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coberst

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coberst last won the day on July 10 2011

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  1. We have successfully struggled against Mother Nature to gain great material wealth only to discover that, as Pogo might say, “we have met the enemy and it is us”. The enemy is our great material play-form itself; it is our own profit-and-loss economy, our money-over-the-counter game that is defeating us. We have lost all relationship with our nature. Our created fiction has crippled our ability to rationally adapt to our world we have created. We run as fast as we can from school to shopping center to the bank and back home in our new SUV only to discover that the gods have already made us
  2. Modern Economics: Natural or Social Science? Economics is a natural science because natural science is about the study of objects rather than subjects. Labor, land, and money, the basic elements of economics, are all commodities of modern economics (objects of commerce), i.e. humans are reified (made into objects) thus losing any consideration as subjects. “A market economy is an economic system controlled, regulated, and directed by market prices; order in the production and distribution of goods is entrusted to this self-regulating mechanism.” Such a system contains the following assu
  3. Greed--excessive or reprehensive acquisitiveness. If greed where an emotion we must have inherited it through natural selection. Animals other than humans do not display greed.
  4. Emotions equal instinct. First, there is emotion, then comes feeling, then comes consciousness of feeling. What are the emotions? The primary emotions are happiness, sadness, fear, anger, surprise and disgust. The secondary or social emotions are such things as pride, jealousy, embarrassment, and guilt. Damasio considers the background emotions are well-being or malaise, and calm or tension. The label of emotion has also been attached to drives and motivations and to states of pain and pleasure. Antonio Damasio, Distinguished Professor and Head of the Department of Neurology at the U
  5. I have heard many people speak of greed in a manner that indicates that they think of it as something that humans are born with. In fact what set me off on this OP was listening to Allan Greenspan speak of greed in this manner. I suspect that he knows that greed is not an emotion but he seemed to want to endorse that implication. I suspect few people give this matter any thought but I am confident that many people think that to be greedy is "jus doin what comes naturally". I think that it is important for everyone to be conscious of this matter.
  6. Why do Social Theories Become Ideologies? An ideology is systematically biased by its assumptions and it constantly must protect its assumptions from erosion if it is to maintain the status of its ideology. For Marx the ideologist becomes a constant apologist for his ideology. An uncritical or vulgar social theorist, even though personally very critical of the established order cannot overcome the social osmosis resulting from the society and is unable to realize his critical intentions. A system of knowledge is inherently limited and distorted by its assumptions. Because of these assu
  7. I walk by a store front and notice in the reflection by the front window that I slouch as I walk. I am not pleased with this slouch. I immediately suck in my gut throw back my shoulders and raise my chin. I walk like this until my mind wonders. Later I see that I still walk with my slouch. I command myself to develop a better posture. This cycle repeats itself until one day I see my slouch has disappeared and I have a posture more to my liking. I have developed a better posture meaning that I have, through constant effort driven by my will, developed a new habit. Emotion, i.e. insti
  8. Greed is a Character Trait not an Emotion! Greed is a habit formed through constant repetition. It is an act of will. Emotion, also called instinct, is a product of natural selection. Only the human animal is greedy. What is character? Character is the network of habits that permeate all the intentional acts of an individual. I am not using the word habit in the way we often do, as a technical ability existing apart from our wishes. These habits are an intimate and fundamental part of our selves. They are representations of our will. They rule our will, working in a coordinated w
  9. How can I learn my optional illusions? How can I reject my optional illusions? In the dialogue “Apology” Plato writes about Socrates while in the dungeon just before drinking the hemlock that the citizens of Athens condemned him to be executed. In the dungeon shortly before drinking from the hemlock cup Socrates spoke to his followers. He spoke about the accusations against him at the trial. He said that the sworn indictment against him was “Socrates is guilty of needless curiosity and meddling interference, inquiring into things beneath Earth and in the Sky…” Socrates further adds th
  10. Natural Science “don allow no meaning in here”! Natural science clears the land before it builds its structures. NATURAL SCIENCE IS BULLDOZIER might be a useful linguistic metaphor for comprehending how the natural sciences function. The first thing that a Normal Science (as defined by Thomas Kuhn) does is create a paradigm, which is to say that the bulldozer comes in and clears the land of all obstructions and establishes a foundation upon the solid rock of “measurement by standards”. If it cannot be properly measured in accordance to an established paradigm it does not exist. Since em
  11. Does Natural Science Encourage a Narrow Mind? Paradigm directed science encourages the scientist to steadfastly adhere to carefully crafted narrow minded thinking. Because “normal science” has been so successful in achieving its narrow goals I claim that our whole society has become dangerously enchanted into viewing all domains of knowledge in restricted narrow constraints. Normal science is a puzzle-solving enterprise. Normal science is a slow accumulation of knowledge by a methodical step-by-step process undertaken by a group of scientists. ‘Paradigm’ is a word that was given great
  12. I think that apathy is a greater danger today than it has ever been. The reason for this danger is that we humans have created a technology that places extraordinary power into the hands of unsophisticated apathetic ordinary people. We are like children sitting in a pool of gasoline playing with matches.
  13. Craig What is this disease to which I allude? There is a chain of cause and effect in many things and it is difficult to determine the sui generis of this chain of reaction. I shall just take the present obvious effect to define our (American) disease to be our uncritical faith in laissez-faire capitalism. An oligarchy controls public policy in America. The oligarchy consists of those who manage the great wealth of American institutions. This oligarchy designs our educational system to graduate good producers and consumers and does not desire independent thinkers. CA (Corporate Ame
  14. Er...to quite my post "Caring is necessary for understanding; caring cannot begin until we first “feel” a necessity for caring. The skin rash of the oil spill can serve as that feeling."
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