SETI BOUNCE Non-member submission from [Robert Clements <>]

Bob Cutter (
Mon, 27 Sep 1999 07:27:59 -0600

>Date: Mon, 27 Sep 1999 02:29:55 -0600
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>Subject: BOUNCE Non-member submission from [Robert
Clements <>]
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>To: "Clements, Robert" <>
>From: Robert Clements <>
>Subject: Re: FW: SETI-L: Lucretius & Apparent Psionic ET Machines
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: []
>>> Sent: Tuesday, September 21, 1999 4:44 pm
>>> To:
>>> Subject: SETI-L: Lucretius & Apparent Psionic ET Machines
>>> Hello Robert,
>>> Ok, you answered the first two questions handily and elegantly,
>>> what about the psionic aspect? Just because this is an
>>> apparently modern observed phenomenon in suspected ET
>>> machine visitations, does not preclude it from being an ancient
>>> (Earth metric) observation as well.
>>> Were there indications that support 'out-side', i.e.,
>>> non-Terrestrial observational influence?
>>> Best Wishes,
>>> Walt Williams, 99.09.20
>>> SETV
>Haven't been avoiding youir question: i've just been off work for the best
>part of a week; & i wasn't FWing SETI messages to my home email. I was able
>to get this fixed this morning (our time); but as i'm likely to be off work
>for @ least another week, delays in responses are likely to continue... i'm
>not even sure i can publically post from this email address...)
>There's no real answer that i can give here; especially as the tradition of
>human insight being attributed to visions received Enuma Elish (when on
>high; the opening characters of the Sumerian creation mythology) was (qf
>Parmenides's astonishing Way of Being/Way of Seeing; which offers an opposed
>idealised - & therefore true - vision of reality with what must have
>originally been a detailed summary of the - supposedly false - knowledge of
>the universe as available to a mystically inclined Greek philosopher of the
>time), is (the only marginally less astonishing Italian count & composer,
>Giacinto Scelsi) & probably will continue to be a major part of our
>intellectual heritage (whether we like it or not)....
>... however: when i reread the relevant book (2) in Lucretius (from a cheap
>CD Rom called _Great Works of Literature_, if anyone's interested) - the
>provocatively titled _Infinite Worlds_ - to reacquaint myself with the
>arguments, i found them much as i remembered them: relentlessly rational in
>the classic Greek style....
>(The ancient Greeks almost fetishised rationality & logic; to the extent
>that simple parodoxes like Xeno's arguments against motion or the sour
>intellectual jape known as the Cretan - to this day Greeks tend to consider
>Cretans shifty & rather untrustworthy (qv, Zorba the Greek)... the Megarian
>thinkers used this racism to create the conundrum of a Cretan saying: i am
>lying; & used the inability to deduce truth or falsehood (or either; or
>both) from the statement as a cornerstone of their philosophy - could be
>intellectually terrifying)
>... naturally observed; & in some places, startlingly modernistic. No
>extraterrestrial vantage point to justify the argument is offered; any more
>than the noble dog, Diogenes the cynic, used Hubble's constant to link
>himself to the Cosmos (the expression cosmopolitan - literally, citizen of
>the Cosmos - is often att. Diogenes; & whether this attribution is true or
>not, it certainly reflects the idealism which lurks behind classical
>cynicism)... all both philosophers needed was a profound belief in the sense
>of underlying order closely associated with the Greek expression _Cosmos_.
>Like Bruno, Huygens & Sagan after him; with Lucretius, the default
>assumption is that the infinite worlds exist; & his arguments are mainly
>illustrative... & - @ first glance - oddly reassuring....
>(On this last point: you have to remember that Lucretius is the poet
>laureaute emeritus of all spin doctors: basically a propagandist for the
>cause of atomism; he does this in large part by reassuring the punters that
>the radical insights offered by his teachers ARE NOT A THREAT (capitalised
>because extremely important)... consolations to the reader - reassurances,
>if your prefer - recur throughout the poem, especially in book 2)
>To bring this aside back to the titular subject of this list:
>There are pluses & minuses in finding writings easily misattributable to Dr
>Carl Sagan a couple of millenia before he was born: on one level, one can
>reassure oneself that our reasoning isn't completely an (figuratively) alien
>artefact of the 20th century; on the other, one can also wonder if all it
>really shows us is that we persist in making the same intellectual conceits
>& errors. In the light of writers like Lucretius & the atomist thinkers who
>shined his path (Leucippus, Democritus, Epicurus, etc), we need to be
>especially vigilant in analysing our own reasoning when it comes to this
>area; particularly if the results from the various strands of SETI, OSETI &
>ASETI research continue to come up negative. It's clear that an assumption
>about infinite inhabited worlds is as obvious & reassuring for some thinkers
>as it is terrifying for others....
>All the best,
>Robert Clements <>

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