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« The Liberal Mind – More examples of Reason Denied | Main | Sandbox - 17jun15 »

17 June 2015


Jeff Pelline

Hard to imagine that KVMR gave this pablum a slot on its "news hour." A good example of the strident political ideology in our community. And the "addendum" is longer than the commentary itself. Anyone west of us would conclude our community is "whacked" and anybody east of us would never move here, because it's much cheaper wherever they live. Good going!


jeffy is right. Nevada City totally needs its own NBA it can be like Oaktown.

Russ Steele

To be more like Oakland, we will have to become more racially diverse. Oakland is 35.5% white, 28% African American, 24.5% Hispanic, 16.8% Asian. I think we have a very long path to Mr Pelline's future, starting with some jobs that can attract our more diverse citizens.

Todd Juvinall

Actually the poop is the blog Pelline spews forth is keeping people from moving here. He is too radical and it scares the crapola out them.

George Rebane

Messrs Steele, fish, Juvinall – The 825pm comment by Jeff Pelline is certifiably the most butt stupid remark he has made in these pages over the years. I left it here to further illustrate the man's intellect, character, and comprehension of topics beyond the doings with local stores. My commentary is about one of the deepest subjects that humans can wrap their minds around, and also one that is as apolitical as can be imagined. Having that jackass assess the piece as being “an example of strident political ideology” is literally beyond comprehension, and has nothing to do with the topic of this post. Your critiques of his inane remarks are high-jacking any serious discussion that I was hoping solicit. If you want to critique his comment viz the post, be my guest. But starting conversations about Oakland and God knows what in this comment stream is unacceptable. For you to pursue these pleasures, I have opened a fresh sandbox. If the post is unsuitable for cogent comment from RR readers, then I would rather leave it with these few tailings. I apologize for my outburst.


Sorry George! We had been blissfully Porkline free for about 5 weeks and when he returned his contribution was little more to whine about property values.

Barry Pruett

Thank you George. That was a thought provoking and imaginative read with my first cup of coffee. I love history so in that context and considering your "rumination," consider the following. Is rejection of Christ a rejection of all that exists at this point in time and space? But for Christ, society quite arguably would not be as advanced philosophically. I am at my current place because of millions of tiny choices in my life. Change one thing, and I am somewhere else. Without Christ where would we be and what would that existence look like. It would be an interesting simulation.

Patricia Smith

George, I feel your pain. You must spend a good deal of time researching your thoughtful pieces only to have almost every discussion devolve into a series of name calling and chest thumping. No wonder the Sandbox fills up so fast and the editorial pieces are either hijacked or ignored.

The questions of how life began will dog us forever. Great minds have searched for the meaning of life since the beginning of time. Maybe we aren't supposed to know all the answers or they would be more readily available? All I know is that this immense and intricate universe didn't happen by chance.

That is where religion comes into play. As an amateur scholar on religion, it is intereting to look at the conclusions that each religion uses to define God and our role in his design. Organized Religion was the earliest form of government created to keep the masses in line.

I have often pondered how things would be if I ruled the world, now it appears I have the opportunity to create my own little computer generated uptopia. See you later!

Russ Steele

My apology for being taken in by the hijacker's low hanging fruit. You are correct, this was an important subject for discussion, and I failed hold up my end of the conversation, unprepared to make a significant contribution.

George Rebane

Dear People, thank you for those thoughts and for bringing it back.

Todd Juvinall

I also apologize for taking the bait from the usurper from Marin.

It appears to me the battle for the hearts and minds of humans is a never ending one. When Moses came down from the mountain with the Ten Commandments and saw the people worshiping the "Golden Calf" they created to honor a deity other than the one true God, we have to stay the course. The culture of Gaia and the worship of Stonehenge type's is easy. They usually have no boundaries and anything goes. Humans are no different to them than a amoeba in the soup can.

Lamenting their lack of belief is unnecessary though. Most try and get God's attention on their deathbeds.

Barry W. Pruett

Todd you bring up an interesting point. Without the foundation of natural law (meaning anything goes and no boundaries), are we no different than an animal in the woods? Without morality originally espoused by faith, are we civilized? If everyone has their own truth, does it not follow that there is no Truth?

Which brings me back to Christ, the most influential person who has ever walked the face of the Earth. Denial of God is a denial of natural law, a denial of morality, and a denial of Truth.

Those who bash religion (and Christianity I particular) are bashing the most stabilizing force in humanity. Of course and our more progressive commenters will likely point out, there are instances in history of violence falsely in the name of religion and of God, but absent religion in the historic paradigm, would not violence be the rule?

George Rebane

BarryP 926am - To examine your (and ToddJ's 833am) point. How would you manage the social development of the SSCs in your created world? Would you nudge them to ask the cosmic question, and seek to answer it through positing a Creator? Would you intervene directly, as in the Judeo/Christian scripture, and let them unambiguously experience your presence, power, and glory? Or would you let them muddle on and seek their own solution to living together in an environment of trust, which if not found may cause them to go extinct (in which case you could always invoke a mulligan and reset your creation)?

Barry W. Pruett

I will get back to you, as I am really busy at work today, but very interested in this conversation. This SSC needs to work to get paid.

Barry W. Pruett

If I set my own program and time is relative, I would let them muddle on and seek their own solution. If they go extinct, it would be of no consequence to me as another set of SSCs to observe/create would be available. I suppose that occasionally that I could give an SSC a nudge, but I would think it more interesting to set the physics and watch the wonderous variety that would necessarily emerge from the vast universe of possibilities. Which SSCs figured "it" out? Which planets failed to produce SSCs? What happens when two SSCs from different planets meet for the first time?

Bonnie McGuire

I've studied many religions, philosophy, spirituality, archeology, history....whatever got my attention. Love the Hubble space photos of our seemingly endless universe full of wonders. Altogether showing me how little we know about anything. I get a kick out of those who think they're so smart they say there's no God. Wonder if they can predict our future and new inventions...

Nature's law is violent survival of the fittest....Jesus Christ lifted human consciousness and self discipline to create a better society. Common sense for a better life here and hereafter. The choice is ours along with the consequences. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Pretty simple.

Account Deleted

I've read this through 3 times and I always come up with enough comments to fill a book each time.
I'll just say that if I were magically given the powers of God, my first 'command' would be to resign the position.
Of course, your hypothetical involves a 'virtual' reality although at what point does the virtual become real to the inhabitants of the virtual? If what you create involves creatures with self awareness and individual motivations... interesting. Very much like the ethics of how we would treat an advanced humanoid robot or cyborg. Would they have 'rights'? Or can I dispose of them as I would my old broken stereo?

Paul Emery


Might I refer you to a Twilight Zone episode called The Lonely

Where a man serving life in exile on an uninhabited planet is provided with a very realistic female robot to occupy his time. When informed he has won an appeal on his conviction by a patrol from earth sent to retrieve him he wanted to take the robot with him. "She" was promptly disposed of and became a tangle of smoldering wires but not before pleading to the former prisoner "help me-please save me". Brilliant piece all in 24 minutes. Science Fiction has explored all possibilities of this already.

George Rebane

PaulE 1013pm - Sorry to be a wet blanket, but sci-fi hasn't even come close to exploring "all possibilities of this already." The episode you cite is an oft repeated tale of anthropomorphizing a robot, and doesn't touch the topic of this commentary which involves the creation of a (possibly iterated) universe with sentient and sapient creatures the management of whom reflects on our lives and beliefs.

Russ Steele

Here is a link to the Imitating Machines blog that discusses the issues of Machine Intelligence, and possible future Machine Sapience.

Imitating Machines: The Future Of Machine Intelligence, Robotics, And Employment

Account Deleted

Paul at 10:13:
"Might I refer you to a Twilight Zone episode called The Lonely"
Paul, I'll have to let you in on a little secret. Every time you 'refer' me to something, I find it's something I'm well aware of. Sometimes for decades. You might try simply saying that my post reminded you of that particular episode.
There is the effect of 'soft brown eyes' with any animal or thing. Folks who wouldn't hesitate to dismember and throw away a human child still in the gestation stage would be horrified to even consider killing a cow.
Instead of the example of an android that had the appearance of an attractive female, let's consider our old friend Robby the robot or for the younger crowd, R2D2.
What if it's just a box that sits on the table?
I'd be amazed and amused to see the red lines folks would and wouldn't cross in the treatment of human fabricated artificial intelligence.

Ben Emery

Didn't have time to read your post but have a couple of questions for you.

Do you believe in one God?

If yes, if a person doesn't believe in that same God are they considered atheist to you?

I totally and unconditionally believe in a higher power. I believe all the different Gods from all different belief systems are the same. Due to regional and environmental conditions we have different rituals, terminology, and myths that help us try to figure out our short time in this life. They are all good and generally preach the same ideals, The Rule of Reciprocity or Reciprocity Principle.

I think the biggest issue many atheists have is all the division and violence that is perpetrated in the name of specific religion and being forced to recognize holy days of belief systems they do not identify with.

George Rebane

BenE 832am - I'd gladly enter such discussion threads with you Ben, but not if I have to repeat every time to everyone what I've already set down. The purpose of this blog (and perhaps other of a similar ilk) is to record a body of observations and beliefs that I hold and my readers contribute to or contend after having read me. If you are too busy to read what I post, would you not consider me equally busy to reargue the thoughts I have established. I try not to make this an absolute policy, and therefore have extensively included links to previous RR posts. But give all of us a break with your comments, at least read the current post before diving into a comment stream - how do you know that you're not revisiting what has already been answered/discussed a few 'up scrolls' from where you logged on?

Paul Emery

George writes:

"sentient and sapient creatures the management of whom reflects on our lives and beliefs."

That's a perfect intro into a rational explanation of the "guy in the sky" deity ascribed by the Bible.

Ben Emery

Fair enough but since you're retired my guess your obligations in the 24 hour period are less than mine.

As I have said many times here before your writing needs a thesaurus and decoder ring to follow, which in my opinion is done to leave you the ability to slip and maneuver around being pinned down on a firm stance. I sent my brother one of your posts and his comment was something along the lines of;

this is a style of academic writing for people who are in the field and to exclude lay people from the conversation.

Paul Emery

Of course George by continuing this line of thinking if the master programmer you describe were a woman then would not the gender of the supreme one likely then be female?

Bonnie McGuire

Saw the movie Avenger the other evening. The prospect of robots running things is a little unsettling. Wait a minute! When you think about it....Isn't that the root cause of most of our political problems now?

George Rebane

BenE 1005am - Unfortunately my being 'retired' gives a completely wrong impression to what people like me get into when retired. I will put my schedule and itinerary up against anyone still in harness. Recall, that I have experience on both sides of that street RR is still an interstitial labor of love that fulfills several goals, which include jousting with you and yours.;-)

PaulE 1027am - Please expand your mind. In that realm why would gender even enter the picture, among the real gods there no doubt are dimensions of being that far transcend gender.

Bonnie McGuire 1111am - perceptive observation Bonnie while presuming, with little chance for error, that you are referring to the opposites of super-intelligent robots ;-)

Paul Emery

Yes indeed Bonnie. Robots controlled by money.

Paul Emery

Well George I'm referring to the decidedly male "God" as described in the Bible ("our father which art in heaven hallowed be thy name.....") that is an essential part of Christian pedagogy or teaching. You are saying that "real gods" transcend gender so how does that calculate with a Christian like yourself?

George Rebane

PaulE 1152am - It may surprise you (and others not familiar with Christianity in modern times) that not all Christians are the fundamentalists that secular humanists like to characterize them. Such Christians fully accept the incarnation of God (into which I will get another time to show its rationality), but don't hew to the more earth-corresponding characterizations of the deity (Creator) or the transcendental nature of Man (here Earth's SSCs).

So as you all are having a great-great time winking at each other while seeking to pull the poor Christian's chain about wearing them golden slippers, yearning for the pearly gates, and God the white man with the long beard, consider that the Christian faith has a much deeper set of meta-beliefs (some centuries old) that don't always resonate well with the more simple folks who need familiar heavenly exemplars to make their faith palatable and serve the needs of earthly life.

Admittedly such shenanigans (as about God's gender) may get traction and provide entertainment with other Christian audiences, but expecting that on RR simply reveals more about your own study of the range and depth of Judeo-Christian teachings. For more knee slapping fun, I commend Mark Twain's 'Extracts from Captain Stromfield's Visit to Heaven'.

Account Deleted

"this is a style of academic writing for people who are in the field and to exclude lay people from the conversation."
Not really - it only excludes the intellectually lazy. Learning always starts when you tackle something with elements you don't already know. I'm quite sure George would be happy to answer any question you might have about his post.
I'll be the first to admit that I'm not real current with a lot of the computer games involving the creation of your own private universe or one that interacts with other folks' created realities. So I'm not very up on what is actually possible now vs what the future might hold as George imagined. And yes, I had to look up Srimad Bhagavatam. I vaguely remember a book store in Berkeley long ago that was selling a 'richly illustrated' set for a rather princely sum, and I believe I inquired at the time what it was all about. So I might have once known a bit about it, and now George's referral to it made me look it up to learn more about it.
As I have more time to ponder it all, I'll try to come up with something that might touch on just a few of the points (questions, challenges) that George throws out.

joe smith

GR has a strong grasp of linguistics but poor understanding of communication with the English language. His is an excellent example of people who speak English as a second language. The nuances of communication are learned before the ability to speak and it is uncommonly rare for someone raised in a non-English speaking environment to converse at a native level. I went to the Naval linguistics academy in Monterey and was taught this early on. It was one of the more useful lessons I have ever learned and makes me slow down a bit when I think I am communicating like a native in a language I wasn't born into. A classic example would be for a foreign born speaker to choose a five syllable word when a one or two syllable word would suffice. He might believe the polysyllabic word choice makes him appear more learned, when in fact, it simply makes him appear out of touch.

George Rebane

joes 827am - Again as in times past on these pages, I'm sorry I didn't say it well enough for you to understand.

Norm Sauer

I am admittedly a common lay person. But, if I were to be the creator of a new or parallel universe, and I wanted the best for its creatures who are sentient and sapient, I would be an active God like Yahweh in the Old Testament. I recall how he spoke to his people and guided them Most importantly, when Yahweh led the Jews from Egypt with directed aid from Moses and his brother, and after it took 40 years or two generations to put a slave mentality behind them, Yahweh gave the Jews and later Christians, the Ten Commandments or Decalogue. In my opinion, there is no greater wisdom for sapient creatures to embrace, nor any universe of creatures with discerning minds can succeed to exist without the wisdom of the Decalogue.
Please understand, these are immediate thoughts after a brief introduction today of "singularity" from GR and reading the above RR. My delving into these matters will continue at least until GR makes a comprehensive presentation to our curious group in the near future, and who knows what may follow.

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