Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course

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Not a Particularly Amusing Aesthetics Post. -Aiden

I was going to present but while writing the script/speech/lyrics or words, I realized I wouldn’t be able to remember them all. So this will be just like that but you read it in my place, and maybe a cow will be in it.

 

My main questions were: what is beauty, what is art, what is an aesthetic experience.

My main source of criteria for an aesthetic experience came from the two column chart in the aesthetics workbook.

 

So. My version of aesthetics is closest to Beardsley’s. His theory revolves around the criteria of.

Attention fixed on field

Release from temporal  concerns

Object set at emotional distance

Sense of personal integration and self expansion

And active exercise of powers to meet challenges.

 

I agree with Beardsley on the whole. However, I believe his view is rather narrow. his criteria is too exact. Both Csikszentmihalyi’s flow experience and Beardsley traditional theory seem to focus on challenges faced and overcome. I disagree. I believe, in a general sense, an aesthetic experience is when you mentally take a step back and appreciate what you’re sensing. When you’re at the bus stopand see fog rolling in over the snow tinted Rockies. When you head home from SFU and see the place where the earth meets the sky. When you have some really tasty b b q. Freshly brewed coffee, perfect steak, beautiful music, a nice view n stuff. If you can stop and appreciate your senses, and what you sense is extraordinary,  then it’s an aesthetic experience.

This is similar to Beardsley, but replacing challenges with appreciation.

I feel like I should broaden my definition of appreciate here. I see the verb “appreciate” as firstly,  appreciating what you sense. Either viewing the world on a larger scale,  or perhaps appreciating something you wouldn’t ordinarily, like the detail of moss. Maybe you appreciate the difficulty of what you or someone has done, as in Mr. C’s theory.

 

K moving on. My theory of what is beauty is connected to my theory of aesthetic experience. Something beautiful is confined to the senses of sight and sound. You can see a beautiful view, hear a beautiful harmony, but you can’t rub beautiful rust. Can’t sniff beautiful odours, or beautiful food. Again, beauty counts as something that you can appreciate, perhaps something which triggers introspection and uh. Extrospection?. Outside stuff.

 

Hence art would be something man, but beautiful. Art is a representation of something beyond itself. So a painting of a woman, or a happy little trees are art, because they are a representation of something else. A screaming man, a melting clock, a swirl of stars, they are art. This is key. A ponytail nailed to a board is not art. Splatter  paintings are not art. A cows head being eaten by flies or 90 tins of human feces are not art.

Just to be clear, it must be a representation. A hunky bro, a towering sequoia, they are not art on their own.

No

 

Image result for a thousand years art

No

Image result for buff man

Yes

Image result for buff man painting

 

 

 

Tl;Dr

An aesthetic experience is when you do or sense something which makes you appreciate.

Beauty is an aspect of something you see or hear which you can appreciate.

Art is a representation made by man or something beautiful.

 

https://www.hivehealthmedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/buff-man.jpg

http://blogs-images.forbes.com/jonathonkeats/files/2012/08/300×2006.jpg?width=960

 

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Nono, RECONGNISE. And MAKE. CONNECTIONS. And RECOGNISE.

A: What is something you know about knowledge

Okay, so what I think I probably know maybe.      Knowledge is the ability to recognize and make connections. The difference betwixt knowing something and having information of something is what can be done. A book is filled with ink in shapes which, in certain patterns and sequences, can be interpreted by humans as ideas. This is another difference, certain programs are capable of recognizing texts, but they do not comprehend what the idea is, only what the idea is called. In this setting, understanding or comprehension is shown in the ability to make connections. Not basic connections like “if <blank> and <blank> then <blunk>” but actual outside connections. If you see a keyboard on a table, you can guess that there is a computer nearby, but that is because of past experiences. This is a kind of knowledge, but in my mind, knowledge refers more to outside information. Plastic is derived from oils mined around the world, refined into usable materials in facilities, some of which in Halifax, and shaped in factories. If you see a keyboard, and can make the connection that it has history, or origins outside of what you have seen or noticed in patterns, then you know something about the keyboard.

B: How do you show it

Premise A: Making connections can be a way to demonstrate knowledge

Premise B: Alone, holding information is not knowledge

Premise C: Comprehension is required to have knowledge

Premise D: Understanding or comprehension is the ability to convert phenomena to noumena. To see the object, or hear the concept, or read or what have you, and realize not only what it is, but what it means.

Premise E: What is connected cannot simply be patterns, but must be understood ideas.

Conclusion: Knowledge is the ability to recognize and make connections

C: Who helps explain what and how do you know it

Seymour Papert forged the concept of constructionism, which is similar to my idea. Papert’s theory includes learning by doing, but is deeper. When one does anything, (he often uses building or making physical things) they make connections, and those connections are knowledge. This is a flavour of constructivism, which states that all knowledge comes from previously attained knowledge, presumably meaning we are born with some knowledge.

D: Can a personal example help relate this knowledge

Once I was standing on a cliff overlooking the salish sea. It was around 4 A.M during the summer, a full moon hung above and harbour seals puffed asthmatic breaths into the silence. A motorboat passed by, if I recall, which set this chain of thought into motion. I remembered an old stock question I’d once heard, a question that little boys (and it was only boys at the time) would need to go to school to get answered so they could work in the fields without the questions distracting them. How do all the bits of the sky fit into the curves made by the waves? This kicked off a burst of perception and fact recall. The sky fits into the sea because gaseous molecules contain more kinetic energy, and push and move each other into any gap faster than liquids can. Gaseous particles exist covering our planet, made primarily of liquid molecules, up until about 100 Km, the official start of outer space. beyond space there is little to no matter, up until the moon, which incidentally was called Luna or Selena in ancient cultures. There is a theory that the moon broke off from the Atlantic ocean sometime in the early formation of earth. Beyond the moon are great clouds of matter forming every celestial body we know of, clouds of dust, orbs of flame, gas giants and so on, all of which is slowing drifting towards a great attractor. Speaking of celestial bodies, I know that beneath the earth are billions or trillions of tons of liquid stone and metals, roiling and churning beneath the crust. I have never seen magma. I have never seen more than the moon and a few faint stars. But I attain knowledge by converting my senses into concepts in my mind, which I can join to other ideas, barely connected. The point I was trying to get across was that with only a cliff landscape as a catalyst, I made connections and had thoughts that were out of sight and sound.

As a conclusion, if the point has not been made clearly enough,  Aiden’s view of knowledge is that it is th ability to connect a concept to something beyond the immediately sensed.

 

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Rise of The Philosophy Discussions: the Squeakuel: origins.

Consider this a really tiny volume of memoirs, wherein I discuss only the events that took place in my life at some point probably within the last 14 days. Very specific memoirs.

I was told to have a discussion. So I had discussions.

My discussions were with Mathew Goeslingsonsmithchard( or some name like that. Sounds like gosling but I think that spelled wrong) and Yury lastname.

With Mathew, my explanation and discussions helped make me realize that I don’t really know much about my topic. The field of Artificial Intelligence is impossible to make decisions in, at this time, because its entirely hypothetical. There are no machines lurking on the edge of personhood to discuss as examples, all we have is fiction and concepts.
Mathew questioned our criteria of personhood, and we agreed that neither of us knew in any certainty what made a person, and that we were not qualified to form that opinion.

With Yury, the discussion was different. Yury is a literal chap, and doesn’t much fancy hypotheticals. Our discussion helped reaffirm by beliefs in the right of the person.
I don’t believe that a program regulating timing for mustard dispensers in factories deserves any rights or dignity, but I do think that anything capable of understanding rights, what they are, how they’re valuable and necessary would deserve rights.

Yury’s topic was on afterlife. Afterlife tends to include the soul and a power within.  This brings an interesting point to the question of Artificial Intelligence. Can a machine have a soul? Do androids dream of electric sheep? Is there a power within a person made by hand rather than coitus?

More or less: Whats the dealy-o, huh?

As a little hypothetical imaginatorium tour, do you think the pope will ever sit down with programmers and talk about this? Would every leader of every religion have this discussion, or would some immediately agree or disagree without learning about this?

 

Okay moving on

this about wraps it up I guess. For the discussions at least.

Ive noted that the posts with gifs tend to get more attention so Image result for A I gifImage result for A I gif

 

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The Thing That I Did That One Time I Was Told To – Aiden

What were my questions

My base questions were: Is it murder to remove power to a self aware machine

What is a machine

What is self aware

How does the ability to return power affect the machine/

My Plan

My plan was to just sit down and devote all mental faculties to the questions. I would write down all thoughts as they occured. I would perhaps use artificial intelligences in fiction as examples, or basis for thought.

Essentially sit in a dark room with a keyboard  and silence, a small list of A.I’s in mind and write down everything I knew, every idea I had, every hypothetical and metaphor and question I could think of for an hour or more, as ideas occurred to me.

What happened

The plan worked. I sat with a glass of lukewarm water and the Wikipedia list of fictional artificial characters. To start with, my brother interrupted me somewhat, so I put on noise cancelling earmuffs. Dark room, silence, hydration and input machine.

I started out cranking out questions that I posed, that others have posed and anything I can think of. After a while, my eyes started to glaze over and my typing accuracy began to plummet. I got through my opinions of what death is, using the dictionary definition as well. I explained my view on whether or not its murder(yes it is) to turn off an electric brain. Some ideas I had to start with I never got to discuss, because instead of accelerating and coming up with new ideas, after about 50 minutes my mind started slowing down. I attribute this to the flu that kept me from school today. To begin with, I was going to discuss death and its difference from sleep, but move onto what I think the future of artificial intelligences might be, the answers I assume to commonly asked questions; i.e RoboPrison? RoboTaxes? RoboHouses? to which the answer is I doubt there will be enough artificial intelligences around to warrant that, not built to be personal servants. I actually have a lot to say on this, I should include it somewhere else. I was going to discuss the nature of the soul, whether or not something made by man could have one if they in fact exist. If machines can have souls, could someone be reincarnated as one? from one? The difference between a baby and a newly made mind. I was going to discuss if a brain needs to be indistinguishable from a human to deserve rights. Why something cannot act differently from us and still deserve some basic respect. I was going to consider the differences between the death of an individual mind versus a single branch of a mind, a mind hosted on one machine, but inhabits many others. I was going to discuss if we consider ourselves higher life forms than animals, and why its always best to let a bird die to save the life of a  human, and why we’re different, can a machine be considered a higher life form than humans. More emotion, more thought capabilities, more senses, more sensations etc.

There were a lot of ideas in my mind at the start which I have thought about since then, as a result of this hour of thought, but what actually happened was a gradual rise in blah-bad-idea-get-smarter-aiden.

Findings discoveries artefacts questions

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Ja30Z3Stp_DGlNSTfnxXmzJZBOAyLp26drpl6aPlkW0/edit?usp=sharing

I had thought I was getting bored with the topic after a week or more of it, but after this, just thinking of what I could have written about, what I should have said, more questions occurred to me and more opinions formed.

Some ideas I had to start with I never got to discuss, because instead of accelerating and coming up with new ideas, after about 50 minutes my mind started slowing down. I attribute this to the flu that kept me from school today. To begin with, I was going to discuss death and its difference from sleep, but move onto what I think the future of artificial intelligences might be, the answers I assume to commonly asked questions; i.e RoboPrison? RoboTaxes? RoboHouses? to which the answer is I doubt there will be enough artificial intelligences around to warrant that, not built to be personal servants. I actually have a lot to say on this, I should include it somewhere else. I was going to discuss the nature of the soul, whether or not something made by man could have one if they in fact exist. If machines can have souls, could someone be reincarnated as one? from one? The difference between a baby and a newly made mind. I was going to discuss if a brain needs to be indistinguishable from a human to deserve rights. Why something cannot act differently from us and still deserve some basic respect. I was going to consider the differences between the death of an individual mind versus a single branch of a mind, a mind hosted on one machine, but inhabits many others. I was going to discuss if we consider ourselves higher life forms than animals, and why its always best to let a bird die to save the life of a  human, and why we’re different, can a machine be considered a higher life form than humans. More emotion, more thought capabilities, more senses, more sensations etc.

Another thing I got out of this was the realization that any ideas I have could be extraordinarily inaccurate. They’re what I think are good ideas and what could happen. They could be as immature as those several hundred people in Vancouver who believe in anarchy. They could be as foolish as the writers of Max Headroom thinking that might be the future.

There’s a good chance all the ideas and opinions I formed are silly and wrong, but I wont be able to tell till I’m a crotchety old man.

 

By

Darby Bros. Miraculous Electric Thinking Engine: Ethics Edition

Question: Is it murder to remove the power supply to a self-aware, thinking machine.

Sub-Question 1: What is a machine? Consider that humans are made by man, internally.

Sub-Question 2: What is Self-Aware? What is the criteria that determines whether or not an entity is sentient?

Sub-Question 3: A machine may have power returned to it, and may function once more. What effect does this resurrection have on the main question of murder?

 

Personal Interest:    For most of my life, I have been exposed to artificial intelligences in one form or another. I saw Red Dwarf when I was young, a science fiction comedy with jokes and innuendo I completely missed; of the five characters in the show, two of them are robotic. I, Robot, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, Hitch-hikers guide to the Galaxy, Starship Titanic, Terminator,  The Long Earth, Portal 1 and 2, Gunnerkrigg Court and more. These books, films, documentaries, television, radio shows and more are rife with artificial intelligence; many of which pose questions I would not have asked on my own. In addition, when I go home each day, my brother interrupts whatever I’m doing to explain what he’s working on. What he’s working on, incidentally, are artificial intelligences. Programs which learn and develop. He produced a chess A.I with his class this last month. I’ve been looking into programs and intelligences which do what was long considered uniquely human, purely possible only to the organic.

Its something of a perfect storm.

 

Reading:  The basic question of artificial intelligence. How much power should they be given? Can one develop views, opinions, prejudices, or connections that are unfair?

http://www.nickbostrom.com/ethics/artificial-intelligence.pdf

http://www.nickbostrom.com/ethics/ai.html

Artificial Consciousness and senses. Morality and Ethics

http://www.kurzweilai.net/the-problem-of-ai-consciousness

http://aitopics.org/topic/ethics-social-issues

http://philosophy.stackexchange.com/questions/36325/can-ai-have-ethics

http://www.recode.net/2016/4/13/11644890/ethics-and-artificial-intelligence-the-moral-compass-of-a-machine

http://mashable.com/2015/10/03/ethics-artificial-intelligence/#IqRE97PSqkq5

Where to next?

I’m going to read through all these. I’m going to formulate my own views as well as see what other views exist. I’m going to deconstruct what reasons may be behind each view.

 

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Pfffft, No One Likes Instruments

The origin of this is that I was sitting in science 10 after work was complete, talking to, I think, Gwyn and Alexia. The point of music came up, and I, Aiden, mentioned that I liked the sound of the harp, that the accordion was an underrated instrument, and that guitar, while versatile, may be overdone. Alexia responded to this by saying something along the lines of “Pfffft. No one likes instruments anymore. Its all synth.” I questioned her on this, to which she explained:

Premises

1. I know many people.

2 Those many people know many people.

3 They and I all listen to music.

4. None of the music everyone I know listens to contains instruments, and is all electronic.

5. We like this music.

Ergo, no one likes music with instruments.

If this is true, then the social network of Alexia and Gwyn envelops the entirety of earths population that hold and opinion on music. All musicians that use non electronic synthetic instruments do not enjoy the tones they produce. Symphonies are only formed due to tradition. All old music before speakers were manipulated in such a manner that they could produce non recorded music is only listened to for nostalgia, or not listened to at all.

Lets think about this.

Is the argument true? Possibly. Its hard to be certain that no one in the extensive network of chums and cohorts ever regularly listens to music with notes and tones easily replicated by a real instrument.

Is the argument valid? No. This ones pretty clear. The circle of ‘many people’ already excludes the vast majority of the population. The premise that they like electronic music does not prove or disprove their feelings towards music containing instruments

Due to the dubious truth of the premises and the invalid nature, this strain of logic is not sound.

Allow me to forge a counter argument

1. I know many people.

2 Those many people know many people.

3. None of us are white

4. We like each other

Ergo, no one likes white people.

 

And if this is true, then the social network of Alexia and Gwyn envelops the entirety of earths population that hold and opinion on music. All musicians that use non electronic synthetic instruments do not enjoy the tones they produce. Symphonies are only formed due to tradition. All old music before speakers were manipulated in such a manner that they could produce non recorded music is only listened to for nostalgia, or not listened to at all.

Luckily, there are few real world implications to the misguided remarks of incomplete humanoids such as we, unless greatly spread and believed. However, beliefs like this are the origin of ‘band geek’ humour, and is a basis for exclusion based on musical tastes. and so the unstable or sensitive may be harmed.

 

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Philosophy is a kelp forest, the post Aiden forgot to make a week ago but remembered while watching the Conjuring 2

So.

Image result for giant kelp forest

I’ve always really liked the visual of a kelp forest. Cold, black water with miles of thick, algae-green fronds swaying and catching what little light there is, while silhouettes of life dart from stalk to stalk. Turns out, mental imagery is good for metaphors.

And so, Philosophy is like a kelp forest. The central tenants of philosophy, the branches, epistemology, aesthetics, ethics, logic, metaphysics and so on, they are the stalks. the great methods that reach deep into our history and grow each day. The fronds are the ways of thinking. A long, billowing ribbon growing from the stalk is, for instance, instrumentalist, or the views of Karl popper. Ideas which others latch onto and expand.

Moving onto ideas, creatures live in kelp forests. Small, inconspicuous little beings dash from frond to frond, digging into them, taking portions to become larger. There isn’t much to them. In the kelp forest food chain, the animals become gradually larger, but in this metaphor, we can simply compare the size of the creatures with how much thought has gone into an idea.

Image result for pacific isopod marine -crab -ant -horseshoeOne of these things is a small idea.

At a certain point in the food chain, there is a top animal. Otters are usually the top predator in kelp forests, sharks and other carnivores don’t tend to visit them. An otter is the most well thought out idea. Its present, its current, it meets the common view of those that know about it. Otters cling to kelp when they sleep to avoid drifting away. Ideas cling to some views of the past and present so as not to be brought off course by tangential ideas or changing viewpoints/currents, which may bring in their own creatures. An otter is like a thesis, or a well known theory. In time, ideas can become so well known that they become a perspective, a frond. For the metaphor to fit, we must consider that creatures are mortal, so the otter dies and its body nourishes the kelp forest, feeding them and, in a way, becoming a new frond. Rather like ancient heroes in the constellations.

Finally, in a Jackson approved comparison, some organisms try to attack what we know. Try to lie and cheat and swindle and consume the very roots of what we know and believe, our morals, our perspectives, our standards. These organisms in a kelp forest are sea urchins, small, slimy, spiny orbs that, without any real thought consume. Otters commonly eat sea urchins, keeping their population in check, protecting the kelp forest, or possibly, doing some basic fact checking on a debate. Sea urchins come in all shades, from dorito-orange, to non-cheeto-orange.

All of this takes place in a larger cliche. The sea is commonly referred to as a sea of knowledge in which we all swim, the one on whose banks, newton plays with pebbles. The sun, a great beacon, ‘The Light of the Truth.’ The light that the kelp grows and stretches to reach each day. The kelp forest isn’t a personal metaphor. Its not a matter of mine and thine, its how as a community, much like the ecosystem, we all interact, put forth ideas to become sea critters, or possibly to eat at what others have produced.

Thats my metaphor kids

dont wear it out

bye

 

 

Kelp from Scuba Dive California’s youtube channel

marine isopod from Vancouver Island Nature

 

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Like Plato’s cave, except it isn’t actually, its a complete lack of cave, or plato, or his possessions.

Okay so basically, I’m  not in ‘the cave.’

This should be a completely acceptable answer. Not everyone is going to have the experience of believing something untrue and being shown the light. I have not been guided into the true light which is religion, I have not realized that meat is murder, I have not hated something but had its qualities shown to me by something else.

My life has never changed drastically, its never been an eye opening experience, whenever I learn something new or find an interest, its because I chose to read a book, watch a documentary or something of that ilk. Never have I spoken to stranger and had what they said be anything more than interesting, but certainly not life changing. I have not been trapped in a cold dark shelter filled with lies, I have not really done much of anything. Most of my character is fairly weak opinions and instinctive reactions.

Instead of great life changing experiences, most things are vaguely interesting. Someone tried to impose upon me the brilliant unlikelihood of the current reality, where both of us had been born. However, I already knew this in grade 3 when I looked into some Carl Sagan. It wasn’t life changing then either. When I learn about things, my character changes slightly, not noticeably, and being a yoouuth, and not a proper, complete human being yet, It probably hasn’t fully developed. I’m fully aware that I don’t know most things, so maybe eventually something will be so surprising or shocking that it would be life changing, but I have a hard time imagining it and I’m good at imagining.

It has come to my attention that in grade 3, the class was given a maze with two stars, and were instructed to draw a line between the stars. It was apparently impossible, and so I finished it but I accidentally broke through a line and cheated. So this was apparently eye opening. I don’t remember this at all. Its a summary. This didn’t affect my life. In a similar way, in band class, Trovato was giving a pep talk, and asked the class who could do fifty push ups. I raised my hand and mentioned that I could with breaks, and that Macdonald and the oboist could do it without an issue. Trovato got shouty and seemed to think I was being smart with him. Being smart with teachers is a mortal sin. The end of the pep talk was saying that everyone in the room could, with some time to do it, breaks in between. This did not inspire me. These are called anecdotes.

 

Yep. Haven’t been in a cave.

 

By

All those thoughts I, Aiden, didn’t say in class about teaching ideals, but instead kept inside like dark, chocolatey secrets.

 

 

I am Aiden and Aiden has fun thoughts about learning.

To start with: I am required to talk about my aspirations and unanswered questions. What I ‘aspire to,’ more or less, is that I’d like to express my thoughts through speech in a manner which cannot be termed ‘aidenspeak’ as some teacher have, and be easily understood without additional explanation. I’d like my essay writing skills to improve. I’m not really sure what we’re going to do in philosphy, beyond the subjects of discussion. Other than that, I have no unaswered questions.

The main thoughts I’ve been having on what we discussed in class are that:

The discussion between educators on the most efficient ideal of teaching is a battle which has raged for centuries, generally quietly through sternly written papers. With the many papers of ascending stern-ness, the argument has varying points.

as Denise Caruso said in her 2007 article, “Knowledge Is Power Only if You Know How to Use It”

  • “Know-how is more than knowledge. It puts knowledge to work in the real world. It is how scientific discoveries become routine medical treatments, and how inventions — like the Internet — become the products and services that change how we work and play.”

I, Aiden, has applied this to the in class discussion. The quote isn’t an exact fit, but will suffice. The ideals of education we discussed in class were focused around the far left of perennialism and the medium right of progressivism. What I, Aiden, apply is that while perennialism is no doubt more effective at imparting information to students, the most useful method for academic courses, what Denise Caruso is saying is that just learning is not as important as learning and applying the information. When teaching, in a classroom which just informs and tests the information retention, memorization is fairly certain, but in classrooms where the subject can be applied and practiced, or demonstrations made, the understanding, not just memorization, of the subject is more likely to be attained. In an English class with vocabulary quizzes every week, the students will know how to spell and use the words in sentences, and may know their meaning, but in an English class with regular class discussion between the students of varying capabilities and the teacher, all involved are likely to hear new view points and understand, for instance, the subtle differences between synonyms.

What I, Aiden, and essentially trying to say is that both ideals have value in certain situations. With some alternation as the teacher sees fit, perennialism is more useful in academic courses where memorization is key to a future of study, whereas progressivism is a better choice for commonly applied skills, or those who don’t have an academic future in mind.

 
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