Sunday, October 21, 2018

Not many will get this

The difference between a -- real-- Christian, and a one who can practise 4th Way methods, is, the angle of the neck.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

The Biggest Trick

From Psychology Today today, quote:

Whatever else accounts for consciousness, it is probably an emergent phenomenon—the product of the organization of matter.
An emergent phenomenon (also simply called emergence) refers to how a complex system acquires properties that differ both quantitatively and qualitatively from its simpler constituents—properties that are not inherent to its constituents and cannot be inferred or predicted from them. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. There is no ‘magic’ involved here, just complex physical interactions. Emergence is a spontaneous, bottom-up, self-organising phenomenon of complexity, with no external cause required.
end quote
The definition above exhibits perhaps the oldest trick of the mind. Give something a name, and say, you understand it. And gosh, you stop wondering about it.  What has happened is that you have noticed another characteristic, one that ALSO, needs an explanation. But you have the label you invented, so this escapes your attention.
So you assume you understand it. Throw in a few weasel words like "probably," makes the speaker sound studious. 
And any second that rabbit is going to pull a magician out of his sleeve, and you -----missed it again.
Let's go back to the quote; perhaps I should step this out a bit---
"...emergence...refers to how a complex system acquires properties..."
"How" is precisely what is missing in the description. To refer to

." that are not inherent to its constituents and cannot be inferred or predicted from them...." ignores that a greater complexity still connects with its constituents. Water turned into wine still involves a grid of connection. 

And "a spontaneous, bottom-up, self-organising phenomenon of complexity, with no external cause required..." is a call to pretend we know something we do not; it calls us to ignore the mystery, not ponder, not explore it, not marvel at it, not push the edges.

To say consciousness is "self-organizing and bottoms up", is to say in effect, matter and mind are separate.  So the label emergent functionally takes a mystery recognised  since the beginning to time, and pretends to solve it by some scientific sounding fiat that just reflects sloppy thinking. Sloppy for instance is using the phrase "just complex physical interactions" without noticing no one has a clue about exactly these reactions are.

The denser theologians of the past historically also pretended--- they pretended that mind was some separate god  distributed gift. Problem of the relation between mind and matter thereby solved, in a way very similar to the proponents of "emergence."  

Jan Cox addressed some issues involved with confronting the connection of mind and matter, but this is not the subject at hand.  I cannot resist however, pointing out the big reason  you cannot separate mind and matter, though these are not Jan's words.  Whether it is an emergent "consciousness" or some miraculous gift from a god, when you separate mind and matter---- 

You then have to explain how they get back together.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Some few will

  • “No one ever got lynched and thought, Well, at least this will lead inexorably to the civil-rights movement.” New short fiction by Zadie Smith. | The New Yorker

Origin Story

Did the stability of stone buildings:
The smoothness of the stones,
The enduring aspect of stone
The eruptions from below of stone

Against the repetitive grasses built on immeasurable crumbs of black, all different, all the same,

And all within cornerless globes --

Did these comprehensions give men the idea for ideas, the word for words?

If so it certainly has been a persistent mistake.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Put Down the Gun

Put Down the Gun.

Those weeds were already withering


Your blindfold is slipping.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

On what planet?

On what planet are superheroes born? Perhaps the answer is a lot closer than the fabulists would have us assume.  The function of heroes flying around, doing nice stuff, or not so, their function, in an economy of human energy consumption and output is a real question. Our answer is not meant to be definitive, but an arrow for further cerebral revolutions. And it is this:

As mankind, men and women, have become more engrossed in their imagination, (an aspect of modernity) the place of physical activity has decreased, in human life; it has literally become smaller, as you can estimate from the shift from a farmer's life to the profile of an office worker.

What does such a shift mean for the world people create, in their heads. Interestingtly, that world is now not consumed with stories of Paul Bunyan like heroism, with feats like chopping down lots of trees. That may be implausible, but now, such heroes are even less tethered to any likely scenario. Now the hero in our imaginings of the physical world have wings, or capes, and the whole alarerial dimension, as opposed to a dirt filled real outdoors, is the setting for human heroism.

And notice the place of sex, or lack of it, in such narratives.

Just interesting.

This displacement of energy from the physical to the mental, that may be getting larger, has one outcome: for a tiny minority, it results in greater mental capacity-- as in Stephen Hawking. For most, the numerically disabled, it still results in changes, apparrent in the figments we mention above. For, the mind, less connectedd to the body, still has to have pictures of some sort. And these pictures tell their own story.