Cartesian-ism

I’ll see it when I believe it : I think therefore I am.

I’ll believe when I see it : I’m seen therefore I am.

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“I’ll believe it when I see it,” say the lesser apes.

“You’ll see it when you believe it,” you said.

Cogito, ergo sum.

What René Descartes is remembered as saying.

Je pense, donc je suis.

How Descartes first wrote it.

I think therefore I am.

(tautological?)

“Whatever I have up until now accepted as most true I have acquired either from the senses or through the senses.” (7:18 Principles)

But Descartes feared a deceptive God or an evil eternal deceiver.

Could he trust the apprehensions of his physical senses?

He could not disprove that his sensations were not the result of deception; so he dove into doubt. How is sensation different from perception?

“We have a true or genuine perception of something if, when we consider it, we cannot doubt it…In the face of genuine clear and distinct perception, our affirmation of it is so firm that it cannot be shaken, even by a concerted effort to call those observed things into doubt. (7:145 Meditations)

Descartes tried to free us from “I’ll believe it when I see it.” He tried to disavow the authority and immediacy of knowing the world through sense and sensations. He did not believe that his five senses could apprehend truth in a way that overcame his doubt.

He found doubt and did not believe.

His belief was not dependent on sensual stimulation.

I’ll see it when I believe it.

I think therefore I am.

Perceptions that I cannot find a scrap of a reason to doubt, may be genuine.

So, we doubt the hell out of everything; and, if we exhaust every doubt of which we may conceive, we firm up our grasp of reality. Through dint of doubt, all doubt is removed. This is intellect.

“I think.” He couldn’t find a doubt about it, so he allowed his capacity for thought and doubt to validate his existence- that he “is.”

His sensations could be virtual reality, so he doubted what he saw.

When he had no doubt that he “thought”, he then believed he truly “was.”

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Empiricism resists and refuses the subjective realm, and is founded on a principle of obtaining information via senses and standardized measurements.

Science, empiricism, and Western culture say, “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

I got a (dumb) cell phone in 2002.

My family got dial up internet in our home around 1998.

Before the mid-1990’s, we could not be in two places at once (physical, say, a restaurant, and cyberspace).

The advent of Facebook, Instagram, selfies, social media and internet culture creates a condition for, “I’m seen therefore I am.” I validate myself and reality by reproducing images of myself digitally which I post to get views online. I act the role of myself in a construction that I calculate. I show what I want when I want to in the hopes others will come to know me as I have shown myself to be.

My sister’s generation operates on “I’m seen therefore I am.”

Little digitally savvy savages.

Groups eating together and everyone has a screen. Silicon is always in hand. Take it away and they sweat.

The viewpoint of this age group: I am capable of being observed by others, this validates that I “am.”

The desire to be seen, get friended, followed, liked, hits is the want of confirming and calculable feedback that digital you has been observed and accepted by others. The cyber persona may be chosen moment to moment, so to speak. Day to day personas are less so chosen.

They’ll believe it when they see it.

Yeah, we’ll cure cancer,

And pigs can fly,

God exists,

Well, that is, I’ll believe it when I see it’s already been done.

The more individuals who say likewise, then the less individuals we have working to solve these problems. Presumably, the people waiting to see it will not be trying to manifest it. Why would they?

To them it is impossible until somebody else says, “I’m going to believe it is a possibility to cure cancer, and then I will find out if I can realize that possibility, perceive it.”

There is a lovely lack of cynicism in “I’ll see when I believe it.” There is a proper dash of humility regarding our own self-awareness.

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“I’ll believe when I see.”

This, however, indicates an inherent incredulity and it absolves the self of accountability.

That which cannot be seen or sensed stands on unbelievable ground.

“I’m seen therefore I am.” I see myself and receive systematic, calculable feedback that others have seen me. This validates that I am. I can show it you, point at it.

Alternatively, “I think so I am” puts the onus of doubt back on any given individual. She talks of what can or cannot be seen/perceived at this time. She does not have to state a belief position. This frees the mind in the sense that here belief follows one’s own perceptions, and, perceptions may be addressed through the process of doubt. I do not choose my beliefs as much as I become aware of them. I do not choose to believe based on what I have or have not perceived.

My beliefs are revealed to me by the things I perceive and then I am unable to doubt them. What I see allows me to come to know my beliefs and tweak them. My belief in the possibility of things does not necessitate their appearance.

I’ll see less things on earth than things I will see in this lifetime. Shall I really constrain myself to such a small set of experiential data?

I’ll see it when I believe it : I think therefore I am.

I’ll believe when I see it : I’m seen therefore I am.

This is Numberwang?

This is Numberwang?

(Kindly let me know if my math does not tally below. I tried to check and recheck it, but…)

<◇>

Q: When was 120 minutes ago from now?

A: It was two hours ago.

<◇>

When was one hundred and sixty four billion (164,000,000,000) minutes ago?

Hum, huh?

~

My illiteracy with numbers occurs at a certain threshold.

Numerical literacy*? Not my strong suit. So, I play with numbers, with what I can imagine.

For example, I can imagine a triangle, a square, a pentagram, a hexagon, a septagon, an octagon. But, I cannot imagine, or see in my mind’s eye what a 25 sided polygon would look like. I would have to try to draw it.

There is a 10,000 sided polygon, called a myriagon, according to geometry.

I will take their word for it because I cannot imagine being able to imagine what that would actually like.

~

I am not monied. The difference between one million dollars and one billion dollars? Well, sure, ‘orders of magnitude’, but I only understand that in the abstracted sense. The practical difference between such huge numbers is not immediately obvious to me. But, the news, scientific research, and governments, regularly inundate us with such large numbers.

~

Do a thought experiment with me? I wanna know:

Q1. How far could the millions of dollars, comprising a billion dollars, go?

Q2. If I had one hundred and sixty four billion dollars (as I hear someone in America truly does) and I gave away one million dollars per day, how many days before I am broke? Let’s pretend I keep my $164,000,000,000.00 in cash in a safe. That means my money is not making more money via interest, returns, dividends.

If I have one billion dollars in cash, let’s imagine it’s kept in one million dollar bills. I would have one thousand of these million dollar bills.

I could give one of the $1,000,000 bills everyday for 1,000 days before running out of money.

If there are 365 days a year, 1,000 days is about 2.75 years.

The difference between a million and a billion, practically speaking?

A1. You can give away $1,000,000.00 everyday for almost three years before exhausting $1,000,000,000.00

So, how much more than 1 billion dollars is 164 billion dollars, practically speaking?

Well, if it takes 1,000 days, of giving away 1 million dollars each day, to get rid of a billion dollars;

It would take 164 times longer to give away $164,000,000,000.00 than it would take to give away $1,000,000,000.00

1,000 x 164 = 164,000 days

164,000 days = 449 years and a few months.

If I had $164,000,000,000 ($164 billion), I could give away $1,000,000 ($1 million) everyday for 449 years.?

Fuck.

Now that I see it this way it only raises more, honest questions from an ignorant me.

How much money do people need?

And why? To what end and what do they intend?

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*My own numerical illiteracy was introduced to me by a slim, charming book called Innumeracy by John Allen Paulos which I found tucked away in the statistician’s, my father, bookcase.

The idea is wittily conveyed in the sixth chapter of the second section of Douglas R. Hofstader’s book Meta Magical Themas: Questing for the Essence of Mind and Pattern.

The chapter is called Number Numbness.

Both are written for non-math-savvy folks and both pieces manage to entertain with humor.

Silence. Again.

Why had she said so much?

Why did she not listen?

Again? Selfish?

She knew it kinda hurt.

So, she wo/andered as she wa/ondered.

Could 24 hours of her silence help her hear?

Speak, please.

If you wilt.

She is patient.

My Time Serving, Waiting, & Pouring

I worked as a part-time waitress, from age 18 until age 18.  I performed terribly.  Back then, in Alabama, servers made $2.13 + tips.

One week my manager approached me, with pen and red binder.

“Sign here, to confirm for our tax records that you did, in fact, make at least the minimum wage. You did not declare enough of your cash tips.”

“Um, but I did not make at least minimum wage, I made less.”

“Yep, you are not good at this.”

He was correct.


Sometime later, after losing the urge to continue to pursue Academia, I worked full-time for a locally-owned, Tavern-style restaurant as a server and cocktail waitress.  Not fine dining, but cloth napkins, gas burning lanterns. Upscale. The owners also owned a popular bar in the swanky part of Southside, Birmingham (The Five Points area, to be specific) where I poured occasionally.  Note: Servers still only make $2.13 an hour + tips in Alabama (and many other American states).  They really do work for themselves and you.

I loved my work.  I took the time to learn the restaurant/service craft: Learning the menu, how to talk to people and make suggestions.  The art of booze and talking booze.  Maintaining equilibrium for the dinner rush / bar push for about three intense, crazy, physical hours, only to then slowly break down the establishment into a clean, organized place. The next morning, you would build it up, try to keep equillibrium, tear it down.

Taking your work home usually meant alcohol, delicious food, or another server.  There was no huge deadline for the FOH staff, just closing time and the clean up.


All humans should really spend at least three months of their life as a server/waiter.  Everyone. If you get hissy or huffy about the service you receive when dining out, consider the following.


Today, I pulled an old journal and found the remarks below. Enjoy

EDR = extended dining room

AOA = auditory order acknowledged

Alabama Medium = Medium Well

FOH = front of house (what and who you see as the diner)

86 = something the restaurant has on menu but does not have currently.

68 = when something that was 86’ed becomes available to diners again.

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Conversations Had On a Daily Basis

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Stuff Said to Me: That Pissed Me Off Enough To Scrawl

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Some Stuff I Thought Worth Telling the Good People

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A Knecht a’kneeled Before Flame

He saw how Joseph was annealed by the fire…[and] felt the ordeal more than Joseph. P241

Sounded overwrought to me. Then I bothered (sic. concerned) myself with actually looking up

/annealed/

I was being educated on several levels. I first read the sentence such that I thought I knew more than I did. I imagined /annealed/ to be some form of a bow or a kneeling position, a kiss the ring, smell the glove. A posture taken when the situation demands you take yourself seriously. If you can imagine such a thing! Or that you undertake to do something trivial quite meticulously. For the sake of the process itself. By your choice. You take part with and in. Or, when ritual, tradition, culture, bestows us a transcendental catharsis by allowing us to take very specific actions with others undertaking them alongside, as well. A hymn sung by a choir. Suddenly, lighting a candle is holy. Yet, lighters and matches abound. Fire is easy to come by but it was not always so.

Blind spot.

Shocking how much meaning we can contain. There are so many pearls that some readers start arguing over the appraising of an irregular pearl. It is all about finding, examining, analyzing, and drawing conclusions about the relative value. Waiting to find that big money shot pearl. A yup.

“awe, more valuable. made of pearl but unique, collectors edition. Gesture, essence. and articulation.”

“Worthless. It’s shape isn’t paradigmatic of the standard pearl. Misinformed. Monstrous, devalues the other pearls to even be in the same bowl with them.”

Who let the pigs out? Who? Hoo hoo?

Too much monkey business for me. We as a species have moved on. Or did I miss the train and am now out of joint?


The Glass Bead Game: Magister Ludi. 1990. First Owl Books Edition. $18.00 USD/$24.95 Canada. That seems really inexpensive as I think back on it now. At five hundred and fifty eight total pages, it is a trek but no death march. As with any trek, though there will be days. But, then there will really be days! Am I right, a hyuck, hyuck.

The length is not the deterrent. The printing of the book intimidates. At least my copy. That is why I bought it. It looked too heavy for a book that size. A thing that is larger than physics allows but your eyes empirically cannot deny. Your brain’s rational processors will fill in the reasons that ‘you can’t trust your eyes.’

A phone booth and doctor.

A House of Leaves.

A ship ever at sail on a foreign sea, the life of the house mouse lost.

S/he loses their position in the home.

You lose something you did not know could go missing. The notion of home? An ending spoiled. Don’t let the little ones hear. Something you cannot unlearn but surely there is room for doubt and maneuver. Doubt suffers where there is little room

Something you took for granted. Because there is so much to see and so many things vying for the pleasure of your (everone’s) attention at all times. We cannot process the amount of information we physically can conceive us. We get by and brains fill in the blanks. The way you discover your new car’s blind spot.

《《 》》

Crash. Ah, hell.

《《 》》

But what was to be done? Can you judge yourself for not knowing that your vehicle is afflicted with a blind spot? Sure, but where that at? If you want me I’ll be in the bar. Speculating on some dreamy nonsense. The thing you did not see in your rearview & side mirrors (electric-adjustable, I’d wager) as you merged lanes, was, by dint of optical physics, unseeable. You cannot adjust for and account for such a variable.


The publishers did not eff around. There is a deliberate concern for both style and balance in the margin setting and lettering layout. There is room to scrawl. If you are into that sort of thing. I am! The luxury of the thick white broadband’s conjunction into right angles about the four verticies gains further dimensionality by its opposing page.

The reflecting pool in the palm. Narcissus finally went mobile. Each page appears with its predecessor and/or successor in symmetry. Consider the leaf of the sheet itself. Two page numbers and each bearing letter matricies yet on but one page. One page in the book holds two pages. Think about that. There ain’t ya’ll entertained? If that is not magic, then ya’ll doin’ it wrong. I see gods contained and present amongst the multiform streams. IHS Bacchus first. Then as Janus. Holding us in the present, pressed fast between the past and the future tense. So the text on each side of the page gives rise to leaf between your fingers as you turn the page.

Let us say, maybe, five hundred and forty pages are geometrically identical in dimension, same squares, same squares. Matrix array with its vectors contained in those critical margins. Two koi ponds reflected about the same axis of symmetry. Simpatico. The more you read, the more the very confined area with unnecessarily tiny pt. font, single spaced. Tight, trim, orderly. And you are drawn in and held fixed in that little space. Rapt. Enraptured.

And then the ratio expands. The page does not seem so small.


The biggest hinderance to the book’s popularity in America was a poor original cipher of the German language. But translating the lyrical prose of Hesse is probably like trying to translate a Japanese character into ‘the English word for it.’ You can pull it off but the English Equivalence is questionable. Americans are poorly positioned to be strong readers of such heavy, often erudite, ultimately, ironic tomes. We do not get the geographical exposure to other cultures.

Hell, we didn’t get the joke.

It fell for it too! The joke of being so dreadfully stoic that the reader would not dare think you were givin’ a ribbin.’ This is a book; An effing long one; I found all these pearls. I’m rich. Made-man. This is a book of power not jokes for blokes.

Sigh. Now, your cracking me up.

The good news is, if you do ever get the joke, it makes you smile and laugh out loud. Then shake your head. Hold on.

Although, states are arguably the same as little countries.

A discussion of the rather interesting history of this book finding expression in the English language

Watch “Ike & Tina Turner – Proud Mary | 1971” on YouTube

Do not own rights, just paying mad homage.

Many have done Proud Mary but few compare to this reinterpretation.

Creole delta blues babe!

Effing idiocy of self

Who is not guilty.

As soon as I accuse I am guilty.

Your dispassionate acknowledgement aches as much as that I aver myself to you in dispassion, presumeably.

Share and share alike says the one with no vested interest in sharing.

What are we to make of this?, says the hardworking young lady who only recently became vested.

Benevolence could unsuspectingly become malificence here.

Here in our position. Do we care?

But what would they know of us, anywazy.

They would know what we allowed and told.

Because as beautiful nobodies, we dodge gazes but come together in verbal symetry.

Equilaterally pentacling.

Miraculous