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posts by Grantaire Moderator | joined 08 Jul 2004 | 259


I'm of a mixed opinion on this issue.. posted 08 Jul 2004, 21:07 in Philosophy DiscussionDrug Legalization by Grantaire, Moderator

I certainly don't think that drugs such as heroin, cocaine, etc should be legalized, because they are extremely damaging. Drugs that are weaker such as marijuana- maybe. As was said above, if people saw what it could really do to people in their lives, that would act as a better deterent than any propaganda. Additionally, taxing the hell out of anything legalized would increase revenue, and hopefully make it not as desirable. I don't see why some drugs (again, think marijuana) are illegal, when there are drugs such as alcohol and tobacco that are currently legal. Alcohol causes everything from car accidents to bar fights, as well as severe health problems in the long run, and tobacco is eventually deadly. I think that all drug use is bad, but I think that by legalizing some of the weaker ones, we could try to get some good out of it. Larry, your story was very sad, but it goes with what I said- if the drug use on her part led to no one being able to stand her, isn't that a lesson to your whole family: don't do drugs, they can mess up your life just like that. However, I don't really know. As I said, I have those mixed thoughts, I need to study the issue more indepth. view post


heh, looks like I'm the youngest posted 08 Jul 2004, 22:07 in Off-Topic DiscussionAges by Grantaire, Moderator

15, anyone under that? :D view post


posted 09 Jul 2004, 14:07 in Philosophy DiscussionDrug Legalization by Grantaire, Moderator

Replay, I think you're just making an assumption. I argued for legalisation, but I have never done any drugs in my life, nor would I if they were legalised. view post


posted 09 Jul 2004, 14:07 in Literature DiscussionA Game of Thrones by Grantaire, Moderator

I was introduced to ASoIaF through wotmania, and I greatly enjoyed it. The writing is vivid, the characters are realistic and memorable, and the world building is superb. Martin is definately one of my current favorite fantasy authors. view post


posted 09 Jul 2004, 14:07 in Off-Topic DiscussionNow listening to... by Grantaire, Moderator

Dave Matthew's Band Live in Central Park Concert album. Specifically, Crush. :) view post


posted 09 Jul 2004, 14:07 in Off-Topic DiscussionNow Reading... by Grantaire, Moderator

I'm currently reading The Story of Philosophy by Will Durant, Otherland by Tad Williams, and The Best Short Stories of Dostoevsky. Yes, I read more than one thing at once :wink: view post


Free Will posted 09 Jul 2004, 14:07 in Philosophy DiscussionFree Will by Grantaire, Moderator

This is an issue I've grappled with for a while. Do we actually have free will? Speaking to someone a couple days ago, they argued that scientifically, we don't have free will, because at the particle level, there are set things that every particle does, even though by the Uncertainty Principle we can't fully measure the velocity and position. However, they said that since we can't measure those factors, we don't know what exactly the particles will do, so we can't tell what will happen in the future, and thus we have an illusion of free will- illusion because we don't actually know what is certain to happen, however the future is set. If taken non-scientifically, I think it also depends on your religious beliefs. Monotheistic religions usually say humans are given free will, but I am uncertain as to how the ideas of a deity, fate (heaven or hell), and free will are compatible. Sorry, I digress, I'll have to make a thread about that at a later point. So, simply, do you think we have free will or not? Or do you believe in a totally deterministic universe? And why? Thanks. view post


posted 09 Jul 2004, 17:07 in Philosophy DiscussionFree Will by Grantaire, Moderator

Yes I know, which is why I was interested to see- it reveals a lot about a person, including religious and philosophical views. view post


posted 09 Jul 2004, 20:07 in Philosophy DiscussionFree Will by Grantaire, Moderator

The thing I don't understand about people using religion as an argument for free will is that it seems to me that the two ideas are incompatible. view post


posted 09 Jul 2004, 21:07 in Philosophy DiscussionFree Will by Grantaire, Moderator

It's hard to explain, I'm not very good at changing my thought process into words..I'll give it a day and get back to you on that point. view post


posted 11 Jul 2004, 05:07 in Philosophy DiscussionFree Will by Grantaire, Moderator

I do that sometimes too :wink: view post


posted 11 Jul 2004, 21:07 in Off-Topic DiscussionSex by Grantaire, Moderator

Male here. :D view post


What introduced you to philosophy? posted 13 Jul 2004, 01:07 in Philosophy DiscussionWhat introduced you to philosophy? by Grantaire, Moderator

A certain class? A book? A friend, family member, etc? Just wondering how everyone got started in learning about the field of philosophy. For myself, I was browsing around in the political science section of my school library, and adjoining it was the philosophy/psychology section, curious, I went and looked at some of the books. There weren't many books, but I checked out a book entitled [i:1ooapace]A Passion For Wisdom[/i:1ooapace]. I don't recall the authors, but it was excellent. It was only around 120-130 pages long, but it had a lot of information (tiny tiny print), about the history of philosophy, pretty much every major philosopher, the roots of basic philosophic and religious beliefs, and the influences of philosophers on eachother. It was fascinating, and I enjoyed every page of it. That was my introduction to philosophy, and I discovered that I really love philosophy (as in I would like to major or minor in it in college). I have read various other philosophy books, from background ones, such as Durant's [i:1ooapace]The Story of Philosophy[/i:1ooapace], to the actual books of the philosophers. Well, that's my story. How about all of you? view post


posted 13 Jul 2004, 03:07 in Philosophy DiscussionWhat introduced you to philosophy? by Grantaire, Moderator

I know, philosophizing comes naturally, but did anything introduce you for example to the history of philosophy, the various philosophers, etc? view post


posted 13 Jul 2004, 03:07 in Interviews and ReviewsAddendum to the wotmania Interview: Re: Monkeys by Grantaire, Moderator

Still hilarious :D I wonder how many authors you'll continue to be able to get to answer :lol: view post


posted 15 Jul 2004, 22:07 in Philosophy DiscussionAyn Rand by Grantaire, Moderator

Like Replay said, what is being true to yourself? view post


Anyone read American Gods, by Neil Gaiman? posted 17 Jul 2004, 19:07 in Literature DiscussionAnyone read American Gods, by Neil Gaiman? by Grantaire, Moderator

I loved it. It was recommended to me by the OF community at wotmania.com, and I wonder how many here have read it. It's not really pure "fantasy", but weaves elements of fantasy, the "new wierd" fantasy, mythology and much more. So, anyone read it? What did you think of it? view post


Happy Birthday Aldarion! posted 17 Jul 2004, 19:07 in Off-Topic DiscussionHappy Birthday Aldarion! by Grantaire, Moderator

I hope you're having a great day, and getting lots of new books (and money to get more new books :wink: ) :D view post


Is the idea of a "god" inherent in our minds? posted 17 Jul 2004, 19:07 in Philosophy DiscussionIs the idea of a "god" inherent in our minds? by Grantaire, Moderator

(note that I'm not saying "belief in a god", but rather just the idea, the concept) Religions of all sorts exist around the world, and usual a central tenet is belief in a god (or multiple gods). Even if a person is agnostic or athiest, the concept of a god is still in their head. If we were raised away from any religious influences, would we still come to find the concept of 'god'? I'm probably not explaining very well what I mean, but you probably get the gist of it :wink: My thoughts on the matter are very jumbled. view post


posted 17 Jul 2004, 21:07 in Off-Topic DiscussionHappy Birthday Aldarion! by Grantaire, Moderator

I just had to prove you wrong 8) Happy 30th! Feel like an old man now? :wink: view post


posted 18 Jul 2004, 17:07 in Philosophy DiscussionIs the idea of a "god" inherent in our minds? by Grantaire, Moderator

Ah, excellent explanation Cu'jara. I wonder if too, the time period and level of industrialization would have an effect- a primitive farming community would be pretty much have its prosperity depending on the weather, something they can't control and is simple to explain as the result of a gods actions etc. Whereas a more modern, industrialized society wouldn't be affected so much by nature. Meh. view post


posted 18 Jul 2004, 17:07 in Literature DiscussionAnyone read American Gods, by Neil Gaiman? by Grantaire, Moderator

Yes, I have read Perdido Street Station. Another superb book. view post


posted 18 Jul 2004, 19:07 in Literature DiscussionAnyone read American Gods, by Neil Gaiman? by Grantaire, Moderator

True 'dat view post


Your education posted 18 Jul 2004, 22:07 in Author Q & AYour education by Grantaire, Moderator

I recall from wotmania's interview, and from what Larry said, that you're currently getting a graduate degree in philosophy. But what else can you tell me about your education? Majors and undergrad degrees? Interests in high school, etc? Thanks view post


posted 19 Jul 2004, 03:07 in Author Q & AYour education by Grantaire, Moderator

To what Larry said, :D Mr. Bakker, at what point in your life did you decide what you wanted to do with college and your career? view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 00:07 in Author Q & ALanguage by Grantaire, Moderator

Yep. Conviction of any sort is the enemy of truth. view post


The problem of evil posted 20 Jul 2004, 03:07 in Philosophy DiscussionThe problem of evil by Grantaire, Moderator

Ok, I'll just state this now- I'm Catholic. I've been brought up on those beliefs for all of my (admittedly, so far short) life. My idea of a God is that of the judeo-christian one, and I definately don't have much knowledge of other religious beliefs. Recently, I've begun to internally question my religion (mostly because of various philosophical thoughts, such as on this and on free will). So I just feel like writing down some of my thoughts on the problem of evil right now- I acknowledge right now that it's probably going to be pretty jumbled and nonsensical, because of my conflicting thoughts about god and religion :wink: To make this clear- I do believe in a god, but since this post is going to be voicing my conflicting thoughts, it will likely end up attacking the idea of god. So please, no religious people take offense or anything. Now, the problem of evil. Typically, the terms "good" and "evil" are used to describe the righteousness (that's probably not a good word though) of all actions, things, etc. And those two concepts are usually embodied in religious beliefs as the entities "god" and "satan/devil/demons/etc". Now, the problem I see is that many religious people (again, I'm speaking about christianity for the large part, so this can't speak for all views) consider there to exist an allpowerful, loving and benevolent god, and there to exist a pure evil entity, through which sin comes, called satan. Ok. That's the basis. Now here is where the real problem is. If god is all powerful, then shouldn't he have the power to destroy any evil? If he doesn't rid humanity of evil, would he then not be loving and benevolent? It could be argued of course that he could still allow evil, and yet be benevolent, but wouldn't the very idea of "god" mean perfection? And if he is perfection, shouldn't that mean [i:1ie4j3jm]perfect[/i:1ie4j3jm] love, which should allow absolutely no evil or ill to befall his creation? If he isn't completely loving, caring, and benevolent, isn't he then not perfect? And if he is not perfect, then can he not truly be "god"? If human sin stemmed from the devil, then wouldn't a perfectly loving god be able to destroy that? Instead, it seems to make more sense that all good and evil stems from human nature. Some of us are good, some are evil, and we all do actions of both. Well, those are some of my thoughts. It ended up pretty jumbled like I expected, but I just really wanted to but down some of those thoughts. Your thoughts? view post


What is/was/will be your college major? posted 20 Jul 2004, 03:07 in Off-Topic DiscussionWhat is/was/will be your college major? by Grantaire, Moderator

What degrees do you have/do you want to get? Just curious about the interests of some of the other people here. Cheers. view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 04:07 in Philosophy DiscussionThe problem of evil by Grantaire, Moderator

Taliesin, I think faith in and of itself is...unreasonable. Why have faith, when we don't have definitive proof of something? I understand that that's what makes it faith, but why have faith in the unknown and ununderstandable? Good post though, good reasoning. Wil, you made sense but...hmm, I'm going to have to counter that in the morning, too tired now.. view post


What area of writing are you good at? posted 20 Jul 2004, 04:07 in Writing TipsWhat area of writing are you good at? by Grantaire, Moderator

Myself, I'm best at world-building, and then describing what's going on in a characters head. Not so good at description of people and the environment. view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 14:07 in Philosophy DiscussionThe problem of evil by Grantaire, Moderator

Taliesin- I know that a lot of what we take for granted we don't truly understand, however, there's evidence and proof that we interpret to predict results and such. But with religion and the idea of god, we don't really have "proof" per se. Sure, we have the bible, a two thousand year old book- but is that definitive evidence? Replay- Thanks. I think that organized religions are rather detrimental to spiritual development really. I think that being able to live life while evolving your own spiritual beliefs is far better than being indoctrinated in the beliefs of the religion that your parents happen to be. view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 14:07 in Off-Topic DiscussionWhat is/was/will be your college major? by Grantaire, Moderator

What's the GRE, Larry? view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 14:07 in Literature Discussiondark tower? by Grantaire, Moderator

Unfortunately, I have yet to read the Dark Tower series, but it's on my list of books to read (however, considering how long that list is, it could be quite a long time :wink: ) view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 14:07 in Member Written WorksWeek Three Scene Nominations by Grantaire, Moderator

I would like to nominate someone reflecting on their life on their deathbed/right before they die. view post


How were you introduced to fantasy? posted 20 Jul 2004, 14:07 in Author Q & AHow were you introduced to fantasy? by Grantaire, Moderator

Any certain book that you read and gave you that push into the world of fantasy reading and writing? Oh, and also, do you plan on sticking with writing strictly fantasy, or are you going to branch out into different genres? (or even going from epic fantasy to the New Wierd) Thanks. view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 14:07 in Off-Topic DiscussionWhat is/was/will be your college major? by Grantaire, Moderator

Ah. That will probably be rather tough after being out of school for so long won't it? Well I get to look forward to the SAT in the fall...I'm not sure if they're adding the new writing section or not for that one, or if that's going to be in the spring. Heh, actually I won't have to worry about that, just the math section. (math= devil. Goodkind probably invented it :wink: ) view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 14:07 in Author Q & AHow were you introduced to fantasy? by Grantaire, Moderator

Whoops. My bad. Ohhh, but did he answer the second question there? view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 14:07 in Author Q & AHow were you introduced to fantasy? by Grantaire, Moderator

Oh, I'm sorry. I just checked the interview, and he did answer the subject question. Oh well, it was a while ago that I last read it :wink: view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 15:07 in Off-Topic DiscussionWhat is/was/will be your college major? by Grantaire, Moderator

Well that's good. Best of luck to you on that exam, and on getting your degree :) So you were a history buff? Odd, I would have imagined you as being a literature major of some sort :wink: view post


When is TDTCB being released in paperback in the US? posted 20 Jul 2004, 15:07 in Author Q & AWhen is TDTCB being released in paperback in the US? by Grantaire, Moderator

Does anyone know? Because if it's going to be relatively soon, I'll just wait for that, rather than spend the extra $15 or so :wink: view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 15:07 in Off-Topic DiscussionWhat is/was/will be your college major? by Grantaire, Moderator

Ah, yeah, I can definately see you as fitting that. Forgive my ignorance, but what exactly is postmodernism? I've heard you and others reference things to it, but what school of thought is it? But yeah, that field sounds pretty interesting. And for myself, I'm going to have a hell of a hard time choosing a major. Physics, chemistry, history, political science, and philosophy will probably end up in some odd combination of majors and minors :wink: Gotta love esoteric and random interests, eh? Of course, that will probably all change by the time I get to college, so who knows. I've got years to think it over. AP poly sci and environmental science this coming year should be able to help me refine my opinion in: is this really something I want to study in college? view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 15:07 in Off-Topic DiscussionWhat is/was/will be your college major? by Grantaire, Moderator

Thanks! Quite fascinating..I'll have to check out some more stuff. view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 17:07 in Off-Topic DiscussionWhat is/was/will be your college major? by Grantaire, Moderator

Well, what are the odds. I went to the bookstore a week ago, and I bought Foucaults Archaeology of Knowledge :D view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 17:07 in Author Q & AHow were you introduced to fantasy? by Grantaire, Moderator

I know the feeling :wink: At any given time, I'm generally reading 3 or 4 different books, and working on several different projects- though I can hardly imagine doing that with things of your magnitude. view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 17:07 in Philosophy DiscussionThe problem of evil by Grantaire, Moderator

Replay- Yes, I probably always have doubts, no matter what I settle on. But that's a good thing, convictions are the enemy of truth. I'm still interested in christianity, but I don't like the blind faith, I like facts. I just need to cut away the crap, and explore. SJ- I get the idea of God being perfect by believing Him to be omniscient, omnipotent, etc. I think that the very concept of a being entitled "god" means an entity who knows all, and has power over all. But of course, that's just my view, because language allows so much room for interpretation, everyone has different views regarding a single word/concept. view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 17:07 in Off-Topic DiscussionWhat is/was/will be your college major? by Grantaire, Moderator

I actually have some money in my pocket for once, so I'm carefully considering what all I should buy. (which is why I'm not immediately buying TDTCB, that would wipe out half of my money, I'm just going to wait till it's paperback, so it's a quarter of the cost). I'm thinking I'll probably pick up Mieville's The Scar, as well as some Foucalt and Derrida. I wish my library had more books of the sort, they have remarkably little philosophy and such, I need to interlibrary loan to get them. But Archaeology of Knowledge is next on my to read list, I'm working on a couple books right now. view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 17:07 in Philosophy DiscussionThe problem of evil by Grantaire, Moderator

Larry, I didn't say the humans could ever be perfect. view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 17:07 in Off-Topic DiscussionWhat is/was/will be your college major? by Grantaire, Moderator

Haha, you ought to do that Larry. I still have yet to read the near 100 books recommended by OF to me, and I have a stack of science and philosophy books in my room to be read. But you really should. Your 90 books, plus the syllabi, that would be really interesting. I seem to be sort of naturally drifting towards non-fic anyway. view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 17:07 in Philosophy DiscussionThe problem of evil by Grantaire, Moderator

Ah. Well, by that definition, I'm not sure that God could be considered perfect. Of course, as I said, the nature of language means that words and concepts can be interpreted as many different ways as there are people. So what "perfect" and "god" mean to one person won't mean the same to another, and the original meaning of one's interpretation is corrupted in the mind of one who hears it. view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 18:07 in Off-Topic DiscussionWhat is/was/will be your college major? by Grantaire, Moderator

They sound excellent. See, I wish I could take classes in stuff like that! My school just had the basics, you know, like Modern World History, American History, Psychology, and Sociology. Nothing really specifically cultural like the things you speak of. I'll definately have to check them out, I'm going to the library later today. view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 18:07 in Off-Topic DiscussionWhat is/was/will be your college major? by Grantaire, Moderator

Yep, I definately am getting a head start. Gotta love ambition :) If you donate them, you should send them up to my library 8) view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 18:07 in Philosophy DiscussionThe problem of evil by Grantaire, Moderator

Good quote Wil. I think that does contribute. If God doesn't care though, it ruins the religious image of benevolence. Which isn't strictly a bad thing. view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 18:07 in Off-Topic DiscussionWhat is/was/will be your college major? by Grantaire, Moderator

How many history books do you have? I know that's a problem with college, you buy tons of books, for hundreds of dollars, then often can't sell back many of them. Heh, I've already been taking some from my older brother when he comes back on breaks :wink: view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 18:07 in Off-Topic DiscussionWhat is/was/will be your college major? by Grantaire, Moderator

Wow Larry, that's still a lot. I desperately need shelf space though :wink: my entire bookshelf is overflowing onto the floor. 60-70 is still a ton of books, I envy you! :P view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 20:07 in Off-Topic DiscussionWhat is/was/will be your college major? by Grantaire, Moderator

haha dros, I certainly could use two more bookshelves! view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 20:07 in Off-Topic DiscussionWhat is/was/will be your college major? by Grantaire, Moderator

Well I [i:2hng9zd1]realllly[/i:2hng9zd1] need one Taliesin, my current bookshelf is quite tall, has maybe 7 shelves, and they're all full (as in, I have two rows shelved on each, and many on top of them). It's starting to overflow onto my floor. Not a good situation :wink: view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 20:07 in Literature DiscussionA Game of Thrones by Grantaire, Moderator

Yes, subtlety is preferable in a book. view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 20:07 in Philosophy DiscussionThe problem of evil by Grantaire, Moderator

Yeah Larry, I think it's important to take into account what way you define words like "perfect". view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 21:07 in Off-Topic DiscussionWhat is/was/will be your college major? by Grantaire, Moderator

Yeah...another problem being that I doubt I could fit another bookshelf in my room. Oh well, maybe I should just pile them up under my bed and in the closet :wink: view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 21:07 in Philosophy DiscussionThe problem of evil by Grantaire, Moderator

Replay, what is your definition of perfect? view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 21:07 in Off-Topic DiscussionWhat is/was/will be your college major? by Grantaire, Moderator

Ditto. Considering how randomly scattered they typically are, the last time I 'cleaned' my room ended up being me organizing my books onto different shelves. One for fantasy, one for sci-fi, one for science, philosophy, and reference, one for random fiction, etc. view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 21:07 in Off-Topic DiscussionWhat is/was/will be your college major? by Grantaire, Moderator

Laziness is a great motivator :wink: view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 21:07 in Philosophy DiscussionThe problem of evil by Grantaire, Moderator

Indeed. All depends on your viewpoint. view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 23:07 in Off-Topic DiscussionWhat is/was/will be your college major? by Grantaire, Moderator

Yeah...procrastination works suprisingly well. Gotta love writing research papers 5 hours before they're due :D view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 23:07 in Philosophy DiscussionThe problem of evil by Grantaire, Moderator

Taliesin, that's exactly what I was speaking about...yet another topic I'm going to be needing to make a thread about :wink: view post


posted 21 Jul 2004, 00:07 in Philosophy DiscussionThe problem of evil by Grantaire, Moderator

I suppose the concept of perfection is something that I need to think about more. Saintjon, couldn't perfection change dependent on circumstances? Circumstances dictate the ideal. view post


So, what are you all doing with your summers? posted 21 Jul 2004, 00:07 in Off-Topic DiscussionSo, what are you all doing with your summers? by Grantaire, Moderator

Myself, I have a rather long list of books that I have been recommended (thank you OF and Larry :wink: ). Additionally, I've made it my goal to teach myself calculus. Then band camp, and back to school. Fun summer. And the rest of you? view post


posted 21 Jul 2004, 18:07 in Off-Topic Discussionreading by Grantaire, Moderator

Haven't read anything by Jones. Right now I'm reading The City of Golden Shadow by Tad Williams, and The Story of Philosophy by Will Durant. Hopefully I'll be getting The Darkness That Comes Before in the near future. Oh, and just to let you know, there's a messageboard for discussion and another for reviews of other literature/fantasy/etc. So you'll probably get more responses on a bookish question over there :wink: Cheers view post


posted 21 Jul 2004, 18:07 in Philosophy DiscussionThe problem of evil by Grantaire, Moderator

Haha Loof, I know that in the end it doesn't matter. Most all philosophy doesn't truly matter, because it's all so subjective. view post


posted 21 Jul 2004, 18:07 in Philosophy DiscussionThe problem of evil by Grantaire, Moderator

Yeah Taliesin...also, philosophy offers some consolations in life, and some of it is applicable (think political philosophy- people like Locke and Hobbes did have quite an effect on the founding of the United States). view post


posted 21 Jul 2004, 19:07 in Philosophy DiscussionThe problem of evil by Grantaire, Moderator

Yep, if it was easy, it wouldn't be worth doing. Philosophy does offer some answers (again, albeit subjective), and these offer some consolations, and ...no, I won't bother, I don't want to get into a discussion about the meaning of truth :wink: view post


C'mon people, let's breathe some life into this site! posted 22 Jul 2004, 18:07 in Off-Topic DiscussionC'mon people, let's breathe some life into this site! by Grantaire, Moderator

Anything interesting happening out there in the world? Anything fascinating anyone wants to discuss? Come on folks, the site won't post for itself :wink: view post


Do you believe a God exists? posted 22 Jul 2004, 18:07 in Philosophy DiscussionDo you believe a God exists? by Grantaire, Moderator

And/or what are your religious beliefs? Why? view post


posted 22 Jul 2004, 19:07 in Off-Topic DiscussionSo, what are you all doing with your summers? by Grantaire, Moderator

Hey, I want to be working! :wink: view post


posted 22 Jul 2004, 21:07 in Off-Topic DiscussionSo, what are you all doing with your summers? by Grantaire, Moderator

Well yeah, same here. I just need the money, and something to do. view post


posted 23 Jul 2004, 03:07 in Philosophy DiscussionDo you believe a God exists? by Grantaire, Moderator

I believe in God, the father almighty Creator of heaven and earth.. and so forth? Ah, haha, at least you don't have to type it out :wink: view post


posted 23 Jul 2004, 17:07 in Philosophy DiscussionDo you believe a God exists? by Grantaire, Moderator

Legatus- I agree with you. I'm kind of a doubting person, I doubt everything that I've been brought up being taught. I definately agree with you in that I attempt to console science and spirituality (which certainly brings up some interesting internal conflicts :wink: ). The fact that, like you said in the last paragraph, that those sort of matters (the moment of creation etc) are mysteries is a good thing to me. That means that we can't ever just accept something, we have to examine our beliefs, and we have to consider everything and argue over it, even though we can't know the truth. Larry- Why? :wink: Dros- I agree with you that religion is a personal thing that we each should come to terms with on our own, which is one of the reasons I'm against organized religion. I've been raised on Catholic beliefs, so no matter what new thoughts or beliefs enter me, they always have to struggle with what I have been taught to be correct. view post


posted 24 Jul 2004, 16:07 in Philosophy DiscussionThings I will not accept in an argument by Grantaire, Moderator

Things I won't accept...people who mindlessly hold to a view, even when they're overbearingly being proven wrong. view post


Your favorite literature posted 24 Jul 2004, 22:07 in Author Q & AYour favorite literature by Grantaire, Moderator

What books (other than sci-fi and fantasy) would you strongly recommend? What are some of your nonfic favorites? (I know you're a philosophy buff, and I have quite a bit of interest, so any excellent books you really like in that field would be helpful too :wink: ) view post


posted 25 Jul 2004, 21:07 in Literature DiscussionIlium by Grantaire, Moderator

Yes, I've read it. It was superb, I thought it was just as good as Hyperion- has anyone read the Hyperion series too? It was excellent, and reading Ilium just elevated Simmons even higher in my eyes. view post


posted 25 Jul 2004, 21:07 in Literature DiscussionDan Brown by Grantaire, Moderator

No, and I would prefer not to. view post


posted 25 Jul 2004, 22:07 in Member Written WorksWeek Three Scene Nominations by Grantaire, Moderator

When is this going to be closed? I'm going on a weeklong trip on the 31st, so that would give me some time to write, if the topic is chosen before then. Thanks :) view post


posted 25 Jul 2004, 22:07 in Literature DiscussionIlium by Grantaire, Moderator

Going to read Fall of Hyperion I hope? It's just as good, though in a fairly different style (i.e. not stories). view post


posted 26 Jul 2004, 01:07 in Literature DiscussionDan Brown by Grantaire, Moderator

It seems like one of those books that is just a book of the moment- that no one will remember it in 5 years. I have more interest in books about my specific interests, such as philosophy, physics, etc. Also, I've heard the writing isn't very good. Not to mention that I still have about 2 dozen books waiting on my desk still to read, plus a list of maybe 100 more recommended to me... :wink: view post


posted 26 Jul 2004, 01:07 in Literature DiscussionIlium by Grantaire, Moderator

Actually, I haven't read Endymnion or Rise of Endymnion, are they good? view post


posted 26 Jul 2004, 15:07 in Off-Topic DiscussionSo, what are you all doing with your summers? by Grantaire, Moderator

Yeah, remind me to never have kids :wink: view post


posted 26 Jul 2004, 15:07 in Author Q & AWhat do you listen to? by Grantaire, Moderator

Yeah, I have to agree with Larry there :wink: I would think that I would be listening to jazz or something of the sort while writing philosophy...(not that I do :wink: ) view post


posted 26 Jul 2004, 15:07 in Interviews and ReviewsWell Scott, you wanted some discussion of your Interviews ;) by Grantaire, Moderator

Oh my, interesting indeed.. :wink: was that [i:3mhfm6kw]the[/i:3mhfm6kw] Stover? view post


posted 26 Jul 2004, 15:07 in Literature DiscussionDan Brown by Grantaire, Moderator

It's the hype that I don't like really. view post


posted 26 Jul 2004, 15:07 in Literature DiscussionIlium by Grantaire, Moderator

I'm uncertain as to why Simmons wrote the second duology Taliesin, it seems to me that Fall of Hyperion wrapped things up fairly well..that was just my impression. view post


posted 26 Jul 2004, 22:07 in Interviews and ReviewsWell Scott, you wanted some discussion of your Interviews ;) by Grantaire, Moderator

Ah. Intriguing. view post


posted 26 Jul 2004, 22:07 in Philosophy DiscussionStatistical Sprirtuality by Grantaire, Moderator

Hm...definately a very interesting concept.. We seem to only give that exclamation of "what are the odds of that!" when, well, when that is the case- when it's obvious, and staring us in the face that it is a very unlikely event. But when we have always lived with certain...events...and we don't know otherwise really, we don't think of it as unprobable. What is the exact chance that a sperm and egg with the exact right genetic information could combine at the exact time to create each of us exactly as we are? What are the chances that a solar system and planet could exist to facilitate life such as we know it? Questions such as those. They're the larger things, that because they don't spring out and smack us in the face, we don't really give thought to just what the odds were. My random thought :wink: view post


posted 26 Jul 2004, 22:07 in Author Q & AWhen is TDTCB being released in paperback in the US? by Grantaire, Moderator

Ah. Well, libraries and amazon.ca can suffice :wink: view post


posted 26 Jul 2004, 22:07 in Writing TipsWorld-building by Grantaire, Moderator

Is it just me, or do others have this problem too? I can create incredible, indepth worlds, with eons of history, geography, cultures, etc...then I'm not good with making an actual story in it. view post


posted 26 Jul 2004, 22:07 in Literature DiscussionDan Brown by Grantaire, Moderator

That's true Sovin. Well, it's not just the fact that there's hype about it- simply that like I said, I think it will be a book that no one will remember in 5 years, while there are already so many excellent books from all points of history that I have yet to read, timeless masterpieces. Even if I did add Brown's work to my list of books to read, they would never get read, my list is too damn long as it is :( view post


posted 26 Jul 2004, 22:07 in Philosophy DiscussionStatistical Sprirtuality by Grantaire, Moderator

Er...my bad. Oh well, when I read it, I started thinking about that. view post


What would you say are the must-reads of literature? posted 26 Jul 2004, 22:07 in Literature DiscussionWhat would you say are the must-reads of literature? by Grantaire, Moderator

As in, books that should be read by everyone at some point, maybe even deserving multiple reads. view post


posted 27 Jul 2004, 00:07 in Literature DiscussionWhat would you say are the must-reads of literature? by Grantaire, Moderator

Yeah Orion, I agree that having to read books in school takes away the fun in them. Having to dissect them for a class makes you hate them, whereas if you can just think about it at your own pace, it makes them far more enjoyable. view post


posted 27 Jul 2004, 00:07 in Literature DiscussionWhat would you say are the must-reads of literature? by Grantaire, Moderator

Yes, I know Furax, there are so many that can be chosen from. Feel free to say as many as you wish though, don't feel obligated to limit your list :) view post


posted 27 Jul 2004, 17:07 in Literature DiscussionDont be ashamed (Harry Potter) by Grantaire, Moderator

Haha Larry, thanks to you and OF, I've never read Goodkind, so I can't even fully understand why you all hate his books so much :lol: Yes, I like Harry Potter. Not the best books I've ever read, but they're entertaining enough. view post


posted 27 Jul 2004, 17:07 in Literature DiscussionDont be ashamed (Harry Potter) by Grantaire, Moderator

Quite understandable :wink: but it seems that almost no one there likes him, they can't [i:3p3rzu8o]all[/i:3p3rzu8o] be democratic/socialist people like us. Is he just not a very good writer either? view post


posted 27 Jul 2004, 18:07 in Literature DiscussionDont be ashamed (Harry Potter) by Grantaire, Moderator

Yeah, seems a large contrast to Scott. Which puts Scott in an even better light :wink: view post


posted 27 Jul 2004, 18:07 in Literature DiscussionDont be ashamed (Harry Potter) by Grantaire, Moderator

My fault? :roll: I just had to ask about Goodkind :wink: wow...he called 4 or so posts threadjacking, he clearly hasn't seen any of the stuff that happens at wotmania :lol: view post


posted 27 Jul 2004, 18:07 in Literature DiscussionDont be ashamed (Harry Potter) by Grantaire, Moderator

Haha. I take it you've all but abandoned the CMB there totally now? Well, OF is a cool enough community of its own :wink: view post


posted 27 Jul 2004, 19:07 in Literature DiscussionDont be ashamed (Harry Potter) by Grantaire, Moderator

Will do..I'd probably give suggestions, if I had any idea what I was talking about :lol: view post


Gay marriage: for or against its legalization in the US? posted 27 Jul 2004, 21:07 in Off-Topic DiscussionGay marriage: for or against its legalization in the US? by Grantaire, Moderator

Why? This is a rather controversial issue, and I don't want this to degenerate into senseless ideological argument, so please back up your opinion. Myself, I am for it. I think that the institution of marriage should be allowed for anyone, because if you love eachother, you shouldn't be denied that formality in your relationship. I think that the religious right is freaking out about the issue a bit too much, and not thinking of the simple solution- if they don't support it, then don't get married to someone of the same sex. view post


posted 27 Jul 2004, 21:07 in Author Q & AWhen is TDTCB being released in paperback in the US? by Grantaire, Moderator

Oh..well, thank you :) I'm getting it in hardback from the library tomorrow I think (interlibrary loan, had to get it from another library in the state), but I'd like to own it, so I'll buy it in paperback once it comes out (or just use amazon.ca, I don't know yet). view post


posted 28 Jul 2004, 01:07 in Off-Topic DiscussionGay marriage: for or against its legalization in the US? by Grantaire, Moderator

Maybe Sovin, but I placed it here first, because I think peoples religious and societal views are the major influence here, as opposed to philosophy. view post


posted 28 Jul 2004, 01:07 in Philosophy DiscussionStatistical Sprirtuality by Grantaire, Moderator

Replay, would you mind posting a link to that article, or the article itself here? Not that I don't believe you, I just want to read it (presuming that your paper has an online archives of course). Thanks. view post


posted 28 Jul 2004, 17:07 in Off-Topic DiscussionGay marriage: for or against its legalization in the US? by Grantaire, Moderator

That's true Larry, but I think that if it were to be legalized, they would very likely address that point. Oh, and also, to counter another religious right point, they say that legalizing gay marriage will mess up family structure and all that, generally mess up the family unit- I think it would be better to be the adopted child of a gay couple who are kind and loving, than to be the child of parents who are alcoholics, abusive, etc- which there is certainly already a lot of in the world. view post


posted 28 Jul 2004, 17:07 in Philosophy DiscussionStatistical Sprirtuality by Grantaire, Moderator

Thank you, I'll check it out :) view post


posted 28 Jul 2004, 17:07 in Philosophy DiscussionCan we really tell history "as it was"? by Grantaire, Moderator

No, we cannot. Even today, it is very difficult to understand the mentality and motivations of someone else- even though you know the times they are living in and thus influence them. To me, that says that we can't truly understand history. History is driven by people, and when we can't really understand them and their motivations, we can't really understand history. view post


posted 28 Jul 2004, 17:07 in Literature DiscussionDont be ashamed (Harry Potter) by Grantaire, Moderator

Yeah Legatus, I agree. They're not exactly thought-provoking, but they're simply enjoyable enough without that. But the themes and plot on their own are interesting enough. view post


posted 28 Jul 2004, 17:07 in Off-Topic DiscussionNow Reading... by Grantaire, Moderator

*wants Iron Council very badly* :cry: Oh well, I have too many books to read already :lol: view post


posted 28 Jul 2004, 18:07 in Off-Topic DiscussionQuotes by Grantaire, Moderator

"Conviction is the enemy of truth." "The limits of my language are the limits of my world." view post


posted 29 Jul 2004, 19:07 in Off-Topic DiscussionI knew our president was dirty!!! by Grantaire, Moderator

:lol: view post


posted 29 Jul 2004, 22:07 in Literature DiscussionTerry Goodkind engages in rape fantasy? by Grantaire, Moderator

"I try to write the truth. Fantasy allows me this." All I can say to that is...wow. :roll: view post


posted 29 Jul 2004, 22:07 in Literature DiscussionWhat would you say are the must-reads of literature? by Grantaire, Moderator

Interesting choices Larry, again, more to add to the stack :D And oh yes, I had a question for you. Are Foucault, Lacan, and Derrida the three *main* writers of postmodernism? What are their most important books (other than Foucault's Archaeology of Knowledge, Lacan's Ecrits, and Derrida's Of Grammatology, because I've gotten them). See, for my school, we have to do something called a "graduation project" to graduate, (they just came up with it this past year, so they don't even have the requirements totally figured out) basically you have to spend 128 hours doing a project on something that showcases your talents or interests, with a tangible product, reflection paper, etc. My curiousity and interest has been rather piqued by the topic of postmodernism, I'm thinking I could use it somehow. *shrugs* I'm the sort of person who would rather write a thesis paper than to do whatever else. Thanks :) view post


posted 29 Jul 2004, 22:07 in Literature DiscussionTerry Goodkind engages in rape fantasy? by Grantaire, Moderator

Yes I know but...I found that silly enough, and the rest of his comments are...pompous? shall I say. view post


posted 29 Jul 2004, 22:07 in Philosophy DiscussionCan we really tell history "as it was"? by Grantaire, Moderator

Agreed Taliesin. It's like the very idea of perception, our senses corrupt and distort the *true* world around us. So trying to analyze history brings about the same thing. view post


posted 29 Jul 2004, 23:07 in Literature DiscussionWhat would you say are the must-reads of literature? by Grantaire, Moderator

Well, it's the history that I'm really interested in. So if they're the driving three French ones, that would likely work. I'm mostly interested both in the evolution of postmodernism over time, and how time changes the opinions of the three. If you could draw up the list, it would be helpful, but don't do it if you're too busy with your paper. view post


posted 29 Jul 2004, 23:07 in Literature DiscussionTerry Goodkind engages in rape fantasy? by Grantaire, Moderator

Heh. I can definately see what you mean about him not being a very pleasant person. I won't be reading his books anytime soon. view post


posted 29 Jul 2004, 23:07 in Literature DiscussionWhat would you say are the must-reads of literature? by Grantaire, Moderator

Thanks! They look very interesting, I'll add them to the list :D view post


posted 29 Jul 2004, 23:07 in ReviewsChina Miéville's Iron Council by Grantaire, Moderator

Oh, something I forgot to ask when you posted this on wotmania- would you recommend that I read The Scar first? I know that you said it doesn't really matter much because they're not too connected, but would you still say that it's better to read that first? view post


posted 29 Jul 2004, 23:07 in Literature DiscussionWhat would you say are the must-reads of literature? by Grantaire, Moderator

An understandable caution. The thing that frustrates me is that that is the kind of thing they [i:1h7o09qw]don't[/i:1h7o09qw] teach us in english class! I think that would be slightly more helpful to me than the sort of things we do. Any books that you can suggest that teach those sort of critical analysis techniques? Most books aren't too confusing to me, as long as I go at an appropriate pace, and take time to think. But I know that the kind of books you're talking about would probably be more difficult than that. Thanks for your help :) view post


posted 29 Jul 2004, 23:07 in ReviewsChina Miéville's Iron Council by Grantaire, Moderator

Ah. Well, I'm sure that they're both excellent books, so I suppose that I'll read them in the order that I can procure them *curses library for not having any books you ever recommend* :wink: view post


posted 30 Jul 2004, 00:07 in Literature DiscussionWhat would you say are the must-reads of literature? by Grantaire, Moderator

Oh. I understand what you mean. Of course, since this is just a high school thing (and they don't even have a passing score, you just have to do it), I think that they would be impressed that I even did a thesis, and would be satisfied with my attempt, rather than ripping it apart (even though the latter would be more helpful of course). And here's the email intelligencepolice@gmail.com (hey, TIP gave it up :wink: ) view post


posted 30 Jul 2004, 00:07 in Literature DiscussionWhat would you say are the must-reads of literature? by Grantaire, Moderator

Thanks, reading through it, very interesting. Read the question I asked you in my response email though please :) view post


posted 30 Jul 2004, 00:07 in Literature DiscussionWhat would you say are the must-reads of literature? by Grantaire, Moderator

The even wierder thing is that I'm looking forward to doing things like that. Simply put, high school offers [i:2g3mmtk9]no[/i:2g3mmtk9]challenges, at least yet. I want challenge, so putting myself to a difficult project will be certainly interesting. Did you not like doing all that reading and writing in college and grad school? view post


posted 30 Jul 2004, 00:07 in Literature DiscussionWhat would you say are the must-reads of literature? by Grantaire, Moderator

Ouch :( That sounds absolutely crazy- never again will I have grounds to complain about assignments :shock: er..that's the part of grad school that I'm not looking forward to :wink: though I wouldn't mind just skipping the rest of high school :D view post


posted 30 Jul 2004, 00:07 in Literature DiscussionWhat would you say are the must-reads of literature? by Grantaire, Moderator

Oh. Good lord, that's even more insane. And I thought that doing an hour of math was hell :oops: Well, the good thing is that you learned a lot, and in the long run, that matters more than the amount of work done I suppose. view post


posted 30 Jul 2004, 01:07 in Literature DiscussionWhat would you say are the must-reads of literature? by Grantaire, Moderator

Yep. Look what it made you today- you're a brilliant history guy. It's all in the perspective. view post


posted 30 Jul 2004, 01:07 in Literature DiscussionWhat would you say are the must-reads of literature? by Grantaire, Moderator

Oh, and what would you say is appropriate length for an average thesis paper? view post


posted 30 Jul 2004, 01:07 in Literature DiscussionWhat would you say are the must-reads of literature? by Grantaire, Moderator

Hrm. Well, I think I can churn out 50 pages :wink: Yeah, I think my dad cheated by doing that too for his Masters. Gotta love dodging stuff like that :) view post


posted 30 Jul 2004, 01:07 in Literature DiscussionWhat would you say are the must-reads of literature? by Grantaire, Moderator

Yes, I have to imagine that working as a professor would be a tad bit insane- you don't have to write the papers, you simply have to read and critique hundreds of them. And working with disadvantaged children is really a terrific and worthwhile job. Myself, I got to work for a program called Advocates for the Homeless, where they have workshops for disadvantaged people, to help them get back on their feet. I was basically just taking care of their children, but it was still an interesting experience. view post


posted 30 Jul 2004, 01:07 in Off-Topic DiscussionQuotes by Grantaire, Moderator

Oh, and another. "every instant of time is a pinprick of eternity, passing and easily changed" by Marcus Aurelius (I think that's the quote at least) view post


posted 08 Aug 2004, 01:08 in Literature Discussionshadowmarch by Grantaire, Moderator

Shadowmarch? I've never heard of it, want to give any details, a synopsis or anything? Thanks :) view post


posted 08 Aug 2004, 01:08 in Literature DiscussionIlium by Grantaire, Moderator

Ah Alric, that's what I had heard from others too about Endymnion. I suppose I'll look around in my state libraries for it if you recommend it. I like Simmon's writing style anyway, and the universe of Hyperion is interesting enough that a story based in the background ideas sounds good enough. view post


posted 08 Aug 2004, 01:08 in Literature DiscussionAnyone read American Gods, by Neil Gaiman? by Grantaire, Moderator

Alric, after you read Neverwhere, would you mind posting a review here or on wotmania? Thanks, the story seems to be quite different than American Gods, I'd like to know how much you like it. view post


posted 08 Aug 2004, 01:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionOnline RPG? by Grantaire, Moderator

I [i:82wvy9lk]might[/i:82wvy9lk] be interested, I have never played an RPG before, it would depend on the format I suppose. view post


posted 09 Aug 2004, 00:08 in Literature DiscussionWhy read fantasy? by Grantaire, Moderator

I can't recall my first speculative fiction book...early ones I read included the Redwall series, and a lot of Star Wars though, but I can't remember a first one. view post


posted 10 Aug 2004, 00:08 in Philosophy DiscussionCritique this phrase by Grantaire, Moderator

Hold on- is that trying to say that the writers are the proletariat? Or simply that they try to express proletariat views through fantasy? Thanks. view post


posted 10 Aug 2004, 00:08 in Author Q & AJust a totally stupid question, but I have to ask! by Grantaire, Moderator

I've never seen The Flying Circus in its entirety :cry: That sounds hilarious though. view post


posted 10 Aug 2004, 00:08 in Philosophy DiscussionCritique this phrase by Grantaire, Moderator

Somehow I don't really see fantasy as being the driving force behind proletariat..especially not in modern times, it seems that the proletariat and bourgeoisie have become less strictly seperate (other than in the literal senses of the term of course). view post


posted 10 Aug 2004, 00:08 in Author Q & AJust a totally stupid question, but I have to ask! by Grantaire, Moderator

Yep, MP is incredible, but I've only seen The Quest for the Holy Grail, and The Life of Brian. I still need to watch the Flying Circus. view post


posted 10 Aug 2004, 01:08 in Philosophy DiscussionCritique this phrase by Grantaire, Moderator

Okay, I understand now. I think that's definately an intriguing view, since fantasy is a medium read by many, and so subtle (or not so subtle) criticisms and attacks on the bourgeoisie could be read by quite a large audience- so I see how it would make sense for the authors. I'm not talking about the past, but rather recently. It just seems to me that from your 150-250 years ago to today, the line between prole and bourgeois has gotten rather closer. view post


posted 10 Aug 2004, 01:08 in Author Q & AJust a totally stupid question, but I have to ask! by Grantaire, Moderator

Well, I'm a patient person, so that's something I can ask for for Christmas :wink: view post


Format? posted 10 Aug 2004, 01:08 in RPG DiscussionFormat? by Grantaire, Moderator

Would we like to see a text-based RPG? Take the visual engine of another one? Or what? Let's throw around some ideas here. view post


posted 10 Aug 2004, 03:08 in RPG DiscussionFormat? by Grantaire, Moderator

Agreed- again, if we took a different visual engine, we could change the names of the classes or whatever to match various people/aspects/whatever in the series, and probably change the skins. view post


posted 11 Aug 2004, 01:08 in Philosophy DiscussionCritique this phrase by Grantaire, Moderator

Ok, now I've been thinking about this all day (hey, it was band camp for twelve hours, nothing better to do :wink: ), so I've come up with some thoughts at least. If you see fantasy as having been a genre through which the proletariat can write unpunished criticism of the bourgeosie society, what do you think are the roots of fantasy? I don't believe that society has always been split along those lines, at what point did it become as such, and if fantasy existed before then, what was it like and how did it evolve? Also, I think that fantasy couldn't be the sole domain of the proletariat, do you suggest that the bourgeoisie was not party to reading or writing of fantasy? view post


posted 11 Aug 2004, 01:08 in RPG DiscussionFormat? by Grantaire, Moderator

I agree, text has too many limitations, but it depends what others think too of course. view post


posted 11 Aug 2004, 01:08 in Philosophy DiscussionCritique this phrase by Grantaire, Moderator

Ah, I see. Well, I think it's interesting to look at from a historical/cultural viewpoint. It's not something that I know too much about, so it's interesting to think about, explore a bit beyond simply criticism on the literary level. What other sites do you have this debate going on? view post


the current Darfur crisis posted 11 Aug 2004, 01:08 in Off-Topic Discussionthe current Darfur crisis by Grantaire, Moderator

What are your thoughts regarding the ongoing crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan? Any views about the EU's refusal to name it as genocide, and the lack of military involvement yet? Thoughts? Myself, I think that many countries should be currently sending aid and troops in to stop the conflict. Too many people have died and been removed from their homes, this should have been halted long ago. view post


posted 11 Aug 2004, 02:08 in Philosophy DiscussionHuman Hunger by Grantaire, Moderator

Yes, we are a greedy bunch aren't we? I think in some ways you're correct. While we always want more and more, better than we already have, we also have a sort of desire for simplicity. (humans are so damn irrational!) view post


posted 11 Aug 2004, 03:08 in Philosophy DiscussionHuman Hunger by Grantaire, Moderator

Well, humans have their flaws, but greed and overconsumption really must be curbed soon. view post


posted 12 Aug 2004, 01:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionTheres 4 of us online by Grantaire, Moderator

I've seen 5 before. Hah! :wink: view post


posted 12 Aug 2004, 02:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionTheres 4 of us online by Grantaire, Moderator

Meh, the most ever was 15 at once. view post


posted 13 Aug 2004, 00:08 in Philosophy DiscussionCritique this phrase by Grantaire, Moderator

Dros, I don't think that Larry is saying that the messages are really hidden. Rather that the proletariat writers of fantasy used it for unpunished social commentary and criticism. Is that right Larry? view post


posted 13 Aug 2004, 00:08 in Philosophy DiscussionHuman Hunger by Grantaire, Moderator

Dros, how do you see personal work ethic for the purchasing of luxury as relating to gov't control and budget? I just don't see the connection. view post


posted 13 Aug 2004, 01:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionOlympics... by Grantaire, Moderator

I'll likely watch the ceremonies, and though there's no specific sports I'd like to watch, but if I'm channel surfing and come across anything interesting I'll probably sit and watch. view post


posted 13 Aug 2004, 01:08 in RPG DiscussionCharacter Classes by Grantaire, Moderator

Our plans for character classes and such should probably be simple to start with- after all, there are only a couple of us here, and there's a lot of ground to cover. You have to think small before you can think big. view post


My odd perspective on myself and the universe posted 13 Aug 2004, 02:08 in Philosophy DiscussionMy odd perspective on myself and the universe by Grantaire, Moderator

Now, I'm not exactly the most typical guy ever, so I don't exactly know the worldview of most people. But for a random tangent I felt like writing about how I view myself and the universe (please forgive the total randomness and lack of organization :wink: ). Humans. We are (somewhat) intelligent species of macromolecule life living on the surface of a ball of rock orbiting in the cosmos around a medium sized orb of fire and nuclear reactions, in the outer arm of an average galaxy, in a cluster of galaxies, in an unknown position relative the the unimaginably huge universe. Our day to day life is filled with what we view as the ordinary- driving cars, working at whatever our job may be, using computers, going to school, etc. And yet, are the simple things of life that we are so used to, and even consider trite, are they not unbelievably wonderous? Against that foreground on life in which we do what we find to be normal- courting and dating, playing sports, and so much more, should we not find ourselves in constant incredulity and joyful wonder at this very existance? Each day the scientists of humanity discover more and more about the universe around us, from the scale of galaxies to the shadowy realm of the msot fundamental particles. There is so much randomness and uncertainty in the universe, what are the odds that the universe would form in such a way that our solar system would develop in a way that earth would come together in such a way that would facilitate the development of life, and eventually us. Sometimes when I read various passages of science books, I shiver in awe at this, and I feel so insignificant before the mighty expanses of the cosmos...in the foreground of life, I'm a teenage guy who likes reading and music and all that...but in the background that we don't look at all too often, I'm simply an arrangement of billions of atoms in such a way that another creature called a human exists. I gaze up at the stars at night, feeling not only awe at my and their existance, but also feeling like my life doesn't truly matter in the grand scheme of things, the entire existance of humanity is less than the blink of an eye to the universe, and my life even less time than that. My birth, time on earth, and death will have no impact on the grand majesty of the cosmos. And yet I am here to think and to marvel at that. At one moment I am just one person among billions, an ant on this rock, marching out the path of my day with the occurances we view with so much importance, getting good grades, getting a date, and so forth. And yet at another, I am alone in the universe, a spectre haunting the depths of knowledge and the universe. Wow..that turned out different than I expected. I don't think I even got my point across, but it turned out decent :wink: view post


posted 13 Aug 2004, 22:08 in Philosophy DiscussionMy odd perspective on myself and the universe by Grantaire, Moderator

Ok, yes, my first point was about the overlooked wonder of life and the universe, but I had another point too (although I didn't really say a lot about it). It's that when you look at the universe, you can't help but feel puny and insignificant, and question why we have to make life so complex, have our petty conflicts, when our existance doesn't so much as make the slightest mar on the face of the universe. view post


posted 13 Aug 2004, 22:08 in Author Q & AGreat Book by Grantaire, Moderator

Muck-rakers? I'm aghast at the slander :wink: view post


posted 13 Aug 2004, 22:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionOlympics... by Grantaire, Moderator

:roll: silly Alric. You'd rather watch the [i:jne6tqmv]Vikings[/i:jne6tqmv] than the Olympics? *agrees* :lol: view post


posted 13 Aug 2004, 23:08 in Philosophy DiscussionMy odd perspective on myself and the universe by Grantaire, Moderator

Replay, could it not be argued though that we don't really need to *get anything done*, if we aren't focusing on the petty differences, the conflicts, the luxuries of life? view post


posted 14 Aug 2004, 15:08 in Philosophy DiscussionMy odd perspective on myself and the universe by Grantaire, Moderator

Yes, one certainly has to wonder what that different perspective brings to ones life..it would be interesting, to say the very least. view post


What is your position on science vs philosophy? posted 14 Aug 2004, 17:08 in Author Q & AWhat is your position on science vs philosophy? by Grantaire, Moderator

You're a philosophy professor, so obviously you have philosophic tendencies (duh), but do you also have interest in science? How do you make compromises between the two, and which would you say provides the "truths" in your life? Thanks. view post


posted 16 Aug 2004, 15:08 in Author Q & AWhat is your position on science vs philosophy? by Grantaire, Moderator

Yes it does, quite well thank you. I didn't know that you had ceased being a professor though. At least we'll get TTT that much sooner :wink: What do you see as being the methodological weaknesses of science however? Science is the only institution that is truly self-correcting. If a hypothesis is found to not match the facts, it is thrown out- where is the weakness in that? Well, I suppose that it could be argued that science as an institution cannot explain the intrinsic value of anything (thus scientific nihilism), yet I do not see there as being a weakness in the actual methodology. Also, you say that philosophy tries to explain that which goes beyond science- but do you mean that in the sense that it explains things that we simply don't have a scientific explanation for, or things that are truly beyond the realms of science ever? I agree with you in the use of interpretative pluralism, but if you find philosophy to be less shall we say...definitive than science, what made you get into philosophy as opposed to science? Philosophy has an obvious place in your life, but what made it be that way as opposed to you being say, a scientist? I ask this because as I am a high school student, that branching off is coming- and I am heavily interested in both. An intriguing conundrum :wink: view post


posted 16 Aug 2004, 15:08 in Author Q & AScott, have you heard of this journal? by Grantaire, Moderator

Oh, Larry, where did you get that by the way? Was it online or did you just come across it in a store? view post


posted 16 Aug 2004, 16:08 in Author Q & AWill be there an italian edition? by Grantaire, Moderator

Yes, I agree with Scott, your english is remarkably good. I can speak French, but it's nowhere as good as that english. So don't worry about it :wink: view post


posted 16 Aug 2004, 16:08 in Literature DiscussionChina Mieville by Grantaire, Moderator

Wow, you did? That's terrific. This is spur of the moment, so I only have one or two now, but I'll add some later. First being: What in your life influenced you in the creation of the world of Bas-Lag? view post


posted 16 Aug 2004, 17:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionOlympics... by Grantaire, Moderator

You fence Sovin? That's something I've always wanted to do... view post


posted 19 Aug 2004, 21:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionBook Club Talk by Grantaire, Moderator

Actually yeah Larry, when Wil told me, one of my first thoughts was "hmm, I should see about starting a book club like OF has". I'd been thinking about suggesting something like that to Wil or Sovin even prior to my appointment, so if they have no problem with it, I'm all for starting one. I'll probably think up more stuff in addition to that that I might like to do. And pretty much all of my questions from our discussion have been solved, just from the first few pages in which Kellhus talks to Cnaiur (holy crap those are two awesome characters). Not to mention that Scott pretty much says exactly what the darkness that comes before is :wink: view post


posted 20 Aug 2004, 00:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionBook Club Talk by Grantaire, Moderator

Larry- thanks, I know you'll probably be able to suggest plenty of interesting books too. And oh my yes, those are terrific scenes. Those are two of the best fantasy characters I've read any time recently. Wil, I don't have an exact plan hammered down yet, but I probably will in the next day or so (or tonight, depends if I'm reading TDTCB all night :wink: ). I'll pm you when I come up with my plan. view post


posted 20 Aug 2004, 01:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionBook Club Talk by Grantaire, Moderator

Thank you very much! And I just checked out your website, and I like it very much (gotta say, that's significantly lower hardcover prices than stores. me likes :wink: ) view post


posted 20 Aug 2004, 17:08 in ReviewsK-PAX by Grantaire, Moderator

That sounds quite interesting, definately something I might want to check out. Hrm, my neighbor loaned us that movie once..but I didn't watch it. Odd that. But thanks for the review, it sounds quite good! view post


posted 20 Aug 2004, 19:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionBook Club Talk by Grantaire, Moderator

Okay, for anyone who is somewhat interested in the idea, so questions- -do you want it to stick only with fantasy? Or do you want a broad range of genres? -how often? Monthly, bi-monthly? -Do you want the admins to choose, or do you want to nominate then vote, or what? Any other comments are appreciated too. view post


posted 20 Aug 2004, 19:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionBook Club Talk by Grantaire, Moderator

Good call Larry. So you think 6 weeks-8 weeks generally? view post


posted 20 Aug 2004, 19:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionBook Club Talk by Grantaire, Moderator

Sounds good. Now what I'm unsure of is whether books should in general be popular ones (i.e. Martin), or else lesser heard of authors. view post


posted 21 Aug 2004, 23:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionHow would you describe yourself? by Grantaire, Moderator

Let's see, how to describe myself... I'm fairly intelligent, almost always serious (someone today asked me if I was a robot :lol: ). I enjoy reading and writing all most all genres. My level of education is a quarter of the way through high school..hrm. Can't think of too much else. Sometimes moments of *mad-scientist-esque* brilliance, sometimes evil insanity. *shrugs* it's all good. view post


posted 24 Aug 2004, 21:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionBook Club Talk by Grantaire, Moderator

Righto. And I must say, I love the sig line Alric :wink: I completely agree, there is [i:2zf2t6yk]nothing[/i:2zf2t6yk] better than freshly cooked bacon in the morning...mmm..But I'll take your advice on the book club. School just started yesterday, and my schedule is pretty hard (two and a half hours of homework on my first night). So basically, once my things settle down a bit, I'll probably be setting down a formal plan and starting this up. view post


Official Book Club discussion nominations posted 27 Aug 2004, 20:08 in Book ClubOfficial Book Club discussion nominations by Grantaire, Moderator

So, now that I'm a moderator, I'm starting up a Book Club discussion here on the Literature Discussion board. This will likely be book discussions around once a month, with either more or less time depending on what book is chosen (considerations on avalibility, how widely read it already is, etc). This here is the nominations sticky. You all have until Tuesday of next week to nominate books that you would like to discuss. The most highly nominated book will be chosen, and when I let you all know what that book is, I'll give you a date for the discussion. Any questions, just ask me. If you like to agree with someone else's nomination, simply say that you agree with their nomination. Oh, and just a note, I'd prefer that we choose a book that isn't brand new or anything, so people are more likely to be able to find it at a library, or else be able to buy it in paperback. view post


posted 27 Aug 2004, 23:08 in Literature DiscussionProblems with Book Reviews by Grantaire, Moderator

Well Damaen, you said you work at a bookstore, don't you? That must give you time to peruse more books that a lot of people (not to mention nice discounts :wink: ). I want to work at a bookstore myself, once I can drive. view post


posted 28 Aug 2004, 01:08 in Book ClubOfficial Book Club discussion nominations by Grantaire, Moderator

GoTM is in US paperback? I thought it was still just in hardcover. view post


posted 28 Aug 2004, 20:08 in Book ClubOfficial Book Club discussion nominations by Grantaire, Moderator

[quote:2pzk7plo]My idea of a book club is more to uncover hard-to-find or undiscovered gems. A Game of Thrones is something I would think everyone has read, but it's certainly an excellent book that could spawn a lot of discussion (see their message board!). Is the book club limited to Sci-Fi/Fantasy then?[/quote:2pzk7plo] I think that we will certainly [i:2pzk7plo]focus[/i:2pzk7plo] on speculative fiction, but after perhaps the first one or two, perhaps we will branch out into some other areas of literature. Depends on the interests of everyone. And I agree that uncovering undiscovered gems would be good (perhaps not hard-to-find ones, because we want everyone to be able to get whatever we choose), but as Aldarion said, this first discussion should probably be on a more popular book, to test out the style of the discussion, etc. Cheers. view post


posted 01 Sep 2004, 01:09 in Member Written WorksIdea: Writing Competition by Grantaire, Moderator

First, being new to the say has [i:28krf84v]no[/i:28krf84v] affect on how your ideas are taken. We're not like a lot of bigger sites, where new folks are looked down on. I haven't looked at this board in a while, but last I knew, they were running some sort of writing contest. Maybe not exactly a "contest" per se, just a theme or topic that everyone writes about, but close. I'm not much of a writer, so I'll leave it to the regulars to explain more. view post


posted 03 Sep 2004, 01:09 in Member Written WorksIdea: Writing Competition by Grantaire, Moderator

I'd get involved in a competition, if it won't take too much time, school is slowly consuming my free time. I'm writing a story right now as is (for AP environmental science no less *rolls eyes*) view post


Alright, our first book club discussion is going to be posted 04 Sep 2004, 14:09 in Book ClubAlright, our first book club discussion is going to be by Grantaire, Moderator

A Game of Thrones, by George R.R. Martin. Since this is a fairly popular and well-read book, I don't think we need a massively long time to wait before the discussion. So I'd say the weekend of the 24 through the 26. I don't know whether Friday, Saturday, or Sunday works best for people, so just sound off on which of those days will be best, and I'll go with the majority. Some sample things to think about before the discussion (if you want): -Martin's use of history as somewhat of a parallel to his story. Did you enjoy that style? -The violent and sexual content. Did it add appropriately to the story? Or was it overdone? -The lack of some fantastical elements (i.e. no elves & dwarves, not too much magic). Did you feel that the sometimes lacking amount of magic detracted from the fantastical appeal? -Characters. Did you feel characterization was done well? Were the characters realistic, especially in the context of the story? Just think about those, and anything else you want about the book. I'll post the actual discussion thread on the morning that everyone thinks will be best. Questions? view post


posted 04 Sep 2004, 16:09 in Philosophy DiscussionBattleground God by Grantaire, Moderator

Heh, that was interesting. I took two direct hits, and didn't bite the bullet at all. I got tangled between the loch ness monster and athiesm ones, and my other contradiction was evolutionary theory being correct vs higher proof for existance of god. Meh. I did well enough :wink: view post


posted 04 Sep 2004, 21:09 in Philosophy DiscussionBattleground God by Grantaire, Moderator

Ah Legatus, that's exactly the one I made. But I only took a direct hit because I acknowledged that it was a contradiction. view post


What other sites are you active on? posted 06 Sep 2004, 16:09 in Off-Topic DiscussionWhat other sites are you active on? by Grantaire, Moderator

Just wondering. Myself, I post at wotmania.com, and occasionally at sffworld.com. view post


What subgroup of speculative fiction do you prefer? posted 06 Sep 2004, 16:09 in Literature DiscussionWhat subgroup of speculative fiction do you prefer? by Grantaire, Moderator

Fantasy? Horror? Science fiction? Whatever other group you can think of? Me, I'm not a big horror fan, mainly because I haven't delved too much into the genre. I like fantasy and sci-fi, but only certain types. For example, I'm not too much into stereotypical fantasy (i.e. dungeons and dragons, etc). How about you all? view post


question about the Schools posted 06 Sep 2004, 20:09 in Author Q & Aquestion about the Schools by Grantaire, Moderator

How many sorcerors are there in each of the schools? Is it that number that determines the "power" of the school? Since in TDTCB, it is said that the Scarlet Spires are the most powerful school, but is that based on their numbers, or on the knowledge they possess, in which case it would seem the Mandate would be more powerful..hrm, muddled thoughts. What are the capabilities of sorcerors? We know already that they can take out a can of whupass on soldiers with lots of flames and such, but what are the more creative things they can do? Thanks :) view post


posted 07 Sep 2004, 00:09 in Literature DiscussionWhat subgroup of speculative fiction do you prefer? by Grantaire, Moderator

It's certainly a subgroup of fantasy, Aj. Do you mean in the fashion of Mieville? view post


posted 07 Sep 2004, 02:09 in Philosophy DiscussionIs the idea of a "god" inherent in our minds? by Grantaire, Moderator

I believe things do happen for a reason. Know the exact configuration of the universe at any one instant of time, and you can calculate its exact state at any other time. Needless to say, quite impossible for us to do, but scientific determinism is the point. Other than quantum effects (which perhaps may have rules governing them, even if we can't discern them yet), science makes particles and forces follow certain rules, that allow us to predict cause and effect. The exact state of the universe is the result of every motion of an atom, every exchange of forces, etc for all time. view post


posted 07 Sep 2004, 02:09 in Philosophy DiscussionBattleground God by Grantaire, Moderator

Well, clearly Scott. The very concept of "god" is subjective in what it means. My idea of god and yours are almost certainly not the same. Even if everyone in the world had an exactly identical view of what exactly god is, there is still no way we could turn god into an algorithm- simply because we rely on words for description. Can abstract concepts be described by mathematics? I don't think someone could come up with an algorithm to describe "justice" or "peace" or "love". So clearly, "god" isn't any different. Also, by the very transient nature of language, description of god is quickly warped. Language simply can't equate onto the plain of mathematics. If we [i:2l3aip6g]could[/i:2l3aip6g] have a mathematical description of God, that would be excellent, because mathematics is the only unarguable thing there is. Though science is a close second. Eh. More I wanted to say, but I must get some sleep. Cheers :) view post


posted 07 Sep 2004, 21:09 in Philosophy DiscussionIs the idea of a "god" inherent in our minds? by Grantaire, Moderator

I know Scott, it's quite impossible to do. But I'm simply saying, there's a fundamental level of determinism, even past the whole free will argument. And yes, I do tend towards nihilism. But I think you're taking my use of the word "reason" wrong. I think that things don't have inherent value, the only value is what is created by society and by our needs. When I said that I believe things happen for a reason is my belief in a determinable chain of cause and effect. Things just don't spontaneously happen. I would think that this would be something that you would be a proponent of, seeing as how that seems to be a key idea of the concept of "the darkness that comes before" in the thus named book. view post


posted 07 Sep 2004, 21:09 in Philosophy DiscussionBattleground God by Grantaire, Moderator

[quote:281khbtp]You make it sound like they own up to the deception on the site. Did I miss something?[/quote:281khbtp] What makes you say that? My point wasn't necessarily to defend their contradictions or errors, but rather to point out that not too many people could do better, as there is no way to make a universally identically comprehended description of something as clearly subjective as god. [quote:281khbtp]I made it through largely "unscathed" because I read into it and replied False to almost every single question. What I believe and what I know can sometimes be two separate things and I'm almost always mindful of that. As to what this says about my religious beliefs is up to others to decide[/quote:281khbtp] It was interesting actually today..a couple days ago in my history class, we were supposed to write a short essay about the beliefs of one of the key people in the Protestant Reformation, and whether or not we agreed with them. I wrote about John Calvin, and went on the attack about the fundamentally flawed basic assumption of religion- assuming the existence of god. It was interesting to see what my teacher wrote back (he basically wrote "good job" or the typical teacher fare on everyone elses papers), he was attacking back my ideas. Man I wanted to get into a class argument over that! I didn't really develop my ideas as far as I wanted (I would have put in the anthromorphizing comment that someone else here said). I was just rather interesting, teachers don't often attack back (he also took a shot at my quotation of Nietzsche :D ). Yeah. My random story for the day :wink: view post


posted 07 Sep 2004, 22:09 in Author Q & Aquestion about the Schools by Grantaire, Moderator

Curse you mysterious authors! :wink: Maybe I should write a book, just so I can frustrate people :D *envisions himself writing a book. and laughs at the thought* view post


posted 07 Sep 2004, 23:09 in Philosophy DiscussionIs the idea of a "god" inherent in our minds? by Grantaire, Moderator

Aj, you say science is useless, but think about how much in our world is based on the observations of science, and the laws and theories it creates. Science is the basis of modern medicine, engineering, flight, and so much more. You reject atomic theory, but ever heard of nuclear fission? Sure, maybe science provides interpretive analysis of things we observe, but it works. Obviously, it can be somewhat different than we imagine (i.e. wave/particle duality, other funkyass quantum stuff), but we can discover laws that govern them such as we observe them. Where is the uselessness in that? view post


posted 08 Sep 2004, 01:09 in Philosophy DiscussionIs the idea of a "god" inherent in our minds? by Grantaire, Moderator

Well, I agree with you in that total faith should not be put into science. That would simply be another example of the arrogance of humanism. But I would prefer that people lay their hopes in science than in religion, because in my eyes, science is more likely to give results. Humanity should have total faith in nothing, and total belief in nothing. I prefer uncertainty to irrational faith. view post


posted 08 Sep 2004, 01:09 in Author Q & Aquestion about the Schools by Grantaire, Moderator

Hey, if a philosophy professor can write a kickass fantasy series, I'm damn well sure a high school student can too! Oh yeah, you said that you kicked around writing TDTCB for 15 or so years, didn't you? It's a good thing that was the first book, you don't seem to be turning into a Jordan or Martin yet. Let's just hope it's not 5 or so years for TTT :wink: view post


posted 08 Sep 2004, 11:09 in Philosophy DiscussionBattleground God by Grantaire, Moderator

Larry, who says that those are the sole things that can create meaning? Who says that things even [i:i87yhsl8]need[/i:i87yhsl8] meaning? Sure, we desire for it, but is it crucial enough that we would put religion ahead of science? view post


posted 08 Sep 2004, 21:09 in Philosophy DiscussionBattleground God by Grantaire, Moderator

[quote:2my1bynb]My question to you, Grantaire, would be, Given that you see yourself living a pointless life in a world where value and meaning are illusory, how do you reconcile this with your own arguments, which continually appeal to epistemic values, and presumably have the point of providing the best conclusions?[/quote:2my1bynb] Because we do not choose to exist. I didn't choose to be here, but I am, and I must live. And it seems to me that science and the other things we've discussed show that value and meaning are illusions. I simply want people to accept that, rather than further delude themselves. Sure, I'm making an argument based on the value of realizing there are no values. But as a human, that is the way things [i:2my1bynb]must[/i:2my1bynb] be argued, in terms of value and meaning. view post


posted 08 Sep 2004, 23:09 in Philosophy DiscussionIs the idea of a "god" inherent in our minds? by Grantaire, Moderator

Well Aj, I admit that you do have a point. Humanity doesn't exactly have the best track record when it comes to being rational and learning from history, and other such things. But that doesn't mean that science should just automatically be rejected. Sure, science can only really explore within the realms of human understanding or perception, but too be honest, isn't that all that's important than? Like the colors, they are the way we see them because it's how we see them. But that's really the relevant thing, because it is the only way we can percieve them. Do you get what I'm saying? I'm not sure how well I'm explaining my thoughts...Yes, science is imperfect. It cannot tell us some things, such as value or meaning. It makes mistakes sometimes. But it is [i:q5hgdsbn]self-correcting[/i:q5hgdsbn]. When a hypothesis isn't supported by experimental evidence, do we still accept it? To become a widely accepted theory, something has to be supported by evidence. Now look at something like religion- it doesn't have evidence, but don't people still believe in it (something they attribute to *faith*). Religion isn't self-correcting, and doesn't feel the need to necessarily have evidence. Which would you rather trust? view post


posted 09 Sep 2004, 01:09 in Philosophy DiscussionIs the idea of a "god" inherent in our minds? by Grantaire, Moderator

[quote:27w00mc9] Whoah, like I said, I do not reject science, just society's inclination to rely on it toatally, and I am not talking about the sciences of technology or medicine, although the most medicine seems to be able to do these days is almost cure hairloss, and give you a 45 hour hard on[/quote:27w00mc9] Nice observation :wink: I agree that humanity shouldn't rely on science totally, but that doesn't seem to be the case anyway. Sure, we're inclined to believe the science that we hear, because we trust the scientific method. But when a friend or loved one dies, do people pray to science for comfort? Do they worship at the altar of science to answer their pleas for meaning and aid? No, they turn to religion and sometimes philosophy. I admit it myself, for all my claims of nihilism and scientific examination, I sometimes pray. It is comforting to think that maybe, just [i:27w00mc9]maybe[/i:27w00mc9] there is some all-powerful, benevolent god out there willing to help me. I know that is not a very likely scenario, but it is still comforting sometimes. So even people such as I don't rely on science entirely. [quote:27w00mc9]I do, I just think in a way that is totally different. I think that believing that Humanity is the only thing that matters is loosing sight of humanity in it's most important sense ( to me at least), a part of a whole.[/quote:27w00mc9] I get what you're saying here- and don't get me wrong, I actually agree with you, at least in part. We can look at earth and humanity in the bigger picture of the universe as a whole. But humans, by nature are concerned for the large part only about their own good and self-advancement. So naturally, we look at things that are important and relevant to ourselves. Ever heard the theory that even acts that would seem to be altruistic are for motives of self-gain and advancement, even if subconciously? We just naturally tend to focus on things that are more important to our own survival, reproduction, and gain... [quote:27w00mc9]Self correcting in it's own, how should I put this, plane of beliefs (really bad way to put this) evidence to support mans view of the world is one thing, but to claim that it is truly how the world exists is laughable. It is also a form of faith.[/quote:27w00mc9] You're quite correct. Science is self-correcting in its own...view (you're also right in that there's no way to put that well :lol: ). Maybe this world is just like the Matrix showed, and we're all just brains in vats. Or maybe we are just the dreams of a butterfly. We can't know the [i:27w00mc9]fundamental[/i:27w00mc9] truths such as that, and science can't show us that. Maybe this entire world is only [b:27w00mc9]ideas[/b:27w00mc9]. Maybe we are just the toys of some god. Who knows? We can't, and won't know. But science can show us things in the...plane that we see them. And that is what is relevant, because it is what we can understand. Do you get what I'm saying? Maybe science can't show us a fundamental truth below the surface of this reality, but if we can't ever see that "truth", does it make the discoveries of science any less worthwhile? [quote:27w00mc9] As I also said, I do not agree with religion either, I admit to believing in a God, but I tend to try and be the best person I can be without the Indiana Jones Leap Of Faith. An admittance to myself, my belief in a God has been slipping away for a little while now, I really do not know what to believe, it may be nothing. It may be a blend of religion and science, and plain old spirituality. Eh. what are beliefs anyway but grandiose opinions. Wink[/quote:27w00mc9] I'm in the same boat, really. I've been raised Roman Catholic, but as I discover more of the world, and things such as science and philosophy, my mind seems to be automatically bent on systematically destroying my religious upbringing. My belief in god and the other teachings of the church has been slipping for a while now. I too try to be the best person possible, because even if there is no god, I still believe a basic level of morality is important. I'm enjoying this conversation quite a bit :) view post


posted 09 Sep 2004, 01:09 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Grantaire, Moderator

Four (hasn't this thread gone on plenty long?) view post


posted 09 Sep 2004, 19:09 in Philosophy DiscussionBattleground God by Grantaire, Moderator

Did I ever claim to be a total nihilist, Scott? I'm arguing it on a more simply basis, more like the premise that nothing is inherently "good" or "bad" from an objective viewpoint, and that things don't automatically have meaning, it must be created by us. But I'm saying that as humans, we [i:24pap2v1]need[/i:24pap2v1] to create and evaluate value around us. And thus, we argue things in terms of value, there is no other way that I know to do it. Of course, if you care to enlighten me, go for it. view post


posted 09 Sep 2004, 20:09 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Grantaire, Moderator

Football (heh, 21 pages. Why isn't a new game started, perhaps of something else?) view post


posted 09 Sep 2004, 20:09 in Philosophy DiscussionIs the idea of a "god" inherent in our minds? by Grantaire, Moderator

Good to see you join in Alric :wink: [quote:3lfo13bh]Let me address the original question first. Are we inclined to believe in some sort of primary orginator(s) outside the realm of chance and chaos? Yes, I point to the overwhelming evidence of history to show that each and every society, that we have reasonable information on, had some sort of rationalization of existence that included a God or primary being. While these images and stories varied, the fact that humans of all sorts and in all locations held to these stories should weigh strongly on the nature of our thought process. We seem to be designed to seek out some source, some meaning or process that explains origination and purpose. Pre-scientific people obviously explained things mystically. Science is the active seeking of knowledge and understanding of the world and universe around us. [/quote:3lfo13bh] As I believe Scott or someone else said in one of these discussions, we tend to anthromorphize. Assign "human" natured causes to things we can't explain. Thus, the concept of god, creating the idea of some being with traits that humans can have (benevolence, etc). [quote:3lfo13bh]Now, I have no problems admitting that I am Christian, and as such believe that God created all things. However, I am not one that ascribes to the literalization of Genesis to form a psuedo-sceintific "theory" known as creationism. Now if you want to get into the different discussions around the biblical texts, pre-scientific creation myth vs scientific fact (Genesis creation as a factual step by step account), differences in understanding within the Christian community... well, that is another series of posts. [/quote:3lfo13bh] If you don't mind my asking you, why exactly do you believe that? view post


Can I get some advice? posted 09 Sep 2004, 21:09 in Off-Topic DiscussionCan I get some advice? by Grantaire, Moderator

Particularly from anyone in/recently in high school or college. Regarding AP testing. I have learned that you're allowed to take AP tests without having taken the courses, and I'm considering attempting it this year. I'm a sophomore, and I have AP environmental science and AP government and politics courses in my schedule, so obviously I'll be taking those exams. But a friend and myself were discussing AP courses, and she told me that her older brother has taken four or five AP exams without taking the courses for them, and gotten 5's on all of them- starting as a sophomore. Do you think this would be a wise idea for me to try? I have nearly a full school year till the AP exams, so I could have a full year of study on my own, whereas the class might be only a semester long. I'm obviously thinking about attempting this in a subject that I'm naturally quite good at, such as world history, macroeconomics, or literature and composition (I obviously wouldn't try to do something like chemistry or physics that require lab work). So, have any of you tried this? If so, how did you do on the exams that you did independant work for? Thanks for the advice :) view post


posted 09 Sep 2004, 22:09 in Philosophy DiscussionBattleground God by Grantaire, Moderator

[quote:2txlovg0]No. You just claimed to be a nihilist![/quote:2txlovg0] I claimed to have [i:2txlovg0]some[/i:2txlovg0] nihilist views :wink: [quote:2txlovg0]No need for tetchiness, Grantaire - I'm just asking questions! If I could 'enlighten' you I would, but that would suggest I actually knew the answers to most of the questions I ask, which is most definitely NOT the case. (This is why I consider hardnosed examination to be my friend. I don't feel safe unless everyone I know is as confused as I am! Wink ) So do you think value is simply a mistake we humans foist on the world, or that it actually exists as a property of our neurophysiology or some such?[/quote:2txlovg0] I was actually quite serious when I asked that- as I see it, pretty much the only way we can regard things is in terms of value, because we [i:2txlovg0]cannot[/i:2txlovg0] be totally objective. I was just thinking that perhaps you knew of a contrasting way of argument :wink: (yes, confusing people is always quite fun, as is playing devil's advocate :D ) I don't know the answer to your question. By considering whether or not it's a "mistake", I would be examining the value of value, because aren't "right" and "wrong" simply evaluations of value? Of course, "correctness" may not be a matter of value, but rather of relative "truth"... If I had to throw in a haphazard guess, I would go with the idea that "value" is something our minds create to try to perpetuate the species. Something is "good" if it will aid our survival and eventual reproduction. So for example, simply doing well on a test, we consider that to be good perhaps because subconciously we know that doing well will advance our future positions. Whereas death has a bad connotation, because well, when it comes, we're gone, can't reproduce, can't perpetuate our species any further? Do you understand where I'm coming from with that? (sorry if I sounded sarcastic in my previous post, it was a real question :wink: ) view post


posted 11 Sep 2004, 02:09 in Philosophy DiscussionIs the idea of a "god" inherent in our minds? by Grantaire, Moderator

Alric, I'm referring to your christian beliefs. I don't know exactly what church you belong to, but why do you have those beliefs? view post


posted 11 Sep 2004, 03:09 in Philosophy DiscussionBattleground God by Grantaire, Moderator

[quote:124rfjgq]From an evolutionary standpoint, morality, for instance, seems to be little more than a 'subreption' - a kind of functional deception - selected for because it facilitated the social cohesion necessary for successful reproduction. Much the same might be said of 'love,' or even of 'sexual pleasure.' We think we do these things for their own sake, when in fact they're behavioural mechanisms that, given existing environmental pressures, simply happened to lead to successful reproduction (in the case of sexual pleasure) and to the successful rearing of children to the age of reproduction (in the case of pair-bonding or love) in our hominid past. This is the kind of nihilism I find absolutely terrifying because I know of no non-tendentious way of arguing against it. All I'm left with is foot-stomping... Shocked[/quote:124rfjgq] That's pretty much what I'm saying. If you want to find a purpose in life, quite simply, it would be to successfully reproduce and protect those offspring. Maybe in a way, all of our creations, such as morality, science, governments, all of them at the most fundamental level are to serve that basic purpose, even if we don't often think about it. [quote:124rfjgq]That's why I prefer to just go beyond the mundanity of it all and just appreciate what I appreciate and not worry overmuch about whether or not it's a "false veneer" or not. Whether it's a stimulation of the senses for a greater Purpose (and Behaviorists do seem to imply in their arguments that there is Purpose, but with evolutionary pressure replacing a God-like force/being) or if it's a delusion, I'd still rather just go, "damn! That's one very attractive woman walking down the street." Sometimes, I just gotta let Little Head think for Big Head just to maintain whatever semblence of sanity I may or may not have, regardless of any evolutionary pressures[/quote:124rfjgq] Aye Larry. Sometimes it's nice to just go with the flow and not think about things. Over times, I find it quite enjoyable to analyze such mundane things, take it from level to level of abstraction, until I literally can't understand my own thoughts. Rather scary, sometimes :wink: view post


posted 11 Sep 2004, 17:09 in Philosophy DiscussionIs the idea of a "god" inherent in our minds? by Grantaire, Moderator

[quote:20f7iv4i]We're certainly entirely dependent on science, I agree with you there, AJ. I think it's safe to say the credence people give it, though, is far out of proportion to its practical import. You have people on antibiotic regimens designed to combat the evolution of bacteria, insisting that evolution is false. [/quote:20f7iv4i] People certainly are skeptical of science, though perhaps that may be in part from lack of understanding? If someone goes to university and studies physics and chemistry, etc, goes to grad school and so forth studying science, that person is obviously going to understand science fairly well, and thus understand its capabilities and limitations, and therefor be somewhat more likely to both trust scientific discoveries, and to take them with a grain of salt. But there are other people who go through life never having to study any more science than they have to, either because they don't have a knack for it when they're younger, or don't have any interest, or for whatever reason it may be. If these people have no more understanding of science than what they're forcibly taught because college, don't you think they'll be more skeptical of science, because they don't understand not only the topics of science, but what science can and can't do? Just something I thought of. [quote:20f7iv4i]I agree: it's in the same category as religion insofar as it is a social institution that generates truth-claims. But that's just the beginning isn't it?[/quote:20f7iv4i] Indeed, it's only at that most fundamental level that they are in the same category though. Although there's still somewhat of a difference in that religion deals with more of metaphysical ideas, versus science focusing only on what can be observed and measured. [quote:20f7iv4i]Sooner or later, the issue always comes down to the question of the cognitive difference, or which claims are more reliable, comprehensive, efficacious, and so on. Whenever we walk into a car dealership, the cognitive differences between claims is something we're very keen on, but for some reason, most religious people seem to become less and less concerned the more important the claims become. The question, 'But how do you know?' becomes increasingly difficult to ask (to the point where I feel I need to be exceedingly delicate typing this!).[/quote:20f7iv4i] Why is this though? Are people so comforted by their religions that they willingly refuse to challenge their beliefs? I simply don't understand what could cause that...I would think that in questions such as "does god exist?" "what will happen to us when we die?" "what is our purpose here?", people should thoroughly examine and think and question. Simply accepting what a religion tells you, just because an old book says it's right, isn't that tantamount to betraying your own faculties of reasoning? Oh, and just out of curiousity Scott, do you belong to a religion? [quote:20f7iv4i]Is this an accurate description? And if so, why do you think this is? And lastly, given that the 'feeling of being right' has no reliable correlation with actually being right (which is why two people can be absolutely convinced - to the point of sacrificing their lives - of two contradictory beliefs), how do you know?[/quote:20f7iv4i] I think that there are perhaps two possible answers. First, as I said above, is maybe that people simply don't want to destroy the religious beliefs that comfort them from what the world and the truth may be like if they are incorrect. Another possibility I see is this- many people are not like us. I don't say that to be arrogant, but I don't know if you realize this (since you're a writer and former philosophy professor, I'm guessing that you usually associate with quite intelligent people). Every day, many of the people I see and know, they simply go through life...ignorant, shall we say. They care about things like what's going on in hollywood, who's dating who, what's fashionable. They see school, education, and knowledge as just a waste of time. They would consider the kind of discussions we have here to be 'gay' or some other derogatory term. Maybe there's nothing wrong with having a worldview like that, it's simply their preference, but I think that a person like that would be more apt to simply accept religious beliefs, without questioning them. What do you think? view post


posted 11 Sep 2004, 17:09 in Off-Topic DiscussionTop 5 Sci-fi Series/ books by Grantaire, Moderator

Hm, I actually haven't read all that much in the way of sci-fi. Dune is definitely up there, I've read the first three books in the series. Enders Game too is another great one that I've read. Other than that really, I haven't read too much. view post


posted 11 Sep 2004, 19:09 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Grantaire, Moderator

bumblebee view post


posted 11 Sep 2004, 19:09 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Grantaire, Moderator

rose view post


posted 11 Sep 2004, 20:09 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Grantaire, Moderator

wormhole view post


posted 11 Sep 2004, 21:09 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Grantaire, Moderator

spiderman view post


posted 12 Sep 2004, 15:09 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Grantaire, Moderator

tango view post


posted 12 Sep 2004, 17:09 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Grantaire, Moderator

canada view post


posted 12 Sep 2004, 20:09 in Philosophy DiscussionIs the idea of a "god" inherent in our minds? by Grantaire, Moderator

[quote:1t8rgr7k]I'm an agnostic with a yen for the mysterium tremendum. When people ask me if I believe there's such a thing as God, I tell them I'm having a hard enough time believing there's such a thing as meaning.[/quote:1t8rgr7k] Interesting Scott, I had a feeling you'd say something like that, I couldn't really see you as belonging to an organized religion. I'm in somewhat of a similar boat really, uncertainty of god, much less all things. It's hard to break with the expectations of society and/or parents though... [quote:1t8rgr7k]I hope no one minds me jumping into this discussion but I was curious so I couldn't resist. I'm aware that nothing can ever be really proven only disproven (correct me if I'm wrong) but one of my professors said something interesting which I think applies here as well. There are paradigms or theories that have false assumptions but are still useful (Newtonian physics assumes mass concentrates at a point ? and microeconomic laws of supply and demand postulate that firms seek to maximize profit). Nevertheless, these theories still work well enough in practice (they have explanatory power). I see science as providing that practical explanatory power; it may be wrong about many things but it still makes useful predictions or has useful applications for us. Religion perhaps has that claim to make as well? It does provide a moral foundation, a meaning to life, psychological well-being. This may not be explanatory in nature but it is still beneficial and useful. It is certainly useful to society in keeping order and negatively to the ruling classes as well as it helps to maintain the status quo (the untouchables in India for ex.). Having been on a spiritual quest since I was 9 and still hanging in limbo, I'm curious as to how non-spiritual people (right term?) deal with that lack of meaning. If life and the universe is meaningless than what is the point of living and following all of the routines that are set for you? And is that concept of a meaningless universe the same as a belief in a chaotic universe? Or are they different?[/quote:1t8rgr7k] Welcome to the discussion eowyn (we don't mind at all, it's nice to see a new face :) ...er..however that would be termed on the internet :wink: ). Religion may have some claims to having a positive effect on people or society, I don't argue that. It comforts people when horrible things happen, comforts them against the thought of death, gives them 'purpose'. But, as I think you said, religion is generally based on an assumption that has yet to be skillfully proven to me- the existance of a god. view post


posted 12 Sep 2004, 20:09 in Literature DiscussionWhen do you think Martin's next book will be released? by Grantaire, Moderator

Sovin, I think he was being sarcastic :wink: view post


posted 12 Sep 2004, 20:09 in Literature DiscussionWhat would you say are the must-reads of literature? by Grantaire, Moderator

I agree, I wouldn't want to go anywhere with classes [i:1orhpyni]that[/i:1orhpyni] large. view post


posted 12 Sep 2004, 20:09 in Off-Topic DiscussionCan I get some advice? by Grantaire, Moderator

Ah, I see. Most of the colleges that I'm potentially interested in all accept AP tests for credit or advanced placement I believe. And actually, I believe there are ways to dodge the $80 price tag- I'm taking AP US gov't and politics this year, and collegeboard says that you can take that exam as well as AP comparative government for the price of a singe exam. Nifty way to dodge it :wink: view post


posted 14 Sep 2004, 01:09 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Grantaire, Moderator

spoon view post


posted 14 Sep 2004, 19:09 in Philosophy DiscussionIs the idea of a "god" inherent in our minds? by Grantaire, Moderator

[quote:3j6vem2j]Well, that is always a difficult question to answer briefly and in anything less than an actual live conversation. I will try to give you some sort of answer. I don't know whether or not this would be better handled as a private note or not. What do you think?[/quote:3j6vem2j] Whichever way you would prefer is fine with me. view post


posted 16 Sep 2004, 15:09 in Author Q & AOther authors you enjoy by Grantaire, Moderator

I'm sure Jack is mighty proud about that, Larry :wink: view post


A Game of Thrones book club discussion open posted 24 Sep 2004, 21:09 in Book ClubA Game of Thrones book club discussion open by Grantaire, Moderator

Alright, this discussion is now open, and I expect to leave it open for however long people feel like discussing the book. Spoilers for AGoT are okay, but please try to refrain from spoilers about the later books (or at least warn people). Post your thoughts about the book, from general liking/disliking to specific thoughts about the book. Here are some sample questions to get y'all going: -Martin's use of history as somewhat of a parallel to his story. Did you enjoy that style? -The violent and sexual content. Did it add appropriately to the story? Or was it overdone? -The lack of some fantastical elements (i.e. no elves & dwarves, not too much magic). Did you feel that the sometimes lacking amount of magic detracted from the fantastical appeal? -Characters. Did you feel characterization was done well? Were the characters realistic, especially in the context of the story? Feel free to dive in :wink: view post


Probably the simplest question, though I haven't seen it yet posted 24 Sep 2004, 21:09 in Author Q & AProbably the simplest question, though I haven't seen it yet by Grantaire, Moderator

How old are you? view post


Any horror fans here? posted 24 Sep 2004, 21:09 in Literature DiscussionAny horror fans here? by Grantaire, Moderator

I'm not a really huge horror fan, mostly because I simply haven't read too much of it, but over the past week or so, I dove into some of Stephen King's work, and read [i:8p858s4t]The Shining[/i:8p858s4t], [i:8p858s4t]It[/i:8p858s4t], and [i:8p858s4t]Salem's Lot[/i:8p858s4t]. I liked them, and I think I might go into more horror, though I'm not sure of too many other authors. So, any horror fans who may be willing to point me out to some good books? view post


posted 25 Sep 2004, 02:09 in Author Q & AProbably the simplest question, though I haven't seen it yet by Grantaire, Moderator

Ah, thanks. For some odd reason, I had been thinking Scott was in his upper-twenties. *shakes head* view post


posted 25 Sep 2004, 15:09 in Author Q & AProbably the simplest question, though I haven't seen it yet by Grantaire, Moderator

Ni! view post


Science disenchanting the world. posted 25 Sep 2004, 15:09 in Philosophy DiscussionScience disenchanting the world. by Grantaire, Moderator

Thoughts? view post


Oh yeah, another simple one. posted 25 Sep 2004, 21:09 in Author Q & AOh yeah, another simple one. by Grantaire, Moderator

What's the R. stand for? view post


posted 25 Sep 2004, 22:09 in Author Q & AOh yeah, another simple one. by Grantaire, Moderator

So you get to be Dr. R. Scott Bakker? A nice lengthy name :wink: view post


posted 26 Sep 2004, 19:09 in Author Q & AOh yeah, another simple one. by Grantaire, Moderator

You're not done yet? I thought you had finished before you went back up to Canada to work on TTT. Ouch. view post


posted 30 Sep 2004, 19:09 in Off-Topic DiscussionBad, bad book. BAAAD. by Grantaire, Moderator

What do you have against Candide, eowyn? view post


posted 14 Oct 2004, 13:10 in Philosophy DiscussionOrigin of Morality by Grantaire, Moderator

Very interesting thoughts. I still haven't come to my own conclusions about morality yet, but you gave an intriguing possibility. However, I must disagree with you about your idea of the pinnacle of evolution. While, granted, society certainly does evolve, I disagree with your conclusion that current society is the pinnacle of that evolution. We are not the best possible society- we simply aren't. We have crime, poverty, hunger, homelessness, and all of the other domestic evils. You might argue that those are inherent to humanity, but I believe that human nature and human society are a sort of coevolution. We are not the same humans that existed 2000 years ago, 5000 years ago, and so forth. A change in either humans or society further fuels change both in itself and in the other. Human nature isn't necessarily a constant, and with each generation, we evolve, hopefully becoming more intelligent, kind, etc. But since the state of human nature is one of the driving forces behind the evolution of society, I think we cannot reach a pinnacle of society until humans have reached the point where they can create that society. We cannot. We are still extremely far from what that would take. But perhaps sometime far in the future, perhaps with the aid of technology, man is something that will be overcome. view post


posted 19 Oct 2004, 01:10 in Philosophy DiscussionScience disenchanting the world. by Grantaire, Moderator

Excellent post Tak, I don't think anyone will have enough time to be able to properly argue against you :wink: But on a couple of points. [quote:sh8zdxaa]Science is mute on matters of ontology. We can observe "objects," we can observe objects interacting with other objects. We can observe an object's behavior. We can observe that an object can be broken into smaller objects. We can measure an object's size in relation to other objects. Etc, Etc. But, can science tell us what the object is? Is the object intrinsically mental? Or is the objective world composed of "stuff" - What is this "stuff?" We can measure the effects of gravity, but what is gravity? Physics makes no attempt to explain the intrinsic nature of basic entities, but only characterizes them in terms of other entities. "What they are" is not explored. Though, science does not tell us what the units of nature are in themselves, this is usually forgotten as most scientists have accepted their own abstractions as metaphysical fact (Whitehead's "misplaced concreteness" fallacy). [/quote:sh8zdxaa] First, in relation to your own theory, I would like to mention Ockham's Razor. What is simpler, materialism or your theory of compound individuals with their own histories creating "life". About what you say about science against ontology though, it is perhaps irrelevant- the atom is the smallest object with the properties that we recognize as belonging to any certain type of object. Even that is slightly past the simple infinitesimally small sphere it was originally concieved as. Over time, our perception of "atoms" grew to recognizing it being composed of neutrons, protons, and electrons. In time, we discovered properties of these, and we discovered that they are composed of quarks, and that there are many other subatomic particles out there. But what they [i:sh8zdxaa]are[/i:sh8zdxaa] is inherently irrelevant. With even today's best technology, the best image we have been able to get of atoms is a fuzzy sphere. By our current understanding of physics, there is no way to obtain a better image. Sure, we can create our models, hypothesize about what composes an atom, and all of that. But never can we see past a rough image of an atom. So what does this mean? It means that what the most fundamental particles actually [i:sh8zdxaa]are[/i:sh8zdxaa] is, and will always be impossible to know. We think of everything in terms of what we understand and experience. Such an abstract concept is already difficult enough for humans to accept, because it is counterintuitive enough. But given that quarks and other particles are at an even more fundamental level than atoms (the smallest object with still recognizable properties to us), how can we define what they "are"? Although, to be more precise, it's not that particles are even strictly what we would term "matter". Modern physics has given us many things to consider on the subatomic level, but wave/particle duality, string theory, and some parts of quantum physics are particularly telling. These totally counterintuitive theories (and hypotheses, at least in the case of string theory) give us new insight into our understanding of the subatomic world, and we cannot take these fundamental particles to be simply infinitely small spheres that are composed of something. Sometimes they behave like waves, sometimes they affect the behavior of a particle far away, and perhaps they are even impossibly small strings or branes. The simple fact is, we can't look at the simplest units of matter and say "what are these made of?" because while at the purest level they are simply energy, they are simply too abstract to think of in our macromolecular terms. Do you get what I'm saying? I don't know how much of a physics person you are, and I don't totally understand all of this, but I think that it's not only irrelevant, but impossible to discuss metaphysics at such a fundamental level of reality. [quote:sh8zdxaa]I find epiphenomenalism (and reductionism and materialism in general) terrifying, not because I believe it's true and that my subjectivity is nothing but an impotent "magic spray" on blind processes, but rather because I fear the toll this dogmatic scientism is going to have on our society. As of now, most people are largely unaware of the more frightening theories that are being passed around. But if Russell’s "accidental collocation of atoms" and Crick's "nothing but a pack of neurons," concepts become commonly believed by most people . . . this would prove disastrous. The effects are already occurring: people with mental disorders or traumas are simply fed medication as "cures" for malfunctioning brains (which in some cases, strikes me as “chemical lobotomies”). More and more "teenage atheists" [6] are popping up (hell, I was one of them) who take for granted that they're "nothing but" blind processes. I'm not saying materialists are intrinsically amoral, and I'm not saying people (should) follow morals out of fear of some anthropomorphic god, but rather that people are moral because they feel concepts such as good and evil are somehow "real," in a Platonic sense, where as in materialism, such concepts are merely conditioning from sensory stimuli, and we are deluded into thinking they are something more. I predict two outcomes from this: 1) "The masses" will get wind of how far down the rabbit hole goes, and widespread nihilism will result due to the masses feeling that science has "stolen their souls". 2) "The masses" will be terrified by the implications and will "revolt" from science, and religious fundamentalism will become more widespread. Neither result is something I look forward to. [/quote:sh8zdxaa] Yes, this is the interesting thing. Indeed, I am somewhat one of those "teenage athiests" you speak of, though I would say that I'm more of an agnostic. However, I think there are several limiting factors that you are overlooking. First: most people simply [i:sh8zdxaa]don't care[/i:sh8zdxaa]. Many people don't give a damn about philosophy, science, literature and many of the other things we talk about here. Since philosophy, by its nature relying on language to convey what it means, can never sound totally definitive, I don't think the masses will ever really appreciate or care what conclusions philosophers ever come up with. Second: not only beyond the simple fact of apathy, many people simply aren't intelligent enough to understand. Not an intended insult towards them, but many people really would not be capable of understanding the philosophy behind the dogmatism you describe. Those who are, are either capable of taking the implications, or else are intelligent enough to fall into a sort of nihilism that isn't really true despair. Really, the masses just aren't intelligent enough, and are too apathetic to realize "how far down the rabbit hole goes," and although I wish people did care more about things like philosophy and science, I think too that perhaps it is better that people who cannot take the implications not be exposed to the ideas that are not only extremely abstract, but very disturbing. view post


posted 19 Oct 2004, 21:10 in Philosophy DiscussionScience disenchanting the world. by Grantaire, Moderator

[quote:1l3e3t3z]Just how applicable are scientific truth-claims to the events of a person's life? Just how applicable are scientific understandings to creating coping/destructive models of approaching personal problems? Just how applicable can something of a rational standpoint be toward something that just might possibly be inherently irrational? [/quote:1l3e3t3z] Larry, that is a good question, and one that I think is certainly an issue. Certainly, you do make the presumption that things such as human thought and action [i:1l3e3t3z]are[/i:1l3e3t3z] irrational, which although possible, it is too entirely possible that we will find as Scott said, a functional self-understanding. At this time, we find it insane to even think that you could fit an equation or theorem to the human mind, but does that mean it is impossible? I believe that what I said in my previous post is quite applicable to what you are asking here. I think that the vast majority of people will never really accept science or philosophy as being a ruling factor or functional self-understanding in their lives. People have no interest, and many are not intelligent to even understand fully the implications of the sort of things we discuss here. In my opinion, you underestimate the possibilities that scientific/philosophic understandings present for application in life. Although, first, I will admit that this heavily depends on the person. To the person with the right personality or detachment for it, the implications that this sort of philosophy bring can be perfect. When you realize that everything is illusion, that everything you care about doesn't matter, that your life truly means nothing, and that what you do doesn't have any importance, you feel less pressure on yourself (although, don't take that to mean I'm not ambitious :wink: ). It is an interesting situation, but from the right perspective, it makes sense, so I'm not exactly expecting you to become a nihilist just because I said it works :twisted: [quote:1l3e3t3z] This simply underscores the nihilistic dilemma I've been harping about all along. If you, like me, suspend commitment to all but the most robust truth-claims - namely those belonging to the same family that makes miracles like this computer possible - then the most basic, straighforward inferences lead you to unintelligible madness. The most powerful instrument of discovery in the history of humanity - bar none! - suggests that everything you do and everything that matters to you is an illusion - and here's the kicker, including the very norms that make this argument stick. [/quote:1l3e3t3z] And what is wrong with unintelligible madness? Hah, I realize the implications of this philosophy, but does it turn my life upside down? No, not really, although it does have a certain effect. You seem to think that the masses will ever find and listen to this philosophy, which I sincerely doubt, and I admit is probably for the best. It is something very difficult to accept, given how ecocentric we are by nature.. view post


Political Affiliation? posted 19 Oct 2004, 23:10 in Off-Topic DiscussionPolitical Affiliation? by Grantaire, Moderator

If you're not an American, or you're too young to vote, just answer with the cloest to what you are. view post


posted 23 Oct 2004, 18:10 in Philosophy DiscussionScience disenchanting the world. by Grantaire, Moderator

[quote:avofpcu1]Which is simpler: Newtonian physics or quantum physics? The point of Occam's Razor is that, given two theories with equal explanatory power, one should choose the theory with the least amount of entities. Basically, one should get rid of all unnecessary entities. Quantum physics is more complex than Newtonian physics, but quantum physics also has greater explanatory power. Materialism, given its ontological limitations (it's basically a decapitated dualism), is incapable of explaining consciousness without appealing to an invisible homunculus, which is simply not allowed under materialism. Whiteheadian Panexperientalism (true or not) has more explanatory power than any materialist theory of consciousness; primarily because Whiteheadianism actually allows a place for the subjective. In materialism, the theories may bring to light correlations of consciousness and brain states, but these brain states, as defined by the tenets of materialism (blind, objective processes) - the consciousness is just something that "happens." The qualia, the "binding" problem, and "aboutness" of intention are reduced to a functionally unnecessary and unexplained epiphenomena. In all materialistic theories of consciousness, the explanations do not logically entail a "what is it likeness" to the system. Any attribution of intention to the system remains observer-relative, something "tacked on" from the outside. Because of this, I consider materialism to be dualism in denial. My theory may be complex, and at prima facie appear improbable; but, surely one can't mean "This theory is improbable, as opposed to materialism."[/quote:avofpcu1] Just a quick comment about your comparison between Newtonian physics and quantum physics. Really, they have equal explanatory power, because they are only two parts of the complete physical description of the universe. Quantum gravity will be the unifying factor, once it is discovered (though some think string theory can reconcile them as well). [quote:avofpcu1]This brings up an interesting point. At the smallest levels, what we know of as "matter" becomes less traditionally "matter-like" and more abstract. I mean, if it's a wave, what is it a wave of? If matter is energy . . . well, what the hell does that even mean? Energy is defined as movement, but how can matter be reduced to movement? Movement of what? Something is missing from the current picture, and I have doubts that we are capable of fully understanding it.[/quote:avofpcu1] See, I've thought quite a bit about this problem over the last few days. I think that part of the reason we can't conceptualize a real solution to this is simply the limitations of human understanding. Many even simpler concepts are extremely challenging to get a grasp on- after all, we can visualize three-dimensions by putting it on a two-dimensional medium, but does that mean we can create a model of four-dimensions? It's simply something we can't really create a concrete solution to. Granted, we can't reduce our view of the universe past energy as the most basic level of what things "are", but does that mean that we absolutely must resort to a metaphysical answer? I think that perhaps there can be a physical answer, but perhaps it simply is incomprehensible to the human mind, and so we turn to metaphysics, because although complex, it is easier to understand than the [i:avofpcu1]most[/i:avofpcu1] fundamental level of physics. Physics can be anywhere from totally concrete to somewhat abstract, but at this level, it is utterly abstract, and in a way I think we'll never truly understand. But I don't think that necessitates a metaphysical explanation. [quote:avofpcu1]I've studied quantum physics, and it has given me almost as big a headache as consciousness has. I mean, the Aspect experiments suggest a holistic interpretation of the universe, which is difficult to imagine (though it makes sense, in a way). And Wheeler's delayed choice experiment has left me just plain confused. I realize I commonly use the term "billiard balls" when referring to materialism, and I hope I haven't led anyone to believe that my current vision of matter is stuck in the 19th century; I use this term to refer to all the vacuous entities of materialism , which includes the "non-billiard ball-like" substances found in the sub-atomic world. In any event, by "billiard ball," I mean that the substance has no "what-is-it-like" about it; it only has an "outside." In materialism, the sub-atomic entities supposedly lack experience as much as their more traditionally "solid" counter-parts. In any case, even though they are outside the domain of science, the metaphysics are important. We may have the collected observations and accurate theories of observed and repeatable phenomena, but the "what-is-it?" of the observed phenomena is certainly not irrelevant when discussing the ontology of the world. Is the observed phenomena intrinsically mental? Or does the phenomena originate from vacuous entities out in a spatial-temporal void? Science can't answer these questions, no matter how many experiments and observations are made. However, the questions, though ultimately speculation, are vital when confronting the world-knot of consciousness. Despite Scott's assertion that "the picture is slowly coming into functional focus," science is no closer to explaining consciousness than it was in Descartes' time. We have mental-physical correlations, but this is hardly an explanation. Scott is right when he says science is the "only game in town" when it comes to accurate predictions of the world (recording and predicting observed phenomena), but the metaphysical concerns (the "who's casting the shadows?" questions) are simply beyond science. [More on this later][/quote:avofpcu1] Don't worry, I knew what you were saying with the billiard balls :wink: I think you've hit on exactly why I'm saying it's irrelevent. Simply by the fact that you wish to discuss consciousness in terms of metaphysics (philosophy), makes all conclusions automatically void. The nature of philosophical discourse, as well as language, make it so that not only will readers not get the [i:avofpcu1]exact[/i:avofpcu1] intent of your communication, but also, human perception "taints" what we perceive, simply through the nature of our minds. You spoke earlier of mistaking the map for the territory in the case of subatomic particles, but I think the exact same error could be made here- a linguistic description of fundamental metaphysics should not be mistaken for what it actually represents. Also, what each of us "experiences" in the universe is a totally subjective experience- and how can that translate into a true fundamental solution of metaphysics, applicable to all "conscious experiencers"? (for lack of a better term) Sorry if these thoughts are coming out jumbled, I'm hardly a philosophy major :wink: Another thing I'd like to hit on is the old "what if we're just the dream of a butterfly?" idea. I think this too is an interesting idea, because what if our entire universe, our existances, our experiences and memories, our emotions and thoughts, the births and deaths of galaxies- what if all of it is simply a passing aspect of some...larger entity/thing (there is no word I can think of that is fitting)? We could live in this universe, with its physical laws, and perhaps some fundamental metaphysical law, or basis of matter/consciousness, but what would it matter then, if really they aren't what the "true" reality is? [quote:avofpcu1]Now that I have thought about it, I agree with you on this; I have met few people who are even aware that there is a mind-body problem. However, I still think that this will definitely have a negative effect on the field of psychiatry and the treatment of mental disorders. As doctors treat mental patients less like autonomous individuals and more like machines, this may have a trickle down effect on the masses. We're already at the point where the diagnosis are usually: "Your fixation on your mother is due to a malfunctioning brain, you need more drugs." or "You son's disobedient behavior is due to a defective brain, he will require two of these pills each day for behavioral correction."[/quote:avofpcu1] And I have met very few people who are even aware of the many problems that philosophy can bring up, and even fewer who would care. view post


posted 26 Oct 2004, 00:10 in Philosophy DiscussionScience disenchanting the world. by Grantaire, Moderator

[quote:1aelklfy]Did you perhaps mean General Relativity, rather than Newtonian physics? Relativity has much greater explanatory power than Newtonian physics and that is the other theory physicists are hoping to coax quantum gravity out of. As an aside, General Relativity may be an even bleaker prospect for the proponents of free will/choice/etc. - time being a dimension, the solutions to its equations produce a completed picture, uh, what am I trying to say? The solution is complete, a whole both spatially and temporally and strongly suggests that the passage of time is another of those wossnames, an illusion. That not only is there no choice about what happens, but that 'happenings' in sequence do not, in fact, happen. Take that aside with a grain of salt. I have never studied general relativity formally, never seen the equations myself and doubt I (yet, hopefully) have the mathematical training to solve them. I doubt they have their fiendish reputation for nothing.[/quote:1aelklfy] Yes, I meant general relativity. I'm in agreement with you, I think physics as it is presents many challenges to our conceptions of reality, before we even attempt to delve into any metaphysics behind it. [quote:1aelklfy]Given that you (if I recall correctly) seem to espouse or at least lean towards a nihilistic view, do you think this would be any more or less 'something that matters' than said nihilistic universe? [/quote:1aelklfy] Now that's a difficult question to answer. I suppose it is something in each persons perception of the relative importance of differing levels of illusion and "reality"...what is more important- the reality of what you actually experience here and now, with your thoughts and emotions and senses? Or some transcendental level of reality, to which our "reality" could be only some sort of illusion? Perhaps that is in some way one of the things that differentiates the thinkers of mankind from the rest. Those who want to comprehend the fundamental reality of "reality", and those who care only for the passing moments of their brief existence. Yes, I do lean towards a nihilistic view, but it is...in the larger worldview, if that makes sense. Like, on the smaller scale, things are important to me- I want my friends to be happy, I want to do well on exams, I care about politics and what's going on in the world. I [i:1aelklfy]have[/i:1aelklfy] to care, because regardless of my philosophical beliefs, I must live my life, and it's better to be happy. Whereas, I understand that in the much larger picture, my existance means nothing, the existance of the earth and of mankind means nothing, that our solar system isn't even a "blip on the radar" to the universe, and the entire existance of mankind isn't so much as a blink of the eye to the universe. Do you get what I mean? I make decisions in the here-and-now, about very trivial things, while understanding that they have absolutely no real significance on a larger scale. That being said, in relation to your question, I think it matters both ways. If we were something like just a passing dream of a butterfly, I think it would be important (at least to me) to know that, because even if it has little practical consequence, curiousity drives us to want to know the [i:1aelklfy]real[/i:1aelklfy] reality of things. But on the other hand, even if all of our lives, and our conscious existances are merely an illusion, and we knew this, it wouldn't reduce the importance of "living" them. If I knew that I didn't *really* exist, would that stop me from trying to be a nice person, from trying to succeed, from trying to be happy? Probably not, because regardless of the fundamental reality of metaphysics and existance, we have to live with the illusion or reality that we have, regardless of its true nature. [quote:1aelklfy]Another question: What is your opinion on that?[/quote:1aelklfy] On people not knowing about philosophy and the problems it presents, and not caring? It somewhat frustrates me. On the other hand, people have their own interests and problems, and I have to respect that. But still, I wish people would try to make some effort to acquire knowledge about philosophy. Granted, it is a very challenging field (not only to understand, but considering it can shake your very view of reality), but I don't think that should give people an excuse to not even make an effort towards expanding their knowledge and education. Let me put this in some sort of perspective, maybe the people I associate with are not the sort you all would associate with. I'm surrounded by 15 year-olds who are totally myopic about anything involving thought (yes, I know, a generalization, but it holds true for the mass majority). They care only about dating and popularity. So, granted, that isn't the sort of group that exactly breeds philosophers, but I still think people should put some energy towards the philosophical questions.. view post


posted 04 Nov 2004, 20:11 in Philosophy DiscussionAMERICAN POLITICS... by Grantaire, Moderator

I agree with you Scott, this forum has been astoundingly flame free, considering that even many of best forums that I've seen out there on the net have had flamewars, even without discussing things as potentially sensitive as we do here. I think that's quite a testament to the people who come here. Given this, I think we can have a discussion on the election. Being an American, but not of voting age, I can only go with how I would have voted- Kerry. Kerry was who I would have voted for, had I been capable, but despite this, I thought Nader would have been a better president. However, given the relatively small role of third parties in the American system, Nader has no real chance (I know there have been exceptions, namely Perot in the 90's). I wish this were different, because Americans aren't really given a huge choice- either the Democrats, or the Republicans. What is a voter to do if they are fiscally conservative, but socially liberal? What about foreign policy doves who have more conservative views on social issues? The American system gives only two options, which I believe forces mixed voters onto one of the two sides. Shouldn't people be able to pick someone whose views truly go along with theirs? Sorry, had to throw out my thoughts about the lack of choice. I want to touch on a number of issues that I see with the American political system. First, I simply want to talk about why I prefered Nader, but would have chosen Kerry. First, I want to see a great degree of government reform, of government responsibility. I want to see a government that cares about the environment, who cares about the good of the people, and not simply keeping their power. I believe Nader would have been the best choice in fitting with those desires. But, given that I am vehemently anti-Bush, Kerry would have gotten my vote, because I greatly wanted change in the White House. Bush's policies go contrary to my views regarding social issues, the environment, and international relations. Kerry was a fairly unknown factor as to how he would take the situations Bush has created, and change them, but I felt that a relatively unknown factor was better than one I knew I severely disliked. Another thing I'd like to touch on- I really wouldn't have so much minded Bush being re-elected, if the Democrats had re-taken majorities in the House and Senate. That would have at least created gridlock, so that radicals in either party wouldn't really have been able to pass through their policies. That would have forced some degree of moderation in the executive and legislative branches, and would have forced Bush appointees to the court system for this term to be more moderate as well. But now, I truly fear. The Republicans have large majorites in both houses of Congress, make up about 70% of the court system, and have the executive branch. Bush has repeatedly taken actions that I have issue with, and that was when there could at least be some level of opposition, and when he had to worry about re-election (i.e. not making everyone angry). Now he has support everywhere in the government, and no longer has to please both sides of the political spectrum. To me, that is a frightening scenario. As to what happened on Tuesday, I'm sure there are many things to attribute it to. First, I would say the seeming trend in American towards conservatism. Whether for good or bad, the political spectrum seems to be moving to the right. The liberals of today are the conservatives of yesterday. I'm not sure exactly why it is/has happened. One possible explanation is increased conflict over social issues (i.e. abortion, gay marriage, etc), that has been making the christian right increasingly energized. Or perhaps it can simply be explained as a natural fluctuation of the views of the population. Either way, I do not like it, as I would like to see the upswing of liberalism. Another issue of the election was perhaps the media and how informed the American people were. Most people have their political views influenced by their family and friends (myself not excluded), and this causes there to be bias in how people interpret the news. Also, many people simply support someone of their own party, no matter what happens. Also, the media is becoming increasingly sensitive and self-censored. People criticize the government, and are fired. The media doesn't show images, or tell about occurances that are too sensitive for the public. I do not like this, and while I understand that the media exists solely to sell itself, I would like to see a larger degree of bare honesty in the media. I'm not sure exactly how to take the election yesterday. The Republicans may have rallied their base better, maybe there was election fraud, maybe maybe some people were too uninspired about either candidate. I do not know. But, I can only worry about the next four years for America and the world. view post


Sorry I haven't done anything this month, I've been busy. posted 20 Nov 2004, 00:11 in Book ClubSorry I haven't done anything this month, I've been busy. by Grantaire, Moderator

Suggestions for a December discussion? A shorter book would probably be good, so that we could have a discussion prior to everyone being busy around Christmas. view post


who should determine what is "right"? posted 20 Nov 2004, 00:11 in Philosophy Discussionwho should determine what is "right"? by Grantaire, Moderator

The will of the masses, or else the will of the powerful? Or what? view post


posted 20 Nov 2004, 00:11 in Author Q & AThis time I got a question... by Grantaire, Moderator

Hm. I see popularity as being a loop- very difficult to get into, but if you can get there, you're set. For example, at the local Borders (a very big bookstore), there's only one copy of TDTCB in the entire store, buried in the obscurity of the fantasy section. Someone who was actually looking through the fantasy section could find it, but for people who just look at books that are prominently displayed in the store and in the section, they would not find your book. For the most part, the books that are prominently displayed are not the best books. For example, novelizations of Star Wars movies are usually on racks on the ends of rows of books, whereas books like yours, and China Mievilles are deep into the rows. You've gotta be popular to be prominently placed, because stores don't want to take a risk on a relatively new and unknown author. And most casual browsers don't look indepth into the rows of books, they mainly look at what is prominently displayed. So, you have to be popular to be placed prominently...but have to be prominently displayed to get many readers. Quite a nasty little loop. Hopefully, you'll get somewhat of a cult following, which will eventually lead to popularity. Remember what happened to Donnie Darko? view post


posted 20 Nov 2004, 00:11 in Writing TipsWhat area of writing are you good at? by Grantaire, Moderator

Welcome to the site sunshine! I find that's often the case with me as well, I like to think that one of the things I do is good, but often it's something I don't think of as as good that people compliment. Perhaps it's because I'm overly critical of my work.. view post


just curious, any Dave Matthews Band fans here? posted 27 Nov 2004, 14:11 in Off-Topic Discussionjust curious, any Dave Matthews Band fans here? by Grantaire, Moderator

Just wondering, I love their music. view post


Can someone clarify Postmodernism for me? posted 03 Mar 2005, 03:03 in Philosophy DiscussionCan someone clarify Postmodernism for me? by Grantaire, Moderator

As I understand it at this point, it was the reaction to the twentieth century ideas of structuralism- so it went against those ideas. But it's odd, sometimes I see every day things, and have the thought that it looks rather postmodernist. view post


posted 05 Mar 2005, 16:03 in Philosophy DiscussionCan someone clarify Postmodernism for me? by Grantaire, Moderator

Aren't they then by following the post-modernist ideas, subtly following those rules that go against following the traditional representational norms? Also, are writers such as Foucault and Derrida post-modernists or post-structuralists? view post


posted 05 Mar 2005, 22:03 in Philosophy DiscussionCan someone clarify Postmodernism for me? by Grantaire, Moderator

Okay, I get what you're saying now. [quote:1a0e5ca1]You bet. Personally, I think post-modernism hit the end of its road sometime ago. Defecting from received norms is all well and fine, but there's certainly nothing innately original about it, and it's as prone to following into implicit patterns of repetition as any other approach - especially if it's taken up without any real understanding. [/quote:1a0e5ca1] So, if you think the post-modernist era ended sometime ago, what do you think is the philosophical wave of the present, or the one that will likely be next? I see nothing wrong with post-modernism, at least in the sense that by going along with long-held assumptions, there are many things to overlook- at least in the sense of deconstructionism, looking into the multiple meanings and interpretations. view post


posted 06 Mar 2005, 21:03 in Philosophy DiscussionCan someone clarify Postmodernism for me? by Grantaire, Moderator

[quote:2axii256]I'm not sure what you mean here...[/quote:2axii256] I mean that, although you see post-modernism as something that's going to go, it did have its good aspects too. view post


Now that I've finally gotten TWP, a couple things. posted 21 Apr 2005, 02:04 in Author Q & ANow that I've finally gotten TWP, a couple things. by Grantaire, Moderator

(Damn the slowness of American libraries in getting Canadian books :wink: ) First, I wanted a clarification about the relationships of the metaphysics used by the various schools- it's stated quite plainly that the Anagogic Schools, and even the Mandate, cannot identify the Cishaurim, or their work: does it go in the reverse way though? Can the Cishaurim see the Mark on the Schoolmen, or are they able to identify them in some way, even though it doesn't work the other way? Second, about Kellhus and the Dunyain. If driven by the Logos, and truly not possessing emotion and the typical motivation of men- what is there to motivate their actions, other than [i:59xf2te5]the past[/i:59xf2te5]? Not having the natural hungers of men, they only want to continue their existance with the Logos (as evidenced by the purging of the Dunyain after Moenghus sent the dream), but isn't this simple foundation built by the past, and the desires of past Dunyain? Third, Mog-Pharau. Congratulations on making a totally badass "dark lord"ish character, by the way. This may not be something you can reveal while still keeping your secrets, but I just want to know, what is the actual nature of the No-God? We know the Consult had to summon him, but is he actually a "deity" per se (albeit fallible), or else a created power, that just happens to be very powerful and malevolent, or what? Thanks. TWP is shaping up to be a great continuation of the series. view post


posted 22 Apr 2005, 00:04 in The Thousandfold ThoughtThe Destruction of the Dunyain by Grantaire, Moderator

It's not like Ishual is impossible to find. Recall, it was a band of Sranc coming across the fortress that was the original reason for Moenghus leaving. view post


posted 22 Apr 2005, 00:04 in The Thousandfold Thoughtlivin n dyin in TTT by Grantaire, Moderator

Note: Iyokus is dead already, Akka killed him when he escaped from the hold of the Scarlet Spires. view post


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