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Number Mysticism is Funny

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posted on Jan, 26 2018 @ 12:10 AM
What is number mysticism? I'm sure there are people here who know it way better than I do, but there whole point of this thread is how incoherent the premise is to begin with: why should you think that 'numbers' actually exist? It seems this is the disease of the whole profession of economics: believing that particularities are real, as opposed to abstractions, or still better, emergent properties.

Dissociation has Tricked You

If you look at the brain of a person with antisocial personality disorder (aka sociopathy) they have a part of their brain, subcortical, and in and around the cingulate, which is missing.

What is the cingulate, and why is it important, you ask?

In the left-hand image, there is a white band that surrounds the inner area: just below the blue, and above the red. That 'strip' of brain matter is called the cingulate, and the neurons in the anterior (or front) part are directly involved in the regulation - or inhibition - of the amygdala.

Here's a better image:

This is a pretty kooky insight, and it's hot-stuff among neuroscientists and psychologists, knowing that there are brain markers that give away psychological truths.

In any case, you need to ask yourself a simple question: is a sociopath sane? Or is there sociopathy itself evidence of developmental trauma, which has since become canalized in the sociopath direction?

There is no blaming, and no demonizing here. People cannot control what traditions and beliefs they inherit, and so, how their parents and others relate to them; but people, at all times, have the capacity to reason, so long as they understand that what comes first probabilistically determines what comes after.

Quantum physics wont save you: the QB, or quantum Bayesian interpretation, has more or less settled the issue of measurement, and its fairly banal: particles measure one another, and in doing so, bring about their own existence. This existence, of course, still follows all the various sorts of symmetries that create matter; but more or less, this view eliminates the special god-like status implied by the Heinsenberg interpretation which seems to believe that observation creates reality.

Since I've skidded off into the realm of physics, I've always been amazed at the wanton anthropomorphism of Schrodinger's "cat" thought experiment. What obnoxious hubris to even bother with such a thought experiment without the thought intruding into his head: maybe the cat observes and thus creates its own reality? I've always been bothered by this, and few people have ever brought up the incoherence of treating the cat as a mindless 'thing'.

In anycase, on to number mysticism:

Why it is Funny:

Number mysticism is funny because the whole claim that particulars exist is incoherent. There are no particles; what we call particles are in all probability peak waves. Peak waves represent matter, whereas troughs constitute the space in between us. Therefore, the question becomes: what in christs name are the Babylonians and Pythagoreans smoking such that they imply a mystical or mysterious "secret", such that, for instance, to quote Karl Popper:

“The discovery of the irrationality of the square root of two..destroyed the Pythagorean program of arithmetizing geometry, and with it, it appears, the vitality of the Pythagorean Order itself. The tradition that this discovery was first kept secret is, it seems, supported by the fact that Plato still calls the irrational at first ‘arrhetos’ i.e. the secret, the unmentionable mystery…(a later term is the ‘non-commensurable’…the term ‘alogos’ seems to occur first in Democritus.” – Karl Popper, The Open Society and Its Enemies; pg. 564, Princeton, 2013

And is this "unmentionable mystery" related to this tidbit from Plato's 7th Letter?

“If I thought it possible to deal adequately with the subject in a treatise or a lecture for the general public, what finer achievement would there have been in my life than to write a work of great benefit to mankind and to bring the nature of things to light for all men? I do not, however, think the attempt to tell mankind about these matters a good thing, except in the case of some few who are capable of discovering the truth for themselves with a little guidance. In the case of the rest to do so would excite in some an unjustified contempt in a thoroughly offensive fashion, in others certain lofty and vain hopes, as if they had acquired some awesome lore.” – Plato, 7th Letter, in John Deely, Four Ages of Understanding: The First Postmodern Survey of Philosophy from Ancient Times to the Turn of the Twentieth Century; pg, 55-56, UofT Press, 2001

Here's what's funny: there is a singularity of being - a unity, a monism. This much should not be contested by thinking people.

On the other hand, Plato seems particularly interested in the "irrationality" of two. The belief that there are "two" - a human self, and a "God", or "demiurge", is a typical belief of people who have very good reasons to defend against negative emotions deriving from social-facts, such as hurting, killing, etc, other people.

The square root of two, for instance, is computed, or interpreted, as a mystical theology. Two is expressive of the "atheist" (in this philosophical imaginary). The person imagines that a two exists, and so, in 'squaring it' (seeking to 'rationalize it') they get an irrational number: noise - meaninglessness. If you take 2, and square it, you get 1.41421356237. If you minus 2 from the square root of 2, you get 0.58578643762. If you attempt to add the two back together, you get 0.58578643762 + 1.41421356237 = 1.99999999999. Not quite 2 - and so not quite true, or "rational".

There is a mysticism that goes along with thisv way of thinking, and one wonders whether Empedocles, traveler, poet, and Pythagorean, may have been referring to the nature of this "secret" of Plato's, when he wrote this:

“You will be able to fetch from Hades the life-force of a man who has died” - Peter Kingsley, Ancient Philosophy, Mystery, and Magic: Empedocles and Pythagorean Tradition; pg. 42, 1995, Oxford

If killing is irrational, and sucking up the life force of a dead man is irrational, and the square root of two is irrational, all of this might sound very rational if interpreted as expressive of a real reality, as opposed to a self-organizing process initiated by the human beings living, growing, and being determined by their fundamental co-dependence.

edit on 26-1-2018 by Astrocyte because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 26 2018 @ 12:48 AM
Numbers are abstractions - quasi-representations of the real that do a very good job approximating the real thing.

So, for instance: let's say people with major dissociative disorders (i.e. psychopathy) are expressive of 2. 2 for the simple and obvious reason that they live by the mantra: "its me vs. the world"; "if you're not a shearer, you're a sheep"; etc. These sorts of psycholinguistic metaphors "constrain" certain dynamical or spiritual truths. The truth could be explicated by a square root process, which, for 2, is 1.41421356237.

Three on the other hand is the number of harmony and synthesis. It is reconciliation; it is making a "space" within yourself for the realities outside yourself; it is you making room to coherently handle something so that it can be reasonably dealt with - that is, positively and construcively dealt with. The square of 3 is also an irrational number, 1.73205080757.

It is indeed a strange thing that when you add these two numbers together you get mighty close to pi, or 3.14159265359.

Could this be interpreted as some mystical magical secret? It seems like it is. It seems like reasoning along these grounds would allow a philosophical intepretation of the kind "a circle is complete: the shearers are one half, the sheep the other half, which is why the square of each adds up to make pi".

Can someone really argue along these grounds that this sort of reasoning expresses the nature of metaphysical reality? Or, conversely, is thev emhpasis on numbers a function of what elites were originally preoccupied with i.e. commerce; and since humans are originally and fundamentally a spiritual animal, as all humans, they were in need of making 'sense' of what they were feeling: a sense of "deserving" to keep what they assumed (without justification) "they desrved on merit".

I think this sort of explanation makes much more sense, given that numbers, in all likelihood, aren't real - but just inventions of the human mind.

posted on Jan, 26 2018 @ 12:51 AM
I love that you are making these threads. They are really thought provoking and encourage deep critical thinking. Thank you, they are seriously great insight


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