Bigsley the Oaf

Rare Personal Details

Posted in Uncategorized by bigsleytheoaf on January 24, 2011

Somehow I never like to post about actual, concrete events in my life. I think of them as below (my/your/any potential) interest.

But my life has been somewhat interesting, emotionally, recently.

I’ve been throwing out a lot of shit from our apartment in Moscow. Thousands of dollars worth. It’s very strange to walk down the street and see a woman kneeling in the snow, doing Hail Mary’s, begging for change, then go back to your warm, large apartment and throw out hundreds of dollars of NAILS.

It’s real weird to mechanically sort through the remnants of many lives. The types of things I’m throwing away – childrens toys, tools, letters, school notes – these undoubtedly had/have real sentimental value for people. But to make any progress I have to maintain an extremely un-empathetic, cold, even sterile/machinelike stance.

On many fronts, apparently.

I went to a Russian class today. It was full of snooty Europeans. Very annoying. The quality of the teaching was extremely high though. The teacher was prim and curt and perfect. She knew exactly what we didn’t know and how to accomodate. She made fun of this one Turkish guy for being an idiot. She spoke loudly and clearly. She was relatively hot.

I went to Red Square yesterday at night. It was all lit up (Saint Basil’s Cathedral, The Kremlin, etc.) and ГУМ was beaming. We went to Гастромон Номер 1 (Number 1 food shop) and got delicious items. We got smoked eel! And hot russian mustard! And salted salmon (not smoked!). Oh my god you have no idea how great the smoked meat selection is, here. Jen hates it when I get the mackerel… But I cannot DO without the mackerel. It is hot smoked.

Russian women wear provocative clothing, even in the winter. Beautiful fur coats (beautiful!). Leather boots. Gloves. Stockings. Ah! They also wear too much makeup, though. And when they smile it’s not so nice as when they don’t smile. It is very tough to not touch their coats. Today I was pressed up against one on the subway. It was fairly nice.

In England (we stopped over in England before coming to Moscow) we visited London and spoke with Jen’s friend Anya. She seems so sad. It inspired many ideas of a complicated nature.

As it turns out, life takes time.

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Try

Posted in Uncategorized by bigsleytheoaf on January 14, 2011

I think that what I am trying to do, all I am trying to do, is figure out how an individual, with all his flaws, with his arrogance, and hubris, and propensity for false generalizations/abstractions/what-have-you fits into the human world as it is. I am trying to figure out how an individual fits into a world which is circling the sun, which is such an insignificant fraction of the universe, which will one day fade and collapse and be consumed, and become, ultimately, nothing.

How can I live, knowing that it all, finally, means nothing? How can I care about a single thing, anything? How can I justify any action?

If it’s all meaningless, if it’s all nothing, if it all comes to nothing, eventually, necessarily, what can I try? What does it make sense, even for a moment, to try?

Every asshole – Hume, Einstein, Marx, Kant, Hegel, everyone! Every single one of them has the same propensity for falsehood, the same arrogance, the same lack of essential, deep, humility which would reveal to them that all of their efforts are meaningless. What matters? What, if anything, can they say, that would ever matter?

What can they touch, what can anyone touch, that would transcend the sadness of living with the knowledge that everything that is you will one day be erased?

The Greatest Thing Ever

Posted in Uncategorized by bigsleytheoaf on January 14, 2011

I always have this feeling like I’m just on the verge of writing The Greatest Thing Ever, as if I’m about to utter some sentence so profound that it’ll cut the human world in twain. Why do I feel this? Is there such a thing? Is there some word-virus I could concoct which would infect your ears and spread down and out your mouths and into the ears of others and so on?

What would TGTE be? A clear, simple, short, description of the principles behind intelligence? Abundantly obvious, once read, but deviously difficult to concoct? The distillation of my endless hours of thought on the subject of the mind/spirit/ghost/whatever?

I’ll be stumbling along through life and think: “ah, I have it now!” and then I start writing and the wind goes out of my sails. I wish I possessed the ability to keep something firmly caught in my mind and also write about it. Ah, well.

I’ve been toying with the idea of writing a non-fiction book which tries to put forth the unification of my multifarious ideas about mind. It would talk about abstraction, generalization, “going meta” (I can never think of a good word for this). I’ve kind of tried before, and I always end up getting mired down in pesky details. I like the idea, though, of crafting a rough outline of my thoughts and then slowly refining it until it is a gleaming gem of theory. Perhaps this gem would be TGTE.

But I always feel like, if something’s going to be TGTE, shouldn’t I be able to just write it down quickly? I mean, we can generally write a single line to sum up the greatest intellectual motions in history:

“Information (light) has a maximum speed.”
“Matter/energy exists atomically/as quanta.”
“Context dominates.”
“Society is a structure.”
“The vast majority of human belief is self-negating/self-deconstructing.”
etc.

Could I write down my contribution in such a pithy form? I think that I search and search and search, and these blog posts are just the trail of corpses I leave in my wake.

The Emergence of Generalization

Posted in Uncategorized by bigsleytheoaf on January 11, 2011

An individual agent is not capable of generalizing an experience.

For instance, a person sees X happen and somehow believes this is related to Y.

That belief is equivalent to the statement “X happened and Y happened.”

A group of individual agents is still composed of individual agents, and therefore cannot (individually) generalize.

Generalization only occurs as a phenomenon which emerges from the dynamics of a group.

Namely, a group of individual agents see X happen and Y happen and (individually) hallucinate some relation between X and Y.

As time goes on, those who have hallucinated correctly survive, those who have hallucinated incorrectly die.

At some point, only survivors remain.

—–

There is a strong claim here, namely the fact that an individual experiences generalization as a non-generalization, a delusion, an image, a metaphor, what-have-you. The individual does not believe that his or her generalization is true, qua generalization. The individual believes that his or her generalization is true, qua delusion.

The group is capable of belief, in gestalt. The group can believe a generalization. Namely, the group maintains correct generalizations, resources permitting.

—–

To form an effective and coherent theory of intelligence we must put forward beliefs about the emergence of intelligence from non-intelligence. I believe the above illustrates the general principal by which this occurs.

Delusion is non-intelligence, Generalization is intelligence.

To the New Year

Posted in Uncategorized by bigsleytheoaf on January 1, 2011

How easy a thing,
For a boy to become a man,
A girl, a woman

For a train to leave the station

How simple a thing,
To say good-bye
Forever