[extropy-chat] Semantics + Re: Identity and becoming a Great Old One

Bret Kulakovich bret at bonfireproductions.com
Tue Jan 31 13:57:40 UTC 2006

Hi Jeff, sorry for the time lapse.

I will try to cut to the chase. Below is our ongoing conversation.  

1)  Given the state of the Cryonics and uploading conversation  
currently on this list, please weigh the benefits of the introduction  
of classically shared definitions. Who are you afraid of confusing  
given that there isn't a common ground semantically? I think you are  
elevating the concern over term uses a bit beyond practical discourse.

2) Isn't an outline of the mind/body problem exactly what we should  
work from in this context (this context, the list, right here)? The  
thread is very much re-hashing the classical argument, which is fine  
to a degree - but creating new terms, and failing to find a concrete  
set of agreed upon definitions, isn't moving us forward. I don't  
think we need to worry about crushing intellectual creativity, and no  
one is denying anyone their say.

I posted Wikipedia references earlier, and though they be lacking in  
many ways, anything is better than the industrial strength tail  
chasing going on over common and yet undeclared terms such as POV. I  
am thankful that subjectivity/objectivity have made it in, but even  
they are starting to run amok.

On with the show:

On Jan 27, 2006, at 4:51 PM, Jeff Medina wrote:

> On 1/27/06, Bret Kulakovich <bret at bonfireproductions.com> wrote:
>> regardless of how much I have simplified exactly
> But it's _not_ regardless of how much you've simplified. How much
> you're simplifying is precisely one of the key issues leading to my
> assertion that [introducing monism/dualism talk will only confuse
> matters further].
>> While they may seem similar to you, that the pattern & threaded views
>> reduce to types of these others is (1) arguable, and hence would
>> require quite a bit of tangential discussion to establish, with  
>> little
>> foreseeable value in so doing, and (2) pointless, as there are many
>> nuances to different philosophers' variants of general terms like
>> dualism, monism, neutral monism, etc., so people would still need to
>> clarify what they meant by "phenomenalism", leading to the very same
>> discussion of the threaded view that is currently going on.
>> Jeff, I'm pretty sure internet mailing lists are generally defined  
>> by (1)
>> and (2).
> Then it should've been obvious that I must've meant something more
> specific/precise. I'm sure you'll have no problem thinking of more
> meaningful connotations of (1) and (2) than the generic
> all-internet-mailing-list-applicable sense.

Points taken - and thank you for your reply. Was also trying to  
'lighten the mood'. But this list is a discussion forum, and  
questions are entertained. You have no responsibility to me to answer  
my questions about m, d and pattern and threaded.

My simplification lead to your assertion about confusion. A lack of  
definition lead to my confusion to begin with, which I was seeking to  
resolve. I am guessing that the answer to the question I stated about  
the similarities != "No." But since I can't find any definitions for  
Threaded or Patterned, that we can all claim as a valid source, my  
question remains unanswered.

> To which Bret replied:
>> Can you point me to anything - something at SIAI perhaps, on the
>> Threaded/Patterned topic?
> No, but I fail to see the point of this request. I haven't defended
> any position in the threaded/patterned discussion, nor have I
> suggested that this was hashed out previously by myself or anyone else
> at SIAI.

Russel Wallace -> SL4 -> Elizer -> Your (Jeff's) .sig -> Grand  
Assumption on My Part

It was easy. I started asking questions in "Russel's" thread and you  
and Elizer started making statements in the same thread in response.  
Russel mentioned SL4 in his earlier messages.

You being the third respondent and the second directly from SIAI, and  
having so much to offer, leads me to think you have resources. If you  
do not, or are too busy, then that is fine too. But being too busy  
doesn't invalidate a need for shared terms, just as my questions  
don't compromise your f-f-f-ree will. I withhold a joke about pre- 
determin! sm at this point.

>> I'm obviously not the first person to make the comparison.
> I'm obviously not the first person to point out that, in the general
> case, noting other people share one's view does not imply one's view
> isn't due for an update.

Which is what I am attempting by asking questions in this thread. I  
want to know. It is well stated that I'm not exactly here for the  
political discourse, or your other favored terms like

>> If you won't even allow idle discussion to lead to clarity for
>> some internet crank, what on earth will you do about peer review?
> Internet crank? Pardon, maybe someone who actually is in my kill file
> started the threaded/patterned discussion -- I don't know who you're
> talking about. Unless you're just being excessively, unseriously
> self-deprecating.

Internet crank = Capital M Me. Some relatively anonymous symbol  
making other symbols in an exchange of symbols.

> As to the actual content of this query, please elaborate just how
> "introducing terms X and Y would be counterproductive in this
> particular discussion" implies a problem regarding my view on peer
> review. (Which is not to say I don't have any problems with the
> current peer review system. Like many, I do. But those problems are
> not relevant to the current discussion.)

If aforementioned Internet crank 'A' regardless of whether he is a  
copy or an original, remains unsated after all this typing, on the  
issue of the four terms discussed prior, then what about answering  
questions or criticisms when it really matters, etc. How will these  
problems be resolved after publication if they haven't even been  
hashed or at least stated elsewhere? Can't exactly cite the old  
noodle at the end. Yet. (As for the sub-context presented, it is  
irrelevant, and at least something we have in common if neither  
Monism or Dualism).

>> I would think you would want people to introduce the
>> terms so that we could all leave with the same understanding?
> I explicitly stated that the terms would *confuse* the matter, because
> most people have different "half-baked, half-read understandings" of
> technical philosophical jargon. They think they understand, but that
> appears to be because there's not often a bunch of scary math on the
> same page, and this leads them to assume philosophy is easier to
> understand and do well.
> So, to this question, no -- I *don't* want the terms introduced
> *precisely because* you will decrease the chances of everyone leaving
> with the same understanding.

Given the current state of understanding in the Cryonics/uploading/ 
fubar threads, I humbly disagree - We will never get to the  
capability of being confused by these terms given the tail-chasing  

Bret K.

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