Sunday, October 9, 2016

this slogan or that slogan

Not the best example I have noticed today,(October 9, 2016) perhaps, but this headline from the Nautilus newsletter, seeks to interest readers in an article with this headline:
We like to think modern man is inherently different, better somehow, than our ancient forebears. But is that just wishful thinking? 

Newsroom wise that headline must be pretty good--- it got my attention. Even so, just a little thought reveals these sentences to be total gibberish.

Yes, we like to think modern man is inherently different;
yes that is is just wishful thinking.

But man IS different, and alike both, both now, and then.

We inherit the realm of wishful thinking every morning, at least til we have coffee. And then we wishfully think, along with many other thoughts. and we still arrive at work, and valid conclusions, regardless of the hue of our thinking.

My point is these thoughts AND their opposites are equally appropriate.

To pick one, ANY ONE, of these options, yes or no, is to lose a reality which might be glimpsed.

What I am pointing to is the plausibility of that headline. It sounds learned and intriguing; who notices it is ridiculous? That is, if one can stand apart from the ordinary thinking process.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

A Myth of Myths

Interesting article in Scientific American about myths. I am not sure how long that link will work, but I found it originally in the Three Quarks Daily newsletter. Here is the gist:

Folklorists, anthropologists, ethnologists and linguists have long puzzled over why complex mythical stories that surface in cultures widely separated in space and time are strikingly similar. In recent years a promising scientific approach to comparative mythology has emerged in which researchers apply conceptual tools that biologists use to decipher the evolution of living species. In the hands of those who analyze myths, the method, known as phylogenetic analysis, consists of connecting successive versions of a mythical story and constructing a family tree that traces the evolution of the myth over time.

My point is not the use of the word "scientific" above, although it sounds like window-dressing. It is rather that a simpler explanation never occurs to people: these parallel developments may indicate that humanity itself is one organism. Such would offer another possibility to explore by way of understanding "the striking similarity" of cultural ideas "widely separated in space and time." This perspective would suggest that the myth people cling to is of an individuality and separation, which may not be based on much evidence.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Minding the man

An article about research on animal minds, such as the intelligence of gorillas.

What they fail to account for is the question, what is the human mind?  Without a stable answer to that question, the researchers can only flail about discussing the cunning of beasts. What exactly can "anthropomorphic" mean, in no one can identify what distinguishes man?

Monday, October 3, 2016

Isaac Asimov when you need him

And to  open our celebration of Nobel Prize announcement week, we quote a quote we just found this morning--

There is a quote attributed to the scientist and author Isaac Asimov

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the most discoveries, is not “Eureka!” (I found it!) but ‘That’s funny...’
That edge of dawning mystery--- that is what Jan Cox pointed to. His goal was finding this point, and (contra modern science) staying there as long as possible.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Out of the mouths of BBC commentators

NPR just mentioned this:

the Kurds have a phrase, no friends but the mountains.

This is wonderful on many levels.

but the

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

This is not a blog of book reviews

This is not a blog of book reviews, but a recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education caught my attention.  It was how there are so many books that scholars whose job it is to evaluate canons, cannot really read the volumes they are responsible for analyzing. Do not click on that link, my synopsis is not because that view is significant. My recounting is just a setup.

A setup for this perspective: Jan Cox read a lot--- or--- I should say, he evaluated a lot of books, because he did not finish some books. I was going to say "most" books.  He told his students that you can judge a book by reading the first few pages.  I probably should say "glance" at them.

By evaluate we mean grasp "the level of being", to use a Gurdjieffian phrase, of the author. So you see that an academic whimper about the quantity of books on the market has nothing to do with this blog.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Just a wee bit of spam; the musician, Art Davis, was a special friend of Jan's

Order Here

   Evening Peace   

Life will always provide you with a personal soap opera. First, we have our own aspects of life we must deal with, and then the media hits us with every possible dreadful event that is going on in the world.

Our band is dedicated to recording and performing music that touches your heart, your Soul, your funny bone, and your inspirational spirit, so that at the end of the day, when you need something to help you feel better, we offer you
Evening Peace

❤ We offer to you our album, Eight From The Heart❤ 

Inline image 1


 Based out of New York City, Evening Peace has consistently produced music that pushes the boundaries of what music can be by helping one achieve mental and physical relaxation.

❤ We thank you for sharing your time with us. ❤