16 October, 2020

COVID-19 and global financial collapse?


Eric Lerner is quickly becoming one of our favourite thinkers at SHAPE Journal. Not only is he pioneering holist materialist science with his research into Nuclear Fusion and green energy solutions, his political and economic analysis is equally on point!

06 October, 2020

Special Issue 70: Truth and Illusion

Read Special Issue 70 of the SHAPE Journal

This special edition of the journal is co-authored by science philosopher Jim Schofield and artist researcher Mick Schofield.

Art, Science and Philosophy all share the same ontological quest of approaching truth, albeit with very different methods, ideologies and results, but there are countless pitfalls along all three roads, and many of them share the same origin. All three rely on appearances and forms as their basic material. Even the most apparently unmediated of these, are still Abstractions from the material world, and can already be deceptive. And that is long before we start categorising, rationalising, manipulating and combining forms, in all the elaborate ways we have learned to do, but which ultimately push these forms further from their original contexts in reality.

We primarily rely on our senses to confirm whether forms are true or not, but many philosophers over the centuries have shown that this can be a mistake. Optical illusions are often used to demonstrate how we cannot trust our senses - that there is some barrier between us and the truth of the material world we observe. However this is a limited view - it fails to take into account the fact that most of the time our senses serve us very well, we find our immediate realities completely intelligible. They also fail to take into account a key paradoxical fact, that illusions can actually give greater access to reality, than our senses alone can offer.

Think of the mirror, for example. Until we encounter a reflection we have no idea what we look like.

A reflection is certainly an illusion however, and one we routinely trust to tell us the truth, despite the fact that it flips the entire world front-to-back. For Jacques Lacan the mirror illusion was fundamental to how we see ourselves and our relationship with the reality around us. The mirror stage is a crucial phase in the development of human infants, where the ego begins to develop as we see ourselves as an ideal image, and fundamentally separate from others for the first time. Before this, according to Lacan, we live in the Real Stage, where we are only concerned by our immediate bodily needs and a lived unity with our mothers.

Another crucial illusion we rely on to access information about ourselves and the world, are moving pictures. These are based on photography, which also makes clever use of mirrors and tricks of the light, to present authentication of how things look. The photographic illusion, while synonymous with evidence, is compounded when we use machines to play back one photograph after another. All moving images present a basic illusion of movement - a motion that is constructed from a series of stillnesses. This isn’t how motion works in reality at all - and yet, we have simulated it well enough to trick the eye with ease.

The illusions of moving images provide us with reliable evidence of things all of the time - augmenting our senses and providing access to aspects of reality we could never approach without such technological prostheses. Marxist theorist Walter Benjamin talks about this in his famous essay on The Work of Art in Age of Mechanical Reproduction, calling this new technologically-aided sense, the optical unconscious.

But there are certainly limitations to our amazing inventions. We become so reliant on them for information, we cease to notice their shortcomings and distortions of the truth. Jim Schofield’s research with Bedford Interactive into the capturing of dance on video for motion study, showed how much dynamic information is lost when we rely on a series of stills to record it. His use of Zeno’s paradoxes and dialectical reasoning in attempting to resolve the problem shows this is more than just an issue of inadequate technical solutions. The very contradiction of trying to understand motion through stillness was bound to surface sooner or later, even if this particular illusion is adequate for most purposes.

This conundrum also reminds me of Henri Bergson’s view of our cinematic view of reality - another philosopher influenced by Zeno. Bergson used the “cinematographical apparatus” as an analogy for how the intellect attempts to deal with truth - always fragmenting, abstracting, analysing phenomena into discontinuous constituent parts, and then attempting to understand the dynamic whole from these debris.

“Such is the contrivance of the cinematograph. And such is also that of our knowledge. Instead of attaching ourselves to the inner becoming of things, we place ourselves outside them in order to recompose their becoming artificially.” Bergson, 1907

The video camera is a science experiment. It takes small pieces, samples, data, and tries to understand the dynamic whole. But something is always lost. Such illusions can be very useful, the difficulty then lies in working out what isn’t translated, and the extent to which we might be kidding ourselves.

As Jim Schofield investigates in his paper on Charles Bonnet Syndrome in this issue, a form of illusion lies at the heart of vision itself. As with Bergson, this isn’t just about technology, or even scientific methods, but about the ways we think about reality, and maybe even something fundamental about how our brains work.

Mick Schofield, October 2020

03 October, 2020

The Origin of the Ruling Classes

The ruling class obtained their power and wealth using violence

Long, long ago, in a now-totally-vanished Early Civilisation, certain dedicated people struggled with all their might to begin to understand Reality-as-it-actually-existed. And in that initial, and mostly pre-Productive era, the main purpose was always primarily to see what caused things to both Change and even Develop, in the ways that nature clearly did. 

These were remarkable People, having only recently abandoned the nomadic of existence of their forefathers, and conquered how to work-with-Nature, settle in a single permanent place, and plant-and-tend crops, as well as pen-in and domesticate certain animals, they had crossed the Rubicon, that had long restricted their development, which had lasted, scarcely-changing, for literally millions of years. 

They knew what they had achieved, and were already beginning to think differently about the world. And also, to consider what other possibly different behaviours could also be tried-out, that might, in the future, produce dramatically different alternative possibilities. And, the purposes for establishing such objectives, were seen to be to both explaining their own Past History, and, armed with such understanding, perhaps be in such a position to avoid old mistakes, and to struggle instead for something a whole lot better!

But that wasn't yet happening. 

For instead, other groups of people, who were NOT such seekers of truth, and were still living as constantly-wandering Hunter/Gatherers, were motivated by seeing those settled people, who were clearly much better off than they were, to instead shape their future by the Use of Force - directed entirely to acquire those things using violence, for their own exclusive benefit, BUT, at the same time, effectively preventing others from doing that very same thing to them.

And those possible builders of an alternative future, currently enjoying the benefits of a productive life, were not yet equipped to attempt to either understand or withstand the warlike objectives of jealous onlookers from outside: who did know what they, themselves, were already fully capable of achieving, such things, just as they had in the past, by the obvious use of Force. They could vanquish any possible present and future opponents by employing a First Strike Strategy, and then, thereafter, remaining fully-equipped to perpetuate their achieved dominance, if ever they were challenged, both either by those that they now ruled, or by any wholly new forces, with the very same objectives as they themselves had originally pursued. But, such rule by conquest was no contract between rulers and ruled: there was no doubt as to who was in charge.

The earliest raids were just surprise attacks, and the attackers couldn't take-and-carry-off very much, but the hunters could inflict serious hurt and even deaths upon the defenders, and would be back frequently, if some form of effective defence were not put in place. But the only at-all-competent defenders would be other groups of Hunter/Gatherers, and they would not usually be either available nor willing when required.

Ultimately, a surprising solution was settled upon by chance, when desperate Hunter/Gatherers were taken in and helped by a Farming community, and then when a raid occurred, the hunters who had been taken in effectively defended their new friends, and beat the invaders off. And a deal was made, that in return for such defences, the Farming Community would continue to provide the needs of their Hunter defenders.

And, after a series of successful defences, the "Village Hunters" quickly became lauded heroes, and sometimes were even asked to be the leaders and protectors of the Community.

So, initially from good intentions, the Community had acquired a nascent Ruling Leadership of non productive warrior leaders. And a New Class had been established whose greatest asset was their ability to Fight-and-Win, but certainly NOT to work!

So, the later Leaders and Defenders of civilization would naturally come from this now privileged Class. 

And, they would want to maintain their Status and Privileges, even long after their use as Defenders ceased to be either necessary or possible.

And today, long after this leader/defender role has vanished - and after so much social upheaval in the name of equality and social progress - the Class that so became established at the dawn of civilisation, still largely remain in place.

Have a look at today's ruling class and the activities they enjoy if you're in any doubt...

26 September, 2020

The Fundamental Error of Quantum Mechanics

A Right Criticism


The Wrong Solution

There is a Stanford "Continuing Education" Lecture, by Leonard Susskind, the purpose of which is supposedly to deliver, to a collection of mature-and-interested general auditors, an interesting Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, and its Foundations in Theory.

But Susskind's Lecture, from its very outset, instead attempts to ground his criticisms of Classical Physics, solely from a Quantum Mechanical (basically a Copenhagen) standpoint, via what seems initially to be a valid revelation of the fundamental-and-debilitating weaknesses of the former. 

He wrongly puts it down to congenital errors, due to actual "inaccuracies-in-measurements", but he does it, by inferring that the blame should be put solely upon the unavoidably inadequate means used in obtaining them, instead of Classical Physics' actually wholly flawed and totally inadequate mathematical rationality, which ever since its inception in Ancient Greece, was wholly incorrectly and damagingly transferred to ALL the Sciences.

Susskind does not even recognise this problem - but he also, in attaching the errors solely to poorly arranged-for experimental means, thereby delivering the blamed evident inaccuracies of the results obtained.

But in that he is doubly wrong: for his criticisms, which still leave him (and his auditors) totally unaware of the real causes, so, both cannot, in any way, deliver a solution, but also, in that wrong attribution, he completely hides the real causes, and, therefore, allows his "purely theoretically-perfected" equations to be the ONLY Ultimate Sources of Truth.

He establishes his position by this as totally idealist.

He establishes it NOT via Reality, but through Mathematical Rationality alone.

Theoretical Physicists have always dealt with all experimentally achieved results and consequently theoretically interpreted them via the mistakenly applied Pluralist Rationality, which sees all extracted relations solely as products of Eternally Fixed Natural Laws. That ONLY come out of the consequently formulated and theoretically confirmed Equations. The data so originally achieved will NOT be the Form that is required, but, on the contrary, that imposed upon the situation by just those constraints that ensure its total conformity to Plurality.

We do not directly measure Reality-as-is, but a Reality so constrained as to reveal more clearly only exactly what is purposely sought! But, unless the data-producing experiments required for the usual Pluralist Approach have been "perfectly applied", both in how the experiments were set-up-and-maintained throughout, they will never deliver the exactly aimed-for data, which is necessary, and will instead only produce data certain to differ from what could be either achieved in such sufficiently-rigidly controlled experiments OR taken directly from prior, "accurate" individual Equations, as all simultaneously-acting Laws are assumed to be wholly independent of one another, and hence arranged to be extracted one-at-a-time - pluralistically!

Whereas, in the actual Real Holist World outside, those could, if done correctly, actually reflect Reality-as-it-actually-is.

The problem is that the Rationality of Mathematics, as fully exemplified in Euclidian Geometry, did indeed define a legitimate Rationality - it works flawlessly - but ONLY in constrained areas. This is solely because Form, unlike almost everything else in Reality, does indeed soundly conform to Plurality's rules: a specific Logic for dealing with a Discipline composed exclusively of separable entires and FIXED relations or Unchanging Laws!

But, the trouble was, that following the universal successes of Pluralist Logic, it was applied to all the sciences, in a way which omitted the richness and dynamism of the material Universe.

In assuming that revealed relations are Eternal Natural Laws, all Real Development is excluded.

And, Susskind, in his Lecture, then proceeds to "Compound the Felony", by marshalling all his arguments, via the same mistaken Rationality. He correctly demonstrates the inability to predict in literally ALL situations, but instead makes it solely due to measured inaccuracies, whereas the most important of them are all due to the total exclusion of handling All Qualitative Change. 

And, he conversely puts down the simple addition of results into more complex situations, as due to the very same reason - rather than the actual reason that classical Pluralist Physics cannot deal with Reality-as-is, and merely substitutes, instead, the additions of multiple Fixed Laws, for the actual totally unknown and unconsidered Real Qualitative Changes that are involved.

He declares that the Double Slit Experiments all totally prove his case, whereas the opposite is true. 

Their paradoxes, on the contrary, and much like those of Zeno, expose the fundamental inadequacies of Pluralist Logic.

[See "The Theory of the Double Slit Experiments" in SHAPE Journal]

And, in a significantly ineffectual following section, he then resorts (as is usual for him) to proving his case using Mathematical Equations alone - the very cause of the major failures, to "prove" the opposite!


A whole series of papers dedicated to a major prior series of lectures by Susskind, has also been published in SHAPE Journal, but give-yourself-time, SHAPE has been publishing for 11 years now, delivering 125 issues with perhaps somewhat more than 1000 individual papers available!

Having spent most of my professional life posing these difficult questions, the importance of this now mature philosophical stance in addressing what is wrong with Modern Physics, is also succesfully employed across many different disciplines, from Politics to Evolutionary Biology. 

The flaws of the dominant Pluralist stance are revealed inadvertently by Susskind himself, for he passionately believes in Pluralistic Theory over-and-above any messy purely Pragmatic Extractions from Reality-as-is. 

When presented with "beautiful", generally consistent-and-coherent elegant Theory, and the messy error-filled "facts" from Nature, he resolutely chooses the Former as "containing the Real Truth". 

However difficult, Reality must be our final arbiter. 

Anything else can only be delusional!


16 September, 2020

How can we defeat capitalism?

Building Socialist Political Parties 
and Organising for Real Social Change

In spite of several major Crises, such as the decade-long slump in the 1930s, and the similar and still continuing Depression commencing in 2008, the problems which caused them have not, and indeed cannot, be solved, whilever we live within a Capitalist Economic System.

For, it is primarily driven by maximising Profit for the Few, while directly extracting the wherewithall to maintain and extend the System from the the work and the pockets majority of the People - the Many!

And, the consequences throughout the last century have been totally horrendolus -

TWO World Wars with literally Tens of Millions of Deaths - entirely due to rival Capitalist powers wanting bigger shares.

And, also, there have been Revolutions in TWO of the biggest Countries in the World, whose stated purpose was to build Socialism and bury Capitalism for ever!

So, how has Capitalism survived?

While the evidence for its necessary termination is both everywhere and profuse: why have The People not rebelled and overturned this exploitative and unequal System?

It is primarily because literally ALL the means of disseminating and framing Information are in the biased hands of the Wealthy, and even the apparently Democratic Political Systems, worldwide, have been bought to both speak and act always in a pro-capitalist way.

Yet, even so, it has all been insufficient, and we are now living within a period of literally constant wars - either to suppress any divergence from the pro Capitalist Bloc, or to suppress any challenge to the dominance of the current hegemony of the Leading Capitalist Power - the USA. And, no matter what setbacks the war-mongers get, they simply redouble their efforts, to maintain the status quo - one way or another!

It is becoming an existential Crisis for Capitalism, and as they have NO solutions - they still carry on with the vast increases in Debt, which precipitated the continuing Crisis of 2008! It hasn't been a solution to that, so stepping it up again to even higher levels won't solve things now.

So, how can the People break out of their currently powerless position?

They have to FIRST bypass the usual means, and take to the streets!

And, then they must strive to build new Socialist Political Parties with the Theory necessary to inform their actions.

And that MUST be Marxist - BUT NOT the distorted versions of the Stalinist / Communist Parties, and even the Trotskyist aberrations of the 20th century, but a NEW and Genuine Marxism, based upon the philosophical and political contributions of Karl Marx - but brought up to date and fully extended into Science, where it is currently exposing the myths of Modern Sub Atomic Physics, as well as rejecting the many Damaging Revisions, in the name of Marxism, which are no such thing!

There is no shortage of Issues... Get out there and DEMONSTRATE!

14 September, 2020

Focus Fusion: Why Nuclear Fusion Cannot Be Solved By Current Methods

Fusion and Philosophy

The Currently Impassible Barrier To Solving Nuclear Fusion

And A Possible Solution...

The writer of this paper has spent his whole adult life as a qualified physicist and mathematician. Highly critical of both disciplines his research actually attempts to remove the wrongly imposed (very-rational, yet mistaken) Philosophical Basis of the last two and a half millennia in these areas, as they relate to one another in the current crisis of Sub Atomic Physics.

For, in "crossing the rubicon" from School Science and Mathematics, at which I really excelled, over to the study of these subjects at University level, I had enthusiastically expected it to be a mighty leap into revealing something of the True Content of Reality. However, I was mightily disappointed by the series of defeats that had evidently been suffered in Physics, and the consequent overall surrender, and unavoidable retrenchment back to a majorly pragmatic retreat. 

The basically Idealist subscription of making Pure Form the Sole Determinator of Reality, won out over the difficulties of Materialism - and hence Mathematics was promoted significantly, from its role as Handmaiden to the Sciences, into the veritable Queen of them.

And the unavoidable consequence of this, turned out to be the profound limitation of those Sciences, into the only then possible developable bases, for Mathematics as such - in its essential Plurality - not only empowered that area of study to develop into Mankind's first ever Intellectual Discipline, but also and damagingly, imposed profound limitations, by adopting the same basis, building up from fixed laws and entities. 

For, while this significantly empowered the Discipline by enabling a consistent and comprehensive Range of Valid Relations between Forms, they were thereafter immutable. And, of course, such a System could never be comprehensively employed in any areas wherein Qualitative Changes and Innovative Development was wholly unavoidable.

Now, elsewhere, I have pursued the above position more generally with respect to its affect upon my own major professional area, of Sub Atomic Physics and Substrate Theory, but here, will have to concentrate upon a particular area, Nuclear Fusion, as is supposedly being developed for the Direct Generation of Electricity, as such a study, very clearly, reveals the disabling limitations in what is elsewhere a more generally applicable way.

For, ever since the development of the Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs by the USA, there has been the objective of using these vast producers Enormous Amounts of Energy, in more useful areas of Human Activity, and increasingly, as the continued use of Carbon-based Fuels are clearly beginning to negatively affect things from Pollution to the existential threat of runaway Climate Change. 

Nuclear Fission proved a little dangerous!

And, in my area of Physics, the biggest failures of understanding occur where Qualitative Change is totally unavoidable, while the usually applied Pluralist-Dominated-Theory in that precise area never actually copes with such changes, not least because all Physics Theory is permanently locked into purely mathematical theories, and simply cannot ever cope with situations involving multiple, simultaneous, active factors.

The usual way of doing Physics is to reveal totally pluralist mathematical Equations, and by doing so,   "supposedly" accurately describing what actually happens. But they certainly do not do that! For such Equations to work, they can only be applied in Maintained Stable situations. as are always considered essential in deriving all laws in Physics. So, such Pluralist Stance Physics is also totally inadequate in delivering a theory for the Processes of Nuclear Fusion.

And the usual route followed has-to-be concerned with Stabilised and maintained-as-such processes only.

So, as with all Production Processes currently in use, a complex overall process with a succession of very different Qualitative Phases, can only be achieved by a whole series of completely-separated individual Processes, each one with its own severely restricted aand maintained context, and driven by a Single Pluralist Law, and, thereafter, followed by a sequence of others, each one with different purposes, contexts and its own different particular laws.

And in Nuclear Fusion such an approach can't possibly work, and the reasons for this are significant!

It is nothing like a Production sequence of Processes in a Factory.

For in Fusion the components are the same ones throughout, BUT they change qualitatively at each and every stage.

And as far as I can tell, only one researcher is attempting to address this problem as a Single, Multi-Phase Overall and Integrated Process.

Is Eric Lerner doing Holistic Materialism?

It is Eric Lerner in his Focus Fusion System!

And having also watched many explanatory accounts wedded exclusively to the Universally-adopted Pluralist system, which "seeking some form of Stability" as its basis for investigating Reality, and consequently having to necessarily have to divide up both the investigations, AND the ultimate Implementations, into their wholly seperate-and-maintained individual Phases, OR, alternatively, build absolutely Mammoth, combined constructions, that attempt to automate that necessary passage-through a separated sequence, within a complicated and articulated enclosed whole, but, nevertheless with all Parts STILL conforming, individually, to the Pluralist, Stability-first Approach.

So what is different about Lerner's approach in Focus Fusion?

He does not seek Stabilities, for any individual parts of this system! Instead, he welcomes the transitions from one Phase to the next. And always attempts to finally understand Reality "on the fly!"

And, crucially, he designs his system, so that each New Phase is provided with its appropriate place to develop - designing his apparatus so that the action moves things, automatically, each to its own ideal setting, as the different Phases naturally occur. He uses the careful design of his apparatus, and the everywhere-available natural forces, as well as the expected developments occurring within his apparatus, to deliver the necessary transitions between Phases, and also, of course, exactly to where they will occur.

And he also designs the sequence of Forms involved, so that the natural "Pinch Effects" of the moving Plasma he is using, to naturally further concentrate his "medium", more at each and every Phase, to continually raise its pressure and temperature towards that required for ultimate Fusion.

And, he is doing it with only a four-person-team, and woefully inadequate Funding! And his approach is NOT pluralist!

He takes Reality as-it-is, and "Rides the Tiger", with increasing skill and understanding.

Another great example of a burgeoning holistic materialist methodology for science.


09 August, 2020

Of Cycles and Dialectics


Dialectical Dynamics

In Part 17 of David Harvey’s series of Lectures upon Marx’s Grundrisse, he reveals some crucial features of Marx’s version of Dialectics, based upon the repeated Cycles developed in the very intrinsic dynamics of both establishing the wholly New, within processes that then become parts of repeated Cycles, and which in their subsequent development, also elicit other consequent related Cycles, all of which, thereafter, mutually-determine each other’s qualities!

But they never settle into finally Fixed Forms. This can be confusing for readers of Marx, who expect definitions of things to stay the same - as they do in all Pluralist forms of study.

Indeed, they are always undergoing constant changes, and suffering consequent Crises, for Dialectics indeed emphasizes the Holist nature of Reality!

Now, this makes it very different for Classical Formal Logic (a Pluralist view), which has dominated all Reasoning since the Ancient Greek Intellectual Revolution. This Logic must consider things Qualitatively Fixed, though they can vary Quantitatively, and so-called Understanding becomes a kind of Logical Game - with fixed rules! The most fundamental rule of all forbids contradiction.

And, this meant that, for well over two millennia, that there was NO way of explaining Qualitative Development - which was reduced to Quantitative changes of fixed entities. So though the wholly New was often recognised, it could never be explained: a crude “Quantity into Quality” was merely assumed, and its circumstances noted, and used to predict when & How such things may change, but never Why!

But, certainly, how Marx understood such things, in his Grundrisse, was revealing its intricaces to Harvey!

And, some of the most revolutionary processes are revealed there as to how-and-why the wholly New could first emerge, give birth to other consequent processes and cycles, and were then, unavoidably, transformed, recursively by their own creations!

Indeed, though neither Marx nor Harvey were aware of it, recent research into both long-lasting Natural Stabilities within Reality, and their roles both within and outside of Emergent Interludes have been recognised and both described and explained via the concept of “Balanced Stabilities” - Stability itself is not only dynamic, but contradictorily accomplished via change.

For, these are combined phenomena, due to many simultaeous processes acting together, in balancing pairs, which fairly quickly, when subjected to cycles of variability, gradually filter out lesser contributions, yet establish relatively stable pairs of opposing processes, which effectively deliver an overall, co-ordinating bunch of these, which together provide a self-maintaining Stability overall, and, which is usually self-maintaining, for extended periods of time, but which can in extreme circumstances, precipitate an overall dissociation of all the individual component “balances” and finally cause the overall collapse of the complete “Balanced Stability” - a Revolution, in fact!

In consequence usually immediately forming new opposing Balanced Pairs, and ultimately composite Bundles in wholly New “Balanced Stabilities” in so- called “Emergent Interludes”

And elsewhere, and over time, these features, and others like them, are THE ONLY explanations for real, entirely- innovative creation of the totally NEW! Evolution is impossible with a strictly pluralist view of Reality.

And, the holistic mutal affecting of multiple simulateous processes, and cycles, makes the incredibly long odds of changes by mere Random Chance, in an entirely Pluralist World, a total non-starter!

Also, and perhaps even more important, the Pluralist set up is exactly what leads to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, permanently immobile Stability as the end point of varying factors, and the whole concept of Entropy as nonsense.

And, perhaps, even more importantly, the many wrong turnings due to Plurality, have been the myriads of contradictions that it has caused, initially in the division of studies of Reality into separate “Subjects” and “Specialisms” as a workaround, but most profoundly of all in dispensing with very effective Logical Models like The Aether, as an undetectable Universal Substrate filling all of Space, and the dispensing of Physical Explanations, replacing them with INADMISSIBLE, entirely pluralist mathematical Equations, which contain none of this crucial dynamic quality, whatsoever.

Reality may not have any pre-ordained directions of Progress, but it certainly behaves very differently when everything can potentially affect and transform everything else.

Exploring this brave new world is where Science must go next.

This post was taken from Issue 70 of SHAPE Journal entitled Cycles. 

08 August, 2020

Issue 70 of SHAPE Journal: Cycles

Read the Issue

This edition features a collection of essays by philosopher Jim Schofield on the importance of studying cycles.

It is becoming ever clearer that Repeated Cycles of Processes turn out to be imperative at all levels of Reality. From the enlightening holist philosophy of the Buddha, to weather patterns, metabolic pathways, life cycles and new extensions of Dialectical Logic and Physics Theory, recursive cycles are at the heart of many key attempts to understand the complexities and underlying structures of the natural world.

Key to this new study is unlocking the role cycles play in Qualitative Change, evolution in both Life and the development of matter, the interaction of vast systems and the Emergence of wholly new entities and systems. This research is vital in the development of Dialectical Materialist philosophy and SHAPE journal's attempts to rescue Science from the damaging limitations of Pluralist methodologies.

06 August, 2020

What exactly is Mathematics?

Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the purest of them all?

Mathematics isn't what people think it is. 

Even its greatest exponents have little idea what their discipline is and where it came from. 

In again watching Leonard Susskind's continuing Lecture Series from Stanford University on Quantum Mechanics; he spends most of a particularly intensive Lecture upon Pure Mathematics, establishing Complex Numbers as "Descriptors of Reality".

But what they really are, as he effectively demonstrates, (though that is most certainly NOT his intention!) are pure Abstractions from Reality. And most certainly NOT a "full & comprehensive reflection (with nothing omitted & nothing added) of Reality", but instead a:-

Mirror-like reflection

- losing most of what is intrinsically involved, in order to deliver a dramatically simplified version, which both merely and exclusively deliver a virtuality, totally without its actual determining causal content, and as such conforming ONLY to a set of Rules (as in a Game), which make what it does deliver mutually consistent with one another , BUT NOT for any intrinsic causality, but instead due to that set of Rules, independent of the Reality that was the real Causal Origin.

Now as a highly competent Mathematician, myself, I, long ago switched my allegiances to Physics, for its very different Basis as a Science of Reality-as-is! It (historically, at least) always attempted to explain things as well as describing them; and in so doing was regularly forced to correct and even extend its concrete premises, in order to remain subject to its key purposes.

But what is it about Mathematics that makes it inadequate in actually explaining Reality fully? And how does it' universal utilisation in the Sciences, distort our view of the Universe?

It was discovered in the Greek Intellectual Revolution of the 5th century BC by assuming all relations between Forms to be permanently FIXED (as they must be to enable a Formal Mathematical Rationality possible) - and this was much later embodied in the Principle of Plurality in which all such concepts are necessarily permanently fixed, for, by doing so, a fairly easily achieved self-consistent Logic as its main means could be guaranteed.

And this very first Intellectual Discipline of Mankind was so successful within Mathematics, that it was also illegitimately exported, wholesale, to both General Reasoning and all the emerging Sciences, crippling both of their attempted applications to a Clearly Evolving Reality.

Susskind constantly confirms my definition of mathematical Rationality both regularly and clearly throughout this lecture, as he extends the idea of Complex Numbers, entirely, exclusively and openly in this very way. But mentions NO actual Physics whatsoever.

Having seen many of his other Youtube Lectures, it is clear that Susskind's unifying basis for Everything he is concerned with is Mathematics: it alone Drives the World! And, he regularly sails well beyond the Three Dimensional Limits of Reality, legitimately with Time, but thereafter totally illegitimately with everything else. As long as the Determining Integrity of the reasoning is maintained, in the mathematical way, all can be stuffed into this same model!

And, of course, once everything becomes symbols on the page, related solely via Mathematical Logic, the concrete aspects fade into insignificance, enabling all sorts of Physically illegitimate reasons to justify wholly Pluralist so-called "Theories"!

Now this transformation of Physics is absolutely crucial, because the essential policemen of that Science, The Theorists, had always been absolutely essential to keep the pragmatic Technologists in their midst, in check via the physical Causality of their Theories. But, with the increasing triumph of the Mathematicians within those theorists, the whole approach in Theory was converted to wholly Pluralistic Mathematical Formulae.

Physics is being totally castrated by these changes!

And in a career-long struggle to reverse this tendency, this committed theorist had to spend the rest of his career, fighting these major inadequacies via extensive diversions into Philosophy, both of Mathematics itself, and of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, in order to find the answers, which only finally came to fruition in 2019 after many different research projects: 

The Processes and Productions of Abstraction,

The Philosophy of Mathematics,

Truly Natural Selection,

The Theory of Emergences,

Substrate Theory

and finally the Critique of the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Theory, which took a considerable amount of time, and which have all been published in SHAPE Journal over the last 10 years, and are available for anyone to read for free.

But when will other Scientists have this same realisation about Mathematics?

05 August, 2020

Joseph E. Stiglitz and the Trajectory of Chinese Communism since 1980

Stiglitz in China

In a recent Lecture to a Norwegian Business School Conference, Joseph E. Stiglitz (from Columbia University in the USA - he has been advising the Chinese Communist Leadership since the early 1980s, upon a transition to fitting China into a Market Economy globally), was, in his contribution to that Conference, extremely informative, in ways totally unmentioned either by the Citadels of Capitalism globally, OR by the current Left, supposedly opposing that system (including, surprisingly, many of the self-professed the Marxists)!

His contribution was NOT, of course, superior to those critics of Capitalism, but it DID highlight the inadequacies of the current Left's policies for fighting for both the End of Capitalism, in the West, AND, crucially, exactly how to achieve the necessary Revolution, without the major liabilities of the Rise of Stalinist Bureaucracies, as have followed such Revolutions in the past.

Now, immediately prior to the period that Stiglitz covers, the writer of this paper was resident in Hong Kong, as a lecturer in a University there, and had visited Communist China, as an already committed Marxist. So I was aware of the then current fight between the Maoist so-called "Gang of Four" (including Mao's wife) and the "Capitalist Roaders" - led by Deng, so I knew who won that fight, and how they disagreed with Mao's "Cultural Revolution". And, I travelled through the countryside observing how the smaller Country Soviets were working. So I am able to link up Stiglitz's account to its immediate prehistory in the Chinese Communist Party. But I must emphasise, most strongly, that in spite of the great value in studying Stiglitz's account, he is, certainly, no Marxist, nor even a Socialist. He is a Capitalist Economist, who accepts Capitalism, and plots its "best possible" consequent Trajectory economically, as both essential, yet worthy of much better critical study than it is usually accorded.

Indeed, literally all the criticisms of Capitalism, that both inform and energise the Socialist and Communist oppositions to it, are totally missing in Stiglitz: for his account is more like a modern Keynesian critique of current Neoliberalist Capitalism, rather than taking a steadfast position of requiring Capitalism's total termination.

Yet interestingly, Stiglitz was brought in to help, as it became increasingly clear to the Chinese Leadership, that the insertion of some tightly regulated Capitalist enterprises in China, was running into problems with the many country-localities in China, that were not included in the joint schemes, and these leftover-and-leftout town and village "Soviets" were clearly not benefiting from the economic changes, and were beginning to oppose the plans of the Central Bureaucracy, which would ultimately reveal iteself in the Tianamen Square Events: and require a Wholly New Phase, integrating this opposition into becoming part of the New Turn, and economic boom, in what was called the TVE (Town & Village Initiative), but to make it work, any remnants of the "Soviet" nature (which I had observed when I visited China before 1980), just had to go - and this, in time, would again require yet another New Phase!

CCP propaganda poster 1979

Guangdong Province (I think)

School in China 1979

Villagers building dam

Photographs from my travels in Communist China, 1979

But, as the reader will have already imagined, the alternatives to be put forward on this blog are most certainly NOT Keynesian criticisms of Capitalism, but, on the contrary, major criticisms of the current Left's opposition to Western Capitalism, as they were surprisingly and increasingly revealed by the experiences in China in the last 40 years, which has revealed a very Marxian Trajectory of differently necessary Phases of development, as what were previously-Working-Policies ran out of steam, and had to be regularly replaced, but, in a very pragmatic - "Crossing the River by Feeling for the Stones" way, as they put it! For, every change in Policy, was NOT occurring within an established Socialist Economy, but now in a mixed Communist/Capitalist Economy, both unavoidably linked to World Capitalism, and thereby guaranteed to engender such Crises regularly, and ultimately, at some point, precipitate a Wholesale Collapse.

NO, what I intend to extract from those twisted-temporary-experiences in China, is a much better Theory, extracted from and among Real 21st century Marxists, intended to guarantee the Success of Socialist Revolution in the West!

For, a comprehensive, all-areas-applicable Marxism (more properly described as Dialectical Materialism) was not sufficiently fully defined by Karl Marx - for though his contributions were Truly Revolutionary, they were not soundly applicable when not limited only to Marx's completed work: indeed the absolutely crucial area of The Sciences, was not significantly addressed, comprehensively, until the second decade of this century, with the various critiques of the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Theory published in SHAPE Journal and elsewhere on the Web, by 2019.

And, in addition, the now available extensive range of lectures by David Harvey, all now on Youtube, both on Marx's Kapital and the Grundrisse, have brilliantly revealed aspects of Marx's method and begun to make them more generally applicable, BUT ONLY if tackled in the same way as Marx had worked, and in addition by scientifically-trained-experts, not only covering the specialist ground, but also, and crucially and necessarily extending the Marxist Method.

Indeed, though he didn't realise why it was necessary, Stiglitz, in his account of the trajectory in the last 40 years of Communist China, clearly identified the various key Crises, in the sequence of required changes, which could alternatively be explained using Harvey's interpretations of Marx's Method, but extended beyond what Marx had access to.

Now, the most important re-application of these methods is NOT primarily in addressing the failures of the Stalinists in China, but, in the far more important criticisms of the truncated appreciations of Marxism currently available, and unavoidably incorrectly applied to the necessary political agitations NOW, against Capitalism in the West! For, no matter what they all call themselves, the various Left political elements are NOT equipped with the 21st century Marxism that I am talking about: and hence, necessarily, their "Theory" leads to both Strategies, Tactics and Propaganda, that are all doomed to result in failure!

And, if Proof is required, they should all be pressed to explain both the various Phases that have been forced upon the Stalinists in China, AND, even more importantly, exactly how those same analyses can be effectively applied to their own current positions and policies - for there definitely are similarities, indicating what inexplicable-to-them failures they will most certainly encounter, and hope to understand enough, to be able to plot paths around them.

And, if they cannot do it, redirect them to both Harvey and Marx's original works to effect a radical change in what they consider to be MARXISM!

For, no-one on the Left seems to be aware of the Revolutionary Situation they are careering towards at some considerable speed, and are ALL at a loss to see what transforming Transitional Demands they will undoubtedly need, to orient themselves and Their Class to what must be done!

Have they read "Ten Days that Shook the World" by John Reed?

Do they not know why the slogan "Bread, Peace and Land", was their cry, and that it worked, and why it did so?

What should our demands be?

15 July, 2020

The Idealist Extremes

What underlies that Philosophical Stance?

The many inaccessible fissures-and-cracks, inherent in the basic philosophical stance of an underlying Idealism, seem to be readily maintained, even though the more obviously wrong aspects of this, may be soon dispensed with.

And, it occurs for the very same reasons as why "The God of the Gaps" still survives, despite the many unstoppable successful onslaughts of a seemingly all-conquering Materialism and Science.

For, such extreme and difficult areas always seem to be the last refuges for Idealist Prejudices.

Let us briefly list the more obvious exemplars of these suvivors!

First-and-foremost were the many as yet unexplained areas of Reality, particularly to do with those diverse origins of things or situations: for in this context religious "explanations" have always abounded, and were also even strongly touted as of general possible influence "Elicted by Prayer" - and encouraged by how more numerous were the participants, or even coming from a previously established "Chosen Few", for then much more likely, would there be a favourable intervention to implement the request!

But, these were removed, one-by-one, by the march of ever-increasing Human Understanding, and the constant recurrence of failures for the divine to respond!

So the "Yes, but!" exceptions had to be made to retreat, ever more deeply, into the most difficult to investigate, extreme limits of Human Explanation. Indeed, one where those areas of "explanation" could so easily trail off into infinite Elipsis ...................!

The most obvious concept eliciting such obscurantism was, of course, Infinity!

Cut, equally, it could also reside at the other totally opposite extreme regions, of the infinitesimal.

We certainly see a lot of Idealism in Quantum Physics.

By far the most effective means of dispensing with problem areas, was achieved when the Ancient Greeks arrived at the solution of Mathematical Logic - a system which contained only Fixed Etneral Laws. This was extended to all the other Disciplines of Thought, which then existed, which were found to only be revealed by effectively suppressing all-except-one, in a straight-jacketed experimental approach, which we now term as Pluralist: and which were also and totally incorrectly, assumed that all natural situations were merely unaffecting additions of many such Fixed Laws.

This Sledge-Hammer approach, effectively made all real mutually-affecting sets of Factors impossible to reveal individually.

And, with such debilitating methods, the search for such hiding-places, for as yet unexplained repositories, was NOT thrown out, as it should have been. In fact, ever more such places are constantly being suggested, via Mathematical Idealism, from Multiverses beyond Infinity, to the impossibly too small to detect, at the opposite extreme.

07 July, 2020

Lacan on the idea of 'Natural Law'

To extract a natural law is to extract a meaningless formula. The less it signifies anything, the happier we are. This is why we are perfectly happy with the achievements of Einsteinian physics. You would be wrong to think those little equations of Einstein's that express the relationship of inertial mass to a constant plus some exponents have the slightest meaning. They are pure signifiers. 

Jacques Lacan (1993) The signifier, as such, signifies nothing 

02 July, 2020

From Idealism to Materialism

Holistic Dialectics

We cannot possibly deliver here, all that is needed in differentiating Idealist Dialectics from the Dialectical Materialism of Marx. And this is primarily because neither Marx, nor his followers within the Socialist and Communist Movements of the Working Class, have, as yet, really fully appreciated his methods, and attempted to complete the still unfnished areas he revealed - or even more crucially, extended the stance into vital areas NOT addressed in any comprehensive way by Marx.

And this has been, primarily because, he never produced a full informing and instructing definition of his Stance and Method. But also, it was mainly because neither Marx nor anyone else tackled the major Elephant-in- the-Room - the omission of a comprehensive treatment of The Sciences.

That has been begun to be tackled elsewhere, by this theorist, but it is a colossal task, and as yet is far from being a completed undertaking!

So here, the differences with Hegel, as well as with the present day crop of Hegelian “Marxists” (such as Zizek) will be undertaken here!

As a study of both the Development of our Universe from a still debateable starting point, and, subsequently, from Mankind’s much more available History and Prehistory, they clearly demonstrate, that these two conceptions of Reality have simultaneously co-existed throughout that vast Development: and they have never ever fitted neatly together at all well, in any attempts to do so at any subsequent time either.

Indeed, they, in the emerging consciousness of Mankind, presented their implicit primary confounding contradictions, as presenting an ever more evident insurmountable barrier to any possible developments into something actually revealing of the causes for the emergence of significantly Wholly New!

And, in addition, the very late emergence of what later became known as Thinking, and, in particular, Rationality or Reasoning, were also strongly and damagingly coloured, and significantly limited by maintaintaining that contradictory pair of bases.

But we must NOT forge too-swiftly nor too-far ahead in attempting to understand this important trajectory, as it had also developed concretely, as contradictory physical processes, not only in the absence of Man, but even before the Emergence of Life itself. For, by starting exclusively with how it developed within Mankind, definitely prevents a more basic understanding of how these two interacted materialistically in the whole trajectory from the very beginings of underlying Reality itself, to which they must also have already been intrinsic.

Now, how can, and why must, this be insisted upon?

Well, it is, first, because the initial Emergence of Thinking in Mankind was never able to deal with this contradiction: and had to attempt to square-that- circle with some “exterior, non-material agency”, like a GOD, which somehow, also, had the crucial imputs, though often thwarted by Man! And, second, it turns out to be because these seemingly opposite approaches often appear to dominate, at different times, and indeed actually change each other, and into one another, thus, together, acting as the crucial engines of natural qualitative development.

Indeed, it is finally becoming clear only NOW, that the simple, initual conception of Reality, as a mere collection of forever-fixed components, obeying eternally-fixed Natural Laws - like some Lego Construction Game - is definitely just a simplifying myth that could NEVER explain the qualitatively new: and, therefore, wrongly substitutes mere Complexity for actual creative Emergence.

Now, interestingly, around the 5th century BC, two diametrically opposite conceptions of the “True Nature of Reality”, one occurring in Greece, and the other in India, began, in very different ways, to attempt to systematise Human Thinking, BUT each upon one of those two opposing concepts!

The Greek philosophers ultimately alighted upon Plurality (with only fixed relational concepts as their sole basis): while, at about the same time, The Buddha, in India, was contemplating primarily the natural Living World, and chose Holism, based upon universal interactions and constant change of literally Everything.

Now, choosing only one of either of these guaranteed that the true nature of Reality would not only NEVER be made fully available, but, in addition, each in very different ways, could only deliver moments or aspects of that Truth, YET, nevertheless, were still doomed, in the end, to lead only to ever increasing contradictions and even multiple terminal impasses - totally non negotiable within the confines of either of the two overall chosen conceptions.

The Greeks had devised formally a Pluralistic Basis, in order to generate a developable discipline, concerning only Pure Spatial Forms, and, via a legitimate new kind of New Abstration, really only applicable in that context, had succeeded in producing Mankind’s First-Ever Rationally-Developable Discipline - Mathematics!

But, they were so energised, by the undoubted efficacy of the new Discipline, that they extended its means to all Reasoning, and in particular to the Sciences. And that was wholly illegeitimate!

Now, very quickly indeed, Zeno of Elea had, in his Paradoxes that addressed various applications to Movement, proved that such a rationality frequently led to contradiction. Yet, he was generally ignored for over 2,300 years, until the idealist German Philosopher Hegel confirmed Zeno’s work and extended it to all Dichotomous Pairs of contradictory concepts, and in all such circumstasnces finding ways of correcting those errors and legitimately transcending those impasses.

He called his methods Dialectics. But, he was an idealist, so his means were to do with “Errors in Human Thinking” only, so, their assumed re-directing of things in general, including the material world, was neither addressed nor achieved, and hence never considered to be anything to do with the Nature of concrete Reality itself - but merely to do with our Thinking about it.

And, it was only when Hegel’s extension of Dialectical Ideas, was demonstably also identified as a feature of concrete Reality itself, by his follower, the historian, Karl Marx, that the real breakthrough finally happemed. And, even then, that was by no means immediate. Indeed even History was previously always explained in terms of the results of intentions from the thoughts of wise or influential Men, but Marx realised that such an assumption was torpedoed by the occurrence, trajectory and resolutions of Social Revolutions, so that once analyses begah to be made of such Events, the Thought- directed idea of development began to be abandoned.

Contradiction was not only found to be intrinsic to Reality itself, but in fact constituted the only driver of its actual creatuve developments too! And, Marx had the detailed History of the recent French Revolution compiled by Michelet, available to prove his cases!

Yet, it was in his sequence of subsequent writings including Theories of Surplus Value, Grundrisse and finally Das Kapital, that Marx’s version finally broke free of idealist notions of historical Reality.

Nevertheless, in spite of the considerable hidden gains within those works, the whole necessary effort was NEVER applied to The Sciences, and they would, as recent work in that area has demonstrated, prove just how crucial Dialectics would be, as there was still a great deal yet to be revealed in that extension.

Indeed, Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species, and diverse efforts upon The Origin of Life on Earth have begun to reveal that the true Content of Reality-as-is is endlessly and profoundly Holistic and Dialectical, with new aspects emerging all the time. BUT NOT, it must be emphasized, within the taught courses at the citadels of Current Knowledge - The Universities, though a very few individuals in such institutions are leading the current struggle for a major Change!

But, following a decade-long effort to apply a dialectical approach to a New Critique of The Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Theory in Sub Atomic Physics, the writer of this paper has continued to formulate New Dialectical Methodologies in Physics, based upon exemplars in both Marx’s work, along with modern interpretations of it, by serious investigators like David Harvey in New York, but mostly with his own contributions in areas such as the Origin of Life, Motion Study and Systems Design, but primarily in the revelation of wholly new actual Dialectical Mechanisms possible for revealing the Dialectics of Qualitative Change in diverse areas of Developing Concrete Reality.

Perhaps the most important contributions deal with how the most general natural situations, that always involve a multiplicity of simultaneously acting Laws, and which, in direct contrast to the purposely Plurtalist prior methods usually employed in Science, wherein that Plurality is ensured and maintained by means of maximally restricted experimental situations, that are purposely designed to deliver NOT what occur naturally in Reality-as-is, but, unstead exclusively only single laws optimally restricted and therefore delivering only wholly pluralist situations - one at a time, and wholly separately. Thus, delivering only an approximation of real simultaneous, multi-factor and multi-law Reality, delivered instead as a sequence of different individually- restricted scenarios, each one demonstrating, in isolation only a single relation of a tiny number of Factors, and hence omitting ALL the cross-effects, and ultimately never the New Developments, happening in Real Natural Situations.

At the very best, those can only deliver a series of separated moments of Reality, which never happen as such in Reality-as-is. All cross-influences are excluded, and absolutely NO qualitative changes will ever be allowed to occur.

Is that Science?
NO, it is what we call Technology!
It is a mode of production, NOT one of revelation!

For, as this researcher was able to establish in his Truly Natural Selection Research, the actual processes occurring naturally, and delivering stages that ultimately would form steps in whole complex series of initially simultaneous processes, and thereafter, along with others gradually change the balance and dominances between them to form a phalanx of later cycles of simultaeous processes, that finally could deliver something entirely NEW!

Stanley Miller was on the right track, but wholly blind both visually and theoretically to what was happening in his Famous Experiment. But, nevertheless, it did deliver Amino Acids all by itself!

Clearly with the new dialectcally-theoretical and process- aware methods, whole series of Miller-type Experiments could be designed, but each one initially delivering tiny gains, while also suggesting Newmulti-Channelled- forms of following experiments, with both particular product gains, as well as new designs for the next version.

A whole series of Theoretical Developments immediately followed the Truly Natural Selections gains over 12 years ago, which then resulted in the General Theory of Emergences sometime later.

And, this very important diagram (Editor - next page), in a purely descriptive form, represented one of the results of that research. It is a complex, yet generally- applicable diagram! And, extended details of its original development, are fully available in this journal.

But, at that time, the necessary fuller set of Dialectical Methods were not yet sufficiently developed, to address a thourgh-going Explanation, as the demanding Critique of the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Theory was consuming all my time! But, on completion of that task, and because of what has also been achieved in that work, this researcher has now been able to resume essential work upon this crucial trajectory, much better equipped!

Advanced Hegelian Dialectics

But, before such a set of developments could be tackled. there was a major and damaging Fork-in-the-Road laid down, that had been strongly and wrongly signposted by the originator of Dialectics himself, - the German Idealist Philosopher, GWF Hegel.

For, his basic area of study was NEVER Concrete Reality, but instead the Concepts and Ideas that were the both the results, and the content of Human Thinking: indeed, he considered that his all-embracing subject was Thinking about Thought. So, as an idealst, he considered that the only possible content of Wisdom came solely and exclusively from all Considered Thinking: which was, for him, an ever-growing collection of concepts, which were wholly cerebral and could not be anything else: so he considered that by revealing-and-using his extended Dialectical “Rules of Thinking, these Thoughts vould indeed be validated or corrected by formulating them, along with sufficient detailed, related and well- informed other considerations, to reveal the Truth via his Dialectics alone. So, the task of the Philosopher was primarily to discover and reveal such Laws, which when complete could “accurately both express and even solve, any rational problem!”

The Objective would be this guide to sound manipulation and Reasoning of achieved Concepts, which he termed Dialectical Logic! Now, he considered that his purposes were not just for high level discussion in Universities, but could, had and indeed would, determine Mankind’s future History itself, by the consequemces of such disciplined Thoughts and consequent Actions.

For example, he considered that he could put down the trajectory of History, and all its failures and successes, to the concepts and consequent programmes arrived at by leading thinkers throughout all Known History.

Now, I am neither an Idealist, nor a Historian, so clearly if those are your main concerns, you will not find what you may be seeking in my writings! For, I am a resolutely Dialectical Materialist - a very different animal, who is attempting to understand the role of Dialectics, not only within Human Thought, but, at its best, also intrinsically reflecting something of the rationality of Concrete Nature itself, which was first realised by that one-time follower of Hegel, the historian and philosopher Karl Marx.

Marx was originally an energetic member of the Young Hegelians but could, initially at least, never compress the whole of the Ancient History that he uncovered into Hegel’s cerebral categories, in his Logical analyses.

And, the most disturbing areas were in understanding the almighty Upheavals that were certainly rare, but also absolutely essential, in the significant Qualitative Development of such Interludes: one of which - The French Revolution, had only recently occurred, and the following complex and multi-stranded developments and its final Resolution, which seem to be the Very Opposite of Hegel’s Rational Means of Explanation.

This paper has been published with other essays on this topic in the latest edition of SHAPE Journal (69) entitled Redefining Philosophy II

Special Issue 69: Redefining Philosophy II

Special Issue 69 of SHAPE Journal is a continuation of the series called Redefining Philosophy. This research attempts to complete the unfinished task of Karl Marx, and redefine philosophy as both Materialist and Holist - in other words, grounded in the ever-changing and interconnected real world that surrounds us.

29 June, 2020

The Role of Mankind

Sándor Bortnyik: The New Adam, 1924

The Role of Mankind in Understanding 

and Interacting with their World

The Grundrisse Lectures by David Harvey are already-and-unavoidably taking the study of Marxism well beyond a dialectical analysis of Capitalist Economics, to also begin to delve ever more deeply and revealingly into Mankind's essential-and-unique role as the only Thinking species upon Planet Earth, and maybe also in all the possibly reachable Universe at large!

For, productive Labour has long been Mankind's most self-determining and indeed qualitatively-developing feature in their evolution, and therefore has been playing the Key role in their Socio-Economic advances with respect to their increasing knowledge amd control with in their containing-and-developing Living World context, in which they both dwell, seek-to-survive, and even to prosper.

For, along with their bipedal gait, and a flexible and manipulatable hand, with an opposable thumb, Human Beings, in consequence of all their extensive potentialities, have also developed advanced, new and unique cerebral capabilities, which, after millions of years, led first to primitive tool-making, from sharp flint fragments, as well as the means to make and control fire, develop a Hunter/Gatherer, Family group existence, and simultaneously initiate the beginnings of Language, which, all taken together, enabled their considerable geographical spread across literally all accessible areas of our the globe.

And ultimately, via the transforming effects of the epoch-changing Neolithic Revolution, which also brought-in the beginnings of extensive Human Societies - and via Farming and Animal Husbandry, also led, in a remarkably short period of time, to Intellectual Revolutions, primarily in Ancient Greece, but also (and in a very different and important direction) in Ancient India too.

For, though initially somewhat limited by the development, for the first time, of a kind of Reasoning (the strict and damaging, but easily arrived-at Plurality), still managed to deliver both the very first rational discipline, Mathematics, along with a kind of Logic, based only upon wholly fixed relations and concepts!

Thereafter, Mankind was no longer just a continuing development of Homo Habilis (the priginal Handy Man), but, by then, one already capable of Thinking too: and that vastly transformed his capabilities, in that he also sought Reasons for everything that occurred, and NOT ONLY in what way and how he could use those revealed discoveries.

Man was now a Thinker, as well as a Tool-Maker and User, so instead of only asking "How?", he also began to ask "Why?"

So, there arose a division of Labour between achievements by hand, and those by brain, that were ALL still only carried out by Human Beings. And, aids to the making of new things, though involving an essential content of New Thinking, were still the products of Mankind, as also, of course, were the then invented machines.

And though, in modern times, these techniques will be programmed into Computers, rather than being the mere spades and wheeled-vehicles handled directly by people: they are still designed by, driven by, and even programmed by them too!

Sándor Bortnyik: The New Eve, 1924

Artificial Intelligence is merely the instructions devised by an expert in the given field, and then coded by a programmer, co-opeerating with that expert, then entered into a computer-driven-machine. That was the actual Labour-and-prior-knowledge involved in equipping, such a system!

AND, crucially, if that programmer was NOT implementing the detailed knowledge-and-understanding of an expert in the Real World field involved, the program delivered will be useless! The machine is still totally dependant upon the labour of the programmer, and, in turn, that involved in the knowledge of the discipline expert.

As such a System Designer myself, I can assert that NO machine can ever THINK!

Indeed, the quality of Thinking that goes into a Computer Program, AND a controlled machine, even today, is still totally inadequate to do literally ALL the tasks we can currently give them - and will always continue to give them in the future. And the reason for this resides in the kind of Logic (or Reasoning) that is implicit in all current Programming Languages and throughout the whole of Mathematics too.

Reasoning, as we generally know it, is wholly Pluralistic. Formal Logic assumes all relations and concepts are - forever FIXED - like the components of a machine.

Indeed, I spent most of the 1980s designing tailor-made control-programs across a very wide range of diverse disciplines, always along with discipline experts, in a University in Glasgow. Yet, nevertheless, only finally began to successfully address these major flaws via dedicated Multimedia Aids, applied to Film and Video recordings of dynamic Dance Performance and Choreography, in the first decade of the new Millennium. And, frankly, I have seen neither a similar general use, either in that area, or anywhere else, in the time since then.

So what is generally considered to be Artificial Intelligence, applied to computer-controlled machines, is still wholly pluralistic (comprised of fixed and discrete components - very unlike the evolving natural world) and totally incapable of applying any Human-like Intelligence automatically.

Indeed, the calamities frequently experienced in such situations, are not caused by correctable errors, but by irretrievable Pluralist Logic.

As a qualified professional Physicist, it still took me a lifetime of work in the field and latterly a whole decade of dedicated research to demolish the wholly Pluralistic Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Theory, currently still dominant in Sub Atomic Physics.

Indeed, both ALL Technology, and all the so-called Sciences too, have not only been crippled by Pluralist Reasoning, but also completely idealised in abandoning physical explanations for mere mathematical formulae, in order to conform to the Plurality of ALL Mathematics.

Sándor Bortnyik: Composition II, Pink and Blue, 1921

And Industry, for centuries, has had to break recognised useful Natural processes (always involving multiple, contending factors), to turn such processes into sequences of very simplified restricted separated-single-factor processes, involving purposely arranged-for pluralistic steps to attempt to replicate the Natural multi-factor situations: and, consequently, only skirting around the Real non pluralistic World.

The seemingly unsolveable problems have always been to attempt to handle simultaneous, mutually-affecting factors, in order to both control sequences of different factors, and separate their individual effects, and thereby lose their various cross influences. Indeed, the nearest that could be achieved was by whole sequences of single law steps, but these were not only always approximations, but also always, by the way they were set up, could not but eliminate all cross influences, so that things that always happened in Natural phenomena, were guaranteed to be absent in the whole set of simplified sequences,

Indeed, it was at first considered to be impossible to handle a dynamic and Holistic World scientifically, but modern researches into multifactor circumstances have begun to reveal how so-called temporary, and long-persisting "Balanced Stabilities" can, and indeed do, replace the supposedly-permanent Stabilities on which Plurality is based. And the natural processes, in the Real World, are actually made up of alternating sequences of different long-lasting Balanced Stabilities, interspersed with short-period Emergent Interludes, where one long-persisting Balanced Stability is, via a series of Crises, finally totally dissociated. And, when, in what appears to be a resultant Chaos, a constructive Phase, via a series of partially successful Crises, finally achieves a wholly New and long lasting Balanced Stability! We can call this an Emergence, or even a Revolution. 

These can never be explained or understood mechanistically. 

The role of Mankind now, must be to try and work out a different way...

The real trajectory of Qualitative Change