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Chapter 3: The man in the moon and the face on Mars
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Author:  Chris OConnor [ Tue Jan 13, 2015 6:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Chapter 3: The man in the moon and the face on Mars

Chapter 3: The man in the moon and the face on Mars

Please talk about Chapter 3: The man in the moon and the face on Mars here in this thread.

Author:  Penelope [ Sun Jan 18, 2015 11:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Chapter 3: The man in the moon and the face on Mars

Oh dear, I am rattling on with this book and hope it is OK with everyone. I am only reading a chapter per day, so it isn't so very fast. Anyway, I am enjoying reading and making notes and generally gathering my thoughts together. If you want me to stop hogging the first post in the threads, let me know and I'll stop and wait before dropping in my pearls of wisdom....NOT.

The opening paragraph gave a list of complementary pseudo sciences.....I think he means that for every true science, there is an alternative pseudo science for people who can't be bothered, or have not the facility, to seek evidence. I'm glad he doesn't include my pet subject....being the progression/purpose/existence of the human soul, which I feel is much more important than the existence of alien life forms, in that our perception of our own lives is altered and made more purposeful if we can prove to ourselves that we do not die. So much so, that I try to live as though I am going to exist forever and so try to grow in wisdom as well as knowledge.....which can't be a bad thing, can it?

I was amused at his descriptions of our tendency to subconsciously look for faces........Interbane once warned me that we all look for 'patterns' when in fact....everything is chaos. When we were on holiday with our two grown up sons, in Tuscany....we used to sit out under the stars until well into the night, beers for them, wine for me. I was always the first to go up the steps (on the outside of the medeival farmhouse) to bed. One night I entered our bedroom and under the bed were two glowing eyes glaring at me....I thought some creature had wandered in, it being a very secluded and rural area......I hurried back down the steps to summon my menfolk, all of us being slightly inebriated you realise......Imagine my chagrin when they found the eyes were two luminous day-glo tabs on the back heels of my husbands trainers...which he had left under the bed, neatly side by side.

I was struck also by his paragraphs about people believing what they read in newspapers (and it isn't just the tabloids, the broadsheets are also guilty). Remembering that it is only comparatively recently that ordinary people have been able to read. In not so distant history faith came with the hearing. Apparently, that is why it is called 'a court hearing'.....and why our older establishment churches, like the Roman Catholic and the Anglican church are so theatrical......it was to hold peoples' attention whilst they were taught audibly what they couldn't read for themselves. Unfortunately, whilst we learned to read, many of us didn't learn to apply our critical thinking skills........not like wot I can..... :shock:

In a paragraph on my page 59, which begins: 'Such reports persist......' He says it is because we seek excitement in our humdrum lives......In my case I seek to feel more purposeful......not excitement......I cannot speak for the rest of humanity of course. He says skepticism must be a component of our 'tool kit'. Well, yes.......I am very skeptical of the media and its 'news' reports.....but maybe I should be more skeptical of the evidence of my own eyes and ears......hmmmmm.....well, that goes without saying. Although, if we could know that we are going to go on learning and exploring into infinity and that our time is not limited to this one lifetime.....then maybe we won't be so ready to grasp at delusional straws. I must say that some of the most joyous people I have encountered have been scientists......Feynman especially, but also Einstein seemed a happy soul, Prof. Brian Cox currently, and what about the wonderful Stephen Hawkins.......they don't find reality dull do they?

Author:  Taylor [ Sun Jan 18, 2015 1:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chapter 3: The man in the moon and the face on Mars

Quote:
Penelope wrote:
Oh dear, I am rattling on with this book and hope it is OK with everyone. I am only reading a chapter per day, so it isn't so very fast. Anyway, I am enjoying reading and making notes and generally gathering my thoughts together. If you want me to stop hogging the first post in the threads, let me know and I'll stop and wait before dropping in my pearls of wisdom....NOT.


Penelope, I for one am very glad to see you on the vanguard of this discussion, I am essentially doing the same as you in so far as I'm reading a little everyday. Yourself and the others who have put in bits help me to look at what I have read a little closer.
Please do not wait for others to jump in, you just keep at it. I have been holding back for the official February start of the discussion to give everyone a chance to gear-up. Also as I'm a bit thick it takes me some time to put coherence in writing.
Just a suggestion, perhaps you could grab hold of the reins of this selection and help guide us through this thing properly.

Author:  Penelope [ Sun Jan 18, 2015 2:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chapter 3: The man in the moon and the face on Mars

Quote:
Taylor wrote:

Just a suggestion, perhaps you could grab hold of the reins of this selection and help guide us through this thing properly.


Awe, thank you for that compliment. However, I think Chris is the one who appoints the guiders......What are they called? Moderators - and Chris knows that my opinions are not always 'moderate' LOL. Because I am English - I have a distinct leaning to the left - and we call that Socialism here. Socialism is an idealist notion in the UK, but it seems it is a dirty word in the US. Something lost in translation I'm sure.

Anyway, if I keep on plonking my posts on the correct chapter thread, people can either respond or ignore can't they? :wink:

Author:  Taylor [ Sun Jan 18, 2015 2:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chapter 3: The man in the moon and the face on Mars

We're all socialist, its just a matter of "to what degree" Its the system within the system, It starts with Adam Smith and is reflected by John Maynard Keynes.
Its Political/Economic Science, and we're discussing Science.

When I was a very young man, I had a similar incident as your shoe fright, In my case, there was something outside my bedroom window, I was absolutely petrified, I just knew it was something monstrous trying to get at me, I made an older brother go outside in the middle of night in the dead of winter and chase away the boogie man, turns out it was the top of a shrub.

Author:  geo [ Sun Jan 18, 2015 3:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chapter 3: The man in the moon and the face on Mars

Penelope wrote:
Quote:
. . . I think Chris is the one who appoints the guiders......What are they called? Moderators - and Chris knows that my opinions are not always 'moderate' LOL.

In this case you're being a discussion leader, and a very good one at that! Keep it up!

I'm thinking about joining in, although I haven't had a chance to start (re)reading yet. I'm getting psyched for it, thanks to your posts. Thanks!

Author:  Penelope [ Sun Jan 18, 2015 4:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chapter 3: The man in the moon and the face on Mars

Quote:
Taylor wrote:

It starts with Adam Smith and is reflected by John Maynard Keynes.
Its Political/Economic Science, and we're discussing Science.


Well, I've read bits of 'Wealth of Nations' and I know the gist of Keynesian theory. Keynes gave us some wonderful quotable quotes:
but I really don't have any education in economics. I just know about Keynes because he was a member of the Bloomsbury Group - Virginia Woolf and those people in search of Truth and Beauty. Fascinating.


Quote:
Geo wrote:

I'm thinking about joining in, although I haven't had a chance to start (re)reading yet.


Oh do join in. Of course I hadn't realised until Taylor pointed out that the discussion proper doesn't begin till February......I think I'll just carry on making my posts, gung ho, as otherwise I might lose my momentum....LOL

Author:  Crystalline [ Mon Jan 19, 2015 11:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Chapter 3: The man in the moon and the face on Mars

When I first looked at this book, I had grave doubts about weather or not I wanted to read it. After completing the first 3 chapters, I'm enjoying it.
I have to admit that I'm a skeptic, don't know why or how that happened, since both my grandmother and mother were strong believers of superstitions, ghosts, etc. Even as a youngster, I always questioned their beliefs and statements...perhaps because no ghosts ever appeared to me, and no prayers were answered...LOL!
Perhaps people believe in miracles, magic, fortune tellers, etc., because they themselves can't make their lives better and they need a belief that somebody or something can do it for them, that there is always hope...and hope, psychologically, is a great thing. I love the expression "...where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise..." (Thomas Gray)
I was surprised at some of the hoaxes described here which some of the people in the world believe in. Guess it's fun and for some, pretty profitable.
Well, on to ch. 4, Aliens :). No, I don't believe they are here, either...I will definitely enjoy this chapter, since I'll be looking for arguments which I can present to some of my "believer" friends...

Author:  ant [ Sun Jan 25, 2015 6:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chapter 3: The man in the moon and the face on Mars

This chapter was nothing but a rehash of stuff I have been familiar with for some time now.

If I may, I recommend "How We Know What isn't So" by Thomas Glovich.
In it, Part One - "Cognitive Determinants of Questionable Beliefs" is superior to this chapter of Sagan's book.

Author:  LanDroid [ Wed Jan 28, 2015 3:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chapter 3: The man in the moon and the face on Mars

Quote:
...what seems to be a portrait of the cartoon character Bugs Bunny on the Uranian moon Ariel.
P. 50

Ha! That forced me to go a-Googling, I think this might be it:

Image

Author:  LanDroid [ Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chapter 3: The man in the moon and the face on Mars

Here's one Carl probably didn't know about, a crater found by the Mars Global Surveyor:

Image

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