Free Scotland From Thieves

September 9, 2014

Scotland: Off With Pluto?

For 35 years, increasingly deranged British politicians have been pushing for ever more selfishness, ever more power for money, and their hatred for the Union. In truth, all what they did was to foster increasingly lucrative financial plots based in London, the world’s premier center of the sort of money changing activities which should be destroyed like the Ebola virus.

This is not just about finance: London’s friendliness to plutocrats, that is, all satanic proclivities, have favored the likes of Assad and Putin, bloody dictators who are threatening civilization.

Vade Retro Plutocrats!

Vade Retro Plutocrats!

The British Parliament friendliness to the galaxy of evil orbiting Assad as the black hole he is, undercut the strike France and the USA were preparing against that monster. This, in turn led to a further disintegration of the Middle East into savagery, and incited Putin to invade Eastern Europe with tanks.

Now it’s payback time.

So London feels that the Union is the enemy, and money can solve everything? Then why should Scotland stay in an Union with London, taking orders from that blustering kleptocracy, while seeing its own oil money go south?

Scotland is conducting an independence referendum on September 18. All the enthusiasm is on the side of the independentists, and the polls are tight. Facing them, the high finance supremacists in London have called all their propagandists to present arguments to keep Scotland in chains.

Naturally, the pseudo-progressive Krugman, ultimate weapon of hyper finance, has been rolled out. One can see the hour is grave. For years I have insisted that Krugman, whether he realizes it, or not, is truly a double agent for Wall Street banks (after all, all he proposes is to send more public money to private banks).

Krugman used his New York Times pulpit to hurl disingenuous arguments at a free Scotland. Krugman: “Scots, What’s The Heck? The Very Bad Economics Of Independence” is a new low in anti-European propaganda. Krugman goes all out, using the oldest fascist trick: huge, irrational fear. Says he: “I have a message for the Scots: Be afraid, be very afraid. The risks of going it alone are huge.”

Is there something about Wall Street goons we do not know? because yes, it has everything to do with Wall Street, see below. Then Krugman forgets that Scotland is in Europe, and compares it to… Canada… Before enouncing in passing that “Canada pays a price for its independence”. This astounding Freudian slip reveals that, in Krugman’s mind, to be free means to be enslaved to New York banks. Canada should do like Krugman, be dependent upon Wall Street, and be paid that way. This is what Krugman’s liberal conscience says.

I will presently demolish Krugman’s false ideas, while exposing his crass ignorance. I will not bother to repeat Krugman’s unhinged disinformation: that would give it some consideration, and be confusing, as it deserves none. Instead, I will tell the truth. Raw.

(To be fully honest, Krugman published (part of) my critique; as usual the Times censors did their best to attenuate it, with various behind the scenes tricks.)

Krugman makes the argument that Scotland could not share the Pound with the rump UK, that it would be disaster. His reasoning is a piece of Wall Street banks’ religion. Wall Street propagandists identify the 2008 crisis with a “Euro crisis”. Naturlich, there was not such a thing, not anymore than there was a Jewish crisis when Hitler came to power. Hitler had a crisis, not the Jews. Similarly the banks have a crisis, not the Euro.

Indeed, since 2008 there is a crisis of the giant banks, or, more generally, of the fractional reserve system, and it’s part of the Plutocratic take-over.

But the Euro has little, if anything, to do with it. Actually the Euro spared the European countries from a devastating devaluation, and destruction by the rampaging banks and their associated politicians, judges, and the rest of the oligarchies. Corrupt them all.

For an inkling of the imaginable scale of corruption, watch Brazil: an ex-director of Petrobras, the Brazilian fossil fuel companies, risking 30 years in jail, is admitting that dozens of top politicians and lawmakers were paid 3% on all contracts for a ten year period, under presidents Lula and Roussef.

The Euro was a savior, and not a destructor, contrarily to what Krugman says. So why is Krugman insisting it’s a terrible thing? Moreover Scotland ought not, and will not, share the Pound, after a transition period. However, that’s not a problem. Why?

In the long run, the Pound is NOT supposed to exist. The Pound is just an ephemeral currency doomed to vanish (and not because it went down 10% in the last few days).

Disappearing the Pound is what the Brits signed on, when they got into the European Union. That they don’t understand this is a testimony to a lack of reading skills: it’s written black on white in the European Constitution.

OK, Britain does not have a written Constitution, so maybe the politicos there are not used to read such a document?

ALL EU countries are supposed to adopt the Euro. So Krugman’s whining is entirely inapplicable, and just demonstrates his gross ignorance of the EU Constitution (a few countries are provisionally allowed to go on with their own currency, or just peg themselves to the Euro, as Denmark does).

Obviously Scotland could go, and will go with the Pound for a while, as it is the present Scottish currency: London does not own the Pound exclusively.

Then discard the Pound Scotland will, like the old paper it is. As it is what the European Constitution says.

The United Kingdom Nuclear Strategic submarines are supposed to get out of Scotland by 2020 (that’s part of the framework proposed by the Scottish Independence Party).

That gives plenty of time for Scotland to elaborate a currency, and peg it to the Euro. Easy as pie. Many countries do this, including Switzerland.

Contrary to what ignorant American propagandists such as Krugman assert, the NCBs, the National Central Banks, print Euros. And guess what? They can also “print” as many Euros as they want.

Krugman always makes a big deal that Spain could not print as many Euros as Britain could print Pounds. That Spain decided not to do so, was a Spanish, not European decision. As it turned out, it was not needed. In recent months, Spanish long bonds were viewed as more valuable than long bonds from the USA.

So Krugman’s screaming against the Euro falls flat on his face. I guess it hurts, so he is screaming louder than ever.

The Euro is a major currency: more than half a billion people are either in the Eurozone, or enjoy a currency pegged to the Euro. That’s a more direct empire than the Dollar of the USA itself enjoys. As more and more countries stock up on Euros, the possibility of a world trade system shunning the Dollar keeps on increasing.

Keynes, Krugman’s hero, would have been very happy about this. Keynes had been tricked at Bretton Woods, in 1944: to make the Dollar into the world’s reserve currency, the USA forged false documents which the foreign delegations signed unwittingly.

Keynes knew that the Americans made it so to impose their currency to the world, as a cheap way to hardwire their supremacy. So here we are, and Krugman is one of the many attack dogs against the Euro.

It’s natural that people who depend upon Wall Street (as Princeton professors) do not like the Euro: the stronger financial Europe gets, the weaker Wall Street and its conspiracies.

There London comes in as a crucial part in the world plutocratic machine. Many of the financial practices In London are unlawful in Paris, Frankfurt, but also… New York. That’s why the branch of AIG, the AMERICAN International Group, whose dramatic derivatives trading crashed the world in 2008, was based in London, not New York. What they were doing in London would have been unlawful in New York.

So the plutocrats hates the Scottish Independence movement. Scottish independence would clearly weaken London (it would lose access to Scottish oil and gas, to start with; the British nuclear submarines would have to ask… France for hospitality: the British nuclear deterrent is exclusively based in Scottish fjords).

That den of crooks known as London would receive a huge blow to its prestige if Scotland . All the more as Northern Ireland and Wales may well follow. One may ask why the rump UK deserves a permanent UN Security Council seat, while its nuclear sub sulk in Britany’s Brest (that would be the second time the British Navy would flee to Britany in 15 centuries!).

Krugman’s objection to Scottish Independence is not the only fraudulent scheme the higher plutocratic circle have devised against those who don’t want to spend their lives on their knees, adoring “The City” of London.

Higher European circles are vassals of Wall Street (which gives them juicy jobs and contracts in return). Accordingly, just like an unreal Krugman barks against Scotland, pro-Wall Street Eurocrats loudly bellow that Scotland’s membership in the EU will not happen. That’s how mad and corrupt some Eurocrats have become.

They can say whatever. Decisions in the EU are taken by the governments of the nation-states, also known as the Paris-Berlin axis. (It’s fashionable to say all decisions are taken in Berlin, but that’s just a carefully maintained illusion.)

Thanks to those nuclear subs, and many other messy aspects of a divorce, I am sure that Scotland’s government will persuade London that it is in its best interest to help Scotland become a member of the EU.

The European Union, as I have said many times, just as the SDN (now known as the United Nations) is, fundamentally, a French idea. The reason that France gets this sort of ideas is that France was always the center, being at the center (and that’s actually why the Franks, originally German, went down there to start an empire). Nothing new, just a question of geography, it was already true in Neanderthal times: the three main trans-European routes between the Mediterranean and the Northern Seas go through France.

So the real question about Scotland becoming instantaneously the 29th European Union member boils down to the opinion of the French elite. And what’s the important fact here? Before it got united with England, Scotland was united with France. France, thus the EU, will be delighted to welcome Scotland back.

The vicious clowns in London have, ever since the Iron Lady left the scene, become ever more irrationally anti-European. In particular, London refused to join Schengen, the passport free union between the countries at the core of Europe.

Just as it would be highly inconvenient to propagandist Krugman to change currencies when he goes from Manhattan (when he is finished talking on TV) back to Princeton, it would be also inconvenient that he would have his passport scrutinized. Yet, although downtown Paris and downtown London are only two hours of train ride apart, the arrogant servants of Mammon in London force what they call “subjects” to change currency and have their passports inspected.

Full European citizens do not have to do so, as they switch between their countries of Spain, France, Italy, Germany, etc. Notice that Switzerland and Norway are also in the Schengen Area (no passport controls).

London is welcoming to Russian plutocrats, not to vulgar Europeans.

Out of 59 Scottish MP, only one is a so called “Conservative” (the word “Conservative” is misleading: they would sell their mother, if they could make a buck that way; actually they are more like anti-civilizational revolutionaries). There are more pandas in Scotland, the joke goes, than conservatives. Thus Scotland has already divorced herself from the mad financial piracy in London and its obsequious sycophants.

It’s high time to separate Scotland formally from the organized financial criminality in London to show the world inhuman plutocracy is not omnipotent, and can be rejected. The time is past due. London and its 100 tax havens can go to hell, to conspire further with Putin and Assad, among the flames, smoke, and mirrors. Hopefully the gross and pathetic lies of Wall Street servants with ready access to Big Brother propaganda will not change this.

Let Wall Street’s devoted cockroaches roar in vain. Free Scotland! Vote Yes!

Patrice Ayme’

Macron, Bankster, Executioner

September 7, 2014

Humanity is facing its greatest crisis, ever. Clearly the situation of the biosphere is the most dangerous in 65 million years. And what do we do? We put in charge of everything individuals such as Mr. Hollande, an obvious half-wit with a vicious sense of contradiction (his ex-mistress revealed that “socialist” Hollande calls the poor “Sans-Dents”: “No-Teeth”).

Krugman wrote in the “Fall Of France”: “At this point, Europe is doing worse than it did at a comparable stage of the Great Depression. And even more bad news may lie ahead, as Europe shows every sign of sliding into a Japanese-style deflationary trap.” That has long been clear, as I pointed out in GREATER DEPRESSION, more than three years ago.

Hollande: Bankster To Lead France

Hollande: Bankster To Lead France

Krugman: “[Hollande] was elected on a promise to turn away from the austerity policies… Since the intellectual justification for these policies was weak and would soon collapse, he could have led a bloc of nations demanding a change of course. But it was not to be. Once in office, Mr. Hollande promptly folded…

Let it not be said, however, that he is entirely spineless. Earlier this week, he took decisive action… Mr. Hollande’s force was focused on purging members of his government daring to question his subservience… you need to understand two things. First, Europe, as a whole, is in deep trouble. Second, however, within that overall pattern of disaster, France’s performance is much better than you would guess from news reports. France isn’t Greece; it isn’t even Italy. But it is letting itself be bullied as if it were a basket case…”

(Actually French employment rate in the prime slice from 25 to 55 years of age is better than the USA’s!)

Hollande nominated an entire team of half-wits to lead France; several of whom apparently hoped that, being at the top of the state would put them above any suspicion, and allow them to engage in massive tax evasion.

The latest of these low lives was Trade Secretary only nine days before it came to light he did not declare his income for years. Not to worry: he is back to Member of Parliament again, where he will be presumably able to make discourses attacking those in the Middle Class who complain about confiscatory taxes, as he used to.

Hollande’s fate is reminiscent of Obama’s. Here are two presidents elected to enact real change profiting We The People. Yet, they soon surrounded themselves with people from the other side, the side of very high finance. Then they surrender to the reality they had themselves created.

In both cases, it has been a triumph of the bankers. In both cases individuals who worked in, and for banks, became pillars of the administrations. And not just any banks. The major banks, those entrusted by society to create massive credit, that is money, to support the economy.

Instead those giant banks spend all their muscles engaging of a casino of their own making, in which they make money off each other and a secretive universe of hedge funds and so called “Dark Pools” (more than half the world’s money).

Hollande just nominated Mr. Macron, 36 year old, Economy Minister. Macron is a graduate of ENA who worked as a Finance Inspector, before being employed by the Rothschild Bank for four years. Presumably Macron was using his know-how of the Finance Inspectorate to tell Rothschild how to avoid taxes and prosper. Macron made a huge fortune.

Rothschild had already pulled this trick over a twenty year period in the 1960s and 1970s, when another of its equally ignorant creatures, Pompidou, came to lead France as PM and then President.

The Daily Beast, in a burp of propaganda: …”[Macron] got rich on his wits. He is, by all accounts, brilliant; a dashing, urbane go-getter who exudes charm. A sharp intellectual. A prodigy. He is even a prize-winning classical pianist. The guy’s a winner… Nicknamed “the Mozart of Finance,” Macron spent short but extremely lucrative years as an investment banker at Rothschild Group. His key role in shepherding Nestlé’s $12-billion purchase of Pfizer’s infant-nutrition unit is said to have set Macron up financially for years to come.… ”

Key role? Let me laugh. One of the main reason for acquisitions right and left is so-called inversion, in other words, tax evasion. Sharp wits? No doubt it’s smart to be a crook, when being a creep puts the world at one’s feet.

This all begs the question: how extensive is corruption in the democracies? When all the leaders are bankrolled so extensively by the most powerful, most perverse financial system ever created, is it surprising that the leaders’ decisions favor private banking?

And how come that banks, those daily beasts, have acquired that much power?

Lest Americans congratulate themselves about such things not happening in the USA, let them know that what is going on in the USA is even worse. In the USA many of the tax avoidance schemes which are unlawful in France, are perfectly legal.

In all and any cases, the conclusion is the same: the definition of plutocrats is that they do not pay taxes.

This is exactly what happened with the Ancient Regime aristocracy. Now top public servants (that is top politicians) are on the take from said plutocrats.

What remedy is there? Why not try democracy? Real democracy, not the representative oligarchy we have, which insults us by calling itself democracy.

Direct democracy works in Switzerland (where banks have been reined in better than anywhere else, contrarily to repute). It could be tried in other countries. It is too bad that a call to direct democracy has not been made the main axis of the Scottish Independence referendum.

But it is not too late for more local entities to shake the slavery to extreme finance.

A last hilarious note about Macron. When “Macron” was named finance dictator of France, I could not believe it. Macro, in French “Macron”, was one of Tiberius sidekicks. Macron, a Roman prodigy similar to the French Macron, organized emperor Tiberius’ passing, and nominated Caligula. According to Tacitus and Suetonius, Tiberius was in no hurry to depart this world, and Macron, in the end, smothered the old Princeps below blankets and pillows.

But do not expect any of the French intelligentsia to react to this amusing historical connection: France used to be a place of high esprit and culture, but now it’s fading fast (with the USA) in the PISA OCDE classification of 65 countries. (Latest results: PISA 2012.)

In both the case of France and the USA, it was found that the elites themselves (the top fifth) are sinking fast in their ability to hold a rational discourse in math, science and reading. The differences are not small: Chinese students were found to be three years ahead of their somewhat lamentable Franco-American colleagues.

Moral, and then mental degeneracy has proven a strong force, throughout history. The Greco-Roman empire went down that way. So did the Jin and Song dynasties, let alone the Baghdad Caliphate.

So long live the prodigiously immoral Macron, fit for a brainless age, Caligula should be around the corner.

Patrice Ayme’

More On Quantum Consciousness

September 5, 2014

Human brains are built from ideas. Any change in such ideas is lots of work, thus pain, and is always resisted. Often viciously. The greater the change, the more vicious the backlash.

A contributor, “Disagreeable Me” (who had published an extensive essay on consciousness, Sept 1, 2014) rose strident objections to my thesis (found in preceding comments; such stridency is not new: I am used to violent critiques against Quantum Consciousness, in the last few decades that I have dragged this pet around). Here is some of the dialogue, raw (co-sent to Scientia Salon):

 

Disagreeable Me: “Most people seem to assume that their consciousness is in some way located in their brains. Personally, I agree with you that it is not a localized thing, but this is because I think consciousness is a property of a mind, and that a mind is an abstract object. 

That’s quite different meaning of the word, however. In quantum mechanics, non-locality means that effects seem to work instantaneously at a distance. I don’t see any reason for believing that consciousness has these attributes unless you want to bring up woo such as remote viewing or clairvoyance or mind-reading.”

Patrice: One could argue that all “objects” are “abstract” (or at least abstractions, in the mathematical sense Alonso Church gave that in the 1930s; Church was Turing’s thesis adviser). Abstraction is characterized by the stripping of secondary, inessential characteristics. So one may, indeed, loose localization. That’s vague (joke intended: vague = wave -> delocalized).

However, my point about localization is different. And precise. Brain delocalization is biologically grounded. The brain is, physiologically, a delocalized object.

The brain is made of many neighborhoods, and subsystems. Is the brain the temporal lobe? The cerebellum? The right brain? The frontal cortex? Clearly much of the brain is working all over, much of the time. Some parts get active, others go to sleep, other parts never stop (say those watching over basic functions such as breathing or neurohormonal cycles).

So, when we consider the brain, we consider something spatially spread out. Yet, the conscious feeling that emanates from it, what we call consciousness, somehow, is centralized. Consciousness is one, not multiple, not spread out, at any instant of time.

How to make one, out of many? This is a question that arises naturally when considering both brain, and consciousness.

One could object that the same can be said about a bridge. A bridge is an abstraction of many characteristics. Yet, what makes the perception of a bridge one? Consciousness.

If one focuses on one’s breathing and heart rate, as conscience can do, and commands them, the mind is then just about that. Conscience focuses on a (few) characteristic(s). One could say that conscience collapses on particular points.

Now think about the way a Quantum process enfolds: it’s about something wavy spread about that is processed, to become, in the end, just one.

This sole sentence abstracts the basic set-up of Quantum physics: “something wavy”: the wavefunction, the “spread about” is a Hilbert space; “processed” is about time as an evolution parameter; “in the end” is about collapse/decoherence; “the one” is the so called “particle state” that results.

The analogy with the contrast of the delocalized brain in an union with a focused, localized consciousness, free to localize inside the brain wherever it wills, jumps at me.

 

DM: …”the following sentence makes your meaning clearer. “If consciousness were not Quantum, it would have to be “classical”, that is, not fundamental.” So, you’re argument is that everything that is fundamental is quantum, and it is completely stupid to imagine that consciousness is not fundamental. 

This is largely meaningless to me. I don’t know what you mean by fundamental, and it is not obvious to me that everything that is fundamental is quantum. I might, for instance, claim that logic (i.e. the law of non-contradiction) is fundamental, but it would seem to be very strange to claim that logic is Quantum, whatever that would mean.”

Patrice: That’s indeed my argument. Although it’s not yet clear how exactly, all of Classical Mechanics, Relativity, and Thermodynamics have to emerge from Quantum Physics, I believe. I would call that Ultimate Unification (UU). (GUT, Grand Unified Theories, are less ambitious: they unify only at high energies; UU is a conjecture, right, but so is Langlands program in mathematics; nobody sneers at that.)

Right now, experimental research is exploring the transition from QM to CM, and has been honored with the 2012 Nobel Prize. (Haroche in Paris, for counting photons without disturbing them, and his colleague Wineland in Boulder, for doing quantum computing with ions, among other things.) We are very far from a full picture on how to implement UU (the Nobel committee recognized Haroche and Wineland’s works as first timid steps to the Quantum computer).

Logic is a vast subject. In 1936, two of the most advanced mathematicians (Birkhoff and Von Neumann) invented something they called Quantum Logic, doing away with the distributive law. I do not doubt, though, that logic is a form of empiricism (whether the one gets from reality, or… the imagination).

It’s curious that you mention the law of non-contradiction as fundamental (as Aristotle held, in contradiction with Heraclitus). Quantum Physics is well known to enjoy things that are alive and dead simultaneously. It seems rather contradictory to me that some don’t appreciate the contradiction.

 

DM: “What you call freedom I call randomness. Randomness is not freedom, but if nature is indeterministic then all objects are random anyway. Chaos theory suggests that small perturbations in complex systems such as brains can lead to radically different outcomes. “

Patrice: Agreed. Except that I do not confuse freedom and randomness. Randomness can help freedom, and vice versa, but they are not the same. Schopenhauer famously claimed he could not will what he willed. I beg to disagree: the wise will will what she wills, such is her definition. Higher reflectivity, and detachment from contingency, is what intelligence is all about.

I thank Disagreeable Me for giving me the occasion to become more conscious in the matter of consciousness (and offering me the occasion to make a quantum jump of understanding, etc.)

Patrice Ayme’

Putin’s Problem: “Kiev In Two Weeks”.

September 3, 2014

In a closed session of the EU leaders the following was revealed (and later leaked). Told by the head of the European Commission that, according to NATO and Kiev, he had thousands of combat troops in Ukraine, Putin replied: “The problem is not this, but that if I want I’ll take Kiev in two weeks.

Putin’s problem is that nobody is stopping Putin. Putin himself says so. Somebody needs to help the man. Somebody needs to show him that civilization has taken a stance. Hitler’s leitmotiv used to be that the democracies were weak, corrupt, riddled with “plutocrats” (sic!). Putin has obviously the same opinion, and it’s a big part of the “problem“. The problem he has.

The New York Times says that Obama is hesitating about what to do In Ukraine. It’s the exact same mistake that was committed in Syria: timidity in the face of blatant evil. If a lot of vicious force had been used right at the outset against Assad, when the latter was faced with peaceful protest, the situation would not have degenerated as it did. Basically, when Assad crossed the line of eliminating civilians, on a massive scale, for his personal rule to persevere, he should have been informed that he would be eliminated, should he not get out of the way (of civilization).

(Don’t ask me, about further imaginable details, I do not run the CIA and the like. But I am sure some reasonable general(s) could have been found in the Syrian army to replace the Assad family exaggerated plutocratic dictatorship).

There is a model for all this.

The Spanish Civil War, 1936. A quartet of Spanish generals, in the name of crown and church, rebelled in Spanish Morocco, and the Canary Islands. The French government was headed by a Jew, Prime Minister Leon Blum. The French government announced loudly that it would help the Spanish Republic with weapons.

Predictably, there was a fascist outcry, from Hitler and Mussolini, joined by the USA (which had the secret agenda to do lots of business with Franco and his friends), and its British poodle.

What did the French do? They backed-off into confused timidity (arranging instead insufficient weapon procurement through obscure, deniable deals). What did the fascists do? Lying that France was doing it too, they provided massive support to the Spanish fascists. In the next three years of official war, and another four, unofficially, many millions of Spanish civilians would get massacred.

It worked, though: strong from American plutocratic support, Franco’s fascist regime survived some of his sponsors’ defeat of 1945, and the regime he established is still around, in democratized form.

Putin was encouraged by the timidity of the West in Syria. So were the Islamists. There is no contradiction: they feed off each other, just as the Nazi fascists fed off the Soviet fascists in the period 1916-1945 (although the labels changed, not so the personnel: Stalin and Lenin were launched by German fascists during World War One). It behooves Assad, Putin, and the Islamists to be allies of each other (not necessarily in plain sight): they all emanate from the same brutal fascist mentality.

When the good guys have no force for the good cause, the bad guys can promote the bad causes, and have no reason to stop.

The Islamists in Iraq post on the Internet their hatred. They boasted to be the “hell of Christians and Apostate Muslims”, namely those who are not using enough Al Furkaan, the discrimination between Salafism and bad Islam. (Notice that the USA craftily let them post the Salafist venom, all over the Internet, a necessary first step towards squashing them next. Brother Obama is getting smart. I don’t see why the summary executions cannot be freely seen on the Internet: showing Auschwitz would have stopped Auschwitz.)

Even the German Chancellor just realize that the situation in Iraq is no good, in terms that the French Prime Minister ought to have used in 1936 against Hitler.

Merkel is sending weapons to those who fight the Salafists. Good. At some point, talking is made best by sending weapons, for real, and for all to see. That’s the mistake the French government did in 1936.

If the French government had intervened directly in the Spanish Civil War, it could have soon observed that the Nazi Luftwaffe (Air Force) used superior tactics. And France would not have been surprised as she was in May 1940.

Even simpler: what was the point of the French Republic giving time for Hitler’s evil regime to grow in military strength?

Like all tyrants out of control, Putin won’t stop, because he can’t stop. He is filling up the vacuum left by the increasing destruction of the civic spirit in the West.

The latter effect is in turn caused by the increasing power of Western plutocrats throughout civilization, due, in part to a perverted and diverted banking system. Putin thinks he knows plutocrats, he knows what they want, and how to domesticate them, be they Russian, or their Western colleagues.

Meanwhile his reign is threatened by the very mode of operation which supports it: censorship, central control, corruption. That has led to an increasingly lousy economic performance, and social inequality. As all dictators in difficulty, Putin needs to make stronger the very factors that cause the difficulties he is in. (Such as the Russian mothers who asked what happened to their sons who serve(d) in Russian Airborne divisions (such as the 76th based next to Ukraine).

As all dictators in such a quandary, finding scapegoats, and directing anger and causation, towards foreign powers is the only way out Putin can see.

So Putin will not stop, anymore than Hitler could stop. Once he has made it to Kiev in two weeks, as he just boasted, to the head of the European Commission, he will keep on going, because the problem he now has with Russians, he will have even more with Ukrainians. Then he will remember that Catherine The Great‘s troops used to be 80 miles from Berlin, making Poland a land naturally in need of Russian liberation.

All this is compounded by Western Europe’s dependency on Putin’s fossil fuel energy: a lousy deal between an addict (Europe) and a perpetrator (Putin). That subjugation encourages Putin to become ever more abusive, if he does not get what he demands.

“Putin”, of course, is just a label. He is a marionette instructed at the KGB in the spirit of Ivan The Terrible, one of the fiercest autocrats of all times. Ivan himself followed the mood his ancestors had found could be the Tatars, whom they served until they were ready to stab them in the back.

Civilization needs policing; it won’t be nice, it has never been nice to defend it, when one waits too long.

Three days ago, a French building exploded because of gas, Russian gas: eight dead. (Or maybe it was Algerian gas, a detail; in any case, most of Europe lives off Putin’s gas.)

How many civilians directly killed by nuclear energy in France, ever since the French government launched a nuclear military program in January 1938? (Yes, 76 years ago, time flies!) Yes, zero.

Although U235 nuclear energy is a problem, it kills enormously less than fossil fuels. Or Putin (and yes, Hitler attacked Poland because of the oil therein.)

Since January 1938, fossil fuels have killed millions, from their fossil waste, a form of tar, in France alone (plus more than 3 million from tobacco, directly; once again, in France alone!).

However, a vast conspiracy insisted that it would be much more ecological to depend upon Putin than to build modern energy systems (including state of the art, non-militarized Thorium based energy). Now comes the bill. The bill has boots, and a problem: it cannot stop itself.

The sooner we pay it, the nicer. Just letting Putin lead the orchestra, as Hitler did until September 1, 1939, is no solution, but escalation. Read his quote above, again: the man is asking for help, he has a problem (For those who don’t know, on September First, 1939, France and Britain sent an ultimatum for Hitler to get out of Poland, Catherine The Great’s old possession… Aside from Novorossaya and Crimea.)

The French government announced finally that it will not deliver the aircraft carriers which Moscow had ordered, and already paid for. Good. But it’s high time to remember 1936, and send modern weapons to the legitimate government in Kiev. Weapons to stop Putin, that is.

Patrice Ayme’

(Note: the immediate necessity is to gain time, before the Ukrainian military can become strong from all these sophisticated NATO weapons coming their way (I hope); deploying military muscle in Iraq/Syria is timely; lest some don’t know, Assad has supported his “enemies” the Islamists, by buying them oil, among other things; Belgium has announced it may have to conduct black-outs this winter… as it’s running out of nuclear energy.)

CONSCIOUSNESS IS QUANTUM

August 30, 2014

Consciousness is Quantum, because it cannot be anything else. Another, more vague argument, is that consciousness is ultimate, and so is Quantum Physics. It’s simple and natural to identify them, on the ground that there should be just one ultimate thing.

If consciousness were not Quantum, it would have to be classically explained. On the face of it, this is completely stupid: the world is Quantum, not classical. If consciousness were not Quantum, it would have to be “classical”, that is, not fundamental.

The Quantum is so incredibly fundamentally new, that it has changed even the notion of what it means to be enlightened:

Cat Seen From Entanglement, Not Light (!)

Cat Seen From Entanglement, Not Light (!)

[One of these Schrödinger cats was created by Entanglement, not Light!]

An argument for the Quantum nature of consciousness can also be derived along… classical lines familiar to old fashion philosophers.

Consider Classical Mechanics. Classical Mechanics is completely deterministic: given initial conditions, which can be determined with complete precision, a few differential evolution equation determine fully what will happen forever thereafter.

Thus, in Classical Mechanics, there cannot be any free will. Contrarily to observation. Also one then is left to ponder what good consciousness would have. Even pain would be useless, because the very conception of warning does not present any utility. Any process being ineluctable, human beings, and other animals are just witnesses to their own condition.

This means that the basic philosophy of consciousness and freedom contradicts Classical Mechanics.

Far from being philosophically satisfying, Classical mechanics is absurd. Descartes guessed this, as, inspired by Classical Mechanics (then being elaborated to the point it was clear that the equations were fully deterministic), he suggested animals were just machines.

To make human beings in something more, God was needed, it was confusedly felt. But then the omnipotence of God re-created the same problem as before: an omnipotent God replaces Classical Mechanics, and remakes the world into something humans cannot influence.

Quantum Physics has provided with a way out. It’s everywhere, unbeknownst. It is not just a physics of space and time, as so called “Relativity” is. When Poincare’ suggested the concept of Relativity, he meant one of space and time.

However, Quantum Physics entails a much more general relativity, the relativity of knowledge itself. Such is the Schrödinger Cat Paradox. Cats can be seen where one’s light has NOT reached. (The experiment was published a few weeks ago.)

What else do we know that can extent where no light of ours has passed? Consciousness, of course.

And the brain in all this?

The brain is a classical object, at first sight, a topology, a place with a notion of neighborhood. Different organs and networks in the brain accomplish different tasks, all at the same time. That’s what led some to the notion of subconscious. Indeed, most of these tasks are not consciously perceived: most of what the brain does is done in the background, and at best only very dimly perceived. For example heart management is hidden.

Yet, should one get a heart attack, one’s heart will become the focus of one’s consciousness (starting with a big pain). So what does consciousness do? It brings problems to the fore, and tasks where creativity, neurological creativity, is needed right away.

The brain, at first sight, is a classical object. But, at second sight, and actually, beyond sight, there is entanglement. And it allows to see.

It’s not as Pascal put it posthumously, that the heart can see where reason cannot, it’s that consciousness can see where light cannot. Remember the picture above.

How does consciousness do this? The brain, as I said has a local topology, yet consciousness rules over it all, that is, non-locally (we know this intuitively, or, as we also say, philosophically).

That perceived non-locality is something in common with Quantum Physics. The picture of the Schrödinger Cat made without light having gone from the cat to us was obtained by Quantum Entanglement, and not by a physical (“Hausdorff topology”) process.

Quantum Physics is not Hausdorff: points cannot be separated from each other. Not just that, but Quantum Physics is not local. Neither does consciousness feels like something, nor should it be, philosophically speaking as something that can be separated, and localized.

Some may scoff that the preceding may be all very interesting, a perspective on what may one day be better understood. But that it’s not practical.

Not so. The day has come, it’s here now.

Robots will seriously replace, displace and overcome humans when Quantum Physics becomes the core of Artificial Intelligence. Verily, one should talk about Artificial Consciousness (AC).

Indeed, the Quantum, once installed within machines in full, will show up as synthetic free will. The first Quantum computers are officially operational (see the D-Wave Two, an Adiabatic Quantum Computer; actually, you won’t see it, it’s sold for ten million dollars each).

Quantum processes, at best, are determined by non-local processes that we cannot inspect. Another point in common with consciousness.

So we are, most probably, Quantum computers. Classical Mechanics could explain us, Quantum Mechanics gives us freedom, and all what conscience is. This means that, as we create full Quantum computers, we will create, if my guess is correct, full consciousness of our own making. And we will be able to augment at will how conscious those machines will be.

Until they take over, of course.

The crown of creation will soon create souls. And soon engineer souls. Our apish ancestors started by stealing fire, we will end up giving birth to gods.

Patrice Ayme’

Bring Euro Down, Save Germany’s Soul

August 29, 2014

Another day, another sneak remark of Krugman against the Euro which mars an otherwise well thought of train of ideas. However, our student the dear professor is learning. He just made an excellent editorial “The Fall of France” about which I commented, and that was published (whereas the Times censored my observations about Putin’s naked aggression in Ukraine: comparisons with Hitler, however scholastic, are not welcome!). More on this later.

Krugman’s tendency to fall into Euro bashing prevents him to see the (obvious) solution. Let alone mention it. The solution lays for all to see in history, when the Euro solved the German problem for the best:

History As A Sum Of Solutions

History As A Sum Of Solutions

Question: what did I exactly mean? See below, for those who do not see the blatant answer in the violent graph above. Here is part of Krugman’s “Germany’s Sin”.

“Simon Wren-Lewis has two very good posts about the European situation, first laying out the problem, then taking on those who don’t get it. I just want to add a bit to one of his key points: the impossibility of a resolution unless Germany accepts higher inflation.

In Germany, there’s a strong tendency to moralize, with appeals to the country’s own recent economic history. We pulled ourselves out of our late 90s doldrums, the Germans say, so why can’t Southern Europe do the same?

But a key part of the answer is that Southern Europe now faces a much less favorable environment than Germany did then — and Germany is the reason why.”

For a full decade, eurozone inflation was 2 percent, while inflation in Southern Europe was considerably higher. Germany could gain competitiveness simply by having low inflation — no need to deflate. But these days German inflation is only one percent, French inflation close to zero percent. Thus eurozone inflation is no more than one percent. Gaining competitiveness means that Southern Europe should deflate.

And Krugman to conclude:

…”deflation worsens the debt burden. Add onto this the fact that the eurozone as a whole remains depressed thanks to fiscal austerity and inadequate monetary expansion, and Germany is in effect demanding that Spain and others accomplish a task vastly harder than the Germans themselves had to achieve. 

And the worst of it is that there’s no sign that Berlin understands, or is willing to understand, this reality. And if the euro fails, that refusal to think clearly will be the fundamental cause.”

Right. And also wrong. “If the euro fails” is not really a possibility. It would cost so dearly, to so many people, that it would be akin to war, and Europeans have learned a few things that way. A lot of milder drastic changes can be effected before coming to blows.

Notice an obvious help Germany had when it was the sick economy of Europe: a Euro which was 40% lower. It’s curious, but no accident, that Krugman fails to notice this.

Bringing the euro to 83 dollar cents has happened before, and was there to help Germany, then. The good professor should mention this more. That would help the German miscreants to remember the past better. (Of course, the Euro at 83 Dollar cents would be a disaster for the USA, hence Krugman’s failure to notice the obvious!)

Instead, to brandish the “failure” of a currency directly used by so many people is not serious. More than 50 countries and 530 million people use the Euro (counting both the 340 million of the Eurozone, plus nearly 200 million pegged to the Euro, and unilateral users).

Even if the euro disintegrated, the nasty mood of some in Germany would not just persist, but prosper further. Ultimately that bad mood has to be crushed at close quarters.

Germany has become the world’s greatest produced of lignite, the dirtiest coal. It’s high time for some serious German bashing. Just slamming the door is not enough: historically Germans understand barking best (as Nietzsche may have said).

Bringing the euro down would help the suffering European countries a lot. Let’s remind the Germans of this. Remind them of their own past, and other previous pasts: German currency manipulations to gain advantage go all the way back to the early 1920s (thanks to Dr. Schacht, head of the central bank, and later one of Hitler’s main promoter!)

Bringing the euro 35% down: that would be a triumph, a real euro success. (That would just put the Euro where it’s supposed to be, in long term parity with

Hating the Euro is hating Europe. This being said, differently from the Federal Reserve Bank of the USA’s mandate, the ECB’s mandate makes the “value of the currency” the “principal object” of its activities (that’s article 127 of the European Constitution). By contrast the Fed has a DOUBLE mandate: insuring the value, and optimizing economic activity.

I had a fight with a French economist when I pointed out the flaw of the ECB mandate. She told me: ”No, the ECB’s mandate is like the Fed’s!”. Her own son, himself a high flying interest rate analyst in London, agreed with me. She erupted: “I have taught these things, for years!”. She brandished books. I told her to look it up in the Internet.

Article 127(1) of the Treaty defines the primary objective of the Eurosystem:

“The primary objective of the European System of Central Banks […] shall be to maintain price stability”.

Article 127 continues as follows: “Without prejudice to the objective of price stability, the ESCB shall support the general economic policies in the Union with a view to contributing to the achievement of the objectives of the Union as laid down in Article 3 of the Treaty on European Union.”

Even as my friend, aghast, looked at the screen, and read those words, she could not understand what they meant. yet, it’s simple: it meant the destruction of the European economy.

Why? Because “price stability” is unsustainable, just as a plane cannot fly at ground level. In economics, the ground is zero percent inflation. Right now it’s only .3% in the Eurozone. For why inflation too close to zero is a disaster, see “Inflation Good, Stagnation Bad” or the older: “4% inflation best”.

We are led by imbeciles. Some are politicians, some are bankers, some are economists, some teach what they call economics, or politics. Many are greedy, and profiting from the stupidity they advocate.

Who gave them their drivers’ license? The license to drive entire economies, and even the biosphere, into the ground, while insulting common sense, let alone common science? Yesterday’s oligarchies?

Patrice Ayme’

Save World, Construct

August 25, 2014

Krugman points out that the economic success of the South-West (Houston) and South (Atlanta) is caused by providing decent housing to the middle class: “Wrong Way Nation“.

Well, right, and very important. However, the problem is not restricted to the USA. It struck Japan very hard, 25 years ago: there was no more decent, affordable housing for Japanese workers in the main production centers.

And, yes, indeed. There is a housing crisis throughout most of the Western World, especially much of Europe. Massive construction programs there after World War Two promoted massive economic growth. A French saying goes:”Quand la construction va, tout va.” (When construction is OK, everything is OK.)

Instead of building increasingly better, denser cities, what happened in the last 40 years was an attitude of NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard). For example San Francisco built no skyscrapers for 30 years on the ground that they may throw shadows, sometimes (a curious idea in a city characterized by thick fog), or, horror of horrors, that San Francisco would turn into Manhattan.

The practical result has been that, not only quality of life of the middle class has gone down from Paris to San Francisco, but economies have stagnated, while lethal pollution has not been fixed (locally, or globally).

The middle class (let alone the lower class) has been increasingly unable to afford decent housing… in the most important cities. Instead an increasingly inefficient lifestyle of long range commuting ruled.

However, thanks to a new born common sense, young people are increasingly refusing the suburban, multi-car, long commute way of life, thus fleeing to live in ridiculous places such as Silicon Valley, characterized by having an affair with one’s car. Under pressure, San Francisco, I am happy to report, is Manhattanizing; youth devising new apps, prefer the City to unaffordable mansions in the woods, far from any trace of civilization.

Some of the new towers in San Francisco will provide the upper middle class with decent housing (instead of sky high rents in small, dank, mold ridden rabbit cages).

This, massive construction, is a solution for the entirely stagnating Western World: build more ecological, denser, high tech cities. Not only the economy will blossom, and society become more just, equalitarian and decent, but the biosphere outside of these more efficient centers of humanity, will be given an opportunity to recover.

Modern buildings can be not just energy efficient, but energy, and even food, producing. Especially tall skyscrapers. And to commute between city centers, 250 miles per hour electric trains are already a reality. London city center is just two hours from Paris city center, by the existing train, the Eurostar.

Off with anti-city mentality. Remember that civilization has to do with cities. Grow them right. To work!

Patrice Ayme’

Walls Of Common Lies

August 21, 2014

The legitimate kings were Henry V and Henry VI, kings of England and France, Paris and London. The contender a teenager was promoting was both illegitimate, and a public enemy. Such is the true history of Joan of Arc. Don’t expect one French out of a hundred to suspect it, six centuries later. Too happy, or so it seems, to have enjoyed another four centuries of war between Paris and London.

It is so easy to slip into propaganda, when brandishing history. Let me illustrate this further.

Century of Disaster Riddles, Lies, and Lives — from Fidel Castro and Muhammad Ali to Albert Einstein and Barbie By Eduardo Galeano

[The following passage is excerpted from Eduardo Galeano’s history of humanity, Mirrors.] In an aphorism Galeano imbues some “walls” with malfeasance, while insinuating that the Iron Curtain was not such a terrible thing. He vastly underestimates the unjustifiable length and lethality of the Soviets’ fascist contraption (by orders of magnitude). To trick us Galeano confuses the “Iron Curtain” (thousands of kilometers long) and the “Berlin Wall” (part of the preceding, but just inside a particular city).

The Almoravide Empire Justifies Several Contemporary Walls

The Almoravide Empire Justifies Several Contemporary Walls

Here is Galeano:

Walls

“The Berlin Wall made the news every day. From morning till night we read, saw, heard: the Wall of Shame, the Wall of Infamy, the Iron Curtain…

In the end, a wall which deserved to fall fell. But other walls sprouted and continue sprouting across the world. Though they are much larger than the one in Berlin, we rarely hear of them.

Little is said about the wall the United States is building along the Mexican border, and less is said about the barbed-wire barriers surrounding the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla on the African coast.

Practically nothing is said about the West Bank Wall, which perpetuates the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and will be 15 times longer than the Berlin Wall. And nothing, nothing at all, is said about the Morocco Wall, which perpetuates the seizure of the Saharan homeland by the kingdom of Morocco, and is 60 times the length of the Berlin Wall.

Why are some walls so loud and others mute?”

The answer is simple: different walls, different situations. The Berlin Wall was a thundering lie, for all to hear. Other walls can reveal very loud truths, whom nobody in position of intellectual domination wants others to hear.

Why, for example, if Europe is such an horrendous colonialist, and America such a terrible imperialist, are the multitude so keen to shred themselves upon rows after rows of ten meter high razor blades fences as in Ceuta and Melilla? We need truths to explain those facts. Why Africans such lemmings throwing themselves across the sea towards the land of their oppressors and enslavers? Why so suicidal?

To each offense, a defense. Tied up together by causality, offenses and defense are, nevertheless, exact opposites. Somebody’s unjust aggression is someone else’s just war.

I have never heard of Eduardo Galeano before Paul Handover and “Tomdispatch”. I will try to get his book, I love different perspectives, challenges, and, especially, questions I can answer.

Writing about history is a heavy fate. It’s indeed easy to slip into commonality, Common Wisdom, that is, most often, propaganda. Unknowingly.

For example, Galeano implies that Alan Turing committed suicide because of the victimization he was submitted to, as a homosexual. Sounds good on the surface, and it is Conventional Wisdom (so Galeano repeats it, like a good, book selling parrot).

However, a more refined knowledge of what really happened reveals that Turing’s death was probably an accident that befell the already-at-the-time hyper famous Alan Turing, MBE, Member of the British Empire. Verily, Turing had left well behind his condemnation for unwise relations with someone all too young in his employ, whom Turing had imprudently accused of theft.

Some will say: “Why are you so vindictive about the innocent lemmings who love to allege that Turing was forced into suicide, for his homosexuality? Is not that a pretty tale? Does not that help homosexuals? Even if it’s false? Can’t you leave pretty tales alone? What do you have against homosexuals and Joan of Arc?”

Well, truth is my religion. From history, lessons are to be drawn. Correct ones are best. Incorrect ones, and deliberately so, criminal.

I partly draw my uncommon morality from meta-history (that’s the history of the systems of thought that made history).

First, if Turing died accidentally, there is a moral to it: accidents happen. Turing had long played with dangerous chemistry. Since childhood. he went one game with cyanide too far.

Second: whereas Turing was legally harassed for homosexuality, it’s important to realize that, at the time, that was not perceived as an intolerable injustice (even by Turing himself!). There is a higher, meta-lesson in this: the intolerable can look sufferable.

Parrot, repeating history, often engage in Thought Crime. TC: Though Crime, or Terrible Catastrophe.

Recently, some important guy from Hamas was saying something about Jewish children being bathed in blood (an old lie from Middle-Age Christian fascism). Common leftists and other vulgar intellectuals did not protest… Another Thought Crime.

I was listening the other day to a very educated French teacher, a biologist, telling a swarm of little French children, aged five to nine, the beautiful history of the victimization of Joan of Arc. Except that, as taught in France for the last 200 years, it’s sheer propaganda.

The bad “Anglais” were actually themselves French… The would-be French king, later Charles VII… was not the legitimate French King, and thus he was not keen to be sacred king…  The Queen of Four Kingdoms manipulated Joan and Charles behind the scene, fatally opposing the legitimate kings, Henry V and Henry VI, kings of England and France, Paris and London.

Thus history is not joke, and nationalistic pitfalls, let alone plutocratic ones, everywhere.

Telling false history to little children teaches hatred.

I do view my activities as those of a historian, because I interpret history. I take some facts that are generally ignored, and point out that they demolish Conventional Wisdom, or the Politically Correct, let alone their vicious embrace. (Nietzsche did nothing different, and most philosophers have, indeed, re-interpreted history. Some of these reinterpretations have become Common Wisdom.)

Yet, I try to exert maximum honesty: when I say something, however controversial, it’s backed up, by serious logic and facts, to the best of my knowledge.

And I avoid historical salad: putting together obviously unrelated things, as if there was a logic to it.

Interrogating all these walls, as Eduardo does, is an excellent question. Yet there is an obviously huge difference between walls that keep people in, and those which keep them out. Blame is pointing out in directions opposite. One of them is right, not both.

The very fact that Europe and the USA have to build walls around themselves, as Rome did for five centuries, is a testimony to their success, not to their failure. And those walls are also a testimony to the failure of more general systems of thought (anti-“colonialism”, global plutocracy, pseudo-leftism, over-exploitation of the planet, crazed demographics, etc.)

Another example: I detest the Moroccan regime (supposedly directly descended from Mahomet, actually just a full blown plutocracy). Yet, one has to visualize the local conditions before crushing it with blanket blame.

And the EU will get some of the blame: the EU haughtily decreed that “Morocco was not European“. That is insulting. Moreover, it is false geographically, genetically, and according to deep history. To boot, it’s not wise, economically self-defeating, politically stupid and strategically dangerous.

All this, because European leaders are arrogant twerps with not much knowledge where it counts.

Knowing long term history (last 1,000 years), shows that the area claimed by the “Polisario” was long Moroccan (for want of a better word, as past empires, extending all the way to Spain, wore different names).

One such empire was that of the Almoravides, true founders of the present Moroccan regime. The Almoravides empire extended from Senegal (where a founder of the empire was killed by a poisoned arrow), to Alger, Lisbone, and the Baleares islands.

Thus the long grudge of Algeria’s FNL (or whatever it wants to call itself) against Morocco becomes something nine centuries old. It explains the FNL’s hostility against Morocco, its support of the Polisario… And the Moroccan wall does not sound as silly, and outrageous anymore.

Empires are not always wrong in all ways. By definition, they order (imperare), and they can order, because they can defend themselves. The best defense being, often, of course, attack. Thuse when Hannibal had taken residence in Italy for more than a decade, the Patrician who came to be known as Scipio Africanus, suggested to the Roman People to attack in Africa itself, and that audacious strategy was entirely successful: precipitously recalled to Carthage, Hannibal hastily gathered forces were soundly defeated just south of the Punic capital, soon to be punished.

With Mexico, the USA has two choices: build a wall, or impose order (imperare), all over Mexico. The latter was tried a bit in the past, more than once. Next time it could well be more thorough, and definitive.

For the USA, letting 100 million Mexicans in, is not really an option

As it is Spanish is already the second language of California, and, extrapolating some trends, could become the first someday. (I do speak Spanish a bit, BTW, so I am no rabid Spanish hater.)

However, as they are immigration flows in Europe and the USA are sustainable… As long as the dominant European and American civilization is successfully imposed. In France, by some estimates, 95% of anti-Judaic attacks are attributed to persons of Muslim ancestry. This is symptomatic of borderline dangerous assimilation situation (more than ten people have died because of it, some little children, directly targeted in an elementary school, for being Jewish, and other French people… including at least one Muslim French paratrooper… a natural victim of anti-Semitism!)

What was particularly grotesque about the Iron Curtain is that it was to keep in workers who were supposed to be living in a paradise made for them. In other words, it was a lie.

The walls between Europe and Africa are not a lie. At least 50,000 have already died trying to cross them in the last ten years (the EU officially says 35,000 drowned in the Mediterranean alone). If one includes the Algerian Harkis of 1962, one speaks about hundreds of thousands dead… trying to get to Europe.

This is testimony of another lie: the standard anti-colonialist discourse. According to it, colonialism, whatever that was, depicts the ultimate evil. Clearly, the regimes that succeeded have been worse, by many measures. And that was entirely predictable: removing the colonialist administrations was equivalent to removing most of the anti-plutocratic safeties.

So walls there are. Contemplating them is good. But the hardest walls to remove are in those erected with the minds which harbor them.

Patrice Ayme’

 

NEUROGENESIS: WISDOM; Memories: Resentment

August 16, 2014

The old thinking about the brain was that neurons were given at birth, and then progressively died. A researcher named Altman found otherwise in 1962: he showed that adult human brains created new neurons. Few believed him, even fewer found that interesting. However, by 1995, incontrovertible evidence of new neurons was found in at least two regions of the brain.

And if one blocked neurogenesis, one blocked learning.

The first memory organ of taxicab drivers learning a lot of streets, the hippocampus, got visibly enlarged.

A rat hippocampus creates at least 10,000 new neurons a day. Yes, a vulgar rat.

New Neurons In White: Forge, Forget, Forgive

New Neurons In White: Forge, Forget, Forgive

Yet, the mind is not just about adding neurons. For those keen to remember their past, fresh neurons are the worst things. Newly formed neurons in the hippocampus — an area of the brain involved in switching from short term memory to the longer sort — dislodge previously learned data, a May 2014 Science article shows.

That’s counter-intuitive at first. Naively, one would expect new neurons to mean a better brain, thus better memory. On second examination, though, if neurons are the brains, new neurons mean new brain, not the old brain, with its old memories.

Many studies have shown that boosting neural proliferation before learning enhances memory in mice.

More neurons increase the capacity to learn new memories. However, memory is based on circuits, synapses, and maybe pre-existing “grandmother neurons” (whatever that exactly means: it could be a tight group of cells). If one adds new elements, it makes sense that they have nothing to do with pre-existing neuronal geometries.

Quite the opposite: creating new neurons could clear old memories… Therapeutically.

In the 2014, Science study, newborn and adult mice were trained to fear an environment that brought electric shocks. The mice learned the task quickly. Infant mice remembered the horror for only one day, adult mice retained the fear for weeks.

This difference correlates with neurogenesis. Memory persistence in newborn mice was enhanced genetically and by chemically suppressing neurogenesis after learning. In adult mice, four to six weeks of regular exercise — an activity known to promote neurogenesis — reduced the previous fear.

Massive neurogenesis in young animals explains why youngsters do not remember their early life. And, as luck has it, an animal model exists.

Guinea pigs and Chilean rodents called Degus have longer gestation periods than mice, and thus reduced brain growth after birth. Baby Degus and guinea pigs do not have infantile amnesia. Yet, heavy exercise and drugs promoting neurogenesis brings it on.

Just as neurogenesis tends to deny the past, it denies visiting again the feelings one had then. That’s resentment. French for feeling again: re-sentiment (with a second “s” added to make a snake sound).

Nietzsche used the word “ressentiment”, because German has not word for “resentment”.

That semantic gap is, per se, reason enough to suspect that Germans walloped in it: if one avoids a notion like the plague, it is an indication that one indulges in it. Luther is full of resentment against the Jews, and Hitler against the French, and then, the Jews.

For the philosopher Kierkegaard, ressentiment occurs in a “reflective, passionless age“, stifling creativity and passion in passionate individuals. Individuals who do not conform to the masses are made into scapegoats and objects of spite by the masses, to maintain the status quo ante and to imbue the masses with their sense of superiority.

According to Nietzsche, the more a person is strong-willed, and dynamic, the less place and time they have for contemplating what’s done to them. The reaction of a strong-willed person (a “wild beast“), when it happens, is short: it is not a prolonged filling, and take-over of their entire intellect by an obsession.

It’s impressive to realize how the most recent neurological findings (above) relate to those philosophers’ insights.

The super intelligent person is always in full neurogenesis, in her haste to model the world with more faithfulness. That makes her unable to hold a grudge: she has better thing to think about.

This opens a new way out of the eternal wheel of conflict, and various vicious circles: react as wild beast to attack, but then smother what led to it under the new mindset of neurogenesis.

Instead of rejecting the world as painful, and hoping for a better one as Christians, Muslims and Buddhists do, think the world again, and the old problematic will fade away.

The same may apply to entire societies, nations, or religions, or civilization. If any of these favor ressentiment, it will have to spurn neurogenesis, or its societal equivalent. Just as individuals will.

Hence a vicious circle: the more resentment, the less imagination, and intelligence, and thus the more madness in crowds as in individuals.

Let’s notice, moreover, that denial and bad faith (a la Sartre, De Beauvoir) are very close to resentment.

So what would the moral conclusion of the preceding be? Generating new ideas, just as generating new neurons, is how to break out from the past’s vicious circles. Higher intelligence is also a better morality.

Patrice Ayme’

Universe: Not Just Mathematical

August 14, 2014

Some claim the “Universe is mathematical”. Their logic is flawed. I show why.

Max Tegmark, a MIT physics professor, wrote “Our Mathematical Universe”. I present here an abstract I concocted of an interview he just gave to La Recherche. Followed by my own incisive comments. However absurd Tegmark may sound, I changed nothing to the substance of what he said:

La Recherche (France; Special Issue on Reality, July-August 2014): Max, you said “Reality is only mathematical”. What do you mean?

Tegmark: The idea that the universe is a mathematical object is very old. It goes all the way back to Euclid and other Greek scientists. Everywhere around us, atoms, particles are all defined by numbers. Spacetime has only mathematical properties.

La Recherche: Everything is math, according to you?

Formulation Before Revelation of Mathematization

Formulation Before Revelation of Mathematization

Tegmark: Think about your best friend. Her great smile, her sense of humor. All this can be described by equations. Mathematics explain why tomatoes are red and bananas yellow. Brout, Englert, Higgs predicted a boson giving mass to all other particles. Its discovery in 2012 at CERN in Geneva led to the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics!

Tyranosopher [unamused]: Notice, Max Tegmark, that the “Nobel” thoroughly excites you. You brandish it, as if it were a deep reality about the universe. But, in truth, the Nobel is strictly nothing for the universe. It’s just a banana offered by a few self-interested apes to other self-fascinated apes. The Nobel has more to do with the nature of apish society, rather than that of the universe. In other words, we ask you about the nature of the universe, and you answer with the Authority Principle among Hominidae. You may as well quote the Qur’an.

Tegmark [unphazed]: There are an enormous number of things that equations do not explain. Consciousness, for example. But I think we will make it. We are just limited by our imagination and our creativity.

La Recherche: According to you, there is no reason that part of the world escape mathematics?

Max Tegmark: None whatsoever. All properties are mathematical! We potentially can understand everything!

La Recherche: As a Platonic mathematician, you consider mathematical concepts are independent of all and any conscious act?

MT: I am an extreme Platonist, as I think that not only mathematical structures are real, but they are all what reality is.

Relativity and Quantum Physics confirmed that reality is always very different from what one believes. Very strange and very different from our intuition. Schrodinger’s equation, the fundamental equation of Quantum Mechanics, shows that a particle can be in several places at the same time. Thus one does not try to describe the motion of this particle, but the probability of its presence in such and such a place.

But, a century later, physicists are still in deep disagreement about what it all means. I think this interpretation keeps dividing people, because they refuse to admit what goes against their intuition.

Tyranosopher: Notice, Max Tegmark, that you presented as a fact (“a particle can be in several places at the same time”) something you admit later is only an “interpretation”. That’s dishonest: an “interpretation” is not a “fact”.

Tegmark [livid]: The strength of mathematics comes from the fact that they have no inhibition. Strangeness does not stop them.

Tyranosopher: Indeed, that’s why, as a trained mathematician, I am very insolent.

La Recherche: Max Tegmark, is it your mathematical approach that makes you defend another controversial idea, that of multiple universes?

Max Tegmark: I really believe that human beings never think big enough. We underestimate our capability to understand the world through mathematics, but also our capacity to apprehend its dimensions. To understand that we live on a planet with a diameter of a bit more than 12,000 kilometers was a first, enormous, step. That this planet is infinitesimal in this galaxy, itself one out of billions, was another enormous step. The idea of multiverses is more of the same. We discover again, and more, that what we understand is only a speck of something much larger. That much larger thing is the Multiverses, of types I, II, III, and IV.

Tyranosopher: La Recherche’s Interview then proceeds further, but let me unleash a fundamental critique here.

I am a deadly enemy of the Multiverse, as I believe that it rests on an ERROR of interpretation of Quantum Physics (the one Tegmark presented as a fact above, before admitting that it was, well, only an interpretation). The fact that it is another desperate scaffolding erected to save the Big bang theory does not make it better.

Now for the notion that the universe being full of math. This is understood to mean that the universe is full of equations. Equations were invented in the Sixteenth Century. Many, if not most, equate mathematics with the art of equating.

What’s an equation? It’s something that says that two things independently defined, one on the left side of the equal sign, the other on the right side, are equal. Great. What could be simpler: what is different is actually the same!

Notice this, though: before you can equate, you must define what you are equating. On both sides.

An equation equates concepts independently defined. Ultimately, definitions are not mathematical (see on the Nature of Mathematics, to follow soon). At best, definition is metamathematical. Our metamathematical universe? End of Mr. Tegmark’s naivety.

When we get down to it, it’s more our philosophical universe, before it’s our mathematical universe: no definitions, no equations.

How can a physicist make such a gross logical mistake? Are they not supposed to be smart? (OK, it’s smart to sell lots of books).

What allows to make that logical mistake? Education, or lack thereof. Many a mathematician will make the same mistake too. The problem is that neither conventional mathematicians, nor, a fortiori, physicists, are trained logicians. They just play some in the media.

Who needs a multiverse? It seems the universe of science is already too large for many physicists to understand.

Patrice Ayme’


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