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Week 08

February 22, 2020

222.8 lbs

8:11 AM – Big Mouth Coffee Roasters

… blew up at H last night… number of nagging irritations, some on her, some not… she, baking bread, commanding kitchen and ovens till well into the evening, me wanting to roast chicken and Brussels sprouts, mash potatoes, impossible, angry, not because i was unable to make dinner, because she didn’t plan, figure out time needed, talk to me, work it out… also not helping enough with Fiona, feels like it’s all up to me… she appreciates evidence that i think of her, as in morning coffee set up, rarely does anything like for me… posts on FB, i both cook and do dishes, i find this embarrassing for us as a couple, my perception being most couples at least share cleaning up if one has done the cooking… anomalies in my right and left eye, need to visit the eye doctor, reluctance to do so, fearing some sort of bad news, wanting no evidence the body is beginning to fail… thoughts about market/capitalism, that it is secular given its intense materialist view of the cosmos, science intensely materialist, religion tries to lay itself along side, over the top, not successfully, becoming the victim of materialist/physicalist secularism that is the natural result… DT, symptom of the bankruptcy of the system… does science struggle from it’s lack of connection to subjective, qualitative?… there is no moral center or foundation for a materialist market/capitalism, if it isn’t of the system, it isn’t…

February 21, 2020

223.4 lbs

8:19 AM – Big Mouth Coffee Roasters

… S in charge, i say her name, she likes it… finishing Galileo’s Error, free will, do we have it?, mentioned the split brain experiments, we make decisions largely sub or pre-consciously, it is seconds, as many as 10, before the conscious mind catches up… pansychism, a way to think about consciousness that leaves room for free will… my belief, we have some degree of free will, but not unencumbered or unconstrained free will… consciousness exists to make sense of the world in a way that allows prediction and actions based on predictions… how could predictions and actions around those predictions not be some kind of free will?… by the same token, we predict and act on predictions in the service of pre-conscious instincts and desires… we can become more disciplined in allowing our conscious predictive capabilities to direct our actions in the world, but we are never free of primal instinct which has a huge directive impact that cannot be considered to be free will… the idea that DT has a better theory of power, acquiring and using, than those who would reign him in, it is not clear to me that the Dems yet have a strong enough theory of politics, power, acquiring and using… pansychic book talked about the idea that plants can communicate and consequently can be viewed as having a kind of consciousness… consciousness, the ability to make use of experience in predictive way… feeling frustrated by interruptions to my morning routine, my inability to stay on top of my work…

February 20, 2020

224.8 lbs

8:20 AM – Kitchen and Coffee

… new book on pansychism excites me, the idea that mind is a fundamental quality of the universe…

Eddington’s panpsychism was not dualistic. His view was not that particles have two sets of properties: physical properties (mass, charge, spin, etc.) on the one hand and nonphysical consciousness properties on the other. The view is rather that the physical properties of a particle (mass, spin, charge, etc.) are themselves forms of consciousness.”

Galileo’s Error, Philip Goff

mass charge and spin as expressions of consciousness?… at some point this morning i read that proponents of panpsychism are not claiming that a rock has consciousness, but that its fundamental constituent parts do, does this make sense?, is it the same problem as with emergence but in reverse?, (i am not convinced emergence isn’t a correct way to look at things), if constituent parts have “mind” would the would need to have some form of mind?, isn’t there something there is to be a rock, which leads me to think about the rock on BI, how it has an attractive power to my perception, how we are both mass and consequently have an impact on one another, don’t we curve time-space around ourselves?, albeit in minuscule ways… i am excited to find Bertrand Russel is among recent progenitors of pansychism, have always like writings on philosophy, will have to look into Arthur Eddington, will eventually have to read Alfred North Whitehead, also the academic version of the book i am reading now, am i going down a rabbit hole?… crapped out on the debates last night, had too much alcohol, couldn’t stay awake, read about it this morning, Liz seems to have done well, Bernie too, apparently he wasn’t nicked very badly, Mike did not make a good showing, hoping Liz gets a bounce, she is my preferred candidate, speculation that Bernie has it sowed up… Bernie/Liz as a ticket?… H annoyed this morning, Fiona woke her up barking at the cat… lost my fitness tracker, don’t really need it except for clock alarm function on wrist…

February 19, 2020

223.8 lbs

… feeling blue again, a little frustrated i haven’t found a new routine, i suppose it will evolve as it needs to, meantime, things feel a little broken… Rachel Maddow made a big thing of the perversion of the Justice Department, painting scary what ifs, then had a guest who didn’t really support the worst case scenarios she was painting, disappointing… thinking about skipping writers group tonight, thinking i should not… frustration, try to have a look at photo for twice told, thinking i might take a crack at starting to write the story i will write, app/service passwords get in my way, the problem with an internet filled with criminals, unique and impossible to remember passwords the norm… it will have to wait, photograph is of a person in water from behind, is the start or the end of something, a moment in the slipstream of time… purchased and downloaded Galileo’s Error, general audience book explaining and arguing for pansychism, i have been through a chapter on Dualism and starting the chapter on materialism (physicalism)… Dualism the idea that mind is separate, other, not an aspect of the material universe, possibly something fundamental itself, but separate, not to be considered along with material, matter, as part of those… don’t view Dualism as viable… materialism (physicalism) the idea that all is based in the material aspects of the cosmos, that perception, experience, is an illusion (in more extreme interpretations), this the more likely alternative to pansychism, in answer to pansychism my question is why consciousness, self awareness, can’t emerge from the material universe as the result of increasingly complex organization of matter?, haven’t seen an adequate answer to this question… Alfred North Whitehead, Process and Reality, comes to the front as i open my browser to view the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy…

There are of course cases in which one property arises from another, e.g., liquid arises from individual molecules each of which is not itself liquid. However, in all such cases, Strawson argues, the emergence is perfectly intelligible:

Galileo’s Error, Philip Goff

We can easily make intuitive sense of the idea that certain sorts of molecules are so constituted that they don’t bind together in a tight lattice but slide past or off each other (in accordance with van de Waals molecular interaction laws) in a way that gives rise to—is—the phenomenon of liquidity. So too, with Bénard convection cells we can easily make sense of the idea that physical laws relating to surface tension, viscosity, and other forces governing the motion of molecules give rise to hexagonal patterns on the surface of a fluid like oil when it is heated. In both these cases we move in a small set of conceptually homogeneous shape-size-mass-charge-number-position-motion-involving physics notions with no sense of puzzlement…. Using the notion of reduction in a familiar loose way, we can say that the phenomena of liquidity reduce without remainder to shape-size-mass-charge-etc.

(Strawson 2006a: 18)

But it’s very hard to see how any set of conceptually homogeneous concepts could capture both the experiential (i.e., consciousness-involving) and the non-experiential (non-conscious-involving), and hence hard to see how the thesis that consciousness emerges from non-consciousness could be rendered intelligible.

Galileo’s Error, Philip Goff

… in other words, there are no identifiable preceding qualities that would give rise to consciousness as a progression from matter…

February 18, 2020

223.4 lbs

8:58 AM – Big Mouth Coffee Roasters

… feeling a little blue this morning… C called to see if i was ok, no email response, no FB posts, she was worried… ok walk, not too many photos… finished Beloved, harrowing novel that made me sad, made me cry a bit, i wonder how it is that there can be such brutality from people who should know better, want to do better, how hideous belief cannot be tamed more readily… someone on news this morning talking about how if we don’t act to rescue democracy now, and someone with authoritarian bent and smarter than DT gets in, we will loose our democracy, the threat at the moment is palpable, out of this i wind up thinking that Warren is most likely to push for the required reforms, the commentator saying that institutional norms are not enough to contain willful authoritarianism, we need stronger guardrails… he also talked about white patriarchy setting things up to rule for decades to come and increasingly multicultural population as a minority power over situation, i thought this a long time ago, not fond of the patriarchy myself…

February 17, 2020

223.0 lbs

8:25 AM – Ellas Bellas

… note from L, sorry to bother you, please choose, i write back saying i did choose but i guess it didn’t take… warm this morning, we haven’t had a winter, apparently the warmest winter on record, i believe that, it is spring like, it’s February… wondering about submitting, a variety of things i need to get on my calendar… a young family sits at the rectangular table across from me, wondering why they are here on Monday… children newly arrived, children soon to arrive, unusual for a Monday… tried Fiona in a downstairs crate, apparently she started complaining and a howl fest developed between her downstairs and Chas upstairs, trying different configurations of being able to get out the door in morning… J has walked in and is setting up at a table up front, she is not usually here on Mondays, everything seems changed up today… thought about walking up the mountain this morning, but opted for route past Bob’s Corner Store… coming down the home stretch on Beloved, each unfolding of the story worse than the last in terms of human suffering and horrible treatment, how do people come to behave the way they do, come to believe the way they do?… continue to think through the pansychism philosophy, the significant question, to me, to be answered, is why supporters of pansychism believe that mind cannot be seen as an emergence from the conditions of the cosmos, there were arguments made, but they didn’t stick with me, at present i see the ideas as another statement of God trying not to be inconsistent with science… reading in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, about pansychism, the issue seems to be that physicalists are unable to give a satisfying account of mind out of their theories… pansychism seems to lead to a more satisfying account, the question being, is it how things work, or are we waiting for discoveries that are physicalist in nature for a more satisfying explanation from that direction?…

February 16, 2020

225.0 lbs

8:35 AM – Big Mouth Coffee Roasters

… thinking about pansychism during my walk, about the way presentations of it are reminiscent of god belief systems, that it is based on a concept that is fundamentally unverifiable, in this case what the experience of another experiencing entity might be, this is fundamentally unknowable and consequently scientifically unverifiable, at least so far, unless the way in which it is verified is expecting one kind of thing when it is in fact another kind of thing… i think of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, i think the idea of quality, the quality of a thing, an act, an experience, why should the universe be interested in cheapness?, as well as quality, yet it is, through humanity… i read further in Beloved, pieces of the story continue to unfold, tragic circumstance upon tragic circumstance, i struggle to get my head around it, things that have sometimes been difficult in my life but never that difficult, i have never been enslaved… how do you wrap your mind around the historical experience of a people, Blacks, Jews, American Indians, when you have never experienced anything so horrible?… how is it that inhumanity is a possibility of the cosmos, certainly brutal things happen, but they happen to matter that we view as being in a neutral state, an unfeeling state, what happens when perception is added to the equation, does matter suffer?, do rocks suffer?, does this table on which i work, set my cup, have any perceptions about the way i use it?, does it have any opinions about my presence?, and sensations?, what is mind besides the apprehension of that which is not itself?, but what if all is itself?, mind rises like Narcissus in the still waters… i read up on the Greek Mythological character, and as i write i wonder what has sent me down that road, i read that excessive masturbation can be part of a narcissistic personality disorder, self being both lover and loved, come to think of it, psychology seems to be the study of qualities of mind and behavior, a science has been made of it?, but dealing with the subjective, not the objective?…

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