A MIND FOREVER VOYAGING THROUGH STRANGE SEAS OF THOUGHT, ALONE


This is my second blog.

My first blog chronicled my experiences over three years caring for my dad as he lived through and finally died from Alzheimer's. That is the book that is for sale.

This second blog kind of chronicles of life, what it is like to start your life over in your late 50's. After caretaking, you are damaged, file bankruptcy, and the world doesn't care what you did. After 8 months of unemployment, you wake each day knowing the world doesn't want you. Finally you do find a job, 5 weeks before homelessness, but doing what you did 30 years ago and getting paid what you did 30 years ago. So this is starting over.



The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

THE ART OF WRITING IS TO ADD TO THE WORLD, NOT REGURGITATE IT

Well, Thursday night I started a new blog about conspiracy theorists and how being such a person is really common sense, then this morning I read someone else's article on the same topic and it kind of ruined the whole thing so I had to delete it and start over.

I hate regurgitating in my writing.

Which brings me to being about 2/3 of the way thru re-reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.  There is a section on the very topic of writing which I adopted years ago.  Even today, when I write a scholastic paper, I read and read, then think and think, then I just write the paper from my own mind; later I go back and add the quotes and references to satisfy professor types who insist that all writing be footnoted with wise people of the past and present, whether it really adds anything to the paper or not - what it really means is you can't write an original thought, if you have an idea, it must be shown others have had the same idea before in order for the idea to be legitimate.

Persig talks in the book of students that are stuck and making them draw down to something specific, don't write about the town, pick a building in the town, then start telling the story of one brick - that way you have to put on paper the words from your mind, not someone else's.  I remember when my niece was in HS and she had to write a paper on Egypt and was stuck and I told her to write the story from the perspective on the top stone on a pyramid; give it a consciousness and it's awakening being made to it's placement and it's view of history.  Don't know if she ever did it or if she did what she got, but I thought it was a cool idea.

In chapter 11, Persig discusses Hume and Kant, the Bevis and Butthead of philosophy.  Hume made the argument that all knowledge comes from our senses; sight, sound, touch, etc.  Hume postulates that if you took a baby at birth and put it in a chamber where it could not move, see, hear, make a sound, of feel anything and took the person out after 18 years Hume argued that said person would have no thought in his brain, that all knowledge comes from sensory learning.  What this implies is that all knowledge comes from outside, the environment, substance, whatever you want to call it and we 'learn' it from our senses. The implication: all knowledge exists out there and we discover it through our senses.  Which means we will need to define what this is, but since it cannot be defined, measured, etc., the logical conclusion is that it is just in our imagination.  For example, causation - is that something we observe or something we imagine we observe?

Hume laid out a fairly logical argument that all "laws of nature", logic, and reason are just inventions of the human mind.

The problem with Hume, my thinking here, is what is missing and that 18 year old is missing language.  Take that 18 year old out of sensory deprivation and he sees a car and there is no way for him to conceptualize or explain anything other than pain, pleasure, or something in between because without language there is no context to explain, categorize, or identify.

Which brings up an interesting theological question I have always pondered: when God created Adam, how did God communicate with him?  Adam named all the plants and animals, so Adam was created with language, how did that happen?

Which introduces Kant, who understood if Hume was correct then all scientific theories were nothing more than inventions of the human imagination, which may be the only thing Hume said that makes any sense.  So Kant's book on Reason is an answer to Hume, to explain that all men are born with an a priori knowledge, that we are born with certain knowledge wired into us, like birds flying south, and this a priori knowledge includes the laws of nature and logic.

A good argument to refute Hume except Kant made it all up in his imagination - you cannot ask Kant or anyone to prove this existence of a priori knowledge existing in an infant at birth, Kant saved science and reason by being quite unscientific and unreasonable.

Truth is, time doesn't really exist, we made it up but outside of our little bubble it is timeless.  Same with matter.  An atom, if you take the mass of the elections, protons, and nuclei, add them all up, only account for an incredibly small amount of the space of an atom, something like comparing 1 second to 3,000 years.  All the rest is empty space. So this table, if the atoms stopped moving, would theoretically simply disappear, which is rather mind boggling when you think about it but I won't because I suspect going down that thought path would eventually lead to some sort of insanity, so this is the end of today's story.

Confusion never stops
Closing walls and ticking clocks, gonna
Come back and take you home
I could not stop that you now know


Singing

Come out upon my seas
Curse missed opportunities, am I
A part of the cure
Or am I part of the disease


Coldplay