Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Inevitable Abrasive Nature of the Web of Words

the inevitable abrasive nature of the web of words:

we may think of words as something insubstantial, perhaps just images in a book, text on a screen, sounds in our heads, but consider that they might be something more tangible, an essential part of the machinery of life and the universe. any procedure or social process in life on earth requires words, words make things work.

posit that words and their languages and meanings occupy their own dimension in space, that they are something as real and varied and substantial as the material of light or sound. they are an instrument of life. all words and their meanings form a web in space, all connected to each other. the ways they are linked and the conceptual distances between different words and their meanings are something we all know intuitively. and just by thinking and using words we shape and change this web all the time.

it is unfortunate that there are bad words, just as it is unfortunate that bad things happen. again it is unfortunate that we can carelessly trigger bad thoughts in others when talking. some words or phrases inevitably conjure up negative ideas, others, though neutral in themselves, may naturally lead to bad thoughts anyway, as they are only a short distance away. when they lead to bad thoughts about the person itself, calling into question its own beliefs about self, or play on its own worst fears, such that they might be true, the sometimes abrasive nature of words and language reveals itself. we are all party to fear and pride, such is the nature of the human being.

i fear this abrasive nature of words and talk is inevitable. often it is difficult to console anyone that frightened, or to validate anyone that proud. the perfect idealized conversation requires conditions of security and jolliness and mutual interest that cannot always be met. perhaps as the other person, you can only provide at best a sense that someone is not alone, that there is the other person who cares.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

On Numbers and Motion

on numbers and motion:

there is Zeno's paradox of motion that holds that travel from one point to another is impossible mathematically for if you were always to travel half the distance again from that just covered you would never arrive. although theoretically possible, could infinitesimally little numbers simply not be real? if we assume space is finite, we could not even write an infinitesimally little number down, there is not enough room!

but what is motion as assumed in this model? that an object really moves from one place to another relative to a fixed spatial location! the other view is that everything has a fixed spatial location, nothing can truly move. what we see, which i think could be agreed upon, is that there is a fluid change of the pixels of our eyesight which shows the object's recognizable configuration flowing across our visual range. this is just the same as what happens on a television except in 3 dimensions. therefore if only what we see is real and not based on any material world where the objects truly exist beyond our senses, we could conclude that motion is only virtual and the conventional model is false. i feel this a fundamental argument in metaphysics.

just as infinitesimally little numbers are not real, can we apply this reasoning to distance in space? everything that exists, let us call it matter, is in its own fixed space. surely an infinitesimally little distance is not real either? there are differences in matter. matter adjoins other matter. therefore, we can reason that, in isolation, neighbouring matter, by definition, is different matter, for if it were the same or subject to the same changes over time, surely you could not argue that it is indeed another separate bit of matter. we could reason that the littlest distance that matters is the size of the littlest bit of matter. it would seem obvious then, just as infinite space is impossible, that an infinitesimally little bit of matter could not exist.


Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Practical Approach

a practical approach:

earth is a complex world. it didn't always exist, i think that can be agreed upon. it may not always exist in the future. it is a belief, however, that the soul is eternal, that is, ever present in all time. how a soul can be placed upon earth, by forces beyond our control, is another question. in this view, we all come from other worlds to earth. and what happens when we leave? there seem only two possibilities, that we return from where we came, or that we pass on to yet another world, assuming that we are not fated to live again and again on earth, and that we never truly die.

earth can seem an alien place, always a sense present that this is not truly home and that it is only for a while. because life is complicated and we are required to make many decisions, some of which go wrong, it can be a cruel, hard experience. it would seem some people are driven by their ambition, they know what they want, but i am rather more sure of what i don't want, what i want to make sure does not happen to me. you could say i am more driven by fear not by want.

in every poor decision, there is often the failure to consider all the possibilities that could happen. we naturally make optimistic assumptions at first, but we need to be more aware of risk and the likelihood that such assumptions simply do not hold, that what we have thought about for much time does not happen at all. too often, i have assumed the best outcome and subsequently been sorely disappointed. ask yourself, first, what if it's not true and second, have i considered all the possibilities? what do i need to do? what do i need to not do?

unfortunately, regret is something we all suffer. we all make mistakes. to my mind, a life without error is impossible. however, we do become more intelligent about risk as we grow older, and a future of fewer lesser mistakes and without serious accident is something to strive for.


Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Search for Truth

the search for truth:

to anyone, the thought that you might be insane or even just a little muddled, is something deeply concerning. to not know the truth is bad enough, to believe falsity is at best embarrassing, at worst truly horrifying. to live a lie, and then to realize so, crushes the soul.

the whole problem with thought is that it is too wide in range and somewhat random. we can entertain ideas that are wildly distant from reality, not only easily, but too often. this range can be a strength, to be sure, we can happen upon true ideas from a short start sometimes, but the thought process is like watching a building being constructed haphazardly with different concepts that may or may not form a complex that is true. but thought never ceases, it continues throughout all time.

but how, if we arrive at a thought, do we know if it is true or not? we have the ability to consider all the combinations, quite carefully even. does the truth return something from the void out there, a confirmation of validity? it is frustrating when there seems no way to prove whether something is true or not. we hope that the truth will unlock the puzzle. if the mind is like a computer, trying all the combinations that fit, it would seem a slow process, and often it is.

the need to know the truth about life and existence is not just an exercise in vanity and greed, to know it all, so to speak, for how can we ever be secure in ignorance or dangerous insanity? for example, everyone knows they exist, but what do they know of others who exist, how many and who are they? the range of estimates of number, if not hardened belief, goes from zero to billions, from the world of solipsism to an entire plural universe or multiverse, but even this is confusing, for how do we define ourselves and what the other person is exactly, that is, what is a living person and can someone very different from me be a living other person as defined by myself? to believe that i am the only real person in existence, the solipsistic nightmare, is a horrific thought. basically, you are god, but you can't control that much, everything around you is an illusion and you are completely alone! alternatively, to believe there are billions of people brings its own troubling thoughts, personal insignificance, difficulties relating to so many others and so on. this leads us to assume there is a magical perfect number of people, perhaps, a "goldilocks" population, not too many, not too few.

which brings us to the perpetual thinking difficulty, if you had the power, would you want things to be a certain way, just as you think, that is, if you were God, is this what you want to be the case? there is the danger of confusing thought with emotion. caught up in our thoughts, we delude ourselves that we are thinking about what we want, when this is not truly the case.

is the truth a resonant thing? is the universe a wonderful machine where the truth is the only thing that "works"? the conscious thoughtful mind connects to the subconscious to the unconscious to the rest of surrounding reality. there is a process of testing hypotheses perhaps. we are ever closer to the truth.