ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, SAPIENS, AND TALKING TO THE ANIMALS

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The idea of a World Will as a Will-to-be-Known has become a pivot around which our positive philosophy of real necessity is concerned. Through it we hope to find the human-motivator, inspiring a positive impulse for a development of intelligence as a creative movement away from our system of vulgar competitiveness and its anti-human economy of alienation and differentiation.

Let’s sum up our main point of departure: a thorough revaluation is necessary. This needs to be anchored in necessity in order to redirect progress away from the current juggernaut, all-consuming destruction of the biosphere and ecosystem. Now, up to now we have assumed that this revaluation could only come about through a humanity made up of intellectually and morally advanced Sapiens societies, and because of this our philosophy is a new positivism, or positive humanism. Nevertheless, this same positive end may very well be achieved via less human-positive means. The acquisition and perpetuation of knowledge may well be far better ensured not by our Sapiens’ carbon-based minds, but by silicon-brain intelligences created by us. It may well be that the evolution of the homo sapiens will be into this silicon form, fixed in more durable and resilient bodies that can survive in even the most adverse climatic conditions allowing for space exploration and even the survival of intelligence in a post–apocalyptic lifeless-earth scenario.

If real Being in the universe is to come about by the universe itself being known absolutely and perpetually, then humanity, as we now understand it, falls short of guaranteeing such a portentous destiny. However, even if we are too fail as survivors in the universe, perhaps we might be capable of creating the real Sapiens and intelligence and knowing will find its ultimate realisation not through a final evolutionary leap, but rather through a development of our present technological know-how and the creation of an intelligence far superior to our own.

The idea of humanity being superseded by intelligent, self-reproducing machines of its own creation is a common nightmare of science-fiction narratives. From the internecine struggles between machines and humans in the Terminator or Matrix sagas to the madness of HAL in the Space Odyssey or the complex android psychologies in Ridley Scott’s creations, the idea of a collaboration with a robot that has superior intelligence is a deeply disturbing one. And yet, in all futurology it seems that the presence of the super-intelligent robot is essential. We cannot imagine progress, even if that progress is a suicidal one, without it. In fact, the dawning of the nightmare is already upon us and anthropomimetic robots that can think more or less like a human child have already been created.

Yet twenty years ago scientists like Roger Penrose were proclaiming Artifical Intelligence to be an impossibility.[i] Twenty years ago researchers were stumbling through an erroneous association between intelligence and logic, believing that decision making was a logical process. In reality cybernetics tells us quite the opposite. The binary algorithmic brain, whilst being very good at making calculations and winning chess games, can only go so far in answering meaningful questions. Human reason is more poetical than logical and the anthropomimetic work taking place in robotology demonstrates a link between the human corporal reality and our intelligence, or our form of intelligence. In order to construct a silicon brain that can communicate effectively with humans that brain will have to be inserted into a humanoid-type body, with human-type sensors. In other words, if a manufacturing leap into a more than human body is to take place, it will have to to be created out of our own image. We might be able to build robot octopi or robot insects, but we will not be able to communicate with them on any deep meaningful level for even an octopus machine fitted with a cyber-capacity for self-learning would need to teach itself a language appropriate to its own unique perception of the world. A perception that would be incommunicable to humans, or at least at first.

Perhaps the most profound discovery being uncovered by research into Artificial Intelligence will be a mechanism allowing us to interpret the languages of different kinds of animals. Research is being carried out to find ways of communicating with apes and dolphins, but no great in-roads will be made until we decipher how the corporal experience of different species and their very non-human sensory perceptions create their own knowledge of the world around them. A knowledge which we should not underestimate. A true Sapiens will not only benefit from communication on a complete human level, but from an even greater communication with diversity itself. True wisdom may only start once we can talk to the animals.

In this sense the creation of insect-like or octopus-like robots may have an interesting Sapiens purpose. Perhaps such robots could be designed to act as translators, allowing us to have conversations with ants and birds and elephants and dogs. But for we will ever be able to ever do that we have to firstly learn how to communicate properly with our neighbours.

[i] See Roger Penrose, THE EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES

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Where are we now? and What’s to be done?

relief

We live in a two dimensional society: there is length and width but no height or depth. Our world is a flat plane, a cartoon reality replete with caricatures. Lacking is the third dimension that will pull us out of the flatness and allow us to properly see things for what they are, by allowing us to perceive things from all angles. The artist knows that depth is achieved by adding perspective, by understanding illumination and being able to master the shadows cast by the impenetrable and opaque. Depth is added by knowing and only by mastering shadow and perspective can liberation from the monotonous flatness of our two-dimensionality begin. Only when we have depth because we have been able to pull the flatness up will we know what to do.

The tautological knowledge creates knowing is profound. Knowing is a continual process of becoming, it is the process of unveiling, which in turn is a process of pulling forth, lifting up, stretching out, moving around, flying over and crawling under … All the things which we cannot do on the flat plane unless we know how to manipulate the art of generating perspective.

This is not a concern confined to the present: historical and futurological perspectives must also be deepened. Objectification is also required: an artist’s ability to step outside of the paradigm that is being described and lived – to stand at a point outside of the space, and outside of time, in order to perceive everything that has been hidden and understand real necessity. Objectification is needed to be able to stand over the current of the river of time in order to understand where the continuum has been flowing from. In order to perceive the reasons and mistakes that have determined certain courses of history; in order to redirect rivers, ensuring cleaner, more transparent waters that are capable of irrigating the possibilities of our optimistic futurologies. Muddy rivers will only give us a muddy, carp-full ocean of little future hope.

And so we have two tasks to concentrate on: a) the act of discovering perspective and uncovering depth, and b) that of eradicating the factors that cloud our rivers and have been pushing the historical continuum to a false inevitability for centuries.

The answer to the question must ultimately lie between what ought to be done and what has seduced our attention away from the goal. The utopia is No-Place because we are not going there. We will never get to Timbuktu if we are walking across the Americas, but that does not mean that Timbuktu cannot be reached. Maps must be drawn so that we can see why we are trapped in the maze, but in order to draw such maps we must achieve altitude and be able to stand over the labyrinth. It is a contradiction that turns the path back in on itself and to understand the labyrinthine nature of the system we must reveal the tremendous contradictions which work in its favour.

GLOBAL THERAPY

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If there is to be a Great (and positive) Transition in the globalised world, the dominant global culture – which is the western-inspired, economic culture – will need to be radically transformed or completely abandoned.

Of course we are talking about wiping away a system, an operation that not only would require a complete change of blood but a re-plumbing of the entire artery system… Or perhaps not…

Before the drug therapy clinic suggests radical cures like blood-changing, it will first try psychiatric therapy. The primary option should be to change the patient’s attitudes, alter their desires, or perhaps even create a new “will” for the patient. But let us go even one step further and say that: if we don’t create this new will then, even after a complete blood and artery overhaul the patient will fall back into his or her vice, which, in our universal case, is the vice of “wanting more”.

While the cultural-economic model is driven by this will to wanting more, all political or economic changes will be doomed to failure. Capitalism’s greatest success has been its nurturing of greed, even displaying an ability to transform greed into a “norm”, convincing an entire world that it is a part of “human nature” to want more. That is the basic notion that we must now attack, and the only way to do so is to revaluate the system by dissecting its own libido-ego relationship and offer a different, profound, scientific and metaphysical vision of what humanity could really be – driven not by a desire to have more but by a will to operate according to necessity, with an optimistic rather than nihilistic vision of humanity within the world.

It could be argued that we already have such ideas, propagated by religious institutions and spiritual leaders – yet religion has not only always been used by capitalism, as Marx said, as an opiate for the people, but also as a way of anchoring its own nihilistic ideology of “freedom” with a morality that the free-market in itself does not possess. The Church saves the multi-nationals from the complete chaos that they themselves would otherwise engender. But the churches and mosques, even the communist party now are all part of the system. The world needs more than just a permanent cure. It needs a new, let us repeat, scientific-metaphysical conceptualising of our place in the universe – one that can seduce not only the nihilists and sceptics, but also the devoted to their useless religious dogmas – a profound human will for absolute necessity.

THE ABRUPT CLIMATE CHANGE SCENARIO

ImageThe Pentagon Report on climate change carried out by Peter Schwartz and Doug Randall in 2003 claimed that “significant global warming will occur during the 21st century” and that this could lead to: “harsher weather conditions, sharply reduced soil moisture, and more intense winds in certain regions that certain regions that currently provide a significant fraction of the world’s food production.” And concluded: “With inadequate preparation, the result could be a significant drop in the human carrying capacity of the Earth’s environment.”

As a result of this lack of the world’s capacity to carry us there would be:

i)                    Food shortages.

ii)                  Decreased availability and quality of fresh water in key regions due to shifted precipitation patterns causing more frequent floods and droughts (these phenomena are already apparent).

iii)                Disrupted access to energy supplies due to extensive sea ice and storminess.

iv)                These climatic aberrations would in turn force human migrations from severely affected areas to less affected ones, or ones who, though also severely affected, had a technological development that mitigated the disastrous affects.

v)                  The affect of this would be that nations with the resources would build virtual fortresses around themselves.

vi)                Wars related to food, clean water or energy would take place.

In the Pentagon Report abrupt climate change is elevated beyond scientific debate to a US National Security concern.

Basically they are announcing to the US military that they could come under attack from the climate. And in fact several attacks on the USA have occurred since: Hurricane Katrina; the tremendous tornados of 2011; bitter winters, etc..

The report bases its abrupt climate change scenario on the collapse of Thermohaline Circulation in the Atlantic Ocean. The probability of this taking place is a very real scenario and tests have shown that a certain collapse has already begun in the polar regions.

As the Pentagon Report states:

“Is this merely a blip of little importance or a fundamental change in the Earth’s climate, requiring an urgent massive human response?”[i]

It is hard to imagine an “urgent massive human response” occurring until the disaster hits. Politically the Liberal-Democratic world is divided on this reality between believers, sceptics and non-believers with different levels of extremism in each camp. To generate the human response necessary, to justify the changes that will have to be implemented like population control and energy consumption restrictions, to adjust humanity to a revolutionary re-technologising of our civilisation toward eco-friendly systems before the Apocalypse happens – there will need to be a massive conversion of sceptics and non-believers, and such a conversion would have to take place in record time. In short… we have to pray for a miracle.

And even if the political parties suddenly formed a radical consensus to impose the bullying changes that are required and set about creating a new world, the people would demand a more gentle transition. But, the longer we put it off the more severe the bullying will have to be.

The drastic change that is needed will be painful. Deep down we probably all sense the extremism of the decisions ahead of us, and that if we don’t change, change will be forced upon us, by climate change or the extinction of the resources our complex way of life has grown so dependent on. We are not going to just be redecorating our house, we are ill and will need a visit to the dentist, and the surgeon as well. This is not just an aesthetic question it is our health that is being effected. It is a question of life or death. But even so… How many of us put off painting the house even though it is so obviously necessary? How many have postponed the visit to the dentist until the molar starts to ache? How many cancer patients have perished because they could not be bothered to subject themselves to preventive examinations?

We have to change, but are we capable of making such a truly radical switch? We are creatures of habit, aren’t we?

Creatures of habit: we keep telling ourselves this and yet we are changing our habits continually with each new object we buy. No – it would be more accurate to say that we are creatures of adaptation, adapting to a “surplus” environment. Adapting very often to the novelties of lifestyles we do not need, lifestyles that have been sold to us. But our next adaptation has to be more radical and purposeful if we are to survive. We are talking about NECESSARY ADAPTATION and this is such a radical concept for we who have been adapting to the power of the absolutely unnecessary all our lives.

The will-to-want-more is a will-to-want-that-which-we-do-not-need.

In order to get ourselves on to the track of what we do need to do in order to correct the mess we are making, we have to change the fabric of our perception of the world; to change what the Lacanian  Žižek calls our ‘symbolic fictions’. He says that is in the realm of ‘symbolic fictions’ where we can adapt ourselves to ever new situations, and radically change our self-perception.[ii] And radically change our self-perception is exactly what we NEED to do. The new symbolic fictions we need to create would be subservient to a new Master Signifier opposed to the surplus necessity which is the Will-to-want-more of capitalism. Necessity is now to be defined as: the benevolent enemy of the surplus-waste of capitalist consumerism. Consumerism with all its propaganda and symbolic fictions, and which is itself perpetuated through the Master Signifier of the need to improve my life. Necessity would replace the myth of a “better life” with the uncomfortable truth of the need to create a better-life-in-the-world.

Instead of living in-the-world and against-the-world, we must learn to live in-the-world-and-for-it.

Human existence could thus be distracted from its irrational fixation on the great Master Signifier of surplus-improvement[iii] and learn through a new symbolic mythology to take its common interests into the common hands of everyone concerned – for the optimistic side of this disaster is that, as in the case of all disasters, the tragedy effects us all. At last we can say to the rest of mankind, without exclusion, we are all in the same leaking boat. And the only way we are going to get home alive is if we all pull our weight and row together.

THE PENTAGON REPORT SOLUTIONS

To combat the effects of climate change the Pentagon Report on “An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario” suggested these steps:

1)      Improve predictive climate models to estimate better how and where climate change would occur….

Climate of course is a far too abstract enemy for the military, and here it really is being treated as the enemy. As if we must predict when an attack will occur. What they should be asking is: How can we predict when and how our actions will screw things up enough to bring about an abrupt climate change so that we won’t screw things up? But the screwing up is taken for granted. Should we assume that perhaps it’s even desired. Isn’t there a longing for an enemy in any military institution? If not, what would be there reason for being?

2)      Improve projections of how climate could influence food, water and energy.

Here they are saying: we know the climate change that we are causing can affect food, water and energy – but we want to know in exactly what way.

Again, what they are failing to see is what really matters: that we are influencing climate in a negative and dangerous way and we should stop.

3)      Create measures to anticipate which countries are most vulnerable, and therefore could contribute materially to an increasingly disorderly and potentially violent world.

Does this mean that countries will be monitored carefully and even brought to their knees just because they are vulnerable to climate change? Locate the enemy even before they know they are our enemy.

4)      Identify no-regrets strategies such as enhancing capabilities for water management.

5)      Rehearse adaptive responses.

Does this mean rehearsing how to adapt to the Apocalypse?

The feeling is one of surrender. We cannot fight this enemy, the best thing to do is lie down and let the survival of the fittest do its work to create a new race of men.

6)      Explore local implications.

Perhaps it won’t be so bad at all for us.  

7)      Explore geo-engineering options that control climate.

Scientific positivism: we can always invent a machine to clean up the mess caused by all the other machines we have invented.

Never underestimate the military’s capability of turning science fiction into reality.           Nevertheless what would Hollywood sci-fi do with the idea of a weather controlling machine? They have already touched on a similar issue in the film The Core. That deals with a so called Project Destiny: a military weapon that creates earthquakes to defeat its enemies. In the core the military experiments cause the Earth’s core to stop rotating. This in turn threatens the destruction of all life on Earth. Other scenarios are easily imagined. The idea of playing God and getting it all so wrong. Chaos mathematics – the Butterfly Effect.

This optimistic idea may well be more dangerous than what it hopes to remedy.


[i] Schwartz and Randall, An abrupt Climate Change Scenario and its Implications for the United States National Security, October, 2003. http://www.edf.org/documents/3566_AbruptClimateChange.pdf  

[ii] Slavoj Žižec, THE PLAGUE OF FANTASIES p. 119

[iii] “What characterises human existente is thus the irrational fixation on some symbolic cause, materialised in a Master-Signifier to whom we stick regardless of the consequences, disregarding even our most elementary interests, survival itself…” Ibid, p. 120

WISDOM vs. ENJOYMENT or HOW TO START THE REVOLUTION (PART ONE)

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In his book “Tarrying with the Negative” Slavoj Žižek makes a very lucid association between enjoyment and national identification. The binding force of the State lies in its perception that the subjects of each nation have a particular way of enjoying themselves. Of course this ties democracy to a hedonistic rock: it is not the good that matters in politics, but the enjoyment that it ensures – or the good is defined by the enjoyment. Capitalism exploits this national inclination to enjoy, unleashing the full power of it by motorising it with it via consumerism’s will-to-want-more.

Of course this unleashing itself is an inherently dangerous act, for under its tenets, in order to have what we want we must have whatever we want – and in order to have whatever we want we need to have the freedom of the Master, and the Master’s freedom is derived through his/her power. This power is sustained by its power over slaves, which is absurd for, in theory, there can be no slaves in our modern concept of democracy, or at least no slaves who are conscious of being slaves. Or perhaps the resolution of the paradox lies in that very unconsciousness: if there were such slaves they must be unconscious ones, likewise driven by the will to want more enjoyment. Each of the System’s unconscious slaves vainly misinterprets him/herself as a master, with a master’s dignity, jealous of the enjoyment of the others.

The driving force of the consumer-will is a breaking apart dynamic with a negative chaos tendency that is undesirable and must be resisted. The consumer-will needs to be controlled, and so we arrive at State Capitalism, which is one step toward a more total control. Žižek was right to associate fascism with capitalism: “the fascist dream is simply to have capitalism without its excess, without the antagonism that causes its structural imbalance.”[1] In a slaveless society of Masters, the norm is that of Frazer’s myth of the King in the Wood.

That story which Frazer used as his starting point for his anthropological study in the Golden Bough is supposedly mainly an invention of Frazer himself. Nevertheless, factual or not, as a metaphor of power it itself is a brilliant piece of unveiling mythology. Its image of the priest-king, sword in hand, stalking the woodlands and lake of Nemi, anxiously anticipating the arrival of a rival who will come and slay him is an extension of the Oedipal myth that dominates the subliminal structure of our civilisation. But, what is the way out of this forest?

Wikipedia_-_taste_the_fruit_of_knowledge

Lacan called knowledge “the enjoyment of the Other”. According to him the very function of knowledge is motivated by its dialectic with enjoyment. [2]  We want to know things because we want enjoy things. The hysteric intertwines knowledge and enjoyment and makes it his/her own because the hysteric wants to make him or herself to be known, which they can only do by being desired as something which can be enjoyed.

But if knowledge and enjoyment are entwined, what is consumerism’s relationship with knowledge? Capitalism vulgarises knowledge, reducing it to the simple – if you know it exists you will want to buy it. Knowing is propagated superficially and misleadingly through the medium of advertising.

Yet, what if we were to modify or reinvent the relationship by seeing knowledge itself as the predominant factor in enjoyment. The pleasure comes from truly knowing something, not just knowing of it. Enjoyment now becomes a Sapiens’, [3] authentically human concept. To love it is to know it. And to know it as it really is, rather than to know it in the way we are told to know it. To see it as it really is rather than in the way it is shown us. In Lacanian terms, knowledge is a slave to the Master Discourse of the system, so, in the same terms, what is needed is a liberation of knowledge from the slavery to this Master’s Discourse. In order to do this Lacan gives three suggestions: objectify it; analyse it in a subversive way; or “hystericise” it.

If the Master Discourse which is geared toward maintaining the Master-system’s own power to enjoy whatever, utilises a seduction motorised by a vulgar desire to enjoy, then any analyses geared toward knowing before enjoyment and focusing on the idea that authentic pleasure is found precisely through knowledge, will be essentially subversive. For example, Stoicism, if practised today, would have to be seen as an absolutely subversive philosophy.

What the global, capitalist civilization wants its subjects to know is that language is not enough to tackle the breadth of what she as a system can offer as enjoyment. What is really important to capitalism is that she can be seen as the system of all systems. Through her discourse the whole world should come to know what a precious, invaluable object she is.

Capitalism regards the information age as its own invention. Information, therefore, is regarded by the System as the System’s slave, and, in the most part it is. The revolution, any revolution against the information manipulating Master, must be geared toward turning information into knowledge again. This can only be achieved by making information the Master itself, instead of the slave to the Other Master. Revolution then, as we see it, is a liberation of knowledge.

Once knowledge has been liberated from the shackles of the global capitalist system, it will be able to renew its discourse with enjoyment again. A discourse which can be authentic now, for without the self-interested manipulation of consumerism, it will be free to be deontological and ontological again. Knowledge can be knowledge again, allowing the human to be truly Sapiens for the first time.

WISDOM AND LAW

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“…out of what knowledge does one make law?”[1] asked Jacques Lacan. What knowledge should the System possess that grants it the privilege of making laws? Knowledge or power? Or perhaps we should ask, what knowledge should power possess? Here the should hangs heavily: it should possess lots of knowledge, after all it is making the laws which means it is creating justice, and isn’t justice born out of wisdom? And doesn’t wisdom imply a possession of knowledge? But the should is heavy because this is not necessarily the case. In fact, the correct answer – correct according to praxis – is that power does not need any knowledge other than the dogma of its own ideology. Knowledge is variegated whilst ideology is monochrome. As such, knowledge has to be avoided by power as it starts to stain its own monotonous ideology with colour and this makes it too hard to clearly define one ideology from the others – so important when the time comes to vote. And so we see that it’s the democratic system, and indeed the demands of the voters themselves that creates this turning away from knowledge that seems so characteristic of the System and its Parliaments.

Power gives us laws, and what would wisdom or knowledge give us? A sense of grace or virtue: the acquiring of the habit of virtue. The System based on laws tells us what we must do, even though the demands of power may be a contradiction of real needs. For example anti-ecological, pro-consumerist laws like the commercial laws regulating planned obsolescence (notably the light-bulb conspiracy) at a time when resources are depleting; or laws that regulate abortion or other contraceptive methods in times when demographic expansion is becoming unsustainable. A system based on knowledge and virtue would be able to comprehend reality and real needs. If wisdom were to make laws instead of power, justice might even be possible.

Perhaps we need to take the blindfold off justice and let her see as well as hear.

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[1] Jacques Lacan, SEMINAR XVII, XV22

THE WILL TO NECESSITY IS STRONGER THAN THE WILL TO SURVIVAL

For Nietzsche the human brain evolves in a way that ensures our preservation. Knowledge, he said, works as a tool for power, and the increase in the will to power is the measure that determines our desire for acquiring knowledge. [1] Nevertheless, it is the very application of a very Nietzschean, will to power driven ideology that threatens rather than ensures our survival in the world. What Nietzsche failed to recognise was the eventual internecine clash of conflicts between an egotistical power based on accumulation of wealth and the life-threatening consequences arising from the ecological degradation generated by that power won via profit. Basically, as Cioran observed, the human brain and its very malleable intellect is not a particularly good tool for species survival at all. In the animal world, with all of its natural drives and instincts, only the human intellect is capable of wanting all or nothing. Only humanity is capable of desiring anything like an Apocalypse or dreaming up a Mutually Assured Destruction by thermo-nuclear attacks. Nature can be cruel, it can hurl itself over cliffs like swarms of lemmings, or spawn thousands of babies of which 9 out of ten will be devoured before a day has past, but it is not stupid. It does not deliberately provoke unsustainable conditions on itself and extinction is usually caused by factors beyond the species’ control.

But if the intellect is not the result of the will for survival, what is it the result of? What kind of will could be so strong that it could create anything as incredibly complex as the human brain and its intellect? Could there be something stronger even than the will to survive or the will to power?

We know that even the ultimate sacrifice can be made if there is a pressing need which is stronger than personal survival. These needs may be for the survival or even for the simple benefit of a loved one; it may be for the survival or benefit of a larger group; it may be for ideological reasons, that a belief may be supported or enabled to flourish through the sacrifice. There are countless examples of lovers, saints, martyrs and heroes who have all been able to overcome their own will to survive in order to sacrifice themselves to a more pressing need. But what is the will behind such a powerful drive? The will to power? No, it is something that is more important than power. It is necessity itself. If there is a will stronger than the survival instinct it is the Will to Necessity. The will to do what truly needs to be done.

But where does this will to necessity come from? If we can accept the Freudian idea that psychic energy is generated by the biological and psychological needs of our libido (Eros), what if we amplify this source and go beyond Eros, as Jung did, to include the death drive, Thanatos, embraced within the completion of the Great Earth Mother, represented by the Uroboros? This Uroboric, Eros/Thanatos drive situates us in the world and, at the same time, lusts after a complete union with the world through the power of actually knowing the world. Once the spark of knowing – ignited by a conscious discovery of the power of language – gives the Uroboric will a taste of what thinking can bring to Uroboric being, then thought itself becomes paramount in the evolution of the Homo Sapiens Sapiens.

If Julian Jaynes[2] is right, real consciousness was developed after speech and even after writing and that the truly conscious creature that humanity now is is really only some four millennia old. So it is probably only in this relatively short time that the Uroboric instinct has been shoved down into the subconscious, victim to the tremendous awe that our primary, historical ancestors felt when they started to truly consciously act and began to think and decipher the world around them; when they began to suspect they could actually know and understand the world around them, and when through this understanding they began to evolve a sense of what needed to be done in the world.

Will, as we understand it, is therefore part intellect and part instinct. The Will to Necessity in particular emerges out of knowledge whilst being driven by a deeper Uroboric instinct.

From a Sapines’ point of view, Nietzsche’s “Knowledge and Becoming exclude one another,”[3] is the most anti-human of statements: Knowledge IS Becoming. Nietzsche’s greatest fault was to believe in falsification as a virtue for the Übermensch; that Truth is a mastering of sensations, rather than the ability to see the falsity  of that mastery. For the truth is not that the sensations are false, but that the mastery of those sensations has created an intricate mesh designed to favour and at the same time mask a certain class of individuals at the cost of the spiritual being of most Sapiens. Money is one enormous example of the mastery of reality in order to create a profitable illusion of reality. Real Knowledge must be able to perceive this illusion, but Knowledge can only be real when humanity is able to envisage itself properly as Sapiens and understand that Knowledge is Becoming and Becoming IS the fulfilment of Knowing.


[1] See Friedrich Nietzsche, THE WILL TO POWER, #480.

[2] See Julian Jaynes, THE ORIGIN OF CONSCIOUSNESS IN THE BREAKDOWN OF THE BICAMERAL MIND

[3] Friedrich Nietzsche, THE WILL TO POWER, #517.

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THE WILL TO NECESSITY IS STRONGER THAN THE WILL TO SURVIVAL by Paul David Adkin is licensed under a Creative Commons Reconocimiento-NoComercial-SinObraDerivada 3.0 Unported License.

NEIKOSPHILIA

Neikosphilia

(from the Greek: NEIKOS = strife, + PHILIA = love)

noun: a love of strife

Neikosphiliac, noun: a person or thing that demonstrates a love of strife

Neikospiliacal, adj.: the quality of being neikosphiliac

 

***

Capitalism as a manifestation of neikosphilia.

Capitalism and its cruel neikosphilia.

 

***

 

At first the neikosphilia presents a positive mask, manifesting itself as freedom. But the freedom is merely a pleasant sensation of release from the monotony caused by equilibrium and harmony, and is really the first sign of chaos created strife. Eventually the chaos inherent in the capitalist neikosphilia-lust will become obvious, even seemingly appear unavoidable and necessary.

THE QUEST FOR NECESSARY TRUTH

There are three truths: one is based on authentic Being and is authentic truth, and the other two depend on necessity and practicality. The problems with the first, and authentic, truth are many. Firstly, it hides itself magnificently and questions the capabilities of our perception and reason. Yet its greatest draw back is that even if we could discover it, it may be of no practical use or of any good for us whatsoever (other than that we have discovered the “truth”).

Let us posit, as an example, that Parmenides truth is determined one day to be the authentic one. Parmenides deduced through reason and intuition that the universe is One. If we could re-debunk all refutations of Zeno’s paradoxes we will be on the right track to agreeing with Parmenides. Parmenides implied, and Zeno tried to prove, that motion is impossible in a universe which is One, because there is nowhere to move to. Space is full. There are no little voids for us to occupy. If we move then the whole universe must move with us. Of course this is absurd in terms of human experience, but that is because this authentic Being has nothing to do with human experience. If Parmenides were right, we would be living a Matrix kind of existence in which we confuse reality with something that is actually a complex fantasy generated by the enormous computer which is the universe itself. Seen in this way, our lives become a mere projection of possibility by the One which has infinite potential, but which is really nothing more than an enormous singularity.

This may be the authentic truth – it certainly is one of the many possible projections that stand as candidates for the post of authenticity. But the knowledge of it, whilst it might be spiritually uplifting, has very little, if any, practical use for most individuals – not least because all authentic truth lacks certainty of its very authenticity.

And so we need something else. A more personal truth that we can create our own personal paradigm around, that will help us make sense of the world perceived around us and guide our way through it. It is a truth that is in the most part created for us. We are taught it, and we absorb it through observation of the reality unfolding around us. It can be tainted with ideas of authentic truths as well. But it is never just a religion, it is one’s individual religion, and is expressed in the predicates of I am… statements as identity. It can be regarded as a life philosophy, and may be a balsam for the trauma of death. It may be based on an identity toward a much larger group and guided by a religiosity, a patriotism, or a deep class-consciousness. Or even by a complete rejection of one or more of those moulds. But in its essence it is individualistic pragmatism and is easily toughened into bigotry and egotistical chauvinism.

Which brings us to the third kind of truth. This is a kind of transcending of individual truth in search of greater, more universal pragmatism. The search arises whenever one finds a need to question the paradigms that have shaped one’s personal identity, but it’s more intensely felt when this need arises out of deep practical reasons as well. As is the search for authentic truth, this quest, which we will call the search for necessary truth, has to be an excavation, a tunnelling job, digging into the hidden spaces of the system in order to find the elementary dangers that our manipulators have hidden there.

In another sense it is the awakening of the marionette, who sees, for the first time, the strings that are pulled, and the first struggle must be the decision to cut those strings that hold one up. With the fear of falling, but also with the hope of relearning how to walk on one’s own, motivated by this new, necessary truth. A truth that is fuelled, not by bigotry, but by universal needs. The third truth is not concerned with the practicality of making my life better, but with making the world a better place to live in.

THE MIDDLE WAY

The middle way is a very classical idea and it is found just as strongly in Aristotle’s ethics as the Golden Mean as it is in Confucius. We are not concerned with the “ethical action” as much as finding the middle term which we can then try and define according to its relationship with the extremes at either side of it which should be assimilated by the centre. Perhaps our idea is closer to Socrates’ that the essence of anything is in its opposite. We see it as useful for arriving at a more creative understanding of ideas in terms of harmony between extremes.

Our experiments began by taking a word and imagining its opposite in order to find two extremes. Once found we then look for a middle term between them. The definition of the middle term will be dependent on the opposites at either side of it, but the pure form of that definition will actually be an absence of their influence through complete assimilation. A middle term must be between two extremes but it must be the antithesis of both extremes, and it must be an absence of either. For example, if the opposite of CHAOS is LAW, what is the middle term? We propose it is FREEDOM and we can draw a diagram such as:

CHAOS ————— FREEDOM ——————LAW

If this is the case then FREEDOM will contain both chaos and law, although its most perfect state will have assimilated Chaos and Law into itself so that they never have to become manifest. The chaos and law in freedom are felt and manifested as freedom. The extremes are still there, but they are not apparent. The HARMONY of pure freedom absorbs its extremes. Freedom is always struggling between the two: freedom from chaos or freedom from law.  But the true harmony of freedom lies in the importance of it NOT leaning from one side toward the other.

From Passion we get the antithesis Frigidity and the mean Control:

FRIGIDITY ————- CONTROL ——————- PASSION

            Just as Freedom is an absence of Chaos as much as it is an absence of Law, Control is an absence of Frigidity as much as it is an absence of Passion. Perhaps it would be the normal thing to link Control and Frigidity as synonyms, but the beauty of the idea of the Middle Term is that middle term is never a synonym of the extremes it lies between. When it appears like a synonym the term is corrupt and needs to be rectified (here the theory can have practical application). Thus if freedom is seen as a synonym of chaos then the perspective is leaning toward the dictatorial side of law, and if it is seen as a synonym of law it is leaning towards anarchy. In this way we can judge the moral value of the middle term but also the moral values of the two extremes. The healthy condition is when the middle is recognisable in the middle because of its disassociation with both of the extremes.

CREATION ————————-  PERMANENCE ——————— DESTRUCTION

This is a refutation of the Will to Power. Creation and Destruction are implicit in Permanence without having to be demonstrated.

 

Other middle terms could be:

SPIRIT —————————— INTELLECT —————————-  MATTER

NON-ACTION ——————— BEING —————————- ACTION

DEATH/NON-EXISTENCE—————–GOD———————– LIFE/EXISTENCE

Here God neither exists not doesn’t exist. The middle term can make everyone happy.

UGLINESS —————— PLAINNESS ———————- BEAUTY

Plainness here is seen to be a more harmonious aesthetical concept than Beauty, which might upset quite a few aestheticians.

But what if we look at beauty itself as a Middle Term between Perfection and Flawed:

FLAWED ———————- BEAUTY ——————— PERFECTION

In this way Beauty is saved and Perfection is pushed away from pure beauty.

Let’s finally return to Freedom again, this time in aesthetics:

CONSTRUCTION ————— FREEDOM —————— DECONSTRUCTION

GROTESQUE —————– FREEDOM ———————– BEAUTY

If we can grasp the sense in these constructions we can see how Freedom may be a Middle Term option between any artistic debate. Freedom in art manifested in this middle-term way demonstrates that the free artist does not have to concern him/herself with rigid canons, but the harmony in the work will seem that he/she had.

AXIOM: LAW AND CHAOS ARE ALWAYS HIDDEN IN THE FREEDOM OF THE ARTIST.

AXIOM: FREEDOM IS SACRED IN NECESSITY[i].


[i] Of course we must be careful with this second axiom. A liberal-capitalist may use the formula DESTRUCTION ——- FREEDOM ——– CONSTRUCTION to justify a demolition or the destruction of a forest in order to build a new estate. But for these actions to take place they must become very apparent. Firstly a very obvious destruction followed by a clear construction, and it is in the obviousness of these two that the freedom becomes subjected to the extremes and is therefore nullified precisely because there is no harmony. The builder does not have the same “freedom” as the artist. DESTRUCTION —- FREEDOM —- CONSTRUCTION of a forest is not the same as DESCONSTRUCTION —— FREEDOM —— CONSTRUCTION of a play.