Saturday, November 30, 2013

The evolution of slavery

Here's a statement from this post:

"A friend in Mexico wrote me an email recently about McDonalds taking advantage of the young by paying them minimum wage there. I asked, is anyone else there willing to employ them for more or would they be completely jobless and more broke without that job?"

I just saw 12 Years a Slave. Combined with the above statement I'm reminded of this post quoting David Loy:

"One might argue…that there are good corporations….The same argument can be made for slavery, there were some good slave owners…. This does not refute the fact that slavery was intolerable…. And it is just as intolerable that today....transnational corporations are defective economic institutions due to the basic way they are structured."

Sneaky dogs

Silly-funny entertainment.

Hozho

Thanks to Balder for posting this one, resonant with the recent theme of interbeing.

Still more interbeing

 Also since I mentioned the phrase "becoming animal" from Faber, as well as the term interbeing, also recall this thread on that topic. A brief quote:

"This is a book about becoming a two-legged animal, entirely a part of the animate world whose life swells within and unfolds all around us.  It seeks a new way of speaking, one that enacts our interbeing with the earth rather than blinding us to it.  A language that stirs a new humility in relation to other earthborn beings, whether spiders or obsidian outcrops or spruce limbs bend low by the clumped snow.  A style of speech that opens our senses to the sensuous in all its multiform strangeness."

More interbeing

Continuing from the last post, the Faber quote also reminds me of some past posts, like this one:

Here's an excerpt from a relevant article by Evan Thompson called "From intersubjectivity to interbeing":

"Premise 

Human consciousness is not located in the head, but is immanent in the living body and the interpersonal social world. One’s consciousness of oneself as an embodied individual embedded in the world emerges through empathic cognition of others. Consciousness is not some peculiar qualitative aspect of private mental states, nor a property of the brain inside the skull; it is a relational mode of being of the whole person embedded in the natural environment and the human social world.

The purpose of this report is to present this perspective on human consciousness with an eye to its implications for the emerging field of consciousness studies. 

Guiding questions

Two main questions will guide this report:

How can recent research in cognitive science help us to understand intersubjective consciousness and empathy as part of our natural, evolutionary heritage?

How can phenomenological methods and contemplative practices deepen and guide scientific research on intersubjective consciousness? 

Interbeing

Balder provided the following Faber quote from Theopoetic Folds, which has been the subject of recent posts:

"Eco-consciousness and eco-conscience have an ethical and a spiritual dimension. Both can be characterized as 'always beginning in the middle.' Deleuze formulates this new categoreal imperative of eco-ethics as letting 'your loves be like the wasp and the orchid' and, without beginning and end, as being 'always in the middle, between things, interbeing, intermezzo' (Deleuze/Guattari, Rhizome 17). To begin in the middle always means to follow multiplicities in their deconstructive complexity within and without, to unsettle the boundaries
and clear borders of forced identities, which are always imposed measures of the One with its power-installed abstractions of unification and division. To begin in the middle is an ethical category that activates us from the middle of the happening of multiplicities and asks us to always submerge into their middle, the many folds of connectivity within and beyond, which always form under the skin of powers of unification and division and only come to life within, across and beyond the boundaries of power. To become inter-being, we need to leave the high states of unity to become actors of the folds within unties between their moments of unifications, and between unities in the middle of their artificial isolation. To become 'in between' means to become intermezzo, that is, less than the abstract unifications that always feed the Anthropic Imperialism over nature, culture, and (human) Self. It means to become minor."

Which reminds me of this post on image schematic basic categories, following.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Venus

And in this one the Muppets get in on the act.

Lady Gaga and the Muppets

She did a tv special last night with the Muppets. This song from her new CD is a bit different, with a rock and roll feel.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Pope on regressive economics

I've liked a few of the new Pope's opinions. This is another one.

“Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacra­lized workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting.”

The X of parallax is the objet a

The series of posts in the last one reminds me of the objet a of Bryant's Borromean (integral) theory, another one with manifolds. From this post and following:

This interative process of differance is, as I noted, the heart of the Borromean diagram. It is in the interplay of objet a with the 3 methodologies that produces not only change but progress through a spiral dynamical process. No, we never fully arrive at full consciousness of this unmarked,  withdrawn or virtual ‘space’ (khora), for it too, being immanent and constructed, also develops and grows given development in the actually manifest domains. In a sense one expression of it is the cognitive unconscious of humans. We can never know it fully and yet we do make inroads and open it just a bit more with each advance. Hence I take Flanagan’s criticism of ‘consciousness’ (in the Thompson thread) as sometimes too focused on the marked space of what we are aware, and how we often mistake this for the unmarked space beyond its reach and thus confuse it with an ultimate and transcendent realm.

To assure myself I'm not completely off track I offer this excerpt from Zizek's "A place for a return to differance," Zizek being a close reader of Lacan.

Becoming animal in unio mystica

Recall this post where I referenced and linked to the book Theopoeitic Folds, as well as commentary on the book in this and this post. From Faber's chapter he notes that what is necessary

“after the ecologicial death of God [is] the mystical move of becoming-animal, becoming multiplicity. This unio mystica […] [is] the consummation of all unity into the realm of multiplicity. […] It is the khoric realm of a paradox where we have to go through divergences, bifurcations, and antinomies all at once. […] In this mystical in/difference, everything is only in difference” (227-28).

I'm making some associations from the Faber quote that I don't think he makes, but not sure since I don't have access to the whole chapter.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Obamacare success stories

Ed Shultz reports. You will not hear any of these stories from the regressive echo chamber. In CA where they have an exchange things are looking quite good. This is why regressives that control States are refusing to implement the exchanges. These success stories will continue to escalate and overcome the far fewer sob stories. And yes, even the latter must be addressed and fixed, but with regressive media you don't get the whole story on that.

Like that in numerous proven cases, those who got the coverage termination letters could then go on exchanges and get a better deal. They leave out that part of the story. Or that insurance companies are choosing to give termination letters because they cannot compete with the exchanges, and then instead of informing former insured about the better exchange deals try to sell them a far more expensive policy. Again, this is not reported by the regressives. The regressives are going to lose this one big time once Obamacare gets rolling and they know it. And they'll do everything to prevent that, including lying and stealing, their usual tactics. But much like the last election they will again be exposed by the facts and they will lose again in 2014, big time.

Walmart's pay scale


Perform this way

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Chomsky on 9/11 building 7

Chomsky is an avid critic of the government but he's not buying into the building 7 conspiracy.

Dawkins and Chopra

I was made aware of this by Visser's new article about the upcoming Wilber Tribute.

Wall Street creates new bogus securities to crash us again

It's amazing that this story is not getting prime time coverage. Recall that the recent financial crises was created by deliberately selling homes to people the bankers knew could not afford them. They then bundled these mortgages into securities that were fraudulently rated safe knowing full well the mortgages would default, and in fact bet that they would. They get rich and crash the economy.

Well they're at it again.

Dance as embodied philosophy

Re-reading Kimmel's article I came upon the following text about partner dance. As some of you know, I'm an avid partner dancer and have expounded its philosophic virtues in various threads (here as one example). Kimmel supports my thesis:

"Cultural learning also impacts our ability to engage in interactions and create intersubjectivity. Even mundane interactions typically require us to recognize meaningful affordances, i.e. enabling states for our next action perceived in real-time. In particular, we incorporate the dynamic flow of body signals (gestures, gaze, gait, etc.) from others into how we modulate our own actions. Just imagine a simple nonverbal negotiation of two persons sliding past each other in a narrow corridor. Sophisticated martial arts, dance, or bodywork skills that require years of apprenticeship equally highlight enactive intersubjectivity (Fuchs & de Jaegher, 2010). As Kimmel (2012) argues, dancers of tango argentino can fluidly improvise together only when they actively explore the partner at every moment and reciprocally make their bodies amenable to being sensed (e.g. a good follower strategically creates muscle chains allowing the leader to sense via her shoulder blade what her leg is up to.) Communication depends on a highly organized 'tango body' with ingrained postural, muscle related, and attentional habits. While complex intersubjectivity skills fundamentally build on immediate perception, they place the senses in a continuum with functional concepts and regulative imagery. For example, tango experts stick to basic enabling states by imagining a constant 'magnet' or 'torch seeking the partner’s sternum.' This helps maintain rapport in any situation. More complex regulators keep track of functionally important sensory coalescences, e.g. an 'energy ball' representing the couple’s joint weight at a given moment. Here, multi-channel sensory input gets blended 'into' the image, including proprioception, the partner’s body, and space. The current position of the ball summarizes system-level information, allows dynamic feedback to be felt in the flesh, and thus provides a control structure for joint action. Finally, the tango case sheds light on the hidden cognitive substrate of dynamic decision making. Accomplished tango leaders fluidly combine basic micro-elements without enacting scripted step sequences and without much remeditation. They simply recognize a large repertory of dynamic configurations that signal affordances to exploit 'on the fly' on a given trajectory or to nudge the couple to when still a bit away. Experts do this without enforcing anything, but by 'soft-assembling' the interaction within repertoire related as well as
sensory constraints (somatic feedback, music, available space)" (312).

Reich frames a progressive plan

Building on the last post, Robert Reich talks about the progressive values that the regressive game plan avoids at all costs. The most important of which is that Obamacare is about a moral imperative that says as a society the healthier and richer are willing to make small sacrifices to help the more needy among us. And make no mistake, the sacrifices the better off make are small. It exposes the me-first attitude inherent to a regressive value system as so much selfishness and greed. Reich notes progressives have to make this moral argument and admits that the word 'redistribution' isn't popular so instead suggests the frame of "everyone comes out ahead. And everyone does come out ahead in the long term:  Even the best-off will gain from a healthier and more productive workforce, and will save money from preventive care that reduces the number of destitute people using emergency rooms when they become seriously ill."

Monday, November 25, 2013

Lakoff on the regressive frame war

George Lakoff comments on the NY Times expose of the latest Republican spin machine to defeat Obamacare. He lauds the NYT for bringing this to light but then criticized them for printing an example of such spin on their front page under the guise of a news story. Lakoff breaks down how the regressives frame their values and how media sources like the NYT don't recognize it and thus unknowingly reinforce those frames. It's nothing new from Lakoff but it too need reinforcement to counteract the regressive worldview, which prior to the Obama era was winning the framing wars. Note since the advent of Obama finally taking advice from Lakoff the progressives have been reversing this trend, at least since the 2010 election. That's why the regressives are doubling down with their spin machine and it is repeatedly and often reinforced in their echo chambers. Highly instructive article on how it works and how to counter it with progressive frames.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Trialogues on the evolutionary mind

From this link. (You can follow our IPS discussion in this thread.) 

by Rupert Sheldrake, Terence McKenna and Ralph Abraham
1998

from Scribd Website
Contents

  • Chapter 1. Grassroots Science The increasing predominance of big science and large institutions. Public alienation from science. The possibility of radical research on a budget of less than $50. How amateurs could help revitalize science. The role of computer networks. The continuing need for institutional science. A complementary relationship between grassroots and institutional research. Holistic medicine and low-cost medical research. Declining science budgets. The popularity of dinosaurs. Psychedelic explorations as an example of a grassroots research. Radical research by students. The revitalizing of scientific education.

Is Jeremy Rifkin 'green' developmentally?

Seems some kennilinguists see him as 'green' in spiral dynamics terms. A few counters to this speciousness follow:

From this post in the Rifkin thread:

Here's a review of the book* by Bruce Gibb in the June 2010 issue of Integral Leadership Review from an SDi perspective. An excerpt:

"One might conclude that Rifkin’s COG is at green because the values he espouses and the demons he denounces are typically those of a person at green. At the same time, however, since his articulation of these values are in the service of global turquoise, one could argue that his COG is at the turquoise level. I conclude the latter....

"His enumeration of the life conditions that support turquoise empathetic emergence will be a challenge to those who only think of turquoise mainly in terms of spiritual consciousness."

Bruce Gibb, PhD, an organizational psychologist, has been in private practice since 1973.... Since 2001 he has been studying and applying SDi concepts of cultural evolution in his practice.

* The Empathic Civilization.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Maher compares Reagan and Kennedy

What US companies think of their overseas workers

So first of all they ship their work overseas where they know they can get cheap labor with little to no safety standards, thereby increasing their profit ratio exponentially. And then when one of the factories they use to make clothing for them (Tazreen factory in Bangladesh) has a fire where more than 1200 workers died and 1800 were injured, they will not spend one penny to help those victims or their families. According to the linked article, while companies in other companies are sending financial aid "neither Walmart, Sears, Children’s Place nor any of the other American companies that were selling goods produced at Tazreen or Rana Plaza have agreed to contribute to the efforts. [...] There’s been a good response from some European brands, but so far none of the U.S. retailers have agreed to pay a single penny for compensation.” Not surprising, since they could give a shit about their American workers either, deliberately keeping them in wage slavery that requires federal assistance just to eat. Think about that next time you get the urge to shop at these sweat shops of literal death and depravity.

Oh no what have I done?

Go Carrie!

What's the alternative to capitalism?

In this post we wonder what's the alternative to capitalism? An emerging paradigm shift as expressed in the following video: future economic success will depend on thermo-dynamic efficiency (3:35); the next generation enacts social entrepreneurship (6:00); literally power to the people (7:30); the transition of the capitalist power companies (9:00); distributed capitalism (10:00); new business models (11:00); how large utilities make money in the transition (12:00); the changes of consciousness (12:45); via larger capacity for empathy (14:00).

Friday, November 22, 2013

Why AQAL (kennilingus) is not academically acceptable

This previous post applies to kennilingus,* from Edwards' article in Integral Review 9:2, "Towards an integral meta-studies: describing and transcending boundaries in the development of big picture science."

 "Wilber and many other metatheoreists rely on traditional scholarship methods of essentially reading a broad, but ideosyncratic, selection of writings and research and then making of it what they will according to their own assumptions and predilections. This traditional approach is not adequate if metathetical research is to be taken seriously as a form of social science research. Metatheorising can and should be done as a rigorous and methodical research activity and that AQAL metatheory needs to participate in this process if it is to be truly grounded in the scientific tradition. Until that time, AQAL metatheory will remain the visionary creation of one thinker and corroborating evidence for its framework of quadrants, levels, lines, types and states will remain anecdotal at best. This is, perhaps, the most forceful reason for the lack of acceptance for metatheorising, and particularly for AQAL metatheory, across mainstream higher education institutions and their constitutive disciplines" (183).

* Of course it applies to me as well, but I ain't trying for academic acceptance. I prefer the guerrilla agent provocateur approach on the online alleys and byways, where memes are culturally inculcated, not in ivory towers.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Why the Senate changed the rules

It speaks for itself.


Senate goes nuclear

Bravo to the US Senate for voting to change the filibuster rules on the President's nominees. Basically the new rule allows an up-or-down vote on Obama's nominations, other than those to the Supreme Court. The old rule or requiring 60 votes just to get an up-or-down vote was ludicrous  and the regressives took full advantage of it to block several nominees from ever even getting a vote on the floor. It's an obstructive tactic and it's now gone. I say alleluia to the end of a useless tool designed only to obstruct the working of  our government over ideology. The people spoke in the last election and chose a majority of Democrats in the Senate so the rules now allow those Senators to vote on nominees. That's all. But that's a lot, since the regressives apparently don't like voting much of any kind.

Elizabeth Warren on progressive and regressive values

In the following video Warren appears on Maddow's show. To sum up the difference in values she nails it: "The Republicans have made theirs clear [...] I got mine, the rest of you are on your own." For progressives: "We really do make these investments together [and] we build a strong future for all of us, not just for some of us" (7:35).

Review of Hyperobjects

This Morton blog post led me to a review of his new book Hyperobjects. I provide a few excerpts consonant with some of my criticism of Morton in the OOO thread (like here and here).

“Morton adopts a Heideggerian notion of world as sphere to which humans have privileged (if not exclusive) access. ‘World’, from this perspective, is a reified object which floats in a metaphysical ‘void’, immune to the extrusions of other objects and to change. This is, from my viewpoint, an extremely limiting notion of ‘world’.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Colbert on Walmart's employee food drive

The caption to this video sarcastically remarks: "As the greedy underclass continues to demand a living wage, Walmart generously hosts a food drive for its own employees."

Elizabeth Warren's petition to protect social security

Many that rely on social security barely scrape by and need food stamps to supplement it as it is. And now mouthpieces of greedy misers want to cut both programs? What the hell is wrong with those people? See the following from Senator Warren and please consider supporting her petition.

"I spent most of my career studying the economic pressures on families – people who worked hard, played by the rules, but still found themselves hanging on by their fingernails to a place in the middle class. A generation ago, middle class families could put away enough money during their working years to make it through their later years with dignity. But since that time, the retirement landscape has shifted dramatically against our families.

A third of working families on the verge of retirement have no savings of any kind. Another third have total savings less than their annual income. Just as people need to rely more than ever on pensions, employers have replaced guaranteed retirement income with 401(k) plans that leave retirees at the mercy of the market. And 44 million workers don't even have access to that sort of plan.

Add all of this up, and we're left with a retirement crisis – a crisis that is as real and as frightening as any policy problem facing the United States today.

Social Security is incredibly effective, it is incredibly popular, and the calls for strengthening it are growing louder every day. Will you join our national pledge to protect Social Security?

10 reasons to appreciate Costco

Walmart is the bad example of how to run a megastore and Costco is the better example. See this article for the details on the following highlights of why Costco is the far better choice.

1. The company pays a living wage.
2. Workers get benefits.
3. The CEO makes a reasonable salary.
4. Costco helped its employees weather the recession.
5. Costco doesn't kill Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Black Friday Walmart protests

Are happening nationwide. See this link for one near you and consider participating to show your support for decent wages and benefits for the actual people who generate wealth.

Walmart asks their employees to feed each other

The latest news is that Walmart is now asking their own employees to feed their other employees, those making such poverty wages they cannot even afford to buy a decent Thanksgiving meal. This has got to stop. See the following from Democracy for America and sign the petition to increase the minimum wage so we can stop having companies like Walmart get government subsidies in the way of food stamps etc. to supplement their slave wages.

It has actually come to this: on Monday, news broke that a Walmart in Ohio has set up a donation box asking employees to donate desperately needed food -- to struggling, hungry Walmart employees. 

That's right. Walmart raked in $15.7 billion in profits last year alone, but apparently they don't feel any need to share that wealth with their millions of workers. Instead, they stick them with poverty wages, then send them off to ask government, food banks, or even each other for help.

If it wasn't clear before, it should be clear now -- Walmart is never going to do right by its employees. It is up to us to make them pay a fair wage.

Senate Democrats just introduced a bill that would increase the minimum wage. President Obama publicly supports it, and it could pass the Senate in a couple of weeks, bringing us that much closer to having fairer wages for all -- but it will only happen if Republicans listen to the American people and get out of the way.

Tell the Senate that we are done letting corporate America off the hook when it comes to wages. Raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour NOW.

Elizabeth Warren on social security

She's at it again, speaking for those in need at a time when even Democrats and the President are conceding to social security cuts. No she says, raise them by giving actual cost of living adjustments instead of chained adjustments, which in effect cut benefits. It is so refreshing to hear this kind of defense of the American people as a whole, especially in this case the elderly, who everyone else (except progressives) want to screw so that the rich can keep their tax-exempt status. Bravo.

Monday, November 18, 2013

in/different dependent origination?


The last post relates to this post about how sometimes it seems Buddhist equanimity and nonattachment translates as indifference. In Faber though the slash indicates the distinction from apathy and indicates how difference itself is divine. This essential relationality of difference could correlate with Buddhist dependent origination and thus form a bridge with Buddhist compassion, which seems to arise due to this same difference in each of us. Except that it seems in Buddhism this difference is interpreted as suffering due to a separate self-sense, whereas with Faber et al. it is cause for rejoicing in divinity?

in/difference

From Keller's chapter in Theopoeitic Folds

“When he collates differance with divinity […] this difference signifies a self-deconstructing otherness. Yet is does not destroy rationality, or even the categorial scheme. […] Faber in this way continues the Whiteheadian struggle to capture in language a difference between God and the world, or one and the other, without reinscribing the settled boundary between them—or erasing their difference. This differential nondualism [...] translates for him into 'God's in/difference.' One must not lose that inaudible slash, else 'in/difference' will be confused with the chilling apatheia. […] Thus 'this negative assertion paradoxically requires that because God is indeed nothing beyond all differences, God thus appears only in differences.' […] Faber's divine in/difference morphs into difference itself, the difference so radical as to be comprised by the 'essential relationality' of all differences” (190).

Theopoetic Folds

This new book may be of interest, Theopoetic Folds: Philosophizing Multifariousness. It includes chapters by Caputo, Keller, Faber and Thatamanil. Here is a free Google book preview. Here's a chapter from the book, "Towards the Heraldic." An excerpt of the abstract:

"The first task of this chapter is to detail the qualities of a theological position identified as 'monorthodox,' articulating how it forms a worldview that is impositionally singular, rigid, and totalizing. This position is then critiqued and an alternative approach is developed as a corrective for it by means of an engagement with John Howard Yoder’s work in missiology and articulations of theopoetics and religious imagination as voiced by Stanley Hopper and Amos Wilder. This corrective position is termed a 'Heraldic' theology, and is marked by gestures of invitation, space-making, and manifoldedness, without an abandonment of truth claims. Arguments from this position recognize that the expression of a transformational experience of the Divine will be necessarily multiplicitous and communally developed: they challenge proponents of a monorthodox worldview that demand acquiescence, without, in turn, imposing a perspective others must maintain."

From a review by Becoming Integral:

Buddhist skillful means

It seems that the Buddhist notion of not 'reacting,' of observing initial emotional responses like anger or fear or hate is to let the charge pass so that one can response with equanimity and 'skillful means.' But this has been rationalized into accepting a host of degenerate and unjust behavior, thereby not doing anything constructive about it. Yes, traditionally Buddhism has compassion for those who have been treated unjustly, but also those who have committed unjust actions. For that latter the calming of the so-called negative emotions to elicit love and compassion seems to have led to not taking appropriate actions with criminal perpetrators. It's almost a New Age sort of belief that if we treat such criminals with love and compassion this will transform them.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Merry Go Round

Another one by Kacey I really like.


Blowin' Smoke

This is a good song for west coast swing.




Heart of Dixie

Danielle Bradbery won The Voice this year and this is her breakout hit single.


Same old kennilingus dogma

Over at IPS forum we've been discussing Evolving Dharma by Jay Michaelson. e chimed in with his usual kennilingus dogma on how Michaelson is 'green' because "he criticized Asian dharmic culture as being too stratified. He criticized capitalism and folks who marginalized minorities." Hologram holomovement replied:

"I certainly have my limits with overly politically correct greens, but their ability to be critical of capitalism for destroying human communities and the environment and being more tolerant of alternatives that are more egalitarian and non-judgemental is something that is desperately needed at this point in history.  so instead of labeling greens as mean-green nihilists as wilber and the integral orthodoxy do, we should encourage and promote the best of each level while maintaining a critical eye toward the pathological at each level.  wilber is clearly in a performative contradiction when he proclaims the transcend and include imperative on the one hand and then dismisses the greens by excluding the entire archetypal lexicon of social justice from his system in favor of entrepreneurial commercialized spirituality, the postmodern form of religion in late capitalism."

To which I replied:

Senator Warren reams regressive Senate filibusters

Time and again the Senate regressives have use the filibuster to implement their business-first agenda. One particular and glaring example is by preventing an up-or-down vote of Obama's DC circuit court judge nominees. Warren articulately lays out why they are doing this, despite the fact that these nominees would be confirmed by majority vote: Regressives want this circuit in their pocket to overturn regulations on the banks and Wall Street. It is that plain and  blatant, and it is despicable.

Petition to raise the minimum wage

The following is from Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley:

For the first time since World War II, wages have been declining while the gulf between the middle class and the ultra-wealthy continues to grow. Moms and dads are working harder, but falling farther behind.
As we move out of this recession and into better times, we must make the important choices necessary to expand opportunity and grow the ranks of a diverse middle class. Right now the U.S. Senate is considering legislation that would raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10.


The work of justice is rooted in the calling of conscience to action. And that includes raising the minimum wage to give dignity to every family that works hard and plays by the rules.
We're beginning work to raise wage in Maryland. Let's urge Congress to take action as well.


Sign the DGA/O'Say Can You See PAC joint petition to raise the federal minimum wage today.

Sincerely,
Martin O'Malley

Virginia has voter fraud all right

But it's on the side of those who claim there is voter fraud so they must change the voting laws to prevent it. As usual the regressives project what they do onto others, since they are corrupt at worst and just plain unaware of their projections at best. There have been reports that their new voter ID law prevented several thousand Democrat voters from participating in their Constitutional right in the recent election. Given that the polls indicated the Democrat for Governor was up about 10 points before the race, and that he won by only 3 points, seems indicative. But the Attorney General race is yet to be called, given the vote count was very close. So now, in the process of recounting the votes, the sitting Republican Attorney General, who lost the Governor's race, has decided to change the recount rules during a recount! This is unprecedented and corrupt, since the remaining provisional ballots will likely lean heavily in favor of the Democrat. See Rachel Maddow's report below. That this is not making national news is astounding.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Top 10 worst paying companies

See this article for the details:

1. Walmart
2. McDonald’s
3. Target
4. Kroger
5. Yum! Brands
6. Sears Holdings
7. Darden Restaurants
8. Macy’s
9. TJX Companies
10. Starbucks        

Bill Maher's new rule on the Supreme Court


"When you promise the American people something won't happen when you change the law, and then you change the law and it does happen, you have to eat a little shit for it. Oh I'm not talking about him [Obama and healthcare], I'm talking about him [Chief Justice of the Supreme Court]."

Maher then goes on to show how the Supreme Court promised that nothing bad would happen from either Citizen's United or gutting the Voting Rights Act, when in fact disaster struck immediately after.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Sanders' progressive budget petition

Continuing from the next to last post, see this link for more info on the plan with a petition at the end.

Which stores have family values on Thanksgiving and which don't?

See this article for the details. A sample graph (click to enlarge).


Sanders' progressive budget plan

See this article on Senator Bernie Sanders' progressive budget plan. A summary from the article:

  1. Stop corporations from using offshore tax havens to avoid U.S. taxes.
    Each and every year, the United States loses an estimated $100 billion in tax revenues due to offshore tax abuses by the wealthy and large corporations. The situation has become so absurd that one five-story office building in the Cayman Islands is now the “home” to more than 18,000 corporations.
  2. Establish a Robin Hood tax on Wall Street speculators.
    Both the economic crisis and the deficit crisis are a direct result of the greed and recklessness on Wall Street. Creating a speculation fee of just 0.03 percent on the sale of credit default swaps, derivatives, options, futures, and large amounts of stock would reduce gambling on Wall Street, encourage the financial sector to invest in the job-creating productive economy, and reduce the deficit by $352 billion over 10 years, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation.

What is postmetaphysical?

This is the heading of an IPS thread from 2010. I've recently added a few posts to pick up the topic again, starting here and copied below. Check out the thread periodically for more updates.

I'm returning to this thread since it is a good question, one that defines a part of name of the forum. I'm quoting from Bryant's Democracy of Objects below, as it is clarifying in this regard:

"Bhaskar's defense of ontological realism begins with a very simple transcendental question: '...what must the world be like for science to be possible?' In asking what the world must be like for science to be possible, Bhaskar is asking a transcendental question and deploying a transcendental mode of argumentation. The question here is not, 'how do we have access to the world?' or, 'how do we know the world?' but rather what must be presupposed about the nature of the world in order for our scientific practices to be possible. As Deleuze reminds us, the transcendental is not to be confused with the transcendent. The transcendent refers to that which is above or beyond something else. For example, God, if it exists, is perhaps transcendent to the world. The transcendental, by contrast, refers to that which is a condition for some other practice, form of cognition, or activity.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Deleuze on subject formation

In light of recent posts on folding this is interesting, from the SEP entry on Deleuze:

"In his mature work, Deleuze argues for an 'impersonal and pre-individual' transcendental field in which the subject [...] is itself the result or product of differential passive syntheses. [...] The passive syntheses responsible for subject formation must be qualified as 'differential,' for three reasons. Each passive synthesis is serial, never singular (there is never one synthesis by itself, but always a series of 'contractions,' that is to say, experience is ongoing and so our habits require constant 'updating'); each series is related to other series in the same body (at the most basic level, for instance, the series of taste contractions is related to those of smell, sight, touch, hearing and proprioception); and each body is related to other bodies, which are themselves similarly differential (the series of syntheses of bodies can resonate or clash). Together the passive syntheses at all these levels form a differential field within which subject formation takes place as an integration or resolution of that field; in other words, subjects are roughly speaking the patterns of these multiple and serial syntheses which fold in on themselves producing a site of self-awareness."

Song of the day

The last post reminded me of this classic:


Know when to fold them

I introduced this Ph.D. dissertation in the complexity and pomo thread. An excerpt:

"The term 'general economy' is perhaps not the best one to use. An 'open,' 'folded' or 'excessive' economy may be [better] terms. [...] In this regard, the general economy acknowledges the 'foldedness' of the system in its relationship to the outside" (74-5).

The footnote to the above on 75-6 sounds a lot like Bryant, where a system's boundaries are porous, both open and closed. This makes a clear distinction between in/out impossible and hence the fold. Nonetheless, the boundary exists and thereby differentiates between internal and external relations, between system and environment. It's like Morton's Rift earlier in the thread.

Judge Rakoff on lack of financial criminal fraud prosecution

Jed Rakoff is a US District Judge and wonders why no banking officials have been criminally prosecuted for the financial crises. It's a hard argument to counter. See this link for his statement.

Peers

The following is from their website.

Peers is a grassroots organization that supports the sharing economy movement. We believe that by sharing what we already have — like cars, homes, skills and time — everyone benefits in the process. The sharing economy is helping us pay the bills, work flexible hours, meet new people or spend more time with our families. We think it’s how the 21st century economy should work, so we’re coming together to grow, mainstream and protect the sharing economy.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Do progressives/regressives respond the same to cognitive dissonance?

No they do not. Chis Mooney discusses a study that answers the question definitively. Which of course is supported by other studies like this one. So cognitive dissonance is not the same for both political leanings, as the very apt terms progressive and regressive indicate. In this article Mooney shows that the more educated the regressive, the stronger the avoidance of cognitive dissonance! The opposite is the case for progressives.

Word of the day

Today's dictionary.com's word of the day is:

diathesis \dahy-ATH-uh-sis\, noun:

Pathology. a constitutional predisposition or tendency, as to a particular disease or affection.

Example: Kennilinguists have an unconscious diathesis for dualistic metaphysics under the pretense of nondualism.

The di indicates the dualism and the a negates their thesis.

So maybe diarrhethesis?

Critical thinking? No thank you.

The video below discussed critical thinking. Recall that the State of Texas actually came out against this heinous crime against God and Country, for it might lead to questioning unquestioning acceptance of Authority. Never mind that critical thinking leads to self reliance, a supposed conservative value constantly harped on. Seeing that contradiction itself requires critical thinking, and God forbid! Literally.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Space, time and spirit

One can see some of Sean Kelly's works here at Academia.edu. Following is an excerpt from the abstract of "Space, time and spirit" invoking image schema! Right up my alley and I never knew.

"The author goes on to trace the role of spatial and temporal image schemata in the formulation of models of the psyche and its relation to spirit or the transpersonal."

Part I discusses James and Jung, part II Wilber and Grof. From part II:

Can mindfulness change a corporation?

So asks David Loy here. Therein he writes a letter to a board member of Goldman Sachs, one who promotes meditation for businesses. Following are comments from Loy's preface. See the link for the lengthy letter he wrote, with no response.

"The basic problem, it seems to me, is that one can be well-intentioned and yet play an objectionable role in an economic system that has become unjust and unsustainable – in fact, a challenge to the well-being of all life on this planet. Mr. George is an important figure in the 'mindfulness in business' movement. [...] His position therefore highlights some concerns I have about the role of the 'mindfulness movement,' and also has broad implications for socially engaged Buddhism generally. I’ve written elsewhere about the fact that today the traditional 'three poisons' of greed, aggression, and delusion have become institutionalized as our economic system, militarism, and the media. If so, what does that imply for our engaged Buddhist practice?"

Rating agencies accused of fraud

This is not news. But a new lawsuit has been filed by the liquidators of two Bear Sterns hedge funds. See Taibbi's earlier report on the rampant fraud in the rating agencies. Some perpetrator email quotes from the latter:

"'Lord help our fucking scam . . . this has to be the stupidest place I have worked at,' writes one Standard & Poor's executive. 'As you know, I had difficulties explaining HOW we got to those numbers since there is no science behind it,' confesses a high-ranking S&P analyst. 'If we are just going to make it up in order to rate deals, then quants [quantitative analysts] are of precious little value,' complains another senior S&P man. 'Let's hope we are all wealthy and retired by the time this house of card[s] falters,' ruminates one more."

Make corporations disclose political spending

From the Daily Kos:

Our Message to Securities & Exchange Commission
Dear S.E.C. Chairwoman Mary Jo White:

I am deeply concerned about the influence of corporate money on our electoral process. In particular, I am appalled that, because of the Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United v. FEC, publicly traded corporations can spend investor's money on political activity in secret. I am writing to urge the Securities and Exchange Commission to issue a rule requiring publicly traded corporations to publicly disclose all their political spending. Both shareholders and the public must be fully informed as to how much the corporation spends on politics and which candidates are being promoted or attacked. Disclosures should be posted promptly on the SEC's web site.

Thank you for considering my comment.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Nepali rock

Courtesy of Balder here.


The immanent beyond


“Wilber’s paradigm is insufficiently spiced, as it were, with the essential ingredients of complex thinking. His understanding of holarchical integration (the higher includes the lower) gives expression to only half of the holographic principle (which implies that the lower also includes the higher). […] Vision-logic, as Wilber conceives of it, is more or less identical with the Hegelian dialectic and its process of 'sublation' (aufheben). Morin [...] faults Hegel for considering contradiction a transitory 'moment' of the Aufhebung, a moment which is ultimately annulled in the 'synthesis' of the third term (see Morin 1982, 289). Wilber’s vision-logic is subject to the same strictures, particularly insofar as it subserves the idealist metaphysics associated with the root metaphor of the Great Chain of Being.”

And this one is of relevance to the general theme of the IPS forum:

The crucible of dance

Balder linked to a David Michael Kleinberg-Levin video in this post with some commentary following. His comments inspired me to the following response.

What this brought up for me is partner dance. Talk about the flesh as crucible for creative transformation via deep listening/feeling with another. And through this partnership in art communicating that to an audience, all without words, just bodies moving to the music, connecting us on a deep felt level from our ancient heritage. That is what the word disclosure meant for me when reading the above. How we disclose our very personal selves through this art, lay bare our deepest feelings, hopes and fears through our movement, and how this disclosure or unveiling resonates to the audience and they feel it too. Philosophy in the flesh indeed.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Maher's new rule on regressive 'charity'

It starts at 50:55 in last night's show. Some excerpts:

"It's ok if you don't want to feed the hungry, or heal the sick, or house the homeless. Just don't say you're doing it for their own good."

He notes the rationalizations used for this, like creating a culture of dependency, are cruel and inhumane. It's a selfish philosophy that has little to do with the actual teaching of Jesus. This is particularly poignant given the recent cut in food stamps with some Congressional bozo quoting the bible that if you don't work you don't eat. Maher concludes with a series of one-liners highlighting their hypocrisy:

Sean Kelly on Morin

In keeping with recent posts on transformality also see this article by Sean Kelly, "From the complexity of consciousness to the consciousness of complexity." The abstract:

"This paper explores the fruitfulness of Edgar Morin’s articulation of the principles of complex thinking for contemporary reflection on the nature of consciousness. Following some preliminary remarks on Teilhard de Chardin’s understanding of the connection between complexity and consciousness, I turn to Ken Wilber’s 'all quadrant, all level' assessment of the field of consciousness studies. While acknowledgingthe value of Wilber’s assessment, I argue that his hermeneutic principles of 'holarchical integration' (which he adapts from Koestler’s notion of the 'holon') and 'simultracking' fall short in accounting for the complex character of the relation between 'levels’ (e.g., brain and mind) and 'quadrants' (e.g., individual and culture). Such an accounting is possible, however, when informed by the notions of recursivity,dialogic, and holography--Morin’s three principles of complex thinking. I conclude with the suggestion that hese principles can be taken as expressions, in the cognitive mode, of the next main phase in the evolution of consciousness following the full deployment of formal operational thinking (Piaget), a phase variously described as post-formal, 'integral consciousness' (Gebser), and 'vision logic' (Wilber)."

Friday, November 8, 2013

Morin's transformal complexity

I likely posted some if not all of the following before, but Balder reminded me of this Morin article, which fits with recent posts on the transformal. So I'll copy-and-paste on it from this IPS post and following:

Morin: "From the concept of system to the paradigm of complexity." Sound familiar?

"As the concept of system now stands, though it is embedded in a general theory ('general system theory'), it does not constitute a paradigmatic principle; rather, the principle invoked is that of holism, which seeks explanation at the level of the totality, in opposition to the reductionist paradigm that seeks explanation at the level of elementary components. As I shall demonstrate, however, this 'holism' arises from the same simplifying principle as the reductionism to which it is opposed (that is, a simplification of, and reduction to, the whole)" (1).

Integral sports

Neelesh started an IPS thread on an article on integral sports from the ITC '13 conference. Neelish's overall take was that perhaps competition is from a lower level of development and its time has passed, causing more harm than good. I disagree and my response from the thread follows:

A few personal comments, since I've  yet to read this article. Competition per se is not at any level, nor did it originate from any level. It's one of those fields upon which we can project whatever values we have. I've been involved in sports my entire life, from basketball, football, baseball, martial arts and now dance sport (and art). From the earliest age I was inculcated with 'sportmanship,' that one treat their opponents with respect and honor, for competing with them instills a drive to exceed one's own limitations and pushes one to the next level of expertise. We are grateful to our opponents for this opportunity and after each game it is traditional to shake hands to express this gratitude, or pat them on the butt, etc. "Good game" and so on.

Capitalist hyperobjects

Tim Morton's new book Hyperobjects is out. I am more than a bit disappointed that he's chosen to not publish open source again. Seems his popularity has induced a regression back to the capitalist meme. I suppose it's not that surprising since as I've criticized his notion of hyperobjects earlier in the thread* as consistent with the sort of dualistic metaphysics inherent to American capitalism and formal operations, all that talk of dialetheia notwithstanding.**

* Like here as but one example.
**  Also see this post where I accuse Priest with all his fancy contradictory math-logic of the same thing.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Petition the House to end gay discrimination

From the Daily Kos:

Our Message to Members of the U.S. House of Representatives

Members of Congress:

Stand with common sense, not anti-gay extremists -- support the passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). It’s way past time for Congress to enact basic workplace protections that shield LGBT Americans from employment discrimination. It’s illegal to fire someone because of race, religion, national origin, disability, age or gender but currently, employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity is not prohibited by federal law. Although much progress has been made, LGBT Americans remain widely discriminated against. 29 states have no laws prohibiting employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, and 33 states have none that do so based on gender identity. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is a very basic, commonsense measure that would protect LGBT Americans against the very real discrimination many of them face in the workplace -- one that the public overwhelmingly supports. Please support ENDA -- H.R. 1755/S. 815 -- and do everything in your power to move it to final passage this year.

Albuquerque IPS meet-up

I started a local meet-up to discuss the Integral Postmetaphysical Spirituality forum in real time. Please send any interested locals to the meet-up site, thanks.

Weiss chimes in

More support for recent posts on the fold added to this IPS thread. Even though I mentioned Weiss in this post I didn't provide the material upon which I based my analysis. Hence it follows from this post. My only reservation is that the structures are "a latent possibility or inherent disposition within Origin," a decidedly metaphysical proposition of the kind not conducive to postmetaphysics. I.e. a transcendent v. transcendental metaphysics.

The following excerpt is about Eric Weiss, “Jean Gebser: the mutation of structures of consciousness” presented at Esalen’s CTR first annual invitational conference on evolutionary metaphysics, December 2006.

"To read Gebser in a Hegelian manner, as Ken Wilber does with his popular slogan 'transcend and include,' is, in a sense, to grasp the letter of Gebser while missing the living spirit of his work. Gebser himself discussed the limits of the famous Hegelian dialectic. He said that because mental thought tends to be dichotomizing, it necessitates the generation of a third term to move toward reconciliation. But even this third term (the Hegelian 'synthesis') is in turn split again as the overall process marches onward. Gebser saw this dialectic as an unsatisfying expression of the deficient phase of the mental structure of consciousness (which will be described below). Overall, Weiss wanted to be clear that Gebser's thought should not be mistaken for a new version of Hegelianism, nor should it be reduced to it, and in his own life Gebser tried to distance himself from Hegel's work.

Goddard and Levin on the Fold

Further information on recent posts regarding the transformal fold. From Goddard, chapter 16:

"Evolution on the Outward arc is an assertive and agentic process of building, building an ever more complex and stratified self/world structure through the first six stage-structures. But beyond this, transcendence does not consist in building further and ever greater superstructures on the basis of the ordinary self/world structure; it is not an accessing of new and hierarchically ordered mental-social structures beyond those of the Outward arc. Rather, as we move into more subtle and rarefied levels of consciousness, we are called to deconstruct and transform, within the higher space of transpersonal awareness, the self/world structures of the Outward arc. Transcendence is an accessing of higher ontological domains through a radical re-organization, a deep transformation involving a total deconstruction of self and its experienced world(s) thereby revealing higher and more subtle levels of consciousness.