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Monday, September 10, 2012

Quantum Psychology, Chapter 12

[I reproduce here Robert Anton Wilson's original exercizes, although I would argue that researching and presenting  almost any theory or ideology that most of us would reject also would work -- The Mgt.]

1. Let one member of the group write to the Flat Earth Research Society. Let him or her present to the group some good arguments that the flatness model of Earth fits the facts better than the sphere model.

Let all members attempt to listen calmly, rationally, objectively.

Let all members observe that this attempt to listen without prejudice seems very much more difficult than you would expect in advance.

2. Let another member of the group similarly research and present a defense of Islam (especially its attitude toward women.)

Again, attempt to listen without prejudice, and observe how hard this seems.

3. Let another member research the brilliant scientist Nikola Tesla, father of alternating current grids, and present to the group Tesla's reasons for rejecting Relativity.

4. Let another member research and present the case against Evolution.

Again: More profit will come from doing these exercizes than from merely reading about them.


Eric Wagner said...


I would like to research and present a defense of Islam, unless someone else would like to.

Do we have a duality this week?

Thom Foolery said...

I grew up in a fundamentalist Christian household that rejected (and still rejects) Evolution (i.e., the Neo-Darwinian synthesis of genetics and natural selection), and ended up studying biology (and religion) in college, and so Creationist worldviews of all kinds endlessly fascinate me. That is by way of saying that I have distilled versions of some of these worldviews on hand, more or less, for cocktail parties and online book study groups.

One creationist (more specifically, intelligent design) argument that I find particularly fascinating is Michael Behe's argument in the book Darwin's Black Box. Basically, it is a variation on the old question for Darwin, "how can something as complex and integrated as an eyeball have evolved in a gradual, piecemeal fashion?" Except that, in Behe's case, he looks at the complexity of the molecular, biochemical underpinnings of life, and asks a similar question. He provides a specific example, the cascading reactions that go into something as simple as blood clotting reaction (if I remember correctly), to illustrate that biochemical processes are like intricately constructed Rube Goldberg contraptions wherein each and every reaction is utterly dependent on the one before, and where nothing happens if any link in the chain is disrupted. This is Darwin's "black box" according to Behe, because while it is possible to conceive of a macroscale structure like an eye evolving in a series of adaptive steps (e.g. light sensing tissue to simple eye to more complex eye, etc.), it is much more difficult (at least for Behe)to imagine how nanoscale molecular structures like the flagellum, which looks precision designed and engineered under an electron microscope, evolved through natural selection. Certainly it isn't possible to conceive of nanotechnological devices, especially in the age of Eric Drexler, but it is harder (at least for Behe and myself) to conceive of them as spontaneously generating machines.

Thom Foolery said...

Rather, it isn't *impossible to conceive of nanotech. (Proofreading is hard.)

Unknown said...

I will take the flat earth argument, but idk about writing the society. I have my own concerns I could apply to a argument. I like what you said about evolution but am I weird for thinking nano machines could evolve? Flat earth proof coming in a few days.

Unknown said...

I wasn't sure if I should present the argument as if I believed it or just as a rational idea. I chose the former. I also found a large community of people that believe this. Many were fundamental christians and others were conspiracy theorists but sumbunall were very adamant in this belief. Youtube and google is full of their research and findings.

Flat Earth

Its a conspiracy that the earth is round. Certain groups have been in power of the world for many years, and now hidden inside american science specifically Nasa in this case, have figured it better to add misconception and misdirection to the peoples understanding of reality. One of the main steps in brainwashing is to have the victim believe a lie. The more they believe it the more control you gain. There are many examples of people being brainwashed by their government most notably is the current state of society in North Korea. This merely validates why we are manipulated to believe the earth is round. Its a motive to make us put more faith in those in charge.

The bible says the earth is flat. The bible has also been used as the best evidence of ancient history due to its accuracy of events. This is not to say everything is 100%. While some distortion of the events may have occurred through translation many of the stories have been confirmed by various fields of science. Anthropologists have validated civilizations, battles, and natural disasters of the stories. This indicates that God not only has a real presence but wants us to know that we are in fact on a flat surface he created.

Well conjecture is nice but I know what you really want... the proof. A good place to start is with the conspiracy and to confirm that someone knows and lies to us one only has to look at the United Nations flag. Spoiler Alert: its a flat earth. Secondly just walk outside and look. Common sense clearly shows the earth as flat. If it was round you would always be prevents from looking farther on the horizon as it would continuously be under your viewpoint. But as we all know acquiring a higher elevation grants increased visibility . Thirdly if the earth is moving through space as fast as they say then why don't you fall off when you jump? Lastly if earth is spinning, why are we stuck to its surface. Gravity eh? Well I know if you spin in a circle and hold an object on a string it will fly away if you don't keep it on that string. So what about this gravity keeps us down?

Eric Wagner said...

Well, I just typed out my defense of Islam, and it has disappeared. Perhaps I will do a better job tomorrow.

Eric Wagner said...

Islam seems vast to me. I certainly don't approve of terrorism, but Islam consists of much more than that. I would like to better understand writers like Ibn 'Arabi and Rumi. 'Arabi writes about Mohammed as the perfect man, and I certainly respect 'Arabi's opinion.

Christianity has a varied history and has shaped the world view of many writers I admire, even some who ultimately rejected Christianity. I don't understand the richness of Islamic civilization well enough to condemn it.

In terms of women, I remember reading an article a few years ago about Western women who converted to Islam. Different lanes for different brains. (Not much of a defense, eh?) I also remember that two of Osama bin Laden's wives had Ph.D.'s.

phodecidus said...

Since Islam, Flat Earth Society and Evolution have already been taken and I'm a bit late to the game, I guess I'll take Nikola Tesla.

I'll see if I can get a few books on him, watch a few documentaries, and get back to y'all within the week.

Or I could write a defense of The Tea Party movement in Unistat.

Anonymous said...

I have been "debating" with the flat eartj society for the last few months. I actually joind the forum years ago after sdeeing a link to the forum from Wilsons offical site. but only recently decided to go on it and see what it was like. they are mostly trolls, but some of them will actually give you pertinent questions to think about ( it is very few and far between). I could research it a little harder and try and get the most lucid argumenst and post them if any one is interested.

phodecidus said...

I'd like to see those arguments, Andrew, and may even join the forums myself. Thanks.