28 April, 2020

Coronavirus and Class: Call a General Strike!

Brooks & Wolff realise the Current Dangers
for Workers and COVID 19 and consider a call for 

A General Strike

In a key episode of The Michael Brooks Show on YouTube we see a significant critical-&-political Turning Point has suddenly emerged. Instead of focussing all the usual diverse criticisms of the way the Pandemic has been addressed by Governments worldwide (and in the USA in particular): it is alternatively conceived of, for the first time, as a clear Pro-People and Anti-Capitalist Combined-Agenda for a General, Co-ordinated Action of the Working Class, against the inhuman Economic System and instead consider an alternative one, for the benefit of Ordinary People!

First, Brooks himself, in a remarkably energetic contribution, reacted to the currently increasing pressures from Big Capital, to try to get all workers back to work, in spite of the still raging Pandemic, and, to instead propose, via a bottom-up organisation, of what Brooks termed "localist solutions" - wherein the people in a well-defined local district, would organise, for themselves, their own, democratically-elected committees to control both the safety and provisions for their locality.

And only the very day before, the writer of this paper (in England) had suggested very similar "Special Local Councils" with the same purposes to Brooks' suggestion, along with a very different plan to, when the time is ripe, release small areas from the Total LockDown, along with appropriate & essential Testing of the contained population, adequate Personal Protective Equipment deployment, and the instituting of freedom of movement, within such enclaves, for those proved to be clear of the virus, by prior population-testing.

While, the shops and essential services, within the enclaves, along with both employing organisations and Firms there, should be a priority for Testing-and-release from shutdown as soon as possible. And, the small sizes of such enclaves would make this majorly effective, and new co-operative services of all kinds could easily be self-organised and made safe! And the evidently necessary discipline, on all fronts, wholly organised solely by the locally-elected Councils for the enclaves. Such organisation, alone, would allow a gradual and reliable extension of Released Areas with ensured safety!

Second, Brooks then brought in Economics Professor Richard Wolff (one of the founders of Democracy-at-Work) into the discussion to contribute his political ideas of "What is to be Done!" And, he immediately changed the emphasis, by suggesting that the pressure of a return to Work by the Big Capitalists, should be countered by what would amount to A General Strike!

Sent home workers would NOT return, without the guaranteed provision of full and adequate safeguards for the workers involved, with the Pandemic still raging! And, if the Government failed to do it: they would do it all for themselves!

With the colossal death figures still appearing daily, Workers would NOT expose themselves, their fellow workers. and their own families and children, to the risk of catching the virus!

Thirdly, Chris Smalls, a worker within Amazon, was included in the Discussion, for he had been suspended by Amazon for organising his fellow workers against the conditions in which they were being expected to work - with fellow workers working well within the generally-set inter-personal limits of 2 metres, and in which some were actually falling ill with the Coronavirus, while actually still working.

Chris had little trouble getting the agreement of fellow workers upon what should be acceptable conditions of work, and in the midst of all this, he was sent home by the management as a "danger to his fellow workers!". But his still energetically-pursued objective has remained to get his fellows to go home until acceptable conditions are provided.

This single YouTube video has changed the game in the USA among ever-larger sections on the Left, and if Trump, which seems likely, joins the Big Capitalists in attempting to hurry People back to work, it is clear that this Turn, could become an Ever-Growing Flooding Wave of Dissent!

Indeed, in spite of its terrible death figures, the Italian Government is already getting sections of workers back to work even now.

So, it appears likely that many will refuse to do so, to protect themselves and their families! If this happens, it will be a key moment in the long fight against Capitalism's exploitation of the Working Class.

23 April, 2020

Issue 69 of SHAPE: Waves and Fields

Waves and Fields in Media
This new issue of SHAPE Journal tackles some of the most important problems in Physics from a Marxist perspective - revealing the science’s overlooked assumptions and disingenuous methods in comparison to new materialist Substrate Theory. This new kind of Physics assumes a hidden medium of Lepton particles permeates the known Universe, propogates light and explains some of Physics’ darkest corners - from pair production to quantised orbits to Dark Matter to Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle.

As scientists dug ever deeper into Reality, even approaching the mythical “Fundamental Particles” of the Universe, which were supposed to be the original causal sources of absolutely everything, the proliferation of impasses became so abundent that “Explanation” itself was abandoned as a myth, and replaced by Mathematical Forms alone.

Unfortunately Mathematics is a Pluralist Discipline, requiring only fixed determinations of disembodied entities and forms, so it was always congenitally incapable of addressing what was required. Instead of seeking the engines of Qualitative Change, which might explain the evolution of matter and the rules which seemingly govern its behaviour, the discipline was still permanently orientated to seeking only eternal Natural Laws. Sub Atomic Physics, experimentally, was primarily restricted to seeking new discoveries in ever-higher- energy Colliders, or ever more powerful Telescopes - as if somehow technological progress would prove to be a magical salve to these shortocomings. All the while, Physical Theory was religated into the mere exotic manipulation of Mathematical Equations. Physics had been totally emasculted!

As a result, such an important scientific discipline has been effectively disabled from being analysed in the usual classical way, and, in spite of the sophistication of the Mathematics involved, on any completion, it has still been returned to its inadequate means of the past - explaining very little, yet delivering over long periods of time, a stream of seemingly constant states, each of which maybe “Wholly New”, to give the false impression of real descriptive Progress, but that old simplifying Phase has long passed.

What is clearly required today is a Revolution in Explanatory means, which can no longer avoid the crucial mechanisms of Real Qualitative Change - something the old single causes can never deliver.

Now, such a requirement cannot be solved by the usual kind of Causality: it is not a specific result requiring a single cause at all, but, on the contrary, more like a Complex, multi-factor System, that in exceptional circumstances changes into a very different one, or even a wholly new, never-before-experienced Emergent State.

It is a problem, which most certainly, involves many simultaneous factors, which have NOT led to Chaos, but, on the contrary, have arrived at an overall-interacting- mix of processes, that usually delivers a reliably stable- and-unchanging overall state (in fact appearing as a permanent natural and unchanging arrangement allowing that assumption of the eternal laws of physics which dominate the field), but which in particular and unusual sets of internal changes, can flip-as-a-whole into a new and different, but temporary stability, once again appearing to be another “permanent” result!

Clearly such Qualitative Changes are never the result of a particular single cause, with a known outcome, but, on the contrary, actually a temporarily-balanced outcome of a complex system, which will find a balance in one of its many possible outcomes, yet most-of-the- time stopped by the internal consequent changes that actually automatically oppose any externally imposed changes, in various corrective ways. But, exceptionally, can alternatively also wholly dissociate, and thereafter re- organise into something entirely NEW. And as the whole thing involves many different factors and levels, each and every one accompanied by one or more balancing opposites, so, the overall results are not easily diagnosed.

Now, unlike the usual Pluralist kind of Causality, the Dialectical form is never, so-directly, predictable: indeed, though the changes often take place within relatively-short Emergent Interludes, it initially involves the trajectory of a whole sequence of dissolutions, and a following, and often-entirely-new sequence of constructive associations, to finally deliver one-or-another from a whole range of possible final outcomes. Indeed, these Emergences are so quick-and-diverse, that the detailed trajectories seem impossible to theoretically reveal!

But, nevertheless, it was surprisingly discovered happening within Social Revolutions, and at much slower tempos, which could indeed be effectively interpreted, dialectically. Indeed, it was, in just such solvable situations, that Karl Marx finally got a general handle upon holistic processes of change, and enabled successful outcomes within a whole series of such Revolutions occurring in the 20th century.

Now, historically, the total absence of such a Dialectical means of analysis, meant the continuance of the prior Pluralistic Approach, which could never cope with such Changes, so the usual method was to, successively, greatly simplify the real situation, until it finally DID conform to Plurality, for each and every recognised Law, applied separately, within separated, tailor-made series of set-ups, would be necessary. And, to compound the felony, the other defining aspect of Plurality - that such acting laws were independant of one another, so their combined results would be given by mere additions, would also and quite incorrectly, be included in the analysis.

Naturally, in spite of such multiple, separately carried- out experiments, to model the Natural Combined Event, the results would NOT conform sufficiently, so further restrictions were included to remove any possibly- transmitting intermediaries, such as any Media, which could intervene, with the excuse, seemingly verified by the Michelson/Morley Experiments, that Space itself was totally empty of any Universal Substrate!

But, of course it was the role of such substrates, which enabled many phenomena to be adequately physically explained by Waves within them.

The Wave or Particle Nature of Light exemplified by the disagreements between Newton (for Particles) and Huyghens (for Waves) was resolved by the belief in Waves, but somehow without-a-Medium.

But this, in the 20th century, was removed from physical explanation alltogether, and via a construct known as Wave/Particle Duality, “unified” by a wholly illegitmate mixture of Wave Theory and Probabilities, gave useable results, purely pragmatically, via mathematical formulae alone.

But, there is the much more important aberration ofUnderstanding, now dominant across all the Intellectual Disciplines, which does not merely distort our view, but damagingly emasculate our ability to travel, even slowly, towards the objective of revealing the Truth of Reality. For Plurality, as is totally unavoidable in Mathematical Reasoning, has long been uncritically extended to both Formal Logic and literally all the Sciences. So that Qualitative Change, which is the only engine of all the varying qualities of Reality, and all development too, have been totally excluded from our view of the Universe.

Yet, there has been a tenuous, and often, all too frequently, an almost invisible link - to a solution, literally equally as old as has been the influence of the current consensus established by the Greek Intellectual Revolution, some 2,500 years ago.

It consisted of a totally opposite stance, which was developed by the mystics of India, simultaneously with the Greek Revolution, and greatly influenced by The Buddha, in which the determining essence of Reality was NOT Stability, as it was with the Greeks, but Qualitative Change - as evidenced by The Whole Living World, and the Consciousness of Man, both of which were available all the time and everywhere, though far more difficult to extract than the simplifications of Plurality.

It became known as Holism!

But these two alternatives appeared as mutually exclusive, so once one of them had been decided upon, consideration of its direct opposite appeared not only impossible, but actually incomprehensible! Though even within the Greek dominated arena, a dissenter called Zeno of Elea appeared immediately after the Intellectual Revolution, who in his Paradoxes, where he applied legitimate contradictory concepts to Movement, was able to expose many rationally untranscendable impasses, though he wasn’t aware of it, to the falsity of the Pluralistic stance imposed by the Greeks, upon General Reasoning from Mathematics.

And it wasn’t until some 2,300 years later, that the German Idealist philosopher Hegel, resurrected Zeno’s crucial exemplars, and considerably extended them to a much larger number of Dichotomous Pairs of Contradictory Concepts, that a possible reason for them appeared to be revealable.

And it boiled down to the impossibility of Plurality in situations where certain things could and indeed did change over time, in these particular cases, due to their being caused by two simultaneously-present opposites, in which the current relative proportions of each of them could change, and naturally cause a resultant switch in dominance between them.

It was a simplified explanation, but was then extended to a more complex System wherein everything varied, but arrived at complex Systems that settled into self- correcting, apparently permanent Stable States (such as those considered primary in Plurality and Physics).

The keys were still natural opposites, but “interpenetrating” in various ways to deliver an important System of corrections to Pluralist Formal Logic, which Hegel termed Dialectics.


An important contribution to this theory was recently developed by the writer of this paper in his researches into the pre-Life Chemical processes, which had to have preceded the first appearence of Life itself, in Systems of Natural Organic Chemical Reactions, and their overall trajectories of change, which were the prerequisites of Life, and which I called Truly Natural Selection.

Of course, Hegel’s version as an idealist philosopher was to his mind, and could only be about Human Thinking: but the transforming step was completed by the Young Hegelian follower of Hegel - namely Marx himself, who transferred over all of Hegel’s gains to a wholly Materialist stance, which only then could be correctly applied to both Reasoning and Science, initially by his own Key Intermediary of History. within the most profound Qualitative Changes ever - those occurring within Social Revolutions, as their necessary slow-tempo revelations, and his ever burgeoning Critique of Capitalist Economics, as the detailed coherent definitions of all such Qualitative Changes, in an on-going, constantly developing, yet constantly contradictory System.

Sadly, the final steps in this new Intellectual Revolution, which just had to be the detailed application of Dialectical Materialism to Science, took another 149 years to be addressed by this particular 21st century Marxist, and only completed in the latter part of 2019.

In this new issue, these dialectical studies are taken further, looking at the role waves and fields play in physical holistic systems, and how their study might change Physics forever.

20 April, 2020

Corona Solutions: The only way out of this Catastrophe!

Italian police breaking up a Coronavirus protest outside a prison

Part I

Though Governments and their subservient Media, throughout the World, attempt to insist that they already are, as adequately as is humanly possible, effectively addressing the Global Calamity of the Coronavirus Pandemic: that is certainly NOT THE CASE!

For they will never ever admit their own and absolutely crucial liability, or, that the main sufferers from what they propose are overwhelmingly the ordinary People - The Working Class, the "key" workers - along with the Old and the Poor. And these authorities demand a trenchant and unwavering obeying of their chosen solutions, which are primarily to give trillions of Dollars, Pounds and other currencies, to help Big Businesses (themselves and their class), as being the ONLY thing that they could possibly do to keep us all afloat.

These measures will, of course, maintain their current Economic System, and the consequent and gross inequality of wealth, resulting in the tiny social class that owns, rules and directs everything, once again calling all the shots.

But, of course, hundreds of thousands of ordinary people will die with what they have instituted as solutions.

And, if they get the workforces back to work very soon, which is indeed the demand from sections of that same Ruling Class, those fatalities could soar even further in yet further, so-caused Waves of Infection.

Our demands as workers should be obvious.

All Work and Living Spaces MUST first be made safe - immediately!

And to achieve that it will be necessary for as many as possible to be got back to work, BUT with the sole, essential and primary job of making things safe to work there! And vague talk of achieving this WILL NOT DO! For, it will have to be addressed piecemeal, and with a detailed strategy. 

Decontaminating public spaces in South Korea

First, well defined local areas must be made safe, and thereafter kept safe, one at a time.

And, that process must commence with testing everyone in each such small-and-well-defined-area, and all acting accordingly with what is increasingly found to achieve that state! Then, the brought-in, allocated workers along with the uninfected from the area, will together then make the area safe to work in physically.

Thereafter, sufficient workers to maintain the continued precautionary testing AND keeping-the-area-safe, especially including not only public areas, but also workplaces and leisure areas and necessary facilities and shops.

This MUST BE the primary task!

And, this must also be backed-up by the still isolated-at-home workers, who MUST refuse to go back to work unless-and-until their intended workplaces, and their means of getting there, are BOTH made safe.

Clearly, a choice of these areas must be determined by where BOTH of these complete sets of requirements are covered by a single-defined-area! For, if both workplaces and their at-home-workers are situated close-together, they must get priority, and these must occur first, in areas where these conditions are available.

The Essential Discipline for doing all this, must be organised, within the areas, and constantly open-and-informing! So, it must NOT be provided by elite forces like the Police or Army, BUT by the people involved themselves, and NOT imposed from without and top-down.

So, getting that MUST first involve a local-to-each-area, and democratically elected committee, organised either electronically or by post. But, such a "Local-Area-Council" must have instant-recall and replacement of its members, if this delivers an undemocratic committee: it MUST reflect the majority opinions of those it represents and acts for!

Outside of these areas, concerned with everything that they need, must be organised initially solely by newly-formed Sections of and from within the NHS, along with workers in the Public Transport and Goods Delivery Industries, again organised via defined Regions with similar democratic structures to defend their own conditions too.

The Myth that workers aren't up to decision-making must be dumped immediately, and throughout these arrangements, for it has and always will construct a privileged decision-making elite, who ultimately will primarily represent only themselves and their ilk in their decisions!

Only these forms of organisation will be able to do the job in the interests of the people. They will make better choices, for they will be concerned to defend their own families and workmates, and friends where they live and work, and not to defend the right to make profits as has been the case in the response and decisions made thus far!

The only ones we should trust to protect our health are the NHS workers and the people working at the front line. 

13 April, 2020

Coronavirus and Capitalism

What are governments putting first, the health of key workers, or the health of the economy?

What the COVID19 crisis tells us about the Capitalist State
and The People - and how the response could be conducted differently...


Remember, the UK is a Capitalist State, run by a right-wing, strongly pro-capitalist Tory Government. A vast crisis, such as this current Coronavirus Pandemic, cannot but increasingly reveal their priorities in running things primarily in their own interests - the interests of the capitalist class.

And that isn't in the interests of the majority of the People!

Their primary motivation is ALWAYS keeping their own wealth and Power.

The major issue in this serious Pandemic boils down to the main key roles of the State, the Crisis and maintaining the status quo. There can be no doubt whatsoever that State controls will be necessary in fighting the pandemic: but it really depends upon what kind of a State is involved in making those decisions.

For depending upon the Economic System currently instituted in an affected country, government policies pursued can be very different indeed, for they will depend exclusively upon what the role of the State is considered to be by those in charge. And a Capitalist State will have very different objectives from those of a Socialist State. And in a bureaucratic Stalinist State, like China, it will react very differently to a Socialist State with real Democracy.

For, as the Pandemic is certain to be limited in duration, those policies, on the one hand, will most certainly be to protect the people from the Pandemic, but they will also, most certainly, on the other hand, be very differently determined, depending on what kind of State will emerge "after the deluge"! Will the State relinquish emergency powers as quickly as it adopted them? What about during a subsequent economic crisis??

A State's primary purpose will always be determined by exactly what, and therefore also, who, in that society, it is primarily designed to serve! If it is Capitalism - or even Stalinism - and therefore, its directing practitioners, who consider themselves primary, it will pursue very different set of policies, in addressing the Pandemic, to the exactly opposite situation that which would pertain, if it were, instead, addressing the circumstances of the vast majority of the population, and hence the Working Class.

For, such a crisis could clearly expose both gross inequality and the purposes of the Capitalist State all too overtly, and if not managed strictly in ways to purposely-hide its directing intentions. So, any policies about testing for the Virus, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) will be vital!

Getting proper protective equipment out to all key workers should be the number one priority of any State working in the interests of the people

Who will get tested and when?

And, who will receive the necessary PPEs?

And will they be isolating or protective PPEs?

And crucially are the PPEs intended for the detected-infected or for the as-yet-uninfected?

But, with the insistence upon hand-washing, where are they getting infected from?

For some countries seem to be spraying possible sites, where the virus could settle! What then would be used in those circumstances?

Now clearly, there are other ways of combating the Pandemic by using the above means in very different and better ways! We have to ask why did they choose the ones that they did?

Were their reasons medical or political?

Why have right wing populist governments such as USA and Brazil (and the UK if we're honest), dragged their feet and been so much more reluctant to lock down than their equivalents in Social Democratic countries?

The former are obviously NOT currently terminating the Pandemic: in fact they are purposely extending its duration! And, with the very clear pressures for early partial or temporary reductions in the extents of the Shutdown, could not this elicit second or even more waves of the Pandemic!?

How many of the old and infirm will survive these waves?

For, the biggest collections of deaths are in populations within care homes.

Why is that considered to be a good policy? And why are those figures not published home by home?

For answers, you only have to look at the political advantages for the powers-that-be!

Why wasn't a testing of the population organised, with those having the Pandemic being isolated, at home but with isolating facemasks until they were clear (this would in the end effectively deal with 80% of the detected infections who get a 'mild' version of the disease). They would then be monitored, and if it intensified in any they would be immediately transfered to Hospital. All others tested and found to be OK, would get a protective face mask and be released.

All travel, particularly from aboard, but also, initially, at home travel would still be banned as they are now! So, extractable zones would be systematically sectioned off and treated in these ways, gradually clearing increasing areas, within which tested clear individuals would be allowed free movement, and could meet and socialise with others similarly OK'd, but must wear their protective aids.

Workplaces could be targeted, particularly those directly serving the public, such as shops.

Everyone else would be under similar conditions to now, but would get their turn as their zone was arrived at via constant extensions.

A General Shutdown would be gradually and systematically lifted.

From restriction to our homes, areas of locally restored free movement would be gradually be increased, until well-defined and increasing areas would allow gradually re-instituted local travel!

Instead of the total shutdown of all free and unmonitored social protest: such would be made available in all the released areas. And these MUST always start in the most highly populated districts in towns and cities, and only last-of-all in the sparsely-populated estates of the privileged!


And, how should the system, described above be organised?
Should it be by the police or army?


It should be by the People themselves, within the successively released enclaves, each of which should elect their own Area Council to do the organising, and whose meetings should be open to the public! For, as has been shown by the discipline of the majority of the People in the Shutdown, by their are highly responsible and evident clapping-and-helpful support of the NHS, and who, along with the appropriate resources, will do an infinitely much better job than any Tory Government of Billionaires could even imagine!

For, unlike a top-down rigorously imposed control, the maximally democratic monitoring by everyone, and immediately-responsive actions of the local People's Councils will straight-forwardly implement the maximally fair outcomes, with the energetic and guaranteed support of their People.

Mark Fisher on putting political difference aside...

Mark Fisher commenting on politicising Coronavirus from beyond the grave:

Whenever politics is allegedly 'suspended', with 'differences' put aside, you're face to face with ideology in its raw state, as the ostensible 'suspension' of antagonisms is a political act; the presupposition that there's a ground that's 'beyond politics' is bourgeois idealism

08 April, 2020

Culture and Revolution

Edited revolutionary painting featuring yellow vests
As culture shifts across the globe workers are beginning to realise their importance and power again - but can this be harnessed against the Capitalist class which exploit them?

Building an effective opposition within the Neo-Con, post-industrial societies 

David Harvey, in a recent Democracy-at-Work offering, once again, with his usual eminently Marxist analysis, and profound cultural understanding, finds it necessary to dramatically switch the emphasis that the Left must take, in order to effectively combat the results of 40 years of Neo-Con Capitalism, which have clearly effectively de-unionised and de-politicised the Working Class Movements in Countries like the UK and the USA.

Now, there is a lot wrong with the TV series The Sixties (currently broadcasting on Sky in the UK), BUT, nevertheless, it does reveal much of that crucial tumultuous decade which prepared the ground for the later Neo-Con transformation of World Capitalism, which by the 1980s, with Thatcher and Reagan, was beginning to dismantle the traditional Working Class oppositional politics with the systematic destruction of its historical strengths within organised Labour. and, in the USA, the Cold War effective annihilation of all the Political Parties of the Left!

Yet France, with its Gilet Jaune Left Populism, and the current joint action with the still existing Unions' own General Strike, is demonstrating what can be done in favoured areas. And a single major crack in the Neo-Con System, still not recovered from the 2008 Economic Collapse, could this time precipitate an unrecoverable Crisis from the Capitalists point of view!

(Editor: the current worldwide health / economic crisis, for example)

The Socialist Agenda

But, the usual separation of major campaigns of "The Sixties", and the lack of a Socialist Party backing them all, guaranteed failure in spite of the remarkable numbers often involved.

BUT with a Common Socialist Agenda, and a combined fight, and, a concerted effort to prevent the always agitated-for separation of campaigns, which will always and inevitably oppose this necessary aim, and the "Please Everybody" demand from them.

It must be countered, by making the disenfranchised ex-Working Class the only reliable source for Real Change on every single front.

(Editor: they can no longer hide from the vital role 'key workers' play in keeping the whole system going)

And, within that sector, the major Class Objective will be in providing a Young Socialist Movement for the discarded Youth - just as we did successfully in the 1960s with the Labour Party's Young Socialists. That youth will thrill their de-classed elders, and energise the whole undertaking, as the introduction of the Youth did in the Civil Rights Movement of the Sixties in the USA!

The Left needs a Socialist Party committed to literally all campaigns, but always unified by socialist solutions, and energised by a commitment to Working Class youth, with activities and facilities concentrated upon where those Youth are, yet mobilising them as the spearhead!

And, contradictably, NOT seeking the support of the Educated or the Middle Class, while at the same time delivering the very best informed and well explained Theory. But allowing NO exclusions of our generalist demands, and the very best organisation when under attack!

Without such a unifying participation, individual campaigns will quickly rise, and just as quickly fall. So, every single action or strike must be immediately supported, not just with individual participators. but with banners expressing both support and Socialist demands.

And, demonstrations, no matter how small, and a march directly to support the fight, with food, and collections of money arranged for the fighters, from Working Class Estates, accompanied with the most vigorous chants and energy!

02 April, 2020

Great Evolutionary Transitions

How should we interpret the Geological Record?

This lecture by Neil Shubin, at Berkley California, is mainly concerned with the key transitions in Devonian Period rock depositions, and thereby gives a clear, if overall, trajectory for the evolutionary line, which ultimately led to land animals from lobe-finned fishes.

Although this is a remarkable piece of work - based mainly upon found fossils, it was also supported by examples of currently-living animals in similar transitional states - BUT, of course, it could never reflect either the multiple causal impulses, or the actual varying tempos involved. You can't ever make a totally-revealing movie of reality out of such separated stills!

Indeed, as with all fossil-based scenarios, they can only mark-out individual snapshots along the actually-travelled road from those overall, past trajectories of change, without in any way identifying which caused what, and how it did it. And, consequently, the actual causes and consequent dynamics of actual Evolution, with their necessary alternating interludes of Holistic Balanced Stabilities, and crisis-precipitated Revolutions of dramatic qualitative changes, can never be causally explained with the fossil record as the sole evidence.

The Great Transitions in Evolution by Neil Shubin

For, of course, there still had to be all the usual disadvantages of such evidence, which is reflected in most Science concerned with Development. Limited snapshots are all we have of what in actuality was a dynamic and tumultuous series of multiple qualitative transformations, NONE of which could ever be fully reflected in the data.


Now, elsewhere, this researcher had to design a motion analysis system based upon recorded footage of professional dance performance, which the experienced and expert teacher was attempting to communicate to advanced students. She found the task to be impossible due to the weaknesses of moving film [remember each new still is delivered every 1/25th of a second, and remains there, totally-unchanging for the that duration]. Using analogue video footage instead, she was also stymied by the way a butchered mini-movie was squashed into each individual frame of a video recording (via interlacing) of the very same dance sequence.

Clearly, as with the fossil record in the rocks, it is both a built-in track of the prior history of such a movement, along with, a similar track of its subsequent future developments would also be necessary. But because evidence from every moment within the frame-time, and from all positions within the frame's-extent were available, the video footage had much more of the movement's dynamic quality than the film. Yet every part of the frame was unavoidably blurred!

So, in order to effectively use both versions, they would have to be superimposed, in such a way as to very clearly deliver the best of both: and in achieving this for dance, with overlaid history and future both-building-and-fading animations of positions on top of the video, the correct interpretation of the studied movements was successfully achieved!

Andy Denzler's video glitch paintings

However a similar temporal solution is not possible in Geology, as no alternative dynamical record can possibly be available to correct the sequences of stills in the fossil record alone.

The crucial causes for such changes are never evident, and the easiest interpretations are always both distortingly simplifying and invariably erroneous.
What else could it possibly be, when unavoidably-interpreted by the actual still-sequemces of the always inadequate historical development of the Understanding by Mankind over several millennia? It is not only the nature of the evidence but, crucially, also the historical inadequacies of Human thinking throughout that period too.

And, that approach was consequentially determined by the unavoidable, natural inadequacies in the Philosophy of Mankind, which was never a given of their own evolution.

Man has had to slowly develop that Philosophy, via a series of more or less inadequate stages, as his wider and deeper experiences gradually delivered the wherewithal to achieve a series of improvements within it.

Now, of course, Science has been a primary contributor to that development, but it can still, at best, only reflect the limitations of its own revealed content.

And, most significant of all, the most hidden, yet vital, episodes in all development occur at such tempos that they are too slow to be physically experienced, yet too fast to be available in the fossil evidence, always reflecting truly vast intervals of time, via quite meagre depositions, while always being a very tiny proportion of what actually existed then, and which, by chance, is still available now.

There is always a parallel consideration to be made, along with the gathered evidence, which is the current state of Human Understanding generally - indeed the philosophical level of development of the human interpreters.

And, ever since the first significant intellectual stirrings, with the Ancient Greeks, the major-and-damning omissions have always been to do with the Dynamics of Qualitative Change. The universally-applied Principle of Plurality, derived from early Mathematics, was also wrongly-applied to both Formal Reasoning and then later to Science. But, Plurality sees Reality as-only-changing-incrementally - that is quantitatively, and sees this as being due to eternal and unchanging laws.

It wasn't until Hegel, only a mere 200 years ago, that Qualitative Change was considered to occur in Human Thinking, and led to his important developments within Reasoning, which he termed Dialectics. And, though Karl Marx realised that Hegel's discoveries were relevant in concrete Reality too, and saw their application to the Sciences as absolutely vital - that, in fact, did not happen, and has only begun to be applied in the last decade, by as yet only a meagre few investigators. 

And Shubin is not yet among them!

But, such a long delay was, indeed, unavoidable, as the pluralist inadequacies, of the then current thinking, turned those studies, first, into various "Supposedly Different Subjects", and, thereafter, even within those "Subjects" into descrete "Specialisms". So, the wherewithal to address those difficulties were generally once again unavailable to allow such necessary developments.

Interestingly, this professional physicist, looking for a way out of the current Crisis in Physics, was getting nowhere, until he was involved in the above research to wed Multimedia to the teaching of Dance Performance and Choreography.

Believe it or not, in solving this problem, I had to deviate, for some time, into an absolutely crucial detour into Philosophy (which, fortunately, solved my impasse in Physics too!)

The same problems will certainly also be true, for the very able Palaeontologists involved in the Evolutionary Transition studies referred to above.

For, what was finally revealed in all major Qualitative Changes, by the studies in creative Dance Movements, was a remarkably dramatic and tumultuous series of stages, always commencing with Crises within what had been a "Persisting Stability", which increased in intensity, until that Stability totally collapsed, and was followed by a new, this time wholly constructive interlude, which, via many temporary constructional crises, finally coalesced, into a new persisting Stability. And, as you might have guessed, reactive, expressive movement delivers the epitome of such changeovers, within its transitions, when they are effectively revealed!

The necessary context for the dynamism delivered by the analogue video frames, was supplied by the possibility of extracting precise positions from the digital stills. And then, by a subsequent superimposition of animated-sequence overlays of positions upon the moving video, which delivered precisely what was required, under immaculate Access-and-Control facilities. In effect, these additions extended every moment into a necessarily dynamic duration, providing both glimpses of its immediate history, and subsequent future, to provide what the two kinds of recordings alone could never do.

And, capturing different views, simultaneously, in the same way, and delivering them in synchrony with the front view, when directed by an expert teacher, seemed to deliver the best possible recorded solution.

So the problem for our geologists, is to fit their exemplars into such a trajectory, OR, much more likely into a series of such trajectories. While, of course, remembering that all the many failures in such processes are unlikely to have left the slightest trace.

Now, with my essential detour into analysis of dance movement, before being able to return to the problems in Physics, and Hegel's similar researches in Thinking, to unearth the need to also abandon Plurality in Formal Reasoning - it similarly involved a major investigation into revolutionary changes in History, for Marx to be in a position to analyse the current Capitalist Economics to envisage revolutionary changes there too.

So, for the Palaeontologists to correctly interpret the fossil record, they too will have to, in addition, study Qualitative Changes elsewhere, which occur at a tempo that will allow general valid conclusions to be drawn! For example, it will require a study of current living animals, to import a dialectical understanding to the series of stills that constitutes the fossil record.

An earlier version of this article was published in Special Issue 66 of the SHAPE Journal.