Archive for April, 2016

About that boozin’ “higher power.”

Friday, April 29th, 2016

 

I continue reading “Infinite Jest” with pure sadomasochistic abandon!

 

And in this novel is an Alcoholics Anonymous chapter in Boston and its Wallace-ian cast of absurdist characters ground from the desiccated remnants of human dreamology.

 

It’s an acid trip.

 

David Foster Wallace, the mad scientist authorial genius, touches upon the concept of AA’s “higher power.”

 

Much controversy surrounds this phrase. People automatically assume it infers a deity, a god, and thus stated, elicits antagonism. Most people of the atheist variety (which seems to compose a plurality of drinkers) succumb to the instinctive reaction that an almighty god is somehow involved in this AA plot to sate wayward drinking habits.

 

One of the oldest battles (which Wallace touches upon) is exactly how atheists can possibly reconcile their drive to dryness with AA’s repeated castigation that “God” must be involved in the Cure.

 

However, by the same token, God is also inferred to involve a “higher power” and this is what it seems people lack the nuanced definition that would help them come to terms with such religious babble.

 

A higher power is misleading in that it implies a hierarchy, a ranking, a vertical relinquishment.

 

I don’t think of  a “higher” in that respect.

 

“Higher” is merely a measure that gauges how close we are the the center concentric circle of self-awareness and personal evolution. The closer you get to the maelstrom of your own personal madness, the higher your power.

 

A higher power is relinquishment to control and absolute autonomy. Which implies surrender of control, and if there’s one unhealthy, pathological trait alcoholics share, it’s addiction to control, an ironic condition given than inebriation is typified by lack of anything approaching “control.”

 

Still, the alcoholic’s contrarian downfall is the inability to welcome raw existence, and thus seeking to overcome it, subsume it, instead seeks a distance and conscious disconnect which only booze can supply.

 

 

I didn’t know May Day was so festive in England. This is not the word that comes to mind for Sunday in L.A.

Friday, April 29th, 2016

 

Much hilarity ensued after I read this headline from The Guardian in gleeful anticipation of May Day weekend.

 

Family-friendly festivals, fun and adventures for the May Day weekend

 

That jaunt across the Pond must be a long one because the folks from The Guardian have never seen Los Angeles on May Day and all the attendant riffraff that comes out of the woodwork to use the day as an excuse to act like hoodlums and politically aggrieved revolutionaries.

 

 

The (¡motherfucken!) finest that Mexican-Americans have to offer on display in Orange County.

Friday, April 29th, 2016

 

Ah yes!

 

As I watched footage of “protesters” outside the Donald Trump rally in Orange County last night, my heart was filled with pride.

 

Mexican-Americans, especially the younger generations, have historically been the ethnic group most prone to political apathy and withdrawal from civic-minded involvement. This is changing!

 

Listen to these bright, sincere young Chicanos taking an avid interest in their future and displaying a collective ethnic effort toward demolishing stereotypes as they assiduously assert a studied assimilation into American culture.

 

Fills me with such ethnic pride. My people have come such a long way. The passion, the articulate, reasoned expression of political disagreement.  It’s too much to take.

 

 

Sound of old vinyl record screeching to an abrupt, scratched end

 

Oh hell, who am I kidding.

 

If these moronic jerk-offs represent the future of Mexican-Americans, we’d best start working the fields again.

 

 

Validity of Perception and what is reality, if there is such a thing?

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

 

Undeniably, one of the most spell-binding interviews I’ve read in mainstream internet reporting.

 

Donald D. Hoffman is a professor of cognitive science at University of California’s Irvine campus. In the interview, Amanda Gefter from The Atlantic, pressed Hoffman for detailed explanations of his supposition that, based on known quantum criteria and observational experience, human perception of the innate building blocks of reality itself is fluid and tenuously revealed.

 

“Truth,” or as I call it, validity of perception, is not so important to our evolutionary survival as “fitness functions.”

 

 

The classic argument is that those of our ancestors who saw more accurately had a competitive advantage over those who saw less accurately and thus were more likely to pass on their genes that coded for those more accurate perceptions, so after thousands of generations we can be quite confident that we’re the offspring of those who saw accurately, and so we see accurately. That sounds very plausible. But I think it is utterly false. It misunderstands the fundamental fact about evolution, which is that it’s about fitness functions—mathematical functions that describe how well a given strategy achieves the goals of survival and reproduction. The mathematical physicist Chetan Prakash proved a theorem that I devised that says: According to evolution by natural selection, an organism that sees reality as it is will never be more fit than an organism of equal complexity that sees none of reality but is just tuned to fitness. Never.

 

We see this at play in our daily lives. The perceptive and blindingly intelligent succumb to the pall of collective stupidity and myopia. The world, reality, sieves out those who see too clearly and rewards those who willingly oblige to conformity of limited personal horizons. It can be alleged that those who see too clearly are cast as pathological in this era of intellectual marginalization of the very perceptive. For those who see too vividly through their rare supra-human eye are operationally eschewing the road to evolutionary success built upon the illusion of hardy fitness.

 

Snakes and trains, like the particles of physics, have no objective, observer-independent features. The snake I see is a description created by my sensory system to inform me of the fitness consequences of my actions. Evolution shapes acceptable solutions, not optimal ones. A snake is an acceptable solution to the problem of telling me how to act in a situation. My snakes and trains are my mental representations; your snakes and trains are your mental representations.

 

I suspect that the utter subjective nature of reality, capriciously bending to the will of the observer, is like a fluid that engorges and distends the reality available its membrane-bound barriers. Nature is the most efficient organism in existence and we are fed as much or as little input as necessary in order to make the best survival-minded decisions possible. We don’t create more, or less, of reality than is appropriate to proliferate our existence.

 

Gefter: It doesn’t seem like many people in neuroscience or philosophy of mind are thinking about fundamental physics. Do you think that’s been a stumbling block for those trying to understand consciousness?
Hoffman: I think it has been. Not only are they ignoring the progress in fundamental physics, they are often explicit about it. They’ll say openly that quantum physics is not relevant to the aspects of brain function that are causally involved in consciousness. They are certain that it’s got to be classical properties of neural activity, which exist independent of any observers—spiking rates, connection strengths at synapses, perhaps dynamical properties as well. These are all very classical notions under Newtonian physics, where time is absolute and objects exist absolutely. And then [neuroscientists] are mystified as to why they don’t make progress. They don’t avail themselves of the incredible insights and breakthroughs that physics has made. Those insights are out there for us to use, and yet my field says, “We’ll stick with Newton, thank you. We’ll stay 300 years behind in our physics.”

 

There seems to be little in quantum physics that is not counter-intuitive. And what is intuition but our birthed and inherited estimation of perception? Quantum physics, pulling the strings of the most minute existences in this reality, is not to be excused quite so easily from influencing the flora of our mental physiological structure.

 

 

I think that’s absolutely true. The neuroscientists are saying, “We don’t need to invoke those kind of quantum processes, we don’t need quantum wave functions collapsing inside neurons, we can just use classical physics to describe processes in the brain.” I’m emphasizing the larger lesson of quantum mechanics: Neurons, brains, space … these are just symbols we use, they’re not real. It’s not that there’s a classical brain that does some quantum magic. It’s that there’s no brain! Quantum mechanics says that classical objects—including brains—don’t exist. So this is a far more radical claim about the nature of reality and does not involve the brain pulling off some tricky quantum computation.

 

 

What is our perception of reality?

 

Is accuracy even a concept that can be delineated and theoretically blueprinted?

 

As our perceptions of reality proliferate unchecked and limitless, does the nature of what we attempt to narrate slip from our view because our comprehension cannot grasp that which proportionately wiggles away from our clinical eye? Is accuracy unworthy of our consideration?

 

In such a quantum maelstrom of upheaval, accuracy defies our sanity. Accuracy demands a barometer, a yardstick.

 

Accuracy of perception. How do we discover such thing?

 

Until then, the chasm between the both will remain a nebulous measure of “reality.”

Donald Trump, speaking of that which others don’t.

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

 

Chalk up another to one more building blocks in the burgeoning Donald Trump cachet that grows exponentially with each electoral ass-kicking(s) he hands his fading challengers.

 

See, this Trump, he has been unlike most serious Presidential candidates in that he addresses matters which other “serious” political contenders are above directly commenting on.  For most mainstream politicians, there is an air of elitism which they defer to in absently looking through certain matters “below” their delusional senses of dignitiy.

 

For instance, he spoke about the national exodus of dimwitted celebrities which will purportedly happen when, and if, he becomes President.

 

Granted, pointing out Lena Dunham’s vile stupidity is like shooting a whale in a barrel, but he still managed to slip in one of those hyper-amusing Trumpian barbarous slings, made the more powerful by his very monumental public podium.

 

 

In an interview on Fox News Channel’s Fox & Friends Tuesday, the GOP presidential front-runner was asked about Dunham’s comments the previous day that she would definitely move to Canada if he’s elected in November.
“Well, she’s a B actor and has no mojo,” Trump said of the Girls star. He then noted that other celebrities have voiced similar plans — and seemed increasingly delighted by the impact his campaign was having on them.
“I heard Whoopi Goldberg said that too — that would be a great, great thing for our country if she got out,” he said. “We’ll get rid of Rosie? Oh I love it,” he said, referring to Rosie O’Donnell.
“Now I have to get elected because I’ll be doing a great service to our country.”

 

 

Yes, a favor indeed.  If in fact, these celebrities put their money where their mouth is.  Being that they are all a bunch of Lefty SJW hypocrites, I would venture to say they aren’t going anywhere except back to their Beverly Hills estates where they can hunker down amid massages, spas and poolside drink service.

 

It’s too bad.  Would love to see them off to never return again.  Maybe Trump can build another wall around the bitter anti- Trump expatriate contingent.