"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


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 .

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