Wednesday, January 11, 2017

(284) Only 1% accept subjective experience is valid in determining reality

Circa 11: a.m. on January 12th 2017 I was doing some cleaning and had on in the background this podcast of Sam Harris´:

I had not listened to it before. It had arrived by e mail ten hours earlier.

I was thinking about my six previously cited and advanced reasons - e.g. at Facebook threads - for accepting the existence of some Deity.
Those are -
a) Over forty very brief experiences of compassion way beyond normal consciousness and which could only be described as Divine.
b) That others report such experiences of the Divine.
c) These coincidences
d) The faults with neo-Darwinism.
e) The philosophical argument from design.
f) The very existence of the ´Occult Classics´.

In each instance there are of course counter arguments.

Sceptics might say there is only my testimony to have experienced the Divine.
There is only the testimony of the other claimants too.
That coincidence does not necessarily point to anythng beyond itself.
Lack of authentic evidence for neo-Darwinian theory does not demand acceptance of a Deity. Strident anti Darwinists such as Dr James le Fanu and Richard Milton have no religious beliefs.
Those who detect design in Nature that they attribute to a Higher Power speak only for themselves.
And claims re an  ´outpouring of Esoteric truth´ in books which began in the late 19th century with Blavatsky have yet to be independently corroborated. Some people simply like drawing attention to themselves. Plus a lot of the writings of  Blavatsky, Bailey, Besant, Rudolf Steiner, etc is largely repetitive verbiage.
Point a) was the overwhelming one. Impossible for the experiencer to doubt some Divine component to reality after even one such experience. I promoted it in my mental reckoning from 80% significance to a full 90%.
Point (c) I demoted from a significance of 10% to now only 5%.
re point d), however, I, continued with an allocation of just 1%. It may at best be called "indirect evidence", since Darwin critics like Milton and le Fanu harbour no belief in a Deity.

I found myself thinking on how, in an exposition of why I accepted God´s existence, the importance of the faults with neo-Darwinian theory were only 1%.
Within four seconds of my thinking that I heard what Harris says at 17:17 of the podcast.

That caught my attention so I listened more keenly to the few minutes before and after that.
Circa 13:50 he and Dawkins agree that personal and introspective experience may be of value scientifically.

Finally, at   Harris points out that we could never know what was going through the head of "JFK" just before his assassination.
And when making the short drive home after a lunchtime visit to the beach I found my car immediately behind a black one with a numberplate ending in JFK.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

(283) The run up Calvary and then San Julián later that week

On the evening of March 28th 2016 I remarked to my wife that as part of my training for the upcoming Ruta de Las Fortelezas I was intending that week to do something that I had never done before, i.e. run up not just one of the nearby hills of San Julián or Calvary but first Calvary and then without pause, San Julián.
I had only begun running up the Calvary hill a few weeks before and had made hardly any such runs, in contrast with the dozens of ascents I had made of San Julián over the previous few years, although I had many times driven to the spring atop Calvary to stock up on water.
Fiona then said that there was such a dual ascent being run that very week. for a local charity: pay 10 Euro entry, run up Calvary, then San Julián and then enjoy a paella lunch in the village that lay closest to the base of each hill, Lo Campano. (One also got to keep the T shirt.)
The charity was for residents of Lo Campano threatened with social exclusion.

She had discovered this fact only seconds before when looking at a page, still open on her computer, of where the lead item announced the dual ascent for charity.

This was only the second year when such a mini run had been organised.
And many people were of like mind to myself and planned to use it as a useful part of their training for the Ruta de Las Fortelezas.
But unlike me, their announcement of intent had not coincided exactly with their learning of the charity run, for Fiona, who was wont to consult the Cartagena Town Hall site on some three occasions per week, or perhaps  just a few more, had only just then read of it.
The front page piece only went up that day; March 28th 2016.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

(282) The Réti study of Rook against a Pawn.

On October 22nd 2015 I found myself studying Reti´s famous study: 
This was from page 14 of Dvoretsky and Yusupov´s Technique for the Tournament Player.

White wins with 1 Rd1!! Kd5 2 Kd7! and thus catches the pawn.

Although over previous decades I had many, many times seen this thing, it was only that evening that I was intrigued enough to figure out precisely just WHY 1 Rd1! is the, clever, way to win.
(After all, as so many indolent players think: how often do you truly require arcane endgame knowledge?)
And in over thirty-one years as a Grandmaster I could not recall ever coming across an instance of that theme.

The very next evening I looked at Alex Baburin´s Chess Today newspaper in my e mail box and saw this -
Brodowski (2452) Vs Leniart,(2480) European Universities Championship, Yerevan, 2015.

They reached this ending -

Here black chose 80...Kg2? and drew after 81 Kg4! "Mutual zugzwang" 81...Kf2 82 Kf4! Rf8+ 83 Ke5, etc.

As Baburin commented - ""He had to play 80...Kf2! 81 Kg4 Kg2 - this idea was used in one of Reti´s studies."

Well waddyaknow...?!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

(281) "Are you not entertained?"

At 21:12 on June 29th 2015 I was flicking through a Youtube version of the 2000 film Gladiator

(The above link was non-functional the very following week. So here is the same clip from another site) -

I reached the point just before a particular scene which I wanted to see.
Other available versions showed only certain excised scenes, but not the film in its entirety.
It is where the gladiator portrayed by Russell Crowe talks with the slave owner played by the late Oliver Reed. The preceding scene, where Crowe takes on and slaughters a half dozen gladiators one by one, I had seen before as one of those excised.
I now saw Crowe, after his killing spree, lobbing his sword to hit a distant table and asking of the ampitheatre crowd, "Are you not entertained? Are you not entertained? Is this not why you are here?"
He then spits into the dust and walks off as the crowd chant his name. And I had seen that finale before, too.

But the complete film here seemed to show a slightly different cut to that with which I was familiar. Bits appear to have been spliced in to the above link at 56:59 and at 57:20 with, in each instance, Reed exhorting Crowe not just to kill but rather, in order to keep the crowd coming back, to "So entertain!".
They appear in the second clip at 0.13 and 0:35.

Indeed, as you may see in that clip, Reed actually says nothing to Crowe.
At about 21:20 I saw that, at almost the precise moment when "Spaniard" was asking the crowd whether they were entertained an e mail had come in from London Real. It was headed

´are you not entertained?´
and was about the forthcoming week´s content on the London Real series of interviews by Brian Rose.
Towards the bottome of the page were those same words and a still of Russell Crowe in the very scene which I had been watching as the e mail arrived.

Reed, of course, essentially drank himself to death at a bar in Valetta, Malta, during the very making of this film.
A further merging of the themes of killing and entertainment, perhaps!?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

(280) Parsifal and the magic of the quest for The Holy Grail

Circa 0:30 a.m. on December 18th 2014 I was continuing to view some clips from interviews with the late Robin Williams.
I had, just a few minutes earlier, heard Mind Games by John Lennon playing from my son´s room. -

At 1:12 there are the lyrics -

Some kind of Druid dudes lifting the vail
Doing the  mind guerilla
Some call it magic, the search for the grail

Then I watched Williams´ appearance with Oprah from 1991. I noted something which prompted me to attempt to alter the list of points given in the synopsis of and also alter Point (57) within the narrative itself.  -

(57) I note that in Terry Gilliam´s 1991 film The Fisher King, Robin Williams plays the part of a man called ´Parry´ - a diminutive form of Parsifal  (See 6.20 mins into - and he claims that he has glimpsed a photograph of The Holy Grail which he must seek in a FEBRUARY 1988 edition of a magazine, i.e. the same date it all irrupted into my life. -

In each instance I was merely adding the Youtube link to the point in The Fisher King where the significance of his adopted name is given.
In the midst of so doing I mistakenly jogged the laptop and switched it off. I restarted the computer and this somehow activated the above link to her show right from the start. That generated, at 1:32, a clip to Williams as ´Parry´, responding to Bridges´ dissing of the very concept of a grail quest and describing Parry as a nutcase, or "only partly insane" who could get a normal job.
Williams responds that he has a normal job: his quest for the Holy Grail.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

(279) Lyuboyevic Vs Karpov, Linares 1981

On the evening of December 15th 2014 I turned to . Here I searched for the games of Mikhail Tal from his astounding victory at the Jurmala Interzonal of 1979.

But before doing that I, for some intangible reason, found myself drawn to the games between Anatoly Karpov and Jonathan Speelman and later between Karpov and Lyubomir Lyuboyevic.

I played through some forty or fifty of these games from those three selections. I saw a game from Linares 1981 where Lyuboyevic playing white had been gradually and progressively worn down by Karpov. I had seen this celebrated ending annotated before in a book on endings, but I do not believe that I had ever before played through all of the moves of this game.

About four hours later I turned to Facebook and saw that some four hours previous a friend, Bogdan Lalic, had placed on his wall a position I recognised from the minor piece ending which arose in this very game, although he had given neither the names of the players nor the venue and the date.

The challenge of BLACK to play and win is hardly a very difficult one. For there is really only the one plausible tactic. (1...Nxf4!) And that made it very difficult from the usual kind of position he would put up on his wall, where some I recognised as having been cribbed from A. Baburin´s daily newsletter, others were quite tricky and several had occured in the very games of Lalic himself.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

(278) Sceptic Michael Shermer´s Anomalous Events That Can Shake One’s Skepticism to the Core

Circa 18:40 on November 13th 2014 I was adding something to Michael Shermer´s Wikipedia entry.
This was some seven hours after I had posted this at my Facebook wall (somebody else having earlier posted it on Facebook) -

I added a line or two referring to the above article. I then tried to add a link to the article by adding it to those listed at the foot of the page. Mine was link 65. But it was not quite the same as the others and so I tried to alter it.
To my great surprise an announcement came up that somebody else had just then added that very link!

Their link was given as 44. Since there already was a link 44 I do not know if it replaced that link. Number 65 vanished whereas the line or two of text that I had added to the section headed Personal Life remained.
Within half an hour my appended lines vanished to be replaced by a brief sentence saying that on June 25th 2014 he had married a lady called Jennifer Graf. I added words similar to those I had given earlier.
Those too were later removed so I just put them back.
But those did not remain there for all that long so I stopped the replacements.
I also found it particularly odd that this link should have been simultaneously provided by two people a full two months after Shermer´s published article in Scientific American.