentist to a panpsychist position and shows that sentience must be inherent in all structures of existence across all levels of scale.

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Plotino e as vantagens de estar calado

20.01.13

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Ludwig Wittgenstein - "Remarks on Frazer's Golden Bough"

19.01.13

 

 

Burning in effigy. Kissing the picture of one’s beloved. That is obviously not based on the belief that it will have some specific effect on the object which the picture represents. It aims at satisfaction and achieves it. Or rather: it aims at nothing at all; we just behave this way and then we feel satisfied.


One could also kiss the name of one’s beloved, and here it would be clear that the name was being used as a substitutes.


The same savage, who stabs the picture of his enemy apparently in order to kill him, really builds his hut out of wood and carves his arrow skillfully and not in effigy.

(...)
How could fire or the similarity of fire to the sun have failed to make an impression on the awakening mind of man? But perhaps not “because he can’t explain it” (the foolish superstition of our time)--for will an explanation make it less impressive?
(...)
Nothing is so difficult as doing justice to the facts.
(...)

I believe that the characteristic feature of primitive man is that he does not act from opinions (contrary to Frazer).

I read, among many similar examples, of a Rain-King in Africa to whom the people pray for rain when the rainy period comes. But surely that means that they do not really believe that he can make it rain, otherwise they would do it in the dry periods of the year in which the land is “a parched and arid desert”. For if one assumes that the people formerly instituted this office of Rain-King out of stupidity, it is nevertheless certainly clear that they had previously experienced that the rains begin in March, and then they would have had the Rain-King function for the other part of the year. Or again: toward morning, when the sun is about to rise, rites of daybreak are celebrated by the people, but not during the night, when they simply burn lamps.
(...)

It was not a trivial reason, for really there can have been no reason, that prompted certain races of mankind to venerate the oak tree, but only the fact that they and the oak were united in a community of life, and thus that they arose together not by choice, but rather like the flea and the dog. (If fleas developed a rite, it would be based on the dog.)



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"Bodhisattva in metro"

15.06.12

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Little Awakenings

24.05.12

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