walkway blue bridge wallpaper, conscientiousness may not be much of a mystery

One nutshell explanation of Wittgenstein’s contribution to philosophy and epistemology in particular, is that we’re all making it up as we go along. A wry ironic explanation on one hand and a dangerous over simplification on the other. Within the context of what we know and how we know it there is a lot of truth in that short distillation of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s thesis. If there is an utterly logical language, Wittgenstein  held, it would deal only with what is true. Ever made, what appeared to you, as a completely logical statement and been asked – what do you mean exactly. You’re dumbfounded for a second. I’m speaking the same language to someone who grew up under similar circumstance – maybe a brother or parent or long married spouse – yet they didn’t understand what I said or thought it conveyed several possible meanings. Since much of philosophy – or at least non logical positivism is about discovering some truth in the way a mathematical proof is about an ultimate truth there is not much philosophy can point to as great achievements. There is no Theory of Evolution, Theory of Gravity or Pi in philosophy. Maybe one. There is no perfect logical language and we may be doomed to never having perfect communication. Though it is my understanding philosophical proofs of pure negatives are problematic. Hacker’s challenge – Peter Hacker tells James Garvey that neuroscientists are talking nonsense

“Philosophy does not contribute to our knowledge of the world we live in after the manner of any of the natural sciences. You can ask any scientist to show you the achievements of science over the past millennium, and they have much to show: libraries full of well-established facts and well-confirmed theories. If you ask a philosopher to produce a handbook of well-established and unchallengeable philosophical truths, there’s nothing to show. I think that is because philosophy is not a quest for knowledge about the world, but rather a quest for understanding the conceptual scheme in terms of which we conceive of the knowledge we achieve about the world. One of the rewards of doing philosophy is a clearer understanding of the way we think about ourselves and about the world we live in, not fresh facts about reality.”

Cognitive scientists might be mistaken to think they can find answers about the human mind purely through philosophy, but they can use philosophy is guide one in how one uses the mind. Conscientiousness may not be as much of a mystery as the neuroscience who mash-up science with philosophical auras suggests. It is  not that much of a mystery. Conscientiousness is a product of evolution. A lot of neurons firing off. It is the thoughts launched which open doors unto other doors and then again onto others which is the mystery. It is a common purely logical factual summation of what we express that seems to require constant definition.

city bridge

walkway blue bridge wallpaper

Marines Wreck Super Geek’s Career

He shamed the brass into buying bomb-resistant trucks — and drove them mad with his constant calls to the press and Congress. Now Franz Gayl, an iconoclastic civilian scientist working for the Marine Corps, has been stripped of his security clearance, effectively wrecking what was left of his career.

Over the past decade, no one in the Marine Corps has been more creative, more persistent and more migraine-inducing in his pursuit of warfighting gadgetry than Franz Gayl.

Gayl has committed the awful sins of being a pest, smart, right and obnoxious. Along the way he has given his critics some ammo with some weird suggestions like using a bomb on the BP Gulf spill. That would be reason not to put him in charge of a group of researchers, but not to punish him. Some people never get the hang of organizational politics ( office politics writ large). Since we have a tendency – though not exclusively – to embrace group think in America, the Gayls usually suffer for it.

Republicans are complaining about this. These would be the same conservatives who scheduled midnight votes when they controlled Congress tried to sneak legislation through during the Bush regime. FCC may regulate Internet lines days before Christmas

Democrats on Capitol Hill may come to the commission’s defense, however, as the policy has various supporters in the House. Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) said in a statement on Friday that he wants the agency to act this year.

“Preservation of a free and open Internet is essential to protect consumers, spur investment, foster innovation and promote the free flow of ideas,” he said.

An FCC official also remained steadfast on Friday that net-neutrality rules are a sound policy.

“Net Neutrality is about preventing anyone from regulating the Internet. There are some cable and phone companies out there that want to decide which apps you should get on your phone, which Internet sites you should look at, and what online videos you can download. That’s regulating the Internet — and that’s what the FCC is trying to stop,” the official said.

Speaking of language, communication issues and understanding. A few right-wing commenters apparently do not understand what the word freedom means. Progressive Democrats are trying to preserve the open neutral internet most of us want. For Democrat haters that translates into some secret tyrannical plot.

Childhood Idyll by William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1900


turning autumn leaves wallpaper, beck promotes socialism to west point cadets

fall landscape

turning autumn leaves wallpaper


Glenn Beck Promotes Socialism to West Point Cadets

On his show last Friday, Glenn Beck did something quite unusual for a guy who makes his living scaring people into thinking that America is on the road to communism — he promoted an idea straight out of the Paris Commune of 1871, an idea considered by the Commune to be a necessary stepping stone in the transition from capitalism to socialism to communism. And, to make it even more special, Beck did this before a studio audience of West Point cadets and faculty members.

Now, the fact that West Point allowed a group of uniformed academy cadets and faculty to be used as props by Beck is a serious matter in itself, and I’ll get to that in a minute, but Beck, in his zeal to slam Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, unknowingly promoting a core step towards socialism is just way too ironic to pass up. And what is this step towards socialism that Beck, in all his ignorance, was so enthusiastically promoting? That government employees and officials should never be paid more than what the average citizen earns.

In a 1911 speech about the Paris Commune — a movement lauded by Marx as “heroic,” and said by Lenin to have been “a practical step that was more important than hundreds of programmes and arguments” –Lenin pointed out the Commune’s (and apparently now Glenn Beck’s) position on government salaries: “And, as if to emphasize its character as a truly democratic, proletarian government, the Commune decreed that the salaries of all administrative and government officials, irrespective of rank, should not exceed the normal wages of a worker …”

Much like Ayn Rand and others on the Right, Beck’s reactionary politics go so far in the opposite direction they end up at a place much like that which they would seem to oppose.Beck and the Right’s philosophy are in many ways straight out of Marx, Mao and Stalin. Instead of a government collective, Beck would have everyone work as obedient and grateful pawns for the corporate collective. The corporations write legislation, tell the lowly peon workers what to do and how to live their lives. While the U.S. Constitution guarantees the redress of grieves for the government, the citizenry has always had the right – because of the common law traditions which permeate U.S. civil law – to redress their civil grievances against other individuals and business through the courts. Beck and movement conservatism and rightie libertarianism would  have the wage earners and consumer’s  right to end redress of damages done to life and property taken. Marx, Mao and Stalin would be proud that a guy who claims to be against collectivism is doing such a good job of selling it. Beck is not only selling collectivism but is good at convincing people that an insidious form of collectivism and a nation of powerless workers is patriotic.

That is the reply if Beck and his sycophants have a glue what they are talking about. Beck has declared himself a clown and entertainer who thinks anyone who takes what he says seriously is an idiot. Whether it is just formal debating rules or the philosophy of logic, the rule is you must take what your opponent says as sincere and their motives generally not taken into account. Beck and other shock pundits live on breaking on those rules. They can and do make up facts, history and political theory. So honest arguments with them are close to banging your head on your desk. They seem to be operating on some frequency which only the lizard brain receptor understands.


Security guru Bruce Schneier on the TSA body pat downs and X-rays. I’d go for the its a circus comparison but circuses are more professional and less invasive. One of the more obvious problems is not stopping the terrorists acts these security measures are supposed to stop. Chemically treated clothing would pass both types of screenings. While I have some sympathies with the public -especially families traveling this time of year – the public may be getting its comeuppance for the general nationwide over reaction to 9-11 and terrorism. There might be provisions of the Patriot Act worth keeping, but the draconian attacks on civil liberties contained in that law inspired very little public outrage in comparison to the body searches and x-rays. I guess the issue had to become personal – the excessive zeal finally reached the white middle-class and NOW they’re upset.