November 12, 20201 Comment

Obstructions to Truth

My Medium account has been suspended and is currently labeled as under investigation without explanation after I posted this article. No big issue, all my writing is still available on my independently hosted site which is most likely where you're reading this. However this does bring to my attention a larger concern I'm beginning to have for censoring of perspectives that are counter to the broader narrative.

I think we saw a modest version of this with Coronavirus when it rapidly became outside the Overton Window to consider the possibility that it had a synthetic origin. I feel that we'll be seeing it over the next few weeks as information continues to surface surrounding the recent election as well. To reveal the truth at scale, it's important to maintain the ability to consider all possibilities in a civil way. It's when we shut out the ability to communicate perspectives in the public forum, regardless of whether the outcome changes, that the intransigent minority I reference in my banned post are driven to radical action.

Consider that nearly every outlet you use to consume information is a private entity subject to influence by outside motivators. It's worth a beat of extra effort to validate what you see as fact on the onset and come to conclusions independent of any one outlet. It's safe to say that the major social platforms can no longer be trusted as unbiased information filters on behalf of the public. Internal activists and trolls have already been shown to make tweaks to the platforms without supervision. Hop on Twitter and give 'loser' a search —

Or maybe you caught the furor surrounding Winston Churchill back in June of this year. Around the same time, the former British Prime Minister's profile photo and a critical information block was temporarily missing from google search —

If you haven't listened to the recent testimony with the CEOs of Twitter, Facebook and Google about whether their technology enables bad behavior and how they filter truth, it's worth pushing back the block of time where you'd usually listen to Joe Rogan and lend an ear. You can check it out here:

Take stock in assessing how you come to conclusions. It's worth expanding the net with which you usually take in information. If it's being based off of what comes up in a digital feed, it's highly mutable and especially subject to internal bias. Rugged Montana social observer Lyle Benjamin points out a more zoomed out concern in this line of thinking —

I have predicted that our current age will be the least documented of the last five hundred years. Our digital archives will be fragmented, corrupted and censored in ways both accidental and malicious. By turns there will be more bits of data, and less usable information than anytime since the Bronze Age.

— Lyle Benjamin | June 14th, 2020

In short, we have access to more noise than ever but it's becoming increasingly the responsibility of the individual to find signal. The scarcity of individuals taking up this responsibility to read deeper than the surface is equally a factor in the nation's current divide. The issues we are discussing as parts of the whole are more complex than the binary tags we're giving them and need to be exchanged as such. It takes effort to pursue the truth. The broad inclination to avoid this effort is being massively taken advantage of as a means of serving up easy to find, false truths.

We're identifying too much as members of a party and too little as individuals in a society. A greater emphasis on the latter would promote the breadth of empathy that we are pretending to encourage through depth.

I promote no partisan perspective. I only encourage you to take the effort to seek the truth and I'm confident you'll find it worthy of your attention. My pull to be a cairn to others on this path is what excites me most about being a part of the Articulate Ventures Network. We are a patchwork of thinkers that want to articulate ideas in a forum where they can be respectfully challenged, improved and celebrated so that we can explore complex subjects, learn from those we disagree with and achieve our personal & professional goals.

For more ideas like this or to stay up to date, Follow me on Twitter or subscribe to Conscious Repository —

October 27, 2020No Comments

How > What | Why

It's not uncommon for me that I enter into a stall in action because I focus too deeply on the latter 2 words in the title rather than the first. Whether it's 30 minutes or multiple hours, often carrying into my evening or until I go to sleep, there have been moments where I'm unable to choose a definitive course of action because I'm too distracted by the loop in my internal dialog asking myself what I am doing and why I am doing it. Instead, as I've been learning to condition myself over time, the question to prompt yourself to action should be questions that begin instead with how.

A series of content I've consumed over the last few weeks prompted me to think deeper on this concept that I read originally in The Bhagavad Gita. There, Krsna originally expresses the idea to Arjuna that one can more quickly find the path to doing His work by asking questions that begin with how rather than what or why. This theme is carried heavy throughout the book and eventually evolves into the Trichotomy of Nature, The Enjoyer and Consciousness which is the title of chapter 13.

Hovering for a moment here on what is meant by 'His work', this is something I think we read in many places under different words of choice depending on the medium. The Bible might call this 'God's work or following in his footsteps', I interpret it as what Cal Newport calls 'Deep Work' or even what Steven Pressfield refers to in The War of Art as 'Listening to his muse'. In the Articulate Ventures Network, we commonly refer to this as something along the lines of 'Following the path of our Daemon', a layering of Pattern Language on what Plato originally called the 'daemonic'.

Back to Krsna's instruction, again he suggests the asking of a how question as a means of hearing this call to one's path. Pursuing a how question is similar to engaging in a novelty search. Put briefly, this means not to plan where you are going(what), but to instead follow what you find interesting. What you find interesting as the how in this example may be easy to confuse with framing a why, but the easy way to make that distinction is to properly identify the why trap as 'why do you find it interesting?'

Having your what or why in mind is never a bad thing, but unless you engage the how, your pursuit as a whole will remain stagnant, regardless of the validity of the what or why. Alternatively put in The Bhagavad Gita is this idea as Knower, Knowledge < The process of knowing. Say you are a knower who has knowledge, if you don't continue your pursuit for what's unknown, even that unknown just to you, you will remain in a constant state for the rest of your life which is arguably equivalent to not being there at all. In Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, the way Persig describes quality as the knife's edge of experience is not unlike the view I'm proposing of how as a means of transcending what is an what ought and choosing the path to increased the whole.

What made me want to write this today was a No Country for Old Men Explained video from YouTube. In it, the narrator points out that the characters who rejected a coin flip put forth by the antagonist, whether it be on the premise of why they should answer or what they'd stand to gain if they did, were killed by default rather than having any chance at all.

The main idea here is that how is the only path forward. If you have a problem and you focus on what it is and why it is, then it won't go anywhere. If you have a goal, and you know what that goal is and why you want to achieve it but don't engage your how, you will never achieve it either.

I encourage you to look at a problem or a goal in your life right now & ask yourself —

How will I solve it or How will I achieve it?

June 18, 2020No Comments

Happening or Happened

Causal loops are a sequence of events in which an action with a cause creates an effect and that effect is subsequently the root cause of the initial action. Often after a longer sequence of Cause:Effect pairings.

Popular fiction refers to this sequence as the Bootstrap ParadoxSee also an information paradox, or an ontological paradox.

The problem with the BP is that the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics is suggested to interfere with the system.

The second law of thermodynamics states that the total entropy of an isolated system can never decrease over time, and is constant if and only if all processes are reversible.

In layman’s terms, in our perception of linear time, we envision the loop to continue forever in a straight line. However, entropy will interfere with this perceived loop.

Simply — picture a rock tumbling infinitely from one portal to another; One at the top and one at the bottom of a slope. The portal at the bottom transports the rock to the top, the exact length of time it takes to reach the bottom. Eventually, in a loop model, entropy will wear this system and the rock will cease to exist, but where did the rock originate? Thus, the paradox.

Recall our post ‘On Speed’, where we suggest that everything is happening all at once and that time a constant. Rather, ‘A Flat Circle’ to use Rustin Cohle’s terminology.

In this model, the loop as we would envision it in our linear model is not ‘happening’ repeatedly; It has simply ‘happened’, and the loop system we keep referring to is only a constant event in an isolated system, negating the break from The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.

What will you make happen?

May 26, 2020No Comments

On Speed

The speed of light is measured to have the same value of c = 3x108 m/s no matter who measures it, where they measure it or how fast they are moving through spacetime when they do so.

Reality is a break from stillness. 1 → Many

Speed, as we measure it in our locale, is a metric contingent on comparison. If you are moving at 10 meters per second, you are doing so in comparison to something that is at rest relative to you. However, that something is also moving with earth at approximately 460 m/s. Earth additionally, is moving with our solar system at 230 km/s and so on. The more we zoom out, the more we regress to the mean, the constant state of our ‘being’:

“Time is a flat circle” — Matthew Mcconaughey as Rustin Cohle in True Detective.

Everything is happening all at once and has happened in every fashion possible from infinity to epsilon. The speed of light is a constant perhaps because in our building blocks, we too follow the same wave-particle duality. We are only constant fixtures in our perception of reality in the flat circle that is our brief segment of time.

The way to break the stillness was, is and always has been for the 1 to become the many, introducing duality and subsequently the myriad. This therein opens the door for metrics of comparison, hierarchy in experience, and everything that makes our segment of the circle an exciting journey and not the emptiness it is by default.

Speed with no point of reference might as well be still.

How fast are you moving?

May 20, 2020No Comments

Is vs Ought

When new information is discovered, first, we divulge the is — the fact, the raw truth that is the fruit of effort. Subsequently, those in the conversation begin to frame the ought — the ‘what to do’ or the actionable responsibility of the is.

As ease of access to information has increased, the closed doors that once surrounded new paradigms have been unlocked and public conversation is now open to forum that was once exclusive to the ivory tower.

The decentralization of framing the ought has ushered in the opportunity for the myriad to promote a more progressive future. This starts by many individuals choosing a conversation and raising their voice.

Engage in constructive dialog and listen to opposition, the yin needs the yang to pull to center.

Don’t speak with volume, speak with accuracy.

What do you have to say?

May 12, 2020No Comments

Replications

We make things, that look like things, but they are not those things. They are copies of an original and always themselves, another original should they serve that purpose.

Often, parts of a whole —

People in a universe.

Symbols that are meant to convey a message, perform a function, serve a purpose.

Nothing that is 2nd is ever equivalent to the 1st, each is unique. With the exception of massed produced tools, which too, are simply replications of an original, the act of replication in an individual should be viewed as a sin. Functioning as an independent individual among the myriad is crucial to expanding the limits of the whole.

“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”

— Charles Caleb Colton

To self actualize is to enable one’s self for peak original output. Original creative output is arrogance of the highest order because you are suggesting you have the capacity to produce something in a new and better fashion than has ever been done. The craziest part — you do.

Are you imitating or are you flattered?

May 5, 2020No Comments

Resurrecting God

“God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us?”

— Friedrich Nietzsche

We must wipe it off ourselves.

A spirit without a faith has 2 options:

  1. Succumb to Nihilism
  2. Will your own will

Nietzsche’s biggest fear in a world torn from God was that we would wallow in our ‘will for nothingness’.

Nietzsche saw this coming however, and he offered us a way out. The creation of our own values as self actualized individuals:

"For the game of creation, my brothers, a sacred yes is needed: the spirit now wills his own will."

What is your will?