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Notes

[Notebook: TURKEY DB 55]

[Sunday 1 June 2003 - Saturday 31 June 2003]

[page 316]

Sunday 1 June 2003

TAOIST vs CONFUCIAN
MYSTIC vs PRAGMATIST

What we need in society is recognized superposition of all possible states, plus a mechanism for recognizing and reducing

[page 317]

'undesirable' states. Such states are defined by the peer index. An undesirable state at a given peer level is one that breaks links.

It may be that the distinction between mysticism and pragmatism went further in the East and this perhaps inhibited the growth of the scientific method of the assessment of planning and action. The Western God, existing as pure act and creating with infinite wisdom (not always apparent to us) serves as a paradigm for well regulated human action as a means of survival. This became concrete in monasteries that served as prototypes of organization responsive to to the will of God, the cycle of the seasons and the needs of human life. In the east the Taoist and Buddhist monasteries had this same role, though perhaps less involved in government than the Christian establishment (monasteries plus secular clergy). On the other hand in China and elsewhere, the theory of right organization in family and government developed as Confucianism with a more political mystical foundation. While the Taoist heaven seems to be the vision of ineffable wholeness, as in Christianity, the Confucian heaven is the perfectly well organized state upon [which] earthly administrators are encouraged to model their activity. This approach served among other things to justify the hierarchical structure of society, rendering the poorer classes invisible to the upper classes. In a Christian society, streets lines with beggars are indications of failure rather than of eternal law. For this reason, Christianity is called 'meliorist', and this seems to be a desirable trait. At my social level (artisan) I feel that I have a better life in my present time and place than I can imagine anywhere else in past human spacetime. Of course, the wealthy and powerful (when they exist) may have a better life than the masses, but one can see that historical and natural constraints act on rich and poor alike at a given peer level, ie a given level of technical complexity.

[page 318]

Needham Vol II. Needham

Russell: 'I think that if we are to feel at home ion the world . . . we shall have to admit Asia to equality in our thoughts, not only politically, but culturally. What changes this will bring about I do not know, but I am convinced that they will be profound and of greatest importance.' History of Western Philosophy (1946) page 420. Russell

Needham page 3: '[Confucius] spent his life in developing a philosophy of just and harmonious social relationships' [accepting feudalism?]

page 4: [C] 'uncrowned Emperor of China'.'

page 5: '[Confucianism] was a doctrine of this-worldly social mindedness.'

'Confucius called himself a transmitter, not an originator.' thereby rejecting both responsibility and credit for his work.

page 7: 'Confucius appears to have believed that the true aim of government ought to be the welfare and happiness of the whole people, and that this would be brought about not by rigid adherences to enacted arbitrary law. but by subtle administration of customs generally accepted as good and having the sanction of natural law.'

page 12: 'Confucius . . . believed that heaven knew and approved of his activities.

page 16: Shu Ching 'Heaven sees according as the People see, Heaven hears according as the people hear.

page 19: Evolution is symmetric/invariant with respect to complexity. Peer: particle and environment have equivalent complexity.

'Nature of man is evil' Individuals are ipso facto inconsistent, insofar as we want the same (limited) pool of resources.

[page 319]

A network is possible when individuals can be considered in different pairings ie correspondences.

Needham page 23: West: Homo sapiens
East: Homo justus.

FREEDOM = CHOICE = flat potential surface with > 1 point, ie 'level playing field'.

Making linguistic (expressive) rather than foundational (proof theoretic) use of mathematics as a physicist or artist might use it or any other means of expression.

Skolem-Lowenheim: We can model the Cantor Universe with the natural numbers - the theorem itself is an example of that. We can also place natural numbers into correspondence (in a consistent way) with every possible measurement (Turing-Church hypothesis?) We are here trying to expand abstract ideas in terms of concrete operational (actual) reality.

If there are ℵ1 expressions of length ℵ0 there must be ℵ0 [ℵ1?] different Gödel numbers, ie the Gödel numbers form a continuum with respect to the naturals.

We can test transfinite dynamics by applying it to human affairs. Let us assume for the moment that a religion is the outermost control loop of a human community. How do we interpret this statement?

How hard do you want to work to live? This is a question with many dimensions, from productivity to pleasure, crossing, in its path justice, environment, and every other fact of existence. How do we make sense of all this? Concentrate on the physical constraints and let freedom take care of itself.

[page 320]

We need two things to design a system. First a need (dream) to be provided by the system, and second, the means (technology) to meet that need.

I've seen the current regime and I am openly subversive.

A significant fraction of my working time is caused by lost motion, that is actions (like going for something and not remembering what I came for when I get there) which could have been avoided with adequate attention. We can explore this by thinking of 'adequate attention' as good craftsmanship or tradesmanship or professional, where by professional we mean achieving worthwhile ends in an ethically sound manner. In practical terms it means getting things practically perfect, that is within the bounds of the state of the relevant arts, Good art requires good vision and understanding, the sort of thing supplied by science. Science learns from art, and art from science in a loop which enables the system to survive.

The transfinite network is a layered communication and control system which, like any organism, tries to ensure its own survival, growth and reproduction.

Theory defines something that we can measure and givers a method for making the measurement. So we seek to measure peace. Once a parameter is measurable, the theory of the parameter may also show how it is related to other parameters which may be changed to change the parameter of interest, ie it will reveal means of increasing the peace parameter.

Monday 2 June 2003
Tuesday 3 June 2003
Wednesday 4 June 2003
Thursday 5 June 2003
Friday 6 June 2003
Saturday 7 June 2003

Related sites

Concordat Watch

Revealing Vatican attempts to propagate its religion by international treaty


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Further reading

Books

Click on the "Amazon" link below each book entry to see details of a book (and possibly buy it!)

Chaitin, Gregory J, Algorithmic Information Theory, Cambridge UP 1987 Foreword: 'The crucial fact here is that there exist symbolic objects (i.e., texts) which are "algorithmically inexplicable", i.e., cannot be specified by any text shorter than themselves. Since texts of this sort have the properties associated with random sequences of classical probability theory, the theory of describability developed . . . in the present work yields a very interesting new view of the notion of randomness.' J T Schwartz 
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Hui, Zhou Wei, Shanghai Baby, Washington Square Press 2001 Editorial review From Library Journal 'Wei Hui's debut novel, which was banned in China, delves deep into the dark and glittering heart of Shanghai, as experienced by a hopeful and hedonistic young novelist, Nikki (better known to her friends as Coco, after the also irrepressibly glamorous Coco Chanel). Although deeply in love with her impotent artist boyfriend Tian Tian, the frustrated Coco takes a successful German businessman as a lover. What follows is the painful and explicit sexual and vocational journey of a young woman in search of her true self, attempting to gain control of her own trajectory as nefarious forces work on her from both within and without. Indeed, it seems almost as if the city's over-the-top materialism drives its inhabitants toward adultery and dark passions, forcing them at once into the dual role of victim/accomplice. It is just such paradoxes that make Wei Hui's novel so complex and thought-provoking: she deftly explores the intimate relationships that belie the seeming oppositions of East and West, love and desire, the natural and the artificial, hedonism and spiritualism. Haunting and resonant, Shanghai Baby proves the existence of the sacred in the profane. For all Chinese literature and contemporary fiction collections.' Tania Barnes, Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc 
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Needham, Joseph, Science and Civilisation in China (Volume 2) History of Scientific Thought, Cambridge UP 1956  
Amazon
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Russell, Bertrand, A History of Western Philosophy, and its Connection with Political and Social Circumstances from Earliest Times to the Present Day, Simon & Schuster 1945 Amazon ditorial reviews: Ray Monk: 'A History of Western Philosophy remains unchallenged as the perfect introduction to its subject. Russell . . . writes with the kind of verve, freshness and personal engagement that lesser spirits would never have permitted themselves. This boldness, together with the astonishing breadth of his general historical knowledge, allows him to put philosophers into their social and cultural context . . . The result is exactly the kind of philosophy that most people would like to read, but which only Russell could possibly have written.'  
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Yoffee, Norman, and Andrew Sherratt, Archaeological Theory: Who Sets the Agenda (New Directions in Archaeology), Cambridge University Press 1993 Amazon Product Description 'Since the l960s, archaeology has become increasingly taught in universities and practiced on a growing scale by national and local heritage agencies throughout the world. This book addresses the criticisms of postmodernist writers about archaeology's social role, and asserts its intellectual importance and achievements in discovering real facts about the human past. It looks forward to the creation of a truly global consciousness of the origins of human societies and civilizations.' 
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Zuckerkandl, Victor, and William R Track (Translator), Sound and Symbol Volume1: Music and the External World, Princeton University Press 1969 back
Papers
Chaitin, Gregory J, "Randomness and Mathematical Proof", Scientific American, 232, 5, May 1975, page 47-52. 'Although randomness can be precisely defined and can even be measured, a given number cannot be proved random. This enigma establishes a limit in what is possible in mathematics'. back
Links
John Burnet Parmenides of Elea: The Poem 'The Poem Parmenides was the first philosopher to expound his system in metrical language. His predecessors, Anaximander, Anaximenes, and Herakleitos, wrote in prose, and the only Greeks who ever wrote philosophy in verse at all were just these two, Parmenides and Empedokles; for Xenophanes was not a philosopher any more than Epicharmos. Empedokles copied Parmenides; and he, no doubt, was influenced by the Orphics. But the thing was an innovation, and one that did not maintain itself. The fragments of Parmenides are preserved for the most part by Simplicius, who fortunately inserted them in his commentary, because in his time the original work was already rare. I follow the arrangement of Diels.' back
Parmenides - Wikipedia Parmenides - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 'Parmenides of Elea (early 5th century BC) was an ancient Greek philosopher born in Elea, a Greek city on the southern coast of Italy. He was the founder of the Eleatic school of philosophy, his only known work is a poem which has survived only in fragmentary form. In it, Parmenides describes two views of reality. In the Way of Truth, he explained how reality is one; change is impossible; and existence is timeless, uniform, and unchanging. In the Way of Opinion, he explained the world of appearances, which is false and deceitful. These thoughts strongly influenced Plato, and through him, the whole of western philosophy.' back

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