Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Light of the Present

The idea that since light has a finite speed the star light we see
originated actually at some time in the past, maybe billions of years
ago, has lost its ability to amaze, though perhaps not irremediably.
Few focus on the reality that the fact the light we see from a candle
must actually also originate in the past and thereby must give us, a
picture of ---- the past, not the current reality we suppose.
And who can imagine that words are like candles. As our OWN words,
even, leave our lips, they are already in the past of any spinal cord
reality. They do not reflect our current thoughts, intentions,
Yet like the Mayan ball games where the loser was a blood sacrifice,
our verbal interplay -- the mass of words, a token, a ball in play,
becomes the entire universe, for modern man. And as in any game,
there are rules, arbitrary rules, which all must accept. And the
rules, say the game is ----not a game, but reality.
There is a way to silently step back and verify for oneself, the game,
it's limitations, it's pretensions. There is a way, but surely it
would be inappropriate to speak of that WAY, to those who trifle with
--- important things, and weight heavily, the irrelevant. And those
who, to use the terminology of Jan Cox, do not even suspect the
importance of an aim.
So yeah, maybe there is such a thing as a light of the present, but how could that be what this post is about?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Impossibility for breakfast

An Italian court has been in the news because a judge there reduced a
murderers sentence (originally nine years) after presented with
evidence the guy had a gene for aggression.

Quoting New Scientist:
"Last week, Nature reported that Pier Valerio Reinotti, an appeal
court judge in Trieste, Italy, cut Bayout's sentence by a year after
finding out he has gene variants linked to aggression."

The science community sputtered about how individual responsibility
was not different for someone with such a gene, and other stuff. The
facts pointed out by Jan Cox, the 20th century empiricist of
mysticism, is that genetics determines everything. Everything, those
nice ladies who would die rather than spill tea while filling
someone's cup, are just as helpless as some bonking conker.

The mechanical mind cannot remember the above and also keep in mind
that man cannot, should not, relinquish a hold on his belief that
individual responsibility is possible. The entire progress of human
history depends partly on persons maintaining such a conviction. So
scientists and more often, commentators will talk on about
environmental versus genetic influences and free will, without ever
noticing such discussions shred comprehensibilty, and this is not
noticed because people HAVE to believe in individual responsibility.
They cannot notice that to talk of genetic influences makes no sense
unless you can draw a line between what is genetically determined and
what is not.

To try though and grasp these contradictory things can be a start
toward appreciating the nature of the human intellect, an organ with a
function different from that imagined by public intellectuals. To
appreciate the impossibility of a task, like personal change in a
universe completely determined, is a necessary step for persons with
a certain aim.