This page is named after the classic flick by Rod Serling of the same name.
Rod Serling

Music, People, Winners, and Loosers

Music is a metaphor for culture, society and the individual. In music, people may play together and the result is a dialogue of some kind whether a cacophony or harmonious melody. If the dialogue turns into a debate one "winner" stands out and the dialogue becomes a solo. The soloist might be very much better than his or her "competitors" but only in the context of playing alone. In playing in concert, the soloist can express that superiority in a concerto but only within the consensus of the other players. Otherwise the soloist can only play alone in front of an agreeable audience. Some people declare the internet to be essentially feminine: Duality Links(see the geneder related links) while others examine the applicability of testosterone and estrogen to various aspects of the internet like Usenet. To be sure, "testosterone" is valuable to urgency, decision and action; of soloists, whereas the more feminine "estrogenic" response is more suited to harmony, consensus and cooperation within symphonies. The two very different responses may be combined in concertos, but always the result is to produce something for an "agreeable" audience. Debates yield winners and loosers. Dialogues yield cooperation. Mixtures and superpositions of debates and dialogue to various degrees yield various results. But always the audience's temperament should be considered.
A generalist once said: "Eureka ! It explains everything". The specialist said: "Bull ! Your theory can't explain the pustulation of gremitic fosticles on the rare glamorious orchididendron which can only live on top of Mount Everest in December (or whatever month is the least likely you'll find anything there)" The generalist could only make out something about Mt. Everest from what the specialist had said, "Are you saying you know my theory doesn't apply to this rare thing you speak of, or are you saying there is no general theory which can ever encompass this thing ?" The specialist was obviously annoyed by this question, "If you cannot prove your theory, you should discard it." The generalist was obviously annoyed by this answer, "My theory is very general and you want me to climb Mount Everest in December to prove it to you ? What then- if make it at all ? Will you come up with some other rarity located in the Infernos of hell to test my theory ?" The specialist smirked "What good is a general theory if it can't be tested ?" The generalist shrugged "Maybe it's good for getting other ideas or maybe it's good for not having to climb mountains in order to say something about what's up there." The specialist was sure he'd won the argument at this point. "General theories are useless !" The generalist was sure he'd get the specialist to understand. "A world without philosophy, and symphony would contain only specialists, soloists all playing separately and in cacophony. General theories let specialists play together; concertos, symphonies ! If you want to play alone, by all means do so." The specialist thought he had lost. Speciality is indeed a subset of Generality and not the other way around. Or is it both ? A generalist said: "My theory will surely imply the bending of light near a star." A specialist said: "We've never measured such a thing before. It sounds like sci-fi to me. Why should we waste our time and money trying to measure something that none of my measurements even hinted at ? I only predict from 'measurements', but you seem to be predicting from 'ideas'."
Why don't you do x instead of y ? Why should I ? x is good and y is bad. How do you know ? It's obvious. It's not obvious to me. It should be, anyone can see that I'm right. Not everyone. Come on, it's common sense. If you are right, then you should be able to prove that x is good and y is bad. You really know deep down in your heart that I'm right and you are just being argumentative. If you are right then you should be able to prove it, otherwise anyone can say they are right, and you are wrong, and nothing will ever get done. It's like looking at a painting, I don't have to prove it's a "good" painting or a "bad" painting do I ? It should be obvious. That's my point though. If you can't prove the painting is "good" or "bad", then by my own free-will I am allowed whatever interpretation I choose. That will be a judgement upon you, the choice you make determines the kind of person you are. How can you be a good judge if you don't clearly define the meanings of the choices ? Why don't you prove to me that x is "good" and y is "bad", then any choice I make will be a perfect measure of me rather than a measurement of my ignorance ? But if I prove x is good and y is bad, then your choice will not be one of free-will, you will obviously pick x as the right thing to do. I can't judge you, if you have no free-will. We need vague choices for free-will to exist. I think you over-estimate the effect of proofs. Even with a definitive proof that x is good and y is bad, people will not always choose what is better for them. They might even pick x one day, and y on another day, at random, to really show that they still have free-will despite your overwhelming evidence that they don't have free-will. I didn't say "they don't have free-will". You're putting words into my mouth. That is what you implied. You said that "proof that x is good and y is bad" and this should always lead to the choice of x. When you know what someone will do each and every time, how can you say they have free-will ? Your "perfect world" where everyone does "the right thing", has no free-will. Well, there you go then ! We should never define everything or prove everything. Doing so would eliminate free-will. That justifies my not proving "x is good and y is bad". I see that you are really knotted in your reasoning. You sit in moral judgement of others, but you cannot explain any value for that judgement unless the judgement is based on sufficient vagaries needed for expressions of free-will. But then your judgement is measuring only the ignorance of the person, rather than their moral or ethical fiber. You can't say someone is "bad" for choosing y over x, if they are ignorant of exactly why x is good and y is bad. You're the one tangling everything up until I'm so confused that nothing I say matters. You said yourself that even having the proof that "x is good and y is bad" still allows the person to make a free-will choice. And if everyone makes "the right choice", that doesn't mean there is no free will... Then doesn't this suggest that it is better to prove that "x is good and y is bad" rather than leave it to ignorance ? Why would you want to go around telling people something, that they may or may not believe in largely because you didn't prove it, rather than because it was right or wrong. You might as well go around telling everyone to believe in Unicorns and judging whether or not they are "good" or "bad" by their answer. How preposterous ! Listen ! Some things are "obviously true" regardless of if we can prove them or not. Just look at history and it's perfectly clear. I am looking at history. This same argument between us has occured practically every day since the dawn of humankind. That, is what is perfectly clear and obviously true. Well then, we have nothing to talk about. If our greatest minds haven't been able to solve this argument then what chance do we have ? "Greatest minds" ? You've become a Scientist then ? Certainly not. You've even stated yourself that proof doesn't mean anything unless someone uses it consistently and that rarely ever happens. Life isn't all about science. It's about the choices we make. Like Oroboros, the dragon eating his own tail, here we are back at the beginning. What choices ? Educated or uneducated ones ? How educated do you have to be before you can tell whether you or someone else is making good choices or bad ones ? You say the choices are "obvious" but to others it may not be. All I'm saying is that it is obviously good to do x rather than y. No one has done the world any good doing y. I can think of many cases were someone doing x could only do x because someone else did y. You need the bad to define the good. You don't need alot of bad to define alot of good. Too much good is bad. We already saw how free-will was lost when everyone is good. How much is too much ? That's ridiculous. You can never be "too good". Sure you can. You could tell just how good you are, by comparing yourself to something which is "perfectly bad". If you are "really good" then you must also be able to show something "really bad" to prove it by comparison. So, being "too good" is a bad thing because in order to be "that good" you have to simultaneously exist along side something really bad. Contrast is not the same as Brightness, any boob-tuber knows that. "Good" is only shown in comparison to "Bad". You always get both, when you get either one. Too really be "good" you have to be niether good nor bad. You must be nothing. Now you're trying to convert me to Zen or something. First you tried to convert me to science and then you pointed out how science can prove things but they can't force anyone to believe those proofs and now your spouting off eastern philosophical mumbo jumbo about "being good by being not good" or something like that. You're so confused ! It's so obvious to me, that walking in front of a bus is not a good thing to do, even if the proof of this fact is not something I would want to do. You're absolutely right. There are many facts that are "common sense" ones like "not walking in front of a bus", but these are somehow "proven" to people, otherwise it would be a common occurence. People don't take statements on faith unless they are compelled to by lack of evidence. Where evidence is available, people demand proof. "Courts of law" are based upon the availability of evidence where possible. They rarely if ever have definitive proof of someone's guilt but rely on evidence as much as possible and then at the very end, make a decision, filling in whatever lack of evidence there is, with a faith in the whatever decision they make. We don't have courts of law that don't admit any evidence and we don't expect courts of law to fabricate false evidence either. Life is a mixture of facts and faith and giving-up either leads to bad things. Religion and Science are both essential like Good and Bad but having too much of one, is as bad as having too much of the other. This is too funky for me. I'll stick to my ideas thank you. Whatever makes you happy. You are happy aren't you ? I was until I met you. You only thought you _were_. If you are "really happy", "time" wouldn't matter; you wouldn't ever say "I was happy." or "I will be happy." Real happiness doesn't depend on the time-of-day otherwise you could say "I was happy 1.43043 seconds ago and now I'm not, oh ! but now I am again 0.09 seconds later,..." You either are happy or you aren't. If you are, then meeting me shouldn't matter one bit.