Thursday, April 3, 2014

Who writes this stuff

Like everyone we know I am glued to the new Cosmos series during its time slot. Only now though (after three episodes) does come to mind a larger significance of that opening scene where people (drawings of people as the graphic mode is introduced to historical reconstructions) are cowering as they look up to the sky. The creators of Cosmos are heralding the theme of the whole series in this shot. That theme being man can go from fear to courage. I suspect this absurd view of history is designed to counter the climate change deniers. And here we see the limitations of binary thought, that is, the mechanical rational thought which is all most people know as thinking. The clarity of binary thought is seen in this division into brave modern science loving people and bad dumb people clinging to theistic models. Binary thought forces the listener into such silly divisions. Are you a science lover or a climate denier? I suspect this division is taken seriously by many working scientists, and maybe ALL science popularizers.

Perhaps I will come back to my theme: what is wrong with this picture-- science lovers versus climate change deniers. We could discuss--

1. Why this division obscures the important points, like how these first people may have been smarter and braver than we are now.

2. Is the underlying theme really that man can become himself, a god, rather than that science needs to get beyond religion?

3. Does the vista of the starry sky at night make man seem tiny and insignificant and is this perspective realistic? Or could this vista be, as those careful of their phrasing might say: the beginning of wisdom.

4. If the traditional definition of god is that being who is eternal, all-knowing, all powerful, ubiquitous, what does it mean to suggest these descriptions could be applied to man. 

I might return to these questions. Meanwhile I will not miss the next episodes. And how clever of the directors to cast Neil deGrasse Tyson in the main role, that adorable teddybear sweet and gentle and glowing with smartness guy. Brilliant casting. I can hardly wait. 

Monday, March 31, 2014

The strangest news this month

In a month of strange news-- mud slides, and lost planes, and fascist phantoms,
the strangest news might be the manner in which American commentators discussed the situation behind Putin's actions. 

I heard it several places but David Brooks, a conservative spokesman, is one, and he described the danger the world faced because Putin is "narcissistic and insecure." What kind of analysis is that. Couldn't that really describe everyone-- I mean how does that forward the discussion.
Is psychologism the best we can do. 

 And mainly, what happened to Lord Acton? Has his maxim been bettered? Power corrupts. 

And absolute power corrupts absolutely. What is happening is at the level of hormones. Everything really, but no need to push that aspect now. Hormones, not neurons are what is behind Putin's land grab of the Crimea. And while the future may sound more and more explicable in terms of psychological diagnoses, such, in fact, obscure what is going on.

Which is simple enough.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Ink on paper versus pixels on a screen

Is not the fact something CAN be easily changed, a factor making it more subjective. There will come a time when the text on an e-book will be changed, deliberately. The intent will be to alter history. It will only take a few keystrokes. So the reality of ebooks, the accounts therein, have a subtler, more blowing in the wind, subjective dimension. Hard on a piece of paper, one of a few copies, perhaps, could still be hidden as a record, a testimony, a proof, or accidentally preserved to surprise all at some unimagined time when we have forgotten we forgot. So perhaps the flutter of change is felt in the reader as he touches the screen of an ebook reader. The world is a bit less stable, as it as always shifts between Heraclitian pillars and Parmidean flux. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Just two, huh?

When I read that scientists now have "discovered" two cognitive faulties, I thought maybe they meant the body's knowledge, and the minds's. But no, apparently what they have noticed, and miscategorized, is evidence that man is part of a larger machinery.

Friday, March 7, 2014

If words could talk-- part 2

Words are not paving stones, though some would find that an acceptable picture -- a path though the garden of reality. Words can be, the edge of cliff....

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

If words could speak

Words are like paper airplanes, folded, creased, and set aloft. The fun is that they sail. There is no mystery, the laws of aerodynamics explain the lift, the course, the drift. Words are like consciousness itself. The event is not something carried along, but the flight itself. The sharp nosed paper aloft is consciousness. Any point, moral, import, message, is not the point. It is aloft, and no spiritual dimension is required to explain it. The mystery is not what the meaning of these short-lived flights contains, portends, suggests -- the words are from the past, their folds are part of consciousness but to expect some verbal baggage from the flight is to let gravity. Many seek just to stay aloft --such is the struggle, the effort, and a reward. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

So Gravity Swept the Oscars

Whether or not you doubt ordinary entertainment can have an enduring artistic aspect, you can ask whether the scenario in Gravity is so popular because it resonates with basic human dramas and one of these, one not discussed at all at the level of ordinary consciousness, is, why aren't more people drawn to, and constructive in, the anti-gravity efforts of a few.  I refer of course to the struggle of The Work. Why are not more people interested in, and rewarded by, this eternal human dimension. 

At first glance it may seem there is nothing so scary as being untethered from the satellite station. Floating free, with an untrammeled view, and of course certain doom. Doom because there is no one to talk to ---- no no, of course I meant no one to hear you.  My suggestion is that  there is a parallel between the untetheredness of space, and the goals of a mystic. 

Death is the one thing that Jan Cox allowed as a human "problem." And then, his allowance of any real problem confronting man was begrudging. Yet who can doubt that the phrase 'certain death' is redundant.

And so I exclude that plot point in my metaphor. Is there any help in our struggle to be gained by considering the question of the appeal of the movie Gravity? 

How is it that a facsimile attracts more attention and devotion that the original of which the facsimile is a sketch?