The Grand Narrative

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Vlaara, Aug 8, 2017.

  1. Vlaara

    Vlaara Maaruk the Mighty

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    Kanmuk, I know how draining conversations like this can be. So don't feel like you need to respond to anything I say, but be assured I will take you to task on anything you do say. We can just sit in the Nexus and have a polite discussion (or Plane of Knowledge if you prefer) or you can just go AFK as this board is the equivalent.

    I think I addressed this clearly enough, even if you abhor the term narrative, and meaning as descriptors, it nonetheless shapes your view of yourself and the world you find yourself in, and there is a framework inherent within that view. I don't see any way out of this for you other than to argue "semantics" as if that removed the problem we are up against here. I won't accept a dismissal of it, nor will I accept you repeating a nonsensical position as clarification. You of course can do whatever your energy and will to continue this argument allow, and I will not hold it against you.

    Agrul I'll check out some Kauffman, and see what I can find from googling and reading.

    To your first 3 bullets:

    I alluded to how one could potentially construct a non-nihilist view from the position espoused by a few of you here in the OP. Nietzsche's view basically. We are in agreement on uninvested nihilism.

    To the next set:

    1. It's not just semantics, nor is the framework I'm referring to contentless, that is completely unsatisfying and lazy. If I haven't made clear what I mean by narrative by now I can try again.

    2. I've tried to make sure that this is more about thinking about the concept of metanarrative, and using my own as the example to help clarify what that looks like. Also, to announce to the board a radical departure from my previously held positions.

    3. It's OK, no one cares about half the shit you say either. I don't think you should stop though.
     
  2. Agrul

    Agrul TZT Neckbeard Lord

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    0a. yah check out kauffman he's p cool. it would be best to read his books they're not super pricey. the most recent two talk the most about 'meaning' but his early ones on complexity science are some fascinating ass shit too and it is helpful to see how his work in the more groudned science weaves into & helps birth some of his ideas about meaning edit: also by training he is a biologist & philosopher so u + ssalam should get along him w/ him. also he taught himself quantum physics and does a lot of hardcore computing. basically he's a solid af poly&philomath

    0b. if u want a 2nd opinion on kauffman from someone else who has read him ask ad what he thought of his stuff as i think i convinced him to read at least some of his sciency computational stuff but if he says kauffman was bad then fuck ad + ignore him and let me know so i can get him banned

    1a. i am not tryin gto insist ur just playing semantic games, just saying it comes off that way at times; it is an easy problem to fall into when u define something very genreal, especially if u do so in prose, & it is the sort've obvious suspicion a critic will develop when u respond to them saying 'well i dont have an X' by saying 'not having an X is also an X.' in terms of prose maybe the best way toaddress this kind of concern & clarify would be for u to do something like give a list of varied examples indicating alternatives to 'having a narrative'. what would a world and/or person without a narrative in your sense look like? by giving some examples of that u can make clear to me + my army of make-believe critics of ur work what it is ur rejecting and so establish that ur idea is not just a word game

    1b. i actually like semantic wordgames a lot + have great respect for them sometimes. the entire edifice of modern mathematics is basically just the most complicated and important wordgame anyone's ever played

    2. ok

    3. actually every1 here hangs on my ever yword it's why the board is positively thriving now w/ me posting so much
     
  3. Vlaara

    Vlaara Maaruk the Mighty

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    OO. I'll definitely check him out then, bet the local used bookstore has books by him. We have a rly good one I love going to, it's called Title Wave.

    A) I've been ruminating on how you could structure some kind of explanation without some sort of narrative inherent. I'm fairly sure I understand what the distinction is in saying there isn't some large grand narrative in the sense of a narrative with a purpose and end goal, and don't disagree but from my position there is a narrative inherent in that. It might just have to do with the way we structure information as humans, idk. I'll think on it some more and see if I can come up with an answer to that question which I was honestly hoping Kanmuk would be able to answer since I can't come up with anything.

    B) It can be frustrating.

    2. cool

    3. hanging on every word, impaled like a olive on a toothpick maybe
     
  4. Agrul

    Agrul TZT Neckbeard Lord

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    A)

    i)
    identifying what doesnt have a narrative doenst have to be about ppl necessarily i dont think. does a plain old rock or the dust floating through space possess a narrative? if not, why / what differentiates them from people that have narratives?
    ii) as pertains to people, the rules can be changed; maybe all people in this universe have ur kind of a narrative but in some hypothetical alternative universe ppl could exist without a narrative. is that so? if so, how/why?
    iii) i guess even if literally every possible thing has a narrative there could be some value to reframing how to think about each thing via this particular lens, but that would not have immediate content in the scientific sense

    B) i find it almost always is

    2. [​IMG]

    3. lol. that was pretty witty + i should probably take that to heart
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017
  5. Kanmuk_Sealclubber

    Kanmuk_Sealclubber Yes

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    The sun is a sphere of plasma (ignore everything else about the solar system).

    This is:

    A) a perceived fact/belief

    B) a "story" about what the sun is (or both)
     
  6. Sear

    Sear TZT Neckbeard Lord

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    Just agree to disagree. It's fine. Kanmuk is an atheist, you're a theist. The debate of whether religion causes more harm than good to society is an old chestnut. I doubt you guys are going to meet in the middle on this one.

    Using the term "narrative" did throw me off initially, and it took me a bit reading your posts to realize that it was interchangeable with "religious belief". This is something I'd be careful with if I was going public with this sort of thing, because you don't want to be giving a sales pitch that is cleverly disguised (until it's not).
     
  7. Vlaara

    Vlaara Maaruk the Mighty

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    Uh no I just used my belief as an example, and in the same post provided an example of a non religious narrative.
     
  8. Vlaara

    Vlaara Maaruk the Mighty

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    Posting on my phone is annoying. I also don't like the inability to preview post.

    If those were my only options I would say B. Both.

    I was thinking along similar lines to try and describe things without a framework - I think at some point you end up having to deny that there is an underlying structure to reality (no matter your beliefs as to how that came about) and you still suffer from not* being able to answer questions (or denying them as valid questions) about reality in general.

    The nihilist sitcom (in which we deny that narrative is a meaningful description, and further that meaning is a completely subjective experience based on equally meaningless experiences) where everything is meaningless and has no analogue or precedent. And this means nothing more than that (but that's not a narrative either!)

    I wonder do you think conceding this point will be ceding ground to my personal beliefs? My personal beliefs are mine and I don't care to change what yours are.

    My hope is to foster a more general awareness of ourselves and the things that make us tick and this one has been rather meaningful and illuminating to me.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017
  9. AgelessDrifter

    AgelessDrifter TZT Neckbeard Lord

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    Thread Contribution the First, or, Stuart Kauffman and What AD Thinks of Him

    I only read At Home in the Universe. I liked the informational content but I didn't find anything of a spiritual nature that was in there particularly compelling. Still a very interesting read

    Thread Contribution the Second, or, A Profound Reflection on the Ephemerality of Time and Postcounts

    +1 postcount
     
  10. Hakahairball

    Hakahairball Still NPCF

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    I am more of a Deist in my terms of belief and thinking. There is a higher power...call him/her/it God. God set in motion the events that created the universe, then stepped back and let it go from there. When it comes to human history, God was an interventionalist during the Old Testament times, but basically sent Jesus to say, "Its up to you now."

    In most religions that I have studied, there has been a time of intervention on behalf of the deities in human affairs, then a time where they stepped back and let humanity start handling it themselves. It wasn't really until the Enlightened period that we truly became aware of our being "alone" here on this world, and the possibility that there may not be anything for us after we die. Cultures used to celebrate death as part of life, now we try to avoid it like the plague. We turn to our new master, Science, to try to give us the answer for the meaning for our existence, to prolong our lives, to give us something beyond death. In the end, we still try to find meaning for ourselves, and look for ways to preserve that meaning, whether it be through religion, science, or philosophy.
     
  11. Vlaara

    Vlaara Maaruk the Mighty

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  12. Vlaara

    Vlaara Maaruk the Mighty

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    There's another example for some of you who are exceptionally skeptical and mistrusting of anything that comes from a Christian's mouth, or brain via fingers as it were.

    Also +1 postcount.

    I still haven't gotten to the bookstore to check out said book, but I will. Thank you for your post Haka...

    upload_2017-8-14_10-37-28.png

    upload_2017-8-14_10-37-54.png ...

    upload_2017-8-14_10-38-16.png ...

    upload_2017-8-14_10-39-35.png
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2017
  13. Vlaara

    Vlaara Maaruk the Mighty

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    Sorry I think I was projecting Sear's weird conclusion with you there.
     
  14. Sear

    Sear TZT Neckbeard Lord

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    What weird conclusion?
     
  15. Vlaara

    Vlaara Maaruk the Mighty

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    That I was sneakily trying to make you believe in God?
     
  16. Sear

    Sear TZT Neckbeard Lord

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    I don't think you were. I just think it could come across that way if you insist on using a term ("narrative") out of ordinary context in discussing it. It will just lead to misunderstanding unless you're talking to someone who is familiar with that book. A narrative is just a story to most people.
     
  17. Sear

    Sear TZT Neckbeard Lord

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    also, I realize you did explain the context of how you're using the term, but I think when you ask something like

    it implies that whoever you're talking to has bought in to the concept

    if an evangelist asks you "what is your role in God's Plan?", you have to back things up a bit and politely point out that you don't believe in the concept of God (much less his Plan)
     
  18. Vlaara

    Vlaara Maaruk the Mighty

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    OK.

    I didn't feel like Lyotard was broadening the definition at all, he was broadening the scope with which people normally apply it to I guess. Historical narratives, universal narratives, these are all things that are common among many peoples and many cultures. Lyotard was saying that all the old narratives are dead iirc (I'm gonna find the book and look today, but it's not visible from my desk so I think it's still packed) so the Christian creation story or the Cheonjiwang Bonpuri had lost their explanatory power so to speak. Reiterating here, but he was saying it was the meta-narrative that legitimized knowledge, meaning what sort of knowledge is acceptable. If you believe in God, then saying God created the earth is acceptable. So your beliefs in whatever you think is going on here with this existence dictates what sorts of things you will find acceptable as knowledge.

    Now you may disagree with Lyotard, or in the case of Kanmuk lazily disagree to try and cast doubt in the legitimacy of the concept without providing any sort of remotely satisfying reasons then bowing out, but I agree with the concept of the meta-narrative. I didn't see any obvious way you could structure any sort of plausible explanation for reality without a narrative so I speak in such a way that it presumes this to be correct. If you think you can do a better job than "the nihilist sitcom with a single data point" explanation I would be happy to entertain it but I don't think you will be able to, and here is why:

    From googling: Narrative's base word is narro, which means "to make known." Narrare is the present active infinitive of narro, and so to narrate means something like "to make known through a story or description of events". This definition is sufficiently broad to encompass what has been offered thus far as narratives, despite what you personally think of as a narrative. In other words you could think of a narrative as a way to structure data to make sense of it, so far the opposition has been "there is no structure" which ignores reality, there is a structure. "Why is there a structure" is a more meaningful way to disagree, I am however willing to concede there may be an explanation I can't see from my vantage point.
     
  19. Sear

    Sear TZT Neckbeard Lord

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    I agree that Kanmuk should finish his duel. KANMUK COME BACK HERE I DON'T CARE IF YOU'RE LEVEL 50 AND HAVE BETTER THINGS TO DO.

    I can agree w/ the "absence/rejection of beliefs is a belief" logic, although even that hinges on individual interpretation. Most of this is semantical.

    I can also agree that everything in existence has some "narrative" accounting for the fact that it exists, but I don't think it implies any meaning or explanation beyond that.

    The point we get stuck on is determining whether this all ties to some greater meaning/narrative/whatever. That is pure speculation, so "we are a byproduct of random chance without any greater purpose" is as legitimate as anything else to me. I assert nothing here because I can't know for sure. That applies to both atheists who insist that life has no meaning and theists who insist that it does. I think they're equally [un]likely from my vantage point on the middle of the agnostic fence.


    "teh truth is in the midal"
    -Grandasaur Egg
     
  20. Vlaara

    Vlaara Maaruk the Mighty

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    At no point do I deny the legitimacy of the nihilist position and it's ability to explain the world we find ourselves in, but I am denying that it is itself not a narrative by definition. I addressed the semantics part sufficiently I think WRT to the definition of narrative, and I conceded the points made without abandoning my position. Of course near as I can tell, the position is claiming to not have a position, all the while standing right in plain sight. Like an ostrich with it's head in the sand.