Thursday, April 19, 2012

From Ideological Prison to the Wide Open Frontier of Consciousness

I never did finish the discussion of Purcell's From Big Bang to Big Mystery before veering into Hitler and the Germans, but the two are actually intimately related, in that Purcell's whole approach is deeply indebted to Voegelin, who is without question one of the most wide-ranging thinkers who ever lived.

One reason Voegelin is qualified to describe and analyze the spiritual and intellectual pathologies that made Hitler possible, is because he spent his life trying to understand the logospheric and pneumatic conditions that make humanness possible. Again: unless we know what health is, we won't be in a position to recognize, diagnose, and treat pathology.

Also, Voegelin himself embodied the very quest he describes, without in any way compromising his scholarship. Analogously, it takes a mystic to write about mysticism, which is precisely what is wrong with most academic works on mysticism, or even on religion in general.

As described in the Coonica, it is the difference between mere (k) and (n), or ego-based knowledge and nous-centered intellect-vision. Clearly, when it comes to religion, anything other than interior, experiential knowledge is an abstraction. This is not to say that certain things cannot be a matter of faith, but faith itself is tacit foreknowledge of as yet undiscovered realities, or it is not worthy of the name.

And a deep and secure faith is already a kind of confirmation that resonates through the being and yields a harvest of its own. In other words, it is creative -- one might say organic -- never static.

This is also the difference between good and bad dogma, or just dogma properly understood. Dogma is a tool, not just a static system to be superimposed on the intellect. It is a probe with which we poke around in the suprasensible dark, in the way a blind man uses a cane to innervisualize the space within which he moves.

Now, is dogma -- and religion -- misused and misunderstood? Please. Grow up. This is like asking if humans are humans, which they tend to be. Everything touched by humans can be and is misused and abused -- science, art, religion, democracy, sex, grog, music, education, baseball (the DH), my comment section. There is no end of things that are goods in themselves until humans get their hands on them.

Why is this? That would require a very lengthy explanation (which I've already done), hence the virtue of dogma, i.e., man's fallen condition, which is a kind of compact and shorthand wisdom that gets one straight to the bottom lyin'. Most people don't have the time or the mental capacity to think this through on their own, which is unnecessary anyway if they just take it on faith that yeah, man is pretty f'ed up, okay? So don't imagine otherwise, or you are headed for a very rude awhackening upside the head.

Consider America's founders, who were so imbued with the idea of man's dubious character that they hardly needed to make it explicit. Rather, the question was what to do about it, i.e., how to create a government that could overcome, or at least compensate for, the fact that it would be run by men, of all people. One often hears complaints about how difficult it is to "get things done in Washington," or lamentations of "why can't they just get along?"

Uh doy. The whole system was designed to prevent an authoritarian clusterfuck such as Obamacare from ever seeing the light of day. That it was only rammed through in the teeth of bipartisan opposition via bribery, bullying, kickbacks, and legislative trickery, tells you all you need to know. Even leaving aside its plain unconstitutionality, it violates the very spirit -- and wisdom -- upon which the nation was founded.

To jump ahead a bit, Voegelin defines the essence of health as a condition of intellectual and spiritual openness. Just as there are intellectual illiterates, there are spiritual illiterates.

And when Voegelin uses the term "illiterate," he doesn't mean it in the sense of merely being unable to read. Rather, especially in a mass-educated society such as ours, the ability to read has little to do with actually being literate, as our troll ably proves every day with the breezy self-assurance of the dense. For Voegelin, it is not just the failure to assimilate good literature, but the inability to even recognize it.

For our troll, some cut-and-paste nonsense pulled up from the fringes of the internet is as deep and learned as, say, Voegelin, or Plato, or Eckhart, or Thomas, or Schuon, or the Upanishads, or Tomberg, or Balthasar, or the whole host of magnificent thinkers who have graced mankind by illuminating and mapping the transcendent order.

I was about to say that without them we'd be in a deep hole, but that wouldn't be quite correct, because in a two-dimensional world there are neither holes nor peaks, just... desires and fears, or pleasure and pain.

Which is certainly one way to order one's life, but it doesn't in any way correspond to the wider order of the cosmos, and the whole point of life, if we could express it in a single sentence, is to conform oneself to the order of reality. For what is the alternative? To order oneself to illusion? That works too, at least for a time, but reality has a way of breaking through the little manmade orders we impose upon it. And killing lots of people in the process.

Ironically, to think in so simplistic a manner -- i.e., God isn't real because science supposedly says so (itself a gross misunderstanding of, and insult to, science) -- is so deeply anti-human as to beggar belief, because in one cretinous wave of the grubby hand it eliminates all that is best and brightest in man's 50,000 year quest to understand his ground and destiny.

This was Voegelin's main beef with academia, and it is identical to our own mockery of the tenured. In his book Amanesis, he discusses this from up close, since he spent 50-odd years in that environment, and was in a position to know. He writes of how postmodern ideologues -- whether beholden to Marxism, positivism, scientism, evolutionism, Freudianism, whatever -- all share the same characteristic of being closed systems which lose the ability to perceive reality over -- or under -- their own projections.

In other words, once one assimilates an ideology, percept follows concept, to such an extent that this second reality places a kind of blanket over first reality, which is never seen again. It is still there, of course, and continues to be unconsciously recognized. Thus, the ideologue senses this real reality -- in the same way that the person of faith senses real reality, except that the ideologue works feverishly to deny the perception.

This is why there can be no leftism in the absence of political correctness or some similar coercive structure to enforce their version of reality, since maintaining the second reality requires a kind of systematic advance-warning system to prevent people from traveling down certain chains of observation or reasoning. If that happens, the whole swindle collapses.

Voegelin asks -- and this was back in 1977 -- "Why do they [the tenured] expressly prohibit anybody to ask questions concerning the sectors of reality they have excluded from their personal horizon? Why do they want to imprison themselves in their restricted horizon and to dogmatize their prison reality as the universal truth? And why do they want to lock up all mankind in the prison of their making?"

That was for you, Barry: Why? What makes you qualified to do this, aside from a cosmic narcissism that is simultaneously outlandishly grandiose and childishly petty? A mind as small as Obama's can only appear capacious to someone living in an intellectual hovel.

I repeat: this is not the open spirit in which this nation was founded, which was fundamentally a spirit of liberty, or one might say "spiritual freedom."

Now what is this "spiritual freedom?" Well, for any flatlander, such as our troll, it is a nonsense term. There's nothing we can do for him. But from the Raccoon perspective, it is all about vertical freedom, although vertical freedom is impossible, or at least quite difficult, in an atmosphere deprived of horizontal freedom. The damage that socialism, statism, and communism do to economic reality is one thing, but the more tragic and enduring damage is to the soul, which can again lose contact with the spiritual environment because of the systematic denial imposed by the regime.

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are none other than the irreducible prerequisites of a spiritually and intellectually open stance toward the cosmos. The first two are obvious, since you won't get very far in your quest without your life and the freedom to live it in the manner you see fit.

But nor will you get very far without pursuing happiness, by which the founders certainly didn't mean pleasure, or convenience, or power. Rather, they meant it in the classic Greek sense of actualizing one's powers -- one's gifts -- in the direction of virtue. That is life. That is liberty. That is happiness. That is firing on all cylinders in hyperspace.

In the course of his journey among the primitive tribes of the tenured, Voegelin discovered a kind of restrictive horizon "similar to the consciousness that I could observe in the political mass movements" of the 20th century. Of course, one can only recognize the restriction if one is coming from a wider and more open horizon, which Voegelin surely was.

In the United States, he noticed the now obvious problem of people such as our troll, who are educated well beyond their intelligence, i.e., "the populist expansion of the universities, accompanied by the inevitable inrush of functional illiterates into academic positions in the 1950s and 1960s." Far from Santorum's characterization of Obama's "elitism" for believing everyone should go to college, it is quite the opposite, for when everyone goes to college, everyone will be as functionally illiterate and anti-intellectual as Obama, and everyone will be a Democrat.

Regarding this openness to the subjective cosmic horizon, Voegelin writes that navigating it "is a ceaseless action of expanding, ordering, articulating, and correcting itself.... It is a permanent effort at responsive openness to the appeal of reality, at bewaring premature satisfaction, and above all at avoiding the self-destructive phantasy of believing" that reality "can be mastered by bringing it into the form of a system."

To say that reality is much richer than the ideological fantasies of the tenured is simultaneously obvious and yet necessary, since we are all victims of these fantasies in one way or another. Our human duty is to rebel against any system that attempts to imprison us in some manmode idiotolatry. This means to be in solidarity with man as such, and to acquaint oneself with the best man has to offer in his encounter with open existence over the centuries.

For history is the chronicle of consciousness exploring and differentiating itself in continuous dialectic with the Ground, with O, the source of order. Alternatively, one can just say, "duh, science say only matter real," and be done with it.

45 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

A mind as small as Obama's can only appear capacious to someone living in an intellectual hovel.

I'm reminded again of yesterday's commenter over at the Sultan's, who maintained that Obama and Oprah are impressive, and that therefore we need them (to lead us, presumably). We don't need smug, self-important assouls to dictate to us how to live; rather, we need them to leave us alone.

4/19/2012 09:09:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Good take on how the progressive left hijacked first reality and imposed their second reality on us.

4/19/2012 09:43:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

The Oprah channel isn't doing so well.

Basically because Oprah was essentially the ideal person to host a talk show.

So, yes, she's extremely *impressive*, with the added caveat *only as long as she is limited to a talk show that is on one hour a day five days a week*.

Whereas Obama was equally *impressive*, with the added caveat *only as long as he is running for President*. He's the ideal presidential *candidate*.

Unfortunately, he's out of his element now.

4/19/2012 09:47:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Wow.

4/19/2012 10:29:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Most people don't have the time or the mental capacity to think this through on their own ...

This is point I think Magnus alludes to quite a bit. We can actually learn a lot from people who are often marginalized as "fundamentalists". Both he and I were taught well by just such people. It isn't even a thing where they have no intellectual curiosity. They simply lack the capacity to process all this, but they know how to be righteous, and they know Who is good.


For Voegelin, it is not just the failure to assimilate good literature, but the inability to even recognize it.

Is that ever true.


... in a two-dimensional world there are neither holes nor peaks, just... desires and fears, or pleasure and pain ...

I was thinking about holiness the other day, and it seems to me that a holy life, while being manifest horizontally without question, might be helpfully thought of as one that is possessed of a transcendent purpose, i.e., that has a vertical dimension.

That means that the antithesis of a holy life isn't necessarily the flatland existence of the Pharisee or even of the typical materialistic sinner, but one that has a demonic dimension.

Everest versus the Mariana Trench.

4/19/2012 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

In other words, once one assimilates an ideology, percept follows concept, to such an extent that this second reality places a kind of blanket over first reality, which is never seen again.


And the word of the Lord will be to them
precept upon precept, precept upon precept,
line upon line, line upon line,
here a little, there a little,
that they may go, and fall backward,
and be broken, and snared, and taken. (Isaiah 28:13)

4/19/2012 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

If I don't stop, I might as well just copy the whole thing. One more.

... vertical freedom is impossible, or at least quite difficult, in an atmosphere deprived of horizontal freedom. The damage that socialism, statism, and communism do to economic reality is one thing, but the more tragic and enduring damage is to the soul, which can again lose contact with the spiritual environment because of the systematic denial imposed by the regime.


To have a pyramid or a cone requires one to have a base. Obviously God has a base on the inspirational, revelatory side. So He could reveal Himself to His people even in tyrannical regimes with very little personal freedom. However, once He had done that, He immediately called His people out of bondage and into a place where they could have their own property and work their own land. We tend to correctly regard that as a type of spiritual freedom in Christ, but it reflects an ongoing truth in the material realm as well.

4/19/2012 10:43:00 AM  
Blogger Magister said...

Lots of gold here. You too, Mushroom.

pursuing happiness, by which the founders certainly didn't mean pleasure, or convenience, or power. Rather, they meant it in the classic Greek sense of actualizing one's powers -- one's gifts -- in the direction of virtue. That is life. That is liberty. That is happiness. That is firing on all cylinders in hyperspace

I've been meditating on the word "dissipation" lately. It's antique now, but it meant, sensibly, something like "wasting one's energies." How many hedonists do we know (even ourselves, once upon a time) who seemed always to be hung over when they weren't high? What a waste of gifts! What a dissipation of energy that could've been directed better elsewhere!

Dissipation has a huge internal cost. You just get burnt out. You get divided. You cease to build things. You see things pass in and out of your orbit, and you start to feel like you're living a chapter out of Ecclesiastes: all is vanity! And it leaves you feeling bored, and then restless, and then addicted. You start to thrash around, get angry, take up "causes," and so on. In short, you're dissipating, disappearing, wasting away.

The alternative of course is health.

4/19/2012 10:55:00 AM  
Blogger Magister said...

By the way Bob your title made me think of Frederick Jackson Turner's book about The Significance of the Frontier in American History.

Some people are shaped profoundly by the existence of frontiers in other areas, too, horizontal and vertical.

Seems to me there's a lot that can rise out of the dirt of this idea.

4/19/2012 11:02:00 AM  
Blogger mtraven said...

On this Yom Hashoah, let me take this opportunity to commemorate the many brave leftists who actively defied and fought against Hitler, and mourn the decline of political discourse to the point where Hitler is trivialized into just another everyday weapon of opprobrium.

I don't miss you guys at all.

4/19/2012 11:50:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

" Again: unless we know what health is, we won't be in a position to recognize, diagnose, and treat pathology."

Similar to why willian could not answer my question yesterday, and why none of our trolls ever have and never will - you cannot say why something is bad, if you cannot say why something is Good.

4/19/2012 12:09:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Huh. Speak of the devil.

4/19/2012 12:10:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Mtraven is certainly correct that we couldn't have won WWII without Stalin. Ironically, those who were unlucky enough to live under both regimes and still survive, claim that Stalin was even worse than Hitler, so there are definitely degrees of hell. I suppose the wider point is that it takes barbarism to defeat a barbarian.

4/19/2012 12:21:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

On that note, Mead touches on similar themes in Egypt and Syria.

4/19/2012 01:01:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Yeah, the Stalin thing. I have heard from American WWII vets that some Germans who were actually there on the Russian front claimed they were defeated more by western Allied material, especially the planes, than by the Soviets themselves.

My information is anecdotal.

But then again, aren't historians just journalists who are less likely to get caught?

In any case, the assembly lines of capitalist America should be given their due in dooming the socialist autocrats of Germany.

4/19/2012 01:03:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I'm pretty sure it was Stalin's utter indifference to human life, especially Russian soldiers. Most of them fought suicide missions with a gun to the back of the head.

4/19/2012 01:29:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

On which basis Stalin cynically wanted special treatment from the allies for Russia's terrible loss of human life.

4/19/2012 01:31:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Mushroom said "If I don't stop, I might as well just copy the whole thing. One more."

Saved me the trouble, thanks.

4/19/2012 01:38:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Rats. Thanks anyway Mushroom, but... gotta take the trouble anyways,

"And when Voegelin uses the term "illiterate," he doesn't mean it in the sense of merely being unable to read. Rather, especially in a mass-educated society such as ours, the ability to read has little to do with actually being literate, as our troll ably proves every day with the breezy self-assurance of the dense. For Voegelin, it is not just the failure to assimilate good literature, but the inability to even recognize it."

Yep. And of course once "...this second reality places a kind of blanket over first reality, which is never seen again..." then this Marianas trench of illiteratness, becomes what our 'educators' insist is the height of literateness - the functional equivalent of biological word processing skills.

And what that means in practice for us, is,

"The damage that socialism, statism, and communism do to economic reality is one thing, but the more tragic and enduring damage is to the soul, which can again lose contact with the spiritual environment because of the systematic denial imposed by the regime..."

, which is painfully illustrated here from a buddy of mine at Mo Educational Watchdog, A view of the future.

Ugh.

4/19/2012 01:52:00 PM  
Blogger mtraven said...

Oh yes.

The left resistance to Hitler was not primarily Stalinist (although the communists ended up being more effective than some of the other groups because they were better organized). One of the Red Orchestra groups "ran the gamut of German society, including Communists, political conservatives, Jews, devout Catholics, and atheists. Their ages ran from 16 to 86, and about 40% were women." The main political opposition to Hitler before his rise to power was the social democratic SDP.

4/19/2012 01:59:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Nugent said something controversial this week, but I'm surprised Obama isn't a bigger fan of Ted's.

4/19/2012 02:21:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

We knew it was coming: Levon Helm goes home today.

4/19/2012 02:25:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

umkay. Is there a point to that? Is there supposed to be some disagreement over whether or not leftists, communists and even other fascists, opposed and fought against Hitler?

Or surprise even?

What's your point mtcraven? I only ask, because we haven't missed you either, but we do miss not missing you so... there's the door... is there something keeping you from going back out through it?

4/19/2012 02:27:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

And rounding out the latest Three for departure, Greg Ham of Men At Work.

4/19/2012 02:45:00 PM  
Blogger John Lien said...

@mush. Yes, it sounds like a critique of Social Darwinism with a subtle nod of approval to OWS-style anarchy. I'm surprised the Nuge hasn't been invited to the White house for dinner yet.

4/19/2012 03:07:00 PM  
Blogger JP said...

There wasn't much political development in Germany along any sort of democratic/republican lines until after WWI.

And then the entire hyperinflation adventure happened which jiggered everything up.

And during Bismark's days it was Prussian autocracy vs. socialists, so it makes sense that it would have been Hitler vs. socialists in that era.

I don't really know much about German history after WWI, but I think that the Prussian/Austrian system had a lot to do with the eventual permitted development of Hitler.

Bad mojo there.

4/19/2012 03:11:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Gagdad, you mentioned this one earlier, Will the Real Social Darwinists Please Stand Up?, didn't you? Good article,

"...While he is correct that both Herbert Spencer and William Graham Sumner, the two most prominent purported social Darwinists of the late 19th century, dont really live up to the liberal cliche, it is nevertheless the case that Spencer and Sumner ironically prepared the way for the Progressive embrace of Darwinian ideas in political and social thought a generation later. (Keep in mind that it was Woodrow Wilson who said that our constitutionalism should be Darwinian in character: behold, the birth of the living Constitution.) They did this by rejecting the Founding Eras philosophical doctrine of individual natural right, which became the cornerstone of Progressivism. Sumner hated the Declaration of Independence, and explicitly embraced the John C. Calhoun and Stephen Douglas view Jeffersons handiwork..."

Yes they did, and Sumner particularly had a hand in driving that stake into the heart of our method of educating ourselves. Particularly with ideas like this,

"...Before the tribunal of nature, Sumner wrote in his most memorable formulation, a man has no more rights than a rattlesnake; he has no more right to liberty than any wild beast. Spencer argued, following Bentham (nonsense on stilts) that the idea of natural rights should be abandoned.

From Spencer and Sumner it was but a short step to the left-leaning Social Darwinism of thinkers like Lester Ward (author of Dynamic Sociology in the 1890s), who merely turned so-called Social Darwinism on its head an in support of what we would recognize today as the Progressive agenda. And its cornerstone is a rejection of individual natural rights..."


Fiend. Not surprisingly, you'll find Sumner deep in the bowels of the uber-libertarians, especially those of the 'Lincoln= evil tyrant' mindset. The idea that he could be associated with something called 'Libertarianism', pretty much says all that needs to be said about a great many of those who claim that party.

I particularly liked his mention of a fellow named Lester Ward, I thought I was the only living person who still detected his odor, which is one of those things I really enjoy being wrong about.

"...From Spencer and Sumner it was but a short step to the left-leaning Social Darwinism of thinkers like Lester Ward (author of Dynamic Sociology in the 1890s), who merely turned so-called Social Darwinism on its head an in support of what we would recognize today as the Progressive agenda. And its cornerstone is a rejection of individual natural rights. From Ward:

'Not until we have succeeded in banishing the metaphysical conception of abstract right, and taken down the unrealizable standards of an imaginary disinterestedness in action, shall we be prepared to discuss intelligently the conditions of mans progress conceived as capable of accomplishment by his own efforts. . . It is here that the new science is destined to be strongly antagonized by the growth of erroneous ideas respecting liberty. The so-called abstract rights of mankind must be denied if society is ever to become the arbiter of its own destiny.'

Ward tried to invent a whole new form of government, which he called sociocracy, which he admits is quite distinct from democracy. Hard to tell it from modern therapeutic liberalism though."


So many people have worked so hard to gut the center out of us... as progress.

Damn proregressives.

4/19/2012 03:22:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Regarding this openness to the subjective cosmic horizon, Voegelin writes that navigating it "is a ceaseless action of expanding, ordering, articulating, and correcting itself.... It is a permanent effort at responsive openness to the appeal of reality, at bewaring premature satisfaction, and above all at avoiding the self-destructive phantasy of believing" that reality "can be mastered by bringing it into the form of a system."

And not just premature satisfaction, which is less than satisfaction and unfullfilling, but satisfaction dysfunction or SD.

In either case those who prefer the illusion (lie) to reality (truth) are never satisfied.
Ergo, they are never thankfull.

Instead they embrace envy n' bitterness.
They lust n' covet.
Joy springing from a thankfull heart is impossible to achieve in that state, and the State can never give that (howeverm those who want a nanny State will never stop seeking it from the State).

When they don't get it they blame Christians, Jews, the wealthy, old white guys and white hispanics (probably white asians as well, white meaning anyone who doesn't agree with their fascism), and conservatives.

At the same trime they'll continue to attempt to create a type of spiritual viagra to treat their SD.

Excellent post (thanks Bob!) and comments from my fellow Raccoons! :^)

4/19/2012 03:42:00 PM  
Blogger Cond0010 said...

"Regarding this openness to the subjective cosmic horizon, Voegelin writes that navigating it "is a ceaseless action of expanding, ordering, articulating, and correcting itself...."

...and dare to be wrong. To pursue a hunch, go with it, be wrong, back track and be wiser because of it. This is what it is to be free.

4/19/2012 07:49:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Hey, Cond0010, good to see you.

Mistakes R' Us

4/19/2012 08:13:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

This is off topic, but my brain needs something to do and anyway, I figure it would be wrong not to address something that William has been hyperventilating so much about since it turns out that, yet again, he's been getting his panties in a twist over nothing.

So that Creationist bill in Tennessee, (AKA the "Monkey Bill" after the Scopes Monkey trial) is, it turns out, not about allowing Creationism to be taught in schools. Shocking, I know. Here's the bill (a PDF), and here's the relevant text:

"(1) An important purpose of science education is to inform students about scientific evidence and to help students develop critical thinking skills necessary to becoming intelligent, productive, and scientifically informed citizens;
(2) The teaching of some scientific subjects, including, but not limited to, biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning, can cause controversy; and
(3) Some teachers may be unsure of the expectations concerning how they should present information on such subjects.
(b) [State schools] shall endeavor to create an environment within public elementary and secondary schools that encourages students to explore scientific questions, learn about scientific evidence, develop critical thinking skills, and respond appropriately and respectfully to differences of opinion about controversial issues.
(c) [State Schools] shall endeavor to assist teachers to find effective ways to present the science curriculum as it addresses scientific controversies. Toward this end, teachers shall be permitted to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in the course being taught.
(d) [No school] shall prohibit any teacher in a public school system of this state from helping students understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in the course being taught.
(e) This section only protects the teaching of scientific information, and shall not be construed to promote any religious or non-religious doctrine, promote discrimination for or against a particular set of religious beliefs or non-beliefs, or promote discrimination for or against religion or non-religion."
(emphasis mine)

In other words, kids in science classes are being encouraged to *gasp!* ask questions, presumably exercising the use of the scientific method, which may reveal that certain theories, currently presented as "settled" even though they tend to have gigantic, unexplained and possibly unexplainable holes in them, don't explain everything and allow room for people to wonder.

Who knows? Some crop of kids who understand that there is still room for study and for finding real answers might actually be encouraged to learn that there is still room for scientific discovery, and go on to solve some big mysteries as a result. But gosh, it would be terrible to take that chance, wouldn't it? Because some people might decide that young earth creationism explains everything instead (and heaven, er, Gaia knows, they don't do that already...). Because that's so satisfying to curious young minds.

4/20/2012 04:33:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Along those lines, I'm reminded of when I was taking physics in high school: at one point the teacher actually allowed one of the other kids to do a presentation, in front of the whole class and separate from any other assignment (in fact, only partially even touching on physics; it may have been some sort of extra credit project) about some alternate and yes, Creationist-based theories of how life on the planet developed.

It was interesting, if unconvincing as a whole (though some parts are still quite intriguing), but notably the teacher didn't ridicule this kid, nor did any of the students - even though nobody was convinced. He didn't endorse the kid's opinions, either - just allowed him to present the data, and allowed us to make up our minds. I respected both the teacher and the kid for doing that, and the lessons learned about making room for differences of opinion were just as valuable as any of the hard science we were taught.

Science is not helped when unanswered questions are presented as being "settled," especially when it is clear that they haven't been solved at all. The kids who understand the science will - or should - also understand that "we don't know" is a valid answer, one that opens doors to genuine discovery. Closing those doors for fear that someone might conclude that, for instance, the universe didn't "just happen," but was somehow created or designed, based on the available data, is petty, childish, and antithetical to genuine scientific advances.

4/20/2012 04:48:00 AM  
Blogger Cond0010 said...

"Hey, Cond0010, good to see you. "

Good to be back. Every Wednesday and Thursday is REAL busy for me so getting near my computer can be real difficult.

Thanks for noticing, Shroom.

4/20/2012 05:44:00 AM  
Blogger Cond0010 said...

"...at one point the teacher actually allowed one of the other kids to do a presentation, ...but notably the teacher didn't ridicule this kid, nor did any of the students - even though nobody was convinced. "

Part of the learning process is to be able to speak your mind on the subject as it forces you to put your thoughts into a cohesive and understandable format that others can understand (besides yourself). Once that is done and you 'hear' your self on the matter it is amazing the kind of questions that percolate up from within (and from the audience listening). Wonder tool, being a 'teacher' ...

I thought I read somewhere recently (here, maybe) that one thing that Japanese Executives do is let the most Junior Partners speak first at their meetings. Interesting, no?

This also sheds light on the wonderful benefits of being a comment lurker, also.

4/20/2012 06:01:00 AM  
Blogger Cond0010 said...

"(e) This section only protects the teaching of scientific information, and shall not be construed to promote any religious or non-religious doctrine, promote discrimination for or against a particular set of religious beliefs or non-beliefs, or promote discrimination for or against religion or non-religion."

Nice that you posted this for our little Troll, Julie. The "Tennessee Loose Canon" needs to either tie done his reading and comprehension skills or put his comments more into a form of a question.

4/20/2012 06:09:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

It's like with the latest information on "dark matter" -- I admit that I have always found the idea extremely questionable. If your equations require something to exist, it must exist, right? I understand that scientists have often made discoveries based on the fact that an anomaly exists in something like planetary motion.

But seriously, think about the fact that the dark matter theory is based, at least in part, on the fact that astronomers think they know how much good ol' regular matter is in the universe.

Stars can be heavier than they look -- at least in Hollywood.

4/20/2012 06:17:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

As we've said before, William is a tool who simply propagates the manufactured memes of the left. The simplistic memes are invented by the cynical and disingenuous leftists who are further up the cognitive food chain, in order to take advantage of these types of innocent yahoos who are incapable of thinking things through on their own, and who have never had an original thought in their lives. But the latter are the lifeblood of the left, because they keep these idiotic narratives alive. It's as if the virus is invented in a lab, and drones such as William spread the virus into the community. The list of outdated leftist memes is pretty funny. If one doesn't stick, or it backfires, they just toss out a new one, and rely on the media to have no memory of it, which is one more reason why the left is so utterly incoherent. It's like a strategy, but with no actual content

4/20/2012 06:38:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I have a relative who used to pester me with these memes and narratives, but as soon as you answer one, he'd be off to the next, with no ability to assimilate the previous explanation or to see the big picture. To paraphrase an old Latin wise crack, the ass can always generate more objections than the philosopher can respond to, because it can take all day to explain why just one of their ideas is so lame.

4/20/2012 06:45:00 AM  
Blogger Cond0010 said...

@Shroom

"If your equations require something to exist, it must exist, right? I understand that scientists have often made discoveries based on the fact that an anomaly exists in something like planetary motion. "

Even Einstein is guilty of Shaping and molding equations to fit the 'reality' he perceives, so even the greatest in the scientific fields are not immune:

'Albert Einstein was shocked by Hubble's findings. Fifteen years earlier, Einstein deliberately 'fudged' his mathematical equations for general relativity because they allowed for an expanding Universe, a collapsing Universe, but not an unchanging, eternal Universe. Einstein believed then, along with all other human beings, that the Universe is static and eternal. Albert Einstein later told George Gamow that altering his original equations was the 'greatest blunder' of his life.'
http://www.kennebecriverartisans.com/kennebec.org/fks/hubble.html

So Bob is spot on when he says "Everything touched by humans can be and is misused and abused -- science, art, religion, democracy, sex, grog, music, education, baseball (the DH), my comment section. "

When a person reaches a certain level mathematically, you can amek an equation for ANYHTING and thus reverse engineer a natural phenomenon by slapping an equation upon it and say "Hey! its works this way". Infact, cellphones use that concept in the transference of your voice from cellphone to cellphone. When you speak into the cellphone transmitter, the cellphone converts the voice analog signal into a MATHEMATICAL FORMULA (as it is the most compact form to convey the information packet), transmits it to the receiving cellphone (yea, yea, I'm skippings lots here, but its not necessary for this argument) where it is decompressed from its mathematical formula back into the analog voice signal.

Neato, huh?

Now for some trivia: With THAT information in mind, 'text' messaging is a mathematical constant (simplest Fourier Transformation) and takes the least amount of processor usage along with the least amount of signal transmitted. When text messaging started out as a novel idea and people were charged extra for its usage, I realized that somewhere along the line, someone saw an opportunity to make a buck at teh expense of an ignorant public. I have never let go of the opportuntiy of enightening friends and aquaintances of this racket made by the marketers of the phone companies (never mind tha fact that using a cellphone in a third world country is FAR LESS EXPENSIVE than it is here - but we won't go there).

4/20/2012 06:50:00 AM  
Blogger Cond0010 said...

"The simplistic memes are invented by the cynical and disingenuous leftists who are further up the cognitive food chain, in order to take advantage of these types of innocent yahoos who are incapable of thinking things through on their own, and who have never had an original thought in their lives. "

At one time, the purpose of school was to teach people to think.

http://www.gbt.org/text/sayers.html

But now, since we are no longer pioneering the New world, self sufficiency is no longer needed. So... time to dumb down the system & create psychological dependencies. Poof! The post modern man.

Or should I say the 'Pre-modern Man'
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krb2OdQksMc

4/20/2012 07:45:00 AM  
Blogger Cond0010 said...

Ah... the liberal mob...

4/20/2012 07:47:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Gagdad @06:38 am - Yep.

"It's like a strategy, but with no actual content."

The strategy is the ultimate strategy of those propelled by power - to bring low, break down, divide, and conquer. And like the scorpion that stings the frog whose back it's riding across the water on, it doesn't matter that ultimately it'll kill them... it's just what they do.

"...but as soon as you answer one, he'd be off to the next, with no ability to assimilate the previous explanation or to see the big picture."

Coleridge had a description for the willian Iago in Othello, who just wanted to be vile and malicious, and any pretext would do, he called it 'the motive hunting of motiveless malignancy' - love that.

Cond0010 said "...you can amek an equation for ANYHTING and thus reverse engineer a natural phenomenon by slapping an equation upon it and say "Hey! its works this way"."

The early proregressive educational enthusiasts came up with several mathematical formulas for Poetry which they declared not only explained a poems value, but which must be followed in order to be considered 'valid poems'.

'Nuff said.

4/20/2012 08:03:00 AM  
Blogger Cond0010 said...

Van -

"Coleridge had a description for the willian Iago in Othello, who just wanted to be vile and malicious, and any pretext would do, he called it 'the motive hunting of motiveless malignancy' - love that."

William Iago: Why do you torment that thing so? Its what I do. :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uaDiIDSqKEI

4/20/2012 08:10:00 AM  
Blogger Cond0010 said...

"The early proregressive educational enthusiasts came up with several mathematical formulas for Poetry..."

Huh... so math and science is used as the vehicle to get a lie (and the dumbing down process) into the psyche of the people. Science would be used to lie to us, now would it?

Behold, the new snake oil salesman - and I thought the TV Evangelists were awful in that capacity (using religion as the vehicle verse science).

4/20/2012 08:16:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Cond0010 said "Huh... so math and science is used as the vehicle to get a lie (and the dumbing down process) into the psyche of the people. Science would be used to lie to us, now would it?"

You got it. Quantities of Facts in the dis-integrated moment, are used to nudge aside any consideration of Quality of concept and timeless principles. They've got it down pat. Pick a topic, say... ask a leftie whether it is Right to take from some and not just give to others, but force everyone to accept, govt's preferred healthcare plan, and the answer will be "Do you realize that 30 million people are without healthcare? What would you do about them?". 30 million trumps Right and Wrong. For most it's not even a strategy, it's what remains of their thought processes, the conceptual structure and support of principles, is simply not there.

The first and express target of proregressive education, some of it pushed by some of our Founders era with the best of intentions, Dr. Rush, Noah Webster, was to eliminate anything smacking of the imaginative, and substituting instead efficiencies and skills - the first textbooks (other than math or grammar rules, etc) were specifically designed for that purpose, to strip literature and history of anything poetic and imaginative, and providing compact, 'essentialized', essays of facts.

Why anyone would want to read them, how they could be effected by them, what learning could possibly be accomplished without containing something worth learning... questions that were simply dismissed in favor of the proregressive era's idol: Efficiency; Quantity over Quality.

I've posted mucho on it over the years, but this one goes through it, You Could Become Educated... but wait...There’s Less! Our Rotten Common Core Part 3b,

"...Then as now, what their intent was, was to keep the people who are formed by their environment (you there, rabble), in their environment, though modified by experts to optimum efficiency, so that real experts would be free to do what was best for them, and number one on their list was discrediting and doing away with the very materials and ideas which had formed the supports of Western Civilization for centuries. The fact that that knowledge and those ideas were what made their slick new technology possible, was simply ignored. Poof. Gone.

This was and is the message of those who are again calling themselves 'Progressives'.

How could this happen? Where did such ideas come from? Why the mania for such cultural suicide? There are many reasons, but for brevity's sake (coming from me, that's gotta make you laugh) we'll boil them down to three visible 'root causes', and look at how they began to be implemented, often by fine people with entirely different intentions in mind...
"

Spreading The Flames - Part 6 or What never was and never will be - Modern Madness Part 7, or....

4/20/2012 09:17:00 AM  

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