When Jack was answering questions on a now-defunct web site (see the Ask Old Jules posts) he also asked questions in different categories. Some of them are as mundane as “How do you change from Windows 10 back to the Windows 7 version?” but others are more along the lines of the amusing posts that you’re familiar with.
Here are a handful of those, just for something different.
Humans are addicted to predicting the future and betting on it.
The ancients had their oracles and prophets and based vital decisions on them. 2000 years of Christians have believed judgement day was coming during their lifetimes and the fear of it has kept the institution of Christianity alive and influencial throughout that 2000 years.
Those massive 20th Century wars happened because leaders, rulers and governments believed they could predict the future and they predicted they’d win. Half of them were completely wrong and the others weren’t right, as things played out. The sides that lost were rebuilt by resources of the sides that won immediately after WWII and the result was the collapse of the empires of the winning sides, and the eventual destructions of their own economies, industries, manufacturing infrastructures and employment.
Human beings are absolutely lousy at predicting the future, but they constantly rely on the non-ability to make vital decisions in their lives. If 20th Century leaders hadn’t believed, despite all evidence to the contrary, they could predict outcomes, the 21st Century world would be an entirely different place.
Seems to me a part of the problem is the belief in what is invariably labelled ‘logic’. That’s what rulers and leaders call their prognostications. Faulty logical constructions appear to occupy a huge place in human tragedy involving wars.
Would humanity be better served examining the history of prognostication and abandoning attempts to indulge in logic as a basis for decision-making?
Doesn’t the assertion there’s no proof require a foundation of the person doing the asserting having examined [not only] all evidence, but also every other facet of existence where evidence not yet discovered might be hidden?
Proof is a difficult enough matter involving almost any assertion. But isn’t the statement, “There is no proof” just a sloppy way of admitting, “I don’t know of any proof”?
Or possibly, “I know so much about everything and I haven’t seen proof and I’d certainly have seen it by osmosis or assimilation if there was any, therefore there mustn’t be any proof”
A surprising lot of Q/A in the philosophy category are about emotion and appear to be the result of a blurred distinction between thought and emotion. Questions and answers of this sort appear to come predominantly from females, though it’s certainly shared by a lot of males.
I’ve mused on the phenomenon a considerable while and sometimes think it’s the result of commercializing emotion, using it as a sales-tool for, say, television commercials and fund raising. The fuzziness encouraged by avoidance of analytical thought in favor of ‘feel’, I’ve wondered, might have bled across into the habits of expression of lifetime viewers?
But feminization has been the source of a tsunami of subtle changes in our western perceptions of reality during the past half-century, and a deeper incorporation into, or respect for the place feeling or emotion occupies in individual and societal decision-making.
Is it the female influence leading to questions such as, “How do you feel about philosophy?”
When an individual is pronounced to be arrogant, though the arrogance was inadvertent or unintended, would mawkish, dishonest displays of conspicuous courtesy, compassion, emotion, and a fawning care for the feelings of others help him return to the state of non-arrogance?
I’ve studied philosophy half a century and been into more areas of spiritual and metaphysical examination and discipline than I can remember without considerable effort. I wouldn’t swap any of it for not having done it, but having been-there-done-that puts me into an awkward position of wondering whether all that was actually necessary in terms of where I am and where I intended to be.
But reading the questions on the philosophy section and the overwhelming percentage of the answers it seems to me that maybe cutting out a lot of the heterodyne from the past couple of thousand years, pulling the kinks out of things, and cutting out some of the middle-men might provide a better platform for understanding how to think. Particularly in an environment where so much is abbreviated anyway, attention spans are limited to a few impatient moments, and half the gurus, PHD philosophy instructors, wise men, shamans, sensei[s] and martial arts enthusiasts are semi-literate anyway.
Would something along the lines of the old Volkswagen repair book, “Philosophy for the Compleat Idiot” be helpful?
Some of the more memorable and passionate affairs I enjoyed in my life involved women who could quote scripture chapter and verse and spent post-coital breaks sanctimoniously condemning the sluts they believed their husbands were running around with on the side. I’ve never doubted the husbands and their other women held similarly outspoken high regard for moral behavior.
I eventually came to regard morality as a distinctly different phenomenon from behavior among the morally outspoken.
Is there sometimes an overlapping between morality and the behaviors of those who possess it?
The concept of trust appears to manifest itself in at least two different ways.
In one, it’s passive. Acceptance and recognition derived from observation of individual traits and behavioral patterns.
In the other it frequently appears to be an active, manipulative attempt of the trusting to control the behavior of the trusted without regard for the demonstrated traits, inclinations and behavior patterns of the recipient. When trust rears its head in this way it often becomes an ambiguous fabric of Chinese handcuffs gradually constricting the options of the target. A tightening ownership of the person trusting over the only-vaguely-aware trusted until breaches, tear-filled betrayal accusations and pain of the trust-web weaver inevitably result.
Is the mere projection of trust of one individual on another an implied contract on the part of the trusted to not hurt the trusting and to march in lockstep with the other slaves of the ‘honor’ of being trusted?
Is there any obligation at all on the part of the trusting if the trusted has no similar web of expectations?
I saw on Yahoo news a while back that people are paying big [real] bucks for imaginary land and facilities on an online simulation game. I know a lot of people on this site probably wouldn’t buy into a thing of that sort, but there’s a segment of the user community constantly wishing they could be someone else. And a lot of them aren’t happy and wish they could buy happiness.
I’m just wondering if there mightn’t be a market for being me. I’ve spent almost seven decades becoming me, and I’m happy. A cabin, a flock of free-ranging [good] chickens comes with me, along with four great cats.
I can’t imagine anyone wanting to be anyone but me, but tastes differ. A lot of people might want to be someone they could pick up a cheaper deal on.
Is this the reason they’re offering extra points for every answer? Are they trying to help their longtime, loyal users by running the prices up?
I haven’t made up my mind to sell and I’d have to consult with the chickens and cats before I agreed to it, but I’m a caring sort of man and I feel sad sometimes knowing there are so many people who can never be me.