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Posts posted by metadigital

  1. I don't think the makers actually ever even used an old typewriter, or don't remember what it was like. "Touch-typing"? :p


    I'm all for NOT using a standard case, though. I can't wait for the consumerisation process that will spawn the generation of IT technology that integrates the geek-ugly into the disposable-income-chic (for an example of which see the transmogrification of the PC into the PVR).

  2. Actually, CPU brand has a bit to do with it, too ... Intel's is locked down tight with Rights Management, whereas AMD has left their products open (to be used with other OSes, for example, like *nix), so that an AMD system can be configured to stream multimedia around a site via any "toasternet" equipment, such as any old router not purchased specially for Windows-Centrino compatibility.



  3. To say smoking causes lung cancer or that nuclear weapons cause nuclear explosions is a conclusion based on some correlation between two events, and an invalid inference is made to attribute a causal link. People may accept this inference for psychological or pragmatic reasons, but there is no logical or empirical justification present for those conclusions.


    I suppose if one does not mind accepting conclusions that are logically invalid and have no empirical justification, then they do not have to do away with their world view.

    1. What, exactly, is invalid about the logic behind attributing the causes of lung cancer and nuclear explosions to smoking and nuclear weapons?

    2. The difference (in terms of burden of proof) between scientific sufficiency and epistemic proof is not as large as your arguments make it seem. (After all, if scientific sufficiency was such a poor standard for understanding causes then it would not be fit for purpose.) You are guilty of a fallacy here, definitely, by equating the quantity and quality of evidence required for people to be able to ACCURATELY predict (to a stipulated level of precision) EXACTLY how objects will behave in our universe, and the comparably fractional amount to prove the same beyond epistemic doubt.

    3. The main fault with your (so far only demonstrable argument) is that you are belabouring under the weighty assumption that there is a god. If you relinquish this assumption (for the purposes of understanding how our universe works), as scientists do, then your highly-valued deductive logic would be free to work on the issues at hand.

    4. It might facilitate the discussion if, instead of quoting other people's profundities, you might actually talk about what YOU think / believe. Whenever someone calls one of your more outrageous statements, you simply say "it wasn't my idea". Stop telling me OTHER people's ideas, because you lack the commitment to defend them (or perhaps you realise that the position is indefensible and you are avoiding the admission).


    You might not be searching for meaning, but I am. I suspect I'm not in the minority (of scholars), either ... you seem to have an odd motivation to discuss the ineffable WITHOUT DESIRE TO UNDERSTAND.

  4. We always thought it would be great to have "Bevil endings" for NWN2, where you get to one of several plot critical points in the game and have the protagonist say, "Screw this. Let Bevil do it." Then the game brings up a storyboard sequence in which Bevil rises to the occasion and manages to banish the King of Shadows while you chill out in the swamp near West Harbor.

    you should have.


    there should always be the option to drop everything and run like a frightened squirrel.

    I agree that it is a great technique. It also provides an opportunity for humour, too. :ermm:



    Didn't System Shock 2 have the option to exit at the beginning of the game, too? :huh:

  5. Ah, you've discovered the "hidden" achilles heel of the Anglican Church ... not that they have a theological monopoly on hypocrisy (far from it), they just manage to completely embarrass themselves whenever they try to talk about policy, as the diverse politics of their communion shoots any statement firmly in the foot. :)

  6. Just finished Bad Monkeys, which has a brilliant dustjacket and beginning, but unfortunately it descends into a mediochre mess before it's halfway through.


    Still worth a read of the back cover and first chapter (which is what triggered me to buy it).


  7. I just got a new apartment, 30 squaremeters and a bathroom, bayview, washing machine, great neighbourhood. Only 247 a month.


    Now, the trouble is that the apartment is entirely unfurnished. And I'm about the spend the weekend there, uh...

    Floor-sleeping backache!


    Cheap bed, linen and mattresses should be available (retail) for less than a couple hundred Euros (at least in normal parts of Europe ... not sure about those forgotten corners ...)



  8. If we agree with the assumption that causation MUST be proved before we can make use of it, then all the scientists will start packing up their equipment and looking for a new hobby/career.


    I don't think it was claimed by anybody that causation must be proved to be used. Certainly, it is used everyday by most people. What was claimed is that causation must be justified to use rationally to form conclusions that are rational.


    It may be impossible to prove that putting a swath of cotton in a hot oven sets the scene for the hot flames to CAUSE the cotton to ignite, but -- because we can reliably predict that it WILL, every time -- what does that actually mean?


    For prediction, see problem of induction (certainly a greater epistemic threat to science then the problem of causation). Ignore Hume's expose (not doing the strength of the argument justice), go to Salmon's work in The Foundations of Scientific Inference for a more cogent discussion related to science itself (he takes a sympathetic view towards science, but ultimately concludes that there is no satisfactory resolution to the problem, though he is optimistic). Karl Popper also agreed that Hume was correct on the issue and tried to formulate a "deductivist approach" that ran into the same problems he wanted to avoid.


    Hence the problem isn't that there is no causality (try and provide a better model!), it is that we are insufficiently able to prove it (at this time). A semantic argument. The Mother of All semantic arguments.


    For "a better model", Ghazali and Malebranche invoke that God is the cause of all things. The model is certainly much more logically consistent than attempting to use an invalid inference to jump from correlation to causation.


    Pragmatic considerations for science (and other things) are nice, and may convince people as to their usefulness, but I'm afraid they provide no epistemic value to the discussion.

    I really wish I had time at the moment to provide a full rebuttal; I shall endeavour to cover all the bases.


    You are quick to conclude that causality is deductively orphaned without demonstrable proof that two events are linked, scientific sufficiency notwithstanding.


    Let's be clear: Hume is attacking the MEANING of meaning; an equivalent critique would ask, say, what "Two" MEANS in the statement "1+1=2" ... i.e. it is implicit in mathematics (a model of reality), i.e. it is ASSUMED. (Two is the next counting number / whole number / integer / whatever in the infinite series of same, etc.)


    Let's get back to the root of the discussion: confidence in the conclusions in the discussion of global Climate Change. By denigrating causality -- as defined by science, in this case -- one MUST also conclude that there is insufficient evidence to conclude that smoking causes lung cancer ... or even that nuclear weapons cause nuclear explosions! So much for the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty and the UN Security Council.


    As for your reference to a Ghazali-Malebranche "ultimate mover", I find that less attractive. I'd need a lot more (concise) explanation about that before you could convince me (I haven't read them). How an independently, scientifically verifiable series of events can be called inconclusively causal (epistemically speaking, of course) and yet the alternative hypothesis makes a series of equivalent (or weaker) ontological assumptions ... like the jump to an external factor (a third factor not directly related to any object in the causal chain), the existence of a God (Deism), and onto a paternalistic God (Theism) that intervenes (in fact HAS TO) into EVERYTHING. That's three factors that SHOULD NOT be necessary to explain why, for example, EVERY TIME one raises the temperature of paper to 451 degrees Fahrenheit -- at standard pressure and volume -- it combusts, as predicted by our recorded observations of the physical world, including (but not limited to!) the Boyle-Mariotte law (1662).


    Again, although I am almost reticent to mention it, the fault seems to be the (seemingly) cavalier assumptions you make, rather than deductive or inductive reasoning. (This harks back to our previous arguments, where I criticized you for syllogism. :)


    If I may paraphrase, it seems to me your argument is:

    "Causality is problematic, so let's solve it.

    "First, Assume that there is a God (proof seems to be unnecessary for this);

    "Given this assumption, by definition (for God), God is capable

    "and able

    "AND WILLING to be the unmoved mover of our problem.



    Compare that to me:

    "Assume that causality is real and derived from observable correlation,

    "Given this, when an event can be predictably repeated by anyone, anywhere with predictable accuracy and precision, then cause and effect are evident.



    You solution, however convenient from a theological (i.e. "divinely revealed" or completely arbitrary, depending on the reader) viewpoint, is patently useless from a utilitarian one (which must still have epistemic basis). And all in the name of searching for meaning!


    Right now you are (seriously!) arguing that it is MORE MEANINGFUL to say that "God moves everything" rather than discern causes for outcomes. Aren't you? Or are you just fighting a rearguard action, using Hume, to save face?

  9. I was talking about the diagnosis for the personality that wanted to murder everyone, as apposed to a diagnosis for the entire mind mess. (They could all have their own psych eval, and then -- for fun and giggles -- they could all compete for dominion over the person!)

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