2009.04.23 19:00 - Codependent arising and the boundary of science

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Sylectra Darwin. The comments are by Sylectra Darwin.

    Pema Pera: Hi Pila!
    Pila Mulligan: hi
    Pila Mulligan: pema
    Pila Mulligan: what is a familiar greeting in Japanese, please?
    Pema Pera: meaning good day
    Pema Pera: konnichi ha
    Pila Mulligan: yes
    Pila Mulligan: konnichi ha!
    Pema Pera: (out of order, my connection is a bit slow)
    Pema Pera: (I'm in the bullet train, just left from Tokyo, heading for Kyoto)
    Pila Mulligan: bet mine is slower :)
    Pila Mulligan: cool
    Pila Mulligan: so the train is going faster than the signal maybe
    Pema Pera: may occasionally drop out in a tunnel
    Pema Pera: not for a while
    Pema Pera: between Tokyo and Yokohama they don't get up to full speed
    Pila Mulligan: and full speed is ____ mph?
    Pema Pera: after that, around 150 miles an hour, it get's more iffy
    Pila Mulligan: that's pretty fast
    Pema Pera: :)
    Pema Pera: Hi Sylectra!
    Pila Mulligan: I worked for the railroad briefly in 1980-81 in Iowa -- Chicago Northwestern
    Pila Mulligan: hi Sylectra
    Sylectra Darwin: Hi! Sorry I am late.

    I had arrived with smoky black skin with neon red tribal tattoos dotted here and there. My animation overrider, or AO, was making me pose like an anime heroine.

    Pema Pera: wow, great appearance !!
    Pila Mulligan: fregiht trains -- much slower
    Sylectra Darwin: thank you
    Pema Pera: wow!
    Sylectra Darwin: this is my anime AO, hehe
    Pema Pera: pirouette
    Sylectra Darwin: a bit flashy, but fun too
    Pila Mulligan: dark lady
    Pema Pera: hehehe
    Pema Pera: sure
    Sylectra Darwin: how are you guys?
    Pema Pera: gyrating darkness
    Pema Pera: fine!
    Sylectra Darwin: you make it sound so good :)
    Sylectra Darwin: back home?
    Pema Pera: just mentioning I may drop out in twenty minutes when my bullet train will start passing through tunnels
    Pema Pera: just left Tokyo on my way to Kyoto
    Sylectra Darwin: there's Eliza!
    Sylectra Darwin: So Pema you are in Japan?
    Pema Pera: Hi Eliza!
    Pema Pera: yes
    Sylectra Darwin: very nice :)
    Pema Pera: arrived two days ago
    Pila Mulligan: konnichi ha Eliza
    Pema Pera: :-)
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi everyone :))

    Eliza had lovely long blond hair and looked positively dewey.

    Pema Pera: another striking presence!
    Eliza Madrigal: Wow Sylectra.... :)
    Sylectra Darwin: lovely!
    Sylectra Darwin: hehe, you noticed my skin
    Eliza Madrigal: Pema, Good travels I see :)
    Pema Pera: yup
    Pema Pera: sorry I couldn't be at your meeting at 7 am this morning
    Pema Pera: unfortunately that coincides with an astronomy meeting
    Sylectra Darwin: oops!
    Pema Pera: and there is no other time to do that, to get people from Japan, US, and Europe all to attend
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, no worries, Pema!
    Pema Pera: 7 am SLT is 11 pm in Japan . . . .
    Eliza Madrigal: So now it is...?
    Pema Pera: anything earlier or later doesn't work in either country
    Pema Pera: it is now 11 am
    Sylectra Darwin: how long does it take you to adapt to time in Japan and vice versa?
    Pema Pera: just had a nice Japanese breakfast :)
    Pema Pera: oh, a few days of dream time and then back to normal :)
    Eliza Madrigal: yes...okay. I still look to my eastern zone before SLT...
    Pema Pera: (during which I make mistakes in arithmatic, that' s about it)
    Sylectra Darwin: hehe
    Pema Pera: (and spelling)
    Sylectra Darwin: that's what calculators are for :)
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Sylectra Darwin: I've been reading Dalai Lama's book, Ethics for the New Millennium
    Sylectra Darwin: Has anyone read that?
    Pema Pera: how is it? Haven't seen that one yet
    Eliza Madrigal: Not yet, no
    Sylectra Darwin: I've had it for ages and haven't opened it until now...and all of a sudden it's hitting the spot perfectly.
    Sylectra Darwin: He starts out by saying that he can more easily discuss ethics if he leaves religion out of it, so that he can reach everyone.
    Sylectra Darwin: I am reading a chapter called The Nature of Reality.
    Sylectra Darwin: It made me think of you, Pema.
    Sylectra Darwin: He talks of a clay pot, whose existence is dependent on someone having extracted the clay and someone having formed the clay, so it doesn't really have an existence of its own.
    Sylectra Darwin: And at the same time the other elements would be pointless without the end product of the clay pot.
    Sylectra Darwin: Does that sound familiar?
    Pema Pera: yes, codependent arising
    Pema Pera: no dance without a dancer, no dancer without a dance
    Sylectra Darwin: yep, only I am still clumsy at paraphrasing the idea.
    Pema Pera: oh no, not at all, Syl!
    Sylectra Darwin: This relates to our perception of time and the self, in some way.
    Pema Pera: yes!
    Sylectra Darwin: I read his explanation of that and I have to say it sailed over my head.
    Sylectra Darwin: I will read it again until I get it
    Pila Mulligan: I had a thought here yesterday chatting with the skeptical side of Threedee about spirituality and materialism (and I've met many people unwilling to accept traditional ideas of sprituality): why assume that spiritual means non-material? Suppose there is an energy not yet grasped by science that accommodates traditional spiritual views? Science is still wrestling with gravity and the common cold, so how can we eliminate the possibility of a future discovery such as this.
    Pema Pera: sure!
    Sylectra Darwin: that's a good point, Pila.
    Pila Mulligan: so spirit is some form of light or gravity
    Pila Mulligan: maybe
    Pila Mulligan: we just need to measure it
    Sylectra Darwin: Whatever we discover in the next hundred years, one thing is certain - it's not what we expect we'll discover.
    Pema Pera: I see no reason to assume that science has intrinsic limits, as little as I can imagine a flat Earth you can fall off of
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Pema Pera: yes
    Pema Pera: what would a boundary to scientific knowledge look like???
    Pila Mulligan: the big hangup seems to be what happens after death, and it seems very difficult for people not to shy away from traditional views on that question
    Sylectra Darwin: Perhaps the very nature of how humans perceive time and the self is what causes it to seem like nonsense.
    Pila Mulligan: but how did those traditional views arise -- mere fantasy?
    Sylectra Darwin: Yes, Pila
    Sylectra Darwin: (yes to your earlier statement about the difficulty of thinking about life after death)
    Sylectra Darwin: We cannot rule out the power of wishful thinking on the part of Man.
    Pila Mulligan: Pema, a boundary to scientific knowledge look like Being
    Pila Mulligan: would *
    Pema Pera: Being as a boundary???
    Pila Mulligan: well, how can science go beyond Being?
    Sylectra Darwin: I love the book Flatland when I am thinking about the limits of perception.
    Pema Pera: can't go beyond, but no reason not to talk about Being, in due time :)
    Sylectra Darwin: Would it be that science has limits or would it be that our perception of science has limits?
    Sylectra Darwin: grins
    Pila Mulligan: personally I think it is peer pressure
    Sylectra Darwin: ?
    Pema Pera: My rough guess is that subjects will be treated by science, in addition to objects, in another few hundred years
    Pila Mulligan: we are pressed to accept technology as god
    Pema Pera: and then subject-object unity in another thousand years or so, give or take
    Pila Mulligan: maybe less?
    Pema Pera: and then beyond that may take yet a few thousands years, until Being comes into the picture
    Pema Pera: no rush :-)
    Eliza Madrigal: Science may have no limits...because material may keep producing signs...appearances on and on.
    Sylectra Darwin: Wouldn't that be something?
    Pila Mulligan: the Borg, dude
    Pila Mulligan: we have to get there before they get here
    Pema Pera: "material" is a shifting topic :)
    Sylectra Darwin: Maybe we could just tell them that they are not really here.
    Pema Pera: nor there :)
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Sylectra Darwin: haha!
    Sylectra Darwin: indeed.
    Sylectra Darwin: Well in the book Flatland...
    Pila Mulligan: persistence is futile
    Pema Pera: hehehe
    Pema Pera: wu-wei
    Sylectra Darwin: The women are drawn as straight lines and have the lowest caste (much to my chagrin)...
    Pema Pera: well, we passed Yokohama, tunnels coming up, I'd better sign off . . . .
    Pila Mulligan: what a waste
    Pila Mulligan: see you later Pema
    Eliza Madrigal: (and also doesn't match)
    Sylectra Darwin: and they are the most dangerous to everyone else on the 2-dimensional landscape, because you can't see them coming when they are pointing at you.
    Eliza Madrigal: Bye Pema
    Pema Pera: bfn
    Sylectra Darwin: you take care Pema
    Pila Mulligan: Flatland is a novel I have not seen
    Sylectra Darwin: It's very old - Dover books.
    Sylectra Darwin: There is now a sequel but I have not read it yet.
    Pila Mulligan: sounds like sci-fi
    Eliza Madrigal: I've heard so many people talk about it that it seems odd I've not read it either....
    Sylectra Darwin: It's allegory.
    Pila Mulligan: ahh
    Sylectra Darwin: A simplified way of talking about social order.
    Sylectra Darwin: And a lampoon of it too.
    Pila Mulligan: it seems easier to communicate allaegorically too
    Sylectra Darwin: I adore allegory, such as the Tao of Pooh and the Te of Piglet.
    Sylectra Darwin: When you take one concept and blend it with a known set of characters to answer "what if"
    Pila Mulligan: also allowing a story to tell something that may otherwise be rejected
    Eliza Madrigal nods
    Sylectra Darwin: that's so true :)
    Pila Mulligan: it the author had written a commentary saying society created two dimensional gender roles it may have created resistance instead of interest
    Sylectra Darwin: Yes, in fact I think some of the best writing I have read was created under the thumb of governmental oppression.
    Pila Mulligan: I just noticed the Kyoto is almost the same word (in letters) as Tokyo
    Sylectra Darwin: Are you familiar with Michael Zoshchenkov?
    Pila Mulligan: nope
    Sylectra Darwin: I think i am mangling the name.
    Pila Mulligan: maybe his titles, but not the name
    Sylectra Darwin: He was a satire writer during the Communist era in Russia.
    Pila Mulligan: Russian writer Michael Zoshchenko (1895-1958)
    Pila Mulligan: from Google
    Sylectra Darwin: http://www.iblist.com/book55727.htm
    Pila Mulligan: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikhail_Zoshchenko
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Sylectra Darwin: trading links!
    Pila Mulligan: just reading about him reminds me of Vonnegut
    Pila Mulligan: Kurt Vonnegut
    Pila Mulligan: humor and satire
    Sylectra Darwin: Vonnegut, hehe.
    Sylectra Darwin: I read Breakfast of Champions.
    Eliza Madrigal: I've been online so much today and would like to take part in this conversation but my eyes are crossing. haha. Thanks for the spot of company before bed. Nite :)
    Pila Mulligan: bye Eliza, sleep well
    Pila Mulligan: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slaughterhouse-Five?
    Pila Mulligan: this is one of his heaviest works
    Sylectra Darwin: I tried to read that one and it was not my thing.
    Pila Mulligan: yep, some of his stuff is peculiar
    Sylectra Darwin: ah well, it's the nature of humor and satire.
    Pila Mulligan: he was actually there after the WWII fire-bombing of Dresden
    Pila Mulligan: and that was the part of the story that was so heavy, no doubt because for him it was so real
    Sylectra Darwin: Do you know who Christopher Moore is?
    Sylectra Darwin: I can't say he's philosophical or even pithy..but entertaining!
    Sylectra Darwin: The Stupidest Angel is perhaps his best-known work.
    Pila Mulligan: the name is familiar this time but the book is not
    Sylectra Darwin: I think he also wrote The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove.
    Pila Mulligan: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Moore_(author)
    Pila Mulligan: yep
    Pila Mulligan: looking at the list of his books
    Pila Mulligan: Coyote Blue looks interesting
    Sylectra Darwin: I heard that one was good. Never read it.
    Sylectra Darwin: But I have read many others....one about a demon.
    Sylectra Darwin: Another weird one that kinda makes you think is TC Boyle.
    Sylectra Darwin: He starts his heros out straight and at some point they switch places with the villains.
    Sylectra Darwin: You almost never see it coming.
    Sylectra Darwin: It really messes with your head.
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Sylectra Darwin: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budding_Prospects
    Pila Mulligan: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TC_Boyle :)
    Pila Mulligan: satire always makes me think of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_modest_proposal
    Pila Mulligan: one of the earliest still-popular examples
    Pila Mulligan: a modern expert in the area is Salman Rushdie
    Pila Mulligan: have you read any of his books?
    Pila Mulligan: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salman_rushdie
    Sylectra Darwin: was looking at the summary of A Modest Proposal
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Sylectra Darwin: nope, not Salmon Rushdie, not yet.
    Pila Mulligan: he tells wonderful stories and has the most subtle (sometimes not so, though) lines of satire in them
    Sylectra Darwin: weird lookin guy
    Sylectra Darwin: Jack Nicholson could play him
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Pila Mulligan: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Enchantress_of_Florence -- might be a good intro to his work
    Sylectra Darwin: looks entertaining...
    Pila Mulligan: his storytelling skills are remarkable
    Pila Mulligan: but his sense of humor is wicked -- as shown by the Satanic Verses
    Sylectra Darwin: "mixing history, fantasy and fable."
    Pila Mulligan: do you rememebr when Ayatollah Kohemni ordered that he be killed for the Satanic Verses?
    Sylectra Darwin: Thanks, I'll have to check it out.
    Sylectra Darwin: yes
    Pila Mulligan: that was kind of a reverse Noble Peace Prize
    Sylectra Darwin: Well, I am attempting to recover from a bad col, so I'll retire to bed now.
    Pila Mulligan: nice visiting with you Sylectra -- hope you feel well soon
    Pila Mulligan: rememebr: gan mao ling
    Sylectra Darwin: thanks much! you have a great weekend.
    Pila Mulligan: aloha
    Sylectra Darwin: aloha :)

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