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Jr
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Why are Escher pictures so cool?
Why are we on this planet?
Why do I like games so much?
Why do I keep asking these odd Questions?

Come in! Talk! Have fun!

THIS is the lounge.....



(Did anyone go to Splash! at MIT this weekend?)
 
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Paul Kidd
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The answer to all (or most) of these questions is the same:

Our brains, like our other muscles when getting a Swedish massage, enjoy getting some pummeling and pounding and pushing and stretching into new shapes.

Most of our lives consist of tasks that are in fact fairly repetitive and automatic. Have you ever had the scary feeling that you've driven home and not remembered the route you took? That's because you are doing something that is not engaging your brain so it just doesn't even bother filing it in your memory. If we do no physical exercise our bodies get flabby - I don't think many people realize that the same is true of our brains.

Trying to work out how a dimension-defying Escher drawing works, or how can I get that stupid Coffee Roaster before this guys starts shipping six corn at a time makes our brain earn its keep and is therefore thrilling and invigorating.

Sorry - I'm probably being more psychological than philosophical, but still.

If life were just about surviving, then we might as well be algae. Playing games is an example of something that adds nothing to staying alive, but makes it worthwhile doing so.
 
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Paul Kidd
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Sorry - didn't go to Splash! - it was about 18,000 km away.

Oops - make that about 11,000 miles for those of you stuck in the last century.

 
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Paul DeStefano
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The answer is:

I taught philosophy at a university level.

Learn to spell philosophy befre dabbling in it.
 
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Tim Thomas
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Professor
I would think a former philosophy professor would subscribe to the philosophy of encouraging people to learn more about the subject. In fact, it may have just been a typo and not a misspelling. Even if it was a misspelling, there are much kinder ways to remind him.
 
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Tom T
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Your brain
I agree, when you do something which you have done many times before it gets boring, and your brain activity falls off.

Games are good because they challenge you to think in new ways, to explore experiences unavailable elsewhere. They can help you construct your brain.

We are on this planet for two reasons:

1) For its being: your awareness and that of those around you, your happiness and fulfillment- these are the being of the universe. It is ephemeral, each moment passes on, but it is real.

2) For becoming: for participating in the creative growth in the universe, adding ideas which others take and merge with their own, for having children and protecting species. These are all part of becoming more.

 
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Paul DeStefano
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If you read my post very carefully, you will realize it was meant in humor...
 
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If you read my post very carefully, you will realize it was meant in humor...

You see Paul, this is what I was talking about last week when I did the Humorless Geek journal entry. I have kept my word and not used any emoticons since then.

Just a thought though about emoticons and humor that requires something less obvious than a pratfall or smiley face... I have concluded that emoticons are the problem with so many younger internet users having no depth of understanding. It's counter-productive to encourage people to use smileys and little reddened-cheek yellow balls to express something that ought to be transmitted intelligently in actual language.

Geeks are an at risk group for development of a co-dependent relationship with little circles wearing sunglasses or with idiotic flaming eyeballs.

I have not used an emoticon for 8 days.

I call it tough love.
 
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Nasty McHaggis
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Hmmm...I re-read it several times, very carefully...and it still sounded snooty.
 
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Hmmm...I re-read it several times, very carefully...and it still sounded snooty.

Ah... yes Grasshopper, but I see you are using an emoticon... yes, yes, it's the Smiley one. Patience acolyte, listen to the master and learn the Way of the Word...

Do not think about humor Grasshopper. Dispense from your troubled and cloudy mind the notion that because no emoticon exists that therefore snootiness must have displaced it.

Find your peaceful, inner self Grasshopper, the one where no circular yellow objects have eroded command of your newly forming language skills... are you there... yes, yes, that's it... exhale........

Now... read the Philosophy Professor's words very carefully befre you accuse him of snootiness.

Nice.... isn't it?
 
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Bill Allen
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Learn to spell philosophy befre dabbling in it.

That's funy! The smiley's are just itching to get out on that one ...
 
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Paul Kidd
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I don't mean to be rude, but could we get back to the topic? It was potentially interesting.
 
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Teacher Fletcher
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Paul, good points, especially about the driving home example.
 
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Stven Carlberg
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My theories:

Q. Why are Escher pictures so cool?

A. He was such a great draftsman that the pictures get cool from being in the draft.

Q. Why are we on this planet?

A. The next one over doesn't have enough oxygen.

Q. Why do I like games so much?

A. They're fun and they take your mind off the misery and incipient doom of the human race.

Q. Why do I keep asking these odd Questions?

A. Because you are such an odd Pholosopher.

Glad to help!

P.S. "An emoticon-free society is a polite society." -- Robert :0) Hein_____
 
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John O'Haver PhoDOGrapher
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If time is money AND
Time waits for no man AND
No man is an island...

Does money wait for islands?
 
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andrew
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units of waiting
Does money wait for islands?

that depends if money has the concept of time. to wait you need to have some method to measure the wait. time is quite good for this.

spread the love :-x
still no kissey emocion thingy.
 
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Jon M
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Oxygen
The question is not where did all the next planet's oxygen go but where did our's come from? The answer is of course photosynthetic algae. Therefore "why are we on this planet?" is answered by ... because green slime farts oxygen.
 
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John O'Haver PhoDOGrapher
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Time is money!
"that depends if money has the concept of time"


Then the greater question is...

(unless one is talking about certain cheeses then the grater question is...)


Does money/time have a concept of self?
 
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Daniel O'Connell
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"Why do I like games so much?"
Can't answer that one I'm afraid but I can say why I like games so much.

Humans have an instinctive urge to bash each other around, stab each other in the back, kick each other when we are down and generally prove our superiority by being beastly to each other.
Obviously in modern society this is not acceptable but around a game board we are allowed to indulge in our nastiest, weaselliest, backstabbingest urges without losing our friends. In fact it's more likely to gain us friends.

Well that's the anthropological answer, I suppose.

(note, not an expert in anthropology)
 
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L. B. M.
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Learn to spell philosophy befre dabbling in it.

Wow. Thanks to the person that bolded "befre". Being mildly dyslexic, I didn't catch that, therefore it was coming out snooty to me.
 
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Brian Rowe
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Escher pictures are so cool because his artwork plays on our our senses' ability to perceive our surroundings. "Optical illusions" aren't as much about such images fooling our ability to perceive accurately as they are an interesting mechanism by which we can realize how good our brains are at making sense of what we see (or hear, touch etc.)

Our brains do an amazing job of trying to sort out how that endless spiralling staircase never seems to get anywhere.

We're on this planet because it is the one where we exist. We'd ask ourselves the same question of any other planet, were we to live there instead. It's akin to asking, "why this universe?". It is simply the one we're able to observe. Conditions on another planet (or universe) wouldn't give rise to us; we wouldn't exist there to ask the question.

I don't know why you like games so much, but I've been trying to sort that question out for myself. I started a journal entry on it, Of Games and Reason, but it has a long way to go.

You ask these Questions because they amuse you--or, at least the myriad responses do.

(And, I didn't attend Splash! at MIT. Bet I missed out on some interesting stuff.)

Cheers,

Brian
 
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