FBXL Social

This is desperately sad and more than a little suspicious: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/top-scientist-mike-joy-loses-role-at-victoria-university/4YJSZM2OGBCF5OQFWIUIZV4U5U/

There's never been a time we needed people like Dr Mike Joy in the public arena more than right now.

@lightweight Oh good grief. That's insane.

@joncounts yeah, my admiration for academia (or, at least the management of it) has hit a new low. Spineless.

@lightweight I am not familiar with him, what is the signifigence of this?

@donkeyblam In Aotearoa NZ, almost all our freshwater has been massively polluted (in many places water has gone from pristine to drink to dangerous to touch in a generation), mostly by corporate agricultural interests, especially dairy. Mike's been the main scientific voice speaking out on how bad it is, while providing scientific proof. Given that those industries are the biggest (and most politically influential) in our country, I'm sure this wasn't an 'objective' decision.

@lightweight
Noooo! Shit. That's sucky news, he's been amazing at educating / waking people up. He's been helpful in a couple of causes I've been involved with. Awesome man who should be going up up up not made redundant. They chose the wrong fella :(
I hope he finds himself in a great place after this, and keeps working on the same sort of thing. We need him.

@EmPenTen yes, we do.

@lightweight
> There's never been a time we needed people like Dr Mike Joy in the public arena more than right now.

Damn right. I did an environmental field work paper with Mike when he worked at Massey. He's a national treasure. A meticulous scientist, and unapologetically outspoken about his findings, however uncomfortable that might make the political-economic elites. I'm guessing he got run out of Massey by Big Ag interests and now Vic too. Seriously WTF.

@lightweight
Something is rotten in the state of our universities. I suspect it has a lot to do with the consequences of the neoliberal coups of the 1980s/90s, and the rise of managerialism that David Graeber (RIP) wrote about:

https://davidgraeber.org/papers/anthropology-and-the-rise-of-the-professional-managerial-class/

Edit: "reform" implies a gentle shift in policy, resulting from democratic processes. Neoliberalism was everywhere imposed on the citizenry, with no consultation, and in the face of massive, world-wide popular resistance.

@lightweight
It's really past time those of us who are educated, *and* independent of the "professional-managerial class" (as Graeber politely describes it), launched a serious campaign to re-democratise our universities, and put them back in service of independent research and academic freedom.

@strypey yes, I saw it when I was working at Lincoln and Canterbury in the 90s, for sure. Very sad to see.

@lightweight
To quote Graeber:

"Universities areβ€”or, better said, until recently have beenβ€” among the only institutions that survived more or less intact from the High Middle Ages. As a result, universities still reflected an essentially medieval conception of self-organization and self-governance; this was an institution managed by scholars for the pursuit of scholarship, of forms of knowledge that were seen as valuable in their own right."

How do we bring this back?

@lightweight
Graeber again, referencing Gayatri Spivak:

"when people spoke of 'the university,' in the abstract, they were referring to the faculty; nowadays, when they speak of 'the university,' they are referring to the administration. Universities are no longer corporations in the medieval sense; they are corporations in the capitalist sense, bureaucratic institutions organized around the pursuit of profit, even though the 'profit' in question is, nowadays, slightly more broadly conceived"

@lightweight One more:

"It will take some time, no doubt, because neoliberals have placed such an extraordinary emphasis on winning the ideological gameβ€” arguably, at the expense of undermining capitalism’s own long-term economic viabilityβ€”but it’s clear that the degree to which the academy does remain the guardian of pretty much any possible alternative conception of social value gives it a unique potential role in developing whatever comes next."

This is why re-democratizing uni matters.

@strypey I agree with you that it's a project many of us should undertake, but it needs a clear, easily transferable vision/manifesto, to ensure people know what they're aiming to achieve and why.

@strypey @lightweight The answer is the same answer to all our problems, make better humans. I left academia because dishonesty was rewarded over honesty, getting publications in "good" journals was valued over not destroying the system of academic publishing, expedience was desired instead of experience.

@Oozenet @strypey yes, I sometimes wonder if you're right, that it's just the plain fact that, en mass, humans suck. My current (hopeful) operating principle is that additional educational opportunity and increasing 'literacy' gives people the ability to understand others' experiences rather than only their own... if we can help raise the standard, it's a rising tide... Societies seem to have done so in the past... but yes, it's my on faith-based mission.

@lightweight @strypey Only if that literacy encompasses all aspects of humans i.e. if you focus on just teaching STEM you get people who only value science. We need to put more focus on teaching love, respect, kindness, compassion. Those are the kind of things one can only teach by modelling them. To make better humans we need to be better humans.

@Oozenet @strypey I'm a big fan of the 'liberal arts', which I was lucky enough to study (as part of my physics degree), as a concept. In most countries, that's seen as wasteful, when the goal is to pump people into the workforce in technical roles. I think we also need to normalise continued learning, so that people who regret their over-specialisation, can remedy that at their own pace. My day job is, in part, working to make that possible - https://oerfoundation.org ...

@strypey @lightweight One way to bring it back would be to model an institution on the medieval ones. i.e. start our own uni with hookers and blackjack! No wait, I mean start an institution without the corporate bit. Fund it by students fees going directly to the academics who teach them, who then use those funds to run things as they choose.

@Oozenet
> Fund it by students fees going directly to the academics who teach them, who then use those funds to run things as they choose

Chalkle tried that, inspired by the teach-ins at the Occupy camp in Civic Square. It didn't scale:

https://scribe.rip/enspiral-tales/dear-chalkle-2d4ae200106

@lightweight

@strypey @Oozenet hmm - Chalkle had other flaws, like being a profit-motivated company (while presenting themselves as if they were )... I think education has to have, as its fundamental motivation, the 'greater good', and secondarily, sustainability rather that financial profit.

@Oozenet
I think the flaw is the neoliberal idea of teaching as a commodity "service" and students as "customers". Universities only started teaching students as a means of succession, a way of ensuring the current generation of scholars would be replaced as they aged out, or left the institution to do other things. Teaching was not their founding purpose, scholarship was.

@lightweight

@lightweight @strypey The goal shouldn't be to pump people into the workforce.

@Oozenet @strypey totally agree. Knowledge should be its own reward. The real enemy we face is the capitalist forces behind anti-intellectualism, because it's much harder to exploit well educated people who recognise the patterns and can organise movements to counter them.

@lightweight @strypey This. We have to stop doing capitalism. Education never works when monetary profits are expected.

@Oozenet @strypey I'm not sure, as I haven't lived with them, but I think some European countries have more faithfully maintained pre-capitalist academic traditions.

@strypey @lightweight Teaching was how they could afford to do scholarship. The key here is that they were doing it because God, they were on a holy mission. This is the motivation we need to get back. The reaction you are currently having to this statement is exactly why we don't have this any more. Our dominant religions have become so corrupted that we rightfuly revile them. But without a motivation based on service only to truth and love we are not going to solve this problem.

@Oozenet @strypey I feel like 'the pursuit of knowledge' is a compelling motivation - most practising scientists will already feel that, in my experience. I think, in many places, religion is a *disincentive* for learning/knowledge, as increased knowledge reveals the basic inadequacy of religious explanations of everything. Maybe that's another capitalist co-option/corruption of religion - like the Prosperity Gospel.

@lightweight @strypey Whether or not it is a disincentive depends totally on the religion in question. Our dominant religions being so corrupted is exactly why you are expressing the conception that religious explanations are inadequate. A religion that denies any truth is not true religion.

OMG DO NOT get me started on the horror that is the Prosperity Gospel.

@Oozenet @strypey heh - ok, pretend I didn't mention it :) (haven't got any time for it (or any theistic religion) in any case).

@lightweight @strypey It is super easy to exploit well educated people who have no moral compass. As well as education one needs, courage, love and compassion.

@Oozenet @strypey true - I think the two things that do the most to help people develop that courage love and compassion: travelling (i.e. backpacking, not $$) and reading broadly (helps us 'experience' the world through others' eyes).

@lightweight
> I sometimes wonder if you're right, that it's just the plain fact that, en mass, humans suck

Like Chomsky, I absolutely reject this attempt to victim-blame humans as a species for the consequences of being violently forced to live under capitalist rule.

Oh and before anyone says capitalism isn't enforced by violence and we all choose it...

@Oozenet

... try not paying your rent or mortgage for a few months and continuing to live in your home. You'll soon see just how much of a "choice" capitalism is, and how quickly violent force is deployed to impose that "choice" on you.

@Oozenet @lightweight

@Oozenet
> if you focus on just teaching STEM you get people who only value science

... which looks like the USSR, or like Alphabet/Goggle and Meta/FarceBook.

@lightweight

@Oozenet
I wouldn't describe people who...

> who have no moral compass

... as...

> well educated people

The definition of "educated" is part of the pedagogical terrain we're fighting to reclaim from neoliberal capitalism (and capitalism in general).

@lightweight

@strypey @Oozenet that's a fair point.

@lightweight
> Chalkle had other flaws, like being a profit-motivated company

I don't think that's a fair description of Chalkle any more than it's a fair description of Loomio or any of the social enterprises involved in Enspiral. See Sylvia's linked post-mortem for some insight into their motivations. Making a living was - for teachers and support staff -was part of it, profit was not.

@Oozenet

@strypey @Oozenet sorry, I always think proprietary software is wrong (detail: https://davelane.nz/proprietary), especially when the company developing it promotes itself as a champion of (see Github). I say this as someone who has made a decent living doing 100% FOSS for the past 30ish years.

@lightweight
> while presenting themselves as if they were FOSS

Lest we forget, it was Sylvia and co who organised Open Source, Open Society. Enspiral folks only started really learning about Free Code when Loomio came along. If Chalkle survived, they would have published their software under a free license, as BuckyBox did, just before they sadly folded. If both companies had done it from day 1, like Loomio did, they may have survived and that's a crucial lesson for Enspiral folks.

@Oozenet

@strypey @Oozenet I was there at the time... they knew almost nothing about Open Source and even less about Free Software... they initiated the conference *after being offered $ to do so by Github(!!)*. I observed it very closely from the start, and I note they were unaware of the existence of the fairly well publicised 10+ year old NZOSS. They had some interesting ideas, lots of energy, more than a little talent, but their awareness of and commitment to open principles was very patchy.

@strypey if I recall correctly, Loomio was one of the founding projects around which the Enspiral group emerged. But I never saw a commitment to FOSS ideals, just a somewhat expedient interest in the open source dev model (and they mostly use(d) proprietary tools for everything, rather than helping to build up FOSS through their efforts). Most of them meant well, but they were too focused on the shiny of proprietary tech, and not enough on principles of open communities. @Oozenet

@Oozenet
> Teaching was how they could afford to do scholarship

I'm not an expert on the history of the university. But I believe that came later. My understanding is that the first universities began as semi-secularised monasteries. Students moved in with an intention to pursue a life of scholarship. Later, once this started conferring some social advantages, the wealthy hit on the idea of paying the scholars to give their children an "education".

@lightweight

@Oozenet @strypey just listening to one of my faves (Ani diFranco) as I work: https://invidious.snopyta.org/watch?v=oTJFUg6N2XA or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTJFUg6N2XA Seems relevant.

@Oozenet
> without a motivation based on service only to truth and love we are not going to solve this problem

This is the God-shaped hole that both secular humanism and atheist rationalism try to fill. The problem is that just like the old religions, both have been corrupted by capitalism (birthing monsters like US Exceptionalism and Vulgar Dworkinism) and now compete with them instead of substituting for them.

@lightweight

@strypey @Oozenet given the Socratic model... methinks this model emerged long before Christianity took root.

@lightweight
> I always think proprietary software is wrong

I think you know we agree on this. But just as libre doesn't equal non-commercial, proprietary doesn't equal profit-motivated. Also, see the follow-up post.

@Oozenet

@lightweight
> I was there at the time

So was I. I'd moved from Welly to Ōtepoti by that point, but I was actively communicating with the Loomio and team and the wider Enspiral congregation throughout that period of time.

> they initiated the conference *after being offered $ to do so by Github(!!)*

That's the first I've heard of this. What's your source?

@Oozenet

@strypey @Oozenet for what it's worth, I encouraged Sylvia and Ants to open source their code and explained why... they decided it wasn't what they wanted to do... Nice folks, but not adherents.

@lightweight
> they were unaware of the existence of the fairly well publicised 10+ year old NZOSS

With all due respect to you and the noughties NZOSS crew, it seems like we have a different definition of "well publicised" ; )

The rest of your post echoes what I said here:

> Enspiral folks only started really learning about Free Code when Loomio came along

Remember, we're discussing this in the context of Sylvia and the Chalkle team's *motivations*, not their existing knowledge.

@Oozenet

@strypey @Oozenet I was involved in the planning/organising after I informed them of the NZOSS' existence... I also briefly flirted with the idea of joining Enspiral from Ōtautahi but decided they weren't my peeps - very different priorities, and mostly in a very different stage of life (much younger, no family obligations, all very Wgtn-centric, nearly all in the thrall of Apple).

@strypey @Oozenet for what it's worth, throughout the existence of the original ComputerWorld rag (the printed one, with an accompanying website), the NZOSS and Egressive were featured in just about every issue. We made quite a lot of news, from the time the NZOSS challenged Microsoft's patent application for 'using XML to store productivity document data', up through the time of the Patent Act (where we got new software patents banned).

@lightweight
> if I recall correctly, Loomio was one of the founding projects around which the Enspiral group emerged

Your memory is failing you. When Occupy happened, Enspiral was already well established as a co-working space for social enterprises in downtown Welly. @richdecibels and Ben approached them to build what would become Loomio. Here's the story as they told it in 2014:

https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/participation-now/from-occupy-to-online-democracy-loomio-story/

@Oozenet

@strypey @richdecibels @Oozenet interesting - I accept that I don't know much of the early Enspiral history, and it's quite possible my memory is spotty in places, although I believe I was already using (and in contact with Ben) Loomio prior to Open Source // Open Society.

@strypey @lightweight Universities arose out of Cathedral schools, started by bishops as Roman civic education began to collapse, which would teach anyone, & Monastic schools, which taught only religious & taught what we would consider both religious & secular subjects. When universities arose there was a big kerfuffle as some religious thought that using secular methods only was against god. Teachers at university who were not monks needed to make a living so they instituted charging students.

@lightweight
> I was involved in the planning/organising

Me too, see above. Still curious to know where you got the idea that GH were the initiators of OS/OS.

> I also briefly flirted with the idea of joining Enspiral from Ōtautahi

Snap again. Only enterprises could join, not individuals. Becoming the sysOps arm of Enspiral was one of the visions for the Meshed co-op we were failing to bootstrap at the time.

Life mode wasn't a blocker for me, but Welly-centric, at that point, yes.

@Oozenet

@strypey I got to the point of officially signing up to Enspiral (my post-Egressive consultancy) but ultimately decided it didn't make sense for the reasons described previously.

@strypey by all means ask some of the other folks for confirmation, but I clearly remember a few of them (Mix?) telling me about one of their friends from Github offering them the chance to organise a fully-funded (sponsored) open source conference in Wgtn. The main purpose was to promote (entirely proprietary) Github to open source developers.

@lightweight
> just listening to one of my faves (Ani diFranco) as I work... Seems relevant

Bang on!

@Oozenet

@lightweight
> I believe I was already using (and in contact with Ben) Loomio

Quite likely. Occupy camps began in Aotearoa in October 2011, they were over by the end of that summer. Loomio started straight afterwards. The first OS/OS wasn't until 2015, the same year the CTA was founded:

https://scribe.rip/enspiral-tales/doing-more-together-together-seeding-a-collaborative-technology-alliance-82243ea30d41

By which time the Enspiral crew had mostly come around to open source (but not software freedom). Sadly, as I say, it was too late for Chalkle and BuckyBox.

@richdecibels @Oozenet

@Oozenet
Thanks for the intriguing sketch. You've added a lot more detail than my stick figure cartoon included ; ) But I'm not seeing anything in here that conflicts with the larger point I'm making. Teaching became a source of funding, but it was not (and is not) the purpose of the university, as is commonly believed nowadays.

@lightweight

@lightweight
Just to be clear, "snap again" was a flippant way of saying "me too" again. I wasn't disputing what you said : )

@lightweight
> one of their friends from Github offering them the chance to organise a fully-funded (sponsored) open source conference in Wgtn

AFAIK the idea for a conference came first, but they certainly took GH's money, for better or for worse. I wasn't involved in all the conversations, so it may be that I just didn't know that, and I wouldn't put it past my memory to be failing me too ; )

@strypey understood :)

@strypey my understanding was that the funding offer came first, and Sylvia agreed with suggestions from other Enspiral folks that she'd be able to organise a conference to take advantage of the offer. It was a pretty good conference, although it felt very much like a bunch of proprietary sponsors trying to get open source adherents to use their software.

@strypey @lightweight my day job is at a university.
We would LOVE to focus more on research and academic freedom, but we are forced to follow the money to have funding to do same :(

@leadegroot @strypey yeah, the status quo in academia is busticated.

@strypey @lightweight @Oozenet "If Chalkle survived, they would have published their software under a free license," seems like a red flag wrt FOSS understanding. Just throwing that in there.

(Fascinating to read the thread, though!)

@jens
> seems like a red flag wrt FOSS understanding

Huh? What I'm saying, in case it wasn't clear is that they learned about open source but folded before they had a chance to apply that understanding to their own software. Why is that a red flag?

@lightweight @Oozenet

@strypey @jens @Oozenet if I may... I suspect it's because in the world, it's all about 'release early and often', and do everything out in the open. Releasing proprietary code as open source 'at some point in the future' generally signifies developers who don't 'get' at all.

@lightweight @strypey @Oozenet Yup. Not necessarily with bad intention, mind you!

@jens @strypey @Oozenet yes, and to be clear, I'm not suggesting bad intentions, I'm suggesting uninformed-by-FOSS-principles intentions.

@lightweight @strypey With science alone there is the pursuit of knowledge but there is nothing to moderate the lust for fame or power or riches above all. There is plenty of scientific fraud. Real religion is a method for moderating those things.

@Oozenet hmm. I'm afraid that doesn't ring true for me. Yes, the scientific process can lead to cults of personality around individuals who are almost worshipped for their cleverness... however, I'd argue that this is much more prevalent in a capitalist-run version of science that we see now... where a brilliant scientist attracts grant money, often from industry, and attracts others who can ride on their coattails... in my experience as a scientist the driver is curiosity, not ego. @strypey

@Oozenet I'm curious to know how you'd distinguish 'real religion' from, presumably, fake religion (?). To be up-front, I have a vanishingly low impression of theistic religion and consider them all entirely human constructs. In a sense, from my perspective, reality & fakeness of religion are entirely subjective, rendering them all equally indefensible (see the "no true Scottsman" argument). @strypey

@strypey @lightweight Indeed. Dawkins, and his followers, are hypocrits of the highest order for they are utilizing a fundamentalist position to attack a fundamentalist position.

@Oozenet I'm intrigued by that comment - I guess I'd need to understand what fundamentalist position you ascribe to Dawkins, et al. @strypey

@leadegroot
> We would LOVE to focus more on research and academic freedom, but we are forced to follow the money

Dear God, I hope it didn't seem like I was blaming academics for the managerial coup that values EFTS over knowledge quests. Never!

I've watched people close to me working as adjunct faculty. They patiently tolerate labour conditions with all the respect and job security of seasonal fruit picking, because they're passionate about their discipline. It boils my blood.

@lightweight

@lightweight @strypey How do you account for scientific fraud then?

@Oozenet I think scientific fraud is generally cause by people feeling forced to get results to research that allow them to continue to receive funding and/or the ego boost that comes from having others dependent on one's perceived value (usually in the eyes of non-scientists who control the finances). @strypey

@lightweight The fundamentalist position that there is only one way to acquire knowledge about the world and that it is science.

@Oozenet ah. I think that the issue there is that the scientific process is the *response* to intellectual dishonesty of religion (which was how worldviews were shaped prior to the advent of science/natural philosophy as a formal practice). Yes, science can be influenced by individual egos, but the process is purposefully designed to use independent verification to overcome individual bias where it occurs. It is entirely (purposefullly) unlike religion.

@lightweight @strypey I am sure the money thing is a factor. But that is an instance of not putting the quest for true knowledge as the highest priority. It is a moral failing.

@Oozenet @strypey yes, it is, I agree. In my experience, the sorts of people who gravitate towards science are, for the most part, truly motivated by solving hard problems and not by money or even glory. There are, of course, exceptions.

@lightweight You seem to have just contradicted yourself, you said it wasn't ego, but now you are saying it is?

@Oozenet what I'm saying is that external pressures - namely the need to convince non-scientists of the value of one's work to allow it to be sustainably funded, creates a power dynamic that suits certain kinds of personalities, and those personalities are, in my experience, those who're most likely to allow self-interest to overwhelm their quest for understanding.

@lightweight This presumes that that process did not exist until the enlightenment where as it has been the modus operandi of magic for ever. One (major) conceit of the enlightenment is that they invented it.

@Oozenet I'm not sure what you mean by "the modus operandi of magic"? I'm not familiar with that.

@lightweight @strypey True religion is that which is true in every way, in that it produces good humans, in that it is in accordance with the natural world, that it produces flourishing.

@Oozenet @strypey ah, I've never seen that outside of imagined worlds. I have a very negative view of 'religion' in general, and so it cannot fit with any idealised worlds I imagine. So I can only assume that we have opposite views of true religion - for me, the only true religion is no religion.

@lightweight modus operandi means method of working. Magic is all about getting accurate, repeatable results.

@Oozenet heh. I think the word I wasn't grokking was 'magic' in this context. I have difficulty equating the word 'magic' with the description 'accurate, repeatable results'. To me (off the top of my head), magic involves an unexpected occurrence, out of the ordinary given the circumstances... it's sort of the opposite of science, to me. One involves understanding, the other involves *not* understanding.

@Oozenet That's why A C Clarke famously said "sufficiently advanced tech (i.e. based on science) is indistinguishable from magic" to those observing it.

@lightweight Yeah nah. That's the cartoon version of magic that exists firstly because prodestantism distinguished itself from Catholicism by accusing the latter of doing magic, and secondly because science distinguished itself from religion by the same method. You know the old joke, what's the difference between magic and religion (or science)? Magic is what you do and religion (or science) is what I do.

@Oozenet hmm. I'm not particularly familiar with Catholic or Protestant dogma or history, because neither interest me nor proffer any truth in my world view. I'm also not an authority on Clarke, but I believe he was an author with great enthusiasm and remarkable grasp for science (if not a formal scientific education) and a keen observer of humans and an ability to communicate complex scientific concepts in widely relateable terms.

@lightweight @strypey That's so sad. True religion does exist. I understand that a lot of people feel as you do because of the way the dominant religions of our culture have traumatised so many people because of their corrupted state. But don't throw the baby out with the bathwater!

@Oozenet @strypey To my mind, the entire concept of religion is irreparably tarnished. More importantly, I don't see it providing any uniquely useful guidance or insight, making it entirely unnecessary. So, in my mind, the only true religion is non-religion. If we can agree that non-religion is consistent with your 'true religion', then we can find accord :)

@Oozenet I'll put it another way. My main issue lies with theistic religions. They require faith, and (esp in the Abrahamic traditions - see Abraham and Isaac) require *faith over reason*. In the US, where I grew up, many see blind faith (e.g. faith in a god) as a virtue. To my mind holding faith over reason is a deep character flaw. One of the reasons I moved to NZ where (based on the census trends) we became a majority irreligious nation a few years ago.

@strypey

@lightweight If you grew up in the Western world you are a child of Christianity, and especially of protestantism because our entire culture is informed by them. Capitalism is the end result of protestant theology. That's where the aforementioned prosperity gospel comes from, protestant theology that says if you prosper in this world it is only because you are one of god's chosen. So if you want to prove you are chosen you have to do well.

@Oozenet yes. I understand that. As it happens, I was raised in a Quaker family, which is precisely not Protestant (my mother rejected her German Apostolic (aka Protestant) upbringing in favour of Quakerism, which has no dogma. It doesn't even require faith, nor is it (technically) Christian.

@lightweight @strypey I admit is theoretically possible for non religion to produce the effects of what I characterise as true religion, but I cannot admit to having seen it.

@Oozenet @strypey I cannot admit to having seen compelling evidence that any (theistic) religion of which I'm aware does more good than harm in the world. Nor have I seen any evidence of (theistic) religion having any unique truth (that's not also equally apparent to those without religion).

@Oozenet @strypey when you say 'true religion', I hear 'a religion that is true, when all the others are not'. Which is, of course, what every religion says as its first tenet. So, to my mind, if every religion claims to be the only true religion, either one of them is right (but which one?) or... all of them are wrong. I tend to think that the latter is the only option.

@lightweight @strypey Your main issue is with protestantism. Not all theistic religions require faith. That is a particularly strange feature of a very few religions, including Christianity. This is protestantism defining your religious experience. The overwhelming majority of religions do not even have the concept of faith.

@Oozenet @strypey unless I'm mistaken, well more than half of the 'religious' people on earth adhere to an Abrahamic religion (Judaism, Christianity, or Islam), and faith is the greatest virtue in all of those. I wouldn't call it a rare feature among the religious.

@lightweight Nontheist Quakers then?

@Oozenet Quakerism is, in my experience, less a religion and more a support group for people exploring their faith or lack thereof. One can be a Quaker of any faith or of no faith. I don't consider myself a Quaker, mostly because most people mistake that for being a proxy for belief in a god. My lack of belief, however, is not inconsistent with me being a Quaker, mostly because I've gone to great lengths to reflect on my reasons for rejecting all of the things I was encouraged to believe.

@Oozenet @strypey to be honest, I'm not overly fussy about which hair-splitting variations of Christianity I reject. I'm equal-opportunity in that respect.

@Oozenet @strypey huh. That rolls off the tongue quite satisfyingly πŸ€” 😎

@lightweight @strypey Yeah, I totally didn't say that. Part of the problem of having religious conversations is that people hear what they already think. Then one finds oneself being asked to defend positions one did not advance.

It is most definately what every religion says, it is an unpleasant feature of monotheism, which is unavoidable if you subscribe to monotheism.

@Oozenet @strypey yes, words make these things fraught. πŸ™ƒ

@lightweight Quakers are kool.

@Oozenet many of them are. I particularly like their commitment to pacifism combined with their drive for social activism (and passive resistance). Susan B. Anthony (who is credited with winning the vote for women in the US) was a Quaker... also, the history of Philadephia (founded by William Penn, a Quaker, after whom Pennsylvania is named) is quite an interesting, if sad, story... I daresay it also might've informed Karl Popper's "Open Societies and their Enemies" & its 'Paradox of Tolerance'.

@lightweight @strypey It is a rare feature of religion based on numbers of religions not numbers of adherents.

@Oozenet @strypey heh, yes, agreed. Even so, I suspect that each of the 3000ish identified theistic religions, whether or not it values faith, it still says it's the one true religion...

@lightweight @strypey Most religions do not say they are the one true religion. Most recognise that truth can be found everywhere.

@Oozenet @strypey perhaps my sample size is too small... my impression is that indigenous 'religions' which are inseparable from culture and place are less dogmatic and more accepting, whereas the 'mind virus' religions that see to infect as many as possible (see 'missionary', 'evangelist', and 'jihad') are entirely less so.

@lightweight
In the case of Chalkle, the real value in the business was not in the software "IP". It was in the network of relationships they had with the people who participated as teachers and students. Which, from our POV is just another reason to publish it under a free license. But AFAIK they were self-trained beginner programmers. So the software was probably a big ball of gaffer tape, lacking legible comments, which they were embarrassed to put on public display.

@jens @Oozenet

@strypey could be. I only met them later. Problem was they were trying to establish themselves as leaders in the NZ FOSS community... and yet their entire software stack was proprietary. I just pointed out the dissonance in that. @jens @Oozenet

@strypey @lightweight

I think part of the problem is the focus on the education function of universities rather than the learning or curatorial functions. That distinction may seem subtle...

In an educational instutution, the teachers are the doers: they are assumed to already have knowledge, and act to impart it to essentially passive service users.

In a learning institution, everyone is learning collaboratively, but some are further along the curve than others. #1/3

@strypey @lightweight

I believe that the task of a university should be to be a community curates knowledge; of an academic, should be to learn, to discover new knowledge to be curated.

Under this model, a young person is welcome to join the community and collaborate with more experienced academics in the process of discovery, but it is their responsibility to act to acquire knowledge, not anyone else's to impart knowledge to them. #2/3

@strypey @lightweight Obviously, also, in this model, to circle back to Graeber, if a university is a community, there is no place within it for a management function or a highly paid administrative elite; rather, administrative tasks should be taken on as voluntary additional tasks by academics elected by their peers for limited periods of office – exactly as they would have been in a high medieval university. #3/3

@simon_brooke
> administrative tasks should be taken on as voluntary additional tasks by academics elected by their peers for limited periods of office – exactly as they would have been in a high medieval university

As Graeber pointed out, this was still how universities were run in modern times, right up until the neoliberal coups of the 1980s. Somebody in this thread (@Oozenet? @lightweight?) pointed out that some still run this way (where?).

@simon_brooke @strypey @lightweight

Agreed, but we need to give people the knowledge on how to learn from an early age, rather than prepping for exams. Teach people about problem solving, collaboration, fixing things, we should also be teaching about free / open source software and the culture of collaboration and sharing that comes with that.

The idea of collaboration extends across STEM and other subject areas too.

@strypey @lightweight completely destroyed and start from scratch. I am not joking.

@strypey @lightweight bring back city states

@strypey @simon_brooke the short answer would be we don’t. It would have to be self-funding from student fees but we are a couple of centuries past a point where you could do science on the cheap with just a pen and paper.

@tf @strypey Science has always been expensive and has always been part-funded by the state and by wealthy philanthropists.

But in a rational state, science (and scholarship generally) benefits the whole of society and ought to be paid for by the whole of society.

Having universities funded by students is corrosive, because it makes the students believe they are entitled to a service, and thus distorts the university into an educational rather than a learning institution (see earlier posts).

@simon_brooke @strypey any institution that is beholden to outside funding is not self governing. I didn't say funding university from student fees was a good thing, but it's the cost of self-governance. Also medieval universities were much more about theology than they were about science ... I think harkening to the middle ages as an ideal for pretty much anything is misguided.

@tf Your comments are not even wrong. Please read the rest of the thread, to get a sense of the context of the discussion.

@simon_brooke

@lightweight
> I just pointed out the dissonance in that

This is a bit like pointing out that Jefferson was a slave owner. True, but kind of beside the point, for all the reasons we've discussed in this thread.

@jens @Oozenet

@strypey If Jefferson was trying to position himself as an abolitionist, yeah, I'd agree, but I don't think that was the case. @jens @Oozenet

@strypey @lightweight
Yes, indeed. In Europe the Bologna process did a lot of damage to academic freedom and autonomy, in particular of students. Officially aimed at harmonising degrees it has led to students not being able to choose how they want to proceed in their studies any more but be burdened by excessive exams and a multitude of marks.

@indiego
> Officially aimed at harmonising degrees [the Bologna process] has led to students... burdened by excessive exams and a multitude of marks

This sounds very much like what the imposition of a "qualifications framework" did to NZ universities. I don't think formally documenting equivalence in courses is an inherently bad idea. But in both jurisdictions, it seems it was used as part of the justification for imposing managerialism on both faculty and students.

@lightweight

@lightweight
> in my mind, the only true religion is non-religion

I find writers like Ken Wilber and David Chapman helpful in squaring this circle.

Eg Wilber writes about the way modernism split apart the "Big 3"; Art, Science, and Ethics. This split opened up more room for development in each, but also resulted in problems like scientific practice divorced from ethics. The various "postmodern" turns try to solve these problems by collapsing everything into one of the Big 3.

(1/?)

@Oozenet

The post-structuralists - who we're most likely to think of as "postmodernists" - try to collapse Everything into Art. Existentialism, as a DIY approach to meaning and ethics is a good example. So is the ongoing philosophical war against the possibility of objectivity. Obviously this refactoring causes way more bugs then it fixes.

(2/?)

@Oozenet @lightweight

@lightweight, like most rationalists, tries to collapses them into Science, resulting in what Wilber calls "Flatland", where everything consists of "surfaces to be measured". The Cognitive approach to the study of mind is a good example.

The problem here is that Art and Ethics are mostly not surfaces, but "depths to be interpreted".

(3/?)

@Oozenet

Fundamentalists (religious and otherwise) try to collapse them into Ethics. But as Chapman points out, "ethical eternalism" can't work, because ethics are patterned, but nebulous:

https://meaningness.com/ethics

Neither Art nor Science can function properly as special branches of morality. Although that doesn't stop fundamentalists from trying, see "Christian Science" and "Ethical Source".

(4/?)

@Oozenet @lightweight

Wilber and Chapman both propose various ways of reintegrating the Big 3, without collapsing them into a pre-modern monolith or a postmodern philosophical Frankenstein's monster. In this model, perhaps social institutions that specialize in Ethics, without either dismissing or attempting to assimilate Art and Science, would qualify as what @Oozenet calls "true religion". Peter Rollins is a touchstone on this stuff for me. This seems relevant here:

https://soundcloud.com/peter-rollins/christianity-and-the-absurd-punk-dadaism-and-the-foolishness-of-faith

(5/5)

@lightweight

@lightweight
> I'd need to understand what fundamentalist position you ascribe to Dawkins, et al.

See the comments I just posted about the Big 3. Eg Dworkinism doesn't realize that no ontology can be grounded, thus dissolving the crucial distinction between map (Science) and territory (Reality). So attacks on science are seen as attacks on reality itself - as heresy - rather than as part of the crucifixion of claims to Ultimate Truth (TM); ie a normal and necessary part of science.

@Oozenet

@strypey @lightweight

In the UK there has been a lot of students protesting and demanding refunds over teaching at University, I got the impression that a lot of university was self study, a lecture gives you a brief on a topic but you need to do a lot of reading and deeper research to learn more.

Schools provide a prescribed curriculum, so when people start uni, they seem expect the same level of teaching. Not sure this is how I interpret things.

As with many topics, a curriculum is out of date by the time you have prepared the lesson content, I can give you a lecture on Enceladus (moon of Saturn) and send you off to read recent papers which cover what has been discovered right now, as we keep finding new things.

@zleap
> curriculum is out of date by the time you have prepared the lesson content

A curriculum is not as prescriptive as you imply here. It defines areas of knowledge or competence a student is meant to acquire from doing a course of study. It's up to teachers - and to some extent to students - to determine which content and practices need to go into lessons to achieve that.

Homeschoolers in Aotearoa have to teach to the NZ curriculum, but they can do that however they like.

@lightweight

@lightweight
In a nutshell, if Dworkinism wasn't fundamentalist, it wouldn't see religions as a threat and try to displace them with more of itself. Religions that aren't fundamentalist (Quakers, most forms of Taoism and Buddhism, Sufism, late 20th century New Age) are quite happy to co-exist with other religions, with science, and with anything else that isn't actively trying to kill their adherents and wipe them out.

@Oozenet

@strypey @lightweight It certainly wasn't the purpose then unlike now. But without it the institutions wouldn't have been there because, unlike cathedral and monastic schools they weren't funded by the Catholic church.

@Oozenet
> It certainly wasn't the purpose thenΒ unlike now

This too is one of the definitions being fought over. It's very important that those advocating for the founding purpose eventually win. Even if it means the suppression and realization of the university (to paraphrase Guy Debord).

@lightweight

@lightweight
Mark Fisher (accidentally) sums up Dworkinism well, while writing on identitarianism:

"[It] has recourse to all the infernal strategies, dark pathologies and psychological torture instruments Christianity invented, and which Nietzsche described in The Genealogy of Morals. This priesthood of bad conscience, this nest of pious guilt-mongers, is exactly what Nietzsche predicted when he said that something worse than Christianity was already on the way. Now, here it is …"

@Oozenet

@Oozenet @lightweight
> the sorts of people who gravitate towards science are, for the most part, truly motivated by solving hard problems and not by money or even glory. There are, of course, exceptions

Again, I think David Chapman's analysis can help us here. If you look at scientific practice (or universities) as a network of subcultures, this essay sums up the structural problem pretty well:

https://meaningness.com/geeks-mops-sociopaths

@lightweight
> 'mind virus' religions... seek to infect as many as possible (see 'missionary', 'evangelist', and 'jihad')

Your base observations are correct, but where you differ from @Oozenet (and me) is in conflating religion and fundamentalism. It's the same mistake as conflating socialism and totalitarianism (fundamentalism-as-a-state). It's easy to see overlaps in both cases; fundamentalisms are inherently *loud*. But there are plenty of examples that are one, but not the other.

@strypey thanks for this read, I appreciate your sharing it

@xurizaemon
> thanks for this read, I appreciate your sharing it

No worries. I stumbled across it long after the fact. In some ways I think it was more insightful with a few more years of hindsight.

@lightweight
Jefferson was positioned as a defender of human liberty.

@jens @Oozenet

@strypey arguably, Quakerism effectively promotes the science of individual faith. Just saying. @Oozenet

@strypey I agree with ou on Quakerism and other non-theist religions being less rabidly exclusive... but I'm not convinced about Dawkins' 'fundamentalism'. To be clear, the theistic religions of the world see atheists as the enemy, because if they are the start of a trend, the 'bit three' (among others), lose their power. That's existential angst for them, and they're shitting themselves as they watch their rolls drop, congregations age, clergy die off, and their coffers emptying. @Oozenet

@strypey to be fair, atheists spent most of the past 2k yrs just trying to exist. Until recently, being an 'out' atheist was a fast track to social oblivion (at best). In the US, it still makes a candidate unelectable. @Oozenet

@strypey wow, fascinating. I'm wondering if you're watching the same world I've been watching/living in. @Oozenet

@strypey @lightweight What an awesome reply! Go you.

IMHO the solution is the reintegration of all the domains. Every single thing we do contains all three of them.

@Oozenet @strypey I'm sort of intrigued by this, as I"m struggling to find the thread of it given my lack of grounding in it all, but I accept that you both find resonance. I just cannot find actual value in the entire history of the big 3. It just feels like a complete house of cards, built on a fundamental lie. Therefore containing nothing of value except relative to those already locked in to its precepts through belief or tradition.

@strypey through today's lense, the definition of 'human' was, sadly, different at the time. @jens @Oozenet

@lightweight @Oozenet
> I just cannot find actual value in the entire history of the big 3. It just feels like a complete house of cards, built on a fundamental lie

This is what the world looks like from inside Flatland, yes ; )

@strypey @Oozenet interesting... guess I need get to understand your worldview a bit better :)

@lightweight
> guess I need get to understand your worldview a bit better

If you've got time to read non-fiction in book form, Chapman recommends Robert Kegan’s 'The Evolving Self'. For a much shorter read, but necessarily incomplete, Chapman gives his somewhat punk rock interpretations of the book here:
https://vividness.live/developing-ethical-social-and-cognitive-competence

... and follows up by correcting some common misconceptions here:

https://meaningness.com/misunderstanding-stage-theory

@Oozenet

@Oozenet
> the solution is the reintegration of all the domains. Every single thing we do contains all three of them

Definitely, but how precisely? As I summarized in my rant about it, the devil is in the details ; )

@lightweight

@strypey @Oozenet ah, Ok. Reading back through this thread, I see that I've misinterpreted the 'Big 3' - I thought that was a reference to the Big 3 Abrahamic religions, not Art, Science, and Ethics. Apologies for not identifying my error sooner.

I retract my statements made under that mistaken impression. I have a lot of time for the Big 3 (cleaving to them all to varying degrees under different circumstances). To be clear, my previous statements refer to the world's main theistic religions.

@lightweight
> Quakerism effectively promotes the science of individual faith

Again, I have no doubt that this is what it looks like from inside Flatland πŸ˜† The "science of individual faith" describes the surfaces of Quaker practice that can be measured. But it doesn't account for most of what makes a Quaker a Quaker, which are "depths that must be interpreted", to quote Wilber.

@Oozenet

@lightweight
> being an 'out' atheist was a fast track to social oblivion (at best). In the US, it still makes a candidate unelectable

This is also true for Buddhists, most of whom are also atheists, and probably even Quakers. Yet you don't see them making war on Christianity the way Dworkinists do. Also Dworkinism is only one (monstrously deformed) style of rationalism. There are others that are happy to co-exist with (non-fundamentalist) religions, including Christianity.

@Oozenet

@lightweight
> I'm wondering if you're watching the same world I've been watching/living in

Depends what you mean by "world". If you mean the same objective universe, then obviously yes ; ) But to the degree that the world each of us inhabits consists of universe+mind-stuff, then definitely not : )

@Oozenet

@strypey @lightweight [off-topic] I grew up watching Dot & the Kangaroo in the UK. Now Ive managed to see the followup films (which had a good run of sequels until the last few).

However, the Dot and the Koala really stands out, not only as a satire on the dualism and frisson between towns and the outback but also the fact that she assists the outback creatures to blow up a damn, ecoterrorist style

https://yewtu.be/watch?v=TPKpvUdneDs

Is this a known film in antipodean culture? Has it a status/reputation?

@indieterminacy I'm not aware of it. @strypey

@lightweight
> through today's lense, the definition of 'human' was, sadly, different at the time

Right, and this is exactly what I'm getting at. Think back to the definition of "open" that was presented at the opening of OS/OS. By a very wooly interpretation of that very loose definition, Chalkle probably ticked all the boxes. Just as Jefferson ticked the boxes for defending the liberty of "man" in his time.

@jens @Oozenet

@lightweight
Back when I first joined the NZOSS email list, a lot of the people there didn't get software freedom as a principle (some maybe still don't) and almost nobody understood or cared about the points RMS made in 'Who Does That Server Really Serve'. It's easy to forget that a decade ago, these were radical notions, openly espoused only by neckbearded wilderpeople (guilty as charged ;)

@jens @Oozenet

@strypey @jens @Oozenet perhaps that's true... had the, however, done a search on "open source" in .nz, they'd've found us as the first hit - and we had the actual; name of their conference: Open Source Society.... They could've asked us... but didn't. I tried to help them (with uncharacteristic humility :) ) get up to speed... but they weren't that interested, because their definition of 'open source' was dictated by their Github contacts...

@strypey (see, for example: https://tom.preston-werner.com/2011/11/22/open-source-everything.html <- one of the most ethically corrupt things I've read) @jens @Oozenet

@lightweight
> I see that I've misinterpreted the 'Big 3' - I thought that was a reference to the Big 3 Abrahamic religions, not Art, Science, and Ethics.

Your response makes much more sense now :) I hope my rant makes much more sense now too.

I still don't entirely agree with your comment even as it applies to the Abrahamic Big 3, but at least I understand where you're coming from.

@Oozenet

@indieterminacy
> Is this a known film in antipodean culture?

I remember Dot and the Kangeroo from StoryTime, a serious of kids stories released as a cassette tape, with an accompanying magazine. Don't remember Dot blowing up a dam in that story though. Go Dot and co.! ;)

@lightweight

@lightweight I think you know you're not going to find me defending GH ;)

In the latest news on how GH suck even more since being acquired by MS, I keep stumbling upon pages where I can't read the text without allowing JS from a couple of GH domains. Pr*&ks.

@jens @Oozenet

@lightweight @Oozenet
This, from the second link above, is directly relevant to our discussion about fundamentalism:

"It’s common for the STEM-educated to explicitly denigrate and ignore those domains as inherently irrational. Those who say β€œI skipped stage 3,” meaning actually β€œI am emotionally and interpersonally underdeveloped,” are often smug or defiant about it. STEM education may produce a quasi-religious identification of the self with rationality: rationalism."

ie Vulgar Dworkinism

@strypey hmmm. What about the possibility of those have been immersed (sometimes against their will) in 'stage 3' for substantial proportions of their lives... and decided it was a bunch of pointless hokum? @Oozenet

@strypey @lightweight@mastodon.nzoss.nz As Rollins said in that clip, the impossible is what breaks into our world and makes us see things differently. Accordingly if we want change we must embrace the impossible. How does someone like @lightweight whose world view encompasses only science open themselves to other realities? Start imagining they exist.

1/2

@Oozenet @strypey @lightweight@mastodon.social to clarify, I don't limit my world view to science at all. Quite to the contrary - art and ethics (among other things) are a huge part of my life... I just discount organised theistic religion.

@strypey @lightweight@mastodon.nzoss.nz @lightweight Consider the ubiquity of the divine of the world. Ask yourself, if it existed how would I see it manifest? What would it look like? Where would I find it? Until one can do this, until one is willing to do this rather than remaining locked in a prison of decisions made based on past trauma, one will remain unable to expand oneself into the beauty of the endless possibilities of being. And if this is all too hard, just take a fuckload of drugs.

2/2

@lightweight@mastodon.nzoss.nz @strypey @lightweight I understand that.

Perhaps I am mistaken? I had the understanding that religion and science were for you binary opposites. It is that polarity I am addressing in that post.

@Oozenet @strypey @lightweight@mastodon.social I wouldn't characterise them as opposites, but that religion is missing key oversight that science remedies.

@lightweight @strypey
It seems to exactly sum up the "Open Source" argument, amplified by two decades of businesses having success from exploiting the community's free labour, vs the free software sentiment.

@Oozenet

@jens
> It seems to exactly sum up the "Open Source"... businesses having success from exploiting the community's free labour, vs the free software sentiment

I regularly reference that Preston-Werner piece as an uncharacteristically honest explanation of the typical corporate attitude to Free Code; 'what's your in mine, and what's mine is mine'.

It's not unique to them though. The Shared Source crowd are almost as bad.

@lightweight @Oozenet

@lightweight
> What about the possibility of those have been immersed (sometimes against their will) in 'stage 3'

Come on Dave, this reply is so out of context it's not even wrong. Maybe read the linked article before commenting on its contents?

@Oozenet

@strypey @lightweight They weren't all that radical a decade ago, people had just forgotten already.

@Oozenet

@jens
> They weren't all that radical a decade ago

That's not the impression I got from the way people routinely reacted to my advocacy for them. YMMV ;)

@lightweight @Oozenet

@lightweight
> I wouldn't characterise them as opposites, but that religion is missing key oversight that science remedies.

You mentioned the No True Scotsman fallacy earlier. Yet you keep coming back to this intensely negative definition of "religion" (theistic, organized, corrupted, pre-rational etc) and refusing to count anything it doesn't describe as "religion". This too, is a No True Scotsman, and I see no value in continuing a discussion on this basis. Please untag me.

@Oozenet

@Oozenet
> if we want change we must embrace the impossible

I don't disagree with this, but it doesn't answer the question I asked in the post you're replying to.

@strypey If you mean the question of how exactly, the second part of my reply is step one for a person who can't admit the reality of religion. There are methods for opening up to other domains, but they depend on having some realisations from the first step, so I started there.

The short answer is too scary or unknown for those locked in material realism to grok...

You're welcome to carry on trying to get Dave to look outside of Flatland, but I'm bored with it. The question that interests me is...

@Oozenet
> the solution is the reintegration of all the domains

Me:
> Definitely, but how precisely?

How do we integrate Art, Science, and Ethics...

> without collapsing them into a pre-modern monolith or a postmodern philosophical Frankenstein's monster

???

@strypey My point is precisely *not* the no true Scottsman. My point is that religion is all about subjective experience of the 'absolute', but it all has to be take on faith (and heresay - "take my word for it") but it never allows for verification or the possibility of objectivity. Science explicitly champions reproducability and verification of experience by *dis/differently interested* third parties. Also science *requires sharing*. @Oozenet

@Oozenet when you refer to "the divine of the world', I have no idea of what you mean by 'divine'. To me that word has a lot of baggage that I don't carry. @strypey @lightweight@mastodon.social

@lightweight @strypey Being immersed in a corrupted version of a thing is not being immersed in the thing.

@Oozenet @strypey hmm. I don't see how that's possible. What if every instance of the thing is built on corruption? I grew up in mafia-run New Jersey... the fact that it was corrupt didn't mean I wasn't immersed in it.

@strypey @Oozenet and apologies - I haven't had quiet time enough to read/listen to all the influences you cited.

@strypey @lightweight @Oozenet Oh, no, people got taken in by the open source movement's permissive licenses long before then, it's true. But two decades ago, folk were still debating the relative merits with some interest.

A decade ago, ruby and node had normalised permissive licenses, and copyleft seemed more radical than two decades ago.

It's not me disagreeing with the state of things then, it's me stating that this was a regression.

@lightweight @strypey I'm not sure what you mean by the second bit but the first bit is you continuing to assert that there is no good possible in religion. Flatland again.

@Oozenet @strypey I haven't had time to read the reference describing Flatland, so I guess you're probably right. And yes, I don't see anything good possible in *theistic* religion (as I've taken pains to specify as often as I can remember).

@lightweight Once again, that claim is only valid for a tiny set of religions. Most human religions are centred on doing. As Lynne Hume put it Doing Is Knowing. Christianity is peculiar in its theology of words being prevalent over deeds. Don't make a bad experience in one instance put you off all the instances. Migrate to a new instance and see how things are there.

@Oozenet unfortunately, I don't feel any need for religion. My experience might well be only a subset of religions (almost all theistic), but those religions encompass most of the people in the world. Most of the things in the world that concern me require that huge numbers of people change what they believe and do. Rather than taking L Ron Hubbard's approach in changing people's beliefs (and getting rich: "start a religion!"), I'd rather change them without resorting to religion.

@lightweight@mastodon.nzoss.nz @lightweight Outlining the boundaries of ignorance is the beginning of learning.

@Oozenet I'm not sure what you're suggesting. I'm not sure you've given me insight into your definition of 'divine'.

@lightweight The fact that most of the people in the world are doing a dodgy thing is the best reason to look at other non dodgy things. Your bias is revealed in your language "Resorting to religion". Using the stereotype of a religious charlatan. As if the only options are charlatans or the one true way that is your way.

@Oozenet I can only judge (theistic) religion based on what I can glean from personal experience or conversations or history or statistics. At this stage, I can only take your recommendation for 'religion' (theistic?) alongside all the similarly well sourced arguments against it. And I'm not suggesting 'one true way', just that I'm confident that one way - theistic religion - is *not* a true way. That leaves myriad other options open.

@lightweight Once you realise what you don't know you have discovered an opportunity for learning.

@Oozenet there's a bewildering array of things I don't know. I tend to pursue understanding based on my personal values (which undergo constant tweaks) and curiosity. Religion is one thing, in general, on which I've spent a lot of time in my life, and I've learnt lots of things I don't need to know and which I feel have no value to me. Sort of like, say, the rules of Cricket.

@lightweight It does. So try one rather than keeping saying you are just not going to try any.

@Oozenet I haven't yet got any examples of what you mean by 'non-theistic' religions. I also still don't know what you mean by 'divine' when you talk about 'ubiquity of the divine'... to me that implicitly assumes a deity.

@lightweight Dude, your answers in this conversation demonstrate you don't know enough about religion to support your assertion that theistic religion is bogus. You are basing your position off a tiny data set and calling your results conclusive. This is bad science.

Did you read the many fine articles posted throughout this thread?

@lightweight Instead of demanding I answer your every question in a way that is in accord with your ill formed presumptions and proves you right, go out and find your own answers.

Maybe start with this question, what is religion? I don't want you to answer me here just answer it for yourself. In doing so you might learn something.

@Oozenet heh heh. Look, forget about it. I'm simply not interested in theistic religion as I've stated. My conclusion is based on as much evidence as is available (none), so I see no need for further investigation. I have not read all of the things you've posted, as I have had other commitments. You keep suggesting that religion is a necessary thing, despite my points about theistic religion and you haven't ever done anything to differentiate what you're talking about from what I'm describing.

@Oozenet I've tried discussing this all in good faith, making clear my existing positions and attempting to explain the rationale for them. I've also explained that I don't, in general, see value in religion & specifically none in theistic religion as there's zero evidence for any of them & leaders are mostly charlatans. I don't feel, in my 50+ years, that I've suffered from the lack of religion in my life. I don't have a gap that needs filling, thus my interest is very limited.

@jens
>.A decade ago, ruby and node had normalised permissive licenses, and copyleft seemed more radical than two decades ago

Me:
> Back when I first joined the NZOSS email list, a lot of the people there didn't get software freedom as a principle

@lightweight might remember differently, but we're talking closer to 2 decades ago ; )

@jens
> people got taken in by the open source movement's permissive licenses

Copyleft vs. non-copyleft is not what we're talking about. Even RMS accepts that there's a time and place for LGPL (limited copyleft) and Apache 2.0 (non-copyleft). We're talking about whether free licensing of code is a nice-to-have (Open Source) vs. an ethical necessity, like seatbelts in cars (software freedom).

@lightweight

@strypey to be fair, LGPL only has relevance in a world dominated by proprietary software. As such, it's an uncomfortable compromise. @jens

@strypey I reject the position that everything can be divided into A or S or E. That's an inherently materialist move. Choosing ethics instead of religion is too limiting i.e. there is way more to religion than just ethics. But those parts are filled with woo. Chockers with it. That woo is the thing that demonstrates the fundamental unity of all things, and accordingly illuminates the understanding that attempts to separate things out into categories are just nonsense.

1/10

@Oozenet
> I reject the position that everything can be divided into A or S or E

OK, so your chosen postmodern turn is to backpedal to the pre-modern. Good luck with that. I can't see it working, for all the reasons I've already laid out, inspired by Wilber's analysis in A Brief History of Everything and Chapman in various pages on Meaningness, such as:

https://metarationality.com/stem-fluidity-bridge

But who knows? Maybe they're wrong and I've been led astray? Maybe the Great Leap Backwards is exactly what we need?

@strypey Ethical eternalism is just monotheism leaving it's stain on our society's thinking. People stick with it because (a) they honestly can't imagine any other possibility, or, (b) they can't cope with paradoxes. In order to begin to apprehend the totality it is necessary to accept paradoxes, by which I mean accept that paradoxes exist and that they don't need to be solved. Both conditions can be true. At the same time. Even if they are contradictory.

2/10

@strypey
As Chapman says in that piece you mentioned, ethics is not a reasonable system. That people think it is has happened as a result of our culture having a religion whose theology is based on what one says rather than what one does. i.e. I can be a complete ratbag but if I only say some words I am kool. Anyone with more than two brain cells can see in a moment the results such a theology will bring. We are living that reality. Real ethics(TM) are a lived ethic.

3/10

@strypey
I think it's super naive and self referential of Rollins to say that God dying is the most absurd thing. Gods have been dying for ever, deicide (both permanent and rejunvenatory), and a huge variety of things theothanatological are richly peppered through the religions of the world. The only thing that is being blown apart here is the limitations of Christianity's conception of the divine. Someone needs a bit more wisdom and knowledge.

4/10

@strypey But I take his point that it is only by interrogating our limits, by trying to see what is unseen, to know what is unknown that we progress to a more complete view of reality. That process has a name, magic. Why do you think that a corporatist religion like Christianity has worked so hard to revile magic? It is because it is the tool that best allows us to see the fractures in our reality tunnels.

5/10

@strypey Magic recognises the unity of all categories, and demonstrates this wonderfully in lived ways. If one employs magical techniques without regard to art and science and ethics, and everything else, the results will be... undesirable. One cannot pay lip service to things when doing magic because reality knows what is in one's heart. One has to walk the walk. Real magic (TM) is a lived magic.

6/10

@strypey A return to a conception of what you call a pre modern monolith is totally the way to go. Things are in reality integrated. Reality knows no categories. As one of my favorite authors puts it, specialisation is for insects. Each of us needs to be a renaissance person. Each of us needs to be a magical person. Each of us needs to recognise that we are magical people.

7/10

@strypey Channeling people into disciplines that restrict their understandings to one domain is the nativity of a fractured society. Some will say we most usefully utilise people by having them specialise on what they do best. I say we lock them into blinders by doing so. Real knowledge(TM) i a lived knowledge.

8/10

@strypey So instead of listening to philosophers, or theologians, or professors without reference to the actual lives those people are living, we should only take regard of those who not only speak things that make sense to us, but live in ways that are not one giant hypocritical indictment of what they say.

9/10

@strypey We have to escape from the theological trap of if I say I am sorry Jesus will forgive me and instead only practice true living(TM) where all the things we do are each in accord with those inseparable separated things. Where each action exemplifies science and art and ethics and everything else. Because that is how reality is.

10/10

@Oozenet
> In order to begin to apprehend the totality it is necessary to accept paradoxes, by which I mean accept that paradoxes exist and that they don't need to be solved. Both conditions can be true. At the same time. Even if they are contradictory

This sounds like what Chapman would call a "meta-systematic" insight, or what Wilber would call "trans-rational" (as opposed to the pre-rational position that there's no value in anything being internally consistent as long as it's "right").

@Oozenet
> ethics is not a reasonable system

I suspect Chapman would say that we can and we ought to reason about ethics, but doing so will not produce universal ethical truths in the way that reasoning about, say, mathematics can. Maybe this is what you meant, or orthogonal to where you're going with this, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

@Oozenet
> it's super naive and self referential of Rollins to say that God dying is the most absurd thing

This seems unfair to Rollins. I'd have to listen again to be sure, but I'm pretty sure he meant *a* god dying is *a* most absurd thing. Not that "the" (Christian) God dying is *the* most absurd thing possible.

(Remembering we're using "absurd" here in the special Camusian technical sense of the word introduced in the podcast)

If he did mean the latter, than of course I agree ; )

@Oozenet
> Channeling people into disciplines that restrict their understandings to one domain is the nativity of a fractured society

This sounds to me like a stage 3 attitude to systemization. It's analogous to a stage 4 attitude to meta-systemization; it's inherent in stage 4 to see everything as defined and discrete, just as it's inherent in stage 3 to see everything as fuzzy and unified. Stage 5, as I understand it, appreciates both disciplines *and* transcending them (cross- disciplinary).

@lightweight restating your No True Scotsman in different terms is not going to convince me of anything. Honestly, I'm done with this for now. *Please* untag me.

(I would Mute Conversation, but sadly this Mutes everything hanging off the OP, and there are other branches of this thread I'm finding more productive)

@Oozenet

Sure. Later.

(OK I can't help myself)

@lightweight
> I'm simply not interested in theistic religion as I've stated. My conclusion is based on as much evidence as is available (none), so I see no need for further investigation.

There's no point in me looking through that telescope Mr Galileo. I know that stars aren't real, they're just lamps placed on the firmament by God. Stop trying to waste my time with these fanciful notions that have no basis in my extensive biblical understanding.

@Oozenet

@strypey I thought you wanted to be dropped from this discussion. Goose vs. gander?

@lightweight @strypey And what does copyleft try to ensure, if not software freedom? I think we are exactly talking about that.

@jens
> And what does copyleft try to ensure, if not software freedom?

As I said:

> We're talking about whether free licensing of code is a nice-to-have (Open Source) vs. an ethical necessity, like seatbelts in cars (software freedom).

You're not wrong, you're just off-topic.

@lightweight

@strypey @lightweight @Oozenet

I think that without a lot of costly work an organisation pivoting to FOSS can be doomed to failure.
https://www.theregister.com/2021/09/06/livecode_interview/

RunRev (live code) started as an explicitly propriatory organisation, did a kick-starter to become Open then walked it back.

Ideally you want it baked in from the beginning. Otherwise there's always a risk the code will never be open.

@strypey @lightweight @Oozenet

I also tend to be skeptical of Opencore promises to open up its locked up code if it ever goes bust.

Because as pointed out elsewhere, it's a clash of what defines Freedom and Open. What's the developers and Organisation's definition of those terms.

Yes there's a common idea, but how is it internalised by folks? What do they believe those concepts are?

@strypey We can and should reason about ethics, but we aren't going to get all the way with reason. Some times things are ethically good because they feel right.

I address this in more detail in my talk ethics in software development from Linuxconfau 2019 https://archive.org/details/lca2019-Im_sorry_Dave_I_cant_do_that_Ethics_in_Software_Development

@Oozenet
> We can and should reason about ethics, but we aren't going to get all the way with reason

Agreed, but why? Why isn't reason sufficient?

Because it's whole purpose is to discover consistent, permanent truths (eg 1+2=3, if Bob is a man, AND all men are bald, THEN Bob is bald). Ethics OTOH have patterns, which we can use reason as one tool to discover, but they are ultimately nebulous and situational, not consistent and permanent (paraphrasing Chapman again).

@strypey As someone who stupidly believed the academy when it spoke the cross disciplinary talk and did cross disciplinary degrees I for one welcome our stage five overlords.

@Oozenet
> As someone who stupidly believed the academy when it spoke the cross disciplinary talk

Give them time. You're talking about a stage 4 institution, heavily dominated in the last few decades by stage 3 pseudo-pomo (trying collapse Science and Ethics into Art), trying to wiggle its way towards stage 5 insights, like amphibians trying to move permanently onto land.

(1/2)

@Oozenet
> I for one welcome our stage five overlords.

This reminds me of people who dismiss Agile dev. Then when you quiz them on what they didn't like about it, it turns out their managers were just rebranding their waterfall methods using Agile terms. Plus maybe chucking in the odd Agile practice, in totally unsuitable ways that made their workflow worse than waterfall, and certainly in no way Agile.

(2/2)

@lightweight
Like I said, I couldn't help myself ;)

While I'm here, it occurs to me you seem to have jumped to a conclusion that @Oozenet is asking you to get religion. All I think we're asking you to do is accept the possibilities that;

a) there might be religions that are of value to their adherents, even if not to you personally

b) There could, in theory, be some value for you too

If your own worldview is not a religion (and a fundamentalist one at that) this should be trivial for you.

@strypey Not according to what you just wrote, but that's okay. Do your thing. Let's not tag me in again, mkay? @lightweight

@jens
> Not according to what you just wrote

It's helpful to remember that the context of a post implicitly includes all the previous posts in the thread. Replying to posts out of context is like trying to teach a pig to sing, it's a waste of your time and annoys the pig ; )

@lightweight

@strypey as ever, I suspect most of the issues here are variations in our definitions of words. I think I made very clear that my issues were with theistic religion. I don't discount non-theistic religions, even though I don't normally think of them as 'religions'. Again, the definitions issue. What I'd need from you both to think that a non-theistic religion was worth studying is *what it is* (never got any examples) and *why you think it's worth investigation*. @Oozenet

@strypey Otherwise, I'm a keen student of foreign cultures (at least the bits that aren't tightly tied to a deity. Those I'm not generally interested in). @Oozenet

@onepict
I don't disagree with any of this, but it's all out of context. We're talking about people who started their business with no real knowledge of free licensing philosophy or practice.

For the record, even starting out publishing all code under free licenses doesn't prevent proprietary relicensing (see MongoDB, ShareTribe, and others) .

@lightweight @Oozenet

@strypey in the context of 'theistic' religion: re a) yes, I think religion can be of use to some people the same way morphine can be... it can make their life bearable in a serious crisis, but it leaves them with long term addiction and alters their priorities in unhealthful ways if/when they make it through the crisis. As for b), I'm prepared to forego any of those theoretical benefits. As for non-thesistic religions, you'll need to give me named examples. Are you talking Buddhism?
@Oozenet

Also for the record...

@onepict
> without a lot of costly work an organisation pivoting to FOSS can be doomed to failure

You can't to pivot to free licensing, it's not a revenue model. In fact the whole concept of a "pivot" is bunkum. It's a PR euphemism for failing slowly instead of quick, as Michael O Church points out in a blog piece I posted recently.

@lightweight @Oozenet

@lightweight
> I think religion can be of use to some people the same way morphine can be...

... and back to the No True Scotsman. If it's not negative and harmful, it's not religion.

What I find interesting is that Vulgar Dworkinism meets this definition. It's certainly a...

> long term addiction and alters their priorities in unhealthful ways

It's also socially harmful, eg proselytizing the kind of Islamophobia that created the conditions for the Christchurch mosque attacks).

@Oozenet

@lightweight
> As for non-thesistic religions, you'll need to give me named examples

I gave a number of example earlier on, including most forms of Taoism and Buddhism, and New Age Monism. Also Sufism, and most forms of Hinduism (although not offshoots like Krishna Consciousness which is theistic). You actually gave examples yourself, indigenous forms of spirituality, but then you excluded them from being "religion" because they don't fit the criteria of your No True Scotsman.

@Oozenet

@lightweight @strypey @Oozenet i guess what i would say is the mystic and ethical golden threads common to theistic (e.g. judaism, Christianity and Islam) and cosmic (e.g. hinduism, taoism and Buddhism) religions offer value to the student irrespective of whether the doctrine and dogma are adhered to, let alone the practices and bureaucracy.

"Religion is like a finger pointing to the moon; don't concentrate on the finger, or you will miss all the heavenly glory." Buddha, Bruce Lee et al"

@anilmc
"Religion is like a finger pointing to the moon; don't concentrate on the finger,Β Β or you will miss all the heavenly glory."

I'm pretty sure this is paraphrasing Lao Tzu, but like you say, it doesn't matter. What matters is whether one finds it insightful or not.

@lightweight @Oozenet

@strypey I think you're being pretty liberal in your invocation of 'no true Scotsman'. The whole point of religion is that it exists if someone says it does because how do we prove belief? I've explained the difference between science and religion and you already know it. To me if a 'religion' doesn't include a component of faith it's not a religion, it's, perhaps, a culture or tradition. @Oozenet

@anilmc @strypey I dunno. As a non-believer (and non-adherent to any formal non-theistic religion) I can feel awe. I just don't go the extra step that most others do of ascribing a cause or motivation. @Oozenet

@lightweight @strypey This is the clearest statement yet of your one true scotsman. You are saying if no faith concept then not religion. I am saying (once again) that this is just not true.

I bet money you haven't taken the time to consider my suggestion from the other day that you look more into definitions of religion. At this point your ignorance of a topic you choose to keep debating just makes interacting with you tedious.

@Oozenet heh heh. You were talking about the 'divine' and most definitions of religion I see involve a component of faith and worship. But yes, I agree. There's nothing to be gained from continuing this discussion. I guess not enough is missing from my own understanding of things for me to feel the need to investigate your definition, which effectively includes just about everything. I gather that no matter how irreligious I aim to be, I'm inherently steeped in religion. Right? @strypey

@lightweight @strypey Seriously? This is verging on delusional.

@Oozenet If you use a word differently (with a different definition) than understood by most people, you wind up involved in misunderstandings and unproductive discussion. Especially if you're enigmatic about the nuances of your definition and require people to read ancillary documents to grasp them, when you could just explain them in situ. But yeah, whatever. I'm completely, seriously delusional. I guess this is how religious wars generally start. But my energy to argue is sapped. @strypey

@lightweight
> The whole point of religion is that it exists if someone says it does because how do we prove belief?

We agree that Science is confined in its knowledge quest to that which is consistly true and can be proved (eg 1+2=3, the Moon orbits the Earth). But can everything that's true be proved?

Can we prove that the Mona Lisa is a masterpiece? Can we prove that distributing proprietary software is unethical? Can we even prove that 1=1 and that 0+1=1?

(1/3)

@strypey I thought you were done with this? πŸ€”

@lightweight I don't think those things can be proven. At least not using scientific methods. Which means there are whole areas of truth which are simply outside the purview of Science. So there is a place for other knowledge quests that are equally valid, but qualitatively different.

Why does this matter? Because Flatland (scientism) produces horrors, like the use of MOLE with racist biases in legal judgements, and drone strikes on "terrorists" that kill entire villages.

(2/3)

@strypey heh - ok, if we're persisting with this: I would never claim that everything can or should be known. In some contexts, the only rule is our conscience. I love many people, I cry when I hear beautiful poetry or music or stories. I experience awe and wonder. I accept some things are unknowable, and sometimes value them for that. 1/2

@strypey I do, however, see as a leap to far the idea that religion is a thing that we either need nor should desire. That is, of course, based on my definition of religion. I consider religion as an uninteresting fiction that is treated by many as if it was fact. That, I'm afraid, I resent. 2/2

@lightweight Flatland has produced industrial society, the ecocidal regime that currently governs humanity. Our survival - as a civilization and potentially as a species - depends on enough people of good conscience escaping from Flatland. If there's a single article you take the time to read, out of all the links shared throughout this discussion, make it this one:

https://metarationality.com/stem-fluidity-bridge

(3/3)

@strypey I'm afraid I don't share you familiarity with Flatland, however, I gather some of its properties. Never fear - I too, believe strongly that science requires other things - in the midst of our recent discussion, I also participated in one in which I championed a 'liberal arts' education, over the increasingly specialised, vocationally focused educational priorities in our society. I'd never advocate for pure science at the expense of other things.

@strypey I think people should be exposed to religion, if for no other reason that they can both gain an insight into its history, and work hard to avoid its influence. In my life, its presence is unwelcome and, I strongly believe, unnecessary.

@strypey I feel like you're thinking I'm throwing out the baby with the bathwater here (in all honesty, I've long forgot what point of mine or your triggered this discussion and I haven't got the intestinal fortitude to review it). I'm not saying 'there's nothing beyond scientific method', or that 'everything can be scienced', or that there's no value in the irrational. I'm just saying that blind faith should never be valued over evidence. And I think religious faith is pointless & unnecessary.

@strypey @lightweight @Oozenet I think in general we've utterly failed to communicate our values beyond our spheres of influence.

So it's no wonder the Organision had limited knowledge of FOSS. We've also got a greater issue of communicating from our more technical concepts to legislators and outside our expertise in academia. Tech should not be considered magic, which allows for concepts to be hyped and misrepresented.

@onepict
> we've utterly failed to communicate our values beyond our spheres of influence. So it's no wonder the Organision had limited knowledge of FOSS

To be fair to us, we're talking about an enterprise that started a decade ago, and folded 5 years later. I think we've significantly expanded our sphere of influence in that time.

But I agree that there's a lot more work to do. Do you have any thoughts on where current efforts need to be more focused,

@lightweight @Oozenet

@jens
> And what does copyleft try to ensure, if not software freedom?

The Linux kernel is under a copyleft license (GPL), but this hasn't ensured the software freedom of everyone who uses Linux. In many cases this copyleft hasn't even been enforced. Nothing much would change in practice if Linux was relicensed under LGPL or Apache 2.0.

(1/2)

@lightweight

@strypey I don't agree with those assertions. There're lots of examples of where weakly open source licensed software has been co-opted and killed in ways that Linux's nemeses haven't managed to do. Even Microsoft has only been able to try to co-opt Linux by entirely enclosing it in Windows, like a diamond in a husk of soft coal. I think matters because it sets an expectation that even the most callous & shameless SV technocrat realises they'll be called out for infringing. @jens

@jens
But imagine all programmers, as a profession, understanding the ethical necessity of making sure all uses of computing respect human rights and civil liberties. Then it wouldn't matter whether software was released under a copyleft license or a pushover license or even a Public Domain license.

This is why I say copyleft vs. non-copyleft is not the key difference between Open Source and software freedom.

(2/2)

@lightweight

@strypey I've long thought that we need to have developers who have more life experience (outside coding) than many do. I do think, in general, however, that devs tend to want to do what's right... problem is, they need to survive, so they take jobs working for 'entrepreneurs' (with varying levels of technical cred) who, sadly, override those natural inclinations and exploiting the dev talent, mostly for their own benefit.

@jens

@strypey I think Wilber is wrong. Just like Jean Gebser, from whom Wilber got a whole bunch of his ideas, which is a shame as I like some bits of both Wilber's and Gebser's work.

Sadly their work is relentlessly omnidirectional. They are trapped in a Newtonian conception of space time rather than a quantum one. They presume everyone is going through the same stages at the same time and that features of earlier stages that don't work are never seen again in later stages.

1/3

@strypey Which is odd as Wilbur does this himself, by incorporating ideas from Sri Aurubindo and Jean Piaget that are exemplars of things he says have disappeared from our current stage e.g. enchantment.

If we go strictly by his Pre/Trans Fallacy we would have to disregard the entire body of Jung's work and there would be no evidence of, or at least lessening evidence of, magic in the present day. Which is to put it politely, laughable.

2/3

@strypey It seems to me to be yet another example of the contemporary tendency to only be able to imagine things are going onwards and upwards for ever. Things just don't unfold like that, as our current circumstances amply demonstrate.

3/3 May the gods move the admins to up the character limit here!

@Oozenet
> May the gods move the admins to up the character limit here!

There are Mastodon instances whose admins have removed the limit, but it's unlikely to happen on mastodon.social. John Mastodon is a big fan of micro-posting.

FWIW Mastodon is one of the few fediverse platforms that have a default character limit. I recommend kicking the tires on an instance on Friendica or CalcKey.

@Oozenet OK let's backtrack a bit.

> the position that everything can be divided into A or S or E [is] an inherently materialist move

On this, we agree. It's a stage 4 perspective. Just as it's a stage 3 perspective that these things are inseparable *and* that there are ways of doing them that are "right". "Right" in both a factual and moral sense, since stage 3 is unable to fully distinguish between the two. Most religious fundamentalisms are good examples of this stage 3 POV.

(1/?)

@Oozenet
You can tell a stage 4 POV is beyond the stage 3 POV in a holarchy, because it "transcends and includes" it (to quote Wilber's favourite saying). Stage 4 thinking has a place for everything stage 3 perceives (including Art, Science, and Ethics), but it also perceives things about them that stage 3 thinking can't. For example, utilitarianism; the idea that in some situations there are no morally "right" choices, and the best thing you can do is try to do what's less wrong.

(2/?)

@Oozenet ugh, that's a pretty massive misrepresentation of my world view. All I can tell you is that I disagree with both your definition of, and assertions about the necessity for (or ubiquity of), religion (and 'the divine'). On the basis of us holding those incompatible definitions, it's impossible to have a useful conversation and achieve accord.
@strypey

@strypey @lightweight I think Mike left Massey because he got a prestigious research gig at the school of governance (not ecology) at Vic where he thought he'd be more able to influence government policy.

What's has happened is that those kinds of jobs that dont bring in income from teaching and aren't attached to external research funding are now deemed an unaffordable luxury given how fucked universities look right now - Vic are looking at axing about 250 staff to save money...

@sy
seems to me the issues are a) the funding model of universities is broken because the gov't's priorities are broken, b) unis make decisions based on future funding prospects rather than academic integrity, pandering to commercial interests (see all the corporate chairs around the place), & c) the gov't doesn't currently value people who can provide oversight on difficult issues our democracy faces like climate change and other unrestrained excesses of capitalism.

@strypey

@Oozenet
Of course the problem with a stage 4 approach to ethics is that it still presumes - like stage 3 - that ethics are universal and eternal. So you get rationalists trying to reason their way to the "correct" ethical position, and once they think they've found it, the ends clearly justify the means (the USSR and pre-Cultural Revolution Maoist China are good examples). Rationalist morality fetishises pattern, while ignoring the nebulous nature of ethics as they apply in the world.

(3/?)

@lightweight @strypey

Yeah, I'd agree with that analysis. And a lot of it comes down to the government seeing unis as a job factory, not something that meaningfully contributes to any public good.

Sadly, if they can't work out a deal with the school teachers, whose conditions and pay are worse, there's not much chance of universities getting anything. And if we get a NAct government later this year it's only getting worse 😟

@sy yup. I agree with your assessment. @strypey

@Oozenet
A stage 5 approach to ethics, as I understand it, sees them as systematic (ie patterned) but *not* eternal (ie nebulous).

Now, let's bring this back to the relationship between the Big 3. In order to get beyond a fundamentalist belief that there is one "right" morality (whether God-given or discoverable by reason), we need to be able to reason about ethics (stage 4) *and* accept that this reasoning cannot arrive at universal truth (stage 5).

(4/?)

@Oozenet
I can't see how collapsing the Big 3 into a stage 3 monolith allows for that.

They key phrase here is "transcend and include". The proof of whether a deeper stage of consciousness is really that, rather an egoistic rejection of some "inferior" Other, is whether it fully includes and has a place for everything in all the shallower stages. A perspective is only Stage 5 if and when it includes everything in stages 1-4.

(5/?)

Religion has gone both ways, even within the same religion. The Muslims and the Christians both had eras where they believed the book was all that should be studies because it's the only true message of God, or believing that the world is a creation of God and so understanding it helps understand God. The Arabs were some of the top scholars on earth in the relatively short time that they were academics, their works restored the wisdom of antiquity in the west. Then they changed their opinion and stopped looking at the world.
replies
1
announces
0
likes
1

@Oozenet
It's worth noting that even before Brief History, Wilber was pointing out some of the consequences of both individuals and societies progressing unevenly through the stages (or "worldviews" as he calls them). I found his model of psychological disorders as fragments of self stuck on lower rungs of the developmental ladder very insightful.

So I'm not sure where you get the idea that...

> They presume everyone is going through the same stages at the same time

Vulgar Wilberists?

(6/?)

@Oozenet
Chapman's earlier writing on stage theory OTOH sometimes seems to imply that earlier stages are inferior to the ones that build on them. But he points out and corrects this error in his later writing on the subject, eg:

https://meaningness.com/misunderstanding-stage-theory

(7/7)

@lightweight
> I thought you were done with this?

I am now ; ) Although I welcome you to use your right of reply, I honestly think you'll gain more from reading the article linked in the third post of that set.

@lightweight
> There're lots of examples of where weakly open source licensed software has been co-opted and killed in ways that Linux's nemeses haven't managed to do

You're going to have to make a case for why copyleft is the critical difference here, as opposed to Linux being a special case because it's a kernel, and a widely used one. I doubt the *BSD kernels are under copyleft licenses and they haven't been co-opted or killed either. But I can think of copylefted software that has.

@jens

@lightweight
> devs tend to want to do what's right... problem is, they need to survive

This is an excuse, and a poor one, as @Oozenet makes plain during the Q&A at the end of this talk:

https://archive.org/details/lca2019-Im_sorry_Dave_I_cant_do_that_Ethics_in_Software_Development

If all programmers, as a profession, refused to work on unethical tech, saying you'll fire any one dev for not doing it would be a pretty hollow threat.

@jens

@strypey @lightweight

and AUT, Otago and now Waikato have announced academic cuts. Massey are likely to follow soon.

This isn't a big AG issue so much as the tertiary sector really struggling.

@sy
> This isn't a big AG issue so much as the tertiary sector really struggling

... and being captured by managerialism, so the first thing admins look to cut is faculty jobs, and the last thing they cut is marketing budgets and admin jobs ;)

I remember a few years ago Otago was firing staff across the humanities, while still forking out thousands on ads, and engaging in a massive capital works program that could have been delayed or halted with less destructive results.

@lightweight

@sj_zero
> The Arabs were some of the top scholars on earth

Indeed, it's worth noting that the word "algorithm" is named after an Arabic scholar. "Our" number system, and even the concept of 0, came West from India via the Middle East.

> Then [Arabs] changed their opinion and stopped looking at the world

That might have had something to do with the Crusades ; ) Sadly their modern equivalent (US invading and destabilizing Middle East nations) has had a similar effect.

@lightweight @Oozenet

@strypey
We agree that the real solution is to make proprietary software a non-starter by having developers refuse to work on it... problem is that there're always people who will do the work. I've known a few of them. @Oozenet @jens

@strypey @Oozenet will watch the talk with interest... @jens

@lightweight @strypey

Don't give up so easy πŸ˜€

What you are describing here is the fact that there is a specialist jargon in a professional field. I am using this specialist language and you are not. Yet you are insisting that I am wrong. Trust me, I'm a doctor: I have a PhD in religion.

1/2

@Oozenet I haven't said you're wrong. I just said that you're using the word to convey breadth and connotations that most people don't. I similarly bristle when people assert that 'atheist' means 'believing there is no god' rather than (the more accurate) 'lack of belief in any god'. Or that 'atheism' is a religion itself. We all have our crosses to bear πŸ˜‚ (can't escape the cultural baggage of Christianity). @strypey

@lightweight @strypey If you think our failure to reach accord is about definitions then let's explore one. Let's see if we can understand one word to have an agreed meaning. Let's make that word theism. Please explain to me what you mean by theism.

2/2

@Oozenet theism, to me, is the belief in conscious independent actors we have faith exists though we cannot see them, but to whom we attribute acts, effects, and motives. Typically, their (supposed) existence is 'revealed' to individuals through some unusual, awe inspiring experience. The cause of that experience is invariably attributed to a 'god' of some sort (typically the locally prevalent one) and that attribution becomes formative (and is never questioned subsequently). @strypey

@Oozenet I say "actors" because there are a number of mutually exclusive actors believe to exist and worshipped fervently by various groups around the world. Some by many more than others (it's distribution is akin to languages spoken in the world). @strypey

@lightweight @strypey @jens We must first be able to imagine the possible, then conceive of how to make it possible, then render it possible. Do not give up hope that it can be done by dwelling on those who have not yet begun this journey.

@Oozenet my aim is to make it unacceptable for gov'ts to buy proprietary software, and unacceptable for them to fund the development of software that is not made available to posterity, e.g. via copyleft licensing (I had a lot of input into NZ's NZ Government Open Access License - Software Extension - https://www.data.govt.nz/toolkit/policies/nzgoal/nzgoal-se/ and made sure it included Copyleft licensing (which originally were excluded). @strypey @jens

@lightweight
> problem is that there're always people who will do the work

Any statement that contains "always" (or "never") is a generalisation. As my Dad likes to say, with a twinkle in his eye, 'generalisations are always false' ; )

There remains people in the world even today who will do the work to support slavery (human traffickers etc). But that hasn't stopped us denormalising it to the point where its illegal in most jurisdictions.

@Oozenet @jens

@lightweight @strypey OK, this is a great example.

Your definition of atheist is erroneous. It means a person who denies that there is a god(s). The etymology is theo =god proceeded by "a" which is a negative prefix.

The second condition you describe, lack of belief, is agnosticism. Its etymology is gnosis = knowledge proceeded by "a" which is a negative prefix.

@Oozenet I accept that you might be a recognised scholar of greek, but my understanding was that a 'theist' was someone who asserted a belief in a god. An a-theist, therefore did not assert such a belief. An agnostic, in my understanding was one who 'didn't know', and refused to acknowledge a belief or non-belief (i.e. hedging their bets). That's what my classics studying mates at uni assured me. @strypey

@lightweight
> will watch the talk with interest...

Excellent. I watched it this morning, good fun and well argued.

@Oozenet @jens

@Oozenet seems to me that an *anti-theist* is someone who asserts the positive belief that there is no god. I see that position as untenable as that of a theist. There is no evidence to support either position. @strypey

@strypey as I say, it's a goal I share with you, but I'm under no illusions as to how difficult it will be, and how much inertia we're fighting. @Oozenet @jens

@lightweight @strypey There's a lot of baggage there man...

Theism simply means a belief in a god(s). The stuff about faith is another story entirely.

I'd love to hear more about what you mean when you say "conscious independent actors".

@Oozenet it sounds to me like you're agreeing with me regarding the word theist, and therefore atheist (with the negating prefix)... I'm pretty sure you've adopted what I consider to be the 'common' (but mistaken) usage of atheist and agnostic. An a-theist makes no claim about the non-existence of god, merely that they have no belief in one. I need to get to the bottom of that, because if I'm mistaken I want to understand why. @strypey

@Oozenet I'd appreciate it if you could 'unpack' that invocation of baggage - what mistaken impressions am I carrying? @strypey

@Oozenet I'm not sure what more I can add. People who are theists appear to hold the belief that there exists another entity (or entities), with agency, who have influence (dominion?) over them and usually (but perhaps not always) everything else. Those people tend to attribute things that they don't understand or which inspire a sense of awe to that entity/those entities. They also tend to both assert such entities are unknowable, but then anthropomophise the hell out of them. @strypey

@lightweight @strypey Your mates were wrong mate.

@Oozenet yet you've just said "Theism simply means a belief in a god(s)." Adding an 'a' in front of a noun negates it. Seems to me the the negation means 'lack of belief' not 'no god'. @strypey

@lightweight @strypey You are doing the thing you accused me of i.e. relying on erroneous, idiosyncratic definitions.

@Oozenet I think your perception of what's idiosyncratic might be mistaken... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism @strypey

@Oozenet at the very least it seems that the disagreements about the positive vs. negative statements have long been a bone of contention. My personal position is that claiming 'there is/are no god/s' is just as flawed as claiming, without evidence, that there is. As such, I claim I have no belief in any god or gods, but I also stipulate that I think the likelihood that any of the god(s) believed in by any of the world's religions exists is vanishingly small. And if one does, which? @strypey

@lightweight Going off on a bit of a tangent...

> I had a lot of input into NZ's NZ Government Open Access License - Software Extension

I remember this. Is anyone tracking what code has been released following this advice, and under which license(s)?

@Oozenet @jens

@strypey dunno. For what it's worth, we (the community of interested individuals) used Loomio to collaboratively develop a policy proposal rather than being forced to submit independent (and therefore largely uncoordinated) policy proposals. It was heralded as a new, better way to develop policy ideas. 'Far as I know, it's never been replicated. @Oozenet @jens

@lightweight @strypey I will see your encyclopedia & raise you another https://www.britannica.com/topic/atheism

"atheism, in general, the critique and denial of metaphysical beliefs in God or spiritual beings. As such it is usually distinguished from theism, which affirms the reality of the divine and often seeks to demonstrate its existence. Atheism is also distinguished from agnosticism which leaves open the question whether there is a god or not, professing to find the questions unanswered or unanswerable."

@Oozenet ok. In that case, by your definition, I'm an agnostic. Given my preference, I like the definition of atheist I put forward (and which has many adherents) better. But for the purposes of this discussion, we'll use your definitions. I'm a non-believer, with the caveats mentioned, namely the vanishingly small likelihood of any of the gods worshipped by people actually being legit. I think all gods are completely human constructs, i.e. wishful fiction. @strypey

@lightweight
> I'm under no illusions as to how difficult it will be, and how much inertia we're fighting

Agreed. It's like drug law reform in that respect. But TBH if you went back in time and told 2003 Strypey what's been accomplished worldwide in both areas over the last 20 years, he'd be surprised and impressed. Back then I presumed these were multi-generational cathedral-building projects and I didn't expect to see any significant progress in my lifetime.

@Oozenet @jens

@lightweight @strypey This is not a programming language with a defined exactitude that can't be varied. This is English usage which is a totally dodgy festival of crazy twists and turns.

@Oozenet yes, I both love and hate human language. I love dialect, but I also love it more when the people using it realise they're doing so, i.e. do it knowingly. I'm also a huge fan of open standards, and think we need them for languages, too (I know a lot of people who've tried to learn English. They find it almost impossible due to its 'crazy twists & turns', some of which are beyond absurd). Imprecision is something we can also remedy by agreeing on standards. @strypey

@strypey the fact we managed to get software patents banned here in Aotearoa NZ (see https://softwarepatents.org.nz for the story if you're not aware of it) gives me hope. Unfortunately, the real reason we won that one was because the minister in charge of the bill was caught out acting unethically, and that gave us the leverage to get them to rebuff the relentless lobbying of the big tech and legal players. To win, we need to catch politicians out for being corrupt. @Oozenet @jens

@lightweight @strypey "we have faith exists though we cannot see them" This is the dogma of a very narrow set of religions which has impressed on you so completely that you seem unable to imagine religion without it.

"that attribution becomes formative (and is never questioned subsequently)" This is dogma not theism. I reckon there's some real personal disappointment inducing experiences behind this expression.

@Oozenet it would be fair to say that religion - by my definition - has not provided me with any positive impressions. I must admit I deeply enjoyed Fry and Hitchens wiping the floor with the UK Cardinal and the Catholic MP when debating the moot "is Catholicism a force for good in the world" from the contrary position. @strypey

@Oozenet isn't revelation core to most religions? @strypey

@lightweight @strypey "They also tend to both assert such entities are unknowable, but then anthropomophise the hell out of them." anthropomorphizing them is an effort to to represent ineffable things.

@Oozenet hmm. Seems entirely self-defeating, then, no? I think it's a way of people wanting to exploit believers by a) telling them their god is too complicated for them to comprehend, but at the same time, b) no to complicated that the self-appointed intermediary can't 'interpret' the god(s)'s intentions and use them to control the rest of the believers... @strypey

@lightweight
Since you guys won't untag me, I guess if you can't beat 'em join 'em?

> "Theism simply means a belief in a god(s)." Adding an 'a' in front of a noun negates it.

Yes. Negates, not neutralizes.

A similar example. Anarchy is not just ambivalent about the legitimacy of rulership (archy), it utterly rejects it. It's a positive belief in the social value of not having rulers, not a wishy-washy attitude that the value of rulership can't be proven either way.

@Oozenet

@lightweight @strypey Many people you would call theists don't believe in gods at all. Pratchett explains this best. β€œMost witches don’t believe in gods. They know that the gods exist, of course. They even deal with them occasionally. But they don’t believe in them. They know them too well. It would be like believing in the postman.”

@Oozenet hmm. I like the theory of Pratchett but am less enamoured of the reality. I never got into his discworld stuff... but loved his 'Long Earth' series with Stephen Baxter... that quote seems a bit glib and/or poetic rather than serious. @strypey

@strypey actually, strictly speaking, I believe it does neutralise it. Consider: moral (having morals), amoral (morally neutral), and immoral (without morals - i.e. negative). @Oozenet

@lightweight
> we (the community of interested individuals) used Loomio to collaboratively develop a policy proposal

Yes, I remember this too.

https://www.loomio.com/d/M3aoPNcb/will-there-be-any-further-discussion-on-nzgoal-se-using-this-loomio-group-

> Far as I know, it's never been replicated

Not that I know of, which is a shame. I've often thought about what an Aotearoa equivalent of g0v would look like. Maybe something a few keen technologists could talk to people like this about?

https://trustdemocracy.nz/

@Oozenet @jens

@lightweight
> I believe it does neutralise it. Consider: moral (having morals), amoral (morally neutral)

I guess this is where arguing from etymology gets us πŸ˜…

@Oozenet

@strypey @lightweight To be fair, I untagged you and then ou came back in. This is what happens when you can't help yourself. :)

@Oozenet
> I untagged you and then ou came back in. This is what happens when you can't help yourself. :)

Fair cop πŸ˜‚

@lightweight

@lightweight @strypey Hahahahaha! You are acting as if English is consistent. Oh my sweet summer child.

@Oozenet You're being rather patronising. no idea how old you are, but I suspect I've got at least a decade on @strypey, possibly more...

@lightweight @strypey "exploit believers" Baggage again.

Why is it self defeating to try to express the ineffable?

@Oozenet that's my experience of religion - both experienced and observed. @strypey

@Oozenet mostly because you can't have it both ways without being a hypocrite. @strypey

@lightweight @strypey Just because religion is invented doesn't mean it isn't real. We invented capitalism and that's real.

@Oozenet are you arguing that capitalism is real? It's a shared fiction, just like religion, which then affects people's behaviours and expectations even though it doesn't have a more tangible existence. Both are built on lies and false assumptions. @strypey

@lightweight @strypey No. It is 100% serious. I do not believe in the gods because I know them. I have had experiences of them.

@Oozenet then we have different concepts of proof ('knowledge' implies that your threshold of certainty has been surpassed). I'm entirely incredulous and unconvinced. @strypey

@Oozenet I suggested no such thing. I recognised language is wooly as all get out, and the variability in people's experience of language is vast. Even so, as with software, open standards have huge value in that they allow a reference, they allow documentation, and they provide something tangible about which to have negotiation. @strypey

@lightweight @Oozenet @strypey ...what? That is precisely what "atheist" means, the belief in the non-existence of God (or gods). Which makes it a belief, and furthermore, one that cannot be proven or disproven, c.f. Bertrand Russell's teapot in space.

@jonathanharker Look, I'm quite positive that you'll find both definitions of atheist. According to a good friend from my liberal arts degree, who was a classics major and fluent in both modern and classical Greek assures me that 'atheist' means "without belief in a god'. Just consider all the other word from Greek beginning with 'a'. A recently mentioned example: moral vs. amoral vs. immoral. @Oozenet @strypey

@jonathanharker If people have adopted a more proscriptive definition, I'd say that it suited their (theistic) argument to try to tar atheists with the same brush. Antitheist is one who believes there is no god. @Oozenet @strypey

@lightweight @Oozenet @strypey yes, you are. Most self-described atheists I've ever met and debated turn out to be agnostics when backed into a corner. And no, you can't just invent your own definition of "atheist" and then call yourself one, not if you want anyone to take you seriously anyway :)

@jonathanharker Heh - diving in, guns a-blazing, eh. I'm saying I think you're wrong. @Oozenet @strypey

@strypey @lightweight @Oozenet @jens

Fuck all.

I've even got some little shit right now telling me I can't use a govt funded API coz 'IP'... They can't provide me a copy of the procurement contract that actually states that though so the default 'Govt owns it' position should take precedence... I'm not a happy camper at the moment.

@lightweight @strypey I'm being playful.

@Oozenet this medium makes it difficult to determine that. @strypey

@Oozenet ah... the meme of proof, eh. From the hallowed Simpsons even (I'm a fan). That's a paddlin'. @jonathanharker @strypey

@lightweight @strypey How is it hypocritical to try to express the ineffable?

@Oozenet because the same people who assert "God is so advanced He is beyond our comprehension (it's always a He in this case)" trying to make themselves His elite interpreters, but then turn around and say "but yeah, He gets really pissed at you if you don't do what I tell He told me to tell you". That's the exploitation part. @strypey

@lightweight @strypey You really want to start on ontology? OK, If things are defined as real they are real in their consequences (paraphrasing The Thomas theorem) Capitalism has consequences. Religion has consequences.

@Oozenet ok - I accept that. As I said, I think all the theistic religions I know of and capitalism are based on fundamental fictions and capricious assumptions that are taken as 'truth' by their adherents. Take, for example, 'Trickle-Down Economics'. @strypey

@carl_klitscher time we reminded the gov't of its own policy. And its broad failure to adhere to it. @strypey @Oozenet @jens

@lightweight @strypey Presume good intent.

@Oozenet just looking at your LCA 2019 talk. Fwiw, I also presented at the conference, on in education. @strypey

@Oozenet I believe I was actually present at your talk, although I'm rewatching it to refresh my memory... @strypey

I just want to ask everyone in this discussion to take a breath, and note that by their very nature, such discussions probe into the way we frame the world. This can easily create a feeling that other people are poking their philosophical fingers into our sense of self (something nobody welcomes, at least not without consent). So it's very important to do our best to be friendly and respectful in the way we word our posts.

(This reminder is for me too)

@jonathanharker
@lightweight @Oozenet

Imagine you're a passenger in a car, and you're trying to point out a hazard in the driver's blind spot. You're not deriding the quality of their sense of sight, let alone questioning their intelligence. You're not trying to say it's something they *can't* see. Just that it's something they're *not* seeing.

They respond;

'What do you mean there's a thing I can't see? There are no invisible things, so if I can't see it, it's not there.'

(1/3)

@lightweight @Oozenet @jonathanharker

@lightweight
You ask them to do a shoulder check, but they claim they're too busy with all the important work of driving to look for something they've logically established can't be there. The truck is still bearing down on you, and still in their blind spot.

What do you do now?

(2/3)

@Oozenet @jonathanharker

@strypey I don't play the game 😎 (As a cyclist I experience this regularly in a very real, terrifying way. I am, however, provably there.) @Oozenet @jonathanharker

20 years ago I started debating people who called themselves "libertarians" (I call them propertarians, but that's another story). They told me environmentalism was "anti-science" and climate change was nonsense. The eco-crisis was in their blind spot, and despite their romanticization of logic and reason, they could not accept that "hippies" could be right about climate science. Some of them still think like this.

This is the danger of rationalism.

(3/3)

@lightweight @Oozenet @jonathanharker

@strypey I tend to share your disdain... and also recently characterised libertarians as members of the 'rentier' class. In my experience, a sincere rationalist (or scientist) would be delighted to have a blind spot pointed out. @Oozenet @jonathanharker

@strypey Just to be clear, I don't (and never would) that rationalism is the only way to experience the world. My life is rife with arational activities (I'm the lead singer in a band, for goodness sake. I dance. I draw, write, and build physical things all the time, with many aesthetic considerations.) @Oozenet @jonathanharker

@lightweight @Oozenet @strypey Bertrand Russell covered this very distinction a hundred years ago in his Introduction to Western Philosophy, which you should read because it's very good, so you do you but I'm going with Bert. Silly hill to die on, really.

@jonathanharker apparently Russell described himself as an atheist or an agnostic depending on to whom he was talking. Interestingly, researching him has pointed me to this book which includes a chapter on him by Christopher Hitchens: 'The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever' which is, I think, quite relevant. πŸ€” @Oozenet @strypey

@strypey
Is there a 3/3 or is that a typo?

@lightweight @jonathanharker

@Oozenet taking time out to meditate on the guitar πŸ˜‰ @strypey @jonathanharker

@lightweight @jonathanharker @strypey Christopher Hitchens. This explains a lot.

@Oozenet there're plenty of reasons not to like or admire him, but there was a lot he wasn't wrong about. He was quite a talented communicator, with a very good grasp of language. @jonathanharker @strypey

@Oozenet @lightweight @strypey "I see that position as untenable as that of a theist. There is no evidence to support either position." sounds to me pretty much like a textbook definition of agnosticism, no?

@nwp My understanding is that 'gnost' (as in gnosticism) refers to knowledge: knowing or not knowing - which, for scientists, hinges on evidence. It isn't talking about belief. Theism is about *belief* in a god or gods. Atheism is the lack of belief. Neither hinges on evidence. I think we need scholar of classical Greek. I'm not sure if you'd call yourself one, @Oozenet? @strypey

To clarify: @Oozenet - is being a scholar of classical Greek a string in your bow? Don't want to tread on anyone's toes. My training only encompassed Latin (and German). @nwp @strypey

@lightweight @Oozenet @jonathanharker @strypey Seems to me to occupy a similar position to Ayn Rand, in that a bunch of people admire each and find them deeply insightful - but when you start to interrogate either group you find they've Got It All Wrong.

@nwp I haven't received that memo... Hitchens was certainly right about Mother Theresa. @Oozenet @jonathanharker @strypey

sheeeeiiiiiitttt

@lightweight @nwp @strypey Gnosticism was a late first century (mostly) Christian sect. You would have loved them as they prioritized personal experience over traditional religious authority.

@Oozenet yes, that rings a bell. @nwp @strypey

@lightweight @Oozenet @jonathanharker @strypey That may or may not put him one up on Rand?

@lightweight @nwp @strypey Mine included Latin, Greek, French, German, Hebrew and Middle Egyptian.

@Oozenet good to know. Do you want to weigh in on my assertion of the difference between "knowing" and "believing" (in a god/s) - between gnos and theos? And relevant burdens of proof (or lack thereof)? @nwp @strypey

@lightweight @nwp @strypey Nope. Already spoke my piece on that.

@Oozenet I don't think your statements on that addressed the knowing vs. believing dichotomy. I continue to believe I'm correct in this, and I'm guessing you won't let that stand πŸ™ƒ @nwp @strypey

@lightweight @Oozenet @strypey As I understand it, atheism is more than just a lack of belief, it is active disbelief i.e. an assertion that there is no deity. And agnostcism not just not knowing, but recognition that it is unknowable. And while it may or may not be strictly correct, I'd probably call myself an agnostic atheist.

@nwp to be honest, I tried Atlas Shrugged many years ago but couldn't get into at all, never got past the second chapter. @Oozenet @jonathanharker @strypey

@lightweight @nwp @strypey But I will recommend to you this book.

Book cover: Contested concepts in the study of religion by Chryssides

@Oozenet sadly, the only book our Ōtautahi public library has with Mr Chryssides name on it is "Jehovah's Witnesses: A New Introduction". And I'm afraid, I won't be reserving that one. πŸ˜‚ (a title search also failed) @nwp @strypey

Can’t imagine a #FOSS dude reading Atlas Shrugged of all things, ;-)

@lightweight @nwp @strypey You can learn a LOT about belief by reading about the JWs.

@Oozenet heh heh - indeed. Dogged as. Working from home, as I have lo these past 8 years, I have had more than a few opportunities to have first person demonstrations. They are in very very deep. I tend to invite them in for a cuppa and a biccie, and then ask some very hard questions. @nwp @strypey

@strypey
I''d add Kopimism in there.
@lightweight @Oozenet

@vik I'm quite fascinatined by Jainism, myself. Seems like a very hard, incredibly empathetic existence, full of regret. @strypey @Oozenet

@vik this one seems worth another look. @strypey @Oozenet

@vik perhaps now is a good time to mention that I'm an ordained minister of the Universal Life Church of Modesto California... @strypey @Oozenet

@lightweight
> the theistic religions I know ofΒ Β and capitalism are based on fundamental fictions and capricious

Notice you've snuck in, without stating it, that only material things are "real"? That's pretty much the definition of Flatland. Only surfaces that can be measured are "real". Depths that can't be measured, but must be interpreted, are "fiction". This is an example of...

> assumptions that are taken as 'truth' by their adherents

Or do you think you can prove it?

@Oozenet

@lightweight @nwp @Oozenet @strypey Classical Greek doesn't really come into it, other than a mildly interesting etymological diversion; atheism in modern philosophy is the belief that God(s) does not exist.

@jonathanharker my strong impression is that it's not nearly as clear cut, definition-wise, as you assert. @nwp @Oozenet @strypey

@lightweight @jonathanharker @nwp @strypey "You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means."

@lightweight
Hitchens, like the rest of the high priests of Scientism (Dworkins etc), was deeply bigoted against people from Muslim cultures and countries, and an ardent defender of US exceptionalism. I lost all respect for him when he defended the unprovoked invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq by the US-led coalition. As Rob Newman pointed out, Nazis were hung at Nuremberg for waging an aggressive war. Bush and Blair are war criminals, and Hitchens was a Goebbels.

@nwp @Oozenet @jonathanharker

@lightweight A good palate cleanser after reading Hitchen is 'I Don't Believe in Atheists', by Chris Hedges.

@nwp @Oozenet @jonathanharker

@lightweight
> time we reminded the gov't of its own policy. And its broad failure to adhere to it

This is where an institution like the EFF comes into its own, with real lawyers and stuff. @thomasbeagle ran TechLiberty and has done work with the NZ Council of Civil Liberties, which involves lawyers and stuff. Maybe he has some ideas about getting govt entities to follow the advice in NZGOAL-SE?

@carl_klitscher @Oozenet @jens

@lightweight
> a sincere rationalist (or scientist) would be delighted to have a blind spot pointed out

They were absolutely sincere. Like any good cult member, they always had a counter-argument ready to go. They were just wrong, about 2 important things. One was climate change etc. The other was that *believing* in being perfectly rational was the same thing as *being* perfectly rational, and that this belief inoculated them against all bias and irrationality.

@Oozenet @jonathanharker

@Oozenet
Hmm. From inside FediLab it looks like a bug is causing some of my replies to be posted as new posts. When I switch to Semaphore, post #3 is right where it's meant to be. Weird. Anyway it's here:

https://mastodon.nzoss.nz/@strypey/110496237760148648

@lightweight @jonathanharker

@nwp
> There is no evidence to support either position." sounds to me pretty much like a textbook definition of agnosticism

It's worth noting that both @Oozenet and I implicitly accepted @lightweight's working definition of atheist as 'not theist' earlier in the discussion. For example, when I gave a list of "atheist" religions. That doesn't mean it's not useful to move to more formal definitions, to take the discussion deeper. But we are moving the goalposts a bit by doing so.

@jonathanharker

@strypey @lightweight @jonathanharker I've been having a buggey fediverse day too. When I click on the latest reply in that thread in my notifications it takes me to the very first toot in the thread.

@strypey @lightweight @Oozenet well that's been very much on @smallcircles and my mind.

I've had years at the grass roots with small business, and other sizes. I feel there's some reputational damage to undo for FOSS. I remember one time when I explained to the new IT manager for a client what I did, said Open Source and his tone of voice pretty much told he he felt I was a crackpot.

@strypey @lightweight @Oozenet @smallcircles but I managed to turn that attitude around, mainly by being helpful and working within the mixed environment.

But I feel that, campaigns by FSFE, NGI Zero are a start to improving our coms with people.

There's often a challenge with ensuring people do care about transparency and accountability. But there's a heck of a clue when you look at where big tech lobbies.

@strypey @lightweight @Oozenet @smallcircles So it's important to cultivate political centers at all levels.

We've seen this in Scotland with the Scottish Greens and their close relationship with Org Scotland. But this isn't an overnight thing and it's a never ending thing.

Businesses tend to build with the tools they know. So the question we need to ask is, what does the next generation build with?

@lightweight
> the only book our Ōtautahi public library has with Mr Chryssides name on it

Do you have access to the Canterbury uni library? Or does the public library have an interloan agreement with them? That seems like a more promising way of getting access to pointy-headed philosophy on dead trees ; )

@Oozenet @nwp

@arinbasu1
> Can’t imagine a dude reading Atlas Shrugged of all things, ;-)

Perhaps you're cracking a joke, but for those who don't know, Eric Raymond, one of the founders of the Open Source Initiative is a Rand loving propertarian. I've come across more people of this persuasion in the Free Code world than anywhere else outside of their own organizations. They're not so bad when compared to neo-reactionaries like Peter Thiel.

@jonathanharker @lightweight @nwp @Oozenet

@strypey I've got my beefs with Hedges. I'm not a big fan. @nwp @Oozenet @jonathanharker

@nwp @lightweight @strypey That doesn't parse. You are not sure if there is a god but you deny the existence of a god?

@Oozenet @lightweight @strypey I know. I guess it's an attempt to convey the "recognise unknowability but choose not to believe" from a possible "recognise unknowability but have faith" to people who are likely to share @lightweight's interpretation of the terms.

@nwp @lightweight @strypey By recognize unknowability do you mean you recognize that you don't know about it or that you think it is genuinely unknowable by anyone?

@Oozenet
> By recognize unknowability do you mean you recognize that you don't know about it or that you think it is genuinely unknowable by anyone?

The latter, if we define "unknowable" as "unfalsifiable" or "unprovable". It can be known by direct experience but, by definition, this (inter)subjective knowledge, and definitely belongs on the "depths that must be interpreted" side of the graph ; )

@nwp @lightweight

@Oozenet @lightweight @strypey But I also might sometimes/otherwise fall into @jonathanharker's "claim to be atheist but will agree it's unknowable if you push me", and want to pre-empt that.

@lightweight
> I'm an ordained minister of the Universal Life Church of Modesto California

I'm a heretic in the Church of the Subgenius. Praise Bob! ; )

@vik @Oozenet

@strypey I won't disagree with you. I will, however, say, that few great people will turn out to be not all you hoped they would be. They'll all be flawed, despite being great. We can appreciate the greatness while acknowledging the flaws. @nwp @Oozenet @jonathanharker

@strypey Not familiar with that one... but it's bedtime. @vik @Oozenet

@vik
> I''d add Kopimism in there

I know nothing about this. Any good texts you can recommend as an intro?

I remember learning it existed from a series of public lectures I went to at Otago about 'ANZAC as a state cult', by visiting theology scholar Dr Christopher Hartney'. If he's in the 'verse, I bet he'd love to wade into this discussion ; )

@lightweight @Oozenet

@onepict
> his tone of voice pretty much told he he felt I was a crackpot

I'm a long way from the centre of the bell curve on almost any measure you care to name, so this is a standard reaction for me. To the degree that when people I've just met treat me with respect as a domain expert, my first reaction is to assume they're taking the piss ;)

@lightweight @Oozenet @smallcircles

@onepict
> We've seen this in Scotland with the Scottish Greens and their close relationship with Org Scotland

We don't really have an equivalent of Org Scotland in Aotearoa. It's something @lightweight and I (and others) have been talking about for a while. I've been wondering recently whether an org that campaigns here, in Oz, and elsewhere in the Pacific, might be a more effective way to go.

@Oozenet @smallcircles

@lightweight
> We can appreciate the greatness while acknowledging the flaws

True. But in this case, I think the reactionary political ideology and the fundamentalist form of atheism are different branches of a common philosophical root. Otherwise it's a damn coincidence they all went that way.

@nwp @Oozenet @jonathanharker

@lightweight
> Not familiar with that one

Oh dude, you're missing out. The Church of the Subgenius makes the cult of the Flying Spaghetti Monster look like a deadly dull dinner party. Isn't that right @onan ?

@vik @Oozenet

@strypey @lightweight @Oozenet @smallcircles Sorry misread that. But yes, it's a common problem. I've had my professionalism called into question by jumped up photocopier salesmen because of my use of Linux. Also for IPv6.

@onepict
The problem with being of above-average intelligence, *and* having had the privilege of a functional formal education, is that you're smarter than most people. But they will assume you're not as smart as them because you're different ; )

@lightweight @Oozenet @smallcircles

@strypey @arinbasu1@social.arinbasu.online @lightweight @nwp @Oozenet one of Adam Curtis's almost hallucinatory films goes into the whole Rand and Silicon Valley connection, which is interesting

@jonathanharker
I have huge respect for Curtis' work, his series on islamism and the origins of Al Qaeda is a masterpiece. But I have some major issues with some of the conclusions drawn in those California Ideology films. Like Michael Moore, Curtis sometimes oversimplifies complex social phenomena to make a point. Sometimes to the extent of throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

@lightweight @nwp @Oozenet

@lightweight
I'm a practising Kopimist though I'm getting better at it.
@strypey @Oozenet

@strypey
Oh gawd (sic), another religious war. πŸ˜ƒ

@lightweight @onan @vik @Oozenet

@fitheach
For Bob and orgly! πŸ˜‚

@lightweight @onan @vik @Oozenet

@strypey @lightweight @nwp @Oozenet what do you think of his latest, Russia Traumazone? Haven't watched all of it yet... quite a slog

@jonathanharker
> what do you think of his latest, Russia Traumazone?

I'll check it out, thanks for the tip. The last film of his I saw was Hypernormalization, which was excellent.

@lightweight @nwp @Oozenet

Excellent point! Mine was more of a β€œtongue-in-cheek” comment to Dave’s, but as you wrote about ESR, spot on. Your comment reminded me to go back and read David Berry’s β€œCopy, Rip, Burn …” book where he writes about the role of Rand et al on the emergence of FLOSS.

@arinbasu1
> David Berry’s β€œCopy, Rip, Burn …”

Can't remember if I read this or not. It was definitely on my reading list during my time with CC ANZ.

@jonathanharker @lightweight @nwp @Oozenet

@lightweight @strypey @nwp @jonathanharker So much no. This is the rock star programmer problem. Demand people be good people as a first priority. There are loads of them, who are also great at their work.They just get shouldered aside by the not good ones.

@Oozenet ideally, yes... but also the definition of "good" has changed markedly in our lifetime. I cringe now at books/music/movies/tv, etc. from my youth that I enjoyed with an apparently clear conscience at the time. There're almost no heroes left. Gandhi? Nope. Mother Theresa? Nope. Sinatra? No. Whoopie? Don't think so, MLK? etc., etc.
@strypey @nwp @jonathanharker

@lightweight @strypey @nwp @jonathanharker Stop looking outside yourself for heroes. Cultivate your own heroism.

@Oozenet that's my daily priority, for my whānau's benefit if no one else's. I'm deeply fortunate that I have ancestors I still think I can admire. Some people don't, which puts them off to a difficult start. @strypey @nwp @jonathanharker

@lightweight @strypey @nwp @jonathanharker I felt this when I watched Mad Men. So much misogyny. So much shitty men getting promoted above women because they were good at one thing but shit human beings.

@lightweight @strypey @nwp @jonathanharker Don't cringe. That's growth. Go you!

@lightweight
> There're almost no heroes left

David Graeber wrote a great article positing that superheroes (and by extension most heroes in pop culture) are inherently reactionary:

https://thenewinquiry.com/super-position/

As always, he makes a good argument, and in the particular examples he picks, he's right. But this is one case where I disagree with his overall thesis.

(1/?)

@Oozenet @nwp @jonathanharker

@lightweight
To me, the heroes journey is about navigating the path to adulthood, and opening up the full creative possibilities of adult life. If superheroes are reactive more than genuinely creative with their power to act, it's for the same reason teenagers are. Luke Skywalker can't begin to create the new Jedi Academy until he completes the process of development - particularly the escape from dualism - we see played out in the OG Star Wars trilogy.

(2/?)

@Oozenet @nwp @jonathanharker

@lightweight
Coming back to your disillusionment with progressive heroes...

> Gandhi? Nope. Mother Theresa? Nope. Sinatra? No. Whoopie? Don't think so, MLK?

I suspect that, like Graeber, you're throwing out baby with bathwater here too. We've discussed the flaws of various historical actors that are heroes for some. But as you said of Hitchens, the flaws don't cancel out any genuine good they've done or contributed to.

(3/?)

@Oozenet @nwp @jonathanharker

@lightweight
The idea that the flawed does cancel the good is - as Mark Fisher (RIP) pointed out in his critique of the Vampire's Castle - wrong and dangerous.

These heroes too were on a journey and, being human, it's not surprising that they made some mistakes along the way while trying to do good. We can learn from both.

(4/4)

@Oozenet @nwp @jonathanharker

@strypey that's sorta the point I was trying to make. @Oozenet @nwp @jonathanharker