Arthanari Chandrasekaran

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Strange questions that humans have not yet found an answer for!

We all have a unique course of action through out our day. Many of the conversation along with our friends or some that we hear from others talking at times surprise us and gets our brain thinking, but only to later ignore saying this might be beyond human reach. Have you come across any such question through your brain or from others which you think humans have not yet explored or researched or any unanswerable question?

  • Jul 23 2012: A random thought… Why do they say you can't change your past? I would say is generally accepted that what you do today is past tomorrow… So actually you can influence partially your past, by paying good attention at what you are doing today.
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      Jul 23 2012: Cornelia,
      You are suggesting that by being aware and mindful today, we can influence our future past!
      Good point!!! I LOVE it:>)
      • Jul 24 2012: Exactly my point! I didn’t know how to put it in simple words and seeing your comment it couldn’t have been more precise. Thank you! Your contribution is always encouraging for new members like myself.
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          Jul 26 2012: Cornelia,
          You said it PERFECTLY....notice the thumbs up you are getting for that very simple and profound idea!!!! I simply said it in a different way to confirm what I perceived you to say:>)

          Thank you for your kind feedback my friend:>)
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      Jul 26 2012: The past is for reference only. Being mindful, to me means acting in certain pre-determined set of ways. Which would inhibit creative behavior.
    • Jul 26 2012: If you look at your life as a free fall through time/space then you will learn how small course corrections will influence the trajectory of your decent. The wake you leave behind affects everything in the universe more then you could ever know.

      We are blessed with the ability to consciously make these corrections, while other matter is not. This is why if we live our lives radiating love and tolerance we make the universe a better place for all who inhabit it.
    • Jul 27 2012: The past is changed by feeling and understanding the content of the past. To do this one must express the sound the body originally wanted to make in response to the feelings which were felt in the past. Sound with out words. Just the raw sound because words have already intellectualized the experience. The body holds the tension which was created in order to block the feelings from being expressed in their raw form. When the body is allowed to express feeling as voluminous sound the vibrations generated releases the body's original tensions which had been inhibiting expression.

      This tension release in the tissue of the body simultaneously deepens the memory around the original event and expands ones memory of the past on many levels. This is because with in the numbness that the tension was holding in place is also lost (numb) memory. As the tension is release memory returns.

      What could be considered the unknown or unconscious becomes more consciousness, which in turn brings up more feelings for processing through expression. It seems to be a never ending journey into the past until the past is completely processed into consciousness. Life gets a little bit better with each step.
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    Jul 16 2012: Why are we spending so much money on Research on outer world and nuclear weapons (military) , when we could use the same amount of money for helping the poor and needy people ??

    This is the strangest question that has been bothering me ...
    • Jul 17 2012: Just who is 'WE?'

      I'm not spending any money on those things so please don't include me in "we"

      That now makes the question, why are "you" spending money on weapons, the military and all those other kinds of things?

      If the answer is that you are not, then who is? And why is the aforementioned 'WE' allowing it, since it is all money that comes from them!!

      The average citizen of the world wants to live in peace, harmony and with safety, without worry.

      Just who is against that? The very people who we look up to, give our power to and we don't even need them to live the way we want. They certainly don't want to live that way, so they are totally irrelevant and we don't need them so we need to get rid of them as means, method and manner of operating in the world.

      We continue to believe their lies, we continue to believe in lies rather than truth and we continue to do the same things over and over and expect different results!


      Because we are insane.
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        Jul 17 2012: Actually our money that we pay as taxes are not used in the right manner .... In other words we are indirectly spending on military through our taxes ...
      • Jul 17 2012: You give humans to much credit by calling them insane. Is a heard of cows insane when it follows it's leader?
      • Aug 12 2012: Are you saying "that the German Government and/or any group (like the European Union) that it is involved in is not do spend money on "Research on outer world and nuclear weapons (military)". For if you live in Germany and pay taxes then you are definitely part of a "We". The people of a country are responsible for allowing anything their government does, even if the people do not know about it. Unless ignorance is a defense, if so then I will stick my head in the sand and then my government can do what ever they like. Maybe if we all started taking responsibly for what those around us do, then some of the negative things that happen wouldn't. And if one believes that everything is a figment of their imagination, then they are personally responsible for all that happens to the figments of their imagination, so those figments should put the punishment onto them for everything that has ever happened in said figments history.
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      Jul 17 2012: Hi Bharath,

      Thanks for the reply.

      There is another conversation going on a similar topic, thought you might be interested.

      All the Best,
    • Jul 23 2012: I read your question and found myself wondering what the numbers are
      World GDP 70 trillion 2011 (Google, world bank)
      World R&D 1.4 trillion projected 2012 (
      While you can (and should) question what we spend research money on, I don't think you can call the percentage(2%) spent unreasonable.
      I am all for switching research $ from entertaining cell phone apps and aircraft carriers to... well, almost anything else. I would defend space research (I assume that's what you mean by outer world) because without it humanity will never gain access to the resources and capabilities needed for long term survival.

      That said I think that in a moral world the human race would collectively declare that every person had a legal right to safe food, water, and shelter(a bed to sleep in out of the weather and free from sexual coercion) to start with and to go even further: basic literacy(preferably in a common language as it's hard enough to make peace when you CAN talk to each other), and basic health care(generic antibiotics, vaccinations, stitches... not unlimited access to specialists)

      let the individual countries decide their own logistics in fulfilling this minimum, but create a way for people to remove their government for non compliance.

      This would cost a lot of money undoubtedly, but It would eliminate the need for countless redundant and ineffectual organizations. Economically it would cause changes but it would create a safer, healthier, and more competitive world workforce
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    Aug 2 2012: Where did I put the car keys?
    • Aug 4 2012: genius! lol
    • Aug 7 2012: a better question than "where did I put the car ".. Unless you have both questions simultaneously and are standing in a very large parking lot ... late at night ... with big rain clouds hovering menacingly above you.

      ( Nope ... never happend to me!)

      But after a while, (hypothetically) you might start thinking more about a far more serious question:

      "Where did they put the bathroom?" but that is another story ...
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        Aug 7 2012: I have the car part solved, I think. Once I do find my keys, I can use that panic button for a beep to let the car call me. I once really screwed up and tried it in a multi story hosptial parking lot and spent a lot of time wandering around. YIKES!
        Now I am becoming obsessive about remembering to the point of writing it on my ticket at airports.
  • Jul 20 2012: Where are my car keys? :)
  • Aug 9 2012: I already saw a similar question here (about babies).
    Mine is more like an alternative version of it.

    "If you are deaf, and were never taught any language (verbal or non-verbal) how do you think?"

    I'm asking because a few months ago, when i started reading books in english, my - what should i call it? - my "inner voice" became an englishman. When i think about abstract things i mostly do it in english now.
    But what about someone who has never heard a word? Or never seen one? How can they "abstract"? What if the person is blind too? (most unlucky person ever)
    You can't think in pictures, you can't think in words you can only think in smells, physical sensations? One silly question.... do you even think?
    • Aug 10 2012: This reminds me of a joke I recently heard that goes "How do you tell a person who is blind, deaf and dumb that he/she has lost his/her mother?". It is quite hard to imagine how their inner selves communicate with them. I want to risk saying that they do not have "a talking" inner self.
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      Aug 10 2012: I think in both pictures and voices. I guess people think in the same was they experience the world.

      So not so strange question after all.
      • Aug 12 2012: thank you for the links :)

        I knew language was important for the mental development, but never thought this much. The analogy of language being the OS of the brain is astounding.
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        Aug 13 2012: That´s ok, but I think about the questions we do not even know they are questions. Maybe one day the easiest thing, known by everybody, will pop up offering new faces, different views, and opening a lot of new questions. I hope it so, if not, life'll be very bored! ;-)
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      Aug 10 2012: it would take time, but their brain would use some neural algorithm/code of their interpurited world, wouldnt they. just as you use memories of captured images or sound persepted to construct your conclusions and inturpereted world. (i am a terrable speller~sorry~). This seems kind-of abstract, but i am just a teenager and haven't realy studied pycology.
  • Aug 1 2012: I believe in mysticism to a degree, and what I want to know is did humanities ancestors (druids, priests, shamans, etc.) actually gain extraordinary abilities at some point. Or is there the possibility of it lying dormant in us all (kind of like an underutilized part of our brain that is not being triggered anymore)

    Thought of another one but most people don't know about this stuff:
    What information is stored in the oldest library in the world, the Vaticans
    • Aug 1 2012: Excellent questions.

      The scientific approach to knowledge has had huge benefits, and many people believe that one of those benefits has been the retreat of mysticism. But it seems to be a law of nature that everything comes with a price, and we may never know the full price of science. Is it possible that if our ancestors had rejected science and accepted mysticism, we would all have super powers?
      • Aug 1 2012: I would hope so (would be sweet) or at least the world would be much richer culturally in my opinion

        But on a sociological level I believe we would be closer to nature, and more tolerant of others
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        Aug 7 2012: Hi Barry,
        You are right. The scientific method has shown itself to have great advantage in the pursuit of knowledge.

        In the pursuit of that knowledge it is often hidden assumptions about nature which we find in our path. Just like Einstein found that there was no absolute time to nature and all time was relative.

        However, science as an institution does not operate free from assumptions, it operates with a limited scope. We cannot therefore fully accept any answer it comes up with since it may be restricted.

        Science (particularly pertinent to physics) makes the starting assumption that all comes from the material. In other words there was a big bang which started it all off. But with this assumption in place, we as a race cannot accept that it is a full and only answer as to our origins. Only when this assumption is removed and the big bang is still the answer can we accept it.

        You must not think I am a religious fanatic when I say this, I am not. But it is still a very important point I make. Science rules out God by saying it was all started with a big bang, but it is only by virtue of its starting assumption it can do this. Its starting assumption should be telling science that it has no authority to talk about origins. Perhaps our origins are more spiritual. Knowledge, or science, if it is all about the truth, should not be structurally opposed to spirituality as it seems to be today.
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      Aug 2 2012: It seems most cultures find a way of creating an altered mind state through some kind of hallucinogenic, usually plant or fungus based. Aztecs retained chocolate for their warrior caste. It's a stimulant. Caffeine is a stimulant. Various mushrooms are but many are also toxic. Fasting is a way to induce a trance like state as are the breathing exercises in some meditations. Extreme pain is also a mind altering experience and is used in many initiation ceremonies for young men. Insights might well be arrived at during an altered brain chemistry but would the person remember afterwards or would it just seem like a dream.
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    Jul 27 2012: How do they get the Caramel inside a Caramilk bar??
    • Aug 1 2012: Oh, that is a very messy question.
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    • Jul 31 2012: Excellent idea.

      Imagine being the first person to think, and knowing that you are very different from the people in your family and everyone else in your tribe. Scary.
  • Aug 15 2012: Why do we have schools, if all they do is to ask you to accept and understand, and measure your intelligence through examinations, when actually it really doesn't measure intelligence but only how much you've remembered/accepted. Why do we learn about circles, log, angles, salts, chemicals, when the chances are you're probably not going to remember them? its not that I don't appreciate school, but why is the global education system like this? is it because it always has been, or are we just too lazy/out of ideas to change it?
    -thanks :)
  • Aug 8 2012: Could someone please explain how the human consciousness works please.
    Also, while at it, what exactly does gravity consist of?

    Hmm, and has and will the universe be reborn?

    Oh, and why can't anything go faster than light?

    Finally, the most puzzling one to me...
    Why don't we humans do something about climate change now that we know we're causing it and the effects will be much worse than the effort to do something about it?
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      Aug 8 2012: Don't you have any easy ones?
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      Aug 9 2012: The best book I ever read on that subject was by a prof named Harry Hunt from an obscure Canadian university (He was originally an American) and it is called "The nature of Consciousness" and if I could honour your request and answer your question, I would but even with more than7 years of education in psychology, I cannot give you one that is satisfactory to myself. Harry's book however, traces all the factors and considers everything from Freudian and Jungian thought to existentialism to altered states - it is a dense but safisfying read.
  • Aug 6 2012: why can't I make her love me (T T)
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      Aug 7 2012: Ah! The age old question! Most of us have to be content with this expression:" Because the heart wants what the heart wants"
      I have a friend right now who is suffering this in a most destructive way. She is in love with a guy who is so bad for her - it is almost unimaginable and yet no matter what anyone says or what she experiences she goes back to wondering why he treats her this way. It is pretty simple really - he can not possibly love her - he has no room to love her for his heart is in love with himself.

      I just realized that it is possible everyone thinks it is me. It really isn't.
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        Aug 8 2012: Or maybe........ she loves him precisely because he is bad to her. As commonly found or said: "Girls like bad boys."
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          Aug 8 2012: YUCK! Maybe that is why it is so hard for me to understand. I have never ever gone for that bad boy type and so cannot imagine it. I think the toughest thing in life is to be a good man and I think it should be rewarded with an equalient Good woman.
  • Aug 5 2012: With "progress" do we often lose more than we gain? I am thinking about unexpected consequences that result when we (as individuals or as the human race) "progress."

    I am thinking about various things like genetically modified grain. We make a trade off when we adopt a genetically modified crop and (often) the risks are not well understood. So, while it may appear that problems will be solved by the use of genetically modified grain, new, more complicated problems are likely to arise over time. Yet, this is progress??

    Even in my own life ... I wonder if there are times when I was happier knowing less. There are times when it seems that the more I become aware of, the more I realize how so much is beyond my control. Certainly, it is better ( at least more responsible) to know as much as I can. At the very least, I am then able to do what I can, even if it does not seem like much. It is better than nothing (or at least I hope) but what f I am helping to put more genetically modifed grain out into the world? Will I help to end a famine or merely help to cause a more serious famine in several years?

    So, I will ask the impossibly broad question: Are "we" making progress? ( personally and/or globally as human beings)
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      Aug 5 2012: Dear Juniper Blue
      One of the most important maxims of psychology is that| "contol is an illusion". I sometimes want to revert temporarily to times when I knew less but then I realize that trading illusion for truth is a pretty good deal.
      • Aug 5 2012: I reached my maximum of "thumbs up" for you or you would have received one for this response.
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          Aug 5 2012: Thank you,Rhona. I am just trying to share what is true to me so that I can prime the pump and get everybody else to help me with all those things that confuse me.
      • Aug 7 2012: Thanks Debra ... nicce to know that I am in good company.
    • Aug 5 2012: Hello Juniper,

      An excellent question.

      A century from now historians might be saying that this is the definitive question of the twenty first century.

      It is becoming increasing clear that the 'progess' of the last few centuries has run its course and we must, at a minimum, modify our ideas about progress.

      Regarding unexpected consequences, our technologies are becoming so powerful that it behooves us to develop a method (in the same sense as the scientific method) to better predict consequences and decide which technologies are just too risky. Technologies like genetic manipulation could possibly wipe out all life on this planet. Wisdom is no longer optional
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        Aug 7 2012: I loved this statement: "Wisdom is no longer optional" Right ON!
      • Aug 7 2012: Ahhhh. Now that is just way too smart!! Thanks for the response Barry ... I hope that someone out there is perfecting such a method.
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    • Aug 13 2012: A thought....

      The polio epidemic of my parents generation was directly tied to the spread of indoor plumbing and the ethic of cleanliness propogating through wealthy cultures. It seems there is a bio-immune respose in the body when exposed to feces that has a side effect of reducing succeptability to polio. So... cleanliness is "progress" in the area of general medicine, social encounters, etc... but not in polio avoidance.

      The very notion of progress seems to be deceptive to me, when used as an absolute. Conditional progress, i.e. : we are halfway there, the job is almost done, etc... is one thing, but that we are better than our predecessors because we have remote controls and credit cards is a matter of opinion, not fact.

      Even social institutions like parenting are open to broad interpretations of progress. Anthropologists might point out that hunter gatherers are known to be caring and attentive parents, and limited to small families. (Two toddler/infants at a time, more and you can not flee from predators). It was the spread of agrarian societies that led to large, labor related, and often abusive families. At the same time, the food surplus allowed for larger families and the diversification of trades. In this example progress in one area is matched by detriment in the other.

      Who defines the base factors, on which we might judge and make an absolute statement? You do.

      • Aug 14 2012: Thanks for this thoughtful response Ian. Very insightful.
  • Aug 2 2012: Once, my little brother asked me a question. "Why we need to sleep? "
    • Aug 4 2012: lol he reminds me of my little sister.
      • Aug 5 2012: LoL maybe the way the kids think does not matter what gender they are :).
  • Aug 1 2012: Suppose there is an alien civilization much like ours on a galaxy thousands of light years away. This civilization is almost identical to us, with similar technology and similar intelligence. Like us, they point their instruments outward and take all manner of measurements of the universe. Because of just one reason, their location, EVERY SINGLE ITEM of their data would be different from our data. With this in mind, what is the probability that they would understand the workings of the universe in the same way that we do? Would they have a theory of relativity? Would their equations match ours?
    • Aug 1 2012: math seems to be the universal language. they may have different symbols, and methods, and equations, but a lot of their results might be the same as ours. for example their planet may have gravity like ours,--they may not called it gravity, but they would understand it as much as we do.
      theory of relativity its good, but its a THEORY. we as species don't really know a lot of FACTS about the universe. and sometimes scientific laws are broken, ( abnormalities that happen here and then in the universe).
      that's means we have yet to truly understand the universe, so our theories and hypothesis may be a lot different from them. the only thing we'll have in common will be FACTS--such as gravity. much of our understanding comes from theories and religion on how the universe, and nature works. they might live in a HOLE different world, so their perspective on how things work can be very different. our universe is the same so the answers no matter the form for questions like what is a black hole ? should be the SAME. unfortunately we only have theories---they might only have theories too. if we live in the same universe/dimension there should be ONE answer to such a question. and other questions too.
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    Aug 1 2012: I asked myself sometimes if there could be another kind of progress. I mean a not-technological progress.
    • Aug 2 2012: Or progress without the necessity of economic growth. So that humanity prospers without having to consume more and more and more...
    • Aug 2 2012: the way we think. MORAL progress. and spiritual progress. knowing ourselves more. how we interact we each other etc. knowing more about the nature of the universe and ourselves. without tech. increase in wisdom and knowledge. etc.
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    Jul 21 2012: IN MY VIEW:
    Strange answer for a strange question.
    Is questioning every time for every thing necessary or even relevant?
    Do answers meet the expectation of the question to end it forever or of the questioner such that the answers become unsatisfactory for new generation?
    Is answer that bring about more questions really the answer?
    The big question is What is the "answer"?
    • Jul 23 2012: 42
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      Jul 26 2012: Answer assumes there's an end game. Perhaps if you exchange the word "answer" with "possibility. If we begin to accept everything as fact, Then we no longer ask questions. If we no longer ask questions, we become bound within our self created walls of logic.
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        Jul 26 2012: if we consider answer as possibility it means we will have multiple choices this brings another form of question to life "Which possibility is the right one?". I don't think questions are ever going to end similarly answers will also evolve but what will be the final answer is not known. In my view, right answer for any question are thoughts which give relief for today and avoid complication for tomorrow.
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    Jul 17 2012: why some people have to argue or keep struggling with their family, friends, colleagues or even theirself everyday? won't human born to be happy and enjoy the days?
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      Jul 18 2012: Maybe they need attention or some kindness. They're not happy with themseves for some reason.
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      Jul 20 2012: I completely agree with both queenie and Frans. Arguing with others is not a constructive way to further one's personal life and the global evolution. Self-acceptance and happiness seem to have a correlation with this. Which raises another question, if someone is not pleased with them-self, why do they lash out that anger on others?
      • Jul 21 2012: In defence of arguing it is vital evolutionary tool for self defence. Because even the mundane act of washing the dishes although seen by oneself as a harmless/possitive/neccessary action in your life can be seen in negative light. You may feel that it is important to maintain your standard of living and it is your freedom and liberty to do so.

        The flip side to this is that by using water on mere dishes is a waste and its consumption is driving up demand, therefore prices. This can be annoying for some but in a life of poverty having your water cut off can be life changing or ending.

        I know this is extreme but you must have a means of defence especially when others don't even know or agree that they are doing wrong. And things like this can lead to wars. Believe it or not there is a purpose for negativity in life, whether I or anybody else likes it or not.

        I'm not saying that we should stop trying to eradicate negativity, just understand it. The end fight that we play against negativity or eachother is essentially evolution, which is forever changing and blessedly unbeatable.

        P.S i still wash my dishes
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    Jul 17 2012: Is anyone doing research into sound and its applications with other species, eventually finding someway to communicate with other species?

    I know of some researchers that record whale calls, but that is just replay of the real sound, a copy of the real animal.

    How about being able to make our own whale calls where we understand them and they understand us?

    There was a story I heard of an experiment with trees and how they speak by frequencies of some sort?
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      Jul 18 2012: I think we could establish a simplistic dialog with many species, auditory or otherwise, and with sustained interaction of that sort have it slowly develop into more complex dialog, particularly if the species' offspring keep picking up and enhancing (however minutely) where the forerunners left off. The most ideal candidates, dolphins and chimps/monkeys/orangatangs/baboons, would have a working (if sparse) lexicon within the first few years of the first generation. A few generations of sustained interaction would see a much larger lexicon and probably a lot of understood abstractions. Keep going until the neo-species decide they want their own planet -- far, far away from us. :)

      We'd be doing ourselves a favor by having non-human perceptive inputs, but do we do them any favors by interrupting their natural ascendency?
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      Jul 19 2012: I wrote a joke on twitter the other day akin to "Do you ever wonder if animals just don't want to communicate with us? Maybe they teach their kids "Don't get caught up in their nonsense".

      It really has always been an odd curiousity of mine, that research hasn't been done into recreating animal languages that seem complex. Robots recording video in natural habitats, replaying sounds, recording responses, it seems like it would be a fascinating field of study.

      Good one.
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        Jul 19 2012: There has been some work done with chimpanzees and gorillas. Also the specific meanings of meerkat alarm calls are well understood regarding where the threat (air v land and direction) is and how urgently action is required.
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        Jul 20 2012: Hey David,

        I feel the same way! Maybe animals are really secretive and they scavange our waste because they don't have to risk so much searching for food in the wild. Maybe they are smarter than they seem at times.
  • Aug 14 2012: We can draw the conclusion that "intelligence" is cultivatable. However, can we say the same of creative abilities in our minds? Can you literally train a mind to be creative?

    "If the human brain were so simple that we could understand it, we would be so simple that we couldn't" -Emerson M. Pugh
    • Aug 14 2012: I believe we can (at least be more creative), but it's more a case removing the restrictions of conventional thinking and conditioning for adults and not imposing these on children. (Coleen's comments hold true)
      It would be interesting to see which nations scores tops in a "Creativity Index Measure" and then look at how their educational system functions.
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      Aug 14 2012: Creativity is a characteristic that can be cultivated, encouraged, and practiced.
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      Aug 14 2012: Heather, Juan and Fritzie,
      I believe our minds are naturally creative. When we remove the "restrictions of conventional thinking and conditioning", which Juan insightfully recognizes, we open the mind to cultivate, encourage and practice creativity, as Fritzie insightfully suggests. It is a matter of having an open mind and heart with the intent to explore with curiosity.
  • Aug 13 2012: Why do we become less curious when we grow up?
    Do the answers we get during our life experiences satisfy us?
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      Aug 14 2012: I think from the time we're brought into the world until the time when we're ready to leave the confines of the environment from which we were moulded, is the time where we MUST be curious, we have no choice, we know nothing other than what we're being told, so we're constantly yearning for more information to establish our own sense of our surroundings. The question you brought up "why do we become less curious" is such an important question we all have to ask ourselves. Once we have our own idea of how things are, is that really where life stops? No, we had no control over the environment we were brought up in therefor we have no control over what we've come to know as life. We become less curious as we become more content with "that's just the way things are" Each one of us though, has the power to stay curious.
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      Aug 14 2012: Billal and Ben,
      Curiosity seems to be very natural for us when we are children. As we become adults, however, curiosity seems to be a choice. We are told to "grow up", and sometimes that translates into leaving behind, all the qualities that children have naturally....including curiosity.

      I agree Ben, that from the time we come into the world, until the time we leave, we have an opportunity to be curious. Some folks get stuck in the "this is the way it is" belief, and stop exploring the life adventure. Some folks get comfortable with what they think they "know", and stop exploring. Some folks get complaisant.

      Whatever the reason for lack of curiosity, I observe that these are the people who are not as content with life...these are often the people who are searching for something outside themselves. Curiosity is from within, and it leads to more enjoyment and contentment throughout the life my humble perception and experience:>)
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    Aug 13 2012: Arthanari
    How can humanity morph into the über-humanity necessary to address global challenges together. We have more than enough resources; we have more than enough technology and good will.

    When I look at the the murmuration of swallows, I see a metaphor for the kind of cooperative empathic energy that might move humanity for the long-term thriving of all. It's not a spiritual vision, but a design, and one that needs hope, insight, sharing, and nurturing. Something like this could make all the difference. I don't think it's political. Bucky Fuller used to talk about the future in a way that invited this kind of action.

    So there's my question. How do we do this thing?

    Unfortunately, there are more than enough blogs and likes and comments and articles and speeches ranting or even calmly explaining why this is not reasonable. I'd rather ask why not.

    Please don't bother to comment unless you have ideas that help us move forward.

    Hmm. I might sound harsh. Anthropocene effects are harsh and are probably going to hurt the yet unborn generations more than us the living. So I don't apologize, but I long for the non-zero sum game to begin afresh, with new eyes, passion and empathy.

    Thank you, Arthanari, for providing such space for such a forum.

    Mark Hurych
    • Aug 14 2012: I think we are morphing, right now.

      We are reaching out to each other, and we are listening. This is it. This is the beginning.

      That is my opinion.
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      Aug 14 2012: "BE" what we want to "SEE" in our world:>)
  • Aug 13 2012: That is the root of curiosity that leads to evolution. Thinking that nobody thought of it , makes you wonder deeper than if you knew the answer came from somebody else. It's like why do dogs chase cars, or why do we hiccup , or agape , or why my hands gets wrinkles in water ...and of course if you stop at why , and don't research ,is bad , but if you find out that nobody answerd and you stop there is even worst.
    What gave colors their names , why is RED so red , and Blue called blue , how cand indigenous people speak languages without the use of words but by just making sounds that are imperceptible tu us, as an evolved community ,etc.
    • Aug 13 2012: Do we all see/experience RED the same?
      • Aug 13 2012: Not exactly the same , but if you ask someone to describe the color red , a great majority will use terms like warmth , love , lava , sun , heat , beauty , passionate , etc . I can't think of someone using cold , or peaceful , or purity , anger , maddnes or evil, although Hell is often been described a ocean of red melted lava.
        • Aug 13 2012: I cant think about using cold either ,but i can easy describe red using anger .
          do i am different or what ?
  • Aug 10 2012: why man gets this type of questions always
    • Aug 13 2012: what kind of questions ?
      • Aug 15 2012: questions all these people are shouting here. and why should man is such curious.. or to be precise why curious about something... see here too, i'am curious about the curiosity. :)
  • Aug 9 2012: My children have asked this many times and I have never come up with a tangible answer, "If every living creature has a positive purpose on earth, for what purpose were mosquitoes created?”
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      Aug 9 2012: I told my kids that they were food for birds.
      • Aug 10 2012: Best answer!! lol
      • Aug 11 2012: ...and you were right, at least in Alaska. There are certain species of seagulls that hatch their eggs, then fly away and leave the kids without a sitter. The kids eat the mosquitos that roost on the tundra plants. The skeeters are numerous and vicious enough to kill a caribou, but the little chicks are protected by a thick layer of down.
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        Aug 12 2012: Lol. Did your kids ask back: "Then how are birds gonna eat them if those mosquitoes are all over at our house??!! :)"
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          Aug 13 2012: Mine did - I told her that the mosquitoes (and other bugs) are in our house, because they got lost. So we need to help them out.
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        Aug 13 2012: Hi Sophia,
        Hahahh. That's funny. So did you actually push them away instead of eliminating them?
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          Aug 13 2012: We try to.

          ... sometimes I eliminate them though.

          Fine balance between teaching respect for animals and that everything has a purpose... and not wanting to get bitten!
    • Aug 10 2012: lol seems like children are the most inquisitive creatures who never stop asking questions and never stop being curious. That's why they are beautiful.

      I love the question, Jen.
      They're really
      You should let them foster their creativity by themselves.
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      Aug 10 2012: Jen,
      It's been a long time since my kids were little, and when they asked me questions I could not answer, I sent them to the dictionary, or encyclopedia. Now you can send them to the computer for exploration!!!

      They could then come back to me and give ME the answer, which encouraged them to explore even more and empowered them to know that they can find the answer to their questions themselves. I also liked giving them answers if I had the answer, and I liked telling them "I don't know"....maybe you can find the answer for both of us. Kids are very delighted when they can supply information to the parent:>)

      My "children" are now in their 40s and still happily exploring the life adventure with curiosity and am I:>)
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      Aug 10 2012: or, as my dad would say, 'to make you ask questions'
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        Aug 11 2012: OH Michael, my mom used to say that too!!! Asking questions...finding is a GREAT cycle!!! Curiosity is WONDERFUL!!!
  • Aug 9 2012: How do babies think without words? and Is my perception of color the same as everyone elses??
    • Aug 12 2012: Babies think in emotions and sensations. Love, safe, hunger, poo, etc.... adults often do as well. Think about it the next time you have that "Ahhhh...." that comes with a good B.M.

      The color you see is determined by the interaction of the wavelength of light, a specific frequency and amplitude for each color, with the cones of your eye. This is a process of chemistry and physics that can be replicated and demonstrated.

      Perception is another matter. The number of primary colors in your brains palette is slightly variable, though not by much. Most colors are cross cultural, but some have fuzzy borders. There is a green/blue "grue" that is percieved as a seperate primary color by some, but not seen as different at all by others. It is kind of like linguistics. The sounds of the language you are raised in are dominant, so you may not even hear certain sounds in other languages. Having a name like "Ian" on a trip to Japan demonstrates this.

      So, we all see the same colors the same way, but how we translate that to words, ideas, art, etc... can be as different as pornography and picasso.

  • Aug 8 2012: I always wondered , what if we are given the power to live forever and given a means to travel endlessly in a space ship and we continue to travel in space ,what or where is the end to this space or universe? -just imagine!
  • Aug 8 2012: Yep! I have one. Why some men are able to achieve so much in the same 24 hours we all have? Are they just humans like all of us or do we have super humans among us?
    • Aug 9 2012: Actually, to a degree, we do have super humans among us.

      Some people have much more energy throughout the day than others. These people tend to get up early and work long hours and often demand more of the people around them. Many successful business people have this quality. Martha Stewart is like this. I am not.
  • Aug 8 2012: Yes ... MyF E ... the older I get the more I learn how little I know.

    Regarding the issue of "fearlessness" ... I also find myself thinking .. what would my copay be if I get hurt trying to learn how to skate board at 40 ... Hmm ... and would my insurance cover a broken toothe??

    I miss my "fearless" and "worry-free" days. (Back when candy bar had no cholesterol ... sigh. ( I didn't even consider if the cocoa was harvested by children or how long the packaging would take to decompose in a land fill.)

    How to find a balance?? Any suggestions out there!!
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      Aug 8 2012: I just side step it by telling myself that it is always good to trade in illusion for truth. Sometimes it actually works.
  • Aug 7 2012: Why not anyone? We live in world where lots of things happen, don't try to hard to understand them, just enjoy it when when it happens.
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      Aug 8 2012: This is actually darned profound, Ian. In fact, most of the really horrendous things that have happened to me turned out to be (without forcing them into happyland) good in the long run. Amazing but true. So just survive the hard stuff and you keep your chin up NOt to whistle a happy tune but so you can be looking when the good stuff lands unexpectedly so you can keep it out of the poop.!
  • Aug 7 2012: I can think, but what makes me think? My brain of course, but what in my brain does the thinking part?
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    Aug 7 2012: The more we go ahead the more complex question will definitely arise. We can solve some but can not solve all. Its an eternal process through which we have to go through. Budhha had the questions before him. Its our duty to move ahead and go on searching problem and solving them.
  • Aug 6 2012: What is the mechanism that allows the existence and evolution of the pineal gland in the human brain? Why does it synthesize certain neurotransmitters and how can multiple unrelated people across the world undergo the same relative 'disembodied experience' as a result of specific neurotransmitter function?
    • Aug 7 2012: Have you read anything about Kundalini?
  • Joy Qin

    • +1
    Aug 6 2012: I will think about at least these things at least once a week.
    What is time, what is space, what is maths, what is truth.
  • Aug 5 2012: Art, perhaps the questions are questionable.
  • Aug 4 2012: while looking for life on other planets, why do we assume it is necessary to have oxygen, water ? does this mean life will only exist if others breath oxygen and drink water and survive in sunlight ? why cannot life exist with arsenic as primary element or for that matter an element which earthlings are not even aware of it ? hence my question is how do we define life ?
  • Aug 2 2012: Does the egg comes from the hen or the hen comes from the Egg?
    • Aug 4 2012: Cliché
      Still, that's apparently one of the strange questions that humans have not yet found an answer for, though.
    • Aug 5 2012: I think so
    • Aug 6 2012: I think there may be an answer to that question, though. Really thinking about it, what form of reproduction were organisms using before laying eggs? I assume it was asymmetrical reproduction. Therefore, some organism reproduced by splitting itself, one of the new organisms (the "hen" so to speak) had a mutation that caused it to lay some kind of early egg-like shell with its offspring inside, and the process continued until we have today's hens and eggs. Therefore, I believe the hen must have come first! This is just my own line of reasoning and I could be way off, though...
  • Aug 1 2012: Gender?? ( not one's physical sex or even one's DNA but the feeling, experience or internal knowing of one's personal gender [that may or may not reflect one's body])

    So ... What (and who[society,self,medical experts]) have the right to determine one's Gender??

    Is Gender a Social Construct?? Is Gender Genetic?? (Both?? Niether??)
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      Aug 1 2012: I think you go a little too deep at one point in your question. Gender is very much genetically determined and comes with certain physical aspects.
      I think mainly what you wanted to ask was about the things we associate with gender, i.e females wear dresses and put on lipstick whereas males generally don't etc etc. I think these are mainly social constructs created a long time ago.
      • Aug 1 2012: The genetics and physiology of gender is very complicated. Research has shown that "gender dysphoria (the belief that one's ‘true’ or ‘core’ gender identity is the opposite of both chromosomal sex and bodily habitus) " is associated with a very specific area of the brain. You might want look at this article:

        Also, hormones, chiefly testosterone, play a major role, and anything that affects the delivery of testosterone to the cells can have a huge impact. There is a genetic condition called Androgen insensitivity syndrome. At the extreme, every cell in the body cannot absorb any testosterone at all. When a genetic male has this condition, the result is a very voluptuous female body, without the inner female genitalia. You can imagine that there must be a whole spectrum of problems and symptoms associated with this syndrome.

        When I was growing up there were males, females and freaks. (Please don't take offense, I am not suggesting you think this way.) I am hoping to live in a society of people who accept people for who they are, and understand that we are all complicated. I think it makes life much more interesting too.
        • Aug 5 2012: Nice reply Barry ... thanks

          And thumbs up to this! "I am hoping to live in a society of people who accept people for who they are, and understand that we are all complicated. I think it makes life much more interesting too."
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        Aug 5 2012: How can one go too deep with their own question? The question is whatever it is within you. If it is too deep for someone else - so be it.
    • Aug 4 2012: As stated before, the gender of a person is determined by chromosomes randomly before birth. This is the basis of biological gender, which gives people the usual feelings, desires, and attributes associated with their gender (males tend to be more aggressive because of higher levels of testosterone while women enjoy bonding with others more because of higher levels of a neurotransmitter known as oxytocin). So biology mostly determines the physical and mental attributes associated with gender. However, environment probably also plays a role. I think people's perception of their gender is modified by the way others see them, relating to the concept of "the looking glass self." Maybe for example, men who excel at sports and can easily attract females will see themselves as very masculine while more shy men might have a lesser feeling of being masculine, but this is only a slight modification of their actual gender. I don't think very many people can be convinced that they are of the opposite gender from their interactions with other people, it doesn't seem likely to me.

      Also, some people might have hormonal imbalances which cause them to act differently for their gender. I think gender is a conglomerate of multiple factors, but is mostly determined by genetics.

      But you never know!
      • Aug 5 2012: thanks for the thoughtful response George
  • Jul 30 2012: what is supporting us to go through everyday ?
  • Jul 29 2012: Why are we often so afraid of anyone acting outside societies narrow view of normal.. What would be the reaction today if it was the first time someone milked a cow... Sorry sir not normal behaviour take some meds and lie down..
    • Jul 29 2012: Because there is a high possibility that acting outside society's normal standard may cause huge catastrophe .
      • Jul 29 2012: Is that a fear or an actual probability?
        • Jul 31 2012: Just a guess, but I suspect evolution developed this fear, as a result of the risk.
        • Aug 4 2012: Instinct, if you ask me.
          Obviously, we don't want to wind up in any trouble.
      • Aug 5 2012: It seems possible that evolution would stop if such fear based decision making were the norm.
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      Jul 29 2012: Don't you think that in modern culture there is great interest in entrepreneurship, discovering new paradigms, questioning authority, and even eccentricity?
      • Aug 1 2012: to some extent .. but within a measured parameter
    • Jul 29 2012: "Sorry sir not normal behavior take some meds and lie down." .Thanks for the chuckle, it is so true and easy summarized as you have done.
    • Jul 31 2012: not all fear the ones acting outside of society. i'm not afraid. also a lot of influential people, and leaders in the world, act different----from society.
    • Aug 1 2012: Regarding the comment about the first person to milk a cow: HA!! I always thought that must have been one desperate person ... perhaps they had a baby to feed ... if not .. everyone must have thought they were one big SICKO when the person walked back from the cow with a milk mustache on thier face!

      ( hmm .. but then I suppose it could have been worse ( YUCK) but that person would have definitely inspired pharmacology.)

      As far as being afraid to step outside of the "norm." I think it may be a herd mentality ... ( back to cows .. mooooooooooo!) If you are in a herd, you don't want to be the straggler, the one fool standing in an open field, or the nut-ball running in the opposite direction during a stampede ... especially if a mountain lion is nearby ( or do you??) Remember the Lemmings? Maybe it is sometimes best to go against the crowd ...
    • Aug 7 2012: When anthropology studies some new unheard of society with social patterns that are different than what is 'normal' in our society it sheds a light on the new society but it also puts a new light on our society and what we think is 'normal'. I find it more mind expanding than LSD. While an anthropologist was living with the 'Dobe Kung' tribe in Africa he discovered that instead of thanking him for a gift he had given the tribe, the tribe insulted his gift, which is frowned upon in our society. But once the anthropologist realized the tribe didn't want anyone to get a big head the behaviour seemed normal, almost. Hunting and gathering encourages practical behaviour for the most part even today. We evolve very slowly. Mutation is not encouraged. Even though two heads are better than one, a single headed human procreates more successfully.
  • Jul 28 2012: I often wonder if on the www, with so many clamoring to be heard; is anybody really listening?
    • Jul 28 2012: Huh? What's that?
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      Jul 29 2012: Some typically are listening, some only waiting to speak.
    • Jul 31 2012: With so many clamoring to be heard, too much is repetition and too much is not worth the time. I want to read and hear the good stuff that shakes me up, makes me wonder, challenges my world view. It is very hard to find, but TED is a good hunting ground.
      • Jul 31 2012: Possibly. Time, as always, will tell. Seems I found a higher ratio of interesting ones months ago, mostly owing to topics selected. Perhaps a motivated follower doing a TED on TED presentation? A good parody? Suggestions??
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      Aug 5 2012: I am
  • Jul 28 2012: Can people live as long as 200 years in future ?
  • Jul 28 2012: Can we human beings exist beyond the 21th century?
  • Jul 28 2012: 7. Wars, murders, injustice, and on the good side, exploration, a lot of things happened and were justified in the past by the experience of “visions”, or “flashes”, things that used to be considered of the divine, and accessed by a privileged few country rulers, in the past. Or access to knowledge that enables perspective and plan-making. Media synchronization and modern day experiences provide a different way of experiencing such, to the point of banality. How does that play in the decision-making process? Is there any other justification for bad stuff people, systems and society does, besides “just because I can twist logic around and get away with it”? Please be very careful with the “passive-aggressive for defence” excuse.
    8. If it is a dark-age society underneath the modern-days pretense, and thinking, knowledge, expressing opinions, asking questions, thinking in perspective, at a systemic level of society, and other stuff are privileges of those with a superior society status, looks, acknowledgment and wealth, how do I know that besides assumptions from bad treatment of those around me? If there’s such thing as modern-days slavery, or living-deads, or people-to-be-owned and abused with no human rights, or whatever, why isn’t it a social class that I can get stamped on my skin, my id, my whatever, so I would know it, and not just assume it. If it is just an assumption, how can one get out of these thoughts to more humane ones?
  • Jul 28 2012: 5. Isn’t the point of long-life span that there’s so much to do and discover in this world? I understand being “sports” with religious and cultures driven by number worship (3 years, 7 years,27, 33,40, 333, 666, 999, etc), but delaying stuff that needs to be dealt with at proper life course, IMO, only delays movement, action and solutions. There’s a quote in my environment that speaks a lot about a similar concept: “knowledge at the speed of people”. I’d dare to derivate it into “progress at the speed of people”.
    6. Why aren’t social systems delivering life sustainability yet: i.e. housing, access to health (dental included for poor), education, a chance for employment, etc. Just because the superior classes (i.e. those with access to internet, who get to ponder the lack of meaning of stuff – just because the “spoiled brats” of society go through the pointlessness phase, the impacts of suffering and loss of that can be limited). Why aren’t governments getting past the historical money reserves like (forest, or ocean, or air/space), and just make current day rules? From what I experienced, it seems a society focused more on creating poverty, death and fallen ones than a society geared on solving these issues. “poverty”, “homelessness” and “sickness” should not be “industries –creating-clients”.
  • Jul 28 2012: Why do we always crave more beauty? Why is it that you can never look at something beautiful and leave completely satisfied to the point where you no longer desire more beauty?
    • Aug 1 2012: Perhaps it is because we have not yet learned to find beauty in all things, including ourselves? It is similar to comfort .. people usually seek comfort outwardly ... but true comfort can only be found within. The same is true with beauty and once it is found within,we see that it surrounds us.
  • Jul 27 2012: Can mankind create something more complex than man? I'm thinking a more sophisticated being. Could this being in turn create an even more sophisticated being? Where would it end up? God?

    Is this the final point with our ever accelerating development? Are we so confused by our own existence that we need to create God to make sense of it all?
    • Jul 27 2012: Human evolution has hardly begun. Our potential to be much more is beyond our imagination. We have spent a lot of time stuck in denial of all of who we are because of our fear of feeling deeper than the very surface of our being. Mind has developed with a bias against feeling. Science, our primary belief system denies the value and validity of feeling. Religion denies the value of feeling as a moral or spiritual asset. Intellectuals deny feeling for fear of being called unintellectual.

      Feeling is the basis of life. The denial of feeling causes one to become progressively more numb until one is called a corps, like in dead. Feelings are the only way for consciousness to ground itself in the form we call human body. When the mind ignores feelings in order to "get the job done", what ever that may be, one looses a chance to become a little bit more alive and to become more like a machine.

      We have identified so completely with machines that we now think of our selves as machines and can not imagine that we could become much more than what we are, hence your above question.A machine can be made to be a better machine through science and possibly made to self develop into a more effective machine, but it can not consciously self reflect upon itself and through that evolve into a more sensitive life form. It is a machine no mater how sophisticated its structure.

      Connecting into the metaphysical domain of divinity is every human's potential and this is the path to our evolution. This is not religion or dogma but the utilization of the human ability to feel and understand those feelings. Consciousness (Spirit, masculine, expansive, electro [in manifestation]) must balance with Feeling ( Will, feminine, contractive, magnetic [in manifestation]) in order to generate the understanding necessary for one to connect the metaphysical with the physical. It is called integrating heaven and earth.

      Both Consciousness and Feeling are metaphysical forces which precede form.
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        Jul 29 2012: Human evolution has hardly begun – YES
        Both Consciousness and Feeling are metaphysical forces which precede form – YES

        Physics is blindly following a path of materialism. An unwritten rule which is savagely followed due, in part, to the requirement for testing to be objective and separated from subjectivity. Subjectivity of course is where sensation and feeling reside.

        Physicists therefore blindly look to temporal and physical explanations (i.e. the big bang) for our origins, to the exclusion of all other explanations.

        Physicists also believe in magic! It is accepted that gravity and the handful of other 'fundamental' forces are invisible, i.e. there is no mechanism underlying their mode of operation, they just appear and work. I believe we will discover that (scientific) mechanism. And when mankind does, it will realise how primitive it was to think that forces were invisible.

        Physicists were at one time exploring the reality we find ourselves in and attempting to discover the means of transmission of these forces. One force which attracted their attention was that of electromagnetism which it seemed had a wave-like form and transmitted itself from A to B (e.g. sunlight from stars). If a wave travelled from A to B they thought, then it must have a medium (aether). Michelson and Morley experimentally showed that there was no aether. Einstein proved theoretically that an absolute aether could not exist. Physicists gave up looking, yet these waves still appear, so what is happening?

        It is sad that we gave up looking for an aether. Instead of giving up we should have tried to imagine what a relativistic aether might look like.

        A relativistic aether is not impossible, it is in fact the only route for resolution of the problem of how these waves transmit themselves across distances.

        Resolution of this problem is the subject of my work. I believe it will bring forth untold richness of knowledge and will begin to unite the subjects of consciousness and the materia
        • Jul 29 2012: Physics is blindly following a path of materialism. Yes you are right. But that is also the whole point of physics - to describe the physical world with a set of models using mathematics. If you must, physics is a belief system like any other. The difference from religion/metaphysics is that physics is well founded in things that we can observe in the physical world. Take away the requirement that a theory should make predictions that could be tested by experiment and you loose the whole foundation (scientific approach) of physics, i.e. you end up in religion.

          This is not saying that physics should not consider new theories. It's saying that there is a hard line between what is proven scientifically and what is not.

          When it comes to the fundamental forces, they are indeed explained within the frameworks of general relativity and the Standard Model. Gravity, for example, is an effect of a curved space-time continuum in relativity. Forces in the Standard Model are carried by particles called gauge bosons, gluons and photons. This is most def not the final "model of everything" but it is something that seem to work quite well. I would be hesitant to call it magic.
        • Jul 30 2012: Play with me here Carl,

          My project is integrating the physical with the metaphysical. By metaphysical I mean that from which the physical manifests.

          The physical is well accept as a duality. A reality composed of dual opposing and complimentary energies. Male/Female, on/of, positive/negative and so on.

          Let us assume:

          That physical duality emerges from a metaphysical duality while continuing to remain imbedded in it.

          Metaphysical reality is composed of two forces being the purely expansive force and the purely contractive forces.

          The expansive force is witnessed by science as expanding space. The contractive force is witnessed by science gravity or contracting space.

          The tension between the two creates a metaphysical medium or aether.

          Stellar bodies are where the two forces integrate at a point. A point that then becomes a point of interface between the metaphysical and physical.

          The integration of these metaphysical force fuse, becoming a photon. Two standing wavess on a vertical axis osolating like a guitar string, each at ninety degree angles to each other while sharing the same nodel points at both ends and in the middle. Such is a metaphysical photon and it rides a aether composed of the metaphycal tension existing between the two opposing forces. Gravity (contraction) and Expanding Space (expansion).

          As a metaphysical photon approaches and enters a gravitational field the metaphysical contractive force compresses the metaphysical photon into a physical energy packet and It becomes the physical photon we are familiar with on earth. The expansive metaphysical force becomes the electro and the contractive metaphysical force becomes the magnetic. The central node becomes an electro/magnet particle.
      • Jul 29 2012: Thanks for the reply! I believe this is an important point. Feeling is an integrated part pf the human being which should not be forgotten. By "complex" I was not only referring to the intellect, but all aspects of the human being and their interconnections. I'm not all for the subdivision of the human being into different aspects, e.g. emotion, intellect and so on - imho the human being as a whole is more than the sum of her parts. Although it is much trickier to imagine a species with improved feeling capabilities than a species that outsmarts us intellectually. it is not hard to imagine that a more intellectually informed species with larger capabilities of understanding would also outsmart us on the emotional side. As much as we have intellectual flaws, we have emotional flaws. Dozens of examples come to mind - slow ongoing catastrophes like poverty, species extinction, pollution etc. We should have lots of feelings about these things, but aren't we sometimes incapable of feeling when something is too big for us or too far away time- or distance-wise?

        My original thought was that our strive for technological development is founded in an inherent will to make sense of the World. If we cannot make sense of it ourselves, would we then create ever-more complex species, which in turn would face the same problem. Is it even possible to do that? For example, could we create a species that could think in more than three dimensions? Or is that inherently impossible? Increasing complexity is obviously driven by evolution, but can we take control of the process and design a more complex being?
        • Jul 30 2012: "Although it is much trickier to imagine a species with improved feeling capabilities than a species that outsmarts us intellectually"

          Women are constantly out thinking men with feelings. They have the power of the Will's feelings which men rarely can comprehend because they are so easily seduced by their own minds imagination of who they think they are,is actually who they are. Women watch this develop in boys and men as they grow up and know exactly how to manage the man's self image through feelings, with ease.

          A few years ago I did a break away talk at a Health Fair at a local High School. I had twenty eight people in the room. There were possibly eight men and twenty women. Looking at my audience from the front of the class room the door was in the middle of the
          left wall. The men occupied the left row of desks along the left wall from front to back. The women were spread out and distribute fairly evenly through out the rest of the room.

          I began talking on the subject of healing and the importance of understanding the self image one is holding. To realize that the self image is nearly always unconscious to the owner and is created out of the persons imagination, and that the person holds that image to be who they actually are.

          A woman raised her hand and asked what I meant by self image. I realized that I was not getting across or she was playing with me. So I responded by saying "you know, it is what you manipulate in your man to get him to do what you want him to do.

          The response caught me completely by surprise. The entire group of women in the room cracked up laughing to the point that two of them almost reached hysteria. I looked over at the men and they all had slid down in their chairs like big kids trying to hide behind their little desks.
          The men looked as though they did not have a clue.

          Since then II have studied this and can assure you, from what you have said, you know little about women's power to manipulate a man through his feeling
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        Jul 29 2012: Thank you for your reply Erik.
        “I would be hesitant to call it magic” - Perhaps more closely following the thoughts of Einstein I would be less hesitant than you, in-spite of inventing the notion of curved space he still called gravity “spooky action at a distance”.

        “The difference from religion...” - Yes, but what when the two cross? The two subjects cross when the best physics mathematical model which most accurately and successfully describes the observable world happens to include an outside-of-time aspect. In other words if physics model B describes more successfully the results of repeatable, objective measurements, but it says “sorry guys, you can only have this model if you admit there is necessarily an outside of time and that 'time is an illusion' (as Einstein put it)”. Then in this case, the two subjects cross. Physics doesn't like outside-of-time, it avoids it like the plague. A foundational assumption of physics is that all came from within the materialistic model of reality (i.e. big-bang, random branes etc). The big-bang is when time was created they want to believe. Any theory which comes close to touching this basic assumption is not likely to be considered. No matter how successful it is at making scientific predictions. No matter how much it agrees with and supports the Einsteinian view of reality.
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        Jul 29 2012: (reply part 2):
        Description of the physical world using mathematical models:-

        We have the various science disciplines (e.g. chemistry, biology...), of these physics is probably foundational. Science is from the Greek word meaning knowledge. As you correctly point out physics (and science in general) is based on the objective observation of the results of repeatable controlled experimentation. The methods of science I do not pick issue with.
        Somewhere within the richness of this heritage of scientific disciplines we should expect however to find the attempt at reaching the final goal of “The Theory of Everything”. Or, there should at the very least be no obstacle in the path of the pursuit of this goal which may be caused by the compartmentalisation of disciplines (what I would call a structural limitation).

        I believe there is. I believe that we may still retain the sound and good and productive method of scientific testing, but remove from it some of its inherited materialistic restrictions. I believe that having done so, we may free ourselves to find the answers that are there anyway, but cannot be found with these limitations in place.

        Let me start with the electromagnetic force, it is good because it is partially detectable (as a wave function) to us, compared to gravity which is only understandable through the notion of curved space (separate topic not for here). Electromagnetism is understood as a wave, it propagates through space, but its means of propagation through space are not understood. When Maxwell discovered the equations which ruled its motion we started looking for an aether, but Michelson and Morely discovered there wasn't one. Then Einstein showed us how theoretically there couldn't actually be an absolute aether since everything was relative.
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        Jul 29 2012: (reply part 3):
        The trail went cold, an absolute medium for the transmission of electromagnetic waves had been ruled out. Physics no longer considers the subject valid, but it is wrong because all Einstein was trying to tell us was that an ABSOLUTE aether doesn't exist. But a relativistic aether MUST exist. There MUST BE a way of describing an aether in a relativistic way such that electromagnetic waves have a means of propagation.

        I believe I have found that relativistic aether. It is a means of describing the electron mathematically and relativistically such that propagation of electromagnetic waves through empty aetherless space becomes a physical possibility. It describes an electron in a relativistic way coming with its own space-time and providing inherently its own relativistic equivalent of an absolute aether. But there is a psychological/structural/cultural problem to announcing it to the scientific community, it comes with a bitter pill to swallow for those requiring a purely materialistic answer. It says there must be an outside of time in order for there to be time at all.
        • Jul 30 2012: Your claim about a relativistic aether seems plausible. It is interesting. We have gone off topic now, but I do understand what you mean by "materialistic". You are referring to us being limited by our senses, particularly our perception our time, when modeling the World which is perhaps (or, rather, most def) much richer. I agree with this view, although I'm sure sure that a relativistic aether is the ultimate answer. I'm sure that if you present a coherent theory, it will be considered. At least, I really hope so.

          But what exactly do you mean by "out of time"? How would you, for example, deal with causality out of time?

          The "spooky action-at-a-distance" is resolved within the framework of general relativity where mass deforms space-time. This is a old controversy from the first part of the last century. There is no force-carrying particle which exceeds the speed of light in general relativity. I withhold that there is nothing magical about it.
      • Jul 29 2012: I believe the reason we have so much augment on this is as a race we are afraid of change . We cling the past and will not even acknowledge what we see or has been proven. Our fear is deep rooted.
        Every day I see it in politics, in the news we watch and lost people the hurt and sad the sick and homeless just walking around day to day. Instead of reaching out we hide in old ideas.
        The sad part is we are better than that much better.
        • Jul 30 2012: jim,

          What in your opinion are we afraid of which makes us cling to the past and not acknowledge what has been proven? I am interested.
        • Aug 4 2012: There is a second fear. The fear of error. Throughout history mankind has accepted answers and explanations that turned out to be false or useless .When we discover that something we 'know' is not true, it upsets our entire world view, puts ALL we know into question, reminds us of our fundamental vulnerability due to our fundamental fallibility. And its embarrassing. In addition to all that, it can destroy careers. This is why the scientific method was so sought after, why it is so valued. In many minds, it has the same status that religion once had. Nobody wants to get fooled by a new idea.
    • Jul 30 2012: A thought for your very first question at the beginning of this thread:

      Could it be that our Metaphysical Source was so confounded by the big band event that It created us so that It could have the reflection It needs to understand Itself and figure out what happened when It shattered into the duality of two equal and opposite metaphysical forces creating the frame work for the manifestation of physical duality
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        Jul 30 2012: Was Glen Miller there? Sorry I couldn't resist. I love a funny typo!
        • Jul 30 2012: Thank you so much Peter, It cracked me up. Humor emerging out of the aethers. A good laugh is such a relief. I will leave it so as to screen out those that lack humor,..............John
      • Aug 12 2012: That is an interesting thought. The need for understanding would then supersede the human race and be some kind of fundamental property of the Universe itself. In some sense, I do believe that there is an equilibrium that we are upholding by being. That being said, imho, there is important difference between the view that there is a "reason" that we are here (i.e. "something" put us here with intent for us to fulfill some peculiar plan), on the one hand, and the view that the fundamental properties of the Universe fulfilled the conditions for the possibility for us to evolve, which we happened to do, on the other hand. As you may have guessed, I'm leaning towards the latter.

        But where will this drive to understand take us? Is it merely an effect of evolution (the ultimate adaptation?) or is there something more to it? Will we even be able to create something more complex than the human body/brain and circumvent "natural evolution"? Perhaps we are only a tool in this natural process of ever-increasing sophistication. It is a staggering thought.
        • Aug 12 2012: My understanding is that the homogeneous and static pre-metaphysical One in its frustration (very human) shattered (big bang) into the metaphysical duality of Spirit (expanding consciousness) and Will (contracting feelings). These two opposing Metaphysical forces of expansion and contraction manifested the physical universe out of the tension held between them.

          The manifested physical plane of existence is the form They take, interact through and gain understanding of the One Self in the process. Every individuated aspect of form is and individual aspect of this process of understanding the physical experience and becoming more of what that individual aspect is.

          In the beginning of duality (just after the big bang) Consciousness became conscious of being conscious because its opposing force of Feeling gave it experience which it could reflect upon and realize that it existed. Feeling became conscious of existing by taking in Consciousness. That was the first step in the development understanding.
    • Aug 1 2012: Man has always created "God" .. but can "Man" create a better "God?"


      If so, I hope that this new "God" will in turn, create a better "Man."

      ( Or at least a more attractive one. I vote for Anderson Cooper ... at leat as a template.)
  • Jul 27 2012: When you travel from Point A to Point B you are constantly crossing half way points. Starting at 100ft, you are half way at 50ft. At 5ft you are half way 2.5ft. If you are constantly crossing half way points, will you ever reach your destination?
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      Jul 30 2012: The resolution of Zeno's paradox is tied up with the idea of convergence.
      One can show (using calculus, or infinite series, for example) that in certain cases, an infinite number of steps in a process (like reaching point B) does actually result in a finite quantity. That is to say, the steps 'converge.'
      This is nice because, in reality, one reaches point B easily.

      But even these very good mathematical arguments can be disputed in clever ways. In considering such questions, one dives the unfathomable depths a philosophical rabbit hole.
      It'd be fun to do some research on this question if you're interested! But I warn that you'll likely lose even more sleep over what you find! lol
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      Aug 13 2012: This logic uses illogical reasoning.
      The world exist from wholes. Numbers are invented to devide those wholes and calculate their parts.
      Between A and B is one distance and no half.
      Half an apple is no apple.
  • Jul 26 2012: I have an easy but hard question that needs an answer,

    ( How long time it wold take you to count from 1 to 10,000,000 ? )

    And like (peter lindsay) if you consider looking at the numbers as images you should consider how much time it would take you to view 10,000,000 images!
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      Jul 26 2012: Less than one second depending reading speed.
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        Jul 26 2012: Witty answer. But good point...
      • Jul 26 2012: can you read this and calculate how many seconds it takes you to read it ( 2,956,478 ) ?
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          Jul 26 2012: It can be read in 1/100 of a second as long as you don't verbalise. Thinking in words slows us down.
  • Jul 26 2012: The TED site looks like a dream come true for me--an extravaganza of great subjects well presented. Looks like I'll be spending a lot of time here
  • Jul 25 2012: Why are we similar to the machines? By living we work like a machine. We are fixed like a machine by going to a doctor, we are maintained like a machine with the daily meals and water. We die like a machine, which was used too much.
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      Jul 26 2012: Actually, machines are similar to us. We created them to do things we used to do manually.
    • Jul 27 2012: We are similar to machines because we have identified with them in our quest for power and the enhancement of our imagination of who we want to be, which takes form as our mental self images. We have denied our feeling in order to identify with the machine because they have no subjectivity through which to feel, thus in our identification we must become as objective as the machine.
  • Jul 25 2012: What is the basic nature of information?

    If humans survive long enough, is it possible that we will know all that can be known?

    Is it possible to learn anything at all about our unknown unknowns?

    What would motivate an artificial conscious being with super human intelligence?

    Is the speed of light between galaxies the same as measurements here in the solar system?

    Which humans once shared my atoms?

    Will behavioral science bring an end to war?

    If I eat enough junk food, will I turn into junk?

    When will you complete the project?

    Why are top secret military computers connected to the insecure internet?

    Why did I do that?

    Is it really possible to treat everyone as a special individual?
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      Jul 25 2012: A nice set of questions. My favourite is the first one. While physicists are splitting Higgs bosons to get a deeper understanding of our universe, they are essentially creating an information model that may one day (...) explain it all.

      But then, what is information, as you ask? When you dig deep enough into any problem, you get to a fundamental point where you need to describe something in terms of itself. Information is described in terms of ... Information. The reason, I think, is that our ability to analyse and describe is fundamentally linked to the tool we use for this: our conscious brain. The brain processes information and even the brain trying to understand itself will use information as its basic currency. QED.

      The next question is then: if information is a human currency needed to explain "reality", then is there another non-human currency out there, beyond our consciousness, that could also describe that external reality? Whatever the answer is, it is irrelevant and unverifiable since by definition is beyond our potential conscious experience. Which takes us back to information being the most fundamental currency of human experience bing the bootstrap of our world.
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      Jul 25 2012: Some of these are hilarious, Barry!
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      Jul 26 2012: The more you learn, the more you don't know.
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      Jul 27 2012: I'd like to rephrase my answer, I think the more we learn or discover, the more things open up to us to be discoverd.
      • Jul 27 2012: That is exactly how I understood it. Makes for fun universe.
    • Jul 27 2012: What would motivate an artificial conscious being with super human intelligence? .....................A human.
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    Jul 22 2012: Sorry it may be a silly question but i really wanted to ask is

    that why i think that for me this world is made if i dies then this world will also i dont know whether you will undestand it or not but for this question i never able to find answer....
  • Jul 18 2012: I've been reading Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil recently so to quote - "Why truth? Why not untruth?"
    I think that means to ask us why we put so much value in finding the truth in everything. Can we ever find the value of "untruth"?
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      Jul 18 2012: Wow David, that is quite an undertaking, I needed quiet to assimulate that one. Are you aware that the American supreme court recently affirmed that there is a'right to lie?" This is what I might term as being so open minded that your brain has fallen out.
      There are some things which are to me, and to the American founding fathers, apparently self evident. With due respect to the sheer wattage of Niettzche, truth is one of them to most earnest hearts and minds. It maybe the actual foundation of Nietzche's diversion and unapplicability, It is at the very heart of all civilization and human endeavour. If we can neither trust nor believe each other we never find the basic accord of common understanding. If I know that you are willing to distort my world view or misrepresent your own, I can never trust one word you say.
      • Jul 18 2012: Hi Debra,
        I really appreciate your heart-felt and passionate reply. It is rare to come across it and i find it original and refreshing.
        i feel that i have taken on a bigger task than i understand. The danger is is that maybe I do not quite understand what it was that Nietzsche was saying. But i don't think trust has anything to do with it. Can we not trust without necessarily knowing the truth? Maybe its meant to mean that there can't be a truth to everything or that the pursuit of it is impossible and that too accept this would be beneficial.
        Also i would say that "untruth" is not the same as lying. It is not to know the truth then to distort it or to "un"do it.
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          Jul 18 2012: David, this is where is becomes crucial to define terms, I THINK. When i refer to 'truth' perhaos i more rightly mean 'assumed shared understanding' These were not Nietzches' words but my cognition in response to the stimuli he provided (hence my reference to his wattage'. ) You must understand his meaning for yourself as I must do; so please do not defer to mine especially as it has been sometime since I read it )at least two years ago when I was dating a judge who brought me books rather than flowers - I loved it!)
      • Jul 18 2012: By assumed shared understanding would i be right in thinking of that as being a common truth so far as its the closest thing to the truth that we are all willing to live with? If it is then I like it a lot. I like this idea of accepting the possibilty of never finding the absolute truth but then all agreeing and living with the nearest thing to the truth. This has certainly made me think anew about what it was Nietzsche might have been saying.
        It's a challenging read, but am enjoying too :)
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          Jul 18 2012: Yes, David that is exactly what I meant. At my age of 56 with myriad experiences under my belt, I no longer feel the need to absolutely believe anyone's version of events. Without a video camera of the event, I freely admit I do not know what happened. However, I can take very seriously someone's perception of that event as being accurate, persuasive and impactful for that individual and thus often for me. I am convinced that 'error" is based on perspective and limited knowledge. That does mean that I abandon the search for truth (the video tape if I can) and this is part of why I am here on TED answering and asking questions. I must have another theory that in getting enough (sho knows how many) responses I will have a better approximation of not only the 'truth' but also the most common types of errors. I think this is very instructional.
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          Jul 19 2012: This conversation inspires me to re read "Beyond Good and Evil", I remember it being a personal favorite, actually in my top ten right after I read it, but it's been 6 or 7 years.

          If I remember correctly though you are approaching the truth of his perspective. The concept that human knowledge in any category, can only "approach truth", the way an exponential equation approaches infinity.

          Every untruth brings you closer to the truth, and you can see an untruth... but you can't see the truth, so why do we hold it at higher value than untruth... I think there are elements of the value of failure here. The idea that experimenting and failing is just as valuable as experimenting and succeeding, but I may be grasping a bit.

          Thanks for inspiring a trip to the bookshelf though.
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      Jul 18 2012: Just to make it mundane: 1> We WANT truth/true knowledge 2> Any near possibilities proven as UNtruth are useful, an elimination of a possible answer, which now gone need not distract from #1. So the untruth of "chocolate = god of the red ants" is random, spurious nonsense while the untruth of a geocentric universe is useful. Truth is infinite whereas untruth is infinitely infinite. :)
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      Jul 26 2012: Truth is relative, therefore untruth is relative.
    • Jul 31 2012: Thank you, David, and those who responded, for a very good question and an excellent thread. It has been a long time since I read a philosophical discussion that seems relevant and useful, and this is both.

      I especially like David's idea of approaching truth like an exponential equation.

      I have read this whole thread three times, and I suspect I will learn more from another reading. This is the kind of material I hope to find at TED.

      (Please, let no one else take offense, many of the other threads are very valuable too.)
  • Jul 16 2012: Does your chewing gum lose its flavor on the bedpost overnight?
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    Gail .

    • +1
    Jul 16 2012: Science is only now studying the most intriguing questions for me: What is a human - and by extension, what is a being. I personally don't think that ANYTHING is beyond human reach in the long run, though I don't think that we will discover whether or not life is a dream (not physical) any time too soon. Answers that are coming our of science about what "mind" is as pretty ASTOUNDING.
    • Jul 18 2012: Great question! I don't recall any studies exploring the differences in thought processes of humans vs animals. Why does our grey matter do what it does but other living things don't...
  • Aug 15 2012: Personally I think that all questions are answered or have an answer. Perhaps not available to all for various reasons, but one being that people cognitively derive at the answer, but don't share it because they fear it lack essence or truth. As most of us fear being treated with skeptiscm, we tend to hold back.

    Here's the interesting part
    Chances are that 'thought' floats around in the 'space' it came from - lets call the it collective consciousness. Since it is not released from the first channel, the chances are it will be received by another accessing that thought pattern, until it is transmitted. When out there it grows, branches out because more become 'aware' and consult each other and the 'collective' that has more to offer. The whole experience is about - how we TRANSLATE, the holographic data so to speak, that which we cognitively recieve, to the broader public.

    So in my opine, it's not beyond our reach but perhaps (at that stage) beyond our ability to translate the data.
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    Aug 13 2012: Juniper, it would be nice.
    But so far history shows us, that we develop during war.
    It certainly would be fantastic, if we could develop great ways to keep peace, and I also do believe we as humans have great potential.
    I just don't think we are there yet.
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      Aug 14 2012: Is that because it is so interesting to the men? Attention, focus. direction, drive, invention?
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    Aug 9 2012: Well if we ask Tracy Chapman what those questions are she has some suggestions and here they are:
    • Aug 10 2012: Love this song by Tracy Chapman. This is a sobering line:

      "Why are all the missiles called Peace Keepers when they're aimed to kill?"

      Oh ... imagine a world without war ... to create peace .. if it were possible, we would achieve a most remarkable thing.
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        Aug 10 2012: A lot of leaps in our knowledge and developments happened because of wars. A lot of important inventions were made for warfare. So maybe we would not have made many remarkable things, if we were always at peace?
        Challenges and hardship seems to force humans to develop.
        • Aug 11 2012: Yes, this is true Sophia.

          Could it be possible that we might move beyond war technology as we devlop peace technology? Might we progress in new ways as we learn to solve our conflicts without causing destruction or harm? Might we move into a new stage in our evolution by putting our old stones down and lifting new, more sophisticated tools for peace?

          I hope so.
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          Aug 13 2012: Sophia, I partially disagree. I think it's true that hardship, challenges, tragedies force us to think, to develop, to invent, to improve. But we also have a deep and intense impulse to try, to explore, to solve, to look for solutions or to find new useful-for-all ideas. I think this impulse lives into all of us, permanently activated, from thousand of years ago. One can not to listen it or the circumstances may forbide us to do it so, but, suddenly, you can feel the strongest need to know all or to try all about somtehing. If not, life will be very bored, I think. And we'll be jumping from branches to ground yet.
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    Aug 9 2012: If we woman can do all we have proven we can do, why are men still in charge? Why aren't things 50/50 at least?
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      Aug 10 2012: cause... they are already? in a different sence of respect. i do hope i dont affend anyone by them misinturperiting, but i think everyone is amazing
    • Aug 11 2012: Hi debra.I believe there is a flaw in your thinking.It sounds like its your belief things are not 50/50 between men and women.We all have the choice to believe what we want and if someone chooses to believe things are not 50/50 then they wont be.But that thought is only in their mind,which is a negative belief.
    • Aug 12 2012: A thought...

      the modern "emancipation of women" is either a handful of decades, or at most a couple of centuries old, depending on the definition of emancipation you go with, and what land you live in. This may be the most fundamental social change in the history of human civilization, and as such it is sure to be accompanied by grief and strife, to be fought by reactionaries, and to be a slow painful process.

      Literacy and education are fundamental to our society, and have been since the 17th century, yet I can think of places where they are both uncommon. Racial rights are seen as a given to some, but Apartied ended less than two decades ago in South Africa, and obviously there is still a racial tension in the USA, and many other western nations. These issues are old.

      Development, or what we chose to define as progress, is a staggared process, both in time and in advancement. Generational transitions can be statistically quantified. The values you parents were raised with die of with them, but not until they die. Here in Canada, senior citizens will soon not only represent the larges voting catagory, but also the most politically active age group. Our national and world policies will reflect that. There are debates over the validity of legal abortion all of a sudden, and it is not difficult to track peoples responses by age group, if your sample size is both broad enough.

      Simply put, yes things are evolving on the gender front, but slowly, in fits and starts. I am 40, and was raised by a single mother. Recently I have been engaged to my love, a single mother herself. The difference in the social stigma and resultant status between the 1970's and now is baldly apparent. These changes, like the Rennisance, the Enlightenment, the Reformation, etc... take generations to grow and spread.

      I am not saying be satisfied with what is. By all means be active and change the world. Just don't expect it to happen in a day, or a decade.

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      Aug 12 2012: Long story short Debra, you're getting there. And from the looks of it and the rate of how things are going, we (guys) will start asking for equality ourselves. Be kind.
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        Aug 13 2012: I am the mom of four sons. My heart lives in both bodies so I cannot afford prejudice even if I were inclined toward it, which I am not.
    • Aug 13 2012: Many women have an Achille's heal.

      They fall in love with men.
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        Aug 13 2012: Oh, that is so true, we do. If you read the biblical account of the fall - it is our punishment- our hearts will be towards our husbands (that and giving birth) YIKES!
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    Aug 7 2012: Volcano erupting in N.Z. Love u N.Z., home is where the heart is and today my heart is with you. Sometimes it is about life and death isn't it, existentialism, lots of lovely volcanic ash for the South Americas in a few months as the Pacific Ocean filters it and then washes it onshore. Hope it all quietens back down or airspace will be out again.
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    Aug 6 2012: If abiogenesis only happened once.
    1) Why Did it only happen once ?
    2) Why do we think it would happen (once) on any other planets ?

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      Aug 6 2012: 1) It only needs to happen once? and for all we know there could be some underwater vent somewhere which is currently bubbling the ingredients for the next lineage of primitive bacteria.
      2) Because it's chemistry, if the reactants are their and the conditions are right reactions will just happen, there's no conscious choice in the matter. It's as though life is forced to begin.
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      Aug 7 2012: I always assumed it happened multiple times, protein, RNA, DNA plus all the others that didn't succeed long term. What we have now is based on similar chemistry because the chemicals went through billions of years of evolution before the best could progress to what we recognise as life.
  • Aug 6 2012: I am looking for the moment when the animal, instead of responding to his environment and condition instinctually, the animal discovers the concepts I and OTHER. That is the moment for which I search. The moment "I" was born or, using hyperbole to make two points, the moment when we reached for the fruit of the tree of knowledge. No more sit'n around waiting for mother nature to serve up supper. From I and other we moved to I and us, and now we are desperately trying to evolve into a single unified US. So, when my cat jumps up into my lap is it because it's warmer there or is it because he recognizes that he is
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    Aug 6 2012: why some people bite their nails????
  • Aug 6 2012: It is hard to relate people I know feel cheated in life for things such as vets getting 5 points on an exam for government job. These same people won't serve. I hear people that they are oppressed whit no reason. Election ads preach fear instead of facts. A wedge has been driven between groups white and black latin jew and so on. This is divided and conquer. I am finding it hard to tell this it is a feeling an observation on whats around me.
  • Aug 5 2012: So am I Debra, to the point where it doesn't leave any time or inclination for sharing what I've learned. I figure eventually someone else will say it anyway. ;)
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      Aug 6 2012: John, they will never say it or even understand it just the way you do and that is valuable to me.
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    Aug 5 2012: Why does my 'thumbs up" work only part of the time even for new people?
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      Aug 6 2012: Sometimes people don't realise that you want to carry on the conversation. It may be that a thumb's up is just seen as an O.K., like the idea. Saw your thumbs up to me on another thread. Going to add my comment to you here because it is relevant to you and the thread. Was reading about a tribal community in Ecuadorian rainforest who are offering eco-tourism to survive in a region where the economy is dependent on oil. The Huaorani tribe are saying respect us and we will let you in to our culture and they are getting the support to enable this. We use cabbage leaves to soothe mastitus, wonder what leaves they might use. We chew on certain leaves for the stimulant or relaxant effect, wonder if the ladies in childbirth chew on certain leaves. I like to think of this as a giant literature review of the evidenced scientific work available whilst looking for the crossovers from other subjects (not just the sciences). Sometimes the knowledge is there in the behaviours and traditions of people. It is about being humble but not being ignored. You know so much Debra. I hope you will keep communicating. Namaste.
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        Aug 6 2012: Hi Elizabeth, before my surgery and the devastating strokes which were the result I had applied to and intended to go to school in Ecuador so I am somewhat familiar with the above.
        I never give a thumbs up lightly. I do sometimes use it to encourage. I am convinced that many who show just glimpses of things are deep wells waiting to pour out their wisdom and learning in a safe environment where it is welcome. I am simply, or try to be, that person and that place.

        PS I meant that the thumbs up would not click in and give one to another person. NOt JUST when I have expended them all but often for new people who have never received them from me to date.
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          Aug 6 2012: Hello again. Have also been wondering about TED and if it has a virus because I have been trying to update my profile and keep getting kicked out. Personally I had spinal surgery in March and have permanent nerve damage to my body (quadraparesis). Still under care of neurosurgeon. Have laptop that I was given as a disabled student University of Greenwich and software package Dragon Naturally Speaking. Cannot use at moment as still hoarse from surgery (anterier cervical discectomy and fusion), hands don't always work that well either due to proprioceptive issues. Really frustrated that due to 15 month wait for op (elective surgery) seem to be timed out of final year of degree in Integrative Counselling. Have put some of my story on Profile now. Lovely to hear from you and keep communicating. Namaste.
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        Aug 6 2012: Namaste to you Sweet Elizabeth. I am delighted to know you are here! I tell my story, not for sympathy as some assume but to bring this into the light and the main stream and to demonstrate how 'viable" we all are and how valuable the content of all of our mnds are. If someone like Stephen Hawkings who has a chair here at an Ontario Canada university is the pinacle of some forms of thought - we need to press home the point that there are many others on the specturm who are willing and able to make significant contribuitions in many fields. I wish you good health and great happiness.
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          Aug 6 2012: Thank you so much Debra, the last thing I want or need is anyone's pity. Am a fighter but am also aware I do not always use the kindest words. Bought a 3CD set of world music in my local £1 shop. Has CDs of Europe/Asia the Americas and Africa. Was upset because I grew up in N.Z., (see Profile). Grew up with Maori influences. Got lots of knowledge and no forum to use it in. Am also Secretary of local allotments in real time and trying to make links in local community to help us all. Got ideas about water harvesting and alternative energy. Talking to local M.P., local utility supplier, local council officers. Just because my physical body can no longer dance, my mind is dancing harder. Namaste.
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        Aug 6 2012: Oh Elizabeth if you percieved that I suggested such a thing, I REALLY screwed up and I could not be more sorry!
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          Aug 6 2012: No, No - it's my stuff. It's part of my motivation to keep fighting and to keep training as a counsellor. Just need to get the body sorted out first. I am one tough cookie thanks to the Maori ladies and my early childhood. I survived quite an intense earthquake when I was three. Bit worried about the latest earthquake that hit Christchurch because it used to be North Island that had the quakes. As for the volcanoes, I remember going to Rotorua and the smell of the sulphur around the area of thermal activity was very intense but the blue and green lakes were just beautiful. My sister has been back and said that the whole area has been tapped for it's geothernal energy and now the geysers don't play so intently and the 'boiling mud' porridge pools steam a bit more and bubble a bit less. Progress happens but it is part of my own psyche that I remember the beauty of it and luckily for me I also have the photos. It's all about the evidence as well. You have absolutely nothing to be sorry for and please keep communicating. Got lots of ideas about uses for lavender, it smells better than tea tree oil for a start.
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        Aug 6 2012: When or if anyone asks why I still fight my answer is simple:The absolute beauty of MY TEDdies!
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          Aug 10 2012: Hey Debra how are you today. Feel a bit rude butting in on someone else's conversation but do want to help you to realise some of your immense knowledge in the real world. You are one tough cookie too. Any way not sure what you had in mind when you were planning to teach in Ecuador. Maybe you were meant to put your views on this Forum. Like what you said on another thread about coming back from a near death experience with more vigour and hope. You said your background was in hospital type cleaning supplies, did I get that right. I was thiinking about things like lavender oil and pine oil and lemon oil as cleaners and degreasers. Even now companies hijack the fragrance to imply their products are natural when they are chemically synthetic. Also aware of how hard it is for nature's filters to break these synthetic products down. What do you think ?
  • Aug 4 2012: We sometimes ask, "Why me?"
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      Aug 5 2012: Yes Elizabeth, I remember doing exactly that for one afternoon after I got a terrible diagnosis. I was angry as could be for a few hours and stomped around my bedroom in a tiff (I intentionally self isolated knowing my own state) and soon my own subconscious challenged me with something like
      'Why not you? Who would you rather had this?"
      For me. it was enough. I had no more need to ask that question and dealt better with my circumstance and actually survived against the odds.
      • Aug 6 2012: Impressive...
        Btw, "Why me?" implies a lot of things.
        “Why me?” may sound sulky and a bit pessimistic, but once you ask yourself "Why me?" later, you will realize there's no answer for it. And you might say, "In hindsight, it was....."

        We can't answer this question because there's no certain answer.
        As time goes by, you may still not understand, but you will realize the question is in itself also one of the meaningful parts of your life. Even if it's unanswerable, you can't help admitting that 'these things can happen to me.'

        IMHO, "Why me?" sure be strange question that humans have not yet found an answer for, and also, don't need to find an answer for.
        P.S. Always appreciate your sincere replies….. :)
        Warm Regards~
    • Aug 5 2012: "Why me?" This is a perfect example of why I believe questions are not a good way of using our language to acquire or transmit valuable information.
      • Aug 5 2012: Hi Rhona,

        First, do not take this as an argument or even disagreement, just an observation.

        IMO, Questions can be more powerful than statements because they more quickly engage our minds and make us think. Like everything powerful, they must be used appropriately.
        • Aug 5 2012: Barry, what you say is worth contemplating.....and I will do that. I agree about the power. I wonder if you consider where in the person asking the question the question comes from. I realize that everyone in the world except me thinks questions are okay and even good.
      • Aug 6 2012: Hi Rhona,

        " I wonder if you consider where in the person asking the question the question comes from"

        I never have, but I will now. Thank you for your wonderful contributions. This is what I am looking for at TED, ideas that I have never considered before.
    • Aug 7 2012: Hi Elizabeth!

      Should we consider the question "Why NOT me" more often??
      • Aug 7 2012: Hmm.. sounds interesting... and also makes sense :)
        What do you think?
        • Aug 8 2012: I think that it is good to ask questions as long as we are able to avoid fixating on needing an answer. I do like the "Why NOT Me" question .. because like the "Why Me" question, it can go in many directions. For instance, we may be inspired to do more with our lives if we are willing to consider possibilites or opportunties that we might assume are reserved for others who are percieved as more capable,attractive, affluent, intelligent .. or even more suited based on gender etc.( Whatever.) Conversely, we may also realize that life is not so much "unfair" but random in many ways when we consider our challenges
          or "misfortunes." Also, best of all , the question "Why Me" and "Why Not Me" can counter

          the common tendency to feel "Poor me."

          So .. I am walking down the street ... a potted
          plant falls off a balcony and hits me in the head, I end up in the hospital and ask "Why
          Me!!" I start to feel "Poor Me" Then, I hear news of some very unlucky person who had a piano fall on their head and did not survive. By this, I am inspired to do something to help others who have been struck by falling objects "Why NOT me??" :o) What do you think!!
      • Aug 9 2012: Hola, Juniper :)

        "I think that it is good to ask questions as long as we are able to avoid fixating on needing an answer."------------------- totally agree :)

        "Also, best of all , the question "Why Me" and "Why Not Me" can counter

        the common tendency to feel "Poor me." "

        Also, those two questions give you the source of negativity at first, and then, your vulnerable attitude leads you to be insightful, creative, courageous, and also grateful.

        I appreciate your idea :D
        Inspiring ..

  • Aug 2 2012: Really your post is really very good and I appreciate it. It’s hard to sort the good from the bad sometimes, but I think you’ve nailed it. You write very well which is amazing. I really impressed by your post.
  • Jul 31 2012: Could human kind's entire understanding of the universe be changed by changing one DNA base pair in one strand of DNA that we all share in common? Could TRUTH be just that far away?
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    Jul 28 2012: I have often wondered about things that would make me question the origin of everyday items.

    Condiments. Like mustard. Who decided one day to take the seed from a plant and grind it with vinegar to make a mustard paste? Was there a great need for such a condiment? Did someone see the seeds on a mustard plant and think, "I wonder if I ground this up with vinegar into a paste if it would taste good?" Same thing with mayonaise. Someone had to actually think..."I will take these raw eggs and mix them with oil and make a paste that I will eat." Really? I guess there was a need for that, too? Ketchup I could see. I mean, you take a common vegetable that is often smashed into a paste or soup...and then you think it would be a little better if it were spicier, etc. So...I kind of understand ketchup. But mustard or mayonaise? While I like them now and enjoy their purpose, I cant imagine someone thinking those products up.

    I guess my question that would be hard to answer would be...What were those people thinking when they made up mustard or mayonaise?
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      Jul 28 2012: who was the first person to milk a cow and why did they think it was a good idea? I like that question.
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        Jul 29 2012: Totally agree, Stewart. Thats the exact type of thing Im talking about. For every single thing that we take as a common occurrence, there had to be a VERY FIRST time. Its that very first time that I often think about and wonder what, how, or why someone was thinking what they did to attempt that first time.

        Milking a cow, eating a cooked piece of meat, pulling a carrot out of the ground and taking a bite, etc. All of those processes took trial and error. (I hate to imagine the trial and error of milking a cow and drinking the milk. YUCK)

        Speaking of a trial and error process and eating things for the first time...what about the pufferfish? Its an incredibly POISONOUS fish and even today causes many deaths for people who eat them. There has to be a licensed chef who is very talented to properly prepare the fish for eating.

        So...that makes me wonder about how and why this even came to be.

        I imagine this type of thing...

        "Hey, its a fish so lets eat it." First guy takes a bite...dies.
        "Hmm...maybe if we dont eat a large piece of it." Next guy takes a bite...dies.
        "Wow. Okay, lets try removing the skin. Maybe the skin is poisoning us." Next guy...dies.

        Eventually, it had to come to someone figuring out that there was a gland in the fish that kills them and removes it. Now...the pufferfish must be the most incredible tasting fish on the planet for you to risk death just to eat it, because the waters of this world are FILLED with fish that wont kill you. lol

        Ya know?
      • Jul 30 2012: Most inventions result from necessity. Probably, the first person to milk a cow was desperately thirsty.
    • Jul 31 2012: Thanks for a very good question. Why would anyone think that grinding wheat was a good idea? When this got started, grinding was very hard manual labor, and they kept doing it!
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        Aug 6 2012: But it did not hurt their teeth as much.
  • Jul 28 2012: 3. Einstein is advertised as a genius figure from the beginning of the 20th century. Yet today I expect most average people to be capable of thinking beyond Einstein’s spectrum. Some might not grasp the mathematics dialect, yet… the ability to process information and extrapolate to community, society and perhaps world –wide systems…that ability. (disclaimer: Einstein lived in a time when idiot was considered a mental illness, I have not tracked down when that was taken out of DSM, and when “idiot savant” became a cool thing. “consumption”, “idiot”, “homosexual” are some examples of conditions stigmatized by psychiatry that were later reversed). Taking that thought forward, wouldn’t that apply for access to education, housing and travel? Wouldn’t it be expected of our present day social systems to allow most average people to learn more, and travel and know the world more than a few leaders from the 1500&1600, the exploration ages? Why is that so limited?
    4. Why aren’t the leadership planning sessions publicly announced? Even with a few months delay or one year delay, it would still help people align, input and feel they participate in the world “journey” rather than feeling a non-recyclable reject with viewing and/or chatting priviledges.
  • Jul 28 2012: 1. What is the mission/purpose of our generation? (or of living in our current times?)What is the most far-out purpose we can conceive of?
    - To integrate technology for the most good it can do (linking people and communities worldwide; enabling fast idea transfer to diminish or balance the inequities between worlds, real or imaginary)
    - Integrate and use existing technology to enhance quality of life (quality of senior life, healing, slow or stop disease formation). I believe this will effect into even more enthusiasm for long-living, and quality living.
    2. What was the assumed purpose folks from previous generations understood, but not quite verbalized? (war generations, depression generation? What else have they understood about the world besides reproduction, research and faith/behaviour cultures?)
    This might become relevant if previous generations thought 'flashes', video-connections, syncronistic "riding" of same ideas is a bad thing, a "glitch" to be stopped and reported, things that the online&media generations are exploring and normalising. Relevant because industries such as psychiatry (imo) have been achored strongly on stopping or putting down such experiences, which on the other side are encouraged in the online, presentdays, social media environments.
    It's just an opinion and I might be wrong, but this seems to explain a lot, especially in understanding and solving generational situations or conflicts.
    • Aug 1 2012: I had this odd insight that perhaps we are the "Dung Beetles" or our planet .... what if it is our nature to consume, digest, decompose the planet?? To turn it into a rich soil form which a new life form may eventually sprout? Sigh ... or not ...
      • Aug 2 2012: @Juniper Blue - at first it was difficult to perceive something else of your message, it seemed so much of a mockery.
        To reply to the 'life form cycle' thing - on one side, poverty, all this over-claim on fertility (from seasonery, locations, cultures and religion) does make life growth (by life I include plants) an issue. On the other side, the existence of consciousness has within it the dilemma that it feels we're suppose to figure something else, beyond the simple "play" & "repeat" on life cycles. (pardon my choice of methaphor)
        • Aug 5 2012: good perceptions Anca .... I often have a strange way of seeing things and of expressing my views ... you are much more effective ... thanks
      • Aug 7 2012: Thanks Juniper, it's good to feel appreciated.
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    Jul 27 2012: What's the point?
  • Jul 26 2012: I was thinking about programs that use the internet to answer questions and tried to think of a question that would be a good test for such a program, and came up with this:

    In how many movies did John Wayne wear a tuxedo?

    Every parent will recognize this one:

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    Jul 26 2012: What is infinity? Is there more than one?

    What is creation? Why do humans desire to create (and procreate)? All we really do is rearrange matter so what could we create that has truly not existed before?
    • Jul 26 2012: To your first question Definitivly yes. Please view the answer you seek on you you tube. BBC 4 - Dangerous knowledge. Enjoy your answer and having your mind blown!
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        Jul 29 2012: Still doesn't answer what it is and if you don't know what it is how can you be sure there are more than one?
    • Jul 26 2012: "what could we create that has truly not existed before?"

      This gets into playing with words and meanings. The obvious answers are,
      every child, every piece of art, every new invention.
      • Jul 26 2012: But really haven't each of these things been already created respective to where they're from. I would argue the opposite. Had it not already existed, it could never have been created. Feedback, self- organization, a reflection of the whole. The vehicle of entropy.
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        Jul 29 2012: I disagree Barry. Child, art, inventions are all just rearranging matter that has already existed. We didn't really create anything.
        • Jul 29 2012: If we all agreed with this idea, we could remove 'create' from our vocabulary.
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        Jul 30 2012: Hence the question.
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      Jul 27 2012: Oh i can't remember his name but there is a nobel laureate that has a vid here under the old ted that talks on infinity in a two part doco that i can't remember it's frikin titles-Damn!

      It helped me to come to the realization that, like he said "People have mixed up the word and have got it wrong"

      Infinity is blackness

      It has no edges,it has no sides,no visual distance,nothing,so how come there's more than one?
    • Jul 27 2012: We have the potential to understand feelings which is to create insight into who one is.
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        Aug 8 2012: ...which is part of our humanity, I agree. Understanding the nature feelings is part of our evolution and helps us to articulate our feelings. Otherwise they would just be a jumble of knee jerk reactions.
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      Jul 28 2012: I think that we create because without creation there can be no evolution. We are constantly in an act of creating and recreating. Without creativity we cannot come up with solutions. The human urge to create art for art's sake is to express our individuality and connect to others because we have the need to connect..
      There really is nothing original when it comes to our artistic creations, but that's not bad!. I've thought about that a lot when writing songs and I'd realize what I was writing sounded a lot like ... but the most famous musicians were inspired by the greatest.
      The only thing that makes me think, really think, is the mystery of fingerprints. No one knows why and will we ever be able to figure this out?
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        Aug 2 2012: A painter 'creates' a beautiful painting. However, all he really did was smear some paint around on a canvas. The canvas existed before the painting and so did the paint. All he did was mix what existed before. He did not create anything new. Did not do anything except apply paint to canvas.

        That is not creating. It is smearing stuff with flair.
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          Aug 8 2012: Even though it is not original, it has evolved, and comes from a divine source within that cannot be duplicated. Even when Bob Dylan was writing songs, he played around with other's ideas... guitar riffs, themes, chord progressions... but when he put his soul into it, it became something completely different. It may sound like someone else's song, but the lyrics and the intent are something different.
          The same goes for the painter. She is smearing, brushing, splattering from an individual source. Think of it as a mother giving birth. My daughter has my genetics... my eye color, physical attributes, even some of my intellectual attributes, but her soul is completely different. Whatever she creates is her own. Whatever the artist creates has his or her blueprint and none other.
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      Jul 30 2012: Infinity is, more than anything else, a concept related to sizes of things (like sets of numbers).
      and yes, there are many infinities. In fact, one can show that there are an infinite number of them and that they are of various sizes. Meaning, some infinities are bigger than others.

      Wrap your head around that one, lol
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        Aug 2 2012: Exactly. And if you have a small infinity versus a large infinity what is the standard that the infinity is measured upon? And there are an infinite number of them:)
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          Aug 4 2012: I'm not entirely sure what you mean by 'standard' but I think I may.

          As best I know it, the sizes, or cardinalities, of various infinite sets only make sense when drawn up in comparison to on another. I don't think it makes sense to think about things like the smallest infinity or an infinity from which all others are measured (a standard). To say, for example, some infinity A is twice Infinity B is nonsensical. All we could say, rather, is that A is larger than B.

          To compare infinities, one checks to see if one can create a function from one infinite set to another that is both one-to-one and onto. The function is just a way of relating the infinities. If such a function can be found, it tells us that the infinities have the same size.
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      Jul 23 2012: Hi Kate!
      Always nice to see you pop in, and hope you will stick around for awhile. I am aware that other aspects of the life adventure call to you as well:>)
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          Jul 23 2012: Dear Kate,
          You are answering some of the questions below with physical involvement, as well as contemplation, pondering and speculation....yes?

          Be safe my friend, and thank you for your beautiful feedback. I appreciate you and your presence in our world:>)
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    Jul 23 2012: Thanks Colleen for your comments,

    what you said, make us all a Character in a play, which we are playing in our own life & every other person is also playing his part in the show, for us it's life which, as you said we orchestrate our lives, but for some one higher, it's just a play & i wonder sometime, the story which we are performing because it is not written & the conclusion is not definite, So where it is taking us ?, why we are performing our roles, why their is a need to do so, when their is no definite conclusion what ever we do will transform in to a conclusion of our part.

    Their are Two accepted answers for creation of life on earth.

    Religion: " GOD ", Q: He created us to pray, live happily, with true values etc.

    My ques: what was the need ?

    "Need is the Mother of all Invention", this goes with god as well..

    i see it like, We humans, are trying to make, Robots, An Automated robots which can do things what we want him to do by himself, but under certain rules, with no exceptions, Similarly God have made us with certain rules which, even if we want we cannot break & what we can break are not the rules of God, They are just man made.
    which makes religion, caste & every other parameter which differentiate us, without value...

    Science: " Big Bang etc.. " Q: Our creation was an incident ..!! & No one is responsible for it & it will continue until the day another incident happens which will end this all, their is no importance of what we do, or what we have been through..

    both the questions make us move towards the same thing, play your part & make space for another to come & do his part, what maximum we can do is, make our names live for ever...or until the human race is alive.

    Sorry, if i went too far..? But that's my idea...
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      Jul 23 2012: Ankit,
      You say..."for some one higher, it's just a play & i wonder sometime, the story which we are performing because it is not written & the conclusion is not definite, So where it is taking us ?, why we are performing our roles, why their is a need to do so, when their is no definite conclusion what ever we do will transform in to a conclusion of our part".

      I am not "performing" here on earth because of anyone who may be "higher". I am HERE...NOW, and that is the important piece for me. I enjoy life, even the challenges. I LOVE living in the moment, and sharing myself to the best of my ability with others. I LOVE being a good steward to our environment. For me, none of this earth experience is dependant on what happens in the next event.

      If you believe in a God, I guess you will have to ask him/her/it what the "need" was in creating you. I do not believe in a God, and I believe that my body evolved, like other animals evolve in our environment, which is also evolving. I believe that everything carries energy, and the body is one of the carriers of energy. That energy will return to the universal energy when the body dies.

      I do not perceive humans as robots. We have the ability to think, feel, make decisions and choices, and I believe those abilities are evolving as well.

      I agree that religions, castes, and those kinds of beliefs which differentiate us don't have much value. I believe that we are more the same than different, and in that respect, religions and castes tend to simply create seperation.

      Whatever our underlying beliefs are as humans, I believe it is important to live the life adventure to the best of our respect each other...have compassion and empathy...treat each other and our selves with kindness....LOVE unconditionally. The important thing for me, is to be totally, fully HERE...NOW.

      We can never go "too far" when exploring the life adventure my friend:>)
      • Jul 26 2012: Hi Colleen;

        Is consciousness  both a function of determinism and free will simultaneously?

        Our future has been written in every possible way.  Contemporary experiments have demonstrated that consious perception of an event lags behind the actual event.  Really.  This lends creadence to a deterministic view and is in line with the theory of relativity.  Perhaps this is true, maybe we just experience what is to have been all along and consciously assimilate the input experience into a deception of effecting an output thereby collectively we perceive choice as effecting future when it may not.  Perception is a funny thing, for no measurement of the physical world can be made outside this closed microcosm but indeed evidence for entanglement and infinite expansion have hinted at a much greater "reality" then that which we perceive and can measure.  Or perhaps perception constitutes the whole of reality.  However, as a function of a macrocosm, if the cosmologists and quantum physicists are on to anything, it appears that our universe is one of many in which all possibilities have likely occurred.  What if the perception of free will and the passing of time is an outcome of us changing between possible universes and not experiencing just one.  Perhaps perception of  a constant universe is not actual constancy.  Maybe all  possible outcomes have happened in the multiverse and are predetermined, but consciousness straddles the arrow of time choosing from fixed possibilities sliding laterally  between substrate determined universes.  What if instead of moving through a constant perceived reality the action of  consciousness is to move between realities thus perpetuating a sense of past an future within the predetermined greater macrocosmic multiverse.  As a function of a closed system where everything that can happen will happen and has happened, free will exists as the necessary perception of the happening.  Could all of us be perpetually jumping from universe to univ
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          Jul 27 2012: Hi Paul:>)
          I believe that everything is interconnected, so in that respect, I believe consciousness may be a function of both determinism and free will, as well as many other factors. Determinism as a doctrine that acts of the will, or occures in nature, social or psychological phenomena.

          I do not agree that "our future has been written in every possible way". I believe we have many choices when living the human life experience. I truly believe that the choices I have made have impacted my life experience, and I perceive evidence of that every single day.

          I agree...perception is a funny thing, and is often impacted by how open minded and open hearted we are in the moment. Awareness, opens up the channels of information, which may change our perceptions. I believe that for some people, their individual perception, does indeed constitute THEIR whole reality. We see that demonstrated right here on TED in discussions where folks think that THEIR reality "should" be EVERYONES reality!

          I agree that our universe is one of many in which all possibilities have likely occurred. An NDE/OBE (near death experience) opened my belief system to that possibility years ago.

          What if the perception of free will and passing of time is an outcome of us changing between universes and not experiencing just one? That is not beyond my perception, nor are any of your other about you?
      • Jul 27 2012: Wow! Great response! Thanks!
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          Jul 27 2012: My pleasure Paul. It's fun to explore these ideas:>)
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    Jul 23 2012: what is the future of humanity?
  • N SHR

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    Jul 23 2012: Where do the rules that make our world be as it is come from? (rules that make up our logic, our physics, rules that dictate big bang, rules that dictate maximum entropy principle, .. ). We "discover" rules, because they are already there. We discovered a language (logic) that makes sense.. I want to know why there are rules at all, and what forces them to uphold!
    • Jul 31 2012: I love this question because it is so basic to our existence.

      Suppose the rules changed one day, and everything that made sense to us yesterday seems absurd today, and we find all of our technology no longer works, but we quickly understand the new rules and understand why the old technology does not work, so we fix it or develop new technology. Suppose tomorrow 2 + 2 = 5?
      • N SHR

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        Jul 31 2012: Yes indeed this is the most basic question about existence, which I often wonder about and have found no answer for, though I admit my literacy in philosophy isn't that great, and I'd love to read if someone has tackled this question philosophically.

        These rules that I wonder about are the essential rules that cause matter and energy and space/time network and forces and everything to exist as it is now...

        The moment any of these rules changes we will cease to exist, since particles that comprise us might disintegrate/transform or whatever, so we won't be here to even notice that we don't exist. :)
  • Jul 22 2012: answering the question assumes you know what questions have been answered - with that in mind - are animals aware of self in the same way humans are?
    • Jul 23 2012: Well I can add to that question; I read that human's self awareness comes from social context. Children who develop without human interaction (abuse victims, "wild" children) lack the expected self image. So social animals may be more likely to have some form of self awareness. I am of course speculating.
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      Jul 26 2012: Animals are aware of the basic needs of survival. Once they develope a currency they will catch up with the rest of us. That's my two banannas worth.
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      Aug 6 2012: There has been a lot of work done in psychology about this question. Some creatures -apes- are aware of themselves in mirror, others can pull a string to bring food to themselves where others never have that understanding. It is facinating! So, no most do not see the world the way we do.
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    Jul 22 2012: second question is whether egg came first or Hen ????
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      Jul 22 2012: The egg, what came before it? A hen ancestor, and this regresses until you get amino acids in a water vent somewhere off the coast of Pangaea
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    Sym !

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    Jul 22 2012: We all live almost the same life. controlled by very common things around us so that made it kind of hard to create a new question. And for my question, i don't think it is new or haven't yet explored but i think it is unanswerable one. My question is so difficult to have an answer for me and so forked.
    - What is the truth?
    That is my question. I mean from all of things we have done and all of other things we're doing it right now, how can we be so sure it is right to do this? it is right to believe in this? it is okay to do this things but horrible and unacceptable to think about that another one. Is it all about our own perspective?.. the last question is the last answer that I've got.
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      Jul 22 2012: Hello again Symphony!
      In my humble opinion, it is indeed our own perspective. I agree that we are all very much the same in many ways, and also different, because of cultural backgrounds, influence by those around us, and our own experiences, all of which contribute to our own personal worldview.

      As evolving humans, we have the ability to take in information from many sources...the people and world around us, our logical, reasonable brain/mind, and our intuition/instinct. When we are mindfully aware in the life experience, we can take in information and sift through it to decide what is "truth" to us at any time....yes?
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        Sym !

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        Jul 22 2012: Yes. That's what i was thinking about. And i still think this is also my perspective of course.
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      Jul 26 2012: You can look at truth as a relationship between cause and effect. Much like intuition,
      "if I chew gum too long, my jaws get sore".
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        Sym !

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        Jul 27 2012: This works like an equation. And it has no other choice. " If (something) happened, then another specific thing would happened ". And I define this a conclusion, an absolute true conclusion. But some ideas couldn't be like this. Some ideas don't have only one choice and don't have that If before. That ideas are confused to know the truth behind them. Such as the way that we define things.
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    Jul 21 2012: Who Am I ??
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      Jul 21 2012: You are that what is, like I am.
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        Jul 22 2012: Frans, Question is What We are doing in this World, who am I, how does being me or you or us Humans, change this world, Are we here to Work, Eat, pray, Sleep, Marry & give birth to New Generation...all these things are smaller part of the whole story, So what's the Big Scene ?? ....WHO REALLY AM I.
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          Jul 22 2012: Hello Ankit and Frans,
          Hope you do not mind if I pop in here:>)

          Yes....I believe all of the things you mention contribute to who and what we are, and they are our personal parts of the whole story. Perhaps it is like a book with many chapters? Each chapter adds to the whole story, which is the "big scene"?

          In each and every moment, we have the ability to create our own life chapter, which will contribute to the whole. If we are aware of the scenes being created in the rest of the book, we can be more aware of how we orchestrate our lives to "fit" in a way that is harmonious and works well with the whole. What do you think about this idea?
        • Jul 27 2012: Self realization of all of who we are. The integration of feeling and consciousness into understanding pleasure and pain. Giving physical form and expression to the metaphysical for its reflection upon itself in its own journey into self realization.

          Over coming physical death by understanding how the denial of feeling (objectivity) kills the subjective feelings which are essential for life. Then the journey of coming out of the denial of feeling begins.

          Denied feelings as they return to consciousness are called pain. They are called pain because they are feelings which one does not want to feel. Pain then becomes our path back into life out of the vortex into death which we have empowered through our denial of feeling.

          Suffering is created by ones attempt to escape or avoid feeling pain. Once one faces into the pain suffering ceases and the work of processing the pain into conscious sensation that lacks a charge..

          One process pain into a neutral feeling which then has no charge of avoidance by feeling the pain directly with out words or images intervening. A meditation practice helps with this because in meditation one releases focus and expands consciousness. I call this releasing the periphery or boundaries. As one explores ones pain be it emotional or physical, one will notice that the feeling is bracketed with peripheral tension which holds it in place.

          Expressing with voluminous sound the sound which the body wants to make in response to the feeling is an other way to shatter the peripheral tension. Sound with out words because words can not empress feeling they can only intellectualize feeling.

          Another method is to move the eye of your attention, through the field of consciousness identified as pain, in a figure eight or infinity pattern with the center crossover point near the center of the pain. The cross over point some how confounds the mind in such a way that it can not maintain the image/peripheral tension and the tension of the pain collapses.
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    Jul 20 2012: Can we find a black hole theory?
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    Jul 20 2012: I have a couple of very mundane questions that always start a fight in my home, so if anyone knows the answers, I would be much obliged:

    Can you get sick with a cold if you walk barefoot or standing/sitting in a draft?
    Do you get a headache if you drive in a car with open 2 windows (not 1, but 2, and it miraculously doesn't apply if you're in a cabrio!!)?
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      Jul 21 2012: I think both statements are true.
      Though I never had any headache I learned that it can be triggered by dry air.
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      Jul 21 2012: Dear Marija,
      If these questions "start a fight" in your home, that is sad:>(

      I believe a cold, is caused by a virus, so one would need to be exposed to the virus to have a cold.

      Causing the body temperature to be lower than normal (walking barefoot, standing in a draft), could cause the immune system to be compromised, or weakened, which could cause us to be more vulnerable to "catching" the cold virus.

      REALLY? These questions cause fighting in your home? It takes two or more to fight you know. How about being the "hero" and stop fighting?
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        Jul 22 2012: It is not that serious :) But, yes, for as long as I remember I love walking barefoot, but my parents kept reminding me: put the slippers on, you'll catch a cold! And I never got sick. So, obviously, almost 30 years of proving them wrong was not enough, I'm looking for some scientific explanations :D
        I guess it's something people take for granted...
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          Jul 22 2012: Marija,
          I am happy to hear that it is not too serious!!! LOL:>)

          This is not scientific, and I would guess that your parents heard that information from someone and embraced it as their "truth". In an attempt to help their little child stay healthy, they passed the information on to you.

          Do you want to continue to try to prove them wrong? Or do you want to continue to do what works for you? It sounds like you have your own information regarding what is healthy and desirable for yourself!

          Actually, they are discovering with research, that it may be more healthy to go barefoot because the feet get naturally stimulated. Have you ever heard of reflexology? It is a practice by which the feet are stimulated with message to encourage movement of the energy throughout the body. It happens naturally when we are not wearing shoes.

          Also....we know how well some long distance runners do running barefoot? There are more long distance runners embracing this practice. Must be SOMETHING to it huh? I have always LOVED being free of shoes too, and I'm pretty healthy:>)
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      Jul 26 2012: I agree with Colleen. But I'll take it a step further....we always have a cold. Or better yet, our immune system is constantly working to keep our body in homeostasis. When we get tired, eat poorly, or sleep poorly, we compromise the ability of our body to fight off the constant barrage of germs. If we catch a draft or walk barefoot in the cold, you may get a strong immune response due to the quick change in temperature. i.e. runny nose. If your immune system is up and running, you wipe your nose and go on. If your immune system is compromised, you're gonna need to take measures to bring your body back into balance.
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    Jul 20 2012: What is God!

    It is a term that has intrigued people for thousands of years. Less than 100 people wrote the bible. Out of how many that lived in their time? Only a handful of people had any understanding of what drives creation. Millions of people have tried to understand what they were trying to say. And very few people have understood it. Today, there are more misconceptions of what the word means than there are truths.

    I had an experience when I was nine years old that would refute the accepted definition. Recently I have found that many definitions have changed in the last 100 years to coincide with what people have come to accept as truth. But that truth is based more on what people of importance have claimed to be true and not what can be verified. So as I see it, some people try to create the truth rather than try to determine what truth really is.
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      Jul 21 2012: Truth always is relative. Out of any context or framework truth has no meaning.

      Truth is what is and your truth is what you can see.

      God is what you make of it or what fits your understanding for the moment.
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        Jul 21 2012: Frans,
        Interesting analogy. I had a revelation on how the universe was ordered as a boy, and that became God for me. It is what made sense at the time and throughout all that I have learned, it still makes sense. I feel that I have seen something that few have seen. I have my own definition for God and it doesn't coincide with the modern dictionary. But it does coincide with nature.
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          Jul 22 2012: Thanks for your reply Roy.

          The kind of experience you talk about I had on the age around twentyfive. Maybe it is more common than we know of. It helps to reconnect or in a way to stay connected with that what you experienced. For me it works that way.

          Maybe there's no reason to define god or do you think there is?
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        Jul 22 2012: Frans,
        For those who understand what drives creation, there may be no need to define God. But for those who hold misconceptions about what God is, a false definition may lead to disturbing behavior. I see many people who do strange things because their minds are out of synch with nature.

        Our religious institutions divorced themselves with science and defend their claims based on how they define things. Many words in the dictionary were redefined in the last century to reflect what scholars teach. The word theology, for instance, used to contain a reference to "that which is revealed by nature". The modern definition contains no such reference.

        Since the word "God" is considered as the highest authority, I think false definitions can be highly misleading. Richard Dawkins says that believing in God is not only wrong, but dangerous. I believe the current definition, and the kinds of behavior that it induces, is the basis of his conviction.
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      Jul 22 2012: are there gods or goddesses?
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        Jul 22 2012: In myth and artistic expression, there are both. In scientific logic, there are neither. These are mere representations of the forces that drive creation from a right-brain perspective.
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      Jul 26 2012: God does not fall within the boundries of our man made logic. But don't ask me...ask God
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    Jul 19 2012: If the earth was expanding towards your body at 9.9 meters per second squared... How would that be different than if we were being pulled towards the earth at 9.9 meters per second squared by a gravitational field. This the question that inspired Einsteins theory of relativity... the idea that we could not tell, and that it did not matter.

    I'm not a fan of relativity, and if the earth is not expanding, we should be able to prove it. As of yet, I haven't come up with a way to do it yet. If the earth is expanding, then all matter is expanding, so as it expands, so do yardsticks.
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      Jul 19 2012: If the Earth is expanding then it should be getting bigger relative to me, unless I am expanding aswell. If I am expanding as well, my head should be experiencing an acceleration equal to the expansion of the earth plus my expansion as my feet are on the ground. That means my head should experience slightly more "gravity" than my feet. But the opposite is true. My head experiences slightly less gravity because it is slightly further from the Earth's centre of mass.
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        Jul 19 2012: Einstein thought you might be expanding as well, the expanding yardstick. I'm not sure it's been proven that your head experiences less gravity than your feet. I haven't heard that. I know theoretically it would be true, but the numbers would be so infintecimally small, I wasn't sure they had properly tested that.

        Even if this was true however, your head would be farther from the energy propelling you forward. Your feet are absorbing the acceleration while your head merely free floats on the structure attached to them. The effect of your particles expanding, in comparison to the effect of the entire earth expanding, is negligible, because of relative size.
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          Jul 19 2012: Do some research on modern gravimeters, they are amazingly accurate. When you take measurments you have to leave the room and stand perfectly still as your body mass effects the readings if you are close or move around.
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          Jul 21 2012: Hi David,

          From what I know, the universe expands but at very, very wider distances. We wouldn't feel the expansion of the universe on our daily life, but we observe this : the distance and speed of galaxies, which we see as they were in the past, as if they were travelling faster than light. Scientists interpret this as if between the light emission time and now, the distance between the source and us had expanded, enough to diminish the wavelength as small as it is.

          But actually, from Einstein's many-times-proven theories, gravity is equivalent to acceleration, so that what you experience when you stand on earth is "equivalent" to what you would experience with no gravity, if the surface was accelerating towards you.

          An interpretation of this is that "light" is also attracted by gravity, as are all physical interactions. So that if you were accelerating by 9.8 m/s², you still would see light go straight.

          It infers, for instance, that light "turns around" black holes, so much that below their radius, light would never get out.

          And to your last question : yes, the gravity at your head is slightly lower than the gravity at your feet, and it can now be measured (for as much as one millimeter difference !) : with particle interference methods.

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        Jul 22 2012: Etienne... I agree up to a point. My point however, is that is has been many times proven that gravity is equivalent to acceleration... but, equivalence, mathematically, is not necessarily "sameness" in the physical world. In other words... Only one of the things is "actually" happening. Both, currently, "appear" to be happening.

        I believe that relativity was a mathematical approach to solving a philosophical problem. Einstein proved mathematically that it did not matter which philosophical explanation was the truth. His formula is brilliant, and correct... I just think the concept of two things that are different both being observable as true, makes them both true, is bad philosophy.

        Just as time would appear to stop if one was to approach light speed while looking at a fixed point. That point in time would appear to freeze. If you turned around and headed back towards it however, you would reallize that time is "speeding up"... It isn't of course, old light is reaching your eye. You would be able to view time stop, but not interfere with it at light speed, and traveling faster than light, would do nothing to the space time continuum in my view.

        I also think Black Holes are big bangs, and atoms are having sex somewhere behind our backs though... So my scientific theories really cannot be taken seriously.

        The idea that we have "proven" that either could be true, will probably continue to drive me nuts for another couple years though : p Maybe after I read about these gravimeters it will click for me a bit better.
        • Jul 31 2012: I am no expert, so maybe I got it wrong, but my understanding is that:

          General relativity states that acceleration is the same as gravity because momentum, the resistance to acceleration, is caused by gravity, the net sum of all gravitational forces in the universe acting at a particular location.

          Is that right?
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    Jul 17 2012: i love your question and the connection you have made to the idea of "collective intelligence".

    I don't at the moment have an offering to make of my own experience with such questions but what you are pointing to is very important. Sometimes asking the right question, which always means with an openness that doesn't include some notion of he answer, opens the door to new discoveries and often to personal elevation/progress.

    What about you? Do you have an example you can share with us?
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      Jul 18 2012: Hi Lindsay,

      Thanks for the reply,

      I am happy to know that i got your brain excited with new thoughts.

      Here are few things that i find is strange and un-explored.

      1. Communicating with an alien.
      2. Will Moore's law hold good after a decade, or is such a law even necessary after such a long journey?
      3. Will humans ever understand that fighting does not lead to anywhere?

      4. Instead of war, If we become friends wont it be of more benefit for either party.

      5. Which is important being richest or being happiest

      Will keep more coming on this.

      All The Best.
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        Jul 20 2012: Those are fundamental and challenging questions. I think that everyone on this planet might have contemplated question 3 at some point in their life.

        Why can't we stop fighting and just get along with each other We are both similar and different at the same time. We are all humans and share this planet, why can't we learn to accept other people's differences and become good neighbors and friends? Fighting is unnecessary and an act of violence that doesn't result in anything positive.
  • Jul 17 2012: bang your head on the wall and feel the difference between wht is real /unreal :) ... perhaps this is a subjective debate wht our mind think is real is actually perceived by us ... you think so you are !
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    Jul 16 2012: Did they ever figure out why bumble bees can fly?
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      Jul 16 2012: Magic:>)
    • Jul 21 2012: yes there wings dont just go up and down but swivel in a figure of 8 with the edges facing up when moving upwards giving less air resistance than the downward strokes
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        Jul 21 2012: Devon, thank you for this insight.
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    Jul 16 2012: Well, I won't post a specific question, but in general, questions (usually philosophical or religious) that have to do with eternity. Your brain goes into one of those infinite loops as you try to imagine the beginning∞ or the end∞ of an eternal object. Eventually you get a headache (or perhaps that just me) and force yourself to stop thinking about it.
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    Jul 16 2012: What is dark matter.
    What is dark energy
  • Jul 16 2012: How do you prove, not beyond reasonable doubt but beyond ALL doubt that the world is real?

    Answer: you can't. For all you know, you are the only REAL think in existence, and all of this is a very long, complex dream. The only thing you know for sure is:
    You think, therefore, you are.

    If you can come up with a way to prove to me you are real, then I will take it back and apologize for calling you a figment.
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      Jul 16 2012: I forget what old philosopher it was but when he heard this he kicked a rock and hurt his foot and said "I refute it thus!"
      But to me this idea is an idea not even worth thinking about. To a scientific debate or debate in general the worst arguments are those which can't be disproved and it's this kind of statement in an argument that would just be ignored. The strength of an argument is it's ability to be falsified.
      And I add more to this idea by saying, what's the point in thinking this way, to the best of our knowledge this is the universe and our one shot at it consists of everything we do in life, and to consider it to be a mere dream is escapist of reality and it's consequences.
      • Jul 16 2012: Yep it's proven beyond reasonable doubt but i think that given the lifespan of our race, and the advancements we've made, I think that it's the only question We'll never be able to answer. So it can be as optimistic as is is pessimistic. :D
    • Jul 16 2012: Time is an illusion too, what we perceive to be a "span" or a hour or a year is fabricated and subject to the mind. The year we've come to know could be a few seconds in reality. The distance between ourselves and the stars is also subject to perception and could for all we know only reside inside our minds a couple inches from our eyes rather than "light years" away. We seem to think our existence to be a landmark in the universe, that we as a species are so important and sophisticated but really looking from "gods view" we're not even a blip on the map. We're not even a blip in our own galaxy. In full scale we are smaller than the smallest single celled organisms. At any moment we could be swallowed up by a black hole or destroyed in a heartbeat and not even know what hit us. This question is worth thinking about because for all we know it is science and material that is the waste of time/energy. The truth may be that the only worth while substance to have is consciousness. Paul is right as of this moment.. but wrong at the same time. What is real? The only way to judge real and not real is to have a definite standard to compare. If you use the majorities definition and ideal of real and materiel than no. If you use the idea that dreams and thought and consciousness are real than yes. Quantum physics takes perception and reality and consciousness to the edge, suggesting only consciousness and thought are real... that everything material is hologram and the only real thing about them is the relationship between it's parts and everything else. "the bond" or slowed vibration that holds everything together for our consciousness to perceive.. our self. As for the figment.. I wonder the figment of what exactly? A devine entity? A unified collective conscious? Who or what is imagining or creating even as only consciousness? There is no alternative but a source.. even if it's a computer like "NEO" from the matrix is plugged into. Something.. Somewhere
      • Jul 17 2012: Anthony, picture a character in a computer game gaining self awareness, what would it do? what would it think? The landscape in the game is all illusion to us, but impenetrable to them. What would the character do? How would it justify its existence? Would it learn the rules to their reality? Or would it lurk around seeking whatever pleasure translates into for them?

        The problem with contemplating all of this is that were still human. At the end of the day we don't know if the way humans experience reality is how other conscious things see it. After all, our senses have been known to trick us. I hope one day I can get some definitive answers, but I doubt I will.
        • Jul 17 2012: I'd agree, maybe there is no light at the end of the thought process but there is a lot of good that can come from yourself and others like you in questioning and seeking the truth.In my experience, it was something like an awakening. For whatever reason the veil placed over my eyes was rapidly removed and the truth became something like an obsession. I became aware I was being lied to, manipulated, and somewhat psychologically enslaved into doing and living things that weren't my will or even in my best interest. They say ignorance is bliss haha, and I find that to be the truth the longer and deeper I investigate into "reality". I find tho, that in doing so.. I can create, define, and manipulate my own computer game... rather than having someone else in control of my mouse. In knowing better... I can open eyes and change lives and alter outcomes of those less fortunet that maybe would have a significantly less fruitful outcome if not having met me. Someone a long time ago figured out that we were the biological conductors "the game creators" for here in this realm.. control and manipulate us and you control and manipulate our "reality". I wonder if anyone realizes that money is a piece of paper? Or if the separation between student and teacher is illusion, that each individual is both"? That our government is becoming for itself and not of/for the people? That the reason they are compelled or desire material things is subliminal mind fucking? That killing for the government is wrong... without exception? That religion and system beliefs are traps and only someone's best attempt of explaining and living life? If there are aware they were subjected to false limitation? haha
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      Jul 16 2012: One effective anti-Solopsist argument is to deliver a swift, powerful kick, with a bare foot, to a cement block resting on the ground. If you experience no pain the block was not real. It is interesting to me that I have been a figment in the imagination of every solopsist I have ever met.
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      Jul 17 2012: Yes Paul
      Steven Hawking
      Watched that documentary the other day
      Very interesting
    • Jul 17 2012: It seems that proposal (originally by Descartes?) is actually incorrect. It implies if you think not, you are not, which is untrue. If you do a deep enough meditation you can stop all conscious thought and be totally unaware of yourself. You move into an altered state of consciousness, where three minutes in this world is like one second, yet you still are here and alive.