[FRIAM] death

Steven A Smith sasmyth at swcp.com
Thu Nov 2 13:21:17 EDT 2017

Glen ☣ -

This is a very /sophist/icated argument YOU make.  *I* can't tell, 
however if *YOU* believe it, at least right this instant... perhaps 
*YOU* believed it when you wrote it, but does that belief persist from 
the former now to the current now?

Smart-asserry aside... Trying to take your point for what it is intended 
(or useful for?)...   I believe that "atomicity" and "identity" in both 
space and time are simultaneously deep illusions and highly utilitarian, 
at least in the service of the is "illusory self" that appears to have 
memory, intention, and will to action.   With that in mind:

I am about to go to my boneyard and search for two specific concrete 
blocks which I remember to have put there when I took the large 
woodstove out of my sunroom, and trust they are still there (or wherever 
I actually put them) and that when I find them and brush off any 
accumulated detritus and load them on my garden cart, I can haul them 
back to my house where I will use them in the same mode as I did last 
year, only in a different location. This all depends on a strong 
illusion of my "self", on the objectness of said blocks and woodstove 
and garden cart, and a continuity of "self" roughly ranging back to the 
time when I dismantled to the present as I plan and scheme to the future 
when, in fact, I am pretty confident I will find the woodstove perched 
on top of those very same blocks again.   Of course, I may change plans 
mid-course if I find another set of blocks with more appropriate or 
promising qualities for the purpose..

- Stove

On 11/2/17 10:26 AM, gⅼеɳ ☣ wrote:
> Yes, you're right to classify the illusion of self along with Smith's preemptive registration, more insidious, I think, than premature registration.  Identifying an object as atomic lies at the heart of a lot of our problems.  We could just as easily call it a discretization artifact.  Here, the "continuous fluid self" shines the light on the fact that discretization problems arise in both time and space.  Unless you're willing to admit that, for example, your ancestors from 10 generations ago and 10 generations hence are *also* part of your self, then you've got to discretize "self" in time.  And unless you're willing to allow some anonymous African or Alpha Centaurian to also be part of your self, then you've got to discretize in space.
> Such discretization is a great method *if* you've got a well-formed set of use cases to engineer toward.  But most conversations where "self" is bandied about willy nilly, a) the use cases aren't particular cases, at all, they're more like usage patterns, if they're well-formed at all, and b) conversations tend to wander and "self" under one usage pattern is magically translated into another usage pattern, making the whole conversation into nonsense.
> So, practicality demands we abandon the stupid word "self" entirely.  If you want to extend that practicality into your metaphysics, then so be it.  But the metaphysics is irrelevant because practically, there is no self.
> On 10/30/2017 07:42 PM, Steven A Smith wrote:
>> I'm curious about your reference to "the temporally extended self".   If it isn't *real* it certainly is a very strong illusion that my *instantaneous self* often indulges in.   Flow states, peak awareness, enlightenment, etc.  all DO seem to point or trend toward "being in the instant"... but nevertheless, there is also a persistent illusion of  a continuous fluid self that IS temporally extended.   In fact, by the some measure, it would seem that is the very definition of Objectness which I believe Selfness inherits from.  Perhaps Brian Cantwell Smith has had something to say about all of this?  It has been decades since I read him... maybe I can find my copy of "Origin of Objects"?  Or maybe it is just a faulty memory of an illusory temporally extended self?

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