Hawking has last laugh

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Norwegian
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Re: Hawking has last laugh

Post by Norwegian » Wed May 09, 2018 5:08 pm

+1 and :good: to that Queequeg.

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Mantrik
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Re: Hawking has last laugh

Post by Mantrik » Wed May 09, 2018 7:25 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 4:33 pm


YMMV.
It certainly does. What an odd post.

Of the Tri Via, we can choose any, and change our minds. I just found it amusing that however brilliant, certainty eludes the genius as often as the dullard, and following 3 roads (or maybe two as he followed the same one twice) is a great exemplar of samsara.

Had he chosen a more tangible problem a resolution may have literally been a planet-saver, but apparently I must not say so.

Quite why you would regard a beautifully creative mind applied to one topic as wondrous, and applied to another as a miserable attack on creativity I have no idea - I see no logic at all in that view.
I am someone who spent the best part of 40 years earning pretty good money from being 'creative' wiv wurdz, btw, and training people to work in the industry, so I'm not in a bad position to appreciate the nature of creativity and artistry in others.
I'll send you a totally trivial horror story I penned, just for fun, if you like. ;)

I doubt that Hawking would be po-faced and irritable in his response to my amusement, but then he had a wonderful sense of humour - and probably understood English humour is often ironic and even sarcastic yet without malice. I think the main problem here is that you just don't 'get' that humour, perhaps because I have failed to convey it, which is my fault, and I apologise.
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Micchāmi Dukkaḍaṃ (मिच्छामि दुक्कडम्)

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Queequeg
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Re: Hawking has last laugh

Post by Queequeg » Wed May 09, 2018 7:55 pm

Mantrik,

Let's get something out of the way... there's nothing po-faced or irritable in my response. Also, don't pretend that your remarks are just humor. You definitely have a serious argument that you are making.
Mantrik wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 7:25 pm
Of the Tri Via, we can choose any, and change our minds. I just found it amusing that however brilliant, certainty eludes the genius as often as the dullard, and following 3 roads (or maybe two as he followed the same one twice) is a great exemplar of samsara.
The fundamental issue you seem to not grasp is that any serious scientist knows that certainty is unattainable in their work. Hawking certainly understood that.

But you make this assumption that he had some illusion that he could attain certainty and then proceed to belittle the work he did because it was not practical. Again, you reduce the value of a person's output to its practical utility.

I'm addressing this seriously because this is a view that has wide currency in our society, particularly among decision makers and it is having real consequences that I believe are detrimental to our society.

Anyway, that's my two cents and then some.

And I got a +1 from Norewegian! :group: :cheers:
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

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Mantrik
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Re: Hawking has last laugh

Post by Mantrik » Wed May 09, 2018 8:24 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 7:55 pm
Mantrik,

Let's get something out of the way... there's nothing po-faced or irritable in my response. Also, don't pretend that your remarks are just humor. You definitely have a serious argument that you are making.
Mantrik wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 7:25 pm
Of the Tri Via, we can choose any, and change our minds. I just found it amusing that however brilliant, certainty eludes the genius as often as the dullard, and following 3 roads (or maybe two as he followed the same one twice) is a great exemplar of samsara.
The fundamental issue you seem to not grasp is that any serious scientist knows that certainty is unattainable in their work. Hawking certainly understood that.

But you make this assumption that he had some illusion that he could attain certainty and then proceed to belittle the work he did because it was not practical. Again, you reduce the value of a person's output to its practical utility.

I'm addressing this seriously because this is a view that has wide currency in our society, particularly among decision makers and it is having real consequences that I believe are detrimental to our society.

Anyway, that's my two cents and then some.

And I got a +1 from Norewegian! :group: :cheers:
As is often the case in forums, words seem to be getting in the way. Actually, I'd rather you were annoyed than just posting personal remarks as a routine dispassionate thing. This looks like a rant to me:
''There is nothing more pathetic than a dogmatist digging in against overwhelming evidence......

This is the same kind of utilitarian thinking that is leading to the dismantling of liberal arts faculties throughout higher education. "Who needs Shakespeare? Who needs fine arts? Who needs musicians? We need scientists, but not just any scientist, only scientists who do something practical."

I made no assumption about Hawking's belief in certainly at all. None.

Niether did I assume any human was incapable of error, or that they felt they were, or lacked a sense of humour about their own fallibility. At least we share that.....well, maybe except the English humour gene. ;)

Again, I do not belittle his work, just found some irony in it and wished his work had been applied to something else. You accuse me of positing a untilitarian view, but what if I had said that I wished he had spent his time writing novels, poetry or sculpture. No doubt you'd accuse me of wanting him to pursue trivial creativity instead of his serious quest to solve big issues.

You have some issue with a prevalent view society and seem to have attached my posts to it. I have no idea what view you mean, nor the society in which it has currency, so I can hardly accept or deny anything. I'll assume (risky) you mean utilitarianism and lack of appreciation of creative endeavour. For reasons I explained, that is very wide of the mark. I actually trained people in Higher Education to enter creative work. lol :)
http://www.khyung.com

Micchāmi Dukkaḍaṃ (मिच्छामि दुक्कडम्)

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Queequeg
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Re: Hawking has last laugh

Post by Queequeg » Thu May 10, 2018 12:58 am

Mantrik wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 8:24 pm
As is often the case in forums, words seem to be getting in the way.
As a dharma friend once wrote, "There is no reason for this to turn into a ‘cold war’ or an incessant battle of words... it might be time to move on cheerfully and remain good Dharma friends, despite differences of view."
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

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The Cicada
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Re: Hawking has last laugh

Post by The Cicada » Thu May 10, 2018 2:06 am

Mantrik wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 8:24 pm
Niether did I assume any human was incapable of error, or that they felt they were, or lacked a sense of humour about their own fallibility. At least we share that.....well, maybe except the English humour gene. ;)
A wise (in my fallible estimation) man of partially French extraction once said:
Queequeg wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 7:13 pm
Forgiveness is not a feature of Buddhist practice...
And neither is schadenfreude. Despite the cackling glee that the escalating spitefulness and resulting loss of composure of you two gentlemen produces in me, I instead take the high road and wish for all beings to be at peace despite any slights given or received due to discussing physics and physicists. The fact that I put my money on Queequeg should some sort of gentlemen's duel bizarrely arise from this disagreement is besides the point. No one is "less of a man" for backing away from conflict entirely despite any perceived slights to their intelligence, personal worth, or competence despite the injury to the (ultimately illusory) perceptions of them held by others. It is not weakness to overlook the apparent intransigence of others, no matter how humiliatingly intolerable to the illusory ego.

Of course, I'm only trying to help.

:namaste:

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Queequeg
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Re: Hawking has last laugh

Post by Queequeg » Thu May 10, 2018 2:09 am

The Cicada wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 2:06 am

Of course, I'm only trying to help.

:namaste:
Of course. Couldn't be any other way.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

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Mantrik
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Re: Hawking has last laugh

Post by Mantrik » Thu May 10, 2018 8:11 am

Well, this is the 'Lounge' where 'anything goes, almost'.

I recall we also created a special sub-forum for heated argument over Dharma matters way back when I was a Mod. So we've always worked on the basis that we remain friends however hot the room gets....and this one is very temperate.

I had mentally put this thread to bed some time ago but someone decided to offer me this :) :

http://www.khyung.com

Micchāmi Dukkaḍaṃ (मिच्छामि दुक्कडम्)

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Dan74
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Re: Hawking has last laugh

Post by Dan74 » Sat May 19, 2018 8:23 am

Mantrik, as far as I can tell, says two related things:

1. Scientists sometimes work on questions that are inherently beyond our reach and therefore any theory will be largely speculation.

2. It would've been much better if they spent time solving real world problems that actually improve people's lives.

I think these are both reasonable stances though not without weaknesses.

1. Much of what is accepted as fact today was thought impossible to determine yesterday. Predicting the existence of Black Holes, understanding the nature od gravity and time, peering into the smallest as well as the farthest reaches... In maths, Euclid's Fifth Postulate.. The example I brought up about the age of the universe, is one you should look into in more detail. There a number of very different methods each point to the same figure. So I think there is much more than speculation in reaching for these grand questions.

2. I don't know. Hawking may not have had the skill, the knowledge or the interest to work on eliminatingbworld hunger. In general I do agree though for more theoretical people it can be hard to motivate themselves to delve into the messy real world where the elegance, the beauty and the deep ideas and insights they thrive on, are seen very seldom.
Interest

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Re: Hawking has last laugh

Post by Wayfarer » Sat May 19, 2018 10:24 am

I really think Hawking was over-rated as a public intellectual. Of course it's impossible for a non-expert to judge the value of his scientific work, but in terms of his persona as a public intellectual, I really never liked his obvious animus against anything he deemed religious (and that cast quite a wide net.) In one of his books, he more or less said philosophy has lost the plot, because it can't keep up with what's going on in physics. Even to say that, betrays a certain kind of philistinism, in my view. (See here for a response.)

I noticed in New Scientist back in 2012, there was a cover story on some conference on Big Bang cosmology. Some physicist came up with an argument for why the Universe really must have had a beginning. Hawkings' response was along the lines of, this is something we would really rather avoid, because it seems to support the idea of a supernatural origin. I felt this was a revealing response: there are certain lines of thought which we ought to avoid, because the metaphysical implications don't sit well with our presumptive materialism.

So - don't claim to be able to judge Hawkings' scientific achievements, but philosophically and culturally, I am not particularly well-disposed to his ideas.
Only practice with no gaining idea ~ Suzuki-roshi

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Re: Hawking has last laugh

Post by Fortyeightvows » Sat May 19, 2018 10:35 am

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