Posts Tagged ‘Philosophy’

Science and Philosophy: two aspects of the same thing. Why they are separated.

November 22, 2017

 

Separating philosophy from science is like separating breathing in, from breathing out.

Philosophy is how one guesses, science is how one makes sure.

To this “Jan Sand” retorted: ‘Science is how one attempts to make sure.’

Well, no. Attempting is no science. Hope enables one to live, but it’s not life. “One makes sure” comes with a context, the context enabling to express the problem and the answer attached to it.

Science is both a method, and a field of knowledge. Both are relative to the context at hand. The method consists in using only elements of reality one is sure of.

In their context, for example, classical optics, mechanics, electromagnetism and thermodynamics are all appropriate and correct. Yet, they don’t work next to a Black Hole: a Black Hole is the wrong context for them.

The first interstellar asteroid is a shard, probably a metallic one. It was observed to cover the Earth-Moon distance in less than three hours. With the nes telescopes being built, it is the first of many.

Consider the first Interstellar Asteroid was observed passing by the sun, on a highly hyperbolic trajectory. Speed: 139,000 kilometer per hour. Color: the deep red of the severely irradiated material (an orange like picture was obtained). No water or other volatile element. Albedo (reflectivity) varies from one to ten. Making an absolute hypothesis of what the albedo is, its size would one hundred meters across, a kilometer long. Found first by an Hawaiian telescope, its name is 1I ‘Oumuamua (Reach out first first; “1I for First Interstellar”)

This is all science, because many telescope, including Europe’s VLT (Very Large Telescope) in Chile, observed the object, and science dating more than 4 centuries has made telescope highly reliable (although cardinals initially demurred).

Rubbing sticks vigorously just so will enable to bring in such high temperature, as to start a fire: that’s science. (The fundamental science of humanity, 1.3 million years old.)

But not all “attempts” at “making sure” turn out to be science. Philosophy is what organizes these attempts.

For “superstrings”, it was felt that, instead of supposing point-particles, one could suppose strings, and some problems would disappear. Other problems would disappear if one supposed a symmetry between fermions and bosons. Thus “superstrings” came to be.

Superstrings is certainly a sort of logic, but not science. In particular, it makes no peculiar predictions, aside from the hypotheses it started with!

Similarly, Euclidean geometry pushed all the way, is unending logic, not science (because it has nothing to do with reality, it says nothing relevant to reality, once pushed far enough).

Most famously, epicycle theory was a sort-of logic, with some truths mixed in, but not science: it turned out to be 100% false (although the Fourier analysis hidden therein gave it some respectability, because parts of a lie can be true).

I have my own proposal for Sub Quantum Reality (“SQPR”). It is an attempt. It is astoundingly smart. It does make predictions, and explains some significant phenomena, for example Dark Matter, Dark Energy. So it looks good. However, it is not science.

Why?

Because my theory makes extraordinary claims giving a completely different picture of physics, extremely far from the facts and moods which give meaning to both Relativity and Quantum Mechanics.

So SQPR would need extraordinary proofs.

One could be simply that all other explanations for Dark Matter fail, and only SQPR is left standing.

A more direct proof would be that SQPR predicts a measurable difference in energy distribution during the famous 2-slit experiment from the prediction Albert Einstein explicitly made. If it turned out to be true that my prediction is correct on this, pretty much all of existing physics becomes false, or, let’s say more precisely, it becomes a very good approximation to a deeper theory.

And then SQPR would become a science (if all other testable predictions turn out to be in accord with it).

Elements of science have to be certain, within a particular context, or “universe” (in the logic sense of “universe”) which, itself, is part of the real world.

For example Quantum Field Theory makes probabilistic predictions which can boil down in very precise numbers which can be measured. Quantum Computers will also make probabilistic predictions (about the real world, even the world of numbers).

In the latter case, it’s just a guess. In other words, philosophy.

Those who claim science does not depend upon philosophy, just as those who claim philosophy does not depend upon science are, at best, trivially correct: they have got to be looking at small subfields of these activities, cleaning the corners.  

In the grand scheme of things, science and philosophy are roughly the same activity: twisting logic any which way, to get testable consequences. Thus discovering new logics on the way, not just new facts

***

One may ask: why did philosophy and science get separated?

Because our masters, the plutocrats want to keep on ruling. That means they don’t want us to understand what they are doing. Thus, smarts are their enemy. Hence people have to be kept in little mental boxes, so stupid, just so.

This is nothing new. When Rome was at its apogee, very learned Greek slaves educated the youth of the elite. As they were slaves, they knew their place. This helps to explain why Rome stagnated intellectually, and thus was unable to solves its pressing strategic, technological, economic, health and ecological problems. Stupidly educated youth makes stupid, and obedient adults.  

Specialization is a way for plutocrats to keep on ruling. After all, to run a civilization, one needs special capabilities. The ultimate specialization is to pretend that certain knowledge, that is science, is independent from guessing new sure knowledge, that is, philosophy.

Actually the latter is intrinsically bad, since, if it was thoroughly applied, it would allow We The People to understand how plutocracy works. Thus philosophy was strongly encouraged to degenerate, by being cut from knowledge, be it sure, or historical, etc.

If society wants to survive, it will have to forge ahead in the way of understanding. Failing to comprehend or to implement this, has led many civilizations or states  to collapse (Maya, Sumer, Egypt, Abbasid Caliphate, Jin dynasty, Western Xia, the Dali Kingdom , Southern Song, Aztecs,.etc.).

Thus sustainable plutocracy is a balancing act between understanding and obedience. This time, though, understanding has to be maximized, be it only to solve the climate crisis (there are many other crises). Thus plutocracy has foster understanding (quite a bit as Jeff Bezos is doing with Amazon, hence his success)..

We may be unable to get rid of plutocracy, because We The Sheep People out there are so supine. The next best thing, which is also the necessary thing, is that it is in the interest of everybody to let philosophy roll, and thus get reacquainted with science. And reciprocally.

Patrice Ayme

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Science, Fruit, Tool and Motivation of Philosophy

April 3, 2017

Can philosophy exist on its own? The cognitively challenged think so. See the somewhat dim-witted “Philosophy Tool Kit” in Aeon, by what else, a professional philosopher, somebody taught precisely to teach that “Thinking like a philosopher need not be a strange and arcane art, if you get started with these tricks of the trade… At a time when we are bombarded more than ever with specious claims and spurious inferences, clear thinking provides a much-needed safeguard that we should all strive towards. Philosophers place a premium on certain tools for regimenting our thinking, especially logic and probability theory.

In other words, like everything else, for the dim-witted, philosophy is a trade. Being wise, the Promethean essence of human spirit, is brought down to recipes. Apparently to “regiment” our thinking we have to acknowledge that “trade“. Everything is a “trade“. And why do we “regiment”? Well, according to all too many people paid to propagandize the official version of philosophy, we are in an army, apparently, “regimented” in the triumphing army of trade. Wisdom is a military trade. (The afore quoted “philosopher” comes from Australia, a place which made lots of money with coal and iron sold to China.)

Well… Trade is not the essence of humanity, wisdom is. And wisdom rests on science, knowing what is true. Not what a trade our disciplined regiments are.

(The author in Aeon self-defines as an “analytic philosopher”. “Analytic philosophy” is a branch of philosophy so stupidly arrogant that it thinks nobody else is analytical. Analysis actually means “deconstruction”, something ironic as “analytic philosophers” tend to despise Derrida… Bertrand Russel is often viewed as the father of analytic philosophy, although he thought it was not an activity worth having…)

I don’t esteem Plato very much, but on this one he got it right. Modern philosophers tend to not know modern geometry, because they are lazy dogs.. They prefer to ponder the meaning of “the”…

Accordingly, Plato thought that the first trick, the first tool, the first requirement, of philosophy was to learn “geometry” (which was NON-Euclidean geometry at the time, thus not that simple!). Please remember that Plato was notoriously friendly to tyrants. However, even him did not think philosophy was a regimented trade!

Another interest is that, by being exposed to science and mathematics, the spirit and culture of inquiry, fundamental to the love of wisdom, can be encouraged. Such is the fundamental toolkit of the philosopher.

***

Most so-called philosophers praise themselves for superior thinking. However human species have unceasingly deliberately perfected what superior thinking is, and provides with, for millions of years. Superior thinking is not a static achievement, a book one can learn by rote. Superior thinking is what humanity does unceasingly more of.

Philo-Sophy, Loving Wisdom, is an abbreviation for the excellence which is truly meant. (Just as an electron is an abbreviation for what is truly meant; Dirac’s meaning of the electron as an abbreviation was different from that of his immediate predecessors.)

Everybody loves wisdom, even cats. Especially cats. But wisdom as cats tend to have it, is different from wisdom, as Homo Sapiens tend to have it.

What’s ought to be truly meant by “philosopher” is someone who loves superior wisdom more than any other love, and has actually achieved that superiority. Cats are not philosophers, because, given a chance, they would rather eat the bearer of superior wisdom (namely Homo Sapiens).

The notions of “philosopher” and the “philosophical method” are distinct. A genuine philosopher will practice the philosophical method, which consists into using whatever it takes to advance wisdom, even poetry and the vaguest analogies. And what is wisdom? Superior understanding of what makes the universe tick.

Thus a towering philosopher will have to be a scientist, mathematician and logician, as Plato felt, and as towering geniuses of the Middle Ages such as Abelard and Buridan were (Buridan proved Aristotle physics wrong, introducing the heliocentric system, most of “Newton’s” laws… and successfully tackled the problem of self-referential statements, circa 1350 CE, amidst plague and war).

***

The average persons feel that exhibiting tribal appurtenance is the highest form of wisdom, that make them no better than baboons (be they jihadist, attached to Islam, or physicists, anxious to exhibit their quirky love for the local sport team). That does not qualify them as philosophers, because our ancestral baboon equivalents have been doing this for 50 million years, there is nothing superior about it.

***

Part of wisdom is not to stay a prisoner of the vehicle used to convey it, be it a person, a language, a theory, a sentence or a word. The question is not what wisdom is, but what wisdom means: analyze not the words, but what they are supposed to mean. What the interlocutor meant, and that interlocutor could be nature itself.

***

Any logic L, and thus, in particular any wisdom W, is relative to a context. Giving a context to that context is going meta. Going meta is not in general unique, and it is always possible, and even easy: pick up an axiom, say A of L, and consider the meta logic made of the union of L and what you get by adjoining non-A to L. This is the scheme to get non-Euclidean geometry, or non-standard arithmetic, or non-standard analysis, or complex analysis from real analysis, or even finite fields.

***

Nature is a sadistic god. Why not? We know nature is a sadistic god, because we have wisdom. Hyenas don’t have that luxury, condemning what feeds them. Hyenas have to eat the genitals of the uncooperative buffalo first, as hyena heuristics show  that they are delicious, and their absorption diminishes the vigor of the prey. Occasionally, though, a lioness will have the wisdom to protect a young prey animal, as a pet.

Even lions know nature is a sadistic god. But only us can go industrial, building a better god. Hint: it’s not to be obtained by just focusing on the word “the”, and equally puny tricks (cockroaches know tricks too; they don’t belong to superior wisdom, because, however correct, they are too puny).

Human wisdom enables to provide us with the tools to build a less sadistic version of nature. Sadism where we want it. Not where “it” wants it…

Patrice Ayme’

 

Blame Obama’s Nihilism For Syria’s Destruction

December 17, 2016

Pontificating Pseudo-Leftists Destroyed The Better Values, Including Care and Rationality, By Claiming They Were Not Worth Fighting For, Nothing Was. From This Obscene Nihilism, Of Slimy Souls, We Will All Suffer All Too Practically.

The Economist has woken up, from its Trump Derangement Syndrome, to the reality of the catastrophic moral abyss known as the Obama administration. Subtitle of The Economist: The war in Syria: The lessons from Aleppo’s tragic fateWHEN INTERESTS TRIUMPH OVER VALUES TERRIBLE THINGS CAN HAPPEN. (Dec 17th 2016.)

The interest of whom, dear The Economist? Not just Putin’s, Assad, and the plutocratic circles in London which professionally love the Assad family’s billions. One speaks here also of the interests of prima donna Michelle Obama and the US Democratic Party elite presently still in power, and the interest of those who feed them all, the globalocracy and the worldwide plutocracy, especially the one of financial type. That interest goes beyond profiteering from those who support massacres. It goes as far as destroying the values which make civilization possible. Let me explain.

Aleppo Barrel Bombing By Assad Regime Summer 2015. What the Joint Franco-American Intervention Was Supposed To Stop

Aleppo Barrel Bombing By Assad Regime Summer 2015. What the Joint Franco-American Intervention Was Supposed To Stop

The joint French Republic USA attack on Assad after Assad killed thousands of civilians in gas attacks, would have taken out the entire Syrian Air Force, including helicopters dropping barrel bombs.

Obama’s last minute loss of nerves, and calling off the attack while French bomber pilots were already strapped in their seats, was a moral failure of Auschwitzian proportions. Of such moral failures was the road to World War Two and Auschwitz, paved. (And it did not take too many of these failures, barely more than a couple, before the insane moods had set-in, and world war was unavoidable.)

Says The Economist: GROZNY, Dresden, Guernica: some cities have made history by being destroyed. Aleppo, once Syria’s largest metropolis, will soon join their ranks. Its 1,000-year-old Muslim heritage has turned to dust; Russian aircraft have targeted its hospitals and schools; its citizens have been shelled, bombed, starved and gassed (see article). Nobody knows how many of the tens of thousands who remain in the last Sunni Arab enclave will die crammed inside the ruins where they are sheltering. But even if they receive the safe passage they have been promised, their four-year ordeal in Aleppo has blown apart the principle that innocent people should be spared the worst ravages of war. Instead, a nasty, brutish reality has taken hold—and it threatens a more dangerous and unstable world.”

A mood that political leaders and dictators can get away with mass murder for all to see has set-in. This has happened many times in the past:  that change of moods is always necessary before great wars. Just as it did in Germany before 1914 (after massacring hundreds of thousands of Namibian Natives, the Herero and Nama, as if they were rats, or game animals, offering money for their heads, hunting them for sport). Just as it did happen worldwide in the 1930s (Japan attacked China, Italy attacked Ethiopia, US plutocrats and the Nazi dictator attacked the Spanish Republic, and all made like bandits, getting away with anything, including the biggest lies they could imagine, etc.)

Encouraged by these profitable pursuits, Imperial Japan, Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany constituted the “Axis”, in 1936, while US plutocrats helped make the Axis all it could be. The Axis was a series of diplomatic treaties. But, more importantly, the Axis was a sharing of satanic values. Shared satanic values which the leaders of the Axis believed was the best way to success. And for a while, for them, it worked. In the end, it worked only for the Deus Ex Nachina, the USA itself. (However, because that this Machiavellian strategy worked in the past for the USA is no guarantee that it will work in the future. Actually, it won’t because Kim’s nukes will soon be able to reach the USA; in WWII, nobody hostile could even get to the US mainland!)

Italy, Japan, Germany conquered, and, or came to control  huge swathes of territory, through the nastiest, most satanic ways. The success of these Plutonic values led countries such as Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Yugoslavia, the USSR, Thailand, Iraq, etc., to join, de facto and through treaties, the Axis. And of course, this further success encouraged plutocrats to help the Axis (just as Putin’s and Tehran’s success will encourage others to join them… such as Turkey’s Sultan). It all snowballed, until the French Republic, followed by the Commonwealth, declared war. France, though, got overwhelmed through surprise, bad luck, an uncautious head of the army, reason…

And also France came down in a few days in May 1940,  because the French (and British) Air Forces had not enjoyed enough practice. The French Air Force and the RAF took a few weeks to learn the tricks the Nazis had learned and refined in air combat in the preceding four years, say, while bombing Guernica and attacking ground forces, in Spain. If you want peace, prepare for war, by practicing war.  

If you can’t beat them, join them in fighting, you will improve.

The brains of many present world politicos, such as Vladimir Putin, Assad, Xi, Kim have set-in into a more aggressive mindset. Thanks to Obama’s incompetent childishness, and holy-than-thou attitude. Maybe their epigenetics, not just their neurohormones, emotions, feeling, reconstructed memories and  ideas have installed in their heads operating systems which toy with millions killed and displaced as if it were a chess game.

A small, but telling example? China just seized an US military underwater drone, while the civilians manning an US vessel a few hundreds meters away watched in disbelief. The US made a demarche to recover their stolen robot.

Trump’s reaction: “China steals United States Navy research drone in international waters — rips it out of water and takes it to China in unprecedented act,” Mr. Trump wrote in a Twitter message. His original tweet on the subject on Saturday called the seizure an “unpresidented act,” but a replacement message corrected the spelling error. Spelling error? Assuredly, a judicious one.

Many of the best ideas have started as errors. The USA has been “unpresidented” for eight years, indeed.

We are feeling what not having hope feels like,” Michelle Obama told Winfrey in response to a question about whether President Obama had achieved the “hope and change” he promised while campaigning in 2008. ” The self-absorbed Michelle did not mean Aleppo. She obviously meant she has to give up on that big presidential plane in 4 weeks. Hey, no more vacation in the billionaire’s palaces anymore, with the media moguls? Otherwise her husband’s presidency has been abysmal on all what can be measured: poverty (eight million more!), food stamps (13 million more!), employment rate (not the UNemployment index known as U2!), home ownership, cost of health care, cost of education, etc. The Obama presidency was pretty much a sham, organized by spoiled, ignorant children, but hundreds of thousands have now died because of it, and everything indicates that this is just the beginning:

The Economist says: “Britain’s parliament voted against taking even limited military action. As millions of people fled to Syria’s neighbours, including Lebanon and Jordan, most European countries looked the other way —or put up barriers to keep refugees out.

PARTICULAR BLAME FALLS ON BARACK OBAMA. America’s president has treated Syria as a trap to be avoided. His smug prediction that Russia would be bogged down in a “quagmire” there has proved a historic misjudgment.

Throughout his presidency, Mr Obama has sought to move the world from a system where America often acted alone to defend its values, with a few countries like Britain riding shotgun, to one where the job of protecting international norms fell to all countries—because everyone benefited from the rules.

[Or when naivety becomes criminal, murderous idiocy!]

Aleppo is a measure of how that policy has failed. As America has stepped back, the vacuum has been filled not by responsible countries that support the status quo, but by the likes of Russia and Iran which see the promotion of Western values as an insidious plot to bring about regime change in Moscow and Tehran.”

Entirely correct, The Economist. Barack Obama has proven to be very far from a progressive, or a defender of the better values (as one would expect from somebody financed by Goldman Sachs more than any other entity). Instead, Obama has proven to be a right-wing terminator of people. He let the massacre in Syria happen in slow motion.

Obama also spurned and terminated the better values as something worth defending (and thus Obama served Goldman Sachs and its ilk, lack of better values). Obama taught us all to be moral slime. To avoid “quagmires”, Obama became one himself. Obama should have given war a chance (if John Lennon had been around, he may well have concluded that!) Invertebrates never had a chance. Invertebrates like Obama.

In truth, Obama, like all pseudo-leftists, is a poser without values much beyond greed (such as the ravenous greed for power or Nobel prizes). A nihilist. Western progressive values, or the better values of humanity itself, under the pseudo-leftist doctrine, cannot be imposed, because they are viewed as imperialism itself.

This is why Obama put Putin, rather than the French Republic, in charge of Syria: because Putin, or the theocrats in Tehran, or the plutocrats in Beijing, have values which are just as valuable, Obama implicitly, yet extremely repetitively, said. (The reason for this is that the main financier of Obama’s first campaign was Goldman-Sachs: thus the superior values of Goldman-Sachs were transmitted to Obama in a superior way: greed, self-advancement, navigation, etc. Financial manipulators are dictators behind the stage friendly to those dictators who take the stage)

Politics select for self-obsessed slime. Obama has none of the higher values higher human beings are, whatsoever, but he is good at faking ennui and a loftier stance. A comedian. What is his motivation to do so? Obviously a world without redeeming values fit those who breathe greed perfectly. So Obama, by refusing to defend values, manu militari, is actually making the plutocratic mood progress, thus making those who will pay his bills in a month, richer, more powerful, and more generous.

The plutocratic ideal is fundamentally nihilist: it replaces the better angels of our nature, which humanity absolutely need to exist, with low and vicious aspects, and neurohormones, like greed, power onto others, cruelty, etc.  

And what of the little pseudo-leftists who feel that Obama is the best thing since whole wheat bread, and have been clamoring for more of the same, hundreds of thousands dead, millions of refugees full of Islamism? Many of them have elected. not to defend values, but on hating those who have them. Because hatred is a strong emotion.

Also, most of the pseudo-leftists are just ignorant, and ignorance is not just comfortable, but easy to acquire.

By refusing to act against hatred, Obama has refused to defend the better angels of our values. Instead he has left open the road to irrationality (inventing excuses for not defending said better values) and hatred itself.

Thus Obama contributed to making a much bigger war more likely. Indeed, Obama has told us that to see half a million people killed in what used to be the richest part of the Roman empire, is no concern of his. Nothing that motivates him. Half a million people dead, dictators, some nuclear armed, reinforced, and Obama congratulates himself for having avoided a “quagmire”.

Obama’s powerless UN ambassador, ironically named Power, complained to Russia that it had no decency. that Power chick does not know that, when one has the power of extermination, decency is irrelevant. She and her boss, Obama, are that ignorant. Obama did not just unpresident himself, he was never really president, just taking orders from his (plutocratic) minders. Doing so, not realizing that only military force imposes and preserves civilization, puts us,and all the better values, at risk of being ruled by the spirit of Pluto, at the hands of plutocrats. And the proof is the powerlessness of Obama’s pious declarations on what constitute decent behaviors, the exact behaviors he violated. Now the jerks are compulsively talking about Russia’s sofware prowess, after letting Putin and Assad ravage Aleppo, and Syria.

Might is not necessarily right, indeed. However, right without might, cannot be. Ever.

Civilization is fundamentally about force. The force of the highest human values reorganizing nature, including human nature, for the better, fighting adversity, and winning.

And to do that, to win, we need not just smarts as Ulysses, but also might, like Heracles.

Slime is cool, indeed, but it could not possibly invent civilization. Only entrepreneur could, and did. That’s why we have hands, big hands. Give us that world which we shall mold, for the better; the empire of humanity, this is what us humans make, and always made. The divine primate. Slime, those who will not defend the values which make us the most human, we have to wash out at sea, before their impotence exterminates us.

Patrice Ayme’

 

WE WANT IT DARKER

November 20, 2016

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

WE PHILOSOPHERS OF THE DANGEROUS MAYBES, WANT IT DARKER. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If thine is the glory then mine must be the shame

You want it darker

We kill the flame

Magnified, sanctified, be thy holy name

Vilified, crucified, in the human frame

A million candles burning for the help that never came

You want it darker

Hineni, hineni

I’m ready, my lord”

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

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

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

“There’s a lover in the story

But the story’s still the same

There’s a lullaby for suffering

And a paradox to blame

But it’s written in the scriptures

And it’s not some idle claim

You want it darker

We kill the flame”

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

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

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

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

Leonard Cohen’s We Want It Darker:

“They’re lining up the prisoners

And the guards are taking aim

I struggled with some demons

They were middle class and tame

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

You want it darker

Hineni, hineni

I’m ready, my lord”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We Want It Darker. We Need It Darker.

Patrice Aymé

Socrates A Poisonous, Unexamined Fascist?

September 22, 2016

The Pathos Of Truth Seeked & Violated. Unexamined Fascist, Unexamined Prostitute? Both. Why Was That Covered Up, So Long? For The Same Exact Cause Which Made Socrates Famous!

The death of Socrates keeps haunting philosophy. And that, per se, is a sad, yet very revealing tale. The old common wisdom was that Socrates died, as a martyr to truth (as Hypatia, Boetius, Giordano Bruno, and many others certainly were). You want a hero for philosophy? Celebrate Jean Cavaillès. In the presence of Cavaillès, Sartre nearly wetted his pants. We will see that the mood behind Socrates’ actions is significantly different. Socrates was rather on the side of those who killed Cavaillès.

Indeed, a casual look at the basic setup of Socrates’ trial contradicts the theme that Socrates was mostly a martyr for truth. Socrates was simply accused to be the mastermind of the young dictators who ruled Athens after her tremendous defeat, and half annihilation at the hands of Sparta, the tool of Persia. Socrates was also mentor, friend and lover (!) of the young Alcibiades who, deprived of a generalship by Athens, then betrayed her for her lethal enemy, fascist, ultra-racist, Persian financed Sparta.

Agreed, philosophy needs heroes, and has plenty. Here is one:

Jean Cavaillès. Here Is A Hero For Truth & Philosophy. Socrates Was Nearly The Exact Opposite.

Jean Cavaillès, Anti-Fascist Martyr. Here Is A Hero For Truth & Philosophy. Socrates Was Nearly The Exact Opposite.

[Jean Cavaillès was tortured and assassinated by the Gestapo in 1943-1944. He is buried in the crypt of the Sorbonne.]

Thus Socrates was a sort of Charlie Manson of serial traitors and killers, whose mental actions led, or accompanied, Athens’ near-death experience in losing a devastating war, and the resulting dictatorship by Socrates’ students. Temples of democracy such as Britain, France, and the USA have gaily executed traitors, or incompetents, for much less than that.

Socrates Used To Look At People As A bull Does. Ugly Inside Out? To Reveal the Truth, Some Will Say Torture Works Even Better

Socrates Used To Look At People As A bull Does. Ugly Inside Out? To Reveal the Truth, Some Will Say Torture Works Even Better

Stanford political science and classics professor, Josiah Ober opines in “The Civic Drama Of Socrates’ Trial” that:  “Conventional wisdom sees Socrates as a martyr for free speech, but he accepted his death sentence for a different cause… In his influential interpretation The Trial of Socrates (1988), the US journalist-turned-classicist I F Stone saw this trial as an embattled democracy defending itself. In Stone’s view, Socrates had helped to justify the junta’s savage programme of oligarchic misrule and was a traitor. More commonly, Socrates is seen as a victim of an opportunistic prosecutor and a wilfully ignorant citizenry. In truth, politics is indispensable to understanding the trial of Socrates, but in a slightly more sophisticated way.”

I love sophistication, philosophy is all about increased sophistication (so is science). Sophistication, translated, is wisdomization: sticking to reality ever better by ever more subtle, complex logic.

The point was not so much that Socrates justified the savage programme, but that he formed the minds who organized said programme, “corrupting the youth”. And he was at it again, even after being amnestied. Professor Ober describes the problem well (although he fails to fathom the enormity of what he describes).

Stanford’s Josiah: For what people today call ‘the wisdom of crowds’, Socrates had nothing but scorn. Athenian democrats who argued that the many, the group, were collectively more likely to get important matters right than any individual expert earned his antipathy. Whether or not anyone actually was expert in the art of politics, Socrates certainly supposed that there could be such an expert, and that the Athenians were deluded in thinking themselves collectively wise.”

The “experts” would have been naturally his rich, best (“aristos”) boyfriends. Professor Ober is led to the obvious question, but fail to recognize that he does not answer it:

“How did Socrates both scorn the idea of collective wisdom and yet maintain obedience to Athens’ laws, even when he disagreed with how they were interpreted? The rudimentary answer lay in the foundation that Athens (as opposed to, for example, Sparta) provided in its laws and political culture. Athens mandated liberty of public speech and tolerance for a wide range of private behaviour.”

Yes, but public incompetence could lead to trial (as happened to Pericles and many strategoi, generals and admirals). Anyway, that is not an answer. I will give a better answer: Socrates himself had no answer to his drastic self-contradictions, so hise self-delusion fatally committed him to self-destruction. Yet political science professor Ober sees the problem:

“By 399 BCE, however, four years after the end of the tyranny, and with Socrates doing the same things in public that had seemingly inspired the junta’s leaders, the Athenians regarded his speech very differently. In the eyes of the majority of his fellow citizens, Socrates was no longer an eccentric with potential for contributing to public life. He was now either a malevolent public enemy, or deluded and dangerously unable to recognise that his speech predictably produced seriously bad outcomes. And so the way was left open for Meletus to launch his prosecution.”

Right. What professor Ober fails to mention is that only the intervention of mighty Sparta prevented Athens’ annihilation after she surrendered, having lost already half of her population (other cities wanted to do to Athens what Athens did to Melos). Try to imagine this: the city-state half annihilated, democracy destroyed by Socrates’ students, and then? The strongest mood that Socrates had been instilling was to oppose democracy. And he was again at it, after the amnesty he had profited from. What could motivate such a rage?

Unsurprisingly, Socrates was put on trial for “corrupting the youth and impiety”. (The City was to some extent divinized, with Athena as her protecting goddess.)

“With unsettling metaphors and logical demonstrations, he made it clear that he [Socrates] opposed democracy… Xenophon implies that Socrates chose that sort of speech as a method of jury-assisted suicide: he was… tired of life and allowed the Athenians to end it for him.”

This is what I believe. And I go further than Xenophon, by explaining the cause of Socrates’ depression. Socrates may have been tired of his own contradictions.And may have been ravaged by regret. (Regret, I reckon, is a powerful human instinct.)

The Socrates’ worship interpretation is due to Plato. It poses Socrates as martyr to civic duty. But, as it turns out, “civic duty”, for Socrates, seems to be mostly blind obedience to “the Laws”, while viciously criticizing the Direct Democracy which gave birth to them.

That Socrates respected the laws of Athens while despising the Direct Democracy which had passed them is illogical in the extreme. Yes, I know Socrates said he respected “the Laws”, as if they were disembodied gods with a life of their own. But We The People passed said laws, and they lived only because We The People had created them, and We thge People could extinguish them just the same.

The “Laws” were nothing. We The People was everything. Socrates behaved as if he could not understand that.

Insisting that the Laws were everything reveals that the concept of blind obedience was more important to Socrates than arguing about the nature of what one should be obeying to, and why. Blind obedience is also the traditional ultimate value of standard fascism: law and order as supreme.

Blind obedience had been what the junta’s rule was all about. What the rule of Socrates’ young students and lovers had been all about. That’s also what fascism is all about. However, arguing, debating, fighting is how to get to the thorough examination necessary for the “examined life”.   

The contradiction was, and is, blatant. Socrates’ mental system was shorting out. Socrates had been shorting out for half a decade or more: he ambitiously wanted to “examine life”, but he could not even examine the minds of his followers, let alone his own, or why he was hanging around them. Why was he hanging around them? They were rich, he was not, but he lived off their backs and crumbs. And the feeling of power they provided with (after Obama got to power I saw some in his entourage becoming drunk with power).  

Arguably, Socrates was a martyr to fascism, a Jihadist without god. There is nothing remarkable about that. The very instinct of fascism is to give one’s life, just because fanatical combat is the ultimate value, when one gets in the fascist mood. In this case, the fanatical combat was against We The People.

Posing Socrates as a martyr for intellectual freedom is farfetched: fascism, blind obedience, passion for oligarchs are all opposed to the broad mind searching for wisdom requires.

Some will sneer: you accuse Socrates to be a fascist, why not a racist? Well, I will do this too. The golden youth Socrates loved so much and drank with were hereditary so. Socrates believed knowledge was innate (so an ignorant shepherd boy knew all of math: this is the example he rolled out!) If knowledge was innate, one can guess that the “aristos”, the best, were also innately superior. That is the essence of racism.

Logically enough, Socrates disliked science: nothing was truly new under the sun (as all knowledge was innate). So much for examining life.

It is more probable that Socrates was indeed, just a stinging insect buzzing around, stinging the idea of Direct Democracy. In exchange, his rich, young, plutocratic boyfriends would fete and feed him. Such was Socrates’ life, a rather sad state of affair, something that needed to be examined, indeed, by the head doctor.

Socrates may have been clever enough to feel that he was an ethical wreck. His suicidal submission may have been an attempt to redeem himself, or whatever was left of his honor (which he also tried to regain with his insolence to the jury).

Plato would pursue the fight for fascism (“kingship”). Aristotle, by teaching, mentoring, educating, befriending, advising a number of extremely close, family-like friends, the abominable Alexander, Craterus and Antipater, finally fulfilled Socrates’ wet dream: Athenian Direct Democracy was destroyed and replaced by an official plutocracy overlorded by Antipater (supremo dictator, and executor of Aristotle’s will, in more ways than one).

This trio of philosophical malefactors became the heroes 22 centuries of dictatorship (“monarchy”) needed as a justification. A justification where “civic duty” was defined as blind obedience to the “Laws” (whatever they were, even unjust “Laws”). This amplified Socrates’ hatred of Direct Democracy. So the works of the trio were preciously preserved, and elevated to the rank of the admirable.

It is rather a basket of deplorables. We owe them the destruction of Direct Democracy for 23 centuries, and counting.

And what Of Socrates’ regret for being so deplorable? (Which I alleged he had to experience.) A dying Socrates lying on a couch, uncovered his face and uttered— “Crito, I owe the sacrifice of a rooster to Asklepios; will you pay that debt and not neglect to do so?”  Asklepios cured disease, and provided with rebirth, symbolized by the singing of the rooster calling the new day. This has been traditionally interpreted (by Nietzsche) as meaning that (Socrates’?) death was a cure for (his?) life. Nietzsche accused Socrates to be culprit of the subsequent degeneracy of civilization (and I do agree with that thesis). Certainly, Socrates, a self-described “gadfly” was deprived of gravitas.

Wisdom needs to dance, but cannot be altogether deprived of gravitas, as it is, after all, the gravest thing.. Maybe Socrates felt this confusedly, besides having regrets for his status of thinking insect. Socrates could have easily escaped, and Crito had an evasion ready. By killing himself Socrates behaved like a serious Japanese Lord opening his belly to show his insides were clean, and its intent good. Well, many a scoundrel has committed seppuku, and hemlock is nothing like cutting the belly.

Human beings are endowed with the instinct of regret, because we are the thinking species. It is crucial that we find the truth, and when we have lived a lie, indulged in error, the best of use are haunted by the past, and revisit it to find what the truth really was. Regrets has many stages, like cancer. The most correct philosophical form of regret is to re-established the truth. The cheap way out is to flee from reality, as Socrates did.

How to explain Socrates’ insolence to the jury? There again, it was a desperate attempt at reaching the sensation of self-righteousness and trying to impart it to the jury (this is often seen  on the Internet, with the glib one-liners and vacuous logic which pass for depth nowadays).

The inexperienced democracy in Athens did not always behave well. Athens behaved terribly with Melos (see link above). But the case of Socrates is different. Ultimately, the train of thoughts and moods promoted by Socrates weakened those who wanted to defend the free republics of Greece against the fascist, exterminationist Macedonian plutocracy. Demosthenes and Athenian Direct Democracy was mortally poisoned by Socrates.

Thus, Socrates execution was not just tit for tat. It was not enough of tit for tat. It was a preventive measure, in defense of Direct Democracy, which failed, because it was too meek.

Democracy does not mean to turn the other cheek, to have the golden beast eat that one too. In ultimate circumstances, democracy has an ultimate weapon too, and that is fascism. This is why the Roman, French and American republics prominently brandish the fasces. Fascism is the ultimate war weapon. But fascism is not the ultimate society. Far from it: political fascism, just a few individuals leading entails intellectual fascism, namely just a few moods and ideas leading. Before one knows it, one is in plutocracy, where not only wealth rules, but so does the cortege of the worst ideas and moods which characterize it.

Socrates often talk the talk, contradicting completely the way he lived (for example he said one should never return an injury, but, as a hoplite, he killed at least four men in combat!)

Socrates spoke so well sometimes, that he can stay a symbol of truth persecuted. But, because it is a lie, replacing him by Hypatia, Boetius, Bruno and, or Cavaillès, and, or, others, is urgent. Indeed, the reality is that Socrates was not just inimical to democracy. The current of thought he floated by was inimical to science, mental progress, and the truth he claimed to be pining for.  And even him may have been so overwhelmed by these astounding contradictions, that, in the end, assisted suicide for his pathetic mental writhing was, indeed, the optimal outcome.

Patrice Ayme’

 

PM Trudeau’ s Satanic Philosophy

September 19, 2016

Tolerance For Those Who Violate Humanity Is The Lowest Of the Low:

Homo is the philosophical animal. Philosophy is about choice. Philosophy is the set of hard choices of the most optimal ideas, emotions. Unfortunately, in our so-called representative democracy, a few minds infused by greed and self-important delusion, elected politicians, posture as gutter philosophers (gutterosophers?) Thanks to their command of giant propaganda and means at their disposal, they inflict on us their primary school minds (as all their minds can do is getting elected, they are otherwise little developed!)

Homo Sapiens can be translated as the Latin-Greek hybrid, Homo Sophis (Wise Homo). Yet loving wisdom does not mean one finds it always, nor what the highest wisdom is. Values which are wise in some ways, may come in conflict with each other (as we will see in the present essay). Wisdom is always evolving, adapting, as circumstances and one’s knowledge base change (their lack of adaptation is a good reason to be against “revealed” superstitious religions…)

Intelligence is the ability to discern subtle nuances which entail massive differences. Example: occurrences of obvious electrical activity in nature are extremely subtle. For the Ancient Greeks, there was only the mystery of static electricity, rubbing some types of fur (that lightning was about the same writ large would have been more philosophy than physics). However, in our present world, electricity is everywhere, thanks to the application of subtle logic and delicate observations.

What's Wrong With His Head?

What’s Wrong With His Head?

We will analyze an example here of how subtlety  : the Prime Minister of Canada obliterates the struggle against sexism under the guise of respect for diversity. This is a violation of the genus Homo. Life is diversity. Homo does not respect all and any life. Some life, Homo obliterated, some it obliterate, some it plans to obliterate (various diseases, for example).

Advancing wisdom is a necessity, for the species to survive: as human domination changes the world, human adaptation to the world has to change.

Politicians are important only when, as Solon and Pericles, they implement new wisdom, more advanced than previous wisdom. New, correct philosophy moves history. Those, who, like the despicable PM of Canada, Trudeau, on the ground of “multiculturalism” meet in gender segregated societies, deserve not just our contempt, but our loud reprobation. He evokes “the sisters up there” [sic]. Look at: https://twitter.com/LaloDagach/status/776548267479994368

Make no mistake: i would like to like Trudeau 100%, and I have spoken highly of him in the past (because Trudeau knows enough about the Quantum puzzle to sound intelligent on the subject). However Trudeau preaches to tolerate the intolerable, and that is intolerable.

However, on the most important subject, multiculturalism versus civilization, PM Trudeau brays like a common donkey.

So-called “multiculturalism” is cultural apartheid instituted as a new morality. Thus it is a particularly deep form of racism. Somalia’s famous Ayaan Hirsi Ali is in full agreement with me:Multiculturalism is moral racism, disguised as broad-mindedness.”

Trudeau: “In casual conversation, I’d even use the word barbaric to describe female circumcision, for example, but in an official Government of Canada publication, there needs to be a little bit of an attempt at responsible neutrality.” You are the irresponsible one, Trudeau! This statement, per se, makes you an enemy of humanity, let alone civilization, and disqualifies you for sitting on a throne and pontificating. Here we go for 9/11 and the Boston bombing:

It Is Our Fault That There Is A Barbaric, Savage, Ideology At War With Civilization For 13 Centuries

It Is Our Fault That There Is A Barbaric, Savage, Ideology At War With Civilization For 13 Centuries. Yeah, Right. Should We Excuse Ourselves For Nazism Too?

I am no idiot and was not born yesterday either. Why does the Prime Minister of Canada advocate “multiculturalism” and “diversity” right or wrong, sexist or not? It is important to understand this fully. Trudeau is not an idiot either, far from it, although it looks as if he were born yesterday.

Opposing opinion and finding it wrong in a way that even those who hold it have to admit it is wrong is never enough. One has also to determine if the erroneous opinion was a sincere mistake, or whether it was itself caused by a higher, hidden reason.  

In the case of Canada, the situation is clear. Canada is even larger than the USA, and yet has a smaller population than California. And a much smaller GDP. So it is a strategic decision to swell the Canadian population, come hell and high water. Canada has long opted for the strategy Merkel tried to adopt (and which is rejected by the German electorate).

Several Muslim attacks happened yesterday in the USA (remember; the Qur’an orders to commit such attacks against categories of people which cover more than 90% of the population of the West). Right the attacks (mostly) failed, but that was happenstance: one bomb did not go off, another went off in a huge, immensely strong steel garbage container, and the pipe bomb in New Jersey exploded in a void, because the US Marines race had been delayed.  Finally the attacker in Minnesota, screaming “God Is Great!”, and asking victims if they were Muslims was shot by an off-duty police officer (the Islamist State claimed the attack was conducted by one of its “soldiers”). 

Prime Minister Trudeau of Canada advocates hypocritical racism disguised as worldly tolerance:”diversity is a source of strength, not a source of weakness”, he bleats. Yes. except when “diversity” embraces Nazis and, or Salafists (is there a difference?) Trudeau does not realize that fighting sexism is also a core issue of civilization. Embracing a part of Islam which is antagonistic to both civilization and human nature, as he does, makes him an enemy of civilization. One cannot benignly tolerate this sort of maniacal intolerance.

Now, all right, one can go to some Trump rallies, and, I am sure one can come across intolerables who are really intolerable (as Hillary Clinton said). However racist supporters of Trump are not in power. Trudeau is. So Trudeau’s racist utterances, and sexist policies, should be absolutely condemned.

Philosophy is the love of wisdom. But what is wisdom? The set of relationships between ideas and moods which work, including how to establish such relationships. Islamist ideology works in some ways: it allows to win wars for a peculiar elite (in the desert). But it does not work in most other ways. Real wisdom works in a universal way.

Why are so many Muslims attracted by the Literal Islam of the Qur’an? Precisely because of the pro-Islamist propaganda of the Main Stream media and our oil-dependent leaders. By making “Islamophobia”, the fear of Islam, a symptom of racism (whereas the fear of Catholicism, catholicophobia, is not racist…), a victimology was offered: claim you are a victim of that racism, and the authorities will come to your help, be it by lip service alone. Sure enough, the parents of the Afghan naturalized US citizen in New York and New Jersey claimed to be victim of that “racism”. They own a restaurant. Their son planted seven bombs over the weekend. Two exploded (injuring 29 people and one robot). Ultimately, it is those who planted the notion that to fear an anti-humanist ideology is racism, who are to blame. And what was these sycophants’ ultimate motivation? Pleasing the powers that be, who got the oil, thanks to those who rule, thanks to Islam. A lot of thanks to go around, in those hall of power and academe.

This system of thought and moods is a powerful generator of extremism. A recent study in France showed that 46% of French “Muslims” are totally secularized (good!) However, and that’s horrifying, 28% of “Muslims” are “ultras”, in other words, Salafists. This is mostly attributable to the Islamophilia of leading politics.

Tolerance for racist and sexist actions is a form of tolerance for the most satanic instinct, that of destroying the many in the name of the few. Va de retro, Satanas.

Patrice Ayme’

No Philosophy, No Progress, No Civilization

September 17, 2016

Progress is necessary: all ecologies, and thus technologies, get exhausted, or exhausting. Civilization rides a bicycle, and cannot long stop anywhere.

Progress does not happen out of the blue. It is instigated by the love of wisdom (philosophy). The progress of humanity is propelled by exerting a mind, one mind, at the highest level, first, and find a new idea, or emotion. And then to make that new wisdom blossom, and propagate throughout society. How exactly this happened can help figure out how it may happen again.

The explosion of philosophy in Ancient Greece was not sparked by Socrates (contrarily to legend). The reason for the veneration of the trio constituted by Socrates, his student Plato, and  Aristotle, student of the latter, is rather sinister. Socrates launched a weasel denunciation of Direct Democracy. demolishing it because of technicalities. That turned into the Politically Correct justification of more than 20 centuries of fascism (“monarchies”) from Eire to India.

Thus Socrates was a sort of famous counter-revolutionary. He helped demolish what he profited from, Athenian civilization (Aristotle did much worse, he demolished democratic civilization itself, promoting instead a fascist plutocracy led by his most intimate friends). The ascent of wisdom and progress was fully evident by the age of Pericles, decades before. Pericles’ top advisers, including his wife, were top philosophers. They promoted the concept of Open Society (lauded in Pericles’ Funeral Oration). Arguably, the concept of Open Society, and the progress of mind it brought, was important than the entire work of Socrates.

But to understand the rise of wisdom in Greece, one has to go much earlier than Pericles’ generation. The great legislator Solon, a bit more than a century before Pericles, replaced the draconian Draco style of legislation with the opposite orientation. 

On The Left, Representation Of Solon In The US House Of Representatives. On the right, a statue of Solon.

On The Left, Representation Of Solon In The US House Of Representatives. On the right, a statue of Solon.

Solon was born around 638 BCE. He was also a poet and war leader (he secured to Athens the possession of the island of Salamis through battle and Sparta’s arbitrage). Solon replaced systematic execution for any crime, by subtle and appropriate laws. More controversially, he erased debts (the ones in the know, his friends, profited from it).

Solon launched Athens into that Open Society managed around ideas and progress. Solon was a great traveller, and left Athens for more than a decade. Even earlier, Homer played an important role, with his tales of how the deepest emotions mess up with the world, or lift it beyond heavens. 

So why was Greece so wise? Because that’s how it rose to prominence. 

Similarly, the renewed rise of wisdom in the European Middle Ages did not happen just in the famed “renaissance” around 1450 CE. It had started much earlier. A full millennium earlier, when the Franks founded their civilization on tolerance. By 650 CE, the Merovingian Franks, by then the great power of Europe, thanks to their control of Gallia and Germania, outlawed slavery (under Bathilde, the slave who became queen). That was followed by nationalization of the Catholic church, fighting off three massive Islamist invasions, mandatory education, total religious tolerance, and a “renovation of the Roman empire”. By then all religious establishment had to teach everybody secularly, founding the university system. 

The Economist wrote a critique of “The Dream of Enlightenment” (by Anthony Gottlieb) “on some of the great Enlightenment thinkers, including Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Locke, Leibniz, Hume, Rousseau and Voltaire…

They were freelance philosophers working independently of the universities, criticising mainstream views and liberating thought from its academic straitjacket and neo-Aristotelian dogmatism. They were dangerous thinkers all, one publication away from exile, imprisonment or worse for their radical views on religion, politics and morality. Spinoza was the subject of a cherem, the equivalent of excommunication from the Amsterdam Sephardic synagogue; Locke disguised his authorship… spent a number of years in self-imposed exile; Hume chose to publish his “Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion” posthumously; and Rousseau fled to England when persecuted in mainland Europe”. 

One cannot underestimate the terror generating new thinking brings. Most of the top thinkers where on the run, or in terrible trouble, fleeing here and there, from Giordano Bruno to Kepler, Galileo,  to Descartes, Hobbes, etc. In “What is Enlightenment?” (1784), Immanuel Kant used the motto Sapere aude (“Dare to know”) 

This all started five centuries earlier. By 1100 CE, the great philosopher, lover and songwriter Abelard was called “our Aristotle” by Peter the Venerable, head of Cluny (the largest religious establishment). Abelard fought Saint Bernard. Cathars and later Vaudois appeared in short order. Abelard got excommunicated, then readmitted to the Church (?), etc. 

It was even worse under Islam. A bit after the war between Abelard and Saint Bernard, the famous Ibn Rushd (“Averroes” in Western historiography), an Islamist judge, philosopher and doctor to Caliph (of Spain) was banned, and his books destroyed for writing “The Incoherence of the Incoherence” against a religious fanatic who had attacked philosophy in The Incoherence of the Philosophers  (Ibn Rushd got rehabilitated, shortly before his death, after a great victory of Caliph Al Mansour). 

In the next five centuries, many thinkers would be legally executed. Executed for offenses such as printing books; the Sultan Francois Premier of France (soon imitated by the Sultan of Turkey) outlawed printing for a while, under the penalty of death, some of Rabelais’s friends and printers were burned alive; Rabelais himself, a well-connected top doctor, was not touched, but implicitly threatened. This courage is what the Enlightenment was built on.

Bringing people together on yesterday’s consensus is easy. Politicians love to do that. Philosophers, the real ones, do the opposite: they bring people asunder, down to the bottom of their souls, to establish tomorrow’s consensus, with superior, yet unborn ideas. The greatest leaders were definitively either advised by philosophers (for example, Charlemagne, and the US Founding Fathers) or philosophers themselves (Cicero, Caesar, Clovis, Solon, Pericles, Queen Bathilde, etc.)

We are the thinking species. Yet thinking means creation, anew. And creation means destruction, at least neurologically speaking. Loving is giving, yet the gift of really truly new thinking, is a gift of destruction. This is definitively a paradox, common people have a hard time embracing the concept and the mood behind it, as they rather embrace the mood that being a sheep in the flock is much safer.

No wonder humanity is ambivalent about real philosophers, except when they are safely dead already. 

Patrice Ayme’

The Chinese Riddle, & How To Keep It Nice

July 18, 2016

China is the other great civilizational center. The primary one being the Indo-European ensemble (which crucially incorporated Egypt, where a lot of what came to be known as Greek mathematics, was discovered).

To understand Europe, the last 500,000 years have proved necessary (Neanderthals started to burn coal, 80,000 years ago, foe example, and explored immensely deep caves, 165,000 years). In the case of China, the evolution of the last 5,000 years are crucial to understand how China became China.

 

China: A World Within The World, But Not Quite The Center Of Everything

China: A World Within The World, But Not Quite The Center Of Everything

China is the other great civilizational center. Much of what China uses as civilizational instruments was developed in situ, from writing, to the number system, to much philosophy. However, that philosophy was unbalanced, too much under the influence of Confucius (whose works have been under care from the same family inside the same city for 60 generations or more).

China developed an examination system which, in theory, enabled the most cognitively qualified to rule. Thus Mandarins and not aristocrats were in command. At least in theory.

This system, admirable in principle, was flawed in practice, as China got terminally invaded at least twice. The Mongol invasion came close to annihilation, when some of Genghis Khan’s generals proposed to exterminate the Chinese and change the ecology! (The generals knew they could turn much of China into a steppe similar to much of Mongolia, by cutting the forests and bringing massive herds of cattle, goats, sheep…)

The primary civilization center is the Indo-European ensemble (which crucially incorporated Egypt, where a lot of what came to be known as Greek mathematics, was discovered).

Now we have basically just one civilization, worldwide, so the misadventures of China are highly  instructive.

To understand Europe, the last 500,000 years have proved necessary (Neanderthals started to burn coal, 80,000 years ago). In the case of China, the last 5,000 years are crucial.

Now, granted all and any explanation can only be incomplete. What is important is to introduce new ideas, and that includes new hierarchy in what is more important, and what is not.

Right now, China seems severely influenced by the Germany of the Second Reich, and its incredible fast scientific, technological, mercantilist, and economic expansion… At the cost of a more general, more pacific mood. That uncanny comparison is quite a bit spooky. An evidence is the madness about the south of the South China Sea.

As in Germany, starting 165 years ago, increasing aggressiveness towards foreign powers seems to be the glue which increasingly keeps the dictatorship together. In the case of Germany, the increasing aggressiveness, which had started by attacking Denmark in 1853, went on with the catastrophic apotheosis, encouraged by the US presidency. of the savage surprise attack on the world of August 1914. Naturally enough, it was followed by the encore of Nazism. Yes, it’s not a reassuring comparison. But the same psychohistorical forces are in play. Psychohistory rules national moods and the actions they lead to (Isaac Asimov wrote a book on this; the real, live, historical case was the second foundation of the Roman Empire, the “Renovation of the Roman Empire made official by Roman emperor Charlemagne…). 

On the reassuring side, China adopted, and accepted to be guided, by a huge chunk of Western philosophy, a Franco-German contraption sensitive to the nastiness of great capital. That was a huge philosophical revolution, but it was made possible only by a great openness of mind (in part learned in Paris by the top leader of Communist China, such as Chou En Lai and Deng Tsiao Ping)

China used to rile against capital. Yet, who has the most capital under command in the world, after the USA? China.

Nevertheless, to accept a distant philosophy, extremely alien to China, China had to open its collective mind and eyes gigantically. And intelligence itself is something one can learn to acquire.

The kindest attitude with China right now may well be to show to it that its aggressiveness in the south of the South China sea can only lead to war, even a world war. And that China cannot win it. Australia has started to do just that by acquiring, with US help, a fleet of the best submarines in the world, made in France. (In World War Two, after the Americans learned to make torpedoes which actually exploded, their submarines were one of the main factors in closing the Pacific to the fascist Japanese military.)

The Han are dominating the Middle Kingdom as never before. One hundred nations are now submitted to them. Their languages are even disappearing. (My own daughter is learning Mandarin, BTW.) That’s all very good for the Han. They are now very much richer than before, not just from their considerable industry and genius, and change of philosophy, adopting instead European philosophy. Those increased riches also come from occupying Tibet and Xinjiang.

The Han should not push their luck with aggressive military and imperialistic distractions. Adopting just a piece of European philosophy and history, while ignoring the rest, plenty of Dark Side in full evidence and how to control it, can only lead to an unbalanced mind. And, from there, dangerous, irreversible courses of action… Of the sort Europe is all too familiar with.    

Patrice Ayme’

 

From Sentience, To Reason & Philosophy

February 17, 2016

Why Is It Modern To Study Ancient Philosophy?

Because one studies this way the roots of reason, as first put into digital form (that’s what writing is). One does not study ancient physics, so why ancient philosophy? Well, one should study ancient physics, that would be an occasion to mention obvious mistakes one is tempted to do, but that one should NOT to do when interpreting nature.

For example, Aristotle believed that one needed to keep on applying a force to keep on moving. That was a curious mistake: anybody running fast, or, a fortiori, galloping on top of a horse, realizes that air resistance is what necessitates to keep on applying a force. And that’s why arrows have the shape they have.

One could make arrows with other shapes: emperor Commodus amused himself by firing in the arena arrows with a crescent shaped blade. Commodus was an athlete of great physical beauty and power (said various contemporaries). The sharp crescent would hit an ostrich’s neck, and the bird would run without a head, to the amusement of spectators (they better be amused).

In serious usage arrows had a very aerodynamic shape (and even could be made to stabilize by rotation thanks to their back feathers).

Humans and Horses Are Capable of Reason. Human Reason Was Communicated to the Horse, and This Is How Horses Learn To Jump

Humans and Horses Are Capable of Reason. Human Reason Was Communicated to the Horse, and This Is How Horses Learn To Jump

[I have practiced that sport, by the way… In Africa, with stallions. Definitively, a good obstacle rider has to be able to able to communicate… reason (what else?) to the horse, in a spirit of trust and conviviality! Otherwise, death and mayhem may result… Aristotle was definitively not a rider, while Xenophon, general, superlative philosopher, and horse breeder, was.]

It took 16 centuries to correct Aristotle’s confusion of aerodynamic resistance and violation of inertia. Buridan, a physicist, philosopher and mathematician, was the first to do so, with his theory of impetus. (Even then he got confused in some detailed examples.)

Explaining to children Aristotle’s mistake should be part of the (early) teaching of physics.

In “Why is ancient philosophy still relevant?”, February 16, 2016, Massimo Pigliucci ponders:

“Why on earth am I devoting years of my life to studying (and practicing) Stoicism? Good question, I’m glad you asked. Seriously, it would seem that the whole idea of going back two millennia to seek advice on how to live one’s life is simply preposterous.

Have I not heard of modern science? Wouldn’t psychology be a better source of guidance, for instance? And even philosophy itself, surely it has moved beyond the ancient Greco-Romans by now, yes?”

Massimo finds the answer in eternal human nature:

“…there is clearly something that the Stoics, the Epicureans, the Peripatetics (followers of Aristotle), the Buddhist, the Confucianists and so forth clearly got right. There is something they thought about and taught to their students that still resonates today, even though we obviously live in a very different environment, socially, technologically, and otherwise.

The answer, I think, is to be found in the relative stability of human nature. This is a concept on which the Hellenistic philosophers relied heavily, though they didn’t use that specific term.”

Notice, by the way, that all our mathematics and physics rest on what the Ancient Greeks knew which happened to be right (although much of their mathematics came from Egypt, for example “Euclid’s Theorem”; also the Greek had modern number system half baked, the final baking happened in India, and were christened “Arabic Numerals”, although they were brought to the West by a Persian…)

Thinking works in a hierarchized way: from the obvious to the extremely subtle revealed by the latest neurology. The Greeks were the first to write extensively on the first aspects of thinking, so their considerations have to be considered first, whenever one studies thinking. So they stay first, and always will, as long as the memory of the past survives.

Massimo: “For Aristotle, humans were essentially rational (meaning capable of reason) social animals. The Stoics agreed, and in fact their theory of oikeiosis (“familiarization”) was essentially an account of developmental moral psychology… Crucially, although other primates seem to share in our natural instinct for sociability, they are incapable of extending it by reason.”

And the big question is: what is reason?

Reason can be put in words, thus expressed digitally. But it can also be transferred by a drawing (that’s not digital). Basically reason is neurology that works, and which can be transferred to other minds.

So reason can be transferred to a dog, or a horse (say when one teaches a horse to jump obstacles).

A sentient animal is one with feelings, it can reason. However, it cannot communicate that reason easily. Although it can learn through communications: songbirds are known to learn from other birds, more or less well, to make more or less complicated songs: educating birds to make mini symphonies is national craze in Indonesia.

Philosophy is the study of reason for reason’s sake. Animals do not do that industrially, nor tribally, but our species and two or three before that, obviously do.

Patrice Ayme’

MINIMIZING EVIL As the Greatest Good

January 27, 2016

Do the ends justify the means, or the means, the ends? Neither. A completely different answer awaits. We have to change our considerations of complex issues from unsophisticated, uncouth, flying blind, to something much more subtle, inspired by the turn towards more subtle analysis that physics itself had to take, in the last three centuries (just post-Newton).

“Maximization of agency towards greater good”… is the only good. Why?

Because the world is fast, and getting faster, exponentially. We are confronted to an increasingly violent shoot storm. Philosophy is not just a consolation anymore. Philosophy has become the only pragmatic way out of a gathering multidimensional cataclysm.

Yes, it is also an excretion storm. Humanity is excreting, all over the planet, creating lethal imbalances all over. Contemplate the Great Barrier Reef, in Australia, one of the world’s greatest biological structures. 2,300 kilometers long, 350,000 square kilometers in area. Yet, it is suddenly threatened by utter destruction. Why? Australian agriculture, all these plants, eaten by all these hungry vegetarians, out there. (In full truth, sugarcane is the primary culprit.)

Crown of Thorns, 35 Centimeters Across: Science Always Beats Fiction!

Crown of Thorns, 35 Centimeters Across: Science Always Beats Fiction!

Yes, of course, the spikes will make you bleed, and they are venomous.

Massive production of plants requires a lot of phosphates, and other fertilizers. The latter gets into the sea. One thing leads to another. And then the babies of a killer starfish, the Crown of Thorn starfish, survive at roughly 100 times their natural rate. And the ladies Crown of Thorns are rather prolific: they produce up to twenty million eggs each. What is the Crown of Thorns prefered diet? Live coral. Crown of Thorns have already eaten their way through roughly half the Great Barrier Reef.

It is a science fiction situation, it requires a science fiction solution (philosophy will tell you as much). There are too many killer starfishes already. One needs killer robots. They are been developed: the starfish terminators have eyes, and they recognize Crown of Thorns with 99.9% precision, and inject them with bile, to which the Crown of Thorns is highly allergic.

Autonomous killer robots at sea: what could go wrong? Are sharks next? Of course! Not to terminate the species, but to make the swimmers safe (we could reprogram for plutocrats, some will insinuate…). Proper usage of philosophical evil optimization theory shows that, only this way, is evil minimized.

So welcome, killers robots!

Take another example: lack of awareness, and the evil Clintons, helped by the Bush of Oblahblah, let the financial plutocracy grow completely out of control. The silly ones will give money, clothing, even food, and feel emphatic, happy about themselves, and their pacific tendencies. Does the Will to Peace generate peace? A philosophical question. And the answer is awful: when a bushel of wheat goes from the American Middle  West to Africa, it is bought and sold virtually, by the financial traitors… No less than 2,000 times! Then they live in plush mansions. Of course those traitors are culprit. But so are those who let them thrive, namely all those ready to vote for crooks (names starting with “C”).

Shoot storm? Yes, not just animal waste and dirt that is flying, but outright bullets. To wit: extremely violent wars out of nowhere. Contemplate Rwanda, Somalia, the Islamist State. Worse could be around the corner: a (nuclear) war of India with Pakistan, quickly generalizing, is imaginable.

Science fiction, some will sneer, from the bottom of their feel-good ignorance.

But 2015 was considerably warmer than 2014, which was, itself, the warmest year, ever, by a long shot. Greenland is melting, fast. A collapse of ice shields in Antarctica, little talked about, looks imminent (at least to me).

Science fiction, some will scoff, and turn around, to study nothing. Yet, look at the Zika virus, propped by global warming. The USA is scrambling to study it. It did not exist six months ago, as a problem for WHO. Now it’s a total panic. Brazil just attributed 4,000 cases of microcephaly to that virus carried by mosquitoes. Four countries advised women not to get pregnant, more will follow. Tomorrow.

Genetic engineering may be a way to stop Zika. Otherwise, massive usage of poisons (which

already started). This sort of question are all highly philosophical, they are always choices between an evil, and the other.

In Libya, the West, led by France, destroyed a bloody despotic regime, practicing mass murder, but then, the West dropped the ball. On the philosophical ground of non-intervention, and Obama “leading from way behind” France, the West let the Natives argue between themselves to find out how they would organize this country, which is more than 4,000 years old.

That was a serious debate: Libyans have had some outstanding issues, of civilizational grade, for millennia (so do Algeria, Tunisia, even Morocco). One of these issues is whether the 3,500 years old alphabet could, or even ought, to be used, in parts where it still exists, rather than the youngish alphabet brought by the invading Arab armies, armed with their “Submission” (= Islam).

However, profiting from the chaos, the Islamist State moved in. And now it’s moving ever more, as the West is destroying it in the Orient.Now France wants to attack and destroy the Islamist State in Libya. Is this philosophically correct? (I think so, can’t wait!)

Philosophical questions are everywhere, and they are not just fascinating, but they have to drive policy. The situation is much more acute than when Seneca was advising emperor Nero, or when emperor Marcus Aurelius was playing stoic philosopher.

To all these questions, only one context in which to frame the answers: relativity. Relativity of knowledge, relativity of evil, relativity of consequences, relativity of action.

So yes, “maximization of agency towards greater good” is where it’s at. Not just where ethics ought to be at, but where action should be.

(Massimo P. and his friends have what seems to me roughly the same approach to goodness of “maximizing agency“; see: “From ancient to modern From ancient to modern Stoicism — part I“. It’s pretty clear that it was always the overriding principle of my approach to philosophy. I thank Massimo in passing for giving me the occasion of planting my claws and fangs into something juicy, in other word, making my thoughts more, well, effective by providing a debating ground.)

Can we find some inspiration in science? Yes, of course. Look at physics: energy is not of the essence. The essence is the potential, not the absolute energy. It is the potential which sits on the right hand side of the De Broglie-Schrodinger equation. Thus it’s the potential which acts (contemplate the Bohm-Aharanov effect).

Physics is dominated by the principle of least action (found by Maupertuis, during the Enlightenment). Least action of evil, such is modern stoicism. Keeping in mind that inaction is itself a form of action.

Notice that the old problem of the “ends which justify the means” has been completely reformulated in a much larger physical and philosophical universe. The entire, immense power of modern logic, mathematics and physics can then be brought to bear. It is not a question of carrying the equations over: equations constitute only logical foam. What is deeper than the equations, what really gets the logic going, is the context they represent.

For example, a way to formulate Quantum Physics, related to the Least Action Principle, is to consider the “sum over histories”… Well, just as human history itself. Causalities, entangled, are all over histories.

Ethics has got more complicated, but, in this vastly richer landscape, minimal energy, minimal evil solutions abound.

This is not just the great age of science, it’s the greatest age of philosophy. In the age of Seneca and Marcus Aurelius, the empire was in danger, from forces, in and out. Now civilization itself is in question, and even worse, the biosphere itself is threatened. It’s an ecology most propitious to a blossoming of philosophy. The greatest questions ever, await the greatest answers.

And much inspiration has to come from science, whose main job is not just to find the facts, but sophisticated logics to give them meaning. Today’s most sophisticated logics and mathematics are far ahead of the best known yesterday.

We want goodness? Let’s maximize agency towards goodness. The Principle of Least Evil, in other words.

Patrice Ayme’