Re: MD Undeniable Facts

From: johnny moral (
Date: Wed Apr 23 2003 - 20:47:56 BST

  • Next message: Wim Nusselder: "Re: MD Undeniable Facts"

    Hi Platt,

    >I don't agree that wanting to break free from static patterns "maligns"
    >static patterns in any way.

    "Thumbing ones nose" at morality is disrespectful, isn't it? As Sam says,
    people have a tendency to fetishize DQ and ignore SQ, and to treat SQ as an
    annoying parent, recognizing only that it is necessary for our existence but
    not respecting it at all.

    > > Post modernists point out that absolutes only exist as shared
    > > static patterns embedded in culture(s), but do not denounce them like
    > > do.
    >Postmodernists point out wrongly. Absolutes existed long before
    >cultures came along.

    I won't quibble at the moment if you are talking about physical laws like
    gravity, by "absolute" I am thinking about moral absolutes and concepts like
    true and right, which I think are born in culture. And even physical laws I
    would claim are inventions of culture, though that isn't the argument I want
    to have today. I just want to get some props out to SQ.

    > > We can learn from post modernists the importance of celebrating
    > > morality for being the coherent universe in which absolutes can be
    > > absolute.
    >Sorry, I don't get what you mean.

    Post Modernists ought to convince us that we need to shore up our culture
    and get together for morality's sake, get people to respect morality more so
    that we are more on the same page about truth and right. I think that if
    morality is stronger, people are more inclined to believe in absolutes.
    When people are inclined to thumb their noses at morality, all absolutes get
    nose-thumbed too.

    >I'm denigrating morality? How so?

    Denying that things should do what they should do. Obviously false, right?
    Yet this "why should I?" mentality has taken hold and is breaking apart the
    whole ontological meaning of everything! The damage "why should I?" causes
    is infinitely worse than possible effects of misunderstood post-modernism
    (wanton "why should I?"s are one of those side effects, but post modernism
    answers that, for anyone listening: because the culture says so). Implying
    that anything thing that a thing probably will do, it shouldn't do, is
    destroying morality, aka the universe, at the very core. Saying that it
    would be better for things to break the moral patterns that define them
    denigrates morality. The whole point of morality is that it is good for
    patterns to be followed, for expectations to be made real. That's the
    ontological mechanism of morality.

    >True. Which is why I never said gravity was "bad." Just that flying is
    >better than being stuck to the ground all the time.

    OK, this is the better, less derisive language that I was looking for.
    Thank you. Sorry, but "thumbing their noses" (Pirsig's phrase) is derisive
    and implies that the law is bad, and that all laws are bad. Also, saying
    that freedom is away from static patterns implies that static patterns are
    bad, especially when saying that freedom is the highest goal. You need
    static patterns like wings and air currents to fly, you can't get "away
    from" them, therefore freedom in that conception can never be achieved and
    is a cruel hoax, an Orwellian slogan to get us working for the Giant

    >OK, what's the "law of art?"

    Get laid, be cool, express yourself, etc, all in some sort of artful
    balance. Do what artists should do.

    >What is a "Spinal Tap" way? Are you admitting something can be better
    >than old static patterns?

    Well, bands need a new record every couple of years. I'm not sure that
    music is better than it ever was, in some sort of "absolute sense." My dad
    would certainly not think so. How would you measure that? (In Spinal Tap,
    there was a discussion about how smart some other band's album was, they
    took a concept and gave it a "twist" that made it better than Spinal Tap's
    similar cover. Proving that "it is a fine line between genius and

    >If all change is a result of static patterns, where did the first static
    >pattern come from?

    The first static pattern was the Word. A word is an expectation of meaning.
      The first word was a sort of meta word that defined wordness itself, or,
    expectation itself, static pattern itself, morality itself (those are all
    synonyms, apologies for excitedly typing them over and over). "Word" is the
    only thing in the universe that is what it means, besides the whole universe
    itself, perhaps (but they are the same!). Everything else involves a little
    flux being its meaning and its being, they adjust to each other constantly
    and only achieve near correlation. Where the word came from requires
    perhaps more peyote than I'm prepared to eat this early in the afternoon.
    But thinking of it as expectation itself makes for an easy answer: it
    naturally existed because it should exist, it is the nature of expectation
    that it come into being. How do you answer that "where did it come from?"

    > > Aren't you a
    > > determinist like me and our mutual favorite Schopenhauer?
    >I like what Schopenhauer says about the central role of beauty in the
    >world. I'm not a determinist.

    Ah! Well, have you read his essay on Freedom of the Will? He's at his
    crabby best. How could you not be a determinist? It is unreasonable.

    > > Why does not every new record strike us as great, then?
    >Because not every new record is any good.

    Based on static patterns, obviously, right?

    > > The ones that we
    > > like are ones that fit our existing static patterns and extend them,
    > > affirming our expectations of what good music is.
    >To some extent, yes. But once in awhile a whole new and totally
    >unexpected sound blows you away. That's DQ.

    It may be "DQ" to you, but to the band that put it together, it was lots of
    work and practice, and every single note is there because the writer's brain
    was influenced by static patterns to put it there. Perhaps he thought,
    "needs to be more flowing or airy", or "i'm going to make it wild like
    Ornette Coleman" or something. (I am an admirer of the "studio accident",
    like something falling down in the room that sounds "great! leave it in!",
    but that is really just because we like vibrancy and life in our music and
    usually we are short on interesting ideas so we take input from "God" if He
    wants to join in. It is inspiring. But ideally, that vibrancy doesn't have
    to rely on accidents but is in the playing, and our inspiration isn't in
    occultish attributions but in whatever we are singing about.)

    > > On those occasions when
    > > we hear something totally foreign to our ears and we like it, it is
    > > we hear something in it that isn't foreign, some more fundamental
    > > that we hadn't heard under the artifice of our favorite genre.
    >Can you site an example?

    Oh, listening to an album of Austrailian Aboriginal music, you may hear a
    basic human quality that seems pure and good. It is there in your Eminem
    too, but buried under lots of other patterns that we focus our attention on.

    >Your whole philosophy boils down to, "There's nothing new under the

    There is nothing new under the sun. Every moment is new and different as
    the patterns do their thing, but nothing new comes arbitrarily out of
    nothing except the whole shebang all at once.

    > > What my metaphics precludes is unreason.
    >What your metaphysics precludes is evolution.

    How so? Evolution is itself a static pattern and all patterns have been
    changing and evolving constantly as they interact with others. There is a
    difference between doing it WITHIN morality, though, when one pattern is
    changed by the strength of another, and doing it from outside morality, by
    denying that static patterns have legitimacy and writing them off wholesale
    to be replaced with supposedly disconnected "new" "better" patterns.

    >What's nice about static Quality is we wouldn't be here without it. Nor
    >would I be here without Dynamic Quality. As Pirsig says, both are
    >needed. But, given a choice, I'll always favor the new and the better over
    >the old and adequate.

    Of course, you've been marketed to for 40 years. The new and better come
    about fast enough that we don't need to tear down SQ patterns in general in
    order to speed their replacement by just anything someone says is better.
    It is bad for the environment, consolidates power in corporations, and
    distracts us from loving each other and appreciating life.

    That said, there are changes that are called for, in my opinion, but they
    are called for by static values: we need to change our driving and energy
    habits, we need to loosen the grip of corporations on our government, we
    need to remember the purpose of marriage, and a law to prevent genetic
    engineering and manufacture of individual humans according to the needs of
    the Giant. (Hmm, I suppose those are all 'backwards' changes, how about "we
    need a new system of electronic cash, that eliminates banks and interest
    (usary) and taxes" - I got one if you want to hear it)


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