June 24, 2009

Wednesday 090624

Rest Day

hawaii-th.jpg

Enlarge image

Elyse Umeda, Makapu'u Lighthouse Trail, Hawaii


"CrossFit Apex: Wagners Love CrossFit" - video [wmv] [mov]


"50 Years Ago: Cargo Cults of Melanesia" by Peter Worsley

Post thoughts to comments.

Posted by lauren at June 24, 2009 5:51 AM
Comments

Just woke up from a 3 hour nap. It's going to be a good rest cycle. Thanks Coach for everyting

Comment #1 - Posted by: MikeySFV at June 23, 2009 6:28 PM

Invisible Bike

Comment #2 - Posted by: ajvince at June 23, 2009 6:36 PM

I have had the pleasure of meeting, competing against and instructing Tonya and Josh. They are genuinely great people and fierce competitors.

Best of luck to both of you in Aromas!

Comment #3 - Posted by: Dennis Marshall at June 23, 2009 6:40 PM

We spent a few days with the Wagner's. They are bringing the "A" game.

Comment #4 - Posted by: sevan at June 23, 2009 6:42 PM

I wanna go there, workout, then jump in the water!

Did yesterdays Hellen thing -
14:40.
Used a 16KG kb for 10 swings and 24KG for the other 11 each round.
HSPUs were good but the runs were lame in the blazing hot sun.

Comment #5 - Posted by: AllisonNYC_CrossFit Obsession at June 23, 2009 6:42 PM

Loving everything bu the crocs...

Comment #6 - Posted by: Tom Brose at June 23, 2009 6:46 PM

Great Pic!

Comment #7 - Posted by: Aaron Wilson at June 23, 2009 6:58 PM

awesome pic!

Comment #8 - Posted by: Sabs at June 23, 2009 7:14 PM

The article by Peter Worsley was a fascinating read, but I was a tad bit perplexed by this sentence on page 4:

"And among these Americans the Melanesians saw Negroes like themselves, living lives of luxury on equal terms with white G.I.s."

Granted, I wasn't there to witness this, but I'm not sure I understand how the life of a soldier on the leading edge of combat, regardless of color, creed or religion, can be one of "luxury," even when compared to the daily existence of a indigenous tribe. Am I missing something? Could the author be referring to post-war occupation?

Comment #9 - Posted by: DT at June 23, 2009 7:15 PM

Why is Elyse's name not on the Female competitor list? She qualified at the Nor Cal comp! Does anyone know? She was awesome to watch! "Hawaiian Fireball" for sure!

Comment #10 - Posted by: Lake @KMSF 167/M/34 at June 23, 2009 7:19 PM

@ #2 hahaha
great photo

Comment #11 - Posted by: Drew at June 23, 2009 7:29 PM

Great pic!
Sweet video!

I can't RX today I have to make up Front Squats.

Have a great rest day....

Comment #12 - Posted by: Wayne - Combat Crossfit at June 23, 2009 7:31 PM

#9 DT:

I imagine even the barest of modern assets (shoes, metal objects, guns in particular) would have qualified as luxuries, no less the perceived knowledge of how to make or obtain them. Not to mention supplies of food not grown by hand.

Comment #13 - Posted by: Chas at June 23, 2009 7:33 PM

Just did 'Grace' for the first time. 9:28.
She thoroughly kicked my ass, but wow- that was so much fun!

Crossfit is my dirty mistress.

Comment #14 - Posted by: FoxJr. at June 23, 2009 7:34 PM

I found the article to be a seriously biased, western interpretation of a people the author has hardly bothered to acknowledge as a contemporary human culture. The use of the terms "primitive" and "ignorant" were particularly vexing. How would christian communities living in the US, and who are expecting a "second coming" any day now feel about being labeled thus?
I suppose if this article was written 50 years ago, then it was in keeping with the paradigm of those times, when anthropologists still thought measuring somebody's skull could tell you how "developed" they were!
On the other hand, there are some interesting points made in the article, especially with regards to people's need to make sense of the unknown and feel equally empowered as other humans around them.

Comment #15 - Posted by: Ian at June 23, 2009 7:39 PM

Looks like some people are not following the Prime Directive. Tsk tsk

Comment #16 - Posted by: Capt Kirk at June 23, 2009 7:48 PM

Very interesting article. I think its funny how people label these groups and beliefs "cults" when they are no different than the dominant religions of the world. They are just attempts at explaining phenomena that is not understood. Religion is just a form of primitive law that has been used by man to explain the purpose of the universe. Anthropology is so interesting, good choice on the rest day article!

Comment #17 - Posted by: Theguy at June 23, 2009 8:11 PM

Random question...what does WOD mean?

I am guessing it means "work out ..." but I have no clue

Comment #18 - Posted by: crocop at June 23, 2009 8:17 PM

...of the Day

Comment #19 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/199/5'-11" at June 23, 2009 8:18 PM

M/51/164
PR TODAY SP 150.
CFJAX MAKES ME STRONG.
CAV

Comment #20 - Posted by: CAV at June 23, 2009 8:24 PM

Can someone give me some advice. I've looked into the zone diet, and understand it for the most part. The biggest problem I'm running into is the fact that is says to have 0 to very little sugar in the diet. I understand why as sugar can be hard to work off, but I'm now looking more closely at all the food packages, and there is sugar in EVERYTHING!!! Even things I didn't think there would be sugar in. Any ideas as to what or where to get food or alternative food ideas with little to no sugar?

Comment #21 - Posted by: Kameron M/23/170 at June 23, 2009 8:27 PM

#21 try vegetables,fruit and meat.

Comment #22 - Posted by: Jim D. 48 yom 165# 5'11" at June 23, 2009 8:37 PM

The use of the terms "primitive" and "ignorant" were particularly vexing.
Comment #15 Ian at 7:39 PM

I would imagine he called them 'primitive' & 'ignorant' because of they were accurate, not out of superiority or malice.

"Primitive" because of their lack of technology. If a culture is discovered that hasn't progressed far enough along to discover or use the "wheel" that's primitive.

"Ignorant" because they didn't know how things were made or done. If someone were to develop cold fusion or an ET brought it to us we would be considered "Ignorant" of that technology. The ET would also consider us "primitive" and it would be right.

Why so sensitive?

Comment #23 - Posted by: jakers at June 23, 2009 8:40 PM

Kameron #21

Stay away from food in "packages" as much as possible. Eat "meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar." Ever see a food label on an apple? Steak? Chicken? Eat that stuff and you'll be in good shape!

Comment #24 - Posted by: Gene at June 23, 2009 8:41 PM

whats the Prime Directive?

Comment #25 - Posted by: Ian at June 23, 2009 8:45 PM

Awesome pic!! Makes me wish I was back there again on vacation!!

Comment #26 - Posted by: justaman - liberty sc at June 23, 2009 9:12 PM

Ok, I appreciate the advice, I also noticed a lot of people say some fruit....as in a little bit of fruit each day or you should only eat certain kinds of fruits? Thanks again guys I never actually needed to eat a certain diet being a teenager, but I really want to try to get on this and do it right I think it will help me tremendously. Lastly, I know a lot of nuts have lots of sodium and salt is that ok....or should I try to find the least salty nuts and seeds?

Comment #27 - Posted by: Kameron M/23/170 at June 23, 2009 9:18 PM

#23;Jakers,

Thanks for clearing that up...I was just about to write the same response to #15. People give religion a hard time for imposing guilt...what about the modern, misdirected form of American liberalism...that's today's guilt-bearer...

Jon

Comment #28 - Posted by: jongb at June 23, 2009 9:25 PM

The Wagners rock! Cool vid. Thanks Sevan.

Comment #29 - Posted by: freddy c._one world at June 23, 2009 9:40 PM

I've been doing the CrossFit thing for about three weeks now, and I love it! Still, I haven't quite yet forged "elite" fitness. I'd currently put myself somewhere between "above average" and "high" fitness so I have to scale back a bit most days. My question is this, when reducing weights, should I try to do as much weight as possible, sacrificing the time I need to rest when I can't do more than one rep at a time? Or, should I reduce the weight further so I can get through most if not all of the set/round without stopping?

Comment #30 - Posted by: JMR at June 23, 2009 9:52 PM

Didn't read the article yet, but I don't understand the thing about religion. I understand religion as a bunch of people putting faith and trust in the word of someone trying to explain the unknown without any concrete proof, which is really like going to a physics or archeology class. Does that all imply guilt?

Comment #31 - Posted by: Nick at June 23, 2009 9:59 PM

everyone do yesterdays crossfitfootball.com workout. easily the hardest wod i've ever done!

Comment #32 - Posted by: Raze at June 23, 2009 10:02 PM

Had surgery this morning. Right side Labrum, subscapularis, and bicep tendon repaired. This one was much more damaged than the left one.

Going to stay on paleo, supplement fish oil, glucosamine/chondroitin/MSM and use ice pack to expedite recovery!

Comment #33 - Posted by: Herm at June 23, 2009 10:21 PM

Raze,

agreed. I'm doing it tomorrow.

Comment #34 - Posted by: Matt_in_Oz at June 23, 2009 10:56 PM

Herm,

Speedy recovery! I had six weeks on-off of lower back pain, it was crossfit hell. Did not know how fast could I go back to WODs, pain was going away and than back, horrible.
Now it's better. Hope your recovery time passes fast.

Comment #35 - Posted by: jos at June 23, 2009 11:06 PM

Makapu'u Lighthouse Trail...awesome trail if you ever get the chance to go. Beautiful too. Lots of fun pushing a stroller, for sure. ;) Ahhh...I miss Hawaii.

Awesome pic, Elyse!

Comment #36 - Posted by: sakura @ cf solano at June 23, 2009 11:07 PM

recover well Herm!

Comment #37 - Posted by: Daniel Krull AKA "Franiel" at June 23, 2009 11:48 PM

Wonderful, I had to take yesterday off too because I got sick during guard duty. Apparently my wisdom tooth needed removed that day also - so I'm stuck on Vicodin for the next 3 days - how long should I wait before I get back into working out?

Comment #38 - Posted by: Nick P. at June 23, 2009 11:52 PM

beastly box jump

Comment #39 - Posted by: b at June 24, 2009 12:45 AM

Ian #15:

Ignorant doesn't mean that you are not intelligent or uneducated, it simply means that you either refuse to acknowledge certain information, or that you are simply unaware of it.

Primitive cultures simply means that compared to modern western societies, those cultures don't have the advanced technology and knowledge.

I'm surprised that the article is posted here, because what you can learn from this article can be applied to every religion.

But on a funnier note, I remember reading about those cargo cults, and clearly the people investigating them thought it was silly to believe in such a religion.

Especially because although the return of the cargo was announced, nothing happend. So one of the investigators asked: "But it has been nineteen years since the announced return of the cargo, isn't nineteen years a long time to wait?" And the cargo-believer said: "You are waiting for the return of Jesus for more than two thousand years, so nineteen doesn't seem that much."

I found that comment hilarious.

Comment #40 - Posted by: Jonathan at June 24, 2009 12:47 AM

#30 JMR

scale the reps or the weight, it depends on your goals/current limitations. as a naturally skinny guy i'm targeting more strength, so if i have to scale, i keep the heavy weight and reduce the reps (if it calls for 21-15-9, try 15-12-9, for example). of course, use your judgement, don't injure yourself by trying to do 15 1-rep sets at a weight that's too heavy.

if you're big and need to get your stamina on, drop the weight and keep the higher reps.

i'm no expert for sure, just a guy who's tried both ways. search 'heavy metcons' on the message boards and you'll find some discussions about this..

Comment #41 - Posted by: indo chris m/33/6'1/185 at June 24, 2009 1:13 AM

#40 - I've read that quote and it cracked me up as well. I'm not surprised this was posted though. It is a bit of a conversation stimulator amongst the primarily American audience here.

I did find it interesting that the article could draw parallels with lots of smaller European cults but couldn't see the same pattern in Christianity or any other large religion. I suspect the writer just didn't recognise it as something to compare against.

Comment #42 - Posted by: Ben K at June 24, 2009 2:26 AM

Hi guys I have been doing Crossfit for the past month and I have just done 10 days straight of Crossfit, Tabata and boxing. I know this is overkill but I cant get over the buzz and the feeling I get each time I complete an intense work out.My body fat is dropping down near to the single figures and my CV is fantastic, not to mention my endurance limits! I work as a professional soccer coach in the UK and pre-season starts in the next week or so and boy are the players in for a surprise!! By the way I am 45 next month and my heart rate and shape are the best they have been since I was 20. The one thing I cant do yet(note the yet) is pull ups, what is the best way to beat these?
Last night I did 5 station Tabata (Squats,russian twists, hammer curls, kettle bell to chin and rowing, followed by 100 squats, 1 mile run, 100 situps and 1 mile run)I think I should cut back to 5 days on and 2 days off, your thoughts people please
cheers jim

Comment #43 - Posted by: Jtotch at June 24, 2009 2:37 AM

Awsome, I really could use some good time like that. Great views and Crossfit Women, what a great combo....

Comment #44 - Posted by: Johnny B/ Crossfit Torii Beach at June 24, 2009 3:23 AM

#25 -
the Prime Directive, Starfleet's General Order #1, is the most prominent guiding principle of the United Federation of Planets. The Prime Directive dictates that there can be no interference with the internal affairs of other civilizations

Comment #45 - Posted by: Capt Kirk at June 24, 2009 3:33 AM

Helen for me today - 9:20 as RXd

CFWU and 3 Rds of:
400m
21 x 1.5 pood kettlebell swings
12 x pullups

Comment #46 - Posted by: Jon at June 24, 2009 5:51 AM

#45, Capt Kirk,

FN roger that...now beam us the F out of here Scotty...

Al Hillah REO, South Fork Crew

PS Rest Days are good...

Comment #47 - Posted by: jpatrick at June 24, 2009 5:58 AM

Ok, I am at a remote COB in Iraq. I have almost no missions for 3 more months (to let the Iraqis take over) then I return to the U.S...I am walking in circles here going nuts from boredom. Would it be a good idea to just burn myself out physically everyday until I pass out? We get usually 2 meals (powdered eggs, busicuits, meat, rice) a day sometimes only one, and I am afraid of getting too skinny...any advice would be appreciated....BTW we have a very limited gym since the money is shifting toward Afghanistan now....

Comment #48 - Posted by: #2 at June 24, 2009 6:16 AM

Worked out with my mom today.

2 min Jump Rope
1 min push-ups
2 min Jump Rope
1 min side planks
2 min Jump Rope
1 min leg lifts
2 min Jump Rope
1 min Mountain Climber
2 min Jump Rope
1 Mile Bike Ride

Not bad but . . . not crossfit.

Comment #49 - Posted by: TheFlyingIguana at June 24, 2009 6:21 AM

Ah...Makapu'u...I lived in Hawaii for 4 years while assigned to HQ PACAF back in the 90's, and seeing those pictures brings it all back: surfing, mountain biking, climbing, hiking, snorkling..."it's another beautiful day in the islands, high of 85 today, mauka showers, winds are Trades 5-10, and a moderate swell making south shore surf 3-5 feet. Outer buoys reporting 4-6 and that swell should remain for the rest of the day."

Sigh.

Btw...for those who don't speak Latin, the English word "cult" is derived from the word "cultus" which means "habitation, tilling, refinement, worship". The English word merely means "a system of religious beliefs." Yes, I'm aware of the connotation, but its a perfectly useful and respectful word...

On the subject of the rationality of religion in general, I would partially agree with the person that said religion is the attempt to explain phenomena, but stop short of calling religion "superstition" as some posters imply.

Religion is simply the Man's search for God...a search to fill the "God-shaped" hole in our hearts the He placed within us. That one starts with a premise that there must be "something out there" is at least as valid a premise as "there is nothing out there." As I shall attempt to demonstrate, its more rational to believe than not.

Rationality, begun in the West by Plato and Aristotle, found it's home in Christianity. While it is true that Faith is a gift from God, a gift offered to all but only finding some, it is also true that Faith and Reason inform each other. As a Catholic, I can attest that the teachings of my Faith are very rational to me...they don't require of me "blind faith" or superstitious belief. I can reason them all out logically. Christianity has a philosophical underpinning in Western rationality...it was clergy who invented the Scientific Method after all.

Before this post turns into a novel, lost me give one example.

The principle of Cause and Effect can be observed in Nature. We can see that for something to change, start, stop, etc, there must be a cause. This is the principle of scientific discovery: we observe a phenomena and wonder 'why'? So pick anything, any phenomena, and begin to ask 'where did that come from?' over and over...you begin to trace Cause and Effect from 'now' backward through time and space. Every 'Effect' has a 'Cause' UNTIL you reach some point far enough back. Eventually, you have to arrive at a point when you have to have an 'Uncaused Cause'...a 'First Cause'...that requires the action(s) of a Person/Thing outside of the Universe in order to start the process of 'Cause and Effect'. This is testable not merely as a though experiment, but in real life...just set up a container and try to get a plant to grow in it without putting a seed, water, sun, etc, inside. By the way, this is not my idea...it is Plato's.

(E.g. The "Big Bang Theory" that explains the Creation of the Universe starts with a 'singularity' of all the matter and energy the Universe that exploded and expanded into everything we can sense today. Would you be surprised to learn it was first postulated by Catholic priest-scientist Georges Lemaître? So what caused the singularity? What caused it to explode? There must have been a First Cause, even if the singularity wasn't first...)

So the question really isn't "Religion or Not"...it's "Which Religion?".

For an excellent treatise on Faith and Reason, including the influence of Classical thought and Western philosophy on Christianity, I recommend Pope John Paul II's "Fides et Ratio" found here: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_15101998_fides-et-ratio_en.html


Comment #50 - Posted by: Mickey (M/43/174/5'10") at June 24, 2009 6:33 AM

it's about time for a rest day i've done WOD's for the last 4 days....haha #6 i noticed that too

Comment #51 - Posted by: Adam at June 24, 2009 7:02 AM

I was so excited to have my reps counted by a local level 1 certified xfit instructor. Her name is Susie Bob. It was my life's goal. I was more excited than she. Wow! I love xfit. It's what I live for. Well off to practice my hanging cleans, and muscle ups. BTW, my left pec muscle got very sore after body weight bench the other day. And my lean cusine, oat bran, asparagus diet is going well. I'm scared to loose too much weight. Did I mention I turn 22 next month. I'd consider myself somewhere in the elite fitness realm. All for know.
3-2-1 blow

Comment #52 - Posted by: Kellibob at June 24, 2009 7:06 AM

I don't know about anyone else but I loved doing front squats yesterday. First time doing them heavy and felt great the whole time. I am feeling it in my core today.

I had a hemilamenectomy a few years back (essentially I am missing part of several of my vertebrae) and have found back squats feel really odd, not in a good way. It almost feels like my spine is unstable and could snap at any minute. Feels fine on deadlifts and OH squats. I am thinking for all of the future heavy back squat lifts I will do front squats or OH squats instead. Thoughts?

Comment #53 - Posted by: dan m at June 24, 2009 7:30 AM

Wow! they've got some GREAT energy!

Comment #54 - Posted by: Sparky/34//5'5"/210 at June 24, 2009 7:35 AM

Awesome pic. Seeing it makes me wish even more I was back home in Hawaii. The water looks so cool and refreshing. I'm sure it would feel great after doing 100 or so barrier jumps for time.

Comment #55 - Posted by: Ed H at June 24, 2009 8:00 AM

Comment #48 - One meal a day? For our soldiers? That's insulting as hell. Get home safe, and soon.

Comment #45 - That's hilarious; Prime Directive, indeed. But Missions and meddling go hand in hand. No God, no medicine; how very "Christian." (Not that all "Christians" or even all missions, behave thusly - but too many have and do.)

These "simple" cultures found round the world and comprised of indigenous peoples offer us a glimpse of like liver in harmony with the world and with one another. They serve as a model of better times, when no one died from the stress of trying to please the boss, or worried over the cost of medicare during retirement.

Such cultures take only what they need; share openly; look out for their own; live simply, without the constant "needs" of our society; live cleanly and well, and revel in the mysteries of the universe; they would rather live life than spend it trying to truly explain things they will never understand.

For these things, we call them simple and ignorant and savage. I wonder, sometimes, rather such labels are fueled as much by jealousy as by misunderstanding....

Comment #56 - Posted by: Jay at June 24, 2009 8:09 AM

I am not one to romanticize the 'noble savage'. Show me how their lives are not brutal and short. What is the infant mortality rate? Islanders in New Guinea where head hunters I thought. There goes your statement about living in harmony. Geez...

Comment #57 - Posted by: Roden at June 24, 2009 8:40 AM

Hooray for rest day. Found crossfit a couple weeks ago (article in seattle times). My definition of fit has changed 180*. I used to work out 5x's a week, using the same old work out routines. The WOD keeps me interested and challenged. The non traditional exercises keep me sore!

Comment #58 - Posted by: a.johnson at June 24, 2009 8:43 AM

46/M/6'/185

FRONT SQUAT:

5-135
5-155
5-185
5-205
5-215

ALL REPS WERE A2A.

FIGHTING TONIGHT, 1.5 HRS.

STRANGE FOR YOU

RURAL/METRO FIRE DEPT.
TUCSON, AZ.

Comment #59 - Posted by: ROBERT SUTHERLAND at June 24, 2009 9:28 AM

#10 Lake-

Elyse withdrew from the games to be with her family, she just lost her grandfather.

http://hardassfitness.blogspot.com/2009/06/gramps-honoring-my-late-grandfather-by.html

Comment #60 - Posted by: Aaron A. at June 24, 2009 9:31 AM

Last week I was staying at the Hyatt in Minneapolis on a business trip. I was doing the CrossFit Warmup in their fitness center and had finished my second round of 10 pullups and a guy comes up to me:

"Are you a climber?"
"No. Why?"
"You work out like one!"

Compliment? I think so!

maybe it was the Five Fingers...

Comment #61 - Posted by: illiniJason at June 24, 2009 9:33 AM

Makapuu Lighthouse trail is great for whalewatching abd cruising with the kids but try Kokohead trail for a real CF workout! Over 1100 steps climbing 2400 vertical feet! PR is 16:45 but some do faster and then run down!

Comment #62 - Posted by: jenerichawaiian at June 24, 2009 9:38 AM

Front Squats

225
235
245
255
265

Comment #63 - Posted by: John-In-Jersey at June 24, 2009 9:42 AM

#15 Ian: it WAS written 50 years ago.

"Editor's Note: This article, published in the May 1959 issue of Scientific American, is a supplement to the 50, 100 & 150 Years Ago column in the May 2009 issue."

Comment #64 - Posted by: Benny1 M/40/74"/220 at June 24, 2009 9:57 AM

#60 Aaron A
So sorry to hear that! My thoughts and prayers go out to the Umeda Family. There is always next year!

Comment #65 - Posted by: Lake at June 24, 2009 10:08 AM

Badass pic!!! no rest for me today so i went to the Crossfit Camp Pendleton page and did their workout..

As many rounds in 20 min as possible,
5 KB swings (50# Dumbbell)
10 Box jumps, 24"
15 Pushups

great workout!! I did 18 rounds in 19.56 and I finished 20 rounds when the clock was stopped (I made a commitment to get 20)

My big bro Timmy was there and he got 17 and KB swings in 20 min.. He is still getting over his illness but he'll be back in it before i know it!

Comment #66 - Posted by: BUD/S Hopeful, Class ??? at June 24, 2009 10:19 AM

i'm always watching but rarely post.

this is not intended as an attack but i would like to respond several people who attempted to define primitive by asking, do we consider being able to live in sustaining cycles with the rest of the living organsims on this planet to be primitive?

Comment #67 - Posted by: David Johansson at June 24, 2009 10:29 AM

#43 Work your ass off 3 days on 1 day off... If the workouts aren't hard enough for you then do crossfit football workouts (holy crap they hurt)

If you still need more then do your running on any/every day you feel needed.

training for 10 straight or 5 on 1 off or whatever will only get you hurt.

By the way to learn pullups start with jumping pullups where you jump off a box and then lower yourself to the ground. it will come in time!

Comment #68 - Posted by: Brandon H m/27/180/5'10" at June 24, 2009 10:38 AM

#55 jay “These "simple" cultures found round the world and comprised of indigenous peoples offer us a glimpse of like liver in harmony with the world and with one another. “

Please say you’re kidding.

Jay,“They serve as a model of better times, when no one died from the stress of trying to please the boss, or worried over the cost of medicare during retirement. “

It’s stupid to think these cultures didn’t have stress, their lives were brutal and short due to stressors which would in fact cause stress. They died from infection, tribal warfare, and cultural mutilation rites, human sacrifice, starvation, that’s so much better than “please the boss” and insist it?

“Such cultures take only what they need; share openly; look out for their own; live simply, without the constant "needs" of our society; live cleanly and well, and revel in the mysteries of the universe; they would rather live life than spend it trying to truly explain things they will never understand.”

Your view of history is incorrect, there is plenty of evidence that these “simple” cultures abused the world to the extent of their technology allowed. Their tool were the limiting factor not the desire. This article ABOUT these cultures trying to figure out, and apply within their own experience, how to explain things they don’t understand, and the exact opposite of what you are claiming.

Jay #55 :”For these things, we call them simple and ignorant and savage. I wonder, sometimes, rather such labels are fueled as much by jealousy as by misunderstanding....”

And for comments like these I wonder who filled your head with such misunderstandings.

Comment #69 - Posted by: penty at June 24, 2009 11:01 AM

Comment #67 David Johansson “do we consider being able to live in sustaining cycles with the rest of the living organsims on this planet to be primitive? “

Your are incorrect; there is plenty of evidence that these “simple” cultures abused the world to the extent that their technology allowed. Their tools were the limiting factor not the desire, ethics, or morality of the “noble savage”.

Do you consider it preferable/ethical to limit our tools to the point where we are living in a sustaining cycle?

Comment #70 - Posted by: penty at June 24, 2009 11:07 AM

I didn't read the entire article, but this is interesting:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Disappointment

jtotch, you can try one of them giant rubber band things but if you don't have one, put a chair far enough in front of you so your torso can be vertical and your legs be straight more or less horizontal with your heels on the chair when you hang from the bar. When you get to the point where you can do like 15 or 20 like that, you should be able to graduate to regular variety doing like 5. Then you can figure out kipping variety and do even more.

dan m, "It almost feels like my spine is unstable and could snap at any minute." I don't have a degree in medicine, but that sounds like it should be avoided.

I skipped the fathers day pullup hysteria so today i did fran as rx'd for the first time ever in 13:45, all thruster sets broken, all pullup sets unbroken (m/38/160/5'10)

Comment #71 - Posted by: tonf at June 24, 2009 11:14 AM

m/36/6'1"/198

Front Squats, 5x3
135
155
175
175
175

Only my 3rd time with FS, so hard to call this a pr, but it's the most I've lifted so far. Feeling good about form and ROM; looking forward to adding more weight next time.

It has been dificult to get in the gym on weekends, so I frequently have to make up WODs on rest day. I have seen a 5/2 training schedule mentioned, but have only seen the 3/1 posted. Is there anyone on the 5/2 that can give me some advise, or do I just need to make the 3/1 happen?

Comment #72 - Posted by: Lunchbox at June 24, 2009 11:25 AM

#21,

Sure, everything has sugar, even fruit, but it is the type of sugar that matters. Dont eat processed or refined sugars. Don't eat food in "packages" to start with. If you are starting the Zone, look into more topics of it like glycemic index and glycemic loads of foods. A good site I have found and used regulary is www.nutritiondata.com. The zone also allows for foods that you will not find on a paleo diet like wheat products.

I have been on a modified paleo zone diet for about six months and have lost about 8-10 lbs of fat.

Hope this helps!

Comment #73 - Posted by: BigPig/m/6'06"/200/35 at June 24, 2009 11:38 AM

Carlox can't go to Aromas the consul denied Carlox's visa that's sad and not fare...he train so hard for this

Greeting FRAT

Heal soon Herm

Comment #74 - Posted by: s'more at June 24, 2009 11:45 AM

is there any regular plan for a warm to these workout or do you mad men and women just go balls to the wall! arrrrrr that reminds me of fight gone bad..... feel free to mail me or send link many thanks to any of the family who help me out... ps if you've got to go down, go down on fire!

Comment #75 - Posted by: joe stephens at June 24, 2009 12:07 PM

Blech blech blech….

So today was not a rest day for me. I set out to do DL 5x5 and PP 5x5. Did not make it past the DL.
My 1ME DL is pretty good. I feel INCREDIBLE when I do these and energy spikes, feel awesome, etc etc.
According to the trainer at the Y, after the first rep or two, my back was rounding because I was not going down far enough. The more I worked on them, the more frustrated I got, and the worse I got. I dropped the wt and was going only to 3 reps below my usual 3 rep wt. So even though I worked on these today, it does not feel like a “workout”. Like I was so frustrated I could have screamed!
For all you trainers out there, oh how I would like to be your client one afternoon! And I had wished I could have stayed at the gym longer to do something else after to feel better. But it was time to head back to work.
I need a hug! ;)

Erin

Comment #76 - Posted by: in8girl at June 24, 2009 12:28 PM

OK--today I turn 45 & had a workout day scheduled (tomorrow is my rest day). I've been doing CF football & main site WODs, but decided to make up my own workout today. I included some of my favorite exercises & some of my "not so favorite" exercises.

20 pull ups
5 push ups
20 squats
5 push press 95#
20 box jumps on 24" box
5 burpees
10 pull ups
10 push ups
10 squats
10 push press 95#
10 box jumps on 24" box
10 burpees
5 pull ups
20 push ups
5 squats
20 push press 95#
5 box jumps on 24" box
20 burpees

Time 11:46

I love squats, pull ups & push ups, not so much love for push press, box jumps or burpees. I did a lot of heavy stuff the last 2 days, so this day went well.

At 45 & doing CF for a few months pretty solid (minus 6 weeks since early Dec.) I feel better than ever. I'm stronger than I've ever been & have less pain in daily live since I can remember!

Comment #77 - Posted by: Eric G. in WA 45m/5'8.5/185 at June 24, 2009 12:41 PM

in8girl - sounds like your day today was like mine was yesterday. Ugh. If it's any consolation, today I had a great day! Wait, that is probably not what you want to hear. :) But it is funny how things can change dramatically from day to day for no apparent reason. Chalk it up to an off day.

Today for me was "rowing over my head," i.e. a rowing WOD from CFE and overhead lifts. Did Brian's 6x3 minute intervals with alternating rests, 1 minute rest after intervals 1, 3, and 5, 3 minute rests after intervals 2 and 4. Avg. pace 1:43/500, 28-30 spm. Then the overhead part:

OHS 6x5 65-75-85-95-105-115(f)-115(3 - PR+10)
SP 3x3 115-115-115
PP 3x3 95-105-115
PJ 3x3 95-105-115
Power C&J 3x5 115-115-115.

Great day in the gym. Just barely starting to turn the corner on the OHS. Just barely starting to see how, yes, it is possible that human beings can do Grace as rx'd.

Comment #78 - Posted by: Kamper M/45/74"/200 at June 24, 2009 12:59 PM

****FRAT SOS****

Carlos Andrade, the winner of the South American Qualifier has been denied a visa and will not be able to travel to Aromas to compete in the Games.

http://games2009.crossfit.com/competitors/athlete-profile-carlos-andrade.html

This is very unfortunate for Carlos and for those of us anxious to meet him, watch him compete to and to compete against him.

I am no world traveler. I know next to nothing about passports and visas, but if YOU do...or you know someone, or know someone who knows someone...etc...who can make a phone call and maybe pull some strings...please do it. Today.

Like Herm said this morning, Crossfitters don't quit. He's right, we dont. We improvise and we find a way, especially when it comes to helping a brother or sister when they need it.

I don't know if anything can be done to rectify this situation, but I can't just let it go at, oh well, sorry.

Let's get him to Aromas, we've only got 3 weeks!

Coach, Crossfit HQ...can you help?

Comment #79 - Posted by: Playoff Beard at June 24, 2009 1:15 PM

just feels good to be back in the kool aid!! Been gone for a few months and feel horrible. Good thing is that i got the wife drinkin it too. 3-2-1 GO!! Thanks Crossfit!!!

Comment #80 - Posted by: pino at June 24, 2009 1:24 PM

USA 2, Spain 0.

Unbelievable. Woot!

Comment #81 - Posted by: Kamper M/45/74"/200 at June 24, 2009 1:29 PM

Penty,

I agree with your objections to the overly simplified notion that there is (or has ever been) a shared and harmonious "primitive" culture.

Because most people who benefit from advanced technology value it so highly (for obvious though not entirely benign reasons) it is difficult to avoid characterizing societies that do not possess advanced technologies as somehow “inferior” to those that do. We might mitigate this unnecessary and (as I will point out) counterproductive tendency to characterize by considering our society (in the super-national sense) to be a “generator” of technology, and what we call the “primitive” society to be a “recipient” of technology.

When we talk of societies as “inferior”, “superior” or “equal”, I think it is important to consider the question: “by what (or by whose) standard?”. I sense this is what David J. was getting at in his post at #67.

I am not going to make a relativistic argument and chastise the Archimedians among us for their techno-cultural self-assuredness. I’m not going to describe the relative benefits of stone-age or recipient culture over our culture. The determination of which culture is superior and which is inferior doesn’t interest me. I don’t feel threatened by the recipient culture, nor do I take pride in being a member a generator culture – I have invented or refined no technical device or process. I do, however, feel very fortunate to have been born into a generator culture.

To my mind, the questions that are worth asking are: what technical-cultural practices of so-called primitive or recipient cultures are worth looking at? Which practices can be combined with the technical practices of our own culture in a way that might improve our standard of living now and into the future? By combining techno-cultural practices from both cultures can we learn how to do more with less?

It seems to me the right response to the stimulus of cultural encounter is: “what can we learn from you?” Too often the response is: “you are primitive.” We should save the “you are primitive” sentiment for our private and trivial reflections, or declare it loudly in self-defence when the primitive culture has the capacity and will to start goose-stepping.

Comment #82 - Posted by: Prole at June 24, 2009 1:40 PM

225# deads
situps Tabata x 2

Comment #83 - Posted by: Deano m/47/190/6' at June 24, 2009 2:04 PM

Penty,

I'll through your question back at you: "Is it better to utilize technology in a sustainable* way than it is to utilize technology in an unsustainable way?"

*"Sustainable" has the sense given to it in this truncated quotation from the Brundtland Report:

"Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

Comment #84 - Posted by: Prole at June 24, 2009 2:04 PM

Penty,

I'll throw your question back at you:

"Is it better to utilize technology in a sustainable* way than it is to utilize technology in an unsustainable way?"

*"Sustainable" has the sense given to it in this truncated quotation from the Brundtland Report:

"Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

Comment #85 - Posted by: Prole at June 24, 2009 2:06 PM

m/38/76/200

Haven't been in a boat since March (forearm tendonitis) but it's been feeling much better, so I jumped on the erg for a rest-day 5K. Felt good! although I didn't feel like I got back into a rhythm until more than halfway through.

19:10

Comment #86 - Posted by: Chas at June 24, 2009 2:10 PM

Prole,

I almost couldn't agree with you more. I'd disagree with "I have invented or refined no technical device or process. " because I have. .

I do like the concept of "generator" and "recipient" and plan to put some thought into it.

Comment #87 - Posted by: penty at June 24, 2009 2:10 PM

5K Run 31.32

Comment #88 - Posted by: Rosser at June 24, 2009 2:15 PM

Carlos needs to make it to the games!

Comment #89 - Posted by: franiel at June 24, 2009 3:19 PM

What advantage or what is the benefit is there to doing front squads vs. back squats?

I have been doing crossfit for four months. Prior to that I was trying to lift weights and getting bored. I have been in physical therapy off and on for 12 years since an on the job accident. I have not felt this good in years. My back is stronger (3 surgerys including a fusion) and I am relatively pain free for the first time since 1997. I'm doing exersises and body functional movements I was not sure I would ever do again. I have to scale some things like pullups. I use straps because I don't have a full set of fingers on either hand, but that is ony a minor inconvienience. Oh, I have my muscle aches from the workouts, but that type pain is a good friend that let's you know you are still alive.


Thanks to Russ for getting me started with crossfit.

Thanks to crossfit, Rod

Comment #90 - Posted by: Rod at June 24, 2009 3:41 PM

I want to complain about the subtitle. "These cults typify the impact of Christendom on premodern society." I would change it to:

...the impact of CHRISTIANS WITH MODERN GOODS on premodern society.

Or even drop the Christian thing altogether. The "cargo", in it's many forms, is the key. Without the cargo the natives don't buy what the missonaries are selling, and they definitely don't turn their worldview upside down. If there were atheist missonaries (there aren't...wait, are there?), the article would have read much the same. The major difference being that the natives would weave atheist beliefs into their own beliefs.

I suppose in this scenario millenarian/end-of-the-world activity would be avoidable. But at some point, the premodern culture is going to want that cargo. Maybe they'll barter for it. Maybe they'll fight for it. Same song, differnt lyrics.

Perhaps I've rambled my way into a coherent point:

This article suggests that when Chrisitan missionaries are supplied a fertile field among members of a premodern society, the salient contribution to that society is a belief in a forthcoming apocalypse.

...

For the anthropology buffs out there, how about that last line? Did the cargo cults "embryonic nationalism" indeed evolve into a familiar form of participation in the world economy?

Comment #91 - Posted by: Jason Hudson at June 24, 2009 3:42 PM

Rod #90, welcome to the party, that is great to hear.

Comment #92 - Posted by: Kamper M/45/74"/200 at June 24, 2009 3:52 PM

couple weeks in to crossfit. did yesterday's WOD today -- have an exam coming up tomorrow and needed to blow off some steam. after i was done front squatting, i figured since i haven't done curls in maybe a month or so, i might as well try a couple, just for fun.

i did 4 curls, got bored, and left.

looks like i've definitely drank the kool-aid.

Comment #93 - Posted by: tj at June 24, 2009 4:16 PM

One glaring example of how "primitive" is good and "advanced" is bad: A generation's worth (or more) of processing food to the point of where it is actually bad for the population and marrying this phenomenon with the infrastructure to make it overpopular and shove it down everybody's throats.
There are also other "advanced" technologies that are no good and out of control, I just picked one that everybody can agree on (at least around here).

Comment #94 - Posted by: tonf at June 24, 2009 4:51 PM

Love the fire in your belly Tanya- hope to meet you in Aromas!

Comment #95 - Posted by: Fit Mom in CT of CrossFit Persevere (F38/125/5'2") at June 24, 2009 5:44 PM

Given that the article is from 50 years ago, I should have thought someone would pick up on the reference. I actually saw this yesterday, but was curious.

Did you all not observe the Great American Cargo Cult of 2008? Where the Messiah who had been prophesied appeared, and blacks became white, and whites became black? Whose Ascension we were told (in hushed whispers, by NBC, CBS, CNN and others) would lead to untold riches of Hope and Change. Did you not see Cult members celebrating in the streets now that they no longer had to pay their mortgages, car payments, or even for gasoline?

Based on interviews after the election, I very literally believe there were many people who thought Obama would eliminate the troubles and worry in their lives. If that isn't a Cargo Cult, I don't know what is.

How did we get here? I was listening to an Acorn activist on the radio today, telling about how important numbers were in Community organizing. Yet, what is this but the use of gangster tactics against the State? Is this the lesson people who want to govern themselves need to learn: that if it doesn't figuratively fall from the sky, they can't have it?

We need to be clear: infantile dependency is the goal of the Left. They want all of us beholden to pompous pseudointellectuals for everything, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of virtue. They have succeeded in the ghetto and in large sections of the poor white population.

Now, they want to take over tobacco, soda pop, healthcare, banking, car manufacture, insurance, and energy production. You better believe that will be a Change.

Comment #96 - Posted by: Barry Cooper at June 24, 2009 6:33 PM

Fascinating Rest Day article. The empathy and respect of the author for the "primitive" people who formed the subject matter of the article was bang-up-to-date by our modern standards. The article could have been written this year and not 50 years ago. Remember, in 1959, "negroes" were not able to even vote in the US and apartheid in South Africa wasn't something which raised even a hint of international approbation. So the author of the article was well ahead of his time.

It is fascinating to consider that Papua New Guinea, primitive as it seemed, was one of the few places on earth, outside the Fertile Crescent of Mesopotamia, which independently developed advanced systems of intensive farm food production, allowing for a divergence from the otherwise-dominant hunter-gatherer system.

It is also very interesting to see the undeniable parallels between the "cults" described in the article and the "official religions" we so revere in modern society (simply, for example, by never referring to them as "cults".)

As regards the Papua New Guineans being perceived as "primitive" or "ignorant" - these were not derogatory labels but simply descriptive of their place in the clash of cultures between "Old World" technologies and "New World" technologies. The Old World contained many advantages which were advantageous when our cultures finally clashed. Chief among those advantages were the types of animal available for domestication, the types of wild plant available for horticulture, the commonality of climate along an east-west axis on the Euroasian land-mass, the early evolution of immunity from "crowd diseases" etc. (Ok, I'm only part way through "Germs, Guns and Steel", but you get my drift).

Peace.

Comment #97 - Posted by: J1 at June 24, 2009 6:41 PM

Penty,

Farming is a pre-requisite for "civilisation" since it is needed to produce the food surpluses which result in specialists such as bureaucrats and soldiers.

The evidence would suggest that hunter-gatherers lived longer lives than their farming brethren for most of our history. The evidence would also suggest that hunter-gatherers were largely consensus-driven, rather than "might-is-right", aggressive societies.

Classifying hunter-gatherers' lives as definitively "brutal and short" doesn't necessarily tally with our understanding of the realities of life within both "camps".

Peace.

Comment #98 - Posted by: J1 at June 24, 2009 6:52 PM

J1: even a short study of the anthropological record of tribes of these sorts will show you that in almost all cases warfare was endemic. In this particular part of the world, headhunting and cannibalism were quite common. Sometimes you simply engaged in loot gathering, where you kill the other men, and take their wives.

Leftists--particularly those who insist in calling America "imperialist"--would do well to consider that killing people who were not part of your group is about as old as the historical record. In America, through our liberal system which treats people as equal under the law, we have largely mitigated this historically ubiquitous phenomena.

Moreover, if Capitalism is to be understood as imperialistic, as many argue, it needs to be understood as immensely better than the sort of naked imperialism China engaged in when they invaded Tibet, or when the British ruled the whole middle of Africa. It is a system where those with whom we trade become, eventually, wealthy. More: they learn how to build wealth.

Those who claim to care about the poor, but fail to see the development of business enterprises which create sustainable jobs as the first task of ending poverty, engage in solipsistic moral hedonism.

Comment #99 - Posted by: Barry Cooper at June 24, 2009 7:01 PM

where is crossfit hardcore or affilliates of crossfit located on oahu? please contact me, i want to start becoming active in this.

Comment #100 - Posted by: b_george at June 24, 2009 8:16 PM

yes tonf, let's ban all advancement... first throw out your computer you're using make you very technophobic point.

Isn't it also advancement to see errors and correct them? Most "simple" cultures don't do this.. so in your example we'd ahve to keep on instead of challenging the current thought.

Comment #101 - Posted by: penty at June 24, 2009 8:34 PM

J1:"Farming is a pre-requisite for "civilisation" since it is needed to produce the food surpluses which result in specialists such as bureaucrats and soldiers."

I'd disagree, your defintion is arbitary and set up to only prove your point. By your logic if all of "civilisation" went paelo it wouldn't be a civilazation anymore? HGs had a food surpuls.. they fed the old as well as traded with other tribes, this couldn't have been done without a surplus.

J1, "The evidence would also suggest that hunter-gatherers were largely consensus-driven, rather than "might-is-right", aggressive societies."

Have yuo seriously thought about this? Tribal consensus is "might makes right" by definition. The majority dictating over the minorty.. by sheeer numbers and force? I'm sure human sacrifice was all unanimous (including the victims)... and if teh victim didn't agree... BOOM there is the force.

As for "brutal and short", sure their potential to live longer may have been there but it was rarely reached due to natural and extreaal factors...lack of sanitation, weather, wildlife. Factoring in infant survival from conception to 3 mo alone is enough to bring a HG's avg life expectancy to be "brutal and short".

Comment #102 - Posted by: penty at June 24, 2009 8:50 PM

22 / M / 5'9" / 135lb

Front squat 3-3-3-3-3
145-150-155-(160-160-160F)-150

Comment #103 - Posted by: BC at June 24, 2009 9:20 PM

Penty and JI - I think you both might profit from identifying what you mean by "civilization" or else you will talk past one another. For what its worth, I think you are both talking about "cultures"- an agrarian culture and a hunter-gatherer culture, though I think JI sees agrarian culture as a precondition for this other thing called "civilization".

If we are going to gesture toward Hobbes, let us give him a full wave: "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short."


Jason Hudson,

You raise some interesting issues. Let me begin by offering my own suggestion for how you might rework the subtitle of the article: "the effects of a limited and mediated encounter with modern technology on a pre-modern society".

And let us consider whether it make a difference if the mediators had been secularizing "missionaries" or something else?

I think it would. If the mediators had been on a mission to create a secular civil society (a bad mission if you ask me) rather than to Christianize (a worse mission if you ask me), the result might not have included cargo cults to the extent that it did.

The author of the article commented that in places where the institutions of civil society developed, cargo-cults had less durability. The author tells us this was because the institutions of civil society, insofar as they developed, provided the means by which members of these societies could positively affect their material interests and carry out political protest. This suggests to me that the effects of modern technology on these people may have been very different had the distribution of that technology been mediated by the followers of Aristotle and not the followers of Paul. If the missionaries had been concerned with fostering the good life rather than saving souls, perhaps the islanders might have developed a Jeffersonian yeomanry (recall, I admitted even this enterprise was a "bad mission") rather than a hybrid eschatology (and that I admitted this enterprise was a worse mission).

JI,

I would imagine there is a sensible distinction between "cults" and the "official religions...[of]...modern society". The problem with the article is that it doesn't provide a basis for that distinction. Because an atheist, pagan, high-church Anglican etc., would likely consider the notion of transubstantiation as a cultish ritual, it would have been helpful for our author (if he had been writing today, or sometime after the mid-16th C) to provide his reader with a basis for making a conceptual distinction between islander cargo-cults and modern Christian eucharist or millenarian cults. Perhaps though, he assumed the similarity was so obvious it didn't require mentioning. I didn't get the sense from the article that our author considered transubstantiation or other Christian mystical doctrines to occupy higher a place than analogous cargo-cult airfield incantations in the great chain of believing.

Also, I appreciate your sound warning to us to avoid anachronism by considering that the author's use of the word "primitive" in the context of this article may not have meant to him and his readers what it means to some of us.

Comment #104 - Posted by: Prole at June 24, 2009 9:35 PM

Mickey #50:

I enjoyed your reasoning but I do feel I have to point out that it is flawed, perhaps terminally so.

To be rational is to support a belief in proportion to the evidence back it up. Using your example and tracking back to the first cause, there is no evidence that it could be any particular definition of God whilst physics research has postulated various theories which have some evidence though nothing conclusive.

So to be rational is to conclude that the existence of God is highly unlikely as there is some evidence for another explanation and no evidence for God.

Comment #105 - Posted by: Ben K at June 25, 2009 1:36 AM

I am no anthropologist and would very much welcome being corrected / educated about this. But my understanding is that hunter gatherers did not produce food surpluses. They lived off the land and moved around. Yes, they supported those in their extended family, but that is not the same as ammassing large quantities of grain etc.

The domestication of grains and animals took place only 8,000 to 9,000 BC. This suddenly pushed food per acre to new and unprecedented levels. The availability of these food surpluses allowed - for the first time - for the development of specialisms outside the scope of simply hunting and gathering. We witness the birth of government of a kind, writing, specialist bureaucrats, soldiers and then smiths. This is what we generally call "civilisation" - it is the post hunter-gatherer era.

As regards the contention that all primitive hunter-gatherers were likely into looting, killing, human sacrifice and murder....I'm not convinced. A simple "natural experiment" occurred in Polynesia which is evidence for a different perspective. 500 miles from New Zealand lie the Chatham Islands. They were settled about 1,000 years ago. For reasons of biodiversity, climate, native animals etc., farming did not develop. They remained hunter-gatherers. Their close relatives - the Maori of New Zealand - had, by contrast, developed food production and had high surpluses. They had lots of tribes, lots of warriors and lots of warfare. The Chatham Islanders - the Moriori - were a peaceful, consensus-driven people with no history of warfare whatever.

The Maori ended up heading over there in canoes in the 1850s and enslaved and murdered the entire Moriori people. The Maori, by that stage had guns. The Moriori didn't offer resistance, but decided to offer friendship instead. Didn't get them far. It was a tragedy.

People here are big into evidence and that is direct evidence. Those of you who have read Jred Diamond's "Guns Germs and Steel" will recognise the above illustration of what happens when farming and hunter-gatherer societies collide. It is a history played out throughout the world with the same outcome every time.

Prole, I'm sure there are sensible distinctions we could make between modern organised and established religions, and "cargo cults". No doubt. But what strikes me with far more force, are the similarities we can draw without much of a stretch.

Barry - kudos for bringing "Leftism" into this. It was a tall order, but you did not disappoint! Hopefully the above clarifies that the peoples of Papua New Guinea were, before the arrival of whites, well down the road of "civilisation" with high crop yields per acre, food surpluses, ritualised religions etc.

My own view on religion is that it became a huge, unwieldy beast with the advent of settled agriculture. With a poor understanding of the causes of crop failure / weather patterns, there was plenty of scope for our fertile imaginations to demand human sacrifice. As hunter gatherers, typically walking 15k a day just to get enough to eat, moving around and living in smaller bands, we wouldn't have felt as inclined to kill each other for religious or other reasons. Personal view.

Peace.

Comment #106 - Posted by: J1 at June 25, 2009 1:50 AM

(natesc0tt.blogspot.com)

just watched today's video... Go Phillies! I've never heard of CrossFit Apex, but I hear the Philly/Jersey accents! Great to pick up on a familiar sound all the way across the country. I love SD but I miss home... I'm shutting up. 3, 2, 1, GO!

Comment #107 - Posted by: natesc0tt at June 25, 2009 4:22 AM

I watch this video, and all of a sudden "Conshy Crossfit" sounds like it might be right around the corner! haha. i know u two(2) from Souderton, have heard of Conshohocken, PA. we used to play u in HighSchool. Go PW! (plymouth-whitemarsh). I was never surprised when CrossFit Gyms hit Philly, but this is getting waaaayyyyy too close to home!

Comment #108 - Posted by: natesc0tt at June 25, 2009 4:28 AM

I think it's worth pointing out that what technology--informational growth--has enabled is economic, material well being, obtained without violence, and in a condition where no one becomes rich without others becoming rich.

Marxism is wrong for the simple reason that he posits that material resources are finite, and their control is therefore a necessary matter of conflict. The simple, readily observable reality is that wealth can and is created through innovation, which requires no raw material and is in principle infinite in its potential. This is why the Western and other) industrialized democracies have not collapsed. His ideas were wrong.

This has not,however, stopped people who simply cannot figure out anything useful to do with their freedom to continue to try to overthrow our system. The theoretical underpinnings of such an enterprise have been well and thoroughly falsified by history--actual experiment, to be clear--but for those who want to hate, who reanimate otherwise cold, dead emotional lives through hate, there will always be targets, and always new lies to tell.

It was remarked on by Hayek that the animating myth of Leftists is precisely the tribe. They want a return to tribal solidarity and social bonds. And they want to compel this through the State, which is an eminently stupid idea.

Their thinking is shown as yet more stupid by the simple fact that their entire body of work is oriented around the subversion of shared social norms, of tradition, and of the remnants of actual, organic tribalism.

I suspect we might yet see sacrificial, even cannibalistic, cults in the developed West. Leftism cultivates the worst in human history--war, oppression, alienation, tribal hate and violence--without ANYTHING to counterbalance it.

It is quite difficult for me to convey the sick, twisted, and evil nature of Communism. You have to study what was done to grasp it. It was much, much worse than Nazism, whose evil is well enough attested.

If we were to show Communist horrors accurately, it would have to be a horror movie, since no hero comes in to the rescue. We won WW2. The death camps were closed. No one ever rescued the hundreds of millions interned in work camps filled with mind controlling propaganda, and random violence. TO THIS VERY DAY, most Americans find an interest in Communism quaint, even antique. I drove by a bar called Che yesterday, complete with his picture. I was tempted to spray paint MURDERER on the wall in red, but of course I don't do that sort of thing.

These things aren't jokes. There are a billion Communists out there, who have never renounced their goal to overthrow our nation.

We might yet get hit by a nuke originating from our failure to win the Korean War.


n


Comment #109 - Posted by: Barry Cooper at June 25, 2009 6:15 AM

Barry

"Did you all not observe the Great American Cargo Cult of 2008?"

I can't speak for everyone, but I think I did observe the American Cargo Cult of 2008. The natives' first contact with cargo occurred on August 28, 2008, when a package from Alaska arrived on the island of the tribe Republican Populii. The natives took to making all sorts of weird incanations (utilizing even cutting edge fitness blogs), and just when hope for a new shipment of cargo seemed to be lost, Joe the Plumber washed up on shore. Sadly, since November of 2008, this tribe has not received another shipment of cargo and it has suffered severe deprivations. There are signs, however, that the leaders of the cargo cult have been discredited, and that the tribe is poised to adopt a more fruitful (though demanding) approach to ethnogenesis and have begun to look forward to a 21st C Locke rather than backward to a 19th C Kristol.

Comment #110 - Posted by: Prole at June 25, 2009 6:43 AM

Ah: you are right: there is the Cargo Cult which wants freedom back, and the Cargo Cult which wants Cargo. One is attainable; the other is not.

One is Liberal, and one is Statist. With regard to the latter, refer to my last post.

You ask about differences between Cargo Cults and other religions? Christianity is, first and foremost, a system of thought, action, and belief oriented around creating peace of mind, without compulsive regard for material things. Christ had nothing, and taught his disciples to desire nothing.

Socialists believe that ONLY material things matter. ONLY material well being matters. Virtue is getting the power to take from others what you want, while generating a clever smokescreen misleading people into thinking this is something different than the simple rapacity that has characterized all of human history.

Christians--sincere ones, and they do exist--understand the foolishness of this. Possessions may not matter, but this does not mean it is right or moral for the State to take them from people against their will at gunpoint.

A Cargo Cult is silly for the simple reason that man does not live on bread (or Cargo) alone.

Dostoevsky was a nihilist. He laid, in part, the ideological groundwork for the most horrific events ever to plague mankind.

Comment #111 - Posted by: Barry Cooper at June 25, 2009 7:20 AM

Barry Cooper,

Jesus Murphy! Have you read Dostoevsky?

He was, in your parlance, a "sincere Christian", and he self-consciously criticised the nihilism of the bourgeoise he saw around him.

Your comment is a hyperbolic smear.

Comment #112 - Posted by: Prole at June 25, 2009 7:45 AM

Barry at #112:
"Christians--sincere ones, and they do exist--understand the foolishness of this. Possessions may not matter, but this does not mean it is right or moral for the State to take them from people against their will at gunpoint."

Jesus at Mark 12:17:
"Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."

Sounds almost like Jesus was a Leftist. Didn't he once say something about helping the poor, too?

Comment #113 - Posted by: Nick at June 25, 2009 8:17 AM

I love watching Barry and Prole tear at each other.

Barry, first, let me congratulate you for bringing Obama into this discussion. I find your intellectual contortionism highly amusing.

Second, if what you say about Christianity is true, then it is true of most every other religion. For example, Buddhism teaches that a state of desiring nothing IS heaven, and this school of thought predates Christianity by a good margin.

Christianity teaches that the ONLY thing that matters is acceptance of Christ. But man does not live on faith, alone, he also requires bread, no?

Further, what in the world is NOT material? Morality, ideas and emotions are possible only through perception granted by structures of the body, which is entirely material.

Comment #114 - Posted by: Nick Wise at June 25, 2009 8:23 AM

Nick,"Sounds almost like Jesus was a Leftist. Didn't he once say something about helping the poor, too?"

Yes, Jesus said you should help the poor, he didn't make anyone help and he didn't tell anyone it was mroal/right to TAKE from others to help the poor.

Can you really not see the difference?

Comment #115 - Posted by: penty at June 25, 2009 8:43 AM

Nick Wise, "Further, what in the world is NOT material? Morality, ideas and emotions are possible only through perception granted by structures of the body, which is entirely material."

The fact of defining “material” means there are some things that are not material otherwise a definition of “material” is meaningless and useless as a definition.

Question, Nick Wise, can a thing create something else outside of its own classification? Yes.

Comment #116 - Posted by: penty at June 25, 2009 9:03 AM

Penty,

You make my point for me. I was stating that EVERYTHING is material (or rather, it is part of a physical universe). If it is not material, then it doesn't exist and is of no use to us. This observation seems to mock Barry's assertion that Socialists are bad for only caring about the material, while Christians are good for not caring about it.

The answer to your question is dependent on how broadly you define "its own classification." If you say that a man and a car are not in the same classification, then you're right. But since they are both physical objects, I can argue, no. A THING can't create something that is NOT a THING.

Comment #117 - Posted by: Nick Wise at June 25, 2009 9:31 AM

m/41/160

Practiced muscle ups today. Damn, finally got it. Did 5 thoughout the day. Whoohoo!!

Comment #118 - Posted by: Brian at June 25, 2009 10:30 AM

Nick Wise "You make my point for me. If it is not material, then it doesn't exist and is of no use to us. "
No, you didn't understand the point if you think so. There would be no need to use the word "material" if everything was, we wouldn't even recognize it. Defining a word is classifying thing into what is and isn't. If there isn't an "isn't" then the word has no classifying value and is meaningless.
A number, take the number 2 for instance, is immaterial. It exists only as an abstract and is therefore immaterial. It is independent even of thought because even if not thought of it would exist.
Nick wise, "But since they are both physical objects, I can argue, no. A THING can't create something that is NOT a THING."
Add 2 odd numbers.. they make a even number. A thing is used to create something it is not. 2 atoms make a molecule, they have made something outside their classification. An electron changes states creating energy..again making something it is not. A person can make beauty even if they are not. The list goes on.

Comment #119 - Posted by: penty at June 25, 2009 11:22 AM

Comment #105, Prole-in addressing my earlier comment.

Yeah, I'll buy it. I think you're right.

Comment #120 - Posted by: Jason Hudson at June 25, 2009 12:07 PM

Penty,

Sounds like we've moved into deeper philosophical waters.

I understood your point. You are saying that the material cannot be defined without the non-material. Perhaps this is a misunderstanding of my use of the word "material." I'm using the term to mean, "anything in the universe," since I'm pretty sure the universe is entirely physical. This includes ideas, which are the result of ion exchanges through neurons in the human brain. Without a physical brain, we wouldn't have ideas.

As for definitions, classifying what something is and is not does not require that both things exist in any form other than that of ideas. For example, saying that a horse is a unicorn without a horn does not mean that unicorns exist outside of fantasy. Further, there are numerous words that we use to describe everything. For example, the words, "everything," and "universe," quite adequately describe "all there is," and thus can't be defined by what they aren't; they include it all, even things that don't exist.

Numbers are still things, since they are the idea of relationships between things. The relationships still exist, regardless of what name we give them, and thus are not "abstract," but actually physical.

You seem to have missed my point about how broadly you define classification. You may classify even and odd numbers differently, but they are still numbers, so adding them creates simply another number. The same is true of electrons or people, which may create other things. These created things are, however, still THINGS, and thus still part of the physical universe.

And what does any of this have to do with cargo cults? Or were we talking about Jesus and Obama?

Comment #121 - Posted by: Nick Wise at June 25, 2009 1:02 PM

Barry, do you not think there can be such a thing as a good communist? I recognise that there have been a few bad apples over the years, but is it really all bad? What about Gorby?

Nick Wise, I enjoyed your post at #123.

Comment #122 - Posted by: J1 at June 25, 2009 4:05 PM

Nick at June 25, 2009 8:17 AM

Do not confuse wanting to help the poor with stealing in the name of helping the poor. I am not Christian, and haven't read the Bible in years, but would I not be correct in saying two things, 1: There is a directive in the Bible that one shall not steal, and 2: Jesus used his own talents and resources to help the poor, and his followers were with him voluntarily? Correct me if I am wrong, but he advocated peace.

Comment #123 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/199/5'-11" at June 25, 2009 4:46 PM

Goat #125, I got my thinking together a bit late for the Rest Day about Nock. If you have time and interest, maybe have a look at the last post there.

Proper Christianity is an extreme and radical proposition. It requires an absolute renouncing of material possessions and the assumption of a position of real humility in service of the poor. Jesus actually advocated payment of taxes ("Render unto Caesar what it Caesars") but it would be wrong to see this as approval of them in any substantive way. Instead, he asked his followers to liberate themselves completely from the false pursuit of wealth. He wanted them to see taxes, money and wealth as an empty irrelevance to the true purpose of a Christian life, which should be about helping one's fellow man - particularly the poor. It was such a radical perspective, that it transcends simple classification, but if anything, I would see it as closer to communism in its call for absolute pooling of resources (as was the case between Jesus and his follower) than anything else. Certainly, it is light years from modern capitalism.

Peace.

Comment #124 - Posted by: J1 at June 25, 2009 5:14 PM

B D
12rounds w/ 20 7rounds

Comment #125 - Posted by: BD at June 25, 2009 5:14 PM

Goat #125, I got my thinking together a bit late for the Rest Day about Nock. If you have time and interest, maybe have a look at the last post there.

Proper Christianity is an extreme and radical proposition. It requires an absolute renouncing of material possessions and the assumption of a position of real humility in service of the poor. Jesus actually advocated payment of taxes ("Render unto Caesar what it Caesars") but it would be wrong to see this as approval of them in any substantive way. Instead, he asked his followers to liberate themselves completely from the false pursuit of wealth. He wanted them to see taxes, money and wealth as an empty irrelevance to the true purpose of a Christian life, which should be about helping one's fellow man - particularly the poor. It was such a radical perspective, that it transcends simple classification, but if anything, I would see it as closer to communism in its call for absolute pooling of resources (as was the case between Jesus and his follower) than anything else. Certainly, it is light years from modern capitalism.

As regards Goat's contention that there was no element of compulsion in what Jesus recommended, this is true for all of his teachings. But remember that he taught that failure to follow those teachings would result in unhappiness in this life and eternal damnation in the next. It's "coercion" of a different kind to physical or legal coercion, but it's pretty forceful all the same.

Peace.

Comment #126 - Posted by: J1 at June 25, 2009 5:16 PM

I’m fine in deeper waters.

Nick Wise:“And what does any of this have to do with cargo cults? Or were we talking about Jesus and Obama? “

You tell me you’re the one who said, “Morality, ideas and emotions are possible only through perception granted by structures of the body, which is entirely material” in a conversation about Obama. I happen to disagree and am explaining why. You appear to have the view of a strict materialist; I happen to think you are incorrect and am explaining why. If you are a strict materialist, if you aren’t correct me, then the evidence of a single nonphysical abstract disproves your view.

Nick Wise:“this is a misunderstanding of my use of the word "material." I'm using the term to mean, "anything in the universe," since I'm pretty sure the universe is entirely physical. This includes ideas, which are the result of ion exchanges through neurons in the human brain. Without a physical brain, we wouldn't have ideas.

No one else uses “material” defined lie that not even materialists. We even have a word “immaterial” (Having no material body or form.) which then according to you has no meaning cause the universe covers thing that are immaterial as well…. Oh what you said it doesn’t.. huh?

An abstract can exist without it being thought of; it requires neither physical brain nor ion exchanges. The abstraction of the number “0” existed before anyone thought of it, Hence it was “discovered” not invented. The abstraction on all mathematics is “discovery” not invention.

Nick Wise: “As for definitions, classifying what something is and is not does not require that both things exist in any form other than that of ideas. For example, saying that a horse is a unicorn without a horn does not mean that unicorns exist outside of fantasy. Further, there are numerous words that we use to describe everything. For example, the words, "everything," and "universe," quite adequately describe "all there is," and thus can't be defined by what they aren't; they include it all, even things that don't exist.

I’m sorry but you can’t claim the universe purely material/physical then say it encompasses things that don’t exist i.e. immaterial. It’s contradictory.

Nick Wise: “Numbers are still things, since they are the idea of relationships between things. The relationships still exist, regardless of what name we give them, and thus are not "abstract," but actually physical.”

A “2” is purely abstract and immaterial it is not a “thing” in the physical sense. Point to a “2” not “2 things” but just a “2” alone, you can’t yet it exists. It only exists in the abstract even without relationships. “i” , the square root of ‘-1’, is also abstract, it has no physical meaning by itself though it’s use can be shown to exist. A thing is independent of its relationships, having relationships to the physical world does NOT make it a physical thing in and of itself.

Nick, “You may classify even and odd numbers differently, but they are still numbers, so adding them creates simply another number. The same is true of electrons or people, which may create other things. These created things are, however, still THINGS, and thus still part of the physical universe. “

The fact of it is that a thing may create something outside of its classification. Even and odd numbers are vastly different, though I agree both are in the superclass of real numbers. This shows that it is therefore POSSIBLE for anything no matter how classified to create something outside of its class until proven otherwise. Prove then what you are saying, that material things only create physical things.

Comment #127 - Posted by: penty at June 25, 2009 5:56 PM

Penty,

On what basis do think "0" was discovered and not made?

Is the discovery of "0" different from the discovery of "democracy", or"ether"?

Comment #128 - Posted by: Prole at June 25, 2009 6:36 PM

Penty,

The burden of proof for the existence of non-physical things rests on you. I don't need to prove the existence of a physical universe because res ipsa loquitur. Once again, just because we have a name for something doesn't mean that such a thing exists (unless you consider its existence solely as an idea). Just because we have a name for a creature that we call a unicorn doesn't mean that unicorns actually exist and that you can go find one and ride it as it prances over a rainbow.

If you'd like to believe that immaterial "things," or things outside of the physical exist, then you are perfectly able to do so. But if you attempt to convince somebody that such things do exist, then you should have some type of evidence. I'm highly interested in any evidence you have for an immaterial "thing," as such evidence would necessarily need to be material for me to be able to interact with it.

As for zero, and other abstracts, they are concepts. Ideas. Can you show me nothing, or give me some evidence that a nothing-- a place void of all things-- exists? You can show me zero, but only in relation to other things, e.g. there are zero apples in this bucket. A vacuum isn't really nothing, either, since it is simply defined as absence of matter and there may be light, magnetic fields and so on. Just because we have a concept for zero does not mean that zero is a real thing. I think this is what you're pointing out in reference to what you're calling abstract things. At the same time, the idea itself is the result of physical processes occurring in the human brain, and is thus part of the physical world.

If you insist that physical objects can create non-physical objects, then I challenge you to provide some evidence. It was your conjecture, so the burden of proof lies on you. As I mentioned, ideas are not immaterial/ non-physical, since they are the result of neurons firing within the brain. This goes for all of the aforementioned ideas, notions, emotions, perceptions and instincts that any of us have.

As for classifications, you seem oblivious to my reductio ad absurdum argument. You are insisting that things outside the classification of the creator can be created, and I am broadening the classifications to the point where they are meaningless. Let me try another approach, by tightening the classification of a thing to a single and unique entity. If each single particle and point of spacetime is classified as an independent thing, then EVERYTHING that is created is of a different classification than the things it came from. Back to my point, adding odd numbers creates even numbers, but they are still numbers. An electron changing energy states and "creating" a photon is still a governed by physical laws. A human creating an idea is still a physical being engaging in a physical process. So, within tight enough classifications, you're right, things can make things outside of their classification. But in the broadest of terms, you are wrong, since all things are still things.

As a minor aside, I find it highly entertaining that this conversation has evolved into a discussion about the nature of reality. And to answer my own question, we got here because you took issue with a statement that I made to Barry, commenting on the silliness of suggesting that Christians are good because they reject the material.

As for my personal views, I think it's best not to bring them into discussions such as this, since that only opens me up to argumentum ad hominem. For the purposes of this discussion, you can consider me a strict materialist, in that I am arguing that everything that we can perceive and interact with in the universe is physical.

We're having this discussion on a fitness site? This is why I love Crossfit. You can't find people like this in 24 Hour Fitness. Even though I think you're wrong, I salute you, Penty!

Comment #129 - Posted by: Nick Wise at June 25, 2009 7:08 PM

Nick Wise: "I salute you, Penty!"

Back at you.

In review our discussion I think what the differences we're having is a matter of axioms and definitions. It's probably take alot more face2face to arrive at "true heart" of the difference that this medium isnt' build for.

Don't get me wrong I understand your point of "everything" is material and even reducing abstracts to nothing more than brain firings and connections making them material. (in a sense it the whole "tree falls in the woods" bit)

I happen to think some abstracts exist regardless of any physical thoughts on the matter. You think they don't exist except in our physical minds.

The reason I disagree with you overall is that "abstracts being material to the brain" imples a relative universe that is logically absurd and as such inconsistent with the universe as observed.

You've certianly given me some thing to think about and will assured grow/be better because of it. (I don't believe in the "you can't change people's mind over the internet" idea.)

Comment #130 - Posted by: penty at June 25, 2009 8:44 PM

Penty,

Sorry to be asking and not offering (yet, see below), but why do "abstracts being material to the brain" imply a relative universe? To me, they imply a situated brain, thinking in some place at some time, standing in relation to some things - it is the brain and its thoughts that are relative, not the universe....and so you see....

Comment #131 - Posted by: Prole at June 25, 2009 9:12 PM

...(response to Nick Wise and Penty in "the hopper)....

Comment #132 - Posted by: Prole at June 25, 2009 9:16 PM

In his 1991 book, Galileo's Revenge: Junk Science in the Courtroom, Peter Huber relates this nw familiar short story in Chapter 10, The Cargo Cult: Does Liability Science Work:

>>In Cows, Pigs, Wars, and Witches, [1989] Marvin Harris describes a magnificent jungle airstrip in the mountains of New Guinea, manned around the clock by natives. Bonfires burn as beacons. The natives "are expecting the arrival of an important flight: cargo planes filled with canned food, clothing, portable radios, wrist watches, and motorcycles. … Why the delay? A man goes inside the radio shack and gives instructions into the tin-can microphone. The message goes out over an antenna constructed of string and vines. …"

>>The Nobel physicist Richard Feynman picks up the story.

>>>>During the war, they saw airplanes land with lots of good materials, and they want the same thing to happen now. So they've arranged to make things like runways, to put fires along the sides of the runways, to make a wooden hut for a man to sit in, with two wooden pieces on his head like headphones and bars of bamboo sticking out like antennas-he's the controller-and they wait for the airplanes to land. They're doing everything right. The form is perfect. It looks exactly the way it looked before. But it doesn't work. No airplanes land.

Both Feynman's and Huber's works are freely available on line. Feynman's part is an extract from his commencement address to the 1974 graduating class at Cal Tech.

Huber used the parable to illuminate the abuse of science in American courts, and Feynman for the abuses of science within the scientific community. They focus not on the petty characterizations of the Micronesian tribes or their religions, but on the lesson of the reactions of the unprepared to evidence from the unknown.

On reading an original and comprehensive paper on the subject, commenters here react to the political incorrectness of correctly characterizing people at the far end of the spectra of education and sophistication as primitive, ignorant, and cultists. They castigate the anthropologist who wrote the paper, practicing modern ad hominem thinking - the companion PCism -- instead of appreciating the finer anthropological point of the vulnerability of uneducated humans. The principle is closer to that of the Lord of the Flies than it is to a ranking of religions, although the Micronesians did prove quite flexible in adapting their religions to fit their expanding world perspective.

As Feynman and Huber say, the lesson of the cargo cults is valid today. For example, I imagine a group of economists in the '20s, untrained in objective thinking, pondering capitalism. They see people - not themselves - deferring gratification to take risks with their money, creating businesses, employing labor, to sell products in future markets, and creating even greater wealth for themselves. They also see the booms and busts, and worry about how to avoid the busts. So, they theorize that because the pools of money seem to dry up when times are slow, all that it would take to stimulate the economy is to infuse big pools of money into the economy - like coconut headsets. This was done in the '30s, and the high priest Maynard Keynes, was the scribe. This is the Cargo Cult of Economics, to which GW Bush and Paulson, Obama and Geithner are devout practitioners. Of course, it's all nonsense. The Cargo Cult spending is anti-stimulus, increasing interest rates and reducing income. People invest in new products and services, and hire labor, in response to likely future income, both theirs and consumers, and not chasing transient pockets of savings or public cash windfalls.

As another example, back at the turn of the 20th Century, climatologists came to appreciate the greenhouse effect and the fact that CO2 was a greenhouse gas. One or two speculated that adding CO2 might cause the climate to warm. After World War II, as funds came to be available for research, climatologists set about to measure CO2, and lo! CO2 was rising and so was global temperature! Surely the former caused the latter, and a whole parable came to be written around the conjecture. It fell upon the United Nations to write the scripture. This is the Cargo Cult of Anthropogenic Global Warming. Of course, it's nonsense. Temperature increases cause CO2 to increase, not the reverse, and the climate changes - due causes that are still mysterious - back and forth from a cold state, as in the ice ages, to a warm state, like the present, controlled and dominated by surface albedo in the cold, and cloud albedo in the warm. Man couldn't warm the climate if he wanted to, but some will achieve wealth and recognition for preventing an impossibility.

We will continue to suffer Cargo Cults as long as we continue to turn out whole generations of high school graduates who are scientifically illiterate, and the corollary effect, unable to think objectively.

Comment #133 - Posted by: Jeff Glassman at June 25, 2009 9:43 PM

Prole:

I'll go on when the hopper releases your response.. though at this late stage I'd almost perfer email so we know when people drop out/are done.

However: 'but why do "abstracts being material to the brain" imply a relative universe?' and "it is the brain and its thoughts that are relative"

You said it yourself: IF abstracts exist only in the brain, as thoughts, and you then you state "the brain is relative" then abstracts are relative. Further it becomes impossible to prove an abstract in any way as there is no absolute abstract to compare the "brain thought of the abstract" to as it's all "brain thinking of an abstract".

Facts are absolutes, Opinions are relative. Absolutes cannot be drawn from relatives.

Comment #134 - Posted by: penty at June 25, 2009 11:16 PM

...And so you see I agree with post #131 of,

Nick Wise,

Generalizations are tools, not things. Things are unique, but in order to deal with them we must use generalizations. No thing is identical to another, no two caribou are identical, but caribou share certain qualities we define as caribouness. We create the idea of caribou and caribouness by retaining the characteristics found in all caribou and ignoring characteristics that make one caribou different from the other....

Comment #135 - Posted by: Prole at June 26, 2009 5:23 AM

Calgary Stamped?

Comment #136 - Posted by: Prole at June 26, 2009 5:37 AM

Darwin's insight as a biologist was that among groups of reproducing organisms, the variations are much more important than the similarities. The world he described was characterized by chance, change and difference - exactly the sorts of things that general types are designed to ignore.

Comment #137 - Posted by: Prole at June 26, 2009 5:38 AM

...
"I look at individual differences, though of small interest to the systematist, as of the highest importance for us...From these remarks it will be seen that I look at the term species as one arbitrarily given, for the sake of convenience, to a set of individuals closely resembling each other, and that it does not essentially differ from the term variety, which is given to less distinct and more fluctuating forms. The term variety, again, in comparison with mere individual differences, is also applied arbitrarily, for convenience sake."

Comment #138 - Posted by: Prole at June 26, 2009 5:39 AM

That was Darwin (filter issues).

Once our attention is directed at individuals, the nature of our generalizing activity becomes more apparent. What we define as being a class or general thing (obviously this includes "caribou", "iron", "trireme" and even "two", "zero" or "justice") is ultimately the product of what we want to do with that thing and others sufficiently like it to be put to the similar uses.

So while some people (I think we might include Penty among these) think that zero is "out there" in the sense that it exists as a true natural type, and others might think that zero exists only in the mind, I think that zero is the conceptual tool that we use to accomplish certain things in thinking, just as our hands are the tools we use to accomplish certain things at a piano, or barbell. The tool "zero" was invented to solve real, concrete problems, not discovered and then applied to real concrete problems as a happy afterthought. The tool "zero" has no meaning outside its uses and its users.

Comment #139 - Posted by: Prole at June 26, 2009 5:42 AM

MEANING is non-material. A sense that life is worth living. LOVE is non-material. Generosity is non-material. Kindness is non-material. It is deeply revealing to me that you misunderstood this. Everything that makes life worth living is non-material: hell, PLEASURE is non-material. My best days cost nothing.

No, there are no good Communists. Gorbachov, contrary to the image presented in the West, was a very sincere Communist. He never wanted to get rid of Communism, just make it work. However, it doesn't work, and can't work, since there is no concrete reality to "society", merely a conglomeration of individuals. Propaganda exists to mitigate this fact, but can never fully erase it.

Gorbachov's intention--like that of all his predecessors--was to overthrow the Western liberal tradition.

Prole,

You appear to be right with respect to Dostoevskhy. I had in mind, specifically, "The Grand Inquisitor", which does support my point, but which is taken out of context from his larger body of work.

I had in mind as well a couple lectures from a series on Existentialism in which the lecturer specifically stated that Dostoevsky rejected the possibility of moral improvement. Perhaps this was his own take on a more complex situation.

It does not appear to me, though, that one reads him for enlightenment, or spiritual growth. Can you say having read him has inspired you to be a better person? I have heard that often from readers of Tolstoy. From Dostoevsky, never.

Comment #140 - Posted by: Barry Cooper at June 26, 2009 6:01 AM

BTW: I've read "Notes from an Underground Man" and "The Grand Inquisitor". I've also read several summaries of his work, and he figured in one lecture series I listened to.

I only have so much time in the day, and he just doesn't inspire me to take the time to read him. Perhaps I lack the long, well clouded winters needed.

In general, I view all the Existentialists as enemies. Some, at times, say things worth reading. Most, at most times, say things that make human life uglier, and more confusing, with no countervailing benefit for the cost.

Communism--which could be viewed as a Cargo Cult
of sorts, promising as it does an earthly utopia--is really the end stage of moral pessimism and disengagement. It is, as I have called it in my paper on the Leftisms, moral suicide.

No social improvement is possible without individual improvement, and no individual improvement is possible without the conception of Goodness, in some non-ironic, and generally held form.

I see no possible credible objection to this premise, which is foundational to rational efforts to improve human life, morally. You can, of course, improve human life materially without improving it morally.

That is the experiment we are doing now, and I don't

Comment #141 - Posted by: Barry Cooper at June 26, 2009 6:17 AM

BTW: I've read "Notes from an Underground Man" and "The Grand Inquisitor". I've also read several summaries of his work, and he figured in one lecture series I listened to.

I only have so much time in the day, and he just doesn't inspire me to take the time to read him. Perhaps I lack the long, well clouded winters needed.

In general, I view all the Existentialists as enemies. Some, at times, say things worth reading. Most, at most times, say things that make human life uglier, and more confusing, with no countervailing benefit for the cost.

Communism--which could be viewed as a Cargo Cult
of sorts, promising as it does an earthly utopia--is really the end stage of moral pessimism and disengagement. It is, as I have called it in my paper on the Leftisms, moral suicide.

No social improvement is possible without individual improvement, and no individual improvement is possible without the conception of Goodness, in some non-ironic, and generally held form.

I see no possible credible objection to this premise, which is foundational to rational efforts to improve human life, morally. You can, of course, improve human life materially without improving it morally.

That is the experiment we are doing now, and I don't

Comment #142 - Posted by: Barry Cooper at June 26, 2009 6:17 AM

Piece of crap computer. Don't buy Averatec. The damn mouse isn't worth dog spit.

The sentence should read: don't see much good coming of it.

Comment #143 - Posted by: Barry Cooper at June 26, 2009 6:19 AM

J1 at June 25, 2009 5:14 PM


I have been very busy lately. I will go back and read it, then shoot you an e-mail about it as soon as I can. It may be a couple of days.

Comment #144 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/201/5'-11" at June 26, 2009 7:28 AM

Prole,"I think that zero is the conceptual tool that we use to accomplish certain things in thinking, just as our hands are the tools we use to accomplish certain things at a piano, or barbell. The tool "zero" was invented to solve real, concrete problems, not discovered and then applied to real concrete problems as a happy afterthought. The tool "zero" has no meaning outside its uses and its users."

Now you are blurring/confusing defintions. You talk about "things" then "meaning" as if they are interchagneable. They are not.

A thing (a tree, stone, a number, a barbell)exists without meaning. Meanings are the relationships we as humans ascribe to it. If a thing doesn't exist (zero existing as an abstract) as you claim, then how can it have a relationship to anything? A thing that doesn't exist can't have meaning/relationships.

Comment #145 - Posted by: penty at June 26, 2009 8:18 AM

Barry,

Meaning, love, generosity, kindness, and so on are ideas and emotions. They are how we interpret chemical-- material-- changes in our brains. In that respect they are entirely material, even though you may not be able to see it, touch it, or exchange it for its weight in gold.

Without physical changes to material biological structures, we would not feel emotions, have ideas, or be able to understand "immaterial" concepts. Perhaps intangible is a better word than non-material?

Comment #146 - Posted by: Nick Wise at June 26, 2009 8:47 AM

You ASSUME they are purely chemical. This is empirically unverifiable, since we lack empirical evidence to state what the universe actually is made of, if anything. The best model, currently, is that what we experience is an interaction of mind and we don't know what. None of the current "reality" models have ANY deep evidence that matter exists in a normal, common sense way.

Moreover, you commit the routine and morbid mistake of the scientistically inclined: you don't care about the finer things in life, and if you could put them in a test tube, you would. If I could give you a pound of "meaning", would that be an accomplishment? Is that what you want? Do you want to be a literal robot, who can be programmed? Your politics are leading in that direction. Surely Mao's techniques of group humiliation, carefully programmed starvation, and chanting of slogans can be improved upon? Would it be easier for you for someone to program you--better than they are doing now--what to think, and why to live?

This mindset is so indescribably short-sighted, nasty, and UNSCIENTIFIC that is hard for me to know how to explain to you what it means to be human.

Perhaps you, like many of your ilk, much prefer the metaphor of zombies and vampires.

Who among the readers here can doubt the profound cultural significance of the growing obsessions with the mythical undead, and of "art" created using literal cadavers?

Nick: you are so far gone you can't even begin to grasp what you lack. You think you are smart--and perhaps in some ways you are--but you are profoundly unwise.

All of the things that make life worth living are descending into the urine with the Crucifix, and people like you--unfeeling, unknowing--are cheering them on. This makes me sick to my stomach. It really does. It isn't necessary. It's a group mania I have not yet figured out how to cure.

Comment #147 - Posted by: Barry Cooper at June 26, 2009 2:57 PM

Barry do you live in a bubble?

Comment #148 - Posted by: Mikey P at June 26, 2009 5:31 PM

Barry,

You ASSUME just as much, if not more than I do. You make the assumption that there is more to the nature of the universe than physical. But there is not a single shred of evidence to suggest that human beings are anything more than entirely physical, or that we can interact or be interacted with by anything that is not entirely physical.
I'll respond to your comment about reality models, the existence of matter and the lack verifiable evidence for the biochemical theory of cognition in the following way: LOL.

You also assume that I don't care about what you consider the "finer things in life." You seem to consider the intellectual bullying of people opposed to your view to be a fine thing. If that is the case, then you're correct; I prefer discussion which includes mutual respect and mutual benefit. As I mentioned to Penty, earlier, I choose a side to argue during these discussions, and that side may or may not resemble what I "believe" outside of this medium. I prefer to keep my personal views my own, since this tends to reduce ad hominem arguments, except in your case. You call me a an unscientific, unwise zombie, but you seem incapable of offering any evidence to refute my points.

You argue as though you believe that ignorance enhances experience. That I know the processes involved in the meterological phenomena known as rainbows-- because I have put them in a "test tube"-- does not mean that it is any less beautiful. Mythology, and mysticism-- such as the belief that God creates rainbows as a reminder that he'll never flood the Earth again-- cheapens the natural world by robbing it of mind-boggling complexity. That I have evidence as to the biochemical processes involved in love does not mean that I enjoy my relationships any less than you. I stand in constant awe of the natural world, and see no need to engage in mythical delusions.

People ARE programmable, to a certain degree, Barry. And I think that you'll agree with me when I say that such knowledge is dangerous in the hands of tyrants, and empowering in the hands of individuals. If you know the methods of such programming, you can "program" yourself and shape your own life. You are also inoculated against the attempts of other people and institutions to program you. And this is precisely your problem, you have programed yourself to demonize all views that do not fit with your notion of the world. I find it laughable, and almost insulting, that you would offer to explain to me what it means to be human, as though you have some monopoly on such knowledge! Though I still have to give you respect for somehow bringing zombies into this discussion. Well played, sir.

Please, answer: if it were somehow possible to show you irrefutable proof that the universe was an entirely physical, absolutely determined clockwork, would you change your way of thinking? Would it make any difference in the way you live your life or what you have experienced in your life?

And Barry, your words to me are an amazingly clear mirror for yourself: "You are so far gone you can't even begin to grasp what you lack. You think you are smart--and perhaps in some ways you are-- but you are profoundly unwise."

Comment #149 - Posted by: Nick Wise at June 26, 2009 6:27 PM

Nick Wise (is that last name a bit of puffery?:)),

Do you think an entirely physical universe implies determinism?

You seem to hint at it in the question you posed in the second to last paragraph of your post at 149. I recognize that your question is a question and need not commit you to any position. Before I take the liberty of preempting your answer to my question with an answer of my own, I should say I like your use of "physical" rather than "material". "Physical" seems likely to capture more stuff and more processes than "material" would, especially for readers who are unsympathetic to a "materialist" outlook, though I think "material" properly understood could have the broader scope of "physical").

I don't think "materialism" or "physicalism" implies determinism. I think the conflation of free will with immaterial substance or extra-physical processes is the continuing legacy of a religious (Christian?) world view in which an extra-physical divinity is the archetype of the freely willing being. According to this view, the free will of human beings is a gift from that immaterial and extra-physical divinity, and insofar as humans are able to will freely, they contain a touch of the extra-physical divine spark, residing in their extra-physical "souls".

Once we leave the archetypal image of the extra-physical being behind, we easily leave behind the whole notion of extra-physicality, and can get on with describing what we actually see in others and experience in ourselves, that is, physical bodies willing more or less freely.

Comment #150 - Posted by: Prole at June 26, 2009 8:31 PM

Prole,

Wise is actually my last name. I hope that one day it will serve a dual purpose and also describe me, though I suspect that such a state is elusive and transient.

I was calling it "material," earlier in a discussion with Penty, but changed my diction because "physical" is really more what I mean. "Material" implies matter, though much of the universe likely isn't matter as we know it, but some form of exotic matter or various forms of energy, all of which fall under the blanket of "physical."

In answer to your question, the simple answer is "I don't know." An entirely physical universe does not necessitate determinism, though it does seem to limit free will, as you quite eloquently pointed out. But a physical universe still allows for randomness, especially on a subatomic scale, which could be interpreted as free will. The idea of free will creates somewhat of a problem, even in a universe created and ruled by a deity. What is freedom, really? We could have an entire discussion just on this topic.

For the record, I don't know that the universe is entirely physical, and I don't know if the universe is determined. From all the evidence I've seen, it certainly appears that it is physical and may be determined. I am open-minded to any evidence for higher powers or a spiritual nature to the universe, and I am not immune to the comfort that such a world view provides. However, I also have no fear of a determined, godless, entirely physical universe. I've felt intense physical and emotional pain in my life, and I've also experienced the passions and pleasures that make life so beautiful. Those experiences would be no less real to me whether I lived in an entirely physical universe, an entirely spiritual universe, or something in between.
However-- whether by result of the clockwork machinations of a determined universe, preordination by a god, or manefestation of free will-- I value truth, and I cannot bring myself to BELIEVE.

Thank you for your contribution to this discussion. It's much better than calling names.

Comment #151 - Posted by: Nick Wise at June 26, 2009 9:56 PM

Nick,

What, for you, should be the basis of SHARED morality? Do you believe in ANY moral absolutes, or is everything negotiable?

I don't live in a bubble: on the contrary, I am talking with people constantly, particularly in bars, where people tell the truth.

What I see, in you, is the fundamental solipsism being taught everywhere in our schools. There are, of course, degrees of infection, but the clear purpose of this indoctrination is to eradicate any and all sustained references to our shared cultural heritage: where we came from.

Specifically, it is to erase from the record all references to the very clear, very unambiguous CHRISTIAN orientation of our Founding Fathers. To be clear, they did not intend a Christian nation, but a nation of Christians, for whom their shared--if varied--faith served as a template for the notion of higher callings and higher service.

This conception has been under sustained attack for the last 60 years or so. Perhaps you are less infected than others, but what I see coming out of our schools are sociopathic little $hits for whom spitting on our great flag is as natural as breathing.

If I wanted my kids to learn about what the ideals of America are, and what has made us unique in human history, I wouldn't send them to any university. If they had doubts about the meaning of life, and decided to study modern philosophy, I would strongly encourage them not to.

We send normal kids up to school, and they come back believing that having sects with the same gender is tantamount to a moral act, and that if only America didn't exist, there would be world peace. This is BS, and it makes me sick and angry.

Let us suppose that, after the current round of efforts to assassinate religion, homosexuals are not only allowed to marry in all States, but to perform sects acts in public--why not, after all, it's a free country, right?

Let us look at them, doing their thing. Then they are done. Then they are still two ordinary human beings, who have sacrificed all conception of the sacred for, what?

Nothing. That's what.

With regard to matter, read "Quantum Reality". There is virtually no ambiguity, as far as I can tell, that the best explanation of matter is that it comes into being as a result of a probability wave collapsed by OBSERVERS.

But the essence of Scientism is the failure to be properly skeptical, isn't it? So why allow actual science to interfere with your biases?

BTW: what did you think of that Crucifix in Urine? Am I wrong that you support the eradication of other peoples religions, and their public mockery?

Comment #152 - Posted by: Barry Cooper at June 27, 2009 7:52 AM

One other question: do you think our current level of moral corruption is sustainable? Do you think our nation can survive when our children are being taught they are the measure of all things?

In my view, the aim of Sartre--who of course was a Stalinist long after it was known what that meant--was to torture people with their freedom, until they begged to have it taken from them.

Obama--and the implicit mental and moral resignation electing a man with Communist connections up to his eyeballs implies--is the first clear sign of this.

You have not looked deeply, and words alone will not help.

Comment #153 - Posted by: Barry Cooper at June 27, 2009 8:01 AM

Barry at 152:
"BTW: what did you think of that Crucifix in Urine? Am I wrong that you support the eradication of other peoples religions, and their public mockery?"
Barry, that's a prototypical loaded question, and a logical fallacy. Try harder.

Comment #154 - Posted by: Nick at June 27, 2009 8:26 AM

Barry,

It's a very common misunderstanding that lack of belief in god necessitates lack of morality. All cultures have morals and values, which may or may not be sustainable in the long term. As for absolutes, it's difficult to say. There is mind-boggling diversity in the human species, both in the genetics of different groups and in the geography and climate that different groups adapt to. A people's culture and the development of what is morally acceptable to them is partly dependent on these differences, but individuals within groups have an amazing power to start memes, which may alter the moral climate of the group for better or worse.

Further, there may be seemingly large differences between the moral codes of different groups of people, but morality-- like language-- has certain things in common everywhere. For example, murder of a person within one's in-group is not acceptable in any tribe, village, city or nation that I know of (though different groups may justify homicide in radically different ways). Most cultures also universally do not accept liars, thieves, cowards and traitors.

In short answer to your question, yes, I do believe in an absolute morality, though I do not believe that I should force my culture upon other people. In general, if an action (a) does not harm individuals and (b) benefits the species, then such an action may be said to be moral. This is, of course a very broad description of morality and does not include topics that others would elaborate on because of their culture.

It seems as though you have a very strong fear in you of having your culture destroyed. Abandon your fear, friend, for all cultures eventually die or evolve into something else. Your terror of the end of your cultural heritage seems to have made you a very angry man. This is an unnecessary waste of your own potential. If you find value in your culture, then share it with your family and friends, revel in it in your church and laugh with friends about it in a bar over some good beers. But enjoy it while you still can.

And for the record, no, I don't think that the current level of moral corruption is sustainable, but I don't thing that the atheists or homosexuals are entirely a part of that corruption. I think that government-sponsored entitlements, political correctness, the perpetuation of victicrat mentality, and erosion of personal freedom is much more corrupting than what individuals decide to do in privacy. I suspect that this may be common ground between us.

Finally, I cautiously agree with your statement about the religion of the Founding Fathers. Certainly, most of them were Christian, and from a wide variety of denominations. But others were Deists (Ben Franklin sort of fits here), and some displayed agnostic, almost atheist views (Thomas Jefferson, for example, though he was probably somewhere between Deist and agnostic). Most of them seem to have believed that virtue could be attained through religion, and I do not doubt that it can. However, I disagree with the notion that religion and mysticism is the only way to come to virtuous life. In fact, I see the atheist life as more virtuous and moral, in many cases. The virtuous atheist is concerned with doing the right thing because it is the right thing, not because he expects rewards in Heaven or fears fire and brimstone in Hell.

Further, I had an interesting coalescence of an idea that has been floating in pieces within my mind for some time. I realized that there is no such thing as faith, there is just a gradient on standards of evidence that a person will accept. For example, you (I assume from your earlier statements) are Christian, and so have "faith" in God, Christ and the events of the Bible. However, you wouldn't believe in these things at all if you didn't have the Bible as your evidence. If the Bible did not exist, would Christianity exist? Perhaps, if it was handed down by word of mouth, but that, too is a form of evidence. I don't find the Bible to be a convincing enough form of evidence to base my life on; I see too many contradictions and a lot that just doesn't make sense. However, I'm quite convinced by the astounding amount of evidence for the Theory of Evolution, though I recognize that there are flaws in our understanding of the complete process. There may also be flaws in my understanding of the Bible. And I'm willing to accept that my (and everybody else's) understanding of both the Bible and Evolution may be flawed. My goal is to try to find the flaws in my understanding and mend them, and that is precisely why I continue to discuss such things. What I don't know is the most interesting thing I can think of.

I'll leave the topic of quantum physics for another discussion. Thanks, this has been very productive.

Comment #155 - Posted by: Nick Wise at June 27, 2009 3:38 PM

Barry,

S on its own is neither moral nor immoral. Having S with a person of your own gender (I assume you classify genders by genitalia?) is neither moral nor immoral. It is the circumstances that surround the act that define whether it is moral or not. Perhaps Penty or Goat might help me out with what the relevant circumstances are - I'm thinking consent and lack of force, the kinds of things the founders found so foundational with respect to making human relationships founded on liberty and justice possible.

Do you believe that same-S intercourse is always immoral?

What is sacred about hetero-S? What is sacrilegious about same-S? If there is anything sacred about hetero-S, is it possible for same-S to have that thing?

To someone who is not religious and does not believe in "the sacred", the notion that same-S is not sacred has the same effect as saying to a Christian that she has failed to observe the holy days of Makar Sankrant - who t-f cares?

Comment #156 - Posted by: Prole at June 27, 2009 5:52 PM

Prole,

In case you were not aware, allow me to shed some light on the origins of Christian homophobia. It is usually referenced by Leviticus 18:22, "Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable."

However, some people argue that the laws given in Leviticus (there are LOTS, you should read it sometime) aren't applicable to Christianity, because Christ's atonement paid for original sin (hence, no more animal sacrifice) and created a new covenant with God. Christ said basically that all you need to do to be saved is 1) love God, 2)believe in Christ and 3)love your neighbor, and all the old stuff doesn't count.

BUT, he ALSO implied that he wasn't really doing away with any of the old laws.

So, as you can see, it's complicated. What gets me is the people who pick and choose. If you believe that Christ created a new covenant with God, then you just need to do those three things, and you're good to go. All the other stuff, including homosexuality, is irrelevant nit picking. And if you believe that he didn't do away with the old laws, or that following the old laws is part of the way that you love God, then please, follow them all. People who say that God condemns homosexuality-- because it says so in Leviticus-- ignore many of the less popular rules in that book, as well. Some examples include getting tattoos, eating shellfish, failing to stone children to death if they dishonor their parents, failing to execute witches, and so on. Did you know that there is actually a verse in Leviticus that says that if a man is in a fight with another man and the first man's wife grabs the other man's genitals to defend her husband's life, the husband must cut off his wife's hand?

And this is a book that we in Western Culture derive our moral standards from!

Comment #157 - Posted by: Nick Wise at June 27, 2009 8:13 PM

Yeah, I have to agree with you Prole. Adults engaging in a mutually consensual act which hurts nobody (well, nobody who doesn't want to be hurt) really don't need me telling them what they can and cannot do, no matter if I find their behavior stomach turning. By the same token, I and everyone else is entitled to feel the turning stomach.

Comment #158 - Posted by: Goat 33/M/199/5'-11" at June 27, 2009 8:15 PM

For the record, I could care less what homosexuals do. What I object to is their bigotry with respect to Christians.

Equally for the record, I'm not a Christian. If you want my honest opinion, I think Paul and the others corrupted the message Christ was trying to transmit. This does not stop me from doing what I can to protect the freedoms of Christians, which in my view are under sustained and malicious attack by people who have no credible alternative "meaning system", as I call it. They are my fellow countrymen and women, and I owe them my loyalty as such. We all need to stand for freedom, wherever it is under attack.

I'll leave it there. As always, I have more to say, but perhaps sometimes it's best just to let things lie where they fall.

Comment #159 - Posted by: Barry Cooper at June 27, 2009 9:12 PM

Nick,

Thanks for the tour of Leviticus. I actually read it and several other Old Testament books in 2003 but haven't touched the Old Book since then.

Barry,

You feel the Christians need to be defended against the bigotry of same-sexers? Are same-sexers also your fellow country men and women and don't they deserve your loyalty? Really, who needs defending against whom?

Goat,

My foot's in the door, I'll have you quoting Marx by labour day - my favourite holiday :).

Comment #160 - Posted by: Prole at June 27, 2009 9:49 PM

The hated need defending from the haters. Those trying to exercise their Constitutional rights need defending from those trying to subvert them.

More importantly: those with coherent meaning systems need defending from those for whom hedonistic self indulgence is the only possibl end of Man.

Hedonism collapses into tyranny. Tyranny is evil, and those, therefore, who work for its implementation--through direct malice, or simple stupidity--work for evil.

Working for evil begins by claiming there is no such thing. I have never see any Statist, in the final analysis, find any good in anything but an overwheming and coercive State.

To deny evil is to deny Good, and to deny Good is act for the creation of cultural collapse.

Your readings, Prole, have left you morally handicapped. Perhaps you should agitate for a special parking place for you and your kind.

Comment #161 - Posted by: Barry Cooper at June 28, 2009 6:15 AM

>> The hated need defending from the haters. Those trying to exercise their Constitutional rights need defending from those trying to subvert them.

And who hates who? What do we make of the fact that hatred is usually mutual?

>> More importantly: those with coherent meaning systems need defending from those for whom hedonistic self indulgence is the only possible end of Man.

>> Hedonism collapses into tyranny. Tyranny is evil, and those, therefore, who work for its implementation--through direct malice, or simple stupidity--work for evil.

Can you trace your logical path from:

- Hedonism is the view that life should consist of seeking pleasure.

To:

- Hedonism results in the limitations of liberty for the vast majority.

Please?

>> To deny evil is to deny Good, and to deny Good is act for the creation of cultural collapse.

But that makes good and evil part of the self-same entity. If a world were to exist where there was NO evil - everybody performed good acts all the time - would there acts not be good?

Comment #162 - Posted by: Darije at June 28, 2009 7:32 AM

Should read: would those acts not be good?

Comment #163 - Posted by: Darije at June 28, 2009 7:34 AM

Barry,

Darije's questions aside, do you really believe that a person who has a "same-S" relationship holds that self-indulgence is humanity's only end? There is absolutely nothing different, aside from hardware, between me having S with my wife and George having sex with Dick, or Barbara having sex with Margaret.

Do you really believe that same-S-ers are any less capable than hetero-S-ers of living according to a "coherent meaning system"?

Comment #164 - Posted by: Prole at June 28, 2009 7:45 AM

Darije,
In many cases, hate is not mutual. For example, I don't hate religious people, but some of them seem to hate me for my lack of faith. I think Yoda said something to the effect of, "Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering." That sounds reasonable to me, so I'd say that a reduction of hatred will lead to a reduction of human suffering, and isn't that the point? Still, defending the hated tends to put you on the side of the hated. Maybe we should skip worrying about hatred and anger directly and just work on making people not so scared.

As for hedonism, I think that Barry was suggesting that the constant seeking of pleasure has a tendency to cause people to become selfish. Selfish people are notorious power seekers, and once in power, they still strive for pleasure, at the expense of people with less power. Naturally this leads to corrupt businesses and governments which will either collapse (most likely scenario) or evolve into a near unstoppable tyranny.

Barry,
What's with all the name calling? You sound like one of those haters that you were talking about. You don't have to be afraid of Prole, his ideas, or his "lack of morality." We're all willing to be friends here, even if we don't agree on everything.

Comment #165 - Posted by: Nick Wise at June 28, 2009 8:38 AM

I'm just curious how homo-s'rs (is there a filter on or something?) wanting to be together is equivalent to hedonism. If that's true, how is two straight individuals being together not hedonistic.

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