Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! ×
The 2000 Beanies

Journal Journal: Beyond Good And Evil: aphorism 9 1

Nietzsche talks about the Stoics. They do not really want to live by nature, but instead want to do what "still happens today, too, as soon as any philosophy begins to believe in itself. It always creates the world in it's own image."

I take a couple things from this. Firstly, knowing both about stoicism and about "stoic" personalities, I think Nietzsche is arguing that nature is not something to be sternly endured.

But mainly, remember this: philosophy is programming for the mind. You construct a worldview, it's an operational construct that interprets the world as being some way. Nietzsche is saying the same thing in a more poetic way.


Journal Journal: Beyond Good And Evil: aphorism 8

At some point in your philosophy you will present your conviction on the stage, and what shall you have prepared by way of expectation? Which part of the argument do you allow your conviction to present?


Journal Journal: Beyond Good And Evil: aphorism 6 3

Philosophy doesn't really come from a "Will to Knowledge" (well, it may if it wants) but more generally it comes from many of the other drives in the human mind.

"Drives" are taken as distinct forces of influence in the mind (and by inclusion the body). According to Nietzsche many of the various "drives" has at one time or another philosophized, which is to say some philosopher has created a philosophic system while motivated by that drive.

A desire to go to war generates a philosophy for going to war. When considering a philosophy, inspect it's motivation.

Nietzsche's drives are personalities with somewhat individual goals and ambitions. I think programming for the mind probably does use "personality" as a fundamental datatype. A possible mapping to interpret Nietzsche as being a wetware programmer for the human mind does exist. And it's not far fetched... consider that philosophers have studied first order logic ever since Aristotle invented it. And this is the source of modern programings basic construct, the if-then, AND and OR.

A philologist such as Nietzsche by developing a logic of human thinking, might also inadvertently create a logic to express theories of AI. Ontologically, isn't all intelligence AI?

Operating Systems

Journal Journal: Beyond Good And Evil: aphorism 5

Ok, this aphorism is about how philosophers have us mocking them not because they make some silly mistakes, lacking common sense, but because they tend to be dishonest, giving a grande air to their discoveries and pronouncements.

Kind of like that piece of crud last journal entry on aphorism 4, it was longer than what Nietzsche wrote! Or near. I don't care to check right now.

Instead, philosopher's results don't come from cold, pure, divinely unconcerned dialectic , it's really a hunch, desire or assumption filtered and made abstract.


Journal Journal: Beyond Good and Evil: aphorism 4 2

Here Neitzsche gives us an explanation of what "beyond good and evil" means. By example, the truth that falsety is indespensible, for example synthetic a priori judgements. These would at least include mathematical truths.

As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality. -- Albert Einstein

This is the falsification that Neitzsche points out. It's beyond good and evil, meaning it's neither of these things. The fact that the deception is useful is just something to notice like any other fact or facet of the world.

The careful traditionalist will possibly detect this as an attempt to undermine the foundations upon which a lot of other anti-falsehood ethics are based, namely the idea that a universal rule could be used. If we accept this case, what will happen in the future when we consider "is it wrong to lie?" Should we dare really open an issue that even leads to such questions. What if we end up justifying lying. What if we prove a philosophic justification, a blank check for misrepresentation and all forms of fraud? Should we lead ourselves onto paths that lead to the question "is to tell falsehood wrong?"

We all know that a liar does indeed (try to) justify his lie allong the lines of self preservation. Nietzche brings up an abstract case I find interesting and fundamental, just as he offered it. But a wide subtext is also set, "what is the value of truth?" relates to "what is the value of a lie?" The question is continuous from the abstract cases of little interest to most people to everyday affairs which affect people in their real lives and are of great concern.

Nietzsche may, at this point, intend to use this as a fient, to justify truth somehow with a quick dodge back on track, like one would expect of a Descartes or Kant, raising these doubts or casting asside old systems in order to rejustify conclusions identical to those of the preceding moral systems.

I think Nietzsche is promising something more honest. He's promising to give an answer that really is just simply beyond good and evil. Good and evil are just concepts that won't be involved, that's all.

The title sounds somewhat challenging even in today's world when it's not particularly shocking anymore. It still comes across as clearly trying to be contrarian and iconoclastic. In a world where people declare their bad values proudly in some cases, maybe this isn't so shocking in itself.

Neitzsche did intend it to be iconoclastic and in his day it was easy to spot as a near declaration of philosophic war. However, Nietzsche also meant something simple and literal.
The analysis in the work is not about good and evil. Good and evil won't be in the answers offered. He's going to use a new set of tools. Not beyond in the sense of deeper than, just chronologically beyond.
He won't be coming back later to show that The Truth really is The Good after all. He may offer instead an alternate way to address and understand the issues involved. He may suggest we find our own different ways.

This sounds promising to me, and is certain what's attractive to me in Nietzsche's work. It promises better than rejustification. It sounds better than new lists of what -is- good. An honest to goodness new angle.
I'm into a better way than good vs. evil to look at things. The good to evil gradient (greyscale instead of black and white) is not really much more satisfying. Could Nietzche be promising us color vision?


Journal Journal: Beyond Good And Evil: aphorism 3

To me being conscious has a direct meaning... it's to view yourself as an object, that is, as the a thing in the external world. One's personal estimate of an unbiased view of one's self.

But of course, conscious thought is also intentional thought. Nietzsche points out that it too is an instinctual activitity. The common predjudice is that they are opposite, but in truth, conscious thought is a kind of survival instinct.

Again, I think this is commonly realized on one level, but that the previous bias (that they are opposite) is more lived by.


Journal Journal: Beyond Good And Evil: aphorism 2

In this aphorism Neitzsche asks questions about fundamental opposites, good vs. bad, light vs. dark, truth vs falsety. He suggests there may be no opposites, these ideas might be "foreground estimates" and "provisional perspectives".

It takes a while to grok the relation of this to Nietzche's other question, which is "Can something come from it's opposite?" or "How could it?". Can will to truth come from will to deception? Can selfless deeds generate from selfish ones? The relation, I guess, is that this genesis would be why they are related. One idea comes from the other, and so they are connected. It's definition is designed in contrast to the first, to make a distinction.


Journal Journal: Beyond Good And Evil : aphorism 1

Why do we really want "truth"? This is a fair question among philosophers, scholers and scientists, at least, who have generally advocated for truth. Within Nietzsche's framework the issue is "will to truth", and a series of "strange, wicked and questionable questions" have come before us. All right then! Bring on the strange wicked questionable questions.

Nietzsche has us question what is the value of this will to truth? Why not rather untruth? uncertainty? ignorance?

Ok, that is a bit wicked and questionable.


Journal Journal: Beyond Good and Evil: what I'm doing.

I'm going to create critical interpretation of "Beyond Good and Evil", using Kaufmann's translation.

In the praface one finds the outline of a topic, dogmatism. He states the idea that Christianity is Platonism for the masses, which I'm come to see as accurate. In classic style, he also hints that dogmatism was also somehow necessary step toward some other great thing, much like the great architectural monuments of Egypt and Asea were pulled up by the supra-terrestrial claims of astrology.


Journal Journal: C++ vs. the world 2

I strongly believe one should use the best tool for the job. When I work on a project, I don't want to rewrite it in my favorite language... BUT!

What can scripting languages really offer that a good class system can't? People talk about doing something in Python with ten lines that takes months in C/C++. Pardon? Isn't that because the thing you are writing has already been written? You are just instantiating it! And this is true in C++ as well. I mean... look at me... I can write a web server with no lines of code... I just compile apache!

Seriously, there are class systems that can do a lot of the work.

It's the same with GUI stuff... VB is easier... supposedly, for some, but in reality, the whole draw your dialog box and click on the buttons to write code for them works just as "well" in C++ using MFC and MS code wizards as it works in VB. IOW, it sucks in both, but if it's useful (because you are throwing something together, for example), what is the advantage of VB? You get to learn a poorly formed verbose syntax instead of the C/C++ syntax?

Journal Journal: The Best Sigs

Sigs: people love them and hate them. Some appear to just hate them. The real purpose of a sig is to identify the user, as it is after the post, located right there where spatially and chronologically you are ready to decide if you want to make note about who commented.

Bad sigs are easy to ignore, and still serve their purpose of identifying the owner. Good sigs are a good laugh or moment of thought. Here are the best sigs I've collected, imho.


The world is run by idiots because they're more efficient than hamsters.
-- b/c I like it's optimism! That's the way to paint the silver lining. I used to be a bit annoyed and depressed that the world was run by idiots, but you know what... they ARE more efficient than hamsters!


Play with my webcams and lights here [].
-- b/c you really can play with his webcams and lights!


"In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is."
-- because it's true. I like theory and practice, but I think when forced to choose sides in that debate... tmwot, practice has to win out. ("To My Way Of Thinking")


"Outlook not so good." That magic 8-ball knows everything! I'll ask about Exchange Server next.
-- b/c I love the magic eight ball and misinterpretive word play, and this has both! "magic 8 ball, can you really tell me the future of computing" shake shake jostle nudge, "Outlook not so good." "I know that... but what about the future of computing!?"


If you turn around, you might find yourself looking at something that used to be behind you. -Me
-- I find this to be a slightly surreal sig, overtly deep, innately shallow, obviously true, possibly pointless. In other words, a fine recipe for a sig. But to be serious, I praise the sig's relativism, in that it's a subtle hint about the arbitrariness of important relations, what is behind you can be what is before you with a simple turn. Similar to "whereever you go, there you are" which has reached the cliche stage but which presents a similarly straight forward reminder of ones centre of concious, that the world is relative to your inescapable personal point of view.


"Give me immortality, or give me death!"
-- Nothing like a tautology for good geek humor.


User Journal

Journal Journal: Update: Karma and Game Theory 1

What I'm calling Game Theory is really my own theory of gaming from being a gamer and working in the game industry and studying how games are build from elements.

I don't really prefer mathematical statistics in general over more subjective things, like words, both are very interesting. If you force me to prefer one or the other, numerical methods have proved most abstract and therefore, to me, most interesting.

The real reason I think that numbers make sense is that karma on slashdot is a game only. Don't assume I'm saying it's a good game or a bad game, just that it is a game by nature.

To justify that claim quickly let me just say that the moderation system exists to raise and lower posts themselves, mainly to lower them I think. That does not require a karma system in itself.

Karma is a point system to act as an artificial motivation to post well and want to get highly moderated posts, based on the fact that this is what nearly every game does, generally in various areas. In real sports, statistics are calculated for the same effect. Giving points is like setting up a genetic algorythm tuning itself, some will post just to increase points.

That is, they give up forwarding an agenda. Or they mimik others. Or they conform to the group opinion (abstract mimikry). Or possibly they role play and draw cotangent arcs with their karma(t) function. Who cares, with karma, you can trash your karma for fun if you want... by definintion it means that it was moderated low and easy to ignore. Karma may imply that you are invited to troll, etc. It's like the cathartic excuse for violent computer games, only in the case of messages. You can be nuclear flame on and who really cares because the killfile system is working on a post by post basis.

As a word it seems the game has changed. It is now a qualitative opinion about me. It's kind of like a closed box, just a hint of what is undoubtably still a numeric entity, presented as the machines idea of me.

But then, the moderation system itself is what motivates posting the sorts of posts the community of moderators praises (or for the troll, what it condemns) and not the karma. So what does karma mean to the designers of this game, I wonder?

Journal Journal: Quantitative Karma 1

Often there comes around a subject that is heated and controversial, but also totally meaningless and pointless to discuss at length. Of course I am referring to "" topics. Meta-moderation boycots, moderation boycotts, Taco Bashing. etc. Well until now I felt left out, I just couldn't care about any of these pointless topics and I can tell you it was clear that as a result I couldn't really fit or be part of the slashdot community. But now my karma isn't a number, it's a --- yech --- a -word-! Can you imagine. Sweet artifical quantification (mostly calculated) replaced by squishy human qualification (mostly affected). We lost calculated (mostly) for affected (mostly). Calculation for affectation. Math for psychology. Egads... it's the end.
Update: I don't really prefer mathematical statistics in a general sense, over psychology, both are very interesting. But in this case, I do.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Microsoft Auditing Itself

The idea is that you might be able to get Microsoft to audit itself using auditing software that scanned it's source repositories. No one external to Microsoft has to access the confidential information involved.

How could they be made to allow this..? possibly as a penalty in one of the antitrust cases (remember there are more... plenty of general litigation but also big Sun and AOL cases), that is, not willingly.

Slashdot Top Deals

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (5) All right, who's the wiseguy who stuck this trigraph stuff in here?