Go Back   AFA Forums > Atheism > Ask an atheist

Ask an atheist Want to know atheists' viewpoints on things? Want to better understand the atheist worldview?
Here's the place.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #31  
Old 4th April 2017, 09:20 PM
Strato's Avatar
Strato Strato is offline
What Me Deluded?
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: The Bellarine, Geelong.
Posts: 5,330
Default Re: Homo Deus: A brief History of Tomorrow

Attempting to characterise Harari's Homo Deus in a word, cerebral might be applicable.

I guess I have to concur there is no need for emotive adjectives and a humanistic sentimentalism in contemplating the seeming inevitable imperialism of utterly impersonal Datism.

There is detachment in Karl Marx's writings, Dialectical Materialism. It was Engels who most graphically described the conditions and despair for the proletariat, the product of industrialisation, capitalism and the evils of class and exploitation. Mark was a fine historian. So is Harari.

Harari movingly describes the plight of pigs and cows, confined and chemically forced to continually produce protein, artificially inseminated, robbed of maternal and social bonding as illustrative of how humans might be regarded and used by super intelligent algorithms, this century.

Do I really care if my excellent and gorgeous looking new guitar was built by robotics? Old elegant hand built instruments will always remain the most valued. I guess handcraft will never disappear, yet humans themselves very well may, rendered superfluous, so it would seem. Even if that is how things will transpire, now that we have unleashed the data revolution, I personally consider that is the most horrible scenario imaginable. Although being a Sapiens mammal, I am biased towards biology, sentience, consciousness, feeling, empathy, flourishing, the beautiful planet. All of it mere sentimentalism.

As Harari reminds us, the Yangtze river dolphin is now functionally extinct, consequence of the construction of the Three Gorges Dam. And what makes us so special, friends, scholars and comrades?
__________________
Life Sucks Then You Die - The Fools.
In The Blank Slate Steven Pinker negates the credo .
Reply With Quote
Like wadaye liked this post
  #32  
Old 4th April 2017, 10:26 PM
wadaye wadaye is offline
AFA Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 4,618
Default Re: Homo Deus: A brief History of Tomorrow

Quote:
Strato said View Post
Quote:
wadaye said View Post
Hi folks i listened to the podcast interview between Harris and Hariri. Very interesting. While meditation, sensations and perception of ourselves on a moment to moment basis are pathways to moving towards the conscious experience of life in all its viscerality, the reference to Vipassana meditation as taught by Goenka being a doorway to such understandng does require a caveat in my view. I noticed that Hariri avoided the clear reference by Harris to notions of consciousness extending beyond death being religious fiction insofar as the criticism also applies to Goenka's teachings. This is relevant because it is impossible for anybody to sit through Goenka's ten, twenty, or thirty day courses and ignore the religious teachings about consciousness surviving death in the case of rebirth within the supposed 31 planes of existence and awareness surviving death beyond those planes in Nibbana/Nirvana.
Clearly Hariri has used the opportunity to meditate to benefit himself in this way, and his experience provides scope for optimism in the venture of understanding oneself. However it is not a prerequisite to understanding to do so through Goenka vipassana or any form of vipassana.
Indeed wadaye.

Harari and Harris both appear to have their heads screwed on, but their advocacy for Vipassana needs to be qualified. They practise a difference 'school' to one another, of the two schools.

In Homo Deus, Harari destroys the notion of the soul, also the self and even disposes of 'in-dividuality.' He is an atheist and doesn't believe in the continuation of consciousness, nibbana or astral travelling and such. Of course, neither does Harris.

I think they practise mindfulness. Meditation I guess is most effective in ordering the mind and filing data, for synthesis. One can apparently 'attain to,' experience, heightened consciousness, lucidity, such as occurs in the liminal state between sleep and wakefulness, hypnagogia, where creative ideas can be born.
I appreciated his sincere efforts in this regard. It sort of encouraged me to give a bit more of a restart to my meditation (which I do in the lying down state, particularly as a substitute for sleeping when I can't get to sleep!). Having practised vipassana the awareness of sensations never goes away although the relationship to them may change. Anyway after listening to the podcast it stimulated something in me to do something more akin to active vipassana, not of course following anybody's instructions, not even in my head. And then is it really Yoga or pranayama, ... probably not. But what about the buddhist monks slashing muslim children with machetes and burning them alive in Burma? That's a pretty hard one. So its just meditation. One can take ideas from other people and traditions, even if one disagrees or downright despises aspects of the teachings of the person who passed it on. One can use those ideas as they are useful and dispose off them when they are not. Neither is one bound by a tradition and any need to identify within a tradition.
__________________
"I'm an ape, I'm an African ape and I'm proud of it, and you should be too". Richard Dawkins
Reply With Quote
Like Strato liked this post
  #33  
Old 10th April 2017, 07:41 PM
Azurisan21's Avatar
Azurisan21 Azurisan21 is offline
Resident of Fantasy Island
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 2,488
Default Re: Homo Deus: A brief History of Tomorrow

His writing is disjointed. He should work on subtlety and simplicity.
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 10th April 2017, 11:39 PM
Strato's Avatar
Strato Strato is offline
What Me Deluded?
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: The Bellarine, Geelong.
Posts: 5,330
Default Re: Homo Deus: A brief History of Tomorrow

In Dymocks I held in my trembling hands this book heralding, exalting in, The Master Algorithm inevitably to be visited upon us. Technology that builds itself. We are blessed, more with each passing day. How wise to have unleashed the Technocracy, for the Universal Good.

It looked to have been written for the young reader, full of subtlety and simplicity. There was only one copy. I couldn't deny some other credulous pawn in Silicon Valley's game the chance to light upon it. And there needs to be some balance. There were several copies of each of Harari's books. Sad.

https://www.bookdepository.com/The-M.../9780141979243

So I bought Daniel C Dennett From Bacteria to Bach and Back: the Evolution of Minds, 2017. The fine neo-Darwinian philosopher and excellent atheist. I forked out the $55, hard copy.

'The Leonardo of the New Renaissance... intelligent, witty, highly readable and devastating.' Sunday Times.

Machiavelli will have to be laid aside for now. One needs to lighten up.

What if we could get Dennett for the GAC?
Reply With Quote
Like wadaye liked this post
  #35  
Old 30th April 2017, 08:49 PM
pipbarber's Avatar
pipbarber pipbarber is offline
AFA Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 2,778
Default Re: Homo Deus: A brief History of Tomorrow

I just finished homo deus. Who here said it came on like an acid trip? Strato? Anyway...yes, it does. Not sure what i think about anything at the moment. I'll let it settle out out for a day or two. At the moment i'm not sure whether to laugh or cry.
Reply With Quote
Laugh at Strato laughed at this post
  #36  
Old 30th April 2017, 09:32 PM
Strato's Avatar
Strato Strato is offline
What Me Deluded?
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: The Bellarine, Geelong.
Posts: 5,330
Default Re: Homo Deus: A brief History of Tomorrow

Yes, I did pip. 30 pages from the end Homo Deus comes on like bad acid.

I am slowly getting over the initial whack over the back of the head.

Dan Dennett's latest is just what I needed.
__________________
Life Sucks Then You Die - The Fools.
In The Blank Slate Steven Pinker negates the credo .
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 30th April 2017, 09:47 PM
pipbarber's Avatar
pipbarber pipbarber is offline
AFA Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 2,778
Default Re: Homo Deus: A brief History of Tomorrow

The end is shocking, really shocking. I'm looking at everything in a slightly different light and I feel nervous and uneasy but glad i'm nearly 50, and also. weirdly, at peace. What a fantastic work, very moving.

So what's the Dan Dennett you'd recommend at this point?
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 30th April 2017, 10:33 PM
Strato's Avatar
Strato Strato is offline
What Me Deluded?
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: The Bellarine, Geelong.
Posts: 5,330
Default Re: Homo Deus: A brief History of Tomorrow

From Bacteria to Bach and Back, 2017.

I'm sure you already know this. Dennett is a 'neo-Darwinian' philosopher. One of the ancient order of the Four Horse-Persons of the Apocalypse, along with Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Ayaan Hirsi Ali replacing Christopher Hitchens dead but not gone (what would he have to say about Trump?).

Dennett's latest is about abiogenesis, cultural evolution and memes, the acquisition and take-off of language in we hominins. He discusses the literature on linguistics from Chomsky on. It seems to me Dennett is perfectly right again. There's no doubt about him. He's a witty individual, a wonderful educator, professor of Philosophy and Cognitive Studies at Tuffts University, Boston.

'Evolution is a 'bottom up' process. Cultural evolution and language are a 'top down' process, driven by cognition, 'intelligent design'. Wonderful to see that heretical Creationist term appropriated so appropriately in Darwinism.

I think sexual selection, partnering is a factor in our explosive evolution. Dennett doesn't highlight that point much. He acknowledges it in excellent style. Some writer and explainer.

I think this is his best yet. Not in paperback yet though. I had to get it after reading Homo Deus when I found it in Dymocks.
__________________
Life Sucks Then You Die - The Fools.
In The Blank Slate Steven Pinker negates the credo .

Last edited by Strato; 30th April 2017 at 10:35 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 30th April 2017, 10:50 PM
pipbarber's Avatar
pipbarber pipbarber is offline
AFA Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 2,778
Default Re: Homo Deus: A brief History of Tomorrow

I've read a few of Dennitts offerings, Darwins Dangerous Idea was the most memorable and i studied some of his essays at uni and i know his four horsemen status. I'll take your word on 'bacteria to bach' and buy it - but i took your word on homo deus and its given me heart palpitations...not entirely sure you're a good source for decent reads and rainbows...but i am a moth.
Reply With Quote
Laugh at Strato laughed at this post
  #40  
Old 1st May 2017, 04:10 PM
pipbarber's Avatar
pipbarber pipbarber is offline
AFA Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 2,778
Default Re: Homo Deus: A brief History of Tomorrow

Quote:
A SECRET document shows in scary detail how Facebook can exploit the insecurities of teenagers using the platform.

The confidential document dated this year detailed how by monitoring posts, comments and interactions on the site, Facebook can figure out when people as young as 14 feel “defeated”, “overwhelmed”, “stressed”, “anxious”, “nervous”, “stupid”, “silly”, “useless”, and a “failure”.


Such information gathered through a system dubbed sentiment analysis could be used by advertisers to target young Facebook users when they are potentially more vulnerable.
http://www.news.com.au/technology/on...aec6e32dae16fd
Of course this story has prompted questions about privacy but no one will be raising those questions when the algorithm tells you to call an ambulance because in 15 minutes you're going to have a heart attack. Nor, and more pertinent to this story, is anyone worried about privacy with a proposed algorithm that tracks teens and warns parents about depression. All in for that, right?


It's not going to stop.

Last edited by pipbarber; 1st May 2017 at 04:24 PM.
Reply With Quote
Like Strato liked this post
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +11. The time now is 12:43 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Feedback Buttons provided by Advanced Post Thanks / Like (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.