An edgy essay by U
Preface: Please allow me the conceit, for the sake of amusement, or in case I have nothing of relevance or importance to say, of putting my thoughts into the form of the Tractatus.
1 The Universe is not infinite, but it may as well be.
1.1 The Universe, despite its name, may not even be single, or alone.
1.11 Our understanding of the Universe is not limited by reality.
1.12 The Universe and its close relations may feel a sense of embarrassment when we correctly guess the nature of things beyond our understanding.
1.13 Things beyond our understanding are irrational and therefore of no consequence to the Universe, or to us.
1.2 The Universe may as well exist, for if it did not, we would have difficulty expressing why it did not.
1.21 Everything in the universe is made of stuff, except the stuff that isn’t.
2 When it comes down to human affairs, we speak in the continuous present, which substantively for each of us is a personal timeline.
2.01 Our combined knowledge is the product of encounters between these personal timelines.
2.011 This knowledge unfortunately does not wholly or even significantly influence our experience.
2.012 Our experience is pretty much the shit that has happened to us.
2.0121 It is ironic that we refer to shit happening to us as “us happening” if not quite in those words.
2.0122 We don’t happen.
2.0123 We exist, or we don’t, however in the case of the latter the distinction is moot.
2.01231 Every problem has a solution. The unfortunate aspect of existence is that not everything is a problem.
2.0124 The problem of non-problems gets bit tricky.
2.013 Most of the shit that happens is fairly predictable, if not for the one it is happening to, then for someone else.
2.0131 If only they cared.
2.014 If shit can happen it will happen, but not necessarily often.
2.0141 Most shit happens a lot, some shit almost never happens at all.
2.02 The shit and its likelihood of happening can be described as a bell curve.
2.0201 The bell curve doesn’t happen, it is just a way of visualising the relative possibilities of things happening.
2.021 The bell curve is not a prediction, it is a chart of what shit has happened.
2.0211 The bell curve does not describe what shit happened, but it may be some consolation and allow us to move on.
2.0212 On the other hand it might really shit us off that shit happened the way it did.
2.022 Each bell curve’s data are discrete, but not discreet.
2.023 If the bell curve includes shit that happened to you, and you don’t like it, tough shit.
2.0231 Shit that has happened doesn’t unhappen.
2.0232 Shit that has happened mostly appears to influence shit that might happen.
2.0233 Shit happens for a reason but usually this is not perceived.
2.02331 In human affairs, reasons why shit happened often occur to people but the reasons they deduce are almost always wrong.
2.024 Human affairs would be less annoying if people were able to deduce the correct reasons for the shit that happened.
2.025 Often people think they have a reason for doing things.
2.0251 They may be mistaken about these reasons, and usually are, which is why the road to hell is said to be paved with good intentions.
2.026 In fact every road in every direction is paved with good intentions.
2.027 People sometimes don’t agree that the intentions of others are good.
2.0271 If someone’s good intentions hurt you, you are not going to enjoy it.
2.0272 Fairness is often a casualty of power.
2.03 Power is more or less a mixture of force and agreement.
2.031 Power as a result of agreement is hard to overcome.
2.032 Power is wielded according to self interest.
2.033 Self interest can be complicated.
2.034 The complications of self interest are usually beyond everyone’s understanding, which doesn’t matter much unless you have power and then it does.
2.04 The exercise of power is not much influenced by ethics, but that’s all we’ve got.
2.05 Ethics is kinda useless if it is based in misunderstandings.
2.06 Misunderstandings are the rule, not the exception.
2.061 It may be possible to contribute to better understandings.
2.062 In fact, it is more than possible, it is inevitable, based on the principle that shit happens. But it may not happen much.
2.063 Shit that happens represents a tension between contradictory forces.
2.1 Broadly speaking, I agree that people should think philosophically for themselves. However I contest that people think at all, let alone philosophically.
2.12 I mean this not theoretically but pragmatically.
2.13 Encouraging people to think usually doesn’t lead to better understandings, but it should.
2.131 Thinking often makes things worse because it is not thinking. It is rationalised self interest.
2.14 Most brains would break if they realised this and took it to heart.
2.141 I agree the self is not brain bound. I have deduced this by observing chooks.
2.15 People are in fact chooks without feathers.
2.151 Chooks as a life form are not very much advanced from the life form we know as the paramecium, but are much closer to us.
2.1511 Chooks are so close to us we might infer they are smart.
2.1512 This is a false inference. Humans are in fact far closer to chooks because humans are indistinguishable from chooks.
2.15121 The humans who can be distinguished from chooks are not appreciated when they point out to the others they are chooks without feathers.
2.1514 A surprisingly large number of these non-chooks exist. Or do they?
2.1515 The realisation of these non-chooks (that they have been deluding themselves) is as rare as hens’ teeth, in other words, non-existent.
2.16 In fact, there are no non-chooks, there are only chooks struggling with their chookness, often failing miserably to have any impact on their base chookness because they fail to understand they are chooks.
2.161 Non-chook tendencies are not necessarily better than chook tendencies because they are all, at heart, the same.
2.17 Epiphanies are what happen when you drink too much.
2.171 When you drink too much you feel better than you ought to.
2.172 When you feel good, you begin to believe you deserve to feel good.
2.173 You may be right.
2.174 But you may be wrong.
2.18 Michelle Maiese may be on to something with the embodied self. I arrived at the same conclusions by observing chooks.
2.181 Not all chooks who appear to have significant disruptions to self consciousness actually do, some are just different.
2.182 Identity is a bell curve.
2.19 If it’s not useful now that doesn’t mean it will never be. Outliers, when circumstances change to favour their remotely occurring but manifest properties, become the norm, in the sense of the bulge in the bell curve.
2.2 Creativity is often mistaken for psychopathy.
2.201 Creativity is sometimes a case of shit happening down the skinny end of the bell curve.
2.202 However just because it’s creative doesn’t mean it’s good.
2.203 The reason creativity is sometimes feared is just because. And there are reasons too.
2.22 Schizophrenia and dissociative identity disorder might have some manifest or latent benefits but not necessarily benefits that are obvious and understandable.
2.221 Polio is not considered beneficial unless you are a Polio virus.
2.222 People are not polio viruses, because they are chooks.
2.223 False is false, surely we can all agree with that.
2.224 True is false, obviously.
2.225 False truths might be better than false falsehoods, but we don’t know yet.
3 A thought is not a thought unless it is a meta-thought.
3.001 A metathought is at least one remove from chookness.
3.01 Metathoughts are better than chookness for everyone except chooks, or so they believe.
3.02 Belief is the problem.
3.031 It’s really bad.
3.032 You can rely on your belief, in the broadest possible world, about what is real, reliable, good, bad, fair, honest, evil and so on, but you would be making a big mistake.
3.0321 The first remove of chookness is abandoning belief.
3.04 Abandoning belief is not impractical. It’s what we call thinking.
3.05 Thinking is rare.
3.1 Really, really, rare.
3.11 Thinking is more than transcending chookness, it is the ability to trick other people honestly.
3.12 It doesn’t involve belief.
3.13 Instead of belief, it utilises thought.
3.14 Thought is not helpful if you just died of smallpox. .
3.141 Chooks don’t get smallpox.
3.142 They get chicken pox.
3.143 Frege was questionable, so he changed his name.
3.1431 We use language to discuss things.
3.1432 Sometimes we use it for other ends.
3.144 Discussing things would work wonders if what people believed was really the truth because they would have no disagreement.
3.2 What people believe is never the truth.
3.201 Because it is belief, which would be synchronous with truth only by a miracle.
3.202 The intersection of truth and belief is a bell curve.
3.203 Therefore synchronicity of truth and belief is possible, based on the understanding that shit happens.
3.21 Snowflakes do really well in hell, but not often.
3.221 Hell is one day going to freeze over, but it hasn’t yet.
3.23 Truth and belief may be synchronous, but if so, it’s going to be waaaaaaay down the skinny end.
3.24 Let’s forget about truth for a minute and consider hypotheses and the role of substantiation.
3.25 You say, this is true.
3.261 I say where’s the evidence?
3.262 You say, it stands to reason.
3.263 I say where’s the evidence?
3.317 You say, this is going nowhere.
3.318 I say is it funny?
3.32 You say, not particularly.
3.321 I say, then what’s the good of it.
3.322 Funny is not amusement at others’ misfortune.
3.323 Funny is not feeling lucky it didn’t happen to me.
3.324 Funny is not a cream pie.
3.325 Funny is not an attack on the “others”.
3.326 Funny is not something of advantage to your tribe or sneering at the outsiders.
3.327 Funny is thought.
3.328 Funny is A ha!
3.33 Funny is funny.
3.331 Chooks are funny, in a gentle sort of way.
3.332 They might not actually be properly funny, but they are amusing.
3.333 They are amusing because we are chooks too.
3.334 Nothing goes without saying.
3.34 This is the same as: where’s the evidence?
3.341 There is nothing essential in a proposition. There just isn’t.
3.3411 Utility is the same as shit happens but just about the how.
3.342 If it’s wrong it must be right.
3.3421 This is the same as: if it’s right it must be wrong.
3.343 That’s because there is no must.
3.344 Must is belief.
3.3441 And I say: where’s the evidence?
3.3442 Of course there isn’t any, or at least not enough, and certainly not the result of a repeatable experiment.
3.4 Science is not exact.
3.411 At least we can agree on something.
3.42 Science is more likely.
3.5 More likely than what?
4 A thought is not an impossibility for a chook.
4.001 It’s just rather rare.
4.022 People are chooks without feathers.
4.023 People are people too.
4.01 And so are chooks.
4.011 A circular argument can get very heated.
4.012 If you’re right I must be wrong.
4.013 But there is no must.
4.014 Therefore I may be right.
4.0141 In which case you might be wrong.
4.015 If you insist on must you must be wrong.
4.016 It’s your choice.
4.02 CU was a total careening catastrophe.
4.021 Unfortunately the bell curve is not that skinny in the region of this happening.
4.022 I am not convinced fear was the prime motivator.
4.023 The CU catastrophe was more than fear.
4.024 It was a cabal of cascading evil.
4.025 A coverup is worse than the crime.
4.1 If bullets are flying around, someone is going to get hit.
5 A ha! is an expression of delight.
5.01 Aha! is not an epiphany. It doesn’t necessarily involve drinking too much, or even drinking just enough.
5.02 When I see single symbols in brackets I reach for my revolver.
6 There is no justice when those wielding power and protecting their power make up the rules to suit themselves.
6.1 On the other hand the defence of the polyamorous is a tad ingenuous.
6.2 You can step in the same river twice.
6.3 Induction is a fetching method.
6.4 All propositions are not of equal value.
6.5 When the answer cannot be put into words it’s because you haven’t thought about it enough.
7 Whereof we cannot speak is an invitation to cherish.
APP Editors’ Note:
U is a non-academic philosopher, scientist, and 21st letter of the alphabet.
AGAINST PROFESSIONAL PHILOSOPHY REDUX 148
Mr Nemo, W, X, Y, & Z, Friday 6 July 2019
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