Saturday, February 9, 2008


you know what the problem with this blog format is? it is that if you try and write some sort of consecutive things that are related to one another, you end up with the problem that a reader will inevitably start reading in the middle. Then, to make sense of what is being read, they scroll DOWN to the next article. The result of this is that people are reading what you are trying to tell them backwards and this of course changes the structure of the point one might try and make. You can, of course, choose to display your blogs with the first post first and set it up so that it scrolls chronologically downwards with the most recent at the bottom, however then when someone firsts visits your blog, the date of what appears to be your first post reads some old date like May 14, 1989 and this also discourages readers.

So if you are reading this, and you realize you are in the middle of something alread in progress (which I try to designate in my titles) please return to part one and start there and then read the others, thus things might make more sense.


Tuesday, February 5, 2008

corollary (moth part3)

This is a corollary to the model of human need I posted in response to my idea for the moth ( that is could satisfy its dream of light and heat beyond its wildest ambition yet without killing or burning itself by simply figuring out how to wake during the day). After some thought I realized that each of the levels I gave below in my evolution of need in human life and culture could also loosely correlate to various aspects of the thinking mind of the human and the human individual, as opposed to what we seem to think about animal consciousness, plant consciousness, or the consciousness of a person not yet born or dead. The correspondence between these modes of consciousness and the needs in the earlier article are really not the point. They exist in some way but are not nessecary and are not especially solid or meant to be serious. In fact, the model of need represents development while this model of forms of attention is elastic with movement between all levels occurring at many times for many individuals.

I am using numbers both to suggest some sort of outward movement from a conceptual center and to represent the endless bifurcation of a frame of mind as it divides ideas of activity, self-consciousness, identity and the like. As in the hierarchical model of needs earlier, these numbers increase, their complexity increases, as one moves away from the more instinctual mode inherent at birth, and through normal development acquires a more specialized consciousness and tools or habits for working with attention. Again, this (as the other model earlier) is just an example of ways of organizing something, a personal view for the purpose of determining, like the moth, how to take what is in front of one, to realize one's dreams beyond belief without burning to death first.

The "space" represented by this model is a conceptual space only, not intended to be an analogue of physical space, but who knows.

and so consider some levels of awareness to be:

0. null: unborn, no separation from anything. no nothing.

1. unity: unaware of self, no separation between an individual and an environment

2. duality: beginning awareness of self, or skin at least. separation between environment and one's own self

3. trinity: continued separation. now there is a separation between mind and body within the individual in addition to the separation of the individual and the environment.

4. instance/moment: the discovery of time, frames of time and how these interact with individual attention further divide the environment, which now begins to re frame itself infinitely in the mind of the individual which sometimes includes its own body in this environment and sometimes does not.

5. purpose: the further awareness of these frames of reference, or of information about the mind, the body, or other aspects of "environment" provide for the individual to interact with the environment meaningfully on many levels, but as a separate entity. People move meanings, build houses, but as separate people operating in an environment not as a unity energy moving aspects of itself around. Individual consciousness reinforces this separation but also affords one the power of movement within this environment.

6. void: similar or identical to 1. a tabula rasa.
External to experience, a field of possibility. Is the movement discussed in 5 an illusion? What are the limits of reason/knowing? this is the mystic's return to the indivisibility of consciousness. Its outside the frame but aware of it if it chooses to be.

Maslow Inverted (moth part 2)

If one where to apply the idea discussed in my previous post regarding moths to oneself, where would one begin?

As with design, one begins with need. It is not so difficult to think about what one, or even easier, you yourself might need.

Abraham Maslow did a pretty good job with his famous hierchy and of course all of his critics and followers did a nice job too. What I have come up with though, in thinking about my own needs has a different sense to it.

People often graph Maslow's hierarchy as a pyramid, for example:
with basic, primative needs at the bottom and "self-actualization" at the top. This suggests a movement away from animal, or survival needs to some sort of spiritual, human quality. The idea of movement in this model is undeniable, and that is what gives it its hierarchical nature. The issue for me is that this goal, this self-actualization, isn't really a need. Further, to some extent it may even be post-human. If the basement of Maslow's hierarchy is somewhat sub-human, or at the very least represents needs that can be said to be shared by both humans and other animals than the attic might be a goal that transcends human possibility. That isn't a situation that interests me now.

Thus, my hierarchy of need works differently. It could also be graphed as a pyramid, but the movement begins at the top of the pyramid and descends. The model begin with the most basic, shared needs of all people and expands to represent the more specific expressions of these needs in their complex developments which mirror the development of a modern person's lifeline as well as the evolution of human society and culture.

Despite the vastness of this claim, it is quite a simple idea. When born, a modern human in the most modern city still shares all immediate needs with animals. As this human person develops physically, their skill set and lifestyle also develop and they have new more specific needs, which they share with less and less people. In addition, a person's needs move further away from the immediate needs of the body as the individual becomes increasingly self sufficient in providing for their body. This is a direct collaboration with the society the individual lives in. A society which provides more support and protection for the individual more quickly frees them from the immediate needs to insure adequate food, shelter and the like. Thus a modern society, free from the dangers of predatory animals, allows free time for humans to develop specialized skills and interests, bringing with them new needs, independent from the primitive ones. Interestingly, there is a curve somewhere in this, because as people age they once again find their needs intersecting with others. As the body slows and ceases function people once again become dependent on others and their needs become once more directly tied to maintenance of the human body.

In this hierarchy each level makes possible the development of the following one by providing a ground for the new needs to develop once the previous level's needs are satisfied. At the same time each new level reflects the influence of the all prior levels and may even restart the process from the primitive animal level. Thus highly specialized modern activities and their needs may satisfy primitive drives or provide expression of them. Since the hierarchy begins with birth, the sexual drive exists not in some theoretical quality but as a physically observable result of the feedback and interplay between levels. Thus birth is the catalyst to a new life (of need, ha ha) and the result of the fulfillment of other's needs and drives.

This is not meant to be taken as a complete analysis of course, but is only a sketch of a personal view which I am taking in light of the moth idea discussed earlier. One must know what the needs are, of course, before one knows which things are "habit" and which are really "essential". One musn't rely on instinct because instinct itself can lead to extinction. Once the essential needs are determined one can organize a strategy for addressing them. And so, without further claptrap:

birth ..............................................................................(catalyst)
results in the need for:

1.nutrition and shelter.................................................(survival)
which, once satisfied, provide opportunity for: partners/families/community.........................(continuity)
which are grouped together because the larger units are nessecary to care for the recently born, representing the feedback discussed earlier. In fact the needs of the recently born represent level 1, and they are helpless to satisfy these on thier own. Nonetheless, in the creation of families and communities tasks for survival are distributed in some manner and this results in:

3.what is done while awake........................................(occupation)
which begins an increasing variety of technological possibilities and occupational specializations. The first level, the more essential tasks given to human invention when it is freed from subsistence enough to operate in a purely conceptual manner result in the organization and defense of communities through invention:

4.what is achieved through mental and physical exploration...(invention/organization of community)
community organization being set in motion, people are free to function in a purely mental (or purely physical realm for that matter) for the purpose of self enrichment. New questions are asked, new needs arise:

5. what is done to avoid boredom/provide sense to life/answer curious impulses
(invention: enrichment, speculative science, art, sports, religion, entertainment)

I do not mean to suggest that the development ends here but this is as far as my own needs for organization took me. The only reason I post this at all is as an illustration of a process by which one may analyze one's own (or in this case one's own view of everyone's) needs. This is in no way intended to be taken too seriously or scientifically as the analysis is totally incomplete and I don't know if I am really interested enough in it to complete it. I feel that it is useful to me as it is. The basic idea is that once a person's basic sustenance needs are accounted for, more specialized developments occur, and these provide new needs. It may seem at first that I am suggesting that art or religion are less important than food, but then I feel that maybe people only thought of these sorts of models or modes of living once they where warm and well fed enough to stop scrambling around like mad dogs.

Well, thats the news.

Also, I don't mean to suggest by placing theoretical (speculative, as opposed to applied) science on the same level as art, entertainment, and religion that it is simply a pastime. In fact I think none of these are simply ways of passing time. I think they are in fact ways of dealing with ideas of meaning or purpose, understanding. The thing is, to repeat, an individual isn't as concerned with the meaning of the cold when freezing to death. The issue is to get warm. Then, by the fire, one asks "what the hell?" or plays checkers or something.

A Suggestion for Moths

Moths are attracted to flames. They will travel quite a long distance to reach one in fact. Lights too, it turns out. They like heat, and they are persistent. Persistence is usually such an important trait, so positive, but in this case, when it is combined with endurance and hyper-activity it is deadly. The moth decides to claim its prize by flying into the light or flame. Thus purposefully or by accident the individual ends up burned, maybe to death, maybe not.

Okay, but that aside there is a way out of this mess. It requires work of course, but the answer is right in front of the moth. All that is needed for all of its dreams to come true beyond its wildest conceptions is to change its habits. The moth must learn to wake during the day. It takes work is all, and may be slow, but the answer is there.