Saturday, October 18, 2008

I'm going to be reworking this.
notetaking. comments removed by Bertram I think.
"That’s a considerable advance on the current situation."
Mechanize everything. Teach to the test; learn to the test; live to the test: it's a downward spiral. As D2 said of the bankers: Don't blame them. They were only as stupid as economic principle says they're supposed to be. So there's no need for the general populace to understand and value the principles of prudence; as long as our expert administrators do, they'll take care of everything. But lets put the peasants' psycho-ideological EKG's up on the screen just so they and we can know what's what.

The philosophy of realism argues that it's important to understand just how the world works. The principle behind the desire for wisdom, of which realism is one model among others, is that we should try to be better than we are. There's a contradiction in that: a useful one if you're aware of it, a dangerous if you're not.

The higher ideals of society are the "dark matter" in the universe of modern liberalism.
I was not raised to behave according to the diktats of economic theory, and I never will. I am not greedy for anything but knowledge. The vast majority of people do not follow this logic as closely as I do, and it would be a mistake [and it was a popular one just recently] to build a model of extant society after my own choices. But the choices of the vast majority are colored by this logic. It affects behavior in small ways, in those who are nor sociopaths.

"Not too rich, not too poor. Not too smart, not too dumb. Not too beautiful, not too ugly. The middle is the ideal." How is this common half joking self-description of Swedish social democratic culture akin to the logic of the American individualism and neoliberalism? It would be if not for dark matter. [see also Janteloven]
Mathematics may or may not describe the world. I don't touch that argument. But rules in and of language describe themselves before they describe the world. We live in a world of experience, and we experience the world in language. And given that fact, I'm more interested in perception and language than mathematics and "truth."
It takes an imagination to see things that have not been seen before. The most important question politically and philosophically concerns how best to maximize the human capacity for imagination. Dumbing it down out of a philosophy of short term utilitarianism is not a good idea.
Similar here
Identifying with a logical calculus is identifying with a machine.
A cultural trope specific to our age, and more determined by it than by reason.

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