Quote from Raven K Starre, success coach.
Archive for the ‘Philosophy’ Category
There’s a fascinating article at Reader’s Digest about a guy who decided to try saying hello to everyone in his path for a month. The results, although probably predictable, are quite interesting. He notes that it’s not as easy as you’d think, and I’m right with him there: I struggle to be friendly to strangers for who knows what reason (I’m chalking it up to shyness, but there are probably a dozen other things in the way as well). The Beloved One, on the other hand, has no problem saying hello to all and sundry, although this might be because of her job.
If I can get over the shyness and “weirded-outed-ness” of saying hi to strangers for a few days, I’ll let you all know how it goes. Anyone else keen to try this experiment? Or are you already extroverted enough to not need to do this?
My mind has been mulling over a question that I can’t quite seem to think through, and I’m hoping you’ll help.
In any given discussion about non-sequiturs, can a comment that follows, no matter how random, ever actually in itself be a non-sequitur?
Your best answers in the comments!
Posted in Animals, Biology, Biotech, Fashion, Food, Insanity, Latest world news, Philosophy, Science, WTF, tagged coats, experiments, Fashion, Insanity, laboratory, Science, stem cells on November 4, 2008 | 6 Comments »
Scientists at the School of Anatomy and Human Biology have grown a leather coat from stem cells, which is all kinds “weird science”. They’ve even named the coat “victimless leather”. Despite the coat being so small, it’s…well…bizarre. We seem to have no problem in using leather from dead cattle (or other animals, for that matter), most likely because the hide would have otherwise gone to waste, and because it’s a byproduct of a living creature. This coat is alive until fully grown. I assume that after it’s taken off life support, it’d still have to be cured.
Unfortunately, while this coat was on display in New York, it was pulled from life support when it grew too large for the container.
I had a thought, tho…Hmm…coatburgers.
Posted in Cool, Insanity, Latest world news, Movies, Paranormal, Philosophy, Psychology, Sci-Fi, Science, Techno, TV, tagged aliens, constructed language, doctor who, first contact, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, language, star wars, translators on October 20, 2008 | 4 Comments »
I think the article explains it all better than I ever could:
…John Elliott of Leeds Metropolitan University believes he has come up with software which at least will decipher the structure of their language – and be the first step in understanding what they are saying.
Dr Elliott’s programme would compare an alien language to a database of 60 different languages in the world to search see if it has a similar structure.
It would work great at deciphering our own human languages to start with! Imagine having a universal translator pinned to your lapel!
Because languages have different word orders, Dr Elliott is amassing a library of the syntaxes of 60 human tongues.
If a message is received from outer space, it could be compared against this database. Scientists would then be able to see if it resembled anything human, or a mix of Earthly languages.
The tiny kink in the plan, of course, is that we receive a written alien language before a spoken one…
Mind you, Dr Elliott might just have the perfect people to contact to test his program. According to sci-fi site io9.com, there are people who specialize in building non-human languages:
they’re called conlangers, and they construct elaborate languages for fun or to make the portrait of an alien race more believable.
Conlangers include everyone from Marc Okrand, the linguist who wrote Klingon, to the nerds who invented the most perfectly logical language in the world, known as Lojban. Anthony Burgess invented a little conlang for his characters in Clockwork Orange, and Suzette Haden Elgin’s Native Tongue trilogy is all about a group of rebel women linguists who create their own language to subvert their ultra-sexist society. Sometimes Hollywood employs conlangers to make alien talk seem more realistic[...]
Now that sounds like a really fun job!
This is one of those utterly strange, yet delightful little Flash games that has you trying to solve the puzzle behind it. I managed to solve it on my second go, so it’s not TOO hard, but there’s a pretty little moral behind it. What I love about this is the art style; it’s reminiscent of the old mid- to late-1800s styles of illustration. In a way, it evokes a definite feeling of “cyberpunk”. Go on and give it a go. It’s not long, and won’t tax your brain too much, but it’s definitely a great little momentary distraction.
[Link: Treasure Box]
Over at the Daily Mail, the question is asked: “What else gets transplanted when organs are shifted from body to body?” They cite some interesting stories that supposedly point toward experiences, memories, and feelings being attached to body parts.
In one celebrated case uncovered by Professor Schwartz’s team, an 18-year-old boy who wrote poetry, played music and composed songs was killed in a car crash. A year after he died, his parents came across a tape of a song he had written, entitled, Danny, My Heart Is Yours.
In his haunting lyrics, the boy sang about how he felt destined to die and donate his heart. After his death, his heart was transplanted into an 18-year-old girl – named Danielle.
When the boy’s parents met Danielle, they played some of his music and she, despite never having heard the song before, knew the words and was able to complete the lyrics.
It sounds like this has been covered in horror fiction before, doesn’t it? I seem to recall that either Clive Barker or Dean Koontz (or both) covered this in a novel. It was also covered in some part in a movie called “The Eye” (Wiki).
What do you think of this? Do you think that memory is a whole body experience? In the article it is stated, reasonably truthfully, that scientists still don’t know how memories are stored. Maybe the answer is that memory isn’t really stored in one place at all, but in several places.
The heading of the linked article talks about transplanting a soul, but is a person’s soul synonymous with a their memory and feelings? Come down to it, and as objective as you can possibly get, what is a soul? What parts of you can you define as being your soul?