The Problem of Recollection

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A few days ago, I posted a blog entry about time, The Problem of Prediction.  Our perceptions are formed in a multi-part domain of past, present, and future.  Further, the past is divided into the part we experienced directly versus the part that was relayed to us from others.  The latter part is composed of genetics or memetics.  Genetic information is passed to each of us from all of our natural ancestors in converging but linear fashion (multiple but separate lines).  Memetic information is all other inputs, both sensory and persuasive.  You do not have to recall genetic code because you have it at conception.

But all influences on you, after conception, are memetic.  Whether or not you remember their fact situations or not.  The first problem with recollection is that no human being can know everything.  It is impossible since there are no organized repositories for such knowledge.  The natural sources for knowledge of the past are sensations, perceptions, cognitions, and recountings — and these are nowhere fully known.  Sensations are poor channels because no two people are likely to have the same sets of 5 senses, in the same degree.  Perceptions are faulty because where, when, and how do perceptions arise?  Cognitions are formulations from compositions of facts, such as books, and none of us is exposed to exactly the same mixtures of fact and fantasy, time and space.  Recountings, from others, are variable and secondhand (and beyond) versions of the above inputs.

And the efficiency with which each individual learns and remembers the lessons of the past, even though of life-and-death consequence, is oxymoronic.

— Kilgore Forelle

 

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Martin Luther King, Jr.

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I am late for MLK’s birthday’s anniversary.  It happened a week ago according to a record source I have seen.  MLK’s real birthdate occurred on January 15, 1929.  Every year we are reminded of the contributions that Martin Luther King, Jr. made to our society.

What I fear now is that we are doing it wrong.  We gather in public places to observe this holiday, but we treat it as though this man was principally a patriot and his campaign was to elevate a noble characteristic among the citizens of the USA.  His real hope was to correct a grievous set of errors made by the original founders and their hand-picked constituents.  Let us never forget, that MLK wanted society reorganized to fit the formulation that the USA had been officially lying about for 200 years or more.

I suppose that the thing that galls me most is that politicians hi-jacked civil rights, and made the story about politicians, not the Golden Rule.

A few years ago someone said to me that Martin Luther King, Jr. was not a libertarian because he chose the state as his main tool for setting things right.  Malarkey!  There was likely no way that MLK could have achieved what he did while keeping the politicos at bay.

Reverend King never once asked for the state’s intervention.  Ironically until the old white boys club saw the handwriting on the wall, “political glory,” they stonewalled MLK and his constituents at every turn.  Then the worms turned.  The politicos were responsible for the bandwagon, and the self-congratulations.  Martin Luther King, Jr. was responsible for the conscience of America.

— Kilgore Forelle

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The Problem of Prediction

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Time is an abstraction.  It is not a thing.  More of us should understand this idea, and its implications.  I would recommend, highly, the book, Time: The Familiar Stranger, by J. T. Fraser for the beginning of understanding this idea.  (I first read this book about 10 years ago, but I continue to realize ideas from it frequently.)

There are events, each being an instance of the things that happen in time.  An event is both an abstraction AND a thing AND a set of things (people, places, connections, points in time, and other things) which help us to answer the questions who, what, when, where, why, and how.

The important individualist, voluntaryist idea is to take your proper place in the space-time continuum.  A few days ago, I was listening to the wonderful interview of Donald Boudreaux by Russ Roberts, presented as part of the Voluntaryist Voices podcasts on EVC, among other places. These two definitely have handles on locating things (including themselves) economically in the space-time continuum.

Another way to describe this type of orienteering is to say that one must know where and when you are in order to reference where and when anything else is.  If we are connected to reality, we have reasonable contact with facts, nature, and laws.  But the use of “reality” in this context refers to reality, not so much to news reports, books, movies, tv shows, and internet fare — the most confusing feedback we get is referred feedback.  Think about it … if you are a deer in the sights of a hunter’s rifle, you are experiencing reality, probably.  If you are watching Bambi, not so much reality.  First of all, one must shed the idea that “reality tv” bears any relationship to reality — other than it has some concrete, although perhaps misleading, parts.

Where is your portal to reality?  It is in the here and now, directly as accessed through your five senses?  The present is the only time and space you can sense as it unfolds.  You can only recollect the past, remembering with a fast fade the factual feelings you had just a few moments ago, and you can reconstruct that which you have been told — some correct, some accidently wrong, and a great deal absolutely wrong (often with malice of forethought).  Then it is with sensations of the present, and guidance from the past, that you can make fallible predictions about the near future, the very near future.  For instance, in traffic you know that a green light proposes a relatively safe passage … but not perfectly.  As soon as you try to go further into the future, your chance of being incorrect ascends exponentially.  A minute, an hour, a day are rapidly widening gaps.  In the end, all seers are totally wrong in substantial ways.

— Kilgore Forelle

 

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How Many Angels?

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And you learn something new every day.  Recently, I learned a new point of view regarding global warming.  The source of my learning was a WWW article, Libertarian Principles & Climate Change, from the Niskanen Center, written by Jerry Taylor.  I’m not sure that I am less confused, or just confused in a new direction.

When I was younger, the prevailing wisdom was that “everyone talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.”  Now, it seems that everybody talks even more, and demands to know what can be done.

Medieval philosophers wondered how many Angels could dance on the head of a pin. I believe that the pursuit of climate prediction, principled or otherwise, is such a futile practice.  Natural law will prevail.  The weather, the temperature, and the climate have been managing themselves for eons.

Of course, humans and other species have pushed the needle a few centimetres off of true.  But that certainly does not mean that we humans will have either the will or the way to fix anything.

I am not a denier.  Natural law will run its natural path.  That is the only libertarian principle involved.  We will not be able to ratiocinate the outcome, else we would have done so long ago.  The same applies to war.

— Kilgore Forelle

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Voltairine de Cleyre III: Inquisitors

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I doubt if any other hope has the power to keep the fire alight as I saw it in 1897, when we met the Spanish exiles released from the fortress of Montjuich. Comparatively few persons in America ever knew the story of that torture, though we distributed fifty thousand copies of the letters smuggled from the prison, and some few newspapers did reprint them. They were the letters of men incarcerated on mere suspicion for the crime of an unknown person, and subjected to tortures the bare mention of which makes one shudder. Their nails were torn out, their heads compressed in metal caps, the most sensitive portions of the body twisted between guitar strings, their flesh burned with red hot irons; they had been fed on salt codfish after days of starvation, and refused water; Juan Ollé, a boy nineteen years old, had gone mad; another had confessed to something he had never done and knew nothing of. This is no horrible imagination. I who write have myself shaken some of those scarred hands. Indiscriminately, four hundred people of all sorts of beliefs—Republicans, trade unionists, Socialists, Free Masons, as well as Anarchists—had been cast into dungeons and tortured in the infamous “zero.” Is it a wonder that most of them came out Anarchists? There were twenty-eight in the first lot that we met at Euston Station that August afternoon,—homeless wanderers in the whirlpool of London, released without trial after months of imprisonment, and ordered to leave Spain in forty-eight hours! They had left it, singing their prison songs; and still across their dark and sorrowful eyes one could see the eternal Maytime bloom. They drifted away to South America chiefly, where four or five new Anarchist papers have since arisen, and several colonizing experiments along Anarchist lines are being tried. So tyranny defeats itself, and the exile becomes the seed-sower of the revolution. — Voltairine de Cleyre

— Kilgore Forelle

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Institutions: Gridlock is Enhanced by Impeachment

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Aren’t you mystified by tribal ritual?  Isn’t it endlessly fascinating how many intricate arcanities are found in any process?  Every national/cultural collective has its smoke and mirrors.  Thomas Knapp has written elsewhere on EVC about the USA’s dog and pony show, in Congress: The Snail’s Pace Race.

The point is, in my view, that the fools on the hill have fashioned an endless circuit of eye candy ritual to take our minds off of actual movement.  Impeachment is just another set piece in the Kabuki Theater.

You can see from my last metaphor, from Japanese national/culture, that it probably makes no difference who, what, when, where, how, and why.  Look at Brexit, for instance.  Look at climate, for instance.  Look at Hong Kong, for instance.  All of these are Grand Opera, staged to camouflage the pedestrian kicking of the can down the road.

Pomp and circumstance is always what institutions do when their oligarchs don’t know what to do.  What time does the parade route open?

— Kilgore Forelle

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