Friday, January 13, 2017

637: The Meaning of Life - an introduction

The story so far: In the beginning the Universe was created.
This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move. 
Many races believe that it was created by some sort of God, though the Jatravartid people of Viltvodle VI believe 
that the entire Universe was in fact sneezed out of the nose of a being called the Great Green Arkleseizure. 
The Jatravartids, who live in perpetual fear of the time they call The Coming of The Great White Handkerchief, 
are small blue creatures with more than fifty arms each, who are therefore unique in being the only race in history 
to have invented the aerosol deodorant before the wheel. 
However, the Great Green Arkleseizure Theory is not widely accepted outside Viltvodle VI 
and so, the Universe being the puzzling place it is, other explanations are constantly being sought. 
For instance, a race of hyperintelligent pandimensional beings once built themselves a gigantic supercomputer called Deep Thought 
to calculate once and for all the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything. 
For seven and a half million years, Deep Thought computed and calculated, and in the end announced that the answer was in fact Forty-two  
and so another, even bigger, computer had to be built to find out what the actual question was. 
And this computer, which was called the Earth, was so large that it was frequently mistaken for a planet
especially by the strange ape-like beings who roamed its surface, totally unaware that they were simply part of a gigantic computer program. 
And this is very odd, because without that fairly simple and obvious piece of knowledge, nothing that ever happened on the Earth could possibly make the slightest bit of sense. 
Sadly however, just before the critical moment of readout, the Earth was unexpectedly demolished by the Vogons 
to make way - so they claimed - for a new hyperspace bypass, and so all hope of discovering a meaning for life was lost for ever.
All hope lost forever. This is what Douglas Adams wants us te believe after you have read the first paragraphs of his book “The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (1980)”
Maybe you know which computer gave the answer FOURTY-TWO. It was the one in his famous novel “The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy  (1979)”
So the answer to the question what the meaning of life is, either is forty-two or you may wonder where I have found the hope to find an other answer yet.
To begin with the idea that a computer could calculate an answer to the question was a big mistake.
Although “What is the meaning of life?” looks like a real and reasonable question, it also suggests already an answer.
Every question forces you in a certain direction. Take for instance “Who is a man?” and “What is a man?”
A second problem with questions is and that is here the case, you expect an answer, in particular the one and only right answer.
Asking a “WHAT IS……?” already suggests that there is a single something, which you can describe  
and every time you see that something you now know what it is. That is how we learnt meanings.
What is that? That is a dog. What is a dog? A dog is an animal that barks… and so on.
The question “What is the meaning of Life ? “ suggests a similar way of answering. But we learnt that all hope of discovering a meaning for life was lost for ever.
And that is true. Forget any hope on that one and only right answer. There is none. Thence our next step is to figure out what to do with this question.

Let’s do that next Tuesday…thank you … ^_^

The Discussion

[13:23] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): all made perfect sense
[13:24] herman Bergson: Thank you Gemma :-)
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): except that here in this class we never expect answers
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): only new questions
[13:24] herman Bergson smiles
[13:24] Starr (lynstarr): wait... how did we learn that there was no answer?
[13:24] Dag (daggash.bayn): I hope no one is really  here for the answer lol
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe but its fun and interesting
[13:24] CB Axel: I knew what you were quoting from the second sentence. :)
[13:25] Ciska Riverstone: very famous book start yes ;)
[13:25] herman Bergson: That you will learn next Tuesday Starr :-)
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): I sort of recognized some of it too
[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): which is what I say my meaning of life is, to have fun, and get new interesting things all the time
[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and work on my computergames and breakdance
[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): lol
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats my meaning of life, i think its individual a bit
[13:26] herman Bergson: that FOURTY-TWO is a famous number...
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but for natures purpose with life i guess there is no answer
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): haha indeed Herman
[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): we will see bej
[13:26] herman Bergson: Yes Bejiita...I don’t see myself break dancing....just breaking everything perhaps
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): haha
[13:27] herman Bergson: Anyway....after almost ten years running this class I thought I had to answer this ultimate question for you ^_^
[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): finally
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:28] herman Bergson: yes, Gemma ^_^
[13:28] CB Axel: lol
[13:28] CB Axel: Yes. It's about time!
[13:28] herman Bergson: I agree and I apologize to come up with it that late :-)
[13:29] CB Axel: lol
[13:29] Starr (lynstarr): 1,2,3,6,7,14,42... just thinking about the factors of 42
[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): do we agree on the meaning of the word meaning
[13:29] herman Bergson: So, let's see where this all will lead to....
[13:29] Starr (lynstarr): depends on what you mean
[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): correctly
[13:29] herman Bergson: oops Starr..I am not a good mathematician...
[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): that is why i brought it up
[13:30] Starr (lynstarr): oops
[13:30] Starr (lynstarr): 21
[13:30] Dag (daggash.bayn): meaning as significance , right ?
[13:30] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): maybe??
[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): my number today seem to be 231, i played some bowling before and after a while into 2 series i had a total of 231, then the final 3rd series was alone 231 too
[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and i won
[13:30] Dag (daggash.bayn): not as purpose
[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:31] herman Bergson: Ahh that is a tricky issue indeed Dag....
[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and also yesterday i started my 3rd game, will be using python
[13:31] herman Bergson: meaning as significance or meaning as purpose...
[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): taht is why i asked
[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ok
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): so lot of 3s it seem
[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): good
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe
[13:31] Dag (daggash.bayn): yes Gemma
[13:31] herman Bergson: plz stick to the subject Bejiita ^_^
[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): don’t want it to change half way through
[13:32] herman Bergson: this significance/purpose matter already tells us something about the question...
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): numbers can mean a lot
[13:33] herman Bergson: What interests me most today is the fact that a question so often suggests its answer
[13:33] Starr (lynstarr): that's what's good about confusion... you never know if you're on the right subject or not... all is good
[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): true
[13:33] herman Bergson: One of the important issues in philosophy is analyzing the question
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i learned that
[13:34] herman Bergson: Why not asking "Where is the meaning of life?" for instance :-)
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:35] Starr (lynstarr): yeh
[13:35] Dag (daggash.bayn): I like that one
[13:35] herman Bergson: Someone told me she had been looking everywhere at her place for it...under couch in the cupboards and hadn’t found it :-)
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ah
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe
[13:35] Starr (lynstarr): :)
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hello ronjaji
[13:36] herman Bergson: which implies that a question directs us also to specific actions
[13:36] Ronjaji: Hello all, sorry I'm late
[13:36] CB Axel: You're too late. We already found the meaning of life and forgot it.
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:36] Starr (lynstarr): lol
[13:37] Ronjaji: Well... I only have the secret of the universe :)
[13:37] herman Bergson: So it may be interesting for Tuesday to think about the question yourself....
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe
[13:37] herman Bergson: And you'll reveal it to us with a big bang, Ronjaji???
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aa good idea
[13:37] bergfrau Apfelbaum: LOL CB
[13:37] CB Axel: Douglas Adams was right. We know the answer: 42. We have to find the right question.
[13:38] Ronjaji: let me climatise first with some coffee...
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): what can 42 mean then, secret code for something maybee
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): who knows
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:39] herman Bergson: Why is "What is the meaning of life?" a questionable question?
[13:39] herman Bergson: We'll discuss it next Tuesday :-)
[13:39] Jenna (jennastonecold): hi may i sit in and listen
[13:39] CB Axel: Because is assumes there is an answer.
[13:39] CB Axel: *it assumes
[13:39] herman Bergson: you are always and any time welcome Jenna
[13:39] Jenna (jennastonecold): thank you
[13:40] Ronjaji: IMHO ... asking a question can be more important then finding an answer....
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes we did say that
[13:40] herman Bergson: In that philosophers agree with you Ronjaji
[13:41] herman Bergson: The lecture of today was more or less about the fact that the question is often the question :-)
[13:41] herman Bergson: Philosophically :-)
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed can be like that it seems sometimes
[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hope i can make it tuesday
[13:42] Ronjaji: I am more Advaita-oriented... here the question "who am I" is the main topic...
[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): will try
[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:43] herman Bergson: Interesting Ronjaji.....especially when you relate this question to What is the meaning of life.....I'll keep it in mind
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): it fits
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:44] herman Bergson: it is a kind of looking into which universe....
[13:44] herman Bergson: the private universe or THE  universe
[13:44] Ronjaji: they say that if you know who you really are, the question of the meaning of life just disappears...
[13:45] Dag (daggash.bayn): well
[13:45] herman Bergson: Interesting to keep in mind...
[13:45] Dag (daggash.bayn): that IF is very big Ronjaji
[13:45] herman Bergson: in fact it is a kind of answer to our question.....
[13:46] herman Bergson: define yourself and you have a meaning...
[13:46] Ronjaji: ok... make it a WHEN.
[13:46] Dag (daggash.bayn): ok
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa you could say that maybe indeed
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats the best explanation so far i think, at least the easiest one
[13:46] herman Bergson: Yes Dag....the tricky part here is this "KNOW"
[13:46] herman Bergson: what does that mean?
[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): a bit like i said before what i think my meaning of life is
[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): what i want to do ant think is fun
[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and therefore occupy lot of time on
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): some more general explanation is hard to get to, we are just here
[13:48] Ronjaji: well... actually you can't know who you are, not with the mind. it is more a recognition of the "knower"... without recognizer.  Ow.. now I confused myself . :)
[13:48] herman Bergson: You all create a whole new range of questions.....
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ohoh
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): gets more and more complex instead
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ut thats how it works with these thins i guess
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but
[13:48] herman Bergson: I think I have to make a note of this and see how they'll fit in....
[13:49] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): lots to think about
[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): this can be fun
[13:49] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): homework
[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): YAY! (yay!)
[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): fun homework
[13:49] herman Bergson: For instance....when do you know this “you” yourself....?
[13:49] herman Bergson: that you know yourself
[13:49] Ronjaji: actually it is very simple... just recognize all that you are not, and see what remains.
[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmmm
[13:49] Dag (daggash.bayn): You never do
[13:49] Dag (daggash.bayn): lets be honest
[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): now you get tricky here!
[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): lol
[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but indeed
[13:50] herman Bergson: Dag...that is a problematic observation.....
[13:50] herman Bergson: for if you say NEVER you must have a clear criterium to measure knowing yourself
[13:51] Dag (daggash.bayn): Well
[13:51] herman Bergson: we even do not yet know what knowing yourself means :-))
[13:51] Ronjaji: LOL... humans always want to measure things... but consciousness can't be measured... still... you are here.
[13:51] herman Bergson: or what it brings...
[13:51] Dag (daggash.bayn): thats because the self is too complex
[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe
[13:52] Dag (daggash.bayn): I mean its not an entity
[13:52] Dag (daggash.bayn): but a complex of feelings ,thoughts etc.
[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the only thing that will happen i guess if you think too much on an answer is your head will spin faster then LHC at full power
[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): lol
[13:52] herman Bergson: I see a lot of questions piling up here.....
[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but still its interesting like crazy this stuff
[13:52] Ronjaji: or the self is to simple to understand.
[13:52] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:52] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:52] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): stop
[13:53] herman Bergson: Time to cool down a gain :-))
[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe
[13:53] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[13:53] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i have to go now
[13:53] Dag (daggash.bayn): I am freezing lol
[13:53] Ronjaji: ok ok ... sorry.. feel like I intruded here. Be right back...
[13:53] herman Bergson: We have plenty of lecture time to come to deal with all these issues ^_^
[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): you didnt
[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm i look orward a lot to this
[13:53] herman Bergson: are most inspiring Ronjaji
[13:53] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): no bome again
[13:54] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): come even
[13:54] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): bye all for now hope to be here tuesday
[13:54] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): at 1
[13:54] Dag (daggash.bayn): bye Gemma
[13:54] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cu tuesday then
[13:54] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:54] Ronjaji: Bye...
[13:54] herman Bergson: Thank you all for your inspiring participation
[13:54] Dag (daggash.bayn): bye professor ,  thank you
[13:54] herman Bergson: See you next Tuesday
[13:54] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hugs all
[13:54] herman Bergson: Class dismissed...^_^
[13:54] Ciska Riverstone: thank you herman -  have a great time everyone
[13:54] Ronjaji: I'll be on time next time :)
[[13:55] CB Axel: This should be an interesting topic.
[13:55] CB Axel: See you all Tuesday. :)
[13:55] herman Bergson: I'll do my utmost CB :-)
[13:55] Starr (lynstarr): enjoyed the class
[13:56] Starr (lynstarr): see you Tuesday I hope
[13:56] herman Bergson: Most welcome Starr :-)
[13:56] bergfrau Apfelbaum: thank you herman :-)
[13:56] bergfrau Apfelbaum: ty class
[13:56] Ronjaji: I'll try... big time difference with Holland.
[13:57] herman Bergson: Yes Ronjajo...timezones are a problem now and then
[13:57] Jenna (jennastonecold): thanks for letting me sit in, nice to know there is more to sl than ... have a good day all.
[13:57] Ronjaji: next tuesday 1pm PST ?
[13:57] herman Bergson: I had people from Australia in class....they had to ge tup early to attend
[13:57] herman Bergson: yes..always 1 PM SL time
[13:58] Ronjaji: wow... thats great. feels good to join a group like this, like it already.
[13:58] Ronjaji: ok. bye for now. thanks!
[13:58] herman Bergson: thank you for the compliment Ronjaji

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