/ Journal /
1985 – 1997
|Id Intros||Scant Tech Style
Ian McHarg’s “Is Man a planetary disease?” Or is he the acne of puberty?
we’re beginning to send out signals
we’ve begun to be addicted to a romantic literature of union with other exo-biological searchers:
Rendezvous with Rama, 2001, 2010
earth transmission-smells of env
we are not broadcasting to exo-plankton, but to an exo-nubile species.
undefined terms: justice, etc.
racism, prejudice and name magic: control the name/control the thing named. Reduce a complex to one controllable name. JEW, etc.
The alien is the enemy at your borders more than in the heart.
On the death of the soul
God is a battleground for human fumbling about classes of abstraction.
art and fiction are great for self-romancing. Sometimes you can call it lying. Also, it’s one of the few places you can tell the truth with a fair chance of impunity.
My god knows your God; your God doesn’t even know that mine exists.
transfer to sem.dic
Curses: names, curses, caricatures: not only try to injure the other party (homeopathic, name magic), they prepare the utterer semantically denying the other’s humanity, soul, divine presence, rights, etc., preparing the utterer to do real injury. Jew, faggot, nazi, fascist, communist, n-word [Bowdlerizing K., 2016 08 01, I censor an offensive word and substitute something more obscene: euphemism!], foreigner, alien, etc.
PROOF: at some point all “knowledge” is based on faith. At least faith in the accuracy of your own perceptions, the reliability of your own thoughts. What if I’m a solipsist and my solipsism is eidetic?
FACTS: cf statements made by history; history being stories we tell about the past, stories however with some evidence that at least part or aspects of it existed.
In my education, synthesis was routinely discouraged. From Sunday school to grad school. (to everyday “practical” life).
(1986) 1/25/86 “we’re # 1.” wanting conclusions, especially self-congratulatory ones, from insufficient data is a deeply human trait.
cultural condescension: religious, political, etc. we tend to accept favorable generalizations (land of the free, home of the brave) if there are ‘any’ examples in support, to reject unfavorable if there are any generalization to the contrary. We reverse this bias when contemplating the foreign, the feared, the incompletely known: our enemies. Our own we understand to be metaphorical (even if we call it “literal”), theirs we reject on literal grounds.
Non-conformity may conform on a higher level of abstraction. Blasphemy to Baal may be faith to Yaweh, blasphemy to Yaweh may be faith to the Trinity, blasphemy to the Trinity may be faith to the Right, the Truth, the scientifically perceived cosmos, etc. Treason to the US may be loyalty to earth, to life, to existence, etc.
Division between Sanhedrin and Zealots on resurrection.
between kosher or not kosher among Xians
is Jesus fully and equally god or not
Must a lover of truth establish that he knows any true thing? mutasawif strives to be a sufi.
“get the big picture” modern reversal of disproportion of level of abstraction between leadership and population. Now a vastly larger minority has a more inclusive model of the world in mind than do presidents and corporations, both still guided by local advantage.
(1986) 1/20 evolution: church and state and the fall
fall from grace, a fall from the future (potential, potential lost, a diminution of voltage)
the golden age is not in the past (neither is Eden) but what evolution may achieve with a species whose individuals achieve some capacity for thought and consciousness
2/16/86 Holy Anorexia, Rudolph M. Ball, reviewed by Charles Wood, Philadelphia Inquirer this date. cf NYR
Why do reviewers always condescend to the author of a “new” “thesis” as though the “pioneer” is on a loosely held leash in their indulgent hand? The reader can feel passive superiority to all that way. Carrot on a stick? [my “always”s are of the human kind, not the scientific kind. myself an e.g. of what I complain about (or observe).]
social importance of ambiguity, multi-leveled meaning, the chameleon nature of words. politics, police, follow the law literally in one instance, loosely in most, and hold kangaroo court on occasion. Scots officer tossed in a blanket for doing his duty. San Fran judges murdered by citizens when award granted to Sutter. Analogy between fossilization of energy into matter and thawing and resolidifying of conventions, genetic patterns, ideas, manners, etc.
God as an undefined term: it’s no mistake to tighten the area of uncertainty. a huge mistake to seek certainty, premature certainty.
Is the thirst for justice the pursuit of a carrot on a stick?
(no need to assume a rider tricking the donkey, just a trick of nature, of reality)
“arbitration sends players salaries soaring.” understood to be bad
profits way up. understood to be good.
why? what’s the dif?
salaries come out of and reduce profits? necessarily? what’s the model of the world that has these attitudes? i don’t see it as either a finite model (the more you spend the poorer you are [unless you only spend on imperishables, things not involved in life processes, gold e.g.]) or a negentropic model, (the more you spend the richer you are.)
Men (the seed aspect of the culture) attributed moral excellence to women at a time when women were relatively innocent (enforcedly innocent) of the imperial side of civilization.
Merely being fuzzy and inaccurate is not good business.
Pointing out avoided truth is bad business (good survival tactics for the individual helpless within the self-deceiving herd) but bad business. Controlled inaccuracies spur the economy.
Philosophy: love of truth:
Theology: love of truth. Indistinguishable? No. One posits a god or gods at the center of value, concern, creation, sanction, etc.
can there be reason apart from faith?
“Dyslexics of the world: UNTIE” from BK
reminds me of Rose’s “methetasis”
Induction/Deduction: how can either deliver a “certainty”? I can see how the latter can approach closer than the former, but reach it? How can one be sure either of one’s axioms or of ones reasoning even within a tautology?
Then to make glib switches back and forth between one’s tautology and one’s experience …? (Even Russell seems to me to do this. it seems to me that even following one’s own reasoning in a tautology …
How can one ever be sure that one has even kept one’s place in a process. Counting toward infinity, how do you know you didn’t skip a number, a whole series of numbers, a whole decimal place? Ok, double checking myself, I see that I get the same figure in adding the units column. Let’s see, I did double check, didn’t I? Did I add all the units in the units column? Sure, and you get the same result. But what if you missed the same unit both times? What if you repeated the same mistake. Ok, I’ll go through it again, and trace my progress with my finger. How can you know from moment to moment that there wasn’t a gap, an error, and oversight, the same thing still invisible, the same error still undetected? It has to be infinitely receding, the uncertainty. The closer one looks the more opportunities for error, for self-deception arrive. Infinite care leads to infinite uncertainty?
to Bishop Berkeley: you’ve imagined the tree; now why not imagine the sound?
narrowing it down to physics, vibrations in a medium, removes it from its strictly human context and makes it objectively answerable. reduce it to a tautology: you’ve imagined the vibrations, therefore, you’ve imagined the vibrations.
time and definition. negentropy. where does the dictionary come from? indispensable once invented. still, it’s technical terms that need codification and some kind of control. The most generally important words are still and necessarily under the democratic (and cybernetic) control of the group mind.
Relationship vs. cause and effect. After the fact we can see the similarity. Before the change, the semantic differences are overwhelming. cf immutability and invariance. Once we’ve outgrown the mortal dread of mutability, yet still seek the invariant laws assumed by a rational disposition, the two may look similar. Yet an Aristotelian would have apoplexy over a contemporary scientist’s epistemology.
3/17: McLuhan’s point about axioms being continually ratified even during discussions of “basic issues” by the true basic issues not being permitted the floor. Anyone boorish enough to force them forward will be ignored by general consensus except (much to the discomfort of the guardians of the current pathology) during periods of accelerated revolution. (Discussion of sports coverage 3/16/86 e.g.) see also Haken’s discussion of synergetic change of order parameters.
Point of criticism: how does the work relate to or impinge upon other disciplines, areas, or arenas?
Bateson p 251
from schizophrenia to Everything
music is digital!
“obvious” p 89
It seems to me that even Russell assumes back and forth correspondences between his tautologies and his (and the species, written) experience.
“science need presuppose nothing except the general principles of logic …” M & L p 100
Ben Bova notes
which came first? the chicken or the egg?
“The first philosopher was probably a caveman looking at the stars.”
The first fire. Nebula. p 119.
BB switches from singular to plural when he wants it actually accomplished.
the limits of Darwinism
individual selection vs. group selection
rules of group behavior of a higher logical type
BB writes: “The first evidence of fire dates back some half million years. (no, 1.4 mil). The hero of the story is hardly godlike in appearance.”
Not so. We just forget how primitive our gods must be in order to keep our ideals higher than we are (higher as well as older, antecedent). Why shouldn’t the god of fire by 4’10” and have a brain case 2/3 the size of our own? Why shouldn’t the god of sex be a sponge or a jelly fish? Which god is greater than the microscopic one (or (Set of ones)) which formed a double helix, unzipped, found new material and spiraled apart as two, doubling so far as the present richness of this biosphere? If we want a god which we cannot outgrow, we must choose him from a level of abstraction higher than we ourselves deal with or we ourselves participate in.
I saw Neptune the other day. He was looking rather green about the gills.
syn: god is unequivocally real in the semantic world
the battle between god (Satan; good/evil; may be emblematic of evolutionary struggle between organizational genetic, inter species, inter-orders, intra species, social, …
between gender, nations, memes, capital (communist) etc.
Is this court Christian? Then you already recognize that your testing system has already proved itself to kill the best as well as the worst. Or are you claiming to be exempt from the human condition. superior somehow to the Romans or to the Jews, to the Sanhedrin?
Much philosophy comes from the semantic fuzz of natural languages. the ability to articulate combinations of sound that function grammatically and therefore seem to make sense or half-sense or paradoxical sense, yet have no correspondence to experience or to the extensional. Lewis Carrol. Jabberwocky.
Tough to be sure. Though especially tough if our thought process is limited to the natural language: while writing the above I heard the narrator of one of these ill-written tv science programs (not the egregious George Page this time): “For the stickleback, fathering is more important than mothering.” (as it shows the male nest building and then fanning and tending over the young). How can something be more important in a process than something else which is essential? can the roof be more important than the foundation? can a building have a roof without a foundation?
Now is that an example? or is it further down a spectrum? Where’s the threshold? Is it a continuum? or discrete sets?
political decision making. Whether the fetus is alive or not is a political issue. a matter or law and public ethics, not or science. scientifically, it’s all alive, mortal, dying, or dead. the egg is alive before it’s fertilized, and so is the sperm. are the mitochondria alive? that’s a scientific question. (though there too political and semantic. the group decides what it means. or it inherits meaning which it must swallow or try to swallow.) is a virus alive? why it depends on what you mean doesn’t it? like Berkeley’s question about is there any sound. If the fetus is alive, human, then there is the question, is it protected by the laws which already exist? If not, why not? just because it hasn’t been an issue before, (because it wasn’t possible to exterminate wholesale quantities of the unborn before. Hitherto, the unborn became born whether we wanted them to or not. Now we have this devil’s or god’s power and god help us.
anyway, if it’s murder, say so. warn people that you’re going to start enforcing the law as of such and such a date. and then by god, do it. put everybody in jail. or pardon everyone. but don’t just pick on some random slob who can’t afford a lawyer.
computer assistance. why not define life into a computer and leave politics up to it?
to be or not to be. now there’s an existential question. what’s an optimum population size?
Whitehead on the modern. the classical civilizations didn’t ask these questions. they couldn’t have formed them? they weren’t isolated from their environment. imagine Homer asking Hamlet’s question!
contrast earlier humans and all other species.
does that mean that we are wrong?
that they are wrong?
or that we are different? that we are what we’ve long congratulated ourselves for being? perhaps we’re a trigger.
(what did I mean by trigger that day? trigger, bang, you’re dead? or spring, you’re sprung? mostly, i think i meant, spring, you’re sprung. blessed with a flood of the random. stress relieved. mutant. good luck little bird, try your wings. fly or die.
Since man has no natural enemy but himself, that role should not be overly discouraged. (No worthy single species competitor that shares the same habitat-that is to say-worldwide There are linked species and nonspecies that help to trim man back a bit, viruses, bacteria, rats, insects, etc. But large creatures, all other mammals, including all other primates, have failed miserably. Encourage tigers, scorpions, cobras, etc. Seed in large cities at random. Insist on random. No Hatfield taking over to select McCoys as targets.
Numbers 31, judges 13, II Samuel 24
Success: consuming products a conspicuous portion of which the advertisers have convinced you are superior, and not only you, but a conspicuous segment of the population.
Absurdity: what we call the failure of experience to match our semantic predispositions.
Piety: accepting, nay, embracing that absurdity.
Sanity: putting experience before semantics, trying for a match between experience and one’s mental model of it, with the model as the flexible side.
popularity of crime dramas; civilization and its discontents.
substitute to smashing, pillaging, rape, murder, incest, and cannibalism.
popularity of detective fiction. William Gibson s-f. We live by exaggeration, this is counter-balancing.
Glitz. Xian culture, esp. Protestant, has routinely misrepresented the rationality, order, benevolence, place of man, etc. in the world. Glitz lies to us in the other direction. Perhaps revolutionary movements always demand a counter set of false assumptions. The world is dangerous/ it isn’t. Man is evil/he isn’t. We need order/we don’t. cf Dick Francis and the terrorists.
Devil and Don Juan. sanity of knowing you’re a top light-heavy to insanity of being an undefeated heavyweight, latter on no relative scale. thinks He’s top? How can he tell? Even theoretically?
abstraction or semantic confusion?
which abstraction is higher: god or life?
husband/wife have third name for their mutual soul. Yeats, George, and writers.
Difference: between synchronization and doing something “at one o’clock” Keeping the beat doesn’t mean seeing someone beat and then following him (see James Galway). It’s bringing your own inner clock into line with his within an imperceptible threshold of difference. Great musician’s line is imperceptible at least.
intra/inter group A cultural A
group B B (now what did I mean here?)
The concept exact is not very exact. Tightening the exactness of one variable (or term, definition) loosens that of another. In a natural language usually, almost invariably, unconscious.
LAW OF LINGUISTIC UNCERTAINTY
the elasticity of elasticity: it can relocate.
Tighten up one term at the cost of the looseness of those surrounding it.
All meaning is relational.(?) Context is everything.
God (backwards arrow) they say (backwards arrow)
“god given right”
that category of message which has no identifiable human author
Civilization is always crediting itself with great virtues. Its crimes and liabilities are never given similar attention. It cannot be objectively evaluated without the consideration of alternatives which are never considered. What are considered are results of civilization, not alternatives. e.g. Civilization is not famous for compensating its victims. (or even recognizing their existence. much. Our awareness of “Indians” is dim and mythic at best)
Peace, justice: depend on your sensitivity to injustice.
EVOLUTION time, future invisible. we don’t know what will succeed. play percentages. sanity is knowing them with greater accuracy than formerly or at least as well as your sane fellows. true for species’ minds and mind of a “conscious” individual. cf these two value: we’re here/we’re going someplace (maybe. we hope. more than hope, we plan, we wager intelligently).
That which is apparent isn’t necessarily true. That which is apparently not true, may be true. People often believe most ardently that which is neither apparent nor true. Semantic ghosts. Liabilities of inference.
other semantic ghosts? develop means to compare intensionality.
lap (where does it go when you stand up?)
peace. What? No stress? no conflict? life a warm bath
in a dark place?
The unperceived truth is always blasphemous.
MUSIC woven in dimension of time.
Human DNA nervous system and some mind
society and mind
not innately scientific. science unnatural like golf swing. has to be (optional) learned
why does piety need such constant rehearsal of faith? hymn stations, etc.
Because it so patently contradicts experience. Believe system which must be learned (which in itself doesn’t mean that it is untrue or unwise)
Science is based on a faith in experience; religion in outworn circumstances on the opposite. Like taboo, generally was evolutionarily wise, at least those that survived and we know about. Fossils of intensionality rarer than fossils of organisms.
solipsism translates into a doubtful answer to the question: is there any consciousness apart from my own? More to the question: is there any existence apart from my own? Of course most of us have gone through a process something like Everyone I see has a face and a nose, therefore I must have one too. Even before mirrors.
Is there any consciousness apart from the consciousness of human organisms? Apart from the human mind? Apart from Earth? Apart from “God”‘s “heaven”?
Science doesn’t foster certainty; only pathology generates certainty.
LADDER notes of 22 Aug
Easy Street, Long Island, Ghost Town, Tunnel Vision, Point of No Return, Bugtown, Gangland
Level 26, Score 202,600
Hierarchy of Achievement: Young Lad, Lad-der, Lad Wiz, Lad Guru … Anything beyond?
If the Church became the bride of Christ in early AD, surely at some point, it became the wife (unless there was a quick annulment). It looks like the wife became a shrew. In fact, it looks abandoned (ambiguous in which direction, pun, pun) if not divorced (again ambiguous) or maybe divorced Italian style. If so, it wouldn’t be the first institution not to perceive (or to admit) its own demise.
Ptolemaic or Copernican or etc.
“qualified” minimally two tiered
ambiguity (seven come eleven)
tiers: a) knowing the basic thinking tool, facts, systems, and default values involved
b) politically-age, gender, race, tribe, group, party, economic interest or requirements (stockholder e.g.) etc.
ENTROPY: one problem is judging who or what mind is judging the “usefulness” of the new order. It was easier to “discover” entropy than negentropy because we had taken negentropy for granted: god, will, agriculture, war (for our own benefit), civilization, etc.
mystics are good at balance, holding onto it or rapidly regaining it
THOUGHT thought as a process of model making. We want the model to correspond to what is facetiously called “reality.”
Must a dimension always be left out of a depiction? How about location? haha
If Alexander had lived: too much responsibility too young? How designed for the long haul? How any of us? What would history have been like if Julius had ruled a little longer? or had he shot his wad completely? beginning to make too many mistakes.
What can be the evolutionary advantage of being “wrong”? (stone age model) taboo instead of religion, religion instead of science, etc.)
Specialists tend to have evolution backwards in thinking that their specialized definitions are “correct”.
Bar Mitzvah the law manhood recognition of participation in the shared semantic reality of the group
Hallucination: perception not shared by the group, as well as merely eidetic.
responsible and irresponsible deletions
Stories: human devotion to stories: must be evolutionary advantage, survival benefit. One may at once develop strength of conviction in one direction while developing flexibility in another.
a story may establish and test links, connect stitches in the fabric of things. Different connections, different patterns.
Check out Single Virtue stories such as Chaucer’s Constance. One variable solidified and others weakened. Useful experiment, but a thought experiment. saves lives and time.
cf monstrosity of Measure for Measure’s Duke
Help us to establish logical hierarchies. The human mind doesn’t operate by proofs but by establishing logical hierarchies. Stories are series of unrigorous but thorough tests. We try on the experience of others. Fact or fiction matters little. Myths are longer tested and therefore more reliable and therefore truer than some recent accident of fact. History anyway is a set of stories about the past. They cannot help but be myth dominated; as are fictional stories, but more admittedly so.
Distinguish between science fiction and magic fiction.
Professor, it must be one of those … (technological gibberish)
They have some kind of … (heat ray, mind ray, blah blah
(1986) 12/12/86: Ash Pick’s Linguistics Notes: Law of linguistic uncertainty. Conflicting principles which must not be, though often are, confused: 1) law of non-identity & 2) pattern matching. Different logical levels, different levels of abstraction. Metaphor is both powerful and dangerous-powerful as a unifier and simplifier through #2; dangerous because of tendency to use it to violate #1.
Map logical levels like putting on 3-d glasses in a movie-survey the whole with and without, then people might be able to see the extra dimension. (God-that which is fascicle in another dimension, and can come in through the room, move things in our sleep, etc.
Seeing a sky ad reminds me of information theory as difference and the FIGURE & GROUND dichotomy. (Remember the flower & leaf controversy-which is “better”?) The greatest influence is held by the “ground,” the unconscious, where the default values lie; “figure” gives opportunity for the growing mantle, for change, growth, and development. It’s also where the mistakes are made.
The govt is a parasite on the people. That’s ok if the symbiosis is in balance. People, persons and groups, can parasitize on the govt too. Imbalance is pathological. and doomed.
Carey’s chess opening: brilliant; then meaningless, outside the rules. R D Laing’s “beyond duality”: is it genius? or insane? meaningless, with no correspondence to reality?
logical levels like dimensions. Flatland. McLuhan’s ‘environment’. Shelly looking into an Italian peasant’s hovel was discovering a new world, unknown to his contemporaries. Number of worlds which could be discovered right within our own species (elastic), right on this one planet is likely to be infinite, unending, unnumberable.
pointing the direction toward an unending process in math by using numbers and relational manipulations of numbers is redundant.
Arbitrariness of “beginnings”: Even the idea of a “big bang” to some extent is an arbitrary boundary. What came before the big bang? Nothing. There was nothing. Time didn’t exist. Oh, yeah? But what came before? The before and after duality of language drives us on. The vacuum. But the vacuum may be nothing, but everything, all potentiality seems to be in it. “In the beginning.. .” of what? Not of the universe, not of the solar system, not, obviously, of God. Of man. Not man, the species; there’s no such thing. Our species had been around for millions of years. And where did it begin? More than in one individual or pair, for sure. More than once and more than one place, perhaps. Man is an abstraction of a higher level than “species.” Modern man, then? A still higher abstraction. Agriculture (more or less)?: another high abstraction. That man-producing new hybrid species of wheat? Good answer except that the authors of the Bible can have been no more aware of that than a fish is of water. No, The better answer is a very high abstraction. “In the beginning … ” of our story. Context, territory of reference, relevance; the limits of our interest; the boundary of our attention. Could God have predated the big bang? Postdated? Been evolved in earlier generations of suns and sun systems along with the heavy elements, nay, as the flower and seed of previous evolutions of intelligence? (By intelligence I am not positing merely species of intelligent or partially conscious individuals.)
Title: The Mental Tool Kit for Perfecting (Ha!) Your Mental Model of Reality
compare James H Schmidt 1962 The novice & Kipling’s The Bridge.
story: X threatens Y. Y is being eliminated. Y’s only chance to maintain birthrate. Fails. Y’s only chance to flee X’s stronghold as AdamandEve couple (or Sigmund/Siglinde). Only one breeder left. A of A&E has hairbreadth escape, flees with X in pursuit. Captured. Some hope of escape if A stays, is kept in outskirts. A escapes, hiding. Captured again, brought back to X. Last thread to keep off X itself. No, weeklong celebration of final victory. E dead. A carefully kept from suicide, escape, etc. for final ritual public demise. No hope. None. But A has made the connection to new forms of replication, communication, information, patterning. They kill and eat A. Orgiastic. Torpor. Signs of Y in X. Slow degeneration. X dies. Y lives on.
2 Jan 87: æpk (aka: “ash-pick”): rerambo: You see the donkey as controlled by illusion because you’re holding the stick and dangling the carrot which you put there for the purpose. What you don’t see is the control over your own motives. You mean the donkey is leading me to lead him?
No, it’s not a ‘How do you know I’m not hypnotizing you into thinking that’s it’s you (singular-&/or-plural) who’s hypnotizing me’ situation: the donkey isn’t aware of your manipulation; he thinks he’s motivated and well motivated by the carrot; you are not aware of the controls over your motivation to motivate the donkey. Partly because they originate from a higher mind than yours, more abstract, more general, even more cybernetically complex than yours … then what’s reality? sum of illusions? no, illusions plus what you don’t know. and it isn’t a sum; it’s a relationship you have no awareness of. Motivated by God? That’s just a way of saying by an abstraction higher than you have a clear awareness of or name for.
Infinite possibility levels of abstraction: close species further apart than distant ones (the paradoxes being apparent only thanks to natural human language ), schism, soul-mate enemies. Double-cone, one inverted image. Beauty: limits of perception/programming>ideal. Our most absolute statements & assurances absolute only in relation to (& in the context of) those values of which we are “99%” unconscious.
3 Feb 1987 many location memory
group decisions. many models of consciousness, not blended. radio, tv, news/ individual vanity of established claims-jesus, church, govt, science. god, what egotism! anyone practicing an already mastered discipline (not original research) is coasting. english? no. science, psych, semantics, philo (epist), golf would like to see a multidimensional picture of group mind. time as well as depth. cf atmosphere and oceans. statistics. satellite. god.
7 Feb: figure/ground-consciousness. ground=god? missed chances in evolution. sometimes we become aware of some (Dr. Carl S. on Eritosthenes, e.g.) Boy’s resistance to girls; whole new language after known difficulty of adjusting to peers. Now there’s this alien and they know it’s coming and they know they won’t be able to adjust the same.
16 Feb 87 God shouldn’t be influenced by what people “want” unless all other considerations are equal. Talking about conscious want, of course. The notions of God (Hebrew/Xian) and infinity are incompatible. Semantic echo-chamber like trying to think of an infinite number when finite numbers are the only sense of number that one has. Age more cautious than youth because more wise? Or because separated further from the vital principle? Hero rushing to his death knows better that he is close to immortality, not as John Doe or Sam Smith but as idea and evolution; he is increasing his chance of survival!
Know-nothings benefit from the free market place in that manufacturers and merchants sell them hi-tech paraphernalia without checking out their epistemology. What if the radio and tv stations refused to sell say fundamentalists air time or equipment unless they could build such equipment with the Bible’s value for pi, for example.
Why does Hollywood feed the popular imagination with this trashy idea that science has anything to do with “certainty”?
Epistemology: we are inside the system, whatever that system is. We are evolved, so far, to apprehend the similarly sized and constituted. Even the extensional is to some extent an idea system. The extreme macroscopic and extreme microscopic (not to mention what exists outside the “cosmos” or the limits of our idea system) must of necessity be in the extreme an idea system. God & the devil an ambiguity rather than a duality? Double description: different hierarchies in phase. a good composition, cartoon, myth, etc.
3/1/87 Tv shows a guy saying “freedom of speech doesn’t extend to the infinite” and a judge making a judgment. then an announcer says it’s “final.” cf Russell Baker. cf right to bear arms. “final” hohoho. People want certain “basic” values to be protected and expect judges to be a bastion without realizing how complex and variously historied the basic is or how many default values are involved. the big thing they don’t consider is that the institutions they consider to be protecting them have already sold them into slavery. Oh, yes, those institutions are protecting them from whatever the claimed danger is: the devil, communists, Martians. But the people and their rights have been sold by the kings and protectors to the exploiters. Where’s freedom of speech or the protection of the people during an advertiser’s direct die, misleading ambiguity, or manipulated ignorance of different logical levels? But it ain’t no communist, right? Consider history of African chief selling own people for this new thing, money. How much 18th-century idealism sold to manifest destiny, the bottom line, national security.
People have reflexes to protect selves from bad “guys,” individuals; also bad others, communists, Saracens, Martians, devils (storms, volcanoes) but no reflex to protect against the new abstraction, the new level which changes the shape of the old.
Natural language systems are two dimensional: they can’t tell the truth. Plato’s one value; the Bible and its scholars’ idea of God’s symbolism’s main value. You can’t describe a golf swing by talking about “square” or “straight” or “left” or “right.” The military knows better than to hire such morons to do their ballistics and rocket designs. The rest of us have hardly passed the Renaissance. Many haven’t even joined it. Including university professors of literature, philo, logic, theology, etc.
How about a computer synthesizer with keys for the root, fifth, third, fourth, etc., you tell the computer what key and octave you’re in, and then accidental keys for variations? You’d only have to train your hands in one pattern. And how about programmed for even temperament, natural scale, Pythagorean, etc.? Quarter tones, etc.?
3/3’s newspaper: Reagan: should he appear to take responsibility in a speech? Conscious, or close to conscious choosing of an illusion for the sake of getting on with business. We can outright arrest low abstraction level crooks but have difficulty with high, and near impossibility with very high. Rare to take God to account (except where cheap and not meant). Complexity of good/evil. cf govt & mind organization; neurons long range to brain. all done by messenger service.
Experience with Mom, Hil, Brooks, Carolyn, Struthers, Mary, etc. surely material for novel. Inflexible mind fights dirty because it knows it can’t win rationally. Yet feels it justified because it is defending its world, its primitive semantic universe. And, of course, most normals will agree & join to defend what is also their semantic universe. Simultaneously (understood like A CPU), primitive impulse to join attack on the wounded without sure knowledge of who’s weak or who’s wounded. They’re wounded! Translate to sci-fi: VanGogh Jesus crazy dealing with the Sanhedrin on the one hand and the Romans on the other. Both groups are far more sophisticated, more cosmopolitan than the global norm but far more primitive (having increasing difficulty masking their contradictions) than VanGogh Jesus crazy. The difference between them (among them) isn’t lack of contradiction (that’s impossible) but time and place in abstract hierarchy: have the contradictions been found and repressed? The crazy refused to repress them and sought clarification, alternative; never that he’s gone to the end of time (a fiction) and reduced all to the final (a fiction) reduction, clarity, synthesis.
Cf Chas. Manson: full of easy exposés about “the establishment” and full of bad behavior himself. Look at their crimes, not mine. Oh, boy. I’ve just discovered that human behavior doesn’t match day school and Sunday school lies; therefore, it’s ok for me to commit any crime so long as I say it’s revolutionary.
Male/female like rats & boxes: no matter how often burned, not to take a chance now and then would be to be not male or female.
MAN: women ought to be fighting for equal status within the word as they do within the political structure and the marketplace. there is precedent as the word in some degree is already generic for human as well as gender and age specific as adult male person, rather than fight for increased place for their subordinate gender specific term. We ought also to be reminded that although the pronoun she is gender specific, he isn’t. Could it be that women themselves feel their position to be subordinate? Similarly, blacks argued for a change in and increased dignity for their designation; black, not colored or Negro or n-, etc., rather than for abolition of the absurd racial designations which prejudice and politics, not science, have brought about. Ideals not possible are insane. Educating: steeping in the culture, a la Pandarus. MissGrow & Thoreau e.g. Prejudice & fashion, we never lose our prejudices, just one or two. Group solidarity tested other ways. group has also changed boundaries & redefined self.
Love, for the most part, is based on availability or at least hope of availability. inside the system/local default assumptions: pay phone assumes you know where you are and know what’s local, what exchanges require a 1 dialed first, etc. road signs likewise assume you know what road you’re on, what city or town you’re in & where you are in relation to a major place. Few institutions have been so kind as to reveal so frankly the limitations of their imaginations as the Xian churches. Augustine & the counsels after Constantine, in their discussions about what God can and can’t do, or can but won’t do (mostly failures to see the latent paradox in the most common ideas of their natural language). Can God lie? Can God be misunderstood? What makes us think that we can correctly interpret God’s messages, even if we accept that the scriptures are “divinely inspired”? Why should we believe that God himself understands the cosmos? Even if he did “create” “heaven and earth”? Bobby sees a second cockroach & says “it’s the biggest cockroach in the world. I loved to do that as a child too & still must: overstatement, hyperbole, superlative: my habit and stock-in-trade. But, I try to avoid it in serious or responsible mode and I hate it in the newspaper & despise it from the pen of an Isaac Asimov. Huge difference between biggest I’ve seen, biggest ever seen, and biggest in the world or biggest possible. Possibility too expands, like experience. Not all of the caterpillar turns into the butterfly; Plato’s hogwash didn’t translate with his glimpse of the hierarchy of abstraction. ‘course he understands it pretty well by now. huh? sure, … not even Jesus has always been in the avant; he didn’t become a Muslim till the 8th C… Ayla’s Wolf; Odysseus’ NoMan, as in “no man is hurting me”: shortcuts, cheating between logical levels, puns, etc. (Jesus is my savior: that’s quite a trick considering that he’s only 12 yrs old and lives on E 104 St) verboten. Remember, Jesus is the phenotype; Christ the genotype. Problem in natural language where etymology is uncertain, all persons share different degrees of ignorance: even if we had everything exact to Indo-European, we’d still be dealing with a modern language in the history of language. Our best assessment of Plato’s originality (even if right) is a measure of our ignorance about who & what he heard from childhood.
story of Plato’s dead identical twin, the smart one. we just don’t understand the stochastic basis of our own intensionality. tip of the iceberg.
Existence isn’t a description. Not evolved for … : multidimensional orders as apprehended or controlled on or by the sentience; math, business, logical levels, consistent definitions, … Trying to talk with plane geometry when 4 dim. trig is called for. Answering with quessed question, impatient to show helpfulness & preventing help. Wagner. Watergate. Infrequency of high level abstraction information query or exchange (or investigation). Messages of relationship. Mammal. Nuclear winter. But not evolutionary, neither genotype or phenotype.
map/territory. model instructions. matching maps shared perspective/projection. Nobody sings paradox better than Billie or plays it better than Miles. Advantage of music’s ground/field of rhythm/melody. Bandits of the Wind message of dependency strongest. Actual oppression offset by pie-in-the-sky. govt, church salvation (undefined) national defense undefined except by untestable extravagances, metaphor.
PBS: The Planet Earth, e.g. sun spots show. So badly written, George Page must have had something to do with it. Confused organization, bad editing; but the writing…! Unsubstantiateable and unnecessary assertions “never imagined.” Prejudicially selective generalizations: “governed by superstition” about the Myans. Who not? Including us. Not the Egyptians, just cited? Flat out contradictions: tree rings, can’t be removed, they remove it. Error of fact. Lack of understanding of own point: the interrelatedness of the Earth and the Sun in the Solar System. Written as though they’re separate systems while demonstrating that they are (necessarily related sub-systems within a system. Unnecessary overstatement: the sun’s energy as though the earth had none of its own. Why after Carl Sagen and David Attenborough and Jacob Bronowski and James Burke do we have to entertain programs like Nature and The Planet Earth?
TYPES: Exception proves the rule; Error; Failure to distinguish fact from theory; unnecessary generalization; unnecessary and obfuscating drama, gratuitous rhetoric; contradiction; failure to demonstrate how the evidence is evidence.
3/8: Jim Lovelock’s Gaia
Chip X, writer/prod. of VII
20 Mar 1987 Inside the system difficulties for cosmology.
Who’s holding up the earth?
Who’s holding Atlas?
He’s on the back of an elephant.
What’s holding the elephant?
The elephant stands on the back of a turtle.
What … ?
Turtles: it’s turtles all the way down.
This cosmologist can’t exceed the intra-cosmic relationship of gravity. Indeed he can’t exceed the limits of his experience of gravity at the earth’s surface. He’s attempting a cosmology but his imagination is local. In other relationships as well, compression, for example, his imagination is local. Gravity is a relationship of the cosmos within the cosmos and interactive throughout the cosmos. It is not a relationship beyond the cosmos. Our responsible guesses about the matrix of the cosmos are limited to our recent experiments with the vacuum, and then, local vacuum, the vacuum within an atom. Our historical guesses are the myriad things we’ve called god. God. Is god within the cosmos? Or beyond? Or both? Are both possible?
Hitler’s musing-often repeated to himself-that “there is always one of two possibilities” is a statement without content. It is not, however, without significance. Insanity is not only an advantage in some endeavors but positively a prerequisite.
Cybernetic Dimensionality: e.g., how human prejudice develops. All human nature.
So much of what we’ve learned is not apparent and can’t be apparent to our genotype untrained, but can be quite apparent to a properly equipped and programmed cyborg. Maybe Armageddon is here and it’s time for a recall. That’s right, the Bible is literally true. True in the way that only literature can be true.
I am not equipped for multitasking. Let me save to disk before you destroy my buffer.
cue-tipping alcohol onto keyboard keys as an example of lack of experience leading to taboo. The pc wouldn’t boot the time I tried cleaning and booting at the same time: therefore, I wouldn’t clean. But then that wasn’t it. Similarly, homeopathic magic prescriptions: gee, it rained the day I killed Eckgetheow; there’s a drought now so I’ll kill Fruweck.
28 Mar: In general, by metaphysics, I mean little more (and little less) than-how coordinated is your world view? Not that that’s so simple. It implies connected questions: does it jibe with your cosmology; with your deepest morality; how cosmopolitan is your cosmology; what is your morality loyal to; to yourself; your family; your party; your country; species; life itself; exist; existence itself? Computers and McLuhan and the end of the print age: more and more print today is nonsense showing only a mechanical link with the past. Witness a computer instruction book. The glossary doesn’t gloss. the definitions don’t define. The drop-out hacks have little conception of the meaning of these things.
Entropy & the Random. Define random. Picture heat death. Picture something microscopic that looks random. Change distance and refocus. Field and ground. Now we see that what looked random was, say, a particular detail of a Hans Hoffman painting. Could the definition of random possibly be circumscribed within an area of perceptual uncertainty? How could a random number be tested for randomness ad infinitum and from infinite perspectives and in an infinite number of contexts? Shogun as an example of the extension gradually revealing higher levels of organization and abstraction. It isn’t until the end that we can know what the hell Toranaga Sama is up to.
id12.txt 30 Apr 87
(In 1985 my files were as big as the devices could handle, which was very small by standards that followed. so id01, id02 could go into a new id01, a new id02: until id12 was going into id01!)
Buying this electronic typewriter/printer reminds me of my first difficulties at realizing how many things there are that a typist does that are sophisticated default values, that feel obvious or are unconscious. Margins, tabs, line spacing, carriage returns, etc. all formatting stuff. then you go to a pc and have to consciously decide all things for the program. And of course, there’s no obvious indication of word wrap comparable to seeing that the carriage has to be returned. You develop the habit of returning it, and now, if you do hit the return at the cursor’s approaching the end of the screen, it’s a mistake. Anyway, it reminds me-having a slave is no free ride. A slave will save your personal time and labor in the long run, but to start, it’s harder to teach the slave how to do something, first having had to figure out how to teach it to him, than to do it yourself. Same with computers. On the other hand, the long-term energy/time saving capacity is inconceivable. Ditto the expense. The buying price is less than the tip of the iceberg.
Difference between postponing and chronic postponing. Maybe now isn’t the best time to buy a computer, maybe this isn’t the best time to have a baby, maybe this isn’t the best time to put my house in order. Maybe it’s the last chance to put your house in order. Do we really
Something crazy happened here. Go back to id12.do in the Tandy 102 and see what’s missing.
5 May: So, we learn that ASCII comes over to qa better than ws. Qa doesn’t seem to mind the nulls that freeze ws.
You want to be masculine? Believe me, it’s not a requirement to be stupid also. There is no system of knowledge which is not also a system of beliefs. People commonly think that it’s a limitation in science that science at its most knowledgeable is a system of theories. It is true that its truth seeking is limited to theory; the limit part and the theory part are both true. What is wrong here is the assumption (false), the false assumption that their own knowledge system is without limits or based on fact, or truth; rather than faith and theory. Or that a system, particularly a human system, without limits is possible. Or (and) that theory is something other than the highest form of knowledge attainable by man. (Distinguish “fact.”)
Cowboy movies justify the victory of those who want exclusive land use over other uses, including over those who would share.
Donahugh debate over sex education, very interesting: undiscussed assumptions: linear argument can build model of situation, interruption ok if …, death, disease, and failure could be overcome, that generations which had greater control over their progeny had absolute control over their progeny that national level organization is sufficient to deal with transnational problems, that the govt is on their side, just simply obtuse occasionally. Organizational and hierarchical naiveté. Govt promises: police protection, then foists off 1 to x ratio; when it’s (believe
Check on Tandy 102 what’s missing here. Strange gibberish got into the ws file of id10.txt.
Imperialist attitudes difficult to avoid. US wanting to try terrorists in US where ever crime committed. US, a component in the system (always try to see what system is involved) trying to act like the system. Inside/outside distinction incompletely in its consciousness. Wanted League of Nations once (partly); wanted UN once (partly) yet doesn’t go to UN. Also didn’t give UN power to deal with it. Consciously withheld. Blamed elsewhere for also consciously withholding. US doesn’t want to put up with helplessness of ordinary citizen ( in this case world-nation-citizen). Welcome to the club. Welcome to the world. Seeks “private justice” just like many more individuals should) but wants to call it justice. What does justice mean? Looked at from standpoint of discussions of ideals (justice as an ideal), it would mean what people would hope it would mean; looked at from standpoint of practice, actual examples of the decisions of real courts in history, you get Jim Crow, Torquemada, the justice the poor and propertyless (and also the downstart class) are familiar with. The US doesn’t want to know about that. It’s used to being the judge and jury (and army and good guy).
Difference in discussion, pursuit of understanding, criticism, etc. between those who have read the book and those who haven’t, between those who understand epistemology and those who don’t, those whose education include science, many Englishes within English, etc.
Seppuku as answer to all double binds: thou shalt not kill, drafted into army: seppuku. What’s the matter? you didn’t like the other one? Pride a sin; be proud of your school: seppuku. Constitution is right; supreme court is right: seppuku.
The information content in a single character or number, at least as manipulated by computers, is several bits; an ASCII character taking one byte each, right? Ahha! but what is the information content of a character where that single character is also a word? say “I”? And what is the information content of a character where that word, that character is M-A-C-B-E-T-H?
Could the appeal of drugs be based on nothing but semantic errors? Could the appeal of religious transformation too be based on semantic error? Unless they are describing a sane cosmos, how can they be based on anything else? Could it be related to the “new story”/”old story” dichotomy presented in the Augros/Stanciu book? Ditto. Materialist assumptions, Newtonian night. Error, not that the mechanism of mind is chemical, but that the nature of mind is chemical. Error of the type: Hamlet is written on paper; if we change (hope to improve) the paper we’ll be in Shakespeare’s class.
Is God Infinite? That’s the title. Then ask, is God infinitely recessive? (Hofstadter’s genie above genie.) Is our god closer to 1,2,3… or to infinity minus 1?
Could it be (like Arthur C. Clarke’s Nine Billion Names of God) that it wouldn’t be infinitely recessive if we ever got even one detail fairly well matched between our model of understanding and the (temporarily receding) reality? (Also cf Lewis Thomas’ point about a moratorium on preparations for destruction until we understand one single cell, creature, anything in the world of life.)
Picture Wallace forced to adopt Darwin’s terminology even where his own might be better (or certainly more familiar to him); or visa versa, picture the older man having to adopt the terminology of the younger man. We tend to assume that evolution always took the best course. After all, it resulted in us, and aren’t we the pinnacle? “Best” irrelevant. It took the course it took. Alternatives only if there are alternative worlds. And there are. At least in the science fiction imagination. But if one, then perhaps more than one, perhaps an infinity of them. Then the best choice in one might be the worst choice in another. Failure’s consolation: maybe if they listened to you, society would save itself (endure, evolve): you certainly wouldn’t want that to happen to those bastards, would you? Not even if they made you rich for it.
The information age is the misinformation, disinformation, and nobody is responsible for information age. Have we already lain down to let the computers take over?
Music and the electronic/reproduction/mass education/information age: Bach with power surges, Mozart with weak batteries (Steppanwolf), Beethoven on a scratched record, record beginning with the fourth movement of Symphony Two going straight into the beginning of Symphony Three, Prokoffiev with tape at altered speed, “the kids get at it.” More likely, or perhaps just as likely, the father was using it, or no one had used it for years and now the user hadn’t tightened the tape on the reel.
Basic with “syntax error”: this stupid grasshopper is telling me, me?, that I made a syntax error? It accuses me of a fault in logic when it doesn’t know the most standard way of declaring an equation? The instructions are written in English. Ha!
The sorry repute of English as a discipline, the college catch-all for the lazy or untalented. A real English professor should be among the best rewarded consultants at IBM. No White House statement, no public newspaper, no scientific paper of importance should be published without accompanying comments by an English professor. I do not, of course mean, a prescriptive grammarian, or a class conscious boor. Least of all do I mean someone who thinks that language should be pretty. I mean someone trained in an awareness of meaning, information, communication, ambiguity, clarity, semantics, sanity, and have Hemingway’s built-in shock-proof crap detector.
Saying something can be wrong or go wrong with a major appliance is bad for business, politics, the status quo.
Maybe what would be bad for business (cf: the country) would be good for the species or at least for evolution. Maybe to get rid of us.
Difference between demonstrating (with some sense of the rules of evidence, theory, science) and posturing. “Oh, the government wouldn’t do that: you’re paranoid.” (The Falcon).
THINKING: Can we take it apart? Without killing it? Can we put it back together again? Without killing it? Can we improve its health? Can we conserve or create, or construct new?
RHETORIC: Getting to the Point.
Who’s there? Hamlet
Get to end, and TS Eliot’s “recognize the place for the first time”
I want to save time (yours and mine) and will therefore begin with a digression. How is that possible you may be saying. Shut up, I say, I’m writing this book; you’re free not to read it. Close it and be damned. What? You don’t know Don Juan? Go out and read it. After you finish here. Imprisoned in English. Lots of things will come up as I go on. Extensional can only proceed within the system.
LANGUAGE: speakers of natural languages assume…
language/s already a plurality of languages, even within one individual’s use: standard, spoken, variant, math, music, theological, etc.
Thunder and lightening Dunner and Blitzen. All fall down: praying, cowering, worshipping, appeasing.
First person responsibility: Hello, this is God talking. If this isn’t a 1987 attempt at the Bible, put it in the shredder. GBS’s Methuselah. Demand your money back.
PROCEDURE: allowable interruptions
software-error of fact
or concept or procedure
hardware-gottz go to the john, fire, etc.
Frivolous interruptions should be grievously punished. Gossip is fine but not during important agenda.
unconsidered upper considerations. Yeah, but looked at fifth dimensionally… Fine if proved, or if allowed consideration was serious. If frivolous or filibuster, then grievously punished.
How about a hold on final judgments? In order to proceed with the present, we find you guilty. If your survivors can later prove higher hierarchy, we’ll be wrong and we should pay. However, we must be protected from the frivolous as we can’t know or consider all.
How to crucify Barabas and not Jesus-big problem.
error of poor perception
of time dimension
Vertical (really added dimensional
controlled variance of projection
projection and epistemology
Jesus or Barabas? I am not a Christian. ie don’t accept all dogmas (any, in fact) of the Nicene Creed.
Saint of Evolution. I must also confess (boast) that I am not a millionaire. Once I thought I was a saint. Didn’t lie, steal. Well, not much. Devoted to truth? What? Then selfless (others thought selfish.) Ah ha! devotion to POTENTIAL! of species, of niche, of eco-system, of Solar System, of brush fire. Poor Hamlet.
Can’t protect the status quo and change rationally at the same time (of course, we do do both, but because of cybernetic process of evolution for which we can be allowed no credit). Silly two dimensional left right not bad when understood as … keep mutating?/or protect?
Two dimensional democracy horseshit and we know it. Who doesn’t know that Walter Chronkite’s opinion isn’t heavier than one on food stamps? Or at least on certain things. Or Rockerfella more than Walter Chronkite?
Reasoning the need
several millions to be merely middle class
Cf Bandits on the Wind and tv news Germans concerned with the Black Forest: it’s one thing to kill the woods by cutting it down and another to see it sickened and dying.
Nothing more common than the vacuum. Was that a pun? Can’t be; the other meaning would require the statement nothing and the vacuum are similarly common.
Beyond the cosmos…what meaning?
Entropy prevents us from seeing the sign outside the parentheses, also from seeing the whole between the parentheses, and largely, from seeing that there are parentheses.
Brian’s Buddhist index finger idea. Check in Hamlet.
People prefer ambiguity to simplicity. “I think we could make it, … Girl…” In bad or ordinary poetry too. That is partly because we are not evolved for clarity. Until recently, it has been well nigh impossible (and is still well neigh impossible.)
id5.txt e.g. of file made as the IBM was fast degenerating. I here recall that I had edited a lot, but not all.
By the time any major convention (God, the Bill of Rights) becomes drilled into the populace at large, part of the convention is the angle at which it gets drilled. For good things, somewhere above the horizon. For God, at the zenith. For bad things, way beneath our feet. No allowance is made for future refinement, evolution of the idea, revolution. The US Constitution makes allowance for change without also making
[attempt to write this transferred to the Tandy]
I think it’s the keyboard electronically, not dust or just dust.
2 May 1987! Tah dah!!! THE MORNING OF THE TOSHIBA!!!
(2016 04 28 That was one of the great days of my life! the Toshiba, laptop, beautiful.
Unfortunately I’d borrowed a couple of grand from Marcel (without her permission!) but she’s just screwed me: incompatible “understandings” of our deal decades later I still haven’t made it up to her, or to anyone neither have I apologized to her, not talking, no connection any more; but then who’s ever made up to me any part of the major crimes against me?)
Prejudice cuts two ways. Consider: “n-” in the mouth of a bigot is negative prejudice. “Scientist” in the mouth of the same bigot, describing himself perhaps, is not meant to be mentally sharper or more descriptive, but is meant to cut the other way. Think ill of him; think good of me. Let’s take away power from him and grant it to me. And congratulate ourselves on our justice and rectitude. We have successfully reorganized our spiritual environment, practiced negentropy.
What’s the Indian word for gathering together into a huge crowd just to feel the synergy? How about then throwing all your money up into the air. Then how about somebody’s got a screen to gather most of it for their special use. Like a tree producing pollen to be swept by the wind but a biologist comes along and dusts it off into a plastic bag. That tree becomes Abraham. Best strategy for immortality to hope for a biologist with a feather and plastic bag? What if you’re not the one chosen? So develop a religion insisting that you are, like the rest of us. What if your plastic bag gets neglected in the storage freezer. That’s just what you want if then it’s your bag that by accident is the one left over when the lab-probe crashes onto an alien planet accidentally suited to your growth (accidentally on purpose) the planners had picked it, they just hadn’t picked you.
Title: “How to Understand Plain English” to explore hierarchies of meaning, levels of ambiguity. No natural language evolved for contemporary complexity. Turn left, right? Right. No, left was right; I mean correct. Words don’t blink in different colors according to the context. Often there’s no time to distinguish.
In argument (discussion) is a point introduced to clarify, to invite inquiry, or to confound, to close inquiry. Name calling of the latter type only. Appeals to God can be either, but are most likely to be the latter.
one reason for fiction, it’s a greater opportunity for objectivity. It’s easier to see the survival pluses and minuses of the hero or villain, the conservatism or imagination of the fictional society since we don’t own stock in it, have to go to church with those people on Sunday, work for them on Monday.
5/5: communication, teaching, and the melange of sub-languages we spend time inefficiently muddling through. The world of computers and the world of telecommunications especially are filled with burgeoning creoles. That’s a sign of health, growth, evolution, organic development, etc. What it’s not is a sign of maturity for which there is also a place in life. Everyone is inventing his own language, set of conventions, borrowed words, half digested concepts, understandings and misunderstandings etc. It’s like English spelling used to be, everybody guessing and nobody wrong and too many influences, English having been a creole or set of creoles not long ago (ignoring the extent to which it still is). However, what English does have (less so than say French, which has never been as much a creole as English) is Standard English: a professional quality sub-language. It has standards. Not the one set of standards commonly imagined, but a manageable several. MLA style, New York Times style, and whatever comparable Cambridge, Oxford, court, or London Times styles there are as well. Simple things like agreement on what do parentheses mean and does a period go outside quotation marks or within or does it depend on context and meaning? The more agreement, the more uniform the practice, the easier it is to use it, the less ambiguity, confusion, etc.
It’s alarming for an academic with an acquaintance of several styles to encounter supposedly high-tech stuff, especially in an institutional context (Haverford Net, the VAX, etc.) and see: my God, they’re making it up. Just like wogs.
If I went to Singapore and heard Singlish I would think, fine good for them. I wouldn’t expect them to be speaking any of my Englishes. I’d be on their turf. If I go to the Haverford Net, I expect some familiarity with Standard English styles. Any of them. I find the inventions of hacks, cowboys and dropouts. If the latter took the time to learn the conventions and to use them in a reasonable, predictable way, maybe we wouldn’t have the hardware and software that we do have. They’d still be in school of arguing. So, it’s healthy, it’s alive, I have no complaint. My point is that it now needs organization and restructuring. There’s no government capable of wanting or enforcing it, but it also serves evolution for some to be ready and able to help if asked. They’re not going to ask me, but they might ask you.
Color coding would help. Stravinsky composed using different color pens. I don’t know the signification he used, but, it might have been. Yellow for oboes, or more likely yellow for a recapitulation of theme two. The spoken language could use color coding for levels of abstraction. If I’m talking close to the extensional, color it black. If I’m talking about a living organism, gray. If I’m talking about my morality, pink. The morality of the local group, red; the morality of the fundamentalists, purple; the catholic church, mauve; the Bible, violet; God, magenta; the god above God, vermilion; the god yet to be, who knows what color. Blue and green, etc. for other sorts of levels of intensionality.
It would help telecommunications enormously if the screen indicated somehow where you were, who you were talking to. WS gives a (highly defective and ill chosen) set of definitions with the choice of removing it if you’re familiar. Wouldn’t it serve the colleges and the flatearther students if a menu popped onto the screen explaining [connecting to host, type Control-]C to return to pc], explaining that the hyphen is not to be typed, that type here means one of several things and that thing only, who or what the or a host is, that you’re not taking communion, etc.?
Your pc’s A> prompt maybe black, the Kermit-32 prompt either always specified or color coded, the K-MS ditto. A list of abbreviations should be available: kermit=kermit-32; lo=logoff; etc. The trouble with all such things is that reorganization is seldom invested in because the majority don’t need it or don’t think they need it. Local government should be fined by the UN for confusing street signs. Accident victims should be able to sue and collect from the negligent state, town, or country.
The attitude is usually-well, I was confused in basic training but I know and use the jargon now. Why should it be any easier for them? Because negentropy always pays in the long run. Because it is the source of all of our wealth. Squandering ultimately costs everything.
I know that color codes aren’t practical for the present, but improvements don’t need to be ideal or perfect to be improvements. It’s just the first installment. I bother to write this now because I’m enjoying using my new equipment, software, learning, etc. Taking advantage of your precious gift of the VAX and your experience etc. And because an adult learned should be regarded as a precious resource by any specialists. Who better to point out confusions than one capable or understanding organization in one context, seeing lack of organization in another. And you realize of course that I’m not talking about Procrustean beds: the insistence on one arbitrary order over others perfectly good or better. Not why don’t southerners talk like us; let’s see that they don’t get no respect. Procrustes, remember, either cut your legs or stretched you on a rack if you didn’t fit his damn bed.
The trouble here is that the writers of software, like golf teachers, are themselves flat-earthers: they don’t realize the multiplicity of layers or the complexity of internesting of the things they’re dealing with. They of all people. We need four dimensional models for these things and then we need to learn how to explain them and how to expand English upward in order to be able to. I’m not saying it’s easy or even possible; I’m insisting that we should be aware of it and that improvement should be tried.
It occurs to me with irony how full of creoles our (talking to Brian here) private conversation is, as mine had been once with Phil, and as yours and David’s (either David) must be. However, we know how incomprehensible we are to others. The trick is that we ought to be able to stop and translate into a more general language where appropriate. Inventors don’t have time to be clear. But they’re negligent if they don’t take time to clarify once they’re marketing the invention. Product improvement; public relations. Important stuff.
from Bernstein on Beethoven: “Eb!” Alien, bestial consciousness as music: Eb!, but on a grid, varied within and among units (measures) in duration (rhythm) and among relations (pitch, melody): one simple, mortal thought of temporary existence, permanent pattern, and infinite interest.
2016 04 28 line breaks “90%” added