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Friday, August 20, 2010

Intellectual Eugenics

Einstein's famous quote, "Imagination is more important than knowledge" could fit in a lot of instances. One way that it fits is to use imaginations in persuasion. Imaginations are designed to simulate situations before being tested to reduce harms and make smart decisions. For example it is your first field in a mountainous or a forest. Though you have never been to mountain or forest but you have heard, read or watched videos about and based on your these knowledge basis you will use your imaginations for upcoming situations. You prepare yourself accordingly. Though your imaginations can't simulate the exact situations but it helps you to be prepared for them. As much you braoden your knowledge base and imagine well you be more prepared and have a secure trip and also have fun.

This is a good part of imaginations. We have used and relied so heavily on our imaginations that sometimes we take them as real. Let me elaborate this. You take math class and your teacher solve math problems and make a lot of propositions by proving them through imaginary scenarios that you become habitual to them and you no longer question them.

All these propositions are based on definition. Once you accept a defination, you make another definition based on first one and create a chains of definitions. It is really intimidating and a lot of people do not dare to question them. They accept them as rational.

This is an unfortunate use of rationality and imaginations. It is even more unfortunate when it is used politically or due to personal prejudices to attack, cultures, religions and social gains. Often people become the victims of these kinds of misuse of imaginations and rationality just because they born in a particular race, religion, cultural or social conditions.

Individuals who use rationality to promote their political or personal prejudices try to create intellectual monopoly by using imaginative definitions and a chain of them to persuade people. I look to these efforts as "intellectual Eugenics".

Just in early few decades of last century, some people thinking that they are doing science by favoring a race against other. Later, genetics proved that no all races have harmful gene mutations and also beneficial gene mutations.

Now, people who advocate that only their position is ultimate truth and all other positions are irrational and should be stopped is an effort of intellectual eugenics. Most unfortunate is that some people do it by name of Science and Philosophy.

To me, intellectual plurity is needed for evolution of logic and rationality and it make us able to distinguish natural evidences from imaginary definitions.

Let me know if you have a different take on th issue. I would like to hear it.

Who deserve your time?

If we accept this phrase that, "time is money" then few interesting aspects usage of time is pops up to mind.
- From political perspective, money is power and you can't give power to your opponents.
- From business perspective, money attracts money and you can't waste it. You have to invest it.
- From philanthropic perspective, money can change the lives and you have to give it to those who deserve it.
- From individualistic perspective, money can buy you anything and it is the engine of success. A wise use of money is your insurance to successful, healthy and happy life. 
- From religious perspectives, money is opportunities that God have given you and you can't waste them. You will be judged for opportunities that have been prvoided to you.

We can extend our analogy of money and time to other aspects of life also but I think the mentioned propositions are enough to have clear understanding of usage of time.

In relations to fellow human there is two clear aspects of usage of time. First, you may use you are spending your time with individuals who know more than you like teachers, mentors, creative people, parents and professionals. Here you are investing your time for your future. In Secondly, you are spending your time with individuals who need your time like your students, children and family and people in need. These are the people who deserve your time. It is a philanthropic usage of time.

Unofortunate wasting of time comes through cultural transmissions. Just as some people waste their money (they may need it seriously) by smoking and spending money on things that they don't need like buying movie characters costumes, etc. Similarly, people waste their time with people that really don't deserve their time just because of cultural transmissions. Youth regularly hear expressions like bold and shy or confident and shy. It is more conceptual than real (I may discuss it on another blog about essence). Due to these cultural transmission, youth (both boys and girls) spend their time with individuals for no clear purpose in name of fun and spending time doing strange things just to prove that they are bold.

It is really unfortunate and these kinds of individuals need help as they don't have an independant mind to judge who are they and where to spend their time. They think from other people's perspective. I really feel sorry when I see these youths who realize very late that they did mistakes in spending their times just under cultural influences.

I would say again that time is life and life couldn't be equal by money. Your present is becoming part of past where you can't go so it is really necessary to use time wisely and smartly.

If you have a different perspective let me know. I like to hear them.

Shelter of rationality for morons

In philosophical perspective, we are living in post modern era but everybody is not post modernist.  I would say that this division always existed but in our time people became conscious of this division and are making allainces intentionally in either camp. OK, what are these two camps. I would say skeptics and non-skeptics. Skeptics are post-modernist and non-skeptics are modernist. It is roughly equal to traditional division of political thought in USA, as conservative and democrates but it is not. To me, dividing people broadly in these two camps are looking the world and people in black and white and it is a senseless judgment just like judgment of computers.
To me, exteremism is the signature of morons. Individuals who divide people in these two camps based on their black and white view of world are morons who believe firmly in their super intelligence and think of themselves more rational thinkers than anybody else.

Now that we got a general overview of what we mean by post-modernist or  post-modern skeptics (Individuals with 2 characteristics: black and white world view, firm belief in their rational thinking), we can enter in discussion,

Evolution of human intellect has a chronology. You can trace it out through recorded history. Today, the treasure of rationality, reasoning, logic and sciences that we have are the result of collective contribution of human civilization in both East and West. As human societies progress they rely more and more on human intellect but still times comes in parts of world when exteremist forces slow down the pace of human intellect.

To me, exteremism is a coin of firm belief with head of skeptics and tail of non-skeptics. They both claim to be true but the fact of matter they both escape from single question, whether they understand or not? Let's take the exmaple of contrpvery between evolutionist and creationist. Creationist firmly believe that evolution is not occured and evolutionist firmly believe that evolution has happened. Both these two camps trying hard to prove their position, escaping from fact whether they understand evolution or not?

To me, time and timing is the biggest fact or I would say the mother of facts. What does it mean? It means we couldn't be totally skeptic and similarly totally certain. As time passes we learn and discover and our thoughts and ideas become more coherent but coherence and more understanding still do not make us totally certain or skeptic. We all always in the middle and it is why we use certain levels of thinking and rethinking to increase our understanding. We make logical explanations (hypotheses) and look for evidences or testing them by experiments (evaluation) and draw conclusions (make our understanding more coherent). It doesn't put us in a position to claim that we understand it but it doesn't put in position that we say we are not sure. It is neither skepticism not non-skepticism. It is a natural process that fit the functioning of our brain.

Our brain works in two ways. It receives information by our senses (evidences and experiments) and analyse these information (logical explanations). Our concepts or world views are the result of combination of these two processes. Working out of this combination is exteremism. Before, I go further in discussion I wanted to remind you that both our senses and thinking processes have limitations so accepting these limitations make us more realist.

Using the word, 'moron" is really offensive and inappropriate and I acknowledge that there are a lot of smart, wise and sincere people among both skeptics and non-skeptics and I am really respectful to them. I use this word not for anybody and it has just a symbolic usage to stress that individuals who escape from open debates and justify their position just by insulting others need our help.

Still there are people who do not have their own judgments and are just in either camp because those camps use words like rationality, logic, reasoning or attach themselves to science. These kinds of people join either camp just because it feels good or secure. These kinds of people also need help because they use rationality as a shelter.

Let me know your opinion......

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Practical Realism and Creativity

How you look to your world is very important to know your position in this world. If you look it as a world where everybody is struggling for their survival then world will look to you as a dangerous place where everybody is struggling to climb or move to higher classes. As you move to next class you get more surety of living longer. If you have this concept of world then you may proudly call yourself a realist. You may love to think successful people as businessmen, politicians and professionals as most realist people. Yes that is true but it is everybody think. I mean it is really a common thought and if you are following this thought you may work really hard, get some position and a decent life style and then? Yes and then you will find that millions of people are as realist as you are. I think it is as wise as somebody buys a life insurance.  In case you dies of an accident, somebody will get a check otherwise you have wait for a decade or longer to get a check. You work hard to have a secure future. It is wise and but it is basic that everybody must do.

If practical realism is an insurance to decent life style and steady progress then what is the problems?

Problem comes from Freudian concept of consciousness or in modern terms psycho-analytic concept of consciousness. You may disagree with Sigmund Freud a lot but this part of his concept beautifully explains the hesitations that people have of using their imaginations.

According to Freud's concept of consciousness, individuals actively suppress the ideas or memories that is disturbing for them.

Now by having Freud's concept in mind, if you have a strictly practical realist concept of world, a lot of ideas and memories become disturbing to you and you will try to suppress them.  Let me give you a scenario that is common to all of us.

In our present conditions, we all are much better from a lot of better in financial terms, health, education and social status but certainly a lot of people are much better in some these aspects than us if not all of them.  So, from practical realist concept of world, people who you are much better than give you a soothing idea so your brain nourish them. On other hand, people who are much better than you in some aspects are disturbing ideas and your mind actively try to suppress them.

I am sure that all minds are selective in terms of ideas but suppressing ideas or images of others that are doing much better than you is just a wasting a big and important chunk of imaginations.

You may not accept this argument because you may think of yourself of having an open mind with a vision of learning and appreciating others. It is really nice but let get another example,

Let suppose you had some failures in past or embarrassing moments in past. What your mind do to those memories. Certainly suppress them. But if you could turn these memories into a success or capitalize on them. Would your mind still suppress them? Certainly not. People who stand unique in human history didn't suppress their ideas. Some names are enough to elaborate this concept.

- The world ever greatest conqueror and father of globalization, Genghis Khan used oppressed, brutally victimized and humiliated childhood and early youth age experiences to unite his nation and win over great civilizations of world.

- Babur the founder of Mughal Empire in India, used his experiences of humiliated defeats at his homeland Faghana valley to conquer India.

- Adolf Hitler, Ibraham Lincoln, Ford and Michael Faraday born and raised in poverty and got poor education but turned the course of human history.

- People who actively capitalize on their painful memories are artists and novelists.

What do you think? If these people had a realist world view, would they be able to do such dreamy works?
To me, the world is a network of brains. It seems unrealistic but it is what most of people realize very late. If you look to world as network of brains then you need not to suppress your ideas but have to make a center of best of these ideas to stand unique. Once you start looking to ideas and imaginations as a treasure, then ideas come from either side would be precious. I call the brain as a magic box because it has the capability to surprise you. You just need to appreciate its work.