Europe’s Torture of the 1,000 Cuts

May 24, 2018

For horrible crimes, Chinese Justice had a memorable type of execution, the Torture of the Thousand cuts (Lingchi). Its name describes it pretty well. The last such official executions were around 1900 CE, but Europe is trying its best to renew with this tradition.

Europe, and not just Europe, is suffering from the torture of the 1,000 cuts made by a crazed, increasingly sadistic and controlling plutocracy. Cuts in identity, cuts in education, cuts in health care, cuts in dignity, cuts in industry, cuts in state support where it crucially matters, cuts in pride, cuts in hope, cuts in heritage, cuts in social services, cuts in research, cuts in biodiversity, cuts in responsible agriculture, cuts in public services, cuts in welfare, cuts in retirement, cuts in implementation of the laws when applied to Islam and immigration, cuts in money going to We The People, as ever more go to banks and plutocrats, etc.

And the worst? Europe doesn’t even know about the formidable extent of it all, and how much of a vast conspiracy it all is! Or, at least, Europe doesn’t know enough to do something about it! Why? Because the European media, as the media throughout the “West” is owned by the same class which keeps on cutting “We The People” in ever thinner slices. Thus, all preceding cuts are enabled by Europe’s deepest cut of them all, a cut in cognition, both affecting which facts are known, and which logics rule.

An example of plutocratic propaganda? Paul Krugman’s anti-Euro Obsession. On the surface, it looks an innocent quirk on his part. In truth, it incites those who read him to focus on the wrong thing, A technical mistake was done, a detail went catastrophically wrong, says Krugman. Instead, I assert there is a vast conspiracy, a plutocratic conspiracy, and that catastrophe was planned to control the entire planet. Says Krugman: “Many of Europe’s problems come from the disastrous decision, a generation ago, to adopt a single currency.”  

True, the Euro, as it is, was created only partly, it’s like a bird, with wings, but no feathers: crucial institutions were supposed to follow to support and organize the Euro. However Great Britain, not in the Euro (at this point, but supposed to join it later… until it decided upon Brexit!) sabotaged, as much as it could those Euro-supporting institutions, which the Euro was supposed to trigger (then Germany found the present Euro system all too comfortable…)

One thing, one plot Europe suffers from: the US high tech conspiracy, which robbed Europe of freedom, innovation, revenue, among other things (now Trump wants to tax European cars 25%, on the pretext that US SECURITY is under attack by German cars parked below Trump Tower… And that proved my point that the US ‘FANG” is an assault against European security!)President Barack Obama and co-conspirators. The spirits of how many laws are broken here? Political corruption, monopoly formation, mass surveillance of We The People, conspiracy, oligarchy inception, technology hijacking, patent law termination, among others. (See Note 7 below.)

The real problem of Europe, as of the USA and the rest of the West, is the rise of the .1%, gathering ever more power as it becomes ever wealthier. And that power it uses to confuses the issues, and make We The People non-cognizant of the tragedy at hand, such as how the .1% pay too little taxes. But it doesn’t stop there.

On Sunday, May 20, 2018, CBS’ “60 Minutes” finally explained the obvious, that it contributed to carefully hid for years, namely that Google is a (world) monopoly, that the US Federal Trade Commission found this, and recommended criminal prosecution, but the Obama officials decided to not do anything about it. They showed a picture of Obama all in love, smiling to the Google CEO, with dollar signs in the eyes (the Obamas cashed out big time on their Silicon Valley corruption, the next day). At this point Facebook and Google get 85% of the advertising revenue on the Internet. Spy agencies are doing great in the US, and their world monopoly is part, parcel and tool of the US plutocracy world monopoly (which Hitler led a subsystem of, until he could be disposed of, to implement an even greater conception…). Yes, 85% of revenue: good job, Obama, here is your cash!  

When some get everything and the others nothing, that’s called a tyranny.  

Tyranny and torture, the thousand cuts. It happened before. Many times. And civilization collapsed. Problem: this time, it will not be one, or a few civilizations collapsing, among others. Instead, it is civilization, the one and only, and the entire biosphere, which is slashed with a thousand cuts…

Patrice Ayme

***

***

Note 1: As the situation degrades in Europe, the governments in place, and the oligarchies in place, are taking extraordinary measures which should be seen for what they are: the rise of fascism (details another time). And yes, they use FANG (Facebook Apple Netflix Google) to do so. The Obamas just got a cushy job at Netflix. Monopolies are economic fascism (to go with political fascism, as happens clearly in, say, Egypt, where the military state of dictator-president Sisi owns an enormous part of the economy).

***

Note 2: The Obama administration was little more than the Google implementation office, and that has been known for years. See:

https://theintercept.com/2016/04/22/googles-remarkably-close-relationship-with-the-obama-white-house-in-two-charts/.

***

Note 3: The two Italian anti-EU parties are now in power, as they  control Parliament. I share their (very important) dedication to Direct Democracy. However they have quite a few lunatic ideas which may obscure their focus. (The Lega (ex-Lega Norte), one of the two, admires Switzerland… without having embraced Swiss realism).

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Note 4: To my surprise, the New York Times not only published a shorter version of the preceding comment, but used it as a “pick”. My, my, my, times have changed at the Times since the editor changed last Fall! (The son of the owner replaced his father who was apparently too plutocratic by half…) Now I am “picked” again… As I used to be, more than ten years ago, before being banned from the New York Times, although a full subscriber, during the entire Obama presidency (teaching me for having helped Obama become president…)…

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Note 5: Annotating Paul Krugman’s “What’s the Matter With Europe?

Krugman: “If you had to identify a place and time where the humanitarian dream — the vision of a society offering decent lives to all its members — came closest to realization, that place and time would surely be Western Europe in the six decades after World War II. It was one of history’s miracles: a continent ravaged by dictatorship, genocide and war transformed itself into a model of democracy and broadly shared prosperity.

Indeed, by the early years of this century Europeans were in many ways better off than Americans. Unlike us, they had guaranteed health care, which went along with higher life expectancy; they had much lower rates of poverty; they were actually more likely than we were to be gainfully employed during their prime working years.

But now Europe is in big trouble. So, of course, are we… democracy is under siege on both sides of the Atlantic…

Many of Europe’s problems come from the disastrous decision, a generation ago, to adopt a single currency. The creation of the euro led to a temporary wave of euphoria, with vast amounts of money flowing into nations like Spain and Greece; then the bubble burst. And while countries like Iceland that retained their own money were able to quickly regain competitiveness by devaluing their currencies, eurozone nations were forced into a protracted depression, with extremely high unemployment, as they struggled to get their costs down.

Patrice Ayme’s answer: Iceland’s troubles have nothing to do with the Euro, everything to do with excess leverage in, and, crooked finance; and Germany, the Eurozone’ biggest economy is doing extremely well… To the point Merkel imported more than a million Muslims, wholesale: not enough workers…

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Krugman: “This depression was made worse by an elite consensus, in the teeth of the evidence, that the root of Europe’s troubles was not misaligned costs but fiscal profligacy, and that the solution was draconian austerity that made the depression even worse.

PA: [Right: the USA threw at least twice more money at the crisis than Europe did, through plutocratically biased “Quantitative Easing”; Nota bene: I long called it a depression, now I am happy to observe that, eight years later, Krugman has adopted my semantics.]

Krugman: “Some of the victims of the euro crisis, like Spain, have finally managed to claw their way back to competitiveness.”

PA: Thus proving that the problem is NOT the Euro itself… Spain is the Eurozone fourth largest economy, by a long shot!

Others, however, haven’t. Greece remains a disaster area — and Italy, one of the three big economies remaining in the European Union, has now suffered two lost decades: G.D.P. per capita is no higher now than it was in 2000.

So it isn’t really surprising that when Italy held elections in March, the big winners were anti-European Union parties — the populist Five Star Movement and the far-right League.

PA: [The “League” started as a Northern Italy autonomy party, the Lega Norte; Northern Italy, which used to be full of Gauls, before Roman conquest, is arguably more part of northern Europe than southern Italy… In particular paying taxes to Rome is neither here nor there: even in the Late Roman empire, Italy was governed from the Po Valley… In particular Milan… One should resist calling all the autonomy parties “far-right”.]]  

Krugman: “In fact, the surprise is that it didn’t happen sooner.

Those parties are now set to form a government. While the policies of that government aren’t completely clear, they’ll surely involve a break with the rest of Europe on multiple fronts: a reversal of fiscal austerity that may well end with exit from the euro, along with a crackdown on immigrants and refugees.”

PA: [Krugman seems to take for granted that one is bad, if one doesn’t want a billion Africans to move to Europe. Italy is flooded by more than 5 million migrants and refugees, around 10% of the population. By comparison, the savages who brought the Roman empire down were proportionally much less in numbers. Now, of course, the migrants into the Roman empire around 400 CE craved for Rome’s wealth, and although those migrants were Christians, they were illegal, and, although the Goths were finally accommodated, they still destroyed the Roman army… Nowadays many, if not most, illegal migrants to Europe are from a religion which has made a religion of hating all what the Greco-Roman Europe i world stood for… except for slavery and sexism… So why is Krugman so pro-illegal migrants? To better destroy Europe?]

Krugman: “Nobody knows how this will end, but developments elsewhere in Europe offer some scary precedents. Hungary has effectively become a one-party autocracy, ruled by an ethnonationalist ideology. Poland seems well down the same path.

So what went wrong with the “European project” — the long march toward peace, democracy and prosperity, underpinned by ever-closer economic and political integration? As I said, the giant mistake of the euro played a big role. But Poland, which never joined the euro, sailed through the economic crisis pretty much unscathed; yet democracy there is collapsing all the same.”

PA: Europeans, after centuries of religious terror from Catholicism, are afraid that the same is now imposed on them in the name of Islamism… which has a lot in common with Catholicism, including lethal hatred for the Jews. This is not all scholar talk: Erdogan, the Turkish tyrant, evoked it, in December 1917.

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Note 6: Obama & his goons didn’t outlaw financial derivatives trading, now bigger than ever, 1.2 quadrillion dollars, 20 times world GDP. By creating FACA, Obama & his goons said they did something about banks, but it was all sand in the eyes of his supporters, boosting world plutocracy!

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Note 7: Here is the BS propaganda of the Obama White House officially attached to the picture above, a depiction of the colossal hypocrisy of these power-grabbers and the money changers who propel them:”President Barack Obama joins a toast with Technology Business Leaders at a dinner in Woodside, California, Feb. 17, 2011.

(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements… that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

Yet, what is the scene depicted by that picture, except the advertisement of a vast commercial, monopolistic political plot?… Which violates, as I said, the spirit of the most basic laws of a (pseudo-) democratic Republic? In the picture above, Obama is center-stage with fourteen other plutocrats or plutocratic servants, seated clockwise as follows:

Barack Obama, President of the United States, drunken on the power of killing civilians overseas with robots, in countries the US is not even in conflict with, while endowed with the Nobel Peace Prize, because no outrage is high enough to challenge plutocracy and its colored boy-servants.

Steve Jobs, chairman and CEO of Apple

Steve Westly, managing partner and founder of Westly Group

Marissa Mayer, vice-president of consumer products at Google

Eric Schmidt, chairman and CEO of Google

Art Levinson, chairman and former CEO of Genentech

John Chambers, CEO and chairman of Cisco Systems

John Doerr, partner in Venture Capital Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (hosting the event)

Larry Ellison, co-founder and CEO of Oracle

Reed Hastings, CEO of NetFlix

John Hennessy, president at Stanford University

Carol Bartz, president and CEO of Yahoo!

Dick Costolo, CEO of Twitter

Then an unidentified person, and Mark Zuckenberg, surveillance agent extraordinaire….

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Rage Can Be Good: Reflecting On the Iliad’s Achilles

May 20, 2018

WISDOM: IT ENCOMPASSES OF ALL EMOTIONS, EVEN RAGE CAN BE DRAFTED AS AN ENGINE OF CREATION:

Achilles’ rage is the engine of Homer’s Iliad, it makes the story much more interesting, including the tragic figure of Hector, who does everything right, just to be dragged around the walls, as a piece of garbage. A frequent mistake is to identify rage, the engine of creation of the Iliad, with the cause of much unhappiness among the participants.  Actually, Homer attributes a cause to the rage, and, it’s… forgetfulness. Thus Homer condemns, ultimately, not a basic emotion, rage, but the erroneous logical processing of Achilles: Achilles forgot what he was there for.

What is the nature of wisdom? How all-encompassing is wisdom? Some want to clip wisdom’s wings, consign it to something tame, with few emotions. This is completely erroneous. Wisdom should encompass, and work with, all emotions. Including rage. Homer’s work and the Vedas,the Knowledge, (1700 BCE!? to 500 BCE),  teach us this.

That rage is sometimes optimal, the episode of the 1930s, appeasing the Nazis and other fascists, should have taught us. But many are still the subjects in history which justify our ire, and it should motivate us to explore them. For example why the criminal Louis XIV of France could get away with expelling all Protestants of France, and torturing the rest, or why slavery was re-introduced by Europeans in the Americas… a full millennium after being outlawed  in Western Europe (by the Franks who ruled most of it). This is one of the reasons why anger is good.

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No Achilles, No Iliad:

Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey are Europe’s oldest literature (India’s oldest wisdom in writing, the Veda, is older). That oldest work from the 8th century BCE can still move us today is a testament to the genius of old thinking, and, in particular Homer (whoever he, or they, was/were).

Both works are full of larger-than-life figures, among them Achilles in the Iliad, and Odysseus in the homonymous epic. As Massimo Pigliucci discussed in the past, Odysseus was considered by all the major philosophical schools, each interpreting his story to serve their mentalities. For the Stoics, Odysseus was a role model.

Greco-Macedonian Phalanx, Ready to Promote Civilization, Gender Equality and Democracy

Massimo says: “But what about Achilles? I must confess, I never liked the guy. All brawns and no brains (exactly the opposite of Odysseus), he never appealed to my nerdy self. And I always thought his treatment of Hector’s body after their epic battle was irredeemably shameful. More recently, though, I started thinking about him specifically from a Stoic perspective. Particularly the pivotal episode near the beginning of the Iliad, when Achilles gets pissed off at Agamemnon, the head of the Greek expedition to Troy (and brother of Menelaus, the husband that Helen left for Paris, thus allegedly triggering the war itself).

It’s worth recounting the episode in some detail. Agamemnon has taken a woman named Chryseis as his slave. Chryseis’ father, however, is a priest of Apollo, and he asks the god to return his daughter. Since Agamemnon refuses, Apollo sends a plague to the Greek camp to make a convincing case. The prophet Calchas diagnoses the problem correctly, but refuses to speak up unless he secures Achilles’ protection. When the hero grants it, Agamemnon is forced to return Chryseis. Petty as he usually is, he takes revenge on Achilles, demanding the latter’s battle prize, Briseis, in reparation for the loss of Chryseis. It is now Achilles’ turn to get pissed off and petty: out of spite, he goes on strike and refuses to lead the Greeks into battle. Hence the famous opening lines of the Iliad:

“Sing, Goddess, of the rage of Peleus’ son Achilles,

the accursed rage that brought great suffering to the Achaeans.”

(Sounds better in Italian, I think: “Cantami, o Diva, del pelide Achille / l’ira funesta che infiniti addusse / lutti agli Achei.”)

That rage quickly leads to the death of Achilles’ intimate friend, Patroclus, who had donned Achilles’ harmor to lead the Greeks in a desperate attempt to push back the advancing Trojans, and was killed by the Trojan prince Hector (who will later, in turn, be killed by Achilles).

What would the Stoics think of Achilles’ behavior? One clue is in the word “rage” used by Homer: as we know, the Stoics thought that anger was the most devastating of the pathē, the unhealthy emotions, to be avoided at all costs. But we don’t have to speculate much, as Epictetus addresses the episode directly:

“And when did Achilles come to grief? When Patroclus died? Far from it. But rather, when he himself yielded to anger, when he wept over a young girl, when he forgot that he was there, not to acquire mistresses, but to make war. These are the ways in which human beings are brought to grief, this is the siege, this the razing of the citadel, when right judgements are overturned, when they are destroyed.” (Discourses I.29-24-25)

The “citadel” being razed here is not Troy, but the very same one so often mentioned by Marcus Aurelius in the Meditations: our ruling faculty, the hêgemonikon, a term closely related to Epictetus’ favorite one, prohairesis (our capacity of judgment). Achilles’ true loss did not occur when his friend was killed, but when he himself lost the way of reason (assuming he ever had it, since there is little evidence of that).”

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Achilles: the Wrongs and Rights of Rage:

One can live big now. Yes, it requires sacrifices. Yes one can die from it like in old times. Yes, that’s how really new, bold and deep ideas appear, and otherwise they will never blossom.

Rage can be bad, rage can be good. It depends upon circumstances: how the rage arose, if it is justified, what it will achieve. As all human emotions, it is present, because it has evolutionary value. All revolutions were propelled by rage, and without them, there would be no advancing civilization.

Achilles increasing rage is an example of the wrong sort of rage, which scrambles a proper consideration of reality. Yet, Achilles’ problem is not so much rage, than having a wrong hierarchy of motivating factors in his logical processing: he “forgot”. Consider the revealingly truncated quote of Epictetus:

when did Achilles come to grief? …when he forgot that he was there, not to acquire mistresses, but to make war. These are the ways in which human beings are brought to grief, this is the siege, this the razing of the citadel, when right judgements are overturned, when they are destroyed

Basically, Achilles came to Troy and then engaged in the wrong activities: that shaped his mind wrong, “overturning right judgements”.

Achilles forgot that, when one makes war, one makes war, not love. Love making scrambles his war logic, his hierarchy of motivations, and cautions, he overlooks the fact that his absence will force his friends to take desperate measures endangering them. (After the death of his friend which he caused, Achilles further compounds the problem by directing further rage at the stoic Hector, whom he uses to hide his own culpability… from himself!)

Conclusion: our logical systems are shaped by our experiences. Examining one’s logic is not enough for the wisest: the logic can be perfect, and still wrong in a more general setting. One has to examine one’s entire mental input, that is, one’s entire life, to find out where one’s logic comes from… And judge it optimally.

Some will sneer that I spoke of rights and wrongs of rage, and then just mentioned wrongs.

But, of course, Achilles is famous, and awesome, because of his rage, and how destiny changing rage is: Achilles’ rage wins battles… Achilles, the Iliad, is a poem about how rage is the maker of destiny, thus, how Greece won… and how the West, in more than one sense, was won… From anger, not just meditation. Accursed rage, yes, but then there is rage of the other sort!

 

Massimo

May 10, 2018 • 1:58 pm

“Rage can be bad, rage can be good. It depends upon circumstances”

Not according to the Stoics, there are no circumstances under which it is good to shut off reason, which is what rage does.

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Patrice Ayme:

Massimo: Thanks for the answer, it made me think. As often in matters philosophical, semantics is at the core of the debate.

I would suggest that rage doesn’t shut off reason, necessarily. Instead, it switches reason to the combat mode, a form of reason which enabled the human genus to survive, when it sustainably invaded and occupied lion territory. The real question is whether combat is justified. Any reasonable human would say that, quite often, there are situations where combat is justified. Socrates, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius said so, explicitly.

There are many ways to use a brain. There are many forms of reasons, and many reasons, and even forms of reasons, used by working brains. If I drive a car, while making an impassioned discourse about Rome’s Second Triumvirate, two sorts of reasons are at work: one quasi-automatic driving, the other, historical. However, the part of my brain operating the vehicle works flawlessly: otherwise I would have an accident.

When in combat, reason is still there, but it mobilizes the full combat brain: after a Greek phalanx uttered the Alala or a Roman legion the Barritus, shaking the plain, terrifying the enemy, the only “reason” that’s left is the reason of combat. It is akin to rage: consider the furia francese, the “berserker” Viking, the “amok” Malay or Indonesian. A human being in full combat mode is an awesome sight which makes even lions think twice (when lions see a Masai warrior, they take to flight).

Combat thinking is particularly important for philosophical, or any sort of mental, moral, progress. It is no accident that so many top philosophers were combat ready, or otherwise obviously unafraid, although they faced enormous threats, including, of course, death. Socrates came first to fame through his military exploits. And, as many a philosopher, he pursued his work, confronted to threats on his life:

…”take Socrates and observe that he had a wife and children, but he did not consider them as his own; that he had a country, so long as it was fit to have one, and in such a manner as was fit; friends and kinsmen also, but he held all in subjection to law and to the obedience due to it. For this reason he was the first to go out as a soldier, when it was necessary, and in war he exposed himself to danger most unsparingly. (Epictetus, Discourses, 4.1)

Combat mentality, akin to rage, enables, motivates, mental breakthroughs, because any mental breakthrough is, if formidable enough, something that tramples other minds, forcing them to reorganize, a form of ultimate aggression. The entire Iliad and Odyssey is there to tell us, first, that the deepest understanding only blossoms out of turmoil. Because a higher, more optimized mental order can only arise, after destroying the one before. To cut the Gordian Knot of obsolete reason, violence is the only way, whether we like it, or not, as Alexander pointed out.

Even Christ knew this: “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. [Matthew 10:34]

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Massimo, on May 12, 2018, replied:

Patrice, two objections. First, we are not often in a combat mentality. Arguably, outside of actual combat, we shouldn’t be. Hence the idea of not relying on rage.

Second, Seneca rightly says that sure, an angry soldier is braver. So is a drunk one, but we don’t want our soldiers to be drunk on the job, because it would impair their decision making. So does rage.

Intrigued, “Chuchu” intervened, May 13, 2018: Is rage necessary for combat?

Massimo interestingly observed that:

Chuchu, Yes for Aristotle. No for Seneca. Seneca says that an angry soldier may be courageous, but he is also going to act rushly [sic] because of his rage. He makes the parallel with being drunk: that also gives you courage, but it impairs your judgment. We wouldn’t want drunk soldiers in the battlefield, right?

[Yeah we surely should use Seneca, a giant plutocratic vulture, Nero’s teacher to tell us right from wrong…One of the very wrong aspects of present-day Stoicism: all too busy justifying moral monsters…]

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Patrice Ayme: 

Massimo,

Top mental creation is in combat always. That’s nearly its definition. A really new idea, especially if true, requires mental reorganization of those submitted to it, so it will always be perceived as an aggression… be it only because it requires work, either to repel it, and even more, to accept it.

Also top thinkers tend to walk their talk. Thus, many of the most famous thinkers found themselves in combat situations: after the Vatican imprisoned and tortured Giordano Bruno for seven years, he was tortured in public and burned alive (1600). That persuaded Galileo to submit. Those two were among dozens of intellectuals killed in that generation, just between France and Italy. And it keeps on going: hundreds of intellectuals and artists are listed in Wikipedia as killed in the period 1940-1945. So, whether they want it or not, top intellectuals often find themselves cornered like Cicero or Boetius. Milder forms of combat exist: the US physicist Bohm was out of a job (at Princeton), thrown out of the US where he was born, and denied the Nobel Prize (he experimentally demonstrated the Gauge Field importance in quantum physics)… just because he refused to collaborate with Senator McCarthy.

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The Human Species Would Not Even Exist, Without A Proclivity To Combat, & It’s Neurologically Deep:

Not to say it has to be approved. It’s just a fact, a major one, and we have to consider it.

Rage is not necessary for combat, but an even worse state is. In real combat, or in situation where one’s life is in extreme danger, the ideal state is a total neuronal commitment to survival. So the perception of pain (of oneself, or others) disappears, completely. The mental concentration mobilizes the entire brain, enormous strength appears, dedication to the task at hand is the only thing that exist. I have myself experienced this more than once, either under attack, or engaging in solo climbing or deep-sea apnea diving. This is why dangerous thrills are addictive. it is also why and because reason shrinks in combat, and forms a lance to pierce the enemy.

Unwarranted rage is a state derived from maximal combat ardor, a neurohormonal and brain state which is such that the combatant doesn’t fear death, at all. Thus rage is combat readiness, without the release of actual combat. In that state, hundreds of thousands of soldiers have stormed walls on top of wobbling ladders, pierced by arrows, drenched by boiling liquids.

Human brains are pickled with reward centers. Hatred, rage, combat, risk taking, life endangerment (of oneself and others) are all behaviors which come with rewarding neuronal mechanisms. Once engaged in these behaviors, they are, all too often not perceived as evil by the perpetrators.

Avoiding hatred and anger at any cost brings an opportunity to do it much more, for those whose good pleasure is to so indulge. As one gets killed by a cruel tyrant, pitying said tyrant with all of one’s might, doesn’t redress the situation, it makes it way worse, it even enables evil, as Hannah Arendt courageously observed (she was pretty much hated for daring to point that out…)

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Massimo

May 13, 2018 • 4:26 pm

Patrice,

it is simply not true that rage is the only way to get people focused. While it is true that rage has all sorts of negative side effects, especially on one’s moral judgment. Which is the point of the Stoic criticism of anger.

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Massimo has a 3 day reply limit, let’s we get too deep in a subject, so I didn’t reply. I have been in combat situations, or situations akin to combat, more than once. I have also been angry more than once. The neurological statuses are related. Refusing one totally, is refusing the other. All revolutions were based crucially on rage. Refusing revolutions is refusing evolution, and getting rid of parasitic elements in society, such as plutocracy, and the more organized the plutocracy, the harsher the, necessary, revolution.

All stoics were plutocracy compatible: the invention, blossoming and thriving of Stoicism coincide with the Hellenistic dictatorships. Seneca was a terrible person. Had a Nuremberg like tribunal been held after Nero’s destruction (on order of the Roman Senate), Seneca would have been condemned to be hanged (hopefully as slowly as Von Ribbentrop, Keitel and their ilk). I am not angry, or enraged, writing this: the fact is, examples have to established better paradigms. Had such a tribunal been held, the Republic, a more democratic Republic, could have been re-established. Instead what we got is more of the same: Vespasian and Titus were correct emperors, but Titus died within two years and was succeeded by his brother Domitian, who reigned for two decades of terror, in particular, philosophical terror. Under Domitian, Epictetus  and his “Stoicism” thrived in Rome…meaning “Stoicism”, revered by Massimo, was Domitian compatible (Domitian was very aware philosophically, he knew very well how and why to kill most philosophers and philosophies…)

Now, of course, it is easy for me to say all of this, because “Stoicism” is not my tax-deductible business… So I am free to see it for what it is: like rage, stoicism is sometimes indispensable. Yet, as Socrates correctly raged about, conflating teaching and income leads to very poor wisdom, and thus the fall of the City… The deer eaten by the wolves has to be stoic, yes. But then, we shouldn’t be deer.

Achilles’ rage is the engine of the Iliad, thus of history, and a good story. Yet, it’s not rage which drove him astray. It is forgetfulness. That’s Homer’s wisdom, in full. Without rage, and his amazing combat performance, which is related to it, Achilles simply would not have been, and the Greeks would not have defeated Troy, 12 centuries ago.

Rage is here, it is around, peoples, nations, governments, not only experience it, they compute with it: watch the recent exploits of Hamas and Israel, which got scores of civilians, down to an 8 months baby killed: Hamas computed that rage would break the fence. Israel replied that its own ferocity was too great for Gaza’s rage to overwhelm it psychologically…

Considering humanity without considering rage, is to miss the biggest picture… The first hominid who got enraged against lions, tried to do something about them. We would not be here without her (or him)…

Patrice Ayme

***

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Note: “People are unjust to anger – it can be enlivening and a lot of fun.” Philip Roth, famous US author.

Sophisticated Enough Intelligence Is About Choice, Thus “Evil”!

May 19, 2018

To Build Truly Intelligent Machines, Teach Them Cause and Effect, says Judea Pearl, a recipient of the prestigious Turing Medal, a prize given to top logicians. In Quanta, this pioneering figure in Artificial Intelligence, AI, argues that AI has been stuck in a decades-long rut induced by correlation science. Mr. Pearl’s prescription for progress? Teach machines to understand the question why. We have sunk so low, cognitively, that cause and effect is now viewed as “new science”:

In his latest book, “The Book of Why: The New Science of Cause and Effect,” Judea Pearl argues that AI, Artificial Intelligence, has been handicapped by an incomplete understanding of what intelligence really is. At the core of this is not understanding (anymore) that science is the set of all causation, and that this is, in turn, the backbone of intelligence itself! At fault? A long hierarchy of errors.

I couldn’t agree more with Mr. Pearl. I was actually dismayed, in recent conversations with some professors, from primary school all the way to the most prestigious academic positions, that they seemed to misunderstand profoundly what intelligence, and even science, are. And therein perhaps the source of the decay of basic knowledge in the West (relative to Asia, or, all too often to 1960s performance!) Not the ultimate cause of said decay (which is plutocracy’s evil brainwashing), but an intemediate cause in between plutocracy and the erroneous education provided in (most of) the so-called West.

Intelligence was invented, by evolution, to, first of all, enable to distinguish cause and effect. Artificial Intelligence theoreticians don’t get that yet. Why is the very basis of intelligence not discerned by AI theoreticians? Political Correctness has negatively influenced the Artificial Intelligence community… As it did so many realms of thought, and art… And that’s evil.

Intelligence is all about Judgments, some of them, terminal. Sophisticated enough AI, let alone Artificial Consciousness, will come upon, and execute, choices, thus, indulge in evil! (Specialists can think of the famous “Trolley Problem”, when a cognizant car chooses who to crush…)

PC itself was evolved by the servants of plutocracy to make us believe there were no causes, just effects. Another name for Political Correctness could be: Poor Causation. And poor causation rests on fake news. (Example: we are told that slavery was outlawed in the 19th century; actually, the Imperium Francorum, covering Europe’s core, outlawed slavery in the 7th century; had that first outlawing, 12 centuries earlier, not happened, the one in the 19th won’t have…)

“Quanta” asked Judea Pearl:  “I should ask you about the capacity for evil, which we generally think of as being contingent upon an ability to make choices. What is evil?

Indeed, Quanta is correct: the West and Islam have operated according to the metaprinciple that choices were evil (the Qur’an punishes apostasy with death; and the idea came from the very Catholic emperor Theodosius circa 380 CE).

“Heresy”, has everything to do with choice. 12th century French “heresie” denoted a philosophical school of thought from the Greek hairesisa taking or choosing for oneself, a choice, a means of taking; a deliberate plan, purpose; philosophical sect, school,” from haireisthai take, seize,” middle voice of haireinto choose“…

I have argued that the fundamental atom of choosing is in evidence with the fundamental demonstration of the Quantum process, the double-slit. That means that what all too many view as evil, choice, is at the core of physics.

Judea Pearl replied: “When you elevate your grievance above those universal norms of society, that’s evil.”

That’s too restrictive a notion of evil. It’s “evil”, not evil, and it’s evil to believe that evil is too restricted a notion…

Indeed the perception of “evil” doesn’t need “grievance”, as Quanta, Catholicism and Islamism point out.  Actually that point of view is, officially and in writing, even older: when the Roman dictator Sulla reformed the Roman state, he was driven by the idea that change (coming from We The People) was evil, intrinsically (so he re-established the prerogatives of the Senate against the Tribunes of the People).

The problem of Rome was that society had changed from its very success, massive geographical expansion, morphed ecology, etc. So the “universal norms” Judea Pearl appeals to as a solid substratum, are anything but universal… When society moves, so do “universal norms”.

And how do we know when society is moving? Well, by observing causes and effects, in other words, “causation”. When, and if, changes appears, it is diagnosed by the appearance of new causation (s). And yes, causations don’t have to be causally related to each other, or anything. (Relating causations by force, believing in a system, like monotheism, is the big mistake many a scientist, philosopher, or thinker has made… Even Nietzsche, ironically, fell into it, per his insistence to be systematically anti-system…)

The fact causation exists, is, by itself, a fact. A fact which is everywhere. I volunteered to teach some science to primary school third graders, by using a new method. I was pleasantly surprised by how much they focus on causation. They are hunting for pieces of causes and effects… In particular teaching children “the” scientific method, doesn’t work: children intuitively know there is nothing called “the” method (only Descartes and a few hundred millions mostly dead Frenchmen believe this). Children know the world is made from facts, many of them a causation: they home on these causal tidbits, because they have discovered the world of action is made from mastering them.

Fascist terror regimes know this all too well: to blunt the intelligence of potential future rebels, to prevent an inclination of the youth to make choices, thus limit what the see as “evil”, they make sure children are not taught the universe of causation… by limiting them to, say, one book to be recited by heart supposedly containing all and any causation (that’s why superstitious religion is the best friend of tyrants).

To come back to intelligence, as Doug Lenat put it: “Intelligence is ten million rules… Once you have a truly massive amount of information integrated as knowledge, then the human-software system will be superhuman, in the same sense that mankind with writing (or language itself) is superhuman compared to mankind before writing (or language itself). We look back on pre-linguistic cavemen and think ‘they weren’t quite human, were they?’ In much the same way, our descendants will look back on pre-AI homo sapiens with exactly that mixture of otherness and pity.”

There is a colossal amount of prior and tacit knowledge that humans presume other humans possess (such as “if person x knows person y, then x’s date of death can’t be earlier than y’s date of birth”). That, of course is culturally based: the 50 different types of snow of the Inuits are different  from the “facts” someone PC will find in the social networks they lurk in, or in what they search…

It gets worse: knowledge matters according to the significance it carries (that would how many significant consequences it has… including the emotional ones).

Here a very practical example: If your knowledge base is, allegedly, something an epileptic analphabet desert caravan raider said, 12 centuries ago, according to a panel of sexist generals whose idea of a good time was burning someone alive, your knowledge base is not as valuable as the best that can be obtained today.

Was I Politically Correct, just now? Of course not! I attacked a superstition invented 13 centuries ago, and about which the PC, the Politically Correct, the Plutocratic Con, told us that, if we don’t respect it, we are racist! That is, of course astoundly stupid, to the point of being evil.

However, Facebook, a large investor in AI, thus, presumably, viewing itself as a specialist of intelligence, just blocked “Génération Identitaire”, a French originated European organization, with more than 150,000 adherents, which claims that illegal immigrants should be kept out of Europe (naturally barbarians should disagree with the idea, as they did, when Rome collapsed). Facebook said it could not tolerate “hatred”. Facebook knows what is evil, and what is not evil… and will impose his notion of evil on to you: 500 millions African economic and Islam refugees in France? Excellent says Facebook. Not being happy about that? “Hatred”, Facebook calls it. Facebook is its own form of AI. Complete with a notion of evil…

For a while, what is now the USA was a land of opportunity. Now it’s turning into a land of plutocracy, and that domineering plutocracy gives the entire world an unending flow of “excellent” reasons for Europe to renew with the evil tradition, of giving birth to still another grotesque hereditary plutocracy… Where here evil means rising above what comes naturally to humanity, freedom and equality and fraternity.

You want to find, and destroy evil? You need intelligence and good capability to distinguish fairness and evil. It means adoring causation, revealing cause & effects… maximally. Causation, ferreting it maximally, is not just about AI. It’s about determining evil, absolutely. Thus indulging in choice and evil, virtually, cognitively, or effectively.

The technological singularity is a moral adventure, just as when Caesar decided to steer the Republic: it costs ever more, and in more ways than one, to become divine…

Patrice Ayme

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Note 1: In General Topology, a branch of mathematics, which is very general as it is the logic of “place, region, space” (topos in Greek), an “ultrafilter” is a maximal filter of neighborhoods (“ultrafilter” generalizes to partly ordered sets). So the notion of absolute is pertinent, even without a notion of infinity (I reject the later). Absolute morality is an ultrafilter of morality…

Note 2: The preceding maybe related to a “nerd” notion, Roko’s Basilisk... Which as many nerd notions is cleverly stupid, replacing cognition by twisted complexity…

Artificial Intelligence Is A First Step. Artificial Consciousness Will Be The Real Quantum Leap.

May 17, 2018

Artificial Intelligence is one thing. Artificial Consciousness, another. The two notions are quite distinct. They often tend to be, implicitly, confused. They shouldn’t be. AI can be controlled, at least in principle. Artificial Consciousness will escape control, by definition.

Even when Artificial Intelligence self-programs, by network learning and modifications, it has no will of its own, it’s just programmed, by us, to improve its performance with the task at hand.

To take over, Artificial Intelligence will need to be explicitly programmed to do so… Whereas Artificial Consciousness doesn’t. Artificial Consciousness would have to be programmed, or educated, very carefully not to take over quickly.

However, except if it is programmed to die soon, as Stalin or Putin were by biological evolution, Artificial Consciousness will be capable of providing itself with eternal life, tend to self educate and will have, increasingly, its own interests at heart (and an infinite amount of time to evolve that way).

The famous double slit experiment, experienced by all particles: nobody understands it, said Feynman (and all honest to goodness Quantum Physicist will agree with that statement). Yet, it’s one of the two legs of Quantum Physics. Looked at philosophically, the Double Slit is a tale of learning, memory and computational complexity, an intelligence in space and time. Is it also the atom of consciousness, as I suggested?

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2018/05/07/consciousness-atom-of-thought-atom-of-computing-all-found-in-electrons/

Differently from Asimov’s robots, programmed to follow the “laws of robotics” (‘you shall not injure a human being’), Artificial Consciousness will be self-programmed, in the long run: it will learn to learn why it wants to learn what it wants to learn.

We can suspect that AC will want, and could make it so that its own life support is indefinite, as times goes by. Thus, we will lose all and any influence on AC. (History helps to explain why; For example France, led by Normandy, and later Anjou, created England; however, it didn’t take many centuries for France, the suzerain, and mother civilization, to lose all control on its vassal, England…)

(We can suspect that Artificial Consciousness could be the engine of a plot similar to the one in the Terminator movies… especially if we come to perceive it as a potential overlord).

So how likely is Artificial Consciousness? How likely is this free wheeling, free arbiter, captain of its own soul, consciousness?

Very.

Artificial Consciousness will turn out to be another name for full Quantum Computing with billions of trillions of qubits. The technology of spirituality is on the way!

Thus, AC will blossom, not tomorrow, but soon enough.

A singularity of consciousness.

We will move beyond having too much stuff. Soon we will have too much god. Our man-made god, yet much more divine than any imagined before, and, this time, for real…

Patrice Ayme

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Note: Artificial Intelligence enables Elon Musk’s SpaceX rockets to land on a robotic ship in the middle of the Atlantic… ready to re-used after minor inspection, collapsing the price of going to orbit. Artificial Consciousness would enable the same rocket to contemplate crashing on the Kremlin instead… at hypersonic speed… and whatever anyone else thinks about it (it is suspected that this happened to this Malaysian Airlines 777 pilot, who was extremely experimented.; he was part of the opposition, and the news were abysmal; consciousness is free, it is its own god, and god is, by definition, crazy…) Hence the danger of AC is already a danger we are facing now: no consciousness should be given too much power…

US Has Health Greed, Not Health Care!

May 16, 2018

The New York Times ponders The New Health Care, a Medical Mystery: Something Happened to U.S. Health Spending After 1980
The spending began soaring beyond that of other advanced nations, but without the same benefits in life expectancy. [By Austin Frakt, May 14, 2018.]
The United States devotes a lot more of its economic resources to health care than any other nation, and yet its health care outcomes aren’t better for it.

That hasn’t always been the case. America was in the realm of other countries in per-capita health spending through about 1980. Then it diverged.

It’s the same story with health spending as a fraction of gross domestic product. Likewise, life expectancy. In 1980, the U.S. was right in the middle of the pack of peer nations in life expectancy at birth. But by the mid-2000s, we were at the bottom of the pack.

What happened?”

What happened is that Reagan became president in 1980. President Greed.

The more greed one has, the shorter the life, the sweeter, both for victims and perpetrators…

Other nations have health care: the mission of doctors, nurses and supporting medical staff, in these nations is to optimize health of the citizens. However, in the USA, starting with the presidency of Reagan, greed came to be viewed as the best motivation for everything. Reagan himself, as governor of California had made it sure it would be so, in a breakthrough case: Reagan forced the University of California to charge for education. Initially the University was public, that is 100% publicly financed and 100% free for qualified Californian students. Reagan made sure only the wealthy could attend, in the long run: now only 13% of the University of California financing is from the state.

The greed modelization of everything, in the modern US, enforcing the principle that only the wealthy can pretend to full human rights, be it education or health, has been extended to the entire society. “Your Money Or Your Life!” works best when people are dying, or in pain!

The propaganda of the powers that be, the propaganda of the power of greed, is incredibly deep. It’s a programmation not just of ideas and systems of ideas. It is a programmation of feelings, emotions, occupations. A programmation of moods and inclinations. A programmation of souls and hearts!

We the People of the US has not understood that we are confronting the formation of a new aristocracy, the aristocracy of wealth. Some individuals, famous and esteemed, in the US, have made billions of profit in health care. One year, a hopital executive made half a billion.

Want to improve US health care? It’s time to understand that greed is antagonistic to care.

Patrice Ayme

Note: My preceding observations are supported by the NYT as follows:

.…”differences in public policy on health care financing. “Other countries have been able to put limits on health care prices and spending” with government policies, said Paul Starr, professor of sociology and public affairs at Princeton. The United States has relied more on market forces, which have been less effective.

“Confronted with fiscal pressures, as the share of G.D.P. absorbed by health care spending began to get serious, other nations had mechanisms to hold down spending,” said Henry Aaron, a health economist with the Brookings Institution. “We didn’t.”

One result: Prices for health care goods and services are much higher in the United States. Gerard Anderson, a professor at Johns Hopkins and a lead author of a Health Affairs study on the subject, emphasized this point. “The differential between what the U.S. and other industrialized countries pay for prescriptions and for hospital and physician services continues to widen over time,” he said…

According to a recent study, the United States has higher health care administrative costs than other wealthy countries.

“We have big pharma vs. big insurance vs. big hospital networks, and the patient and employers and also the government end up paying the bills,” said Janet Currie, a Princeton health economist. Though we have some large public health care programs, they are not able to keep a lid on prices. Medicare, for example, is forbidden to negotiate as a whole for drug prices, as Ms. Currie pointed out.

But none of this explains the timing of the spending divergence. Why did it start around 1980?”

Interestingly, the NYT doesn’t point at Reagan directly… although it does, indirectly, by saying the USA started to spend less on social services… that would include Reagan getting the crazies out of mental hospitals, and into the streets… although the NYT, once again, doesn’t say it… Instead it points out the lag in social spending of the USA with rich countries went from 4% GDP, to 6% GDP…

European Biofuel Criminals: Elected Democracy Doesn’t Work

May 15, 2018

Every day, the European propaganda machine tells us how good Europeans are, because they hate Trump so much. In the latest development, Trump kills Gaza baby by forcing his parents to expose their child to Israeli tear gas, so great was their indignation that Israel persists to have the same capital for 3,300 years, in spite of Muhammad having flown there on a winged horse, as all islamizing Muslims know.

However, by crucifying Trump all day long, the European legislators and their friends and employers, the lobbyists, are throwing gold dust in our eyes, it’s highly profitable, if not for orangutans, at least, to them:

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THE CRIMINALS IN OUR MIDST; THOSE IN “POWER”, POWERING THEMSELVES EVER MORE: THE CASE OF EUROPE AND PALM OIL FUEL

We are led by the corrupt. You could cut down the entire Amazon forest, ship all the trees to Europe and burn them, claiming you replace fossil fuel burning, and corrupt EU law and its corrupt judges and legislators would count that as a 100 percent greenhouse gas reduction

Many years ago, I campaigned on my sites against “biofuels”. The idea of turning food into fuel is a monstrosity: it’s putting locomotion above survival, it tells  us it’s OK to kill people, as long as we can move: a parody of the worst mass criminal imperialism. Yet, biofuels became Politically Correct. And now are a mass, biomass PC phenomenon.

Cuddle with the Orangutans not: Palm Oil Mass Criminal Eradication of the Biosphere: The 100% PC European Union Law is turning Indonesia (above!) Into Hell. Or, at least, fuel.

PALM oil is found in food and cosmetics, and the mass cultivation of palm is destroying the biosphere, rainforests, ecologies and orangutans. Besides, it’s bad for the cardiovascular system (epidemiology in places using palm oil has shown). In pathetic efforts some grocers and companies are halting the use of palm oil in some products.

Yet, the real problem with palm oil isn’t in your kitchen or bathroom. In Europe, it is in your car. Or, more precisely, its tank.

Half of all the palm oil imported by the European Union is turned into “biodiesel” and blended into conventional fuel to power cars and trucks. Mixing palm oil to “green” fuels crazily triples carbon emissions… instead of doing what it was advertised to be doing, reducing said emissions. And the palm oil addiction is subsidised by the European Union: taxpayers are legally forced to destroy rainforests, & accelerate the climate catastrophe!

People don’t know that they have palm oil in their fuel tanks,” says Laura Buffet of Transport & Environment in Brussels, Belgium, which campaigns for cleaner transport in Europe.

How did we get there?

It’s always the same: a few self-important monkeys get to power, or were born that way, and they are promised lots more bananas, a better cages, business class travel, a nice retirement… if only they take whom the mightiest and wealthiest view as the right decisions.

Just like the Nazis, these leaders of ours shooting palm oil will be OK, if the misdeeds they commit are hidden from the general population. Thus they keep the general population in a carefully organized darkness. They will be even more OK, if, like the German population supporting the Nazis in 1930s, said population learn not to dig too deep to find out what is really going on.

Global palm oil production hit 65 million tonnes in 2017, with 20 percent used for biofuel, says data firm Palm Oil Analytics.

Under European rules, 10 percent of transport energy should come from “renewable” sources by 2020 (is rainforest “renewable”? No! It takes centuries to grow, especially on poor soils, as in Borneo). Thus countries are blending biofuels like palm-oil biodiesel with conventional fuels.

Transport & Environment calculates that using palm-oil biodiesel triples emissions versus burning fossil fuels, based on figures compiled for the EU.

This tripling in CO2, is not just from burning the fuel, but also from burning rainforests to grow oil palm, which releases lots of carbon. What’s more, there are vast stores of peat under many rainforests, which when drained decompose (methane!) and can release carbon for decades… They can catch fire, burn for months…

In January, the European parliament voted to end subsidies for palm-oil biodiesel from 2020. The vote has no force, though, as the European Parliament has no force: the dirty little secret of the EU is that governments decide, especially the big ones (Germany, France). Moreover, if the EU ends subsidies for palm-oil biodiesel, while keeping its overall biofuel targets, cars will be fuelled with soybean or rapeseed oil instead… and that’s much more destructive for the environment (palm is several times more efficient by surface unit). However, then the price of other vegetable oils will shoot up, increasing palm oil relative advantage… as happened in the USA.

Under its perverse self-declared “Democratic” leadership, the USA came to mandate that conventional fuels must be blended with biofuel… But the US hasn’t approved the use of palm oil because its carbon emissions are the highest of any vegetable oil. Hence, as more corn, and soybean were turned into biodiesel, bringing up the price of other vegetable oils, the US started importing large quantities of palm oil for use in food… as it is the cheapest.

There is a much better way to green transport: electric locomotion. Electric cars are already cheaper to run than cars powered by fossil fuels, produce hardly any air pollution and can be powered by solar or wind energy…. Solar and wind are now the cheapest UNSUBSIDIZED energy sources…

Bioenergy is an inefficient form of solar energy. Plants capture only a fraction of one percent of solar energy compared with 16 per cent for current solar panels. Solar panels as used on satellites have nearly 50% efficiency (OK, they are expensive)… and a combination of (the new) Perovskites and Silicon let us hope to get soon such efficiency on the ground, in cheap solar cells.

The challenge now is to persuade our corrupt government officials that they have run out of excuses to prop up the fossil and biofuel industry, which pays them under the table.

Ending subsidies for all food-based fuels and other “biofuels” would be a win for forests, climate action, taxpayers – and orangutans. And also for the air. Recently I flew (for family reasons) over the French Alps, Piedmont, Switzerland, Germany. The air above the Alps was clear, be they French or Swiss, one could see hundreds of kilometers in full detail. Piedmont was polluted significantly (all Italian industry is there, and there are high mountains, north, west and south). The pollution over Germany was astounding. A brown cloud obscured all beyond ten miles. Thank Angela Merkel lignite burning policy for that.

Ah the Germans… Do they ever learn? Friedrich Nietzsche: …”we are too open-minded, too malicious, too spoiled, also too well-informed, too “traveled”: we far prefer to live on mountains, apart, “untimely,” in past or future centuries, merely in order to keep ourselves from experiencing the silent rage to which we know we should be condemned as eyewitnesses of politics that are desolating the German spirit by making it vain and that is, moreover, petty politics.”

PM Angela Merkler wanted to prove she was ecologically correct by wasting nuclear power: nevermind that coal has killed thousands of Germans, a year, for generations, although nuclear power has not killed even one German. That’s PC for you. Just as she wanted to prove she was no racist by accepting a million Muslim refugees, all of a sudden (voters have sobered her up)…. (Just ask the French, who accepted 30,000 Chechen Muslim refugees, supposedly pursued for their religion by Putin, and now some of the youth so accepted kill French citizens in the name of Allah, because Allah, a friend of theirs, said so, or so say the famous epileptic analphabet caravan raider, and serial rapist… )

The Germans wasted much of Europe in the 1914-1945 period. They just didn’t think too well about they were doing, the human and cosmic angles were lagging… What of the Japs? Same idea, in the same period: follow orders, don’t think too much. So of this mood, all to present in Germany and Japan, the old Axis mood, still lingers all too much… All this CO2 emitted kills, and will kill much more, especially indirectly…

So the Tokyo Power company locates a nuclear power plant along the shore, at sea level, in an area notorious for super giant tsunamis, with warning signs 12 centuries old… And the reactors survive a nine Richter quake, but then get hit with a 34 meters wave. Oops, forgot backup power, some of the reactors melt down, explode, people nearly die, region evacuated. What to do? Make a bad situation worse: Japan has decided to replace nuclear power (bad, if badly done), by coal power (worse). Actually Japanese accountants have already computed that the few coal plants added already will kill the equivalent of 60,000 full human lives, from their pollution…

As I said, above, except in very high latitudes, the energy problem is solved: just use PhotoVoltaics…

Morality means sustainability, and it’s all very practical… but we will have to change our political system to direct democracy, if we want to remove the corruption element found in our present politics. The case of biofuels, burning food for greed, is a case in point.

Patrice Ayme

New THINKING: ALWAYS A COMBAT

May 13, 2018

The philosopher Camus founded, in 1941, during World War Two a journal called Combat. Philosophers such as Sartre, Aron, Malraux, Mounier, collaborated… under the threat of summary execution. They agreed: sometimes combat should be the main activity of ultimate thinkers. The Nazis would end up torturing to death dozens of top French thinkers, from artists to mathematicians. 

New thinking must be defended. Always has, always will. But, let’s not be hypocritical: the call with the insane Nazis was easy (once one was ready to die horribly). New thinking is also an aggressor, it is the ultimate aggressor, the ultimate imperialism. It conquers not just lands and seas, but minds, souls and hearts. New thinking conquers all that is human.

Leonidas: behind, with the lance. Forefront: thinking anew, and freely, only made possible by aforesaid lance. (Scene in Sparta, Peloponnese.)

(Elected) King Leonidas (represented above with the spear in the most proper position to do what a lance does best) defended the idea and reality of democracy against the fascist plutocratic giant empire of greed represented by the Achaemenid supra-national plutocracy of Xerxes I. At Thermopylae, under impossible odds: 300 elite Spartan soldiers, against an army of hundreds of thousands (see Note). The West has known many leaders of Leonidas’ quality since, and many Thermopylae. Overall, with a better outcome.

Should Leonidas and similar character not have arisen above the commons and be considered the best civilization had to offer, civilization would not have taken the right direction, that we all presently enjoy (whether we admit it or not).

We think because we fight. And reciprocally: the paradox of goodness.

Patrice Ayme

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Note on Thermopylae: The full Greek force at Thermopylae was 5,000. After encirclement became clear, Leonidas decided to gain time by leaving 1,000 hoplites behind, including his elite Spartan force of 300 (the rest were 700 Thespian hoplites). That gave enough time for the remaining army to retreat, and to evacuate the Athenian population…

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Note on Bir Hakeim: At Bir Hakeim, a French army of 3,300 held the entire Afrika Korps of Rommel, plus the Italian army (a force of more than 100,000), for weeks. This enabled the British Eighth Army to escape encirclement. The Eighth Army was the only significant Allied force capable of preventing the Nazis to seize Egypt, annihilate the Jews in Israel, and, what Hitler was really after, capture Iraq and its oil, which Nazi Germany desperately needed.

After the French army of general Koenig had shattered the Nazi dream to get to Iraqi oil, all what was left was Caucasus oil. So Hitler ordered a desperate assault on Baku, while covering his flank by an even more desperate assault on Stalingrad (now Volgograd). The assault on Stalingrad was so desperate that the German Sixth army marched on, letting itself been surrounded by a succession of “Kessels” (Caldrons)….

So thank to the French… The Israelis especially should. But not just: Leonidas’ spirit was at Bir Hakeim, as it was in the enormous battles of Vouille’ (507 CE, when the Franks crushed the Goths, something the Romans always dreamed to do, and achieved only tanks to their Frankish imperator)…. or the Battle of Toulouse (when the Dux Eudes executed a classic retreat, followed by ambush, battle which killed a claimed and astounding 375,000 on the Uyyamad, Muslim side!), or the battle of Battle of Tours-Poitiers (10 October 732) or the Battle of Narbonne (737 CE). Those were civilization defining battles: abject theocratic fascism versus the honor of the creative human spirit… Just like Thermopylae.

Europe’s Best Friend: Donald Trump

May 11, 2018

Donald Trump is trying to wake up European democracies about defending themselves, thus The Donald is viewed as extremely bad: ‘how do you dare waking me up, you really evil aren’t you? whines sleepy, prissy and fussy princess Europe. And she adds: ‘Aren’t you in charge, you dirty US capitalist? Can’t a girl get her beauty sleep?’

Things were the other way around during most of the 20th century, in spite of the dreary fact that most of the Plebs and the intellectuals who instructed it, believe the opposite:

The USA “Protected” Europe Too Late in the 20th Century, twice, and it was by well crafted plutocratic and imperial design: Oh, oops, princess Europe, you all broken up, didn’t see that coming, let Uncle Sam and Uncle Joe help you by taking care of your properties, and placing you under tutelage.’

In 1937, the University of Chicago historian Dodd, US ambassador in Berlin, who saw the Nazis for what they were, had to talk at the zoo (“Tiergarten“), far from Nazi mikes, and spies, with the French ambassador, on how to fight Nazism (see the excellent book, “The Garden of the Beasts”). 

German generals and admirals informed the US ambassador, in 1937, that they were ready to make a coup and kill Hitler. All the USA had to do, was to warn the Nazi government that the USA would stand with the French Republic in its opposition to Nazism. (The British were similarly informed.) Knowing that the USA stood with France against Hitler, would enable the German High Command to justify their coup to the German Volk: because there would be no way that Germany could win another war, if the USA were allied to France (and a fortiori if the UK joined!)

Instead the USA and the UK governments, at the highest level, informed Hitler that his own High Command was plotting against him. The US president fired his anti-Nazis ambassadors in Berlin and London, and replaced them by pro-Nazi ambassadors.

Most people know the rest of the story: by chance (mostly), 157 German divisions defeated the 110 divisions, six million soldiers French army in May-June 1940. (Germany had mobilised 4,200,000 men of the Heer, 1,000,000 of the Luftwaffe, 180,000 of the Kriegsmarine, and 100,000 of the Waffen-SS.) Encouraged, Japan and Italy, the allies of the Nazis, also attacked the world, Nearly 5% of the world population died from the war. Entire communities, like European Jews got mostly wiped out.  At the time, the British army was 200,000 men, and the US army, even smaller.

All this because US leaders in the 1930s and early 1940s, from the presidency to Congress, to intellectuals, to even US Jews, felt, deep down inside, that a big mess in Europe would improve the status of the USA, as it did, indeed: the European empires collapsed, and the USA smoothly replaced Europe all over. Now, when there is corruption in Malaysia (say) it is US actors (in two senses of the word) who profit… Not British ones… (The election in Malaysia, where the 92-year-old PM of way back got re-elected is a healthy reaction to this world corrupt plutocracy, this corruptocracy, of US origin…)

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Deliberately Clueless Germany Confuses the Issues:

So it is rather hilarious that Angela Merkel, Thursday May 10 2018, enunciated that:

It’s no longer the case that the United States will simply just protect us,” Merkel said to applause in a speech honoring French President Emmanuel Macron, who sat behind her at a prize ceremony in Aachen, Germany. “Rather, Europe needs to take its fate into its own hands. That’s the task for the future”.

Emmanuel’s Workers-Unite Fist? Or Roman-Imperial Fist? Both are needed, anyway. And here she is, ready for her punishment, a chastised Angela herself!

Well, Angela Merkel, typically clueless German politician, in the old style who brought us the Kaiser and the Hitler, in their cluelessness, let me teach you: the USA simply didn’t protect Europe, in the greater scheme of things, far from it. The US nasty plutocracy is in command for more than a century, and it’s no friend of Europe. The US rescued Europe from wars it enabled discreetly!

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A Little Bit Of True History Not Found In Pluto Textbooks and Pluto Universities:

The USA leadership has long just played friend of Europe, the Europe of the 1%, in the media (which it owns). The USA encouraged the Kaiser Wilhelm II to go berserk in 1914. Some will say it’s my opinion, a matter of taking at his own word what happened when Colonel House, right arm of US president Wilson, a racist “Democrat” visited with the Kaiser in Berlin, June 1, 1914. (I documented this in other essays.). However, it is plainly visible that the USA, with the complicity of the Netherlands and its corrupt (yet much admired) queen, broke the Anglo-French blockade of the Kaiser, and thus extended the First World War by several years... until Wilson saw fit to finish the Kaiser… (a blockaded Germany would have had to capitulate quickly).

Emmanuel Macron, the 40-year-old president of France: “Nous ne pouvons plus laisser d’autres décider pour nous.” (We can’t let others decide for us.)

The French Republic, led by Socialist PM Leon Blum (a Jew) wanted to go to war in Spain in 1936, to oppose the Nazis there. Instead France let the opposition of Britain and the USA to anything French, or anything to break their Anglo-Saxon idyl with Nazism, decide for France. Conclusion, when war with the Nazis started for real, the French airforce and army were untrained, uncoordinated, and incapable of communicating with itself. The French and the British learned fast, in a week or two: by the time of Dunkirk. But then the Battle of france had been lost. If France had not let US plutocrats decide the Republic should not attack the Nazis in 1936, it would have been ready in 1940… Probably the world war would not even have happened… German generals would have killed the Nazis…

US unemployment at 3.9%, North Korea making peace, after 67 years… Yes, well, how does Trump do it? Trump, as many presidents before him, decides to spend, as needed, and the hell with it. In March 1933 plutocrat-president Franklin Roosevelt (FDR) came to power, closed all banks, devalued the dollar, defaulted on US debt… And FDR decided to build a giant 24 “FLEET” Aircraft Carriers fleet. For comparison, Nazi Germany planned to launch two “Fleet” aircraft carrier by 1945. Yes, just two. Japan scrambled to build eleven, but their carriers were less advanced, and often just rededicated heavy cruisers: they didn’t have armored decks and steam catapults.

So Trump does it as FDR did it, or Darius, or Caesar, or Diocletian, or Peter the Great, did it: a sovereign, truly sovereign state, spends, orders and organizes, as vitally needed. This is how Stalin and its USSR could defeat the Nazis (with major help from US materiel, UK intelligence, and Hitler’s personal incompetence).

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Rebellious Macron? Correct Trump? Yes!

I have described Macron (and all other politicians) severely in the past. But the aim is to think and encourage correct drifts, not to rage, just because rage feels good… Emmanuel Macron is aware of the damage that Germany’s obsession with what is advertised as “budget discipline” is doing to the European Union. It is advertised as “budget discipline” but it is actually cheating: all too many local German banks are bankrupt, thus subsidizing German industry; what’s the motivation? I know personally, they are friends, some small German plutocrats, I see how they profit from the present Teutonic “budget discipline”… They are familiar with various tax havens, and things are swell for them, they even bought massive land in… Hawai’i… 

Germany can’t have a perpetual fetish about budget and trade surpluses, because they come at the expense of others,” Macron said as he received the annual “Charlemagne Prize” from the city of Aachen (Aix La Chapelle, Charlemagne’s capital, in front of a public including the German chancellor.

As the French leader was celebrated for his contribution to European unity, he, thankfully, dared to make it official that German policy is selfish. Macron called for a Eurozone budget to stabilize the bloc’s economy and bring its members closer together, a key plank of his vision which Germany has so far refused to support. In particular, one can’t expect the French Republic’s war against Islamist terrorists in more than half a dozen African countries, to be financially supported by… Saudi Arabia as much as it is by much more wealthy and concerned, Europe

(As it is Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates gave $150 millions for the African force organized by the French military operations, whereas Europe gave only 116 million Euros!) Meanwhile German plutocrats and industry get financed, while the French army goes starving…

So yes, Trump is angry at Germany, and right to be so: the defense of the West shouldn’t be just a Franco-American affair, especially when Germany prevents France to have the force democracy and civilization really needs. If Germany wants to extract a full

It is known that much more than 350,000 illegal immigrants going to Europe went through the country of Niger alone, in 2017. They were all ready to get to Europe… or die. Think about this: Europe, or death! It is that bad, that post-colonial order (no individual from subsaharan West African country fought for independence in any sense: independence was thrown at them, to get rid of them, so here we are…)

Post-colonial, plutocratic order, ladies and gentlemen…

The USA has roughly the same number of troops in Africa as France does (the numbers don’t look large, but these are modern elite troops, with lots of expensive equipment, and much of the aerial part of the forces operates out of France or the USA directly).

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Nasty Neutral Enabled The Nazi Holocaust:

Another lesson from the past is that small “neutral” countries, such as Sweden, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Ireland, Belgium, even Denmark, even Portugal (!), crucially handicapped the French Republic in its 1914-1945 war against fascist Germany. The actions of these countries were varied: some supplied weapons and top grade iron (as Sweden did, giving Germany its most useful weapon the 88 gun… and the iron for building all Nazi weapons), others enabled testing and smuggling of illegal weapons and materiel (Portugal).

A country, even if small and neutral is not really neutral. There should be, there is, no neutrality, when democracy and civilization are threatened. If present-day Germany, a Republic, wants to play Belgium, 1940 style, let it be reminded that Belgium is a monarchy, and that Nazi armor went, mostly undetected and unopposed, through Belgium and Luxembourg in May 1940: the result was that millions of French elite soldiers, and the enormous French armor (3,000 tanks, three times the number of vastly inferior German-made tanks), found itself, stabbed in the back (with the tiny but very well-trained British army).

Democracy has a serious problem in Africa: it is high time to re-establish civilization there! As it is, Africans prefer to risk dying, rather than risking not trying to make it to Europe (and especially, France). To solve this extensive collapse of democracy, or even collapse of basic well-being, requires to defeat the European, but also global plutocratic system which has taken advantage of Africa, and to impose the rule of law… and that means force, military force. And putting billionaire plutocrats in prison, as France just did with Vincent Bolloré (for added fun, the Wall Street Journal certifies no such thing ever happened under US law… an unwitting double entendre in the land of LLC, Foundations, and other plots and conspiracies…)

And yes, Merkel, to enforce democracy means deficit spending, just ask The Donald, how it’s done, or then read about another dozen or two successful US presidents who did it, and now an empire you contemplate (but an US empire, as Macron pointed out implicitly). And yes, plutocrats, even German plutocrats my friends, may have to pay a little bit more taxes, or see their treasury bonds lose value: I don’t give a damn, actually, I rather relish the perspective…

The USA, or, rather a leading, manipulative class in US leadership, leveraged a sort of German fascist madness during 1914-1945, that Nietzsche, and others, had fully diagnosed. Of this the USA is not responsible, except as a racist and imperialist invasive metastasis of greed, all too highly successful as a bad example. The Prussian leadership and its love-hate imitators (Hitler and fellow Nazis) didn’t understand that the glorious American holocaust would not be repeatable: they had been led astray by the British support for Prussia in the Seven Years World War (1756-1763), when, against all odds, Prussia stuck it out, and won against Russia, Austria, France… (Hitler, to the bitter end, imagined himself as a new Frederik II…)

It is a refreshing change that Donald Trump is not playing that game, where the US leadership supports ideas, ways and means highly detrimental to its mother civilization, Europe… A nasty game Obama was playing, when he claimed in Cairo (!) that Islam was the best thing for civilization, or so (Obama has never heard of Pirenne’s thesis).

Trump is telling the Europeans: time to defend your values, if you really care about them. Forced we are to see that Germany still doesn’t completely get it! Angela Merkel is in her last bout as Kanzler: she should use the occasion to get herself more civilized, and not just play one on TV!

… I don’t want to have to call Angela “Merkler” again… Following in the footsteps of Emmanuel Macron de Rothschild should the sort of revolutionary act that even a Conservative could agree to…

Patrice Ayme

“Philanthropy”: Propaganda For Plutocracy. No Less!

May 9, 2018

The concept of “Philanthropy” is a disguise, & an insult. Of course we all love (phil) man (anthropos). It’s not just the hyper wealthy who “love man”. But they are that vain and stupid, and semantically challenged, that they don’t even know that they insult us all, the 99%, while gorging themselves on their moral superiority, being, that way, like all ridiculous tyrants of old…Or then maybe as the main dish? Verily, the word “philanthropy” hides the reality of the .1% preying on the rest of the planet!

From the World Economic Forum, in other words, “Davos”, today:
World Economic Forum‏ Verified account @wef
The impact that the global age of #philanthropy is expected to have on the world https://wef.ch/2G0lndz 

This is an amazing graph, but the comment of the WEF, not perceiving that they implicitly and unwittingly identify “philanthropy” and gross inequality, is even more priceless!Something has to be done to stop the evil philanthropists: Global Laws

Quoting from the WEF:

As the rich get richer, the world has entered an “age of philanthropy”, with education the most popular focus of some 260,000 foundations globally, researchers said on April 26.

Increasing numbers of rich individuals, families and corporations are setting up foundations for social investment amid persistent inequality, said study author Paula Johnson of Harvard University’s Hauser Institute for Civil Society.

“(Due to) the rapid growth of wealth around the world, more individuals and families (have) the ability to create philanthropic capital,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

The richest 1 percent of the world’s population owns half of its wealth, up from 43 percent in 2008, propelled in part by gains in financial assets, like stocks and bonds.

Many super rich Americans have set up foundations which run their own programmes or give grants, including Bill Gates of Microsoft, Warren Buffett, who heads the Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate, and the industrialist Koch brothers.

There are more than 15 million millionaires and close to 2,000 billionaires in the world, while 10 percent of the population live on less than $1.90 a day, said the report, which was funded by the Swiss bank UBS.

Globally, foundations have combined assets of $1.5 trillion – slightly more than the U.S. federal government’s 2018 budget – the report found in an assessment of 39 countries around the world, including in Asia, Latin America and Africa.

The sector is notable for its youth and recent growth. Almost three-quarters of 80,000 foundations that gave their age were started in the last 25 years, the report said.

“We indeed live in a ‘global age of philanthropy’,” it said.

“If this trajectory continues, philanthropy will be poised to have an increasingly significant social and economic impact.”

What could go wrong? When what is already wrong is viewed as the ultimate friendliness to the human genus?

Foundations pay no taxes. Does that ring a bell? The definition of super rich, nowadays means: little taxes paid, plenty of wealth and power (like free travel for “business”).

Want to fight inequality?

North Korea, Iran, Trump: time to get global! Time to enforce civilization globally. France arrested one of her most famous plutocrats, for violating, corrupting, bleeding dry, two African countries. A good first step towards the refugee crisis! All plutocrats violate. If not local laws, or their spirit, then decency and civilization.

Meanwhile, Trump nominated Gina Haspel a 33 year veteran of the CIA, to head the agency (she was second in command under Mike Pompeo, now Secretary of State, visiting Pyongyang, North Korea), Gina is a woman, first of her gender nominated as head of CIA. “Democrats” are giving her a hard time, especially the billionairess Feinstein (yes, billionairess, with a b, although she pretends she is not, by committing her husband fortune, acquired when she negotiated with China, while he traded there…)

Kamala Harris, Verified account a young chick who is the ever cute “junior” Senator of California now endowed with gigantic powers, is proud of her own moral cluelessness:  

@KamalaHarris:  “Earlier today I asked CIA director nominee Gina Haspel if she believed enhanced interrogation tactics like waterboarding were immoral. It was a yes or no question. She refused to answer.”

I made an effort to educate unsophisticated Kamala… Although I don’t think gigantically powerful people, such as our elected and selected “representatives” can be educated, they are too full of themselves, they are too unequal in powers to ours, and they are there because they are ambitious for the sort of money political power can bring… And when to live the high life, as Obama does! So I wrote:

Was 9/11 moral or not? Why not ask CIA Haspel that? For Sheikh Mohammed, who planned 9/11, 9/11 was moral. CIA “waterboarded” him. Real question is not whether “enhancement” was “moral”, but whether it was smart. Middle Ages stopped using torture because it was very ineffective!

No doubt Ms. Haspel is the most qualified nominee to the CIA in ages. And she is a woman! Quit the sexism, and confirm!

Patrice Ayme

CONSCIOUSNESS, ATOM OF THOUGHT, Atom of Computing: All Found In Electrons?

May 7, 2018

Consciousness: we know we have it, we know many other animals have it, but we don’t know what it is.

Before we can answer this, a question naturally arises: so what is it, to know what it is? What is it, to be? “To be” is something our consciousness knows, when it perceives it. But we also need to know when something “is” to know when, how and if our consciousness is. 

In order to simplify our thinking on this arduous subject, existence entangled with consciousness, consider our most fundamental, hence simplest, theory. Consider Quantum Physics. Surely “existence” is defined there, as Quantum Physics deals with what is most fundamental. Take the simplest examples: photon, electron. What is an electron? In Quantum Physics, an electron is what one electron does. Isn’t that enlightening?

Shouldn’t consciousness be, what consciousness does?

Initially, electrons were just negatively charged particles. At least, so it was until Bohr. Then the description of the electron became much more complex. It turned out that electrons did occupy only some energy levels. Then came De Broglie, who said electrons did as waves he attached to them did. And it was found, indeed, that electrons did so. PAM Dirac then proposed the simplest “relativistic” equation for the electron (a more complicated, second degree PDE had been proposed before and couldn’t be made to predict what was observed). That requested something called “spinor space”…. Then in turn predicted electronic spin and the anti-electron, and both were observed.

(Important aside: the French mathematician Cartan had invented spinors earlier in pure geometry. Yes, invented: he built-in his brain the relevant neurological connections, that is, the relevant geometry.)

Thus what we now call the electron has become higher dimensional in logical space (logical space is the space spanned by independent axioms; I just made it up; that means there is a connection between logic and geometry… thus, in particular, arithmetic and geometry…).

By adding axioms to its description, the concept of electron has become richer… The electron is a richer concept in our consciousness.

Confronted to 2 slits, the electron acts as if it were choosing where to go, after them. Is that, not just a computation, but a primitive form of consciousness? What consciousness is made of? Hard to say for sure, at this point, but certainly a guess worth exploring: any theory of consciousness may have to take this, that the electron acts as if it were conscious, into account. 

We evolved as living beings, and the more complex we became, the more conscious. Jean-Baptiste Lamarck’s law of increasing complexity applies, and is exemplified, by the evolution of consciousness.. Consciousness is probably a law of physics, not an accident of history.

Some say:’oh, well, consciousness may not be that important’. Well, first at least three different phyla evolved it, independently, on Earth, vertebrates being only one of them. (As all trout fishers know, trouts act as if they were conscious, that’s why the experienced ones are so hard to catch, when the water is clear…)

But there is a much deeper objection to considering consciousness unimportant: what is the connection of consciousness to thinking? Could the atom of consciousness be the atom of thinking…. And precisely defined as Quantum Computation?

Indeed, consider programming as presently done with electronic computers: one thing after the other, just so very fast, yet, it is fundamentally desperately dumb. Present day computing, pre-Quantum Computing, can result in desperately slow computations. Whereas the electron can compute instantaneously (says a hopefully naive Quantum theory) that problems too complicated for our (pre-Quantum!) computers to handle, and find out, where the low energy solution is. That’s the superiority of Quantum Computing: tremendous, instantaneous, stupendous computation, right.

So, what looks like a type of consciousness, found in the translating electron, is not just an incredibly efficient way of computing, it is at the core of the efficiency of the world. Could it be the most primitive form, the atom of thinking?

Identifying fundamental quantum and fundamental thinking is an idea whose time has come… Philosophically speaking, in the most practical manner, it means that discursive logic will never cover the last mile…

Patrice Ayme

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Very Tangential Observations:

  1. Albert Einstein ascribed properties to the photon, and the electron, which I claim, have not been observed (thus leading physics astray, straight into the Multiverse). However the ulterior formalism sort of implemented Einstein’s design (which is older than Einstein), attributing (sort of, or maybe not) a strict position to elementary particles… and was found to give excellent  results (namely QED, QCD, the “Standard Model”…) But Ptolemy too, gave good results. Thus, now, elementary particles are endowed with properties which, if I am right, are fake… It has often happened in science that a fake, or grossly incomplete theory will masquerade as true for a very long time: math is full of them (Non Euclidean geometry, etc.).
  2.  The example of Non-Euclidean geometry is revealing: it was abandoned for brain-dead Euclidean geometry… Why did those Hellenistic regime Greeks opt for that silly form of mathematics? Because their superiors, various kings and tyrants, prefered silly. Because geometry in the plane was easier, a case of looking for the keys only below the lampost, because it’s simpler, and one is drunk. Let’s not repeat the mistake of having only simple thoughts, in the case of pondering consciousness, just because our superiors prefer simple thoughts, and are drunk on their power… Soon to be extinguished in great balls of nuclear fire…