Saturday, August 31, 2013

The most efficient healthcare systems in the world

See this article for the details. And note that the poor US standing is not because of Obamacare, which is specifically designed to address some of the problems. And already is, what few parts of it that have been implemented to date. Our rating is for the old way we've been doing it, the way regressives want to keep it. They should also take note (but of course they will not) of the most efficient and how they do it. A few excerpts:

"The infographic below is based on a recent Bloomberg ranking of the most efficient countries for health care, and highlights enormous gap between the soaring cost of treatment in the U.S. and its quality and effectiveness. [...] It's remarkable how low America places in health care efficiency: among the 48 countries included in the Bloomberg study, the U.S. ranks 46th, outpacing just Serbia and Brazil. Once that sinks in, try this one on for size: the U.S. ranks worse than China, Algeria, and Iran. But the sheer numbers are really what's humbling about this list: the U.S. ranks second in health care cost per capita ($8,608), only to be outspent by Switzerland ($9,121) -- which, for the record, boasts a top-10 health care system in terms of efficiency. Furthermore, the U.S. is tops in terms of health care cost relative to GDP, with 17.2 percent of the country's wealth spent on medical care for every American."

How can it be done better?

I applaud the diva

Caveman talk

Aside from metaphysical meanings ascribed to the letters in the alphabet, I've been wondering what some of the first meanings were in caveman times. I'm guessing vowels were prime, so a few speculations. The short a sound might've been expressed as satisfaction, like after drinking a cold beer on a hot day, or after an orgasm: "Aaaaah, that was good." The long a sound when one was insulted, like "Aaa, WTF man." The o sound when one was perplexed: "Ooo, really?" The long e sound when one was startled and frightened: "Eeee, did you see that dinosaur?" The short e sound as in "eh, no big." And so on.

It's easy as a b c

The last post reminded on this song that nursed me in my formative years.

Even alphabets and brains can change

The following is in response to Joseph's post here. Any alphabet is relatively fixed, but only after a long history of development. And they are still developing, albeit now much more slowly. Meaning for one that they are constructed based on the sounds we can make given our embodiment, and the latter too can and does change, but again very slowly. And given so many languages alphabets are pretty much local, given the variations in embodied speech patterns to different climates, geological regions, etc. But they are not fixed in any Platonic or metaphysical sense, as they are for the Sepher Yetzirah, as magical foundations for physical embodiment. Which is not to say that we cannot formulate postmetaphysical models based on alphabets, but provisionally noting their contingent nature and their capacity for change, even of meaning.

Friday, August 30, 2013

"I want your ugly, I want your disease, I want your love"

"Shorter of breath and one day closer to death"

Semiotic (and other) twists and turns

"Models of complex systems will have to be as complex as the systems themselves." Paul Cilliers, Complexity and Postmodernism (p. 58)

Continuing the IPS integral semiotics thread, I'm going to try a metaphor here to see if it helps. Let's take the human body as a holon in the shape of the Cube of Space. The body standing straight upright, feet together, arms at the side, no movement or twists or turns, is the Cube in its typical, static position and orientation of parts. But as we know the human body when it starts moving dynamically changes the orientation of parts. Yes, there are limits to these dynamic orientations but they are quite flexible and the permutations while not infinite are quite astounding.

Let's take yogic postures as but one example. The body is still a unit but the relationships of the parts can get quite twisted and contorted. My upper body can twist one direction while my lower body twists in another. One shoulder can be up while another down, and so on. Upon awakening each morning I do freestyle yoga movements and postures while lying. I get into a number of non-traditional positions to open and stretch different areas, twisting and turning and changing part orientations.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Robert Reich on Labor Day

Here's another of his brief videos on what we can do to make laborers' lives more fair. Also see his petition here to increase minimum wages.

Intuition Pumps

I just borrowed from the library Daniel Dennett's new book, Intuition Pumps. Therein he gives a lot of thinking tools based largely on our manifest image. He addresses the manifest/scientific image dichotomy on pp. 69-73, just a brief intro. But in practical matters of everyday living, his tools are mostly manifest but based in science and quite useful if you want to think better. There's also a YouTube video on the topic, embedded below.

Signification, imagination, play

Continuing the IPS discussion on semiotics, in response to Joseph's last reply, I said:

I’m with you on tarot imagery and activating the subconscious but  a couple of caveats. Virtually all modern tarot decks were created by members of the Golden Dawn, including the deck you use. And they are operating within a very particular western metaphysical tradition so the tarot images are designed to convey very specific meanings within that tradition. Meanings that are by definition metaphysical. So using those images as is makes the task of postmetaphysically recontextualizing those meanings challenging to say the least. Hence we find some contemporary tarot decks modifying the images somewhat to add, subtract or completely change some of the traditional meanings. However I’ve yet to find any deck that makes modifications to the images themselves based on postmetaphysical enactment. You are working on modifying some of the signified meanings, but not the signifier image containers themselves.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

New wine needs new wineskins

The following are some of my responses from the IPS integral semiotics thread, continuing thoughts from this post.

I’ll respond here to this post and the two following in the OOO thread. Thing is (yes, intentional punning), the thing (referent) still is despite whatever name (signifier) or meaning (signified) is ascribed to it. Yet while the thing has an autonomous individuality it does not have some sort of ideal essence or purpose; it too is strictly constructed and conditional. Or 'empty' of inherent existence, we might say. So the withdrawn and excessive 'center' is at the heart of all three semiotic aspects.

Hence Cilliars move (like Bryant, Deleuze, DeLanda, Varela etc.) to describe self-organization in postmetaphysical terms, all taking account of the metaphysics of presence.* The latter is particularly keen on putting 'what is' into a strait jacket and holding a copyright on its 'nature' for all to kowtow and worship, typical of the metaphysical nature of the perennial tradition in all its varieties. Hence my questions, using the language (signs) of that tradition even while trying to change the meanings (signifieds). It seems the referents and the signifieds are being put into literal boxes with too strict defining lines and boundaries, especially when specifically defined in terms of pure essences and real purposes.

* Recall this post from p. 1, particular to the kennilingus notion of transcendent awakening, which is still in its integral semiotics.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Even some Republicans are opposed to Republican voter suppression

There are a few sane Republicans left but they are far outnumbered. Nonetheless a few are speaking out against the obvious Republican ploys to disenfranchise people of color, youth and age. That is, those who tend to vote for Democrats. Rachel Maddow reports on not only the huge progressive backlash against voter suppression but also how some Republicans are on the same page. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said his Party is turning people away from it with voter suppression based on the spurious claim of voter fraud, of which there is no credible evidence. He said his Party not only has to encourage people to vote but give them something to vote for. Good luck with that. Then there's Republican House representative James Sensenbrenner, who is trying to amend the Voting Rights Act to fix the devastation done to it by the Supreme Court. He admits that all these new Republican laws are intended to suppress the vote and he vows to fix the Voting Rights Acts before the 2014 election so that the new laws can be overturned. Kudos for those Republicans that are not regressing on the issue.
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Monday, August 26, 2013

In excess

In response to Joseph's post on integral semiotics here I replied:

In your post from another thread you ask: “Have you seen my posting on the Integral Semiotics thread and my diagrams illustrating the dynamics of the psyche in a semiotic enactment?” Yes, but I have some questions. In how does what you’re saying take account of the critique of the metaphysics of presence in pp. 41-4 of Complexity and Postmodernism? It seems like your definitions have very clear boundaries. In the referenced pages one criticism is that boundaries while necessary are not so clear cut, and often dynamically change at least somewhat due to the excess in each semiotic element (signified, signifier, referent). We discussed this withdrawn excess elsewhere, which you attribute to the Final Cause in the center, which has a “real purpose or telos.”  And the Formal Cause also has a “pure essence or being.” While both the linked text and OOO in general do not accept pure essences, real purposes, both examples par excellence of the metaphysics of presence. We might say that Bryant accepts clear boundaries in that a suobject has a unique and individual autonomy, but it nonetheless its boundary is open to continual change from its excess.

Which in my wyrd way elicited this association. Talk about in excess:

Sunday, August 25, 2013

D'Angelo & Amanda on America's Got Talent

Keep in mind that these are kids. Then forget that they are kids, as they're better than most adult dancers.

Inequality For All

A new documentary by the above name featuring Robert Reich will be in theaters starting Sept. 27th. The promo below:


All the material of late is relevant to the project of this thread. At this point I'm just intuiting tenuous connections that have yet to solidify into organized articulation. It revolves around the fold, which stated as an exploration of how later stages of human development fold back to earlier ones for a more complete integration instead of just flying off into ever more complex (complicated) rational structures. My first intuition is how this is accomplished by a suobject's endo-relational structure, which apparently where the withdrawn resides according to Bryant. But my own later questioning of this notion via Clark, with hints from Morton, now sees this thing called the fold also at the boundaries between suobjects.

Algebras, geometries and typologies of the fold

This source is quite relevant to recent posts: "Alegebras, geometries, and topologies of the fold: Deleuze, Derrida and quasi-mathematical thinking (with Leibniz and Mallarme)" by Arkady Plotnitsky. Quoting Deleuze on Heidegger, relevant to my earlier musings on clearly distinguishing the compliments, yet using the tension between them (boundary) to 'unite' them.

"The 'duplicity' of the fold has to be reproduced from the two sides that it distinguishes, but it relates one to the other by distinguishing them: a severing by which each term casts the other forwards, a tension by which each fold is pulled into the other"  (105).

Plotnitsky then quotes Deleuze on the change from Leibniz's monadology to his own nomadololgy. Of interest is the refutation of the 'dominant monad,' a key concept in kennilingus. Which relates to the type of mereology found in kennilingus (and the likes of the MHC) in favor of a more 'democratic' mereology found in Bryant, heavily influenced by Deleuze.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The wisdom to know the difference

Last night I was discussing positive thinking with a friend. The issue of "creating your own reality" came up, and whether everything that happens to us is because of our own choices. While I accept that we do create our own reality to a large extent that premise does not transfer to we create everything that happens to us, like being killed at random or being raped. Which of course reminded me of the old serenity prayer, as follows: "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference."

Being atheist I've adapted it without the metaphysics of God involved. I prefer the more postmetphysical explanation from dynamic systems science on this relationship between what I'm responsible for on the inside and what happens on the outside. From Cilliar's Complexity and Postmodernism:

Metaphysical and postmetaphysical complexity

Continuing from this post, see this post on Commons' own description of the metaphysical basis (both Platonic and Aristotelian) of the MHC. Furthermore, see this from the article cited:

"In the early 1960s, many others’ work introduced the representational theory of measurement. It is the basis for the Model of Hierarchical Complexity" (315).

And of course the latter is also a fine example of a metaphysical system. Compare with Cilliars in Complexity and Postmodernism:

"Models of complex systems will have to be as complex as the systems themselves. They will also have to emulate these systems’ capacity to encode and remember information pertaining to their environment and how to cope with that environment. We have suggested that classical theories of representation do not provide an adequate description of this process. [...] The symbols of mathematics have no meaning by themselves. They are provided meaning by means of a definition (e.g. let x stand for the temperature of the water). The symbol is then said to ‘represent’ that which it stands for. In well-defined problems the relationships between symbols and that which they represent can be specified unambiguously and it is easy to interpret the results. Unfortunately, the ease with which symbols can be made to represent something vanishes when we deal with complex problems, problems for which clear definitions and well-defined borders are less easily found" (58).

Friday, August 23, 2013

Maddow on NC voter suppression

Her entire show last night was devoted to the atrocities of North Carolina's new voter suppression laws, specifically targeting those who vote Democrat. It is heinous what they are doing there. This video is the first clip and there are a few more. She provides in-depth details of all their nefarious schemes. I hope this expose will motivate the Justice Dept. to sue NC like they are now doing in Texas. (Note there is an ad first on the video below, can't help it.)

Restricted and general fractal iteration

In this IPS thread I referenced Sara Ross's paper "Fractal model on non-linear hierarchical complexity." I wondering about these two sets of statements:

"Fractal means the repetition of self-similar patterns at different scales" (7).

"Every transition begins with some temporary equilibrium (A), regardless of when or where a transition occurs. This means transitions nested within transitions are ordered in exactly the same way" (8).

In the pomo/complexity and real/false reason threads complexity was differentiated between restricted and general varieties. This includes fractal chaos in the former variety, which it seems Ross is using. In the quotes fractals go from "self-similar" patterns to "exactly the same way." As I've explained elsewhere, actual fractals are themselves non-linear and while each iteration is similar it is also different, so not nested in "exactly the same way."* Not just the what of the content is behaving in a non-linear fashion but so is the math itself iterating non-linearly. While Ross wants a non-linear math to explain this process, i.e. the fractals and attractors of dynamic systems, she is still using the more restricted varieties of Bertalanffy and Mandelbrot instead of the more general versions of Prigogine and Cilliars (and DeLanda, Morin and Deleuze).

Thursday, August 22, 2013

LA Republicans blame Obama for Katrina!

Recall this post where the Republican group Groundswell thinks that to be effective they need to frame their messages at a 4th grade level. I bristled that they think the American people are this if not stupid then ignorant. But also recall this post where the Republican strategy is in fact to keep their base uneducated, uninformed and immersed in fear and hate so that they can feed them lies. Now there's yet more evidence, as if we don't have enough already, that the Republican base is as ignorant as their masters intend. See this story where a new poll asked Louisiana Republicans who is responsible for the government's poor response to hurricane Katrina. 28% blamed W. Bush. 29% blamed Obama! And a full 44% didn't know! Astounding the utter ignorance. But as I said, that is exactly the game plan. Mission accomplished.

Moxie Blues Band

A local blues band. Here's their website.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Jenna from So You Think You Can Dance

Jenna was teamed up with Allstar Mark last night and Mark choreographed the most creative routine I've yet seen on the show. It was perfect for the song. They were both praised by the judges for this performance even though Jenna was eliminated last night. Enjoy.

Regressive lobotomy and progressive neuroplasticity

I’m reading The Lost Goddess by Tom Knox. Therein his characters investigate the ancient practice of trepanation, drilling holes in the head to treat symptoms. In the book the plot revolves around a cult that did so to partially lobotomize people to make them more violently animalistic in order to create a ferocious soldier devoid of human restraint. And it occurred to me that this is exactly what conservative framing does sans the actual removal of brain tissue; it devolves people into its baser instincts of fear and hatred, which by-pass our more rational restraints and higher angels like compassion and care. We know that when faced with fight-or-flight life and death situations we revert to the  core brain responses. And the very purpose of conservative framing it to instill such heightened fear that we literally regress to pre-rational activation systems devoid of reason. They do this intentionally for the purpose of maintaining their power over the masses, for they are much more easily fooled and led in such primitive states of consciousness. Hence the war on education and science, which weakens their manipulative frames.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Can civilization survive really existing capitalism?

Noam Chomsky's 4/2/13 presentation at University College Dubin asks and answers this question. And the answer is no it cannot. We need a huge shift toward a new socio-economic mode of enactment. Chomsky does not go into that, his talk focusing on the currently existing catastrophe. Hence Rifkin's work in the previous post is paramount if we are not only to move forward but even to survive. Yes, it is that serious, and with that Rifkin is in full agreement.

Third Industrial Revolution revisited

I've posted on this before but it came up again in the IPS anti-capitalism thread. It helps to reinforce the kind of world we want to see manifest and how to do it. Here is the link to the IPS Rifkin thread. Following are excerpts from this article on The Third Industrial Revolution. Integralists might like Rifkin's blatantly developmental model. And his description of the next wave, already here. I'd add that this isn't just theory, as he's working with EU countries to implement this program and making progress. The article discusses that some. Here are some more general excerpts:

"The great economic revolutions in history occur when new communication technologies converge with new energy systems. New energy revolutions make possible more expansive and integrated trade. Accompanying communication revolutions manage the new complex commercial activities made possible by the new energy flows. In the 19th century, cheap steam powered print technology and the introduction of public schools gave rise to a print-literate work force with the communication skills to manage the increased flow of commercial activity made possible by coal and steam power technology, ushering in the First Industrial Revolution. In the 20th century, centralized electricity communication—the telephone, and later radio and television—became the communication medium to manage a more complex and dispersed oil, auto, and suburban era, and the mass consumer culture of the Second Industrial Revolution.

"Today, Internet technology and renewable energies are beginning to merge to create a new infrastructure for a Third Industrial Revolution (TIR) that will change the way power is distributed in the 21st century. In the coming era, hundreds of millions of people will produce their own renewable energy in their homes, offices, and factories and share green electricity with each other in an 'Energy Internet just like we now generate and share information online.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Liberal/conservative, fauxpro/regressive, balance/imbalance

Using the last post as a general frame, let's apply it to some political terms and ideologies. There is a dynamic tension in what is between what has been and what can be. This tension can manifest in healthy and dysfunctional ways. The healthy version is that conservatives want to retain what is good from the past, and liberals want to incorporate what is good from the emerging future. I'd call this overall healthy expression progressive balance, since it includes invaluable aspects of the conservative past but transcends them in a new structure and consciousness. This can go pathological (imbalance) when conservatives refuse to accept new developments and want to go back (regressive), as well as when liberals refuse to accept healthy aspects of the past and fly off into unduly abstract, unrealistic and disconnected visions of the future.

Dynamic tension, boundaries and connection

In my latest posts in the IPS states/stages thread I'm now looking more to the boundaries (the Rift) than to the inside/outside to discern the withdrawn and/or image schema. Recall the series of posts on p. 6 starting with this one, where Musique opened my eyes. And with Sallis confirming my suspicions. One of which is that prepositions are the actual linguistic 'traces' of the withdrawn (virtual) image schema* (attractors) at any boundary (dynamic tension between compression/leverage). So 'connection' is indeed the key, or more aptly "the door without a key" in these lyrics.

* Image schema specifically for humans, for other suobjects the more general rhetaphor.

I was reminded of a couple of my posts from the adjacency thread starting here, copied below.

[Speaking of the Borg] resistance is not only not futile but necessary. Speaking of resistance, according to the Tai Chi Classics one can 'using four ounces to deflect a thousand pounds.' To do this one must 'distinguish clearly between substantial and insubstantial.' Both are accomplished via compression and leverage, both within one's body and by applying them to another body. Compression and leverage are accomplished by maintaining 4 ounces of resistance or pressure between them at all times and through all changes. Without this resistance our biomagnetic and biomechanical energy does not flow with enough force to move much of anything, much less a thousand pounds.This is also critical in partner dance connection/communication.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Holacracy continued

A couple of post-capitalist traits we've explored are worker-ownership and capital investment. While I appreciate what follows, one question immediately pops up on outside investors. Are there limits on the amount of outside capital investment? What if their investment is such that without it the company could not financially survive? And/or depends on it for start-up? Then such investment would control the company, like it or not. If you don't do what I say I'm taking my ball and going home. No ball, no ballgame. Not the same as a mortgage or loan company. From this holacracy blog post:

"Everyone working in HolacracyOne gets a K-1 tax statement rather than a W-2, just as a partner in a law firm does; they have a legal voice in the governance of the organization through its Holacracy practice; and they legally become members of the partnership and hold a membership interest in a share of the organization’s profits.  We use multiple classes of membership interest to grant both fixed and variable compensation, without necessarily giving what’s typically thought of as an 'equity stake' (although that’s possible as well).

Of gurus, enlightenment and authentic training

Discussion in this IPS thread led me to divulge some of my 'authentic' training background. Yet I still maintain that this training is not 'enlightenment' and to the contrary is part of a metaphysical guru system that is now defunct. My point is not that a teacher is not necessary to learn a skill; obviously they are. But this skill they teach is just that; it is not Enlightenment or the True Path to Reality. The latter is what I mean by Guru. It is when we give ourselves completely over to a Guru, our entire lives, everything--that is the system that is obsolete. Yes, the states they teach are beneficial and necessary to a fuller, more integrative life, even to evolve as humans. But they are only a part of an integral practice. But as I said, the notion that they have privileged access to the really Real or True Self or whatever is metaphysical to the core and has to go. As does the notion that we can get it all from this Guru who knows it All.  

Friday, August 16, 2013


In the IPS anti-capitalism thread I suggested we take a look at HolacracyOne and its underlying operating system, holacracy. I’ve had my complaints with this system in the past (like here) but it is a least a valiant attempt at incorporating into business some of the characteristics we've discussed. For example: distributed leadership, purposeful work, full-person development, supporting human potential, worker input/feedback, more equitable distribution of salaries. This link is a video about the relation of holacracy with integral theory.

There is also a good web series called "Waking up the workplace" that has several interviews, Robertson being one. The following are my comments from that interview. I'll post more in follow-up posts about holacracy as time permits.The title of the Robertson interview is "Business doesn't need more 'conscious leadership.'" This is going to be good.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Regressives are not the equal opposite of progressives

This is not a balance between two equal views; it is about moving forward in evolution versus moving backward. And it is also about health versus dysfunction. There was a time when some Republicans were healthy in their conservative views, and even some were somewhat progressive. But those days are long gone, with the vast majority of Republicans being both regressive and dysfunctional.

In that light see this article by Jonathan Weiler, "The myth of the Republican Moderate." It's mostly about the Governor of NC, Pat McCrory. See the article for the many specifics to support his argument. I'm concerning here with the broad and accurate generalizations, not false stereotypes, that he makes. For example:

"To a substantial degree, the idea gained traction because political media in general still cling to the preposterous belief that the parties are equidistant from some notional 'center' in American political life. But that premise -- symmetrical polarization -- is simply and flatly wrong.

From the first link:

P2P on socio-economics

I referenced this article in the last post but it is relevant to this topic: "The next Buddha will be a collective." Below is an excerpt from the socio-economics section:

"If one examines more in detail how peer production projects operate, one can see many reversals from not only the traditional mode of operating either a corporate or public institution, but also from NGO’s emanating from civil society. At the root of the different functioning of peer projects is the concept of equipotentiality, which was already defined by Jorge Ferrer. It means that human being are not ranked according to one criteria, or as a totality, but that they are considered to consist of a multitude of skills and capabilities, none of which in itself being better than another. In the context of a peer project, potential participants are considered a too complex mix of skills and experiences to predict a priori who can perform a certain task. The solution is to slice up any project in the greatest possible array of modules, which can be carried out separately, but nevertheless coordinated as one project. Participants can then self-select their tasks, without any a priori control of their credentials (this is called anti-credentialism), giving rise to this mode of distributed production which differs from the traditional division of labour.

Gurus are obsolete

In the IPS discussion on Cohen stepping down I noted that even the most highly trained guru cannot overcome the fact that the way of the guru is obsolete.

From Edwards: "The defence of the ancient models of student-teacher relationship, particularly where development is focused on the stage-based lens, seems to me to be a sign of regression rather than evolution."

The next Buddha will be a collective. So-called evolutionaries need to get with the next actual wave, like IPS.

Gingrich agrees with Obama: GOP will have zero answer

Well, at least on one point: that the regressive GOP has no positive alternative to Obamacare (recall this post). And that all they do in response to it is negative. He said at the RNC summer meeting, when discussing how GOP representatives will answer their constituents with what they will replace Obamacare: "They will have zero answer." He also said his party has "a very deep problem" with negativity, that they only know how to be doggedly against something and hence do no learn and go forward, just tearing things down. Hence virtually no helpful legislation has come out of the GOP-controlled House since they took over. I'm thinking this is the new 2014 campaign slogan that must go on placards and bumper stickers: The GOP has zero answers. Thanks Newt.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

7 regressive lies

Robert Reich does it again in this short video dispelling regressive myths about taxes and the economy.

Profitable spirituality

At IPS Balder linked to this blog post on Profitable Spirituality. The post and the entire site appears to be a parody of hard-sell spirituality a la kennilingus. The following is the book cover for his parody. (Click to enlarge.) See the post for the text.

The facts about the Post Office

The main reason the US Postal Service (USPS) is having financial troubles is because the regressives in power hobbled it with an unprecedented funding requirement in their retiree benefit plan that no other company or agency has. And this despite their previous plan having enough reserves to fund it for decades. The real reason regressive congresspeople did this was so that USPS would go under and they could privatize it, their answer for everything.

Granted USPS has had some other financial problems. But despite those problems Senator Sanders noted that they would have posted a profit in the last quarter were it not for the imposed burden above. Sanders has introduced legislation to fix the real problems and eliminate the regressively-created problem to make USPS financially viable once more. The following is from his Bernie Buzz Post:

Monday, August 12, 2013

Consumerism must go

Eco-transitions blog has a blog feed, which directed me to this recent post on consumerism. Early in the 20th century cheap fossil fuels and other factors led to overproduction of goods. To get rid of them the capitalists radically expanded the advertising and with it the need to consume ever more goods framed as "the American way." It was your patriotic duty to buy much more than you needed. Since most couldn't afford to pay cash for the big ticket items credit became the way to the American dream. The problem was that consuming replaced the other values and became an obsession of, as Arnsperger so aptly detailed, never enough.

While he notes it's fine to simply one's personal life via reduced consumption, much more is needed to change the system. We need a shift from a consumer to an efficiency economy based on a broader happiness index. "Governments would have to promote policies that lead to more sharing, more equity, more transparency, and more citizen participation in governance, since it is these sorts of things that tend to push happiness scores higher." Recall that the happiest nations are also the most democratic (socialist).

Where do we go from here?

Balder's question in this post evoked this memory:

Dynamical paradoxicalism

Is the name of a new article at Integral World by Jonathan Zap which reiterates many of the same themes discussed at IPS and in this blog. On the other hand he really sounds preachy, has an explanation for everything, which he criticizes in others. He promotes acceptance of ambiguity yet wants everything defined. He'd likely say that's a paradox, as if that explains it. More likely rationalizes it. A few select excerpts:

"Dynamic paradoxicalism is my attempt to create a meta-philosophy that is a counter to fundamentalist and absolutist thought, which is nearly as common amongst New Agers and the Left as it is amongst religious fundamentalists and the Right. The greatest of life skills is the ability to live with ambiguity, ambivalence, and paradox, without trying to regularize these uncertainties into finished, absolute truths. Dynamic paradoxicalism recognizes that most important areas of truth exist as a paradox, where seemingly contradictory elements have a dynamic level of validity based on context specific circumstances. Although a greater conception that synthesizes the disparate elements of a paradox into a grand unit is an awesome addition to the conceptual toolbox, it is not always the most useful tool in the box. Dynamic paradoxicalism recommends an ability to slide between the poles of a paradox, in some circumstances favoring the point of view of one side of the paradox, in other cases the other pole, and in still other cases favoring the unified view.

"The ego understandably hates paradox, ambivalence, ambiguity, complexity, and uncertainty, and would like to clear these up into a grand solution. It wants to take the murkiness and replace it with a shining fundamentalism, or an ism of some sort, a divine map that illuminates all territories: past, present and future. The Ken Wilber version of this tendency would be to take any of these paradoxes and unify them into a grand diagram, a new paradigm that elevates the Wilberite to an Olympian meme, transcendent of all dualities.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Lynn Bogges

I saw this artist's work today. Below are some digital images from the gallery's site. Unfortunately they don't show what I liked best about the work, the thickness of the paint, the layered texture. (Click to enlarge.)

Jennifer Gidley

Another aspect we've discussed on the road to integral enactmment is education (one example). Jennifer Gidley has been a leader in this respect. See this link for her publications. I've quoted her work throughout the forum, particularly her Ph.D. dissertation in the real/false reason thread in terms of more accurately defining integral-aperspectivity and in comparing it to the kennilingus variety. Also in this article she differentiates the developments in complexity science and said:

"My approach to complexity is informed by what has been termed third generation complexity
(as enacted by Nicolescu and Morin) and thus is not restricted to the mathematical and cybernetic approaches of first and second generation complexity science."

I explored this in the pomo and complexity thread and how it differs from the MHC and kennilingus, which have as yet to go "third tier" in this regard.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Postmetaphysical spirituality and postcapitalism

From my last two posts in the IPS anti-capitalism thread, hearkening back to a paper by Arnsperger called "Never quite enough" on the relation of spirituality to economics (with my emphasis). This is where the rubber of religion meets the redemptive road to daily bread:

"Existential economics....led to me into this—somewhat iconoclastic— anchoring within what, roughly, we might call Christian humanism, a way of doing philosophy that accepts that anthropological reflection need not (and, in fact, cannot) be disconnected from radical reflection on religious and spiritual issues.

"Don’t expect me to draw...a well-meaning denunciation of economic materialism in the name of 'spirituality.' If I did that, I’d be ignoring the very roots of modern economic thought. In reality, in fact, the great thinkers of economics were working very consciously for the salvation of humanity.... I think we need to go as far as saying that economic thought has a strictly spiritual root.... The economy is, therefore, less a technical-operational domain than an existential-spiritual one.... Economics, therefore, the science of the economy, is part and parcel of theology—not only neo-liberal economics (as some left-wing critics claim, using the word 'theology' as a degrading term), but all of economics to the extent that it ultimately seeks to liberate Man. Marx, Keynes, and Hayek were, literally, the most influential theologians of the 20th century; I say this not by analogy or as an image, but as a literal description of what their study of economic activity was about."

In the following excerpts from section 3, "towards post-capitalist existence," he tends to see pre-capitalist 3rd world religions as a key. Granted we can learn to re-focus on spirituality from them but he accepts some of their metaphysical postulates like actual immortality. We can accept the former without the later and have their and our spiritualities go post-metaphysical, as well as our economies going post-capitalist.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Obama: Republicans not backed by any facts or evidence

The President speaking today on the regressive agenda to eliminate Obamacare. As he rightly notes, they are blinded by an ideological fixation devoid of fact and offer nothing to replace the 150 million people Obamacare helps. As he says: "They're wrong about that." No, they are not partially right about that; they are wrong. And it's about time he said so in no uncertain terms.

Duo MainTenanT

Thanks to Linda for turning me on to this. A blurb about the couple here.


Real democracy and education

From my last comment in the IPS integral anti-capitalism thread:

I introduced a link to Chomsky in this post. It has a wealth of quotable material beside what I previously provided. Here is some more relevant to topics already discussed above.

On the democratization of all aspects of society:

“Dewey himself comes straight from the American mainstream. […] For example, not only did he agree with the whole Enlightenment tradition that, as he put it, ‘the goal of production is to produce free people, -- ‘free men,’ he said, but that's many years ago. That's the goal of production, not to produce commodities. He was a major theorist of democracy. There were many different, conflicting strands of democratic theory, but the one I'm talking about held that democracy requires dissolution of private power. He said as long as there is private control over the economic system, talk about democracy is a joke. Repeating basically Adam Smith, Dewey said, Politics is the shadow that big business casts over society. He said attenuating the shadow doesn't do much. Reforms are still going to leave it tyrannical. Basically, a classical liberal view. His main point was that you can't even talk about democracy until you have democratic control of industry, commerce, banking, everything. That means control by the people who work in the institutions, and the communities.”

On dealing with people where they are:*

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Peirce's Firstness

This has come up in the IPS integral semiotics thread. Winton's referenced paper equates Peirce's firstness with the UL quadrant. I said:

It seems Winton takes his first wrong turn in associating Peice's Firstness with the UL quadrant (27). On 26 he quotes Corrington on this Firstness as "the undifferentiated quality and potentiality prior to any stain of the actual." And it was just as I was thinking as I read that Wilber lacked the kind of withdrawn virtual we've discussed at length in other threads. But Winton equates this with UL phenomenology, a strained correlation. Recall Bryant's 3 rings with the object a in the center, the rings being the symbolic, the imaginary and the real. The withdrawn is not 'in' any of those three but rather the latter.

He does address the nondual origin on 29, with that as the center of his figure 7, while noting we cannot access it directly, only inferring it transcendentally. But that to me sounds like the First Axiom of Firstness, not the inside perspective of the suobject. The latter is much more like Bryant's imaginary translational perspectives, with Bryant's symbolic domain akin to Winton's sign. Both have the unimaginable as the chewy center.

Balder thinks there is justification for the relation and I can understand the confusion. In looking over this Peirce dictionary on Firstness it seems he also had a variety of ways to describe it, not all consistent. Sometimes Firstness seems to be one of his 3 categories akin to Bryant's 3. At other times its like what we've described elsewhere as a basic awareness. At other times Firstness appears to be more like Bryant's withdrawn object a. Some Peirce quoted excerpts supporting the latter interpretation, with commentary:

Integral anti-capitalism continued

Continuing this IPS thread. Joseph’s last post in another thread on open source (OS) is thought provoking. Balancing OS with an initiatory system is quite a challenge, since the latter has been conducted in secret for most of its history lest the teachings be profaned and misappropriated. With open source availability to any and all information, and the ability to do what we will with it in the hopes that we’ll find our way to an individual, creative and societally useful expression, is at best na├»ve and at worst dangerous. Still, open source is the wave of the emerging paradigm, economic or otherwise, so how do we temper the legitimate concerns? 

Again I’ll use the example of a school system, free public education in grades K-12. This is an open source educational model, free of charge, recognizing the need for inculcating societal mores as well as intellectual development capable of civic duty like responsible voting and obtaining a productive job. While the information is free and openly available there is still an initiatory system in place. One starts in K by learning their alphabet and their numbers, etc. One gets feedback from a teacher and graded on their progress, and is required to make sufficient progress in various subjects to move on to the next grade. One doesn’t have to get all A’s; C’s will pass one along. Everyone has equal opportunity here but not equal results.* Still, the K-12 educational system is open source and in some ways similar to an initiatory system. 

Colbert dances!

Love it! He is a brilliant talent.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Race to the bottom - Kunkel and Harris

If you like it please buy it at Amazon for just 99 cents.

Integral anti-capitalism continued

Continuing this IPS thread, my latest response:

To take a step back, this post in the horror thread brought up an issue. It has to do with the process of initiation and this old essay, “Giving guns to children.” Joe brought up a good point in the horror thread about putting ideas into general circulation, ideas that can be misunderstood and misused. Especially ideas that seem obscene, pornographic, shocking or the like. The deeper meaning of such ideas--assuming there is such a meaning; it might just be base porn—goes over the head of the uninitiated  public  so they respond with scorn or over-indulgence, etc. Hence the process of an initiatory ordeal is to not only provide the shock of opening one’s system but also the environment to contextualize and give it meaning. It is a controlled environment that shocks responsibly, as it were. Each level of initiation is thus another shock to the system, changing one’s worldview time and again. And it takes a shock to do so, to completely upend one’s comfort zone so as to enter the dark night of the soul and come out again. Or in kennilingus, one moves from fusion to differentiation before one can integrate what came before.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Strength to Lust

Interestingly, Crowley renamed the tarot key Strength to Lust and changed its attributions. In keeping with the horror/spirituality thread theme and the last post, some of his writing on this Key from the Book of Thoth:


There is in this card a divine drunkenness or ecstasy. The woman is shown as more than a little drunk, and more than a little mad; and the lion also is aflame with lust. This signifies that the type of energy described is of the primitive, creative order; it is completely independent of the criticism of reason. This card portrays the will of the Aeon. In the background are the bloodless images of the saints, on whom this image travels, for their whole life has been absorbed into the Holy’ Grail.

This sacrament is the physical-magical formula for attaining initiation, for the accomplishment of the Great Work. It is in alchemy the process of distillation, operated by internal ferment, and the influence of the Sun and Moon.

Behind the figures of the Beast and his Bride are ten luminous rayed circles; they are the Sephiroth latent and not yet in order, for every new Aeon demands a new system of classification of the Universe.

At the top of the card is shown an emblem of the new light, with ten horns of the Beast, which are serpents, sent forth in every direction to destroy and re-create the world."

All hail to the de/re of a "new system of classification of the Universe!" Amen.

PS: The cult of Babylon is now accepting applications for initiation. You won't however find them; if eligible they will find you!

The Babylon Rite

To add to the ongoing IPS spirituality and horror thread, I just started a novel that would qualify, The Babylon Rite. It combines one of my fav mystery topics, the Templars, with a sexually perverse and bloodthirsty Peruvian Moche cult.

Colbert on McDonald's budget for minimum wage workers

He destroys McDonald's recent ad campaign saying that their minimum wage employees could get by just fine if they only knew how to budget their earnings. Is anyone, even regressives, really buying McDonald's ludicrous nonsense?