Posts Tagged ‘Plato’

LOGIC IS MATERIAL

April 11, 2018

Logic doesn’t just matter, it is matter.

FUNDAMENTAL PROCESSES, INCLUDING COMPUTATIONS, LOGIC, ARE MATERIAL OBJECTS:

Is there something besides matter? No. What is matter? Ah, two types of things, corresponding to wave-particle duality… Or, as I put it often, process-quanta duality.

***

We should have come a long way in 24 centuries, yet some keep repeating ideas of Plato, an Athenian plutocrat. Plato (and his teacher Socrates and student Aristotle) had an extreme right wing agenda, much of it pursued later as the “Hellenistic” regimes (dictatorships), imperial fascist Roman Principate, and the rage against innovation. Plato’s metaphysics has much in common, if not everything, with Christianism (this explains its survival…)

And now for a word from this essay’s sponsor, the gentleman contradicting me. Robin Herbert replied to me: …”many don’t seem to grasp that the classical logics are not tied to any physical assumptions… the classical logics are not tied to any physical assumptions. I think the problem is that we have this term “classical physics” and another term “classical logic” and people think they are related. They aren’t.”

Are we that stupid? I guess, our enemies wish we were…

***

Only those who have never heard of Platonism would not be familiar with the notion that logic is not “material”: it is at the core of Plato’s view of the universe. And also at the core of Christianism, so help me not god!

I beg to oppose the dematerialization of logic. Differently from Plato, I have a careful observation of nature, Quantum theory, the mechanics of atomic theory, to back me up. Frankly, relative to what we know now, Plato is an ignorant twerp. So why the reverence for his antique antics? My unforgiving mood is driven in part by the observation that the Ancient Greeks had plenty of holes in their axiomatics… Especially in mathematics (where they made several ludicrous mistakes, such as forgetting non-Euclidean geometry, generations after discovering it).

If logic is not tied to “physics”, or what’s material, we want to know what that is. But, as I am going to show, all we do is go back to the Gospel of John as the ultimate authority (itself straight out of Plato!)

Twentieth Century physics has revealed that physics is made of “Fundamental Processes” (see the very nice, pre-QCD book by that title from Feynman)… And Quanta. The former, the processes, are described by waves, the second, those lumps of energy, by particles.

Thus, saying that “logic is not physics” is tantamount to saying that logic is neither a fundamental process (or set thereof), nor quanta (or set thereof).

Orbitals to an electron around a proton (the Hydrogen atom), visualized in 2013 (Phys. Review). What you are looking at is one electron, when it is delocalized. The electron is the cloud. The cloud is a process. The process is what an atom of hydrogen is, 99.9999999% of the time… At least…

There are several problems with such a claim: far from being immaterial, any logic shows up as quanta (aka “symbols”), and is itself a process (classical logic rests on implication, the simplest process:”if A then B”, and chains therefrom). Logic shows up as nothing else, so that’s what it is: a bunch of fundamental processes and quanta. This is the modern philosophy of physics, in action! (It originated with Newton and Laplace, and was then amplified by Jules Henri Poincaré)

There was a famous exchange between Heisenberg and Einstein; the latter, at the peak of his glory, accused the young Quantum physicist to have only put observables in his matrix quantum theory. Heisenberg coolly smirked back that it was Einstein who taught him to do so! (Constructively infuriated, ten years later Einstein rolled out the EPR thought experiment, alleging a contradiction between Quantum Mechanics and LOCAL “elements of reality“. The effect was relabeled “entanglement” by Schrödinger, now the central notion in Quantum theory… Einstein should have realized that it was this very delocalization which made atoms wholes…)    

So what’s “material”? What’s observable! And what is observable? (Delocalized) fundamental processes and (localized, yet ephemeral) quanta. Claiming that the logos is neither is (implicitly) done in the first sentence of the Gospel of John, and John adds that its name is god. We of the natural school shall excommunicate those evoking god. Those who claim “logic”, the logos, escapes nature (= physis) are just followers of whom John followed, namely Plato. They are Platocrats, a particular prototype of plutocrats…

Fundamental processes are described by equations, but that doesn’t mean the equations are “real”, beyond symbols (“quanta”) of a medium. First of all, equations are approximations: a classical computer can only make a finite number of operations (differently from a full Quantum computer, which works with a continuum, the circle S1). Instead what is really real is the fundamental process(es) the equations approximate.

Indeed, consider atoms: they are real, “indivisible” (sort of)… and yet mostly made of delocalized processes known as electronic orbitals.  It is the delocalization which creates the substance: see the picture above… 

So is a classical computation a real object, in the aforementioned sense? Yes, because it is a FINITE set of fundamental processes (moving electrons and photons around). However, if the proposed computation, or logical deduction, takes an infinite amount of time, it becomes something that never comes to exist. (That’s an allusion to a classical computer trying to duplicate Quantum computers; in the case of the chlorophyll molecule, no classical computer could do what the molecule, viewed as a Quantum computer, does!)

In this view, call it material logic, time, whether we want it or not, whether logicians realize it, or not, is an essential part of logic: the time-energy principle de facto granulates time (we need infinite energy for infinitely small time intervals, hence for would be infinite logical computations). To say time is not part of logic is another of these oversights (as Archimedes did, implicitly using what non-standard analysts, Robinson and Al. called “Archimedes Axiom”, which excludes infinitely small (or large) integral numbers). Any piece of logic comes with its own duration, namely how many steps it needs in its simplest form.   

Quantum computing uses one (hypothesized) infinity: the assumed instantaneity of what I call the Quantum Interaction (aka Quantum Collapse). That enables to delocalize Quantum logic (no distributive law of propositional logic!), as delocalized Quantum processes, and this is why it can’t be classically duplicated (aka “Quantum supremacy”).

Happy processes!

Patrice Aymé

Is Philosophy Just About Death? Should Religion Be Mostly About Suffering? No! Such Moods Underlay Plutocracy!

December 27, 2017

Abstract: DEATH AND SUFFERING, THE FUNDAMENTAL PSYCHO DRIVERS inherited from Platonism, Stoicism, Abrahamism (Judeo-Christo-Islamism), Buddhism & Nihilism weaken minds and resolve. This is exactly why they have been imposed on the (clueless) masses.

Philosophy, especially the philosophy obsessed by death and suffering, drives politics. Death and suffering obsessed philosophies, and religions are Pluto friendly, and make it easier for plutocrats to govern us all.

Politics is practical philosophy. Plutocracy made sure that the ruling philosophies, and religions, would serve it well, by rejecting life and threatening the masses with pain and anxiety. The obsession they nourished with death and suffering, both of which have to be avoided at the cost of enjoying life in optimal honor and comfort, are the twin pillars of the sheep mentality they have imposed on most of humanity. Islam is a death cult, right: it’s all about Allah, who, in the end, throws nearly everybody “into the fire“. However the root of that disease are much deeper, they pervade the Greco-Roman West. The cult of Jesus Christ is basically a cosmetically improved version of Socrates’ Death Cult.

And no, Hinduism provides no relief. It is more of the same, from a different angle.

***

Plato, Or Philosophy As Fake News:

Some philosophers, to this day, claim that philosophy’s justification is to prepare for death (the same critters generally boast that philosophy is just “footnotes to Plato”, as if they should be proud of their lack of progress; notice in passing that philosophy as footnotes to Plato is an Anglo-Saxon notion, and it partakes to the general Anglo-Saxon plutocratic will to dismiss philosophy as a “worthy object of study”, to quote Bertrand Russell) .

The idea of reducing philosophy to a death rehearsal is presented by that old fascist, Plato, as an exposition from Socrates. Plato claims that life is all about making nice with the “Gods”. Life with the “Gods” will be better, so we may as well not be too attached to life.

Of course Plato and his savant parrot, Socrates were lying: their ives demonstrate it. They were actually party animals, depraved drinkers indulging in a life of wanton sex, luxury and commerce with all the dictators they could find or fabricate.

Even the judgment and execution of Socrates couldn’t stop them. The smartly vicious Aristotle was back with the same trick on steroids later, and when he fled Athens, made the self-aggrandizing statement that he wanted to save Athens from sinning against philosophy again. In truth, Aristotle was busy demolishing Greek democracy, and succeeded. 

Montaigne and his castle, as seen by Salvador Dali, 1947. Notice the “Hommage to France” at the bottom, by the Catalan Dali. The infuriating secret of Western Civilization, now world, is that it’s anchor has been France. Not sure it will be the case looking forward considering the results of children scholastic tests TIMMS, PIRLS, and PISA.!

***

The idea that life is nothing, and the “gods” everything, enabled the rule of the 1%:

The idea was recycled first by the Stoics, modest critters crawling by the feet of tyrants, while protesting of their soothing capacity to endure any abuse. The Christians five centuries later, were loud and clear that this world was nothing and making love to Jesus in the after world was all what matters. The Muslim ran away with the idea another half millennium after that. In the Qur’an the Jews are condemned because they “would like to live 1,000 years”, and nothing is more noble and richer in rewards to die for “God”..

Was Socrates the first Jihadist? Jihadists, apparently following Socrates, claim that life is nothing, while pleasing and obeying the “God(s)” everything. An Athenian jury thought so that Socrates’ advocated preference for death should be honored, and condemned him accordingly, for “perverting the youth” (long story; notice similarity with what should be done to Jihadism). Socrates was given an opportunity to escape, but as genuine Jihadist are won to do, he prefered to die for his Great Beyond, full of nice “Gods”.

This “lust for death”, the most acute form of nihilism, went so far that it was condemned by Seneca in “Moral Letters to Lucilius”:

“The grave and wise man should not beat a hasty retreat from life; he should make a becoming exit. And above all, he should avoid the weakness which has taken possession of so many, – the LUST FOR DEATH. For just as there is an unreflecting tendency of the mind towards other things, so, my dear Lucilius, there is an unreflecting tendency towards death; this often seizes upon the noblest and most spirited men, as well as upon the craven and the abject. The former despise life; the latter find it irksome.”

Seneca explains in other parts that the description of Socrates’s death was much meditated upon and emulated by many in the Roman elite, including Scipio, of the famous Scipio family, one of Cato’s generals, in the war against Pompey. A little example of how Plato inflected history… Christianism is the lust for death writ so large, with the brandishment of the nailed, writhing naked Jesus as its very grotesquely cruel and threatening symbol. It is astounding that Islam succeeded to lust for death even more than Christianism itself.

In some sense even the Aztecs were less lusting for death than the Christians were. The Aztecs tried to capture in war their enemies alive, so they could sacrificed on the top of magnificent pointy pyramids; that made the Aztec religion in a sense less bloody than Christianism, as the Aztecs discovered to their sorrow, too late! The Aztecs were in particular disgusted by the elaborated tortures the Conquistadores inflicted. Roasting Aztec nobility alive all night long was standard treatment, as far as the Spaniards were concerned. It no doubt reflected in their minds what their “Lord” had supposedly gone through, and had redeeming values.

As Nietzsche pointed out, European nobility’s operational morality was the opposite of Christianism. Yet, they were entangled: Christianism lust for death and suffering enabled the nobility to inflict maximal death and suffering, in the name of “religion”. When the commander of the crusade against the Cathars was told that one couldn’t tell who was Christian, and who was a Cathar, he famously replied:“Brulez-les tous, Dieu reconnaitra les siens” (Burn them all, Allah will recognize his own). That was not immediately cathartic. It should have been. This explains why Western Europe got rid of “God”. Now He is back in Arabic translation (“Allah”). And should be equally repulsed, lest Europe wants to end up like Syria.

***

Montaigne thought the obsession with death was poppycock:

Ever since they made a superficial reading of the Old Ones, simplistic “philosophers” have claimed that the aim of philosophy is to prepare for death. This reflects a lack of experience on the part of the beholders. Montaigne corrected this. Once, Montaigne was knocked of his horse by another horseman going at a full gallop. He described the incident in great detail in his “Essays”. He nearly died. His conclusion is that death can come unannounced, all of a sudden, and does not have to be painful. The whole experience was so disconcerting and weird, preparing for it would be completely impossible.

At this point he adds [free translation by yours truly, to make Montaigne more understandable]

“Nature herself assists and encourages us: if the death be sudden and violent, we don’t have the opportunity to fear; if otherwise, I perceive that as I engage further in my disease, I naturally enter into a certain loathing and disdain of life. I find I have much more difficulty to digest the perspective of dying, when I am well in health, than when languishing of a fever; and by how much I have less to do with the advantages of life, by reason that I begin to lose the use and pleasure of them, by so much I look upon death with less terror. Which makes me hope, that the further I remove from the life, and the nearer I approach to death, I shall the more easily exchange the one for the other.”

In case one does not get it, Montaigne hammers away:

“Not only the argument of reason invites us to it — for why should we fear to lose a thing [life], which being lost, cannot be lamented? — but, also, seeing we are threatened by so many sorts of death, is it not infinitely worse eternally to fear them all, than once to undergo one of them? … What a ridiculous thing it is to trouble ourselves about taking the only step that is to deliver us from all trouble! As our birth brought us the birth of all things, so in our death is the death of all things included. And therefore to lament that we shall not be alive a hundred years hence, is the same folly as to be sorry we were not alive a hundred years ago. … Long life, and short, are by death made all one; for there is no long, nor short, to things that are no more.”

It is of course not that simple: most painting of old famous men have a young girl, probably a granddaughter praying and crying on the death-bed (consider the deaths of Presidents Jackson and Washington). Desolate persons are always in attendance, crying. When we die, we live our loved ones behind. And if they loved us too, and they probably do, they will be deprived forever of our company. So, contrary to what Montaigne says, the loss of life can, and is, lamented. Simply, not by us. But what would we have been without the others?  

***

Is Buddhism A Pampered Caprice from The Wealthiest, For the Wealthiest??

The next prey we will devour today is the plump, jolly Buddha. Buddha, a pampered Prince (not just a plutocratic multi billionaire), naturally feared suffering more than anything. After all, he was not used to it. Suffering is something his class offered common people in abundance: if lower classes touched upper classes, they would be burned with a red-hot iron, where they touched, etc. From Buddha’s young perspective, as a princeling, suffering was not just something to fear, never having experienced it, but it was an humiliation, a descent to join the lower classes’ misery.

Make no mistake, suffering can be a horrendous thing, defying comprehension. Actually, it defies comprehension so much that, in its extreme forms, the brain just disconnects it. The brain probably does this with a massive release of endorphins, and other mechanisms not yet understood which block completely the pain pathways.  

Let notice in passing an important point here: the ultimate acceptance of pain, and its attendant dismissal is an evolutionary trait. But not an evolutionary trait to insure the survival of the individual (who, in the wild, when submitted to extreme pain can’t be far from death). Instead, the negation of pain profits the group, as a heroic defender will be free to concentrate on attacking the enemy, or then, counterintuitively, precisely not to hurt the predator during its dinner. This is a case where evolution acted at the level of groups and even ecosystems. (So much for the silly “selfish gene”! The real world is closer to the biosphere described in the movies “Avatar”!)

The brain is mostly in charge of ensuring survival of the individual, or the group. That’s why it evolved. Thus, in an ultimate struggle, this is the only thing the brain does. At least once, falling off a mountain in a rock avalanche in a mile high ice gully, my brain did just two things: finding an unlikely camming position between ice and granite, and mobilizing all the motor neurons, bringing hyper human strength. According to the usual mathematics of sportive performance, say at the Olympic Games, survival was impossible. But the usual parameters didn’t apply.

I had more than one close call, although another where survival was impossible. Each time, I have noticed that the brain blanks out all and any non sensory functions (in particular memorization). This happens during solo climbing: the brain shuts down unnecessary brain activity, immediately achieving what the great meditation masters are looking for (hey, it’s this, or death!) Once I was up a very pretty red and yellow, extremely exposed “Naked Edge” of Colorado front range rock, quasi-soloing the rope going straight down. I was laybacking, feet walking up close to my walking up hands holding a vertical edge. A gust of wind came, pushed and slowly turned me like a weather wane. I had to convert from laybacking position to lousy jamming. Then the wind blew the other way, and back I went. During this weird sequence, back and forth, fall forbidden, I was just making one with the rock and the wind. I clang to dear life.

Thus those who talk of death as if it were to be feared know little: as Montaigne more or less say, it will not come when our brain is in a normal state.

If one wants to embrace the future, where progress will hopefully shine, one has to dismiss the past. Contemplate for example that youthful, vigorous invigorating, open-minded vision of Palestine: young Palestinians dancing, some dressed like so-called Father Christmas, embracing modernity, life, the world, the future! The right direction for the embattled Middle Earth. (If Jesus is Socrates death cult v 2.0, Islam is Socrates death cult v. 3; and the fact Aristotle’s love of monarchy underlays the entire world political system is also something which has to be detected, understood, condemned and discarded.)

Giving an exaggerated mental space to death and suffering, while despising life, discourages rebellion against the established order. People besotted by common sense will think twice before fighting an established order whose symbol of goodness, brandished all around, is a squirming naked guy nailed on a cross.

Egyptian and Indian Plutocracies found another tricky metaphysics to discourage rebellion against the masters: the Eternal Return of the Same. That, too demonstrated the unworthiness of life, and how useless it was to try to change institutions: after all, everything will go back to what it was before.

In truth there is plenty of evidence that the “gods” were all in Socrates’ head (as he readily admits, when he talks about the “deamons” in his head; said “daemons” are so convenient an excuse, they are even found in the Qur’an!). There are no god(s), it’s all lunacy, but there are evolutions. On every sustainably habitable planet, life no doubt evolved (for indigenous life to survive, though, a long shot). And the universe also obviously evolves (although I am against the Big Bang theory, the evolution of the universe itself is in no doubt).

To be obsessed by death, suffering, and the eternal return of the same are ways to cast a maleficent spell on life, to make life, or, at least, rebellion, not worth living.  To claim that this is how to love wisdom, is equating philosophy with the love of what sustains plutocracy. Science, that means what is known with (more or less greater) certainty offered us plenty of proof for evolution. In particular evolution of our genus, the genus Homo, and of our genius, the genius of our culture, and what is now a worldwide civilization.

Rebellion against the established order is intrinsic to civilization: lack of appropriate evolution and revolution is why the Roman Republic collapsed. The Republic found itself hemmed by savage ideologies (some home-made) and tribes, while its industry became unsustainable (from a mix of social and ecological reasons). Rome had to turn back to the more total democracy it had known, and develop further coal combustion for energy production and the use of steam energized machines. Rome could have done it, it didn’t. Greatly because it was so inspired by the Socratic death cult (as we know from historiography). Lust for death? Rome itself died. Because the Greco-Roman empire didn’t embrace the future to get out of the predicament its very success had brought.

A few men, a few families took all the decisions in Rome, during the Principate and the Dominate. They were the worst, because excess select for the excessive (including Marcus Aurelius, the cruel and demented saint of the Stoics, who always sound so reasonable to the not-so-knowledgeable…)

Being completely penetrated by a death wish is exactly what the elites want their subjects to be driven by: death wish critters are easier to manipulate. If all one can look forward is death, hoping to foster a revolution against said elite is pointless. This is why death-wish superstitious religions are so frequent. A contributor to this site, SDM concurred: ‘Well said. Keep them worrying about unknowns such as an “afterlife” to accept the abuses inflicted in life.’

Indeed, yes, and even telling the low lives that, the more they suffer in real life, the greater their rewards in the famed “after life“. Thus, suffering is good, and the more suffering, the more of a gift of the elites is made to them, commoners.

In the Roman context, the death wish superstition was so-called Stoicism (not really started under a “Stoa”, but by Socrates, as I showed above). As it rejected emotions, thus full logic, Stoicism brought despair, and was a secularized prototype of Christianism (which it gave birth to, in mood space). The rise of Stoicism coincided with that of “Hellenistic” dictatorships (and contaminated the Roman Republic).

Verily, philosophy is not just to prepare death. and avoiding suffering. Philosophy is for life. And not just the life of bacteria, but the life of the mind, and the human spirit which extends it. Better philosophy is how to think better. And better is something we do, because, why not?

Patrice Ayme’

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’

 

Delusion here, observation there

February 18, 2015

A delusion is a belief held with conviction despite superior evidence to the contrary. Yes, but what is a “belief”, and what is the “evidence” and who holds it? Moreover, who is “superior”? Well, of course, the holder of superior wisdom.

Thus “delusion” is an imminently relative term.

Sometimes, it can be profitable to entertain a delusion, points out a professional philosopher in Scientia Salon in “The upside of delusional beliefs”. Just as many a psychoactive drug can be beneficial to avoid pain.

To a non-theist, all theists are delusional. And their madness is far from being always innocuous.

Viewed As A "Jew", Freud Had To Flee His Native Austria

Viewed As A “Jew”, Freud Had To Flee His Native Austria

What’s a “belief”? First of all, it’s a conclusion, an abstraction. Sincere Muslims of the Wahhabist cult decided the Qur’an, Hadith, and Sunna are real.

Someone who is not a Muslim, reading an Hadith saying that the “Messenger of God” ordered to kill all Muslims who were viewed as having abandoned Islam, will feel that the Muslims are gravely deluded.

Deluded about what?

Deluded about the whole thing. Deluded about the existence of the “Messenger of God” as really a messenger of god, and a messenger of a real god, deluded to believe really Muhammad said this, and deluded that this so-called “Messenger of God” still should be admired, followed, enacted, etc.

Tied to any delusion are entire systems of thought and moods. Including a universe of “observations”.

Once people have decided something is real, it becomes real enough. At least for them. If it has become real for them, it’s not a delusion anymore. As far as they are concerned.

Many people with cancer entertaining the delusion that they have been cured, although they are dying from it, have made the decision, at the deepest levels of their minds, to believe that they are doing well. So does the antelope devoured by the predator. What choice do they have? Making themselves even more unhappy by giving up all hope?

“Delusionem” means a “deceiving”. Sometimes we have interest to deceive ourselves. But then the question arises whether the interest is short, medium, or long term. Or if it profits one’s parents, friends, tribe, species, or highest valued principles.

American humor tends to be delusional: under the guise of playing around (ludere), it plays down (“de”), the dignity of the human spirit. That’s why it tends to be self-deprecatory.

What would be the interest of that delusion?

To please those who fear the honor of the human spirit, the plutocrats…

Self-imposed delusion is a belief that, though initially known to be false, or unlikely, has been surrendered to and accepted by the whole mind as a truth; illusion is an impression that, though false, is entertained provisionally on the recommendation of the senses or the imagination, but awaits full acceptance and may not influence action.

Delusions can hide in moods. In the USA, height is more important than in Europe.

The Fed website gave the physical height of its chair, Janet Yellen. Now that it’s clear that Yellen is not a towering figure, it will be felt that her ideas are coming short…

American CEOs, and other leaders are, in general taller (in absolute and relative terms) than their European peers. The best way to measure ideas?

This shows a delusion can show up as a mood, mostly: the citizens of the USA, at least the upper class, is more impressed by sheer physical size (reflecting a lack of other factors to evaluate greatness?)

Have human minds been designed?

Conventional Delusion: No. Evolution proceeds haphazardly.

Advanced Wisdom: Yes. Even so-called “Darwinism” selects a selection process explaining evolution is adaptable. “Signare” means to choose, mark, appoint. Clearly, at the very least “natural selection” (and especially of the quantum kind, soon to become evident) is such a choosing.

And what is selected by natural selection? A species survival. Species are designed to survive.

Survival can be short term, and psychological, in term of a dying patient, or being measured in terms of hundreds of millions of years.

Blaise Pascal wrote:’Vérité en deçà des Pyrénées, erreur au delà’ (Truth becomes falsehood when crossing a mountain range). Delusion here, observation there, goes even further.

Plato in his cave, complained all was illusion. However, the entire evolution of the human species is about acquainting ourselves with truth, abhorring illusions, embracing delusions only as drugs, psychological extensions of massive endorphin release (“useful” when devoured… Useful to the one devouring, of course!)

Evolution is a complicated thing, delusion, simple.

Patrice Ayme’