The Error of Explication

  The idea of a Gestalt is central to this book: by which I mean the form of a whole that cannot be reduced to parts without the loss of something essential to its nature. The experience of understanding involves a shift from what seems initially chaotic or formless, to a coherent stable form or picture, a Gestalt – or from an existing Gestalt to a new and better one, that seems richer than the one it replaces. (Iain McGilchrist: The Matter with Things) One of the key differences between the two brain hemispheres, according to Iain McGilchrist is the… Read More

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Caveat Emptor

This is a short follow-up to the last blog post. Yesterday (1/6/2024), the NYTimes ran an article with this headline: “Clashing Over Jan. 6, Trump and Biden Show Reality Is at Stake in 2024. The focus on “reality” is critical because reality shapes the outcome of our actions. The MAGA movement and its leader have been trying to re-create the realities that determine the way our lives will unfold. Two realities, but one much more important than the other. As I wrote, one is the natural world which operates according to a set of rules that have been in place… Read More

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The Return of the Flat-Earthers

Twenty-five percent of Americans say it is “probably” or “definitely” true that the FBI instigated the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, a false concept promoted by right-wing media and repeatedly denied by federal law enforcement, according to a new Washington Post-University of Maryland poll. (Washington Post, January 4, 2024) Flat-landers or flat-earthers was the name given to those who believed that the earth was flat, not the almost spherical object it really is. A little research tells me that this belief was not as ubiquitous as I thought it was. Even the Greeks held beliefs that the… Read More

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Getting the Job Done

The big problems the Planet is facing can be traced back to a root cause: domination. Climate change and other “environmental” concerns arise from human activities that dominate the natural world. We impose our will through actions resulting in changes that upset the natural order. Social concerns also arise from the same cause whenever humans are compelled by other humans to act in undignified ways, that is, to act according to someone else’s intentions. Domination, per se, is not necessarily a bad thing. Dominating the natural system did not create significant problems for many millennia because it was sufficiently resilient… Read More

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