2010.09.11 01:00 - Our Place in the Universe

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Pema Pera. The comments are by Pema Pera.

    Qt Core: Hi Pema
    Pema Pera: hi Qt!
    Pema Pera: good morning
    Qt Core: ty, not sure in what timezone you are today... god whatever it is there ;-)
    Pema Pera: :)
    Qt Core: good
    Pema Pera: it's 5 pm for me, in Tokyo
    Qt Core: a friend of mine is around Japan in these days on honeymoon he loves Japan and this may be his only chanche to be there
    Pema Pera: I, too, love the country -- and I'm really lucky to be able to visit so often, as part of my work
    Pema Pera: hi Roger!
    Roger Ormenthal: Hi
    Qt Core: Hi Roger
    Roger Ormenthal: Hi
    Qt Core: (i really have to find an excuse (and the time) to properly visit Japan)
    Pema Pera: please come join us here, Roger!
    Pema Pera: I hope you will be able to make it, Qt!
    Roger Ormenthal: OK - my time is short though.
    Pema Pera: I've been playing with the idea of organizing a RL PaB retreat in Japan, some day . . .
    Qt Core: that could be one excuse ;-)

    I read Roger's profile, and was impressed by the breadth of his interests.

    Pema Pera: I see from your profile that you've quite a broad number of interests, Roger!
    Roger Ormenthal: That's true, no limits really.
    Pema Pera: you mention our place in the universe -- how do you see that, if I may ask?
    Roger Ormenthal: Are we following the strict rules here of periodic silence?
    Pema Pera: we do pause for 90 seconds yes, every fifteen minutes
    Pema Pera: but not everybody follows that suggestion :)
    Roger Ormenthal: To answer your question, I'd have to give you my complete cosmology.
    Qt Core: and no one get beaten for not following it ;-)
    Pema Pera: does your cosmology have a bottom line?
    Pema Pera: or keywords?
    Roger Ormenthal: I could say, the universe is self-generating/regenerating, and inherently conscious, and we are an evolved expression of that, our quest for understanding an expression of that consciousness arcing back on itself.
    Pema Pera: that does sound more promising than postulating a kind of emergence of consciousness out of matter, I agree
    Roger Ormenthal: I find the expressed qualities we observe of consciousness, intelligence, energy, even love, present in seed form in the nature of existence. I know that is a little poetic. hand-waving, and new agey.
    Qt Core: brb
    Roger Ormenthal: My background is technical and scientific, but esoteric as well.
    Roger Ormenthal: But not so much from a scientific perspective when we start to explore particle entanglement, etc.
    Pema Pera: hi Genesis, great seeing you again!
    Pema Pera: did you manage to download a new viewer?

    We had just discussed the ever-changing situation with respect to viewers.

    Qt Core: hi Genesis
    genesis Zhangsun: I did but still working out the bugs
    Pema Pera: did you pick the Phoenix one?
    genesis Zhangsun: yesd
    Pema Pera: I'll probably give that a try to, some day soon
    genesis Zhangsun: it does look like the old viewer but it isn't working as smoothly
    genesis Zhangsun: hi QT and Roger
    Roger Ormenthal: Hi Gen
    Roger Ormenthal: I always get too late to Kira Cafe when no one is there. I'm a night owl.
    Pema Pera: rigth now there are not so many events at the Kira Cafe
    Pema Pera: only a few times a week, I think
    Pema Pera: Qt, you said you might well attend the Assisi retreat in April, do I remember that right?
    Qt Core: yes, i'm try to plan the home logistic (that's my ptoblem)
    Qt Core: at the moment we have a GO ;-)
    Pema Pera: Genesis is exploring the options we have there
    Pema Pera: and I'm very much looking forward to it

    Roger then returned the compliment :)

    Roger Ormenthal: Pema, same q to you, our place in the universe?
    Pema Pera: :-)
    Pema Pera: well, I too can give many different answers, depending on what level of assumptions I start
    Pema Pera: whether in the physical universe
    Pema Pera: or more on a level of awareness or appearance
    Pema Pera: I think that ultimately nothing really "exists" in any absolute way
    Pema Pera: hi Calvino!
    Qt Core: hi Cal!
    Roger Ormenthal: Do you believe mind is in the brain?
    Calvino Rabeni: Hello everyone
    Pema Pera: but of course for practical purpose it is useful to do as if things exist
    Pema Pera: I think awareness is prior to either body or mind -- but of course we'll have to unpack what I mean with the word "awareness" then -- something beyond a subject-object split and beyond a linear picture of past-present-future time
    Roger Ormenthal: I agree, awareness/consciousness is prior, but in a more abstract form. In lifeforns, it becomes capable of more specificity.
    Pema Pera: within the story of there being a material world that exists over time, yes, I agree, complexity seems to be necessarily associated with experience
    Pema Pera: but I'm also interested in whether it is possible to drop such a story
    Roger Ormenthal: I think if you drop the story, you are left with an abstract expression of awareness.

    Roger brought up the notion of quantum entanglement.

    Roger Ormenthal: What's your take on particle entanglement - or as Einstein put it, "spooky action at a distance" :)
    Pema Pera: it seems to be the nature of matter to be entangled :)
    Pema Pera: but I think the term "entangled" is rather misleading
    Calvino Rabeni: I'm not keen on the ontological status of "abstract" - not sure what that could be
    Pema Pera: it suggests that there are things that are more pure themselves, and that then somehow get entangled
    Roger Ormenthal: It suggests a perfectly connected universe at all spacetime points.
    Qt Core: time to go, rl calls ;-)
    Pema Pera: bye Qt!
    genesis Zhangsun: bye qt
    genesis Zhangsun: maybe see u in assisi
    Qt Core: btw, genesis, i'm not a great organizer, but if i can help, do't esitate asking
    Qt Core: maybe :-)
    genesis Zhangsun: thanks :)
    Pema Pera: thank you, Qt! I'm sure we can use some help!
    Qt Core: bye
    Pema Pera: "abstract" is such an interesting notion --- whenever we recognize something and give it a name, as we do every moment, we are in a way already dealing with abstractions . . . .
    Pema Pera: "me" is an abstraction too

    Roger commented on the restrictions of communication via chat.

    Roger Ormenthal: Chat is so information bandwidth-limited for infinite bandwidth topics.
    Pema Pera: yes, but it also invites a kind of poetic summary approach :)
    Roger Ormenthal: true
    Calvino Rabeni: I don't see that
    Calvino Rabeni: all there are are concrete relationships
    Roger Ormenthal: Requires haiku responses.
    Calvino Rabeni: over here this, over there that
    Calvino Rabeni: Abstraction seems an idea, which doesn't exist except it is also concrete
    Pema Pera: yes, but the notions "this" or "that" are general words used in specific situations, and as such are already an abstraction of the act of pointing at something in a concrete way
    genesis Zhangsun: so all words are notions, approximations and therefore abstractions?
    Roger Ormenthal: Often "abstract" is used when perhaps "subtle" is intended.
    Calvino Rabeni: I agree with that, Roger, it represents part of what I was thinking
    Pema Pera: yes, I think so, Gen: language is like a veil over what is, showing contours but also hiding
    Calvino Rabeni: of the multiple things people try to say with that word
    Pema Pera: yes, a word like abstract can mean many things . . .

    Calvino made a pithy observation.

    Calvino Rabeni: language is just another "what is" also, with a funny relationship to other "what is-es"
    Roger Ormenthal: Abstract also implies a degree of ignorance, when perhaps with greater clarity, a matter might not be so abstract.
    Pema Pera: good point, Roger: new information often strikes us as especially abstract, until we start working with it
    genesis Zhangsun: maybe the issue is not so much whether there are or are not abstractions but rather how we use them?
    Roger Ormenthal: It's also possible to get lost in semantic arguments, and drift away from the examination of the underlying phenomenology.
    genesis Zhangsun: yes Roger
    genesis Zhangsun: I agree
    genesis Zhangsun: for me what is relevant is how an abstraction that I hold unconsicouly or perhaps consciously gets in the way of seeing
    Roger Ormenthal: One must retain innocent eyes while simultaneously forming our worldview.
    Calvino Rabeni: would that we could, yes
    Calvino Rabeni: Well, this seems a rather good dialogue, but I need to go
    Calvino Rabeni: thanks, take care
    Pema Pera: bye Calvino!
    genesis Zhangsun: bye calvino
    Calvino Rabeni: Bye for now
    Pema Pera: and yes, I too wish we could :-)
    Roger Ormenthal: Many ego-invested scientists and thinkers block their own progress. Humility is required in the quest for wisdom.
    Roger Ormenthal: (progress in understanding, that is.)
    Pema Pera: humility is not necessarily the greatest strength of many scientists I know :-)
    Roger Ormenthal: When science is mixed with ego, it becomes a type of religious dogma.
    Pema Pera: alas, I'll have to go too.
    Pema Pera: nice talking with you both!
    genesis Zhangsun: i agree roger but I also have to go
    Roger Ormenthal: Nice to have met you, goodbye.
    Roger Ormenthal: Goodbye everyone!
    genesis Zhangsun: hope to see you around again sometime roger
    genesis Zhangsun: take care

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