Friday

sort it out, grilly

i've read too much paul auster recently. really over done it. the first two thirds of 'leviathan' was ok, i made it through 'city of glass' as i'd already read the graphic novel adaptation, and gave up somewhere in 'ghosts' which clearly wasn't going _anywhere_.

then i was reading david bohm's 'wholeness and the implicate order' for the second time - the first time, i'd given up up on each chapter individually in case the next one managed to hold my attention better. none did. this time i went for it full on. i made it through the introduction, the first overview-style chapter, the bizarre second chapter about the 'rheomode' - his invented grammar/language for demolishing the subject-verb-object grammar system and replacing it with an entirely verb orientated one. in the third chapter, he deals with 'reality and knowledge considered as process'. first he separates consciousness into thought and intelligence - thought being mechanistic and intelligence, well, here's what he says:

we have put together all the basic mechanical and conditioned responses of memory under one word or symbol, i.e. thought, and we have distinguished this from the fresh, original and unconditioned response of intelligence (or intelligent perception) in which something new may arise. at this point, however, one may ask: 'how can one know that such an unconditioned response is at all possible?' this is a vast question, which cannot be discussed fully here. however, it can be pointed out here that at least implicitly everybody does in fact accept the notion that intelligence is not conditioned (and, indeed, that one cannot consistantly do otherwise)


oh really, dr bohm? well that sounds pretty religious to me, especially the idea that deep down, people who disagree with you know that you're right. sack it. he continues:

consider, for example, an attempt to assert that all of man's actions are conditioned and mechanical. typically, such a view has taken one of two forms: either it is said that man is basically a product of his hereditary consitution, or else he is determined by environmental factors... evidentally, in both cases (as well as in the case of one who asserted that man is completely controlled by hereditry plus environment) the answer would have to be in the negative, for otherwise the speakers would be denying the very possibility that what they said had could have had any meaning.

and you just can't handle that, can you? the meaninglessness of it all. still, conditioning does not imply a lack of meaning, and it's him that's confusing the matter with that claim. what happened to the 'meaning is inherent in any complex formal system school? and who said that anyway?

furthermore...

...so we see that no-one can avoid implying... that he accepts at least the possibility of that free, unconditioned perception that we have called intelligence


HOW?

now, there is a great deal of evidence indicating that thought is basically a material process. for example, it has been observed in a wide variety of contexts that thought is inseperable from electrical and chemical activity in the brain and nervous system, and from concomitant tensions and movements of muscles. would one then say that intelligence is a similar process, though perhaps of a more subtle nature?
It is implies in the view we are suggesting here that this is not so. if intelligence is to be an unconditioned act of perception, its ground cannot be in structures such as cells, molecules, atoms, elemntry particles, etc.... so, we see that the ground of intelligence must be in the undetermined and unknown flux, that is also the ground of all definable forms of matter.


[citation needed]
that's something you just said, you haven't given any reason for it. no, not 'ah', &c.

i couldn't read the rest of this chapter, and had to skip onto the more solid quantum physics stuff. well, you can't really describe quantum physics as solid... but let's see what happens, i don't expect the earlier stuff in the book to make sense withouth the later... it's that kind of book. but honestly, what a load of rubbish he's been talking. i zone out when reading it, the words just flow straight past my eyes without stopping to make an impression.

next week: why i hate 'stranger in a strange land' by heinlein. hmm, i've just had an idea, i could do something like idiot toys or uk resistance but with books... won't get the same adsense but there you are.
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