Contact Me CAUTION
Monday, October 15, 2018
FLASH: With 100 X too many people already,
criminally capitalist media keep pushing growth!
This changing site, now only a string around MY finger, and unlikely to help any (ha ha) aspiring realists tweeting slogans at each other, COULD help a very few other humans smart enough to WANT to know what's up, even in the face of eco-disaster, IF, FOR THEM ONLY, I MAKE IT:
a guide to realistic thought -a compass for progressives; - actually a SHORT COURSE
on SOME foolishly overlooked, maybe-scary, but critical realities
that a true realist should want to keep firmly in mind even as he watches his eco-world collapse.
A CAREFUL STUDY OF MY pps COULD MAKE IT YOURS, TOO
(philosophical positioning system)
Start this course by reading
the revised site's MOST important (#1) essay
From Eternity & Infinity
by Glen Roberts and Epicurus
The eternal and infinite universe consists of endless space occupied by an incalculable amount of physical matter, the endless motion and clustering of which require endless time.
Certainly locally (within telescopic view from Earth), and just as certainly generally (within philosophical view from Earth), even though THE UNIVERSE IS TOO BIG TO THINK OR SPEAK OR SENSIBLY CARE ABOUT, clouds and clusters of existing matter throughout the universe fluctuate between states of apparent flux (not chaos) and apparently more sophisticated order.
The universe and the material clusters it hosts are then coincidental rather than accidental, and the endlessly redundantly circular revolution, devolution and evolution of those motion-created material clusters are strictly governed by the blind but rigid laws of physics.
All the above and THIS, too, is self-evidently true, because the selection of English language I'm using is comprehensive of all the missing details and clearly complements the over-all reality that humans whose brains work recognize as coherent and relevant to the universal reality they KNOW prevails.
But THAT'S ALL HUMANS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE UNIVERSE just enough to X out gods and stop uselessly spinning their philosophical wheels. Of course there must be zillions of details, but humans will never see or understand the entire universe, and the universe doesn't need to be understood by humans, anyway. Stars and space go on forever, after all, while the life-bound Earthbound humans I'm addressing don't live either forever or out among the stars; they only live briefly on Earth, a situation to which they'd be far better off paying whatever attention they HAVE to pay.
I wish, while Xing out gods, I could at least discredit contemporary mathematician/asronomers who pass themselves off as "scientists" (and also coyly as philosophers, which they are NOT), who maybe just "to make a show," as Epicurus suggested, stick to half-baked theories smacking more of astrology than science (that clearly demand more thought) but who, while providing impetus for very flashy and incredibly expensive (thus profitable) but wasted space ship launches and SOME other green-painted but probably environmentally destructive environmentally justified stopgap projects, also confuse the young (who nearly deify them) by teaching them silly metaphysical concepts which are clearly not true but which the unwarned young then believe as fervently as they believe the slogans they learn on their "smart" phones.
The following, by contrast. IS true, because perfect English (the highest form of math and science) makes it self-evident: viable, unified, somewhat durable structures and inter-relationships come about when matter coincidentally clusters together in patterns, the form and motion of which allow them to stay temporarily together because they fit together. Thus we have stars, solar systems, galaxies, planets, and on some planets (one at least): oceans, continents, eco-systems, and the structural possibility of humans and their brains.
This is not a plan. It just happens because it can happen or not happen within the possibilities and limitations of coincidence. What is is. What is not is not. What can happen happens or doesn't happen. What cannot happen doesn't happen. Nothing happens in order to persist. Many perfectly viable things DON'T happen simply because they don't happen; and many perfectly viable things happen that don't persist, and many things that persist DO persist probably BECAUSE they are more viable than other things that did not or don't. But it's not a plan. What happens happens.
Notably, I'm not editing Darwin, but what I think are supposedly scientific popular assumptions that evolution is somehow teleological. It's not. It can't be. What happens happens.
LIFE BEGINS when matter clusters together in a way that makes life possible and moves in a way that makes life possible, and then, in that particular moving aggregate, comes to life as a subtext of the universe, which subtext is governed by a subtext of the laws of physics, i.e. the laws of biology.
THEN, as a SUB-subtext, the near infinite potential of coincidence obviously allows the formation of SENTIENT BEINGS - who think - and even conceive, plan, and construct other things - often to no good purpose.
There's no point in arguing about any of the foregoing. It's all self evident because stars, planets, thinking humans, and (therefore) gasoline combustion engines and governments DO exist and, in fact, their self evident existence clearly refutes the pompous claims of second-rate philosophers that nothing is self evident. BUT, interesting, significant, and maybe even important as it may be to talk about, like the first 5 paragraphs above about the entire universe, its practical importance to contemporary philosophers is limited, because it's all past tense, and there's nothing they can do about it.
But what follows is different, or seems to be. What follows becomes more and MORE important, as this essay becomes more and more contemporarily relevant to the actual possibilities open to realistic progressive activists. Clearly, humans with the brains to do it CAN make changes, because they have done so, though they've usually made messes. They can only do what they CAN do, but they can do things. Besides philosophizing about the natural order, they can philosophize about what needs changing, and they can do things that actually change the natural order. THEY HAVE DONE THAT, so obviously they can.
PHILOSOPHY (SELF-EVIDENTLY) BEGINS at the level of and ONLY in the minds of sentient beings sophisticated enough to philosophize, who logically and (relevant to themselves) then rightly consider themselves and their purposes all-important They are right because the universe doesn't think or feel OR PROHIBIT, OR REGRET. Stars and planets don't think or feel. Other sentient animals think and feel but do not think philosophically. Philosophical thought (including invention and planning) only takes place INSIDE and, THEREFORE, purpose and importance only exist INSIDE the separate brains of sophisticatedly sentient beings. There is no cosmic purpose or importance OR APPROVAL OR REGRET. Purpose and importance (and regret, though there's been little evidence of THAT) are the exclusive property of sophisticatedly sentient beings (on Earth, humans), to rank and do with as they wish.
SO, humans CAN reach out into their surroundings, push, pull and rearrange existing elements in order to create civilized enclaves, where-in they can make their own rules to make life and death comfortable for humans, AS LONG AS THEY DON'T PULL THE NATURAL ORDER DOWN ON THEIR HEADS. Obviously, (though what happens happens) such projects should not be done democratically. Such stuff should be done only by humans who can think very clearly.
But humans DON'T think with equal clarity, and some of them (most, in fact) so self-evidently need to be helped, that they almost ALWAYS (perhaps instinctively) GET help from a FEW humans who may sometimes half-logically consider themselves a naturally necessary element in a human social construct that keeps the construct TOGETHER by making it fit together as a system, but who are usually individuals with individual purposes often not well or honestly conceived) for providing that help.
Historically, humans have gotten very little of the help they need from the benign, clear-thinking minority qualified and willing to help them constructively. Unfortunately, most of the help most humans have gotten, during all their history on Earth, has been the base but constant propaganda of rich insiders (through the media they own); the insane but never-ending blabber of religious charlatans; the stern but stupid admonitions of foot-dragging conservatives; the piously nice but anti-logical slogans of liberals; and even (also usually unfortunately) the too narrowly technical, too often pseudo-progressive, usually irrelevant, and definitely too precious contributions of "scientists" who are themselves not as good at thinking as they should be.
The help humans NEED is the always available help of the almost always ignored but actually existing and actually benign philosophical geniuses among them who have always been able and willing to help them set aside their self-defeating get-rich-somehow and after-life fantasies and pointless preoccupation with the to-them-relatively-unimportant universe and to think and act, instead, for their OWN practical good and for the neglected health of the small but real world (just the eco-system on planet Earth) that they really live in and really depend on, and which NOW depends on them to keep it together by restoring its natural tendency to fit together in an ecologically viable way, WHILE sustainably accommodating a CIVILIZED enclave for ALL humans.
Addendum of very slight importance to me but probably, by your mistake, contemporarily important - or at least politically correct - to you:
Possibly lost in a blur of 21st century pseudo-thought, you may think that I forgot to mention that the universe is now supposed to be expanding. In fact, the #1 essay above, not a detailed but a comprehensive generalization, is absolutely true, while several recently popular, or at least famously trumpeted claims of modern "scientists" are NOT true. The universe, being certainly infinite, CANNOT expand, since it already occupies all the space there is, leaving no extra space into which to expand. Space cadets traveling to Planet X and back will NOT age (or de-age), in a funny way, even if living in open space affects their guts strangely, but will continue to age at a normal rate starting from their times of birth. There is no such thing as a curve in space or a space warp or warp speed. Time does not stop at the speed of light. Right now is and will continue to be the exact same right now no matter what brand of watch you're wearing in every part of the universe, no matter how far apart the parts may be. Each for-the-first-time-noticed star does NOT magically, on its discovery, become the new definer of the age and the boundary of the universe.
Mostly derived from science fiction, much of the spiel of modern "scientists" is just a con - to attract attention - OR, due to their own mediocre language skills, while imagining themselves to be using "math," these "scientists" are in fact mistakenly, because they don't understand the word, employing Metaphysics -i.e. false logic - (astrology, as Epicurus called it). -Glen Roberts
Another addendum more interesting to me though maybe no more important than the previous:
Though Epicurus's characterization of some philosophers as astrologers was in reference to thinkers wasting their time in his own day, a long time before the era depicted in the very good movie, "Agora," Hypatia, that movie's heroine was exactly that kind of time waster, while Orestes, in the same movie (though not well developed) was, until he was scared out of his wits by religion, almost an Epicurean, a type that probably existed plentifully in Hypatia's Alexandria. Though never very forceful, Orestes, in the movie, did try to persuade Hypatia that it was absurd to worry about planetary orbits while, all around her, religious nuts were brutalizing each other. I'll give you some points if you see a comparison to NASA's huge waste of money, resources and brains to send robots to Mars and rockets to Saturn, while lumpen humans on Earth are fighting endless wars and continually electing retarded presidents. -Glen Roberts
Me and Epicurus; an Explanation: ►
In MY #1 essay above, I have created my own 2017 version of a "lost" 2000-year-old treatise that I think Epicurus (3rd c. BC), might have written, in which he could have and should have told , and (for all I know) did tell his followers to forget the stars, the Greek atomists, and all the other scientists, priests, and even those philosophers whom he actually called astrologers, come back down to Earth, to their own short life spans and their own small measure of planetary space (the then livable though now dangerously over-fixed eco-world humans still live in) and fix THAT and their uncivilized ways of living in it. Epicurus didn't know about eco-systems, but if he were alive and writing today, he would, and I think he'd be writing something like the essay above. -Glen Roberts
I'm also proving here that language (at least English) is superior to math, and that all the integers and equations of sensible, usable math (NOT the mataphysical flourishes of today's "scientist"/astrologers) are only flat, iconic symbols of visual and verbal concepts more effectively explainable in English. SO NOW, now that you hopefully realize (or now that I've told you) that it's good English that holds the key, NOT a movie blackboard full of incoherent chalk marks, you can start your philosophical positioning experience by reading every word in the essay above and in the essays it leads to below, tracing every syntactical pattern, and logically linking all the paragraphs; until you understand me thoroughly; and, then, by reading this entire website again and again and again. -Glen Roberts
(Initially a preface to: From Eternity To Here
has been moved down so that you will read the #1 essay above first)
Just as any compromise between black and white will give you grey; and any compromise between grey and either black or white will give you grey, too; and any compromise between grey and grey will also give you grey - any diplomatic compromise between truth and denial will get you the same old grey chaos of self deception.
Of course there are times when truth seems to matter less than the smooth flow of human relationships, such as the famous occasion when Becky Thatcher tore a page in the teacher's prized anatomy book and Tom Sawyer told his heroic "white lie" and bore her punishment for her, and there are even truths that are better kept to oneself, such as, even, sometimes, the depth of an expediently dropped insult.
But when denial and deception, including even apparently trivial compromises, lubricate the path to barbarism, or, small as each separate lie may be, add up to a smoke screen behind which important truths are lost or the insidiousness of popular lies is hidden, then to keep what traction I've got on the pathway of truth that probably won't but could lead toward civilization, or, if that's vain, to at least protect the integrity of my philosophy and my credibility to myself, I prefer not to compromise the truth with diplomatic grey.
The answer to your question: who is Glen Roberts to be so high-handedly teaching people how to think? Does he think he knows everything? Does he think he's the smartest man in the world? Doesn't he know that everything is a matter of opinion ad-all-the-other-infinitum of similar bullshit?
HEY! Pay attention maybe for the first time in your lives to THIS and then go back to sleep. I'm probably not even talking to YOU. If you're one of the 99 to 99.9 percent of humanity who are staying stubbornly asleep, I'm NOT. I gave up on YOU long ago, in 1970 (see below), again in 1990 (when a U.S.-land-mine victim told me, "Don Glen, if the Sandinistas ever have power again, let's don't have any more elections, because you can't trust the people"), and in 2016 (when Fidel died). NOW, I'm talking to myself and (maybe) to another theoretical .01 - to - 1 percent of humanity whose brains willingly work and who, just coincidentally, LIKE me, WANT to know what's up, just to know what's up, WHILE their eco-world is crashing down.
I admit that, a long time ago, when I was very young, having been born with an unrelenting commitment to find out what was up and articulate whatever I learned well enough so that at least I could understand it, I may have given even myself an impression that I was a general circulation crusader. But by the time I was 12 or so, I'd said to myself, 'Glen, if you're going to take up truth telling seriously, and the bottom-line truth you've got is that MOST PEOPLE are deliberately, stubbornly, IN DENIAL, i.e. ASLEEP, and you don't intend to equivocate, you have to face the fact that your audience CAN'T BE most people.
I clarified this in 1970 in Chapter 15, p. 208-209, of my necessarily self-published novel, "Prometheus Outnumbered," and again in 1990, after (actually running on my Girlfriend Carole Scholl's dynamism) I had spent several summers organizing and leading brigades of teachers, students, and other San Diegans to Nicaragua to build schools in support of the Sandinista Revolution and had become a locally familiar "Peace-movement" figure on radio and TV, when the owner of the Green Bookstore, whom I'd just bullied into stocking Paul Ehrlich's latest book, asked me if it was true that I was "in" the movement mainly for the company, I assured her she was right. I was. And when, after I'd thoroughly seen Cuba and realized that Fidel Castro was actually creating a civilized country on this barbaric planet, I started a website that, of course, LOOKED LIKE another general circulation crusade, I, in fact, had NOT RETURNED to my childhood enthusiasm for reform. The website stayed up to license my trips to Cuba, so that, when Fidel died, I literally turned over and went back to sleep.
But, by then, I had started something else, WHICH I NEEDED TO DO, which I am NOW finishing, and if you don't understand it, I don't care. I NEED TO KNOW everything I've learned, NEATLY AND CLEARLY, as I watch my predictions of a virtual world's end come true, and I think THIS is the way to fill that personal need. And since I know that other people (whether they realize it or not) need the same sense of "closure," I'm sharing it with them, and I'm calling this effort (though it's mainly just for me) a PPS - a philosophical positioning system, and shaping it like a course in realistic thought.