[Standards-JIG] ACTIVE: JEP-0132 (POKE)

Peter Saint-Andre stpeter at jabber.org
Thu Apr 1 18:14:03 UTC 2004

On Thu, Apr 01, 2004 at 08:50:45AM -0700, Craig Kaes wrote:
> I am personally outraged that this JEP was not put through the agreed upon
> process.  It is *not* ready for prime time and should never have made it
> through the comment process, much less be championed by a council member.
> (Who did this, btw?)
> My objections are based on:
> 1) Descartes' _Second Meditations on First Philosophy_, which makes the
> point that I, as a thinking thing who can question his existence, must
> surely exist *as a thinking thing*.  Can I trust my perceptions?
> Resoundingly, *no*.  Consequently, a presence probe protocol dependent on
> sensory perception is hopelessly flawed if the attempt is to know the
> presence status of an individual in a true epistemological sense.

You are obviously not aware that Rene Descartes was a drunken fart.
"Bibo ergo sum"? No wonder he couldn't trust his perceptions.

> 2) Bishop Berkeley claimed that an object cannot exist independently of our
> perceiving it -- meaning that the mere act of probing initiates the very
> perception that makes an individual present when, at the time of initial
> probe, they may or may not have even existed.  How can this be accurate?

The same rebuttal stands. He was a *bishop* after all, and I'd bet drank
quite a bit of holy wine to reach that status.

Yes, JEP-0132 relies on a broadly realist theory of perception, for
which there are good arguments going back to Aristotle, and more recent
work by perceptual psychologists such as the late J.J. Gibson (I refer
you to his works "The Perception of the Visual World" and "The Senses
Considered as Perceptual Systems"). Shall we take besotted philosophers 
from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries as paragons of scientific
knowledge? I think not.


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