Monday, June 6, 2016

Just cause you feel it doesn't mean it's there

Not sure what that lyric means, particularly in this context. But it's an interesting sort of cultural/political divide between the empathetic and the non. On the one hand are the people who think that there emotions basically signal objective reality -- Truth, capital T about the world. On the other side of the perspective, people who think that there is no truth or non-subjective value to emotions.

Martha Nussbaum writes about the potential reasoning value of emotions:

If emotions are suffused with intelligence and discernment, and if they contain in themselves an awareness of value or importance, they cannot, for example, easily be sidelined in accounts of ethical judgment, as so often they have been in the history of philosophy. Instead of viewing morality as a system of principles to be grasped by the detached intellect, and emotions as motivations that either support or subvert our choice to act according to principle, we will have to consider emotions as part and parcel of the system of ethical reasoning. We cannot plausibly omit them, once we acknowledge that emotions include in their content judgments that can be true or false, and good or bad guides to ethical choice. We will have to grapple with the messy material of grief and love, anger and fear, and the role these tumultuous experiences play in thought about the good and the just.


Emotions are not just the fuel that powers the psychological mechanism of a reasoning creature, they are parts, highly complex and messy parts, of this creature’s reasoning itself.

Yes, that sounds right, highly complex and messy parts.

And also, even if they are aspects of our reasoning, that doesn't mean they're not problematic. E.g.:

In the very nature of our early object relations … there lurks a morally subversive combination of love and resentment, which springs directly from the thought that we need others to survive and flourish, but do not at all control their movements. If love is in this way always, or even commonly, mixed up with hatred, then, once again, this might offer us some reasons not to trust to the emotions at all in the moral life, but rather to the more impersonal guidance of rules of duty.


  1. FIRST!!!



  2. M.E.-


    It must be my LUCKY DAY!!!

    I feel spoiled.:)

    I love "Radiohead"!!!

    Creep, Karma Police, Fake Plastic Trees, etc.-I haven't heard this song before, but I like it!!!



  3. Writing is important. What we are going to write is not a matter, how we are representing it is the the relevant one. One incident can review 20 types by 20 people. That is the difference.

  4. Interesting post, ME.

    While I agree it's essential to consider feelings as part of our choice processes, I argue Martha hasn't gone far enough in recognising them.

    Marketers know we don't make choices rationally. Leaders and org psych specialists also know this. It's endlessly surprising that ethicists continue along such lines as these:

    "once we acknowledge that emotions include in their content judgments that can be true or false, and good or bad guides to ethical choice."

    This starts with the idea of absolutes, an objective reality, objective ethics.

    People's accounts of any particular event vary in richness and focus, not to mention narrative. Now put them in a room in then have them decide on a question of morality: once analysed, you'll likely get some sort of probability distribution around a mean that represents the current social norm.

    This is for good reason: in Martha's words, because "we need others to survive and flourish." I.e. we are social creatures driven to normalise.

    Satoshi Kanazawa wrote that emotions are evolution's gift for navigating social situations. He also wrote that science tells us what is, not what should be.

    I far prefer to embrace the idea that I am a whole creature, wonderfully equipped by evolution, as is evidenced by my independent adult existence. I'm a successful organism (as is everyone else here). I harness my emotions for all they are worth. Note I say harness, not surrender to.

    To live an authentic, self-powered life, we need only embrace who we are: fascinating, complex organisms at the bleeding edge of evolution. We are the latest set of trials. Make the most if it!!

    Not to trust the emotions and live by someone else's rules?? Marsha can stick that! Hell no. I trust my own being! And just my luck, being neurotypical, I'm quite inclined to contribute and to care. Yet there is always the tension Marshall refers to between individual and society, which she (crassly, I think) defines as a tussle between love and hate. It's outdated thinking based on received models of understanding.

    Start with the data not the model, baby.

    Btw, I kinda recommend Kanazawa's book. It features some kernels of conceptual brilliance such as I've quoted, but overall I wasn't terribly impressed with his results. Still, kinda worth reading.

    1. Sociopaths have adequate navigational proxies for emotions. Survival is evidence enough of that.

    2. I read today that people who are colorblind have difficulty judging facial emotions because they can't see the blue and red in people's skin. Emotions can and do transcend language. But I believe even people who are blind or deaf can feel and sense emotions. It is something that radiates from the inside out. Sociopaths can't understand emotions and desperately need to rewrite the rules. They need to make them into something that can be measured and manufactured. Something that exists in black and white. That is their need. Not mine.

    3. An example of how practitioners are exploring the emotionality behind decisions to drive more effective process design and thereby competitive advantage:

      Unfortunately, traditional process design deals with only half of the customer experience, the rational side. We have known for some time that even when customers report being satisfied, they are often disloyal.

      The obvious implication is that if the thrust of your processes are too heavily focused on the rational engagement then you are leaving your
      business unprotected from the competitive threat posed by businesses which have begun to understand the need to address a customer’s emotional expectations.

      Process designers have attempted to move beyond traditional business process redesign (BPR) confines and move towards more holistic customer centric design via the development of end-to-end processing and journey mapping.

      This stuff is not at all cutting edge; it's well established and is a prominent paradigm. As I say, ethics is lagging well behind practical human sciences.

      This is also an interesting resource on behavioural analytics, which governments all around the world are using to influence outcomes: What is behavioural insights? [VIDEO 3:22]

      Behavioural insights draws on research into behavioural economics and psychology to influence choices in decision-making. By focusing on the social, cognitive and emotional behaviour of individuals and institutions it suggests that subtle changes to the way decisions are framed and conveyed can have big impacts on behaviour.

      Worth thinking about. Normalisation. Emotions aid us. Morality is a mechanism to normalise and reflects genetically and socially inherited taboos.

    4. Anon 7:37

      "something that radiates from the inside out."

      An anon here once wrote that love is positive energy. I really liked that idea. I believe you are correct: we can sense a person's intent through their energy, their radiation.

      'Not mine.'

      So important to make the distinction, and not only to make it but to embrace it.

      Sorry for dumping all that text before replying - I was at work and became excited to find this passage that resonated (ha) with my point :p

    5. About emotions:
      Studies have shown, that several paraplegic people have noticed a weaker feeling, they do not feel emotions as strong as they did before the accident. That also works the other way round: if people imitate smiling they naturally become happier. Beeing able to feel your body and his reactions, like the stronger heart beat when your angry, seems to be very important for emotions. So I'm not sure if they really come ( only) from the inside.

    6. North-

      "An anon here once wrote that love is positive energy."

      I wrote that I believe "love is positive energy".:) That may have been before NM wanted me to start using a name, and I became "Vegas".:)

      I'm not sure, if other Anons wrote something similar at some point, or not...


    7. Everything can be translated using equations. Everything can be formulated. Even emotions. But one must have an understanding of the factors involved. Without that you are guessing. Plugging things in to see what works. Its a miracle to get it correct. A fluke. Its not the real deal genuine article.

    8. North I understand what you mean about normalisation. I feel we all need to strive to realize the Value-no the pricelessness- of our personal emotions and intuitions . We have everything we need. Everytime we rewrite ourself it diminishes our ability to feel and know. And what is it for? To meet a medium for people who need rules because they don't have what we have. I feel it is a dangerous trend in society.

    9. This Trend might be dangerous, but it's the same which rules society since the ancient cultures. Different societies have different viewpoints, but the viewpoints inside this society are not very different. Already the greek philosophers said that most of the society is just dumbly following what ever they consider beeing normal, whether it makes sense or not.
      It might destroy us. But since it hasn't already it's may just something normal like the swarm effects for birds.

  5. Lest not compare two totally different things. Neither empaths nor sociopaths have a perfect reality, or a better one. People are just different. There's always pros and cons on each side. It's balance.

    1. So, we each have our own navigational equipment and particular sailing routes. There's little value saying 'the ports I visit are better than the ports they visit' or 'his compass is better than my compass, but my maps are better.'

      What is useful is to add richness to our own maps by seeing through others' eyes. We can learn navigational techniques from others who approach their journeys differently. We can learn to read the weather better. We can make the most of our own ship's capacities.

      Diversity affords the resilience of the human species.

  6. A sociopath can go to any place in the world, in any given time (past or present) and continue manipulating & deceiving. They may have to learn local customs, social norms, languages, etc. etc...but they won't have to relearn how to trigger a person's emotions. What triggers the emotions & how much may vary in different cultures but in the end it's exactly the same reaction.

    If that hint an objective basis for emotions, what will?

    1. If that *doesn't* hint...

    2. Just like fractals, results emerge from similar processes.

      Emotions don't, however, imply objective morality. A better understanding of how emotions shape behaviour is a far more useful key to understanding human sociality than denying them and instead hooking to an idea objective morality that relies on recursive appeals to authority for its basis.

    3. Interesting angle, but isn't the 'constant' simply the sociopath / non-sociopath relationship? A sociopath doesn't 'manipulate emotions', they manipulate a person by means of their emotion. Emotional expressions, signals, responses tell the sociopath how a given person can be manipulated at a given time, by telling them what that person wants or doesn't want at that time. Giving it to them 'triggers emotions', and not giving it to them 'triggers emotions'. The 'constants' are that emotional people are manipulable via their emotionality, and the sociopath's (or empath's) ability to read a person via their emotionality and work with what they read.

    4. @North Sorry - above comment posted in wrong place - intended for Jonaid, below. @Jonaid

    5. Anon 7:21 absolutely! This is a sociopaths secret weapon. This is the hook. This is using a nons nature against them. It is an equation that sociopaths have seen work in the past so they continue to use it.

  7. When you get the same "results" at all times in all places - regardless of all the social, cultural, economic, religious, political, historic, climatic, linguistic, geographic, ethnic differences - it's only logical to assume a single source, not the opposite. In fact, to assume otherwise would suggest an irrational or disingenuous (or likely both) mind.

    That in it of itself is not conclusive proof for objective morality. It is just one major proof.

    1. I can't be bothered debating with you. I've already explained my position too many times. You and I disagree.

    2. And speaking of universal phenomenon, a belief in evil spirits ("energy") is found in literally every single civilization ever known to exist, anywhere.

      So we have more than sufficient evidence to know that morality has an objective foundation. We have good reasons to believe that unseen (mostly) non-human intelligence exists.

      All the evidence points one way and none points the other way. At best, an "empiricist" can say it's insufficient for a conclusive verdict.

    3. What "result"? What "proof"? Congratulations! You've just figured out that humans have emotions! Clap clap clap clap!
      If we take your... ahem... "logic" (emotions = morality), then it logically follows that morality is subjective, not objective, as emotions are subjective.
      If emotions are subjective, then by your logic morality is subjective.

      And how are emotions subjective? Simple. Not everyone will feel the same way about something in particular, as it depends on the individual, his tastes,and so on, therefore it is subjective.
      One person may love a movie or a music genre while the other one hates it. One person may find it justified to lie to his friends, while somebody else abhors it. Think absolutely everyone will get angry/mad if they got something of theirs stolen? Think again!
      I could go on and on, but I don't think that's necessary.

      Once again, if, by your logic, emotions = morality, and emotions are subjective, then morality is also subjective.
      Please, leave the poor logic alone, what has it ever done to you for you to butcher it like this?

    4. @ Jonaid

      Interesting angle, but isn't the 'constant' simply the sociopath / non-sociopath relationship? A sociopath doesn't 'manipulate emotions', they manipulate a person by means of their emotion. Emotional expressions, signals, responses tell the sociopath how a given person can be manipulated at a given time, by telling them what that person wants or doesn't want at that time. Giving it to them 'triggers emotions', and not giving it to them 'triggers emotions'. The 'constants' are that emotional people are manipulable via their emotionality, and the sociopath's (or empath's) ability to read a person via their emotionality and work with what they read.

    5. Anon 7:26

      Your constant is just another way of looking at the same phenomenon. The socio / non-socio relationship is the same everywhere, at all times, because the common denominator - the "means" by which a socio manipulates - is identical: emotions.

      We all don't experience the same emotions always, or to the same degree, but we would if we were in an identical situation to someone else. Identical meaning 100% same. If you're someone who can turn them off, you're still going thru a certain emotional experience (an "apathetic" one perhaps). Anyone, anywhere who goes thru a similar experience will feel exactly the same "nothingness" you feel.

      The larger point was that our universally shared & identical emotional experiences prove that emotions stem from a single source, and thus suggest an objective Truth.

    6. "We all don't experience the same emotions always, or to the same degree, but we would if we were in an identical situation to someone else. Identical meaning 100% same."

      If we were actually the same person as them. Not otherwise. People side by side in the same situation don't. You know that! :)

    7. You dont understand what I mean by identical. Just because two people appear to be in the same situation on the outside doesn't mean they are. If all the external variables are the same (background, life experiences, current situation) AND their inner states are the same (their subjective understanding of the world, their ethics, their capacity to empathize, struggle, persist etc. etc.) then without doubt their emotional states will be identical in the identical situation they find themselves in.

      If you control for ALL the variables except emotions themselves, you'll realize that emotions are in essence exactly the same for every single individual, everywhere and at all times.

    8. In fact, I would argue, that even in Non-indentical situations people experience similar emotions when they find themselves in the same situation. A simple example:

      LGBT rights groups in USA are often some of the most vocal critics of "Islamophobia" in the country. The two groups (barring the obvious overlap) have nothing in common except that the former knows what it's like to be persecuted, feared and having to struggle for they empathize with anyone, no matter how ideologically different, going thru a similar experience.

    9. Gee. An alliance between the Islamofascists and the "progressive" left, who would cull free speech and undermine democracy so as to prop up false ideals and propagandic agendas, under a superficial veneer of moral (aka. self-) righteousness. What could they possibly share in common?~

      Empathy...? Or rather, sympathy for the devil? xD

      Yet underneath the facade of civility lurk all manner of unclean things - as epitomized by the hypocrisy of Muhammad, to whom birds of a feather will flock.

      "Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather." (Matt 24:28)

    10. Jonaid, if your theory were to be true, and every internal and external variables are accounted for, then why do identical twins develop teir own, different, distinctive personalities, which would automatically mean that they would have different emotional reactions?

      Or are you suggesting that, if you clone somebody, you would get the same person? Oooooh, now that's some inspiration! The clone would be the same as the original! Imagine that! Gee, great insight there, Einstein. You win the Nobel prize! Woo-hoo! Congratulations!

      Are you done here? Or can we expect some more "JonLogix" drivel/entertainment? Guess no, huh? Oh well.

    11. "Do you not see that We have sent the devils upon those who cover up (the truth), inciting them to [evil] with [constant] incitement?"

      "So be not impatient over them. We only count out to them a [limited] number."

      Qur'an 19: 83-84

    12. Riiight. So according to the Qu'ran, God sends devils to already dishonest people, so as to constantly incite them to do evil. I guess that is why Muhammad recanted those verses he admitted to uttering under the influence of Satan. He himself fits the Qu'ranic criteria you just posted. Makes perfect sense.

    13. "If only you could see when the guilty ones will bend low their heads before their Lord, (saying:) "Our Lord! We have seen and we have heard: Now then send us back (to the world): we will work righteousness: for we do indeed (now) believe."

      Qur'an 32:12

    14. "We only count out to them a [limited] "

      What did this bit mean, Jonaid?

    15. Here's another translation of the same verse (19:84):

      "So make no haste against them, for We but count out to them a (limited) number (of days)."

      It means that a real psycho & his genie friend (s) are given respite for a certain time period by God. They can play around, have fun, carry on with their deception & scheming...but when the time is up they're without hope. Within that time they can 1) repent and turn around, 2) carry on until they're guilty enough deserve what's in store for them.

      Ultimately God knows best.

      Good Night.

    16. What's the difference/relationship between 'psycho' and 'genie'? What's a 'genie'?

      thanks. night :)

    17. Your own prophet was a “real psycho” according to the standards of modern psychiatry: an intelligent, ambitious, entitled, violent, manipulative tyrant, with dark, aberrant sexual proclivities. (That he was one of my tribe doesn't earn him any brownie points with me. :P)

      He was alsowhat you claim to be the “true”, Qu’ranic definition of a “real” psychopath, for in uttering the "satanic verses" that he later recanted, whilst under the influence of what he called an evil spirit, Mohammed utterly disqualifies himself as anything but such a psycho- according the the Qu’ran’s own definition! How then, can this man be trusted to bear the Word of God?

      Juxtapose this with the fact that, as attested by the authentic hadith al-Bhukari, Muhammad died at the hands of a Jewish woman, because he failed to detect that she had poisoned him after he *slaughtered her entire family* (as any person with half a brain might suspect, let alone a prophet), in precisely the way the Qu’ran reserves for false prophets (he felt as though his “aorta was being severed”)- and the irony cannot be lost upon you. Can it?

      And yet, somehow- as is the case with billions of other sheep- it is.

      What you believe is a lie, crafted by a shrewd man, employed as a means to conquer land, extort wealth, and manipulate and control a people.

      And what that amounts to, Joanie, is you getting duped by yet another psychopath.

      It does appear to be somewhat of a pattern, for you, doesn’t it? :)

      The question is: will you “repent and turn around”, or remain pridefully oblivious, until you get what’s coming to you as one who is already “guilty enough to deserve what’s in store for him”- just like the rest of us- because you are deceived into rejecting the only one who has the power to actually save you, through faith in him?

      The Qu’ran is replete with contradictions, and Muhammad was a wicked, violent man. Correspondingly, Shariah is oppressive, cruel and intolerant of those under her yolk. We will know a tree by the fruit it bears.

      “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter” (Isa 5:20)

    18. Anon 10:29

      The Jinn are one of 3 sapient creatures known to exist (the others being humans and angels). Like humans, and unlike angels, they have free will. According to the Quran they're made from a "smokeless fire" which we can translate to "energy" using modern terminology. Satan is a Jinn and so are his legions of devils. Not all Jinn are evil only the devils (and their human allies) are. Their primary sin is pride & envy. They are envious of humans because we have higher intellectual capacity from them and we're honored above them.

      They constantly seek out and find puppets among people who they prop up and use to sow corruption, deception and evil in the world. The stupidest (but most arrogant & delusional) among the people flock to them because the exchange benefits both in the short run. The human gets favors from them and the Jinn, in exchange, demands devotion & (eventually worship) which satiates their own insecurity. It also serves their primary goal: to ensure a soul's destruction. They ultimately have no power over people except to incite...once you give in, they have more access.

      Phenomenon such sleep paralysis, schizophrenia, multiple personality disorder are clearly attributable to such Jinns. Ghosts, visions of dead people, magicians with seemingly "real" magic etc. are Jinn tricks.

    19. A-

      Well said-I completely agree!!!

      I love that verse.:)


    20. The Satanic verses, which praise three contemporaneous deities:

      By the Star when it sets, your comrade does not err, nor is he deceived; nor does he speak out of (his own) desire..."

      and when he came to the words:

      Have you thought upon al-Lat and al-Uzza and Manat, the third, the other?

      Satan cast on his tongue, because of his inner debates and what he desired to bring to his people, the words:

      "These are the high flying cranes; verily their intercession is accepted with approval.

      What does the OT say about how such false prophets were to be regarded:

      "If prophets or those who divine by dreams appear among you and promise you omens or portents, and the omens or the portents declared by them take place, and they say, "Let us follow other gods" (whom you have not known) "and let us serve them," you must not heed the words of those prophets or those who divine by dreams; for the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you indeed love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul." (Deut. 13:1-3)

      "Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world." (John 4:1)

      "These people are false apostles. They are deceitful workers who disguise themselves as apostles of Christ. But I am not surprised! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no wonder that his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. In the end they will get the punishment their wicked deeds deserve. (Cor. 11: 13-15)

      (Hear that? Satan can disguise himself as an angel of light. It was precisely such an angel who gave those "revelations" to Muhammad. He used to go into *convulsions* when he would utter verses, in the bed of his child bride, whom he would have sexual relations with.)

      "And who is a liar? Anyone who says that Jesus is not the Christ. Anyone who denies the Father and the Son is an antichrist." (1 John 2:22)

      According to the Bible, which you claim does not contradict the Qu'ran, Muhammad was a false prophet, and an antichrist.

    21. Jonaid 1.22

      What's their form? Do they appear like humans?

      thanks :)

    22. "they're made from a "smokeless fire" "

      What are humans and angels made from?

      Is Satan a 'fallen angel' in the Quran also?

    23. And what do the good jinn get up to?

      thank you :)

    24. Anon 2:22, 2:25, 2:30

      Humans have minimal knowledge about them. With that in mind:

      Since they're made from energy, they don't have a single form. They can take multiple forms and, it is said, they can appear as physical entities as well (human or animal...which fits perfectly with the "incubus" that visits some folks at night).

      Angels are made from light but since they too are unseen by the human eye it must be from the part of the spectrum which is not visible to humans.

      Satan is fallen but not a fallen angel because he is a Jinn. He was one of the most honored Jinns prior to his fall that's why he was in the company of the angels who were commanded to bow to Adam. Angels do not have free will and always obey God so they did. Satan refused out of pride and then asked God for respite until Judgment Day which He was granted. He then caused Adam & Eve to "slip" (that's the word used in the Qur'an) and make a mistake. The key difference between Adam & Eve and Satan was that they admitted their mistake, asked God for forgiveness, and He forgave them. Satan, however, blamed God for his own disobedience and then swore to destroy human souls to avenge his own wounded pride. He and his followers are promised hell when the matter is all over.

      As for "what do the jinn get up to?":

      Again, we have minimal knowledge up about them but it is said that they (the non-devils) live ordinary lives just like humans. They have families, communities, commerce, religions, civilizations etc. etc. They don't mingle with people and are not bound to the Earth as humans are.

    25. Here's one of the more detailed accounts from the Qur'an about Satan (his original name used here is Iblis) and Adam and Eve.

      In the name of God, The Compassionate, The Merciful:

      "And We created you, then fashioned you, then told the angels: Fall ye prostrate before Adam! And they fell prostrate, all save Iblis, who was not of those who make prostration.

      (God) said: What hindered you that you did not fall prostrate when I commanded you? (Iblis) said: I am better than him. You created me of fire while him You created from mud.

      (God) said: Then go down hence! It is not for you to show pride here, so go forth! Surely you are of those degraded.

      (Iblis) said: Reprieve me till the day when they are raised (from the dead).

      (God) said: Surely you are of those reprieved.

      (Iblis) said: Now, because You have sent me astray, verily I shall lurk in ambush for them on Your Right Path.

      Then will I assault them from before them and behind them, from their right and their left: Nor wilt You find, in most of them, gratitude.

      (God) said: Go forth from hence, degraded, banished. As for such of them as follow you, surely I will fill hell with all of you.

      And (unto man): O Adam! Dwell you and your wife in the Garden and eat from wherever ye will, but come not near this tree lest ye become wrong-doers.

      Then Satan whispered to them that he might manifest unto them that which was hidden from them of their shame, and he said: Your Lord forbade you from this tree only lest ye should become angels or become of the immortals.

      And he swore to them both: Most surely I am a sincere adviser to you.

      Thus did he lead them on with guile. And when they tasted of the tree their shame was manifest to them and they began to hide (by heaping) on themselves some of the leaves of the Garden. And their Lord called them, (saying): Did I not forbid you from that tree and tell you: Satan is, without doubt, an open enemy to you?

      They said: Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If You forgive us not and have not mercy on us, surely we are of the lost!

      (God) said: Go down (from hence), one of you a foe unto the other. There will be for you on earth a habitation and provision for a while.

      (God) said: There shall ye live, and there shall ye die, and from it shall ye be brought forth.

      O Children of Adam! We have revealed unto you raiment to conceal your shame, and splendid vesture, but the raiment of restraint from evil, that is best. This is of the revelations of God, that they may remember.

      O Children of Adam! Let not Satan seduce you as he caused your (first) parents to go forth from the Garden and tore off from them their robe (of innocence) that he might manifest their shame to them. Surely he sees you, he and his tribe, from where ye see him not. Lo! We have made the devils protecting friends for those who believe not."

      Qur'an 7: 11-27

    26. @ Jonaid

      Thank you for replying and posting all that. I've always enjoyed Persian tales so was familiar with jinn but without any of the background. I do remember in one collection their being referred to as 'The Race of The Enchanters' which I thought rather beautiful and captured my imagination. Thanks again :)

    27. You're welcome. There's a lot of myths and stories about them. The most famous is probably Aladdin and the genie. The reality is something else.

      Take care.

  8. Far as I can tell, the only "truth" emotions reveal is the subjective state of my own being. However, and to the contrary, I do think my feelings for the suffering and/or joy of others does stoke insights into the diversity of the human condition. As well, I believe that emotions, both good and bad, spark a deeper appreciation of the strange and terrible beauty innate to all living beings, in particular those beings whom I find baffling or even repellent. Oddly, although I feel the emotions of others very deeply, I am not at all attached to my own, as I view my emotions as nothing more than passing weather. Useful for experiencing/perceiving the beauty of the world and for art-making, for touching and being touched, but certainly not the most important tool in my quest for transmortality. I value my sensual intuition above everything else.

    A while back North wrote about dissonance being equal to being unpredictable versus resonance being equal to predictability. Resonance phenomena in physics is quite fascinating: When the opera singer's voice matches the frequency of the glass, it shatters. Dissonance is actually required to keep structures like the Tacoma Narrows Bridge from collapsing. (The Tacoma Narrows bridge collapsed due to resonance phenomena.) So, when two objects are in resonance, the opera singer's voice and the wine glass, one object predictably breaks. Don't know if that helps with North's speculations, but I figured it can't hurt.

    Mr. Hyde

    1. It's lovely to read you again, Mr Hyde. The delicacy of your writing always gives me pause; your graceful and careful phrasing opens my heart and makes me feel hamfisted in comparison. Your clarity smiles from the screen.

      Resonance and dissonance | pattern and anti-pattern

      Yin and Yang

      Sojourns in any direction have their pleasures: some familiar, some unexpected. I wonder what happens when we take each experience as it comes, without dragging all of our past into the moment, without plotting our futures as hinging on it?

      It really is lovely to see you again.

    2. Mr. Hyde-

      Are you an artist???


    3. @North
      "I wonder what happens when we take each experience as it comes, without dragging all of our past into the moment, without plotting our futures as hinging on it?"


    4. @ Vegas,

      I believe everyone is an artist -- becoming an aware human being may be the greatest art of all.

      But, yes, technically I am an aspiring writer. I used to play guitar and compose songs, but no more, as I never attained proficiency on the guitar and found that depressing. But I still have tunes that inhabit my mind with a terrible ferocity -- unfortunately the only way I can express those songs is through the written word. I admire musicians tremendously and consider music the most universal, thus highest of the 'mundane' arts. It touches every creature, high and low, on the planet.

      Mr. Hyde

    5. @North
      "I wonder what happens when we take each experience as it comes, without dragging all of our past into the moment, without plotting our futures as hinging on it?"

      Per usual, you ask provocative questions that stir deep reflections. I enjoy your speculations very much.

      Perhaps what is required is that we remember the past and continually mine it for hidden gems, without letting past feelings mire the present. I can recall a past hurt without becoming it if I focus on the experience within its proper context. I believe that we can choose to retain knowledge of past experiences in the present moment and use that knowledge in our 'becoming' to forge a more whole self. The ability to emotionally detach from old traumas whilst acknowledging the pain is not easy but necessary; I find humor, the ability to laugh at myself, key to success. I am a silly creature on many levels . . . like a child exploring a new landscape, getting muddy and skinning my knees, I don't take my mishaps or the mishaps of others, too seriously. We're all fumbling around in the dark, playing hide and seek with ourselves. When you suddenly touch some part of yourself that was deeply buried in an apparently insignificant grain of sand on a lonely beach, the whole landscape lights up. That's why I'm always seeking to connect with everything: I feel like parts of myself exist somewhere inside of every creature, tree and rock, and that by touching them I am touching lost parts of myself.

      I know that sounds crazy. But that's who I am and I'm content for the richness of the illusion/delusion of becoming One with all things. Not because it's the 'truth' but because that's what lights my fire.

      Mr. Hyde

    6. "I wonder what happens when we take each experience as it comes, without dragging all of our past into the moment, without plotting our futures as hinging on it?"

      Isn't that simply the concept of "living in the moment"???


    7. K-

      I just figured it out:

      There will be a really long post. People will comment that it is a new, interesting, and provocative idea.

      I see it as a simple concept that has been around, for quite some time...


    8. K-

      PS-That is why I haven't been able to "understand what is going on"...


    9. Thankyou Mr Hyde. There's a place of stillness and connection reached in finding ourselves to be woven into the fabric of the cosmos, that fluid, self adaptive tapestry.

      I love to train outside on playground equipment, under the early morning stars. The playground is in a park running up to a nature reserve, with mountains most people call hills. Pods of kangaroos bound past me, and sometimes, spontaneously, I run alongside them. Birds of varying kinds call, pairs of galahs flap past. I feel the intersection of human settlement and industry with the rest of nature in this particular, connected way and see us and even our plastic creations as reaching, exploring tendrils of the expanding universe.

      Growing into cliches, Vegas, is something to be expressed as one can in their own words. I'm glad to share what nuances I'm able to with Mr Hyde. "Living in the present" is, as the Buddhists say, a finger pointing at the moon; it does one no good to bite the finger. I'm taking my own path to the moon.

    10. Mr Hyde,

      I forgot to mention I particularly liked "when you suddenly touch... the whole landscape lights up"

      I'm exploring how allowing myself to connect openly and without restraint to my experiences creates deeper connections to myself and to the universe.

      Sometimes we find solar flares!

      And I agree about truth: we find our own ways of being and that is truth enough; realising others have their own ways gives us a very different, far more liberating vehicle for pure, worthwhile interaction.

    11. @North,

      I thought you might enjoy this article. I did.

      Mr. Hyde

  9. Lovely observations! But wanted to add that glass shatters, but other instruments sound in sympathy...

  10. Anon @ 9:56 pm


    I suppose it depends on the shape and quality of the materials? To be honest I'm not sure. The collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge did, of course, involve various materials, i.e., concrete, steel, etc.

    Interesting that if you have a room filled with tuning forks of various notes and strike one D tuning fork, only the D tuning forks in the room will resonate or 'chime', without breaking. The other forks, not being in 'D sympathy' remain silent. I also rather doubt if instruments playing in 'harmony' is the same phenomena as resonance, but could be mistaken. I'm not a musicologist or scientist. But I see your point and think you're probably closer to the mark far as North's speculations are concerned.

    Mr. Hyde

  11. @ Mr Hyde
    Yes, seems (on first impression anyway) to come down to flexibility... glass breaks and wood hums... but not at the same frequencies though - I'm just realising how many variables are involved! Instruments do audibly resonate - wooden string instruments, at least. I know next to nothing about it but it's very intriguing and I enjoyed your thoughts!

  12. @North

    Thank you. I am flattered by your compliments.

    A science teacher once told me that sound waves are 3-D and that sound shapes matter. Different frequencies create different patterns. Perhaps this is why chanting Om is considered a means by which to alter consciousness. It does seem to produce in me a totally different frame of mind, one that is larger and more encompassing. It makes me feel both more universally connected and ego-detached. Then again, some music has a similar effect. The power of sound to shape matter was intuitively recognized by our forebears: In the beginning God created the heaven and earth. And the earth was without form . . . And God said, Let there be light and there was light."

    What is light if not frequency? Could it be that light helped shape primordial matter? (like you, I love to speculate about mysteries that have no clear answer.)

    Check out this video about resonance:

    Mr. Hyde

  13. Anon@6:20

    "I'm just realising how many variables are involved! Instruments do audibly resonate - wooden string instruments, at least. I know next to nothing about it but it's very intriguing and I enjoyed your thoughts!"


    And yes, I believe that the variables involved are pretty complex. I don't know that much about it, either. :)

    Mr. Hyde

  14. Y'all are full of shit

    1. miserable cunt!

    2. Abc

      Glad you said that, actually. I thought I'd stepped into some bizarre Philosophers Anon meeting. I'm waiting for the 12 steps to recovery part.

    3. Anon 2

      Tsk. language. 8-). They're all remarkably robust individuals who can handle themselves.
      [I replied to the Bernie Sanders thing again BTW.]
      ttfn, altruisticing again today.

    4. OK :) got that

    5. K-

      "Glad you said that, actually. I thought I'd stepped into some bizarre Philosophers Anon meeting. I'm waiting for the 12 steps to recovery part."

      ME, TOO!!!


    6. K-

      PS-I apologize, if I have "overdone" the music. I have found it to make for nice breaks, during the "Philosophers Anon" meetings.:)


    7. Vegas,
      Don't you disturb them now. They're happy, chatting together, being serious. No musical interludes required. 8-)

    8. Heaven forbid! that we are not all carbon copies adopting K@'s style! Dear God! Diversity is appalling!


      Vegas, quick! Rescue us with music!

      Ffs - the glory of this place is its diversity and wild tangents and cross purposes. Vegas, there is no compulsion for you to agree with everything. If you want to start asserting yourself by disagreeing with me, go for it. I think it's healthy and encourage it.

    9. North,

      I can't tell if you are being sarcastic? or responding to the tease defensively?
      Was the first paragraph sarcasm [excellent first attempt, BTW 8-)] and the second paragraph exasperation, or pretend exasperation? I think you need to do smileys if I'm not even close....8-/
      [Genuine, non sarcastic puzzlement] KAT

    10. Hyperbole (exaggeration) in the first para, umm there was a smiley (:p)

      2nd para is meant to be read as written. I love the diversity here; consider complaints against style or focus as frivolous and/or boringly rigid; and welcome any expression of opinion from Vegas.

    11. North,
      Ahh, didn't recognise that :p as a smiley. Must be dialects issues 8-)

      I like the diversity too. BTW, I think PhilAnon *is* a very good idea. That was not too much tongue in cheek. Logistically, I think it's often annoying to have to duck and dive amongst long threads to get to a comment amongst something totally different. I think it was very efficient you guys getting a chance to talk uninterrupted, you avoided a bunch of other stuff 'next door' that would have got in the way. So I would enjoy a 'split format' occasionally.
      [Mind you, I see no sign of any 12 Step Recovery program here as yet, despite all the philosophising.] LOL


  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

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