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What is it to be a Human?


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55 minutes ago, Silent Mistwalker said:

Because there isn't enough landmass to support billions of humans. The population isn't sustainable and the planet hasn't been making more land, it's  been reducing it. Higher sea levels.

Yes possibly but it's the developed land that has the value in today's modern world.  I think there is some fine land mass available in the South America's including Central America and in Africa that could make fine farms and people could have a far better life in some areas with towns and schools and farms.  Here in America, we have a lot of desert and Mountain areas too.  I know undeveloped land isn't worth much because my Mom inherited undeveloped land in the desert outside of Palm Springs and received only several thousand dollars for it which isn't much at all.  Now if it were developed, she would have gotten a whole lot more.  She did not want to develop it, she sold it to a developer for next to nothing though.  

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3 minutes ago, Chroma Starlight said:

Venus and Mars may be woman and man, but Mercury is human (lu mah an).

I don't understand. Who created these symbols, why do you believe them, and why does Mercury have such importance?

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1 minute ago, Luna Bliss said:

I don't understand. Who created these symbols, why do you believe them, and why does Mercury have such importance?

These all seem like really worthy things to contemplate.

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34 minutes ago, FairreLilette said:

Yes possibly but it's the developed land that has the value in today's modern world.  I think there is some fine land mass available in the South America's including Central America and in Africa that could make fine farms and people could have a far better life in some areas with towns and schools and farms.  Here in America, we have a lot of desert and Mountain areas too.  I know undeveloped land isn't worth much because my Mom inherited undeveloped land in the desert outside of Palm Springs and received only several thousand dollars for it which isn't much at all.  Now if it were developed, she would have gotten a whole lot more.  She did not want to develop it, she sold it to a developer for next to nothing though.  

 

Oh so we're going to destroy more rainforests to accommodate more humans. Like they've been doing for decades. You seem to be more concerned with human invented values than with saving mankind and the planet. Maybe we should "save the planet" first and then worry about saving mankind. Otherwise, humans won't have a habitable planet to live on.

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47 minutes ago, Silent Mistwalker said:

 

Oh so we're going to destroy more rainforests to accommodate more humans. Like they've been doing for decades. You seem to be more concerned with human invented values than with saving mankind and the planet. Maybe we should "save the planet" first and then worry about saving mankind. Otherwise, humans won't have a habitable planet to live on.

No, I am not unconcerned about the planet.  With all that is going on, it is very concerning and concerns me.  If land were to be developed in Africa or in South or Central America to make farms, it would have to be done very carefully.  One thing the world doesn't have enough of is water.  If there aren't adequate water systems, the water breeds bacterium, disease and death.  Profiteers have pillaged the forests and it wasn't to make farms to feed people, but just for profits.  However, as far as over-population, I do not actually disagree with your assessment.  But, Africa and other places do have resources to help human life that are not being appropriately handled.  EDIT:  The rain forests are being damaged for logging and cattle ranching.  I think the world should be vegan anyhow, plus I never said use any rain forrest for farming.  There are other areas aside from the rain forests but if it all, it should proceed with extreme caution and carefully. 

Africa, a continent endowed with immense natural and human resources as well as great cultural, ecological and economic diversity, remains underdeveloped. The majority of the countries classified by the UN as least developed are in Africa.

Edited by FairreLilette
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18 hours ago, Chroma Starlight said:

It's funny, I had this odd encounter the other week. There was a "thump" sound against the garden-level sliding glass door. The cat had just run into the glass at full speed not realizing in the moment that it was there, and the baby bird just beyond, who turned around and saw sudden death leaping at them was just sitting there.

Nothing had physically harmed them, but they were just agog, like a thousand-mile stare. Their parents hovered at the periphery, daring not come closer to me or the cat just inside  the glass. All the other babies had fled, but this one thought they were dead, and I don't think they stuck around for the bit where they die painfully. They were like "nope, time to flee this body." If this were a cartoon, there'd be a little star circling around their head as they look goofily dazed. 
 


I recall that I had seen it before, once, as a kid growing up living on a farm estate in Pennsylvania, I came across a snake in the process of eating a toad next to the barn, and the toad was just as placid as could be. You'd think they'd be struggling for their life, but no. It seems it's something that happens around shock and trauma, maybe a touch of mercy for life that is devoured.

I've rescued a few chicks and baby squirrels found in my patio over the years. Judging from the lethargy and the odd eye movements, I'd say your chick is either dehydrated, injured or sick (in order of likelihood). Your anthropomorphism is romantic, but probably wrong. The little thing simply hasn't the energy to be alert.

I recently watched a humming bird get "trapped" in my emergency backup son's skylit garage, unable to understand that the wall of windows would never lead to freedom. We knew it couldn't hover forever and would eventually wear itself out and hopefully descend safely to the garage floor where we could intervene. It did. It put up no resistance to my moving it into a platter of sugar water. After a few minutes of rest, we could see it's tiny tongue dart out and lap up water and fuel. Within 15 minutes it darted off into the sunset. The entire affair reminded me of my own youth, when I'd run into the house after playing hard and beg my mother for some Horlick's malted milk tablets, advertised as giving "instant energy".

As for the frog calmly being eaten by the snake, that's probably the freeze response, which humans also exhibit. Physiology is often mistaken for spirituality, until you learn about physiology.

17 hours ago, Doris Johnsky said:

Chroma, what you said reminds me of the D.H Lawrence quote:

"I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself."

Which is the crux of what makes humans different.  Humans would fight and struggle to survive whereas the bird, or frog in your example would not. 

I imagine D.H Lawrence was a city kid and probably unaware of torpor (or possibly the natural world in general). When I was young, we pulled the top off one of our bush mounted chicadee houses on a cold winter night and found a couple sleeping inside who made not so much as a peep out as we peeped in. By mid-day they were flitting about our feeder, gorging themselves on the buffet we'd set out for them.

It's not yet clear to us just how much of a realization of self birds might have. If Lawrence is giving credit to birds for stoicism, it might be misplaced. They're being birds. If he's simply not a fan of self pity (the name of his poem), he could have picked an analogy that wouldn't make nature lovers shake their heads.

If you encounter a cat catching a healthy bird, an owl a bunny, or a killdeer doing a broken wing act to protect her eggs or chicks, you'll see (and hear) plenty of the struggle for survival you think unique to humans.

Edited by Madelaine McMasters
Self aware enough to want to correct my typos.
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35 minutes ago, FairreLilette said:

No, I am not unconcerned about the planet.  With all that is going on, it is very concerning and concerns me.  If land were to be developed in Africa or in South or Central America to make farms, it would have to be done very carefully.  One thing the world doesn't have enough of is water.  If there aren't adequate water systems, the water breeds bacterium, disease and death.  Profiteers have pillaged the forests and it wasn't to make farms to feed people, but just for profits.  However, as far as over-population, I do not actually disagree with your assessment.  But, Africa and other places do have resources to help human life that are not being appropriately handled.  EDIT:  The rain forests are being damaged for logging and cattle ranching.  I think the world should be vegan anyhow, plus I never said use any rain forrest for farming.  There are other areas aside from the rain forests but if it all, it should proceed with extreme caution and carefully. 

Africa, a continent endowed with immense natural and human resources as well as great cultural, ecological and economic diversity, remains underdeveloped. The majority of the countries classified by the UN as least developed are in Africa.

 

You have completely missed the point. I'm in no frame of mind to try to open your eyes.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

I've rescued a few chicks and baby squirrels found in my patio over the years. Judging from the lethargy and the odd eye movements, I'd say your chick is either dehydrated, injured or sick (in order of likelihood). Your anthropomorphism is romantic, but probably wrong. The little thing simply hasn't the energy to be alert.

Well,  funnily enough, there's more to the story, some of which I'll repost from the description on the video embedded earlier:

"About seven flightless chicks had briefly become trapped in the fenced back yard when their parents couldn't find a way out, but we gave them a path to the wildlife interface beyond the back yard and they disappeared while my back was turned."

I later realized that what may have happened is that the parents had found a void space between the perimeter stucco'd breezeblock wall and a stone waterfall left behind by some prior resident. I think they built a nest back there. Every time the cat had been allowed to wander within the fenced yard, they had shown remarkable fascination with the hole in the stone but they were too large to enter. 

Anyway, realizing this, once the baby quail was present and accounted for again after their scare (e.g.: after I withdrew and dragged that cat away with me), they were quite energetic in sprinting back to be with the six or so baby chicks. I watched them and realized their parents had a nasty predicament- they had raised their children in a place that was inhospitable (down to the astroturf covering the ground). They needed an 'out,' and so I gave them one with a loose roof tile bridging the gap from the top of the stones to over the block fence. I hosed out some water for good measure, and they actually swam in it first, drinking their fill before they all disappeared while my back was turned.
 

Quote

I recently watched a humming bird get "trapped" in my emergency backup son's skylit garage, unable to understand that the wall of windows would never lead to freedom. We knew the little thing couldn't hover forever and would eventually wear itself out and hopefully descend safely to the garage floor where we could intervene. It did.

It put up no resistance to my moving it into a platter of sugar water. After a few minutes of rest, we could see it's tiny tongue dart out and lap up water and fuel. Within 15 minutes it darted off into the sunset.

As for the frog calmly being eaten by the snake, that's probably the freeze response, which humans also exhibit. Physiology is often mistaken for spirituality, until you learn about physiology.

I imagine D.H Lawrence was a city kid and probably unaware of torpor (or possibly the natural world in general). When I was young, we pulled the top off one of our bush mounted chicadee houses on a cold winter night and found a couple sleeping inside who made not so much as a peep out as we peeped in. By mid-day they were flitting about our feeder, gorging themselves on the buffet we'd set out for them.

It's not yet clear to us just how much of a realization of self birds might have. If Lawrence is giving credit to birds for stoicism, it might be misplaced. They're being birds. If he's simply not a fan of self pity (the name of his poem), he could have picked an analogy that wouldn't make nature lovers shake their heads.

If you encounter a cat catching a healthy bird, an owl a bunny, or a killdeer doing a broken wing act to protect her eggs or chicks, you'll see (and hear) plenty of the struggle for survival you think unique to humans.

What makes you believe the hummingbird didn't understand they were trapped? They followed every instinct, even flying toward the sky to escape, but the situation conceived for them made that survival impulse like a trap, didn't it. But they knew perfectly well this wasn't the forest they were looking for. 

The concept of 'freeze response' may provide a kind of an explanation, but if you think the behaviorists had much insight into anything then you're trapped in a time bubble at a moment of badly failed scientific thought. 

Quote

Sir Karl Popper has claimed that behaviorism is misguided because it holds that conditioning occurs through repetition. According to Popper, there is no such thing as learning through repetition.

Quote

behaviorism declined from the late 1950s onwards, when psychologists, linguists, and computer scientists joined forces and developed empirical approaches to the study of mind and cognition.

It does not matter how 'clear' it is to science what the birds, or even other scientists, think. They are all attempting to discover the most insightful description of reality that is properly respectful to the depth, nuance, and complexity of even the simplest lowest forms of life and how they interact with reality. Science can go right on banging those rocks together as long as it wants, it'll never fully understand from its limited perspective, but there's a great deal to be learned.

It would seem foolish to believe that any scientist has completed the full model of all possibility and can thereby make declarations about what is going on here. Every time a model of science has tried to limit what life is to something determinate in this spoopy quantum reality in which we live, they've confused or even deluded themselves quite urgently and had to dig themselves back out of that pit.

Edited by Chroma Starlight
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Regarding the land issue discussion, though humans take up only 2% of the actual space on the surface their ecological footprint is more like 75% of the earth, and one estimate said we are using up 1.7 earths for our needs presently.  Payback time will come as energy sources diminish.

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51 minutes ago, Silent Mistwalker said:

 

You have completely missed the point. I'm in no frame of mind to try to open your eyes.

I think you miss the point.  The forest needs to be re-forested and people can be fed if we do it sensibly and not with a bunch of cattle that don't make for very many meals.

Most of the world's food came from the rainforests, but still the rainforests still need to be re-forested with plants that naturally grow in those areas, not what doesn't naturally grow in those areas such as cattle.

But, I will agree to disagree with you because ditto on the opening your eyes as well that perhaps it can be done sensibly and not so greedily with whatever and that whatever is the most profit.

About 80% of all of the developed world's food originally came from the rainforests. Fruits like avocado, coconuts, oranges, lemons, grapefruits, bananas, pineapples, mangoes and tomatoes can all be found in the world's rainforests, along with vegetables such as: maize or sweetcorn, potatoes, and winter squash.

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1 hour ago, Chroma Starlight said:

image292.jpg?format=1500w

This ^^^^^^ picture above is beautiful.  

Link to cattle in rainforest:

https://www.google.com/search?q=cattle+in+rainforest&hl=en&tbm=isch&sxsrf=ALeKk01KFWGrmoLa6B1WOUM0b3ooTCwz9A%3A1624220055506&source=hp&biw=1120&bih=588&ei=l6HPYK_JGfCVwbkP7Z2oqAs&oq=catt&gs_lcp=CgNpbWcQARgAMgQIIxAnMgUIABCxAzIFCAAQsQMyBQgAELEDMgUIABCxAzIFCAAQsQMyAggAMgIIADIFCAAQsQMyAggAOgQIABADUJwLWLgRYOImaABwAHgAgAGHAYgB7AOSAQMwLjSYAQCgAQGqAQtnd3Mtd2l6LWltZw&sclient=img#imgrc=cl-sb6L_4E6dgM

Most cows in Brazil, the world’s largest beef exporter, are grass-fed. Ranchers in the precious biome use bulldozers, machetes, and fire to make room for pastureland—a practice that’s illegal but so widespread that it’s almost impossible for strapped regulatory teams to root out. A study published in Science in July showed at least 17% of beef shipments to the European Union from the Amazon region and Cerrado, Brazil’s savanna, may be linked to illegal forest destruction.

Saving the Amazon starts with (excerpt from article from Bloomberg above)

December 2020

Brazil’s Amazon region has suffered more deforestation this year than any in the past decade due to the lax environmental policies of President Jair Bolsonaro. But much can be laid at the feet of cattle farmers.

 

 

 

forest.jpeg

Edited by FairreLilette
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1 hour ago, Chroma Starlight said:

It would seem foolish to believe that any scientist has completed the full model of all possibility and can thereby make declarations about what is going on here. Every time a model of science has tried to limit what life is to something determinate in this spoopy quantum reality in which we live, they've confused or even deluded themselves quite urgently and had to dig themselves back out of that pit.

The theorized indeterminism of your "spooky quantum reality" is the creation of science. The symbols you claim (with certainty?) to show that humanity is a fusion of heaven and Earth are man made. The idea of heaven is man made. We're all picking and choosing our realities, but some are more supported by evidence than others, and are subject to constant scrutiny.

If you look at the course of history since the arrival of the scientific method, most of the pit digging has been done by those outside the method. Hence the ever shrinking god of the gaps.

The more I learn about how the universe works, the more awe I have for it.

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1 hour ago, Luna Bliss said:

That was fun...and what a great YouTube find (the bird lady).

Living on the shore of Lake Michigan, I've encountered shore bird distraction displays many times. They never cease to amaze me. It's such a specific thing to do and seems so calculated, yet it's the result of evolution. My favorite encounter was shortly after moving into a new house with my ex-hubby. A killdeer nested on the edge of our driveway, which made it difficult to work on our fledgling landscape. I went to our local Wild Birds Unlimited store to get a bag of live mealworms (which we kept in our brand new fridge ;-). After a few days of parking on the street and offering "treats" as we passed her nest, she figured we were the killdeer equivalent of the ice-cream truck. To see her move from the broken wing display to something like "Ooooh, my ice-cream is here!" was simply wonderful.

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1 hour ago, FairreLilette said:

I think you miss the point.  The forest needs to be re-forested and people can be fed if we do it sensibly and not with a bunch of cattle that don't make for very many meals.

Most of the world's food came from the rainforests, but still the rainforests still need to be re-forested with plants that naturally grow in those areas, not what doesn't naturally grow in those areas such as cattle.

But, I will agree to disagree with you because ditto on the opening your eyes as well that perhaps it can be done sensibly and not so greedily with whatever and that whatever is the most profit.

About 80% of all of the developed world's food originally came from the rainforests. Fruits like avocado, coconuts, oranges, lemons, grapefruits, bananas, pineapples, mangoes and tomatoes can all be found in the world's rainforests, along with vegetables such as: maize or sweetcorn, potatoes, and winter squash.

When you finally realize that throwing imaginary "currency" at the problems humans have created isn't going to do any thing and that the very people who have been yelling at the rest of the world for decades are still being ignored just as you are ignoring the fact that I come from those people. Those people never stopped being caretakers. We call ourselves First Nations and American Indians.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

The theorized indeterminism of your "spooky quantum reality" is the creation of science. The symbols you claim (with certainty?) to show that humanity is a fusion of heaven and Earth are man made. The idea of heaven is man made. We're all picking and choosing our realities, but some are more supported by evidence than others, and are subject to constant scrutiny.

If you look at the course of history since the arrival of the scientific method, most of the pit digging has been done by those outside the method. Hence the ever shrinking god of the gaps.

The more I learn about how the universe works, the more awe I have for it.

You can say every idea expressed by man is "manmade," just like you can say that a parrot who is stating "Polly want a cracker" is making a parrot-made expression, but that may not  be a helpful understanding of what just happened there at a meta level. Science doesn't create anything, at least not science that approaches nature respectfully with the correct questions. It discovers. 

The meaning of symbols are a matter of cultural tradition, the older they are the more venerable. Though isn't it interesting how the old symbols never go away or lose their power. The idea of separation from nature is also a man-made "innovation;" we're part of the natural scene and so I suppose it took a slightly too clever monkey to imagine otherwise then spread that meme. I'm not so certain we pick our realities so much as we get into sync with them (or not). Most of those unsound pits have been people engaging in pseudoscience, metagaming the question in hopes of a specific ideologically-compatible result rather than discovering what reality actually has to say. Reality isn't deterministic; it's a mistake to approach a big mystery seeking to confirm a "truth" you already "know" if it makes you ask reality leading questions.

Existence is certainly something in all its myriad forms. 

Edited by Chroma Starlight
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27 minutes ago, Chroma Starlight said:

The meaning of symbols are a matter of cultural tradition, the older they are the more venerable. Though isn't it interesting how the old symbols never go away or lose their power.

How old are the symbols you posted, telling you that man is the fusion of heaven and Earth?

38 minutes ago, Chroma Starlight said:

it's a mistake to approach a big mystery seeking to confirm a "truth" you already "know" if it makes you ask reality leading questions.

Yet you have determined the truth that humanity is the fusion of heaven and Earth, based on those symbols you posted. Once again, I'd like to know how old they are, and therefore how venerable.

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13 minutes ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

How old are the symbols you posted, telling you that man is the fusion of heaven and Earth?

Chroma may give an answer or maybe not...I don't know.  Anyhow, I right clicked on the picture you are asking about and got some info and the pics name is PLANET SIGNS.  So, I typed in PLANET SIGNS in Google and got the below.  There is a Wiki link to the pics I will copy/paste below too.  Lilith in the symbol picture you are asking about may also have something to do with the Lilith Fair that happened in the 1990's so you may want to check there.  My guess was that the symbols are Wiccan.  I could be wrong though but with the word Lilith, I thought possibly Wiccan.  Haven't had a chance to search it today.

A planet symbol (or planetary symbol) is a graphical symbol used in astrology and astronomy to represent a classical planet (including the Sun and the Moon) or one of the eight modern planets. The symbols are also used in alchemy to represent the metals that are associated with the planets. The use of these symbols is based in ancient Greco-Roman astronomy, although their current shapes are a development of the 16th century.

The classical planets with their symbols and associated metals are:

planet Moon Mercury Venus Sun Mars Jupiter Saturn
symbol
metal silver mercury copper gold iron tin lead

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) discourages the use of these symbols in modern journal articles, and their style manual proposes one- and two-letter abbreviations for the names of the planets for cases where planetary symbols might be used, such as in the headings of tables.[1] The modern planets with their traditional symbols and IAU abbreviations are:

planet Mercury Venus Earth Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune
symbol
IAU Me V E Ma J S U N

The symbols of Venus and Mars are also used to represent female and male in biology following a convention introduced by Linnaeus in the 1750s.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planet_symbols

Edited by FairreLilette
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Earth is not one of the classical planets (the word "planet" by definition describing "wandering stars" as seen from Earth's surface). Its status as planet is a consequence of the development of heliocentrism. Nevertheless, there are ancient symbols for Earth, notably a cross representing the four cardinal directions, as a cross in a circle also interpreted as a globe with equator and a meridian.

It would seem more likely that it represents the sun and not the earth.  Less than 500 yrs ago, we still thought the sun revolved around the earth.  So we're fused to sun which makes more sense to me.  Without it, we'd cease to exist.

 

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There are 15 symbols in the chart Chroma says tells us that humanity is the fusion of heaven and Earth. As FairreLilette's research points out, seven of them are the classical "planets", available for observation since the first humans took notice. One could allow for some veneration of these symbols, particularly the Sun and Moon, as their positions do have impact on us, whether through the creation of tides or as indicators of the seasons. Venus, Jupiter, Mars, Mercury and Saturn (in order of maximum brightness) are curiosities that have captured human imagination in various ways for a very long time.

Uranus was discovered in 1781, Neptune in 1846, and Pluto in 1930. If you don't own a telescope, your knowledge of these three planets is necessarily second hand. If you own a telescope powerful enough to spot Pluto, I want to visit you. I don't think any of these planet discoveries would qualify as ancient and deserving of some kind of veneration. Poor Pluto was kicked out of the planet posse in 2006, highlighting the peril of hanging your beliefs on something so fickle as the definition of "planet".

There seems to be some confusion about the Lilith symbol. There are several contenders for the astrological title. "Black Moon Lilith", representing orbital timing, or an imaginary second moon of Earth which is sometimes called the Dark Moon Lilith. There's also asteroid 1181 Lilith, discovered in 1927 and named after French composer Lili Boulanger. If your astrological reading isn't quite to your liking with one of the Liliths, I hope you're free to substitute any alternative that produces better results. I recommend listening to a little Boulanger while you deliberate.

Chiron is an ancient Greek god (the other planets are Roman, so expect some contention here) and has recently been associated with 2060 Chiron, an asteroid discovered in 1977.

Two of the 15 symbols represent the moon's passage above and below the plane of the Earth's orbit about the sun. Eclipses happen only when the moon is close to the ecliptic, so there's value in following this motion in hopes you can predict an eclipse and impress people (read "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" for a demonstration of the power of this parlor trick). I think this qualifies those two symbols as potentially venerable.

The final symbol represents the four cardinal directions (NSEW). I don't need to explain the importance of knowing your cardinal directions. The Guugu Ymithirr* people of Australia have words for ONLY cardinal directions. None of this self centered left-right business, you're a small cog in a big world and you better know where everything is, all the time. If ever there was a reason to doubt patriarchy, this is it. Directions were deemed so important that we actually created four of them. But do you think a guy will ask for even one? Noooooo!

10 hours ago, Chroma Starlight said:

Every time a model of science has tried to limit what life is to something determinate in this spooky quantum reality in which we live, they've confused or even deluded themselves quite urgently and had to dig themselves back out of that pit.

Science digs itself into pits and must dig itself back out. Got it.

7 hours ago, Chroma Starlight said:

Most of those unsound pits have been people engaging in pseudoscience, metagaming the question in hopes of a specific ideologically-compatible result rather than discovering what reality actually has to say. Reality isn't deterministic; it's a mistake to approach a big mystery seeking to confirm a "truth" you already "know" if it makes you ask reality leading questions.

No wait. Most of the pits are dug by pseudoscience. Got it. Is there a digging out part?

And finally...

7 hours ago, Chroma Starlight said:

Existence is certainly something in all its myriad forms. 

Wherever you go, there you are?

*Read about the Matses people of Nuevo San Juan, Peru in the linked article. We should speak their language in the forums. ;-).

Edited by Madelaine McMasters
Changed the closing line to be 15.2% less cryptic.
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