Posts Tagged ‘Mind’

Free Mind Manifesto

April 10, 2017

Remember!

Every day passes, never to return,

Never to be erased.

Especially not in this mind of yours,

Which whatever you do, whatever you accept,

Whatever you opine, and whatever you hope, fear, or desire,

Will forever by those acts and influences, be engraved.

Meditate!

Every day you apparently wasted, by doing seemingly nothing,

Every day which saw you,

Unhappy, dejected, depressed, confused,

Better have been spent learning something, some enlightening doubt,

Which you never felt before.

Thus to free yourself of yesterday’s errors,

Or at least ceasing and desisting, from worshipping them.

Otherwise it’s as if your mind wouldn’t,

Be alive at all. You may as well be a clog in a machine.

***

Everything is in your minds’ hands,

Should you exert their mighty pull,

On all which surrounds you. Feelings, expectations, admiration.

True, what already happened to you, can’t  be changed,

But this heavy weight can be explained, dissected, deconstructed,

Its causes can be found.

And thereupon, its remedies, and healing antibodies.

 

What will happen to you, depends upon others too,

Who live now, and acted, forever before.

***

But right now, in this moment,

It is for you to decide, what,

Who and why, made you as you are.

Only then could you be as free as you may.

 

Think!

All right, it hurts. Train to enjoy overwhelming the pain!

Indeed, it’s not entirely up to you,

What you feel and what you think and care about.

Yet, therein the key to the universe:

You can try to control the contexts,

Which made you what you are,

What you want, and what you will.

 

Woman is not born free,

And becomes ever less so with advancing years,

Entangled in all the chains of whatever happened before,

Including those trains of thought,

We caught all too many times.

Lest a girl actively does something about it,

To vanquish the waves of conformism,

Is no ripe, low hanging fruit.

Morality is not just doing what feels right,

And what’s supposed to be right by the bleating herd.

Intelligence is not just doing what feels smart,

And what the herd finds to be oh so really smart.

Reject the cult of the herd, the Golden Calf.

Morality and intelligence are about,

Finding not just what they are, but where they came from.

How can we respond just to ourselves, when ourselves is a response to, a fabrication of, other people, other moods, alien, convoluted, systems of thought?
How can we assume responsibility for ourselves, when our minds are products of greater selves? Well, first, by figuring it all out.

Morality and intelligence are not just intuitive,

They are also about how they were born and why they persist.

Morality and intelligence are not just intuitive,

They can also be vain, corrupt, sciolistic, idiotic, tribal, alienating,

Vicious, perverse, hopeless, demeaning, self-defeating,

Sadomasochistic, demented.

Demented?

Watch August 1914, Brexit, or Nazism, the Shoah,

North Korea, Jihadism,

The Dark Ages’ destruction of books,

And of the intellectuals who wrote and read them.

At least, for the same crimes,

Qin’s Li Si, 李斯, was promptly punished, and cut in two,

Screaming the whole way.

Watch Trump Derangement Syndrome:

It’s not about what the simpletons scream of,

Wholeheartedly, simple-mindedly.

It’s all about Obama. From this betrayal, their pain comes.

How Obama replaced hope by dope,

Economy, democracy, by inequality, inequity, infamy.

But they don’t know it, because they don’t want to know it,

It would teach them too much, about themselves.

Wilfull ignorance is the best drug.

So they howl to the wind,

Right after the obvious scapegoat, a new blonde beast,.

Designated to satisfy, their impotent fury,

With a new explanation, easily grabbed, by mental retards.

Desire, will and freedom,

Are neither fully free nor willful.

And the less we examine,

Let alone try to control them,

The less we uncover, of those chains we carry,

The contexts that gave birth to them, forged them in inescapable bonds,

The less free and wilful we truly are.

Although the greater the certainty of our lack of doubt,

The greater the simplicity of the context we come from,

The less free and willful we can pretend to truly be.

***

Mind, properly made,

Iis nothing but a hierarchy of certainties, and probabilities,

Each illuminating the doubt of those above and below.

Minds are multiverse of values,

Mileage may, and will,

Vary, more, and less,

Than we can possibly imagine.

Vacating a mind is not enough, even Buddha found out.

A mind needs vacations,

Those found across the world of passions.

You want to be captain of your soul?

Wonder who made that ship, and how.

Want freedom? Want a will?

Get a mood,

And it better not be too friendly,

To whatever made you.

Patrice Ayme’
[Thanks to Eugen R for his inspiring Manifest of a Free Man].

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Mentality Trumps Logic

November 30, 2016

Mental States Trump (Local Linear) Logic

TRUMP MADNESS MENTALLY ENLIGHTENING, thank you, all of you, clueless fanatics, for providing us with not just entertainment, but insights on how insects think.

How do people think? When thinking about thinking, intellectuals tend to go back to Plato describing the mythical Socrates ponderously going from a) to c) because a) implied b) and b) implied c). Well, this is NOT how the brain works. The brain has basically two systems: Local Linear Logic, and Topological Logic (TL = emotion, so we will call it ES, the Emotional System). LLL and ES are entangled. For example, ES, the Emotion System, shuts off, and opens, various sub-systems in the brain. Moreover the ES directs consciousness into these subsystems. Each of these systems comes with its own logic. So there is no such a thing as “logic” per se. 

Actually modern axiomatics in logic considers that any Logic L comes with its own Universe U (in which it sits, so to speak). Varying U varies L. Thus a Logic L in the brain, sitting in subsystem S1 will be different from one sitting in subsystem S2, because they constitute different universes U. (An aspect of that was long known, as thinkers argued that various drugs, from alcohol to THC enabled them to reach various stages of consciousness…)

Thus what Plato talked about is basically irrelevant to foster wisdom. What is relevant is mental subsystems selection, how, and why. And even subsystem management. Instead, Plato explores logic, LLL. And recent events have been enlightening: LLL is mostly secondary for directing people’s behavior. 

I think, Therefore I sting. At Least, Sometimes, I Feel That Way.

I Think, Therefore I Sting. At Least, Sometimes, I Feel That Way.

By “Trump Madness” I do not mean Trump is mad, far from it: after all, he is the next president, and already causing more change than Obama did in 8 years (see Europe dumping “austerity” within 30 hours of Trump’s election). Clearly, there was a very smart method to Trump’s madness, and it was highly successful for him, as he obtained the loftiest job in the world (at least as far as conventional wisdom has it; in truth the loftiest job is mine, but never mind…). Thus “Trump madness” was anything except madness, on the part of Trump… Or his supporters (who also got what they wanted).

The real madness has been the flow of insults and indiscriminate violence on the part of “Clinton” supporters. Innocent thinkers were called “unscholarly, uncouth, anti-semitic, racist, xenophobic, judged to have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder,  and compulsive liars”. This was just a sampler of the most polite insults directed at me… by “friends”… and I am NOT a Trump supporter. Just thought to be so, because I rolled out all sorts of graphs depicting demoncracy (from inequality, to incarceration, rate, to life expectancy, to government investment, etc.).

Never mind that this was all for positions I held sometimes for decades, they are all extremely progressive, and I am just culprit of having Trump embracing them.

Insults directed at Trump were often obviously more insane than grievous. Trump was called “xenophobic” (the evidence is, the exact opposite, that is, Trump is an extreme xenoPHILE). Trump was called “anti-semitic” (his beloved and trusted son-in-law is an observant Jew). Trump was called a business failure (he grew his “organization”, now in 60 countries, from 17 million dollar to somewhere around ten billion…)

How come Clinton supporters became so abusive? OK, they were surprised. Not just because people were scared to reveal in the polls that they would vote for Trump, skewing polls (pollster Nate Silver discovered this a week or two before the vote, so he “unskewed” the polls, and revealed the chances of Trump were significant; I knew for months, just talking to people, that people were hiding their Trump preferences).

Clinton supporters did not turn abusive and insulting just because what they worry about turns out not to be what most of the country worries about. But, mostly, they hated, because it turned out that they had become strangers to themselves, and the world. Part of them rose in fury, and took over their persona, because they wanted to lash out, so great was the pain that uncomprehension caused..

The Clinton supporters had no idea how neurohormonally entangled with (their idea of) their candidate. Precisely because they were deliberately ignored the (left, leftist, liberal, progressive) case I have made for more than eight years (with all those graphs), they had turned into fanatics, Jihadists, because they had rejected (the unsavory) reality.

The mental order in the brains of these self-described progressives, supposed to address politics, had become hopelessly disconnected from reality. For example, in judging Obama, they judged his brown skin, but not the fact Obama was led by the nose by Lawrence Summers, the Harvard-Goldman Sachs surrogate who had dismantled, under Bill Clinton, the Banking Act of 1933 (“G-S”). And this, seven months before Obama reigned. And they ignored hundreds of other indicators which were flashing way more right, and corporate fascism, than any other president before.

Thus the mental subsystems Clinton supporters activated over the years made them not just unreal, but incapable of activating anything else. One of my prefered game these days is to question Clinton-Obama fanatics about Quantitative Easing. I generally draw a blank. The self-perceived) most clever ones tell me it was a good thing. So here you have so-called progressives saying that giving more than ten trillion dollars to the world richest, most corrupt people and institutions was… a good thing.

Guess what, you dummies? It was a good thing only for plutocracy, also known as demoncracy. The only person who could understand what I was talking about, and agreed with me, before meeting me, is Senior VP in a major bank.

People think first with their neurohormones. Tell me their neurohormones most active, and I can tell you where their Local Linear Logic delves. Obsessions leads and localizes reflection.

Is there experimental evidence for the preceding? Yes, there is, from… insects. The theory of consciousness is starting to rise. It involves making flies play videogames, or seeing if, like American students, they can get scared. Flies can be put in a state of “scariness” and wanting to get to a “safe space”.

Insects have a rudimentary ego, though very different from Narcissus or classical literature would have it. Insect ego appears as the ability to act and mentally concentrate on certain environmental cues thus ignoring others. “They don’t pay attention to all sensory input equally,” cognitive scientist Andrew Barron of Australia’s Macquarie University declared.

When you and I are hungry, we don’t just move towards food, as bacteria do. Our hunger creates a particular feeling (an emotion) which, in turn rearrange which subsystems are activated in our brain. Such a state is called a “subjective experience” in traditional philosophy. Do insects have the same? Obviously they do (I can say from anecdotes, and thus as a philosopher; scientists will verify and make sure).

Insects can be led into mental states which do not fit reality. So can humans (humans even do this deliberately, when they play or make jokes). Once in such a state, a particular logic, the universe of which is that precise mental state, flows. That Local Linear Logic is particular, yet it leaves (neural) connections behind. If suddenly precipitated, for real, in a situation calling for that mental state, the LLL is ready to kick in. That’s why humans play, and make jokes.

This election was a joke. So were the mental states most citizens put themselves, or let themselves been put, in the last few decades. Time to wake up.

And time to wake up to the reality that it is moods which create logic, even more than it is logic which creates moods.

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.

Love:

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’

The MATHEMATICAL MIND HYPOTHESIS

April 25, 2015

Abstract: A new view is seen (“theo-ry”) for the relationship of mind and universe, and mathematics is central. The Mathematical Mind Hypothesis (MMH). The MMH contradicts, explains, and thus overrules Platonism (the ruling explanation for math, among mathematicians). The MMH is the true essence of what makes the Mathematical Universe Hypothesis alluring.

***

What’s the nature of mathematics? I wrote two essays already, but was told I was just showing off as a mathematician, and the subject was boring. So let me try another angle today.

The nature of mathematics is a particular case of the nature of thinking.

For a number of reasons, deep in today’s physics, as I have (partly) explained in “Einstein’s Error”, many physicists are obsessed with the “Multiverse”, an extreme version of which is the “Mathematical Universe Hypothesis” (MUH), exposed for example by Tegmark, a tenured cosmologist at MIT. Instead of telling people what happened in the first second of the universe, as if I considered myself to be god, I prefer to consider dog:

Dogs LEARN To Choose “y” According To Least Time

Dogs LEARN To Choose “y” According To Least Time

[Dogs can also learn to solve that Calculus of Variation problem in much more difficult circumstances, if the water is choppy, the ground too soft, etc. To have such a mathematical brain allowed the species to catch dinner, and survive.]

The “Multiverse” has its enemies, I am among them. Smolin, a physicist who writes general access books, has tried to say something (as described in Massimo’s Scientia Salon’ “Smolin and the Nature of Mathematics”).

“Smolin,” Massimo, a tenured philosophy professor also a biology PhD, told me “as a counter [to Platonism], offers his model of development of mathematics, which does begin to provide an account for why mathematical theorems are objective (the word he prefers to “true,” in my mind appropriately so).”

My reply:

Smolin is apparently unaware of a whole theory of “truth” in mathematical logic, and of the existence of the work of famous logicians such as Tarski. When Smolin was in the physics department of Berkeley, so was the very famous Tarski, in the mathematics department. Obviously, the young and unknown Smolin never met the elder logician and mathematician, as he is apparently still in no way aware of any of his work.

Thus, what does Smolin say? Nothing recent. Smolin says mathematics is axiomatic, and develops like games. That was at the heart of the efforts of Frege’s mathematical logic, more than 115 years ago. (Bertrand Russell shot Frege’s theory down, by applying the 24 centuries old Cretan Paradox to it; interestingly, Buridan had found a rather modern solution to the problem, in the 14C!) To help sort things out, it was discovered that one could depict Axiomatic Systems with sequences of numbers. Could not Axiomatics then be made rigorously described, strictly predictive?

Gödel showed that this approach could not work in any system containing arithmetic. Other logicians had proven even more general results in the same vein earlier than that (Löwenheim, Skolem and contemporaries). Smolin is now trying to reintroduce it, as if Löwenheim, Skolem, Gödel, and the most spectacular advances in logic of the first half of the Twentieth Century, never happened.

Does Mr. Smolin know this? Not necessarily: he is a physicist rather than a mathematician (like Tarski, or yours truly).

Smolin: “Both the records and the mathematical objects are human constructions which are brought into existence by exercises of human will.”

Smolin: Math brought into existence by HUMAN WILL. Mathematics as will and representation? (To parody Schopenhauer.)

So how come the minds of animals follow mathematical laws? Dogs, in particular, behave according to very complicated applications of calculus.

http://www.maa.org/programs/faculty-and-departments/classroom-capsules-and-notes/do-dogs-know-calculus-of-variation

How come ellipses exist? Have ellipses been brought into existence by Smolin’s “human will”? When a planet follows (more or less) an ellipse, is that a “construction which has been brought into existence by exercises of human will”?

Some will perhaps say that the planet “constructs” nothing. That I misunderstood the planet.

Massimo’s quoted me, and asserted that there was no value whatsoever to the existence of mathematical objects:

I had said: “How come enormously complex and subtle mathematical objects, which are very far from arbitrary, exist out there?”

Massimo replied: “They don’t.”

And that’s it. It reminded me the way God talked in the Qur’an. It is, what it is, says Allah, and his apparent emulator, Massimo. Massimo did not explain why he feels that the spiral of a nautilus does not exist (or maybe, he does not feel that way, because it clearly looks like a spiral). According to Smolin, the spiral is just a “construct of human will”.

If the spiral is a construct of human will, why not the mountains, and the ocean?

I am actually an old enemy of mathematical Platonism. However, I don’t throw the baby with the bath.

I agree that the “Mathematical Universe Hypothesis”, and Platonism in general are erroneous. However that does not mean they are deprived of any value whatsoever.

Ideas never stand alone. They are always part of theories. And idea such as Platonism is actually a vast theory.

MUH is: ‘Our external physical reality is a mathematical structure.’

I do not believe in the MUH. Because of my general sub-quantic theory, which predicts Dark Matter. In my theory, vast quantum interactions leave debris: Dark Matter. That process is essentially chaotic, and indescribable, except statistically (as the Quantum is). propose a completely different route: our mind are constructed by (still hidden) laws which rule the universe. Call that the MATHEMATICAL MIND HYPOTHESIS (MMD).

Here is the MMD: Our internal neurological reality constructs real physical structures we call “mathematics”.

This explains why a dog’s brain can construct the neurological structures it needs to find the solutions of complex problems in the calculus of variations.

Dogs did not learn calculus culturally, by reading books. Indeed. Still they learned, by interacting with the universe. (It’s unconscious learning, but still learning. Most learning we have arose unconsciously.)

From these interactions, dogs’ brains learn to construct structures which solve very complicated calculus of variations problems. As explained by the Mathematical Mind Hypothesis, (hidden) physics shows up in neurological constructions we call mathematics. And those structures, constructed with this yet-unrevealed, not even imagined, physics, are not just mathematical, but they are what we call mathematics, itself. That’s why dogs know mathematics: their brain contain mathematics.

Patrice Ayme’

Technical Note: Some may smirk, and object that my little theory ignores the variation in neurological structure from one creature to the next. Should not those variations mean that one beast’s math is not another beast’s math?

Not so.

Why? We need to go back to Cantor’s fundamental intuition about cardinals, and generalize (from Set Theory to General Topology). Cantor said that two sets had the same cardinal if they were in bijection. (Then he considered order, and introduced “ordinals”, by making the bijection respect order.)

I propose to say two neurological structure are mathematically the same if they produce the same math. (Some will say that’s obvious, but it’s not anymore obvious than, say, “Skolemization“.)

[Last point: I use “neurology” to designate much more than the set of all neurons, dendrites, synapses, axons and attached oligodendrocytes. I designate thus the entire part of the brain which contributes to mind and intelligence (so includes all glial cells, etc.). That ensemble is immensely complex, in dimensions and topologies.]

American Versus European Universities

April 5, 2015

Thinking now depends upon thinking yesterday, and the institutions and traditions it established then and how. Thus, to understand the different philosophies of education in Europe and the USA, one has to unveil history.

History determines initial conditions. From them, through systems of differential equations, flow the evolution of sociological reality.

The public educational system in Europe is at least 19 centuries old. The Roman empire used it. Poor students received room and board from the state under Trajan: the alimenti.

The public education system per se did not survive the corruption of the Roman empire by terminal plutocratization. Yet, its spirit was transferred to most Christian monasteries. However, simultaneously, Catholic Fundamentalism destroyed Romanitas, and even knowledge (quite a bit as Muslim Fundamentalists in the Middle East now).

Europe-Wide Famous Philosopher & Singer Abelard Taught At Notre-Dame Predecessor

Europe-Wide Famous Philosopher & Singer Abelard Taught At Notre-Dame Predecessor

By the Sixth Century, the successor state of Rome, the Imperium Francorum, started a systematic counter-attack against Catholicism. The Franks promoted secular education, brushing off the (lethal) threats of the (impotent) Pope (Gregory The Great).

By the Eight Century, the Carolingians made secular education of the public a mandate for all religious establishment, including churches, monasteries, cathedrals.

All over Europe. Including England after 1066. This is why professors were cleric.

This is also why European universities have no police, to this day (they were within cathedral grounds, initially).

However, by the Twelfth Century, the faculty of art allowed some teachers to NOT be theologians (and marry without controversy; Buridan was an example of a non-cleric professor).

The power of universities was enormous then. Abelard used his pulpit at the Paris Cathedral School to oppose the Second Crusade and Saint Bernard. (Abelard’s arguments lost, short term, but won, within 2 centuries.)

When the University of Paris got its entire body out, it extended from one end of the capital to the other. A year long strike in 1200 CE forced the papacy to authorize the teaching of Aristotle.

By 1300 CE, supported by his English vassal, the king of France, crushed the Pope and his army, the Templars. Philippe IV Le Bel’s aides were commoners, highly educated youth without fortune or honorable pedigree who thought the church ought to pay taxes.

Clearly education has been associated to progress and revolution in Europe, for 15 centuries. This has long increased its sacred aura, and its divine mission of global study.

***

WEALTH CREATED AMERICAN UNIVERSITIES:

American universities have a very different origin. They were mainly founded by powerful men.

Stanford, for example, was founded by the charming plutocrat, governor, and senator, with the eponymous name. Stanford used Chinese workers (who had few rights), to build railways…. While campaigning against the Chinese race.

Same story all over: in 1876 the trustees of the estate of Johns Hopkins, a banker and railroad magnate, had founded the university named that way, and the model spread all over: wealthy people create a wealthy university and they and their descendants, and friends control it (if it sounds like the banking system, it’s no coincidence).

Sometimes there are disagreements: the founding president of Stanford disagreed with Ms. Stanford, who headed the board of the university. Nothing that some strychnine could not solve: as she died, Ms. Stanford declared that: “… to be poisoned by strychnine is a horrible death…” Her jaws were already locked. Stanford University wisely buried the story.

Thus American universities had always a “conservative” (namely pro-plutocratic) bias. They were created by power, by huge financial power. They are not an independent power, just a dog on leash, trained to bark after all true intellectual tendencies.

The European University system was already a power, nine centuries ago, at the time of the “Cathedral Schools”. And its power was not, never, about money, or the police, quite the opposite. It was about the absolute, religious respect of study.

In “Excellence V Equity”, The Economist opines that: “The American model of higher education is spreading. It is good at producing excellence, but needs to get better at providing access to decent education at a reasonable cost.”

The same article vastly exaggerates the profits the American Universities brought. For example, it attributes the discovery of the jet engines to American higher learning. In truth, it’s the Germans, distantly followed by the British, who developed jet engines. Americans captured German jets and scientists. Even years later, remaining Nazi jets outperformed the American copies.

***

AMERICAN EXCELLENCE IS SECOND RATE:

When one looks at history on the largest scale, one has to recognize the USA has been the world’s mightiest power for at least 150 years. On paper, the European colonial powers (Britain, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal) because of their empires, looked more powerful. But that was just fluff, paper power. European empire depended upon fragile global mindsets… Which did not resist the concentrated punch of the American nation.

Mightiest economic power, that is.

However, not so intellectually. During those 150 years, the USA has remained a cultural dwarf. Probably the greatest American intellectuals were/are Nobel Laureate physicists, say Feynman or Weinberg. (And they are not of the order of the main discoverers of Relativity, say Lorentz and Poincare’ with their local time theory.

In sociology, philosophies, and more generally humanities, American universities produce, at best, parrots.

Even in science, tracking not publications, but fundamental breakthroughs, the USA come short. So far we are waiting for the first American thinker that will inflect history (as many European thinkers have).

However tremendous propaganda hides this. The best example is the transistor. Truly a Franco-German invention (in a French company employing also German scientists), it was attributed to Americans, who got the Nobel, for declaring they had invented the device, days before the French company started mass production.

So are American universities excellent? For the established order, yes. For civilization?

Only if the collapse into plutocracy is stopped. As it is, the principal notion American universities foster is money (and thus plutocracy). It does not matter how much lipstick one puts on that quadruped.

The first notion the universe teaches us is precisely the obverse. The universe teaches us that money, power on other people, does not matter. At all. On this intuition was founded the European University system, and it is exactly the notion which eludes the USA.

So the last thing the planet needs is to copy the American University model. It would pervert, it does pervert, the heart of the soul of mind.

Instead, it is the public, free European University, still found in leading European countries, which depicts the future we want. Or that we actually need, since a plutocratic future will soon crash.

Patrice Ayme’

CATEGORIZING the MIND

October 27, 2014

What is the mind made of? We have progressed enormously as far as the brain objects are concerned: neurons, axons, dendrites, glial cells, neurohormones, various organs and substructures in the brain, etc.

But is there a broad mathematical framework to envision how this is all organized? There is! Category Theory! It turns out it’s a good first order approximation of mind organization. At least, so I claim.

Category Theory is about diagrams. Category Theory has been increasingly replacing advantageously Set Theory. It’s not only because Category Theory does not have to ponder the nature of objects, elements, sets.

Category Theory was long derided as “abstract nonsense” and “diagram chasing”. But it gives very deep, powerful theorems.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category_(mathematics)

I claim the powerful theorems of Category Theory should translate directly into… neurology.

Amusingly, although I accused Aristotle to have demolished democracy and fostered plutocracy through his beloved pets, the mass murdering criminal plutocratic psychopaths, Alexander and Antipater, I recognize humbly that it’s the same Aristotle who invented categories (thus making him a great thinker, and justifying an Aristotle cult among those who need to have cults to feel good about themselves)…

Aristotle’s meta-idea about categories was just to talk about the most fundamental notions:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Categories_(Aristotle)

The present essay was suggested, and is an extension of what the honorable Bill Skaggs seems to have wanted to say, in Scientia Salon, in his “Identity A Neurobiological Perspective”. (As far as I can comprehend.)

However, forget Theseus’ ship and Hollywood’s Star Trek “Transporter”. As I said in “Quantum Identity Is Strong”, Quantum Identity is not erasable, and makes those time honored examples impossibly disconnected with reality. The notion of identity has thus to be found elsewhere (as we intuitively know that there is such a notion).

According to modern Quantum Field Theory, we are made, at the most fundamental level, of fluctuating fields. They come and go, out of nowhere. So, that way, we are continually been deconstructed and rebuilt. The question naturally arises: what is preserved of me, as a set of Quantum Fields? Well, the most fundamental mathematical structure is preserved.

The same seems to hold, to a great extent, in neurobiology, as neuro circuitry, to some extent, seems to come, go, and come back.

Thus we are all like old wooden Greek ships, perpetually falling apart, and rebuilt.

To some extent, this is what happens to species, through reproduction: cells split, and reproduce themselves, thanks to DNA.

A species has identity. Yet that identity is made of DISCONTINUOUS elements: the individuals who incarnate the species, who are born, and then die. And others appear, just the same, sort of. How is that possible?

A species’ identity is its structure. Just as a neurology, or an elementary particle identity is its structure. Not just a geometric structure, not just a topological structure, but its structure, as the most fundamental notion, as a category.

So what is preserved? Shape. And how to morph said shapes… Naturally (there is a notion of natural transformation, in Category Theory).

Historically, analyzing shape was systematized by the Greeks: Euclidean geometry, cones, etc. Then, at the end of the Nineteenth Century, it was found that geometry studied shapes mostly by studying distance, and yet, even if distance was denied consideration, there was a more fundamental notion of shape, topology. That was the structure of shapes as defined by neighborhoods.

Two generations later, Category Theory arrived. Category Theory is about morphisms, and the structures which can be built with them. Please listen to the semantics: structures, morphing… This is all about shapes reduced to their most basic, simplest symbolic expression. It’s no wonder that it would come in handy to visualize neurological structures.

A morphism is a pair of “objects” (CT leaves unspecified what the “objects” are). To model that neurologically, we can just identify ‘objects’ to neurons (or other neurological structures), and morphisms to axons (although dendrites, and more, could be included, in a second stage, when the categoretical modelling become more precise).

The better model is category theory. When are two diagrams equivalent? When are they IDENTICAL? Cantor defined as of the same cardinal two sets in a bijection (a bijection is a 1 to 1, onto map).

Category Theory defines as identical the same diagram (a drawing reduced to its simplest essence). Say: A>B>C>D>A is the same as E>F>G>H>E.

Thus, when are two diagrams identical in category theory? When they are modelled by the same neuronal network. (Or, more exactly, axonal network: make each arrow “>” above, into an axon.) And reciprocally!

Discussing the mind will involve discussing the most fundamental structures constituting it. What better place to start, than the most basic of maths? Especially if it looks readily convertible in neural networks.

Category Theory is the most fundamental theoretical structure we know of. It is the essence of identity, and identification. In conclusion, two objects are identical, neurologically, and in fundamental physics, if they are so, in category theory.

Time to learn something categorically new!

Patrice Ayme’

***

Note: No True Isolated Rocks: In other news, and to address a point of Bill Skaggs, whether a rock can be truly isolated is an open problem, experimentally speaking.

According to the theory of gravitation of Einstein and company, a rock cannot be isolated. Why? Because the rock is immersed in spacetime. Spacetime is animated by gravitational waves: this is what the Einstein Field Equation implies. Now, according to an unproven, but hoped-for principle of fundamental physics, to each force field is associated a particle. In the case of gravity, that hoped-for particle is called the graviton. “Particle” means a “particular” effect. Thus, an isolated rock, according to established theory, and hoped-for theory, ought to be adorned occasionally with a new particle, a new graviton, thus ought not to be isolated.

In my own theory, Objective Quantum Physics, on top of the preceding standard effect, resolving Quantum Entanglements, ought to create even more particles in “isolated” rocks.

Selfish Culture, Selfish Genes

June 10, 2014

Someone pretty intelligent I know posted as “incredible” on her facebook page, a song competition show. The competitor, whose chest was adorned with appendages, much larger than her head, went through an elaborate show of showing “incredible” timidity, before engaging in an “incredible” song of heart and hope forlorn, complete with the, as usual, “incredibly” baffled “judges”.

Stupid Gets Who Stupid Watches

Stupid Gets Who Stupid Watches

Why is such corporate fantasy so fascinating to the uncomprehending masses? Don’t they have anything better to do with what’s left with their minds, than admiring incredibly stupid, canned chow show?

No. Because precisely they find salvation in what they have been designed for, incomprehension.

If one were cattle going to slaughter, what’s best? Pondering one’s fate? Or celebrating someone else’s horns? Well, it’s not a choice, when you have been designed to moo, and little else besides.

This happened to the Roman empire. By the time the People erupted in massive, lethal fighting about sport teams, the Green versus the Blue charioteers, in the Sixth Century, the masses had been completely mentally engineered to only care about “sports”.

Even Emperor Justinian, a highly educated despot who got to power at 16 years of age, and kept if for more than four decades, was disgusted by these Nikka Riots, to the point that he thought of abdicating. (His whorish wife dissuaded him to do so; at least so says official history.)

It’s not just that stress and sleeplessness is bad for your brain, and can make it degenerate irreversibly.

Epigenetics rules genetics. And culture rules epigenetics. Thus, a degenerate civilization, as Rome became, also enjoys degenerate genetic expression.

Stressed out mice have degenerated descendants.

One may want to use such findings. And thus block those who advocate a society exclusively based on buying, selling and competing. Or, in other words, stress and conflict.

Selfish genes don’t exist, but selfish, and degenerated cultures certainly do, and they affect the very substance of minds. Reciprocally, superior cultures will give superior gene expression.

This is no doubt why the Greeks, a genetically diverse group, were the overlords’ of world imagination for two thousands years at least (say from early Crete to the early Roman imperium).

The Minoan, Mycenaean, and  Greek traits: suspicion of authority, inquiry, individualism, ruled for that long, probably because those traits were epigenetically derived from the culture. Genetic race has no meaning, but culture makes a race.

Thus culture is no luxury, but the essence of who we are, aspire to be, and can do.

Patrice Aymé

OMNIPRESENCE

June 9, 2011

HOW THE 2-SLIT EXPERIMENT TEACHES US TO THINK.

Abstract: Quantum Physics is teleological. As simple as that. You read it here first. That this has not been pointed out so simply before, illustrates another theme of the essay below, namely that the wisdom of the Quantum has not reached the masses yet.

This has an amusing consequence: people simply do not know how to reason correctly. The models of logical thinking they have been taught are inspired by the naïve classical physics, the automata, the Turing Machine. Well, sorry folks, the world is not like that. That is what Quantum Physics shows. The world is not flat, the world is not round, the world is not curved, the world is Quantum. This has consequences even in the way one should think about politics, sociology, economics…

Some will scoff, and sneer that all the logic they need is found in Hollywood. Not so. We have global problems, and they have to be thought of globally. Quantum Physics shows us the way of correct thinking, and it is global: omniscience, and omnipresence, that’s what the Quantum is all about.

If you want to learn about energy, you better learn about waves. And this is not just a lousy joke about nuclear energy and tsunami waves.  Life is all about energy, all about waves, and neither can be put in a box, or then just so. (An allusion to the Casimir effect, a manifestation of vaccum energy; all these carry in metaphors and analogies to the everyday world!)

A concluding perspective on how babies learn, how we learn fundamental things, illustrates how our minds themselves are entangled with the Quantum.

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WRONG YESTERDAY DOES NOT MEAN WRONG TOMORROW:

A lot of the received wisdom in philosophy is plain wrong. This has nefarious effects all over. Ironically a lot of what is wrong has to do with notions which used to be taken for granted in the Middle Ages, because of the super properties of the mythical God, and the son he tortured. They came short.

OK, let me be explicit: take teleology, and teleonomy. Tele means “far off” in Greek. Teleology would be logic at a distance, teleonomy, allotment, or management, at a distance. Philosophers cringe when confronted to those concepts, because Aristotle was notoriously wrong believing in their existence.

Here is Aristotle in —Physics, Book II, ch.8, 199b: “It is absurd to suppose that purpose is not present because we do not observe an agent deliberating… The best illustration is a doctor doctoring himself: nature is like that. It is plain that nature is a cause, a cause that operates for a purpose.”

More down to earth, philosophers in the last few centuries, made the simpler observation that it is not because we do not observe that an agent is present, that there is one which is present. Call that scarcity of reasoning. It proved most fruitful.

The Middle Ages believed a lot in mysterious influences, some hidden, some at a distance. The Devil, the Good Lord and various saints and archangels were the prime agents. That distracted from observing the most elementary facts, and reasoning out of them. Why to try to understand the “natural” world, when there is no such thing, because Allah, Devil and Djins control everything? (Another of my low blows at Islam!)

When the God craze subsided, the most elementary facts were finally observed. Aristotle’s physics was promptly found to be wrong, when not outright delirious. So philosophers and their pets decided that anything which smacked of the old superstitions, for example influences at a distance, were the mark of the primitive mind, and that they were counter-productive. But it is not because we do not observe an effect sometimes, that it is not present, most of the time.  

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LOCALIZE ME NOT; AT A DISTANCE IS SPOOKY, BUT REAL:

How did the erroneous wisdom evolve? An example is the derivation of local logic, and more generally, local everything.

To understand the physical world, physicists made a number of hypotheses, to simplify the analysis of what they were considering. In particular, physicists assumed that the world was local. That worked very well. But, once again, it’s not because something works sometimes, that it works always.

As it turns out, in the deepest sense, locality never works, as I will show. If, each time a photon goes somewhere, or any particle goes somewhere, or any fundamental process happens, locality is violated, then locality is violated always, and everywhere. And this is what happens.

What does “local” mean? To find out what is going to happen at a point x, one analyzes what is happening in a neighborhood, around x. This is the crucial assumption of field theory (gravitation, electromagnetism, gauge fields). This locality assumption, made in physics for centuries, has informally filtered throughout modern decision making.

However, the world works this way only in the first, grossest approximation. Intrinsic to Quantum Mechanics is what Einstein called: “SPOOKY ACTION AT A DISTANCE“. Einstein and a number of collaborators, including the philosopher Karl Popper, evolved reasonings exhibiting situations in which measurements on one particle would imply an effect on a particle at a distance (this is called the EPR effect). The effect has been verified experimentally since, and the Wolf Prize in physics was given to Alain Aspect for so doing (2010).

Einstein and Popper were trying to prove Quantum Mechanics wrong, or incomplete. They failed. In particular Einstein naively thought that the “spooky action at a distance” could not be, thus all along the other particle had determined properties. And thus violated the uncertainty relationships, which a whole slew of physicists, such as Lande’, another Nobel Prize winner, hated. Indeed Non Locality and Uncertainty Relationships are related (this has just become again a hot subject of research).

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WAVES, PARTICLES, & DE BROGLIE SYNTHESIS:

OK, let’s backtrack. I will resist going back all the way to the Greco-Romans, because they had nothing intelligent to say on the subject. However, in the Seventeenth Century, Huyghens, an originally Dutch physicist financed by Louis XIV of France (!), presented a wave theory of light. Later, Newton came up with a particle theory. However, in 1800 CE, Young a polymath medical doctor, came up with the TWO SLIT experiment, which seemed impossible to explain with Newton’s particles. Poisson came up with the Poisson’s dot, a bright spot in the shadow of a sphere, where the waves meet and constructively build up. And it was verified. Later Maxwell’s electromagnetic waves were found, by Maxwell, to be moving at the speed of light, and Maxwell proposed to identify them with light.

Then came Hertz, with the photoelectric effect, which he discovered in his lab. Hertz, like Riemann before him, promptly died, and it was left to Einstein to “heuristically” propose that the photoelectric effect showed that light was made of packets of energy. Planck, 5 years earlier, had “explained” away two contradictions of theoretical physics, by assuming that light was emitted in packets of energy hw, where h was a mysterious constant, and w the frequency of the light. The difference was subtle; Einstein had got one step further.

Then Bohr used Planck’s idea that energy differences E corresponded to radiation (= light) of frequency w, according to hw. He also proposed that the orbital period of the electron would be inversely related to the frequency of the radiation emitted at an orbit of period T, as it would be in classical mechanics. It worked. Bohr’s theory predicted that only some electronic orbits were possible, where the angular momentum was a multiple of h…

Next came de Broglie, a medievalist, and a prince, who decided to study physics theoretically, just as his brother was studying it experimentally. De Broglie proposed that any particle was associated to a wave. The waves could only interfere constructively in particular orbits, thus de Broglie’s axiom implied immediately Bohr’s finding of particular orbits. De broglie waves, if taken at face value, also implied the uncertainty relationships (a wave cannot be located within less than half a wavelength at most). Abstraction is all about finding the correct axioms.

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TWO SLIT EXPERIMENT DEMONSTRATES NON LOCALITY:

Let’s go back to the 2-slit experiment. According to De Broglie, the 2-slit experiment should have worked with electrons, and it did. Just to make the situation as simple as possible, let’s consider photons. The 2-slit experiment shows that the photons tend to show up in places, where their waves constructively interfere, and avoid those where they destructively interfere.

This happens even when only single photons pass through the slits. That means that somehow the single photon is aware of both slits. So the photon is not a point: if it’s a packet a la Einstein, that packet somehow can compute the position of both slits, and move accordingly. It has an extended nature. THE PHOTON IS NON LOCAL.

This simple observation is rarely made, straight out of the 2-slit experiment. Why? Because physics students are taught to learn by rote the Born interpretation of De Broglie’s waves. Instead of real matter waves, Born interpretation views them only as probability waves. De Broglie disagreed very strongly with that.

De Broglie’s was not an opinion to neglect: De Broglie thesis, widely advertized as early as 1923, contained much of Quantum theory, including the Schrodinger equation. His prestigious thesis jury in Paris, with some Physics Nobel on it, did not know what to make of it, because it was so bold and out of this world. Finally they sent the thesis to Einstein, who was enthusiastic (and did not try to steal the ideas). It was published in 1924. De Broglie’s work is often ignored because of a triple bias: his ideas were too deep, he doubted Quantum theory the way it developed later, and he was not of the Anglo-Germanic persuasion that the Americans think is only worthy of appreciation (at least in physics). 

Born’s equation of matter waves with probability waves is rigorous, but not philosophically compelling: one could do the same on a beach: instead of looking at crashing waves as made of matter, one could consider them to be probability waves. Actually one could extend that skeptical philosophy to all phenomena, and view everything, and everybody as a probability wave. Obama would be a statistical probability wave surfing in plutocratic space… (Laughter, please! OK, I did not think so either…)

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THE PHOTON IS NON LOCAL:

We can just sit here, and meditate: how can that be? Well, nobody knows. In such a sentence, on the foundations of the world, every single term is unknown: what does “photon” means? What does “local” mean? What does “is” mean? Nobody knows. In the depths, everything becomes obscure…

However in a strange logical loop, Quantum Physics may indicate how to solve the riddle, by an whole integrated reasoning. I will try to explain that later. The author has his own embryonic theory, the Totally Objective Wave, which is the closest to De Broglie’s extremely deep, and possibly correct ideas (here, again, nobody knows, it does not matter how many Nobel Prizes they got).

But this is the not the object of this essay, which is to consider the philosophical consequences of what is known for sure: QUANTUM PROCESSES ARE NON LOCAL. All and any Quantum Process is out of the integrated whole: the entire accessible geometry is globally determined by the waves, and out of that pop the possible outcomes. (This is described in the conventional approach, using all prepared mathematics, as: Geometry + Waves > Hilbert Space >  Eingenstates > possible outcomes.)

That determination is done ex-temporally (time plays no role). OK, let’s give the simplest example. When the 2-slit is set-up, the geometry is determined: we know where what all the possible interference patterns are. The only missing ingredient is the wave frequency of the photon. Once that is plugged in, we know the probability pattern of future photon presence.   

Thus Quantum Processes analyze all the available geometry at a glance. Out of that pops the solution. It is as if QUANTUM PHYSICS IS TELEONOMIC (management of the geometry at a distance). This allows incredible efficiency. Unsurprisingly, biology uses Quantum computation, to be as efficient as possible. This has been demonstrated for photosynthesis and vision. Soon it will be all over our explanations for life. The soul itself will come into this explanatory scheme.

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I THINK, THEREFORE I QUANT:

Classical mechanical metaphors can only go that far, in the non classical world that we have. The Quantum provides with a wealth of analogies and metaphors, when not outright reasonings, which could be used all over the mental landscape.

Contrarily to legend, life is closer to the Quantum than it is closer to the mechanical. It is more dependent upon it. One could even argue that the definition of life is harnessing the Quantum to circumvent the classical. If this is true, it would mean that Quantum computers will be alive, and will achieve a form of consciousness.

The well known slogan:”Think global, act local!” is a good summary of a lot of what the Quantum does. We need to start thinking globally, because that is the only way to think.

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MY BABY TOLD ME THE TRUTH:

I have a twenty month baby, multilingual and all that. The baby understands amazingly complicated sentences, and figures out words she never met before. (Then she repeats them 50 times for good measure.) How does she do it? I was mystified by her ability for quite a while. My mom declared it was all about genetics, but that did not help my urge to understand the amazing nature of the new soul.

Well, refined observations showed the following. The baby understands words, sentences and ideas from the context always. She figures out the globality of what is going on, and then determines probable meanings out of it. [Then she quickly figures out little experiments to check if she guessed right, such as pointing towards an object, and repeating the word for it (but her more sophisticated experiments are immensely more complicated, so complicated that they may escape even a keen observer).]

Notice that the baby’s mind works identically to much of Quantum Physics. She apprehends the globality, and uses it to find positively interfering solutions. Is it possible that the baby figured out Quantum Physics, and then thought that was a great way to get things done? Of course not. She does not need to figure that out.

It is very simple: she has a Quantum mind.  If you want to see Quantum Physics at work, you can close your eyelashes slightly, in sunshine, and observe interference patterns. Or you can go the closest baby, and observe her, observing the world. She is a Quantum mind.  That’s how she knows.

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 Patrice Ayme   

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Note: One commenter sneered once that I should just read  the book called the “Hidden Reality”, instead of being unintelligible. That well written, often very interesting and ridiculously biased book is about the silly idea that there are parallel universes (a contradiction in adjecto). The preceding remarks were about physics more fundamental than the multiverse babble. I have to point that out, because it is sure to be a question in some people’s mind.

The multiverse challenged believe that when a photon hit a screen a (countable) infinity of universes is created. That’s simply moronic. Imagine the accused at a tribunal been asked why he killed his victim, and responding that it is not really a problem, because murder did not happen in a parallel universe. He would be sent to a mental asylum.

But there is worse: the preceding considerations about non-locality, which is the real mystery of Quantum Physics, is left untouched by the multiverse derangement. In other words, multiverse types “explain” with the craziest logic what needs no urgent explanation, while ignoring the greatest riddle, which is in plain sight.

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NO USE HIDING BEHIND THE BUSH.

September 4, 2008

DEMOCRACY’S TOTAL FAILURE IS A FAILURE OF THE MIND.

Everybody has become highly critical of Bush, but one man does not a republic make. Nor does one man a republic dismantle. Following Bush like bleating sheep was a cop-out, excoriating Bush another. Sheep do not a republic make. All they can do is graze.

The increasing system failure in the USA did not just spring from Bush’s cluelessness, plutocratic preferences, and desire to switch the conversation from his business association with Osama bin Laden’s family to Saddam Hussein, bin Laden’s enemy. The failure did not spring just from the Supreme Court deciding who should be president. No, it’s more like a failure of the American mind, as an American mind.

The crumbling infrastructure of the USA can be traced at the very least to Bill Clinton’s choice of Robert Rubin over Robert Reich. Rubin behaved as if an obsession with money was the only infrastructure worth having, whereas Reich advocated infrastructure in the conventional, material sense of the term. Thanks to Rubin, the tail of finance wagged the dog of the entire American economy. Bush was just the next chapter of that degenerated tale.

Even now people go around like chicken on the left, cackling; “change!, change!, change!” But nothing more concrete than a change of methodology can be proposed to them. Indeed real change is a no-no for those little ones. It would frighten them, and they would fly away, cackling louder than ever. They are going to have to be tricked into change.

Real change would mean redirecting the economy in different directions. The so called “great generation” that won W.W.II in three years from a tremendous effort, military and industrial, was the fruit of the socioeconomic redirection Roosevelt accomplished with the “New Deal”. When the war came, Roosevelt accentuated that redirection by nominating a young Canadian academic as economic czar with full powers. The young czar decided what all and any company would do, throughout the US economy.

In a non war situation, how does one redirect socioeconomic activity? With taxes. The tax debate so far has been restricted to whether one should go back to the tax structure of Clinton’s rule. Supposedly the economy was doing great under Clinton, when one measures it in a rather naive way, that of the height of GDP. But GDP is crude, and height a false indicator. Verily, a plane that is going to stall also gains altitude, in a last gasp, when vital dynamic energy going forward is transformed into a fatal hiccup. The bubble economy started under Clinton, and Rubin’s wild financial engineering is no stranger to it.

What’s the essence of democracy? Making arguments. An argument is a logicalo-emotional presentation made to clarify to oneself and to others a model of a piece of the universe. It often boils down into a plan of action. Arguments are elaborated in strenuous back and forth with others. It is both crucial to develop arguments inside oneself, to insure originality, and with others, to insure mental wealth. The Greeks made refined distinctions between diverse aspects of democracy, and equal capability to make discourses (“isogeria”) was viewed as crucial. In other words, equal access to public argument making was viewed as essential to democracy. The Greeks of Athens’ apogee did not envision that a race would evolve that did not like to argue. Greek democracy took centuries to die, and died fighting (against Persia first, then Macedonia, then finally against the fascizing Roman republic). The Greeks resisted decerebration until the drastic holocaust inflicted by the Christian dictatorship. This makes the mental evolution in the present day USA more similar to what happened in Rome: death by plutocracy.

Democracy is strong because all minds are used in parallel, all bringing their own ideas, to form a gigantic set of ideas. Anti-intellectuals view this as idle. Their motivation is in general clear: they are from the plutocracy, or in its service. US President Bush Senior, the famous billionaire, used to talk derisively about “the vision thing”. But vision from ideas is what allows to not fly into walls blindly, as the USA did with Muslim Fundamentalism, Afghanistan, and Iraq (the former two walls were multi generational American mistakes where democrats were as involved as the worst Republicans). (I will not mention Hitler and Stalin, who were both extensively supported by the USA, before, and during (!) W.W.II, because I do not want to stress out further those poor cackling chicken… that led to some problems that were as many opportunities to US plutocracy, including the Bush family.)

Democracy’s power and definition is in the love of arguments. But “arguments” and “arguing” have become pejorative in the USA. Now even joking is becoming criminal. One starts with airports, and with the Latin word for “black”, but where will it stop? What happened to “the pursuit of happiness”, one of the “inalienable rights”? Are those who can’t joke happy? Does that mean their “inalienable right” has been alienated?

The opposite of democracy, fascism, is weaker than democracy, on a historical scale, because the fascist mindset is all about minds operating in series. As the Qur’an orders it, “obey your superior”.

In fascism, political, social or intellectual, all minds ultimately take their orders from just one mind, “The Decider” (as Bush calls himself), or the “Guide” (as Hitler called himself; “Fuehrer”), or the “Messenger” (transmitting “God” violent elucubrations). As Hitler pointed out, this “guiding principle” (“Fuehrerprinzip”) allows to take decisions quickly, and as shockingly as needed (Hitler illustrated this with glee, by making an alliance with Poland in 1934, after running a hateful, and threatening election campaign against it in 1933). As Hitler demonstrated, fascism also allows to take the most stupid and criminal decisions, because there are very few true geniuses of wisdom and benevolence, and many evil morons (especially in high places). If of one mind a country depends, chances are it will be moronic and violent (those who like to contemplate butterflies and fields of flowers tend not to not make it to the top of the crab heap).

If the USA wants to be strong it will have to consist of many original minds contributing. It used to, and the country was strong and modern (in spite of being founded by rabid plutocracy and boosted by the primitivism of slavery). Now, after W.W.II, the USA has been victim of a burst of plutocracy, similar to the one Rome knew after vanquishing Carthage in the Second Punic War (and for similar reasons). That there was such a burst of inequality is beyond doubt: look at the US GINI index, and how it is picking up. The plutocrats don’t mind that the country is falling apart: not only do they not fly “commercial”, but the lower the people below them, the greater their perceived glory (we have seen it all before: remember how Rome went from democracy to plutocracy!).

In any case, if the USA wants to stop the rot, it will have to look at Europe. What it will see there first, is a very different tax structure… And also much more critical minds, who love to be critical, thus no joke, or no information, is left unturned.
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Patrice Ayme.
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P/S: Within days of a murderous ambush on French marines in Afghanistan, a blonde reporter from Paris Match met with the assailants, and she transmitted their pictures, partly in captured French uniforms, and, skeptically, their view of the world. France took it calmly, remembering that piece of wisdom from her history: before acting well, it’s necessary to know well.

Learning about the world is perhaps the main French past time. Another French reporter, using the same mix of amazing courage and female innocence, besides excellent Russian and knowledge of the region, charmed her way deep in Ossetia through the Russian lines.  This sort of very long shows are very popular in France, and feed the conversations that are the core of social interactions there. Conversations being the occasion to roll out arguments, and the more original, the more esteemed and appreciated by all. This compares favorably, democracy speaking, with the American social past time of watching some sport teams on TV, and keeping scores. Minds are born at home, and if all there is at home is watching guys on steroids getting excited by banging into each other, the minds one will get will have more to do with an aggressive version of cows watching trains pass by, than the masterful minds democracy live by, and for.

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