Entering Lonergan's Novum Organon
The Assault on Civilizational Structures
Should China Pay the World Reparations?
March 28, 2020
The Great Shakedown III
A certain degree of clarity can be given to understanding current issues and positions concerning the Wuhan virus and its potential effects by using Garrett Harden's [Three] Filters Against Folly: literacy, numeracy, and ecolacy. The first seeks the right words; the second seeks the right numbers; while the third seeks what is likely to happen after the intervention (or non-intervention) takes place. Each has its own advantages in coming to understand; each has its own flaws and limitations. But together these very orientations or foundational stances form a powerful method to approach the truth, for together the benefits of each counter the liabilities of the others.
A Crisis Now Obvious to All
April 4, 2020
A Cosmopolis Perspective: Benchmark
It seems we have strayed off our primary mission with good reason, to be sure, for the pandemic is of immediate concern to many. Yet it is a good idea to remind ourselves of our true benchmark, or benchmarks really. The first relates to the Wuhan virus and is a reminder that we cannot measure it against the 70 year Pax Americana of the post WW II Breton Woods agreement where it seems history has come to an end, but with the prior centuries of "normal" conflict and cooperation between nations. The second is that our own objectives have to do not with the current rather narrowly defined "emergency" but with the long term consequences of common sense or general bias that requires a different frame of mind.The spread of the Wuhan virus has brought to the surface a whole alphabet of institutional giants that turn out to be pigmies in disguise.
March 4, 2020
Exposed: Exponential Agonies
Context is everything. So begins a series of reflections on history as a sequence of images (thing, not body; an insight that grasps the unity of a thing; central unity). The Wuhan Virus is, in retrospect, an entirely predictable entity given the history of China's production of coronaviruses such as Sars. But such an "unexpected" event brings into being an image of the prior conditions as well as the transition to a yet-to-be-known end condition. The reason we are in a bit of a mess is that the human mind is not conditioned to understand and recognize rates of change in which each increment adds even more to the pot (exponential agonies). However, much depends on one's insight into the initial form prior to the shift into a world of uncertainty. To really begin to understand what is happening requires a shift not only to a broader span of time but the incorporation of a wider image of what is. The current unsettling needs to be put into perspective if we are to come through relatively unscathed.
March 25, 2020
The Great Shakedown: Part I
What if the points Feldman and Bovard make are only symptoms? Suppose also that the root cause is not the Wuhan virus pandemic, but something far deeper? This weeks commentary explores the idea of decline, the importance of foundational stances, the lack of numeric and ecological literacy, and the possibility that the long term benefit may have a lot to do with repairing a problem intergenerational contract. After all, who these days plants trees whose shade only future generations will enjoy?
Crash Course in Exponential Growth
February 26, 2020
The Conditioning Effects of Changes in Low Level Energy/Material Cycles on the Balance of Power in Global Institutions
This week we consider the basic theory behind our understanding of fundamental institutional change. This upper blade of theory anticipates what there is to be known when we consider world process as emergent probability. This allows us to understanding the conditioning and sublating effects that are operative between three different levels of being: the Transcendent, the Global Institution System, and the Energy/Material recurring schemes of operation that support both higher levels. This is only a sketch, suggesting possibilities for research than definitive results.
April 6, 2020
Final Thoughts on the Wuhan Virus
For some time now we have been preoccupied with the fallout from the Wuhan virus, rightly so since it has the potential to radically transform the global scene. But it's time to shift back to the reason we started work on foundations, the work being objectifying out own foundational stance and level of intellectual, moral, and religious conversion. The best way to understanding Lonergan's notion of conversion is to relate it to one's own being. Besides, it forms one of the basic tasks of any cosmopolis: clearing the blindness in one's own eye lest it infect all that is done. Carrying out this task is essential before one can move into the primary task of working out an evaluative history that puts currents events into a context greater than that currently used by commentators and other participants. This posting explores the idea that the universe has a purpose and its purpose is to provide all that is necessary to transform humans from animal to spiritual control mediators. So, all is well; all is good; and things are exactly they way that they need to be.
March 30, 2020
Robustness & Trapped Resources
There are two questions raised this week. The first concerns the robustness of Western civilization, or it seems that the Wuhan virus has posed a challenge many institutions cannot handle. The second seeks to find a positive aspect to such decline in the idea that existing 19th century based institutional structures may have to decline if not disappear in order to free up resources necessary for the next great transition grounded in emerging technologies. The latter will be the topic of the next post.
Black Pigeon Speaks
The Broken Intergenerational Contract
Why Has the West Been So Successful?
An Official Emergency
On Mike Bloomberg Demeaning Farmers and Farming
World Leaders Now in Panic Mode
Mainland China's Worst Societal Problem
What's Going On In the West?
April 4, 2020
A First Step at assessing President Trump's level of conversion
We have been delving into an outline of an evaluative history useful when it comes assessing the capabilities of any leader caught in its web. If it doesn't objectified President Trump's foundational stance, at least it objectifies my own. At any point, it is time to draw our investigation into conversion to and end, having fallen into the law of diminishing returns.
Deflection: Let's Look Elsewhere
Educational Projects: Foundations: Donald Trump III
February 19th, 2020
Back to Basics: Mastering the 16 Fundamental Socio-Political Variables
This week we used our knowledge of these variables to sketch out some of the key factors being exposed by the COVID-19 virus. This adds to our understanding of the fundamental institutional changes taking place at the global level that is very useful when coming to assess President Trump's foundational stance.
March 27, 2020
The Great Shakedown: Part II
Predicting the future is a difficult feat, for all we have are extensions to what we already know. Yet recognizing a transcendental realm of meaning and the reality of a truly universal perspective, we can probe the proportionate understanding of human beings by asking ourselves the question: What does this transcendental high power being think is going forward? Now, we will never be able to answer that question, but we can use what has been given to us through revelation to ask ourselves another question, one that Doris Lessing used to ask: What will the culture that comes after ours think of our own age? And then, there's yet another question: We know the Enlightenment or the Renaisance only after the fact, i.e., in hindsight. Is there another such shift currently being played out? Is it related to Lonergan's Novum Organon?
March 11, 2020
Context is Everything
It is all to easy to limit one's horizon: it saves time and energy if one can isolate and focus on a specific area. But it comes with a risk that reality includes other things then those of immediate interest. When that happens, affairs don't go as planned due to unexpected events and unanticipated consequences. In this week's session we focus on a larger framework that incorporates three levels of intelligibility along with the conditioning and sublating effects between them. Perhaps this expanded framework for understanding human history will be of use when it comes to evaluating the impact of the Wuhan Virus.
Listening to (and Rebutting) the Critics
Coronavirus Out of Control in China