piz

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Posts posted by piz


  1. Discuss the following line from Galt's speech in Atlas Shrugged, with emphasis on "indivisible," entity," and "attributes." Contrast separating mind from brain with separating red from apple.
    ...man is an indivisible entity, an integrated unit of two attributes: of matter and consciousness...

    Aw, no takers? :P


  2. Carlos, what you describe was the pattern of my classes in Swedish. As a foreign language, English was taught with more emphasis on grammar, vocabulary, spelling, and reading comprehension. My High School English teacher was a rare gem in the public education system in that she recognized my skill and said it was a waste of time for me to attend class. Instead she gave me separate assignments and let me complete the two English courses in one year instead of two.

    But if I go to Wikipedia to read about grammar, I find that I have almost no explicit knowledge of it. There are so many unknown concepts to me, such as clauses, subjects, propositions, predicates, pronouns, participles...I could go on to list all linguistic features except the few that I mentioned in the OP. Maybe I should get "the complete works" on all this, whatever that would be. I want to know and see every feature that makes up sentences and paragraphs, down to the atoms of language.

    Then Warriner's would be ideal for you. You'll get all that in a concise, hierarchical presentation from basic concepts all the way up to the broadest integrative writing skills. Strunk and White is excellent, but not as comprehensive.


  3. Discuss the following line from Galt's speech in Atlas Shrugged, with emphasis on "indivisible," entity," and "attributes." Contrast separating mind from brain with separating red from apple.

    ...man is an indivisible entity, an integrated unit of two attributes: of matter and consciousness...

  4. I have never found a better book for this purpose than Warriner's English Grammar and Composition. Originally written in the 1950s, various versions of it were my standard textbooks from the fourth through the 12th grades (1970 - 1979). The material is as thorough as could be, and the structure, logic, and (perhaps most importantly) sheer economy of the presentation is unparalleled. I cannot recommend it highly enough.


  5. She also understands "alive" and "dead." She saw an ant on the sidewalk and exclaimed, "A ant! Look! It alive!" Then she stomped on it. "I think I kill it."

    On a whim, I showed her a picture of a cat in a box and asked, "Is the kitty alive or dead?"

    "Yes," she replied. So I think she's a little uncertain about Heisenberg.

    (OK, I made up the Heisenberg one. ;))


  6. Today's bit of amazement: Kira was drawing with crayons, and she started rubbing a red crayon on her lips. I said, "Kira! That's not lipstick!" She replied, after a moment, "It kinda lipstick."

    A bit less cutified: she can reliably count to ten, and understands quantity enough that she consistently answers "How many?" by counting whatever objects are asked about.

    Next up, letters. Right now she thinks they're digits and recites them as numbers. :)


  7. An update: Kira is now just over 28 months. She and I were outside this evening. She looked up and saw something. This was the conversation:

    Kira [pointing]: Ba Ba, what that?

    Me: That's the moon.

    Kira: Moon?

    Me: Yep, the moon.

    [Kira thinks for a moment.]

    Kira: Da moon is way up high. [pause] It too high for birdies.

    That whole concept-formation thing? I think we're pretty much there.


  8. Shyness isn’t personality, it’s a fear and insecurity. Introverts can become shy, but so can extroverts. And you can overcome shyness and be more outgoing and comfortable with others, with work. But introversion and extroversion are basic temperaments, I don’t think they’re even primarily about social interaction but about sensitivity to stimulation. That’s why introverts need to recharge after being in a crowd of people, they get overwhelmed by the experience. I’ve been reading a fascinating book called Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking that, only from my own introspection, seems to hit the nail on the head in that respect.

    I agree with what Piz said earlier about introversion not being a malady, and the book argues that for example the introvert’s high tolerance for solitude is what makes him naturally better suited for creative work. It isn’t something that you need to change, and maybe it can’t be changed.

    But I also don’t think there’s anything wrong with extroverts, and because they are naturally attracted to external stimulation they develop different kinds of skills more easily. An interesting and disturbing observation from the book is the focus of our culture on forcing everyone to become extroverts. Not only does this not work, but it isn’t even desirable, since the world is better off having both kinds of people.

    If I had a nickel for every extrovert who thought my introversion was a character flaw...

    And that's the problem: in my experience, extroverts overwhelmingly really do think that something is wrong with introverts. Either that or they just don't pay any attention, being too busy interacting with other extroverts or dominating their interaction with introverts. It used to bother me, now I just observe for study for amusement.


  9. This blog post of mine might help: Ten Myths about Introverts.

    I have stopped treating my introversion as a malady to be cured. Recently, I had an interesting experience of how that's been an improvement for me: Out at a karaoke show a couple of weeks ago, I was sitting with a group of people I know, all of whom I think of as "drama-mongers" (more commonly called "gossips," I would think). One of their major goals in human interaction appears to be to create strife and use it to garner attention for themselves. They were having an animated conversation, while I was looking up songs to sing on my phone. One of them turned to me and said, "Oh, sorry about that." I looked around to see what she might be talking about, and said, "For what?" She said that she had just made an insulting remark about my son. "I wasn't listening," was my reply, and she looked confused. I still don't know what she said, and still have no interest in finding out.

    I had a really good time that night.

    Don't sweat introversion, there's nothing wrong with it. For myself, I think it's extroverts who have a problem. I see them, in general, as far more secondhanded than I am. Just be who you are and do what you do, and you'll find the right people. Or ... you'll find that you've been with the right person all along, and that's more important.


  10. I am fortunate to have tinnitus then. The constant ringing in my ears would persist even in a zero echo environment. I have constant sound of about ten kilohertz. It no longer bothers me (I have had it since I was young) and I am quite used to it.

    What do you mean by "used to it"? Do hear it all the time or did your brain learn to automatically filter it out of your conscious awareness? Presumably you at least are not focused on it to distration?

    I also have tinnitus. Most of the time I'm not consciously aware of it, but it's always there if I choose to focus on it. Always. If the environment is quiet and I concentrate hard enough, I can identify five distinct yet simultaneous sounds. Four are tones of various pitch, and one is similar to the sound you hear when you hold a seashell to your ear (though higher in "pitch"). Also, in a silent environment, the tinnitus sounds as if it's exceptionally loud, whereas with various kinds of external noise it varies from just quieter than the ambient to almost nonexistent.

    All this has led me to believe that the tinnitus I have has nothing really to do with the mechanism of hearing at all, but instead is some sort of action somewhere between my auditory nerve and my brain.

    How does it affect your listening to music? Are you able to suppress it from your focus in contrast to the music, and if so does that part of the spectrum from the music go with it?

    It doesn't seem to have any effect on my hearing at all. I have very little hearing loss, and none of that attributable to the tinnitus. Specifically regarding music, nothing seems to be lost. The four tones I hear are far above the highest musical note I've ever heard, and the best way I can describe them is that they sound something like the very highest tones you hear in a hearing test, but a bit more "piercing." They're actually quite difficult to describe to someone who doesn't have the condition.

    Note, though, that my tinnitus sounds are entirely different than and separate from the ringing in the ears that is the source of the old wives' tale that when your ears ring it means someone somewhere is talking about you. I get that sound occasionally just as everyone else does. It's at least an octave lower in pitch than the lowest of my tinnitus tones, maybe two.

    I wonder if it would help against the experiments on sound deprivation -- it raises the question of would a constant background with no variation (and nothing else) be better or worse than a field of constant silence.

    One of the treatments for tinnitus (in extreme cases) is to sever the auditory nerve, but apparently the cause of the condition is not well enough understood to guarantee that doing so will make the sound go away. So one may wind up deaf yet still with tinnitus, the tones being the only thing you'd ever hear again. I think that would drive me mad, whereas the condition as it is for me now is no big deal since I am unaware of it most of the time.


  11. Quick correction: The Lord of the Rings was issued as three books, but Tolkien considered it one story and was not happy with the publisher's decision. In fact, each of the three volumes are divided into two "books," numbered consecutively 1 through 6 by the author.

    Regading part 2 of the Atlas movie, in my not at all humble opinion, part 1 was so bad that there is no point in continuing to parts 2 and 3. (See my review elsewhere on this forum.) There will be even less point in going to see whatever comes next.


  12. He's commenting on something he joked about during the video. Watch it again and you'll find it.

    OK, I got it, I understood he meant that it doesn't hurt joking, that is that his explanation was only a joke.

    In fact, he really meant it. I'll have to think about it, but meanwhile here is the transcript, for reference:

    It may have occurred to you that if we say that a elementary wave goes out from my eye and a photon follows it back, then how can we explain our ability to see stars that emitted their light one million years ago?

    Here is my best guess.

    We will say that this (the rod) is an elementary wave that has been here forever, since the beginning of time, flowing in this direction (toward the sky) at the speed of light.

    One million years ago, a star passes through this EW and emits a photon going in this direction (toward the man) at the speed of light.

    One million years later, I go outside and look at the night sky and, as I position my head, this EW that has been here forever comes into the back of my skull ... and emerges through the subatomic particles in my rods and cones, carrying downstream information about my retina and, in the last minute, the photon comes this direction into my eye and I see the star.

    [emphasis added]

    You omitted the exact part that the video's closing line refers to. Where your ellipsis is should be the words "I hope it doesn't hurt," meaning pain from the elementary wave passing through the skull. That's supposed to be the joke, feeble as it is.

    In any case, his explanation for how we can see light that was emitted before we existed is different than the one given by Dr. Little in his original descriptions of TEW. Dr. Little's is much better.


  13. On the new Lewis Little http://elwave.org/ site, a Dr. Jeffrey H. Boyd, MD, is introduced and described with these words: "the only other TEW expert on earth. Little and Boyd have been in conversation, bouncing ideas off each other, for more than half a century."

    On YouTube he appears with a video

    , titled "How do we see stars?".

    At the end, in the last few seconds, there is a rather puzzling comment, apparently also by Jeffrey Boyd. I don't know what to think of it.

    He's commenting on something he joked about during the video. Watch it again and you'll find it.


  14. There is not and cannot be a trade between actual and potential.

    There certainly is and can be. Buying insurance is an example of trading an actual (money that I have) in exchange for a potential (reimbursement for damage from fire, theft, an accident, etc. that may, but probably won't, happen). So is trading in commodity futures or, for that matter, any contract in which you trade present money or perform services now in exchange for future money, goods, or services you may or may not receive. Do you acknowledge that such trades exist? Do you think that there is something wrong or improper about them> If not, what do you mean by "There is not and cannot be trade between actual and potential?" Could you give some concrete examples and/or some indication why you made that statement?

    I disagree. In all those cases you are trading an actual for an actual: money for a contractual promise. If the other party fails to deliver on that promise, then he has engaged in fraud at the time he was supposed to fulfill his obligation. The potentials in the case of insurance are the fire, accident, etc., and you're not paying for those.

    In the other cases, it's no different than paying a clerk for an item behind the counter - the clerk may or may not give you the item after you've handed over your money (or vice-versa, you many not hand over the money after the clerk gives you the item). The only difference in your examples is the amount of time that elapses between one side paying and the other side delivering. In all cases it's goods for goods.


  15. But in the example in question, Ruveyn isn't providing anything to anyone who will provide services in return should the potential become actual, in the way an insurance company will provide payments in exchange for premiums paid. He's just putting his effort out there in the hope that someone will do the same for him should it become necessary. There's no contract the way there is in an actual trade. It's like betting on "karma" to "do its thing" in one's own lifetime.

    We humans survive best when we co-operate.It is to our mutual benefit; that is the trade. Unless one is prepared to turn down all assistance when one needs it, it is reasonable to give it when needed by others. We all need the justice system and should be prepared to contribute to it when it doesn't involve unreasonable personal cost.

    I agree. I was merely observing that Ruveyn's example is not similar to insurance.


  16. No, it doesn't involve actual trade. What if one never got blind or broke a leg? There is no such a thing as a trade between actual and potential goods which may never come around.

    There certainly is. It's called insurance.

    But in the example in question, Ruveyn isn't providing anything to anyone who will provide services in return should the potential become actual, in the way an insurance company will provide payments in exchange for premiums paid. He's just putting his effort out there in the hope that someone will do the same for him should it become necessary. There's no contract the way there is in an actual trade. It's like betting on "karma" to "do its thing" in one's own lifetime.


  17. If Jury duty were voluntary then the volunteers would most likely have an interest in the cases which they volunteered to hear.

    Alternatively, they might have an interest in hearing cases. Not the same thing.


  18. "Perfect" is different for everyone. The first time I saw this woman I was stunned, and I remain so. I have never seen her in pictures or video where she was not perfect. She's best known for playing Amy Pond on the BBC sci-fi series Dr. Who.

    In 51 years of life, I have never seen a woman more beautiful. For me, absolute perfection is Karen Gillan:

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