Bigsley the Oaf


Posted in Uncategorized by bigsleytheoaf on September 22, 2010

Check out this quote from the Wikipedia page on Monism:

“According to the Pali Canon, both pluralism (naanatta) and monism (ekatta) are speculative views. A Theravada commentary notes that the former is similar to or associated with nihilism (ucchedavada), and the latter is similar to or associated with eternalism (sassatavada).” –

What’s amazing is that I didn’t read this before writing the previous posts. I have rediscovered a truth of the Pali Canon!


Posted in Uncategorized by bigsleytheoaf on September 22, 2010

I want to note something with respect to my previous two posts. This should be relatively clear, but it is perhaps helpful to state it.

Dualism naturally leads me to feelings of despair and fear and a nihilistic worldview.

Monism naturally leads me to feelings of comfort and hope and worldview rife with ideas of transcendence.

What’s more, this causation is bidirectional.

When I am depressed I view the world in terms of separateness. You can’t say “she doesn’t love me” unless you think that “she” and “me” are different.

In my joyous moment my ideas of self disappear and everything is dancing.

There is so much more to say.


Posted in Uncategorized by bigsleytheoaf on September 22, 2010

My cat likes me because I am learning.

I am learning that oxygen atoms see, that the inorganic feels, just like me. Of course, it doesn’t have a linguistic system in which to embed its understanding. It doesn’t even have a nervous system to spread around the info. But atoms “know” about each other, don’t they?

It means something when I say that I “know” something like “I know China exists.” But is there anything I know which isn’t merely a relationship between things?

I know the brown of my cat, the green of my couch, the feeling of my hands on the keyboard, the sound of this music. I do not know it in a referential way.

But all that happens is that my eyes take in light and it gets processed. When do I start knowing the color? Is it when the light first hits the first atoms of the retina? Then don’t those atoms know the light?

Central thesis of mono-ism: If knowledge is an emergent property then knowledge does not exist essentially, therefore knowledge is empty.

Corollary: Knowledge is atomic, therefore everything has the capacity to “know.”


Posted in Uncategorized by bigsleytheoaf on September 22, 2010

Life unstoppably begets diversity. Perhaps this is a good definition of “life.”

Given an environment with a fixed set of properties one inevitably sees the fundamental pattern of life emerge: explosion of diversity, resource scarcity, dwindling diversity, death.

Perhaps this is even a property found in inorganic systems. Imagine a large container with a seed of high-pressure oxygen. First the oxygen bounces around and fills the container. Then the heat runs out and it moves more slowly. Eventually, the oxygen condenses into a liquid, then it turns into a solid and sits.

It seems like this is a simple model of life, or at least learning – place a high pressure group of particles in a large space. Let them expand. In the long run, a well defined group will exist.

It’s sad, in a way, to know that I am an articulation of this explosion towards diversity. I know that there are spaces in which creatures breed and explore, and I am simply a chalkboard on which these creatures are drawn and move.

Netflix Ratings

Posted in Uncategorized by bigsleytheoaf on September 2, 2010

Looking for some new movies to watch? Here’s a list of all my netflix ratings (I’ve watched 268 movies on netflix, apparently…)