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  • right after I banged her. It did explain why she seemed unimpressed.

    • Somehow, I don't think the liberal use of starting pistols around her is what she expected when she asked if you would bang her. And no, pots and pans is not going to impress her more.

  • "The frustrating reality is that nothing, positive or negative, can be inferred from silence."
    This doesn't stop you/me though from inferring things - usually the worst - as we try and wait for an answer. In my case job searching.

    My mind has a mind of its own and likes to wander fruitlessly in gloomy doldrums while waiting for replies.

    • This doesn't stop you/me though from inferring things - usually the worst - as we try and wait for an answer.

      Yeah... that's the frustrating thing, we tend to glom on to the negative possibilities, and they are really hard to throw off.
      I empathize with your situation - it seems to reflect my own pretty directly.

      • by tqft ( 619476 )

        Even better - today I don't want a job contact to ring. She will only be contacting those who didn't make the shortlist today.

  • ...would rather suggest the opposite, and both.


    • So, I'm not Zen, and I haven't studied it in depth, so I really am just inferring from what little I know. That being said, I think the Zen thing is accepting that nothing is inferred, and not being affected by the silence. Of course, I assuredly not very nuanced in my understanding of Zen.

      • That being said, I think the Zen thing is accepting that nothing is inferred, and not being affected by the silence.

        Umm...not exactly.

        In fact it's just the sort of thing I was trying to explain to you regarding prayer and meditation, and is a very good way of learning to connect to the divine. Rather than rely on rational thought, it is based on the concept of experiential wisdom -- things you discover about yourself and your surroundings (and hopefully of Creation itself) through intense introspectio

        • I knew I'd get it wrong. Though on some level, I think the idea of

          In Soto Zen, shikantaza meditation ("just-sitting") that is, a meditation with no objects, anchors, or content, is the primary form of practice. The meditator strives to be aware of the stream of thoughts, allowing them to arise and pass away without interference.

          is what I was getting at, that is, letting the possibilities that our minds elicit from silence pass away without interference.

          In fact it's just the sort of thing I was trying to e

          • Personal truth is still a form of truth, even if it isn't something that transcends the person. Just because your personal experience doesn't transfer well to others doesn't make it less valuable to you. It has its place as well.

            This is why religion has value for the individual, and is a form of truth, but not one that you or I can expect others to accept. What I experience in prayer is something intensely personal. Maybe it resonates with you; maybe it doesn't. If it does, though, then perhaps you and I

            • I actually have The Orthodox Way on a list of books that I couldn't find at the library, but I'm planning on picking up through one of those book rental services (once I've plumbed the library of all the books on my to-read list). I'll add Meister Eckhart as someone to check out if I find The Orthodox Way compelling.

              • To reiterate, though, I am most definitely not saying that either Meister Eckhart or The Orthodox Way will suddenly make you a Christian (again). I do think, however, that it is very much worthwhile to look at different traditions, to understand that the typically Western way of looking at divinity and God (big bearded white guy with attitude) is by no means the only game in town.

                I think Meister Eckhart is an interesting character, not least because he's a Western mystic who danced on the edge of what the

  • by Morosoph ( 693565 ) on Friday January 16, 2009 @08:53AM (#26481097) Homepage Journal

    Rather, correct inference is a careful business of Bayesian inferencing. That is, good estimates of prior probabilities, and the probabilities of silence verses speech in each scenario need to be made before sound inferences can be drawn.

    What is certain is that the great care that is called for in drawing inferences is a frame of mind that is mostly incompatible with the emotional side of facing the void. In the face of silence, evolution has equiped us to be prepared for the worst, rather than making a good central estimate of what is going on.

    In terms of relationships, whatever one's estimate, it is important to go still further and project a neutral estimate. However one adjusts the estimates of probabilities, exactly one outcome will be true, and a misestimation can do a good deal of harm, whereas correct estimation will only do a small amount of good. Working through likely scenarios (good and bad) may help, but mindspace still needs to be set aside for the unknown.

    The stance that nothing can be inferred, although not strictly true, is the stance that is most likely to prepare you to react correctly in the face of what is to come - good or bad.

    Just my 2 cents.

    • I think you're right, that a rational Bayesian inference could give you a probable outcome, but as far as what the silence actually means, probability and actuality can occasionally be extremely divergent.

Hard work never killed anybody, but why take a chance? -- Charlie McCarthy