Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Howie the Hare Gets some Perspective

Taken from Charlie Brookers "How TV Ruined Your Life"

Howie the Hare was gayly hopping down Dinglebell Way one morning when he stopped, he looked up into the clouds and he was struck by the notion of just how insignificant he was in the grand sceme of things. How it didn't matter if he wanted carrots for dinner if his paw hurt or even if he caught his cheek on some barbed wire and got an infected face and died. None of these things mattered a squit he realised because despite what mummy kept saying, HE didn't matter a squit. Which is why it didn't matter that, moments later, he was killed by a meteorite.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

What thinking about looking looks like

Martin: There's no one fix cure for all that ails you. That’s the thing. For there to be one, there would have to be a static thing that is both experienced and experiencer to BE fixed.
There isn't.
It’s just the flow of experience
And it’s all you can really claim knowledge of.

JS: Ok, so there's a sense of self within that flow of experience, yeah?
Since all things are just experiences, what makes the sense of self any more or less real than anything else

Martin: Sure. Experienced as any other thought is.
But thoughts, when they have no basis, if believed, ARE delusion.
The vast majority of experience is based on thought interpretations of experienced things.

JS: And the gap between the idea and the thing-in-itself is wide and deep and dark

Martin: It’s actually quite infinite. Concept in itself is groundless. But it’s all we little humans can do to interact with this thing we call reality.
Humans thrived because we could build very complex and quite accurate models of our environment in our heads.
And extrapolate and judge in accordance with those models
But that kind of system gets kind of screwed up when it’s turned on itself.

JS: I’d argue that our modelling faculty is itself rather fucked up

Martin: Oh yeah. Sure. Our senses fallible, our thoughts corrupt.
But that’s mostly down to the assertion of those models as actual reality.
So here's what it comes down to though. What makes those models?

JS: not me
i don't know what makes the models
I’d say it's awareness

Martin: well. I’d say the brain. Life. Consciousness. Whatever you want to call it. It’s all part of the same kind of thing. A flow of experience, that’s the only part that’s knowable.
And even that is fallible.
But outside the realm of what is even fallible is the utterly non-existent perception of things like. Santa clause, the Easter bunny and the self.
I mean, it’s right up there.

JS: martin, what motivates you to do this kind of work?

Martin: I’m very much in the "why not" school of thought on such matters.
I mean, why do anything? It’s the next thing that comes along my flow of experience. Why would i deny it?

JS: I would agree that the flow of experience is outside our control, so why deny it as it comes?
but there is some capacity to make choices built into this human being
and you choose to engage in this in particular

Martin: There's only one thing i would say about the whole free will thing. "I have free will" is just a thought, in as much as "i have no free will" is just a thought.
It’s not a static on or off thing and has absolutely no bearing on your life.
If you're talking about the alternative to free will being a pre-determined future that has already been planned out... I’d tell you to go talk to a Christian and see how well they can actually explain that one.
Fortunately for us. Very little really behaves in such extremes.

JS: I’m off to play some tennis
or rather
tennis playing will happen
and that's what will be happening

Martin: Ha-ha. Don’t be so concerned with the conventions of language. It too has very little to do with actual experience.

JS: It's weird. i think i get it, but it's still fuzzy

Martin: When you swing your racket are you thinking "I am going to position this thing at exactly that point in space to hit the ball exactly where it lands"?
Go on, have fun, and live life. It’s all that’s worth doing.

JS: Okay
Sounds good