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Re: [OT] voting (was: Slashdot and media accuracy (was Re: Improved Debian Project Emergency Communications))

On Sun, 7 Dec 2003 00:32:46 -0700
"Monique Y. Herman" <spam@bounceswoosh.org> wrote:

> On Sun, 07 Dec 2003 at 05:57 GMT, Paul E Condon penned:
> > 
> > As the most recent user of this phrase on this list, let me join
> > this discussion:
> > 
> > The sense in which I meant 'know history' was to know what has
> > happened in prior times when a certain course of action or a certain
> > line of reasoning was used. For humans, instincts are stuff like the
> > ability to acquire and use language, the ability to engage in
> > thought about what others are thinking, etc. Clarke's postulates
> > seeem to me foolish, but amusing. We don't have adequate definitions
> > of what we mean by altruism in humans. Our lives are rather complex,
> > and what might seem altruistic at first sight can be, on more deep
> > examination,'enlightened self-interest', and visa-versa. 
> > 
> Who are you, Kant? =P
> I haven't actually read the book, so I can't really chime in on what
> Clarke did or didn't accomplish or intend to accomplish.  
> [snip]
> > 
> > For me, the consistency with which mistakes are repeated, is a proof
> > of the ignorance of history on the part of the players, not a
> > disproof of the addage. 
> I tend to agree here, except that it's not that simple, because the
> factors are never *exactly* the same, and some people are better than
> others at discerning similar patterns.  In fact, I'd tend to believe
> that most folks are pretty bad at it.  Then again, that's probably
> just self-aggrandizing fluff, since I consider myself to be pretty
> good at it.
> ... Anyway, point is, it's not as simple as recognizing identical
> situations.  It's seeing similar situations, recognizing the pattern,
> and being able to extrapolate from there.
> > It is hard to determine just exactly what is the special thing that
> > makes homo sapiens different from other great apes. Some say there
> > is no essential difference, others say that we were create different
> > by God. I think we have a special ability to see ourselves from
> > 'outside', and to think about how others see us. But others claim
> > that this is an illusion. But if one chooses to live within the
> > illusion, knowing history is surely better than not knowing it.  And
> > if one pretends to reject the illusion, ... whatever ... 
> Heh.
> Every time scientists have held forth some notion that "humans are
> unique because," later scientists have found a variety of "animals"
> that do the same thing.  I'm not saying that there might not be some
> unique point, but the fact is, without being able to sit down to a
> pint of guinness with representatives of other species, it's kind of
> hard to really know what, if anything, is going on in their heads.
> Just today, I was reading Discover Magazine, and this scientist was
> stating as "fact" that animals simply don't feel pain the way humans
> do. Maybe that's what he has to tell himself to get through the day,
> but last I heard, that was far from accepted Truth, and it's certainly
> a concept that I have trouble swallowing, having seen my cats and dogs
> seemingly in pain, seemingly panicked, seemingly joyful, seemingly
> playful, seemingly sad ... maybe there are other explanations, but
> they ring hollow to my ears.
Heidegger, not Kant is the one with the answer here.
'Dasein', - Man, the being for whom being is a question.
With all due respect to cats and dogs.


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