/ Journal /

What would “jealous God” be in Hebrew? trouble with translation, we hardly even catch it in languages and cultures close together. English says robin, and Americans picture red breasted thrush. How even an orthodox modern Jew, say even a jew who speaks only Hebrew, know what it means? By tradition (which changes invisibly even if the outer structure remains identical), by imagination (always colored by one’s immediate concerns, and by study of history and knowledge of the (changed) area. But, you see the problem. We hardly understand Chaucer’s “frank and free” or Shakespeare’s “I’ll kill the man that lets me.” And they’re in our own language!
Crick, p 51 ff. gives a good illustration of the probability of protein formation by random joining. A 200 atom protein’s chance would be 10 to the 260! It occurs to me, (of course trillions of already stable fragments are trying all the time), once a form has succeeded, it changes the odds to worse, because it now monopolizes the atoms and the opportunities. Like, once you’re won the lottery, you buy all the tickets. And don’cha know, 2 days latter, I record that Crick went on to make that point.
Cybernetic society. The church protects us from the bank, the bank protects us from the govt, the govt protects us from the church. Etc. Any number of elements can play. La Ronde.
law of linguistic uncertainty: try “proof.” see creationists, they need lots of elasticity.
How about “imagine a perfectly insulated box”: all those words bounce their meanings around. What do you mean perfect? Zero thermal energy can be transferred? What do you mean insulated then, and why perfectly. The challenge “imagine an insulted box” or a well insulated box has been rendered meaningless. The word imagine too is strained. Like Asimov’s boy going through a turnstile forever.
MUSIC. notation reform. should be accompanied by developments in base number counting and notations other than base 10. Even binary would be better. And a clear statement of whether you’re starting with 1 or 0. [Declare your default values!] Translating blocks of 4, 8, 12, 48, etc. of measures into binary makes them mystically clear. Binary might be best.
Creationism: Philip Kitcher’s Abusing Science. A few problems not discussed: 1) the very point of science is that it is not apparent! 2) people with any training whatsoever in one or two thought systems think that they know how to think. a) any language is a thought system b) any organized religion is a thought system c) both happen to be examples of primitive thought systems. They are of course right. They do know how to think: in that thought system!; not, however, in science which distinguishes itself from common sense. Newton’s theory of gravity is stark lunacy unless (a) it is so familiar a part of the scenery as to be inconspicuous (b) you trust its “proofs” enough or Newton enough or are curious enough to reform your mental model of reality so that you can test it daily and at home. It is far from obvious that every object attracts every other object. Newton’s work will only seem obvious if you think it consisted of knowing he had been hit when an apple fell on his head. 3) our politics and polite social fictions encourage that illusion (that we are all qualified to think) and discourage exposing it. 4) confusion between evolution of species and moral evolution or social evolution. There’s no reason to suppose that every form of change has behind it and has only Darwin’s mechanism. 5) natural selection is incomplete as a theory without also understanding cybernetics and feedback mechanism and mind (thank you Gregory Bateson) and there is something objectionable to a people trained to think that they are in ever-alert, benevolent paternal hands suddenly to see an implication that they are the result of “blind chance” or “accident.” Once the adjustment to Darwin and beyond has been made, the meanings and implication of blind, accident, chance, etc. are entirely non-threatening. It’s easier to recall that the blind are not without senses or purpose or direction or decisions. In many environments, blindness is an advantage: it’s not the sense you want to occupy or dominate your attention. Moles, cave fish, worms, etc. Anyway, once you learn a word like stochastic, you stop using those silly misleading, bronze age words. Just as “cause” disappears from one’s vocabulary. Wilberforce suffered from a semantic problem which Huxley had surpassed.
6) creationism is not a scientific issue; it’s an economic, educational, social, political issue. I, who am against compulsory education and against any prescribed curriculum am in sympathy with the creationists objections and totally out of sympathy with their solution.
Creationism in some ways serves science right. Scientists too are guilty of pride and laziness and fuzzy thinking and fuzzy speech and seldom object when the credit and the money are flowing their way. Even Carl Sagan, in his Cosmos said that evolution is a fact. A fact is what a theory precisely isn’t. The trouble is the glib attitude toward truth practiced by glib religious and imitated by glib technocrats (and too by “scientists” who are after all people in an intellectual environment). The word “proof” should be put into Coventry for a few generations until it can be used meaningfully again. Kitcher chap 3, right after denying the possibility of “proof” as the creationists mean it, uses it himself. He hadn’t been cleansed by his own exorcism.
The concept that science is anything but harmful to humans in my mind has hypothetical status only, not theoretical status. I am addicted to it more than most and will happily die with the addiction, but I am not ready to prescribe it for everyone. Stupidity can be suicidal, but the creationists are not stupid. They merely wish to be ordinary for a while.
I recall that cartoon of the character walking off a cliff and not falling: the observer comments that gravity only works for those who can understand it. Well, there might be a kind of human justice in that, but it is opposite from the case. Wouldn’t it be nice if Falwell phone or tv broadcasts or Xerox machine didn’t work because he is the enemy of the principles and methods that created them. No, anyone can buy a gun and anyone can pull the trigger. Imagine a society evolved to require the equivalent of a drivers license, a competency test before permitting a commercial transaction to occur. Bad for business (as presently constituted); good for the longevity of the society.
From a sloppy Darwinian standpoint (the “dinosaurs are extinct because they were dumb” kind) [seemingly contradicting my point of a moment ago], why should evolutionists care if the creationists want to stunt the chances for survival of their kids. That will get rid of the competition in a few generations.
We rejected (rightly) a society in which the mistakes of Constantine had proliferated to the point where the society would persecute you if you didn’t embrace or be invisible about not embracing the established dogmas. ‘Correct’ ideology was required for social advancement. The Soviets too have been trying it. And so to too much of an extent does science. Look at poor Velikovsky. However wrong he may have been doesn’t excuse what the establishment did. Look at Fred Hoyle. He survives and he’s well off, but he’s an exception. [human generalization here, one with exceptions; not a scientific generalization which must have none.]
Orthodoxy is convenient for the political establishment, but that doesn’t excuse it. Do we want a society run by the moral majority? Christ, no. I don’t want one run by the technocrats either. Give them a few generations or a few centuries; I believe they would be just as bad as the Church. The problem is one inherent in the seemingly inherent imperialism of civilization. It needs authority. Authority and the search for truth are incompatible. Neither should the search for truth be compulsory except in so far as evolution itself makes it compulsory. Fall in the fire: burn.
The fundamentalists bravely gird themselves to do battle in an impenetrable cloak of semantic ignorance. They want to stick you in a contradiction while themselves changing their base meanings like a willo’thewhisp.
Their certainty is based on will, hope, and desperation and on a woefully incomplete gestalt and they want to challenge your tentative certainty which is based on a flexible rationality. Where they encounter dogmatism or an inflexible rational, their damage is warranted. They want you to be able to defend your choices; their belief is based on our hard wired tendency to leap at conclusions and then to live or die by them (as long as the threats are intensional; let the actual death of the organism result, and the belief will disappear. On a slower evolutionary clock, they too are scientific.)
Darwinists could learn something about the survival strategy of memes ganging up on intrusive memes. the fundamentalists (think they) were doing fine until the rationalism came along. Now they want to treat the poor slob foot soldier teacher pawns of science like n-s. [Bowdlerizing K., 2016 08 03 Offensive terms go dosido in fashion.]
They fight the battle on their own turf where they can be rude and stupid and still feel that they will be welcomed at home.
Science is made by men, but Kitcher & Gould & other darwinians seem especially devoted to defending Darwin, even more than science. They seem to think that the theory of evolution is Darwin. It’s not. It’s greater than Darwin. And it takes its vocabulary (too) largely from that tradition, but it’s more.
12 Jul: p 174 Creationists “contend that students ought to be allowed to resolve the ‘Question of Origins’ for themselves.”
p 176 “fourteen years old students, for example-are asked to decide a complex issue on partial evidence.” Annual gathering of the National Science Board or Amalgamated Heads of Biology Departments: Here, kid. We have all the evidence known in our field and we can’t make a decision; here, you decide for us on partial evidence. Then we can all go to Hawaii.? What’s this ‘resolve’? this ‘decide’. Does he mean come to their own opinion? their own working hypothesis? why not? His point I infer to be that the creationists would prefer the evidence to be partial and biased. But he hasn’t said so in these sentences.
Also, presumption the presenting science to a 14 year old is presenting it to him before he has come to or been given working hypotheses. The kid has had 14+ yrs of family, peers, cartoons, and advertising to mold his defaults. on top of 3/4 yr of phenotypic development with its hardwiring and defaults.
Creationists make some good critical points and science and scientists should bend over backwards to admit them. (Likewise, Wash should admit the validity and the charity of some of Marx’s points, but it doesn’t, not without shooing them under the carpet while admitting them. Moscow likewise. Xity. Islam. The justice system. They would all do well to admit some more science into their epistemologies, e.g..
Creationists remind me of political radicals, (Manson being my favorite because least innocent ex) whose lack of power gives them the presumption of virtue as well as innocence. cf jews and nazis/zionists and palestinians: one thing seems clear in the 40’s; a different perspective comes once there is better comparable experience with the second group. Of course, I don’t remember anyone but myself pointing out the attitude toward local indigenous peoples in the Bible.
racial etc. prejudice like alleles: positive and negative like homo- & heterogeneous. Jew & goy = jew. brown & blue = brown eyes. white, white, white, & black = black. So what makes one cultural allele dominant? Positive, they chose to keep a heritage; negative, they want to brand you as inferior if they can: they imagine that that will leave more scarce resources, more respect, an easier passage for themselves.
Theory gives meaning to the chaos of facts.
difference between responsible description & name calling, which the creationists don’t need to worry about because their’s is a rhetorical, political, and demagogic enterprise. They hope that the names will be homeopathically injurious: name magic. and in their world of self-hypnotized reality, the magic works. The proof? the people see that’s it is so. You’re still alive, but in their eyes, they’ve killed you. Their magical god has killed you and they’re the beloved david. Now it is not that science is descriptive and they’re demagogic in any absolute sense: science too is political, and rhetorical, and magical, and demagogic: and religion is descriptive to a heroic extent when compared with what it replaced (we have to imagine the facts to make the comparison, but try it. Imagine how descriptive totemism is.) The difference is relative, but they are respectively decidedly toward different ends of the spectrum.
Eureka. Stop saying opposite as though things were 1 dimensionally dualist. Start thinking different, which can be multi-dimensional. The molecular information in DNA is in stereo.
The similarities bet. sc. & cr. slipped away as the DOS routine finished. qa loaded, and ’tis gone.
they don’t want to look a gift horse in the mouth. the vital need for science has not been demonstrated. They’ve got the bomb, why take the theory that made it possible?
Science is ingenuous: these people have a little theory seeded in, but mainly their training is robotic: math, physics, chem. it’s all the same. It’s only in the last few decades that much of science begins to make synthesizable sense. But scientists haven’t been recalled by their alma maters to read Bateson and Sagan together, to restructure, simplify and beatify their minds. they go on, rehearsing the techniques, the soulless part, that with the anti-intellectual tradition. (whitehead). the fundamentalists are merely the illiterate descendants of an intellectual tradition taken over (rightly perhaps) by the amateurs (Luther, Calvin, Knox et al)
science and rhetoric.
Amateur Views.
Learn logic, fallacies should be recatalogued and numbered. Procedures catalogued and numbered. This example is in error for reasons 1,2,3,4, etc. Anyone who requires the details worked out for him, see me privately and bring tuition. Anyone who can improve on my reasons (including refute them), please see the computer. You’ll own my house.
How to write comedy? Put characters in a situation identified for the audience but not for all characters equally. Ask them to explain it and watch their inventions, equivocations, and lies trying to guess what self serving trash will be accepted and get them off an imagined hook. Mel Brooks’ “Would you believe …?” is blatant and in character and partially participates in self-awareness.
Comedy: rapid perception. Tragedy slow. If Oedipus were quick on the uptake that he’s the mother-fucker, it would be comedy.
Property tax?: civilization exacts a huge payment from the non-civilized-the removal of the option of no private property. The plight of the NA “Indians”, the Hawaiians, etc. all aboriginals. Finally, we wind up drafting them for our wars.
muon lives 2.2×10-6 sec
parsec-3.258 cyr
neolithic farming throughout Eur by 2000bc; bronze age by 1500bc;
iron age 650bc-100ad
The pattern of my life is what I see I have followed; not what I intended to follow.
Brian, science, criticism, debate, etc. should learn from “Endnotes” initial statements of procedures. It’s what I’ve always (or long believed, since soph or jr year in college say). When I tried to practice it in my own writings, the professor downgraded it tentatively. Grad school tried to eradicate it.
So, I mostly withdraw, occasionally giving the public another chance. The Bateson’s Mind and Nature comes along, and he does just that and with cosmic authority, grace, and humility. And then I read books like Kitcher’s where you can’t find the points for the rhetoric and can’t remember them for the graceless nomenclature and the fact that they continue to come buried in rhetoric and controversy.
Free country? What can that mean with rapid transportation? Country once meant a discrete area with natural boundaries: geographical and cultural (with language and religion of great importance; also dress, mores, aesthetics [including developed tastes and tolerances for diet], etc.) In the US e.g., the founding fathers weren’t altogether fatuous: they had claimed land from aborigines who didn’t defend their territories with the rigor of the civilized and who had inferior weapons if they did. Bounded on one side by ocean and on another by the Appalachians, and beyond by terrified or fleeing indigenes. Even so, Geo III sent an army. The colonials discouraged the army. Costs of the war became too great for Geo. And the US was “free” from outside interference for the time being. Now we’re armed and dangerous like no previous civilization and still we’re interfered with, AND STILL we don’t stay home ourselves.
No, freedom can only retain that sort of meaning if the world (humans ie) agrees that it should be achieved and preserved and then does so. (for the time being).
Creationists and the common cold. We’re not structured to understand statistics. What obligation does anyone have to proselytize their truth against people’s will? The issue with evolution isn’t (yet) that the fundamentalists are preventing science from occurring. They don’t and won’t have that power. They’re trying to protect their primitive epistemologies for their children’s sake. Why not. Their children could still escape and go to a university; read a few books; discover the memes that are everywhere by breathing them out of the air. Ditto doctors. They don’t understand science. Their economics is their primary concern and it’s hooked to disease. Why shouldn’t they pooh-pooh an understanding that will curtail their businesses?
Last night Bill Moyers was reminding me of my recent impression of Russell Baker after reading lumps of him. The guy is still a high school kid overawed at his privilege in going to DC. He interviews this judge all dewy eyed. Sure they show a little cynicism: an allowed amount; a prescribed amount for the times. Hey, people didn’t learn nothing from Nixon and Watergate, and Reagan & Col. North, etc. But the dewyness is still there. They’ve divided their church into it and she, like Illich. The she is all in their minds.
Now, in the mind, is the only place that important realities exist. But some are delusory, potent only while there is a consensus of who also believes. Others will persist even after the death of the group.
“They all look alike.” Like boredom, a sign of limitation. A sign of inattention and, in all likelihood, incapability of attention to distinguishing details in an object or organism not a familiar part of their top hierarchies of reality. Everything we are capable of examining closely turns out to be unique. We say that atomic particles are identical, but are they? Interchangeable apparently, but so too, often are people. But identical? When or if we can examine them better, we may come to see that they too are unique.
Communication. Bateson’s anonymous voices from the past, internal communications. Communing with one’s unconscious, scanning and sorting and comparing without guidance from the conscious is an important adjunct to communing with the anonymous voices of the past, just and perhaps more important than reading, studying, etc. Meditation, praying, dreams, the suggestibility of first semi- and just before sleep consciousness. Keats on sleeping and dreaming.
beginnings and ends: semantically required within our sense of the system, but do they ever actually, independently, intensionally or extensionally, exist? Outside our own shifting model requirements? Humans, ie. [the point here is that there are intensional structures that would exist with or without mankind and his mental constructs. Would god die if we killed ourselves? Or does god go with (inside or outside or of) the system independently?] Which came first, the chicken or the egg? is a question without meaning in a continuum. How about the Big Bang? It goes back to that part that you are considering. relevant: to our story (Bateson). We need a miracle either way: creation (big band or genesis) needs a miracle; but doesn’t also a steady state? Is there a third (or nth possibility?). That too requires a miracle, meaning here simply an explanation outside our ability to explain: we have no theory for it. Now there’s another reason that the idea of god is so handy: the black box goes on and on, inward and inward: we don’t have to explain, only refer to the black box: god.
academic discipline: to determine scientifically, ie in a group checking and cross checking each other, which intensional structures are manmade and which life made and which cosmos made.
conventional explanations and standards: time. north. left and right? year. minute. meter. right ascension. all earth bound.
What Debbie said about whether or not everyone in the company should cooperate in whatever work needs to be done: make coffee, sweep the floor, do something outside one’s narrow job description: sure, but: does it cut both ways? what is the attitude of management toward labor? Visa versa? That’s the problem with appeals to morality. They put one into a default assumption which may be inappropriate. Point of empty rhetoric. What’s the point of appealing to the patriotism of an oppressed group except further to oppress them? If the n-s and spics do most of your grunt fighting in Vietnam, e.g., wholly impervious to any possible rational except follow the leader, what’s in it for them. Even altruism has to have some practicality.
Nigel Calder’s TIMESCALE
Timescale on chemical energy life under the antarctic ice & AA in BHC make me think: AA’s mistake, and mine, is to think that the purpose of school is to disseminate knowledge. Actually it is to disseminate a compromise between knowledge and general belief. In that respect, perhaps the creationists have a case: where knowledge and tradition/common sense are too discrepant for the ordinary nervous system, the school should perhaps tread carefully. Knowledge could still be served if there was a little more accurate acknowledgment of what was going on. No one should be deceived in mistaking the school for a well of unalloyed knowledge.
Calder’s wonderful record of all the disciplines: geology, biology, archeology, being wrong. So the creationists shouldn’t feel too bad; on the other hand they should own up like a man and change. Then perhaps physics is about to join the general humbling.
“the instant legitimacy of the unexpected”
And what to think about the tendency of scholarship to attribute their own wonderful interpretations to classical heroes? God, Plato, Socrates, Darwin, … all collect such attribution that you would be hard put to discover in a plain reading. Plato not only “invented” the dialogue, but its synergistic properties (Laszlo).
story (export). earth as a behavioral rats’ cage with the gods experimenting on adaptability. Hit them with a comet: most everything dies. Hit them again. Don’t worry; they can’t get out of the cage.
Paleontologists and extinctions: Hey, don’t worry: the university isn’t too bright either; you’ll keep your job.
I am suddenly convinced that few martyrs have ever sought martyrdom. Yes, they were uncompromising, and generally knew the possible consequences of their staunchness, but believed that their staunchness (or a miracle) would prevail over the conservatism of the norm, the enemy, the bureaucracy, etc. Jesus fully expected to prevail against all odds. However when he saw the inevitable, he was ready to face it. He felt a momentary sense of betrayal. Maybe a touch of paranoia. Who knows what really happened with those Judas and Peter stories. The part I believe is the sense of betrayal, especially from above. But my point is their staunchness once they see the pattern.
Taking my own poverty as a kind of martyrdom, and my occasional writing as an example of what I prefer to do with my energies, I never planned to be ignored by the sources of money: publishers, government, churches, charitable people. I was clearly willing, even anxious, to be discovered only slowly. I wasn’t ready. I knew that what I was studying would take far longer than an ordinary Ph.D.. My slowness was a pseudo-laziness. Drinking was a real laziness and cowardice, a pseudo- and debilitating compensation for the slowness of my development. Part of it was in the age: Tolstoy, Homer, Shakespeare had less to master. I never aspired to their level of genius, but I did insist on their level of generality. Specializing in the midst of ignorance was so repugnant as to be impossible. Anyway, as I approach my forty-ninth birthday and find that I am still quite unprepared to pay the various rents due tomorrow, I don’t care. I have something in my mind and feel that my time is best spent here at the computer with Calder near to hand.
Evolution: if sees evolution as owned by “fundamentalist” Darwinians, then evolution is wrong and a different evolution is closer to the truth. Catastrophists vs. gradualists: the gradualists have finally learned to have some sense of the behavior of complex whole systems and don’t want to expand to multiple complex systems or to start any dialogue with two or three body problems. Their heads are still spinning from the last problem. But then, as human beings, why should they? People do need to take a few centuries to digest something. We hardly understand what we do believe let alone some new thing that displaces it while we’re still off balance.
The creationist harrang should take place in terms not of truth or education but psychic balance.
read-between-the-lines default assumptions: as far as I know, as far as the best evidence known to those who know such evidence can tell, etc.
export to quot or sci.not Order Out of Chaos, by Ilya Prigogine & Isabelle Stengers. Nonequilibrium, the flow of matter and energy, may be a source of order.
Difference bet. standard believers and scientists is how much they are willing to be comfortable with outside the black box.
Is clarity possible?
Horror movies basically are theologically conservative. They worship (fear and wish to propitiate) the chaos that god made order from. God is curiously absent from these devil dominated plots although the cast is populated with priests and nuns aplenty. And flies? Lord of the flies? What do people have against flies?
August 87:
Epistemology: [9/24 moved 11/23] even a fact is not equal to truth. facts are the highest data, but still subject to questioning. Who saw it. How many. How reliable. Photographs. How reliable. Nothing is unimpeachable. And they fade.
[11/23: No ground zero facts. Or rather there are, we presume, we infer, but perception of them is already one remove, even a thing’s perception of itself. First level facts: that’s a table, I exist, a horse is an animal … How to number the rest of the series of levels. Time? Number of links in the chain of interpretation and reportage? e.g. George Washington was first president of the US. Overwhelming support and no variance. How about Jesus lived? Further in time, fewer witnesses, and much variance. How about Jesus lives? Here in time but no witnesses. At least no unimpeachable witnesses. Oh, plenty of witness, but witness of faith, not observation. Or how about Jesus lives, as interpreted? Ah, but interpretation is exactly what a fact isn’t. Or is it? Are they separable?
Anyway, propose a ladder or array for the logical levels of facts.
How about the perceptual and factual difference between experimental physics of Galileo, Faraday or Watt or Curie, and research today: the physicist doesn’t just use a lens or a couple of lenses in a tube to help his eye anymore. The extensions of perception have gone off the scale to where even the calculations cannot be checked. Now we have faith that the computer is reliable as a number cruncher. We had to have faith in the formulae to begin with, but most of those had been checked at a human pace. There, the number may be a fact, but what the number refers to is interpretation. How the numbers were manipulated is theory and tautology.
Checked at a human pace: how can we ever be sure that we’ve done any operation correctly? Except where the results are satisfying in some way? There are too many things to go wrong and human beings don’t feel competent doing more than two or three different things at once. Did I check the transcription of the numbers? Did I perform the calculations in correct order? As soon as you’re checking that, you can’t be sure of the transcription of numbers, even though you had already checked them. So, you offer your results for “confirmation.” So fifty more calculators say they got the same results. How far can you trust them. Where’s the “proof”: a Pythagorean theorem that 50 confirmations must be correct? And even then, it would just be a tautology.]
Tool Kit begins: familiar claim that science and humanities are not on speaking terms. Not only hostile, but mutually unintelligible. Schiz. Bridges being built while claim is being made.
Meantime, schiz is true of whole culture which protects itself by name calling. Blame, hold accountable the individual, no precedent for either cohering the society on the one hand (not unequivocally to be recommended) or for accepting complex macro patterns on the other. The inheritance of civilization in particular. Some sort of preference for one’s own kind is certainly natural, but: distinction between life preying on life and organized xenophobia.
Name calling and homeopathic magic.
science too is based on opinion, though not to the extent of say politics. it too follows order parameters, and a small fluctuation of fact is not enough to change the overall pattern. the first discovery of extra terrestrial microorganism fossils, e.g.. the poor guys were hooted out of the profession. scientists too are human. bravo Haken on the subject. and bravo Haken on how the slogans accompanying change of order are not rational. liberté, pigs, relativity.
August 87. upon reading Kate Chopin’s Désirée’s Baby (1894): even more so than after discovering Twain’s Puddinhead Wilson, thanks especially to rereading TimeScale with additional care: with a chronologer’s perspective, who can take human morality seriously? since the whole color question isn’t really a question but an unscientific error, an ignorance and slavery to false semantic models parading (successfully for some evanescent period of time as authority-to be succeeded by something similarly fraudulent and evanescent?) as authority, and for the time being getting away with it. What difference does it make whether Desiree or her husband carried the latent gene which was becoming exhibited in the child’s phenotype? The story gives evidence (last sentence) that it was the father who was non-white. Desiree’s origins are unknown. It is indicated that her skin was fairer than her husband’s, but even coming to know what we learn, that doesn’t make her not “non-white.” One could perhaps come to a rational decision about who’s “white” and who’s not if the term had any consistently verifiable meaning other than who scoffs up the best economic and social position (position of economic ascendancy) and holds it. The story itself illustrates that white has nothing to do with skin color and everything to do with who can bully whom and get away with it. It is true that the economically and politically ascendant genetic sub-division of the human species has been that which incorporates the mutant ability to digest milk into adulthood. That group was from its beginning among the light skinned. They spread and colonized and interbred, spreading the mutation. Their success guaranteed that their descendants would be among the most racially impure. Strict inbreeding would have defeated the “purpose” of the mutation. Anyway genetic studies unknown to Chopin indicate that the only genetically unmixed modern humans are those Australian aborigines descended from those who arrived there 40,000 years back and who had not yet interbred with those Australian aborigines who arrived later. The peoples of Eurasia are the most genetically mixed of all. So the common prejudice has genetic “purity” precisely backwards.
8/6: is there intelligent life on earth? type. just put into rev.bhc, explorer undecided whether intelligent species just discovered is truly inventive or just living among relics of invention. Elder points out that same is true of them. Which of them has ever truly invented anything? Stop thinking of individual; think of group/and of occasional individuals who surpass the group and are fertile and lucky (and of thousands of individuals who surpass the group and are fertile and who are not lucky [and of thousands who surpass the group and are infertile and cannot be lucky]).
How can anyone talk about entropy and seriously imagine heat death and “inevitable” after seeing any overall pattern? The symmetry of a galaxy (cf the theory of the BB w. galaxies forming later). An amoeba growing out of a bacterium? A human growing out of a hollow worm?
syn: Bateson’s the cop doesn’t have his foot on your accelerator, neither does the judge, the governor, the president (or god). cf concept of a personal god who answers prayers or grants a red bicycle for Christmas. Oh, please let me pass this test and I’ll always be good. That’s like asking the cop to drive for you. It isn’t that there’s no communication between those logical levels, it’s that the communication is not of the same type as that within a logical level.
Confusion comes from human’s capacity for multiple levels. You can ask the cop to drive for you and in fact he can do it (but not as a copy). Later, you might think that a cop had driven for you (and the cop might think so too) rather than that a man who was on occasion and professionally a cop drove for you while still inappropriately wearing his cop’s uniform.
8/10: Society steals when it lives on the ideas of people who weren’t paid or revered for them in their lives. In that case the patent should never run out. And the patent should be assumed whether it ever existed or not.
Prof. Cameron’s “teaching” Blake while routinely scoffing at anything in contemporary thought which could possibly be tainted as mysticism illustrates the schiz of contempt. society.
Nations not lasting very long is like business reincorporating every few years. keep the memory of the investigators short; lengthen your own.
narrative with judge explaining the antiquity of the law (in order to intimidate those to whom antiquity is a mystery and to make them assume that he knows about it). but guy asks whose property it was during the mid-Pleistocene. Alternate, old guy meets old gal in charity ward. Gas explosion kills them both. Newspapers say they found each other late and were married in death or some such. guy turns out to be John Bearsfoot Tipton’s heir. old gal suddenly has relatives who want the money as her heirs.
Amazing complacency this assumption that the jews kill Jesus and that we wouldn’t, or that the morons killed Socrates and that we wouldn’t. Of course it is true, that we try to avoid killing famous people, but we have our ways: Charlie Chaplin, Ivan Illich, a million people prevented from becoming famous.
How can we tell when someone is “telling the truth”: first we’d ourselves have to know “the truth” to be sure. We’ve have to know them, their vocabulary, their perceptual qualifications, their idiosyncrasies, etc.
Could Jesus be Satan, but more grown up? Or could Satan be Jesus but more experienced, more mature?
God may be infinitely closer to perfection than we are and yet still be infinitely far from it.
Name calling and homeopathic magic: commie, geek, faggot, etc. establishes your tormentor (though you’re the one tormenting him) as an alien without claim on your sympathy. An object. You divorce him.
No symbol system tells or can tell “the truth”: but represent models. Models of reality or an imagined reality, a composite algorithm, not “reality.”
Peter C. Watson’s cards: A D 4 7. Subject is told that each card has a letter on one side and a number on the other side. Rule: “If a card has a vowel on one side, then it has an even number on the other side.” Given the above four cards, How many cards minimum have to be turned over to test the rule and which ones?
I forgot to write down his figures for initial ration of success failure when Watson first tried the test. It was something like 23 out of 148. Those who got it wrong typically couldn’t understand the answer.
Watson says that it is more natural for human wiring to look for proof than for disproof. Morton Hunt says that humans are not just incompetent at logic but “often willfully and skillfully illogical.”
Property is theft? Not necessarily, unless a tax to those who are denied the possibility of having the property themselves because it is owned by another is not paid. That’s where there are a finite number of things in a set. When they’re all owned, there are no more to be owned. But what about where the thing owned is an abstract thing: a patent, a share of stock, a membership? Can something not extensional be finite? Yes, in that entropy is bound, possibility is lessened by any establishment of any order. The lion cannot be king of the jungle when we have cut it all down. We cannot be lords of the earth when the lion is king of the mammals. Where you have tied a granny knot, a square knot cannot be tied (in the same place by the same section of string). Society often feels like its full of other people’s knots. We are invited to find unused sections even when there are none. We are free to join existing knots in other interesting ways, but we’re never shown (unless we’re Edsel Ford or Michael Corleone) how to do it. Education only shows us how to be part of someone else’s knot. We are still free to join the knots: buy companies, switch Singer from sewing to furniture, invent the next light bulb. But it ain’t as easy as finding open sections of string which is how the frontier analogies are always made. The existence of any pattern reduces the possibility of patterns that can be invented.
we are quick to judge the distant and the partially known. we are most courageous where we perceive the risk to be slight (landlord standing behind partner and screaming “lemme at him”). Therefore, doctors in USSR could maximize their cost effectiveness by diagnosing patients in US and visa versa.
Failure to study in terms of appropriate system. Sarah Box essay in Aug Discovery e.g.. She wants to dispute categories of thought on grounds of political fear. Rational solution would be for political categories to inform legal categories (& visa versa) and to be informed by scientific categories. The question which should be relevant is this (self-defeating and sadistic psychological types) useful (ie promoting health and maximizing possibility of sanity [of individual, society, and the psychology profession])? Not how will the courts screw it up. If its useful, healthful, if it promotes understanding, then wise up the courts.
What’s the life expectancy of a god? Forever. Eternity. How long is that? Christ is still alive after about 2 Myr, but is his father Yaweh? Was his father Yaweh the same one who did this and that throughout the OT? Hardly, they just had the same name. Hitler’s 1000 Year Reich lasted what ’34 to ’45? I think that’s likely to be a better ratio than that between eternity and the life time of a god. Slightly better than 1%.
Identity and interchangeability. Atoms and ideas. The Greeks thought their axioms were stamped with God’s patent. Alternate axioms systems? Other parallels? Horror.
women and (ho ho) equality: who wants to be conqueror? Q. Eliz accepts privileges of William the C, & probably a good deal more responsibility; except for head bashing and land stealing. There are women who want to be president and might be excellent administrators, but would they lead a Monroe Doctrine? Mme & the Faulklands, piss poor. Borges’ pirate is best example I can think of, but I only know it through Borges. The kind of employment libbers want is another, rewarded kind of slavery. It goes only as high as lieutenant. And at what additional strain on the ecology?, since it’s still not sharing and planning.
3rd Millennium good on Communism & Capitalism as religions, and good on their aftermath. Also on planning, though without my joke about the Mafia.
morality on its surface is nothing but a troubled consensus, though underneath there’s a core of ethical thinking and metaphysical yearning. Also conflicting metaphysical yearnings. Dominant morality is always protecting privileges won, not noting that the victory may have become toxic or may be undergoing erosion of a different logical level. e.g., right to buy and own property with no mention of protection from losing it to taxes. no mention of rights of those who can’t buy property because the owners have made it scarce. americas taken by europeans suffering under just such circumstance. lower middle class inherited yearnings without the buying or stealing power. but then they gobbled it up and wasted it as fast as they could, though they’re still talking about rights in the same terms.
politicians and ad men manipulate us through our semantic universe, but (look at it across time) they are just as or perhaps more thoroughly manipulated by the semantic universe group formed by our parents, etc., etc. We, in our differing, will form a consensus (formed by the group mind) which will just as effectively manipulate the politicians, religious leaders, philosophers, etc. of the future.
J is a post empire god in that no culture but one with kings and their jealousies and masses with their humbleness and despair of ambition would think of him. cf Beginning, in which even we can aspire to the elders in some few trillion years.
semantic universes: hilary, brooks, et alia. it’s not enough to kick a jew to show that you despise him; you want the jew to show that he despises himself, that your semantic universe is ratified, that you’re right to kick him. women don’t mind supporting a man, they like it. they also like to be used in general, but, when it comes to money, there’s always a point at which the standard pecking order asserts itself and you’re supposed to be the jew, the n-, the undeserving. grad school and Colby too, there’s always a point at which you’re supposed to stand still with your ass high in the air and make a still target. it’s ok don’t you see, hold still while we initiate you and then you’re one of us: you too can kick the next guy. no thanks, don’t kick me in the first place and you monkeys can keep your pecking order.
“‘fresh’ donuts printed on the box way after the freshness date is expired and the donuts still for sale. half price, sure, but what about the label? open sign on a gas station closed and burned down years ago. no entropy fund in govt to clean it up.
to be tolerated, science must remain specialized. any habitual search for the exception will be most unwelcome by those who’ve struck some sort of truce with themselves and their place in reality and who want to remain at peace in that position.
You want somebody killed? call in a hit man. he’ll make big assurances. but can he make the kill? FBI, Mafia, & Castro. Ho ho. Guy guarantees it. takes down payment. fails. hides. caught. hey, do you keep all your promises? he’s on to us: kill him.
and, or & not gates: politicians’ relationship to their constituency. Some summarize their views, some select views, and some do the opposite. & conductors, wires: and some just do what they do. Nevertheless, the logic of such a format, will be related through feedback loops both to the previous set of opinions and the next set of opinions of the voters since it flows around and around, each being influenced by the other.
russell baker’s right? wrong! gets this picture wonderfully but doesn’t seem to understand it in evolutionary terms. like early mcluhan disapproving of everything in contrast to later mcluhan riding with, grooving on everything.
[on the other hand, taking an ironic tone automatically removes the author from simple disapproval.] being right too soon may be an absurdity with respect to an individual conscience in the jud/xist tradition, John Bunyan’s Christian and all, but the public mind is a mind on a different logical level and the same criticisms don’t apply. Hypocrisy may be irrelevant: unless it is hypocrisy on the public mental level
people’s attempt at unity, solidarity, protecting civilization, compromising truth for the Truth that will save (and promote) their son, their daughter, their career, their church, their country, their god, their genes, their memes: may too be a not gate in the cybernetics of time. How else should the mighty fall? how else should the status quo be eliminated? as it always is. small country town comment on being asked where the local police station is: we take care of our own problems around here. I didn’t doubt it: and the way one local had just taken care of his problem with a stranger was criminal. So justice for all only means locals, members of the den. Yet if the stranger had committed the criminal act against them and they didn’t know how to locate the stranger, they would know where the police station was and would strongly consider calling the local cop. Or even if they wouldn’t, they still support the US govt. there are flags all over the place. did they think that if there weren’t a stranger might mistake the geography for Canada? so, they want law, depending. they want truth, depending. and don’t we all. I am not disapproving; I am trying to understand how it works. I am trying to see through the terrorist’s despair to see negentropy in human ethical and social evolution, or not finding it, to find solace in the temporariness of this current reign of evil.
I should explain if only to my later self that what I mean by not gate, a metaphor less than a week old with me and shared with no one (the attempt with Lee met frustration over my distracting him from finding the plug). A not gate (in my metaphor, whether or not I got it right from the computer book, and how I’ve used it in draft two of Beginning) reverses the sign of the input at the output. True becomes false, on becomes off, the man raped me, the woman says to her lawyer; the man didn’t rape her, the attorney says to the judge.
So what I mean by the paragraph above the paragraph above is that not gates might be one way evolution introduces a wild card, an aleatory element, into the ecological mind. Like you show two jacks and a deuce and claim three jacks. the fellows at the table are impressed. they pay up. in the next hand, you want the deuce still to be what you want, not necessarily a jack. at crisis, the mental arbitrator looks at the hand and calls it a three, or a five of hearts, whatever you don’t have control over.
It’s an especially good game where you can say: the law is the same for everybody (except in the executive branch where national security is concerned or in big business where business (and don’t forget, employment) are concerned, except etc.). Then when you point out that you’ve been screwed, the judge can say, well I’ve never had any trouble with the law and I’ve lived around here all my life. People pick the four card and don’t see the necessity of picking the seven, the one which will refute the rule.
how about an epistemological method of projection (as in map making) or coordinate setting where the multitude of logical principles that apply from moment to moment in a situation can be analyzed (perpetually subject to refinement) and the rule applicable be posted in shorthand, like coordinates. Rule of card number seven needs to be applied, rule of card number four has been partially applied …
clearly this could only be useful in key instances because the rule of tristram shanty would always apply. Stated alternately, the rule of tristram shanty (AKA: the kissinger/nixon law) is that you would have to fill the universe with notes and recording tape before you had adequately analyzed one electron. There would be several reasons why you could not proceed. It would be dumb. You might get the point by then. It would be futile. It would be impossible. There would be no new note paper left to make new notes on. You could not get new note paper without destroying old and thereby your data that you need the new note paper to further digest. You would be hungry by then but there could be nothing to eat since you would already have converted everything-society, its national resources, the people themselves, their cattle and movables, wilderness, oceans, the planet, the sun, the asteroids, other planets, the whole solar system, other stars, the galaxy, the local group, more groups, all groups … And of course you yourself would long since have ceased to exist, having already put yourself into it. In fact, the last bit, maybe a good deal before the last bit of the universe, could not be converted, could it? You can’t convert the table that holds your model into part of your model.
This reminds me how much and how long I have wished that the justice system would get around to hearing of Heisenberg. That wouldn’t mean that it would have to go out of business but that it should and would have an excuse to be more honest about it. e.g.. twelve people have looked at the evidence and have decided that you are guilty. We don’t know it for sure but we do for sure intend to execute you. If you want to know the range of our probability of error, ask a philosopher. You yourself are the only one presumably who can know better than this jury whether or not it is true. But your own certainty can’t be perfect either. We had witnesses who heard you say that you were going to kill x. We have other witnesses who saw you buy the gun and the bullets. It’s been confirmed that you went straight to x’s office. The six other people who were present in x’s office bear witness that you entered, threatened again, drew the pistol and shot x six times. Since x is a film producer and was producing a film in his office at the time of your arrival, and since the film was sound film, we also have an a-v record of the repeated threat and all six shootings. As cases go, yours seem fairly well clear cut. Still, even if you meant to pull the trigger, even if you felt yourself do so, there are still an infinite number of alternate possible explanations. Most people could think of none. I, after thirty years on the bench, can think of only one. But that reflects lack of imagination and lack of time or desire to think rather than lack of possibility. And since I can conceive of no possible way to prove what the maximum number of possibilities are, I shall call them infinite. My example? You’ve actually changed your mind at the last minute. An invisible martian has been following you around, wanting to see fireworks. He sees you pause. He sees you stop. He still wants his fireworks. He enters your nervous system and commands the finger to pull the trigger while the overall system aims, and repeats till empty. etc. Come to thinks of it, there are a (call them) infinite number of variations within that one variation. The ET is from Betelguese, not mars, etc.
It is in this way that god himself must be judging by inference and not by deduction at judgment day, because even if he could create an infinite number of other universes and utilize all of them to store and analyze the data of judgment in this universe, he still couldn’t finally judge one act let along one person in this universe. Ah, you say, but god knows the martian wasn’t really there? But how does he know that? He controls all the universes. Even if he does, how does he know it for sure? Maybe there are martians in a universe he doesn’t control and doesn’t know about. But god knows about everything. Maybe so, but how can he know that it’s so? If he does, then he has less imagination than I, not more.
anyway, we’re going to execute you and that’s that. sorry if we’re wrong, but we can’t afford to take chances beyond a certain threshold even for justice. though in this case, justice doesn’t apply. you see, I’ve been bribed and all the witnesses suborned, the evidence doctored, the gaping holes glossed over by our blindness. you see the over-ruling fact here, regardless of guilt is that we belong here, here in this society which we’ve stolen, and we agree that you don’t. you see, you’re a n- a jew, a commie. an elitist, an illiterate. you’re any name we can call you and we don’t have to tell anybody what it means. you voted for the wrong presidential candidate. you have land that we want. it’s really your wife that we want. Actually, it’s your wife who wants us. She’s set you up and blown us all till we’ve promised. she was so ardent for your downfall, she even blew all the women in the jury and in the judge’s typing pool. we’d all die of old age before I could finish telling you all the reasons we’re doing this to you. you didn’t join the club. you didn’t bend over to get paddled. you could have been one of the paddlers all the rest of your life. all you had to do yossarian was to like us. in fact you didn’t even have to like us. none of us likes the other. you would just have had to pretend to. and not even all of the time. just at the right time. that’s what you’re guilty of, yossarian, you didn’t pretend at the right time.
Sept 87 title: epistemology for English Majors. dramatic illustrations instead of abstractions.
title: Fairy Tales for Physicists
chaos: the unresolved high-energy turbulence between competing orders
changes. Generally these order parameters are the long-lived magnitudes that enslave the short-lived ones.”
evolution & chaos: government designed for a democratic republic (there’s an oxymoron, I suppose) geared at a pace of walking to horseback but run (ha ha) at computer and telecommunications speeds. law slowly, painfully evolves to protect rights, property, etc. while promoting growth, trade, profit, etc. and based on marriage as the basic economic, etc. alliance and suddenly everyone gets divorced and the courts have no coherent precedent for responsibility sharing, property, children, etc. Cut the kid in half is the obvious solution. Mother trained in home-ec. on how to handle servants, instead of servants, she’s handed a broom. Gets used to it, and is handed a vacuum cleaner. Learn to cook in kitchen with four burners and an oven and you’re handed a microwave. Learn to tell time on an analogic clock and get handed a digital with four programming buttons and four to the four? or four to the four to the four? function possibilities when all you had wanted to know was what time is it? (another totally learned desire)
synergism and organic life. good analogy with laser, but I’m trying to picture an electron resisting the order parameter by loyalty to another, earlier order parameter. thanks for the microwave, but I’ll cook on the wood stove. thanks for the divorce, but I would rather have stayed married and simply gotten a mistress/lover/job/hobby/etc. thanks for the cancer though I would have preferred TB. thanks for the democracy, but I was finally getting to accept King Soandso. thanks for the electronics, but I was just getting used to a democratic republic with cars and lobbies. Thank you CBS, you made sure that Edberg couldn’t beat Connors. Unfortunately, there was no way you could rig it that Lendel got beat in the semis. Sure, I too wanted to see Lendel play second. I certainly didn’t want to see girls play in the evening though. god forbid the women’s and men’s finals should share the same day! I can however picture a future in which the tv consumer has gotten sick of TV’s ability to confound the alien in favor of the local champion.
9/16. literature: synergetic. multi-channel. multi-scopic vision. many perspectives. in low level literature you agree with the hero. in high level literature it doesn’t matter whether or not you agree with him. appreciating Hamlet has little to do with whether we approve of revenge or even the thought of it. Othello and jealousy.
synergy: looking backwards from the system rather than up from one or a few of the parts. e.g.. the individual says how can there be any new ideas to discover/develop, new stories to be written, new products to develop, new ways to get rich, solutions to our old problems, etc. There are an infinite (read uncountable) number. Go to the end, to the whole, and look backwards. Also how to write a novel. SS etc.
9/17. Cuban Crisis memories. I had to interview the Cubans for the Army and, to be eligible for the draft, they had to swear that they had never known any communists. (Now there, Phil, is a great example of the germ theory of ideas.) They had to swear on their lives to the FBI that their answers were true. I, as non-spanish speaking translator from the spanish had to swear that I had interviewed them thoroughly and accurately. It was my life, if they were lying to me. The army had assigned me the role. By fiat, they had pronounced me competent at spanish. Of course, they were Cuban “refugees.” We had pronounced Cuba suddenly to be a communist country. Everybody in the country was suddenly a communist. Except of course for these wonderful patriots who wanted to kill Castro for us. But suddenly, they had never known any communists. Obviously, living in Cuba, they had never been related to or known any Cubans! Now isn’t that a wonderful example of not only demanding to be lied to but demanding, on pain of the other person’s liberty and life, to be convinced that the lie is true? The worst that could happen to the Cubans was that they wouldn’t be drafted if they lied unconvincingly. But me: I would be put in the stockade forever if they lied unconvincingly. Of course, being convinced was solely in the will of the FBI. And the army.
Is it just civilization or the whole universe that can only think in Catch-22s?
move phr.n: Don’t worry; it’s only life.
At the catastrophic end of the world, but only to a hindu god: “I am not amused.”
9/18: Deb says, “Why I’ll tell the truth.” What a discouraging revelation. What truth will she tell? Why, the only one that she knows she knows at the moment. No awareness of how conveniently we switch sides. How tell such a person about the three line/one line test? (Solomon Asch in Haken’s Cybernetics) how very probably any particular individual is one of these (was it) 80% who’ll certainly tell any simple truth as long as it doesn’t cost anything, but as soon as it’s a social situation, as soon as the tide seems to be moving, will adjust their reality to the consensus. [100% when free, then 20% staunch, 20% semi, 60% reeds] Meantime, somewhere hidden away, has to be an awareness of the adjustment and the unedited perception.
Quite apart from editing by the individual, there is editing by the group epistemology. see tolstoy on how a soldier perceives a battle. What do you see? An aurora. What’s an aurora? One will say lights in the sky. Another will include some explanatory theory in their answer. Even for the one, what’s the sky? There is no perception without some explanatory theory, some incredible web of overlapping, probably contradictory, interconnected, etc. explanatory theories.
and what about the 20% who resist the group pressure, at least initially? are we really 20% saints and cranks? Maybe potentially. Who else is going to be ready to start the oscillation of the next order parameter. We’re all bouncing up and down in phase saying America is wonderful, democracy is wonderful, we’re wonderful, it couldn’t happen here, why I’d never be stuck in the Savannah without inventing pottery-I’d just get some clay and make a pot (haha). oh, the n-s aren’t oppressed, not any more, maybe once, maybe a little, but it’s gone too far. anybody can raise himself up in this country. no sense of statistics, no sense of ordering parameters, no sense of the pressure of probability. anybody can be president. really, 200 million simultaneous presidents?
how about when we were germans, bouncing up and down in phase with der reich? or when we were romans? we should be so lucky-when we were peasants and slaves? when we were being slaughtered by the khan?
yesterday, watching the stream in the rain. I had already seen the direction of the current. is it because I’m a skier than I can tell subtle grades of slope? anyway, in the rain I couldn’t see any object moving within or on the water; only the water and the turbulence. so how come i could tell that it was right to left? there was turbulence on both sides of the rocks. the mist made it impossible to judge which side of the rock was lower or which end of the stream was lower. so what is it about turbulence that I understand which direction is more entropic that I don’t know that I know? My consciousness couldn’t tell but my gestalt could. or was I remembering and thinking that I was seeing?
remembering asking Sidney Morganbesser’s yo-yo assistant what the point of all this philosophizing was: jerk response: what does it have to do with the wheat crop in Kansas? I let myself be forced to pretend to care about the wheat crop in Kansas. he’s maybe 23; i’m maybe 19. big shrug from him. he thinks i’m being a barbarian, a philistine. my question, i think 30 years later, was a primitive attempt to upgrade my xian epistemology and to see what philo had to offer. i already knew in the case of literature and music, painting and sculpture. i really didn’t know in the case of philo. Socrates struck me as an argumentative jerk: i didn’t know enough history of ideas, chronology, etc. ditto, physics/chem: what do your physical marionette strings have to do with the reality i haven’t defined for myself yet? each guy seemed to take a different position and use a different. vocabulary from the guy before. the lectures always seemed to support the guy of the day. philo had no position?
i already embraced literature’s multiple perspective and relativism. at least to some extent. what I wasn’t being weaned from was the monolithic certainty of calvinism, the take over of theology by political consensus a la constantine. what I wanted, i now know, was an answer about map/territory, a distinction between fact and organizing theory, a concept of semantic sanity, a concept of the role of the intellect in both survival and in aesthetic joy. no, it was easier to dismiss the barbarian with the wheat crop in kansas.
11/10 add. Renaissance perspective vs. multiple perspective. Renaissance perspective the product of a feudal hierarchical politics and cosmology and theology. One best or correct, very anthropomorphic view.
more argument that education is backwards. kindergarten should start off with heisenberg and godel. wave/particle problems of description. the fact that light does its thing whether or not we know how to picture it. gravity gives us a flat earth while we wait for kepler, newton and einstein. science never made any sense to me until i read asimov’s chronological unfolding, incl. a sense of the reality of the day. then eritosthenes is staggering. or bronowski’s presentation of pythagoras’ theorem. jesus, your mind turns inside out! i had never seen that. no one had ever shown me anything of the kind. not in math or science. it was like a Miles Davis solo. i still didn’t (and maybe don’t) see how it proved anything. why all necessarily unexaminable actual triangles have to conform to this one mental triangle. but it does have to be among the most beautiful things. my god, an unearthly piece of gymnastics. its agility matches the spider monkeys playing
spider monkey, now there’s a map/territory thing. the subtlety of the tail. the excitement comes from an apparent discrepancy between the actual structure of the bars and the monkey’s apparent awareness of his environment. jesus, the stupid bastard missed his hold, he’s going to kill himself. splat against the bars. meantime he’s got his eyes locked on mine. he doesn’t look worried as he sails off into space. bang, the tail’s last inch has got that last joint, the one the foot had seemed to miss. and around he goes, not missing a beat.


About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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