Posts tagged ‘truth’

Intelligence and Survivability


Problem-solving skills rely first of all on the definition of the problem.  That’s the major reason IQ tests vary from unreliable to meaningless.  Ascribing value to absolute statements in a relative world seems at best suspect.  And at least in one way “intelligence” comes out the loser–because it’s utterly dependent on a [perceived] status quo.

…And believe it or not, a depression should be a subset of the problem just described.  Bets were on at mid-century that this was going to be a Rome-burning, unless current leaders relied on holocaust to cement and prove power, all retreating to hardened bunkers and hopefully wait out the Gotterdamerung.

–Glenn

December 15, 2008 at 10:11 pm Leave a comment

Empiricism and Assumptions


The primary assumption of empiricism (more accurately, the empirical paradigm) is consistency.  You could call that constancy.  That is, “reality” isn’t going to vary significantly.  What exists now is basically at least what did exist and what will exist.

A “for instance” appears to be that the Earth has always orbited the Sun at about the same distance.  I’m not sacred in that field, I’m not a scientist, so I don’t know.

Unstated assumptions should be assumed to be operatively false–hypotheses–until tested.  [There’s an actual logic behind what I just described.  Historically it’s worked quite well.  So according to the empirical hypotheses it’s as “true” as things get.)

Interesting to actually be scribbling this volume of thoughts out.  Interesting too that I apparently made the correct decision to on the whole avoid schools and the educated because their version of reality was on the whole so very different from mine.  Same data, shatteringly different conclusions.

–Glenn

October 24, 2008 at 5:18 pm Leave a comment

Modal Philosophy


The primary problem I’m facing now is deceptively simple; what are modes?  Combine this with the statement that each occurrence is necessarily unique in some respects, and it becomes obvious that primarily modality is an artifact of a representational system or systems, although it is real in various respects.  It affects action (because it affects perception); modes can be shared (to some extent they have to be, because society per se is a product of shared perceptions which are the products of modes) and have stability.  A repetitive characteristic of modes is the assumption of the norm; what is experienced “now” (variously defined) is what has been and will be.  [Adaptation is the product most of all of pain.]  Modes are absolutely not exclusive.  Exclusive modes are the product of abstraction; Dooyeveert’s choice of “justice” as a mode was perhaps as perfect an example of this as could exist.  Modes as we know them descriptively are lingually-derived.  Experience itself is and must be pre-lingual.  The behaviorists and Freudians both might or might not argue.  If “conscious” experience then is lingual free will in most is arguable.

–Glenn

This is a tiny fragment of what I’ve been muttering about having thought about for forty years.  I’ve finally come to some actual conclusions.  Sort of; my philosophy doesn’t actually allow for absolutes, odd as that may seem.  The true origin lies in the meeting of Aristotle, Plato, Socrates, Luther, and Calvin of all things.  Throw in a little Bible (I did read it three times) and a few other books, plus at least a million words I’ve written (I’ve probably managed to get a thousand published).

September 27, 2008 at 4:12 am Leave a comment

Continuing Steps Toward Examination of Reality


 

08/24/08

12:35:29 AM

Interesting. Anyway. To continue on, all the formal human reasoning I’m familiar with is founded on the assumption of only yes/no. At best, an accurate representation would be yes/no/maybe, although “maybe” would actually be more definitive than desired. Again, we’re dealing with the matter of definition by either of two methods; inclusion or exclusion. Each has its dangers. If perceived relevance is to be governed by a limited timeframe (the common political timeframe—and like it or not, that’s not actually an insult, because in order to do good one must retain power) then the primary theme of definition will in fact tend to be exclusive. You “winnow out the chaff from the wheat”. However, the primary result in crucial situations often is the substitution of the actually petty for the real issues. Global warming is eventual in light of two things; the shortage of fuel and oil. I remember something about huge storms being likely as well; I dismissed them at the time as fantasy. I believe the source was RAND corp.

 

One result of the assumption of a series of yes/no decisions when some were more complex decisions made knowingly would be something like whosit’s “fan effect”. There are several obvious ongoing sources of inaccuracy, after all. The guard for the bottle’s cork decided on a protracted vacation some time ago, according to rumor.

 

Actually, no, I’m not drunk. It would be hard for me to be so. Fatal rather quickly, seizures and heart attacks and stuff like that.

 

What is happening is that I’m writing down in public the fruits of 40 years worth of thought, some of which could have been construed as sensitive and could in no wise now. By anyone sane. And if not, after having become criminal over being epileptic…whatever. Pity I can’t get drunk.

–Glenn

I do have more for tomorrow. Already written down. Might even manage to follow the whole thing or most of it through. Convoluted English or whatever there.

 

04:25:21 AM

I’ll end up updating the online copy, I guess.

 

04:36:10 AM

The biggest thing here is that it’s not necessarily fight/flight. It appears that with some creatures it is. An argument could be made that reptilian behavior is mostly instinctive. “Submission”–again a catch-all sort of phrase—is the third choice. One enters into a pattern of behavior which is ordered, and the order is lent by “society”, the existence of which is signified first of all by language. There is some evidence that language originated in the coordination of hunting. I don’t actually have an opinion on that. We do have strong evidence that the one instinctive behavior of humans and of most if not all mammals is modelling; copying the behavior of the nearest being perceived as similar and “identifying” with it—following it and trying to remain with it. There is a great deal of evidence that there is language—communication I should say—between animals which we don’t perceive; maybe we can’t. There’s also a great deal of evidence that there is communication between humans which isn’t “consciously” perceived. Part of the conscious/unconscious dichotomy is actually based on a necessary division in consciousness between lingual and personal. A “criminal” doesn’t share enough social consciousness, and this definition hasn’t changed for a very long time.

 

04:49:56 AM

Back to reality. It’s defined in terms of language not least because that allows the rules of transaction to be described. Language establishes proper protocols. It does this by allowing means of determination of value, by providing means of protecting social (organizational) stability, and so establishing the place of each within the given society. Note that this is an entirely finite procedure, and that it is not adapted to a changing environment or a changing population. It seems likely that the pyramidal model is adapted early-on simply to allow for quick decisions, especially militarily.

 

The kinds of tactics that are exhibited, especially those which are supposedly handed down, suggest that they were first developed during a time when resources were becoming steadily less plentiful, and when a great many people felt that something “humans” (or the ruling species; I would assume humanity for a number of reasons) had done had caused the situation. Essentially, they were fighting over dwindling resources but had reason to believe that whatever it was would stop short of total catastrophe.

05:11:31 AM

The reason I say this is because no doomsday tactics are used, although they seem to be a component of all the reasoning systems of which I’m aware. The prisoner and the guard have a sneaking admiration for each other, and the illiterate junkie watches cop shows. More than that, there are a thousand, a million little things that are actually commonly known (“common sense”) and discounted for just that reason. For some reason the scholastic discounts all he hasn’t learned with books and proper studies.

05:50:54 AM

I’m also doing maintenance on the computer: partially it’s merely glorying in the silence. Having turned off the air conditioner (it was doing its fanly duties, at 76 degrees F) all I can hear is the whir of a high speed fan. One one of the external hard drives, no less.

 

Anyway, there aren’t any tactics used or suggested for the present time that reflect complete despair. Even with the barbarian knocking at the door there’s time for a cup of tea and the reflection that time tends to level all. Meaning is far different to a mountain than to a man. Rather, there is a conservation of resources in that the outsider is progressively forced out. Changes in routines are feared. There’s a constant echo of “gods walked the earth” that yet makes me wonder. In humans there is an ongoing drive that I see to discriminate against the different. Partially this is survival both during the period of dwindling resources (which looks to have been a foreseen Ice Age) and when habits that were toward survival then (during the age of ice) aren’t so much now…unless the population spreads out. I see no evidence of instinct in humans other than that which is carried by language.

 

Differing languages are a quick way of distinguishing friend from foe, as are differing customs. There’s a lot of fear of change reflected in the religions we yet have, and a lot of concern about defining good and evil very carefully. It’s also pretty obvious that what power government has is granted (at least in the eyes of the religion) rather than inherent. Magic is present in every culture by various names (“miracle” is a much more accepted term in the Western pastiche of culture). Government begins in a pyramidal form; quicker decisions, winnowing of information, again. This actually leads to the separation—religion, government, and military.

 

To my eye there are a lot of signs that most current disciplines evolved under a regime of expansion. One absolute rule I derive from this is that the notion of this world—of any world—being in other than a state of flux is simply ridiculous. There is no stability. The ancient idea of Heaven sprang from a vision of a land of plenty which didn’t change.

 

Most of all and first of all, language is a set of protocols for defining and evaluating experience, and then reacting to it properly. That’s what it does. It does this by operating within a structure of similar beings who have learned it. Most of the people who use these protocols understand them poorly. Often, it is against their system of belief to examine such protocols and procedures for evaluating things. It may be a “sin”–against their system of [generally] non-judicial religious practices, or it may even be a crime (I can remember at least one where the penalty was death, although I can’t quite quote the where-and-when; middle East, seems like Afghanistan, scientist, genetics, mid-century and at the behest of the government no less). If the examination of the protocol should trespass upon the area also defined by nationalism, patriotism and all sorts of weird things could be dragged in.

 

06:22:07 AM

Ayn Rand and all sorts of weird things like Tom whosit could be dragged in at this point. There are protocols which are regarded as sacred, quite simply. To examine the sacrosanct is profanity.

 

It can be easily argued that religion just starts out right after language, or maybe at the same time. It reminds you of how to do things, and who you are in relation to the group. It gives you a reason to do things. With smaller groups, nothing like money would have to be involved, because for one thing survival would be chancy. The limits of such a group may well be defined by mobility, which in turn is defined by the size of the group and the relative “climate” of “their” area. There is also of course the relative density of population to be considered.

 

–The “Territorial Imperative”. This needs to be restated considerably. There are innumerable instances of cooperation between species and in fact between members of the same species if there is no shortage, and if of course the species type allows for anything other than intra-species aggression. To start with, we’re deaf, dumb, and blind. Most of the signals which pass between animals we can’t physically sense. The sorts of things that occur in consistent patterns at least suggest that such communication exists, from sounds to twitches and scents. That we’re centered so much on sight and that kind of ordering means all sorts of ancillary things that are quite problematic. One of the main sources of this guy’s hypothesis was in fact the Law of Identity, which in fact is the law that says something like any and all representations are true or something like that.

 

06:40:05 AM

And then methods of knowledge. I think it needs to be noted quite early here that the field of philosophy about the same time that the English language gets regularized into its very own Oxford legitimization…splits into various fields of knowledge. The love of knowledge, I suppose, acquires multiple personalities after becoming schizophrenic (due to peer pressure, no doubt). More seriously, this occurs at about the time the effect of the printing press begins to be generally felt, the pressure of the Black Death lessens extremely, overpopulation becomes a crisis in France and England, and all existent social structures seem rickety if not destined to fail momentarily.

 

06:49:30 AM

Universities and colleges are established once there is a means of producing manuscripts other than illumination. I’ve always wondered about the “little Renaissance” in Italy 800-900 A.D. Whence the books? But then there’s the question of time. Again. In any case it was shattered by the Black Plague. Figures alter; my guess is that two thirds of the population of Europe perished. At this point I can only find it interesting that it coincides with some major changes in weather.

 

The non-ecclesiastic ways of knowledge quickly establish their own tests of legitimacy. Bear in mind that the whole empirical model was established at first simply to get out of complications aroused by considerations of things at least unlikely to be physically existent, or to be sensed by humans. There are many matters which are only those of faith, and the tests would seem not to lie within the physical sphere. On the other hand, an arch which is constructed on the design of a prayerbook may well turn out to be structurally unsound. Mixtures can be tested, whereas the testing of prayers would seem chancy at best.

 

10:57:27 AM

One immediate problem here though is that of social structures, which by nature can’t be tested very well, first of all by the nature of language as we know it.

11:03:10 AM

Language incorporates the truth of perception, a theoretically shared perception. We do pretty well know there’s some variance from person to person. At one point what went on within a country’s borders was pretty much that country’s business, which definitely isn’t true any more. What seem to be the most deciding factors are the same ones that have governed the desirability of wars for years (maintenance of power, focusing discontent on those damned foreigners, that sort of thing) and the new kid on the block, media. Unfortunately that latter appears to be at the end of the whole thing a lot of noise. The driving factor is what will attract the passing attention of the average complete idiot. Unfortunately, they do pretty well, which means I guess that we’re all complete idiots.

 

If the Law of Identity isn’t true, then a unique representation is necessary for each and every object in any given set. The definition of a set is basically any possible perspective on perceived data. Falsity and truth are relative. A more accurate restatement is that language intrinsically isn’t true.

 

Language, at least as we’re using it here, is meant to convey information between “people”. This may include animals. It may include animals of different species communicating with each other variously. As humans use it, it intrinsically includes things like relative social stature. Some of these concepts don’t even enter the realm of truth outside society. Most human values are at least tertiary. That is, the values that we employ in day-to-day life only have to do with society. Things to do with survival, like providing heat or food directly, are impossible for most of the people in the U.S. (because of their location) and they don’t have the faintest idea of how to do them anyway.

 

Thus for most humans in a real way society is a shared delusion. One of the apparent meanings of catastrophic depressions is that that way of representing reality just doesn’t work terribly well. It’s also pretty obvious that humans are having a hard time learning that lesson. It does look like this kind of representation—money, economic representation—is necessary when your population reaches a certain level, and that at some point fairly soon after a lot of people either go crazy, or realize they’re crazy. Or possibly just admit they’re crazy I suppose.

—————————————

Glenn/latest edition/addition and still not drunk (it still would be fatal), still not sleeping…sleeping…

August 24, 2008 at 3:11 am Leave a comment

I Hear Reality Is Just a Step Away


 

08/23/08

This is the first entry on the “new” computer. That is, with the fan cannibalized off Rose’s old computer, and with the brand new 320-gig interior hard drive. I can’t hear the bloody computer any more. I hadn’t actually realized I could, I guess. So a lot of the over-heating was most likely simply due to a hard drive that shouldn’t have been working at all. Diablo II operated smoothly. I think both hard drives were used, although the larger one was narrowly. Whatever. I’ll be setting up some drive syncs. The oddest thing is being able to do something on the system now even while the CPU is using most or all of its capacity. I’m planning on saving all writing to a central “My Documents” folder and then mirroring it. I also will be cleaning off an exterior hard drive from the looks of things since I couldn’t get Norton Save & Restore to initiate. I really don’t think it’s a virus, either. I hope not. I’m getting tired of this crap. I keep running checks and I keep protection up. I still haven’t quite recovered from Rose telling me she doesn’t trust me because I’m too much of a good trip. I guess I’ll get over it or I won’t, as I told her.

21:29 More appropriate I suppose. Hadn’t thought about the fact that a program has the capability now to insert times. So I may as well do it on the diary-like entries I make. AbiWord because Open Office seems to be much like Microsoft Office in that it’s untrainable in some respects; an opening letter of a “sentence” must be capitalized. That meaning might lie in other directions is simply unsupportable, sort of like some New Age girdle I suppose: can’t be leather because it would be victimizing the beasts but can’t be plastic because it would be victimizing the beasts. …Maybe it should be human skin. But then of course there would be animal-rights activists wondering why we’re having all the fun.

21:37 I think that the first point of focus is going to have to be the representative system. After all, I have finally logically proven that no representative system can actually be true. It has to be infinity plus one, so to speak: so it’s not only the problem of the inter-relationships of the components of the representative system (and the establishment of sets within the system, which is actually what the modal system and Dooyeveert are on about), the problem of modeling permutations within the represented system–because you cannot be assured that each and every instance is identical, each must be represented, unless aspects of relevancy are identified and then defined. Definition essentially means assigning social identity stability. Relevancy is task-oriented, case-oriented, whatever. Either that or you’re daring to assume that your representative system, which was thrown together in a limited amount of time and for timely reasons…is absolutely true, for all time and under all situations. This is where Dooyeveert fell.

 

21:51 One thing you do know is that any judgement, and particularly any valuation or valorization, is relative and the product of a work of artifice. Language is by nature artificial. Our only hope toward a first step of reasoning clearly would be the production of an artificial language. One of the problems confronting even the mention thereof is quite similar to the realization in the late 1970’s that indeed one soldier could be given the power to wipe out an entire city. Trust is perhaps even more a product of artifice than is any monetary value. The real problem is going to come when need intersects with its description. Need alone has little power. Description, even masterful description, when it is not driven and kept if not secret then certainly not advertised–that has no power at all. Every time, though, that the two have met, whole worlds of perceived structure have fallen.

 

22:10 At about 14 I actually did become convinced that there was a sort of loop involved in the information available to me. truth/reality/perception/description and pick any part of it, proceed in any direction on it, and you came back to where you started. Eventually. No matter the grand words of it. I did try to have faith, which I perhaps foolishly defined as a belief in some sort of God directing things. I mean presumably in real time. Like, that would be what the deacon’s meetings were about. To this day, I haven’t the faintest idea. The ministers or for the Catholics the priests, the holy men, all interpreted reality so that… Easiest answer was, maintain the power structure. There would be a few exceptions.

 

If you have someone who is exceptionally intelligent, you have to hope she or he is also exceptionally moral. At this point, I would be interested in using this. As in, I did my part.

22:23 Yeah. Besides, it would be fun. And it would be the part indicated if the character survived this long, for that matter. Loki. Good at that.

 

Anyway, that reality/truth thing is tricky. That intent should be indicative of veracity is asinine. If that were true every man would be a (successful) politician. Reality is the presumptive, that is, in the justinian model, while truth is a matter of intent. That nearly got us into nuclear war, by the way.

 

The first step in approaching reality is the realization that no system of representation we have is necessarily particularly close to what is occurring. One good example of this is the recurring question about why we’re not getting radio signals, and how much energy we’re throwing out. They’re using something that’s a lot more efficient, probably FTL, and we’re at best the guys with the big speakers on the corner of the block, nice guys, but too loud and keep the beer inside.

 

 

What I actually mean here is that our assumptions of linear causation aren’t possible. Few occurrences have one cause. Fewer occur by themselves. We assume time is one way because of our representative system. We state things are proven when by our own definitions a hypothesis has graduated to a theory, that is all, and all that can happen. There are innumerable assumptions within every statement we make, and few of us even guess at what they might be. Reality is something that we guess toward; that those oriented toward corners tell us the solution is math I find somehow ironic. And they are, note this, quite carefully telling the truth. Most of the time, anyway. Bear in mind that any given discipline does tend to define relevance pretty, well, sort of, well…automatically. Using the principle of exclusion, as anyone who’s dealt with a government agency can testify. Bear in mind that if language is what you use to define reality then what you can’t say isn’t real.

 

…Yet faith is a primary component in any society, and actually quite often cited in government appeals, presumably not to be overthrown (or they’ll sick the police, army, and navy on us). Might bomb us too. Oops. “Sic.” Sic. …Sick.

–Glenn

August 24, 2008 at 12:59 am Leave a comment

poetry: for hippy john


 

 

 

the hippy

 

I.

The hippy’s woman

spends an hour, in the morning,

combing

her tired and frizzy hair, vainly attempting

to hide the scars

 

that clown her face,

distort her smile.

 

Gentle she seems, meek

(but the careful avoidances

mask a thing

the hippy knows too well):

 

her words wander,

refracting sometimes strangely: hebephrenia, perhaps:

or,

may be,

 

she carries scars too

in her brain.

 

…having outlined and

emphasized, I say,

she goes out to assume the burden

 

of another day.

 

II.

 

The hippy rises early,

most mornings. Brandied

coffee, joint fuming brain,

he starts the fire…

 

and what will he do

today. This home,

this house; a symbol.

 

He made the money

selling pot. (say

that softly, now.)

 

He built it himself:

hoisted each beam, shifted

each plank; this ‘place’

 

is no place, it is part

of his self, writ large

and quite wordlessly.

 

He has missed the city at times,

to be sure. He has few visitors,

here on his scrubby hill.

 

But he knows this hill

as once he knew lovers;

each curve recalling a secret,

 

a private experience; he hasn’t

had so many paths

since childhood.

 

The land knows no lies,

no portents, no meanings: the deer

do not cry of justice,

 

struggling against that

long vaguely sensed, and suddenly familiar spectre.

 

He has known, at times

a mysterious calmness: “all things,” he says later,

vaguely,

 

“made equal and thus all

things one, no division

any longer visible

 

“whether of self or other, whether

of gain or loss, where

there is no word nor separation.”

 

The knowledge, you see,

is quite quiet; nearly, in fact, silent. I say, he

daily

becomes more silent.

 

III.

 

They greet me as a friend

each time they meet me.

(But each hearing

can breed echoes, with some.

 

Perhaps somewhere

i lost my sense of time:

i think

i have never been touched.)

 

Am i my own friend?

At times this same insight

is self-directed, pauses each

word and swallows each act.

 

I have never been, in a sense

other than a stranger

to anyone, at all. The price

of poetry is silence: but of its lack, noise. I have

learned silence,

by now, fairly well.

But how do you speak

a lack of words?–we say

 

little, really, the hippy

and i. Shadows…

this next time, I’ll sharpen

his knife.

 

(silence

has many forms)

 

IV.

 

Fugitive images and

vain vague images: once,

I can remember, I hoped

to be free.

 

I lived on the hippy’s

land, for a while.

It was bad for my art

and not good for me;

 

we drank those months

away. Yet still these visions

of some esoteric brotherhood

will not resolve

 

to vain dreams

and self-deceptions.

 

–i have described myself

quite often

 

as a voyager toward

truth. but, to be honest,

 

i’m not at all certain

how to stand it, should i find it.

———————————————————

Glenn

August 20, 2008 at 7:32 pm Leave a comment

footnotes 2: dry humor or at least not totally wet behind…never mind


The only thing ever bought or sold isn’t real; it’s only its representation.

In order to decide what’s true you have to know what’s real.

Have you ever thought about the phrase “Never mind?”  Have you ever wondered if our government people take it too literally?

Have you ever really thought about the meaning of the word “footnote”?  Leaving the need to be double-jointed aside (I did bite my toenails as a teenager), what did they use to write on the bottom of someone’s foot in the fifteenth century?

We just intuitively want the universe to mean something.  That’s the first card in every con man’s pocket.  “If it’s too good to be true, it isn’t true.”

Causation is an unprovable hypothesis.

Money is a matter of faith.

If we know anything certainly, it’s that life is change.  That means the minute we start attempting not to change, we’re attempting to die.

It’s because identity has so little to do with names that we have problems identifying it.  Of course, in the process we’re trying to use words, which are names.

If you can’t make the connections you don’t really have the knowledge.

Knowledge is priceless–once it’s organized.  Disorganized knowledge is worthless.

Really, if we know anything certainly, it’s that we don’t know a damned thing certainly.

————————————————————————-

Glenn

July 19, 2008 at 12:59 pm Leave a comment

methodology and methods of definition


The actual problem with a discipline like philosophy is as obvious as it is painful; presumably those who proudly presume to pursue it do so with the proper grandeur of those who can afford invisible clothes.

 

It would seem to begin with as simple an observation of the concept of “truth”, and even in only one respect; is it simple, or is it complex? and the answer, unfortunately, is that it is complex.  It is, and it ever shall be, and this has been the doom of a great many people.

–Glenn

[definitely notes toward]

April 25, 2008 at 9:31 pm Leave a comment

are you smart? who are they kidding??


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4250964/ is a section of the week in news, a recurring feature.  These idiots think someone’s I.Q. (which may merely be a logic/gaming quotient, what “they” (the experts, of course) said when someone actually aced the Stanford-Binet.  Oh, wait.  MS.  Microsoft.  Okay.  So they’re complete idiots and think that what they say is the measure of truth and intelligence.  They want ‘us’ or at least what they perceive as us…to perceive them as the measure of truth…also misnamed intelligence.

 

And as SF writers have been remarking for some time…the virtues of “intelligence” are debatable.  Probably the first truly lucid discussion was Brian Stableford in the Daedalus series.

–Glenn

–And I will actually get photos and crap up.

April 20, 2008 at 4:30 pm Leave a comment

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