AOC on 2020 election

"“I don’t feel entitled to be paid attention to,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said in a recent interview with The New York Times. “But normal Washington politics has a disdain for advocates and activists and grass-roots community organizers. And, you know, we have an opportunity to change that and to really take these people seriously.”

In nominating a candidate without robust support from young people, Democrats are already “playing with precedent,” she added, “because nominees who have not had youth support do not fare well historically in November.”"

how the left created trump

"Herein lies the problem with the left’s “by any means necessary” style of social activism: When any challenge to the prevailing liberal doctrine, cast under the wrong light, can forever cast one as a “racist,” those with dissenting opinions are left with only two options: concede, or retaliate."

from an article on politico

money ≠ happiness

"The real determinants of happiness, as one might have expected, are not economic in nature. As two researchers in the area remark, with some restraint, given the huge increases in material prosperity over the last half century for which robust data exist, ‘the intriguing lack of an upward trend in happiness data deserves to be confronted by economists.’ [Blanchflower & Oswald, 2004, p. 1380]
Perhaps the most remarkable example is that of Japan. In 1958, Japan was one of the poorest countries in the world, comparable with India and Brazil as they then were, with an average income in real terms about one-eighth of that enjoyed in the USA in 1991. Over the last 40 years or more, Japan has enjoyed an astounding, and unprecedented, increase in per capita income, of about 500 per cent in real terms. Yet a repeated finding is that levels of happiness among the Japanese have not changed at all, and the latest data, before the current global economic crisis, showed a slight downturn. [Easterlin, 2005.]"
~ The Master and His Emissary: Iain McGilchrist

phantasmagoria of reductionism

"At the intellectual level [The knowing superiority of reductionism] is brought into focus by the debate about the nature of consciousness. In a bold inversion, Nick Humphrey claims, in his book Seeing Red, that it is those who are sceptical of the idea that we can explain consciousness reductively who are really feeling smug and superior. Such scepticism ‘taps straight into people’s sense of their own metaphysical importance’, he writes, and ‘allows people the satisfaction of being insiders with secret knowledge’. Those are hard claims to refute, and he might have a point. Equally some people might feel that the same charges could be levelled at those neuroscientists who believe in the power of their intellect to reveal the ‘true’ nature of consciousness, of which the rest of us remain ignorant. When one comes to Humphrey’s own explanation of consciousness, one is naturally curious to know what paraphernalia he is going to reveal behind the phantasmagoria. He claims two things. The first is in line with many other accounts of consciousness: that it is the consequence of re-entrant circuits in the brain, creating a ‘self—resonance’. Sensory responses, he writes, ‘get privatised and ‘eventually the whole process becomes closed off from the outside world in an internal loop within the brain a feedback loop. The perfect image of the hermetic world of the left hemisphere: consciousness is the projection of a representation of the world ‘outside’ onto the walls of that closed-off room. His particular contribution in this book, though, is to go further and imagine that a genetic development occurred whose ‘effect is to give the conscious Self just the extra twist that leads the human mind to form an exaggeratedly grandiose view of its own nature’. The self and its experience ‘becomes reorganized precisely so as to impress the subject with its out-of-this-world qualities’. If ‘those who fall for the illusion, tend to have longer and more productive lives’, then evolution has done its work. The sense we have of consciousness, then, as hard to get to the bottom of is just a ‘deliberate trick’ played by the ‘illusionist’ in our genes, to make us better at surviving.
One could point out that, while this certainly might offer a sort of explanation of way consciousness, with its sense of something beyond our grasp (what Humphrey describes as its ‘out-of-this-world’ qualities), exists as it does, it gets no nearer to what, or what sort of a thing it is, or how it comes about — thus tending to confirm the sceptic’s view. But that is to set the bar rather high, since nobody has ever got near to explaining what consciousness is, despite references to re-entrant circuits, positive feedback, mental representations that are illusions, and gene wizardry. His attempt to discount our intuition that there might be something here that lies beyond what materialism alone can account for is definitely ingenious. As a strategy for accommodating a mind- boggling difficulty into the existing paradigm without having actually to alter the paradigm, it is in fact spectacular. In that respect, it reminds one of the explanation given by Philip Gosse, the Victorian father of marine biology and a biblical Fundamentalist, for the existence of fossils in rock dating back millions of years, long before, according to the Bible, living things had been created. They were, he said, suggestions of life that never really existed, put there by God to test our faith. As with Gosse’s explanation, it’s hard to know what sort of evidence might be allowed to count against Humphrey’s belief, though similarly his account might give rise to some incredulity in more sceptical minds."
~ The Master and His Emissary: Iain McGilchrist


“The trend in criticism towards a superiority born of the ability to read the code is perhaps first seen in the culture of psychoanalysis, which, writes Sass, claims to reveal ‘the all-too- worldly sources of our mystical, religious, or aesthetic leanings, and to give its initiates a sense of knowing superiority’. It is closely allied to all forms of reductionism. Reductionism, like disengagement, makes people feel powerful.

The knowing superiority of reductionism is also clear in modern scientific discourse. Reductionism is an inescapable consequence of a purely left-hemisphere vision of the world, since the left hemisphere sees everything as made up from fundamental building blocks, the nature of which is assumed to be obvious, or at least knowable in principle in isolation from whatever it is they go to make up. Its model is simple, and it has ramified into popular culture, where it has been adopted unrefelectively as the ‘philosophy’ of our age. Within that culture it has had a corrosive effect on higher values, inducing a sort of easy cynicism, and encouraging a mechanistic view of the human.”
~ The Master and His Emissary: Iain McGilchrist

Geothe and Evolution

"In the first part of the book, I referred to the German so-called ‘idealist’ philosophers of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and therefore of the Romantic age, and their View that one had to combine reason with imagination, system- building with perception of individuality, consistency with contradiction, analysis with a sense of the whole. What is striking is the degree of enthusiasm for, and active participation in, science that they had exhibited. Goethe is another conspicuous example: in fact he believed his scientific work to be more important than his poetry. With his discovery in 1784 of the intermaxillary bone in the human foetal skull, a vestigial remnant of a bone to be found in the skull of apes and thought to be missing in humans, he demonstrated to his own satisfaction, long before Darwin, that all living things were related and that their forms evolved from the same stem."
~ The Master and His Emissary: Iain McGilchrist

romantic poem

Chidiock Tichborne’s ‘Elegy’:
The spring is past, and yet
it hath not sprung,
The fruit is dead, and yet
the leaves are green,
My youth is gone, and yet I
am but young,
I saw the world, and yet I
was not seen,
My thread is cut, and yet it
was not spun,
And now I live, and now my
life is done.