March 25, 2004


Blueshift responds to my a priori post.
I must say that the more I read about current events,
the less strongly I feel I can believe in the goodness of people.
But the more bloggers I meet,
the more I believe in the goodness of some.

Posted by Sarah at March 25, 2004 09:53 AM

Spectra is more than just a fun sounding name. It is really how I (try) to view humanity. Every single person is different. We think differently about the same situation. Our range of thoughts runs from one extreme on one side, to the opposite extreme on the other, no matter the issue. You can find anyone who will say and believe anything.

Together we form the whole spectrum, its good and bad points are integral as they define the median. Ying-yang-ish if you will.

I'll leave off now, before I get into the whole emission and absorption lines part. Might have to post it sometime, but not this week. :P

Posted by: Blueshift at March 25, 2004 12:20 PM

"I'll leave off now, before I get into the whole emission and absorption lines part."

Do explain how that applies to humans, Blueshift!

I like your analogy. It reminds me of my own approach to linguistics which is based on individual users of language rather than on a priori idealized models. Each of us DOES "think differently about the same situation." Of course, those differences are constrained by our shared biology, so not literally everything is possible - but what is out there is a lot more diverse than most think. No two people have the same language; even twins have different experiences which they associate with the "same" word.

Posted by: Amritas at March 25, 2004 01:57 PM

... argh, left out /i twice on the same night! (I erred earlier at LGF.)

I empathize with Sarah's observation. I never did believe in the a priori goodness of people, but now I think people as a WHOLE are worse than I ever imagined. OTOH, I think there are a lot good more people (present company, for instance!) than I used to. I don't feel alone anymore. Blogs are bringing us together.

Posted by: Amritas at March 25, 2004 02:01 PM

Well, it is an astronomy related analogy.

Emission lines are peaks in the spectrum of materials heated until they give off light. Each natural element gives off a unique signature of peaks at certain frequencies. Thats how we determine the material makeup of distant objects (stars, galaxies, nebula). Absorption lines are the opposite, when a cold material (not glowing from heat) is between the observer and the object emitting the light, the freqencies are absorbed depending on the material, and thus missing from the light source.

People also have emission and absorption spectra. When you believe in a concept, and are a proponent/advocate, you emit those aspects. When you disbelieve and try to disabuse people of what you see as a false notion, you absorb that particular 'frequency'.

Either way, you end up with an indentifying unique spectrum.

Posted by: Blueshift at March 29, 2004 06:31 PM

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