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Author Topic: Member Interesting, Hair Raising, Humorous or Otherwise Unusual Experiences  (Read 1567 times)

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AGelbert

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FABULOUS Anecdote AG!!!!!  :icon_sunny:

I invite all Diners to post an Anecdote from their lives for publication in a Compilation Blog of Diner Autobiographical Tales!

RE

I can't wait until Surly finds out I once organized a UNION! Hopefully, he will relieve me of my "aparatchik" status for having worked for the feds (just kidding surly!  But now you know I 've always been a socialist at heart.  ;D).

Proud of you, AG. What a tale!

Have never doubted your heart is in the right place
.

  

Leges         Sine    Moribus     Vanae   
Faith,
if it has not works, is dead, being alone.

AGelbert

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In 1971 I was drafted into the armed service. The Viet Nam war was in high gear. I was living in the Bay Area, Ca. and there was a lot of protests against the war. I had read the "The Pentagon Papers", and had met some guys who had returned from the war. I had been on my own since about the age of 14, my Mother died a year earlier and Father became an alcoholic. So I made the decision to become a Conscientious Objector. You have to serve 2 years in the States doing community service work, and can only be paid $100 a month. C.O.'s do not get any Military help after completion of the 2 years.

  My first year I joined a Conservation Corp. and went to a camp around Mt. Lassen. We helped the US Forest service build roads, clear messed up terrain, and fought forest fires ( mainly mop up on the perimeters). I once got doused by fire retardant dropped by a plane, nice. :)

I was a "born again" Christian at this time. I found out about a Church of Christ mission in the Ghettos of NYC. I was able to do my second year at this organization, called "Shiloh". We lived in East NY and Brownsville from late September through April, and then brought a ton of kids to a camp in New Jersey.

  We lived in a tenement apartment with rats, cockroaches, and urine in all the halls. One of the leaders almost lost his eye because he got slugged in a pick up basketball game on the street park. One staff girl was rapped. There were two robbery's in our apartments.

  While playing vollyball with the staff at the local gym, I tore my right knee cartilage. I didn't know that yet though. The first thing I did was go to local doctor. On the way a big older street bum walked up beside me and started walking with me. He suddenly said "I have a .45 pointed right at you." ( buldge in his coat) We keep walking then he say "What are you doing here?" I said I worked at Shiloh . He says "where do you live?" I said over on Wilson in an apartment just a few blocks away." We keep walking, he says "Well, why didn't you tell me so!" Ok, I just did. Then he slowed down and stopped and turned around.
 
  The doctor was an old Jewish fellow. He said I just sprained it real bad so he put a cast on my knee to keep it immobile. Well it didn't and when the cartilage popped out on my knee bone it felt like being stabbed with a knife. I had the top bunk and jumped up to get some rest and my knee went out. This time I couldn't strech my leg out to pop the cartilage back in place. So I am in the top bunk being stabbed in the knee. I crawled down and to the kitchen , got a hammer and a butter knife, and cut the cast off to stretch my leg. It worked. I eventually had knee surgery in "The Hospital for Special Surgery" where Joe Namath had his knees repaired. I also roomed with a concert violinist. I was playing my guitar one day and he says "that sounded really good." That is when I found out about his mastery of the violin/music. I was really embarrassed because I just could play rock, rhythm and blues, and some jazz. But he insisted that I played really well. That was cool.

  Another time I was going through the neighborhoods knocking on doors to see if anyone had children they wanted to send to camp. The black guys crossed the street and started following me and getting closer. I tried to stay cool, and then one of them mentioned Shiloh. That was enough to back them off. We did a lot for the neighborhood, and was mostly welcome there.

  Two years later my supervisor and friend was shot and killed while walking a kid to his apartment.

  Speaking of these anecdotes from the oil consumption days, we got put on the even/odd license plate gas fill up. On our day we had to wait in a line of about 50 cars at time.

ANOTHER FABULOUS ANECDOTE!

This is shaping up well already!

RE

 

Knarf, my hat is off to you for making this sad world a better place. I am indebted to you for your sacrifices on behalf of the downtrodden. The fact that, though you were forced to be a man at 14, you went out of your way to help others, is an example to all of us of what we should be like.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. 
Leges         Sine    Moribus     Vanae   
Faith,
if it has not works, is dead, being alone.

AGelbert

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Agelbert's Aerobatic Adventure - In A NON-Aerobatic Aircraft :o  :P   

Once upon a time, I was young and a newly licensed Private Pilot. I had racked up about 53 hours of flying time, passed my 4 hour written test and my one hour flight test so I figured I had most of this flying stuff all figured out. I was now starting my commercail pilot training which required a total of 160 hours. A lot of this time was solo flying practicing advanced maneuvers such as chandelles, lazy eights, pivotal altitude hold while circling a ground reference point, several kinds of stalls, engine out procedures, emergency landing procedures and some extended cross country flights.

But most of that was in the future. I had already flown my mother as my mandatory first passenger now that I was a bona fide licensed pilot and could legally carry passengers (without charging for it, of course).

I modified the last part of the tail number on the cherokee 140 above. It's not the one I flew but is identical in appearance and paint job.

This bright sunny day I boarded Zero Nine Whisky (N--09W tail number) Cherokee 140 trainer aircraft to accumulate some flying time towards my minimum required for a commercial pilot license. Zero Nine Whiskey was my favorite of the aircraft. It had a pretty paint job and was the plane I had soloed in. It was an old friend to me by now. I didn't have any particular plan except to go out over the everglades practice area and repeat some of the maneuvers I already knew. 

Of course, being young, curious, over confident and foolish, I wanted to expand my knowledge of how the aircraft responded in somewhat, shall we say, higher pitch attitudes than the every day dull training fare.

If you have ever heard the expression, "pushing the envelope", let me tell you that it is originally and aviatior's expression stolen from us by you ground pounders to make your dull lives seem more exciting!

Yes, dear readers, Agelbert was fixin' to push the envelope.

The flight "envelope" is the airspeed range and pitch attitude (angle above or below the horizon) as well as bank angle range of the wings that the aircraft is designed to fly at. If you leave the envelope when you are in the air, you are entering the danger zone. WHY? Because the aircraft can suffer catastrophic structural damage, engine, failure or a combination thereof. If this happpens near the ground, you are done. If it happens 4 to 5 thousand feet up, you MIGHT be able to recover and live through it. You have a little more time but your survival usually depends more on luck than skill.

Recently licensed Private Pilots are not too long on skill...

I taxied out, took off and flew northwest about 10 miles to the practice area. This area over the Florida Everglades was (in 1966) in the middle of nowhere. There were a few roads near some farms that had boundaries by the glades but otherwise it was all swamp and you were alligator food if you went down there.

Cherokee in cruise flight at about 115 mph over Ohio, not the Everglades.

On the plus side for a designated practice area, it was flat, far away from people or cows (our flight school had been told to NOT allow the student pilots to practice low approaches to emergency landings near cows because it caused abortions), and arrival and departure aircraft traffic to Opa Locka or Miami International Airports. Besides, it was within radio range of several ATC towers so if you had an emergency, you could set 121.5 on your radio and call for help before you made a forced landing even if you were at a low altitude.

Out over the practice area at 2,000 feet, I practiced a few engine out procedures and checked the area for potential landing sites that I could reach with the power off. It didn't look all that great but I would pick a spot and pretend I had to put it down right there. At about 300 feet I would apply full power and climb away looking down at the spot to see what sort of a mess I would have made if I had actually landed there.

I then decided to try something new. I knew I might have some "difficulties" so I climbed to 5,000 feet (the recommended altitude for stall and spin practice). I may write about an exciting and humorous adventure with spins someday but that was still in the future for me then. For this adventure, I must explain to you what a "stall" is before I explain my imaginative variation of it.

An aircraft flies because a low pressure area forms over the upper surface of the wing in direct proportion to the velocity of said wing and the angle of the wing to the air movement (relative wind). The point is that the wings are sucked up and the aircraft flies. 

Straight and level flight (arrow) ----> produces enough lift to not go up or down. When you pull back on the control point the aircraft nose higher, you are increasing the pitch attitude. A Cherokee 140 normally flies at a pitch attitude of a few degrees (positive pitch).

A stall has nothing to do with the engine. A stall is what happens when the low pressure area over the wing surface gets disturbed (burble point) by too high a pitch attitude and the wings no longer produce lift. The maneuver is performed by gradually increasing the pitch attitude with a certain designated power on or power off condition (or something in between) until the nose shakes a little and noses down as the wings hit the burble point.

Stall recovery is performed by establishing a negative pitch (nose below normal glide pitch) to pick up flying speed while applying full power simultaneously. Panicky student pilots have a tendency to point the nose down steeply and upset their flight instructors. After some practice, students learn that the secret of stall recovery is just to put that nose down to a few degrees below glide pitch and, of course, keep the plane from banking with the rudder so you don't get into an inadvertent stall-spin.

The most challenging stall recovery is a power on stall because the nose is pitched about 40 degrees up (much higher than for a power off stall) and the burble point stall break is snappy. It's also harder to keep the plane straight to avoit a spin entry due to one wing stalling before the other.

Well, I knew all that. I had that down! Let us see, I said to myself, what happens when we REALLY pick up the nose with full power?   


I pushed the throttle all the way and pulled the nose as far back as I could about 60 degrees). The effect was a much more violent stall (imagine a bucking bronco) break and the plane trying to spin this way and that. But I recovered within a few hundred feet of altitude loss which was well within limits for a power on stall.

I thought about that for a while. I wanted a 90 degree pitch up nose position (straight up!) but, even with full power, I couldn't get there before the plane stalled. Bummer.
So, I applied full power again and lowered the nose to pick up maneuvering speed (129 mph designated aircraft speed where structural damage could not occur from control movements). ZOOM!

At 129 mph I gradually lifted the nose all the way to 90 degrees! Yippee! There I was, going straight up like a fighter pilot!


I then waited for the stall break and the nose to pitch forward. And I waited. And I waited. The airspeed went down past 60, which was no flaps stalling speed, and kept going down. Fifty, forty, THIRTY (WTF!), TWENTY!!! (I pulled the power off and tried to nose the aircraft over - no response - I was going too slow to ahve ANY EFFECT on the fight controls - I was basically a rock tossed in the air at this point approaching the peak of a ballistic trajectory), TEN, ZERO!

Now it gets really good. The cherokee 140 is a utility trainer aircraft. That means it is capable of withstanding 4.4  G forces plus and 2.2 G minus. Aerobatic aircraft can handle 6.6 both ways with out structural issues. I knew this. I knew I was not in a Citabria or Stearman that could do whip stalls and tail slides and hammer head stalls at air shows just for fun. Cherokees have a stabilator (instead of an elevator) on the tail that is quite easy to break. If that breaks, you are dead, period.

You DO NOT want to stress the stabilator, EVER.

I went weightless. My pilot briefcase began floating in the air next to me. The wind noise was picking up rapidly and the airspeed still read ZERO!


Panic time! I decided to release the controls because ANYTHING I did would translate BACKWARDS because the aircraft was "flying" backwards. I did NOT want to bust that stabilator. I wanted to get that nose DOWN somehow. As a kid I had thown gliders in the air and watched them tail slide and whip stall to a nose down pitch and recover. I was counting on that but my confidence level was measurable in fractions of an inch at the moment.

Hanging by my seatbelt, I experienced the most violent forward whip stall forward you can imagine. That is probably what save my life. Had the stabilator caused a BACKWARD whip stall, it would probably have broken off. Without the ability to control the pitch attitude, even with engine power, a small aircraft will nose hard into the ground destroying the airframe and killing the pilot.


I watched the blue sky instantly change to brown everglades. It was weird. The nose did not just go from straight up to straight down; it went from straight up to a pendulum movement. I still hadn't touched the controls. The airspeed had, of course, been increasing all along but it didn't show because aircraft measure airspeed with a pitot tube that faces the relative wind. Planes don't generally fly backwards. LOL!

The moment the plane whipped over to the glades facing pendulous rocking movement, the airspeed went from zero to ABOVE VNE (Never Exceed Velocity - about 160). The airspeed indicator was PEGGED!


That was another fright. I realized the flip had occurred above maneuvering speed and was sweating the possibility I had lost my stabilator.

I  reached for the controls and, ever so gradually, applied back pressure to get out of the dive without tearing the wings off. Also, if I pull back too hard and too quick, that was another chance to over stress the stabilator (if I still had one) that I didn't want to risk.

It worked. I hadn't lost my stabilator! Gravity returned and I got the airspeed back to 115 mph normal cruise. I had lost about 3,500 feet. I applied power.

Nothing. Engine failure. Argh.

I turned on the electric fuel pump (this aircraft has a manual fuel pump but uses the electric fuel pump to aid starting and engine restart in the air) and set 121.5 emergency frequency on my radio and looked for a place to put Zero Nine Whiskey down.

At 800 feet the best place looked like a dirt embankment in the Everglades. I began a final approach and had the mike in my hand to begin transmitting mayday when the engine sputtered on. Believe it or not, my greatest relief at the moment was not having to embarrass myself by radioing an emergency.

Such is the foolish pride of the young.


I hooked the mike back on to the panel and changed to tower frequency, radioed that I was inbound about 15 miles northwest and brought her home (without turning the electric fuel pump off until I was safely on the runway).

I taxied to the grass parking area at the fight school and shut own the aircraft.

Then I noticed something that needed to be taken care of. The cowling above the panel was full of dirt! The whip stall had been so violent that every speck of dirt on the floor had been thrown up and then forward and down onto the cowling as I applied gradual back pressure to pull the aircraft out of the dive. The floor looked like someone had done a great vacuuming job on it. LOL!

I called a line boy and said there was a lot of dirt on the cowling that should be cleaned up. He looked at it  and asked, How did that get there?". I said, "I don't know." and quickly walked into the office to sign out...".

NOTE: Zero Nine Whisky was NOT damaged. I flew over 50 hours in that aircraft subsequently along with hundreds of hours by other pilots and flight instructors.

I pre-flighted VERY closely the aircraft a day later and, had I seen the least bit of evidence of stabilator stress, would have reported it.

I know, I should have reported it anyway but I was foolishly and pridefully afraid to besmirch my pilot record because it would reduce my chances of getting hired by the airlines.


All I can say is the Piper Cherokee 140 is an excellent trainer aircraft.

So that is how a foolish young man happened to cheat death in 1966.


If you liked this true story by Agelbert, be nice and register. 

Agelbert giving his first lecture on Renewable Energy. 

Have a pleasant day.   ;D

Renewable Revolution
Leges         Sine    Moribus     Vanae   
Faith,
if it has not works, is dead, being alone.

AGelbert

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Very well put AG.

Don't get me wrong, sign me up for one of these 4th Reichstag's windup plastic run-abouts, there cool as ****.

I'm seasoned, AG's seasoned. We both possess a ticket to ride. I'm not current at this point in time. 30 days of
review in reg's, weather, sim time, left seat with an instructor & whaa-la I'm a Legal Eagle again. Oh, yeah & the medical.  :icon_mrgreen:

SOOOOOO, it's complicated & for "1st timers" that's a BIG hurdle.
The point is, the ego is being tickled & the brain is in the caboose. Eye candy with big consequences.
If you'll notice in the vid, no one was aboard. That was a big boy toy drone test flight. These cats haven't even
received GOOBERmint approval to have a test pilot flight yet.

I'll take a Cherokee 6, an attractive female hostage, leave Lauderdale airspace & head to little Guana Cay for lunch.
 

  

So, you've flown a six? I put quite a few hours into those birds way back when. Here's a short war story from my air taxi rat days:
Piper Cherokee Six

It was the San Juan to Vieques flight in a 260 hp Cherokee six sometime in 1969. The folks that lived in Vieques would fly to San Juan and buy stuff to take back to their island (half of it - the other half was routinely being blown to smithereens as a bomb fun and games place for the Navy and Marines - it looked like the moon  :P).

Vieques islanders were  sort of country bumpkins to the average cosmopolitan San Juan dweller. Country folks are very practical and aren't real particular about appearances.  ;D On this particular flight I had some people carrying sacks of potatoes (I eyed these carefully when I did my weight and balance  ;)) and a lady that had some live and healthy (and noisy) chickens. I can't imagine why, but country folks also smell a bit ripe on a hot day in the tropics... Perhaps it's fear of flying that makes them perspire a bit more than normal, but I was always glad for my tiny flip down pilot seat window...  :D

Well we, took off and encountered a lot of wind noise. I called the tower at the international airport 5 miles east of my air taxi base (Isla Grande airport) and asked for a touch and go, which they approved. It seems the latch over the door had not sealed the door properly.  I had a friend riding in the right seat (he wasn't a pilot) and I asked him to see if he could force the door open a bit and then try to pull it closed again (we are in flight approaching the international airport at this time). He did that (sound of torrent of air going by at 150 mph) and the lady with the chickens screamed. The chickens weren't too happy about that either.  :D

It didn't work. So, we landed, slowed down and did that again until we got that silly latch to catch right. Without ever coming to a stop, we just took off again and flew east over the north coast of Puerto Rico and then southeast to the island of Vieques.

The landing was "routine" but I should explain to you what that entailed at Vieques. They have a weird runway there.  :P The runway, when you are landing going east (which is almost always) is much higher than the other end. To further complicate matters, the runway elevation goes UP after the threshold before it starts to go DOWN.

All that is a great advantage when you are taking off but a bit tricky when you are landing. AZ, you obviously know about ground effect and low wing aircraft fun and games. A runway sloping down hill is a ground effect nightmare that can lead you to overrun the runway if you don't watch it!

I don't know if you have ever flown a FULLY LOADED TO THE GILLS Cherokee six. They are very squirrelly on landing. You know that the normal drill is to round out and then flare out, right? Well that would result in way to much FLOAT at Vieques.

So, I came up with a trick to deal with that.  ;) ;D  I would establish approach speed at a fixed pitch attitude. That's right, I would NOT flare. I would bring her over the threshold watching for the slight runway rise just before the downhill part started WITH MY HAND ON THE FLAP HANDLE (I had full flaps at this time, of course  8)). As I reached the bump I would lower the flaps to touch the main wheels without any pitch change and remove all flaps and hit the toe brakes. It worked like a charm. The people, potatoes and chickens all arrived safely. 

I taught a few other pilots to do that and they said, HEY, it works! Flaps are just supposed to be there to steepen the glide path on approach when you apply them, not when you remove them, so we all agreed the FAA would not understand our cool trick and that we would never tell the feds about it.

Getting back to the Electric Airplane subject, most people are not aware that aircraft internal combustion engines mostly fail when you are at full power, which happens to be when you are taking off and need that engine the most. Electric motors, can fail at any time. But when they do, it's almost always temperature related. Which means they will rarely fail on take off because they are fresh! For large EV flying machines, having a bunch of motors will make them far more reliable than internal combustion or even jet engines (less moving parts to fail).

I can imagine the FAA coming up with some BULLSHIT about having to learn engine motor out procedure for 30 different configurations on an Electric bird with 30 motors just to keep anybody from ever being able to check out in it. That's what they do. 
Leges         Sine    Moribus     Vanae   
Faith,
if it has not works, is dead, being alone.

AGelbert

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I've been thinking about what story to tell here.  I've told a lot of stories on the Diner over the years, and I don't want to repeat one I've told before.  I've probably told most of the best ones.  I don't think I've ever told the story of the pollywog/shellback nonsense from the Navy days.  Basically when you cross the equator on a Navy ship you have to be initiated into the kingdom of Neptune  :dontknow:  It's pretty old tradition and here's the wiki link on this fiasco:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Line-crossing_ceremony

Quote
In the 19th century and earlier, the line-crossing ceremony was quite a brutal event, often involving beating pollywogs with boards and wet ropes and sometimes throwing the victims over the side of the ship, dragging the pollywog in the surf from the stern. In more than one instance, sailors were reported to have been killed while participating in a line-crossing ceremony.

As late as World War II, the line-crossing ceremony was still rather rough and involved activities such as the "Devil's Tongue", which was an electrified piece of metal poked into the sides of those deemed pollywogs. Beatings were often still common, usually with wet firehoses, and several World War II Navy deck logs speak of sailors visiting sick bay after crossing the line.

Efforts to curtail the line-crossing ceremony did not begin until the 1980s, when several reports of blatant hazing began to circulate regarding the line-crossing ceremony, and at least one death was attributed to abuse while crossing the line.


Now, y'all know how I felt about the Navy while I was in.  Our crossing of the equator was happening as we were sailing back to the states after dropping 3 million pounds of ordinance on Afghanistan days after 9/11.  We had just had liberty in Singapore for a few days (which was the first port since the bombing campaign started...we were at sea for 115 consecutive days).  While I was in Singapore I almost went UA (unauthorized absence).  I had went into an internet cafe and researched on how to change my identity.  I had paid for some pamphlet with detailed instructions on how to do it.  Minutes before it was time to get back on the shuttle that would take me back to the ship I was still contemplating whether to go UA or not.  Ultimately, because I was in a foreign country, and at the behest of my only friend on the ship, I decided to get on the damn shuttle and take my sorry ass back to that sorry ass ship. 

A couple of days later and we are going out of our way to cross the equator so that we can be initiated as Shellbacks.  From Singapore to Hawaii you don't cross the equator, but we were crossing it, going out of our way to do so.  This was 2001, and by then the Navy was allowing sailors to opt out of the proceedings. 

It was highly recommended by the chain of command that all sailors participate.  In fact you were mostly coerced into it even if you didn't want to, and by the chain of command.  Never mind all of the peer pressuring.  Nobody wanted to do the horrible things that were done to you during this ridiculous excuse to **** with your inferiors, and in some cases superiors.  It was a way to get a lot of rage out on your fellow shipmates.  I was bound and determined that I would have nothing to do with this barbaric display of suppressed anger.  I made sure to sign my waiver and opted out.  In my division I think there was only one other individual that opted out.  So, day of the crossing, and I'm blissfully in my rack, listening to music, enjoying my time off (that was a rarity). 

Disgusting and putrid things were done to you during this hazing process.  Eating jelly out of the fat chiefs belly button, crawling around on the smoke deck with a leash and collar on, and all manner of disgusting concoctions were made for the occasion.  Think mayo mixed with syrup and ketchup and pickles and anything else that was in the galley that could be added to make the most horrid experience possible for the pollywogs to endure.  Not me, **** you, I was in my rack enjoying my time off while all of the idiots participated in the ridiculousness.  Safe and sound, until I wasn't any longer. 

You see, in the lounge of my berthing all of the idiots had assembled and created a mass of crawling worms with their almost naked bodies.  They had all striped down to their skives, my entire division, and had created a 40 person dog pile of disgusting sailor bodies mixed with the fore mentioned galley concoction.  I was pulled out of my rack by several mouth breathers and thrown into this noxious pile of retards.  I was the only one clothed due to my forced participation.  I ended up on the bottom of this pile of odious bodies.  Attempting to claw my way out and some fat ass decided to belly flop onto me from a couch.  He landed and nearly broke my arm.  I clawed my way out of this pile of fat and goo and retreated to my rack.  I suppose the group think was satisfied since I was now covered in goo and boat funk.  I went straight to my rack, grabbed my shower bag, and headed off to the head to get clean. 

On my way up the ladder, just to the top, and that's when the ship listed 12 degrees to the port side.  At 15 degrees the tower on a carrier is designed to snap off of the ship and into Davy Jones' locker to keep the ship upright.  I had a firm grip on the ladder when it happened.  I watched as the slippery bodies tossed and turned over one another.  A few people went cruising down the p-ways being unable to pull off enough traction to stay upright.  It seems that we were headed straight into a tropical storm and it was sufficiently bad enough to where we had to change course.  In perfect navy style we never crossed the equator  :laugh:  Also in perfect Navy style they still allowed all of the pollywogs to become shellbacks even though it's about crossing the equator and we never did cross it. 

As soon as the p-way was back to an even keel I got my ass to the head and showered.  In the five minutes it took me to shower the p-ways had turned into a line of sailors all waiting for the head so they to could shower.  Of course they were all covered from head to toe in pollywog grease and looked exceptionally miserable.  The Captain had informed us all on the 1mc that we were not going to cross the equator due to the storm, so all of these idiots were in the state they were in and still gonna be pollywogs  :laughing6:  I felt exceptionally justified as I walked back to my rack past all of these disgusting idiots.  I had just gotten ahead of this line.  Every head on the ship had a line of sailors stretching further than one could see.  Basically the entire ship was trying to catch a shower at the same time.  I had just finished my shower.   I felt like I was the only one that had become a Shellback in that moment.
Great story.


LD, that was a rather timely tropical storm. I know you aren't into that sort of belief system, but I think God has a great sense of humor.   

I got my share and then some of hazing back at West Point. It was so bad in the summer of 1964 that a cadet was paralized. It was inadvertent. They has him doing the roach. That's where you lay on your back with a rifle at port arms and move your legs double time. The kid made some kind of move with his neck and, though he did not break his neck, somehow lost nerve sensation below the neck.  :emthdown:
That slowed the hazing down for a while. One of those fun things they would make us do is sweat through our bath robes (shower formation ) while bracing and reciting at the top of our lung capacity (if we didn't yell it out, the upperclassmen would say, "POP OFF!") all kinds of memory crap from our bugle notes plebe 'bible' (army poems, proverbs, snippets of speeches from generals, songs, rank insignias for all services from the lowest to the commander in chief, etc.).

I actually thought some of that idiocy was funny at the time. But hey, I was 17 and thoroughly brainwashed to worship all things military.   

They know how to turn people into mindless killing robots in the military. 
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Faith,
if it has not works, is dead, being alone.

AGelbert

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I've got one for you. Let me lay a little groundwork first.

I first went sailing with some friends when I was in college. I grew up around ski boats and fishing boats, the kind working class  people used to be able to afford when I was young , but coming from rural East Texas, I was not exposed to sailing at all as a kid. That was something rich people did. I never even thought much about it. But once I tried it, I was hooked for life. However, for four long years of dental school, I was nose to the grindstone. I didn't even have the time to read a book for pleasure. Dental school is roughly equivalent to carrying about a 25 hour load as an undergrad. I was at school every weekday from 7:30 am until midnight most nights, when they made us leave and go home whether we wanted to or not. Four years, with a month off for summers. I worked as a research assistant during the summer breaks. I needed the money.

When I got out of school in San Antonio and moved to Houston to start my residency in pediatrics, I scrimped together enough money to spend maybe a thousand bucks on a very neglected but very worthy old Flying Scot, a 20 ft daysailor with a big swing keel with a windlass. I didn't even know where to go to put it in the water. I asked someone, and they said people sailed on Offut's Bayou in Galveston. I proceeded to hook up the trailer to my 1976 Toyota Corolla Wagon (1600cc's, 5 speed manual transmission, roughly half the size of the boat) and headed down there to check it out.

Fortunately, the freeway on to Galveston Island crosses Offut's Bayou, so I found it without much trouble. I backed down the public ramp and launched my vessel. I was pretty busy between the hospital and two part-time side jobs, but I found time a couple of times a month to drive down there and begin to figure out how to sail a boat. By the time I was out, two years later, I at least knew a tack from a jibe, and enough not to get blown on to a lee shore. There was a lot more about sailing I didn't know, far more than I did know. But when we moved to Austin i pulled the Scot down (now behind my new Ford Bronco II, the worst car I ever owned...but that's another story).

When we had moved to Houston, my two oldest girls were ages 2 1/2 and 6 months. Near the Med Center there was a fairly famous infant swimming school, the Phil Hansell Academy. Remember that article from Life Magazine in the 1960's that documented how children younger than a year could be taught to float and even swim? Phil Hansell (one time swim coach for University of Houston) got in on that early wave, and started such a training center. By the time we came to town, it had been in business over 20 years, and it's still there now. The teachers there have taught thousands of babies how to float on their backs fully clothed, with a soaked diaper. The kids don't graduate until they can do that.


A Typical Infant Swimmer (after 3-6 months of training)

On the wall at Phil Hansell are displayed many letters, photos,  and anecdotes from parents whose children's lives were subsequently saved in various water accidents as a result of their training, even one involving a toddler who fell through an open manhole and floated far below street level in a storm sewer for half an hour until the fire department could get a man down. Expecting a corpse, they were surprised to find a floating kid who wasn't even that upset.

My wife wanted to put our girls in swimming lessons, and so we did. We lived in some student apartments owned by the University of Texas, which had an Olympic pool. Very soon my kids were known around the complex as swimming prodigies, and the late Dr. Red Duke (trauma surgeon turned TV personality) who had a regular spot on the nightly evening news, even sent out a camera crew to video my kids, and they were on TV one night, for maybe 30 seconds. LOL. Frequently, people who didn't know they were completely water safe, would jump into the pool and try to rescue them, or just walk up and give us a ration of **** about not watching our kids around the pool. It was a great joke for me and my wife.

Fast forward to the summer of '87. We moved to Austin, and I started asking again about where to put in a sailboat on Lake Travis. My wife's brother allowed as he had seen people sailing at a place called Windy Point, so once again, I hitched up the trailer and went to check it out.

There are no coincidences.

Now, today, Windy Point would be the last place I'd go to launch a sailboat on Lake Travis. Very shallow water, no boat ramp. I had to back way out into the water in my car to try to launch, and it still wasn't easy. A guy about ten years older than us offered to help us launch. He'd been sailing a borrowed Sunfish, but had just broken his rudder. He helped me launch the Scot, and bummed a ride. Turned out he was a single Dad who lived right in our neighborhood and had a son right between my kids in age. We would go on to become best friends and sailing buddies (on a long string of boats) for decades. He was already an experienced sailor, but not on small boats.

We spent the whole summer sailing our asses off, kids along, often all three kids and me, my wife and our new friend Terry.


A Flying Scot Under Full Sail

In Texas it isn't always obvious when summer ends. We went out one fine Sunday, the first weekend in November, 1987. The weather was glorious, the water still fairly tolerable for swimming, and the wind was blowing a steady 10-15 knots. By this time we were feeling pretty good about our expertise, and we "put the rail in the water" as they say, and spent a great afternoon sailing across the main basin in Lake Travis. Now, one thing you should know, is that lake sailing can be tricky. Unlike the bay, the wind is constantly changing direction and speed, and promontories of land can put you out of the wind completely. Eventually, Terry and I would know that lake like the back of our hands, but we were still newbies then.

We had already named the main basin "The Vortex" because of the weird wind effects there. One side of the lake is lined with high cliffs. At the top is a huge destination restaurant and bar called The Oasis, which bills itself as "The Sunset Capital of Texas". The wind along the cliffs creates whirls and eddies and you can never tell exactly what you might get hit with next.

We stayed out until very few other boats were still on the lake. The wind started to rise a bit, but we didn't pay that much attention. We had put away a few beers, and we were having fun. Terry was at the helm...if you can call lying on your back with one hand on the rudder and the other holding the mainsheet "at the helm".

Then, suddenly, it all went very wrong. A big gust, and we heeled way over. Terry let go the main and I let go the jib. but the mainsheet (the line that lets the mainsail release, thereby de-powering the sail and preventing a capsize), got caught under someone's foot. In one long second, we got knocked down. We were in the drink. Me, Terry, my wife, and my two girls. His kid was not there. Mom's weekend.

The Scot has a somewhat unique rig. The main halyard (the line that raises and drops the main sail) is not a rope. It's a cable, and it works by turning a tiny little ratcheting winch in a box affixed to the mast. To drop the main, you need the winch handle. The winch handle was gone. As we went over, my oldest girl grabbed the boom, and I had to pry her strong little hands off of it to keep her from being dragged under as the boat proceeded to turtle,

The kids had on life jackets. The rest of us grabbed one and put it on. Nobody was hurt. Everyone was fine.

Except...the sun was going down and the water was getting colder. There wasn't a single boat in sight. Terry and I finally stood on the centerboard together and stood the boat back up. But it was too full of water to bail, and the wet main, still up, was making the boat unstable. It could turtle again anytime. We were already getting exhausted. 


A Swamped Scot

Within a few minutes, I knew we were in real trouble. I was cold, but the kids were really cold, teeth chattering cold. Blue skin cold. They wouldn't last an hour. No way. The sun set and we were way too far from shore to swim in. It started to get dark.

Just about the time I was coming to the realization that my kids were in danger of dying of exposure, a small cabin sailboat, sails furled, motored up under the power of a tiny outboard. They took my wife and kids onboard and dried them off. We didn't want to abandon our boat. It was too unstable to tow, though. So....Terry and I stayed onboard and sat on opposite sides on the gunwales and kept the wobbling boat upright, while they towed us to shore, which took about an hour. Their tiny motor strained just to pull the Scot with its cockpit full of water and its flapping main sail.

It was nearly 10pm before we were able to secure our boat to some rocks near the put-in, where we left it for the night, still full of water. We would return the next day to bail it and put in back on the trailer.


The actual site of our accident. The shore is not nearly as close at it looks.

I was colder than I ever remember being. Our rescuers gave me some dry sweats and towels, and I stripped off my wet t-shirt and shorts and put them on, but my teeth kept chattering for a half hour and I didn't get warm for hours. Not until I was home in bed. We quickly thanked our rescuers and they motored off. My wife drove us home, because neither Terry nor I was was able to drive.

About ten years later, my wife was attending an adult bible class here at Riverbend Church one Sunday. The teacher asked everyone in the class to recount some experience they'd had that had made a real impact on them. The people in the class took turns telling about things that had happened to them.

One woman started to tell a story about a day when her family had been at the lake, motoring in at dusk, when they came upon a derelict sailboat and some people with little kids stranded in the middle of the lake....and how they pulled them out of the water and saved their lives. As the story progressed, my wife suddenly realized she was talking about rescuing us!  So she finally had the chance to thank them properly.

I'm sure they'll never forget what they did for us. Neither will I. What would have happened if they hadn't stopped to help us? I'm not sure. But the outcome might have been very tragic. I learned a lesson that day about sailing. A hard lesson I'll never forget.



EXCELLENT! Thank you, Eddie! 
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AGelbert

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Thanks AG.

You are most welcome. I am convinced there was a significant bit of spiritual intercession that day/night.


In terms of boating insanity, one of my best anecdotes is a canoe trip I took with a friend to Verendrye Provincial Park in the Great White North.

I had been there before as a Camper in the Primitive Skills camp I attended as a teenager, so I was the "expert" on this trip.  On the trip with the camp, there were experienced counselors who knew the route, they took it every year.  It covered 3 lakes with 2 portages that were not too long, one maybe a 1/4 mile, the other maybe a 1/2 mile.

I wanted to see all the parts of the park we missed on that trip!  There are dozens of lakes, along with rivers/streams/creeks between them.

So first thing was to order a topographical map of the park to plan the trip.  There was no internet and no Google Earth in those days.  We budgeted 2 weeks for this trip after finals in May.  I picked out what looked like a really cool route on the map of 6 lakes with 3 portages and 2 river connections, which I figured probably had some rapids because there was a significant elevation change between the lakes.  Figured we could handle it though, being a couple of macho 20 year old guys. lol.

So we drive to Canada and first thing is to rent the canoe from an outfitter and give him our launch point and destination for pickup later, along with the estimated date of arrival.  No cell phones in those days either, so if you missed your pickup time, this was not good.  You had to then hitch a ride to the nearest pay phone and get them to come back for you, and pay an additional fee for that.

So OK, I give our route and dates to the guy renting the canoes and he looks at me suspiciously.  In a really thick Hoser accent, he asks me:

"So you have canoed here in Verendrye before?"

"Oh yes, I respond."

"You are sure you can make this route in 2 weeks?" he asks.

"Oh sure." I respond.

"OK, I rent you the canoe.  $300 deposit."

"$300?  Your sign says $100."

"That is for lake trips only.  Not down the rivers."

This of course should have clued me in, but we drove all that way and I didn't want to just paddle around lakes and hoist a canoe on my back on portages, I wanted White Water ADVENTURE!  :o

The canoe is a big old cheap aluminum model, not anything real nice and also costs I think it was $100/week rental fee.  Fortunately we carried a lot of spare cash, since there were no digibit cards then and neither of us had credit cards yet.  The $500 outlay did not leave us much left over though, probably not enough for gas to get back to NYC.  I figured I could wire my mom for more money though to get home.

So he loads the canoe on the trailer and drops us off at Lake 1.  First day is just beautiful, it's about 80F in May in Canada, and this like never happened back in those days.  We paddle across the Lake and make camp, for a portage the next morning to do Lake 2.  Fabulous meal of 2 fresh steaks packed in ice and wrapped in a makeshift cooler of towels and (clean) underwear, along with rice and canned beans.  Rest of the trip was all Freeze Dried food of the era, which amounted to Chicken ala King, Spaghetti with Meat Sauce and "chinese" Pepper Steak.  We smoked a doobie and hit the sack.

Next morning, instant oatmeal for breakfast and we do the portage, first carrying the backpacks along the trail, then going back for the canoe.  Temperature is still climbing, now approaching 90 on day 2, still in the morning.  Work up a nice sweat.  Launch point?  On the map it looked like part of a Lake, in REALITY it was SWAMP attached to the lake!  Mosquitos come out as we begin to paddle through the reeds.  Not a few mosquitos, the air is BLACK with them.  Out of desperation we jump out of the canoe and into the water, walking/swimming the canoe along from underwater and coming up for quick gulps of air, filled with mosquitos.  I takes an hour or so to make it throuh the swamp and into open water.  Mosquitos finally peter out.  We are both bitten up and itchy, but splash the clear cool water on which relieves the itch and we paddle across the lake.  I fill up my canteen with water in the middle of the lake, and drink from it with no boiling, no purification tablets.  Water still pretty clean in those years.

The other side of this lake is the first River connection.  We stop here for 2 days of rest and relaxation, do some fishing and catch some, so we have more fresh food here to go with the freeze dried stuff. Mosquito itching subsides, and we walk the river bank to scope it out, spying where the rocks are and good channels to try and go through.  It doesn't look too bad, so that even though it's an open canoe, we elect to try it with our gear in the canoe, rather than walk it with gear first, then go back for an empty canoe ride.  This was a mistake.

We did in fact make the whole ride without capsizing, although we did not hit all the channels we had planned to.  By the time we were halfway down the river, we had shipped about half the canoe full of water.  Our packs were stewing in this, and the canoe itself was wallowing deep in the water and hitting every rock on the ricer bed.  SCRAPE, SCRAPE, DENT, DENT.  Scrapes and dents were a minimum of $10/inch off your deposit money on the canoe for repairs.  All our gear was SOAKED.  It took a day to get everything dried out.

On the second portage my friend sprained his ankle.  Not really bad, but enough we had to wait 2 days to get rolling again, because the canoe was just too heavy for me to portage alone.  Now we were starting to run behind schedule.  The second river run was about the same as the first, although this time we were smart enough to bring our packs down on foot first, then go back for an empty canoe ride.  We still hit more rocks though.  SCRAPE, SCRAPE, DENT, DENT!

We did make our pickup on time, paddling well into the night the 2 days before the meeting time.  The Hoser who picked us up look genuinely surprised we made it.  He looked at the dented up wreck of a canoe and laughed.  Back at his shop, he gave us estimate on repairs, $500.  $200 more than the deposit!  No got the money.  Drives me to a supply store with Western Union and I wire mom for the money.  Comes through, and we are free to drive back to NYC.

For $500 then you could have bought a brand spanking new canoe of this type, and he probably did that rather than repair it.

RE

Ouch! But hey, you came out okay so it was a good experience. As we used to say in pilot training, any flight you can walk away from is a good one.     ;D
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AGelbert

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Debate with a Monist  8)

The thread was about nihilism and eternalism. Ka, a type of Buddhist Monist, claimed RE had engaged in Ad Hominem against people like him by mocking nihilists by claiming nihilist views are "fear" based.

I stepped in to try to insert some clarity into the discussion.  ;D


Ka,
why do you think being motivated by fear is a negative concept? I agree that being motivated by GROUNDLESS fear is certainly to be disdained, but LOGIC based fear (e.g. some thing, being or event is to be feared because it has been conclusively proven to be deleterious to your continued biochemical activity.), IMHO, is, well, prudent, as well as logical.


Yes, but the question is, is eternalism true or not. To say that eternalists are eternalists only out of fear does not say anything about whether or not eternalism is true. Chapman wouldn't have put that statement in there except to cast doubt on eternalism. just as atheists bring up wish-fulfillment and such to question theism. Even if it were true that all eternalists are fearful of nihilism, that would not in itself make eternalism false. Hence his statement is a logical fallacy. And that kind of fallacy is called an ad hominem, because it refers to the character of the eternalist, and not eternalism itself.

Hmmmm. After all the polite debate between Ka and RE  , I feel the need to expose a fundamental intransigence on the party of the first, second and third (etc.  :icon_mrgreen:) parts in this eruption of erudite debating activity.


So,
It appears that Ka has attempted to dance around the FACT that it offends him for anyone to NOT question the validity of externalism.  ;D

RE is correct  :o  ;D that questioning Externalism to the point of saying it is totally invalid, useless, counterproductive and possibly destructive to human society (paraphrased  ;)) is certainly NOT Ad Hom to Ka, just because Ka thinks our plebian perception of reality is some sort of illusion that we cause and effect types are being fooled into believing. RE and I are on different sides of the universe in regard to SPIRITUAL cause and effect, but that's not relevant to this particular effort by da godfader, so I won't get caught up in that bag of worms here.

RE gets it about the connection between reality and what is external to us and what ain't. Ka not only doesn't get it, he is pissed at anyone who says Ka doesn't get it.

A few years ago I went through excruciating detail explaining the human sensory apparatus. The very ability of Ka to question our assumed cause and effect "externalism" is impossible without that sensory apparatus.

But Ka, even though he is a man I respect immensely, just don't wanna go there.

So, as Comey would say:


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Faith,
if it has not works, is dead, being alone.

AGelbert

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RE and I are on different sides of the universe in regard to SPIRITUAL cause and effect

I'll dispute that conclusion.

We're in entirely DIFFERENT Universes!


RE


Yup.   


So,
It appears that Ka has attempted to dance around the FACT that it offends him for anyone to NOT question the validity of externalism.  ;D

?? In this thread there has been no debate concerning the validity of externalism. I did state my position on the matter in my first post in this thread, but the only thing objected to in that post was my use of the term "ad hominem". Since then, that is all that RE and I have been debating. So I don't understand how you get to "Ka has attempted to dance around the FACT that it offends him for anyone to NOT question the validity of externalism."


Quote
RE is correct  :o  ;D that questioning Externalism to the point of saying it is totally invalid, useless, counterproductive and possibly destructive to human society (paraphrased  ;)) is certainly NOT Ad Hom to Ka,

I agree. It would not be an ad hom. Only he hasn't said anything of that nature in this thread.


Quote
... just because Ka thinks our plebian perception of reality is some sort of illusion that we cause and effect types are being fooled into believing.

Our perception is not an illusion. It is an inference we make concerning the nature of what we perceive that I consider to be false, namely that what we perceive exists on its own in the way we perceive it. Just clarifying.


[/size]
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RE gets it about the connection between reality and what is external to us and what ain't.

Then how does he (or you) solve the interaction problem?

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Ka not only doesn't get it, he is pissed at anyone who says Ka doesn't get it.

I'm just waiting to hear of a solution to the interaction problem (not really, since I don't think there is a solution). Anyway, I don't see how that counts as being "pissed" or not "getting it".


Quote
A few years ago I went through excruciating detail explaining the human sensory apparatus. The very ability of Ka to question our assumed cause and effect "externalism" is impossible without that sensory apparatus.

I don't ever recall saying that we don't have a sensory apparatus. Whether it does what you think it does, versus what I think it does, is what we debated. And the answer to that cannot be provided by the sensory apparatus alone, which just gets perceptions. It is the concepts we add to those perceptions that are in dispute.

Quote
But Ka, even though he is a man I respect immensely, just don't wanna go there.

Well, here I am, going there.


Ka,
Your vocabulary lends itself to some fascinating interpretations of what "IS" is. THAT is why any debate with you ends up in a hair splitting exercise. What you DO with words is, as RE has pointed out repeatedly, move the definition goal posts around so that you can say, uh, NO "I didn't say that" or "No, this thread has no relevance to eXternalism", etc. FOLLOWED by your apparent willingness to discuss an issue, that by your own words, is rather fruitless to discuss (i.e. the interaction).  ::)

Here's the deal, Ka. EVERYTHING about your outlook on what you consider WHATEVER is impossible to argue against BECAUSE you DO NOT REALLY BELIEVE (yeah - I know you'll claim that about you is incorrect as well) WE are talking to each other here.

Sure, you can come up with all sorts of erudite labels with "justification" for your claim that you believe we do have sensory apparatus and that you do actually engage in debate with other humans and recognize that we talk to each other, but it is NOT SO, according to your concept of reality.   

This then taints absolutely every subject on the issue (i.e. cause and effect related) about integrating, analyzing and taking appropriate action on, INFORMATION about the OUTSIDE world that our sensory apparatus MUST have for us to remain as viable homeostatic biological entities. 

There is just NO WAY for you to look at your belief system and seriously consider the possibility that you are a space cadet living in a totally erroneous private world. The biosphere is NOT accessible through a meditation chamber, and never will be, IMHO. You have provided zero evidence that it is.

Furthermore, you may even claim that "looking for evidence" is evidence ;) of an incorrect approach to "perceiving" the biosphere or anything else.  :laugh:  It's kind of like saying that jumping out of a window of a multistory building is not dangerous; it's the concrete that kills you. And even that was a mere perception of smacking the concrete.

When I question your ability to perceive without accepting the fact that perceiving IS a sensory EVENT that INCLUDES integrating outside information, you DANCE by saying the, uh, "interaction is not explained".

I'll tell you what. When you agree that it is possible that you are a space cadet and do not have a clue of what you speak, then I will admit that SAME possibility is present in my worldview as well. But until you, a separate and distinct entity from me, are actually willing to GO THERE, you are fibbin' when you claim you ARE willing to "go there" on the issue of eXternalism.

I challenge your claim that eXternalism is not related to, or relevant to, this thread. It is. People who BELIEVE that there is ZERO meaning in anything and everything they "do" OFTEN end up committing suicide (e.g. Buddhists). THIS SENSELESS ACT is born of nihilism. ANYONE that teaches others that there is NOTHING because there is NO THING is nurturing a potential nihilist who may end up committing suicide.

DON'T hair split with me about the importance of MEANING and PURPOSE in human lives. Your worldview EXCLUDES BOTH MEANING AND PURPOSE. But of, course, you will claim that you never said any of that or represent any of that. Well, I think you do. And I think you should take responsibility for telling people there is NOTHING to FEAR out there because there is NO THING, or even an "out there".

The following is an example of REALITY of the planet Earth, irrespective of anything we humans have THOUGHT since we could THINK. There is NO WAY to dance around THAT REALITY (yes you DO try to dance around it!).

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AGelbert

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Your vocabulary lends itself to some fascinating interpretations of what "IS" is. THAT is why any debate with you ends up in a hair splitting exercise. What you DO with words is, as RE has pointed out repeatedly, move the definition goal posts around so that you can say, uh, NO "I didn't say that" or "No, this thread has no relevance to eXternalism", etc.

Instead of just accusing me of moving the goalposts, show me where I have.


Quote
FOLLOWED by your apparent willingness to discuss an issue, that by your own words, is rather fruitless to discuss (i.e. the interaction). ::)

It is not fruitless to discuss it, and in fact I welcome discussion of it, since I am pretty sure that the more people think about it, the more people will realize that the interaction problem has no solution, and so take a look at the alternative -- idealism. Of course they might also fall into the error of materialism, in which case I would welcome discussion of the hard problem of consciousness, which they can't solve.

Quote
Here's the deal, Ka. EVERYTHING about your outlook on what you consider WHATEVER is impossible to argue against BECAUSE you DO NOT REALLY BELIEVE (yeah - I know you'll claim that about you is incorrect as well) WE are talking to each other here.

Yup, incorrect. See below.

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Sure, you can come up with all sorts of erudite labels with "justification" for your claim that you believe we do have sensory apparatus and that you do actually engage in debate with other humans and recognize that we talk to each other, but it is NOT SO, according to your concept of reality. 

My concept of reality is that there is nothingness (no-thingness) AND there is thingness, and each depends on the other, making them a unity. So it does not follow from my concept of reality that there is no sensory apparatus, or other humans, or biosphere.


Quote
This then taints absolutely every subject on the issue (i.e. cause and effect related) about integrating, analyzing and taking appropriate action on, INFORMATION about the OUTSIDE world that our sensory apparatus MUST have for us to remain as viable homeostatic biological entities.  [/size]

There is just NO WAY for you to look at your belief system and seriously consider the possibility that you are a space cadet living in a totally erroneous private world. The biosphere is NOT accessible through a meditation chamber, and never will be, IMHO. You have provided zero evidence that it is.

?? What does meditation have to do with the existence of anything?

Quote
Furthermore, you may even claim that "looking for evidence" is evidence ;) of an incorrect approach to "perceiving" the biosphere or anything else.  :laugh:

The only (non)-thing for which one cannot look for evidence is no-thingness. The biosphere is a thing, so there is no problem perceiving it, or studying it scientifically.

Quote
It's kind of like saying that jumping out of a window of a multistory building is not dangerous; it's the concrete that kills you. And even that was a mere perception of smacking the concrete.

Ah, now here there is something to say. Yes, smacking the concrete is just perceptions, very painful ones, resulting in death, which is to say the scrunched up body is no longer able to perceive physical reality (its sensory apparatus has been destroyed). After which (I think) one perceives non-physical reality, but I can't prove that. In any case, physical reality continues to exist as long as there are people or bacteria perceiving it. The problem I suspect you have with this is the word "just" as in "just perceptions". My task, if we are to actually debate this, is to show that saying that physical reality is "just perceptions" does not detract an iota from science, or how we should engage with physical reality, for example, it remains the case that jumping out of high windows results in death.

Quote
When I question your ability to perceive without accepting the fact that perceiving IS a sensory EVENT that INCLUDES integrating outside information, you DANCE by saying the, uh, "interaction is not explained".

As I said, I accept that perceiving is a sensory event, and have no idea why you think I would think otherwise. And it does integrate outside information, that is, information that was outside my ego consciousness, and moves inside it. However, I would also say that "inside" and "outside" are spatial metaphors, and that space has no independent existence, that we create space, time, and mass in the act of perceiving. And this, of course, is where discussion gets tricky, and calls for "hair-splitting", though I would call it precision. The moon really exists, but only exists located in spacetime when it is looked at.

Quote
I'll tell you what. When you agree that it is possible that you are a space cadet and do not have a clue of what you speak, then I will admit that SAME possibility is present in my worldview as well. But until you, a separate and distinct entity from me, are actually willing to GO THERE, you are fibbin' when you claim you ARE willing to "go there" on the issue of eXternalism.

I agree that it is possible that I am wrong. There is no certainty in metaphysics. All one can do is argue over what is most plausible. But then I have never claimed otherwise, so I really don't understand this talk about being unwilling to "go there". After all, until I was 37 I was just as much an externalist as you are now. So I've been there.

Quote
I challenge your claim that eXternalism is not related to, or relevant to, this thread. It is.

Of course it is highly relevant to this thread, which is why I made my first post in this thread attacking externalism. However, it is not relevant to the debate I had with RE over the usage of 'ad hominem', which is all I claimed.


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People who BELIEVE that there is ZERO meaning in anything and everything they "do" OFTEN end up committing suicide (e.g. Buddhists). THIS SENSELESS ACT is born of nihilism. ANYONE that teaches others that there is NOTHING because there is NO THING is nurturing a potential nihilist who may end up committing suicide.

Then I'm off the hook, because I definitely believe there are things, such as you, me, and the biosphere, and that real people are doing real harm to it. What I do not believe is that there are any mindless things existing on their own.


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DON'T hair split with me about the importance of MEANING and PURPOSE in human lives. Your worldview EXCLUDES BOTH MEANING AND PURPOSE. But of, course, you will claim that you never said any of that or represent any of that. Well, I think you do. And I think you should take responsibility for telling people there is NOTHING to FEAR out there because there is NO THING, or even an "out there".

I am afraid of disease, poisonous critters, of losing my savings to some bankster, etc. etc., since I consider viruses, critters, and banksters to all be real. I also think that MEANING and PURPOSE are names of God, and that things exist to express that Meaning and fulfill divine Purpose.

You say I am moving goalposts. Show me where I have. Show me where I have ever said or implied that "nothing is real" or anything like that. Some Buddhists say that, but I am not one of them.


Well, how can I show you that you have said it?  The only way, I suppose, which I am sure you will take issue with, is the "spatial metaphors" term and the alleged conditional "existence" of the moon (or any thing -atoms, molecules, people, etc.- else, for that matter).

Ka said (smileys are sins of Agelbert - Ka is innocent!):
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I would also say that "inside" and "outside" are spatial metaphors, and that space has no independent existence, that we create space, time, and mass in the act of perceiving. And this, of course, is where discussion gets tricky  ;), and calls for "hair-splitting"  ;D, though I would call it precision. The moon really exists, but only exists located in spacetime when it is looked at.
(emphasis mine  )

I don't like to use labels, but aren't you a type of monist?
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Monism is the view that attributes oneness or singleness (Greek: μόνος) to a concept (e.g., existence). Substance monism is the philosophical view that a variety of existing things can be explained in terms of a single reality or substance.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monism
(emphasis mine  ;D)

The issue of names for God is not something I ever associated MEANING and PURPOSE with. I agree that God has a lot to do with that in our lives, but I wasn't talking about God; I was talking about humans. You know, like Maslow's hierarchy and things like that. When you do that sort of subject classification rearrangement, it appears to me that you just moved a goal post. Can we stick to human meaning and purpose for a while? You are the scholar, but I know a thing or two about language as well. The word "vocation" is one I would associate with God as linked to meaning and purpose in our lives simply because I believe that we all have a mission. But that's at a level of mind far beyond avoiding pain, breathing, getting enough to eat, maintaining homeostasis, etc.

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vo·ca·tion noun: vocation; plural noun: vocations

late Middle English: from Old French, or from Latin vocatio(n-), from vocare ‘to call.’

a strong feeling of suitability for a particular career or occupation.
"not all of us have a vocation to be nurses or doctors"

synonyms: calling, life's work, mission, purpose, function; More
profession, occupation, career, job, employment, trade, craft, business, line, line of work, métier

"forestry is my vocation"

•a person's employment or main occupation, especially regarded as particularly worthy and requiring great dedication.

Back to the window jump to concrete splat experience, to you, the concrete is only "there" because the jumper thought it would be there PRIOR to jumping out of the window. If, for example, the jumper firmly THOUGHT that a 12 ft deep swimming pool was down there prior to jumping, he would just splash into the pool and swim to the edge unharmed.

This "ability" you believe we conscious entiti(es  ;)) possess to sort of create our physical universe on the fly as a function of perception (which vanishes from existence just as quickly with our Trump like "attention" to perception) is a bit difficult to accept from the point of view of thermodynamics, if nothing else is at issue (although there certainly ARE a lot of other controversial considerations to be explained).

Once I had appendicitis. I didn't know I had it. I just knew I had an upset stomach after eating at around 6:00 PM, which turned into a stomach ache that would not go away, but was not localized on my right side near the appendix. I went to the ER at around 9:00 PM. The doctor diagnosed my ache as gastritis and prescribed some shots I could give myself in the thigh (two shots).

Now why did he make that mistake? BECAUSE of the power of suggestion of my mind (at least partly - the doctor that operated on me later on told me it's real hard to diagnose appendicitis when the pain isn't localized, and even then they can only confirm SOMETHING is wrong in one or more of your organs because of the high white blood cell count).

You see, when I arrived at the ER with that gut pain, the young doctor, after examining a 24 year old healthy male with a stomach ache, gave me a shot of something. The pain in my stomach vanished like it had never been there. This convinced the  doctor that his gastritis initial diagnosis was correct, so no blood tests were ordered and I was sent home.

I got up at midnight with renewed pain in my stomach. I gave myself the shot. Within an hour it was worse. I gave myself the second shot. By two AM, I am pounding on the headboard to avoid dealing with the severe stomach pain and cramping.

WHY? Because I was poor, newly married, had been fired from an air taxi for organizing a union, was out of a job, and living in my parent's house. I DID NOT WANT to rack up some hospital expenses, comprende, amigo?

BUT, I had GREAT FAITH in doctors. But that "faith" didn't last too long as the organs did a duty dance in there. I finally went back to the hospital at around 4:00 AM and, within another 12 hours, and a LOT of pain, I had my appendix, which had ruptured, making it life threatening peritonitis, removed.

The doctor that operated on me later explained that some people, like me, never get a pain in their SIDE that helps doctors diagnose appendicitis. Gastritis is more common so that's the way young doctors frequently go when faced with patients like me. The shots for gastritis actually exacerbate the swelling of the infected appendix.  :P

As the appendix swells, the other organs begin to swell as a defense mechanism. After the appendix ruptures, the other organs quickly sense this and try to limit the damage from toxins that will certainly damage them (and kill you) from septic conditions.

These other organs isolate the appendix as best they can by expanding through inflammation. It works for a while. THAT is when the pain becomes localized on your side. But if you are not operated on within a certain time period, the toxins and bacteria from the ruptured appendix attack the walls of the organs pushing against the appendix and THEY get severely infected too. Then the patient dies.

So, you can see why I have some issues with believing that my (allegedly instant matter creating thought processes) had BEANS to do with anything but making a situation WORSE BECAUSE of the power of my mind to incorrectly, but due to my faith in doctors, believe the doctor who diagnosed me with gastritis and gave me a shot had fixed everything.

From the "perception is creation of cause and effect on the fly" view you claim is logical and reasonable, it makes no sense whatsoever. Ka, I was NOT in the conscious sensory loop. Everything that happened in my appendix and surrounding organs was an involuntary response that I knew nothing about until the doctor explained it to me AFTER THE FACT. It all happened, regardless of what I THOUGHT and the events were totally adverse to my perceived economic needs at the time.

You believe our minds are a creative force, with few limits. I am convinced that our bodies and minds are, in the scientific sense of the word, "irritable". That is a term, in this case, NOT related to "being in a bad mood or feeling bothered", as it is commonly used in the vernacular. I am referring to the ability to sense defined as "irritability". I learned that term in a mainframe computer class. The Sperry Univac missile tracker converted to an air traffic tracker was "irritable" because it had sensory response connections (IO - input output) from radar sites through PAMS (peripheral adapter modules).

My organs operate on a level that my thought processes rarely sense, yet they DO have a purpose and a meaning to their primitive but absolutely vital functions within me. I cannot accept your claim that, somehow,  these irritability based cause and effect processes do not exist when I do not have them in my perception.

We have argued this stuff before. You have said, if I remember correctly, that my constructed universe is real for me so, even if I "created" all that cause and effect AFTER it happened, that's okay too because thought is not "limited" by time.

I disagree. And it is you that needs to do a bit of convincing here that you aren't making a circular argument. Think about it, Ka. Nobody can pin you down to flawed logic because your cause and effect creative horizons aren't even limited by time!

Now IF you accept that ignorance of a form of cause and effect such as my appendicitis/peritonitis on my part is inexplicable from the monist point of view, I would consider that a rational position. But that is "rational" from your point of view, ONLY if our creative modus operandi is time limited. But that would mean that reality exists independent of thought perceptions. And that is why I believe the "unlimited time for creative tought cause and effect" thing is sine qua non to your belief system.  :(

Now, if you say you agree that our instant creative processes ARE time limited, as you imply when you say the moon no longer exists right after you stop thinking about the moon, then you should NOT keep denying, what I believe is a corollary, i.e. that, if I am in a space ship, I won't hit the moon, even if I'm flying at it in ignorance, because I don't THINK it's there. :P  Sorry Ka, it's THERE, whether I am thinking about it or not.

My appendix ruptured when it was the very last thing I wanted or was thinking about because the poison was THERE.

Leges         Sine    Moribus     Vanae   
Faith,
if it has not works, is dead, being alone.

 

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