What is it that is present and outraged with "the aspect of the lecturer as dictator and the student as the slave of the dictator"?
The expressiveness in the moment of what I can only call primordial wisdom is that which gives the moment its scintillating quality, the signal of sentience manifest.
— Karma Chöpal 5AUG08


  • Productivity; Motivation and Reward - Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us (YouTube; TheRSA Channel) by the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) (see RSA Comment)
  • Civil Society; Ecology and Development - "The Plundered Planet" with Paul Collier (The New School NYC on YouTube); MP3 of Collier on CBC Radio (30MAY2010) (30 minutes); Centre for the Study of African Economies; "Sunday Edition" on CBC Radio 1

    "Human nature has this principle quality: That of being social"
    "This is the true civil nature of man...."

    — Giambattista Vico
    "The New Science" (1774)

    "Democracy without honest information creates the illusion of popular consent at the same time that it enhances the power of the state and the privileged interests that the state protects."

    "Through critical thinking, as I understand it, we acquire a means of assessing and upgrading our ability to judge well. In enables us to go into virtually any situation and to figure out the logic of whatever is happening in that situation. It provides a way for us to learn from new experiences through the process of continual self-assessment. Critical thinking, then, enables us to form sound beliefs and judgments, and in doing so, provides us with a basis for a "rational and reasonable" emotional life."

    "When searching for the ingredients necessary for a highly rational life, it is therefore crucial not to underestimate the role of the affective dimension of mind. To engage in high quality reasoning, one must have not only the cognitive ability to do so, but the drive to do so as well. One must feel the importance of doing so, and thus be driven to acquire command of the art of high quality reasoning. What is more, it is evident that to learn to solve problems effectively, one must have the desire to do so. One must be committed to it. Thus the affective dimension, comprised of feelings and volition, is a necessary condition and component of high quality reasoning and problem solving. Every "defect" in emotion and drive creates a "defect" in thought and reason. Intelligence on this view, then, presupposes and requires command of the affective dimension of mind. In short, the truly intelligent person is not a disembodied intellect functioning in an emotional wasteland, but a deeply committed mindful person, full of passion and high values, engaged in effective reasoning, sound judgment, and wise conduct."

    “Science is not the enemy of humanity but one of the deepest expressions of the human desire to realize that vision of infinite knowledge ...”
    “Our capacity for fulfillment can come only through faith and feelings. But our capacity for survival must come from reason and knowledge.”
    Heinz Pagels
    "The Cosmic Code: Quantum Physics As the Language of Nature" (1982); Simon & Schuster
    “Spartan simplicity must be observed. Nothing will be done merely because it contributes to beauty, convenience, comfort, or prestige.”
    — From the Office of the Chief Signal Officer, U.S. Army; May 29, 1945

    "Extreme relativists would claim that the signifying subject’s beliefs and knowledge determine the meaning given to an object. This approach privileges subjectivity, and could lead to at least one of two problematic situations. One such situation would be where any sign could have any meaning, where no interpretation is "wrong," and where the producer of a set of signs, such as a speaker, writer, painter, etc., has no way of expressing intention in the signs he or she produces. The other situation would be where all meaning is reduced to the mental state of a subject, and where interpretation reflects the psychology of the interpreter and has nothing to say about the qualities of the interpreted object. As Marvin Minsky points out in his description of goal-setting (a meaningful activity), psychological definitions are limiting because they lead to an infinite regress continually pointing to a mystifying "self" as the central cause of everything (Minsky 2006, 187)."

    "A semiotic and phenomenological position, like the one adopted in this essay, would acknowledge the importance of the interpreter in attributing meaning, but would also recognize the inherent qualities of the object that direct the interpretations that can be produced. Meaning, for this approach, arises from the interaction of qualities of the perceived object with qualities of the perceiving subject. In the philosophy of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, for instance, meaning is presented as a non-causal phenomenon, emerging in the various "existential fields" in which the human subject acts in his/her everyday life (Merleau-Ponty 1945; Marsen 2006b). The causes of meaning (in the unconscious, personality, genes, or any other kind of causal factor chosen by other philosophies) are indeterminate for Merleau-Ponty’s existential phenomenology - a principle that turns meaning into a quality of being-in-the-world rather than knowing-the-world."

    "The Role of Meaning in Human Thinking"
    Sky Marsen
    Victoria University, New Zealand
    Journal of Evolution and Technology
    Vol. 17 Issue 1 - March 2008 - pgs 45-58

    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse. A man who has nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance at being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

    — John Stuart Mill

    "Habermas's theory of communicative action rests on the idea that social order ultimately depends on the capacity of actors to recognize the intersubjective validity of the different claims on which social cooperation depends. In conceiving cooperation in relation to validity claims, Habermas highlights its rational and cognitive character: to recognize the validity of such claims is to presume that good reasons could be given to justify them in the face of criticism. TCA thus points to and depends on an account of such justification-that is, on a theory of argumentation or discourse, which Habermas calls the "reflective form" of communicative action.

    As mentioned above, Habermas proposes a multi-dimensional conception of reason that expresses itself in different forms of cognitive validity: not only in truth claims about the empirical world, but also in rightness claims about the kind of treatment we owe each other as persons, authenticity claims about the good life, technical-pragmatic claims about the means suitable to different goals, and so on. [... T]o ground the multi-dimensional system of validity claims, one must supplement semantic analysis with a pragmatic analysis of the different sorts of argumentative discourse-the different ''logics of argumentation''-through which each type can be intersubjectively justified."

    "I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do. What I can do, I should do. And what I should do, by the grace of God, I will do."

    — Edward Everett Hale (1822-1909)

    "One needs to be nominalistic, no doubt: power is not an institution, and not a structure; neither is it a certain strength we are endowed with; it is the name that one attributes to a complex strategic situation in a particular society." (History of Sexuality, p.93)

    "Domination" is not "that solid and global kind of domination that one person exercises over others, or one group over another, but the manifold forms of domination that can be exercised within society." (ibid, p.96)

    "One should try to locate power at the extreme of its exercise, where it is always less legal in character." (ibid, p.97)

    "The analysis [of power] should not attempt to consider power from its internal point of view and...should refrain from posing the labyrinthine and unanswerable question: 'Who then has power and what has he in mind? What is the aim of someone who possesses power?' Instead, it is a case of studying power at the point where its intention, if it has one, is completely invested in its real and effective practices." (ibid, p.97)

    "Let us ask...how things work at the level of on-going subjugation, at the level of those continuous and uninterrupted processes which subject our bodies, govern our gestures, dictate our behaviours, etc....we should try to discover how it is that subjects are gradually, progressively, really and materially constituted through a multiplicity of organisms, forces, energies, materials, desires, thoughts, etc. We should try to grasp subjection in its material instance as a constitution of subjects." (ibid, p.97)


    Mind is Unfabricated - (Mind) seems to be projecting (Ch'ar-Ba), but it is not an entity since it does not develop or decline during the three times. From the very moment of its arising, the past (of the mind) has ceased and its future has not yet arisen. In its present, there are no separate aspects of rising, dwelling, and cessation, and it doesn't exist (even) if you search for it down to temporally indivisible moments. So the mind exists neither as perceiver nor the perceived. Therefore, one should remain natural.
    "Buddha Mind; an Anthology of Longchen Rabjam's Writings on Dzogpa Chenpo"
    Tulku Thondup, Rinpoche
    Snow Lions Publications, Itaca, NY (1989)
    Chapter 4: Philosophical View of Phenomenal Existents - pg. 266


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