Welcome back, friends, to my audio rantings. This time around, we’re doing something fairly small and modest ie; solving all the problems of humanity through philosophical contemplation.

Our first step is slower and smaller, as I explain what I’m doing and what I’ve been doing, but they’ll get faster, bigger, deeper, and weirder, in short order.

podcast page here

Direct download: tps1.SolveEV.mp3

and since we’re talking about him a little bit, here is pierre grimes lecturing on  a style of buddhist contemplation that mirrors some of what I’m using.

I’ve also got a new, streamlined, tip jar up in the top left corner, as well as the usual one on my podcast page. If anyone is feeling generous, baby jesus will give you merit badges, and deck chairs next to the lake of fire.

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7 thoughts on “The Philosopher’s Stone: part 1/8- Solve Everything

  1. Huh, interesting. While listening, I came to associate this with a period from a few years ago, when I was around 15.

    I got introduced to a group of people who were – to be quite frank – a bunch of nut jobs. They had all sorts of ideas about demons and spirits and gods and whatnot, that were expressed in various degrees of delusion.

    Suffering from underdeveloped faculties of critical thinking, I wound up joining in on this belief system (or perhaps I should say these belief systems, as it was really a conglomeration of each individuals’ take on the themes involved).

    The parallels I drew from here are pretty simple. In much the same way as believing that you are undeserving of existence will fuck you up badly, and leave you ill-equipped for making steps forward, it’s really hard to reconcile the idea that you know some secret spirit world where the business of gods is conducted with living an average life of doing pretty much the same mundane things every day.

    I think this could well be a quite normal developmental phase, at whatever point it occurs. A relatively unsophisticated and immature mind latches on to some idea that is so remote from its immediate environment that sooner or later, it begins to break down under the strain.

    At which point it has two choices (barring simply giving up to psychological pain, which most people won’t do). You can either genuinely step into whatever delusional idea you had going, and start to act your part in it, or you can get the fuck out while you still can. The latter seems to be mostly a matter of – as you were also saying – confronting the false ideations of self that have built up around the idea. Once those are down, you’re free to get on with your business.

    Point being: while it’s really sad to observe from the outside, I think it can add up to a very important – and certainly positive – learning experience if it’s resolved in the right way. Let’s just hope it will be. The other plausible outcomes don’t seem very promising to me, at least.

    And there it was.

  2. certainly. and part of the point of all this, is that the mind is always throwing up these blocks and tangents so we can examine them in relation to our goals. we lose ourselves in a false image and emerge from it, if only temporarily. there just seems to be a general ignorance of what the mind is doing and how to work with it.

  3. Well. The world’s a big place, and we are young.

    Anyone with any kind of expertise that is at least somewhat relevant to people’s everyday lives will notice, if they’re observant, that people who lack this expertise are often completely ignorant of even the basic points therein.

    Especially in relation to the humanities, as these areas concern so much of human everyday experience, you’ll notice a bunch of people chugging around huge clumps of undigested bullshit, simply because they lack the time, energy or will to examine it.

    Not that this doesn’t occur elsewhere. But most people talk less about quantum physics than they do about psychology, sociology and history.

    The stuff you’ve been doing on here is obviously firmly lodged in various forms of psychology and spiritualism and whatnot. In short: things most people who aren’t experts of some degree on those particular fields don’t know anything about.

    If they would just all look themselves in the mirror and say ‘fuck you – you deserve to die!’, I bet most of them would be extremely disturbed and snap out of it after some cathartic neurosis.

    But before they can do that, they need to see that there’s even an issue. Your transmissions probably help some.

    …When did I become an optimist?

  4. This is perhaps tangentially related at best, but the one thing I find amazing about myself, is just how much time and energy I invest in pretending that I cannot see my own cognitive boundaries. “There is no man behind the curtain, move along, nothing to see”, which all well and good, except that at a certain point you see that there is nothing behind the curtain except your own delutions.

    Anyway, I look forward to seeing how you approach this.

    Thanks.

  5. No, that’s pretty much exactly what it’s about. How you can know, and yet not know, at the same time, and somehow not notice that you’re doing it. It’s a big chunk of what the second part delves into,and almost certainly beyond that.

  6. Salutations,

    I have been listening to your podcasts for a little while now as my husband plays them around the apartment. He encouraged me to offer you some feedback on your most recent endeavors. We are both attending college and have noticed in our classmates some of the attitudes and fallacies that you bring up. We both started at a public high school and then went to community college and transfered to the state school. I have a few ideas about the conditions that contribute to the hopelessness of my peers from my own experiences.

    More and more students in public high school are not being exposed to the source materials of the subjects they study. If they test high enough, they can have the privilege of studying source materials in an AP (advanced placement for college credit) class, but it is coupled with 4-6 hours of additional homework a night. As you can imagine, only a few students have the resources and parental support to do this, but many more students than those that can be in AP would benefit from reading and discussing the sources in a normal level class. Instead these students get to read textbooks like the ones coming out of Texas right now. The humanities are brought to these kids in a filtered form, presented as rote fact, and carefully void of any material that would allow for the development of a critical, let alone humanist, perspective about literature and history. Since they can’t be trusted with the details that show the roots of current crises in the world, they try and formulate explanations based exclusively on personal experience.

    For instance, some of the theories I have noticed revolve around the current issues surrounding immigration. From their inability to find meaningful, or even life-sustaining employment, young people entering the job market speculate that immigration is draining the economy of entry level jobs. From the continued presence of interethnic violence between groups that are still cut off from economic development, they speculate that other peoples present in the US do not want to honor the ideas that our country is based on. Since they don’t know what NAFTA or the IMF is, they blame the people with problems as the cause of them and begin perpetuating the just world fallacy into another generation.

    If and when they get to college level classes, they are presented with small snippets of source material, but by this point they are already at the beginning of embracing social darwinism. They are critical of academics as not having any experiences related to theirs. When they fail to learn how to reason out either support or rejection of the ideas they are presented with, they blame their teachers for grading them based on opinions and the infiltration of the liberal agenda into higher education. Additionally, popular science figures in the media proclaiming the doubt that humanity will progress leads to a sense of apathy about the future. As an example, I point to Hawking’s recent opinions about the future of human space travel and colonization; both whether it can be accomplished and if it is even a good idea.

    The good news is that in class you can get people to hear you about things like this and they are usually willing to listen their classmates as trustworthy, so you can seed some meaningful discussions. Please continue to highlight these issues on your podcast, I will be listening.

    Sincerely,
    A Coconspirator

    P.S. Calc 1 is presented very poorly in most texts, but Calc 2 and 3 make it come together. So stick with it and I would be happy to try and answer any of your questions (I major in Physics and Applied Mathematics)

  7. I must say, it’s always rather strange for me to hear about the circumstances that people listen to my stuff. people play them at parties, on their college radio stations, on the bus to work, and hell knows where else. I mean, I have the stats for how many of them get out there, but the actual stories are always interesting.

    I think you’re probably right in terms of source materials. young people these days end up having to re-invent the wheel if they want to develop sophisticated views. it’s easier to fall into this malaise of pessimism, relativism, neo-malthusian hysteria, anti-humanism, even outright nihilism, than to admit that you need to do some reading before you’ll have some original thoughts.

    at the end of the day, I think people adopt views that fit the way they feel, which is a whole other issue right there, namely that you should let your feelings determine what you think is factual reality, or what is a logically sound course of action.

    re: calculus- it wasn’t too bad. it was just sucking up so much of my time I couldn’t keep the GPA I wanted and still stay sane. I didn’t quite have the study habits down in my first semester, but I think it will be much easier second time around.

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