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more ephemera

One researcher estimates that there are nearly five trillion spiders in the Netherlands alone, each of which consumes a tenth of a gram of meat a day. Were their victims people instead of insects, they would need only three days to consume all sixteen and a half million Dutchmen.

 The idea of a State in Newtonian physics shares with classical sculpture and painting the illusion of the Frozen Moment. This gives rise to the illusion that the world is composed of objects.  If this were really the way the world is, then the primary description of something would be how it is, and change in it would be secondary. Change would be nothing more than alterations in how something is. But relativity and quantum theory tell us that our world is a history of processes. Nothing IS, except in a very approximate and temporary sense. How something is, what state it is in, is an illusion.

Functionalism is a theory of mind whose core idea is that mental states (beliefs, deesires, emotions) are constituted solely by their functional role: that is their causal relations to other mental states, sensory inputs and behavioral outputs. Is a mental state at all similar to the idea of a State in Newtonian physics? If so, is it illusory in the way a “frozen moment” is illusory and not descriptive of the true nature of reality – change? In other words, is a mental state really just a proclivity?

Four questions:

1. Are you sure you are really interested in the preservation of the human race once you and all the people you know are no longer alive?

2. If you had teh power to put into effect things you consider right, would you do so against the wishes of the majority?

3. Are you convinced of your own self-criticism?

4. Are you conscious of being in the wrong in relation to another person – who need not necessarily be aware of it? If so, does this make you hate yourself, or the other person?

“Free will” can mean that I’m the author of my actions in a way that is not explicable by science, or it can mean that I simply could have done something different..

Shame is a social condition and form of social control consisting of an emotional state stemming from the awareness of having acted inappropriately. Shame differs from embarrassment insofar as it doesn’t necessarily involve public humiliation. Also, shame is a response to actions that are morally wrong, whereas embarassment can arise from morally neutral actions tat are – or are expected to be – socially unacceptable.

In shame-based cultures the social consequences of ‘getting caught’ are more important than the individual feelings, whereas guilt-based cultures emphasize exactly those individual feelings.

I am not an idiot. I’m a person who suffers from idiocy. No one knows what its like to deal with crippling bouts of idiocy while trying to lead a normal life.

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