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getting a "sense" of it all (a repost from a philospohy forum)

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avatarUdut, Kenneth -- on Aug. 9 2008, from Golden Gate Estates, Naples, FL
Founder of this Naples site of NeighborHelp Referrals.

I don't know why I was so inspired and it needs severe editing - but the 'gist' of the ideas are captured below.

getting a 'sense' of it all...(very long) Quote:Originally Posted by Cjwalker Thats alot to grasp with no background of physics what so ever

I don't have a background of physics either - it's just a hobby Quote:Hmm I would also like to address a dilemma of mine to get your opinion. You seem to want to know alot of things like me But how did you pick what you wanted to study out of all the sciences there are

Hope it doesn't disappoint - I'm an "amateur scientist" - in other words - self-taught - always reading, always thinking, always exploring.

I think you should have at least an "Intro-To" course in ALL of the above. I never finished college, but I did take a some AP Physics in high school, took a bunch of psychology courses in college (regular psych, abnormal psych and two child psychology courses), took AP biology in high school but didn't do well in that. Took two courses in sociology, never took a philosophy course.

But It's important to read the "Cliff Notes" of all the Greek philosophers - maybe Wikipedia, or one of other websites that gives a basic synopsis of each of the greek philosophers and what ideas they came up with. What's cool about it is that it'll all seem VERY familiar, because a lot of modern philosophies and religious thought stem directly from them. [even Buddhist ideas took from the Greeks on some things - they weren't isolated societies believe it or not]

If you take an intro-to course in each of them (or if you're lucky, you'll find a "comparitive science" course of some kind) - you'll know enough to have a global overview of the major ideas that shape the world of thought.

Get hooked on every Science Channel (or Nova or PBS or whatever TV stations you have around) you can find. Go to your public library where the DVDs are and rent every science DVD you can find, ESPECIALLY those from the BBC (they do the best job at these things at explaining it all). Don't be afraid of the older ones (like Cosmos from Carl Sagan) - even if they don't mention dark matter or dark energy in the older videos, they're 99.44% accurate (because there haven't been a heck of lot of modifications of the various cosmos theories since the mid 1970's - they've just added new ideas on top of them).

Youtube has a lot of great short videos as well - a lot of B.S. is there (like the "what the __ do you know?") but it's easy enough to figure out the good from the fluffy "sounds-too-good-to-be-true" stuff.

Basically, just like you are doing, it's good to work on getting a basic understanding of what they've already figured out, and especially, what questions they DON'T have answers for. I just read a book called the Five Unanswered Questions of Science (something like that) which goes over five questions from five schools of science that there's no answer for yet.

I never took any math courses in college 'cause I took my interesting ones, managed to CLEP through the basic Math and English and when I dropped out, I never did get around to taking any more math courses.

It's also important, I think, to get a "feel" for history that DOESN'T start in 1776. The biggest breakthrough for me is when I was church-hopping (it was my thing - it's not everybody's thing) and I ended up in the Russian Orthodox Church for a year or two (I almost became a monk, believe it or not - even though I'm not Russian). The fact that it was a religious thing is besides the point - what they did for me is give me an ALTERNATIVE VIEW OF HISTORY that wasn't Western in origin. I started to see a continuous line from the ancient Greeks through the Western Roman Empire (which the Greeks take all credit for inspiring) and when Rome fell, the Eastern Roman Empire in Constantiple continued (along with advances in science and math and philosophy) and a generation before Constantiple fell in 14-something (1466 I think) to the Ottoman Empire, people escaped from Constantiple and started up secret schools in Italy - and these are the schools that brought the ancient knowledge back to the West and started the Renaissance and a revival of ancient Greek philosophy, science, art and culture.

I no longer think of the Puritans as ancient history - I see them as modern history. I see Columbus as modern history. To me, ancient history IS 500 BC. It's a "sense of historical time" - once you get that - a feeling that the whole of history is accessible to your brain, where you can sense the chain of thought that moved from one generation to the next, from one culture to the next - THAT'S when you start really getting a really solid view of the nature of things, because it no longer seems mysterious or obscure.

And get your B.S. detector locked and loaded. There's a lot of it out there, and if you know the history behind things, you can really sniff it out when you see it. What psychology helps do in this case is have COMPASSION for people who are following a weird philosophy or spirituality lock-stock-and-barrel and let them believe what they want to believe, for they do not know what you know. You see their beliefs from a historical perspective - as an outcropping of the ideas of various people who lived throughout the millenia.

Example: See Ghost Hunters? I don't watch it 'cause I've been there, done that. Ghost Hunters/Paranomal <
X-Files <-- Poltergeist <-- The Exorcist <-- Chariots of the Gods (1960's book - read it if you want to see where the "pyramids are built by aliens" idea and crystal skull stuff came from (I am a Stargate fan so I love that stuff, but I don't believe it) <-- spiritualist movement of the 1920's & 30's (Edgar Cayce was one of them) - and Quantum Physics and Einstein had a great role to play as it mystified people back then too, bringing back their faith in ghosts) <-- the discovery of electricity and finally back to the discovery of magnetic fields in the 1840's --- THAT'S when the modern movement of "ghosts" and possessions began. People were mystified by "fields" (I stlil am) - and a lot of strange religious/spiritual ideas of the time are based around fields and electricity and photography and a major immigration of Gypsies into Europe and the USA all mixed in there and they started going from town to town with the carnivals bringing the idea of "mediums" to people, who them started their OWN groups trying to contact the dead. Go from the mid 1800's through to 2008 and you have Ghost Hunters. It's harder to explain than it is to understand. What I wrote makes sense to me but I probably would have to expand my run-on-sentences into a few pages to really explain what the heck I'm talking about. It's just that, the more you understand PEOPLE, WHY they think the way they do, WHY they act the way they do, WHO influenced them at that time, WHAT was "the uncertainty" of that particular era - things start to come together in your mind, and it keeps you from having a blind faith in anything, except for what "makes sense" to you. Beware of groups that have their own weird terminology that "just doesn't quite make sense". If they have to use special words to explain something and CAN'T MAKE AN ANALOGY to a common thing that's pretty much understandable - then there's a good chance they don't know what they're talking about. They just like using "buzz words" a lot. ::: off soapbox ::: Quote:Concerning what you said: So 4 dimensions exist? Time is subjective and does not exist without mind I believe. Does that mean there is no forth dimension? The measure photon movement you need other photons to do so. But with the interference of the other photons they end up in a unpredictable fashion. Which makes ppl beleive that observation changes reality, but it just changes the procedure which changes the outcome? Well, you can say "Time is the measure between events" (whether the event is the ticking of a clock in "one second increments" (therefore, time passed) or the sun rose and fell - two separate events - the "stuff inbetween" was time. I think there are five dimensions - four spatial dimensions PLUS time. I think time IS a valid dimension - I do not believe it is fully subjective. I think our PERCEPTION of time is subjective (when you are scared, time slows down, as if your brain is taking a thousand photographs a second and the measurement in the brain between "moments" is a whole lot shorter than when you're not scared. It's like filming a movie at high speed - you use up more film (take more pictures) then when you play it back at regular speed, you can slow motion. Our own brain does "stop animation". If every day is pretty much the same to you and nothing ever happens, your subjective sense of time is that there IS no time, BECAUSE NOTHING (no events) EVER HAPPENS worth recording in the brain as an "event". For you, there is no time. But if there is movement - if there was something that "just happened" but isn't happening anymore, then time happened. Of course, we could get into "WHEN IS THE PRESENT MOMENT?" or "When is "NOW?"" -- that's a mind-fk waiting to happen. (I picture time as a fat wooden bead with a piece of flat fabric going through its big center hole. Where the bead is moving forward, the fabric is PINCHED in the bead, leaving a shape like this: >< - the part where the arrows meet, that's NOW, the left is PAST the right is FUTURE. But the bead in reality is infinitessemly tiny and can't be stopped. Just experienced - whether it is human that is experiencing it, or a rock, or a star or a thought going through the mind. (the explanation of the photon was to show that we don't really change reality but rather that scientists that are throwing a photon at a particle to be able to measure its location figure out its location but end up banging it out of place so that it stops travelling the way it was travelling. Yes - I think you have the concept nailed down tight) ______ Kenneth Udut Webmaster of Junkie of "who-am-i" and "what is it, fundamentally" philosphies


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