Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Night Sky

If you look up to the night sky on a clear night you will see an image which is all background with no need for foreground to establish perspective.  This is the only image I can think of that does this.  It is immediately perceived, which is why the night sky is so powerful and refreshing.

Friday, May 26, 2017

A Poem

Significance

Pain makes me matter.
My blossoming leg muscles ache 
and my mind dances as thunder sweeps
through the face of a storm.  This is the miracle
that miracles won’t stop.
Old sunlight made of memory in cracked
glass makes me move to recent wonder.
One delight leads to another
until joy leads to nothing at all.  The rain falls,
steady as light shedding the weight 
of the world, making the earth consistent
with its burden.  Not even a snail crosses
the path of my suffering.
In the woods I can find the river and follow
it as if I were following the veins
of my wrists, but I cannot find the city,
which reveals neither hide nor hair
of its material existence.
Everyone who seeks starlight looks
for the place in his body
where he is pierced and he finds a hole
leading to the end of his affairs,
the concourse through his common night.


Joel Fry

Published in Eclectica.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Insincerity

The reason so many white people go into shopping malls and shoot 30 people is because they live in a society in which people say, "Hey man, I'll call you," and the call never comes. That kind of insincerity will drive you up the wall. --No, I'm not talking about myself. Life is good.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Biology Question

If a man can lift 200 pounds while he is not sexually aroused how much can he lift while he is sexually aroused and adrenalin is flowing?

Sunday, May 14, 2017

A Secret of The Buddha

One day the Buddha was walking in the forest with Ananda, his closest disciple, and Ananda said to the Buddha, "Lord, have you told us everything that you have to teach us or are there things which you know which you have not taught." The Buddha held out his hands full of leaves and said,"The leaves which you see in the Blessed One's hands are the things which I teach, and the leaves you see spread on the forest floor are the things I know which I do not teach."

Here is the meaning of this: If you hold a green leaf up to the sunlight you can see that the leaf is made of individual cells. The Buddha would have known this. He could have inferred that the bodies of all living things are made of cells, but he did not teach this because it would have confused people.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Two Models of Truth (unfinished)

The first model of truth is that of a map that allows one to make it through a maze.  In this case the map must match reality exactly.  Truth is made of all true statements that pertain to the objective world.  In the second case truth is a raft one uses to get across a river.  But in this case also, truth is made of all true statements that pertain to subjective needs.  Anything that floats well enough and holds together and is made of true statements that promote my needs is truth.

The map model of truth represents scientific truth.  The raft model represents morality.  Science must accurately model reality as closely as possible.  Morality, on the other hand, must provide a way of weathering the turbulence of reality.  What are rights? What are responsibilities?  These are constructs.  But pain and pleasure are at least real.  Morality maps pain and pleasure.

If I say that I have the right to freedom of speech, that is a true statement, but that is true because someone else has the obligation to let me speak my mind.  Here, however, truth is not a map that must be followed lest I reach a dead end but an allowance that must be granted so that I don't perish beneath the waves.

The disagreement between science and philosophy sometimes comes down to a disagreement as to which model best represents truth.  I have needs that must be met.  Whereas the objective world makes demands that also must be met.  But both must be acknowledged.  To ask whether my needs match the objective reality is wrongheaded.  The two often have nothing to do with one another.

It must never be the case that reliance on one model completely supplants the use of the other model, because if that occurs then most people will fail in the world model that has been destroyed or displaced.