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Tyson’s Cosmos
Posted: 04 April 2014 01:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 61 ]
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TimB - 04 April 2014 12:29 PM
ciceronianus - 04 April 2014 11:50 AM
TimB - 04 April 2014 11:16 AM
ciceronianus - 04 April 2014 07:41 AM

Well, there is no single, absolute, all-encompassing dictionary definition, is there?  Among those you’ll find is “something that is false or not real but that seems to be true or real.”  Merriam-Webster.

My point is there is nothing false or not real about what we call “sunrise” and “sunset.”  If you think there is, please let me know what you maintain we should really be seeing.

The implication that the sun is rising and setting, relative to us, is false.

But an implication is not an illusion.

All I’m doing is trying to point out a problem that results when we characterize something that is not false, or is quite real, as an illusion…

The implication is what is false about what we call sunrise and sunset.  Also, anyone (and I am sure there are some, even today, not just young children) who doesn’t know that we are actually viewing the earth’s rotation eastward relative to the sun, will likely see the sun as moving across the sky, rather than ourselves and our sky moving relative to the position of the sun.

When I am driving on a long straight Texas highway in the summertime, I see water on the highway ahead, only I know that it is not water, but rather heatwaves emanating from the surface of the asphalt.  Are you suggesting that this phenomenon should not be called an illusion?

Seeing a bent pencil in water, is an illusion.  Knowing that the pencil is not actually bent does not change the fact that one sees the pencil as bent.  There are such things as illusions.  We need to know that and to identify those things that we see that are illusory.  Philosophy (and anyone else for that matter) be damned for overgeneralizing to say such things as our senses cannot reflect reality.  It’s merely the case, that sometimes our senses don’t reflect reality.

You seem to be equating the water on the highway you see, which isn’t there, and the pencil in the glass, which is there.  You seem to think they’re both illusions.  I think there is a difference between them; that is, that the pencil in the glass (pencil, glass and water) exists, while the water you see on the highway does not.  The latter may be called an illusion; the former is not.

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Posted: 04 April 2014 01:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 62 ]
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Lois - 04 April 2014 01:05 PM
ciceronianus - 03 April 2014 12:46 PM
Lois - 02 April 2014 10:07 PM
ciceronianus - 02 April 2014 08:54 AM
Lois - 01 April 2014 02:05 PM
ciceronianus - 01 April 2014 08:10 AM
Lois - 31 March 2014 09:33 PM
ciceronianus - 31 March 2014 01:57 PM

Just to whine a bit more about this Cosmos, I have problems with referring to sunrise and sunset as “illusions.”  What we see in those cases is exactly what we should see.  If we saw something different, there would be a problem, i.e. something to be concerned about.  This is the way problems which are not problems are created, as in the case of philosophers who infer from the fact that a pencil in a glass of water seems “bent” that our senses deceive us, and we can’t know what it “really” is we interact with every day.

But the sun doesn’t rise nor set. It never moves in relation to the planets in our solar system.  It is an illusion to descrube the sun as rising and setting, whether it’s what we “should”  see or not. The point is not what we see, it’s how we describe what we see. Is there any intelligent person on earth who doesn’t know that the sun seeming to rise and set is an illusion? If it is not an illusion, what would you say it is, reality?

Lois

When we call something an illusion, we maintain it is not real.  The word “mirage” was also used.  A mirage, likewise, is not real.  The sun is real, and so are the characteristics of the universe which make the sun appear to rise and set to an observer on a planet.  What we see is the sun, not something which is not “really” the sun.  We also see the sun “overhead.”  We still see the sun, not an illusion, i.e. something which is not the sun.

The words we use to describe the sun are not illusions, either.

We see the real sun, yes, but we speak of it as moving. THAT’s the illusion, not the sun itself. The sun doesn’t move no matter how we describe it or “see it.”

Does your definition mean that when Criss Angel is conducting his tricks that they are not illusions because what we see is the actual Criss Angel?

Lois

Alas, I’ve never seen Criss Angel or his tricks, but assume he’s a magician.  Let’s say one of his tricks is to float unaided in the air.  I don’t know whether the real Criss Angel floats unaided in the air, but doubt it.  However, I think seeing the sun set or rise is not the same as seeing Criss Angel apparently floating in the air.  There is no trick involved in the sun setting or rising.  We aren’t tricked, or fooled, or deceived, or even wrong when we see a sunrise or sunset.  We couldn’t see anything else.  You may object to the use of the words “sunrise” or “sunset” but that is not to say there is an illusion, either.

I am not one who objects to the terms. We in the 21st century are not deceived about the sun not moving—but nearly everyone alive at one time was deceived by it. They assumed the sun was moving no matter what it was called and plenty of people swore that the earth could not possibly not be the center of the universe, just as some people claim the earth is younger than it has been shown to be and that global climate change really is not happening and is not wreaking havoc with the environment. (“It still snows in Minnesota, so how can there be global warming?”)

Lois

People who believed the sun was moving around the earth didn’t do so because of an illusion, but because they came to a conclusion which, though seemingly appropriate at the time, has been found to be invalid.  If sunrise/sunset was an illusion, it would remain an illusion, because it would not be real.  Something which is false or not real doesn’t suddenly become true or real.  We may learn that what we thought was the case is not the case, however.  As you say, nobody thinks the sun is moving around the earth now.  Because that is the case, how can we maintain there is an illusion?

An ilusion is a sensory distortion. The distortion does not disappear because we know it’s a distortion.

Lois

Okay, but how is there a sensory distortion when we see a sunrise?  Aren’t our senses working just fine in that case?

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Posted: 04 April 2014 02:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 63 ]
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ciceronianus - 04 April 2014 01:29 PM

You seem to be equating the water on the highway you see, which isn’t there, and the pencil in the glass, which is there.  You seem to think they’re both illusions.  I think there is a difference between them; that is, that the pencil in the glass (pencil, glass and water) exists, while the water you see on the highway does not.  The latter may be called an illusion; the former is not.

The illusion is that the pencil is bent.  There is no bent pencil, existing in the water.  The illusion is that there is a bent pencil. I repeat, a bent pencil does not exist in the water. But the pencil looks like it is bent.  It is an illusion. 

The heat waves emanating from the highway, and the asphalt, seen from a distance, also exist.  The fact that there appears to be water is the illusion.

Both are, indeed, illusions.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 04 April 2014 09:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 64 ]
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ciceronianus - 04 April 2014 01:33 PM
Lois - 04 April 2014 01:05 PM
ciceronianus - 03 April 2014 12:46 PM
Lois - 02 April 2014 10:07 PM
ciceronianus - 02 April 2014 08:54 AM
Lois - 01 April 2014 02:05 PM
ciceronianus - 01 April 2014 08:10 AM
Lois - 31 March 2014 09:33 PM
ciceronianus - 31 March 2014 01:57 PM

Just to whine a bit more about this Cosmos, I have problems with referring to sunrise and sunset as “illusions.”  What we see in those cases is exactly what we should see.  If we saw something different, there would be a problem, i.e. something to be concerned about.  This is the way problems which are not problems are created, as in the case of philosophers who infer from the fact that a pencil in a glass of water seems “bent” that our senses deceive us, and we can’t know what it “really” is we interact with every day.

But the sun doesn’t rise nor set. It never moves in relation to the planets in our solar system.  It is an illusion to descrube the sun as rising and setting, whether it’s what we “should”  see or not. The point is not what we see, it’s how we describe what we see. Is there any intelligent person on earth who doesn’t know that the sun seeming to rise and set is an illusion? If it is not an illusion, what would you say it is, reality?

Lois

When we call something an illusion, we maintain it is not real.  The word “mirage” was also used.  A mirage, likewise, is not real.  The sun is real, and so are the characteristics of the universe which make the sun appear to rise and set to an observer on a planet.  What we see is the sun, not something which is not “really” the sun.  We also see the sun “overhead.”  We still see the sun, not an illusion, i.e. something which is not the sun.

The words we use to describe the sun are not illusions, either.

We see the real sun, yes, but we speak of it as moving. THAT’s the illusion, not the sun itself. The sun doesn’t move no matter how we describe it or “see it.”

Does your definition mean that when Criss Angel is conducting his tricks that they are not illusions because what we see is the actual Criss Angel?

Lois

Alas, I’ve never seen Criss Angel or his tricks, but assume he’s a magician.  Let’s say one of his tricks is to float unaided in the air.  I don’t know whether the real Criss Angel floats unaided in the air, but doubt it.  However, I think seeing the sun set or rise is not the same as seeing Criss Angel apparently floating in the air.  There is no trick involved in the sun setting or rising.  We aren’t tricked, or fooled, or deceived, or even wrong when we see a sunrise or sunset.  We couldn’t see anything else.  You may object to the use of the words “sunrise” or “sunset” but that is not to say there is an illusion, either.

I am not one who objects to the terms. We in the 21st century are not deceived about the sun not moving—but nearly everyone alive at one time was deceived by it. They assumed the sun was moving no matter what it was called and plenty of people swore that the earth could not possibly not be the center of the universe, just as some people claim the earth is younger than it has been shown to be and that global climate change really is not happening and is not wreaking havoc with the environment. (“It still snows in Minnesota, so how can there be global warming?”)

Lois

People who believed the sun was moving around the earth didn’t do so because of an illusion, but because they came to a conclusion which, though seemingly appropriate at the time, has been found to be invalid.  If sunrise/sunset was an illusion, it would remain an illusion, because it would not be real.  Something which is false or not real doesn’t suddenly become true or real.  We may learn that what we thought was the case is not the case, however.  As you say, nobody thinks the sun is moving around the earth now.  Because that is the case, how can we maintain there is an illusion?

An ilusion is a sensory distortion. The distortion does not disappear because we know it’s a distortion.

Lois

Okay, but how is there a sensory distortion when we see a sunrise?  Aren’t our senses working just fine in that case?

Not if you think it means the sun is moving in relation to the earth—or even if you think it just looks like that.  What would you say to a child who thinks the sun is moving? How would you explain it?

Lois

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Posted: 05 April 2014 12:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 65 ]
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You know, the target audience for Tyson’s Cosmos, is probably not us, with the cartoons, and the simplicity in explanatory style.  It is probably children…, and adults who have the developmental level of a child (IOW close to half of our adult population) when it comes to attending to and understanding science.

(I don’t mean to be high and mighty here.  There are things that I can still learn from watching Cosmos.  And I like things explained simply, also.)

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 05 April 2014 07:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 66 ]
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A “troll is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community”. If Ciceraneous is not a troll, it’s a pretty good illusion.

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Posted: 06 April 2014 01:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 67 ]
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Lausten - 05 April 2014 07:12 AM

A “troll is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community”. If Ciceraneous is not a troll, it’s a pretty good illusion.

Folderol.

I don’t think I am one, though.  I noted something I found objectionable about this Cosmos (the use of the word “illusion”) and it kept going from there, I’m afraid, but my part in that was to contribute as others were, though in disagreement.  If you’re upset by this, you upset very easily.  I recommend beta blockers.  Quick, before you disagree and become upset!

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Posted: 06 April 2014 03:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 68 ]
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I certainly don’t consider Ciceronianus a troll.  Although I respect Tyson, I couldn’t watch the show for more than a few minutes without getting bored.  I think it would more properly be aired in the afternoon on the young people’s kiddie channels.

Occam
typo correction

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Posted: 06 April 2014 06:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 69 ]
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ciceronianus - 04 April 2014 01:33 PM
Lois - 04 April 2014 01:05 PM
ciceronianus - 03 April 2014 12:46 PM
Lois - 02 April 2014 10:07 PM
ciceronianus - 02 April 2014 08:54 AM
Lois - 01 April 2014 02:05 PM
ciceronianus - 01 April 2014 08:10 AM
Lois - 31 March 2014 09:33 PM
ciceronianus - 31 March 2014 01:57 PM

Just to whine a bit more about this Cosmos, I have problems with referring to sunrise and sunset as “illusions.”  What we see in those cases is exactly what we should see.  If we saw something different, there would be a problem, i.e. something to be concerned about.  This is the way problems which are not problems are created, as in the case of philosophers who infer from the fact that a pencil in a glass of water seems “bent” that our senses deceive us, and we can’t know what it “really” is we interact with every day.

But the sun doesn’t rise nor set. It never moves in relation to the planets in our solar system.  It is an illusion to descrube the sun as rising and setting, whether it’s what we “should”  see or not. The point is not what we see, it’s how we describe what we see. Is there any intelligent person on earth who doesn’t know that the sun seeming to rise and set is an illusion? If it is not an illusion, what would you say it is, reality?

Lois

When we call something an illusion, we maintain it is not real.  The word “mirage” was also used.  A mirage, likewise, is not real.  The sun is real, and so are the characteristics of the universe which make the sun appear to rise and set to an observer on a planet.  What we see is the sun, not something which is not “really” the sun.  We also see the sun “overhead.”  We still see the sun, not an illusion, i.e. something which is not the sun.

The words we use to describe the sun are not illusions, either.

We see the real sun, yes, but we speak of it as moving. THAT’s the illusion, not the sun itself. The sun doesn’t move no matter how we describe it or “see it.”

Does your definition mean that when Criss Angel is conducting his tricks that they are not illusions because what we see is the actual Criss Angel?

Lois

Alas, I’ve never seen Criss Angel or his tricks, but assume he’s a magician.  Let’s say one of his tricks is to float unaided in the air.  I don’t know whether the real Criss Angel floats unaided in the air, but doubt it.  However, I think seeing the sun set or rise is not the same as seeing Criss Angel apparently floating in the air.  There is no trick involved in the sun setting or rising.  We aren’t tricked, or fooled, or deceived, or even wrong when we see a sunrise or sunset.  We couldn’t see anything else.  You may object to the use of the words “sunrise” or “sunset” but that is not to say there is an illusion, either.

I am not one who objects to the terms. We in the 21st century are not deceived about the sun not moving—but nearly everyone alive at one time was deceived by it. They assumed the sun was moving no matter what it was called and plenty of people swore that the earth could not possibly not be the center of the universe, just as some people claim the earth is younger than it has been shown to be and that global climate change really is not happening and is not wreaking havoc with the environment. (“It still snows in Minnesota, so how can there be global warming?”)

Lois

People who believed the sun was moving around the earth didn’t do so because of an illusion, but because they came to a conclusion which, though seemingly appropriate at the time, has been found to be invalid.  If sunrise/sunset was an illusion, it would remain an illusion, because it would not be real.  Something which is false or not real doesn’t suddenly become true or real.  We may learn that what we thought was the case is not the case, however.  As you say, nobody thinks the sun is moving around the earth now.  Because that is the case, how can we maintain there is an illusion?

An ilusion is a sensory distortion. The distortion does not disappear because we know it’s a distortion.

Lois

Okay, but how is there a sensory distortion when we see a sunrise?  Aren’t our senses working just fine in that case?


It’s a mental distortion based on what we wrongly think we see. 

Lois

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Posted: 07 April 2014 10:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 70 ]
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I’ve seen 4 episodes now, and I think Cosmos is great. Of course I do not belong to the target group, but I think that in making the ‘message’ about science (why it is a better source of truth than the bible, why the universe as science reveals it is beautiful) as simple as possible, it might reach the most people. When fundis react that they want to have the creationist message in it, I think you see that the correct target group was aimed at.

The animations are a bit childish, but as long as they are used just as an underlayer for story telling, I think it is ok. The only moment I felt a bit disturbed was during the scene where Bruno’s fire pile was build up, as there was no voice-over telling or explaining anything. And I also like the idea that not so famous historical scientists are put into the spotlight.

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Posted: 10 April 2014 01:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 71 ]
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I’ve been enjoying Tyson’s Cosmos.  The comic-book characters aren’t my style, I would prefer live action historical re-enactments, like what the Mechanical Universe had.  But that’s just my personal taste.

I do like the history in the videos.  I was interested to see the relationships between Newton, Halley, and Hooke, episode three, I think.  And I do like that the cartoons have such detailed lavish backgrounds, very nice, but only fictional I suppose.  It happy to hear that we are in the peak of the life-cycle of the Universe, with lots of stars to see.  smile

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Posted: 23 April 2014 08:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 72 ]
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On the latest episode of StarTalk, NDT interviews the co-writer of the series, who says that he has not been deliberately poking the fundies.  That part of the conversation comes in at around the 33 minute mark.

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Posted: 25 April 2014 03:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 73 ]
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This is weird!  The only Cosmos episode I have seen in its entirety is the Clair Patterson age of the Earth and lead poisoning issue.

Now there is this:

America’s Real Criminal Element: Lead
http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/01/lead-crime-link-gasoline?page=1

There was no comment on the effects of the poisoning in Cosmos.

psik

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Posted: 29 April 2014 12:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 74 ]
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Nice twist this week. A little commentary on sexism in science. I would love to collect all the stories in science of authorities rejecting someone’s work then being found wrong. It would be interesting to see how that has changed over time.

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Posted: 30 April 2014 08:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 75 ]
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Bmc6HYFCEAAt7FB.jpg

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