Friday, January 2, 2015

A pile of -- peoples

Pebbles on a mountain side are unlike pebbles worn by the waves. In their tiny peaks and steep inclines they may well bear a fractal resemblance to the mountain on which they rest. Usually rest. For of course the ambient conditions and interior volcanic potential of the mountain can at any time initiate movement the pebbles might well misdescribe as something they themselves had intended. Skidding, bouncing, down a slope, can't you hear them insisting they had planned the whole excursion? 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Is there really a wall between the inside and the outside, of man

We quote now from a National Geographic  blog

Take two people with identical genes and put them in different environments, and some of their genes may respond in different ways. That's long been a good counterargument against genetic hyper-determinism.

Oh really. I like this quote because it simply states an assumption apparent in much writing about science--- this concern about preserving man's free will. In this case, if we tug at his argument, it may show up sloppy thinking. The idea is that  greater complexity is an avenue for greater freedom for the individual. Yet how could that be. Greater complexity just mean more intricate genetic functioning. Greater complexity mean tighter determinism not a lapse from "hyper-determinism." It seems so obvious, but that is because I heard Jan Cox discussing causality  occasionally. Relevant here is his pointing out that there is no  genetic inside and environmental outside. That environment outside you, it is just more genetics. So obvious, what is outside us, it is genetic also. 

This kind of blatant disregard for reality, is something to ponder, another time. 

Monday, December 29, 2014

When words are worthless

This article is interesting as an example of how ordinary language can plausibly miss the whole reality. I copied this paragraph--

But the notion of ending suffering through extreme spiritual stances—the cessation of desire (Buddhism) or of emotion (Stoicism)—doesn't square well with other values we hold dear, such as caring for one another or seeking to improve our own lives.

May I suggest that the case may be quite otherwise. What if such discipline is in fact a means of feeling for others beyond the bounds of normal experience. I merely present this as a possibility.