Friday, February 20, 2009

Oh Dear!... How Technology has Changed Things

Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beautya beauty cold and austere, like that of sculpture, without appeal to any part of our weaker nature, without the gorgeous trappings of painting or music, yet sublimely pure, and capable of a stern perfection such as only the greatest art can show. The true spirit of delight, the exaltation, the sense of being more than Man, which is the touchstone of the highest excellence, is to be found in mathematics as surely as in poetry.--BERTRAND RUSSELL, Study of Mathematics

The "Talking Pictures" Projection Wagon-
In the 1920's about the only entertainment that came to the rural community of Leakey, Texas was the traveling tent shows. This form of family entertainment would come to the canyon about once a year to the delight of all. Everyone looked forward to the horse drawn wagons that brought the much anticipated entertainment to town. In later years the horses were replaced by the Model T Fords but this form of transportation did not deter the excitement.
See:"Leakey's Last Picture Show" by Linda Kirkpatrick
Vintage photos courtesy Lloyd & Jackie Shultz

It is important sometimes to hone in on exactly what sets the mind to have it exemplify itself to a standard that bespeaks to the idealizations that can come forward from a most historical sense. It is in this way that while one can envision where the technological views have replaced the spoken word in movie pictures, we can see the theatre above as an emblazoned realization of what changes has been brought to society and what may have been lost in some peoples eyes.

This is a photograph of author and philosopher Robert M. Pirsigtaken by Ian Glendinning on the eve of the Liverpool conference of 7th July 2005.
What is in mind is a sort of Chautauqua...that's the only name I can think of for the traveling tent-show Chautauquas that used to move across America, this America, the one that we are now in, an old-time series of popular talks intended to edify and entertain, improve the mind and bring culture and enlightenment to the ears and thoughts of the hearer. The Chautauquas were pushed aside by faster-paced radio, movies and TV, and it seems to me the change was not entirely an improvement. Perhaps because of these changes the stream of national consciousness moves faster now, and is broader, but it seems to run less deep. The old channels cannot contain it and in its search for new ones there seems to be growing havoc and destruction along its banks. In this Chautauqua I would like not to cut any new channels of consciousness but simply dig deeper into old ones that have become silted in with the debris of thoughts grown stale and platitudes too often repeated.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance Part 1 Chapter 1.(Bold added by me for emphasis)

I wanted to take the conversation and book presented by Phil and immortalize it in a way by laying it out for examination. Regardless of my opinions and viewpoint, the world goes on and the written work of Robert Pirsig persists as a "object of the material." In the beginning, no matter the choice to illuminate the ideal, it has been transgressed in a way by giving the symbols of language to a discerning mind and verily brought to that same material world for examination. How ever frustrating this may seem for Pirsig, it is a fact of light that any after word will reveal more then what was first understood. Reflection has this way about it in the historical revelation, of how the times are changing. Things dying and becoming new. The moon a reflection of the first light.

The conclusion of the whole matter is just this,—that until a man knows the truth, and the manner of adapting the truth to the natures of other men, he cannot be a good orator; also, that the living is better than the written word, and that the principles of justice and truth when delivered by word of mouth are the legitimate offspring of a man’s own bosom, and their lawful descendants take up their abode in others. Such an orator as he is who is possessed of them, you and I would fain become. And to all composers in the world, poets, orators, legislators, we hereby announce that if their compositions are based upon these principles, then they are not only poets, orators, legislators, but philosophers.
Plato, The Dialogues of Plato, vol. 1 [387 AD] PHAEDRUS.


IN announcing himself in the written work with regards to the IQ given in signalling the identity of the character Phaedrus, it was important that one see this in a way that excuses are not made, and allowances not be set forth for what was to become the lone wolf. John Nash too, had his excursions into the bizarre as well, was to know that in the "end of his synopsized life," a certain contention that he had to deal with in this inflection of his disease, as part of his make-up. Was to deal with, while now, he continues to move on with his life. He is aware of the intrusions that personage can do as it infringes from the periphery, as ghosts of his mind too.

To me in reading John Nash's biography in historical movie drama, was to bring attention to what cannot be condoned by exception, when allowing genius to display it's talents, while causing a disruption not only to themself, but to see the elite make allowances for these transgressions. Pattern seeking is not to be be rifting the idea, that we cannot look into the very structure of reality and see what makes it tick? Just that we do not get lost in travelling the journey.

Practising escapism was to deny oneself the responsibility of becoming whole. To allow for genius, as an exception, would mean to not recognize that the intellect is part and parcel of the greater whole of the person called Robert Pirsig or John Nash.

Who of us shall placate failure as a sure sign of genius and allow the student 's failure as acceptable? This was a transgression seen from another perspective and as afterthought realized in a mistaken perception "about broadcasting Phaedrus" as some towering voice from the past as relevant in todays world, because of the location and time in history?


Click on link Against symmetry (Paris, June 06)

While I may use the alias of Plato and look at the substance of his written work, it is also from that view point such a discussion had to take place within the context of the written prose about two people in this Socratic method, that while worlds in the dialogues existed in speech, no such persons were there at the time. Yet, such thoughts are transmitted and established in that historical sense, and moved forward to this time.

Against symmetry (Paris, June 06)

To me there are two lines of thought that are being established in science that in Lee Smolin's case is used to move away from the thinking of the idea of Plato's symmetry by example. To see such trademarks inherent in our leaders of science is too wonder how they to, have immortalize the figures of speech, while trying hard to portray the point of view that has been established in thought. These signatures have gone from Heisenberg to Hooft. And the list of names who have embedded this move to science, as a education tool, that is always inherent in the process. That reference is continually made.

IN this sense I do not feel I had done anything wrong other then to ignite the idealization I have about what that sun means to me, as the first light in a psychological sense. Where it resides in people. How divorce we can be from it while going on about our daily duties existing in the world. That there also resides this "experience about our beginnings." To ignite what the word of geometrics has done in the abstract sense. How much closer to the reality such a architecture is revealed in Nature's way, to know that we had pointed our observations back inside, to reveal the world outside.


See Also:

  • Stargazers and Hill Climbers

  • Evolutionary Game Theory

  • Inside the Mathematical Universe

    1. Hi Plato,

      “Practising escapism was to deny oneself the responsibility of becoming whole. To allow for genius, as an exception, would mean to not recognize that the intellect is part and parcel of the greater whole of the person called Robert Pirsig or John Nash.”

      I find it difficult to understand how someone who is so quick to accept what is perceived as being a clear shifted paradigm in science is at the same time slow and reluctant to consider the same in philosophy. I am also confused if it be someone being familiar with how one who accented to the light appeared to the prisoners thereafter finds no correlation in this to ones own situation. How can madness be considered as being a transgression as being a choice of intent? This doesn’t seem consistant with how the emotive would act through its most difficult and yet useful aspect known as empathy.

      “[Socrates] Imagine once more, I said, such an one coming suddenly out of the sun to be replaced in his old situation; would he not be certain to have his eyes full of darkness?

      [Glaucon] To be sure, he said.

      [Socrates] And if there were a contest, and he had to compete in measuring the shadows with the prisoners who had never moved out of the cave, while his sight was still weak, and before his eyes had become steady (and the time which would be needed to acquire this new habit of sight might be very considerable) would he not be ridiculous? Men would say of him that up he went and down he came without his eyes; and that it was better not even to think of ascending; and if any one tried to loose another and lead him up to the light, let them only catch the offender, and they would put him to death.

      [Glaucon] No question, he said.”

      -Plato- The Allegory of the Cave



    2. Hi Phil,

      I am up to Chapter 19

      How can madness be considered as being a transgression as being a choice of intent?

      It's being aware that it can happen when one begins the journey. The possibility exists indeed that one can lose themself. I do not blame somebody who cannot even recognize their own sickness.

      Secondly, in the case of John Nash it was his wife who saved him while the problems existed all around John. She noticed this happening to him and sought help for him , while the educational system thought to leave him "because of his genius."

      Again I do not blame people either because of being sucked into that delusion. It's that if you know something is wrong would you ignore it because of being a genius? We have a responsibility here.

      Unfortunately, I have first hand experience with this sickness on my wife's side currently and the difficulties if not staying on the meds can be tremendous degradation of the individual again losing touch with reality. Discarding objects and possessions. Homelessness.And then a whole new round of trying to save them again.

      I honour John Nash and what he has accomplished "in face of that sickness," and those who stood by him.

      John Pirsig was rebuilding from fragmentary images that were written and restored by individuals he had dealings with.

      Do you think because of this, this devalues what is being transmitted in terms of the philosophy or that I have given this indication?

      So no, of course not, I do not blame the person themself because he is genius, or, in a affable statement, saids, they are a lone wolves. They are different?

      I do not believe so, in that if I would have gone into such a state that there would be those that I love and who love me, would be so careful not to bring me back to earth. I do indicate that the intellect is more then itself( the person) and needs to be included in, "understanding the whole person."

      That mountain journey is very symbolic in a lot of peoples lives and many draw these pictures while taking in the moment. It saids something about where they are at inside. Problems that are becoming insurmountable? The need for this ascension inside an dhow hierarchal is this in the images one selects "as a square(earth)" or, pyramidal signs of the energy in our lives?

      I do have a problem with using numbers or definable system to categorize people and compartmentalize them according to that IQ number. Crackpots.


      John Pirsig was giving lessons on writing in English and put before his students the idea of not receiving grades. Do you recall this?

      Also, when he himself could not define what "Quality" was to mean he took it to his students. The application here is a "brilliant method" to identify something that is not tangible in the way one may have difficulty of describing the taste of something. How do you do that, unless you can get someone else to have the same experience? Madness?

      Quality then becomes something that we recognize in the distinction John Pirsig uses, when he lets the students decide which of the two stories are better. They just knew the difference, yet, they did not know how to define "the quality" as a subject.

      How is it we know what we know?

      It has not past my attention that this example is one that has been put before myself in speaking of the essence of who we are. How is it one person can be so different then each to have this demonstration in the very moment something happens. Lets say before three individuals walking together? Each acts on the own in that split moment to see that each act is distinctive of the essence of the individual . This is then very telling. How can I judge them on this uniqueness?

      To your points of discussion between Socrates and Glaucon, I take to heart in a good way.


    3. Hi Plato,

      I’m truly glad that you took my confusion as just that, confusion and not as judgment, for I truly am not coming at it from that way as that is never ones place. It is one thing to work in the world and entirely another to insist it should work only as one perceives.

      Chapter 19, well pretty soon the accent will be finished, at which point your journey will continue. As you have found he has linked the arch at its center and identified the heart of the emotive with all in the same, being “quality”. Now you will be forced as I was to ask; is it truly that simple?

      For Pirsig everything both emerges from and yet also works towards quality, which forms to be a paradox of sorts or perhaps not as it being reminiscent of the snake swallowing its tail. He encompasses both the kinetic and dynamic, without making choice of one over the other; which is also a central puzzle and concern within science.

      So in Pirsig’s estimate there is both perfect form and forming to be perfect. There is a dual ontology existent and yet denied by one that is singular; so what are we to make of this, or can we? Perhaps only Phaedrus' knows and now for Pirsig and all others he is merely a shadow, who’s return although on one hand required needs to be denied so that he and also ourselves can remain in the world.

      Perhaps looking straight into the light is something which none can endure for long and so we must all return to the sanctuary of the cave, only now with new ways we might interpret the shadows.



    4. H Phl,

      And finally: Phædrus, following a path that to his knowledge had never been taken before in the history of Western thought, went straight between the horns of the subjectivity-objectivity dilemma and said Quality is neither a part of mind, nor is it a part of matter. It is a third entity which is independent of the two.

      So yes, we have have come to that finer pat of the knifes edge.

      Again I have to say I do not know how I arrived at this conclusion myself. Yet I can show how I incorporated it into a model by example that such thoughts about that position can exist from a historical sense and one that Plato may of held.

      How is it we know what we know?

      I was able to use "squareness and the triangle as to exemplify the trinity, in the pyramidal form. I shall not to move to quickly here other then to say that I will show this in a new post later on so you understand how it is I seen in relation to John Pirsig's view, and one, I had built myself in a model of apprehension.

      So back to the reading.


    5. Hi Plato,

      “I shall not to move to quickly here other then to say that I will show this in a new post later on so you understand how it is I seen in relation to John Pirsig's view, and one, I had built myself in a model of apprehension.”

      This will be interesting when you were already, unlike myself, before you began the journey somewhat and somehow familiar with the destination.

      “So back to the reading.”

      In seems that in your case it may be not reading, yet as you have often rather called it simply remembering:-)



    6. Hi Phil,

      After my last comment to you I thought when returning to begin reading again, that the journey upward was all of a sudden cut short for Pirsig.

      This took me by surprise and the story as it began to unfold was as if caught in familiarity, over and over again. What did this mean. Am I insane too?:)

      I was able to identify so easily and understand what he was saying. His time especially in face of the "scoring of rhetoric and dialectic, John Pirsig took the time to educate himself under the Chicago school. Time to bring back something that was missing "in all of this that is structured in science" under Aristotelean view.

      Your quandary too?

      Not for one minute can I believe that science can do with this "other polarization in quality," as if, in the Tao as you mentioned. They so easily flow into one another. Small trials at first, to build confidence.

      You must know at a young age I had copies of Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu. I experienced the moment of the koan. It is not so unfamiliar this continuity in the fluidity of movement between those polarities had been translated into the art forms, orientally and artfully expressed in movement of mind, as that of a dancer. Feeling the Lagrangian views of space in the three body problem

      Mentally expressed in the current mind "topological relevant" to our exchange with reality in coordinates and asymmetrically expressed, yet, systemically moved to the subconscious wilfully to deeply implant, as if by second nature, as in the breathing, now called forward.

      Recognizing the 5th postulate and the effective working of predecessors leading to Riemann. Quality is lead too, by recognizing the issue in between the primes. A triangle, that is defined in relation to the degrees of, less then, and more.

      IN the end, a life passes before me in study, and at this age, what relevance is now given to philosophy of where I am at, that I ask what is it I shall transmit of this to the brighter young minds of our coming times.

      Shall I be silent now?

      It is not at all times I can express the good, as in those reactionary moments where these emotive times gravity rules and we are at our worse in any of us, but more the challenge to be "emotively inspired to be raised to the higher emotive location in mind(triangle)." It is always the intent to speak to the nature of that same good, I hold as a ideal.

      Not a day goes by that I do not recite this to myself. Recognize what the "Our Father in who art in heaven meant." Where it can reside in each of us.

      It may be difficult sometimes to see that good. I do not like to see you disappointed but it needs to be spoken too, in "economic terms" that this might have appeared in that same state of confusion apparent, that you may question.

      So I express it at the most basic need for sustenance to be provided for all, so that they may be allowed the time to be of, and in the creative aspect of their being. When art is allowed to flourish. To be understood, as to become an "active participant" in this journey.


    7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    8. Hi Plato,

      “Your quandary too?”

      Yes I guess that my identity with Pirsig is that he felt from the start that science with all it’s “how’s” lacked interest in discovering a “why”. The title of the book exemplifies this. In Pirsig’s view a scientist is like someone who discovers a motorcycle in disrepair and struggles to repair it by striving to learn how it works, to the point to where perhaps they finally get it running again, while all along never considering what was the intended use or even that it has one. Can you imagine how difficult that would be? Then in the end with the machine all restored and running nicely although the mechanic believing themselves succeeding imagine how incomplete the knowledge is without realizing its purpose.

      So for me it says little to know how a circle or sphere is as they are, without realizing why they are. For me it’s little satisfaction to know that life mutates and changes, without realizing the utility in it doing so. These are easy to discover if looked at carefully. However, to ask why does nature choose time as the preferred dimension over all others, or why complete knowledge is restricted and why order requires random so it might exist; these are more difficult questions to answer. There are many more of course and they are referred to as laws, premises, axioms or postulates, which although often accepted as to be used and Incorporated, are never truly questioned as to be considered “why”? So for me the true difference of those of faith and those of science is one accepts without question why and the other ignores or even denies it.

      My understanding of knowledge is to look as to ask the question and consider it seriously; also to discover that as there are hows within hows, there are whys within whys. My question then rests as quality is both assuredly a how and a why, is that all there is to be said, and can we further not ask how and why only quality to be real?



    9. Phil:In Pirsig’s view a scientist is like someone who discovers a motorcycle in disrepair and struggles to repair it by striving to learn how it works, to the point to where perhaps they finally get it running again, while all along never considering what was the intended use or even that it has one

      I saw this distinction too in his travelling mates as a comparative view, that he wanted to put forward, in the way that you suggest. This whole exercise becomes a culpable synopsis that is further exemplified again as you point out in the how's and how's and whys.

      This sense of familiarity had to be struck in association for one to realize what he is talking about. Maybe in your own life while money was not a lot you saw it necessary that without the mechanic to supply his skills, that you could apply those skills once learnt to any situation. Does not mean we ever deny the work that it takes to be responsible for and about our own lives and those we care for. To sleep through life.

      John Pirsig might of held a certain resentment toward people about them not taking on this responsibility and being carefree and living life as a crap shoot?

      Making sure that one's destiny is as much a part of our taking on that interest "to supply this maintenance" was to acknowledge that there will be "moments in between towns" that one can reflect about the quality of life.

      I saw a "probabilistic attitude" in the carefree expressed state that one would allow money to let the expert do the thing. And why not, if you have it. Did this allow one to slip ever easy into the responsibility we had of looking deeper into the nature of the travel, would become more then just a road to follow.

      IN John Pirsig's journey, was it to exemplify it more as a journey of the son and himself to find this relation again? The mechanics of this relation. His responsibility in afterthought?

      Imagine, if this son was only a "object of his delusion." Who was actually screaming in the end at the park, as he told his son to buck up. Chris did not actually exist? This was a reflective journey. Do we deny he had a son? Of course not. But he was supplying the words in place of?

      So the fears about, and nature of the delusion is what he feared most in himself. What he lost in the relation of his son.

      More to follow from your comment shortly.


      I wanted to extend this journey if you don't mind into the Thomas Kuhn's book.

      IN my travels through the internet I have had the chance to meet another individual with an pseudonym that thought to place before me questions that were distilled for him through reading the whole book, "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions." He was in his seventies and had such "prophetic journeys" as to wonder himself about these insights.

      This distillation became an object of focus for me in that placing before ourselves "the object of that distillation" in question form, I wanted to see "the quality that stood out for me in relation to his points "on top of the Aristotelean arch" and tried to reply to that as best I could.

      It will become a post, and you can disregard it if you are not interested.


    10. Phil:My question then rests as quality is both assuredly a how and a why, is that all there is to be said, and can we further not ask how and why only quality to be real?

      I want to hold this in mind for a bit before I respond to it.


    11. Hi Plato,

      “It will become a post, and you can disregard it if you are not interested.”

      What would have you to believe I might not be interested, perhaps that I might not agree? In the first place there are many areas where we have common ground, yet more importantly it is only in difference that often times much is learned. As such I look forward to your post.



    12. Phil:....yet more importantly it is only in difference that often times much is learned.

      Yes most certainly Phil.

      After trying to locate and finding the word file I see it is incomplete from 2002.

      That I have seen it only in relation to quality "only" would be to ignore the critical examination under the aspect of the "Aristotelean arch" that such a resolution would have never been deeply conceived as "self evident?"

      So how is it one can perceive something as only "in quality?" They had to come to this conclusion in a simplistic way without having to endure the deep critical examinations of what science is in the areas we speak of, deal with?

      We are only talking about the psychology and philosophy of, not the science?

      Would you agree?

      I am working shortly yet am committed to seeing the other side of the critical emanation on how Steve Weinberg criticizes Thomas Kuhn's work first, before I speak to the quality.

      AS I said the post will need much work.

      It was called "#63 the Six of Red Spades" and the index questions he had referred to the following indexed distillations in reference to the book of Thomas Kuhns. It should be held in hand while referenced.

      A paradigm is essential to scientific inquiry—"no natural history can be interpreted in the absence of at least some implicit body of intertwined theoretical and methodological belief that permits selection, evaluation, and criticism" (16-17). The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

      Page 5: Embedded in the educational initiation that prepares and licences.....
      Page 7. implication, those that is does not (entities).
      Page 16-17 some implicit body of intertwined...... belief.....
      Page 24 attempt to force nature into the preformed and relatively inflexible box that the paradigm supplies. Etc.
      Page 25 what motivates
      Page 27 Without the Principia.....meant nothing at all,
      Page 37 ......the assured existance of a solution is.(puzzle)...other problems are rejected as metaphysical.
      Page 46 Scientists never learn concepts, laws and theories in the abstract.
      Page 47 .....intuitively abstract rules....for himself....(a word I can’t read, possible little) reason to.
      Page 50 ....What quantum mechanics means to each of them depends on what courses he has had, what texts he has read, what journals he studies. Read the whole page!
      Page 63 About red spades and black hearts.
      Page 86 Psychology: How is anomaly mode lawlike?.
      Those are about ¼ of all comments (untranslated)
      Has it any merit?
      Page 172: evolution result of mere competition. (wrong assumption) (Adaptive Change?)
      Page 158: Kuhn most scientist tend to assume....
      Page 159: Newton abandoned physics for religious persuits.
      Page 160: (# encircled)...shock and apparent danger of a mistery. Whole Page!
      Page 184: Reversible and irreversible are levels infused in each other.
      (a)Page 185: Symmetry breaking.
      Page 187: (# encircled)The linear world is a world without surprises.
      Page 199: some sort of mystical apperseption is responsible for the decision actual reached.
      Page 200: there is no neutral algorithm for theory-choise.
      Another note that seems to belong to it starts with page 158.
      Page 185: values(induvidual personality and biography)
      (a)Page:200 Wholeness itself in nonhierarchical. DNA more "flux" than code.

      It actually goes beyond pg 200 and I do not understand why I had not included them to complete it. Other issues too.