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Skybird03

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About Skybird03

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  • Birthday 02/14/1967

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  1. Skybird03

    Wargames

    A brief VR episode: Do VR on PC and then try Google Earth VR and Streetview VR. You will be in loss of words. Unbelievable. For me this alone already justifies buying VR. I travel with this a lot. A good racing sim, Eleven, Racket FX and Subnautica are others musts one should try in VR. Box VR and The Thrill of the Fight are two excellent workouts. Virtual desktop allows you to play just any game on huge screens: that of a Cineplex movie screewnk, if you use that mod for it. But not every game works well with that, some are more prone to VR sickness this way than others. You do not get stereoscopic viewing this way,lk but a damn huge, detailed screen. I lioke to weatch movies in a virtual cinema with VR. Works wonderful. Peopel are afraid of the resoltuion. You must not be, you get comopensation for it, and it is not that prominent an issue as you think. Skybox works well, or sdaid Voirtual dersktop with cineplexx mod (copies a cineplexx in Sydney that meanwhile was shut down). VR will stay a niche for more time to come, I thinl not everythign works well in VR, but it definitely has come this time to stay and not go away again. VR can do real wonders, but one has to be rrealistical in assessing what goes and what not, what works with it, and what not. Okay, back to the program.
  2. Those were good years. Many intense and immersive moments, i think only Falcon 4.0 gave me comparable experiences. When I was a little boy, i loved to play cowboys and indians, and sneaking on the "enemy". SB was the perfect digitization of this sort of gameplay. Sometimes my whole life feels like a running simulation. Too bad I need to move on on second to last tracks. But then: still occasionally rumbling around.
  3. I agree that probabilities and trends - maybe that is the consensus we can reach - are a reality on the level of pragmatic reality, and even below, like Newtonian physics still rule the play of balls in billiards despite the existence of quantum physics. Certainly people also follow trends, or tendencies in their behaviour, and behaviour again feeds back on trends/tendencies, sharpenign them or weakening them. But when t he step is taken to formulate rules based on prabilties that got artuclated by observign past events, the danger is that past events took place in contexts that manwhile may have chnaged, so that these events in the prresent would not take place that way any longer. What happens in money theory and invetsment strateies, is a good exmaple for that: we cannot be that certain at all anymore that past investment stratgeies that with high probability in the past have formed you a profit still function in the forseeablwe future, even more so since there are actors - states - that try to bypass and derail them even further. Experiences of the past can only be seen as valid of the present if the present still ticks by the sma rules as the past did. Else you follow old rules from a world that no longer is there, and so these rules do nto fit in the present. Its difficult. I also agree to your last part on brain, neural scans, behaviour, and would add that there are also two other factors making themselves heavily felt: hormones, and instincts. The amount by which these two control our deciding, acting, choosing and behaviour, for some are scary, for others would be a serious offence to their self-understanding of fostering an oh so very civilised ego - if we would be aware of their dominant rule. It puts our assumption of how self-determined we are, into relation a bit. Some scientists say we have just started to get a first glimpse of understanding regarding how dominated we are by our hormones. Of course, beside elemental survival, sex is one of the key foci here.
  4. The statistics in Baseball, they express results from the past, condensed in a probability value that serves as an expectation for the future. But is the probability expectation for the future based on past experience already determinism? I dont think so. Because there is no causal link. Or should I say humorously: the collapse of the "probability function" gets delayed infinitely? LOL Maybe I am too fixiated on this idea that determinism it only is when the probability for an event following a cause is 1.0...
  5. Could it be that you and me have a problem there because what the video calls "now slice" to me is just a metaphor and you take it more literally? Its just a thinking expriment to imagine time as a sequence of moments after moments. I know this model from Buddhist psychology, the attempt to help people focussing on the present moment by that. But such individual moments do not really exist, they are are "crooks" of our imagination, and they are like the fall into the centre of a spiral: every moment you imagine, the moment you image it can be broken up into even tinier fractions, tinier moments, and so ad infinitum. The video , like me, mentions the importance of relativity in motion between the guy on earth and the biking alien. The video concludes that this motion is what leads to two different cuts through space-time, and I said that the motion is what makes time moving differently for the two (if they keep their relative psoiton/speed to each other, they would have no different perceptions of the "now slice"). By this moption, the one guys presence becomes the other guy's past. I did a quick search on it, and found this interesting aim at the issue. It includes what I wanted to say and had on mind to look up, inclduing Feynman and Spinoza. To not type endlessly here, I instead link this: https://www.quora.com/Why-did-Einstein-Feynman-and-Hawking-all-conclude-that-the-past-present-and-future-all-exist-simultaneously The second comment by Gordon Hogenson is very interesting, and quite that bit I wanted to find. Could have been my word,s just that Hogenson speaks with far more scientific ompetence than I could.
  6. I just wanted to start on your video, but then my eyes found the secondy top comment that already gave an important message that may have been meant as a joke, but points at what I said: the guy said "This means I am already dead in someone else's 'now' ". - There you have it again: relativity between two people, both not sharing one and the same "timeframe"! My present can be your past or future, depending on whether you are faster or slower in movement than I am. In this meaning, pasts, futures and presnets of different people can indeed be imagined to exist at the same time. But that timeframe is relative, not absolute.
  7. so if the big bang is true, and that point contained the whole universe, everything that ever will be, then logically it's deterministic. all the planets, the galaxies, you, what i had for dinner, and steel beasts. all the information on how to make all that is encoded in that event. Is it? I am a little bit reminded of something very different here, so-called "klassische Testtheorie", classical test theory. It bases all its statements and formulas on one premisse: that the number of iterations in an experiment or the number of subjects forming a test population, is infinite. Only with infinite numbers of subjects or test runs, the math behind it gains its validity. And that is the big problem with classical test theory. Because truth is, no experimentator will ever have an infinite number of raw data and and infinte numer of test subjects, which puts the processing of such data by according statistical tools and from test designs rooting in classical test theory in doubt a bit, or relativises the reach of their conclusion. A problem that in psychology and according research until my time thus was opportunistically ignored, mostly. I do not see that just because there was a Big Bang, any further unfolding of events is predetermined en detail and sequence, down to such a highly detailed level of saying that person x on planet y will do action Z at timestamp T. And I think chaos theory also rejects such thinking. What I see is that if the Big Bang would have created an indeed infinite universe, all possible potentials must be included in that, else it would not be infinite, but at least infinite minus one at least, if not more: minus X. We know the universe expands, another problem that collides with the idea of infinity of the universe. And even if the universe were infinite per definitionem, and would include all potentials (whose numbers then also must reach infinite levels), this still does not rule in all details the order and sequnce in which these subordnate, microscopic events become reality. We started with a monetarian and political problem, you said, if I understood you correctly, that today's acceptance of debts and unsecure bonds as valid currency tokens is due to them being the consistent result of natural evolution, where as I argued bartering may have led to the introduction of the acceptance of an additional functionality in certain pragmatically seleected classes of goods and items that then served as interim savings, as tools to conserve bartering power (value), and that served as a neutral intermediate trading item that was the precondition to establish complex production chains and allow specialisation in skills and professions. What they have done to our money there once was, is to me not the result of an evolutionary process, but quite the opposite: it is the result of the attempt of the few to negate the results of economic evolution of "money". I called it criminal behaviour. And it is, motivated by the intend to betray, plunder and to cheat. In what way is the intention to commit crime the logical result of the evolution since the Big Bang...? Evolution until here has created a context in which members of the species homo sapiens amongst other freedoms can opt for cheating their neighbours. Yes. But was the crime done already written in stone, in a book of fate that predetermined all actions from Big Bang until the end of time? Are we then just pages in the book of fate that get flipped over in a serquence they cannot chnage, shpwing the content they also have no influence on? I can imagine that only in a truly infinite pool of potentials and possibilities, a truly infinite universe, and even then the order and sequence of events still is not led out at all. Or I imagine that there are infinite numbers of universes, so that, in order to be infinite, there must be all universes where just every version of the narration of the universe since Big Bang is represented, even if two versions only vary by one and the same butterfly at one point clapping its wings, and in the othe rversion keeps them spread out. Think I will never become a true determinist. I love my chaos theory. On Einstein, I need to look it up again just to be sure before maybe coming back to that again. Until then and for the time being I stick to what I said on it. Feynman diagrams spook around in my mind here, but it is so long ago that I cannot call it up in detail just out of the blue and with no warning time. I have the one or the other book left, and then there is the internet.
  8. Captain Colossus ane me never had any forum business to do with each other and are nor close friends, but we recall each other's forum name since at least 13 years, and him and me now have a decent conversation without fighting and without forum rule violation that takes place in the off topic section and that obviously gets tolerated by the forum administration, a conversation that i for myself enjoy. If somebody does not like it, simply stay out. At least do not make waves. ----- Captain Colossus said: I often debate people elsewhere about 'free will' and why that is not a thing. of course i usually get some incredulous response as if it is self evident and how can that be. 'free will' is always presumed, it's never shown to be a thing. this is basically a matter of language and the lack of precision in our vocabulary. if by free will we mean both the cognitive and non voluntary processes of our brains, then that is what we we really mean- you're talking about the brain, 'free will' is an empty concept added on top of that, although i know why it seems as if you had it. but your sense of 'you' is not separate from your brain, you are your brain. the concept of 'will' is just a word that we use to describe biological processes. there is the verb form of will, such as if i left an ice cream sandwich out in the sun, it will melt, but then there is another form of it as a noun, such as 'the will' : a ghost in the machine, which is separate from the body, but which there is no evidence of existing. When I studied in the early nineties, we had several good profs indeed, one of them prepared us for the unwelcomed truth that since then has materialised even further. The question of free will is a very old one, but neurological and brain research has pushed one answer to the question of whether we cry because we are sad, or whether we feel sad because we cry. It seems indeed to be that we are sad because we cry, so to speak. I have read randomly in past years that experiments also have been conducted that showed that brain areas associated with decision making and with choosing in an understanding of "being aware", also control areas for physicological processes, become active in a sequence that indicates that the brain already has decided what to do long time - by neurological standards - before it dawns upon us what we beleive we "want" to do next. In other words, the free will seems to follow decisions made by the brain unconsciously, or shall I say: "pre-consciously". That has far-reaching consequences. Moral. For one exmaple. Our understanding of justice systems and laws. Responsibility. If free will is an illusion, and if we do not decide but get decided, what fairness lies in holding ouselves responsible for "our choices"? Think of it. It declares our complete justice and law and order system invalid if we understand it to be about rehabilitation and punishment based on guilt - while revenge then becomes the only motive left to pursue offenders, so does the valid motive of prevention against future crimes by locking away those who will most likely commit them. In many parts of the world they would not have big problems with such an understanding of "law and order", for it it has been like this for the better part of human history. And it can be questioned whether the Western understanding of justice beeing about rehabilitaiton really works that well. In parts it does, but mostly it seems it does not. And quite some of the reaosning behind our law systems anf the way courts weigh penalties for offenders, are simply a rude violation of most fundamental leanring theory and empirically founded behaviourist findings (I am no big fan of behaviorism, but I must respect the enormous empirical justificaton it can show up with in some fields). The issue is not new to philosophy, the dispute is that between determinists and libertarians. I cannot claim that I can imagine an solution. So I do what man has done since eons: I try to find my way pragmatically from one single indivodual situation to the next. At the same time the realities of pragmatic life demand me to run by assumptions I base on empirical experiences, on probabilities, that is. Because of course past events do not really causally indicate what will be in the future as long as a causal link between cause and effect cannot indeed be found and proven. It seems our lives are filled with contradictions! But, since somewhere you mentioned "karma", I think: what is karma? One answer usually is something like the inevitable causal link between cause and effect. I give that reply myself quite often. But ther eis more to it. It has to do with reoincarnation. And what is reincarnation? If we build in the present moment the fundament for what will be in the next moment, if in the present we define by our deeds and non-deeds, thoughts and non-thougts the space and its limits within which any possible future materialization of possibility will take place, then this means that we reincarnate ourselves from moment to moment, and do so just all the time, every second, always, inevtiably. This way, we indeed form our karma. And what has free will to do with it? Well, I am not sure how to make the link here. In Buddhist philosophy it is taught that there is a difference between "ego" and "non-ego", atman and anatman. Buddha denied that there is something like rebirth of the individual soul. Nevertheless he also said that there is another kind of soul, or mind, or spirit, hoiwever you want to call it, a bigger one that is noit sepaareted form anything (opposite to the diea of creator and creation in theistic relgions) , that is not defined by the limits of the individual psychic ego (that needs the birth and the death of a man to define its beginning and its end, so that thiu ego indeed is a psychic and brain-related function that dies when the brain dies). This wider context of soul is what is meant by the term - non-ego, anatman. Indians may call it the world spirit maybe, Chrstian mystics may have called it the divine sparkle in all things, Buddhists call it Buddha nature of all things. Something just points beyond us all, and beyond our limited definition of individual, ego-related existence. The same direction gets pointed at when asking questions like Why did a Big Bang even take place? Why are there things existing, why is there not just nothing? Where did Big Bang take place, if space was not existent before? You see, I do not give final answers here, because I know none. And maybe the best thing man can do indeed is to ask such questions - and learn to bear that although he reflects over them, he can never know. Realising this, can be bitter, even life-threatening. Maybe this is a way to find a meaning for our existence that indeed leads beyond the span of our life: that we have quesitons, but do not know all the answers - still the questions persist! "I doubt, so I am." When i die one day, I do not expect to experience an after-life, I would be surprised. But I think that something that has nothing at all to do with my little unworthy individual existence and ego, carries on, and alwas was, and always will be, and it will be not me, but will be somethign that siply is "ALL". Maybe you know the metaphor of Indra'S net of pearls. It depicts a net of an infinite number of shiny, polished pearls which all are hung up in the sky in such a fashion that every pearl there is gets reflected in every other pearl. The idea of a hologram, if I understand the physics of holograms correctly (I am not certain). this seems to presume there is an elan vitale that is separate from the body. but this doesn't make sense. it's not the 'force' or the 'will' that is getting drunk if someone is under the influence or something, there is definite deterministic effects that alcohol has on the brain. likewise, if the brain were mechanically damaged or affected by medical procedures or something like this, then you may seem temporary or permanent but but profound changes in the affected person's personality, senses, perceptions, abilities and so on. 'you' are the brain, the brain is not a container for the separate will. when we take a look at the brain, it's rather apparent that it evolved. you can literally see the the layers that added on over time from the more primitive parts of the brain, called the reptilian complex because it resembles the brains of more primitive vertebrates, reptiles and amphibians (which regulates much of the unconscious behaviors). Well, what you call determinism and predeterminism here, I would prefer to call causality, but it seems we are not that far apart here. Cause and effect. Maybe English and german langauge just have different feels over these two words, predeterminism and causality, and thus use them slightly differently. But in principle I follow, yes. If it is cold outside, and I go outside with nothign but a wet shirt on, I catch up a pneumonia, thats the causal consequence, I created this karma of mine myself. "Determinism", that term reminds me too much of Descartes, the world machine that automatically runs after somebody has flipped the switch in the beginning. I do not know if there was a deity that flipped a switch in the beginning. I just say I see no need and no reason in believing so, and that we have no evidence whatever for that. furthermore, i will argue that you do not exist freely as if in a vacuum; you are affected by the environment, you come out of it like a wave out of the sea and are part of it. genetics are an obvious implication. another is the way you are perceived by others, still another is the the effects of forces on you and all sorts of things. your brain literally rewires itself and is malleable, particularly when you learn to do new tasks without your conscious effort- you have no choice in it. I have been psychologist, you must not tell me! Individual behaviour is embedded in situational context and cultural background. I follow. so i take occam's razor and apply it this way: free will is not necessary to explain anything at all, it is superfluous. just shave it off and everything still works without that assumption. you could create a duplicate of this universe and have it behave the exact same way it is behaving now backwards and forwards, and free will never has to enter into it to explain anything. the universe could run in deterministic way based on known or somewhat intuitive forces of nature, laws of science and so on and you would never know the difference if there were no free will. free will is like saying due to free will the ice cream melts in the sun, because by its own free will it does (in addition to melting points of solids and so forth- it can't really be dis-proven i suppose, but it also changes nothing if you remove that supposition). it's the same thing; since the activities of neurons are deterministic causes, since regions of the brain are mapped to specific, deterministic behaviors (memory, speech, spatial reasoning, non voluntary functions such as breathing, fight or flight responses, sense of balance and so on), it means that there are deterministic reasons that something is associated with them- damage to the frontal lobes is why lobotomies were performed. if that didn't achieve the effect they were after, then it wouldn't make sense to do those. but it did- it's deterministic. the universe in my view does not have that kind of meaning to infer into it free will. or else where is it in the body? where does the will reside. furthermore, am i free not to have it? can i get rid of it? removing free will removes that implied problem of self contradiction to begin with. Well, I am not certain that I want to follow EVERY single note in this, but for the sake of text length I just refer to my remarks above. and why should anything be different than that in this universe. i think that the modern society and the way we transact our business is a result of evolution- what else would it have been? evolution means that it changed from one thing to the next rather than something that fits in no known category. i can come up with reasons why transactions exist now the way they do, and you may come up with different reasons, but what we are arguing are different reasons for the same thing- it evolved. you might point to a conspiracy theory by menacing people. i point to something else, say, someone won a war once and inflicted it on all of use, but we are both arguing the way it evolved from something that used to be. civilizations grew, so that means their interactions grew to become more complex, including the way business was transacted. why is apple inc. getting into the credit card business? is it doing randomly, or are there calculated reasons for it that would probably be talked about in a board meeting as a business strategy? in other words, that is deterministic too That may ber so, or less so, I am not so certain as you are that it can be seen this way. But if you were right, then the consequence of it that immediately flashes up in my mental focus is: "lets not care for anything then, it all does not matter, cannot be helped anyway, is just deterministic outcome of things we cannot influence anyway." That is a bit too much fatalism for my taste. Also, it would prepare the way for ruthless egoism and barbarism, for the idea of responsibility in the end cannot have room in this thinking anymore. Nevertheless, I subscribe to the idea that altruism is a form of egoism itself, egoism that has learned that it can serve its own interest by occasionally serving the interest of others. And flupp - there you have already a second layer, a slightly bigger variation in explanation why people behave like they do. Determinism alone, well, it is too - too "mono-dimensional" for me, to invent this word. Causality is what compares to the mortar that keeps the bricks in a wall together. And these bricks can come in a multitude of forms, sizes, and colours. ------ in einstein's theory of relativity, past present and future all exist at the same time. there is the eternal now moment which contains all things, 'past', 'present', and 'future'. and there is a zen component to that if you can internalize on some level and live as if that were true- not just cognitively understand that, but actually have effortlessly and thoughtlessly and without pretense lived that way. in einstein's conception of time, it is as if reality is already like a film strip. it's already filmed and it all exists at the same time. Oh wait, hold your horse, that galopp is a bit too fast. What has Einstein said in his theory on relativity? You imply it says that past, present and future exist simultaneously. sorry, that is simply a wrong understanding there. Einstein said that if you have two people who travel at different speeds (or one person sitting still), the one person will have time passing slower RELATIVE to the other person. What is your already past can be present for somebody else elsewhere who is moving at different speed than you do. Movement has a lot to do with it, for the fabric of time-space conituum itself has time woven into the structure, whereas the bending and distoring of the structure itself - by mass being present, if I understand it correctly - is what creates the force called gravitation. But the decisive word here is: relative. Einstein did not say past, future and present exist simultaneously at the same time. He said that motion and the passing of time are relative , and so can be different in actual status for two persons, one sitting still, the other travelling at warp 0.9, and thus both get fixed every moment in different marker on the time-arrow. Relativity and Simultaneity are not the same!! You argue in absolutes here where the thing is about relativity of things! The problem is that Einstein's many writings and letters get used by people like a box of toffees. everybody tries to pick something for himself from it, but usually the context of such quotes get easily ignored. with often disastrous results, turning the real content of Einstein's opinion and thinking into its direct opposite. He invited it however, for he sometimes contradicted himself. the perception of moving through space is like moving from one frame of the film strip to the next. so if you were to accelerate, you are jumping frames from one part of the film strip, or one frame of reality to the next. evolution from our perspective looks as if it is moving from point a to point b, that is how our brains are apparently wired to get a handle on it, that is to say, to perceive time moving linear. the past is ever disappearing, there is the present and a future coming online. but if it were film strip where it is already pre-filmed, it's all laid out already. the evolutionary changes are all filmed like characters and scenes in a movie already encoded in reality from the opening credits to the curtain falling, you are moving from one frame to the next, and we describe things as if it is a linear progression rather than existing all at once. No, I must object to all of that. That is not what Einstein said, at leats not as far as I understood him. Again, you mistake relativity and simultaneity, and by that get misled in your conclusion. However. Einstein was close to the philosophy of Spinoza, and thus he was - there you come from! - determinist. Hm, I need to alter my understanding of this terminology and how it is used... But I think one must still see a difference between his general philosophic attitude on life, and the statement and conclusion of his two theories on relativity. There is a contradiction, and Einstein was not free of errors and contradictions himself, and went as far as trying to prove himself wrong on parts of his theory that he did not like and that collided with his philosophical views. (He failed). even as kids as inquisitive as they can be they may ask the adults what it was like before they were born. i remember thinking about that, because something seemed off. something did not seem to make sense. i could describe in certain terms what was happening now, and i would ask others what it was they thought was happening. and usually i didn't really get much of an answer. so try and imagine what it was before you were born- it isn't trapped in darkness or a fog or hanging out in limbo, it seems to be nothing- those other things would still be something. trapped in a void waiting to be born would still be an experience. it seems doesn't it as if the universe comes into focus with your earliest memories, and beyond that there is nothing there. and i think that's the key- that is what is happening. in other words, you are doing all this. your act of perceiving it creates the universe at the present moment. there are no sensations 'out there' without your senses somehow giving the impression of them. by definition that is like trying to separate wet from water. your brain, nervous system create the impressions that objects out there are hard or soft or orange or behind or above, there is otherwise nothing out there without you perceiving them that way. we assumed that the universe was like a container, you remove the individual from it, but the universe still exists. i do not not think that is correct- you are the universe experiencing itself, much the same way the quantum double slit experiment or the uncertainty principle seem to suggest that you don't simply remove the observer from the experiment, because then by definition there is no one present to observe the experiment- you affect it by simply being present and observing because you are part of the experiment. without the observer, by definition there is no experiment and nothing to observe. in this universe there is no front without a back, no small without something tall, no left without right, and so on- if everyone were 9 foot tall, then no one is, everyone would be eye level and there would be no concept of anyone being that height. similarly if everything were exactly the exact same shade of color, that color would not be perceived at all except in relation to anything which isn't that color. there is a kind of nothingness that must 'exist' (again a mind vexing self contradiction), for something to exist. there has to be something which is not a thing for that thing to be differentiated and perceived, except that nothing by definition exists. so if you wrap your head around that effortlessly and it doesn't cause further confusion, that is the zen kind of thing. The older we get, the faster time seems to pass in our perception, whereas as kids, when I was at school, school was over at 13:25H - and then the day still had hours and hours that lasted forever and ever. Today I take one or two snaps of air - and already half the day seems to have passed, evening getting near. I think time is a function of mind. t=f(m) And the mind changes, so does our perception of time. From aging, over changes in our mind during meditation, to the difference between having a good and having a bad time: the first passes too fast, the latter to slowly. During deep meditation, one can reach a state that is marked by a sensation of all-fluent existence, or timelessness - usually this correlates with a "forgetting" of oneself, of one'S own ego. You cannot say that you excperience it, becaseu the "you" in it is no more there. Whoch leaves the quesiton: who is it whoi witnesses it, and what and where gets it witnessed? The ego is no longer aware of itself, and time seems to be lost as a dimension and as a determinant of existence. Then people usually suddenly become aware of that they are not aware of their ego and time, and plopp - everything jumps back into its common place of normality, time is there again, ego is there again, our mind is for some seconds in a state of alarm and wonders what that just was. - Or we find such a timeless moment all without searching for it, effortless, it comes to us like a gift we did not even ask for. The sight of a beautiful landscape and the dance of light and colours laid out before our eyes. The sight of a sleeping aninmal nearby. The feel of soft summer rain on our skin and the monotonous sound it makes on leaves and grass. A look into the face of a dearly loved one. We forget ourselves, we forget to care. Our "self" for a moment just stops to exist. The often talked of and often advertised goal of "self-realization" (I sometimes feel tempted to call that term an obscenity), can be had - but only at the cost of self-transcendence, only at the cost of that we need to overlook, need to forget ourselves. There is no salvation for the ego - it must die. Therefore, real spiritual meditation is a cause of life and death. Those many teachers of psychological mediation and lifestyle self-design, do more harm than good. My real life is catchign up with me, I'm runnign out of time. Maybe I get back to it later, maybe not, but for now have to leave. Thanks for the conversation, Colossus, I truly enjoy it.
  9. Both as somebody who has a strong interest in physics and astronomy (on non-professional level), and who was a practitioner and teacher of meditation in Chan/Zen tradition, and as a former psychotherapist with a focus on the relativity of own ego versus cosmic mind, or radical constructivism a la Glasersfeld or Watzlawick, I understand what you mean. Still, I approach it from a different angle. The conception called "Evolution" means constant adaptation to ever changing conditions of existence, both by trial and error (heritable traits sharpening out), and random mutation. We see that not all life, for example, aims at the same development direction, and we also see that life forms from very different eras still coexist beside each other although they are separated by sometimes dozens of millions and hundreds of millions of years and should not live parallel to each other at all. But they do. If things would be predetermined, this would not be needed, and probably also would not exist. I think here in terms of attractors that define for example the relation between circumstances in physics, say laws of aerodynamics, and the solution evolution formed out in organisms that fly. The need defines the design. The design is not predetermined, however. Nor is the need, because chaos theory tells us that the factors that define the status quo in situations may be the result of chaotic , unforseeable events and action-reaction- chains that we usually describe as chaotic and thus: unpredictable. If you would now argue, however, that chaos just is an order of such a high complexity that we just fail to see it as order, I would have no reply left, for this would be what I usually say as well. But is this really the meaning of predeterminism? I don'T think so, because we talk of predeterminism always in context with a wanted direction, an intention, an aim, a plan, a goal of any sort. But chaos theory says that such goals do not and cannot exist. Even the rules by which the game of unfolding evolution of things, both in the world of life forms and the world of dead matter , is being played, could flip and drastically chnane just any moment. Or it does not so - WE DO NOT KNOW and trust in our idea of empiry only. But the cosmos knows nothing about empiry, and does not care. What we imagine when using the term "cosmos", is just our interpretation, our judgement of it. The design process moves just at the direction of this attractor: the needs of aerodnyamics in an "atmosphere" as defined as we do define the term "atmosphere". In the bigger scheme of things, there is also a hierarchic list of needed steps to get to a state where we now could discuss and have a thoughtful mind reflecting on these things: from cosmos to eros, from eros to logos. From matter to structure, from structure to life, from life to mind. This is at least how I see it within the limitations of our current cosmological model of how things became: the currently valid paradigm still is the Big Bang theory. But, and maybe you wanted to point at this, this theory is just this: the currently followed dominant theory, because we have none that matches our current state of knowledge better. It explains how things ran since the Big Bang. But it does not explain WHY there was a Big Bang - and "WHERE" the Big Bang was. There are attempts in cosmology and physics that try to explain that a universe can come from nothing, and that "nothingness", the "empty void", has an inherent trait described as an inherent tendency to let something spring into existence . So far, these theories, as far as my novice intellect is able to grab them, do not really satisfy and convince me. I am an atheist and kind of a Buddhist Vulcan myself, to me these attempts often sound like a desperate effort of people who do not bear anymore to believe in gods and deities, heavens and hells any longer, but in the absence of having an answer to the question of why they exist and whats it all about now try to form scientific surrogate explanations that describe WHY they do not need a god any longer as an explanation for why things exist and happen. Hawkigns late arguments before his death gave me the impression very strongly. Lawrence Krauss maybe had a better go at it with his book "A universe from nothing", but he too uses a trick that is very popular in physics: to claim that "nothing" always is defined as just empty space as is physically out there, between the stellar objects, and that this space thus has physical characteristics, because indeed this empty space is not empty at all, but is filled with radiations and waves and particles, can be twisted and modulated and is interwoven into the space-time-continuum. But this space is not the kind of nothing that philosophy and religions means when they refer to this terminology, they mean "nothing" as the total and absolute absence of anything, the rejection of anything existing, so total that not even the rejection of anything does exist. This maybe is beyond the reach of the human mind. And I cannot help it and cannot find solace in trying to fill this lacking insight with replacements like imaginations, self-written metaphysics and childish beliefs of supermen and superwomen filling the heavens and judging the fate of mortals on planet Earth. The only thing I can do is face this abyss in a mental attitude and mindset that best is described as stoicism. I am a strong defender of empirism and scientific working methodology. Still these have led me towards understanding how little we really know, and worse: how little we even are evolutionary equipped to know. I think the truth lies in the absence of all words and concepts. People who are experienced in meditation, know what I am aiming at. Psychologists however also know of the dangers to the unprepared ego if all borders defining it get deconstructed. First we have to become somebody in order to free us from that somebody. Its paradoxical, but thats how it seems to be. Its what Lao Tse meant when he wrote (my own German version): Das Wesen, das begriffen werden kann, ist nicht das Wesen des Unbegreiflichen. Die Vorstellung, die gedacht werden kann, ist nicht das Abbild des Ewigen. Namenlos ist das Eine, ist innere Form. Mit Namen benannt ist Vielheit, ist äußere Form. Begehrdenlos lassen heißt das geheime Innere erfahren. Begehrdenvoll tun heißt dem begrenzten Äußeren verfallen. Eines und Vieles sind gleichen Ursprungs, ungleich nur in der Erscheinung und im Namen. Ihr Gemeinsames ist das Wunder, das Geheimnis dieses Wunders ist das Tor allen Verständnisses. Google translates this like this: The essence that can be understood is not the essence of the incomprehensible. The idea that can be thought is not the image of the Eternal. Nameless is the one, is inner form. Named by name is multiplicity, is external form. Letting things/not doing things and have no desire, means experiencing the secret inside. Doiung things due to desires is to give way to the limited (outer) appearance. One and a lot are of the same origin, unequal only in appearance and name. Their common is the miracle the secret of this miracle is the gate of all understanding. What I often think is: the meaning of life, the meaning of evolution of all things in the universe, is that dead, unenlightened matter becomes aware of itself. At least I hope that it is like this, else the uselessness of things could become overwhelming at times. Stare too long into the abyss- and the abyss starts staring back into yourself.
  10. For whatever its worth, I think all space is mind and all mind is space and all form is empty. The sepüarfation betwene inner and outer space maybe does not make as much sense as logical thinking tries to convince us of, maybe its all kind of a Moebius strip. Still, from Buddhist philospphy to radical constructivism, its all speculative and model and theory. So is the following video's projection into the very distant future. The one thing I have problem with, however, is strict determinism. It collides with the idea of evolution, but that one is one of the best theoretic models our scientific process has ever formed out so far. And following Occam's razor I thus follow it until a better, simplier, more economic explanation is given. And just for the record: I do not believe one moment that Modern Money Theory (MMT) and Keynes and FIAT money were the results of the evolution of bartering, and a determinisitic outcome of trading. If they were determinstic results, then the result of the intention to commit crime, to barter fraudulently, and to steal and to plunder. The Bank of England was founded in the wake of the Napoleonic wars when the costs of wars became too pressing for the state. The Dollar currency was centralised and monopolised after the costs for the Civil war became too pressing, and a very few historians - usuually taking heavy fire for this statement - even say that the civil war was started not over the issue of slavery, but the issue of the Norths attempt to force the south to pay for the enormous debts the North had collected in its bid to boost industrial modernization at a speed that went far beyond natural growth speeds: and for forcing the south to contribute payments for the North, a enforced union under one central government was a nessecity, because until then the union was loose and the states were more or less sovereign and independent. Of course the nioble fight for slaves and freedom is what was written in the books, becasue the history is written by the victors. Later the US broke the inernational treaty over Bretton Woods unilaterally because it could not pay for the costs of vietnam any longer and needed to inflate the ammount of money beyond any limitations of the gold standard - already damaged from the problem of socalled bimetallism: a deformation of value prices indices from interactions between gold and silver prices. Philipp IV led Spain four times into state bancruptcy, and during his time the silver coins of either Spain or France were depleted until the silver coin held not even 10% of silver anymore. No, the evolution of bartering and currencies has had nothing to do with these intentional, planned abuses. Myself, I have witnessed two euphemistically so-called currency reforms so far, after the German reunification, and after the even more desastrous implementation of the Euro. During the first event my family lost practically all we had in reserves, since the second event my living costs have more than doubled and the money devaluation is frightening, no matter what officially forged and white-washed inflation statistics say. "Currency reform" is an euphemism for huge, massive expropriation done by criminal states wanting to free themselves from the debts their actors have accumulated. No, nothing of all that is due to the natural evolution of bartering and money currency. Its due to intentional crime, theft and plundering. Its the result of criminal unscrupulous planning. Dont fool me.
  11. Colossus, on the main threat of the war onb cahs money, I recommend you this legal and free download, whcih still ransk amongst the best small and compact books on the history of FIAt money I know. https://mises.org/library/what-has-government-done-our-money Add to this the threat of Keynesianism and also hilariously so-called New Money Theory that wants to openly punish the victims of this counterfeit money system by rejecting people any means to avoid "negative interest" and thus steal and plunder private savings and property, and to kill state debts my devaluing the buying power of "money". Lagarde at the top of the ECb stands for this, as head of the IMF she has openly pushed for gold prohibition, demurrage currency and banning cash money, and punishing people if they hold private savings. Its a mixture of alchemy and plundering. The stae wants to perfect its regime to tax oridnary people like crazy, we Germans are beside the Beglians the most ehavily tyed nation in the world, over one half of ordinary employee'S incomes get sacked by mandatory payments for state - ordered demands, taxes and insurrances. The paper money we already have(had), already was no real money anymore, it were "ungedeckte Schuldscheine" (short bonds, bonds of insufficient financial security), because they are not based on any material covering. A money worth its name must necessarily be a comodity currency. Paper FIAT money compares to the attempts of past feudal lords to create themselves more treasury by reducing the content of silver in their silver coins and so minting more silver coins with reduced grades of silver - a fraudulent act that they could only do when securing the minting monopole for the state/themselves. Or did you know that in the late phase of the civl war in America there still were several different dollar currencies in circulation in the US, produced by private minting enterprises? The word "dollar" comes from "Thaler" and that word again stems from a weight unit. One silver dollar is one weight unit (named dollar) of silver, and when this is so, it is totally unimporitant and not necessary at all that the state has a monopole on minting it: on gram of somehtign is one gram of something, no matter who distrubutes it. The state must have no word in this. One dollar/thaler of silver is one dollar/thaler of silver. Period. But then the state cannot inflate the amount of currency in circulation to "pay" LOL for all the promises made to voters in order to bribe them to vote for this or that party at next elections. Promises reach a billion times beyond what financially actually could be paid for. Thats why they say that inflation is desirable, and thats why they called in central banks (a political invention, none of free marekt or private entrepreneurship or businessmen). The contemporary understading of what money is, is the worst and most fraudulent desaster one could imagine. Digital money is the successor to paper money, just without paper. It maximises the vulnerability of people and prepares the next phase of state plundering of private savings and private property. Thats why I am totally opposing any form of cashless payment. I am 52, my private savings and investments of which i live now, must still hold for another 20-25 years. I just fear that the Lagardes and Draghis and Rogoffs and the ECBs and IMFs and FEDs and WBs of this world will do their best to destroy the financial fundament of my existence much earlier. The shamelessness by which economists today can propagate stealing and plundering of the people as "state reason" and hide it behind always changing, ever new catchphrases that suggest a conten that they do not have, is a scandal and the worts crime in the world of the present time. They should all be jailed for lifetime. Never in the history of this highly dubious, scandalous branch of academic research, has "economics" been in such a bad state and has been filled with so much incompetence, lies, dilletantism and criminal energy and shameless opportunism and detmeination to steal and to plunder and to legalise these criminal acts. And nobody gives a dime, nobody cares, everybody shrugs shoulders and says "so what?" This is probably the most discouraging and frustrating detail in it all. People get abused, plundered and betrayed, and they even do not care for it, and beleive the same liars and fraudster time and time and time and time again, and even call for more of it thinking that would be socially just, socially respinsible and bla and bla and blablabla . Empty catchphrases. Mindless slogans. Magical faith in fairy queens saving us from the final payday. You see, my grim anger and my concern and my bitter opposition to cashlessness root a bit deeper than just some technology scepticism. The threat is existential for all of us, the danger is real, and most of you do not care, and do not know. All this is closely linked to the inner collapse of the conception of "democracies", the derailed understanding of modern democracy versus ancient Greek understanding of the term (its originally a feudal state format, but nobody seems to understand that today), the infantilisation of Western societies and the raise of dilletantism as a valid profession and way of life, the extreme nepotism and corruption in party and state politics on all levels and the voter bribery going on all the time. I am not the first stating that every democratic state order in modern understanding necessarly and unaviodiably will and mjkst lead to socialist-communist totalitarianism. "Populism" is the word of the present day. And the worst populists there are, are the established mainstrema actors and media. Okay, this was a thread hijack, but Colossus triggered me by stepping on my tripwire there. I fall silent again.
  12. Thanks for trying - before I started to run around. 😁 I did not know that things already are so bad that cash payment - which is anonymous - nowadays turns you into a criminal suspect already. But the war on cahs money certainly is hot and in full swing. So that credit card companies can dictate fees and conditions due to lacking alternatives - and state and party can profile their subjects, I mean the "citizens", more completely, and can plunder private savings and raise state debts more unscrupulously than ever before. 🙁 In our postdemocratic era, states have become the citizens' worst enemies. If they have not always been that anyway. I stay around, lurking, maybe at some unknown time in the future your shop will offer unexpected new options.
  13. Very nice. I would be especially interested in the activation process, the info asked for in that. I could not find any information on whether they nevertheless ask for additional data, especially bank account data, during that process. First page of that process only asks for the card and charging transaction number, any subsequent pages coming I cannot access without having such a card already, so I do not know what else there is coming. The queston here is whether or not the card introduces a membership fee thorugh the backdoor after one year - by booking an according fee from your bank account in case you had to give that link during the card activation procedure. IT, telephone, internet companies, banks - they all usually try something underhanded like this. The simple card that cannot be recharged, should deactivate itself after one year anyway. I expect it all then to be lost and forgotten and off and over and out.
  14. For all who are concerned, and Viper as well 😉 , I just found and will further investigate this as an option: prepaid Visa cards that in Germany can be bought at gas stations only and that need no formal processing like an ordinary credit card would need, and that do not get linked to your bank account. You pay them once a fee (10€ for one year), during the buying you can load it up with up to 100 Euro (maximum if you want to stay anonymous and avoid socalled PostIdent proceedings), and this all happens in the gas station. You can not recharge it without further IDying yourself. The card thus can be used for payment of just-once-transactions on the web. As I see it, I could buy the card, charge the needed price and costs for eSim, pay both in one rush at the cash desk of the gas station, use the card for shopping at eSiom, and then forget about it: the card is empty then and of no further use, no further fees per years coming. The total additonal cost over the pörice of eSim is 10€ when buying the card, and one or two Euros for charging it once. Acceptable if you do not need a credit card for regular use. Well, I have three different bicycles but no car and have not seen the inside of a gas station since 30 years. I will keep this on mind. Question to Ssnake: is this payment option valid for your shop? https://www.zahlungsverkehrsfragen.de/prepaid-kreditkarte-tankstelle-kaufen https://www.mycard2go.com/ Note for german users: this prepaid model is different than the classical "prepaid" cards offered by banks and credit card companies. If you do not wish further service and recharging options and do not need more than 100€, you must not link your bank account to it. Its like buying a chocolate bar, apparently.
  15. Gibson, I noticed your offer for sure, and I thank you for it. I nevertheless reject it, and please - do not take it personally, it is not about you perosnally at all. Its just that I tick a bit oldfashioned, maybe. You and me do not know each other, we never even traded a single word in the past 13 years, your offer should not even be needed in any transaction between a company and its customers since them both should be able to deal directly with each other, and finally you would have done me a favour which I cannot give back on equal terms, and as I said: I do not like to owe to others or be owed to by others. There is a company, there is a possible customer, they either agree on a deal or not, and thats it. But as I see it, its is just the two of them. If more is needed, then the terms and coidntions are such that I do not deal. Thanks again, and do not take it personally. And now for the third time: I'm out here. Thank you.
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