Friday, 27 November 2009

Rosa speculorum:

the art of being human

The significance of human actions, resides in meanings. You know what is love,hate,proud, humiliation, pleasure and fear, because you understand these human meanings. You won't find any fear or humiliation in the physical world. Sure animals encounter something similar, but the proper human experience lies on the articulation of these sensation in their meanings. True, you feel love for someone, but you've been told about human loves in songs, movies, friends' tales, parent's model: after a training in human society, you become accustomed to what love is for human beings. We shape the meanings of human facts from human tales, from our experience (which is your story). You can see as normal human facts, because you understand them; otherwise it would be the a monkey delirium what men do.

We do understand even the most execrable and ominous facts, because we catch a glimpse of significance even in the monstrous action of psychopaths. We are terrorized by the most disgusting crimes and we are wondering “why, how could they do this”, precisely because we know it. Equally, when we admire the most sublime works of men (buildings, music, actions) and we reckon how superior is the prowess of these men, we subtly are admiring our ability to understand the prowess of humankind.We see others as monsters and artists, because we understand others. You can love another human being, because you can see that he's like you.

But if you try to investigate the consistence of human facts, you'll see a gigantic entanglement of drama and comedy, plays that imitate other plays. How do you learn what is betraying? From other betrayals. Some act as they know their act will be used as models; other prefer to act as they are unique; most act as unaware of acting. Every human act is an acted reaction. You can find the very first human act: the very first interpretation was unaware of the humanity of acting. An Ur-act is not an act: an act must follow other acts to be an act. Therefore only after many acts have been played inhumanly, finally you can have a proper, first human act.

We are so involved in human actions, that we don't see ourselves acting on the human stage:for good. Indeed it's important to take seriously your acting, otherwise you couldn't be that convincing. Of course sometimes the paramount interpretation is precisely the one showing awareness of the game. This is typical of arts, especially in drama, or film, where on stage, you allude to the fictional nature of your play. You can do it in your real life as well, but exaggerating could bring you the label of mad and not always is a good one. It's preferable to act as you believe in the norms regulating our human reality. But gravity is not questionable; integrity, reliability, discretion, for example, can be questioned. It's also a good norm for you to observe some sort of regularity: your mind needs to act with a decent amount of coherence to stay sane.To be human, you need to act as such: an original human fact is the imitation of other one.

Therefore our actions are copy of copies. Notwithstanding, it's us, we are the players. I cry and admire the human condition, precisely as other Greeks, Indians, Chinese, Jewish,Arabs did before me.And in my crying and in my admiration resounds like a warped replica their own.I can reflect on my self, because I'm mirroring other speculations, twisting a bit my own reflection, for my own ignorance and my own pleasure.

Your consciousness is the sensation of doing something when you think and then calling the actor of the thinking a self and this reflection, self consciousness. It's the optical illusion of mirrors mirroring mirrors, foreseeing in the vertigo of the infinite reflection, a glimpse of a mind. In reality? Just reflections of reflections. Only? Nothing more; but it's beautiful, like a rose, an infinite rose of mirrors. Enjoy your own rosa speculorum.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

The writing of the Gods

"Angelus Silesius, a mystic poet of '600, said that the rose is without a why,
she simpl blooms. So it's vain your intellectual proud to discover a meaning in things: things simply are. In the “Tractatus logico-philosophicus”, a delirious poem that is the foundation of modern logic, Wittgenstein aimed to find the general form of proposition (well, of every possible proposition in every possible world uttered by every possible intelligent being), which is [ p-bar , xi-bar , N( xi-bar )]. In a novel, Borges said that Aztec Gods printed on the skin of the jaguar the secret meaning of the world.

So now, we can start. In the inorganic world, we don't have information: information is something that stand for something else. In the inorganic world, things don't stand for something, they are the things. To exchange information, you need a reading device and to have a reading device, you need a writing device. Living beings can do it. But you can have meanings only if you have a language. Frogs exchange information (can perceive pain, so don't be cruel with frogs), but they do not have a language. A rose, equally, exchanges information, but if you ask a rose, why she blooms, she can't. One good point in not asking yourself “why”,is that you can't get insane. Have you ever seen crazy roses? Neither I. The only safe salvation from madness is to be a rose. But of course if you're a man, this is not helpful: if you pretend to be a rose, you are definitely mad.

But men are interested in finding the ultimate meaning of things; this is for example the source of philosophical investigation. Some also believe that in the particle accelerator you'll find these kind of meanings, like a general form of meanings.

They pretend to be roses! In fact, you'll find amazing information and no meanings. The secret meaning of the world, is a fiction, to be precise a novel. Humans tell each other though novels, this secret meaning. The good news are that you can read in multiple ways this novel:it can be written by god on a jaguar skin or in holy book(s), but it can also be written by men as a tale. The bad news are that you can read in multiple ways this novel: a contradictionary delirious of primates, pretending to write meanings.

More or less, we are enchanting each other with stories, and we believe these deliria, falling in the enchantment we ourselves are telling. We create gods in our novels and in these novels gods create men. A narrator create a story and a reader believe to be created by the novel. But it is true! Our minds are created by the stories others tell us. When you read a story, a narrator is creating a piece of your mind. And when you tell a story, your creating a piece of someone else mind: men are the creative process of man, homo homini opus.

And creation is not a prerogative of god, is it? And is really such a blasphemy to call the world, the novel of god? In a Pirandello novel, we meet 6 characters searching for an author to write their story. What is absurd, to believe in a god? To search for meanings in protons? To tell stories? To search for your own author? To write about roses?

At the end of the day, it's fine: a bunch of monkeys telling stories, pretending to be roses.” Not too bad, fella; it could be a worst story...

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Metaphysics and human rights:

gambling in possible worlds and common sense

The statement “every human being is born with equal rights” is a wonderful display of a chaos metaphysics; of course we are proud supporters of it. The underlining concept is that you are the person you are for a very random cross of contingencies and chaos.
“You” is an umbrella term for several instants of space and time, with a certain refrain of occurrence. It's easy and helpful to label “you” that body and mind, but
Being white, being protestant, being transsexual could bring some intrinsic rights??? And what about the mix: say, being Muslim is at the top of its scale and being transsexual at the bottom of its scale, how would you compute the combination, in the middle??? What kind of algorithm are you using???sometimes you include in the umbrella term the delirious adventures of a twist of your mind; do you dream, don't you? As human beings, we decided to distribute rights in order to play our games, but the distribution to be fair has to recognize the contingent nature of the umbrella term “I”.
Therefore it would be absurd to give to a very random configuration of you, more rights than another:playing would be unfair. This configuration of me as, say, a white catholic homosexual man, should receive more rights to play than,say, me as a black Muslim heterosexual woman? A part from cultural reason, from a metaphysical point of view, can you image a consistent logic to assign rights and privileges to random configurations? Honestly, can you find a reasonable way to share privileges and rights to contingent and chaotic sets of properties, coherently?
The development of culture is a wonderful deployment of the random adventure of these funny characters that are human being. They have been involved for thousands years in their crazy tales and for centuries they distributed rights and privileges to play in accordance with their delirious contingent tales. No matter how fun you find this method, no matter how you love absurdity, after all this time, human beings accepted that if it's completely chaotic the corpus of their tales, it's pointless to attribute more importance to one instead of another. The impression of being led by absurdity is only
superficial: indeed the principles ruling your lives are absurd, but our primate-like brain tend continuously to adjust our actions.

Endorsing the universal rights, is a good way to spend less time and resource in this continuous adjustment. And accept the cooperation of our instantiations, even the possible one, will only empower our games. Instead of blocking and obstructing the development of your possible selves (including the ones you currently wouldn't label immediately under "your" umbrella term), can only be a wonderful empowerment for human beings. Including you; I mean, the strict umbrella term. The gain at stake? Well, as a gambler, try to image the possibility of playing at infinite tables.
So my friends, let's the instantiations out and give your bro' a chance!

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Homo homini opus

Get a look at your hands. I suppose:5+ 5 fingers, good mobility (well of course if you don't have these characteristics, I beg your pardon). What's the buzz? Well, you are smart, in part because of your hands. Humans started to increase their smartness, when they started to stand, walking with feet and freeing the upper arts. Human brains became to explore the world with hands. Touching things and touching things with things.
Take a stick and try to test the ground. Very soon you'll be able to “feel” the ground with the stick: if it's hard or soft; but also if it's wet. Shortly humans begun to build tools.

The good thing in building tools is that you have to be smart to build one, but also that you can store “smartness” in the tool. Take scissors: the shape of the tool is shaping your movements.
Scissors are not just an extension of movements (in sharpness), they are also guiding your gestures. Manual prowess brings you a degree of smartness. Artisans are smart monkeys.
A good thing of smart monkeys is that they can communicate. And communication is another tool. You can build scissors, hammers, mainframe, tables, satellites. You can also build stories, narratives, legends, religions and jokes. Narratives are a kind of tool to extend gestures and guide movements. When you have a certain degree of narrative movements, you have a mask, a character. A mind.

We build minds with our narratives because we've been built as minds by narratives. We composed very long stories, really very long. Societies are this kind of stories. With societies you can tell very long stories. We tell stories about Egyptians, about Julius Caesar, about the man of Neanderthal. We always told stories about the beginning: of everything. Sometimes with fantasy, sometimes with proven fantasy. We spoke of an old man with a white beard “creating” the world; we spoke of a very strange event in which normal rules don't apply. In short we told ourselves a lot of stories.
We build tools to play with. We built hammers, scissors and minds. We built computers and programs. We program now. As we've always done. As soon as we stood on two feet, we started to program our environment with stories and with tools, because we were programming our minds. Now we program in these virtual environments, transferring intelligence in lines of code. As usual.
It's funny when people is afraid of technology, forecasting the times the machines will overthrow men. It's funny because men are nothing but the spirits evoked by hammers and scissors: it would be silly to say we
“overthrown” our tools. It's funny but to some extent our minds have
been created by our tools. “But we'd create with intention”. And intention what is? Don't be too philosophical. Of course we create with intention and dices says 7. God doesn't play with dices, we do.It's good, it's cool. It's our work. It's us.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Human programming: ecnode teh ambgiuity

Cybernetics is the explicit intent to program human beings to do at best some tasks. Of course this is what human beings have always done without saying it aloud. In general we can say that a human brain is programming himself. One of the most spectacular feature of the human brain is the informational re-entry. Basically the brain is spending much more time talking (and listening!)
to himself, that with the outside. But when we are speaking of a human mind, we are already halfway: indeed to have One human mind, you need at least Many. A human mind not only flourish in an environment rich of other human minds:it can only happen in such an environment. We don't know
(yet) if it's possible a solitary intelligence.
We know for sure that you can meet human minds only in a very rich mind environment; we can call this rich environment, culture. This environment is overpopulated by information. But information is something misguiding. In our very rich informational environment, what we are talking about, why? Why we are encoding so many information, what is the purpose? Information is something that stands for. So for what is standing our world of information?
I tell you a story, an ambiguous one...

First, information. It's very imprecise (!!!) (philosophically...) the way information is treated in the information theory. In the lifeless universe, you don't have information. Protons and the like are not encoding information, they aren't something that stand for something else: they are the things. In the chemical reaction you don't have processes that stands for something else: they are the things of the processes.
A body is attracted to another body not because they are exchanging information: gravity is the thing, not something that stands for it! So you have information only with the peculiar systems that we call living beings: the real information factory.

Amongst living beings, you have humans. Humans are the lords of the informational exchange: they can trade information as nothing did before. A human brain can store a lot of information. But a human mind even more! To activate a human mind, you need to put a human brain in a rich informational environment, populated by other human minds and most of all, populated by structures of information that can be used by the brain to stand as a mind. A brain can start to think only after the assistance of cultural infrastructures: just think of speaking. No child can learn alone how to speak. And to speak, you need to learn an individual form of possible human languages. To speak, you need to speak of something.
Stop for a while to image your brain as a machine, scanning the environment in search of information: of course it's what your brain does and indeed it's
what a newborn brain does. But when this newborn brain is immersed in a cultural environment, the surroundings of the newborn brain start to stands for something. Information becomes meaning.

With some analogies to the distinction made with the lifeless universe, information in
a cultureless environment differs from the one in an environment with. One is that in a cultural informational environment, the encoding is quite ambiguous. Meanings are not analogically and unambiguously encoding of information: they stand for something, they are traded publicly and so there is a degree of shared encoding. But there is not force holding together meanings and what they stand for: everyone has a peculiar shape of his use. Technically (and chomskly) everyone is speaking is own idiolect. What is the informational advantage? Well, if you are encoding ambiguously, you can encode more: you have more dimensions to wrap your meanings in.
The amount of information you can encode in the human misunderstanding is huge:
precisely for the ambiguity. Now think of ambiguity not as an obstacle to the true meaning, but as a resource to encode more meanings. This is what we normally do when we are speaking. Now if you were a human being with many dimensions to store information, what would you do? I personally would enjoy this ability to encode in several informational dimensions; I also would try to manipulate this information, maybe building
new way to wrap even more information. You know, I'll probably try to leverage even more on ambiguity and instead of writing endless report about the informational surrounding, I'll probably would scan my environment narratively. Yes, this is what I'd do if I were a human being: I'll encode more informational ambiguity in narrative dimensions.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Labyrinths:a mind game of death,pleasure and higher cognitive performances

Flowers for Us

Who builds labyrinths? And most of all: why?An intelligent being is required to build labyrinths
and an intelligent being is the victim to be put in the labyrinth.labyrinth.A victim,but also a lover, a mate. You build a labyrinth to veil access without closing the access,it's a sophisticated way to encrypt a passage. I leave you the chance to find the way, it's just there, you need only to solve the puzzle.
Every time you find solutions in the humans world, you find the exit to a labyrinth. Labyrinths are made by humans for humans, to exercise their highest prowess, for pleasure.
Although a labyrinth is good when is difficult and the stake is high:let's say a proper labyrinth put your life at risk. Have you ever tried love? Love sometimes is simply living in comfort and fun; sometimes is cooperation and understanding; sometimes it's a labyrinth that put your life at risk.
We love risks (sometimes!), we love challenges and more on, we love to see someone else trying it. We build arenas and coliseums to see our mates challenge each other, to see
triumphs and defeats. You would find any joy in a quiet march without a winner and without many losers. We discover new ways to preserve our mate from physical pain and actual damages, but it's not less sadistic to put the pride, the honour, the self esteem of our mates at stake. Like “cognitive sharks” we are excited to see our mates exercising their abilities. This is what we do to stay awake, to stay alive. In order to be human, we need self consciousness, and we reach self consciousness in a articulated social process to activate our highest cognitive performances. If you just stand, you won't reach any soon your proper cognitive level of human being.
We are required to pass through a certain degree of cognitive obstacle, to turn on the mind machine, we need to move our brain and make a virtual friction in social environments. In short, we become humans after labyrinths, we need to find ourselves at the end of a wandering and we like to put someone in a labyrinth to let him find himself.
We are the product of a sadistic act of love and we love through the distance we pose to our mates. We are not put in steady orbitals, we reciprocally negotiate the space amongst ourselves.
How many labyrinths do we need to find the exit? It's up to you, my friend. Being inside and outside is relative: you are born when you discovered yourself in the labyrinth, maybe going out from the labyrinth is the exit from life. And another thing:there are no meanings in the labyrinths: the labyrinths are the meanings and as you can see, they are not unambiguous.
I start to think that the gods who built these labyrinths were insane. My friend, enjoy the labyrinth, enjoy the unexpected: pleasure of discover and exercise of your highest cognitive performance. The monstrous unexpected that you can meet in life,it's just the twist on the way, invented by your mate for their pleasure and for fun: hug the unexpected and you'll take part in the pleasure of your mates. Even if uninvited

The unexpected be with you,my friend