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Yet More Hammers

18 Jan

 

 

We discussed claw hammers, roofing hammers, and ball pein hammers.

 

Each of these at some point is used to pound a nail at some point. But not all hammers are. Club hammers and sledge hammers are specifically for smashing things to bits. Rocks, bricks, etc. Although club hammers are very useful for tapping on chisels so as to carve out wood or stone.

 

A joiner’s mallet is considered a hammer although it is normally made of wood and is used tap wooden joints together without damaging the wood of the joints.

 

Then there are rubber mallets. We are all familiar with them.

 

Is a pattern emerging here?

 

At the Extreme Surface Structure™ level a hammer is a hammer. In order to have a logical discussion of a hammer you must define your particular hammer.

 

Linguistics, as other sciences, have been heavily influenced by Logical Thinking, and this, unfortunately, has done more to inhibit science than to advance it. As such Linguistic discussion fall into either Surface structure or Deep structure. Further being limited by logic Linguists discuss words, and words alone.

 

In the reality of the mind, the Extreme Surface Structure™ is a top-level where everything is distinct and separate. This, like all other features of humanity is a survival tool and not to be considered a lesser form of thought. It is just as useful as Deep Structured thought. This gives us the ability to recognize our hammer. Either it is my hammer or it is not my hammer. Either I can use it for the purpose I need it for, or I can’t.

 

While Linguistics divides structures into two, surface and deep, a more useful way of thinking of is of levels, more like a staircase leading downwards.

 

This is where we leave the world of words and enter the world of pictures and maps. Basically the connections between things. That is what a map is. It shows relationships.

 

So we go down a level.

 

At this level we recognize that all these hammers with all their different functions, made with all their different materials, are all hammers.

 

At this level  a hammer becomes not an object, but a concept.

 

Things with handles that have heads on the ends are hammers.

 

Once we have the concept the question becomes what can we do with it?

 

Lets explore that in the next blog.

 

© 2013 all rights reserved

 

 

 

 

 

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Grammar: The Holy Grail of Simpletons.

30 Dec

The first thing you learn about grammar in school teaches you how to construct a credible simple sentence, but is a total mind destroyer. It kills creativity and it totally destroys any natural inclination the student has toward understanding reality as it is.

You are taught the basis of grammar is the simple sentence, Subject, Verb, Object.

You are taught to believe that Verbs describe Actions and that Nouns are names of Persons, Places, Things, or Ideas.

By the time you are done you believe these things.

Why not?

It sounds credible. Especially when the emphasis is on learning what you are taught, fitting in, not being different, and not asking questions that are in any way disturbing.

After all, when you ask a teacher, or any other authority, a question about something they believe they have already explained you have attacked them; you have challenged them; you have had the temerity to imply that their explanation was in some way not perfect. Their identity, their position of authority, their perfection is now on the line. They must either admit they have somehow failed in their attempt to communicate with you or they must assume you are an idiot who cannot understand their instructions.

Unfortunately for the child, and employees, those in authority all too often choose to save face than accept their own limitations.

This, as I have often told, was brought home to me as a young child in a classroom of students when a teacher chose to answer my question with the announcement, “Oscar Wilde once said a fool can ask more questions in five minutes than a wise man can answer in a lifetime.”

So you are taught to write a simple sentence.

Perhaps you are taught to diagram it.

Subject (noun), Verb (Which is of course a Verb), Object (noun).

Jack kissed Jill.

Now eventually, if you are lucky, possibly in college, but not of necessity, someone expands on what you were taught. Unfortunately by then you have just added to the list and have not examined what you were taught.

Let us look at it:

A noun is a word that refers to a person, place, thing, event, substance, or quality.

Now look at the sentence:

Jack kissed Jill.

A noun is basically a name. Jack’s name is Jack. Jill’s name is Jill. The event is a kiss. We name this event Kiss. We name the action Kiss.

In this sentence there is nothing but names.

Jack’s name: Jack.

Jill’s name: Jill.

The name of the event/action: Kiss.

Every word in that sentence is a noun. Every word in that sentence is a name.

When I asked in school why we used the word “noun” instead of the word “name” to describe this part of speech I was informed by the teacher that “It should be obvious even to you that while the name Philadelphia is the name of a particular city the word city is not a name. It is a noun that means any city at all. Therefore a noun is not a name. Only Proper Nouns are names.”

From now on in the rest of my writing all words in the English Language will be treated as Names. We have proper names: Mrs Smith. We have group names: Planets. We have concrete names: Chair. We have abstract names: Freedom. We have action names: Fight. We have event names: 911.

Every word in the English Language names something.

I get a lot of flack for this concept. From all levels of intelligence and education.

Words are not their meanings. Words are not their definitions. Words are not the parts of speech they play in their different grammatical roles. Words are the sounds we make to give names to objects, ideas, concepts.

Signs, in a signed language, such as American Sign Language, serve exactly the same function words serve.

Words and Signs refer to concrete things, abstract things, imaginary things, events, ideas, and concepts. When a word or sign has been given to one of these it has been named.

Yet the really important thing is not the name:

The Really important thing is what we do with the name.

© 2013 All Rights Reserved.

Simplicity

21 Dec

Two blogs ago I introduced The Concept Line™.  It is a simple, basic concept. Aristotlean Logic can be used in conjunction with it. And weighty subjects can be dealt with using it.

In order to demonstrate how difficult, weighty, lofty, and important a subject can be dealt with I chose to deal with “Evil”. A subject that has taunted scientists, theologians, and philosophers, for ages.

What is Evil?

Why does Evil exist?

Why does God allow Evil?

How does a good person deal with Evil in their lives?

How does Evil effect you?

All of these questions and more rely on a fallacious mental tick of the human mind that Aristotlean Logic caters too. All of the answers which follow these questions rely on the same fallacious mental tick.

All of these mental ticks can be summed up in “The Map Is Not the Territory”. A term coined by Alfred Korzybski and best explained here: http://wiki.lesswrong.com/wiki/The_map_is_not_the_territory.

But let us build up.

Start simple.

In order to fully understand any abstract term Evil included, one must first understand a “Concrete” term.

Such as a hammer.

Yet when we attempt to determine the simplistic, concrete term “hammer” we find ourself faced with the word and how it is used grammatically. Unfortunately “Good Grammar” has done more to inhibit our ability to reason well than it has to increase our ability to communicate well.

The next blog will start by undoing the harm that was done to your mind as a young child when you were first introduced to, and forced to learn, “Good Grammar”.

© 2013 All Rights Reserved

The Concept Line™

17 Nov

Whereas Aristotle and other logicians defined specific words we will work with concepts. To give a quick recap of what is required to be logical.

The first step is simple, but usually overlooked.

Before you can talk about anything you must first define your terms. All of them. But not just to yourself. You have to reach an agreement with whomever you are in the discussion with. This is not always easy.

People think they know what they are talking about.

They think they know what a car is.

Then they discover that the dictionary may define what a car is differently than they do. They are sometimes shocked to discover the law may use a different definition: One that may include one, two, or three-wheeled vehicles.

If you do not sit down with your discussion partner and agree on all the terms of what you are discussing you cannot be logical.

This happens a lot when people discuss deafness / Deaf.

A lot of people discuss deaf and deafness and are unaware there are people who belong to Deaf Culture. That is they have a shared language and have shared values that are different from the culture the person I am speaking with.

Some people find it impossible to believe that there are Deaf people, people who Identify as Deaf and use a Capital “D” to describe themselves.

No logical discussion can take place between us because there is no way we can agree on our terms. I am not going to change my position because I have had contact with Deaf people. The chances of their changing their opinion is slight. I have never had it happen.

Does the situation change when you use Map Thinking™?

Unfortunately no. In fact sometimes it is worse.

If the person has not been exposed to Map Thinking™ before the first thing you have to do is to convince them there is a concept of deaf / Deaf that extends from the most hearing enabled creature, which is not even a human being, to anyone or any thing that cannot hear. Including a rock.

To many people, including the most erudite this approach defies all sense of reason.

People who are inured to the logical approach, “Either you are deaf or you are not deaf”, cannot fully participate in a Mapological™ discussion.

The creature with the best hearing, that I know of as of this writing, is an owl. The thing with the least hearing is a rock, as in “stone cold deaf”. Which is an expression I have heard.

If you had the best human hearing in the world and you were an owl you would be deaf compared to other owls.

Yet sound is a vibration that transmits through air, water, and solid material. A rock has the ability to recognize sound. What it doesn’t have is a sensory system, nor a brain center, to interpret what it has received.

We are talking about a Concept Line™.

One Extreme ————————Concept———————————Other Extreme

Super Hearing ——————————————————————Inability to hear

Love ————————————Indifference —————————————Hate

In Mapping you develop a Concept Line™ by looking at whatever you are discussing and establishing its extremes. That usually means its opposites. So if you are discussing morality you place the most moral behavior at one extreme and describe/define it. Then you place the most immoral behavior at the other extreme and describe/define it.

Now you are able to discuss the concept.

Thus if you discuss running you will find as an antonym, walking.

But walking is not the opposite of running. Laying still is. Therefore standing still is at one extreme, running at the other and the concept is “self propelled motion”.

One of the most enjoyable things about The Concept Line™   is that you can narrow it down to its most specific possibility or expand it as far as your imagination allows. Thus allowing for both creativity and for Logical Analysis à la Aristotle.

One of the primary, and to some extremely subtle differences between a Mapological™ discussion of something and a Logical discussion of something is this:

Mapology™ recognizes we are discussing our concept of the thing under discussion — We are not discussing the thing itself — Even though we refer to it.

Logically it is assumed we are discussing the thing itself.

We use a concept line to define the limits of the concept we are discussing and the real world thing that generates this concept.

© 2013, All Rights Reserved.

How to Align the World by Drawing A Line In the World

10 Nov

In order to get a good handle on Aristotle’s Logic, and on Map Thinking™ as well, we need to turn to something often thought of as frivolous, or inexact, by “serious” thinkers.

 

ART.

 

If you are going to convey a piece of reality in a work of art you need to provide your perceiver with certain factors. These factors represent what the perceiver would encounter were they to have the “Real Thing” in front of them rather than the artistic representation.

 

The first thing to be considered in a work of art, especially if you are going to plan on doing one, is line. Where to place it and how “hard” to place it. Some forms of art, such as comic strips, are entirely composed of hard lines. At the other extreme you have Monet tossing dabs of paint on a canvas: You cannot distinguish a a line anywhere when looking at it up close. When you back off far enough your eye will supply the lines you need to distinguish what you are looking at.

 

In reality there are no lines.

 

Your mind supplies them all.

 

Just as happens when looking at the “Real Thing”.

 

Monet makes use of this mental trick in order to paint closer to the way reality is.

 

This may be harping, but “Our mind does not see reality the way it is”. Our mind sees reality in ways that enable the mind to process the information it receives more efficiently.

 

A Map Thinker ™ is always aware of this. When a Map Thinker™ uses Logic they are aware they are using a simplistic form of reasoning that is useful.

 

“Pure Thought” in the traditional Aristotelean Logical sense is Simplistic thought.

 

Does not mean Traditional Aristotelean Logic is not useful.

 

Logic is so useful that it does not matter what I say there will always be people who will believe Map Thinking™ is stupid and that Traditional Aristotlean Logic is a higher form or reasoning.

 

What Traditional Aristotelean Logic does is describe reality in simplistic, bite sized pieces.

 

Higher forms of reasoning.

 

People think Mathematics is a higher form or reasoning.

 

When I was in school the teachers taught that Einstein used “Higher Mathematics” to arrive at The General Theory of Relativity.

 

Wrong.

 

Einstein came up with his genius ideas, all of them, while day dreaming. He used mathematics to describe what he saw while day dreaming and predict what would prove his fantasies to be truth rather than fiction. The fact is that Imagination, as proven by Einstein and others, is The Highest Form of Reasoning.

 

Imagination allows us to boldly draw lines where they have never been drawn before.

 

 

© 2013 All Rights Reserved.

How to Aristotle

3 Nov

How to use the simplistic tools of Aristotelean logic to do real thinking.

 

There are two ways of spelling Aristotelean. The other is Aristotelian. I chose “lean” because I think of Aristotelean logic as being “lean”. Getting to the meat and leaving all the fat behind. If you cut too lean you cut right to the bone and leave all the meat behind as well.

 

To do this I am going to tackle a subject where there is no good answer — Only questions that are not even interesting enough to explore on their own — But will be explored for other reasons.

 

Ready?

 

The medium who claims to be able to read auras.

 

How do we go about a Mapological examination of the subject?

 

The best way is to start out with  — Can you guess? Aristotelelean questions separating what can be true from what can be explored.

 

Either Madam Aura Reader is telling the truth or she is lying.

 

If she is lying then she is a fake and nothing more is to be explored here.

 

So let us say she is telling the truth: Then: The Question, using A <-^- > P becomes “What is she telling the truth about?”

 

Either Madam Aura Reader sees Auras or she does not.

 

Just because you and I do not see Auras does not mean Auras in some form are not there.

Just because she sees them does not mean they are there.

 

She could just as easily be smelling something about people and seeing Auras.

 

So, giving her all the benefit of the doubt here, we are going to say she perceives something she experiences as Auras.

 

The next question is, “Are her pronouncements of the meanings of these things correct?” Are they testable? Are they con man jargon?

 

Now let us look at P -^-> FAR ( please note that time and triggers are not important here and are not included in the argument)

 

In the ^ we need to include influences, such as ridicule, which would cause her to keep quiet about her vision — And inducements such as monetary gain from people who will pay her money to tell them things that she concludes.

 

Because of the criticism many people who could see Auras (If anyone can) would never mention their “gift”.

Because there is a lucrative market for people who claim to be able to see Auras there will be charlatans who will brave the criticism for the cash.

 

A Map Thinker will be aware of all this and more.

A Map Thinker will reserve judgment about the possibility of someone reading Auras until such time as the skill can be proved or disproved scientifically. Because of the physical and psychological quirks of <-^-> this is unlikely.

A Map Thinker, even were Madam Aura Reader to be proven to have the skill, would still keep their money in their pocket until the usefulness of her pronouncements were also scientifically proven. This is an even less likely event than proving a specific individual has the skill to begin with.

 

Thus you can use Aristotlean Logic to lead you to reasonable conclusions by pointing out dead ends in thought.

To some people this reasonable line of thinking is much less emotionally satisfying than, “If you can’t prove it, it isn’t true.” School of thought.

So be it. To each his own. There is room in the world for people who believe my way of thinking is trash. So long as they don’t want to come over to my house for sunday Bar B Que and try to convert me.

 

 

© 2013 All Rights Reserved

The Law of the Included Middle

11 Aug

Aristotle is NOT an idiot!

The Law of the Excluded Middle impeded science for hundreds of years and still impedes science.

Even those studies that are not normally thought of as science.

Such as economics.

As I pointed out in the law of contradiction, although not directly, everything is connected. All anything is is a different batch of a set of common ingredients to produce a recipe of creation.

Most of the interesting things happen in the middle.

First lets look at Aristotle:

Either (A or Not A)

A thing either exists or does not exist.

Every statement is ether true or false.

Logically this may be true.

Mapologically nothing exists quite as it is perceived and nothing exists until it is perceived. Until then it is simply potential.

Thus Neither (A nor Not A)

Truth is transitory and even that is worthless unless it has use. To be useful it must be grounded.

Example:

The Big Dipper is a constellation in the sky.

This is true.

But to be of any value two things must happen.

The person must know that the Big Dipper indicates north.

The Big Dipper must be visible.

Both conditions above must exist when you need them.

Perhaps when you are lost.

One of the difficulties many people have with my system of thought is that a lie can be seen as more useful, and therefore more desirable, than the truth.

Example:

A desperate killer is headed toward a theater. If he gets there and people are present he would have hostages. If you walk out on stage and explain the situation, answer questions, etc. He will be there.

On the other hand telling everyone there is a fire and to get away might be a superior alternative.

Lets take a look at the middle.

Let me give you a quick lesson in economics. It is applicable in many, perhaps most, situations. If you are making decisions it works. If you are trying to get your kids, or your employees to do a good job, it works. If you are trying to understand political issues it works.

Picture a teeter totter.

Got that?

Somewhere in the middle is the balance point where rewards and punishments exactly balance. If it is taking out the garbage there is a specific point where the bother of taking it out exactly balances the reward of having somewhere to put the garbage.

Okay, so your teenager is the one who is assigned the bother of taking out the kitchen garbage.

But the teenager never suffers the inconvenience of not having anyplace to put the potato peelings while cooking dinner. It is quite possible the teenager cannot even fathom the necessity of taking out the kitchen garbage.

This becomes a useful map of the family dynamics.

The solution is to either make the chores more pertinent to what the teenager is doing, or alter what the teenager is doing to make the chores more pertinent.

Perhaps the teenager should be the one peeling the potatoes.

Most people think economics has to do with the stock market.

Economics is simple. It is the science of the carrot and the stick. When the reward for doing something is worth the time and resources required to do it you have equilibrium. The reward may not be money. It might be self-respect. The resources might not be time or money. It could be self respect. When the teeter totter tips one way or the other then more people will either respond by avoiding the cost or by obtaining the reward. The further the tip the more people will respond to it.

Economics resides in the middle.

Without the included middle economics cannot be explored in any way, manner, shape, or form.

This is true of science and knowledge in general.

Aristotelean logic leads to dead ends, prison cells of the mind, and locks the thinker in them in the name of truth. Once there creativity stops, exploration stops, and real thinking stops.

Once a person who has found the one real truth they become a “believer” in that truth. There is no reason to look further. In fact looking further can seem blasphemous — Even though religion is not involved.

Aristotle is a case in point. A lot of philosophers have disagreed with Aristotle. Yet when I was in school the teachers idolized Aristotle. When I said I preferred Socrates I felt as though I were dealing with Sunday School talking God rather than a Parochial School talking philosophy. The difference being that Aristotle was the Holy One and Socrates the Questioner was a Satanic force.

When I said “Socrates died for my Questions” I was told that I was too young to discuss philosophy. There would be plenty of time for that when I went to college.

Like that was ever going to happen.

But wait a minute. Lets take a closer look at Aristotle himself.

When Aristotle wrote about the Virtues what did he espouse?

Balance and Moderation.

In other words when Aristotle tackled a real subject he did what any sensible person would do: He went right to the middle: He did not exclude it.

I wish I had known this when I was still in school. It would have changed my disagreements with teachers considerably. The outcome I do not know. But I am curious. After I left school I was able to find in libraries and read things about Aristotle that was not available in school.

All I found as a child was the Three Laws of Thought and the Syllogism.

At the time I had serious problems with them but had no argument against them except Socrates. The teachers were no help because their interests lay in “either – or” thinking by the students. Either you are a good student or a bad student. I was a bad student, therefore I needed to shape up or be punished.

I rejected the concept that I was a “bad” student.

Which meant they had to be bad teachers.

Nowadays, as a Map Thinker™ I would realize, at least intellectually, that the scholastic situation is such that it promotes conformity over education.

Somewhere after the sixth grade I wrote my first treatise on Philosophy. It was called Quizology and I wish I still had a copy. It was a study of questions. Most, if not all, of Quizology is embodied in Map Thinking™. I did not take care of it because I accepted the premise one of my teachers gave me, “No one will ever care what an ignorant Halfbreed has to say.”

The sad conclusion is that most people who claim to be logical use the most simplistic “Either – Or” tools available to them and ignore, or are unable to comprehend, the complexity of truly logical thought.

Oddly there is a definite parallel here with a certain type of Biblically ignorant person who claims to be a Christian but has no concept of what Christ said or did according to the new testament.

There is a rule here, I believe. Any belief system will attract a significant number of people who use the most simplified version of it and ignore the intricacies.

So far I have not tackled one thing; How does one find the middle?

That, it turns out is the easy part. You use Aristotle’s laws of thought. The simplest either / or mentality.

Without realizing what she was doing, my mother taught me Map Thinking™ when I was a small child. When someone would ask me, “Are you a good boy?” The pressure on the child is to say, “Yes.” Because either you are a good boy or you are a bad boy.

Most parents either let the child answer and beam with pride as the poor child is programmed, not so much to “goodness” — but programmed into this simplistic model of Aristotelean logic. Either / or. If the child hesitates the parent will often answer for them, “He is a very good boy (girl)”. Never thinking they are modeling not just the child’s behavior, which it probably doesn’t, but they are modeling the child’s methodology of thinking.

Not my mother.

“Tell him you are just a little boy, honey.” Which I would dutifully repeat.

What did I take away?

Somehow in my psyche was ingrained. I wasn’t good. I wasn’t bad. There is no either / or. I was just another little boy doing little boy things in little boy ways.

I still remember the odd looks on the faces of the adults who could not understand what had happened to a simple, culturally acceptable question that was normally asked of little children.

Scientists have studied some of the ways we humans reach false conclusions. Pretty much they have reached the conclusion our minds are wired in ways that produce certain fallacies of thought. What the scientists studying this phenomena don’t seem to have taken into consideration is that children are culturally and scholastically indoctrinated in these ways of thought.

And it doesn’t have to be that way.

So let us look at the Law of the Excluded Middle from a Map Thinker’s™ Point of View.

Either (A or not A)

Becomes:

A+ <- An ->A

Where A+ is one extreme. 

Where A- is the other extreme.

and An is all possible degrees in between.

 

© 2013, All Rights Reserved

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