On Sat, Jan 5, 2013 Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:

> >>Even people who have no sense of humor can deduce that other people do
>> have it,
> >Would they if only 0.001% of the population had a sense of humor?

Yes, because unlike psi it would be easily repeatable, if one person who
claimed to have a sense of humor laughed and said that was a very good joke
it is statistically very likely (although not certain) that another person
who also claimed to have a sense of humor would make the same noise, but
the sound of laughter would not be heard when the vast majority who don't
even understand what the word "humor" means heard the joke.

> Chalmers was just trying to make the point that it is a whole different
> order of difficult. The easy problem is quantitatively difficult, but
> progress is inevitable with applied effort. The hard problem is
> qualitatively difficult, so that not only is progress not inevitable, but
> it is not necessarily a realistic possibility.

And that's what doesn't add up. As you say solving the easy problem is
inevitable, and solving it would be of some philosophical interest and earn
its discoverer several trillion dollars as a bonus, and yet nobody on this
list casually spins theories about how to solve it. In contrast although
success is not guaranteed and there would be no financial bonus in solving
the hard problem every dilettante has their own theory about it and some,
such as yourself, have even claimed to have already solved it.

The reason for this is that a hard problem theory doesn't have to actually
do anything, but a easy problem theory most certainly does. Any hard
problem theory will work just fine, any at all,  but the wrong easy problem
theory will send a start-up company into bankruptcy.  So the end result is
that being a hard problem theorist is ridiculously easy but being a easy
problem theorist is devilishly hard, and that's why armchair philosophers
concentrate on the one and not the other.

> Genius and madness are notoriously close.

There is a bit of madness in many geniuses, but most madmen have no trace
of genius whatsoever because madness is a much more common phenomenon than
genius. Tesla was a genius and a crackpot, but for every Tesla there is a
mole of pure unadulterated crackpots.

> > If it weren't for crackpots though, we would never likely be tempted to
> explore new areas. [...] we cannot afford for a tiny fraction of the
> population to deviate from the herd. I say that increasing that number 10
> fold could only help.

Yeah, all the problems of the world come from the fact that there just
aren't enough loonies running around.

> Why doesn't some respectable non-crackpot reproduce Sheldrake's
> experiments and prove him wrong?

They have, but like any card caring member of the crackpot guild being
proven wrong has absolutely no effect on  Sheldrake's behavior or that of
his fans.

  John K Clark

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