2009.08.03 19:00 - Less wrong (as good as it gets)

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    Wol Euler recovered this page from the autologger. Threedee was the GoC.


    doug Sosa: hi. i'll move.

    Corvuscorva Nightfire: Hi Doug!!!

    Corvuscorva Nightfire: It's been a while.

    doug Sosa: weeks, yes.

    Corvuscorva Nightfire: What have you been up to?

    doug Sosa: writers workshop retreat for a week, after complete involvement with a few projects, and the weeds in the garden for sanity

    doug Sosa: you?

    Corvuscorva Nightfire: sounds busy.

    Corvuscorva Nightfire: mm...I've been doing some traveling for work and vacation.

    doug Sosa: my busy has felt very grounded and compelling.

    doug Sosa: how far did your travels take you?

    Corvuscorva Nightfire: not too far...up and down the east coast a little.

    doug Sosa: like capt john smith :)

    Corvuscorva Nightfire: laughs..nods.

    Corvuscorva Nightfire: very much like capt smith.

    doug Sosa: wise person you both.

    Corvuscorva Nightfire: smiles..well. capt smith was as much foolhardy as wise I think?

    doug Sosa: and your mischief?

    Corvuscorva Nightfire: mischief?

    doug Sosa: guessing.

    Corvuscorva Nightfire: laughs.

    Corvuscorva Nightfire: I read and wrote and did work things.

    doug Sosa: wrote? Noble thing to do.

    Corvuscorva Nightfire: well..fun thing to do.

    Corvuscorva Nightfire: I enjoy writing.

    doug Sosa: genre?

    Corvuscorva Nightfire: I don't know yet, not really.

    doug Sosa: may be a poem, may be a novel, may be an inter-office memo?

    Corvuscorva Nightfire: laughs...stories.

    Corvuscorva Nightfire: little ones.

    doug Sosa: ah, he said, she said..?

    doug Sosa: hi both

    Threedee Shepherd: oops, hi folks, sorry I'm late as Goc

    Corvuscorva Nightfire: no worries.

    Corvuscorva Nightfire: yeah..he said, she said.

    doug Sosa: a lion, a gargoyle and a girl sat across from him on the knoll.

    Threedee Shepherd: any topic so far?

    Corvuscorva Nightfire: no.

    Corvuscorva Nightfire: not yet.

    doug Sosa: the lion went to sleep, the winged one wants a different name, and the girl remained mysterious.

    doug Sosa: this morning we talked of wishes and how they cloud, but can we live without wishes? Is a desire to breath a wish?

    Threedee Shepherd: Well, is life lived without any intention?

    Corvuscorva Nightfire: are intentions, wishes though?

    Corvuscorva Nightfire: perhaps those are two different things?

    Threedee Shepherd: is there a difference

    doug Sosa: in-tension.. no, but then..




    Adelene Dawner: Hold on, I have a neat article that's relevant to this.

    Adelene Dawner: http://lesswrong.com/lw/14q/why_your...n_a_narrative/

    Adelene Dawner: (Well, tangentially relevant anyway.)

    doug Sosa: lesswrong... good as it gets.

    Adelene Dawner: hehe

    Threedee Shepherd: OK, I have no problem with the article. I was just saying that all behavior is based on a complex set of reasons, most at levels we are unaware of, but still intents. Wishes are stories that weave around future intents that may or may not happen or may already be triggered and on the way

    doug Sosa: That too is a narrative?

    Threedee Shepherd: In fact since conscious awareness is always after the fact, I like to say that the planning aspects that consciousness allows "let's us remember the future"

    Threedee Shepherd: It's all narrativ e in that we are always seeking and/or making order

    doug Sosa: well, hey. consciousness is after some facts, but in turn modifies what we do so inthat case is before the fact. It is a continuous to-and-fro-ing.

    Threedee Shepherd: Well, we believe it modifies what we will do. the evidence about how strong that influence is , is not yet very clear

    doug Sosa: if you hit me, and i am not conscious of it, how can i hit you back?

    Threedee Shepherd: reflexively

    doug Sosa: not me. I don't hit without some awareness that thereis an agent who struck me.

    Threedee Shepherd: I am not arguing consciousness has NO effect on my future actions, and I am questioning how much effect it does have

    doug Sosa: another way to ask it is, how can i get so my consciousness has a larger effect on what i do?

    Threedee Shepherd: Doug, that is an excellent question and is one I have not explored, and will

    doug Sosa: (blushes)

    Adelene Dawner: Why would you want to?

    doug Sosa: be more conscious?




    Adelene Dawner: Have your conscious have a larger effect on what you do. That doesn't sound like the same thing as simply *being* more conscious.

    stevenaia Michinaga: Doug went poof?

    Adelene Dawner nods.

    Corvuscorva Nightfire: It's half past.

    stevenaia Michinaga: he forgot to put quarters in his internet account?

    Threedee Shepherd: One heading in the psychology literature that deals with this issue is the term "mental control"

    Threedee Shepherd: I'll look it up

    Corvuscorva Nightfire: mental control?

    stevenaia Michinaga: or future control?

    Threedee Shepherd: it relates to immediate future control

    stevenaia Michinaga: nods

    stevenaia Michinaga: hello Pil

    Pila Mulligan: greetings

    Adelene Dawner: Pila! ^.^

    Pila Mulligan: yo -- howzit?

    Corvuscorva Nightfire: Hi Pila

    Threedee Shepherd: Hey, Pila, long time....

    Pila Mulligan: nice to see everyone, it has been a while :)

    Threedee Shepherd: Missed ouor chats

    Pila Mulligan: I was on leave of geekness

    Pila Mulligan: systems problems

    Pila Mulligan: (my geekness left:)

    Pila Mulligan: pride goeth before a fall ...

    Pila Mulligan: I had managed to get a triple boot system going -- W2k, WXP and Linux

    Corvuscorva Nightfire: wow

    Pila Mulligan: then the boot disk, with W2k -- died and I was adrift

    Pila Mulligan: no nothing

    Corvuscorva Nightfire: oooooo

    Pila Mulligan: and I am not that akamai (smart) in these things, contrary to possible first imnpressions

    Pila Mulligan: but finally I got the XP system booting

    Corvuscorva Nightfire: yay!!! I'm glad your back. I'm glad I'm back. I'm glad Three and Ade are back and I'm glad Steve is still here.

    Pila Mulligan: yes yes yes

    stevenaia Michinaga: :)

    Pila Mulligan: hello Marylou

    Marylou Goldrosen: HI, FINALLY MADE IT

    Threedee Shepherd: hi

    Pila Mulligan: welcome

    stevenaia Michinaga: welcome, is this your 1st?

    Marylou Goldrosen: yes!

    Pila Mulligan: is Steve host tonite (the explainer)

    stevenaia Michinaga: actually it is hree, but I will be happy to

    Threedee Shepherd: i am

    stevenaia Michinaga: hree

    stevenaia Michinaga: three

    stevenaia Michinaga: yeah him

    Threedee Shepherd: please do

    Pila Mulligan: there is a little intro for new people here

    Pila Mulligan: we await it from Steve (?)

    stevenaia Michinaga: is asking in IM

    stevenaia Michinaga: :)

    Pila Mulligan: ohh




    Pila Mulligan: :)

    Threedee Shepherd: while waiting, a study from 2007: "Voluntary action is fundamental to human existence. Recent research suggests that volition involves a specific network of brain activity, centered on the fronto-median cortex. An important but neglected aspect of intentional action involves the decision whether to act or not. This decision process is crucial in daily life because it allows us to form intentions without necessarily implementing them. In the present study, we investigate the neural correlates of intentionally inhibiting actions using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Our data show that a specific area of the fronto-median cortex is more strongly activated when people prepare manual actions but then intentionally cancel them, compared with when they prepare and then complete the same actions. Our results suggest that the human brain network for intentional action includes a control structure for self-initiated inhibition or withholding of intended actions.

    Pila Mulligan: Squee's comment relats to PaB too

    Threedee Shepherd: "The mental control of action has an enduring scientific interest, linked to the philosophical concept of "free will." Our results identify a candidate brain area that reflects the crucial decision to do or not to do."

    stevenaia Michinaga: marylou accepts our publishin her comments :)

    Adelene Dawner: Well, sometimes Squee's comments are related to PaB. He's pretty random :)

    Pila Mulligan: I was just thingink PaB Is not more than you need, but maybe more than you're used to.

    Pila Mulligan: Threedee that is very interesting

    Pila Mulligan: to do or not to do

    Pila Mulligan: but is that really free will?

    stevenaia Michinaga: was this a "we didn;t know that" or "oh, that;s how it works" experiment

    Threedee Shepherd: Yes it look interesting, I want to read it. It's not only their result, but their overall discussion of the concept that I want to see

    Pila Mulligan: I think the association with free will may be overeaching

    Pila Mulligan: but there may be an associaiton with bob-action

    Pila Mulligan: non*

    stevenaia Michinaga: bob?

    Pila Mulligan: not sure what bob-action is

    Threedee Shepherd: We knew a behavior, we looked to see if thaere was brain activity specific to it in an area that is related to executive function

    Pila Mulligan: to me the most interesting part is the measurable difference involved with the decision whether to act or not

    Pila Mulligan: the "control structure for self-initiated inhibition or withholding of intended actions"

    Threedee Shepherd: well, since brain is involved and the states are different, brain activity must be different

    Pila Mulligan: :) yep

    Pila Mulligan: but just like mirror nerons imply empathy, this implies discretion

    Threedee Shepherd: of course, without self-monitoring we each and all would have long ago "jumped off a cliff" and died

    Pila Mulligan: both empathy and discretion are part of what I'd call higher level consciousness

    Pila Mulligan: yep, zombies in a rat race

    Pila Mulligan: or is it lemmings?

    Threedee Shepherd: yes, although empathy is well documented in mammals-up, so "higher" is relative

    Pila Mulligan: herd-wired

    Threedee Shepherd: If you are part of a herd, you better by herd-wired

    Pila Mulligan: yep, but i prefer mammals with more empathy

    Pila Mulligan: and also with more discretion :)

    Threedee Shepherd: elephants are quite empathetic

    Pila Mulligan: and porpoises

    Threedee Shepherd: mmhmm

    Pila Mulligan: porpi?

    stevenaia Michinaga: pods of purpuses

    Pila Mulligan: and they are also very herd-wired

    Threedee Shepherd: of course, when they act they do it on purpoise

    stevenaia Michinaga: lol

    Pila Mulligan: :)

    Pila Mulligan: Marylou, this partciular group easily digresses in punditry

    Marylou Goldrosen: I notice that, it takes a while to catch them

    Threedee Shepherd: is punditry anything like stealing bad jokes?

    Pila Mulligan: had you been seeking PaB before? ('finally made it')

    stevenaia Michinaga: usually at the end of the hour

    stevenaia Michinaga: her first time

    Pila Mulligan: just curious about your earlier comment -- [19:42] Marylou Goldrosen: hi, finally made it

    Marylou Goldrosen: I have been wanting to come to these meetings, but have conflicts




    Corvuscorva Nightfire: nods..I'm glad ou made it.

    stevenaia Michinaga: we do meet 4 times a day

    Pila Mulligan: ah, yes, glad you made it this time then

    stevenaia Michinaga: you be very conflicted

    stevenaia Michinaga: :)

    Marylou Goldrosen: I'm from Arizona--dif time zone

    Pila Mulligan: we were being bad by not observing the requested 90 second silence, but how did you hear of PLay as Being?

    Pila Mulligan: (the 90 seconds is usually silent, sometimes not)

    Marylou Goldrosen: The Kira Cafe and Philosophy group

    Pila Mulligan: cool

    Pila Mulligan: an ethnoggrapher working for social justice is my kind of person :)

    Pila Mulligan: come ot Hawaii, help us with indigenous rights :)

    Marylou Goldrosen: Thanks, I work on NonProfit Island in FLoaters, empowering the DIsenfranchised

    Pila Mulligan: Floaters is a SL place?

    Threedee Shepherd: Pila, do you think some people "oppose" indigenous rights because they do not sense that they themselves have rights that are taken seriously?

    Marylou Goldrosen: On NonProfit Island

    Pila Mulligan: yes, Threedee

    Pila Mulligan: that was one of the big obstacles in the cvili rights movement also

    Threedee Shepherd: So, we should work on everyone's rights to really make progress

    Pila Mulligan: indigenous rights is usually a very abstract idea

    Pila Mulligan: not necessarily

    Pila Mulligan: but of course lifting the average helps everyone

    Pila Mulligan: so imp[roving your rights makes things better overall

    Threedee Shepherd: When someone themself feels safe and heard, they are more likely to listen

    Pila Mulligan: but there are areas where special remedies are needed

    Marylou Goldrosen: Not always

    Corvuscorva Nightfire: not always, Marylou?

    Threedee Shepherd: agreed re special remedies

    Marylou Goldrosen: Mentoring helps people

    Threedee Shepherd: I see special remedies as a case of "making whole"

    Threedee Shepherd: and "making right"

    Adelene Dawner: ...looking for link...

    Adelene Dawner: http://www.overcomingbias.com/2009/0...ut-uplift.html

    Adelene Dawner: Not that I'm certain I agree with the conclusion, but it's a very interesting perspective.

    stevenaia Michinaga: getting late for me night all

    Corvuscorva Nightfire: bye..sleep well.

    Threedee Shepherd: bye

    Pila Mulligan: bye Steve

    Marylou Goldrosen: Bye

    Threedee Shepherd: it has useful and relevant thoughts regarding a multifaceted issue

    Pila Mulligan: Ade, just a quick look at the article gives me the idea that it is referring to what I'd call the karma element of civil right

    Adelene Dawner: o.O?

    Pila Mulligan: the what goes around comes around, so let's not stand in front fo the target any more defending lsavery

    Pila Mulligan: you'd be surprised how often 'nice' people defended slavery in the 50's

    Pila Mulligan: in the south, where i was a youngster

    Corvuscorva Nightfire: nods..I wouldn't..they still do once in a while.

    Pila Mulligan: yes

    Threedee Shepherd: A VERY subtle related topic is the prople who currently argue that health-care is not a "right"




    Pila Mulligan: true

    Pila Mulligan: or that torture is 'efficeint'

    Threedee Shepherd: It would be if you could guarantee it yielded the "truth"

    Threedee Shepherd: however, efficient is not equal to morally correct

    Pila Mulligan: instead of the usual obverse result

    Pila Mulligan: and morally correct was the premise of the artcile Ade cited, it seemed

    Marylou Goldrosen: What truth? There are many truths

    Pila Mulligan: or karmically correct maybe

    Threedee Shepherd: I disagree with Squee on that one

    Adelene Dawner: The conclusion was about usefulness, actually. That blog won't touch 'morally right' wit ha 10-foot pole :)

    Pila Mulligan: in this case truth = factual accuracy

    Threedee Shepherd: well, it is ionteresting how often useful turns out to correlate positively with morally right.

    Pila Mulligan: this is what I was refrring to Ade, morality may not be the best idea but it came to mind : Affirmative action has always been more about the restoration of legitimacy to American institutions than the uplift of blacks and other minorities.

    Threedee Shepherd: We agree with you Marylou that there are many truths. I personally would add that, nonetheless, it is usually clear what a "right" thing to do is, in a given situation

    Adelene Dawner nods at Pila.

    Pila Mulligan: in the context of torture, truth = factual accuracy if you are trying to find the location of an enemy on a battlefield

    Threedee Shepherd: actual it is not truth then, it's fact.

    Pila Mulligan: and Threedee haven't we previously noted the idea that morality itseld may be an evolution of usefulness in survival?

    Marylou Goldrosen: Nietsc he said there are no facts only interpretations

    Pila Mulligan: yes, philosophically

    Pila Mulligan: but if you want to land at a specific airpoprt there is a good place to do it and the rest of the palces are ont so good

    Threedee Shepherd: re survival, yes

    Corvuscorva Nightfire: there are no facts only interpretions makes sense..it's just that interpretation is so damn helpful in getting to that airport.

    Marylou Goldrosen: That's when usefulness in important, then?

    Marylou Goldrosen: You guys seem to be educators too--similar interests

    Threedee Shepherd: A pragmatist would say: "It's all explanations (interpretations), it is really a matter of what you want an explanation to do for you."

    Marylou Goldrosen: Threedee, why are you a lion tonight?

    Threedee Shepherd: I always am, for quite some time now, unless there is a need to be otherwise.




    Threedee Shepherd: why do you ask?

    Marylou Goldrosen: I am curious about your metaphor identity

    Pila Mulligan: he is a truthful lion

    Pila Mulligan: upstanding even

    Marylou Goldrosen: Lovable too, I see

    Adelene Dawner: ^.^

    Threedee Shepherd: Marylou, it is actually quite complex. I am not a young Lion, and certainly graying

    Threedee Shepherd: I am I hope becoming wise enough to sit quietly and "suffer" the realities of the world, yet still able to rise up and be a carnivore when necessary

    Marylou Goldrosen: I was a cat when I first came to Second Life, in memory of my pet that died

    Marylou Goldrosen: Dawner, you have a mix of identitities?

    Adelene Dawner: Something like that. I shapeshift, but I'm very rarely human, and I nearly always have wings.

    Adelene Dawner: My prefered form tends to change over time - right now I most often use this one (outfit varies) or a winged lion similar to Threedee.

    Marylou Goldrosen: Lions are very religious too --brave

    Pila Mulligan: proud :)

    Adelene Dawner: Mmm... not how I see them. Strong, but social. Unusually social, for felines. :)

    Threedee Shepherd: and much more self-confident than I was when I was younger ;)

    Adelene Dawner: That too ^.^

    Pila Mulligan: you were not a clubby cub?

    Pila Mulligan: :)

    Threedee Shepherd: I was a nerd, before the term was invented

    Adelene Dawner: My qud lion is actually the friendliest of my forms, interestingly. I'm much more standoffish when I'm closer to human.

    Marylou Goldrosen: Pila, what is your identity

    Pila Mulligan: I yam who I yam

    Marylou Goldrosen: Like Popeye?

    Threedee Shepherd: yup, that sums it up nicely ^.^

    Pila Mulligan: :)

    Pila Mulligan: actually this avi looks more like me than I do in rl

    Marylou Goldrosen: Nightfire is lovely--what do you mean?

    Threedee Shepherd: hehehe

    Corvuscorva Nightfire: thank you, marylou

    Corvuscorva Nightfire is being summoned.

    Corvuscorva Nightfire: I need to go examine something someone has made.

    Corvuscorva Nightfire: see ya'll soon!

    Threedee Shepherd: later Corvi :+

    Adelene Dawner: See you, Corvi-Luv.

    Marylou Goldrosen: Bye

    Marylou Goldrosen: Are we playing now?

    Threedee Shepherd: We are *always* playing

    Adelene Dawner: ^.^

    Pila Mulligan: have you met Pema at Kira Cafe, Marylou?




    Marylou Goldrosen: Maybe. It's been awhile

    Threedee Shepherd: I need to go away-from-keyboard for 5-10 minutes and will be back to get the log

    Pila Mulligan: he organized this and Kira, his idea of Play as Being is actually related to a kind of consiousness raising theme

    Pila Mulligan: ok

    Pila Mulligan: now he is lyin'

    Pila Mulligan: lyin' down that is

    Adelene Dawner ruffles Three's mane. :)

    Pila Mulligan: Pema has quite evolved ideas of how play relates to being

    Marylou Goldrosen: He is tired, TIme to go. Thanks for the inspiration everyone. See you again

    Adelene Dawner: Okay, Marylou. It was nice meeting you.

    Pila Mulligan: bye Marylou, nice ot meet you

    Pila Mulligan: how have you been Ade?

    Adelene Dawner: Not bad. :)

    Adelene Dawner: Busy, as always :)

    Pila Mulligan: happy to hear it

    Pila Mulligan: yep :)

    Pila Mulligan: you've met Nymf haven't you?

    Adelene Dawner: Name sounds familiar, but I don't think so. I do think I might be helping wit ha presentation for her science circle next week.

    Pila Mulligan: yes

    Pila Mulligan: she is also a good SL designer -- you should see the fanatsy pavillion she put on my PaB plot

    Adelene Dawner: I'll have to come see sometime :)

    Pila Mulligan: would you like to go there -- can we tell Threedee?

    Adelene Dawner: Maybe another time - Three and I have some stuff to talk about when we're done here.

    Pila Mulligan: ok

    Pila Mulligan: any time :)

    Adelene Dawner: :)

    Adelene Dawner: I do have a landmark to your place. In fact, maybe I did meet her there?

    Pila Mulligan: I recall we were all there once

    Pila Mulligan: when it was just a kind of sand bar with cushions

    Adelene Dawner: Ah :)

    Adelene Dawner hmms... getting kind of droopy here.

    Pila Mulligan: :)

    Pila Mulligan: close to midinght isn't it?

    Adelene Dawner nods.

    Pila Mulligan: still daylight here

    Adelene Dawner nods.

    Pila Mulligan: do you want to go? I can wait for Threedee

    Adelene Dawner: We don't have to stay for him to be able to get the log, but I'd like to be here when he gets back.

    Pila Mulligan: ah, ok

    Pila Mulligan: thnking more about the affirmative action article, and having lived through the civil rights movement close at hand, i remember the big controversy over bussing

    Pila Mulligan: that was probably the first real act of affirmative action

    Pila Mulligan: bussing children between schoool districts to balance racail statistics at schools

    Pila Mulligan: there he is

    Pila Mulligan: welcome back Threedee

    Threedee Shepherd: back

    Threedee Shepherd: I'll close the log now

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