Wednesday, August 31, 2011

When you think about the messages in the video and its overall meaning, then attempt to apply it to yourself in your own life, you can almost fall into a trap of infinite repetition; like seeing a picture of a man holding a photograph of a man who is also holding up a photo, and that photo he's holding depicts the same man holding a picture of a man holding a picture of a man holding a picture of a man, or the visual effect of infinite refection that occurs when you hold a mirror up to another mirror--as seen by the architect in Inception when she pulls two imaginary mirrors parallel in order to infinitely reflect pillars and create a long, open corridor--and ultimately leading to an infinite tautology (like I'm purposefully doing with this very run-on paragraph) in which you've been "told" not to follow the masses and accept ideals and fundamental laws without question, which have been unquestionably passed down the generations by people who had received and accepted this information set without question from, ultimately, a person/human being who was no more of a supreme authority of knowledge to make such judgments, conclusions and statements of law or constitutional ways of being/living life "properly" than anyone else in existence. What you end up with is a continuous, repeating Penrose stairs-type cycle performed ad nauseam if you believe what the video says without question, but, even in not believing without question and following the video's suggestion of arriving at a conclusion on your own and for yourself, you, ipso facto, fall down the infinite well or are forever climbing the never-ending stairs. It's almost an inherent, fallacious, contradictory, ironic, and infinite juxtaposition of the idea that you should accept the fact that you should never accept facts as facts at face value without questioning the facts themselves.

It's this very circular and infinite reasoning style first taught to me in philosophy 101 -- creating an infallible argument that, by its very own definition or set of pre-defined postulates, cannot be refuted to the point of almost becoming a paradox -- that caused me to drop the course a few weeks in. It seemed to me to be a cheesy exercise of banging someone's (or your own) head against a wall and adamantly refuting every point with you own irrefutable counter-position until the other concedes or stalemate is reached where the people "agree to disagree".

Look up "paradoxes" for some interesting reading. Examples are "if god does exist, could he create a stone so heavy that even god himself was unable to lift?", which is a religious iteration of the same paradox "what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?" (you might recall this paradox as recently quoted in "The Dark Knight"). Both are fallacies and are unverifiable as well as impossible to disprove, violating the constituent requirements of scientific "rules", "laws" or theories which is that, in order to go from hypothesis to theory to "rules" or "laws", the original concept(s) usually are or can be unprovable but MUST be falsifiable. In short, you can never really prove ANYTHING to be true, but only by exhaustively demonstrating that every possible contradictory/contrary piece of evidence is false, or at least enough are proven to be false, can you then deductively, but tentatively, assert that "hypothesis A is our best guess at what is 'true' given that all observable evidence obtained to the contrary, thus far, is false." The batman-referenced paradox has two inherent flaws that are waived for the sake of argument, but it is those two very flaws--which are in violation of physics--that are the only two ways of disproving the circular hypothetical question in the first place. E.g. The argument would resemble:

"There cannot be such a force which is infinite and unstoppable..."

"But supposing there was and it acted upon an object so dense and heavy that it cannot be moved..."

"But such an object impervious to any, all and EVERY force also could not exist..."

"But what if it did?" etc. (the wiki on paradoxes illustrates these both in better detail)

However, *neither* of which can exist, or even be thought to exist, unless some physics is totally discarded. One cannot exist if the other one also exists; i.e. they cannot co-exist, which is also curiously referenced throughout Harry Potter in terms of the hero/antihero dynamic where one is the antithesis of the other: "Neither can live while the other survives".

No advice or opinion I can give will resolve this paradoxical concept since, in even trying to provide an illustration of a method in which to "use" the information presented in the video would, in itself, be in contradiction to the original idea.

Some of the most "compelling" or massively (to the masses) convincing arguments rely on these most often extraordinarily well-hidden inherent fallacies to make an idea sound like (excuse the pun, which, whenever someone says that they mean "look directly at the pun to see my cleverness") the unquestionable, irrefutable word of god.

My personal opinion is that the video is interesting and can spark lengthy debates; it does, however, seem to present the ideas at times as though they are accepted and proven fact--complete with historical evidence--rather than present the ideas as a potential theory (thus is self-contradictory). The author seems to be claiming "this is how things ARE", not "this is a reasonable, hypothetical explanation for how things MIGHT be".

I also believe (and have been exposed to the knowledge of) the biological experiments describing organisms spontaneously adapting to use the food source they previously couldn't utilize are well-researched and grounded in good, solid science. The biology doctor (forget his name) seemed fairly reputable and worthy of further study/reading. See/google "the Lenski experiment with Escherichia coli" -- it's a very interesting, extraordinarily precise, careful and exhaustive long-term experiment spanning 20+ years examining various conditions in which organisms spontaneously adapt in order to survive and successfully propagate their species.

The best I can do is state that I've provided exposure to some philosophical concepts which you can choose to evaluate yourself or choose not to and, if you so choose, watch it and take away from it what you will. But again, that statement is analogous to the author's statement that (paraphrasing) 'the American constitution is simply a listing of some of the rights you already have. They cannot be given to you by another person, nor can you do anything with them (such as give them away) except choose whether or not you wish to exercise those rights.' And, yet again, even that is somewhat circular...


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