Sunday, March 31, 2013

The consistency of paraconsistency

Continuing the introduction of Realist Magic, he talks of the Rift between I and me, between the reflexive and nonreflexive pronoun. My associative Muse thought immediately of how Edwards uses the I and me as the inner and out zones of a first-person holon from Part 7 of "Through AQAL Eyes."

The I is an suobject's withdrawn core, the me is a suobject's relations and qualities. Again with the inner/outer distinction I criticized above. But the Rift is the irreducible gap between them, the chorismos (akin to chora or khora?). It is here he gets into Priest's paraconsistent logic as supplement to the law of noncontradiction, much like I discussed above with differance. A first person holon is both, yet neither, but if we accept that the withdrawn is the inner I then it is not the Rift or differance per se. If we translate the above diagram into the Borromean knot though  we see the Rift in the center, only there are 3 aspects to a holon instead of 4. In the above diagram then the intersection of the 4, the X, must represent the Rift. I talked about this X as the Cross before so will need to find those links.
Still, something is not right with the notion of the withdrawn residing in the I only instead of the X. The X can also be see as two Is crossing, i.e., the I-I, another intuition that needs some contemplation.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Unrequited love of the withdrawn

For some strange(r) (non)reason I've been led back to reading Morton's latest, Realist Magic. Lo and behold, the Introduction is related to the posts on ojbet a in a way I had heretofore not seen. I had to come to them 'sideways,' as it were, to get a glimpse. Therein he talks of the melancholy we get when trying to plumb an object's depth, dolls within dolls without end. The mourning comes from never arriving at the object in question, like an unrequited love, always longing for what we can never really have. This is because at heart an object is withdrawn so we can never fully know or experience it, including ourselves. And yet this withdrawal as the object of desire nonetheless spurs us on, providing impetus to strive for it anyway, and in so doing we do learn, we do progress, we do become more in tune with that which withdraws, while accepting we can never reach it.

How to read Lacan

From Zizek's "How to read Lacan":

"The melancholic is not primarily the subject fixated on the lost object, unable to perform the work of mourning on it; he is, rather, the subject who possesses the object, but has lost his desire for it, because the cause which made him desire this object has withdrawn, lost its efficiency. Far from accentuating to the extreme the situation of the frustrated desire, of the desire deprived of its object, melancholy stands for the presence of the object itself deprived of our desire for it - melancholy occurs when we finally get the desired object, but are disappointed at it. In this precise sense, melancholy (disappointment at all positive, empirical objects, none of which can satisfy our desire) effectively is the beginning of philosophy....

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Jouissance is the perfect Easter gift for flagellants

Bryant has 2 new posts on the Borromean knot. The first is focused on Lacan's use and as is typical of my response to Lacan I'm again like say what? The second is also Lacanian, now on jouissance, of which there are several kinds, one being the objet a. At least in Lacan it is nothing like how I've been using it it in recent posts. To the contrary it seems to be a form of psychological dysfunction when we confuse the word with the thing in itself. Phallic jouissance is another kind, and Bryant doesn't think much of it. Which is my typical response to Lacan generally and these two posts specifically. It seems jouissance in all its forms is about self-punishment of some kind and I have no desire to flagellate myself any further with this particular whip.

Bill O'Reilly marries a goat

At least he does in this Colbert clip. Hilarious. He shows some past O'Reilly clips comparing gay marriage with goat marriage. Now that Bill O seems to think gays have the stronger argument for marriage equality Colbert must resort to using O's own twisted logic against him. Check out the entertaining nuptials.

Stop bargaining with chained CPI

Forwarded from the good folks at the Daily Kos:

You didn't hear about it in the corporate media, but last week U.S. senator and progressive powerhouse Bernie Sanders officially got the Senate on record opposing the use of chained CPI to calculate Social Security and veterans' benefits.

We finally have some momentum to stop chained CPI. Now, let's keep building on it.

Please click here to join Daily Kos and Sen. Bernie Sanders in demanding that the White House and House of Representatives say no to benefit cuts for Social Security recipients and disabled vets.

Chained CPI is a different measure for calculating inflation which, over time, would cut Social Security and veterans' benefits by thousands of dollars per year, per recipient. It's an idea supported by Republicans and, unfortunately, by President Obama and some Democrats.

However, last week during the floor debate on the federal budget, the Sanders amendment opposing the use of chained CPI passed on a voice vote without a single senator speaking up and objecting. While the amendment is non-binding, it's still significant because now an entire branch of Congress is on record opposing these backdoor cuts to Social Security and veterans' benefits.

Passing this amendment is a step forward, but we have a lot more work to do.

Please join Daily Kos and Sen. Bernie Sanders in demanding that the White House and House of Representatives say no to benefit cuts for Social Security recipients and disabled vets.

Keep fighting,
Chris Bowers
Senior Campaign Director, Daily Kos

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

On the inside and outside of endo- and exo-relations

Here is an excerpt from this Shaviro blog post, consistent with some of my recent ruminations that will follow.

"For one thing, I think that Simondon's basic question of where individuals come from, how they come to be, is an unavoidable one. I don't think that OOO answers this adequately.... So, for Simondon, being is always relational, but this relationality is not absolute & cannot be pejoratively defined as OOO tries to do (nor can we simply make a division between internal and external relations). Indeed: 'Already at the level of physical beings, that relation is constituting means that interiority and exteriority are not substantially different; there are not two domains, but a relative distinction; because, insofar as any individual is capable of growth, what was exterior to it can become interior', relations actually constitute the separation of interior from exterior, and guarantee that this border is itself never fixed."

From this post:

I'm wondering if Bryant's view is a sort of representationalism. Granted the most criticized version of it that J&R discuss is the kind that sees a disembodied conceptualization representing an outside object. Bryant at least asserts that this translation process is strictly material or embodied. And he too rails against the  representationalism inherent to metaphysics. Still, we have this inside translating an outside and representing it to itself via sensuous objects. Whereas image schemas are not such a thing, residing in the extended space-time of the inner-outer assemblage.

And this one:

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Madhyamaka kaka and eternal objects

Here's Shaviro's home page. In the "essays and papers" section one can find chapter drafts from his book on Whitehead. This is interesting from chapter 2 on Whitehead's eternal objects:

"Eternal objects thus take on something of the role that universals...Platonic forms and ideas played in older metaphysical systems. But we have already seen that, for Whitehead, 'concrete particular fact' cannot simply 'be built up out of universals'; it is more the other way around. Universals...can and must be abstracted from 'things which are temporal.' But they cannot be conceived by themselves, in the absence of the empirical, temporal entities that they inform. Eternal objects, therefore, are neither a priori logical structures, nor Platonic essences, nor constitutive rational ideas" (18).

See below my previous discussion on how image schemata are in the middle of any classical hierarchy. And from them the embodied universal is built 'up.' Same with the particular, only built 'down.' Again, the khoratic image schemata function as an embodied transcendental condition for the actual, the emptiness of the middle way Madhyamaka kaka.

Monday, March 25, 2013

2 unanimous Senate votes? Who knew?

I was made aware that the US Senate had 2 unanimous votes this week. Two! I would've thought that would be huge news, given the constant state of vitriolic partisanship rampant in our politics. But nary a word from major news outlets, not one peep. What is up with that? It's almost as if they media is so sold on this divide that any good news is antithetical to their need to created an argument, even when none exists.

So on what did the Senate agree? The first came via email notice from new Senator Elizabeth Warren. She said: "By a unanimous 99-0 vote, the Senate passed a measure from Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown and Republican Senator David Vitter to eliminate the billions of dollars in subsidies that giant 'too big to fail' banks receive through lower borrowing costs because of the implicit guarantee they will be bailed out by the government in a time of crisis."*

Oz the great and powerful

Note: This is for those who have already seen the movie, since it contains spoilers.

I love the movie. I realize it's only getting a 61% fresh rating at, barely fresh. I'm starting to think that movie reviewers are a lot like US representatives, completely out of touch with the people. It seems as a breed they have to look for the littlest nits to pick to somehow differentiate themselves from each other's incessant and annoying clamor. Hence they can't dare to just let go and temporarily return to childhood and wonder like when we saw the original oh so many years ago.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Prepositions as image schematic and khoratic object a. Say what?

In light of my recent ruminations on objet a,* and recent email discussions with Balder on his upcoming paper,** I return to this post (p. 77) on Latour, prepositions, image schema and khora. In this post (p. 78 ) I ask how Latour integrates the modes and we got a vague reference to "variation itself....difference differences even more differently,” which I correlated with differance (aka khora depending on context). In this post (79) I said:

“Combine the above with what Latour said in this post about “variation itself” being that which contextualizes the plural modes and we might have something like the virtual differance at the core of an actant's autonomy.”

Then this post (80):

Friday, March 22, 2013

Democracy index 2013

See this article for the results and commentary on The Economist intelligence unit's annual report. The top 5:

1. Norway
2. Sweden
3. Iceland
4. Denmark
5. New Zealand

The US came in at 21. Twenty-fucking-one! And yet US regressives call the Scandinavian countries Socialist when they are the most democratic? Of course regressives have no idea what democratic socialism means, but that doesn't stop the idiots.

Integral Theory Conference 2013

We can use this IPS thread for discussion of anything related to the upcoming conference. Alas I will not attend due to living far, far away and have other priorities for my limited finances. The abstracts and bios for presentations can be found at this link. Our forum host Balder (aka Bruce Alderman) will be presenting:

Sophia Speaks: An Integral Grammar of Philosophy

The four pronouns at the center of the Integral model have yielded impressive explanatory and integrative power. However, while they are useful for classifying disciplines according to their primary epistemological orientations, they are not sufficient to account for or disclose the ontological views which inform our perspectives. After situating Integral Theory in a longer lineage of “pronoun philosophies,” I introduce an expanded set of grammatical lenses to complement Integral’s four person-perspectives. These lenses, based on six common parts of speech, can serve both metaphysical and meta-metaphysical ends, helping to identify the ontological views that inform our person perspectives, and providing an integrative architecture for correlating and interfacing various metaphysical systems and integrative meta-theories.

Another one of interest to me is this one by Gary Hampson and Mark Edwards:

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Do you support marriage equality?

If so then please consider signing this petition to the Supreme Court, which is hearing a case on this matter. Thanks. To sign hit the link. This is therefrom:

In the next few days, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on the Defense of Marriage Act and California's Proposition 8.

You don't have to be a legal scholar to know that the Supreme Court should not be upholding unconstitutional laws that keep people from marrying who they love. That is why thousands of people have filed opinions with the Supreme Court, both official and unofficial, telling them that the time for marriage equality has come.

Before the Supreme Court begins deliberation on the the Defense of Marriage Act and California's Proposition 8, please join with Daily Kos and the DSCC in telling the Supreme Court that bans on marriage equality are unconstitutional and all Americans should have the right to marry who they love.
To the Supreme Court:

It's time that all Americans have the right to marry who they love. Overturn unconstitutional bans on marriage equality in California and other states.

5 Senate Democrats place their career above human lives

No, it's not hyperbole, it's accurate. The gun legislation in the US Senate originally included an assault weapons ban but leader Reid had to remove it lest the entire proposal went down. And all due to 5 Senate Democrats who are more interested in retaining their jobs than in protecting the public. Yes, they are in red States that would likely take their vote not at all well for such a ban. And yes, the IRA would no doubt spend millions to kick them out for such a vote. So fucking what! Your cushy job is not worth people dying every day due to these weapons. This is a huge part of what is wrong with Washington DC, cowards like this more concerned with themselves than with the public they were supposedly elected to protect.

The 5 Senate Democrats follow. Please call or write them and give them holy hell.

Sen. Begich: (877) 501 – 6275 Email
Sen. Tester: (866) 554-4403 Email
Sen. Baucus: (800) 332-6106 Email
Sen. Heitkamp: (800) 223-4457 Email
Sen. Manchin: (202)224-3954 Email

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Ben Bernanke agrees with Elizabeth Warren on too big to fail

How about that. Warren is a new US Senator and has raised so much hell in the banking committee that she now has the Federal Reserve Chairman agreeing with her. "I agree with Elizabeth Warren 100 percent that it’s a real problem," he said. He also said that if Dodd-Frank legislation doesn't ameliorate the problem then we will "have to take additional steps." Yeah, like actually breaking up the big banks and reinstating Glass-Steagall, which is not in Dodd-Frank. This is in light of the fact that the Attorney General has admitted that these bankers cannot even face criminal prosecution, given their influence on the entire economy. The article also lists other bankers who want to break up the big banks. Please get active and call or write your Congresspeople on this important issue.

Robert Reich on raising the minimum wage

He does it again with this quick video laying out the reasons for, and refuting those against.

Wm. Black rightly reams MSNBC on Krugman

See this article with which I must agree. Black notes that O'Donnell claimed Krugman was a lonely voice against austerity economics, all the rage these days in DC. O'Donnell said this after House Speaker Boehner admitted we have no current debt crisis, which crisis has been a regressive rallying cry for immediate and draconian cuts to important social welfare programs. Black cites other MSNBC hosts decrying Krugman. Chris Matthews did so on 11/9/12, when he said Krugman was on the far left and not to be considered in any grand bargain.

And then there's Morning Joe Scarborough, who has had a long-standing war of words with Krugman over the issue of debt. He continually misrepresents Krugman's position, and did again on this morning's show. And he continually and wrongly claims Krugman is alone, of that only 1 or 2 other economists, agree with him, which has been roundly refuted time and again, Black being one of many pointing this out. Of course Black points out that another MSNBC host, Chris Hayes, has not fallen prey to such nonsense, instead going into wonky detail why austerity economics is not only bad economics but devastating.

The refurbished return of correlationalism

This continues from this post on Bryant's pan-correlationalism. Even though he admits correlationallism in that all machines have at least partial access to the thing in itself (TII), still the TII cannot be reduced to that access, even if we add up all such accesses (itself an impossible task). In that sense the TII subsists and is not dependent on another machines access to it. In that regard recall this discussion on how kennilingus approaches subsistence, the TII, the Causal, and access.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Facts about the minimum wage

I know regressives won't like this because it contains facts that counter their myth, one of which is that if we raise the minimum wage to $10 then employers will fire workers en mass. Not so. Check out this article for the 10 facts regressives don't want you to know about the minimum wage. I'll just provide the headings so see the article for details, sources and links.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Petition for the CPC budget and against the Ryan budget

See this link to sign the petition. The text therefrom:

Petition Statement
House Budget Committee chairman Rep. Paul Ryan has released a budget proposal that is the most reckless austerity plan he’s ever proposed. Instead of a budget that will slow the economy and kill jobs, vote for the Progressive Caucus' Back to Work Budget, which will grow the economy, create 7 million jobs and asks the wealthy and the multinationals to pay their fair share so we can make investments vital to our future.

Petition Background

Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman, has released his most extreme budget proposal yet. It will slash vital services, dismember Medicare and repeal Obamacare. It will slow the economy and put 2 million people out of work. The House should instead vote for the Progressive Caucus Back to Work budget. It would create 7 million jobs in the next year, putting people back to work so that they start earning incomes and paying taxes. It protects Social Security and Medicare benefits for everyone. And it asks the wealthy and the multinationals to pay their fair share so we can make investments vital to our future – modernizing our infrastructure, educating our children, grabbing a lead in the green industrial revolution.

Schurger's own description of the accumulator research

See this previous post on Schurger et al's research. He gave a presentation on that paper and the following is his description (with my emphasis). This cannot be any plainer or clearer, even to those with severely dysfunctional confirmation bias in favor of their pet zombie theories. If they cannot see this then there are indeed zombies, but only in their mirrors.

Wednesday 10 October 2012 13:15 - 14:15 

Spontaneous cortical activity and self-initiated movement

By Dr. Aaron Schurger, INCERM, FR.

The origin of voluntary, self-initiated movements is one of the most fascinating and important questions in neuroscience research. An influential finding in this area of research is that a gradual buildup of neuronal activity, known as the “readiness potential” (RP), reliably precedes self-initiated movements. In the early 1980’s, Benjamin Libet found that the onset of the RP precedes the conscious “urge” to move by 300 ms or more (Libet et al, 1983), and more recent study confirms the pre-urge buildup at the single-neuron level (Fried et al, 2011). A related experiment using fMRI showed that binary decisions could be predicted with better-than-chance accuracy, several seconds before the decision was reached (Soon et al, 2008). Experiments such as these have had an unrivaled influence on the prevailing view that movement is initiated pre-consciously and the conscious “decision” to move is grafted on after the fact—leaving many to doubt that we have conscious control over our actions. This view, however, rests on the assumption that neural activity that reliably precedes self-initiated or self-chosen actions reflects the unconscious initiation of those actions.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Latour's compositionist manifesto

Balder posted a note on this at IPS. My comments so far. More as I continue to read it.

Just reading the first couple of pages his notion of manifesto reminds me of what I wrote recently on the current Congressional Progressive Caucus budget. It is indeed a manifesto in Latour's terms, something that gives vision and hope to what we can and ultimately will become, even if we're not there at present.

On p. 474 Latour said:

"Compositionism takes up the task of searching for universality but without believing that this universality is already there, waiting to be unveiled and discovered."

Balder presents at Bay Area Integral this Wednesday

For any in the San Francisco bay area, my colleague at Integral Postmetaphysical Spirituality forum, Bruce Alderman (aka Balder), will be doing a Bay Area Integral presentation Wednesday, March 20, at 7:00 pm in Berkeley. This link  gives the details. I'll post the blurb below and encourage you to pass the word and attend. I think Bruce is on the actual frothy edge of to where 'integral' is evolving outside the kennilingus bubble.

Bruce Alderman: Magic Circles, Generative (En)closures, and Kosmic Foam – A Trans-lineage Vision of Spiritual Enactment

For millennia humans have associated the circle with spiritual power and sanctified space: from medicine wheels to mandalas, and from sorcerers' circles to sacred domes. It has been used to evoke feelings of intimacy, belonging, and protection, as well as boundless space, wholeness, and womb-like generativity. In this brief but information-packed presentation, Bruce will explore how several more recent philosophical perspectives — from Uexküll's biosemiotic bubbles, to Sloterdijk's spherology, to sociobiological and object-oriented notions of autopoietic closure — can be linked to ancient circle symbolism to generate an integral translineage model of spiritual enactment and a participatory, pluralist topology of sacred spaces. At this time of cultural and spiritual diversification, we are called now more than ever to find skillful new ways of conceptualizing and navigating this complexity, and of honoring the richness and particularity of the many modes of spiritual enactment we now have available to us. Drawing on his own work in this area as well as several of the core philosophical concepts he will introduce, particularly Sloterdijk's metaphor of foam, Bruce will discuss how Integral post-metaphysics and trans-lineage spirituality can be enriched and supported by the vision of participatory enactment and sacred topology that he will invoke here.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The importance of the Congressional Progressive Caucus budget

Ryan's new budget came out, a re-hashed version of the old one that basically steals from the poor to gives to the rich, again. His rhetoric doesn't match what's actually in the budget, a typical regressive ploy to hide the truth with false framing. The progressives, on the other hand, are getting better at framing but instead use it to honestly promote programs that actually benefit the majority of people. See this link at the CPC site on various recent news stories on their new Back to Work budget.

The first is Krugman's recent article. He notes how the CPC budget understands the need to first address investment spending to stimulate the economy, which will temporarily increase the deficit. But also addresses long-term debt with higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations. Klein notes that the stimulus spending will go to much-needed infrastructure and public works projects, as well as a middle-class tax cut. All of which will boost GDP by 5.7% and employment by nearly 7 million jobs within one year. God forbid lest we have that sort of progress under progressive policies, thus once and for all proving not only their efficacy but the myth of regressive austerity policies that enrich only the 1%.

Friday, March 15, 2013

A special issue on non-dualism in Constructivist Foundations

I received the following via email notification, since I subscribe. Some of these look right up my recent alleys, like Spencer-Brown's indications and Whitehead's prehensions.


ISSN 1782-348X


Special Issue
Non-dualism: A Conceptual Revision?
Edited by Alexander Riegler and Stefan Weber

Alexander Riegler & Stefan Weber
Non-dualism: A New Understanding of Language

Josef Mitterer
"On Interpretation"

Stefan Weber
Non-dualism, Infinite Regress Arguments and the "Weak Linguistic Principle"

Katharina Neges
Non-dualism and World: Ontological Questions in the Non-dualizing Mode of Discourse

Franz Ofner
Some Ideas towards a Non-dualism-Compatible Theory of Science

Marzenna Cyzman
Beyond Objectiveness: Non-dualism and Fiction

Martin G. Weiss
Non-dualistic Sex: Josef Mitterer's Non-dualistic Philosophy in the Light of Judith Butler's (De)Constructivist Feminism
Carsten Ochs
From Descriptions to Prehensions: Mate-R-ealizing Mitterer with Whitehead

Patricia Ene
Descriptions as Distinctions: George Spencer Brown's Calculus of Indications as a Basis for Mitterer's Non-dualistic Descriptions

Thomas Himmelfreundpointner
Wittgenstein, Rorty and Mitterer: On Aspects and Descriptions

Bernhard H. Vollmar
Economic Theory: A Field for the Application of Non-dualist Thought? A Clarification of Potential Epistemic Benefits

Olaf Hoffjann
Public Relations: Between Omnipotence and Impotence

Achim Landwehr
Forward to Past Realities: Non-dualism and History

Alan G. Gross
Some Limits of Non-dualism

Peter Kügler
Non-dualism versus Conceptual Relativism

Michael Dellwing
Josef Mitterer and the Philosopher's Stone (Around His Neck)


Newer study on conscious and nonconscious choice

Recall this previous experimental study refuting Libet's experiment, and the ensuing discussion here, here, here, here, here, and here. In that light here are excerpts from this newer study, “Momentary conscious pairing eliminates unconscious-stimulus influences on task selection”:

“Current neuroscientific interest in choices that feel ‘free’ stems largely from Libet's initially unpopular, yet pioneering work using physiological markers to predict choices prior to a participant's own awareness of the ‘urge’ to choose a particular action [1]. The influence of this work was greatly enhanced following Haggard and Eimer's (1999) discovery that lateralized readiness potentials correlated with and predicted conscious choices and subsequent studies have extended this approach to attempt trial-by-trial predictions of free-choices on the basis of physiological markers of unconscious processing [2]. Such predictions exploit natural co-variation in physiological markers of unconscious processes and verbal reports of conscious choices to infer that the former cause the latter. However, the nature of this relationship is far from transparent and has been recently challenged [3]. Schurger and colleagues' experiments and accumulator model suggest that it is only an indirect relationship, mediated by other processes. Moreover, such correlative procedures are conceptually limited in that they cannot distinguish endogenous, unconscious initiation of ‘free willed’ choices [4] from external control of choices postulated by more radical, ‘illusionist’ perspectives [5]. This latter debate centres on the degree of control that unconsciously-perceived stimuli in our immediate environment can control choices, not as a function of rendering one choice more attractive than another [6], [7] but rather by directly influencing choice mechanisms. Accordingly, some recent work has adopted an alternative approach that promises to reveal more directly the origins of control over our choices.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Of black holes and spiral staircases

Continuing the IPS OOO discussion, to assure myself I'm not completely off track I offer this excerpt from Zizek's "A place for a return to differance," Zizek being a close reader of Lacan.

"Objet a is therefore close to the Kantian transcendental object, since it stands for the unknown x, the noumenal core of the object beyond appearances, for what...can thus be defined as a pure parallax object.... More precisely, the object a is the very CAUSE of the parallax gap, that unfathomable X which forever eludes the symbolic grasp and thus causes the multiplicity of symbolic perspectives. The paradox is here a very precise one: it is at the very point at which a pure difference emerges—a difference which is no longer a difference between two positively existing objects, but a minimal difference which divides one and the same object from itself—that this difference 'as such' immediately coincides with an unfathomable object: in contrast to a mere difference between objects."

Balder replied: I agree with your reading of the 'a' in Bryant's map; I think it is intended to represent the excess that is not included in the map.  Which feature I really like about his meta-map, since it puts a black hole right at the center -- a reminder that would benefit its Integral cousin's 'theory of everything.'

I said:

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Hearing of the death of Peter Banks today took me back to the Yes of my youth. While Banks is not on this song it's still one that is indelibly imprinted in my brain until the day I die.

Bryant's second-order observation and the developmental holarchy

Updated below:

In Bryant's blog post "Critique as second-order observation" he once again brings up Spencer-Brown's law of form. Distinction is the condition for the possibility of observation, and with every distinction there is an unmarked space that is not visible to the distinction so made. And yet we can and do use second-order observation to "observe the observer" in this process of drawing distinctions, thus gaining a more comprehensive observation when we make visible the heretofore invisible assumptions upon which the first-order observation was made. While true that even the second-order observation also had to draw a distinction and thereby has its own invisible unmarked space, it nevertheless broadened the view of the previously hidden first-order invisible unmarked space.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Evan Thompson - Owen Flanagan debate

I started to listen to this debate with Thompson and Flanagan. Will report more later.
Cognitive Science Dialogue

Co-Sponsored by the Cognitive Science Program and the Training Program in the Neuroscience of Human Cognition at Northwestern University.

Understanding Consciousness: Is Physicalism Enough?

Thompson's Position: The scientific method gives us no direct and independent access to consciousness itself--no direct access, because third-person observations are always of the behavioral and physiological expressions of consciousness, not consciousness itself; and no independent access because the scientific method itself presupposes consciousness, so we must unavoidably use consciousness to study consciousness. Full recognition of this situation demands that the neuroscience of consciousness include an ineliminable phenomenological component. Some of the phenomenological resources for such a "neurophenomenology" of consciousness can be found in Buddhist philosophy and Buddhist contemplative methods of training the mind.

Flanagan's Position: Subjective realism is the view that the hard problem of consciousness is psychological and epistemological, not metaphysical. Conscious mental states are physical states that have an epistemically irreducible phenomenological or experiential character. The subjective realist acknowledges that providing a first-person phenomenology is a burden for a full theory of the conscious mind, and like the anti-physicalist has things to say about the rules for doing good phenomenology. The worry about many Buddhist methods of mind-training is that they are too theory-laden to deliver the kind of neutral, pure phenomenology needed by the science of the mind.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Wrong and stupid in Texas

Randi Rhodes hits the nail straight on with this one, so I'll let her tell it as only she can. From her blog today:

"Republicans don’t like critical thinking skills. I guess they would rather rely on their feelings, which is too bad because they never seem to feel anything but angry. In their 2012 platform the Texas Republican Party explicitly came out against critical thinking skills. That’s not the brightest thing to say, but then that’s what happens without critical thinking skills. The platform says that thinking skills 'have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.' That’s only true if the student’s beliefs are wrong, and their parents are idiots. And that’s a problem in Texas."

Petition to break up the big banks

Below is an email from Brian Kettenring of Campaign for a Fair Settlement, who created a petition on, the nonprofit site that allows anyone to start their own online petition. If you have concerns or feedback about this petition, click here.


Sign the petition
The most amazing thing just happened. 
The Obama Administration finally admitted the truth of what we've been saying all along: giant Wall Street banks have become too big to prosecute. In testimony on Wed, March 6, US Attorney General Eric Holder—the nation's top cop—said,
"I am concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them ... I think that is a function of the fact that some of these institutions have become too large."1
Now we understand why the Obama Administration has failed to bring criminal charges against a single major Wall Street bank or executive for systemic fraud that brought down our economy. When the Attorney General openly admits that the most powerful members of society won't be prosecuted for even the most egregious of crimes, we are in deep trouble as a nation. 
Remember that we gave Wall Street bankers $700 billion in TARP bailouts and $2.5 trillion in investments, loans, and guarantees to shore up their business (and outrageous bonuses)2 on the theory that letting them collapse would create a generation-long Depression. In return it seems fair to demand accountability for the actions that brought us to that point. Now it turns out the Administration never had any intention of seeking accountability.  
That's why we're demanding an immediate end to this unconscionable policy that puts the wishes of Wall Street 1%ers above the well-being of working families, most especially those hardest hit by the criminal actions of these very same people. 
The Campaign for a Fair Settlement has pushing hard during the first hundred days of President Obama's second term for real accountability for the Wall Street criminals who stole our homes, savings, and pensions and destroyed our economy. We think this is the only way he'll secure his legacy as a champion of justice for the millions of homeowners, taxpayers and retirees harmed by Wall Street criminals. This revelation makes this all the more urgent. 
It's break up time. Now or never.
In solidarity,
Brian Kettenring
Executive Director—Action for the Common Good, and
Campaign Director—Campaign for a Fair Settlement
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7 myths about meditation

While I'm averse to Deepak Chopra's metaphysical interpretations, he nevertheless offers some important information in this post of the type of myths that prevent many from engaging in regular meditation practice. I must give kudos for dispelling them. Just the myth headings follow. See his article for the specifics.

Myth #1: Meditation is difficult.

Myth #2: You have to quiet your mind in order to have a successful meditation practice.

The EU way ahead of the US on responsible corporate regulations

See this article. While the US Attorney General is lamenting that US corporations are too big to criminally prosecute, thus virtually promoting the kind of financial abuse that nearly melted down the entire system, the EU is making some small yet significant advances in the other direction. On March 3 the Swiss gave corporate shareholders the right to determine executive and director pay. It also did away with golder parachutes. Two days later the EU finance ministers limited banker bonuses, as well as require stricter capital requirements and more transaction transparency. Britain opted out of the program though, content to let corporations continue to run wild.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Only by Nine Inch Nails

I not only like the song but this is a really innovative video.

6 bogus GOP talking points on the economy

See this article. The bogus points, aka lies, follow from the article:

Austerity: Republican leaders claim that austerity helps the economy. But a recent National Association for Business Economics poll of 49 economists found that 95 percent of those surveyed agreed that budget cuts are hurting economic growth.
Stimulus: Congressional Republicans have blocked a second stimulus and claim that the first stimulus didn't work. But a survey of the 41 economists in the IGM Economic Experts Panel last year found that 80 percent agreed that the 2009 stimulus lowered the unemployment rate.

Fucken' objet a

Continuing from the last post, looking back to p. 91 of the OOO thread I mentioned Hegel After Derrida, and how Derrida included but transcended Hegel's ontotheology. But with a twist, an excess, remainder or displacement not accounted for in Hegel's totalizing sublation, “an originary contamination of pure identity and pure difference." We see this same process operating in Bryant's use of Lacan. It's not so much that the male side of the graph is eliminated but synthesized with the feminine side, which heretofore had been marginalized. We still have the master narratives but allow for that space or gap within them which withdraws. We allow for this “originary contamination” of the present and absent, male and female, not as a binary couple that are one in each or even one in all, but not two and not one due to the objet a or withdrawn core (khora).

Friday, March 8, 2013

objet differ(a)nce? Fucken' a, man

Continuing this post on the Borromean "a," I continued to wonder about it in the OOO thread.Is the knotty 'a' Lacan's infamous objet aTDOO speaks of the latter as follows:

"Objet a is not an empirical or existing object, but a sort of remainder, excess, or irreducible fractional quantity marking that which cannot be integrated into the symbolic" (6.1).

And this from chapter 4:

The most important conversation of all time

Balder started an IPS thread on this Integral World satire of a Wilber-Cohen dialogue. My comments follow. Join us in the IPS thread and add to the fun.

It was funny, especially the sardonic "something borrowed, something blue." All seriousness aside though... I wish kennilingus was something more akin to this description:

"A self-referential discourse on the nature of reflexive self-deconstruction in which a series of radical dialogues on the evolution of consciousness evolves to the point at which integralism itself reflects back in on its own post-postmodern metanarrative and boldly deconstructs itself as an emerging Weltanschauung..."

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Knotty boy

Bryant's latest blog post is again on the Borromean knot. In discussing ethics and Epicurianism he brings in levels. Countering the oft-cited criticism of Epicurianism as being merely a form of hedonism he notes a hierarchy of needs: "...a variety of higher needs such as friendship, love, service, empathy (towards humans and nonhumans), beauty, intellectual stimulation, and so on." This hierarchy though is for the Imaginary domain. Are there higher levels for the other two domains? Yes, for the symbolic we move from authoritarian control to rational law. In the material domain our bodies are included in ecologies and hence become a part in larger mereological aggregates. Same within our individual body.

Robert Reich on the bull market

Yesterday the US stock market hit an all-time high, with record corporate profits. Despite this Reich reports that median income has dropped 8% since 2000 and unemployment remains high. How can we have such a disparity? He lists 4 reasons.

Corporations are investing in technology, where they get tax incentives. They get no such incentives for investing in workers. Hence they have more tech and fewer workers which mean higher profits.

High unemployment reduces worker bargaining power, which in turn allows corporations to keep wages much lower than they could otherwise. Given the bottom line is profit it matters not that the workers must struggle to make ends meet with a full-time job, as long as the corp and its leaders keep getting richer.

Regressives agree with Scalia on gutting Voting Rights Act

See this previous post on Scalia's obvious racist prejudice. He also said that Congress cannot decide such matters because it was politically incorrect for GOP Senators to vote against it because they were afraid of the repercussions.Well duh. Most people, except for the right wingnuts, think it is a Constitutional right for all people to vote, not just the white ones.

No matter. A recent survey of some of those GOP Senators that as recently voted to renew the VRA in 2006 are now saying the time has come to end it. Time have changed they say, those States until Section 5 with a history of voting abuses are no longer that way. Why should we penalize them still? Why not make their voting laws consistent with the rest of the country?

I agree with them on this last point but in the other direction.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Krugman v. Scarborough

They took their ongoing squabble to Charlie Rose last night and squared off in debate. Krugman said in his blog yesterday that he thought he performed as well as Obama in the first debate with Romney, not so good. He complained he wasn't prepared for Scarborough's “misleading factoids and diversionary stuff.” Come on Paul, you know from Obama's first debate that this sort of behavior is standard regressive playbook, since they usually cannot win arguments on facts and the merits. If you expected a 'fair' fight then you truly weren't prepared and got what you had coming, for one has to fight these bastards tooth and nail with their own tactics.

As to the actual debate I though Krugman did better then he thought. In the prelim on Morning Joe, where the debate began last month, he made the point that we're already doing something about Medicare via the Affordable Care Act, like pilot projects and accountable care organizations for efficiency and cost cutting, which are working and saving considerable sums. So when Scarborough makes the accusation that Obama is doing nothing about Medicare, or that the government cannot micro-manage the program that way, it is an outright lie based on ideology and not fact.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Postformal dialectics part 2

See the previous post on the topic for links etc. This is mostly an exposition on the topic by Gregory Desilet.

November 5th, 2007  

Gregory Desilet Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:47 pm

Edward raises a couple of points via Andy Smith relating to basic issues in deconstructive and post-formal thinking. A question arises regarding Garys citation of Grof (page 145 in Gary’s essay) which I in turn cited: Quote: 

… the distinction between pre- and trans- has a paradoxical nature; they are neither identical, nor are they completely different from each other.”

Andy comments: Quote: 

I agree that pre and trans are neither identical nor completely different. I dont agree that this relationship constitutes a paradox. There are, obviously, many phenomena about which such a relationship can be said, without their being considered paradoxical. Indeed, almost any two things are neither identical nor completely different.”

Let go and let Godzilla

Recall this post on Thompson and dreamless sleep. One question that pops up for me is whether the long-time meditators experience this base awareness all the time during deep sleep? Or just some of the time? Do we require some time during deep sleep to go completely unconscious in order to allow our biological processes to refresh and rejuvenate us? Would even a minimal base awareness get in the way of that process, since such a base sans its metaphysical description does not in any way fully access deep unconscious processes and may in fact inhibit or detract from them?  Maybe we need to let go and let Zombie* during sleep? Just wondering.

* This adds a whole new dimension to the metaphysical phrase "Let go and let God." Perhaps Godzilla instead? Or Cthulhu?

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Remembering a beginning by Elephant Revival

Paul Krugman turned me on to this one. Thank you Paul.

More on kennilingus, critical realism and metaphysics

Continuing from this previous post, more commentary on the above:

As I mentioned above, the Lingam is explicit at the end of p. 2, in that he sees CR as very subtly reducing the ontic to the right hand quadrants. As I said, I'm not familiar with Bhaskar other than through Bryant and some cursory reading of Bhaskar himself, but I know Bryant is certainly not guilty of this.

P. 3 uses endnote 7 of Excerpt B on the difference between existence and subsistence. His first point is that pre-hension goes all the way down, which is consistent with OOO. And his claim that a suobject's interpretation "contributes" to its ontic being is also acceptable. But per Bryant the ontic is never fully determinable by the epistemic. As I've said above, the Lingam doesn't think so either because his Causal is beyond the relative. But the difference is that his Causal is fully knowable through the intentional evocation of the nirodha state, at least for humanity. So this is consistent with his claim that "neither being nor consciousness can be separated from the other, at any level." But for an amoeba? It certainly pre-hends something, but does it apprehend ultimate enlightenment. I'm sure the Lingam wouldn't make this claim but it seems implicit to the no separation of episto-ontological.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Postformal dialectics

As I noted in my last post on Open Integral, here's the old post on postformal dialectics, part 1:

November 2nd, 2007

The following is copied-and-pasted from the Integral Review forum on this topic. I pasted the first few posts here and the rest of the posts to date in the comments section.

Gary Hampson: Posted: Sat Oct 20, 2007 6:07 am

There seems to be some heat gathering in the Wilberian Theory vs Post-formal Reasoning discussion thread regarding dialectics:

Daniel Gustav Anderson has foregrounded the importance of dialectics with regard to integral theory, whilst he, Bonnitta Roy and theurj introduce various Buddhist dialectical understandings.

Bonnitta also distinguishes between formal dialectics (as thesis-antithesis-synthesis) and postformal dialectics (as invovling self-defining pairs).
It seems pertinent to give this topic its own discussion thread: et voila!

Open Integral

As I noted in an earlier post, the site is now defunct. I have in storage somewhere the posts which I've yet to re-post. In the meantime, one can use both the internet archive and the wayback machine to see some of its previous posts. For example see these links for some of that content:

12/9 - 11/2/07, which contains the 3 posts on postformal dialectics;  8/4 - 9/15/07, which includes a post on shentong; and this link which has links to several other pages from the blog. And this link which has some too.

Comments on Wilber's response to critical realism

Balder started an IPS thread on this, which has a link to Wilber's response. My comments to date follow, which will continue in the thread as I continue to read the kennilingus.

Just reading the first couple of paragraphs it seems like nothing new. I cannot speak for critical realism, other than translated through Bryant. It seems Wilber is akin to Bryant in that there is some suobject (machine) always doing the translating (epistemic) of the ontic, which isn't necessarily human. But I still sense the more subtle correlationism in Wilber of the metaphysics of presence, for we don't see the kind of ontic withdrawal inherent to any suobject as in Bryant (or Derridude). And let us not forget how the embodied realists like L&J deal with the issue of the withdrawn via the cognitive unconscious. Hence any given epistemic translation is and always will be incomplete at best, for the ontic is beyond any individual and even all collective translations. There is no causal awareness or translation of it all at the highest levels of either humanity or the universe itself, no consciousness per se. Or as Wilber said: