Archive for May 15th, 2019

Better Rationality Forces “Irrational” Jumps

May 15, 2019

It’s reasonable to expect people to NOT behave reasonably. Especially innovators.” Discuss.

This essay below is a set of trivial remarks, however, they apparently need to be made. It is standard to oppose and contrast “reason” and “irrationality“. The idea, the hidden axiom in this, classically taken for granted since the so-called Enlightenment, is that the two domains, reason and unreason, are mutually exclusive. However, that’s not correct: reason and unreason are entangled. One doesn’t go without the other. Indeed, the elaboration of any new logic requires to break or supercede the preceding logic. Thus the act of creation of significantly new logic can always be called irrational… from the preceding logic’s reference frame.

Any logic L1 is derived from a finite number of axioms. Any discovery, itself factual, emotional or… logical, if not a consequence of these preceding axioms will require another logic L2. Going from L1 to L2 is only logical in a Meta Logic, LM. In any case L2 and LM are NOT rational in L1. That means irrationality is what feeds rationality!

Thus one sees that one needs irrationality to perfect new, better, improved rationality. Hence, one can see that any better system of thought is going to be attacked as irrational… Because, in a sense, the old sense, it always is so. One may even say that any major advance in understanding, a change of paradigm, will be characterized as not just appearing, but being “irrational“. [1]

Suppose a logic L1 is found to have just ONE flawed axiom. Then one needs to change the axiomatics of L1, and a completely new logic is born, L2. It may, or may not, contain the logic L1. The nature of the change is decided by the application of still another logic, a metalogic, LM.

The jump from L1 to another logic L2 should be called “well ordered” when L2 contains L1. For example turning Newtonian style gravitation into a field theory (a turn initiated I think by Laplace, and fully exploited by Einstein and company), created a theory with a finite interaction speed which contains Newton’s theory. (Well ordering corresponds to L1 being a subcategory of L2…)

By the way, Sub Quantic Physical Reality, my own SQPR, does exactly this finite interaction speed trick to Quantum Theory (L1), and Dark Matter pops out… To use set theory symbolic: QM C SQPR, so the logical switch is well-ordered… (On the other hand, MOND theories, which have been proposed to dispel DM, are not well ordered with Newton gravitation…)

The  shock from L1 to L2 can be brutal, especially when L1 contains blatant lies, or, even worse, excruciating stupidities. An example is the creation of the world according to Jesus and company: creating all the world 6,000 years ago was immensely stupid. Indeed, it used to be well known that animals evolved, since domestication exists (the last 10,000 years in the most advanced parts). A mix of human and natural selection was practiced in ancient Greece, 25 centuries ago to breed world famous superior cattle…. Switching from “God” having created all the species 6,000 years ago to what people have practiced for 10,000 years required more than recognizing one’s naivety. Those who believed in the 6,000 year old magic (that included Newton, it is said…) found very hard to switch to the obvious, as they had to admit they were idiots, to have believed in a stupid theory… Or as it compromised the Christian church and its associated fascist imperialism. For example, Napoleon threatened Lamarck in various ways, as Napoleon was keen to show his attachment to the Christian view of the world.

Jean-Baptiste de Lamarck handing the book ‘Zoological Philosophy’ to Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, 1920 (pastel on paper) by Ezuchevsky, Mikhail Dmitrievich (1880-1928); State Darwin Museum, Moscow.  The French naturalist research professor at the prestigious Museum d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, Lamarck (1744-1829) published ‘Philosophie zoologique’ in 1809. In it, Lamarck outlined two new mechanisms to fosters evolution (which he had demonstrated on mollusk fossils). One corresponds to present day epigenetics… The other is probably true, as a consequence of Quantum Theory (to be demonstrated in the future)… Lamarck, having demonstrated evolution scientifically, as a process over millions of years, was hated by the Christian Church… and thus Napoleon. Lamarck is wearing the costume of a member of the Institut de France. Lamarck had become a member of the French Academy of Sciences in 1779, 30 years exactly before his confrontation with Napoleon. Anglo-Saxon ideology dislikes Lamarck, as he was outlawed in English universities. Lyell and Darwin were instructed in his science at Edinburgh, Scotland, more than a decade after the scene above.

Another example: I believe there is only a finite number of numbers, and probably most people who know mathematics will accuse me to be crass ignorant as they would (erroneously) believe in the simple, elementary school 3,000 year old demonstration of infinity… which I can demonstrate is false, and then, rendered perfectly mad by the fact they didn’t see something obvious would scream I deny calculus too (no, calculus works in computers, and computers use only a finite number of operations).

We are in times, and in a situation, where an unimaginable catastrophe is upon us. We need new ideas, new emotions, completely new logic. We will be called names and threatened as we propose them. My daughter’s elementary school proposed to install a gigantic, very expensive ($200,000) artificial grass cum artificial toxic soil, field containing at least three different products know by the State of California to cause cancer (that’s “California Proposition 65“): urethane, (artificial) silica sand, polyurethane… As my spouse pointed this out to the school administration, our daughter, the best student, overall, at her grade level (nota bene), was threatened with immediate expulsion, if we talk to ANYONE about this, through “ANY medium”, and “similar activities”. Somebody is getting something out of this, and we don’t know what it is… But they are really angry about it.

That, while the Secretary of the United Nations just declared war on plastics… Sure enough, the USA was one of a few nations, in contrast to 187, which refused to sign an amendment to the Basel Convention on pollution addressing plastic [2]. Since I don’t like increased plastic usage, either, it makes sense that my daughter be threatened with expulsion.

So you see, any change, even something as simple as any proposition to keep natural grass, is hard, and can involve unforeseen dangers, and punishment with outrageous injustice… and threats against children are an old stand-by: how can the little ones defend themselves?

Changes of logics are hard, so everybody prefer to defend their own turf. All too many ecologists hate nuclear: that’s so simple. Never mind that nuclear gives us life, in more than one way… Right now, 93% of the energy created in 2019 (“primary energy production”) is from MAKING CO2. To diminish this only a massive effort on the three forms of nuclear energy (fission, thorium, fusion) and hydrogen (for storage of renewable energy) can work. Solar is not enough.

What human beings do best, is changing logics. This is also most expensive, and thus what they hate, & resist most fiercely: their advantage, or their survival, is at stake. It’s all about turf. Logical turf in the situations we consider. You see, there is only a limited amount of turf available, mental or physical. To avoid having too much people on a single piece of turf, the species has evolved to engage into violence against each other. That makes the stakes of human logical evolution quite high: those who don’t think correctly are threatened with extinction. In real life. Just as species are extinguished if they are not fit enough, in real life.

All this is very practical: it explains a lot of the hatred around. it is also crucial for advancing science at the highest level. Newton famously debated these questions extensively, modifying the editions of his Principia accordingly, and hiding carefully the existence of a meta logic which had driven him, as he admitted in previous editions! Du Chatelet, writing a bit later was much better on all this, but she was a woman… So only Newton left his mark, all too long…

All this to say that, to think anew is to suffer… if not between the ears, certainly, from others…

Patrice Ayme



[1] Kuhn may, or may not, have said this, in his famous book on the “Structure of Scientific Revolutions“.


[2] The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Waste and their Disposal, which is backed by 187 countries excluding the U.S…