Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course

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Mediums of Influence

Language, narratives, and the senses are three powerful (and general) means/mediums of influencing large groups of people in an asynchronous way.

  • Language is the means through which people communicate. Language can alter knowledge/data and there are often miscommunications in language. To avoid miscommunication, languages can be more descriptive (sometimes seemingly superfluously descriptive) like binary. Of course there are problems with making languages more descriptive, and that problem originates when taking into account how long it takes to transfer that knowledge/data. Talking in English is far easier and far more efficient for humans than it is to talk in binary, despite binary’s negligible chance of miscommunication. Note: when I refer to speaking in binary, I do not mean translating it into english words. I mean using binary to create every last detail of a situation. This would mean creating the dimensions, colours and various other properties of objects in the vicinity. Additionally, note that human emotions would be particularly difficult to create through binary.
  • Narratives are the mediums which encompass certain areas and influence people in that area. Note that people are not influence equally by a narrative, depending on the distance from the narrative’s centre; people are influenced in varying degrees by a particular narrative. It is much like an asymmetric web through which the influence is spread.
  • Our senses are highly subjective. To extend, our senses are chemical interpretations of energy. These interpretations become data. Then that data is converted into electrical energy and transferred to a particular area in the brain. This data is then interpreted by the brain and it is altered according to previous experiences. This can be extremely useful when remembering someone’s face or name. But it becomes a problem when considering change blindness, eye witnesses, and constructed memories. All of these are heavily influenced by how are senses interact with our environment and how our senses interact with our brains.

Language alone affects your social interactions with others dramatically. Firstly, you are limited to communication with others whom know the same language as you. Secondly, the way the language is spoken can affect mood, and change social norms in that area. Thirdly, when languages are translated, the meaning of the words may be drastically altered due to the prevalent cultural narrative.

Narratives influence people in a different way. Usually, for a cultural narrative to function, it must be prevalent in that particular area. Additionally, when travelling to an area with a different narrative, it often takes time to adjust to the new standards. Furthermore, you may maintain and become a locus of your previous cultural narrative, years after, despite the new narrative’s influence.

Senses influences us everyday of our lives, and it does so through an incongruous manner. Unlike narratives and language, senses influence us through arbitrary or purposeful miscalculations and alterations of memories and data. This occurs unseen and can create false assumptions. For example, if you were to view something like this:

Illusion

 

wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/bc/Mond-vergleich.svg/1000px-Mond-vergleich.svg.png

The dots in the centre are the exact same size, but our brains interpret the sizes of the dots as different. This is due to the sizes of the surrounding dots, and the comparison between those dots and the ones in the centre.

The interpretations of all the alterations and constructions of information we have are what define philosophy. Language, narratives, and senses are the three main concepts that I think influence or interpretations of information and the information itself. If we focus on these three types of systems, we could discover information that was at first hidden or discarded due to these systems; we could find alterations that drastically change what it was before hand.

 

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Cultural Systems: Flaws and Virtues

Cultural Manifests, they are like the unifying purpose of a group, the nails, screws, bolts and washers holding a desk together, or the interworking gears of clockwork slowly ticking by. At first glance, a cultural manifest means nothing, it’s background noise; like the Jazz Mr. Jackson uses in philosophy to set the mood for discussion. Trying to examine a cultural manifest is like a fish trying to examine the water through which it swims (as we have oft referred to in class).

The properties of a cultural manifest are what drives its society to progress. If they weren’t hidden, who would follow them? Would you prefer to listen to the underlying message in your favourite song, or the nagging authority of a guardian? We ought to listen to the guardian wishing us well, but we want to listen to our favourite song. A cultural manifest is often like your favourite song; it influences you through nuance and subtlety and can transmit messages so deep and so condensed that it would be nearly impossible to find all the influences and motives behind them.

Clarification:

  • That is not to say that we are controlled and limited by cultural manifests, rather it is to say, like music, it can influence us in our decisions.
  • To further clarify, cultural manifests are not the only mechanisms that influence decision making.
  • Where the cultural manifest influences people with little or no variation, is where one of the many possible central ideals exist.

As for the next few sections, they will be choice based and they will be numbered and listed below so that you may choose what to read.

  1. Defining a Cultural Manifest, its Origins, and its Function
  2. Rawls’ Influence (basic summary)
  3. Kant’s Influence (basic summary)
  4. Mill’s Influence (basic summary)
  5. Aristotle and Dale Carnegie, Why The Cultural Manifest is so Effective
  6. Ethical Issues
  7. My Own Personal Cultural Manifest

1. Pertaining to the clockwork example mentioned earlier, a cultural manifest is much like a mass of clockwork. The main difference being that all the gears are tiny and may have nearly invisible effects on gears hundreds of meters away from them. The clockwork can be jammed by rocks in which case catastrophic events can occur. Gears can be replaced and the clockwork can continue functioning again, but it will take decades even centuries to undo the damage done by those rocks. Furthermore, someone who has analyzed and studied the mechanisms in the clockwork, knows how to create purpose from it, knows how to alter its varying functions and knows how to manipulate the clockwork to their ideals.

A cultural manifest is much the same, it has no single goal or purpose, rather it is an asymmetric mash of powerful and incentive-based concepts. And whenever the group under this cultural manifest is put through a catastrophic event, the manifest changes, it adapts to the current circumstances and the emotions which are mixed within it. This can distort and alter its previous functionality and cause deficiencies within the system. One who can manipulate cultural manifests can convince almost anyone immersed in that one’s manifest that the ideals which are upheld by that manifest are just and right.

If we are to examine to communisms’ modifications in Russia, we can clearly see that this idea/concept was placed into Russia’s construct/manifest of nationhood. When an idea or concept is placed into a culture/symbol, it influences everyone immersed within that system. Much the same occurred in Germany during the Nazi party’s reign. If you were to ask many of the Germans most deeply immersed into the concept the Adolf Hitler had created, they would have done anything for him. That is not to say that cultural manifests are absolutely terrible; there are of course many misuses of these constructs and there examples were they are extremely functional. For example, Gandhi’s use of civil disobedience to alter the current cultural manifest and therefore causing a revolution in India. The complex clockwork that is a cultural manifest is difficult to influence, but once it has been changed, the spread of the alteration is silent and unexpected and soon the entire system has changed. To conclude a cultural manifest is a construct of concepts/ideas that influences societies and groups.

2. If Rawls were to create a portion of a cultural manifest, he would ensure that several concepts were ticking in its construct. Rawls does not see moral desert in a society, rather he argues that people should use their talents to better society. If the talents in a particular person are not required, then they are simply not needed and therefore that person must harness talents that are needed in order to function in society. Additionally, Rawls would allow income disparity on the condition that those on the lowest economic level are aided equally by the income disparity. Furthermore, the cultural manifest would influence early generations into thinking that their skills are needed for society in order for it to function. Therefore, not discriminating based on genetic traits, working conditions, and other “arbitrary” traits that are randomly assigned, behind the veil of ignorance.

3. In Kant’s cultural manifest we find a world where no human can be used as a means. Any entity capable of rational thought is not to be regarded as a means, rather they are ends. Additionally, anytime an entity is used as means, the action must first be tested as a universal law. This means that if everyone in the sphere of existence were to preform this action, there would be no resulting disparity. In other words, if I were to consider borrowing an excessive amount of money for personal gain, I would first wonder what would happen if everybody were to do the same. I would realize (hopefully) that if everyone borrowed an excessive amount of money then there would be no longer any money left in the bank for better purposes, there would be no more money in the bank, and there would massive amounts of household debt which could result in an economic recession. Therefore this action is refuted by universal law and does not fit the categorical imperative. In this society, there is a fairly dogmatic upbringing, in the sense that, one must always follow the categorical imperative and no other reason as it may mislead them.

4. Mill has interesting world where the ends always justify the means. A place where, as long as the ends results in the greatest amount of happiness, the greatest atrocities and the greatest achievements of mankind can occur. You can justify any action, whether requiring personal sacrifice, or populace sacrifice. The main upbringing would involve the eduction of long-term/short-term utils and the comparison of these utils with others. Through this reasoning a person could construct their own ethical decisions and therefore logically come to a conclusion.

5.Who is Dale Carnegie? He was a prominent and persistent admirer of Abraham Lincoln and studied Lincoln’s history throughout his life. He is the author of the best-selling 70 year old book called “How to win friends and influence people.” An unfortunate title for the book as all of the methods would coincide with the categorical imperative. Additionally the book is light-hearted and humorous despite its philosophical depth into human nature.

As for Aristotle, he is a well known and cited greek philosopher, and in this post he is going to bring a different aspect other than utilitarianism, the categorical imperative, or the difference principle to the table. Aristotle shines upon teleological reasoning. A telos, goal or purpose is what this system is based upon. In order to analyze a situation, one must first identify the telos of the climate. Say perhaps that we were to identify who to give the best construction tools. First we would have to discuss the purpose of this construction tools. In this case (I would assume) that the purpose of those tools is to build, and therefore, those tools should be given to the best builders. However, there is a problem with teleological reasoning; sometimes, everybody cannot agree on the purpose of a particular situation. The purpose is always up for debate and this can cause massive delays in decision making.

What does Carnegie have to do with all of us? Dale Carnegie points out a very important part of human nature, and gives you the tools to control that characteristic. He does not teach you to alter the personalities of others, or how to change the thoughts of others, rather he gives you the tools to change yourself.

6.

7.

 

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Zogg Time

Videos by Zogg!!!

Introduction:
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15C-fw9d4pE]

Playlist:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36-Bp9sAa3w?list=PL32F8B5F41870D160]

From the playlist for Aesthetics

  • Games, Dreams and Stories
  • Humor
  • Beauty

Enjoy!!!

 

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Epistemology and Conlangs: Identifying differences in naturalistic unnaturalistic, and concrete-abstract and abstract-concrete languages

Proposition:

Note: Words that may be controversial or subjective are defined for this particular theory below; all of them are underlined within this proposition. Examples are given for the more complex concepts.

Hidden words in the definitions section: Object, Concept.

If differences can be identified between abstract and concrete languages, by creating a abstract and concrete languages, and these differences provide data that could be used to clarify the magnitude of assimilation and briskness of these languages, then this data could be used to create a scale on which languages could be placed between briskness and assimilation.


 

Definitions:

Concept: A concept is an intangible idea that cannot be perceived by the senses but is rather inside one’s body and mind. However these are often expressed through metaphors in organic languages; these metaphors vary between cultures.

Object: An object is a tangible thing that can be perceived by the senses, it is considered outside of one’s body and mind.

Abstract Language: A language which uses no metaphors and only requires the use of instructions to describe any particular object/concept.

e.g. A computer language does not tell another computer using the same language that one object in a certain situation is like a concept. Rather a computer language provides specific instructions that must be followed in order to produce said object/concept.

Concrete Language: A language which uses metaphors to describe concepts and objects.

e.g. English or any other organic language, usually uses metaphors to describe more complex concepts like guilt, love, fear, or embarrassment to others using the same language, rather than using instructions like a computer that would tell the other entity how to construct that object/concept. However, from what I know, no computer yet knows how to construct emotions.

Data: In this case, data is the differences between concrete and abstract languages which I have explained above.

Clarify: This word, as anyone reading this post would think, is very sketchy. What I mean here is that, with the data I aim to identify the differences between concrete and abstract languages, and by creating my own concrete and abstract languages, make more accurate assumptions about where those differences would be placed upon the briskness and assimilation scale. The following three terms will be defined below.

Briskness of A Language: The briskness of a language is the speed at which it can be communicated. This of course sacrifices the magnitude of assimilation which I will describe below.

Assimilation of Ideas: The assimilation of ideas can be described as the actual similarity of ideas that are communicated between two entities. When increasing this factor, briskness is sacrificed.

And Finally …

The Scale: A scale will be created with varying details that will be measured from 1-10, then based on which values are entered for each detail each language will be place in-between briskness and assimilation on a scale form 1-10.


 

Experiment:

 

Concrete Language:

Phonology:

Vowels:OO(oh)AA(ah) UU(oo)EyE(ey)EeI(ee)

Consonants: KK(k)ThTh(th)S1S(s)

Connector (there are no spaces): Ee(not used as a vowel, used as a connector.)

Betabet:

UOAEyThS1EeK

Grammar:

Ee The connector must be in-between each word. In addition each sentence starts with Sa Thé See which is  A modified by S1which makes Sa, then Ey modified by Th to make Thé, and finally Eemodified by S1which makes See. The meaning of the beginning phrase is, “the great energy created”. All sentences start with Sa Thé See and form chains, as Sa Thé See is always followed by a pronoun or object. This originates from the Gitaxian’s belief in the great energy. The chains can spiral, or travel in random directions, but can only be read one way. If read any other way, the sentence will be misinterpreted. Meaning that the paper can only be in one rotation in order to receive the correct information from the chain. The connectorEe is modified by S1 for past tense, K for present tense, and finally Th for future tense.

Any noun that is surrounded by a circle becomes plural.

Examples of Phrases:

“The great energy who created Su So Sey creates a circle”

Note: in english, there is a dangling participle, however in this language the subject performing creates is “Su So Sey.” The subject preforming created is the “great energy.”

ES

How to pronounce:”Sa Tey See Soo So Sey Kee Key So Tey Kee Oo O”

If you want to create a language, I think Zompist will help.

Possible Errors:

As mentioned in the grammar section, the chain can only be understood correctly from one angle/rotation.

If you’re really interested, here is the culture derivation:

Gitaxians, a race that loves circles and trigonometry:

The Gitaxians realized the potential of trigonometry and circles in architecture. Much like their architecture, their alphabet consists of circles and waves, completed with a line through each circle or wave depending on whether it is vowel or consonant. The Gitaxians shun those who use squares in their architecture, considering the square inferior to the circle. In fact, all their architecture is spherical or wavy, not even cylindrical, avoiding even a straight line up when building against gravity. The way their language is spoken works much the same way; there are always valleys followed by hills in tone. Due to their sophisticated architecture and strict banishment of the square, the Gitaxians are famed for their efficient vehicles and architecture, often using less material than square builders. However, the one weakness of Gitaxians, is the poisonous hydric acid, they believe that no planet can survive if there is a large percentage of it upon any planet. Contrary to the Gitaxians’ belief, earthlings survive on planet earth despite its massive content of H2O.

(I created this using STO‘s character creator; this is owned by STO and should not be distributed)

Screen Shot 2014-12-06 at 7.39.37 AM

A Gitaxian

Abstract Language:

System:

States:

KEeS1

 

Description

K/K: Acts as on

Ee/Ee: Acts as off:

S1/S: Acts as indeterminate

With these three symbols several instructions can be formed based on: on, off and an indeterminate switch.

Code:

Similar to binary, however, when there is an indeterminate switch, the value is non-existent. Because the value does not exist, it therefore allows the code to create errors and continue. If there is an error, all values associated with the error whether on or off are switched to indeterminate and no longer read during the compiling process. This allows the program to continue working despite errors, however it also means that the code could easily malfunction. This makes the code more adaptable, but far more difficult to fix.

Examples of Operations:

EeKKKEeEeKCompiles to produce: 114

EeKKKKKKKKKKKProduces an error: therefore replace all values with S1, the rest of the code will still produce 114.

Possible Errors:

The indeterminate switch easily causes the program to malfunction without the user knowing of the malfunction. However, occasionally malfunctions lead to break throughs and allow the program to continue working despite the errors.


 

Results and Scale:

To a computer a series of switches still produce something no matter how many characters are used. Additionally, a computer can read billions of on and off switches in mere seconds as if child’s play. For us however, it takes years; the computer uses the on and off switches as instructions to preform certain operations, therefore constructing a concept/object. When we read a language or speak it; this clearly takes far less time then reading on and off switches. We also receive information at a greater speed, however, it often sacrifices the details of certain concepts or objects. You could argue that we do not need to know all the details, however, if ideas were communicated at this speed and with this precision, we would probably share more of the same ideas. However, doing so often sacrifices diversity in ideas, as if ideas were communicated the same way over and over again less creativity would be sparked. That is why I added the indeterminate switch, in order to see if errors would spark any creativity; theoretically it could lead to break-throughs.

Scale2

This is the scale I derived based on the concrete language I created which was based on a spontaneously created culture; I also based it on the abstract language which was based off of the concrete language. Enough bases, now to the details, I placed Binary closer to assimilation, as the code will have more similarities as it is transferred in comparison to Gitaxian Binary. However, note that Gitaxian Binary is far more brisk than Binary as all errors are ignored and switched to indeterminate. Gitaxian and English are a different story, Gitaxian is far less brisk than english, do to the chains and few consonants in comparison to English. However, English is far more brisk, due to its ability to be read quickly, larger variety of consents, and greater vocabulary (I cannot create nearly as many words in less than an hour!). Briskness seems to be closely related to the number of sounds in the languages phonology. Comparing Gitaxian to English reveals that Gitaxian is far more difficult to speak due to its less diverse set of sounds, while English is communicated quickly. However, I am not a native speaker of Gitaxian and this could be why my reading speed is so greatly reduced. Comparing Binary and Gitaxian Binary again, the number of states in which a variable can be greatly affects a language briskness and assimilation. E.g. due to Gitaxian Binary’s three states it is far faster than Binary, however Binary has greater assimilation due to its fewer variable states. Additionally, because English can be read from multiple angles it has a greater briskness, but its assimilation is lesser as now the idea may be interpreted incorrectly. Briskness is increased because, now the page now longer has to be oriented at a certain angle, however there still is an optimal angle at which English can be read.

Summary of what data I have acquired from the experiment:

  • More states for a variable in a abstract language results in greater briskness but lesser assimilation
  • More consonants for a phonology in a concrete language results in greater briskness, no affect on assimilation
  • More orientations from which a language can be read results in lesser assimilation and greater briskness

 

 

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To Create an Abstract Conlang

I have been looking into research on how to construct a conlang (constructed language), in order to construct to attempt to construct one using abstract concepts to describe concrete objects.

A conlang is a fairly interesting idea/hobby, if you are interested in creating your own conlang, I found these links helpful: Zompist, COE, and Andrew Moore (dead). Note: if you do want to create conlang, knowing an additional language is extremely helpful.

Moving on, what do I mean by creating a language starting from the abstract? Zogg from Betelgeuse thoroughly answers that question. However if you prefer reading, then here is my version of what an abstract-concrete language would look like. Imagine our own language, English, it describes much of what we know and do by using objects. It describes complex ideas and concepts using concrete objects, but not in the reverse order. When we describe guilt, we describe it as a pit in the stomach, or a burden upon ones shoulders. We do not describe guilt using abstract concepts, like numbers, mathematics, and so on. We can use numbers to describe the properties of certain shapes/objects. But we cannot use mathematics to describe other abstract concepts like emotions.

Now for language, language is a complex thing, it all starts with phonology (the sounds used in any particular language), and then nuances added to the phonology like pitch, tone, and stress. Then grammar (the set of rules for a particular language) and finally the actual creation of the words. I would like to note that this is a very simple description of the steps it takes to create a language; in reality it takes weeks to procure the right sounds, shapes and rules that make a conlang your own. And again I would refer you to the three links above for further instruction on language, as I am not fluent in creating conlangs at all.

 

 

Binary_Code

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/cf/Binary_Code.jpg

Finally, the fun part, constructing/finding a language based upon the abstract. I cannot use sounds like other conlangs, as this would be using physical air to describe things around me. I cannot use symbols or shapes on paper, as again these are based on concrete objects. I cannot use anything sensory whatsoever, I essentially must avoid everything from the school of empiricism, absolutely everything, as anything from empiricism relies on concrete things. Similarly I cannot rely on rationalism either as this depends on empiricisms and vice versa. Therefore, for my mind it is impossible to create an abstract-concrete language. However, when looking at the language which computers speak, binary. It is clear that this language develops from the abstract to the concrete, however to relies on hardware to function. Although it is a language that relies on abstract concepts, that nearly describes everything. It does not however describe emotions, as I had said earlier, for a language to describe emotions with abstract concepts is nearly impossible. DNA however, the ATCG language, may describe those complex things.

images-3

 

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/25/DNA_simple2_(it).svg/1059px-DNA_simple2_(it).svg.png

DNA is a code that uses four nitrogenous bases to construct millions of things, we are even beginning to think that this code constructs emotions too. But, unfortunately, it is still not an abstract-concrete language as it uses concrete nitrogenous bases to describe more complex abstract and concrete things. Like our languages DNA is concrete-abstract and not vice versa, perhaps that is how it should be, although of all this, I am still unsure.

 

 

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Uncertainty About Uncertainty: Quantum Mechanics

Recently we had a lifeboat survival activity and one of my class mates was given the job of quantum physicist youtube star, so I decided to take a dive into quantum physics and get an idea of what actually goes on in this probability, statistic oriented science.

\Delta x\cdot\Delta p_x \geqslant \frac{\hbar}{2}

This equation, most commonly known as Hiesenberg’s Uncertainty Principle describes that as a particle/wave is given less area to travel within, its direction becomes more unpredictable. This can cause particles at the sub-atomic level to do really weird things that don’t seem to apply to our current laws of physics at the atomic scale. Such as being anywhere within an atom until they are located, its as if they are everywhere, and then when you look for them, they stay in one place. Quantum entanglement is just another example of the crazy weirdness that envelops the subatomic level. When two particles are entangled, and then separated (while retaining the information) by a distance light years apart, one can measure the rotation of one of those particles, and the other will always have the opposite rotation. Its as if the particles can communicate with each other instantaneously across massive distances. This same principle applies to two particles that are again entangled, however with the right technique, one can teleport one subatomic to another location instantaneously.

QT

 

Essentially, the particle you want to teleport is destroyed, and the particle on the other side of the world becomes an exact copy of the original. We have no idea why quantum entanglement works, but we do know that it works. Tests show a near hundred percent accuracy, but the physics behind the mechanisms that make quantum entanglement work are unknown. Basically were like cave people playing with fire, completely unaware of its mechanisms yet somewhat aware of its utility.

 

 

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Thoughts, Free-Will, Facts, Artificial or Not?

Empiricism the great tool which science uses to create observations, data, and inevitably come to conclusions. Yet are we making more assumptions than we should be about the so called “facts” and “thoughts” that fill our mind everyday?

We say that because science, and many other facts are based off of observations and data that is based off of our senses, we can conclude it is therefore true. Why? Why is it more true than something anyone can make up in their mind. Is it because things seem more real through our senses, through pain and joy. Yet psychologically, most of these feelings can be replicated purely through thought. So why is it more true? Is it because knowledge gained through experience can be applied to the real world. Perhaps that is it, yet we still cannot prove whether we experience the world the same way. It is far more likely that we all experience the world differently. If everyone were to experience the world in the same way, we would probably share more of the same thoughts and approach things similarly.

However none of his explains how cultures emerge, how common knowledge exists. For any of these ideas to exist, they need several hosts. A culture is not that often related to one person, it needs to spread, and it needs to spread fast. We as humans have the urge to share certain information for different purposes. If all these ideas are shared and spread so rapidly it probably explains why common ideas exist. But why do we have different ideas, or ideas that are altered forms of the original. All of our previous ideas in memory that are in storage influence all the ideas that enter our mind. These ideas, not you, decide what details to keep and discard, whether to reject that idea, and decide its emotional component. In truth, its as if our mind is governed by a series of powerful and evolving ideas.

But then what about free-will, isn’t that one of the many traits of humanity? I would argue against free-will, but rather we are much like a particles floating in a chemical reaction; travelling in an absolutely random direction, it is not destiny but rather it is a series of completely unpredictable events. It is something in-between destiny and free-will, our fates are not decided by ourselves, yet neither are they predetermined, instead ideas and complex meta-narratives govern our minds, not ourselves, nor complex algebra.

Facts, the way we determine what the world is around us, yet some of these solid “facts” crumble before our eyes. Perhaps it is like thinking phrenology is a science, or a more cliché example such as the world is flat. It may seem true from initial observation, but closer observation leads to more dependable data. But if all of us experience the world differently, than none of those facts could possibly be the same. One fact could probably mean billions of different things that we could never decipher. “Facts” our heavily influenced by a bias through our experience, yet thoughts are no better, thoughts are influenced by experience and all past experience, ironically, in fact all facts are just subjective statements. We cannot conclude whether something is black and white true, rather it can be placed on a scale or line where the fact can be measured. As I had written earlier, or said in your mind, I think something is more factually true if it can be applied to the real world, or perhaps if they fit within your factual boundaries, be they skewed or skewer.

Nothing is truly objective, rather it is more objective based on subjective ideas, and that is the beauty of our current plane of existence. Everything just has to be messy, we can never make it appear they way we want it to.

 

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Memory, Ideas, and Control

We often think that we have control over our thoughts and ideas, yet the underlying unconscious does its best to place bias upon it all. Our ideas, memories, feelings, they are all warped by our bias. A massive collection of memories, feelings and ideas, that is our bias. In essence, our bias does not just decide how we feel about our memories/experiences, it also decides to keep or discard details of that memory. Our bias, which we have no control of, edits old and new memories with all other memories in mind.

Why do we debate? Why do we argue our points? When in reality it is as if we are our memories. We are not arguing for our “selfs”, rather we are slaves to the memories and ideas trapped inside our mind. But are they really “trapped”, our ideas want to be shared, we want to share them. They spread like viruses, they ripple like a disturbance on the calmest of pools.

What is freedom? Nothing more than idea, an idea that wants to be shared, an idea that wants more followers. Perhaps from another perspective, our mind is more like a massive chemical reaction. Ideas react with memories, memories with feelings. All of this further advancing our ideas, or creating the madness we see in so many. Perhaps that is the point of philosophy, to ponder those ideas so that they may react with each other. Leading to great discoveries or diving into the depths of madness.

Here is my prezi

During my prezi presentation I told the class about how are memories seem to have more control over us than we would think. However what I did not refer to above was the introspective and outrospective construction of memories/ideas which I discussed in my presentation. This is also extremely important as through introspective means, the host of the ideas will think about how those ideas relate to themselves, therefore creating new ones, based on their already existing bias. When through outrospective means, this construction is influenced by both our own memories and the bias of the one who we are speaking to. This is why we often need two people to come up with powerful ideas, because otherwise you become trapped inside a world of recurring thoughts and they never change because there is no outside bias. Anyway, I found this connection between psychology and philosophy fascinating. When some say there is a division between philosophy and science, and I examine these ideas, I begin to think that line between science and philosophy is very faint indeed.

Only read what is below if you are extremely bored and have nothing else to do with your life because when I wrote what is below, I certainly couldn’t think of anything better to do.

Note: I don’t care if this post is late, the thoughts were still ruminating within my mind. I hate all of those who criticize me for my late post, despite that what just I said was ignorant of all the other factors that determine a person. Forget it, I still hate all of you, your welcome.

 

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Machiavelli and War

The entire post was revised, all premises changed and conclusion changed and examinations changed

“A prince ought to have no other aim or thought, nor select anything else for his study, than war and its rules and discipline; for this is the sole art that belongs to him who rules, and it is of such force that it not only upholds those who are born princes, but it often enables men to rise from a private station to that rank. And, on the contrary, it is seen that when princes have thought more of ease than of arms they have lost their states. And the first cause of your losing it is to neglect this art; and what enables you to acquire a state is to be master of the art.”

– The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli (Page 67)

Note: This only applies to the types of government that Niccolò observed in his book “The Prince”, which was written in 1505, therefore any governments that exist at this time may not follow this logic. In addition, he only observed principalities in his book or in other words, governments governed by princes. Meaning that this logic only applies to the government type principality.

I have had trouble finding the premises for Machiavelli’s argument, clearly it is very complex, most likely due to his time in exile with the Medici family. This article aided me in finding some of the premises, it gives a well done short description of Machiavelli’s political career as well as his writings.

Syllogistic Logic: (all, some, no, not, is/are)

Premises 1: Some war grants power

Premises 2: All power grants control

Premises 3: All princes need control

Premises 4: All knowledge of war grants power

Premises 5: All ignorance of war drains power

Premises 6: All study grants knowledge

Conclusion: Therefore princes should use the study war in order to maintain and gain power and avoid losing it as power grants control.

Reminder: In a principality government, the prince is in control, meaning if he loses his power/control, then he will be overthrown.

Examination of Factual Correctness:

Premises 1: This is also correct, as wars that are won do grant and sustain power.

Premises 2: This statement is also correct, clearly any from of power grants some control even if minute.

Premises 3: Again true, if a prince in a principality loses control of his government then he will be overthrown.

Premises 4: This is a little opinionated, but still for the most part true when governing a principality in 1505.

Premises 5: Again correct when considering the logic applies to 1505.

Premises 6: This statement is correct.

Factually Correct: Yes

Examination of Validity via Substitution and Counterexamples:

Premises 1: Some T grants U.

Premises 2: All U grants V.

Premises 3: All W need V.

Premises 4: All X of T grants U.

Premises 5: All of T drains U.

Premises 6: All grants X.

Conclusion: Therefore should use of in order to gain and maintain U and avoid losing it as all U grants V.

Premises 1: Some guns grant power

Premises 2: All power grants control

Premises 3: All generals need control

Premises 4: All knowledge of guns grants power

Premises 5: All ignorance of guns drains power

Premises 6: All experience grants knowledge

Conclusion: Therefore generals should use their experience with guns in order to maintain power and avoid losing it as power grants control

Machiavelli’s argument does not admit this counterexample and most likely many others therefore making his argument valid.

Machiavelli’s argument is sound, and considering he spent much time alone during his exile, I would assume his argument is well built. I would say that most of his ideas originated from the Medici family and literature on Roman history; as clearly indicated in his book “The Prince“. He has a very devious nature and often suggests in his book that treachery and deception are necessary to maintain a position of power. Either way, he has powerful arguments built upon Italian history.

 

By

Questioning Time

All in Italics is the thought process.

Time, its pretty simple, it moves in one direction, and time doesn’t stop or as Benjamin Franklin once said “You may delay, but time will not.” It seems that the most scarce resource I have is time. Everyday I lose a day of time, where did that time go? Did I actually use that time? Can I decide not to use that time? From what I can perceive in this reality, time is a finite resource, is that for the better or the worse? Is infinite time really worth it? Why are so many aesthetics only available for short periods of time? Why does the appreciation for the same beauty disappear if it remains where it is? Time seems to control so many aspects of my life, I use time decide when to wake up, when to go to sleep, when to use free time, and when to work. Why has time given me all these decisions? Is it because I have finite time, perhaps. Others may seem to have too much time on their hands, because they feel they have nothing to do with their time. Do we fear death because we have finite time, is it because we fear of running out of time. Is time a precious resource? Everyday people sell their time at work places for little or no money compared to how much we value that time. Why isn’t the amount we are paid based on how much we value that time? Perhaps that’s too selfish, perhaps we should consider on how we can improve other’s use of their time?

 

I think of time as an abstract entity that has no choice, but to continuously and without mercy move in one direction. It never stops, no matter how much you complain, or scream, yet it slows down when you are in a dangerous situation and speeds up when you are enjoying yourself. Is this not cruel of time, to force us to experience the worst of life for longer periods of time, yet shorten our brightest moments? Why would it care to do so if doesn’t care to stop for us. Is time a cruel being who constantly wishes our demise, or is he the wise man who seeks to teach us through suffering and limitation of resources. I constantly “manage” my time in order to “use” it effectively, I do this because I have finite time or as Benjamin Franklin once said “You may delay, but time will not.” If I do not “manage” my time I feel guilt, why should I feel guilt, why do I feel depressed when I do not use time effectively? Perhaps it is because it is not just my time, perhaps I share time with those around me and that is why I must use it effectively. Despite it not just being my time, I must also realize, that most of the time, I have impact on other’s time and whether it is used effectively or not, whether their time is enjoyed or detested. Yet they do as well, its as if we all must make decisions on whether time is used effectively or not. It makes me wonder, if everyone at once used time “effectively”, what would actually happen. I think I will never know.

I apologize for this nearly useless piece of writing, all I have been doing is making assumptions and then questioning myself and those assumptions.

 
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