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Game of Egos

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12 hours ago, Snowfun said:

I thought we'd all agreed with Andrew to keep things on topic as a cinematography forum rather than a vehicle for vox pop "I've read Wikipedia" opinions about life, the universe and other trivia? 

C'est la vie.

Control?

3 hours ago, iamoui said:

I thought so, too. Apparently @jcs' ego couldn't help itself..

Projection?

See the pattern? Again, not good or bad, just an awareness of what the ego does and how it works. Much of our behavior is unconscious. Becoming aware of our ego can be a useful, entertaining exercise. Doesn't need to be any deeper than that. If you want to go deeper, you can get a better insight into your life.

Watching Jim and the reporter is an excellent example of two egos dancing. Perhaps useful to look at ourselves in the same way, from the point of view of a third observer, if we frequently get into arguments to better understand why. Perhaps start by asking, "why am I arguing/controlling/snarking"?

On the topic of filmmaking, this insight into human behavior is tremendously helpful in coming up with interesting, flawed characters, who are entertaining to watch (to be absolutely clear, this is not referencing anyone on this forum). Straight-laced, flawless characters are boring, unless paired with someone who is flawed!

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14 hours ago, jcs said:

It's totally OK that you disagree! I used to be very competitive at everything: sports (played them all in high school and college), racing cars, competing in software and business, winning lawsuits, winning arguments, however in the end it wasn't satisfying. Winning means someone else is losing, which creates resentment, and a net increase in suffering. This is especially true in personal relationships: we don't want to alienate our friends, families, or partners. In business, especially with the responsibility of a leadership position, it is especially tricky to get points across while being aware of each person's ego. Even if everyone ultimately realizes you are right, if they resent you it makes it hard to lead without drama. Thus I learned it's really important to let everyone know you really care for them, want the best for them, it's not personal, and to keep the business and/or tech debates focused on the issues vs. letting it get personal.

I don't want to "win on the internet". It was never my point to prove anyone wrong, rather I was trying to show what I believed to be true. Yet my methods ultimately made people think I was trying to prove them wrong, and thus came resentment. When I use the word 'ego' it's not simply arrogance, it's the thing in our consciousness that makes us appear separate from each other and nature. The only way I've found to not experience ego is through deep meditation and/or using DMT to turn off the individual-human-state reality filter: the ego. The ego is a truly clever thing, the ultimate deceiver sometimes, not good or bad, it helps us to survive, and when out of control causes great suffering for self and others.

It is kind of a complicated topic.  Most of what you are saying is 100% true.  All I was saying is unfortunately history is littered with conflict bringing about the best in people.

And I agree with attempting to show what you believe is true not necessarily prove someone wrong.  Sometimes when I post something it isn't to convince the person I am replying to but just to put another point of view in a thread that someone else may come across and find helpful.  It takes the form of an argument but the point is not necessarily to convince the counter party.

As far as ego is concerned I'm sure we could all work on ego control.  Nothing wrong with that.  At work I have pulled way back on expressing myself unless it is absolutely necessary...  and even then.  The times we live in are stressful.  A lot of it I believe is self inflicted but between unaffordable housing, student loan debt, broken marriages, stagnant wages, etc people show up at work ready to fight.

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3 minutes ago, Damphousse said:

It is kind of a complicated topic.  Most of what you are saying is 100% true.  All I was saying is unfortunately history is littered with conflict bringing about the best in people.

And I agree with attempting to show what you believe is true not necessarily prove someone wrong.  Sometimes when I post something it isn't to convince the person I am replying to but just to put another point of view in a thread that someone else may come across and find helpful.  It takes the form of an argument but the point is not necessarily to convince the counter party.

As far as ego is concerned I'm sure we could all work on ego control.  Nothing wrong with that.  At work I have pulled way back on expressing myself unless it is absolutely necessary...  and even then.  The times we live in are stressful.  A lot of it I believe is self inflicted but between unaffordable housing, student loan debt, broken marriages, stagnant wages, etc people show up at work ready to fight.

Right on, man. I do the same thing regarding just putting information out there to be helpful.

Indeed we are in tough times, lots of things are changing, we've got to adapt for sure. Just being aware of our ego, what it is, how it works, and what it does is helpful. I'm not sure we can control it directly- it seems to operate mostly in the subconscious mind. It's kinda like working out: gotta keep practicing and slowly we get our mind in shape. And if we stop practicing, we go back to our old ways. Realizing that others are struggling with their egos too, is also a great realization: empathy. And helping others to see this is perhaps a good use of the ego.

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23 hours ago, jcs said:

Projection?

See the pattern? Again, not good or bad, just an awareness of what the ego does and how it works. Much of our behavior is unconscious. Becoming aware of our ego can be a useful, entertaining exercise. Doesn't need to be any deeper than that. If you want to go deeper, you can get a better insight into your life.

Truthfully, I was just trying to crack a joke.. :lol:

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1 hour ago, Jonesy Jones said:

Is that true? :)

Regardless, paradox and logical fallacies are different. Fallacies are void of truth by definition. 

You're right, in the domain of predicate logic, Boolean algebra, etc.

Here we're talking about human perception of reality itself, and this squirrelly, wet bar of soap known as the ego. A long time friend, who's studied philosophy his whole life (along with his wife), suggested a couple books yesterday after discussing this topic:

Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism "In this modern spiritual classic, the Tibetan meditation master Chögyam Trungpa highlights the commonest pitfall to which every aspirant on the spiritual path falls prey: what he calls spiritual materialism. The universal tendency, he shows, is to see spirituality as a process of self-improvement—the impulse to develop and refine the ego when the ego is, by nature, essentially empty. "The problem is that ego can convert anything to its own use," he said, "even spirituality." His incisive, compassionate teachings serve to wake us up from this trick we all play on ourselves, and to offer us a far brighter reality: the true and joyous liberation that inevitably involves letting go of the self rather than working to improve it. It is a message that has resonated with students for nearly thirty years, and remains fresh as ever today."

and In Search of the Miraculous "Peter Demianovich Ousepnsky (1878-1947) was born in Moscow. He became one of the most important writers on abstract mathematical theory in the early 20th century. Ouspensky searched throughout Europe, Egypt, and the Orient for a teaching that would solve for him the problems of man and the universe. In 1915, in St. Petersberg, he met with George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff, who taught that most humans do not possess a unified mind-body consciousness and thus live their lives in a state of hypnotic "waking sleep", but it is possible to transcend to a higher state of consciousness and achieve full human potential. This is the record of Ouspensky's eight years of work as Gurdjieff's pupil. It combines the logic of a mathematician with the vision of a mystic."

I'll read/listen to them soon. I found this as recommendations from those books via Amazon: Cosmic Trigger I: Final Secret of the Illuminati "The great modern classic of a brilliant rebel's personal exploration into the nature of consciousness. Cosmic Trigger deals with a process of deliberately induced brain change. This process is called 'initiation' or 'vision quest' in many traditional societies and can loosely be considered some dangerous variety of self-psychotherapy in modern terminology. I do not recommend it for everybody...briefly, the main thing I learned in my experiments is that 'reality' is always plural and mutable."

What drew me to that book were comments about 'triggering' and people's egos (see the comments), very relevant as to what happens online and in the world today. I noticed a funny pattern years ago, that simply bringing awareness of the ego itself, could cause people to become irrational and angry. Understanding this pattern better is interesting for this ego (mine ;) ).

My buddy sent another one, Center of the Cyclone: An Autobiography of Inner Space "The Center of the Cyclone is an autobiographical work authored by famed fringe scientist and psychedelic pioneer, Dr. John C. Lilly. This is his most well known book and his first mainstream work, setting the tone for his dual career as scientist and explorer of human consciousness. In intimate detail, Lilly tells the story of how he left mainstream science to become an explorer of the "far out places" of the human mind. Using his own brain as a laboratory, and utilizing every method of consciousness alteration at his disposal --including LSD, isolation tanks, and zany new age encounter groups -- Lilly takes us on his decades-long quest to discover the true nature of consciousness and reality, overturning many of his own assumptions and those of mainstream science along the way."

which leads to this book, Programming and Metaprogramming in the Human Biocomputer: Theory and Experiments, "Programming and Metaprogramming in the Human Biocomputer was written by Dr. John C. Lilly about his research conducted at the National Institute of Mental Health. In it, he discusses his invention of float tanks, early communication with dolphins, and investigations into the use of LSD for personal and cultural development. This historic work is reprinted in this version, in its entirety, for the first time in 25 years."

Metaprogramming is a common technique used in hypnotherapy/NLP today...

I find these subjects fascinating for personal and business relationships, and for writers and filmmakers, understanding how the ego and the mind works is priceless for storytelling.

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21 minutes ago, jcs said:

You're right, in the domain of predicate logic, Boolean algebra, etc.

Here we're talking about human perception of reality itself, and this squirrelly, wet bar of soap known as the ego. A long time friend, who's studied philosophy his whole life (along with his wife), suggested a couple books yesterday after discussing this topic:

Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism "In this modern spiritual classic, the Tibetan meditation master Chögyam Trungpa highlights the commonest pitfall to which every aspirant on the spiritual path falls prey: what he calls spiritual materialism. The universal tendency, he shows, is to see spirituality as a process of self-improvement—the impulse to develop and refine the ego when the ego is, by nature, essentially empty. "The problem is that ego can convert anything to its own use," he said, "even spirituality." His incisive, compassionate teachings serve to wake us up from this trick we all play on ourselves, and to offer us a far brighter reality: the true and joyous liberation that inevitably involves letting go of the self rather than working to improve it. It is a message that has resonated with students for nearly thirty years, and remains fresh as ever today."

and In Search of the Miraculous "Peter Demianovich Ousepnsky (1878-1947) was born in Moscow. He became one of the most important writers on abstract mathematical theory in the early 20th century. Ouspensky searched throughout Europe, Egypt, and the Orient for a teaching that would solve for him the problems of man and the universe. In 1915, in St. Petersberg, he met with George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff, who taught that most humans do not possess a unified mind-body consciousness and thus live their lives in a state of hypnotic "waking sleep", but it is possible to transcend to a higher state of consciousness and achieve full human potential. This is the record of Ouspensky's eight years of work as Gurdjieff's pupil. It combines the logic of a mathematician with the vision of a mystic."

I'll read/listen to them soon. I found this as recommendations from those books via Amazon: Cosmic Trigger I: Final Secret of the Illuminati "The great modern classic of a brilliant rebel's personal exploration into the nature of consciousness. Cosmic Trigger deals with a process of deliberately induced brain change. This process is called 'initiation' or 'vision quest' in many traditional societies and can loosely be considered some dangerous variety of self-psychotherapy in modern terminology. I do not recommend it for everybody...briefly, the main thing I learned in my experiments is that 'reality' is always plural and mutable."

What drew me to that book were comments about 'triggering' and people's egos (see the comments), very relevant as to what happens online and in the world today. I noticed a funny pattern years to, that simply bringing awareness of the ego itself, could cause people to become irrational and angry. Understanding this pattern better is interesting for this ego (mine ;) ).

 

 

JCS, I love and appreciate the tone of your posts and threads. I have yet to be "triggered" by anything you've said in this thread, or any other that I can remember. 

Regarding truth and fallacies, these are very definitive. They are not mushy or hazy. Sure, it may be difficult at times to find, know, or understand the truth, but that is not the fault of truth. Likewise, fallacies are always fallacies if they are in fact fallacious. 

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6 minutes ago, Jonesy Jones said:

JCS, I love and appreciate the tone of your posts and threads. I have yet to be "triggered" by anything you've said in this thread, or any other that I can remember. 

Regarding truth and fallacies, these are very definitive. They are not mushy or hazy. Sure, it may be difficult at times to find, know, or understand the truth, but that is not the fault of truth. Likewise, fallacies are always fallacies if they are in fact fallacious. 

I should have put a disclaimer regarding the 'triggered' comment, not directed at you or anyone in particular, just a pattern I've observed.

Regarding truth, let's play. What is truth, and how do you know anything is true?

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53 minutes ago, fuzzynormal said:

I like life.  I like it's sorrows and it's magic. For some reason I'll never fathom I was allowed to experience it for a little while. Thanks universe!  You're the best. 

Some paths appeal to some, other paths appeal to others. Many ways for the ego to go. No right path. No wrong path. Just paths. Pointing a camera at a mirror provides clues for the curious.

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3 hours ago, Jonesy Jones said:

The truth is that in 50 to 60 years, most likely sooner, both you and I will be dead. The stakes are high.

Not opting for the reincarnation option after 54 years? 

Isn't "truth" a social construct almost invariably used by one section of society as a mechanism of control, authority or influence over others? Perhaps even just to promote a common bond.

Trivial example: look at the oft stated mantra about "Canon colours being the best" - that is almost certainly true IFF the community defines it to be.

Some things we colloquially say are "true" (e.g. 2+2=4) are merely tautologies. 

The really interesting things such as love, beauty, harmony (or the opposites) are much more difficult to describe by any form of objective scientific description - perhaps this is where & why the truth of artistic expression is so important?

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14 hours ago, Jonesy Jones said:

The truth is that in 50 to 60 years, most likely sooner, both you and I will be dead. The stakes are high.

Great keyword, "likely" which brings probability into the discussion. In the event of no advances in medical science, the state space of your statement could be within that range. However if medical science makes great advances, and those advances are made available to us (vs. kept private/secret), then the state space extends quite a bit more years. So we don't know if that statement is 'true' or not, perhaps we could make a guess based on past advances in medical science, giving us a possibly useful probability of likelihood.

Heisenberg brought to light we can't know anything completely at the lowest levels of physics, with any certainty. And this percolates up to the large scale as well. Douglas Adams had great fun with this concept with the Infinite Improbability Drive in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (read the books- genius and funny too!). The concept of truth, causality, consciousness and reality itself get even weirder with the double-slit and quantum eraser experiments. Combine this with quantum entanglement in general, as well as the apparently quantized nature of 'quantum' physics, and now we have many scientists and philosophers pondering how can the universe "know" in a sense whether there is a conscious observer, or not, and manifest reality accordingly. Folks on the spiritual side of the fence think "God" and on the science side of the fence think "computer simulation". The state space is one, the other, both, or neither. 25% probability for each possible state. There's currently no way to test any of these theories. And again, this entire paragraph is created by an ego and could be completely off the mark as to the 'truth' of the base reality.

11 hours ago, Snowfun said:

Not opting for the reincarnation option after 54 years? 

Isn't "truth" a social construct almost invariably used by one section of society as a mechanism of control, authority or influence over others? Perhaps even just to promote a common bond.

Trivial example: look at the oft stated mantra about "Canon colours being the best" - that is almost certainly true IFF the community defines it to be.

Some things we colloquially say are "true" (e.g. 2+2=4) are merely tautologies. 

The really interesting things such as love, beauty, harmony (or the opposites) are much more difficult to describe by any form of objective scientific description - perhaps this is where & why the truth of artistic expression is so important?

Sure, convincing people of any 'truth' and getting enough people to believe it, to follow it, is quite powerful in controlling the population or selling products.

Perhaps the most common form of 'truth' is general consensus. If enough people believe it, it can be considered true, such as Canon color and even ARRI color. From my personal point of view, and testing with actors/models, Canon and more so ARRI seem to please the most people with the least effort, especially for skin tones. I can also get pretty good skin tones with Sony and Panasonic (latest cameras), however it used to be a lot harder than it is now. A7S II skin tones from a raw photo:

IMG_8822.thumb.jpg.8b13b0dec1afb19c657b44c92d69cb8f.jpg

And again, consensus changes, so collective 'truth' changes over time.

Yeah, tautologies, logic, and math in general are self-defining systems of their own truth. If we play within their domains and rules, the concept of truth is well defined.

Does 'truth' apply to artistic expression at all? Or is it a deeper, more abstract, non-label-able thing, and that's perhaps why art can be so beyond-words emotionally moving?

3 hours ago, iamoui said:

I would recommend listening to this podcast episode (and all of Sam's episodes) about objective truth (Sam) vs. moral truth (Peterson).

Thanks for the video, that's another great example of dancing egos. They have different points of view about truth, argue about what truth is, and cannot reach agreement. Then this fellow adds his own analysis from yet another point of view:

and thus the pattern repeats, like a fractal.

If one accepts that each of us is running a separate 'reality simulation' in each of our brains, with each of us seeing reality from a different point of view, and that our egos have convinced us that our view of reality is the correct one, from one person to a group of people, then we can keep an open mind as to what truth is and what is true. Truth doesn't really matter until we try to convince others to match our own view. To live together, to manage limited resources, and to treat each other in a sustainable way requires 'convincer' strategies of truth. Academics tend to use big words and complicated structures of thought and language to convince others of their 'rightness'. In my experience, the more complicated the explanation, the less likely we'll be able to convince people of the root concept or idea. It's easy to make things complicated, and quite challenging to reduce complexity down to simple, generalized concepts that ring true to many people. In a sense, complexity seems to be another trick in the ego's bag of tricks to deceive ourselves and those we try to convince that our ideas are true. And perhaps this post is way too complicated and is another example of this concept. I hope to be able to simplify in the future.

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That misunderstands Heisenberg - it isn't that nothing can be known with certainty but that for related pairs (position and momentum being the usual ones) the more precisely one knows the value of one, the more uncertain the value of the other. 

As someone working in a leading medical/biomedical science research centre, I can assure you that research is published in journals such as BMJ, Lancet, NEngJMed, Nature etc. All available to the public. Of course, that will not reassure you because if you state that this is just "my reality" there is nothing I can say to refute that.

As something of a "scientist" and a "philosopher"  (as are my colleagues) I'm not sure we do divide between "God" and "computer simulation" in the way you describe. Yes, certainly, there are those who do resort to one or other of those schools of thought as an explanation - but by no means all. It is a very anthropomorphic question (perhaps unnecessarily so) once you use the term "know" (as I think you appreciate because you quoted the term too).

To some extent "academics" use "big words" in order to precisely describe the complexity of reality - it's not really the fault of academics if non-academics don't understand! Having said that, one of my main interests as an academic is in science communication so I agree that those of us working in academic research have a responsibility to communicate. I'm currently working on a series of short music-video inspired films which communicate to a general audience our biomedical research themes. To the extent that theee qualify as "art", I hope they are an example of art conveying "reality".

On a related point - no academic research scientist I work with would ever use words such as "true" or "truth" at work. The language of scientific "fact" is the language of probability. And that is neither mystery nor Heisenberg - it is simply the scientific method. We do not publish statements of truth - we publish our methods (what we did and how we did it), our results (what we observed) and our conclusions (what we think this means). With an invitation for others to test - is it reproducible? Have we made an error? Is the probability calculated satisfactorily? See the CERN announcement for the Higgs boson for possibly the best example of this (and YT hadron rap for a super bit of science communication!)

Some interesting themes here.

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1 hour ago, Snowfun said:

That misunderstands Heisenberg - it isn't that nothing can be known with certainty but that for related pairs (position and momentum being the usual ones) the more precisely one knows the value of one, the more uncertain the value of the other. 

As someone working in a leading medical/biomedical science research centre, I can assure you that research is published in journals such as BMJ, Lancet, NEngJMed, Nature etc. All available to the public. Of course, that will not reassure you because if you state that this is just "my reality" there is nothing I can say to refute that.

As something of a "scientist" and a "philosopher"  (as are my colleagues) I'm not sure we do divide between "God" and "computer simulation" in the way you describe. Yes, certainly, there are those who do resort to one or other of those schools of thought as an explanation - but by no means all. It is a very anthropomorphic question (perhaps unnecessarily so) once you use the term "know" (as I think you appreciate because you quoted the term too).

To some extent "academics" use "big words" in order to precisely describe the complexity of reality - it's not really the fault of academics if non-academics don't understand! Having said that, one of my main interests as an academic is in science communication so I agree that those of us working in academic research have a responsibility to communicate. I'm currently working on a series of short music-video inspired films which communicate to a general audience our biomedical research themes. To the extent that theee qualify as "art", I hope they are an example of art conveying "reality".

On a related point - no academic research scientist I work with would ever use words such as "true" or "truth" at work. The language of scientific "fact" is the language of probability. And that is neither mystery nor Heisenberg - it is simply the scientific method. We do not publish statements of truth - we publish our methods (what we did and how we did it), our results (what we observed) and our conclusions (what we think this means). With an invitation for others to test - is it reproducible? Have we made an error? Is the probability calculated satisfactorily? See the CERN announcement for the Higgs boson for possibly the best example of this (and YT hadron rap for a super bit of science communication!)

Some interesting themes here.

Regarding Heisenberg, I wrote it that way to simplify the statement and to emphasize that we can't know anything completely when missing critical details (such as position or momentum (mass * velocity)): "Heisenberg brought to light we can't know anything completely at the lowest levels of physics, with any certainty." emphasis added. Years ago I worked with surgeons and rocket scientists (literally, from CalTech, JPL, etc.) when I wrote a real-time physics simulation to train doctors in laparoscopy using realistic mannequins and force-feedback computed from instrument position (trocars etc.) and the virtual 3D models of the lower GI. In college and speaking with these folks and with other pHDs in various fields over the years (academics in general), there seemed to be a competition over who could appear smarter, better than the rest. A competition to be smart sounding, lol. Thus big words and complex explanations of things that could instead use smaller words and simpler explanations. Since then, a metric I apply: is the idea complex and are they using big words and trying to sound impressive. The more complex the idea and words used, the less likely the idea has real value. As the coat of paint & polish is covering up the lack of substance. It's ironic that sesquipedalian defines a person who uses complex words lol! Sometimes I do it too; it takes a bit more work to simplify things.

For "God" and "Simulation", recall I finalized the idea with a state space of 4 possibilities: "God", "Simulation","God & Simulation", and "Neither", which covers all possible positions one could take, so to clarify not all religious or scientific folks think the same way.

Did any of us agree on what "truth" is, and how we determine what is "true"? It appears to me that "daily truth" is more about persuasion and personal experience (anecdotal) vs. scientific study, along with computed probabilities from real-world experiments. Peer review of research papers along with independent replication is kind of the last defense against personal bias/ego before a scientific idea starts to become widely accepted (can still take a while, rightfully a skeptical bunch, since sometimes an idea is accepted then later found to be wrong!). The entire scientific process and logic itself are human constructs, and there may be hidden flaws in these systems which prevent us from getting closer to the base reality, whatever that is (if it even exists!). Recent thinking has been going deeper into the idea that consciousness is primary. Meaning that reality doesn't exist without a consciousness to perceive it. And if this is "true", what effect does that have on the concept of "truth"?! Seems to imply that fundamentally, "true" is what we perceive to be true at any moment. And thus the root cause of all internet arguments, driven by the ego ;) 

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