Curiosity Over Pride
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Deb, if I understand correctly (and I am the first to say I may misunderstand), I think SS sees this as a rather ugly way of looking at things.If this is how he feels, it seems reasonable to take this conversation here.I tend to look at it as "it is what it is" mixed in with a healthy dose of "the emperor has no clothes".For me, the idea is simply a helpful way to understand the world and the variety of patterns, changes and repetition that we see- in particular I find it helpful in understanding why we see pointless such disagreement amongst otherwise decent people.
Talking about repetition, Thai, you may be interested to know that it is a core concept in MY psychoanalytic book, at least, and it is definitely something that perplexed and discouraged Freud tons and tons as he got older.Repetition is like.... repeat nightmares of real, lived through battle scenes that YOU GUYS now call PTSD, or something like that (post... traumatic, I hate acronyms, I already said it over on Hell's blog), but Freud got a first hand taste of it after WWI, as it turned out, and it discouraged him no end, because he couldn't understand why anybody would have those nightmares when it is evident that everybody wants to forget trauma, right ? (PTSD has been around since... caveman days. Logical...)Repetition in psychoanalytic theory in my book is another way of saying...the apple never falls far from the tree.About two months ago, I FINALLY said to myself that I must have repeated my mother's life on any number of key points : two miscarriages, two children, a boy and a girl, a marriage where my husband is a nice guy, but definitely ABSENT (not in body, but all too often in mind... he isn't very talkative), my childrearing techniques, and my "lack" of a well paying career.The similarities in both our lives are striking.From one point of view, you COULD say that I have repeated HER life.But... if I have repeated her life, I have done so all the while stamping my own peculiar differences on the repetition.I'm not Christian (but I love Jesus, lol).I don't go to church (but I love visiting churches to see paintings, etc).I don't have breast cancer (yet ??? we'll see...).I don't live in the U.S.I didn't speak English to my kids while they were growing up...If you sift through all of this, then you can SEE that... the apple definitely hasn't fallen far from the tree. And... I feel like making a gross generalization and saying that if YOU think about it... YOU have not really fallen far from the tree either.This, to make my point about the complex relationship between... determinism, and individual liberty.Depending on which way you look at it you can... ONLY see the repetition, OR, you can also throw in the subtle, albeit extremely limited individual liberty that is part and parcel of the whole shebang. Repetition is related to the fact that if you set us down in the forest with no sun to see, we eventually end up retracing our footsteps.We repeat in order to find OURSELVES again. And out of loyalty to the people who taught us THEIR definition of love.We never stray too far away from them.
Deb, contrary to what SS may think, the main reason I even started this whole series of postings on the conservation of energy was to help people (like you) understand Hell's blog a little better and in particular to follow the conversation.But to bottom line it, I have decided that metaphor is a form of information and therefore energy and therefore a "thing" as you said before and as such conservation of energy laws apply to it.Do you know that the conservation of energy is?I quoted Feynmans' description of it on my post "does the conservation of energy apply to love?"
But... I'm not sure the conservation of energy applies to love.I think that maybe the very attraction of magic is that... the conservation of energy does NOT apply to it. (I am talking on a theoretical level here.)That in the case of magic ( and love) you have an example of something being created ex nihilo ?The problem is ALSO, and here I can sympathize with SS's recalcitrance in our dialogue, what I mentioned in the post about Jung : psychoanalytic theory's desire (Freud's desire) to RATIONALIZE phenomena that are perhaps best left UNENGAGED in the sphere of the intellect.Man is an animal who really needs boundaries, and frontiers in order to order his psyche. And he needs mystery. And beauty.What scientific materialism (has) destroyed, and this is its greatest weakness, is... ADORATION.The same adoration that you can see in the countless representations of Renaissance paintings, where you see the donors (RICH PEOPLE...) kneeling reverently in front of a Madonna and child, their hands folded in prayer.When/where was the last time YOU saw adoration in OUR society ?(While it CAN be an extremely personal, individualistic experience, the social body has no respect for it whatsoever...)If you think that conservation of energy is going to help me in Hell's blog, fire ahead.But are you SURE it is essential to understanding his economic points, which are rather abscons ?
Thai, I COULD say that by believing that metaphor is a thing, you believe in... MAGIC, because this belief takes you far closer to the Catholic presentation of transsubstantiation in the Eucharist than Protestant symbolism.Right ???Bar the door, and through the window ???This is why I say that it is both essential and a trap to perceive theory as... META.When I was a practicing shrink, this "debate" manifested itself in the necessity to listen to... the CONTENT (my definition of information, and the usual, accepted definition of information. Think about it. Most everybody dumbs down the information question to what the words MEAN, and not HOW they mean/say, for example...), all the while holding at the same time in my mind the idiosyncratic way in which each individual builds his reality with OUR words.Listening for different "levels" of meaning (but are they LEVELS, or is this a fallacy ?) AT THE SAME TIME.Just like in Hell's example of "banksties" you can hear different "levels" that are in play SIMULTANEOUSLY in my book. (I throw out depth psychology, even though scientists say that the brain can ONLY perceive things consecutively...)How's THAT for discussion ???? I'm proud of myself...
Deb, re: is theory reality?Who knows? Again to quote from my post:“There is a fact, or if you wish, a law, governing natural phenomena that are known to date. There is no known exception to this law; it is exact, so far we know." —Richard FeynmanIs love energy? Is it an information structure, etc... ?IF conservation of energy is true then the next question to obviously ask oneself is:"what is energy?"If you think linguistics is a rabbit hole, try answer that one.This by the way is what SS rejects, e.g. that energy is everything, which is where I am not so sure.I am increasingly coming to a kind of Occam's Razor like answerThe answer is the simplest onee.g. energy "is what it is"Think about it
Thai, I NEVER EVER say the R word these days. Think about it. My linguistics training...Interestingly enough, Freud's models for the psyche are manifold (not in YOUR sense of the word...)He has an... ECONOMIC model.He also has an ENERGY model.Economy and energy are related, perhaps.You say nothing about my comment on the threat of reductionist thought, Thai...
Deb, I am confused again. What do you mean by R word? And if you were talking about the dangers of reductionist thought and wanted me to comment on it, I completely missed where you said that. Do you mean R word for "reductionist" or R word for "repetition"?And where do you talk about the dangers of reductionist thought?
I read this and thought it rather apropo for our conversation.Can't comment on its veracity but it is an interesting theory.Note the general message of zero sum ;-)
"R" for... "Reality", Thai.Reductionist thought : in the thread on Jung, and here, in the idea of dream interpretation as EXPLAINING (and explaining is always reductionist, isn't it ??) dreams, or at least assigning some form of meaning to them.
I looked at the article on depression. Freud came up with these conclusions quite some time ago, by the way. He noticed an important correlation between obsessional neurosis and critical thought.I think that Freud's initial theory identifies two basic and opposing tendancies/personalities : the hysterical personality, inclined to impulsive action, and the obsessional personality, where rumination and analytical thought can so predominate that all non symptomatic action is stifled. My own experience with rumination is that it is the result of disincarnation : the mind is not anchored in the body, but runs off on its own little tangents.After many years of "depression" (if you insist on this word...) I instinctively returned to my work at the piano, where thought, and incarnation are predominant. Think about it : when I play the piano, my goal is to become as conscious as possible of my whole body, my fingers, articulations, elbow, shoulder, feet, etc, and this consciousness requires a phenomenal amount of concentration, of course.When I direct my muscles to "perform" a certain action, then my "thought/consciousness" is at an extraordinary level : there is NO automatism involved.Great musical artists have phenomenal concentration. But there is no RUMINATION involved in this kind of thinking because it is directly connected to the body.
"even though scientists say that the brain can ONLY perceive things consecutively"Who says this?The brain is massively parallel.As for the dangers of reductionist thought: "yes", I completely agree. In it clearly lies madness.As for your comments on analysis of behaviors as manifolds within manifolds- again I completely agree.But I think there is a much more "erector" set explanation for some things- like dreams- than those types of reductionisms might be making. e.g. the boundaries of the manifolds they are considering are a little too narrow.Remember, in the end we are big bags of energy trying to survive on this bigger bag of energy we call a planet. ;-)
But... if you make a parallel between reductionist thought and madness, then we are all mad little creatures, because we indulge in it all the time.Don't get fooled by my use of the word "manifold", Thai. I'm not sure that it was an appropriate use, by the way.Generations of Lacanian psychoanalysts shake their heads wisely at each other in groups, and think that just because they are using the same words.... they share a common experience, or agree.Nothing could be farther from the truth in my book.I don't like the use of language to create a consensual identity.
Re: "I don't like the use of language to create a consensual identity."What a wonderful topic for a post!You should honor us with your thoughts on this one- I completely agree by the way.AND... is there any other way to create a consensual identity? And what manifold of consensual are you referring to by the way?Is it your own consensual mind agreeing with itself (like the NPR audio-broadcast by science reporter hero Kurzweil on Virginia Woolfe?) or are you talking about two different people, etc...Talk about a wonderful example of a zero sum issue and the conservation of energy and the conservation of risk!... If it helps, I tend to be visual, and when I read or hear things, my mind converts them into geometric shapes and I imagine how they all fit together and that is how I come to understand "things" or manifolds like consensual identity, etc...... And if you don't mind me wandering on this subject a little?This... metaphor?... or way of thinking about things, reminds me that we can look directly ahead but not directly behind simultaneously. Of course we can turn our head and or eyes and look behind, but then we will not be looking ahead anymore. We can partially look ahead AND partially look behind simultaneously- or uses other senses to perceive what is going on simultaneously behind and in front of us as we primarily look ahead- but then we are not as perceptive as we otherwise would be if we were just looking in one direction (or manifold) as our attention is partially diverted elsewhere (just like in the depression article I linked).In the book on linguistics I mentioned- Pinker's The Stuff of Thought (which I am now almost finished with), there is a wonderful passage where he comments that the English language has almost 300,000 word for what are called "shape" words (like a cone or cylinder or ball, etc...) but only about 100 "position" words.Think about about where/how most miscommunication arises between people.The "shape" of the idea (or manifold or information structure, etc...) of what they are talking about may be relatively well agreed upon by two parties, but the position of that idea (or manifold or information structure, etc...) relative to other ideas may be very differently perceived by two different parties.... Anyway, I thought you might appreciate this as much as I.Be well
Oh, and a nuance only you would appreciate on this thread re: "A shared project or a common goal, Thai."I might suggest A shared project AND a common goal"Again, evolutionary psychologist think one of the primary things that distinguishes humans from other animals is our propensity to cooperate with unrelated members of of species and the propensity to use tolls (which if you think about it is just another form of cooperation: inanimate objects cooperating with humans and vice versa).It always comes back to cooperation. ;-)
Typo on "unrelated members of of species"It should read unrelated members of our SAME species
By the use of language to create a consensual identity, I mean the throwing off of professional jargon by TWO (at least) parties who assume that they are talking about the same thing because they are using the same word.Take, for example... the word "psychosis".This word, since it was "minted" has changed hands SO MANY TIMES, in so many different contexts that you can be sure that the person you are speaking to, (even if he or she is a shrink, and you are too) does not have the same understanding of it as you.And this, even without taking into consideration the positional words that you bring up, Thai.But it is evident to many people (and obviously to you, Thai...) that one way that people feel that they belong in a group is to use the same words that the group uses. This gives a kind of legitimacy within the group. And... people in order to belong to the group, will use the group's words without necessarily knowing what they mean... (Look at me on SuddenDebt, lol...)And obviously, that fact has an influence on what the words mean within the group, and exerts a constant pressure on their meaning. My husband and I have come up with an expression describing OUR reaction to language : to a certain extent we are "non dupe" of the way language works, which is kind of a tough place to be, Thai.It gets a little... lonely sometimes, you know what I mean ?For the idea that the brain perceives things consecutively, I read it somewhere. But in terms of sensory perception, this idea is painfully logical, Thai.One last thought to blow your mind :What you mention about NOT being able to see behind and in front AT THE SAME TIME suggests that there are indeed situations where it is not AND, but... OR.I am very very interested, not in the position words, Thai ; we can get back to this if you like, but in the... COORDINATING CONJUNCTIONS.Like... how do we put things together, and LINK ourselves to them ? What does our coordinating logic look like ?Gotta coordinate. And it seems to take the form of AND... or EITHER/OR.There's a world of difference between the two.
LOL, Thai, we are/were on the same wavelength !!!When I finished typing MY comment, I saw yours that was posted BEFORE, but NOT when I was writing !!!
Deb, re: and/orHere is a short videoWelcome to the world of quantum mechanics... understand this is the "stuff" that built the computers we now share thoughts (Energy?) over.Or as I like to say: "In the end you always have to chose a side"Do I know the conservation of energy is invariant for sure?NoBut when I fly at 30,000 feet on an airplane, you can guess my mind's true leanings by the fact that I am on the plane in the first place and not Ali Babba's flying carpet.;-)
AWWWWWWWW....Thai, How... UNPOETIC of you.Personally, I prefer Ali Baba's flying carpet. I've never flown one before, but who knows ?And I got thinking about it.My personal history is chock full of reasons why I am an EITHER/OR person, rather than an BOTH/AND one.And I have lots of company, you can be sure of that.
I checked out the video. Pretty mind boggling.But why do presenters have to talk to you as though you are an idiot ???It's not for kiddies because it's too difficult for them to follow.So... why the condescending tone ?
The video clip comes from a movie made for main stream theaters here in the US titled What the Bleep do we know!?.It is made for average everyday Americans (IQ approx 100) which is why it takes that particular tone.But it also does a good job explaining the subject to people unfamiliar with it which is why I chose it.If you want to watch Richard Feynman by all means... but he does not discuss the philosophy of science so you may forget to shift manifolds after you watch it ;-)At the simplest level, these are all different ways of talking about what scientists call The Heisenberg uncertainty principle which basically says there are limits to the amount of information we can know about a system.For once you enter a manifold or system and become part of it, anything you do always changes the system itself (remember how the electron went back from being a wave to a particle when the scientists actually followed it?).And where this confusion arises in humans most often is in systems or manifolds where the boundaries are very large; it is hard to see how our own behavior effects the system somewhere else as we do not view those events.Which if course is why smaller groups are much easier to manage and get agreement around.And is why we see things like The Butterfly Effect, where "the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas". Think about how we now hear linguistic colloquialisms such as "going viral" (what is the equivalent in French?)- which I am sure you are aware is when something like a simple idea or news clip or piece of information spreads all over the world very rapidly, such as Susan Boyle performance on Britain's got talent.Or why scientists now have to develop ideas like string and super string theory, etc... in order to capture the larger and large relationships we see between things if we expand the manifold to the universe, etc... and try to explain all the phenomena we see within a boundary where the conservation of energy holds true.Manifolds within manifolds within manifolds, etc...What is energy?It is such a fascinating subject to me.
Well, I'm really leery on the "going viral" metaphor because it is as old as the world, nothing new about it whatsoever. Every age has its own equivalent to "going viral" ; it is the backbone of "Mein Kampf". Jung MAY have used the concept of synchronicity to translate the "going viral".Susan Boyle's appearance on that show was a reenactement of the Cinderalla fairy tale.The world latched on to it because these days there is a great hunger to perceive man as a noble and good force with talent and free will.This hunger has been frustrated for quite some time now, due to simplistic "scientific" theories which date way back into the 19th century (and yes, I am including Darwin's theory here...).
This occurs as a result of the conservation of energy and bounded systems.And when it happens, it would look like a butterfly effect to certain observers
Der re: (Sudden Debt comment)"Just WHAT is a shared project/goal in the case of large numbers of people ?The idea certainly sounds seductive enough, but I'm not sure that it works..."That is my point if it was not clear.Why do you think faith developed in humans?If you were unaware, ccomplexity theorists are the very first to say complex systems can get so complex they collapse simply of their own complexity.And re: "conservation of energy will not save you from..."True, but its tools are how we conjure the weapons and defenses we do have.Every system can be broken, but there is also always a defense for a particular offense, etc...
Thai, you certainly have a convulted mind.I'm jealous.Every step I take, you seem to have already been there before...And I prided myself on my intelligence.Sigh...It's back to Ecclesiastes for me.When hubris threatens, nothing like a little shot of Ecclesiastes.
Oops, typo : that should read convoluted, NOT convulted...
I understood it to mean convoluted.I am sorry. I really hope this is not perceived as an ego or competition thing. It is not so convoluted to me at all- it is simply "n" dimensional, which is infinite dimensions.I tend to always see a sphere and just tell myself: "which side (or part) or the sphere am I looking at today and do I need (or want) to look at another part"?I have spent forever trying to get out of the prison of the conservation of energy- really, years as it's implications are SO profound. So far no success. Understand there are entire departments devoted to this stuff in Universities today. Similarly there are theoretical scientific institutes that do the same employing many of the same people who build atomic bombs, etc...Look up for yourself in Google words like, "econophysics", "complexity science", "the Santa Fe Institute", etc... and you will see this is a real field of science and not just Thai's random thoughts.They study/model things like "faith", trust", "cooperation", etc... Like when I said to SS, has he ever thought of religion as an advantageous adaption to improve cooperation all in the setting of a zero sum system", which is the theory behind evolutionary religious studies.I really did not think of these things myself- honest. I just happen to understand what the people in these fields are saying (because I was a scientist before I became an MD- which is really a kind of engineer- and I have always found the Indeed there have been physicists that have been driven mad by the implications of this.We really can move on from the subject now, I really am not trying to "rape" you or anyone else with the idea. Indeed, I am mostly trying to show "someone" I am not crazy nor amoral. In some ways I wish I had never made the realization... of course the conservation of energy might not be true, and then all observations we have in this are interesting but incomplete. But we do talk on the computers or fly on the aircraft we build with these tools. And we continue to notice that things like war, jealousy, greed, love, death, etc... are eternal (indeed the econophysicists have shown fractal) and we keep asking ask "why?"And I will continue to use its tools in my daily work to take care of people as that is my life's chosen work and my duty to the collective... which incidentally starts in a few hours so I have to go. ;-)Be well
So what if it is an ego thing and/or (LOL LOL LOL) competition ?What's BAD about ego and competition ?Is that one of your prejudices showing ?I'm going to offer myself a treat and say that I thought up a lot of what I'm saying without referring to the scientists.The scientists sound just like the Jewish rabbis, Thai...
Then I am impressed.I had to read about this stuff one my own and then think about it a little.And you are absolutely correct to note that scientist are definitely finding "faith" or "god".There version may not exactly agree with an anthropomorphic god taught to certain children on Sunday school, but I know no wise physicists that completely disagree with major tenets of religion anymore, as evidence by the very honest ability of the National Academy of Science to write stuff like this.... Their basic message is that they are simply different systems for looking at information structures ;-)
Sorry for the spelling typos
Actually, Thai, I kind of pride myself on the idea that for me, this debate is not about the existence of a supernatural being who created the Earth in seven days.This debate for me is about the reductionist tendency to overrate RATIONAL, LOGICAL thought, promoting it as the ONLY kind of valuable thought process that SHOULD permit us to see the world, and relate to our fellow being (and hence reducing what we are capable of seeing in the world, by the way...).As irony would have it, Freud pinpointed what he called the primary thought processes, which correspond to the logic of the unconscious (the unconscious is NOT a place, it is like what those particles produce when they are projected on a surface, OK ?) He could see that it was possible to think in another way from "rational" thought, which he called secondary thought processes. But he always had a hard time NOT JUDGING between the two types of thought.And... as you can probably tell, the hardest part of all of this is the NOT JUDGING.Like... in the last comment you talked about ego and competition because you had come to a judgment about what I was saying, or what you were saying, I can't remember.And... nobody ever really invents anything or any thought. We just keep rediscovering what other people have already thought, and reappropriating it for ourselves...
I'm preening..I think I'm OK with erector sets.
Re: "This debate for me is about the reductionist tendency to overrate RATIONAL, LOGICAL thought, promoting it as the ONLY kind of valuable thought process that SHOULD permit us to see the world, and relate to our fellow being (and hence reducing what we are capable of seeing in the world, by the way...)."I don't disagree with this on one level, but it is not very helpful on another.We all want to exist on this planet and in order to do we need the assistance of others. To the extent we can see and tangibly feel that assistance, we accept (shall we call them flaws?) flaws in each other.To the extent we do not see them, we do not.Of course we don't see all the connections we all need (even the positive ones) and therefore it is highly likely we can shoot ourselves in the foot; but is there really any alternative?You were the one who both said "A shared project or a common goal" and then took it back as you realized such a event is really impossible with very large groups, no?You need to propose an alternative that also works.We are all held together by "hubs" remember?Personally I think it is actually impossible to truly "know" what those hubs are as you can only see what they are to you and not to others with very different moral filters. It is almost like a black hole in astrophysics, you can see its event horizon and its behavior on the system but you can never truly see a black hole.(And this might go past you but in case not) physicist are pretty sure there is a maximum amount of information a black hole's event horizon can contain before it collapses.Kind of reminds me of how complexity scientists feel there is a maximum amount of information a complex system can store before it's hubs (and the complex system) also collapses.
Opps, sorry. My wife was using my computer.
How do you work in these complexity theories while taking into account that Nature seems to further complexity and diversity, without being apocalpytic, Thai ?Does a system ever really collapse in that spectacular way that apocalypts think, or is its demise always a long slow process that has been at work for a long time BEFORE any perceived EVENT comes around ?And since it is a long slow process, what is taking the place of the system is also progressively coming into being ?Empathy is not a logical "thought" process.It is the result of identification, in Freudian lingo.I said on Hell's blog that I despise nationalism, and I maintain that.And as I stated... why settle for belonging to a small group, when you can have the whole wide world, and fellow man (and not necessarily as abstractions...) ?Invariably we come back to the exclusion question. Where we started.
Re: #1 "Does a system ever really collapse in that spectacular way that apocalypts think"Re: #2 "And since it is a long slow process, what is taking the place of the system is also progressively coming into being ?"This is kind of fun for me to "read" someone else's mind race into all the same nooks and crannies mine has and everyone else' I know who studies this stuff has.You will make other "discoveries"/"observations" as well in time, of that I am sure and pretty soon the economics discussions will start to make a new level of sense, and you might stop getting angry at everyone else for not seeing the problem with "filth lucre".Having said that let me see if I can help you with a few points.1. Change (or collapse) can be gradual.2. Abrupt or sudden unexpected change is just as real.Indeed, this is the same science that predicting the future is impossible (since if you knew the future you would change your behavior and become part of the system and therefore change the system)This is the same science that says markets are not efficientThis is the same science that says risk is scale invariant or infinite (indeed, remember my post The Conservation of Risk.)Basically that means things like being wealthy is just as risky as being poor, etc... and that you just need to look at the problem more carefully (in particular you need to factor in time, etc...)It means that the dinosaurs can have sudden extinctionIt is what the global warming people are discussing when they talk about the risk of "abrupt climate change"It is why bubbles form in complex systems that can lead to disasterous results for everyone when they popIt is why volcanoes like Yellowstone can suddenly erupt and cause potential extinction level events.It is why the human brain can never make a truly rational choice, etc...
I'm bridling, Thai.You sound kind of condescending in your last post. I get touchy about condescension. (Remember the exclusion post, above ?)And I don't understand your last comment either.You make Sudden Debt sound like some kind of cute little club where everybody has the latest info on physics.I don' think that's true.But then I know nothing about the history of Sudden Debt.Maybe y'all meet after hours in smoky bars and slug it out over physics ?Although geographical location could possibly render this impossible.Don't worry. I can handle MY agression, and YOURS, too, by the way. It's no big deal, right ?
Amend "last post" to "last comment" in above.
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