- Nov 2022
Computers can only deal with well-structured problems
ie, "well-defined problems" in John Vervaeke's language. Cultivation of wisdom, per Vervaeke, is developing the capacity to navigate a ill-defined problem space, and realize (ie, recognize, and make real) what is relevant to resolving the situation.
Examples of ill-defined problems: - how to take good notes? - how to tell a funny joke? - how to go on a successful 1st date? - how to be a good friend?
May relate to Shapiro's "role theory". Needs further research
Socrates is turned into a systematic set of psycho-technologies that you internalise into your metacognition. So, what became crucial for Plato, as we saw, was argumentation. But for Antisthenes the actual confrontation with Socrates was more important. Both Plato and Antisthenes are interested in the transformation that Socrates is affording.Plato sees this happening through argumentation. Antesthenes sees it as happening through confrontation because... And you can see how they're both right, because in Socratic elenchus, Socrates comes up and he argues with you. But of course he's also confronting you. We talked about how he was sort of slamming the Axial revolution into your face! So, Antesthenes has a follower, Diogenes, and Diogenes epitomizes this: This confrontation. And by looking at the kinds of confrontation we can start to see what the followers of Antesthenes are doing. So Diogenes basically does something analogous to provocative performance art. He gets in your face in a way that tries to provoke you to realizations. Those kinds of insights that will challenge you. He tries to basically create aporia in you, that shocked experience that you had when confronting Socrates that challenges you to radically transform your life. But instead of using argumentation and discussion, as Socrates did and Plato picked up on, they were really trying to hone in on how to try to be as provocative as possible.
John Vervaeke on Socrates becoming set of psychotechnologies to internalize and augment metacognition. Agues agumentation become central for Plato, whereas confrontation itself become central for Antisthenes. They're disagree about how the cause of the transformation through the Socratic approach
Unclear is stoics take up Plato's mantle of argumentation orientation, but they at least seem distinct from the Cynics (Antisthenes & teach Diogenes
Aporia is moment of shock from experience that you're radically transformed. Could be from Diogenes' provocative performance art or through discourse a la Plato & Socrates
Nietzche may have favored Cynics approach over stoic/Socratic. Possible parallel in left-hand path and right-hand path. Quick & risky vs. slow & steady
- John Vervaeke
- Jul 2022
We all want out lives to have meaning, and death suggests that life adds up to nothing. People want desperately for their lives to really count, to be finally real. If you think about it, most all of us try to found our identities on something whose meaning seems permanent or enduring: the nation, the race, the revolutionary vision; the timelessness of art, the truths of science, immutable philosophical verities, the law of self-interest, the pursuit of happiness, the law of survival; cosmic energy, the rhythms of nature, the gods, Gaia, the Tao, Brahman, Krishna, Buddha-consciousness, the Torah, Jesus. And all of these, Becker says, function as “immortality systems,” because they all promise to connect our lives with what endures, with a meaning that does not perish. So let’s accept Becker’s thesis: that fear of death and meaninglessness, and a self–deluding denial of mortality, leads many people to these “immortality systems.”
Immortality projects are deeply associated with avoiding a meaning crisis, as per cogntive scientist John Vervaeke's project: The Meaning Crisis:
there's a crucial distinction between what barney called three and four that's what uh captured me so 01:08:55 if you take the mind as fundamental as existing the only existing thing where where the the movie of the world is reflected into i am not happy 01:09:08 my my culture uh rejects then as a useless point of view to do science that's what but there is an alternative much more interesting and i find much more 01:09:21 deep in which which i read in a garage you know which is what uh barry seems to be is calling the fourth alternative in which the mind is not the fundamental thing in which everything is it's 01:09:32 reflected it's just one part of this uh uh uh interdependence now namely it's not the things that not intrinsic existence but mind has intrinsic existence that's not the 01:09:45 the the there's a more interesting answer namely that mind itself has no intrinsic uh uh existence uh and so it's just uh uh 01:09:57 it has an existence but is is it of course it's an existence my mind exists and i exist but uh and and and and if i think in terms of groups to say i mean all sentience being or all 01:10:10 human beings whatever um together uh which is an ideal also some some some some western philosophy that you know um it's collectively that through language and 01:10:22 that would create a vision of the world but i want to think of this as one aspect of the ensemble of things which is existence where uh uh nothing of that has um 01:10:36 uh has intrinsic existence so i want to think about my mind it's my brain my sensation my all my my my love people loving me the the image that people have of me my instead of the set 01:10:48 of processes uh uh which part of the world and it seems to me that the belgian allows me to think at me as part of the world at the same sense of the same ground as the world being 01:11:01 reflected in my consciousness without having to choose one of the two perspective to be the true one the intrinsic existence um 01:11:12 all all perspectives are uh uh empty they're all good but they are um they are not the the one on which the rest is ground they 01:11:24 each of one i can understand dependently on something else so marios you read a a verse or two from the third chapter of nagarjuna and uh let me comment on that
Carlo points out the view he now holds, influenced by Nagarjuna's philosophy, that the mind exists, but does not intrinsically exist.
So he argues on one (conventional) level, his mind and all other minds exist.
Agreeing with Barry's fourth suggested alternative. The mind is not the fundamental thing, but is just ONE PART of this interdependency. Each view, whether of any human or even non-human is empty but conventional exists in interdependence of many causes and conditions.
From Stop Reset Go perspective and the Indyweb, a web3 technology that can embody each indivdiual's perspectival knowing through the establishment of their the individuals unique and privately owned data repository can enhance the discovery of the process of emptiness. How? By theoretically having all one's (digital) interactions of the world, one can begin to see in granular detail how one learns about the world and begin to sense the flow of the mind. Through repeated use of the Indyweb and witnessing how one forms new ideas or reforms old ones, the indyvidual becomes increasingly aware of oneself as a process, not a thing. Furthermore, one begins to see self knowledge as hopelessly entangled with cultural and social learning. One begins to sense the 4Ps of propositional, perspectival, participatory and procedural learning, also entangled with each other and with individual/social learning.
Quick John Varvaeke interview on 4P: url=http%3A%2F%2Fdocdrop.org%2Fvideo%2FERdJDVdbkcY%2F&group=world
One especially begins to sense perspectival knowing and situatedness and that causes and conditions unique to one's own worldview constructs one's relative reality.
so that's me trying to do a synoptic integration of all of the four e-cognitive science and trying to get it 00:00:12 into a form that i think would help make make sense to people of the of cognition and also in a form that's helpful to get them to see what's what we're talking about when i'm talking about the meaning 00:00:25 that's at stake in the meaning crisis because it's not sort of just semantic meaning
John explains how the 4 P's originated as a way to summarize and present in a palatable way of presenting the cognitive science “4E” approach to cognition - that cognition does not occur solely in the head, but is also embodied, embedded, enacted, or extended by way of extra-cranial processes and structures.
Dogen can be very difficult to read or understand. That’s why we often need a commentary or teacher to introduce his way of writing and the underlying teaching. I often say he’s a thirteenth century cubist. Just like Picasso or in the writing world, Gertrude Stein, he tries to show all sides of the story in one paragraph or even one sentence. That is why he repeats himself and contradicts himself all in the same paragraph. If you are looking for the “right” understanding, you become confused and lost in his prism of various interpretations or views. Dogen’s “right” understanding is that there is none. No one point of view is “right”. According to conditions, any view can be the right view in the right circumstance. Dogen really wants to take away our solid idea of a fixed ground of reality. It is not form or emptiness. It is not both or neither. There is no one right, fixed view. That is our “clinging”.
Dogen contradicts himself because he tries to show "all sides of the story". His teaching is a "pointing out" instruction that ANY viewpoint is simply that, perspectival knowing.
An important question then, is this, if Dogen (and Nagarjuna) are claiming that there is no objective reality in our constructed world of concepts and language, is science being denied? Is fake news ok? Is this a position that basically accepts post modernism? No, I would say no to all of these. It's pointing out the LIMITATIONS of concepts and language. They are incomplete and always leave with a sense of wanting more. And since Post Modernism is also one point of view, it is also thrown out by Dogen and Nagarjuna. Remember, ALL points of views are points of view. Fake news is also a point of view so those who practice it can also not justify it.
What Dogen and Nagarjuna are saying is that as soon as one enters the world of concepts and language, any concept and anything side is inherently one sided. It is inherently perspectival and situated in an inherently incomplete conceptual space.
As Tibetan doctor/monk Barry Kerzin points out in this conversation with physicist Carlo Rovelli, there is a critical difference between "existence" and "intrinsic existence". The first is not being denied by Nagarjuna, but the second, intrinsic existence, the existence of concepts and the words that represent them, is. If these two are confused, it can lead straight to nihilism.
This also aligns with John Vervaeke's perspectival and propositional knowing in his 4 P ways of knowing about reality: Propositional, Perspectival, Participatory and Procedural. A good explanation of Vervaeke's 4Ps is here: https://hyp.is/go?url=http%3A%2F%2Fdocdrop.org%2Fvideo%2FGyx5tyFttfA%2F&group=world
we often have too narrow an appreciation of knowing focusing too much on one or two kinds of knowing but to live well in a complex world we need to effectively engage with four kinds of knowing and perfectly they all begin with a P
Title: Four Kinds of Knowing Author: Rich Watkins Date
- Jun 2022
Aristotle argues that virtue is achieved by maintaining the Mean, which is the balance between the two excesses. Aristotle’s doctrine of the Mean is reminiscent of Buddha’s Middle Path. Aristotle’s doctrine of virtue is “golden mean”. Courage, for example, is a mean regarding the feeling of fear, between the deficiency of rashness (too little fear) and the excess of cowardice (too much fear). Justice is a mean between getting or giving too much and getting or giving too little. Benevolence is a mean between giving to people who don’t deserve it and not giving to anyone at all. Similarly Buddhism aims not to eradicate all feelings but to liberate it from its attachment to false values. He gave the concept of the Middle Way, a path between the extremes of religious asceticism and worldly self-indulgence to move away from false values. Aristotle and the Buddha reached very similar conclusions as to how we should conduct our lives, if we wish to find happiness and fulfillment as human beings. However, for Aristotle the mean was a method of achieving virtue, but for Buddha the Middle Path referred to a peaceful way of life which negotiated the extremes of harsh asceticism and sensual pleasure seeking.
Aristotle's theory of the golden mean is similar to Buddha's middle path