Friday, February 26, 2016

Experience is Experience, but can one ever substitue for the other?

To say that we are going to have to be really careful about how we go about instituting ever more high fidelity representations of what we can imagine, processed through calculations, and then interfaced with the brain in ever more clever ways, is something that ought to be obvious, but isn't always; mostly, I think, because the temptation to go full tilt Bozo down that path is often overpowering. How could it not be. Completely interactive reality printing for the brain? It's a wet dream's wet dream.

That this would then pose serious addiction possibilities goes without saying, but perhaps more insidious is this horrifying assumption that the creation of these calculations, and whatever linkage methodologies to the brain thus employed, might be so high fidelity as to be in any way an equivalent to experience mediated via the mechanisms evolution selected for us is hubris of unbelievable proportions.

Just because we can start from the notion that all we are talking about, when we discuss experience, is energy exchange by the various layers of abstraction we call molecules, atoms, and the sub parts of atoms, doesn't automatically make artificial pathways to experience exactly the same, let alone provide the same essentials, as what billions of years of trial and error has created.  This too ought to be obvious but that's where the hubris comes in. In becoming very adept at seeing what outside stimulus creates in the context of electrochemical transmission inside our bodies we think, in typical mechanistic simplicity, that this is all there is to experience. Duplicate the message that we see in the brain body interlink and we have created a de facto copy of what natural occurrence would have done. What else is the left to talk about, right?

What about all of the exchange channels we cannot measure fully, even if, absurd or not, we have identified all of the channels in the first place? What kinds of exchange occur outside of filtered consciousness. Outside of all objectified interpretation? So much of what the "Simpletons of the Brain" work with occur below conscious thought. Do the brain waves we can measure now reflect all of that? Can we measure all of the chemicals involved with feeling to the degree of precision that might be necessary? Remembering that the very act of observation, and how we go about it, affect the results?

One of the best ways I've come up with in considering this is to imagine that we have come into possession of holodeck technology as depicted in Star Trek Next Generation. Suppose further that, instead of bringing along a huge array of plant and animal life with us for the purely recreational usage of, we instead choose to simply spend time in recreated park environments; all in quite extensive detail. Would the transporter, and photonic mix master thus engaged give us all of the energies of interaction that the original provided? Would you want to be your sanity on it, not to mention your complete physiological well being? Do you really think that billions of years of life spent awash in a soup of unimaginably complex energy interactions could be duplicated down to the last sub atomic particle? It is, after all, the small inputs in complex systems, that can have the largest effects.

And yet, even before we have gotten anywhere even close to Trek technology, we begin to consider that VR would be a way to allow the poor to have a good life. It certainly might give them a much more enjoyable distraction, but a better life? Can the people making these proposals even begin to consider this in good conscience? Any more than they would in giving poor people heroine? When I hear things like this the urge to start slapping people repeatedly is hard to resist.  

One of my favorite, private sayings is: Oh what tangled webs we weave when first we practice to receive, our fictions. It isn't like we're all that good at keeping reality and fiction separated now. But who cares about that when you can pretend to have what ever your mind can conceive of, and in the highest fidelity that money can buy. And so what if money itself is involved, with new realms of averice that might be in play.  Why would there be any need to think about whether this will be for our best benefit or not? There won't be any worries. We'll be much too pleasantly distracted to care.

VR Will Make Life Better—Or Just Be an Opiate for the Masses

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Hacking the brain to see God, or a devine process?

The video linked to here is a wonderful bit of speculative film making. Precisely because it begs some interesting questions. Was the brain evolved to see God or was it done so as to see it's own interactive relationship with a devine process? I ask that question, of course, because, in my view, the entirety is an unimaginally immense, recursive question answer engine, with each answer automatically creating the next question. Within that are the two elementals: Mind and the Elemental embrace. Mind because there has to be objectification for there to be boundaries, or the layering of abstraction in order to provide for the possibility of meaning in the first place. The Elemental Embrace because without the requirement of interaction and exchange, meaning would have nothing by which, or between which to hold meaning togeather. All of this comes together in infinite vectors of experience association (realities) so that sentience can make choices on how to continue the process of observation and appreciation. And in that does the Entirety make us just as we make it.

Stopping Time. Why Observation is More Than Merely Interaction

This link from Inverse offers a lovely bit of contmplation on the importance of the "observer" in the grand scheme of things. The assertion is that, because observation interrupts the flow of "everything thats possible" in superimpostion for a given aspect of a particle, constant obervation would hold that particle in a state of no time; kind of like a picture freezes a moment of some area's visible spectrum interactions.

When I read something like this I always go back to wondering about what constitutes an "observer," as well as: as in how what that agency does goes about making it different from mere interaction.

On the one hand, we can have some confidence that observation is a type of interaction, but on the other that interaction itself may not neccessarally be observation at all. Pretty straight forward on the face of it, but if it is true than what special characteristic of the observer makes for the difference?

You could imagine a rock, on any planet capable of rocks, and then contemplate all of the interactions that might involve it durring any particular time period. And certainly there would be many types of electromagnet, geophysical, and atmosphereic interactions that could come to mind; all of which would involve possible energy exchange both in and out of the rock. In that instance, is the rock an observer? Does the mere fact that the rock is passive (to the extent of offering no actual agency to the interaction beyond the fixed characteristics of its chemical and atomic structure), in the process of interaction, make it only another aspect of the total channel matrix of exhange in a vector of association?

If that is the case then you have to start giving a great deal more attention to what constitutes the special nature of an "observer." For my part, of course, this is exactly why the layering of objectification which creates a meaning processor is so important. And this is so because it is not just that a "measurement" can be made by such a processor, it is that the principle thing for which "agency" can be distinguished in the first place, choice, can be expressed in the what and how of a measurement.

Just a thought.

The Quantum Zeno Effect Explains How You Can Stop Time Using Physics

Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Meaning Of Everything, and How We Run With it, Or In It

I have to do another hats off to LEMMiNO for the video you see linked to here. This is simply a fantastic job of summarizing a fascinating set of related questions; starting with where simulations begin and end; at least as far as what is contained, and what is the container, is concerned. He starts the fun there and works the run of the summation to get us to first questions about what is real in the first place, and whether we are an essential aspect of it all, or not. Absolutely wonderful.

Do we, or does anything exist?

For my own part I think there has to be at least few givens, the first of which is that there must be an entirety. That must be so because where else would either question, or answer, have a state place from which to create each other from. In order for that to be a working process, however, there must be an infinite number of associative paths along which all possible objectifications can be realized, starting from relative reference points; establishing relative boundaries, so that gap can demand the connections of localized meaning. Only then, through a long process of association, where bounded meanings create further bounded meanings, can ever more complex structure evolve meaning processors to which an agency of choice can then take affect. Where that choice then determines how the whole will not be determinate at all, as each choice creates a new point of reference for a new path of association to branch from.

As far as the choice between inner experience, as opposed to outer experience, goes, the essential bottom line is that both will contain aspects that the other does not. Chossing the exclusive realm of one over the other is to cut off an essential aspect of contrast to the meaning processor, and the balance that can be obtained from that contrast. Just as the meaning processor should try to continue to maintain balance between the purely objective, or filtered, reception of relative path association, as opposed to the completely unfiltered reception of same.

This Documentary Is A Crash Course On Simulated Reality

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Fools Taking chances And Hanging on to What You Believe In

Talking about fools lately, as well as when to hold on and when to let go, got me to thinking about two songs that have always been very important to me over the years. These are the kinds of songs, and lyrics that, despite all of what life can throw at you, just continue to help; just continue to let you feel the spirit of why you should continue.

The first is "For a Gambler" by Dan Fogelberg, and the second is "Hang On," by Dan Hill.

Do yourself a favor and give these two songs a listen.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Relativistic Mass, Kinetic Energy, and the Final Totals Compressing, and Stretching Space Time

I know.  Someone like myself who hardly even begins to understand the formulized arrangements of count, and how the various, dynamic, ratios of same interact to describe the many black boxes of the physical world, and their relationships with each other, shouldn't be offering up much at all on the whys, and wherefores of the big questions of existence. Unfortunately, as with many other things, I just can't help myself.

A lot of it, of course, has to do with considering myself to be, for better or worse, something of a systems analyst. That I made my living based, in significant part, on looking into much less complex business, or industrial process, systems, only goes so far in allowing one to claim to any kind of credibility in grappling with the biggest complex system of all. But still, stretch though it may be, I continue

I continue, not only because I cling to the notion of being that first order of fool who would risk ridicule no matter what, but because I take some comfort in the similarities between computer coders, and physicists, and astronomers, in general. In looking at the breakdown of how anything complex works one usually starts with conceptualized generalities, breaking them down in ever more specific abstractions of process until one is left with the actual steps of operation that must occur. In fact, in object oriented coding these days, one hardly needs to get very far down into the nitty gritty of actual conditionals, and iteration loops, that make up a process algorithm. One simply instantiates the already coded logic object, feed it the state specifics inherent in the context of interest, and then let it do its thing.

What I do need to do, however, when I venture forth into this foolishness, is to avoid stating what I am considering as a possibility for insights to big picture operations as anything other than a question. That I don't always succeed in this is usually a testament to how deeply I feel about a notion, and how much that feeling affects the not caring part of playing the fool.

So. All of that having been stated let me once again play the part of the guy at the castle of ideas who wears the coxcomb on his head.

The announcement has been made that gravity waves have finally been measurably detected. And in two, quite physically separate locations on the planet. It took a fairly old interaction between two mass singularities, with a relative velocity of .5 of the speed of light to do it, but the time of reception disturbance of the laser beams used as spacial reference indicators seems to be pretty convincing.

Not only do I consider the way they went about this pretty cool (non violently invasive, and with purely observational deduction), I also share their feeling for the weight that ought to be given to the conclusions drawn from the experiment. As I said, it seems pretty convincing.

I bring it up now both because these people deserve a lot of credit, but also because it is a lovely way to segue into a question I have had about how General Relativity treats relativistic mass, as well as its corresponding kinetic energy, in the calculations of all of the mass and energy in the universe.

It's interesting to me because A: all of what and when is supposed to have started out with infinite mass, and now, a great deal of expansion of what and when later, our inventories of what is out there now comes up quite short; whereupon dark mass comes into the picture. Not only that, though, the rate at which what and when expands is actually increasing (begging the further question of whether this rate increase has always been there, or what mechanisms might be in play to either keep it constant, or cause it to vary), for which dark energy has been introduced. And B: because we now can see how relative motion has real effect on the fabric of space time; something a bit more viscerally substantial than knowing that space time works quite openly in preventing things from getting close to the speed of light precisely because of the addition of the nominal mass of the object with its current velocity. Getting it to go faster becomes ever more difficult because it is that sum that you are always throwing more energy at via the expression of counter force mass.

Relativistic mass is also interesting to me because it might echo difficulties General Relativity already has with Quantum Theory. I say that because, in a sense, all mass is relativistic. All objects are, after all, encapsulated systems of motion working at different scales of consideration. And despite the fact that they keep bashing away to find that one, final, irreducible, quantifiable, they keep coming up with more (where even the Higgs Boson may have constituent sub quanta whirling away inside).

Lots of interesting questions that I just can't keep from putting my two cents worth into. The one thing I would hope from these wonderfully creative, and intelligent people is not that they stop regarding me as foolish. The fact of the matter is that I am pretty foolish, and quite often so. Can't help that either though I do try to keep my propensity for same in perspective (taking full responsibility when needed). My hope is rather that they keep in mind that count, and the amazing predictive abilities that count, and the formulized expression of count interactions, give us, aren't necessarily the end all and be all of existence. Count, just as with information itself, is not necessarily meaning. It can certainly be an aid to meaning, but hardly ever meaning of itself. Meaning is the association of layers of abstraction with with what is felt in, and by the meaning processor. The one absolute for which we have everything else to be relative to, and for which the responsibility of choosing falls. And before you dismiss how important choice is just consider where light would be if no choice was made on how to measure it.

Two black holes colliding far out in space have produced gravity waves that have been detected ...

Gravitational waves detected, providing the final piece of the puzzle for general relativity

Saturday, February 13, 2016

The Metaphor Inherent in the Things We Abandon

One of the problems about a story like this, quite apart from how heart breaking it is, is that it inevitably takes attention away from the other aspects of life that we also abandon. Even as we consider the kind of cruelty it takes to forget about creatures so ready to give us unconditional love, even if we treat them badly, humans will be frozen out of our hearts as they lay strewn about streets all over the country; and well before any external cold has descended upon the land.

Even as glaciers melt, the oceans, and the animals trying to live there, become frozen out as well because it costs too much to fix what we have done to them. Billions of years of evolutionary miracles living all around us, in fact, going to our waste, our poison and our neglect and we turn away because of the cost.

And make no mistake, that cost goes well beyond the abstract counters we covet so much within our ever decreasing attention spans. The cost at the bottom line of taking full responsibility for our actions. The line at which you recognize that simply paying and forgetting just won't cut it anymore. Where you actually have to change the way you live, becoming intimately involved in the solution, making the sacrifices required to do so without complaint. Wouldn't it be something if we could return some form of that kind of unconditional love back to life in general? It's not impossible you know. Incredibly difficult, certainly, but not impossible.

Abandoned Dog Found With Paws Frozen to Ground in Prospect Park

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

ScreenPlay for "Chelsea Does Philosophy"

First Scene:

The backdrop here is a screenshot of the "Squatty Potty" commercial. Superimposed in front of it are both Jeff and Chelsea (real time digital overlay green suits portraying Jeff in a business suit, and Chelsea in same tailored for a woman. Jeff does not have a head, or neck so much, for that matter, as a penis with eyes over the central hole. The "head" of the penis is bent forward enough so that it can "face" the camera, and the hole altered enough to suggest a mouth. Chelsea has a Vagina for a head, stretched down enough at the base for form a neck. Her eyes are over the opening as well which, even though vertical, still serves to indicate a mouth. Both have ordinary enough arms and legs, but neither have hands. Both of them also have bulges in their pants that outline small, actual heads)

The scene starts with Chelsea looking around in wide eyed amazement for a second or two before beginning the opening dialogue.

"What the fuck! Are you fucking shitting me here?"

Jeff -- smiling grandly:
"Pretty far out, hugh?"

"Is that a unicorn shitting ice cream cones?"

"Indeed. This, though you might not think so at first glance, was intended to be a serious attempt at not being serious in the selling of an aid to shitting."

"Why are we starting here? And why am I talking out of a vagina? What has any of this to do with Philosophy?"

Jeff throws up his hands in mock surrender. The smile goes away and is replaced by a sad resignation:
"Hey... Nobody gets it more than I do. It's a sad commentary, but here it is. The juxtaposition is a needed contrast I'm afraid. Getting through to people to talk about things they are either uncomfortable about, or for which they are not only that, but buzzed out to boot, requires a kind of war of metaphors. Which is just "Counter Blast" by another name; shameless buzz word dropper that I am."

"Counter Blast?"

"Yes. A Marshall McLuhan term. No need to go into that now though, save to say that we'll be using a bunch of old cliches banging away at each other in new ways to make a larger point."

Chelsea laughs now:
"And that's one of the reasons why we have sex organs to talk through."

"Exactly. And why our heads are in our pants"

Chelsea, looking down:
"So that's what that bulge is supposed to be. If its up our asses so much why is it out front down there? "

"Well... Come on... Everything's going to be a bit of a stretch here... Don't you think?"

"Apparently not if that's where my head starts the day. But I will grant you, that does put it closer to where it's likely to head out after breakfast."

Jeff smiles:
"I knew there was a reason you'd be good at this."

"Yeah yeah... So what's this episode going to be titled?"

"Waiting for Godot is what occupies us now you know"

"Say what?"

"That's the title. And I will be the Master of Ceramony for it."

"And I'm supposed to be the T's. and V. along for the ride? In your dreams Dr. Dick. And by the way. Why can't I be the one who gets to talk with a dick? I bet I know just as much about 'it don't mean a thing if it ain't got the swing,' if not more, than you do."

Jeff moves his mouth to a kind of thoughtful pout as he considers this for a moment:
"Shit. Good point. And truth be told, I may have some serious balls, but a major dick I do not have. That makes you a better expert on dicks on two counts. I guess we'll have to switch."

The switch is made and Chelsea laughs now:
"You didn't really think you had to have a dick to be, or know, a dick did you?"

"Well, if I did I certainly shouldn't have. And I have to admit that, though talking with a vertical mouth is a bit disconcerting, the emphasized lips do have an odd appeal to them. In any case, however, I need to be M.C. for a very simple reason. Do you even know why Sara needs to be moany in the first place, let alone, how to accomplish that?"

Chelsea, groaning:
"Oh god... Please do not tell me to don't leave in a huff!

"See... You really are getting into the spirit of things here. I'm also going to be the one to lead us off with our song and dance number."

Chelsea looks a Jeff with great suspicion now:
"You're going to start a philosophical discussion with a song and dance number?"

"Of course. They wouldn't enjoy the massage at all if it didn't start with a jingle and some fancy footwork. We're going to illustrate what the 'real' Hokey Pokey is."

The tune to "Hokey Pokey" now breaks out. Their attire immediately changes to top hats, tuxedos with tails, and fancy canes.

"Oh, you put your right side in and your bad side out, you put your head up ass and you shake it all about, you put your nose to a grind stone and give up without a shout, that's what it's all about."

[Author's notes: This needs at least one more refrain here, which illudes me at the moment. I am open to suggestions however]

At the chorus, when they both sing "Do the Hokey Pokey" they bob and bump genital heads together in a mocking sort of coitus, all to the beat of the melody of course.

When the song is over, Chelsea, a little out of breath rejoins the conversation as she twirls her fancy cane:
"You know, it just occurred to me that I don't have any hands, and yet I can hold this cane."

"Of course. That's the invisible hand of the market. Very powerful in the right socket-to-you outlet. Just don't fall down though."

Chelsea frowns at him with no small amount of anger:
"You don't know this about me so I'm going to cut you some slack. I really really hate being the straight man in a comedy piece. You try to make me ask the setup line to a funny come back and I will beat you bloody with this cane."

"Sorry. You don't want to fall down because having invisible hands makes it abundantly clear why no one should even think, let alone want, to try to lend you one. It's not there to actually do anything humanly useful with after all. But as you so admirably pointed out, it certainly knows how to leverage a mean 'beat me stick.' "

"Ok. This is really starting to sound a lot more political than philosophical. I get it that you are also into radical politics, but what does that have to do with philosophy?"

Well, the problem is that's exactly the problem. You't can't talk about how you should consider the nature of things, as you go about your daily business, without also talking about what is the nature of your business in the first place. Just as you must be the change you wish to see take place, you have change the way you go about being in order to have a fundamentally new starting point for either. And how does one do that if one is already blitzed out with the message of making thy brand thy label?

Chelsea has now brought the cane up threateningly close to Jeff's head.
"What the fuck did I just tell you. Do I have to remind you about the parable of the guy beating a mule with a two by four?"

Jeff pauses with mouth open for only a few heart beats:
"Quite right. Quite right. You already have my attention. And apologies for any condescension that may be on display here. I am foolishing mistaking the possibility of not being into something as not having bothered to look at all.

"What I'm trying to illustrate here can be expressed with this example; something I myself have fallen prey to, even if in a slightly different way. Why have women been talked into shaving their vagina's? Ostensibly it is to satisfy another redefinition of what is fashionable, just as men have been sold on outlandish musculature in order to be men, with the same chrome and paneled excess on their trucks.. The thing is, however, once you do that you are really making yourself as much a product as the curvey cars we've given feminine lines to. With hair down there you are at least partly the semi wild animal nature intended you to be. And it is only because we give curvey lines to so many other things that makes it so difficult for us to take you seriously as anything more than just sensuous animals, or products.

Unfortunately, the only philosophy we seem to have now swirls around variously shared concepts of "piety and profits, the certainty of easy answers serving unquestioned dogma, and that right and wrong are fine so long as they don't threaten the privilege of the powerful. What we are for, in that context, is hard work and playing by their rules. Where work and play are two sides of the same coin; distraction as occupation. As well as where any deity one might imagine can be warped over to being the ultimate ledger keeper, balancing up not only the chits of good and bad behavior, but whether you continue to believe in the nonsense in the first place. Because being good or bad isn't nearly as important as having adoring fans are.

The entirety is a great deal more than simply cold facts that supposedly have only a "rational" aragnement; which is where survival of the most fit can warped into any oppressive economic mold. It is also, however, a great deal more than just unthinking gratification ether; where creation and destruction go hand in hand without pause for meaning. It is an unimaginably immense, recursive, question answer engine where the answer begs the next question, bringing the next answer to keep the process going. Meaning is immensely important, but it is always fleeting because of the back and forth of the question and the answer. We are essential as sentient meaning processors for we encorporate both the mind to make objectification possible, but an essential animal link to feeling so as to understand the Elemental Embrace as something more than simply filtered information.

None of this is going to make any sense to you, however, if you continue doing the "Hokey Pokey" as we've been sold on it now. Which is no more than to say that what you poke your nose into, how you do that poking, and what purpose that poking serves, has just as much to do with what is "business as usual," as with what are we and what are we for."

"I knew that. Can I see just how small your dick is now?"

"Only if I can have a feel for how deep your curiosity goes. When, and if, I tickle your fancy of course."

Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Difference Between a Fool, and a Damned Fool, and How that Relates to the Difference Between Ignorance and Willful Ignorance

I made the mistake of getting back to the subject of sin again in a post recently, and now, of course, I must take ownership of that mistake and do the full diligence of making amends.

I say mistake because any time I mention such connotation charged concepts it can be like setting off those mousetrap illustrations they used to do in explaining chain reactions; only in this case they go off inside my head and god (metaphorically speaking) only knows what might come of such detonations in the reaction chamber I have for a brain.

Of all things it might have done, in this instance it got me to thinking about the difficulty I had, something like ten or so years ago, in explaining what I had just begun feeling to my son (back before our falling out, of which, naturally, we were both at least partially responsible for) about the difference between a fool and a damned fool. And as my brand of oddness would have it, what suddenly popped into my head was a way to describe the two, in terms of their contrast.

A fool, it seems to me, is someone prone to make mistakes, but with the wiggle room of having the possibility of them being wonderfully grand ones; as in taking risks of the heart that have variously ratioed outcomes for both epic heartache and the love of your life; or absolute humiliations on the grand stage of ideas, or the breakthroughs that make giants out of ordinary men and women.

A damned fool is someone who force marches to mistakes as if to make a grand conquest, and who, subsequent to the inevitable outcome, refuses to see anything but the conquest already imagined, no matter how disastrous that outcome may have been. To the D.F. this is just the collateral damage done, not by him, mind you, but by the opposition who always prove to be a bit more determined than anticipated. Which, of course, grants him the conceit that no mistake has been made at all.

Perhaps now you can see why this bit might then suggest a connection to mere ignorance, as opposed to willful ignorance.

Clearly, we are all ignorant of many things, and will remain so despite aspirations to the contrary. It is also inevitable given that there will always be too many things that one can know, let alone what one ought to know.

On the other hand, we've been given the propensity for both doubt and certainty. It has also been a difficult slog to come to the understanding that a little bit of both can go a long way, as well as the notion that a balance between the two, like balance in general, is seldom symmetrical, and always in flux. The cognitive dissonance that ensues here comes from the inherent difficulty in not only the work involved in removing ignorance in the first place, but the additional irritations in keeping some doubt attached to what we have learned, and from that a willingness to abandon some parts of those lessons in order to gain more currently pertinent knowledge.

In my mind, the most obvious example of the willfully ignorant these days is the religious extremist and zealot. Such a person holds onto their cherished beliefs much as a damned fool holds on to their invulnerability to mistakes, and the ultimate conquest of those beliefs, over other beliefs, much as the damned fool does of his right to invulnerability.

What's interesting now for me, and what caused this detonation in the first place, is how these contrasted, similar expressions of modes of behavior might have to do with morality, both in the practical, and spiritual aspects of same.

If the zealot has nothing else he at least has what he thinks he can claim as sole possession of most things spiritual, and the rules that ought to work around spirit. You might get such a person to grant that morality ought to also cover more practical aspects of life, but I suspect it would be, at best, only a tangential connection that, first and foremost, did not contradict the dogma of that person's belief system. What this suggests to me, however, is a grand mistake on the part of the rest of us, who understand mistakes and want to take ownership.

In this, understandably, is there then the need to formulate a philosophical framework that includes morality in both practical, as well as spiritual, terms. A framework that can allow for sin, but do it in a way that makes sense both logically and emotionally, because, believe it or not, spirit can apply to both.

I have already expressed sin as the easy cop-out from the responsibility of making choices, and then not taking responsibility for those choices. The practical aspects of this ought to be obvious by now. What might the spiritual ones be? Oddly enough those should be just as obvious as well.

Simply ask yourself. What do we do to our emotional well being; our ability to love joyfully, and joyfully love. Our ability to nurture others to love, and know joy. To know and love other things that might bring joy: Wonder. Curiosity. Discovery. Healthy pride in not only our own achievements, but in the small sacrifices we make in aiding others to achieve, allowing us to share both the burdens and recognition of making gains. What do we do to all of these if we allow ourselves to become damned fools, or the willfully ignorant? What must harden and ossify in order to ignore these essential aspects of what makes up the energy of our souls; the light of same if you will.

In this, I think, is where evil enters the picture. The very thing that exists, but only in the abstract as far as our ability to declare that one thing is definitely evil, and the other is not. In this is where evil is simply a path towards greater probability.

As we are all prone to do foolish things we are all prone to what I like to call Evil Light. I'd like to think that the majority of us are still capable of seeing the bad aspects of our mistakes and, despite the harsh consequences, are eventually willing to own the hurt we have caused. The damned fool, as with the willfully ignorant, however, are well down the path towards the greater probability of doing true evil; the continued exercise of behavior that not only refuses to see the mistakes being made, but by definition, refuses to even acknowledge that there is even anything but admiration that should be in line for ownership, paying hardly any attention whatsoever to the unimaginable suffering they walk coldly through.

There are other connections to made here certainly, which is why you've seen a post on celebrities having their sexuality openly expressed. Is the open expression of sex a sin? It can be if you've taken your gratification from others without so much as a simple "by your leave?" If you've allowed your expression to become an addiction, from which your gratification is then the only thing that matters.
Which also makes it quite clear that other things can be far more pornographic, as in violence for the mere gratification of excitement. Or the expression of wealth as the gratification of the lust for power and ego enlargement

The grand fact of the matter is that a deity can be quite intimately involved in your particular form of pornography; whether it be in groups of the faithful wiping themselves amid shouts of "mea culpa," other groups of the faithful drinking the poisoned cool aid, or still others speaking in tongues and dancing about with snakes, keeping their clothes on only because they found a way to bliss out without fondling each other.

The only thing that might distinguish it from hurtful pornography are the types and characteristics of the mistakes that may be occurring, and whether those making them ever take ownership of them.

The bottom line then is simply this: are questions being raised on a regular basis? Are they as important as the answers, as well as the other way around? Do you make it a point to consider that you might be wrong and that you need to consider what to do about that if it is indeed the case?

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Shamelessly Self Serving Idea for a New Chelsea Handler Does Episode on Her NetFlix Gig.

It would be "Chelsea Does Philosophy." And I would graciously offer up my services, free of charge of course, as the new Web Head of Philosophy.

My only requirement would be to appear on camera only within a green skin suit so that various ridiculous digital overlays could be substituted; as, say, a talking dick head. The idea, of course, to go with the whole "I don't take myself too seriously" shtick... Whatever the reality might be.

Just imagine the hilarious hijinks that might ensue as I pretend to go down on her so she can get the low down on what's new in philosophy. It would be great. And maybe she could wear a green suit too, for a segment or two, perhaps sporting a talking vagina head. Just picturing it in my mind makes me bust out laughing.

Hopefully she has people who keep tabs of soon to be important web personas. Or at least mildly interesting, odd ball personas.

Search Too Intently into Penetration and You May Find Yourself Thoroughly Penetrated.

With the holes in your thinking you didn't even know you had.

A guess
is as good as a Goose
in an imaginary pot
when you have so little
left to go on
save your own dark
and the abyss
it surrounds

And yet
still do you hunger
for answers
cooked up
or not

What you question
in what you assume
you stew in
is the better meal
for a mindful patience
of the slow
simmered soul
who waits for the right
to know
correct ingredients
when they find him:
a crack at the crock
of potting curiosity
to sustain itself
within a whirling
world of
stirring wonder.

When that probe
perhaps then
will you appreciate
the creative joy
of being impregnated.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Deserving's Got Nothing to Do With It

One of the powerful scenes in the movie "Unforgiven" is the one in the bar, just before the end of the movie. Gene Hackman's character is lying shot on the saloon floor and makes the statement: "I don't deserve to die like this." To which Eastwood's character replies: "Deserving's Got Nothing to do with it."

I think about that scene every time I hear people say that humanity doesn't deserve to survive, given all of our propensities towards brutality, selfishness, and disdain in general for the miracle of life. We are obviously insane, goes this narrative and deserve only to  die out, and the sooner the better. The quote itself is interesting for me because it turns on a duality of cause and effect that presents us with both the philosophical, and practical aspects, of responsibility and fate.

The other side of this, naturally, gets expressed when real tragedy happen to good people; especially when deities are involved; to which the standard fall back is that we can't know their plan. An answer that is clearly not very satisfying. Shit happens may not be very satisfying either but it has always made a great deal more sense to me than sentient deities, or that they would have a plan for every living, and nonliving thing in the first place.

In any case, though, with so much going on that speaks pages to how bad we can be to not only each other, but to the place that brought us, and a great deal more, into being over the last few billion years, the degree to which "humanity doesn't deserve to survive" being uttered manages to piss me off now surprises me greatly; especially considering that it wasn't all that long ago that I would also fall into that refrain.

I should add, at this point, that this newfound attitude goes beyond my ability to ascertain that there are, indeed, also a great deal of good that we are capable of, as well the bad. So many little miracles of selfless acts of kindness, giving and nurturing that don't always get the same amount of air time in the info sphere. If you take the time to look you will always find them, and one can find hope in that even if the ratio of bad to good is lopsided towards the former.

This newfound attitude has come, I think, from a sudden realization that thinking about the above mentioned duality of what's "deserved" or not, as well as for where forgiveness comes in, has given me. The realization stems from seeing why "deserving's got nothing to do with it," in the context of our right to survive or not.

The thing is, we are what we are for a good number of reasons, of which bad choices are only part of the picture; important of course, but not the only part. When you think about it, the fact that evolution gave an oversized brain to one of its animal experiments, and that animal then survived long enough to not only become self aware, but to cooperate enough to create unique, and abundantly creative cultures, along with the raping, torture, and self indulgent excess of various groups at the expense of other groups, is nothing but astounding. We survived because, somehow, through either just dumb luck, or just enough good at various moments to carry the day, when it really, really, mattered, and/or combinations of both. And I am also pretty sure that there was no divine plan involved either, but saying that does not, in any way, rule out the possibility that a divine process might be at work.

The bottom line here is something that ought to be obvious, but isn't. If you are an animal that suddenly gets thrown into the deep end of expanded consideration, there is no way that sanity is a starting point, and that you somehow lost it somewhere along the way in growing up as a sentient species.

The further miracle at play here is that we somehow, outside of any reasonable expectation, discovered that there can be sanity in the first place, and that we can achieve it from time to time.

The fact is that, as we continue trying to grow up as said species, the hardest thing we may have to overcome is finding a way to forgive ourselves for all of the heinous aspects of being young, so fearfully ignorant, and so prone to selfish excess. In fact, maybe the whole notion of requiring forgiveness in the first place is wrong headed. How can being forgiven even enter the equation when we had to invent not only sanity, but the capacity to understand shame, and what might be going on underneath it all to create it. For some of you, of course, the answer has always been that this is why God created the garden, as well as original, perfect innocence. For me it is why we created God and a series of stories to provide a starting point for an ongoing narrative on what is, and what ought to be.

From my perspective the entirety rigs the game at least a little towards sentient survival because it requires it at its most fundamental level. In what way, you might then ask, does this filter down through the physical world of practical cause and effect? It does this through channels of interaction that can only be known without the filtering of objectification. Channels that are only felt in other words, and for which no objective means of measurement can be applied. And clearly the most fundamental of these is the need to embrace and exchange at every scale of consideration. And lest you doubt these unfiltered channels just consider why music has expressed what it has expressed from Mozart, Bach, Beethoven and Pachelbel, to Pink Floyd, Ray Lynch, Vangelis, Hans Zimmer, John Murphy, and Steve Joblonski, to just name a few. These fundamental resonations, and what they make us feel, are used in movie soundtracks for a reason after all.

That the entirety also requires mind, and all of the objectification that goes with it, so that bounded meanings over time can take place, making structure possible to create more complex structure, serves to both aid us greatly, and to make things far more worse; if for no other reason than the more we figure things out the more consequence arises from the choices we make. And the more responsibility we must assume in everything that goes into making them. That is the bottom line of eating from the tree of knowledge, and it has little to do with sin as an act of seeking, or using faculties we had no part in selecting. For me sin is the act of taking the easy cop-out; of choosing not to choose, or living in denial that you have a choice at all, and that you must take responsibility now in either case. The knowledge and feelings to guide us are out there; have always been out there, certainly, but now we have the choice to make use of them quite purposefully. The only question remaining is whether enough of us will make full use of them or not.

"I don't deserve this. To die like this..."

Amadeus: Requiem Rex Tremendae Majestatis.

Bach: Toccata and Fugue in D Minor.

Beethoven: Symphony #9 -- Ode to Joy

Pachelbel: Canon in D

Pink Floyd: Shine On You Crazy Diamond

Ray Lynch: The Oh of Pleasure, Celestial Soda Pop

Vangelis: Chariots of Fire

Hans Zimmer: S.T.A.Y.

John Murphy: Sunshine (Adagio in D Minor)

Steve Joblonsky: Transformers, The Island -- My Name is Lincoln

Monday, February 1, 2016

Further Thoughts on Persona, Fame, and What we Display of Ourselves

I chanced upon the YouTube "News" that another famous person had their private sex pictures leaked. In this case it was Emma Watson, but once you start looking into such "releases" you soon begin to realize what a more complicated picture one is actually confronted with. Something I have touched upon before in writing about the amazingly touching movie "The Congress."

This is where Fame, Celebrity and Commerce come together in a number of discomforting, as well as titillating, ways. Where a lot of questions ought to be asked not only of the players involved, but of ourselves, as consumers, as well.

The first thing you realize here is that most, if not virtually all, supposed celebrity "nude" photos, or videos, are manufactured fantasies. Whether by look alikes, or doctored imagery, doesn't really matter, the bottom line is that the personalities that portray our favorite characters in our favorite stories are also gold mines of suggested erotica. Hermione might be a wonderful, young woman of strength, courage and intelligence, but having her caught doing the naughty? Please...

What really gets confusing here, however, is that the motivations involved with the players, as well as our reactions to what is displayed, are probably a lot more complex than you might imagine at first glance.

First, of course, is that a lot, if not most, of these folks are necessarily young, understandably foolish to various degrees, and involved in a business that would tempt any of us at any age to do stupid things. All of that glamor, money, ego gratification, and an army of suckups who would do anything for even a small piece of the "action?" Let me just do another "Please..."

They are also, for the most part, actors. Which is certainly a venue for the exabishionist to let it all hang out if it is anything at all. It is also a craft of course in which talented performance can be elevated to an art form, but that in now way negates the fundamental foundation the skill stands on.

I mention this because, in some cases at least, they enjoy putting their passionate ability, as well as their passion outright, on display. And the fact of the matter is there is nothing at all wrong with that. And I can say that even if it is Mily passionately fucking for public display. It certainly seems like she is expressing her own feminine power of sensuality, and orgasmic involvement, and that she doesn't care what people think about that. More to the point, however, is that she is also taking charge of any material gain to be had from same. After all, it's not like she can wave a magic wand and prevent the imitations from being produced.

A lot of the contradictions here come from our schizophrenic view of publicly displayed fucking, or potential fuckability. On the one hand we certainly seem to be unable to get enough of it, but on the other we are so quick to condemn those (mostly the women) who engage in it (you can pick your own pejoratives). Sex is one of the most powerful forms of human connection there is, mixing as it does both creation, destruction, and the essence of life force; which of course also makes it one of the original addictives. And in that lies one part of the main problem here. The other being the fact that we have organized our social interactions around the abstraction of money, commodity, and mindless consumption. Which is where one's very personna is commodifiable, well beyond the originators own involvement now.

The point here is that the mere fact of enjoying a good fuck, however one goes about it (assuming consenting adults of course), is not the issue; it is whether one does this, or any other possibly addictive behavior, to the exclusion of other needed interactions and activities. And in this does our present operating system do us no good at all. Indeed, it is anathema to balance in the first place as it cannot tolerate centered, self actualized, individuals at all; understandable as such people don't take well to the dehumanized objectification of factory life, or the "hard sell" of fear based advertising (emphasizing all of the things you desperately lack, and ought to desperately need).