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ex nihilo

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'Mother' star goes full frontal for 'Sarah Marshall'
« Reply #300 on: April 21, 2008, 02:55:03 PM »

Sarah Marshall of Glendora didn't get a lot of notice. Until about three weeks ago. That's when hundreds of billboards started appearing in five cities, including L.A. They proclaimed, in black letters scrawled against a white background: "I'm So Over You, Sarah Marshall," "You Suck Sarah Marshall," "My Mother Always Hated You, Sarah Marshall," and "You Do Look Fat in Those Jeans, Sarah Marshall."

The billboards are part of a marketing campaign for the comedy "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," from Universal Pictures, about a dumped boyfriend trying to get over his ex. The animosity toward their fictional namesake has brought the real Sarah Marshalls -- who include an advertising student in Texas, a special-education teacher in Connecticut and a high school senior in Glendora -- an outpouring of concern. "They're everywhere, and they're so annoying," said Sarah Marshall the Glendora student, who lives three blocks from one of the billboards. Adults called her parents to ask if she was the target of a hate campaign. "I wish they specified that it's a movie," she said. Ad student Sarah Marshall of Fort Worth, Texas, one of 276 Sarah Marshalls on Facebook, said: "I got a lot of e-mails and phone calls asking if my boyfriend and I were OK."

But don't expect any sympathy cards from the Universal marketing department.


Here we go

From Ernest Borgnine in "Marty" to Jon Favreau in "Swingers," Hollywood has long portrayed sensitive men humbled at the feet of cold-hearted women. But never has a guy been put down quite like Jason Segel in "Forgetting Sarah Marshall." In his breakout role, Segel reveals his knack for a raw vulnerability that would be depressing if it wasn't so funny.

And "reveals" is the operative word.

In the opening scenes, Segel's character misinterprets the reason for his girlfriend's urgent visit. Instead of a roll in the hay -- and he has completely disrobed in preparation -- Sarah Marshall has come to dump him. Utterly distraught, he doesn't cover up for Marshall -- or for the camera. In several full frontal shots, Segel completely bares himself. The R-rated gag is already the most-talked about scene in the film. It's culled from an experience the 28-year-old Segel -- who wrote "Sarah Marshall" -- had several years ago. He says it's presented "almost verbatim" in the movie. "This naked breakup commenced and, honest to God -- maybe this is part of the problem -- all I kept thinking was, 'This is ... hilarious,' " Segel recalls.

In a recent interview on the set of "How I Met Your Mother," where he is a co-star, the 6-foot-4 Segel is much like his characters suggest he would be: good-natured and a little sheepish. "He kind of has a gentle giant thing going on," says "Sarah Marshall" director Nicholas Stoller, who's also a close friend of Segel's. "His eyes naturally look hurt, but he's not actually a depressed guy. He's a very positive, happy guy." A L.A. native, Segel was "noticed" when Paramount's president of casting happened to be in the audience of his high-school production of Edward Albee's "The Zoo Story," which Segel says he was putting on "for almost no reason at all." After a few small film roles, Segel's career began in earnest when Judd Apatow cast him in "Freaks and Geeks," the revered high school comedy that was canceled in 2000 after one season. It has since established a fervent cult following, and was a foundational experience for Apatow, Segel and much of the young cast, which included Seth Rogen and James Franco. As Nick Andopolis, Segel was both exceptionally earnest and terribly awkward -- trying to impress girls with his 29-piece drum set, for example. In Apatow's next TV show, the similarly short-lived "Undeclared" (2001-2002), Segel played a lovelorn long-distance boyfriend.

"It's always funny to watch Jason get beat up on and suffer," says Apatow, who produced "Sarah Marshall." "He's just fun to watch feel pain and that's always what made me laugh about him." Says Segel: "Judd and I really collided on the idea that, for some reason, I'm able to remain likable while getting awfully close to the creepy line. It's one of my strange skills, so we've definitely cultivated that for 10 years now." After "Undeclared," Segel was out of work until Apatow's fortunes skyrocketed with 2005's "The 40-Year-Old Virgin." On a Thursday soon after the film opened, the two went to a Laker game. Apatow informed him: " 'Listen, I can get movies made now. Are you writing?'" Segel told him about "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," sent him an outline the next day, and received contracts from Universal by Monday. Still shaking his head, Segel says, "It's ridiculous. It's nuts."

In the film, Segel's character attempts to get over Marshall by taking a trip to a resort in Hawaii, where, coincidentally, Marshall is staying with her new boyfriend, a British rocker played by Russell Brand. Many of the supporting roles are filed by Apatow regulars -- Paul Rudd, Jonah Hill, Bill Hader -- but the new love interest, a hotel receptionist, is played by Mila Kunis ("That '70s Show"). It's received strong reviews and been heavily promoted by the studio, thanks largely to Apatow's track record. (It took the No. 2 slot at the weekend box office.) Besides "Virgin," he produced "Superbad" and directed "Knocked Up" -- in which Segel played Rogen's friend, the aggressive and cheesy seducer. "My character in 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall' couldn't be more different than my character in 'Knocked Up,' but sadly, I think there's some of me in both," says Segel. "It really depends on how much I've had to drink." Progressing from bit player to box-office comic star like Steve Carell ("Virgin") and Rogen ("Knocked Up," "Superbad") won't be easy. Segel has faith in the film, though, and besides, he's already swimming in new projects. He's currently filming "I Love You, Man," co-starring Rudd; he's writing a script titled "Five-Year Engagement" that Stoller will direct and Apatow will produce; and he's writing a script with Stoller for a new Muppet movie for Disney. (Segel counts Kermit, "the original Tom Hanks, the everyman," as a major inspiration.) At any rate, Segel doesn't expect to run out of real-life material for his films. "I'm filled with horribly awkward moments," he says. "It's probably why I don't sleep very well."

http://edition.cnn.com/2008/SHOWBIZ/Movies/04/21/film.jasonsegel.ap/index.html

If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

brace

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Re: 'Mother' star goes full frontal for 'Sarah Marshall'
« Reply #301 on: April 29, 2008, 01:32:34 PM »

Sarah Marshall of Glendora didn't get a lot of notice. Until about three weeks ago. That's when hundreds of billboards started appearing in five cities, including L.A. They proclaimed, in black letters scrawled against a white background: "I'm So Over You, Sarah Marshall," "You Suck Sarah Marshall," "My Mother Always Hated You, Sarah Marshall," and "You Do Look Fat in Those Jeans, Sarah Marshall."

The billboards are part of a marketing campaign for the comedy "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," from Universal Pictures, about a dumped boyfriend trying to get over his ex. The animosity toward their fictional namesake has brought the real Sarah Marshalls -- who include an advertising student in Texas, a special-education teacher in Connecticut and a high school senior in Glendora -- an outpouring of concern. "They're everywhere, and they're so annoying," said Sarah Marshall the Glendora student, who lives three blocks from one of the billboards. Adults called her parents to ask if she was the target of a hate campaign. "I wish they specified that it's a movie," she said. Ad student Sarah Marshall of Fort Worth, Texas, one of 276 Sarah Marshalls on Facebook, said: "I got a lot of e-mails and phone calls asking if my boyfriend and I were OK."

But don't expect any sympathy cards from the Universal marketing department.


Here we go

From Ernest Borgnine in "Marty" to Jon Favreau in "Swingers," Hollywood has long portrayed sensitive men humbled at the feet of cold-hearted women. But never has a guy been put down quite like Jason Segel in "Forgetting Sarah Marshall." In his breakout role, Segel reveals his knack for a raw vulnerability that would be depressing if it wasn't so funny.

And "reveals" is the operative word.

In the opening scenes, Segel's character misinterprets the reason for his girlfriend's urgent visit. Instead of a roll in the hay -- and he has completely disrobed in preparation -- Sarah Marshall has come to dump him. Utterly distraught, he doesn't cover up for Marshall -- or for the camera. In several full frontal shots, Segel completely bares himself. The R-rated gag is already the most-talked about scene in the film. It's culled from an experience the 28-year-old Segel -- who wrote "Sarah Marshall" -- had several years ago. He says it's presented "almost verbatim" in the movie. "This naked breakup commenced and, honest to God -- maybe this is part of the problem -- all I kept thinking was, 'This is ... hilarious,' " Segel recalls.

In a recent interview on the set of "How I Met Your Mother," where he is a co-star, the 6-foot-4 Segel is much like his characters suggest he would be: good-natured and a little sheepish. "He kind of has a gentle giant thing going on," says "Sarah Marshall" director Nicholas Stoller, who's also a close friend of Segel's. "His eyes naturally look hurt, but he's not actually a depressed guy. He's a very positive, happy guy." A L.A. native, Segel was "noticed" when Paramount's president of casting happened to be in the audience of his high-school production of Edward Albee's "The Zoo Story," which Segel says he was putting on "for almost no reason at all." After a few small film roles, Segel's career began in earnest when Judd Apatow cast him in "Freaks and Geeks," the revered high school comedy that was canceled in 2000 after one season. It has since established a fervent cult following, and was a foundational experience for Apatow, Segel and much of the young cast, which included Seth Rogen and James Franco. As Nick Andopolis, Segel was both exceptionally earnest and terribly awkward -- trying to impress girls with his 29-piece drum set, for example. In Apatow's next TV show, the similarly short-lived "Undeclared" (2001-2002), Segel played a lovelorn long-distance boyfriend.

"It's always funny to watch Jason get beat up on and suffer," says Apatow, who produced "Sarah Marshall." "He's just fun to watch feel pain and that's always what made me laugh about him." Says Segel: "Judd and I really collided on the idea that, for some reason, I'm able to remain likable while getting awfully close to the creepy line. It's one of my strange skills, so we've definitely cultivated that for 10 years now." After "Undeclared," Segel was out of work until Apatow's fortunes skyrocketed with 2005's "The 40-Year-Old Virgin." On a Thursday soon after the film opened, the two went to a Laker game. Apatow informed him: " 'Listen, I can get movies made now. Are you writing?'" Segel told him about "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," sent him an outline the next day, and received contracts from Universal by Monday. Still shaking his head, Segel says, "It's ridiculous. It's nuts."

In the film, Segel's character attempts to get over Marshall by taking a trip to a resort in Hawaii, where, coincidentally, Marshall is staying with her new boyfriend, a British rocker played by Russell Brand. Many of the supporting roles are filed by Apatow regulars -- Paul Rudd, Jonah Hill, Bill Hader -- but the new love interest, a hotel receptionist, is played by Mila Kunis ("That '70s Show"). It's received strong reviews and been heavily promoted by the studio, thanks largely to Apatow's track record. (It took the No. 2 slot at the weekend box office.) Besides "Virgin," he produced "Superbad" and directed "Knocked Up" -- in which Segel played Rogen's friend, the aggressive and cheesy seducer. "My character in 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall' couldn't be more different than my character in 'Knocked Up,' but sadly, I think there's some of me in both," says Segel. "It really depends on how much I've had to drink." Progressing from bit player to box-office comic star like Steve Carell ("Virgin") and Rogen ("Knocked Up," "Superbad") won't be easy. Segel has faith in the film, though, and besides, he's already swimming in new projects. He's currently filming "I Love You, Man," co-starring Rudd; he's writing a script titled "Five-Year Engagement" that Stoller will direct and Apatow will produce; and he's writing a script with Stoller for a new Muppet movie for Disney. (Segel counts Kermit, "the original Tom Hanks, the everyman," as a major inspiration.) At any rate, Segel doesn't expect to run out of real-life material for his films. "I'm filled with horribly awkward moments," he says. "It's probably why I don't sleep very well."

http://edition.cnn.com/2008/SHOWBIZ/Movies/04/21/film.jasonsegel.ap/index.html


Hmm, I see...

scrap

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Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #302 on: April 29, 2008, 01:55:09 PM »
Well, people eventually learn to get over the rejection, brace!

R E M

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Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #303 on: May 05, 2008, 11:28:28 AM »

According to Gurdjieff the enneagram figure is a symbol that represents the "law of seven" and the "law of three" (the two fundamental universal laws) and, therefore, the figure can be used to describe any natural whole phenomenon, cosmos, process in life or any other piece of knowledge. The basic use of the enneagram is to explain why nothing in nature and in life constantly occurs in a straight line, that is to say that there are always ups and downs in life which occur lawfully. Easier examples of this can be noticed in athletic performances, where a high ranked athlete always has periodic downfalls, as well as in nearly all graphs that plot topics that occur over time, such as the economic graphs, population graphs, death-rate graphs and so on. All show parabolic periods that keep rising and falling. Gurdjieff claimed that since these periods occur lawfully based on the Enneagram that it is possible to keep a process in a straight line if the necessary shocks were introduced at the right time.

The principal enneagram figure used by the Fourth Way and Gurdjieff is a circle with nine points. Within the circle is a triangle connecting points 9, 3 and 6. The inscribed figure resembling a web connects the other six points in a cyclic figure 1-4-2-8-5-7. This enneagram's construction is based on the laws of octaves. The enneagram's construction is also constructed lawfully on the same laws as the decimal system. If the enneagram is used to represent a whole octave of notes and the number 1, then by dividing 1 into seven different notes...

1/7=.142857...
2/7=.285714...
3/7=.428571...
4/7=.571428...
5/7=.714285...
6/7=.857142...
7/7=.999999...

...it can be noticed that all of these fractions, except in the case of the last one, are made up of the same numbers running in a definite sequence, and by joining those numbers on the figure the given web-like shape is obtained. Also, if the web is used in an explanation, by knowing the initial number of the period it is possible to immediately re-establish the whole period in full.

On the enneagram most processes are represented through octaves where the points serve as the notes; a concept which is derived from Gurdjieff’s idea of the law of seven. In an octave the developing process comes to a critical point (one of the triangle points) at which help from outside is needed for it to rightly continue. This concept is best illustrated on the keys of the piano where every white key would represent an enneagram point. The adjacent white keys which are missing a black key (half note) in between represent the enneagram web points which have a triangle point in between. In order that this point would pass onto the next, an external push is required.



Using the enneagram a process is depicted as going right around the circle beginning at point 9 (the ending point of a previous process). The process can continue until it reaches point 3. At this point an external aid is needed in order that the process continues. If it doesn't receive the 'help' the process will stop evolving and will devolve back into the form from which it evolved. The process continues until point 6 and later 9, where a similar "push" is needed. If the process passes point 9 the initial process will end while giving birth to a new one.


This external "push" thing appears to be very interesting..


Hahaha!! I know whatta ya mean ;)

Vigilance

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Legal Reasoning
« Reply #304 on: May 06, 2008, 02:32:33 PM »

The idea that the universe has a rational structure that the mind can apprehend characterizes an older trend in European philosophy called "rationalism." Rationalism traces its roots to Rene Descartes and to the birth of modern philosophy. Most of 20th century European philosophy was a direct reaction to this older tradition, a reactionary attempt to explore the possibility that the universe has no rational structure for the mind to apprehend. Phenomenology, for example, as advocated by Edmund Husserl confines itself to observing and describing our own consciousness without drawing any conclusions regarding causes or connections.


Like cud is regurgitated grass for cows, logic is regurgitated opinion for humans. Whenever and wherever cows belch or dispose, they enrich air and fertilize earth. Whenever and wherever logic burps or disposes, it can and does distroy life. If the situation were reversed, cows would have long-been eradicated for posterity's sake... but logic is not eradicated though posterity be at stake. Instead of looking to visionaries and dreamers, whose eyes see above and beyond known, authority persists in thumbing well-worn logic-pages and recycling ineffective solutions.

localrealist

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Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #305 on: May 07, 2008, 04:15:28 PM »

Indeed, Simpson's acquittal and subsequent stiffing of the victim's families confirmed that the rich, famous and powerful have the deep pockets to hire a "dream team" of lawyers, a small army of high priced, high-profile attorneys, expert witnesses, experts and investigators that routinely mangle the legal system to stall, delay, and drag out their cases and eventually allow their well-heeled clients to weasel out of punishment and payment. Since most Americans can't afford anything resembling the type of legal star treatment Simpson got, it affirmed their belief that justice is for sale and that the rich, famous and powerful will always escape punishment. Even when prosecutors manage to win convictions against celebrities such as Winona Ryder and Martha Stewart, their money, fame, power and legal twisting often guarantee that they will do minimal jail time in a cushy country club prison, or none at all.

If a poll were taken today, a majority of whites would still rage that Simpson is a murderer who skipped away scot-free and scream that the trial and his acquittal were a farce and a blatant travesty of justice. In the same poll, a majority of blacks would rage that Simpson was victimized by a white racist criminal justice system and the verdict was a just one. The periodic news clips of Simpson in the years since the trial have shown a cheerful and relaxed Simpson golfing, vacationing, signing autographs and football collectors cards and taking an ill-fated stab at a reality show. Simpson comes off as a devil-may-care guy that laughs at and thumbs his nose at the public. This hasn't done much to endear him to anyone, let alone make the case go away.

And don't get me started about that @ # ! * i n g piece of poo Johnny Cochran who brought racism and prejudice up again and again. The scientific evidence against the n i g g a was overwhelming, yet Cochran successfully used race to give credibility to his defense. While it was undisputable that Simpson was an abusive master of Nicole Simpson, he described Nicole as a "very strong independent woman" and Simpson as a "member of a mutual relationship that was not master/servant in nature." In introducing the American "tradition" of slavery, Cochran insidiously reminded jurors that oppression, in the form of racism and white-on-black crime, still exists today. While Simpson was in effect a jealous chauvinist pig, he said that Simpson never stalked Nicole and even let other friends of hers get married at his house.


The social event which interested me about Simpson trial was not so much the connection between wealth and acquittal. Though it is a disappointment, I was not so suprised about that. The thing which interested me, was how public support for Simpson or for the prosecution followed roughly racial lines.

This suggests to me a variety of associations. One is that many black Americans are for some reason racial thinkers -- the support was almost undeniably black, while the opposition had people of many colors. The reason could be general lack of education, or general cultural separatism (or, among a number of other options, just plain unmotivated math, though that is unlikely). Both are well documented. Folks who ain't too bright think he didn't do it just cuz he's black. What assumption has the author used in the syllogism above?

Another association which I find deplorable is the issue of spousal abuse. The Simpson trial should rightly have been couched as a question of domestic violence and the irresponsibility of male partners in marriages, and sadly the African American community generally is remarkably weak in that regard already. That the members of that community then derailed a discussion which could have been valid and helpful to them -- that of male irresponsibility and violence against spouses -- to retrack it on a line that neither bore much relation to the evidence, nor served their community's best interests because it ignored the real issue ... well, that was a disappointment to me. It was a chance for America's blacks to think clearly, recognize a rot at the core of things, and perhaps address it. They dropped the ball. As one of Nicole Brown Simpson's sisters said at some press conference or other (I paraphrase, "If he says he's going to kill you, he probably is, and you need to seek protection.") The more germane spousal-abuse issue was largely left uninvestigated amid the cries for or against the "race card."

A third association is simply, the one of publicity. I watched the verdict live on TV. How many Americans can say, "I was there" about (for example) Congressional hearings about the deteriorating wetlands in Louisiana, the Carolinas, and Florida? Or Greenspan's last pronouncements about interest rates? We as a society take an interest in that which has a sound byte, a sudden and decisive impact at a moment of decision. We don't like long slow committee processes and an eventually carefully drafted report. Rather, we want drama, a sudden moment of decisive pressure, an all-or-nothing break. Courtrooms are good drama: the choices are near to absolute and the stakes are high. It's probably just human nature, but it's dissappointing that people who probably can't identify the Vice President or the Attorney General (when we HAVE one ...) watched in rapt attention to one defendant's verdict in a jurisdiction thousands of miles away from their own homes.

But I'm generalizing about social groups, here, and about the roles of popular impression and interpretation of the trial thanks to the media. That's not really on topic for this thread. I'm departing from the strictly rational questions of legality. And anyway I'm only a pre-LSAT prepper. I don't belong here at all. :)


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDaO7N-JujU&feature=related

byraze

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Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #306 on: May 07, 2008, 05:27:15 PM »

In particular, Stanislav Grof feels the holographic paradigm offers a model for understanding many of the baffling phenomena experienced by individuals during altered states of consciousness. In the 1950s, while conducting research into the beliefs of LSD as a psychotherapeutic tool, Grof had one female patient who suddenly became convinced she had assumed the identity of a female of a species of prehistoric reptile. During the course of her hallucination, she not only gave a richly detailed description of what it felt like to be encapsuled in such a form, but noted that the portion of the male of the species's anatomy was a patch of colored scales on the side of its head. What was startling to Grof was that although the woman had no prior knowledge about such things, a conversation with a zoologist later confirmed that in certain species of reptiles colored areas on the head do indeed play an important role as triggers of sexual arousal. The woman's experience was not unique. During the course of his research, Grof encountered examples of patients regressing and identifying with virtually every species on the evolutionary tree (research findings which helped influence the man-into-ape scene in the movie Altered States). Moreover, he found that such experiences frequently contained obscure zoological details which turned out to be accurate.

[...]


Holding the Tensions

Carl Jung gave the image of the alchemical vessel in which processes of sublimation and purification take place. Psychotherapy provides this same kind of containment whereby tensions and paradoxes are charged with energy until they give way to active transformation. Even nuclear fusion requires the hot plasma to be contained long enough for fusion reactions to take place. The same is true of scientific and philosophical ideas. David Bohm regretted the speed with which Neils Bohr tried to resolve the tensions inherent in quantum theory. Within a year of Heisenberg's discovery of matrix mechanics Schrodinger produced his wave equation and Bohr and others quickly demonstrated the mathematical equivalence of the two approaches. Yet both approaches do subtly different things - Heisenberg's matrix mechanics, for example, makes no reference to an underlying or background space. If only the two approaches could have been held in tension, emphasizing both their similarities and differences, Bohm argued, then it may have been possible to develop a much deeper theory, one that transcended conventional notions of space-time and allowed for an intimate connection with relativity.

A similar tension exists today between scientific approaches to "consciousness theory" (in which the origin of mind is attributed to objective structures and processes within the brain - albeit some of them being quite novel, such as Penrose's notions of the gravitational collapse of the wave function) and our subjective experiences of consciousness, rare moments of transcendence and those inexplicable occurrences in which the irrational breaks through in dreams, synchronicities, etc. Then there are other phenomena which seem to have a foot in both camps, these include Jung's psychoid which is neither matter nor mind and both, the aforementioned synchronicities and phenomena such as projective identification. Rather than seeking a quick resolution between the subjective and objective it is valuable to hold on to the differences and paradoxes and use them as pointers to something deeper. Now that psychology has discovered the objective within consciousness (Jung's collective unconscious) so too physics must discover the subjective in matter; in fact, physics must come to terms with "the irrational in matter". Science is producing ever more delicate information about processes within the brain. Openness to Eastern meditative traditions brings with it alternative theories of consciousness and subtle matter. Transpersonal psychology addresses the idea of collective mind. Quantum theory and chaos theory help to loosen the appeal of traditional mechanistic theories and reductionistic approaches and, in the process, providing us with new metaphors. Nevertheless we are still victim to over two hundred years of mechanistic thinking and we work within a language that reflects and supports such a world view. As soon as we speak about mind and consciousness we find ourselves talking about objects, concepts, things, localization in space, separation and movement in time. Yet both quantum theory and Eastern psychology point to timelessness, active process and the ultimate illusion of the personal observer. It is very difficult for us, even now, to fully embrace the quantum paradigm, even the mathematics of quantum theory is still (paradoxically) expressed using space-time coordinates when the same theory predicts the break down of space-time structure. And time itself, as Prigogine points out, has never treated correctly in physics. Up to now it has been used more as an ordering parameter 't', and conveys nothing of the dynamics in which being gives way to becoming.

Locality and Beyond

The central question is: What is it that exists independent of the physical brain? Yet as soon as we attempt to formulate this questions we prejudice the answer through our linguistic concepts of object, location in space and so on. Current "consciousness studies" in the hard sciences assume that mind, or consciousness, emerges out of the physical brain and cannot therefore exist independent of it - although a variety of physical signals can be sent between brains. Our experience of consciousness awareness - scanning the environment and having access to our memories - is certainly conditioned by the state of the physical brain. But to suggest that brain is the sole cause of mind does not logically follow. Consciousness studies also argue in favour of some sort of quantum mechanical origin for consciousness. In its barest form it proposes that the sort of things done by consciousness (Penrose picks out mathematics) cannot all be reduced to algorithmic processes and therefore mind does not have a mechanical basis. While parts of it may be hard wired it does not totally operate like a computer. Quantum theory, the argument goes, is the other thing that cannot be reduced to algorithmic form. Ergo quantum theory must have something to do with consciousness. From there researchers rush on to theories of quantum tunneling, collapsing wave functions, non-local connections and coherent quantum structures. But a variety of other explanations are possible:

- That mind was present in the universe ab inito. For example, in the form of a proto mind associated with even the elementary particles.

- That mind is of a totally different order and makes its liaison with matter via the medium of the brain (The dualism of Popper and Eccles).

- That both mind and matter (at the quantum level) arise out of some deeper level.

- Or, to follow Bohm, that mind and matter form an unanalyzable whole which must be addressed through some totally different order of explanation - the Implicate Order. In this case the Cartesian cut is an illusion present only at the Explicate Order of perception and explanation.

byraze

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Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #307 on: May 07, 2008, 05:30:10 PM »
Phenomena

We are well on the road to invoking theoretical explanations and at this point it is important to go back to experience and psychic phenomena.

a. Projective Identification

Projective Identification offers a paradigm case of the tension between physics and psychic experience. Projective identification should be distinguished from Transference, in which the patient "projects" fantasies (for example, involving authority figures) onto the blank screen of the therapist. In projective identification something more akin to a literal pro-jection of psychic material takes place. It may happen that, during a session, the therapist experiences, without necessarily being aware that something unusual is going on, memories, feelings attitudes, associations that lie outside his or her experience. At the time, however, these are indistinguishable from "true memories". It is only later that the therapist realizes that the patient has injected external psychic material into the therapist's mind. It is very difficult to account for what happens. Clearly some aspect of the patient's psyche - a set of associations or a complex of memories and desires - has fragmented from the self and been projected outwards into the mind of the therapist. In its new location, and for a limited time, it integrates with the therapist's consciousness to produce awareness of new memories and associations. The patient is now able to view what was previously the very painful contents of personal consciousness in an objective way for now it belongs to someone else. The final result, hopefully, is to allow this material to be reabsorbed and reintegrated in a more creative manner. Projective identification appears to be a strategy used by the mind to produce movement and transform. One thinks of certain chemical reactions which, although energetically advantageous, cannot take place because energy barriers between molecules cannot be overcome. Although chemical transformation is desired it is prevented by internal energy barriers. Using a catalyst, however, molecules adsorb on its surface and "borrow" energy needed to undergo the necessary transformations whereby they can react together. After reacting they are then free to leave the catalyst's surface. In Projective Identification the mind of the therapist may play a similar role, allowing certain complexes to be absorbed into a new psychic location where they new become "free" and undergo transformation. Presumably a healthy mind also possesses a "psychic immune system" which is able to detect such projected material and eventually reject it so that alien memories do not possess the therapist for too long.

Projective Identification forces us in the position that "something" is being projected across space, from one mind to the other. This seems a more satisfying explanation than the assumption that both minds have access to some common pool of consciousness - for something seems to be shot, like the darts of a Medicine Person, from one to another. Of course this does not mean than "mind" as such is projected. It may simply be some sort of encoded information about mental processes, structure and content that projects from one brain to another. Once in its new location this information activates (like a virus) and makes use of mental energy to form a new centre in consciousness. Projective Identification is more common than we assume. It is, for example, the mechanism whereby art (and music) operate in that aspects of the psyche are projected outwards and encoded on the surface of a painting as gestures, masses, shapes colours and everything else that makes up a "visual code". The listener or viewer can also "enter into" the work and gain access to this activity of encoded information which then acts to induce transformations of consciousness. This is the meaning of early cave art. It is involves a transformation of consciousness and operates at the level of the psychoid.

b. Mystical States

In such states ego boundaries disappear as the mystic partakes in a transcendental reality, or speaks of having access to ancient knowledge, powerful symbols or alternative realities. Psychiatry may try to explain this in terms of psychic inflation, access to the archetypes or (following Groff) as an inherited body-memory. Mystics suggest that consciousness opens to the ground of all being. The Indian teacher, J Krishnamurti, taught that when the brain dies to thought something else operates that brings about a mutation of the brain's structure and a permanent transformation of consciousness. This suggests quite different mechanisms than Projective Identification in which the mind becomes an aspect of something much larger.


c. Group Mind

The sharing of consciousness, even during dreams, is a well established phenomenon amongst many Indigenous peoples. David Bohm believed that something similar could be achieved through his "dialogue process." Does this imply communication between minds, or the ability of individual minds to move into some deeper, collective domain?

d. Paranormal Phenomenon

There are a variety of anecdotal reports that individuals can practice remote viewing, move objects or have access to other minds. At the moment their scientific status is by no means universally accepted.

e. Synchronicities

During periods of extreme psychic stress experiences, replete with meaning, occur that appear to transcend the boundaries of matter and mind, space, time and causality. Like (d) above they remain anecdotal but are difficult to dismiss. They suggest that mind and matter may be aspects of some underlying reality - Jung's psychoid, Bohm's Implicate order.

byraze

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Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #308 on: May 07, 2008, 05:31:51 PM »
Non-local Mind

How are the various phenomena above to be explained? There are two general lines of approach. One argues that something is transmitted, transferred or projected between two minds. The other is that minds are able to partake, dip into, or unfold out of some common underlying ground, and that they are not bound by the categories of space and time.

a. Transmissions

Theories of transmission assume that, in addition to speech, pheromones, visual gestures, touch and possible electromagnetic effects, there exist more subtle forms of transmission. Yet as soon as one begins with the assumption of interchanges between two spatially located minds then one is firmly based within a mechanical order of space and time. Transmission effects may indeed occur - a sixth sense perhaps - but it is difficult to see how they can account for the richness of the phenomena discussed above.

b. Fields

This is a popular explanation (Langs bi-polar fields) for various non-local effects. But one must remember that a field is in essence a notion from classical physics. A field carries energy and is defined at each point in space. Hence one is still using the language of objects and location. (Admittedly there are also quantum fields but these are also defined at all space-time points and can only be stop-gap notions on the way to a deeper quantum theory) One could argue that the concept of field can be retained even when one drops the classical notions of space, time, energy and so on. But in such a case one has really given birth to a radically new concept in science, something which is not a field at all. The term "field". It is a short hand way of speaking about what are very vague concepts. It does not really help us understand things in any clearer way. As pointed out above the concept of "field" carries with it too much baggage from classical, mechanistic physics. What is called for is a totally new concept. Maybe if we agree to forgot that world "field" we will be forced to face phenomena themselves and seek some more appropriate concept.

c. Non-local connections

Quantum theory (Bell's Theorem) permits non-local connections and at first sight this is often taken as the mechanism for communication between minds. But these quantum correlations cannot be used to carry signals or information. Neither can quantum connections be invoked to explain paranormal phenomena. This is not to deny that non-local connections may indeed exist between brains. Or that mind transcends the distinctions of space and time. But this cannot be justified by appealing to Bell's Theorem. It may, however, be useful to propose that Bell's non-local connections are themselves a special case of something more general. Non-locality may, for example, be the direct consequence of global forms, forms that are not defined within space-time. In view of the importance of form in biological systems, in the Jungian archetypes, and as the "form of the wave function", the role of form in consciousness may be a profitable route to explore.

d. Information

Information is another idea attracting a great deal of attention (Laszlo's Psi fields, Sheldrake's morphic fields). Historically physics first dealt with matter, then energy. Maybe at the end of the century we will be dealing with information. Information appears to transcend the divide between subjective and objective, matter and in mind. The major difficulty with information lies in its ontology. What exactly is the nature of its existence and in what form is it present in mind and matter? If one talks of "fields of information" then one is back again to the old Cartesian world of objects in space and the need for a medium for the transmission of signals. If information is to prove useful then it has to have its own new level of description and its own mode of existence. Clearly information demands mathematical forms that lies beyond the concept of field. Maybe, for example, information is born at the level of prespace.

e. Active Information and Prespace

Bohm's Ontological Interpretation of quantum theory proposes that, at one level, the electron is a particle guided by a quantum potential. At a deeper level the electron is a continuous process of collapse and expansion. At an even deeper level these processes do not take place in space and time but in pre-space represented by something akin to Grassman and Clifford algebras. Grassman originally developed his algebras (in the 19th century) as a means of describing the movement of thought. When one notes the intimate connection between Grassman algebras, the notion of prespace and information the combination of ideas becomes striking. Pregeometries may turn out to be closely connected to mind. What Bohm was speaking about in this context was what he called "active information". Bohm proposed that quantum processes are guided by information - not passive information in the form of encoded data but an actual activity of information. Bohm's analogy is to the way subtle information in a television signal impresses itself upon, and thus gives form to, the crude energy entering the electrical plug. In this way a subtle signal produces pictures and sounds. For Bohm, information is an activity that acts on both matter and energy. He also connected the idea of active information to the operation of the immune system, which he saw as a form of intelligence delocalized over the whole body. For Bohm a change of meaning in the mind became a change of actual being in the body. Yet again the problem arises as to what exactly is the ontological status of active information. How is it to be described? Where does it exist? The whole topic is exciting but requires much work. It is tied to other speculative ideas in quantum theory about structures that exist prior to space and matter.

(As to the encoding of information at the quantum level, important clues may come from the reduced density matrix (a 2-particle form which contains information about the total N-particle wave function). N-particle information is encoded, or enfolded, within the reduced density matrix (as it is in the Green's Function). The N-representability problem deals with the question of how the antisymmetric form of the wave function places restrictions on the form of the reduced density matrix. It should be recalled that quantum non-locality exists precisely because of the anti-symmetric form of the wave function - an antisymmetric form cannot be factorized into subcomponents. Hence there is a deep connection between non-locality, information and the density matrix. A further connection is that N-representability conditions are connected to Grassman algebras (the algebras of exterior forms) and it is precisely these same algebras that seem to hold the key to pre space. Such a rich interconnection of ideas cannot be mere coincidence.)

Prespace algebras, such as the Grassman algebra, begin with a fundamental distinction being made in a featureless ground. Thought is indivisible yet creative perception can distinguish opposite poles in this thought. Once the first perception, or distinction, has been established then the algebra begins to generate itself and, in the process develop structures that may be the precursor of space. In an analogous fashion a thought in the mind is created out of an instant of perception. Once this perception has taken place and the thought is born then it begins to move by a dialectical process - in this way psychological time is born. Both space and thought seem to be born out of an analogous timeless, creative process. In summary, notions of interactions, transmission and fields may go part of the way to answering our questions yet still don't account for the full richness of "collective mind". They remain tied to mechanistic and Cartesian ways of thinking. Of more promise are versions of "information" or "active information" that lie beyond notions of causality, space and time. However, these ideas are very much in their infancy, they are far from clear and require a great deal of sorting out.

muhamad

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Barack Obama thought O.J. did it
« Reply #309 on: May 11, 2008, 03:25:04 PM »

The social event which interested me about Simpson trial was not so much the connection between wealth and acquittal. Though it is a disappointment, I was not so suprised about that. The thing which interested me, was how public support for Simpson or for the prosecution followed roughly racial lines.

This suggests to me a variety of associations. One is that many black Americans are for some reason racial thinkers -- the support was almost undeniably black, while the opposition had people of many colors. The reason could be general lack of education, or general cultural separatism (or, among a number of other options, just plain unmotivated math, though that is unlikely). Both are well documented. Folks who ain't too bright think he didn't do it just cuz he's black. What assumption has the author used in the syllogism above?

Another association which I find deplorable is the issue of spousal abuse. The Simpson trial should rightly have been couched as a question of domestic violence and the irresponsibility of male partners in marriages, and sadly the African American community generally is remarkably weak in that regard already. That the members of that community then derailed a discussion which could have been valid and helpful to them -- that of male irresponsibility and violence against spouses -- to retrack it on a line that neither bore much relation to the evidence, nor served their community's best interests because it ignored the real issue ... well, that was a disappointment to me. It was a chance for America's blacks to think clearly, recognize a rot at the core of things, and perhaps address it. They dropped the ball. As one of Nicole Brown Simpson's sisters said at some press conference or other (I paraphrase, "If he says he's going to kill you, he probably is, and you need to seek protection.") The more germane spousal-abuse issue was largely left uninvestigated amid the cries for or against the "race card."

A third association is simply, the one of publicity. I watched the verdict live on TV. How many Americans can say, "I was there" about (for example) Congressional hearings about the deteriorating wetlands in Louisiana, the Carolinas, and Florida? Or Greenspan's last pronouncements about interest rates? We as a society take an interest in that which has a sound byte, a sudden and decisive impact at a moment of decision. We don't like long slow committee processes and an eventually carefully drafted report. Rather, we want drama, a sudden moment of decisive pressure, an all-or-nothing break. Courtrooms are good drama: the choices are near to absolute and the stakes are high. It's probably just human nature, but it's dissappointing that people who probably can't identify the Vice President or the Attorney General (when we HAVE one ...) watched in rapt attention to one defendant's verdict in a jurisdiction thousands of miles away from their own homes.

But I'm generalizing about social groups, here, and about the roles of popular impression and interpretation of the trial thanks to the media. That's not really on topic for this thread. I'm departing from the strictly rational questions of legality. And anyway I'm only a pre-LSAT prepper. I don't belong here at all. :)


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDaO7N-JujU&feature=related




In his much-publicized and hashed-over speech on race relations Monday, Barack Obama made a brief reference to the notorious O.J. Simpson murder trial, citing it as an example of the predilection to "tackle race only as spectacle." Less noticed was the elaboration he provided in an interview aired Monday night on ABC's "Nightline" on the question that once so divided many whites and blacks: did Simpson butcher his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her wrong-place, wrong-time friend, Ron Goldman? "You remember when, during the O.J. trial ... black and white culture just had these completely opposite reactions and nobody understood it. I'm somebody who was pretty clear that O.J. was guilty," Obama told "Nightline's" Terry Moran.

He continued: "And I was ashamed for my own community to respond in that way, but I also understood what was taking place, which was that reaction had more to do with a sense that somehow the criminal justice system historically had been biased so profoundly that a defeat of that justice system was somehow a victory." For Obama, the jury remains out on whether he has defused the controversy that enveloped him as attention turned late last week to inflammatory comments uttered over the years by his pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright.