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    The Structure of a Humanific Revolution

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    The Structure of a Humanific Revolution

    Post by Ren's View on Sat Sep 17, 2016 6:02 am

    First topic message reminder :

    I get daily emails from a non corporate news service that publishes stories on climate and energy issues. It calls itself Climate News Network.  It's good if one has a broader, ecological-language based view, because stories can then be put in a perspective.  After all, the journalists report on a single issue, but making sense of the meaning of a single issue involves putting that issue into a larger context.  Some journalists will try to do that, some will not.  Renewable energy is one of those single issues that can be reported on with a certain tone of exuberance while ignoring the larger social context that gives it that categorical meaning.  Take today's email story:

    Fossil fuels investment takes a nosedive

    The story's author is Kieran Cooke, a founding editor of the news service, a former correspondent for the BBC and Financial Times who now focuses on environmental issues.  In my mind, a good resumé.  Cooke sounds to me like someone who's been there, and seen a lot, and probably has developed an ecological consciousness that's brought him to a point where he sees the predicament humans have created for themselves.  I look at these things when I read the news because I see the who of the writer as an important context of the what that's being said.  That's part of what I mean by developing an ecological language.  So I stress, ecology is not just about the understanding of biological systems of the environment, its about understanding human thinking and its relationship to what we think about.  This was expressed years ago by Gregory Bateson in his Steps to an Ecology of Mind.

    This, I discovered years ago, is also a raised consciousness issue in all of science that helps us to mentally remove it from the iconic pedestal upon which it was once mounted by proponents of the Age of Reason. These are the same proponents who invented the notion that humans are now successfully dominating nature with their science-based technology.  That illusion has become an archonic driver of institutions that allows the humans who are part of institutional machinery to ignore the effects of what their institutions are doing, since all that is done by science driven technology is by this definition good for Progress with a capital P.

    A familiar example may be found in the question quantum physics raised that first disturbed Einstein: is light a wave or a particle?  The answer depends on how it's looked at.  Which brings up the whole problem of subjectivity of perception.  How light is looked at is related to how it's measured.  This goes for just about everything we think about.  Take for example the seemingly science unrelated question of leadership in a society.  What should a leader be? What behaviors should a leader exhibit?  How do we know someone is, in fact, a leader?  Someone with a strict parent conditioning will answer that question one way, while another with a nurturant parent conditioning will have a different perspective on leaders.  The very issue of the legitimacy of the authority of any leader rides on those very different contexts.  The very nature of the institutions involved will be a result. And, subsequently, the nature of the institutions will effect the conditioning of those who are involved. So whether leadership is a wave, that is a continuum of relationships that's always connected with those involved, or a particle, something seen as a discrete, a definite something that exists as an object apart, thus something objectifiable, from the group, will depend on how it's looked at.

    The importance of becoming aware of this involves our consciousness.  If we are not aware of our conditioning, we may have difficulty realizing that we are creating a kind of predetermined answer by the way we think out our questions.  If we are unaware that the punishment our strict and authoritative parent gave us as a child when we exhibited creativity in our thoughts is now part of our ongoing self suppression of our imagination, we may miss the part where we are succumbing to institutional thought patterns without giving it proper doubt and questioning, and thus succumbing to the words of a leader who we fail to doubt and question.

    Now, back to the topic, the categorical.  In this case, fossil fuel investment takes a nosedive, while renewable investments are on the rise.  What does that mean in the big ecological systemic relationship picture?  

    In the big picture, not only do we have this problem of rising CO2 in the atmosphere, caused by human activity that is always directly related to employing energy for those activities (that's a simple law of physics that cannot be repealed nor avoided), we also have a range of ecological disasters related to a de-speciation of many regional and local ecologies that humans have invaded and transformed for specifics related to their species without consideration for their systemic ramifications.  The climate is not the driver of this rapidly accelerating process but merely one of the consequences.  This is being noted now as a mass extinction, which our science tells us from extensive investigation, is only the sixth one ever to occur since life emerged on this planet.  This may be the first one ever to be caused by a single species, rather than some catastrophic geological event.  

    The key factor in this mass extinction cause is a choice-driven way of life by one species, humans.  And that's, again, where our consciousness comes in.  If civilization is a human choice, not a DNA-driven way of organizing ourselves, as we see in, say, bee hives, then it follows that we may have some choice about whether we want to participate in causing a global mass extinction of species, with truly unknown -- in its full systemic detail, though clearly catastrophically probable -- consequences.

    So here's the thought.  In specifics it's held that replacing fossil fuels with renewables is a good thing for diminishing climate changes being caused by mounting levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.  But if there's so much more involved than climate change, is there not more that needs to change than just replacing fossil fuels with renewables? ...Provided that's even possible, which is another searing and daunting question.  Don't we need to be thinking about how we live as well?  Don't we need to be thinking about maybe how we look at our biosphere, our local environments, and how our way of living brings us into relationship with that?  That is what I mean by a revolution of thinking by changing our thought paradigm itself.  Changing from one that looks at specifics without much consideration for the whole and the consequences of those specifics. Changing to what? I'm calling that what revolution: 'ecological thinking.'  And if we need to be doing that, then we need to become conscious of it, and in being conscious we can begin to open our imaginative capacities and wonder how we go about transforming the way we think from this predetermining particulating, objectifying process that continues to produce the same conclusions, over and over, which include the same hubristic preconceptions that we are somehow advancing, progressing as a species, to a perspective that's entirely new.  

    I guess coming to that understanding would be the structure of a humanific revolution.  cheers

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    Re: The Structure of a Humanific Revolution

    Post by dleet86 on Sat Jan 28, 2017 4:40 am

    We have discussed the interconnectedness of nature as a part of ecology as a whole. I think maybe we've touched on history as showing there are no small events. Heat transfer has a similar bigger than expected effect and sometimes a smaller effect than expected. When your home or room is too hot and you open the doors and windows the room cools off but you do not let all the heat out. All the furnishings, floorings, wall coverings, and closeted belongings are still the heat that the whole room was before you open the doors. All we've done is let the air our, the hot air. Air is only one heat or gas. Liquid heat in radiators, solid in electric elements, ovens, and fireplaces after the fire is out are all sources of heat.  
    If anyone thinks we wasted all the heat we already paid for by letting the overheated air out is mistaken. The heat still present as individual engines can be thought of as an infrastructure, or community, or identity (The closet occupants are sometimes loud members and need to come out every once in awhile to prove they're still hot).
    I just aired my apt out and my mind wondered so this new metaphor seems pretty flexible. I'm thinking wealth transfer instead of heat transfer, and Gini ratios, Eccles, Keynes, FDR, and Unions instead of solids, and of course the 1% is the hot air and overly heated wealth atmosphere to mix too many metaphors. The infrastructure initiated by Ike* was an investment in a solid base that could maintain stable conditions (or temperatures in the heat transfer meme). Furniture wears out and roads degrade. To get the full benefits of a home vs an empty room with no furniture or closets, or a country with no roads or bridges is easy unless the owners think the home is only a rental that they never visit anyhow if they even know it is there. They also think if all these new taxes, like the hot air out the window, is a loss to all of their wealth, but like hot air, the essence is still there in all the heat and value absorbed by the solid Americans, and liquid Americans with flexibility to heat things, explore, and play in more venues all the time.  There are some hot air members aware of the concentration of interest in only air (aka financial money shuffling products involved in a fiat currency infrastructure). Hot air balloon owners know the meaning of bubbles or balloons and control their use. 
    Scandinavian countries don't get overheated so often and their windows and doors need not open to release pressure or in the case of the USA let those outside freezing get a chance to warm their hands, but then most of the people are already inside. The human generates 150 BTUs of heat every hour. We are engines of heat and all of us have value.

    Amy wanted to go to our local 2nd hand store and I needed some bowls and glasses too. It is staffed with special needs folks and almost all there had Down's syndrome. They do a great job. Many people did not know that when Family Guy had a down's syndrome character in a script that it was played by an actress with down's syndrome and she thought the part was great. The cashier was not special needs but was young and maybe a college or high school kid. So much good and so many benefits come from this place and nowhere in the whole enterprise or transaction processes is profit a consideration. Non-profits maintain society and culture if a culture is still around.


    How much benefit comes from this place and it has nothing to do with profit.

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    Re: The Structure of a Humanific Revolution

    Post by Ren's View on Sat Jan 28, 2017 9:52 am

    Your metaphor speaks to the ecological language I like to think and talk in these days.  That language is a systems approach to thinking, which is an attempt -- still abstract, of course, because we humans cannot remove ourselves from the direct experience and do thinking without becoming abstract about the experience itself -- to become inclusive of everything that nature does without bothering with human abstractions and metaphor creating, in the experiential here and now.

    Like your home and its contents that soak up and therefore potentially store energy when you pump heated air into your home and heat up its air as well as its contents so you can live in a cold climate, the oceans and all the biology of the biosphere has been soaking up and storing the energy that comes into the atmosphere from the sun, some of which gets trapped, like radiant heat gets trapped after coming through the glass of a greenhouse, due to the characteristics of a recent human-based accelerated release of previously stored CO2 from the fossil fuels it has used to enable an expansion of its species into niches the species was not evolved -- strictly biologically speaking -- to live in.  In other words: A naked human running around would have a rough go of it even here, in our relatively benign climate, without our evolved use of fire to heat the homes we build to enable our survival.

    The interesting thing to consider about the earth as a heat sink is this: the storage process has its own set of interactions that can, and apparently do, stimulate unforeseen feedback loops.  One of those feedback loops is triggering the release of other greenhouse gases (like CH4) that can further act to keep the radiation from reflecting back into space, thus heating up the "house" to even higher degrees, thus stressing the existing heat sinks, like the oceans and the great forests that once used to grow where human mono crops that feed its recent hockey stick rise in population are now growing.

    I heat my house with a wood stove.  Yes, it heats the air around stove when its burning the wood. It also provides radiant heat that goes directly into me and my surroundings, which then go on to radiate heat, heating the air around it.  According to physics, that radiant heat is about 20 percent more efficient than pumping hot air into the house and trying to heat up all those elements through heat transfer in that manner.  Thus, like this morning, when I'd let the fire burn out and the wood stove was nearly cold when I got up, the house was still comfortable and warm, though it was in the thirties outside.

    Heat from the sun is not hot air pumped into the earth.  It's radiant heat.

    The problem with our playing around in the abstract is we tend to confuse ourselves and begin to convince ourselves to believe we are talking about reality.  This is true of all abstraction, including the language of ecology.
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    Re: The Structure of a Humanific Revolution

    Post by dleet86 on Sun Jan 29, 2017 9:41 am

    You got the very point I was trying to make. I was also trying to simplify it to a metaphor could explain it to kids to appreciate conservation and recognize waste. Maybe zen for beginners or kids or dummies.

    I was going to post on another thread https://www.thenation.com/article/this-political-theorist-predicted-the-rise-of-trumpism-his-name-was-hunter-s-thompson/ but while I'm here Hells Angels came across my links and it's covered by The Nation. Also, many other figures are getting that this guy is unstable but since their cart is tethered to him and none want to dismount or avoid the free ride of open budgets and expanded spending now that their team has the combination to the safe like they had under Obama, but now they can buy off their donors instead of silly improvements for the country like healthcare, higher education, and infrastructure. Scorched earth describes a feeling I have of what is soon to come but it might be an intra-party civil war

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    Re: The Structure of a Humanific Revolution

    Post by ogun on Mon Jan 30, 2017 6:51 am

    Guess that is an intro of the actual real tribal areas within the American ethos that is my cue to interrupt with my probably out of ball park take.
    I think the writer of that piece is postulating a bit much about how deeply Hunter was thinking at that point in time. Hunter recognized himself as an outsider of the norm and he knew or at least sensed that there was many others that didn't accept the status quo. He was exploring and trying to figure it out just like many others of the same age. In the Diary's he explored the expats, at the Kentucky Derby the decadence, in the Las Vegas Fear and loathing it was the drug culture and only as a side bar a rights organizational movement, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail was his first true expansive story and look at the whole political system as an American corporate enterprise. Everything before that was the reporting of his exploration of 'the being' and the search of an outsider looking for 'himself' as much as anything else. Much the same as the beats did before him.
    As he found in the counter culture of the Hells Angels it is not a place one can just visit on a whim unless one is completely oblivious to their tribal nature. I know someone from the Angels that says he knew Thompson from those days and he doesn't have a good thing to say about him; never trusted him and knew he was a phony from the beginning but because one or two was willing to give him cover 'they' let a lot go....up to a point. You either belong or you don't when you're in a tribe. It's all or nothing or stay on the outside and glean what you can (and that's what I do) and even then one best watch your step.
    As an aside he also says he knew Neal Cassady, he didn't like his life style but you can tell he holds an honest respect for the man.
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    Re: The Structure of a Humanific Revolution

    Post by dleet86 on Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:59 am

    ogun wrote:Guess that is an intro of the actual real tribal areas within the American ethos that is my cue to interrupt with my probably out of ball park take.
    I think the writer of that piece is postulating a bit much about how deeply Hunter was thinking at that point in time. Hunter recognized himself as an outsider of the norm and he knew or at least sensed that there was many others that didn't accept the status quo. He was exploring and trying to figure it out just like many others of the same age. In the Diary's he explored the expats, at the Kentucky Derby the decadence, in the Las Vegas Fear and loathing it was the drug culture and only as a side bar a rights organizational movement, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail was his first true expansive story and look at the whole political system as an American corporate enterprise. Everything before that was the reporting of his exploration of 'the being' and the search of an outsider looking for 'himself' as much as anything else. Much the same as the beats did before him.
    As he found in the counter culture of the Hells Angels it is not a place one can just visit on a whim unless one is completely oblivious to their tribal nature. I know someone from the Angels that says he knew Thompson from those days and he doesn't have a good thing to say about him; never trusted him and knew he was a phony from the beginning but because one or two was willing to give him cover 'they' let a lot go....up to a point. You either belong or you don't when you're in a tribe. It's all or nothing or stay on the outside and glean what you can (and that's what I do) and even then one best watch your step.
    As an aside he also says he knew Neal Cassady, he didn't like his life style but you can tell he holds an honest respect for the man.
    I see what you mean about that particular tribe. There is currently tribalism I have never seen before in the political realm and now not just in the USA. There are tribes within the two parties and in conflict with one of the other branches. The tribes do not trust each other because some are known cannibals. John Ralston Saul wrote of a tribe in the carribean that were very friendly, would trade with you, and even house you for the night. As long as they weren't hungry. If that were the case the unlucky guest was had for dinner. Boiled of course. The tribes in Wash DC are sometimes hungry, sometimes just some spices to someone they have already served up. Others just want a better cut while the sated ones wonder what's for desert. Desert, if ever rolled out will be Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security served on a gold (thought I was gonna say silver?) platter. (silver is a loser special metal).
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    Re: The Structure of a Humanific Revolution

    Post by Ren's View on Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:27 am

    Let me offer another perspective to this "Hell's Angels as modern retaliatory Trumpism" Hunter S. Thompson gonzo journalism perspective. 

    I personally think there's something deeper going on here, a much deeper and long building trend, and Trump is just an ignorant patsy being used by it, and he is sociopathically afflicted with a form of narcissism enough to believe he's in charge.  This came to me a couple of days ago while I was meditating in front of my wood stove (just to keep with this heating the house theme on this thread).  I wrote it (as best anyone can write anything in that restricted software environment) on facebook, and it sort of went viral, much to my surprise.  Which worries me.  Will I now see helicopters hovering and homeland security agents in military vehicles coming up my driveway soon?

    So, anyway, I wrote something like this about my latest paranoid vision:

    Sitting in front of my wood stove this morning, musing about what is going on here in the U.S., thoughts of a book I read a few years back emerged as a kind of summary statement, especially following some of the words used in Trump's inauguration speech last week. Specifically words I didn't expect to hear that sound not just religious, but of a very Christian form of religion that has been a part of the rise of the American Exceptionalist (your favorite theme lately, doug) propagandized version of America:


    At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America, and through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other. When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.

    (APPLAUSE)

    The Bible tells us how good and pleasant it is when God's people live together in unity. We must speak our minds openly, debate our disagreements honestly, but always pursue solidarity. When America is united, America is totally unstoppable.

    (APPLAUSE)

    There should be no fear. We are protected and we will always be protected. We will be protected by the great men and women of our military and law enforcement. And most importantly, we will be protected by God.


    (From: Donald Trump’s full inauguration speech transcript)


    These are his last words:



    Thank you. God bless you. And God bless America.

    (APPLAUSE)

    Thank you.

    (APPLAUSE)

    God bless America.

    (APPLAUSE)


    Well... God Bless you too, Donald.

    I began researching Dominionism back in the 90s after hearing a talk by Sara Diamond, who did her PhD at UC Berkeley on that topic. For a chilling introduction ("chilling" unless you're a Dominionist), read Roads to Dominion: Right-Wing Movements and Political Power in the United States if you read no other of her works.  Which are all scholarly, but I'd say approachable.  Remember, this was written in 1995:

    Amazon description wrote:

    How did the American right wing, which began as a small clique of post-World War II conservative intellectuals, transform into well-heeled, grassroots movements representing millions of ordinary citizens? Providing insight into today's headlines, Roads to Dominion answers this question with a compelling and thorough look at the broad range of right-wing movements in this country. Based on research that draws extensively from primary source literature, Sara Diamond traces the development of four types of right-wing movements over the past 50 years\m-\the anticommunist conservative movement, the racist Right, the Christian Right, and the neoconservatives\m-\and provides an astute historical analysis of each. Maintaining a nonjudgmental tone throughout the book, she explores these movements' roles within the political process and examines their relationships with administrations in power.

    The book opens with the immediate aftermath of World War II and the onset of the Cold War, when the anticommunist policies of the United States government encouraged the growth of right-wing movements. Continuing through the 1960s and beyond, chapters examine the influence of right-wing groups within the Republican Party and the rise of white supremacist groups in response to the gains of the civil rights movement. We see the transformation of the neoconservatives, from a small band of Cold War liberal intellectuals into a bastion of support for Reagan era foreign policy. The book traces the development of the Christian Right, from its early activity during the Cold War period straight through to its heyday as a powerful grassroots movement during the 1980s and 1990s. Throughout the book, Diamond explains the Right's fifty-year quest for power. She shows how we can understand and even predict the Right's influence on day-to-day policymaking in the United States by observing some consistent patterns in the Right's relationships with political elites and government agencies. In some predictable ways, the Right engages in both conflict and collaboration with state institutions.


    It was an important signpost-like book in my own political journey to attempting to understand the rapid movement to the right here in the U.S.  I was, for instance, somewhat familiar with the neoconservatives who went from the Democratic Party in the Seventies to the Republicans, and who became instrumental in influencing the foreign policy of first the Reagan Administration, and then Bush I and Clinton's when I read the book.  I was therefore well acquainted with the Project for a New American Century and their military reorganization opus calling for a new Pearl Harbor published in June of 2000, chillingly predicting, if you will, 911, and eventually their involvement in the Bush II administration's foreign policies. 

    Strangely, looking back, when I first arrived at Thom's back in Feb 2004 and began talking about the neoconservatives, nobody -- and that included Thom who was active on the message board at the time -- knew what the hell I was talking about.  In that 1995 tome, which was essentially the book version of her PhD dissertation, a diligent scholar seeking acceptance into the ivory tower club, Sara Diamond, details who they are and what role they were playing in her Chapter 8 titled "The Neoconservatives."  This was no small insight to share with the world at the time.  Yet most of America had no idea what was going on in their government then, and few understood what had happened in the 2000 election when the Bush Presidency came to the White House. 

    And I think that also goes for what happened as a reaction from the right when Obama came to the White House and was viewed as a non American Muslim extremist by a certain soon to be dominant in Congress group; and it may go doubly for what is happening now with the insertion of Donald Trump into the White House.  This strikes me because I have learned to focus on the appointments in order to understand who and what a President actually is going to be about. Thus especially who he is appointing to his inner circle, his Cabinet. So look especially closely at what these political figures with government wrecking ball are about and what their endgame is really connected to.  And for me, I can't forget the long and patient Dominionist religious movement that has insinuated itself into our government at so many levels if one is paying any attention at all.

    So there's much more to this, and I can't bring it all here in a single post.

    Along about 2007, Chris Hedges picked up the Dominionist theme and came up with American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America.  For many who bothered to read Hedges, that book might have been a first look at the inner workings of the extremist religious right; for me it was a theme I'd been following closely for over twelve years.

    Along with other vagrant, fascist-echoing expressions in Trump's inauguration speech, those words I quoted above alone brought some chilling reminders of this "war" on America to my mind as I warmed in front of my cheery fire. Of course, from their point of view, the war has long been against them, and Christianity, so that must be kept in mind here when thinking of the presentation and tone of Trumps inauguration speech and many of his other utterings.  The focus is on Trump the narcissistic demon, but the relilgious right is seeing him as a vehicle sent from their notion of God.  This I can support with a lot of links from various searches that include words like evangelicals and Donald Trump.  Here's just one example: Televangelist: God Is Using Donald Trump to Prepare America for Christ's Return.

    I just want to leave off with a paragraph from Hedges' book that I feel eerily summarizes what has been taking place, even though nothing of what has taken place has been couched in the specific name of Dominionism (but, my goodness, Betsy DeVos to lead the Department of Education? How did that get into Trump's pea brain?).

    Chris Hedges wrote:


    "Dominionism is a theocratic sect with its roots in a radical Calvinism. It looks to the theocracy John Calvin implanted in Geneva, Switzerland, in the 1500s as its political model. It teaches that American Christians have been mandated by God to make America a Christian state. A decades-long refusal by most American fundamentalists to engage in politics at all following the 1925 Scopes trial has been replaced by a call for Christian “dominion” over the nation and eventually over the earth itself. Dominionism preaches that Jesus has called on Christians to build the kingdom of God in the here and now, whereas previously it was thought that we would have to wait for it. America becomes, in this militant biblicism, an agent of God, and all political and intellectual opponents of America’s Christian leaders are viewed, quite simply, as agents of Satan. Under Christian dominion, America will be no longer a sinful and fallen nation but one in which the 10 Commandments form the basis of our legal system, creationism and “Christian values” form the basis of our educational system, and the media and the government proclaim the Good News to one and all. Labor unions, civil-rights laws and public schools will be abolished. Women will be removed from the workforce to stay at home, and all those deemed insufficiently Christian will be denied citizenship. Aside from its proselytizing mandate, the federal government will be reduced to the protection of property rights and “homeland” security. Some dominionists (not all of whom accept the label, at least not publicly) would further require all citizens to pay “tithes” to church organizations empowered by the government to run our social-welfare agencies and all schools. The only legitimate voices in this state will be Christian. All others will be silenced.

    Hedges, Chris (2007-01-09). American Fascists (pp. 11-12). Simon & Schuster, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

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    Re: The Structure of a Humanific Revolution

    Post by dleet86 on Thu Feb 02, 2017 1:46 am

    A new metaphor might be the gop having an acrobat scheduled for the tight wire but this one has never walked a tightrope and has no balance. The show must go on and they did reinforce the net. But, they cannot even get him to carry a balance pole weighted on each outside extremity much as a child's toy with u or v-shaped weight keeps a toy man or troll stable atop a narrow pinnacle be it a wire or a simple circular disc. The gop wants to keep the unbalanced weight from falling but can only do so by propping it like spotters do for an elementary school gymnast.

    Sometimes the high wire actor is on a unicycle, too. With heavy weights lowering the center of gravity it is possibe, but when the rider feels that he himself must always be the center of attention, the center of gravity, and is the center of the universe in his own mind, a fall is inevitable as it was the 6 times previously he attempted to ride without practising and ended in bankruptcy court.

    One more metaphor just came to me, again while doing a task, I was starting the fire. I always prop the door and vents to increase airflow early on in the light while the papers, cardboard, bark, and twigs are working on the logs. In boyscouts our pack won the fire start competition because I did my competitive swimming breathing. Instead of turning my head sideways to get air from above the water (freestyle swim or australian crawl) I turned sideways to avoid the smoke and flame from our teepee of just shredded branches and twigs. Then instead of exhaling into the water on the down stroke I was feeding the struggling fire oxygen, a lot, at great force, but not forceful enough to extinguish. Individuals are reliable sources of oxygen and can reignite smoldering embers if they see them. Or at least pay attention to them, or discover that there are embers still alive and already ignited if only some oxygen, some attention or at least unburying them.
    That was my optimistic mode. I'm more cynical but need to dip my toe in the pool of something that I could walk around and avoid.This pool is full of discarded notions Borowitz mentioned herehttp://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/moving-vans-arrive-at-white-house-to-remove-all-traces-of-competence-dignity The thing I see in the puddle is a chest and it's under water still open. The shipping label said From WH but the destination was all crossed out and scrolled underneath was a hand written note saying dumpster. I pulled the chest up and upon closing the lid saw it belonged to Pandora. The soaked diary inside even had a hand written title, obviously from Pandora, it said Hope.  Too sappy? Yeah me too. I don't do fiction so well.
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    Re: The Structure of a Humanific Revolution

    Post by Ren's View on Thu Feb 02, 2017 7:23 am

    Given everything that's transpired over the past year and a half or so that it now takes to get someone up on that high wire, I find it difficult to see that the gop scheduled this, ahem, acrobat.  To me it's more like the gop as an institution had its own trained acrobats in mind, and then along comes one of their billionaires and he decides to play acrobat against their better judgement, gets 'selected' by the voting arm of the institution that they have systematically dumbed down over the years to make them more malleable, because they believed dumbed down would be easier to control, not realizing that dumbed down really means dumb, and dumb is attracted to the metaphors of dumbness they help to keep alive with their corporate media, so that's the 'acrobat' their voters choose once it's there to be chosen.  They also fucked up by making money a legitimate voice in an election, therefore a dumb, clownish billionaire has as much voice as their trained acrobats. 

    Now they are trying to figure out how to keep this unintended intrusion into their institutional machinery up there long enough to get the rest of the institutional changes in place that will benefit all the other billionaires in their array of political institutions that depend on having a really good acrobat walking that wire.  Lot's of people not under their techno/propaganda hypnosis who'd gone to sleep with the boredom of this modern institutional oligarchy at the helm are waking up and shaking that wire.

    Wasn't 'hope' what flew out of Obama's Pandora's box?  I mean, he even got one of those oxymoronic Nobel Peace Prizes for letting it out.


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    Re: The Structure of a Humanific Revolution

    Post by ogun on Thu Feb 02, 2017 7:40 am

    On that note I'll refrain from and defer to you to play some Leon Russell dleet. lol

    The metaphor I keeps running through my head is thermodynamics and entropy. I know there's possibilities to play with rhetorically there......still turning it over. Youz guys are quicker than I am, maybe ya'll can do something with it before I could even get the first couple of sentences straight.

    No one can write fiction any better that what's happening now in real time.
    Trumkof self consciously struts into the white house and as soon as the front door is closed quickly opens all the closet doors, all the medicine cabinets and not finding any thing of interest takes a flash light up to search the attic. In a far off dark cob webbed corner he discovers a chest with the single word engraved on it's lid that spells out HOPE. Summoning his boot kicking lackeys he directs them to carry the bulky weight down into the light. And can you imagine? After muscling it around roughly but barely rising a sweat on their brow they finally set it down and one or two of the peons actually had the nerve to complain how hard it was to get it up and into that dank forgotten corner to begin with only now have to haul it back down stairs. Pheff, the trumkof huffs what is this? So he opens the lid.
    And behold! There's all these finely nested eggs of many colors and sizes. Each one carefully packed just so as they fit closely and safely together.
    Oh what fun the trumkof shouts! Opening that closest set of french doors and dragging the chest over he picks them out one by one to throw at what ever target catches his fancy as it passes by on the street below.
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    Re: The Structure of a Humanific Revolution

    Post by Ren's View on Thu Feb 02, 2017 7:50 am

    ogun wrote:


    No one can write fiction any better that what's happening now in real time


    That same thought fired off in my brain when doug said that about fiction.

    And that's good metaphorical story telling that follows. Multi colored eggs are a wonderfully poetic metaphor for hope.  I would have never thought of that.

    Trumpkof, lol.  I'd like to have used that when I described the Republican Trumpkofs who went rogue and voted for Trump instead of those oligarch's pet honkies.
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    Re: The Structure of a Humanific Revolution

    Post by dleet86 on Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:17 pm

    ogun wrote:On that note I'll refrain from and defer to you to play some Leon Russell dleet. lol

    The metaphor I keeps running through my head is thermodynamics and entropy. I know there's possibilities to play with rhetorically there......still turning it over. Youz guys are quicker than I am, maybe ya'll can do something with it before I could even get the first couple of sentences straight.

    No one can write fiction any better that what's happening now in real time.
    Trumkof self consciously struts into the white house and as soon as the front door is closed quickly opens all the closet doors, all the medicine cabinets and not finding any thing of interest takes a flash light up to search the attic. In a far off dark cob webbed corner he discovers a chest with the single word engraved on it's lid that spells out HOPE. Summoning his boot kicking lackeys he directs them to carry the bulky weight down into the light. And can you imagine? After muscling it around roughly but barely rising a sweat on their brow they finally set it down and one or two of the peons actually had the nerve to complain how hard it was to get it up and into that dank forgotten corner to begin with only now have to haul it back down stairs. Pheff, the trumkof huffs what is this? So he opens the lid.
    And behold! There's all these finely nested eggs of many colors and sizes. Each one carefully packed just so as they fit closely and safely together.
    Oh what fun the trumkof shouts! Opening that closest set of french doors and dragging the chest over he picks them out one by one to throw at what ever target catches his fancy as it passes by on the street below.
    Excellent image and apropos. Would that a clever member rests an egg from the shelf to soak it in vinegar for awhile. The hope yolk is protected by the rubbery shell that never shatters, but needs a bit of cologne.  CA, VT, MA, NY, VA, CO, WA, OR are some colorful eggs and painted in their state's flags and colors. They are fighting these executive orders tooth and nail in this case with that 10th amendment vinegar. The state's rights they fight so hard for when out are now an obstacle, gee what goes around comes around or some truism most folks learn as children, but not congress.

    On the Dominionist front, an example of the degree to which it has permeated culture:
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    Re: The Structure of a Humanific Revolution

    Post by dleet86 on Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:27 pm

    Max Christian Right

    Ren, you followed the tightwire meme perfectly. 
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    Re: The Structure of a Humanific Revolution

    Post by Ren's View on Fri Feb 03, 2017 8:43 am

    dleet86 wrote:
    On the Dominionist front, an example of the degree to which it has permeated culture:

    Mainstream evangelical RW Christianity is not one monolithic movement.  It has parts that have been differently Bible cherry-picked as justification, and therefore different Bible-based beliefs and goals for themselves.  What I quoted above was about the Dominionists, who are composed of a different group of Christians than the Rapturists, though this too is not a perfectly refined categorization across the spectrum of individuals involved.   I'm afraid we are stuck with this complex, difficult-to-define-with-precision feature of Christians at this stage of the evolution of this ever globalizing species: homo colossus.  The complexity I perceive makes it difficult for me to converse with others, but I keep trying.

    Here's a little more from Hedges on the cherry picking aspect:

    Chris Hedges wrote:

    There is enough hatred, bigotry and lust for violence in the pages of the Bible to satisfy anyone bent on justifying cruelty and violence. Religion, as H. Richard Niebuhr said, is a good thing for good people and a bad thing for bad people. 3 And the Bible has long been used in the wrong hands— such as antebellum slave owners in the American South who quoted from it to defend slavery— not to Christianize the culture, as those wielding it often claim, but to acculturate the Christian faith.

    Many of the suppositions of the biblical writers, who understood little about the working of the cosmos or the human body, are so fanciful, and the accounts so wild, that even biblical literalists reject them. God is not, as many writers of the Bible believed, peering down at us through little peepholes in the sky called stars. These evangelicals and fundamentalists are, as the Reverend William Sloane Coffin wrote, not biblical literalists, as they claim, but “selective literalists,” choosing the bits and pieces of the Bible that conform to their ideology and ignoring, distorting or inventing the rest. 4 And the selective literalists cannot have it both ways. Either the Bible is literally true and all of its edicts must be obeyed, or it must be read in another way.

    Mainstream Christians can also cherry-pick the Bible to create a Jesus and God who are always loving and compassionate. Such Christians often fail to acknowledge that there are hateful passages in the Bible that give sacred authority to the rage, self-aggrandizement and intolerance of the Christian Right. Church leaders must denounce the biblical passages that champion apocalyptic violence and hateful political creeds. They must do so in the light of other biblical passages that teach a compassion and tolerance, often exemplified in the life of Christ, which stands opposed to bigotry and violence. Until this happens, until the Christian churches wade into the debate, these biblical passages will be used by bigots and despots to give sacred authority to their calls to subjugate or eradicate the enemies of God. This literature in the biblical canon keeps alive the virus of hatred, whether dormant or active, and the possibility of apocalyptic terror in the name of God. And the steady refusal by churches to challenge the canonical authority of these passages means these churches share some of the blame. “Unless the churches, Protestant and Catholic alike, come together on this, they will continue to make it legitimate to believe in the end as a time when there will be no non-Christians or infidels,” theologian Richard Fenn wrote. “Silent complicity with apocalyptic rhetoric soon becomes collusion with plans for religiously inspired genocide.” 5

    Hedges, Chris (2007-01-09). American Fascists (pp. 5-6). Simon & Schuster, Inc.. Kindle Edition.


    The Rapturists do their cherry-picking and the Dominionists do theirs.  Not necessarily even barely overlapping Venn diagrams will result in their world views or goals.  That overlapping and coordinating of goals must come about in other ways, and that I figure is what the Republican oligarchs are involved in trying to enact.  That's why they have turned to data management firms like Cambridge Analytica. Like the many complexities I see on the left with the attempt by Democrats to pull things together into a united front, the Republicans at this point are trying to manage that inchoate mass of multicolored confusion on the Right, including the various and variously politically powerful Christian factions, thereby trying to make the world they want to control and of course profit from into something manageable.

    In that regard, I posted a link to this articles yesterday: The Data That Turned the World Upside Down.

    Is anyone but me, at this point, anyway, the least bit disturbed that Cambridge Analytica is Steve Bannon's company?  Steve Bannon’s data firm in talks for lucrative White House contracts.  Somehow -- and of course the spotlight moves to Trump for this, but all the background behind the curtain remains  invisible to the audience -- Steve Bannon has replaced now dismissed experienced operatives in the Security Council and is to be its directing head.  He will, incidentally, be able to coordinate all the data that his firm collects about all of us.

    In the process of making sense of our political world, all the top hierarchy of actors in these factions tend to ignore the complexities of nature that make life possible for everyone; they also ignore why it's possible for them to do that.  That's way too much complexity for most of them, and complexity is an energy hungry morass to try to make any sense of, that's probably the core reason why all complex societies humans have created in the past 10,000 years have collapsed.  At least Joseph Tainter has deduced that from the evidence in his The Collapse of Complex Societies

    Personally?  I don't think humans are really capable of dealing with what they create at this complex institutional level.  Right Wing Authoritarian Followers described in Bob Altemeyer's The Authoritarians might be the best subspecies of homo sapiens that can adapt to what it might take to minimize their mental engagement with the complexity involved in understanding the world at this level.  The more intelligent, sensitive, empathic and aware of us will be driven out in one way or another.  That's just the pattern I'm seeing, over and over, when the individual goes up against an institution.  That was what I woke up to in 1967 on a Navy ship as one of its machine-like working minions, just a part of the whole machinery that is the military industrial complex, off the coast of Vietnam.  I've struggled in vain to find a way out of that trap ever since.  The movie, The Matrix is another fine working metaphor for that awakening and the ensuing struggle.  I completely relate to the image of Neo climing out of that pod and unhooking from the Matrix.


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    Re: The Structure of a Humanific Revolution

    Post by dleet86 on Sat Feb 04, 2017 11:27 pm

    I was talking to my brother-in-law about the 70 million killed after the peace was won in 1945. That was in the 80s but related to the refugee influx to Sweden from the various adventures USA embarked upon. Chileans, Argentines, and now middle east. I started with the 70mil based on John Ralston Saul's book and the associated arms industry. That's when he said it's like a drug, the arms industry. That's when Uncle Sam as the Pusher Man image came to follow through with the metaphor. Hooking countries on the military drug requires them to experience a high. The high many get from power and money requires arms. The high from subjugating a lesser class or promise of superiority in an orchestrated civil war requires guns. Armed conflict that we start is our pusher man behavior. The fix is more guns. The mass shootings in the US actually cause gun sales to increase and the stocks of gun makers to spike upwards. These gun sales are prescription drugs, though prescriptions one can write themselves and 2nd amendment lore.

    We even train the gorillas using the arms we have sold them (and often the other side). These gorillas also create refugees. The fear of Russia vs fear of USA is interesting. The US has created dozens of world crisis and continues to do so while offering no assistance to the countries forced to do the clean-up. But Russia has done one military incursion and some reports say it was by request of Russians at risk from extermination by the US approved neo-liberal coup leader of Ukraine.  We had a population of about 8.5 million when I moved here before W was appointed. We have about 10 million now and our death rate was higher than the replacement rate as of 2005 so most of the 20% increase are refugees and immigrants. That number would be equal to 60,000,000 refugees of a non-European race and religion moving to the USA. The hubub over 60 million might dwarf that raised over the 2000 that have moved in and 8000 more promised. 125 thousand were settled in Sweden last year. Norway too took 75k or so, in a population of 4 million.
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    Re: The Structure of a Humanific Revolution

    Post by Ren's View on Sun Feb 05, 2017 7:50 am

    When they called those two relatively brief periods of mass slaughter during the last century "World Wars" it was clear to people at the time, trying to articulate what was going on, that it was now impossible for any state organization to escape the effects of globalization.  I see that Sweden and a few other nations with much more peaceful intents cannot escape it even now.  Then there's the problem of 7.4 billion people and the various way their habitats make it difficult or impossible to stay in place through all this human expansion and the turmoil that goes with it. 

    The United States is to me not a human being with the unique human capacities that each one of us are potentially gifted with developing through our lifetime, but an institutional result of this long developing globalization phase of civilization where we set up social structures according to sets of rules to keep things in order.  Within that inchoate mass of states on this globe (many of which have only recently developed from colonization efforts of militarily and economically powerful national institutional creations, like Great Britain, Spain, France, Portugal, and so on, the United States being one of those colonization efforts), there is this utterly rational competition for resources; and within that competition are various forces at work, some less violent, some more.  Competition plus a drive for habitat expansion and economic growth -- usually driven by a management elite that wants control of the power of that economic growth as it trickles huge profits upward -- logically leads to violence when the possibility for violence and control come together.  Violence acting on other nation states in the world from states that are powerful can be kept going through a variety of means, many involve sociologically propagandizing a population through various techniques (that's a whole modern technology itself) -- and yes, the various religions are at least one of those means, but then, so is education, even our diminishing once broadly applied liberal education. So -- and this is utterly logical -- the managers are going to tend to try to control how education is conducted on the population in order to effect a populations mass of attitudes in ways the keep the system going.  I have a wonderful quote I wrote down from a Stan Goff talk that describes the effects of this project on the part of the elite managers of a state -- any state. 

    (Stan started this little riff with the following from Steven Biko):

    “The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.”

    It’s much easier to exercise control over a population whenever they consent to their own domination. They sort of accept the official story, accept the official ideology and then we all just sort of go around and cooperate. That kind of control, where we internalize the control, is hegemony. Where when I come up and hold a gun on you and you do it out of naked fear, that’s coercion. And the idea is you’ve got sort of hegemony on one pole exercising ruling class power, and coercion on the other pole, and as hegemony fails then coercion becomes the more prominent instrument.

    My own project throughout my life has been to identify and recognize propaganda and how it is put in play.  I don't know why, exactly, that became a concern of mine.  I remember clearly reading Vance Packard's work during high school.  The Hidden Persuaders must have triggered my paranoid schizophrenic mother's embedded genes in me, I still remember how I felt when I read it; I became much more aware of the television that was in the background for me in the large three story farmhouse we lived in at the time.  I didn't watch it very much because I was too busy -- and I was a responsible young man trying valiantly to keep the farm from going bankrupt, so I took myself seriously -- but I became more aware of what it was about as I would pass by with my younger brothers (both under the age of five) and my mother (drugged on anti psychotics and anti depressants to keep her out of the nearby Sanatorium where they would apply shock treatments, ironically called Mercywood) riveted to its hypnotic flickering.

    Recognizing and making an effort to understand that one feature of society leads, in systematic fashion -- when the effort takes place in a mind that sees connections rather than in discrete disconnected parts -- to seeing how the institutions that rule us work; and I see that they work much like machines work (hence the Matrix metaphor) in a very logical fashion, and do the ruling with the help of those who enculturate from an early age to these machine-like environments. 

    Waking up, making efforts to openly resist, thus makes clear that hegemony is a kind of choice-like possibility, and that not choosing it by an individual will bring about the other extreme Goff describes on that continuum.  The very logic of it is built into the institutions themselves through the rule structures that make them up.  That rule structure is devised into the very, so-called rule of law that those we are supposed to revere for their authoritative expertise have codified with the technology of writing over time.  The very use of a term like law is a kind of hoax, because what we are really talking about is a kind of social agreement, not an edict from a Supreme Being that controls the universe.

    Today's version of civilization is even more insidious because Goff's "oppressors" want us to believe we have some conscious, intentional part in our own management.  The only conscious, intentional part I see with the majority of the population is a willingness to be subjugated.
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    Re: The Structure of a Humanific Revolution

    Post by dleet86 on Sun Feb 05, 2017 12:58 pm

    The country has made it so easy, and even if one accepts the fact that congress is bought, the senate is a very cheap purchase. The 20 smallest states have 40 seats and only 20% of the population, mostly in rural regions. They also are those who have no idea the struggles the population centers deal with and their specific urban needs that 80% of the country agree with because they also happen to be business centers that deserve a bit more maintenance rather than speculative ventures. But those needs do not get met and often not even heard. When 80% cannot get their legislation, and 75% cannot get their chosen president as certified by election results, the people are already subjugated and don't know it because of  American Exceptionalism℠ and a country that does no wrong. The fact that the defenders of freedom are not themselves free is absurdity illustrated. Or one of Voltaire's jokes as told by God the comic and humorist. Of course, the audience doesn't get it or are afraid to laugh just as Voltaire said because America is the punchline.

    https://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/1960s  has other interviews of noted authors either by name or decade. The '60s has some familiar names but I was looking for a Bradbury interview I remember so my search continues. I have not seen some of these but this site is in my bookmark toolbar and I am happy browsing. Billy Wilder talked about Some Like it Hot in the '50s interviews.

    https://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/3605/kurt-vonnegut-the-art-of-fiction-no-64- kurt-vonnegut
    from the '70s.
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    Re: The Structure of a Humanific Revolution

    Post by Ren's View on Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:07 am

    Yes, certain factions in the country have been working to destabilize the balance of power by moving more actionable authority to the executive branch.  I've been watching and chronicling that process for quite awhile. I spent nearly two years on Thom's board attempting to articulate my observations about the dogged installation of the features of the Unitary Executive Theory arising in government over the past 36 years, features that both parties' presidents helped legitimize by using them once in place, beginning with the Reagan administration; this was spearheaded by the legal minds that formed the Federalist Society in Reagan's first term.  

    When a President exercises legally questionable power and nothing is done by the other forces designed to balance it in the Constitution, it becomes acting precedent.  So here's the other part of that UET process: Along with district gerrymandering that enabled the Republicans to strategically emphasize the effects of their voters over the Democratic voters in various key areas, a Republican dominated Congress was gradually assured.  In between those years of increasingly shrill, extremist right wing domination in Congress, beleaguered Democrats who managed, because the nation is actually more liberal than conservative in statistical numbers, rolled over and did nothing to restore the balance, and then in a few years it was back to a Republican majority. Finally this process has achieved an acting precedent of the most extremists in the Republican majority in key positions to direct the way legislating and response to the Presidency would go.  Just in time for Donald Trump. 

    Yes, it's been made easy.   But it was a stealthy, well-played long con, as they call them.

    It will not turn around overnight.  It may never turn around in time as an ecological crisis rapidly approaches.

    Chris Hedges wrote:

    Donald Trump’s regime is rapidly reconfiguring the United States into an authoritarian state. All forms of dissent will soon be criminalized. Civil liberties will no longer exist. Corporate exploitation, through the abolition of regulations and laws, will be unimpeded. Global warming will accelerate. A repugnant nationalism, amplified by government propaganda, will promote bigotry and racism. Hate crimes will explode. New wars will be launched or expanded.

    (from: Make America Ungovernable )


    There was a brief period of raised equalization where a fair number of human rights advances from the Stone Age of ideas that spawned the U.S. Constitution were legally in place.  We never reached actual full equalization, just a peak in the rise from the state of general unequalization that existed in the late 1700s, the time of the so-called American Revolutionary War. 

    One must seriously ask just exactly whose revolution that really was.  Who precisely was benefitting from revolting from British Rule of the corporations that were the 13 colonies at the time?  Many of those adulated founding fathers were simply oligarchs.  The six foot three George Washington was a landed oligarch.  He set the mold for the leaders to follow. 

    General populace equalization of the sort that was managed was really just a few years of peak (though not total equalization), if that.  Systemic, structural racism (which to me is merely a word for classism, race is utterly and pathetically inexact as a term for differences between human beings, but the classes get dressed in skin colors of various varieties) has structural racism has never been removed from the minds of many in this culture. That will take years of legal equalization and existential reality to achieve, and we've never had years of it, let alone moments. Many are so blind to it they don't even know it's there.  That's how enculturation works in the human mind.  People tend to see the world the way everyone around them agrees to see the world.

    The oligarchs who have truly been in governing control from the beginning (mostly the propertied and wealthy white guys who put the laws of the Constitution together in the first place that, well, just naturally favored them) recently got upset at the children and systematically began reversing that equalization trend long about the time of the "great" Ronald Reaganism revolution. I've mentioned the Powell Memo as a blue print for that reversal. We have been sliding backwards on our heels, braced against this massive global authoritarian force that manages civilization, that can be measured with the ebb and flow of currency, ever since.

    Over the years, I've read many of the writers in your Paris Review link.  Some are anarchistic in their nature, much like me. They've helped me through their own articulating efforts at clarity to clarify my own unique vision about all this.  But I have had to make that vision what it is for myself. Writing a story, as Ann Beattie says in one of the quotes, is like crossing a river.  So's creating one's own narrative, which, of course, is one's own story.  Only sometimes it feels like an ocean. But that's the Rubik's Cube for all this.  Each of us must do that vision-creating from the puzzle of the world for ourselves.   Just when you think you've got the pattern in its proper place, the colors change, almost magically.
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    Re: The Structure of a Humanific Revolution

    Post by dleet86 on Tue Feb 07, 2017 1:35 am

    American colonies were a kind of branch of the British corporation. The Americans didn't buy out their English partners and stole market share. The way the constitution was written was also like a stockholder's rights thing. Only property owners (or partners?) could vote. In a corporation or MLM (Amway) structure everything has a fee and possible profit if it has a need. Most civilizations recognize a need for food, shelter, and medical care for survival and offer those things required to survive. The US does not because then it would be overlooking a profit source and no corporation can do that. Water will be a great profit source if it must be safe and drinkable. Clean air should not be free either. The people should pay the polluters for the fresh air they offer by putting scrubbers on their waste from the products that generate all their profit. Because profit must not be impeded and market forces must be protected. American companies feel the people must pay for the ease to access their products, that's why no infrastructure. Yes the heavy shipping loads from the corporations do tear up the roads the taxpayers paid for the first time, but they get to drive on the companies' roads too.
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    Re: The Structure of a Humanific Revolution

    Post by Ren's View on Tue Feb 07, 2017 9:23 am

    Originally the British colonies in North America were either chartered crown corporations or proprietary self governing corporations.  Great Britain began to convert them to Royal chartered corporations and began reducing the more independent control of the governors in the colonies and in essence federalizing them. Only Rhode Island and Connecticut escaped this grand blanket of Royalizing control that was imposed by the Crown. That's part of the ancient history of the state's rights movement, if you will.  It's part of the the atmosphere of political attitudes that led to the 1776 Revolution, as it were. Part of why the Colonies went towards a Presidential system rather than a Crown system. 

    The Presidential system created by the Constitution was a class and propertied version of a CEO system in a corporation.  Those with the money and property at the time were the stockholders.  In the long run, the CEO, otherwise called the President, is a member of a monied class, and enculturated into that class.  Because the individual's behavior is class based, thus deeply enculturated in the set of beliefs of that class, that individual does not differ as much from a King to the masses as is pretended by the ongoing propaganda designed to keep the masses in place.  That's why a Presidency is ever on the verge of becoming authoritarian.  Parlimentary systems tend to be less dangerous in that regard.

    As I recall, history books I had to read in my classes in my high school mentioned the chartered part, the formal governing part of the charters, they failed to include the corporate aspect and all that goes with it. Trivial word, maybe, but in today's oligarchic, corporate-ruled environment, maybe not so trivial.  The association with charter and corporation was only brought up with the Boston Tea Party incident and the ever villified charted corporate East India Tea Company, the first evil corporation in American Exceptionalist lore. 

    The whole thing was an economic enterprise to begin with, an extension of the British Empire, and the beginning of a world order based on capitalist markets.  Banks sprung up as currency lending institutions, many from what were another form of lending institution, the pawn shop.  Myth has it that Queen Isabella hocked the royal jewels at a pawn shop to fund the Christopher Columbus venture.  According to a number of source that's not true, but it does work usefully to expose the financial institutional climate at the time.  Banking and global capitalism evolved to what they are today together with the governance of what have become nation states.  Most of us know that.  And you are obviously right, the U.S. Constitution was a rewriting of the Crown Charter to go from a CEO-Owner (the King) structure to what was presented as a Republic form, loosely based on the Roman political structure.  Corporate charters and state institutions intertwine.

    I don't think the U.S. is much different from any other nation state institutional structure in terms of what the institutions recognize as necessary for their survival. The problem I see is there are fifty states, each with their own charter, now called constitutions, and an attempt at holding it all together with a Federal Government that so far has been hands off when it comes to the state charters. Most institutions are self serving and utterly unconcerned with the larger, big-picture original purpose out of which they evolved, which was as a kind of organized, social technology, used to adapt to the biosphere.  Adapting to the biosphere in its simplest form (generally long forgotten in the complexity that arises) means providing all members of society with the means to survive. 

    When institutions are created and they become increasingly complex, that complexity demands attention.  In paying attention to keeping the institutions going, it's all too easy to forget the primary purpose (human survival) and focus on the machinations of keeping the institution doing what it was designed to do, much like keeping a car running so it can get you somewhere (otherwise known as institutional survival).  That is, keep it running until the institutions become so complex they collapse (go bankrupt, can't afford to all the parts going, doing what they are designed to do); they tend to collapse in a general sense because complexity is costly to keep up in terms of the basic laws of energy found in the discipline of physics.  Everything comes back to energy.


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    Re: The Structure of a Humanific Revolution

    Post by dleet86 on Fri Feb 10, 2017 7:03 am

    I was reading a bit of linguistic studies and the Navajo vs Germanic/English language differences between them. Sapir-Whorf led to Zellig Harris led to Chomsky but the geometric influence on the Navajo really intrigued me. English do an object to object comparison but the Navajo, if it's a naturally formed object use a geometric spatial representation to express the same thing.

    I love this stuff. I found out the guy that runs a local grocery store is not a Chinese immigrant but a Viet refugee (I told him I was a refugee, too). My barber is an Arab, a Paki or Palestinian, my bodega is run by an Iranian. Nobody wants to take anything from anyone, in other words, life is good and it's not that complicated.
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    Re: The Structure of a Humanific Revolution

    Post by Ren's View on Fri Feb 10, 2017 10:57 am

    dleet86 wrote:I was reading a bit of linguistic studies and the Navajo vs Germanic/English language differences between them. Sapir-Whorf led to Zellig Harris led to Chomsky but the geometric influence on the Navajo really intrigued me. English do an object to object comparison but the Navajo, if it's a naturally formed object use a geometric spatial representation to express the same thing.

    I love this stuff. I found out the guy that runs a local grocery store is not a Chinese immigrant but a Viet refugee (I told him I was a refugee, too). My barber is an Arab, a Paki or Palestinian, my bodega is run by an Iranian. Nobody wants to take anything from anyone, in other words, life is good and it's not that complicated.

    Linguists are a messy bunch.  Careful of portraying the field as a linear development.  These were paradigm shifts, not linear progressions.  Not everyone has shifted.

    Again, the ecological language perspective on immigration.  Humans have been immigrating in very unusual ways, given the biological restrictions of the species, since the invention of fire; fire was the first really major identifiable technological invention, or the first major one as best we can tell, anyway, from the archaeological/geological evidence.  Language is another technological invention of sorts.  Very hard to find hard archaeological evidence for the onset of language in human populations.  It may have preceded fire.  If so, I'd give it the label of a first major identifiable invention. 

    What people want as individuals does not necessarily coincide with the demands of survival.  The species as a whole keeps effecting survival strategies in unexpected ways through its cultural creations; some of those turn out to be inconvenient for survival itself.  Some cause people to migrate from cultural environments they might otherwise be happy to live in an entire lifetime.

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    Re: The Structure of a Humanific Revolution

    Post by ogun on Sun Feb 19, 2017 6:50 am

    Linguists are a messy bunch.  Careful of portraying the field as a linear development.  These were paradigm shifts, not linear progressions.  Not everyone has shifted.  

    Could I ask for some clarification on that ren.?

    edited because I couldn't resist adding this:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQdphbEMmbY
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    Re: The Structure of a Humanific Revolution

    Post by Ren's View on Sun Feb 19, 2017 7:50 am

    ogun wrote:Linguists are a messy bunch.  Careful of portraying the field as a linear development.  These were paradigm shifts, not linear progressions.  Not everyone has shifted.  

    Could I ask for some clarification on that ren.?

    edited because I couldn't resist adding this:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQdphbEMmbY

    For instance, some linguists still believe and teach the hard, deterministic version of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, just as there are enclaves of psychologist that teach Skinner's version of behaviorism.  Would be like being programmed by Trump University to believe that Creationism is the predominant scientific view of how we monkeys came to be here, walking tall, head high, proud on two legs, going to the city.  It's like some people didn't want to grasp that the earth wasn't flat and at the center of the universe.  Thus, if you are going to cite someone as an authority on something or another about linguistics, and they have that view of language, it would be like citing an astronomer who believed the earth was the center of the universe to prove a point you are trying to make.

    Neil Young introduced many of us to Dave Mathews at one of his concerts on the SF Bay down near Palo Alto in 1992.  Good sound.

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    Re: The Structure of a Humanific Revolution

    Post by ogun on Mon Feb 20, 2017 5:46 am

    I have to admit (I guess) that so far, because I really have read and tried to digest exactly how that theory has been constructed, so far I can not for the life of me figure out WTF they were/are thinking! Where in the sam hell did they ever come up with such a wrong headed view of what forms and informs the human or for that matter any living creatures experience? So I've rather dismissed it out of hand to begin with thinking it's a waste of my time all together and hardly seems worth debating.

    I suppose I was looking to you on why it would be worth while for me to pursue studies of that vein as both you and dleet seem to do a bit of back and forth within that realm. The wording of 'the paradigm shift' kinda threw me. What shift were you thinking of? In the thinking of the linguistic theories, or of the human experience?
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    Re: The Structure of a Humanific Revolution

    Post by Ren's View on Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:18 am

    ogun wrote:

    The wording of 'the paradigm shift' kinda threw me. What shift were you thinking of? In the thinking of the linguistic theories, or of the human experience?


    I see them as overlapping.

    I'll agree that it's not worth debating.  I dropped out of college in 1965 because of my deep reaction to Skinner's behaviorism that was being taught at that college, added to some other things that didn't make me want any more to do with studying at the college level at that time in my life.  Behaviorism's similar in pattern to the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis in linguistics to me.  I would say they share a deterministic paradigmatic world view. This is as good an explanation of it as I know of from my exposure to linguistics, a discipline that doesn't interest me at all anymore, but I did look into it once upon a time: The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis



    What is the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis?  

    The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis is the theory that an individual's thoughts and actions are determined by the language or languages that individual speaks. The strong version of the hypothesis states that all human thoughts and actions are bound by the restraints of language, and is generally less accepted than the weaker version, which says that language only somewhat shapes our thinking and behavior. Following are quotes from the two linguists who first formulated the hypothesis and for whom it is named, Edward Sapir and Benjamin Whorf :

    "Human beings do not live in the objective world alone, nor alone in the world of social activity as ordinarily understood, but are very much at the mercy of the particular language which has become the medium of expression for their society. It is quite an illusion to imagine that one adjusts to reality essentially without the use of language and that language is merely an incidental means of solving specific problems of communication or reflection. The fact of the matter is that the 'real world' is to a large extent unconsciously built upon the language habits of the group. No two languages are ever sufficiently similar to be considered as representing the same social reality. The worlds in which different societies live are distinct worlds, not merely the same world with different labels attached... We see and hear and otherwise experience very largely as we do because the language habits of our community predispose certain choices of interpretation." -Sapir (1958:69)


    While there is always something that rings true in these various theorists' observations, they may also induce idea patterns that are troubling.  In this case there's a strong challenge to the notion of free will. Free will is an idea pattern that people like to debate, it's also a visceral experience that I can either admit or deny.  I'm not about to let the rational mind take away my visceral experience, but that's me. This idea pattern of free will was something I encountered when I wanted to study psychology and ran into Skinner's behavioristic paradigm, out of which he produced Beyond Freedom and Dignity.  In my world view, I am not a helpless creature at the mercy of behavior modification processes, so I rejected it and decided I didn't need a college education.  Kind of threw out the bathwater with the baby.  The irony is I ended  up in the Navy because I lost my deferment and I was facing the prospect that I was not quite as in charge of my life as I believed I was.  But nevertheless, I wasn't about to surrender to B.F. Skinner! 

    Along came Noam Chomsky and his notion that humans are born with the basic ability to create their own language from the basics we are born with once exposed to people using language.  Each individual, then, constructs their own version of the language that's being shared around them.  He hypothesized it was possible because of something in the mind, like a generative grammar organ. Everyone got all excited for awhile, but no one has yet found it, and other theories have sprung up and there are a wide array of theories floating around with all sorts of different views about our freedom, our dignity.  Some people still believe in the external determinism theory, that's why I call lilnguists a messy bunch.

    Back to Chomsky: with that innate creative language potential that he hypothesized only humans had evolved, we had an infinite amount of potential to imagine just about anything.  Meaning, he said, does not determine how we form language. Meaning is created by the individual.  He even tried to prove that with a little thing that showed we could create meaningless sentences that were perfectly grammatical.  You may have heard the sentence: "Colorless green ideas sleep furiously."  Chomsky thought that represented a meaningless sentence.  Well, it could, but  I personally find it rich with metaphorical potential.  Anyway, I agree with Chomsky: Meaning is something we make up, and we use language as a kind of tool to express our inner ways of seeing the world.  Thus, potentially, each individual has to construct a version of the world, and then in some way impart that inner view to others. 

    Language is, to me, only one way that's done. What's maybe significant in the land of linguistics is Chomsky contradicted B.F. Skinner's view of how we are helpless victims of deterministic factors in modifying our behavior, and how we see, which Skinner discounts as irrelevant on an individual basis, but all that matters is the externally observable behavior; he also had a big debate with Skinner back in 1959 from which Skinner's behaviorism never recovered. Chomsky's generative grammar hypothesis also contradicted Sapir and Whorf's hypothesis that was the ruling paradigm of the day, a hypothesis on how language determines how we see the world, rather than it's we, the individual who form a world and use language in an infinitely creative way to express it. The paradigm differences are about a kind of attitude pattern.  Putting the human back in the driver's seat in the mind was kind of a big deal debate at the time, especially with notions of brain washing and the like making the news, and a World War that seemed to have come about because an entire society had been brain washed by Nazi propaganda.  Of course, those questions might well be raised again today.

    A paradigm, then, is merely a word describing an abstract pattern.  A metaphor is also an abstract pattern that allows for us to express ourselves to others through a kind of recognizable form.  Like an poem set to music (music is also a form that expresses, what it expresses I can only guess, though I have lots of guesses) about the Proudest Monkey.  I think that's why it's so difficult to talk about.  We both have to have something close to similar notions in our minds to talk about it.  We can't even begin if we don't share some sort of agreed upon sets of words and grammar.  All that's invisible. The attitude I see comes down who's in charge of the mind, is the individual in charge or the external circumstances? 

    I approach the world with the view we are each in charge.  That view's a paradigm.  My sense of mutual respect is based on that; I believe we are each struggling to make sense of the world.  It's an equal struggle.  I liked the paradigm Chomsky offered with his theory:  The individuals' are in charge of their own minds.  That's the basis for his anarchistic views about how to do society.  When someone tries to take that from me by imposing a view that I'm not in charge, they are going to run into some problems with me agreeing with them that it's ok to do that.  It may involve fists if I don't bend, it may involve them running to grab a gun because they are somehow threatened that I don't agree with them and the threat (my beingness) must be removed from the planet.  But I will hold firm as long as I'm standing.  I will tell them they are free to think for themselves and I respect that freedom.  Amazingly, I have found people who get very upset about that.  So the human world can be a very funny for me much of the time.

    If that above Sapir Whorf hypothesis, and all that would follow about my freedom to think for myself was all I was ever exposed to as linguistics, it would kill my interest. 

    A paradigm shift in world view is not easy to explain, because paradigms are abstract, invisible, and have to be imagined.  Now, if you are programmed by the language you speak to imagine things, and your language doesn't include concepts for invisible patterns, how would you ever imagine a paradigm? Well!  I don't think that odd scenario is even possible. No Whorfian has ever answered that question satisfactorily for me when asked.  But, well... maybe some day they will, and I guess a few of them are out there trying to find a logical explanation that will persuade me, and others like me.  Mostly it's just absurd.  I'm with you:

    ogun wrote:

    so far I can not for the life of me figure out WTF they were/are thinking!


    Some of us speaking the English language can imagine paradigms and some seem to have difficulty with putting paradigm together with our imaginations.  Yet nearly everyone can use metaphors to express themselves in one way or another, even if they don't see their thoughts in metaphors.  Like seeing a song with all sorts of ironic potential to express something absurd, not always the same absurdities for each person who experiences it.  So I don't think there's a lot of externally-directed determining of how we think involved, unless perhaps some authoritarian uses coercion to kill the imagination at an early age.  Which I do think can possibly happen, but even that's only an imaginary thought on my part, and one I don't hold with much sense of certainty.  But it certainly can explain how people will respond to a bizarre stimuli like Donald Trump.  At best some external influence might be involved only because of a sharing of language and attitudes among a language speaking group, perhaps.  But even then, each individual must willingly agree to the influence, even when coerced through various threats. But I insist on allowing group behavior to remain a mystery encased in all the black boxes involved.  Of course propaganda does influence behavior on the macro level, I'm not disputing that.  The only question that all the theorists in the world can't answer to my satisfaction is how it works in the individual minds.  I walk down back from the dead man's curve of believing it can be rationally explained.  That's the curve that goes to determinism, and B.F. Skinner's world that beyond individual freedom and dignity. 

    My world view, the view that some of these theorists are calling a paradigm, involves a certain set of beliefs, or you could call them structures of thought, that involve the black box of the individual mind making decisions for itself.  In this structure, people must choose, even if unconsciously choosing based on lifelong habits and patterns. 

    Anyway, that's an attempt to share my view. I'm sure it can be improved. Best I can do this time around.  Goes round and round.
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    Re: The Structure of a Humanific Revolution

    Post by Ren's View on Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:12 am

    All along the watchtower




    They Crash into each other




    And do the two step


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    Re: The Structure of a Humanific Revolution

    Post by ogun on Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:03 am

    Free will, ah yeah. I've kinda been following that debate over the last 3 or 4 years amongst the neuro brainiac set what with all their PET and MRI scans. I can't speak for any others but for me it's hard to reconcile some of their findings with what I think I know of myself and my life experiences. I've always exercised my concept of free will from a very, very early age, shrug, sometimes for the worst but mostly I (believe) for the over-all good. But then who's to say for the worst or the good (Only myself)? To second guess the path taken makes it an unknown there after whether a single act was made freely or hard set by some unknowable imprint made during a developmental period of our lives because there's so many branches touched while following, or if you rather, while choosing any given pathway open before us. 
    Maybe if I had any off spring I'd give it all a little more consideration, as it is though it's always only been me. Yeah, well that was a definite maybe. 
    It is conversations like this that make me wish my life had taken perhaps a different arc, then I could at least speak the same language.
     
    From an uneducated view point I think the whole linguistic thing is rather silly and a waste of time. The human is not that much different than another creature of this earth in that we want to and are born with the need to communicate. The language used for that communication is wholly formed by the environment the creature and particularly the human species resides in. To me the more interesting question is when, how and why did the human make the jump from a rather (from this distance) simple language of survival and interaction among small bands or families to a language of metaphors that reaches as far as can be heard? If we consider the petroglyphs and petrographs, to me they were always meant to speak to the ages because at least on their face they represent a reported past or imagined tomorrow, in any case we have not observed any such jump as being recorded by any other creature we know of. Is it that hard to make the stretch from those wondrous first 'news papers' painted or etched into rock into todays use of the metaphors we all use to paint for others our own personal small world as we have experienced it?
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    Re: The Structure of a Humanific Revolution

    Post by Ren's View on Thu Feb 23, 2017 2:48 pm

    I can't remember what grade I was introduced to sentence diagramming.   Do you? I think it might have been fourth grade.  What I remember is how I reacted to it.  I thought it was the most absurd, unnecessary exercise I'd ever come across.  I haven't changed my mind since.  I don't know of a single person that can't speak or write well without knowing the names of the parts of a sentence.  Basically, that describes linguistics to me.  It's an esoteric subject, interesting to a few.  It's certainly not essential.

    One of the reasons they call academia an 'ivory tower' comes down to that. It's made up of a bunch of esoteric parts that are of little consequence.  I personally don't even consider it education. I think you are educated, in the sense that you are self educated and aware that you are.

    I've become multi lingual in jargon-laden esoterica is about all I'd say about most of my experience in academia.  I've done most of my exploring in that ivory encrusted land out of simple curiosity.  I only encourage people to be curious.  I think a curious, doubting person can self educate.  I also have a need to do practical things to keep myself grounded.  So I can build a house, figure out how to repair just about any mechanical device, and so on. I'm good at trouble-shooting and solving problems.  Comes from finding myself out in the middle of a field with ancient, worn out, ever-breaking farm equipment and having to, say, get the hay in while a thunderstorm was brewing on the horizon. I have mastered many of the crafts of living, and I like to think I do my living with a bit of an artistic flair.  Anyway I get comments to that effect when people visit my home.  I also love to cook.  Something else I learned on the farm out of necessity. 

    One of the important writers in my life was James Baldwin. I found him to be a kind of emotional mentor at a time when I was trying to find a balance that was utterly missing in my home life.  James Baldwin didn't learn to write in an MBA program at an elite university.  He just wrote.  He spoke to some of the same concerns that I was experiencing, though that might not be so easy to see on the surface, since his writing was about a very different experience.  I think that's probably how metaphor works.  We see patterns, often in the stories people tell, and then we give those patterns meanings based on our own, visceral experience.  Beyond that, I have no desire to believe what someone tells me.  I will listen, I may even play around in my own imagination with what someone is saying. In the end, I will decide for myself about whatever it is.  I will do that even when Trump and his Nazis come by and hold a gun to my head while they tell me I have to proclaim I'm a patriot and a Christian.  If I decide I want to live badly enough to lie, I may even say it for them.  But I know I'll be lying.

    I think you are asking some interesting questions.  Most questions that I've asked that I still consider interesting have taken me many places I never imagined I'd go.  I have few answers for the most interesting questions, but I've had a wonderful time looking.

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    Re: The Structure of a Humanific Revolution

    Post by ogun on Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:28 am

    Sentence diagraming?!!!! Thanks, I got a laugh out of that ren. 
    Nope, I don't remember what grade they tried to make me follow those rules that never made any sense to me. Can't you tell that I either didn't listen or threw that rule book out the window long ago by the way I write? Uh uh...... now where does that comma and period belong? I know I must need one of them someplace. Is that a tangling participle? Is that a verb or adj.? Maybe it should be used as a noun? Yeah, should be able to use that noun as an adj. No no, that comma doesn't belong there......... oh just screw it, it says what I want it to say.
    Yep, I remember many a paper coming back marked up so much one could think I'd turned in a study for the color red in an art class.
    Thanks for the laugh ren.

    I'd like to put some other thoughts down but I know I've only a few more minutes to spare, so later on.
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    Re: The Structure of a Humanific Revolution

    Post by Ren's View on Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:05 pm

    I feel we can use all the humor we can get right about now, and I'm happy to be able to provide a little towards that great cause.  I'll wait for some more thoughts, since I'm just about exhausted, not quite, but just about.  Meanwhile, a little rerun from someone who mattered to me and who spoke up about things that meant something at the time, just before I was about to go find out what was happening over there in Vietnam.

    James Baldwin Debates William F. Buckley


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    Re: The Structure of a Humanific Revolution

    Post by ogun on Sat Feb 25, 2017 7:33 am

    Mercifully Buckley didn't speak for long. I can not stand listening to him, never mind the poison he spews or his shallow reasoning, it's his breathless from on high delivery that just gulls me to no end and drives me over the edge.
    There were a lot of things happening in those heady days of 65. Not only were some of us moving toward the various Black Power thoughts and ideas, but many (and I'd like to include myself among them) had some inkling of a broader vision in the real nature of the cost of the american dream. Buckley I think unintentionally touched on those ideas we were formulating at the time in his rambling bit of obfuscation when he says, "We have no ideals.......that our ideals are some sort of superficial coating which we come up with at any given moment to justify whatever commercial and obnoxious experiment we are engaged in." 
    Doesn't matter the context, it's the truest thing I've ever heard Buckley say.
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    Re: The Structure of a Humanific Revolution

    Post by Ren's View on Sat Feb 25, 2017 8:54 am

    "There is no instant cure for the race problem in America, and anybody who tells you there is, is a charlatan and ultimately a boring man... Boring because he is then speaking precisely in the kind of abstractions that do not relate to the human experience." (about 49 minutes in)  and I wince internally at the sneering downturn in Buckley's nauseous intonations as he says, "ultimately a boring man..."  After naively exposing himself with those words, he then turns to the argument by obfuscation through appeal to complexity.  I'm not sure if that's one of the many official fallacies described in those infernal debate manuals, but it's surely a fallacy of some sort.

    Buckley, as I came to study him later -- I didn't know anything about him, nor did I have the opportunity to see this debate in 1965, wish I had, I was politically ignorant in every possible way then, I didn't even watch the political charades being paraded about on television -- was the epitome of what I thought of the educated elite in those days. I didn't see them as conservative or liberal.  Those were still meaningless labels to me. And an educated elite was never what I aspired to be.  Which is probably why I can see what has happened to the Democratic party being taken over by the educated, elite professional class in the way that I see it. It starts with McGovern's run for the presidency in 1972, vomiting out the uneducated labor class, culminating with the loss to Trump in this last election.  What I see includes my own sense of absurdity at this notion of the American Dream and the promise of freedom and liberty it perpetually ironicizes.

    Baldwin to me was the epitome of a degree of eloquence of which I knew I myself early on never to have the gifts to achieve.  I would aspire to it in my writing, but when it comes to public speaking, it would never be possible for me.  Nothing contrasts that eloquence, the very depth of it, any better than this video -- oh yes, there are many equal contrasts, but none that do it better, for me anyway -- in which we can watch Baldwin expressing himself first, purely, from the depths, without the educated patina of the "superior" minded who know what's best for the "inferior" of society, and then Buckley with his supercilious polish. 

    This was not really a debate.  The whole thing is a giant metaphor about human blindness. Specifically, intellectual blindness when facing the truth as revealed by the artist.  In this case the artist is Baldwin. And the metaphor applies all the way through to this day.  Two very different paradigms (referencing an earlier issue in this thread) persist in two very different mind sets, and never the twain shall mesh.
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    Re: The Structure of a Humanific Revolution

    Post by dleet86 on Sun Feb 26, 2017 11:28 pm

    https://www.amazon.com/Introducing-Linguistics-Graphic-Guide-ebook/dp/B00KFEK0AG/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1488180589&sr=1-1&keywords=introducing+linguistics is supposed to be at the bottom and a second link-

    Ren's View wrote:I can't remember what grade I was introduced to sentence diagramming.   Do you? I think it might have been fourth grade.  What I remember is how I reacted to it.  I thought it was the most absurd, unnecessary exercise I'd ever come across.  I haven't changed my mind since.  I don't know of a single person that can't speak or write well without knowing the names of the parts of a sentence.  Basically, that describes linguistics to me.  It's an esoteric subject, interesting to a few.  It's certainly not essential.

    One of the reasons they call academia an 'ivory tower' comes down to that. It's made up of a bunch of esoteric parts that are of little consequence.  I personally don't even consider it education. I think you are educated, in the sense that you are self educated and aware that you are.

    I've become multi lingual in jargon-laden esoterica is about all I'd say about most of my experience in academia.  I've done most of my exploring in that ivory encrusted land out of simple curiosity.  I only encourage people to be curious.  I think a curious, doubting person can self educate.  I also have a need to do practical things to keep myself grounded.  So I can build a house, figure out how to repair just about any mechanical device, and so on. I'm good at trouble-shooting and solving problems.  Comes from finding myself out in the middle of a field with ancient, worn out, ever-breaking farm equipment and having to, say, get the hay in while a thunderstorm was brewing on the horizon. I have mastered many of the crafts of living, and I like to think I do my living with a bit of an artistic flair.  Anyway I get comments to that effect when people visit my home.  I also love to cook.  Something else I learned on the farm out of necessity. 

    One of the important writers in my life was James Baldwin. I found him to be a kind of emotional mentor at a time when I was trying to find a balance that was utterly missing in my home life.  James Baldwin didn't learn to write in an MBA program at an elite university.  He just wrote.  He spoke to some of the same concerns that I was experiencing, though that might not be so easy to see on the surface, since his writing was about a very different experience.  I think that's probably how metaphor works.  We see patterns, often in the stories people tell, and then we give those patterns meanings based on our own, visceral experience.  Beyond that, I have no desire to believe what someone tells me.  I will listen, I may even play around in my own imagination with what someone is saying. In the end, I will decide for myself about whatever it is.  I will do that even when Trump and his Nazis come by and hold a gun to my head while they tell me I have to proclaim I'm a patriot and a Christian.  If I decide I want to live badly enough to lie, I may even say it for them.  But I know I'll be lying.

    I think you are asking some interesting questions.  Most questions that I've asked that I still consider interesting have taken me many places I never imagined I'd go.  I have few answers for the most interesting questions, but I've had a wonderful time looking.

    Odun
    https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_23?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=introducing+linguistics&sprefix=introducing+linguistics%2Caps%2C304&crid=E7TFZQL3T0AF  is a series of light reading for my retirement education themes. Topics I'm interested in but not committed enough to take a university course are enormous and lead to other connections and branches sometimes from the same family tree as Enlightenment or the science of copernicus and gallileo. Semiotics, linguistics, postmodernism, fascism, all have intro's in graphic novel format so easily shared with any eyes interested. I still have to write some notes or outlines when new connections come to my attention. Some of this  stuff  I covered in University but how long does it stay in my brain files if I don't dust the topics off once in awhile. I started with a discount shelf cleaning library discard of Einstein for Beginners back in the '90s. The Introducing came out competing and was better
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    Re: The Structure of a Humanific Revolution

    Post by Ren's View on Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:00 am

    When you get through those, try this: Aspects of the Theory of Syntax



    I struggled through it in 1972 when I still had a working brain. I read it again about six years later and I found it was much easier to understand after I had prepared through undergraduate classes and my own outside explorative reading for the graduate level linguistics courses I started at UofW.  That first reading, however mystifying and difficult it was for me, helped me to understand the underpinnings of the linguistic theory -- universal and transformational grammar -- that Chomsky was working on, and through which he embarrassed B.F. Skinner and his cohorts in that famous debate back in the early sixties with questions their theory couldn't even begin to approach.  Chomsky vs skinner: debate of the century

    Chomsky -- Universal Grammar


    When you get through with that, and you still have an interest, you could try Syntactic Structures





    An Amazon blurb writer wrote: British linguist John Lyons wrote in 1966 that "no work has had a greater influence upon the current linguistic theory than Chomsky's Syntactic Structures." Prominent historian of linguistics R. H. Robins wrote in 1967 that the publication of Chomsky's "Syntactic Structures" was "probably the most radical and important change in direction in descriptive linguistics and in linguistic theory that has taken place in recent years". Another historian of linguistics Frederick Newmeyer considers "Syntactic Structures" "revolutionary" for two reasons. Firstly, it showed that a formal yet non-empiricist theory of language was possible and more importantly, it demonstrated this possibility in a practical sense by formally treating a fragment of English grammar. Secondly, it put syntax at the center of the theory of language. Syntax was recognized as the focal point of language production, in which a finite set of rules can produce an infinite number of sentences. As a result, morphology and phonology were relegated in importance. "Syntactic Structures" also initiated an interdisciplinary dialog between philosophers of language and linguists. American philosopher John Searle wrote that "Chomsky's work is one of the most remarkable intellectual achievements of the present era, comparable in scope and coherence to the work of Keynes or Freud. It has done more than simply produce a revolution in linguistics; it has created a new discipline of generative grammar and is having a revolutionary effect on two other subjects, philosophy and psychology". With its formal and logical treatment of language, Syntactic Structures also brought linguistics and the new field of computer science closer together.

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