User Tag List

123 Last

Results 1 to 10 of 68

  1. #1

    Default The End of Postmodernism?

    Has postmodernism finally deconstructed itself?

    I've read Heidegger and Khun, as well as some of Derrida and Foucalt. Their ideas appealed to me to some extent. But I think their ideas have started to wear thin and outlive their usefulness.

    "All models are wrong, but some models are useful."

    I think the biggest problem that postmodernism had was its over focus on words. As if it were practical to describe or "model" things with words alone.

    You've heard that "a picture is worth a thousand words", right? I think this is a severe underestimate. I think, nowadays, a picture is worth around 20 million words. To add to that, I think a measurement is worth about 12 words per significant figure plus another 18 or so words due to the dynamic range of measurements available (more on that, if this discussion continues).

    I think post modernism (and frankly all of the humanities, including philosophy) has limited its explorations to words...there are fringes that allow for visual and performance arts, but for the most part, the statements and their criticisms are verbal in nature. To the extent that that the words attempted to capture what was not well captured in words, the attempts were clumsy.

    Modernists (in the postmodern characterization), made statements that were claimed to be either right or wrong. Postmodernists perhaps added two more categories, neither and both, or maybe decided that categorization is of no value what-so-ever. If this does not resemble solipsism to others, I don't know what will. Like solipsism, and modernism, for the claims of postmodernism is no real way to "prove" anything one way or another.

    All of these differences are moot, in my mind, due to the lack of practicality in any of these endeavors, beyond some moments to pause for reflection. I say this because the questions of "is it true or false?", "is it good or bad?", and so on, are incredibly limited.

    I think questions that resemble, "How close?' and "How far?" are quite a bit more flexible. Depending on the precision of your measurement or estimation, there are a great many possible answers...not just possible answers, but acceptable, and accepted answers. "The ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle is 3" is accepted and acceptable in many contexts, as is "The ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle is 3.14" and "The ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle is 3.14159265359". If you wanted to use 3.2 instead, that wouldn't be so bad either.

    If we allow numbers and measurements to have equal footing in meaning to words so that the numbers in all contexts meant something to people (the same way that 2 PM or $6 means something to people), and we allow a quantitative reasoning to have meaning (not reduced to a 2-bit multiple choice of words), I think we will recognize post-modernism to be the ridiculously limiting paradigm that it is.

    What are your thoughts on my ideas above?

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  2. #2
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    MBTI
    ENTJ
    Enneagram
    7w8
    Socionics
    ENTj
    Posts
    5,908

    Default

    Your critique reminds me of the general critique towards philosophy made by Wittgenstein, especially in its "Philosophical Investigations".
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

  3. #3
    Permabanned
    Join Date
    May 2009
    MBTI
    ISFP
    Enneagram
    6w7 sx
    Socionics
    SEE Fi
    Posts
    25,301

    Default

    I'm glad.

  4. #4
    royal member Rasofy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    MBTI
    INTP
    Enneagram
    5w6 sp/sx
    Posts
    5,933

    Default

    What are your thoughts on my ideas above?
    I want some of whatever it is that you're smoking.

    All of these differences are moot, in my mind, due to the lack of practicality in any of these endeavors, beyond some moments to pause for reflection. I say this because the questions of "is it true or false?", "is it good or bad?", and so on, are incredibly limited.

    I think questions that resemble, "How close?' and "How far?" are quite a bit more flexible.
    Agreed. Strict binary logic is mostly mental masturbation. Perhaps philosophy should become less Ti and more Te. Less deduction, more induction. I don't go to a class to have a teacher telling me that he can't affirm whether or not we exist - yes, this happened.

    Sounded interesting on the first day, but that can't be the the endpoint.
    -----------------

    A man builds. A parasite asks 'Where is my share?'
    A man creates. A parasite says, 'What will the neighbors think?'
    A man invents. A parasite says, 'Watch out, or you might tread on the toes of God... '


    -----------------

  5. #5
    garbage
    Guest

    Default

    You're right.

    At least, if we can't use more rough-cut ways to express the ineffable stuff, we're gonna hit a wall where it seems impossible to make any sense out of it.

  6. #6

    Default

    I thought I posted this under Philosophy and Spirituality, not Politics.

    I suppose it can stay where it is, but I had not intended it to be a political discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    Your critique reminds me of the general critique towards philosophy made by Wittgenstein, especially in its "Philosophical Investigations".
    I suppose there are some similarities to the notion of using theories and "misusing" theories in a particularly creative and fruitful way.

    I am proposing something specific, however...that statements' truth values should not be binary but based on difference directly. In a theoretical sense, a numerically valued proposition, can be built up from an axiom schema of true/false propositions. What I am suggesting, however, is that, for practical purposes, we ought to be using numbers.

    If we seek clarity, then why make things more complicated using 3 propositions where one measurement or estimation would do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rasofy View Post
    I want some of whatever it is that you're smoking.
    I'm not sure how to take that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rasofy View Post
    Agreed. Strict binary logic is mostly mental masturbation. Perhaps philosophy should become less Ti and more Te. Less deduction, more induction. I don't go to a class to have a teacher telling me that he can't affirm whether or not we exist - yes, this happened.

    Sounded interesting on the first day, but that can't be the the endpoint.
    I'm not sure how to take that either. Trying to pigeonhole every idea or action to a cognitive function seems like a fairly fruitless activity. But, I too disliked the "absolutely no conclusion" results of philosophical endeavors.

    So I think Thomus Kuhn (and definitely the rampant relativism that many of his interpreters espoused of their own accord) was missing the biggest components of scientific change. Paradigms don't actually shift, the old ones just get used (perhaps slightly) less often while new ones more often.

    Do we still treat the earth as flat? In a way, yes. Because at "small distances", the earth is pretty flat. (There is a drop of roughly 10cm per Km by my rough estimation).
    Do we still treat the earths orbit around the sun as circular? Again, in a way, yes. Because it is close to circular. (Eccentricity of about 0.02)
    Did Einstein's theory of gravitation actually replace Newton's? For many practical purposes, no. Most people doing computational chemistry have no need to consider gravitation at all, and people designing bridges and tunnels, do just fine with Newton's version.

    So this notion of "paradigm shift", and "normal science" vs. "revolutionary science", especially, seems to be rather overblown to me. Especially, since the scientists that seem to make the most "revolutionary" contributions are the same ones that seem to make the most "normal" contributions also. Did you know Einstein had over 300 publications? Interestingly, his two most cited works according to google scholar are: 1) His resistance to quantum mechanics in the EPR paradox. and 2) His early investigations of diffusion.

    Einstein's example, to me, seems to highlight the non-difference between normal and revolutionary science quite well. 1) Even when he was "resisting the paradigm shift", his contribution was of paramount importance. The EPR paradox led to Bell's Inequality, and is forming an important part of quantum information theory (which I know very little about). 2) His work on diffusion was remarkably important to biology, biochemistry, chemistry, material science, solid state physics, and electrical engineering. In some ways, this paper has had more influence than relativity or the idea of the photon. The techniques he used in his estimations (something a lot of us call "dimensional analysis" now and what Newton called the "Great Principle of Similitude") were a continuation of a tradition that lead to and will continue to lead to wonderful insights, in much the same way that logic is used in mathematics and analytical philosophy.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  7. #7
    Ginkgo
    Guest

    Default

    The idea that constructed arguments were functions of power has been around since people began to be even relatively self aware. However, the actual movement of postmodernism was born of a general sense of doubtfulness about everything society was told, resisting by interchanging concepts with words. There's a bit of paranoia in that, and a lack of recognition that concepts are abstract, not concrete. I think the natural reaction to postmodernism will be kind of like an age of data mining, where people actively seek out information to empower themselves.

    The classifications of such an age will be completely arbitrary, whether it has already occurred or whether it will happen in the future. The psychological make-up of one age to the next hardly differs; we classify these things based on what we remember about them. That being said, post-postmodernism is probably already happening.

  8. #8

    Default

    This throwing our hands up and saying "all classifications are arbitrary" is exactly the type of thing we are reduced to if we do not avail ourselves to quantitative reasoning. There may be a well formed classification scheme underneath a rather convoluted mapping of categorizations that we cannot see. A rather simple "fuzzy categorization" seems fairly easy to make, however (for example, OK Cupid style: 2% modern, 12% post-modern, .... ).

    I do think that Big Data is going to be making much more of an impact in our lives in the coming decades. However, I see within its first wave, the seeds of its own destruction (possibly more destruction than just itself). Namely, Big Data makes has two credos that ought not be made at the same time:
    1) "Let the data speak for itself."
    2) "We don't care about causal mechanisms."

    ^That combination is deadly. Because:
    1) Data doesn't speak for itself. Never has. Never will. Here, the post-modern critiques apply and give us pause (but should only give us pause, not stop us forever). It is important to remember that data "speaks" through algorithms designed by people, and is collected by machines designed and operated by people. It is important to keep the assumptions built into the data in mind when we decide what to do. If we can trace back to causal mechanisms (even if only in the data collection, and data processing), then we can take some solice.

    2) We know that in our proximal world, there are causal mechanisms. We don't use phrases like "root cause" or anything like that. But we know that there are mechanisms of many things acting together to make things happen. We ignore this at our peril. If we stick solely to correlations, we can easily get caught off guard when the correlations suddenly change because the underlying mechanisms reached a bifurcation point. If we are at least monitoring our assumptions to see if they change, perhaps we can react quickly enough to discern new correlations.

    I'm not sure how long it will take the coming Big Data 1.0 boom to bust (or even if that is the way things will play out), but I am fairly confident that there will be Big Data 2.0 that doesn't entail the two dangerous credos mentioned above.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  9. #9
    Paranoid Android Video's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    MBTI
    ISFP
    Enneagram
    4w5 sx/sp
    Socionics
    ESI Fi
    Posts
    3,174

    Default

    Once we started doubting doubt...

  10. #10
    Senior Member UniqueMixture's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    MBTI
    estj
    Enneagram
    378 sx/so
    Socionics
    esfp
    Posts
    3,038

    Default

    The only "criticism" I have is that this sort of reductionism can't capture mixed states of perception and being which I believe we should be assessing in order to make things like aesthetics and ethics quantitative.
    For all that we have done, as a civilization, as individuals, the universe is not stable, and nor is any single thing within it. Stars consume themselves, the universe itself rushes apart, and we ourselves are composed of matter in constant flux. Colonies of cells in temporary alliance, replicating and decaying and housed within, an incandescent cloud of electrical impulses. This is reality, this is self knowledge, and the perception of it will, of course, make you dizzy.

Similar Threads

  1. The end of innovation?
    By ygolo in forum Science, Technology, and Future Tech
    Replies: 27
    Last Post: 04-15-2011, 04:39 AM
  2. The end of freedom of speech?
    By Sahara in forum Politics, History, and Current Events
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 12-29-2009, 03:45 PM
  3. Forget Big Brother: Facebook, Corporations, and the End of Free Speech
    By speculative in forum Academics and Careers
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 11-23-2009, 11:40 AM
  4. why is taking semester off the end of the world?
    By prplchknz in forum Academics and Careers
    Replies: 27
    Last Post: 11-06-2009, 01:53 PM
  5. Man on the Moon: The End of Day (New Kid Cudi Album)
    By metaphours in forum Arts & Entertainment
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 10-02-2009, 01:59 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO