Welcome to the Pons Asinorum

There is no easy fix

Entering Lonergan's Novum Organon

Facing the Reality of a Lack of Moral Courage

Joyous Insurgency & the Long Game?

A Strategy for People Celebrating Life

Rodney Stark, How the West Won: The Neglected Story of the Triumph of Modernity (Wilmington, Delaware: ISI Books, 2014)

This text not only matches the rough sketch of an evaluative history developed in a prior exercise but incorporates the importance of the Transcendent in human affairs. But above all, what struck me were the numerous documented rationalizations and myths used by different power-seekers over the course of two thousand years. It is these that we will now explore.


January 10, 2021

Rodney Stark's version of history is totally compatible with the evaluative history laid out in the section of that name, an evaluative history derived from an analysis grounded in the world process of emergent probability. This analysis avoids not only the current cultural blindness concerning the importance of the transcendent in human affairs but the importance of the third law of thermodynamics in human history by postulating three distinct yet interrelated levels of intelligibility. All levels are described in terms of recurring schemes of operation within the theoretical realm of meaning.

  • The transcendent realm of being that is conditioned by the institutional structure while simultaneously sublating our institutional arrangements.
  • An institutional level that conditions the transcendent while simultaneously sublating the energy/material level.
  • An energy/material level involving man-made cycles of production and distribution subject to the thermodynamics of the natural world that condition the emergence of any institutional structure.

The point in all this is that if you want to understand what is currently taking place around the world you need to take into account each of the three levels as well as the two sublating and two conditioning process in play while considering the whole to represent a complex non-lineal system.

What does Rodney Stark have to tell us about the rationalizations and myth-making of different groups over the span of human history.

Personal Comment: For example, no one considers that continual lock-downs constitute a reduction in both the contained amount and cycle lengths operative at the energy/material level. No matter what financial markets may suggest, the reality is that there is less energy and material to support existing global, regional, and local institutional structures. This conditioning effect will degrade both the size and operation of the recurring schemes of operation that define our great and not so great insitutions, limiting their scope and downgrading their collective intelligence gathering and processing capacities. At the same time, the sublating effects of the transcendent level are leading to a great awakening among the general populace as to the pernicious effects of a credentialed and meritless "elite" who are now being exposed for the egotistical simpletons they seem to be. (rcb, Jan12, 2021)

Educational Projects: Deluding Mankind: Rodney Stark