Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: Macroinformation.org &
Knatz.com / Teaching / Society / Survival / Integrity /
@ K. 1997
Mission: to argue that the illusions that rule kleptocratic civilization are bi-causal: the magi master illusions for the public; but the public chooses which illusions it wants mastered.
It is my experience that this society maintains its strangle hold on its members through an established hierarchy of mislabelers. The longevity of the hierarchy depends on the fundamental religious, cosmological, and epistemological errors contained in the widespread, mostly unconscious “philosophy” I shall now term Cartamania. (note) Cartamania is the spirit of “Realism” which both ante- and postdates the official Realism of the medieval Scholastics. Cartamania is a principal cover by which kleptocratic functionaries (magician’s assistants) misdirect the public’s attention. Some of the routine switches are God for Truth, Christ for God, Jesus for Christ, Pope for Jesus, priest for Pope, king for God, warlord for right, US for king, US for God, US for good, court procedures for justice, medical procedures for health care, school or university sorting for education, learning, or free inquiry, father for authority, mother for saint … The problem relates intimately to Korzybskian semantics in which a “map” no longer accurately represents a “territory,” if it ever did. (note)
It is my contention further that ultimately it is the strangled members of the society who are responsible for their own deceptions. The magician misleads the audience, the audience supports and is responsible for the magician. The illusions are minimally bi-causal. At bottom (or top, or to the side: this is not a Realist hierarchy), the public, the audience, you (but not I), are the real magician: David Copperfield is your chief assistant when it’s his name on the marquee, the Pope, President, tenured Professor … are among the rest of your assistants.
Magicians assistants may, but need not, know of all the details of a particular trick. Only the hydra-headed public needs to know it all. But of course that public is careful never to know it all in its conscious mind (why then it would be a monster). The public holds its chest of tricks in its id: the infantile part of it that wants not just what it can have but everything: its oil and the Arabs’ oil too, the land it ruined and now the land some other yous haven’t yet ruined … All that and more. It wants to be thought good. Not be good; be thought good. Illusion on illusion. But that’s still not enough. Finally, it wants to be immortal. Not as the parents are (to some extent) through the children; not as the extinct species is through its spin-off species; not as creatura is through pleroma (and visa-versa); … it wants to be personally immortal. (See Creatura, Pleroma, Universals [Link to be restored], and Macroinformation.) No toothache, no aging, no struggle. It wants the show to go on and on. Notice that the heaven that much of this public imagines is a recapitulation of its relationship with David Copperfield, Bill Clinton, Billy Graham …
If you read my module on the History of Magic, you will see that I digest Sir James Frazer’s masterwork as “proving” that god and magical king may have been created by the shaman but that the shaman is created by the public. No sun king is born believing that he makes the sun rise; belief is fed to him with his baby cereal.
I’ll attempt a graphic to illustrate the poly-directional causality of magic, mixing HTML with GIF files. Whether you can see it at once or have to scroll will depend on your monitor and so forth. Notice that my composition is Mannerist: the style that most officially reflects orthodox Christian cosmology. It should really be wide screen, but computers are what we are using.
Carta Magna Magus
|magicians assistants||magicians assistants|
|magicians assistants||magicians assistants||magicians assistants|
At the apex of Cartamania’s cosmological triangle we have God, the Real magician. Meta-Realist institutions freely swap other Real magicians as convenient: king, pope, president, judge, teacher, actor, star … A rationally sentient creature, whatever he imagines the geometry of his cosmology to be, might well still have a hierarchy, might well still decide to symbolically associate his prime principles with the “top” of his graph, but should, if this rationally sentient creature is right, find no magic in his ur-set. What belong there are the actual ur-principles of the actual universe. He should be careful to distinguish between actual natural laws and sentient descriptions of natural laws. If his cosmos is greater than his universe, then he may have a still higher set of ur-principles. Yet he should always remember that such sets are his. Truth, god, or the universe has presented no maps: only the territory itself. Maps are sentient artifacts: part of the territory only insofar as everything we do (every lie we tell, yesterday’s breath, whether diseased or healthy), becomes part of the territory.
I trust you notice that the “Real” of Realism or of Cartamania does not mean “real” as in “actual” or in “rationally investigatable.” See the scratch sheet [Link to be restored] on Realism I’m developing for the directory on my original Shakespeare thesis. I’ve chosen a hue of purple to symbolism Cartamania in the above graphic. The circles symbolize the public, the citizenry, the audience … the puppets that pull the millions of strings that control the puppet masters as they pull their mere thousands of strings. The puppets’ outlines are variously colored. Understand that their composition symbolizes the random. They mix around. Some are more “grouped” than others. All but two are filled with the purple of Cartamania. Those two are plain black in outline and are transparent to show whatever background they’re against. Are you one of the independents they symbolize? I am. I also intend by them: master teachers Jared Diamond and the late Gregory Bateson; that master of master-scientist-teachers, Ilya Prigogine … We are not puppets voluntarily. We cut what strings we can and struggle against those we can’t cut.
If you know either of those living masters, please invite them here so they can voice ratification or objection. If you believe you belong on my short list, contact me and prove it.
Woody Allen was wrong. Time isn’t so that everything doesn’t happen at once; everything doesn’t happen at once so that the magician can place his assistants intricately enough that once the illusion is orchestrated, no assistant will remember that he’s in a trick, part of the mechanism of illusion.
OK, so far I’ve written introduction. Where’s the mislabeling? Well, bad cosmologies are certainly wrong maps, the most important wrong labels. Maybe tomorrow I’ll move the above to my magic directory, put it next to my history of magic. Meantime, I’ll gather breath and go on.
We the People
Cartamania: Two-Body vs. N-Body Problems (“mixed” note)
2014 04 10 I add a continuation of the old theme: Label Toss.
Hitler can be overthrown, by Stalin. God can be overthrown, by the Temple. The Temple can be overthrown, by the Church. The Church can be overthrown, by Congress.
Last years’ mislabels can be replaced by this years’ mislabels.
If only the mislabeling machinery could be overthrown!
(It can be, will be: just leave it alone: we’ll fail to survive, fail to learn, all by ourselves.)
2015 08 05 One way kleptocracies keep their thrones while growing their power is by managing information. Evidence counter to the agenda goes to the circular file on the floor: Macbeth’s minions can send testimonies down the memory hole. But also, governments excel at sending warnings to the wrong address:
Say someone who wants humans and other creatures to survive therefore also wants to establish a science bout cutting the rain forest:
He writes an overview, send it to the government of Brazil.
Brazil can return the package with a request that the writer’s credentials be established: what right does Galileo have to look at the moons of Jupiter when the Church already has established all astronomical truth (by interpreting the Latin Bible?)
There’s an endless array of departments the package could be mis-forwarded to.
The peasant cuts ten trees to plant crops: the corporation cuts 10,000,000 trees to give the money to the banks that loaned a timber company $10 50 years ago: now the protest letter is delivered to the peasant who cut the ten trees and who has eaten the food.
Concerned about Nixon and Watergate? Complain to the White House ethics division.
I here repeat my note from Meta-Oxymoron:
Scholastic Realism was a serious philosophy worked on by serious men, some, like Saint Thomas Aquinas, of serious genius. The largely unconscious “philosophy” that preceded Scholasticism and continues to seem immortal I shall henceforth characterize as Cartamania. I tried Ur-Realism, Pseudo-Realism, Meta-Scholasticism, Meta-Realism, Junk-Idealism … one as awful as the other. I am at least for the moment happy with my decision as it avoids the wholly misleading homonym “realism.” As I plan to make stentorianly apparent, Cartamania is the habit of “thought” by which man prefers familiar “maps” to actual territories, especially if the maps are old. Man’s natural tendency will be the better facilitated where the maps are supported by institutional force. It’s Scholastic Realism that encourages the faithful to believe that the priest represents God, the bride to concentrate on the sacrament of marriage and ignore her black eye. Cartamania is both ancestor to and descendant of Scholastic Realism. Whether or not Shakespeare ever heard of Scholastic Realism, he certainly knew of Christian Orthodoxy. It’s Cartamania that in part empowers the ideal sonnets. It’s Cartamania in part that gives us epiphanies while reading Let me not to the marriage of true minds/ Admit impediments. It is also Cartamania that leads citizens of states to believe that the police or military protect, that “law” and “order” can be connected by a government, that courtroom procedures are justice, that medical procedures are health care.
Also note please that I wrote this file before I coined the term Cartamania. Therefore the diction mixes Cartamania, Realism, Meta-Realism …
Map for Territory: Iron Mountain
An old file in my Meta-Oxymoron section mentions the Report from Iron Mountain. A girl friend once handed me that book and asked if I’d tell her what I thought. We were working on a project of mine at the time, but I took a moment to glance at the first paragraph. I burst out laughing. Dear Ginny’s face showed highly mixed emotions: curiosity, confusion, awe … It seems that the book had been assigned in some class she was taking. Her fellow students were confused, maddened, numbed by it. The book argued that since preserving the United States is the most important of all things, that … (I haven’t seen the book but that one time and that was well over twenty years ago, so I don’t pretend to too great accuracy here, but, in essence,) nuclear war is not only thinkable, but doable.
A human usually sets the premises in place before activating the logic process.
Ginny said that the teacher then informed them that it was a joke. No one in the class had laughed. How come my sides were splitting within ten seconds? Her fellows had found no chinks in the logic. Would I explain the joke and their error to her? The chink was in the first phrase of the first sentence: a hole big enough for all of us to fall into and disappear. The authors had bet the farm that we would equate the United States with “good,” treat them as equivalent. If the United States is not preserved then good will not be preserved. That’s like confusing your own death with the extinction of a species.
I don’t believe I ever “explained” it very well to Ginny. I would have had to write the better part of my Thinking Tools Menu to do so. And that took me till my late fifties to even start to try. (2004 08 06 I’ve added a start to a piece on Axiom Reliability.)