Author Topic: Episode #697  (Read 3536 times)

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Offline Devin Bray

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Re: Episode #697
« Reply #60 on: November 20, 2018, 07:28:24 PM »
I think it is very dishonest to call yourself a professor when you are not one or to allow people repeatedly to call you “Dr. Bray” when you do not possess a Ph.D.  Consider yourself whatever you want, you aren’t a professor just because you allow your students to call you one without correcting them. You haven’t earned that title, and using it misleads people into believing you have qualifications you do not have. To me it looks like you are deliberately trying to inflate your credentials, and it is in line with your apparent expectation that you’d gain some instant credibility by buying your way onto the SGU.

No, I didn’t start out in this thread with any personal hostility toward you. It is only when I started relistening so that I could more fully answer and heard you trying to pass yourself off as a professor that I became hostile toward you.

You quite clearly started out the thread with hostility and a pretty grievous misreading of what I had said, as evidenced by your first post.  You've shown no interest in engaging me since.  I'm sincerely sorry that you find yourself so sour for using the word "professor" in a looser sense than you'd prefer, albeit in a sense quite commonly used by those who teach at the university level.  It would have been fun to engage about a topic I find worthwhile and interesting for skeptical minds to ponder.  I will continue to happily field questions and criticism from anyone in the thread who prefers discussing the ideas with me to "busting" me.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2018, 08:26:18 PM by Devin Bray »

Offline The Latinist

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Re: Episode #697
« Reply #61 on: November 20, 2018, 07:44:57 PM »
My first post was not addressed to you at all, and contained no hostility toward you.  Indeed, I had no reason to believe you would ever read it. As I said, I will answer your questions when I have time.  I started to relisten to the podcast for just that purpose.  I will note, though, that I do not appreciate your arguing against straw men of my position in the meantime  rather than waiting for me actually to state it.
I would like to propose...that...it is undesirable to believe in a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true. — Bertrand Russell

Offline Devin Bray

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Re: Episode #697
« Reply #62 on: November 20, 2018, 07:50:48 PM »
My first post was not addressed to you at all, and contained no hostility toward you.  Indeed, I had no reason to believe you would ever read it. As I said, I will answer your questions when I have time.  I started to relisten to the podcast for just that purpose.  I will note, though, that I do not appreciate your arguing against straw men of my position in the meantime  rather than waiting for me actually to state it.

I haven't argued against any position of yours, because I don't know what that position would be.  If your first comment about "quantum woo" was in fact not intended for me, well then, that would in fact be a rather massive and comedic misunderstanding.  Certainly, though, I wouldn't want to straw man you any more than I'd like to be straw-manned myself.  Much of my comments in this thread were made based on the impression that I was being characterized as closer to Chopra than Dennett or the Novellas, which would definitely constitute a major failure of communication.

Hopefully you'll take time to read through my replies to this thread after listening, which I do think provide some much-needed clarification to what were probably underprepared and incomplete statements I made on the SGU.  I'm perfectly happy to take my licks and try to defend my position as rationally as possible, and I think it's an honor to do it in a forum populated by scientific skeptics.  I wish more philosophers were scientific skeptics.

If my position still seems somewhat questionable or unclear, take some time to watch the lecture I linked by Daniel Dennett.  Does his account sound more defensible than my own?  If so, why?  I think this is a perfectly reasonable area to pick ideas apart mercilessly and see what remains, I only ask that we do so in a way that doesn't unfairly characterize my position as something it's not.  I despise what Randi called "quantum flapdoodle" as much as any serious SGU listener. In fact, I have a whole section of my thesis dedicated to attacking it.

Once again, I can only apologize that this was not made clearer in my segment.  I did my best.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2018, 08:35:09 PM by Devin Bray »

Offline bachfiend

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Re: Episode #697
« Reply #63 on: November 20, 2018, 08:57:55 PM »
Am I the only one who sees this as a fundamental issue with the integrity of the podcast?

Yes.

So how much does a seat on the panel for an episode cost?

Maybe I could buy one and join the panel to talk about Diet and Nutrition and the alternate hypothesis for an hour.

(I know they'd have other "topics" but I could bend any discussion around)

That sounds like fun!

/sarcasm

I’d pay for you to appear as a guest rogue to hear you trying to defend your low carbohydrate/high fat ketogenic diet.  That sounds like fun!

I doubt you’d pay for yourself to appear as a guest rogue though.  You’re too cheap to pay for a blood assay of ketones in order to see if you’re actually in nutritional ketosis.

Online CarbShark

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Re: Episode #697
« Reply #64 on: November 20, 2018, 09:05:32 PM »
Am I the only one who sees this as a fundamental issue with the integrity of the podcast?

Yes.

So how much does a seat on the panel for an episode cost?

Maybe I could buy one and join the panel to talk about Diet and Nutrition and the alternate hypothesis for an hour.

(I know they'd have other "topics" but I could bend any discussion around)

That sounds like fun!

/sarcasm

I’d pay for you to appear as a guest rogue to hear you trying to defend your low carbohydrate/high fat ketogenic diet.  That sounds like fun!

I doubt you’d pay for yourself to appear as a guest rogue though.  You’re too cheap to pay for a blood assay of ketones in order to see if you’re actually in nutritional ketosis.

Ha!  I am very cheap, but wouldn't pay for a seat on the panel anyway.

As for the other, WTF? Not only did I never say that, but I have indeed recently had bloodwork done that did indicate ketosis, and over the years I have purchased two ketone blood meters (which are significantly more expensive than glucose meters) and purchased a ketone breath meter.

And in case you're wondering, between the two meters, the breathalyzer and bloodwork with semi-annual checkups since I started this diet I have never once had a test show I was not in ketosis. 
and Donald Trump is President of the United States.

I'm not a doctor, I'm just a guy who has done a ton of research into diet and nutrition.

Offline Devin Bray

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Re: Episode #697
« Reply #65 on: November 20, 2018, 09:22:30 PM »
Devin Bray, special thanks for doing very well as a guest Rogue – and giving extra support to the SGU at the same time. I don't quite comprehend all of your discussion (because Snowball [nee Snuffles] locked the battery cover on my helmet), but hopefully my perception of what I think I learned is close to what was intended. I do know that the word "metaphysics" has a bad connotation to many people, so it was also a good reminder for me to separate wider terms from how they are used or misused – like how some of my friends profess a hatred for all "skeptics" because a few rough-edged people on YouTube call themselves skeptics.

Along the same vein, it seems too many people don't understand why the study of philosophy is useful and necessary. As much as "science" gets kicked around sometimes, too many people use "philosophy" as nothing more than the punchline of a joke that everyone laughs at even though no one gets it.

Then again, maybe I'm projecting because *I* had no clue for the first thirty-plus years of my life.

By the way, even though I understand some very real concerns that these discussions can be misapplied to promote pseudoscience, I personally never got the impression that you were promoting anything of the kind. I do agree with the need to be careful so that folks like Dr. Oz don't try to contrive "Experience is reality!" out of a fast-paced yet casual discussion, but in-context everyone's intentions were clear to me. (Again though, I may not be up to par with the target audience.)


Now perhaps to showcase my own ignorance to everyone…

Is there a way to teach children the concept of models at a younger age so that it wouldn't be so tough to teach about new paradigms? We may always need to start with something like the current subatomic model simply because most third-graders (and middle-aged folks) don't have an aptitude for probabilistic field equations; however, it would be nice if we had a better way to make sure kids know it's actually more complicated than that than simply saying, "It's actually more complicated than that."

Anyway, I'm looking forward to the creation of that artificial intelligence that will comprehend the true nature of the universe. I just hope it's also smart enough to dumb down the answer enough so that I can kind'a sort'a understand it too.

Thanks again.

Thanks for the support.  It's a tough crowd here, but I'm tough enough to handle it!

I could have probably remedied some of the confusion I caused with a few lines, first denouncing "quantum quackery" on all fronts, then explaining that the kind of "free will" I'm interested in is probably better described as talk about how a deterministic biological robot could be said to influence its own behavior through higher-order control functions.  Mentioning that my opposition is both industrial-strength, so-called "libertarian" free will of the sort espoused by Jean-Paul Sartre AND the hard determinism of someone like Sam Harris would probably have also given my remarks much-needed context, but I was wary of too much name dropping.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2018, 09:25:59 PM by Devin Bray »

Offline mabell_yah

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Re: Episode #697
« Reply #66 on: November 20, 2018, 09:32:36 PM »
I'm kind of embarrassed about the way our guest rogue is being treated. I would like to remind our community members about the principal of charity. If you're here to score points, please stop.

Offline bachfiend

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Re: Episode #697
« Reply #67 on: November 20, 2018, 10:24:34 PM »
Am I the only one who sees this as a fundamental issue with the integrity of the podcast?

Yes.

So how much does a seat on the panel for an episode cost?

Maybe I could buy one and join the panel to talk about Diet and Nutrition and the alternate hypothesis for an hour.

(I know they'd have other "topics" but I could bend any discussion around)

That sounds like fun!

/sarcasm

I’d pay for you to appear as a guest rogue to hear you trying to defend your low carbohydrate/high fat ketogenic diet.  That sounds like fun!

I doubt you’d pay for yourself to appear as a guest rogue though.  You’re too cheap to pay for a blood assay of ketones in order to see if you’re actually in nutritional ketosis.

Ha!  I am very cheap, but wouldn't pay for a seat on the panel anyway.

As for the other, WTF? Not only did I never say that, but I have indeed recently had bloodwork done that did indicate ketosis, and over the years I have purchased two ketone blood meters (which are significantly more expensive than glucose meters) and purchased a ketone breath meter.

And in case you're wondering, between the two meters, the breathalyzer and bloodwork with semi-annual checkups since I started this diet I have never once had a test show I was not in ketosis.

Well you published on the ‘LCHF and healthy eating’ thread on October 29, 2018 after a long list of your recent blood tests the comment ‘I had asked about the HGA1c test, serum ketones, and the advanced tests that actually measure LDL, and breakdown particles, but my doctor wouldn’t order any of those for me.  Since all my other risk factors for CVD and diabetes are so low, it’s not an issue and not medically required.  He’s only worried about preventing diseases and doesn’t care if I’m in an argument on the Internet.  If I want those tests I’ll have to order them and pay for them myself (and I just might).’

So you’ve gone from not knowing what your serum ketones are on October 29 to knowing on November 21.

I’m not arguing with your ketogenic diet not being a perfectly acceptable diet, amongst many other perfectly acceptable diets.  I’m arguing with your proselytising for it being the best and healthiest diet, and the one that should be recommended above all other possible diets.

The best diet for attaining and maintaining a healthy body weight is the one the person can keep to for years and decades, and which varies from person to person.  No one diet fits all.

Online CarbShark

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Re: Episode #697
« Reply #68 on: November 20, 2018, 10:38:41 PM »
I’ll reply in the appropriate thread. 


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Offline fuzzyMarmot

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Re: Episode #697
« Reply #69 on: November 21, 2018, 01:07:30 AM »
I hope that The Latinist and Devin can engage in some enlightening debate in this thread. I'll be very interested to follow it-- I think Devin has some interesting ideas, but I share The Latinist's concern about venturing into quantum woo. I'd love it if the two of you could engage with these ideas in a friendly way.

Devin, I think one of the major points of confusion was why dynamical systems and quantum mechanics were brought up in the first place, because it sounds like your work in philosophy is completely distinct (though no less interesting!) than those fields of study.

I hope you continue to use this forum as a way to explain your work in philosophy. I think we will all learn a lot from you!

Side note: I'd encourage you to be more careful with titles and credentials in the future. Misidentifying oneself (or failing to correct others who identify you) as a professor or as possessing a doctorate is generally not cool.

Offline Devin Bray

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Re: Episode #697
« Reply #70 on: November 21, 2018, 01:19:26 AM »
I hope that The Latinist and Devin can engage in some enlightening debate in this thread. I'll be very interested to follow it-- I think Devin has some interesting ideas, but I share The Latinist's concern about venturing into quantum woo. I'd love it if the two of you could engage with these ideas in a friendly way.

Devin, I think one of the major points of confusion was why dynamical systems and quantum mechanics were brought up in the first place, because it sounds like your work in philosophy is completely distinct (though no less interesting!) than those fields of study.

I hope you continue to use this forum as a way to explain your work in philosophy. I think we will all learn a lot from you!

Side note: I'd encourage you to be more careful with titles and credentials in the future. Misidentifying oneself (or failing to correct others who identify you) as a professor or as possessing a doctorate is generally not cool.

Maybe I can help by making my thesis available, in which I do my best to argue for a potential way to connect the idea of process ontology (not QM) to compatibilism.  As I readily admitted on the podcast, I'm not sure if it actually "works" in the end, but even if I had to give up on the idea that process ontology and compatibilism are related, I'd still shake out a compatibilist at the end of the day.

I actually wasn't even aware until recently that "professor" and "lecturer" were distinct titles.  It was never a distinction that folks in my department have made a big deal about.  Duly noted, though. 

Here's a link to my thesis, mentioned in the episode.  I try to clarify up top, in the first chapter, that I'm neither engaged in "quantum flapdoodle" nor an argument for a "gap" or a "residue" between a physical description of the organism and an explanation of its "consciousness" or "will."

https://www.dropbox.com/s/w2o1gfrauzkgd6v/Potency%20and%20Process%20-%20A%20Naturalistic%20Defense%20of%20Mental%20Causation.docx?dl=0

Offline bachfiend

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Re: Episode #697
« Reply #71 on: November 21, 2018, 02:27:23 AM »
I’ll reply in the appropriate thread. 


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Offline mabell_yah

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Re: Episode #697
« Reply #72 on: November 21, 2018, 03:22:51 AM »
Funny happenstance: I listened to the latest This American Life episode today (#662 Where there is a Will) and they had a little story about the non-existence of free will. It had a brief interview with Stanford biologist Robert Sapolsky. The narrator brought up the whole quantum randomness thing (outside the interview).
 
Quote
... there is some debate about whether "no free will" means that if you went back in time and let your life unfold again, you would make all the same decisions exactly the same way.  The reason there's some debate is that way down at the subatomic level, there does seem to be a little wellspring of randomness. Quantum mechanics is all about probabilities.
So the quantum thing is out there. Is it woo or no? Either way, it's not something to get belligerent over.

Offline brilligtove

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Re: Episode #697
« Reply #73 on: November 21, 2018, 07:59:16 AM »
Thanks for the link to your thesis. Saved to my SGU folder for perusal.
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Offline Devin Bray

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Re: Episode #697
« Reply #74 on: November 21, 2018, 08:26:57 AM »
Funny happenstance: I listened to the latest This American Life episode today (#662 Where there is a Will) and they had a little story about the non-existence of free will. It had a brief interview with Stanford biologist Robert Sapolsky. The narrator brought up the whole quantum randomness thing (outside the interview).
 
Quote
... there is some debate about whether "no free will" means that if you went back in time and let your life unfold again, you would make all the same decisions exactly the same way.  The reason there's some debate is that way down at the subatomic level, there does seem to be a little wellspring of randomness. Quantum mechanics is all about probabilities.
So the quantum thing is out there. Is it woo or no? Either way, it's not something to get belligerent over.

So for a compatibilist like me or Dennett, the answer to the question about rewinding the tape of life and letting it run again has the same answer as a hard determinist:  “Yes, it would all play out identically with no changes.”

That’s the difference between compatibilism and libertarian free will - the libertarian says we have industrial strength, “this or that,” “A or B” freedom to choose between genuine alternate possibilities.

I don’t think there are EVER any real “alternate possibilities.”  I don’t think randomness plays ANY role. It always goes precisely and only the way it could have gone.  Rewind the tape and it will play out the same.

The difference between me and a Hard Determinist like Harris is that my next move is to say “free will has nothing to do with alternate possibilities or probabilities.  It has to do with the extent higher-order, consciously experienced control systems are causally relevant to the output behavior.”