Richard Goscicki's Comments

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At 4:44pm on November 25, 2009, Wonderist said…
Okay, I'll leave the ball in your court. I'll help how I can.
At 11:32am on November 24, 2009, Wonderist said…
"Are you into Gaia theory?" Only in a minimalist way. I don't like a lot of the woo that has become associated with it, but I do think it's likely that the biosphere could be described as a self-modulating system. There's no magical Gaia consciousness. However, there is the consciousness of animals, and even that is only minimally organized except in humans. Gaia is not angry at our destructiveness; she's complacently unaware of it, except in one small corner of her system, namely human society. The bacteria aren't going to stage a revolution. We either get our act together, or we self-destruct.

"Here’s a thought: the googol atoms that compose our bodies were not there ten years ago. Yet people consider themselves the same person."

This gets into the concept of identity, which relies on the concept of information. I'll have to make a post on physicalism soon, as this is how the paradox is resolved.
At 11:41pm on November 23, 2009, Wonderist said…
I guess I'm saying more than that gods will exist in the future. I'm saying they exist right now, just in a very 'spread out' and organic way. Eventually, as computers get more and more capable, gods will get more and more capable and self-directing, until one day, FOOM! Unless we develop friendly AI first.
At 11:27pm on November 23, 2009, Wonderist said…
Yes, that's similar to what I'm saying. Actually, I think of things in terms of higher and lower levels of complexity. So, many cells form an organism, many organisms form an ecosystem, many ecosystems form a biosphere. So far, we only have one biosphere. Same with the noosphere. It is composed of many cultures, which are composed of many groups, which are composed of many minds, which are composed of many ideas, etc. My conception of God the Machine is quite abstract, but it can be embodied in a specific instance to represent a specific 'god'. For example, you might consider America to be one entity, and call it Moloch, as Ginsberg did. Or, he could have been referring to all corporate cultures together. Depends on which level he was intending to describe.

A concrete example: If we consider that beliefs influence actions, that many people who share the same beliefs constitute a 'group', and that the collective actions of individuals in a group can result in a cohesive 'group action', then it makes sense to say that the group is an actual physical entity, in the same way it makes sense to say that a body -- though composed of many cells -- is an actual physical entity by reason of its common genetic code and collective, cooperative action.

Therefore, you can consider all the people who believe in a particular conception of 'Yahweh', and if they all act on this belief in a coherent way, such as trying to pass intelligent design bills into law, then it makes sense to say that 'Yahweh' is a real entity taking real actions in the real world. Same with 'Allah', 'Jesus', etc. In truth, there are many variations with the same name. The Catholic Jesus is different than the Baptist one, despite the same name. It's the cohesive, collective action that defines these 'gods'. Allah/Mohammed (or one version of him/it) knocked down the towers. That's a pretty scary thought. Imagine if he/it had a nuke.
At 2:53pm on November 23, 2009, Wonderist said…
Yes, I've seen Blackmore's video, and read her article on it (somewhere; I'm sure you probably know of it). I disagree with her that temes are different from memes. IMO, they are the same thing, just as genes on RNA are the same as genes on DNA (brains are RNA, text is DNA). However, it is still a powerful idea to imagine that there is something 'greater than ourselves' which actually exists, but it's not a god, it's a machine. One of my other mottos is: God exists, and it is a Machine. When you think about it, it's pretty f-ing scary. But on the other hand, I do see some hope in this vision. You may be interested in reading about Eliezar Yudkowsky, and his ideas on Friendly AI. He has some brilliant ideas.
At 9:52am on November 23, 2009, Wonderist said…
Hi Richard, Mac Rex recommended I ask you about sharing ideas for videos and/or AN discussions. I read your incredible essay My Religious Experience, and it closely matches some of my experiences and ideas. Your cyber-mannequin and Ginsberg's Moloch is identical to my concept of God the Machine, though I haven't yet written down much on that; I want to get it right before people accuse me of some sort of theism. Anyway, I would be very interested in sharing more ideas with you. I'll send you an invite to our group.
At 1:30am on November 22, 2009, h8uall66 said…
It's not a big deal Richard. I know how these things go. I appreciate your response though. Very classy. Thank you!
At 1:05pm on November 21, 2009, Mac Rex said…
Cool looking lake, bet it's warmer than any around here! To be fair to Saskatchewan, it's not all like that. In fact, most of the province is thickly covered with boreal forest (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saskatchewan). Most of the people in Sask. live in the lower 1/3, which is mostly grassland, with some badlands (Big Muddy area on the Montana border),and sand hill areas (Cypress Hills, also by the Montana border) thrown in. Where I live, in Alberta, is close to the Sask. border, and we haul into there fairly often. In fact, we are suppose to have an oil rig move this week from the city of Swift Current, Sask., to near the town of Brock, Sask.
At 12:47pm on November 21, 2009, Mac Rex said…
"May God bless you and your family with a wonderful holiday. "
Had a brain fart Rich?!! I assume it's Thanksgiving down there, or some thing, 'cause it ain't no holiday up here! We Canucks have our Thanksgiving in October, although why we have one at all is anyone's guess.
With the way you foreshadowed Bonnie Fonda-Cox, I could tell she was going to be a prick.
At 8:07pm on October 23, 2009, Mac Rex said…
I was very saddened to hear about Lester. People with any form of hemophilia have a hard time with medical problems. I worked for many years with a friend, who had to give himself plasma transfusions once or twice a week. Dam good man, about your age, or he would be, but he died of AIDS caused complications(thanks to tainted blood product) in the early '90's.
I wish Lester the best, and my thoughts are with him.
At 8:24am on September 23, 2009, Mac Rex said…
Hi Rich
You and Dr Grinspoon are the two people I would most like to smoke one with, preferably on one of Vancouver's beaches. I could think of nicer/warmer beaches down there, but your cop are a little nuts. I finally got my copy of "The Union" movie yesterday, which Lester participated in. In it, they visit a grow site that was built underground, in 20 buried rail cars. I am surprised that no one has cleaned all the equipment out of there as salvage. That the cops didn't remove it was no surprise. From my experience, they probably got busted because of their fuel usage. A similar grow was busted near the town of Powel River (north, up the coast, and 2 short ferry rides, from Vancouver. At that one, the growers used a propane generator, which required a weekly refill in the hundreds of dollars.
I gotta get my ass to work, so I'll read your "My Religious Experience" at lunch. I am just starting to recover from a lung and sinus infection (caught with no thanks from a non-smoker at work).
Your friend,
Mac
At 3:06pm on September 18, 2009, Shane Smith said…
You inspired me to revise and complete my article. You can read it at: http://www.atheistnexus.org/xn/detail/2182797:Topic:509060?xg_source=activity
At 3:18pm on September 12, 2009, Kristi Leitholt said…
Hi Richard, thanks for the friend request. :)
At 1:24pm on September 11, 2009, Shane Smith said…
I will be sure to review once I come up with the cash to buy the book. I'm sure it will be a great read.
At 12:36pm on September 11, 2009, Shane Smith said…
Thanks for the Add. I want your book!
At 4:11pm on August 3, 2009, A Former Member said…
Please consider joining us in my new group HERCULANEUM: A PLACE FOR MEN.
At 9:46pm on July 26, 2009, Reverend Jeremiah said…
He went in through the alley..LOL..he was delivering coal for the new born childrens Saturnalia stockings.
At 7:43pm on July 26, 2009, Reverend Jeremiah said…
LOL.."Do I really believe that Eve was made from a rib"? Was Honey bar-b-que sauce included with snake steaks and apple fritters as well? Oh ..Ive sinned! Please Jesus, I know you have forgiven me for the sins I have made in my pants..I beseach thee to forgive me of the sins of glutony and lust.

Adam AND Eve were BOTH framed!
At 12:18am on July 20, 2009, Little Name Atheist said…
I hear you Richard. I'm thinking if I make it past 50, the rest will be gravy. I'll be 50 in November. Hope you got to do something enjoyable on your landmark day.
At 7:19pm on July 17, 2009, Little Name Atheist said…
Happy Birthday Richard!

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