Archive for the ‘Ethics’ Category

Don’t Crisp CRISPR: That Would Be IMMORAL, UNSCIENTIFIC

July 24, 2017

Abstract: We can edit genetics now. Should we? Of course. It’s the moral thing to do. First, because it’s moral to try to know what we don’t know, even when, and especially when, it’s a great jump in the unknown (I will explain why in a follow-up essay). Second, because, by pushing the CRISPR technology, we can save billions of hours of quality of life for millions of human beings, very soon.

***

In 2012, a collaboration between  Jennifer Doudna (from Hawai’i; then a professor at UC Berkeley) and  Emmanuelle Charpentier (a French professor from Paris working all over Europe) brought a huge invention. The two collaborating professors harnessed CRISPR into a method to edit DNA at will. Doudna learned first from CRISPR thanks to another female professor at Berkeley.

(Doudna wrote an excellent book on this “A Crack In Creation”, which I highly recommend; the title itself has a triple meaning.)

CRISPR is the abbreviation of: Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats. They are segments of prokaryotic DNA containing short, repetitive base sequences. These play a key role in a bacterial defence system: bacteria get attacked by viruses, bacteriophages. RNA harboring the spacer sequence helps Cas proteins recognize and cut the enemy (exogenous DNA) in two. Other RNA-guided Cas proteins cut enemy RNA.

Several elements intervene in CRISPR: tracing with RNA attached to a pair of scissors, adding (or not!) what DNA piece one wants, & then automatic repair DNA…

Gene editing proceeds by attaching a DNA-breaking natural bacterial defense against virus to a particular region of the DNA, thanks to a recognizing RNA. Then whatever one wants to splice is brought in by another RNA. DNA. 

The potential is to create species at will. Or to remove diseases at will. Let’s hasten to say, that the process can, and has, happened spontaneously in the wild (so to speak). Some patients have had grave genetic diseases they were affected by, disappear, from the cutting effect appearing on its own in one stem cell’s DNA. (If that stem cell had enough descendants to compensate for the deleterious effects of others, wrong-DNA cells, a cure can be achieved!)

Some “bioethicists” are all alarmed by gene editing, and use big words, about the potential damage to life for frivolous pursuits.

Technically, CRISPR alarmists are panicking too early: first, and most importantly, the phenotype does not reduce to the genotype. Human beings’ inheritance is mostly phenotype, not genotype: this is why we can share 99% of our genotype with mice, and still be quite different  (except for those addicted to plutocracy, who may as well be mice).

Granted, one should not do whatever. Fluorescent mini-pigs should be amusing, but not if their fluorescence prevents them to sleep. Worse: a very promising, but hyper dangerous technique exists, the GENE DRIVE. In a gene drive, the CRISPR itself is made part of the genetic information which is added.

Promising? Experimentally, some mosquitoes species were then infected with 99.5% success with immunity to the malaria parasite. That would make malaria disappear faster than Bill Gates takes to visit five-star hotels on his way to do whatever in the name of malaria. So it’s an excellent thing. On the danger side, species could be eradicated. That technique could also obviously be weaponized.

***

We are the astonishing the species. Stupendous astonishment is what we do.

What is predictable is not astonishing, and what is truly astonishing, is not predictable.

Such philosophical musings are actually intensely practical. I am going to show how.

***

With CRISPR all genetic diseases become potentially curable: Considering Huntington’s and Duchenne muscular dystrophy leads Doudna to write in her book: “The stakes are simply too high to exclude the possibility of eventually using germline editing.”Strange formulation: the stakes are simply too high to exclude the possibility of eventually using life saving technology?

I shall be even clearer. Those not all out for using CRISPR to cure human diseases are on the same moral side as those who didn’t go all out to prevent Auschwitz, although they knew about it. Yeah, no, I’m not exaggerating, but it’s going to be a bit difficult to explain why. 

By editing DNA at will, we become the architect of creation.

When one can alleviate human pain and suffering, absent adverse consequences, one has to do so. It’s a moral imperative. Otherwise one joins the ranks of those who could have done something about Auschwitz, and didn’t. Actually, it’s worse: opposing those who operated Auschwitz clearly had adverse consequences!

***

Same basic story as above, rolled out again to explain better…

Jennifer Doudna: “The truth is, I don’t have answers.” Doudna would like to have the public participate in the debate. However, says Doudna: “There’s a disconnect between the scientific community and mainstream culture, a real degradation in trust by the public. Many scientists — I’m guilty of this too — find it much more fun to do the next experiment in the lab than to take the time to explain to non-specialists what we do or how the scientific process actually works.”

Doudna is still searching for red lines that CRISPR technology shouldn’t cross. “I struggle with the question of crossing boundaries of speciation that are naturally in place” — For example 28,000 people are grafted every year in the USA. The demand is five times that, at least. Raising pigs with human-compatible organs becomes possible with CRISPR.  “You might decide that it would be unethical not to do that,” says Doudna, unhelpfully.

I love Doudna. She and Charpentier should get the Nobel. However, she somewhat disingenuously pretends to believe that, given our limited knowledge about the human genome, there shouldn’t be clinical use of CRISPR in the human germ line at present. (She does not really believes this, because she is not an idiot, but she affects to play a fair, Politically Correct game…) But she also admits that the balance is delicate. The same technology that might cure genetic-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Duchenne, diabetes and cancer might someday be used frivolously. Strangely Doudna pretends that “I don’t think that’s going to happen any time very soon, just because we don’t have the knowledge,” Doudna says. “But is it coming in 50 or 100 years?” She pauses to reflect, then says: “Yeah.”

However this is all a fake debate: it has been done with mice. Thus, it can be done with people. Thanks to the People’s Republic of China, it’s going to happen all over human disease. Mr. Xi just inverted the one-child policy established 40 years ago, he can earn more brownie points by curing human diseases.

CRISPR is a wonderful tool, to gather knowledge, and THEN to pontificate upon the morality this knowledge will entail. THEN.

To try to pontificate about the consequences of CRISPR now, when we don’t know so much, is unscientific. It will feed the enemy of the scientific method, by having scientists pretending to think when they can’t. As Doudna herself said, she doesn’t know.  

Indeed, the chicken-egg can’t come before the evolution which led to them. So the science has to plough ahead, and inform We The People. Then we can moralize.

Experiment, then moralize.

A reader told me, about the preceding aphorism that “Historically, you have it wrong; even though you may be right”. Right. I was expressing a moral imperative, not a historical observation of how people behaved. Experiment then moralize: the way of the thinker. Moralize, then be careful not to experiment: the way of those on the wrong side of history. 

CRISPR is on the right side of history. Follow it, to learn not just how to get more power, but how to become more moral

Patrice Ayme’

TRANSCENDENTAL INTELLIGENCE: SAPIENS’ ETHOLOGICAL LAW

April 16, 2017

IDIOCY VIOLATES HUMANITY ITSELF

A question pertaining to the survival of civilization: is transcendental animal not to be boxed in, finally?

A biology professor asked: how far do you intend to carry that project of founding morality on genetics? Well, far enough to show how human ethology transcends genetics and epigenetics:

If one uses enough intelligence, the means become the end. The paradox of the human species!  

Maybe Homo Sapiens should be called the transcendental animal. Indeed what is wisdom, but for the ability to transcend problems… mostly by using physics?

***

Being right in matter transcendental, always starts as a first, not by following the herd:

Normal people indulging in mundane tasks feel that being right means to follow the ways of the herd, all over. The result is plain to see. The world is changing ever faster, yet the herd cannot follow itself out of the problems this generates. Going around news, media and Internet, I am amazed by the gullibility, stupidity, and the relish for the masses to indulge that way. Including masses of professionals paid to teach, or to act as medium (the so-called “media”). But what else to expect from the rabble? Supreme thinking was always from an elite, to an elite.

So much stupidity, and full of hatred too: all over. One can understand why so many gave full powers to Turkey’s Sultan Erdogan: out of rage, and the will to do something even more stupid, and more nefarious, yet, bearing the signature of their freedom.

Meanwhile Geneva and the Australia’s Great Barrier go topless. Desultory progress in the Alps, while uncomprehended tragedy is unfolding in the oceans. True human ethology should contest the legality of all what afflicts it: so-called “representative” democracy, which is truly plutocracy unbound, and its obnoxious little whip and distraction, Salafist Islam.

***

Wasteful GDP Corruption Flaunted:

Economists of the “Liberal” type crow that California’s GDP is larger than that of all but the Gross Domestic Products which the rest of the USA, China, Japan, and Germany are endowed with. Yes, of course: the more a country wastes, the higher the GDP. The USA averages 16 tons of CO2 emissions, per year, per capita. The European Union, only seven. Now that massive consumption of quasi-free fossil fuels in the USA has put it, and Canada and Australia, way ahead economically, as I showed.

GDP is not just an indicator of economic growth, but of massive corruption.

Also GDP is augmented when the world’s largest corporations sit in California and pay no taxes. Thanks to Obama, and, soon enough, Trump.

GDP should look as a defect, instead, it’s viewed as glorious. An ethical and intellectual failure. GDP is an indication not just of pollution, but of mental deliquescence, in those who laud it.

***

I was wondering why so many people hate to think. Is it because the Internet has made them increasingly disconnected with reality? Or is in part, because the Internet has made them suspect as they try to think, and fail, that they may feel they are coming short ethically. Hence all the hatred out there. And they are right (to hate themselves):

***

The Concept of Ethological Law: IDIOCY VIOLATES ALL OTHER HUMAN RIGHTS

Ethology can be scientifically defined through experiments. Some will scoff that the human species is too clever to be defined by gene-given, epigenetic-given law, that the ultimate law of Sapiens is intelligence. And whatever flows therefrom. Fair enough.

This point of view has the consequence that any law which is antagonistic to intelligence is inhuman. Examples of this inhumanity abound. One can only conclude that the general tension obvious around the world, and especially in so-called democracies, originate from all too much of society been organized in systematic violation of the Human Intelligence Principle (HIP).

This was the situation a year ago, in 2016. This year the situation has got much worse. The quest for the Golden Calf of Australian GDP Supreme is the proximal cause of this devastation. More generally GreenHouse Gas warming, induced by a GHG density now probably around 550 ppm, the highest since the Jurassic, 100 million years ago. Time to think and sacrifice, guys, and yes, it means you!

***

Puppets owe everything to those who pull the strings:

I was struck by the picture of the National Security Council, with a mysterious lonely pretty woman sandwiched there.

Dina Powell, a celebrity for our times, the sort of people who owes everything to those who created her (as Obama was). Thus, very pliable. All the more with arguably with all too little formal education, here she is at the top of the defense establishment, including extremely educated generals.

The more a civilization falls victim to plutocracy, the more celebritism is pushed onto people. Plutocracy is a form of generalized fascism, and celebritism, intellectual fascism: they reinforce each other. Celebritism is not just a moral flaw, it is a crime civilization is led to engage in.

***

All progressives should be resolute anti-sexists:

Women In Geneva were already allowed  to sunbathe topless. However, a law from 1929 forbade them to bathe in lakes and rivers, in the same attire. This law has now been changed; in the Canton de Genève (total population metropolitan area, one million). As it should have; enabling only men to go topless, was, and is, obviously sexist, wherever practiced.

In Black African “Islam”, women used to go topless, for obvious reasons: heat, hygiene. Something to emulate, as, worldwide, the planetary warming is accelerating:

***

The Great Barrier Reef, greatest structure on Earth built by animals, is dying:

345,000 square kilometers (as big as Germany). It is 2300 kilometers long. Now 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles) are white, distressed, much of it dying.

The Great Barrier Reef is overheating, going white. During overheating, algae within the corral get expelled. In 1998, a colossal El Nino made the Great Barrier white. There was another whitening in 2008, and in 2016. The 2016 El Nino was as bad as the one of 1998. Coral gets overheated, and weakened by toxins (from coal, phosphates from chemical agriculture). Algae dies off in the coral with which they live in symbiosis, the coral goes white (“bleaches”). If bleaching happens again and again, the coral dies.

The Coral Great Barrier reef is dying from human action. Or more exactly mostly Australian action, as Australia does in its pursuit of GDP with corral, the same as it did with aborigines: kill all what’s needed, to get richer. It’s smart of the criminals involved, but there are millions. It’s not smart for humanity at large. This sort of things is solved by another great die-off, this time of human beings.

Human species had evolved in such a way that their actions could not put an end to the biosphere. A virus which cannot kill its host, lest it disappear. Sapiens was a virus, and Earth the host. But now, in a few decades, Sapiens has mutated in an industrial form lethal to Earth.

***

Fracking is good for the ecology, say Plutos:

This is the latest from the fossil fuel Plutos: Ban Fracking? Bad economics, Bad Ecology? Following the more genera cynical argument the USA, Russia and Canada have long been making, secretly, that warming is actually a good thing. Except now it’s not secret anymore: Vladimir Putin has said warming up the north will be a good thing (for Russia). And indeed, it will be for Russia. Canada will be less amused when the USA will insist that Canadian coastal water are actually international waterways… with more than the present day smiles. 

Actually we are approaching 550 ppm of GreenHouse Gas (GHG) equivalent. As I already said, but it’s never repeated enough; it’s a number much more astonishing than anything, even the percentage of the human population deliberately assassinated in World War Two. An astounding number, increasing fast. Levels not seen for 100 million years. Spaceship Earth has been highjacked with raving maniacs.

When all hell will break loose, pretty soon, the Plutos will be at home.

They create their own, most sustainable environment.

This is why when real democracy failed in Athens, more than 23 centuries ago, not only it stayed failed to this day, but Greece knew 22 centuries of foreign occupation.

Nowadays, the stakes are much higher: the biosphere itself is facing its sixth massive extinction. The survival of wisdom is in play. It’s a game that was probably lost by wisdom itself in many a galaxy. Now our turn to show if transcendental intelligence can overcome amor fati…

Patrice Ayme’  

How Social Media Fosters Intellectual Fascism

February 4, 2017

Social media, as presently practiced, is without appropriate moral guidance: no philosopher has come and established what proper behavior ought to be (here I am, like Zorro!)  First, one should avoid alienation. Instead alienation is presently encouraged.

Social media, as presently practiced, encourages intellectual fascism, from lack of wisdom, education, poor mastery of the participants’ own emotional systems, lack of understanding of how one gets to superior knowledge, etc..

Such is the present state of affairs.

It needs to be rectified, otherwise nukes will fly. Can it be rectified?

29 Year Old Attacker Of The Louvres, Son Of A General. People Become Like This, Because they Have Not Been Taught Alternative Knowledge From The Hatred, Disguised As Coming From The Great Dog In The Sky...

29 Year Old Attacker Of The Louvres, Son Of An Egyptian General. People Become Like This, Because they Have Not Been Taught Alternative Knowledge From The Hatred, Disguised As Coming From The Great Dog In The Sky…

Yes. Studies such as the one in the Guardian have to be advertized, debated. “Twitter accounts really are echo chambers, study finds

As in ancient human cultures, users of the social media site interact most with those who share their political views, Demos report reveals

When it comes to politics and the internet, birds of a feather really do flock together, according to research confirming the existence of online echo chambers among the most politically engaged Twitter users.

A study of 2,000 Twitter users who publicly identified as either Labour, Tory, Ukip or SNP supporters has found they are far more likely to interact with others from the same party and to share articles from publications that match their views. Ukip supporters are also far more engaged with “alternative” media outlets, including Breitbart and Infowars, two US-based sites identified with the alt-right that have been regularly accused of publishing misleading or false stories.

The research was carried out by the thinktank Demos, which looked at the tweets sent between May and August last year by 2,000 people who have publicly stated their political allegiance on their profiles and who had at some point addressed a member of parliament in their tweets.

Report author Krasodomski-Jones said the behaviour was exacerbated by some media outlets using polarised views to attract audiences. “This attention economy, vying for clicks, eyeballs, pushes people into very confirmatory outlets. The rising popularity of this sort of alternative news is something that caters specifically to a specific group. It’s more than just news – it’s ideologically driven.

…Tom Stafford, a cognitive scientist at Sheffield University, said that those who had already shared their political allegiance in their Twitter profile could be even more likely to use the articles they shared to reinforce that identity… Stafford added: “Homophily, where we hang out with people like us, is an ancient human trait, resulting from our basic psychology. That applies to segmentation of media as well.”

It’s not just in the matter of politics: after I exposed letters of Marcus Aurelius, showing his burning hatred of Christians, a philosopher in New York, Massimo P. banned and blocked me angrily from diverse sites he commands. (Marcus Aurelius is the Muhammad of “stoics”.)

Another name for homophily (loving the same) is tribalism.

I have observed the social media madness as a personal victim of it in the last six months. I saw individuals who I long considered to be friends engage in public campaigns against me, calling me a lot of things they admitted (even then!) that I was not (such as a “racist troll”). One of them who has a significant management position in New York (plutocratic) media confided he had to do so, because his employers read his Twitter and Facebook accounts! “Nice” excuse. Meanwhile, thousands of people who don’t know me, nor what I write, were told I am a racist, and that’s all they know about me. Those thousands in the public who don’t know me were also informed I am anti-Muslim (I am anti-Literal Islam, and that’s just the opposite! I have at least a dozen very close “Muslim” friends… all of them, like me, critical about the Islamist ideology! Ironically, I share housing with them, especially on vacation. I was educated in “Muslim” countries…)

The result of the campaign of hatred against me was that several social media contacts I had in Academia “blocked” me (some were physicists, other philosophers). Thus my alternative version of reality, which would otherwise have added dimensions to their minds, has been annihilated. I am also now deprived of their views, which, however silly, I often found interesting.

I am not a racist. My family is multi-racial from three continents and Pacific islands. Many pseudo-leftists call people they don’t like “racist”, these days, using the word for whatever, including the weather.

So why is the insult “racist” hurled at me so often these days? Their excuse, beside plain rage? As I said above, some cynically some told me:’my job depends upon it!‘ My superiors, bemoaned the art director in New York, watch my social web activity, so I had to publicly hate you, renounce you, condemn you… I have been told this, and was supposed, me the hated one, to show empathy… to my haters. It sounds straight out of a passage in the Bible, the Last Supper…

Another cause of the rage is plain incomprehension. Not only they do not understand what I say, but when they start to understand a bit, the first thing they understand, is that there are very important things they did not even know existed. These huge gaps in understanding have to do with their (mostly self-imposed) tribalism and their closely related alienation (to reality in this case). Tribalism is an addiction, it probably excites the same rewarding circuits in the brain as other drugs.

If one wants to make war to people, the first step is to alienate them. This is French for cutting “Liens” (bounds, relationships).

The present mentality to insult, block, & not reflectively debate, contradictors on the Internet boosts & teaches alienation, violence, war.

Real damage is done when real debate is made impossible. Worse: alienation is presently viewed as glorious. The damage is not just to individuals, but to the collective. Tribalism makes the collective stupid, aggressive. 

Intellectual fascism consists in being led by only a few ideas. The best way is to tweet like a bird, exclusively among one’s flock.

The arch-typical leading fascist idea is that of Judeo-Christo-Islamist metaprinciple: “God is great, Allahu Akbar”. A friend of his being: “Dieu le veut, God wills it, Inch Allah”.Those are traditionally uttered, while committing the greatest infamies. They excuse them all.

The attacker of the Louvres in Paris tweeted less than 20 minutes before attack:…His last tweet posted before the attack, shows on the account a smiling El-Hamahmy leaning against a wall, a number of angry messages, including: ‘No negotiation, no compromise, no letting up, certainly no climb down, relentless war.’

His father is an Egyptian general. The enthusiastic Islamist rented a $2000/week apartment in the center of Paris. He went to the French Republic from Dubai, to attack the world’s most visited museum (justly so!) Hamahmy was following the most glorified mood of Muhammad, made explicit in the Qur’an, of hatred for the Republic and secular law. Yes, Islamism has to be eradicated, and it’s, first, a philosophical problem: one cannot put soldiers everywhere. All the more as such individuals are not just Islamists, or terrorists, they are TWITTERRORISTS.

Patrice Ayme’

WE WANT IT DARKER

November 20, 2016

Should we fear the opprobium of those who are scared that others may become afraid of our thoughts? This is the latest hilarious twist of “identity politics” in the USA. “Identity politics”, also known as tribalism, in times less twisted by unhinged euphemisms. In other words, should we bow to the worst of the Middle Ages’ theological ways and means? Quite the opposite: it is high time to fight back against intellectual fascism of the basest kind, the kind which claims to defend the sheep, by preaching it to bleat, rather than teaching the sheep to learn to think. Creating thinking means learning to debate, unafraid of all and any possible logic. But for that one has to be in the right mood. So what is the proper mood for more advanced thinking? Here it is, and even “Scripture” agrees with us:

WE PHILOSOPHERS OF THE DANGEROUS MAYBES, WANT IT DARKER. 

Those who are afraid of getting afraid, maybe, perhaps, can now stop reading: they belong to what fails, and will always fail. That includes the lack of reading comprehension, which they delve in. Those robust enough to read the Book, can hang on. Our predecessors wanted it darker, because it was the only way to greater greatness. And greatness, is not just what we are. But greatness is what we need. 

Greatness is not just what we became, and are. It is what we, humanity as it stands today, needed to survive. We evolved into greatness. (Slogan for humanity: ‘make humanity great again!’)

We wanted it darker, otherwise, we would never have gone where those who did not become our ancestors  didn’t. They didn’t get there because they both did not want to, and thus, could not, dash through the dark. And feel the pull of the dark.

When our predecessors wanted to understand what others didn’t even suspect, they have got to have wanted it darker.

There is glory in the human species, only because we wanted it darker. It’s written in the scriptures, and yes, it’s no idle claim. We wrote, because we wanted it darker. Bacteria only search for more sugar. We searched darkness, through more darkness. Darkness is sugar for intelligence aspiring to ultimate greatness.

The Gate May Be Golden, But Surviving Is The Only Manifest Destiny Of A World Around A Star

The Gate May Be Golden, But Surviving Is The Only Manifest Destiny Of A World Around A Star. We Want It Darker, Be It Only Because We Need A Rest From The Light, And Need To Go To The Bottom Of Things.

Some have meekly whined that philosophers (yours truly, Patrice Aymé, much later Slavoj Žižek) went to the Dark Side by demolishing the Democratic party, this horror of the demonic side, hidden in the light of its self-glorification. However, only philosophers who love to understand the Dark Side with undisguised enthusiasm, sanctifying thoroughness, could expose the viciousness of the Democratic Party.

And thus helping to get Trump elected, over the twitching bodies of countless, half-wit, rich, politically connected entertainers, globalocrats, and wealthiest people in the world. (A difference between me and Slavoj Žižek is that The Guardian or the New  York Times interview Slavoj Žižek, whereas they censor all and any of my comments relentlessly; those pseudo-left, plutocratically owned, Main Stream Media have, correctly, perceived that I am  better informed, and thus much more dangerous, than the relatively meek, much more predictable, very official Žižek ; The Guardian is financed by Plutos like the holy  Gates conspirators. The same Plutos have owned, mostly, the New York Times, since the Nineteenth Century…)

Ah, and yes, Trump is supposed to be the Dark Side. Little do these little ones know. What Dark really is. (There is a whole tradition, dating to Rousseau, to refuse to look at the Dark Side, and, instead, of accusing civilization; De Sade excoriated Rousseau for his criminal naivety; in this, and many other related matters pertaining to the Revolution of 1789, De Sade would be proven right. Sade was right about the Revolution, because he was a specialist of the Dark Side, and thus could easily predict how the calculus of Evil would turn out, in consequence of apparently innocuous strategies full of goodness, but, also, full of long-term idiocy!)

The Romans knew well how dark darkness was: right from the start, king Tarquinus Superbus threatened their freedoms. Thereafter, over the centuries, in many wars Rome’s very existence was called into question (Gauls from the Paris area even conquered Rome around 390 CE).

When finally Rome became master of the world, ‘man is a wolf for man‘ (Homo Homini Lupus) had become a motto never to be forgotten. Judeo-Christian ideology then augmented Rome, and spread, far out of the Roman empire, even before the Roman state morphed into the Frankish state.  It is fascinating that Jews and Romans came to the same conclusion. But they were war people, that’s how they survived. And why they merged: made for each other (the Franks were even more war-like, allowing them to gobble everybody happily, in a digestive consensus).

Countless thinkers and philosophers have been tortured to death, through the ages. Just because they wanted it darker, they had to want it darker, and the commons hated them for it. (The superiority of the West mostly originates from just enough original thinking squeaking through to save the progress of civilization.)

The truth always starts dark, and in the dark. The Enlightenment always starts the hard way, in the Dark. It is the first thing they have to do: creative thinkers stop fearing the Dark Side. They have this in common with little children.

Thus, Dark Side tourism is necessary for depth. So what? No Dark Side, no humanity. (Actually this propensity and necessity, this breathing of fear, is why people love horror stories, scary movies, cliffhangers, dangerous sports, bad news, etc.)

Notice that this interest for all things dark, is a much greater vision than the well-known observation that the Dark Side is necessary for goodness to triumph over evil. Carpet bombing with flowers did not deconstruct Nazism, right. Eradication of evil, is no evil. One just want to make sure.

But physical power of evil is not all what there is to destroy. Even worse is the power of evil ideas.  We will destroy evil ideas, we can only destroy them, by bringing the fury of light, on the darkest dark.

Let’s spell it shockingly enough to leave a trace: To put it roughly, changing one’s mind, and the minds of others, is all about destroying brain tissue. One has to wreck the old mind, to build a better one. This is really about the most delicate circuitry being wiped out, and setting up a new one.

Too much light brings blindness, thus darkness. We have seen this in the US election: sixty million Americans, including millions of Obama lovers, wanted to “shake things up”. At any cost. The 60 millions who voted Trump had finally seen through the darkness, because they had not been afraid of the dark: they wanted, they had got ready for darker explanations of what was really going on. One has to love conspiracies, to bring them to light.

Blinded by this undeniable light, many Clinton fanatics went completely berserk, heaping insults on their fellow Americans, in the name, they claimed, of the goodness which defined them. Enraged Clinton supporters are pushed, by the light, into ignominous darkness. Enlightened into a darkness they are ill-trained to handle properly. Why? Because they never visited darkness before, they denied its very existence, at least inside themselves. They denied it, because they did not want it. They did not want to consider it so much, they did not see it grow into themselves and their hearts, or from the policies the “Democratic” Party supported sometimes for more than 40 years (like invading Afghanistan). 

So why do we want it darker? Not just because there is no light without dark. Not just because no ying, no yang.

WE WANT IT DARKER, BECAUSE WE WANT TO TURN ON THE MOOD, THE MOOD WHICH REALITY INFLICTS, SO MUCH WE ARE IT.

Now that I got accused of blatant Nazism, antisemitism, xenophobia, OCD, and exuberant SSitude, by crazed pseudo-progressives, let me add to the torture of my moaning victims, by rolling out a Cohen, (Hebrew: כֹּהֵן, kōhēn, “priest“), to my rescue.

Indeed, the late, great, Leonard Cohen came partly to some of the conclusions in the present essay, in his last work, released a few weeks ago: You Want It Darker. One point Leonard Cohen makes is that the Judeo-Christian scriptures depicted an intrinsically very dark picture of the human condition. Hey, don’t look at us funny: the divine condition itself is strikingly dark, so this is essay is not just a justification of man, but even god! (Yes, I am an “atheist”. Of sorts. In practice, though, and hard-core atheists don’t understand this, god exists, it’s a useful abbreviation). Here is Leonard Cohen latest, and last, title track:

“If you are the dealer, I’m out of the game

If you are the healer, it means I’m broken and lame

If thine is the glory then mine must be the shame

You want it darker

We kill the flame

Magnified, sanctified, be thy holy name

Vilified, crucified, in the human frame

A million candles burning for the help that never came

You want it darker

Hineni, hineni

I’m ready, my lord”

All right, full stop, let me provide readers with a text explanation many are going to need. Hineni, Hineni means: “Here I am, here I am”… in Hebrew.; “Hineni” was supposedly uttered by Moses. And also for Abraham, when god felt like killing his child.

“We Want It Darker” is serious psychobiology, it does not get any more serious. It is evolutionary, it is how we were made: with an irresistible attraction for what is out there in the dark. Curiosity may kill the cat, but curiosity enabled us to set a trap for the cat. By forgetting this, mad bull has lost his way.  

Back to Leonard Cohen, and his song, We Want It Darker:

“There’s a lover in the story

But the story’s still the same

There’s a lullaby for suffering

And a paradox to blame

But it’s written in the scriptures

And it’s not some idle claim

You want it darker

We kill the flame”

“It is written in the scriptures and it’s not some idle claim” You want it darker.” Yes, we want it darker, and please kill the flame. Kill that light from out there, and let’s please concentrate on what we are. What you are, yes.

Watch those ridiculous protesters in the streets, finally waking up to the fact they need to help the president of the USA, with healthy protests. Where were they, eight years ago, when Obama needed their help? To protest against the pro-plutocratic policies which were forced (let’s say) onto Obama? When a lonely and misdirected Obama was sucking at the teat of hedge funds, to better prepare him for his presidency of shoe shining? And nobody protested? (OK, I did, but I am nothing.) Why did the protesters not help Obama to stay honest and true? Why so keen to help keep Trump honest, with their unhinged Dark Side?  

They say with undiscerning grammar: ‘Trump Hate’. But that’s rather ambiguous. Where were they, for all these long years, when Obama was doing nothing? What did they advocate when a dictator started to ravage Syria? Or when billions were sent to health care plutocrats, in the guise of “covering everybody”?

Instead of protesting then, they were blinded, blinded by the light from Obama’s brown skin, and Michelle’s magnificently empty, astounding rhetoric. We want it darker, turn those lights off, and reflect on what has been really going on: a globalocracy on a worldwide satanic rampage. And even the poles are melting.

Leonard Cohen’s We Want It Darker:

“They’re lining up the prisoners

And the guards are taking aim

I struggled with some demons

They were middle class and tame

I didn’t know I had permission to murder and to maim

You want it darker

Hineni, hineni

I’m ready, my lord”

Here Leonard Cohen alludes to a precise historical facts, or how the Jews stayed supine, while the Nazis roamed. Jewish silence, or even collaboration, made Hitler’s full folly possible, historical evidence shows. Hannah Arendt wrote: “the Zionists could, for a time, at least, engage in a certain amount of non-criminal cooperation with the Nazi authorities; the Zionists too believed that ‘dissimilation’, combined with the emigration to Palestine of Jewish youngsters and, they hoped, Jewish capitalists, could be a ‘mutually fair solution.’  At the time, many German officials held this opinion…” What happened? Nobody wanted it darker. It was kept pleasant. Germans were told Jews were removed “for their safety“.

Cohen also alludes to the fact that big time murderers get away with it. That’s why the God of the Jews in the Bible gets enraged against King David. God had ordered David to massacre a tribe, and David had refused to do so. Why can’t you kill, when ordered to do so? By superior principle (“God”)? This was an important principle God tried to teach to David (and the Abraham, and to all Judeo-Christians and Jews following the “Scripture”): there are circumstances when you have permission, and even when you ought, to murder and aim.

Evolutionarily, massacring lesser human beings has been much of how humanity progressed (hence the God of the Bible insistence upon it; Mayas, Aztecs, Incas, and 99% of the world’s known religions would agree…)

However, now we know more. Not all of evolution happened that way by a long shot: ethologically driven epigenetics played an important role… for example in the disappearing act of Neanderthals (which vanished inside ourselves, I have suggested, and the most recent science increasingly confirms).

What “scripture” guessed was that the Dark Side was not just an essential characteristic of humanity, but also essential to the human condition. This is found in the Hebrew Bible, and in the older Homer. Actually the general orientation in that sinister way is found in the even more ancient Hindu scriptures and the roots of Zoroastrianism, the root of all Indo-European religions (and by “Indo-European” here I mean the region, not just the languages).

Before the pseudo-scientists start to cackle away in derision for all this mythology, let me point out that those who spent millennia concocting logic with myths did not get it all wrong. The Dark Side phenomenon is essentially evolutionary. “Evolution” is not nice. It just is. It just is God: The One who created us.

If you want it funny, watch all the Clinton fanatics crying ignominiously, all over the world, after the defeat of their demiurge. I went to harass a few with the most courteous presentation of serious data, rolling out graphs, just to see them become even more dishevelled, haggard, disconsolate. Yet, they stopped crying, as they left their dream to enter the nightmare of reality. It’s not just that I like it Dark, but I study stupidity. As it is a part of darkness which needs to be enlightened.

But let’s reconsider what happened to the Jews under Nazism. Hannah Arendt (& others) accused the “Judenraten”, the Jewish Councils, to have helped the Nazis (I discovered this independently by reading original literature; I was pretty surprised by it; I learned of Arendt’s views decades later; she missed some documents I think even more important).

Zoroastrianism viewed the human condition as a struggle to help the God of Light against the God of the Dark Side, thanks to Truth.

Well, in truth, the God of Truth needs Light and Dark to write upon the world, with the world. The world is a book for the mind.

The philosopher Isaiah Berlin, a Latvian-British Jew, was dismayed after the creation of Israel: ‘They listened to Hitler, they did not listen to us.’ Yes, well, thank you, my Lord.

Berlin could have guessed why he had made a darker interpretation of his own writings. “Moral conflicts are an intrinsic, irremovable element in human life”. “These collisions of values are of the essence of what they are and what we are.” he wrote in “The proper study of mankind” For Berlin, this clashing of incommensurate values within, and between, individuals, constitutes the tragedy of human life.

There are all sort of philosophers: some are giants straddling across the stars, like Giordano Bruno. Most of them are smaller fry, like those who brandish the ‘human good’ like the measure of all things. It’s not. They forget that knowledge often precedes goodness.

Israel did not listen to the fry ready to get fried, because, it decided that, to survive, and, even better, to be reborn, it wanted it darker:

The Jews, waiting for Hitler like others for Godot, had forgotten that they had permission to murder and to maim. Israel now knows this. It was in the scripture, all along, and no idle claim. Philosophers of the possible want it darker, ever since their ancestors crawled on land through the mud.

The pseudo-progressives who claimed to “be with her“, are part of a vast movement which want to interdict anything which could make themselves, or someone else, afraid. This includes, naturally enough, all and any critical thinking.  So now Donald Trump will do the thinking.

Meanwhile, the Artificial Intelligence Industry (AII) has depicted itself as goodness incarnate (old slogan of Google: ‘don’t be evil’). They scream, all over:’We Want It Lighter!’. Lighter taxes, certainly: Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, have been cheating massively with the taxes they owe, worldwide (this will change with the reign of Trump).

Not only those companies, the most powerful in the world, under Obama, and the richest, are viewed as intrinsically good (thus harboring no interesting darkness), but view themselves as such. Hence the silly-colonization(Silicolonization) of the world, above all laws, has proceeded, in plain sight, and not seen. The globalocracy has persuaded everybody that there is no darkness anywhere having to do with themselves: in particular all and any tribalism (such as Wahhabism), is fine.

They all supported Hillary Clinton, and proclaimed themselves to be ultimate good, light personified. Thanks to control of the Main Stream Media by global plutocrats, all over (the paymasters of Clinton), they wiped their blind supporters in a frenzy. For them, the Dark Side is not interesting, it’s an object of horror. Thus, who they were imprinted to support, Clinton, her Goldman government, her plutocrats, and her globalocrats, were all goodness, and Trump and his supporters, and ideas, all Darkness, something to refuse to consider at all cost.

It’s revealing how the hatred of pseudo-liberal posers has thus no limit: they are all light, them and their celebrities, and their Silicon Valley fascist corporations, and their opponents, ultimate evil. As all and any people in such a mood, their hatred has no limit. It goes all the way to genocide. Hollywood actor Michael Shannon wants all Trump supporters to die: “But if you’re voting for Trump, it’s time for the urn.” Michael Shannon has just a high school education (no college), but is “worth” eight million dollars. (As many of the rich celebrities out there, he then is offered the supplementary power of being taken seriously, advertised widely.)

At this point, some may say:’Oh, but didn’t you want it darker? Is not a would-be genocider like Shannon, right up your alley?” No. Michael Shannon understands so little, he sees monsters all over, where, if he could see through the Darkness of those who own and created him, he would just see only transparent logic. Shannon and his ilk are afraid to learn that all they made their mental circuitry from, all they are, are lies. If they had wanted it Darker, they would have been more suspicious of the bromine of the Main Stream Media. (As indeed happened to many people who voted for Obama, and, still loving Obama as a person, voted for Trump, as they were rightly suspicious of the motives of Obama calling them to vote for Clinton/Goldman Sachs…)

Yes, we want it darker, because we are not afraid to look into the dark. Take Turkey: I am not afraid to consider the darkness, I look at what is happening there now (although I have Turkish friends who loved Erdogan, and now we avoid the subject). I know what is going-on in Turkey means: if I look at the Caliphate in Turkey, I will look deep in the dark, and questions like favoring a coup in Turkey will, eventually, arise.

(Or even expelling Turkey from NATO, and war.) I know Islam is not a religion in all ways wonderful. And I am not afraid to look inside Islam: because I like it dark. If you want to rape a child in Turkey, the ruling AKP Party suggests now that you only have to marry her: a proposed Turkish bill clears men of statutory rape if they marry (18 November 2016). As the BBC puts it:

“A bill which would allow men accused of raping underage girls to be cleared if they marry the girl has been preliminarily backed by Turkish MPs. The bill would pardon men only if they had sex without “force or threat” and if they married the victim. Critics say it legitimises rape and child marriage, and lets off men who are aware of their crime.

[OK, there are 3,000 children from underage unions, in Turkey, each year. Right now, fathers go to jail. Not good.]
Violence against women in Turkey has increased in the past decade – 40% of women report sexual or physical abuse. Statistics also show the murder rate of women increased by 1,400% between 2003 and 2010.”

Evil, the power of Pluto, Pluto-kratos, has grown and ruled ever more, because all too many did not want it darker, and thus, they averted their eyes, wishfully. Because those who do not want to harbor ill-feeling, and see it as it is, dark as it is, cannot think it, as it is.

Whereever it is very dark, it’s good to look carefully. Take the iceshelves around Antarctica. Yes, it’s dark down there in the ocean, below half a mile of ice, 500 miles from the shore. There, in the dark, much is happening: all too much warmth, 100 millions of climate in question. But we have to ask, and we have to look.

If Obama had wanted it darker, he would have the desire to break a few shells, and made an omelette: his presidency would have amounted to something, perhaps even something digestible. Instead, most of its ineffectual, slow and paralysed presidency is going to be vomited all over the south lawn of the White House starting in two months, and one day. Doing anything serious in plain sight, requires serious destruction, in plain sight (annihilating weddings in Yemen by drones does not qualify).  When president Johnson wanted to pass the Civil Rights Act and other “Great Society” laws LBJ turned off the lights, and used the Dark Side (LBJ did not have thoughts which were dark enough about Vietnam, with catastrophic consequences).

Consider terror. Right now, it’s associated to Literal Islam: a bomb here, a shooting there, collapsing buildings, here and there. Small terror relative to the one a dictator getting excited with nuclear tipped ballistic missiles would bring. Thus a deeper problem. Fighting terror is a great idea. Fighting savagery would be an even greater idea. But for that, one has to look first at darkness in the eye.

The will to see only goodness out there, the will to be afraid of fear itself at the cost of reality, is a will to idiocy, and, thus, in the end, a will to full immorality, degeneracy, despondency, annihilation…. (For annihilation, see the Democratic Party.)

The will to refuse to want it darker brings forth impotence, and hatred. And even the threat of extinction. Sea ice finds difficult to form this year, in part because scientists refuse to want it as dark as they should have wished for (and I predicted that Antarctica ice system may significantly collapse in our lifetime, because I wanted my predictions as dark as they needed to be).

Yes, the preceding has to do with epistemology, the logic of knowledge. There is no knowledge acquisition, if we are not drawn, not just to the unknown, but to the dark. The most powerful epistemology is born from the darkest mood.

Pragmatically, people who do not want to look at reality, who orders the only reality they deign to perceive to be rosy, are bound to moral impotency. They’re the ultimate nihilists.

We Want It Darker. We Need It Darker.

Patrice Aymé

No Many-Worlds Consciousness

September 2, 2016

OFF WITH DENNETT’S CONFUSED THEORY OF CONSCIOUSNESS

Consciousness is not part of science… Yet. Science will be complete, when it is. Except, and that is a huge ‘except’, possibly, most people would have to admit, consciousness may already haunt the foundations of Quantum Physics: this is what the ‘Schrodinger Cat’ paradox is all about (the lives of cats depends upon what we think!). And, indeed, I believe consciousness has to do with the Quantum.

But first I have to dispose of those who claim that consciousness is a non-problem. The famous academic philosopher Dennett asserts that consciousness has to do with brain parallelism. My friend Karen Eilbeck, a ‘biomedical informatics’ professor: “I never was satisfied with [Dennett’s] explanation of consciousness”. Indeed. Consciousness and ‘multimodal parcellationare completely unrelated.

It is now considered that there are around 180 different areas of the cortex, per hemisphere, each doing different things (it used to be 83 different “areas”). 

The Brain Is An Orchestra With More Than 180 Players

The Brain Is An Orchestra With More Than 180 Players, Per Hemisphere

As the authors of  “A multi-modal parcellation of human cerebral cortex” (August 11, 2016), have it:

Understanding the amazingly complex human cerebral cortex requires a map (or parcellation) of its major subdivisions, known as cortical areas. Making an accurate areal map has been a century-old objective in neuroscience. Using multi-modal magnetic resonance images from the Human Connectome Project (HCP) and an objective semi-automated neuroanatomical approach, we delineated 180 areas per hemisphere bounded by sharp changes in cortical architecture, function, connectivity, and/or topography in a precisely aligned group average of 210 healthy young adults. We characterized 97 new areas and 83 areas previously reported using post-mortem microscopy or other specialized study-specific approaches. To enable automated delineation and identification of these areas in new HCP subjects and in future studies, we trained a machine-learning classifier…”

Thus the science of finding regions in the brain is more than a century old, it was not viewed as, nor has anything to do with trying to make a theory of consciousness . Yet, Dennett confuses brain activity here, there, and every way, with consciousness. 

Dennett observes that there are “various events of content-fixation occurring in various places at various times in the brain”. (everybody knows this: reach synapse, each neuron, even each axon and dendrite, etc.) The brain consists of a “bundle of semi-independent agencies“; when “content-fixation” takes place in one of these, its effects may propagate so that it leads to the utterance of sentences that make up the story in which the central character is one’s “self”.

A pretty useless ‘explanation’, dear Dennett, and not the problem of consciousness: consciousness is a feeling we all have, not just an utterance. If consciousness were an utterance, the speaking robots we are now interacting with, would be conscious. They are not. They are just algorithms. An algorithm does not have any more consciousness than a canal system. (Philosophers love to pontificate by calling what Dennett did, a ‘category error’; namely one confuses unrelated categories.)

Dennett followers claim that “subjectivity” can NEVER be made a subject to objective inquiry. That is a contradiction with the entire history of science, ever since the first Homo made the first fire.

What do I mean by this? ANY scientific theory started from a subjective experience. The first hominid who realized he could generate sparks with flints was subjectively engaged. So was the first who realized rubbing sticks could also generate incandescence. So the entire history of science, in the last three million years, has consisted, again and again and again, into turning subjectivity into objective inquiry.

When Dennett’s followers claim to have discovered that ‘subjectivity’ can never turn ‘objective’, they fail to understand that science rests precisely on this. In other words, they think as if they did not know that science is possible. Sorry to ask them to jump three million years.

Dennett looks a bit like Socrates with a big bushy beard, he is paid to utter statements viewed as philosophical, and has no doubt many other duties to attend to his enthusiastic following. So much thinking to produce, so little time, drowning in an ocean of fame. Can’t be easy.

How can fame and mental depth coincide? They are adverse to each other. It would be like getting money from oligarchs or financial monopolists, while claiming to want to help average people.

Is there really no connection whatsoever between the brain’s cortex working in plenty of little areas (brain parallelism) and consciousness? I did not say that. Dennett identifies consciousness and parallelism. That’s wrong. But that does not mean that consciousness did not evolve to make arbitrage between all these little areas, being the conductor of that otherwise discordant orchestra.

So Dennett confuses one evolutionary advantages of consciousness and the nature of consciousness. That nature probably has to do with the nature of the Quantum, and the difference between vegetal and animal. “Animal” comes from anima (soul in Latin). The soul is Quantum, this is what the Schrödinger(-Einstein) Cat thought experiment says.

Why the allusion to the “Many Worlds” Interpretation of Quantum Physics in the title? It is more than an allusion. The Many Worlds interpretation of the Quantum consists into sweeping the difficulty of how one goes from many possible outcomes to just a single one, under the rug of formalism. Instead of figuring out what is really going on, Many Worlders of physics say basically that everything and anything goes (all outcomes are ‘real’). One can say that Many World physicists shrug and answer the way Valley Girls do:”Whatever!“. Dennett does just the same. And this is not just a meta-analogy. If I am correct, and consciousness is intrinsically Quantum, the reason is exactly the same: evading a serious attempt at a deeper explanation… of the same phenomenon.

I don’t really expect celebrity physicists and celebrity philosophers to acknowledge that their cute little reasonings are shallow cope-outs, and popular, precisely because they are shallow and cute. However, the last nail in their coffins consist in pointing out that they offer an endearing, yet really terrible example of superficiality to the rest of debating society. Civilization rots by its head.

Patrice Ayme’  

“You Will Not Have My Hatred”

May 14, 2016

Six months ago, the Wahhabist attacks in Paris killed and wounded 500. The number of victims to get financial compensation from the state is now 2,500. A young mother, one of many, including many that some would define as “Muslims”, was killed at the Bataclan, a well-known theater, where a Californian band was performing. She was perforated by bullets. Her husband of 12 years, Antoine Leiris, was watching at home their 17 months old son. The world has been talking about Antoine Leiris’ mood and system of thought.

Hours after the tragedy, Antoine Leiris posted the following touching and admirable thoughts and feelings on Facebook, which became “viral”:

“Friday night you stole the life of a being of exception, the love of my life, the mother of my son. But you will not have my hatred. I don’t know who you are and I don’t want to know it, you’re dead souls. If this God for whom you kill blindly, made us in his image, then every bullet in the body of my wife will have been a wound in his heart.

So no. I won’t make you the gift of hating you. You looked for it well, yet to respond to your hatred by anger would be giving in to the same ignorance that has made you what you are. You want me to be afraid, you want me to look at my fellow citizens with suspicion, that I sacrifice my freedom for security. You lost. The same player is still playing.

Helene Muyal Leiris with Her Son Shortly Before She Was Assassinated By Islamists In Paris

Helene Muyal Leiris with Her Son Shortly Before She Was Assassinated By Islamists In Paris

I saw her this morning. At last, after nights and days of waiting. She was as beautiful as when she left that Friday night, as beautiful as when I fell head over heels in love with her more than 12 years ago. Of course I’m devastated by grief. I’ll grant this small victory, but it will not last long. I know she will be with us every day and that we will meet again in this paradise of free souls that you’ll never have access to.

We are two, my son and me, but we are stronger than all the armies of the world. I do not have anymore time to devote to you, I have to be with Melvil who is waking up from his nap. He is barely seventeen months old. He is going to eat his afternoon snack, as he does everyday. Then we will play as we do everyday, and during his entire life, this little boy will make you the affront to be happy and free. Because no, you will not have his hatred either.”

Antoine Leiris

***

For the original French version, see Facebook “Vous N’Aurez Pas Ma Haine”.

Mr. Leiris has now a vocal version of his message, and has been spreading his philosophy.

***

So what do I think of this?

Sometimes, silence is the best discourse. Respect, sometimes, is best. But I can only take that much:

Naivety Springs, Eternal. But Eternity Did Not Spring From Naivety Alone.

Naivety Springs, Eternal. But Eternity Did Not Spring From Naivety Alone.

Well, it’s a bit more complicated than that. Mr. Leiris is apparently confusing Christianism and Islamism. Same god, but there are subtle differences. In Christianism, we have been created in the image of god, indeed. Whereas in the direct Qur’an, we are his slaves. And in the Qur’an, it is ordered to “set every ambush” for the Non-Believers. Such is the “Verse of the Sword”, Sura 5, verse 9, an ABROGATING verse (meaning it makes all verses which contradict it, invalid). Sura 5, verse 9 follows Luke 19; 27 in the New Testament, showing that Christian viciousness inspired many, and far away, for centuries to come (a Christian monk arguably set the basis of Islam in the mind of his close relative, the “Prophet”, PBUH).

When god is nuts, naivety is no long term strategy.

***

So what do I think of this avalanche of haughty goodness? Well, it’s a long story. I can see perfectly why Mr. Leiris decided to feel, and think, the way he did. I approve of it. It is a defense mechanism which I have, myself, used many times. Hatred is too serious a subject to be embraced frivolously.

Thus, surprisingly for some, no doubt, ignoring hatred is  not a fundamental contradiction from what I deeply advocate. As it turns out, a fundamental debate of the same sort happened during the establishment of the state of Israel.

Same as Israel, or Julius Caesar, a creature born of many subtleties will have many Modi Operandi. Everybody has many Modi Operandi. Real, habitual, virtual, potential… Like everybody else, it turns, out, but even more than everybody else, a would-be philosopher will cultivate perversely an exuberant garden of Modi Operandi (Modes of Operation in Latin; Airbus, a company which makes large flying computers uses a more arrogant concept than M.O., the word “law”. Boeing is affected my the same syndrome. Changing “laws” inappropriately will make a plane crash).

Antoine Leiris’ text is beautiful, it conveys the awesome will of putting love, freedom, play, the positive appreciation of the world,  above anything else. Putting only the positively awesome above everything else, is awesome. I will make sure to inform god of this astonishing revelation, reheated a trillion times again. I could, some will say I should, leave it at that, before I become positively obnoxious anymore. And I will restrain myself, in an exceptional moment of respectful self-control.

Just one point: Antoine observed (in an interview on ONPC) that in other people, or in other circumstances, completely different reactions would be much more appropriate. And of this we will talk later, pretty much as we did before. Here is a foretaste:

Grass is made to be trampled on, we are not. That’s how we play, and appreciate. That’s why we can play, appreciate, love, and be awesome. Survival is also a humanism.

Patrice Ayme’

No Knowledge, No Morality

April 30, 2016

Can a society be moral if most of its population does not know science? Of course not. And it generalizes: if a society does not know all it could know, and which is most significant, it cannot be moral.

The enquiry of why the US Army bombed a Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), or Doctors Without Borders, MSF/DWB hospital, and kept bombing it, even after it knew it was a hospital it was bombing, reveals a deep disconnect between morality and knowledge.

In truth: no knowledge, no morality.

The US Army filed no criminal charges: that may have been correct, it’s its entire culture of engagement which is criminal, at this point.

Strikes Inside An Innocent City Require High Morality, Not Just Sky High Bombing

Strikes Inside An Innocent City Require High Morality, Not Just Sky High Bombing

High morality is the motivation for high precision.

Says the New York Times:

“WASHINGTON — Dispatched to eliminate a compound swarming with Taliban fighters, the AC-130 gunship circled above the Afghan city, its crew struggling to figure out where exactly to direct the aircraft’s frightening array of weaponry. Missile fire had forced it off course, and now the gunship’s targeting systems were pointing it to an empty field, not an enemy base.

About 1,000 feet to the southwest, however, the crew spotted a collection of buildings that roughly matched the description of the Taliban compound provided by American and Afghan forces on the ground. Nine men could be spotted walking between the buildings.

The gunship’s navigator called an American Special Forces air controller on the ground seeking guidance. The response was immediate and unequivocal.

“Compound is currently under control of the TB, so those nine PAX are hostile,” the air controller said, using common military shorthand for “Taliban” and “people.”

The air controller was wrong. His mistake was one link in a chain of human errors and equipment and procedural failures that led to the devastating attack on a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan last year that killed 42 [innocent, staff, patients and doctors] people, the Defense Department said Friday… military investigators described a mission that went wrong from start to finish. Even after Doctors Without Borders informed American commanders that a gunship was attacking a hospital, the airstrike was not immediately called off because, it appears, the Americans could not confirm themselves that the hospital was actually free of Taliban.

“Immediately calling for a cease-fire for a situation we have no SA” — situational awareness, that is — “could put the ground force at risk,” an American commander whose name and rank were redacted was quoted as saying in the report.”

It turns out that the entire mission was conducted as if human lives were not important. The gunship left more than an hour early (for an “unrelated emergency”), before proper briefing, although that flying destroyer equipped with a 105mm cannon, was sent to a city full of people. Then a radio failed, preventing the download of further information to the plane, etc. The crew does not seem to have ever been told a hospital was in the general area of the target.

Not bringing any criminal charges was “simply put, inexplicable,” said John Sifton, the Asia policy director of Human Rights Watch. Indeed, there are plenty of legal precedents for war crimes prosecutions based on acts that were committed with recklessness. Recklessness or negligence does not absolve someone of criminal responsibility under the United States military code. In a famous example, the cruiser Indianapolis, which had transported the atomic bomb, was sunk by a Jap submarine a few days before the end of the war. Its captain was court-martialed, and condemned (in spite of the insistence of the Jap commander, Commander Mochitsura Hashimoto, that the cruiser would have been hit, from the position of the sub, and the fan of torpedo fired, no matter what. The conviction of the US Captain was reversed, 5 days after Hashimoto’s passing at age 91)

This attack against Medecins Sans Frontieres was in the mood of “signature strikes (and helped by great anger of some Afghan commanders against Doctors Without Borders)… an accident waiting to happen from systemic recklessness. The famous signatures strikes are the most significant signature of the Obama administration in the matter of international relations (besides juicy transnational treaties to promote plutocracies and Panama papers arrangements).

Signature strikes” consisted in attacking gatherings of people in a country the US is not at war with, just because, like your average wedding full of Arabs or Pakistani, they looked suspicious. Amazingly, the Obama administration went on with them for years. In great part because US Main Stream Media decided that killing crowds of unknown people in unknown parts did not matter: US inflicted terror, for no good reason, was a good thing.

What was the moral theory behind those “signature strikes”? Plausible denial that the perpetrators did not know what was going on. The exact same theory the Prussians inaugurated in 1914, and the Nazis perpetrated during their reign of terror, attacking the world (as in 1914), and killing 15 millions in extermination camps, plus many million civilians out there by bombing flour mills, etc.

To use evil ways against evil perpetrators may be necessary: strategic bombing defeated the Nazis and the Japanese military (although it killed only around 700,000 in Germany). However, using evil ways when they are not necessary, even in the service of goodness, is evil.

In the wars the French and American air forces are conducting against Islamists, from Mali to Afghanistan, hitting the enemy and ONLY the enemy should be the first objective.

Clearly, the US should do more like the French, and conduct more thorough examination of what they are going to attack (France has learned the lesson the hard way: see the massacres in Oran in 1945). At the slightest doubt, there should be no attack against a massively innocent population. One does not rescue people from oppression, by killing them.

The fight against Islamism is not the fight against Nazism. In the case of Nazism, the strongest means were justified: an entire nation had become criminally insane, and was the enemy. (Killing the innocent was unavoidable collateral damage. If Germans wanted to stop the insanity, they could stop collaborating with the Nazis; many did, in the end, enough to make a big difference.)

Whereas, in the case of Islamism, many pseudo-thinkers in the West made various theories to tell us that fearing Wahhabism was racist. They, not innocent civilians, throughout Africa and the Middle East, should rather be bombed.

Patrice Ayme’

HERBIVORES KILL, Therefore They Thrive

March 23, 2016

Islamists kill dozens in Brussels, injuring more than 270, some horribly. As usual when bad people do bad things, people gather and sing John Lennon’s Imagine. A beautiful song I love, but the “Imagine” mentality will not snuff out the mentality of the Islamist State. Only the mentality of the Marseillaise will. As I will show here, in the light of recent science which I had fully predicted, evil is another way to look at intelligence. Or all too close to it.

Recent humanism has kept away from the Dark Side. It may as well have kept away from humanity, and bask in impotence. Ignoring evil, calling it psychopathological is an exception, a vain insult, to the deepest Occidental tradition (let alone to cannibalistic societies, which used to be ruled according to what we view now as evil principles). It’s true that, in normal circumstances, it is progress, to not eat one’s neighbor. However, it’s not progress when one starts from the principle that one’s neighbor could not possibly be a killer, on a matter of principle, and when one organizes society according to this sheep principle (that Nazis, or the Soviets, could not possibly be mass killers was a mass delusion of the 1930s which enabled the 1930s to unfold as they did). The sheep principle is exactly why there is mass murder and mass exodus in Syria: because the West’s leading powers did not exert the necessary evil in the appropriate fashion, in their neighborhood.

Our (cultural) ancestors the Romans, were deeply cynical about humanity: “Homo Homini Lupus” (Man is a wolf for man.) Or maybe that should have been: Lupus Lupis Homo (Wolf is a man for wolf). Roman games’ cruel period lasted at least seven centuries (after Christians took power, the circuses showed animal fighting, the human sacrificial element was removed).

Christianism, invented first by a Roman citizen, Saint Paul, has a very dark side. The cruelty, baseness, disobedience, desire for strife of the genus Homo starts from the beginning of the Bible: brother kills brother, exactly as in the (earlier) fratricide of Remus by Romulus (did the Roman story made all its way to Babylon, where the Bible was written? That’s highly plausible!)

Prairie Dogs’ Dark Side Makes Them Thrive

Prairie Dogs’ Dark Side Makes Them Thrive

[Signature strike: A white-tailed prairie dog kills one of the small ground squirrels that graze in prairie dog towns. John Hoogland.]

After the Christian decline and fall of civilization was over, and the Franco-Romans finally took control, ferocity got reinstituted: the Franks’ standard penalty for false coinage was death by slow boiling. The famous story of the Soisson vase was symbolic of the fact consul-king Clovis had the powers of Caesar, but did not feel it was wise to deploy as much magnanimity and “clementia”.

As Friedrich Nietzsche insisted, the Middle Ages was a tale of two moralities: that of the aristocracy on top, the ferocious mentality of the “blonde beast” (see the armories full of lions),  those of serfs, below, Christian, begging for forgiveness.

Machiavelli a bit, Hobbes, and even much more Sade, pointed out that nature was not behaving like the Virgin Mary (accusing the other guy, up in heavens). Nature is front, center, brutal, indifferent to cruelty, master of all. The lesson was not lost on revolutionaries, from those of 1792, to the countless revolutions which shook Europe in the next 150 years. Therefrom the ferocious “dictatorship of the proletariat” of Lenin.

My thesis on the Dark Side is, of course: horrendous. The Dark Side is as natural to intelligence as the management of the biosphere it is in charge of implementing.

Meaning? Intelligence is god. Intelligence does not just watch the world, it molds it. And it does not have to be human intelligence. All animals do it, even herbivores.

Did you ever wonder why social herbivores fight so viciously? The loser generally ends up weak, and isolated, soon to die. Not that the winner is much better off: it’s pretty weak. The broad picture is herbivores killing herbivores.

White-tailed prairie dogs — those stand-up, nose-wiggling cute chewers of grass — have just been revealed to be serial killers of baby ground squirrels.

It gets worse: serial killing is associated to better motherhood. The “strongest sign of successful white-tailed motherhood” is apparently repeat ground squirrel kills, researchers say.

Females who kill at least two ground squirrels raise three times more offspring during their lives than non-killer females do, says John Hoogland of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science in Frostburg. The “serial killers”, rarely nibble at the carcasses and aren’t getting much, if any, meat bonus. Prairie dogs and ground squirrels eat plants. So why all the killing? Lebensraum, the grabbing of natural resources: Prairie Dogs are little furry Nazis, and they are right in Prairiedoghood.

The  assassin supermoms may improve grazing in their territories by reducing competition from grass-snitching ground squirrels, Hoogland and Charles Brown of the University of Tulsa propose March 23 in Proceedings of the Royal Society B. [J.L. Hoogland and C.R. Brown. Prairie dogs increase fitness by killing interspecific competitors. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Published online March 23, 2016. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2016.0144.]

“This really caught me by surprise,” Hoogland says. “It’s also striking because it’s so subtle”. He had been watching prairie dogs in general for decades and the white-tailed prairie dogs in the Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge for a year before he noticed an attack. A female “jumped on something, shook it, shook it hard, kept attacking — and then walked away,” he says. The encounter lasted just minutes. Hoogland rushed from his observation tower to the scene of the fight and, to his surprise, retrieved a dead baby ground squirrel.

Animals compete for resources. It’s actually why they have brains. This, naturally has ethological, thus moral, consequences.

A propensity for killing ground squirrels turned out to be the only factor (once factoring body mass, age and number of neighbors) which predicted a tendency toward lifetime success in raising lots of young. That capability, which biologists call “fitness”, is the most important parameter in analyzing how populations change and species evolve (it’s the core of raw “Darwinian evolution”).

I love John Lennon’s music and some of his ideas. I miss all what he would have said about the evil deployed during the last few decades. However, having a few nice ideas and even greater songs, do not a wisdom make. John Lennon’s lamentable death showed his philosophy was full of holes (and was in part due to this, his assassin claimed at the time: he had condemned Lennon to death for… hypocrisy).

Intelligence has a Dark Side; it’s intrinsic. Denying its existence is a pernicious addiction, which, paradoxically, leads to non-optimal outcomes, the greatest horrors. The failure of the left, in the West, during the last few decades, is directly attributable to forgetting this. We The People were manipulated into our own subjugation, because we became oblivious to the relationship between evil and intelligence.

Patrice Ayme’

Bush-Clinton: Vive La Difference!

March 15, 2016

Those who are abused, if they have been abused long enough, cannot conceive of the world differently. They want the abuse, it has become home, sweet home. The Clintons have abused the world, thus all too many people, cannot conceive of the world, any other way. And the more downtrodden and abused, the more enthusiastic about Clintons.

And who is this Clinton?

Bush’s lover?

Vive La Difference! At Least We Killed Together More Than A million Iraqis, & They Love US For It!

Vive La Difference! At Least We Killed Together More Than A million Iraqis, & They Love US For It!

The Clintons already helped Reagan in his Iran-Contra conspiracy. It’s probably why they were chosen by the powers that be, to nominally lead the world towards oblivion, through plutocracy.

Polls recently showed Senator Sanders would defeat Donald Trump by 18%, a gigantic margin. However, for reasons I will not get into here, it’s clear to me that Trump will defeat Clinton. And this is also what the polls tend to indicate.

One factor: we have been living in Clintonia, for a quarter of a century. Another word for it: plutocracy, much of it, financial. Trade deals, here and there, to turn around local law, destruction of the Banking Act of 1933.

Overconfident “democrats” say: no problem we will call Trump a racist, and all the anti-racists will vote for Clinton. Somebody explained to me today that Trump will make Muslim wear a yellow star. (Nota Bene: It’s Islam, in the Eight Century, which introduced marks on clothing to distinguish Christians and Jews; the idea was picked up later in Occident.)

I say this: a good way to get Trump elected is to say outrageous lies about him now. As the lies are outrageous, they are easy to reveal as such. If “democrats” were crafty, they would wait August to tell big lies.

But the best way to get president Trump, is to foster Clinton and her cortege of dispiriting ugliness.

In other news some savage inspired by Islam (he said), grievously attacked to soldiers in Canada. Meanwhile a joint operation of the French and Belgian police in Brussels resulted in a shootout with Muslims, injuring at least four policemen. One of the wounded police was a French policewoman (France should annex its rogue province of Belgium, especially in light of Belgian tax-cheating for plutocratic corporations, and general lack of imperium). One Jihadist was killed in combat, two, heavily armed Jihadists, succeeded to flee, jumping from roof to roof. The killed Jihadist was a 36 year old Algerian, unlawfully in the European Union, yet unknown from security agencies (as were many of the attackers in Paris in November).

Probably all the fault of Trump, will insist simpletons. In truth, it’s the fault of a literal reading of the world’s most read hate book. Those who are not too sure about what I mean can consult:

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2009/06/22/some-violence-in-holy-quran/

[By the way, my compendium of quotes, Some Violence In the Holy Qur’an” consists of 8,000 words from violent verses in the Qur’an. It’s readily available from the Google Search Engine. However it’s blocked on the Bing Search Engine, because Wahhabist Fundamentalists have complained about to Microsoft about my faithful compendium of 10% of their Holy Book. So Microsoft can be viewed, in light of that fact, as an enabler of religious terrorism. This is all the more striking, because Microsoft/Al Qaeda/Islamist State, by censoring me, as if I were a terrorist, block here the Holy Qur’an itself!]

And am I against immigration? Foaming at the mouth like a caricature of Trump? Not at all. Am I even against Muslim immigration? Not all. And I think millions of immigrants have been treated abominably by European authorities.

I am for immigration, but only if it incorporates assimilation. (Some will say that’s rather ironic, as I am the less assimilable creation around; right, however there is good assimilation, and bad assimilation: I am not less, and hateful, but more, and benevolent.)

Assimilation does not mean one has nothing to bring mentally to the table: it means one brings positive new cultural elements, while one gets help to reject the bad elements one is handicapped with. Half Africanizing Europe, or America, is fine with me, as long as it lifts all mental boats.

I go even further: at some point Senegalese had French nationality. Thus I believe that, if they look half kosher, Senegalese should be given at least French residency. And thus European residency.

The case of Senegal is indeed different from, say, Cameroon; it’s not just a question of history, but mentality. The Senegalese have traded with the West for more than 25 centuries. It’s not their fault if their country has only sun, sand and fish (and now raising seas which force evacuation of villages).

Jihadists have been burning with desire to organize a Muslim Wahhabist attack in Senegal, but the strong “Sufi” Senegalese Islam has blocked them. That Senegalese Islam is 100% compatible with 100% Western civilization, thus it is 100% condemnable that it is not supported more by Europe.

When my friend Obama ran for the presidency, his main slogan was: “Change You Can Believe In!”  Indeed; no change at all. At least, in the case of Clinton, that’s clear: are we going to defeat Donald Trump with Bush’s lover? Change We Can Believe In! More of the same, and not even in a new package!

Patrice Ayme’

Hard Wired? Not So fast!

March 3, 2016

Swallowing is self-taught. Anything else a bit more sophisticated is taught by others. We are cultural animals. Discuss.

Massimo Pigliucci, a (Roman!) biology PhD cum philosophy PhD teaching from an elevated chair in New York, objected to my tweeting aphorism above: “That is contradicted by a number of well established studies in developmental psychology, as well as by research on other primates.”

OK, Massimo, relax, I was a bit quick, thus simplistic in my formulation. Any discourse is incomplete, I was pointing at a direction. Indeed, I am a great advocate of ethology. Ethology, the experimental study of behavior, is an experimental field. That means its fundamental architecture is made of experiments.

Nicotinoid Insecticides Don't Kill Bees Directly, But Make Them Neurologically Dysfunctional Enough To Die From It

Nicotinoid Insecticides Don’t Kill Bees Directly, But Make Them Neurologically Dysfunctional Enough To Die From It

[All scientific fields are like gravity, they are experimentally driven. We basically know, experimentally speaking, not much more than what Newton knew already, as far as gravity is concerned (with the further twist of gravity being a field at speed c, like electromagnetism, hence, waves, etc.). A true revolution will happen in gravity the day we find something completely unexpected (the fact that gravity at this point is also equivalent to a space curvature theory is a triviality consecutive to Bernhard Riemann’s deep differential manifold theory). Some say we already found something unexpected, the phenomenon known as “Dark Matter”]

Ethology is also experiment driven. And our experiments are not as sophisticated as they soon will be. Differently from gravity, the progress in ethology is going to be quick, and very deep.

Ethology discovered already what writers of fables for children, and “primitive” “savages” hunting for survival, have long known: advanced animals care, have a sense of justice, are observant, loving, etc. More generally, advanced animals,, and others, not even very advanced are endowed with many other sophisticated behaviors we used to attribute to humans exclusively, etc.

Ethology has now gone further: ethologists also discovered that sophisticated, virtuous human-like “instincts” are not universal, even in a species which exhibit them: exploiters and freaks are not just a human phenomenon. In prides of lionesses, the same particular individuals tend to do all the work. Worse: lionesses have been observed having no maternal “””instinct”””. Other, experienced and caring lionesses had to intervene.

So animals have been observed to have altruistic behaviors, or behaviors making group life possible. (It’s quite a bit a chicken and egg situation: without apparently “hard wired” behavior, group life is impossible; the “group” could be just mother and child, such as a leopard and her kitten, or a mother orangutan and her child…)

However, ethology has not yet determined systematically how much is learned from others, and from the environment.

Hence the role of other animals, and how much is self taught is not clear at this point (insects such as wasps and bees “think” at least seven times faster than humans, so they can learn fast, and it looks like “instinct” to us!). In either case, when there is learning, there is no “hard wiring”. Or more exactly much of the “hard wiring” comes from the neurological life of the individual, as it does in any… creator. The creature being created by itself as creator of itself. God inside.

Learning is essential for survival of bees. Honey bees make repeat visits only if said plant provides enough reward. A single forager will make visits to that type of flower for most of the day, unless the plants stop producing nectar or weather gets adverse. Honey bees practice associative learning, and standard classical conditioning, which is the same in honey bees as it is in the vertebrates.

In other words, if even insects learn much more than a few tricks, as I have long suspected, we don’t know what “instincts” are really made of. This will have to be determined by further, much more refined ethological studies (differently from gravity, where it’s not clear what new experiments to do, and how to get results, although LIGO and VIRGO may well bring breakthroughs… In ethology, new experiments are just matter of financing, considering the progress of micro-electronics).

A famous example of what I am talking about is Lorentz’s geese (he got the Nobel for that). Young geese were imprinted on Konrad being their mom, and thereafter followed him everywhere, at some point of their development.

Why can’t that happen for all behaviors, and all species with advanced brains? In other words, could not just all our behaviors come, to a great extent, from some sort of imprinting?

Hey, one can self-imprint. When I want to eat more correctly, I starve myself a bit, and then eat the correct foods (say apples, carrots, tofu). Then I repeat a few times. Then I long for apples, carrots, tofu…

So south American monkeys have a sense of justice. But that does not mean that sense of justice is “hard-wired”. It may just have been taught. By others. Other monkeys. Or it may even be a sort of natural monkey science. Indeed natural interactions with others can be a teaching experience (or a succession of experiences, until a theory arises)…

But that does not mean that sense of justice is “hard wired”. It may just have been taught. By others. Other monkeys. Or it may even be a sort of natural monkey science. Indeed natural interactions with others can be a teaching experience (or a succession of experiences, until a theory arises)…

Standing up, and being able to run, is crucial to the survival of herbivores. A casual look at how a new born herbivore stands up shows that it learns to do so in a few minutes. Some moves are learned in a few seconds. However, today’s most sophisticated programmers could not write such a program. Nor does the brain of a small antelope contain a large computer loaded with such a software. Thus the truth: the antelope learns to stand up. That means it hard wires itself through the learning process. The environment in the most general sense imprints it with the appropriate circuitry.

Ethology will enlighten neurology, and conversely. Both fields are just getting started.

Patrice Ayme’