Theor-ethical: Is seeing believing?

On Objectivity, Climate change, Science and Ethics.

theoretical = “late 16th century (denoting a mental scheme of something to be done): via late Latin from Greek theōria ‘contemplation, speculation’, from theōros ‘spectator’.”

It would seem that the link between theory and practice is an intrinsic one, not so separated as we are prone to believe. Is the doing different from what needs to be done?

“The immature think that knowledge and action are different, but the wise see them as the same. The person who is established in one path will attain the rewards of both.” Gita

The belief that technological advances will save us from climate change could be true. But it is exactly that, a belief in a future miracle. I am here referring to geo-engineering and business-as-usual politics. Not seemingly wonderful things like this:

The nature and appearance of the miracle remain unclear, much as human nature itself remains mysterious.

 

Some scientists attempt to stand outside the world science explains. They look for an objective footing from which to make claims about reality. This footing is yet to be found. Firmly grounded in reality science fulfills its function as a tool to grasp this reality, to dig and build in the earth it is grounded in.

If science were to stand outside the world, than what would it explain? The power of a scientific theory lies in it predictive power. So perhaps science predicts this miraculous future that we are waiting for?

 

As of yet, the future is unknown. All we have to base our predictions on is the Now. How the past is presented to us in the now. It appears that our perception of the past in the Now (or as I like to call it, the future past) has a profound influence on our predictions for the future.

 

Since science is based on the observation of facts, how we observe these ‘facts’ will have a great influence on the models we build for predicting the future. Which time span do we observe? Which premises do we use? Which relations do we take into consideration? Which instances do we find worthy of study? We have a limited focus and limited resources to expend. From which precipice do we launch our inductive and deductive processes?

Do we view nature as an organism? Do we question our social system?

 

Are the poor, poor by their own fault? Or as a structural effect of human relations? Or both?

Are humans inherently good, or bad? Neither? Both?

What makes me happy? Can I reach happiness? Is that important?

All these questions and more serve to shake the apparent objectivity of science to the core.

We haven’t even dealt with such things as solipsism.

 

Objective, comes from the latin for thing presented to the mind. Can we truly say the future is presented to the mind? Is it not always the now, the everything, we are looking at? Yes, we experience time passing, and with some certainty expect it continue flowing, but hasn’t science taught us that time and space are aspects of the same dimension?

The current climatological crisis is caused in part by the same scientific mindset, people expect to combat it. Without science no industrial revolution, without industrial revolution no climate change. Adherents of science-as-religion, might have us believe, that this was an earlier version of science, and that the beauty of science is, that it lets us change our beliefs and adapt it to the new situation. Which is true, so far so good.

Except that even the scientists without belief, who value methodology over theory, who love lady Gaia, might be conscripted into this whirlwind of techno-relief. First-aid dogma fix. The storms are upon us.

Are we really changing our beliefs when we respond to climate change with planet-wide technological solutions, but  not changing societal or even consumption or emission patterns? Or are we merely adopting old behaviour to new circumstances? Again nothing necessarily wrong with that. Besides that, if we fail to see that science serves a purpose within a system. This system will fuck us with no lube, stuffing oil-bank-bailouts through our acidified teeth, while screaming go billy!!! and riding us like a goat. Whose entitled now bitch?!

What science attempts, is to show us the nature of relationships between observable phenonomen. Now we can change our concepts and measuring instruments, to come up with new phenomenon to measure. But how we choose to employ the knowledge gained through science or how we develop new concepts, is not debated so much. It should be.

If science remains directed towards the future, it is in fact creating this future. Especially so long as we allow its claim to objective truth to trump other claims to truth. Most scientists, indeed most of us will not live the future in its entirety, most of our offspring will. That most of us are not deciding what this future will look like, is decidedly scary.

 

The idea of either science, or scientists, being somehow objective would be laughable to me. Were it not that it has permeated our societal organization to a large extent. Our society is marshalled by the economic concerns of a limited class of people. So too are our scientific resources being marshalled to this purpose.

 

This does not mean there is an evil capitalist overseer, directing us towards an abysmal robotic hell, where humans are both the beef and the burger. On the contrary it is the mass of small incremental actions, of a system that tries to force us into a competition with each other, so that one need only act in his own best interests, to dig a grave for his fellow man. Filling the pockets of corporate execs. I am not a pessimist. On a daily basis, I experience heaps of joy, love and laughter. But I refuse to be treated like cattle, actually I would even prefer, if we didn’t treat cattle like cattle.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/dec/16/perpetual-denial-food-meat-production-environmental-devastation

 

To the adherents of futurist logic, I would like to ask, what is driving this headlong rush for the future. Is today not good enough? Are you aware that the knowledge, you hold in your heart and in your head, will shape the destiny of all those too come? What has the past taught us of human nature? Is it that Adam will always act benevolently? Or perhaps that given the chance, he will jump out of paradise for a taste of adventure? Or at least follow Eve, once she decides she wants to learn?

The move away from paradise is not pleasant, the constant quenching of a parched throat while chasing old parchment across the postmodern pavement.

 

A vellum for your thoughts.

Composing poems in the form of loving diction.

 

I suggest we join our feminist sisters, and other emancipatory brothers in their quest to embrace otherness, by showing each other the humanness of being other. In this way too, science can reach out to all lovers, not just to those, who powwow and kowtow to the greats, who decide to grant their ventures into space with time.

All research questions are valid, but what of those that refrain to question who gains, what is gain and what will increase suffering in the main?

Unforetold riches might ensue, even fame, but glory in tatters, as the told story will become that of braindead matter, intellectual ruminants, or corporate leeches, I beseech thee, quest for the holy grail, but seek not if not everywhere, the truth behind the veil.

 

Welcome change into your heart, give love a headstart, chase it daringly across the divide, at least once a day, look a lover in the eye.

 

So what might all this mean for development

to keep it brief:

-enacting social change

-demanding new institutions

-Restitution

-Information sharing

-Open borders

-Green technology transfers

http://globaljusticeecology.org/false-solutions-to-climate-change/

Sinterclause (living update)

Loneliness starting to fade away, as friendships grow, which are maybe more lasting than those found at the bottom of a pint glass. Grades are coming back with merit, room for improvement but satisfying.

http://www.vpro.nl/programmas/2doc/zwart-als-roet.html

Inmiddels it is sinterklaas in Holland, yes, gotta use one dutch word in there, on account of being a bit homesick, missing the motherland, especially on this special day (shout out to my special friend, u know who u are hopefully),  where we commemorate 150 years of slavery ending 150 years ago, by finally recognizing that blackface is ridiculously racist. Sorry, but nowadays everything is political (at least I’m in on the fact that it is), the upturn is that also laughter, love or any other act of kindness or spontaneous being is also political. Luckily not everything is problematic.

http://www.mcgilldaily.com/2014/11/everything-problematic/
As I found out after struggling the whole day, over being scared to check my budget, because of what that might imply to my future, and over compensating by checking my mail every 5 minutes, to see, if the prospect of a job would come to liberate me.

The moment, I got over myself, and starting acting, I don’t want to use the word adult or even mature, because that implies too much lack of enjoyment. I think just started acting covers it.

The moment, literally the specific moment, I typed the word problem in a mail to my parents, the phone rang with the solution. Ion Balanescu, 92 year old professor, and author of a nine volume book intended to cause world peace, has picked me, to help him overcome his visual impairment by having him dictate the synthesis of the nine volumes into one introductory one.

The 9 volumes cover everything from anthropology to astrophysics and feminism. Ion is about as bright as me (26) with his 92, a walking library, former researcher on mind and consciousness. Some of his main ideas resonate with mine, and even extend into my possible dissertation topic. Will come through these pages. His sons, professor painter and composer violinist respectively, one of which I met, seem to be very talented (and the one I met very nice) as well.

This was supposed to be a personal update, but like I said, everything is political nowadays. And it has been for ages. Is the state not a died-out version of royal kingship, and aren’t corporations the new kings?

Where does that leave us serfs, knights and jesters? To the serf, I would ask: Is your function to produce, or does your being precede function? Of the knight: Watch out, which righteous steed you climb upon!

Oh Jester http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/top-five-filmmaker-chris-rock-753223, I never fare well when addressing thee, for my simple thoughts, are naught, compared to your infinite wit, indeed you could be the ruler of tomorrow if you so please, if you could let wisdom seethe.

I could point to other fantastic instances of simultaneous energies expanding to touch, and to more lonely nights, on which I would and will be happy to find a warm body against me again. But as I had planned my next piece to be on connection, after my last being about boundaries, it seems the words above are vindicated by the below which flowed out previously.
So the syncretic serendipitous synchronic evolution seems to occur, until the next cosmic blizzard blasts it out of us, so until then stand tall and enjoy!

Cherish your pain, cherish your love! Try to feel blessed, as most of you are. I know I am.

So until we have a living world, where every life carries equal worth in the eyes of the living, lets keep flowing forward and in that motion realizing, that whichever way we are turning, the earth is spinning, there is no time, except in our minds. And we stand on the shoulders of all and everything that ever will be or have been:

Sometimes to the point, that our feet digging into their shoulders are grinding those beneath us into dust, even as we are too busy lapping up the shit of those above us as godly truth.

“On My Deathbed”

我想再看一眼大海,目睹我半生的泪水有多汪洋

I want to take another look at the ocean, behold the vastness of tears from half a lifetime

我想再爬一爬高高的山头,试着把丢失的灵魂喊回来

I want to climb another mountain, try to call back the soul that I’ve lost

我还想摸一摸天空,碰一碰那抹轻轻的蓝

I want to touch the sky, feel that blueness so light

可是这些我都办不到了,我就要离开这个世界了

But I can’t do any of this, so I’m leaving this world

所有听说过我的人们啊

Everyone who’s heard of me

不必为我的离开感到惊讶

Shouldn’t be surprised at my leaving

更不必叹息,或者悲伤

Even less should you sigh or grieve

我来时很好,去时,也很好

I was fine when I came, and fine when I left.

— Xu Lizhi, 30 September 2014

https://libcom.org/blog/xulizhi-foxconn-suicide-poetry


It’s not like we haven’t heard of those Foxconn workers by now have we? Or that half of us don’t venerate Steve Jobbs like a god. Maybe he is, I don’t want to judge a man whose accomplishments outweigh my own. But direct some attention to this other great talent, that left our midst.