Self-Recognition.

The ability to recognise oneself is held as a sign of a higher mental ability. It is not strictly limited to humans, elephants & dolphins show this ability for self recognition to some degree. Associated with social complexity, self recognition, as shown above, emerges from distinct species.

You know you are your reflection whilst simultaneously knowing it is only a reflection. Seeing one in what one is not, is a powerful dynamic of the individual and community. It enables vicarious existence; a thrill from victory an Olympic spectator feels, empathic pain brought about by a photograph of suffering, endurance welling up from unreal stoicism. Perhaps this is an essence of altruism.

Identity is created from cogs like these, and maintenance, by scrutinising culture for role models to inspire effort, is a function of a healthy mind. It should be known that positive and negative role models are important. People reach for a perfection beyond humanity, and people fear a cruelty beyond what is possible. Is it easier, when in a foul mood, for effort to come from seeking to avert fulfilment of nightmares?

As one person recognise them self in something they are fundamentally not, so to does a community. Modern Germany has a great many taboos formed around Nazi Germany. The community knows it was them, and knows it was not them. The imperfection inherent to us all prevents this from being perfectly perceived or completely ignored. As in the time of cavemen it was better to know where the lion prowled than where the flowers bloomed, humanity has a natural pessimism which fills our culture with memes of curses more than blessings. Hopefully it helps those escaped from a real hell that the flames were never as high as the righteous dread.

Latin America, 4-Day Work Week, Climate Change & Capitalism.

Recently the government of Venezuela called for a 4-day work week. This curious fact came to me through openDemocracy. The goal is to reduce power consumption due to low dam levels and reliance on hydro-power, auguring rolling blackouts as a near immediate occurence. Regardless, a 4-day work week is a goal worth working towards.

This can be associated with climate change, as rain is an aspect of the climate, and it has changed. Whether this change is due to industrial influence on natural patterns, like the Yellow River running red, or micro-organisms altering the global atmosphere  or a part of a cyclic change, does not get mentioned. Regardless, both sides of the climate debate should agree that we want to stay in the present Ice Age and discuss what to do to achieve this instead of laying the blame.

The Venezuela power crisis has given more momentum to the cause of developing an effective method of power transportation. Advancement in this domain would improve environmental impacts, business costs and industry efficiency. If discovered and disseminated early, it would enable developing nations to move directly to a better civil infrastructure which would be superior to the efficiencies of modern nations.

Forbes hosts an article about this crisis. There is not a single word about a 4-day work week being a reasonable goal of government. It boggles my mind that a reasonable solution to poverty is, & I quote,
“The right way is to give poor people more money so that they can buy whatever it is at that market price.”
Yes, wealth  which enters the economy at the bottom of the socio-economic scale will turn a lot more wheels than wealth which enters at say, the banking sector. However there are surely more effective, easier structural tools of government, such as price fixing, than redistributing wealth from billionaires. Price fixing is ridiculed in the article as a useless economic tool and redistributive taxation is apparently the solution. Market clearing price is mentioned, compare it to price gouging, an effect of monopolies which can form in spite of taxation due to lack of regulation (such as price fixing). Price gouging is not unlikely to occur in the Venezuelan crisis, as it is a common occurrence in times of crisis.

A better tomorrow should be for more to lead the good life, rather than for business to grow. A 4-day work week should be applauded, despite the crisis, and support thought of to make it possible outside of ecological catastrophe &/ socialist stupidity.

This article is indicative of the elite dictating the terms to the many. Business in America can do well, but not without exploiting dollar a day workers (seriously) in Bangladesh. It is well and good to say the rich should give to the poor, even unwillingly so if the government must act with taxation. How though, should the government of Bangladesh move a fraction of the wealth of billionaires, to the local paupers? It speaks of the dystopia of capitalism that a 4-day work week is not a goal, but instead seen as a problem to be ended with laissez-faire markets. As I have said before, a minimum standard should be essential to modern government. As mechanisation, computerisation, and industrial performance advance, it is becoming increasingly possible that the normal standard of work is what the people want it to be, and not what the birth lottery dictates.

A Refutation of Strict Truth-Maker Theory.

A sceptical truth-maker theory holds that for a given statement to be true it must correspond to a state of affairs in physical reality. In an interview with David Millet Armstrong he makes a statement to the effect that, our speech is true when it corresponds to the physical reality, and subjective talk can be qualified as truthful as it relates to our brain patterns of the moment. This cannot be strictly true, without telepathy to test truth of subjectivity.

Let me use an imaginary Mark  as the subject of conversation. Mark says, “I am inspired”. Marks inspirational emotion is only truly knowable to him. An outsider, even one most familiar friend, must rely on historical experience and Marks opinion. If Mark is coerced by a Sicilian Mafia don into a pretence of inspiration, it is possible Marks familiar friend would be unable to validate truth correctly.

Only one brain patter must be known for this statement to be verifiable as truth, however let it be imagined that he is in a fMRI machine, or something similar, and under observation by a researcher with an immense collection of known brain patterns. If he imagines inspiration, so it is a secondary mental experience the first being the act of imagination, would it appear the same as if he immediately felt inspiration?

If time is relevant, and time is always relevant, then each subjective experience arises entirely within each situation. There is no true deja vu, our lives never exactly repeat. So the exact emotional state of Mark when in the fMRI has some elements unique to that moment. Therefore it is not strictly true that his subjective state can be verified in any other way than as it was in that moment, it cannot be shown to be identical as when he was inspired by the Mona Lisa or Bagdavita.

So a relaxed truthmaker theory, to avoid this pitfall of the strict, says that certain things are consistent. Much like apples are not all identical, but there are consistent characteristics. The personal experience of each of us are unique, more so than each moment is unique. I personally, currently, hold subjectivity to be an emergent phenomenon, that it is greater than the sum of its parts and cannot be entirely known or graded as truthful from an inspection of the brain or from speech.

Love & Care, Truth & Respect.

All people, until proven wrong, deserve care & respect. Those who are of our friends, families and those most deserving of prestige draw trust & love from inside of us. Love & care are emotional in a way which trust & respect are not, the latter two are intellectual in a way the first two are not.

Upon meeting a stranger, or when we become aware of a powerful stranger (i.e. police, spy) we ourselves feel secure due to an underlying assumption of care & respect. This may be validated from a number of different authorities, perhaps a Divinity implanted this quality or it is held as fundamental to our social, biological nature. As ones emotions & intellect dictate, what one can expect and what one can offer can rise & fall. How we offer these to ourselves can vary, and it is quite difficult to raise both high and be realistic.

If someone loses care & respect, rightfully or wrongfully, when they meet a stranger who automatically offers them,a beautiful thing occurs. The loser has room for hope, that they are worthy or can become so. Further, that not only the care & respect the other person offers may or is justified, but that more can be achieved, they can become or are worthy of love & trust.

This approach is underpinned by an assumption of love & care existing upon a sliding scale of the same underpinning emotion. Perhaps the underlying emotion could be described as immediate feelings of worth, despite self-doubt or an ugly truth which need not be overcome or re-written. So to, that respect & trust exist upon a sliding scale of the same intellectually assigned value. This could be stated as belief that the other believes that what is good, will be consistent. So to say someone we respect as generous will remain so, that someone we trust will remain honest.

Our minds & body are not separate, nor are our emotions & intellect. Love & trust, care & respect, it is difficult to describe one of these terms without use of the others. I take this to be a sign of the common core of people.

Memento.

A bloody good film. Here’s my alternative to the dominant reading. You can check that out here.

Trusting the film-maker, Leonard Shelby’s condition is legitimate. Teddy is the surviving rapist-killer from the Incident and the psycopathic mastermind. He then learnt that Leonard had anterograde amnesia, and started calling to torment him for sadistic pleasure. Ultimately Teddy began to vicariously live out his own vile fantasies through Leonard. The film documents the end, so when Teddy is killed it is the true fulfilment of Leonard’s one remaining goal.

In the film Leonard speaks to the effect that emotional memories carry over where explicitly clear memories do not. To an extent, this can be rephrased, conscious memories fade where subconscious memories last. Despite this he does not greet Teddy with warmth. The wrong car prank, as well as others, does not result in any visible mood change of Leonard, despite that being a common, subconscious emotional response. A dearth of warmth between Teddy & Leonard is suggested by this pattern.

Teddy learnt about Leonard remembering Sammy in one of the earlier, prior to film events, tormenting conversations. This early memory enabled a greater degree of suffering to be inflicted by Teddy. When Leonard appears as Sammy, in the black & white memory, this is self delusion, repeatedly encouraged by Teddy. It is a dark reflection of the repeated sentence, we all tell ourselves lies to make ourselves happy. Well the lie is one he told himself, driven by darkness within & without. Therefore, knowledge of Leonard’s wife is beyond certainty within the film universe as anything subsequent to the Incident is dubious.

When on the phone, Leonard appears agitated. When he uncovers the “Don’t Answer The Phone” tattoo, he is agitated. Despite having known Teddy for some time, he doesn’t treat him any friendlier than Burt, the hotel clerk. He tells Natalie he is bad on the phone, partially because of the continuing emotional turmoil deliverd via that method by Teddy. The notes on his body, from 1-5 represent kills and are a self scaring act to redeem the guilt carried by his subconscious. When Teddy presents the photo of Leonard on the night he supposedly avenged his wife, it is actually the first time the psychopathic Teddy succeeded in his most perverse fantasy. Once Leonard can properly destroy the record of his ignorant actions, by burning the photo, he executes Teddy, a development which is contingent on the events of the film. The finale, Leonard achieves retribution and destroys the evidence which would see him hold higher responsibility than Teddy.