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Showing posts from December, 2010

Delusions of Grand Audience

Over two years ago I mentioned how the social interaction on FB enables what I called the fostering of an illusion of grand audience. The idea is that the pseudo public nature of discourse on an FB wall leads people to place more importance on personal appearance than they would on a less socially constructed web site.

It's all part of the interesting psychology that people manifest while participating in this pseudo-public space called a Facebook profile. It is the digital equivalent of a podium on a stage that has flood lights obscuring your view of the audience. You know that people are there because you hear them but you can't exactly see them all (analog of not knowing who sees what you post or reads it) this does an interesting thing to people. First, when challenged while on their "stage" they are far more likely to react with a defensive posture on many subjects that in reality they would be for more reasonable discussing. I've been perplexed by the harsh…

The circle of reason....

A recent conversation I had with a friend concerning the existence of deities prompted me to think a bit more deeply about how man has used logic to help describe or extract truths in the world and then use use to our advantage.

In the process we have been able to describe thousands of real natural systems and exploit them, from our understanding of the biology of corn and other plants and then using that knowledge to modify them to suit our purposes...to the realizations of the patterns of truth that govern the behavior of planes in the sky or missiles on a launch trajectory. All these things are enabled by the slow acquisition of knowledge concerning the invariant truths and relationships of the real world.

However, we often fail to realize that the certainty of control that we appear to have over the world is mostly an illusion. As a scientist I was trained to prize empirical data above all else, data informs hypothesis and sets of hypothesis inform theories...these theories are the…