Archive for the ‘Ethics’ Category

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’

No Force, No Moral

February 27, 2016

Abstract: Why didn’t Obama outright jail the Crook of Apple Inc., on the ground of aiding and abetting terrorism? For the same reason as he became lupine Putin’s obsequious butler. Morality, the Roman mores, depends upon force always. However, masters’ servants are not reputed for the creative application of force.

***

The universe is created by force. Giant supernovae explode, generating the heavy elements which can then combine and create chemistry. Some want to say the universe is not about force, just harmony, love, etc. Yes, the universe, the human universe, is also about love and harmony. But fundamentally, it’s a balance of forces.

Unbalancing those forces lead to holocausts. Or, as we can now clearly see, even worse.

Did Obama Understand What His Primary Mission Was?

Did Obama Understand What His Primary Mission Was?

… Or is it that the job of the leaders in Washington is to let the world down, so that they can come on top? (And New York’s Daily News is not cynical enough.)

The universe, and our knowledge of it, is not just about force, violence, but also about chance, serendipity.

The new LIGO observatory of space deformations detected gravitational waves when it had just been turned on for its first engineering run, after being closed for improvements, during five long years. It was supposed to officially open four days later. The observed Black Holes have masses too large for usual astrophysics. Collapsing stars are supposed to give BH no more than 11 solar masses (long story), a third of what was observed here. This is an important new riddle emerging.

There is a brand new ceasefire in Syria. Putin rules, Obama cleans his shoes (some will say that’s what, for psychological reasons, this is to be expected: after all, Putin is a wilful white man, a killer, a conqueror, an invader, not a self-important, obsequious butler).

In 2013, The French Republic was ready to strike Assad. Assad had crossed the ‘red line’ of massive, blatant usage of nerve gas (in a suburb of Damas). Who had set the ‘red line’? The USA. The President of the USA had declared, solemnly, that if Assad used chemical weapons on its own people, the USA would take him out. Indeed, the war in Syria had started with peaceful protests. Assad reacted with gunfire, and then unleashing, and feeding (by buying its oil), the Islamist State. So Assad, son of his dictator father, was as culprit as possible.

The legitimacy of it all? 1) Human Rights. 2) Syria is within the European defense zone, so to speak (as demonstrated by the refugee problem). 3)Syria as a French Protectorate (given by the SDN, after the Turkish empire got ejected). 4) Further back, Syria was part of the “Oriental Part” of the Roman empire for seven centuries, until it was invaded by the Muslim Arab army which killed all males of weapon bearing age.

One can view the latter invasion as an UNJUST war, and such wars can be reversed.

The Roman Republic rightly made a big deal of JUST wars, which were basically defense wars: Rome was attacked, and then the aggressor was taken out. This is what happened, until the Third Punic war (in which Carthage was in the right, and the right-wing, plutocratic fanatics in the Senate, in the wrong). The next problem was Caesar’s Bellum Gallicum, where there again, Caesar’s adversaries pointed out that he, Caesar, had been the aggressor in Gaul (although the situation was complex, since the (misled) Helvetii had attacked, and Caesar initially intervened to help allies against the (future) Swiss. But then Caesar and his ten legions exceeded the mandate…

In any case, re-establishing democracy and republic in places which knew these under Rome is, arguably a just war.

Instead, Obama showed the defense of human rights by the USA was a lot of hot air. Putin invaded Ukraine 6 months later. Now he is making Syria into a client state. If he follows his model in Chechnya, he will kill up to 15% of the population, to install firmly his own Pluto.

(Said Pluto in Chechnya would have killed Boris Nemtsov, exactly a year ago to the day, with four bullets in the back, below the Kremlin; that’s convenient, as the Chechen Pluto is head of state, so hard to prosecute.)

Now that it is established the USA is hot air, nobody fears it. China is promptly installing radars on islands just off the Philippines, that it just created. Obama will punish the Chinese dictatorship by looking haughty until Mr. Xi and his goons surrender.

Where does Obama’s mentality comes from? Well, European pacifists are pretty much to be accused. The only European country defending Europe’s Lebensraum (vital space in German; a term Hitler used; that does not mean it never has any validity), is the French Republic, with troops on the ground in combat in Syria, Libya, Mali, Niger, Chad, Cameroon, CAR, etc. This sort of pacifism caused two extended world wars which ravaged Europe.

In World War One, the Netherlands, with its accomplice the USA, extended the war by three years by breaking the Franco-British embargo. In World War Two, Sweden, the Netherlands and Belgium helped considerably in the defeat of France in 1940, and the subsequent French-Nazi ceasefire (which lasted, in practice, less than two years; yet, the evil was done, and dozens of millions died).

Obama’s lack of spine is not just about refusing to confront the Russian Caesar. Now the dark Pluto heading Apple refuses to release the communications of a mass murdering Islamist State terrorist. Why was that crook not charged with aiding and abetting mass murdering terrorism? Because such people are supposed to lead the world, and not be led by the world.

Were I president, I would arrest the crook, and apply the Patriot Act to him. He would then disappear from view. Then I would ask the same question to the second in command at Apple, five minutes later. Upon refusal, he would also be on his way to Guantanamo or somewhere. And so on down the line in the next hour, until one could crack the codes in the damn phone.

Instead we have the sorry spectacle that Apple makes the laws. Just like Apple gets its profits, hundreds of billions of them through the British Virgin Islands, to pay no tax whatsoever, Apple is supposed to keep on deciding what the law is.

It’s a matter of knowing what dominates: the law of We The People, with its equality of taxation, or the law of Them The Plutocrats, with the principle that Plutocrats decide what the law is.

Instead, civilization made laws in accordance with ethology, where all human beings are equal. Civilization arose from force, and so did the imposition of morality, which is not viable, without.

Don’t ask Obama, he is a lost little boy, in a land of big Plutos roaming, who are everything, whereas he is not much, and he needs to love them, should he want a job, next year.

The more sinister, and deeper level of analysis, of course, is that the USA’s plutocracy profited immensely from the weakening of European democracies in the Twentieth Century. Thus, cynics will argue, the morally lazy Obama is actually in the tradition of the most efficient American patriots: paying lip service to the morally correct, while implementing the dirtiest. But then, of course, most European leaders are accomplices to that… A curiosity explained by the nature of global plutocracy, and its Anglo-Saxon headquarters (including Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, etc.) Several European leaders were partners at Goldman Sachs, and, one would gather, are still partners with Goldman Sachs. That may explain why the leaders of Goldman Sachs were not arrested for cooking the books in Greece.

What is most interesting in all this, is that common people are starting to notice that something is askew: most Americans think the country is “heading in the wrong direction”…

Patrice Ayme’

Stoic Me Up!

February 10, 2016

Intelligence Without Patience is Just Somebody's Else Dinner

Intelligence Without Passion is Just Somebody’s Else Dinner

Plato observed that Socrates became so wise, probably because he had tried everything else before. Did he? The inventor of Cynicism, a bit later, went further by claiming there was a lot to learn from dogs, or, by viewing man as a dog. That sat well with Alexander the Great (the creator of cynicism and the creator of much mayhem met), as the latter wanted to show how philosophical he was.

Cynicism, in turn had an offspring, Stoicism. Astounding times: thinkers who knew each other, gave rise to great current of thought (it all broke down with the rule of Macedonian plutocracy, and its heirs, the “Hellenistic Kingdoms”). Stoicism, in turn appearing more than three centuries before Christianism, bequeathed a lot to that faith. In general philosophy, in the most general sense, a discourse, the logos, was made into one of the aspects of the Christian god (so Christianism did not subdue philosophy in a frontal assault, but used a sneaky method).

Massimo Pigliucci, a Roman-New-York biology cum philosophy tenured professor at CUNY runs a site “How To Be A Stoic”, and his latest was “Stoic spiritual exercises: I, from the Enchiridion”. I approve of all the suggestions made 23 centuries ago by the Stoics (and of the comments of Massimo). However I am a baboonist rather than just a cynic. Namely I think all we can learn from dogs, we can learn even better from baboons, and many things baboons do, dogs don’t have the brains for. Thus, in turn, I have higher requirements for Stoicism (as my Stoicism grew from Cynocephalism, rather than simple Cynicism, as original Stoicism did; the Latin name for baboons is “Cynocephalus”, dog-head).

Further SUGGESTIONS FOR UPDATED STOICISM:

[Some may argue that my view of Stoicism is far removed from the texts we have; but we have little of the original Greek texts; instead we have Roman texts focused on Ethics, written 4 to 5 centuries afterwards. Moreover, I view Socrates as (too much of) a Stoic (although he lived a century before the invention of official Stoicism. So, observing official Stoicism is poorly defined, what I generalize philosophically as “Stoicism” arises also from the common meaning of the word “Stoic”. Although I make a scathing critique of Roman Stoicism, I have no reservation against the original Stoics… But for their naivety.]

Original Stoics viewed the life full of “virtue” as the only free life. However, what they view as “virtuous”: was not necessarily so (as the top Stoic philosophers Seneca and Marcus Aurelius, who were both intimately involved with the Roman empire’s dirtiest business demonstrated magistrally, albeit very unwittingly!)

The original Stoics were naive, indeed. Although they understood the importance of practice, they did not understand that passion leads to practice. Only enough passion leads to enough practice.

This is precisely where Marcus Aurelius failed in the education of his imperial son, and thus led the empire to ruin: Marcus gave his son Commodus the empire, instead of giving him the passion for life, ambition, hunger, and thus smarts. By giving his son everything, Marcus removed from his son all passion. But man needs passion to think. So Commodus searched passion somewhere more outrageous. As Commodus had everything, Commodus assassinated everything, from the dignity of the imperial position, to the empire, to his sister, and others close to him. Because that was not passionate enough yet, emperor Commodus joined the gladiators in the circus.

It was all the fault of the naive view Marcus Aurelius had, that acting according to a simplistic view of “virtue” was enough of a virtue. As If “virtue” were easy to define.

OK, let’s cut off the chase, and do some real philosophy:

If one wants to climb a wall, it’s not enough to know where to put the foot. One has to do it just so, pushing into the rock to hold it there, but not so much that it does not provide support against gravity. How does one do this proficiently? Through practice. Plenty of practice. Practice is not just something which happens according to happenstance. One cannot wait for happenstance “stoically”. It’s something one looks for.

One may view the Will to Stoicism a Will to the Mastery of Moods, to optimize… To optimize what? Avoiding to be distraught? Avoiding others to be distraught? Or is it to optimize personal, or general happiness according to some measure? Which measure? And what if one is driven by various shades of sadomasochism?

Don’t laugh about sadomasochism: it’s found in any serious effort the capability for which has been honed by evolution, such as the hunt, or Sisyphus-like activities. A bit of masochism helps for the more dubious pleasure of the chase, or any serious struggle. Thus giving and receiving pain, breathing pain in and out, is ubiquitous in the depths of human ethology. This makes “goodness as minimizing evil” a rather complex, even baffling proposition, as it implies handling psychological, even physiological metastructures.

For example, Rome would have been better served, if Marcus Aurelius had treated his biological son, Commodus, with enough appropriate passion, that means, in this case, enough severity.

So there will be various notions of stoicism, according to what it is one tries to minimize, or maximize. (Or both: in advanced mathematical calculus, there is a method known as mini-max.)

In any case, the question remains: how does one train one’s moods actively (instead of waiting passively for the world to happen)? First one has to ponder: how do moods originate? They do not originate from the digital logic alone (the type of logic found in books on logic, the type one can put in a discourse).

There is another logic, as Blaise Pascal pointed out: “The heart has his reasons that reason does not have”. Well, so does the amygdala. The amygdala has its reasons that reason does not have.

The brain is full of sub-organs generating their own moods. Pascal did not know about the role the amygdala in fear (hence being distraught, among other things; distress was a passion the Stoics viewed as below them, erroneously enough!). And so it is all around the brain: diverse subsystems in the brain have their own reasons. And then, overall, fifty neurohormonal systems or so, can tweak parts of the brain, or the entire mind, this way, or that (pointing then in more than 50 dimensions, among other possibilities).

From this incredibly complex machinery, moods originate. Think of the solo climber, 10,000 feet above a glacier, standing on a square centimeter planted in brittle ice. Pure mastery of moods and logic, otherwise the climber’s life is over after 15 seconds of ultimate pain and terror.

Such a mastery is the fruit of years of training in logic and moods.

How does one acquire such mastery? Through passion. Training driven by passion, again and again and again. Training for solo climbing in the Himalayas, the Italian climber Reinhold Messner would run uphill for hours in heavy mountain boots. He concluded that training the mind was not enough, but he had to train his liver and kidneys (a conclusion Nietzsche would have agreed with, as he pointed out the importance of the gut, in his own solo climbs in Upper Engadin, nearby; yes, I climbed the same mountain).

Thus training for stoicism in full will imply the gymnastic of passion. It’s not enough not to get angry. One has to find oneself in situation where one should get angry, and then optimize, just as the climber’s mind learns by the practice of climbing.

“Discovering” in oneself self-restraint, self-control, and endurance is not enough. One has to train. Train under conditions one has chosen deliberately to learn to become much tougher. Staying calm under ultimate pressure is ultimate stoicism, and it is the attraction of extreme sports. Extreme sports are rendered possible, and acquire meaning, as research in ultimate stoicism (Messner drew a similar conclusion about his own life: it was a research into what a human could do).

If you want to think properly, think in full. If someone thinks in haste, don’t say they think badly, but in haste, and that thinking in haste is often bad.

And if you want to think properly, address in full why is it that you feel the way you do. Don’t just keep the feeling in check, analyze it. Ideas are great, but they live in the universe of moods. Passions educate the latter, and those in turn come from engaging the universe in full. Stoicism has to be understood dynamically. In particular, as a passionate engagement with the world, because only then is dynamics as fulfilling as it can be.

Patrice Ayme’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HAPPINESS A DUTY, Good & Smart

August 26, 2015

Forget Sisyphus’ Dreary Myth, Embrace The Happiness Strategy:

Far from being a sin, could happiness be not just fun, but a duty? I will propose that happiness is, indeed, a duty. Happiness is both a cerebral and social necessity. Let’s start with its social link.

When an animal suffers, or at least, when an animal is not happy, it is likely that it is either under aggression, and, or, needs to get into some significant action (taking some risk to go somewhere unusual, even if that animal is only an herbivore).

In either case, action, and, a fortiori, suffering put the animal, human or not, into an aggressive neurohormonal state, or cocktail of aggressive states (notice in passing that it is not always a bad thing: action, or even suffering, are often needed for everybody’s good!). Thus, someone’s unhappiness often ends up as somebody’s else suffering. Unhappiness is not just immoral, and asocial, unhappiness starts a chain reaction of unhappiness.

No Laugh, No Love, Nor Mind In Full

No Laugh, No Love, Nor Mind In Full

In human life, suffering is ubiquitous, unavoidable: born in pain, die in pain, with quite a bit of pain, Sturm und Angst, aging and degeneracy in between. So suffering always stands at the ready. Ready to help us not to settle too hopelessly into routine. Suffering, or the threat thereof, is always ready to enrich our minds, be it only with appendicitis, or a broken ankle, we don’t need to encourage it too much.

Happiness, though, precisely because of the ubiquitousness of suffering, is more tricky: it requires more of our enthusiastic cooperation, and encouragement. Happiness calls onto creativity to exist, and overwhelm the pain out there. Not by eschewing the world, as monks and Buddhists propose, but by engaging it enough, to bring up the neurohormones of happiness (Endo cannabinoids, Dopamine, Oxytocin, Endorphin, GABA, Serotonin, Adrenaline, Nitrogen Oxide, “laughing gas“, etc.).

Happiness cannot tolerate too much moderation (consider the Adrenaline above, a chemical known to make a dead heart jump into action, or Dopamine, which cocaine, methamphetamines, boost, to create effect).

Moderation is debilitating, especially in large quantities. Happiness instead embraces immoderately the best aspects that life has to offer, and run away with them. (Creation, in particular necessitates to run away; as our society tries to run away from the encroachment of robots and plutocrats, creation will be needed ever more. Socially good creation is entangled with happiness, while unhappiness is entangled with war hormones and neural patterns and organs.)

But what of the other cerebral consequences of happiness? Happiness is a facilitator of survival. Epidemiological statistics show this.

Wisdom is, first of all, about being as smart in one’s behavior, as one can be, given the circumstances. An example is the six passengers in the Thalys train who just fought the heavily armed terrorist. They acted wisely, and, in this case, it meant that they acted decisively, fiercely, and with maximum violence: first two Frenchmen engaged the fanatic in combat, as it came out of the toilet. A Franco-American professor in his fifties, grabbed the AK 47 automatic machine gun, and ran away with it, and got shot through his entire left side for his trouble. Then the two U.S. servicemen, helped by another American, and a Brit followed, while the terrorist’s two guns jammed. The latter four heroes already got the Legion of Honor. As the 62 year old Brit pointed out, jumping on the terrorist, and hitting his head and choking him until he got unconscious, was the wise thing to do. Sometimes, extreme physical violence is the right activity to bring survival. This is a truism. Yet, in that case, happy meant punchy.

But what does the will to survival in the individual or the society have to do with? Happiness. Who wants to defend a sad life?

Salvador Dali noticed that the Nazis’ will to start a world war had to do with the desire to lose it. I agree. It was not just hatred, cupidity, and the stampeding of the herd, which characterized Nazism. Germans had long been unhappy, and had long built a cultural anthropology of unhappiness (thanks to the fascist and racist political system which ruled them, much of it straight from Eighteenth Century hyper-militaristic dictatorial Prussia and its ingrained hatred against Jews and Poles). German unhappiness brought forth the cultivation of a war-like society (a poisonous, but delicious fruit of which is higher efficiency).

Something striking about the four Anglo-Saxon heroes of the train above, is that they all seem happy in life. This is reflected by the inner strength they exhibited after the harrowing circumstances they had been through.

Without that inner happiness, the four heroes would have valued their lives less, thus valued life in general less, hence would have been less keen to defend theirs, and other people’s, lives (remember the connection of happiness with Adrenaline).

Happiness is not just a luxury, a reward, it’s a safety, even a security. not just for the individual, but for the community at large.

Socrates said the unexamined life was not worth living. Indeed, it never was, and never will. For a human being, to live is to examine. But with what is life examined? Intelligence. And the better examination is rendered possible only by greater intelligence. And what brings maximum intelligence? Experiencing the world in full.

The Romans knew this well. Even in their baths, they had a frigidarium, an ice-cold bath. And a caldarium, a very hot bath. Life, even at the baths, was not just all about the tepidarium, the tepid bath.

Sadness, unhappiness, or the tepidarium, a tepid life, only brings the input of just part of the world. Thus they make minds which are only partial (for example, only war-like). Such half minds are legions. Hitler was typical: more or less a quasi orphan, failed artist, bum, and then a shell-shocked, gazed soldier, his experience from the world, lots of unhappiness, and war, was all what his mind was made from (Stalin, or Lenin had somewhat similar war-like, dejected, unhappy backgrounds).

Sadness brings up the war-like instincts, hence the fascist reflex (to make one out of the many). Here is the answer Estienne de La Boétie was looking for, when he wondered why people accepted to live in servitude to an oligarchy. In Discours de la servitude volontaire ou le Contr’un (Discourse on Voluntary Servitude, or the Anti-Dictator), La Boétie asserted that tyrants had power because people granted it to them. I have proposed a mechanism to explain why it is so. And lack of happiness is central to it.

Happiness brings other aspects to the interaction with the world, which sadness can never reveal. Happy aspects, unhappiness alone never brings. Happiness allows to learn more form the world, it makes the mind in full.

The happy mind is a mind in full.

In a nuclear chain reaction, each nuclear fission, which is caused by a neutron’s impact, in turn creates, in the average, more than one neutron, which strike other nuclei, etc. Nobel Laureate Irene Curie discovered the chain reaction in the particular case of Uranium 235 in 1937 (although many sexist males preferred to attribute the discovery to Otto Hahn, who got the Nobel for it, it’s clearly Irene who taught Otto, through years of heated epistolary exchanges).

Unhappiness has a much more devastating amplification potential than its equivalent with radionuclides. Indeed an unhappy human being can make many other human beings suffer. Not just a couple. This is all the more true in a representative democracy, that is, an oligarchy. After he was elected Chancellor in January 1933, the pathologically unhappy Adolf Hitler was in good position to make hundreds of millions suffer, and not just his niece (who escaped through suicide, with her uncle’s gun).

If happiness is so important socially and for the blossoming of the individual mind, should not it be viewed as more than a right, but even as a moral duty?

The preceding was inspired by the neurohormonal theory of the mind, according to which neurohormonal states do not just characterize the mind, but are determined, with immense inertia, by exterior and inner circumstances. Given the neurohormonal theory of mind, it’s rather self-obvious that happiness is a duty. Without it, it is not that obvious. It’s probably why the notion, that happiness is a moral duty, not just for kicks, seems to have been ignored by the main philosophical ideologies.

Happiness is right in all ways. It even enables to learn. How? The road to truth is paved with errors, painfully learned. Only happiness makes us willing to embrace errors with an open mind. And wish for more, more errors, as we wish to learn more, learning to happily bounce from pains and disappointments to some new, unexpected, more exciting, freshly instructive errors.

No pain, no gain, yet, no happy, no bouncy. If one wants further gains, one has to accept further pain, and that’s possible only with a sunny, happy disposition. To learn ever more, means to be able to suffer pains gladly, ready to bring some more. Happiness is not just about preferring fun to dread, or about blocking reprisals of hatred against doom and gloom. Happiness is an epistemological need.

Patrice Ayme’

 

Puerto Rico’s Default: Back To The 1930s?

August 5, 2015

We were told, for years, the outrageous lie that Greece’s debt crisis was “caused” by the Euro… Even by supposedly left wing economists of the USA (Paul Krugman, etc.), and their European parrots. I exposed this as a cover-up of the outrageous state of banking under a thick layer of Europhobia, even more than four years ago. Now Puerto Rico exhibits an increasing unwillingness to pay interest on its debt. Now what?

Puerto Rico’s Default Has Got To Be Europe’s Fault:

It’s only a matter of time before the plutocratic press, or, if you want, the Main Stream Media, make the Euro and Greece the reason for Puerto Rico’s failure. (For such a devious reasoning, see below.)

After 2008, the economy turned bad, and governments borrowed heavily to keep the society going. As the prospects got dimmer, https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2014/06/21/new-york-vulture-justice/, bought Puerto Rican debt. Vultures hate education, as education makes for rebels, and they are in position to reduce educational spending, in Greece or Puerto Rico. When Vulture Funds had their fill, of Puerto Rican debt, they sprang the trap: mistaking Porto Rico for Greece, they required the Porto Rican government to reduce spending in education… So that Porto Rico could pay them the extravagant interest payments.

Is Puerto Rico The Object Of A (Financial Engineered) Genocide?

Is Puerto Rico The Object Of A (Financial Engineered) Genocide?

Debating Puerto Rican debt appears to be about finance, state debt, schools, hedge funds. Yet, ultimately, it’s about who owns Puerto Rico.

The Guardian, and magazine such as Slate, bought the hedge fund propaganda, bait, hook, line, sinker, if not the boat itself. Jordan Weissmann in Slate, a famous electronic magazine, blared: Hedge Funds Think Puerto Rico Should Shut Down Schools to Pay Its Debts. Is That So Wrong?

No, of course, it’s right. Hedge Funds should have all rights you can possibly imagine. They already buy and sell entire countries.

***

The Truth About Porto-Rico: Tax Haven, Millionaires’ Haven:

The total tax receipt in Puerto Rico is 10%, a small fraction of what it is in advanced countries (at least 23%). Taxes on the rich are small, full of loopholes. Moreover, the USA treats Puerto Rico like an exploited colony, so full reimbursements and compensations available to full citizens of the USA are not available in Puerto Rico.

Another truth is that educational spending is exploding in the USA, because health spending (Obamacare”) does not control costs (contrarily to what propaganda says). So plutocrats from hedge funds profit from an inflation which fellow plutocrats in health care engineered, thanks to an arguably too Machiavellian by half White House.

Porto Rico is a weird island, a territory of the USA which is neither destined to independence, nor a state. In the 1950s, four Puerto Ricans went to the Congress of the USA, and shot 30 rounds onto the Representatives, to ask for independence.

Krugman says Puerto Rico is not Greece: indeed, Puerto Ricans flee massively to the USA. Greeks no doubt ought to do the same and contribute free, or menial labor, to the splendor of the economy as celebrate by Krugman. People who are in the know stridently contradicted Paul Krugman’s positions and exposed them for what they are: the term “neo-colonialism” is too good. Pursued to the end, Puerto Rico would just vanish, except as a tax haven (just as the Virgin Islands next door).

***

Mussolini Fustigated What He Called “Demoplutocracies”:

Hitler joined the Italian dictator in complaining about the “plutocrats”… whom he knew all too well (top Nazis commiserated with him for having to dine with “plutocrats”, and make small talk to “plutocrats“, etc.)  

Does that mean that those who complain about “plutocracy” a lot, such as yours truly, are also fascist?

No. Of course not. First it shows that Mussolini and Hitler called their dinner guests “plutocrats” because that’s what they, all often, were. It also reveals that, in the 1930s, it was a common political truth, worldwide, that plutocrats had caused the financial and economic crisis… As they had, since they were in command (the bubble of the 1920s was deliberately engineered by Lord Montague and his American alter ego, to mitigate British debt from World War One by inflation and over-activity).

***

President Roosevelt, Knight Of The Dark Side:

People often ask me what the Dark Side is. Neither “Evil“, nor “Star Wars” do justice to the notion. That force is strong, but its strength varies. The politician who acted the best, for his own country, when faced with that plutocratic crisis, was President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Roosevelt devalued the dollar, shackled Wall Street and the banks, created a Command and Control economy (headed by a young Canadian!). Roosevelt, himself a plutocrat, behaved in an extremely progressive, socialist way. Because he had to. Sometimes, the Dark Side is all about doing what is necessary (I see Obama chuckling in the distance with his drones). Embracing many of the solutions of the hard left, was the price Roosevelt paid to save plutocracy.

Maybe to compensate, for his own exuberant socialism, Roosevelt was abusive with the French (who still adore him), and exploitative with the British. He also helped making sure that Stalin, Hitler and Mussolini could devastate Europe… To the great profit of the USA. In 1939, or early 1940, Roosevelt could have declared war to Hitler. That would have probably made him win re-election in November 1940 in a landslide.

Roosevelt ran for an unprecedented Third Term. President Washington had refused to do so; Roosevelt was not obligated to run for an unprecedented third term. But he was morally, civilizationally, and strategically obligated to declare war to Nazism. FDR never did: Hitler declared war TO him. So why did not he?

Because Roosevelt was a master of the Dark Side: he let Nazism being used as a blunt instruments to destroy the competition in Europe, the other representative democracies (France, UK, Netherlands, Belgium, Norway… and their allies: Czechoslovakia, Poland, etc.) In the USA, this makes him a great man, an immense patriot, the founder of the “American Century”. The judgment of history, is another matter, entirely, let’s hope I contribute to it with my own point of view (“theory“).

In any case, President Roosevelt was a master plutocrat, whereas Hitler and Mussolini depended upon plutocrats. The case of Stalin is different: the Dark Side was so strong with him, he was able to surf over lots of plutocrats, as if they were waves, one after the other. Early on plutocrats of the USA (such as the Harriman Brothers) financed him (say to develop Baku oil fields). Engel in his theoretical book had said to do away with marriage, and embrace, free, secxual love. So Stalin’s satanic approach was pragmatic. Allied to German fascists, from 1916, until savagely attacked by his colleague Hitler, Stalin dictated his conditions to a weakened Roosevelt who was all too happy to give him half of Europe to chew on.

The Pragmatic Approach Can Be Opposed to the Principled One:

The USA stays highly pragmatic, never having ratified the Kyoto Protocol. Obama presented a plan to lead from behind technological progress (it affects energy production, about 30% of the CO2 production, but not transportation, another third, or industry). The solution, of course is to take out all subsidies for fossil fuels, starting with the richest countries, and doing so progressively. If Europe and the USA decided this, they could impose it, worldwide, through a carbon tax.

A conference in Paris is supposed to make desperate efforts to stop the rush through the two degrees Celsius, but the largest sub-arctic zone, Russia, has already barreled right through.

As long as hedge funds feel they can order the world around why should it be any different? What else?

Plutocrats say: all the problems arise from French-like socialism, and the European Unification related to it. Thus, they have got to say that so it is, with Puerto Rico’s debt crisis.

Puerto Rico’s debt crisis has to be related to the hydra of European unifying socialism, sneakily propelled by the French.  How could that not be? Contagion, what plutocrats fear the most, this what Greece and France brought: contagion of rebellion. Destroying direct democracy is why Persia financed the war of Sparta against Athens. Plutocrats have profited of this Persian investment, ever since.

The Greeks did not want to pay for their banks’ errors, and the state debt resulting from it. So the Greeks started a mood, a mood where those who owe resist their lords, the lenders. Hence the Puerto Rican legislature sudden decision to resist its masters, the hedge fund managers. So, you see, European leftists are not innocuous, they are already attacking on U.S. soil.

And the climate crisis? Purely a French invention. Proof? The climate conference is to be held in Paris in four months.

Nowadays, thanks in part to the Multiverse fanatics, no proofs are really necessary, screaming insanities is sufficient, to qualify for respect (as long as you have a big gun, or pocketbook, or aura given by those with guns, or pocketbooks). Everybody knows this, by now: the tedium of the medium is the message, and the massage.

Patrice Ayme’

Killer Robots Inevitable, Resistance Futile

July 29, 2015

Over one thousands experts, professors, renowned intellectuals, Stephen Hawking, even Elon Musk, the unavoidable Noam Chomsky, and, ironically enough, plenty of the actors of the computer industry, have signed a naive, hypocritical, and ineffective letter to ban “autonomous killing systems” (the letter is to be presented soon). Their agenda? Mass distraction, to divert us from the real problem, while making us believe that they really care. If they really cared, they would promote the solution I advocate, the one and only.

They pontificate: “The key question for humanity today is whether to start a global AI [Artificial Intelligence] arms race or to prevent it from starting. If any major military power pushes ahead with AI weapon development, a global arms race is virtually inevitable.” Is that the key question? What about the CO2 crisis, with its melting poles and increasingly acid oceans.

Autonomous Killing Systems Already Exist, But Direct Democracy Does Not

Autonomous Killing Systems Already Exist, But Direct Democracy Does Not

As if there was not a continual Artificial Intelligence arms race? There has been one, since 1940, or so. And there better be, if democracies want to stay on top, and world war avoided. Automated killing machines are moving swiftly from science fiction to reality…

The deployment of such systems is – practically if not legally – feasible within years, not decades,

Excuse me?  The PHALANX anti-aircraft, and anti-missile system is an automated fire-control system enabling it to automatically search for, detect, track, engage, and kill. Entirely autonomously, yes. It’s nickname is “R2-D2”, from the half smart robot by the same name in Star Wars. All major capital ships of the USA, and those of 16 allies, are equipped with it. Each American aircraft carrier carries several, covering all approaches.

So what are the worthies talking about?

Nothing. They are just posing as good people. They want us to believe they deserve our trust. They are smart enough to know no state which can equip itself with autonomous killing systems will hesitate to do so. So their approach is both immoral, thoroughly hypocritical, and deeply ineffective.

Forbidding democracies to use autonomous killing systems will make those a monopoly of dictatorships. It’s a no-go approach, as far as any half-smart military is concerned.

So what is the correct approach, oh great know-it all?

Granted that democracies will be anxious to equip themselves with autonomous killing systems, be it only to save soldiers’ lives, how can we make sure such systems will not veer into the situation depicted in the Terminator or Matrix movies, where machines take over?

Very simple: Direct Democracy. Direct Democracy is the solution to rule over robots, not just plutocrats. If every citizen is involved in the utilization, and the decisions to use such autonomous systems, then we will be as safe as safe can be.

The worthies and their petition want to distract from the one and only obvious solution. Instead, they propose a pious, ill-informed vow. Which will make the deep state, the intelligence agencies, the military and its contractors laugh derisively, in the leading democracies.

Right now, very few individuals are in the know about how technology is used to subjugate human beings. A handful of Senators in the USA, a handful at the White House. The rest of those who know are in the military. As long as this goes on, the temptation to use technology to serve a few, and their robotic servants will be irresistible. The remedy is that we all be involved, and in control. We need wikicontrol.

Patrice Ayme’

I FEEL, Therefore I THINK

June 17, 2015

It has been discovered recently that bilingualism helped with setting up a theory of mind in children, and also that physical exercise helps the brain.

It’s not surprising: in both cases, the brain is forced to exercise more. In a way, the brain is asked to do something, a particular task belong to a new category of tasks, and, when tested about that category of tasks, test higher than if it had never engaged in these tasks.

Exercise forces much of the brain to get active, and at a sufficient performance level (otherwise one crashes).

An Aspect Of My Personal Alps, Where I Frequently Run

An Aspect Of My Personal Alps, Where I Frequently Run

Bilingualism forces to realize that the logos depends upon generalized semantics, that is what one means by a particular word, and which emotion a particular concept is supposed to connect two. Having two versions of semantics and truth, forces one to practice arbitrage, hence higher mental functions. Maybe the Jews of Central and Western Europe, were so smart because they learned both the local language and Yiddish. Similarly for children of upper classes learning Greek and Latin on top of their language (Caesar learned Greek before Latin).

Are there other activities which force our minds to expand?

Facing lions and killing mammoths comes to mind. Neanderthals did this, and their brains were significantly larger than those of Homo Sapiens Sapiens. (Racist Homo SS having been trying to insult Neanderthals about this, ever since the first one was identified in 1856 as a “ricketty Cossack“).

More generally I favor the racist explanation that, living in much harder circumstances, Neanderthals were actually smarter, and their domestication of wolves proves it.

Confronting bears with bare hands, is an interesting activity. Bears hate stones, as they are familiar with the fact stones are dangerous, and when stones start flying, that’s strong magic which gives them an enticing excuse to retreat.)

Short of confronting bears with bare hands, what can we do? To improve mental performance?

What should we do?

Well, go to nature. Real nature, complete with wasps (another big black flying insect trying to sting me since my wasps adventure, but got tangled in my hairdo several times, instead; amusingly it was less than 1,000 feet from where I got attacked by wasps, but this time on a standard fire road, which allowed me to escape more readily; I am going to ned up believing in genies like the Muslim god, if they keep coming at me in the same place…).

Real nature activates, I believe, the proper neurohormones.

Making love makes the Rolling Stones’ Keith Richard happy, because it’s a strong passion.

However nature, wild, savage nature, provides with even stronger passions. A sex maniac such as the famous navigator Olivier de Kersauzon, admits that, when he sails around the world, he thinks about sex not once for one second, being too worried by survival, or crushed with fatigue. John Muir climbed a tall conifer during a storm in the Sierra, to appreciate the passions nature provides with, even more.

Nature feels beautiful: it evokes in us the neurohormonal states we call beauty. How are we going to experience beauty otherwise? Love? Yes, sometimes, somewhat, somehow, love is beautiful. But love is tied either to family, children, or where they all come from, the desire to unite with some other(s). It’s a bit too contingent upon others.

But give a human a desert, with grand vistas: even with no one else around, beauty will be had, aplenty.

Appreciating the beauty of the universe, its cosmicity, is related, in humans, no doubt, to many deep emotions we, humans, are made to leverage, to use our minds to their full capabilities. Not just scanning for prey, water, or enemies. But also contemplating what we humans created, because we are stewards of the Earth. We are of this world (that’s what “cosmic, kosmikos” means, in Greek). This world we created (as the Earth has become a vast human garden, complete with totally modified ecology, from pole to pole).

The Beatles insisted: All we need is love!

Well, sometimes we can’t get love, just from the circumstances. Where is love, walking alone under the starry sky, surrounded by darkness? If you are on a barren island, where is love going to come from?

Well, even in the desert, there is always the beauty of nature, love for the beauty of nature, of which love for other human beings is a particular case. Love for nature is not just a faithful companion, it’s a teacher of love and hope.

I think therefore I am, said the other one. But to think better, thus to be better, we have enjoy more the teacher no one can eschew, nature itself. And all the emotions, all the neurohormones, all the mind it can endow us with.

Go to the woods, or the woods will come to you.

Making fun of “I think, therefore I am” dates back at least to Wittgenstein. However, my point is serious. Whereas robots can walk, robots do NOT have sensations. Worms do. So worms feel, and decide what to feel: they are unpredictable, as I pointed out in “Three Neurons, Free Will“.

I would suggest that consciousness is more basic than the impression of “thinking”. And that unpredictability is a symptom of consciousness. Yes, consciousness has a feel to it, and that varies… Hence the unpredictability, both of sentient beings, and of the thinking process itself (and the Quantum Computer will confirm that!)

Patrice Ayme’

Humans: Naturally Born Scientists

June 5, 2015

Philosophers, through the ages, have tried to distinguish man from beast. The soul was suggested as a possible distinction (that was an old Middle Age theory, later adopted by Descartes). Tool usage was proposed (Bergson). And then language was offered as characteristic of humans. But animals were found to have theories of mind, tools, and language. How is man going to feel proud and different?

What about science? Does the inbred ability to produce it characterize us? I think so.

What Is Science? It Is Not To Be Confused With Scientific Theories:

Science is the body of certain facts. Science is the body of facts which have been proven experimentally to be true.

Curiously, many people do not get this simple statement. Is it because primary school is not taught adequately?

We Have Been Scientists, All Along, Ever More

We Have Been Scientists, All Along, Ever More

Science is the body of certain facts. Science is the body of facts which have been proven experimentally to be true. How hard is it to understand this?

Newtonian Mechanics for example is science because, within its domain of application, all its predictions are, and have been proven to be, indeed, what is observed.

Same thing for classical thermodynamics: facts are predicted, and observed to be true, time and time again. Same thing for continental drift: it predicts that continents are moving, and they are observed to move, indeed. At the exact rate predicted.

Biological evolution, too, is science. It says species have evolved. This is indeed what is observed. Thus, evolution is science. It’s not just a theory. Biological science says even more: that species are still evolving, as observed.

And so on:

Science is the body of facts which have been proven time and time again, to be indeed, occurring.

Then there are so-called “scientific” theories.

Scientific Theories Are Not Science, But, First, Theories:

Theory means: a point of view. Theories are not just facts anymore, but a way to organize them according to a perspective. That calls onto pieces of logic which are not proven. A “scientific” theory can be made of a mumbo-jumbo of facts, and completely unproven, even outrageous hypotheses.

Evolution is science. But scientific theories of how this evolution exactly happens are debatable, and debated. They are not sure. They are just theories. (Is evolution just from “natural selection”, haphazardly, or is there more, such that intelligent steering by Quantum epigenetics, as I believe?)

Most Quantum mechanics is science: it’s a set of rules, a logos, which has been checked, time and time again. However, as soon as one steps a bit away from it, it becomes uncertain (for example the Many Interacting World, MIW, a theory is handy, but it assumes that particles are points; that latter point is not a proven, certain fact).

String Theory, Supersymmetry, Multiverse, for example, are theories which include some “scientific” or “mathematical” facts. But they cannot even be checked, let alone capable of making predictions which are observed.

So those “scientific theories” are not “science”. They make a body of knowledge of some sort, like a game. But they are not allowing to make predictions observed in nature.

***

Subtleties:

There are so-called “demarcation problems“, always. It happens within science: Newtonian Mechanics makes superbly exact predictions about where space probes go as engineers use planets as slings to launch them further. However, if one wants to find out about GPS drift, one has to use the more general version of gravitation of Einstein (the latter reduces exactly to Newtonian Mechanics inside the solar system; so the theory changes from Newton, for rockets, to General Relativity (GR), for GPS).

A more subtle demarcation is found, within the body of any given science. For example, part of Einstein theory of gravitation is science, as it predicts exactly what is exactly observed (say with the Geo Positioning System). However, the same set of ideas when applied to, say, Black Holes, comes short: it runs out of enough ideas to make exact predictions, runs out of experiments to be checked, and observed facts.

Thus the theory of gravitation, GR, is science (the closest one stays to Newton), and also a hoped-for scientific theory (but not as disconnected from reality as String Theory, Susy, Multiverse, etc.). However, GR, as a general scientific theory, has disappointed: the unified theory which Einstein tried to develop did not work. (Instead it morphed into something else the general fiber space theory with Ehresman connections, known as Gauge Theory, also know as Quantum Field Theory, etc.)

Thus:

Science is what we know for sure:

How do we know that a logic is true, for sure? By conducting experiments.

By that token, archery was a science (launched just right, an arrow goes where it’s supposed to). Archery later blossomed into gunnery, ballistics, Newtonian Mechanics. Nowadays we would not consider archery as a science, but it’s among the simplest cases of dynamics.

For millions of years, our ancestors have used plants to help with their health. (Ethology has shown many animals do this, not just upper primates.) At this point, around 60% of our medical drugs come from plants.

The European iceman was found carrying general purpose antibiotics. Not by accident. He died more than 5,000 years ago.

And so on. Science is what is sure. We have been sure for a long, a very long time. If we were not so sure, we could not do much.

An artisan making a work perfectly is a scientist, in the particular domain in which this artisan excels. A prehistoric man striking a stone, just so that the force would split a crystal perfectly along pre-determined planes, was a scientist. A rock scientist. He, or she, was engaging in an application of a science we now know as crystallography. (And also in the theory of the mechanical forces, vector calculus.)

Humanity has blossomed, because humanity has learned how to establish, for sure, certain truths which required artificially devised experiments, and the proclivity to push the last frontier of truth, ever more, by being ever more subtle.

We evolved to become an intentionally scientific, that is, prone to experiment, species.

SCIENCE IS US.

And philosophy and its philosophical method, in all that? It’s the category of all the wild guesses, absolutely indispensable to suggest the next experiments, to feed tomorrow’s truths.

***

Science Is Starting To Address Ethics, And Theory Of Mind:

Long the rage smoldered between the so called “humanities” and science. How obsolete. Clearly science is making inroads in the humanities, and clearly the humanities can ask pointed questions to physics, biology, even engineering. Let’s consider the first point, how science is informing humanities.

There is a science called ethology. It comes from “ethos” which means character. Ethology is the logic of character. Ethos also gave the notion of ethics.

Ethology originally was the study of character of animals, from their objective behavior. A number of methods pertaining to the field were developed, Nobel Prizes in biology and medicine were awarded to ethologists.

Then, in the following decades, it dawned on ethologists that the methods of ethology could be extended to the study of the human character.

This is why I am surprised when I hear that one needs a metaphysics to have an ethics. Instead, ethics is something that is determined by the bottom up (instead of top down).

First, through trial, error, and natural selection, human ethology evolved in the last 500 million years. Nature played scientist to evolve us.

Second, human beings observe, and make theories, even social and ethical theories, and then they apply what is basically the scientific method to them.

The scientific method consists in establishing with reasonable certainty facts. As it becomes ever more subtle, it can address ever more sophisticated domains, which used to be exclusively philosophical.

An example? The Theory of Mind. That is a subject long exclusively philosophical. However, scientific research published in recent years showed that children exposed to a second language have, in the average, a better theory of mind. Here is a fresh example, published in 2015:

http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21652258-children-exposed-several-languages-are-better-seeing-through-others-eyes-do

Here is an abstract of the research:

HUMAN beings are not born with the knowledge that others possess minds with different contents. Children develop such a “theory of mind” gradually, and even adults have it only imperfectly. But a study by Samantha Fan and Zoe Liberman at the University of Chicago, published in Psychological Science, finds that bilingual children, and also those simply exposed to another language on a regular basis, have an edge at the business of getting inside others’ minds… Some objects were blocked from the experimenter’s sight, a fact the children could clearly see. With a large, a medium and a small car visible to the child, but the small car hidden from the adult, the adult would ask “I see a small car” and ask the child to move it. Both bilingual and those in the exposure group moved the medium-sized car (the smallest the experimenter could see) about 75% of the time, against 50% for the monolinguals. The successful children were less likely even to glance at the car the experimenter could not see.

Why is this happening? Multilingual children observe that different languages provide with different perspectives, thus different theories (theory means literally, to “see” (horan) a “view” (thea)). So multilingual children are more apt to consider which view others see, when considering others.

Multilingual children have a theory of theories of behavior, and we can prove it scientifically. Epistemics” is now a science. And it informs morality.

We are the scientific species. No science, no man. Now, more than ever. And at last smart enough to understand what it means. It means: “Plus Oultre!”, as emperor Charles Quint put it, five centuries ago. Wherever we arrived, in place, time, or understanding, we have to go beyond. It’s not just what ecology requires, it’s what we are.

Patrice Ayme’

Teaching The Dark Side Subconsciously

May 3, 2015

How Respect For Infamy Subconsciously Taught

Does USA Academia Teach Respect for Wealth & the Leader Principle?

In a society, institutions teach insidiously the subconscious often more efficiently than what they profess officially. Precisely because, being insidious, the “teaching” is subconscious, surreptitious, thus undefended against.

American Academia teaches the Leader Principle (Hitler’s Fuerer Prinzip in German) in subtle ways.

One way to do that is to give a human being’s name to prestigious chairs. Then proudly, firmly and very officially, it is announced, often by the beneficiary himself, that said beneficiary of the Chair is “The Blah Blah Von Bloh Bloh Bloh Professor of Such and Such at the University of This and That”).

Thus, the impression is imprinted on teenagers that it is by the good grace of someone extremely wealthy that the professing professor seems to have been created. Hence wealth creates intellectual, academic authority.

French Soldiers United Nations Mandated, Central African Republic 2013

French Soldiers United Nations Mandated, Central African Republic 2013

[French soldiers were killed in combat in the CAR, while stopping a huge civil war/holocaust in the making; All the more a reason to act well, with nothing to hide.]

One can instill reverence for money in a myriad of related ways. Buildings get named according to wealthy individuals or corporations. The (self-described) “best” universities flaunt their wealth, in billions of dollars (they call that wealth “endowment”).

Better: one can force students to pay “tuition” which is of the order of the average family income. Thus wealth, and wealth only, makes access to knowledge and wisdom possible.

(Some will object that there are scholarships given on merit, or “racial”, ethnic, or gender reasons. However, the fact remains that even the scholarship are processed, loud and clear according to wealth distributed.)

The “Leader Principle” is continuously taught in the USA. The paradox is that a real democracy is ruled by the People, not leaders. So the very prominence of the Leader Principle admits that democracy is secondary.

How To Avoid War Crimes:

Some soldiers in the French Army were accused in a secret United Nations report of sex abuse against some boys in the Central Africa Republic (CAR) during the on-going Operation Sangaris. The report was leaked to the French Military by a UN official, and the French immediately started an enquiry.

Now it has become a huge affair. The UN heavily depends upon the French Military to intervene all over Africa, ever since French paratroopers blocked the Cuban army from invading Congo (wars Shaba I and II), and engaged in spectacular operations such as the rescue of Kolwezi.

16 soldiers are involved (and, apparently, only 4 of them French, contrarily to what journalists in England claimed; others were Africans, yet still under the UN Mandate).

In any case, full light will be made: the French Republic recognizes the authority of the International Criminal Court for war crimes committed by its own soldiers.

Overall, the greatest difference between the Western democracies and their enemies in the Twentieth Century, was that they (mostly) did not engage in war crimes.

Perhaps the greatest crime was committed in Algeria in 1945, when the French engaged in a crack-down against would-be independentists (or just ex-soldiers who wanted full rights). This did not work well, as ultimately, as a result of this (war) crime, a terrible civil war happened in France and Algeria (which is basically unresolved to this day!)

Right, the French engaged in torture in Algeria (but that was entirely excusable). Right, the USA engaged in massacres in Vietnam (but the most famous such massacre, My-Lai, was prosecuted). Right, the greatest crime of the USA in Vietnam, clearly a massive war crime, the usage of Agent Orange, was abominable (one million were killed, disabled, or severely affected). But it can be argued that these dangers were not clear at the time (the British had used defoliants during the Malaysian Emergency, without a significant outcry).

And of course the British, French and Americans had been pretty rough with the Nazis in 1944-45, to the point the Nazis had whined about it. Surrendering to Americans was difficult, they tended to shoot until there was obvious peace; the British fired-bombed cities… But, there again, the Nazis had got it all started. The first raid in Germany, a raid on Berlin, by French Naval aviation, was a direct retaliation to Nazi attacks on French cities…

The USA has gone, though, the other way, in recent years. Obvious war crimes in Iraq were covered-up for all to see. And the USA does not recognize the authority of the International Criminal Court.

Too bad Obama did not have the guts, and brains, to even try to change these things, when he (supposedly) controlled the politics of the USA, six years ago.

Instead, those who reveal the crimes were prosecuted. This subconsciously teaches the world that it is OK for violence to be used criminally by authority in the USA. And thus by any authority, anywhere in the world. And then even by those who have no authority.


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GrrrGraphics on WordPress

www.grrrgraphics.com

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because all (Western) philosophy consists of a series of footnotes to Plato

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Striving For Ever Better Thinking. Humanism Is Intelligence Unleashed. From Intelligence All Ways, Instincts & Values Flow, Even Happiness. History and Science Teach Us Not Just Humility, But Power, Smarts, And The Ways We Should Embrace. Naturam Primum Cognoscere Rerum

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Dogs are animals of integrity. We have much to learn from them.

ianmillerblog

Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

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Military and general security

RobertLovesPi.net

Polyhedra, tessellations, and more.

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SoundEagle 🦅ೋღஜஇ

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Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

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in truth, only atoms and the void

West Hunter

Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat

GrrrGraphics on WordPress

www.grrrgraphics.com

Skulls in the Stars

The intersection of physics, optics, history and pulp fiction

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because all (Western) philosophy consists of a series of footnotes to Plato

Patrice Ayme's Thoughts

Striving For Ever Better Thinking. Humanism Is Intelligence Unleashed. From Intelligence All Ways, Instincts & Values Flow, Even Happiness. History and Science Teach Us Not Just Humility, But Power, Smarts, And The Ways We Should Embrace. Naturam Primum Cognoscere Rerum

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Dogs are animals of integrity. We have much to learn from them.

ianmillerblog

Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

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Military and general security

RobertLovesPi.net

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an evolving guide to practical Stoicism for the 21st century

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Writer, Editor, Berliner

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