Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

What Is A Logic? Just A Piece Of Mind

January 15, 2017

I would propose that a logic is anything which can be modelled with a piece and parcel of brain.

I will show, surprisingly enough, that this is a further step in Cartesian Logic.

At first sight, it may look as if I were answering a riddle, by further mysteries. Indeed, but with mysteries which can be subjected to experimental inquiry (now or tomorrow).

What is a brain? A type of Quantum Computer! And what is Computing, and the Quantum? Well, works in progress. There is something called Quantum Logic, but it does not necessarily defines the world, as exactly what Quantum Physics is, is still obscure.

In practice? Logic is what works, a set of rules to go from a set A of statements to a set B of statements.

In this perspective, Medieval logic did not decline. Instead it transmutated into mathematics.

 The teaching of Logic or Dialetics from a collection of scientific, philosophical and poetic writings, French, 13th century; Bibliotheque Sainte-Genevieve, Paris, France. The 13th century was a time of extreme intellectual activity in Europe, superior to anything else in the world, centered 800 miles around Paris. In particular the heliocentric system was proposed by Buridan, after he overthrew Aristotelian Physics, by inventing and discovering inertia.

The teaching of Logic or Dialetics from a collection of scientific, philosophical and poetic writings, French, 13th century; Bibliotheque Sainte-Genevieve, Paris, France. The 13th century was a time of extreme intellectual activity in Europe, superior to anything else in the world, centered 800 miles around Paris. In particular the heliocentric system was proposed by Buridan, after he overthrew Aristotelian Physics, by inventing and discovering inertia.

An article in Aeon, “The Rise And Fall And Rise Of Logic”,

Reflects on the importance on the history of the notion of logic:

Reflecting on the history of logic forces us to reflect on what it means to be a reasonable cognitive agent, to think properly. Is it to engage in discussions with others? Is it to think for ourselves? Is it to perform calculations?

In the Critique of Pure Reason (1781), Immanuel Kant stated that no progress in logic had been made since Aristotle. He therefore concludes that the logic of his time had reached the point of completion. There was no more work to be done. Two hundred years later, after the astonishing developments in the 19th and 20th centuries, with the mathematisation of logic at the hands of thinkers such as George Boole, Gottlob Frege, Bertrand Russell, Alfred Tarski and Kurt Gödel, it’s clear that Kant was dead wrong. But he was also wrong in thinking that there had been no progress since Aristotle up to his time. According to A History of Formal Logic (1961) by the distinguished J M Bocheński, the golden periods for logic were the ancient Greek period, the medieval scholastic period, and the mathematical period of the 19th and 20th centuries. (Throughout this piece, the focus is on the logical traditions that emerged against the background of ancient Greek logic. So Indian and Chinese logic are not included, but medieval Arabic logic is.)”

The old racist Prussian, Kant, a fascist, enslaving cog in the imperial machine turned false philosopher was unsurprisingly incorrect.

The author of the referenced article, Catarina Dutilh Novaes, is professor of philosophy and the Rosalind Franklin fellow in the Department of Theoretical Philosophy at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. Her work focuses on the philosophy of logic and mathematics, and she is broadly interested in philosophy of mind and science. Her latest book is The Cambridge Companion to Medieval Logic (2016).

She attributes the decline of logic, in the post-medieval period known as the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, to the rise of printed books, self-study and the independent thinker. She rolls out Descartes, and his break from formal logic:

Catarina writes: “Another reason logic gradually lost its prominence in the modern period was the abandonment of predominantly dialectical modes of intellectual enquiry. A passage by René Descartes – yes, the fellow who built a whole philosophical system while sitting on his own by the fireplace in a dressing gown – represents this shift in a particularly poignant way.”

Speaking of how the education of a young pupil should proceed, in Principles of Philosophy (1644) René Descartes writes:

After that, he should study logic. I do not mean the logic of the Schools, for this is strictly speaking nothing but a dialectic which teaches ways of expounding to others what one already knows or even of holding forth without judgment about things one does not know. Such logic corrupts good sense rather than increasing it. I mean instead the kind of logic which teaches us to direct our reason with a view to discovering the truths of which we are ignorant.

Catarina adds: “Descartes hits the nail on the head when he claims that the logic of the Schools (scholastic logic) is not really a logic of discovery. Its chief purpose is justification and exposition.”

Instead, Descartes claims and I claim that a new sort of logic arose: Medieval Logic transmuted itself into mathematics (Descartes does not say this, but he means it). And mathematics is not really logical in the strictest sense. As it has too many rules to be strictly logical.

Buridan, a great logician who studied well the Liar Paradox (which gave the Incompleteness Theorems) had students such as (bishop) Oresme, who demonstrated what, it turned out, were the first practical theorems in calculus (more than 2 centuries before the formal invention of calculus by Fermat, and Fermat’s discovery of the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus, that integration and differentiation are inverse to each other).

For example, under the influence of Buridan and then Oresme, graphs and later equations themselves were invented. So logic became mathematics. That was blatant by the time Descartes invented Algebraic Geometry. Algebraic Geometry gave ways to deduce, to go from a set A to a set B, using a completely new method never seen before.

In turn, by the Nineteenth Century, mathematical methods contributed to old questions in Logic (the most striking being the use of Cantor Diagonalization to show incompleteness, thanks to the Liar Paradox, self-referential method.

In this spirit, not only Set Theory, naive or not, but Category Theory can be viewed as types of logic. So is, of course, computer science. Logic is whatever enables to deduce. Thus even poetry is a form of logic.

Logic is everywhere there is mental activity, and it is never complete.

If logic is just pieces of brain, then what? Well, some progress in pure logic can be made, just paying attention to how the brain works. The brain works sequentially, temporally, with local linear logics (axonal and dendritic systems). The brain tends to be deprived of contradictions (but not always, and nothing infuriates people more, than to be exposed to their own contradictions and gaps in… logic). Also all these pieces of brain, these logics, are not just temporally ordered, but finite.

As we try to use logic to look forward, as a bunch of monkeys messing up our space rock, it is important to realize that what logic is, has not been properly defined, let alone circumscribed. Indeed, if, surprise, surprise, logic has not been properly defined, let alone circumscribed, much more is logically possible than people suspect!

Patrice Ayme’


Shakespeare Versus Sade

January 7, 2016

Why were the English, or even the Spanish and the Portuguese so much more successful in establishing a world empire than the French? On the face of obvious facts, it’s curious that France did not do better. Nowadays Latin America speaks Spanish or Portuguese, entire continents are English-speaking. Only some of the wastes of Africa speak French. How come? Why did France not grab a continent for herself? Was France… too civilized? Is too much civilization an infection?

France was the most powerful, most populous, most innovative, most central, not to say most belligerent, of the European countries, for about 13 centuries… Besides being the creator of Europe since 360 CE (election of Julian). France led a healthy reaction against Christian terrorism, and became the center of military and imperial power which made Western Europe one (rather united, “Christian”) civilization.

Too Much Civilization Goes To The Wolves

Too Much Civilization Goes To The Wolves

And, precisely, more civilization and more centralization may have been the problems. If one is too civilized, one may respect the Natives so much, that one may forget to take their place. This is clearly what happened to the French in Canada. The French civilized and settled the Hurons. Then the Iroquois Confederacy came down from the mountains, and exterminated the pacified Hurons. And so on. Turkeys cannot built a civilization under the watchful eyes of lions.

If one is more centralized, while civilized, one will be unable to exploit the Natives as required for a successful settlement, in a timely manner.

True, Louis XIV, the famous Sun-Tyrant, made “legalized” slavery in the French West Indies, with the “Code Noir”. However, there was no slavery in French Canada and Louisiana, while slavery was lawful in English colonies, starting with Massachusetts…to immense economic success: some English American states were mostly people by African slaves cultivating tobacco, under the white whip, terrorized by their white masters. Tobacco had made English America profitable.

So what the difference in the imperial patterns of various European powers? Moods. Basically, the French had too little too late, of the … Dark Side. I mean real Dark: the king of Portugal harassed the Pope to obtain a Papal authorization to enslave Africans (Frankish law forbid to enslave Europeans explicitly, and Charlemagne had created the Papal state). Their Catholic Majesties, Isabella and Ferdinand harassed Borgia, a fellow Spaniard and Pope to authorize the Inquisition (then used to exterminate Judaism and Islam in the Iberian peninsula). Portugal and Spain were then ready to lash out. A planned crusade to exterminate Islam, was redirected more profitably towards the conquest of the Americas.

How come the greater friendliness of the English government to the Dark Side? Not coincidentally,  the rise of Shakespeare and of the West Country Men was simultaneous in England. And they were entangled: the (ex-Scottish) King James I, one of the West Country Men (basically) supported Shakespeare. (As Dominique Deux said) the success of Shakespeare comes from his parade of monsters.

Shakespeare, just as Allah in the Qur’an (following Yahweh in the Bible), made monstrosity honorable. Thus monstrosity became a strategy at the ready, something normal to do.

One may object that it’s not clear why monstrosity worked so well for the English and not so well for the Muslims.

Well, as a metaphysics of war, Islam was superb: the initial Muslim empire went from France, through Spain, North Africa, all the way to Central Asia and India, within 89 years of its launch in 732 CE. On the way it defeated the two most powerful empires outside of China, annihilating one, eating more than half of the other.

The feat was renewed later: in the Eleventh Century, the Turks, a decade or two after converting to Islam, defeated three large empires in West Central Asia, including a mauling of the Roman empire (which called the Franks to the rescue, launching the crusades).

So Islam’s monstrous side is excellent to motivate primitives for war.

This is proven as we speak: yesterday and today, January 7 2016, two Jihadist attacks in France (some terrorists tried a car attack against soldiers, no doubt inspired by happenings in Israel, and another attacked policemen with a meat cleaver, screaming “Allah Akbar”, and carrying a fake explosive belt, he was shot to death).

However, fanaticism does not rise to the motivation and power of free, knowledgeable men, as Islam’s crushing defeats at the hands of the Franks (starting in 721-732-748 CE), would prove in the next 13 centuries). Or the reconquest of Ramadi from the Islamist State by the Iraqi army and Sunni tribes.

So how come the English were so successful: it’s simple: in the case of the English, monstrosity was an adjuvant. I was listening to the Queen’s 2016 message the other day. She charmingly, succeeded to quietly claim that her family invented Christmas (a 4,000 year old tradition). She was completely unfazed by the monstrosity of her claims. (One could easily imagine her claiming Macbeth invented Christmas, just as unfazed.)

Monstrosity worked well as an adjuvant to other, more democratic structures in society, such as Common Law, Parliament, the Monarchy, with the oath to it that all males had to take at 14 of faithfulness to the King. In the case of the Qur’an, the Qur’an was all there was. Interpreted literally, the Qur’an is unbalanced monstrosity 100% of the time (with the major inconvenience that everybody can be suspected of apostasy, something punished by death).

Admiring Macbeth’s statement that life… is a tale told by an idiot full of sound and fury, signifying nothing, is a perfect slogan to go kill Irishmen (as the West Country Men did). And then American Natives (as the colonies founded by the West Country Men in America soon did).

Make no mistake: the Bible is full of genocides. Just as the Qur’an, which it inspired, it enables major monsters, bent on holocaust, to claim they are doing God’s will. Shakespeare is a secular version of the same mood with which to handle the world.

In the USA, many a school children spent an entire year studying Shakespeare shaking his spears all over human society (Shakespeare himself made jokes about the spear in his name, wanting it as his coat of arms).

Some could sneer that Sade wrote worse things. True. And actually I do think that writing terrible things is not just good, and instructive, but fights boredom, and feeds the mind. However, the obsessive exposition of Anglo-Saxon children to Shakespeare (or the Queen and her grotesque lies), while presenting that author as the epitome of classical humanism is deeply wrong.

Sade did not claim to extol classical humanism as he described horrors with relish. He was actually highly critical. Differently from Shakespeare the bard, about whom we know little, we know very well that Sade played a major role in the 1789 Revolution (including instigating the attack against the Bastille). Not just that, but he personally saved thousands (and got nearly executed for his troubles, escaping at the last moment thanks to the coup against Robespierre).

Sade’s main theme is that man is (potentially) immensely cruel, and politicians even more so, as they need cruelty, just to relax.

Power is cruelty, and absolute power is absolute cruelty.

A society where spears are shaken all the time, does not just shoots itself in the foot, or the head, very much. It also shoots everything that is in the way, all too readily. Shakespeare is viewed by the Anglo-Saxons as classical, while some of what is viewed as his most classical parts is just as bad, if not worse, than the worse in Sade (who, at least, was conscious of cruelty, while extolling it). The same objection can be made, and should be made, against the devout followers of the Bible, the Qur’an, and other various books of horrors. They say it’s classical, and should be respected.

No. Those books are classical, they should be known, but then they should be debated, fiercely, and dragged in the mud, as needed. Identify, condemn, and cut off the gangrene, the gangrene of the mind, as needed.

The West Country Men, powerful plutocrats as they were, sent soldiers and “endured servants” (white slaves) to America to make a profit. The French founded Canada for the “Mission Civilisatrice” (mostly). The West Country Men, operating in connivence with Justice, sent derelicts and miscreants to America. The French government carefully selected a moral elite to go to America, help the Natives.

However, in the real world, the sheep, however clever and cultivated, does not vanquish the lion. The former eats grass, the latter, sheep. It’s as simple as that. One lesson? Instead of just criminally prosecuting Africans, the International Court of Justice in La Hague should think about engaging a procedure against ex-president G. W. Bush, for instigating so many war crimes in iraq. Then, logically, the ICJ should move against the Saudis and all those businessmen doing business with them.

Indeed. Think about it. Culture without claws and fangs, and the will to use them, is only a betrayal of civilization.

In the Sixteenth Century, the Conquistadores enslaved the Indians, made them dig for oil, grow food for them. After they exterminated the Indians this way, they brought African slaves. When, finally the Frenchman Charles Quint, Spanish king and Roman emperor was forcefully appraised of the extent of the Holocaust by men of conscience (Bartolome Las Casas, etc.), the emperor autocratically ordered a halt to the Conquista (after a supreme tribunal got hung up). Otherwise all the Americas would be speaking Spanish.

Then Charles V retired. His son, Philip II, was less French. When Philip learned of French (Protestant) colonies along the “Carolina” coast, he sent an armada to exterminate them to the last French baby. A French relief fleet was dispersed by a hurricane (showing that god, were it to exist, is not friend of goodness). The French babies got killed, down to the last one (although some may have been rescued by Indians).

Not defending goodness with fang and claw surrenders it to the wolves. The good human is not an inert human. Goodness cannot just be lauded, it needs to be defended. Being inert, is inhuman.

Patrice Ayme’

Classical Nihilism: Shakespeare & Qur’an

January 5, 2016

Is life a tale told by an idiot, signifying nothing? Shakespeare evoked the idea. He created a mood. Out of it Bush, massacring all the Natives? Shakespeare, the Master Thinker is much admired in the Anglo-Saxon world, and beyond (perhaps in the hope of seducing Anglo-Saxons by loving where they come from?) The Bard was gifted with words, but some of the terrible ideas he lent to his characters have seeped into the world consciousness, as we must approve of them. Maybe it was no accident, not all Islam, when a Jihadist from London executed many, for the camera, in the name of the Islamist State. (That assassin was executed by an American drone, a good usage of the technology… for a change!)

In 1984, a program of reintroduction of Golden Lion Tamarins brought nine of these heart melting primates from the Washington Zoo to a reserve to Brazil’s Mata Atlantica. At the time no more than 200 were left in the wild. However, Western zoos had their own populations, some dating several centuries (the cuties were popular at the French court).

If Shakespeare Feels Life Is An Idiocy That Signifies Nothing, Does It Mean We Have To Die? Oder Arbeit Macht Frei?

If Shakespeare Feels Life Is An Idiocy That Signifies Nothing, Does It Mean We Have To Die? Oder Arbeit Macht Frei?

The Washington tamarins had been specially trained, for months to life outside. Logically enough, within weeks eight were dead. So much for Anglo-Saxon training (too much Shakespeare?). Subsequently, the Brazilians trained the tamarins themselves, with great success. (Now there are 2,000 in the “wild”. A “wilderness” full of freeways and high tension lines…)

The brutality, witchcraft, lethal ambition, and madness of a play such as Shakespeare’s Macbeth leaves images, and phrases, ideas and moods which pervade the Anglo-Saxon universe, and what it influences, namely the rest of the world from New Delhi to Beijing, Tokyo, even Moscow.

Who does not know “To be or not to be?”. It’s the opening sentence in Hamlet. The character is pondering suicide.

A new commenter on this site, Robin, subscribes to the Shakespeare cult, and quotes The Bard as an authority on my own idiocy. First Robin quoted the very last sentence of the following passage in MacBeth Act V scene 5::

LIFE’s but a walking shadow, a poor player

That struts and frets his hour upon the stage

And then is heard no more. It is a tale

Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,

Signifying nothing.

Robin kindly explains that I am the idiot, by quoting me: “So on the eve of yet another disastrous day of tragedies, to read: “The more powerful we humans become, the more perfect our government has to be. Thus, the more We the Citizens have to be perfect. Thus, the keener we will have to be to find the truth, and impose it, when lives, or the future, are at stake.” made my blood curdle.

Yet another clarion call to humanity composed of rhetoric, but absent of meaningful content.”

Robin took a sentence from The Bard, and made it into an aphorism. I have several disagreements here, both with the method (Shakespeare did not talk about me, but about life), and with the aphorism itself.

Shakespeare seems to believe that a tale told by an idiot signifies nothing. Quite the opposite. Idiots and madmen have much to tell, that’s the all idea of Shakespeare, come to think of it.

I replied that Shakespeare here is in total contradiction, not just with humanism, but humanity itself. Humanity’s task is to give meaning to life. Shakespeare may have been an idiot full of sound and fury, like Hitler. As, indeed, the Nazis agreed fully with Shakespeare’s preceding quote. So they were destroyed by those who give meaning to life. May reciting Shakespeare literally be quite a bit like reciting the Qur’an literally?

Reading Robin, one see analogies: “As for Shakespeare, well, he pretty much stands alone – a man who invented 27% of our language… It is the ACTIONS, not the form, which produce results of good or evil.” Similarly, some doctors of the Islamist faith will say the Qur’an invented Arabic. And they would be mostly correct about the written form! As far as English and Shakespeare in concerned, it’s pretty grotesque to say he invented English. 85% of English is mispronounced Franco-Latino-Greek, and of the remaining 15% much is in common with Old Dutch, the language of the Franks…

So Shakespeare obsessed about “form”, and “Action” (see extract of Hamlet below). What happened to thinking? Is thinking in Shakespeare? Yes, “Conscience does make Cowards of us all”. (Hamlet below, again.)

Modern law has started to discover that THOUGHT CRIME is a real problem (notwithstanding that it was made fun of by the fashionable Sci-Fi author, George Orwell).

French and German law punish Nazi holocaust denial with prison. They have been imitated with a number of countries (including Hungary after 2010, where a would-be Nazi was since condemned to several years in prison suspended when he agreed to visit a number of sites where Nazis perpetrated holocausts, and to write a reports about what he learned after each visit).

Here is the beginning of Hamlet; we can either suffer, or commit suicide. Forget about political change:

To be, or not to be, that is the question:

Whether ’tis Nobler in the mind to suffer

The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune,

Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles,

And by opposing end them: to die, to sleep

No more; and by a sleep, to say we end

The Heart-ache, and the thousand Natural shocks

That Flesh is heir to? ‘Tis a consummation

Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep,

To sleep, perchance to Dream; aye, there’s the rub,

For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come,

When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,

Must give us pause. There’s the respect

That makes Calamity of so long life:

For who would bear the Whips and Scorns of time,

The Oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s Contumely, [F: poor]

The pangs of despised Love, the Law’s delay, [F: disprized]

The insolence of Office, and the Spurns

That patient merit of the unworthy takes,

When he himself might his Quietus make

With a bare Bodkin? Who would Fardels bear, [F: these Fardels]

To grunt and sweat under a weary life,

But that the dread of something after death,

The undiscovered Country, from whose bourn

No Traveller returns, Puzzles the will,

And makes us rather bear those ills we have,

Than fly to others that we know not of.

Thus Conscience does make Cowards of us all,

And thus the Native hue of Resolution

Is sicklied o’er, with the pale cast of Thought,

And enterprises of great pitch and moment, [F: pith]

With this regard their Currents turn awry, [F: away]

And lose the name of Action. Soft you now,

The fair Ophelia? Nymph, in thy Orisons.”

Be all my sins remembered

The fact remains that believing that “LIFE’s but a walking shadow, a poor player

That struts and frets his hour upon the stage

And then is heard no more. It is a tale

Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,

Signifying nothing…”

Is as bad as nihilism goes. For people like that why does killing children mean anything? Is it what they mean?

Why not engage in various inanities and murders, then, to give life some spice, more meaning? Was then G.W. Bush’s presidency straight out of Shakespeare, fretting on a stage, heard of it no more,  “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”… In other words, was G. W. Bush’s presidency straight out of Shakespeare, something classical, natural, a normal way of behaving?

It obviously was.

Shakespeare is a double edge sword, and the handle itself is a blade too. By grabbing it, as if it were a well of wisdom, one cuts all tendrils of wisdom.

Kudos to Obama for crying at the White House when evoking small children cut down by automatic weapons’ fire. And why were those small children killed inhumanely, tortured to death? Just because idiots telling furious tales, full of sound and madness, have decided life means nothing as long as it cannot be cut down by automatic fire.

Reading Shakespeare, just as reading the Qur’an, should be done very carefully, under advanced philosophical supervision. Lest it feeds the idiots with the mood that life signifies nothing, and thus may as well be welcome as a tale told by an idiot (Hitler, or some other “Prophet”?), full of sound and fury.

Wisdom is not just blossoming with sophisticated ideas, it also avoids reeking of foul, dangerous, sadistic, cruel, nihilistic, vicious moods.

Patrice Ayme’

Feynman Renormalized

December 20, 2015

In quantum field theory, the statistical mechanics of fundamental fields, and the theory of self-similar geometric structures, renormalization is a collection of techniques used to correct computations which otherwise blow up infinitely. Feynman was one of the pioneers of renormalization, and got the Nobel Prize for it.

That work was definitively made possible by a (philosophical) understanding of the “infinite” processes at hand, so Feynman was just not an “accidental philosopher”. Feynman made brutal, but amusing remarks about the uselessness of (some) philosophers in fundamental physics, something which made connoisseurs such as yours truly smile (I knew Feynman, he was complimentary, and kind, not at all putting philosophy down, differently from some recordings out there. Feynman accepted questioning the foundations maximally. His son became a philosophy major.)

The World Is Not As Simple As That, Nor Should It Be So Rough

The World Is Not As Simple As That, Nor Should It Be So Rough

I agree with the mood behind Feynman’s uttering, the spirit of what he wanted to say. However, the context of Feynman’s remarks needs to be… renormalized. (This is an example where the mood behind a precise theory in physics, namely Quantum Field Theory, can be carried over to bring the perspective of a new method to philosophy.)

As a physicist, I admire Feynman who wrote great lectures on physics, and is mostly famous for “Feynman Diagrams” a splendid, and perhaps deep way (Feynman himself was not too sure), to denote terms in the sort of power series expansion one has to consider in Quantum Field Theories.

Feynman’s statement  depends upon what one means by “government“, the type of government one is talking about. For clarity, I will consider that “government” here SHOULD mean “Direct Democracy“, the most perfect form of democracy, what democracy really means, where the People (Demos) exert Power (Kratos). That means, in particular, that We the People rules and legislates.

Feynman, who contributed to the Manhattan Project (the making of nuclear bombs crowned, for want of a better concept, with Hiroshima and Nagasaki) seems to naturally expect the sort of fascist war government he took part in.

If one expects something too much, to the point of forgetting about possible alternatives, or how grotesque and cruel that thing is, one condones it. Feynman expects government to be tyrannical. But tyranny is not ethologically human: it’s not natural, just natural in case of war. Feynman should have realized that the government he knew was not the one we should have looking forward.

Revolution begs for distanciation. Lack of distanciation is how too much tolerance can become a crime.

Thus Feynman’s statement was to some extent self-referential, and self-condemning. Indeed, in the government Feynman was used to, there was an abyss between government and citizens. Feynman witnessed the McCarthyism witch hunt (when his own career was fully launched; Feynman saw his Manhattan project superior, Robert Oppenheimer, go down in flames, just because Oppenheimer was “not trusted”).

In Direct Democracy, a government by the citizens, for the citizens, the distinction between government and citizens disappear. Abusive “representatives” (such as Richard Nixon,a Congressman, and Senator MacCarthy) altogether disappear, as We the People represents itself.

By expecting such aa abysmal distinction, between government and citizens, Feynman seems to expect that government will have to be, forever, the sort of government he played a role in. That government Feynman was involved in was a dictatorship of some sort, out there, and up there.

Government, in the most general sense, includes the legislative, judicial, and police processes and even the army, and the laws they built, enforce, and which created them. As such, the government is deeply involved in finding out what is true, and which philosophies are valid, and which are not, supported by a rather rigorous view of history.

So Feynman’s statement should be not just be reinterpreted as a warning to the citizenry to govern with an open mind. It also indicates a sort of naivety, a sort of Manichean view of the world out of physics.

Unfortunately, just as Quantum Field Theories themselves, our interpretation of the real world is self-referential, and non-linear. Our view of reality is constantly renormalized (in a way similar to what Quantum Field Theories do). We cannot separate government from truth, and especially not perfect government. And when truth is found, it has to be enforced.

No government nowadays tolerate a religion conducive to human sacrifices (wait…) Because it was found such religions were not optimal, in the context of more advanced socio-economies guided by more evolved philosophies. And that is so much the truth, it’s legislated that way, all over.

The more powerful we humans become, the more perfect our government has to be. Thus, the more We the Citizens have to be perfect. Thus, the keener we will have to be to find the truth, and impose it, when lives, or the future, are at stake.

Truth is obtained by debate, and by making mistakes. So the fact that “We The People” can err should not be condemned: after all, dictatorships and oligarchies (what we have) also err. Erring, if done in good faith, is part of the learning process. Tyrannies, oligarchies, plutocracies are, by definition, not in good faith: as they feel that the few should overlord the many, they are by definition vicious and idiotic.

So the Slovenian People, consulted in a referendum, just rejected same-sex marriage.  The vote was 63.4% against. Interestingly, the Slovenian Parliament had passed such a law, but a rather sad group appealed to the Slovenian top court, forcing the referendum. In Europe, Britain, France and Spain recognize same-sex marriages. But this is all part of the learning process: propose, reject, debate, accept. Better let the Slovenian gay inside come out of the closet willingly, after reflection. Instead of staying stuck inside in Putin’s all too warm loudly anti-homosexual embrace.

Truth, and the lack thereof, are not an innocent bystanders. If lies are allowed to grow too big, just one citizen, in a future soon to be, could condemn the “human race”.

Some truths, or lack thereof, cannot just be considered matters of state. A Cult of Death cannot be authorized as a legal religion, for example.

In Direct Democracy, truth will not just have to be a way of life, but the only way to have government, and that includes imposing it on We The People. This is exactly the main effect of the Climate Conference, COP 21, which happened in Paris. All the nations of the world united with one voice, one truth, and declared:”Earth, We have a problem!

We have to redefine “normal”. The best renormalization of society implies much more truth than ever before.

Earth is our home, but a home is something small, thus fragile.  A home cannot be inhabited by violent, potentially lethal lies.

Patrice Ayme’

ISIS Wants 100% Qur’an Enforced

November 16, 2015

ISIS was very clear that it killed depraved sinners because they were depraved sinners, and “IDOLATERS”. Idolaters of the good life, sitting in cafe’, going to a concert. 20 foreigners were killed, by the way.

But no humanity is alien, when confronted to barbarity.

The mass killings in Paris, unfortunately confirm several of my most disagreeable theories, and did not surprise me at all. What surprised me was that I was more affected than I expected to be. A Rubicon was passed. No least, precisely, because I had seen it all before, I came to realize, considering my own history. I will come back to these more introspective and interesting questions another time.

The French president gave a discourse to the Congress in a special solemn huge room in Versailles reserved solely to this effect. He proposed to change the constitution. I think that, as the FN proposed, all known Jihadists returned from Syria should be locked up right away (in a French super-Guantanamo, but under judicial supervision). There are 1,500 of them. (And another 3,500 who did not go to Syria or Paradise, yet.)

What we have with Salafism, that is, Literal Islam, needs to be exposed. Only from the truth shall the solution springs (and that is to put in jail anyone preaching Salafism, for the same exact reason as one should put immediately in jail anyone preaching Nazism; that does not mean that remedy is sufficient: it’s not).

Pariser Platz, Berlin, November 2015. Franco-Germania At Her Best

Pariser Platz, Berlin, November 2015. Franco-Germania At Her Best

An excellent article in the Atlantic Monthly recaps some of facts I expose on Islam over the years.

[However the part on “Quiet Salafism” is idiotic, as it contradicts the following quotes in the Qur’an, and similar ones, all over. Those are, fundamentally, orders. Orders from “Allah” no less, the creature who more or less controls the universe (he has to share power with “Djinns” and Shaitan, that is Satan, Pluto, Hades, Belzebuth… but He does not like to talk about that (says He in the Qur’an, a grotesquely funny book sometimes). Fundamentally, Islam was devised as a war religion, and was highly successful that way, establishing the world’s largest empire, from the creation of the religion, within ONE GENERATION.

Islam did this because it was the ultimate war religion: die for Allah, go to Paradise (see below).

What ISIS wants is the Literal Qur’an. Here is a little recap on some of the bases of the Qur’an (hey don’t blame me, I did not write it!)


Can a follower of literal Islam (Salafist) avoid hell by killing for Allah?

Fundamental Answer:

Muslims spend time in hell for their sins.  After this punishment, some Muslims will then be allowed into paradise.

Muhammad made an exception for prophets (ie. himself) and for anyone dying in battle for the cause of Allah’s religion.

Those go directly to paradise. So much for the religion of peace. Here is the proof:

Qur’an (4:95)“Not equal are those believers who sit (at home) and receive no hurt, and those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah with their goods and their persons. Allah hath granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons than to those who sit (at home).  Unto all (in Faith) Hath Allah promised good: But those who strive and fight Hath He distinguished above those who sit (at home) by a special reward.”  Allah prefers the Muslims who fight and die in Holy War.  Non-violent Muslims will not receive the same reward as the Jihadis.

Qur’an (8:15-16)“O ye who believe! when ye meet the Unbelievers in hostile array, never turn your backs to them.  If any do turn his back to them on such a day – unless it be in a stratagem of war, or to retreat to a troop (of his own)- he draws on himself the wrath of Allah, and his abode is Hell,- an evil refuge (indeed)!”  Not only does Muhammad lay down the principle that a Muslim can serve time in Hell, but failing to kill unbelievers when directed is a sure way to bring this about.

Qur’an (9:39)“If ye go not forth He will afflict you with a painful doom…”  It isn’t enough to believe.  Muhammad is telling those who do not want to fight that they will be sent to hell if they do not join the battle.

Qur’an (3:169-170)“Think not of those who are slain in Allah’s way as dead. Nay, they live, finding their sustenance in the presence of their Lord; They rejoice in the bounty provided by Allah: And with regard to those left behind, who have not yet joined them (in their bliss), the (Martyrs) glory in the fact that on them is no fear, nor have they (cause to) grieve.”  Martyrs go directly from life to paradise, where they wait for those who must first go through the Day of Judgment.

From the Hadith:

Muslim (20:4678)It has been reported on the authority of Jabir that a man said: “Messenger of Allah [Prophet Muhammad], where shall I be if I am killed?” He replied: “In Paradise.“…

Muslim (20:4649)The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: ‘All the sins of a Shahid (martyr) are forgiven except debt.’

Bukhari (52:46)I heard Allah’s Apostle saying, “…Allah guarantees that He will admit the Mujahid [warrior for Allah] in His Cause into Paradise if he is killed, otherwise He will return him to his home safely with rewards and war booty.”

Abu Dawud (14:2515)I asked the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him): Who are in Paradise? He replied: “Prophets are in Paradise, martyrs are in Paradise.”

Is this clear? Not necessarily: reading comprehension has not been favored in recent decades. What is clear is this: tons of flowers in front of the French embassy in Berlin.

It Took A While To Vanquish The Plutocracy Which Oppressed Germany. But Now The Revolution Has Won For Good

It Took A While To Vanquish The Plutocracy Which Oppressed Germany. But Now The Revolution Has Won For Good

We are governed and led by idiots. Not really their fault: there is need for much more debate those fools are deprived of. The Atlantic Monthly article says what I have long said about Islam and Obama. Let me quote:

“Western officials would probably do best to refrain from weighing in on matters of Islamic theological debate altogether. Barack Obama himself drifted into takfiri waters when he claimed that the Islamic State was “not Islamic”—the irony being that he, as the non-Muslim son of a Muslim, may himself be classified as an apostate, and yet is now practicing takfir against Muslims. Non-Muslims’ practicing takfir elicits chuckles from jihadists (“Like a pig covered in feces giving hygiene advice to others,” one tweeted).

I suspect that most Muslims appreciated Obama’s sentiment: the president was standing with them against both Baghdadi and non-Muslim chauvinists trying to implicate them in crimes. But most Muslims aren’t susceptible to joining jihad. The ones who are susceptible will only have had their suspicions confirmed: the United States lies about religion to serve its purposes.

Within the narrow bounds of its theology, the Islamic State hums with energy, even creativity. Outside those bounds, it could hardly be more arid and silent: a vision of life as obedience, order, and destiny.”

If a Muslim does not believe in the Qur’an, she/he is an apostate. The Qur’an orders to “SLAY”. Surest ticket to paradise.

Many, if not most, of our esteemed intellectuals are, and have long been, complete idiots. I am thinking of individuals such as Edward Said, who professed that anyone not from the “Orient” thinking about the “Orient” was a racist.  Those stupid intellectual leaders have been adulated for their stupidity, their inability to read what they profess to admire..

They don’t just admire the Qur’an, they admire the so-called “Free Market”, in other words, plutocracy, and hide this behind obscure love of all sorts of tribalisms. Anything except the central core of humanity.

This is what we have to get rid of. Salafism will follow down the chute.

Patrice Ayme’.

Truth Is Not Politically Correct

November 15, 2015

Truth is not Politically Correct. Denying this, pretending that truth is Politically Correct, is the mother of all problems with the present management of the entire planet. And that’s the first thing which is wrong with today’s political practice. And this is what leads to war and terrorism, let alone biosphere devastation, as observed today.

So why do we have this mood hostile to truth? Because it profits the powers that be. Hostility to truth makes people stupid. Stupid animals can be led by the nose more easily that those who are very clever. When a male shark wants to plant his flag deep in Ms. Shark, he grabs her in its powerful jaws, by a fin or another, flip her on her back, until she gets into a trance, and stops moving. This is similar to what the fiercest rulers do to We The People.

So our leaders are playing dumb. Are they as dumb as they look?  The four sacred months expired at 12pm, Mecca time, on Friday. Refer to Sura 5, verse 9: …”when the forbidden months are past, then fight and SLAY the Pagans wherever you find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every ambush.”

9pm in Paris, 12 pm in Mecca, on November 13, 2015, was now time for “every ambush” on the pagans.

Three teams of fanatics attacked in Paris, within 33 minutes. Three individuals tried to get in the Stade de France (with 80,000 inside, plus the French president and the French and German national teams). The first kamikaze was detected at 21:20. He had to explode himself before he could get in, making only one victim (there was only security outside of the stadium, minutes after the match started).

At 21:25 a terrorist team of three attacked the restaurant “Little Cambodia”. 21:32 they attacked the Cafe’ A La Bonne Biere. At 21:36 “La Belle Equipe”. Their weapons and car were found in Montreuil, but they ESCAPED. That team killed at least 39 people.

At 21:40 another fanatic sat at a cafe’ on boulevard Voltaire, then exploded himself. Meanwhile, still another team of three kamikazes attacked the Bataclan theater. The raid was organized in Belgium, in the same zone as usual. 12 accomplices have been arrested so far.

Sacred raid (razzia)  against the crusaders in Paris.” is the way Islamist State (ISIS) called its mayhem in Paris. Two sisters of the Saadi family, both young mothers, got killed leaving orphans behind. Both were of a French “Muslim” family. Many Muslims were killed in the attacks, but, as ISIS would point out, they were assuredly “depraved”.

Friendly Californian Children Left This, Lighting Up the Night, In Front Of My House

Friendly Californian Children Left This, Lighting Up the Night, In Front Of My House

Sacred raid (razzia)  against the crusaders in New York and Washington.” is the way Al Qaeda called its mayhem in the USA. The same words, the same sentence exactly were used in 2001, with “New York” and “Washington” in place of Paris. So, in that sense, the latest mayhem is exactly a “9/11” in France. Not the first, nor the last. (That there were only 130 killed and 100 extremely gravely injured, with “life prognostic engaged” is not really a miracle: the explosive vests were detected at the Stade de France; thus, instead of killing hundreds, the kamikazes at the stadium killed just one besides themselves; inside the Bataclan, the kamikazes detonated themselves while fighting the police in the dark; strikingly, no police of the SWAT teams in the BRI and RAID was injured).

As Osama Bin Laden said: You will lose this war, because we love death as much as you love life.” This rather deleterious idea of Osama was quoted approvingly by the Islamist State.

ISIS, the Islamist State, said it struck in Paris “The DEPRAVED”, those who listen to California music, or watch soccer (because those “Depraved” went to a concert by rock group from California, or to a soccer match France-Germany). It did not matter if they were Pagans, Muslims.

25% to 30% of the French population descends from relatively recent immigration (and nearly 100% of the French population descends for foreign stock, if one goes back 3,000 years, as the Celto-Germans invaded; only the Basques are very ancient stock). Probably a majority of French have partial Jewish and Muslim ancestry (Jews have been in France for more than 2,000 years, Muslims for more than 13 centuries; contrarily to legend, under the Franks, there was total religious tolerance. That means for a duration of seven centuries. Then unfortunately Catholic fascism got increasing respect, and thus powers, resulting in the rise of religious terror and intolerance, which became full bore after a crusade conducted WITHIN France killed around one million (a huge number at the time). After that the religious terror, on and off, lasted until the French Revolution, when the Jews and Protestants were given the rights which they used to have, long ago, were given back to them.

An important difference between what is going on in France with 11 September in the USA was that the USA was attacked by 15 Saudi kamikazes, and five other foreigners. (Only one was “French” and was arrested.) So “9/11″was completely an aggression by foreigners. (The USA, though, had, since, pure Qur’an motivated hate crime attacks, the foremost one by a military surgeon who went Qur’an nuts and killed a dozen other soldiers. So the Quranic cancer in France can, and has metastized in other parts of the West.)

In the attacks in France most of the attackers are French who learned the most striking parts of the Qur’an. The most striking parts being those which ORDER the top followers of Islam, those who want to get directly in paradise to go out and attack, or even kill, non Muslims. No, I am not making it up: “Violence in the Holy Qur’an” can be consulted. And more quotes are coming by tomorrow, making these order explicit.

The Qur’an is viewed by Muslims as a set of explicit orders from God. In particular God gives explicit order to kill, attack, and submit entire categories of people. Not bad, in the way of war, for a book which is only 80,000 words long. Most of humanity falls into those categories to kill, attack, submit, oppress, diminish, tax, subjugate. What are the faithful supposed to say? What are the faithful supposed to do? Go along with the program? The Qur’an is a program. Not just a “religion” (whatever that means).

The first religion of a Republic, is the Republic. Superstitions can be accommodated, as long as they do not disturb the primary religion. 

Well, they should do exactly what the Catholics did, in a country such as France: stop believing in all the garbage. And that’s the truth. Yes, it’s not politically correct. However, the philosophically correct should bulldoze over the politically correct. Always has, in the long run, always will.

Last, but not least: human beings, like baboons, know how to make war. It’s in their genes, so to speak. When attacked, baboons make a military formation, and predators flee. more than 70 million of French baboons have been attacked, and they clearly need to adopt a military formation, and get smarter. The Paris are has been under Franco-Celtic control since at least the early Third Century , when Paris got is name (changing back to the “Parisii“, the old Gallic name, from the Roman Lutetia). Every since Paris was named, there was not one decade when France was not at war. 17 centuries of war, and counting. This is a stunning fact.

As the concept of “Jihad” has it, war and maximum effort is a generalized attitude necessary for the fulfillment of hope, let alone life. It’s the exact attitude, for bad or good, which made, in the end, our species master of the Earth. War should give peace a chance. But war never should keep on giving peace a chance as if there were no tomorrow.

Patrice Ayme’


Lousy Jokes, Lousy Thinking

November 5, 2015

One Liners Bring Mental Impotence, Kakistocracy, & Bin Laden’s Silencing

Americans love & fascination for one-liners does not make for a mood propitious to learning how to appreciate, let alone forge, long views.

Glenn Andrews: This is, I think, a brilliant observation, and possibly difficult to appreciate for anyone living in the U.S. The one-liner style of verbal exchange has meant the near-extinction of actual conversation.

Patrice Ayme:  Thanks Glenn. What got me to this conclusion was to watch French comics versus American comics. A joke that has to appear within a few words, cannot be that deep. In France a joke can build up for two minutes before the punchline.

Glenn Andrews: I’m afraid it’s worse than that. American speech patterns have been so heavy influenced by TV situation comedies that regular conversations are now little more than one-liner exchanges. In other words, no really conversations at all. Cleverness and quickness trump continuity.

Patrice: Yes, indeed, Glenn. I am experiencing this all the time, and readily getting into clashes with so-called “friends” about this (both the fleshy kind and facebook types). For example one cannot go on so-called philosophy groups without experiencing the glib, or the half-liners. It’s not just the one-liners straight out of Hollywood soap operas, it’s also the fact that “smart” people are “cool” if they can pick up the “cues”, from “body language”. I remember, long ago, the Department Chair at Stanford University Math Department, who could not explain some administrative decision at all. He could not find the words, or the ideas. Not at all. Finally he mumbled: “It’s hard to say”. I was stunned: after all, math is a language: was a mumbling clown the best that one of the (supposedly) best universities could present to the world? Somebody who talked only by saying nothing? With non-saids? Little did I know that, in the following decades, I would be increasingly confronted to mumbling fools, incapable of expressing themselves besides getting red in the face (under my prodding, I must admit).

Last week the president of the USA himself spent like forever, officially listening to lousy jokes in a huge room, during a long dinner. Jokes such as: “Donald Trump often appears on Fox, which is ironic as he carries a fox on his head.

Thinking Superbly Is More Morally & Vitally Crucial Than At Any Time Before

Thinking Superbly Is More Morally & Vitally Crucial Than At Any Time Before

However now supporting tyrants consists into learning to think in such an ineffective way that one cannot even see them for the tyrants they are.

One-Liners are to thinking what junk food is to correct nutrition.

The present system of mind control is more sneaky than at any time before. As Montaigne’s friend. la Boétie pointed out five centuries ago, the reign of plutocracy (so-called then “nobles”, or, later, “aristocrats”) depends upon the accord of those it oppresses. Contemplate his “Discourse On Voluntary Servitude”. it was also entitled: “Contr’Un” (“Anti-One”), or “Anti-Dictator

Here is an extract:

“The Grand Turk was well aware that books and teaching more than anything else give men the sense to comprehend their own nature and to detest tyranny.Why dictators burn books. I understand that in his territory there are few educated people, for he does not want many. On account of this restriction, men of strong zeal and devotion, who in spite of the passing of time have preserved their love of freedom, still remain ineffective because, however numerous they may be, they are not known to one another; under the tyrant they have lost freedom of action, of speech, and almost of thought; they are alone in their aspiration.”

Sounds familiar?

Books and teaching are bad for dictators. One-liners are much better: expose enough people long enough to enough of them, and they won’t know how to think. Appreciating one-liners is a form of religion, as it ties minds which learn to become so inclined, together. A religion of the superficial, short and canned.

Difference with five centuries ago? Or any times before? The stakes are much higher now.

Patrice Ayme’

For Our Creator, Evolution

October 3, 2015

Mammals we are,

Milk we need.

Or we won’t even be.

Thinkers we are,

Love we need.

Or we won’t even think.

Love tells us,

What to feel.


Milk for the soul.

We, bodies and souls

From a tangled web blossom.

Not just the quantum web,

Holding the universe together,

But even the web,

Of the highest values,

Holding minds together.

Values we learned to become

While other minds,

Gave us,

What we are.

No Love, No Chipmunks. No Heart. No Mind. And No Cuteness.

No Love, No Chipmunks. No Heart. No Mind. And No Cuteness.


Patrice Ayme’

Against Perceived Irrelevance Creative Thinkers Contend In Vain

August 7, 2015

The madness of crowds always rule: it’s a consequence of several deep instincts which made humanity possible. However, one hundred was an immense crowd, then. Evolution did not expect, because it never experienced with, crowds in the thousands. Now, we have crowds in the billions.

This is no exaggeration: several billion people supposedly follow and revere a religion founded by somebody who tied up his son, to slash his throat, like a vulgar goat. Then the “god” in his head told him not to do it, after all: why would that madness be revered for millennia, is a striking example of the madness of crowds.

There are even greater follies in power now: why would bankers and financial types be let to enjoy the power they do, in violation of the basic principle of democracy (which is that power, kratos, is to the people, demos)?

Another folly: that warming up the Earth’s polar regions by as much temperature difference as separates us from the last maximal glaciation, will have dramatic consequences in a few millennia… but not before.

An even greater madness is that none of this is very interesting, and it’s much better to read and fantasize about “Harry Potter” (not “Hairy Potter”).

The madness of crowds has been the argument of those who favor the madness of one, monarchy, or aristocracy, the power of the best. Of course, one has to determine who “the one” would be, or what “best” means. Most often, it turned out to be best born.

The “Internet”, in many countries means “Facebook”, a private company, which, historically has been used politically in many ways, including spying by the government of the USA. “Facebook” also spies on its customers’ “likes” and habits, and sells the information to advertisers, while tweaking what its customers see, in consideration of what they like, or apparently associate to. This amplifies the (already preexisting) bias towards tribalism.

So what of better thinking in all this? Or, more simply, what of creative thinking in all this?

It’s not favored. Indeed, only thoughts that please crowds get amplified. This tribal thinking is a form of intellectual fascism. Intellectual fascism: What concept is this? Subjugating all too much of one’s mind to all too few ideas, principles, or emotions.

Could technology help to foster (more) correct, (less) erroneous thinking, just as it has favored, so far, to all too great an extent, tribalism and intellectual fascism?

Yes. Original thinking could be determined by very sophisticated software. Software could also determine whether (supposedly) known facts are contradicted, and highlight them. Software could also being made to find META hierarchies, thus determining plausible depth of arguments.

Whereas software could not determine whether an argument is correct, it could determine if said argument satisfies the preconditions to be a paradigm jump. Including whether it involves new concepts, and, if so, what they appear to be. And whether the argument lives in another logical dimension (a precondition for originality).

A creative thinker can get discouraged when informed her thoughts are irrelevant. Claimed irrelevance is the first step towards complete impotence.

So technology could help fostering creative thinking considerably. However, the main point remains that ethics would have to change. The mood, at this point, is that thinking, cognition and association, all serve the most basic instincts of tribalism, and, more generally, intellectual fascism. We are far from having put TRUTH as the ultimate god we have to serve.

“Postmodernism” and “French Theory” instead insisted that truth was tribal. In truth, abusing truth is tribal. Truth itself is not tribal.

Verily, it’s a mark of particularly fanatical tribalism to insist that truth can only be tribal: “French Theory” is tribal.

It has always been true that discovering new concepts tends to be the mark of the ascetic ones: one has to be a monk to ferret the truth. Thus great creative thinkers discovering new truths tend to have had difficult lives. So one has to choose: creative thinking of the worthiest type, means a hard life. Marie Curie’s Nobel money was used to build the bathroom she did not have prior.

And when one rolls out more famous thinkers whose lives were easier, it turns out, often, that a good case can be made that they were more opportunistic, or more lucky, or better tribally connected, or to a tribe which amplified renown better, than the ones who really originated the idea. I have documented this many times: Poincare’ originated Relativity, and not just its name, but even E = mcc. Yet, a German was attributed the discovery. The same German was fully attributed the theory of gravitation, although the main idea therein came from Riemann, another German who had the misfortune to die young. This is not just about being nice to pioneers: recognizing Riemann is recognizing that the fundamental idea of gravitation a la Einstein is a tautology. An all-too-easy way of thinking.

So what? Some will suggest to give time to time… And wisdom will blossom. But here is the problem: creating new truth could not change the world much in the past, and that world was rather static. However, now, both potential impact and the world, are highly dynamic. Pure thinking is extremely mighty, and thus, an ethical bomb. Which will expose ever worse, if not properly handled.

New truth can change everything fast. For example, if I am right, and I have exposed detailed reasons why,  Antarctica’s iceshelves can melt in decades rather than centuries, if that were a new truth, the impact on present civilization would be huge. I have even exposed how East Antarctica, supposed to last 5,000 years by conventional climatologists anxious to be taken very seriously, is actually already melting, below the surface. If I spent all my energy writing silly sorcery for little children, I would have, no doubt, more readers. But why to try to do what the tribe wants to honor, to justify its own existence? In the end we are all dead, as (plutocrat) Lord Keynes (not so) subtly noticed. So distinction is not about dying, but how we die.

How we enjoy living through suffering is how we reach for greater values, the highest gods. Camus famously said: The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.”  

There is no need to “imagine” Sisyphus happy. It comes naturally. Struggling, even suffering, not too much, but enough, is necessary to fill a human beings’ mind, and generate happiness. Struggling and suffering  are even more necessary to creative thinking. (The pseudo philosopher BHL cannot replace them with the stimulants he takes, such as cocaine, amphetamines, and various illicit cocktails; struggling and suffering, for real, are much more potent.)

The world is changing fast. We are approaching various singularities of our making, none of them we can stop.  

The way out is straight, yet narrow: truth, and lots of it. Nothing superficiality can produce.

Against perceived irrelevance creative thinkers contend in vain. Yet, therein salvation, and only there.

Patrice Ayme’

Tech, Science, Thinking, Stalled By Plutocracy

May 26, 2015


Technology, Energy, Science, Economy all entangled, & Stalled:

Some have observed tech is bringing up more hype than progress: we did not get flying cars, but 140 characters. Productivity is stagnating. The Internet hype led a devolution of thinking, for all to see. Some sites seem popular, mostly because they induce a parody of thinking (even on “academic” sites).

Against the will to stupidity, genius roars in vain.

So much of the “high Tech” is not truly high tech, or at least new tech. It’s no big deal, indeed. The “high tech” monopolies, with their “big data” will allow to make with robots what our ancestors used to have with domesticated animals (an ass, horse, or an ox are clever, and respond to voice commands, like the day after tomorrow’s robots).

There is not enough financing of the possible avenues of futuristic research. Here is one:

Real high tech would mean progress in energy production: this is the core of what defines our species. An obvious possibility, indeed, is thermonuclear fusion. H-Bombs work splendidly, and are very small. Making a thermonuclear engine has been difficult, but propulsion in space could turn around a lot of the difficulty we presently have.

Krugman noticed some of this in “The Big Meh” [I sent wise comments, therefore all censored by the New York Times; the Times later sent me kindly an unsolicited letter to justify its censorship; there is no excuse: the New York Times should not censor serious and cogent comments, this is a misuse of technology].

Krugman: “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”… began with some technology snark, dismissing Earth as a planet whose life-forms “are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.”… Since then we’ve moved on to much more significant things, so much so that the big technology idea of 2015, so far, is a digital watch…

O.K., I’m snarking, too. But there is a real question here. Everyone knows that we live in an era of incredibly rapid technological change, which is changing everything. But what if what everyone knows is wrong? And I’m not being wildly contrarian here. A growing number of economists, looking at the data on productivity and incomes, are wondering if the technological revolution has been greatly overhyped — and some technologists share their concern.”

We evolved as a technological species: weapon and tool usage precedes the apparition of Homo:

Technology preceded the apparition of Homo Erectus, two million years ago. So we can only conclude that technology, and its attached science, and scientific method, created the ecological niche in which Homo, even homo Erectus, evolved.

The fundamental evolutionary niche our very distant ancestors, pre-Homo Erectus, chose was to improve the quantity and quality of energy at our disposal. They went to explore, far from trees and cliffs, armed with stone tools and weapons, with a bias towards a much more carnivorous diet.

Technology and science are us. This is as human as we get. That does not mean anything goes. Just, that’s how humanity gets going.

Thus, our very evolution is entangled with our mastery of energy. Neanderthals used coal (lignite!) already 80,000 years ago. When our ancestors learned to domesticate animals and then invented agriculture, we improved our mastery of energy considerably. In the last 2,000 years, wood was progressively replaced by fossil fuels.

However, fossil fuels have become unsustainable. It is not just that they have put so much CO2 in the lower atmosphere, warming it, melting the ice, rising the seas, and into the ocean, making it acid.

The Return On Investment (ROI) of fossil fuels is now terrible. Major oil companies do not make much profits on new fields: they cost too much to find and exploit. Fracking makes money, but only because the states, and others, pay the price. Remember: 5.3 trillion dollars of fossil fuel subsidies out there.

However progress in economic matters is all about ROI in energy. Without energy we have no food, no shelter, we die.

We don’t have flying cars because we did not improve our mastery of energy as much as that would require (the very first plane, part of a French military program, did not fly very far: it used a heavy steam plant; shortly after, the internal combustion engine allowed to take-off more clearly; right now Airbus sells an electric plane, and intents to develop that technology much further).

Fundamental progress in energy technology has been stalled by lack of advances in fission, fusion, and batteries. Only solar photovoltaics is making really spectacular progress.

This stalling of major technological progress where it counts, in energy management is why society, and the planet, are threatened. This stalling is directly related to a dearth of fundamental research funding, itself related to the rise of a non-tax paying plutocracy. We are in whirlpool of disaster, and the greed of an oligarchy is its nature.

Patrice Ayme’

P/S: Latest News: Amazon Inc. just announced it would stop hiding its European profits in Luxembourg, and would set-up tax paying subsidiaries in various countries: it was threatened by incoming British and French laws. However, skepticism is widespread about the fine print in Amazon’s proposal…

The future was not stalled in the past: Contrarily to what happened around the era from, say, 1900 to 1970, when many futuristic technologies were researched; the USA operated nuclear rocket engines, France flew a “statoreacteur” (“ramjet”) plane, etc.; the inception of motorized flight, from the French steam plane, all the way to jet engines, took around 50 years!