Posts Tagged ‘Truth’

Internet Tragedy Of The Commons

April 14, 2022

I am a professional research mathematician, and I have studied infinity quite a bit (arriving at an emotionally drastic conclusion). Still completely uneducated clowns come out on the Internet… and get published there, pontificating out of sheer crass ignorance… on infinity. So idiotic they are that Ancient Greeks, 25 centuries ago, who had already established a few things about the concept of infinity, would have rolled their eyes in dismay. 

The same “philosophy” site, with more than 100,000 participants,  bans all my essays, even in completely unrelated fields, since the invasion of Ukraine… They even warned it would be so: somehow, wisdom should not be interested by the potential end of the woirld…. Probably Putin collaborators, in action, many intellectuals are pro-Putin, for the same reason as their cultural ancestors were pro-Lenin, pro-Stalin, pro-Duce, or pro-Hitler… Having no power, they torture others by imposing their own blatant madness…

The delight of the Internet, with completely ignorant people knowing better, reminds me of the delight of my dog, who often tells me he knows best, so I tell him to do something, such as going across wet grass, and he looks at me like: “no way!” 

Tragedy of the commons is not just tragedy of common property, as… common wisdom has it. Tragedy of the commons also means, in today’s world, that the least educated are the most popular and most powerful. In mental matters, tragedy of the commons shows up as nobody making the hard work to learn until the edge of what is known, and thus contributing to the advancement of civilization. Some may ask, Putin and Hitler admirers, why would civilization need to advance? Because if it does not advance, it falls, from ecological disaster if nothing else.

***

Think of these wealthy, buxom Instagram stars in Muscovite Rus. One of these sexy wixens has nine million followers. They use shears to destroy ultra expensive Chanel bags. Such bags are worth around half of the median yearly Russian salary [1].

Chanel confirmed to the BBC that it is complying with EU sanctions, which ban the sale of luxury goods worth more than 300 euros (about 1,550 Brazilian reais) to Russia, as well as the sale of products to individuals who intend to use them. them on Russian soil. The brand “requires customers whose primary residence we do not know to confirm that the items they purchase will not be used in Russia.

Victoria Bonya (on the right above) destroyed her black Chanel bag  for her 9.3 million followers saying, “If Chanel does not respect its customers, why should we respect Chanel?… not a single thing is worthy of my love for my country, and not worthy of my respect for myself. I am against russophobia, I am against a brand that supports russophobia.

This is how Nazism worked: crass ignorance, cynically manipulated by vicious extortionists and criminals for whom greed for power was the highest drug.

These days, when I send to the New York Times a comment related to Ukraine with some true technical points of great relevance (for example the fact the Ukraine Trident, symbol of the country, is more than 11 centuries old, we have it etched in old stone; or that there are French military (hence NATO) on the ground in Ukraine, and similar technical comments)… I get censored. This is striking, especially on purely technical comments pointing out pieces of history, such as the prompt expulsion of Russia from the Society of Nations, after it attacked Finland in 1939.

There are 2 possible explanations for this censorship on steroids: NYT writers are stealing the information (after reading it, they republish it, as if they produced it themselves; I observed this), or then they are truly traumatized by information they never heard about and are not conditioned to accept: the NYT has a censorship bureau, actually… Something they admitted last year, after denying it for more than a decade to me personally.

Right some NYT writers are more thuggish than others, for example Bret Stephens (who used to be at the Wall Street Journal for many years) loves to censor me and then use my ideas: hey, his salary depends upon it, the way he looks at it, it’s moral.

So there on the Internet, on a philosophy site which has censored me completely since Putin attacked, a completely ignorant person is pontificating at the highest level of stupidity on infinity, proffering thoroughly deranged statements, and hundreds of thousands are reading him…

I maintain that civilization needs an independent state organization, much more independent  than the Justice Branch of government, to evaluate the various dimensions of propositions: truth, potential truth, significance, potential significance, novelty, potential novelty, authenticity, integrity, etc… No censorship, just a star system, for purely informative purposes, and no small committee of experts, but total openness….

Elon Musk@elonmusk

I made an offer https://sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/0001418091/000110465922045641/tm2212748d1_sc13da.htm

[for Twitter…]

Offer to unlock potential for more truth? Truth is complex, potential, multidimensional. Censorship must be banned, but truth shouldn’t suffer the tragedy of the commons, as it does now, where the cheapest and most dilapidating propositions are most popular. Evaluations are needed!

When we change mental worlds, we start by changing emotional worlds. This is true even in mathematics. Non-Euclidean geometry preceded (!) Euclidean geometry. But the latter was simpler, so it became more popular, it looked more rigorous (it was not), so beautiful. It was a case of tragedy of the commons: Non-Euclidean geometry got lost to the point that the fact it is all over and everywhere also got lost! I allege something similar about the sort of infinity mathematics we have been walloping in: understanding that there is something, at least locally, as a largest number, will require an emotional switch… not denying infinity, but realizing the limitations of the concept (similarly, Euclidean geometry actually does not exist, it’s a simplification… And the reason why General Relativity is needed for GPS…)

As we need to change mental worlds, thus emotional worlds, the shocking value of the Internet, well done, is a great progress. But people need to know about probable reality too…

Patrice Ayme

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[1] The price for a Chanel Medium Classic Flap bag increased from $1,150 in 1990 to $7,800 in July 2021. After the third price jump of the year (as of November 2021), the Chanel Medium Classic Flap is now $8,800. 

Aphorisms April 2022: Truth Absolutism, Pain, Difference, Ukraine, etc.

April 6, 2022

Truth Uber Alles:

Human interactions, be they with people or objects, vary. Considerably. Reasons vary. Considerably. However, we will get a better society when we get better minds… from the habit of telling the truth no matter what… except in truly exceptional circumstances, such as reassuring someone who is dying.

In particular, all and any political or war leaders, at some points, tell some truth(s). I know of no exception Yes even Stalin, Hitler, Trump, Biden, Xi and Putin. They even may tell the truth, while telling lies.

***

Thus Free Speech Absolutism:

So that all potential truths can be expressed. Otherwise no verified new truths could ever occur. 

Elon Musk, a “truth absolutist“, bought for a few billion $ nearly 10% of Twitter. Musk also gave Starlink, satellite internet capacity to Ukraine, a safety mechanism to provide internet communications while Putin pursues his genocide. Not only is there no contradiction between being for democracy and for truth… but to optimize the genesis of the latter, the former is best. Reciprocally democracy without truth, thus transparency and significance, is impossible. This is why, under the insignificant Obama, neither truth nor democracy progressed: only Putin progressed, who is the opposite of all that. Putin had correctly observed Obama was insignificant. He assumed that it was the same for the fungible, and purchased, Biden, forgetting that plutocrats follow the battlefield like vultures carrion, and for the same reason: easy pickings…

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Yet the Duty To Censor Genocide, Born From Genocidal Propaganda:

Some may object that I approve of censoring Russia Today, Sputnik, and other Putin propagandist media. Well, that’s different: we are in a war, even a world war and genocidal situation. Just like Hitler said, and actually repeated an old Christian idea, that Jews did not have a right to exist in Germany… or Christendom… Putin said that Ukraine, hence Ukrainian did not have a right to exist, except perhaps as full subjects of the Kremlin, hence Putin.  

As I could see in many personal communications I received, many repeated word for word Putin propaganda. That was quite similar to those who repeated, or espoused Hitler’s views in the 1930s… for example that the Versailles Treaty was a horrendous attack against Germany (in truth it freed Poland, and Eastern European countries). Similarly, Putin collaborators believe that NATO, a treaty of collective defense, was not something free countries had a right to sign, because only the Kremlin, or more specifically mass murdering tyrant Putin, can decide what countries do.  

I read Putin propaganda a lot… But just as in the case of my familiarity with Nazism, I do not believe it. Normal people, though, do not have in their moral genetic an obsession with truth. Instead they grab the first thing that comes to them, if it’s well packaged, and believe it. We saw this happen in the 1930s with fascism, be it Italian, Stalinian, or Hitlerian. They each had their unquestioning followers…

Such divided opinion, with some espousing fascism emotionally speaking is not innocuous. The French chief of staff took a whole flurry of disastrous decisions in the first days of May 1940, enough to lose the Battle of France irreversibly in 5 days (May 10 to May 15, day when he was fired). How did that happen, aside from sheer stupidity and hubris? (His second in command had warned him of what exactly happened!) Well, Gamelin admitted that, starting in 1936, he, and his colleagues, were more preoccupied by the French Popular Front (then elected in power in France), than by Hitler… 

This had direct consequences, such as not arming state of the art French fighter planes…

None of this would have happened if the Jewish PM Blum, heading the French Popular Front had overruled Anglo-Saxon opposition, and attacked Hitler’s Germany in 1936… At least in Spain… The french military could then have focused where it needed to focus…

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True Hedonists Search For Pain

Why would a perfect world come with a heavy price? If a world is perfect, it is very worthy, thus pricey…

Human beings need contrast to distinguish, we expect pain, we need pain to help to distinguish strongly between alternatives. Rampaging against pain, per se, is not wise. Let alone making religions about pain avoidance (Buddhism avoiding pain now, Christianism, or Islamism avoiding pain in the after world…)

Verily, true hedonists search for pain… It is the price of the worthy world.

***

Vive La Difference!

In emotional discourse, passions themselves are words. And common words cannot replace emotional words.

Thinking discriminates. Being attracted to some forms of inequality is intrinsic to higher mental pursuits.

***

Time Is Local, Objects Are Nonlocal. So Says The Quantum:

Time, as measured by light, is local (relative to place and speed)… whereas objectivity, the very existence of objects, is nonlocal (yet not absolute, being consciousness dependent). Thus speaks the Quantum. This is what studying Physis shows (aka Physics, Nature in Greek). More exactly, what studying light shows… Let the sparks fly…

Indeed what does that mean, philosophically? When on a planet, time runs slower by one’s feet… And one’s mind may activate from nonlocal influences in a non neglectable way… 

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I try to suffer to make myself better (but not too much). I think that makes me morally superior (to what I would be otherwise). Leveraging the enlightenment brings pain , elaborating a morality impervious to pain.

Don’t laugh… Serious sport and serious thinking always require pain.

“Analyze” means total destruction. Wisdom harbors mayhem.

Not kidding… From Etymological dictionary:

analysis (n.) 1580s, “resolution of anything complex into simple elements” (opposite of synthesis), from Greek analysis literally “a breaking up, a loosening, releasing,” noun of action from analyein “unloose, release, set free; to loose a ship from its moorings,” in Aristotle, “to analyze,” from ana “up, back, throughout” (see ana-) + lysis “a loosening,” from lyein “to unfasten” (from PIE root *leu- “to loosen, divide, cut apart”).

So why did Derida and company invent “deconstruction”. Just to “faire son faiseur de malin” (deliberately infantile semantics to describe the infantile behavior of pretending to have created a concept which is at least three millennia old).

***

Heavens And Hell Make The Human Mind:

All over we see people trying to show that they are better than children, and that’s infantile. Childhood is made to be overcome. Children overcome their own childhood, every day.

The Pope pointed this out: “some potentate” unleashed the threat of nuclear war on the world in an “infantile and destructive aggression” under the guise of “anachronist claims of nationalistic interests.”

We had thought that invasions of other countries, savage street fighting and atomic threats were grim memories of a distant past,” said an outraged pope. “Once again, some potentate, sadly caught up in anachronistic claims of nationalist interest, is provoking and fomenting conflicts, whereas ordinary people sense the need to build a future that will either be shared or not be at all,” he said.

Yes, indeed.

Vlad the Impaler did what he had to do, give back to the Ottomans, some of their own medicine. Russia, the country which is, by far, the largest in the world, wants to gain even more territory. As the Ottoman did, for many centuries (and got it: the two states which expanded the most between 1350 and 1650 were Russia and the Ottomans). It’s high time to give back some of its own medicine to Vlad the Mad…

Patrice Ayme

The attack on Ukraine is a bigger threat on humanity than any prior threat ever, because, for the first time, tyranny attacks democracy while threatening to use nuclear weapons. This tsunami of hatred needs to utterly fail, if humanity is to survive. Hopefully young people will understand this, and put a stop to it, as many of the old, aside of course from Ukrainians, still do not understand what happened in Munich in 1938…

Truth: From Evolutionary Psychology. Significance Is A Dimension of Truth.

November 9, 2021

A modern tendency is to proclaim truth as a new practice. Science, we are constantly told, was just invented, most scientists are living today, etc. This smacks of the usual self-glorification of any age, and any place, by the vainglorious critters partaking in it. 

In truth, there is nothing new about the truth being at the core of society and humanity. Humanity was evolved by truth. Human beings are truth machines. 

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/fundamental-reason-for-democracy-better-thinking/

In the savannah in the past, for millions of years, being wrong meant being eaten. Being wrong, big time, meant you didn’t get another chance, your genes would not contribute to future evolution. Nowadays being wrong does not have immediate dreadful consequences: you can keep on contributing to the gene pool. Being wrong just means you voted for an idiot, you don’t get immediately eaten… Long term, the consequences of being wrong can be horrible, but it takes so long, people barely see the connection. Instead, being wrong, or even being a lunatic brings the comfort of being part of a stampeding herd, and getting the instant impression of being right. 

So being wrong, also known as fake news, systemic bias, racism, sexism, nationalism, can propagate and multiply, as it does not have adverse consequences: an example is Nazi Germany (thanks, Nazi cretins, for providing us with a drastic example!)

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Germans helped Adolf Hitler’s genocidal cretinism for more than 12 years with no consequences adverse enough for them to see the error of their ways, and stop. In the end a five million man army invaded Germany from the west, while a couple million Red Army soldiers attacked from the east, over a land ravaged by, and dysfunctional from, Anglo-American heavy bombing.

Thus, this modern life has decreased the main impetus for fostering truth. During the evolution of humanity, false evaluations of reality turned us into Meals Ready to Eat. The main impetus for figuring out the truth was the will to immediate survival. Truth was a way of life. New science was a slow consequence, it accumulated over hundreds of thousands of years (how to make tools, weapons, clothes, fire, cook vegetables, etc.)

Nevertheless, paradoxically, as it is now, we have never needed, as a species, truth, and especially new and better truths. The survival of humanity has never depended as much on producing new truths industrially… New knowledge, in particular new science has become the key to survival of the species. Because we have a non-sustainable civilization… It can only become sustainable if we master some science-fiction technologies we do not yet have.

Establishing an independent Department of Truth is thus not a joke, and not just a civilizing mission, it is key to survival of intelligence from Earth. 

The Truth Department would not exert censorship. Its primary mission, instead, would be to evaluate any prominent proposition in the various dimensions of truth… Not just veracity, but the potential significance of a proposition, its potential consequences on other propositions, its potential impact if true, its potential impact, if false, logically and emotionally, etc.

By the way, the methodology I suggest would help science itself. A recent long article in PNAS (Proceedings National Academy of Science) shows that big scientific fields are ossified and why. The main culprit is the MENTAL and COGNITIVE FASCISM that a morass of overproduction of low creative quality papers end up causing as a way to foster careers. So it is not a question of fake news in the sense of FALSE news, but a question of too many news trying to present themselves as news when actually they are just repackaging and reinforcing an increasingly narrower global consensus view, because the foundational papers, thus the foundational ideas get quoted ever more, and thus accepted as eternal truths. 

(I could give examples in physics of mental fascism caused by a failure to classify ideas according to their significance and importance. Einstein’s opinion that photons are localized in space while translating is thoroughly NOT proven experimentally… Yet, few physicists question it, nobody tries to confront it experimentally, that potential grave error informs all of modern physics… With a dreadful influence, in my humble opinion, as it implies the multiverse, and the mismanaging of wave function collapse in Quantum Mechanics, among other disasters)

How would the formal introduction of significance as a dimension of truth help truth and science? When a new paper appears, as it is, peer review mostly checks for veracity… Or plausibility if the authors are famous. Significance, if and when it is given some importance, has no formal place. However, I propose to make potential significance a major dimension of truth.

So it was in the jungle: a tiny sound, or motion, or lack thereof, would have been evaluated carefully by prehistoric men in its potential consequences. So not just truth, but potentialities consequential from putative truths, were major neurological and cognitive activities. 

None of the preceding, the many dimensions of truth, and their potentialities, should in any way interfere with parrhesia and isegoria… two pillars of democracy, as the Greeks saw it. Far from it: parrhesia, the ability to speak frankly (in total contradiction with the fascist “cancel culture”), and isegoria, the right to address the assemblies equally (which is completely violated by the so-called “representative democracy” regimes) are indispensable, and the core of real democracy and its ability to generate truth from debates…

But finding the new and better truths is so important that we need all the help we can get. Making truth assist a part of governance would be more of what has long been done, ever since engineers advised leaders, and that happened well before Archimedes’ role during the siege of Syracuse…

Patrice Ayme 

 

Well, that’s only one interest of art… One of the dimensions of the interest we bear towards it. Another is an interest we already have in DREAMING… Namely imagining, in our minds eyes, new possibilities, new potentialities, exactly as what happens with the hidden dimension of truth I promote, namely its significance, or POTENTIAL SIGNIFICANCE…

TRUTH EXISTS. LOGIC IS EXISTENCE

October 1, 2021

What is the most important discovery science ever made?

That truth exists.

Science, logic, emotion, even truth, are all local. Whereas the universe, as far as we can see, extends without bounds shrouded in more mystery than we can guess. Truth is local, but shines and makes us, locally, divine. Most of what there is has to be revealed yet [1]. 

But for the most important: truth exists.

***

SCIENCE POINTS OUT EXISTENCE And CREATES IT:

Demonstrate, comes from what comes out (“de“) of showing (“monstrare“). Trying to temper my seemingly fanatical pro-science mood, as if one needed to be tempered in one’s thirst for knowledge, Sagal Tisqaad made an age-old objection:

“Science has only ever explained how things work. Not what they are.”

Right. Except that things are defined by how they look and how they work… Exactly as “science” does it. And “science” means (more or less) certain knowledge. No more no less. Being against it is being against brains. But then there is more… Is an explanation itself an… object? Yes it is!Let me explain after the contemplation of the tree of life…

Actually some of the basic Judeo-Christian texts evoke the “logic of life”.

LOGOS IS EXISTENCE, EXISTENCE IS LOGOS:

Explaining how something works, and what it means, to work, is itself an existentialist statement. If I proffer Proposition P,  there exists P. 

Some may whine that is just sophistry, a mind game. However, minds are real objects.

At least, so I claim.  I view the brain as a dynamic (sub) quantic object [2]… Made of patterns (neurons, axons, dendrites, neurohormonal topology, and the geometry and topology of structures we know nothing about yet, because they are too fine and dynamic for our present gross instruments of scientific inquiry to reveal; an example is the inner machinery of just one neuron, which is most certainly, in part, and among other things, a Quantum Computer, a sort of entity we barely know exist, and how to make it work a tiny bit… even with the the help of tremendous machinery…)

Ideas correspond to neural geometry-topological patterns, so to a proposition P is associated such a pattern, a pattern specific to P… which didn’t exist before, so came into being as the idea got formulated (one will generally utter the idea before really formulating it). 

“In other words, logic creates existence. As John had it in the Bible…

“In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with God, and the Logos was God.” (John 1;1)

Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν, καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος (En arkhêi ên ho lógos, kaì ho lógos ên pròs tòn theón, kaì theòs ên ho lógos.) The concept is already in Luke 1;2 and the Book of Revelation [3]…

Identifying God and Logic was explicitly done in the 11C by a prominent abbot to the fury of the Catholic church and its Pope. That was the beginning of the end of Christianism. 

How did antique thinkers realize that the logos (discourse, logic) entails existence? Well, introspection: when one has an idea or song in one’s head it can feel all too real… And could, in the end, move mountains… So exist it does…

Patrice Ayme

***

P/S: If I put my hand on a red hot surface, what comes into being? Pain! Is pain a… logos… according to my conceptology above? Of course. Pain is logos, fresh or not. Pain is a pattern in the brain which comes into existence, with plenty of sense attached to it, and pain has to co-exist with the rest of pre-existing patterns in said brain…

***

[1] How can something exist locally and not globally? Casual observations show this is the case. Differential geometry is all about the interplay between local and global. That means there is a gigantic science of the interplay between local and global, which can be used… both globally and locally in various analogies, more or less valid or evocative…

*** 

[2] This does not depend on the first analysis, upon my SQPR, underlying CIQ (Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum). It could well be that ideas could be viewed as classical objects. 

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[3] λόγος, logos is often mistranslated as “word” by churchmen, who, understandably enough, fear logic, the logos. In truth logos is not just the “word”, but words with sense attached, as in Category Theory… logos, the discourse, the logic. Oh, what is logic? No logician has a wide enough concept of “logic”. It is an open problem in logic, what logic is. What I propose is that logic is any brain arrangement which makes sense (by making sense, I mean a sense like x–>y… any chain of implications, as in Category Theory…) 

 

Affordable Care Act Neither Affordable Nor Caring.

May 7, 2021

Inflation is measured in contrived ways, mostly to undercount it where it really hurts. Hence the housing and educational crises in the USA (and also in Europe: when France, and the rest of Europe, “deindustrialize”, this is caused, in part by the collapse of the educational system relative to Asia).

In the USA, healthcare inflation is gigantic. Somebody commenting Paul Krugman in the New York Times noticed:

Joe Arena from Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey wrote:

For the love of God, healthcare prices have been going up above and beyond the rate of inflation (5-6% per year), and a family insurance plan that cost $7,000 annually (just in premiums, excl. out of pocket) in 2000 now costs over $20,000 in 2021. Has anyone’s wages tripled in that span? Nope. How is there not more anger over this? Even from corporate America, who has to pay employer sponsored insurance…I would have expected a major call from them to solve the issue yet nothing. Why isn’t this discussed more???

I replied and Paul published my comment right away (!):

Healthcare price inflation is not discussed anymore, because Obamacare is venerated, and the official name of Obamacare is the “Affordable Care Act”. Those who do not understand that healthcare has become “Affordable” would be suspect, because they would systematically pretend to not understand  that Obamacare saved the US. Fortunately, most “Democrats” see that Obama has made healthcare “Affordable”, and thus without inflation. 

The real reality is completely different: the problem of basic healthcare in the USA is that it is all too much for profit, whereas it should be viewed 100% as a human right. Thus US healthcare costs 50% more than in comparable countries in Europe. Those 50% are pure profit for the few and the greediest. Once Obamacare was passed, US life expectancy went down. My brother in law died from a heart attack in a parking lot, because the first hospital he drove to refused to treat him at 2am. They had implanted a stent a few weeks before, but he was very poor. He died on his way to a less greedy hospital in cold Anchorage. 

Obamacare, or then Obama’s policies, were a disaster for US life expectancy. I am a registered Democrat but not one who lies to me and others. That the average Dem leader refuses to admit the truth shows they are not… democrats. They are DINOs, Democrats In Name Only, laughing loud all their way to the bank.

The problem with democracy in the US in particular, and the West in general has been that it will only progress if ideas progress, and that requires perceiving real reality.

I keep falling across philosophers singing the praises of Aristotle. Aristotle himself was aware of the problem of reality: he sent students to make an inventory of living species (there was a lot of confusion from myths and fossils). However in practical philosophy, politics, Aristotle was sure of himself: the universe was organized by a supreme being, the great fascist in the sky.

Aristotle said the Macedonian king Philip II of Macedon was good. It was a false problem to believe Philip was bad. Then Aristotle had to flee Athens to save his life.
Later Aristotle’s friend Antipater became the installer of tyranny in Athens, and ordered the execution of Demosthenes. Demosthenes said: “The easiest thing in the world is self-deceit; for every man believes what he wishes, though the reality is often different.”[Third Olynthiac, section 19 (349 BCE). ]
Demosthenes: “Whatever shall be to the advantage of all, may that prevail!”
Speech against Philip II of Macedon (351 BCE)
Why do we insist upon listening to Aristotle, as he contributed, perhaps more than anybody else, including Antipater, or even Philip, in destroying democracy? Aristotle had the power, the mental power to tell his friends, Philip, Alexander, Antipater, Craterus, how advantageous democracy was.
Aristotle probably could have persuaded them: Alexander was notoriously ambivalent about what to do with democracy and freedom, and did not want to use force against Athens.
However, Aristotle was much less in doubt: he called Demosthenes a politician. In truth Demosthenes was an advocate of democracy, and Aristotle a good friend to his best friends, the Macedonian tyrants, many of whom he had taught himself in person.

One of his friend, a fellow who was not too bright, was sent to arrest Demosthenes, who had taken refuge on an island off invaded Athens. The friend had been mandated by the fascist Macedonians who occupied Athens. The not so bright fellow conversed with the philosopher, who, knowing he faced torture before execution, thanks to the executor of Aristotle’s will, Antipater, was carrying poison. Demosthenes took the poison. Aristotle had been dead a couple of years, by then, but this was his greatest victory, the victory of monarchy over democracy.

Telling the truth to power, the possible truth to power, is the essence of democracy. But talking is not enough. But talking is not enough. One needs a society opened to listening. The case of the Affordable Care Act is typical: if one is for progress in the US, one is not supposed to criticize it, if one does not want to be called terrible names, and then cancelled.

Democracy is not just an institutional system. It has to be more than that. It has to be a mood connected to the open society. And what that society has to be the most open to is intelligent, tolerant debate.

Patrice Ayme

Avalanches Teach Well. Nature Is The Ultimate Teacher. 

March 25, 2021

George from the New York Times is “saddened to learn of … a near record of avalanche deaths, nearly all in closed areas… I spent countless days on the slopes and never once did I ever think it wise to risk my life on un-groomed or out of bounds areas. I appreciate the thrill of skiing on virgin snow, away from others, but at what price? These senseless deaths and the risk of life of those tasked in recovery is too much a price to pay. Substantial fines should be levied for those daredevils, lifelong suspensions and cost of rescue should be billed.”

I replied this:

@george You propose “substantial fines” for “daredevils” who… dare to go out in nature? “Senseless deaths“? When does death make sense? Worldwide, the number of deaths by avalanches of the “daredevils” who dare to go in nature during winter is less than 150 a year…. while traffic accidents on roads kill 1.35 million a year. Everyday, 3,700 people are killed in collisions on roads.

I doubt that all these road trips “made sense”. One thing I am sure of, is that many things do not make sense nowadays, precisely because people have lost touch with nature, its beauty, its perils, the intelligence it requires, and the sense it provides. We need leaders who remember nature, because nature still rules. 

Another point is that condemning people to only go to resort for the wealthy is in poor taste, and feeds the engine of inequality. Traditional ski resorts are immensely expensive, both to those who go there, and to the planetary environment. One could actually wonder why they are not submitted to hefty carbon taxes. They are churches of environmental destruction where the faithful gather among the fuel, noise and machinery. Is that what we want to teach and encourage? Bring crowds, machines, pollution to pristine nature, and fine those who get out?

Avalanche in Sion vallee, Suisse: the Rhone flows through it. Sometimes avalanches, even in Switzerland, have been known to flatten entire forests. In the 17C, French peasants in the Vars area sued to Royal government for having cut giant meleze trees (larches) for building forts, exposing thereafter their villages to avalanches. The trunks of such immense trees can still be seen at the Montdauphin fort, and are much larger than any in existence today… A testimony to the ravages of man upon nature…

Cost of rescue is another matter. Generally European “daredevils” all have insurance both for health and rescue. The former comes from universal health insurance in Europe, the latter is readily available and covers dozens of millions of people there, because it is very cheap. 

Nature is dangerous. Danger is how nature teaches best. Life is a deadly disease, after all, but it’s also a mistake to focus on that. I was caught once in a giant rock avalanche above an unfathomable icy abyss. My survival, and that of my partner, was so miraculous that, would someone tell me such a story in its gory details, I would not believe it. Never. It is actually a most unlikely story of survival. To this day, although I was there, saving my life by playing superhero with inhuman powers, I cannot believe what happened. I know what happened, I can describe it, in detail, but still it was such a miracle that I understand why miracles make people believe in divinities.  

My two closest friends, and other friends, not as close, died in avalanches. In the Alps, in Himalaya. All of them, before they had children. Untimely death goes with mountaineering. I miss them, but since we will all die anyway, we may as well do it learning tough lessons. Because we can teach them, to all of humanity.

One lesson avalanches teach? It is not because it looks extremely unlikely, that it will not happen, and then, worse than imaginable. 

Other activities in nature can teach similar lessons. For example I swam many times at a place called Black Rock in the Hawaiian island of Maui, a towering cliff of black lava, overhanging, twenty meters above the water, twenty meters below, 400 meters long. I would swim in the shadow (the cliff is north facing), on the theory that I would see sharks if there were some, and they would not see me, if they were in the lighted part, out at sea. I got to befriend a giant green sea turtle, the largest I have ever seen, who would come visit me at the tip of the cape. Nobody was swimming that north facing cliff. But the south side, next to a honey sand beach, with short rocks, was very crowded, including swimmers who would jump  in. The north side was, is, super wild, with magnificent corals… I was super foolhardy to swim there without the full armament suite I used in Africa: harpoon and extra long, sharp combat knife for fighting off sea creatures… But, besides sea turtles, I saw no sharks. However I noticed the paucity of large fishes, which told me that there were sharks around. Later there were two lethal attacks, including one on the safe side of the rock, where the crowds were. A large, experienced 60 year old man was attacked and bled to death, in spite of immediate rescue from life guards. The shark, of unknown species, was not caught.  

Still, should one avoid the sea? No, but, should I go back to Hawai’i, it would be wise to go dive, fully armed. Some will sneer that I exaggerate… But I am familiar with long swims in the ocean. I have seen white sharks in the water twice, and one was the biggest white shark I have seen (including in videos). When one sees documentaries with plenty of sharks swimming around innocently, those sharks are not behaving like the sharks I have known in the seas; they probably bumped into cameras, or cages, or were otherwise trained… Another pitfall is the artificially low number of fatalities reported from shark attacks; the danger on a solitary diver is much greater than for a group; in underdeveloped regions, many deaths go unreported, or people are smart enough to not go swimming… 

Ah, lightning… Lightning kills a lot in nature. I am familiar with it as a mountain runner: I prefer to run with clouds, to avoid thirst and heat stroke, and mountain clouds have the tendency to turn into spectacular storms, which provide the natural caffeine of . The closest I have seen lightning was as a child, three meters away… I got caught by super intense lightning storms four times while climbing.

From all this, I learned how precious life was, and how close to disaster one can be. Not just for oneself, but for others… Some claim to be “Stoics”… The “Stoa” was a pillar in Greece, and some guy talked from the bottom of it. Ever since so-called “Stoics” have taught each other, the two most famous being those old crooks, yet excellent writers, Seneca, who led the Roman empire for five years (when his student nero was not paying attention yet), and Marcus Aurelius (who ruled the empire 20 years).  Marcus harassed to death a small number of christians, for no good reason, Seneca was well known for his astronomical corruption (while teaching that riches impoverished). Seneca himself, and that is not commented on usually, admitted in his letters that, in his times already, “there are no more philosophers”. Why? Because Romans had learned to only listen to their master’s voice. Romans were not listening to nature anymore. If one wants to be genuinely stoic, one has to learn to listen to the snow in the woods, because yes the snow talks, while contemplating the fresh mountain lion tracks one is following to ease one’s way (yes, another of my pastimes; I got mountain lions warnings more than once; the first time I heard the sound I had no idea what it was). 

Nature is the teacher. That’s where history, logic, science and the imagination come from. Nature is truth. We need nature raw, untamed, free to express itself.

Patrice Ayme

***

P/S: And we need philosophy schools learning from nature to have the largest following, rather than herds praying to a nailed scarecrow, a caravan raider, a guy below a pillar (stoa), a replete prince watching his navel, or a docile submissive anxious to please masters (Xi’s idol, Confucius)… Actually none of these is as much of a problem as Putin or Xi, the worsts popes today. President Biden, observed that he had spent longer with Xi than any other US citizen. In a refined analysis, Biden said that, just as Putin, Xi is persuaded only autocracy, by opposition to democracy, can resolve the complex problems of today’s world. This is of course absurd. But, as Biden pointed out this leads to, once more, a conflict between oligarchy and democracy. If Xi and Putin had learned from nature, they would know that they are inviting disaster: if anything, the law of averages always win, and having two gigantic countries led by just two men, that’s completely out of average behavior…

Truth Destroying Moderators On Facebook: How To Fix It

March 14, 2021

An Example Of Truth Censorship on Facebook, This morning I got this message on my Facebook page, in a bright orange panel. Yesterday at 10:27 PM Your comment goes against our community guidelines so only you and the group admins can see this post. Later they made part of my account only visible to myself for ten days… For just relating a piece of history.

Here is the offensive comment of mine which was censored by Facebook “moderators”: 

Patrice Ayme commented on Les Clark’s post: “By The Way, for the Nazis, Japanese Lives Mattered. Nazis extolled the Japanese race”.

My statement was of course entirely correct. The Nazis officially considered the Japanese to be the “Master Race of the Orient. Except for rare occasional obvious poetry and jokes, I try to only utter the truth on the Internet (jokes are too easily misunderstood). Maybe moderators at Facebook do not know enough English? “Extoll” means to praise, glorify, or honor; “extol the virtues of one’s children”; “glorify one’s spouse’s cooking” exalt, glorify, laud, proclaim. 

One must then say that the problem with this statement of mine which was censored is that it is entirely correct. The bread and butter, and the entire personalities of all too many in the Facebook moderators “group” system, is to promote lying. And the more egregious the lying, the more powerful the ‘moderators’ feel. It is a vicious exponentiating circle. This is a serious problem, as it promotes manicheism, violence, lies, and tribal behavior. In one word: racism.  The increased violent tribalism has been a drug, augmenting profits. However, it will bring the explosion of civil society (and thus increased inequality and plutocracy). Thankfully I found an obvious solution for Facebook, which is quite easy to implement (the solution is at the end of this essay).

THE CHINESE MUST GO. Push them off that cliff! US anti-Oriental racism was LEGAL and strong for generations… While it was actually ILLEGAL, in Germany, even in Nazi Germany! American racists think that this truth has to be hidden, so I get censored. Some Facebook moderators are themselves racist Americans, and they hide this by making a disingenuous show of being rabidly anti-Trump. But say something hinting at American racism not condoned by Soros (famous plutocrat financing some types of anti-racism) and his ilk, and they will censor you.

For the background to see why my censored comment on Nazism and the Japanese race was correct, here is Wikipedia in Nazi Racial Theories

East Asian races equal to Aryans or declared “Honorary Aryan”

The Han Chinese and Japanese races were both considered the “Aryans of the East”, “Honorary Aryans” and the “Herrenvolk of the Orient” (i.e. the “Master race” of the Orient) by Nazi Germany.[6][7]

In 1945, Adolf Hitler said:

Pride in one’s own race, and that does not imply contempt for other races, is also a normal and healthy sentiment. I have never regarded the Chinese or the Japanese as being inferior to ourselves. They belong to ancient civilizations, and I admit freely that their past history is superior to our own. They have the right to be proud of their past, just as we have the right to be proud of the civilization to which we belong. Indeed, I believe the more steadfast the Chinese and the Japanese remain in their pride of race, the easier I shall find it to get on with them.[8]

Adolf Hitler had allowed Han Chinese soldiers to study in German military academies and serve in the Nazi German Wehrmacht as part of their combat training.

Here is some more background: 

Adolf Hitler had supported the Empire of Japan as early as 1904, when during the Russo-Japanese War it had defeated the Russians, which he considered a defeat for Austrian Slavism.[14][15] He made a number of other statements expressing his respect and admiration for the Japanese in his book Mein Kampf.[16][17]

Although they belonged to a different evolutionary race than the Germans did, the Han Chinese and the Imperial Japanese were both considered to have sufficiently superior qualities as were people with German-Nordic blood to warrant an alliance by Nazi ideologists such as Himmler. Himmler, who possessed a great interest in, and was influenced by, the anthropology, philosophies and pantheistic religions of East Asia, mentioned how his friend Hiroshi Ōshima, the Japanese Ambassador to Germany, believed that the noble castes in Japan, the Daimyō and the Samurai, were descended from gods of celestial origin, which was similar to Himmler’s own belief that “the Nordic race did not evolve, but came directly down from heaven to settle on the Atlantic continent.”[18]

Karl Haushofer, a German general, geographer, and geopolitician, whose ideas may have influenced the development of Hitler’s expansionist strategies, saw Japan as the brother nation of Germany. In 1908, he was sent to Tokyo by the German Army “to study the Japanese Army and advise it as an artillery instructor. The assignment changed the course of his life and marked the beginning of his love affair with the orient. During the next four years he traveled extensively in East Asia, adding Korean, Japanese, and Mandarin to his repertoire of Russian, French, and English languages. Karl Haushofer had been a devout student of Schopenhauer, and during his stay in the Far East he was introduced to Oriental esoteric teachings.”[19] It was based on such teachings that he came to make similar bestowals of his own upon the Japanese people, calling them the “Aryans of the East”, and even calling them the Herrenvolk of the Orient” (i.e. the “Master race of the Orient”).[6]

Nazi Foreign Minister Konstantin von Neurath and its Foreign Ministry explained to Japanese Ambassador Nagai that Germany held no prejudices against other races but merely opposed the mixing of races. This position was repeatedly used and mentioned in publications and statements made in subsequent years. In Mein Kampf, Hitler expressed the conviction that the mixing of races would result in the depreciation of racial value, since the “lower” race would devalue the “superior” race and, unlike “pure” races, weaken the offspring….

***

So I told the truth and I was censored for it. Why is this? The censors were US citizens, they want to feel good about US racism.  They don’t want US readers to read the USA was more racist than Nazi Germany, in some ways. That’s even worse than realizing most Nazi theories originated by observing what was “successfully” done in the USA.

But the USA is a racist country, all too many of the Facebook censors are themselves racist, so they are natural born cancelling of the truth propagandists. They are “America First and Above” racists. They want to hide all this nuance and data.

There was notorious LEGAL racism against the Chinese in the USA in general, and California in particular: Chinese workers were mistreated, despised and forbidden to bring families in. The United States Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, signed into law by president Arthur, forbade Chinese males to come to the USA (except if wealthy, of course). It followed the US Federal Law called the Page Act of 1875 which banned Chinese women from immigrating to the United States.

The case of the Japanese is well-known: the “Democratic” administration of Roosevelt deprived them of their liberty and incarcerated them in concentration camps, without any rationale whatsoever, except US for delirious racism.

***

So now to suggest something to Facebook. Facebook uses volunteer “moderators” to adjudicate truth within Facebook. The problem is that some of these moderators are only moderators in name. I was unjustly censored and cancelled for telling the truth. I should be able to appeal to the central command at Facebook for action against these lying moderators…. Who are not moderators, but the exact opposite: those who fight the truth are encouraging violence, abuse, oppression, tribalism, strife and racism. Such violators should be warned, and, if they persisted in blocking the truth, forcefully removed from their moderator positions. 

Punishing moderators who censor truth deliberately would make Facebook more truth friendly. The same principle should apply all over the media. Instead, in the present system, common Facebook participants who may err are punished, instead of being taught the truth.

This is a problem with all media. Countless times, I sent comments to the New York Times (among others) to correct egregious errors. They did not publish a single one while generally encouraging the lies by publishing often hundreds of comments pertaining to the same article, fostering their initial lie. This is not a matter to be taken lightly. It should be illegal. Just an example: some of the lies of the New York Times had to do with the invasion of Iraq promoted in 2002, effected in 2003 (I have been a NYT subscriber for decades).  

Truth shall set you free, whereas those who enforce lies shall subjugate you.

Patrice Ayme

Homo Is Truth, An Apocalypse

March 10, 2021

Justice requires truth. History in full is mostly about determining how the conspiracies built, and hid, the truth. In the case of Nazism, abstract, and often misleading notions such as “racism”, or “Versailles” do more to hide the truth than to reveal it. Why? In the most serious cases, the truth is an apocalypse, literally.

Apocalypse is “revelation, disclosure,” from Church Latin apocalypsis “revelation,” from Greek apokalyptein “uncover, disclose, reveal,” from apo “off, away from” (see apo-) + kalyptein “to cover, conceal,”

An example of apocalypse was the historian Gibbons case accusing Christianism. Gibbons was following emperor Julian (reigned 360-363 CE). This was an apocalypse, because Western civilization has long been presented as “Christian”. Whatever it is

My family, which was in the resistance to the Nazis, harboring more than 100 Jews, etc. was involved in the fascist racist apocalypse of the Twentieth Century, three times. First World War, Second World War, and what should be called the African War (still ongoing to Biden’s chagrin).

Christians were big on the Apocalypse. Little did they know they caused it… Although they did not originate the degeneracy which enabled their stupid and criminal ways. Osogovo MonasteryRepublic of North Macedonia

I have more apocalypses to serve: for example, that the plutocratic phenenomenon is intimately entangled with the nature of supreme intelligence and civilization. Simpler, but harder to swallow: that Nazism, although entangled, in its hatred of Jews, with Christianism, sheer racism, even Darwinism, Prusso-German imperial mass homicidal and official holocaust policies, was greatly not only to the advantage, but the foremost tool of global (read US) plutocracy… which found in Nazism, Stalinism, and various other fascisms (even the Vietminh for a crucial little while), the ideal lever to destroy whatever was in the way of the world domination by the abusive mood which has characterized it since 1609 CE… (Or even before, because the “West Country Men” of the 1609 investment first sacked Ireland…)

Naturally, common sedate adults, at the levers of entire countries, or organizations, do not like apocalypses: they could threaten the power positions they enjoy.

For example Putin does not enjoy all the apocalyptic turmoil his opponent Navalny expose him to. So Putin, or his henchmen, had Navalny poisoned, and, when Navalny got resurrected in Germany, and then came back, Putin jailed, or a so-called judge, more exactly, had Navalny jailed again. Then what did so-called “Amnesty International”do? AI had found in the past that Navalny was “prisoner of conscience” (a concept directly translated from the French). That was fine, as long as Navalny was not threatening the establishment in Russia to the point he now is. As I said the establishment does not like apocalypses. Amnesty International has become part of the establishment… Now Navalny is on the verge of forcing people of influence, to look at Putin as the tyrant he is… An apocalypse threatens… So AI, as part of the establishment, found this a bit too upsetting… And Amnesty International removed from Navalny his status of prisoner of conscience (alleging that Navalny had said, in 2007, that illegal immigrants to Russia should be deported… Something that is the law in all countries…).

Apocalypses are all over, ever more… Want a few? Men who chemically treat themselves with hormones more dominant in females, and practice various amputations, dissimulations, lying and dissembling… Are still, in more than 99% of cases still XY creatures, who should not be considered females, because they are not… That does not mean I am against changing sex like one changes clothes: it simply cannot be done… Yet. That does not make me “transphobic”, that just calls attention to the fact transphiles are even less genuine than pedophiles… Although I am all for one gender bathrooms, that does not mean I will pretend that an XY has the right to compete in sport against XX while pretending to be what he, yes HE, is not… We the apocalyptists do like liars, they are our natural prey, especially when they claim to be what they are not, because they find in it some personal advantage….

Vegans come around. claiming one should have nothing to do with our fellow inferior species… Not even realizing that what vegans imply is the annihilation of the species they claim to respect, because, once the animals lose economic utility, they will be annihilated by the soy bean and palm tree plantations… Here I am revealing an old idea: a very similar argument was used by the Roman government in the Fourth century. The idea was that the Roman government should not annihilate the Goths, because they were so special, and one did not want such a strange race to go the way of Thessalian lions and Libyan elephants… Both of which had just disappeared… Because one had found no utility for them in a timely manner… So the Roman government should use the Goths rather than do away with them. The argument stays valid to this day: long live the endangered turtle soup… As long as the turtles are multiplied in farms…

I am just revealing here an argument that is 16 centuries old, showing some apocalypses need repeating, and still sound like science fiction to the primitives full of sophisticated stupidity. Really: vegans still do not understand a rather trivial argument already made 16 centuries ago by a government not known for its intellectual prowess?

One more apocalypse? The truth is one cannot have a “green” planet without mastery of nuclear energy. And yes, that’s the key to colonizing (such a nice concept), the Solar System.. Oh, yes, the anti-colonialists are ALL hypocrites: they owe their existence to their colonizing ancestors, in more than 99% of the cases…

Yes, as ageing is replaced by rejuvenation, thanks to gene transfer and epigenetic erasure, we will need ever more land mass, and by this I do not mean just a balmy Siberia, or Greenland forests… But the Moon, Mars, Ceres, Ganymede, Europa, Enceladus, even Pluto…

Yes, we are the apocalyptic species. The apocalyptic genus. But is there better divinity to serve than the truth, and nothing but the truth?

Patrice Ayme

No Truth But Truth And Power Is Its Prophet

February 11, 2021

The outrageous core of pseudo philosophy can be defined by the claim that there is no such a thing as objective truth. It is not just the most inhuman insult, but it denies what enabled our species’ existence… Wisdom! “Sapiens”! How could there be wisdom without truth? The entire evolution of the genus Homo stands on achieving some truths. Enough truths to enable us to conquer the planet, the biosphere, and land on the Moon. The adversaries of our ancestors were extinguished, because they did not discover the most valuable truths fast enough. For example the truth of the atlatl, whose leverage made it possible for a javelin or dart to go much further, projecting power. Or the truth that clothing made of furs permitted Homo Ergaster to survive the winter in the Caucasus mountains… Two million years ago, on its way to conquer all of Eurasia. 

The dirtiest waters of the oceans of truths, are the deepest…

Pseudo Philosophers attacking truth thus attack the human genus, and human genius, the very idea of wisdom, itself. They are getting confused by the way one gets to truth: through debate, that is, socially. Always. Even the most precise science is always the result of social debates (among the scientifically minded). Science, let alone wisdom, is fundamentally cultural, thus social. It is a truism… Although of course it means that all and any inchoate system of thought will always come to the fore as a tribal phenomenon. That is not a show-stopper, because there is no other way. But it is a warning, a tribal warning… Even for Big Bang theory (not for classical optics, which is 100% true). 

So why is Pseudo Philosophy so popular? Because it is a cheap drug the established order wants We The People to be addicted to. Pseudo-philosophy attacks the notion of objective truth . If there is no objective truth, one cannot criticize systemic social inequality. Objective truth is the enemy of plutocracy, destroying it makes plutocracy free. And who is financing the top thinkeries (to use Aristophane’s word)? Plutocracy! So Plutocracy loves Pseudo Philosophy, as it hates truth. 

Foucault made some valuable contributions to thinking, sometimes. But pseudo-everything is generally more popular with plutocrats… who finance not just the “top” universities, but own the media, worldwide (or influence it in pseudo-public outfits). Thus the careers and salaries of thinkers will come only if they can engage in pseudo-wisdom of a type satisfying plutocracy. 

And that works, because real wisdom rising is harsh, contentious, cruel and brain-shattering: it is not friendly to the herd! And the herd wants comfort, pursue happiness! Deconstructing, and then reconstructing one’s brain is no small task, and it can be demeaning. The herd prefers to listen to pseudo-philosophers, all the more as, when pseudo-wisdom sings the praises of the established order, it is telling the herd that it lives in the best of all possible worlds… And the herd wants to hear that to be satisfied with its own sense of comfort…

In truth, there is not truth but the truth, and power is its prophet!

Patrice Ayme

***

P/S 1: That was a comment to the following pretty good essay, which told the truth about Foucault and other “postmodernists”:

Pseudophilosophy encourages confused, self-indulgent thinking

***

P/S 2:

I do not believe that there is no truth. One ought to define truth as what works (what else?) And of course there are lots of things which works, hence there are many truths. Yes, some quantum logicians have claimed quantum physics implies that there is “no truth”. It is a consequence of the many-world and multiverse interpretations of Quantum Physics. However those interpretations are not the only ones, there are other interpretations such as the De Broglie Pilot Wave, or objective collapse theories.

In any case, using the preceding definition of truth, if indeed somehow quantum logic implied that there is no truth, nothing would work. Maybe one should introduce virtual truth, namely operational neural networks… Which would work only as functioning brain circuitry (and not necessarily work as representations of the real world, namely what works out there). Those neural networks would incarnate Plato’s “forms”.Notice that a functioning neural network is a classical object. Whereas, an inchoate neural network is also surely partly an evolving quantum object. In general fundamental (quantum) processes are waves all over the place (that place is endowed with the structure of a Hilbert space), but in the end the process collapses down to points (the classical picture)… This is actually implies that virtual truths all over the place boil down to one 100% certain truth, in the end…

Did Socrates Say We Know Nothing? No! He Said The Exact Opposite! Why Plutocracy Pushes Cognitive Nihilism

February 9, 2021

We live in the age of cognitive and collective nihilism. Nothing really new there; Friedrich Nietzsche was already fighting the same exact mass psychology of ignorance extolled as wisdom… in Germany. That’s why the musician Nietzsche broke away from his friend the musician Wagner. (a German hypernationalistic racist) Nietzsche said the herd constituted by most Germans had become ignorant nationalistic brutes and terrible things would result from this. So Friedrich went to live in France and Italy, celebrating both cultures, and calling himself a Pole. Einstein, three decades later would follow a similar path, with similar (very justified) complaints.

A preferred tactic of Internet bullies, is to claim that Socrates would have said that he knew nothing, and, thus that it is the epitome of wisdom for Internet critters to say that their opponents know nothing, because, well, we know nothing. In particular Internet critters claim that whatever a superior interlocutor said in a cognitive dimension they didn’t even know existed, is irrelevant, because there is no knowledge in knowledge. 

Actually Socrates said the exact opposite of claiming that we knew nothing… And that we know plenty, and can know much more, and much better, is probably Socrates’ main message. The so-called Socratic method is a way to get to the truth, not just a s consequence, but as hypothesis. To claim the opposite is a piece of vicious disinformation. Actually, to tell the whole truth, the so-called Socrates method was probably invented as soon as language was. It is just the manner of improving ideas, hypotheses, observations and principles through a debate, by looking at all the consequences. When all the false stuff has been eliminated, the truth is left. 

The lie that Socrates claimed to be a cognitive nihilist was planted by Roman plutocrats four centuries after Socrates’ death, in an effort to devalue knowledge, all of knowledge

The Socratic Methods consists in conducting a succession of ever more refined thought experiments. The method is probably as old as language itself.

So now we have this paradox of people who think they are wise because they do as Socrates did, according to them, scrupulously knowing nothing and replacing this by frantic tribal howling (presently with the word “Trump” within in the USA, although that will pass soon). And they repeat what their owners told them to say, presently from media owned by the world’s wealthiest persons…

Socrates is viewed as a pillar of philosophy, yet Socrates wrote directly or indirectly, nothing. This is remarkable. By indirectly writing nothing I mean that we do not know of a text that Socrates originated: we have to take Plato’s word for it (and there are reasons to doubt Plato’s good judgement, namely his love affair with the tyrant of Syracuse). Whereas, for example, we know that it is Pericles’ wife, Aspasia of Miletus, who made explicit the concept of “Open Society”… a very important concept explicitly mentioned in the funeral oration given by Pericles… (We know this, because Pericles himself did not believe in the Open Society that much; clearly his wife forced him to extoll the Open Society…)… The concept of open Society was later picked and expanded upon by French Nobel laureate philosopher Henri Bergson, then Popper. By contrast the “Socratic Method” is something that Plato shows in various dialogues, conducted in pursuit of… the truth. The truth envisioned as axiomatics and consequences.

Thus, we have no direct evidence of Socrates’ thinking. Aristophanes, Xenophon and of course Plato mention Socrates. Aristophanes makes fun of Socrates for instituting a “thinkery“… if it sounds akin to a winery, this is no accident: Plato himself presents Socrates as having been the most depraved of men before he became a lover to the best, war hero, and finally beyond it all.. So the Socratic Method arose in the sort of circumstances that were rather informal… And we are not too sure in what Socrates really believed (the reason is that he may have had different political beliefs than Plato who was already an obvious right wing authoritarian…)

The result has been that many thoughts are attributed to Socrates which he did not have. As he and Plato are viewed (somewhat idiotically) as the fathers of philosophy, “philosophy” is then viewed as something it was never meant to be… Namely, a negation of knowledge. 

In particular many fake thinkers quote Socrates as saying that he only knew one thing, and that was that he knew nothing. Socrates did not say this, and actually in some places, as reported by Plato, Socrates says explicitly that he knows some things very well. 

Indeed, one of Socrates’ thought system insisted that specialized mental activities should be left to specialists who know the body of knowledge. That was Socrates’ main beef against Athenian style Direct Democracy, according to Plato. For example, Socrates-Plato points out, generals should be professionals, just as shoemakers are professionals.

Pretending that the “father of philosophy” (as the snobs love to say) said that we knew nothing is to claim that wisdom is not grounded in knowledge, and we may as well be a barnacle, knowing nothing while clinging to stuff. The “we know nothing mantra” is nihilism at its best.

That silliness, that Socrates said he knew nothing, was a lie invented 4 centuries later, in a civilization which wanted to know nothing, because knowing something was highly inconvenient: that society had Pluto Derangement Syndrome.

Roman society was busy devaluing wisdom, and thus knowledge. So Roman intellectual-prostitutes invented and glorified the cretin, by pretended that the highest wisdom was to claim one knew nothing, so that the idiotic greedy brutes could rule the world… as they do now… consider the Gamestop scandal, where the friends of the Treasury Secretary are involved, with their “Citadel”. So Yellen and company are worried that Internet critters conspired against the world’s wealthiest conspirators… Because the latter pay her, while the former do not… presumably…

Instead Socrates thought he could learn a lot by dialoguing with ignorant students. Learning from the naive and ignorant works quite a bit along the same principles as a heat pump…

The Internet is a cornucopia of the ignorant belching creative absurdities…

Socrates would have been delighted…

Patrice Ayme


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Skulls in the Stars

The intersection of physics, optics, history and pulp fiction

Footnotes to Plato

because all (Western) philosophy consists of a series of footnotes to Plato

Patrice Ayme's Thoughts

Striving For Ever Better Thinking. Humanism Is Intelligence Unleashed. From Intelligence All Ways, Instincts & Values Flow, Even Happiness. History and Science Teach Us Not Just Humility, But Power, Smarts, And The Ways We Should Embrace. Naturam Primum Cognoscere Rerum

Learning from Dogs

Dogs are animals of integrity. We have much to learn from them.

ianmillerblog

Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

Defense Issues

Military and general security

RobertLovesPi.net

Polyhedra, tessellations, and more.

How to Be a Stoic

an evolving guide to practical Stoicism for the 21st century