A MEANING OF KNOWING

Both you and I, as separate individuals, come to know, respectively.

I will use the 1st person plural pronoun form us when discussing the internal process by which we all come to know something new.  All homo sapiens develop a perceptual  algorithmical apparatus that we derive for ourselves in an attempt to approximate our personal and internal/etic understanding of what it means to know a thing.  Unceasingly, all of us are trying to get as close as possible to a fuller, more elucidated map and definitions of the cultural domains of knowledge.  Another way to say cultural domain of knowledge is ‘those areas of semantic space within which meaning is culturally assigned to varying degrees relative scus to perceive pattern and meaning when presented with a veritable melee of assailing stimuli (soundwaves, air current, language,

WHAT IS MEANT BY KNOWING: (1)conversion of stimuli to sensation and the subsequent conversion of sensation to perception  the domains of knowledge that

The collective, interactive we, (we = the epiphenomenon occurring when you and I engage our individual intelligences (the cultural mores, our idiosyncratic constructions of all the cultural domains that comprise and inform our perceptual apparati) in meaningful ways.  

Noise is what initially occurs if I use only my words to communicate meaning to someone else and this someone only speaks languages completely foreign to me.

Talking is only accomplished if the speaker and listener are “on the same wave length.”

Talking is the doorway to another realm wherein meaning procreates (two individuals engage their individual perceptions and systems of perceiving.  The two individuals are taking a leap of faith and assuming that their respective, conscious worlds are sufficiently similar such that the listener is close enough in   , celebratory , consolidation, and I COME TO KNOW-MY UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT IT IS TO KNOW WHAT IS MEANT BY ANY GIVEN THING-REVELATION, FLUIDITY, PLACE HOLDERS AND SUBSTITUTE PLAYERS.  I COME TO KNOW CULTURAL DOMAINS OF COMMUNICATION (OF WHICH THERE ARE AN INFINITE NUMBER OF, FUZZILY BOUNDED SPACES COMPRISING INDIVIDUAL DOMAINS OF KNOWLEDGE.

1. .DOES KNOWLEDGE HAVE TO BE TRUE.

2. KNOWLEDGE IS OBTAINED YET ALREADY AND ALWAYS AFTER PRESENT IN ME.

  1. Of What “i” Know, I Know.

  2. Of What “i” think, I think, I think

  3. On Knowing what knowing means and what it means to Know.

  4. On Knowing how to Study Knowing

  5. Of Knowing what is means to know what it is to study knowing.

  6. Who is I the Knowing = You

    1. An observable I that can come to be known

    2. The Unknowable I, the experience of being

VII.    Our Perception: what “we” see is how “i” come to know

VIII.    What “we” cannot know

IIX.    What I Cannot Know.

Embedded Levels of Discourse

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   Academia could stand to reconsider their current terminology or at the least review and reexamine the terms in usage.   

 

Each sub-discipline has its own lexicon of jargon.  The technical terms of each sub-discipline are used to reference ethereal, only vaguely defined “things” whose empirical reality is sometimes questionable. Just because we cannot prove something exists with the scientific method, we do not “prove” that the thing or our hypothesis is not real or incorrect.  Put another way- I decide to scientifically test the hypothesis that God is a real, existent entity, phenomenon or some variation thereof.  I can start with “primary sources” like the Bible, Koran, or any religious/philosophical text “commonly accepted” to be direct communication from “God,” according to authorities within and member of various groups.  

I can pray, meditate attempt to communicate with God directly myself.  But this is no good, because even if I make direct contact, unless God is willing to reveal himself publicly to the world, then even though I may have proved the hypothesis to myself, I have not proven the hypothesis according to the standards of the scientific method.  Say I bring over a friend and say, “you’ll never believe it, check this out,” and then I try to “speak with God.”  He answers andI ask if he would mind saying hi to my friend Bob who is a huge fan and God is great so he says Hi to Bob.  Bob then says “He is real. You were right. Oh my god. Yikes, I didn’t mean to take your name in vain, can you ever forgive me?”

“Wait, I looked this up earlier and the unspoken rule is as long as you really love Jesus, feel sorry enough for the sin you committed and/or explicitly take Jesus as your “savior,” or get saved by a company employee he totally has to forgive you for like everything.”

“Oh please, I am “God” with a capital G, and you said “god” with a lower case g.  These are two different words.  One is a word you can use in Scrabble and one you cannot.  Like, “peter” is a verb that happens to be a common Western name too.  So you could play “peter” but not “Peter” in Scrabble.  Well “god” is a noun describing a supernatural authority-it’s “what” I am to you people.  “God” is my name, it is how you address me-it’s “who” I am.  She’s right you know, that is the rule.  But you can be forgiven/saved whatever and still not pass into my kingdom when your body wears out.  You actually have to believe in me.  You can’t just say you do, like you did with Santa Claus so you could still get extra presents.  Telling people you believe in me won’t fool me because I know everything and anything already.  Doing everything like someone who actually believes in me, does not fool or appease me.  So these fine folks have to figure out how to make themselves believe in something that they don’t think is real.  How do you convince someone that I am real when it is impossible to prove that I exist?  You can’t.  I can prove I exist when and where I want to but you guys, it’s literally impossible for you to have evidence of my existence, and that because you are literal beings with physical bodies and individual divisions between you and other individuals and between you and the world around you.  Meanwhile, I am you and the others, and the world, and universe, and everything else that you know and I am not that because I am still greater than the combination of those things.  I am somehow more than the sum of my parts.  As a part, you don’t see understand that you are in a machine designed as an entity containing minute parts that work together to systematically produce a desired result.  When you see a marquee with flashing lights and messages and colors in Las Vegas, you see red, yellow, The, Grand, Casino, you see changes in the pattern that are predictable and familiar.  You see colors everywhere and so does everybody else and they seem to match up with the colors you see.  You see words everywhere in this day, things are constantly trying to feed you information.

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If you are a lightbulb in the Las Vegas marquee, you turn yourself on and you turn yourself off at pre scheduled intervals as a piece of a system and as a part of the system you have a responsibility that if not performed will affect the performance of every other piece and the final result.  You do not even fathom that the place where the aforementioned person is watching the fruits of his labor could exist.  He doesn’t know that his “system” has a goal or that there is a higher form emerging from the system that he cannot see as a part of the system, he just works all the time.  Every day, it is turn off, turn on, turn off, turn on.  Oop, Josh just turned off and on two times in a row so I know I have to turn off…riiiiigghht……..now!  There is surely nothing bigger than this world around me. Dumbass!   

Well Effie decided to find out if God existed using the scientific method.

She read all the primary sources about God first, but quickly realized they offered no facts, merely clues.  The evidence was all anecdotal at best.  Most of it was simple appeal to authority-the weakest foundation that the heavy weight of truth can sit upon without crushing.  They did all suggest that direct communication with God was possible and the mere attempt thereat was almost encouraged-it was encouraged even when the attempt had failed frequently and consistently.

If you saw a person cut themselves once, you would assume it was an accident, twice and you might be optimistic and say they are clumsy or dumb, thrice and the most generous of us can say “yeah that chick’s a space cadet.”  Imagine a child that grew up on a planet with no sharp edges.  Now imagine you saw the child alone and picking a knife up by the blade because he had not ever handled a knife before.

Now, it is the next day and you see the child pick up the same knife and cut himself and still be surprised and saddened by the pain.  Now imagine it is the third day, and the kid picks up a different knife on a desk in another room with the same result.  Now it’s five days later, same thing happens.  You are probably questioning the child’s mental reasoning ability.  Now imagine it is the 10,950th day in a row that you have watched this person pick up a knife by the blade and surprised and confused that they were cut-almost like after each previous cut but right before the following re-attempt, the person pauses and thinks to themselves, “this is the one.  this is the one where something different happens.  the result will be different this time.”  Otherwise, how are they still surprised that picking up a blade by the blade results in a cut or pain, right?  Like, how could you pick the knife up that way every day for 40 years and not realize at some point: “un momento por favor, eureka, moment of clarity!  If I try to manipulate this object by making contact on this shiny thin edge with the nice fat tomato heart that is the center of my thumb and then applying not only pressure to the aforementioned point of contact but also by sliding the blade along a complimentary vector plane that is parallel and adjacent to the vector plane containing the point of contact, your thumb

(In my mini-model of empirical, quantifiable and qualifiable reality ((which is the reality to which we can really say anything meaningful about-an acceptable imagining of a common skeleton key from which the axioms inherent and central to all sub-disciplines of social science may be derived)) (((which is a really not concise way of expressing the same thing that is suggested by each of the following sentences: You can talk about running a marathon oil barrel roll sky but those words sound like nonsense to me. I asked her if she thought this top looked cute or if it made me look fat, and was all like, “ooooh yeah, that top is soooo hyper cool but it does make you look kinda heavy, you know, relatively speaking.”  And so I’m like “thayyynks, but in my brain, I’m all like, “way to not have an opinion. Like what, are you so insecure that you too afraid to say whether I look good or not in a shirt?

On the other side of the room, Karen tells her friend discreetly but with clear excitement:

“Karen Schmelky totally just asked my opinion about what she was wearing?! She asked if thought her top was cute or not, so like, maybe she digs my fashion style, you know, if she decides to ask me, of all people, if her top is cute or not.  But she also asks, does it make me look fat. So I’m like freaking out on the inside that she’s even talking to me about this kind of stuff but I don’t wanna show her that i’m all geeked about it.  I totally didn’t wanna come off like the losers in her posse that just like agree with whatever she says all the time, so I look at the top for a minute without saying anything or smiling and then i’m all like, “oookay, yeah-the top istotally hyper cute but it does make you look a little heavier than you really are.”  All dispassionate and quiet like I consult on people’s wardrobe’s so frequently that it doesn’t phase, surprise or excite me anymore and no, i could totally careless about making sure everyone heard my opinion because i don’t care whether they think i’m cool or not, but on the inside i’m all, “of course I wanna everybody to hear me and see me giving you fashion advice, socially speaking, that would be the shit!

 

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In my mini-model, there is always one phenomenon: the method of contact-the observer, you, me, the person experiencing the reality that he is trying to define comprehensively, the lens through which any other phenomena will be assessed and examined.  The consciousness of the individual that is trying to speak about things it observes.  The sensory experience and perspective of the individual that is “explaining” “facts” and “truths” about “the universe” at large to me.

In my mini-model, if I tried to say anything definite about a vacuum or an absence of space itself, I could not do so.  Any result produced, hypothesis supported, or truth pronounced must be consistent and complete with the axioms I have used to build my mini-model.  Axiom is a fancy word that basically means assumption, or more specifically axioms are sort of like the underlying assumptions that must be made to build any type of explanatory apparatus or model.  Sometimes, like in mathematics, assumptions are explicit.  To begin any mathematical derivation you start by listing your axioms.  While sometimes, the assumptions are so stealthy that the creator of the model doesn’t even realize they’ve been used.  Sometimes, these same assumptions will lie dormant for decades before anyone realizes the assumption was even there at all.  For example, you remember how freaked out everyone got when someone tried to tell them the world was round.  Like tried toshow them over and over the world was round.  I’m talking about even teach them how to be able to see it for themselves.  For all practical purposes this guy built a rocket and gave rides everyday, all day that took “people” literally around the world so they could see it with their own eyes.  

His audience’s reaction indicates both their axioms or assumptions about the “world,” suggests they are largely unaware of the existence of these assumptions within themselves, and at least suggests that they recognize at some level, the truth or “undeniability” of what they are being told.  The anger, fear and outrage that his “discovery” spawned indicates the strong motivation that non-believers have to defame, disprove, rebuke, and exile all scraps of the “discovery’s” credibility.  Elementary school made sure that I can recall that grass get its color from chlorophyll which it requires during photosynthesis, the metabolistic algorithm of plant life. When I make that proclamation: I present evidence for the presence of chlorophyll in plants, i prove how chlorophyll makes grass turn the color it does, i even explain why chlorophyll is present in plants.  

When you got that explanation (or the abridged elementary school version all public school kids have gotten for fifty years) did they present proof that plants possess color?  no, that would be like saying “would you like me to prove to you that i asked you if you’d like me to prove to you that i asked you would you like me to prove to you?”  Did they prove that green is a color? No, because you know you know green is a color.  Even if you are colorblind and can’t perceive it, you know that “green” is a color.  Did they prove to you that everyone sees “the same color” when they look at grass?  How many plants would they need to reference before you would believe the axiom “grass is green.”  Like two, and only for posterity and archaic practices that lost their value long ago.

 

Bertrand Russell

“lN DAILY LIFE, WE ASSUME AS CERTAIN MANY THINGS WHICH, ON A CLOSER SCRUTINY, ARE FOUND TO BE SO FULL OF APPARENT CONTRADICTIONS THAT ONLY A GREAT AMOUNT OF THOUGHT ENABLES US TO KNOW WHAT IT IS THAT WE REALLY MAY BELIEVE.”EVE.”

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SCIENCE AND RELIGION

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[thesis]

Science and religion are presented as two paradigms, as distinct and mutually exclusive worldviews. The general resonance of the debate between the two worldviews sounds aggressive and emotional.
These domains are not necessarily engaged in a binary opposition. They are, simply, two of innumerable types of social structures, existing presently. The ‘faith’ of individual members of society is differentially distributed between and amidst both the society’s social institutions as well as the sources of assumed authority.

Reconciliation of science and religion serves us all best and acknowledging that (1) science is a very useful way of talking and thinking about the world, that clearly delineates those things about which it is and is not capable of addressing, (2) as human beings, we are meaning making machines, but all beliefs require a leap of faith, and

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(3) the purposes of science and those of religion differ-science seeks to serve the empirical while religion seeks to serve the incorporeal.
Currently, religion and science are locked in a struggle for social power; and by ‘social power,’ I specifically mean the authority and power to inform the public with ‘true’ explanations of the world. “Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source or spirituality….The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both.” (Carl Sagan)

What to Read Next-updated

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You know the dismal depression that follows the finishing of a fantastic story?………………Okay, now that the uncool folks have left this post, you and I can really talk.  

The below my proposed remedy to being booksick.  ‘Booksick’ does not capture it, but it’s the best I’ve got at the moment. Any ideas on what to call the bitter-sweetness of finishing an amazing books?

Nonfiction-Science

 

Chaos: Making A New Science, James Gleick

Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software, Steven Johnson

The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood, James Gleick

Complexity:The Emerging Science at the Edge of Order and Choas, Mitchell Waldrop

Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid, Douglas Hofstadter

Epistolary Novels (it’s a story told through a series of letters)

Perfectly Reasonable Deviations…: The Letters of Richard P. Feynman

Soul of the Age: Selected Letters of Hermann Hesse, 1891-1962, Hermann Hesse and Mark Harman

Frances and Bernard, Carlene Bauer

Dear Committee Members, Julie Schumacher

Letters of Note: An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience edited by Shaun Usher

Fiction-Life Changing

The Glass Bead Game, Hermann Hesse

The Great and Secret Show, Clive Barker

Ghost Story, Peter Straub

House of Leaves, Mark Danielewski

Philosophy-for amateurs and pros

The Confessions, St. Augustine

 

Consciousness and Self-Awareness. Informal

Certainly a dog has more self-awareness than do insects.

A dog displays a sense of self during interactions with a dog pack. A hierarchy exists within a pack and every member knows its position. For this to occur, the dog must have an awareness of things existing outside and independent of itself. The dog must also conceptualize its life relative to the lives of other dogs.

A dog adjusts its own behavior in response to the behavior of another dog. The two dogs are working together. They are aware of their own existence and the existence of others.

The rules of the pack hierarchy are tacitly accepted, known, and enforced by all members of the pack. The dogs create something appearing quite similar to a little society-a system of interactions collectively conspiring to create a greater likelihood of survival and reproduction than pack members could expect were they to live alone.

Dogs seem to have selves because cooperation has been/is selected for in the milieus within which dogs exist/ed. A dog does not have the faculty or facility for language, nor does it have an opposable thumb. These are two things possessed by humans alone. These are two things making us unique. Yet still, the self-awareness of dogs seems of a different substance than your, mine and everyone else’s self-awareness.

I assert self-awareness is a condition required of mammals. I assert self-consciousness is a phenomenon separate from consciousness (i need to define consciousness here). I assert that humans are the sole possessors of consciousness but that this is and always has been subject to change. I proclaim self-awareness and its interactions with the reality in which it finds itself produced the conditions under which consciousness could arise. I say human consciousness is the evolutionary product of self-awareness experiencing reality through sensory organs. Further, it was these interactions occurring within the valleys and peaks of a very, particular fitness landscape and that these interactions, over time, created a milieu in which it was advantageous to have a more refined and intuitive awareness of self and the local environment. By advantageous, I mean, a more sophisticated self-awareness created more opportunities for survival until a reproductive age, more opportunities to reproduce at that age, and a better ability to ensure the survival and health of offspring until they grew.

I proclaim that self-awareness enabled society. But it was the complex system of interactions occurring between and among the social structures of a society and the humans whose interactions make up that society, which selected for the phenomenon which we call human consciousness.

Self-awareness led to society and society led to increased and more refined self-awareness. The further interactions of selves and society produced a complex system whose interactions resulted in the two novel epiphenomena we call “culture” and “consciousness.”