My First Superfuzzy!

Jul. 21st, 2017 04:36 am
xiphmont: (Default)
[personal profile] xiphmont

At first I thought a bird hit the window. I opened it to check for casualties, and in she fluttered...

I've been waiting a long time to see a polyphemus in person. She's battered and spent, but still beautiful.

Word of the Day

Jul. 17th, 2017 07:28 am
mathhobbit: (Default)
[personal profile] mathhobbit
Demonym

https://xkcd.com/1864/

Turnip Report

Jul. 15th, 2017 03:26 pm
mathhobbit: (Default)
[personal profile] mathhobbit
The farmshare went belly-up.  I'm open to suggestions of affordable ways of adding veggies to my diet.  (But at least I'm on top of adding fruit!)

A pound of spinach fills my backpack and makes a little over a pint of puree when cooked.  I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but I am.

And on the not-even-trying-to-be-healthy side of the diet, we have:  https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/03/23/nutella-swirl-pound-cake/

Enlightenment apostasy

Jul. 15th, 2017 12:09 pm
dpolicar: (Default)
[personal profile] dpolicar
(A friend recently posted about feeling depressed at the extent to which people seem perfectly content to embrace beliefs about the world that fly in the face of our observations of it. This started out as a comment and got out of hand.)

Yeah, I hear that.

That said: I find it really helps me, when I'm disoriented in the way you describe, to remember that the Enlightenment is fairly recent, historically speaking.

The idea that we can arrive at accurate beliefs about the world by observing it, studying it, experimenting with it, taking careful records, making predictions and checking to see whether our predictions are accurate... that idea is just a few centuries old.

The idea that we can converge on beliefs about the world through that process...
That the same experiment can be expected to get the same result whether performed by Christians or Jews or Pagans or atheists, by conservatives or liberals, by materialists or spiritualists...
That the observable world itself can be the source of a set of shared self-reinforcing beliefs...
That reliance on that process can form the cornerstone of a community just as reliance on a set of stories about God that we inherited from our ancestors does...

...these are really new ideas, historically speaking. Our culture has not fully assimilated them, not even close. Most of us weren't raised in the community of believers in the process of observing our surroundings and reasoning about them rigorously and communicating about them reliably. We don't really have social practices that reinforce that process.

So, sure, we often reject it. We often stray from that path and return to the older practice of performing culturally endorsed beliefs about reality in order to reinforce group boundaries and affirm group loyalty without reference to a shared observational practice.

That's unsurprising. Humans have been doing that before we have records; probably since before we were recognizably human.

And the alternative is genuinely hard! And honestly, as community-centering practices go, it lacks a lot: it de-centers individuals, it doesn't directly address moral issues, it doesn't distinguish between emotionally satisfying and emotionally alienating claims, it doesn't speak to our fears about nonexistence and loneliness, etc.

The one thing it has going for it is a promise to converge on shared truths if followed assiduously.

And for a lot of us that just isn't enough, or isn't always enough. We may embrace the tangible benefits of the practice, the tools and medicines and crop yields and cherry-picked theories that reinforce our culturally endorsed beliefs, but we tend to reject the practice itself. Heck, even the thing we call "science" is riddled with those practices, like any other human institution. Those habits run deep.

So, sure, of course we continue to practice the old ways, choosing the practice of performing cultural beliefs despite contradictory observations over the practice of centering and converging on observable patterns in reality.

We will continue to do that for a long, long time. It's a natural consequence of being the sort of systems we are.

So anyway, as I say, remembering that helps me approach Enlightenment apostasy with compassion during periods where I start to fear it as the end of the world. And I find that helps.

Word of the Day

Jul. 15th, 2017 09:40 am
mathhobbit: (Default)
[personal profile] mathhobbit
Peen

I do not think it means what you think it means.

xiphmont: (Default)
[personal profile] xiphmont

Remember a few weeks ago when I expressed some dissatisfaction with my AmScope's picture quality?

Well, I've put another iron in the fire: Collecting parts off eBay to build a once-top-of-the-line Olympus SZH. Now waiting for more bits to start trickling in.

Word of the Day

Jul. 11th, 2017 02:09 pm
mathhobbit: (Default)
[personal profile] mathhobbit
Kelvin

Even converting from Celsius is surprisingly pesky!

Sigh, Super Late Update

Jul. 9th, 2017 11:14 pm
[personal profile] tirinian
Everything frays and falls apart, the center cannot hold. Too hosed with everything, and don't know what to give up, but lets see what I've done:

Monday the 19th: Seafall! Raided Killbot, for my first pc-pc raid of the game. Still feels like it's stalled.
Tuesday the 20th: Auria! The second half of harrock's coup.
Wednesday the 21st: Dunno. Possibly nothing.
Thursday the 22nd: Sophisticate came over for a massage.
Friday the 23rd-Sunday the 25th: That was the weekend of "everyone is gone", so I don't think there was a lot, but I don't remember details anymore. Work on Saturday, Brunch with housemates on Sunday, I think.
Monday the 26th: Torino canceled, so nothing, I think?
27th: Auria! Puttering around investigating what colors mean for "detect evil" results, and looking at our neighbors to the east.
28th: The LARP Teacher came over for a massage.
29th: Went out with brilit. Plan was to go to The Melting Pot, but apparently you can only get in with reservations, so we wound up at a Border Cafe out in the 'burbs (who knew they were a chain! And it was super chain-y, while still also being clearly a Border Cafe!). Then played The Captain Is Dead.
30th: Wonder Woman with ilhander. I quite liked it. They got Diana mostly right (not necessarily exactly how I think of her, but a good version of Warrior Princess Hero), as opposed to trying to make all DC heros Grim'n'Gritty Batman, which I think has been there problem for several movies now.
1st: Dragon Chapter End, the rescue of Tsai Suyin. Then party at Killbot's.
2nd: Civ VI and dinner at Tedlandia, then work, I think.
3rd: Some work, early Seafall 'cause we were officially closed, BBQ at Germany's.
4th: Work work work, then Fireworks! With germany, with guest appearances by fireworksboi and the tibbettses & sniffens.
5th: I think that was mostly a down day?
6th: Warhammer RPG - talking to the underworld, and run in with some Skavin.
7th: Rome GM meeting - long live the eternal city!
8th: Work until Late.
9th: Went to Brunch at S&S and Oasis spa with Killbot, then work for a while.

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