Sunday, July 15, 2007

Making tracks...

` No, not Wonkyfoot tracks. Though it was amusing when I managed to singlefootedly convince that weird pseudoscience fanatic of the existence of Wonkyfoot. Literally, in fact. It was this foot:

` Can anyone explain to me why my ripped-up toes produce octopus suckers? Anyway, I just popped in to tell people why it is I'm constructing a new blog.
` I'm sure that most people are not really sure what is going on. Like SwillMan here. Because I love using real people as examples. He left this comment on a temporary post in my new blog:

ANOTHER blog, Spoony? Aren't we getting a little out of control now? I have no doubt that the content will be triple-A, but since you now have FOUR blogs, perhaps you could consolidate Wackmobiles and Introspection into one blog now, so you just have two science blogs and one drawing blog? I dunno- you're fucking out of control!
` But the truth is, I don't properly have any science blogs at all... yet. At least anything that is serious and intellectual. I have two silly blogs, as the doctor has noted (after stealing a lake from the Andes mountains).
` And so, I decided... I must establish one! And post with a straight face!
` This growing inspiration all started in school, where it had been getting clearer by the day just how much I am in need of focusing while making points (coming up with a proper thesis, keeping organized, etc.).
` Eventually, my mind returned to a comment (somewhere around here) left by David Petersen of Northwestern University in Chicago (if I remember correctly). I wrote him an email saying;
...I'm that blogger whose blog you commented on a while back... you said I got mostly everything right about the scientific method and stuff... though it still kinda bothers me - do you remember what I didn't get right? I'll be finishing another similar type of post in the near future, perhaps an answer would give me some kind of insight.
` Poor David - he was too overheated to write me back right away and told me he had been melting. Ironically, so have I, but I digress!
Your "melting" and mine does have one common thread and it's called perspiration. Yours is by choice and mine is unchecked circumstance...the spot market price for electrons has jumped and curtails continuous use of the air conditioner.
` He then tells me just how much trouble blogs can bring:
... Blogs are one notch below forums and basically mirror off hand and spurious comments. They also tend to bring out the beast in individuals who can hide in anonymity via the Internet and foster a persona of extreme discourteousness and popular beliefs. I know very little about your critical thinking skills Sara but I do see some remarkable depth of thinking from what you have written. I would, if possible, like to read some of your expository or narrative writing.
Now, as to the scientific method, I should ask you what you know about it and its relationship to epistemology. Do you use the scientific method in acquiring sound knowledge and here I am specifically referring to the rigors of logical thinking when it comes to decision making or the formulation of opinions.

So, give me your thoughts and we will start a discussion.

I am pleased that you find WSS interesting. Its aim is simple--free knowledge.
` So I offered him some Alligator wine (made with the finest alligators!), told him what I knew and sent him links to various posts of mine. ...And that I was starving at the time and was about to dig into some oatmeal with peanut butter.
I think I can help you understand some things Sara. We do have some things in common on this knowledge issue. Also we are both on a low food intake. And that's what I will be doing now...Friskies on a cracker. I'll get back with you in an hour or so and be prepared to write a short essay--hehe. School is never over.
` This basically spawned a whole series of emails. He told me more about the blowedness of blogs:
As far as the blog goes Sara, don't expect a whole lot of positive input. The nature of the venue promotes "hip shooting" comments from people who in general don't know what they are talking about and don't have the slightest idea how to approach an issue, research an issue, or respond to an issue.
` Pffft! Tell me about it!
They are content with poor aphorisms and are probably guided by a dictum of just how aggressive and offensive they can be in three sentences or less. Identities and deeds of the most vile are committed by mobs where the individual assumes the mantra of the mass and shuns decency, integrity, and personal responsibility.
` My all-time favorite is this one: 'Go lick you girlfriend Your "critical thinking" is a joke. Go get an education before you make yourself anymore of an idiot'
` Way to go, buddy!
` Anywho (did I just type that?), Petersen continues;
The Internet is the same way especially with most of the blogs. Before "blogs" were "forums" of which I had great experience. I used to be the senior moderator of a physics web site.
It was utter chaos when I arrived and took almost a year cleaning house and firmly establishing and enforcing the rules. Eventually, it became the top forum for intelligent discussions of physics and related fields of philosophy--even theology within the parameters of science.
` Cool!
I see Sara as a bundle of energy and desperately wishing to apply wisdom to what she is feeling inside. Unfortunately the wisdom is a product of individual maturation and accumulation of knowledge and experiences.
` Damn.
A true existential situation of angst for Sara. But take heart for all is not lost and a channeling of that energy can be directed towards the creative in writing or the arts. ... I am not sure how to understand your brashness. It's not a bad thing as long as the ultimate end is beneficial for you. The tone of your writing is aggressive and somewhat unfocused...lacking cohesion and logical flow of thoughts.
` Yeah, I get that a lot. In general. It's the ADD, trust me.
These can all be corrected in time with more and more writing and understanding the methodology of saying what you want to say in an understandable manner. ... Establishing the blog of your dreams may mean a totally different approach but that runs the risk of blocking individuals and eliminating nonsense statements...that negates the definition of a blog where anything goes.
` I can certainly live with that.
Now for the epistemology issue. It isn't that complicated, for knowledge can be gained in a variety of ways. The scientist's way involving the "scientific method" cannot always be applied to everyday life and probably shouldn't.
But the philosophical tools of logic that apply to the sciences can successfully be applied to everyday life and are extremely important. I think this is synonymous with what you call "skepticism" and that is a most healthy way of approaching an issue to discover the "trueness" of an issue.
` When it all boils down, can there really be any other way?
Understanding and applying the rules of logic will make you stand above the crowd and gain a source of knowledge that others cannot accept. WSS under "Good Science" has links to the informal logic material. ...

I will ask again for a copy of a piece of expository writing from some of your college work--something like a term paper handed in at the class. I wish to see what can be done away from your blog material.

Full tummy?
` I did write back to him and he replied:
Good to hear from you and I was impressed with the presentation of your letter. Addressing [through highlight] issues that interest you and making a comment is very good....
` And of course, I'd just had to ask (teehee!);
No Sara, I don't eat Friskies on a cracker. I originated that phrase when I worked in radio many years ago. I don't remember the circumstances but I do remember that the PD [Program Director] was driving to work listening to the radio and nearly had an accident when he heard me utter that phrase.
I understand you and your blogging Sara. You have such talent and yet few experiences or worldliness to open a site where only serious matters count. You use what you have the best way you can and for now it is the silly, undisciplined side. That will change as you mature.

Okay, you don't have any class papers. Would you consider writing one for me--about 1,000 words or so on a topic that appeals to you and you think you have sufficient material to write either an expository or narrative paper.
` Gulp.
Read these websites, study the informal fallacies, and all the examples. There will be a test soon--hehe. These will help you throughout your life by separating fraud from truth and avoid intellectual mistakes in speaking and writing.



"Alligator wine"? Wellllll, maybe some fermented pea pod wine.
` Before I had even seen that email, I had already created my fourth blog. David admonished me:
If you work hard at the blog, keep it scholarly, and keep it clean from flamers, sexual reference, and profanity, I may have a surprise for you. I will try it for a while and see how you work with it.
` Here was the surprise (which took me a while to actually notice):

Something New Has Been Added To The Scope Of WSS

A New Blog Website ["Number Four, Bethink Avenue"] Devoted To Essays On Science, Philosophy, And Current Events

Established By

S E E Quine

Go to...

` Yes, why don't you? I have my first post up, and it won't be long before there's more! But first, finishing an essay for school on Tuesday....


Galtron said...

I've seen people eat Friskies on a cracker. They called it 'pa-tey' for some reason.

This is a great move for you, Spoony, I know you can do eet!

S E E Quine said...

` Of course you do. You're Galtron!

Galtron said...

For a minute I almost thought I had the wrong blogger! Spoony, you've changed, I mean, mutated, drastically! Lookin' good!

So... when are you going to put up your first Bethink post, anyway?

Charles said...

"Can anyone explain to me why my ripped-up toes produce octopus suckers?" I'm no expert, and I'm no doctor, but those appear to be plantar warts. I had them once, my doctor recommended that I take a fairly high dose of vitamin A, and in about a month, I noticed my feet felt funny while showering. Upon examination, I found that they had all fallen out. Recommended to my brother a few years later and he got the same results.

S E E Quine said...

` Your feet had all fallen out?

` No, just kidding!!!

` Vitamin A, huh? Well, it couldn't hoit. Thanks, Charles!

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