dragon added a topic in ExtendQuestions, questions!When I borrow a book from my local library, the computerized system allows the librarian to tell whether or not you have borrowed a book before. If you have, the librarian reminds you and asks if you still want to take the book out. This is just one example of the growing trend of being prompted by questions whenever one does something.
The same thing happens when I’m using a computer. “Do you want Windows to remember your password?”, “Do you want Autocomplete on or off?”, “Do you want Windows to ask you this again?”…”Do you want Windows to wipe your a**** for you?”
On the radio there is a barrage of adverts reminding people to submit their tax returns on time, to get their winter ‘flu jab, to do this, to remember that…………. And so on and so forth ad infinitum (and ad nauseam!).
The truth is that this would drive any healthy person to insanity. Why is it a growing trend then? It is necessary because people’s minds have become so degraded that they need this sort of spoon feeding in order to function.
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dragon added a topic in LearnTested for Children by ChildrenI have noticed in my local library that some children’s books, advertised as Dyslexia Friendly, also advertise themselves as having been tested by children.
This attitude to children is very common these days i.e. children are given responsibilities and required to make judgments that ought, in a healthy society, to be the sole responsibility of adults. Publishers are at it, schools are at it….the list is endless. This is extremely bad news.
In a healthy society, children learn by being apprenticed to adults. (This is how young animals learn, after all.) To burden children with the responsibilities of adults is to cause them severe psychological damage. This is child abuse. And it is not just a few “dirty old men” that are at it - every adult in our society is at it.
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dragon added a topic in InfluenceThe World's Your Oyster?Although I have implied it in previous posts, I’ve not actually specifically stated that we live in an Upside Down World. What I mean by this is that, for example, our history is the history of the decline of humanity, not of its progress, that what we consider genius is sickness, and the most able people are not in academic institutions, but living life in normal society and likely to have been classed as non-academic etc., etc.. Rather than going for one long post on the subject, I intend to back it up with many instances of this upside down-ness as I run across them in daily life.
This is the first of them:
The World’s Your Oyster?
The following scene from the film The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings trilogy) came to mind the other day. In it, Eowyn, King Theoden’s niece, when preparing to go to Helm’s Deep, tells Aragorn that she fears neither pain nor death. Aragorn asks her what she does fear, and she replies: “A cage. To stay behind bars until old age and use accept them.”
In modern society people do not share Eowyn’s fear. Quite the reverse. People are so used to living in cages that they no longer recognize that they are imprisoned – nor that their cage gets tinier by the year. Take, for example, travel.
When I traveled abroad in 2002, I was somewhat relieved to escape – but only just – the new “anti-terrorist” airport security measures. Even then, air travel had become much more restricted than a decade previously, while today, to say that foreign travel has become a nightmare is an understatement.
Travel used to be SO easy. For example, in the early 1980s I was on holiday in Canada. I lost both my passport and my airline ticket. No problem. A new airline ticket was issued, no questions asked, and I got through UK passport control without my passport. Now when I travel abroad, I am extremely nervous about losing tickets/passport - I know I would not get off anything like so lightly again. In fact, in those halcyon days, if one did not have a full passport, one could obtain a 6-month British Visitor’s Passport over the counter at any post office. The nightmare of requiring and obtaining biometric passports was still to come. Yet even in the early 1900s, travel was even easier than 30 or 40 years ago. Poor folks were regularly traveling between Britain and America by boat, for example.
(Of course, one might argue that travel, being more difficult, does not imply that one is losing one’s freedom. Not true. There’s more than one way to skin a cat. That some governments prefer to put obstacles in the way of travel rather than refusing to issue passports to their citizens produces the same effect i.e. a loss of freedom.)
It is a recognized phenomenon that severe psychological problems arise as a result of living in captivity i.e. in a cage or prison. So why are people in this society just accepting their loss of freedom? Actually, one has to look at it from the opposite perspective. It is BECAUSE people’s minds have become so dysfunctional that they accept, in fact, need, these bars. As I have suggested in other posts, people have become addicted to power, resulting in a society in which autism is endemic. I have also suggested in earlier posts that even though it may not seem so, we live in the best of all possible worlds. Thus, while loss of freedom damages a healthy mind, the simple truth is that a person who is autistic cannot cope with freedom and needs a restricted environment in order to be able to function. Thus loss of freedom has, as it were, become “a necessary evil”.
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dragon added a topic in History and Philosophy of ScienceThe Problem of RealityThe Problem of Reality
As I described in my previous post: The Fabulous World of Pantodragon, my understanding is that life is, to all intents and purposes, a video game. But carry the usual Play Station version forward a little, and think of something more like a flight simulator, or, better, the kind of simulators some trainee-surgeons get to use when learning to do operations. In the latter they wear helmets and gloves so that their senses of sight and hearing, and touch in their hands, are cut off from the real world, and they can only hear, see and touch things in the virtual operating theatre. If the virtual-reality generator was good enough, they should be unable to distinguish between ‘reality’ and ‘virtual reality’.
There are a number of sci-fi films that have explored, and illustrated, this idea. One that comes to mind is ‘EXISTENCE’, in which they have biological video game modules which the players plug into sockets that have been surgically inserted into their spines. When they are plugged into a game the game-data over-rides and blocks anything else coming down their nervous system from their own sense organs and so they experience the game in just the same way as they experience the real world. In other words, they have no way of being able to tell if what they are experiencing is the game world or the real world. The film plays on this confusion.
At the simplest, most obvious level, most people have had dreams such that they have had trouble deciding whether the event of the dream really happened or not, and maybe sometimes they never can decide. I dreamt once that I had gone to the toilet, and I only know that it was a dream because when I woke up I still needed to go to the toilet. How is that possible? Because we literally DO live in virtual-reality worlds.
The fact is that we do not experience the ‘real’ world directly. Take seeing, for example. An image of what one is looking at forms on the back of the eye, and that is then turned into an electrical signal that is sent to the brain. The brain then RECONSTRUCTS the experience of seeing. All the other senses are the same. Everything we experience is a virtual reality constructed by the brain out of the data coming from our senses. So, there really is NO EVIDENCE FOR THE EXISTENCE OF A REAL, CORPOREAL WORLD, no evidence that life is anything more than a dream, and, in fact, what we EXPERIENCE very definitely IS a dream, or virtual reality. One might even go so far as to say that it goes against common sense to suppose that there IS a real, material world, because we have no experience of it – it is just that we have such a long acquaintance with the idea, that we are fed on it from the cradle, that everybody else believes it etc etc. That is what makes it seem so plausible.
So all you have to do to arrive at the total virtual reality version of existence that I have described, is to replace the ‘real world’ with another mind as the source of the information that the mind uses to construct its experience of the world. One might even say it is the ‘simplest’, most obvious assumption, as it leaves us thinking in terms of minds, and thoughts, with which we are familiar, and one does not have to add the extra stuff about material substance – which creates all sorts of problems when one then works backwards and tries to conceptualise what one then means by ‘mind’, and ‘consciousness’ etc.
I mean, we have learned to take the ‘real’ world so ‘for real’ that we, for the most part, have lost sight of the fact that what IS actually ‘real’ for us is our thoughts and sensations and feeling and the like. When I touch something I have the ‘sensation’ of solidity, that is all. If I chose to believe in a real, solid world, then I am postulating that that ‘sensation’ is caused by an object in some real, solid world; I have to actually POSTULATE the existence of a ‘real’ world.
Then I give myself a problem: I know I exist, I have a mind and thoughts, but I now have to ask what they are made of, what are thoughts and how can something as disembodied as thoughts interact with the ‘real’ world. I mean, thoughts are not magnetic, they do not have mass and so on, so how can they interact with physical ‘matter’, for it is by virtue of these properties that objects in the real world interact with one another.
There have been many attempts to solve this conundrum. These range from the proposal that there are two, parallel universes, that of physical reality, and that of mind and thought, and that they, somewhat mysteriously, run synchronously with one another so that they do not have to interact, to the extreme position of denying the existence of mind and thought altogether. To do that one postulates that things like consciousness are merely attributes of the complexity of ‘life chemistry’; ie as molecules and molecular systems get more and more complex, they acquire more and more ‘properties’, more and more abilities, and consciousness is just a property of molecular systems of sufficient complexity.
Although one is tempted to associate this sort of stuff with Rene Descartes, the idea that ‘life is a dream’ goes way back. There are a number, (I do not know how common it was) of so-called primitive tribes or societies that believed that life was a dream. There is even one present day society – I can’t remember which or where – that believes so strongly in dreams that if a person dreams that another man steals some of his cabbages then he can bring a suit against him and the offender will be held liable to pay compensation. This is not daft when one thinks about the interpretability of dreams. If you dream that someone steals something from you then that really did happen; it is just not literally cabbages – I mean, people steal from each other all the time: ideas, or someone might ‘steal your thunder’, or ‘steal the show’ etc. For example, that last might be represented in dreams thus: you might own a ‘show’ such as a fairground, or circus or something, and someone comes along and steals it from you. The person who steals it from you might be someone known to you, or might not, but one should not be literal in one’s interpretation of who the guilty party is.
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dragon added a topic in InfluenceApocalypse Now!As the title of this post suggests, I am not predicting that ‘the end is nigh unless ye repent’; I am saying that it is already too late. Death, famine, pestilence and war are already abroad (the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse) and we are IN an apocalypse. It is happening.
In another post I have talked about POWER, and how a universal addiction to that drug has been the ‘downfall’ of humanity. In the Western World, for example, it is seen as normal that babies should cry. This is not so. Babies should be learning to communicate, and should only use crying to communicate REAL distress. But babies ‘normally’ learn that they can use crying to get attention and manipulate their parents. This is babies tasting power.
If you are observant you will see it happening all the time. For example: walking past the school playground one day a ball few over the fence just in front of me, and a little girl came up and stood and looked out at me, obviously expecting me to return her ball to her. I would have done so had the episode been an accident, but as I had approached along the path I had noticed the little girl ‘noticing’ me, and had noticed her quickly pick up her ball and deliberately throw it over the fence. I did not return it and when I looked back a few moments later the girl was being hugged and consoled by a bevy of little girls over whom she obviously held sway. This is about control and manipulation. This is about power.
Everybody adores little James. He is a charming, chatty little boy. I frequently see him with his mother on the bus. He will always be talking to someone, turning in his seat to talk to the people behind, or stopping on the way off the bus and talking to the driver so that the rest of the passengers have to wait. Everyone smiles and thinks him cute. One day I happen to be behind little James on the bus. “What is that?” he asks, pointing to my umbrella. Little James knows perfectly well what it is. There follows a series of similarly inane and pointless questions, to none of which I respond. He gives it a rest and then tries again, with the same ‘disappointing’ result. He turns back to face the front again, and this time I just catch a glimpse of the expression that crosses his face: it is demonic! Really, his face contorts into such an expression of rage that it literally looks like something out of ‘The Exorcist’! So much for the cute, charming little James!
Not that I actually needed that glimpse to see what little James was about. His conversation was so very clearly not about communicating, but about getting attention. In fact, the old adage that ‘children should be seen and not heard’ is, in fact, true. Children should be interested and curious and wanting to learn about the world, and they do not do that be being the centre of attention; they do it by sitting quietly and observing. Yes, of course they play as well, but at the appropriate time and in the appropriate place. The whole world is exotic and new to a child and it will enjoy just looking and listening and learning – if it is healthy.
And if it is enjoying the taste of power it will not be just looking and listening and learning, and as a consequence, it looses the ability to observe, listen and learn – and hence science comes along to make up the deficiency.
And that, basically, is how to understand our history: we live in the ‘best of all possible worlds’, so that, with humanity on the decline, as it looses more and more of its faculties, the loss is made up by the ‘invention’ of institutions and the like.
So when, due to their addiction to power, people loose the ability and desire to ‘like’ or value things, then money is invented and then everything has a ‘price’, and that is something that power addicts can use.
When people became incapable of being fully independent, ie fully able to understand the world and people without any outside help, then religions came along to give them rules to live by and the support of others who believed the same things as themselves.
But whereas the religions used metaphor and myth to explain and account for the world, when people lost the ability to handle metaphor, and could only deal with symbols, and became very ‘literal’ in their interpretation of the world around them, then science came along.
Science looks after the autistic mind. It offers the support of authority, like a parent, of shared perceptions, offers the security of predictability, and of rules and order. And, of course, it sees the world in very literal terms. It also puts ‘knowledge’ above ‘ability’ and ‘understanding’, and, well, ‘knowledge is power’! Yes, power addicts have no interest in understanding things, but the certainly see lots of value in ‘knowledge’.
As for technology, to quote (approximately) from ‘Harry Potter’: it’s marvellous the things people invent to get by without magic! The implication is the same as I have been making above: that technology is just making up for increasing deficiencies of the human mind, bolstering it, providing a crutch.
But the decline continues, and so you go from walking stick, to crutches to wheel chairs --- and what then?
If you think of autism as essentially the place into which the minds of people are descending, and think about what that means in terms of loss of awareness, and loss of abilities, and of what suits the minds of people who are severely autistic, as opposed to those who are less so, then look at the history of human culture, you will find that it is interpretable in the terms I have suggested above: ie the more modern developments are, the more they support the needs of minds that are further gone into autism.
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