To make someone pretend they’re fully formed is untrue, misleading, and emotionally abusive. This is a great post. Please go like the blog…
Forced arrangements for fetal remains: anything but dignified – http://wp.me/p13KVf-1uD
To make someone pretend they’re fully formed is untrue, misleading, and emotionally abusive. This is a great post. Please go like the blog…
Forced arrangements for fetal remains: anything but dignified – http://wp.me/p13KVf-1uD
For Spoilers, jump to the end 🙂
For-profit prison. The very name of it sounds like something to be heavily regulated at the very least, and probably be nonexistent. At least in a society that claims to be for its people. The history of profiteering prisons is long, there is a great article about it here. The numbers are staggering. The opportunism and covering of it are even more so, The refusal of expensive prisoners? Why is that even an option? Most telling is the fact that it is never calculated in the cost-benefit analyses of the companies that run them. There is no cost-benefit analysis that can price a human being’s potential. The single most important fact is this: the private prisons are not held to the same constitutional standards as government-run facilities. When did we sell our constitutional rights? For all the bluster of any politician or business(man) that claims to stand behind the inalienable rights granted to every citizen in this country, and support private prisons, you are a hypocrite of such grand endeavor as to be criminal.
The evidence for any benefit to the public good is lacking, Any report or study that says there is benefit doesn’t contain all data, misrepresents it, and/or is often a study that is industry funded so they can put statistics in the hands of paid lobbyists. Even the Justice Department can’t seem to agree on its own investigations (Nat’l Inst. of Justice and Bureau of Justice Statistics found here). There is no incentive to curb inmate violence, as it just adds to their sentence and provides 3rd-world labor in a 1st world country, and conditions have repeatedly been found to be below that required under constitutional rights. Remember, cruel and unusual? at 6%, and 16%, for State and Federal inmates respectively, that is UNUSUAL. to put them in a prison that can say no, is unusual. I mean, after all, what determines for that inmate where they go? Is it race? Criminal offense? Personal history? Who they pissed off when they came through Intake? None of those factors should be at play. Continual incarceration until the inmate is no longer viable as a worker, then released onto a general public with few skills, no viable working life, and a cost burden to taxpayers is the end result. This is no way to run a prison system, even a small amount. This should be a direct violation of the basic human rights the founding fathers of this country deemed to belong to all humans. The taking of the voting right even further alienates the inmates: they lose their voice, even if rehabilitated, and so their power with constituency politicians. Unless other people stand up for them as a voice, a thing quite difficult to do in any capacity other than abstract, such as I am doing here. Constitutional rights are deemed “inalienable” by the document itself. Strangely enough, that is the very first thing we seem to do when someone makes an error that runs afoul of the justice system and they, by happenstance, live too close to a private prison, or in a state that harbors them.
I’m not saying that some inmates aren’t scum, or there aren’t vicious and callous beings masquerading as humans within the system. What I am saying is that those prisoners aren’t profitable. The private system gets to “Just Say NO” to any unprofitable prisoners, and then turn around and claim how much more profitable they are, and do a better job, while farming out its population for labor that is neither regulated, nor labeled on any companies products. I mean, wouldn’t you want to know if what you buy was made with slave labor from a private prison camp? I would, and I bet many others would too. Not only that, I want to know which companies use that labor, and if they hire the same people when they get out of prison. I get to use my money to support who and what I want, and social issues matter. You can’t claim to support a “free” market that and say that you only want the consumer to look at your product, and no other factors, that isn’t free. That is a controlled market, falsification of source, and a slippery slope towards a society that has all of its citizens either in prison working, or invested in those same endeavors. The previous systems that did that was Slavery, Indentured Servitude, and Sharecropping, to name 3.
The crimes people are in jail for that land them into the private prison system are even more laughable. The worst is the Kids for Cash scandal that Michael Moore featured in a documentary. The fact is this: most are not supremely bad offenders. The breakdown featured in the Prison Policy Initiative’s website shows this. In fact, almost every single reasonable study, data analysis, Cost-benefit breakdown, and civil rights investigation has turned up either substandard conditions, no cost benefit, and a greater threat to society once having gone through this system.
This isn’t a deterrent. Calling this a deterrent assumes that prison itself isn’t one. The very act of calling a privately run prison a deterrent over normal prison, while the worst offenders are kept in the governmental system, is a blatant lie, and undermines the very system the private industry is parasitical to. There is no valid argument a private system that incarcerates its own citizens, then allows other citizens to maintain profit from that jailing. None. Cost benefit? tell me the value of a human life, and make the figure public. We all know that assassinations can happen, but that isn’t what I mean. I mean the kind of reasoning that goes into why there’s an ejection seat on a $35 million aircraft. Or we have regulations on trains, or traffic laws that add cost to people if they even slightly endanger even 1 other person with their actions. NO, if we are to have a government that incarcerates its people, then our government needs to shoulder the cost. Laws that do not recuperate cost from activity must be strictly analyzed. If we are to have a war on drugs to protect the health of our people, then why not universal healthcare? I am quite sure that the “War” on drugs money could save several thousand lives each year directly, not line the pockets of investors and lobbyists and legislators who push for an unjust justice system. In case you didn’t click the link, it’s $40 billion plus. About half of the drug incarcerations are for marijuana possession. While the legality of Marijuana is another post entirely (coming soon), the inequality of that figure is most telling. The highest sentences are for the harder drugs yet all of them combined are about the same as just one whose criminality is in serious question. CHerry Picking the inmates isn’t a deterrent, it’s profiteering that is second in its evil only to war profiteering. That isn’t well-spent tax dollars.
To close this out, I want to provide some alternative. As it comes onto 2016, and Bernie Sanders (#FeelTheBern) runs on a political ticket to dismantle the private system, I want to take up the challenge to provide an alternative, one that keeps some jobs as well as some labor savings. Since Bill Clinton did some damage of his own regarding the private prison industry in 1996 (Federal Workforce Reduction and Court Oversight removal) I would not be expecting Hillary to do much different. Here it is: Pay them to keep those same low-risk, low-cost inmates, out of jail. That’s right. Take that labor, give each inmate more wage, invest each worker’s wage’s in interest bearing accounts (a portion of which can be kept as part of contractual agreements), and some in their personal bank at prison, for their toiletries and such. And if an inmate is successfully retrained, can land a job, and stays out of prison for some set times, use the money saved in tax dollars, and earned in partial interest to pay the companies on a per annum basis for keeping rehabilitated inmates out of jail.
This is just a quick summation of a larger plan, but since rehabilitation is supposed to be the goal of prison, as a means of rejoinder in society…
Why aren’t we paying the private sector to keep people out of jail?
*one last resource on the nastiness of the private prison industry
Catchy title, eh? First, a disclaimer. I have been neither an active nor believing member of the Lutheran Church for many years. I could be an Atheist in the strictest of sense, in that I worship no god. I do not self identify with that, however. I believe in the abstract term “all” and that I am not it. I will often say I believe in something more than myself, which is absolutely true, and, in fact, I believe I am a tiny little speck in a great and vast cosmos that is almost incomprehensible. And if you are going to say, “Well, that’s God, All, everything, the Universe…” and at the same time start telling me about dogma, and the gender of it, I will tell you that if All is God, and it has a gender, then the only gender we know of that harbors other life inside of it is a woman, and if you tell me that God is All, then God is a woman. You are walking and talking proof, you are life harbored inside of All, and that makes you a fetus in the physical plane. Chew on that awhile.
That being said, I was not always unaffiliated, and was raised Lutheran by my mother. I do still keep a little Reformationist in my heart, as the personal nature of the divine, and the individual’s journey in pursuing it through study and life is something I respect, and try to uphold, failing in that oftentimes, sometimes minorly, and sometimes quite epicly. I have prayed. Before I was old and educated enough to know anything else (one of my biggest problems with religions is their insistence on capturing children and telling them everything else is a lie), I prayed to a jewish god, and the salvation promised me. I no longer do this, I have recited a couple versions of the lord’s prayer when I was younger, and I will just say that there are some other sects and orders that I have my own issues with, especially regarding some supposedly “magic” things.
Now, onto the main part of this post, as the disclaimer is likely longer than the post itself. I was speaking with a friend not too long ago, discussing abortion, and the emotional insecurity and ambiguity around it, religiously speaking. I am not religious, but since the subject was about religious beliefs, and their relation to events, and not directly about my personal beliefs, or what is true, I granted the premise. That premise being this: If a woman/girl is going in to have an abortion, what should she pray to her god for?
I was interested, as to me it seems a little obvious, but understanding that not only do I have no monopoly on personal beliefs, they’re like assholes, everybody has one. I do prefer provable beliefs, they usually have the cute little distinction of being TRUE, but that is another post entirely. You see, this intrigued me. To not have an idea of what to ask God for may very well prevent a woman from exercising good judgement, simply out of exasperation. Or lacking good guidance, either from family, friends, the baby’s daddy, or a host of other things, and not knowing what to ask her god for, could very well prevent her from gaining an answer. This bothered me, and still does. In a world of excess information, “Big Data” and an internet of all things, true and decidedly untrue, being able to ask the right question is a life skill that will become more and more important for all of technological society. So I told her a prayer, and I will post it here, for all to read, and maybe, even give someone hope or strength to ask the right question during a difficult time. There is a little bit of setting the premise, but after that is just a prayer, and hopefully it will adapt to many different sects of Judeo-Christianity.
Starting off, a couple of things, as a raised Reformationist, I assume that all who pray are asking god, in Jesus’ name, and are praying internally, in their own voice, not at confessional. I also assume that forgiveness for mistakes is part of the reasoning, I do NOT, however, assume that all believe that ensoulment begins at conception, and I, in fact, put purposely indistinct wording regarding the ensoulment timing because of that lack of assumption. What I do assume is that you will substitute any of the vague language regarding that part, with some that more distinctly represents your personal beliefs. I will enquote the prayer for clarity.
“Dear God, I <your name here>, your humble servant on Earth, ask you for your help. Through your grace, you gave the ability to make choices, and through your mercy you gave your son so that I do not have to perish if I am wrong in those choices, so I ask you for help in this decision. If you have put a divine soul within me, I am not ready. I am using your grace to know this, and I accept it. I am not prepared for this child, and I am giving it back to you Lord, to your mercy, to your grace, to your love. The only thing I ask in return is not for myself, but for the soul you may have given; give it a better passage. I do not ask this for me, ask it for the child. There are many who wish for your blessing in this, give it to them. Your Grace allows me this choice, I beg of your mercy to make it right. Forgive me for returning this gift, but I am not ready, and this is not the time. Please graciously grant me this gift when I am more ready, and grant this child another passage, one of happiness and abundance, of love and compassion, a journey with others. I ask that You grant any soul you may have presented to me another path, give it the passage I could not. I beg this of your eternal and unending mercy, your grace and faith, My faith in you, and your enduring faith in me. Through your mercy and forgiveness I ask this, and with the gifts you have given me, I shall continue on the path you have laid before me. I ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.”
May any who read this and need it, use it.
from a spiritual Atheist. May it all work in mysterious ways
your Spiritual Dose of Andrew. Beware the side effects…
Yes, another touchy subject. Mostly because it seems that no matter how far-fetched, or outside of the intent of the research, some overzealous politician(s) grab onto the most esoteric of research, and claim it is conclusive and since it sounds like it supports their view, they then make legislation based on it.
First, I am pro-choice. That means even supporting a woman’s choice to carry a fetus to full term. I have published on here that I also believe that she is the only one who can make that decision, and she is responsible for it, alone. With many states having laws that make it almost impossible to change the legal paternity, and multiple scandals regarding DNA testing as contracted by the state, and now states have been making laws since 2010 regarding fetal pain, it is about time that some better information got out, not that there isn’t a ton of it out there debunking the fetal pain issue, in my mind, the more, the merrier.
Let’s get some history. There have been claims of studies showing that fetuses en-utero feel pain at about 22 weeks development. This is not the case. There were studies done that did NOT show pain was felt, just that there was an involuntary response to damage, which was increased stress hormones and blood flow to the area that is an underdeveloped brain. This is NOT the same as feeling pain. This shows that there is a damage response mechanism that develops before there is even full neurological wiring in place to have a response to those physical mechanisms. The heart is beating long before this. That does not mean the fetus “feels” its heart either. Surgeons routinely use anesthesia or painkillers when performing fetal surgery or operations, but it is to reduce the hormonal stress response, which inhibits healing, so the drugs true scientific use is to promote healing, in cases where the fetus will be carried to full term. Most Doctors do not know if a fetus can feel pain, mostly because there is no research that has shown that, and there is no research that CAN show that. Pain is both a physical and psychological response mechanism. Babies cry in response to pain because of a long evolutionary trait that has developed for a child to do so and an adult or other member of the species will come and help. At some point in time, it is quite possible that babies didn’t cry as much, as the ones that did attracted predators. Feeling pain is also not a distinctly human trait, as pretty much all animals feel pain, and there is a lot of evidence that plants even have a response to damage that would be similar to what is being called “pain” in developing fetuses. As long as we are talking about involuntary hormonal responses, which is what the fetal pain issue is actually discussing.
While the idea of crying fetuses in the womb is sure to produce a response, it does not happen. Even the videos of fetal movement being “purposeful” does not in any way indicate a known or conscious purpose.The purpose may be completely involuntary, such as random neuronal firing in order to test systems, to put it into a tech-speak. A brush of a hand by the face puts 2 of the most neuron-heavy and brain-use-heavy parts of the body close to each other, a perfect test. Even some fetal portraits of male fetuses with their hands between their legs (where are the female fetus videos of this? seems a little sexist…) would again be 2 parts with a lot of neuronal and brain wiring being randomly activated. It would be hard to differentiate between a fetus fondling itself, and the psychological pattern attachment a healthy, sexual, adult would attach to the movement.
Damage induced hormonal response is not new to fetal medicine. In fact, it used to be common for doctors to perform surgeries and other invasive procedures on newly born infants with the idea that they were not neurologically fully intact or formed yet. This is NOT the current consensus. In fact, it is the full trauma of childbirth that gives the new methodology weight. Broken bones, squeezed heads, and many other traumatic phenomena happen during natural childbirth, and have for as long as there have been humans. It is not easy to squeeze a watermelon through a bagel, and both the watermelon and bagel often suffer trauma. (side note: the watermelon is the baby, the bagel is the vaginal opening for any who missed the metaphor) While there are many in the pro-birth (I refuse to call it pro-life, because it isn’t, it is pro-birth) camp that say “there is something that is produced that prevents pain” in babies naturally born, there is absolutely no scientific evidence for this, and in fact directly contradicts what medical science now believes to be true. In fact, much research shows that the trauma of childbirth, and the related pain, activates many receptors and systems in the infant’s body, and also helps produce stress hormones that help the alveoli sacs that are filled with fluid to divest themselves of said fluid and to prepare for their first inflation with a breath of free air. (quote is attributed to Mary Spaulding Balch, a high-level member of the National Right To Life Committee. *it’s a title, I have to use it*)
Then there is the issue of neurological wiring and control center, or more prosaically, the stuff that the pain signals are sent to, and processed by. Cerebral Cortex, Thalamus, Hippocampus, spinal cord… all are necessary to truly “feel” pain. Very few, if not none, are developed enough to function by 20-24 weeks. There is some evidence to suggest that consciousness “resides” in some physical place, which really means if you turn that particular area off, a person becomes unconscious. This physical relation to consciousness being in a specific place is one I do not adhere to, mostly because, if it is the seat of consciousness, then take it out, and have it be “conscious”. Or, if it is the seat of consciousness, then repair it when someone dies, and make them conscious again, or, transplant the given area of the brain to a new one, perhaps in a younger body, and see if the consciousness follows it. I have not seen or heard of such events taking place, which tells me the correlation is shaky, at best. In fact, it isn’t until 27-30 weeks that the brain is developed enough to fully control some tasks, and this is after a spurt in development and growth of the brain and nervous systems. Let that sink in, after a spurt in growth. So prior to that, it isn’t fully functional, and only after that period in time do the full extent of nerves and their associated brain areas even remotely become fully developed. Pain is not a conscious level event, as there isn’t sufficient enough evidence to show that there is a holistic sort of functioning, which is necessary in most, if not all of these structures, as far as is known, for full signal transport and process. That means no pain. Or at the very least, not any kind of pain that would register in a conscious way. Pain is at least partially a psychological phenomenon, as there are plenty of people (myself included) who have trained themselves to psychologically separate a great deal of conscious pain response from involuntary reactions to pain (like grabbing the injured body part, or crying out, or even letting it affect your conscious awareness) in order to learn more, and in some cases (my own, and others) to find a way to handle chronic, heavy pain without medication, of any kind. This is a personal feat, and there are many cases of people mastering this to a greater level, such as the Buddhist monk that set himself on fire to protest the Viet Nam war. To say that “feeling” pain is simply to show an involuntary response to damage or stress is almost baseless, and neglects so many other factors that are intrinsic to pain and its effects.
To end this, I am going to once again reference the masterful work done by Carl Sagan and his wife Ann Druyan in 1990 in defense of abortion rights. The fact that its main argument premise and exultation is still at least as relevant and poignant today as it was 25 years a go is a testament to the power of a good scientific and logical argument. Even though the link is to a blog, it is a recent one with a similar view on the article (even though I disagree with the part that the author says he learned that fetal pain happens at 20 weeks). The profound idea that a potential human is not the same as an actual human is as true as ever, and the discernation between the two is always going to be the central key to any argument in the issue, as that is what the issue really is about. What is it that makes one a fully formed human being? When do we draw the line? The Supreme Court made this distinction quite some time ago, that is still valid and as good a definition as any: when the fetus is viable outside of the womb without technological intervention, and its development alone would allow it to live outside of the mother. Up to that point, the mother can choose to terminate the pregnancy because the embryo is not a fully formed, functional, and viable part of the human race. To this day, there is not an argument with enough strength of evidence to adjust that decision, much less overturn it.
I have seen many stories telling of the divide between Science and Philosophy, more specifically Physics and Philosophy. The main crux of the argument seems to be on whether or not abstract ideas actually exist in some fashion. i find it compellingly odd and funny that people are using 2 different languages to settle an argument about abstract concepts being real… in languages. Let’s first think about that. A language is a set of given symbols, spoken, or written, or even body language, grouped, to represent other concepts/things in the real world. so they are using an abstract thing to argue about whether or not abstract things are real in some way. Seems self-evident to me. And kind of silly, but maybe that is just me. A lot of bluster to get back to one basic fact: the things you see on the screen, or pages, or hear people say, or watch them do and you interpret to be representative of something is indeed a carefully constructed, over generatins of use and success/failure cycles, set of symbols, used and taught from birth to represent the physical world around us. Even science has this limitation, albeit with a more powerful language, Mathematics.
I will, in the course of this writing, attempt to reconcile this philosohical difference with a simple proof. In this preface however, this is my blog, and I will jest, I will make nuanced innuendos at lesser sciences, and laugh barbarically at the frantic attempts to equate their languages to mathematics, or better. I will acknowledge one caveat: Mathematics is the most powerful written language. other languages evolved as spoken first, ten written, and as such, have a greater dimensionality to them than Mathematics. you can write I am one, or 1=1 or one equals one, or even point at your self and say “am” after it, wor write it down, and get basically the same message out. but writing 1=1 is referencing a vary particular set of axioms and definitions that make math a powerful language. I’m defining language here to mean any set of given symbols used to convey information between given consciousnesses. I will later be using a mixmash of languages to describe my proof, i preemptively ask for your fogiveness, my education does not permit me the luxury of a formal proof, and I wholeheartedly welcome any attacks on my reasononing as a learning opportunity. I mean that. Personal attacks or any other arguments other than the above will be deleted or ignored,or possibly both. An irony I hope is evident later.
Before I get to rigor, let me say these things. I love science and math. I am biased. I believe them to be part of the crown jewels of human thought. I yearn for a fluency in all their lovliness. I also hate the way most people are taught them. I always thought that it was wrong when my teachers would tell me that moving a rock from one area to another was “addition”, when it obviously left behind and empty spot. It wasnt until much later that I was told it is also really the addition of a negative, that I realized it was more correct. I understand the reasoning now, but I felt quite betrayed in my indignant youth. I also was fortunate enough to have a set of wonderfully amazing teachers and chance encounters in my life, and I feel quite blessed to have been taught by them. One taught our class the rules of basic logic and had us play games. Using logical statements, the Converse, Inverse, and Contrapositive, we would evaluate if statements were true (logically consistent) or not. I found it to be the most wonderful tool I have ever learned, and I will always be grateful for it. I also have had a lot of time to reflect on the precepts that must create such a tool, and I think there is a bit of a law. I feel there is a flaw in several axioms of classic logical reasoning, but only in certain situations. I believe mathematics actually holds the key, and may very well be a window to the soul of the universe. Let’s think about what math really means, or any language for that matter, and we will start from there. I believe in the observational and experiential Universe, I also believe there is more, or we need to define universe better. With that, I will also say, this is not an ontological proof, I will be using mathematical terms, only in concept and as support or naming convention, as I lack a more formal knowledge of how to write it, so I will try to derive all my terms within, and relative to the work as much as possible, so it will not result in external arguments being used and a term or vocabulary issue being a determinant. The only thing I have is language, so understand, writing this is not the same as me waving my hands in the air and pantomiming it while speaking, nor is it a repalcement for a full mathematical proof, but I believe it to be self-consistent, and subject to logical rigor of some sort.
I also want to mention some arrogance, on the part of others, and my own. There may be others who say this proves their ideas and such by trying to transmogrify their beliefs to mine, and calling theirs right. I have not found an exact duplicate anywhere, only in some vague religious references, and some long-held conventions that are not understood. I believe this to be the conceptualities that all religions seek to convey in some terms, and I say that with great humility. And with great arrogance I say, if you think my reasoning is your religion’s, then why didn’t they say it like me before? and as far as I know, most of them have one key difference I will illustrate later, but they do not. And as I said above, I welcome valid corrections, or at least well thought refutations that I can at least respect enough to warrant thinking about. I am not a religious person, except that I thought of a version of this sometime when I was about 12, and as I have learned better vocabularies, my understanding and belief in its elegance and truth has only grown. I believe this to be something that must be true to some extent, if not complete. It is too elegant and beautiful not to be. and it fits the logic test… for as long as that test is valid.
Here goes. I will start with a thought experiment. there is me, with a rocks in each hand, different colors, on a riverbank, with lots of other rocks. first, there is such a thing as a rock I can hold in my hand. It has characteristics. I will use the term rock loosely, for illustrative purpose, and not as a tool to prove the details of geology. This setting, and the frame work behind it of our experiential world, i.e., I am not the only human, and other banal assumptions, are assumed also, and only the setting and situation are idealized for the purposes of description. Since science uses the language of mathematics, I will use some references to observational science in here, to support the reasoning, as observation is the key to what I am trying to prove, that the language of math is enough to describe the universe we live in philosophically, and what may be its limitations of description even. As we often want to know the limits of what we can know.
I have one rock in my hand, this is something I can see is separate from my hand, so I call it “1 rock”. I have another rock in my other hand, and this is also separate, and also I can call this “1 rock”. But, i need to know which is different, so I see that there are differences between the two rocks, so I can call them 1 rock grey and 1 rock white now, and the group them together under just “rocks” and I can also now call them 2 rocks, but 1 of each color. This is the structure of language. We teach it from birth. Representation by nomenclature. But, language arose from reality, so we know it to be true experientially, or experimentally, if you like the term better, or at least the words attempt to describe something that is considered to be categorizble. We can repeat those results quite often. This also allows me to use the terms already here to illustrate inherent, or assumed, qualities. There is the 2 rocks, my hands, which are a subgroup of me, and the rocks, are not me. Understand by not me, I group all of them. I am going to use the term set instead of group, as it works better for me, and relates better to the later ideas, but I mean the terms the same, grouping things. In this case, we generate sets of objects with similar characteristics and give those things names, and modifiers. Also, we have overlapping sets, with objects that can belong to more than one group. Now, I will say that it is part of science’s quest to find these true characteristics, and systematically define them so we can see the true defining characteristics at a high level, or small level, depending on your perspective. I will say we can say this about our sets. There exists an inverse relationship between the number of characteristics we use to define these sets, and the number of that sets members. So the set with the least amount of defining characteristics or filters, will contain the most members. This will quickly bring us to something that has always been hard to prove. I will state it here explicitly, according to my intent: The set of All exists.
lets list this for a moment:
1) we can group objects, ideas, and other conceptualities into called sets, and these sets can be grouped, and these groupings are done by using characteristics, and operators, to define them.
2) there exists an inverse relationship between the number of defining characteristics of a set, and the number of the members it contains
3) the universe we know is iterative. Meaning one state is built upon the last.
If we follow both 1 and 2 to their logical conclusion, we come to the set with the least characteristics, and the most members. This will be the set of all sets. We will call this set All. All is self-defined. Meaning, it is the total. All things, the set of impossible things, the set of all things made of atoms, the set of all possible things, all are contained within it. This self-definition means that any new thing found, just increases the size, it does not mean that we create a new set. The very definition of it means that it contains everything. Again, I know I am using mathematical language, and likely not rigorously, and I do not mean it in any mathematical terms specifically as I do not know the specifics. I mean contain in a more colloquial sense, though possibly more strict in its encompassing definition. For the Definition of Not, I will go to experiential 1st principles. If I have a black rock, and I definie it as its summation of quarks and structure that give it all of its physical qualities in time and space, I also immediately implicitly define the not. I then claim that all things that do not fit those criteria are “not” that group. That is the definition of Not at the highest level then: All things that are not (description). The reference being, my foot is not my hand, and neither is the rock, neither are me, but they are a part of me, and not part of the rock, but all are made up of atoms. The set of things made up of atoms encompasses all the others, but there are still both explicitly distinct, and arbitrarily distinct, items within the set.
Now, as it fits our rules 1 & 2, we say this must exist. its only characteristic is self definition. Self reference is true because I can point at myself and say me at the same time. There is perspective, and some necessary characteristics involved, but it is still true withing some lesser set than that of all. In fact, as the Set of sets, it must include some paradoxes, or so it is thought. I will actually tackle those as mostly defining characteristics of smaller sets within All. First, The set of all things not All. Understand, exclusions principles, and other logical rules do not filter this set. Those filter lesser sets. By definition, this set has only one modifier, and as such, is the true expression of 1. it is the true unity. the Least modified, most broadly definied of sets. the set of things that obey logical laws is a lesser set. Except for one. The set of all things that are Not All. A self referencing definition. That makes only 2 modifiers. And yet, it seems impossible. No, impossible is another characteristic, therefore must be a smaller set. No, the set of all things Not All is actually the same set, just separated. All is an exclusive definition. it is Only All. Any other charateristic lessens it. To separate out the set is to create those things that are not All. We already know from our setting that there are things that are not all contained within it. Rocks, streams, us. Arbitrary definitions, but still hold up. Rocks and my hands are different, but we both belong to the set of all things made up of atoms, of which things animate, and things not animate are 2 sub sets.
This is critical, Not is also All. the tiniest speck, or idea, separated out, creates something that is not all, but is still a part of it. other modifiers can then be applied to create subsets, but they are all contained within All. The set of all things infinite? Yep, as there would also be a set of all things finite, both All and Not apply, so these are both lesser sets. in order to make Not be All, we say something like, All that is Not, in place of all. It makes the modifiers make more sense. We also can determine that Not is a Set just as big as All, but is only from within the Set of all itself. This requires perspective. Perspective is driven by a logical operator, well, two, but they are 2 aspects of one thing.
And. More precisely, And/Or. The difference in our frame of reference is perspective. To include (Add) is to make a larger set, while the Or denotes a smaller set. Other logicals like XOR would then be recognition of multiple sets within a set. This line of reasoning would demand that the more characteristics you need to apply to define a set, the further removed from All your set is. So, in order to apply Not to both, you would need to define it as, all that is not(Not, All). I went into some notation. Basically, not, Not and All. But, it has more definitions, not, Not or All. lets look at these in a couple of different ways. Not AND All. Not OR All. We established earlier that And and Or were the same, just from perspective. The only way to define this logically without perspective is to define it as the set of all things that contain some portion of both. It satisfies all of the prior defining characteristics. The OR part of it makes the end points included, so And and Or are also included. I want to stop and examine where we are. i will try to write this in arithemtic notation so we can see just how weird this is right now.
-(Not,All) = -(Not), -(All), since All=All that is not All, AND would be 1+(-1)=0. The perspective of OR means that for All, Not would be the equivalent of -(All) and All would be the equivalent of -(Not). So, All AND Not would be Nothing, or as I like to say it, No Thing. The Or would then include either, but only as an Exclusive Or.
1=-1, then with perspective, 1+(-1)=0
The exclusive or in (All) means that all lesser sets will see them as separate, but only from outside that larger set will the All, Not and Nothing be seen as the same. We can intuitively know, but the structure of the sets prevents anything in the lesser sets below -(Not,All) to only see the 3 as separate. Anything that was in the AND category would be able to see more, as aspects of both All and Not are contained within. Nothing (no thing) would be exactly that, something that was both one and not one. This would apply to anything that was not wholly All, or not completely All that is Not. So all smaller sets would have some amount of view into the higher sets, as each would contain parts of both, or aspects of both All and Not.
So far I am saying that laws of logic breakdown as you go up the scales of reality, as far as perspective goes, and tacitly acknowledging that there is nonphysical components to reality. I am saying that and confident in it. I am not only confident in it, I am saying that since we exist in a world that is not All, that we should see things come in cycles, as the only way for Not to truly be “All that is Not” is to have relative aspects to the tiniest particles that make up our reality have some sort of influence relative to each other. I believe we call that Time. Geometrically speaking, the root of Not one is a cyclic equation describing things going through imaginary circles, and you iterate them to any point, eventually all points will have been reached, and the sum total of each cycle will be nothing. For anything in the lower sets, all values will seem to emanate from the center of that point, the “nothing”. It does have one benefit of making Zero the combination of 1 and -1, which makes it an even number, as it can be divided into 2 equal sets.
Also, All must contain the set of all things not contained by itself. This is usually where reason breaks down, but the answer is simply, the Null set, or Empty set. The group with no elements or members. it is a thing, or idea, so the idea is included within, but there is an empty list of what is not included (by the self-referencing definition we gave before) so it satisfies the basic necessary paradox of being within, and the elements being without. And it also is one of the main paradoxes to opposition of the set of All.
As a longtime comic book fan, I often have thought of super powers. I don’t know any fan who hasn’t actually. Many are outlandish, or almost overblown caricatures of real-life abilities. I am a fan of Stan Lee’s Superhumans series. The one power I think that most people believe in, but has never really been proven, is Psychic phenomena. I personally believe in the possibility of it, and would love to see proof surface, but I fear it may never appear, at least in the Western world.
I say it may never for a couple of reasons. First though, I want to address the Comics and their portrayal, then the archetype that seems to prevail from it. Most comics books I know, and I am by no means an overall expert, so I will preface this with the fact that I have not read or seen all comic book psychic characters, just a few, and mostly Marvel. So though my experience is limited, I believe what I do know suffices for the sake of my argument here.
Comics seem to show psychic ability to be something easily controlled, something that manifests conveniently upon puberty, or slowly grows along with the child/hero and progresses with their growth. Any character that had trouble with their power, had a bad upbringing, or couldn’t handle their power, etc. I understand both the need and basis for this model, but I want to propose a variant, with only the most highest level of similarity. What if the person was psychic from birth? and the power was always there, but learning what it was would be the difficulty, only because the person is unable to know they are different.
The archetype of psychics, both for sale and in comics, is that the psychic somehow knows what they know. This is only possible if they had grown up, then acquired the power of hearing thoughts or reading minds, or what have you. I am limiting my exercise here mostly to telepathy, as the other “psychic” abilities, such as telekinesis, fit, albeit to a lesser degree. Imagine for a moment that you always heard other people’s thoughts. The trick would be to know which were yours. Sounds easy, because we always only hear our own thoughts. You hear only your own voice in your head. Any one who claims different, is, quite reasonably, called crazy, carefully analyzed, and treated for their mental disorder. But what if someone did make it without being detected, if they were able to somehow know they heard others, and they weren’t crazy. What could that person do?
I say it resembles the archetype in that as humans, all things require learning curves. Learning how to interpret that ability would be a monumental task. If we give it even a limited, comics-inspired physical basis, lets say that their mental “view” somehow could sense the electric(magnetic) pulses that make up human thought. These are known to be cascades, like lightning arcing across the cortex. I am painting with broad strokes for the sake of argument here, for certain. Learning, as a child does with everything, how to start to interpret the things, the feel, from others, in the same frame as all other languages and communications. Would this person be considered Special Education? Would they fall behind because of it?
I believe this to be an “A-ha!” moment. When we now must ask, “What kind of person would make it through knowing, at least to some extent interpreting,others thoughts, while growing up in today’s world? And how much would location dictate that person’s character disposition? Since thoughts do not start out as words, and though spoken languages are pretty much universal for humans, they are all learned, so we have a penchant or attaching patterns to other patterns. I am trying to imagine getting the feeling, or other thought patterns, like mental pictures, or something primal, that anyone would understand, while learning this. Having the emotional thoughts be transmitted first would be my thought. Empathy would be the first form of telepathy, and, with the exception of telekinesis, possibly the first variant of psychic abilities to appear. Maybe this is as far as most would be able to interpret, as few other things are universally translated into thought patterns.
Not our hero though, this person has exceeded this, as other cognitive abilities develop, let’s assume our hero develops the pattern recognition ability even further, albeit unconsciously, like so many others in preteen years, it is hard to know even that others aren’t like you, especially if you are living in a society that teaches that all people are the same, and you should “do unto them as you would have them do unto you”. So our young hero thinks everyone hears things the same way. I mean after all, to have it be otherwise would not only be impossible, it would be crazy, at least if it were complex things such as words, and voices, or pictures, or even fully formed ideas and other abstract object thoughts. Let’s say, by some luck of chance, our psychic has an ability that starts at emotions, and progresses along the same lines and human psyche. Instinct is first, Self-Preservation, then emotion. Let’s give Instinct the convenient and brief definition of cellular or genetic memory, or more importantly for us, inherent physical memories and/or abilities.
Understanding the development of others is probably the first place our psychic, as do most, would begin to develop the sense of identity that would allow them to understand that others didn’t think like them. Relative hierarchy would probably be the place it would be learned from in my opinion. What kind of person could read the basic intents and emotions of others in today’s teen world and not go stark raving mad? I am surprised any of the regular teens do, much less someone burdened by another form of communication that wasn’t supposed to be possible, and has to develop and learn on their own. I mean, in reality, where would the “first” psychic go to learn these things? More importantly, what would being able to “feel” others do to someone, and what could they learn?
I suppose here is where geopolitical factors, as well as environmental and nurturing states would all come into play. Never underestimate the power of humanity however, as the brain is plastic, and our psychic seems to have the natural serendipity to fall through the cracks of society, not fitting in would be a good way to do that. The top of the underbelly of the Beast is where most of those good souls that see through the B.S. of everyday Western life often land. Just bad enough to lie and keep secrets, just good enough to only do it to help each other stay afloat of the deeper depths.
I would think that something akin to a “spider-sense” would develop as a natural defense mechanism, just as with other preservation adaptations. Second would be Empathy, or feeling others emotions on some level. I believe that a form of “lie” detection would possibly be next. All of this would be extremely difficult mind you, if this were true, knowing what was, and what wasn’t, yours, would be a herculean task. I mean, not only knowing when a thought wasn’t yours, but that it originated in another AND it was fabricated? Getting to the level of whole thoughts, words, and pictures, while heavily dependent on exposure, would be even more so. Getting others to hear you, much less obey, would be an amazing development. Barriers in perception, interpretation, language, and emotional triggers, would be a seemingly impossible thing, on top of the impossible ability.
Again, what kind of person would be able to do all of this, and not hurt a bunch of people, or themselves, or just plain find someone, confess it all and get put in a looney bin? Would they know, and have the foresight to stay quiet, and stay out of the public eye, and make sure there was always doubt on what happened? I would think the latter would be necessary. I also think a fair amount of narcissism and humility would be needed just to even try, I don’t think it would be someone who craved the spotlight, as every movie fan, comic book fan, and just about anyone else knows, what we don’t understand, or we fear, we tend to destroy. Besides, the rewards of staying out of the light, outweigh being in it.
There are several prizes for someone who can publicly demonstrate their ability scientifically to many different organizations. But, consider for a moment, a high level ability, and the possibility that the benefits of quiet manipulation would outwiegh the few million you could pocket going on a world tour, showing off. And besides, after a lifetime of hiding, a natural ability to shroud oneself would be highly likely to develop. An aversion to the public eye even? It would be hard to tell.
I don’t think we would see it. I don’t think the person would go for the smaller sum. That kind of ability is invaluable to governments all over the world. Business, stocks, or just personal protection or even as a weapon. The value of it as a secret, is far more than the value it has as public knowledge.
I give a caveat, Predictability. The very thing that the public displays intend to prove is what would drive someone to them. More appropriately, a lack of it. If there were errors in interpretation, the percentages would still be higher than chance, but there would be errors of processing. This is where I think the comic book archetype fails those who may see it first. That the complete ability to read everything a person thinks with utter, stark accuracy is like light speed, in that it is conceivable, but probably unobtainable because of inherent limitations. I do not think someone brought up in an average way would be able to know this. Let’s hope our psychic has at least an understanding of statistical variability. This hasn’t even touched on the social impact yet.
Imagine for a moment, labeled as “Psychic” in today’s world. Never being able to ever participate in competitions, or hold an intimate conversation. How many people would expect you to literally “read their minds”? Would you be able to charge for proof? What would the cost of being read by the world’s “only” psychic be? If you are interested in doing it for humanity, then you would take what would possibly be the most influential power in comic books to come into real life and not make tons of money with it. Could that even be done in today’s world? I am not sure. Today, it seems that it is better to get money, then use the money to help people. I think anyone able to manifest that ability, and control it with any degree of accuracy, would be manipulating as much of the events possible to make their fortune large, so they could maintain shadow operations. I believe it would be built into them, as a matter of human development. Maybe not, after all, Humanity is more than a species, it is a declaration of a kinship to some degree. Maybe that is even where the power might lie, only the hero would know I suppose.
And so I come back to the end. I don’t believe we would know, as a general public. I think that between the course of natural human development, and geopolitical environmental factors, would keep such a wondrous human achievement out of the spotlight. And if it was something inheritable, or even more frightening, teachable, then that person would be valuable in a whole different way. I shudder to think, what if we ALL could tell others’ lies, could read each others minds? Or the trait/ability was somehow distributed to the larger public, either by artificial means, or later evolution, what would our society be like then?
I personally hope that anyone who had that kind of power, would be like Buddha, or Jesus, or Mother Theresa. May probability favor us all if someone with a less Utopian lean were to gain it. I think the only option after that would be to give it to everyone. I also see it being distributed genetically as a means to fight a “Terminator”-like future state where machines and people are at war.
I am sure the detailed reasons and development variables could fill a book or a few comics at least, but I deeply question if there is any psychic abilities out there, that the general public would be privy to them. I just think that the incentive to stay hidden, and even slight exposure, or garnering the right friends, would just serve to keep it even more hidden. The competitive advantage of it being secret is just too great. The person would have to be of such high character, it would almost be a Clark Kent-ish caricature.
And so I give you another Dose of Andrew. Read it twice, and comment in the morning.
I bet you don’t even think of how you use those words. I have met very few people who do. You use them all the time, in a correct way, but it is likely, as is the case with so many words, you wouldn’t be able to tell others how to do it correctly, only correct them when wrong. Have you thought about it? What the difference is? One of the definitions for each word, and I believe they are etymologically connected, involves a frame of distance from the person or observer. I would say it is the main thrust of each word’s other definitions also. “This” deals with that which is close. Either physically, or within your mind. “That” deals with things that are further from you, either physically or mentally. When you say, “This is mine and that is yours,” the mental images or definitions do not place whatever that is closer to you than whatever this is. In time, if you say, “that happened ‘x’ number of years from now/ago” you are not speaking of this happening right now. If you just say, “this was just last week” it immediately implies an issue close to you temporally also, that references the past. Even within mental constructs, like ideas, the issue of closeness delineates the usage. To illustrate this, I will talk about different aspects of feminism, and only use the words this and that (and of course content of phraseology)to show what I agree with and don’t by showing what is “close” to me.
Feminism is naturally divided. The basic structure of it is based upon division. Multiplicity in my moral compass creates a struggle within to remain under the banner of “Feminism”. “Women have it harder than men.” I have heard it many times.That bothers me. I have seen many more women being given a free ride than men. Granted, they usually have to serve or service men to get it, but it is somewhat “free” nonetheless.Men have less opportunity like that, but we have the “Bro Code” that gives an inherent advantage and preference, as long as we adhere to this unwritten, and largely misunderstood code. And I will tell you, that is a recipe for disaster, encode something, then don’t write it down, or give it distinct parameters. honestly, It is something that a woman would likely do, which leads me to believe it was developed as a defensive weapon in the war of the sexes. More likely a “Chicken and Egg” argument, and a casual observation anyway. I would say this is dead even except for one thing, the “slut” factor. Men generally have a flaw in their logic, a double standard when it comes to women, and that is sexual promiscuity. We want to have it, we want our women to know what they are doing, and we don’t want them to have slept with other men to have got the knowledge. I honestly hang my head in shame just writing out that lengthy hypocrisy. So we want there to be a few women that sleep with every guy, never marry, and somehow convey this knowledge to other women via some process that doesn’t involve other men…… Umm, that’s crazy. Men can control what they do sexually, and should have every legal defense when it comes to sobriety that a woman does. Before we can call ourselves equal, we need to accept the histories that make us men, and women, as something to progress from. Women should earn the same pay for the same job. Whether subconscious or with deliberate intent, there is an income gap, and sexual trysts and power plays aside, I believe it has a lot to do with my next issue. “Women need maternity leave, and men do not” This first part I completely agree with, while that last part I disagree with completely. Mothers need physical time to recover, and time to bond with their child. This is something I wholeheartedly agree with and support. fathers need time to help with both the physical demands of immediate childbirth while the mother is less physically capable, and to also bond with their child, something undervalued in today’s civilized world, by society, by fathers, and children themselves. I understand that single mothers will not have another person to help and may have a more difficult time. This is also normal, and all the more reason to continue to have a job when they are capable of returning to work afterward. As it is now, There is a massive disparity between Paternity and Maternity leave. It is even considered a man’s duty to not be around while the baby is little. Something I find both strange and archaic.
Does the usage of this and that illustrate the closeness? Or perhaps it is more appropriate to say it underscores the differences?
I hope I at least got you thinking in a way you havent ever, or at least in a long while. This isn’t an Enlightenment post to be sure, but merely one to get discussion going, even if only within my noggin’. Much ado about nothing, if you will. None of this post was meant to be overly political, or insightful.
But, if this causes bedlam, I guess call a fireman. Sometimes to pique interest, I act like an arsonist, and randomly tell a story in a way that’s deliberately inflammatory. I hope you get this far through, so you can see the rhyme I left for you, it is for those that do, that I give thanks, through and through.
P.S. – read this twice and email me in the morning. -Dr. A