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Principles of Applied Epistemology (APPLIED EPISTEMOLOGY)
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Boreades


In: finity and beyond
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Mick Harper wrote:
It is the one characteristic identified by Mick long ago:
Conservatism is rural; liberalism is urban.

I am always pleased to have come up with something my sternest taskmaster approves of though I do not in fact recognise this statement. (Perhaps, Ishmael, you might track down a reference?) In The Megalithic Empire I point out that Christianity is urban and Megalithia is rural. Though I am not sure how that equates with left/right.

Other characteristics change but this does not. For example, in Iran, the liberals believe many of the same things believed by the conservatives of the United States; in Russia; the conservatives believe many of the same things believed by liberals in the U.K.


I find this a bit baffling. I hesitate to say 'untrue'. And certainly doesn't seem to coincide with the urban/rural split of Ishmael's argument. All I can say is that Western media are forever interviewing urban liberal types in both Iran and Russia in a highly approving way while I sit watching, fuming because I know that neither Russians nor Iranians (en masse) have the slightest wish to go the Western Way. Putin has just beaten his nearest challenger by forty percentage points. Result: western telly films a few hundred Muscovite liberals moaning about it.

Western AE-ists hesitate to prescribe what's best for Russia or Iran.


It's true, it is a bit baffling, as long as one is stuck on a Left Wing -- Right Wing (LR) dimension. A sadly one dimensional model of political psychology, and still the only one used by a huge percentage of non-AEL mainstream media pundits and commentators.

The next available dimension is the Libertarian -- Authoritarian (LA) dimension. For the sake of a simplistic model let's suppose it crosses the LR dimension at right-angles like an X-Y axis (realities might vary).

It looks (to me) like the LA dimension is largely ignored or hardly mentioned in mainstream UK media. Perhaps because we've largely forgotten the periods in UK history when the LA dimension was really active and important, and most of the UK parties are sitting on a similar part of the LA spectrum i.e. somewhere blandly in the middle (M'Lady Boreades and Green Eco-Fascists excepted). But other countries like Russia and Iran have a much more recent and visceral memory of LA issues.

It's then just a matter of coincidence when & where a belief (or statement) on the LR dimension crosses the LA dimension. It will also be a matter of misunderstanding and miscommunication when we assume the belief (or statement) in LR-space actually means the same to the other person in LA-space.

There will probably be other available dimensions that could be added to the mix, to expand the understanding, but I hope my work here is done (on this topic).
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Mick Harper
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If someone can translate this into meta-English for me, please do.

http://contactform24.com/applied-epistemology.com/
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Mick Harper
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The 'world record' factor is turning out to be more and more useful in Applied Epistemology. Basically, anything anomalous attracts our attention but ordinarily world records are not anomalous -- there has to be a highest, biggest, oldest etc so that in itself does not attract our attention.

What we found though, when writing Meetings with Remarkable Forgeries, was that over and over again something that had aroused our suspicion for some other reason also turned out to be the highest, biggest, (usually) oldest etc. In forgeries generally this is both obvious and non-obvious because while, say, the oldest gospel book in the world will be immensely valuable and therefore well worth forging, it is also going to attract the most specialist scrutiny so maybe better not forge one. It turns out this is not the case. The older it is the more the academics love it!

Anyway, an interesting world record has just come up in another sphere which I will tell you about anon.
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Mick Harper
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Here are the top ten lowest points of land on the earth's surface

1) Dead Sea Depression Israel, Jordan, Syria 413 meters below sea level
2) Lake Assal (in the Afar Depression) Djibouti 155 meters below sea level
3) Turfan Depression China 154 meters below sea level
4) Qattara Depression Egypt 133 meters below sea level
5) Karagiye Depression Kazakhstan 132 meters below sea level
6) Denakil Depression (in the Afar Depression) Ethiopia 125 meters below sea level
7) San Julían's Great Depression Argentina 105 meters below sea level
8) Death Valley USA 86 meters below sea level
9) Akdzhakaya Depression Turkmenistan 81 meters below sea level
10) Salton Trough USA, Mexico 69 meters below sea level

Which is the odd one out and why? Not, repeat not, why it is the odd one out in actuality or in your opinion, but why it is anomalous in this list i.e. what would bring it to the attention of an AE-ist knowing nothing about geophysics?
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Ishmael


In: Toronto
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Dead Sea Depression. It is completely off the chart of the expected distribution curve.
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Hatty
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Dead Sea because it is almost three times lower than comparable sites.
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Mick Harper
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All right. We might also observe that below sea-level places are randomly distributed (all continents except Australia). Given that above sea level goes up to 10,000 metres, and there are an infinite number of them, it is clearly the case that 'below sea level' places not only fall into the category "rare but not anomalously rare" but into the "probably should be above but find themselves temporarily below sea level" category.

All of this might be relevant to geophysics because they are clearly 'natural'. The presumption therefore must be that the Dead Sea is either un-natural or geophysics (including our own revisionist geophysics) would have to be re-written.

You may have noticed one other oddity about the Dead Sea. It was described as being in 'Israel, Jordan, Syria' whereas all the others are single-country apart from 'Salton Trough USA, Mexico', also presumably political. The reason the others are a-political is that being below sea level seems always to be tantamount to 'back of beyond' and are found in either the middle of big countries full of 'back of beyond' places or straddle countries nobody can be bothered to distinguish between because they are themselves the back of beyond.

The Dead Sea is also the back of beyond (to look at) but just happens to be at the epicentre of world history/politics etc. All of which points to the Dead Sea being un-natural. Those of you who know the answer (my answer at any rate) should keep quiet for now and see if anyone else, now alerted, can come up with the (well, my) solution.
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Ishmael


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I must point out that the Titanic is also a World Record. The Titanic Disaster requires several World Records.
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Mick Harper
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You should list them, though we have listed some. However my main objection is that--so far as we can ascertain--the Titanic seems to have no great ramifications even if it does prove more significant than popularly supposed. The Dead Sea should prove more potent.
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Mick Harper
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Since the critical difference between the Dead Sea and ordinary, common or garden, natural, below sea-level areas is 413m vis à vis 155m, we are looking for human activities that can account for a thousand feet of excavation. This points to mining except that a thousand feet is way beyond antique abilities and the Dead Sea is way too big for mines, even joined up mines.

So what about open-cast quarrying? This would certainly, in theory, account for the lateral extent since open cast quarries are only limited by the occurrence of the lode and in the case of salt (the presumptive lode here) this can stretch for the requisite miles. But what of the vertical extent? Could the Ancients quarry down a thousand feet?

The barrier to all deep extraction in antiquity was always pumping out the water so the question is can you pump water out of open cast mines easier than ordinary ones? I don’t know. Second, are salt deposits inherently easier to pump? I don’t know. Third, is the water table in the Jordan valley high or low? I don’t know.

I suppose above all
1. Would there be a Jordan sans the quarry?
2. Is the Jordan the way they pumped out the quarry?
3. What would be left to see in the Jordan valley three thousand years after they stopped quarrying?
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Ishmael


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Brilliant!
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