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BS: The Mother of all BS threads

Amos 31 Jul 09 - 11:18 AM
Acme 31 Jul 09 - 10:56 AM
Rapparee 31 Jul 09 - 10:27 AM
Little Hawk 31 Jul 09 - 08:50 AM
Rapparee 31 Jul 09 - 08:37 AM
Little Hawk 31 Jul 09 - 12:56 AM
Amos 30 Jul 09 - 10:20 PM
Rapparee 30 Jul 09 - 09:19 PM
Amos 30 Jul 09 - 08:33 PM
Acme 30 Jul 09 - 07:46 PM
Little Hawk 30 Jul 09 - 06:49 PM
Rapparee 30 Jul 09 - 06:41 PM
Amos 30 Jul 09 - 04:27 PM
Rapparee 30 Jul 09 - 04:26 PM
Amos 30 Jul 09 - 12:49 PM
Amos 30 Jul 09 - 12:11 PM
MMario 30 Jul 09 - 11:34 AM
Amos 30 Jul 09 - 11:25 AM
Amos 29 Jul 09 - 10:25 PM
Rapparee 29 Jul 09 - 10:13 PM
Amos 29 Jul 09 - 10:01 PM
Acme 29 Jul 09 - 09:02 PM
Rapparee 29 Jul 09 - 07:34 PM
Amos 29 Jul 09 - 04:15 PM
Amos 29 Jul 09 - 12:04 PM
Amos 29 Jul 09 - 11:42 AM
Rapparee 29 Jul 09 - 11:07 AM
Rapparee 29 Jul 09 - 11:05 AM
Amos 29 Jul 09 - 12:09 AM
Rapparee 28 Jul 09 - 11:55 PM
Amos 28 Jul 09 - 10:34 PM
Rapparee 28 Jul 09 - 08:21 PM
Janie 28 Jul 09 - 07:36 PM
Acme 28 Jul 09 - 06:51 PM
Amos 28 Jul 09 - 05:52 PM
Rapparee 28 Jul 09 - 05:49 PM
Amos 28 Jul 09 - 04:30 PM
Little Hawk 28 Jul 09 - 04:03 PM
Amos 28 Jul 09 - 01:15 PM
Amos 28 Jul 09 - 12:52 PM
Little Hawk 28 Jul 09 - 12:16 PM
Acme 28 Jul 09 - 11:56 AM
MMario 28 Jul 09 - 11:30 AM
Amos 28 Jul 09 - 10:46 AM
Rapparee 28 Jul 09 - 10:40 AM
Rapparee 28 Jul 09 - 09:59 AM
Amos 27 Jul 09 - 11:30 PM
Amos 27 Jul 09 - 10:14 PM
Amos 27 Jul 09 - 10:07 PM
Rapparee 27 Jul 09 - 05:25 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 31 Jul 09 - 11:18 AM

Little Hawk, as usual, is just leaping across whole fields of missing data to promulgate windy and unbalanced confusions, usually scurrilous. For example, at 08:37 Mudcat time this morning I was in my car, driving to work, studiously listening to KPBS in order to maintain my current qualifications as a California Bleeding Heart Tree Hugging Pinko Liberal (CBHTHPL).

I am glad you played your fingers off, Little Hawk--at least you won't have to go through that again.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Acme
Date: 31 Jul 09 - 10:56 AM

Those potatoes in Idaho look so cute when they're nearly grown and they roll over one morning in the field, wearing their new restaurant foil jackets. . .


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 31 Jul 09 - 10:27 AM

Heck, I'd got the cows milked and fed, the back forty cut and windrowed, and the day cavvy brought in and saddled by the time I'd posted.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Little Hawk
Date: 31 Jul 09 - 08:50 AM

The lazy bugger isn't even up yet, Rap.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 31 Jul 09 - 08:37 AM

I'm humbly grateful form your praise of my scholarship, Amos.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Little Hawk
Date: 31 Jul 09 - 12:56 AM

I'm back! Did you miss me? I've played my fingers off on guitar and also got to see about 2 hours of Allison Krause and her band on a couple of DVDs that a friend had. Very good!

So, Amos....you may swan now, but I think you'll more likely duck tomorrow, and I predict that you will not get to crow at all this week...nor will you be caught robin' the pantry if you know what's good for you!


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 30 Jul 09 - 10:20 PM

Well, I'll be darned!! I really do swan!! The things you learn on Mudcat!! Rapaire, thank you so much for that profound and impeccably researched bit of knowledge.



A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 30 Jul 09 - 09:19 PM

Amos, you do not understand potatoes. Like most, you think of them as tubers growing on the roots of plants.

NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH!!!

Potatoes are tiny, blind creatures similar to nemotodes which crawl underground searching for a plant's root system upon which to "suckle." The very best plant for this are the various varieties of Solanum tuberosum (or "Tubas of [St. Francis] Solanus" -- the reason for this name is irrelevant here). Potatoes can sense these plants many miles away and will literally bore through mountains to get to them. Once there, they attach themselves to the plant's roots so firmly that the plant literally grows around them and the potato loses it's own identity into that of the plant.

Once, Idaho (for example) was a high, flat plateau stretching from Montana to the Oregon and Washington borders. Early settlers planted
Solanum tuberosum (the original settlers lived on camas roots) and attracted the potatoes. This mass migration of potatoes from one place to another caused the soil and rock to collapse, as a sinkhole does when the water below is pumped out. This gave birth to Idaho's mountains. The same happened in Maine and Ireland, where the collapse of the land formed the immense central plain -- were it not for the potato Dublin would be an alpine resort.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 30 Jul 09 - 08:33 PM

My, it has turned scintillating...


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Acme
Date: 30 Jul 09 - 07:46 PM

Leo, scroll down and look for my link to Maryann (that Maryann, of Gilligan's Island) showing the world how to boil and peel an Idaho potato. A useful tip. MOM has been busy cooking potatoes since she watched it, and we're going to have potato salad for the next month around here. Pass the hard boiled eggs, please. . .


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Jul 09 - 06:49 PM

"What we need around here are a few more incorrigible reprobates and unrepentant miscreants."

You rang? :-D

Hold that thought, okay? I have to go out and play music now. I shall return just in time to save you from total ennui and despair. Try to survive the lonely hours that lie ahead...


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 30 Jul 09 - 06:41 PM

Unwounded ones.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 30 Jul 09 - 04:27 PM

Jeeze, Mom is laconic and lugubrious today, doncha think? What we need around here are a few more incorrigible reprobates and unrepentant miscreants.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 30 Jul 09 - 04:26 PM

Raparie is going home and take a nap.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 30 Jul 09 - 12:49 PM

Excerpt from a NYT column:

"Franz Rosenzweig's "Understanding the Sick and the Healthy: A View of World, Man, and God." The sickness in question is paralysis, what we would today probably call clinical depression. It is the patient's metaphysical prowess that paralyzes him. It has replaced the common sense that once allowed him to accept ordinary things. He can no longer go to the store for butter because, after all, "the butter remembered, the butter desired, and the butter finally bought, are not the same. They may even be quite different." And yet he is able to make the purchase ? or would be able to, if he would just move on.

Rosenzweig writes: "The continuity of life blunts the edge of marveling. Wonder is finally enveloped in the stream of time.""



There's the rub; to remember that time is an arbitrary, a false cover, a flim-flam and a bamboozle, so that you can stay on the cresting edge of wonder and new sight. This belief that change is slow, that newness only comes on the installment plan, that things are as they were instead of as they scintillatingly are, is a morose and terrible pit to lie in. This is something, I believe, that Mom understands instinctively.


A


A

A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 30 Jul 09 - 12:11 PM

Yeah, but yours is more elegant, and down-to-earth.

I imagine Rapaire is still fending off darkling clouds of chemical unconsciousness, using his light-saber.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: MMario
Date: 30 Jul 09 - 11:34 AM

wow..

That's so Philosphical

I would probably have just said..."Ever notice that when you got every thing going right they start to get boring?"

But your way sounds so much more profound.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 30 Jul 09 - 11:25 AM

It is Thursday morning, Mom, here in the land of Granola, where we live on crystal spring water and organic fruits and nuts. The days continue on; it is ironic how hard you strive to bring things to order, to normal operation, and when you have them balanced on the edge of the leading edge of time, just so, so they can go forward with normalcy and coherence, the whole thing becomes much less inspiring to maintain.

Little Hawk, are you getting overheated in Ontario? Rapaire, have you been ordered to exercises? Stilly, what does the University really believe it is doing?

I wish BWL were back. He understands so much; he would know what to do.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 10:25 PM

Ah, sir, that's the dull-witted ones, the barely mauve. A smart Blue finds his freedom wherever he needs to.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 10:13 PM

So folks can harpoon me, fleche me, cut me into chunks, toss me in the try-pots, and carve on my teeth?

No thankee. I think I'll come back a Gorlnak the Eternal, Eater of Worlds or something.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 10:01 PM

Rapaire:

Find a place next go-'round as a Blue Whale, and you will have no such troubles.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Acme
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 09:02 PM

Ewww.

I remember the stitch removal after my bunion surgery. Hurt like a SOB.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 07:34 PM

Hey, Mom! I went and got the stitches out of my shoulder. Yes, it hurt and I didn't think they still cauterized bleeding with a hot iron, but.... Anyway, I found that they had cut off the end of my collarbone! Yup, just cut 'er right off. That of course, simply confirmed my suspicions that bits of my DNA is being collected in a Secret Government Place where they store the perfection of DNA in case they have to clone perfect people in a hurry.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 04:15 PM

Boy, Mom, you get a little whacky and they stay away in droves!!

I thought it was good, even if no-one esle did...


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 12:04 PM

And then I dreamt I'd lost my ship at sea
And swept up in the storm, slammed among the broken spars,
Was hit on thehead, and taken by salt waters at last.

Finding this broken skull and drowned flesh beneath
My standards, I left it, and drifted
The length and depth of the Pacific, trying to understand.

I found at last a settling place, descending
Into the form of a blue whale calf, new-borning
And felt it was something I could be. So I kept it.

Imagine the learning! How deep is down, how often up,
Blowing with precision, spy-hopping, how to fight
For love and sing to the clan at depth. Not an easy course.

Especially the singing--in my dream I kept remembering the Shirelles,
And wanted to sing Doo Wop to the blues around me, oooo-wah.
But the elders butted me and the rest ignored my trying Blue Moon.

My mother loved me, though, and knowing that was enough.
I practiced using my voice, alone on the 100 fathom line,
And sang remembered pops in whale tones. I got good, too!

I even mastered the Shhh in Sh-Boom, a foreign sound. And
When the time came I had to be my own whale,
I could do a dozen numbers from the Fifties. So

I cruised the oceans looking for a research team with
Microphones in the water and when I found them,
Of course I sang Dream and Santa Catalina, in dark whale tones.

It freaked them out, of course, and then they lured me to some bay
And I would breach and bellow The Book of Love or Donna
Octaves below "C", splashing down and rising again for the chorus.

Crowds in small boats and large bobbed out to hear it! It was a wonder!
How could a whale learn such old tunes? I was a smash, a blue baritone hit.
But after a while people began to say it wasn't that good.

They were annoyed because I wouldn't pronounce
The words as well as the originals they loved,
And became disenchanted with me. Attendance fell. So I left,

Went back to the deeps, started my own family
In bottomless waters where I sing
To the calves as they grow, about the Book of Love.

The dream ended well, even better than the original I think.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 11:42 AM

...who was called Orr for short, which is understandable; as a Prisoner of War, the British would threaten him with accordion accompaniment, and sneer at him, "Talk, Orr Singh!!"

A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 11:07 AM

I forgot to mention that afterward he left one of his silver bullets on the body of the officer and galloped away with his faithful Indian companion Orville Singh.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 11:05 AM

Then he lead the rest of the troops into an ambush.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 12:09 AM

You always did have a flair for history....



A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 28 Jul 09 - 11:55 PM

Especially since the raparree knocked the first horseman out, exchanged clothes, cut off his head, smeared his face and clothes with blood, and assumed the lead, head on saber.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 28 Jul 09 - 10:34 PM

On the bleak hill of Gadra, where the winds howl
He creeps to his hiding place among the wild fowl.
No cry greets his advent, their comrade is he,
And they dream of no harm from the wild Raparee.

But who be those horsemen so late in the storm?
And what seems that glare, tis the king's uniform.
God grant that awake and not sleeping he be,
They are on the track of the wild Raparee.

Tis morn, and the horsemen return from the heath.
But the sword of the foremost is not in it's sheath.
Ah no, on it's bright point, all glory to see
Is the head of the outlaw, the wild Raparee.

(Although they spelled it correctly, I would not wish such a fate on our one-shoulder bolder book-bender).

A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 28 Jul 09 - 08:21 PM

Yes, Amos, I'm a living example of the Drip Principle.

Congratulations, Janie, upon attaining 30,500.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Janie
Date: 28 Jul 09 - 07:36 PM

In my usual heedless manner, I interrupt this program to say Sum Yung Sun is helping his Dad celebrate his 64th birthday by attending a Bob Dylan/Willie Nelson/John Mellencamp concert at the Durham Bull's Ballpark tonight.

Hope it are good. I only saw Dylan once, about 25 years ago. It were bad, but that could have been in part because of the accoustics of the gym at Duke, and not entirely because Dylan obviously wished he were anywhere else.


You may now carry on.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Acme
Date: 28 Jul 09 - 06:51 PM

I'm going to post this URL on the fridge. Next time MMario comes by, give it to him please. This trick will come in handy when cooking large quantities of ID tubers at the Mudcat Tavern. That lot often seems to fall to him:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4W0qIPJmoo


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 28 Jul 09 - 05:52 PM

It faileth as the gentle rain from heaven....


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 28 Jul 09 - 05:49 PM

The quality of my thinking is not strained, Amos.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 28 Jul 09 - 04:30 PM

They're much more rational than most people

M. Hack, you make it too easy for me!! How do you expect me to earn my pay around here if you give me straight lines like this?



A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Little Hawk
Date: 28 Jul 09 - 04:03 PM

The reason why, Amos, is that I really like hamsters. ;-) They're much more rational than most people and they're easier to get along with.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 28 Jul 09 - 01:15 PM

Let just add that my many snide remarks at your expense, as you put it, were well earned and paid for.



A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 28 Jul 09 - 12:52 PM

Unfortunately, Little Hawk, the only being in this region dedicated to inventing a hamster identity is...well...you! I cannot fathom why this should be so, but there it is.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Little Hawk
Date: 28 Jul 09 - 12:16 PM

If you people were hamsters, the wheel would have worn out long ago.

;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Acme
Date: 28 Jul 09 - 11:56 AM

MOM!

Make it stop raining! My garden is going to rot! Enough already!


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: MMario
Date: 28 Jul 09 - 11:30 AM

urg.mmmph. thud


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 28 Jul 09 - 10:46 AM

I have been doing a lot of thinking, Rapaire, and one of the things I have been thinking about is your thinking and your thoughts. I think they could stand some improvement, don't you?


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 28 Jul 09 - 10:40 AM

And it IS my subjectivity. After all, subjectivity relates by definition to the person doing the thinking and I'm doing all the thinking around here. I've already thought up pretty much everything, and I'm just waiting for the rest of you to catch up.

As for my typing: you can't even get into Library School without being able to split your conscious into two or more parts and telekinesitype. It was the only solution possible, what with libraries being chronically underfunded and understaffed.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 28 Jul 09 - 09:59 AM

I've always said that the Universe is subjective -- my subjectivity, to be accurate. But I am a benign despot and don't randomly smite those subjects who offend me.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 11:30 PM

In other news, an essay from sometime ago in the NYT Magazine, entitled Mind of a Rock suggests panpsychism.

"The doctrine that the stuff of the world is fundamentally mind-stuff goes by the name of panpsychism. A few decades ago, the American philosopher Thomas Nagel showed that it is an inescapable consequence of some quite reasonable premises. First, our brains consist of material particles. Second, these particles, in certain arrangements, produce subjective thoughts and feelings. Third, physical properties alone cannot account for subjectivity. (How could the ineffable experience of tasting a strawberry ever arise from the equations of physics?) Now, Nagel reasoned, the properties of a complex system like the brain don't just pop into existence from nowhere; they must derive from the properties of that system's ultimate constituents. Those ultimate constituents must therefore have subjective features themselves ? features that, in the right combinations, add up to our inner thoughts and feelings. But the electrons, protons and neutrons making up our brains are no different from those making up the rest of the world. So the entire universe must consist of little bits of consciousness.

Nagel himself stopped short of embracing panpsychism, but today it is enjoying something of a vogue. The Australian philosopher David Chalmers and the Oxford physicist Roger Penrose have spoken on its behalf. In the recent book "Consciousness and Its Place in Nature," the British philosopher Galen Strawson defends panpsychism against numerous critics. How, the skeptics wonder, could bits of mind-dust, with their presumably simple mental states, combine to form the kinds of complicated experiences we humans have? After all, when you put a bunch of people in the same room, their individual minds do not form a single collective mind. (Or do they?) Then there is the inconvenient fact that you can't scientifically test the claim that, say, the moon is having mental experiences. (But the same applies to people ? how could you prove that your fellow office workers aren't unconscious robots, like Commander Data on "Star Trek"?) Finally, there is the sheer loopiness of the idea that something like a photon could have proto-emotions, proto-beliefs and proto-desires. What could the content of a photon's desire possibly be? "Perhaps it wishes it were a quark," one anti-panpsychist cracked.

Panpsychism may be easier to parody than to refute. But even if it proves a cul-de-sac in the quest to understand consciousness, it might still help rouse us from a certain parochiality in our cosmic outlook. We are biological beings. We exist because of self-replicating chemicals. We detect and act on information from our environment so that the self-replication will continue. As a byproduct, we have developed brains that, we fondly believe, are the most intricate things in the universe. We look down our noses at brute matter.

Take that rock over there. It doesn't seem to be doing much of anything, at least to our gross perception. But at the microlevel it consists of an unimaginable number of atoms connected by springy chemical bonds, all jiggling around at a rate that even our fastest supercomputer might envy. And they are not jiggling at random. The rock's innards "see" the entire universe by means of the gravitational and electromagnetic signals it is continuously receiving. Such a system can be viewed as an all-purpose information processor, one whose inner dynamics mirror any sequence of mental states that our brains might run through. And where there is information, says panpsychism, there is consciousness. In David Chalmers's slogan, "Experience is information from the inside; physics is information from the outside."

But the rock doesn't exert itself as a result of all this "thinking." Why should it? Its existence, unlike ours, doesn't depend on the struggle to survive and self-replicate. It is indifferent to the prospect of being pulverized. If you are poetically inclined, you might think of the rock as a purely contemplative being. And you might draw the moral that the universe is, and always has been, saturated with mind, even though we snobbish Darwinian-replicating latecomers are too blinkered to notice."


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 10:14 PM

Say, Rapaire, are you typing all this with one arm?

Pretty good!


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 10:07 PM

Let him be away
In Carrickfergus
Thither to snivel
And lie alone!
Unless I were
Some sturdy boatman
He'd prolly stand
Ashore and moan.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 05:25 PM

(Amos, he was starting to snivel again....)


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