Posts Tagged ‘Truth’

Hysterical Simplicity Kills

June 16, 2016

Outlaw Spy Networks, Untruths and Brexit Foster Terror:

The weird ascent of the so-called “social networks” has been fraught with spying and tax avoidance. They were a conduit for the spread of terror. I am happy to report others are sharing this opinion.

The family of a California design student killed in November’s attacks in Paris sued Twitter Inc, Google and Facebook Inc, claiming the social media companies provide “material support” to the terrorist Islamic State. 

British MP Jo Fox. Killed 16 June 2016, By The Lying Hysteria Generated By Brexiters

British MP Jo Fox. Killed 16 June 2016, By The Lying Hysteria Generated By Brexiters

Nohemi Gonzalez’s family filed the lawsuit on Tuesday in federal court in San Francisco, asking the court to rule that the companies are violating the U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act. It seeks compensatory damages to be determined by the court.

“For years, defendants have knowingly permitted the terrorist group ISIS to use their social networks as a tool for spreading extremist propaganda, raising funds and attracting new recruits,” the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit charged that the companies’ “material support” has enabled Islamic State to recruit, and to fund and carry out numerous terror attacks, including the attacks in Paris last November that killed 130 people, including Gonzalez, who was a California State University student studying abroad at the time.  

Complexity Requires Brains, Simplicity Does Not. Building Brains Requires The Riches That Matter, and Master, Most, Energy.

Complexity Requires Brains, Simplicity Does Not. Building Brains Requires The Riches That Matter, and Master, Most, Energy.

Under Obama, the SPY NETWORKS have been allowed to escape taxation and legislation. The apparent idea is that those companies enable to spread the American empire, worldwide. The fine print of Facebook Inc., in France mentioned that American law, not French law, applies. (It’s only a matter of time before the French notice this, big time.) For profits, it’s tax havens law which applies: this is why the biggest companies by market capitalization are headed by Google and Apple. The general strategy is that, wherever those companies sit, local law does not apply: they are literally OUTLAW.

As I have argued, it is important to tell the truth. Most people, at least most young people, get their news from Facebook, where the greatest idiocies appear: such as Lincoln was killed because he took adverse action against the Federal Reserve. In truth, the Federal Reserve was created in 1913, fifty years after Lincoln’s death.

This idiocy has appeared on Facebook, and spread there like wildfire. OK, it’s ridiculous and innocuous, but other idiocies are not so. The assertion that “Islam is a religion of peace”, oft uttered by Western leaders is another grotesque statement: which Islam? The Islam that Western leaders profess to wish for? Real Islam? Literal Islam?.

The hysteria against the European Union in Britain is an example. I am not trying to say that the European Union has no problem. Quite the opposite. However, the debate in England has been fed by colossal lies of all sorts. Those feeding the lies are the same who profited from England’s decay, but the nature of the debate has hidden this.

Overall, the British are much more satisfied with the European governance than the French (by like 50%!) However a vote which makes little sense is held (Europe cannot pull out of Britain, or vice versa, whatever!) Instead of fixing the ship, the captain, Cameron, has decided ask the passengers whether they would prefer to sink the ship. Now Cameron says that this is dreadful. Right. You too.

The “Leave” campaign has used insane arguments. Insanity, pushed far enough is a form of extreme violence. It does violence to brains. Violent brains, when violent enough, kill.

British politician Jo Cox died in a street attack on Thursday, a brazen and startling assault in a country. She was a vocal advocate of immigration and the European Union. She was set on, stabbed, kicked while lying on the ground. Then the attacker shot at her three times.Slaying of British lawmaker is without parallel in recent history.

Described as a rising star of the opposition Labour Party, the 41-year-old mother of two young children is the first British lawmaker to be killed in office since Conservative MP Ian Gow was assassinated by the IRA in a 1990 car bombing. (A real “Leave” of Britain from the EU would relaunch the Irish civil war, nota bene).

One witness, Clarke Rothwell, who runs a cafe near the crime scene, told the Press Association: “He was shouting ‘Put Britain first.’ He shouted it about two or three times. He said it before he shot her and after he shot her.” (A 77 year old man who intervened was also injured.)

Hysterical simplicity is increasingly the culprit we have been looking for. When Obama evokes God ten times in a discourse supposed to bemoan a mass murder committed by a crazed maniac following the orders of a crazed faith, in the name of the same God, the contradiction is blatant. Granted, Obama may be too simple to understand that.

Patrice Ayme’

Good Faith, Moods, And Truth

February 3, 2016

Little miseries, and even big ones, are all part of what is needed to present wisdom with occasions for progression, by changing the mood. It’s also a good time to re-read Montaigne’s Essays. Not to say that pluripotent, well balanced minds are superior in all ways. We know the opposite to be true: all sorts of unbalanced brains can perform superbly, even irreplaceably, in the restricted dimensions they are obsessed by. (This is particularly true in mathematics, and with many a sublime artist: consider van Gogh.)

No obsession, no progression, where (what’s still mostly) illusion is (much of) the motivation. Obsessiveness is the point which pierces obscurantism. with dedicated will

Thus civilization depends upon mental specialization for progression in the establishment of mental connections ( a piece of really new art creates new mental connections). And so it is inside every mind. Thus, how do minds specialize? By changing moods. For example, by changing to an… obsessive mood (for the aforementioned reason). Authenticity is also a mood. It generates truth progress, true progress, the progress of truth.

The fuel of mental progress is authenticity. There have been significantly different versions of what it is to be truthful, or authentic, in the last 24 centuries. Here are a few (I found only a panel in French, but French seems to be misspelled English, or vice versa).

Is Truth True? What Truth Is, Is Still A Matter Of Debate, Even In Pure Logic, Mathematical, Or Not.

Is Truth True? What Truth Is, Is Still A Matter Of Debate, Even In Pure Logic, Mathematical, Or Not.

Being stuffed with antibiotics, hobbled by pneumonia, puts one in a meditative mood quite different from other meditative moods. To be stuck in bed, forces the brain into a completely different mode from, say, running down a mountain. The general wisdom emanating is drastically different. New perspectives, among other things, are generated.

To the left, tall trees are gently swinging in the breeze, on the right, above other tall trees, in the clear blue sky, extremely high white clouds are streaming across the sky, well above a hundred miles per hour, illustrating vividly the power of the Pacific polar jet stream. Such a spectacle of our atmosphere alive, is as astounding as as the Northern Lights: from massive storm to clear blue sky in about an hour, now with the occasional high white cloud streaking across. Our planet, our gigantic spaceship, is truly amazing.

I am occasionally accused to be an anti-American French philosopher. This is true, yet unfair: it gives only an incomplete picture of my fiendishness. I am also an American anti-French philosopher. As an African philosopher, I have also: Africans have seen a lot. Very recently.

Does the concept of “Mood” translate in (modern) French? (The question was asked to me by Dominique Deux, a faithful commenter on this site.) Africans can learn perfect French in Africa, and I can really tell you, “Mood” does not translate much into modern French… usage (I intent to correct that). It is all the more curious in that the French are… full of moods. It’s important to strike a mood in France. Especially for philosophers.

Montaigne’s essays start with Montaigne striking a mood: “This book was written in good faith (“bonne foi”), reader. It warns you from the outset that I have set no goal but a domestic and private one. I have set no goal of serving you or my own glory. My powers are inadequate for such a purpose. I have set it up for the convenience of my relatives and friends so that when they have lost (as they soon must), they have recovered here some features of my habits and temperament, and by this means keep some of the knowledge they had of me more complete and alive. ”

The fundamental mood Montaigne is brimming with? He says it himself: “BONNE FOI”. (It is exactly the opposite mood from that of the electable politician, ever since we caught that plague, “representative” democracy, which seems to have everything to do with lying… In contrast to what the system the Swiss selected, seven centuries ago, when they declared their independence from those well-known plutocrats, the Habsburg…)

Why is “Bonne Foi” so important in philosophy? For the exact same reason as it is fundamental in science: it embraces truth.

The point of view I will propose on this site for what “truth” and good faith” mean could be useful in pure logic, by switching from language to metalanguage. Too tech to explain right now, but I will later.

Montaigne starts his essays with a flurry of examples from… war. This is why Montaigne is deep, and Gandhi (say) shallow. Montaigne, a soldier (he viewed himself as a soldier), knew all too well that men show their true nature when existence, in particular their own existence, is at stake. One’s existence, plus those of others, giving and taking, everything: this potent cocktail is that of war.

(And if war is presently obsolete, or, let’s say more precisely, subdued, it is because bellicose forces, led by the USA, and France, keep it that way. War is keeping war in check. Each smart bomb exploding with high precision in Syria is a vaccination against a worse, much more violent disease… Not to say Russian bombs are precise: they often are not. But the West bombs precisely, after exquisite intelligence).

By considering examples from war, Montaigne is considering what focuses minds the best: the prospect of death, receiving it, or giving it. It is virtually certain that the most frequent cause of death of male human beings over the last few million years was combat, or some other violence, such as fighting a wild beast. Thus the human brain is best equipped to keep record of combat, and, indeed, we know better why and how the Aztecs or the Romans fought, rather than what they ate.

Hence  military records present with a wealth of human experiences, a rich mine Montaigne prospects. Daring to be Politically Incorrect (PI), rather than Christian Correct, Montaigne naturally used this vast record of exploits, some admirable, some repulsive. And indeed, in his first essay, Montaigne roils out some famous examples of both. Montaigne points out, implicitly,  that Alexander (so-called the Great) was repugnant: he gives two examples why (Thebes and Gaza; I know a third one: Tyr.).

Interestingly, Aristotle is the one who proposed the notion that omission was a lie. Montaigne was more cautious. However, after promising to depict himself all naked if need be, the first thing personal he admits to, is that he does not like to be seen peeing in public (which, he admits, considering his profession, soldier, was a bit of a problem…)

I will propose something even more demanding for what Good Faith consists of: a full exploration of what one should know about the subject at hand. And that includes the truth of moods. Kant, there, who apparently wanted to tell the entire truth (see the green panel above), would have come short: his real mood was racism. And he obviously did not want to flaunt that, but be discrete about it.

So when the Nazis got inspired by Kant, they got inspired by the same attitude: tell their truths, all their truths, but don’t reveal what their real moods were. Quite the opposite: Hitler went all around. claiming to be in the mood of defending “peace” and “minorities”, whereas he wanted to kill both. Same with Kant: he wanted to enslave other “races”, but, knowing how ugly that was, he kept his real mood.

Patrice Ayme’

Feynman Renormalized

December 20, 2015

In quantum field theory, the statistical mechanics of fundamental fields, and the theory of self-similar geometric structures, renormalization is a collection of techniques used to correct computations which otherwise blow up infinitely. Feynman was one of the pioneers of renormalization, and got the Nobel Prize for it.

That work was definitively made possible by a (philosophical) understanding of the “infinite” processes at hand, so Feynman was just not an “accidental philosopher”. Feynman made brutal, but amusing remarks about the uselessness of (some) philosophers in fundamental physics, something which made connoisseurs such as yours truly smile (I knew Feynman, he was complimentary, and kind, not at all putting philosophy down, differently from some recordings out there. Feynman accepted questioning the foundations maximally. His son became a philosophy major.)

The World Is Not As Simple As That, Nor Should It Be So Rough

The World Is Not As Simple As That, Nor Should It Be So Rough

I agree with the mood behind Feynman’s uttering, the spirit of what he wanted to say. However, the context of Feynman’s remarks needs to be… renormalized. (This is an example where the mood behind a precise theory in physics, namely Quantum Field Theory, can be carried over to bring the perspective of a new method to philosophy.)

As a physicist, I admire Feynman who wrote great lectures on physics, and is mostly famous for “Feynman Diagrams” a splendid, and perhaps deep way (Feynman himself was not too sure), to denote terms in the sort of power series expansion one has to consider in Quantum Field Theories.

Feynman’s statement  depends upon what one means by “government“, the type of government one is talking about. For clarity, I will consider that “government” here SHOULD mean “Direct Democracy“, the most perfect form of democracy, what democracy really means, where the People (Demos) exert Power (Kratos). That means, in particular, that We the People rules and legislates.

Feynman, who contributed to the Manhattan Project (the making of nuclear bombs crowned, for want of a better concept, with Hiroshima and Nagasaki) seems to naturally expect the sort of fascist war government he took part in.

If one expects something too much, to the point of forgetting about possible alternatives, or how grotesque and cruel that thing is, one condones it. Feynman expects government to be tyrannical. But tyranny is not ethologically human: it’s not natural, just natural in case of war. Feynman should have realized that the government he knew was not the one we should have looking forward.

Revolution begs for distanciation. Lack of distanciation is how too much tolerance can become a crime.

Thus Feynman’s statement was to some extent self-referential, and self-condemning. Indeed, in the government Feynman was used to, there was an abyss between government and citizens. Feynman witnessed the McCarthyism witch hunt (when his own career was fully launched; Feynman saw his Manhattan project superior, Robert Oppenheimer, go down in flames, just because Oppenheimer was “not trusted”).

In Direct Democracy, a government by the citizens, for the citizens, the distinction between government and citizens disappear. Abusive “representatives” (such as Richard Nixon,a Congressman, and Senator MacCarthy) altogether disappear, as We the People represents itself.

By expecting such aa abysmal distinction, between government and citizens, Feynman seems to expect that government will have to be, forever, the sort of government he played a role in. That government Feynman was involved in was a dictatorship of some sort, out there, and up there.

Government, in the most general sense, includes the legislative, judicial, and police processes and even the army, and the laws they built, enforce, and which created them. As such, the government is deeply involved in finding out what is true, and which philosophies are valid, and which are not, supported by a rather rigorous view of history.

So Feynman’s statement should be not just be reinterpreted as a warning to the citizenry to govern with an open mind. It also indicates a sort of naivety, a sort of Manichean view of the world out of physics.

Unfortunately, just as Quantum Field Theories themselves, our interpretation of the real world is self-referential, and non-linear. Our view of reality is constantly renormalized (in a way similar to what Quantum Field Theories do). We cannot separate government from truth, and especially not perfect government. And when truth is found, it has to be enforced.

No government nowadays tolerate a religion conducive to human sacrifices (wait…) Because it was found such religions were not optimal, in the context of more advanced socio-economies guided by more evolved philosophies. And that is so much the truth, it’s legislated that way, all over.

The more powerful we humans become, the more perfect our government has to be. Thus, the more We the Citizens have to be perfect. Thus, the keener we will have to be to find the truth, and impose it, when lives, or the future, are at stake.

Truth is obtained by debate, and by making mistakes. So the fact that “We The People” can err should not be condemned: after all, dictatorships and oligarchies (what we have) also err. Erring, if done in good faith, is part of the learning process. Tyrannies, oligarchies, plutocracies are, by definition, not in good faith: as they feel that the few should overlord the many, they are by definition vicious and idiotic.

So the Slovenian People, consulted in a referendum, just rejected same-sex marriage.  The vote was 63.4% against. Interestingly, the Slovenian Parliament had passed such a law, but a rather sad group appealed to the Slovenian top court, forcing the referendum. In Europe, Britain, France and Spain recognize same-sex marriages. But this is all part of the learning process: propose, reject, debate, accept. Better let the Slovenian gay inside come out of the closet willingly, after reflection. Instead of staying stuck inside in Putin’s all too warm loudly anti-homosexual embrace.

Truth, and the lack thereof, are not an innocent bystanders. If lies are allowed to grow too big, just one citizen, in a future soon to be, could condemn the “human race”.

Some truths, or lack thereof, cannot just be considered matters of state. A Cult of Death cannot be authorized as a legal religion, for example.

In Direct Democracy, truth will not just have to be a way of life, but the only way to have government, and that includes imposing it on We The People. This is exactly the main effect of the Climate Conference, COP 21, which happened in Paris. All the nations of the world united with one voice, one truth, and declared:”Earth, We have a problem!

We have to redefine “normal”. The best renormalization of society implies much more truth than ever before.

Earth is our home, but a home is something small, thus fragile.  A home cannot be inhabited by violent, potentially lethal lies.

Patrice Ayme’

Truth Is Not Politically Correct

November 15, 2015

Truth is not Politically Correct. Denying this, pretending that truth is Politically Correct, is the mother of all problems with the present management of the entire planet. And that’s the first thing which is wrong with today’s political practice. And this is what leads to war and terrorism, let alone biosphere devastation, as observed today.

So why do we have this mood hostile to truth? Because it profits the powers that be. Hostility to truth makes people stupid. Stupid animals can be led by the nose more easily that those who are very clever. When a male shark wants to plant his flag deep in Ms. Shark, he grabs her in its powerful jaws, by a fin or another, flip her on her back, until she gets into a trance, and stops moving. This is similar to what the fiercest rulers do to We The People.

So our leaders are playing dumb. Are they as dumb as they look?  The four sacred months expired at 12pm, Mecca time, on Friday. Refer to Sura 5, verse 9: …”when the forbidden months are past, then fight and SLAY the Pagans wherever you find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every ambush.”

9pm in Paris, 12 pm in Mecca, on November 13, 2015, was now time for “every ambush” on the pagans.

Three teams of fanatics attacked in Paris, within 33 minutes. Three individuals tried to get in the Stade de France (with 80,000 inside, plus the French president and the French and German national teams). The first kamikaze was detected at 21:20. He had to explode himself before he could get in, making only one victim (there was only security outside of the stadium, minutes after the match started).

At 21:25 a terrorist team of three attacked the restaurant “Little Cambodia”. 21:32 they attacked the Cafe’ A La Bonne Biere. At 21:36 “La Belle Equipe”. Their weapons and car were found in Montreuil, but they ESCAPED. That team killed at least 39 people.

At 21:40 another fanatic sat at a cafe’ on boulevard Voltaire, then exploded himself. Meanwhile, still another team of three kamikazes attacked the Bataclan theater. The raid was organized in Belgium, in the same zone as usual. 12 accomplices have been arrested so far.

Sacred raid (razzia)  against the crusaders in Paris.” is the way Islamist State (ISIS) called its mayhem in Paris. Two sisters of the Saadi family, both young mothers, got killed leaving orphans behind. Both were of a French “Muslim” family. Many Muslims were killed in the attacks, but, as ISIS would point out, they were assuredly “depraved”.

Friendly Californian Children Left This, Lighting Up the Night, In Front Of My House

Friendly Californian Children Left This, Lighting Up the Night, In Front Of My House

Sacred raid (razzia)  against the crusaders in New York and Washington.” is the way Al Qaeda called its mayhem in the USA. The same words, the same sentence exactly were used in 2001, with “New York” and “Washington” in place of Paris. So, in that sense, the latest mayhem is exactly a “9/11” in France. Not the first, nor the last. (That there were only 130 killed and 100 extremely gravely injured, with “life prognostic engaged” is not really a miracle: the explosive vests were detected at the Stade de France; thus, instead of killing hundreds, the kamikazes at the stadium killed just one besides themselves; inside the Bataclan, the kamikazes detonated themselves while fighting the police in the dark; strikingly, no police of the SWAT teams in the BRI and RAID was injured).

As Osama Bin Laden said: You will lose this war, because we love death as much as you love life.” This rather deleterious idea of Osama was quoted approvingly by the Islamist State.

ISIS, the Islamist State, said it struck in Paris “The DEPRAVED”, those who listen to California music, or watch soccer (because those “Depraved” went to a concert by rock group from California, or to a soccer match France-Germany). It did not matter if they were Pagans, Muslims.

25% to 30% of the French population descends from relatively recent immigration (and nearly 100% of the French population descends for foreign stock, if one goes back 3,000 years, as the Celto-Germans invaded; only the Basques are very ancient stock). Probably a majority of French have partial Jewish and Muslim ancestry (Jews have been in France for more than 2,000 years, Muslims for more than 13 centuries; contrarily to legend, under the Franks, there was total religious tolerance. That means for a duration of seven centuries. Then unfortunately Catholic fascism got increasing respect, and thus powers, resulting in the rise of religious terror and intolerance, which became full bore after a crusade conducted WITHIN France killed around one million (a huge number at the time). After that the religious terror, on and off, lasted until the French Revolution, when the Jews and Protestants were given the rights which they used to have, long ago, were given back to them.

An important difference between what is going on in France with 11 September in the USA was that the USA was attacked by 15 Saudi kamikazes, and five other foreigners. (Only one was “French” and was arrested.) So “9/11″was completely an aggression by foreigners. (The USA, though, had, since, pure Qur’an motivated hate crime attacks, the foremost one by a military surgeon who went Qur’an nuts and killed a dozen other soldiers. So the Quranic cancer in France can, and has metastized in other parts of the West.)

In the attacks in France most of the attackers are French who learned the most striking parts of the Qur’an. The most striking parts being those which ORDER the top followers of Islam, those who want to get directly in paradise to go out and attack, or even kill, non Muslims. No, I am not making it up: “Violence in the Holy Qur’an” can be consulted. And more quotes are coming by tomorrow, making these order explicit.

The Qur’an is viewed by Muslims as a set of explicit orders from God. In particular God gives explicit order to kill, attack, and submit entire categories of people. Not bad, in the way of war, for a book which is only 80,000 words long. Most of humanity falls into those categories to kill, attack, submit, oppress, diminish, tax, subjugate. What are the faithful supposed to say? What are the faithful supposed to do? Go along with the program? The Qur’an is a program. Not just a “religion” (whatever that means).

The first religion of a Republic, is the Republic. Superstitions can be accommodated, as long as they do not disturb the primary religion. 

Well, they should do exactly what the Catholics did, in a country such as France: stop believing in all the garbage. And that’s the truth. Yes, it’s not politically correct. However, the philosophically correct should bulldoze over the politically correct. Always has, in the long run, always will.

Last, but not least: human beings, like baboons, know how to make war. It’s in their genes, so to speak. When attacked, baboons make a military formation, and predators flee. more than 70 million of French baboons have been attacked, and they clearly need to adopt a military formation, and get smarter. The Paris are has been under Franco-Celtic control since at least the early Third Century , when Paris got is name (changing back to the “Parisii“, the old Gallic name, from the Roman Lutetia). Every since Paris was named, there was not one decade when France was not at war. 17 centuries of war, and counting. This is a stunning fact.

As the concept of “Jihad” has it, war and maximum effort is a generalized attitude necessary for the fulfillment of hope, let alone life. It’s the exact attitude, for bad or good, which made, in the end, our species master of the Earth. War should give peace a chance. But war never should keep on giving peace a chance as if there were no tomorrow.

Patrice Ayme’

 

The Folly Of Big Science Prizes

October 6, 2015

The New York Times published an article with that idea, a recurring theme on this site. It had very interesting content, adding to my general position, which the Times had the unusual kindness to publish. Here it is:

Why science prizes? To create celebrities in science, and thus, to make science famous, some point out.

But surely the reason for science ought not to be fame, but the search for truth? Therein the problem: using the celebrity principle, that fame matters most, one overwhelms the very reason for science, which is that truth matters most.

Prizes in science teach the identification of fame with truth.

We Are Far From Understanding Sun’s Thermonuclear Physics. Coronal Mass Ejection, Aug. 31, 2012. Such a CME Would Wreck Civilization, If Pointed At Earth

We Are Far From Understanding Sun’s Thermonuclear Physics. Coronal Mass Ejection, Aug. 31, 2012. Such a CME Would Wreck Civilization, If Pointed At Earth

Civilization depends upon truth, thus science. The confusion between fame and truth brought the near-collapse of civilization before.

Aristotle (320 BCE) taught physics which was obviously false (Aristotle taught that a force had to be continually applied for continuous motion; Buridan overturned this in 1320 CE). I have argued that the very fact that Aristotle’s physics was obviously false taught the suspension of common sense (and that was exactly what the powers that be wanted!)

However, because Aristotle was immensely famous, his false physics was viewed as the obvious truth. In turn, because Aristotle’s physics was so stupendous, Aristotle’s erroneous ideas in politics (that monarchy, thus dictatorship, was the best political system) were viewed as obviously true, too. In turn, these false ideas were used to demolish the idea of the Republic for more than two millennia.

Hence we can see who confusing fame with science advantages: those who view fame as the end all, be all. Naturally enough, celebrities set-up prizes to celebrate celebrity. In turn, such people are the best and most obsequious servants to the established order. And this is exactly why, throughout history, some of the worst tyrants have heaped praise on the few (and especially those they made famous).

There are more huge prizes in science nowadays, because some of the most influential people in the world today have a very dark, sinister and troubling relationship with science.

In turn a reader, “RamS”, had the kindness to offer the following compliment: “This is the best comment, and this is the real issue the author is worried about. It is not the prize but the fame that comes with…”

Here is how The Folly of Big Science Awards, by VINAY PRASADOCT started:

“On Monday, the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine will go to a few scientists for work that untangles the intricacies of the human body and may advance treatments for cancer, heart disease or other major illnesses. The prize comes with a sizable check and virtually ensures that the winners’ research will be well funded for the rest of their careers.

Every recent recipient has undoubtedly deserved the honor. But that doesn’t mean that prizes for medical research are a good idea.

The Nobel, along with the Dickson, Lasker-DeBakey, Canada Gairdner and other major awards, honors the scientists who are usually in the least need of recognition and funding, which squeezes out opportunities for other scientists.

More important, by emphasizing the importance of scientific breakthroughs — serendipitous occurrences that rely on decades of research — these prizes play down, and diminish, the way that great medical advances build on one another.

All scholarship is, to some extent, built on prior work — but this is especially true in scientific research.”

This is exactly why I have fought the hyper celebrity status of Copernicus and Newton. Copernicus’ work, viewed on a historical scale, is little more than plagiarism from Buridan (who was madatorily taught at the university where Copernicus was an undergraduate). Similarly, although Newton was giant, he invented neither his so-called first nor second law (that was Buridan again), nor the universal attraction law (as he himself insisted he did not).

Mis-attributing discoveries is not just a question of justice. It is a question of falsifying the causality chain of evidence, and the very way the human mind works. Thus it undermines science, by giving the impression “excellence” is just a matter of the solitary genius. In truth, “excellence” is a matter of civilization.

Actually Ms. Tu, who just got the Nobel in Medicine, pointed this out. By reading a two thousand year old treaty, she had realized that her method of preparation — boiling the wormwood — damaged the active ingredient. She then prepared it using an ether-based solvent, which boils at 35 degrees Celsius. When tested on mice and monkeys, it proved 100 percent effective.

Dr. Tu, with two colleagues, were the first human subjects. Suffering no ill effects, she conducted clinical trials with patients.

“We had just cured drug-resistant malaria,” Dr. Tu told New Scientist in an interview in 2011,“we were very excited.”

In spite of her very important success, Dr. Tu was later shunned by the Chinese scientific establishment, for her lack of a PhD. The “PhD” is a stamp certifying one belongs to a tribe.

However, researchers who are truly extremely original tend to not have a network, or less of a network (“scientists” and “thinkers” always exist; simply, in some periods of history, lasting centuries or more, they can all be wrong, in no small part from pleasing the oligarchies above… When the oligarchies themselves do not think that they think enough for all of society… As seems to be happening in the West presently, from lack of a dissenting intellectual class!)

Prasad gives a detailed example of how celebritism masks the thinking process:

“Consider James P. Allison, the winner of this year’s Lasker-DeBakey prize in clinical medical research. His work helped clarify one way cancer cells hide from the immune system.

Around 1990, a team of scientists found a protein on the surface of immune cells and proposed that it stimulated the immune system. Dr. Allison’s lab and a third group suggested that the protein put the brakes on immune responses. A fourth group confirmed that it halted the immune system, rather than stimulating it. Dr. Allison later showed that blocking this protein with an antibody could unleash an immune response in animals that could lead not only to rejection of but also immunity to many kinds of cancers. A decade later, similar antibodies to this protein and other related ones were found to prevail against several types of human cancers.

Dr. Allison’s work is surely impressive. But it occurred alongside and in dialogue with a number of related findings. Researchers analyzed the citations that led to Dr. Allison’s drug and concluded that it relied on work conducted by 7,000 scientists at 5,700 institutions over a hundred-year period. Yet only he was recognized.”

People are social primates, they are ambitious. The most meditative and contemplative ones tend to produce the breakthroughs, those who are more ambitious tend to exploit them.

Prasad: “The prize industry contributes to a deeper problem in scientific research: We throw resources at a privileged few who have already achieved enormous fame.

…80 percent of research funds in basic medical sciences are concentrated among the top fifth of researchers… We especially need to dispel this myth now because the scientific community is in the midst of a replication crisis. Nearly all published medical papers report significant or positive results, but many efforts to duplicate the findings failed… The regular occurrence of false leads also hints at the enormous role serendipity plays in discoveries, which some Nobel Prize winners have acknowledged in their acceptance speeches. In one study of 101 basic science discoveries published in top journals that claimed a drug had promise, just five led to approved drugs.

… science is hard. It’s like exploring an unknown land; we’ll never know whether over the next hill lies an expansive vista or just another hill. A finding that seems mundane or trivial may become immensely important years later… Or we could break up big prizes and give out many smaller awards. This may be more effective in supporting science, a view shared by Terence Tao, a mathematician who won $3 million from the inaugural Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics but tried to talk the man who gave it to him into spreading it around to more people. Alternately, instead of giving out big science awards, let’s use the prize money to study better ways to fund science.”

I have excoriated the Breakthrough Prize (although Tao himself is a great mathematician competing with computers… Some of the “discoveries” that prize celebrated are probably… errors).

Prize money is not about science. It’s about celebrating the oligarchic principle. If we want a great scientific society, we need a great scientific mood, all over the land. And that means, first of all, no BS.

Today the physics Nobel was given for the oscillation of neutrinos. For the reason that authorities (of physics) had proclaimed neutrinos had no mass (that augmented the authorities of the authorities, as they were talking as if they were gods), it had been decided neutrinos could not oscillate (until major discrepancies were found in the Sun’s output).

Can we colonize Mars? Interestingly, there is a connection with a refined knowledge of neutrino physics. At least, so I think.

We do not just like science, because our species evolved into truth machines. Truth has always been necessary to, although not sufficient for, survival. With existing technology, and the eight billion humans we enjoy, we can neither quite colonize Mars, nor survive on Earth (except as a much more reduced population).

Science is not a call, it’s a life raft. The one and only. And thus less folly in its financing is not just a question of reason, but of morality. Pure and simple.

Patrice Ayme’

Against Perceived Irrelevance Creative Thinkers Contend In Vain

August 7, 2015

The madness of crowds always rule: it’s a consequence of several deep instincts which made humanity possible. However, one hundred was an immense crowd, then. Evolution did not expect, because it never experienced with, crowds in the thousands. Now, we have crowds in the billions.

This is no exaggeration: several billion people supposedly follow and revere a religion founded by somebody who tied up his son, to slash his throat, like a vulgar goat. Then the “god” in his head told him not to do it, after all: why would that madness be revered for millennia, is a striking example of the madness of crowds.

There are even greater follies in power now: why would bankers and financial types be let to enjoy the power they do, in violation of the basic principle of democracy (which is that power, kratos, is to the people, demos)?

Another folly: that warming up the Earth’s polar regions by as much temperature difference as separates us from the last maximal glaciation, will have dramatic consequences in a few millennia… but not before.

An even greater madness is that none of this is very interesting, and it’s much better to read and fantasize about “Harry Potter” (not “Hairy Potter”).

The madness of crowds has been the argument of those who favor the madness of one, monarchy, or aristocracy, the power of the best. Of course, one has to determine who “the one” would be, or what “best” means. Most often, it turned out to be best born.

The “Internet”, in many countries means “Facebook”, a private company, which, historically has been used politically in many ways, including spying by the government of the USA. “Facebook” also spies on its customers’ “likes” and habits, and sells the information to advertisers, while tweaking what its customers see, in consideration of what they like, or apparently associate to. This amplifies the (already preexisting) bias towards tribalism.

So what of better thinking in all this? Or, more simply, what of creative thinking in all this?

It’s not favored. Indeed, only thoughts that please crowds get amplified. This tribal thinking is a form of intellectual fascism. Intellectual fascism: What concept is this? Subjugating all too much of one’s mind to all too few ideas, principles, or emotions.

Could technology help to foster (more) correct, (less) erroneous thinking, just as it has favored, so far, to all too great an extent, tribalism and intellectual fascism?

Yes. Original thinking could be determined by very sophisticated software. Software could also determine whether (supposedly) known facts are contradicted, and highlight them. Software could also being made to find META hierarchies, thus determining plausible depth of arguments.

Whereas software could not determine whether an argument is correct, it could determine if said argument satisfies the preconditions to be a paradigm jump. Including whether it involves new concepts, and, if so, what they appear to be. And whether the argument lives in another logical dimension (a precondition for originality).

A creative thinker can get discouraged when informed her thoughts are irrelevant. Claimed irrelevance is the first step towards complete impotence.

So technology could help fostering creative thinking considerably. However, the main point remains that ethics would have to change. The mood, at this point, is that thinking, cognition and association, all serve the most basic instincts of tribalism, and, more generally, intellectual fascism. We are far from having put TRUTH as the ultimate god we have to serve.

“Postmodernism” and “French Theory” instead insisted that truth was tribal. In truth, abusing truth is tribal. Truth itself is not tribal.

Verily, it’s a mark of particularly fanatical tribalism to insist that truth can only be tribal: “French Theory” is tribal.

It has always been true that discovering new concepts tends to be the mark of the ascetic ones: one has to be a monk to ferret the truth. Thus great creative thinkers discovering new truths tend to have had difficult lives. So one has to choose: creative thinking of the worthiest type, means a hard life. Marie Curie’s Nobel money was used to build the bathroom she did not have prior.

And when one rolls out more famous thinkers whose lives were easier, it turns out, often, that a good case can be made that they were more opportunistic, or more lucky, or better tribally connected, or to a tribe which amplified renown better, than the ones who really originated the idea. I have documented this many times: Poincare’ originated Relativity, and not just its name, but even E = mcc. Yet, a German was attributed the discovery. The same German was fully attributed the theory of gravitation, although the main idea therein came from Riemann, another German who had the misfortune to die young. This is not just about being nice to pioneers: recognizing Riemann is recognizing that the fundamental idea of gravitation a la Einstein is a tautology. An all-too-easy way of thinking.

So what? Some will suggest to give time to time… And wisdom will blossom. But here is the problem: creating new truth could not change the world much in the past, and that world was rather static. However, now, both potential impact and the world, are highly dynamic. Pure thinking is extremely mighty, and thus, an ethical bomb. Which will expose ever worse, if not properly handled.

New truth can change everything fast. For example, if I am right, and I have exposed detailed reasons why,  Antarctica’s iceshelves can melt in decades rather than centuries, if that were a new truth, the impact on present civilization would be huge. I have even exposed how East Antarctica, supposed to last 5,000 years by conventional climatologists anxious to be taken very seriously, is actually already melting, below the surface. If I spent all my energy writing silly sorcery for little children, I would have, no doubt, more readers. But why to try to do what the tribe wants to honor, to justify its own existence? In the end we are all dead, as (plutocrat) Lord Keynes (not so) subtly noticed. So distinction is not about dying, but how we die.

How we enjoy living through suffering is how we reach for greater values, the highest gods. Camus famously said: The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.”  

There is no need to “imagine” Sisyphus happy. It comes naturally. Struggling, even suffering, not too much, but enough, is necessary to fill a human beings’ mind, and generate happiness. Struggling and suffering  are even more necessary to creative thinking. (The pseudo philosopher BHL cannot replace them with the stimulants he takes, such as cocaine, amphetamines, and various illicit cocktails; struggling and suffering, for real, are much more potent.)

The world is changing fast. We are approaching various singularities of our making, none of them we can stop.  

The way out is straight, yet narrow: truth, and lots of it. Nothing superficiality can produce.

Against perceived irrelevance creative thinkers contend in vain. Yet, therein salvation, and only there.

Patrice Ayme’

All We Need Is Truth

June 2, 2015

PHILOSOPHICAL CORRECTNESS BASED ON TRUTH, NOT HURT

What is humanity based on? It’s obvious: truth. Truth teaches what is. Hurt feelings are nothing relative to truth. When one has to survive, it hurts. A baboon troop going to water in a military fashion, fascist instinct fully deployed, is ready to hurt, and be hurt, but it has no choice.

Life is not just, no pain, no gain. Life is actually a bath of pain, to some extent. We don’t have to be in the bath all the time, but sometimes we need to.

No pain, no bain.

Truth’s Value Is Found In Its Offensive Character

Truth’s Value Is Found In Its Offensive Character

[Hitchens, born British, but a honorary American, a dedicated atheist to the bitter end, and excellent polemist, died of brain cancer a few years ago.]

Excellent editorial by David Brooks in the New York Times, The Campus Crusaders. In it Brooks points out that: “Right now, college campuses around the country are home to a moral movement that seeks to reverse centuries of historic wrongs.

This movement is led by students forced to live with the legacy of sexism, with the threat, and sometimes the experience, of sexual assault. It is led by students whose lives have been marred by racism and bigotry. It is led by people who want to secure equal rights for gays, lesbians and other historically marginalized groups.

These students are driven by noble impulses to do justice and identify oppression. They want to not only crack down on exploitation and discrimination, but also eradicate the cultural environment that tolerates these things. They want to police social norms so that hurtful comments are no longer tolerated and so that real bigotry is given no tacit support. Of course, at some level, they are right. Callous statements in the mainstream can lead to hostile behavior on the edge. That’s why we don’t tolerate Holocaust denial.”

So far, so good, but Brooks points out: “…it sometimes slides into a form of zealotry. If you read the website of the group FIRE, which defends free speech on campus, if you read Kirsten Powers’s book, “The Silencing,” if you read Judith Shulevitz’s essay “In College and Hiding From Scary Ideas” … you come across tales of professors whose lives are ruined because they made innocent remarks; you see speech codes that inhibit free expression; you see reputations unfairly scarred by charges of racism and sexism.”

Interestingly, Brooks comes across, without saying so explicitly, a major deficiency of academia in the USA: a lack of acknowledgement of the importance of sociology (there is no sociology Nobel Prize):

“The problem is that the campus activists have moral fervor, but don’t always have settled philosophies to restrain the fervor of their emotions. Settled philosophies are meant to (but obviously don’t always) instill a limiting sense of humility, a deference to the complexity and multifaceted nature of reality. But many of today’s activists are forced to rely on a relatively simple social theory.”

According to this theory, the dividing lines between good and evil are starkly clear. The essential conflict is between the traumatized purity of the victim and the verbal violence of the oppressor.”

That naivety is directly imputable to the lack of teaching of sociology in the USA.

Old style sociology and its great names (including Marx, Comte, etc.) and theories is all but unknown in the campuses of the USA.

One needs a new anchor. Hint: it’s not “settled philosophies”. What’s needed is new philosophy, and that, by definition, is always unsettling.

Thus, as Brooks points out:

“According to this theory, the ultimate source of authority is not some hard-to-understand truth. It is everybody’s personal feelings. A crime occurs when someone feels a hurt triggered, or when someone feels disagreed with or “unsafe.” In the Shulevitz piece, a Brown student retreats from a campus debate to a safe room because she “was feeling bombarded by a lot of viewpoints that really go against” her dearly and closely held beliefs.

Today’s campus activists are not only going after actual acts of discrimination — which is admirable. They are also going after incorrect thought — impiety and blasphemy. They are going after people for simply failing to show sufficient deference to and respect for the etiquette they hold dear. They sometimes conflate ideas with actions and regard controversial ideas as forms of violence.”

This attitude, let’s notice in passing, is directly up with the success of Islamist terrorism, which conflates “impiety”, “blasphemy”, against their Holly Qur’an, and racism. Thus handily recruits among the preceding naïve crowd (which is not just found on campuses; Daesh/Islamist State has recruited around 20,000 Western youth so far; in the most general sense of “Western”).

Brooks reveals how easily one can slip off the deep end:

Laura Kipnis is a feminist film professor at Northwestern University who wrote a provocative piece on sexual mores on campus that was published in February. She was hit with two Title IX charges on the grounds, without evidence, that her words might have a “chilling effect” on those who might need to report sexual assaults… A student at George Washington wrote an essay on the pre-Nazi history of the swastika. A professor at Brandeis mentioned a historic slur against Hispanics in order to criticize it. The scholar Wendy Kaminer mentioned the N-word at a Smith College alumni event in a clearly nonracist discussion of euphemism and free speech.

All of these people were targeted for purging merely for bringing unacceptable words into the public square. As Powers describes it in “The Silencing,” Kaminer was accused of racial violence and hate speech. The university president was pilloried for tolerating an environment that had been made “hostile” and “unsafe.””

***

So what’s the philosophy we need? No reconciliation without better truth.

Truth. ALL WE NEED IS TRUTH.

What should be discouraged is the telling of lies. How to discard lies? By rolling out theories. “Theory” means actually, point of view. Thus the rolling out of point of views ought to be encouraged.

However, when something is certain, say the deliberate assassination of most of European Jews by the top leadership of the Nazi Party in a semi-secret program, it should be labelled officially as a truth.

So there is a need for an official department, A DEPARTMENT OF TRUTH, a state agency giving, tentatively, various shades of truth and truthiness. A bit such as http://www.politifact.com/, but generalized to all fields. No sanction, just indication.

Yes, I read “1984”, long ago. Therein a “Ministry of Truth“. And it’s not what I have in mind. And yes, Ministry of Truth, 1984 style, are already operating all over, most from huge capital from plutocrats (and that incorporates what is going on in Russia, where inexhaustible capital comes from Putin and, or, his associates; like Ukraine, we have to re-establish an appreciation for denouncing all sorts of lies, dissemblances, fabrication, non-saids…)

The “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” in South Africa worked because, before being reconciled, in depth and permanently, one has to build from the ground up, on solid ground, the ground of truth, that is reality. The reality of what happened which was injurious, and who, what led to it. This, this search for truth, is what has to be generalized.

One absolutely cannot use the “feel good factor” as the way to find the truth. Why? Because finding the truth is brainwork, therefore it always requires work, an effort, thus, it’s guaranteed to be always painful. Those who refuse, at the outset not to pay the price, not to do the work for truth, those who confuse reality and feel-good-now need to understand that being driven by their comfort zone makes them intrinsic enemies of truth. They can be, but they do not deserve more respect than drug addicts, as they work from the same basic principle.

All we need is love, sang John Lennon. Well, he was pierced by several bullets. Coming from someone who, not only was an insane maniac, but, decisively was animated by erroneous philosophical theories. However, Lennon himself had fed the psychological machinery which cost him his life.  (Oh you think all you need is love? Here, get a few bullets, you hypocrite. The killer did say, initially, that he killed Lennon because he felt he was an hypocrite; he has changed his tune now that he wants to get out…)

Love does not bring water to baboons. If baboons need water, they need the truth about the positions, and dispositions, of the predators. You want human? That’s what it is all about.

All we need is not love. Love, in human beings, is rather automatic. One cannot teach truth, without love.

Love of ego is not love of truth. Love of ego not dominated by the love of truth, is hatred of humanity.

Patrice Ayme’

No Reconciliation Without Better Truth

April 30, 2015

Can we have true peace without truth about the conflict it is supposed to put an end to?

No.

An excellent example is World War One. It caused World War Two, because the war did not expose the truth. Instead the lousy peace of 1919 nurtured bigger lies, and tolerance for horrendous war crimes. On the German side. The mistake was not renewed in 1945. In 1945, truth was allowed to crush a lot of (German) lies. (Lies made in the USA, or UK, were allowed to prosper, though…)

On August 1, 1914, the fascist German dictatorship headed by the so-called “Kaiser” Wilhelm II, had attacked, by surprise, the world in general, and the French Republic in particular (knowing full well Britain was going to declare war, but hoping to crush France before Britain could raise an army, and before Russia against which it had declared war to, became a problem).

In 1919, the Peace Conference in Paris brought no prosecution for the so-called “Rape of Belgium” (it was worse than rape, as it involved, well documented examples of the most atrocious crimes, such as deliberately Prussian troops killing Belgium toddlers, after an immensely costly counter-attack of the French army, which had strangely infuriated the Teutonic invaders).

After attacking France, Luxembourg and Belgium, the German empire proceeded to deploy a whole panoply of war crimes (the Allies answered in kind for gas attacks, but only for gas attacks: the first gas killed thousands of French troops and would have caused a hole in the front, had the Germans been more ready for it).

This lack of prosecution for German war crimes was not just a lack of prosecution of criminals, but also a lack of pursuit of truth.

All what German military personnel retained from the non-prosecution of their horrendous crimes, starting with war of aggression, was that the Allies did not mind war crimes. Adolf Hitler himself wrote that the Armenian genocide had been well accepted, and that the will of democracies and Christians was too weak to do anything for this sort of things.

***

One of Gandhi’s Errors:

Most of the following quote is entirely correct. Yet it is poisoned with an insidious error. Contrarily to what Gandhi thought, the truth is not about “You” always. The truth is not just about “being you“. All sorts of fanatics were very much about being themselves all too much, throughout history. Sometimes, being “You” is a disease. And a contagious, lethal one.

Gandhi Was Confused: “Being You” & Being Correct Are Not The Same.  Yesterday's You Is Not Necessarily Tomorrow's Truth

Gandhi Was Confused: “Being You” & Being Correct Are Not The Same. Yesterday’s You Is Not Necessarily Tomorrow’s Truth

***

Truth & Reconciliation Commission Saved South Africa:

Mandela’s stroke of genius was to enable the Truth & Reconciliation Commission. Truth & Reconciliation allowed South Africa to defuse great racial exploitation and its attending hatred, and the potential for terrible vengeance. (Contemplate Rwanda, or Shri Lanka for a different approach: terrible war and crushing victory.)

How did truth do it in South Africa? How does truth reduce aversion?

Whenever truth is revealed, and comes to rule, minds are changed. However changing brains requires energy, thus effort, pain. And any system of truth is related to a socio-economic order, a hierarchy. New and improved truth threatens existing hierarchies. They often resist, using whatever it takes. Thus the rule of new and improved truth often brings blood, sweat, and tears.

Thus we see that truth can (momentarily) augment aversion, emotion, even passion. So how can it improve matters? By changing “You”.

Some specialists have claimed that a terrible civil war such as seen in Cambodia (superficially caused by a sort of left wing fascism), was facilitated by a (Buddhist inspired) aversion to truth.

Therefore any mentality which privileges aversion to aversion above anything else, will see no reconciliation with truth. Searching for better truth is a war against one’s own past and present perception of reality.

However, if one is not reconciled with truth, one keeps strong aversions inspired by past tribalism, something antagonistic to a globalized world.

The truth is that racism, the aversion for people of different color or origin, is not just unjustified, but a source of harm.

In the case of South Africa, the USA, people had to learn that truth. Forcefully. And fast. How does one learn the truth? By being exposed to the truth. Generally people who have done something wrong, or who are wrong, have a strong aversion to truth, as it will expose them to loss of privilege, or punition.

The Truth & Reconciliation Commission in South Africa, removed the element of punishment, and thus the main reason for NOT telling the truth. So the truth blossomed.

Truth Saved Germany After 1945:

When Germany got denazified after May 1945, a similar process was engaged (this time by an exterior agent, the occupying Allies). The Germans themselves, in the following decades, learned to embrace the process of finding the truth about Nazism.

I am glad that, in an exchange in Scientia Salon, “SocratesGadfly” found me “not all wrong about Gandhi“. However he cautioned that “even if these gentlemen, Jesus, MLK, etc., weren’t perfect, they still stood out above the general crowd, and there’s still things to learn from them.”

What about things NOT to learn from them? Although I have no complaint about Martin Luther King. Jesus, though, apparently willing to teach violence for no good reason, has also things to teach us NOT to imitate.

Nowadays, at least 99% of people in the West do not think that killing people just because they are not Christian is justified, so we have got out of the Jesus trance. However, in the Middle Ages, the (“Christian”) establishment thought “heresy” (“exerting a choice”) was worthy of the death penalty.

What I reproach to Gandhi was to view the minor problem (getting the British exploitation of India to stop) to be major, whereas obviously the major problem was the 1,000 war, inside India, with Islam.

Confusing a major problem, and hiding it behind, a minor one, is a primordial cause of aversion. That Gandhi and his followers may only understand when nukes start exploding over South Asia.

In general, as the quote from Gandhi above shows, Gandhi failed to realize that truth starts, first as an effort against oneself. Finding new truth is never about protecting one’s old self.

Patrice Ayme’

Transgender Good, Yet Silly Lying Not Welcome

April 29, 2015

 

Mr. Bruce Jenner won the gold medal for the decathlon at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. The decathlon is a men-only event at the Olympic Games. Now Mr. Jenner, took his pony tail out, let his/her hair flow. Apparently, encouraged by talking head Diane Sawyer, making his/her hair flow brought him to say that “for all intents and purposes, I am a woman”. Funny what hair can do. He/She confirmed he/she is going through the process of gender reassignment.

Well, sorry Bruce, but that statement sounds insulting to me for the feminine condition, and for truth. I will explain why.

Star Trek Into Darkness actress Alice Eve wrote in reaction: “Until women are paid the same as men, then playing at being a ‘woman’ while retaining the benefits of being a man is unfair”.

Jenner and Sawyer then made a big deal about wearing dresses. Charlemagne, a super male if there ever was one, not just wore a dress, but criticized various skirts (we have it on the record). I would not have advised to smirk.

Nothing Wrong Going Back & Forth, All Over, Wherever Safe

Nothing Wrong Going Back & Forth, All Over, Wherever Safe

In reaction, Ms. Eve wrote, “If you were a woman no one would have ever heard of you because women can’t compete in the decathlon” on Instagram.

“Do you have a vagina? Are you paid less than men? Then, my friend, you are a woman,” Eve, who studied English at Oxford University, wrote.

Excoriated for “TRANSPHOBIA”, Ms. Eve deleted her posts about Bruce Jenner on Instagram.

Eve suffered from a fear of the usual “Political Correctness”. I approve of “Political Correctness” as long as it does not get in the way of “Philosophical Correctness” or Truth.

Saying that a man can change into a women, with existing technology is, just, well, a lie.

How is one going to change from XY chromosomes to XX chromosomes? Answer: one can’t.

OK, but then the chromosomes, one could argue, only give a gender signal. The presence of XX versus XY brings forth hormones which feminize, or masculinize the brain. There are two main periods: one in utero, one at puberty. The changes imparted are on a spectrum. However, clearly some are irreversible. I don’t need to make you a drawing.

It’s all right that people want to play transgender and hormones. I think it’s a bit silly (because of the limitation I alluded to above). However, philosophical transgender is not just OK, but highly recommended.

Arguably, a gender equalitarian society is intrinsically transgender. However, one has to realize that’s an aim, but it cannot be effected by just using a knife, a needle and a spoon.

To believe that a man can turn into a woman with just a knife, a needle and a spoon is insulting to women. And actually insulting to the entire notion of the opposite gender, thus, to transgender itself.

I do firmly believe that brains under different hormonal, and neurohormonal regimes think differently.

When I am angry I think very differently than when I am apathetic. When I am running long distance in the mountains, a few trekking days from a road, I am certainly thinking differently than when I am sitting at a desk. I actually believe most people enjoy sports because, they, literally, change their minds.

Sports, all strong emotions, and drugs allow minds to travel to another universe. (Fear me, as the only drug I use is caffeine, as part of my spiritual breathing between activity and meditation. Caffeine changes blood flow in the brain, but also even the activity of simple cells.)

Artificial transgender does not replace spiritual transgender (see Mick Jagger above).

Artificial transgender is useful, as it encourages tolerance towards making transhumans in general.

Why? What’s the social and philosophical interest of transhumanism?

Many short-termist human, social, religions and traditional attitudes find their roots in the fact that human life is intrinsically ephemeral.

Extend life, and wisdom will have to extend. And life will become even more precious.

In other words, to improve intelligence, we have to fix the species.

This is not really new. The latest archeological discovery is that of tools or weapons of stone, 3.3 million years old. Yes, that’s even before Homo Habilis.

Thus, as I have always held the technological-scientific race has not just characterized, but CREATED humanity.

So, when Neanderthals cooked with spices and herbs, it was technological, and artificial. But artificial are us.

Cooking our own hormones, and our body, and mind changing recipes, is the way we have always done it.

However, no lies, please.

PM Abe of japan just expressed his “eternal condolences” for all the American killed in World War Two [because of Japan’s action]. Now to go to China, and Korea, to say the same.

Japan and Germany started World War Two (although technically Britain and France declared war first and formally, Japan and Germany were already at war). That’s the truth. And it’s also true one cannot change a true man into a true woman, nor a true woman into a true man. Nor can’t either be changed into true hermaphrodites, either.

Transcending truth is sometimes not just smart, useful, but even moral. (Say when helping out someone with terminal disease, and it could just be sadness). However, violating truth for no good reason, just because one can, ought never to be an option.

Patrice Ayme’

Deep Science Is Always Born Philosophical

February 12, 2015

NO NEW PHILOSOPHY, NO NEW SCIENCE

Philosophy, and science have the same longing, truth. They go at it in, roughly, the same way. However, the data set philosophy uses, even in its mature form, is much more general. This makes philosophy more “meta”, and thus indispensable to create anything really new in science, be it even a new lab method.

So the debate “Philosophers and Physicists” in Scientia Salon is tongue in cheek.

Einstein offered philosophical considerations in domains far from physics. Yet, if one knows him well, one can see how his general philosophy positively impacted his scientific work.

Epistemology, the study of how we come to have knowledge, is a meta-discipline.

Newton: Mathematician, Physicist, “Natural” Philosopher

Newton: Mathematician, Physicist, “Natural” Philosopher

Yet, epistemology is essential to establish new methods in science. A recent example is datation using genetic material: the practice became more precise, because how we came to the previous knowledge was questioned, and then modified into better knowledge.

Edge science is nearly always entangled with practical epistemology. This makes scientists at the edge of science philosophers of science in a practical sense.

Whether the philosophical method has been useful in Twentieth Century science should not be a debate: Frege, Russell, Poincare’, etc., were also full blown philosophers. Many, if not all, of the top, fundamental physicists, used the philosophical method. The Foundational debates were all deeply philosophical always (as early as Aristotle, Averroes, Tycho, Bruno, Galileo, Newton, Laplace, Gauss, Riemann, Maxwell, Mach, Cantor, etc.).

The fight between Einstein and his sponsor Planck about the photoelectric effect was philosophical.

Bohr defended (his view of) Quantum Mechanics with philosophy (thanks to Born’s interpretation it became permanent).

Better: Karl Popper engaged in a correspondence with Einstein about Non-Locality. Out of that came the Popper experiment and the EPR.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popper’s_experiment

Can philosophy be practical? In science? Sure. Even in mathematics: for philosophical reasons, the Dutch topologist Brouwer rejected some infinite methods in mathematics. This brought, half a century later, mathematics that could be used in ATMs and other machines.

Science is after truth. Philosophy is also after truth. Both are also after defining what truth could be, and what propositions may be formulated and which ones may be provable.

Introducing only observables in physics was attributed to Einstein by Heisenberg, in a heated exchange about the Copenhagen Interpretation, where Heisenberg accused Einstein to have taught him that way.

But Einstein had got the notion from Poincare’. As found in Henri’s “La Science et L’Hypothese” plus Poincare’ papers on what Poincare’ called the “Principle of Relativity”, complete with the constancy of the speed of light, which, latest news, is not really constant (as I expected).

Philosophy is also after truth.

Even the truth that there are no truths about some matters.

Science also excels at the truth that there are sometimes no truth about some matters… and science has learned to overcome that: for example there is no definition, stricto sensu, of elementary particle. Elementary, yes, particle, no… But that does not prevent physicists of discovering them, at least in Feynman diagrams.

The difference between the notion of truth in philosophy and in science is just a matter of degree.

Buridanus established the erroneous labeled “Newton’s First Law” in a treaty he wrote about Aristotle. That same Buridan taught students, and established with them the basic idea of graphs, and what became the Oxford Computing School.

Aristotle, fully admirable and experimentally oriented in biology, was spectacularly wrong about inertia. That became a big deal as his students Antipater, Craterus and Alexander established a fascist political paradigm that was to reign until, well, Buridan’s time.

Thus truth in philosophy, politics, society and science are entangled.

This stays true to this day: “High Energy Physics” was long well financed, in part because the leaders of the military-industrial complex cannot fail to have noticed that they need “high energy”.

So why all the recent aggressivity of second, third, of even lower order physicists against “philosophy”? Simply because incoherent Quantum Field Theory and complete flight of fancy (SUSY, Strings, Inflation Now, etc.) have ruled physics, under the chimp like mood “shut up and calculate”, in recent decades.

Many philosophers of science have directed sharp critiques at this contemporary elite thinking in physics, and their judiciousness has made physicists furious (because they feel threatened, they remember the cancellation of the SSC).

Some insist upon labels. So and so was employed officially as a philosopher: ‘what did he do, I did not read him, I can’t read him, so why does it matter to scientists?’

Feynman was a practical philosopher. He needed his philosophy for his physics. Actually some of his “proofs” in physics use a special, Feynman-made notion of “truth”. According to Feynman-truth, Feynman discovered some things. But somebody with a different notion of truth would view physics differently (Feynman would agree with what I just wrote; actually he basically wrote this, in particular cases, say about E = mc^2, or “virtual””particles”).

French philosophers of science such as Bachelard and then his successor, Canguighelm, were actually scientists: the former as a physicist, the second was a Medical Doctor.

In turn, the one some would view as a glorified parrot, Thomas S. Kuhn, used Bachelard’s notion of “epistemological rupture” (coupure or rupture épistémologique) as re-interpreted by Alexandre Koyré to develop his theory of paradigm changes.

Wikipedia lists nearly 1,000 French philosophers (and they miss quite a few!) Many of these were of a scientific or mathematical background.

 

Here is an example: I claim the Multiverse error is based in a philosophical subtlety, which was missed by everybody. I feel that Planck nearly spotted explicitly the nature of the error, and it’s Einstein, his protégé’, who instigated it (this is rather ironical, as, in the end, without realizing it, Einstein came to be opposed to himself in the debate on the Foundations of Quantum Physics).

A lot of the progress in science, and even technology, has to do with questioning how we know what we think we know. That’s essentially philosophical. The more fundamental the scientific questions, the more one has to question how it is that we got to these conclusions.

 

Here is another example: the end of Cretaceous mass extinction. Alvarez, the geologist son of Alvarez the Nobel in physics, asked his dad how one could prove that there was an impact. The dad answered: Iridium, it’s rare on Earth, but found on asteroids. So Alvarez went to look for Iridium, and found it, thus demonstrating there was an impact.

However, I scoffed. I knew there had been other impacts. I also knew there was the Deccan Traps hyper-volcanism at the same time. The numbers, about the magnitudes did not fit. So, philosophical question: how sure were we that the Iridium did not come from the center of the Earth? I did not see the Alvarez and their followers even consider the question.

Yet, it was impossible they were not aware of it. So this was fishy scientific logic.

Science is about certain knowledge. How do we get there? By making alternatives impossible. The asteroid extinction conclusion cannot pretend to be science, because a (more probable!) alternative was not excluded.

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2009/11/21/trapped-by-super-traps/

 

By the way, latest news show that my point of view is winning: yes Iridium can come from the core, yes the extinction’s chronology seems volcanically driven.

In other news, Coel, one of the scientist-professors-commenters and writers at Scientia Salon, said, basically, that scientist are practical epistemologists.

Coel also made a broadside against those who are ravaged by superstition to the point they demand respect for their superstitions, by confusing respect and tolerance (a point I long made).

Should we entertain those fanatics (= those who come from the fanum, the temple), we would have to respect Abraham the would-be child killer, because we are tolerant? Of what? The veneration for those who bind children to offer them to gods, or dogs?

Knowledge, and the search thereof, is more united than it looks.

Knowledge died in Antiquity because epistemology died. And that died, because fascism (“Hellenistic Kingdoms) blossomed.

Patrice Ayme’