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Show ALL Forums  > Science/philosophy  > The meaning of the meaningless - A perhaps meaningless theorem      Home login  
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 thecdcisreal
Joined: 6/18/2008
Msg: 6
The meaning of the meaningless - A perhaps meaningless theoremPage 2 of 4    (1, 2, 3, 4)

Great thread, Chris. It reminds me of the philosophy of absurdism, only with a twist...


It does have some similarities to absurdism, huh? Although it doesn't really contemplate the original source of meaning - it could be the individual, God, or some other external variable. By the way, my name is Justin - and thank you!

@maranTha~

The meaning of this meaningless thread is that apparently meaningless events have the positive effect of adding meaning to what we find meaningful, and/or providing another variable by which we apply meaning to things. To put shortly, the meaningless gives us meaning. If everything was meaningful - would there be any meaning to it?!
 JustDukky
Joined: 7/8/2004
Msg: 7
The meaning of the meaningless - A perhaps meaningless theorem
Posted: 11/24/2009 1:39:02 PM

Yeah, I realized that contradiction.

It's pretty close to the "there are no uninteresting numbers" proof.
Did you get the idea from that, or was it an original construction?

In any event, it merits a beer!...
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 8
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The meaning of the meaningless - A perhaps meaningless theorem
Posted: 11/24/2009 2:18:32 PM
Spock once said:
An ancestor of mine maintained, that if you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.
The improbable might seem meaningless. But when everything else is impossible, the meaningless becomes the meaningful.
 thecdcisreal
Joined: 6/18/2008
Msg: 9
The meaning of the meaningless - A perhaps meaningless theorem
Posted: 11/24/2009 2:21:14 PM

It's pretty close to the "there are no uninteresting numbers" proof.
Did you get the idea from that, or was it an original construction?

In any event, it merits a beer!...


Actually, no, I have never heard of that proof. But now I am going to go look it up. So yes, it was an original construction. My friend said "sometimes, or even, most of the time, I just have nothing to say" in an update and I felt like writing a needlessly complex reply. So in my mental search for an excessively long reply that still had some semblance of logical construction I formulated this.

Thanks, I would like a beer! Can I be picky and choose? Delerium Tremens, please.
 JustDukky
Joined: 7/8/2004
Msg: 10
The meaning of the meaningless - A perhaps meaningless theorem
Posted: 11/24/2009 8:14:31 PM
How many of the posts in here are meaningful? How many are intended to be? I find it incredibly ironic and somewhat paradoxical that one of the most meaningful threads in here is about meaninglessness. The apparent fallacy of the proof lies in the subjectivity of the assessment of meaningfulness, the value of which can change in a moment. Still, the wonder of it all astonishes me. I am not impressed by the fact that intentionally meaningful posts might be found meaningless (that happens all the time, as anyone who has read some of my rants can attest), but incredibly impressed that even intentionally meaningless posts may hold the most profound of meanings. Can we now honestly say that such posts are a waste of our time to read?
 Super_Eve
Joined: 10/23/2008
Msg: 11
The meaning of the meaningless - A perhaps meaningless theorem
Posted: 11/24/2009 10:54:58 PM

Although it doesn't really contemplate the original source of meaning - it could be the individual, God, or some other external variable.


What? Absurdism or this thread?

Hi, Justin!

Sorry about the name confusion...

Hi, MaranTha~...*cough*, ~sonalsorises~


Meaning is a quality that is inserted into a symbol, phrase or experience subjectively by the person for whom that symbol, phrase or experience would be better if it held meaning. Nothing actually has meaning, if you want it to. The meaninglessness that opposes meaning is likewise projected onto things. Beyond your own mind, for your purposes, there is neither meaning nor meaninglessness. You might as well decide to regard something as meaningless as to find the meaning in it that you put there to prevent it from being meaningless. Either way, it's about how you want to think of things, and not about how things are actually.


Farceur?

I think that this thread has great meaning, only the meaning may be hidden...does that necessarily mean it is meaningless?
 nipoleon
Joined: 12/27/2005
Msg: 12
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The meaning of the meaningless - A perhaps meaningless theorem
Posted: 11/25/2009 3:26:36 AM
The thing I've always found irritating with people who majored in Philosophy in college is their eternal quest for the meaningless.
It seems to me, they love to study all religions and philosophies in the world, just to have the pleasure of declaring them all meaningless.

It's far better to find to courage to arrive at some conclusion, even if that particular conclusion is wrong, than to declare all conclusions wrong all together .

Everything is dependant upon context.
A thing has meaning within the frame of it's context.
Outside that frame, everything else is meaningless.
 thecdcisreal
Joined: 6/18/2008
Msg: 13
The meaning of the meaningless - A perhaps meaningless theorem
Posted: 11/25/2009 5:57:04 PM
Justdukky, I'm glad you found something intriguing about this. It seems most people are focusing too much on the idea of "meaninglessness" and not grasping what's happening.

MaranaTha, as I stated before, this was purposefully long and excessive. I find it fun to be that way.
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 14
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The meaning of the meaningless - A perhaps meaningless theorem
Posted: 11/25/2009 6:42:38 PM
Ah...fun with semantics. Always entertaining, and occasionally enlightening.
 JustDukky
Joined: 7/8/2004
Msg: 15
The meaning of the meaningless - A perhaps meaningless theorem
Posted: 11/29/2009 10:19:51 PM
I found this thread too profound to allow to die a meaningless death in obscurity. I have therefore bumped it to encourage further discussion. What will we discuss?...Hell I don't know...it's all so meaningless!

Most people find their lives so meaningless that they have to conjure up a God to make sense of it all. Isn't that just a cop-out? Why can't we make our own lives meaningful without having meaning given to us by some heavenly father figure?
 JustDukky
Joined: 7/8/2004
Msg: 16
The meaning of the meaningless - A perhaps meaningless theorem
Posted: 12/1/2009 3:17:25 PM

because I don't like you much...

Now ya went & hurt muh itty bitty feelin's!...
My God can beat up your God, so there!...nyaaa nyaa
 JustDukky
Joined: 7/8/2004
Msg: 17
The meaning of the meaningless - A perhaps meaningless theorem
Posted: 12/3/2009 8:33:19 AM

How would you propose to measure the change?

I think the change in perception can be likened more to a quantum "flip", though there could be a period of indeterminacy, sort of like meaningfulness/meaninglessnesss being flip sides of a coin, which is sometimes indeterminate as a result of a "toss" (period of re-evaluation) by the perceiver.
 thecdcisreal
Joined: 6/18/2008
Msg: 18
The meaning of the meaningless - A perhaps meaningless theorem
Posted: 12/3/2009 9:12:18 AM
Firstly, thanks Dukky for being interested enough to bump. I have been feverishly working on some new things, which I would like to share with you guys at some point.

To exogenist:


Therefore its not whether there is God. Its what God means and around me I see many meanings. But how can we have a meaning for God when we don't even know what this thing called God is. I will say with assurance that without knowing what the meaning is being attributed to, all meanings about God are meaningless since we do not know what God is. It is poor diligence to give meaning to a thing which is supposed to transcend all meanings.


I think this a very interesting statement and one worth quoting at the very least. Especially the last sentence, it really sums things up nicely and I had never QUITE thought that.

The meaning of the meaningless, for me, is just an attempt to show that things which have no apparent meaning may hold value in reinforcing your already existing meaning structure. This has been realized in the thread, though. The search for meaning is, possibly, the foremost task of humankind, as a species and as individuals. As such, we all conclude on different meanings (which suggests that there is not an actual, definitive meaning). If there is a definitive meaning, it's so obscured in relativity that we could probably never find it on our own. If we can never find the one, absolute meaning, then we must give bearing to the meaningless. As, odds are, our own value system will be meaningless (relativity), then it is useful to take into account other seemingly meaningless things.

Admittedly, this is not a philosophy which I have fully adopted. I still brush off the apparently meaningless without contemplating its true value. But on the other hand, I probably contemplate these things more than someone who isn't on a forum discussing it.
 thecdcisreal
Joined: 6/18/2008
Msg: 19
The meaning of the meaningless - A perhaps meaningless theorem
Posted: 12/3/2009 12:20:23 PM
Krebby, thanks for your reply.

In part II. I would just like to point out that I said "So saying nothing is not evidence of there being nothing to say." Whereas you put "...not evidence of there being something to say." Which would change up the logic a bit. Although, it is correct... saying nothing is NOT evidence of there being something to say, nor is it evidence that there is in fact nothing to say.

This specific example has more to do with words, phrases, things that are said by a person. So as far as V, we do no good obscuring the meaningless into nothingness means that if you feel you have nothing to say, it may be valuable. In fact, in saying something meaningless, it may help to solidify the meaningful's meaning/value.

Thus, in VII when one expresses something "meaningless" (they perceive it to have little apparent value), and yes we must have the ability to separate the meaningful from the meaningless. But as said, this is all relative to the one who is doing the separating, meaning is different for everyone. Which furthers my point, if you have nothing meaningful to say (ie., it is not meaningful to you) then perhaps someone else will find meaning in it (their perspective is different) or they may also see it as meaningless but in being meaningless, it adds meaning to the meaningful.

I don't believe I stated at the end that I know what is meaningful. However, let's say you have a group of apples, some with mildew at the seed, some without. Let us assume that there is an equal number of bad apples and good apples. Now, if you take one of those apples out and bite into it and it turns out to be a bad apple, then it adds value to the other apples in there. Because now you know there are one more good apples in the bucket than bad apples. And thus the meaningless gives something else more meaning, by using your example.

I'm sorry if this is sloppy/incomprehensible. I am working on an essay and am a bit scatter-brained. I would like to see your Venn Diagram, that sounds interesting. :)
 late™
Joined: 9/11/2009
Msg: 20
The meaning of the meaningless - A perhaps meaningless theorem
Posted: 12/4/2009 4:51:52 PM
Sometimes a things purpose is purposelessness.

Just goes to show ya, sometimes mysteries can be solved by either omitting or applying a morpheme or two.

YMMV
 late™
Joined: 9/11/2009
Msg: 21
The meaning of the meaningless - A perhaps meaningless theorem
Posted: 12/4/2009 8:08:29 PM
Okay, I broke the "don't have a mouthful of beer when reading replies" rule. I lost at least a third of an Old Milwaukee there...

Another angle:

I'm always amused when in a discussion when someone accuses another of "that's just semantics" (even more funny when spelled "symantics", ...which is as much a giveaway as typing mute point for moot point). Ahhhh the meaning of semantics?

- meaning
 late™
Joined: 9/11/2009
Msg: 22
The meaning of the meaningless - A perhaps meaningless theorem
Posted: 12/4/2009 8:48:10 PM

George Orwell was not wrong, he just misplaced the time factor ...


Oh, he was wrong about more than that, he used the concept of "Big Brother" when "Creepy Uncle Ernie" was way more descriptive.

Orwell's 1984 was a "cautionary tale", ...one of many we've ignored.
 late™
Joined: 9/11/2009
Msg: 23
The meaning of the meaningless - A perhaps meaningless theorem
Posted: 12/4/2009 11:44:49 PM
Results may vary.

contemplation will vary


Ha! ...that's beautiful.

Meaning may/will vary

(Listening to "Happiness is a Warm Gun", ...damn! " Mother Superior jumped the gun...")
 thecdcisreal
Joined: 6/18/2008
Msg: 24
The meaning of the meaningless - A perhaps meaningless theorem
Posted: 12/5/2009 9:03:10 AM
Krebby and other gentlemen and women in here, I think you guys get the meaning of this more than I do at this point.

I understand now the issue with priori knowledge. I think that is perhaps where the purpose behind what I wrote is becoming distorted. Let's put it this way:

You and a buddy are walking along a trail and come across a pile of apples. Neither of you know the true state of those apples, whether they are good or not. You see this pile of apples and the thought comes to your mind, "I wonder if I can eat all of these apples in a minute." This seems like a meaningless thing to say, it's just a matter of contemplation, like Thorb said. You won't actually try, it doesn't even matter - it's just a random thought you had. But you say it. Then this reminds your friend, "Hey! My mom was a professional apple eater and she gave me this handy device that tests the quality of an apple!" So, having remembered that in conjunction to what you said, he pulls out the device, detects the good apples and you both sit down to enjoy them.

So I suppose what I mean is that, for my theorem (at least in the train of thought I was thinking of it), requires no priori knowledge. It is not even necessarily for the utterers benefit to utter whatever he or she does. It may, however, ignite priori knowledge in another (or even yourself) and lead you to a useful (meaningful) conclusion, such as the fact that you have an apple quality device.
 aremeself
Joined: 12/31/2008
Msg: 25
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The meaning of the meaningless - A perhaps meaningless theorem
Posted: 12/8/2009 1:12:37 PM
you will have to sneak your ideas into existing threads.
 aremeself
Joined: 12/31/2008
Msg: 26
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The meaning of the meaningless - A perhaps meaningless theorem
Posted: 12/8/2009 2:06:55 PM
now I know what you guys mean, hard to unplug.
blocking? somebody?
maybe I'll go shovel some snow.
 Leib ben Yitshak
Joined: 3/26/2008
Msg: 27
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The meaning of the meaningless - A perhaps meaningless theorem
Posted: 12/9/2009 7:57:52 PM
Well put.
Since I'm posting this, it means that I have something to say.
Leib
 AtomicGogol
Joined: 4/4/2008
Msg: 28
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The meaning of the meaningless - A perhaps meaningless theorem
Posted: 12/10/2009 2:03:50 PM
This isn't precisely related to the OP, but I thought everyone would get a kick out of it...

In the second scroll of Wen the Eternally Surprised a story is written concerning one day when the apprentice Clodpool, in a rebellious mood, approached Wen and spake thusly: "Master, what is the difference between a humanistic, monastic system of belief in which wisdom is sought by means of an apparently nonsensical system of questions and answers, and a lot of mystic gibberish made up on the spur of the moment?" Wen considered this for some time, and at last said: "A fish!" And Clodpool went away, satisfied.

-- (Terry Pratchett)
 aremeself
Joined: 12/31/2008
Msg: 29
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The meaning of the meaningless - A perhaps meaningless theorem
Posted: 12/10/2009 9:32:12 PM
kreb

youa so bad.
made me laugh though!
 Super_Eve
Joined: 10/23/2008
Msg: 30
The meaning of the meaningless - A perhaps meaningless theorem
Posted: 12/12/2009 8:16:03 PM

If you can dish it out........you had better be prepared to take it
right back.


Good. I hope you have the vagina, to stand by your own words...

Kreb is a beauty
Bright, a delight
you say that you are christian
but you strike upon the slight

what the fcuk happened to turning the other cheek?

This post is absolutely meaningful, but wasted upon the meaningless...
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