On Politics 1 (or Argumentation)

Two Heads, One Body:

Typical ‘political’ issues are misguided and reductive. There’s the issue itself and the illusion of this two-sided argument that’s already explicated and requires little to no original thought on which to base one’s own opinion. Instead of organically synthesizing our argument or voice regarding the matter at hand from experience and our own gathering, processing, and analsynthesis of information (essay on the five senses and differential geometry coming soon) filtered through our brain to prevent the noise from overwhelming the signal, we more or less pick a side and spew preexisting bullshit at each other like children outside at recess arguing about a game of whatever.

Sorry kids I’m not saying you spew bullshit per se, but your arguments are localized, and the motive is to assert dominance rather than persuade…which is acceptable to an extent when at play, but because kids are likely mimicking, consciously or un-, what they’ve absorbserved from adult interaction supposedly instilled with experience and maturity, though frequently regressing to playground-conflict-like proselytization, there exists an unacceptability vector pointed towards these nebulous authority figures.

The first-order issue is why does this second-order issue exist? The drug issue became a ‘war’ against drug trafficking and its inherent violence (partly a function of its illegality, but this isn’t an essay about legality, it’s about responsibility) when the primary problem in America starts with: why are so many (often young) people choosing to take drugs?

One pseudo-answer concerns the environment and inevitability. So we have identified one problem: the environment. That’s a big fucking problem, and we have to admit and accept it: the same prescriptive advice given to addicts because our system has its own defense mechanisms. WE FUCKED UP! Who is we? It doesn’t matter. Everybody. Accept what has happened, use new knowledge, make progress, unite.

Conjecture: If the two ‘sides’ spent their creative energy solving the underlying issue cooperatively to the mutual benefit of themselves and their immediate environment (and with major issues like drugs this expands in concentric spheres of exponential radii) instead of conducting experiments to find the maximum amount of literal and figurative noise one human or one organization of humans can disseminate (conclusion: upper bound as a function of and solely limited by degree of human ignorance, likely approaching arbitrarily large values; treat like infinity), then someanything will be better than the current situation.

-BB

On Intelligence

Smart wears many guises
I find utility in the ability to detect humility in humanity. I find prerequisite true intelligence, the sort of knowledge that catalyzes progress, giving-tree-deep-rooted compassion and empathy (love) for life in its infinite forms. True, symmetrically, the aforementioned induces an equivalently profound acceptance of the antithesis, the antipode,the abyss et al. The first step is to figure out the why and the how of existence, generally speaking, such that you have a dynamic foundation to process and SYNTHESIZE new knowledge;
then,
life becomes a filling-in of the details, a recognition of the patterns, an optimization of efficiency over iterations, a never-ever-ending, though certainly cyclingcirclingspiraling, progression towards EVERYTHING. Yet Everything (and everything) is infinite, so it never has to
END

-BB

On Postermodernism (Or Chaos Part One)

It is a misconception to think of postmodernism as a cohesive movement or umbrella under which some arrayed vector field points generally towards a common direction, a vision or goal or set of principles: literary, moral, thematic or what-have-you like the many preceding literary movements that whether because of the separation of time and other movements in between seem to have definable, finite, focused convergence toward a common worldview amongst its artists (ie romanticism, Victorianism, modernism). Or perhaps it’s more like we take a common set of basis representative works for a particular era and assume this finite set spans the entire space of the movement such that the pertinent knowledge is effectively filtered into said major representative works. This is indeed how knowledge works sometimes.

Of course, it’s often reductive to apply broad labels spanning connected places and times simply because our brains are hard-wired for this kind of linear-temporal ordered narrative of history. In any case, as certain technologies advanced writing and as literacy spread over time and as different groups of people gained the freedom, through loosening oppression, to explore their history/culture and hone their voice and craft (that there are far fewer famous women novelists in literature is not in any way a function of a gap in ability, and is wholly due to the fact that women had no way of disseminating their viewpoints in their appointed role as housewives and mothers throughout much of history, a role forced upon them so that men could go off on power trips both constructing and destructing civilizations with equal fervor and aplomb because of superior physical strength lingering from biological evolution but rendered null with the awakening of the conscious being and consequent branching of the evolution of the mind that separates humankind from all predecessors), literature as a whole branched more and more to accommodate the vastly disparate perspectives that define humanity’s existence.

I cannot overstate the significance of this progression towards shared perspective and experience, of the spread of knowledge in all its infinite forms, where individual, independent views and stories exist as separate entities through which a discerning mind can begin to synthesize knowledge and find universal themes and meaning while remaining cognizant that every mind is unique.

This brings me (by commodius vicus of recirculation…) back to postmodernism. Postmodernism should first be taken literally: the era of literature beginning with the Cold War that immediately followed modernism. Easy enough, and relative closeness of time of publication is really the only true invariant trait of postmodernism. At first, it was a reactionary movement, but the nature of the reaction created divergence rather than convergence. Postmodernism is primarily a leap of faith into exploration and experimentation and idiosyncrasy that represented the broader shifts in thought brought upon humans with the exponential growth of technology, science, and society, but also of course by the infinite void of wars and world-destroying weapons.

Regarding literature, the events of the first half of the 20th century catalyzed a denouncement of more classic structure, form, and language, but what emerged is much more aligned with how the universe actually works: ordered chaos. I have a fairly specific meaning when I invoke chaos: in a broad sense the philosophical implications of the discovery (and subsequent ubiquitous supporting evidence) that, even if we ignore random processes which certainly exist, many deterministic systems actually functioning in reality, besides often being dependent on unaccountably innumerable variables (but at least we can model these and even probabilistically so), abide by chaotic dynamics. The bane of the weathervane is just this: even if we can take a slice of time and call it time zero and measure every significant variable affecting climate with an aim toward prediction, chaos by it’s very definition stops us dead in our tracks eclipsing any hope of predictive value beyond local time scales (days, sometimes hours). This is one of the beautiful and damning secrets of the universe, the ultimate pro/con: chaotic systems are deterministic such that we can uncover their underlying structure and properties globally and even assign values to variables at time zero, but to attain the complexity necessary for a universe to evolve, these systems have to be otherwise unconstrained and specifically, among other things, they have the property that arbitrarily small perturbations (limit at infinity nonzero) in the initial values of aforementioned variables change the evolution of the system unpredictably and over the long run this often means vastly diverging results.

In other words, nature can define a system that will dynamically evolve over time, and it can set the initial values itself, but it won’t necessarily know the results with these values, hence the whole idea of experimentation. For us, because of inherent measurement error, even when minimized to seemingly negligible scales (but never zero), every single initial value will be off by some non-zero factor and any single error in a single variable renders prediction futile. We want to know properties that are invariant over all possible results. We will continue to explore self-similarity/scale invariance as core concepts leading to a comprehensive universal worldview throughout this blog. Human beings matter, each one no more or less than any others. Life matters. Everything matters.

-BB