meaning

Discussion in 'The Sanctuary' started by reggie jax, Mar 29, 2013.

  1. Radium

    Radium f k

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    thus we were granted agency by the universe to try to understand it. therefore to have granted us this the universe must thus have had its own distinct kind of agency

    the question then is what is the nature of that agency and why would it behave this way

    this question remains unanswered

    the nihilist and the existentialist think that the universe has no agency and, having already found their answer, thinking of it only as chaos, exist only in chaos too. by consequence of their own nature, they can never ask this question, and thus supposing it exists, can never have its answer
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  2. reggie jax

    reggie jax Well-Known Member

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    i don't see how that follows, unless you're using a very loose definition of agency. the universe has a structure to it that has shaped our development. i'd be interested to see how you get from "the universe is not pure chaos" -> "the universe wants us to be this way."
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  3. Radium

    Radium f k

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    by agency i just mean a thing that has its own distinct teleological end goals apart from the kinds that agents like us may have


    in this sense i think the universe has already demonstrated some parts of a few of these things to us and though trying to piece together a total overview of what its trying to do is beyond our current capacity, it doesnt mean that it doesnt exist or that we should not try to know it


    ex: one thing that i think the universe has shown its trying to create by favoring it throughout its very nature is justice, but to what end that it ultimately does this i dont know. you can try to argue too that the universe does not want justice and that its nature is ultimately only to destroy the things it creates and that a thing like justice is only a freak byproduct of chaos which it then is soon destroyed by

    there is no way to truly know the answer yet. my guess though i think is that the nature of our universe is to try to create and sustain things as i think it does demonstrate, and to try to know why it would do this, you would have to look at the ways that it may or may not invisibly betray its own agency to us
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  4. DemiGod

    DemiGod Peef Rimgar

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    I jam therefore I am.
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  5. reggie jax

    reggie jax Well-Known Member

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    but agency implies intention, to some extent or another, does it not? that is where i fail to see how agency is the necessary alternative to pure chaos. for example, probability can be described as a system which produces a pattern that it is built into the structure of the system in the same way certain phenomena are built into the structure of the universe. this doesn't establish that probability is an agent that intends for anything to happen, it's simply a series of constraints that might or might not have an intended purpose.
    this is somewhat off topic, but i am curious: in what way does nature seem to favor justice, and what type of justice are you referring to?
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  6. Radium

    Radium f k

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    thats right i think you can argue that. the question then though is to try to glean to what extent games are rigged. thats not easy to know as we so far only have access to this game and what things we can glean from it


    i think that nature favored a thing like justice over time in the same way that it favored a thing like the eye

    Eye - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    that is i think that justice formed rather crudely out of a thing that i named the trample gauge, which was just a mechanism that i think early tetrapod mothers needed to have to not crush their own amniotic eggs. i think this very primitive trample gauge then sort of morphed into a more nuanced urge to engulf by mothers and that this urge to engulf was then further compounded by an engulfment avoidance mechanism which was a necessary mechanism used to break away from mothers as a way to achieve autonomous agency in more advanced creatures like humans. the interplay of these two forces, the urge to engulf and engulfment avoidance, are very interesting to me. anyway i know that sounds really strange but i think that justice became a kind of end product of these things as part of this greater auto correcting trend which governs these things and ultimately things like the eye too

    as far as the nature of justice this is a much harder thing to try to ask. it ultimately is a question about the nature of the good which is a very perplexing discourse. to start, do you think the good can exist?
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  7. reggie jax

    reggie jax Well-Known Member

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    i just wonder exactly what metric you would use to determine if a game is rigged though. when you think about the idea of a game, every game has a set of rules or constraints that must be followed. without such a system of constraints, there's no point to the game. so i think that a game that is rigged is a game where the rules can be arbitrarily discarded, rather than a game where the rules dictate your available course of action.

    what i'm really wondering is why you chose the tetrapod not stepping on her eggs rather than any other particular survival instinct. if the argument is that over time evolution favors justice then i think i can provide counter examples to that idea, though you haven't explicitly defined what you mean by justice yet so i don't really know what i'm looking for.

    however i think that 'might is right' is such a predominate theme in nature that it would necessarily need to be a part of the model for a natural justice system if such a model is to accurately reflect reality. i also think that 'might is right' is a sort of primitive justice that humans have begrudgingly learned to supersede with more nuanced and sophisticated notions of what justice truly means. if the winners winning by their nature is what we're referring to as justice then it doesn't completely capture what we as a race have come to call justice and thus might be better suited to some other term.

    for a prime example of how might is right justice works in nature, take the behavior of lions. they have their own sort of justice system and it doesn't really hold up to our own ideals. one or two males rule a pride of female hunters who provide sustenance for the pride, and the males mate with these females to bring up a new generation of lions. when this new generation of lions reach young adulthood, any adolescent males are purged from the pride. they often band together into pairs and learn to hunt and fight together until they're fit to take over their own pride. when they are ready to do so, they run off the aging males of an existing pride and take over, at which point they promptly slaughter the young offspring of the previous male and subdue the females so that they can start the whole process all over again.

    now this system doesn't just work, it works extremely well. we're talking about an apex predator here. you could of course argue that since humanity is at the very top of the food chain that our notions of justice are even more powerful and effective. however, if you do make this argument then you run into the problem of competing human notions of justice. so take for example the cultures of the native americans whose system was more akin to our hunter gatherer ancestors than to modern civilization. their notions of justice were largely more egalitarian and some would argue even more benevolent than our own, and yet obviously history tells us that their system didn't win out in that clash of civilizations. and so here the truism of 'might makes right' starts to resurface.

    in addition to these specific details, one puzzling aspect of justice being built into nature that i would like to mention briefly is that in order to create justice the universe first had to create a system where injustice is rampant, so that justice could bring order to that system. in effect you first have to create the problem so that you can then introduce the solution. i'm not exactly sure what the point of that would be.

    i'm going to ask to you define "the good" before i respond. are we talking about an absolute ideal that exists independent of our particular contexts?
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  8. Radium

    Radium f k

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    i just meant that this is the only universe we know about. even in supposing many universes we would have no way to know what they are like. so far we can only make statements about the way this kind of universe works



    i think the amniotic egg was distinct from other things because i think that it conjointly formed a very basic version of the trample gauge which is basically just a very crude penalty system. pain is a kind of crude penalty system which makes an organism reflexively retract its body from a damaging stimulus. the trample gauge is distinct from this in that it penalizes stimulus (in this case trampling) extrinsic to the body. that is to activate its penalizing effects, you have to abstract the damage. that was very novel. for any agent to work cooperatively vis a vis a group it has to have some capacity to abstract extrinsic damage as a penalty in this fashion.

    i think a more advanced version of the trample gauge came from parenting which conjointly necessitated more advanced abstractive ability to not trample a now moving agent. that is, the amniotic egg and its trample gauge acted like a primitive gateway to more advanced things like parenting. i think that more nuanced kinds of penalty systems that we have, such as shame or guilt, are ultimately based on it too. i think that things like laws could never work w/o such systems in place. thus i think a thing like justice is firmly rooted in this ancient legacy.

    i think only some agents have a capacity for justice and that most things are just not designed to access it. the point of the amniotic egg and the trample gauge was to demonstrate that you needed to undergo a lengthy chain of events to abstract things like shame or guilt and thus to ultimately have things like justice which lacking such things would never work.

    justice, to me, is based on what i think is the good. the nature of the good is a much larger discourse thats why i asked if you even think it can actually exist. it would be quicker if you just said no! but i think part of the nature of the good is that it is an on going discourse as to what it even is. one key facet i think is the ability for agents to form their own agency. this was why i thought engulfment avoidance was so interesting. we needed to have this trait to some degree to create distinct forms of agency and to not just remain in an engulfed state. thus i think a key element of justice is to protect our capacity as agents to create agency. there are probably many ways to argue how to do this.

    do you agree that some would probably work and that some would probably not
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  9. reggie jax

    reggie jax Well-Known Member

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    sure, but keep in mind how this discussion started. you were saying that the universe is betraying some type of invisible agency, and i was questioning how you determine that. if there's no way to determine it due to our frame of reference then that would seem to undermine your point.
    i can agree with that. however, at this point we're still only talking about one distinct way to enhance the survival of a lineage. linking it to some higher ideal that holds an intrinsic value that isn't dependent on the goal of survival is the crucial part. if it is still dependent on the goal of survival then of course we run into the question of why it's being selected over the other methods of survival as something that is particularly intrinsic to existence.
    but how can you expect me to say no if i don't know what i'm saying no to? you have to define the concept first and then ask me if i think it can exist.
    yes
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  10. Radium

    Radium f k

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    i think the universe is ultimately trying to produce agents that can create technology. to do this it must do many things on the way to that end. for ex it must create things like justice. to create justice it had to create agents that had a capacity to understand it. i think that it was always structurally formatted in a way to do these tasks and i think it demonstrates this to us. but i dont know why. i guess that probably sounds really weird.

    but this was just what i meant by it having its own kind of agency.
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  11. Geedorah

    Geedorah King

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    Human brains cant comprehend that something has no meaning or its meaning is way beyond their knowledge and perception.
    Its like explaining money to pigeons.
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  12. reggie jax

    reggie jax Well-Known Member

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    does it phase you at all that over the course of 3 billion + years of evolution and 5 mass extinctions, only a single species has developed in this particular way?
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  13. Radium

    Radium f k

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    maybe youre right
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  14. AliceHouse

    AliceHouse The House Always Wins

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    Maybe. But trial and error take time. Plus, humans aren't the only species with a complex codex of justice.

    I find reading this conversation to be interesting and strikes my inner paladin well.
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  15. reggie jax

    reggie jax Well-Known Member

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    i was referring to the development of advanced technology. but i am curious what examples you had in mind?
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  16. reggie jax

    reggie jax Well-Known Member

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    the question i should've asked you here is should creatures who can't access justice (like lions) even want justice? their system works so well, why is it framed as them lacking the capacity for justice rather than just simply lacking the necessity?

    this brings us to the core of the question: is survival simply a mechanism through which we are trying to achieve the higher ideal of justice, or are those roles completely reversed?
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  17. Radium

    Radium f k

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    this was why i asked you about the nature of the good and whether you think it exists or not.

    whether you try to argue that their system works or not (ex you could have argued that it ultimately does not work since they lack a way to effectively comprehend justice and would thus ultimately break down at some point) you are making some kind of statement on what you think is ultimately good thus entering the discourse on the nature of the good

    the question of the nature of the good is very open ended. that is we dont have the answer yet and so we have to constantly engage in discourse about it

    for ex you could argue here that chaos is good or that there really is no such thing as good. however by doing this you exit the discourse. its ultimately your choice to become an agent of chaos (or any kind of agent) or not

    re: agency

    we are our own agents in our own ways however i think the universe is a kind of agent too and thus we should try to know what kind of agency it has and what ways it exerts this agency onto things


    i think its true that its merely a survival mechanism however a very advanced kind that the universe works to try to create over time as part of its agency
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  18. reggie jax

    reggie jax Well-Known Member

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    if in saying whether or not a system works in nature lies a value judgement, then i guess i can assume that value judgement is what you mean by the good. i call it what works, you call it the good. same thing, right?

    so basically, the good is just whatever happens to work. that is the self correcting mechanism that drives the engineering of nature. if that's what you're proposing then i'd say yes, i do think it exists.

    i do disagree with the criteria you use when you say that the lion's system doesn't work because it will eventually break down. by that metric everything is a failure.
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  19. reggie jax

    reggie jax Well-Known Member

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    but here you seem to be implying both that justice is a means of producing survival(first part) and that survival is a means of producing justice (rest of the sentence).

    i think that it needs to be one or the other. you can't say that the universe intends to produce justice while simultaneously conceding that it's merely a survival mechanism. if it is the end goal then it's not just a survival mechanism. i think there is a significant distinction to be made in regard to which element is the means and which is the goal.

    if the goal is justice then justice needs to be defined in a way that is independent of the contexts of survival. in this scenario an instinct that produces justice but doesn't facilitate survival is inherently superior to one that sustains survival but doesn't produce justice. survival is merely the means of obtaining justice, not the lens through which it's filtered.

    if survival is the end goal then it likewise needs to be defined independent of justice. justice is merely a way to facilitate survival and thus holds no intrinsic value of its own once the context of survival is taken away. in this scenario though the lions might not live up to your standard of justice you can't rightly call them failures because they have constructed a successful system for propagating their genes.
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  20. Radium

    Radium f k

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    not every survival mechanism works, hence extinction. thus i think the universe is specially tasked to trend to justice

    you might be right but what good is it to surrender to chaos/death

    we could conversely try to argue that to exist is good. to argue that is to argue for justice, since it was unequally yolked by the universe as way to create this kind of permanency in things. thus by that metric not everything is a failure

    re: permanency

    Water Simulation From PhysX Is Most Realistic Fluid Computer Graphics Yet

    [youtube]F5KuP6qEuew[/youtube]

    this is a new position based fluids simulation released by nvidia. the core idea to it is the way these fluid particles behave in strictly defined 3d spaces or voxels. a voxel is homologous to a pixel which is just a flat 2d space that has some kind of distinct information in it eg red, green, blue which can be aggregated into a whole mass or sum to make an image. just as any image can be reduced down to its information carrying pixels any 3d space can be reduced down to its information carrying voxels. thus we can imagine things as existing in voxelated spaces where each voxel and the information that its carrying can be increasingly reduced down to increasingly smaller and finer voxels which contain increasingly exact information about the particles it contains

    supposing you had the raw power to do it you could in theory create not just hyper realistic water but an entirely new universe that you could arrange to any kind of state or rearrange back to any pre existing state voxel by voxel

    an interesting question is what kind of agent would even want to create an entirely new universe

    when i asked you what kind of universe you wanted to make what i really wanted to hear you say was that you would create one that has tragedy in it. you were reluctant to say this.

    i think that two very core elements of humanity are engulfment and engulfment avoidance. i think when we access an engulfment zone we activate an instinctive urge to seek stimulant rich engulfment avoidance zones. however i think one consequence of engulfment avoidance is that it has a tendency to create tyrants. this is because in seeking these highly stimulating engulfment avoidance zones we start to access increasingly intense states of ecstasy which when not constrained create an agent who exists only for the sake of more and more ecstasy. there is only one force that can constrain the tyrant and that is tragedy.

    tragedy is the thing that is always blocking us from becoming this way and pulling us back in now injured by it and in strange need of more engulfment only to re activate more and more engulfment avoidance. the push and pull of engulfment and engulfment avoidance is eternally regulated by tragedy much like a shepherd.

    how strange that so much of human history and its need to create things like justice or technology was a giant fight against tragedy only to need to create it again to create more and more universes.


    do you think that doing this is for the good?
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