Friday, July 31, 2009
How we feel about things is the central concern for people, because emotions mediate between our bodies with their physical perceptions and images of the world and our minds with their concepts and ideas. Physical experiences and the biochemical reactions in our bodies trigger emotions in the consciousness, and the conscious and subconscious responses of our emotional feelings stimulate biochemical processes in the body. Human beings are well integrated systems, and any separation between the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual is artificial, merely for purposes of analysis.
Anger: a very active with forceful emotional energy directed toward someone. It is usually triggered by some outward event which provokes a reaction. This event may be a direct attack, threat, or insult or the frustration of a desire or attempt to control or manipulate a situation.
Anxiety: experienced when many fears, which are not clearly perceived or understood, are felt subconsciously. The complexity of our contemporary society tends to promote anxiety because of the dangers which are difficult to understand, remedy, or avoid.. A variant of anxiety is related to desire and is impatience or being anxious for something to happen or afraid of what might happen.
Desire: a sense of longing for a person or object or hoping for an outcome. The same sense is expressed by emotions such as "craving" or "hankering". When a person desires something or someone, their sense of longing is excited by the enjoyment or the thought of the item or person, and they want to take actions to obtain their goal.
Eagerness: an enthusiasm that anticipates the fulfillment of a desire. Thus joy is experienced solely because of expectation. Young people tend to be more eager, because they have less experience but more energy and desire. The excitement of eagerness can cause impatience and, if the pleasure anticipated is delayed, consternation. Yet somehow the joy in eagerness prevents it from being sorrowful.
Fear: originated in the basic evolutionary instinct for survival in perceiving and avoiding life-threatening dangers. Thus fear warns us of dangers and moves us to take adaptive action.
Fear can be used to manipulate motivations in order to control people's behavior. Fear of punishment is the main weapon of social control by threatening either to do something negative or remove something positive.
Greed: commercial society constantly promotes it in the process of trying to sell products. Thus these feelings can be very common and socially approved. Nonetheless they can cause discontent and even ruthless competition. Greed is a feeling of never being satisfied with what we have but always wanting more.
Guilt: understood as a social phenomenon that happens between people as much as it happens inside them. Guilt appears to arise from interpersonal transactions and vary with interpersonal context. In particular, guilt patterns appear to be most common, and most consistent in the context of communal relationships, which are characterized by expectations of mutual concern. Guilt serves various relationship-enhancing functions, including motivating people to treat partners well avoid transgressions and redistributing emotional distress..
Jealousy: a specific kind of anger resulting from possessive love, attachment, suspicion, mistrust, fear, and selfishness. Jealousy is a bondage where we place chains on our love and try to hold on to someone or something by restricting them. Basically it grows out of insecurity in a relationship and fear of losing the object of desire.
Love: a good feeling that is actively directed toward someone or something. Love brings enjoyment to what we do; we say, "I love to do that.". Love is also the emphathy; we feel someone's emotions and concerns. Love uplifts people into a higher joy.
Modesty: reluctance to reveal oneself to others either physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually. A modest person does not necessarily feel inferior or superior but rather private. Inhibitions against exposing oneself can also prevent sharing and communication. Yet often modesty is a sense of dignity and self-worth which can extend into exclusivism and elitism. Everyone has a right to privacy; and when not extreme, modesty is usually respected. On the other hand, the lack of all modesty in exhibitionism usually indicates vanity or the desire to shock.
Shame: located primarily as a social emotion, with a normative function of monitoring social bonds between people - rather than, as it is usually framed, as a 'self-conscious', 'negative' and 'pathological'emotion. This reframing of the healthier experience highlights the function of shame in building and strengthening relationships.
Worry: a continuing fear or an anxiety that is focused on a particular concern. Worry comes from a lack of faith, a negative view of the future, and a failure to take the needed steps in the present. Fears are designed to warn us to do something or avoid something; but if we fail to act, the fear continues to worry us. If we are wise, worry is completely unnecessary.
Friday, July 24, 2009
We are a part of a circle
It’s like a Mobius strip
And it goes ‘round and ‘round
Until it loses a link
Sometime between the fifth and sixth centuries B.C., the Greeks discovered infinity. The concept was so overwhelming, so bizarre, so contrary to every human intuition, that it confounded the ancient philosophers and mathematicians who discovered it, causing pain, insanity, and at least one murder. The consequences of the discovery would have profound affects on the worlds of science, mathematics, philosophy, and religion two-and-a-half millennia later.
Infinity is today so well integrated into today's language that we can scarcely imagine many thoughts and expressions without it. However, despite its widespread use, infinity is one of those objects we scarcely understand. Most of us view time as infinite and space as infinitesimally decomposable and possibly infinite,, even though both involve unmeasurable, unfathomable dimensions that defy comprehension. Yet, infinities (yes, there are several) are very, very useful to "tie" things together, to provide comprehensible models, and for the mathematician to provide a completion of mathematical theories that actually simplifies statements, proofs, and applications.
But what is infinity? How can something infinite expand? Once and for all, how can we conclude that the universe is infinite? The fact that the universe is infinite may contradict Brane theory. Consequently, could it be tenable to suggest that this Brane is a sub-universe?
Anyhow, infinity is paradoxical because something infinite is not supposed to be able to expand,.since it already goes on forever and on top of that it supposedly never ends,.
There's a fundamental bit of foolishness that underlies all of the flames. Infinity is not a number. It's a mathematical concept related to numbers, but it is not, not a number.
The structure of a fractal object is reiterated in its magnifications. Fractals can be magnified indefinitely without losing their structure and becoming "smooth"; they have an infinite perimeter, an infinite surface area. An example for a fractal curve of infinite length is the Koch snowflake.
Achilles is in a footrace with a tortoise. He allows the tortoise a head start of 100 feet. If we suppose that each racer runs at a constant speed (the tortoise slower than Aquiles), then after some time, Achilles will have run 100 feet, bringing him to the tortoise's starting point. During this time, the tortoise has run a much shorter distance, say,10 feet. It will then take Achilles some further time to run that distance, by which time the tortoise will have advanced farther. Thus, whenever Achilles reaches somewhere the tortoise has been, he still has farther to go. Therefore, because there are an infinite number of points Achilles must reach where the tortoise has already been, he can never overtake the tortoise. Experience tells us that Achilles will be able to overtake the tortoise, which is why this is a paradox.
A Möebius strip is a two-dimensional surface with the puzzling property of having only one side. Despite this mind-bending characteristic, it's an easy object to make: just take a long strip of paper, give one end a half-twist, and tape the two ends together. Because of the half-twist, the front side of one end of the strip joins with the reverse side of the other end, so that the taped-together band has only one side. This is the symbol that represent infinity.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Here are some of the existing academic theories about how we make sense of the world, understanding meaning. Please feel free to contribute with whatever you like to this list of theories. I will appreciate it if you bring new and strange thoughts.
1. Constructivism: We try to make sense of the world by making use of constructs, which are perceptual categories that we use when evaluating things.
2. Framing: A frame is the combination of beliefs, values, attitudes, mental models, and so on which we use to perceive a situation. We effectively look through this frame in the way we would look through tinted spectacles. The frame significantly effects how we infer meaning and hence understand the situation.
3. Focussing effect: When we are making judgments, we tend to weigh attributes and factors unevenly, putting more importance on some aspects and less on others.This is typically due to factors such as stereotyping and schemas that we use that bring certain factors to mind and downplay others.
4. Schema: A schema is a mental structure we use to organize and simplify our knowledge of the world around us. We have schemas about ourselves, other people, mechanical devices, food, and in fact almost everything.
5. Personal constructs: People develop internal models of reality, called constructs in order to understand and explain the world around them in the same way that scientists develop theories. They are developed based on observation and experimentation. Constructs thus start as unstable conjecture, changing and stabilizing as more experience and proof is gained. Constructs are often defined by words, but can also be non-verbal and hard to explain.
6. Symbolic interaction: People act based on symbolic meanings they find within any given situation. We thus interact with the symbols, forming relationships around them. The goals of our interactions with one another are to create shared meaning.
7. Objectification: Complex ideas are, almost by definition, difficult to understand. To help us make sense of them, we turn them into concrete images. There are three processes by which objectification is done, giving them physical properties, turn the ideas into pictures and turn the idea into a person.
8. Speach act: Getting a glass of water is an action. Asking someone else to get you one is also an act.When we speak, our words do not have meaning in and of themselves. They are very much affected by the situation, the speaker and the listener.
9. Social interaction: In order for people in groups to talk with one another, they need a system of common understanding, in particular of concepts and ideas that are outside of 'common' understanding or which have particular meaning for that group. Words thus become imbued with special meaning within particular social groups.
10. Story models: One way in wich we explain the world around us is to create stories about it. In particular when we are face with complex situations, we will pick out what seems to be key elements and then turn these into a story.
Friday, July 10, 2009
One day, a scorpion looked around at the mountain where he lived and decided that he wanted a change. So he set out on a journey through the forests and hills. He climbed over rocks and under vines and kept going until he reached a river.
The river was wide and swift, and the scorpion stopped to reconsider the situation. He couldn't see any way across. So he ran upriver and then checked downriver, all the while thinking that he might have to turn back.
Suddenly, he saw a frog sitting in the rushes by the bank of the stream on the other side of the river. He decided to ask the frog for help getting across the stream.
"Hellooo Mr. Frog!" called the scorpion across the water, "Would you be so kind as to give me a ride on your back across the river?"
"Well now, Mr. Scorpion! How do I know that if I try to help you, you wont try to kill me?" asked the frog hesitantly.
"Because," the scorpion replied, "If I try to kill you, then I would die too, for you see I cannot swim!"
Now this seemed to make sense to the frog. But he asked. "What about when I get close to the bank? You could still try to kill me and get back to the shore!"
"This is true," agreed the scorpion, "But then I wouldn't be able to get to the other side of the river!"
"Alright then...how do I know you wont just wait till we get to the other side and THEN kill me?" said the frog.
"Ahh...," crooned the scorpion, "Because you see, once you've taken me to the other side of this river, I will be so grateful for your help, that it would hardly be fair to reward you with death, now would it?!"
So the frog agreed to take the scorpion across the river. He swam over to the bank and settled himself near the mud to pick up his passenger. The scorpion crawled onto the frog's back, his sharp claws prickling into the frog's soft hide, and the frog slid into the river. The muddy water swirled around them, but the frog stayed near the surface so the scorpion would not drown. He kicked strongly through the first half of the stream, his flippers paddling wildly against the current.
Halfway across the river, the frog suddenly felt a sharp sting in his back and, out of the corner of his eye, saw the scorpion remove his stinger from the frog's back. A deadening numbness began to creep into his limbs.
"You fool!" croaked the frog, "Now we shall both die! Why on earth did you do that?"
The scorpion shrugged, and did a little jig on the drownings frog's back.
"I could not help myself. It is my nature."
If a frog is destined to drown, it will drown even in a spoonful of water.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Here are two quotations, about borge's work, that I specially selected for my friend:
"The Library includes all verbal structures, all variations permitted by the twenty-five orthographical symbols, but not a single example of absolute nonsense. It is useless to observe that the best volume of the many hexagons under my administration is entitled The
Combed Thunderclap and another The Plaster Cramp and another Axaxaxas mlö." - Borges
"The always wandering meaning of all literary representation
according to which meaning wanders,
like human tribulations, like error, from text to text,
and within the text, from figure to figure." - Bloom
Breakfast with Borges, which was named after the great Argentinian that we deeply admire, is one of the last his Ted made. When he gave it to me as a present, I was deeply moved and wordless.
Rob is a multi-talented canadian author, composer, and sound designer. He is the President of Talking Dog Studios, and of Saskatchewan Motion Picture Association. He has written poems and song lyrics published in several anthologies.
My new friend published a truly innovative book about a "different way of thinking about time and space", called Imagining the Tenth Dimension The companion website for the book has attracted over 4 million unique visitors since its launch in July 2006. In his book he writes about complex concepts of modern science like string theory and how the subatomic particles that make up our universe are created within ten spatial dimensions (plus an eleventh dimension of "time") by the vibrations of exquisitely small "superstrings".
In his blog he writes and posts videos about The big bang, Douglas Hofstadter, memes, symmetry, death, multiverse, quantum observer, meditation, genes, philosophy and music among other subjects. In the entry called connecting it all together he talks a about some of the intrest we share.