Curiosity Over Pride (FYI: To comment, send an e-mail to

Monday, December 28, 2009

Pattern Recognition

My impression is that some religious folk believe that the opposite of their belief in all all-controlling deity is random chaos. Order as they know it or anarchy. In between these two black and white poles lies something fascinating, though. Order from unknown rules; cause and effect from unknown rules.....

Delicious! "I must know", you say! Me too!

What am I going on about, you ask? I have a weird sense that 2010 will be a great year. Hmmm, the skeptic has gone soft? Delusions of fate and psychic vision? No. But wouldn't recognizing the organic foundation of something that is going to bloom/evolve appear like revelation of the future? Pattern recognition.

Ridiculous! Yet I feel very enthusiastic. I read a lot of really good sci-fi while on vacation. I got a wicked cool box of electronica for a Mithrasmas gift. Maybe the martial arts will be involved in my New Year's resolutions. Sweet!!!

Hope y'all had a wonderful time last week :)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

So the Keynsians tell us that we are supposed to keep lending

Any interest in any of you guys joining me in this?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

OMFG!!! This is so way cool

Between me and the boys, we have probably spent $20 tonight on new itunes songs as we just kept hitting the songs that streamed over this free internet radio.

Sometime the internet is just so freak-in cool!

Beware, it is addictive. ;-)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Rattling the cage's bars

My last comment on the last post having been ignored, I am now going to sound off.
Is this problem that I'm going to deal with one more example, an illustration of Lacan's postulate that there is no such thing as sexual relations ?
Does it fit roundly into the box, "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus " ?
I sometimes feel here as though when I post, some people (particularly YOU, Thai..) read, pat me on the head, and promptly continue on their orbital path, resuming the discussion at the point when I "broke in".
I hate being patted on the head.
For info, I do NOT consider that over there in the jungle, Hell pats me on the head.
He does not. He.. RESPECTS me, and my way of thinking.
I have already asked that you try to vulgarize some of the more technical aspects of the scientific docs that you throw down here, and I honestly try to engage intellectually with you, to the extent that I am capable of understanding these rather abstract subjects.
If you want to hole up in the corner, and have specialized discussions, by all means use E Mail, telephone or whatever.
I am not allergic to scientific thought when it is presented in a manner in which I can understand it.
But I AM allergic to the fact that YOU, THAI, make no attempt whatsoever to engage intellectually with the points I bring up EVEN WHEN THEY ARE CONCERNING YOUR SUBJECT (at least, recently, that is..).
And I am starting to feel like all we do on this blog is to talk past each other, while gratifying our own egos.
I don't have time to waste on that.
If I want to write, I will find a public to listen to me, and appreciate my writing.
I don't.. NEED you for that.
But... discussion, that's another matter altogether.
We are not discussing well enough for MY taste on this blog.
Can do better.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Hints of things to come.

By the way, I do not agree at all with his comment "there is nothing else like that in physics and certainly not in human experience...".

I will let you decide for yourself.

But as you think on this, and in particular if it has a relationship to cooperation, I thought you might also be interested to learn that the world wide web, a scale free network, also displays Bose-Einstein condensation properties.

In fact, many things display this property.

And I mean many. ;-)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Science : Etymology

I checked out your site for the etymology of science and it was rather... indigent, Thai.
So.. I am deliberately cheating on this one, and giving you the etymology from my French dictionary.
I am doing this because the Grand Robert Historique is a little more succint than the OED, and is better at transmitting the historical evolution of the word. The OED has a purely analytical, descriptive approach, and the word's history falls by the wayside.
This piece is a translation of what I put on my loony forum in July. Complete with.. MY commentary on the implications of the etymology for us, at this time.

Here is a word whose etymology and history everybody should know at a moment when "science" has become our new.. RELIGION. In the following piece, I will stick my commentary between parentheses, in order to allow you to differentiate between me, and the Grand Robert.

Science : First appearance (I think) in the French language in 1080 in "The Song of Roland". Borrowed from the classic latin scientia, "knowledge", particularly "scientific knowledge" which starting at the classical period takes on the meaning of the Greek episteme, "theoretical knowledge", from whence "epistemology". (I shall add that the original meaning of "theory" is "a group of people sent to a religious performance, or to consult an oracle". In the word "theory" we hear the root theos, which means "god". In the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations we observe how religion and knowledge are linked together in our ancestors minds. We will see why later.)
"Science" at first refers to the know-how which is derived from "knowledge" combined with (manual) skill, and starting in around 1119, the corpus of "knowledge" aquired from studying an object. Before the XIVth century, the word applies particularly to knowledge as a practical object subservient to religion. Moreover... the word is used in a religious context in 1120, with respect to the "intimate knowledge of God and creatures", from whence "the spirit of science", "the spirit (esprit, difficult to translate...), essence of God insomuch as he gives knowledge to man (1553), and the transcendental knowledge of the creation that God has.
In the middle of the XIIth century the generalized opposition between theoretical and practical knowledge emerges. (I would like to remind you that this opposition marks the beginning of a separation, a compartmentalization which translates in the separation between head/brain and hands. Increasingly, the value of what is produced with the hands will be debased, while what is produced with the head will be... INFLATED he he. The problem being particularly, the separation of head and hands... We are still suffering terribly in our civilization from the result of this compartmentalization.)
XVth century : "avoir la science infuse" means "to have the knowledge that God gives by pure inspiration (the breath of God ???), in reference to the knowledge that Adam received from God (and not from biting that apple, careful...), the expression has taken on the meaning "to know... INNATELY (my capitals), and then, to claim to know everything. (1835) (Note the deterioration in the meaning, the mockery that arises ...)
During the Renaissance, "modern" thinkers came to understand that science must be founded on formal reasoning, i.e., on mathematics, on direct observation, and controlled experimentation (!!!! The Robert's prejudices are evident here...). Two types of knowledge vyed for preeminence : law, an emanation of divine thought and a framework for human life, and mathematics which also manifested a certain world.. order. The concept of "science" draws away from theology, and philosophy, and the idea of method begins to impose itself. (I remind you that this evolution corresponds to the rise of humanism in Europe. Humanism is an ideological approach which progressively evacuates a reference to a transcendence ideal and/or divine. The founding fathers were probably.. devoted to a reference towards an IDEAL transcendance, but not a.. DIVINE one. Transcendance can be inferred from the structure of language, as you have learned from my previous posts, right ??) Starting at the beginning of the XVIIIth century, "science" refers to "exact and universal, and verifiable knowledge expressed through laws". (Please notice how this definition of science corresponds to... the rise of our modern democraties, the rise of the value of reason. Please note also that... the word "law" is retained, but it has subtely changed meaning...)

(I would like to impart to you to what extent it is essential to understand this little topo. We retain the medieval root and meaning of the "science " in the expression "God only knows". This means... ONLY God knows. God, in the medieval topo WHICH WE REMEMBER IN/THROUGH OUR LANGUAGE is the garant of truth, and only through him does man receive... science/knowledge. The place of the garant, the person who... GUARANTEES, in other words is fundamental because.. we must RECEIVE knowledge from somewhere (someone ?) and.. HOW DO WE KNOW IF IT IS TRUE ???
Other EXTREMELY IMPORTANT OBSERVATION : the fact that... our modern judicial systems and ideological fascination for the.. LAW mask the fact that the latter emerged from a.. THEOLOGICAL context, my friends. This is... CAPITAL.

In the Renaissance topo (humanism, anthropocentrism, which still dominate western civilization..), man acquires knowledge/science himself through observation and experimentation, by formal reasoning applied to (personal) experience.
But.. the question/problem of the garant/guaranteer remains intact. CAN MAN BE THE GARANT/GUARANTEER OF HIS OWN KNOWLEDGE ? At the risk of usurping God's (symbolic !!!!!) place ?
I think that at rock bottom we have an innate knowledge that we receive our lives, our knowledge our words from... ANOTHER. (Levinas). Therefore.. a certain anthropocentrism/humanism is a delusion, a dangerous one for our species, that at this time has embarked on a frantic search for all powerfulness on everything that moves.)

I warned you that this would be long...

Friday, December 11, 2009

For Deb

I thought you would like the message, even if you did not like the message. ;-)

Thursday, December 10, 2009


This one's for Thai.

For the past two days, I have been plugging away at Rousseau's Emile.
I can't remember when I got the idea of picking up Rousseau. Probably as a result of hearing so much flak about him.
Bitch, bitch, bitch. Everybody comes out with a sanctimonious statement about the fact that Rousseau abandoned his children to an orphanage. NOBODY comes out with the fact that he later publicly regretted it bitterly, and attempted to find them, to no avail. Nor that Emile was written as a form of reparation.
Nobody comes out with the fact that Rousseau led a hand to mouth existence for most of his existence, and let go a lucrative position as a wealthy banker's personal secretary because it entered into conflict with his personal beliefs.
In short, condemnation of Rousseau comes swiftly, and even in France, his writings are subtley disqualified by the powers that be, in such a way that yours truly ended up being curious, and decided to open him up to see what exactly could be the reason behind so much... pompous, self righteous disqualification coming from people who had never bothered to spend any time on his writing...
And I am not disappointed at all by Rousseau.
I have been laughing outright, and chuckling through his lush, incredibly rich prose.
Rousseau is an eccentric. He is an extremely irritating person, while being totally singular, unique (like yours truly, by the way, which is one of the reasons we get along so well).
He has passionate opinions, and he is a tissue of contradictions, when he is not driving you crazy through his desire to take things through to their logical conclusion.
His idea of education is a benevolent totalitarian enterprise, where his idealism infuses every page, and EVERYTHING IS CONTROLLED DOWN TO THE MOST MINUTE DETAIL.
And along with the idealism, if you read carefully you will understand TO WHAT EXTENT people like... Sigmund Freud and Charles Darwin had an incredible debt to Rousseau, whose works contain, in seed form, the ideas that the two giants above will develop considerably later.
You will also understand, if you bother to read him... just why the establishment has taken so many pains to discredit and disqualify him. For... ITS own good.
Because, Jean-Jacques Rousseau is an incredibly astute observer of the arbitrary manner in which the social body (that's us..) decrees what is right, and what is wrong, what education should be, and shouldn't.
And... believe you me, there is NO SUBJECT as PRICKLY as the education of the younger generation, no subject more prompt to unleash sometimes smoldering, sometimes blazing passions in their elders (that's us).
Some of Rousseau's pedagogical positions are as contemporary as the French Revolution in May, 1968. And some of what he suggested is, EVEN NOW IN 2010, considered ill advised, RADICAL, irresponsible. (Yeah, well, remember that Socrates got axed for corrupting Athenian youth, at least in pretext...)
Because we oldies just can't accept the idea that our children are REALLY our equals.
No, not for one minute. And the older generation tries to hang on to its real or imagined power/authority for as long as possible. Rousseau advocates letting necessity fix the limits for children, and not arbitrary adult authority. Revolutionary...
As the grandaddy of all sociologists (psychologists ?), Rousseau is a must read. He knows the tattered rag and bone shop of the heart so intimately that you will laugh out loud at some of his priceless observations on human nature.
I am not sure how well he has been translated, as it is difficult to render him with any justice, and I will not attempt it here (too lazy...).
End of ad.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Big Brother is Watching!

Check it out yourself

Truly amazing what we now track on people

Monday, December 7, 2009

Thoughts on some viewpoints

Thoughts on Odd Thoughts

... And we all know there are a lot more viewpoints than just these.

I was reading the following article in the Washington Post today when a rather odd thought came over me. Thinking a thought to be odd is rather odd in its own right, at least for me. For I am a firm follower of our Red Queen's famous observation: "sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast”.

Anyway, the article set my mind wandering down the path of that great zero sum paradox that parents and children have pondered for ages:

Who is the best person to decide on who someone's ideal life mate should be?

Thoughts appreciated.

Kudos to the best answer

The Most Fabulous Objects In The World

  • Hitchhiker's Guide To The Universe trilogy
  • Lord of the Rings trilogy
  • Flight of the Conchords
  • Time Bandits