The Mouse That Roared

“The debate is about which globalisation we want,” Wallonia’s leader Paul Magnette said on Friday
 Today’s rather spectacular meltdown of the Canada-EU Trade Agreement (a.k.a. The Comprehensive European Trade Agreement, or CETA) is further indication that the pace and momentum of neo-liberal globalisation is stalling and now on the back foot. The tiny hold-out Belgian province of Wallonia effectively served here as the giant-slayer and the proverbial “mouse that roared”.

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The Saskatchewan Government’s “White Paper on Climate Change”

The Government of Saskatchewan released its White Paper on Climate Change a couple of days ago as a response to the Trudeau Government’s imposition of a federal “carbon tax”. I’ve spent the last couple of days since going over the document and now want to comment on what is wrong with Premier Brad Wall’s policy, for it demonstrates the kind of “zombie logic” that we’ve discussed earlier. The White Paper is an example of how NOT to address the problem of climate change and the tough issue of transitional economics.

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The Music of the Spheres

On DavidM’s recommendation, I picked up and started reading Stephon Alexander‘s The Jazz of Physics: The Secret Link Between Music and the Structure of the Universe. Dr. Alexander would like us to appreciate the large scale structure of the cosmos as a musical structure, and demonstrate how new possibilities of understanding Kosmos emerge if we contemplate it as musical form in the tradition of Pythagoras or Johannes Kepler.

This way of appreciating Kosmos as a musical composition is infinitely superior to today’s tendency to imagine it as a technical construct generated by a computer programme, or as being a simulation created by “future selves” or a master “artificial intelligence”, which becomes a technocratic mythology. And it also deserves to be recognised, understood, and appreciated as an example of, and contribution towards, a “metanoia” of emergent new consciousness. For there are, indeed, consequences for consciousness, life, and society whether we imagine Kosmos as a technology following a machine logic, or as Art. Read More…

Utopian Capitalism

Neo-liberalism is, essentially, a scheme for a utopian capitalism whose ideal is best summarised as: “Everybody an entrepreneur!” The entrepreneur is considered the ideal and preferred type, and anything “less” than that is deemed to be simply a failed entrepreneur. So, that means you either lacked the requisite talents, killer instincts, or merit of the entrepreneur (and so, unworthy and undeserving) or that, somehow, the game was “rigged” against you — at least, the latter is how many of Trump’s supporters interpret things.

The promise of utopian capitalism was, give up your working-class organisations, start your own business and, with open borders and free trade deals, the “world is your oyster”.  A “rising tide lifts all boats”; but, first, of course, you’ve got to lift yourself up by the bootstraps and build your own boat in order to sail the stormy seas of a global free market, coming soon to a location near you.

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When Gods Die

During the reign of Tiberius (A.D. 14–37), the news of Pan’s death came to one Thamus, a sailor on his way to Italy by way of the island of Paxi. A divine voice hailed him across the salt water, “Thamus, are you there? When you reach Palodes, take care to proclaim that the great god Pan is dead.” Which Thamus did, and the news was greeted from shore with groans and laments. — “The Death of Pan”

Sound familiar? Yes, indeed, Nietzsche is s modern Thamus proclaiming the death of its god. Gods do die, although not for long. Pan suffered the fate of being resurrected as the Christian Archfiend.

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Maya, Matrix, and Matter

Apparently, a growing number of physicists are of the conviction that “our world is a simulation“.  Nothing really new there, is there? It’s the meaning of Maya, or “Cloud of Unknowing”, which is ancient knowledge now being apparently “uploaded”, if we want to use that term, into the matrix of the mental-rational consciousness, where it appears now as “simulation”.  This also belongs to the return of ancient knowledge, but I see no reason for it to be massaged into a technical idiom.

There is also a problem with the term “simulation”, as it implies that what we call “world” or “reality” is only a similitude of a world or of reality. But that implies that one already knows what the authentically real is.

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Our Task is Different

We shouldn’t focus too much on the decaying manifestations of the Modern Age in post-modernity which, in the American context, are represented in both Trump and Clinton, (or “the demagogue” and “the technocrat” as someone succinctly put it). The same thing is happening everywhere at our “end of history”, “new normal”, “post-truth society” or whatever you wish to call this strange universe we’ve entered into in which, quite literally, “mind is at the end of its tether” and the era of Universal Reason is disintegrating into incoherence and the fractiousness of infinite points-of-view all claiming universal validity.

Our task in this period of chaotic transition we call “post-modernity” is different, which is to work out a new foundation for truth, and for the common understanding of truth, which is presently in crisis. This task, the Great Work, is pretty challenging and demanding largely because we cannot trust, or rely upon, much in the way of precedent or in an allegiance to decayed models that are no longer effective (the problem of “zombie logic”). Our own task must be a double one of retrieval and transformation.

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