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Have we brought this on ourselves? How we interpret what we hear, read, or see is filtered through mental algorithms. The problem with being a human is that humans are judgmental. It is our nature to make judgments. Only through the rigor of scholarship and education do we acquire the skills to accurately mesh the output of someone else to the input in our heads. Our receptors are corrupted. We no longer diligently seek the analog of knowledge. We boost the treble and saturate the reds to make it conform to what our heads want. Those with knowledge about COVID seek to use their knowledge in order to lessen the burden on the public, doctors, and mortuaries. We read about whether or not to have a booster shot. Those with the knowledge are trying to look into a glass ball and predict an outcome: they are trying to forecast an analog future when all they have are mental algorithms that postulate alternatives. Journalism reports, and in reporting we are opening ourselves to an infection. What gets reported is a compressed JPEG of the analog - and this compression is often influenced by ideology. Unless we live in the world of The Matrix, there is a “there” “out there.” “Knowledge” is what we discover “out there.” We communicate that knowledge verbally, in writing, through sounds, or visually. We employ mental algorithms. The communication of knowledge is treacherous. The treachery lies in the mental algorithms we use. We use these algorithms consciously or unconsciously. Scholarship has a function. Education and learning have but one purpose. They are not to acquire knowledge. Scholarship is educational workmanship, the purpose of which is to develop the tools to accurately describe and interpret the “there” “out there.” Mental algorithms do two things. They compress what is out there into a format that can be conveyed to others. When you listen to a CD or take a picture with a digital camera, the sound or the picture you see is compressed. Most digital photographs - no matter how stunning - show only about 10% of the raw data captured; digital music does much the same. So, too, does how we communicate our knowledge. Our mental algorithms consciously or unconsciously frame and interpret that “there.” Scholarship seeks to convey an analog description of the “there.” When scholarship interprets the knowledge it has gained the value of that interpretation turns heavily on the wisdom of the interpreter. As with a digital photograph or digital compression of music, that knowledge is expanded and interpreted by the receiver, in this case our brain. When my camera’s memory card doesn’t reproduce what the camera captured then it is somehow corrupted. I can reformat the memory card. I can’t reformat the memory card that says ivermectin prevents COVID; I can’t reformat the memory card that insists Trump won. If the card can’t be reformatted it goes into the dustbin and I purchase another card - I wish I could do the same for what passes as sentient fellow creatures.
Toggle Commented Sep 18, 2021 on Nuance is what our country needs now at HinesSight
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To paraphrase an observation from an earlier period of political irrationality, “We don't want lower bread prices, we don’t want higher bread prices - we want Republican bread prices.” When the active ingredient in politics is measured by the notion that I am a willing co-respondent of “ultra liberal, cockamamie Kate Brown” then the fertile ground the Founders sought to till has turned into a wasteland. By designating Governor Brown as a despicable other, the writer so designates me, and all that flows from my political, moral, and ethical values. Nothing good can flow from this. I am a Democrat. I am a Democrat because I hold that this party can best implement the liberal principle that the purpose of government is to enable the well-being of all subject to its jurisdiction. I partly agree with the previous writer when they write “An incident such as this provides a very loud platform to educate voters.” It ought to; but it will not. When you explore the synapses of those on either end of the political spectrum you discover that the wiring that controls what they value and what they think true is reversed from what it ought to be: for them, that which they believe is that which is true. Their belief systems drive what they see to be true. And that makes me an “ultra liberal cockamamie.” They believe that cap and trade will screw Oregon loggers. Of course, doing nothing will also screw Oregon loggers. For them to ever acknowledge this forces them to look into the chaos of global warming and our contribution to that chaos. That they don’t want to go there is understandable; denial, though, is not a healthy attribute of good governance. There is, in my reading, an ironic twist in what the previous writer hopes: “My hope is that our AWESOME Oregon Senate Republicans take the summer off and spend time education voters on their failed votes.” I do not expect Republicans to educate voters on their failed votes; that would require an epiphany that admits that what we ought to believe is what is true, rather than the reverse. But, we live in the world of Alice’s looking glass and on the other side of the glass is a world in which all that is acceptable has to be “Republican bread prices.” I agree completely with the writer’s conclusion: “Oregonians need to learn how to vote. “THANK YOU Oregon Senate Republicans for bringing our state's ignorant and dysfunctional condition into view!!!” Yup, our politics is “ignorant and dysfunctional” and the behavior of Republicans demonstrates this truth. When what you hold to be true is whatever it is that you believe, ignorance, dysfunction, and tyranny are all that can result.
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Our friends at the Salem Alliance church will have fits over your response; I applaud how you have approached this. An old dictionary defines despair in this way: “Despair naturally destroys courage and stops all effort, but may produce a new kind of courage and fierce activity founded upon the sense that there is nothing worse to be feared.” (Century Dictionary, 1897). In The Myth of Sisyphus, Camus asks “Should I kill myself?”, which for Camus is to answer the problem of whether and how to live. Long before Camus, William James asked, “What does it mean to ask whether life is worth living?” Religion begs the question by placing the responsibility outside of the person and seeks to chain us to life as an obligation to some deity.
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Thank you for mentioning debris left in the basket. This seems to be a South Salem trait, especially at Life Source. May I suggest another topic, also related to shopping: the courtesy (or lack thereof) shown by shoppers who push by, or reach over, and generally show a lack of courtesy to other shoppers? Again, another South Salem trait?
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Brian: Something is missing. What does ‘core collection’ mean? This is a term of art open to confusion. If a core collection is like caffeine, then instant coffee and the finest coffees from the best roasters are equivalent. Are the removals examples of clear-cutting or necessary thinning? What sits on the shelves is the tangible evidence many of us associate with a library. The library is where I go to seek in print what I do not have or do not want to purchase. People go to libraries for many reasons, and for some the library is a second (if not a first) home. A library is as much a refuge as it is a repository. Does the city or the library recognize how multi-faceted the library is as a community hub? Libraries are more than just repositories (though a great repository is a characteristic of a great library). Clear-cutting a collection is similar to a lobotomy. I go to the library with a general object in mind. As I go to a bookstore, I go to the library as much to browse. Think of what the word ‘browse’ as a verb means: ‘mid-15c., brousen, "feed on buds, eat leaves or twigs from" trees or bushes, from Old French broster "to sprout, bud," from brost "young shoot, twig, green food fit for cattle or deer," probably from Proto-Germanic *brust- "bud, shoot," from PIE *bhreus- "to swell, sprout”’. A library is a place to ‘browse’. Books are the tangible buds, leaves, and twigs that libraries furnish for the nourishment of the community. It seems to me that what the library is seeking to do is substitute a loaf of Franz bread for what ought to be something from The Bread Board. The library staff may argue that they are merely thinning, but this fails to explain why they appear to have eliminated the reference desk, which is where a patron goes to access the institutional knowledge of the library. Eliminating the reference desk seems to be evidence that the library is engaged in clear-cutting.
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The Usual Suspects will attack this. Nonetheless, there is a difference between 'treasonous' as a modifier and 'treason' as a noun with a specific Constitutional definition. I agree with you. Here is the etymology of the term, and in its etymology, what he does is 'treasonous.' " "betraying; betrayal of trust; breach of faith," from Anglo-French treson, from Old French traison "treason, treachery" (11c.; Modern French trahison), from Latin traditionem (nominative traditio) "delivery, surrender, a handing down, a giving up," noun of action from past participle stem of tradere "deliver, hand over," from trans- "over" (see trans-) + dare "to give" (from PIE root *do- "to give"). A doublet of tradition. The Old French form was influenced by the verb trair "betray.""
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Truth is a linear progression from what is known to what is not known. When the revelation of what is not known relies upon the evidence of the one who has had the revelation, then there ceases to be that linear progression and it becomes circular. To this sclerotic western mind, a 'truth' is only true if it can be validated.
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I am finishing Timothy Snyder's "The Road to Unfredoem." Snyder descibes a form of zombieism that has infecgted this country - something which which I am certainly not comfortable
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Why does the one who is God even need money? Seems to me that there is an explicit contrdiction at work here.
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When you describe life as essentially neutral, there seems to be an element of doubt, that life could also be benign or malignant. The creation stories in the Bible have the Deity completing the task and concluding that it is good. Enter man, the apple, and the serpent, and life becomes malignant, with some sort of spiritual chemotherapy for those granted salvation through the Grace of the Deity. Why can’t you look at life as entropy in action with death being the sudden or lingering progress of the disruption explicit in entropy? The second law of thermodynamics, describes the limits of what the universe can do (and of what we mere humans can do). The second law is all about inefficiency, degeneration and decay. Doesn’t the second law pretty much describe existence? All we do is wasteful and that there are irreversible processes in the universe. The second law of thermodynamics tells us our universe has an inescapably bleak, desolate fate. If the universe is meaningless, then the only meaning there is is the meaning you give to your journey, a journey carried out with others, and for you it all ends with death; death, though, adds to the aggregate understanding others have of their own existence. Any good life, any coherent set of values seeks to delay the inevitable disorder that the second law dictates. As we age, or as we watch public policy inject disorder into our existence, we see the second law at play. Consciousness of meaninglessness is why humans are aberrations of nature. The problem humans face is the consciousness of our consciousness. We are left with the never-ending question of what happens to that consciousness at the point of that sudden increase in entropy we know of as death.
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I read this quote and I am pissed off: "What you will find is a team of true Oregonians that love Oregon, love Salem and care about the community. We are all about family and values and believe that comes across on KSLM, every minute of every day." So, I am not an Oregonian, though born and educated here, whose parents were born and educated here, whose grandparents were born and educated here, and with seven of my eight great grandparents here between 1852 and 1870. I'm not an Oregonian. I am pissed off. I don't care about the community? I have no family values? Oh, I see. I am now an 'other.' We know what happens to 'others.' The voices that they now have on that station also treat some of us as 'others,' maybe even as lives unworthy of life?
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A favorite quote of mine is Emerson’s observation that foolish consistencies are the hobgoblins of small minds. I keep this resting on my shoulder to whisper gently into my ear that I may be a prat. But it is silent now - so here goes: When candidate Kailuweit, rather than answer your question, talks moralistically about his low carbon footprint, I am reminded of Dick Chaney’s comment about conservation being morally honorable but not a sound basis for an energy policy. I’m unsure from Kailuweit’s response whether he understands why we adhere to or postulate moral principles. The way he answers I could conclude that keeping a low carbon footprint has the moral weight of waiting for the walk signal. For us, a low carbon footprint is a moral imperative related to the effect the carbon footprint has had and has for the future. Kailuweit diminishes a moral imperative into a pious platitude. Now: am I being a small-minded hobgoblin to wonder if the casual absence of thinking about the basis for his values affects how he would approach issues of public policy, finding ways to vote in accordance with the Commercial Street oligarchy rather than to consider this moral obligation of governance: “No government is legitimate unless it subscribes to two reigning principles. First, it must show equal concern for the fate of every person over whom it claims dominion. Second, it must respect fully the responsibility and right of each person to decide how to make something valuable of his life.” (Ronald Dworkin in Justice for Hedgehogs.) Tokarski sits on the fence, unwilling to do anything until he searches out unbiased sources. Now here I'm wondering about another foolish consistency: Where and why does he stand where he does with respect, say, to a third bridge, land use, or income inequality, questions that apply to candidate Bednarz. Bias, evidence, facts, and truth determine how we view the world around us and how we react to the world. I'm getting old and my observation is that the only thing concrete out there is bias, and that evidence, fact, and truth are increasingly difficult to get agreement upon because each are driven by one's bias. The very terms have differing meanings depending upon whether you using them in faith, logic, philosophy, law, or science. We make decisions based upon evidence. We weigh the evidence to determine whether or not it has sufficient weight to make the decision at hand (is the contractor reliable? Did he shoot the sheriff?). Evidence cannot be rejected because its source has a bias that differs from mine. On its face, and without corroboration, it may lack credibility. We will never achieve anything except polarization if we base the validity of assertions upon the bias of the individual making the assertion. Motive rightfully makes us skeptical of assertions, but we have the obligation to weigh the evidence on standards other than the bias of he or she who makes the assertion. Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible; thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit. Perhaps this is why so few in power bother to think. At least ten fingers point at us as the cause of global warming. 1. Humans are currently emitting around 30 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.
 2. Oxygen levels are falling as if carbon is being burned to create carbon dioxide.
 3. Fossil carbon is building up in the atmosphere. (We know this because the two types of carbon have different chemical properties.)
 4. Corals show that fossil carbon has recently risen sharply.
 Another two observations show that CO2 is trapping more heat:
 5. Satellites measure less heat escaping to space at the precise wavelengths which CO2 absorbs.
 6. Surface measurements find this heat is returning to Earth to warm the surface.
 7. An increased greenhouse effect would make nights warm faster than days, and this is what has been observed.
 8. If the warming is due to solar activity, then the upper atmosphere (the stratosphere) should warm along with the rest of the atmosphere. But if the warming is due to the greenhouse effect, the stratosphere should cool because of the heat being trapped in the lower atmosphere (the troposphere). Satellite measurements show that the stratosphere is cooling.
 9. This combination of a warming troposphere and cooling stratosphere should cause the tropopause, which separates them, to rise. This has also been observed.
 10. It was predicted that the ionosphere would shrink, and it is indeed shrinking.

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Apr 30, 2016