Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id UAA26190 (8.6.9/5.3[ref email@example.com] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from firstname.lastname@example.org); Sat, 16 Sep 2000 20:20:04 +0100 Message-Id: <200009161917.PAA18118@mail3.lig.bellsouth.net> From: "Joe E. Dees" <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Sat, 16 Sep 2000 14:22:21 -0500 Content-type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII Content-transfer-encoding: 7BIT Subject: RE: Purported mystical "knowledge" In-reply-to: <NBBBIIDKHCMGAIPMFFPJGEPNFFAA.email@example.com> References: <200009142049.QAA28199@mail6.lig.bellsouth.net> X-mailer: Pegasus Mail for Win32 (v3.01b) Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Precedence: bulk Reply-To: email@example.com
From: "Richard Brodie" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: RE: Purported mystical "knowledge"
Date sent: Fri, 15 Sep 2000 07:20:31 -0700
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> Joe wrote:
> * If you can't say it, then you don't know it.
> "All true statements in a formal system can be expressed symbolically?"
> I think Kurt Goedel would disagree.
Actually, Godel did not prove, nor did he attempt to prove, that
there were unstatable truths, but that the truth-status of some
statements was undecideable, a subtle but telling difference. He
proved that no formal system sufficiently complex to admit of
recursion and self-reference could at once contain all truths and
only truths. In fact, his Incompleteness theorems I and II are an
eloquent testimonial to how well we can state complex and
nuanced truths, even about truth and completeness themselves.
> The unstated presumption of many in the academic world is that knowledge is
> the most important thing in life. That's a perfectly fine philosophy to
> take, but it's not the only possible such philosophy. In my life several
> things are more important to me than knowledge:
> * The positive effect I am having on others
> * Enjoying my life
> * Peace of mind
The first requires social intelligence, which some people are born
with (charisma, etc.) plus a benevolent personal ethics which one
must learn, and can learn from both experience and study. The
second is a matter of finding out what you enjoy doing, and doing
it, so that your work is indistinguishable from play. The third can
follow from the first two, if they are done correctly, but can also
follow from blissful ignorance - however, this path is only open to
the dense and obtuse. Remember the Kantian maxim: It is better
to be Socrates unsatisfied than a satisfied pig. Socrates CAN be
satisfied, but not if all he does is what the pig is doing. For those
of more than minimal cognitive skills, learning is inextricably bound
up with both enjoyment and peace of mind.
> The unbridled analytical engine that I was 20 years ago produced diminishing
> returns and negatively impacted all of those (even my sex life!). While I do
> not use the word "mystic" to describe myself I do think that there is more
> to life than analysis and taxonomy, and that very often those rabbit holes
> can be followed into boring black pits of dirt.
And sometimes they open up into wonderlands of understanding
and perspective, such as existential and hermeneutic
phenomenology, genetic epistemology, semiotics, memetics, and
a contemplation of our awesome universe and our awesome selves
from positions of some knowledge which can only add to our
appreciation of them. Even the discovery of dead ends instruct us
that we have gone as far as we can on a path of inquiry, and that
knowledge is in itself valuable. It frees us to check out other paths.
> I wrote something in this vein: http://www.memecentral.com/L3Faith.htm
> Richard Brodie firstname.lastname@example.org www.liontales.com
> This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
> Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
> For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
> see: http://www.cpm.mmu.ac.uk/jom-emit
This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
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