Thursday, January 25, 2007

Space Daddy Madness... Explained!

File under: Gurubusting

Readers of this blog are familiar with the term space daddy, the role that gurus on the take find makes the sweetest honey with which to attract devotee bees (along with most of their money.) David "The Blade" contributed to our knowledge by developing a taxonomy of the varieties of space daddies and mommies. Now, smart research psychologists at various universities are discovering exactly why people are so willing to stuff their heads full of superstitious nonsense and believe what they do about their space daddies – it's hard-wired into their brains:
The brain seems to have networks that are specialized to produce an explicit, magical explanation in some circumstances, said Pascal Boyer, a professor of psychology and anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis. In an e-mail message, he said such thinking was “only one domain where a relevant interpretation that connects all the dots, so to speak, is preferred to a rational one.”
And there it is, the expression of the reviled space daddy gene, responsible for more ridiculous ignorance about self-realization than all the brothels, temples and churches of the world combined, across all of human history.

Not surprisingly to us, a key issue uncovered as the cause of all this "magical thinking" is plain old, ordinary grandiosity:
“The question is why do people create this illusion of magical power?” said the lead author, Emily Pronin, an assistant professor of psychology and public affairs at Princeton. “I think in part it’s because we are constantly exposed to our own thoughts, they are most salient to us” — and thus we are likely to overestimate their connection to outside events. [Italics ours.]
Read on about the biological roots of man's persistent spiritual downfall:
The brain, moreover, has evolved to make snap judgments about causation, and will leap to conclusions well before logic can be applied. In an experiment presented last fall at the Society for Neuroscience meeting, Ben Parris of the University of Exeter in England presented magnetic resonance imaging scans taken from the brains of people watching magic tricks. In one, the magician performed a simple sleight of hand: he placed a coin in his palm, closed his fingers over it, then opened his hand to reveal that the coin was gone.

Dr. Parris and his colleagues found spikes of activity in regions of the left hemisphere of the brain that usually become engaged when people form hypotheses in uncertain situations.

These activations occur so quickly, other researchers say, that they often link two events based on nothing more than coincidence: “I was just thinking about looking up my high school girlfriend when out of the blue she called me,” or, “The day after I began praying for a quick recovery, she emerged from the coma.”
Now we're ready to put ourselves in a coma... with a well-placed shot from a handgun.

That might result in something a little more permanent than what we were aiming for, but based on these findings, our goal of ridding the world of the scrounge of superstitious spirituality is even more remote than the mad Maharishi's dream of being emperor of the universe or the Kracki's wild delusions about ushering in the next Golden Age. We might as well be emptying the ocean with a teaspoon.

Oh well. One day (and one ridiculous notion) at a time, my friends.

76 Comments:

At 1/25/2007 4:20 PM, Blogger CHUCK said...

“I was just thinking about looking up my high school girlfriend when out of the blue she called me,” or, “The day after I began praying for a quick recovery, she emerged from the coma.”
.....................

This kind of stuff happens to me all the time. Now I know why it makes perfect sence to me for me to believe it's a little miracle.

Problem is I still believe it is.

 
At 1/25/2007 4:26 PM, Blogger jody said...

Problem is I still believe it is.

We're cursed by our biology to be blithering idiots when it comes to ideas of causation and miracles.

 
At 1/25/2007 4:44 PM, Blogger CHUCK said...

Whatever you may call it, Jody, this kind of phenomenon remains very cool and gives a little lift in a day dominated with the sale of a single rebuilt carburetor. Maybe that's why our biology works that way. Even God can't stand nothing but pure consciousness. Even Ma Kali likes to watch a good show on TV. That's why we have this beautiful and miserable place to piss and moan in.

Of course since you are my Guru, I defer to your insight!

 
At 1/25/2007 4:59 PM, Blogger jody said...

Of course since you are my Guru, I defer to your insight!

Then as your guru I command that you consider this question: who is the one who was lifted by the idea that they experienced their own magic?

Not that there's a problem with being lifted. I have all kinds of strategies for getting my ups. Skiing, storm chasing, my dog, the incredible sunset view at my house. But all of these lift an individual who is nothing more than an idea in the head of the organism.

That makes the "magic" doubly illusory. It's one thing to throw yourself down a mountain that might one day kill you and yet still get off on it. It's another to believe you've supernaturally affected something in your life because a coincidence was noticed at a particular moment.

 
At 1/25/2007 6:22 PM, Anonymous durga said...

“The question is why do people create this illusion of magical power?” said the lead author, Emily Pronin, an assistant professor of psychology and public affairs at Princeton. “I think in part it’s because we are constantly exposed to our own thoughts, they are most salient to us” — and thus we are likely to overestimate their connection to outside events. [Italics ours.]

Well. I guess if an assistant prof from princeton said it, it must be true.

btw, you can still believe in coincidences, spirits and the like and remain a rational person. I think the guru-devotee thing is in a different category- narcissism and grandiosity are the real enemy.

 
At 1/25/2007 7:19 PM, Blogger CHUCK said...

jody said...
Then as your guru I command that you consider this question: who is the one who was lifted by the idea that they experienced their own magic?
............

I will do as you say and take it seriously, Jody.

 
At 1/25/2007 7:21 PM, Blogger jody said...

I will do as you say and take it seriously

At your own peril, my friend.

 
At 1/25/2007 7:23 PM, Blogger CHUCK said...

The spiritual path is a dangerous path and not for sissies. I am a Texan!

 
At 1/25/2007 7:26 PM, Blogger jody said...

I am a Texan!

You da MAN!

 
At 1/26/2007 6:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Poor victims of the dreaded Space Daddy Gene! How many there have been!

Amritanandamayi (Ammachi) -- constantly thought that Krishna was making her okay, then switched to the "external" "superstitious" force of Divine Mother, whom she thought came and spoke to her from a ball of light, went into her body, and commanded her to go out and hug people (really).

Ramakrishna Paramahamsa -- His was only Space Mommy in the end -- he was always going into those derned "hard wired" trances, caused, no doubt by this mental 'defect'.

Ramana Maharishi -- Really 'defective' big time! Prayed to a mountain, of all the silly things, and wrote all sorts of songs of praise and hurt and longing to the same mountain. He must also have been "defective"

Jody, what if, just what if, this supposed 'defect', as you describe it, is in fact a real asset in attaining the Truth, of realizing that there is only One? What if it's not a defect at all, but a blessing from some (nonexistent according to you) Divine Power that is running the show?

Could be, ya know.

 
At 1/26/2007 8:12 AM, Anonymous durga said...

I want to add, magical thinking isn't necessarily the same thing as synchronicity or believing in some invisible connection between thoughts and occurrences. Jung studied some of these phenomenon scientifically and came to some interesting conclusions. I am aware that magical thinking can lead to some pretty weird stuff, but you can't lump all psychic phenomenon in the same category. I won't get into it cause i don't have time. I just think that trying to divest people of any and all beliefs in the supernatural isn't going to make any difference in terms of the survival or destruction of the planet. It is narcissism and sociopathology mixed with mysticism, and the negation of the inner critic that makes religions and spiritual movements dangerous.

 
At 1/26/2007 10:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Durga wrote,

"It is narcissism and sociopathology mixed with mysticism, and the negation of the inner critic that makes religions and spiritual movements dangerous."

..............

Amen, sistah. That's it in a nutshell. I think if I had read that single, eye-opening sentence back in the day, I might not have spent all those years on the ex-cult message boards whining and blaming and justifying and trying to understand how a smart person like me could have been so duped. Then again, maybe not; it was kinda fun! (So was the whole "space mommy" trip, truth be told...until it wasn't.)

 
At 1/26/2007 10:48 AM, Anonymous durga said...

Jody, science can also be sacro- mythologized, just like any other idea. The belief in technology, advancemen etc... that was the positivist myth of the 19th century. I will admit, science is a much better and socially responsible myth than the bs generated by self aggrandizing spiritual hustlers, but there's a limit to its so called truth.

 
At 1/26/2007 12:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

seems your a big believer in logic and rationality.

Hey, it might even be a good belief!

Mushin

 
At 1/26/2007 12:44 PM, Blogger Stuart said...

> Ramana Maharishi --
> Really 'defective' big time!
> Prayed to a mountain

Ramana Maharishi said some real helpful words about self-inquiry. So it'd be so simple if we could just assume he knew everything, and follow everything he said as if he were a perfect being. Gosh, that'd save us all the time and effort of having to pay attention to things for ourselves.

(It's analogous to politics, where smart people consider each issue inidividually, and stupid people pledge allegience to this or that party line and follow it blindly.)

So... even though Ramana said some nice stuff, it doesn't change that fact that praying to a mountain is awfully, awfully stupid.

Stuart
http://home.comcast.net/~sresnick2/socalled.htm

 
At 1/26/2007 12:44 PM, Blogger jacflash said...

This is a tangent, but furthering what Durga said...

It's worth noting that the nondual perspective doesn't require skepticism, which is just another dogma at bottom -- another made-up set of stories that seek to reassure believers by explaining the unexplainable. There is surely much that happens outside of the current understanding of science -- hell, for all I know, reincarnation actually happens and the events of my life were plotted in advance -- but pretending I know things I don't (or pretending I don't see things I do) isn't useful or authentic or enlightened.

 
At 1/26/2007 2:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jody ! Im sure you have not yet gotten into the 'Secured Guru Syndrome' to protect chuck( your self proclaimed disciple !) or yourself. I had sent some comments(which are typical chuky style)which are in line with the thread here and meant for chucky . Im sure you are yet to publish them here. If you dont publish, you will disappoint me big time. I will know where you have fallen into...

 
At 1/26/2007 3:14 PM, Anonymous mule puky said...

Stuart said,
"So... even though Ramana said some nice stuff, it doesn't change that fact that praying to a mountain is awfully, awfully stupid."

I couldn't agree with you less, Stuart. I'd say that believing that a tiny human intellect can ascertain what is true, not true, or in the case of Ramana Maharishi, stupid or not stupid, is itself stupid.

I regularly feel inspired or even compelled to pray to a waterfall or a single leaf. I don't know why you don't understand this, considering all the hallucinogenic drugs you seem to have taken.

 
At 1/26/2007 3:26 PM, Blogger Stuart said...

> It's worth noting that the
> nondual perspective doesn't
> require skepticism

The whole point of this explanation of Space Daddy Madness... is that our DNA blindly wants to survive and replicate, so it gives us various perspectives (thoughts and feelings) that advance this agenda.

If we're not skeptical, if we don't question what we think and feel, then we're slaves, being led around by the nose by our DNA's agenda. But what is this "I"? Does my true self really appear and disappear (necessitating the need for survival and replications)? Is my true agenda the same as DNA's?

If we don't have questioning, we ain't got nothin'.

Stuart
http://home.comcast.net/~sresnick2/socalled.htm

 
At 1/26/2007 7:00 PM, Blogger TheBlade said...

Durga said:
It is narcissism and sociopathology mixed with mysticism, and the negation of the inner critic that makes religions and spiritual movements dangerous.


Good one Durga!

A note about Science and positivism: the 'postivists' just expected progress too fast and were naively unaware about the narrowness of their own cognitive process. At the same time though, I do believe that most of the great progress in human life is coming through rational enquiry -- just maybe a little slower than expected. This doesn't mean that there won't be sudden leaps, like when the human genome is thoroughly understood.

Jacflash said:
It's worth noting that the nondual perspective doesn't require skepticism, which is just another dogma at bottom


C'mon Jac! Skepticism isn't a dogma at all. Hrrrrmph!

 
At 1/26/2007 10:48 PM, Blogger jody said...

If you don't publish, you will disappoint me big time.

Not that I live to please you, SSaO, but I wasn't impressed with the quality of your put-downs. I'm all for some good, clean and nasty kidding, but your repartee was leaving something to be desired. That said, Chuck isn't shy with his pejoratives, so I'll give you another chance to shine. Just try to be a bit more creative with your shade, and I promise to make sure it sees the light of the monitors that come here.

 
At 1/27/2007 5:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

jody said --- I'm all for some good, clean and nasty kidding, but your repartee was leaving something to be desired.

~~~~ Boy oh boy! Now that you said this, i mark these words and i will not hesitate to point out when you get your cheap high on pejoratives. You will be no lesser than a wannabe space daddy if you resort to twist words or protect your wellbeing and your incorrigible 'disciple' chuck.
We have seen this happening everywhere and this would be the least of places i expect it to repeat....While i admit that my comments (which you deleted) were in bad taste, i must remind you that chuck inspired me to write such disparaging comments...

 
At 1/27/2007 6:26 AM, Blogger jacflash said...

If we're not skeptical, if we don't question what we think and feel, then we're slaves, being led around by the nose by our DNA's agenda.

Stuart:

Yes.

To be clear: when I say "skepticism", I'm not talking about self-inquiry. Not at all. I'm talking about SkepticismTM, the whole James Randi trip, which seems to rear its head around here quite a bit.

 
At 1/27/2007 9:07 AM, Anonymous durga said...

mule pukey said: I regularly feel inspired or even compelled to pray to a waterfall or a single leaf.

I am not an expert on native americans, but didn't they also pray to mountains and other natural phenomenon? It is said that before they killed their prey, they said a prayer for having to take the life of the animal. It seems that it's a good thing to sacro mythologize the earth and animals. If we make them sacred, we're less likely to abuse them, as we do now in our unimaginative, exploitative, consumerist culture. Sacro mythologizing people is a different story, one that often has disastrous consequences.
But, I think there are 2 ways of looking at mythology. One is as propaganda, the other as a creative, symbolic way for expressing unexpressable truths. I have no idea what this maharishi's intention was, though, as I'm not familiar with the story.

 
At 1/27/2007 9:43 AM, Blogger TheBlade said...

Jacflash said:
whole James Randi trip, which seems to rear its head around here quite a bit.


Anyone can have some views which they strongly cherish which aren't very well supported by reality. So, issue by issue, people can be dogmatic. Randi has his flaws and his mistakes. But his work is not 'just another dogma'.

 
At 1/27/2007 2:23 PM, Blogger CHUCK said...

Don't know what's got your twinkie in such a wrinkle, semblance. Just a night or 2 ago, Durga and I were praying for your sorry ass! There are 2 people you should not disparage, my Grandmother, Jody, and John Wayne.

Dust off your copy of Be Here Now and you'll see that Baba Ram Dass clearly says anybody can be your Guru if they have something valuable to give and you have a respectful receptivity. Jody has more than most to give. But from now I won't put a bulls eye on him for a sorry son of a buck like you, by calling him my Guru.

 
At 1/27/2007 2:27 PM, Blogger CHUCK said...

PS

As G Double Ya Bush said, "Bring it on Semblance!"

Between selling auto parts and questioning deeply "What the hell is this "I"?, I don't have time to worry about your silliness anymore. Be gone demon!

 
At 1/27/2007 7:14 PM, Blogger Stuart said...

mule puky said...
> I'd say that believing that a
> tiny human intellect can
> ascertain what is true, not
> true, or in the case of Ramana
> Maharishi, stupid or not stupid,
> is itself stupid.

Is your intellect really that tiny? You know better than I. If it's really *that* tiny, then maybe you should indeed ignore it.

Still, if you exercise it a bit, even a tiny intellect can grow.

Stuart
http://home.comcast.net/~sresnick2/socalled.htm

 
At 1/27/2007 7:21 PM, Blogger Stuart said...

jacflash said...
> I'm talking about SkepticismTM,
> the whole James Randi trip

Say a space daddy claims that he can read your mind, control your future, bestow or withhold blessings, yada yada. Isn't that what defines a space daddy, isn't that central to what this blog explores?

Whether or not we believe claims like that has a major effect on whether or not we get fooled. "Skepticism" is the name I'm using for the process of testing such claims, rather than believing them because they sound nice, make us feel good, or some other people or books support them.

In what sense can you knock "skepticism" without increasing your chances of being a patsy?

Stuart
http://home.comcast.net/~sresnick2/socalled.htm

 
At 1/27/2007 9:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chuck ! climb those rooftops and then twist a bit and shout a lot, that it is easier to sell a car battery than being a good disciple....

 
At 1/27/2007 10:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

THE DUCK CALLED CHUCK SAID,,,

But from now I won't put a bulls eye on him for a sorry son of a buck like you, by calling him my Guru.

~~~~ you would rather diddle a trench than call someone a guru.
Before you call someone a guru look at your dawg self and try to trace a bit of disciple first...
There is a beleif that, when the disciple is ready , the guru happens...this is somewhat indian but is applicable to a texan who wants to escape a poor sales of autoparts into asking a who am I...

 
At 1/28/2007 7:46 AM, Blogger jacflash said...

In what sense can you knock "skepticism" without increasing your chances of being a patsy?

When it becomes a dogma.

When it goes from "Guru X is claiming X Y and Z which is obviously ridiculous and in service of his clear goal to get rich/rule the world/etc" to "$phenomena doesn't exist, ever, except in your imagination, so everybody who thinks otherwise is a patsy no matter their experience".

Note that I am not arguing for the existence of synchronicity or psi or energy healing or whatever. I am saying that someone making a flat declaration that such things do not exist is claiming knowledge that they do not have. They are acting on belief. This is the same error as the one committed by the religious zealot who insists that I have a "spirit" that is going to go to some place called "Hell" and suffer eternal torture. One begins making assertions and resorting to bullying to support one's preferred storyline in the face of contradicting arguments or evidence. And attachment to a storyline is pretty much the definition of occlusion.

I agree that the idea that we're hard-wired to believe this stuff may call for extra self-vigilance. I am arguing that we should be vigilant in our vigilance to ensure that we don't make the mistake we so often gleefully accuse others of making.

 
At 1/28/2007 7:51 AM, Anonymous durga said...

chuck said:Between selling auto parts and questioning deeply "What the hell is this "I"?,

Chuck, I have a grandfather that sold auto parts for a living. Maybe we really do have some kind of cosmic karmic connection that will make our deeksha more powerful. Lets try one more time to heal you and semblance' virtual relationship. I'll get out my cowboy boots and tight pants.

 
At 1/28/2007 8:44 AM, Anonymous mule puky said...

Stuart said,

Is your intellect really that tiny? You know better than I. If it's really *that* tiny, then maybe you should indeed ignore it.
............

As my old man said to me when I was ten and saw him coming out of the shower, "It ain't that big but it gets the job done!"

I never said my intellect was tiny or that you over inflated the size of your own. But the way you have jumped into a pissing match with a guy called "mule puky" may indicate that yours isn't as highly developed as you think.

I'm just saying that the intellect isn't enough to say what is real or not real, and, in the case of Ramana Maharishi, stupid or not stupid. If you believe that Ramana was stupid, I'd say your intellect is not as large as you imagine. Maybe you're like those women carpenters who've been told all their lives that 3 inches is really 6 inches...

As Durga said, "I think there are 2 ways of looking at mythology. One is as propaganda, the other as a creative, symbolic way for expressing unexpressable truths. I have no idea what this maharishi's intention was..."

Yea Durga! Stuart, you don't know what Ramana's intention was either.

 
At 1/28/2007 9:00 AM, Blogger CHUCK said...

semblance s and orchestra said...
Chuck ! it is easier to sell a car battery than being a good disciple....

..................

I agree with you good buddy semblance! Much harder than smokin a joint too, I'd imagine. But makin a living selling auto parts in a town the size of Dime Box is no small feet either.

All I can do is put one Tony Llama in front of the other and keep crossing the desert. With the help of people like Jody, I may make it some fine day... Until then, I will keep serving my red neck customers and asking myself, "Who is this cowboy in my mirror..."

Pull that pot pipe out of your ass and light it up!

 
At 1/28/2007 11:21 AM, Blogger TheBlade said...

Durga said:
It seems that it's a good thing to sacro mythologize the earth and animals. If we make them sacred, we're less likely to abuse them, as we do now in our unimaginative, exploitative, consumerist culture.


Durga, I don't see it as being that simple. If someone has a sacro-mythology about what includes you, that does not by any means make you safer, and less open to abuse.

Cultures which did probably have a sacro-mythical approach to their environment were not immune to destroying it, as is evidenced by those cultures that ended up destroying their environment due simply to ignorant agricultural practices.

Catholicism, in which I was brought up, does have a strong sense of the 'sacredness' of human life. However, if you are in extremely painful terminal illness and wish to end your life, I believe you are better off being in a country which is not going to try to prevent you from ending it.

Likewise if you are a woman who wants an abortion, Catholicism has historically opposed you.

Sacro-mythology can just be irrational. For another example, there's actually a very strong current of sacro-mythologization of the environment in Germany. Did this play a part in the strong opposition to nuclear power there? I do think so. And Germany in its electrical power sources has been enormously more polluting than France, which did go nuclear. Not that that disposes entirely the nuclear-versus-non-nuclear debate --- the main point here is that visceral, sacro-mythical 'protectiveness' of something is by no means necessarily the best thing to protect it.

 
At 1/28/2007 5:03 PM, Anonymous durga said...

blade said: "A note about Science and positivism: the 'postivists' just expected progress too fast and were naively unaware about the narrowness of their own cognitive process. At the same time though, I do believe that most of the great progress in human life is coming through rational enquiry -- just maybe a little slower than expected."

Blade, I have to agree with you even though I do believe in some unexplainable stuff. Socrates said virtue is knowledge, and there is no knowledge without rational enquiry. To put all this is some historical context, as far back as the 11th or 12th century, Arabic philosophers or those who wrote in Arabic who were influenced by Aristotle were already questioning such things as miracles, astrology and superstitious nonsense. They figured that most miracles could be explained by natural phenomenon. I guess old ideas die hard.

 
At 1/29/2007 7:41 AM, Anonymous durga said...

Jacflash said: I am arguing that we should be vigilant in our vigilance to ensure that we don't make the mistake we so often gleefully accuse others of making.

Humans also seem to be hard wired to do exactly what jac is saying above. Usually people, to some extent, are either projectors or screens for other peoples' projections. This, besides narcisism and grandiosity, accounts for half of the world's evils, imo. We should just admit it, humans are still in a primitive state psychologically. Of course, this doesn't mean we should just keep quiet about everything, but it could make us a little more reflective in what we say to each other.

 
At 1/29/2007 7:50 AM, Anonymous mule puky said...

Durga said I will admit, science is a much better and socially responsible myth than the bs generated by self aggrandizing spiritual hustlers...


Science and technology makes the same false promises that religion makes and fails even more miserably. Look at global warming, chem trails across the blue New Mexican skies, all our water poisoned by pesticides and fertilizer. Just wait for cloning to get here full force. S&T promise heaven and delivers hell.

 
At 1/29/2007 7:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chuck ! After all the benevolant dialogs between us, I found out that you are quite an innocent aggie but still very much a creep !!!

 
At 1/29/2007 8:00 AM, Anonymous mule puky said...

Durga said,

They figured that most miracles could be explained by natural phenomenon. I guess old ideas die hard.


I like what Ramana Maharishi said, that everything is a miracle or nothing is. If we are alert to it, the mountain in front of us and the leaf in our hand is "proof" that the mind manifests everything.

Who's mind is this?

 
At 1/29/2007 8:01 AM, Blogger jody said...

chem trails across the blue New Mexican skies

Oh GAWD! The next thing you're going to tell us is that reptilian aliens are taking over the government.

People, whip out your tin foil hats for the conspiratorially theoretical stylings of Mule Puky.

 
At 1/29/2007 8:09 AM, Blogger CHUCK said...

semblance s and orchestra said...
Chuck ! After all the benevolant dialogs between us, I found out that you are quite an innocent aggie but still very much a creep !!!

.................

Thank you kindly, mam. That you think I'm an Aggie prooves you ain't no Indian. But you're wrong. I only got half way to graduating from Stephen F Austin State in Nacadoches, Texas. The full moon of auto parts sales called to me and I had to follow. Durga thinks you're worth saving and I'm trying to decide if we should heal you. All we need is your deposit, not the full course fee.

 
At 1/29/2007 8:17 AM, Blogger TheBlade said...

Mule puky said:
Science and technology makes the same false promises that religion makes and fails even more miserably.


What on earth are you talking about? Science does not promise. And yet it delivers.

Look at global warming, chem trails across the blue New Mexican skies, all our water poisoned by pesticides and fertilizer. Just wait for cloning to get here full force. S&T promise heaven and delivers hell.


That's distorted emotional thinking. Apart from enormously exaggerating the pollution of our environment, you are merely focusing on the worst new things which came with technology, without mentioning any of the vast good that science and technology have brought.

Let's face it, if it were not for science and technology, the vast majority of us would be living the kind of lives that came before it. We'd have short, labor-laden, disease-ridden lives, many of our children would die young, and we would be ruled by rapacious and oppressive gangsters with crowns and robes called nobles. You wanna go back? Jeez. There might be some parts of the world where you can still get that -- off with you then!

 
At 1/29/2007 9:13 AM, Anonymous mule puky said...

Blade said
We'd have short, labor-laden, disease-ridden lives, many of our children would die young, and we would be ruled by rapacious and oppressive gangsters with crowns and robes called nobles.

This sounds very much like the Africa we see on our evening news. Everywhere there is still something that can be fed to the greed of technologically advanced countries like our own. War and pestilence are our gifts to them. My grandparents were farmers and lived very nice lives, lived long and healthy lives, without electricity until very late in their lives. They had little of the stress that bombards us now.

I don't think I have exaggerated how polluted our world is. Go to the emerging countries of India and China where all the people want the same level of technological advancement that we have and try to take a deep breath. Try to get a good drink of water.

I admit I am emotional about this. Pure science promises nothing but pure knowledge, just like true Gurus such as that "stupid" fellow, Ramana Maharishi. But most so called scientists are not on this level. They just want to do something with the knowledge they have, just like fighter pilots who have spent years learning to fight, want to bomb something to make use of their knowledge.

You sound a little childish yourself, Blade.

 
At 1/29/2007 9:31 AM, Blogger TheBlade said...

The Blade said:
That's distorted emotional thinking.


Pardon me -- that is not the best way for me to discuss and was uncalled-for. Let me just say instead that Mule Puky is producing what looks more like horse-shit to me! :)

 
At 1/29/2007 9:46 AM, Blogger TheBlade said...

Mule Puky said:
This sounds very much like the Africa we see on our evening news.
... War and pestilence are our gifts to them.


Puky, you are lumping and simplifying everything. Africa has it's problems, but it is absurd to blame it all on even foreign capitalism, never mind that foreign capitalism is not in itself science and technology.

FWIW, the worst 'genocide' in the last 20 years was done largely with iron-age weaponry in Africa. What is called 'genocide' is merely tribal slaughter -- par for the course for hunter-gatherer societies! Considered a terrible crime in our information-age society.

When you are emotionally disposed against something, you can do two unreasonable things -- one is to only evaluate its negatives, while disregarding its positives. The other thing you can do is lump it with whatever you don't like. Slaughter in Africa = foreign involvement = science and technology. Sure, keep expanding 'Science and Technology' to mean everything you don't like in the world (including, with great irony, tribal slaughter, a 'usual' in hunter-gatherer societies), and then -- gosh, you have a picture of something that isn't nice. So what? It is possible to draw ugly pictures of anything, if you get far enough away from logic and reason.

 
At 1/29/2007 11:37 AM, Anonymous durga said...

mule puky said: Science and technology makes the same false promises that religion makes and fails even more miserably.

Btw, president Bush, who still believes in providential destiny, and his associates, will not listen to the thousands of peer reviewed scientific reports on the reality of global warming. This is a fact. About 95% of pure scientists agree that something needs to be done immediately. So, it is not the scientists causing this problem, but the ignorant narcissistic politicians who only think about the here and now (so much for only being in the Now)and the preservation of the staus quo that is destroying the earth. I admit, though, that technology is creating all sorts of problems that we didn't have before. Too much info stuffed in our brains and too many radio waves, cell phones etc.. We're getting a lot more radiation from these sources than in the past. I would say, though, that it's not science that is destroying the earth, but environmentally unaware consumer capitalists who exploit advances in technology. If these companies went green, and if the gov't invested in cleaner fuel resources, all would be alot better. But still, rational enquiry doies not mean just scientific enquiry, it also means enquiry into the nature of self and consciousness, which is what genuine spiritual teachers are suppose to be teaching.

 
At 1/29/2007 1:01 PM, Anonymous mule puky said...

Sure Blade, I know I'm full of horse shit but you sound very much like an Ammabot or a Sai Baba nut, defending your precious science and technology.
Blade said What on earth are you talking about? Science does not promise. And yet it delivers.

Science and technology in my lifetime has promised the end of all wars because they gave us the A bomb, clean, safe, nuclear energy, no more infections because of anti-biotics, plentiful food without spots using pesticides, amazing communication so that I can say this horse shit and you can call me a fool..., sexual freedom with the pill, no more drudge work so that millions are people are unemployed and you can sit in jacking off in your ivory tower.

 
At 1/29/2007 2:11 PM, Blogger TheBlade said...

JacFlash said:
They are acting on belief. This is the same error as the one committed by the religious zealot who insists that I have a "spirit" that is going to go to some place called "Hell" and suffer eternal torture. One begins making assertions and resorting to bullying to support one's preferred storyline in the face of contradicting arguments or evidence. And attachment to a storyline is pretty much the definition of occlusion.


Attachment to a 'storyline' isn't the definition of occlusion -- unless you mean a certain kind of storyline, and you mean something specific by 'attachment'. Merely having solid beliefs is not the kind of 'attachment' that fits the bill.

>> They are acting on belief. This is the same error as the one committed by the religious zealot

It's so absurd to believe that acting on belief is itself a mistake worthy of comparison with hell-fire believers that it is hardly worth even illustrating.

>> in the face of contradicting arguments or evidence

The truth is that there isn't actually contradictory evidence against Randi's claims. That's actually the whole point. There is testimony to support presumed psi events, but no real evidence. When you screen away the confirmation bias and other cognitive errors, the evidence evaporates. Why? Why does 'psi' seem to show up under unsophisticated examination, but not under sophisticated examination?

There seems to be something of a fake-evidence factory for 'psi' and magic in the human psyche. When you discover and elaborate on the fake-evidence factory, you have discovered a lot. Then you want to differentiate fake evidence for real.

Consider the following hypothetical story: "He was tried in several courts. The people were motivated to convict him. In those courts in which it was admissable to make up any evidence you wanted, he was found guilty. In every court in which fake evidence was disallowed, and only true, precise evidence was allowed, he was found not guilty." Now, do you think he is guilty or not guilty?

>> and resorting to bullying to support one's preferred storyline


Unfortunately that does happen. But obviously, that changes nothing. You can resort to bullying to support something that is true and very well-supported. The existence of scientific bullies does not make it 'bullying' -- or irrational -- to believe what scientists believe.

 
At 1/29/2007 5:26 PM, Anonymous durga said...

mule puky said: I like what Ramana Maharishi said, that everything is a miracle or nothing is.

the definition of miracles I was using is any event that occurs outside of the laws of nature. These progressive ancients believed that the "first Mover", God, or whatever you want to call it, established fixed laws of nature that guide the way the universe operates. They didn't think miracles were needed to prove the existence of a deity, as they believed the workings of nature were a miracle in itself, which may be what this Maharishi is saying.

 
At 1/29/2007 6:40 PM, Anonymous durga said...

Blade, I have to say, you seem much too positive about modern progress. Before all of this technology and industrialization, people had a much closer connection to nature. That in itself is better for the mind and body. Nowadays, people are either in their cars, in front of their computers, TV sets,on their cell phones, or listening to their i-pods. All of this stuff tends to disconnect people from each other and from nature, imo. (except for the internet which gives us access to people from far away places so we can all sit around and have discussions like these).

 
At 1/30/2007 9:52 AM, Anonymous Betty said...

durga said

Blade, I have to say, you seem much too positive about modern progress.


Durga, Blade is one of those brilliant multi taskers who can post on a blog and jack off at the same time. Maybe that's the reason for his exhuberance about science and technology. He really knows his way around his keyboard.

 
At 1/30/2007 10:19 AM, Blogger TheBlade said...

>>> Durga said: Blade, I have to say, you seem much too positive about modern progress.

No, I am encouraging clear thinking by producing a conceptual separation of science and technology, and the problems which arose since (and sometimes before!) science and technology. I am pulling people for BLAMING Science and Technology.

These emotional, 'luddite' diatribes against science and technology of the type being produced by Mule Puky are harmful when they are allowed to work in the world. Politically, they encourage snap, visceral and blind judgements with negative effects. They are brainless. They contain irrational hate. You might as well blame 'ze jews' as blame science and technology for everything you don't like.

If you hate something, here is what you do: you blame it for everything bad that you believe (often wrongly) would not be there if it had not arisen. And you credit it for nothing positive that it has produced. Sometimes you are right that some bad things were not there if it were gone, but often you overlook the fact that something worse would be there if it had not arisen.

As another example, pollution in the city of London, in the 1200's, long before Science and Technology (as we know them) was MUCH worse than it is today. The authorities made many efforts to solve them, but they all failed -- people continued burning dirty coal. The only thing that did solve it eventually was Science and Technology, after the Industrial Age, when cleaner fuels were developed.

Pollution is a human problem. Poverty is a human problem. Living in an unattractive, unhealthy environment, 'nature-separated' environment is a human problem. Blaming them on science and technology is irrational.

>>> Before all of this technology and industrialization, people had a much closer connection to nature. That in itself is better for the mind and body.

That's actually quite questionable. Most people lived short, brutal lives. They died young of things that were not good for mind and body. All you are doing is actually saying how life could be better still, and blaming science and technology that it isn't -- yet.

 
At 1/30/2007 10:54 AM, Anonymous durga said...

blade said: That's actually quite questionable. Most people lived short, brutal lives. They died young of things that were not good for mind and body. All you are doing is actually saying how life could be better still, and blaming science and technology that it isn't -- yet.

I'm not blaming science and technology per se, but technology in the hands of psychologically primitive humans. If human beings were evolving psychologically at the same pace as tech and science, then I think we would be using it in ways that would be much more beneficial. That's what I'm really complaining about. For example, instead of freeing people to spend more time developing relationships, their intellects, etc. , it seems to have made it so people are expected to cram more work into the same amount of time as before. I've read studies about this, I'm not just making it up. Americans, for example, have less vacation time than Europeans and spend much more time at work than in the past. This decreases quality of life. I think for the rich, it isn't as much of a problem, but has created a sorry state for those who live paycheck to paycheck and have nothing to fall back on.
And, when you mention england in 1200's, did you mean to say 1900's?

 
At 1/30/2007 11:35 AM, Blogger TheBlade said...

>>> Durga said:
I'm not blaming science and technology per se, but technology in the hands of psychologically primitive humans.

Fine. I think we largely agree. I'm criticizing the diatribes against science of the kind Mule Puky is making.

>>> Americans, for example, have less vacation time than Europeans and spend much more time at work than in the past. This decreases quality of life.

Actually, Americans have less vacation time than Europeans, but I've read a study that indicates that Americans actually have more free time on average than a few generations ago. But I'm not sure about further back -- or even the study in fact.

America is a work hard, play-little country. That's an American problem, not a fault of Science. :)

>> And, when you mention england in 1200's, did you mean to say 1900's?

No, I mean 1200's !!! Long before Science and Technology!! London was already quite a big place (for the time) and they were burning a lot of dirty coal. Only when clean fuel was developed (through technological advancement) was the problem eventually solved -- though it is not perfect yet. See:

http://www.staffs.ac.uk/schools/sciences/environment/GreatFog/fog2.html

 
At 1/30/2007 12:35 PM, Anonymous mule puky said...

Durga said

I'm not blaming science and technology per se, but technology in the hands of psychologically primitive humans.

I have said nothing different than this. Technology in the hands of idiot children is like toddlers playing with handguns. But that was enough for Blade to equate me with nazi Jew haters. I am just so dangerous...

This just shows how prdefull you have become, Blade.

 
At 1/30/2007 3:00 PM, Anonymous durga said...

America is a work hard, play-little country. That's an American problem, not a fault of Science. :)

Again, I'm not blaming science, but exploitation on the part of many employers,and puritanism.
even though science is essentially good, it may kill us because we're not evolved enough to handle the consequences of its more deadly products. Maybe if Chuck and I do some cowboy deeksha we can save the planet, though.

 
At 1/30/2007 3:59 PM, Blogger CHUCK said...

Durga said,
Maybe if Chuck and I do some cowboy deeksha we can save the planet, though.
.................

Hell, Durga, I've been at it for over a week now and so far no good results! Sometimes I wonder if it's worth the effort. Mule Puky has become a nazi and Blade is so full of hisself that there's no room left in him for CD (Cowboy Deeksha). Now Semblance can't even form simple sentences anymore and Jackflash is trying hard to agree with Jody in hopes that Jody won't let Blade be mean to him.

It's a hell of a mess on planet earth. But Blade is so smart I believe he'll get us out of this in time!

 
At 1/30/2007 3:59 PM, Blogger TheBlade said...

>>> Mule Puky said:
I'm not blaming science and technology per se, but technology in the hands of psychologically primitive humans.

The record is up there, Puky. You've been blaming science. What may be true is that you don't intend to blame science.

>>> You might as well blame 'ze jews' as blame science and technology for everything you don't like.

My point is about what is going on in the cognitive process that leads to a rant like that. Lumping, blame, hate, ranting, Scapegoating. I'm not saying you are a jew-hater, Mule Puky. Not at all. I'm talking about what you were doing to science, not to Jews.

 
At 1/30/2007 6:21 PM, Anonymous durga said...

On the subject, I just heard on a news program (Jim Lehrer) that our responsible government is changing the wording of 2 out of every 5 scientific reports that come to the White house about Global warming.
Chuck, i think we need to give our cowboy pres some deeksha. Maybe he'd be open to it since we both live in Texas. I think Semblance is a lost cause. It doesn't seem like he's very receptive to your new movement.

 
At 1/31/2007 7:31 AM, Blogger CHUCK said...

I REFUSE TO GIVE CD (COWBOY DEEKSHA) TO FC (FAUX COWBOYS).

 
At 1/31/2007 8:37 AM, Anonymous durga said...

the chuck said; REFUSE TO GIVE CD (COWBOY DEEKSHA) TO FC (FAUX COWBOYS).

i totally support you in that.

 
At 1/31/2007 9:07 AM, Blogger Steven said...

The magic trick study also explains why most magicians are a-holes.

Let me 'splain ;-)

(BTW, I'm a former magician)

A magician spends months or years perfecting some slight of hand move, making it totally invisible.

He does the trick and the audience makes up their ridiculous interpretation of what happened (a favorite of mine: "Oh, that's that trick deck of cards I bought for my 5 year old.")

The average magician (and, ignoring the mathematical illogic here, I assure you that most magicians are below average) can't stand to have all his hard work dismissed in that way.

So, instead of taking satisfaction in having worked hard enough to make something invisible... and having insults from the audience validate his work... he begins to imbue all his tricks with a flavor of "I fooled you which proves how much better I am than you!"

A-hole.

Now I am, of course, referring to magicians who actually WORK at their craft. Most of them simply go out and buy tricks that require no real skill and then leap straight to the "I'm better than you (because I know the secret)!" stage.

Ah, silly humans.

 
At 1/31/2007 11:52 AM, Blogger CHUCK said...

durga said...
i totally support you in that.

........

Durga, when all this is over and the clouds roll away, you will sit in your tight pants at the right hand of the Lord. Semblance will have to sit outside and out front like a hood ornament,where we can keep an eye on him; Blade will ride in the back of the bus with Mule Puky until they have made up.

Jody will be driving!

 
At 1/31/2007 4:22 PM, Anonymous betty said...

Steven said...
The magic trick study also explains why most magicians are a-holes.
..............

I'd say you must still be a magician at heart...

 
At 2/01/2007 3:25 PM, Anonymous durga said...

chuck said: Durga, when all this is over and the clouds roll away, you will sit in your tight pants at the right hand of the Lord. Semblance will have to sit outside and out front like a hood ornament,where we can keep an eye on him; Blade will ride in the back of the bus with Mule Puky until they have made up.

Chuck, if our CD on semblance works, we can rename him Burning Bush and he can sit on the hood smoking his endless supply of pot creating a cloud of heavenly smoke as Jody drives us around in his chariot. Mule puky will be renamed Bilaam so he can also participate in the biblical road trip. Blade can just make sure that we don't drive off the road and get stuck in a ditch. If any evil doers come our way, he can brandish his sword. I will be doing CD at the right hand side of God with my cat on the right hand side of me. Meanwhile, you will be maintaining the chariot in tip top condition as you bestow CD on our crown chakras through our new stetsons. Of course, this will all take place in Texas.

 
At 2/02/2007 7:58 AM, Blogger CHUCK said...

Durga said "Mule puky will be renamed Bilaam so he can also participate Of course, this will all take place in Texas."

Durga, you have taken me way back to my Momma's knee, reading to us boys out of the illustrated stories of the Bible. But wouldn't Mule Puky would by his own choice of names be Bilaam's ass. This way MP is transformed to a good guy, not as Blade would have it, a nazi hater of Jews. I would have liked to give the role of the ass to betty, her already being one. Maybe semblance should be Bilaam, since he is always talking out of his ass.

Are you saying that Blade is God and that all those pure hearted scientists put together are the Children of Israel?


http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/life/hale/4414151.html

 
At 2/02/2007 11:43 AM, Anonymous mule puky said...

durga said...
Mule puky will be renamed Bilaam so he can also participate in the biblical road trip.

I had to google Bilaam to know what you were talking about. It looks like that by calling me Bilaam, you are reinforcing Blade's slap at me when he associated me with nazis. Bilaam wanted to curse the Jews for money, right? But he was stopped by his wise and humble ass, not mule. So if I really am a nazi and was stopped from harming the world, the one who stopped me would be an ass. Who would that make Blade?

 
At 2/02/2007 4:53 PM, Anonymous ma durga said...

chuck said: But wouldn't Mule Puky would by his own choice of names be Bilaam's ass.

I got my bible stories confused and was thinking that Bilaam was the mule. Sorry mule puky, no insinuation that you are a Jew hating nazi.

"Are you saying that Blade is God and that all those pure hearted scientists put together are the Children of Israel? "
Blade, in his past posts, has presented himself as a defender of righteousness and destroyer of evil, so i thought that would be a good task for him and he seems to like to wield a sword. I guess he could be some kind of malach. Don't know who the children of Israel are. You could take that spot. Semblance, of course , has to keep us enshrouded in that cloud of smoke so we all seem holy and can start our CD business.

 
At 2/03/2007 7:51 AM, Blogger CHUCK said...

Semblance is the Pillar of Smoke that guided the COI (Children of Israel) across the desert for 40 years. Hey, I'll bet semblance is 40 years old right now, even though he ascts 15, which would prove the original premise of this post, that miracles do happen all the time and our biolgies are set up by Almighty God, to remind us about it!

 
At 2/03/2007 3:38 PM, Anonymous durga said...

chuck said: Semblance is the Pillar of Smoke that guided the COI (Children of Israel) across the desert for 40 years.
I think there were other instances of smoke in the bible. I don't know if I'd put him in a leadership position until he accepts your CD.
Semblance, if you're listening, Durga Ma says that smoking all the time isn't good for your relationships. Look what it's done to you and Chucky!

 
At 2/03/2007 9:48 PM, Blogger TheBlade said...

Mule Puky said:
So if I really am a nazi and was stopped from harming the world, the one who stopped me would be an ass. Who would that make Blade?


Mule Puky,
your wit has saved you -- you are forgiven. Go forth in peace, and sin against Science no more.

 
At 2/04/2007 9:01 AM, Blogger semblance s and orchestra said...

Chuck ! My good friend ! And the the intuitive one ! I have to give it to you or your guiding angels !!! (still cant beleive that your grand momma and poppa are so good).

I will turn 40 in the next cuppla months and as you said(many have told me so)and still behave like a teenie weenie. Perhaps life has been very kind and easy to me always ! I never grew up !

Tell me more about me from your guiding angels and when you tell me exactly how many times im not a virgin, then im all yours for your coveted CD. I will sit on any horse you point out in texas.
I can even become the big black cloud and enter into the lives of children of israel.

As bob dylan said, 'everyone must get stoned' finally !

 
At 2/04/2007 9:02 AM, Blogger TheBlade said...

Oh, one more thing for the record: I never likened Mule Puky to a Nazi. That would be something I would consider offensive. There are many shades between blaming 'the Jews' and Nazism. Just as there are many shades between common misandry and Valerie Solanos, of the Society for Cutting Up Men. However, the patterns patterns of hate and blame(described above) are the same. But I did not accuse Mule of being at the extreme end of the scale.

 
At 2/04/2007 2:47 PM, Blogger semblance s and orchestra said...

chuck said: Semblance is the Pillar of Smoke that guided the COI (Children of Israel) across the desert for 40 years.


~~~ I would have certainly found a better place than israel. I thought too much smoke got into their eyes that they never found the promiseland !!

 

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