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Jeff's Hammer - A Conceptual Tool

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This is a tool of humility. Given any current level of understanding, there is always more available complexity. That's the basic idea of Jeff's Hammer, let's dive into it a bit more and look at why that is.


To understand or comprehend something essentially means to be able to grab and hold it with your mind. We have a limited capacity to do this. Humans have a very high capacity, but it's still quite limited. Luckily, some ancient geniuses figured out how to encode information into paintings, pictures, words, and symbols. This allows us to work with a lot more information, but this problem of limited information is not a solvable problem.

One of the reasons that it is unsolvable is because to conceptualize anything, or to represent anything in symbolic form, we lose some of the information. A chair contains all of the data of the chair. A picture, a painting, the word chair written or spoken, a description of the chair, a 3D diagram of the chair, all of these have les…

Why is Slytherin House Bad?

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Is Slytherin house bad? Should they be bad? Why?


Intro

There are four houses in "Harry Potter": Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and Slytherin. Each is associated with certain psychological traits and attributes. Gryffindor is associated with bravery, Ravenclaw is associated with intelligence, Hufflepuff takes everyone but is most closely associated with friendliness and loyalty, and Slytherin is associated with ambition.

Slytherin is not presented as all bad in "Harry Potter", but they are presented as almost all bad. This is not particularly popular because many people are in Slytherin. But, there are good reasons for this. (Also, it's important to point out that no one is a pure fit for a house. Some of the characters in "Harry Potter" even seem to be a bit of a contradiction.)

My Profile

I did one test where it gave you the percentages of which house you would fit in. I was rated 43% Ravenclaw, 26% Gryffindor, 19% Slytherin, and 12% Hufflepuff.

(I…

An Interesting Note on Suicide from Viktor Frankl

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Viktor Frankl focused on suicide quite a bit throughout his career. First, with the unemployed youth in Vienna after WW1. Then, with the persecuted and targeted leading up to WW2. After that, with prisoners in the concentration camps. This may be his most important paragraph on the subject.


I read this in the introduction of "The Feeling of Meaninglessness" by Viktor Frankl. It's a quote from an earlier work.

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Now insofar as it is necessary to evaluate precisely to what extent the seriousness of suicide risk a person represents, either when one is determining the advisability and reasonableness of discharging the patient from a closed facility, or else during a patient’s initial intake into inpatient institutional care, I myself have created a standard method that proves itself effective without fail. It enables us to provide a diagnosis of continued suicide risk, or rather to make a diagnosis of the dissimulation of suicidal tendencies as such. At first, we…

Feynman's Dead Wife, Schrodinger's Dead Cat, and the Death of the Golden Age of Physics

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Feynman and Schrodinger both had amazing insights into not only physics, but many aspects of life.


Richard Feynman's first wife died when she was 25 from tuberculosis. He wrote her a letter that remained sealed until his death 40 years later. I read it a few years ago and it has stuck with me.

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D’Arline,

I adore you, sweetheart.

I know how much you like to hear that — but I don’t only write it because you like it — I write it because it makes me warm all over inside to write it to you.

It is such a terribly long time since I last wrote to you — almost two years but I know you’ll excuse me because you understand how I am, stubborn and realistic; and I thought there was no sense to writing.

But now I know my darling wife that it is right to do what I have delayed in doing, and that I have done so much in the past. I want to tell you I love you. I want to love you. I always will love you.
I find it hard to understand in my mind what it means to love you after you are dea…

Flat Earth, Truth, and Conspiracies

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I'm going to come at this from a few different angles.


Where to begin? That's a good question. I think I'm going to do it like this. First, I'll go over the legitimate use of flat earth. Then, I'll go over how I think this has come about. Finally, maybe I'll talk a bit about conspiracy theories. If other things come up along the way and I address them, so be it.

The idea of a flat earth goes back a long way. A piece of land surrounded by water, with a dome over it, with water underneath, and water above is a view from the Mesopotamians. Ancient Egyptians, ancient Greeks, and other cultures held similar views of the world. Now, here's an important point. This was the prevailing view because it worked and it was the world as they experienced it. It explained their world in a way that was useful to them. (It wasn't a universal view. The ancient Mayans knew the earth was round, for example.)

It still works today. That is, it still works today in a lot of wa…

Theoconceptualist Theology

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My approach to theology is a little different than my approach to religion because it deals with a different domain of philosophy. Whereas religion deals with ethics and social structure, theology deals with epistemology (the theory of knowledge).


This is quite a different view than most people take. Most think of theology (the study of God) from a metaphysical perspective (the fundamental nature of reality) and therefore try to solve ontological problems (the nature of being). This is why debates about whether God is immanent (present throughout the universe) or transcendent (outside of the universe) are so pervasive and perceived of as so important. Neither of these can be shown or not shown, nor will they ever be able to be shown or not shown. We don't need to worry about this. When we look at both ideas from an epistemological perspective we can see that either way God is a real conceptual entity. If we are willing to admit that we don't know the answer to the metaphysical…

The Impetus for Theoconceptualism

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Why propose a new structure for theological philosophy and religion? Well, I see some problems and I think there are better solutions than the ones being used.


I think the primary problem could be classified under the term fundamentalism. By this I mean a few things. 1 - It's usually a fully literal view of everything. Humans just don't work well that way. 2 - It's a system that doesn't update. 3 - It's intolerant. 4 - It's strict in a tyrannical way. 5 - These strict rules have to be issued from a source, that source means there is a lot of centralized power and authority. 6 - Power, such as wherever this authority rests, attracts the worst people and corrupts the best.

These are huge problems that all societies, civilizations, and cultures have to deal with. I think if you focus on one though, then it would mostly solve the other problems. If a system was designed so that it could update, peacefully and with limited conflict, then you would need to not have a…

Mensa Math Paradox

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Mensa is a high IQ society. The Facebook groups are quite odd to participate in. They mostly demonstrate that you can have a high IQ and be a good person, or a bad person, an informed person, or an uninformed person. Often, a high IQ just gives you the ability to confuse yourself more. High fluid IQ means that you have the capacity to recognize patterns faster than the average person. High concrete IQ means that you know more of these patterns in a given society than the average person. But, I digress. Here is a math problem that seemed to stump everyone in the group, except for me (I think that's just the right amount of hubris).


Someone posted this problem and called it a math paradox.

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If you choose an answer to this question at random, what is the chance you will be correct?

A) 25%
B) 50%
C) 60%
D) 25%

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Go ahead and give your answer and then see if you think I'm right after you read the rest of this post. I take no offense if you disagree with me.…

Further Notes on Theoconceptualism - Towards a New Religion and Philosophy

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Theoconceptualism is a new theological philosophy. Today, we shall cover a lot. Later we will need to filter and expand, but today is just about getting some of the notes initially articulated. Hold on to your hats, because this is going to go quickly, and in an order that has not been worked out.


The Nature of God
God is a conceptual reality. Rather than placing God under metaphysics, God comes under the study of epistemology, and then that effects ethics. Rather than material, God is spiritual. A good way to understand this truth might be to think of dragons and/or monsters. Dragons are real. They are real conceptual entities. They are the ultimate small mammal predator. The great mouth and head of a reptilian snake/alligator, that breathes fire, with the wings of a great bird of prey, and the claws of a great predatory cat. This concept is a real concept. We have pictures and toys of dragons. We know how dragons act, and we know how to act when we encounter a dragon. And, we do. Th…