Friday, May 31, 2013

Repeal the Monsanto Protection Act

Recall this post about how Monsanto got the US Congress to pass legislation to protect it from prosecution. Here's something you can do about it. I've copied the following from a Daily Kos email:

Please join Daily Kos and CREDO to demand that the U.S. Senate repeal the Monsanto Protection Act, one of the most outrageous special interest provisions in years. Click here to sign.

The Monsanto Protection Act allows Monsanto and other large corporations to ignore existing food safety rules, and continue selling genetically modified seeds even if a court has blocked them from doing so. And it was slipped in last March anonymously without review or debate.

Now we have an opportunity to repeal it, but we need your help. Powerful interests snuck this provision into the budget and rammed it through Congress, unbeknownst to many. Repealing this act will take a major grassroots effort to pressure the Senate.

Please join Daily Kos and CREDO by signing our petition to demand that the U.S. Senate repeal the Monsanto Protection Act.

Keep fighting,
Paul Hogarth, Daily Kos


And this one.


This one is bouncing around in my head today, from my yute when I was in the Army guarding a nuclear missile base in Key Largo Florida, getting stoned and listening to this.

Krugman on the GOP taking food from children, literally

Krugman isn't fucking around here with metaphors; this is actually what the regressives are doing: Taking food away from needy children. And he says we should get damned mad about it and he's right about that too. This is heinous and inhuman. Their latest legislation will kick off 2 million people from the food stamps program! Why? Because we cannot afford it? Bullshit. See the linked Reich video from a previous post.And no, this isn't just bitching about asshole regressives but a call to get active with your politicians and grassroots orgs to put as much pressure as possible to keep from cutting the food stamps program and get the money from where we have plenty, the rich and corporations. So they have to perhaps eat 1 ounce less caviar per day. That is better than starving our children, don't you think?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Robert Reich on reframing the economic debate

Reich does it again with one of his quick videos that says it all in under 3 minutes.

Bryant's myopic insularity

His recent blog post "between us" leaves me dismayed at his continual misrepresentation of so-called liberal political policy. His philosophical analysis is astute enough on how conservatives fail to take into account a systemic approach, thereby blaming the individual for his problems. But he thinks liberals are guilty of the same problem, just blaming the greedy corporatists with the hope that if we just shame them that they'll mend their ways. Whereas the problem lies in the systemic structural ecology, in this case the capitalist system.

Whole Foods policies

And from this article:

"But something sinister lurks beneath the surface of Whole Foods' progressive image. Somehow, Mackey has managed to achieve multimillionaire status while his employees' hourly wages have remained in the $8 to $13 range for two decades. With an annual turnover rate of 25 percent, the vast majority of workers last no more than four years and thus rarely manage to achieve anything approaching seniority and the higher wages that would accompany it. If Whole Foods' workers are younger than the competitions, that is the intention."

"Indeed, Mackey is no progressive, but rather a self-described libertarian in the tradition of the Cato Institute. He combines this with a strong dose of paternalism toward the company's employees."

Review of Conscious Capitalism

From a review of Conscious Capitalism:

"This over-the-top adulation of the private sector, which pervades the book, might be tolerated by readers seeking the secrets of his company's success.... But those looking for rigorous analysis and informed inspiration will be disappointed....the book falls prey to the same fatal flaw of other business books and CEO treatises: namely, promotion of an oversimplified framework that ignores the complexities of the real world."

"Mackey provoked an SEC investigation in 2007 by posting comments about Wild Oats (which Whole Foods was taking over) on a Yahoo! Finance board under an alias that was an anagram of his wife's name; and inspired protests after criticizing President Obama's healthcare proposals in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. More recently, he was forced to retract his use of the word 'facism' on NPR to describe the new healthcare law."

Jim Garrison on Whole Foods

Jim Garrison on Whole Foods:

"Over the past several weeks, I have heard John Mackey promote his book Conscious Capitalism and have come to the conclusion that it might have been more appropriately titled Unconscious Capitalism. I say this because in his various interviews, he managed to re-iterate a position he has taken previously, that Obamacare is somehow a form of 'fascism,' and that climate change is not of real concern and might actually be good in some places."

"It has been on a mission to establish a national chain of organic food 'supermarkets.' It has accomplished this goal with a policy of buying out or forcing out its competition. Its employees are treated pretty much the same as Wal-Mart -- starting them close to minimum wage, being stingy about benefits, and fighting any attempt to have the workers unionize. Worker turnover is very high. Unlike Walmart, which has ruthlessly cut prices and forced its vendors to cut profits to razor-thin margins, Whole Foods has taken the opposite strategy -- wiping out competition and then charging as much as it can."

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Forbes on Costco v. Wallmart

Yes, Forbes, not some liberal media outlet, has this to say about why Costco is doing so much better than Walmart. Costco's sales growth is 8% compared to Wallmart's 1.2%. Why?

"Here’s a crazy thought—might it have something to do with the fact that Costco pays nearly all of its employees a decent living (well in excess of the minimum wage) while Wal-Mart continues to pay its workers as if their employees don’t actually need to eat more than once a week, live in an enclosed space and, on occasion, take their kids to see a doctor?"

So how does Walmart respond? By cutting its employment roster by another 1.4%. And the service there sucks too. Why? The wages are so low that workers aren't motivated to give a shit about the company. Meanwhile Costco's employees get paid a living wage and their stores are far more efficient with better rated service. 

Petition for the CPC budget and against the Ryan budget

I posted this last month and am posting again, since it is paramount to a better budget for all.

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.

Whadda ya gonna do about it?

At IPS Balder posted two evocative pieces, one by Latour and one on Monsanto. Latour is addressing climate change, and a common choice between denial or accepting it but doing nothing. And in the other the Russian President delayed meeting the US Secretary of State because of US policy to allow Monsanto to continue selling its proven bee-killing bioengineered chemicals. Which chemicals the EU has agreed to ban.

I take both of these to heart, but I cannot do nothing. Hence my ferocious written attacks on those perpetuating these crimes. I realize it's not much coming from a small voice, but it is not nothing. So I keep trying to get others to speak up, for when we get enough small voices together we become like a hive of bees and make a grand and frightening buzz that just might initiate some action. As I said before, this is war and we must fight like our lives depend on it. For they really do.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Regressives lie more

At least according to PolitiFact. Since January they rated 52% of Republican statements as mostly or entirely false compared to 24% of Democrat statements. In the first 3 weeks of May that rating was 60% GOP to 29% Dem. That regressives lie more comes as no surprise. But the Dems, while not as bad, aren't that great either. I just wonder what % of the Dems' lies came from the Congressional Progressive Caucus? Also see the study by The Center for Media and Public Affairs, which gives more facts.

Bob Dole on today's GOP

You remember Dole, former Senate majority leader and Presidential candidate? He was interviewed on Fox News Sunday and said that Senate Republicans are abusing the filibuster, and that neither he nor Reagan nor Nixon could make it in today's GOP. The party no longer has any positive ideas and should "close for repairs" until it comes up with some.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Reich's reasonable solution to corporate tax avoidance

He does it again with a sensible way to regain leverage against greedy corporations that could give a shit about what their practices do to the economy as a whole. If they want to move their money to other countries that have a lower tax rate then don't allow them to sell their products in the US. If the US and the EU did this then the greedy bastards would lose their major markets and dry up.

Reich is well aware that such a move would face an enormous onslaught of money to legislators to prevent it, making it all the more difficult to achieve. But if we're willing to fight for it we just might have a chance. And the thing is, if the corporations submit to paying their fare share of taxes for access to our market, thereby stimulating the economy overall, more people buy their products and they still make a gazillion dollars. Maybe it will be a bit less due to higher and more reasonable tax rates, but they'll still be bloody rich beyond imagination.

Latour's modes, prepositions and unformatted space

Here's a recent Latour article on how he came to write his new book. Like kennilingus each mode has its own truth claims and procedures. Also within each mode there is a constant process of reworking, a development.

I also appreciated his differentiating between the complicated and the complex (11), reminiscent of this post. On 12-13 it seems his early notions in Irreductions are now recognized as but one of the modes, not a unifying principle. And this comment thereon:

"Like all modes it tends toward hegemony and tends to misunderstand the others."

Perhaps most interesting, in the beginning and end he sees his current project as a P2P endeavor, asking us--yes, each of us--to participate in creating this new knowledge. What a revolution in thinking from the "I created that line of investigation and it is my intellectual property, so pay up or get lost."

Still no hint yet though on the 2 supposed integrating modes to tie the others together.

Sunday, May 26, 2013


Continuing from this post, also see this post et seq on the topic earlier in the thread.

I’ve cited this article before but it’s relevant here as well: “We are live creatures” by Johnson and Roher (in Body, Language and Mind). A couple of excerpts with commentary to follow:

The patterns of human-environment interaction are described as “image schemas that ground meaning in our embodiment and yet are not internal representations of an external reality. This leads to an account of an emergent rationality that is embodied, social and creative” (21) (my bolding).

“The fundamental assumption of the Pragmatists’ naturalistic approach is that everything we attribute to ‘mind’…has emerged (and continues to develop) as part of a process in which an organism seeks to survive, grow and flourish within different kinds of situations” (21-2).


In this IPS thread Joe suggested "a post-metaphysical recontextualized Theurgy perhaps..." I replied:

I'm with you here Joe. I agree about the hyper-rational and have noted the same in my criticisms of kennilingus and the model of hierarchical complexity.* I've long hoped for such a theurjic recontextualization using tarot imagery as method for 'communion' with if not gods then at least transrational aspects of psyche. It was in that hope that I re-entered the GD a few years back but realized it was too locked in a metaphysical view to get anywhere so left again, this time for good. So I'm actually interested in your generative (en)closure along those lines, despite my healthy skepticism and doubt.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The embodied mind extended

Earlier in the IPS OOO thread* I questioned that thoughts were non-substantial elements instead of fully substantial suobjects in themselves. Granted we can 'think' prior to language but language certainly extends that process per the embodied mind thesis. I also brought in the extended mind thesis to support my speculations. Along that line I just discovered this article over at Integral Options, "The embodied mind extended." It's nice when 'science' in some ways confirms my theoretical musings. The abstract:

"The extended mind view and the embodied-grounded view of cognition and language are typically considered as rather independent perspectives. In this paper we propose a possible integration of the two views and support it proposing the idea of 'Words As social Tools' (WAT). In this respect, we will propose that words, also due to their social and public character, can be conceived as quasi-external devices that extend our cognition. Moreover, words function like tools in that they enlarge the bodily space of action thus modifying our sense of body. To support our proposal, we review the relevant literature on tool-use and on words as tools and report recent evidence indicating that word use leads to an extension of space close to the body. In addition, we outline a model of the neural processes that may underpin bodily space extension via word use and may reflect possible effects on cognition of the use of words as external means. We also discuss how reconciling the two perspectives can help to overcome the limitations they encounter if considered independently."

* Like here and following.

The true and invisible rosicrucian order meets the Virtual

Continuing from this post, Case,* as is typical of many if not all GD members, is convinced that the Secret Chiefs ruling over mankind (the Illuminati, not doubt, and in a 'higher' plane) are providing this knowledge of Illumination to their chosen inner circle. And that said inner circle (jerks) are privy (i.e., have privileged access) to, and are in direct communication with, said Secret Chiefs. (See this GD claim, as but one example of the constant and continual wars on who talks to the Chiefs.) I don't have to tell you the political implications of such self-proclaimed power stemming from claims of direct, privileged access to Reality.

* From The Open Door:

"BUILDERS OF THE ADYTUM (B.O.T.A.) is a true Mystery School; an international, non-profit, teaching and training Order and an outer vehicle of the Inner Spiritual Hierarchy, sometimes called the Inner School, which guides the evolution of Man."

Multiple time lines

Given the recent discussion of time (here and here) I came upon this scientific article today. Some excerpts with lengthy citations removed:

"A popular model for the representation of time in the brain posits the existence of a single, central-clock. In that framework, temporal distortions in perception are explained by contracting or expanding time over a given interval. We here present evidence for an alternative account, one which proposes multiple independent timelines coexisting within the brain."

Direct access to Reality in kennilingus and BOTA

In an IPS thread on generative (en)closures in this post Balder asks Joe this question:

"I do not question the reality of these states of consciousness, having experienced at least some of them in my own contemplative exploration, but one traditional belief which we have been questioning here is whether these states give us 'privileged access' to reality or to the center of being(s).  Such is the teaching of many mystical schools, including some in which I have practiced, but the concept of direct access to the entirety of reality itself is what has been criticized more recently as the 'philosophy of consciousness' or the 'metaphysics of presence.'"

Friday, May 24, 2013

The Democrats suck Wall Street dick too

Robert Reich lays out the facts, how Democrats just love that Wall Street jism too. Obviously, since it's all over their face for all to see and they don't care. Citigroup drafted a bill which ended up word-for-word in 70 lines out of 85. A bill which continues to denude what little financial reform has previously passed, and  allows the same type of derivative trading that caused the recent crises. And quite a few Democrats voted for it. He lists all the Democrats that were either in Citigroup before or after serving in Congress or the Administration.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

What can we learn from Denmark?

Thanks to Senator Sanders for linking me to this article on Denmark, and how the US can learn from them. No one there is allowed to be poor. No one. All are entitled to free health care, free college, subsidized child care and much more. Compare with the US where 46 million live in poverty, female life expectancy is declining and 45,000 die each year due to not having access to healthcare. Yes, Denmark has the highest taxes in the world, but they've decided that having a society rated as one of the world's happiest is worth the investment. And not surprisingly, they are far more democratic than the US too. See the article for the details and much more. I say we have a lot to learn here.

Pope Francis does it again

It's been gospel that if one does not accept Jesus Christ as their savior then they ain't going to heaven, period. Not so says the the new Pope. "He declared that everyone was redeemed through Jesus, including atheists." Being an atheist I'm sure I'm not going to heaven anyway, nor is anyone else. But it's nice to know that the Pope is not condemning me to hell just because I don't believe. And that I can still get into heaven by doing good works, regardless of my (lack of) belief. This is certainly a step in the right direction away from ethnocentric in-out group  love-hate so typical of regressive Christianity. The more I hear about Francis the more I like him.

Most stressed out places

Check out this story for the most stressed out places. The chart:

Corporate taxes way down

Continuing from this story, see the following chart from this source:

Bottom line: corporate taxes, including payroll taxes, has gone from 32% in 1950 to 17% today. This means that the individual tax burden has risen to 61% of total federal revenue, up 45% from 1950. Funny how the regressives want to go back to the 50s in terms of 'family values' but not in terms of taxes, when something resembling the American dream was still possible.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Justice Department lies on too big to jail

Time and again the Justice Dept. has claimed that they could not criminally prosecute big banks for obviously criminal deeds that have had a huge, negative impact on the economy, like the crises of '08. There have been several other financial crimes since them with the same excuse, that if criminally prosecuted it would further negatively impact the economy because these institutions were too big. Well now it comes out that the Justice Dept. is not basing this speculation on any evidence whatsoever. As in, none, zip, zero, nada.

Taibbi on Wall Street gutting financial reform, again

See Taibbi's article for the specific details. Bottom line is that Wall Street lobbyists, with the help of Republicans and Democrats alike, have passed legislation to continue to allow the exact same kind of activity that caused the meltdown of '08 and provide exactly the same kind of immunity in the form of bailouts.This is fucking criminal to the highest degree.

Reich on corps not paying taxes

He does it again, nailing the greedy bastards while the rest of us have to deal with cuts for social services because there's not enough $ in the till. Corps get incredible tax breaks and then shelter their profits overseas so they won't have to pay their fair share in taxes. He makes a good point that this is because these corps bear no allegiance to any country but only to the almighty dollar. So do they give a shit if this cause the tax burden to be shifted to the rest of us? Not. Check out his piece for some specifics. And get busy to your representatives to fight this crime against humanity.

OK Senators infamous for rejecting disaster relief

As Americans well know, a devastating tornado ripped through Oklahoma recently killing several and causing untold damage. Let the record show that the 2 Senators from OK have consistently opposed federal disaster relief except when it comes to OK. Another example of regressive ethnic take care of your own kind and to hell with anyone else, who need to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps or die.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Fracten a-holon

Continuing from this post, any model or system (mathematical or otherwise) posits non-provable axioms and goes from there. And whatever the axioms one can find logical and consistent conclusions arising therefrom, even if such axioms contradict another system's axioms. So one problem is in assuming that the system's axioms are the objective in itself universal givens instead of creations of the system. Another is that the insatiable desire to have that one theory of everything that subsumes all the others under its 'more correct' auspices. I'm granting that indeed we can make progress, evolve if you will, but that our current 'highest' understanding is that there are multiple models of equal 'altitude' that 'work' as viable and productive tools. And that no one of them can fulfill the ultimate meta function of stepping outside The Real to see the Really Real. The name for that phenomenon is assholon.

Inside out

The graphic in the last post got me thinking of this golden oldie.

Fractal iterations

Some of my responses to Balder's post here follow:

"If a new planetary cathedral is to be erected, I think it will be fractal."

Monday, May 20, 2013

GOP Christianity

Here's another recent article on GOP Christianity, founded on a messianic Calvinism. It's tenets are: "The Bible is infallible; the 'law' is driven by the Ten Commandments, rather than the teachings of Jesus; humans are totally depraved; and God has predestined who will be saved." It fomented the culture wars by railing against marriage equality, abortion, evolution, the separation of church and state, but most importantly for capitalism. The author also brings in Weber's seminal work on this, and how financial success determined one's heavenly worth. Hence as already mentioned the by-product being if you're poor it's because you're of the Devil and are getting your just desserts. And all in all in this author's mind (and mine), not at all akin to the teaching of Jesus who gave Christianity its name. For Christ sake.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Dark ontology's anti-spirituality

Bryant has a recent post called "Axioms for a dark ontology." I agree with many of them, like these (at least partially):

"There is no supernatural causation of any kind, nor any genuinely mystical experiences (e.g. astrology and merging with the totality of things) so anything that posits deep meanings, supernatural causes, purposes, and so on ought to be treated with disdain and ignored. Nonetheless, people do have 'mystical experiences.'  They just aren’t caused in the way they suppose and are perfectly ordinary natural/neurological events (the oneness with everything that certain epileptics describe after a seizure resulting from all their neurons more or less firing at once).  Buddhist meditation is therefore a good psycho-neurological therapy."

McConnell defends Justice Dept. on AP scandal

This says quite a lot. Senate minority leader McConnell has often been highly critical of the Obama administration on just about every issue, often to the same degree of rabid paranoia of others in his party. So when he defends the investigation into AP records over national security leaks, and does not take an opportunity to attack Obama on this being a scandal, something is either very wrong with McConnell or there is a lot more truth to the Justice Dept's case here than meets they jaded eye of regressive wingnuts and sincere progressives alike.

Spiritual prosperity programming

The last 2 posts on faux spiritual values remind me of how religion in general, including Christianity, has undergone a drastic transformation in the US under the socio-economic system of capitalism. We see the likes of this in the integral movement explored in these IPS threads: "LOHAS and the indigo dollar" and  "Integral global capitalism." It has also come to more mainstream religions like Christianity as well in the form of prosperity programming. Hence we have such premises and lines of rationalization like this: We create our own realities. Therefore if your life sucks it's your own damned fault and the fault lies only with you. If you're poor you deserve it. Same for if you're rich. God rewards those that help themselves and punishes those that slack off. Which is of course exactly the kind of 'reasoning' (rationalization) behind regressives in the US Congress. This article goes into how this happened in Christianity. And this one on religion and the market. See all the above articles for detailed analysis of how these greedy, selfish, hateful and 'spiritual' rationalizations are unconsciously grounded in the capitalist way of life.

PS: Also recall this IPS thread on positive thinking in the military. A few excerpts from the thread:

Maher on IRS Tea Party tax forms

On Real Time last Friday night Maher was pissed at the IRS for unfairly singling out the Tea Party's applications for tax exempt status. To prove it he found (i.e., created) a sample form that Tea Party applicants had to complete:

Question 1: Name, age, approximate location of your trailer park.

Hurray for Pope Francis

Continuing a theme from the last post, Pope Francis lays out what being a good Christian means. Reminding me of the faux moralists in the GOP he said: "We cannot become starched Christians, too polite, who speak of theology calmly over tea. We have to become courageous Christians and seek out those (who need help most)." Hurray for him. Also reminiscent of regressive hypocrisy, he goes on:

"If investments in banks fall, it is a tragedy and people say 'what are we going to do?' But if people die of hunger, have nothing to eat or suffer from poor health, that's nothing. This is our crisis today. A Church that is poor and for the poor has to fight this mentality."

Bravo! Now if only those supposed Christians in Congress could get with his program. I know, not likely.

Krugman on failed austerity policy and its warped morality

Krugman has an extended piece in the NY Review of Books on the topic. He reviews 3 books to make his case on the failed austerity policy. Much of that policy was based on a paper by Reinhart and Rogoff, in which they stated that when debt exceeds 90 of GDP economies fail. It turned out that there was a significant coding error in the paper as well as flawed analysis. Nonetheless it fed into the austerity ideology so even after the error was discovered fanatics refused to see the facts and continue to this day to plunge headlong into disastrous policy. And never mind that several analysts including Krugman saw problems with the paper from the start, also ignored.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Harris and McIntosh

Recall back in '04 Ray Harris responded to McIntosh's integral world government. McIntosh replied here, and Harris countered here. From the last source:

"The problem with such statements as 'transcend and include' is that they can easily become platitudes. They sound meaningful but remain meaningless until we detail what exactly should be transcended and what should be included. Steve, I know you have included a list of the 'enduring' elements of each stage. But unfortunately this is where the real problem begins. I simply don't agree that they are 'enduring' at all. Interesting isn't it? The things you think should be included I think should be transcended."

Congressional Progressive Caucus and Democratic Socialists of America

I advocate for both of these organizations. Here are some blurbs on each:


The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) consists of one United States Senator and seventy five members of the United States House of Representatives, and is the largest caucus within the House Democratic Caucus.  Established in 1991, the CPC reflects the diversity and strength of the American people and seeks to give voice to the needs and aspirations of all Americans and to build a more just and humane society.

Maher's new rule on scandals

It starts around 53:00 in this video. This week we had regressives fuming that Benghazi is the biggest scandal in history. Really? We had Nixon running a burglary ring out of the White House. Reagan traded arms with terrorists. Bush had Powell lie to the UN to start a war. And Benghazi? Some talking points that the CIA gave to the State Department to protect national security. Oh yes, that's worse than slavery, Japanese internment, lying about WMD and banks still perpetuating financial crimes of stupendous proportions. If you're really that crazy about Benghazi then "your hard on for Obama has lasted for more than four hours and you need to call a doctor." I'd add call a psychiatrist while you're at it; you need some serious anti-psychotic medication.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Institute for Cultural Evolution

Balder started an IPS thread on this. My comments so far follow.

While I'm all for applying integral theory to socio-political activism, heretofore sorely neglected and urgently needed, I'm still a bit leery. I listened to the 1st 6 minutes of their video intro and Phipps was past editor of EnlightenNext, Cohen's magazine. And recall McIntosh's whole-hearted endorsement of Cohen's book on evolution. So from both Phipps and McIntosh I get a hyper altitude sickness feeling, much like we discussed in this thread. On top of that Mackey from Whole Foods and conscious capitalism are involved, so recall this thread. That's why I'm more apt to promote the likes of Rifkin for implementing integral socio-economics, as well as Arnsperger.

Religion and politics

And recall this IPS thread on religion and politics, making a case for the developmental trajectory of religion. Following is the introductory paragraph. See the entire thread for more elucidation.

In modern democracy we must maintain the separation of church and state, which is of course the rallying cry of atheists everywhere. And for good cause, since fundamental religion would remove the democratic ideal and reinstate a theocracy based not on equality but divine right ruled by a religious caste. On the other hand we've thrown out the baby with the bathwater altogether and consequently our political economy is lacking in the kinds of basic human decency necessary to overcome the inhuman forms of treatment endemic to what we're seeing expressed in budget proposals all across the US; the rich get richer and more powerful which the middle class and the poor bear the brunt of ever-shrinking leftover pie crumbs. To reinject human value back into politics then religion must obviously be of a different kind, we might even say of a postmetaphysical kind, that is bereft of all those things we have grown beyond but still retains our connection with something larger that instills within us humane values toward each other.

Time by Pink Floyd

This song also popped up in memory today, with an interesting flash animation:

Choosing between reality tunnels

I re-watched this oldie-but-goodie today:

Kinds of mereologies and mereological relations

Continuing from the last post, this prior post on Edwards contains some useful context. Some excerpts:

"In chapter 7.5 [of Edwards's dissertation] he discusses 4 types of holon relations: intra, inter, systemic and intersystemic. Intra shows the dynamics of a single holon (which could be an individual or a group). Inter shows how holons relate. Systemic shows the relationship between holons and the holarchy in which they are embedded. Intersystemic shows relationships between holarchies. Intra is typical of developmentalists. Inter is used by communication and mediation focuses, generally pomo. Systemic is where dynamic systems come in. And intersystemic shows relationships of the first 3."

Thursday, May 16, 2013

God and mytho-poetic thought

Bryant has a post on God and mytho-poetic thought. Therein he just cannot grok how the likes Caputo can see religion as poetic interpretation because the vast majority of folks interpret the myths literally. As much as I'm sick of the over-emphasis on levels in kennilingus, aka altitude sickness, Bryant really needs a healthy dose of developmental psychology here. And the thing is, it fits right in with his own mereology of assemblages of increasingly complex scale.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Blog update

An update on my blog. I'm starting to get linked to from Current TV, which is interesting as they've been bought by Al Jareeza. However AJ has yet to take over, apparently coming in June. Another recent site linking to my blog is VK, a Russian social network. I guess my progressive politics, which includes healthy criticism of my government, is getting some audience not just outside the integral bubble but outside the US bubble as well.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

O'Reilley's inept response to Stewart

Last Thursday Jon Stewart reported that a U of MD study showed that there were 54 attacks on diplomatic targets during the Bush years with 13 American deaths. Yet there was nary a peep out of the same regressives that are now going apeshit over Benghazi, as there were only 3 congressional hearings. So O'Reilly remarks that "many" of those were during the Iraq war. And that Stewart got his "facts" from Daily Kos and Media Matters, as if that somehow erases their veracity. Stewart points out that 8 of those attacks happened during the Iraq was. That is many? So what about the other 46? Bill O doesn't respond to that. And Stewart got the info directly from the U of MD website. Once again proving that Fox is faux with their fact checks, or faux checks. And that they refuse to answer real, substantive questions, instead preferring ad hominem attacks based on ideology. I know, big surprise.

The cognitive unconscious

Continuing from the last post, from Lakoff & Johnson's Philosophy in the Flesh:

"The phenomenological person, who through introspection alone can discover everything there is to know about the nature of mind and experience, is a fiction. Although we can have a theory of a vast, rapidly and automatically operating cognitive unconscious, we have no direct conscious access to its operation and therefore to most of our thought" (5).

Monday, May 13, 2013

Bryant on the limitations of phenomenology

Bryant's last 2 blog posts remind me of prior discussions with kela on privileged access. In this one:

"Phenomenology is constitutively unable to think the real of the body.... While phenomenology can certainly describe how we experience our bodies, it never manages to get at the fundamental opacity of body and affect.  The body, as real, is not something given to consciousness or lived experience.  Put differently, our bodies are something we never experience.  At most, we experience the effects of our bodies, never our bodies as such."

And this one:

Jon Stewart on Benghazi 'what if' projection

In this clip Stewart asks a very simple question in response to regressive hysteria: "What did the President do?" One regressive demagogue said he sacrificed American lives for politics. Regressive media is furious that the 'media' is not outraged by this story. Thing is, they always frame it as "if it was indeed the case," if their paranoid delusions were true, then it is truly an outrage. Stewart shows example after example of the "what if." But what they're not seeing is that it's their delusions preying on their sanity, because there is no evidence that it is indeed the case. These freaks create a narrative to fit their hatred sans any semblance of fact or evidence. Stewart quips: "Yes, if. And if dingleberries were diamonds I could open a Kaye jewelers in my pants."

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Morin on complexity

The following excerpts are from Edgar Morin's "From the concept of system to the paradigm of complexity." All of which sounds quite familiar with many of the themes in the blog, eh?

"As the concept of system now stands, though it is embedded in a general theory ('general system theory'), it does not constitute a paradigmatic principle; rather, the principle invoked is that of holism, which seeks explanation at the level of the totality, in opposition to the reductionist paradigm that seeks explanation at the level of elementary components. As I shall demonstrate, however, this 'holism' arises from the same simplifying principle as the reductionism to which it is opposed (that is, a simplification of, and reduction to, the whole)" (1).

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Kunkel and Harris

Bruce Kunkel is a friend from Santa Rosa, CA. See this link for a sample of 4 of their songs. See their website for more info.

Dana Hooper

Dana is friend from Petaluma, CA. Here's one from her work. See her website for more.

Tell Me True by Sarah Jarosz

Thanks to Krugman for sharing this one.

Maddow exposes regressive conspiracy lunacy, including Benghazi

It's come to be a given that regressive ideological fixation will not budge in the face of obvious facts. And no, progressives do not fall prey to this to anywhere near the same degree as regressives, as you'll recall from this scientific study. So Maddow runs down a litany of issues whereby they flail on despite evidence refuting their paranoid fantasies. For one, the stock market recently hit an all-time high, going over 15,000. And yet we have the head in the sand and up their ass regressives, on the very same day as this new high, fuming that socialist Obama is wrecking the stock market and causing the rich to unload their stocks. Yes, on the same day.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

More on virtuality

I’m also reminded of DeLanda’s book Intensive Science and Virtual Philosophy (Continuum, 2002) introduced in this post from the complexity and pomo thread. From the ensuring discussion in this post:

About 10 pages from the end of chapter 3:

“This virtual form of time, involving the idea of absolute simultaneity, would seem to violate the laws of relativity. In relativistic physics two events cease to be simultaneous the moment they become separated in space, the dislocation in time becoming all the more evident the larger the separating distance....[but] in virtual space there are no metric distances, only ordinal distances that join rather than separate events.... Unlike a transcendent heaven inhabited by pure beings without becoming (unchanging essences or laws with a permanent identity) the virtual needs to be populated exclusively by pure becomings without being. Unlike actual becomings which have at most an intensive form of temporality (bundles of sequential processes occurring in parallel) a pure becoming must be characterized by a parallelism without any trace of sequentiality, or even directionality. Deleuze finds inspiration for this conception of time in phase transitions, or more exactly, in the critical events defining unactualized transitions. When seen as a pure becoming, a critical point of of temperature of 0 degrees C, for example, marks neither a melting nor a freezing of water, both of which are actual becomings...occurring as the critical threshold is crossed in a definite direction. A pure becoming, on the other hand, would involve both directions at once, a melting-freezing event which never actually occurs, but is 'always forthcoming and already past.'”

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Cubes, trees, numbers, notions

Following are some of my intuitive Musings from an IPS thread on the Cube of Space.

Recent posts and thoughts led to my Musing that the center of the Cube is not The World. Rather the center is more akin to a recontextualized Ain, as in the Veil(s) of the Negative, corresponding to that virtual, core excess. Whereas the Cube as a whole (holon of anything actual) is The World. This is consistent with Saturn and material embodiment in the number 4. I’m seeing the center as more a Black Hole in that sense of the virtual.

Virtual time

I was re-reading this Torbert thread today and this stuck out for me, given recent ruminations on time, axes and the virtual:

""A third dimension of time can again be imagined as orthogonal (the Z axis) to the plane defined by chronological time (X axis) and eternity (Y axis). The three-dimensional 'volume' of time can be imagined as holding all possibilities, all the potentialities of the future and the still-hidden meanings of the past, some of which emerge into the present (become act-ualized) and then pass into linear, historical time, through a translation process that quantum physics now describes as a 'quantum collapse.'"

Serenity prayer

Speaking of demons in the last song, mine are not only storming the gates but have overrun the castle this morning. At times like these this simple prayer comes to mind.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

Demons by Imagine Dragons

Interspiritual revolution

Balder started an IPS thread on this from this Huff Post article. I appreciate the third way from the article:

"In which one's primary path is one's inner guidance, what George Fox, founder of the Quakers, called one's 'inner teacher,' and what Christians have often referred to as the 'guidance of the Holy Spirit.' Its emphasis lies on the relationship aspect of the Ultimate Mystery. This way may not lead to being embedded in a particular wisdom tradition (without eliminating this possibility), but instead to taking on, in a mature and disciplined way, differing teachers, practices and service roles throughout one's lifetime, under the guidance of the Spirit.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Summary of Hampson

A couple quips from the Hampson summary, all topics explored in depth in this blog and IPS Forum. Unfortunately even Hampson is caught up in the marginalizing tendencies of academia to even notice.

"In attempting to transcend postmodernism, Wilberian integral theory appears not to sufficiently include its contributions. AQAL's current theoretic status of the Green vMeme and its relationship to post-Green conceptualisations is substantively problematic."

"The reflexive enactment of such [pomo] modalities may consequently alter the conceptual template—the very fabric—upon which integral theory is based."

"Research could be undertaken regarding the relationship of integral theory to Lakoff and Johnson's work on conceptual metaphor and embodied philosophy."

"Notions of construction and deconstruction as necessary adversaries can appropriately be seen to stem from an either/or mindset. Thinking dialectically, their relationship can fruitfully be rather understood as complexly interpenetrating."

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Colbert on regressive gun illogic and NRA-vana

Colbert, mock pretending to be a gun advocate, lays out their nonsense, as there are "no coherent arguments" in support. "Fine," he says, "then what about incoherent arguments." Like background checks will lead to a registry. Oh yeah, the recent legislation specifically makes it a crime to do so. It's a symptom of what he calls "truthiness," completely ignoring the facts to confirm your irrational biases. (Reminds me of Fox and Friends in the last post.) So the regressives engage in NRA-vana, their idyllic paradise of the freedom to kill whatever and whomever they choose to preserve their...freedom?

SNL nails Fox and Friends again

This time SNL accurately and humorously portrays the show on gay rights, gun control, the freedom to be obese and more.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Pan-correlationism and anthropocentric responsibility

My response to Balder in the last post follows:

Bhaskar and/or OOO transcendentally deducing what is real gets me back to one of my first questions in the OOO thread. OOO is anti-correlationism, yet this speculative realist premise or transcendental deduction is itself an anthropocentric and correlationist translation, or kosmic address as it were, of what reality is like. I.e., it is an existent speculating on a subsistent. Even though it admits no direct access to verify or confirm such a speculation, it nonetheless seeks evidence by deducing the premise from empirical, scientific findings, i.e., after the 'facts.'

Subsistence and existence

Continuing in the CR/IT IPS discussion, Balder is doing a fine job of articulating and coordinating some of our earlier musings on subsistence and existence. Following are a few links to those discussions, where one can also read a few posts on either side of it: 1, 2, and 3 is the Murray thread, where we came at this from a kosmic address. Balder's musings from the thread follow:

"I agree that the 'no single dog,' or 'multiple-object,' aspect of Integral Theory could contribute to an Integral homeomorphic equivalent to 'withdrawal.'  But it's a subtle question, because the 'no single dog' aspect could also be read as an expression of correlationism and/or the epistemic fallacy.  I'm not sure I can do justice to this question in a brief response, but here's a start.  In saying the dog is different for different observers (something CR and OOO also accept and explicitly express), are we saying that the dog wholly is what it is for other observers, or perhaps that the dog is the sum total of what it is  for multiple observers?  In other words, is the being of the dog found in its appearance-for (or multiple-appearances-for) other beings?  The epistemic fallacy, according to CR and OOO, involves identifying the being of objects with the epistemic mode(s) in which they are accessed, i.e., in their epistemic appearance-for other beings.  Is the argument that there is no single dog an argument that the dog's being is found entirely in its multiple appearances-for?

Friday, May 3, 2013

Forget Zizek on Buddhism; check out engaged Buddhism

An IPS thread was started on one of Zizek's talks on Buddhism. So far most opinion, including my own, is that it's pretty much useless unless you've imbibed the Kool-Aid.  I prefer this article:

"While I’m sympathetic to many of Žižek’s criticisms and aims, I feel that 1) his sloppiness in appropriating Buddhist thought and 2) his narrow ideological bent make him difficult to take too seriously.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Not the asshole whisperer

This Daily Kos blog hits it out of the park on idiotic criticism of Obama supposedly being responsible for regressive behavior.

" President Obama can not force the GOP to stop destroying their own party and along with it America's economy. He can't force them to stop clinging to bad ideas that are proven to fail. Obama is not Ceaser Milan. He can't make the GOP stop shitting on the floor and rolling in it. He can't make the GOP stop biting people they have always hated. The GOP is a bad dog that refuses to be taught new tricks. Pretending that the President has the power to make the GOP stop embracing the massively unpopular ideas that cost them the last Presidential election is a half-assed attempt to hold Obama accountable for Republicans bad behavior instead of holding Republicans accountable for their own bad behavior. Any journalist who insists otherwise is full of it. He's the President of the United States. He is not the Asshole Whisperer."

Integral theory & critical realism addendum

I’ve brought up the IT/CR debate in this prior post, and this one. In that IPS thread Balder linked to Wilber’s addendum.  Discussion on it follows:

theurj: No complaints with the addendum. It's just my questions above that remain unanswered.

Balder: Someone at my work asked me about the current debate between IT and CR, and what the main disagreement was about (whether, for instance, Bhaskar was trying to "prove" the existence of being apart from the altitudes).  This was part of my response, which I think is relevant to some of the points made in Wilber's recent addendum:

I think Bhaskar's main argument is that we have to presuppose the existence of objects or entities which exist independently of our knowing of them, in order to make sense of scientific or other forms of inquiry and activity.  Bhaskar differentiates between the real, the actual, and the empirical, where the "real" is the irreducibility of objects to our knowledge of or about them; the "actual" is the events that are occurring at any given time (observed by us or not); and the "empirical" is our experience and interpretation of said events.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Altitude sickness

I may have posted this before but it's an oldie but goodie, altitude sickness by Mark Edwards. Quote:

"One assumption for developing an integral metastudies approach to big picture research is that there are multiple lenses that have been used to develop those overarching schemas. All of these lenses need to be included in a comprehensive view of complex social realities. One of the most enduring of these lenses is the altitude lens. This lens looks at temporal complexity through the discourse of stage-based development.

Altitude lenses have been a common element of big pictures for many thousands of years. They typically map out some set of qualitatively different stages of growth and they propose that the changing nature of complex processes can be understood as a series of unfolding stage potentials. Altitude lenses come in a variety of forms, soft, hard, spiritual, cognitive, interpersonal, individual and collective but they all share this element of a vertical shift from one level to another. Wilber's levels, Spiral Dynamics colour stages, Fowler's stages of faith, Piaget's cognitive stages, all these are examples of the application of the altitude lens to various domains.

As with all lenses the altitude lens is subject to different kinds of truncations and reductionisms. I call these reductionisms the varieties of altitude sickness and, in a spirit of playful finger-pointing, I will briefly describe a few of these here: