Archive for November, 2019

Do Onto Others, As You Want Them Do Onto You? Not So Fast

November 9, 2019

TOWARDS MORAL DIFFERENTIAL GEOMETRY:

The Golden Rule: do onto others as you would like them to do onto you, was spread around by Thales, Confucius, 26 centuries ago, but it is already found in Egypt’s Middle Kingdom 40 centuries ago, in the mightiest form. The idea is also found in the fundamentals of India:

“O King, dharma is the best quality to have, wealth the medium and desire (kāma) the lowest. Hence, (keeping these in mind), by self-control and by making dharma (right conduct) your main focus, treat others as you treat yourself.”

— Mahābhārata Shānti-Parva 167:9

Egypt’s Ma’at, the goddess of truth, enjoins to follow the golden truth that, to impel a behavior onto others, one better embrace it first.

The Golden Rule is completely obvious, it’s a matter of basic logic: even Capuchin monkeys are familiar with it. Capuchins expect some reciprocity standards, and if they get violated, those intelligent monkeys get very angry, experiments have shown. 

So the Golden Rule is the essential cement to hold together a society. When buffaloes charge lions who have seized a youngster, they use a version of the Golden Rule. Thus, if it’s a basic principle of buffaloes, it should be one of humans. However, the Golden Rule is often used as a supreme philosophical principle, for humans… reducing humans at bovid level. The Golden Rule as a philosophical principle is terribly flawed.

A general principle should resist particular counterexamples. Indeed, what does the Golden Rule imply, when applied to masochists who want to be eaten alive piece by piece? Do we want masochists to do onto others what they want done to themselves? Before scoffing consider this: it’s called sadomasochism for some reason… (There have been even contemporary examples, say in Germany, of guys eating guys, consensually). Some may still scoff, because they like to scoff. However, as Salvador Dali pointed out the entire launch into a World War by the Nazis was an exercise in sadomasochism: the Nazis launched the war so they could lose it. I have argued the details of what exactly happened before, when I researched the plausibility of Dali’s assertion (At what point did German Commanders realize the war (WWII) was lost for Germany?)… which initially stunned me (and made me scoff, before I thought twice about it; now I consider Dali correct).  

In Eighteenth Century England, children as young as seven were hanged for setting a fire deliberately (fire was feared at the time, cities being made of wooden high rises pressed on each other). Deeply religious people were all for hanging children. They would also have liked to be hanged, as children, had they sinned that way, to partly attune for their crimes (thus opening to themselves the gates of heavens a bit wider…) 

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Chinese philosopher Mengzi (“Mencius”) has his own version of the Golden Rule: his motivation may have been to differentiate himself from Confucius, who advocated the Golden Rule, two centuries prior. Mengzi suggested, 24 centuries ago, that if one wants to treat nicely neighbor x according to principle p, one should extend that kind treatment p to more distant person y. In Mengzi original example, a king had treated well a frightened ox, and was asked to extend this courtesy to the People he ruled over. 

Mengzi’s version of the Golden Rule has been the moral engine of globalization: one had to be as nice to Chinese workers and leaders as one would be to European, or American workers or leaders. It’s, superficially a moral idea, and it has been used as cover for the so-called “left”, when in power, in America or Europe, to foster the plutocratization of the planet. 

Is this great moral progress? No. It endorses unwittingly deep psychopathy. Indeed Mengzi’s Golden Rule is very well known of serial killers, in its mirror image version: if a serial killer K, wants to kill person x, but can’t, he may as well kill person y, who reminds him of x, however more distantly related to x is y. (The most basic version of this is found in Lafontaine, Le Loup et l’Agneau, an improvement on the older original. The lamb shows to the wolf he is innocent, so the wolf concludes that:”if it’s not you, it’s your brother.” After these words, he eats him.) 

Golden Rule in action, or when the gold beasts go at each other… Do onto others as they do onto you, can turn into another version of a tooth for a tooth, an eye for an eye, etc. We humans are smarter than that!

 The Golden Rule, especially in Mengzi’s version, ignores that loving depends upon discernment. It’s easier to discern those who are close-by, starting with oneself. Ignoring the lack of discernment that loving those who are far way implies, is to be blind to a reduction in knowledge, and its impact on one’s emotional intelligence.

Actually, it’s exactly what happened to the real Mengzi. Unbeknownst to the professional philosopher who wrote the adulating piece in Aeon (linked to above) about Mengzi, the latter gave the green light to the mass murdering invasion of the kingdom of Yan by Qin (where Mengzi was an official) [1].

To extend altruism at an arbitrarily large distances brings contradictions, especially in the age of globalization. 

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Towards MORAL DIFFERENTIAL GEOMETRY: 

Ethics is not a flat, but curved, even twisted, space, with variable local metric (the local morality). A curved space has an event horizon, beyond which, one cannot see, let alone act. Thus straight segments parallel here, when parallel transported along different histories, will end up not parallel. This is true in differential geometry, it should be true in differential morality.  

Thus if we want European or US workers to have work and be treated according to the Rights of Man, Bill of Rights, etc. we should want the same for Chinese workers. However the latter having work and dignity, may mean the former don’t, so, it’s seems to be a zero sum game: the rights given to them are removed from us… Actually, it’s worse: the rights removed from here aren’t even given there.

A related application of Mengzi’s Golden Rule is when Democratic candidates want illegal aliens forcing their way into the USA to receive free medical care. Is that because they would like their neighbor to get free medical care too? It’s another case of stealing those around us to give at a distance.

When the Huns (who originated in north-central Mongolia) were roaming around western Europe, it was not only hard to want to treat Hunnish babies just like European babies, but it turned out to be impossible (for reason of agricultural productivity, the Huns wanted what the Europeans had). Ultimately the Huns had to be massacred into submission. 

The most basic objection to the Golden Rule is that we are what we eat, and if we can’t eat, we can’t be. Sometimes, historically speaking, one has to eat another, and better a distant one than a neighbor.

The main problem with claiming the Golden Rule as the last word, is that it reduces us to Capuchin Monkey level. Sorry, we are above that. Imposing on humanity the Golden Rule is like imposing upon us the “moral” principle that we ought to breathe. Real human morality, the debate, is at a much higher level, and we need to impose upon all the desire to commit to the work out to reach there. This is what Obama basically said when he criticize the recent craze of the “woke”, “call-out” and “cancel” “cultures found in today’s so-called youth. Youth in body, old in obsolete culture. To contradict Obama, all the New York Times could do was to roll out a youngster who called Obama old and a “boomer“. I pointed out that the argument was ageist thus racist: calling Obama “old“, thus wrong, is the essence of judging from appearance, not substance. Of course the New York Times censored my (very polite) comment.

Next Bill Gates declared “I’m all for super-progressive tax systems. I’ve paid over $10bn in taxes. I’ve paid more than anyone in taxes. If I had to pay $20bn, it’s fine… But when you say I should pay $100bn, then I’m starting to do a little math about what I have left over… [Scratching his head]… Sorry, I’m just kidding. So you really want the incentive system to be there and you can go a long ways without threatening that.”

This is a grotesque myth out there: nobody would do anything anymore if we lost the possibility of being worth a billion dollars someday. Gathering enormous wealth is gathering enormous power on other people, thus an incentive worth having only in a sadomasochist society.

Top Roman republicans had much more incentive than a half boiled squid such as bill Gates. They could go, unflinching towards certain, horrible death, at the hand of their enemies. One could argue that the 100% wealth tax made them stronger.

Great creators of humanity were obviously not motivated by being one million times wealthier than the average citizen… I just computed this is the rough quotient of (Gates wealth)/(Average US citizen wealth). Power onto the rest of the monkeys was not, never is, the incentive of humanity’s greatest creators: only satanic dimwits think that way… plutocrats. Plutocrats are not just too powerful, they are too dumb. And, moreover, their power enables them to leverage, not just their power, but also their stupidity, including their version of the Golden Rule (whatever looks golden should rule).

Yet, a society where billionaire rule, is a society where wealth is perceived as the greatest incentive. Because the rule of wealth percolates down: it costs roughly of the order of a million dollars, around twenty times the median US family income, to get a top “college” (first four years university) education in the USA.

A society where money, let alone evil, rules, twists even the Golden Rule: when the only thing one can do to others, or from others to you, is through money, that is, through the rawest power, you get a gold plated Golden Rule. Just as with lions the meaning of action upon and from others, has been perverted. 

Patrice Ayme

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[1] Mencius held office in the legally minded state of Qin (I have argued that it is the importance given to law which enabled Qin to unify China). During this tenure, he was involved in Qi’s invasion of Yan, although the precise nature of his role was disputed (as Mengzi/Mencius is the number two Confucian after Confucius, one doesn’t want to accuse him of being a war criminal, in the Joachim Von Ribbentrop style…). The state of Yan was in turmoil due to a succession crisis. Mencius was asked, “unofficially”, whether it might be legitimate to invade Yan to “restore order”.

Mengzi replied that it was. However, after Qin successfully invaded and annexed Yan, the invasion turned into a fiasco (a full century of war between Qin and Yan, part of present day Manchuria, would follow). Mencius complained that he had not encouraged the specific actions that Qin took, which apparently included widespread killing of noncombatants and taking spoils of war… Anyway, so much for at-a-distance morality. It was actually an explicit strategic doctrine of Qin, one of “36 stratagems”, to make war with those in the distance, after allying the state with neighbors… Like Hegel, Plato, Aristotle, Heidegger, Mengzi leaves a strange taste of plutocratically inclined philosophy… no wonder the contrived Golden Rule…

 

We Exist To Think (Dostoevsky Implicitly Observed).

November 6, 2019

Let me do what I don’t usually do: comment on a drab and ridiculous novel from a degenerated aristocrat, with philosophical pretense. But here the target is Dostoevsky, and, differently from, say, the nearly as famous battleship Bismarck, Dostoevsky makes a few valid points, that should be obvious… But are not, apparently as most famous thinkers of the last 150 years missed them. So as to not waste the reader’s time with Dosto, let me point out some of those points I have made in the past: Human beings are thinking machines. And the meaning of life is to live. Remorse binds it all together. This is the essence of what Dosto has his protagonist say in…

The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, Dosto’s penultimate work, is philosophically similar to Dostoyevsky’s 1864 novel Notes from the Underground. Such writings led Nietzsche to claim he found a “fellow soul”. Personally I always found Dostoyevsky’s gloom and doom drably suicidal and not joyously satanic enough to make his novels worth reading. I prefer a more vigorous mix of good and evil, such as authentic stories of people in combat. For example elite Soviet girl sniper shooting down a colt so she and her team can eat for the first time in three days (that particular book of  military stories got the Nobel prize, thank Stockholm; but nearly any war book, even written, especially written, by a war criminal, will do better than Dostoevsky). However, most people love a tale, however dismal, and decrepit creeps, however unsavory, probably feeling thus relatively elevated, so Dostoevsky is popular. Nothing like writings by another decadent plutocrat of noble descent, not liking a bit a world were serfdom threatens to disappear…

Dostoevsky: It’s hard to degenerate ever more…

… Except in real life, he became a complete success, even internationally…

Dostoevsky begins his Ridiculous Man with the narrator wandering the streets of St. Petersburg on “a gloomy night, the gloomiest night you can conceive,” obsessing on how others have ridiculed him all his life and haunted with the “terrible anguish” of believing that nothing matters (“nihilism”) [1]. Gazing at a lone star, and he contemplates suicide. Two months earlier, he bought an “excellent revolver”, but the gun had remained in his drawer since. As he is gazing at the star, a little girl of about eight, wearing ragged clothes and clearly in distress, grabs him by the arm and inarticulately begs his help. The protagonist, disenchanted with life and its creatures, shoos her away and returns to the squalid room he shares with a drunken old captain, furnished with “a sofa covered in American cloth, a table with some books, two chairs and an easy-chair, old, incredibly old, but still an easy-chair.”

He sinks into the easy-chair to think about ending his life. Yet, he is haunted by the image of the little girl, leading him to question his nihilism. Dostoyevsky writes:

“I knew for certain that I would shoot myself that night, but how long I would sit by the table — that I did not know. I should certainly have shot myself, but for that little girl.

You see: though it was all the same to me, I felt pain, for instance. If any one were to strike me, I should feel pain. Exactly the same in the moral sense: if anything very pitiful happened, I would feel pity, just as I did before everything in life became all the same to me. I had felt pity just before: surely, I would have helped a child without fail. Why did I not help the little girl, then? [REMORSE IS CAPITAL FOR THINKING] It was because of an idea that came into my mind then. When she was pulling at me and calling to me, suddenly a question arose before me, which I could not answer. The question was an idle one; but it made me angry. [NOT ANSWERING IMPORTANT QUESTIONS IS A GREATEST SOURCE OF THE ULTIMATE PASSION, ANGER] I was angry because of my conclusion, that if I had already made up my mind that I would put an end to myself to-night, then now more than ever before everything in the world should be all the same to me. Why was it that I felt it was not all the same to me, and pitied the little girl? I remember I pitied her very much: so much that I felt a pain that was even strange and incredible in my situation[REMORSE; FAILURE TO PROTECT The HUMAN SPECIES]

It seemed clear that if I was a man and not a cipher yet, and until I was changed into a cipher, then I was alive and therefore could suffer, be angry and feel shame for my actions. Very well. But if I were to kill myself, for instance, in two hours from now, what is the girl to me, and what have I to do with shame or with anything on earth? I am going to be a cipher, an absolute zero. Could my consciousness that I would soon absolutely cease to exist, and that therefore nothing would exist, have not the least influence on my feeling of pity for the girl or on my sense of shame for the vileness I had committed? [PERSONAL SURVIVAL LESS IMPORTANT THAN SURVIVAL Of The HUMAN SPECIES]

It became clear to me that life and the world, as it were, depended upon me. I might even say that the world had existed for me alone. I should shoot myself, and then there would be no world at all, for me at least. Not to mention that perhaps there will really be nothing for any one after me, and the whole world, as soon as my consciousness is extinguished, will also be extinguished like a phantom, as part of my consciousness only, and be utterly abolished, since perhaps all this world and all these men are myself alone.”

Beholding “these new, thronging questions,” the would-be suicide contemplates free will. And then finds the obvious: what gives meaning to life is life itself:

“One strange consideration suddenly presented itself to me. If I had previously lived on the moon or in Mars, and I had there been dishonored and disgraced so utterly that one can only imagine it sometimes in a dream or a nightmare, and if I afterwards found myself on earth and still preserved a consciousness of what I had done on the other planet, and if I knew besides that I would never by any chance return, then, if I were to look at the moon from the earth — would it be all the same to me or not? Would I feel any shame for my action or not? The questions were idle and useless, for the revolver was already lying before me, and I knew with all my being that this thing would happen for certain: but the questions excited me to rage. I could not die now, without having solved this first. [ULTIMATE RAGE: NOT FIGURING OUT IMPORTANT ISSUES Extremely RELEVANT TO The HUMAN SPECIES SURVIVAL] In a word, that little girl saved me, for my questions made me postpone pulling the trigger.

Then he falls asleep, and mulls upon dreams:

“Dreams are extraordinarily strange. One thing appears with terrifying clarity, with the details finely set like jewels, while you leap over another, as though you did not notice it at all — space and time, for instance. It seems that dreams are the work not of mind but of desire, not of the head but of the heart… In a dream things quite incomprehensible come to pass. For instance, my brother died five years ago. Sometimes I see him in a dream: he takes part in my affairs, and we are very excited, while I, all the time my dream goes on, know and remember perfectly that my brother is dead and buried. Why am I not surprised that he, though dead, is still near me and busied about me? Why does my mind allow all that?”

The protagonist then dreams that he takes his revolver and points it at his heart — not his head, where he had originally intended to shoot himself. After waiting a second or two, his dream pulls the trigger quickly. Then:

“I felt no pain, but it seemed to me that with the report, everything in me was convulsed, and everything suddenly extinguished. It was terribly black all about me. I became as though blind and numb, and I lay on my back on something hard. I could see nothing, neither could I make any sound. People were walking and making a noise about me: the captain’s bass voice, the landlady’s screams… Suddenly there was a break. I am being carried in a closed coffin. I feel the coffin swinging and I think about that, and suddenly for the first time the idea strikes me that I am dead, quite dead. I know it and do not doubt it; I cannot see nor move, yet at the same time I feel and think. But I am soon reconciled to that, and as usual in a dream I accept the reality without a question.

Now I am being buried in the earth. Every one leaves me and I am alone, quite alone. I do not stir… I lay there and — strange to say — I expected nothing, accepting without question that a dead man has nothing to expect. But it was damp. I do not know how long passed — an hour, a few days, or many days. Suddenly, on my left eye which was closed, a drop of water fell, which had leaked through the top of the grave. In a minute fell another, then a third, and so on, every minute. Suddenly, deep indignation kindled in my heart and suddenly in my heart I felt physical pain. ‘It’s my wound,’ I thought. ‘It’s where I shot myself. The bullet is there.’ And all the while the water dripped straight on to my closed eye. Suddenly, I cried out, not with a voice, for I was motionless, but with all my being, to the arbiter of all that was being done to me.”

“Whosoever thou art, if thou art, and if there exists a purpose more intelligent than the things which are now taking place, let it be present here also. But if thou dost take vengeance upon me for my foolish suicide, then know, by the indecency and absurdity of further existence, that no torture whatever that may befall me, can ever be compared to the contempt which I will silently feel, even through millions of years of martyrdom.”

I cried out and was silent. Deep silence lasted a whole minute. One more drop even fell. But I knew and believed, infinitely and steadfastly, that in a moment everything would infallibly change. Suddenly, my grave opened. I do not know whether it had been uncovered and opened, but I was taken by some dark being unknown to me, and we found ourselves in space. Suddenly, I saw. It was deep night; never, never had such darkness been! We were borne through space and were already far from the earth. I asked nothing of him who led me. I was proud and waited. I assured myself that I was not afraid, and my heart melted with rapture at the thought that I was not afraid. I do not remember how long we rushed through space, and I cannot imagine it. It happened as always in a dream when you leap over space and time and the laws of life and mind, and you stop only there where your heart delights.

Through the thick darkness, he sees a star — the same little star he had seen before shooing the girl away. As the dream continues, the protagonist describes a sort of transcendence akin to what is supposedly experienced during psychedelic drug trips or in deep meditation states:

“Suddenly a familiar yet most overwhelming emotion shook me through. I saw our sun. I knew that it could not be our sun, which had begotten our earth, and that we were an infinite distance away, but somehow all through me I recognized that it was exactly the same sun as ours, its copy and double. A sweet and moving delight echoed rapturously through my soul. The dear power of light, of that same light which had given me birth, touched my heart and revived it, and I felt life, the old life, for the first time since my death.”

The dreamer finds himself in another world, Earthlike in every respect, except “everything seemed to be bright with holiday, with a great and sacred triumph, finally achieved” — a world populated by “children of the sun… whose eyesshone with a bright radiance” and whose faces “gleamed with wisdom, and with a certain consciousness, consummated in tranquility.” The protagonist exclaims:

“Oh, instantly, at the first glimpse of their faces I understood everything, everything!”

Conceding that “it was only a dream,” he nonetheless asserts that “the sensation of the love of those beautiful and innocent people” was very much real and something he carried into wakeful life on Earth. Awaking, he exclaims anew with rekindled gratitude for life:

“Oh, now — life, life! I lifted my hands and called upon the eternal truth, not called, but wept. Rapture, ineffable rapture exalted all my being. Yes, to live…”

Dostoevsky concludes with his protagonist’s reflection on life, our common conquest of happiness and kindness:

“All are tending to one and the same goal, at least all aspire to the same goal, from the wise man to the lowest murderer, but only by different ways. It is an old truth, but there is this new in it: I cannot go far astray. I saw the truth. I saw and know that men could be beautiful and happy, without losing the capacity to live upon the earth. I will not, I cannot believe that evil is the normal condition of men… I saw the truth, I did not invent it with my mind. I saw, saw, and her living image filled my soul for ever. I saw her in such consummate perfection that I cannot possibly believe that she was not among men. How can I then go astray? … The living image of what I saw will be with me always, and will correct and guide me always. Oh, I am strong and fresh, I can go on, go on, even for a thousand years… And it is so simple… The one thing is — love thy neighbor as thyself — that is the one thing. That is all, nothing else is needed. You will instantly find how to live.”

Ah, the Golden Rule, so silly and so hypocritical. Such an excuse for decadent aristocracy, such a change of conversation… So unreal. So this was Dostoevsky. Thank Beelzebub, Nietzsche was not as trivial…

And what of Descartes’ “I think therefore I am”? Well, whatever. Now Amy Robach, a blonde ABC news anchor came out with stunning accusations about plutocrats connected to Epstein, including Prince Harry and Clinton, etc. This was three years ago, and the rapes went on. Fortunately for the plutocracy, Epstein was (probably) assassinated…

Patrice Ayme

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[1] Nihilism is unknown to those fighting off a lion, or chasing dinner. Nihilism, caring about nothing, is what happens when one is not hungry enough and the dishes are too uninteresting. Nihilism is a modern condition, unknown to prehistoric man, the anchor of all our considerations.

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1989: End of Cold War. Start of Unbridled Oligarchic Plutocratization. Now… Terrorized By Warren !

November 5, 2019

Warren Scares Financial Plutocracy:

There are periods for revolutions: From 1776 (onset of US war of independence), or 1789 (French and US republican and human rights constitutions) until 1848 (revolutions all over Europe) and 1865 (end of US Secession War and US slavery). Just like there are times for fascist attack: 1914-1945.

In 1789 US Vice President Al Gore announced that there was a terrestrial emergency, from the CO2 catastrophe… Not in these terms, so it was not taken too seriously by the deciding elite. 

Since then world plutocracy instrumentalized the globalization rendered possible by the end of the Cold War.

China was excluded from ISS to protect Intellectual Property

Yet even if Ms. Warren cannot get most of her more far-reaching proposals through Congress, as is likely, finance executives fear and moan that as president she would appoint regulators who would actually take a far stricter view of the industry, and enact laws and regulations passed… Under Obama.

Consider this:

“Everyone is nervous,” said Steven Rattner, a prominent Democratic donor who manages the wealth of Michael R. Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor. “What scares the hell out of me is the way she would fundamentally change our free-enterprise system.”

So the ex-mayor of New York is so wealthy, another hyper wealthy man financing “democrats” (of his own choosing, with his own ideas, and feelings) is managing his fortune… 

Meditate this:

Mitch Draizen, a former fund-raiser for Mr. Obama who made his money in the financial industry (surprise, surprise, remember we have no corruption in the USA, financing Obama is no corruption), said he would back Ms. Warren’s candidacy against Mr. Trump’s. But he is supporting former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. this time, worried about Ms. Warren’s disruptive approach. “She would be just as unpredictable and unproductive as Trump if she were to become president, and who needs that,” he said. “She’s getting a little carried away and to me it’s irresponsible.”

What is is more responsible than a great white shark?

She’s screwing around with the wrong guy. I want to give it all away, but I want to control the decision. I don’t want the government giving away my money. The idea of vilifying wealthy people is so bogus,” billionaire Leon Cooperman, worth more than three billion dollars. Cooperman declared Warren’s proposed wealth tax is “morally and socially bankrupt.

Plutocrats know everything about morality, they rape it, everyday. And of course everybody gives it all away: that’s called death.

Hour after hour, day after day, month after month, plutocrats use their present wealth to steer the world in the direction they like, where their perverse morality, their satanic, Dark Side morality rules. And this is the gift they leave behind. Look at Augustus.His gift was called Tiberius. And others he personally knew, who came to rule too, including… emperor Galba…

Actually Trump has mostly fought globalization, the exportation of jobs, investment and know-how to, mostly, China. And that was very effective: the US economy got a boost from it, obviously. And one can compare. Europe has been affected just as badly by the phenomenon of exporting industry and IP to China. For example, the French nuclear know-how was exported to China… while being forgotten in France. Thus now China makes and sells reactors most of the research on was made in France, for a generation. The same happened with trains, is developing with Airbus. (China was excluded, at US insistence, from the International Space Station, just from fear of IP theft… Not happening with Russia, as Russia was more advanced in more ways than one…)

However, the US, thanks to Trump’s local plutocracy drive, has reacted to the exportation of everything to China (by and for the intermediaries, those wealthy, world controlling plutocrats). Conclusion, the US has avoided a recession, for the longest time, ever. As Europe is slowly sinking into one, led by… Germany. 

A small financial elite has grabbed the levers of command of the planet. This is not really a new phenomenon, it was condemned already in the Bible. The hyper wealthy will go to paradise less than a camel through a needle, hence the interdiction to lend to one’s coreligionists found in Judaism and its descendants. The “money changers” are parasites, as soon as they earn too much money for what they do, as is presently the case. To help moneyed individuals to invest is one thing. What we have now is something else, a giant corruption machine. 

The finance industry has money laundered cash from corrupt regimes or fossil fuel industry, as set up by FDR in 1945.  Too much money is made by transactions so fast that normal individuals cannot partake, and which the “industry” itself creates. Also some of the leverage used is enormous, out of proportion relative to the size of the world real economy, it’s a case of the tail moving the dog, and a case of free money for a tiny gang. A way to cut that out is simply to introduce a financial transaction tax: even if very small, of no consequence for normal investors, it would be enough.

The hyper wealthy financial plutocracy a dreadful influence on decision makers, worldwide, starting with banks, governments. Thus the world keeps investing in fossil fuels instead of new energies (such as hydrogen, fusion, etc. energies which get less money in a year than many individual financial parasites), and in sports and the like, instead of housing for the needy (a reader here pointed out here, the salaries of a couple of sport idiots is as great as all thermonuclear research in the USA)…

The Roman Republic survived 5 centuries, thus as long as it had no billionaire (Roman Republican taxation was 100% above the equivalent of $30 million). Globalization enabled the wealthy to escape that, they plotted, and the Republic died.

Yes Trump will probably defeat Warren: too much misogyny around… And Trump has actually been effective against globalization. But what is important is to advance the ideas, change the underlying emotions. And, in four years there will be another campaign.

Patrice Ayme

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Some of the essence of the preceding was sent, under more moderate guise, to the New York Times as comments of articles critical of Elizabeth Warren’s program. Such articles focus on the distress of the financial industry, the anxiety of the medical industry, as Warren threatens in the distance, etc. The latest such article confronted the ogre Warren, boldly identifying her to… Trump (as quoted above) the article also revealed the financial plutocracy is so scared that the laws and regulations passed under Obama, thanks to Sen. Warren, would be applied… Because, turns out, they are not.
Those comments of mine were censored, because the New York Times is terrorized of Warren and her alleged alter ego, Donald Trump (!) So in depth analogies and advocacy are unacceptable.

Meanwhile, to add insult to injury, Obamacare was nothing (I have long said, except a gift to the wealthiest in US health care)… Warren confirms this.

As Sanders campaigns with the Sharia refugee and perpetrator, Omar, who got elected to the US Congress to promote her opinion that women are half of men legally. Is it progressive to be pro-Sharia now? Because subjugating women is the future, according to pseudo-progressives?

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[1] Trump supported Farage, the financial guy who became the inventor of the Brexit notion in a long phone call, last week. Now Trump is very much disliked in Britain. So that call led, unsurprisingly, to an immediate collapse of Brexit Party support by 50%! (OK, Farage not running may have helped.) People who have no feeling for Machiavellianism may not understand that, this way, Trump was helping Boris Johnson, in the guise of helping his opponent (like Nero helped Claudius with a serving of mushrooms). Another example of Machiavellianism is the Trump Impeachment by the plutocrats and plutophiles leading the “Democratic” party… It is designed to make Warren fail

 

NAPOLEON: DIRTY & Only Memorable That Way

November 2, 2019

NAPOLEON ENVY & ADMIRATION IS A GRAVE DISEASE THAT NEEDS TREATMENT. Here is some cure against this still rampant affliction:

Napoleon was no Caesar:

To immediately focus away from what is not at issue here, let me remind the reader I am an admirer of Caesar (although aware of Julius’ flaws, including deporting millions, seizing the last free Greek city-state, Marseilles, and exterminating entire cities). The point though is that Caesar lived in the most difficult times, and, although “Dictator For Life” (a stupid, but understandable idea considering the circumstances; he should have put a ten year limit), Caesar had left the Republic intact (and that cost him his life, as he had not measured the full depth of corruption of his opponents).

Napoleon had none of the excuses of Caesar. And none of his achievements. Even as a general, Caesar was vastly superior, tactically and especially strategically.

Although Caesar led a revolution (complete with redistribution of wealth: consider his Agrarian Reform of 59 BCE), Napoleon buried one. Caesar wanted to save the Republic, Napoleon killed it.

***

Why is Napoleon Bonaparte considered a hero?
N
apoleon is admired because most people are tempted to become nasty nuts, and are mesmerized by Napoleon for having done so. That’s the positive side. On the negative side, Napoleon’s admirers are plain ignorant. They attribute to him things he wanted gone, while other things he did, they have no idea.

On one thing they are right:  Napoleon was an authentic hero in combat, on the battlefield (as Caesar, a “savage” fighter, “like a wild beast” was). Napoleon was also an expert in calculus… and geometry (there is such a thing as the intriguing Napoleon’s theorem). 

Could Napoleon have been Caesar? Did Napoleon simply chose to be a cretin? I doubt it. Caesar’s background was unequaled; he was the nephew of seven times Consul, populist and supreme general Marius, savior of Rome. Caesar got the best teachers. His first and last words were in Greek, not Latin. 

In comparison, Napoleon, with due respect to Corsican savages, was just one of them. And it showed.

Napoleon in a nutshell: A grandeur deluded, macho, sex-obsessed, misogynistic, vain-glorious, self-obsessed, tyrannical, cruel, jealous, god-crazed, mass-homicidal greedy mafioso assassin disease ridden revolution diverting slave master… What could have gone wrong?

German philosopher Hegel, a philosopher of history who made some valid points in a sea of massively lethal delusion, was transfixed by the dictator. In a letter from Iena to his friend Niethammer, October 13th, 1806, when he had just finished writing The Phenomenology of Mind : ”I saw the Emperor -this soul of the world- go out from the city to survey his realm; it is a truly wonderful sensation to see such an individual, who, concentrating on one point while seated on a horse, stretches over the world and dominates it.” (Correspondance, T. I, p.114) [1].

History top biologist, Jean-Baptiste de Lamarck handing the book ‘Zoological Philosophy‘ to Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, 1809 (pastel on paper, 1920 by Ezuchevsky, Mikhail Dmitrievich (1880-1928); 32.5×24.5 cm; State Darwin Museum, Moscow; The French “naturalist historian” Lamarck (1744-1829) published ‘Philosophie zoologique‘ in 1809, in which he outlined the theory of evolution and in particular the smart mechanism now known as Lamarckism (soon to be proven right). [Russian, out of copyright. Soviets were favorable to Lamarckism, for obvious reasons, just as Napoleon had excellent reasons to hate it, preferring Cuvier’s catastrophism… Both Lamarck and Cuvier were right… ]

How Hegel Justified Hitler:

Hegel explains quite a bit the apparition of the likes of Bismarck, and, worse, Kaiser Wilhelm II and Hitler. For Hegel, Napoleon is a hero because he knows “what is necessary and what to do when the time comes” (Lectures, p.35). The historical heroes, including Napoleon, know ”the truth of their times and their worlds because they are aware of the historical necessity : that is why, like Alexander and Caesar, Napoleon is a wise man because he knows the nature of his era.

Well, actually Caesar is one thing, Alexander, another. Caesar found a collapsing Republic, infused with righteous plutocrats, thoroughly corrupt at a lethal level (Cassius and Brutus, the two  main Caesar assassins, committed serious, even attempted murderous crimes against the Greeks… and that was, by sheer greed, although they were among the wealthiest men in the Republic, so powerful, their corruption was not seriously prosecuted).

Alexander, instead, found a Republic and Direct Democracy, Athens, still recovering from her near-death experience of the Peloponnese War. Alexander actually visited, as the world’s most famous tourist. The truth of the times was that Athens was the treasure. Had he really embraced progress, and the cutting edge of civilization, Alexander would have become Athens’ main weapon. Instead, Alexander adopted an ambiguous role… Which enabled Antipater, Alexander’s senior and successor, to defeat Athens and turned her into a… plutocracy. Also Alexander annihilated Thebes, and Tyre, crimes of the sort not even Hitler committed. Tyre was at the origin of the entire Greek civilization: that’s where Europe came from, or, at least, the alphabet.

For Hegel, annihilating cities such as Thebes, Tyre was a “historical necessity” which made Alexander a hero. Is there anybody reading this who still ponders why Hitler appeared where he did, speaking the same language? How come such a little jerk is viewed as a great philosopher?

Following Hegel like the sheep the shepherd to the slaughterhouse, some say Napoleon made France into a great power. False, even ridiculous, quite the opposite. It’s the Republic which won the minds, and it is the Republic which is still winning them, not the Corsican mafioso. 

Watch Brexit for further edification: in the present UK electoral campaign, all parties are running on populism, that is, Republicanism

***

France had been the superpower of Europe, nearly since the early Franks: 

Roman emperor Julian was elected Augustus by the Parisians in 360 CE (and tried to stem the slide of the empire into superstition). 

Over the next 800 years, the Franks would conquer what they called Europe, from Scotland to Sicily and from the Spanish March to Poland. The Viking even got started after the Franks gave an ultimatum to Denmark (about recovering fleeing, plotting Anglo-Saxons).

One could even say that the Franks, a confederation of Romanophile Germans were created around principles which went beyond what Rome was capable of. So no wonder they conquered Europe, succeeding where the Romans had crucially failed, with the worst consequences for the empire (maybe because conspirators assassinated Caesar five years early)

***

Napoleone di Buonaparte, from artillery officer to genius general: 

The future dictator of France didn’t learn to speak their language until he was sent to boarding school at the age of 9. It was not his second language, but his third. Napoleon, that little plutocrat from Corsica, was recognized as noble by the plutocratic Ancient Regime, so he was admitted to artillery (boarding) school (after passing an exam). Bonaparte came out an officer, and a good one: he triumphed at the siege of Toulon, which was occupied by the plutocratic, invading British. Napoleon’s attack plan worked perfectly, and the Brits, finding themselves under French guns, had to flee, giving up on their invasion of France from the south. 

Severely wounded during the Toulon assault, Napoleon was promoted from captain directly to general. Soon, the republican Directoire wisely came to hate Napoleon, and sent it to Egypt, hoping he would die there. After a lunatic and mass murdering campaign, Napoleon couldn’t take an Ottoman fort full of ammunition at Saint Jean d’Acre, in his little completely demented plan to take over the entire Ottoman empire with his small army cut from its bases petered out, and he had to flee. On the positive side, he had freed Egypt from the Ottomans, and offered it to the United Kingdom…

***

The legal system set-up by Napoleon was extremely misogynistic. He cracked a joke about it: women had all the power already, so his legal code removed all their rights. This was all the more remarkable as women played a central role in the Revolution and nearly got the right to vote. But Napoleon loved to enslave: he actually re-established slavery, which the Revolution had outlawed.

There is no doubt Napoleon was physically courageous, behaving as a hero many times, in many ways. But one can find plenty of heroes, in the sense of risking one’s life or limb, with many abominable causes.

Much is made of Napoleon’s military genius. However, other French revolutionary generals won great battles before him. A lot of these battles were won from the enthusiasm of the French revolutionary draftees, and also the fact that France had the best engineering, in particular the best explosives. The Polytechnique School, a branch of the military was created during the Revolution just to make sure French military tech was superior.

 

The enormous achievements of the French Revolution (the basis of modern egalitarian law, and UN Charter) are often considered to be due to Napoleon, by the ignorant. For example, on 7 April 1795 the metric system was formally defined in French law: nothing to do with Napoleon. Actually Napoleon hijacked the Revolution, and greatly demolished it, in fact and spirit. Instead of letting Europe unite as a Republic, he grabbed it as a plutocrat, and pressed it like a lemon.

The fact so many admire Napoleon, from Hegel, to all too many people around the planet, and implicitly, the structure of the French state (widely copied worldwide, even by the USA) is a serious problem. Indeed, it’s a glorification of fascism and the Dark Side. 

***

Why Napoleon hated evolution: because, by removing “God”, evolution made him responsible for his abominable deeds, his despicable character, and childish impulses:

Lamarck, by then immensely prestigious, offered to the self-declared emperor one of his books on evolution. Napoleon made the research professor who discovered evolution, cry. No doubt Lamarck cried seeing the world at the feet of such an unwise, primitive maniac. Napoleon suggested, even with his favorite Laplace, that the universe had been created by “God”,no doubt to justify his own primitivism: Napoleon’s crude behavior was an act of god, Napoleon was not truly responsible. Not really Napoleon’s fault that he had to kill innocent people he disliked.

Lamarck’s suggested that complexity and the striving for solutions drove evolution. In other words, intelligence drove the universe, not the happenstance of god, and thus, as Napoleon invaded Spain and caused havoc there, and thus, as Napoleon invaded Spain and caused havoc there, Napoleon, not “God”, was responsible for the atrocities in the Iberian peninsula. Spain was among other places that Napoleon, in the guise of propagating the Republican revolution, peppered, as the rest of Europe with his relatives made into the local tyrants…

This being said, the conflict between Napoleon and Lamarck was complicated… And at a very high level of mental debate: Napoleon sided with Lamarck’s deadly enemy Cuvier, himself a top evolutionist, but who believed in evolution generated by catastrophes (like the one which destroyed the dinosaurs). Cuvier has certainly been proven right, yet Lamarck, of course is a towering giant whose time is yet to fully come (Quantum Mechanics makes evolution intelligent, I reckon…) 

***

Come general, the affair is over, we have lost the day,” Napoleon told one of his officers. “Let us be off.” The day was June 18, 1815. Around 8 p.m., the emperor of France knew he had been decisively defeated at a northern French village called Waterloo, and he wanted to escape from his enemies, some of whom—such as the Prussians—had sworn to execute him (the Prussians had been keen to execute the French since 1792…). By 5 a.m. the next day, they stopped by a fire some soldiers had made in a meadow. As Napoleon warmed himself he said to one of his generals, “Eh bien, monsieur, we have done a fine thing.” Extraordinary sangfroid that even then, in the midst of catastrophe, Napoleon was able to joke. However, it was not funny: thanks, in great part, to his antics, racism and oppression were to rule over central Europe, masterminded by Prussia. And British plutocracy was on a roll, and would stay that way for another 204 years (and counting).

What?

***

Like Augustus in Rome, Napoleon had not fully defeated the Republic; instead both used the Republic as leverage. As with Augustus, that was good for the tyrant, but it wore out the Republic:

In 1815, after Napoleon, and thus French Republicanism defeat, racism, anti-Judaism, oppression, occupation of Eastern Europe by Prussia and company was reestablished. 

Let me quote from: “Why We’d Be Better Off if Napoleon Never Lost at Waterloo

On the bicentennial of the most famous battle in world history, a distinguished historian looks at what could have been. 

If Napoleon had remained emperor of France for the six years remaining in his natural life, European civilization would have benefited inestimably. The reactionary Holy Alliance of Russia, Prussia and Austria would not have been able to crush liberal constitutionalist movements in Spain, Greece, Eastern Europe and elsewhere; pressure to join France in abolishing slavery in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean would have grown; the benefits of meritocracy over feudalism would have had time to become more widely appreciated; Jews would not have been forced back into their ghettos in the Papal States and made to wear the yellow star again; encouragement of the arts and sciences would have been better understood and copied; and the plans to rebuild Paris would have been implemented, making it the most gorgeous city in the world.

Napoleon deserved to lose Waterloo, and Wellington to win it, but the essential point in this bicentenary year is that the epic battle did not need to be fought—and the world would have been better off if it hadn’t been.[2]

Yes, but plutocracy would have suffered, and plutocrats don’t like that, do they? if nothing else, their perverse admiration for Napoleon rested on the evidence that Napoleon was the best weapon against the Republican Revolution. There is evidence that, starting in 1812, with the Russian campaign, Napoleon military genius deserted him. In 1812, the Grande Armee, more than 600,000 strong, full of idealistic young Germans and Poles, was poorly managed: too many stupid, frontal battles (instead of the subtle victories an outmanned Caesar had no problem producing). Moreover, the Grand Army had typhus, soldiers were dying like flies, and the campaign should have been delayed. 

At Waterloo, Napoleon split stupidly the French army, and then committed a long succession of mistakes, including the charge of the French horse at the wrong moment, not ordered by him, and waiting for general Crouchy, at the risk of getting the Prussian army instead (as happened). In spite of its remaining revolutionary zeal which had been Napoleon’s not so secret fuel, this was too much for the French veterans.

And why did Napoleon attack the Czar? Long story. And the Czar, allied to perfidious Albion, managed a country with awful serfdom, close to slavery without the possibility of being sold. 

The basic irony, though, is that Napoleon, following earlier revolutionaries, wanted to unite Europe. The philosopher proximally culprit of the French Revolution, personal enemy of Napoleon, Donatien Alphonse François, Marquis de Sade, had warned them all: don’t try to impose the Republic upon Europe. Fight mostly defensely. Revolution, the Republic, would come all over in time. The revolutionaries didn’t obey Sade. Napoleon sent Sade to a mental asylum. 

However Sade was right: the Republican revolution would self-propagate. It’s now Great British plutocracy itself which is self-imploding, and Europe can be united under Republican, that is French, principles, all over. 

So, now, for the case of Russia… 

Meanwhile, please remember: Napoleon is not even worth forgetting.

Patrice Ayme

***

***

[1]  Hegel in Elements of the Philosophy of Right (& 348) : ” At the forefront of all actions, hence of historical actions, stand individuals or subjectivities which effectively cause the substantial reality to occur. ” In Lectures on the Philosophy of History, a few years later, Hegel teaches that historical heroes ” are practical-minded men. ” (p.35). Napoleon, like Alexander and Caesar, is thus a man of action : he is not what he thinks, neither what he hides, but what he does. In The Phenomenology of Mind, he wrote: ” The real being of man lies rather in his deed; it is in this deed that individuality is effective… the individual is what this deed is. ” (p.231).

You are what you do, not what you eat? Neither: historical heroes act according to what they feel and what they think, most of it, imprinted into them as children: Alexander’s was the exact prolongation of his father Philippe, just even more nutty (bold). Caesar was essentially Marius reborn, just newer and better… And Napoleon was just according to his formation: a classical glorified island bandit, from an island famous for its piracy… by comparison, a young Caesar was captured and held hostage by pirates allied to Mithridates (and Roman plutocrats). After a second kidnapping, Caesar, held for 38 days, promised to his captors that he would seem them crucified, and he did

Long after his defeat, Hegel admired in Napoleon the founder of the modern State. In Lectures on the Philosophy of History, Hegel relates and then justifies the coup of Brumaire, 18th. : “Again arises a government organized like the old one ; but the leader and monarch is now a changeable Directoire of five people forming undoubtedly a moral, but not individual, unity. Mistrust was prevailing among them as well and the government was in the hands of the legislative assemblies. It had therefore the same fatal destiny, because the absolute need of a governmental power had made itself felt. Napoleon reinstated it under the form of military power and then placed himself again at the head of the State as a source of individual will ; he knew how to govern and was soon done with the internal. ” (p.342).
Napoleon is thus, to Hegel, the founder of the modern State because its principle is henceforth not the will of all, not the will of a few but the will of the Prince. There is no difference with, say, Alexander the Great, Augustus, Diocletian, Clovis, Philippe Le Bel, Louis XI, Henry VIII, Louis XIV, so Hegel is either an idiot, or a clever merchant who knew all to little history to pretend teaching it, except to the deeply ignorant.

***

[2] This is only a very small list of the satanic (Pluto!) ways which arose after Napoleon’s defeat, and thus the Republican Revolution coup d’arret. Jews were racially tortured all over Europe (except France, Britain) after Napoleon/French revolution’s, defeat. As I said, Eastern Europe would not be freed until after the Versailles Treaty of 1919… And the 1914-1945 war can be seen as Waterloo’s revenge, part one. Part two is Brexit.

 

 

 

WANT BETTER PHYSICS? GET BETTER PHILOSOPHY

November 1, 2019

Philosophical progress, the art and desire of guessing new utmost significance, guided our progress in understanding physics for the last three million years, and always will, indeed. 

We can’t experiment before we guess what experiments to conduct, according to the obscure light of a half-baked theory (in other words, philosophy)

So why has the philosophical training of physicists become so abysmal in the last century? The symmetrical question is why most of those called philosophers have had no training in physics and math? Plato would have scoffed that those were not philosophers. 

Neglecting the importance of the philosophical method in physics, for the last two generations may have been caused by the militarization of physics: obeying and pleasing those who order military spending requires yes men, shutting up and calculating, not deep thinkers [1]. History is full of examples of period of stasis, or even massive backsliding, of the understanding of nature, due to the hostility of the establishment to further understanding. This is why the Greeks’ progress in “Physis” stagnated after the establishment of Greek (so-called “Hellenistic regimes”) and Roman dictatorships. Soon after the Macedonian dictatorship grabbed Greece, Euclid wrote his elements… completely forgetting the non Euclidean geometry established a century before! (And it stayed forgotten for 21 centuries!) one wonders which other parts of Greek science got also immediately forgotten: these were times when thinkers would be killed on sight (Demostenes actually argued with the guy dispatched by the Macedonians to kill him: they knew each other; the assassin at the head of his squad pointed out to the philosopher he had to earn a living, and him not Demosthenes would have no effect, as somebody else would do the deed. Best to go with a friend!) 

Greatest physicist ever? Du Chatelet discovered… ENERGY, no less! Not just infrared (which she also discovered)! She was also a first class philosopher, and of course, a feminist. She left extensive writings.

Once the will, desire, and methodology of deep thinking has been forgotten, it takes a long time to get it restarted: Europe tried half a dozen attempts at a sustainable Renaissance, over a millennium [2]. What had happened? Books and scholars got deliberately eliminated for 250 years: starting  in 363 CE, religious fanatics systematically burned libraries and tortured to death intellectuals (see Hypatia’s tragic assassination directed by Christian “saint” Cyril).

Spending in physics is good… if nothing else, new technologies can be developed, especially involving high energies. But it shouldn’t focus on only a few avenues of inquiry. However, “High Energy” physics is a revealing term: do we live in a “High Energy” world? No. So why don’t we also focus on “Low Energy” fundamentals? 

Sociological considerations of career advancement show it is safer within the herd, and the herd thinks alike. This is why university physicists form a herd.

Cathedral schools” were mandated 13 centuries ago, and then turned into universities. However, when one looks at quantum jumps in understanding, one realizes that most such jumps happened outside of the career mainstream. The greatest thinkers tend to not follow the most prestigious path at the time! Obviously on the path less traveled are the diamonds found. Master thinkers such as Abelard, Buridan, Leonardo da Vinci, Kepler, Descartes, Fermat, Leibniz, Papin, Du Chatelet, Lavoisier, Lamarck, Cuvier, Faraday, Darwin, even Poincare, De Broglie… are examples of master thinkers who didn’t have conventional careers [3].

There are too many of the most towering intellects standing straight out of all society and academia, for it to be an accident, or a coincidence [4]. And the reason is very simple: it’s easier to be an intellectual hero, and jump out of the box, if you are mostly out of the box of obsolete logic already.  

Patrice Ayme

***

***

[1] Military science has been hard core high energy physics, ever since the French army ordered research on tanks, under the Ancien Regime (now viewed as the first “cars”, but, truly, tanks…18 C). New high explosives saved the French at Valmy. Within a few weeks the first production combat lasers will start protecting some US air bases…

***

[2] Clovis immediately made a reinterpretation of Christianism into something milder, tolerant, compatible with other faiths (~ 500 CE). Within a century, Frankish bishops were teaching secularly, ignoring lethal threats from Rome. In the Eight Century, a law was passed making schooling and its teaching by religious establishments mandatory. In the Eleventh Century, full Renaissance in north-west France brought a violent territorial expansion (England, Sicily, Italy, etc…), a booming economy, the Duke questioning the geocentric system and his protege Berengar assimilating god to reason… 

***

[3] Abelard, Buridan, Leonardo da Vinci, Tycho, Kepler, Descartes, Fermat, Boulliaut/Bulaldius, Leibniz, Papin, Du Chatelet, Lavoisier, Lamarck, Cuvier, Galois, Faraday, Darwin, even Poincare, De Broglie…

    1. At twenty-two, Abelard set up a school of his own, although opponents barred him from teaching in Paris. Eventually without previous training or special study, triumphed in theological debates, and stepped into a chair at Notre—Dame. The rest of his life was a “calamity” (his word) reminiscent of the adventures of all too many an intellectual of Antiquity, and others in my little list: he got emasculated and nearly killed in an attack… Abelard fought Saint Bernard, Christianism most important person,  nearly to death, and, though an abbot was excommunicated… twice. 
    2. Buridan chose not the faculty of theology but the much lower one of arts. 
    3. Leonardo da Vinci was a serious physicist… Yet took to painting and direct regalian support…
    4. Kepler was Tycho’s assistant. Tycho lived off a grant from the Germanic Roman emperor. Kepler spent a lot of energy preventing the execution of his mother as a witch.
    5. Descartes, discoverer of Algebraic Geometry (“equations”), and calculus, an army captain, was on the run, and was not dumb enough to return to France where the Catholic fanatics ruled.
    6. Fermat, co-discoverer of calculus, was a lawyer and MP.
    7. Boulliaut/Bulaldius was a French priest. He got the idea of the 1/dd law of gravitation… As Newton pointed out.
    8. Leibniz was all over the place, even an ambassador. Nobody knows where he is buried.
    9. Papin made the first working steam engine, and the first steam boat (which worked very well). He had to flee France (being a Protestant), then he ran in trouble in England as locals stole his invention, and after legal action, fled to Germany (where he interacted with Leibniz… Same Leibniz of infinitesimals, who made preliminary work on energy which Du Chatelet extended. 

 

  • Gabrielle Émilie Le Tonnelier de Breteuil, Marquise du Châtelet was top nobility, and hot to trot. She had no academic career, but converted her castle into a lab on her own dinero… Lavoisier did something similar, but the Revolutionary Tribunal found he had used taxpayer money to do this (so what? He should have had an exemption and got an award instead of being shortened…)
  • Buffon, Lamarck, Cuvier were research professors at the Museum of Natural History, where they established evolutionary science, but they were not university professors… Darwin, who pointed out natural selection by itself was enough to cause evolution, without the arsenal of contingence deployed by Lamarck and Cuvier two generations earlier, was not a professor at all, but an independent scholar.
  • Galois, an absolute revolutionary. He invented groups, and  demonstrated some equations couldn’t be solved. He got in big trouble for his republican politics, under a dictator, and was killed age 20 (!) spending his last night writing down Galois theory.
  • Faraday, not a university professor, and little schooled in mathematics, was directly funded by the king.
  • Poincare followed an unusual, secondary career path, until he shattered mathematics and physics (he established Relativity, including E = mcc), De Broglie, a prince, studied Medieval history, before pivoting and decreeing Quantum Waves, inventing Quantum uncertainty and the “Schrodinger” equation on the way… (Germanophiles did the rest by attributing his discoveries to… Germanophones; however he got the Nobel within 4 years of the ebauch of his thesis). He was never a professor, but I met him in person… Fellow minds…  

***

[4] Just restricting oneself to Paris, the largest city in Western Europe for most of the last 15 centuries, one could get evaluations of the number of professional intellectuals. Those who really brought progress, were very few, and they have in common that, even though sometimes they were part of the establishment, they were also continually at war, because their advanced ideas alternatively seduced and infuriated the powers that be. But 99.9% of intellectuals, most of the time, didn’t cause a ripple…

 

 


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ianmillerblog

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