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Archive for August, 2013



Plato it seems to me wanted to found a community of philosopher mathematicians just as Nietzsche wanted a community of philosopher poets. And whether we embrace the rationalism of art, religion or science, the positivist urge remains the same. On the other hand I believe Kierkegaard and Wittgenstein saw the problemitization of living as part of the question of community itself. Rather than striving to step outside it once again, they tried to speak through their own suffering with a more personal honesty, of demonstration.


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The possibility that there is no ultimate reality within reach of human apperception need not condemn us to a life of apathy. Just because we cannot know the truth does not mean we should stop looking. For it seems to me that the hell of nihilism is no more necessary than the heaven of certainty. I think we create only ourselves.


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Watching the movie “The Hunger Games” for the first time, I found myself wondering if Descartes was on to something when he insisted on the primacy of human intuition. Could this have been his own personally ironic answer to the technologies of modernity, the attenuation of meaning, the sacrifice of life to our cultural thirst, for the entertainment of cruelty? If I think what I am then indeed, I believe one smart brave young woman, all on her own, can save the world.


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The brain seems to think in categories. We could hypothesize about how this increased the number of copies of genes that got into the next generation for individuals who thought more in categories than not, in the past. Many many categories: subject/predicate, self/other, blue/green, high/low, good/bad, etc. Categories also come with bias. We tend to ignore information that is inconsistent with the category. This can be both helpful and harmful. Another category: helpful/harmful.


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Almost 500 years ago, Copernicus published a work that revolutionized the way we think about ourselves and our world. He proposed a return to an observer centric model of the cosmos, in which the position of the observer is taken into consideration. This spelled the beginning of the end of absolutist vocabularies. Still they persist even to this day. Einstein, though he relativized space and time, persisted in the belief in a Galilean absolutism, viz. that the laws of physics (written in the language of mathematics) must be the same for all observers. Indeed, it is hard to do science without such an assumption. And yet a consistent theory of everything (“quantum gravity”) still eludes us. And the possibility of a stochastic reality has led to some truly relativistic models, such as the possibilities of multiverses, or of a completely atemporal collapse of the quantum wave function. Are we perhaps finally learning to find our way back to the undetermined world, in which the possibility of science is built upon the (useful) illusion of being able to step into the same river as often as we wish?



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The clinging to basis I suspect has been a large part of many peoples’ sufferings. I’m glad I learned to let go at such a tender age! 😉


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For me the brilliance of any of our modern luminaries for peace, is not that they presented yet another political manifesto, drawn in the blood of a violent lexicon, but that they stood up for themselves. Their voices were the voices of the understood, the spoken, the undenied. They managed to live a new form of life that slowly, compassionately, becomes equal to its own silence.


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