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Xeroshoes

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About Xeroshoes

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  1. Yeah I read a discussion of cosmic eschatology not too long ago that my astro professor recommended, and it presented, among others, the ideas you mentioned. The idea of the void still bothers me, though, because the point of omniscience is also one of stasis. The only rationalisation to this is that, at some point, consciousness will effect some vast change, simply to make things interesting. I always liked the model of repeated expansion and compression, like you said, but current research points pretty strongly against it. In either case I agree that it seems pretty reasonable to say that consciousness will be extremeley important in the future universe. When I was in middle school I read Arthur C. Clarke's Rendezvous with Rama quartet of science fiction novels, and the ending of the final book expresses a similar idea about the fate of the universe. Basically, these people from earth travel aboard a spacecraft-habitat sent by some unknown aliens, until they arrive at an enormous space-station complex filled with millions of different species of conscious life from around the universe. The purpose of the universe, they are told, is to unite all matter in awareness and praise of the creator, who basically plays with variables in creating multiple universes and watches how they turn out. Forget about the religious suggestions and treat the idea loosely and I think you have a similar idea to what we've been talking about. A distinctive trait of intelligent life is the tendency to play, and to create. Now ascribe this to consciousness in the biggest sense you can imagine, as a pan-galactic phenomenon comprised of vast numbers of individual creatures, or whatever you imagine it to become in the future. Perhaps one can treat consciousness, in a more abstract, not-necessarily individual sense, as God. That is, without isolating it from everything involved in "creating" it, i.e. stars, water, lower animals, etc. It's difficult to explain, but what I mean to say is that consciousness participates in both the creation and definition of the universe. Not individual consciousness, but collective. From what I understand, this has been demonstrated already by quantum mechanics. This explains the power of observation in collapsing the quantum wave function and in retroactively defining particle trajectories (this second effect is almost stranger, since it implies a hand in defining the past.) I hope I explained that well, it's difficult to get the idea across in words. I'm hesitant to prescribe to any kind of eschatological philosophy, but the arbitrariness of beginning and end bother me. I'm still trying to figure out what the "progress" we see around us and the collective increase in self-awareness really implies. In any case I'm kind of in the same boat as you, but I feel that physics is a better field from which to effect change. Both astro and quantum physics are heavily mathematical and I'm not sure that a mostly qualitative familiarity with them would be sufficient to fully understand the issues at hand and formulate new ideas and conceptual interpretations. Hope all that makes sense, I tend to lose my train of thought when I get long winded.
  2. One question about the frisbee: weren't you watching the frisbee move through the air, as well as considering a lifetime of intimate interaction with wind, muscle movements, gravity, and the movement of objects near the surface of the earth in general? I'm not sure if one can completely separate oneself from interaction with something. I find the Platonic idea that intellectual consideration is sufficient to learn everything very difficult to accept. I agree that there is a lot to be said about intuition and the subconscious mind. I've read reports of Buddhist monks controlling their own body temperature through meditation and surviving mountain-top temperatures that would have killed ordinary people. We could discuss the implications of this sort of phenomenon all day, but I'm reticent because I don't think either of us know enough about the subject. It definitely interests me though, if you have some more extensive knowledge about the subject please share it. The problems I've been considering lately have been mostly scientific in nature. I took an astrophysics course last semester, and I found the current prevailing views about the beginning and future of the universe to be intuitively unsettling. Other things in astrophysics seem to have a definite direction: stellar birth and death cycles have gradually enriched galaxies with heavier elements, making more terrestrial planets possible, making life possible. Something about the progression from microscopic structure to planetary structure to solar system structure to galactic structure to supercluster structure to the enormous-scale superbubbles that form the largest conception we have of the structure of the universe seems very satisfying. But then we have the idea that it will all expand with increasing speed, while the cycle of star creation gradually wanes, until the universe is left a dark and cold void. Even if all of our theory is correct, I think consciousness must play a more important part. I can't accept such a pointless end because I intuitively believe that the structure we see around us implies purpose. Some of the questions of fundamental particle and quantum physics have also concerned me. Despite the predictive power of Quantum Electrodynamics and Quantum Chromodynamics, it seems like there's a lot to be said about what is really going on at that level. We have strange effects such as quantum tunneling, wave-particle duality, and quantum nonlocality, but I haven't really seen any good explanation of what these things imply about the nature of the universe except that it's "very strange" at that level. String theory seems more intuitively satisfying than particle theories, but there is still the question of the degree to which the conscious observer defines what is observed, and the non-deterministic implications of quantum mechanics. I think this is also very intimately related to the nature of consciousness. Physicists caution against over-interpreting the implications of quantum-nonlocality, but it, along with other aspects of quantum theory, seem to open a pandora's box of possibility. It must be recognized that mathematics is still a language created by humans; there is something going on behind the equations. I'll have more to say about this later, for sure.
  3. I can directly relate to all of that, except I haven't read any Descarte. Have you read the Zhuangzi? I think it's a more nuanced formulation of mostly the same ideas in the Tao Te Ching, but I feel like it approaches them much better...more creatively, if you will. Anyway, the major idea I get out of these texts and other texts that express essentially the same idea (my personal favorite is William Blake) is to stop thinking about it; the beatific vision, sat-chit ananda, whatever you want to call it, the atavistic egg of philosophy and art, is only accessible by direct perception. If anything, that's what mushrooms have taught me. I'll have more to say about this later but I have to cut. Until then: To see a world in a grain of sand and a heaven in a wild flower, hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour. -William Blake I think that sums the matter up concisely, but I'm still down to discuss.
  4. Xeroshoes

    PEAK OIL

    Ok...scientists have been developing hydrogen fuel cells, as well as other energy sources, for a long time. Once oil reserves drop, and prices go up, the ecomonic incentive to begin manufacturing hydrogen cars and implement hydrogen "filling station" sort of infrastructure will increase...hydrogen can also be used to provide other power needs...also, we have the technology and the ability to build more solar cells, geothermal plants (I guess,) wind farms, and nuclear plants. I don't believe that human society has the capability to act with enough self-counscious foresight to simply switch the energy infrastructure like you're saying we need to. What I'm saying is economic pressures will guide the development of our energy infrastructure, it's not like one day the oil will suddenly all be gone and we won't be prepared at all. As peak oil begins to effect us economically, necessary adjustments will be made. Mankind has been around for a long time, and, looking at it with some historical perspective, I don't see peak oil as an impending catastrophe so much as a herald of technological and societal adjustment or, possibly, revolution. There is no secret society of oil tycoons sitting in a secret mansion somewhere laughing about how they're going to squeeze as much money as possible out of the oil industry so they can die fat and happy while everyone else descends into anarchy and destroys themselves...there just doesn't seem to be any historical precedent.
  5. Xeroshoes

    PEAK OIL

    Actually I'm a physics major and my dad, a nuclear chemist, has told me some things about energy...In any case I was partly admitting my ignorance of this specific subject...it's just that in all of the scientific reading I've done I've never seen geothermal energy well argued as anything more than a supplemental power source. I won't claim I know everything about it, and I'm sure geothermal energy can be harnassed well... what I meant to say is that it can't supply our major energy needs in the same way that oil does now. Nuclear power, as things currently stand, according to my dad, is really one of our best and safest options; it's really not as bad as people think it is. I'm sure geothermal energy will be important in the future, but from what I understand hydrogen is more promising, if only because hydrogen fuel cells can power automobiles while, as far as I'm aware, geothermal energy can't.
  6. Xeroshoes

    PEAK OIL

    I don't think any of this is true. From what I understand nuclear is a pretty good (and safe) option. There's just a huge stigma about it. And I don't think geothermal energy could really power the world for a long period of time. Basically I think we need to be smart about our shit and divide energy sources up effectively. Like solar cells on the roof of every house and wherever practical, nuclear power plants for larger power production, existing hydroelectric and expanded wind farms for other shit...and of course there's the hydrogen question. I've read conflicting assessments of hydrogen's potential; some scientists think it can solve all our energy problems, others think it's too expensive...in any case, like you said, no major change will occur until the supply actually becomes a problem, simply because of a lack of infrastructure...but I think by the time fossil fuels really start to run low we will have the technology and the seeds of infrastructure to begin using new energy sources...It'll be a transition, and it could be a little rocky, but I don't really believe it's going to be a huge catastrophe for us.
  7. Xeroshoes

    My store is haunted

    I experience sleep paralysis most of the time that I fall asleep during the day. Last time, I had an extremely vivid vision of a police officer standing in my doorway, saying "It's time for you to go now." This was the only thing I remembered upon waking up. Probably the worst one was where I was looking out the window and a UFO flew right up about 50 yards away and began scanning me through the window with an intense beam of light, then slowly flew away. While this happened I felt completely physically paralyzed and horrified. I then, in an attempt to get the fuck away, threw myself out of bed, stumbled into the next room, and collapsed on the floor. My dad came down and asked what the hell I was doing on the floor. But I'm not really sure if this actually happened; my dad never said anything about it the next morning. This type of shit has happened to me dozens of times and every time I wake up with one completely lucid, and usually terrifying, recollection. I'm sure these hovering ghosts people are talking about seeing are pretty much the same sort of thing. And yeah, sleep paralysis fucking sucks.
  8. Xeroshoes

    Mathematics....

    I just think philosophy as a course of study is self-defeating. I spent a long time reading literature and some philosophy on my own, but I think the inevitable conclusion of any such study (and this applies to physics as well) is to completely discard the whole Platonic idea that an academic approach to philosophical questions actually achieves any progress. It's easy to get caught up in language and dialectic and end up wasting your time. And when you get to the point where you realize this, you find, ironically, that you have conditioned yourself to become exactly the opposite of what you set out to become. You realize that you want to go back to a more direct, in some respects artistic, method of approaching the world around you, but you have become trapped by a bunch of academic nonsense. Aldous Huxley treats this problem very well in Point Counter Point and The Doors of Perception. Physics isn't exempt from this either, but I think recent developments in quantum physics are beginning to break down the sense of logical absolutism that still largely dominates western thinking. Physics is actually becoming more and more in tune with Eastern philosophy. Maybe you've considered all this; but if you have, then how do you reconcile yourself to the conclusion that philosophy pretends to answer questions that don't really exist definitively? What's the point? What do you expect to find? Honestly I'm still conflicted about why I'm studying physics; I guess I've convinced myself that, no matter what, there's some practical use to a physics degree. Damn, writing all this out makes me feel like a hypocrite.
  9. Xeroshoes

    Mathematics....

    That's a cop out man. The math can be intimidating but it's still an integral part of understanding physics. You can understand Quantum wave functions and some of the strange phenomena they describe but, trust me, your understanding will be a lot deeper once you've studied the mathematics of it. Same goes for many parts of physics. As far as I'm concerned, philosophy goes nowhere. That's not to say that physics is the be all end all of understanding reality, but from what I know of philosophy (mostly Plato,) that approach is ultimately less satisfying. I feel you though. Physics can beat your ass every now and then, but just as often you get little epiphanies about what's going on that balance it out.
  10. Xeroshoes

    Mathematics....

    Same thing with me, which is bad because I'm a physics major. I've found that college is probably the worst place to learn math. I had a teacher from the Czech Republic for multivariable calculus and I learned very little. Then I had teacher from Korea for Differential equations, same story. I managed to get B's in both somehow though. In any case, two semesters of college math didn't teach me nearly as much as two semesters of AP calc in high school. I also find that my vocabulary and spelling skills are decreasing due to alcohol. I stopped drinking and smoking dank for a couple months last year and I became crazy articulate. Oh well. I've met some legit physicists who partied down when they were younger...not many, but they exist.
  11. Xeroshoes

    Rap Lyrics

    well if you see me chewin baby guts, locc, would ya choke? I vomit when that teflon pierce that babie's throat peep me eatin dead cock, ya trip cause eatin' dead pussy clit i make ya sick but it's that season so my reason is legit I'm havin fits, I dream of eatin bloody pussy clit since I was six I fean for dead pussy on my dick I got the schitz minute I don't give a shit about your biatch that nigga that's from the block killin up that cock so nigga, shiet baby barbecue ribs and guts and uh, don't let me get the deep-fryin baby nuts, sluts get ate out like a date them crooked teeth hurt I pull that tampax string out and straight put in work -Brotha Lynch
  12. Xeroshoes

    Study Abroad

    Who here has done a study abroad program? I'm thinking about going to Switzerland for a year through an exchange program at my school, so I can learn French fluently and see Europe. Any information/stories/warnings about study abroad or switzerland specifically would be appreciated...
  13. Xeroshoes

    Elementary Physics

    1. Solve for the vertical and horizontal components of initial velocity, using the angle and your knowledge of trigonometry. The acceleration due to gravity acts only on the vertical component, so the horizontal component remains constant. Since the final height is the same, the final velocity will also be the same, but the vertical component will be directed downward rather than upward. Now you solve for the time. The total time is simply the time it takes for the acceleration due to gravity to reduce the vertical component to zero, then back to the same speed but in the opposite direction. That is, at = 2*Vo(Vertical Component.) Solve this for t. Once you have t, simply multiply it by the horizontal component of the initial velocity, and you will have the horizontal distance traveled. I think that's all correct.
  14. Xeroshoes

    Best Beer

    ^haha This has appeared in some stores by me recently. It's damn good. And, of course: The Bastard.
  15. Xeroshoes

    IPOD to COMPUTER ripping..I NEED IT!

    You can't put songs from the ipod onto a computer normally, but you can "store" songs on the ipod like a hard drive and then transfer them to a computer. Just read the manual and you can figure it out...it took me a little while but I did it.
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