Phil Friedman

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A Conversation Overheard At the Lusty Logician Cafe

A Conversation Overheard At the Lusty Logician Cafe

WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW MAY NOT HURT YOU, BUT WHAT YOU DON'T HEAR JUST  MIGHT...


Preface:  This post is dedicated to  Lada 🏡 Prkic, Milos Djukic, Claire 🐝 Cardwell, and Claire 🐝 Cardwell in order, two engineers, an architect, and a scientist because they have shown in various ways they value intellectual engagement.

Lada is a kind soul, and so it's not surprising she recently posted a bee-meme that says, "If you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all."  To which she added (in grammatically correct English) her own words, " If you can’t say anything pleasant or constructive, say nothing at all." 

I am personally not at all sure that these two statements mean the same thing. Consequently, I've constructed an alternative which is "If you can't express disagreement politely, keep it to yourself."

Beyond that, I've also wondered at times if the intended meaning of statements such as those quoted above isn't really, "If you can't agree, remain quiet."  Consequently, of late, I've adopted a policy of not making critical comments on the posts of others, unless I'm confident they welcome robust intellectual exchange. Instead, I limit my critical consideration of topics to my own posts, which people are free to read or not.  It is in that spirit which I present this post.


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I recently had occasion to visit an old hang-out of mine, the Lusty Logician Cafe.

The cafe is the paradigm of a university hangout. Located in the townie environs, just outside the periphery of the campus. It's a place where "serious" students and profs gather to drink coffee and Irish ale although not generally mixed in the same glass and consider among themselves the weightier issues of literature, philosophy, politics, and finding a soul mate, permanent or transient.

It could be on Foster Street in Evanston, IL, nearly adjacent to the Northwestern University Campus; or on Lindell Blvd. in St. Louis, MO,  close to Washington University; or on Buffalo Street in Ithaca, NY, abutting Cornell University. Indeed, it could be anywhere, Paris, London, Dublin, Warsaw, Prague, or Zagreb. If you've ever been a student or a university teacher or an artist or a writer, you know the place. Even if it has a different name.

The Lusty Logician is where, at one time, I used to go regularly, to recharge, relax, people-watch and even write. It remains today as it was forty years ago, the decor eclectic and mostly darker woods, the patrons ranging from scruffy to shabby-chic. Except, perhaps, these days there are more tattoos and, of course, the ubiquitous laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

As I enter and grab a small table next to an electrical outlet, all sorts of pleasant memories dump endorphins into my bloodstream. The cafe is comfortable territory for me, even though probably not one of its habitues knows a forestays'l from foreplay.

Sitting at the next table over from me, are three "younger" people, one man and two women. All appear to be of graduate-student age.

The man catches my eye first because he is wearing what appears to be an Australian Outback style hat. At once, I mentally dub him "Dundee". One of the women is wearing some sort of running outfit that looks well used. I immediately think of her as "Sweats". And the other woman is wearing a long granny-length smock kind of shift that looks like a redux of something from the 70s. And although she looks nothing like a granny, it moves me to call her "Mother Earth".

They all glance at me and smile approvingly, as I set up the current love of my business-travel life, my relatively new MS Surface (full Windows 10 machine) with its Logitech Bluetooth full-size keyboard and mouse (all of which fit into a slim zippered portfolio I carry).


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I settle in to drink my coffee and eat my "brunch" croissant, and to do some writing, as they return to their conversation. Then, I cannot help but overhear ...

Mother Earth: That's circular! Completely invalid.

Sweats: What do you mean "circular"?  He's just stating the facts, isn't he?

Dundee: Yea, circular schmircular, I'm telling you like it is. The only reason you're disagreeing with me is that you're in one of your judgmental fits.

I'm instantaneously hooked ... as I haven't heard this kind of exchange earnest and engaged  for ever so long.

Mother Earth: It's circular because the truth of your premises relies on your conclusion, while the truth of your conclusion obviously relies on the truth of your premises.

Dundee: Really, really? Well, thank you for that Ms. Descartes. But that doesn't change the fact I know what I'm talking about. Let me explain it to ...

Sweats: Wait! First explain in plain language, for the benefit of this ignorant refugee from the School of Business, what this "circular reasoning" schtick is all about.

Mother Earth:  Okay. Think about it this way. You're an Excel power-user, right?

Sweats:  Correct, I am.

Mother Earth:  Okay, then you know what a "circular reference" error is, right? When your spreadsheet contains a cell, say A32, whose value depends at least in part on the value of another cell, say D15. But suppose, as well, that you've slipped up in building the structure of your spreadsheet, and it turns out that the value of D15 itself depends on the value of A32. In such a case, the automatic error checking in Excel will return a "circular reference" error.

That kind of circularity also occurs in reasoning and argument  except the "cells" are premises and conclusions. It's like trying to lift yourself off the ground by hauling on your own boot straps. Which is why it is an error in Excel and a "fallacy" in logic.  Does that make sense?


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Of course, at this point, I'm really starting to enjoy eavesdropping on this logical menage a trois ...

Sweats: Well, sure it does. After all, it isn't brain surgery.

Dundee:  Okay, maybe that makes sense. But it doesn't address your marked propensity to be argumentative and judgmental.

Mother Earth:  Argumentative, I think I understand. And I admit to wanting to discuss and examine ideas and opinions and actions and positions in a deliberate way. I think that, to a large extent, that is what intellectual exchange is all about.

But what do you mean by "judgmental"?  We're all judgmental almost all of the time. We judge what's best for us to buy and wear and eat. We judge what make of automobile we want to drive, which movies are good and which are crap, what is fact and what is fiction.

Dundee:  I mean by "judge" to form a firm opinion or draw a substantive conclusion solely within the context of your own subjectivity. By "being judgmental", I mean exhibiting the tendency to dismiss and disparage the ideas and opinions of others.

Mother Earth: Hmmm, do you realize how riddled with logical holes these two statements of yours are?

First, to question someone's expressed ideas, opinions or claims is not per se to be subjective. Otherwise, all science is inherently and incorrigibly subjective.

Second, even if I accept your definition of being "judgmental", it does not follow that I am judgmental simply because I disagree with you.  Disagreeing with an idea, opinion, or claim is not the same as dismissing or disparaging it

By now I am saying to myself, "You go, girl!"

Dundee:  See, you just proved my point by being judgmental and disparaging my "logic". And that  in case you don't know any brain physiology generates hostility which, by activating the amygdala, suppresses the pre-frontal cortex (where reasoning is centered) and interferes with a reasonable exchange.

Sweats:  Hey, didn't you just disparage what she is saying by your crack about knowing brain physiology?  And aren't you potentially generating hostility by cracking wise like that? I may not be a logician or a brain surgeon, but it seems to me that what your saying about the amygdala might be just a tad autobiographical.

Mother Earth: She's right. Let's suppose for the sake of discussion or, if you prefer, dialogue that your description of what happens physiologically in the presence of hostility is dead on for some cases. How do you know that is what is presently transpiring in my brain? 

Dundee: I can tell by the way you're behaving.

Mother Earth: And how is that?

Dundee: You're disagreeing and arguing with me, rather than joining in a non-judgmental dialogue. It's what you always do, you question and disagree.


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"Uh-oh, don't fall for that sophist's gambit, girl", I think to myself. And she doesn't.

Mother Earth: Now we're getting to the heart of the matter, Graham. You say I am being judgmental (read not agreeing with you) because my brain is reacting in certain ways. And you claim my brain is reacting in certain ways based on your observation that I am not agreeing with you. Yet, you have no independent evidence either that my brain is in a certain state or that my reactions are tied to that brain state. Which makes your argument circular ... and fallacious.

Moreover, that circularity is not changed by any accumulated evidence concerning a connection between the action of the amygdala and the suppression of reasoning in any number of brains previously studied.

What if my disagreement is just that, disagreement and not hostility or the result of being "judgmental"?  What if that disagreement is just, plain and simple, a judgment?  Much as in the case when you might say your shirt is black and I might say (judge), "No, it is Flag Blue."

Why are you so quick to use the term "judgmental", with the pejorative connotations you want to attach to it?  From my perspective, you define "judgmental" a priori in terms of behavior you don't like which I observe to be disagreement, per se, with your opinions. Could your aversion to disagreement and your propensity to call the opinions of others judgmental be the runaway reaction of your own amygdala, triggered by a lack of agreement with your views?


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At which point, I could no longer discretely contain myself and began to clap slowly.

Dundee shot me a killer glare, while Mother Earth smiled and Sweats just laughed.

Dundee stood, took Sweats' hand, and said, "Well, that's all I'm going to say about this; we're outta here."

Sweats in turn shrugged, stood up, and said to Mother Earth, "He can be a bit petulant at times, especially when you disagree with him. I'll call you later in the week, and the two of us can meet for coffee or a drink."

As Mother Earth rose to leave, she smiled at me and I said, "Sorry to have intruded, I used to teach logic, and I thought you really did a great job in dealing with the concepts involved."

She replied, "Thank you, that's kind of you to say. And don't worry about the rest; Graham can be such a wanker at times anyway."


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I asked, "Can I buy you a 'philosophical' coffee or an ale, perhaps?"

She said, "Thank you, but no. I don't usually with strangers."

I said, "You know, I'm really harmless, probably old enough to be your grandfather."

She smiled again and quipped, "Well, you don't look so harmless to me."

Which naturally, I took as a rather charming compliment and said, "Well, thank you for that, and for the entertaining discourse on logic and reasoning. Cheers!"

And as she left, I ordered another drink  ... this time, an Irish ale.  

Phil Friedman


Author's Notes:   If you enjoyed this post and would like to receive notifications of my writing on a regular basis, simply click the [FOLLOW] button on my beBee profile. Better yet, elect there to follow my blog by email. As a writer-friend of mine says, you can always change your mind later.

Should you be curious about some of my previous postings, you're invited to take a look at some of the following:

"Social Media Is a Highway, Not a Destination"

"Do Not Mistake What Is for What Should Be"

"Finding Your Way Past Self-Reflection to Action"

As well, feel free to "like" and "share" this post and my other articles — whether on beBee, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or Google+, provided only that you credit me properly as the author, and include a live link to my original post.


About me, Phil FriedmanWith 30 some years background in the marine industry, I've worn different hats — as a yacht designer, boat builder, marine operations and business manager, marine industry consultant, marine marketing and communications specialist, yachting magazine writer and editor, yacht surveyor, and marine industry educator. I'm also trained and experienced in interest-based negotiation and mediation.

In a previous life, I was formally trained as an academic philosopher and taught logic and philosophy at university.


Before writing comes thinking (The optional-to-read pitch)

As a professional writer, editor, university educator, and speaker, with more than 1,000 print and digital publications, I've recently launched an online program for enhancing your expository writing: learn2engage — With Confidence. My mission is to help writers and would-be writers improve their thought and writing, master the logic of discussion, and strengthen their ability to deal with disagreement.


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For more information, click on the image immediately above. Or to schedule an appointment for a free 1/2-hour consult or to sit in on one of our online group sessions, email: info@learn2engage.org. I look forward to speaking with you soon.   

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Comments
Milos Djukic

Milos Djukic

4 years ago #78

#95
Great comment Phil Friedman and very true!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #77

#94
Milos, I agree that there is much wisdom in the writings of Isaac Asimov ... "There is a cult of ignorance ... and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion ... that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge." From which I believe it follows that constantly questioning our ideas and opinions, especially our assumptions and premises, is the true path to whatever measure of insight and knowledge we may ultimately be able to attain in this universe. It is the path of the intellectual. Each of us is entitled to choose his or her own path, be that intellectualism, anti-intellectualism, emotionalism, or brazen faith. What troubles me is how often those who choose one of the latter three of these are moved to violently interfere (albeit sometimes only verbally) with those who have chosen the first way.

Milos Djukic

Milos Djukic

4 years ago #76

Intellectual engagement is the last refuge from the irrelevance of our thoughts. "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent." - Isaac Asimov This is the reason why critical analysis, creativity, or a serious intellectual engagement must be non-violence

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #75

#91
Yes, Wayne, you need to post some of those. So you can embarrass my photographic skills and knowledge even more. (And yes, I do recognize ASA 125 Plus-X, having used so much of it, purely by accident I assure you.) Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #74

#90
Devesh, there is wisdom in what you say. But keep in mind that, although one's feet might be of clay, if the rest of one's bones are strong, then one can never be driven down further than one's ankles. And in that circumstance, one can still stand straight. I don't know who said that. Perhaps, it doesn't matter, as long as it is true. Cheers, my friend!

Wayne Yoshida

Wayne Yoshida

4 years ago #73

#88
Yes, bracketing is good, and that was also the advice - film is cheap, but time and the event may never happen again. Here's my secret: I used 125 ASA Plus -X (no longer available), developed in HC110 and printed on number 3 paper. Got really good, hi contrast prints. I need to post some of those....

Devesh 🐝 Bhatt

Devesh 🐝 Bhatt

4 years ago #72

#86
i am willing to accept my consequences. I am made of clay and i am a self proclaimed visionary. But what good is vision without realisation :) So it becomes a conflict of visions. There are big visions and then there are small petty aspects of it. A logician knows how to filter it.Chung King teaches how to package it and the media of social shrinks itself into anonymity. I do not know what i am talking about but i am liking what i write so here it is. On a more resourceful day i would have printed this buzz and traded my spontaneity for measured thoughts.

Milos Djukic

Milos Djukic

4 years ago #71

#87
Truth Phil, and I'm very proud because of our friendship. This is a partnership of equals (self-similar). My best wishes to you and your family.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #70

#85
Hmm, Wayne. Here's a secret. My greatest discovery as a yachting journalist was discovering a film-based 35mm Minolta SLR that could be programmed to burst-bracket 3 shots each side of the auto exposure. When covering a story, travel was expensive, film cheap. And even a ham-fisted shooter like me could get a couple of decent shots by accident when shooting twenty or so 36-exposure rolls. :-)

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #69

#84
Milos, I very much appreciate what you say here and hold fast to the principles of engagement and intellectual exchange that you detail. It is our agreement, I think, on core principles of engagement that has carried you and me through many conversations -- some oppositional -- through so many conversations over several years first on LinkedIn and later on beBee. IMO, the guiding motto is to stay focused on the ideas and opinions expressed and understand that people can be friends while disagreeing. Thank you for taking the time to comment here. My best to you. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #68

#82
I agree, Devesh. At least, in the main. However, I would feel remiss if I did not point out that to follow the path you describe requires one to be willing to accept the consequences. For social media rarely rewards those who display genuine authenticity. Indeed, one might say that, in the land of clay feet, the self-proclaimed visionary is king. Or something like that ... I'll check my copy of "The Wisdom of Chung King." https://www.bebee.com/producer/@friedman-phil/six-life-lessons-for-today-from-chung-king

Wayne Yoshida

Wayne Yoshida

4 years ago #67

#83
Excellent Phil! This is off-topic here, but could lead to a new post on this. I learned photography in the art dept in college. I specialized in black and white processing and darkroom techniques for 3 yrs. Then took a photojournalism class, which I hated - way different way of "taking pictures"

Milos Djukic

Milos Djukic

4 years ago #66

#77
Well Donna-Luisa Eversley) in a jammed elevator is a guarantee for additional crowd and pleasure :) Lack of interest is a guarantee of failure. Here we have some of the most sophisticated discussions, thanks to Mr No-Muzak and seemingly opposite forces of fractals. Oh, and this is the reason why they are forever. This is my vision of a fruitful networking or how to overcome the fear of Irrelevance. I always miss some precious people on social media. Luckily, not so many, because of the elegant and inherently self-similar jump without a trace of maliciousness. For me that is an art of communication. He was always a very interesting interlocutor and a fascinating story-teller. Nothing strange, he is Mr No-Muzak. Hate It or love It? Both ;)

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #65

#81
Ah yes, I know the "conversation" well. I did a minor in art history, then took up later in life with a BFA who has a concentration in photography. Here's a story for you. Once sitting around with my wife and her mom and dad, my father-in-law was trying to set his SLR for speed and exposure and having a tough time of it. My wife tried to give him some help, but stubborn as he was, he repeatedly rebuffed her but remained unsuccessful. Finally, I could no longer stand it and spoke sharply, "Dad, do you realize you spent (in today's dollars) more than $200K to train your daughter in how to use a camera? Don't you think it might be good to see just a little return on that investment?" Case closed. Someday, I'll tell you about the lecture I received later about how photography as art is more than the mechanics of operating a camera. :-)

Devesh 🐝 Bhatt

Devesh 🐝 Bhatt

4 years ago #64

If i persist with networking, i would not persist with inflexible opinion. If i persist with personal branding, i would not surrender to opinions. Yet contrasting people have a chat at a cafe, the lusty logician cafe where you were once a regular :) Unlike the real world, on social media it is easier to avoid the irrelevant and stick to priorities. Unless such a buzz keeps popping up with a new dimension to it, the university students who avoid this cafe or ignore their observations may miss out on their true potential , limiting themselves to presumed constructs..

Wayne Yoshida

Wayne Yoshida

4 years ago #63

Phil Friedman - thanks for this story. It brought back memories of not local college pubs (well, maybe), but college parties. I always enjoyed great conversations with my college chums and chum-ettes. I remember blowing someone away one night while having a **discussion** about Ansel Adams and comparing his work with newer-generation digital photographers . . .

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #62

#79
Yes, Wayne, I understand, as well, your point of view, but cannot comment until @Joyce \ud83d\udc1d Bowen agrees that this is "off the record". Cheers!

Wayne Yoshida

Wayne Yoshida

4 years ago #61

#55
@Joyce \ud83d\udc1d Bowen - Yes! People are always great fodder for inspiring great articles!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #60

#77
Thank you, D-L, for your kind words and for all your support. You are among those whose interactions have been so gratifying for me, as we've all tried to grow together. Yes, together, since I've become as a result of those interactions, I believe, significantly less rigid when it comes to understanding social media and how it functions. Which is, in part, why I've come to understand the need not bring criticism to where it is not known to be welcome, but to restrict it, at least in terms of initiation, to one's own posts. Of course, everyone is welcome to criticize my ideas and opinions in the comments on my posts. Just don't bother telling me what a jerk I am. As I already know that. :-) Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #59

#75
Thank you, Claire, for the kind words. They are what makes the effort of writing worthwhile. Cheers!

Claire L Cardwell

Claire L Cardwell

4 years ago #58

Phil Friedman - I loved this! Am starting a Lusty Logician's Cafe Hive..... Got to be done! This is an excellent article, one of the best I have ever read! Have a fantastic weekend!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #57

#73
OK, how about "socially challenged self abuser" ? :-)

Martin Wright

Martin Wright

4 years ago #56

#49
phil, that dictionary definition is far too polite to be accurate.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #55

#71
Well, Ian, I agree with you (and have from the beginning) that, if we all keep our minds open -- including our subjective filters -- as much as possible, there is a much higher probability of our reaching a more accurate common judgment of what is true and real. Of course, I am sure you will agree with me that process does not necessarily include accepting the pronouncements of every Tom, Dick, and Hairy who comes along on social media claiming to be a Guru with a direct connection to Universal Truth and saying he or she is speaking the Truth because they know. As to my reference to neuroscientific jargon, I don't agree that it is I who obscured the meaning of your "communication" -- although I would accept the charge that sometimes my own use of formal philosophical and logical jargon may, in a popular context, obscure my own meaning. As well, I personally believe that, without an elucidated Theory of Mind, describing neural events, however accurately, does not present the complete picture. Thank you again for joining the conversation.

Ian Weinberg

Ian Weinberg

4 years ago #54

#70
Phil 'stripped of the neuroscientific jargon' as you've suggested has obscured the meaning of my communication. Logical reasoning, albeit subjectively-based takes place in the pre-frontal cortex. Here occurs the process of working memory, in which previously stored and/or new perceived information is compared and if it's a fit, is integrated into a new understanding (neurons that fire together, wire together - Hebb). And so the process continues. The substrate that I refer to is the objective, potentially perceptible space that we're all perceiving (subjectively). It follows that if a given individual commits to broadening their subjective filters (and there exist techniques in this regard), they will perceive in the broader band and the intregrations in working memory will shift from higher subjectivity to higher objectivity (it's a sliding scale) such that their integrations/understanding/perception will begin to approximate the objective substrate. Furthermore if groups of individuals pool their collective subjectivities through various collaborative means, with the aim of attaining a greater collective objectivity (and their are techniques available to assist this process too), there will be a far more effective shift towards authentic objectivity. As a knock on effect the level of logical reasoning will be upgraded (not sure where you dug up that I was rejecting reason and logic!). So we don't really need any Einsteins around (In any case the space-time continuum is relative to activity in human consciousness - so we contribute to objectifying the space-time substrate. But that's another discussion). All that is required are people that are individually committed to opening subjective filters and to collaborate collectively with their God-given pre-frontal cortices. Thanks and cheers to you too!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #53

#66
Ian, you say, " The important determining variable is the substrate which is made available for this process. This availability is dependent upon your prevailing subjective biases." I suggest that stripped of the neuroscientific jargon, this is equivalent to saying, as all good logicians do, that logically valid reasoning cannot per se yield true conclusions, since the truth of a conclusion in a logically valid argument depends on the assumptions or premises (your "substrate" ) being true. The core epistemological issue is whether we can get beyond the idiosyncratic filters that trap our assumptions and premises in subjectivity. Personally, I believe we can only back into an answer to that question by recognizing that all solipsistic claims are inherently self-denying. In other words, if everyone is at all time inevitably constrained by subjectivity, then your statement about that must itself be subjective, not objective. A reductio ad absurdum. No, what we must do, like Einstein seeking to find a way to objectify the relativity of the time-space continuum, is come to understand how we reach objectivity from the interaction of our admittedly subjective viewpoints. That cause, however, is not advanced by rejecting reason and logic. Thank you for reading and commenting. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #52

#68
Lada, thank you for reading and commenting. You say, "Following your policy, I will also refrain from making any critical comments...." -- but there is no need to refrain, since I welcome critical comments that are about the ideas and opinions expressed, and no ad hominem. Cheers!

Lada 🏡 Prkic

Lada 🏡 Prkic

4 years ago #51

Phil, thank you for mentioning me in your post. I am glad that the Thumper's rule and my grammatically correct reinterpretation of that rule resulted in this marvelously written lesson in Logic. Neither of these statements mean "If you can't agree, remain quiet." I always welcome intellectual exchange in the comment treads, so you needn’t have written a whole post to comment on my meme. But as I said, I am glad you did. 😊 Following your policy, I will also refrain from making any critical comments. Kind regards!

Lada 🏡 Prkic

Lada 🏡 Prkic

4 years ago #50

Phil, thank you for mentioning me in your post. I am glad that the Thumper's rule and my grammatically correct reinterpretation of that rule resulted in this marvellous written lesson in Logic. Neither of these statements mean "If you can't agree, remain quiet." I always welcome intellectual exchange in the comment treads, so you needn’t have written a whole post to comment on my meme. But as I said, I am glad you did. 😊 Following your policy, I will also refrain from making any critical comments. Kind regards!

Ian Weinberg

Ian Weinberg

4 years ago #49

#51
Harvey Lloyd I would propose that logical thought or reasoning is what is referred to as 'working memory' in neuroscience and occurs in the pre-frontal cortex. The product of working memory which occurs in this neurological 'sketch-pad' is knowledge. The important determining variable is the substrate which is made available for this process. This availability is dependent upon your prevailing subjective biases. Your mode of engagement with potential substrate is also a product of intrinsic subjective bias/belief. An unwanted consequence is that we tend to filter out substrate through limiting beliefs with the result that knowledge remains narrowed as a result of a looped entrapment.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #48

#62
Michael, your kind words of encouragement are welocomed. It's been more than 20 years since I was in Christchurch but I can tell you that Kiwis are among my favorite people. You can always tell a Kiwi-- you just tell him anything. (Just teasing) :-) Cheers!

Joyce 🐝 Bowen Brand Ambassador @ beBee

#60
hahahaha

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #46

#55
Yes, Joyce, I understand. However, I cannot comment or reply, until you agree that this is off the record. :-)

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #45

#54
I truly hope so, Aaron. As much as anyone, I rag on Gen-xers and Millennials and Gen-Yers -- but the fact is they aren't in nature much different than we are or were. Their props and toys are different, but we all pretty much want the same things in general. And I for one sincerely hope that our generation has not left them with a world so screwed up that it will "ruin" their lives. https://www.bebee.com/producer/@friedman-phil/some-advice-and-an-apology-to-my-teenage-daughters-on-my-birthday

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #44

#53
Yes, Bill, but at the Lusty Logician Cafe, some of that business in monkey business. Thanks for reading and the kind words. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #43

#51
Thank you, Lloyd, for reading and joining the conversation. I have some difficulty with your question when you say that, "discussion, debate or logical conversation ... [are] really just the means to an end." I rarely, if ever, use the term "debate" because 1) the goal of a debate is to win -- as in a political debate convincing the electorate of the truth or correctness of your position, independent of whether or not it is, in fact, true or correct. 2) I use the term "logical conversation" to refer to conversation ABOUT logic (issues revolving about the structure of reasoning and argument), not to distinguish a conversation that is logical from one that is not. 3) I'd be fine with the term "discussion" in its ordinary meaning, but have to note that, for example, the physicist David Bohm gave it a special meaning in his essays on "dialogue" vs discussion -- a special meaning that I personally reject as being entirely arbitrary and idiosyncratic. The upshot is that each of these forms of exchange differs significantly from the others and so, each has its own different goal or end. As well, when you say that your "... own discussions to be somewhat illogical as ... [you] can't know everything ...", I need to point out that logic has little to do with knowing everything. An argument (in logic, a set of assumptions or premises, leading to a conclusion) can be perfectly logical, yet embody a completely false conclusion -- when one or more of the assumptions or premises is false. In the same way, an illogical argument can result in a true conclusion. Which, of course, it might do purely by accident. I know, for example, several people on social media who spew so much intellectual baloney that I am sure once in a while they may utter a true statement or two every so often, entirely inadvertently. After all, even a broken watch is right twice a day. Cheers!

Joyce 🐝 Bowen Brand Ambassador @ beBee

I was an older student and so enjoyed the company of my younger 'peers' that I took forever to graduate. Kudos to you for having found such an engagement, if even by mistake. Of course, when I was in school I wrote a column for the school newspaper, and they often found themselves to be subjects in my next article. Kind of squashed the free-ranging conversation.

Bill Stankiewicz, 🐝 Brand Ambassador

More business is done at golf outings, bars & at the Lusty Logician Cafe

Bill Stankiewicz, 🐝 Brand Ambassador

COOL !!

Harvey Lloyd

Harvey Lloyd

4 years ago #39

Would you not consider that a discussion, debate or logical conversation is really just the means to an end? Given your answer the next question may or may not be important. Would it not be incumbent upon the critical thinker of the group to guide the circular arguments towards an end? Critical thinking is exhaustive in nature when confronted with so many variables within the end being discussed. I agree with the points made concerning the fallacy of people's thinking. I consider my own discussions to be somewhat illogical as i can't know everything. Given a discussion where someone is more knowledgeable try and listen but want to sort out my thoughts/beliefs so i may present circular arguments only because i am before someone who is more knowledgeable. I do not present them in the case to prove a point, but rather to show where i am within the knowledge continuum, i may be passionate within my lack of knowledge. Only because when faced with a more knowledgeable person your narrative becomes disrupted. Thought provoking piece.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #38

#46
Thank you, Sandra, for the boost. Most of the time I'm accused of never moving forward. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #37

#47
Martin, the Cambridge English Dictionary defines 'wanker' as a "very stupid or unpleasant person, usually a man." Thank you for the kind words. My work is usually seen as Kafka-esque. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #36

Martin, the Cambridge English Dictionary defines 'wanker' as a "very stupid or unpleasant person, usually a man." Thank you for the kind words. My work is usually seen as Kafka-esque. Cheers!

Martin Wright

Martin Wright

4 years ago #35

Did you evwr find out why Graham was a Wanker. The argument was very swiftian.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #34

#33
Yes, Gerry, I remember that tryptic. Indeed, I think it shows in one of the images included in the post.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #33

#34
Thank you, Devesh, for the kind words -- I think. Either way, thanks for reading and joining the conversation. And cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #32

#39
Yes, Gerry, when we get to the point we don't have anything more to lose, we'll all be set free. Unless some of us end up in slave labor camps, whilst others are turned into lampshades. And anyone who thinks that is hysterical hyperbole, he or she should look at the legislation being pushed by Trump Republicans concerning DNA testing and data being made pretty much compulsory. I won't say "cheers" here because there are none when it come to this current US administration.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #31

#35
Actually, Gerry, a lot of science and detective work are done on the basis of eduction -- drawing (at least preliminary) conclusions from single instances of empirical data. But that's now treading on the toes of philosophers of Science, eh? (This las sentence construction is in the Canadian language.) Cheers!

Franci 🐝Eugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador

#26
Great idea. I use poetry to do the same. Some people get it and some don't but most enjoy it and are not offended.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #29

#30
But, Gerry, if the amygdala cannot be retrained, or at least redirected through mindfulness, then a whole raft of counselors, coaches, and soul-guides are going to be out of work. And maybe a few neurosurgeons proven wrong about their theories of mind.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #28

#31
Milos, I think it all depends on one's vision of Logic. Many people define it too narrowly. I was trained in graduate studies to see that logic is actually the study of Reasoning in all its forms, including both formal and informal reasoning. Personally, I subscribe to the statement by Camus that you quote, but have found that many anti-rationalists misinterpret and misrepresent its meaning, possibly for their own ends. A topic well beyond the boundaries of this comment thread. Thank you for joining the conversation. Cheers, my friend!

Devesh 🐝 Bhatt

Devesh 🐝 Bhatt

4 years ago #27

#23
dont try to be reasonable, you would seldom be heard. Camoflauge yourself, as the crazy and absurd :) Now it is your choice, The message, the voice. And the need to communicate. Lots of good stuff to read and contemplate :) This buzz is for the ages :)

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #26

#29
Gerry, I don't remember a time when "Logicians must have either been in short supply...or pretty far down on a list of "stuff to pay attention to." Maybe because most Logicians I knew were also either philosophers or mathematicians. I can also tell you that my university years were during a time when Noam Chomsky coming to my grad school to give a series of lectures on semantics would coincide statistically with a blip in the local birth rate similar to what was seen following the notorious power blackout in NYC. Cheers!

Milos Djukic

Milos Djukic

4 years ago #25

Phil Friedman, Thank you for the kind words. A very high standard of writing. You know my thoughts even when I'm silent. What about things that are beyond logic? But sometimes we should also treasure what we have and that is love. "True Intelligence Goes Way Beyond Logic" by Ray Kurzweil on bigthink.com http://bigthink.com/60-second-reads/true-intelligence-goes-way-beyond-logic-2 “There are crimes of passion and crimes of logic. The boundary between them is not clearly defined.” ― Albert Camus

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #24

#5
Brian McKenzie, most people who think of "fairy tales" as children's fare would be surprised and shocked if they actually read some of the Grimm brothers or Chaucer. Why am I not surprised that the non-honey-bearing literature of ages ago appeals to you? :-) Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #23

#5
Most people who think of "fairy tales" as children's fare would be surprised and shocked if they actually read some of the Grimm brothers or Chaucer. Why am I not surprised that the literature of ages ago appeals to you? :-) Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #22

#24
Thank you for the kind words, Franci. I am trying to work on my storytelling skill in the hope that it will sometimes be a better avenue for making a point or points that need(s) making. Moreover, it's fun. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #21

#23
Yes, Sandra, I think it's possible to disagree without being disagreeable. Also that we have to guard against those who would make us feel wrong or socially defective for disagreeing at all. In my experience, most of those who charge others with being "judgmental" really mean those others refuse to agree with them. Thanks for reading and commenting. And cheers!

Franci 🐝Eugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador

Applause and standing ovation, Phil. I believe I've said this before, but this post is one of your best.

Jim Murray

Jim Murray

4 years ago #19

#16
We are most assuredly doing our part, Phil. Maybe even overdoing it depending on where you are coming from. It seems like a lot of people want to give Trump a chance to see if he can get his shit together. The only trouble with that it that if he gets it together America is definitely doomed. This is one the the thing I am totally convinced of and have been for quite some time. He's not a conservative. He's not a Republican. He's not a populist. He's defiintely not a Democrat. The only things left are oligarch, demagogue and fascist.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #18

#20
Thank you, Gert, for reading and for the kind words. But no, you cannot go back in time. I am, though, still teaching logic and the art of reasoning online as part of my writing improvement course. Not that you need improvement in that area. But I have a feeling that your motivation may be the truly lovely young woman whose image appears in the post. Well, no shame in that either. Cheers!

Gert Scholtz

Gert Scholtz

4 years ago #17

Phil Friedman Professor, can I go back in time and sit in one of your Logic classes today? No wait, that might be a circular inference of time and a positive amygdala hijack to boot! I will read again and learn. Thank you for the illustrative story Phil – superb reading.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #16

#11
Ah, Pascal, would that I could. Thanks for reading and commenting. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #15

#12
Thank you, Fatima, for the kind words. Please have an ale on me -- just send me the tab. Cheers!

🐝 Fatima G. Williams

🐝 Fatima G. Williams

4 years ago #14

#13
Gerald Hecht I will. I'm smelling some honey though. Is the buzz on the way 😉

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #13

#9
Perhaps, Jim, instead of trying to anesthetize the amygdala, we should work to retrain it to trigger stronger fight or flight reactions when it comes to elections. Liberals and Moderates in the US seemed to have lost their survival senses. And now it's likely we're all going to lose our asses.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #12

#9
#9 Perhaps, Jim, instead of trying to anesthetize the amygdala, we should work to retrain it to trigger stronger fight or flight reactions when it comes to elections. Liberals and Moderates in the US seemed to have lost their survival senses. And now it's likely we're all going to lose our asses.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #11

#9
Perhaps, Jim, instead of trying to anesthetize the amegdala we should work to retrain it to trigger stronger fight or flight reactions when it comes to elections. Liberals and Moderates in the US seemed to have lost their survival senses. And now it's likely we're all going to lose our asses.

🐝 Fatima G. Williams

🐝 Fatima G. Williams

4 years ago #10

Love this post for reason's of it's own and I learnt quite a few words here. Like amygdala, menage and schtick. An interesting conversation ! Slow claps 👏👏

Pascal Derrien

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #9

Phil Friedman's undercover stories will constitute the next series of articles... coming soon near you :-)

Jim Murray

Jim Murray

4 years ago #8

"You don't look so harmless to me". I cannot help but wonder how many people have that impression of you, Mr Cuddly Bear? Very interesting. But also a good example of how petulance and ego can spoil or perhaps make a perfectly good debate. Sound familiar? In an east coast national capital kind of way?

Jim Murray

Jim Murray

4 years ago #7

"You don't look so harmless to me". I cannot help but wonder how many people have that impression of you, Mr Cuddly Bear? Very interesting. But also a good example of how petulance and ego can spoil or perhaps make a perfectly good debate. Sound familiar? In an east coast nationals capital kind of way?

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #6

#5
Yea, Brian, I'd figure you for someone who wouldn't care for a woman with a strong intellect -- although perhaps a strong back would be okay. You know, useful beast of burden and all thought.Thanks for reading and commenting. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #5

#4
#3 Pleased that you liked it, Kevin. I thought you might since you no doubt spend time hanging around with students and maybe have even been in a cafe like this once or twice. Cheers, bud!

Kevin Pashuk

Kevin Pashuk

4 years ago #4

#2
Your photoshopping skills are improving... It took me a while. :)

Kevin Pashuk

Kevin Pashuk

4 years ago #3

#2
It certainly wouldn't have anything to do with 'petulance' or tatoos... I'm guessing the Irish Ale, and good conversation around the table. Loved this post Sir Phil...

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #2

Jim Murray, you guys are "mentioned" in this post. See if you can find where. Cheers! :-)

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #1

Lada \ud83c\udfe1 Prkic, just so you know, you are mentioned in this post, with respect. Cheers!

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