2012.02.01 07:00 - Minds, Labels and Observation

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Zen Arado. The comments are by Zen Arado. Present were Druth Vlodovic, Riddle Sideways and myself.


    Zen Arado: Hi Druth :)
    druth Vlodovic: hey zen
    druth Vlodovic: how is life?
    Zen Arado: okay I think
    Zen Arado: I just got here because the region restarted
    druth Vlodovic: ah
    Zen Arado: I havejust moved to this slot
    druth Vlodovic: lots of empty slots recently
    Zen Arado: they usually have restarts on Wenesday here
    Zen Arado: yes....
    druth Vlodovic: you get to achieve "nothingness" without effort :)
    Zen Arado: It's getting difficut to get guardians to fill slots
    Zen Arado: :-)
    Zen Arado: I don' know what nothingness is
    Zen Arado: and I' not sre I want it :-)
    Zen Arado: I thought the bell rang :)
    druth Vlodovic: it did, but it never rang a second time
    Zen Arado: it was another bell on my computer
    druth Vlodovic: lol, multiple levbels of reality
    Zen Arado: it was the wrong time for it
    druth Vlodovic: oh, i heard it
    Zen Arado: yep
    Zen Arado: I am conditioned by the Bell of PAB
    Zen Arado: when the bell rings I stop talking

    Dropping and meditation:

    druth Vlodovic: I started doing the dropping thing on an hourly basis
    druth Vlodovic: I got a weatchj that beeps on the hour
    Zen Arado: very good
    druth Vlodovic: but I get nothing from it
    druth Vlodovic: when I stop I just stop
    Zen Arado: what do you expect to get?
    druth Vlodovic: people talk about getting random thoughts and such
    druth Vlodovic: I don't get anything, no thoughts, emotions etc
    Zen Arado: I'd prefer my own meditation practice
    druth Vlodovic: sun says "hi" :)
    druth Vlodovic: what do you do?
    Zen Arado: say Hi back
    Zen Arado: :)

    Zen Arado: I just sit for half n hour in the morning
    Zen Arado: sometimes longer
    druth Vlodovic: I tried that a few times
    Zen Arado: sometimes twice a day
    druth Vlodovic: my place isn't really set up for it
    Zen Arado: meditation is getting away from our usual way of thinking about doing A to get B
    Zen Arado: basically it is sitting quietly doing nothing
    Zen Arado: which we find hard to do
    druth Vlodovic: "we" lol
    druth Vlodovic: I "do nothing" all day while I'm working
    Zen Arado: well most people do I think
    Zen Arado: well, you are still thinking and watching things I'm sure
    druth Vlodovic: depends on your definition of "doing" I suppose
    Zen Arado: I used to sit in front of a big control panel in a power station doing nothing most of the time
    druth Vlodovic: when I did meditate it seemed rather typical of the mode I'm in when I'm really bored
    Zen Arado: just making small adjustments
    Zen Arado: I think our minds want to be busy
    druth Vlodovic: mine is content just to sit there
    Zen Arado: but I'l bet you are still planning and thinking
    druth Vlodovic: in fact I get antsy if I spend too long without a break lol
    Zen Arado: meditation lets you see that more clearly
    druth Vlodovic: no, just sitting
    druth Vlodovic: planning and thinking are more like work
    druth Vlodovic: or play
    druth Vlodovic: I think for fun, but I often need a catalyst
    Zen Arado: but all these emotions and states of mind like boredom
    Zen Arado: are good to investigate
    Zen Arado: because we think we know what they are
    druth Vlodovic: I wonder if I'd be more successful if my mind did work all the time
    Zen Arado: maybe you don't realise just how busy it ? G
    druth Vlodovic: maybe other people, finding a half hour, will plan their retirement or an outing with friends
    Zen Arado: We seem to spend most of our time planning the future
    Zen Arado: or reminiscing about the past
    druth Vlodovic: "we" again :)
    Zen Arado: yes sorry
    Zen Arado: but it does seem to be a general thing
    druth Vlodovic: I got told off recently for "talking for other people"
    Zen Arado: according to meditation teachers
    Zen Arado: tell me about it!
    druth Vlodovic: I was completely confused since where I am it's actually polite to do that
    Zen Arado: I'm ony talkng abot meditation in general
    Zen Arado: and what seems to be the general experience of people
    Zen Arado: I think neurocience backs this up


    druth Vlodovic: maybe that's why i'm not really very successful in many ways
    Zen Arado: how do you mean?
    druth Vlodovic: I don't fit the usual mode of modern methods of existence
    druth Vlodovic: of course, it could just be me feeling sorry for myself :)
    Zen Arado: If you start meditating for long periods, you start to see through a lot of the delusions I think
    druth Vlodovic: I feel cut off from life a lot, I wonder if it isn't because i'm not always thinking, analyzing etc
    Zen Arado: maybe success is one of them
    Zen Arado: what is success?
    druth Vlodovic: I see people not only seeing the world around them but putting names and values on things, they know the make and model and year of every car in the parking lot, for instance
    Zen Arado: Most pople sem to equate it with money and material things
    Zen Arado: the incessant labelling and conceptualising
    Zen Arado: comparing with others
    druth Vlodovic: "everything in moderation" I guess
    druth Vlodovic: but if people specialize and practice a lot they can get seriously good at things
    Zen Arado: seeing only the surface value of things
    druth Vlodovic: even forget that there is effort iinvolved
    Zen Arado: oh yes, and why not?
    Zen Arado: My problem was always that I never knew what I really wanted to do
    druth Vlodovic: "was" lol
    druth Vlodovic: how did you solve that?
    Zen Arado: still is I guess :-)
    Zen Arado: I never did :-)

    Riddle Sideways: Hi Zen and dRuth
    Zen Arado: wb Riddle :)
    druth Vlodovic: hi riddle
    Zen Arado: we are talking about success

    Choosing likes and dislikes:

    druth Vlodovic: one thing I find is that if you don't evaluate everything then one thing is a good as another
    Riddle Sideways: the WebEx got disconnected by somebody at the meeting table
    Zen Arado: what ever it is?
    druth Vlodovic: it becomes difficult to decide if you even like something
    Zen Arado: Can we decide to like something?
    druth Vlodovic: we train ourselves
    Zen Arado: I thin we do or we don't
    druth Vlodovic: an infant will think that poop is as fun as playdough, but most adults don't
    Zen Arado: but what gives you the impulse to want to do that?
    druth Vlodovic: because they train themsevels to think of it as "yucky"
    Zen Arado: Yes :-)
    Riddle Sideways: or did adults train them
    druth Vlodovic: I read a lot of michael moorcock, who often plays with societies where there is no real morality
    Riddle Sideways: would not be yucky unless told so
    druth Vlodovic: the whole "pain and pleasure are a matter of preference" thing
    druth Vlodovic: then I sit and say "why do I like sci-fi?"
    Zen Arado: yes, and we can't govern this I thik
    druth Vlodovic: and in odd moments the only answer I have is "because the sort of person I think I am likes sci-fi" lol
    Riddle Sideways: all those sci-fi what-if stories
    druth Vlodovic: we can
    Zen Arado: yes
    Zen Arado: I loved sci-fi when was i my teens
    Zen Arado: I was
    Riddle Sideways: you still are zen
    Zen Arado: heh
    Zen Arado: 60 teens
    Zen Arado: :)
    druth Vlodovic: in the whole "nature versus nurture debate" I came down on the side of "people start with natural preferences but it is all mutable"
    Zen Arado: I think nature nurture is a false dichotomy
    Zen Arado: both are present and govern how we choose or make decisions
    Zen Arado: I think

    Labels and objectivity:

    druth Vlodovic: labels, we use them to help us define things, but it is easy to forget that each label is just an invention, a convenience with no actual reality
    Zen Arado: yes
    Zen Arado: and words are just sounds with no inherent meaning
    druth Vlodovic: but useful
    Zen Arado: and the labels separate things out of reality
    druth Vlodovic: if we remove all labels we end up removing as well some of our advantages
    Zen Arado: so we then think they are separate things
    Zen Arado: yes it is useful
    Zen Arado: we can use the labels but remember they are only labels?
    druth Vlodovic: an idea with magic is that you can manipulate a thing by manipulating it's labels
    druth Vlodovic: but all this is is a reflaction of the way we think
    Zen Arado: Isn't that what mathematics does?
    Zen Arado: Yes
    druth Vlodovic: I think that when you get into "science" and especially "math" you are trying very hard to make the labels as specific as possible
    Zen Arado: I alwas think of the way the ear immediately attaches an identity to a sound as soon as we hear it
    druth Vlodovic: this same tendency is what often makes philosophy useless lol
    Zen Arado: we can't just keep it as a sound
    Zen Arado: why do you think that about philosophy Druth?
    druth Vlodovic: well, people start trying to fix meanings to such things as morality
    druth Vlodovic: they try to make it math
    Zen Arado: Though I tend to agree
    Zen Arado: yes
    druth Vlodovic: but then instead of using observation they try to use reason
    Zen Arado: they use logic on words
    druth Vlodovic: so instead of it getting closer to reality it gets closer to preconception
    Zen Arado: as words have a definite meaning
    Zen Arado: as if *
    druth Vlodovic: observation is moving closer to the world, reason is moving closer to your own mind
    Zen Arado: it gives a false impression of precision?
    druth Vlodovic: you can get really wonky results that only make sense if you divorce yourself from observation
    Zen Arado: yes, but our mind is also part of the world

    Zen Arado: In quantum theory there is something about the Observer always affecting the results
    Zen Arado: We can't detach ourselves from the world
    druth Vlodovic: "a scientist can never observe an animal, he can only observe an animal being observed by a scientist"
    druth Vlodovic: but if you give up the attempt then the results get messy
    druth Vlodovic: like a reporter giving up on producing the impossible "unbiased account"
    Zen Arado: And science can't be objective because a scientist still has to choose what to investigate, and that choice is governed by all of his previous experiences and the culture he lives in
    druth Vlodovic: it's not what you say that is dangerous, but the implications :)
    druth Vlodovic: "if science can't be objective we can make up a fantasy and use that"
    druth Vlodovic: I see that over and over :(
    Zen Arado: True objectivity is impossible but we still have to do our best, recognising that
    druth Vlodovic: lol, I have to go, people are bugging me
    druth Vlodovic: have fun guys
    Zen Arado: Okay Druth
    Zen Arado: thanks for the coming :-)
    druth Vlodovic: thanks for hosting :)
    Zen Arado: byee
    druth Vlodovic: cya riddle

    Voice Misrecognition :) :

    Zen Arado: I am still struggling with voice typing. It gets irritating when it puts in our instead of are etc
    Zen Arado: :-)
    Zen Arado: I trained it using JFK's inaugural speech the other day
    Zen Arado: "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country."
    Zen Arado: a great speech!
    Riddle Sideways: sorry, was on conference call
    Zen Arado: np
    Riddle Sideways: that dictation seemed to work
    Riddle Sideways: do you have to correct much before sending?
    Zen Arado: yes, it knows that bit :-)
    Zen Arado: sometimes yes
    Zen Arado: it misses letters and spaces
    Zen Arado: other times it is okay
    Zen Arado: there is a little dictation box I can use and that is better
    Zen Arado: but I hav to to bring it up each time
    Zen Arado: the viewer doesn't seem to work fast enough to handle the speed of the typing
    Zen Arado: if I type straight into the chat window
    Zen Arado: but I m gettng the hang of it
    Riddle Sideways: you have to paste everything?

    Zen Arado: I'm trying to use the chat window for short sentences
    Zen Arado: and use the dictation box for longer sentences
    Zen Arado: I thought the problem was that the computer wasn't fast enough
    Riddle Sideways: please keep me updated on how it works and tricks
    Riddle Sideways: want to start using it too
    Zen Arado: but I just got a new computer which has an i7 processor
    Zen Arado: I have been using voice recognition for over 10 years
    Zen Arado: But I still wouldn't bother with it except for long e-mails or writing
    Riddle Sideways: and yet android voice seems to work better
    Riddle Sideways: it is using the same dragon back there
    Riddle Sideways: can't do long sentences either
    Zen Arado: It's just that the fingers of my left hand are hard to open now
    Zen Arado: it works very well in Mirosoft word
    Zen Arado: it just doesn't work well in non-standard windows
    Zen Arado: I have a version of Dragon software on my iPhone and it works quite well for long text messages
    Zen Arado: my accent doesn't help either :-)
    Riddle Sideways: :)
    Zen Arado: anyway, I better go
    Riddle Sideways: ok bye for now
    Zen Arado: bye for now Riddle :-)

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