"The mind is a compact, multiply connected thought mass with internal connections of the most intimate kind. It grows continuously as new thought masses enter it, and this is the means by which it continues to develop."

Bernhard Riemann On Psychology and Metaphysics ca. 1860

Today's Elites

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Poe's Tomb

I walk by the tomb of Edgar Allan Poe every weekday. Sometimes I see tourists snapping photos. It is astonishing to me how large the gulf is between what the common conception of what Poe represented was. How many of these stopping by have read Eureka? And of those how many understand the underlying issue of art and science that Poe addresses therein?

Speaking of which I just finished a survey entitled Aesthetics and Astronomy. This is what I wrote there:

The reason I took this is that the APOD dated 1/22/2017 had a very profound statement that cannot be over emphasized. "No species other than human can even comprehend what is going on, nor could any human just a millennium ago." This is the touchstone for comprehending evolution. It is what Vladimir Vernadsky about a century ago named the Noosphere. It represents a true or good infinity or transfinite. Additionally the launching of humanity into space is a singularity in evolution that Bernhard Riemann modeled as a branchpoint from one qualitatively distinct manifold functional phase space through to another higher one. It also points to the absolute necessity of space colonization. It is not an option. The current crisis humanity is in the throes of can only be resolved by advancing that mission onward.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Culture Wars: Donald Trump and Sancho Panza

Have you ever, dear reader, stopped mid sentence and pondered why certain everyday terms came about? Everyday I walk my dog. It's good for me, her and the carpet. But why am I calling what we walk upon a sidewalk when in fact it's really more of a frontwalk? Which latter word my artificial "intelligence" word processor just underscored in a red wavy line. Something marvelous was afoot with our history at the time of Shakespeare. Then language was everywhere inchoate. The grammarian pedants were roundly ridiculed.

Cervantes and Shakespeare's "royal houses" were at war. But the two of them as well as their sponsors were at a different sort of war. In your mindseye let Sancho Panza stand for campesinos and bucolic churls that cling to their bible, guns and heroin today, if you will.Now imagine on stage a daily mirror of one's follies. Instead of a pimpimg up of one's stupidities. Recall that honest Abe was more of a Shakespearean in reality than all of the belle lettered dandified dolts soliloquizing ever and anon.

Yet are you aware dear reader that the august narrator on Don Quixote was none other than the venerable Cide Hamete Benengeli? Today this would be like yours truly advocating that the wonderful metaphor of the Necessary Existent of Ibn Sina be taught in all our schools. Radical...

Remember that Sancho was given an island to govern by his would be tormentors. And how simple Sancho outflanked them on Buridan's bridge paradox. But

The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown;
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptred sway;
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God's
When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew,
Though justice be thy plea, consider this,
That, in the course of justice, none of us
Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy;
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy. I have spoke thus much
To mitigate the justice of thy plea;
Which if thou follow, this strict court of Venice
Must needs give sentence 'gainst the merchant there.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

On the elements of life

The Renaissance Christian humanist idea of Nicholas of Cusa and his co-thinkers was that the developing microcosm of the individual human life is indissolubly and harmonically connected with the ordering of the development of the macrocosm. This principle should adumbrate the true scientific standard for the concept of evolution.

The problem is that most of our scientific research suffers from philosophical illiteracy and lacks the necessary mission oriented direction that should guide it toward maximizing its benefits for the future of society.

Monday, December 26, 2016

True Infinities versus Mathematical Models

These days the wise men of mathematics like to pride themselves on computational modeling. For example, they will attempt to evince wonderment with fractal geometry. Yet, the principle of a nested power series of true infinities much more to the point is found very precisely in Nicholas of Cusa's Vision of God. The English translation of which I have linked above. And it is a grievous error to slander Cusa as a "mystic."

For unlike the superstitious worshipers of numbers such as the egregious case of Sir Isaac Newton's numerologic magical mystical tour of the Bible, Cusa was no such fool. But then such precise and poetic irony always escapes the shallow minds of those that falsely believe if they just put a label, number, or price upon the things of their desires then they own them.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Wilhelm von Humboldt on Creativity

As I was reading a rather tiresome report this morning on the naming of colors, it put me in mind by contrast of the great philologist Wilhelm von Humboldt. This remarkable paragraph coheres with the thrust of what this blog has endeavored to represent. It speaks grandiloquently for itself:

Reality, that is, truth and nature itself, is certainly not less noble than art; it is rather the model of art. Its essence is so great and sublime that, in order for us to approach reality to any extent, the only way open to us is to forge a path as yet unknown, just as art does. The smallest object of reality is infused with the same essence; and it is absolutely wrong, that nature in its perfection could be found only in all its particular objects taken together, that the totality of the vital force could be found only in the sum of the particular moments of its being. Both may certainly appear this way, but one cannot think of space as being severed, or of time as being divided. Everything in the universe is one, and one all—otherwise there is no unity at all in the universe. The force pulsating in the plants is not simply a part of the force of nature, but all of it. Otherwise, an unbridgeable gap is opened between it and the rest of the world, and the harmony of organic forms is thereby irreparably destroyed. Every present moment contains all the past and future in itself, for there is nothing to which the fleetingness of the past can cling, as the perpetuity of living.

Further on in this same work Humboldt expresses in an understandingly diplomatic tone (for he was such) my precisely undiplomatic polemic against any false equivalence between the model of the Roman empire's evil imperialism (i.e, the "liberal democracy" of British imperialism) and the products of Plato and Aeschylus.

The test of modern nations is their feeling for antiquity, and the more they value the Greeks and Romans equally, or the Romans over the Greeks, the more those nations will fail to achieve their characteristic, specially set goal. For in as much as antiquity can be called ideal, the Romans participate therein only to the extent that it is impossible to separate them from the Greeks. 
Life should stitch and create ideas by the fullness of its movement, by ideas superior to itself and to every activity. Man should possess a power, both by his own effort and the favor of fate, to produce spiritual phenomena which, measured by the past, are new, and measured by the future, are fertile. And, as art seeks out, or better, generates an ideal beauty in a pure and incorporeal idea, in the same way philosophy should be able to generate truth, and active life generate greatness of character. Everything should therefore constantly remain in activity—creative activity; everything should amount to the fathoming of the still unknown, and the birth of the not yet seen; everyone should believe himself now, to be standing at a point which he must leave far behind.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Steven Hawking: Anti-Science Quack

Hmm. It seems that the professor Hawking's brain has now traveled through some sort of black hole that has reversed time somehow. Very frightening. His mind has somehow melded with Parson Malthus who once wrote in 1798 that the world would starve due to overpopulation. Or perhaps he now agrees with Isaac Newton whose studies in Biblical numerology led him to predict that the apocolypse will occur in the year 2060. Or maybe Hawking has transmogrified into the persona of his cherished sovereign Prince Philip who unabashedly vows to be reincarnated as a deadly virus to wipe out humanity. http://thingumbobesquire.blogspot.com/search?q=prince+philip

If the celebrated misanthropic professor were really serious about his claim "that our species needs to work together," he would be promoting vastly increasing an international space program that could protect humanity from the real threat of asteroid impacts. He would also be calling for a vast increase in nuclear fusion research, massive infrastructure programs in cooperation with China and Russia and for an end to geopolitics of scarcity and Neo-Malthusian claptrap .

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Hillary Clinton conspiracy nut?

Hillary Clinton went from blaming a vast right wing conspiracy behind the impeachment drive against Bill to blaming a Kremlin conspiracy being behind Donald Trump. Why isn't the so called fifth estate lambasting her as a conspiracy nut? Instead they are continuing the narrative with new charges like this: "Trump's son reportedly talked Syria with Russia supporters"

What would happen if the US gave up the geopolitical "Great Game" and actually entered into mutually beneficial relations with Russia and China? John Quincy Adams promulgated this viewpoint as a concert of sovereign nations. The direction of history must be shifted toward mutual cooperation that benefits our progeny. 

This means an understanding the the future of all mankind demands that we engage in the continuing development of revolutionary technologies in conquering extra terrestrial space. Salient in this effort will be commercial nuclear fusion, emphatically not "renewable" low energy density boondoggles.

Humanity must put behind itself the criminal legacy and genocidal machinations of "Empire" imperialism that runs through ancient Rome to "great britain." America must regain its mission enunciated by Benjamin Franklin to do the common good.

"The spirit of improvement is abroad upon the earth. It stimulates the hearts and sharpens the faculties not of our fellow citizens alone, but of the nations of Europe and of their rulers. While dwelling with pleasing satisfaction upon the superior excellence of our political institutions, let us not be unmindful that liberty is power; that the nation blessed with the largest portion of liberty must in proportion to its numbers be the most powerful nation upon earth, and that the tenure of power by man is, in the moral purposes of his Creator, upon condition that it shall be exercised to ends of beneficence, to improve the condition of himself and his fellow men."

First Annual Message (December 6, 1825)
John Quincy Adams

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