Strong Opinions, Lightly Held

The motto of Paul Saffo, Director for the Institute for the Future. [via Evelyn Rodrigues][via Johnnie Moore]

This is actually the same argument I had with myself about active versus passive flexibility back in the 80’s and the paradox of “the unreasonable man”. No point being so open minded that you believe anything in an ephemeral way, blowing with the wind, so to speak. You should hold opinions, preconceptions you understand, not just cultural schemata, but should actively be prepared to test them against any other view and modify the view held or not, accordingly. Without this there is no coherence, and no evolution or progress either.

I like Johnnie’s blog – looks interesting. His punchline is “I think the best thing to do is show and say more of what you really think, with whatever true vehemence seems fitting to you at the time!” ie Clarifying your opinions is important, how hard you defend them (or not) depends on circumstances. I see Johnnie bought the Cluetrain Manifesto too. Man after my own heart.

Also like Evelyn’s punchline “Agreement is not necessary, thinking for oneself is.”

Quantum Genetics Information Model

It’s a few months since I looked at what’s going on in this space, and was prompted today by a cross hit on “non-locality. The BCS-Cybernetics site has this astonishing paper which is actually 4 years old …
[Levels of] chromosome quantum nonlocality as genetic information …

The 1st level is that the organism as a whole ….
The 2nd level is the cellular level ….
The 3rd level is the cellular-nuclear level ….
The 4th level is the molecular level ….
[So far so good ?]

The 5th level is the chromosome-holographic: at this level, a gene has a holographic memory, which is typically distributed, associative, and nonlocal, where the holograms “are read” by electromagnetic and/or acoustic fields … the nonlocality takes on its dualistic material-wave role, as may also be true for the holographic memory of the cerebral cortex.

The 6th level concerns the genome’s quantum nonlocality … Billions of an organism’s cells can [therefore] “know” about each other instantaneously, allowing such a cell set to regulate and coordinate its metabolism and its own functions.

What can I say ? Bear in mind that these people are would-be pragmatists, looking for exploitable Information Technology, not philosophers engaged in academic debate of mind-body dualism at the boundaries of the known world.

Blueberry Brain

Stumbled across this little lot on a cross-search hit on “Maslow’s Holistic Training Template“, which sounded like a 1970’s rock-band for a moment. (Just remembered what it triggered – Roger Ruskin-Spear’s Kinetic Wardrobe, though I actually remember it as Neil Innes, supporting Curved-Air and/or Mott The Hoople, Middlesbrough Town Hall, 1972-ish. Perhaps Dumpy’s Rusty Nuts is closer, or more obviously Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. None of which explains why my head is filled with Roy Wood singing “Goodbye Blackberry Rain”. Nurse, quick, fetch the straight-jacket.)

Anyway, Chaophilosophy or Chaosophy sounds awfully mystical; Dawkins wouldn’t approve, all emergence and convergence. No time to get a feel for the quality of the arguments yet, but some fascinating papers by Frederick Abraham, with all the right ingredients. Some wonderful titles in this collection of papers on Chaos Theory in Psychology. (Karl Pribram in there.)

Chaos is seductive, because it is seductive, and a good story is often “better” than objective truth. Seems to be the theme of my last dozen posts.

Northrop and Heisenberg

Another one of those “the plot thickens” links. Read and blogged about both F.S.C. Northrop (The Meeting of East and West) and Werner Heisenberg (Physics and Philosophy), but didn’t notice the the US edition of the latter (1958 Great Minds series, published by Prometheus) had an introduction by the former. I read the UK Penguin edition of Phsyics and Philosophy, with an intro by Paul Davies, I think.

Richard Russo’s Address

The Richard Russo piece (*) blogged below, is an excellent read on so many levels, about what really matters in life. Very moving actually. [*Local Copy cached here.]

“The vain hope of middle class parents that their children will go off to college and later be returned to them economically viable but otherwise unchanged … what many parents never quite seem to grasp … sending their kids off to college is a lot like putting them in the witness protection program. If the person who comes out is easily recognizable as the same person who went in, something has gone terribly, dangerously wrong.”

Whaddya reckon boys ?

“I have two things to offer today: first, a story, and second, some advice about the rest of your lives. If you’re only able to pay attention to one, listen to the story … I think almost exclusively in narrative … the only reliable advice I have to give is on how to make stories more plausible, more moving, more true … in other words, how to lie better.”

Narrative fiction as truth, again.

How not to confuse your day job with your life’s work.
Recall Lilia’s “Day Job” thread[?].[Story Telling][More Chaos]

Anyway, Russo’s is good stuff throughout, majoring on humour, again. Go read. [*Local copy cached here.]

A collection of cross-hits

Richard Russo’s Commencement Address (*) – makes you think.
[via clock-watching][*Local copy cached here.]

Eco hit, concerning the book “The Rule of Four”, also from clock-watching. It’s a historical literary mystery story, like Eco’s Rose, but with more of the style of Donna Tartt according to the reviews. The excerpt looks readable. (As an aside, the subject, the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, sounds something like the plot of Gilliam’s Brazil; Lowry searching for his beloved in a dream.)

1997 Wired article on Eco.

Science & Society blog by Dermot. Some links to my posts, plus some other intriguing subjects. Worth perusing further.