Posts Tagged ‘Culture’

TRUTH IS WHAT WORKS

August 1, 2017

Debating what “Truth” means is not new, and has been a very hot subject not just in the Twelfth Century Paris’ Cathedral School/University (when the great philosopher Abelard fiercely, at the risk of his life, opposed Saint Bernard about launching a Second Crusade).

Some of the greatest names in philosophy and foundations of physics  or logics of the Twentieth Century have thrived in questioning the notion of truth (Karl Popper, Einstein, Heisenberg, Jules Henri Poincaré,  for physics; Alfred Tarski, Carnap, Russell, Robinson, and many others, for logics).

As usual, just as Nietzsche made philosophy with a hammer, I deconstruct it with an H-bomb (melting all these hammers in the process). My conception of truth is simple, I have no time to twist truth is all direction, in the hope of being tolerated by all and ideologies. Why would be clear by the end of the essay (where the venom is located, as in the scorpion’s tail).

I will try to approach the truth about truth, by answering some of the comments of Eugen R, a dedicated commenter on this site, in the hope some would have similar position. I know plenty well enough that postmodernism basically asserted there was no truth (that makes Foucault’s .

***

Eugen: Science is just an instrument, how can be an instrument truth or false?

Answer: Science is what humans do. “Science” comes from the Latin for “to know”. One may then ask what “knowing” is. “Knowing” is what can be checked experimentally. Many animals use tools. Chimps who break hard nuts with stones are practicing science. They know that the stone will enable to extract the delicious innards.

Notice in passing that all advanced animals have culture: they transmit science to fellow creatures: it’s unlikely that chimpanzees,, or gorillas learn their entire pharmacopeia of plants they know (more than 50) by the experimental method (especially as some plants can be deadly). Transmitting science can be viewed as the definition of both culture and “advanced”.

Eugen: “Is science about finding out the truth”. The answer is no. Science is about to try to understand the non-understandable.

Answer: Well, scientific RESEARCH is about to try to understand what’s not understood. An attempt to stand-under. For example, there is NO science of Sub Quantum Reality. Not yet. But there are attempts to elaborate some (String Theory, Supersymmetry, SQPR: Sub Quantum Patrice Reality).

If you told a prehistoric man that Earth is round, like a ball, he would have asked what a ball is. So one would have had first to make him understand what a ball is. To understand the shape of the Earth, one needs to have a modicum of mathematics most two years old have now, but prehistoric man didn’t.

Eugen: Science also limits itself only to the natural phenomena, that can be experimentally observed.

Answer: Ex-per means out (ex) trying (per, a Proto Indo-European root). There are three ways to acquire knowledge: experimentation, culture and… FAITH (here we come!)

Some will be stupefied by the preceding. Faith??? What has faith to do with it? Everything: everybody climbing up into an aeroplane, has faith. Faith in thousands of engineers, mechanics, the laws of physics, and the pilots. Faith is what anchors knowledge into certainty (take that, Jihadists and priests).

Therein a hierarchy: because both culture and faith ultimately depend upon experiments.

Science, as a body of knowledge, not as a method, is a set of logics each unifying bodies of experiments each defining elements of TRUTH(s).

That definition also fits mathematics itself (mathematicians experiment with baby examples, and then write overarching theories unifying those baby examples; an example is that the definition of curvature for sphere, thought of in general enough a fashion, provides with a definition for the curvature for a saddle)

***

Eugen: As science advances with its understanding of the reality, and developing new sophisticated instruments, like the Hadron Collider, which is in a way extension of our limited human senses, it slowly pushes the limits of what is field of scientific research and what is not. For example the phenomena of life and consciousness were taboo for scientific research until recently.

Answer: Entirely true. For example Galileo’s X30 magnification telescope enabled to observe mountains on the moon and four satellites around Jupiter.

CRISPR allows gene editing, and thus for us to control our fate more than ever before. AI and the Quantum Computer, let alone neurology, enable us to become life and consciousness creators. We will have to elucidate what true progress really consists of, before creating with CRISPR all over. Not only we have become gods, but we have to admit it. Hence it’s all the more important that we tighten up the notion of truth, and not leave it for Jihadists and plutocrats to design, and impose truth according to their self-interested whims.

NO TRUTH, NO MORALITY

[I am very critical of the cult of Gandhi, considering what happened after he got control of India: more than ten million dead, and counting. However, I do use the occasional quote, and not just to keep my cynicism in shape…]

Eugen: Science also doesn’t ask if this or that finding about reality, even if thousand times experimentally verified, is truth or not. Science is claiming hypothesis that can be verified or refuted. If refuted, then the hypothesis is not valid, if verified, it means, it still was not refuted.

Answer: You start to sound like Karl Popper, who thought that science was all about refutation. But when a crow uses a spike to extract insects from tree bark, you are not going to tell the crow that it didn’t refute that the spike couldn’t be used to extract insects. The crow would, rightly, think you don’t know how to think.  

Popper thought too much about refutation. Sure, that’s how truth is established, so what? When a massive bell is tuned, metal is carefully removed by a lathe, until the bell sounds the right (“true”) tune.

In general, to find out what’s true, one eliminates what’s (experimentally) false. Initially Galileo looked at Jupiter and noted the “chance” alignment of several tiny stars with Jupiter and the ecliptic plane. The next night, looking at Jupiter on a whim, he noticed the “stars” had moved with Jupiter. So the hypothesis that they were “stars” was erroneous. Truth was established by elimination.

***

Eugen: Truth is a very different phenomenon. Truth, either you believe or you don’t.

Answer: No. In the entire human experience, truth is experimentally determined. Truth is why planes fly. Truth is experimentally determined, even in mathematics (and that’s the difference between mathematics and pure logics, where the notion of truth is much more restricted and still a matter of debate)

***

Eugen: You can’t prove or disprove truth.

Answer: This is the situation, only in pure logic, where “truth” is introduced by axioms (“propositional logic”), and, externally, by the universe within which the logic sits (the “context” in usual human parlance; there true propositions are introduced by hand). Still, it’s less easy than it looks as extremely elaborated debates on the notion of truth, even in this arena of logic and metalogic, was intensely debated around the 1950s (with unclear resolution; my conclusions about truth in logic are mine alone, and tend to simplify, if not oversimplify…)

In mathematics, baby examples are true (inasmuch as their axioms are true; many axioms were long implicit, even in Euclid and Archimedes… Or in today’s math. If you tell that to a research mathematician, s/he will often tend to get very angry…)

***  

Eugen: Patrice spoke about Euclidean geometry as being truth. Yes within its limited frame as a closed system or as Patrice called it, “attached context” it is truth. The same can be said about sentence like, “the water has property of wetness”. It is truth always, after all wetness can’t exist without water, and water can’t be not wet. But exactly as in case of wetness of water, Euclidean geometry, is only a system of words within themselves.

Answer: 1) water is not always “wet”. Ice is slippery as long as it is covered by a thin film of water. Without it, solid water is adherent. Pluto has towering ice mountains.

2) Science has found water is mostly H2O (there is some heavy water too: D2O).

3) Euclidean geometry is NOT just a “system of words”. It’s a system of words and a system of implications (either explicit, or implicit: all logic, except computer programming, contains implicit semantic drift). All together Euclidean Geometry is a logic, a “logos”.

The Christians were crafty enough, in the beginning to make “The Logos” GOD. That seduced the Neo-Platonists who ruled the empire, just below the plutocratic level. That was the bait.

Right now, many US pilots pass out in their jets: a F22 Raptor, the most sophisticated fighter in the US arsenal, crashed in 2010 that way, and the pilot, captain Haynes, was killed. Others followed since. Entire types were grounded at times for weeks. The entire fleet is affected, including F16s, F35s, etc. The cause is unknown. Some guess that the cause has to do with the very complicated software which controls the air given to the pilots and their pressure suits (one needs pressure to breathe at altitude…) This problem is still unsolved. Why? The truth has not yet been found.

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Fake News, The Passion for Fiction, etc:

The Nobel Prize in literature was not given to non-fiction authors, for half a century (until Belarusian Svetlana Alexievich). You know people such as yours truly, Winston Churchill, Bertrand Russel, Bergson, etc. Why? Because nonfiction is an inconvenient truth. Fiction writing is, by definition, not true, with fake news, fake creatures, and fake reality all around. Alexievich, a Bielorusian, implicitly criticizing the Bielorusian dictatorship, is safely removed from the leading dictating elite of the planet, so she is free to tell all the truths she wants… We may as well encourage her, to distract the Commons…

It’s no coincidence that France has seen its prominent industry collapse in recent decades, the mood turn gloomy, while so many French truths turned to lies. Naturally enough, France is now the most tobacco drugged out advanced country, especially young women. Something not right in France, just there! At the same time, the French writing establishment is obsessed with fiction. And out there roll out another sort of fake news: insipid “novels” which have nothing novel about them.

Lest the denizens of the sister Republic, the USA, start to chuckle, I will point out that the Clinton, Bush and Obama presidencies were fueled on so many lies (“Look at me, I’m brown, thus who cares that inequality is the highest ever, thanks to eight years of my policies??… which were actually mostly those of Clinton-Bush, where it counted most“). Thus the drug epidemics in the USA is now the most lethal ever. Opiates alone kill more than either guns or car. Why? Average people want to forget the lies. That’s also why they voted for Trump (who, at the very least, is more entertaining than the look-at-my-skin type… First orange hair is funnier than bronze skin…)

Most of the establishment has been intoxicated on its fake news, fake pre-occupations, etc. What it takes to sail a sea of lies.

***

Truth Is What Works:

When what was well-known before has been proven false, what is left is the truth. What does “truth” mean? It means that, when making a tool, or following a procedure while avoiding all known errors we end up with a tool, or procedure which works, something which is “true”. Because whatever does not work is an error.

It’s not very difficult to understand. But of course people who are in power are there because of an ideology, a system of thought, and, for them, that is the tool which is true, because it works for them.

It’s precisely because truth is what works that ideologies are true for their practitioners. But they are not THE TRUTH.

THE TRUTH, within, or about, an ideology, any ideology, even one with scientific pretense, is what’s left when an ideology’s lies have been detected and rejected.

Part of the mental intoxication from the elite has been to pretend that truth is all relative, can’t be proven, does not exist, never has, never will, and the “postmoderns” have been their prophets, while eating caviar and drinking champagne, while encouraging hard core Islam, and giving a pass to all things plutocratic. Weapons have been few and far between… Until Trump, a live Molotov cocktail to throw at the establishment.

Truth is what works: a definition of truth which works, a definition which is not supporting faith denying truth, the latter being the sort of faith I have no faith in!

If truth is what works, as I believe, the state of the planet is proof enough that we are collapsing under the weight of lies and errors ruling us into oblivion. Amen.

Patrice Ayme’

Bees Learn From Culture & Experience

October 25, 2016

When “INSTINCT” IN BEES:TURNS OUT TO BE LEARNING JUST AS HUMANS DO. Bees Practice The Experimental Method, Observe Others & Transmit Knowledge To Others!

Bumblebees can experiment and learn to pull a string to get a sugar water reward and then pass that skill on to other bees.

This comforts a long-held opinion of mine. See: https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2013/10/02/instinct-is-fast-learning/.

There I claimed that:

“Innate Knowledge” is a stupid idea. The truth is the exact opposite: LEARNING IS EVERYWHERE, OUT THERE. Learning is the opposite of innate. This insight has tremendous consequences on our entire prehension of the world.

My reasoning was typical philosophy: well-informed general reasons. Now there is increasing evidence that not only big brained vertebrates, but smaller brained invertebrates learn.

Conclusion: we humans do not differ from other animals, even insects, in kind, but in the amount of capability we enjoy. Thus, if we want to be truly human as much as we cannot just lay there like cows.  If we want to be fully human we must learn more of what is significant, and learn how to learn it. We cannot just sit on our hands and do as Barack Obama, the do-not much not-so-funny clown in chief, did, obsess about easy one liners and sport scores.

***

Intelligence Is A Fact, Instinct Just A Vague Theory:

For years, cognitive scientist Lars Chittka was intimidated by studies of apes, crows, parrots, and other brainy giants. Crows make tools. And they obviously talk to each other (my personal observation in the mountains). From the latest research in Brazil, parrots seem to have advanced language among themselves (which we don’t understand yet, as it too fast and high pitch for humans to hear it, and there is too much “austerity” around to pay scientists to understand the world as much as they could).

Chittka worked on bees, and almost everyone assumed that the insects acted on so-called instinct, not intelligence. Instinct? Come again.

As Bumblebees Can Learn To Pull Strings, So Can Plutocrats. Thus We Need To Outlaw Such Pluto Strings

Hillary Pulling Out Her Reward? As Bumblebees Can Learn To Pull Strings, So Can Plutocrats. Thus We Need To Outlaw Such Pluto Strings

Sophisticated behavior from “instinct” is a rather stupid assumption, because it is a superfluous assumption: Who needs instinct to explain an animal’s behavior, when we have simple, old fashion intelligence to explain it? Well, speciesists! (Same as who needs the Big Bang, a theory, when we have Dark Energy, a fact, to explain the expansion of the universe.)

Indeed we know of intelligence (some people, and certainly children, can be observed to have it). We can observe intelligence, and roughly understand how it works (it works by establishing better neurology, that is, neurology which fits facts better).

We can define intelligence, we cannot define instinct. But what is an instinct? We can neither observe “instinct”, for sure, instead of learning. Nor can we give a plausible mechanism of how “instinct” would generate complex behaviors (DNA does not code for “instinct”).  

When carefully analyzed, complex behaviors turn out to be learned. In humans, social motivations such as the Will to Power, are primary, thus Chitkka was motivated by : “…a challenge for me: Could we get our small-brained bees to solve tasks that would impress a bird cognition researcher?”

***

Einstein Bumblebees & Their Superstrings:

Now, it seems his team has succeeded in duplicating, with insects, what many birds and mammals are famous for. It shows that bumblebees can not only learn to pull a string to retrieve a reward, but they can also learn this trick from other bees, even though they have no experience with such a task in nature. Christian Rutz, a bird cognition specialist at St. Andrews university in Scotland concludes that the study “successfully challenges the notion that ‘big brains’ are necessary for new skills to spread”.  

Chittka and his colleagues set up a clear plastic table barely tall enough to lay three flat artificial blue flowers underneath. Each flower contained a well of sugar water in the center and had a string attached that extended beyond the table’s boundaries. The only way the bumble bee could get the sugar water was to pull the flower out from under the table by tugging on the string.

The team put 110 bumblebees, one at a time, next to the table to see what they would do. Some tugged at the strings and gave up, but two actually kept at it until they retrieved the sugar water: two Einstein bees out of 110! In another series of experiments, the researchers trained the bees by first placing the flower next to the bee and then moving it ever farther under the table. More than half of the 40 bees tested learned what to do with the strings. See: .Associative Mechanisms Allow for Social Learning and Cultural Transmission of String Pulling in an Insect.

Next, the researchers placed untrained bees behind a clear plastic wall so they could see the other bees retrieving the sugar water. More than 60% of the insects that watched knew to pull the string when it was their turn. In another experiment, scientists put bees that knew how to pull the string back into their colony and a majority of the colony’s workers picked up string pulling by watching one trained bee do it when it left the colony in search of food. The bees usually learned this trick after watching the trained bee five times, and sometimes even after one single observation. Even after the trained bee died, string pulling continued to spread among the colony’s younger workers.   

But pulling a string does not quite qualify as tool use, because a tool has to be an independent object that wasn’t attached to the flower in the first place. Yet other invertebrates have shown they can use tools: Digger wasps pick up small stones and use them to pack down their burrow entrances, for example.

***

Bees: New Aplysias For Intelligence & Culture?

Nobel laureate Eric Kandel, following a mentor of his in Paris, worked on the brain of the giant California sea snail, Aplysia Californica with its 26,000 neurons. This enabled to progress in the understanding of basic learning and memory mechanisms. However, Aplysias are not into tools and culture. Bees are. Bees have a million neurons, and a billion synapses.

[The bee brain is only .5 mm; whereas the human brain is ~ 400 larger, thus 4x 10^2 larger, its volume is thus ~ 10^2 x 10^6 = 10^8 larger than that of the bee brain; thus scaled up, with the same neuronal density, the human brain should have 10^14 neurons! Which is the number of synapses in the human brain. The density of the bee brain Thus we see, in passing, that human neurons pack up much more power than bee neurons! That has got to be a quantitative difference…]

The discovery of bee culture involved almost 300 bees, documenting how string pulling spread from bee to bee in multiple colonies. Cognitive studies of vertebrates like birds and monkeys typically involve smaller tribal units (30, not 300). Thus the bee studies on culture, more broadly based, show better propagation (at least at this point). .

Clearly bees are equipped, psychobiologically, for the meta behavior known as creative culture: learning from others, while experimenting on one’s own. Thinkers of old used to believe these behaviors were exclusively humans: animals were machines (Descartes) and only man used tools (Bergson, who called man ‘Homo Faber”, Homo Worker)

That insect can learn and experiment, and have culture was obvious all along, according to my personal observations of wasps’ intelligence: when I threaten a wasp. It gets the message, and flies away (I have done the experiment hundreds of times; it does not work with mosquitoes). Reciprocally, if I try to get a wasp out from behind a window, it somewhat cooperates, instead of attacking me. Whereas if I come next to a nest, I will be attacked when my intent is deemed aggressive (reciprocally if a nest is established in a high traffic area, the culture of the local wasps makes it so that they will not attack).   

What is the neural basis for these “smarts”? Some say that the insects might not be all that intelligent, but that instead, “these results may mean that culture-like phenomena might actually be based on relatively simple mechanisms.” Hope springs eternal that, somehow, human intelligence is different.

Don’t bet on it. Studying how bees think will help us find how, and why, we think. And the first conclusion is that it matters what we do with our brains. If we want to rise above insects, we cannot mentally behave as if we were insects all day long. Being endowed with human intelligence is not just an honor, but a moral duty. (Learn that, clown in chief!)

Patrice Ayme’

Cultural Evolution: More Intelligent Than “Darwinian”

April 10, 2015

A dangerously entitled paper in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society (Series B, Biological Sciences). Here are the first 4 lines:

How Darwinian is cultural evolution? By Nicolas Claidière , Thomas C. Scott-Phillips , Dan Sperber (31 March 2014).

Darwin-inspired population thinking suggests approaching culture as a population…”

(My comment to Scientia Salon elevating the debate was censored.)

The supposedly proven idea that the scientific philosophy known as “Darwinism” rules humanity is exactly why we ended up with Hitler. Hitler and his friends were penetrated by “Darwinian” ideas. Explicitly. For the Nazis, Darwinism, the Selection of the Fittest, was “science”. Nearly a century later the most prestigious scientific society in Britain is still pushing the notion, with a devious title.

Peul Gentleman In Formal Attire.

Peul Gentleman In Formal Attire.

[There are 30 million Peuls, with their own languages, through 20 countries, in the Sahel and its neighborhood.]

The ideology of “Darwinism” as the end-all, be-all, is bad science, and bad philosophy. But of course an excellent mentality for vicious oligarchies. A century ago, it brought us Nazis, more recently it brought us Neo-Conservatism, and now “Austerity” and plutocracy.

Darwinism, A Philosophy Of Force, Chance, Heredity As Necessities:

At some point, around the 1960s, from some experience of Medawar on mice, some scientists thought that biological evolution was only driven by chance and selection. Thanks to haphazard variations in genetics, new organisms would differ from their ancestors. Among some of these new organisms, some would survive better, and thus (probably) reproduce better. That “adaptative” mechanism driven by chance was supposed to explain everything.

A philosophy of sorts evolved from that view of evolution, according to which everything evolved by chance, and survival determined worth. “Intelligent Design” was removed, not just from religion, and the view of the world, but from society itself.

This explanation and its philosophical extension, came to be known as “Darwinism”, or “Natural Selection”.

The Connection Between The Crisis Of The West And Neo-Darwinism:

If culture is due to chance and survival is what determines its value, why to try to make an intelligent, fair and moral society? Would not that be against nature? If we were led by genes, and genes were selfish, was not the Neo-Conservative model more natural?

In the 1960s and 1970s an argument was made that we were our “genes”, and that our genes were “selfish”. The ideas became ubiquitous in the Anglo-Saxon world, and were, truly a new philosophy, a sort of Jihadism without god.

Unsurprisingly that culture of chance, force and selfishness facilitated the not-so spontaneous creation of a new generation of selfish politicians and ideas promoting selfishness, force, and the chance heredity provides with (namely, if you inherited your position in society it was just because this is how nature is).

Societies of note tend to prefer cultural traits which they believe will promote their survival. A society not endowed with that meta-belief, and meta-practice, will not long survive.

Societies tend to be “Darwinian” in that sense. Beyond this, the notion that chance drives culture is of limited utility, because culture is anything but haphazard.

***

Natural Selection Is Not What Evolution Reduces To. Natural Selection Is Just One Of Three Evolutionary Mechanisms:

Unfortunately for the “Darwinists, they did not get their science right.

Selection was not really new. “Artificial Selection”, aka, selective breeding, was not just known, but long practiced. Aristotle relates that in “free” roaming cattle of Epirus, weak cows, or cows with traits viewed as undesirable, were culled to prevent them from breeding.

Beyond selection, artificial or natural, Lamarck, the scientist who first established evolution, suggested two new evolutionary mechanisms.

It turns out that modern quantum physics offers plausible mechanisms to check Lamarck’s suggestions. Experimental efforts are under way to check them (one grant proposal heading that way is $49 million!) Preliminary results are already in.

The bottom line is that Quantum Mechanics is intrinsically TELEOLOGICAL (it computes from the ends). This is why the Quantum is so baffling. It offers mechanisms for driving genetics from environmental influences directly (without going through the selection of the carrying organism).

Such mechanisms do not contradict natural selection. Far from it: they just accelerate it, while bending it towards more intelligent solutions. (Yes, the Quantum is clever: it was hinted since Fermat’s Principle of Least Time.)

Conclusion: Cultural Evolution Is Not Darwinian, It Is Much More Than That, And, First Of All, Teleologically Intelligent:

Culture is history, but much of that history was developed with ends in mind.

For example, a cultural trait such as executing Muslims who are deemed not to obey “Islam” has contributed to the survival of Islam. And it was, literally a clever strategy (it was established by a general, strategos). Islam started as an army at war. Quitting an army at war means execution.

Thus cultural evolution is teleologically driven. Cultural structures never seem to originate haphazardly. When we think that a cultural trait evolved haphazardly, further examination generally reveals that the trait evolved at a time and place when and where it made sense.

As I have argued in the past, inheritability does not reduce to “genes”: we are not our genes. Nor are our cultures just the survivors of selection. All and any of their bits and pieces were invented with some purposes in mind, which functioned as mental attractors.

Culture, and evolution are both smart. Intelligent Design has become an insult, so we are ending with increasingly stupid social organizations. Stupidity and oligarchy are two notions which go together well, supporting each other.

Patrice Ayme’

Wisdom, Most Devouring Beast of Them All

March 17, 2015

New Philosophy Mostly Blossoms Multi, and Meta, Culturally:

Any culture is wise, and loved. Thus, it is a philosophy. To use philosophy for diplomacy among cultures mandates, and thus needs, a greater wisdom to adjudicate among smaller wisdoms.

To any logic is associated not just one, but many, metalogics. Any of the latter is bigger than the former.

This is a direct application of the proofs of the Incompleteness Theorems in metamathematics.

Thus wisdoms, or cultures, by themselves, are the germs for bigger, greater wisdoms, or meta-cultures (thus, germs for their own enlargements). They contain their own spontaneous generation for greater transmutations.

Pine Island Glacier Crack Philosophically Transmutating

Pine Island Glacier Crack Philosophically Transmutating

The easiest way to enlarge a culture is to entangle it with another. The resulting union is automatically meta. Thus the greater wisdom of travelers.

However, what comes out after a while, is not harmony, but battle. Indeed a simple union of logos, and intricately entangled emotional systems is not possible, as some elements will generally come to contradict each other.

This is what those who confuse multiculturalism with tolerance, overlook. In their colossal naivety.

Paradoxically, true multiculturalism is not tolerant, at least not tolerant of lies and ossified thinking. Instead, it learns to pick, chose, abandon, adopt, and decide. It does not tolerate everything: it selects the best, rejects the bad.

Any wisdom is a system of logos, entangled with systems of moods associated to it. Local wisdom is often weird: associate a picture of Buddha to a party in Burma, and you will be condemned to years in prison.

The entanglement of cultures results into, not just synergies, but, before that, competition, conflict, even extermination, between different ideas and emotions.

The situation is similar to, but even more frazzled than in the biological survival of the fittest.

Any new wisdom comes from forcefully introducing at least one new idea, fact, or emotion to an old wisdom. The resulting entanglement brings a dynamic conflict between the old wisdom, and the union of it with the new element.

So one can say that any new, better, and improved wisdom is intrinsically multicultural.

This happens in the clearest way when new science arises: Relativity as defined by Poincaré (1904) arose from the earlier realization (Lorentz, Poincaré) that time and space (contribution of Fiztgerald) were local.

Einstein’s name got associated to Relativity (although he had invented none of it), just because had written down a neat abstract of the new wisdom in just one paper (“hiding sources”, as he admitted, helped!)

Why did Einstein become so famous, if he invented nothing (aside from the obvious nationalist and tribal aspects of the discrimination)? Because he presented a neat synthesis of the ideas and concepts of the new culture, Relativity. By the time Einstein wrote his paper, the new culture exposed by Poincaré the year before in the USA, had to be recognized as a coherent whole in the German language, the language of very serious and obviously superior people.

By 1905, Relativity had thoroughly digested the idea of Poincaré that the constancy of the speed of light, as measured in all frames, was a new law of nature. And also the proof of Poincaré, from 1900, that the emission of energy by a body decreased its mass, according to E = mcc. One just had to wrap it in one text.

How is a philosophical wisdom found to be superior to another? Because it is closer to the truth in matters pertaining to survival.

Picture this; in Western Antarctica, the Pine Glacier rests on the bottom of the ocean, two thousands meters down. It is bathed in increasingly warmer waters. Its catchment basin, under sea level, is larger than Texas. If Pine, and some of its colleagues, melted, and they could, very fast, billions of refugees would be on the march.

Clearly, something impacting survival, but not envisioned by philosophical systems in the past. This is the sort of possible truth that philosophy has to envision. Add increasing ocean acidity (from conversion of CO2 into carbonic acid), and one has new facts that require clearly drastically new philosophies.

So the most drastic transculturalism comes from mixing philosophical obsolescence, let alone bigotry, with exotic cultures, brand new science.

If we want to survive, we need to be right, and that involves firing lethal torpedoes to sink the biggest lies, and turn attention towards the real problems, whatever is left, an approximation to truth.

Philosophy, some suggested, is a way of life. Yes, the one that maximizes survival, and that means, now more than ever, the pursuit of veracity, is the most superior philosophy.

Maximal culture shock can only help constructing that superiority. Even the worst culture has some mental elements that can be integrated somewhere into superior wisdom.

Some may object that the preceding was all too theoretical: it may be true that new systems  of entangled thoughts and emotions arise according the (metalogical) mechanic that is explicitly described in the proofs of the Incompleteness Theorems in logic. However, they will complain, what does that bring?

As I said, transculturalism, well done does not mean falling asleep, it means conflict, or replacement. Therefore when, as in Europe, conflict is avoided cost, and replacement is not instigated (as in the USA), transculturalism does not arise, only apartheid (to use the notion of Manuel Valls, the French PM used, to depict the situation in France).

Conflict and replacement can be effected by rising the cult of the republic above others.

In the USA, Americanization is both fine art and massive enterprise. It involves sports and high rewards. (This is one reason why some financial compensation, in sports or ‘equal opportunity’ “leadership” jobs are so high in the USA: to make the attraction of absorption in American culture irresistible, for the befuddled masses out there).

The best and highest philosophy swallows, integrates and transmutate accordingly to whatever it can swallow. That mood is already in Rabelais. What is new now, what is better now, is that never before have so many new fats come to light, so many cultures, so much history, and so much new shattering devastation.

This disastrously destructive, and all too global situation out there, is excellent, for the birth of vastly superior wisdom. Bring it on.

Patrice Ayme’

Cultural Exception Cultivates Civilization, Economy

June 14, 2013

The French Republic threatens to veto the free trade negotiations between the European Union and the United States of America, if culture is not excluded from the negotiations (as the Cultural Exception in the rest of world trade!). France is right, this essay will show why.

Ultimately, culture is about the greatest wealth. And the greatest wars. Ultimately culture is what makes us what we are, the honor of the human spirit, and the love that endows the mind. It should not be about fighting for bones.

Big Master Is Ordering You

Big Master Is Ordering You

The EU-USA free trade accord is a good idea. Exchanges between USA and EU are already 40% global exchanges, yet, their total GDP is 55% of the world total. That means they could help each other by trading more. (And what about that silly visa thing?)

Custom duties are already low. So the accord is mostly about new, common norms, and the removal of non customs barriers to trade (such as the American regulation that real French cheese is poisonous, verboten).

The rest of Europe is all for free trade with the USA, because a law of 1933 forces the government of the USA to contract with companies of the USA, exclusively (except when there is no choice, and that’s why the US Army ordered 345 combat helicopters built-in Marseilles’ Eurocopter recently, following the US Coast Guard; the USA did not produce a new helicopter type in 20 years, whereas Eurocopter churn them out, so this is a case of no choice!).

But France looks at the millennia, and the mind breathing through them. France does not want to see vacuous, mono-cultural minds. History shows that vacuous, mono-cultural minds have always translated into civilization-destroying horrors. Thus France decided to cultivate cultures, by introducing in GATT (General Agreeement on Tarifs and Trade) the Cultural Exception. Bush’s America never liked that.

Let’s not forget that, in 1938, and 1939, or even 1940, American culture did not overwhelmingly see something ultimately objectionable in Nazism. Literally. So there was no ultimatum of the USA to Hitler (whereas France and Britain gave one). The father and grandfather of two American presidents, Prescott Bush, was Hitler’s most precious collaborator. All the way to August… 1942. August 1942, that’s three full years after the Franco-British declaration of war to the Nazis.

The mind France wants is much grander than that of Big, Uncle Sam Watching All, As Ordered by Greedy Wall Street. In 1948, the perfidious USA proposed France to forget all the French debt owed to her self-interested liberator of sorts during World War Two, as long as France would allow free reign of American movies over France. France, wisely, declined.

This, by the way shows that, from the American point of view, cultural supremacy is more important than money. Even from the American point of view, culture is priceless. Thus why should not others brandish the same principle? As I am going to show, culture ought to become more important than ever. And, if the Americans were smart, instead of having a dog fight with the French, they should learn even about, and from, the importance of culture.

Let’s call Princeton to the rescue.

Excellent editorial of Paul Krugman in Sympathy for the Luddites, about the drawback of technological progress:

“In 1786, the cloth workers of Leeds, a wool-industry center in northern England, issued a protest against the growing use of “scribbling” machines, which were taking over a task formerly performed by skilled labor. “How are those men, thus thrown out of employ to provide for their families?” asked the petitioners. “And what are they to put their children apprentice to?”

Those weren’t foolish questions. Mechanization eventually — that is, after a couple of generations — led to a broad rise in British living standards. But it’s far from clear whether typical workers reaped any benefits during the early stages of the Industrial Revolution; many workers were clearly hurt. And often the workers hurt most were those who had, with effort, acquired valuable skills — only to find those skills suddenly devalued.

So are we living in another such era? And, if we are, what are we going to do about it?

Until recently, the conventional wisdom about the effects of technology on workers was, in a way, comforting. Clearly, many workers weren’t sharing fully — or, in many cases, at all — in the benefits of rising productivity; instead, the bulk of the gains were going to a minority of the work force. But this, the story went, was because modern technology was raising the demand for highly educated workers while reducing the demand for less educated workers. And the solution was more education. “

So far, so good. However Paul, although he means well, then gets confused by the evil spirits, and unwillingly deviates to the Dark Side, at least, the way he concludes:

“… there may have been something to this story [more education, less equality] a decade ago.

Today, however, a much darker picture of the effects of technology on labor is emerging. In this picture, highly educated workers are as likely as less educated workers to find themselves displaced and devalued, and pushing for more education may create as many problems as it solves.”

… Education, then, is no longer the answer to rising inequality, if it ever was (which I doubt).

So what is the answer? If the picture I’ve drawn is at all right, the only way we could have anything resembling a middle-class society — a society in which ordinary citizens have a reasonable assurance of maintaining a decent life as long as they work hard and play by the rules — would be by having a strong social safety net, one that guarantees not just health care but a minimum income, too. And with an ever-rising share of income going to capital rather than labor, that safety net would have to be paid for to an important extent via taxes on profits and/or investment income. I can already hear conservatives shouting about the evils of “redistribution.” But what, exactly, would they propose instead?”

Well conservatives want to conserve things the way they used to be before the awful revolutions in England, America, and France: bring back feudalism. In the ancient order, the Nobles paid no taxes, just as plutocrats nowadays increasingly do not.

And, of course, it was silly to want to use education to fight rising inequality: inequality and education live in different dimensions. One dimension cannot subtract from another, that’s basic math.

Ultimately, in all and any society, the ruling class decides how much it will earn. In a democracy, the People (Demos) Rules (Kratos), and so it earns well. In a plutocracy, the People is nothing, and gets nothing, beyond what is needed for serving the Devils (Plutos) who Rule (Kratos).

There is only one way to prevent democracy to turn into plutocracy: the application of severe and efficient methods to prevent the exponentiation of wealth. Either one can put an absolute limit on the wealth any family can control (that was the method used by the Roman republic for five centuries). Or one can apply heavy, exponentiating taxes (as most societies have done, sometimes with the help of human sacrifices).

Yet, as machines are going to take over most work, what are we The People going to do? A related question is that studies have shown We The People to be very sensitive to propaganda. It has long been known that People, like animals, can be imprinted: the first knowledge they get exposed to, because the only knowledge they own.

An experiment on 6,000 students, using 48 songs, showed that People pretty much love and appreciate what they have been told the tribe love and appreciate. What the better songs are, has more to do with what People are told they are, rather than any other criterion.

This, of course, threatens the very existence of democracy. As people believes what they are told to believe, how can one have democracy? This stage has been reached in the USA, one may fear.

For most People to be happy one needs two things, once decent living conditions are taken for granted: employment and happy, that means, correct, beliefs. Hence the importance of culture. Variegated culture presents minds with choices, and choices means imprinting does not have it easy. (So cultural diversification also fights the rabid oversimplifications leading to war.)

Indeed, there is one way out, and only one of the quandary posed by exponentiating technology: make culture more of an industry. Yes, because there is not just plutocracy that is exponentiating. Besides the government surveillance programs, technology itself is approaching a singularity.

The first Luddites were not English. They were the Roman emperors themselves. Later, after the French refugee + built the second steam boat, and went down a river one hundred kilometers, enraged conservatives destroyed the ship. That set back steam power by nearly a century (well the Roman emperors had set it back by 16 centuries, prior!)

Machines can do farming, and all sort of other tasks, including, increasingly, knowledge service. There is no doubt that robot doctors will do better than doctors in the future. For example, as far as automated gross diagnostics, they already do better. A robot brain surgeon can go where no human hand can, and no human can be so precise.

So machines can do more and more of everything. And that, even before Quantum Computers are massively for sale.

But machines cannot do culture. Yet, everybody can potentially become a culture worker. People can sing, paint, experience the world and tell about it, educate, relate and narrate (“blog”), etc.

It can be ascertained that culture is the growth industry with the greatest potential. In all and any industry, one should outlaw cartels. A fortiori, if culture is to become a growth industry, one ought to refute cultural hegemony, in other words, cultural cartels, cultural monopoly. Hence culture ought to be a “protected industry”, an industry where the grossest, simplest minded free trade rules do not apply.

The corporate culture of the USA’s cultural industry has certainly behaved as a cartel: it’s very difficult for small movies from a small author of a small studio to make it big in the USA. Whereas it can, and does happen all the time in France. “The Artist”, for example, which got the top Oscar, even in Hollywood, started as one such French state subsidized small movie.  

As the cartel aspect already shows, the very size of the cultural market of the USA makes asymmetric any “liberalization”. It’s as if one claimed that it is “liberal” and a “free exchange” of blows, between two fighters, one a gorilla, the other a human child.

Cultural diversity is a very old debate: the Celts had it with the Romans, 25 centuries ago. The Gauls, Romans and Franks spent the next 13 centuries conquering each other, until Europe became another name for cultural diversity.

Conclusion: in trade talks between the USA and the EU, culture ought to be off the table. Culture ought to be traded, but trade is not culture. That’s what the French republic is trying to say.

***

Patrice Ayme

***

Note: Decent, clever, civilized Americans of course agree with the preceding: In a press conference headed up by French culture minister Aurélie  Filippetti (Google’s enemy), Harvey Weinstein threw his support behind the cultural exception. “The cultural exception encourages filmmakers to make films about their own culture. We need that more than ever,” he said. He cited some countries moribund film industries and the morbid propensity to simply copy the American model to the detriment of indigenous creativity. “The most important thing is to preserve the environment of cultural films, because it’s good for business too.”

As we have seen, it’s a question of the global economy and global democracy too, especially looking into the only decent future we can have.

Cannes Festival Jury President Steven Spielberg called the cultural exception “the best way to support diversity in filmmaking” during his closing ceremony remarks. As Spielberg came to Cannes with his 80 meter yacht, and spent two million there for his creature comforst, one cannot suspect him to be scrapping the bottom of the barrel.

Google Slave Master?

October 20, 2012

I disagreed strongly with G.W. Bush’s lies and folly in Iraq. Presto, my web site disappeared from USA search engines. I was ridiculed by Silicon Alley “friends”: information wants to be free, search engines were beyond any suspicion, did not care about ants such as me. Fast forward to 2012: Google hissed it will be “constrained” to “no longer reference French websites“. Admire the hypocrisy. So much for not manipulating searches. Here is the object of Google’s ire:

Google Slaying French Culture Minister: Brains & Style.

Aurélie Filippetti ministers to advanced culture.

“I’m a little surprised by the tone of this correspondence, which is akin to a threat. You do not deal with a democratically elected government through threats.” Warns the French Culture Minister.

What do Google guys know about democracy?

Aurélie Filippetti has (basically) a PhD in classical literature, published books translated in many languages, is  a Member of Parliament, and France’s Culture Minister. In France the culture ministry is traditionally very important. It covers, among others, the information technology ministry. Filippetti, the daughter of an emigrant miner, belongs to a class vastly superior to the mostly uneducated, unelected Silicon Valley filthy rich conspirators.

French newspaper publishers asked the government in September for a bill compelling search engines, to pay them each time a user reads an article by clicking through to their websites.

Let’s go the crux of the matter: Google makes money out of clicks (from advertizing revenue). Click to what? Authors. Are these authors Google employees? No, Google does not pay those authors. So Google is making profits from the work of others that it does not pay for.

Google makes money by using other people’s work, without compensation. When an owner does not pay people for the work that makes him rich, it’s slavery. It’s the first order definition of slavery.

Europe has seen that movie before. More than 1,000 years ago. Bathilde queen of the Franks, herself an ex-escaped slave, outlawed making a slave (“servus“) of any citizen of the Imperium Francorum (to be rebaptized 150 years later the “Renovated Roman Empire”).

Nevertheless, in the following centuries, many a freeman came “to be a slave” (“servire“) through force or necessity. Sometimes freeholders or allodial owners were intimidated into dependency by the greater physical or legal force of a local plutocrat or magnate. Crop failure, a war or brigandage left a farmer unable to survive on his own. A bargain was struck with a plutocrat, or mighty knight (lord of a manor, to pay for the very expensive weapons and training).

In exchange for protection from the knight, service was required, in cash, produce or with labor, or a combination thereof. These bargains were formalized in a ceremony known as “bondage” in which a serf placed his head in the lord’s hands, similar to the ceremony of homage where a vassal placed his hands between those of his overlord (or kissed his boot). Such people came to be known as “serfs”. “Serf” was a modification of the Latin word for slave, just like the condition of bondage was different, but also viewed as related to slavery. Being a serf was hereditary, but could be exited by staying away thirty days (during which time the lord could hunt down his recalcitrant serf).

England was about 20% slaves until 1066 CE, when the conquering Franks outlawed slavery.

The key enabling concept here is intimidation. Very rich persons intimidated the population into plutocracy. Very rich people, or great plutocratic institutions, had attributed themselves, without any constitutional basis, illegitimate powers, through the sheer power of intimidation. An unintimidated serf who fled to a city, taking the law in his own hands, was thereafter free.

Finally, central governments, unintimidated, grabbed back those illegitimate powers. It took a while, and the central government had to play dirty: Philippe IV Le Bel broke both the Templars and the Papacy shortly after 1300 CE, but it’s only with the mighty efforts of Louis XI and his daughter, the regent queen Anne de France, that France got definitively united as a country under an effective, all mighty national government, shortly before the official discovery of the Americas. (Thus inaugurating the archtypical modern nation-state.)

Google’s slave masters, apparently unaware of 30 centuries of rather ferocious history, are trying to intimidate the French Republic into submission. Not knowing, from full ignorance of the great classics, that few passions give more pleasure to the French and their Gallic ancestors than to put a shining armor on, condemn, and charge evil doers.

Here is a friend of mine, the USA born Amna Shiekh, giving us what all too many in Wall Street admiring circles will consider to be the obvious argument:

“The difference between these French people who are crying thievery and myself – I am GRATEFUL that Google provides a service allowing my websites to be found through keywords…. At no cost to me. My websites would have no chance of being found otherwise. There is a service being provided here. And if you don’t want to contribute to it, then don’t cry when it’s taken away? Very simple!”

Patrice Ayme: “Me me me me me me me me me, or, as Mick Jagger would have it in Gloom & Doom: meeeeeeeeeee is, indeed, the best explanation most people have found, under most circumstances. A generalization of me me me me me me, is us us us us us, also known as nationalism. Being GRATEFUL to the Lords is also most wise, for the commoners, and those who, like worms, like to burrow underground. Slave masters were, are, also providing a service, they always have been, always do. Many love to be punished, it makes them feel important.

Around 1800 CE, it has been evaluated that three quarters of humankind lived in some form of slavery.

The ubiquitousness of slavery explains much of the submitted, and impoverished state, most of the world was in, until recently. (By comparison the French Revolution of 1789 made most French allodial owners, that is, supreme sovereigns on their land… which is still not the case in Great Britain (all land is the Crown’s, all Brits are…vassals)… nor in the USA (“eminent domain” being rather relaxed there)).

Nobody is advocating doing without search engines. They existed well before Google. (And, besides having Sequoia Capital and their associates backing up Google, I do not see what Google brought to search that did not exist before). Because searches are manipulated, search engines are a matter of national security. The fact that an obviously plutocratic organization has achieved a world monopoly on searches is obviously a worry for democracy.

When Francia outlawed slavery, in 655 CE, it was to make the median individual more potent. Not because it was easy, but because it short-circuited plutocracy, the accumulation of ever greater wealth, be it through unfair means (Google, Buffet), or even by any means (hence the Frankish Salian law equalitarianism, preventing the growth of extreme power for the few).

Outlawing slavery reconstituted the mood and power of the early Roman republic, and allowed to rise huge republican armies when the so far undefeated Arab and Berber armies invaded France in 721 CE.

In democracy, humanity in full is in power. That makes democracy, all else been equal, the mightiest social organization in brains and war.

Plutocracy says only an oligarchy of individuals, emotions and ideas are in power. It’s a form of mutilation, parasitism, a malaria of the mind.

Humanity in full is more powerful, and that is why the Franks were able to break the “Germani”, the Arab Muslim invaders (721 CE-750 CE), the Avars, the Vikings, and, with their descendant regimes (such as England, or Spain)  conquer much of the world militarily, and all of it, philosophically (at least formally: even Al Assad leads a “republic”). Nowadays the main Frankish philosophical drive is basically the United Nations Charter. Outlawing slavery is its core.

Slavery is why the management of Greco-Roman civilization by the Greco-Romans failed, and why management transferred to the Franks, and their simple idea of synchronizing polity and humanity, by outlawing it.  (In other words, on a giant civilizational scale, what Obama failed to do on his teeny tiny scale, as he left the slavery inducing Wall Street of 2008 in power, throughout his fateful reign, and its symbols are Summers and Geithner… but I digress, although reckoning is at hand…)   

Amna Shiekh: “Yes, I do think the French who agree with you are crying me me me me me me me – though I don’t think it’s very effective. Maybe when we were five years old this tactic worked quite well….your slave master analogy doesn’t work either. Google isn’t providing a necessary means to live (food, shelter, safety, etc.) that forces me to agree with them…they are not offering something I cannot easily refuse….in other words, your analogy fails.”

Patrice Ayme: Living without the Internet (and its searches) is becoming increasingly impossible. So Google provides with a necessary service.

Google does not pay the people they use to make money, for their work. That’s the definition of slavery. You point out that you profit. Some, no doubt, profit. From slavery some always profited, otherwise slavery would not have come to be. In Rome, some companies specialized in catching escaped slaves, and others in torturing, or executing slaves. Such companies no doubt cried a river when the Franks made their work unlawful. It’s not because you can easily refuse to partake in murder, than murder should not be illegal.

Google whined that their business model was threatened with extinction if France went on with making them pay taxes. Well, too bad. If Google charged for air, and refused to pay taxes, it should be driven out of business too.  

French newspaper publishers asked the French government to intervene against Google in September. Newspapers, journalists, editorialists create ideas (hopefully).

But, fundamentally, Google creates… nothing independently of that substrate of ideas it helps search for, but did not create. (I know Google goes around with cars, taking pictures; but so doing is not creating ideas; if Google did not do it, volunteers certainly would do so, it’s very easy with modern technology.)

This is the general problem with the world economy right now: many manipulators have seized command, when they create nothing fundamental. They are like the Duchess of Cambridge, the Duchesse of Hypocrisy, going around, busy making their celebrity and parasitism fundamental, thanks to their symbiosis with a perverted established order of damnation, dragging not just civilization, but the entire biosphere, into oblivion.

Google leaders should have realized that, by being the world’s largest search engine, they had a moral duty, a fiduciary position, and it was only cautious corporate governance, to behave as an exemplary corporate world citizen. When Google threatened to boycott all and any French sites, it showed, not just its ugly nature, but the fact that it imagines itself as a dangerous, all powerful monopoly. Of course, it will become something of this sort, only if the French Republic let it do as it pleases (we do not expect anything from the White House, for the usual reasons, re-hashed by the end of this essay!). If France can bring down the crafty homicidal maniac Kadafi, its enormous army and secret services, plus connection with USA oil companies, she can cut Google down to size.

In 1936, Hitler decided to kill the Spanish republic, and the Nazi dictator carried by air the rebel Spanish Moroccan army (led by rogue general Franco) into Spain. He did this, thanks to oil from Texaco, a Texas based oil company (the fact were later determined by the Congress of the USA, Texaco got a symbolic fine, so they are a matter of official USA history).

By the way, this explains why the French Front Populaire, then in power, and led by Prime Minister Leon Blum, a Jew, was leery to intervene massively in Spain. Blum knew very well that plutocrats from the USA and their evil corporations were the enablers of Hitler, Mussolini and Franco, and that the French and Spanish Republics were under systematic attack by the united forces of plutocracy. (And that war is still going on, with different puppets, Karzai one of them… But the strings pulled from the same establishment and mood. A case in point being Harvard, still central now, as it was in the 1920s and 1930s, making Nazi songs really inspiring.)

Nowadays, this sort of things ought to be meditated more carefully than ever: Hitler pretty much became all he could be, from the help of co-investing plutocratic corporations of the USA. To this day, IBM got away with graciously leasing to all Nazi extermination camps computers, servicing them everyday. The entire Shoah was driven by up to 10,000 computers managed directly by IBM New York, through Geneva. And that is just one case out of many crucial aids to Naziland.

Nowadays, as I said, three quarters of world finance is just the largest mafia the world has ever known. That Google thinks it can get giant profits from the sweat of real mental creators, without any compensation to them whatsoever is typical of the plutocratic mentality, namely everything for a few, in exchange for nothing, but insults.

Some will object that evil obsessed companies such as Google, or Apple made the success of the USA. Indeed: both companies have nearly a trillion dollars of market capitalization, more than the GDP of most countries. (I own a Mc Air, which works very nicely with its solid state drive; Steve Jobs honestly admitted that his company pretty much stole everybody in sight). OK. Fair enough: Apple is a technology integrator (by contrast with a real creator such as Intel). However, the real inventors have got to be rewarded. Neither Apple, nor Google are fundamental innovators (as, say, Intel, or the recent Nobel Laureates in physics and biology are). They are just playing some on TV.

A notorious case, long ago, was the neon tube: the real inventors were not rewarded. The fact that they were French is no excuse: by not rewarding real inventors, one discourages new and future real innovators.

Are vultures evil, do we need them in the real economy?  The sixth point of the 10-point corporate philosophy of Google says “You can make money without doing evil.” So why being evil then? To make much more money than society can sustain?

There are two more bones of contention between Google and the French republic: Google’s confidentiality policy, which the French governmental institution Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL) considers violate French and European law. Basically Google buys and sells people’s lives, another way it behaves like a slave master.

When confronted to France, USA plutophiles generally scoff and evoke cheese eating surrender monkeys (exhibiting their ignorance of military history). However France is building the European Union as a French Republic amplification machine (Germany works best when getting orders from above).

In this particular case, organizations similar to CNIL in 29 other European countries (that’s more than half a billion citizens) have mandated the French CNIL to look into Google’s confidentiality policies.

The CNIL found that Google behavior MUST be modified (“doit etre modifie'”). The CNIL found that the selling and “finalities” of personal data could not be justified on security or legitimate Google grounds, or contract, or people’s consent. The Asia Pacific Privacy Authority and Canada are also supporting the CNIL. In other words, France is transmogrifying into the hard point of a worldwide Google modification effort. No wonder silicon minds are freaking out.

And not least: Google pays no tax on all the money it earns from French based companies.

As Sarkozy, the fired French president, not exactly a socialist, pointed out about Google:“It is not permissible that they realize a turnover of several billion euros in France without contributing to tax”.

Silicon dark alley types such as the young Google zillionaires and the old venture capital foxes behind them are not educated in the classical way. The human side of the economy escapes them totally, that’s how they made it. And they have this in common with crocodiles.

But how hard is it to understand? If you make billions in France, you have to pay tax in France. And yes, that could mean billions in taxes. And if you keep on not understanding this, the Republic will use force against you, it is as simple as that. Evil uses force, and only a greater force can dispose of evil.

And what evil is that? It’s not just Google’s hypocrisy shows with its slogan: Don’t be evil (We are in charge of that!), and its worldwide machinations, its tax avoidance. Google can fix all these things overnight. 

The problem is much larger, much older, than that. Why does the government of the USA close its collective eyes on this sort of behavior? Why is it that it is the French Republic which has to set straight an American corporation?

As Google’s anti-democratic threat makes pretty obvious, the same sort of plutocracy of the USA which, 80 years ago, was all fired up, and ready to help impose Adolf Hitler onto the world, is still viewed as an asset by Washington. Only the naive would believe that companies such as those which helped Hitler got away with so much, for so long, operated without a particularly Dark Will of a political nature behind them. The same will is still here, 80 years after its Hitlerian triumph. Generations pass away, systems of thought perdure.

Will is a mighty thing, especially when it’s all about grabbing territory. It’s fascinating to see Rome, rendered completely senile by centuries of plutocracy, still rabid about conquering the world, when it had lost all power to do so, in the Third Century. That’s when Rome made several full invasion of Mesopotamia, all the way to the Persian Gulf, and into North West Iran, all the way to the Caspian Sea. A full century after emperor Valerian had been captured (treacherously, during peace talks), his army destroyed, Julian (the emperor elected in and by Paris) was killed in Mesopotamia (with catastrophic consequences).

(Shades of Hitler moving decisively ghost armies around Berlin in April 1945.) The immense riches that people who are nothing (such as the pseudo “founders” of Google, Brin and Page), just because their company pays no taxes, is symptomatic of a system that uses corporations for building an empire, the way Rome used Christianity to expand further than its sword could reach.

So the will to let rogue corporations of the USA conduct their own foreign policy and exploitation of the world is still here, as it was in the 1920 s and 1930s, building up Nazism.

All the more as that method, to use criminal businessmen to leverage even greater criminality was extremely successful in connection with the Nazi adventure, and the Stalin venture, with its near fatal weakening of Europe, and the Muslim Fundamentalist venture, with its resource procurement, etc.

Thanks to the rogue corporation strategy, the USA went from a provincial power (a bit like Australia nowadays) to the world superpower, within a few years. No wonder the rogue corporation models keeps on being applied. All the way to Afghanistan…

A militarized plutocratic Rome kept on invading Mesopotamia, for two centuries, when it was not civilized enough, not republican, nor democratic enough, to cling to it. In a similar fashion, the USA has not comprehended that other nations and peoples are starting to understand exactly what’s going on. Obama’s soporific Cairo speech hypocritically celebrating Islam had a short shelf life.

While I get accused of metastatic conspiracy theorizing, let me smile through an article in a major Arabic newspaper, which “reveals” in depth one of my preferred obsession, and allegation, namely the entanglement between dark operators in Washington, and the worst Muslim Fundamentalism.

As I have explained over the years, that entanglement of evil dates all the way back to Adolf Hitler and its minions, and, lo and behold, that’s exactly what the article observes. Hopefully I will write something on this, while Obama and his Machiavellian sycophants cruise to their well deserved doom and gloom.

Tell the truth long enough, and sometimes it ends up setting evil on fire!

***

Patrice Ayme

***

Why the servus of the Romans came to be called “slaves”? Simple: it was illegal to enslave Franks (by 600 CE everybody was a “Frank”, and by 700 CE, they came to be called “Europeans”). But it was not illegal to enslave Slavs… Charlemagne let the Venitian Republic, a sort of subsidiary of the Renovated Roman Empire, engage, with her mighty fleet, in a prodigious slave trading to the Muslim empire of the Southern Mediterranean.

NO LOVE, NO MIND

August 21, 2012

LOVE IS ALL ABOUT MIND MELDING…

And Mind Melding Is What Makes Us Possible.

The question has long been asked: what is love, where does it come from? But the real question is: what is man, where does it come from? And the answer is love.

I do not allude here to the silly confusion between love and sex called, rather pathetically, “making love”. At best, it has to do with the amplification oxytocin provides with, and it’s a sideshow; fishes do it.

Love in full is parental love, mammalian style.  

That does involve oxytocin (and vasopressin), sure. But love, in advanced species, goes well beyond chemistry, or biology. It involves intelligence, logic itself. The chemical intervenes just to amplify, and stabilize, the logical. And it is pretty obvious why.

Homo Sapiens Sapiens is the official name of the species. Sapiens Sapiens: Wise Wise. Where does all that wisdom comes from? Love. Facts are mostly learned. Logic is learned, like anything else. Wisdom is learned, even more than anything else.

And how was most of this learning achieved? From others, and for others. What motivated the teachers, the parents? Love. What mostly motivated those who learned? Love.

What one learns depends upon one’s environment. Famous experiences from  the 1970s have shown that kittens brought up in an unnatural visual environment do not see properly. Their visual neurons are abnormal. Kittens reared in a world of vertical lines do not have any neuron responding to anything within 30 degrees of the horizontal. (They need 5 months in a normal environment to start to see what is horizontal!)

In other words, neurobiology is made from what’s out there (the idea is at least as old as Ramon y Cajal, the Spanish discoverer of neurons, a century ago).

This generalizes to many mental behaviors, and much mental infrastructure. True, one can learn logic, octopus style, by making little experiments at the bottom of the sea. But that carries only that far.

Interacting with the material world does not teach high level Machiavellianism, the gist of social intelligence. And indeed, although cephalopods are intelligent, they have not developed high social intelligence as, say, whales or primates. (Although cephalopods are very social, their lives are very short, they just don’t have the time to be taught by fellow cephalopods; an aspect of the connection between longevity and wisdom; so their brain/body mass ratio is between cold and warm blooded animals; it’s also probably why their brains did not grow much in the last 400 million years, whereas warm blooded social animals are launched in a brain size race).

To see with one’s heart, to have a heart that can see, one needs to be exposed to all the emotional lines imaginable. Otherwise, just as neurons reading horizontal lines do not appear in a world of vertical lines, so will it be with emotions, or other stimuli. Presenting a growing mind with a mutilated world fabricates a mutilated neurobiology.

The mutilated world can be physically mutilated, as with the cats with an amputated visual environment. But if the mental environment is emotionally, logically or experientally mutilated, it’s the same, and it’s worse in humans. For example the chidren of abused people tend to become themselves abusers.

One thing man did when selecting dogs was to evolve animals who are eager to find out the cues that human eyes indicate. In other words, animals eager to meld minds. This is reinforced by an expectation of love, which is necessary as most wild animals interpret direct eye contact as proximal to attack.

High social intelligence is taught by love, for love, through love. High social intelligence makes very complex, caring societies possible. But not just that. It makes technology and science possible.

How? High social intelligence involves Machiavellian Intelligence. Machiavellian Intelligence is, basically, and in its most general sense, the ability to compute with love (real, fake, suspected, or suspicious).

Machiavellian intelligence rests upon, and demonstrates, all day long, that infinitesimal causes, properly piled up, can have enormous effects. This is the hint, the motivation, the inspiration, that entices to create logic, science and technology, thus the human universe, possible. Man without logic, science and technology is nothing. Man simply cannot even survive in nature without technology, ever since stone weapons have been wielded.

I claim that Homo’s social subtlety was the paradigm for science.

Indeed, that infinitesimal causes, properly piled up, can have enormous effects, is the gist of infinitesimal and integral calculus, and the principle on which experimental and theoretical sciences rest: from the apparently neglectable, experimentally or logically, the essence springs forth. (An example is that if one contradiction arises in a logical system, the whole thing is invalidated.)

What we call love is the sensation we experience when our mind is working properly, that is, socially enough to learn most of what it knows from society (as it is congenitally programmed to do).

Love is about mind melding. Love is what makes mind melding possible. Culture is one aspect of mind melding. So is one’s entire emotional system.

To say that love brings the oxytocin up, explains how attachment is amplified, but it does not explain why attachment happens.

Attachment happens, and it is so strong, because minds are mostly programmed by the environment provided to them. OK, in the case of cephalopods the sea itself can provide much. In the case of social insects, a few simple behaviors are easily produced.

But advanced brainy animals have much more sophisticated behaviors. And only that very sophisticated environment called love can provide it.

Our brains have reward centers all over. My guess is that they are set-up so that enriching input from another mind is most appreciated, once basic physiological needs are satisfied.

Without love we would be nothing much. We would not even know how to see or think in a human way. And certainly we would not know how to feel correctly. Most of these behaviors are learned… from the loving environment provided by caregivers. And they are socially learned, and they can only be socially learned because our care givers were motivated to do their job well, by that particular organization of neurobiology found in advanced brains that we call love.

Thus there is symmetry breaking between the Good Lord and the Dark Side. The Good Lord, Love, makes us possible. Love is our ground state (to use the Quantum analogy). The Dark Side is just something that is sometimes necessary.

Hence a polity should not rest too much on the Dark Side: it’s not our creator. This is the fundamental reason that makes plutocratic or cannibalistic societies so little creative that they always meet an ominous fate, in short order. And also why they contributed so little to civilization.

This philosophical observation has a strong bearing on politics. It means that society has to be built on love first, not profit, or an ill defined “market”. It means that the economic set-ups based on exploitation strategies (that brought us Anglo-Saxon empires and Russia) are suspect.

This is something the Roman Republic, tough as nail, had understood perfectly well. It was built mostly defensively, around the idea that the simplest version of love inside the Republic was the ground state. They called it the law. And thus endures the Roman Republic to this day, at least in the spirit of our laws.

It also means that any other sentient species, long ago, in a galaxy far away, would also have been built first, out of love… At least for itself. Culture is impossible without a cultivator. And why to cultivate minds, if not out of love?

We love, we have been loved, therefore we think.

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Patrice Ayme