Author Topic: Awareness of Environment  (Read 140 times)

Ecurb Noselrub

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Awareness of Environment
« on: August 05, 2017, 11:35:24 AM »
Didn’t know what to title this thread or where to put it, but since it sort of deals with mental processes I decided to put it here.  No objection if someone moves it.

For some reason I began to think about all the things around us that directly affect us, sometimes significantly, and we are either unaware of them totally or our knowledge of them is significantly limited.  Start big - our ignorance of the laws of nature/physics is enormous, unless you are a physicist, and even then there is limited knowledge. The public is controlled by these laws and forces and knows almost nothing about them. Bring it down to our daily lives.  The way various governmental, economic and commercial systems work is a mystery to most.  We know the government taxes us and does something with that money, that somehow there is money out there that we get to put in banks, that there are all kinds of trucks and trains and planes and boats going around carrying stuff.  But the details of these systems is a black box to most. We flip a switch and the light comes on.  Do you know how that works?  We get on the computer and communicate, get information, and do research.  How does the digital world function? Now bring it right down to your lunch.  We know that when we eat we have energy and when we don’t we don’t, but most people are totally ignorant of the Krebs Cycle, of how that food becomes energy.

One major key to survival is knowledge of one’s environment. While some of us may know a good bit or even a lot about some of the above systems, my suspicion is that the vast majority of folks don’t have a clue as to how most of their environment actually works.  This, it seems to me, leaves them vulnerable to being controlled/manipulated by unscrupulous people or deadly forces.  Even just focusing on the specific systems that directly affect you personally would, it seems, vastly improve your survivability and your quality of life.  I suppose this is just the same as saying that smart people do better than stupid people, but I’m specifically focusing on your personal environment.  If a system doesn’t affect you, it’s not that relevant to your life.  How the rice irrigation systems in China function may be interesting, but it’s not my environment.

I’d appreciate your thoughts on the issue of awareness of one’s environment.  Seems to me like a lot of people sort of go though life on autopilot, bumping off this and being propelled by that without really understanding the processes at work.


Dave

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Re: Awareness of Environment
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2017, 12:16:04 PM »
Interesting subject, Bruce, and one that is as wide as the whole Universe in some ways! But, ignoring gamma ir w-rsy bursters and the like, even ignoring the subtle (as a sledge hammer) play of international geo-politics and economics . . . and getting down to everyday life, most people think more often about the physical and psychological comfort of themselves, and those close to them, than anything else I feel. Politics are mainly considered in terms of how they affect us personally, basically, "Will I have more or less money available if X or Y get in?" Given enough cash income to be comfortable we can start looking further out, worrying a little about others maybe.

But below that there are the more personal layers of awareness. Those abused as small children may not even remember details of those events but they may "prepare" the mind to be ultra-aware for the rest of their lives, never sleeping deeply, never quite trusting others, being very analytical and on a hair trigger in certain emotional circumstances. Sometimes that works for the good, they may be very aware of road situations, making good drivers (if they have good temper control). They can navigate a crowd easily, because they are aware of just about every person, their vector and velocity, within 50 steps on a 45o arc of path, they can plot a course 30 steps ahead with ease - and still dodge the sudden direction changer or the guy who comes from behind and cuts in front! But, the important thing is that do this consciously, even if it has become an obsessive lifetime habit.

They might also nake good editors and proof readers, that analytical eye for detail and meaning again, even if it stems from a deep mistrust. They can be quite empathetic, but may not choose to employ that side if their nature if they are also introspective. But, it can also make for understanding therapists, teachers and mentors if they are stable enough.

We are that confusing mixture of genetic inheritance plus enviromental - including emotional - factors. Life's actual experience steers the "inherited" personality, then adjusts the persona.





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xSilverPhinx

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Re: Awareness of Environment
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2017, 12:51:22 PM »
Yes, interesting topic. :smilenod:

For some reason I began to think about all the things around us that directly affect us, sometimes significantly, and we are either unaware of them totally or our knowledge of them is significantly limited.  Start big - our ignorance of the laws of nature/physics is enormous, unless you are a physicist, and even then there is limited knowledge. The public is controlled by these laws and forces and knows almost nothing about them. Bring it down to our daily lives.  The way various governmental, economic and commercial systems work is a mystery to most.  We know the government taxes us and does something with that money, that somehow there is money out there that we get to put in banks, that there are all kinds of trucks and trains and planes and boats going around carrying stuff.  But the details of these systems is a black box to most. We flip a switch and the light comes on.  Do you know how that works?  We get on the computer and communicate, get information, and do research.  How does the digital world function? Now bring it right down to your lunch.  We know that when we eat we have energy and when we don’t we don’t, but most people are totally ignorant of the Krebs Cycle, of how that food becomes energy.

IMO that's why literacy in as many topics is important for the modern human -- scientific being just one of them and even so the scope is huge. How can somebody have an informed opinion or make an adequate decision if they know null about the subject? It's not as dangerous as thinking you know anything about a topic when in reality you don't.

(Thinking of Mr Dump and his stance on climate change, among other things). 

Quote
One major key to survival is knowledge of one’s environment. While some of us may know a good bit or even a lot about some of the above systems, my suspicion is that the vast majority of folks don’t have a clue as to how most of their environment actually works.  This, it seems to me, leaves them vulnerable to being controlled/manipulated by unscrupulous people or deadly forces.  Even just focusing on the specific systems that directly affect you personally would, it seems, vastly improve your survivability and your quality of life.  I suppose this is just the same as saying that smart people do better than stupid people, but I’m specifically focusing on your personal environment.  If a system doesn’t affect you, it’s not that relevant to your life.  How the rice irrigation systems in China function may be interesting, but it’s not my environment.

"One major key to survival is knowledge of one’s environment."

Yes, but I think it's essential to remember that we didn't evolve in an environment that resembles the modern world. I think our situational awareness hasn't caught up yet to the vast amount of information available (which is growing exponentially) even if it does have to do with our day-to-day lives. Hunter-gatherers knew how to track their prey through the wilderness. Primitive humans who had settled into agricultural societies knew how to "read" the stars to know when to sow or harvest their crops. Early civilisations possibly had the need for basic maths and reading/writing skills so that a centralised government could collect taxes and maintain societal infrastructure. But these all evolved at a snails pace compared to the break neck speed the global society accumulates knowledge and finds ways to turn that knowledge into useful everyday commodities.

I question why schools don't teach relevant topics such as coding. Mine didn't, and I went to a good school. I think it boils down to that, our educational systems. Most are palaeolithic in their methodologies, even if the textbooks they use are about 5 or more years behind. We're  still debating whether it's evolution or creationism and what should be taught in schools, among other absurdities that defy good sense. You have people conning others into buying 'cures' for a variety of infirmities based on wacky pseudoscience.

It seems in this day and age what matters most is not knowledge, but opinions on how the world works, and we all know how wrong those can be.
I'm just a student of the game that they taught me.


Dave

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Re: Awareness of Environment
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2017, 01:12:01 PM »
Quote
It seems in this day and age what matters most is not knowledge, but opinions on how the world works, and we all know how wrong those can be.

I suppose it is pedantic, Silver, but I would say that opinions have the most influence, and influence, overt or covert, is power. Trouble is it is those with the deepest pockets and loudest mouths, not the greatest knowledge or wisdom, that grab the influence, be they kings, presidents or business moguls. Trump thinks he is all three.
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xSilverPhinx

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Re: Awareness of Environment
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2017, 01:21:30 PM »
Quote
It seems in this day and age what matters most is not knowledge, but opinions on how the world works, and we all know how wrong those can be.

I suppose it is pedantic, Silver, but I would say that opinions have the most influence, and influence, overt or covert, is power. Trouble is it is those with the deepest pockets and loudest mouths, not the greatest knowledge or wisdom, that grab the influence, be they kings, presidents or business moguls. Trump thinks he is all three.

The amount of confidence one has goes a long way in influencing others, and Dump has loads of that. Scientists, on the other hand, tend to be less confident then a person who is so sure they know something, since science is falsifiable and hypotheses and theories can be invalidated overnight. People want to hear certainties, not 'maybes' and 'we have substantial reason to believe that...'

So yeah, humanity is basically screwed unless quite a few wake up.
I'm just a student of the game that they taught me.


Dave

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Re: Awareness of Environment
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2017, 01:30:49 PM »
Quote
It seems in this day and age what matters most is not knowledge, but opinions on how the world works, and we all know how wrong those can be.

I suppose it is pedantic, Silver, but I would say that opinions have the most influence, and influence, overt or covert, is power. Trouble is it is those with the deepest pockets and loudest mouths, not the greatest knowledge or wisdom, that grab the influence, be they kings, presidents or business moguls. Trump thinks he is all three.

The amount of confidence one has goes a long way in influencing others, and Dump has loads of that. Scientists, on the other hand, tend to be less confident then a person who is so sure they know something, since science is falsifiable and hypotheses and theories can be invalidated overnight. People want to hear certainties, not 'maybes' and 'we have substantial reason to believe that...'

So yeah, humanity is basically screwed unless quite a few wake up.

Yup, grant you that, though I am more inclined to think words like "front" rather than "confidence" for Trump and all of his ilk. It is the ability to make bald lies in an "honest" seeming manner. Pure acting! And/or self delusion.

Yes, scientists are mostly honest and can mostly only offer possibilities, cake tomorrow, when we now live in the "CAKE NOW"! generation.
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xSilverPhinx

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Re: Awareness of Environment
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2017, 02:03:15 PM »
Yup, grant you that, though I am more inclined to think words like "front" rather than "confidence" for Trump and all of his ilk. It is the ability to make bald lies in an "honest" seeming manner. Pure acting! And/or self delusion.

Yes, scientists are mostly honest and can mostly only offer possibilities, cake tomorrow, when we now live in the "CAKE NOW"! generation.

Yes, all you need to do is convincingly seem more confident than your adversary and people tend to value your opinion over others, especially if they are ignorant on the subject.
I'm just a student of the game that they taught me.


Dave

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Re: Awareness of Environment
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2017, 08:27:23 PM »
Yup, grant you that, though I am more inclined to think words like "front" rather than "confidence" for Trump and all of his ilk. It is the ability to make bald lies in an "honest" seeming manner. Pure acting! And/or self delusion.

Yes, scientists are mostly honest and can mostly only offer possibilities, cake tomorrow, when we now live in the "CAKE NOW"! generation.

Yes, all you need to do is convincingly seem more confident than your adversary and people tend to value your opinion over others, especially if they are ignorant on the subject.

I hate that video where Ponce is banging on about creation and evolution. As you say, his confidence in his own words, despite the utter shit I know them to be, is very magnetic. He sounds so honest! He wants you to beleive him and it comes over. In contrast many athrist and humanist speakers I have heard are merely "offering" me their thoughts, making it my choice as to whether or not I accept them.

But that is the difference between active evangelism/prosetylising and the more passive offering of freedom of choice. Unfortunately the former often has more effect amongst those unable or unwilling to think things out for themselves.
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Re: Awareness of Environment
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2017, 09:21:00 PM »
Yup, grant you that, though I am more inclined to think words like "front" rather than "confidence" for Trump and all of his ilk. It is the ability to make bald lies in an "honest" seeming manner. Pure acting! And/or self delusion.

Yes, scientists are mostly honest and can mostly only offer possibilities, cake tomorrow, when we now live in the "CAKE NOW"! generation.

Yes, all you need to do is convincingly seem more confident than your adversary and people tend to value your opinion over others, especially if they are ignorant on the subject.

I hate that video where Ponce is banging on about creation and evolution. As you say, his confidence in his own words, despite the utter shit I know them to be, is very magnetic. He sounds so honest! He wants you to beleive him and it comes over. In contrast many athrist and humanist speakers I have heard are merely "offering" me their thoughts, making it my choice as to whether or not I accept them.

But that is the difference between active evangelism/prosetylising and the more passive offering of freedom of choice. Unfortunately the former often has more effect amongst those unable or unwilling to think things out for themselves.

How dare you ask me to decide for myself!!!
But, uh...well there it is.
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Asmodean

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Re: Awareness of Environment
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2017, 03:24:54 AM »
Hmm... Priorities, I think.

Some people are better than others at mental multitasking, and sacrificing some awareness to free up enough processing power to fantasize about what's for dinner in a more satisfactory way... I can see how prioritizing that way is not uncommon.

Most of us in the "civilized" world have barely ever had to deal with our environments being overall hostile. It stands to reason that in such circumstances, we sacrifice a certain degree of awareness in order to prioritize those thought processes, which someone who does live in a hostile environment (Abuse, war, famine, extreme crime, constant threat of sudden death, etc) would classify as trivial, secondary concerns.

Actually, what I'm saying here is not unlike what xSilverPhinx already said, so I'll give up here with one final word of wisdom:

Velocity is a vector.
In Asmo's grey lump,
wrath and dark clouds gather force.
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Dave

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Re: Awareness of Environment
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2017, 03:59:09 AM »
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Velocity is a vector.

Yeah, OK, Oh Grey Lump! Long time since I did or used vector calculations ir even terminology - not that I was much good at maths anyway!. "Path, course or track and speed" ?  However, I can usually estimate speed, motion and future position intuitively with some accuracy. Ditto forces, in terms of relative size and direction, and stresses in physical frameworks. Could not give you numbers but can usually "see" if it will stand or fail.
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Asmodean

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Re: Awareness of Environment
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2017, 04:35:18 AM »
Speed is simply a function of distance over time (dS/dt) for example, 15m/s

Velocity contains a vector component, that is, it is a function of distance over time with regard to a specific frame of reference. For example, 15 m/s North-Northeast

So velocity is vector and speed.  :)
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wrath and dark clouds gather force.
Luxembourg trembles.