Wednesday, August 29, 2018


My recent reading of Hayek's "The Fatal Conceit" has spurred some reflection concerning the place of property, both ontologically (degree of being), and in any system of ethics.   Hayek believed that any up to date system of ethics, and any legitimate role played by government, should be based upon the protection and facilitation of the ownership, and transfer of ownership of "several property."  Socialism, as he defined it, resulted from the atavistic urge to share, and to make decisions regarding property that enabled smaller hunter-gatherer groups to survive, but were now inappropriate, and in his view, destructive.
Without endorsing this view, which falls well outside my model, I believe he was on to something when he recognized the fundamental role property plays in all interactions.  Survival requires the appropriation, preferably temporary, of things that didn't previously belong to us.   Plants appropriate water molecules, photons and the nutrients in soil to survive.  Similarly, animals appropriate oxygen and food, whether in the form of plant or animal life.   They appropriate territory, beds, nests, houses to serve as shelter.   It is no accident that our pets, ants what have you, are territorial, often fiercely so.    The right to property, to some extent, is the right to survival.  When enlightenment figures enshrined the pursuit of property, they were recognizing this fundamental truth. 
    Since the concept of property is restricted to living things, we can say that it occupies a tier, probably secondary, in our ontological hierarchy.
    The roles of the "and" and "or" in the pursuit of property will be discussed shortly,.     

Musings based on first post re Truth

Thus, is truth knowledge? Would knowledge exist without a knower? A realist, or possibly an atomist would say that knowledge consists of facts; i.e. those facts that underlie our objective world "out there".
But as for facts, even in the objective world, what constitutes a fact seems pretty arbitrary. We may, for example, say there is ice in my glass. There are cubes of ice in my glass. There is water in my glass that is below 32 degrees. There is H2O in my glass. Which might be divided into: there is H in my glass, there is O in my glass, there is a compound consisting of two molecules of hydrogen bonded to one of oxygen in my glass etc. These all may be objectively true, but I am selecting them; I am deciding which of these, or combination of these true statements (i.e. whether to say there is H, or to say there is O, or to say there are both) to call a fact. Bertrand Russell said that facts were the ultimate simples. But there is no ultimate simple. The statement that there is a substance that is two parts hydrogen bonded to one part oxygen, is no less simple than the statements that there is hyrdrogen and there is oxygen, all of which are true. They have fundamentally different meanings. It is what we decide to focus upon. Thus, even objectively true facts have an subjective element. They need a factornator. And what is that factornator, you may ask. Well, that factornator is the two pronged force I have written about extensively in my blog, called the "and" and the "or" which group together and separate true statements.
In sum, knowledge and the facts of which it is composed seems to be, in part, a human creation, or to consist of a hybrid combination of objective realities and human groupings/selections. It doesn't exist apart from the human factornator, and the "and" and the "or" work through the factornator to create knowledge. This was largely the case for G.E. Moore, who recognized that facts, which he saw as factual propositions, were not objects in the same way that objects out there, or even mental objects were.
And if this is all that knowledge is, if this is all that truth is, it seems quite arbitrary. A largely human creation. Certainly not something to devote one's life to, to go to war over. But go to war we do.
We have said that the "and" and the "or" works in human perception/cognition much the same way it works in the objective world, and that thus perception serves largely as a window to the world, an open window at that, less separated from the world than a mirror, or some entirely separate realm.
But this doesn't explain the emotional tug that truth and knowledge often has for the knower. And I think the answer has something to do with property, which as I will explain in a separate post, is primordial in its own way, at least for living beings, whether they be plants, animals or emperors. Truth is is property; it belongs to us. It legitimizes each of us. Like food and oxygen, it is something we cannot live without. It may be, and hopefully is shared whenever possible. It often has a revelatory, nourishing quality.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Sorting, the thing itself, mind/body

We can say that sorting, "oring" and "anding" into groups, whether those groups be cells, genes, species, brands, types of houses, alphabets, words, sentences, paragraphs, books is among the fundamental processes of both nature and the mind.

And when we view things from this perspective, the mind-body problem and the philosophical agony that has attended our alleged inability to know "the thing itself" fall away.

For if the "or" and the "and" are at work in both nature and the mind, can we not say that the mind is nature? There is no real distinction between nature and mind? Or perhaps the mind is a reflection of nature.   Or perhaps rather than being a distorting lens, the mind is a window to nature.

And when we view the mind as nature, as something that is natural and works in the same manner as nature, that acts as a non-distorting window to nature, our alleged inability to see things through other than human filters, to see "the thing itself", evaporates. The human filter is all we need.


Tuesday, July 3, 2018


The erection of buffers by the "and" (and/or "or"?) to allow the process of living and diversification within these buffers seems to be a constant in nature.  We see these buffers in the membranes that protect the nuclei, the shells that protect mollusks, the skin that protects organs, the walls that protect settlements, the dwellings in which families conduct the activity of daily living, the prisons in which we house villains,  laws protecting privacy and shielding deliberations so that they can be carried out unfettered by outside interference.  Buffers are everywhere, allowing us the freedom to think regardless of the strictures oppressive governments place upon our actions, shielding our thoughts from the prying eyes of others.  Buffers, of course, also isolate us.  My authorship of this blog is an attempt to break through this buffer, to show at least a few of my thoughts that would otherwise remain forever private. And of course most communication allows us to break through these buffers within which we imprison ourselves.     Okay, time to go out.

Which is it?

I have talked about the "and" and "or" cooperating when coalitions are formed, when some entities, in drawing together with other entities, draw apart from the rest.  But do they really cooperate?  Is the "and" ascendant? Or is the "or" providing the impetus.  Half a dozen of one and six of the other? Only the particles will know.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Speculations on an Andorian Link Between Astonomy, Geometry, Chemistry and Biology

We have already said that prior to the big bang, when the "and" was ascendant, and the "or" only existed in its potential form, the universe was compressed into an infinitely small dot, or so some scientists claim.  At the moment of the big bang, the "or" experienced its actualization, and the one (dot) became many, exploding into an unknown multitude or remnants.     The "and", craving reunification, sought to connect the many, or as many of the many as possible, beckoning them, though the various processes of bonding (i.e. ionic bonding, covalent bonding etc), to coalesce into line segments.  Of course, the "or" was operative in the formation of line segments as well, as to form line segments, as the bits that would be forming line segments, had to drift away from the bits that would not form a portion of this alliance. And it came to pass that the "and", still enraged, beckoned various line segments to themselves form coalitions and become open shapes.   As we have said, the "or" itself was cooperating in the formation of these alliances, as the segments that were forming these alliances had to draw away from the segments that refused to join.   And eventually the "and" and "or" saw that there was greater security for these alliances when the shapes were closed, i.e. when the segments combined to form closed shapes.     And these closed shapes, in the right environment, created the conditions necessary for living cells to form.   For the walls or "segments" of these shapes created a buffer, so to speak, or  security for more exotic interactions to take place between these walls, within these shapes.  And we can speculate that members of these coalitions, chunks of these walls, may not have felt quite at home in these walls, may not have felt that their andorian potential for diversification, was being fully actualized.  But they saw that what remained of these buffers, which could soon be called cell membranes, created a safe place for various types of activities to take place within.  And both the "and" and "or" saw that the cleavages in this buffer caused by the departure of these bits into the center, could quickly be repaired by the absorption of other portions of the outside environment, other atoms, molecules etc, to replace the departed.  The departed themselves, those who were entering the nucleus of the cell, may have chosen to compensate for their departure by cooperating with the nucleus (the and at work again!). to draw in particles from the outside and repair the breakage.

At this stage we have reached the birth of single celled creatures, with membranes protecting a nucleus.  And to repeat myself, the nucleus, through the forces of the "and" and "or", works together with the membrane, to draw other members of the outside environment in.  What we see here, in this drawing-in-from-the outside, are the first rumblings of the nutritive process.  In our case, respiration, breathing in oxygen, is a part of the nutritive process.  And it is easy to see how the "and" and "or" subsequently cooperated, causing these single celled creatures, living in the deep sea, to form alliances into multi-celled creatures, and how these multi-celled creatures could become more successful, more efficient, if the labor, if what was necessary for both survival and the nutritive process, was divided between different clusters of cells, with skin cells performing one specialized function, blood cells another, and so on.    And eventually, through the workings of the "and" and "or", specialization and the division of labor, is repeated on a larger scale, with bands of whole multi-celled creatures, societies, whether they be humans, ants, bees etc., bands of bands of cells, working together toward a common end.

Saturday, June 2, 2018


 The glue that holds events together
A predicate for time and its relentlessly forward direction
And time itself the canvas upon which events are arranged, imprisoned by causality.
  Yes, …and for us animals,
Memory holds time together.
While it strengthens time,
It defies it
Lashes out at it in anger.
Appearing unbidden
Like the chaos of the ocean.