Archive for January, 2012

Quora answer: Did Kant, in his work, give us a way to know reality, not know reality, or some mix of the two?

Jan 30 2012 Published by under Uncategorized

I have just listened to the tapes of the lectures of Bernstein ( on Kant that are available on the internet. Bernstein attempts a regressive or minimal reading of Kant and he supports in that reading the idea that Kant thought he had given us a direct connection to reality. The Cartesian view has as it did in early Husserl (Cartesian Meditations) has the problem of solipsism. Husserl confronted this problem and solved it by moving from Bracketing to the seeing of objects on a world horizon. Heidegger took advantage of this in Being and Time according to Walton who has been studying the later works of Husserl and sees the innovations of Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty are in some sense just the exploitation of Husserls later generative phenomenology. But according to Bernstein in his lectures the innovation of Husserl is merely a return to the real meaning of Kant’s philosophy under the regressive reading. It is very difficult to see whether Bernsteins reading is an anachronism or whether that was the true meaning of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason from the beginning. The regressive reason makes this case that Kant was really a phenomenologist at heart.

The basic idea is that we only know about anything real through perception and consciousness. So what ever reality IS is filtered though that medium and nothing escapes the filter, and so there is nothing to compare our appearances to to see them as purely epiphenomenalism. This means that realism that posits a transcendental object is just as idealistic as the positing of the transcendental subject who is the source of our A priori syntheses. So in a sense, Kant is just saying that Transcendental Idealism is precisely the same as Transcendental Subjectivity (Idealism), i.e. merely a nihilistic dualism. And because of that identity ultimately they are antinomies that cancel out and so all that is left is the epiphenomenon of appearances, in which we discern reality by the involuntary simultaneity of the time streams of objects as opposed to the the serial voluntary ways of apprehension. If the transcendental structure cancels out, then we need another way of thinking about the world that is immanent and that is what Heidegger tries to develop in Being and Time based on the insights of the Later Husserl and his generative phenomenology, i.e. the phenomenology of time.

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Quora answer: How do Kantian metaphysics and Kantian epistemology relate to each other?

Jan 30 2012 Published by under Uncategorized

I have just finished listening to the tapes of Bernstein on Kant’s Critique of Pure reason. (See So I feel like I am in a better position to answer this question now than I might have been earlier when I thought I knew something about Kant but had read it so long ago that it was hazy in my memory.

What Bernstein says is that for Kant Ontology is basically Epistemology. In other words the essence of the Copernican turn of Kant was to transform ontological questions into epidemiological ones about the necessary conditions for the possibility of experience. That makes all ontological experiences filtered though the lens of the Transcendental Subject, i.e. the one who produces the Apriori Syntheses that the empirical ego experiences, and that the Analytical philosophers analyze after the fact. Bernstein does a regressive reading of Kant, i.e. does not over inflate the claims about what Kant is trying to achieve. So he is giving us a minimalist Kantian interpretation, so that gives us a criteria by which to judge the progressive readings, i.e. the readings that see Kant as claiming too much compared to what he can deliver.

What is strange is that there are almost as many commentaries on Kant as there are on Plato, yet the Kantian commentaries are extremely weird for the most part because they all try to put their own philosophies in the mouth of Kant, my favorite example is that of Heidegger, which Bernstein dismisses but which I still find enlightening. But I searched and searched for a commentary on Kant that I could understand and which did the minimal permissible projection onto Kant of strange ideas. And the only one that I found that fit this bill back in the 1970s was that of Patton. Bernstein mentions Patton in a positive light, but points to other more recent commentaries that he likes, which I hope to read someday. Bernstein says that Kant is Transcendental Idealist who believes that you can only be a Transcendental Realist through Transcendental Idealism. And of course this is because we only experience the world via our consciousness and so what ever the world might be out there, we cannot escape our filtering it by our consciousness and need to take that into account. Basically this means that there are Apriori syntheses produced by our unconscious that appear to us in consciousness as if effortlessly generated, and so we do not notice the fact that these experiences are generated by our complex biological structures because they appear as given immediately and spontaneously. In a way we can see Kant’s breakthrough as the first glimmers of our understanding of the role of the unconscious as the part of the iceberg below the surface of consciousness which is merely a very thin veneer on the top of some very complex and incomprehensible processing of information that gives us our world and allows us to act seemingly effortlessly within it, for the most part. There were many subtleties of the arguments of Kant that I did not appreciate prior to listening to Bernstein’s lectures.But one thing that I can say to answer the question at hand is that ontology is completely mixed up with if not identical to epistemology in Kant. His stance is much closer to Husserlian Phenomenology than I imagined, and I thought that they were almost identical to begin with. Kant still has a dogmatic streak in him, and so he states his critique of dogma dogmatically. Husserl instead says this is a territory to be explored and opens it up to exploration and interpretation, and thus carries on the spirit of the critique further than Kant was able to do, as he was still dogmatic in his break with dogma in philosophy, i.e. positing final statements about the status of objects of experience rather than delving deeper into the phenomenology of those experiences themselves. I really listened to Bernstein in order to reset my understanding of Kant so I could connect it to the deflationary reading of Hegel that he presents in his other lectures. Kant represents a point of sophistication in philosophy that we may never achieve again. All philosophy after Kant is moving in his orbit. He thought he could show that Epistemology IS Ontology. And his arguments are pretty deep even if ultimately they fail even in the regressive reading of Bernstein.

Husserl attempted to solve some of these problems by looking in a more detailed way into the structures and processes of consciousness itself. But ultimately he came up against the same wall, i.e. the noumena, i.e. bracketing. Bernstein says for Kant appearances were the reality, but he still reserved the noumena which he believed had no remainder. But most interpreters believe that there is a remainder, that is there even though we cannot know it. What I did not realize that Bernstein emphasizes is that that Kant only brought up the term in order to define it so he could say there was no remainder. Bracketing takes that remainder what ever it is that we can never know out of play. But that same bracketing produces solipsism and the problem of intersubjectivity (i.e. the social). But according to Walton, Husserl in his later work discovered the idea of replacing bracketing with the horizon of the world, which Heidegger used with great effect in Being and Time stealing some of Husserl’s thunder. Bernstein said that Heidegger basically misunderstood Kant’s philosophy of time. But the philosophy of time that Heidegger took from Husserl is that of Internal Time Consciousness which was the one book that Heidegger edited of Husserl’s. In fact Bernstein’s final critique of Kant is that he thought Kant applied too monolithic a notion of time to phenomena. And Husserl’s internal time consciousness diagram is precisely an expansion of our notion of time beyond “Objective Time”. Kant’s argument about time hinges on the difference between serial and parallel time. Objective time for Kant is simultaneity of the systematization of objects. This difference revolves around the distinction between Freedom and Causality, and that revolves around the reversibility or irreversibility of our own action (house verses river boat analogies). Husserl instead uses a sedimentation analogy that hearkens back to the Orlog (cf Well and Tree by Bauschatz) of Indo-European fame. It is a model in which time has depth and so there is an extra dimension to resolve the problem that exists in the schematization of objects in time that Kant’s argument in the analogies runs into and which Bernstein criticizes. It is a better answer than the one that Bernstein answers which is evolutionary time, because Internal time Consciousness is a subjective time, rather than an objective time that encompasses the species. So this suggests that Heidegger was not far wrong by emphasizing the analysis of time in Being and Time, and seeing the equiprimodiality of the moments of time as the place to start, but instead of emphasizing memory as Husserl had done, Heidegger emphasizes the future instead.

At any rate I recommend listening to Bernstein’s lectures on tape for a more complete answer to this question, and a far more authoritative one than I can give.

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Quora answer: What are examples of the strangely truthful logic of myth?

Jan 30 2012 Published by under Uncategorized

Mytho-logos . . . (obscure, esoteric, and fanciful answer)

Mythos is a story. Logos is language, and it core is the internal constraints that are necessary for language to make sense. This is the physus of the logos.

One of the things that we need to understand  is that truth is an aspect of Being. And Being has meta-levels, and so truth has meta-levels along with the other aspects which are Reality, Identity and Presence.

Another point is that we live in the metaphysical era after Thales. Prior to that was the mythopoietic era (cf Hatab). What happened when we fell into the metaphysical era was that there was a symmetry breaking in time, such that we lost a moment of time, the mythic moment. So when we look back at mythology there is a certain nostalgia for this missing moment of time. Time was originally four dimensional with past, future, present, and mythic (original). The mythic is genealogical time. It is the time in which the ancestors still live and influence our lives directly. It is the time of the generation of the immortals and their interaction with humans.

Past and Future are really the same. Together in Old English (Anglo-Saxon) was called Peterite, i.e. Complete. While the Present is incomplete. The mythic moment is the dual of the Present. It is the origin.

The meta-system has four parts (arena, source-sink, boundary,  originary template outside the arena, like the object template in object oriented programming prior to instantiation). The mythic is the originary moment, past and future are like source and sink, the present is what appears inside the horizon of the world within the arena. So the difference between present and mythic is what is inside or outside the horizonal boundary. The source is where the system enters the meta-system (is instantiated within the arena) always already lost in the past. The sink is where the system exists the arena always already lost in the future. But these are the two endpoints that confer completion on the worldline of the human as being-in-the-would (dasein). These two endpoints that signify completion collapse together as the peterite and this is understood via fate (wyrd). On the other hand there is what upwells within the world horizon and that which is beyond the world horizon. What was beyond the horizon was the universal genealogy, the always already lost origin of the community. What is within the horizon is the mitsein and the story, the mythos is the talk (rede) that is always there as a background, always referred to, always invoked. The befindlichkeit (discoveredness) is what is found within the world horizon, we find ourselves as part of a community within the arena of the world. And then the third existentiel is verstehan (understanding). Being is intelligibility. Thinking and Being are the Same as has been said by Parmenides.

Parmenides said there are three ways, two of which should not be taken. There is the Way of Non-Being which is Existence. There is the way of Appearance which is the appearing of what appears, i.e. what is present. And then there is the Way of Being, which is static and unchanging as the substance and substructure of all things that exist simultaneously.  As has been said elsewhere in answer to another question we can see that existence is what is found, and thus the basis of discoveredness (befindlichkeit). Appearance is also opinion as DOXA, and that is related to the rede or talk of the mitsein. That talk can be chatter, or it can be the always present stories that are the coin of wisdom and reference as the mythic. Thus we can see that Being is verstehen, i.e. intelligibility of things. So the Existentiels are there in the ways of Parmenides. For him intelligibility is the only way, the only way that is not impossible, because it is the only thing that lasts, like geometrical proofs of Euclid. Parmenides is taken up to the gate in the heavens and this is revealed to him by the mysterious goddess.

Once we understand that both existence and Being share the aspects, and that appearance is defined by three anti-aspects (difference, fiction, illusion) together with presence. So there is a symmetry breaking here. So lets think about the other symmetry breakings of the same kind:

presence [present, phenomenal]:: fiction [mythic, genealogy], illusion [past, memory], difference [future, change] => appearance (phenomena always already there seen serially by individual, befindlichkeit) (missing: grounds, reasons)

identity [future, unchanging]:: absence [present, noumenal], fiction [mythic, not genealogical], illusion [past, no memory] => ideos (apperception always already glossed, simultaneity seen by community, verstehen mutual intelligibility) (missing: order)

truth [mythic, not genealogical]:: difference [future, unchanging], absence [present, noumenal], illusion [past, not memory] => mythos (same stories always already told, mitsein rede) (missing: uncovering)

reality [past, remembered]:: difference [future, change], fiction [mythic, genealogy], absence [present, noumenal] => opinion (ungrounded chatter, useless talk, nihilism always already lost, individual rede) (missing: light)


absence [not present, noumenal]:: identity, truth, reality => noematic nucleus, category theory (shadow: groundless abyss, oblivion)

difference [not future, change]:: truth, reality, presence => essence, set theory  (shadow: chaos, entropy, clearing)

fiction [not mythic, geneological]:: reality, presence, identity => arche, model theory (shadow: covering, opening)

illusion [not past, not remembered]:: presence, identity, truth => noesis, symbolic logic as formal system disconnected from reality (shadow: darkness, forgetfulness)

Each aspect stands against the other anti-aspects in a symmetry breaking, and vice versa. The asymmetries in time follow the same pattern.

order, light, ground, uncovering are the characteristics of the positive fourfold, otherwise known as the fourfold of heaven, earth, mortals and immortals that we learn from reversing the negative fourfold from the Birds of Aristophanes.

From this we see that the “strangely truthful logic of myth” comes out of the asymmetries of time and the aspects of Being and existence. Traditionally Plato defined myth as lies, perhaps cunning lies, perhaps based on metis. But fiction and truth are two sides of the same aspect. Mythos comes when truth confronts the other anti-aspects. the strangeness of this mythos comes from the meta-levels of Being. In other words there are different meta-levels of truth.

The first meta-level of truth beyond facticity is verification. Notice verification is a relation between truth and reality. Validation is a relation between presence and reality. Coherence is a relation between identity and reality. Meaning comes into model theory via the advent of reality to the formal system which only has presence, truth and identity as aspects. This is the kind of truth that we see in the Oedipus myth when the person comes to verify that Oedipus was a foundling and not the child of his adopted parents.

The second meta-level of truth beyond verification, is uncovering (Aleithia), that is a dynamic truth, truth as process (as becoming true). This is the meaning of truth Heidegger uncovers from the Greeks that we had forgotten. This is the kind of truth that appears when Oedipus realizes that he killed his father and married his mother just like the oracle had said he would and which he ended up doing by trying to avoid that fate.

This third meta-level of truth is related to Hyper Being, Differance and what Plato called the Third kind of Being beyond stasis (Parmenides) and flow (Heraclitus). It is the truth that the Demiurge creates the world as an insemination, much like the poet in the Mahabharata gives rise to his own main characters, the Pandavas through insemination of one of his own female characters. The poet brings meaning and creates through his own embodiment in his own story. In this there is confusion between the poet as author and the poet as character in his own work. At the level of Hyper Being all the distinctions we might make (differences that make a difference) keep slip sliding away. This is the truth that Oedipus himself is the cause of the plague that he is trying to find the cause of in his search for the truth of the community and its defilement.

The fourth meta-level is related to Wild Being. Wild Truth is where truth and falsehood are mixed up like in the Novel. Sometimes literature is more true than realistic documentaries and non-fiction works. Wild Being is like the Mandelbrot set where each point is iterated on to find its acceleration as a line of flight and on the basis of this the point is given a color and we see the overall pattern by the various colors that are assigned to various points due to their acceleration in iteration, i.e. each point has its own intensity, isolated from all other points. There is mixture but patterning in the mixture of intensities that form a rhizome. (cf Delueze). This is the truth that Oedipus sees when he puts out his own eyes. He wanders blindly and then eventually becomes a sage, and initiates the sons of Theseus. This is the truth that comes from the experience of the limits of the human condition.

Mythology as we know it from the Greeks in general is about exploring those limits of the human condition within the Indo-European worldview. And those limits are seen in the interplay between mortality and immortality between heaven and earth.

This strange truth when take to the level of Ultra Being, becomes Beyng (Seyn) (cf Heidegger Contributions to Philosophy: from Ereignis). At the impossible limits we see the strange, unique, onefold of Beyng which is the unstriated dual of Being which is striated by the meta-levels. To see Beyng we must jump over Ontological difference to realize another possibility, one in which we are oblivious to that is encompassing us, and not merely something receding that we have forgotten. This ultra truth is the truth of the Oracle itself. The oracle is a singularity at Delphi where a comet hit the earth, i.e. where heaven and earth come together. As Plato said it was a stone that was not on any boundary from which all the boundary stones were measured. There the fumes came up from the underworld that allot the Pythoness to chant what was revealed from the unseen. Cryptic sayings that had hidden truths for humans to discover for themselves. Orientation toward Beyng in the midst of Being is ereignis: event, happening, appropriation, discerning ( All myth is measured from this impossibility at the core of possibility.

Logic is the core of the logos, the physus of the logos, i.e. the internal constraints of language itself that need to be respected for it to remain intelligible. There is also the logos of the physus, i.e. the schemas, i.e. the templates of organizatoin and understanding that we project on the noumena. The inner logic of myth that we find truthful at higher meta-levels of Being as we approach the impossible limits of Beyng is its strange, unique and onefold character that comes from the lost moment of mythic time. We are mortals trapped in our finitude looking at our own limits as archetypal projections of immortals. We are walking between Heaven and Earth standing upright. When we approach the nondual core of our worldview we see order, right, good, fate, source, root as the layers of our worldview and of ourselves. What tells us about the perils of living in a worldview like this, what shows us the nondual core by example, it is myth, the truthful lies or the lies of truth. As Nietzsche says truth is a lie we tell ourselves to maintain our viability and life within the world in which we find ourselves, immersed in nihilistic chatter, and it is what we cling to because of our non-understanding of that world. That limit is DOXA to which we oppose our RATIO in the divided line. The limits of the divided line are Paradox and the Supra-rational. But this boils down to what Kant called serial verses simultaneous time. Objects in the world are simultaneously in community, but we experience them serially based on our freedom to move. Causality is the flip side of freedom. Paradox grows out of contradiction and is mixture of contradictories and when intensified becomes absurdity. The supra-rational is when two opposite things are real, true, identical, present at the same time without interfering with each other. Thus the supra-rational comes from our comprehension of the parallel and simultaneous nature of time in nature, in the physus. But internally we mix up what we see serially and need to strive to keep it separate with logic and schemas. We use the aspects to attempt to situate ourselves within our Indo-European worldview. the aspects apply to both Existence (as emptiness or void) and Being but they are also the way we bring intelligibility to the world through our understanding. We play the aspects off of each other in relation to the other anti-aspects and this is the way we experience the equiprimordiality of time as a symmetry breaking with a lost moment, always already missing in the metaphysical era. We have our nostalgia for the mythopoietic era, and we yearn for the next era of heterochrony, when time becomes symmetrical and parallel again.

In Heterochrony, i.e. when there are separate orthogonal timelines as seen by Dunne originally in the twenties of the last century and which we recover in F-theory, we lose the present as well as the mythic in another symmetry breaking that gives us a new symmetry. This is the worldview where the pluriverse, multiverse, is taken for granted and we realize that they are on multiple orthogonal timelines. Those other universes are absent and never present except as dark matter  and dark energy, or what is beyond the big bang or black hole singularities. In a heterchronic worldview era we will be nostalgic for the present as well as mythos. The present was too incomplete and the the mythos too complete as to be fated, and wyrd. The completion of the peterite seen as the past or future will be al we have, as we see in relativity theory where there are four dimensional blocks to which our worldlines are pinned never changing. Future and past are the same, and the difference is meaningless in four dimensional timespace with lightcones. If we lose the assymetry of the present in relation to the peterite, then we lose track of time all together. Symmetrical time is timeless. And it is precisely the timeless that we lost when the symmetry breaking occured that took us from the mythopoietic to the metaphysical era. Again timelessness will appear in a multidimensional time of heterochrony, where both mythos and present are lost moments both nihilistic opposites of incomplete and too complete, and all we are left with is the complete either as past or future which are really the same distanåçce from ourselves in time and thus also nihilistic opposites. What is left according to Heidegger is Ereignis, happenings, appropriations, discernments by dasein as being-in-the-world who is suddenly encompassed by Beyng.

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Quora answer: Why does life use a quaternary system (A, T, G, C) to encode information instead of a binary system?

Jan 30 2012 Published by under Uncategorized

There is a mathematical reason that codons are four. The alphabet this code produces has 64 permutations. 64 is a special number, the lowest number which is 4^3 or 2^6 which means that it can be transformed from two dimensional to three dimensional and not lose any information. This is the minimum number for which this is true. Thus it is a mathematically singular point in the number series of information transformation efficiency.

In comments I have been asked to elaborate.

4x4x4 is a cube. (2x2x2)x(2x2x2)=8×8 is a flat matrix with 64 squares like a chess board.

4 codons ^ 3 places in the DNA string = 64 information units.

But the real secret here is the fact that this structure is reversible and substitutable without change and that is why there are 20 codons. If you reverse the codon sequences of three of if you substitute the two pairs of bases for each other then it does not change the fact that there are 20 sources 8×2 and 12×4. You get this by substituting yin for yang and reversing the hexagrams. This leads to 20 groups of hexagrams that are impervious to these changes. This makes DNA a code impervious to change based on direction and substitution and explains why there are exactly 20 amino acids. But because it is a code it has start and stop codons and so the mapping is not perfect between the reversable/substitutable case and the actual assignment of codons to amino acids but it is close. There are several codon mappings to the Amino Acids and to the start and stop codons and they have an interesting pattern and development. See the following for some of the most interesting research on Amino Acid to Codon mappings which finds that the mappings are not random as they have been previously portrayed.

1) Petoukhov S.V. & He M. Symmetrical Analysis Techniques for Genetic Systems and
Bioinformatics: Advanced Patterns and Applications. 2010, Hershey, USA: IGI Global. 271 p. (this book has a special section about I Ching and the genetic code!).
2)     He M., Petoukhov S.V. Mathematics of bioinformatics: theory, practice, and applications. USA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 295 p. (I attach the cover of this book with symbols from I Ching!).

Articles on the site :
1.        Petoukhov S.V. (2008b) The degeneracy of the genetic code and Hadamard matrices. 1-8. Retrieved February 22, 2008, from http://arXiv:0802.3366
2.        Petoukhov S.V. (2008c) Matrix genetics, part 1: permutations of positions in triplets and
symmetries of genetic matrices. 1-12. Retrieved March 06, 2008, from http://arXiv:0803.0888. (версия 2 послана 29 марта 2010 года и находится на )
3.        Petoukhov, S.V. (2008d). Matrix genetics, part 2: the degeneracy of the genetic code and the octave algebra with two quasi-real units (the “Yin-Yang octave algebra”). 1-23. Retrieved March 23, 2008, from http://arXiv:0803.3330.
4.        Petoukhov, S.V. (2008e). Matrix genetics, part 3: the evolution of the genetic code from the
viewpoint of the genetic octave Yin-Yang-algebra. 1-22. Retrieved May 30, 2008, from http:// arXiv:0805.4692
5.        Petoukhov, S.V. (2008f). Matrix genetics, part 4: cyclic changes of the genetic 8-dimensional Yin-Yang-algebras and the algebraic models of physiological cycles. 1-22. Retrieved September 17, 2008, from http://arXiv:0809.2714
6.        S.Petoukhov (2010). Matrix genetics, part 5: genetic projection operators and direct sums. May 18, 2010, from http://arXiv:1005.5101v1

One way to think about this is through the game of Chess. I believe that the Game of Chess is right at this boundary where there is efficient information transformation between dimensions. A Chess board is two dimensional with 64 squares 8×8. When I analyze the pieces in chess I get the same amount of information in the pieces that exist in the chess board. Thus each side contains differentiated forms of embodied information that completely map to the chess board. This is why there is conflict, both sides are complete mappings of the territory under contention.I will leave it as an exercise to the student to prove or disprove this claim. I don’t have my analysis anymore and so I would have to do it all over to prove that what I am saying is correct, and I don’t have time to do that right now. But if it is true as I claim, then a lot flows form this. The game gets is perfect form from its being right on the boundary between two and three dimensions and embodying the transform between them in the board and pieces. Because of this efficiency of transformation the minds of the two players when immersed in the game are interacting right at this threshold of efficiency and effectiveness of information transformation, and are thus able to communicate semiotic-ally within the game very effectively. This combination of efficiency and effectiveness I call efficacious. Chess is an extremely efficacious symbolic communication system.

Now the DNA and RNA of the cell is taking advantage of exactly the same mathematical singularity where there is transformation between dimensions without data loss. This is one of the reasons that replication in life is so efficient. In this case we are going from the coded strand to the three dimensional molecule via the copying mechanism in RNA. But the fact this dimensional transformation of the information can be done at this singularity of perfect transformation means that there is no re coding involved. We can see this in magic squares and cubes of order 64. The magic square to cube mapping by the numbers allows us to see how all the numbers are distributed in each with no gaps or re-categorization necessary

Another example of this structure at the social level is the I Ching and its place in Ancient China as a core text by which all changes were seen as part of a per-mutational system exactly at this threshold. It is fascinating to think that both the west and the east had cultural artifacts poised at this threshold of efficient communication. In one civilization it was a game and in the other an oracular system given philosophical significance.

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Quora answer: Why did God create Adam first?

Jan 30 2012 Published by under Uncategorized

The bible story concerning Adam is a primal scene about switch over from Matriarchy to Patriarchy. Matriarchy is not when women are in charge as some have thought, but rather when women stay in the house of their fathers, and their husbands come visiting, and their brothers act as fathers to the children, rather than the genetic father. This organization of society gave over to the Patriarchal system that we all know and love, well perhaps only some of us. Anyway, it is amazing how mythology hides its secrets. So in this Primal Scene of Adam and Eve in the bible, we see Adam at first alone, and then God creates woman second from his RIB. Then they are a pair, they have fun, then sin and get thrown out of the garden, etc. etc. But why that rib? The rib is the secret to the explanation of the primal scene. In mammalian social groups there is an Alpha Male, who has a harem, and which Beta males try to oust so to take over the territory and harem of the Alpha males and become Alpha males themselves. Now in that Harem the females are not distinguished. They have a pecking order, but the Alpha male more or less treats them just as his territory, as a group or mass, i.e. in a non-count manner.

By the way studies, which I have lost the reference to unfortunately, show that the mammalian social groups are bimodal. This is to say that the drama between the Alpha and Beta males over the territory and female herd is only half the story. The other half is about outcast males and females which are not part of the social hierarchy, but roam around on their own. Turns out females in some primate groups, which ones I cannot remember any more, seek out liaisons with outcast males so that they have somewhere to go if the Beta male wins and is about to kill her young. Probably there are also liaisons between the outcast females and the Beta males as well. The article that I am vaguely remembering did not talk about that. But the key is to understand that the Pharmakon is the one who is outcast even from the outcast group, and has to move out to find completely new territory because he is forced out, like Oedipus, and of course if he takes a few females with him then he is an Alpha male in any territory that is unclaimed that he finds. Thus mammalian population spread is a Dissipative Structure ala Prigogine. This whole scene of mammalian social structure makes a lot of things fall into place. First of all Matriarchy is dominant because it is hierarchical, as despots throughout history can attest. But the other mode is contractual between independent mammalian creatures. But Patriarchy in which there are marriage contracts and the females go off to live with their husbands rather than staying at home with their fathers is in the sub-dominant mode which is basically unorganized.

So Patriarchy is a mode that is successful when there is no fertility scarcity. When there is scarcity (Handmaidens Tale) then the resource of fertility is hoarded. But when there is abundance then the sub-dominant mode of Patriarchy becomes dominant because exchange of females is genetically favored. Of course females in Mammalian societies were the first currency, and that is why money is different in hoards rather than in circulation as well. All economics comes from this primal currency where humans were the token of exchange because when fertility is scarce it is the most precious thing to our species. Much of Indo-European myth is structured by these Mammalian social structures, this is basically the origin of the Caste system in Indo-European myth.


  • gaia (and Uranus)

Alpha Male (king, priest, Varuna/Mitra, Kronos) Osiris Alive

  • harem female — faceless — mass-like Noncount

Beta Male (knights, warriors, Indra, Baal, Zeus) Horus

  • unfaithful females that go between the harem and the outcast males Isis

The Twins (Helen’s brothers) (peasants)

  • independent outcast females that fraternize with Beta males Nephthys

Gamma Male Outcast (merchants) Seth

  • independent female — with face that counts — Set-like Count

Pharmakon Doubly Outcast (from the Outcasts) [Alpha Male in new Territory beyond the pale] [Eros] Osiris Dead

  • feminine negative fourfold (Chaos, Covering, Night, Abyss)


[see my book Fragmentation of Being and the Path beyond the Void for another version]

Now back to Adam and Eve who we left almost being thrown out of the garden. The key fact is that the rib can be seen as an individual thing within the body of Adam. We can count those ribs even though they are under the skin. And so the rib is the signifier of the woman within the harem of the Alpha male which he was when he was alone, because the alpha male is essentially alone looking after his territory and his herd of females against the world, i.e. all the Beta males out there. But when God creates Eve from Adam’s rib then he takes her out of him and makes her visible to him. At that point her face becomes important. We see the veil lifted in Greek marriage, and we are still doing it today because in patriarchy the face of the female matters, she is recognized as a particular female no longer part of the mass of the harem, she is a particular in a set rather than an instance in a mass. Thus Adam is no longer alone, but that can get him into trouble. His relation to Eve now freed from her father the Alpha male is one of contact. That is why Mitra is the god of contracts, and Varuna is the one who enforces the contracts with his magic. Contracts only make sense in a patriarchal world, because kinship is no longer the determiner of lineage but rather in the exchange of foreign females the name of the father becomes important (cf Lacan via Zizek). The contract is between the families who are sharing the precious resource of fertility.

So just as Abraham gives us a primal scene where human sacrifice gives way to animal sacrifice, the story of Adam gives us a marker of the emergent point when we tipped into the other mode of mammalian society, the outcast and contractual, i.e. non-hierarchical mode, the democratic mode. Now the Israelites were so keen on contracts they made contracts with their monotheistic god. That was a very bad idea because there was no way that they could fulfill that contract, and the Bible records in excruciating detail that failure. (See The Nine Commandments: Uncovering the Hidden Pattern of Crime and Punishment in the Hebrew Bible by David Noel Freedman) 

We are very lucky to have these primal scenes as part of our heritage, like the primal scene of the Well and the Tree which is the at the core of the Indo-European worldview. These primal scenes have deep meaning, as we can see by the fact that we never tire of interpreting them in myriad different ways, like this way for instance.

For more along these lines see Meaning and being in myth By Norman Austin

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Quora answer: What is Differance?

Jan 30 2012 Published by under Uncategorized

Differance is Differing and Deferring, i.e. the relation of the supplement in writing to the work itself, like in the Preface to Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit/Ghost/Mind where the preface written at the end changes the meaning of the whole work. Differance I call Hyper Being. It is the Third Meta-level of Being after Pure Being (Parmenides, Stasis) and Process Being (Heraclitus, Dynamism, Becoming) and prior to the fourth kind of Being which Merleau-Ponty calls Wild Being in The Visible and the Invisible. In that unfinished work Merleau-Ponty calls Hyper Being the Hyper-Dialectic between Heidegger’s Monolithic combination of Pure and Process Being which are seen as equiprimoridal and Sartre’s Nothingness which is the antimony. We see differance in the Paul Simon song where he sings about slip-sliding away. Differance is always sliding away from us so we cannot hold it in mind as something determinate, either in space or time, dynamism or stasis, or in any other dualism. Hyper Being is the difference that makes a difference between Pure Being and Process Being, the differences between kinds of Being must also be a different kind of Being. If Pure Being is present-at-hand being-in-the-world and Process Being is ready-to-hand being-in-the-world, then Hyper Being is the “in-hand” the expansion of being-in-the-world that comes from bearing new affordances. Where Pure Being has the modality of pointing according to Merleau-Ponty, and Process Being has the modality of grasping, then we take it that Levinas’ bearing which is Beyond monolithic Being is the modality of Hyper Being. Best example of the meta-levels of Being are the meta-levels of learning in Bateson’s Steps to the Ecology of Mind.

It is an important concept because it is a distinction that Plato makes in the Timaeus where he calls it the third kind of being. We forgot that in our tradition until Heidegger rediscovered it by accident, and Derrida took it up to make something interesting of Heidegger’s discovery. Heidegger did not follow up on the idea of -B-e-i-n-g- (crossed out). See John Sallis Chorology for more details about the role the third kind of Being plays in the Timaeus.

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Quora answer: What is a simple definition of the philosophy of Derrida?

Jan 30 2012 Published by under Uncategorized

Differance = Differing and Deferring = Plato’s Third Kind of Being in the Timaeus. We just forgot it was there in the Western tradition until it was rediscovered by Heidegger as -B-e-i-n-g- (crossed out). See John Sallis Chorology.

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Quora answer: What is time?

Jan 30 2012 Published by under Uncategorized

Time is . . . . .

Time and Being, Being and Time . . . . Heidegger wrote works by both of these titles.

Would it shock you to find out that time has no Being?

Dogen Kaigen talks about ExistenceTime.

Kant thought that he could achieve objective unity though the schematization of time. He said that it was though the unity of time that objects attained their objective unity.

This is similar to Husserl’s idea of the Noematic Nucleus being the object as phenomena seen from all sides, which is the external coherence, and the dual of the internal coherence of the essence. He said that our apperception of the essence was an intuition.

Kant said that happened though the imagination.

The basic idea is that as you move around the object and see it from different perspectives that it takes time, and one is seeing it on the background of the world horizon, so you don’t need bracketing, as in Husserl’s early phenomenology. Heidegger made use of this breakthrough in Being and Time. However, there is also essence intuition where one grasps the internal coherence of the object as constraints on its attributes directly. This takes time too but less time if you have already schematized the object.

Now Essence is suppose to be tied to the Substance of the Object, and that substance’s persistence is seen as Being. But Being is more than that, it is an illusory gloss on the object that produces an abstract idea of it, and ideas are something different from essences, which are not simple ideas. In fact the difference between present-at-hand and ready-to-hand is this difference seen as two modalities of being-in-the-world. It is the difference between Pure Static Parmenidian Being and Process Dynamic Heraclitian Becoming. But where Ideas tend toward unity via the look, essence perception tends toward totality though circumspective concern, i.e. the glance. Thus these are extreme opposites tending toward the duals of either unity or totality. Notice that the insight into totality gives one access to the essence, while insight into unity gives one access to the idea.

The nondual between these two extremes is wholeness. Wholeness is not captured by any of the meta-levels of Being. Hyper and Wild being go too far, while Pure and Process Being do not go far enough. We are speaking here of Primal Archetypal Wholeness.

Primal Archetypal Wholeness is found as nondual ExistenceTime. This means that Western philosophers never reach time, but are merely caught in the veils of Maya, Dunya, Dukkha, etc. Time isn’t. What there is of time exists only. The whole idea that Kant has that you can get the unity of the object out of the schematization of time, seems pretty far fetched, especially since he did not have the ready-to-hand as a distinction at hand.

It is only a few steps from this that leads to the idea of Heterochrony, i.e. the state of affairs With ExistenceTime that utterly destroys metaphysics.

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Quora answer: What are some unsolved problems in information theory?

Jan 30 2012 Published by under Uncategorized

Negative information?

There is negative energy, negative mass (anti-matter), negative entropy, so what is negative information? Lies? Secrets?

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Quora answer: What stages does a good Quora question go through?

Jan 30 2012 Published by under Uncategorized

A good Quora question goes through states prior to its being in the initial state on Quora which is in the mind of the questioner.

  1. What have I always wanted to know but was afraid to ask?
  2. Is my question inherently biased, if so take out the bias
  3. Does my question have assumptions that others would feel are unwaranted or uncounded, if so either identify the assumptions or take them out of the question.
  4. Does my question have a problematic, or context, or come out of a specific situation that I need to explain in order for it to be meaninful to others.
  5. Have I written down what drives me to ask the question, if not then include that in the clarifying information attached to the question.
  6. Can I just look up the answer on the web or wikipedia, if so don’t ask it but rather go to the sources that already exist.
  7. Do I have other related questions, if so write them down and figure out which one needs to be asked first.
  8. Is my question relevant, significant, meaninful, if not don’t ask it.
  9. Is my question something that others would be interested in also, if not then ask someone directly via email, twitter, or some other service.
  10. Is my question superficial, obvious, inane, or stupid, then don’t ask it on quora, but rather bother someone else who you don’t like instead.
  11. Is my question deep, ultimate, meaningful, life-changing, or in some way crucial, then make sure you ask it.

Once you have formulated the question then ask whether it is in the proper form, i.e whether it is spelled correctly, has a question mark, and is not too long or too short, i.e. make sure it is a well formed sentence you would be proud of when it is answered.

Search Quora to see what other questions are related to the one which you are asking and see if it has already been asked. If so then second that other question by adding a comment to it rather than asking again with similar but different wording.

Basically you should spend as much time formulating your question as you would spend answering a question. The better the formulation of the questions the better the answers are going to be. The more time you spend making the question right, making sure it is a good question and well ordered and with appropriate context and background, the more pleasure you will get from the answers, and the more pleasure people will have answering the question who think they have an answer.

When all this has been done, then enter you question into Quora with its supporting context and references if necessary.

Wait for answers patiently. As you are waiting think about meditating, contemplating, imagining, exploring with curiosity, and do some background research of your own into the question on the Web, or by reading a good book on the subject of your question.

When the answers start coming in then read them, and think about them and consider the intrinsic production of variety by human beings, who all see things differently from you. Attempt to reconcile their answers with the way you were thinking about the question when you wrote it down. Consider other perspectives and consider the limitation of your own perspective, and what you can do to widen, or improve your own perspective.

Take the answers to heart. Those who have answered your question have invested some of their precious lifespan in attempting to give you knowledge, or at least information if not wisdom about the topic of your question, so you should respect their efforts by thinking about their answers.

Don’t answer your own question right away. If you asked it just in order to make your own point, then try to restrain yourself and let others answer first, and then put your own answer as a response to the answers you get. It is best of course that you don’t answer your own question.

After the answers come in consider summarizing the answers on the Wiki page after a sufficient time has passed and a good number of answers have accumulated.

Then consider asking follow up questions, which are then linked to the original question, either in your own answer or in the comments to the question. However, all questions should remain comprehensible if they are encountered on their own.

Engage with others who are answering the question either in the comments or on

Then given what you have learned from asking your question and getting hopefully good answers go on to ask your next question.

Bateson says that there are meta-levels of learning.

The first meta-level above knowing what you know is what we all know as learning, and learning is based on the asking and answering of questions. The better your questions the more you will learn, and know matter how knowledgeable one is there is still a lot to learn, because knowledge, especially these days is endless. It is gained mostly by reading and thinking, and then questioning those who know.

The second meta-level of learning is “learning to learn” which means there are different ways of learning, and everytime you learn a new way of learning then you increase your becoming-in-the-world, i.e. you become a deeper human being with greater potential to learn, and thus you become potentially more knowledgeable.

The third meta-level of learning is learning-to-learn-to-learn. This is learning how to learn new ways learning. It is equivalent to making paradigm shifts in your understanding, because a new vista opens up when you learn how to learn differently. Say you learn by reading good books, and then you learn to diagram the ideas in those books, in order to understand them better. By learning to make diagrams of the concepts in books you have learned a new way of learning. But say you come to understand that mind-maps is only one way of diagramming, and it is better to adapt the way of diagramming to the content of the of the concepts being diagrammed, and you realize that the symbols that you use in your diagram have semiotic meaning themselves which you can also interrogate because they say something about your own thinking about concepts, then you have encountered the third meta-level of learning, where your learning how to learn itself has adapted within the learning process.

The fourth meta-level of learning is “learning-to-learn-to-learn-to-learn” which Bateson thought was the highest level of learning that he likened to achieving enlightenment, where your whole way of understanding is transformed such that your knowledge and comprehension is enhanced in a complete change by apprehending an insight. Getting an insight into the way your mind itself works, and learning to look at things in a completely different way, so that ones actual thinking process changes is attained at this meta-level of learning.

The fifth meta-level of learning is where one confronts non-knowledge, forgetfulness, oblivion, the clearing and openness in Being, and where learning itself becomes a singularity. At that point learning itself becomes a form of knowledge which has intrinsic wisdom.

When you are asking questions and learning from the answers then if you are wise you will be attempting to scale these meta-levels of learning so you can attain the various meta-levels of knowledge which are aligned with the meta-levels of existence, which are correlated to the meta-levels of Being. In this process you learn the nature of yourself and your worldview and the relation between the two, and you become who you really are, rather than merely being a phantom of yourself, because according to Plato, we recollect knowledge, it does not come from the outside but from inside ourselves, and those who give use their knowledge are only midwives like Socrates to our own intellectual and spiritual rebirth when we ourselves must pursue, because no one can give us what is already within ourselves, which is true, real, identical and present knowledge that is lost in oblivion or just forgotten, When we climb the meta-levels of learning we are approaching the meta-levels of knowledge which are the truly perduring things in our experience, which the meta-levels of Being only pretend to be.

When you ask questions of others you are actually interrogating yourself, and learning what is inside of you which comes out in your questions and your reactions to the unexpected answers. Questions of others are the key to self-discovery. As Hegel said the only way to self-consciousness is through the comprehension of otherness, and it is in this interaction that Absolute Spirit is forged.

We need to learn questioning, and also question learning. We question learning when we understand that the way we are taught in schools is not what we need to do to actually learn things in our lives that will increase our useful knowledge and will help us live in our lifeworld. But the alternative to questioning learning is to learn how to question, because the deeper our questions that we pose to others and ourselves at the same time, the deeper we become and the more likely that we will go beyond knowledge into the realm of wisdom, and then perhaps insight, and possibility even achieving self-realization. A good way to embark on that journey is to begin by attempting to ask good questions about the right subjects, in an orderly way, in order to understand ones own fate and thus attain the sources of ourselves in order to approach the root of our unique human existence.

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