Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The World as Myth

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:48 PM

Three approaches to The World as Myth

From Heinlein's 1985 The Cat Who Walks Through Walls

The World as Myth is a subtle concept. It has sometimes been called multiperson solipsism, despite the internal illogic of that phrase. Yet illogic may be necessary, as the concept denies logic. For many centuries religion held sway as the explanation of the universe- or multiverse. The details of revealed religions differed wildly but were essentially the same: Somewhere up in the sky-or down in the earth-or in a volcano-any inaccessible place- there was an old man in a nightshirt who knew everything and was all powerful and created everything and rewarded and punished and could be bribed.

      "Sometimes this Almighty was female but not often because human males are usually bigger, stronger, and more belligerent; God was created in Pop's image.

      "The Almighty-God idea came under attack because it explained nothing; it simply pushed all explanations one stage farther away. In the nineteenth century atheistic positivism started displacing the Almighty-God notion in that minority of the population that bathed regularly.

      "Atheism had a limited run, as it, too, explains nothing, being merely Godism turned upside down. Logical positivism was based on the physical science of the nineteenth century which, physicists of that century honestly believed, fully explained the universe as a piece of clockwork.

      "The physicists of the twentieth century made short work of that idea. Quantum mechanics and Schrodringer's cat tossed out the clockwork world of 1890 and replaced it with a fog of probability in which anything could happen. Of course the intellectual class did not notice this for many decades, as an intellectual is a highly educated man who can't do arithmetic with his shoes on, and is proud of his lack. Nevertheless, with the death of positivism, Godism and Creationism came back stronger than ever.

      "In the late twentieth century -correct me when I' m wrong, Hilda-Hilda and her family were driven off Earth by a devil, one they dubbed 'the Beast.' They fled in a vehicle you have met, Gay Deceiver, and in their search for safety they visited many dimensions, many universesand Hilda made the greatest philosophical discovery of all time."

      "I'll bet you say that to all the girls!"

      "Quiet, dear. They visited, among more mundane places, the Land of Oz-"

      I sat up with a jerk. Not too much sleep last night and Dr. Harshaw's lecture was sleep-inducing. "Did you say 'Oz'?"

      "I tell you three times. Oz, Oz, Oz. They did indeed visit the fairyland dreamed up by L. Frank Baum. And the Wonderland invented by the Reverend Mr. Dodgson to please Alice. And other places known only to fiction. Hilda discovered what none of us had noticed before because we were inside it: The World is Myth. We create it ourselves-and we change it ourselves. A truly strong myth maker, such as Homer, such as Baum, such as the creator of Tarzan, creates substantial and lasting worlds whereas the fiddlin', unimaginative liars and fabulists shape nothing new and their tedious dreams are forgotten. ….

Friday, November 6, 2009

Where Entertainment is God (continued)

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 1:06 AM 

Click to enlarge.

Ad, with army base shooter in video, for 'The Men Who Stare at Goats'

Colorado Springs Gazette
movie reviewer Brandon Fibbs yesterday:

“Much of this is genuinely amusing.
So why then am I not laughing?”

NY Times on the Fort Hood shootings that took place in the afternoon of Nov. 5, 2009

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Annals of Intelligence:

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:06 AM

A Cross for the
Goat Men

Cross made from 9 squares of a 25-square matrix

Related material:

Krauss, Malevich, and
Linguistic Creation

Friday, November 6, 2009

Where Entertainment is God (continued)

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:06 AM

Click to enlarge.

Ad, with army base shooter in video, for 'The Men Who Stare at Goats'


Colorado Springs Gazette
movie reviewer Brandon Fibbs yesterday:

“Much of this is genuinely amusing.
So why then am I not laughing?”

NY Times on the Fort Hood shootings that took place in the afternoon of Nov. 5, 2009

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Thursday July 27, 2006

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 5:09 PM

Number Sense

The NY lottery numbers for yesterday, 7/26, Jung's birthday, were 726 (mid-day) and 970 (evening).

We may view these numbers as representing the Jungian "sheep" and Freudian "goats" of yesterday's entry Partitions.

For the Jungian coincidence of 726 with 7/26, recall the NY lottery number 911 that was drawn on 9/11 exactly a year after the destruction of the World Trade Center. For more on this coincidence, see For Hemingway's Birthday: Mathematics and Narrative Continued (July 21, 2006).

For 970, Google reveals a strictly skeptical (i.e., like Freud, not Jung) meaning: 970 is the first page of the article "Sources of Mathematical Thinking," in Science, 7 May 1999: Vol. 284. no. 5416, pp. 970 – 974.

That article has been extensively cited in the scholarly literature on the psychology of mathematics.  Its lead author, Stanislas Dehaene, has written a book, The Number Sense.

What sense, if any, is made by 726 and 970?

The mid-day number again (see Hemingway's birthday) illustrates the saying

"Time and chance happeneth to them all."

The evening number again illustrates the saying

"Though truth may be very hard to find in the pages of most books, the page numbers are generally reliable."

— Steven H. Cullinane,
   Zen and Language Games

These sayings may suit the religious outlook of Susan Blackmore, source (along with Matthew 25:31-46) of the sheep/goats partition in yesterday's entry on that topic.  She herself, apparently a former sheep, is now a goat practicing Zen.

Update of later the same evening–

On Space, Time, Life, the Universe, and Everything:

Note that the "sheep" number 726 has a natural interpretation as a date– i.e., in terms of time, while the "goat" number 970 has an interpretation as a page number– i.e., in terms of space.  Rooting, like Jesus and St. Matthew, for the sheep, we may interpret both of today's NY lottery results as dates, as in the next entry, Real Numbers.  That entry may (or may not) pose (and/or answer) The Ultimate Question. Selah.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Wednesday July 26, 2006

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 1:44 PM

"Mistakes are inevitable and may be either in missing a true signal or in thinking there is a signal when there is not. I am suggesting that believers in the paranormal (called 'sheep' in psychological parlance) are more likely to make the latter kind of error than are disbelievers (called 'goats')."

— "Psychic Experiences:
     Psychic Illusions,"
     by Susan Blackmore,
     Skeptical Inquirer, 1992

For Harvard mathematician
Frederick Mosteller,
dead on Sunday, July 23, 2006:
"… a drama built out of nothing
but numbers and imagination"

— Freeman Dyson, quoted in Log24
on the day Mosteller died

From Log24 on
Mosteller's last birthday,
December 24, 2005:

The Club Dumas

by Arturo Perez-Reverte

One by one, he tore the engravings from the book, until he had all nine.  He looked at them closely.  "It's a pity you can't follow me where I'm going.  As the fourth engraving states, fate is not the same for all."

"Where do you believe you're going?"

Borja dropped the mutilated book on the floor with the others. He was looking at the nine engravings and at the circle, checking strange correspondences between them.

"To meet someone" was his enigmatic answer. "To search for the stone that the Great Architect rejected, the philosopher's stone, the basis of the philosophical work. The stone of power. The devil likes metamorphoses, Corso."

"Only gradually did I discover
what the mandala really is:
'Formation, Transformation,
Eternal Mind's eternal recreation'"
(Faust, Part Two)

Carl Gustav Jung,   
born on this date

Today's other birthday:
Mick Jagger

"Pleased to meet you,
hope you guess my name."

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