Skip to comments.Has David Birnbaum solved the mystery of existence?
Posted on 10/19/2013 2:08:00 PM PDT by Berlin_Freeper
In the summer of 2012, a number of philosophers at British and American universities received a bulky, unmarked package in the post. It contained a 560-page book, written in English but with the Latin title Summa Metaphysica, by an amateur whose name they didn't recognise: David Birnbaum. It isn't unusual for philosophy departments to get mail from cranks, convinced they have solved the riddle of existence, but they usually send stapled print-outs, or handwritten letters; Summa Metaphysica stood out "for its size and its glossiness", says Tim Crane, a professor of philosophy at Cambridge. The book was professionally typeset. It even included endorsements from Claude Lévi-Strauss, the legendary French anthropologist, who described it as "remarkable and profound", and from the Princeton physicist John Wheeler, who once collaborated with Einstein. It would later transpire that 40,000 copies were in circulation, a print run any academic philosopher might kill for. The book claimed to have sliced through countless fundamental problems in philosophy, physics and theology, and there on the spine, where the publisher's name appears, was one deeply reassuring word: "Harvard".
Then the story grew stranger. In May this year, the US-based Chronicle of Higher Education reported that prominent scholars scientists, philosophers and theologians had been persuaded to attend an expenses-paid "international academic conference" at Bard College, a respected institution in upstate New York, devoted to Birnbaum's work.
(Excerpt) Read more at theguardian.com ...
That has a distinct lack of potential.
Trouble with articles like this is you always want to read about what the individual actually said, but have to scroll down to piece together that they thought of this inference.
The problem is how do you get to say non-reality has potential to be reality? Can we speak of the non-reality of the universe having the potential to become a universe in reality. Can we even say that of non-reality itself with it possessing in itself the potentiality for reality.
Metaphysics gets goofy and complex the more basic and fundamental you go.
I will NEVER hail or even acknowledge the win.
It is nice that Birnbaum has a hobby, but he shows all the well-known signs of being a crank and a phony.
I think, therefore I am.
Establishment: Of course you are
My bright little star,
Pretty files of your forefather's fruit
And now to suit our
You're magnetic ink.
First Man: I'm more than that, I know I am, at least, I think I must be.
Inner Man: There you go man,
Keep as cool as you can.
It riles them to believe
That you perceive
The web they weave
And keep on thinking free.
Someone told me at work today Obama is now working behind the scenes to get rid of term limits for POTUS. How about that? A third term and a fourth term and a fifth and a sixth! Dictator for life! I told him if Obama ever did a third term then Civil War 2 would break out with me leading the charge. lol
Free food, drinks and lodging and one can get Scientists to agree on anything.
They are never wrong.
They simply say: "That's what we knew, based on the then current body of knowledge and technologies available."
When I attended school in the 60's , Neanderthal man was in the human chain of evolution.
And we only had a few years to live, see The Population Bomb by Stanford University Professor Paul R. Ehrlich
DNA and new advances in farming has since shown those , at the time indisputable Scientific conclusions to be wrong.
These cranks have been around for a while:
"We were just discussing a most interesting subject," said the earnest matron. "Dr. Pritchett was telling us that nothing is anything."
"He should, undoubtedly, know more than anyone else about that," Francisco answered gravely.
"I wouldn't have supposed that you knew Dr. Pritchett so well, Senor d'Anconia," she said, and wondered why the professor looked displeased by her remark.
"I am an alumnus of the great school that employs Dr. Pritchett at present, the Patrick Henry University. But I studied under one of his predecessors - Hugh Akston."
A young man said, astonished, "I thought Hugh Akston was one of those classics that nobody studied any more, except in histories of philosophy. I read an article recently which referred to him as the last of the great advocates of reason."
"Just what did Hugh Akston teach?" asked the earnest matron.
Francisco answered, "He taught that everything is something."
-- Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
And the article shows all the well-known signs of being about a rank and a phony.
Well, he has solved the mystery of how to get academic respect for crap.
Although the various “studies” department (black, feminist, queer, etc.) beat him to that by decades.
Heck yes. Saved that one.
I freep therefore I post.
Ah, yes; the great “Cloister”, avowed to be the Creator of The Cat People. Still love that episode...
Known as 'Buddha Mind' in Buddhism.
Why? Because that's what potential does. Birnbaum calls this process "extraordinariation".
Known as 'karma' in Buddhism.
Congratulations, genius, you just wrote a several hundred volume half-assed rehash of a 2,500 hundred year old view of reality that can be expressed in a couple of paragraphs. And you left out the key explanations of 'how' and 'what.'
I know plenty of brain dead lemming liberals who would gladly support the wun as dictator for life. I do my best to keep contact with them to a minimum.
Lister and Frankenstein?
It’s Lister, Lister the stupid (I think - been years since I watched any).
What his WRITING needs is a lot of EXCLAMATION MARKS!!!
I told everyone I knew that this would happen before the 2008 election.
I forgot my deodorant this morning. Whew!!!
I stink, therefore I am.
John 1:1 (NAS)
Cogito, ergo FReepum
Prot: “I wanna tell you something Mark, something you do not yet know, that we K-PAXians have been around long enough to have discovered. The universe will expand, then it will collapse back on itself, then will expand again. It will repeat this process forever. What you don’t know is that when the universe expands again, everything will be as it is now. Whatever mistakes you make this time around, you will live through on your next pass. Every mistake you make, you will live through again, & again, forever. So my advice to you is to get it right this time around. Because this time is all you have.”
And before anyone jumps up and asks the continually-asked question of if that is 'legal';
It's Broadcast Television. Which means it was broadcast for free over the open airwaves. For years, including reruns.
I still have cassette tapes of old AM and FM radio broadcasts of songs I liked and no one seems to have a problem with that for some reason, but sadly lost the 4-track and 8-track tapes at about the same time I lost the Quadrophonic recordings.
I must admit I miss the VHS recordings of 'The Muppet Show' reruns most of all, truth be told.
Come to think of it I just might have two or three VHS tapes of Red Dwarf still in storage. I think I will take some time this weekend and do a bit of looking about now that I think about it...
> Cogito, ergo FReepum <
I stink, therefore I shower.
Frankenstein, yeah! I remember that stuff from kitty school. The Holy Mother, saved by Cloister the Stupid, who was frozen in time, and who gaveth of his life that we might live.
I’ve got all the DVDs around and probably need to dig them out.
I may make them lunchtime viewing at my lunch half hour. I get 30 minutes and am in my cube.
Recently I have run the classic bw Dragnet, taxi season 1 and now SOAP season is now lunchtime entertainment.
When I was a freshman in college many years ago before going off to WWII and across the Pacific I had an assignment in a Psychology elective class to write a ‘free’ expression paper. I chose as my subject ‘Why Nothing is Something’. My paper rambled on for a couple of pages with double speaks. The lady prof. told me, as I recall, that my paper was interesting but it made no sense and besides my construction was poor. She did give me a ‘B’ for the paper. Today I still believe that with many things people make nothing into something.
-so off to work I go!
What if all of the rest of you are just here for my entertainment?
1Co 1:18-25 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
For it is written, “I WILL DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE, AND THE CLEVERNESS OF THE CLEVER I WILL SET ASIDE.”
Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.
For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom;
but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NAS)
Just let us know where those of like mind should assemble
I thought it was 42.....
Cloister the Stupid
I’ve forgotten, what color were the hats ?
HOLLY: “`Yea, even individual sachets of mustard. And those who serve shall have hats of great majesty, yea, though they be made of coloured cardboard and have humorous arrows through the top.’”
LISTER: Does it say what happened to the rest of the Cats?
HOLLY: Holy wars. There were thousands of years of fighting, Dave, between the two factions.
LISTER: What two factions?
HOLLY: Well, the ones who believed the hats should be red, and the ones who believed the hats should be blue.
LISTER: Do you mean they had a war over whether the doughnut diner hats were red or blue?
HOLLY: Yeah. Most of them were killed fighting about that. It’s daft really, innit?
LISTER: You’re not kidding. They were supposed to be green.
Has David Birnbaum solved the mystery of existence?
In a word? NO.