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Thought, meditation and life

10 May

If thinking is difficult in contemporary society, meditation is almost impossible, even in spaces dedicated to it, it is pure exoterism that meditates, deepens a thought or a situation, that would lead us to do the activities with greater tranquility.

The Greeks called the stage in which we withdraw our judgments and pre-occupations from our head the “epoché”, the absence of judgment on things to initiate a thought.

The philosopher Husserl took up this concept to create his phenomenology and affirmed that this was one of the principles of the current crisis of science, beyond its logicist and positivist structure, it was necessary to return the thing itself, and affirmed that consciousness is “consciousness of something” .

Byung-Chul Han in the Society of Fatigue warns us that active life needs a complement that is the meditation life, without which we immerse ourselves in tiredness and can be led to Bournot syndrome, in which we live in eternal confusion.

This is not new of course, but the acceleration of society due to new technologies, haste and the lack of environments and situations of deep meditation has led to an emptying of life.

To take it back is urgent, it will give us consciousness of Being, it will allow us to face problems that exist for all people and in almost every situation, and it will give us a better life.

Sloterdijk in “you can change your life,” while ironizing the false spiritual exercises of our day, called them as unsprayed ascesis, just exercise. It is not an escape from reality, and developoment antropotechnic concept. 

In Christian spirituality it means to find the humanity of the historical and divine Jesus, for when his disciples ask to see God he has the answer: “he who sees me, sees the Father”, in general terms, is in the reality, it is necessary to clarify and see. The lecture Andy Peddicombe says that 10 minutes are enough to regain consciousness:

 

Is hard thinking today

09 May

The thinker visited Barcelona where he met with several hundred people in a conversation at the Center for Contemporary Culture of Barcelona (CCCB).
Despite his affability and his apparent tranquility, interviewing Sloterdijk, whose pages an ordinary human often needs to read over and over in order to understand them, is a challenge.
With the passages of Spheres still floating on the head – “the inner, consubjective sphere can not possess at all a eucyclic and parmenideal structure: the psychic globe does not have, with the well rounded philosophical, a single center that radiates and encompasses everything, and but two epicenters that interpellate each other by resonance “, Sloterdijk interviewed as if it were in front of Plotinus.
In an interview with the newspaper El Pais, the thinker says that it is difficult to think nowadays, and certainly read a more difficult thinker, especially if he goes to the essential problems.
When asked by the journalist if we lost the ability to think he replied: “It is not capacity as such. But it does not occur the vital circumstances that allow us to distance ourselves and gain distance. For Husserl and his phenomenology it was necessary to leave the impetuous time of life, the most elementary device was always to take a step back”.
This action allows you to become an observer.
Without a certain distance, without a certain disconnection the theoretical attitude is impossible. “Today’s life does not invite thinking. ”
Julia Galef is a writer and speaker on the topics of rationality, science, technology and design.
Julia Galef examines the motivations behind these two mindsets and how they shape the way we interpret information, intertwined with a compelling 19th century history lesson from France, from a torn paper found where military secrets were sold to Germany.
The only Jewish soldier Alfred Dreyfus was convicted without convincing evidence, and sent to a prison on an island, later proven innocent and rehabilitated, what Julia Galef asks is: “Do you yearn to see the world more clearly, or just to defend your beliefs?”, see Julia’s Ted:

https://www.ted.com/talks/julia_galef_why_you_think_you_re_right_even_if_you_re_wrong?utm_campaign=tedspread&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=tedcomshare

 

The informational impact

08 May

Society, information abundance, information turnaround and other appeals to the novelty that arose not with the internet, but with the computer and the possibility of handling the data in volume (Big Data) certainly brought a new perspective.

Anyone who wanted to understand eighteenth-century society should study the industrial revolution and its impact on manpower and the production of serial products, today anyone who wants to analyze contemporary society cannot lose sight of the volume of data they are produced to try to make this volume accessible to society.

But it is not so, because together with this volume came by previous process, it is only to check with history, not the romantic dreamed by idealists, but the real one and to realize that the problem of both Information in volume and depth, made it difficult to digging and knowing what is essential.

We have already posted here Karl Kraus, who complained to journalists in the midst of the threat of a second world war because of misunderstood news highlighting only interests. In an interview with the newspaper El Pais, Peter Sloterdijk also warned that “it is difficult to think of contemporary society,” Byung Chul Han his disciple alert to “active vita” (Chul-Han)

The phenomenon we witnessed in which information became practically a commodity, started with the digital model of Shannon (photo) and the Turing machine in the 1930s, and accelerated with the construction of modern computers.

What we witnessed and did not always participate in an “active” and reflexive way, able to elaborate thinking about information, is the fragmentation of knowledge accelerated by new gadgets, but which was initiated by a crisis in the thinking of Western society, which only deepened over the years, its initializing in modernity.

The Movie The game of imitation (2015) illustrates the life of Alain Turing and his theory:

 

 

 

Theory of Information or Signals

07 May

David Hilbert proposed 23 problems for Mathematics to solve, among them the 2nd. problem was the consistency of Arithmetic to solve problems (which started the idea of algorithm). Later from 1910 to 1913 Alfred Whitehead and Bertrand Russerl published the 3 volumes of Principia Mathematica recalling Isaac Newton’s Principia (Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica) of 1980, but logic has shown contradictions.
It was Kurt Gödel (1906-1978) who showed the contradictions of logic by demonstrating that a mathematical system is either complete or consistent, a problem that was discussed by Alan Turing and Claude Shannon at Bell Labs in the late 1930s amidst World War II .
Both were in secret projects, Turing was to decipher the Enigma machine, captured from the German army, and Shannon build the System X machine to encode messages from Roosevelt and Churchill from the allied troops.
Both spoke at the lab meetings about Gödel’s problem, and wondered if the machine could think. Boole’s circuits and the Turing machine are at the origin of modern computers, this information theory is actually information in another context, Shannon himself would call it a message, and modern computing calls it signals.
The computation evolved with the construction of the first computer by von Neuman, and we initiate at the moment to ask again if the machine will surpass the human, the philosopher Sam Harris has a opinion:

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Playing with the mind: Claude Shannon

06 May

It was time to pay tribute at the time of Claude Shannon’s contribution and genius, two journalists wrote in 2017 a book about the one that, in our vision with Vannevar Bush of whom he was a MIT lecturer, created Information Theory, although the name might be different, he knew he used information like “machine.”

In the book the information will be called a message, but it could be a sign. I did not read the book, but it was studying the Boolean Algebra that Shannon started to make a digital world, but opposing the analog is the second misconception because everything we do is analog, the clock for example, there is an analogy with the movement of the sun and of course, the rotation of the earth.

In his master’s thesis, in 1937 he analyzed electric circuits that were based only on “yes” or “no”, with connectives “and” or “and” and “not”, and it will be only in his 1948 work that his “Mathematical Theory of Communication”, became Information Theory.

The basic idea was based on calculations of the amount of information needed for a message (I prefer a signal) so that information (of human origin, transmitted by a channel or physical medium) does not lose its original relevance.

Few books have so many citations in relevant works, the book cites 91,000, and virtually the entire theory of “signal processing,” “imaging,” and any information transformed into digital “signal” must use its theory.

The central contribution of his work is called “sampling theory”, which states that in any system the maximum sampling frequency must be at least twice the highest frequency of the signal to be transmitted.

For example, an audible sound to the human ear, which reaches the maximum at 20 KHz, should have a sampling rate of at least 40 KHz. In addition to anticipating the computer along with Alan Turing, also the first Machine Learning, quite simple, but sophisticated for that time, a mouse robot in a maze:

 

 

 

 

The discovery and the sound of pulsars

04 May

Supernovae are massive explosions of stars that until 1932 did not have many explanations, although they are observed and studied by astronomers.
Walter Brade and Fritz Zwicky sought the explanation when the subatomic particle called neutron was discovered so they understood that the answer was this, a neutron star.
It is a dense nucleus, as if two suns compressed in a space of the region of the great Sao Paulo of Brazil, but the explanation does not end there.
In 1967, the doctoral student Jocelyn Bell, captured in a radio astronomy equipment a weak pulse coming from a part of the sky with extreme precision, the house 1.3 seconds it repeated, it seemed an intentional signal of somebody or of and some civilization thought his counselor, but it was the discovery of pulsars.
Two important consequences of observation: to the extent that this star collapses its rotation increases greatly, and the other, is that collapse carries along with it the magnetic field forming a dense nucleus that spurs an energy beam dense to the space as pulses.
Russian scientists, capturing the flow of 10 pulsars, have created a song that along with other sounds of the universe form a great symphony of the creation and expansion of the universe.
Watch the video made by Russian scientists last month:

 

Intentionality, materiality and world

03 May

It seems distant the discourse of the world of life and intentionality, for idealistic thought would be because it is not, it is not about having the intention to go to the knowledge of the object and to have its possession, the important thing is not to separate them, intention is consciousness of the object.

Putting it more precisely, and using the Greek terms, this duality is the relation between the  (morphé) form and the matter (Hylé), the use of the Greek concept is because we enter the intentional layer of the lived that is present in the world the form.

Husserl updated these concepts in noema and noese, this being the intentional act as the set of subjectively oriented experience of the object, what we call information and the first is hylético data (the Greek concept), which can be updated as cognitive experiences, this is that they become knowledge independent of their facticity or materiality in the modern sense, which is different from Hylé.

The intentionality as consciousness Husserl met her with his master Franz Brentano and he took it from Thomas Aquinas who in turn took it from Aristoteles and Saint Augustine. It is important to understand that awareness of something does not mean truth in Truth and Method Hans Georg Gadamer gives a long speech on this.

 Although it is not correct to say that Aquinas is Platonic, the spiritual substance that exists in Plato and Augustine is maintained, as the conventional vision of soul, so soul is morphé, form of the body, it is it that communicates the act of being.

In the biblical passage, there are others that refer to recognizing Jesus in breaking bread, he is not known by his material form in the physical sense of the present, but by his act of being, in the passage of John (21: 1-19) after they have gone fishing without fishing, Jesus appears to him and asks if he has something to eat (they do not recognize his form), then they send the fishery and fish again, there they recognize his being by his intention and finally they go to eat together and with the coals already burning Jesus says to them: “Bring some fish that you have caught” (John, 21: 10).

The three strange facts in this passage, they did not fish for anything and then they succeeded, they did not recognize Jesus by his form but by his experience (He orders them to fish and he breaks the bread) and Jesus eating (He is not more in world of form, He resurrected).

At the end he asks Peter his intention and says “You love me“, He said about the all experiences of intentionality.

The contemporary world seeks to create narratives and facts to reaffirm them, but has difficulty with its materiality that unite form and materiality, remains in the dualism.

The intentionality is a property not physical of the mind, see this vídeo:

 

 

 

World of life and deviations

02 May

It seems obvious what the world of life would be, but it is not because simply this world is populated by theories and misconceptions trying to put life as some form of acting, of making functionalist or even of thinking in restricted forms that do not behave life.
It is not by chance that this was later developed by Heidegger and Gadamer, since all life refers to the Being, and closes itself in this and not from its relation with the objects, but with the vision it has of the relation with these objects which are part of the world of life.
Separating them into ontological and ontological, though distinct, means that there is something beyond the life of being, not in the mystical sense, but of the transcendental realizations (the apriori) of consciousness.
Thus the work of Hans Georg Gadamer “Truth and Method” is nothing other than to oppose a vision of historical consciousness other than that of something, the basic presupposition of the hermeneutics, there is therefore no clear relation to life, beings, objects and culture of concrete beings within a concrete reality.
The original meaning of the “world of life” (Lebenswelt) is embodied in Heidegger’s work of Being and Time, used in part by Sartre, Gadamer problematized it, and Schultz made it central to his phenomenological sociology.
Phenomenology brought from Franz Brentano the notion of intentionality, which according to Sokoloski, intention means the relation of consciousness that we have with an object, then refers in the last analysis to what we call consciousness.
The notion of intentionality is the one that contrasts most strongly with positivism, when reconsidering the subject and object relationship, in a perspective of inseparability, offers an opposition to its objectivism and neutrality.
By fully recovering the subject in relation to objects, phenomenology is a resumption of the humanization of science, a restorative view of Being and of existence.
The work of Alfred Schutz (1899 to 1959) incorporating phenomenology into Max Weber’s sociology, regains the importance of the concept of Verstehen (understanding) and distinguishes it from Erklaren (common-sense knowledge, or methods of modern social sciences).
Hans Georg Gadamer clarifies that Verstehen is close to the understanding of the Other, in which the relation of knowing is thus humanized.
SOKOLOWSKI, Robert. Introduction to phenomenology (in portuguese). São Paulo: Loyola, 2004.
The concept of intentionality is central to phenomenology and this vídeo clarifies the term:

 

Postmodern, Late Modernity, and Life

01 May

The period of post-war was followed by a period of mass culture, with the reaction of the counterculture and resistance to the war in Vietnam, this was even before the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Soviet Union, before the birth of internet, and therefore there was already a crisis in Western thinking since Kieekgaard, Nietzsche and Schopenhauer.
Stuart Hall, in The Culture Identity in Postmodernity (2000) attempts to assess what would be happening with a crisis of (social) identity and that this led to the fragmentation of the individual generating new identities, subject to a concrete plan of history and no longer with the perception of the previous stages, in our view, nationalism and conservatism are a strong reaction to this aspect, or the attempt to return to an identity before the crisis.
The process that has taken place since the 1980s, where there was already a mass culture, now occurs on a global scale, a true world-system, which is influenced by globalization without doubt, but the background is now a mass culture world, where national, ethnic and social identities are confused, and the Web is just a media of this process, the mass culture of the previous process prepared this stage.
Stuart Hall’s attempt is to analyze the cultural plan, if it is economic truth that we are in a late modernity, for those who look at the ongoing change is in the art plane that one can try to understand the movement that one makes and where one goes.
Today artists even have greater possibilities of communicating, but the enormous amount of tendency and languages makes impossible some formal unicity, then dialog and compose.
Aesthetics are also products and consequences of the production and circulation of the same, and unlike the movement of art, as Byung Chul Han says “everyone wants to be different from each other”, which forces “to produce itself” said in the conference in 2018 in Barcelona, because only those who open themselves to the Other can appreciate the different and respect.
The speech of hatred is made in the group of equals, speak in dialogue without hearing soon find an excuse for intolerance, resentment and attack.
The networks that were to put us together, put together the equals that are reinforced, as Byung Chul Han says, “in the desert, or in hell, of the equal”, sometimes with sweet words and sometimes with declared hatred.
The African TED Seconde Nimenya clarifies why we want to be equal, when we are different and this should be normal, but it is not:

 

The smooth, linear and non-life

30 Apr

Certainly most people feel uncomfortable with the amount of activities, of course there is another type (which is not the opposite) that is passivity or procrastination, the fact that someone is in paralysis, the panic or anxiety syndrome is exactly this.
What is tiredness, it is not only social, intellectual, political activism or hyperactivity, that is attributed to children, but there are numerous workaholic, compulsive and tense adults.
What impels us to this, contrary to what one might imagine to be a confused life, or the loss of focus (there are innumerable books on this, and others of self-help for aspects that are not the central ones), is a “life of exercises, “would say Peter Sloterdijk, or the society of fatigue Byung Chul Han, where this comes from and why we arrived in this state seems unanswered.
The idea of linearity, “focus” or personal management, emotional intelligence and so many other jargon do not escape a life even though “straight” continues to take us to the bottom of the pit.
The network represents complexity, but even opening the possibility of a universe of relationships (in fact only 6 relationships, called the six degrees of separation are needed) does not improve the deteriorated degree of relationships, explains Byung Chul Han in a lecture made in Barcelona , in 2018:
“We are on the Net but we do not listen to the other, we just make noise,” said Byung-Chul Han, saying that only travels the necessary, does not do conventional tourism “to not participate in the flow of goods and people,” he said at the Culture Center Contemporary of Barcelona.
This led psychiatrist Steven Berglas of Harvard Medical School’s Department of Psychiatry to elegantly protest: “To be fair to (… a certain author …) and other self-help authors, there is much useful material in their works and much of the damage done by such literature is due to the fact that these books are not read or even read. Many people cite insights from books based on a hurried reading of the fourth covers or titles, in “Reclaiming the Fire” of the 2001.
The psychiatrist Albert Ellis claims that most of the problems of modern society arise because are based on absolutist beliefs of “I must” or “have” about oneself, about others, he created a Therapy Rational Emotional of Conduct (TREC), the TED of Jules Evans clarifies the therapy: