Tal Cohen's Bookshelf: A Collection of Personal Opinions about Books

Tracy writes:
Harmonic resonance
I thoughrally enjoyed this review and find so many of Hofstader?s ideas ring true with my thoughts. One of the main ones being how the depth of our existence has been trivialized by science. For example, biology can provide a fairly comprehensive classification of a plant. Society accepts the scientific classification of a plant and it is written off as having been explained. But there is a whole sub-microscopic world within the plant that is overlooked. I use a plant as an example, but this is the case of all living things classified by science. There is so much depth within the planet and universe that we have missed just by accepting science?s shallow classifications. I do find science a very useful tool which has gotten us quite far. But I still believe the stage of science that we are at is equivalent to looking at neutrinos through coke bottle lenses, or we are only 1% successful in explaining the world and existence with science so far.

In a similar way of science being accepted as a comprehensive abstraction of life, I see how mind is accepted as soul. I personally see mind and soul as 2 very different entities. Another concept to be added to this equation is instinct versus behavior that drive our actions. I believe that instinct is our link with a life force or energy that resonates within us, while behavior is a learnt set social programs passed down through generations. I feel that mind, behavioral programs and science share a commonality, where they are very close to the source of life but are an abstraction of it and are tools to harness it. They are often mistaken for the real thing, at which point we lose the depth of the magic and mystery of this complex cosmic concoction.
[334] Posted on Monday, 16 June 2008 at 12:28 GMT [Reply to this] [Permalink]


(anonymous) writes in reply to Tracy:
Harmonic resonance
Harmonic resonance
I thoughrally enjoyed this review and find so many of Hofstader?s ideas ring true with my thoughts. One of the main ones being how the depth of our existence has been trivialized by science. For example, biology can provide a fairly comprehensive classification of a plant. Society accepts the scientific classification of a plant and it is written off as having been explained. But there is a whole sub-microscopic world within the plant that is overlooked. I use a plant as an example, but this is the case of all living things classified by science. There is so much depth within the planet and universe that we have missed just by accepting science?s shallow classifications. I do find science a very useful tool which has gotten us quite far. But I still believe the stage of science that we are at is equivalent to looking at neutrinos through coke bottle lenses, or we are only 1% successful in explaining the world and existence with science so far.

You had me up until you mentioned ''life force'' and ''cosmic'' something. If you didnt mean those words to have the type of new agey connotations that they have unfortunately acquired then I apologise. Words like ''life force'' really need to be qualified somewhat like Hofstadter had to qualify the word ''soul'' as something areligious before it had any kind of justification to be in such a book as I am a Strange Loop.

What your saying is absolutely right apart from that though. Science is extremely valuable as a tool for engaging and dealing with the world. And while the classifications which it inevitibly makes in order to render the world comprehensible are necessary for our day to day existence, the idea that we are reaching ''the truth'' or that the scientific mode of description is adequate to fully understand the world is an entirely false one. What is most harmful about the prevalence of this one-mode-among-many of describing the world is the fact that a tool (as this worldview is), through its use, makes tools out of the entirety of the rest of the world. Instead of looking at the brain and learning about it and wondering about how amazing it is, we are busy trying to dismantle it in order to rebuild it artificially in order to transfer our ''consciousnesses'' if such a thing exists so that we can live in some absurd digital utopia
[373] Posted on Thursday, 02 April 2009 at 11:04 GMT [Reply to this] [Permalink]


Corwin writes in reply to (anonymous):
Harmonic resonance
Maybe you should've stopped reading at ''I believe''.

What other qualification do you need than the statement that the following is a belief and not purely based on data or studies?
[569] Posted on Thursday, 04 March 2010 at 3:21 GMT [Reply to this] [Permalink]

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