Posts Tagged ‘thinking’

The Means Don’t Justify The Ends: PC Eviscerated

November 24, 2017

THE MEANS DON’T JUSTIFY THE LOGIC. Logic is more than deduction, it’s also context. Thinking needs to be more protected than these “groups” which divide us for our masters’ convenience.

It’s a well-known proverb: the ends don’t justify the means. However, the  means do not justify the ends either. Yet, that the means justify the ends is one of the most pervasive logics out there.

It is, in particular, the foundation of Political Correctness, and that makes it into Perfect Cretinism.

The term “political correctness (adjectivally: politically correct; commonly abbreviated to PC) is used to describe language, policies, or measures that are intended to avoid offense or disadvantage to members of particular groups in society. Ironically, PC offends thinking itself. By saying thinking should be offended rather than an ethnic, superstitious religious, skin color, sex and games group, PC is saying that ethnicity, superstition, skin color, sex and games, are more important than thinking itself.  

Thinking is the hardest, but most specifically human activity. Putting a clamp on it is inhuman, a call to barbarity.

Political Correctness in the very context it uses to exist, is an aggression against what, or whom, it pretends to protect, and care about. Political Correctness’ essence is “Divide Et Impera”: it assumes there are “groups” in society. So this absolute good, Political Correctness, rests on an absolute potential evil, the existence of “groups” in society. It admits division as  a legitimate basis of society, thus to be mastered by rulers (our beloved plutocrats and their even more admired enablers, such as the elected political representatives).

The very foundation of PC is to be afraid to “offend”. But what is offensive? Anything worth doing will always offend, and that starts with complacency. Being offensive offends complacency.

Personal example: I planned to go on a big mountain run yesterday, offending many people in my environment, who naturally worry about my shenanigans, including running in tank top on the snow for a marathonic distance, out of phone range, where 25% of the oxygen is missing, while a storm is incoming, the bears are desperately looking for a last few juicy morsels to share with the ravenous mountain lions, and there is not enough snow at low elevations for long-range skiers to venture. They in turn offended me by trying to resist this glorious flight of fancy of the human spirit, doing in winter conditions what is already a very serious mountain run, in summer conditions.

I also offended myself, because nobody can sincerely like running with frozen feet in tank top when the wind is beginning to howl, on a mountain top where not even a helicopter could get, because of the incoming storm and night. However, it went well: the mind was appropriately concentrated, gliding over snow was achieved, and the feet got warm enough, much lower. I was able to sustain snow running in often sinking snow for twenty miles (no choice: the night and the snowfall were looming ever more). So here I am, enriched and fiercer than ever from this appropriately apocalyptic experience (forget books, get to know the real thing). Not seeing anyone for twenty snowy miles, in the total wilderness, made me more cognizant of the true place of Homo Sapiens in the universe, and the human spirit which gives it sense. The universe was suitably gloomy, when the azure sky was replaced by black clouds (I hope I offended plenty of people by using the word “black” in the context of a cloud) The universe was gloomy, but the spirit was indomitable, as it should!

The means don’t justify the logic: a logic is made of means (from the axioms), but also from a context, a universe. And the ends can be part of that. Yet the means, as yesterday’s run, can bring new logic to bear. (And not just on the bears.)

So not offending people? Give me a break: being human in full is about being offensive, since there are humans and they think. Thinking itself is an offense. Offend yourself, and learn something.

Patrice Ayme’

Should Truth Be Moderated?

December 18, 2016

I Think, Therefore I Attack:

The first problem is that the importance of the relationship between seeking the truth and needing some aggression to do this, is underestimated.

We think, therefore we attack. Not just your brain, but mine too. Seeking the truth involves destroying yesterday’s false, fake, naive, ill-informed certainties. (This is why a land of faith in the irrationalhas a problem producing truth.)

Truth is what is. At some point, brains which learn are informed by what is. Brains are formed into what is. Formation requires energy. Learning the truth is about brain construction. So it is energy hungry, it is a baby which needs to be fed. Or it will devour you.

Truth is why philosophers in good standing are hated by the commons: the philosophers ask the commons to spend energy, in-form their brains, spend energy, get out of their comfort zone, burn what they adored. Not only do philosophers and other deep thinkers have different brains, the ones of philosophers and thinkers being much superior, they assuredly have different epigenetics. Well, as president Franklin Roosevelt said about bankers, I welcome their hatred: I devour it, it makes me strong (even Nietzsche did not dare to say that).

In Greeks politics, as explained by Aristotle, there were “tyrants” (turannus, actually). Aristotle explained these were individuals who whipped the People (“Demos”) into a frenzy against the oligarchy in power. (Oligarchy means rule of a few.) Donald Trump is filling this role a bit, panicking the oligarchy in power and all its sycophants and servants. 

Aggression is intimately tied to deep thinking. Both require strong motivation to destroy what was, to build a better self.

Refusing To Understand Aggression Is Refusing To Understand Not Just Why & How Mammals Killed Dinosaurs, But Refusing To Understand The Primate Condition Itself

Refusing To Understand Aggression Is Refusing To Understand Not Just Why & How Mammals Killed Dinosaurs, But Refusing To Understand The Primate Condition Itself

***

US Oligarchic Plutocracy’s Religion: Moderating Truth Itself:

The US oligarchs and their own brainless mobs have argued that “fake news”, “post-truth”, the FBI and the KGB (Putin) have conspired with those who set-up the electoral college, to make them lose their privileges (soon).

Facebook, the Washington Post and the New York Times (all of them controlled by some of the richest and most oligarchically connected individuals in the world) have argued they need to moderate”, and “be moderate”. It is not just particularly ironical with the New York Times. Paul Krugman from the NYT has written, for years, that comments needed to be moderated. Or the likes of me would pervert their innocent readers by exposing them to truth. So all of my comments were excluded, because I am apparently viewed as an immoderate partisan of truth (in earlier, more pleasant times, the Times’ editors would call me, to listen to my wise opinions).

Thus the call to moderation of the New York Times pertains to the same sort of general perverse psychological strategy which brought Adolf Hitler to pretend all day long that he was all for peace and a “calm” savior of minorities.

I have come to believe that most of the economic “science” of Nobel Laureates such as Paul Krugman is just oligarchic propaganda. Actually most of what someone like Milton Friedman said about social organization, science, the state, or lack thereof viewed as an asset, arguably led to the disastrous state of affairs we are in now. Milton Friedman got the Nobel in economics, but it’s easy to show important parts of this work, with tremendous policy consequences, which were enacted (mostly by Nixon, Reagan and Clinton), are sheer counter-factual nonsense.

(For example Milton Friedman argued that the state never helped to invent anything, whereas the evidence to the contrary is overwhelming: 99% of the greatest discoveries of humanity had state support in some sense; actually the roots of the university system comes from a mood the Frankish leadership had in the Sixth Century, practices they had in the Seventh Century, and passing mandatory secular educational laws in the Eighth Century.)

That such an ignorant person as Milton Friedman spewing outrageous lies was able to steer society, not just the economy, starting with Richard Nixon, goes a long way to explain why all presidents ever since, were bad for the USA (and the world), whereas all the preceding presidents, after Hoover, were certainly good for the USA.

So the New York Times banned all my comments about “Quantitative Easing” after the first few. Why? Because I pointed out that the richest people in the world profited from it, the way QE was done, and that it was disastrous for the 99%.

***

Facebook Will Determine Truth According To The Most Hateful, And Will Check It With Servants Of Those Which Made It Rich:

Now Facebook has announced it would use its own users to detect non-truth. My own personal experience shows that, since the confrontation between Trump and the present oligarchy, I have been insulted to an unreal level. I have been condemned in public for being things I am absolutely not. In truth, I have Jewish  friends, very close Muslim friends (they host my seven-year old daughter everyday), and I am a certified alien, and condemned as such (wherever I go). I was also anti-Trump decades ago, because I did not like the way US banks helped him, and right now I am not going to be anti-Trump, just because Trump tells the truth.

So Facebook is going to empower the individuals most hateful, most ignorant, hence most belligerent, to weed out… truth. To reinforce this, Facebook will use professional “truth” determing for profit services which have been fanatically devoted to Hillary Clinton, candidate of the oligarchs and plutocrats of the present establishment. 

***

Hence a question: Should We Moderate Truth?

Of course not. That would be inhuman. Thus, if we are human for the better (plutocrats are not), we should not moderate truth. Humanity is strong, dominant, because humanity is a truth machine.

An oligarchy is always in place because the People assent to it: Aristotle, Rousseau pointed this out. That means that the minds of We The People broadly accept that the oligarchic rule is wise enough. And it is, in general, a lie.

Why? Because the oligarchy, being from a few, is not as smart as if all thoughts from all of We The People had been processed, that is exposed, considered, and debated: the Roman empire collapsed, from society-wide Alzheimer. And most civilization collapse from civilizational Alzheimer (be they the Qin, Yuan, Ming, or Kaiser Wilhelm empires, or Easter island).

***

What To Do? Learn To DEBATE Ideas.

That means insults should not be viewed as rational arguments.

For example calling Donald Trump “anti-semitic”, meaning anti-Jewish, as Paul Krugman did, 48 hours before the presidential election. In truth, Trump’s son-in-law is an “observant Jew”, and his beloved, trusted daughter Ivanka converted to “observant” Judaism, when she was 27… Examples like this show that the “Democratic” pundits were deliberate promoters of lies.  

Viewed from afar, the entire organization of US society is a lie. The Democratic Party was a Demoncratic (= plutocratic) Party. And this is the truth. Yes, that’s also an insult, but insults which abstract truth are alright, and sometimes necessary. The problem is when the “truth” turns out to be lies (as the rock group the Jefferson Airplane put it 48 years ago in a famous song, “Somebody to Love“).

There should be no moderation in the art of thinking the truth.  Especially in these times, when civilization is destroying its home.

Those who claim that truth should be moderated are not just enemies of humanity and all its values, but enemies of the biosphere itself.

Patrice Ayme’

 

.

 

 

 

Lousy Jokes, Lousy Thinking

November 5, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is an extract:

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

Sounds familiar?

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

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

Patrice Ayme’

Neurons, Axons, Axioms

March 30, 2015

(Second Part of “Causality Explained”)

Axiomatic Systems Are Fragile:

Frege was one of the founders of mathematical logic and analytic philosophy. Frege wrote the Grundgesetze der Arithmetik [Basic Laws of Arithmetic], in three volumes. He published the first volume in 1894 (paying for it himself). Just before the second volume was going to press, in 1903, a young Bertrand Russell informed Frege of a dangerous contradiction, Russell’s paradox (a variant of the Cretan Liar Paradox). Frege was thrown in total confusion: a remedy he tried to apply reduced the number of objects his system could be applied to, to just ONE. Oops.

Frege was no dummy: he invented quantifiers (Second Order Logic, crucial to all of mathematics). It is just that logic can be pitiless.

If  Those Neurons Evolved Independently From Ours, Neurons Solve Thinking

If Those Neurons Evolved Independently From Ours, Neurons Solve Thinking

Neurons are (part of) the solution to the problem of thinking, a problem so deep, we cannot conceive of it. A second independent evolution of neuronicity would certainly prove that.

Truer Axiomatics Is Simpler, More Powerful:

Russell and Whitehead, colossal mathematicians and philosophers, decided to demonstrate 1 + 1 = 2. Without making “Cretan Liar” self-contradictions.

They wrote a book to do so. In the second volume, around page 200, they succeeded.

I prefer simpler axioms to get to 1 + 1 =2.

(Just define the right hand side with the left.)

It would be interesting that philsophers define what “causing” means, and what “causality” is, for us. Say with explicit examples.

I want to know what cause causes. It’s a bit like pondering what is is.

Some creatures paid as philosophers by employers know 17th century physics, something about billiards balls taught in first year undergraduate physics. (I know it well, I have taught it more than once.) Then they think they know science. All they know is Middle-Ages physics.

These first year undergraduates then to explain the entire world with the nail and hammer they know so well.

They never made it to Statistical Mechanics, Thermodynamics, etc. And the associated “Causality” of these realms of knowledge.

***

Axiomatics Of Causality With The Quantum:

How does “causality” work in the Quantum Mechanics we have?

You consider an experiment, analyze its eigenstates, set-up the corresponding Hilbert space, and then compute.

“Billiard Balls” is what seems to happen when the associated De Broglie wave has such high frequency that the eigenstates seem continuous.

So Classical Mechanical “causality” is an asymptote.

***

Know How To Dream… To Bring Up New Axiomatics

Human beings communicate digitally (words and their letters or ideograms), and through programs (aka languages, including logic and mathematics).

All of this used conventions, “rules”, truths I call axioms, to simplify… the language (this is not traditional, as many of these axioms have had names for 25 centuries).

So for example, I view the “modus ponens” (if P implies Q and P happens, then Q) as an axiom (instead of just a “logical form” or “rule of inference”).

The reason to call basic “logic forms” “axioms” is that they are more fragile than they look. One can do with, or without them. All sorts of non-classical logics do without the “excluded third law” (for example fuzzy set theory).

With such a semantic, one realizes that all great advances in understanding have to do with setting up more appropriate axioms.

***

Buridan’s Revolution, Or An Axiomatics Revolution:

In the Fourteenth Century, the intellectual movement launched by Buridan, included Oresme and the Oxford Calculators. They discovered inertia, momentum (“impetus”), graphs, the law of falling bodies, the heliocentric system (undistinguishable from the geocentric system, said Buridan, but we may as well stick to the latter, as it is in Scripture, said Buridan, wryly).

Buridan’s revolution is little known. But was no accident: Buridan refused to become a theologian, he stuck to the faculty of arts (so Buridan did not have to waste time in sterile debates with god cretins… differently from nearly all intellectuals of the time). Much of Buridan is still in untranslated Medieval Latin, that may explain it, after centuries of Catholic war against him.

http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Jean_Buridan.aspx

These breakthroughs were major, and consisted in a number of new axioms (now often attributed to Galileo, Descartes, Newton). The axioms had a tremendous psychological effect. At the time, Buridan, adviser to no less than four Kings, head of the University of Paris, was untouchable.

The philosopher cum mathematician, physicist and politician, died in 1360. In 1473, the pope and king Louis XI conspired to try to stop the blossoming Renaissance.

More than a century after his death, Buridan’s works, his new axioms, were made unlawful to read. (However Buridan was mandatory reading in Cracow, and Copernic re-published the work, as soon as he was safely ensconced within the safety of his death bed).

The mind, the brain, is quite fuzzy (in the sense of fuzzy set theory; the dreaming part; think of dendrites, prominences within synapses, starfish-like astrocytes, neurotransmitters, etc.). Axioms, and axons enable to code it digitally. So mathematization, and programmation are intrinsic human mental activities.

***

We Are All Theoretical Scientists Of The Mathematical Type:

Human beings continually draw consequences from the axioms they have, through the intermediary of giant systems of thought, and systems of mood (mentality for short).

When reality comes to drastically contradict expected consequences, mentality is modified, typically in the easiest way, with what I call an ANTI-IDEA.

For example when a number of physics Nobel laureates (Lenard, Stark) were anxious to rise in the Nazi Party, they had to reconcile the supposed inferiority of the Jews with the fact that Einstein was a Jew. They could not admit either that Poincare’ invented Relativity, as he was also of the most hated nation (and of the most anti-German fascism family in France!).

So they simply claimed that it was all “Jewish Science” (this way they did not have to wax lyrically about why they had collaborated with Einstein before anti-Judaism).

When brute force anti-ideas don’t work after all (as became clear to Germans in 1945), then a full re-organization of the axiomatics is in order.

An example, as I said, is fuzzy set theory. It violates the Excluded-Third Law.

But sometimes the reconsideration may be temporary. (Whether A and Non-A holds in the LOGIC of Quantum Mechanics, the Einstein-Schrodinger Cat, is a matter of heated debate.)

***

 Quantum Logic:,Both In & Out Of This World:

The removal of old logical axioms can be definitive. For example the Distributive Law of Propositional Calculus fails in Quantum Logic. That has to do with the Uncertainty Principle, a wave effect that would be etched in stone, were it not even more fundamental.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_logic

***

Verdict? Neurons, Axons, And Axioms Make One System:

We have been playing with axioms for millions of years: they reflect the hierarchical, axon dominated, neuron originated most basic structure of the nervous system.

Why?

Well, the neuronal-axonal skeleton of minds is probably the lowest energy solution to the problem of thinking in the appropriate space. It has just been proposed neurons evolved twice:

https://www.quantamagazine.org/20150325-did-neurons-evolve-twice/

We do not just think axiomatically, but we certainly communicate axiomatically, even with ourselves. And the axiomatics are dynamical. Thus causes learn to fit effects.

The fact this work is subjective, in part, does not mean it does not have to do with nature. Just the opposite: causality is nature answering the call of nature, with a flourish.

Human mentality is a continual dialogue between nature inside (Claude Bernard) and nature outside.

Changing axioms is hard work: it involves brain re-wiring. Not just connecting different neurons, but also probably modifying them inside.

Mathematicians have plenty of occasions to ponder what a proof (thus an explanation) is. The situation is worse than ever, with immense proofs only the author gets (Fermat’s Last Theorem was just an appetizer), or then computer-assisted proofs (nobody can check what happened, and it’s going to get worse with full Quantum Computers).

Not all and any reasoning is made to be understood by everybody. (Mathematicians have to use alien math they don’t really understand, quite often.)

Yes, thinking is hard. And not always nice. But somebody has to do it. Just remember this essence, when trying to communicate with the stars: hard, and not always nice.

Patrice Ayme’

Three Neurons, Free Will

March 15, 2015

Modern Slaves Are Predictable, Free Worms Are Not:

Enough of these sad songs about how plutocracy, stupidity, cowardice and greed rule! Worms are smart, and willful! Yes, even worms have Free Will. Too bad for those who thought god controlled everything. Too bad for those who thought animals were machines. Too bad for those controlled by a decerebrating media: they are predictable, whereas worms are not.

That worms have free will is what a study led by Cori Bargmann shows. She is, among other titles, Torsten N. Wiesel Professor, head of the Lulu and Anthony Wang Laboratory of Neural Circuits and Behavior at Rockefeller University (Americans love complicated titles, they aspire to aristocracy; Wiesel a Swedish neurologist, got the Nobel, and was president of Rockefeller).

Brainy Blonde Cori Bargmann “Think Like A Worm”

Brainy Blonde Cori Bargmann “Think Like A Worm”

Researchers can genetically engineered just two, or three neurons in the worm’s head to glow bright green if those neurons respond.

Each neuron in the worm’s brain is assigned a three letter name. By zapping specific neurons with a laser beam, the neuron’s role is deduced from whatever function the worm lost.

So doing, working through the 302 neurons of Caenorhabditis elegans, Cornelia Bargmann discovered that just one neuron control worm hibernation and that worms have a sense of smell, and taste.

In 2011, Bargmann was asked what would be required to understand the worm’s nervous system fully. “You would want to understand a behavior all the way through, and then how the behavior can change. That goal is not unattainable.”

Well, in the end, I believe the behavior of neurons will be found to boil down to Quantum, or even SUB-Quantum physics. So, in the end, there will be no full understanding, just good guesses.

This is indeed what Bargmann discovered in 2015 points towards.

[See below much of the press release from Rockefeller. Also a 2011 NYT’s article on Bargmann’s lab, “In Tiny Worm, Unlocking Secrets of the Brain” may help.]

***

FREE WILL WORM GNAWING OLD PHILOSOPHY:

First, let me philosophize on this recent scientific discovery, which is bound to shatter many old illusions. Philosophy means guess further, or observe, what it all means, or could mean.

Saint Bernard made a rather enlightened observation: “the animal spirit or soul is limited by time – it dies with the body.” Descartes, five centuries later, advanced the grotesque thesis that animals were machines. It was grotesque, because anybody familiar with animals can tell they have free will.

Now neurologists have put Free Will down to as little as three neurons.

Indeed, then, worms are not machines, at least not in the classical sense. Given an input, they behave in unpredictable way, differently from classical machines. That is what the neurologists found.

Do we know of machines behaving that way? Yes. Quantum machines. A Quantum machine is driven by the unpredictable certainty of Quantum Waves.

Are worms then Quantum machines? Yes and no, as Abelard would say. Not necessarily, but probably.

Worms were exposed to a stimulus, a delicious smell. The same smell, always, but it did not give rise to the same reaction. Sometimes worms wormed their way towards the source of the smell, sometimes not.

Conclusion?

The worms’ thinking prevent us to predict its behavior. (Worms are smarter than politicians, the latter being thoroughly predictable!)

Plato famously considered his cave, where people were described as watching shadows on a wall. That was supposed to depict the relationship between humans and reality. The image is still popular among philosophers, and so consequences of it trickle down to the masses.

Plato’s picture is interesting, and it sure applies to propaganda from the powerful, and the way it is received by most. But only as such. As a depiction of how the minds of free worms, let alone, free humans, works, it fails utterly.

However, as far as what science says, and thus, what philosophy ought to confirm, buttress, and fly from, Plato’s picture is now completely obsolete, deprived of reality and imagination.

If a network composed of only three neurons can have an internal mind of its own, a cave of its own, we have to review and change, the concept of mind.

So, what is a mind? A mind, even reduced to three neurons, a network of a mind, has its own mind. How could that be?

Minds are worlds, this is why and how they will. Let me explain.

Quantum Physics describes the behavior of Quantum Waves. Quantum Waves sort-of think (one thousand and one naïve philosophers screaming at this point).

What is thinking? Roughly, “looking”, or perceiving (somehow) what is out there, and then conducting a computation (of sorts) taking what is out there in consideration.

This is exactly what Quantum Waves do.

The roundworm, our hero of will, has 2,000 genes controlling its sense of smell (twice what the rats have, and rats have excellent olfaction). Roundworms do not hear, and do not see, they are all about smell.

That world of smell occupy (part of) their 302 neurons, and build up the rest.

Could we made a “classical” model of a three neuron network? Perhaps, in first order. Actually, even classical model, complete with guiding waves, have been partly made, not just on a computer, but experimentally… for Quantum Waves.

However, in the end, Quantum processes will be found to be non-local (because, well, they are). That will ultimately limit classical, guiding waves models of Quantum waves, Black Holes, or even Roundworms three neuron networks.

If a piece of a worm’s mind is a world, entangled with the rest of the galaxy at a distance, philosophy also has to stretch.

Some would say that whether minds are Quantum, or entangled at a distance, will not bring the bacon on the table: this is neither here, nor there, as it has no practical effects. They would be wrong. Indeed, Non-Local philosophical models, Non-local, Quantum models of thinking, will allow to stretch human understanding so far that it may end up meeting reality itself.

Patrice Ayme’

***

Here is much of the press release from Rockefeller University:

Analysis of worm neurons suggests how a single stimulus can trigger different responses

March 12, 2015 | Science News

Even worms have free will. If offered a delicious smell, for example, a roundworm will usually stop its wandering to investigate the source, but sometimes it won’t. Just as with humans, the same stimulus does not always provoke the same response, even from the same individual. New research at Rockefeller University, published March 12 2015, in Cell, offers a new neurological explanation for this variability, derived by studying a simple three-cell network within the roundworm brain.

Worm brain: All the neurons within this microscopic roundworm are highlighted, with the large cluster at one end representing the brain. Coelomocytes, a type of immune cell, appear as dots along the body.

“We found that the collective state of the three neurons at the exact moment an odor arrives determines the likelihood that the worm will move toward the smell. So, in essence, what the worm is thinking about at the time determines how it responds,” says study author Cori Bargmann, Torsten N. Wiesel Professor, head of the Lulu and Anthony Wang Laboratory of Neural Circuits and Behavior. “It goes to show that nervous systems aren’t passively waiting for signals from outside, they have their own internal patterns of activity that are as important as any external signal when it comes to generating a behavior.”

… By changing the activity of the neurons individually and in combination [researchers] could pinpoint each neuron’s role in generating variability in both brain activity and the behavior associated with it.

The human brain has 86 billion neurons and 100 trillion synapses, or connections, among them. The brain of the microscopic roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans, by comparison, has 302 neurons and 7,000 synapses. So while the worm’s brain cannot replicate the complexity of the human brain, scientists can use it to address tricky neurological questions that would be nearly impossible to broach in our own brains.

Worms spend their time wandering, looking for decomposing matter to eat. And when they smell it, they usually stop making random turns and travel straight toward the source. This change in behavior is initially triggered by a sensory neuron that perceives the smell and feeds that information to the network the researchers studied. As the worms pick up the alluring fruity smell of isoamyl alcohol, the neurons in the network transition into a low activity state that allows them to approach the odor. But sometimes the neurons remain highly active, and the worm continues to wander around – even though its sensory neuron has detected the odor.

By recording the activity of these neurons, Gordus and colleagues found that there were three persistent states among the three neurons: All were off, all were on, or only one, called AIB, was on. If all were off, then, when the odor signal arrived, they stayed off. If all were on, they often, but not always, shut off. And, in the third and most telling scenario, if AIB alone was active when the odor arrived, everything shut off. “This means that for AIB, context matters. If it’s on alone, its activity will drop when odor is added, but if it’s on with the rest of the network, it has difficulty dropping its activity with the others,” Gordus says.

AIB is the first neuron in the network to receive the signal, which it then relays to the other two network members, known as RIM and AVA; AVA sends out the final instruction to the muscles. When the researchers shut off RIM and AVA individually and together, they found AIB’s response to the odor signal improved. This suggests that input from these two neurons competes with the sensory signal as it feeds down through the network.

Scaled up to account for the more nuanced behaviors of humans, the research may suggest ways in which our brains process competing motivations. “For humans, a hungry state might lead to you walk across the street to a delicious smelling restaurant. However, a competing aversion to the cold might lead you to stay indoors,” he says.

In the worm experiments, the competition between neurons was influenced by the state of the network. There is plenty of evidence suggesting network states have a similar impact on animals with much larger and more complex brains, including us, says Bargmann…“In a mammalian nervous system, millions of neurons are active all the time. Traditionally, we think of them as acting individually, but that is changing. Our understanding has evolved toward seeing important functions in terms of collective activity states within the brain.”

 

 

Emotional Thinking Is Superior Thinking

March 11, 2015

By claiming that emotional thinking is superior, I do not mean that “logical” thinking ought to be rejected, and replaced by passions running wild. I am just saying what I am saying, and no more. Not, just the opposite, “logical” thinking ought to be embraced. However, there are many “logical” types of thought in existence (as Pascal already pointed out). Including the emotional type. They are entangled.

Emotional and logical thinking can be physiologically distinguished in the brain (the latter is mostly about axons; the former about the rest).

Any “logical” thinking is literally, a chain made of points. (And there are no points in nature, said a Quantum Angel who passed by; let’s ignore her, for now!)

Elliptic Geometry In Action: Greeks, 240 BCE, Understood The Difference Between Latitude & Geodesic (Great Circle)

Elliptic Geometry In Action: Greeks, 240 BCE, Understood The Difference Between Latitude & Geodesic (Great Circle). (Traditionally, one quotes Eratosthenes. However, it’s Pytheas of Marseilles who first did this elliptic geometry computation… A century earlier. Pytheas also discovered the Polar Circle, sea ice, and maybe Iceland, among other things boreal…) Whether to develop, or not, this sort of mathematics and physics was, fundamentally, an emotional decision. Involving in particular the emotional worth of the axioms involved.

Some say that hard logic, and mathematics is how to implement “correct thinking”. Those who say this, do not know modern logic, as practiced in logic departments of the most prestigious universities.

In truth, overall, logicians spent their careers proposing putative, potential foundations for logic. Ergo, there is no overall agreement, from the specialists of the field themselves, about what constitute acceptable foundations for “logic”.

It is the same situation in mathematics.

Actually dozens of prestigious mathematicians (mostly French) launched themselves, in the 1950s into a project to make mathematics rigorous. They called their effort “Bourbaki”.

Meanwhile some even more prestigious mathematicians, or at least the best of them all, Grothendieck, splendidly ignored their efforts, and, instead, founded mathematics on Category Theory.

Many mathematicians were aghast, because they had no idea whatsoever what Category Theory could be about. They derided it as “Abstract Nonsense”.

Instead it was rather “Abstract Sense”.

But let’s take a better known example: Euclid.

There are two types of fallacies in Euclid.

The simplest one is the logical fallacy of deducing, from emotion, what the axioms did not imply. Euclid felt that two circles which looked like they should intersect, did intersect. Emotionally seductive, but not a consequence of his axioms.

Euclid’s worst fallacy was to exclude most of geometry, namely what’s not in a plane. It’s all the more striking as “Non-Euclidean” geometry had been considered just prior. So Euclid closed minds, and that’s as incorrect as incorrect can be.

To come back to logic as studied by logicians: the logicS considered therein, are much general than those used in mathematics. Yet, as no conclusion was reached, this implies that mathematics itself is illogical. That, of course, is a conclusion mathematicians detest. And the proof of their pudding is found in physics, computer science, engineering.

So what to do, to determine correct arguments? Well, direct towards any argument an abrasive, offensive malevolence, trying to poke holes, just as a mountain lion canines try to pass between vertebras to dislocate a spine.

That’s one approach. The other, more constructive, but less safe, is to hope for the best, and launched logical chains in the multiverses of unchained axiomatics.

Given the proper axioms, (most of) an argument can generally be saved. The best arguments often deserve better axiomatics (so it was with Leibnitz’s infinitesimals).

So, de facto, people have longed been using not just “inverse probability”, but “inverse logic”. In “inverse logic”, axioms are derived from what one FEELS ought to be a correct argument.

Emotions driving axiomatics is more metalogical, than axiomatics driving emotions.

***

To the preceding philosophy professor Massimo Pigliucci replied (in part) that:

“Patrice, 

“…Hence, to think critically, one needs enough facts. Namely all relevant facts.”

Enough facts is not the same as all the relevant facts, as incorrectly implied by the use of “namely.” 

“It is arrogant to think that other people are prone to “logical fallacies”.”

It is an observation, and facts are not arrogant. 

“A Quantum Wave evaluates the entirety of possible outcomes, then computes how probable they are.”

Are you presenting quantum waves as agents? They don’t evaluate and compute, they just behave according to the laws of physics.

“just as with the Quantum, this means to think teleologically, no holds barred”

The quantum doesn’t think, as far as I know. 

“Emotional Thinking Is Superior Thinking” 

I have no idea what you mean by that. Superior in what sense? And where’s the bright line between reason and emotion?

“Any “logical” thinking is literally, a chain made of points”

No, definitely not “literally.” 

It may not follow from the axioms, but I am having a hard time being emotionally seductive by intersecting circles. 

“Euclid’s worst fallacy was to exclude most of geometry, namely what’s not in a plane.”

That’s an historically bizarre claim to make. Like saying that Newton’s worst fallacy was to exclude considerations of general relativity. C’mon. 

“as no conclusion was reached, this implies that mathematics itself is illogical” 

Uhm, no. 

“to hope for the best, and launch logical chains in the multiverses of unchained axiomatics” 

Very poetic, I have no idea what that means, though.”

***

Massimo Pigliucci is professor of philosophy at CUNY in New York, and has doctorates both in biology and philosophy. However, truth does not care about having one, or two thousands doctorates. It would take too long to address all of Massimo’s errors (basically all of his retorts above). Let me just consider two points where he clings to Common Wisdom like a barnacle to a rock. The question of Non-Euclidean geometry, and of the Quantum. He published most of the answer below on his site:

Dear Massimo:

Impertinence and amusement help thought. Thank you for providing both. Unmotivated thought is not worth having.

The Greeks discovered Non-Euclidean geometry. It’s hidden in plain sight. It is a wonder that, to this day, so many intellectuals repeat Gauss’ self-serving absurdities on the subject (Gauss disingenuously claimed that he had discovered it all before Janos Bolyai, but did not publish it because he feared the “cries of the Beotians”… aka the peasants; Gauss does not tell you that a professor of jurisprudence had sketched to him how Non-Euclidean geometry worked… in 1818! We have the correspondence.).

The truth is simpler: Gauss did not think of the possibility of Non-Euclidean geometry (although he strongly suspected Euclidean geometry was not logical). Such a fame greedster could not apparently resist the allure of claiming the greatest prize…

It is pretty abysmal that most mathematicians are not thinking enough, and honest enough, to be publicly aware of Gauss’ shenanigans (Gauss is one of the few Muhammads of mathematics). But that fits the fact that they want mathematics to be an ethereal church, the immense priests of which they are. To admit Gauss got some of his ideas from a vulgar lawyers, is, assuredly, too painful.

That would be too admit the “Prince of Mathematics” was corrupt, thus, all mathematicians too (and, indeed, most of them are! Always that power thing; to recognize ideas have come out of the hierarchy in mathematics is injurious to the hierarchy… And by extension to Massimo.)

So why do I claim the Greeks invented Non-Euclidean geometry? Because they did; it’s a fact. It is like having the tallest mountain in the world in one’s garden, and not having noticed it: priests, and princes, are good at this, thus, most mathematicians.

The Greek astronomer Ptolemy wrote in his Geography (circa 150 CE):

“It has been demonstrated by mathematics that the surface of the land and water is in its entirety a sphere…and that any plane which passes through the centre makes at its surface, that is, at the surface of the Earth and of the sky, great circles.”

Not just this, but, nearly 400 years earlier, Eratosthenes had determined the size of Earth (missing by just 15%).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eratosthenes

How? The Greeks used spherical geometry.

Great circles are the “straight lines” of spherical geometry. This is a consequence of the properties of a sphere, in which the shortest distances on the surface are great circle routes. Such curves are said to be “intrinsically” straight.

Better: Eusebius of Caesarea proposed 149 million kilometers for the distance of the Sun! (Exactly the modern value.)

Gauss, should he be around, would whine that the Greeks did not know what they were doing. But the Greeks were no fools. They knew what they were doing.

Socrates killed enemies in battle. Contemporary mathematicians were not afraid of the Beotians, contrarily to Gauss.

Aristotle (384-322 BC) was keen to demonstrate that logic could be many things. Aristotle was concerned upon the dependency of logic on the axioms one used. Thus Aristotle’s Non-Euclidean work is contained in his works on Ethics.

A thoroughly modern approach.

The philosopher Imre Toth observed the blatant presence of Non-Euclidean geometry in the “Corpus Aristotelicum” in 1967.

Aristotle exposed the existence of geometries different from plane geometry. The approach is found in no less than SIX different parts of Aristotle’s works. Aristotle outright says that, in a general geometry, the sum of the angles of a triangle can be equal to, or more than, or less than, two right angles.

One cannot be any clearer about the existence on Non-Euclidean geometry.

Actually Aristotle introduced an axiom, Aristotle’s Axiom, a theorem in Euclidean and Hyperbolic geometry (it is false in Elliptic geometry, thus false on a sphere).

Related to Aristotle’s Axiom is Archimedes’ Axiom (which belongs to modern Model Theory).

One actually finds non trivial, beautiful NON-Euclidean theorems in Aristotle (one of my preferred frienemies).

Non-Euclidean geometry was most natural: look at a sphere, look at a saddle, look at a pillow. In Ethika ad Eudemum, Aristotle rolls out the spectacular example of a quadrangle with the maximum eight right angles sum for its interior angles.

Do Quantum Wave think? Good question, I have been asking it to myself for all too many decades.

Agent: from Latin “agentem”, what sets in motion. Quantum waves are the laws of physics: given a space, they evaluate, compute. This is the whole idea of the Quantum Computer. So far, they have been uncooperative. Insulting them, won’t help.

Patrice Ayme’

What Is It To Think Correctly?

March 10, 2015

Some say that correct thinking has to do with avoiding “logical fallacies”. (And, implicitly, only that. This approach to correctness is particularly developed among mathematicians.) That is, of course, silly. Imagine a pilot in a plane. Suppose she avoids all logical fallacies. Where does the plane go? Nowhere. Thinking correctly is more than avoiding logical “fallacies”.

One needs more than logic, to proceed: one needs e-motion, or motivation (both express the fact that they are whatever gets people to get into action; the semantics recognizes that logic without emotion goes nowhere).

There is another, related, fallacy in thinking that correct thinking is all about avoiding “logical fallacies”.

Cartesian Thinking Gets Gobbled Down By Vicious Dinosaur

Cartesian Thinking Gets Gobbled Down By Vicious Dinosaur

Assuming correct thinking is all about avoiding “logical fallacies” assumes that all thinking is “logical”. It is not. Not in the sense of what “logic” has meant in the West for 25 centuries.

If thinking is “logical”, one has to generalize what “logic” means.

This, let me say right away, is what I view as the correct approach, and, you guessed it, it has to do with the usual suspect, Quantum Physics.

What is it to think critically?

“Critic comes from the Greek kritikos “able to make judgments,” from krinein “to separate, decide”. So being critical means to embrace the context of a case. So it is first about gathering “evidence”, namely facts.

Hence, to think critically, one needs enough facts. Namely all relevant facts.

One needs to have the motivation to gather all facts.

It is arrogant to think that other people are prone to “logical fallacies”.

Logic, the logos, is a discourse: it is a succession of symbols, and of operations. All can be labelled with numbers: this is the basic consideration which allows to derive the Incompleteness Theorems in logic.

So the logos is a recipe in a cookbook. It is not the cooking itself.

Cooking is a continuous affair, logic is not.

How come?

And how can one determine all relevant facts, before one has established the logic that will articulate them?

There, again, one meets the concept of emotion.

One could say: ’Oh, I will go Bayesian. I will use Bayesian Logic. I will run a first logic with a first universe of facts. If what comes out does not fit, I will add more facts.’

This is, de facto, what people have been doing, often completely in their heads (“thought experiments”). The problem is that the verficiation itself depends upon facts, logic, and what is considered relevant.

Is there more we can say nowadays?

Probably. How does the Quantum work? The Quantum works according to Quantum Logic. A Quantum Wave evaluates the entirety of possible outcomes, then computes how probable they are. That’s eerily similar to “thinking”. Well beyond the “logos”, lightening up the way, there is the feeling of what is probable, what factors, what facts, ought to be taken in consideration.

Conclusion?

To think correctly means to grab all the facts that are relevant to the problem considered, and to do so, all the emotions which are relevant not just to finding the facts, but for animating the logic.

Moreover, just as with the Quantum, this means to think teleologically, no holds barred. Quantum Logic is continuous (as emotional spectra are), teleological (as emotions are), and countable, in the end, as “logic” in the conventional sense, is.

Thinking has been more akin in its functioning to how the Quantum “thinks” that to how logic, countable, traditional logic, describes the outcomes. Notice that the outcomes of the Quantum are (often, not always) countable.

Emotion is fully part of thinking. No emotion, no thinking. Full emotion, full thinking. More exactly, full thinking out to be impervious to all and any emotion.  

How can we guess one is on the right track to correctness in the matter of thought? Precisely by using the preceding. Full thinking can be detected, when it is thinking which can resist to all and any emotional approach. When all and any opponents will either agree in the end, or start to squirm, and whine the reasoning is unfair, controversial, out of place, one knows fully correct and critical logic has been achieved.

Yes, the French word débat, does not come just from “batre” (modern: battre, English battery).

“Débattre”, “debate” thus does not mean to go to battle, and beat up the opposite logic. It also means even to do so completely (“de”). To check for completeness, check for resistance to all and any emotion.

You want to think critically? You need to create a crisis, and it better lead to completely beat the opponent’s thinking, with better facts, obtained through more penetrating emotions.

So much for those who feel one should not make philosophy with a hammer (Nietzsche claimed he mad philosophy with a hammer; I prefer H bombs). Consul Clovis made philosophy with a battle axe (see the Vase de Soissons decapitation of the opponent’s logic). Today, we have to make philosophy with thermonuclear bombs, or we are not serious.

War is death. Be it war to people, or war to the planet, which boils down to the same. To avoid it, one has to completely defeat erroneous thinking, and that means embracing the totality of the implicit order.

Patrice Ayme’

Why & How Humans Think

February 7, 2015

To answer why humans think is often conducive to find out how they think.

Human beings, when they think creatively, can think bottom up, or top down.

Most of the time, of course, humans do not bother to think creatively: they just learn by rote what they have heard, and sounds good to be integrated in the peer group that presents itself, or that they have chosen.

Bottom up thinking is thinking from practice: the hand makes the brain (even Heidegger figured that one out).

Animals Too Can Fight For Freedom Beyond What Most Humans Would Do

Animals Too Can Fight For Freedom Beyond What Most Humans Would Do

Top down thinking starts from axioms. It’s creative, but only if one makes one’s own axioms. It is intellectual fascism, if the axioms are given by fascist thought system (one animated by the Leader Principle).

We need guinea pigs to experiment on. The best subjects are those who think for a penny, the professors who grace academia. As their final product is supposed to be thinking, thinking they are supposed to exhibit.

They know this, so they try to hide, by drowning the fish in the water: a typical scientific, psycho, socio, medical or philosophical paper tends to use hermetic jargon, rich with a barrage of references, automatically obscure (by contrast, Einstein’s breakthrough papers had basically no references).

Our subject here is going to be Brian Key. In his essay “Why Fishes (likely) Do Not Feel Pain”.

Professor Key started, with axioms setting up the mood he wanted us to have: animals are machines; wolves’ behavior can be duplicated with computer programs, fishes don’t suffer pain, because they fight the hook, whereas clever mammals trapped, give up.

Pop ethology presents with silly axioms. Predators trapped by a leg have been known to chew it off.

Fish on a line do give up in the end, when they have no more will (although they still have some strength, as they flap around when brought on a boat and speared).

Brian Key claims one needs a cortex to suffer pain. Reptiles and birds have no cortex, and they suffer pain. http://www.wiringthebrain.com/2010/09/ancient-origins-of-cerebral-cortex.html

How did Brian’s brain get so silly? Because he reasoned top down that “it does not feel like anything to be a fish”, as he put it. So then he looked for structures in fish similar to those known to be associated to pain in humans.

Naturally, he did not find them. Birds have brains that are organized completely differently from ours, although our common ancestors are around 240 million years ago. Fishes, separated by another 200 million years more, are going to be even more mysterious.

The cortex is over-valued: conductivity modulation by glial cells occur along axons, for example. That means that “white matter” also “thinks”.

It has been notoriously difficult to find out how birds’ brains work. Still, some bird species score possibly higher in some mental ways than any primate, but man.

Generally, understanding life is difficult. It’s even impossible without Quantum Physics: a plant captures sunlight in one femtosecond. The rapport of a femtosecond to a second is the same at the rapport of one second to 31 million years. Crucially photosynthesis depends upon electrons being in many places, at the same time.

So, Brian, please, don’t tell me how it feels to be a fish. You don’t know. As many academics, you are more busy posing to advance your career. It’s OK, it helps, but it should be taken with a grain of salt.

Attributing to animal brains the same general purpose that our brains have is just common sense. It is not forming the world according to man (anthropo-morphizing). It is just the most natural explanation, the most economical one, too (“Ockham Razor”).

Telling us one can think of wolves differently, like machines, show a will to impel on us the mood to the notion that animals are machines. When human hunters go out after game, they use the same tactic, as described by Brian, not because we can think of them as simple computer program, but because it is the smartest strategy to follow.

Common sense is found in computer programs, written in wolf and human brains, or on paper, because sense is common.

And brains are into making sense. By the way, dear Brian, computer programs are written by humans, and, apparently, wolves. This is all you have demonstrated.

In “Diving Into Truth“, I pointed out that fishes known to be clever, groupers, are found to recruit complementary predators to hunt. Other fishes do this. The idea is to find a predator such as a Moray Eel to get in cracks and caves. The eel understands this, and the grouper makes a suggestive dance and mimic to get the eel into action.

Since I wrote the initial article linked above, other species of fish have been found to also suggest transpacific cooperation to fetch food.

Any trout fisher will tell you that old trouts are very smart. You can put the juiciest morsel in front of them, once they know it’s an ape who proposes dinner, they won’t bite.

Meanwhile, back from the Kremlin, Merkel faulted the Russians in Ukraine. Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko exhibited passport and military identification papers of Russian officers, “found inside Ukraine, killing Ukrainians”. The border was now “swarming with Russian tanks, armed personnel carriers, multiple rocket launchers and ammunition.” He added: “We find Russian officers, in tanks full of ammunition, who claim to be lost, one hundred kilometers from their border, killing Ukrainians.”

After the talks yesterday in Moscow that the French president and I had, it is uncertain if it will succeed, Merkel said, “but it is my view and the French president’s view [that it’s] definitely worth trying. We owe it to the people affected in Ukraine, at the very least.”

The French president had a less sanguine angle: “If we don’t find not just a compromise but a lasting peace agreement [accord de paix durable], we know perfectly well what the scenario will be. It has a name, it’s called war,” Hollande told journalists in his city of Tulle, in central France.

Putin backtracked right away, in full Hitlerian disingenuous style: “We don’t intend to war with anyone. We intend to cooperate with all.”

Wonderful. How and why we think is at its best, when survival is a stake.

Patrice Ayme’

TRUTH AS ENERGY

December 18, 2013

Energy is the central concept in physics. Could it also be the central concept to determine truth?

High Energy Physics is, well, about high energy, as its name indicates. All of Quantum Field Theory consists into speculative manipulations about how energy is thought to behave as it flows. This is the theory that, in its most ambitious versions, claim to determine the truth of the world (grandiosely called the TOE: Theory Of Everything).

Don’t laugh! The Ancient Greek philosophers looked at nature to find out truth. What else? So do I.

The Greater Depression (copyright Tyranosopher) is about the lack of decent, rewarding, well paid work. What’s another name for work? Energy. Thus the Greater Depression is all about energy, or the lack thereof, showing up in dearth of work (that is, energy!)

The CO2 crisis is all about energy: we produce most of our energy by burning coal, a method invented by the Romans. Then a stroke of genius, now a perverse twist on the burning of wood by Homo Erectus.

Even love, according to standard evolutionary psychobiology, has to do with energy: it’s about selecting who we view as the most energetic, dominant, provider of life.

Thus, in a sense, everywhere we turn, energy determines the reality, the truth of the world.

Yet, one does not catch flies with the truth. Honey, though, works. Here this word, this concept, again: work.

What has meaning is what works. Get it? A deeper truth than it looks: it relates veracity with the physics of energy. Literally. Philosophy for our age.

Alexi Helligar:What is truth? We like to think truth is obvious. But the profundity of obvious truths are so difficult to grasp that it takes sometimes multiple lifetimes of wisdom.

We think truth is all that matters. In this we are mistaken. More important than truth is meaning. It is meaning which tell us the next step we must take. The contents of our various religions may not be true, but they are meaningful. The meaningful lie is far more effective to significant action than meaningless truth.”

Patrice Aymé: The truth known to Keynes: ‘in the long run we are all dead’ is very true, but it’s also very much meaningless, when one is engaged in that game known as life. So Alexi, you are very right.

Euclidean geometry is true. But, pushed too far, it becomes meaningless elucubration about Byzantine theorems. There are better things to do (such as the basic theorems of non-Euclidean geometry). Thus, better ways to use one’s energy.

Truth is not obvious, indeed. Great logicians (say Tarski, a Polish (-American) who blossomed two generations after Bertrand Russell) worked hard to establish a better theory of truth. What truth is still pretty much up in the air.

I got logic from Alexander the Great: if it’s too complicated, cut the Gordian knot. Thus, instead of the how-many-angels-on-that-pinhead theories of truth, I propose instead my META theory. META theories are local logical frames that allow to make linear logic in the vast universe of truth. META stands for Maximally Evident Truth Applied. (1)

From my point of view, most modern mathematics is not anymore true than angels on a pin. It’s as irrelevant as angels on a pin. Someday soon most mathematicians will guess and fear increasingly that this is true. Meanwhile they loudly cling to their mom Plato, like frightened new-born monkeys (as my friend Penrose does).

The best argument those who cling to Plato have is, precisely, meaning. The math they have done mean something, somewhere, they argue. “Look at our beautiful theorems,” they say ecstatically.

It’s exactly the same problem as with well-known superstitions. No proof for what they say, but they say it together, sing it together, so they believe it. Whatever “it” is. Belief is much comfortable: it saves energy. Instead of creating one’s own neurological circuitry, one learn to sing it from others (as the Nazis put it: Sieg Heil!) That’s the charm of tribes, their brain energy-saving side.

I propose to forget the error of infinity, this “corruption of the youth“, as a mathematician contemporary of Georg Cantor put it. I propose to concentrate on more meaningful mathematics, precisely. Solve hypersonic laminar flow. Forget what requires ZFC to prove.

Some could sneer that I talk about energy to justify truth, and now I talk about meaning, thus I am all over the place, thoroughly confused.

But not so.

The brain is an energy machine. The brain has interest to believe.

Belief is energy cheap; it basically consists, most often in just repeating what one has heard. As the Wolf put it to the Lamb: ‘On me l’a dit, il faut que je me venge, one has told me that I must avenge myself’. Once the Wolf has asserted the primacy of belief, he can devour whatever he so desires.

Believing is much less energy consuming than thoroughly demonstrating (that’s energy demanding, as it requires to have checked every single logical jump). The brain finds more meaning in models of the universe that require less energy to believe.

For example, once you have decided god explained everything, there is nothing else to figure out. One can be like a dog, and believe everything. So the popularity of god has to do with energy conservation.

A plane is built from the most delicate architecture of entangled truths. Truth is literally what works, i. e., conducts energy with meaning.

Some will object that I make a superficial reasoning by proximity, a topo-logy: a logic of place. Thinking has to do with energy, energy has to do with thinking, so they are the same. No.

What’s a thought? Well, a set of joint brain assemblies calling onto action. (A particular case is an idea, which can be expressed in words, that is, which can be digitalized, and thus can be communicated by voice or the like.)

It requires energy to set-up and be inspected by consciousness, to be made into a communicable whole (even if it’s only self-communication). So the establishment of a thought, and even its sustainability, require energy.

Now, not all and any energy display will be a thought. However, when is a truth correct? When it allows energy to flow in a way that is deemed correct. That is, when it has correct meaning.  The later notion is simply tied up, ultimately, to survival of the species.

Thus the architecture of energy, not only describes thoughts, but validates them.

Let’s go back to the idea of High Energy Physics (Quantum Field Theory,  QED, QCD, TOE, Super Strings, etc.). Why is it called “High”? Because it’s about high frequencies (the first idea of the Quantum is that energy comes in packets determined by the frequency: E = hv).

So what are we facing here? That thinking is about Brain Energy Physics. That implies both meaning and pleasure, both derivatives to optimizing energy flow.

Truth is the discourse that optimizes the servitude of energy to the survival of the species.

At least, so I propose.

I think, therefore I energize.

Patrice Aymé

***

Notes: (1) Reading old proofs, I found, to my amazement, that META is close in mentality to the initial proof of Georg Cantor on the uncountability of the real numbers; except I stand that on its head. Fields Medal Tim Gowers has been trying to contradict my reasoning, but I think is objection is devoid of powerful meaning.

***

Economy ought to be founded on Energy (I’ve insisted, to give economics, and thus society the rigorous foundations society needs it to have). In particular AWE, Absolute Worth Energy.

Absolute Worth is, ultimately, determined by survival. There is a science uniting psychology and economics, that justifies one with the other, and vice versa. The preceding goes much further, as it unites the whole thing, and thinking itself, as a subset of energy physics.

Aphorisms Mid January 2011

January 14, 2011

***

Violence And All That Blah Blah Blah: When Is The Law Not The Law? And Is Not A Government Which Ignores The Law Committing Violence Of The Highest Order? An editorial in the New York Times enjoined all Americans to act according to the law, in light of a shooting in Arizona by a crazed maniac who bought his weapon legally.

Obama talked well, at the memorial service, true. But did he act well, as non violently as possible in his quality of president? Out of magnanimity, we will momentarily ignore the dark angel of Afghanistan flying by, on automatic, its wings dripping with blood…

Is Obama part of this disrespect for law and decency he himself deplores? It is a trick question. One million Americans were killed by firearms since 1970. Sanctimoniously, the "left" is asking the right to tone down the political debate to respect the … law (see Krugman: "A tale of two moralities").

But did the Obama administration prosecute those who incited, advocated, ordered and practiced torture? No. Obviously some citizens are above the law. Some citizens are too big to fail. But that is doing violence to the law.

Did the Obama administration prosecute those who incited, advocated, organized, ordered and practiced financial malfeasance, in the greatest financial conspiracy ever known? No. Obviously some citizens are above any suspicion. More violence to the law. Granted a law that allows people to go around with concealed war weapons is itself violent, so this is getting a bit too much for logical processing.

The Roman republic lasted five centuries, because the Romans implemented ferociously their metaprinciple of putting the law above anything else: Dura Lex, Sed Lex! "The law is hard, but it’s the law!"

When the Roman republic deviated from this, a strict, constant, relentless application of the law, the richest and noblest of the rich stopped obeying the law. The republic became a violent mess, where money reigned, and then a tyranny, where Pluto ruled.

By refusing to apply the law on a massive scale, the Obama administration has done violence to the law, hence to the republic, hence encouraged the very atmosphere of violence it now condemns so eloquently.

***

My Baby Learns Through Emotions, And Emotions Money Can’t Buy:

The language of emotions comes first to baby. It is a continuous, multidimensional medium (dimensions through facial expressions, eyebrows, frowning, mouth and eye geometry, or tone of voice, and body language). That way emotional language resembles the mathematical set-up of quantum physics; the Quantum waves evolve continuously in often high dimensional "configuration space". Notice the word: con-figuration. It is not there figuratively speaking. Physics has logical poetry in its semantics.

Emotional communication with babies is more important than anything else, as it directs the rest of the mental development of a baby. Including speech. Let those who pay for care be forewarned. ***

President Obama Suggested That Americans Could Question Each Other’s Ideas Without Questioning Their Love Of Country.

And the New York Times to add:"We hope all Americans take that to heart." And then what? Which kind of heart is that? What if it is a heart of stone? The heart needs to be educated in the ways, and taste, of reason. As I just said, it cannot be purchased and provided in exchange for money.

The heart has its own mind, but it needs to go to school too. learning the multiplication table is not learning the calculus of emotions.

Learning to think well is done by learning to debate, and learning what a correct argument is. A correct argument deploys elaborated logic and vast, relevant knowledge. One learns to detect what is relevant. A correct argument is far removed from those crudest of analogies known as insults, and those violent remedies known as threats.

Learning to debate correctly is not only a body of knowledge. It requires more. The heart has to be engaged.

Learning to debate is also a body of appreciation, with sophisticated feelings to accompany it with the passion that good thinking needs as hope and propellant. There is work to do, to rearrange neuronal circuitry into the general love for arguments, and it ought to start by primary school. Read a complicated, explain the main points, learn to answer questions about it. I went through this kind of schooling. I continually come across Americans who obviously did not.

Instead, in the USA, an "argument" is known, by the common heart, as a dispute. It is high time to reorganize  the semantics seriously. How does one want to love debates if what debates are made of, arguments, are viewed and confused with aggressions?

The USA has a lot of work to do with the heart. Especially when one sees its incapacity to switch to the metric system (like the rest of the planet), its incapacity to chase money out of politics (as all other democracies are trying much harder to do), its incapacity to remove dangerous weapons from the public space, or going to a health care system which does not mix employment and insurance.

The incapacity to switch to a more rational mode is fundamentally a manifestation of an inability to think satisfactorily. For example, guns are first used to kill people the murderers are familiar with. What is the logic in that? Owning guns so one can use family for shooting practice?

Time to go back to school, big time.

***

Teleprompt Me Not:

Barack’s speech at the Arizona memorial was excellent. Very good ideas therein, and, for once, he talked with his heart. Why the heart suddenly? Why for once? Because, for once, Obama used NOTES, not a stupid teleprompter. So he immediately became much more intelligent. If he keeps at it, talking without doing the teleprompter robot, if he keeps at it, talking with its heart as his copilot, he will elevate the debate in the country. Americans will be reminded to talk with their hearts.

Notes are used just to recall what one wants to talk about (except if one is an old, mentally diseased Stalinist). After a glance at the notes, the reader uses internal memory recall. Then one lifts one’s eyes from the notes, and reconstitute the train of thought the notes pointed at. A good reader of notes has to reconstitute, and even relive with his or her heart, and that is much more than what is showing up on the teleprompter screen.

Why? The reader who has consulted notes remembers a few hard facts, animated together by software heavily depending upon emotional recall. Thus, the reader re-creates the discourse, reliving the entire logic of the discourse, including the emotional context it was communicated with initially. This is much more human; see the example of the baby above.

***

In the series about increasing American insanity…

Some US representatives announced that they will carry concealed firearms when meeting with their constituents. Don’t campaign, reload! A few constituents are still alive and kicking…

***

Getting To Know People Is Getting To Know Minds, Hence The Importance Of Table And Landscape.

To get to know people, you have got to converse with them (or then live with them through extraordinary events, psychologically revealing… and harder to come by, by the definition of "extraordinary").

Ordinary conversation has diverse meanings in diverse countries. In the USA, in the traditional, male dominated culture, it’s all about exchanging sport scores, sport opinions, and sport prognostications. Obsessing about sport teams instead of politics is the way the Demos was kept quiet in the Roman empire. It has been taught to Americans, fostering the reign of their exploiters, because it is a heavy diversion from what is really interesting.

Proper conversation has both to be polite, nice, and deep. To allow depth, and the effort it necessitates, or the pain it causes, polite pleasure has to be traded in for the effort, pain and inconvenience of thinking. Hence the importance of proper manners, a good table, good hike, a good adventure.

Thus filling the minds best goes with filling the stomachs best, and sharing earthly pleasures.

***

Why Philosophy Matters Most:

Philosophy is first of all a method: how to reason best with fewer sure facts than science uses. Then, in second order, philosophy is a body of knowledge. Then, in third order, a history, then… in fourth order, a consolation.

Its first order definition, how to reason best on fumes, makes philosophy the most important human activity, and everybody has to master it more, the more civilization progresses.

Homo makes theories, and the first method to make a theory is the imaginary, tempered by philosophy.

***

It is not because one can say it, and it bites, that one ought to say it. Something for those who read too much Sade or Nietzsche to remember.

***

Obamacare, or Machiavelliancare?

Obamacare is probably unconstitutional: you cannot force the People to purchase private services. Does it matter, in the fullness of time? No.

First for the unconstitutionality: As early as 16 centuries ago, Augustine proclaimed all of Christianity was a "Respublica". Respublica Christiana. Even Augustine, the Christian fanatic, used "Christian" as a qualifier. The memory of the full Roman republic, 450 years earlier, was still fresh. Even under the "Principate" (= "Empire"), the main concept was still the Republic, the Public Thing. Obamacare instead says the main thing is the for profit institution, and the People shall serve it, by being forced, by law, to pay for the profits of the rich health care industry.

I know this was not, supposedly, according to the nice little fable for children, the aim of the law. The crafty aim was to entangle the private companies in a maze of regulations that will force them to behave decently, after offering them enough incentives to do so.

Actually it is argued that the plan will cost one trillion dollars, in spite of a 500 billion cut in Medicare. Obama, in his progressive version, could hope for the following: people get used to expect the advantages of Obamacare. Everybody is covered, pre-conditions get insured, coverage cannot be discontinued, children are protected, etc. By the time people are addicted to what the Europeans have long taken for granted, it will turn out that Obamacare under the private system is not financially workable (and that is already transpiring as premiums escalate). Something will have to give, and it will not be the addiction.

Then a public health system, Medicare For All, will be the only solution. Actually Obama, a few years back, had announced such a Machiavellian plan.

The same Machiavellian approach to financial regulation is entirely possible. A good fisherman lets the fish swallow the bait.

Somebody who ought to know told me Obama was not that clever. Well I am not so sure. And even if he is not, he may have no choice than to become really clever.

***

It’s Spelled Banksters, Not Bankers:

The public-private fractional reserve banking system is intrinsically unjust, incompatible with democracy. Some (Simon Johnson) propose to institute a size cap on it. The present banking system would still be unjust, and incompatible with democracy, though.

It seems Obama is stuck too, even if he detests the system, there is not much he can do. The revolt has to come from the street. Common people have to understand the problem first. Somebody has to teach them. Probably not somebody from a top American university.

The European Union has put caps on bankers short term bonuses. They have to wait five years before getting their bonuses, which are transmogrified into stock in their bank holding companies. That is an independent solution from limiting bank size.

***

The Truth Often Sounds Shrill...Why? Because it often starts as an alarm call, and only great passion can overcome the exhaustion of establishing new neural connections, refurbished neurons, and, overall, genuinely new neurobiology.

That’s why Planck observed that the best way for the truth to come out was for old people to die and new ones to be born. But of course he said that before the Hitlerjugend became a mass phenomenon.

Truth always come out shrill, thus people who are too cool cannot generate really new thoughts: they just don’t have enough passion, hence enough energy to build inside themselves new structures. Show me a famous thinker, I will show you a passion. Show me a sheep, I will show you the munching. And the general jejune attitude.

We think, not because we are too cool to care, but because we are too passionate to stay indifferent.

***

Patrice Ayme