Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Understanding Experience: Notes

The fundamental difference separating the tiers of human experience is the dilation of time between bounding cause and effect for related units of experience.

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The dilation of time, between bounding cause and effect, separates the tiers of experience. A fundamental difference between sensation, percept, concept, and understanding is the distance between beginning cause and closing effect measured along the time axis.

This progressive time dilation helps explain why the cone of finite experience expands. It is not the only reason for the shape of the cone; recombination or progressive experiential abstraction also contributes. A third factor, mostly unexplored, lies in how bounds are assigned within the stream of experience for a unit of experience (i.e. sensation, perception, conception, understanding). Clearly time is a factor, as stated above, but there is a variability here that is unexplained. I’m also unclear how lower level units of experience are chosen to form a CE chain, if this is subjective or concrete. How subjective is our experience of the CE chain, are there several, is it a cloud that we pull together to meet other goals?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Considering Nice Leaders

Nothing is more pathetic and harmful than people in authority that avoid conflict. They choose the easy path now while letting problems grow to a point that those within their authority will suffer under what their passivity has allowed to grow. These leaders often want to be liked and thought to be nice people, this is why they will fail and ultimately loose their talented and capable subordinates. They are weak because they will not fight, and they are even weaker because others understand this.

A dissembler can act with impunity in this environment. Under a passive and feckless leader there is no justice. A leader must be willing to defend himself and his interests, and he must be willing to attack. In a world of passive aggressive personalities and self righteous lazy complainers who feel entitled to what others have earned, there is often no choice but to call them out for what they are, and for what they are doing. Only darkness, neglect and a blind eye allows these ills to fester and take hold. This very disease has taken down or crippled companies of great size and strength, it is fatal to small companies.

A good leader must identify these problems, expose them, and attack them. This same leader must also determine the extent to which he can separate his interests from those of the weak leaders. The best fortifications are distance and independence. Weak leaders will always try to leach off of a strong team. Their weakness leaves the strong partner holding more of the weight, and almost always all of the responsibility. One signal way to spot this feckless, spineless, nice leader is to identify what they are accountable for – you will find them with responsibility but no accountability. In reverse you will often find your better leaders with accountability but little authority.

There is nothing more despicable than the weak leader. They make daily lives worse with their desire to be liked, considered nice, and avoid conflict. They do not honor their responsibility, or assume fault when they fail, and they will scream and complain if you even begin to shine a light on their continued slow daily failure.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Personal History: Brief Entry on Religion

I was the most religiously devoted youth in high school. I was licensed as a Southern Baptist preacher at 18. I was actively evangelical. I arranged and led foot washings, bible studies, and interdenominational youth prayer chains with all the willing churches in town. I was studying ancient Christian texts and writing on church reform before I entered college.

I was one of many in college. There were hordes of young preacher hopefuls with similar small pond credentials. We were of all colors; a variety that only a myopic world view can appreciate given such a monochrome illumination. We debated, exercising the details of our belief and setting up a new ego order in this larger pond. In such competition, specialization is a path to influence, and I quickly became known on campus. I promoted disaffection and speculation; reform filtered though a humanitarian lens. I started a church, unaffiliated with the unreformed Baptist corpus division, decided by vote. I published an anonymous underground newsletter on a weekly basis, with a group of volunteers distributing the issues at predetermined locations. It was anonymous because unauthorized expression of opinion was strictly prohibited. Several individuals delivered the issues because authority would investigate, and a single person makes a signal target.

I was overcome by the dean of religion. An ex-girlfriend’s brother had turned me in as the unknown assailant to established belief. He did it out of spite and a juvenile desire for mischief, he was broken, and I didn’t hold it against him. I held it against the adults administrating my education, and entrusted with my development. They were broken too, but reform was not ready for these patrons of Christian youth; neither was understanding or forgiveness. My every submitted paper was entered as evidence, as was anonymous testimony, and a laundry list of bible passages rudely ripped from context and cast at my feet. I was found guilty, no peer opinion involved, and kicked out of the ministry programs, relieved of my scholarships. I was labeled a danger to other tender ministry students, all my investment discarded.

I was disabused of many illusions.

Investment Children

Parental Investment
Species invest time, energy and other vital resources into their offspring. They take critical calories and burn them in service to their progeny, calories they could be using to get stronger or more secure in their characteristic struggles. Some leave eggs on the beach, others raise them for a season, and still others raise them for years. Humans take significantly longer than other species to reach adulthood. There is a critical amount of investment needed to bring offspring to adulthood, at which point they are understood to have a sufficient chance at survival and procreation. Humans have in recent history counted children at age eighteen to be adults. I reference history because healthy modern eighteen year old humans are still fully or near-fully dependant on their parents. Other human cultures allow an earlier maturity and independence, but modern western cultures have been pushing this number back. I would guess a national average is closer to twenty now, and for the affluent and educated it would probably rest closer to twenty five before full independence is reached.

Surplus
There are significant elements of the human population that are investing more in their children than historically normative. We are in a transition. Education levels for men and women of all economic classes are higher than their economic and working situations demand. We have a surplus of education in our culture. We have also begun to get more and more free time and free income for these same groups. This secures, at all but the lowest levels, a group of parents with education and intelligence that goes unchallenged during their work day, and the time and money to exercise their atrophied mental limbs outside of work.

Meritocracy
A contributing factor is the idea of the meritocracy. The belief and trust that merit will win out in the end, maybe not in every specific situation but in the majority of situations, the best will be rewarded. Whether this is true or not is not as important as the belief of the populace that it is true.

Unprecedented Investment
This leaves modern affluent parents in the western world in a unique situation to provide unprecedented investment in their children. We still do not know what this radical change in parenting investment will yield. The children of the sixties became the first of these parents, and they had generation X, to whom we should credit the explosion of the information age. It was this generation of offspring who were sufficiently invested in, that they could dive into the primitive computers with active imaginations and a nurtured intelligence and bring in a new era of mankind. History will look back at this primitive information society and wonder at our rapid adaptation. Marvel at the type and amount of labor required to build programs that support our new economy.

Observation of Acceleration
This is an example of what the first generation of investment children have accomplished. They still live and work, and have much time left to add to this record. They have yet to fully take political power from older generations, although this is not too many years away. In the meantime they are having children of their own. On average they have waited later, and the more affluent and educated they are the truer this proves. They have waited till they were more capable and mature than their parents were, and if observation proves true they are investing more in their offspring than their parents did in them, possibly double or triple the investment of critical resources.

Speculation on Division
What will this accelerating investment cycle bring us? What will our first and second generations of investment children bring forth upon this planet? My speculations on this topic bring more hope than fear. I wonder if the cultural singularity will come or if we will evolve with too much speed leaving ourselves vulnerable to the still savage and brutal parts of the globe. This will cause upheavals and forced balancing of power. We see it beginning now.

Investment Divide
Mankind will change dramatically, at a rate unprecedented, within the next three or four generations. They have the potential to fulfill our hopes for human kind, but we have a global concern; certain parts of the world will enjoy this and others will not. Those who do not are a threat to our offspring. We must equip them with similar advantages, or we must equip our children with the power to subdue them.

Those Standing to Loose and the Final Minority
The future is always opposed by those whose way of life will have to change to thrive. These peoples will wish to hold back change and even regress into our past where their ways of thinking were dominant. They will look ahead at the change these investment children bring and dread the future. Our offspring must advance to a point they can peacefully bring the majority of these people along with them, they can not be ignored or deprived. Their dread must be combated with hope, and assurance that they and their children can participate and thrive at an equal level. Once the majority of hold backs are convinced of this we will be left with the minority. The minority of these will have to be subdued and forcefully dominated until their generation dies off. With every generation the minority will find itself decreasing, and becoming more marginalized and irrelevant to the new world around them. Our investment children must woo and encourage each generation to join into their present; still our anticipated but future.

Undetermined Potential
We are living in a historical time of transition. We would like the world to slow down, but we keep doing every thing we can to speed it up. How else to give our children a better life? What is the limit of investment that we would make in our children? Our only limits are our willingness and our capability, both of which are reaching levels never before seen in such a large section of human society.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Happiness is positive change

I’m asking myself how much of happiness is progression, achievement or moving forward; “things are really looking up”, “life’s getting better all the time”, “I just got a raise, a promotion, or a new baby”. A brief and cursory review of human history makes me wonder if we don’t find our greatest happiness in positive change and our greatest misery in negative change.

Contrast this with the little utopian dreams we nurse in our hearts and minds. Utopias are static; they are perfectly designed and thus never need to change or progress. These are our refuge when negative change has made us unhappy, we dream of a future where we don’t loose and no one suffers; nothing but an escape from negative change. Utopias could never last in reality because man is always inventing, building and creating. Not always for the better, not always good but always forward – direction is qualitative.

So our happiness comes from positive change, but we harbor little utopias in our hearts as a protection against negative change. Everything is purposeful, but I’m just now beginning to see just how pragmatically purposeful we are, even in happiness and utopias.
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A utopia could never survive the men it was composed of. After an initial calm and golden era, as remembered, the inhabitants of this paradise will begin to agitate for change, and with change will come trials and errors. With change comes work, and with men will come change. Change is work.
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Men bring change, change is work, and men are always working. We respect those individuals that work the greatest change. We decide whether to loathe or love them depending on how we perceive the change affecting our lives. If these prodigies of man produce signal events that work positive change in our lives then we love them, otherwise we equally hate them, but respect is reserved for them both.
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A utopia ceases to be utopian when it first changes, and man ceases to be happy when he first ceases to change. Man is incompatible with his utopian dreams, but he will always harbor them because they are a safeguard and comfort to the pains and suffering of this life.
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Utopias become onerous and subject to neglect when the nature of the men composing them significantly differs from their founding ancestors.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Part Five

It takes a great deal of time to gestate a truth. Tides of conception must sweep our shores before the beach is changed. Every conception must fight for its place within us. There is no more savage struggle; a mind can be overturned in a night. You can be reborn from a conversation, and the exhausting conflict that follows.

At best two people sharing identical mental structures could deconstruct, transmit, and reconstruct a truth without loss. It is unlikely two such people exist. Man does his best to deconstruct, communicate and reconstruct with chronic misunderstanding as his result. Accurate communication depends on the audience’s ability to reconstruct. Whether they have the symbols, intelligence, and will necessary to reconstruct a communication determines whether they understand what they are told.