Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The real story behind a real headline

The real story behind a real headline. Which headline is

I am sure the article is comparing 2000 vs the 17 lives lost in the terrorist attack on the office of a satirical magazine in Paris, last week. No doubt wondering how the media could focus on lives lost on such a smaller scale.  

The reason for the discrepancy is not primarily racism, or media obtuseness. The real reason is that the media felt some of their own were attacked. "Their own" being fellow scribblers. Their attention followed their hearts. 

This phenomenon is not apparent just in humans. My case though is built on the observation of the way toddlers look at each other in passing cars. Their little heads swivel first to another child in another car, before other possible topics of interest. Same thing with geezers.

Now, this I have noticed for years. What only recently came to my attention is that dogs do the same thing. Again, it was passengers in passing cars that alerted me to what is a widespread, one assumes genetic, interest in others similar to oneself. Dogs also swirl their heads to observe another dog in another vehicle. 

This analysis points to the basic causes. It does not rule out other factors playing a part. But we first need to understand the original impulses if we are to evaluate any possible remedies. 

In this case the underlying cause is the interest writers have, in other--- writers. And they cannot help it. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

He had a what

There's a space there--- a gap -- which can be extended.
Just some dings for the dumb
you get, that you want to be the 'dumb'..... This may be way to much to put out in public....

Friday, January 2, 2015

A pile of -- peoples

Pebbles on a mountain side are unlike pebbles worn by the waves. In their tiny peaks and steep inclines they may well bear a fractal resemblance to the mountain on which they rest. Usually rest. For of course the ambient conditions and interior volcanic potential of the mountain can at any time initiate movement the pebbles might well misdescribe as something they themselves had intended. Skidding, bouncing, down a slope, can't you hear them insisting they had planned the whole excursion? 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Is there really a wall between the inside and the outside, of man

We quote now from a National Geographic  blog

Take two people with identical genes and put them in different environments, and some of their genes may respond in different ways. That's long been a good counterargument against genetic hyper-determinism.

Oh really. I like this quote because it simply states an assumption apparent in much writing about science--- this concern about preserving man's free will. In this case, if we tug at his argument, it may show up sloppy thinking. The idea is that  greater complexity is an avenue for greater freedom for the individual. Yet how could that be. Greater complexity just mean more intricate genetic functioning. Greater complexity mean tighter determinism not a lapse from "hyper-determinism." It seems so obvious, but that is because I heard Jan Cox discussing causality  occasionally. Relevant here is his pointing out that there is no  genetic inside and environmental outside. That environment outside you, it is just more genetics. So obvious, what is outside us, it is genetic also. 

This kind of blatant disregard for reality, is something to ponder, another time. 

Monday, December 29, 2014

When words are worthless

This article is interesting as an example of how ordinary language can plausibly miss the whole reality. I copied this paragraph--

But the notion of ending suffering through extreme spiritual stances—the cessation of desire (Buddhism) or of emotion (Stoicism)—doesn't square well with other values we hold dear, such as caring for one another or seeking to improve our own lives.

May I suggest that the case may be quite otherwise. What if such discipline is in fact a means of feeling for others beyond the bounds of normal experience. I merely present this as a possibility.  

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Stealing Fire

Surely there were a number of men sitting in that circle. The fire was circular to warm as many as possible. 

Those men sitting up late, their wives asleep already, had a dark we cannot imagine easily. There was the fire, lighting up a few trees, but the dark, was beyond description, the picture and fact,  of the unknown.

Did these stalwart researchers appreciate that their hearth echoed the stars they studied?

Somehow this distinction, picture and reality, became something men could leverage. To surmise that man's theft of fire, his acquisition of symbolic cerebral activity, involved several steps, first studying the stars in wonder, seeing patterns of things in the overhead lights, so different from the day,  may suggest pictures came before words. If so, it explains nothing, Just to know what the steps are, does not answer why. The how is not why. 

These men were braver than people today. They measured the edge of the unknown and pushed outward, upward. Jan Cox noted that people now do not look up. (And this was before the cell phones). These men did. And perhaps they saw the stars were similar to their own bright, circular, hearth. They saw patterns in the stars, patterns which at some point became the abstractions we call verbal words. These pictures in the sky were simpler, connecting the dots, white points without  distracting shrubbery.

So when Jan Coix spoke of men "falling upstairs" when they acquired language, the direction may reflect the men looking beyond their fire, exhausted but determined to understand their world with the tools they had. Pictures, then words. They, then, did not confuse words and reality. It was all new. Symbols evaporated and had to be rediscovered, not, as with moderns, just forgotten. The stars were  abstractions that became as important as the hunters' weapons, their knife edges. Only after many millenia did words become the cement of sleeping awareness. The sleeping dreams which assume that what is known, what is knowable, is all there is. This efficiency did not happen for a long time.

draw picture of campfire-- ask --is this before or after they stole fire-- the real fire-- verbal ability-- that leap [Jan COx called it falling upstairs] ---

tgat fire--- intellectual symbolic ability--- of course it was divine, it was nowhere in the primate lineage--- discontinuous--- 

what could it inspire but stories of gods, of a seeking to understand, itself inpsired by and made possible by----[[[ this symbolic acuity-]]] -- a seeking to understand which always, was self-understanding, pursuing the only valid objective path within its borders. boprder continuously expanded -- the edge always bleeding, leading, avodiing the lead of words by surpassing them---

one assume at first though--- there was no need to surpass this leaden cooling molten, loss of real form into, words---- because at first--- there was no sleeping state, necessitated by the efficiency of evolution---