In the News with Analysis

Kenneth Collins k.p.collins at
Wed Sep 4 16:42:32 EST 2002

"9/11 Lesson Plan", By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

"Assigned reading: Larry Miller's Jan. 14, 2002, essay in The Weekly Standard: `Listen carefully: We're good, they're evil, nothing is relative. Say it with me now and free yourselves. You see, folks, saying `We're good' doesn't mean `We're perfect.' Okay? The only perfect being is the bearded guy on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. The plain fact is that our country has, with all our mistakes and blunders, always been and always will be the greatest beacon of freedom, charity, opportunity, and affection in history. If you need proof, open all the borders on Earth and see what happens. In about half a day, the entire world would be a ghost town, and the United States would look like one giant line to see `The Producers.' . . . So here's what I resolve: To never forget our murdered brothers and sisters. To never let the relativists get away with their immoral thinking. After all, no matter what your daughter's political science professor says, we didn't start this.' "

[Copyright 2002, by The New York Times.]

What 'caught my eye' in "Larry Miller's Jan. 14, 2002, essay in" The Weekly Standard was his invoking of 'relativism'.

I've seen this 'invocation' often, over the years since NTD's understanding has been 'on the table', and it's always been a jaw-hanger that, apparently, folks 'revile' NDT as 'relativism'.

In 'scratching-my-head' with respect to such, it seems such derives in folks' misinterpretation of my assertion, in AoK, that "there exists no absolute experiential reality".

Folks've construed such to 'indicate' that I'm saying that "'truth' is relative"(?).

But that's just not it.

"There exists no absolute experiential reality" because, as is explained in AoK, experience is individually-unique.

The only alternative to Individually-unique experience is 'omniscience'.

What can occur within individually-unique experience is an enriching of experience through a broadening of experiential-range.

When such happens, our nervous systems do the Same-Stuff that they always do, 'strive' to achieve TD E/I-minimization, but since, because of the greater experiential-range, there's more information in-there, needing to be integrated, convergence upon TD E/I-minimization occurs over a relatively-longer term [see AoK, Ap7]. But, when it does, the resultant TD E/I-minimized 'state' includes the stuff which was, formerly 'non-existent' as far as the TD E/I-minimization dynamics of the former, narrower range-of-experience 'knew'.

So the whole gist of the phrase "there exists no absolute experiential reality" is not with respect to Truth, but with respect to the Worth of doing the information-processing work inherent in expanding the range of one's individually-unique experience.

In the past, I've come at the "relativist's" 'interpretation' by, basically, reiterating what's here, but in terms of the one-way flow of energy from order to disorder that is what's described by 2nd Thermo [WDB2T].

You know - all the discussions with respect to WDB2T's one-'map' of Truth.

One comes to See the one-'map' of Truth to the degree that one expands one's expeiential-range.

Within such, one comes to recognize local WDB2T minima as constituting "manufactured 'truth'". That is, folks come to understand that, when they encounter local WDB2T-minima, that, if they look, they'll always see correlated energy-expenditures which exist for the sole 'purpose' of 'maintaining' the 'existence' of the local WDB2T-minima.

Within Human interactive dynamics, these correlated-to-local-WDB2T-energy-expenditures are rigorously-coupled to the "volitional diminishing-returns decision" TD E/I(up) threshold [AoK, Ap7], so, if one observes the energy-expenditures, one can look right-into 'volition' ['xray vision' :-]

Folks 'choose' to "manufacture 'truth'" be-cause, over the short-term, doing so constitutes less physically-real work than does 'moving toward' Truth.

And that's whence all the 'relativism' derives, which, if it weren't so exceedingly-Tragic, would be 'hilarious' because what all the 'talk' about 'relativism', including that expressed by The Weekly Standard, amounts to is, itself, the stuff of short-term 'sour-grapes'-ing within the dynamics of volitional diminishing-returns decisions.

It's 'just' folks, 'moving away from' doing the work inherent in understanding NDT's position, in favor of 'clinging', 'blindly' and automatically, to the stuff dictated to them by their narrower experiential-ranges. So they  'move away from', "calling the grapes sour anyway".

The Tragedy inherent, is that, as is presently the case, such prejudice toward that which is merely-relatively-familiar, does, of course, imbue both behavioral and moral 'relativism' with physically-real Existence within the realm of Human-interactive dynamics.

And, when one looks, one sees the rigorously-correlated energy-expenditure through which the local WDB2T relative-minimum is sustained, which is, in the context of this post, the stuff of the The Weekly Standard article, itself.

When one looks further, one sees the energy being poured-into the sustinence of the merely-relatively-familiar stuff, and one looks at what's in the stuff that's so sustained, one sees Savagery, Death, Destruction and the stuff of future Travails, all being 'blindly' and automatically 'moved toward', while Truth, itself, is being 'moved away from'.

That such 'cheap' [in terms of relatively-short-term TD E/I-minimization] stuff occurs as a 'blindly'-automated function of TD E/I-minimization within the neural topology, with its attendant-'volitional' Ignorance of its correlated Consequences for Humanity, simply be-cause folks're 'unwilling' to do the work inherent in comprehending how nervous systems process-information, and because Choosing thusly is what imbues 'relativism' with its physically-real Existence, while, supposedly, 'arguing-against' "relativism", is what underpins my terming the source of the article, "The Weak-kneed Standard".

What else can I say?

Here are folks saying, "Let's Kill and Destroy", rather than doing the work inherent in understanding that Killing and Destruction only breed more Killing and Destruction.

Physically-real work is physically-real work.

There's no 'way-around' such.

Do the work inherent in understanding how nervous systems process-information, and Live in Peace.

Or do the much-larger work inherent in Killing and Destruction, and fending-off the Consequences of such cheap-over-the-short-term 'choice, indefinitely.

It's no contest.

Except within the overly-narrow 'realm' of relatively-short-term TD E/I-minimization.

"Manufacture 'truth'" and call it 'truth'?

"Yeah, sure."

Truth is, the sustaining energy-expenditure is right-there, dangling-in-the-WDB2T 'wind', plain-to-see for anyone who steps beyond 'blind'-automation and actually looks "with eyes to see".

Where do "eyes to see" come from?

They gain their Existence in doing the work inherent in understanding how and why nervous systems process-information via 'blindly'-automated TD E/I-minimization.

There's no 'magic' in it.

The understanding comes to literally exist within nervous systems in a way that literally eliminates the 'blindness'.

ENDNOTE: I understand that what's here is 'hard'. But, for goodness' sake, why 'trash' the understanding without even 'bothering' to understand what's in-it, and Given to folks, at no cost other than the cost of doing the work inherent in coming to understand it?

In the end, as always, I mean no 'offense'.

As always, I mean just-the-opposite stuff.

The 'difficulty' is illusory.

K. P. Collins
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