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Finished: 06 AM Tue 21 May 19 UTC
Private Yeet 23
12 hours /phase
Pot: 50 D - Spring, 2005, Finished
Fall of the American Empire IV, Draw-Size Scoring
1 excused missed turn
Game drawn

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Chat archive


03 May 19 UTC Spring, 1999: ⠀⠀⠀⠀⣀⣤










03 May 19 UTC Spring, 1999: Whomst got the slurp juice?
03 May 19 UTC Spring, 1999: Howdy from Georgia folks
04 May 19 UTC Autumn, 1999: Hey muj happy Ramadan!
04 May 19 UTC Autumn, 1999: This is a secular chat Saam, do yourself a favor and fuck off
04 May 19 UTC Autumn, 1999: Shut. This is a good clean Islamic chat. If you disagree I'm going to go have a chat with the ayatollah and have you arrested
04 May 19 UTC Autumn, 1999: Rylee, no fowl language on my Christian minecraft server!
04 May 19 UTC Autumn, 1999: I have it good with the Ayatollah, sold them oil
04 May 19 UTC Spring, 2000: its oil time
04 May 19 UTC Spring, 2000: Also, Ramadan starts tomorrow night chief
04 May 19 UTC Spring, 2000: Shut
04 May 19 UTC Autumn, 2000: *OPEC embargo intensifies*
05 May 19 UTC Autumn, 2000: Hey, Vsauce. Michael here. Where are your fingers? Seriously. It's a pretty easy question. You should be able to answer it. But how do you know? How does anyone know anything?

You might say, well, I know where my fingers are. I'm looking right at them. Or, I can touch them, I can feel them, they're right here and that's good. Your senses are a great way to learn things. In fact, we have way more than the usual five senses we talk about. For instance, your kinesthetic sense, proprioception. This is what the police evaluate during a field sobriety test. It allows you to tell where your fingers and arms and head and legs in your body is all in relation to each other without having to look or touch other things. We have way more than five senses, we have at least twice as many and then some. But they're not perfect.

There are optical illusions, audio illusions, temperature sensation illusions, even tactile illusions. Can you turn your tongue upside down? If so, perfect. Try this. Run your finger along the outer edge of the tip of your upside down tongue. Your tongue will be able to feel your finger, but in the wrong place. Our brains never needed to develop an understanding of upside down tongue touch. So, when you touch the right side of your tongue when it's flipped over to your left side you perceive a sensation on the opposite side, where your tongue usually is but isn't when it's upside down. It's pretty freaky and cool and a little humbling, because it shows the limits of the accuracy of our senses, the only tools we have to get what's out there in here.

The philosophy of knowledge, the study of knowing, is called epistemology. Plato famously said that the things we know are things that are true, that we believe and that we have justification for believing. those justifications might be irrational or they might be rational, they might be based on proof, but don't get too confident because proven is not a synonym for true. Luckily, there are things that we can know without needing proof, without needing to even leave the house, things that we can know as true by reason alone. These are things that we know a priori. An example would be the statement "all bachelors are unmarried." I don't have to go survey every bachelor on earth to know that that is true. All bachelors are unmarried because that's how we define the word bachelor. Of course, you have to know what the words bachelor and unmarried mean in the first place. Oh, you do? Okay. Perfect. That's great. But how do you know?

This time I mean functionally, how do you know? Where is knowledge biologically in the brain? What are memories made out of? We are a long way from being able to answer that question completely but research has shown that memories don't exist in the brain in single locations. Instead, what we call a memory is likely made up of many different complex relationships all over the brain between lots of brain cells, neurons. A major cellular mechanism thought to underlie the formation of memories is long-term potentiation or LTP. When one neuron stimulates another neuron repeatedly that signal can be enhanced overtime LTP, wiring them more strongly together and that connection can last a long time, even an entire lifetime. A collection of different brain cells, neurons that fire together in a particular order over and over again frequently and repeatedly can achieve long-term potentiation, becoming more sensitive to each other and more ready to fire in the exact same way later on in the future. They're a physical thing in your brain, firing together more easily because you strengthen that pattern of firing. You memorized. This branching forest of firing friends looks messy, but look closer. It could be the memory of your first kiss. A living souvenir of the event. If I were to go into your brain and cut out those cells, could I make you forget your first kiss or could I make you forget where your fingers are? Only if I cut out a lot of your brain. Because memories aren't just stored in one relationship, they're stored all over the brain. The events leading up to your first kiss are stored in one network, the way it felt to the way it smelled in different networks, all added up together making what you call the memory of your first kiss.

How many memories can you fit inside your head? What is the storage capacity of the human brain? The best we can do is a rough estimate, but given the number of neurons in the brain involved with memory and the number of different connections a single neuron can make Paul Reber at Northwestern University estimated that we can store the digital equivalent of about 2.5 petabytes of information. That's the equivalent of recording a TV channel continuously for 300 years. That's a lot of information. That is a lot of information about skills you can do and facts and people you've met, things in the real world. The world is real, right? How do you know?

It's a difficult question, but it's not rocket science. Instead, it is asking whether or not rocket scientists even exist in the first place. The theory that the Sun moved around the earth worked great. It predicted that the Sun would rise every morning and it did. It wasn't until later that we realized what we thought was true might not be. So, do we or will we ever know true reality or are we stuck in a world where the best we can do is be approximately true? Discovering more and more useful theories every day but never actually reaching true objective actual reality. Can science or reason ever prove convincingly that your friends and YouTube videos and your fingers actually exist beyond your mind? That you don't just live in the matrix?

No. Your mind is all that you have, even if you use instruments, like a telescope or particle accelerators. The final stop for all of that information is ultimately you. You are alone in your own brain, which technically makes it impossible to prove that anything else exists. It's called the egocentric predicament. Everything you know about the world out there depends on and is created inside your brain. This mattered so much to Charles Sanders Peirce that he drew a line between reality, the way the universe truly is, and what he called the phaneron, the world as filtered through our senses and bodies, the only information we can get. If you want to speak with certainty you live in, that is you react to and remember and experience your phaneron, not reality. The belief that only you exist and everything else, food, the universe, your friends are all figments of your mind is called solipsism. There is no way to convince a solipsist that the outside world is real. And there is no way to convince someone who doubts that the universe wasn't created just three seconds ago along with all of our memories. It's a frightening realization that we don't always know how to deal with. There's even The Matrix defense.

In 2002 Tonda Lynn Ansley shot and killed her landlady. She argued that she believed she was in the matrix, that her crimes weren't real. By using the matrix defense, she was found not guilty by reason of insanity, because the opposite view is just way healthier and common. It's called realism. Realism is the belief that the outside world exists independently of your own phaneron. Rocks and stars and Thora Birch would continue to exist even if you weren't around to experience them. But you cannot know realism is true. All you can do is believe.
05 May 19 UTC Autumn, 2000: I hate you
05 May 19 UTC Autumn, 2000: your opinion doesnt matter
05 May 19 UTC Autumn, 2000: only because you're in georiga*
05 May 19 UTC Autumn, 2000: A liberal Muslim homosexual ACLU lawyer professor and abortion doctor was teaching a class on Karl Marx, known atheist
"Before the class begins, you must get on your knees and worship Marx and accept that he was the most highly-evolved being the world has ever known, even greater than Jesus Christ!"

At this moment, a brave, patriotic, pro-life Navy SEAL champion who had served 1500 tours of duty and understood the necessity of war and fully supported all military decision made by the United States stood up and held up a rock.

"How old is this rock?"

The arrogant professor smirked quite Jewishly and smugly replied "4.6 billion years, you stupid Christian"

"Wrong. It’s been 5,000 years since God created it. If it was 4.6 billion years old and evolution, as you say, is real… then it should be an animal now"

The professor was visibly shaken, and dropped his chalk and copy of Origin of the Species. He stormed out of the room crying those liberal crocodile tears.

The students applauded and all registered Republican that day and accepted Jesus as their lord and savior. An eagle named "Small Government" flew into the room and perched atop the American Flag and shed a tear on the chalk. The pledge of allegiance was read several times, and God himself showed up and enacted a flat tax rate across the country.

The professor lost his tenure and was fired the next day. He died of the gay plague AIDS and was tossed into the lake of fire for all eternity.

Semper Fi
05 May 19 UTC Autumn, 2000: GameMaster: Game was extended due to at least 1 member failing to enter orders and having an excused missed turn available. This has un-readied all orders.
06 May 19 UTC Autumn, 2000: Well it was nice playing with you guys
06 May 19 UTC Autumn, 2000: Sorry Moiz, but someone had to go