Hugh Miller

Where does this technique reside within this one spider? Where does it reside within the species?

What triggers the processing of this knowledge?

How does the spider understand (or at least experience) the need and the solution?

How does the spider brain process this knowledge without a sort of visualizing?

If spiders can visualize physics concepts

and the parts they’ll need… and collect them…

and assemble them properly…

How should we visualize the minds of spiders?

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Though he is constantly battling in public over the specific issue of truth, Donald Trump lives a truth-free life.

Truth as something objectively real no longer exists for him except in nightmares. More accurately, truth exists for him as kryptonite exists for Superman: It’s out there and it could kill him. He knows that truth is the natural enemy of the Trump, and swells up in his threat display at the sound of it. Much like empathy and compassion, Trump as an anti-social personality doesn’t care about objective truth at all, and it isn’t real and pressing to him except as an obsessive concern voiced by the unruly ocean of “Not-Trump” surrounding him. The human community relies on truth for health and safety but also for justice and sanity; deprived of the truth, our mental compass needle spins uselessly. In this state, we are helpless toward the con man or the invading army.

The concept of truth can’t be avoided but it can be diverted onto a different track. In Trump’s case, this track is naked self-interest, flitting, pixie-like to whatever make-believe high ground momentarily fits the bill. Trump’s anti-relationship to truth and to the social duty owed to others is a kind of genius of irresponsibility made complete by including himself among the population he lies to. He is like some animal that adapted to an environment and can no longer live outside of it. Lies are his breathable atmosphere, his means of locomotion and his opposable thumbs. He has fully abandoned the premise of truth and never performs that mental pocket check for facts before speaking. Lies are the slime trail-smoothing his passage.

He isn’t so much a man as a conglomerate of whirlygigs slaved to shouting nonsensical PR, excuses, and complaints. Literally, everything is compartmentalized, and every one of those compartments has a self-indulgent narrative. Every part of the man is a fucking Horcrux of his former soul engineered by “killing” something. The thing killed is generally a relationship to someone who isn’t Donald Trump. Long ago, the child that he still is refused the burden of honoring the social contract with some person for the first time. That “murder” was exhilarating and liberating. He became instantly lighter and more powerful when he owed somebody NOTHING. The sticking point was his vestigial conscience and need for external approval. He solved the conscience problem by making his conscience into one more person he owed nothing, especially the truth. He became part of his own audience and the most gullible and superficial of the bunch. No one applauds Donald Trump louder or faster than he does. Henceforth, no action carried a moral burden any longer, only legal ones. He embraced amorality to enjoy immorality. He happily sought opportunities for evil little and big. Often it was for the simple pleasure of torturing small helpless things (people) to hear them squeak for payment, justice or mercy. Violating people’s autonomy, dignity and sovereignty is his signature activity. It’s why he rapes, it’s even why he shakes hands the way he does. It’s as if he’s ticking humanity one by one, off a list of people he defeated. The less any man is, the greater Trump is.

Trump’s admiration for the worst men on earth stems from them outshining him by being more nakedly vicious and selfish than he has managed yet, tethered as he is to crowd approval in the tumbled remains of a democracy. You can practically hear him muttering about how he “never gets to do anything fun” compared to those guys.

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Emergence is the main element of the structure of reality that I trumpet on this site.

But one essential aspect of emergence is another core concept called Holons. Emergence is a big, fat general principle and holons are distinct, measurable parts of it. This gem of a concept was created by the wonderful free-range philosopher Arthur Koestler, an under-appreciated thinker of the 20th century. Once you have this lens in place, many things reveal their true nature with delightful clarity. I’ve written about Holons before, but not for a while so here’s a refresher.

It begins with this: Everything is simultaneously a part and a whole. Thus “Holon”.

Every level of reality/physical existence is self-contained and self-absorbed. For example, the atomic level, the cellular level, and the level of animal species. Each one is an emergent property of the/a previous level. Each one a surprise bouquet from the magician’s sleeve. The lower level is the part, the upper level is the whole. Each is both part and whole, depending on which way you are moving and looking. Generally, these levels are like parallel lines apparently never meeting yet wholly dependent on each other. There is no handshake and nod from the next level down. They don’t know that we are up here and except for humanity, we (animal species) don’t know they are down there. This sounds a bit like the description of dimensions in the multiverse theory, these dimensions are happening in the same place and the same time but unaware of each other, separated by a veil of sorts.
There appears to be a universal rule though, that each layer acts for the good of the layer above. Every layer of constituent parts shows a real dedication to their work and the greater good of something they are utterly blind to. They are blind to it, but something mysterious and quite other may not be, or else why this consistent rule? Why the consistent effort to obey it?

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I went to the city and all I got you was this lousy pencil.

“I have come from the city. I bring you a welcome gift with a sharp point that you may remember me. I ask, if fortune allowed, that I might be able [to give] as generously as the way is long [and] as my purse is empty.”

 

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