Divine Comedians - A Present Day Renaissance?

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Divine Comedians - A Present Day Renaissance?

PostPosted by iNow » Wed Aug 17, 2011 4:11 am

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"Consider your origins: you were not made to live as brutes, but to follow virtue and knowledge."
~ Dante Alighieri


Are we living through another Renaissance?
Why do you hold the opinion you do?



"Man's mind is so formed that it is far more susceptible to falsehood than to truth."
~ Desiderius Erasmus
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Re: Divine Comedians - A Present Day Renaissance?

PostPosted by IFTS » Wed Aug 24, 2011 9:07 pm

Another Renaissance in what sense?

I think from a cultural and artistic standpoint our conception of the Renaissance is skewed by the reverence later generations held for the period. Art, culture, and science were all vibrant throughout Europe prior to the Renaissance.
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Re: Divine Comedians - A Present Day Renaissance?

PostPosted by iNow » Wed Aug 24, 2011 10:49 pm

IFTS wrote:Another Renaissance in what sense?

Rebirth of knowledge... Enlightenment... Massive shift in culture and dialog... That sort of thing.
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Re: Divine Comedians - A Present Day Renaissance?

PostPosted by 15uliane » Thu Aug 25, 2011 1:30 am

Look at michele bachman then tell me this is a rennaissance
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Re: Divine Comedians - A Present Day Renaissance?

PostPosted by iNow » Fri Aug 26, 2011 11:47 pm

15uliane wrote:Look at michele bachman then tell me this is a rennaissance

I could do exactly that. What do you think it is that causes such a powerful negative response towards her if not a "massive shift in culture and dialog" and an enlightened group of thinkers or more knowledgeable populace reacting against her fallacious claims and narrow comments?
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Re: Divine Comedians - A Present Day Renaissance?

PostPosted by mississippichem » Sat Aug 27, 2011 1:56 pm

One might consider this a Renaissance of information. Over the last ten or so years, many aspects of our lives have become integrated with computer and internet technology. Here is a not so exciting but somewhat demonstrative example. These things:

Image

These are the 2D barcodes that go on packages.A consumer can scan this with a smart phone and automatically end up on the appropriate page of the appropriate website. It's interesting that right after I started noticing these things, they started to show up on television. So now I can watch TV scan the code on the TV screen with my phone and go to a website to inquire further.

Yesterday I was headed up to the lab in the elevator and noticed a poster for an ACS speaker who was coming to give a seminar next month. The poster had one of these 2D barcodes! This example is lame and not that exciting but If I were to tell someone ten of fifteen years ago that we would be able to walk around interacting with elevator wall flyers through a camera on our phones they wouldn't have believed me.
Information now flows more freely and rapidly than it ever has before. I could in principle PM or email any of you guys the entire library of congress in a short time if I had enough bandwidth and you had enough external hard-drives. Information flow is now only limited by processor speed and the speed of light. This seems trivial to us now, but would've been science fiction thirty or forty years ago and unfathomable sixty years ago.
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Re: Divine Comedians - A Present Day Renaissance?

PostPosted by DrRocket » Sat Aug 27, 2011 10:39 pm

mississippichem wrote:One might consider this a Renaissance of information. Over the last ten or so years, many aspects of our lives have become integrated with computer and internet technology. Here is a not so exciting but somewhat demonstrative example. ... This seems trivial to us now, but would've been science fiction thirty or forty years ago and unfathomable sixty years ago.


This situation strikes me as a revolution, not a renaissance, in the availability of information. But it strikes me as a two-edged sword.

First, while a great deal of information is available, an even larger quantity of misinformation is not only available but promoted. The internet is awash with wacko web sites promoting illogic and just plain falsehoods on any imaginable subject. To effectively use the valid information that is available requires knowledge, intelligence and discrimination. Properly used the internet is a tremendous tool. Used indiscriminately it is worse than useless, it is a detriment.

Secondly I have noticed a tendency for people to use electronics and internet access as a substitute for thinking. Having access to a vast store of data and thought does not confer understanding of that material. We have people attempting to address deep questions at the frontiers of research without any understanding of the basics, often basing their understanding on distortions obtained from internet sites established by the lunatic fringe. It is also the case that software written by experts is available that allows people to "solve"problems that are otherwise not only technically difficult but in fact involve concepts that are otherwise beyond their capability to understand. The danger here is a false sense of understanding and the potential to unknowingly generate nonsense by violating the assumptions that limit the software.

A revolution in information availability can only form the basis for a renaissance in intellectual productivity if it is used to amplify, rather than replace, basic thought and reasoning. It remains to be seen what will eventually happen.
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Re: Divine Comedians - A Present Day Renaissance?

PostPosted by 15uliane » Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:45 pm

DrRocket wrote:We have people attempting to address deep questions at the frontiers of research without any understanding of the basics, often basing their understanding on distortions obtained from internet sites established by the lunatic fringe.

Too true. You pretty much described me before I came to this site. I'm sure there are other crazies too like that, I can't have been the only one.
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