Don Level 03
  • from Ohio
  • Member since Feb 25th 2020
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Posts by Don

    Oh that link is cool!!


    P.Herc. 89 = Philodemus, On God's.

    P.Herc. 118 = Philodemus, On Epicurus.

    P.Herc. 1005= Philodemus, To... (This is the one with the Tetrapharmakos in)

    P.Herc. 1044 = Life of Philonides of Laodicea

    "On the Good King According to Homer" in Greek and Latin.

    Not the most helpful for us, but posting here to provide an idea of the condition of the papyrus. You can take a look at the Greek text and see the are fragments at the beginning but a good amount of in relatively good shape.


    23.1.Fish | Society for Classical Studies

    Jeffrey Fish

    The Closing Columns of Philodemus’ ON THE GOOD KING ACCORDING TO HOMER, PHERC. 1507 COLS. 95-98 (= COLS. 40-43 DORANDI)
    This article presents a reedition of the nal columns of Philodemus’ On the Good King According to Homer (columns 95-98 = cols. 40-43 Dorandi). In the nal…

    Odysseus and the Epicureans
    Odysseus was one of the classic role models for the Stoics. And he was my favorite mythological hero when I was a kid. Both excellent reasons for this…

    I would recommend studying and discussing the Letter to Menoceus, the Principal Doctrines, The Vatican Sayings, and the Torquatus section of Cicero's On Ends.

    If I may, in addition to the more scholarly/narrative translations, I'll offer my translation and commentary of the Menoikeus letter if you're interested:


    Has anyone read Catherine Wilson's other book? I'll admit I have not. Any reviews welcomed.

    The Pocket Epicurean
    The Pocket Epicurean

    Agreed that Dr. Austin's book is the best starting place currently. If you don't want to make people buy her book, my suggestion would be to start with the several podcasts she's done both here and on other shows. If you need links, I think we've added them to the podcasts/modern books section but I can try to consolidate of that would be helpful.

    If you're looking for free resources, DeWitt is available on Internet Archive:

    But, honestly, I'm not as big a fan of his than some on this forum. I think his content is fine, his scholarship is first rate, but his style and vocabulary (and other details) can be a bit off-putting for me. He's not always an easy read. For me **personally** : :thumbup: :thumbup: on his organization and general direction. :thumbdown: on writing style, expanding references beyond what they say, and Christianity around every corner. That said, he's what we have (or had, until Emily's book).

    As an aside: I've recently become interested in Dr. Michael Rucker and his work on including more "fun" in our lives. I've listened to the audiobook of his "The Fun Habit" and even bought the print book and am slowly going though it. I hope to make a (positive) Epicurean response to it some day. He also has a website:

    with a lot of resources.

    *I* think it is an eminently Epicurean book albeit without mention of Epicurus. It could easily have been called The Pleasure Habit, because I think both pleasure and fun have been maligned in our culture, at least in North America.

    I also want to re-read Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry since Dr. Austin brought up the Epicurean example of Augustus "Gus" McCray in that book, set against his friend Woodrow Call, the Stoic.

    Early morning thought. Good luck on your project!!!

    we are born with some faculty within us that makes us better at this, and carry it further, than dogs and cats and the like

    But remember, some animals are born with more ability for pattern "appreciation" than us in some senses, like dogs and the patterns in smells, for example. Read An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us by Ed Yong.

    Perhaps the biggest danger is that somehow any human being might be tempted to give ChatGPT some kind of "authority status" and to somehow think that it is smarter than any human being.

    For example, if you had to "weigh" this:

    -- Kalosyni says "xyz" vs ChatGPT says "xyz"

    It is possible that some people out there would give more credit to ChatGPT?

    This is an excellent point!! That "authority status" is a real problem, especially in people accepting a "good enough" answer and moving on, heedless that they've been given a response entirely void of intellect, human feeling, and introspection (and I use "void" purposefully).

    I will always give more authority and respect to Kalosyni than any AI.

    AI's real promise (as John Oliver shows) is in narrow applications where huge amounts of data need to be winnowed and organized. And I wouldn't call that "authority" just utility.

    And in some ways it isn't any different than asking the opinion of another human being. When I was attending a Buddhist Zen group, there would sometimes be new people asking questions that were very "simple" (almost cringeworthy) which most likely they should have just taken the time to answer for themselves (but the Zen teacher would answer anyway).

    But at least they were asking questions and getting a human response.

    As a librarian, I cringe when I hear other librarians making fun of patrons' "stupid" questions. If someone has a question, they have a void in their information environment that they feel needs filled. The allure of things like ChatGPT is that people can get "good enough" answers and may never know if it's reliable or even accurate.

    I personally think that this particular question that I started the thread out with: "What are the limits of desires?" to be a worthwhile question. And in some ways the ChatGPT maybe didn't fully answer it, so will need to think some more on it.

    Oh, fully agree that it's worthwhile to ask that! I would add that ChatGPT didn't even in reality "answer" the question. It responded algorithmically with segments of text from its training data, mathematically splicing and dicing text that it predicted would occur adjacent to each other, and put it into grammatically comprehensible text. There was no consideration, thought, reflection, scholarship, etc. ChatGPT supplies text that the reader imbues with "authority" that is not present in the product itself.

    I thought this segment from this past Sunday's Last Week Tonight with John Oliver summed up the promise and peril of AI pretty well:

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    Caveat: Please note that this show is on **HBO** so viewer discretion is advised, for language (at least). John Oliver doesn't pull any rhetorical punches.

    I'm going to be blatantly and frankly honest and say I didn't even read what ChatGPT responded with. I think it is extremely dangerous to consult "answers" from AI chatbots, no matter how sophisticated, to questions like this. I will admit it can be a novelty or intriguing, but any answers we want to questions like that should be weighed against *human* feelings and sensations. Chatbots can **only** regurgitate text that has been fed into it and its output only uses an algorithm that tries to piece together predictive sentences that statistically occur adjacent to or in proximity to other texts.

    I've been discussing this whole chatbot thing with my students in library and information science this semester so I freely admit this is a raw nerve, so to speak. But I think it's insidious and, in contexts like this and similar threads on the forum, is frightening. I would encourage us, as Epicureans, not to succumb to the siren song of AI. Don't let the convenience and novelty of this lull us into consulting this technological oracle as if it had some great insights. It may provide some "food for thought" but we would be better served by growing our own food, to finish that metaphor.

    Deep breath.... ... ...

    Kalosyni , this is not directed at you in any way, and I apologize if all that came across as such. That's not my intent. But this seemed an opportunity to unload, as it were, and put all my cards on the table in regards to ChatGPT and its ilk.

    LOL! That was two years ago! I didn't even look at the date.

    PS. That said, I think I still have qualms about seeing "instinctual behavior" as evidence of a prolepsis. I'll have to give it more thought, but that's my leaning right now.