Friday
Oct262018

Simulacra

     Simulacra are not a recently discovered human ploy.  Purposely creating reality distortions is at least as old as socialization.  Some distortions are artful, (Picasso), some are dystrophic, (The Matrix), and some are intentional disseminated constructs designed to implement reality change, (Trumpism). In his Sophist, Plato speaks of two kinds of image making. The first is a faithful reproduction, attempted to copy precisely the "original". The second is intentionally distorted in order to make the copy appear correct to viewers.

     This may have sufficed for Plato's readers, living in a more stable "original", but today we have lost all pretence of there being an "original"As I have said in previous posts, we are now only able to intuit among competing narratives/simulacra. Accordingly, we are socially interacting from as many different motives as there are spinning narratives.  Seemingly we have chosen against strong, laser like, coherence, and further, even chosen against chaotic divergence.....no,  we favor flat out turbulence.  Hold on, it's gonna be a bumpy ride!

     Sam Harris says that humanity was pretty much fucked up until the Enlightenment when "reason" gained a foothold against the magic that dominated the ancient brain. I think he would conclude that today's turbulence can be held in check and managed into optimum coherence with a concerted adherence to the art of reason.

     Jordan Peterson believes that the need for a higher level of coherence is not possible with help only from a "reason compass".  He argues that today's extreme divergence can only be harnessed by a social consensus that the archetypical stories of the species contain bedrock narratives that have been validated by evolution to be life sustaining, and accordingly should be socially revered and adhered.... with or without the support of reason based arguments.

     Personally, I am just pleased that there is still some social consensus that "red means stop and green means go".  Sadly,  I don't trust either the primitive right, nor the effete left.

    

        

Friday
Oct122018

Goat Cheese for Millenial Marks

     Everyone pretty much knows who buys "goat cheese".  I do not, but Shirley apparently does, often.  After her recent visit, I ate the left-over and admittadely it was a nice rare taste. I noted that the plastic sleeve packaging offered that this was not just ordinary goat cheese, but was "gmo-ge" certified by "nsfnongmo.org".

     Who knows where the "genetically modifed organisms/genetically engineered" attributes that were certified, to not be present, might have, if offered by a less hip cheese company, have been present.  Perhaps engineered bacteria in the pasturizing process, or maybe the milk  optionally would have been from a "gm goat".  Who knows, but what probably is true is that those who buy goat cheese  likely pay a 30% premiem for something purported to be gmo certified.

     Likely they could have gotten another dollar if they would have advertised "gluten free".  Deceptive representations, coding subtle appeals to tribal identities, abound in today's upside-down culture.  There is nothing we can do about it....so smile... or just say "Cheese".

Friday
Oct122018

My "Science" Definition

     A selectable human state of mind where attention is directed to observations and related replica-table    predictions about universe phenomena  and  how they change.  To the extent possible  the state accepts nothing as derivatively true that does not build on a previously replica table fact and/or relationships. 

Saturday
Oct062018

So Long Rachel.....thanks!

     At 70+, prior to 2015, I had a minimal cable news habit occasionally watching Anderson Cooper and Erin Burnett.  However, as the 2016 election came into focus, I discovered Rachel Maddow's unique and highly informative style.   Since that time I have been there virtually every weekday evening.  Most days her comprehensive "thread narratives' have informed my conversations with family and friends. 

     As the 2016 election results came to be, I felt badly for my loss, but even worse for Rachel's loss.  So much heavy lifting to come up short.  But then a "do over".  The Russian/Special Council saga brought renewed enthusiasm to her "deep inquiry" talent.  Unfortunately as this story has aged and become  brittle, even impassioned Rachel has had difficulty in "selling relevance".  It does not look promising.  Thanks to some welcome interludes to ventilate over "border kids" and "botched disaster responses" there was some relief from the nightly need to make interesting what by any reasonable standard was of little consequence. 

    More recently Rachel, like everyone, felt compelled to wade into the Kavanaugh debacle.  I can't imagine that she didn't know how that story would end.  No doubt her professionalism and legitimate liberal inclinations provided the energy for her calling play by play on  this latest loosing battle.

    Surely there will be more tyrannies. and most likely Rachel will continue to offer reasoned commentary on, what the trend would suggest is,  the "decline and fall" of the American Experience.  Personally, I can't continue to be a spectator in this Sisyphean drama where the rewards go to the self aggrandizing, crafty and deceitful and Rachel keeps rolling the rock up the hill.  I think I will switch over to Judge Judy and finish up with a laugh. #rachelmaddow

 

 

Friday
Sep212018

Oppression is Morphing to Irrelevance

     It is easier to study the past than the future.  Noah Harari, a widely acknowledged, super smart Historian, insightfully points out that studying history is really about studying "change". In the first 10 minutes of a conversation with Sam Harris, I heard an idea that allowed me to see the Trump Phenomena more clearly.    

     Harari noted that a certain segment of humanity have always acted as though their exploitation by elites was the driving force in their lives.  Humans are hierarchical animals and, as such. it has always been, it now is, and it will be forever more.....or will it!   In the 21st century, as technology progresses, and the future it portends becomes more widely understood, a much more destabilizing "masses vs elites" attractor has come upon humanity.

     According to Harari's reading of change, non-elite humanity has, at a deep existential level, come to realize that their lives will no longer be lived in a state of oppression by elites, but that their very existence is becoming irrelevant to the elites.  Oppression allowed survival with hope.  Indeed, in the past, the plight of les miserables had occasionally taken a turn for the better.  Thanks, to VonNeuman, Jobs, and Bezos, it looks like  the future is about only The Hunger Games

    I have always been somewhat perplexed as to how there could be so many voting "deplorables" that hated Hillary.  This explanation for the current populist explosion, and their seeming longing to be oppressed by an old fashioned caricature ruler, now makes much more sense.  Thank you President Trump for saving me from become "irrelevant".