Showing posts with label belief. Show all posts
Showing posts with label belief. Show all posts

Friday, May 5, 2017

Cultural Immune Systems.

Notes from Phædrus

Rober M. Pirsig
An Inquiry into Morals
Bantam Books 1991
(KXXX - pages in Kindle edition.
Notes from
Michael Shermer.
The Believing Brain
Henry Holt and Company, 2011
Page references from
Advance Readers edition


 What it always means is that you have hit an invisible wall of prejudice. Nobody on the inside of that wall is ever going to listen to you; not because what you say isn't true, but solely because you have been identified as outside that wall. A cultural immune system.  K58 
It was classical nineteenth-century science and its insistence that science is only a method for determining what is true and not a body of beliefs in itself.  K59 

Patterns of culture do not operate in accordance with the laws of physics .   How are you going to prove in terms of the laws of physics that a certain attitude exists within a culture? K60

The trouble was that man ins't suited to this kind of scentifec pbjective study.  Objects of scientific study are supposed to hold still. ...Man doesn't do this. Not even savages.61
As a fiscal conservative and a social liberal ...I have close friends in both camps, and over the years I have observed the following: no matter what the issue is under discussion, both sides are equally convenced that the evidence overwhelmingly supports their position.  I am sure it does because of the confirmation bias, or the tendency to seek and find vonfirmatory evidence in support o already existing beliefs and ignore or reinterpret disconfirming evidence.  AR259

A work in progress.  I am in the process of reading Lila.  More quotes and finally analysis and commentary to follow.  

Friday, July 1, 2016

Poe's Law

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 
Poe's law is an Internet adage which states that, without a clear indicator of the author's intent, parodies of extreme views will be mistaken by some readers or viewers for sincere expressions of the parodied views.[1][2][3]


"Poe's law" was originally written by Nathan Poe in 2005, in a post on, an Internet forum about Christianity. The post was written in the context of a debate about creationism, where a previous poster had remarked to another user "Good thing you included the winky. Otherwise people might think you are serious."[4] Poe then replied, "Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is uttrerly [sic] impossible to parody a Creationist in such a way that someone won't mistake for the genuine article."[1] The original statement of Poe's law referred specifically to creationism, but it has since been generalized to apply to any kind of fundamentalism or extremism.[3]  

Corollary I:
Parodies of extreme views of belief systems will always be accepted as TRUTH™ by adherents to the belief system.
Corollary II:
Any fundamentalist preaching on a belief system political or religious is indistinguishable from parody.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Belief Quotes

I have no beliefs.  Belief gets in the way of learning.
Lazarus Long - Time Enough For Love, Robert A Heinlein, 1973 p20.

My own opinion is that belief is the death of intelligence. As soon as one believes a doctrine of any sort, or assumes certitude, one stops thinking about that aspect of existence.  
 soon as one believes a doctrine of any sort, or assumes certitude, one stops thinking about that aspect of existence.
Read more at:
As soon as one believes a doctrine of any sort, or assumes certitude, one stops thinking about that aspect of existence.
Read more at:
As soon as one believes a doctrine of any sort, or assumes certitude, one stops thinking about that aspect of existence.
Read more at:

Robert Anton Wilson - Cosmic Trigger Volume I: Final Secret of the Illuminati,Preface to the Falcon Press Edition, 1986

In any useful ontology, Santa Claus is real.
Jonathan Korman 

AciraZade 2/2/2004 12:44 PM3 out of 26


In regards to BS, this needs to be credited to Robert Anton Wilson, who was the first I ever read use it in regards to Belief Systems. It's SUPPOSED to register in your mind as bullsh**... :P

Actually, I could go on and on for many posts explaining the mindset and perspective behind BS and why RAW uses that acronym, and why I happily adopted it, but it would be easier to just refer you to any RAW works. If you're interested, let me know, and I'll get you a title.

It strikes me as a bit funny that Rauch so happily adopted this habit of mine to use BS in place of Belief System... I think it's beneficial to the believer because it typically reminds the person, wait, this is what I think, but it's prolly BS to a lot of other people...

Anyway, now I'm REALLY off-topic. 

Note the above is copyrighted material.  Mirrored here as the link maintenance is iffy. 


The Null Hypothesis and Pattern Illusions.

Meredith L. Patterson
I build things with language. Some of them are even in words.
The null hypothesis is science’s first and last line of defense against one of the most terrifying properties of the human mind: the capacity to find patterns. Our pattern-matching ability is innate. We are the species whose niche is anything we can adapt to ourselves, and that facility for adaptation is built in part on our capacity to recognize patterns such as “when food sits in fire, its texture changes and it becomes easier to eat, until it burns.”
Like Philip K. Dick said, “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.”
 Jonathan Korman:
Of course, as a modern Hermeticist I am cultivating specific pattern illusions which I find help me live the life that suits me
Warning: JK is a synthesist so that anything you read about modern Hermeticism probably does not apply.  As usual for most mentioned on this blog johnbigbootie's One person Religion is about the best you can do. 

Creating beliefs is a necessary activity of a sapient, and probably any rational brain to stay alive.  As Shermer notes in The Believing Brain believing that the dark stripes in the waving tall grass calls for evasive action is a survival tactic.  The cost/benefit equation says don’t think just do.  Create a safe space from the grass, and then you can apply the null hypothesis that it is waving grass and not a tiger.  Otherwise the null hypothesis is likely to kill you.  

At almost any level of living beliefs allow us to function in common situations without having to really think about how we will react.  If a young woman sees a man leering at her her belief that he is a rapist is quite functional and she can take appropriate actions to eliminate the danger to her person.  Once she is safe it might be useful to examine her belief that the particular instance might have some prejudicial component and the null hypothesis that not all X are rapists could be useful in managing her prejudice.  But at some point the law of diminishing returns becomes important and the belief that all strange men are rapists may be functional.  

When I was learning to drive my instructor taught me to believe that all other drivers on the road were either drunk or crazy and my job as a driver was to make sure none of them could get close enough to my car to cause damage.  The null hypothesis that not all drivers on the road are drunk or crazy is a waste of time as keeping a safe space is reasonable in any case.  

Where beliefs become dysfunctional and should be tested against a null hypothesis are the "Everyone knows" or "It is just common sense" to believe Y.   Even then if "Everyone" in "Everyone knows" is the tribe, sect, or gang one is a member of, challenging Y against the null hypothesis may be hazardous to ones mental health at least.  But for those with an intelligent support group like a university or STEM community the null hypothesis is the path to intellectual growth and learning.