The moon is made of cheese- proof!

  1. Philosophy Forum
  2. » General Discussion
  3. » The moon is made of cheese- proof!

Get Email Updates Email this Topic Print this Page

Reply Fri 23 May, 2008 11:14 am
A thought experiment for you guys to mull over, I have included my own notes but I didn't conclude much. Enjoy.

Dan,

"The moon is made of cheese - mozzarella, to be precise.
By saying that, I may have signed my own death warrant. You see, they don't want us to know. They'll claim I'm mad. But as Kurosawa said, 'In a mad worlds, only the mad are sane.' But what's that I hear you say? 'Men have walked on the moon,' Wrong!



- Adapted from 'The Pig that wants to be Eaten and 99 other Thought Experiments'

Personal Notes: When a child enters this world it enters ignorant of the collective knowledge- everything thought about and worked on as far as the records can date. It is impossible for one man to comprehend the whole body of information at once, so how can we guarantee its coherence and validity? melt if the temperature of the earth rises. Not only is it an untested fact that temperature is rising but also that one can melt icebergs at all! Lynx is one of the coldest to the touch aerosols that is available and the company is renowned for their efforts in recycling and saving whales. Also left to speculation is that fact that if the above is at all true, then the burden of proof is on the aerosol's companies to prove contributions are making a substantial difference to the possible problem.





 
Vasska
 
Reply Fri 23 May, 2008 01:48 pm
@de budding,
I've seen that books so many times at Waterstones (We've got one in Amsterdam!) and had it in my hands a few times, but always saw something that interested me more. Might grab it next time.

=====

Before I get of at a wrong start; what we are questioning here is;


  • Information can or cannot be correct at times. This information, whether false or true, is in many cases accumulated information that we use to make up our theories as you explained with the aerosol.
  • Children are brought up with this false information (however people believe it is true information) and will use this accumulated information to form new theories that based on false information, are also false.
  • The facts will change, and with it the discussions and issues, however the accumulation of false information will always be there, and with it an never ending cycle of theories that are wrong

Or am I totally wrong.
 
de budding
 
Reply Fri 23 May, 2008 04:04 pm
@Vasska,
'accumulated information that we use to make up our theories'

Is the only target of discussion I could see in this 'though experiment', as you can see I ended up brainstorming kind of aimlessly.

And in regard to that we could look at what makes this information so questionable when presented in certain forms, for example- 'The facts will change, and with it the discussions and issues', language is quick to change and technological terminology, coined phrases and buzz words are plentiful in the mainstream press today. Which is a good example I think; sensationalism is a good excuse to intentionally exploit the questionable nature of 'information', the McCann media lawsuits have been a profound example of the power of information exploitation.


Then there are the 'Children [who] are brought up with this [always questionable presentation of information] ' to deal with, in abundance- namely the internet.

I'll think on these points see if any thing jumps out. Smile

Dan.
 
Vasska
 
Reply Sat 24 May, 2008 02:00 am
@de budding,
One of the most misunderstood is the theory by Charles Darwin in The Origin of Species. I still need to read the whole book, but as far as I (and with me many others) interpreted it he said that every living creature has found his ancestor in one organism, call it the God-organism if you want.

However due to much misinterpretation in the early ages people still believe that his theory says we are evolved from monkey's. I find this disturbing because I believed this, thanks to school and popular media, till I read parts of his book and started to delve somewhat further into the material.

Modern day has something called "information overflow". We can look up anything we want, and are buried in information. Wikipedia is one of the good examples for an easy accessible information resource, that however is wrong and limited in his scope.

This might be something that is needed to be taught in school; how to handle information. I found that people often copy the text from Wikipedia without even checking the facts or think about it.

George Orwell in Nineteen Eighty-four plays with this misinformation at a high level; The information is changed at all costs and all times before we even can comprehend that it has happened. Forcing false information down the throat of people and educating kids with it from the beginning is really powerful. Sadam Hussian for instance won the first gulf war according to history books in his former Iraq.

Sensationalizing is something i really dislike. We've got about - if no others have popped up - 5 programs that only talk about the latest news on the lived of (local) celebrities or some girl that got a horse because she was involved in an accident or anything else.

The news from the Public channels (like BBC in England and PBS in America) start to get onto that hype and rather talk about the wedding of some local celebrity than about let's say the African plans to launch the Afro (much like the Euro, but for Africa). At least that is what i see, and i can't blame them much; people don't really care much and they need the ratings.
 
de budding
 
Reply Sat 24 May, 2008 04:06 am
@Vasska,
[QUOTE]'information overflow'[/QUOTE]

'This might be something that is needed to be taught in school; how to handle information'

I was taught a little about internet plagiarism at secondary school but never critical analyis which, I think, would be the required prescription to deal with the over-influx of information. I think a quick test would soon demonstrate the problem, for example if you set a school class an assignment to find one page of information on- I dunno', Oliver Cromwell, you would soon see the wide span of information that is causing the problem.
The skill is in extracting what is relevant, noticing what is opinion and what is based on 'linked' facts (which needs following up).

I find it hard to take the papers seriously also today, in the UK there is a subset of papers that basically can't be trusted. The Daily Mail is the worst, giving nearly true stories that fool most their readers (the Mccann reports were again a profound example).
This would need rectifying as well, but I can't see an answer outside of turning a generation of children into diehard skeptics.

Maybe it's time for the library to make a comeback.

One place I still find solace is the radio, our local BBC Cambridgeshire radio is, although a tad boring, always covering local issues with constant calls from the local public commenting honestly on what has been covered on the radio show.

What I find I have naturally done is learnt to 'interpret' the public information, as if avoiding the propaganda. Setting up a constant buffer between me and the constant influx of 'lies'.

But yes the public need approaching two,

[QUOTE]
One of the most misunderstood is the theory by Charles Darwin in The Origin of Species. I still need to read the whole book, but as far as I (and with me many others) interpreted it he said that every living creature has found his ancestor in one organism, call it the God-organism if you want
It's a lot to deal with and I can't
[/QUOTE]

One point I can bring up in the defense of the misinterpreting public is 'lexical pollution', some people call it the natural development of language, but all lexical pollution offenses are committed out of a wish to sound 'smart'. It is a gross under-appreciation of connotations and synonyms and how delicate and indirect they can be, what often is the case is in a forum post, blog article or whatever some young buck will decide to get the thesaurus out and 'spice up' his writing with an intellectual edge. Apparently this doesn't work though, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051031075447.htm and we can notice, but this doesn't stop people. The ultimate effect is a forum of people completely misunderstanding the true connotation of a word.

Also sensationalism is driving the media, we might call this 'market pressure' as it is all a vain attempt to keep sales up.

And people defending their beliefs would be to blame for this 'accidental' information pollution. I know far too many people who, when told something they don't like because it contradicts a belief, will go straight to the internet and tie together needles facts until they have suppressed the threat of what was infringing on their beliefs by smothering it in random unrelated data.

There is a problem, but since when was everyone honest?

Dan.
 
Aristoddler
 
Reply Sat 24 May, 2008 09:59 am
@de budding,
space cows.

it's the only explanation.
 
Vasska
 
Reply Sat 24 May, 2008 10:53 am
@de budding,
The Internet is truly a place with so much information, projects like Wikipedia or company's like Google try to make sure you get the right information, but they cannot guarantee it.

I found out that many people, if they use reliable sources at all, just plainly copy the information without even checking the contents in its writing or simple mistakes. When i look at assignments turned in by people I can see without a doubt they copied it from Wikipedia, because the use of language and explanation are the same. Some people go as far as looking up a word like privacy and plainly copying the description given by Wikipedia or any other site and don't even try to think about it. I find this new culture of i don't want to think, the internet says it is so scary to say the least.

About the media; many TV-channels, newspapers and magazines exist because they earn money for their owner(s). Money is generated by people reading, listing and watching your content. Give the majority what they want and you'll get the most stupid TV-shows (Searching for a superstar, Watching people life in a house, watch people humiliate themselves for money), stupid magazines (Well, just look at your local kiosk and you'd be amazed at the content generated on a weekly to monthly basis) and worst of all newspapers like the Daily Mail in England (haven't heard much good news about The Sun either) or De Telegraaf in my country.

Language evolves and develops new words or removes other one's. I can't speak Dutch from 1887 and only with difficulty read a book written in 1911.

It's great that languages changes and it's perfectly normal, for society changes. I now find however that many people start to lose control over their language and start to talk in their subculture language.

This is problematic because all former changes had their reasons, this new changes, in at least my language, seem to be pointless and have no direction in which to go. The whole framework of the language is being teared apart and replaced by a somewhat more sophisticated form of growling by caveman.

People sending e-mails, and I'm talking about native Dutch friends my age, don't even considering punctuation, use of capital letters and the correct spelling of simple word anymore. I'm not a grammar Nazi and make mistakes myself for our language is far more complicated than it should be, but I really cannot stand this ignorance of people. Somehow I'm thinking this is the result of all those years of cutbacks after cutbacks in education by our government.
 
de budding
 
Reply Sat 24 May, 2008 11:44 am
@Vasska,
Ha Ha, 'The Sun' doesn't get the good grace of being mentioned, it isn't even a paper, it is a gossip rag.

I agree with all your points and would like to point out that grammatical laziness in England started when MSN Messenger (AIM, Yahoo Messenger etc.) came out. There was a boom of people using IM programs and I can even remember when 'lol' hit the mainstream and people started saying it in school- 'el-oh-el' *rolls eyes*

Point being that this instant messaging fad spilled over into 'txting' (the gross overuse of text messages on mobile phones to communicate what a phone call could easily do.) Every single teenager in UK has a mobile phone and a laptop and they all use MSN and txting; as a result they 'forgot' how to write properly. Also let us consider how many assignments, essays and homeworks are done on a word processor which auto corrects spelling and grammar.

When using Microsoft Word's auto spelling and grammar check, who actually looks to see what is wrong with a spelling? Not only do the mistakes get corrected for them but they don't even learn what the mistake is that's being corrected, this must have an impact as well.

But on the up-side have you seen a book- 'Eats, shoots and leaves'? A very lighthearted look at the grammar Nazi's state of mind; what I find most interesting is the artful preservation of grammar and writing that the book implements- and art which I think is sadly being lost.

I think the same people who may be the main culprits of lexical pollution on internet forums may be people who are at least exploring language.
Things change I guess- I will be most interested to see what the next couple of generations get up to, especially with regards to handwriting, use of word processors, texting and IM'in.

So you like the 'thought experiment' idea? Some of them are just popular paradoxes, some classic 'thinking puzzles' and a few originals- regardless they are all quite provocative. I also got another similar collection of paradoxes called 'Can a Robot be Human?' so if you want anymore just ask Wink.

Dan. Very Happy
 
Vasska
 
Reply Sat 24 May, 2008 01:26 pm
@de budding,
de_budding wrote:
Ha Ha, 'The Sun' doesn't get the good grace of being mentioned, it isn't even a paper, it is a gossip rag.

Guess I was right then, it never striked me as anything else, reading some articles and seeing the front page.

Quote:
I agree with all your points and would like to point out that grammatical laziness in England started when MSN Messenger (AIM, Yahoo Messenger etc.) came out. There was a boom of people using IM programs and I can even remember when 'lol' hit the mainstream and people started saying it in school- 'el-oh-el' *rolls eyes*
I actually had mentioned the IM in my story, but for some reason or another decided to throw it out. Guess I disliked ending my sentence with it somehow, I always do that.

Quote:
Point being that this instant messaging fad spilled over into 'txting' (the gross overuse of text messages on mobile phones to communicate what a phone call could easily do.) Every single teenager in UK has a mobile phone and a laptop and they all use MSN and txting; as a result they 'forgot' how to write properly. Also let us consider how many assignments, essays and homeworks are done on a word processor which auto corrects spelling and grammar.
I think it's the other way round; txt'ing was limited in characters (190) and at least in my country was expensive until 2 years ago. IM was free and not limited. But it for some reason quicker and cooler to type:

W8 a sec instead of Please wait a second. It even gets worse with the nicknames of people, the use of emoticons and the use of 3 as e etc.

The language used in todays assignments is horrible and i don't even want to know what it will be in 20 years. I found out many people don't even know how to style their assignment to make it readable and somewhat more cared for.

Quote:
When using Microsoft Word's auto spelling and grammar check, who actually looks to see what is wrong with a spelling? Not only do the mistakes get corrected for them but they don't even learn what the mistake is that's being corrected, this must have an impact as well.
U KnOw That it takes time aight? I kould be chilling with my mates in that time. (I'm real bad at screwing up deliberately).

Spellcheckers however can only detect things so far as technology allows us. If i were to type some random words, it would not show up because the construction of the sentence will not be corrected. Only the spelling and punctuation.

I must admit using one right now in Firefox because my English sometimes is not what it should be, I always misspell necessarily for some reason. But i at least look at what my mistake is, and am willing to throw my whole story away and just start over to do it right.

Quote:

But on the up-side have you seen a book- 'Eats, shoots and leaves'? A very lighthearted look at the grammar Nazi's state of mind; what I find most interesting is the artful preservation of grammar and writing that the book implements- and art which I think is sadly being lost.
Is going on the wishlist among all the other books.

Quote:
I think the same people who may be the main culprits of lexical pollution on internet forums may be people who are at least exploring language. Things change I guess- I will be most interested to see what the next couple of generations get up to, especially with regards to handwriting, use of word processors, texting and IM'in.
Some people really innovate language and the Internet enriches us in many ways. Sad point being that it also takes a lot for it.

Quote:

So you like the 'thought experiment' idea? Some of them are just popular paradoxes, some classic 'thinking puzzles' and a few originals- regardless they are all quite provocative. I also got another similar collection of paradoxes called 'Can a Robot be Human?' so if you want anymore just ask Wink.

Dan. Very Happy
If we are done here, we might for the sake of it get another one. Not many other people seem to be interested. I like them if discussed with someone else, alone they don't really get to me.
 
de budding
 
Reply Sat 24 May, 2008 02:30 pm
@Vasska,
I think we have covered all our bases with regards to the destruction of our languages Very Happy, It's been a pleasure.

I will pick a good one and post it when I get home, perhaps one wit ha little more scope for discussion.

Dan.

P.S my handwriting is so bad that it is almost completely unintelligible, my comprehension of spelling is dyslexic at best and I struggle to read. These are excuses though, and when I went for my to organize some dyslexia and dispraxia tests at univesity to clarify why I struggle, the nice lady sat down and explained that my motivation was enough that it wasn't worth applying for the grants to pay to have a doctor come in and analyse.

Any relevence there? Smile
 
Vasska
 
Reply Sat 24 May, 2008 03:09 pm
@de budding,
This one put us in the direction of a enjoyable discussion, that's what I care about in the off-topic section.

I don't like my handwriting, but its readable. Compared to many other kids its godlike, so I'm among the better hands. I'm still trying to make it somewhat better.

Handwriting in this age is becoming somewhat less important. Everything is always typed out on the computer in the end.

*150 posts already*
 
Vasska
 
Reply Sun 25 May, 2008 01:44 pm
@Vasska,
Budding,

The topic has already found it's peace yesterday. I just read an essay by George Orwell that deals with the abuse of language, which we spoke about. It deals with the useless injection of foreign words as well to complicated and unneeded words in the English language. It's a bit out of tone with the IM-language we detest, but nonetheless interesting and worth reading.

You can find it here; George Orwell: Politics and the English Language
 
de budding
 
Reply Sun 25 May, 2008 02:15 pm
@Vasska,
Sounds good,
I'll give it a read, thanks.

EDIT: These extracts sum up my favourite points-

'modern writing at its worst does not consist in picking out words for the sake of their meaning and inventing images in order to make the meaning clearer. It consists in gumming together long strips of words which have already been set in order by someone else, and making the results presentable by sheer humbug. The attraction of this way of writing is that it is easy. It is easier - even quicker, once you have the habit - to say In my opinion it is not an unjustifiable assumption that than to say I think. If you use ready-made phrases, you not only don't have to hunt about for the words; you also don't have to bother with the rhythms of your sentences since these phrases are generally so arranged as to be more or less euphonious.'

And the example he gives he is quite illuminating.

'verse from Ecclesiastes:
I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.
[verse from Ecclesiates] in modern English:
Objective considerations of contemporary phenomena compel the conclusion that success or failure in competitive activities exhibits no tendency to be commensurate with innate capacity, but that a considerable element of the unpredictable must invariably be taken into account.'

I guess his arguments are directed at 'professional' or academic writing, but even I have committed most of the modern writing pit-falls he describes. The advice offered is very handy-

Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
Never use a long word where a short one will do.
If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
Never use the passive where you can use the active.
Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

Good practical stuff, thanks again for the link
Dan. Very Happy
 
Vasska
 
Reply Mon 26 May, 2008 02:21 am
@de budding,
He's right. Using the academic language makes use feel nothing and only consume the message without thinking. He made a perfect example with this:

Quote:
Consider for instance some comfortable English professor defending Russian totalitarianism. He cannot say outright, 'I believe in killing off your opponents when you can get good results by doing so'. Probably, therefore, he will say something like this:[INDENT] 'While freely conceding that the Soviet regime exhibits certain features which the humanitarian may be inclined to deplore, we must, I think, agree that a certain curtailment of the right to political opposition is an unavoidable concomitant of transitional periods, and that the rigors which the Russian people have been called upon to undergo have been amply justified in the sphere of concrete achievement.'
[/INDENT]
BTW George Orwell - Eric Arthur Blair. Novels. Essays. Articles. Reviews. Biography. Bibliography. has all essays and books by George Orwell (It's legit if you are wondering)
 
de budding
 
Reply Mon 26 May, 2008 05:33 am
@Vasska,
I didn't realise George Orwell was a pseudonym :O lol, well "Mr. Blair" was a political writer so I guess it would be a good time to execute this tasty bit of thinking on free speech Very Happy.

'Comrades! Our People's Republic is a triumphant beacon of freedom in the world, in which the workers have been liberated from their slavery! In order to defeat the bourgeois foe, it has been necessary up until now to outlaw talk which may stir up dissent and reverse our triumphant revolution. It has never been our intention to limit speech forever, and recently more people have been asking whether the time will soon be right to make the next great leap.

Comrades, our dear leader has decreed that now is indeed the time! The bourgeoisie has been defeated and humbled, and now out dear leader offers us the gift of free speech!

From Monday, if anyone wished to say anything at all, even wicked lies critical of the People's Republic, he or she may do so, simply by visiting one of the new free speech booths being erected around the county! You may enter these soundproof constructions, one at a time, and say whatever you wish! No more can people complain that there is no free speech!

Seditious lies uttered outside the booths will continue to be punished in the usual ways. Long live the revolution and out beloved leader!'

I guess the immediate assumption I made was that not having some one to listen to you renders your 'speech' useless and futile. But I think it is important to be able to have your own personal views, ones which you don't feel compelled to share or force onto others. I know a couple of older ex-military men (60-70 years old) who don't say a word about anything, their thoughts are theirs and theirs only; I think there is a certain amount of nobility in that.

I'm going to go browse that George Orwell site for a while,
Dan. Smile
 
Vasska
 
Reply Mon 26 May, 2008 12:55 pm
@de budding,
I did, only because I read it in the preface in ninety eighty-four because it was some anniversary or something.

I just finished printing some articles by him. Anyhow I have to learn to form the opinions of my own somewhat better and not look at people like George Orwell to base my opinions on.
 
de budding
 
Reply Mon 26 May, 2008 01:05 pm
@Vasska,
Urgh, how do we go about getting better at forming our own oppinions? that sounds liek a tought nut to crack Very Happy.

Dan.
 
Vasska
 
Reply Tue 27 May, 2008 01:00 am
@de budding,
de_budding wrote:
Urgh, how do we go about getting better at forming our own oppinions? that sounds liek a tought nut to crack Very Happy.

Dan.

By not believing everything one says, and let it sink first before you act on impulse and declare it your new opinion. And always verify your facts. Also never talk about things you have no knowledge of. But we might want to think about it somewhat harder.
 
 

 
  1. Philosophy Forum
  2. » General Discussion
  3. » The moon is made of cheese- proof!
Copyright © 2021 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.02 seconds on 09/23/2021 at 05:49:35