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Posted by Mario Dovalina on September 6, 2002 17:35:25 UTC

"That's my whole point!"

I know, I made that statement in jest and revelry, my good sir.

" But have you ever stopped to think how is it that people can drive from 236 Elm St in Jackson Hole, to 632 Main St in Louisville, without making a single mistake? Isn't that amazingly complex?"

Nope, because the streets generally have a simple, logical layout, and if you have a map and/or experience, no sweat. Our street system may be complex, but it pales in comparison to biological systems. For one thing, when we use a map, we can be sure it's accurate, and we know *exactly* what is being described (roads, are, after all, a human artifact, and we are quite familiar with the way they work.) With regards to biological and such systems, we're inside the box and have a much more laborious task.

"I think the problem has an easy solution, although in some cases it might be a bit laborious. First, concentrate on objectivity, on things we can point to and say "look, this is what I'm talking about". Second, whenever objectivity can't be achieved, stick to logic and logic alone. Third, when the previous two can't be achieved, forget about it, unless you're writing poetry."

I agree with you, to a certain extent, but I think this reasoning is a BIT flawed. Try discussion entirely subjective but universal phenomena like consciousness using objectivity and see how far it gets you. In addition, using logic is wonderful, and I try to do so whenever I possibly can, but as we are inside the box, logic based on observations may provide numerous possible answers. A truly reasonable person would accept all answers that fulfill the question equally well as equally possible, but all too often subjectivity raises its head here, marring a noble aspiration to be completely logical. We should try to escape from our subjective cages, but we need to acknowledge that we will never fully succeed in doing so.

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