[PD] CVs

Chris McCormick chris at mccormick.cx
Mon May 23 03:03:59 CEST 2011

On Sun, May 22, 2011 at 01:37:19PM -0400, Mathieu Bouchard wrote:
> On Thu, 19 May 2011, Chris McCormick wrote:
>> On Fri, May 13, 2011 at 12:38:37PM -0400, Mathieu Bouchard wrote:
>>> On Wed, 11 May 2011, Chris McCormick wrote:
>>>> At the very least they exist physically encoded in the brain chemistry
>>>> of somebody who is thinking about those concepts. Brains are part of
>>>> physical reality, right?
>>> Yeah, but the map is not the territory.
>> I am not convinced they are different in the case of things that "we  
>> can't perceive ... from the physical world."
> All this to be able to cleverly claim « Santa Claus really exists » with 
> a big satisfied grin on your face ? ;)

Of course Santa Claus exists. I'm not interested in being smug about it though.

There is no guy in red riding a sleigh across the sky delivering presents to children. Instead the Santa Claus entity exists as millions of copies inside the minds of humans everywhere. Millions of people running the Santa Claus program on their brains. We should pay attention to this real entity because it has a huge effect on the GDP of countries in the western world, every year. To dismiss Santa Claus as just a silly children's story is to underestimate it.

I'm not being smug. I think it's a mistake that very intelligent people make in dismissing things that are "just ideas". For some reason people think that ideas are something independent of the physical world, but they are not. Ideas physically occupy people's brains and make people change the world.

> There's a practical reason why people make a difference between a rock, a 
> brain thinking about a rock, a brain thinking about a brain thinking 
> about a rock, and a brain thinking about the set of all possible brains 
> thinking in all different manners about all different kinds of rocks... 
> even though each of those cases must be embodied by some part of the 
> physical world... and even though all of those cases are referring to 
> rocks.

Of course a rock is different to a brain thinking about a rock, is different to a brain thinking about a brain thinking about a rock etc. The ways in which those things occupy the material world is completely different. A rock manifest in matter does not look anything like a rock manifest in somebody's brainchemistry. I am not saying that they are the same or that we should treat them the same.

I don't think human thought takes place in some magic fairy land. I think it takes place in the same physical reality that we all occupy. I'm not really sure why this idea is contraversial.




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