Deep Thoughts

Discussion in 'The Rumble Strip' started by Danoff, Jun 26, 2006.

  1. Danoff

    Danoff Premium

    Messages:
    22,423
    Location:
    United States
    Ok, I'm going out on a limb here with this thread. I want to try to keep is serious despite the potential for "Deep Thoughts" jokes. So with that in mind...

    Periodically I have a revelation about the world, where things that previously didn't make sense, or weren't connected, suddenly fall into place and make perfect sense. Often this has to do with recognizing a natural biological reason why I would interpret something a certain way. Other times I has almost nothing to do with anything, but suddenly things add up where they didn't before.

    I figure other folks out there are having the same kinds of epiphanies so I'd start a thread about it. I'll get the ball rolling.

    1) I realized many years ago that human beings struggle with the concept of randomness and search for cause and effect in all things. This mentality gave us an advantage in the wild since we didn't simply assume that things happened for no reason. Grog's dead? Maybe it was those berries he ate. Grog's missing? Maybe there's a dangerous animal out there. However, this kind of thinking which has served us so well so far leads us astray when our primitive brains apply it to things like baseball. "I wore the same hat twice when the team won, it must be the hat". "I kept winning the poker game when that guy was dealing, now I'm losing when this other person is dealing, it must be the dealer". These are remnants of natural selection in a brain that is engineered to find a cause for every observed effect.

    2) It hurts more to lose money than it feels good to gain it. Ask yourself right now, how would the rest of your day feel if $100 was taken from your bank account. Now ask yourself how the rest of the day would feel if $100 was added to your bank account. You'd care a hell of a lot more about the loss than the gain wouldn't you? Why? It's the same amount of money.

    Again there is a natural explanation for this. People hold on to their property because they know that if they don't it will be taken from them in no time. But people don't care nearly as much about accumulating new property - because that kind of thing can become dangerous and doesn't always pan out. It isn't worth risking your neck to steal grog's dried meat stash or climbing that dangerous cliff to get some eggs when you could probably find another way to get the food. But if people are taking from you, you've got big problems and could quickly find yourself starving.

    3) Pianos are prehaps one of the best musical instrument ever invented. You can play at least 10 notes simultaneously and can have multiple themes running at ones since you're making music independently with your hands/fingers. The piano is one of the very few instruments for which you get at least 1 note per finger. Guitars require your entire right hand to be occupied and you get one note per finger per string from your left hand. Woodwinds and brass instruments require both hands and your mouth for only one note at a time.

    This is why pianos make a great instrument for a solo concert, because they can make such a full sound all by themselves.

    4) Comedians are pretty increadible. They can entertain an entire audience with nothing but a microphone. No instruments, no props (necessarily), no fancy light work or music or orchestra or dancers or anything. Just a dude and a microphone and people will pay big bucks. That's really efficient entertainment.


    Ok, that's the kind of thing I'm looking for. If you don't have any deep thoughts, or you don't like the thread, feel free to let it slip down the page into oblivion.
     
  2. Giancarlo

    Giancarlo Premium

    Messages:
    9,646
    My friends and i usually discuss topics like this during late night drives on the way home from parties or whatnot, but i can't think of anything right now. It's a spur of the moment kinda thing. :lol:
     
    ImmalovemaGTR likes this.
  3. Danny

    Danny Premium

    Messages:
    24,078
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    On the subject of randomity (?), is it possible to have a fully spontaneous non-influenced thought?
     
  4. a6m5

    a6m5 Premium

    Messages:
    26,198
    Location:
    United States
    I'm like you, Giancarlo. I will try to come up with one, but my mind has never been so blank. :lol:
     
  5. Dave A

    Dave A Premium

    Messages:
    26,829
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    I don't think so, every thought has to have an influence from something or somewhere no matter how obscure or small that influence may be.
     
  6. opendriver

    opendriver

    Messages:
    3,704
    :dunce:
    My head hurts....The only time I think about things like that is when I cant sleep, and for someone to disscuss it is another thing...
     
  7. GT4_Rule

    GT4_Rule

    Messages:
    6,447
    Some nice thoughts....do you have them everyday?
     
  8. Danoff

    Danoff Premium

    Messages:
    22,423
    Location:
    United States
    Yea, but not like the first two. The last two are indicative of the kinds of things that wander into my brain fairly often. Another thing that I tend to think about are ways that the English language pronounces words differently that have the same root or meaning.

    Like the word record. We pronounce it reCORD when it's an act, and rEcord when it's a thing. But the two words are essentially the same and have almost the same meaning - people just don't associate a rEcord with the word reCORD.

    I have a bunch of those built up but, like I said, if I don't write them down I lose them.
     
  9. opendriver

    opendriver

    Messages:
    3,704
    I got for you:
    (It was on a T-shirt)"If you choke a smiff, whay color does it turn?
     
  10. Dave A

    Dave A Premium

    Messages:
    26,829
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Here's one, is there such a thing as infinite possibilities? At the end of the day the universe is expanding, so at any one period in time the universe is a set size. There's a limited number of different elements and limited space that thoes different elements are in, so there must be a limit. Even with a parralel universe for each and every possibility, theres still a limit at some point.
     
  11. Pupik

    Pupik Staff Emeritus

    Messages:
    17,450
    Location:
    United States
    From what I've reAd, I wouldn't rEad too much into that. :)

    I suppose one thing that's weird is human communication; you type or write one way for clarity, but you discuss things with almost a completely different language to the average person you meet. For example, I don't talk the way I type these posts; it's not as if I'm trying to be fake, it's because it represents clarity on my part. Secondly, the way I view and type words always comes out different than I expected them to appear on the screen. There's almost always editing to my posts after it's submitted.

    If I talked how I typed, then I'd have nobody to talk to. Weird, no?
     
  12. Dave A

    Dave A Premium

    Messages:
    26,829
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    If I typed like I talked I could imagine plenty of people not getting what I'm trying to say.
     
  13. exigeracer

    exigeracer

    Messages:
    5,991
    If anyone has ever heard the comedian Mitch Hedberg perform, the nature of all of these thoughts were all there in his material. He was truly a genius, taking simple objects or actions and see a completely different perspective of it. It was really amazing to listen to him think of these things that other humans simply couldn't come up with.

    "Dogs are forever in the push up position. "Drop and give me twenty, dog. I know you're ready!"

    "I'd hate to be a giraffe with a sore throat. God damnit anyway!"

    Look up more of his material at Wikiquotes. I'd link you, but it violates AUP's language bylaws.

    Try to think of something as simple and original as that, yet making perfect sense. The only thing I could ever think of that simple was "I had two songs stuck in my head, so I made a remix." But even that is a rip-off from Hedberg's "I remixed a remix and it was back to normal."

    RIP Mitch...
     
  14. Kylehnat

    Kylehnat Premium

    Messages:
    4,822
    Location:
    United States
    Then wouldn't a pipe organ be even better? :D
    Pinch harmonics. ooooooh! n00b, u b pwNed!!!

    Why do we park on driveways and drive on parkways? This is a stupid cliche that idiots use as a brainteaser, but seriously, who gave them these names, and why?

    Why are we so succeptible to one-time incidents? After driving thousands and thousands of miles without incident, people are afraid of driving after a single fender-bender. I've eaten hundreds of chicken pot pies. A few months ago, there was a chicken bone in one. Now I'm leary of pot pies. Why is it so hard to get over a singular event that occurs a very low percentage of the time?

    Why are professional athletes paid so much? Would the game be less entertaining if the players were paid the same amount as us? The thinking goes that the winning bidder for a player will experience higher revenues through tickets, merchandise, etc, but how on earth did it get so out of control that Derek Jeter makes $20 million? Until the 1950's or something, the players all had off-season jobs to support themselves year-round. What happened in the last 50 years?

    Lastly, why is this question not actually a question? Nobody has ever given me a satisfactory answer.
     
  15. HACKr

    HACKr

    Messages:
    1,585
    Location:
    United States
    Could be.
    Look at some of your posts for example. ;) J/K
     
  16. Danoff

    Danoff Premium

    Messages:
    22,423
    Location:
    United States
    In theory yes. I guess people just don't like the sound of pipe organs as much.

    Ah well, it's still only one note. But Pianos can't do it if that's what you're getting at.

    Hmmm... I think driveways should be used for driving. Parking belongs in the garage. Also, I spend a lot of time "parked" on the "parkway".

    Hmmm... I'll have to ponder that one. Good one.

    In a word, yes. Professional athletes are paid a lot because they're able to do something that almost nobody else is able to do and it reaches a huge number of people. When you do something that benefits millions, it's easy to rake in big bucks. When you can boast that you have talents that only a handful of guys in the world have, that makes it that much easier. If they were paid less, they either wouldn't work as hard or they would go do something else - making the game less entertaining.
     
  17. Omnis

    Omnis Staff Emeritus

    Messages:
    37,767
    Location:
    United States
    Pianos are also great because they can play sounds with full dynamics. That's why it's called a piano (soft); it was the first instrument to play both loud and soft sounds. They definitely make pipe organs look primitive.


    Sometimes I think I'd prefer a 30 ft. tall pipe organ, though. And If I had one that was 500 feet tall and built into the grand canyon, there'd be no question.
     
  18. Famine

    Famine Administrator

    Messages:
    62,346
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Half true. Your reason is right, but wrong for the name.

    The instrument is actually called a "pianoforte" (meaning "soft loud"), because it was blah blah blah.
     
  19. HACKr

    HACKr

    Messages:
    1,585
    Location:
    United States
    I like the electric organ, because the chords just sing. It's so awesome.
     
  20. guska

    guska Premium

    Messages:
    2,216
    Location:
    Australia
    What about all us poor blokes who haven't got a garage? I use my Driveway for driving, but I park oin the front yard, so dad can get out at 4AM to go and sit in a box and waffle crud on the wireless.

    Which brings me to another point, why is it that Radio, TV, and Film personalities are put up on such a pedistal? They are no different to you or I, except that SOME of them have some amount of talent, and MOST of them (TV and Film anyway) look good. I think it is sad that people like Tom Cruise (Sorry I'm still sour about the whole Katie thing, that poo head!) Make millions of dollars for every movie, and then keep making millions on royalties and appearance money. Sure, they are doing something that not everyone could do, but there are a LOT of people that COULD do it, if given the chance.

    In My Humble Opinion
     
  21. exigeracer

    exigeracer

    Messages:
    5,991
    How can people think that Scientology is legit?
     
  22. Omnis

    Omnis Staff Emeritus

    Messages:
    37,767
    Location:
    United States
    Yeah, okay, sue me. :p They still call it just plain old piano because it plays soft sounds. :)
     
  23. Kylehnat

    Kylehnat Premium

    Messages:
    4,822
    Location:
    United States
    Maybe we should leave the forte piano out of this discussion :D
     
  24. Blake

    Blake Premium

    Messages:
    10,976
    Location:
    Australia
    Why do people watch reality TV shows like Big Brother? What is so exciting about watching a bunch of people you don’t know sit in a circle and have a conversation that you’re not involved in?

    Perhaps not a deep thought, but I really don’t see the entertainment value in something like that…
     
  25. Sage

    Sage Staff Emeritus

    Messages:
    12,534
    Location:
    United States
    Ooh, I love this kind of stuff! I think about this all the time, which manages to really bore my friends.

    1) Fixing your posture (sitting up straight + 90° angles) doesn’t do much, despite what everyone says. When people complain about their back hurting because they’ve been at the computer too long, it’s because they’ve been in one particular posture too long, not because they’re necessarily in the “wrong” posture. Try doing it the “right” way (straight + 90°) for several hours – I guarantee you’ll be in pain, because of how unnatural it feels.

    My solution? The human body was not designed to go into one position for hugely long periods of time, whether it be sitting up straight or hunched over. Change your position every once in a while – be occasionally slumped over, occasionally sitting up straight, occasionally in-between, occasionally sitting slightly sideways, occasionally put your feet flat on the ground, occasionally cross your legs, occasionally tuck a leg backwards, etc. etc. I do this all the time, and I don’t have any body aches whatsoever. Don’t force your body into any one position for an extended period of time.

    2) Because enzymes are merely specialized proteins, it should be possible to link a bunch of amino acids in such a way that we can create our own restriction enzymes to target cancerous DNA. I suppose we need a lot more research done though regarding the structures of proteins before we can start producing our own that are so specialized.

    3) Why do our taste buds like fats so much, when they’re so bad for us? My theory is that long long ago, before we knew how to do any of that agriculture shtuff, food was scarce enough that we probably needed to store energy for extended periods of time – thus, fats were a good thing. So our taste buds evolved to favor fats, because that’s what would sustain us. Now of course food is plentiful enough for us to not worry, but we can’t do anything about the evolution of our taste buds.

    In addition, have you ever noticed that obesity seems to be a bigger (pun not intended) problem amongst white people than other races? (Oh noes, stereotyping!) White people’s ancestries typically go back to northern, colder countries, where fat would be even more important than say, northern Africa or southern Asia. Asians and Africans probably have less of an obesity problem, because their taste buds don’t favor fats as much, since fats are less useful in extremely warm climates.


    Okay, that’s all I can think of off the top of my head, though I know there are a lot more. I’ll be back.
     
  26. Blake

    Blake Premium

    Messages:
    10,976
    Location:
    Australia
    Why are humans one of the only species to have a very large portion of the white part of our eyes (Sclera, I think?) showing?

    I assume it has something to do with making it easier for us to tell our moods and emotions just by sight, which is an advantage for such a social species. However I’ve never actually read anything about it.
     
  27. Omnis

    Omnis Staff Emeritus

    Messages:
    37,767
    Location:
    United States
    Actually, Sage, my back doesn't hurt when sitting in good posture as opposed to bad posture. My ass does, though. :lol:
     
  28. Touring Mars

    Touring Mars Moderator

    Messages:
    20,799
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    You touch upon the fact that there are two sorts of answers to questions or issues that may perplex us... the first sort is the 'easy answer', also known as the 'pulled out of fresh air' answer, or the 'made-up' answer (i.e. almost always the wrong answer)... the second type of answer is one that is based on research - testing, experiment, evidence, reference and cross-reference... these answers are much harder to come by, but much more satisfying and useful to the human race...

    One slightly controversial thing I was musing about earlier was in response to watching the Saudi Arabian players 'celebrating' their goals in the World Cup, by getting down on their hands and knees in the general direction of Mecca. Now, I completely understand why they do this... but I thought about it for a bit, and a few things started to occur to me. OK, so they were giving thanks to The Almighty for blessing their team with a goal. Fine. But what of their reaction when Tunisia put in the equaliser in the dying seconds of the game? Did they equally give thanks for that? Or did they look to the heavens in bemusement? Actually they did neither, but they certainly looked mightily cheesed off... but there certainly wasn't any looking to the skies. I find it weird and not least a touch selfish that people like professional footballers praise God for their own personal achievements (almost like giving themselves a good old slap on the back) and yet do not show anything like the same reaction when things aren't going their way...
     
  29. Danoff

    Danoff Premium

    Messages:
    22,423
    Location:
    United States
    I think you're starting to touch on a fundamental flaw in modern culture - that people are taught not to take credit for their achievements. Religion is a major player in that market. Religion has, for a very long time, used one's own achievements as proof of a higher power and a source of guilt. People are willing to donate back to the church if they believe that they owe a debt of gratitude. Similarly, people are taught that only bad can come of selfish behavior and that the only true good behavior is purely altruistic. This is one of the more silly notions that has ever existed, but it persists and I think it stems from a lack of education. Uneducated people believe that the world is a zero sum game. That if one person has something good, it must have come at the expense of someone else. This is fundamentally incorrect, and if one properly understands economics and philosophy, one can figure out that it is possible for acts to be mutually beneficial. This is easily observed, but difficult to get through to people in an abstract sense. This is evidenced by the fact that people are willing (constantly) to go exchange money (their productivity) for goods. Other people are willing to sell these goods as well.

    When people engage in that act they're doing something that is mutually beneficial. Both parties agree voluntarily to take part in the transaction, because both parties have decided that the transaction is to their benefit. Human beings have everyday experience with this notion, but somehow the abstract concept of this is not so easy to grasp. I think it's because people don't like giving up even a little money for goods. They figure that they didn't make the exchange on their terms alone and so somehow it wasn't a voluntary transaction. The irony of that is that it becomes an involuntary transaction (for the other party) the minute the exchange occurs on their terms alone. The only way for it to be voluntary and mutually beneficial is if an agreement is made and both terms are met.

    But I digress... the notion that life is a zero sum game and that any gain is at the expense of others or comes from above is what leads to the notion of altruism. That guilt then forces people to refuse credit for their own good deeds.

    But taking credit for failure requires something besides altruism. It requires responsibility, something that our culture does little to cultivate. Instead, we're taught that victimhood is the reason for failure. Again, the zero sum game applies. If bad things have happened to you, it's because someone else has taken it from you - you're a victim now. Failure can never be one's own fault in a zero sum world, which is part of what makes it attractive.
     
  30. Danoff

    Danoff Premium

    Messages:
    22,423
    Location:
    United States
    I think you're right on target here, except that we can do something about the evolution of our taste buds - genetic engineering. The question is whether it's ethical to engineer someone's tastebuds before they have any say in the matter. ???

    Ok new one that just popped into my head. Where does the impulse to go against the crowd come from? Why is it that people will do "non-conformist" things just for the sake of non-conformity? Is it a natural instict to avoid too many common traits to prevent humanity from being wiped out all at once by some common trait of all of mankind? Or is it something more simple?