Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Fun with Gödel

So, I hate it when people start their sentences with "so."

Anyway, yesterday I was flipping through The Largish Black Book of Bob's Quasi-Infallible Aphorisms, Epigrams, Gags, Zingers, Precepts, Gnomes, & Oracles and came across one that goes to our present discussion of Gödel's Theorems and how they might relate to the exoterism/esoterism distinction in religion:

The founder of an ideology is someone to whom the ideology doesn't apply

For example, consciousness is determined by one's class. Except for Marx, who somehow transcended the formal constraints of his own class consciousness in order to peer into the eternally true dialectic of scientific socialism. Nice trick! 

Or Freud, who proved that the conscious mind is determined by the unconscious. Except for his conscious mind, of course. Likewise, natural selection proves our minds are genetically determined. Except for people who promulgate genetic determinism. At least if free will doesn't exist, then no one can be wrong about its existence.

Structural racism proves it's impossible for black people to succeed in a white world. Oddly, the argument is made by black people who are more affluent than I'll ever be, such as Oprah or even the founder of BLM. She owns several more houses than I do, thus confirming another epigram: In the contemporary West, who knows how to be a victim knows everything. She lives by the adage, Marx for thee, Smith for me

This is reminiscent of an old saw to the effect that if someone is good at lying, then he's good at everything. Take current President Obama: is there anything he doesn't know?

It was at this point that I realized two things: first, that many of Bob's aphorisms make this same point, if not directly then in a roundabout way; and second, that Gödel's Theorems are one of the wellsprings of humor. In other words, if the comments about Marx or Freud or BLM are amusing, it is thanks to our implicit understanding of the theorems, which generate a kind of endless paradox due to the shift of levels (i.e., from within and beyond the formal system).

Let me cite a few of Bob's more Gödelian aphorisms:

Fidelity to the dictionary is resistance to tyrants. This is because the left never stops using language in order to undermine language -- in their case from below rather than above. 

I know how to doubt. Do you know how to believe?

Note that it is via doubting the formal ideological system of the Matrix that we are able to transcend the Matrix. Not so the blue-pilled Eloi, who are captive to the formal system of the Conspiracy.

A rationalist is someone who has forgotten where his premises came from

For they came from outside his rationalist system, precisely.

I'm not a believer, just a lapsed unbeliever

In other words, faith is not just an open and living communion with the Cosmic Subject, but first and foremost an escape from the "belief" that the Matrix is reality.

Truth is nice, but repelling error is enough.

Possessing truth is for Matrix dwellers. For fugitives from the Matrix, love of, and communion with, Truth is all there is. Among other reasons, this is because truth is a person, and a person can be defined (at least negatively) as the thing that transcends any formal system.

Leftists don't have ideas. Ideas have them.

Self-explanatory. If to be conservative is to reject ideology, to be progressive is to be confined to, and constrained by, one, which results in the larger portion of reality being unknowable, unthinkable, and unsayable.

With certain caveats, since reality will still be known, only this knowledge will be denied and projected, mainly into "conservatives," who are thereby seen to be everything leftists deny in themselves: racist, misogynist, greedy, selfish, superstitious, anti-science, etc.

Here's a good one: Ignorance is infinite, therefore God exists.

Note that for the ideologue, his ideology contains reality within finitude, thus "disproving" God. What's really happening is he's explicitly denying omniscience while implicitly assuming it, for if God doesn't exist, only He can know it; and if He does exist, only He could not know it.

Why not just throw more Asians in prison?

Here again, this is a commentary on the kookery of structural racism: the left likes to say there are too many blacks in prison, which is just another way of saying there aren't enough Asians, Jews, and Norwegians. 

Being born in the U.S. isn't fair!

If your first principle is equality, then it is entirely unjust that you are an American citizen of whatever race. So move out already! We don't need more immigrants, rather, fewer citizens.

Man does not live by facts alone. For Life Itself is the transcendence of mere fact. 

More Gödelian hijinks:

There is an inherent right to privacy, and babies don't have it.

Sure, he knows everything. But that's all he knows. 

True, a PhD in education knows nothing, but at least she knows how to teach it.

It is in the nature of a progressive to disbelieve in human nature.

To be continued...

11 comments:

julie said...

Sure, he knows everything. But that's all he knows.

Heh. I remember being that smart. It was incredibly depressing.

Oddly, the argument is made by black people who are more affluent than I'll ever be, such as Oprah or even the founder of BLM.

They have their reward. Wouldn't want their eternity for anything.

Anonymous said...

After puzzling over Breitbart News’ latest headline “Wall Street, Corporations Team Up with Soros-Funded Group to Pressure States Against Election Reforms” I realized that there is much to unpack there. And I’m the kind of guy who really hates the phrase: “there is much to unpack there”.

So I finally concluded that there are many flavors of know-it-all, and that this gets to the heart of human nature. So…

Anonymous said...

So here's the thing. Why did Adele cross the road? To say hello from the other side.

So how does this tie in to the post? I'll tell you:

"If your first principle is equality, then it is entirely unjust that you are an American citizen of whatever race. So move out already! We don't need more immigrants, rather, fewer citizens."

So here's the question, Mr. Gagdad Bob. When are you emigrating to London? Adele wants to meet you. And the US needs fewer citizens. You said so yourself.

That bit done, let's pivot the dialogue. There's this:

"Ignorance is infinite, therefore God exists." Now was this supposed to be profound? As profound as:

"Sure I drink brake fluid, but I can stop any time?"

You tell us.

Chent said...

Where are this sayings from? They are good!

Anonymous said...

Hello Chent. I'm glad you like the sayings. Here are a couple more:

"To the guy who invented zero, thanks for nothing." Reflect on that.

"What washes up on tiny beaches? Microwaves." True, is it not?

And: "What did the grape say when it got crushed? Nothing, it just let out a little wine."

You ask, "How do these sayings articulate with the material in the post?"

Here it is: "Anyway, yesterday I was flipping through The Largish Black Book of Bob's Quasi-Infallible Aphorisms, Epigrams, Gags, Zingers, Precepts, Gnomes, & Oracles and came across one that goes to our present discussion of Gödel's Theorems and how they might relate to the exoterism/esoterism distinction in religion: The founder of an ideology is someone to whom the ideology doesn't apply."

Gags. Zingers. These are of the essence. Contemplate Gags, Puns, and Zinger and you shall not remain in ignorance. They hold the key. The very nature of God is laughter.

-Midnight Aardvark

julie said...

Via Lileks, a man who never actually met a Republican. But he clearly knows all about them.

Nicolás said...

Stupid convictions have the solidity of granite.

Anonymous said...

It appeared writer Mike McFeely has recognized that conservatives habitually express dissatisfaction about a great many things. They complain a billy-goat lot. That is the conservative way, and by extension, the Republican way.

It all makes perfect sense. Our American patriarchy is weak and corrupt. They maintain a tenuous grip on power; but are today are far cry from the sleek blonde beasts they were in their hey-day. They are going to be usurped and they know it, they can smell it coming.

So Mike interprets conservative fretting as fear, but conservatives are not really afraid so much as bitter. The lion has them by the throat and the legs are buckling. The Elephant is going down.

As the blog author. He freely admits it is too late to stop the progression of the progressives. The window for that is long past.

Unless. I hear something being whispered about April 25th, and beyond that August. What could be afoot?

We are talking Kings and successions- even you can't be caught unaware. Be prepared.

-New World Monkey

Anonymous said...

It takes quite a mind to be demonstrate complete failure to understand Freud, Marx, AND Gödel in just a couple of paragraphs.

Anonymous said...

What people (of most religio-political persuasions) continuously ignore, is pathology. The pathological, psychopathic and the sociopathological kinds of pathologies. Problem childs. Problem childs with power. That land between the mindless selfishness of drug-addled dependency and the destructiveness of the power-crazed control freak.

As in, how much does a single human ever really need?

After I cut the cable cord I realized that I don’t need all that mindless TV and all those worthless commercials. I realized that I’d been brainwashed. I realized that like our ancestors, all I really need to keep me satiated is a warm communal fire and a belly full of wooly rhino meat.

Now the Republicans are quietly thinking to themselves “So he’s gonna become a pyro and wooly rhino rancher”, while far more loudly bitching to anyone who'll listen that pyromania leads to antifa-BLM-BernieBros and wooly rhino ranching to Potato Head obsessions.

And I think, man, for such a self-sufficient, personally responsible, small gubmint lot, you people sure do bitch a lot. Why don’t you ever tell me about how your obsession with self-sufficient, personally responsible, small gubmint freedoms has led to your own intellectual, religio-political freedom which has been beneficial to everything you surround yourselves with? And then did New World Monkey just give us the answer?

Anonymous said...

It’s like constantly bitching that Halloween needs to be made illegal just because you’re afraid that begging for candy always leads to dabbling in witchcraft, and that a gang of crazed clowns is gonna gang rape you after you answer your door on some October evening. It’s just never gonna happen.

The only way to create a totalitarian communist state which forces you to dabble in witchcraft, before gang raping you in some gulag, is to allow a handful of military industrial capitalists to beg for your candy while wearing pinstriped clown costumes.

I say that somewhere in between those two extremes lies a better place, a place where problems get solved and America is made great again without all the fuss and bother coming from pathological excess.