The purpose-less ground of purpose

There is a sense in which people think nature is stupid.

They think a huge mistake was made when nature spawned man and that man is now going to turn around and destroy nature.

“Obviously” they say “nature doesn’t want that!”

But nature doesn’t mind what happens. All this stuff springs up and passes away. For no reason.

Sometimes reasons spring up. They have their day and when they are fulfilled puff they go like everything else.

Sometimes they don’t even get fulfilled they just get forgotten. It doesn’t matter; the same event happens to the fulfilled as well as the unfulfilled purpose eventually.

But nature, the tao, god or whatever sign you want doesn’t mind what happens.

What we’ve done when we say nature is stupid is separated a small part of nature from the rest and then attributed to it humanity.

We have made an image of a bit of nature we call earth and said it cares about going on as it is and it’s stupid because it has brought about it’s own destruction by giving birth to man.

But there are other planets.

There is the universe.

Really it’s an expression of our own fear for survival.

We want nature to be on our side. So we attribute to it our own interests.

If God has a master plan
That only He understands
I hope it’s your eyes He’s seeing through

As depeche mode put it.

We call nature stupid because it isn’t fulfilling the purposes we want it to have; because it has no purposes.

It’s just stuff happening.

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The real issue

Essentially what is happening with privatization is not the abolishment of the state.

Rather it is a change in how people get into positions where they can have power over how the state is run.

Basically people are saying that rich people would be a better bet than elected people.

They aren’t really saying anarchy at all. They’re just dogs who want to change the man who holds the leash.

Of course the current state of affairs is rubbish.

It allows a small group of people to amass for themselves what everyone else wants and with that to either buy elected people or train people to be elected.

Which is why we need to tackle that issue.

People say us lefties have no real solutions.

We do.

Do to the work place what we did to the government.

Swap corporations and agencies for co-ops.

Instead of 1 share (basically one lot of money) for 1 vote on who gets to make decisions in a company. Make it one worker 1 vote.

Exchange shareholders for stakeholders thus taking away one means by which the rich disproportionately enrich themselves.

It’s not the final solution but if there was one thing, one simple thing we could change to most effectively make things better quicker it would be that.

I actually think us on the left have made a huge mistake in going for equal rights between women and men and people of different races.

Not that I think they are unequal.

But that I think they all result from the basic form of exploitation in the workplace.

By going for those issues we have made ourselves battle on many fronts. Where if we tear down one inequality more subtle and worse forms of inequality arise.

I don’t give a fuck what colour, race or sex you are I want all of us to be paid what we really earn and to have an equal say in how work is organized and the products of Labour distributed.

That is the only issue.

The issue behind all the issues.

Do you even know what you are arguing for or against

Question:
What is communism?

Another question:
What is capitalism?

Another question:
What is Marxism?

Now you can go out and buy books on these things.

You can school yourself on them.

You can learn the arguments for and against.

Then compare the theory to the practice.

Practice often fails because we are dealing with the issue of playing against yourself at chess. You always cheat.

So the practice of any of these systems (And there are good and bad examples on both sides. There are Hitlers on the side of capitalism and Maos on the communist side) is no criticism of the system itself.

Unless that is you can derive the bad practice from the logic of the system itself.

I mean people claim to support capitalism but they don’t know who Adam Smith is or hayek… they literally don’t have a clue what they are supporting.

And they say communism is bad but haven’t read any Marx or Engels.

They have no grasp of the theory.

Therefore their opinion is as worthless as my opinion concerning cars.

My knowledge extends to saying “that is a blue car”.

They are like I would be if I advised you on the relative benefits of a turbo over a turbo charger.

I don’t know the difference but a turbo is better.

Employment is slavery cont.. .

When you are employed you create a certain amount of value every hour you work.

But you don’t get that value. You get a percentage of it and your employer gets the rest.

The employers are the shareholders.

Like the slave owners they do nothing and reap the profits.

Where do you think profit comes from?

It is the value the worker creates above and beyond his wage.

Now say that the product you make in an hour is sold for $20 and you get $7.50 for that hour.

That means that for 3/4s of that hour you are working for nothing.

What is slavery if it isn’t working… exerting Labour for someone else’s benefit and not your own.

I mean you can call a chicken a fish if you want but if it clucks and it’s got feathers it’s a chicken.

Now at the beginning of capitalism they tried all sorts of ways to get people to work for longer hours.

Because the more hours you work the more money you make for your employer.

So they thought if they increased the wage the employee would work longer for a greater reward.

What they found was that the employee worked less. He worked enough to maintain his level of life.

I’m getting that from Weber’s “Protestantism and the capitalist…” I forget the title lol.

Anyway they found that the only way to get the worker to work long hours was to keep him at subsistence level.

To insure he never reached financial security.

Don’t you see that the slave owners didn’t go away. They just bought the political system and put on a pretty mask.

Employement is slavery.

I’m not backing the claim that anyone is property.

Property is a fiction maintained by might.

But people who believe the fiction believe that their property is an extension of themselves therefore they look after it.

Like within the current worldsystem instead of slaves (property) we generally have employees.

The employees are very often exploited to the same degree as slaves.

But the employer unlike the slave owner doesn’t look after them as well.

Because the slave owner would see the slaves as an investment that decreases in value with bad treatment.

Whereas the employer don’t give a fuck.

When an employee is used up he just hires a new one.

A bit like how you would treat a car you bought compared to a car you rent.

Essentially the difference between a slave and an employee is the difference between owning and renting.

Oh and that employment is a much more subtle form of exploitation.

People think that all because they can choose who to slave for they are not slaves for some reason.

I still prefer my employment over slavery though.

I just think all forms of exploitation need to stop if humanity is to have any hope for the future.

Could robots ever have emotions?

Would the emotions expressed by a robot ever be “real”?

To get at this question we first have to take a look inside ourselves to see what happens when we experience and express emotion. Look under the hood so to speak and see what’s going on.

Now to do this I don’t think we need to have some special form of access say to the brain. We don’t need any other form of knowledge or experience than what is universally available to everyone by virtue of the fact that as humans we all have emotions.

So here’s my description of what happens when I experience emotions.

There is a circumstance or event that happens. When I become aware of this event and if I care about the constituents of the event I experience gladness, regret, excitement etc.

Now how do I know I am experiencing an emotion? What is it that informs me of this?

Very often it is a change in my heart rate, a feeling in my belly or just a general change in the tone of my experience.

A spring to my step or a falling feeling in the stomach.

Why I feel what I feel or rather why I interpret the sensation as either a positive or negative emotion isn’t as immediately available as the immediate experience of the emotion so I am compelled to generate a theory.

The theory that makes most sense to me is that our preference is the determining factor behind how I interpret my emotion.

If I want the outcome of the event it is good; if I don’t want the outcome of the event it is bad.

Why do i prefer what I prefer? I don’t know is the simple answer.

The best narrative to use to understand preferences is that of programming.

The only difference between my preferences and a computers programming is that I was programmed by nature and the computer was programmed by man.

Now to the robot.

Some people will say “a robot cannot have real emotions because it is just programmed to do what it does.”

That is to say that when event x happens the robot’s programming tells it to express so and so emotion.

How would the robot be told this?

There may be a certain transistor that turns on or a group of transistors that turn on in a specific pattern.

I don’t really know enough about computers to know how but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that some form of a signal will tell the robot how to act.

Well what is the difference between the physiological changes that occur to my body that tell me I am angry and the signal that tells the robot how to act?

I mean anger is the physiological changes accompanied by my interpretation of them.

The robot has both of these characteristics. There is a signal and programming that tells the robot how to interpret the signal. The signal acts as a result of external stimuli.

Don’t you see that this narrative is a perfectly adequate narrative for what happens to us when we experience emotions?

You may say that the robot isn’t conscious. I won’t go into that claim here but say it isn’t.

So what?

Consciousness is present in all of our experiences. And emotion is one of those.

You are not always angry. You are not always conscious.

Does consciousness need to be present for emotion? I think not.

Consciousness is a kind of emptiness. A space for stuff to happen in and for and to. As such the stuff happening to consciousness would still be happening if consciousness were not aware of it.

Your breath is a perfect example of this.

Really this issue is the result of a false dichotomy we have drawn between nature and man. Real and artificial.

Man is a continuation of nature. He is nature.

If the products of human activity are not natural than neither are termite mounds.

It seems reasonable to assume that anything man produces will share some very basic and fundamental features with man.

In defence of Alan Watts and Osho

I have heard countless times that Alan watts and osho were immoral. Alan watts was into his booze and had failed marriages and osho… Well osho I have heard liked his ladies.

I don’t know how true this is and I don’t really care. I’ve never been one for biographical information because words stand or fall on their own.

The people that report this to me think they are revealing the charlatanism of these guru types but really they are revealing that they either haven’t read/heard what they have to say or that they have but have failed to understand.

Now if you get Alan Watts and Osho you will see that what they are describing is freedom. That good and bad are a game we construct on top of reality.

Sure reality supports our games but it also supports many other games. Even further it supports many mutually exclusive games.

There’s an unspoken bit of any moral claim. “X is good” is how they are presented but if they wanted to be a more accurate representation they should add “according to me”.

Freedom is a double edged sword in that you cannot have it if you do not give it to everything else. As a human I can’t or rather won’t give it to everyone because quite simply I am a selfish individual concerned over the state of my neck.

I want to not be murdered and stolen from in other words.

So I am for locking up murderers because the less murderers wandering around the less likely I am to be murdered.

As a result of this if I murder I am likely to be locked up. I have exchanged my freedom from come uppance if I murder for an increased likelihood of not being murdered.

I refuse to take refuge in a fiction about how the cosmos supports my moral preferences.

But what Alan Watts talks about is what is. He doesn’t give any rules. Therefore he cannot be a charlaten.

The reason I admire these men… Or rather the reason I experience thrills at what they say is that I have always had that inkling that if you could be in someone else’s shoes you could forgive them easily.

I have had a desire for as long as I can remember to be able to express all the dark and grotty secrets in an open manner.

Funnily enough as I have followed this carrot I have cared less about it. But anyway…

The people who criticize people like Alan and Osho in this way are not really criticizing them at all.

They are really saying “I don’t like what they say and freedom scares me” but trying to mask it in an cloak of objectivity.

Again it’s an example of what people are doing with morality all the time.

They are scared. They don’t want to be hurt. So they express this desire as if it were a law of nature in the hopes that it will stop people hurting them.

It may work for some people but not for everyone as is evidenced by the packed state of the prison system.

Funnily enough I bet if you were to ask criminals whether they thought their action was good or bad a lot of them would say it was bad and they felt guilty.

What this shows is that morality and guilt are heavy shields that just don’t work.

So I’ve thrown mine away.

Which is the advice of Alan and osho.

So to finish.

What these people are really saying is that people like Alan Watts aren’t carrying a shield and they should be and what is more they are telling other people to throw their shields away!

Austerity is class warfare.

Austerity is class warfare.

They talk of how communism is bad but I ask “do you know what communism is?” And invariably the answer is no. They do not know.

In order for corporations to be deemed successful they must make more profit this year than they did last year.

Yes; cancer is the model they are working from.

Now the most effective way for them to increase profit is to decrease cost.

I know, I know I may sound a bit pedantic but bear with me.

How are they to cut cost?

Pay less for materials sure but how do the companies that produce those materials afford to sell them whilst maintaining profit growth?

It always comes down to the worker.

The worker takes a hit in the wallet so that growth can occur.

But wait. If the worker is getting paid less and less within a welfare state what will he do?

He won’t work.

And if that is allowed to happen then the employers would have to increase the workers wage to keep him working.

Supply and demand.

But the employers don’t want to do that and they got the money.

So they have bought the state apparatus and are now dismantling the welfare state.

Why? I hear you ask.

Because the employers want to be the only means of survival the worker has.

The employer wants all the leverage.

So the employer has to keep the employed at subsistence level.

They’ve also bought the media and have conned the working class into wanting this.

Have you seen shows like benefit street and all the shows about bailiffs? That’s capitalist propaganda right there.

I am of the working class. I am working class through and through.

Sadly as a result of inflation and the amount of work my class has to do we’ve been made stupid.

It’s not our fault.

A 40 hour work week doesn’t really leave much energy to educate yourself.

Sadly the working class has become like sheep bleating to be turned into a roast dinner for the employers.

We are living in the most effective propaganda machine the world has ever seen.

And to bring it to point.

They want you working longer.

They want you to work till you drop.

Why? Because they want to maximize profit. And it’s Labour that produces profit.

So they want to, nay they need to squeeze every last drop of Labour out of every single worker in order to maintain this insanity of constant growth of profits.

Where does this inevitably lead?

It leads to your granny working in a sweat shop for pennies so she can buy the product of an hour of her labour with a month of her wages.

In case you are wondering communism is the realization that this is the state of affairs and the movement by the working class to take back the product of their Labour from those who have taken it without working for it.

Do you see why capitalist propaganda has turned it into such a bogey man?

The ground of morality

I believe our moral judgement is just another expression of our preferential judgement.

There are those in existence who believe murder to be good ie they have no sense of revulsion towards it. When a “normal” person witnesses a murder they feel revulsion and that is the inner reality pointed to with the statement “I believe Murder is bad”. When such a person says that then they are expressing that inner reality.

When someone who doesn’t experience that revulsion (and they do exist) says that statement then they are lying. Just as when someone who does not like the taste of sprouts would be lying if they said “These sprouts taste good”.

Murder (and any other atrocity you care to mention) are, whether we like it or not, perfectly natural. Look at a lion’s pride. When a new male kills the old leader he kills all the kids and shags all the women.

This to me is disgusting; but it is natural. It is an expression of what is, the totality. If it wasn’t, then it wouldn’t be.

Simple as.

Why do we believe what we believe.

Any statement can be proven or disproven. This holds especially true of science; scientific facts have a Half-Life. At least if QI is to be believed.

Now what does this mean for belief?

Belief is very rarely anything to do with truth. Ask yourself this question and you will see this.

How do you decide whether something is true or not?

If you don’t know the answer to this question then how do you lay claim to truth as a value for any of your opinions.

Ultimately this leads to a paradox. Say you do have an answer for this question well how do you know it is the right answer?

You are using the answer as a means of deciding between truth and falsehood but how do you assign either value to the means. Who polices the policeman? Who judges the judge?

All beliefs are constructions that we build on top of experience. This can be normal run-of-the-mill sensory experience or spiritual experience. It really doesn’t matter how you get the experience.

We generally choose the construction that satisfies us in some sense. That is our beliefs are like the scratch marks above a flea bite. We have an itch to scratch so we scratch it.

A lot of people are anxious concerning death. They worry about what will happen to them or their loved ones. So their particular scratch is a belief in an after life.

Now all because your beliefs are a result of a need for satisfaction doesn’t mean that they are false. This would be falling for the genetic fallacy: a proposition is not true or false because of how you came to it.

It may disagree with the “truth” according to another decision procedure. We can’t really get at the Truth with a bit T to know if a statement is true or false in an absolute sense.

Zen knows this. Which is why Zen is all about the death of constructs. Just take experience as it comes. Don’t build castles out of sand.

But this can go a bit too far. At least according to my particular itches.

It is fun to build constructions and seeing as we cannot get to the big truth we might as well build pretty castles in the sand. But we mustn’t take them to seriously.

Atheism, theism and even agnosticism are all of the same order of validity as Harry potter and Lord of the rings.

Some people enjoy atheism and some enjoy theism.

The funny thing is though that if you have ears to hear it they all end up saying the same thing. They all end up being languages in which you can tell people “behave” or “It doesn’t matter what they do” just as in French and English you can say “the glass is on the table”.

People argue over the relative merits of language and that is really what the religions have been doing for god knows how long.

Then you see the whole thing is like football teams and their fans. They are all the same but people support one or the other for whatever reasons they can use to con themselves into taking the game seriously.

And they do this because it’s a hoot.