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Reality check:Superhuman
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Kadius
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Posted: 7/29/2004 4:49:07 PM     Post subject: Reality check:Superhuman  

What is human? What is 'more than human'? What is real and what is smoke and mirrors? Or just plain lies?

It's well known that furries live in a fantasy world, delusions of being an animal trapped in a human body. Or being superior to others, for no real reason. Some people believe they're a reincarnation of Napoleon, for example. While others claim to be able to see/speak to ghosts/spirits, even animals. And there's the ever controversial god/afterlife. Maybe they're psychic and can read your mind, or telekenetic and can move things. Perhaps see the future, or be able to touch something and tell you something about the owner. Or maybe they know magic and they're going to curse you. In the end, I've concluded most of this is completely deluded bullshit. It's people either trying to one up eachother, crazy or zealots who just 'know' what they believe is true.

The reason I bring all of this up, is that many furries actually believe some of these things. Haven't you ever noticed many furries claim to know 'magic'? Or they see the future?

Some examples of such people:
i wish to know how to use the telekenetic abilities which, supposedly, are already in me. i also want to learn remote viewing. i am from oregon and if you can help me, id be extremely grateful.


<...> I call myself a gifted when what I really mean is a collection of many talents. I'm an empath, a telepath, a precog, as well as a few other things. My most prodominant ability is to look at any person whether I know them or not, and see their soul, their innate nature, the truth of them.<...>

Oh, and did you know there's a wiccan furry mailing list?

Let's examine the average person. They're probably a bit overweight, lead dull lives, reproduce, have an average job, and die. They don't have above average speed/strength, combat abilities, intelligence, psychic abilities or strong beliefs, they're average or below. And they most certainly can't shoot fireballs or fly .

There's only two true ways to be 'superhuman' or above average in my book.

1.) Killing/Fighting ability. This might sound awful, but let's face it, humans are violent creatures with a long history of war and cruelty. We love to kill, it makes people stop bitching and gets us things. *coughoilandlandcoughwomencough* It's a primal urge, bash in Ug's head, take his land, food and women. Hell, it's nature.

Warriors of old, martial artists and other professional fighters are prime examples*. You must have the strength, speed and skill. They deserve respect from most of our pansy asses. This type of person isn't as prominent as they used to be. People usually grow out of their adolecent desire to fight. The fact that physical conflict is now looked down upon also leads to more complacent, 'normal' people. Also take note, anyone can kill a martial artist if they have a gun, proper distance and the gift of sight. 'The great equalizer' indeed.

*I'm not going to mention world leaders of those using modern weapons because there's nothing 'super' about them.

2.) Your mind. This one is the more prevalent in today's society because it's the only that 'really matters' in a capitalist, policed society. Being a quick learner, quick witted, a fast problem solver, creativity, having a good memory, the ability to withstand torture without breaking, not giving in to urges like an animal, being calm under pressure and a strong will all fall into this category. I essence, if you have a strong mind, you will go far in the world.

Examples are businessmen, inventors, artists, scientists, world leaders, 'philosophers' and 'geniuses'.

---

Most everything else is complete fiction and lies. I left out anything about physical appearance on purpose, it is true that some people are ugly and some are beautiful. But in the end, we're all still dirty sacks of crap. There's nothing magical about us. :mrgreen:

All that being said, I return to my original purpose for this little rant. What of all the outlandish things people claim do you actually believe? And what is 'more than human' or 'above average' to you? Is there any evidence to prove any of this?

And I'm through. I'm probably going to regret this whole thing immensely
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ZenZhu
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Posted: 7/29/2004 6:35:03 PM     Post subject:  

I certainly don't discount the possibility that things beyond our perception exist. I think it's possible that there are genuine encounters with ghosts and cases of ESP and such. But, I don't think it's as prevalent as some folks would have you believe.

In the case of spells as are so popular among modern "witches," Wiccans, and the like, I don't think there's much foundation for that. Some things, especially in historical accounts of "witchcraft" are, more likely, the results of herbology and stuff....after all, the idea that a mold could cure some ailments would have been considered witchcraft at one point in history. But, these kids today putting curses on some cheerleader because they wouldn't let them in their clique or such is just self-deluding crap. If anything, the effects of "spells" in folks that believe in them are probably largely psychosomatic. The goth chick "cursed" you and now, because you're not too sure that kind of thing doesn't exist, your mind is making you think you really are having worse luck than usual, or that you pulled your hamstring playing hoops as a result of that.

In the case of ESP, it's not impossible, but I find it more likely that our "sixth sense" is really just a culmination of things from our 5 senses that our mind extrapolates info from in a way that we don't fully perceive it. If you duck just as someone almost whacks you with a broom by accident.. it's not necessarily precognition. Maybe your ears just barely heard it arc through the air.. your skin felt the slight bit of movement in the air.. your eyes registered a shift in light, or caught the reflection of the person in a doorknob or something...... those little things that we don't fully recognize compile together in a way our brain registers at an instinctual level.

I have had one case where I had events I perceived in a dream play out a couple of months later. This is from my perception, though. In the same way that a case of deja vu might be a "skip" in the Matrix, it might be a "skip" in our brains, telling us that what we are experiencing has been experienced somehow before.. when, really, your mind just jumped like the needle on a record from the past few moments to now, making it seem like a recurring event.

Anyway, I think there are rational explanations for a lot of the supernatural things in our lives. I'm not beyond thinking that some things are possible, however. For all of the new agey stuff that's popular right now, though, I think it's mostly folks convincing themselves they have supernatural abilities to spice up their humdrum lives or give themselves a sense of false empowerment.

I'll never forget the girl in my Geology 101 lab class that got upset because I marked one of her questions wrong. A mineral has to meet 4 criteria... naturally occurring, crystalline structure, inorganic, and homogeneous. She had put that it was organic. When I said that was wrong, she said "What about stuff like quartz that has magical properties?"

I just laughed and told her, first, magic does not mean organic and, second, this class didn't recognize the presence of magical properties. (That was the diplomatic way of saying that's horseshit.)
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Khroan
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Posted: 7/29/2004 7:10:21 PM     Post subject:  

Basically, they just do it so that everyone thinks that they are SPESHUL without actually doing anything to earn respect.
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eatenmyeyes
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Posted: 7/29/2004 10:18:43 PM     Post subject:  

Watchmen Ahoy!

Strictly speaking, if a person knew the position and velocity of every particle in the universe and could evaluate this data while accounting for the effects of quanta, they could know everything about the past, present and future. With enough precision (sub-atomic) and energy, seemingly impossible feats can be accomplished (teleportation, telekinesis, ect.).

That is roughly what Doctor Manhattan can do.

For those of us in the real world, Adrian Veidt is the best we can get.
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Skunkfuckers Inc.
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Posted: 7/29/2004 10:47:39 PM     Post subject:  

Watchmen Ahoy!

Strictly speaking, if a person knew the position and velocity of every particle in the universe and could evaluate this data while accounting for the effects of quanta, they could know everything about the past, present and future. With enough precision (sub-atomic) and energy, seemingly impossible feats can be accomplished (teleportation, telekinesis, ect.).

That is roughly what Doctor Manhattan can do.

And yet, he couldn't do a thing to change his own destiny. Knowing all of this, being a god, and yet in many ways he was totaly impotent.
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Dogthing
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Posted: 7/30/2004 12:29:57 AM     Post subject:  

I just laughed and told her, first, magic does not mean organic and, second, this class didn't recognize the presence of magical properties. (That was the diplomatic way of saying that's horseshit.)


What you should've done is just slap the fucking shit out of her and told her to get out of your goddamn class.
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Kadius
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Posted: 7/30/2004 1:09:28 AM     Post subject:  

I just laughed and told her, first, magic does not mean organic and, second, this class didn't recognize the presence of magical properties. (That was the diplomatic way of saying that's horseshit.)


What you should've done is just slap the fucking shit out of her and told her to get out of your goddamn class.


Now now, our arms would fall off if we just let every idiot have it like that. Besides, we all know quartz is really what aliens use to fuel their spaceships.
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eatenmyeyes
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Posted: 7/30/2004 4:23:34 AM     Post subject:  


And yet, he couldn't do a thing to change his own destiny. Knowing all of this, being a god, and yet in many ways he was totaly impotent.


Quite the opposite; he merely new what had to happen and acted accordingly. I found it somewhat analogous to The Last Temptation of Christ.
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Skunkfuckers Inc.
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Posted: 7/30/2004 1:38:59 PM     Post subject:  

Goddamnit, I'm stupid... I missed ZenZhu's entire post while overexuberantly skipping past Kadius' first post.

I'll never forget the girl in my Geology 101 lab class that got upset because I marked one of her questions wrong. A mineral has to meet 4 criteria... naturally occurring, crystalline structure, inorganic, and homogeneous. She had put that it was organic. When I said that was wrong, she said "What about stuff like quartz that has magical properties?"

This is why I hate people.
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Quantum Coyote
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Posted: 7/30/2004 2:08:41 PM     Post subject:  

The James Randi Educational Foundation offers one Million dollars to anybody who can demonstrate any sort of paranormal activity in a controlled, repeatable, scientific setting. It's real and honest, and nobody has won yet. Can you prove that god exists or that your soul has been raepedd? Theres a cool mil waiting for ya

http://www.randi.org/

Randi kicks ass
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ZenZhu
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Posted: 7/30/2004 2:53:14 PM     Post subject:  

A radio show where I live has "Paranormal Tuesdays." They have a paranormal investigator come in and discuss stuff. Sometimes he's really off his rocker, with talk of shadow governements, Planet X, and such. Other times, it's interesting. Every Halloween, they take one contestant and challenge them to spend a night in the Lemp Mansion, which is a local area that is supposed to be one of the most haunted places in America. They had some tape this year with "voices" recorded during the tour that night. Some of it will genuinely send a chill up your spine. A lot of times, the guy just sounds like a complete crackpot. He's generally a bit too willing to believe in stuff. But, sometimes it does make you think.

In an amusing story, the show host has been making more and more fun of this guy (good naturedly) lately. When the producer asked him why he has, he told a story of how the guy lost credibility with the radio host, and he began to think more that he investigator was a crackpot.. a friend, but a crackpot.

This last year at the Lemp Mansion, the investigator disappeared for a little while. He came back in some kind of goofy headgear that supposedly was a combo set of visual filters.. IR, UV, etc. He exclaimed "With this baby, there is nothing I won't see." He turned to head up the tour, and promptly tripped over a footstool and fell on his ass.
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Skunkfunker
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Posted: 7/30/2004 6:48:21 PM     Post subject:  

I have had one case where I had events I perceived in a dream play out a couple of months later. This is from my perception, though.


This might be more common than most people realise. I know it's happened to me two or three times, and anecdotal evidence says it's happened to other people. Thing is, that's anecdotal evidence, and there's just no way of measuring this sort of thing. The "Dream Event" is usually so utterly mundane, eg persons A and B walk across the room to talk to person C, that you don't realise it's 'significant' until you actually turn round and see persons A and B walking across the room to talk to person C*. At which point you think to yourself "Woah, I dreamed that exact event two weeks ago", and get on with your life**.

The only way to measure it to a scientifically acceptable degree would be to write down everything you dream about, then constantly analyse everything you see and compare it with your dream journal. Easy, eh?

Occasionally, you hear stories about people who dream of disasters before they happen, but as with most stories of ghosts, aliens and psychic phenomena, all you have to go on is their word.

*That's the first "Dream Prophecy" I recall having, and the one I remember most clearly. Utterly unremarkable.

**Alternatively, you start posting on messageboards about OMG! I haev P5YCIHC OPw3rZ!
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ZenZhu
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Posted: 7/30/2004 8:59:49 PM     Post subject:  

My wife claims to have dreamt about the Lambert earthquake about two weeks before it happened. My one big time was pretty mundane, though distinct. I dreamt I was by a highway picking berries for my aunt when I pulled down a leaf and saw a gold bug leaping around it in a triangular pattern. That summer, my aunt and grandparents pulled off on the side of a highway with a pick-your-own blackberry plot. I pulled down a leaf while picking and.... duh duh duhhhhh..... a gold bug jumping around in a triangular pattern.
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Anonymous
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Posted: 7/31/2004 9:33:21 AM     Post subject:  

I certainly don't discount the possibility that things beyond our perception exist.


However, the probability is 0!!!!!11111
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Anonymous
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Posted: 7/31/2004 9:36:08 AM     Post subject:  

Itís to do with failure filtering and the natural vagaries of memories.

If you do have a dream and something in that dream happens to you in real life, naturally, you will remember this as an astonishing event etc.

However, since dreams are our minds picking over the remains of the day it is highly likely that something we anticipate or have done or do regularly will occur in them at some point.

Also, people only remember the time where something did occur and forget about the times where it did not (precisely because something did not happen and so they have no special reason to remember it)

Probability (the great dictator) says 0.
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Anonymous
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Posted: 7/31/2004 9:46:15 AM     Post subject: Re: Reality check:Superhuman  


1.) Killing/Fighting ability. This might sound awful, but let's face it, humans are violent creatures with a long history of war and cruelty. We love to kill, it makes people stop bitching and gets us things. *coughoilandlandcoughwomencough* It's a primal urge, bash in Ug's head, take his land, food and women. Hell, it's nature.



I think thatís a very adolescent male biased view.

:( :( :( :(
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Kadius
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Posted: 7/31/2004 1:16:54 PM     Post subject: Re: Reality check:Superhuman  

I think thatís a very adolescent male biased view.

:( :( :( :(


Actually, take a look at history. I don't think many people held respect or fear of farmers and peasants. But hey, everything I wrote is just my opinion. And it should be taken as that. :P
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Quantum Coyote
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Posted: 7/31/2004 3:56:36 PM     Post subject:  

Kadius Wrote:
Also take note, anyone can kill a martial artist if they have a gun, proper distance and the gift of sight. 'The great equalizer' indeed.


Right. And if theres one big thing that seperates us from other species it is our mastery to use/gain technology. Now is a thermonuclear bomb super-human? Well it was created by man, but man was created by nature, therefore the bomb is an extension of man and thus an extension of nature. (I don't use the "supermarket isle" definition of 'natural'"). So if we use our own nature of being human to trump another human(or something more positive), it doesn't make us MORE than human, because we still ARE human. And we are still evolving.

Transgenics.. Now that would be tricky in this context.. Add a couple extra genes to a person, in no way would I personally say the result are "extrahuman" or "superhuman". But at what point of alteration do they because NON-human? (or possibly superhuman, I guess that would depend on the effect of the alteration) 51 percent altered? Thats a tough question.

(Yes I would consider cyborgs to be human because we created the technology, and technology is human. this MIGHT be said for transgenics as well)
(Note: this is all from an atheist/agnostic's point of view, add theology and the issue becomes too complex for me)
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Skunkfuckers Inc.
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Posted: 7/31/2004 5:07:52 PM     Post subject:  

Okay, I knew this topic reminded me of something. A news story from a few weeks back that's been making the rounds (most of you have probably seen it already). It's about a German kid born a mutant, called by some a real life "Superboy":

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/5278028/
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DA
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Posted: 8/1/2004 1:16:16 PM     Post subject:  

There is a school of thought that believes that at some point in the human mind buried in the back of the subconcious there is a level where time does not exist, this level sees everything that has, is and will be for you but normally we can't use it since there's no really connection with the rest of your mind due to the concepts involved, pre-cognition is generally accepted as 'leakage' from this level if you will.

Does the paranormal exist, if it doesn't then I need my eyes freaking tested again and I only had them tested last week since I frequently see things that cannot be explained by any rational means and believe me I've tried explaining them away.... :shock:
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Wayd Wolf
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Posted: 8/1/2004 5:23:48 PM     Post subject:  

Say what you want and believe what you will, and you will, but I've experienced things that don't exactly go along with simplistic thinking of how things work, normally based entirely on others' sour grapes that it hasn't happened to them, therefore it can't happen to others.

All my life I have lived with nonstop dead-on accurate deja vu of varying time frames. Worst and strongest cases are where something happened or was going to happen of great import or emotional effect. I knew the layout of the entirety of the hotel where the Albany Anthrocon was being held without ever having been there or seen pictures and described it to my wife BEFORE we went.

That's just one small example. It happens almost at random. Usually it is a matter of telling people where something is moments before they ask, finishing their sentences, anticipating what they are going to do before they do. Some find it unnerving, so I rarely pay much attention to it anymore, and let things slide along.

Now, knowing what I know of quantum mechanics it is not impossible that there's a link between places and events through matter and energy which connects through time. Causality can't be violated if the infinite universes idea is correct because seeing the most likely future on the timeline and then acting on that information merely changes the track to another alternate future. No big deal.

Do I give a fuck if you believe this? Not in the slightest. This is me and my life, not yours. If you want to believe the universe sits on the back of a turtle, that's your life.
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Quantum Coyote
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Posted: 8/1/2004 5:59:07 PM     Post subject:  

Wayd Wolf Wrote:
All my life I have lived with nonstop dead-on accurate deja vu of varying time frames. Worst and strongest cases are where something happened or was going to happen of great import or emotional effect. I knew the layout of the entirety of the hotel where the Albany Anthrocon was being held without ever having been there or seen pictures and described it to my wife BEFORE we went.



One theory on Deja Vu that makes sense to me is that something causes the brain to lay down the memory of what you are experiencing BEFORE it reaches consciousness. So, that by the time your conscious experience is done "processing" the memory of itself is there for accessing. trippy



Now, knowing what I know of quantum mechanics it is not impossible that there's a link between places and events through matter and energy which connects through time.


Yes but whatever you experience still has to obey the physics.

Most people get it now and then, but if your symptoms worry you then consult a doctor. Deja vu can be a symptom of seizure disorder.
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Wayd Wolf
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Posted: 8/1/2004 6:34:19 PM     Post subject:  



Yes but whatever you experience still has to obey the physics.

Most people get it now and then, but if your symptoms worry you then consult a doctor. Deja vu can be a symptom of seizure disorder.


The "laws of physics" aren't known as it is. Quick, what is responsible for the action of a magnet's attraction to a piece of ferrous metal, the magnetic field or the magnetic vector potential field?

How many modes of vibration of electromagnetic fields as waves are specified by the mathematics in quantum electrodynamics and what kind? Hint: more than just the everyday transverse waves of light and radio.

A dozen plus years ago, the Casimir effect wasn't believed. Stochastic electrodrynamics was a laughable thing. Of course, not long before that geometrodynamics was poppycock and evaportating black holes were sheer fantasy. The Einstein-Rosen-Podolsky idea was complete ludicrous idiocy. For that matter, we weren't supposed to be able to reach the moon. And that was based on "the laws of physics".

BTW, the so-called "arrow of time" idea is based entirely on theory and nothing experimental nor any exhaustive mathematical investigation of what we think we know of physics. It's closer to religious faith and often held with total emotional fervor as in, "it can't possibly be otherwise as it would destroy my whole world".

Similarly, as soon as science had to bow to the idea of the speed of light being due entirely to space-time properties and not some external g-d-created rule, and thus variable, then even NASA had to accept the possibility of someday having superluminal warp travel. It may seem to require energies beyond our present ability to generate, but the wall of "the laws of physics" has been cracked yet again and shown that they have not been authoritatively written yet.

(No, deja vu is not a sign of seizures. Never had a damn one or known anybody with deja vu who did. My wife has epilepsy and never had deja vu of any kind. It seems to happen almost at random to random people. Roll of the dice. Nothing to enjoy or do anything constructive with if you can't control it or harness it. Just an annoyance that makes it hard to go through life without thinking that no matter what you do, the future seems to be written, but no one will give you the final chapter, just snippets and paragraphs written in disappearing ink on disintegrating paper. Oh so fun.)
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Mitch
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Posted: 8/1/2004 7:50:30 PM     Post subject:  



Yes but whatever you experience still has to obey the physics.

Most people get it now and then, but if your symptoms worry you then consult a doctor. Deja vu can be a symptom of seizure disorder.


The "laws of physics" aren't known as it is. Quick, what is responsible for the action of a magnet's attraction to a piece of ferrous metal, the magnetic field or the magnetic vector potential field?

How many modes of vibration of electromagnetic fields as waves are specified by the mathematics in quantum electrodynamics and what kind? Hint: more than just the everyday transverse waves of light and radio.

A dozen plus years ago, the Casimir effect wasn't believed. Stochastic electrodrynamics was a laughable thing. Of course, not long before that geometrodynamics was poppycock and evaportating black holes were sheer fantasy. The Einstein-Rosen-Podolsky idea was complete ludicrous idiocy. For that matter, we weren't supposed to be able to reach the moon. And that was based on "the laws of physics".

BTW, the so-called "arrow of time" idea is based entirely on theory and nothing experimental nor any exhaustive mathematical investigation of what we think we know of physics. It's closer to religious faith and often held with total emotional fervor as in, "it can't possibly be otherwise as it would destroy my whole world".

Similarly, as soon as science had to bow to the idea of the speed of light being due entirely to space-time properties and not some external g-d-created rule, and thus variable, then even NASA had to accept the possibility of someday having superluminal warp travel. It may seem to require energies beyond our present ability to generate, but the wall of "the laws of physics" has been cracked yet again and shown that they have not been authoritatively written yet.

There are some boundaries in physics that simply will never be exceeded, absolute zero temperature for one because it's logically impossible. And from what I can understand of the maths, the speed of light is a limit for a similar reason, namely because exchanging information (or travelling) faster than it implies logical impossibilities like time travel and paradoxes. There's a school of thought that says yeah, instantaneous/warp/wormhole travel could be possible - but it would only be FTL from the point of view of the person doing the travelling.
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mouse
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Posted: 8/2/2004 2:40:47 AM     Post subject:  

There are some boundaries in physics that simply will never be exceeded, absolute zero temperature for one because it's logically impossible. And from what I can understand of the maths, the speed of light is a limit for a similar reason, namely because exchanging information (or travelling) faster than it implies logical impossibilities like time travel and paradoxes.


Thats as far as I understand it (which isnt much). You cannot accelerate an object past the speed of light, only up to. However, something can start off traveling "faster" than the speed of light - at which point it is travelling backwards in time. (tachyons)


I havent really followed the recent posts to this thread tho , so not quite sure what the subject is

Quantum physics was an interest of mine... but shucks, i reckon I was none too good at book learnin :)
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Quantum Coyote
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Posted: 8/2/2004 3:17:34 AM     Post subject:  

Wayd Wolf wrote:
The "laws of physics" aren't known as it is. Quick, what is responsible for the action of a magnet's attraction to a piece of ferrous metal, the magnetic field or the magnetic vector potential field?


What I mean is the physics that are out there, not man's law's of physics.

BTW, the so-called "arrow of time" idea is based entirely on theory and nothing experimental nor any exhaustive mathematical investigation of what we think we know of physics. It's closer to religious faith and often held with total emotional fervor as in, "it can't possibly be otherwise as it would destroy my whole world".


However we CAN draw, with certainty(as far as I know), the thermodynamic arrow. This could change due to cosmology however, hypothetically

Similarly, as soon as science had to bow to the idea of the speed of light being due entirely to space-time properties and not some external g-d-created rule, and thus variable, then even NASA had to accept the possibility of someday having superluminal warp travel. It may seem to require energies beyond our present ability to generate, but the wall of "the laws of physics" has been cracked yet again and shown that they have not been authoritatively written yet.


That's pretty fringy physics, I would be skeptical until there is more of a consensus. So much of the mechanics in physics in general have been tested to very high precision, any deviation from model is investigated until the theory can be corrected. If the effects you mentioned are real, most likely they will be investigated and explained as being mechanical rather then spiritual, just as science has destroyed most of the other spiritual explanations for natural events ie. the earth revolves around the sun.

So, what do variable constants and such have to do with your spiritual experiences?


Mitch Wrote:

There are some boundaries in physics that simply will never be exceeded


Never say 'never' :)
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