Friday, February 15, 2019

two sentences, the dogma of semantic uniformity & alchemy (or how not to use the method of shouting to close a window)

Der fürchterliche Pauli as a young student (picture taken from the Internet/CERN);
Duchamp in Maya Deren's Witch's Cradle (1943);
The Dimension of Dali (Joan Úbeda & Susi Marquès, 2004); 
The Devil & Father Amorth (William Friedkin, 2018);

"People sometimes say that the way things happen in the movies is unreal, but actually it's the way things happen to you in life that's unreal."
The Philosophy of Andy Warhol
"Para ela a realidade era demais para ser acreditada."
Clarice Lispector (A Hora da Estrela)
"And the Gods stand by and marvel..."
"Too many shadows whispering voices
Faces on posters too many choices..."
Pet Shop Boys
"Chance, to be precise, is a leap, provides a leap out of reach of one's own grasp of oneself."
John Cage (45' for a Speaker)

"Pode o céu produzir flores,
A terra estrelas criar..."
Cancioneiro Guasca
"Nem mesmo sabemos onde habita agora o que é vivo, o que ele é, como se chama."
Memórias do Subsolo (tradução Boris Schnaiderman)
"... olho para ela e é como se no escuro ela também olhasse para mim, não se mexe."
Dária Oníssimovna (tradução Paulo Bezerra)
"... across the great brown river where whole trees float with green snakes in the branches and sad-eyed lemurs watch the shore out over a vast plain..."
W. S. Burroughs
"And maybe wisdom and madness do look very similar, at some point."
Monica Gagliano (Do Plants Have Something to Say? NYTimes)
"Le monde n'est ni vrai, ni réel, mais vivant."
Gilles Deleuze (Nietzsche et la philosophie)

"But those infinities are perhaps not inevitable... I regard Peirce's hypostatization as name magic, Wittgenstein's alchemy."
Ian Hacking
"'Delusion' is such a word; its very vagueness helps by preventing us from seeing to the bottom of it. The two con­ceptions of reality and of deception are mingled in it, and perhaps the mingling has more justification than we know, and is less strange in nature than it is to our downright processes of thought."
Thomas Mann (An Experience in the Occult/H. T. Lowe-Porter translation)
"En faisant de la volonté l'essence des choses ou le monde vu du dedans, on refuse en principe la distinction de deux mondes: c'est le même monde qui est sensible et suprasensible."
Gilles Deleuze (Nietzsche et la philosophie)
"Mais tout cela est suffisant pour faire toucher du doigt une différence bien plus grande encore, celle qui sépare l'Occident moderne de tous ces peuples du présent et du passé qui n'ont pas jugé nécessaire de procéder à une naturalisation du monde."
Philippe Descola

"... car loin de croire le surnaturel, le divin inventé par l'homme je pense que c'est l'intervention millénaire de l'homme qui a fini par nous corrompre le divin."
"Le vieux totémisme des bêtes, des pierres, des objets chargés de foudre, des costumes bestialement imprégnés, tout ce qui sert en un mot à capter, à diriger, et à dériver des forces..."
"... les idées claires sont, au théâtre comme partout ailleurs, des idées mortes et terminées."
Antonin Artaud

"... si tout à l'heure je trouvais que Bergotte avait dit faux en parlant des joies de la vie spirituelle, c'était parce que j'appelais 'vie spirituelle', à ce moment-là, des raisonnements logiques qui étaient sans rapport avec elle..."
"... il y avait peut-être sous ces signes quelque chose de tout autre que je devais tâcher de découvrir, une pensée qu'ils traduisaient à la façon de ces caractères hiéroglyphique que on croirait représenter seulement des objets matériels... un grimoire compliqué et fleuri..."
"... sans laisser de côté ces mystères qui n'ont probablement leur explication que dans d'autres mondes et dont le pressentiment est ce qui nous émeut le plus dans la vie et dans l'art."
Marcel Proust (le narrateur)

"... ich bin, um es in Räthselform auszudrücken, als mein Vater bereits gestorben, als meine Mutter lebe ich noch und werde alt."
"Ich schätze den Werth von Menschen, von Rassen darnach ab, wie nothwendig sie den Gott nicht abgetrennt vom Satyr zu verstehen wissen..."
"Et que de dieux sont encore possibles! Je ne douterais point de l'existence de toutes sortes de dieux..."
Nietzsche (traduit par Klossowski)

Two sentences:

"There are at least three perfect numbers greater than 17."
"There are at least three large cities older than New York."
- from Ian Hacking's Why is there Philosophy of Mathematics at all (Cambridge, 2014, p. 216-17);
From the dogma of semantic uniformity: 
Both sentences are to be analysed in the same way [also from Hacking's Why is there Philosophy of Mathematics, p. 217, but Hacking doesn't subscribe to the dogma, he derides it]. 
What is semantic uniformity, standard semantics, denotational semantics? Something that is at odds with a minimal insightful understanding of mathematics. Something that is at odds with a minimal insightful understanding of "natural languages" (and moreover, who said that languages such as English not to speak Portuguese or Polish and even Hungarian are supposed to be natural?!): 
"Nobody who takes Wittgenstein seriously is likely to agree to denotational [or referential] semantics applied to mathematics," Hacking's Why is there Philosophy of Mathematics, p. 218 [and even more important: "As his philosophy evolved, Wittgenstein absolutely rebelled against the uniformity-of-semantics premise"] [aside on Sir Peter Frederick Strawson: "expressions have meanings, while we use some expressions to refer," "Strawson's lesson, that words do not refer, but that speakers use words to refer, seems to have been largely forgotten," Hacking, p. 219];

Brewing the alchemy [but that against semantic uniformity & in favour of Python Gored Naturalism]: 

- what is 17?
- what is New York?
- what is a perfect number?
- what is a large city?
- what are numbers?
- what are cities?
- what is an object?
- what is an entity?
→ there are things, real things (although not all things are like that) which we are acquainted with and with which we don't have causal relations [for example, some mathematical stuff &/or phenomena related to non-locality];

"... it is very much a philosopher's view that the only objects there are are physical or material objects, or regions of space-time, or whatever it is that philosophers tell us... to maintain that there aren't any numbers at all because numbers are abstract and not physical objects seems like a demented way to show respect for physics, which of course everyone admires," George Boolos, as quoted by Hacking, Why is there Philosophy of Mathematics at all.
"We are of divine species," Dedekind as quoted by Hacking, Why is there Philosophy of Mathematics at all.

***More on the dogma of semantic uniformity, or an expatiation on how to accommodate Python Gored Naturalism with Styles of Scientific Reasoning & Pedestrian Reality: "... when facing this possibility of using the notion of styles of thinking to address so diversified kinds of human undertakings, a special point must be considered. Hacking is not saying that in order to point to truth or falsehood every proposition depends on some kind of style of thinking. He “rejects any uniform all-purpose semantics,” and the “idea that a uniform theory of truth or of meaning should apply across the board to an entire language”... In contrast to sentences that would depend on styles of thinking in order to point to truth or falsehood, Hacking refers to “the boring utterances that crop up in almost any language, and which make radical translation relatively easy.” He refers to “propositions that have a sense for almost all human beings,” and to the “boring domains of ‘observations’ that we share with all people as people.” As an example of such an observation, Hacking suggests the proposition “my skin is warm”... It is possible to sustain that even the most apparently obvious propositions are in any case theory-laden. But the conflation of Hacking’s distinction between more and less sophisticated kinds of propositions would imply a very implausible oversimplification of the way real people use language. Under normal viewing conditions, no one would even think much less utter a proposition such as this table is brown, so obvious people take to be its meaning... Someone could perfectly say, however, this chair is made of Brazilian rosewood, and this would make sense exactly for denoting some kind of expertise. We can understand the first sentence as not depending on any specific style whatsoever, and capable of being understood straightforwardly by most people just by the use of the most elementary discursive and perceptual abilities. The second sentence demands the use of other skills, which do not have to be styles of thinking, but only a slightly more elaborated and technical use of elementary discursive and perceptual abilities. Finally, another sentence could be added in order to extend the comparison: the heat which has the refrangibility of the red rays is occasioned by the light of those rays... This latter sentence demands the use of styles of thinking, because it mentions concepts and types of objects (refrangibility, rays) which would not even exist for people unless they are engaged in certain specific and complex practices by which these concepts and objects are made possible... Ultimately, the problem with saying that everything is theory-laden [this is the core of Hacking's criticism of theory-laden armchair infatuation] is that this position undermines elementary distinctions that constitute human discursive practices—elementary distinctions such as between on the one hand saying, telling, giving an account of something, and on the other hand doing something. A person might just say to another that he or she feels cold and wants the window to be closed, but unless one goes over there and effectively interacts with the window the cold will not merely disappear just by saying close the window no matter how loudly you shout. Perhaps the cold goes away if you are Brian de Palma’s Carrie (1976), but what makes Carrie a Carrie either in movies or in real life (supposing there might be such a thing) is that her thought and talk are imbued with a special sui generis power that is faraway more effective than ordinary people’s thought and talk (and even limbs). You would still need distinctions between thinking, saying, and doing in order to make any sense of Carrie. Differences between things such as mental states, sentences, and external objects are all constitutive and germane to what is here called styles of thinking. Without such elementary distinctions, there is not much to be done with a sentence such as the heat which has the refrangibility of the red rays is occasioned by the light of those rays," Alessandro Zir, Luso-Brazilian Encounters of the Sixteenth-Century (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2011, p. 6-7). 

Getting Wolfgang Pauli & the naive Portuguese, as a plus: 

"Generally speaking scientists are no Carries, though there might have been a few registered but far less noxious cases such as Wolfgang Pauli and the Pauli effect," Alessandro Zir, The Sixteenth-Century Corpus of the Portuguese Colonizers of Brazil (Dalhousie, PhD thesis) [the paragraph of this sentence (which refers also to Ludwik Fleck) wasn't incorporated in the book Luso-Brazilian Encounters published in 2011 by FDU Press—an incident not necessarily ranking as a fatal blow to die Geissel Gottes' scholarship (I'm positive)].
"Sérgio Buarque de Holanda remarks that the Portuguese were naive realist people. Their realism would come exactly from their credulity, which would be, as he defines it, “a radical gentleness and passivity in face of reality” that “does not deny Nature infinite possibilities” and the supernatural... If this is correct, the Portuguese would be people capable of recognizing the most strange things in nature, without having to deny all the humdrum propositions that make sense to most people, including people having no sensibility whatsoever to apparitions of monsters and the devil. Besides seeing devils and monsters, the Portuguese would not have any difficulty and do not invoke anything spiritual in order to answer a simple question such as are you cold? They also never use the method of shouting in order to close windows," Alessandro Zir, Luso-Brazilian Encounters of the Sixteenth-Century (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2011, p. 6-7). 

More on Pauli: 
"Pauli was never what our expert in didactics would call a good lecturer. Nevertheless he was an inspiring and intoxicating teacher. In particular when he was not too well prepared (this happened not infrequently), one could experience the spirit in statu nascendi, and this was awesome. With his ruthless demand for precision and lucidity Pauli never intended to hurt his students or colleagues. His sharp tongue notwithstanding, his criticism was always honest and reflected not only his dislike of half-truths but also his demonic depths... In despite of his critical stance, he was certainly not one of these petty reasoning minds which cannot endure any paradoxes," Harald Atmanspacher's & Hans Primas's "The Hidden Side of Wolfgang Pauli," Journal of Consciousness Studies, 3, 2, 1996, pp. 112-26. 

More on fairies & witches:
"I'm hitting art from both sides of the brain. I used to be really into math and science in school, I was a bit of a nerd. I was into quantum physics and all the strange magic that exists there. All of the ideas that an intuitive mind might come up with can be proven on a microscopic scientific level. I saw my fairy godmother the other day. We were talking about the future and I was stressed out, and she was like, "Just remember you're a witch." It was so cool to hear her say that in a chill way, just a casual thing to say. Ever since I was little I believed in stuff beyond what I could see. You could also just call that having an imagination, but I believed so much in it and how to manifest all of my dreams," India Salvor Menuez (Vice interview);

See also:
- actual infinite falling (against Carlo Rovelli's pseudo-problem);
- the odd transformation of Der Herr Warum (Gödel with Resnais);
the only three types of ingenuity;
- why self-help books are not to be dismissed;
- the most auspicious tetrahedron;
- what is REAL space? what is REAL number?
- Timothy Leary in the 1990s;
- 5G?! Get real...
- list of charming scientists/engineers;
- pick a soul (ass you wish);
- view from Berthe Trépat's apartment;
- list des déclencheurs musicaux;
Dark Consciousness;
- The Doors of Perception;
Structuralism, Poststructuralism;
List des figures du chaos primordial (Deleuze);
- Brazilian Perspectivism (Viveiros de Castro vs. Haroldo de Campos);
- Piano Playing (Kochevitsky);
- L'Affirmation de l'âne (review of Smolin/Unger's The Singular Universe);
And also:

Monday, February 11, 2019

the odd transformation of Der Herr Warum

L'Année Dernière à Marienbad (Alain Resnais/Grillet 1961);
Duchamp in Maya Deren's Witch's Cradle (1943);
The Dimension of Dali (Joan Úbeda & Susi Marquès, 2004); 
John Cage performing Water Walk on TV (1960);
The Great Abyss Inframince (A/Z 2018, for more see here);

"De ce terrible paysage,
Tel que jamais mortel n'en vit,
Ce matin encore l'image,
Vague et lointane me ravit..."
"... o Diabo na rua no meio do redemoinho. É com ele que Riobaldo tem o encontro-desafio, na encruzilhada, à noite, o encontro com o Nada, com o Não Ser, ou seja, em termos mallarmaicos, o desafio ao Acaso..."
Augusto de Campos
"[Sounds that are not noted] appear in the written music as silences, opening the doors of the music to the sounds that happen to be in the environment... The glass houses of Mies van der Rohe... There is no such thing as an empty space or an empty time."
John Cage (Experimental Music)

"Only by bending can you be whole; 
Only by twisting can you be straight.
Only by hollowing out can you be full; 
Only by being used up can you be new."
Daodejing/22 (Edmund Ryden's translation)

"Le concept d'archi-trace doit faire droit et à cette nécessité et à cette rature. Il est en effet contradictoire et irrecevable dans la logique de l'identité. La trace n'est pas seulement la disparition de l'origine, elle veut dire ici — dans le discours que nous tenons et selon le parcours que nous suivons — que l'origine n'a même pas disparu, qu'elle n'a jamais été constituée qu'en retour par une non-origine, la trace, qui devient ainsi l'origine de l'origine."
Jacques Derrida (Grammatologie) 

"... la nature nous présente une série infinie de lignes courbes, fuyantes, brisées,  suivant une loi de génération impeccable, où le parallélisme est toujours indécis et sinueux, où les concavités et les convexités se correspondent et se poursuivent..."
Baudelaire (Exposition universelle)   
"... the blindness of humanity to all the beauty and wonder of the Universe is due to this illusion of straightness. It is significant that Riemann, Bolyai and Lobatchewsky seem to have been the mathematical prophets of the New Revelation..."
Aleister Crowley, The Book of Thoth
"L'espace pour le peintre d'Asie, n'est ni extérieur, ni intérieur, il est jeu d'énergies — surgissement pur. Il est l'insituable... un camp magnétique où se rencontrent et s'enchevêtrent des forces —un lieu où s'ébattent sillages et trajectoires. Et renoncer au foyer unique... Ces considerations sur l'émancipation spatiale, et l'expression des forces élémentaires ne se limitaient pas à la peinture à l'encre ou à l'eau, elles s'étendaient à la pratique de l'huile, dans le sens de la fluidité et de l'emportement. Ainsi, le Turner de la dernière période y trouverait sa place."
André Masson (Une peiture de l'essentiel/Écrits, anthologie établie par Françoise Levaillant)

"... when you work with people who misunderstand you, instead of getting transmissions you get transmutations, and that's much more interesting in the long run..."
Andy Warhol, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol
"... listening one takes as a springboard the first sound that comes along; the first something springs us into nothing and out of that nothing arises something; etc. like an alternating current..."
John Cage (45' for a Speaker)
"There's a lot of unfolding. Everything just slides away, like many curtains opening at once."
"The universe is decoding itself to you, and even though nothing makes sense, it all comes together."
James St. James
"... no fundo do poço sem fundo do inconsciente..."
Caio Fernando Abreu (carta a José Márcio Penido/Zézim) 
"... irei até onde o vácuo faz uma curva..."
Clarice Lispector

"C'est alors que la vraie division commence, de vingt-deux par sept par exemple, et que les cahiers s'emplissent des vrais chiffres enfin."
"Vous dite en somme que l'ironie de Platon est romanesque, et que le roman est ironique, indécidable."
Bréhal (Les Samouraïs)
"L'indécidable n'est pas une coupure est un bondir rapide entre deux possibilités opposées mais qui se touchent. Son mouvement intérieur, c'est d'être toujours lá où on ne l'attend pas."
Hélène Cixous (Portrait de Jacques Derrida)
"Tout vrai sentiment est en réalité intraduisible. L'exprimer c'est le trahir. Mais le traduire c'est le dissimuler. L'expression vraie cache ce qu'elle manifeste."
A. Artaud (Théâtre oriental et théâtre occidental)
"Zur Aufgabe einer Umwerthung der Werthe waren vielleicht mehr Vermögen nöthig, als je in einem Einzelnen bei einander gewohnt haben, vor Allem auch Gegensätze von Vermögen, ohne daß diese sich stören, zerstören dürften."
"Weber singulariza o seu tratamento da série radicalizando o princípio do espelho: ele procura configurações intervalares de doze sons que já sejam, elas mesmas, a condensação de um espaço simétrico, ao mesmo tempo que labiríntico e sem centro (uma série que já contenha, em avesso do avesso, os seus próprios espelhos)."
José Miguel Wisnik

"Causal thinking never yields accurate description of metabolic processes (limitations of existing language)."
"This ass talk had a sort of gut frequency. It hit you right down there like you gotta go."
"Fear seals the turd message with a cuneiform account."
William S. Burroughs
"Ce n'est pas moi qui choisis les turbulences. Nous y sommes. Et si tu essaies de ne pas y penser, elles vont t'emporter d'une façon que j'ignore"
Olga (Les Samouraïs)
"Man muß die Größe seines Magens kennen... Das Tempo des Stoffwechsels steht in einem genauen Verhältniß zur Beweglichkeit oder Lahmheit der Füße des Geistes; der 'Geist' selbst ist ja nur eine Art dieses Stoffwechsels."
"Pero la exploración interior, Tito, es un dédalo con más vueltas que un intestino y el Minotauro agazapado en la esquina de cada meandro, y fija que está en el colon."
(El Bataraz, narrator)

"Or comme celui que je venais subitement de redevenir n'avait pas existé depuis ce soir lointain où ma grand-mère m'avait déshabillé à mon arrivée à Balbec, ce fut tout naturellement, non pas après la journée actuelle que ce moi ignorait, mais — comme s'il y avait dans le temps des séries différentes et parallèles — sans solution de continuité, tout de suite après le premier soir d'autrefois, que j'adhérai à la minute où ma grand-mère s'était penchée vers moi. Le moi que j'étais alors et qui avait disparu si longtemps, était de nouveau si près de moi qu'il me semblait encore entendre les paroles qui avaient immédiatement précédé et qui n'étaient pourtant plus qu'un songe,  comme un homme mal éveillé croit percevoir tout près de lui les bruits de son rêve qui s'enfuit. Je n'étais plus que cet être qui cherchait à se réfugier dans les bras de sa grand-mère, à effacer les traces de ses peines en lui donnant des baisers, cet être que j'aurais eu à me figurer, quand j'étais tel ou tel de ceux qui s'étaient succédé en moi depuis quelque temps, autant de difficulté que maintenant il m'eût fallu d'efforts, stériles d'ailleurs, pour ressentir les désirs et les joies de l'un de ceux que, pour un temps du moins, je n'était plus." 
Marcel Proust (le narrateur, Sodome et Gomorrhe)

"Un Coup de Dés fez de Mallarmé o inventor de um processo de composição poética cuja significação se nos afigura comparável ao valor da 'série', introduzida por Schöenberg, purificada por Webern e, através da filtração deste, legada aos jovens músicos eletrônicos, a presidir os universos sonoros de um Boulez ou um Stockhausen. A esse processo definiríamos, de início, com a palavra estrutura, tendo em vista uma entidade onde o todo é mais que a soma das partes ou algo qualitativamente diverso de cada componente. Eisenstein na fundação da sua teoria da montagem, Pierre Boulez e Michel Fano, com relação ao princípio serial, testemunharam — como artistas — o interesse da aplicação dos conceitos gestaltianos ao campo das artes. E é em estritos termos de Gestalt que entendemos o título de um dos livros de poesia de E. E. Cummings: Is 5. Para a poesia, e em especial para a poesia de estrutura de Mallarmé ou Cummings, dois mais dois pode ser rigorosamente igual a cinco."
Augusto de Campos (pontos-periferia-poesia concreta/Teoria da Poesia Concreta)

"Marienbad: the name conjures up images of expensively dressed men and women walking leisurely on wide white paths through expansive manicured gardens, large fountains spewing the mineral-rich waters high into the air... The Gödel family is likely to have stayed at the elegant Baroque-style hotel at the springs, where many famous people have enjoyed their holidays, among them King Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia, King Otto I of Greece, the Persian Shah Nasredding, Edward VII of Britain, as well as Goethe, Mark Twain, and Sigmund Freud, to name but a few."
"As Kurt described the experience many years later, at Marienbad he underwent a transformation. Until the Gödel expected to pursue his interests in the humanities, social studies, and languages, as an educated man of the period. But walking the long corridors of the elegant hotel, strolling through the lavish parks, and soaking in the steaming mineral waters, he was suddenly changed..."
- Amir D. Aczel, The Mystery of the Aleph (WSP 2000).

"... [as revealed by Stefan Zweig in The World of Yesterday] before World War I, 'A ballet dancer ... was available for any man at any hour in Vienna for two hundred crowns.' [But] to marry someone with such associations could destroy even a well–established career," John W. Dawson, Logical Dilemmas (A. K. Peters, 1997).
"[Morgenstern] was astonished... to learn that Gödel took an interest in ghosts, and he was very dismayed by Gödel’s choice of wife, whom he described as 'a Viennese washerwoman type: garrulous uncultured, [and] strong-willed,'" John Dawson, Logical Dilemmas.
Dawson tells also that Gödel didn't care much for classical music and preferred popular songs. But according to him Gödel was interested in Modern art, television and Kafka, and believed in afterlife.
In The Mystery of Aleph, Amir D. Aczel characterizes Gödel's incompleteness theorem as follows: "there will always be propositions that cannot be proven within the system. Even if a theorem is true, it may be mathematically impossible to prove." This is fair enough, but what Aczel says next is completely wrong: "The human mind, existing within a limited universe, cannot perceive an immense entity that extends beyond the confines of the system." It is completely wrong because what is beyond the system is not bigger but smaller. The outside is inside, and the biggest is the smallest.

"Vladmir Voevodsky worried in a lecture at the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study that mathematics as we know it, and as analysed in present-day Foundations of Mathematics, might be inconsistent... that would, perhaps, be liberating... Most philosophers and logicians have jeered at Wittgenstein's asking, what's so great about consistency? Could we not do perfectly good mathematics from an inconsistent basis?" Ian Hacking, Why is there Philosophy of Mathematics at all? (Cambridge, 2014).

"Alain Connes is a Platonist. He thinks there is a totality of arithmetical truths, simply given with the number series itself. Thanks to Gödel we know that totality cannot be characterized by any recursive axiom system adequate to express its own syntax. This is not an argument for Platonism. It is an enrichment of Platonism with a new depth of understanding. As an attitude to reality and to incompleteness, this seems to me to be impeccable. But to avoid misunderstanding... as an argument for the existence of an archaic arithmetical reality, with all its truths intact, it begs the question" Hacking, Why is there Philosophy of Mathematics.

Consistency & Totality:
"Nothing capable of proof ought to be accepted in science without proof," Richard Dedekind, as quoted in Hacking, Why is there Philosophy of Mathematics.

Rêve et perception extracorporelle:
"Même s'il est souvent déclenché involontairement par une sensation physique, le souvenir permet de se dématérialiser, d'échapper en partie aux déterminations temporelles et spatiales... Quant au rêve, il nous offre un témoignage plus vigoureux encore du dédoublement puisque la vivacité des images que l'on en rapporte semble mal s'accorder ave l'état d'inertie corporelle qui en est la condition. Moins courantes, enfin, sont ces situations de dissociation extrême induites par les hallucinations, les insensibilités temporaires comme l'extase ou la catalepsie, voir ces expériences de perception extracorporelle associées à la prise de psychotropes ou aux cas de quasi-mort..."
Philippe Descola, Par-delà nature et culture

See also:
- actual infinite falling (against Carlo Rovelli's pseudo-problem);
- the dogma of semantic uniformity & Python Gored Naturalism;
the only three types of ingenuity;

Sunday, February 10, 2019

the only three types of ingenuity when the parameter is infinity: the limited, the false & the genuine

Bernhard Bolzano, picture taken from the Internet;
Duchamp in Maya Deren's Witch's Cradle (1943);
The Great Abyss Inframince (A/Z 2018, for more see here);

"E pois, te digo, as estrelas,
no céu imenso espalhadas,
são a metade e outro tanto
das mesmas por Deus criadas;
e, se imaginas que minto
na quantidade que dei,
te desafio a contá-las...
para ver que não errei!"
Cancioneiro Guasca

"... la majorité est travaillé par une minorité proliférante et non dénombrable qui risque de détruire la majorité dans son concept même, c'est-à-dire en tant qu'axiome... le étrange concept de non-blanc ne constitue pas un ensemble dénombrable... Le propre de la minorité, c'est de faire valoir la puissance du non-dénombrable, même quand elle est composée d'un seul membre. C'est la formule des multiplicités. Femme, nous avons tous à le devenir, que nous soyons masculins ou féminins. Non-blanc, nous avons tous à le devenir, que nous soyons blancs, jaunes ou noirs."
Deleuze & Guattari
"Et je reçus de lui de merveilleuses explications et des éclaircissements extrêmement précis sur la façon dont le Peyotl ressuscite dans le trajet entier du moi nerveux, la mémoire de telles vérités souveraines, par lesquelles la conscience humaine, me fut-il dit, ne perd plus, mais au contraire, retrouve la perception de l'Infini."
"Et d'après des vieux Chinois le foie est le filtre de l'inconscient mais la rate est le répondant physique de l'infini."
A. Artaud (Le Rite du Peyotl chez les Tarahumaras)
"This relative freedom of a hero does not violate the strict specificity of the construction, just as the specificity of a mathematical formula is not violated by the presence of irrational or transfinite quantities."
Mikhail Bakhtin (Problems of Dostoevsky's Poetics, Caryl Emerson translation)

"... the world burst into a brilliant but complex series of geometric patterns so elaborate that no mere mortal could even BEGIN to comprehend their true significance. Only  God and I understood..."
James St. James
"The vistas echoed endlessly, paralleling the way that drum hits, guitar chords, and horn licks were turned into reverb trails by dub producers like King Tubby..."
Simon Reynolds
"Note the parallels between ordinary awareness, classical physics, and the natural and counting integers..."
Dean Radin (Real Magic)
"... interrompidas não porque terminassem, mas porque ninguém podia levá-las a um fim."
Clarice Lispector
"So Art is limited to infinite, and beginning there cannot progress."

"Of course, not everyone in postpunk attended art school, or even college. Self-educated in a scattered, omnivorous fashion, figures like John Lydon or Mark E. Smith of the Fall fit the syndrome of the anti-intellectual intellectual, ravenously well read but scornful of academia and suspicious of art in its institutionalized forms."
Simon Reynolds
"I had been occluded from space-time like an eel's ass occludes when he stops eating on the way to Sargasso... Locked out... Never again would I have a Key, a Point of Intersection... The Heat was off me from here on out... relegated with Hauser and O'Brien to a landlocked junk past where heroin is always twenty-eight dollars an ounce and you can score for yen pox in the Chink laundry of Sioux Falls... Your plan was unworkable then and useless now... Like da Vinci's flying machine plans..."
William S. Burroughs

"Denken wir uns nun einen äußersten Fall: daß ein Buch von lauter Erlebnissen redet, die gänzlich außerhalb der Möglichkeit einer häufigen oder auch nur seltneren Erfahrung liegen, — daß es die erste Sprache für eine neue Reihe von Erfahrungen ist. In diesem Falle wird einfach Nichts gehört, mit der akustischen Täuschung, daß, wo Nichts gehört wird, auch Nichts da ist... Dies ist zuletzt meine durchschnittliche Erfahrung und, wenn man will, die Originalität meiner Erfahrung."
"Ich komme aus Höhen, die kein Vogel je erflog, ich kenne Abgründe, in die noch kein Fuß sich verirrt hat..."
"Man büßt es teuer, unsterblich zu sein..."

"Car toutes ces femmes étaient des actrices du monde, et il est vrai que même considérée à ce point de vue, la comtesse Molé n'était pas égale à l'extraordinaire réputation d'intelligence qu'on lui faisait, et qui donnait à penser à ces acteurs ou à ces romanciers médiocres qui à certaines époques ont une situation de génie, soit à cause de la médiocrité de leurs confrères, parmi lesquels aucun artiste supérieur n'est capable de montrer ce qu'est le vrai talent, ou de la médiocrité du public, qui, existât-il une individualité extraordinaire, serait incapable de la comprendre."
Marcel Proust (le narrateur, La Prisonnière)

"... one of the two professors assigned to assess his thesis, doubtless bewildered by the extent of its expertise and scholarship, declared it incomprehensible and threatened not to approve it."
Malcolm Hayes (Anton von Webern)
"N'ayant jamais consenti à vivre dans notre univers salarié, le célèbre linguiste n'avait pas cotisé à la M.G.E.N. Résultat: impossible de le faire soigner dans une clinique sérieuse. N'était-ce pas inadmissible?"
Olga (Les Samouraïs)
"On n'élimine pas, on neutralize en marginalisant..."
Edward (Les Samouraïs)
"Au-delà de l'erreur, au-delà de la bêtise elle-même: une certaine bassesse de l'âme..."
"Dans le pain et le vin destinés à sa bouche
Ils mêlent de la cendre avec d'impurs crachats..."
Charles Baudelaire
"One will know well if ignorance is removed. Those who know well always desire to act."
Myoe (Mark Unno, Shingon Refractions)

In his The Mystery of the Aleph, Amir D. Aczel writes: "Infinity is an intimidating concept—one where our everyday intuition no longer servers to guide us."
We start by finding our three types by identifying two more general types: the ones who stick to everyday intuition, the ones who dare to face infinity's paradoxes. 
I argue that, in any case, the paradoxes related to infinity are real
Then to stick to everyday intuition is limited or false ingenuity. To face infinity, genuine ingenuity.
The most clear and distinct example of limited ingenuity is to be found in Descartes. He preferred to stick to everyday intuition, but acknowledged that infinity is (and has to be) real.
False ingenuity, which should rather be called bêtise or deliberate ingenuousness is the case of a person who not only sticks to everyday intuition but denies that the paradoxes of infinity can be real and really hates them. There are so many examples of this lamentable case (trifling in nature, tedious in telling), we fortunately won't need even to give any names (I'm positive). It might just as well be the rule. And since alle Schweiger sind dyspeptisch, choose your own favourite member of whatever academic Kroneckian priesthood you happen to be acquainted with, reverenced scientists (several might do the job), inveterate analytic philosophers, hard-nosed economists, bureaucrats &/or famous CEOs. Choose and say it out & aloud.
Very ordinary people don't count because they are all geniuses in a very Warholian peculiar way: by never raising such questions on their own. Thanks gosh, they definitely don't belong to any of our three categories.

Examples of genuine ingenuity are the following (under construction now made public list) [it was hard to agree on a truly certified census beyond all possibility of doubt, so we left a few ghostly holes in the form of question (& others totally hidden) marks]:
- Nicolas of Cusa;
- Giordano Bruno;
- Galileo Galilei (?);
- G. W. Leibniz (?);
- Salomon Maimon;
- Bernhard Bolzano;
- Bernhard Riemann (?);
- Kingdon Clifford (?);
- Karl Weierstrass;
- Nietzsche (?);
- Sonja Kowalewski (?);
- Gösta Mittag-Leffler (?);
- Richard Dedekind;
- Georg Cantor;
- Baudelaire! ("Tout cerveau bien conformé porte en lui deux infinis, le ciel et l'enfer...");
- Raymond Roussel (?);
- Henri Bergson (?);
- Der Herr Warum
- Melanie Klein (?);
- Claude Lévi-Strauss (?);
- Jacques Lacan (?);
- Georges Bataille (?);
- Maurice Blanchot (?);
- Pierre Klossowski (?);
- Gilles Deleuze (?);
- Jacques Derrida ["... l'axiome fondamental de tout ce qu'il dit partout, c'est la divisibilité du point. Tout ce qu'il écrit, tout ce qu'il pense est une protestation contre le point comme indivisible..." Hélène Cixous];
- Julia Kristeva (?);
- Sylvia Leclercq ["Jamais comblée, une différence demeure (cf. Hekhalot, Demeures Célestes, Moradas) toujours entre l'Être et l'ensemble ouvert des 'sujets', des 'singularités', des 'nombres' susceptibles de l'exprimer, et dans lesquels je me dissémine en écrivant et en agissant. J'appartiens à une géométrie qui n'est plus algébrique, mais analytique. Je suis un site du signifiant illimité..."];
- me;

Amir Aczel provides us also with a parable about the fate of genuine ingenuity by giving an account of a set of pitiful misadventures and cross accidents sustained by Bernhard Bolzano throughout his life:
"In 1805, Bolzano was ordained a priest and nominated to the chair of the department of the philosophy of religion at the University of Prague. Bolzano had wanted the position for several years but had been passed over for promotion by lesser-qualified but better-connected individuals... A mere decade and a half after his installment as chair, Bolzano was summarily fired and stripped of his priestly rank... One B. Frint had written a textbook which he had hoped would be used by Bolzano in his courses. But Bolzano, in his new position, resisted the pressure and did not adopt the book. Frint successfully turned people against the new chair of the philosophy of religion department. The slow but systematic case against Bolzano was built in a series of state papers documenting what officials considered objectionable elements in Bolzano's sermons. The most offensive infraction was Bolzano's preaching peace to the students... When the first attacks on him occurred, Bolzano had the support of the Archbishop of Prague, and this helped him evade any serious consequences" The Mystery of the Aleph (WSP, 2000).
To this it may be interesting to juxtapose the following passage from Nietzsche: "Il y a des vies où les difficultés touchent au prodige; ce sont les vied des penseurs. Et il faut prêter l'oreille à ce qui nous est raconté à leur sujet, car on y découvre des possibilités de vie, dont le seul récit nous donne de la joie et de la force, et verse une lumière sur la vie de leurs successeurs. Il y a là autant d'invention, de réflexion, de hardiesse, de désespoir et d'espérance que dans les voyages des grands navigateurs; et, à vrai dire, ce sont aussi des voyages d'exploration dans les domaines les plus reculés et les plus périlleux de la vie..." (as quoted by Deleuze in Nietzsche et la philosophie).
Also, from Ecce Homo: "Wenn trotzdem an mir manche kleine und große Missethat verübt worden ist, so war nicht der 'Wille', am wenigsten der böse Wille Grund davon: eher schon hätte ich mich —ich deutete es eben an — über den guten Willen zu beklagen, der keinen kleinen Unfug in meinem Leben angerichtet hat."

Poincaré & Wittgenstein:

On Wittgenstein and finitism &/or on the difference between the infinite and the huge (see also here): 
"Wittgenstein’s famous matching of finitism and behaviourism, united by their denial of the existence of something (infinite sets and inner states, respectively), in the correct but badly executed attempt to avoid confusion (that between the infinite and a very large quantity, and that between an inner state and a private entity), shows, on this point, the agreement and, at the same time, the distance between the Austrian philosopher’s position and finitism. The denial of the existence of infinite sets is a mistaken way to draw a grammatical distinction which, though it may be opportune, should be done differently: by showing that the grammar of the word “infinite” cannot in the slightest be clarified by taking into account only the picture of something huge, a picture which usually accompanies the use of the word. As Wittgenstien affirms in one of his lectures in 1939: “If one were to justify a finitist position in mathematics, one should say just that in mathematics ‘infinite’ does not mean anything huge. To say ‘There’s nothing infinite’ is in a sense nonsensical and ridiculous. But it does make sense to say we are not talking of anything huge here”... Wittgenstein moves some criticisms against the platonistic interpretation of the true import of Cantor’s proof; nevertheless they do not originate in any way from a presupposed identification of legitimate mathematics with finitist mathematics and, even less so, from the violation, by Cantor’s proof, of the requirements imposed by strict finitism. Once the appropriate clarifications have been made about what, in his opinion, it really demonstrates, Cantor’s proof is more than good enough for Wittgenstein, in spite of the certainly non-finite nature of the “objects” it deals with... proofs which are finitistically (not only strict finitistically) unacceptable are actually accepted by Wittgenstein or are not questioned on the basis of the restriction of admissible mathematical procedures to the finitary ones," Pasquale Frascolla, Wittgenstein's Philosophy of Mathematics (Routledge 1994).
***Russel & Quine with irony: "[they] were born to be nominalists even if the hard knocks of mathematical and philosophical experience shattered childhood complacency. (Russell actually began as an idealist in the Hegelian manner of late Victorian England, but that was his infancy, not his childhood)," Ian Hacking, Why is there Philosophy of Mathematics at all (Cambridge 2014).

See also:
And also:

Friday, February 08, 2019

why self-help books are NOT to be dismissed & why parapsychology is anti-establishment

Der fürchterliche Pauli as a young student (picture taken from the Internet/CERN);
Paul Feyerabend interviewed by Rüdiger Safranski; 
Intervista a Paul Feyerabend, per Vittorio Hösle; 
Rupert Sheldrake's TED talk;
How to Deal with Evil Spirits: Swedenborg & Life (Curtis Childs/Off The Left Eye); 
Stephen E. Braude interview (with Jeffrey Mishlove);
Dean Radin's Google Tech Talk (2008);
"This in some respects augments who and what we think we are. If telepathy is true, it means that what you think of as your private thoughts aren't so private after all. It means that you have to think of your mind as mostly located in here but spread out a little bit in both space and time. And if it is spread out in space and time it means that your thought and other people's thoughts commingle at some stage. That creates a very dramatic change in terms of our personal ontology about who and what we think we are. Another thing is that it challenges the view which says we are completely isolated, we live in a mechanistic world in which mind is brain, and in a completely pointless existence. You see this sometimes in people who have been to the neurosciences in a while, specially students, they become really depressed, because the world view that is presented is 'you are a meaningless zombie, there is not going on and everything is pointless, there is no meaning for anything.' Or as Francis Crick wrote in his book, 'you are nothing but a pack of neurones,'" [my transcription of Dean Radin's "Science and the taboo of psi," a (now made public) 2008 Google Tech Talk, see Youtube video above  (one learns, by the way, from the first question raised by the audience, that the Google's tech-fanatics corporation-suckers (I'm positive) are looking as always just for hightech applications, that is (beyond all possibility of doubt), new ways to freakishly control things and make big money out of everything, since this is the only thing that matters to them in this scurvy & disasterous, vile, dirty planet of ours; Radin seems to have a different perspective)];

"[Et] Warburg avait bien suggéré que la crainte des demons relève d'un ordre psychique fondamental, tenace en tant même que primitif..."
"Ultimately the Senders will use telepathic transmitting exclusively..."
William S. Burroughs
"... unless his incantations should chance to be thwarted and foiled by the more potent charms of another sorcerer..."
A. C.
"Joyce cherished the secret hope that, when he got out of the dark night of Finnegans Wake, his daughter would escape from her own darkness."
Richard Ellmann
"C'est le Diable qui tient les fils qui nous remuent! 
Serré, fourmillant, comme un million d'Héminthes, dans nos cerveaux ribote un peuple de Démons."
Charles Baudelaire
"Au lendemain de cette nuit, le petit Joseph est pris soudain de malaises et de crampes, et meurt en peu d'heures."
Nietzsche (traduction by Klossowski)

"Coincidences of free events with structural time points have a special luminous character, because the paradoxical nature of truth is at such moments made apparent. Caesurae on the other hand are expressive of the independence (accidental or willed) of freedom from law, law from freedom."
John Cage (Forerunners of Modern Music)
"There is always activity but it is free from compulsion, done from disinterest. And we are free to stop brooding and to observe the effects of our actions. (When we are proud, that pride keeps us from observing very clearly). And what do we observe: the effects of our actions on others or on ourselves? on ourselves; for if the effects on us are conducive to less separateness, less fear, more love, we may walk on then regardless of the others."
"'Follow your principles and keep straight on; you will come to the right place, that is the way' [Meister Eckhart]."
John Cage (Lecture on Something)
"Chance, to be precise, is a leap, provides a leap out of reach of one's own grasp of oneself."
John Cage (45' for a Speaker)

"Si vou voulez vous pousser vous-même en avant pour parvenir, dit le Laozi, cela sera à la fois épuisant et risqué; vous susciterez inévitablement des rivalités, il faudra affronter les autres et s'acharner. Tandis que, si vous vous mettez vous-même modestement en arrière, il pourra en résulter (tout seul) que vous serez poussé en avant, le retrait dans lequel vous choisissez de vous placer conduisant de lui-même à s'inverser..."
"À la différence de l'effet (visé par l'agir dans un rapport moyens-fin), l'effect n'est pas à 'chercher', en y tendant directement et de façon volontaire; il est appelé à découler 'naturellement' du processus engagé. Toute stratégie consistera, en retour, à savoir impliquer le processus en amont, d'où l'effet sera ensuite conduit de lui-même à venir."
"... ce n'est pas en s'appliquant à la vertu d'équité qu'on peut parvenir à la droiture continue d'une conduite équitable, ni en exécutant minutieusement les rites qu'on peut parvenir à la pureté du respect rituel..."
"Il convient d'être 'rond' avant que la situation ne s'actualise, et 'carré' une fois qu'elle s'est actualisée. 'Rond' signifie qu'on reste mobile, ouvert aux différents possibles, sans se raidir dans aucune position, sans offrir d'arête ou d'angle; 'carré' signifie que, une fois qu'on s'est fixé un règle (une direction), on sait faire preuve de détermination et que, calé dans sa position, on ne se laisse plus ébranler... Au stade initial, quand rien n'est encore déterminé, on 'connaît' par la rondeur, grâce à sa parfaite disponibilité à l'égard de tout ce qui peut s'amorcer; puis, quand le processus est engagé, on 'suit' de façon carrée, sans perdre de sa stabilité. Ou encore le ciel, qui initie le cours des choses, est rond et la terre, qui les matérialise, est carré. (De façon technique et en contexte divinatoire: la rondeur renvoie à celle des tiges d'achillée qui glissent entre les doits et permettent d'appréhender l'évolution invisible (im-prévisible); tandis que le carré est celui de la figure de l'hexagramme dont le cadre définitivement établie permet d'indentifier dans sa constance le type de cas rencontré.)"
François Jullien (Traité de l'efficacité)

"The highest life force does not cling to vitality, for this reason it is vital; 
The lowest life force does not let go of vitality, for this reason it has no vitality...
To be acquainted with this beforehand is the blossoming of the Way and the first step to becoming a fool."
Daodejing/38 (Edmund Ryden's translation)

"Attention, dit Boehme, à ne pas t'enfoncer, comme en une ténèbre, dans le miroir de tes actes, de tes occupations! Car l'avidité (Geist), inséparable de notre volonté, détruirait l'image de Dieu, image magique, subtile comme un esprit, tellement plus subtile et plus délicate que l'âme même."
Antoine Faivre, "Pensées de dieu, images de l'homme" (Accès de l'ésoterisme occidental)
"C'était un excellent garçon, sobre et adroit, mais avec une de ces figures mélancoliques où le regard trop fixe signifie qu'on se fait pour un rien de la bile, même des idées noires."
Marcel Proust (le narrateur, Sodome et Gomorrhe)
"O homem olhou um instante para mim e sorriu calmo: ele sabia quanto era belo e sei que sabia que eu não o queria para mim. Sorriu porque não sentiu ameaça alguma... A coragem de viver: deixo oculto o que precisa ser oculto e precisa irradiar-se em segredo."
Clarice Lispector (Água Viva)
"Abandone-se, tente tudo suavemente, não se esforce por conseguir — esqueça completamente o que aconteceu e tudo voltará com naturalidade."
Um médico (A Imitação da Rosa)
"Outra coisa que o ajudava era saber que nada do que ele fosse durante aquele dia iria realmente alterá-lo. Pois prematuramente — tratava-se de criança precoce — era superior à instabilidade alheia e à própria instabilidade."
Narrador (Evolução de uma Miopia)

"Pour cette fête-ci, les éléments impurs qui s'y conjuguaient me frappaient à un autre point de vue; mais surtout les uns, ceux qui se rattachaient à Mlle Vinteuil et son amie, me parlant de Combray, me parlaient aussi d'Albertine, c'est-à-dire de Balbec, puisque c'est parce que j'avais vu jadis Mlle Vinteuil à Montjouvain et que j'avais appris l'intimité de mon amie avec Albertine, que j'allais tout à l'heure en rentrant chez moi, trouver au lieu de la solitude, Albertine qui m'attendait; et ceux qui concernaient Morel et M. de Charlus, en me parlant de Balbec, où j'avais vu sur le quai de Doncières se nouer leurs relations, me parlaient de Combray et de ses deux côtés, car M. de Charlus c'était un des Guermantes, comtes de Combray, habitant Combray sans y avoir de logis, entre ciel et terre, comme Gilbert le Mauvais dans son vitrail et Morel était le fils de ce vieux valet de chambre qui m'avait fait connaître la dame en rose et permis, tant d'années après, de reconnaître en elle Mme Swann."
"... ce mélancolique morceau exécuté par les pigeons était une sorte de chant du coq en mineur, qui ne s'élevait pas vers le ciel, ne montait pas verticalement, mais, régulier comme le braiment d'un âne, enveloppé de douceur, allait d'un pigeon à l'autre sur une même ligne horizontale, et jamais ne se redressait, ne changeait sa plainte latérale en ce joyeux appel qu'avaient poussé tant de fois l'allegro de l'introduction et le finale. Je sais que je prononçai alors le mot 'mort' comme si Albertine allait mourir. Il semble que les événements soient plus vastes que le moment òu ils ont lieu et ne peuvent y tenir tout entiers. Certes, ils débordent sur l'avenir par la mémoire que nous en gardons, mais ils demandent une place aussi au temps qui les précède. Certes, on dira que nous ne les voyons pas alors tels qu'ils seront, mais dans le souvenir ne sont-ils pas aussi modifiés?"
Marcel Proust (le narrateur, La Prisonnière)
"Il est des jours où l'homme s'éveille avec un génie jeune et vigoureux. Ses paupières à peine déchargées du sommeil qui les scellait, le monde extérieur s'offre à lui avec un relief puissant, une netteté de contours, une richesse de couleurs admirables. Le monde moral ouvre ses vastes perspectives, pleines de clartés nouvelles. L'homme gratifié de cette béatitude, malheureusement rare et passagère, se sent à la fois plus artiste et plus juste, plus noble, pour tout dire en un mot. Mais ce qu'il y a de plus singulier dans cet état exceptionnel de l'esprit et des sens, que je le compare aux lourdes ténèbres de l'existence commune et journalière, c'est qu'il n'a été crée par aucune cause bien visible et facile à définir. Est-il le résultat d'une bonne hygiène et d'un régime de sage? Telles est la première explication qui s'offre à l'esprit; mais nous sommes obligés de reconnaître que souvent cette merveille, cette espèce de prodige, se produit comme si elle était l' effet d'une puissance supérieure et invisible, extérieure à l'homme... cet état charmant et singulier, où toutes les forces s'équilibrent, où l'imagination, quoique merveilleusement puissante, n'entraîne pas à sa suite le sens moral dans de périlleuses aventures, où une sensibilité exquise n'est plus torturée par des nerfs malades... est aussi imprévu que le fantôme. C'est une espèce de hantise, mais de hantise intermittente, dont nous devrions tirer, si nous étions sages, la certitude d'une existence meilleure et l'espérance d'y atteindre par l'exercice journalier de notre volonté."
Baudelaire (Les Paradis artificiels)

"Trabalhava séria, calada, os braços ao longo do corpo. Não precisava aproximar-se de Arlete para brincar com ela... desejo-poder-milagre, desde pequena. A fórmula se realizava tantas vezes: sentir a coisa sem possuí-la."
Clarice Lispector (Perto do Coração Selvagem)
"Julho de 81. No Canecão, o show corria em alto astral. Artista e público trocavam energias, emoções e afeto. A partir de um determinado momento, porém, Ney Matogrosso começou a ser perturbado por uma sensação esquisita, como se alguma ciosa o estivesse furando. Com a sensibilidade à flor da pele, como fica sempre que pisa num palco, captou o ponto da platéia de onde partia a vibração, caminhou naquela direção e, quando chegou na beira do palco, sentiu uma forte emissão de inveja partindo de uma pessoa conhecida. Não teve dúvidas: devolveu na mesma hora tudo o que havia captado de ruim. Até hoje lembra o gesto que fez com a mão dirigindo os dedos como se fossem lanças de emissão ('não tava me envuduzando? eu apenas joguei de volta o mesmo vudu pra ele'), e a surpresa ao saber, dois dias depois, por uma amiga que estava na mesma mesa durante o show, que o tal cara havia quebrado o pé. 'Nossa! Quero morrer sua amiga. Você sabe o que ele estava falando na hora em que você fez aquilo? Que queria que você quebrasse o pé.'"
Denise Pires Vaz & Ney Matogrosso (Um cara meio estranho)
"O Dr. Norris assistiu à cena e se aproximou do jovem curandeiro, querendo saber que infusão era aquela que fez efeito tão rápido. Cícero então lhe confessou o truque: 'Apenas água quente salgada com um pouco de camomila, forçando-o a pôr pra fora o que havia ingerido. Quando golfou, joguei uma barata morta no meio do vômito pra ele 'visualizar' a causa do seu mal-estar e sentir definitivamente curado.' Impressionado com aquele mestiço perspicaz sem lenço nem documento, o dr. Norris o convidou a integrar o que seria a maior migração norte-americana da história."
Rita Lee
"Você está ansioso e isso é muito pouco religioso."
Caio Fernando Abreu (carta a José Márcio Penido/Zézim)

"... guru é um cara que mostra o caminho. Eu sempre fui a favor de que cada um de nós saiba o caminho que deva seguir. A vida nos dá todas as ferramentas, faz a gente encontrar as pessoas certas, no momento certo, o problema é reconhecer." 
Paulo Coelho (BBC interview) "É uma série de imagens que mudam ao se repetirem. É um tal de política destruindo a liberdade, de medicina destruindo a saúde, de jornalismo destruindo a informação, de advogados e policiais destruindo a justiça, de universidades destruindo o conhecimento, de religiões destruindo a espiritualidade. Confie em Deus, mas tranque o carro."
Rita Lee
"Ao que, digo ao senhor, pergunto: em sua vida é assim? Na minha, agora é que vejo, as coisas importantes, todas, em caso curto de acaso foi que se conseguiram — pelo pulo fino de sem ver se dar — a sorte momenteira, por cabelo por um fio, um clim de clina de cavalo."
Guimarães Rosa (Augusto de Campos, Um Lande de Dês)

"We must not reject or deny our protoplasmic core, striving at all times to maintain a maximum of flexibility without falling into the morass of liquefaction."
"I sat back letting my mind work without pushing it. Push your mind too hard and it will fuk up like an overloaded switchboard, or turn on you with sabotage..."
William S. Burroughs
"I kept the TV on all the time, especially while people were telling me their problems, and the television I found to be just diverting enough so the problems people told me didn't really affect me any more. It was some kind of magic."
"An actress friend told me that after she didn't want money any more and after she didn't want jewels any more, that's when she got money and jewels. I guess it's for our own good that it always happens that way, because after you stop wanting things is when having them won't make you go crazy... Everything becomes distorted when something you really want is sitting in your lap."
"Everybody has problems, but the thing is to not make a problem about your Problem. For example, if you have no money and you worry about it all the time, you'll get an ulcer and have a real problem and you still won't have any money..."
A. W.

"... nos plus grandes craintes, comme nos plus grandes espérances ne sont pas au-dessus de nos forces, et nous pouvons finir par dominer les unes et réaliser les autres."
Marcel Proust (le narrateur, Le Temps retrouvé)
"Wenn trotzdem an mir manche kleine und große Missethat verübt worden ist, so war nicht der 'Wille', am wenigsten der böse Wille Grund davon: eher schon hätte ich mich — ich deutete es eben an — über den guten Willen zu beklagen, der keinen kleinen Unfug in meinem Leben angerichtet hat."
"Insgleichen gehört in diese Zwischenzeit jener Hymnus auf das Leben (für gemischten Chor und Orchester), dessen Partitur vor zwei Jahren bei E. W. Fritsch in Leipzig erschienen ist: ein vielleicht nicht unbedeutendes Symptom für den Zustand dieses Jahres, wo das jasagende Pathos par excellence, von mir das tragische Pathos genannt, im höchsten Grade mir innewohnte."
"Berg wrote to his wife: 'after the first and last movements, I felt exactly as one would after an adrenalin injection. I could not stand up.' Two days later Schoenberg and his wife were also present. 'I sat with Schoenberg,' Berg wrote to Helene. 'He had not thought it possible. Webern's achievement is such that all doubts about his ability, even those of Mathilde, were swept away to be replaced by unreserved admiration...' The triumvirate of Schoenberg, Webern and Berg was admittedly something of a mutual admiration society: an understandable situation, given the hostility that their music had almost always encountered outside a friendly circle of supporters. Even so, neutral reports of the two concerts indicate that the performances were indeed remarkable..."
Malcolm Hayes (Anton von Webern)


placebo domino:

"The tendency for prophecies to be self-fulfilling is well known in the realms of economics, politics, and religion. It is also a matter of practical psychology. Various ways of using these powers are the bases of countless self-help books, showing how avoiding negative attitudes and adopting positive ones help to bring about remarkable successes in politics, business, and love. Likewise confidence and optimism play an important part in the practice of medicine and healing—and in sports, fighting, and many other activities" Rupert Sheldrake, Seven Experiments That Could Change the World (Riverhead Books, 1995). 
"A survey of a wide range of drug trials has revealed that placebos are, on average, about a third to a half as effective as specific medication—a big effect for blank pills that cost almost nothing. But placebos are not just blank pills. They can also be forms of blank counseling or psychotherapy, or even blank surgery... in medical research, placebo effects are generally regarded as a nuisance. But perhaps the negative attitudes of physicians to placebos is just as well, since it is the other side of the coin of their faith in the special efficacy of their own techniques, which therefore tend to work better—because of the placebo effect!" Sheldrake, Seven Experiments.

"In his analysis of the many documents we have about such practices, Levi-Strauss underlines that the fallaciousness involved in them is at the same time acknowledged and simply ignored, brushed aside, by the shamans themselves. What matters to the shamans is the effect they produce in the imagination of the sick, no matter if the instrument they use is a fake one. Actually a clear distinction of what is fake and what is not fake is obstinately eluded by the very characteristics of the procedure... [Walter Cannon's] classic paper “Voodoo Death,” begins exactly with a reference to Portuguese colonizers such as Soares de Souza, who “observed instances of death among the [Brazilian] Tupinambás Indians induced by fright when men were condemned and sentenced by a so-called medicine man” (Cannon, 1942: 169). Although Cannon attributed the cause of such effects to the superstition of the primitive mind (primitive men really believe in witchcraft), he nonetheless acknowledged these effects to be real, and he was very impressed by them, for they can be quite astonishing. Healthy people can die in less than twenty-four hours, if they believe with enough strength that they have been bewitched or if they discover they have eaten some (normal and not poisonous) food they associate with certain well- established taboos in their culture (Cannon, 1942: 170). It should be understood however that the superstition in question would be better characterized not as a naive belief in some falseness at the expense of what reality would truly be. What the shamans do is to theatrically blur fiction and ordinary reality in order to conjure some power coming from what would be a more fundamental source of reality which is not visible and cannot be immediately given. They could thus, correspondingly, accuse someone such as Cannon of actually being more superstitious than they are, exactly because of Cannon’s inability to treat ordinary and visible reality as the fiction it truly is when compared to what would be its fundamental source," Alessandro Zir, Luso-Brazilian Encounters of the Sixteenth-Century (Fairleigh Dickinson Univ. Press, 2011, p. 60-61).


"In the physical sciences, although there has been very little empirical research on experimenter effects, there have been many sophisticated discussions of the role of the observer in quantum theory... if the active influence of the experimenter's mind is taken seriously, then many possibilities open up—even the possibility that the observer's mind may have psychokinetic powers," Rupert Sheldrake, Seven Experiments.
"If [subjects with psychic powers] are anxious, uncomfortable, or treated in a formal and detached way by the scientific investigators, they do not perform so well. In fact they may show no significant psychic powers at all... The pioneering parapsychologist J. B. Rhine actually quantified this effect in a series of trials with a gifted subject, Hubert Pearce, having noticed that when someone called in to see Pearce at work his scores at once dropped down," Rupert Sheldrake, Seven Experiments.
"There is a good reason for the conventional taboo against parapsychology, making it a kind of outcast from established science. The existence of psychic phenomena would seriously endanger the illusion of objectivity," Rupert Sheldrake, Seven Experiments.
"An experimenter preparing his apparatus, getting his animals ready, and then leaving them with some feeling of assurance that the experiment will run and the animals will appropriately 'do their thing' cannot but remind us of certain aspects of magic, ritual, or perhaps petitionary prayer... Such circumstances may provide an optimum opportunity for psychokinetic intervention," R. G. Stamford, "An experimentally testable model for spontaneous psi occurrences" (Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research 66, as quoted by Sheldrake in Seven Experiments).
"Generally speaking scientists are no Carries, though there might have been a few registered but far less noxious cases such as Wolfgang Pauli and the Pauli effect," Alessandro Zir, The Sixteenth-Century Corpus of the Portuguese Colonizers of Brazil (Dalhousie, PhD thesis) [the paragraph of this sentence (which refers also to Ludwik Fleck) unfortunately wasn't incorporated in the book Luso-Brazilian Encounters published in 2011 by FDU Press].
"I have here reached the limits of what might be knowable in the framework of contemporary knowledge, and I have even approached the realm of 'magic'..." die Geissel Gottes, as quoted in Harald Atmanspacher's & Hans Primas's "The Hidden Side of Wolfgang Pauli," Journal of Consciousness Studies, 3, 2, 1996, pp. 112-26. 

A tale of how bitterness caused by envious people can make an off guard good fellow to crack:
"Cantor was embarrassed to be associated with a second-rate school... He expected to be called any day to take up a professor ship at the University of Berlin. But Kronecker sensed that if he mounted a strong opposition—and made the attack personal—eventually Cantor would crack... Kronecker was vilifying Cantor, calling him a charlatan and a corrupter of youth, and referring to his work as 'humbug.' Cantor was besieged, lonely, angry, and frustrated... Cantor became more enraged. He sought to retaliate against Kronecker, and in despair came up with a bizarre plan. He was now convinced that he could never obtain a professorship in Berlin since Kronecker, entrenched and powerful, would always stand in his way. So Cantor decided to apply for a professorship anyway, for the mere purpose of annoying his enemy... Cantor wrote Mittag-Leffler of his ploy and its results: 'I knew precisely the immediate effect this would have, that in fact Kronecker would flare up as if stung by a scorpion, and with his reserve troops would strike up such a howl that Berlin would think it had been transported to the sandy deserts of Africa, with its lions, tigers, and hyenas. It seems that I have actually achieved this goal!' But Kronecker's turn to strike back at Cantor. Kronecker wrote to Mittag-Leffler asking to publish in his journal, Acta Mathematica. Kronecker was shrewdly trying to push Cantor out of the only mathematical journal that had a sympathetic editor interested in his work. Cantor suspected that Kronecker's paper would constitute an attack on his own work published in Acta Mathematica, the journal he considered his home turf, and would discredit him there, where it would hurt him the most. In frustration and fear, Cantor wrote to his friend Mittag-Leffler threatening to stop sending him his work... As it turned out, Kronecker had no paper to send, he had simply pretended to want to publish in the journal in order to upset Cantor... Cantor's response eroded his relationship with one of his few remaining fiends, Mittag-Leffler... The strain of these battles, which Cantor never stood a chance of winning, was taking its toll on his health. In May 1884, Cantor had his first nervous breakdown, lasting over a month..." Amir D. Aczel, The Mystery of the Aleph (WSP 2000).

"When I received a grant in 1968 from the Royal Society to go and study tropical plants in Malaysia, at the University of Malaya, I traveled through India on the way there. I found India a very exciting place to be, and as I traveled through that country I encountered gurus and ashrams and temples, which opened my eyes to a range of phenomena I was completely unfamiliar with. When I got back to England I got interested in exploring consciousness, and I had various psychedelic experiences, which convinced me that the mind was vastly greater than anything I'd been told about in my scientific education," Rupert Sheldrake's interview (TBS);
"... contemporary physics imbues the venerable and therapeutically useful term ‘psychodynamic’ with rigorous neurophysical efficacy. This new theory of the mind–brain connection is supportive of clinical practice. Belief in the efficacy of mental effort in emotional self-regulation is needed to subjectively access the phenomena (e.g. belief in the efficacy of effort is required to sustain mindfulness during stressful events)," "Quantum physics in neuroscience and psychology: a neurophysical model of mind–brain interaction," by Jeffrey M. Schwartz, Henry P. Stapp and Mario Beauregard (Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society 2005);
"The question of the observer and observed was raised, for example, to say that they were not really separate. I felt from quantum mechanics this must be very significant. Krishnamurti was applying it to the human being himself, saying that the human being as observer was not different from human being as observed... these two are actually one. The confusion that they are separate is the cause of tremendous misery, at least that was saying. I had sort of an intuitive feeling this was right. He was also hinting at something much deeper, some ground, some emptiness in a wholeness ground which everything came, which if we could contact that, then we would sort of rise beyond all these daily problems into a totally different area..." David Bohm, conversation with Maurice Wilkins;
"Gurdjieff used to invite people to eat with him and he would prepare enormous elaborate meals and drink, and even those who did not want, he would press on them. He would get them to go along with him against their will, showing that they really had no will. He did not say that, but the ultimate meaning of it was they had not any. Through this, they would be awakened into looking at their real reactions, what is really going on," David Bohm, conversation with Maurice Wilkins;
"Not that I favored thought, but I am saying that thought would win and produce all sorts of destructive effects because it could just keep at it, like Stalin, day after day, putting in his men here and there and sort of knocking out everybody else. When I felt it was really necessary to really understand the workings of thought, the nature of thought beyond just simply the content, but actually the process, how it operates and this irrational destructive way," David Bohm, conversation with Maurice Wilkins;
"... thought imposes a show in consciousness, a show of reality. Every thought contains not only the image and the imagination, but also all sorts of feelings and neural chemistry. The thought that somebody is your enemy will contain various neuro chemicals that will stir you up. Comforting thoughts will produce endorphins and you feel nice. Then you remove those comforting thoughts and the brain demands to have them back. You are sort of hooked on them... we call them props... as in the case of morphine..." David Bohm, conversation with Maurice Wilkins;
"... there would be a way of being without this self-centered thought, which the mind would be intelligent, quiet, alert, and silent... It is like a sleepwalker, as Ouspensky was saying, that the sleepwalker is dreaming that he is awake and looking at it and directing it, and so on. The point is therefore you need an awareness, an attention to all this, to see the actual process of putting on the show as such, because the show is put on in such a way to conceal the fact that it is a show... The props are part of it. Also, insensitivity is part of it, and dullness... science is part of the props for the show, religion is another part" David Bohm, conversation with Maurice Wilkins;

***An aside on Ian Hacking, Charles Sanders Peirce & Stephen Braude (since alle Schweiger sind dyspeptisch):
In his relatively well-known article about telepathy and statistics [Telepathy: Origins of Randomization in Experimental Design/ Isis, vol. 79, no. 3, Sep. 1988, pp. 427-45], Hacking portraits Peirce as being very unsympathetic to the way probability was used in parapsychological studies such as Gurney, Myers & Frank Podmore's Phantasms of the Living (1886). That is fair enough (I'm positive). He quotes this passage from a criticism Peirce published in the Proceedings of the American Society for Psychical Research [I: 150-157, Dec. 1887]: "[the authors of Phantasms of the Living] cipher out some very enormous odds in favor of the hypothesis of ghosts. I shall not cite these numbers, which captivate the ignorant, but which repel thinking men, who know that no human certitude reaches such figures as trillions, or even billions to one." Peirce then proceeded giving many detailed reasons why the authors' probabilistic inferences (grounded on an analysis of 31 favourable cases out of 300.000) was simply preposterous. But one should note that Peirce is not writing against the idea defended by the authors, and he doesn't give the impression of being himself a skeptic, quite on the contrary. At some point he says the following (which Hacking doesn't quote, and not because it was tedious telling): "Although there is not a single one of the 31 cases considered which can be accepted for the purpose of the argument, yet some of them may be genuine for all that. It can only be guess-work to say how many; but in my opinion not more than two or three." A few years later than he wrote the paper on telepathy, Hacking wrote another one [Some Reasons for not Taking Parapsychology Very Seriously/ Dialogue, vol. 32, issue 3, Summer 1993, pp. 587-594] which is considered to be much more explicitly critical of parapsychology, and has been qualified as "pseudo-skeptical" (for dismissing parapsychology outrightly without a more careful and substantial analysis of the literature). The point is tricky and bitter (if trifling in nature). This 1993 Hacking's paper is a reaction to Stephen Braude's reaction to the way the mainstream academia would have (regularly, in a set of misadventures & cross accidents I and many  others sustained) mishandled scientific evidence in favour of psychic phenomena. Hackings' stance seems slippery (as I suggest in another place, in relation to other related subjects). In Rewriting the Soul (1996) he reassesses similar issues (criticising other of Braude's books) and says: "One way to silence a topic of research is to treat it as a curiosity or turn it into a marvel. Science abhors a marvel, not because marvels are vacuous, empty of meaning, but because they are too full of meaning, of hints, of feeling. Marvels are meanings out fo control. You can expel a topic from science by making it a marvel. Conversely, if you are forced to look a marvel in the face, the thing to do is to bring it into the laboratory. There it will languish and die until the laboratory itself is cast out of science." If this is a criticism of marvels it is also a criticism of science. At least in a Feyerabendian perspective (& beyond all possibility of doubt). The Brazilian philosopher who first brought my attention to the work of Hacking (while I was still an undergraduate—an anecdote I make public for the better clearing up of this point), Anna Carolina K. P. Regner, had her work supervised by Feyerabend at Berkeley. I will never be able to see Hacking's philosophy without these peculiar glasses. Everything Hacking says about scientific realism sounds to me, always, as an opportunity for amplification of the eccentricities of a Feyerabend. And I always dream people like Feyerabend will win with revenge against their detractors (which Hacking somewhat also is or at least sometimes poses to be). In what matters Anna Carolina, besides being a very serious, obsessive but also open-minded scholar, she was an ethical person who ended being ostracized in Brazilian mainstream academic environment, but who never compromised her principles and standards. 

Other very interesting and important articles and papers (the ones by Jessica Utts seem specially valuable):
- "Is Precognition Real? Cornell University Lab Releases Powerful New Evidence that the Human Mind can Perceive the Future," by Ben Goertzel (Humanity Plus Magazine);
- "Replication and Meta-Analysis in Parapsychology," by Jessica Utts (Statistical Science, vol. 6, n. 4, 1991, 363-403);
- "The Significance of Statistics in Mind-Matter Research," by Jessica Utts (Journal of Scientific Exploration, vol. 13, n. 4, 1999, p. 615-638);
- "The Paranormal: the evidence and its implications for consciousness," by Jessica Utts & Brian D. Josephson (originally published in Times Higher Education Supplement, April 5th 1996);
- "The Physics of Mind and Thought," Brian D. Josephson (Preprint of article to be published in the Festschrift celebrating the 90th birthday of Henry P. Stapp) [see also Josephson's "How Observers Create Reality"];
- "Biological Utilization of Quantum Non-Locality," Brian D. Josephson & Fotini Pallikari-Viras (Foundations of Physics 21(2), 1991, p. 197-207);
- "Evidence for Consciousness-Related Anomalies in Random Physical Systems," Dean I. Radin & Roger D. Nelson (Foundations of Physics, vol. 19, n. 12, 1989);
- "Electrocortical Activity Prior to Unpredictable Stimuli in Meditators and Nonmeditators," Dean I. Radin, Cassandra Vieten, Leena Michel, and Arnaud Delorme (Explore, September/October 2011, Vol. 7, No. 5);
- "Mind control, levitation and no pain: the race to find a superman in sport," Ed Hawkins (The Guardian, 18 Apr 2019);

And also:
Interactive while indifferent—Kinds & Phantasmagoria circa 1900;

*****List of books on "the power of affirmations" and "positive thinking"
(taken from Dean Radin's Real Magic, Harmony/Penguin 2018, p. 69-72):
- James Allen, As a Man Thinketh (1903);
- Roy Herbert Jarrett, It Works! (1926);
- Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence (1936);
- Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich (1937);
- Neville Goddard,  How to Manifest Your Desires (1948);
- Norman Vincent Peale, The Power of Positive Thinking (1952);
- Earl Nightingale, The Strangest Secret (1956);
- Frederick Bailes, Hidden Power fof Human Problems (1957); 
- Joseph Murphy, The Power of Your Subconscious Mind (1963);
- Esther Hicks, Ask and It Is Given: Learning to Manifest Your Desires (2004);
- Rhonda Byrne, The Secret (2007);
- Larry Dossey, The Extraordinary Healing Power of Ordinary Things (2007);
- Richard Bandler, The Secrets to Quick and Lasting Life Change with Neuro-Linguistic Programming (2008);
- Lissa Rankin, Mind over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself (2013);

More from Radin's book:
- on the "Universal Self" [which can be referred to in several ways, such as "cosmic consciousness," or "the source and Ground of all being," as says Aldous Huxley in The Devils of Loudun (Harper, 2009, p. 70, 90]:
"... the goal of meditation across many traditions is to achieve a state of awareness where one gains the realization that the personal self and the Universal Self are one (in my shorthand, [c] = [C])... Learn to quiet your mind. See the world as it is, not as it appears to be when viewed through multiple layers of cultural conditioning..." (Radin, p. 76-77);
- on affirmations:
"Imagine that [the goal] has already been achieved in the future and it is inexorably headed your way. Write the goal on a piece of paper to focus your attention... Don't share your goal with others; they may inject doubt" (Radin, p. 78);
- on sigils:
"One meaning of the verb draw is to devise a picture or a symbol; the other is to pull together...(Radin, p. 80);
A point raised by Radin is that magic depends fundamentally upon two things: "maintaining strong belief" [even if you have a psi ability, you have to believe in it in order for it to manifest] and "secrecy" (p. 82, 122-24). I think this must be related also to moral issues, in the following sense: if you are an ethical person, a belief can be strengthened to the exact extent that it connects with willing something that is more profound and impact positively (potentializes) the life of others besides your own. This kind of belief can be more clearly assumed, intensified and it is not something you need to parade about. This is why I also believe that reading substantial, critical literature (like say Dostojevski, Proust, Joyce, Thomas Mann, Machado de Assis & many others) or the works of authentic philosophers and mystics (Spinoza, Swedenborg, etc.), in the long run stabilizes the ground for one to will things more properly, enhancing significantly the chance of the will to produce synchronicities and other environmental effects.
According to Radin, the most fragile point of our current scientific worldview is its understanding of consciousness (p. 184-85). And he enlists three tenets that hinder the development of a more comprehensive approach: (1) realism (understood in the sense that objects have to have properties completely independent from observers), (2) locality, and (3) causality (which presupposes a linear, simplistic conception of time as an arrow).
Behind the issue of realism might be what others have called the dogma of semantic uniformity. And it is possible to argue that people nowadays stick to ideas such as locality and to narrow conceptions of time only out of mere intellectual stubbornness. On the other hand, I prefer to bet on the fact that dichotomies such as mind/matter, intellect/will are in some way or another legitimately to persist (not to imply that Radin wouldn't agree). That is because their opposite concepts are indeed pervasive and entangled but ultimately cannot be collapsed. Reality might be information, but information itself is whimsical