About People That Run Amok and Science Cranks

America has a problem with gun fetishism, due to a cowboy-macho mentality, and since people mimic other people there is an ongoing tradition of the USA being plagued by mass shootings. I.e. there are people with some sinister character that more easily hear their „call“ (to become mass shooters) in an environment where there are also other people who do – in contrast to the notion that such people are „ticking time bombs“ that are set to „inevitably“ explode I guess most people with sinister character won´t (at a large scale): it depends on their environment on how much they get triggered to really act out like that. Mass shooters seem to be a mysterious case since they usually accept their own death or being thrown into jail for lifetime (and I guess a substantial amount of people who may want to become mass shooters are held back just because of this perspective). What is the damage that is inside them? I remember there was a dicussion about the condition of Norway´s mass murderer/terrorist Anders Behring Breivik, of whether he is actually insane or can be held accountable for his acts (i.e. suffers from paranoid schizophrenia or has a massive personality disorder which however does not render him truly insane). There were psychiatrists who considered him insane and others who did not (public pressure however has been on being able to hold Breivik accountable for his deeds, which he also strived for himself). I remember how an Austrian psychiatrist said in an interview that the „insane“ grin of Breivik would remind him of a patient he had in an insane asylum that had cut off his penis but simply smiled at him, like a naughty child, showing his parents the mess it had done. I was wondering what kind of insanity that could be? Are there more, and more individual forms of insanity than just schizophrenia and bipolar disorder? I also remember a Norwegian psychiatrist who had to deal with Breivik in his youth said he was thinking Breivik had Asperger Syndrome (which may lead to difficulties in capacity to empathise, though more in the intellectual sense than in the moral or emotional sense). More recent American mass shooter Adam Lanza was also believed to have been aspergeroid. Could it be that an Aspie with an evil character and who had to suffer severe frustrations due to being a social misfit can turn into a monster? In some cases, maybe. However, I also read a „confession“ of another young mass shooter once (respectively I have screened it since it consisted of ca. 150 pages): It was a quite bright teenager, maybe with IQ 150, who had written a lenghty, well elaborated statement, the message however was that he was jealous of other (supposedly) happy (and romantically engaged) teenagers and hated them – as he did not consider himself able to ever lead such a happy life. So some kind of teenage angst – it remained unclear why, at such a young age, he considered himself unlikely to ever be able to live a life like those he envied – however, given the darkness or emptiness of his soul his guess that he wasn´t loveable (which he did not express directly, although I have read only parts of the suicide note) was likely correct. What is astounding is the level of hatred against a world about which he felt that it had wronged him and that he would have deserved better. I also remember a case of a juvenile interviewed in prison who had murdered someone, because he had felt that all the others at school were „someone“ whereas he himself had been „nothing“ – and so, in order to be „someone“ he killed a popular girl from high school and went into prison. Strange individuals (also like Mark David Chapman who shot John Lennon in order to become a celebrity himself): Are they extremely narcisstically wounded (due to a personality disorder that makes them so vulnerable) or do they have an even more severe identity diffusion that makes them feel so empty inside so as that they commit the most extreme acts, with which they also hurt themselves, just to „be someone“ (in the case of MD Chapman a more severely disturbed case than just a narcissist, reaching into mental illness, seems evident)? There has been an article „Inside the Mind of the Mass Shooter“ in the aftermath of a more recent mass shooting in the USA, leaving dozens of people dead and hundreds of people injured at a country music festival in Nevada, carried out by 64-year old Stephen Paddok. The article says mass shooters frequently show signs of paranoid schizophrenia and an illusion of narcissistic grandeur – that has been frustrated, and because of this, they act out, also taking into account their own death which does not matter to them anymore, or is desired by them. Apart from their narcissistic fantasies, which do not unfold in reality, they are obviously so empty inside that all that is left in them is to „settle the scores“ with a world seen as hostile or unworthy, and then obliterate themselves. – As far as I can see, a condition common in mass shooters seems to be a paranoid personality disorder. People with a paranoid personality disorder are extremely touchy against personal setbacks (for which they usually blame others), suspicious and anxious against possible setbacks, they hold long or everlasting grudges, they are argumentative, have a sense of entitlement and often are self-referential or have a superiority complex and fantasise about being omnipotent (in contrast to the narcissist they, therein, do not strive for admiration, neither (in contrast to the histrionic) for attention, but obviously just for power respectively for being regarded as superior for its own sake). There does not seem to be so much inside them concerning warmheartedness, their emotional apparatus rather mainly consists of feelings of anger and resentment. When, in their fantasies of superiority they see themselves questioned by others (regardless of whether that is the intention of the other person or not), they become extremly angry and, in a way of projecting their own hostility into others, paranoid (and maybe also their fantasies of large conspiracies against them is a projection of their own grandiose and grand-scale fantasies). Paranoids aren´t easy people and they are likely to become ever more lonely in the course of their life. A paranoid personality disorder can also develop into a paranoid schizophrenia. I think that paranoids aren´t just paranoid i.e. suspicious and deluded (maybe due to an attachment disorder in early childhood) but that they (at least in many cases) have severe problems of regulation of self-esteem and that their paranoia is to a considerable degree a projection of their own proneness to feel hostility towards others. They may lack inner resources and inner riches. They may even know that their paranoid fantasies are bs and irrational, but they hold on to them since they comfort them emotionally. So I guess paranoid personality disorder probably is the most frequent condition inside the mind of mass shooters. (However, among the possibly many causes a murderous instinct may also be caused by a brain tumor: Such was obviously the case of famous mass shooter Charles Whitman who went up a tower and shot several people and made it very difficult to catch him in the 1960s – he had been a normal guy who had become increasingly plagued by the desire to murder and, therein, felt that something „wasn´t right with his brain“ – after his death a tumor was found in his brain. Likewise, also another special breed – serial killers – aren´t necessarily lunatics or sociopaths. They might be neurotypical – apart from the fact that they have murderous impulses inside them. Also sadists aren´t necessarily sociopaths: that they get triggered by sadistic fantasies may be an isolated feature in the arena of their entire personality.)

A while ago also the crackpot/crank personality attracted my attention. A crank is someone who inflexibly holds on to beliefs that are widely considered as wrong (or not-even-wrong) or irrational, obviously as, although cranks may appear to be humble, they also have a massive desire to see themselves as superior towards others. According to Wikepedia characteristics of cranks include: 1) Cranks overestimate their own knowledge and ability, and underestimate that of acknowledged experts 2) Cranks insist that their alleged discoveries are urgently important 3) Cranks rarely, if ever, acknowledge any error, no matter how trivial 4) Cranks love to talk about their own beliefs, often in inappropriate social situations, but they tend to be bad listeners, being uninterested in anyone else’s experience or opinions 5) Cranks seriously misunderstand the mainstream opinion to which they believe that they are objecting 6) Cranks stress that they have been working out their ideas for many decades, and claim that this fact alone entails that their belief cannot be dismissed as resting upon some simple error 7) compare themselves with luminaries in their chosen field (often Einstein, Newton, Edison, etc.) implying that the mere unpopularity of some belief is in itself evidence of plausibility 8) Cranks claim that their ideas are being suppressed, typically by secret intelligence organizations, mainstream science, powerful business interests, or other groups which, they allege, are terrified by the possibility of their revolutionary insights becoming widely known 9) Cranks appear to regard themselves as persons of unique historical importance. – So, although „perhaps surprisingly, many cranks may appear quite normal when they are not passionately expounding their cranky belief, and they may even be successful in careers unrelated to their cranky beliefs“, also the crank condition seems to be an expression of a personality disorder. But what common personality disorder would apply? Obviously you have narcissistic, histrionic and schizotypal features here, yet neither NPD, HPD or StPD seem to truly apply. Upon relfection, it may also be paranoid personality disorder, if we consider the problem of self-esteem regulation, desire for quasi-omnipotence and holding on to colossal belief systems which turn into the delusion of colossal conspiracies being plotted against oneself when ego becomes frustrated. In the German version of the crackpot article on Wikipedia there is a link to the querulant, a somehow similar condition to that of the crank, and as it turns out, querulant behaviour is regarded to stem out of a paranoid condition. Personality disorders are often hidden and people with personality disorders may „function“ relatively well in everyday life – only when you meet them more intimately you see there is something wrong with them. On the other hand, when you meet someone who acts inappropriately and inflexible there is a high probability that such a person has a personality disorder. There is a continuum between (harmless) eccentricities and massive personality disorders. It is good to have knowledge about psychopathology since you are about to meet many people equipped with such a disorder and they may bring severe upheaval in your life. Walter Riso, a therapist who has written a valuable book about dangerous romantic liaisons with problematic people estimates that 20 – 30 percent of people are equipped with PDs („and if we take into account lighter cases, that number would increase significantly once more“). Meditate about that.

Individuals who (obviously) combine a high IQ with a paranoid personality disorder may have been Bobby Fisher, Ted „Unabomber“ Kaczynski, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Christopher Langan. Bobby Fisher was an entertaining and flamboyant chess genius before he turned into a person that made antiamerican and antisemitic comments at every occasion, as if he had been compulsed to do so. At September 11 2001 he welcomed the terrorist attacks (in a Japanese radio show) as „wonderful news“ and in his last radio interview in Iceland (where he lived in „exile“) he could not refrain expressing his sympathies for the North Korean Dear Leader. Yet already in former times it had been noted that Fisher was deeply troubled, arrogant and with a short temper, which however he had managed to somehow balance with being funny and exiting and a genius. Psychologists noted that for Fisher playing and winning at chess was about fantasies of power, and in a TV interview he once gave answer to the question what he would experience as „the greatest pleasure“ in chess: The moment when he „breaks the opponents ego“. – Ted Kaczynski was a normal child at first. At age 2 however he suffered from a shock of the immune system and had to be isolated in hospital. After that experience he had become a very reclusive child and person. I guess, apart from genetic disposition, personality disorders stem out from severe frustrations in early infancy where the infant does not have a fully developed concept of self and the own body and cannot recall memories (therefore, unlike neuroses, personality disorders do not appear as something „attached“ to a personality, but an element deeply ingrained in that personality itself). Apart from being a maths genius hardly understood by anyone Kaczynski became a reclusive and bizarre individual who gave up mathematics to become the Unabomber. Despite employing a primitivistic (and a bit Rousseauian) ideology he admitted to himself that the true motive for his criminal crusade had been his „hatred“ for people. When I once took a short look at his manifest, I noticed that it was full of paranoid hatred against the political left (I would have liked to analyse that further since it appeared to me as an expression of an inferiority complex, respectively a hatred against everything that is „soft“ and tolerant because of self-hatred for one´s own perceived inner weakness, but I am not interested to do that at the moment). – I have not read or studied Jean-Jacques Rousseau a lot, but it is commonplace that he sent his offspring to orphanages and that after a while he antagonised against everyone, became suspicious about Voltaire et al. betraying him or plotting against him. When he finally arrived in England, David Hume welcomed him, therein dismissing warnings that Rousseau is known as a problematic person, only to find those warnings justified after a while. Maybe his entire apparently humanistic but also anti-civilisational philosophy is an expression of his paranoid condition, an attack against a society about which he thought that it did him wrong (note that intellectually a paranoid person may well be a humanist). – Christopher Langan is noted as a person with one of the highest IQs currently on stage. He developed a metaphysics, the Cognitive-Theoretical Model of the Universe (CTMU) as a „Theory of Everything“ (ToE) i.e. as a „theory of theories“ that finally explains (or provides a framework for understanding) the entire reality. I have read  some of his texts and also the counterarguments by others (which Langan however says they do not exist or are invalid) but still do not know what to think about it. As far as I can see it contains at least some plausible claims or suggestions as well as apparent exaggerations, as Langan claims he can prove the existence of God, of the afterlife, of the ethical character of reality and the like (note that in Langan´s theory those categories are somehow distingiushed from what is commonly understood by them). I cannot discuss the CTMU at the moment, but, as Christopher Langan appeared on Facebook (in a group for discussion of the CTMU) a while ago, I can discuss his behaviour: He joined the group as people in it have expressed curiosity why Langan had spoken out for Donald Trump. He went there to explain his motives and since then, apart from engaging in discussion and explaining about the CTMU, he compulsively rants against academia (which he flat out denounces as all corrupt and interested in anything but scientific truth), immigrants, left-wingers, „cultural marxists“, tech-billionaires, („stooge-like“ and sociopathic) politicians, atheists, (philosophical) materialists, liberals and people who don´t stick to guns – regardless of whether it is any issue in the respective thread or not. He bitterly blames „academia“ for not being „famous like Einstein“ and disrespecting the CTMU (what he fails to mention however is that the CTMU has also met opposition in the high IQ communities) and, as it becomes apparent after a while, he rants against the elites as well as the more stupid parts of the populace of a world that fails to acknowledge that the CTMU is the greatest intellectual achievement of all time and the overall solution to everything and that Christopher Langan is the greatest genius of all time and the greatest saviour since Jesus Christ (as, concerning the more stupid parts of the populace, he likes to engage in dreaming about eugenics). There is some rationality and things being worthy of consideration in what he says, but it becomes apparent that Langan says them for psychological reasons and that he is not at all a balanced individual. In arguments he goes ad hominem pretty quickly and he employs an uncannily contemptuous and scornful language in which he dehumanises others: he does not radiate much goodness and warmheartedness. He is excessively self-referential and, in contrast to humbleness and proneness to question and re-evalute one´s own ideas and beliefs as common characteristics of the genius he never ever comes up with any sort of „self-irony“. He is excessively sensitive to being „trolled“ (which, of course, he occassionally gets, however he seems to understand every disagreement as „trolling“, specifically if the other person has a point: in such a case, when he runs out of arguments, he simply derisively claims that he is much smarter and the other person an idiot). Like the paranoid person I have personally known, he permanently complains how hard his life is and how „infinitely entitled“ immigrants are (because of plutocratic-cultural marxist anti-christian conspiracy engineered by tech-billionaires and the government (if it is run by democrats or an „Obamamessiah“ and where only Trump can be a saviour)). Concerning his fantasies about conspiracies and plots he even goes that far to come up with conspiracy theories that the attacks of 9/11 were an inside job carried out by the government (and fantasises about the purpose having been to distract public attention from the game-changing and mass illuminating CTMU) – whereas no serious intellectual, regardless of nationality or ideological affiliation comes up with such a thing since to anyone who is capable of critical thinking it is evident that those conspiracy theories are much less plausible than the „official version“. In general, also as an intellectual he is pretty picky in taking into account stuff that confirms his vision and neglects stuff that does not. For someone who claims to be „closer to absolute truth than anyone else“ in history, Langan is quite casual in making claims he, at least somehow, knows himself that they aren´t exactly appropriate or pay tribute to „absolute truth“, but preeminently serve the purpose of comforting him emotionally. For someone who humble-brags „Do I think this (my achievements/IQ) makes me better than anyone? No, I still work in a bar“ he is quite immodest (note: the quotes are from a video portrait about Langan easily to be found on Youtube). And, at any rate, someone who claims to be the „smartest man in America“ and then speaks out for Trump! Ok, granted that Langan is a conservative, but also most of the more illuminated conservatives turned away from Trump. However, Langan finally makes it clear that he endorsed Trump because Trump runs against left-wingers and „cultural marxists“ which he deems accountable for lack of success of the CTMU – I mean, so much for Langan as an honest intellectual who claims being solely interested in the progress and enlightenment of humanity, but endorses an aggressively anti-intellectual/scientific individual who is a slap in the fucking face for any rational person and is irresponsible enough to elect someone like Trump into the most decisive office in the world! Ok, granted again, Trump is a personality disorder guy and a narcissist like Langan, but an intellectual should first and foremost ask whether someone is intellectually honest and accountable. – To sum up, while operating at a high intellectual level and at least containing elements that should not be dismissed the CTMU makes the impression of being something Christopher Langan wants to come up with to prove that he is the greatest genius in history (i.e. a toy, not a theory). Certain paranoid elements like its grand dimensionality, dismissal of „moral relativism“ in favor of an absolute truth/logos that Langan equates to a pantheistic/psychic deity (that equates to the universe itself) (and where Langan is his prophet) seem to be there, or could be interpreted along these lines. – I actually feel a bit uneasy mentioning all of that since Chris Langan hasn´t done anything bad on me personally, but I am, among other things, here to document my age, and that is how he exposes (and deconstructs) himself online (and, as I can see, he doesn´t do it only on Facebook, but also in various other threads on the internet – as for instance HERE). I have been aware of Chris Langan for some years now and have been reading and observing this and that in bits and pieces from time to time and did not know what to think about him, but given such exposure – which, by the way, does not invalidate (parts of) his theory, but sheds a strange light on it – I am skeptical.  On Facebook I can even a bit understand his „eccentricity“, as in the respective group there is a considerable number of people who applaud to Langan and kiss his ass to anything this idiot says, no matter how outrageous it ges (for one or many reasons). Even if they are sympathetic to his views or his theory, I do not quite get why many of those folks do not see, at least after a while, that Langan simply is not a balanced individual and that his behaviour is flat out abnormal. Of course, his frustrations can be understood – thinking that he has come up with one of the most significant intellectual/spiritual achievements of all time, with important implications for self-understanding of man and is not credited for it – yet contrary to good intentions, a basic abrasiveness of his personality is obvious (what is most frustrating that some individuals fall out with Langan after a personal unpleasant encounter, but not so often because of his genral behaviour). They think they are geniuses themselves and oh, so special and so damn clever when they endorse Langan and the CTMU, or so. Concerning true geniuses, it gives me an indication why folks like Einstein preferred to solely talk at length with Gödel, Nietzsche went to Sils Maria, Wittgenstein went to Norway to think or to Lower Austrian children to communicate or Emily Dickinson refused to leave her house after a while (as now does Perelman). I mean, those highly gifted physicists around Einstein, what did they do? Crying „Hurra!!“ when the First World War broke out, and then again crying uncritically „Hurra!“ when a tricky thing like quantum mechanics manifested! There seems to be a bit of a lack of inner clarity in those people! Even people who are not commonly retarded may follow dangerous leaders. The fog of the world. That is the quintessence of „Moby Dick“.


New Problems and Perspectives in Contemporary World Order (as Recognised by the CIA) (Prelude to Notes about the New Axial Age)

I reiterate, in 2005, when I had to complete my one-year postgraduate study course „Master of Advanced European Studies/Major in Conflict and Development“ at the University of Basel, we had to write a a thesis of maximal 50 pages i.e. a work somehow resemblant to a larger seminar work. I, however, wrote a pretentious thesis in which I tried to formulate a framework in which contemporary international relations could be understood, discussed major international developments from economics to politics to legal matters and also discussed the problems, the state of the art and the prospects for all the world regions. After that I fell into depression, but a while ago reconsidered it and found out is hasn´t been that stupid, and I already posted about it.

Now I have got me a book: Die Welt im Jahr 2035, gesehen von der CIA, a report where the CIA tries to capture future developments, particularly those that can be expected to unsettle in the next 20 years with particular focus upon those expected to unfold in the next 5 years. Upon reflection, I do not want to talk a lot about that now since everyone can read the book herself. I think however that in those centuries we are living in a new Axial Age which (will) bring(s) about significant shifts and transformations concerning the self-reflection of man, a major transformation of categories concerning science, philosophy, spirituality, politics, economics, religion, social stuff, technology, morals – my project is to think about that and sort all of this out as good as I can. I want to reflect the intellectual foundations of the new Axial Age, or construct them. I guess I will have some success concerning that endeavour. That will feel good.



About Numbers

A while ago in the intellectual communities on Facebook there was a discussion in which someone came up with the idea that God necessarily needs to exist because only God could read (infinite) irrational numbers like pi. Another one countered that Gödel´s incompleteness theorem would allow that (i.e. that stuff exists that cannot be proven or verified). Somehow both assertions seem inadequate, but make you think about the nature of numbers (and mathematics) which is actually a mysterious and haunting subject. However, upon reflection, numbers simply express how quantifiable properties relate to each other. Out of an r you can construct a circle with pi, an ever more perfect circle with the more digits of pi you know, the perfect circle, constructed with infinite precision, cannot be constructed in a finite universe. Likewise, if you have a basket with two apples and want to have one with three, you can do that, with infinite precision, by adding one apple to the basket. Numbers, in themselves, are neither platonic nor are they real, they are virtualities / virtual entities.

I have thought about the continuum hypothesis, the orders of the infinite, the incompleteness theorem, whether the universe is a mathematical system or a logical syllogism a while ago. Some say that by applying logics they can see it all, and maybe that is true, nevertheless with logics you can construct pretty much anything of your liking (apart from that a logically correct conclusion need not be based on a correct assumption). Lots of stuff, for instance proofs of God, have been constructed with logic – but all of them can also be refuted by using logics (see, comprehensively, John Mackie´s The Miracle of Theism if you´re interested). Usually the philosophers and theologians coming up with their proofs of God were thinking that they did not prove the existence of God by using logic but, literally, that they were proving the necessary existence of God out of logic, although to every neutral observer it was apparent that there was something wrong, wobbly, uncanny in their proofs, although it is not necessarily easy to exactly tell what the problem is. Often it may require an entirely new heuristics, and for instance it took centuries to exactly tell what is wrong with Zeno´s paradoxa. Metaphysical questions may be undecidable, not least because they´re paradoxical in nature.

And then, the incompleteness theorem… Despite its apparent gravity and the mysteriousness it seems to imply the incompleteness theorem hardly affects professional mathematician´s business. I have never read Gödel´s original paper and maybe would not understand it since maths, among other things, is not my speciality, however as far as I can see it is about the „paradox“ of the barber who shaves anyone but himself or the Cretans lying. Despite there is no logical solution to that paradoxes they will somehow be solved in practice without too many trouble (or if we applied „fuzzy logics“ we could formalize stuff or so, idk…). Maybe a kind of solution to it, respectively shedding some light on the mystery the incompleteness theorem seems to imply, comes in a way Cantor „solved“ the mystery of infinite sets – when he made the „paradoxes“ they carry their defining element. There is also this stuff: hyperinfinite sets. They can be constructed, but their existence cannot be proven, and under Occam´s Razor they may seem a nuisance (because they seem to add more orders of the infinite that seems to be needed). Given the incompleteness theorem, the mysterious hyperinfinite sets may either exist or not. However, certain mathematical objects, like knots, can be better conceptualised under the assumption that hyperinfinite sets do exist, be their existence only theoretical (under the assumption of hyperinfinite sets something is possible to construct about the understanding of knots, as an „indirect“ proof that would lead to the possibility of a more direct proof that could eventually do without the assumption of hyperinfinite sets). Apparently, the virtual again. When you think about numbers (and mathematical objects), especially about odd numbers, complex numbers – or negative numbers, or zero, or infinite sets that have puzzled humans for so long, you may become aware that they´re virtual entities.

WIthout the concept of the virtual we´re actually pretty fucked up if we tried to understand the nature of numbers, I guess. It can be argued that numbers are, e.g., platonic, and there are some indications to it, likewise there are other indications that taking them as platonic entitities does not actually apply. With Virtual Reality the notion of the virtual has become somehow more mainstream. Before that it has been prominent within the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze. In thinking and conceptualising about the virtual Deleuze draw on fellow philosopher Henri Bergson – and on Marcel Proust, i.e. neither a philosopher nor a scientist nor a mathematician but a literary genius who, concerning the virtual, was ruminating about how to grasp the qualities of memory. I cannot remember who it was but it was some eminent mathematician who noted that even the most abstract and aloof maths sooner or later is bound to somehow become applicable when trying to get a grasp on something in reality. It is all a gigantic network, hahahahaha.

In his book Infinity and the Mind Rudy Rucker described how it was when he had a personal encounter with Gödel. Despite popular beliefs that he was bizarre the elderly Gödel had, as it seemed to Rucker, the statue of a very wise man who seemed to have thought about everything in life, thoroughly and concise; something that people would also remark about the elderly Wittgenstein. Rucker noted that Gödel had the habit that when completing a sentence or statement he would often exalt his voice and break into a ringing laughter, in an obvious gesture of adding some irony and leaving room for calling into question the things he just stated with such rigid logic and that seemed to be so perfectly concise – bravo, that´s the spirit! Wittgenstein was also so eminent at logics that he used logic for accelerating perplexedness. When the elderly Wittgenstein displayed the profoundly wise man to others the effect was ambiguous, as Wittgenstein on the one hand seemed to have thought about everything, including the more mundane things in life, but would enter a discussion about everything with great intensity, devotion and sternness (including conversations about the more mundane things in life), so that people usually on the one hand felt enriched and that they had received valuable advice but that they sort of had been overrun by a tank on the other hand (conversations with Emily Dickinson seemed to have been of a similar quality). – A while ago I have noticed that Kripke is considered as one of the definitely most important philosophers of the last 200 years. Kripke explained Wittgenstein to a more general population after Wittgenstein´s death. Kripke is an analytical philosopher and so far I have not read much about him. I read however that most of his (more recent) works are lectures and he himself does not seem to care so much about them being published, because his mind is obviously working too fast for caring about such mundane things – bravo, that´s the spirit! Kripke however is silent about many other things a philosopher would be expected to be vocal about. I have read that, in personal encounters, Kripke appears like a very intelligent person, yet something somehow is missing, a certain human element. – I said this about Kripke because as an association it came to my mind, it also somehow fits into this note and it is, apart from that, informative, and I like to inform people about all kind of stuff because I like to get informed about all kind of stuff myself.

This note about numbers may be dilettante, I am not a professional mathematician, I have not thought a lot about it, and I am occupied with doing other things at the moment. But I don´t see an error with conceptualising numbers as virtual entities. So far for now.

Network Update

When I was walking through the Praterallee before some thoughts came to my mind about the incompleteness theorem, set theory, theory of everything, info-cognition, reality as a language, Zeno’s paradoxa, Cantor’s mathematical innovations, internal vs external consistecny of and within systems, the nature of consciousness, the nature of language, metalanguage, Chomsky vs Wittgenstein, whether there is a heart of it all or finally an evolutionary (or degenerative) interplay of heterogenous sets at the deep structure, also concerning human intelligence taken as ability to carry out manipulations within symbolic systems and then whether there is an underlying structure to „symbol systems“ or they are also, at the core, heterogenous, etc. and how all of this is connected. I eagerly wanted to read David Foster Wallace` book about Cantor on this behalf after I would be at home again, but now I am doing nothing, not even thinking in any relevant fashion. Maybe later. Maybe I listen to Nervosa next, because they’re furious and cute. It is hot in Vienna today. Anyway, my network is apparently getting ever more dense and robust. That will feel good.



About Hyperinfinite Sets, Again

Because I – cautiously – thought it could meet some resonance there I posted my note about Count Scelsi in the Pretentious Classical Music Elitists group yesterday. It contains things that are the most substantial and are the most sympathetic that can be said about Scelsi, as always when I say something it is among the most substantial and the most sympathetic that can be said about the respective subject. It got zero Likes from the Pretentious Elitists, and at least the statement about how to properly understand economics I posted on my timeline yesterday received one Like after many hours. Rumi says, in God´s world nothing is more difficult to bear than the absurd. Fortunately I don´t predominantly see the absurd, I only see hyperinfinite sets, like Attar, which practically seems to imply that while I can relate to a lot of different, and heterogenous groups, the divergences prevail everywhere. At least people who know me generally like me. Why not, I also generally like people, try to constructive in general. Ubi bene, ibi patria.

Economics 1

I think I will get me this book. Years ago I penetrated into economics, quite broadly, and deeply, but since 1) a career as a professional economist, or any professional, did not work out 2) I did not have the impression that I could reach the innermost invisible core of the entire discipline right then 3) other things came to my mind, it went off my radar, so maybe I should brush up and move on now. Maybe now some things come to my mind about economics and how it is situated, and mirrored, within the Welträtsel. That will feel good.

They say economics is a dismal science but this is due to its nature which is about predicting presumably rational behaviour, or events happening along a rational trajectory, within a complex environment. Predicting unfolding of rationality is (more or less) a complicated problem i.e. it is difficult to solve but it can be solved and a more or less definitive, finite solution can be given. A complex problem, by contrast, can never definitely be solved and is infinite, it can only be handled by trying to take everything possible into account and to be ever open to accept the seemingly impossible and to see everything as moving objects and to be quick to readjust. To tackle the complicated is a matter of a formalised language, but the complex probably can never be translated into a formalised system, and the ability to handle it will more or less remain an artistry than calculus (see e.g. Dietrich Dörner´s „The Logic of Failure: Recognizing And Avoiding Error In Complex Situations“). That interplay of complicated problems situated in a complex context makes economics an actually very difficult science which actually needs to be learned. It cannot be easily understood per se although, when you are somehow intelligent, it seems to be this way, creating and maintaining an illusion (which is resemblant to that what in psychology is called the Dunning-Kruger effect). Much within it cannot be drawn from logical conclusion or fluid intelligence and much of it is counterintuitive, lessons have to be drawn from practical experience and from history, i.e. as an economist you also need to have crystallized intelligence, through accumulation.


Economists are, practically, fond of calculus, and the critics of the (mainstream) economist branch mock that they are trying to do a kind of physics and put upon a physicist´s approach upon that which is actually the social realm, which can, therefore, „never work out“. That is, then, the ignorance of the crititics of economics which also never works out and usually comes in with the same, or even more pronounced, arrogance they – rightfully – attribute to the branch of mainstream economists. In an act which is actually an act of despair mainstream economists try to come to terms with an imperfect world by modelling a perfect world in which, then, law of „physics“ would apply. Herein they can offer perfect solutions. But in reality you always have imperfect situations and settings so that you practically would have to model second-best options. And it is very difficult, if not – ever – impossible to model second-best options. Much of the dismal character of economics can be attributed to that. In another light, as is noted in the article, economists often seem to be more concerned about the internal consistency of their approaches than of the external consistency and such „mentalities“ create path-dependencies along which problems generally are seen and tried to be tackled.

A practical dismal aspect, given the capability of the human intellect, is that in order to understand economics you have to get familiar with all schools of economic thought since they all contain truths, as well as errors. And when transforming those doctrines into economic policy it is, in addition to that, situational of what may practically be a truth or an error, respectively a right or a wrong approach, which is why policy makers should rather look for an appropriate approach which should be open to some incrementalism. That is to a good deal even beyond the capability of the more extraordinary minds. Keynes said that an ideal economist is so rare because she would have to combine such multiple and diverse intelligence traits that they seldom meet inside one person.

Keynes himself proclaimed that class struggle would find him on the side „of the educated bourgeoisie“ which reflects that economics is to a very high, actually abnormal, degree an ideological battleground, reflecting, of course, also the difference of interests within the social realm. In order to understand economics you not only have to be familiar with all economic schools of thought and their rights and their wrongs, but you have to try to sort this all out free of ideologically constrained epistemology. That is also difficult for humans. The most comprehensive and maybe greatest single economist, Karl Marx, was an ideological fanatic (not without reason, however). Therefore Marx was far less intellectually productive in the second half of his life where he presumably ruminated whether his architecture might not be too narrow or maybe wrong at all, without, however, being ready to draw any conclusions from those ruminations.


(After writing the voluminous Grundrisse der Kritik der Politischen Ökonomie in only some months because he was expecting a major crisis of capitalism impending with it more or less signifying the great kataklysm of capitalism per se, and then seeing that an economic downturn actually came but, in reality, rather passed by like a cloud than confirming his intellectual sentiments, Marx became to be much less productive as a thinker. He wrote on Capital, to not ever complete it, although the main ideas for Capital had already been outlined in the Grundrisse. He contemplated whether, for instance, not class struggles but rivalries between nations could be the prime mover of history. In general Marx had important and illuminous insights which will be here to stay forever and he enriched our understanding of multiple things, enabled a more complex understanding, but actually never got the essence of anything right, neither of capitalism, nor economics in general, nor of society, of man, of religion, of ideology, of history; and the sophistical concept of the commodity fetisch he replaced with an unrecognized „capital fetish“ bewildering the anticapitalists. (Marx´ and Marxism´s system of thought is constantly oscillating between an open, dialectical one and a closed, finite, doctrinarian one, reflecting that as an internal inconsistency of Marx himself.) For instance I guess that if there is any prime mover of history it will be technological progress, but we don´t know how technological progress translates into the making of distinct social realms and what form class struggle or relations between nations will take. I will write a note about Marx and Marxism and, I guess, a second note about the concept of class society and class struggle. To outline the general argument of the second one: Marx proposed a dialectics, actually some kind of hydraulics in the evolution of society, along the line of class struggle. You have the development of the productive forces, creating a mode of production, and within the mode of production you have the members of classes acting as agents of the reproduction and finally the transformation of the system, resembling actually a structural functionalism with internal dialectics which will fuck everything up (i.e. a meta-structural functionalism or so). Seeing that such a perspective is not globally appropriate Marx then spoke of an Asian mode of production which obiously does not work along those lines (so easily). Wittfogel made an attempt how to tackle the problem of the Asian mode of production and that of the evolvement of societies in general, Jared Diamond is a famous example of a holisitic approach upon the development of societies and economic systems in our time #alwaysremember #neverforget. The concept of class society however seems to imply that classes are a reflection of something that is inherently productive. But when you look at many societies social stratification does not seem to be insanely dialectically productive with the ruling class or the elite being more or less only extractive based on social relations which are clientilistic, and they are in a deadlock for centuries or maybe forever; see e.g. Acemoglu/Robinson´s „Why Nations Fail“.)


I have read hundreds of books, papers, essays on economics, international political economy, globalisation studies, economic history, and development economics. For random reasons Porter´s „Competetive Advantage of Nations“ comes to my mind at the moment. It contains studies what (industrial) strategies have made several, and distinct, nations economically successful. It is somehow strange that the question about the benefits or fallacies of infant industry protection is hardly ever properly adressed in modern day economics and its textbooks, where infant industry protection is disfavored although successful Western and Asian nations relied on it, whereas, granted, in other nations it was a failure (or something resemblant to a failure). Well, the secret to successful infant industry protection lies in protecting the national infant industry from competition from the world market but not on the domestic market. Because of competition on the domestic market infant industries in successful nations increased their productivity and became therefore fit for competition on a global scale, whereas in Latin American or African countries infant industries were also protected from competition on the domestic market and therefore did not get very far. That is a key message of Porter´s book. I remember Keynes´ „General Theory“ to be badly written and not easily accessible. Hyman Minsky somehow always says the same. The time when I was obsessed about economics was the time when Kindleberger died. Kindleberger died in 2003 and I studied economics for my doctoral thesis which I completed in 2004. In 2005 I wrote a postgraduate thesis „Problems and Perspectives in Contemporary World Order“ where I tried to discuss all international problems of our time on 50 pages, and on p. 27 it says: „Nevertheless, one should avoid too optimistic thinking concerning the unlikeliness of serious economic trouble the USA might slip into at almost any point of time. Too many are the sins of carelessness within the American economy: saving rates are low, the sectors of the „old economy“ are relatively unproductive and at the real estate market a major bubble could burst.“ (I was familiar with such things because they have been frequently reported in, for instance, The Economist magazine but no one, apart from a few like Robert Brenner, took the warning signs serious enough, including me.) After having written the thesis I found it superficial, neglected it, became depressed about it, but of course my supervisors also never really understood what an omega mind I carry, respectively did not care. I also did not understand that I carry the omega mind back then since having the omega mind means permanently falling into the abyss and being somehow devoid of orientation as well as ususally operating at such a high level of abstraction that what the omega mind ejects then is in danger of being mistaken as „practically“ useless. The omega mind is actually not easy to understand, due to its complexity. People like me are seen as „intelligent, but strange“, and therefore neglected. But we are not strange. We are hypernormal. This is not very well understood about us. However it is true our proper place are not the institutions but is in the twilight zone. Jenseits des Gradienten. The omega mind is not academic and does not fit into disciplines, is also not interdisciplinary, nor transdisciplinary, nor a-disciplinary and is also not interested in doing complexity studies, it tries to establish a productive mimesis of the all seeing eye. And communication is impaired between the omega mind and other minds. Yet we will shoot back. Behold.


 A good book about a critical assessment of economics is the one by Amitai Etzioni whose title I cannot remember and cannot find now on the internet.

I have, however, never read Adam Smith. #theroadahead

I have bought an old textbook about industrial economics at a cheap price at the university some years ago but still not have read it. Same thing goes for the big bad book by Kahnemann. I have, however, read Thaler and Sunstein´s book „Nudge“ about behavioural economics.

This week it came to my mind I also want to write a note about the „Dostojevski Idiot and the incompleteness theorem within human morals“. As I have mentioned the concept of mimesis I came to remember that I also want to finally read sociologist Gabriel de Tarde who based his grasp on society on a concept of mimesis. He is not very well known but was one or the other time mentioned by Deleuze and Guattari; at his time he was overshadowed by Durkheim as well as modern French sociology is overshadowed by Bourdieu. I have read some Bourdieu, but no Durkheim so far.


My somehow sincere penetration into economics has resulted in that I find myself to have practically nothing to say about economics respectively about economic affairs. That is too difficult. I would need to study a lot about every case until I feel ready to say something about it. Everyone on Facebook for instance said something about Greece, notably the referendum triggered by Tsipras a while ago. Yet in the case of Greece it was difficult to see through the fog and to get what information presented by different channels even was correct and reliable, and because 1) I was not responsible for the situation 2) I cannot do anything about the situation I did not engage a lot about the Greek case; but I checked out that Leela Papadioti from Greece who in the World Genius Directory is listed with a 180 IQ issued a statement at the day before the referendum in which she very thoughtful, non-triumphant, trying to be as objective and unideological as deemed possible to her made an assessment (in favor of Tsipras), admitting that the situation is troubling and confusing; whereas people with IQs much lower than that all seemed to know so well what should have been done, in their usual demeanor to make Greece, and everything else, a toy with which they play in their ideologically motivated games. – With an eminent IQ score one should become eminently rational, at very high IQ levels hyper-rationality should come into being. That means an ever reflexive or meta-rationality and being unpersonal yet intellectually highly involved and emotionally sympathetic in assessments, like e.g. Einstein or Wittgenstein exercised. Viewed from the outside, hyper-rationality appears like overthinking, which is sometimes ridiculed by people as well as by overthinkers themselves. But without overthinking nothing would have ever come into being at all and we would still live in the stone age, not discussing the Greek case. Thinking IS overthinking. As anyone can, within certain ranges, be rational, everyone can be hyper-rational. Be like Leela. I also asked Evangelos Katsioulis, a Greek who probably has the highest IQ in the world (maybe around 200), about his assessment of the referendum, but he did not reply.
Book review: Michel De Vroey and the problems of macroeconomics
„The master-economist must possess a rare combination of gifts …. He must be mathematician, historian, statesman, philosopher—in some degree. He must understand symbols and speak in words. He must contemplate the particular, in terms of the general, and touch abstract and concrete in the same flight of thought. He must study the present in the light of the past for the purposes of the future. No part of man’s nature or his institutions must be entirely outside his regard. He must be purposeful and disinterested in a simultaneous mood, as aloof and incorruptible as an artist, yet sometimes as near to earth as a politician.“ – John Maynard Keynes
                                    Yellen Challenges Economists Amid Elusive Great Recovery

Problems and Perspectives in Contemporary World Order

(I edited some comments I made on a thread in the Polymathica group into a note, content relating to a master thesis I wrote years ago at the university. Ahhh … apart from that not much is happening inside me at the moment, before my inner eye, looking inside my mind, the current vision is a yellow-coloured space and there are three black dots in it forming some triangle, these days I keep looking at them, watching them in silence and inertia, not producing, or feeling the urge to produce, overly relevant thoughts. Incipit Zarathustra.)


In 2005 I wrote a pretentious Master thesis at the university titled „Problems and Perspectives in Contemporary World Order“ in which I tried to discuss all the current major world problems as well as current and prospective developments in the world regions on 50 pages. In the introduction I ruminated that a heuristic framework in which the New (post Cold War) World Order may be conceptualised is established by a coordinate system made out of the „Fukuyama Narrative“ on the one hand and of the „Huntington Narrative“ on the other.

The „Fukuyama Narrative“, established in „The End of History“, in general, argues that after the end of the Cold War respectively the system competition between capitalism and communism, with capitalism respectively free markets (and liberal democracy) having „won“, there are no principled conflicts (Grundsatzkonflikte) in the world anymore and the world is headed for (cultural, political, social and economic) „unification“. Look at science fiction movies where foreign planets with advanced civilisations are usually governed by a planetary government – the road ahead seems intuitively clear (which does not, however, mean: straight). In a globalised world respectively a world dominated by reason and by looking after the common good multilateralism or global governance and a unified spirit seem imperative (at least in the child´s eye and children are always right). The „Fukuyama Narrative“ is Hegelian and stands in the tradition of enlighenment, given at least the more blunt implications of a reading/reception of the „Fukuyama Narrative“ however it is a (probably, likely) dangerous and undialectical, naive form of enlightenment ideology. And at the time when I wrote the thesis the Bush II administration seemed to be guided by such a spirit in their (originally much more far-reaching neoconservative/PNAC) endeavours to bomb in democracy into the Middle East. (Many motives have come into play for marching into Iraq, with George W.´s inferiority complex as the family idiot trying to „get the job done where daddy didn´t“ being one of them, but more general toppling governments hostile to the USA and replacing them with friendly ones as a neoconservative agenda mixed with a genuine hope to promote democracy and progress in the world and, most important, getting a foot in the region: according to an article I read only once (in Harper´s magazine) Cheney´s idea was that with Turkey, Saudi-Arabia and Iraq being allies to the USA US global hegemony would have been secured for the next 50 years, as being the core motive for the Iraq war.) Before that the Western world was guided by such a „Fukuyman“ spirit when it promoted hardcore neoliberalism for the ex-communist countries in Eastern Europe after the fall of the Soviet empire, with mixed results, at best. The „Fukuyama Narrative“ has become somehow prevalent or the underlying narrative among globalisation enthusiasts, another prominent label for it is e.g. the maxime about „the world is flat“ established by Thomas Friedman.

Huntington´s book „The Clash of Civilisations“ was written as a critical reaction to Fukuyama. In general, the „Huntington Narrative“ is based on the concept that principled conflicts are still in place and likely to remain indefinitely (with, however, the nature of principled conflicts shifting), where Huntington argues that the dividing lines of the nearer future lie across cultural dividing lines. Although Huntington´s thesis and argumentation was in the utmost majority of cases disapproved or modified (for instance that the actual dividing lines for conlicts will not lie along the grand cultural divides since actually different cultures like Orient and Occident are more likely to be indifferent to each other, but rather in the (seeming) „narcissism of the small differences“ e.g. between Sunna and Shia, etc.) it was a major work of reference, and, as I argued, in the light of the general implication: namely that principled conflicts are not a thing of the past, not a thing which can be, in the spirit of enlightenment, resolved within „rational discourse“ but are likely to remain. On an abstract level the „Fukuyama Narrative“ is about a world headed for community based on mutually shared values and mentality, the „Huntington Narrative“ is about idiosyncracies and (core) differences between people and peoples likely to remain indefinitely. Yet this does not mean that cooperation and becoming closer to each other and unusual, unexpected marriages are impossible or rare (among people as well as among peoples). „Huntington“ is a nemesis to „Fukuyama“ – but also it is the other way round. That may be the, somehow more complicated and diffuse, dialectics of contemporary world order.

So, made up by that coordinates, the question of new world order seems to be: is the world headed for unification and peace or for conflict and divide? And the answer is that within that practical framework complexities are likely to arise which go over the head of politicians and people. This seems to have been confirmed by the developments in the last 10 years. Note also that a defining question for world politics will be what power blocks will stand against each other and in what relationship to each other in the future, and current attempts obviously are about forging such power blocks which, by nature, does include both inclusion and exclusion (or exclusive inclusion as the West seems to try with Russia, which the West tries to weaken in order to subjugate Russia; also consider the ongoing politics to reshape the Middle East, etc.). The relationships within and between the power blocks are likely to be more flexible and fluid, yet maybe also more fragile, unstable and unpredictable, triggering additional policy errors. Concerning the prospects of a world government it was, somehow ironically, Fukuyama himself who, a decade after the publication of „The End of History“ (in 2002) called such an idea, prominent in the West, naive, also in the respect that the larger and more comphrehensive the political entities are the less are the chances that they are democratic and that the multitude can identify with them. What can be said however is that governance in the new world order will/should involve many layers and that people of very high intelligence who are usually excluded from institutions of any sort but who are able to oversee those layers should be included the respective institutions.

The question for democracy in the world is also settled within that coordinate system. It has been argued that in most world regions democracy is „not wanted“ as a perceived cultural artefact of the West, alien and inappropriate for, for instance, Russia, China, Saudi-Arabia or African countries – and not only by Russian etc. leaders but by the populace themselves. Yet democracy was alien in the Western world as well up to recently and the hostility of the insecure European elites and significant parts of the general population like the petty bourgeoisie against the democratic regimes installed after WW1 led to the dictatorships which led to WW2 (however it has to be noted that without the devastations caused by the Great Depression history would likely have gone in another direction). For the most part of history man has been reluctant or hostile to change and progress and feared it. That people are (relatively) open to progress is a new phenomenon and clusters in the industrialised world. Note that for the most time in history man struggled against nature on a day to day basis and established routines were literally held sacred as providing security, and deviations were seen as great dangers to survival, not in a few cases, because of the usual trial and error method with which innovations come into being, for justified reasons. A friend of mine once worked at a developmental project in Ethiopia. Well, it was largely about transfering money from one pocket to the other, apart from that he made the observation that the major obstacle to change and to do something against the hunger in the land was the ordinary farmer´s resistance to try out new agricultural methods, because they feared that it might lead to bad harvest. From that perspective the brutal policy in communist countries, notably under Stalin and Mao, to modernise agriculture with the intention to end the recurrent famines become apparent and, despite their horrendous execution, not the work of psychopaths (which neither Stalin nor Mao were, though they have nevetheless been highly unpleasant characters), and at least Mao was praised by Henry Kissinger as a moderniser of China, which, as should be remembered, was unable to emerge from its backwardness against the West for 300 years.

This needs to be taken into account adressing the initial question of the threat whether democracy is applicable for the Middle East or more general in many parts of the world. In order for democracy, innovation and modernisation to succeed it needs to lead to positive results in the first place. The hostility in Europe soon faded (apart from the most memorable consequence of Nazism/Fascism and WW2) when European countries became (economically) successful, however the conditions of the golden age of postwar prosperity in the Western world were in parts contingent, local and unrepeatable, we were lucky, but there are also other opportunities to be lucky, for instance being a late moderniser who initially just has to copy everything and profit from the lessons learned by predecessors in order to progress relatively smoothly and at fast pace like China. Yes, people in Russia, China or Saudi-Arabia may be unfavorable to liberal democracy, maybe also out of an inferiority complex-triggered cultural narcissism against the Occident, but this does not mean they´re right with their assessment. Time and circumstances may overcome that. Of course it has to be noted that social structures and mentalities influence a lot whether liberal democracy can be an option. Western countries were not composed of multiethnical tribal societies with clientilist structures and they were not overly corrupt. Yet China is an example for a highly corrupt and authoritarian country which is (at least at the moment) (economically) successful. In general in should be avoided to look at single factors as supposedly major determinants of how societies respectively complex systems may develop. It is the interplay of many factors which make up for it. Yeah, we are relatively helpless and incompetent foreseeing the future, but the best approach is to know all the single theoretical models and to keep your models open.

The Portland Tribune as a Hyperinfinite Set

I get informed that the Portland Tribune changed the cover pic; very impressive shit. Apart from that I have, among others, The Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Sudan Tribune andNKNews – North Korea News in my news feed, but, as a recognize, no newspapers from my own country or the German speaking world in general; alas, I don´t use to read newspapers at all anymore since some time; I also have not read any books the last time; maybe, when I reach the omega level, I also won´t read books anymore; that will feel good. I wonder if, then, I will be entirely disconnected from the man´s world or super/omni-connected; but I guess that´s just the two sides of the same medal, maybe the medal will then become more multidimensional or Calabi-Yau space-like; at the infinity level it may become infinite dimensional; mathematicians who´re into set theory are discussing whether there are hyperinfinite sets; according to Gödel´s incompleteness theorem it may be neither provable nor disprovable whether hyperinfinite sets actually exist, at least certain mathematical objects like knots can easier be conceptualised under the assumption that hyperinfinite sets do exist; that´s the incompleteness theorem in action and that seems to be the sense of the incompleteness theorem; there are also some mathematicians who think there is no infinity but a very large number n where n+1 again equals 1; when I reach the hyperinfinite level I will have figured everything about that out; that will feel good.