One's personality is both a composition and reflection, but if I have to choose one of them, I will choose reflection as the "self" is more important to me than "me". One's composition may change, walking across the cultural landscapes and climbing the social ladder but one's self is tied to one's reflections. The fun part is that reflections are not bound to "Time-Space" barriers ( it is not time-space) and respective mental constructs, which have grown so thick over ages, that they had reduced the image of humans to Sisyphus, rolling different sizes of boulders on hills of different heights.… As the name of this Blog indicates, knols are my perspectives on topics of interests, sweet/bitter experiences or just doodling :)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Why it takes time to have a centralist position?

This knol is 3rd part of "Nature does not discriminate"  and "Pure Rationalism is destined to failure"

To me, it is wrong to think that, one of the main jobs of philosophy is to look for meaning in life. Aristotle is thought as father of logic and he had formulated his logic approximately 23 and half century ago and have remained the core of deductive reasoning. Last century new efforts were made to apply logic to mathematics and vice versa (Gottlob Fregeand Bertrand Russell among big names). But despite of BIG names in Philosophy and its long history that stretches over three millennia, it has failed to answer the main questions, that revolve around the meaning of life. Luckily, George Dvorsky has gathered 8 of these core questions in his recent article, "8 Great Philosophical Questions That We’ll Never Solve" so, I can just skip this part.

So, now the question arise, "if it is not the job of philosophy to find meaning in life, then what does it do for life?" . Well, one of its main jobs is to add value to life OR some may like to say, add value to survival. This is really fortunate that, Philosophy can't find answer to big questions that are the "sources for 'meaning' in life". If Philosophers were able to really convincingly answer these questions, there would be as many religions out there, as many philosophers. By its nature, philosophy is argumentative and appears absurd, irrational, irrelevant and non-philosophical to opposing sides. So, by questioning and arguing the accepted rationales, meanings and systems, it helps in making them to stay open and evolve (Previously, we argued, life is an open system).  Philosophical movements like Stoicism, Epicureanism and even modern one Existentialism were not to provide meaning in life but to add values in it.

 My response; People do not challenge each other on their visions but on
their identities,that are borrowed from past as they have learned past better
 than  learning from them....
Some also may like to know, if philosophy can't answer core questions in meaning of life then, why bother at first place about the meaning? What, I understand is that, it is "Human Nature" to look for meaning and Human Nature and Human Condition are two core areas around which major philosophies revolve.

One may blame a lot of thing for the great collapse of communist block in previous century but frankly, the human nature was the main force in driving it to failure (It is the favorite argument of the libertarians and I agree with it). Competition is part of human nature and it never ceases. Of course, everybody is born with talents but neither all talents are equal nor the talent of putting others' talents in use is universal.  The only way to bring equality is to manage populations and it is evident from the very beginning that, driving people against their nature is destined to failure. Likewise, the current visible cracks in the capitalism are another show of force by human nature. From ancient times, greed was symbolized by dragon or a large snake that has collected piles of gold and protects it. But, it was assumed that, the social pressure, ethics and education are self controlled systems which contain the greed to not grow out of control. The current economic crises and skinny 99% movement suggesting that, social pressure doesn't contain it. In short, the human  nature had  driven the extreme left and extreme right to failures. It really makes sense when Tariq Ali suggests, "Extreme left is most beneficial to extreme right and vise versa" (They compete with each other, analyze and keep in check each others performances). If we take a more direct and fresh example of how human nature makes questionable the most dear systems. Hatred is usually taken as childish attitudes but the movie, "Innocence of Muslims" and reactions to it have shown, the grown ups have grown up versions of it. With freedom comes responsibility but the insulting movie has shown that, in freedom, responsibility is the first victim of hatred.  Likewise, religion's main goal is to turn men into ethical beings but the violence have shown that here, the ethics is the first victim of overwhelming anger and hatred. Again, it is the religious people who are most benefited from atheists. Atheists make them think and let them not to sacrifice the core purpose of religion for things that are related to identity and are more for social and political consumption. Similarly, it is the Atheists who are benefited most from religious people and make them not to cultivate a religion out of evolutionary theory (From the missionary acts of some, it appear that evolutionary theory are used as  revelation for atheist religion). 

This knol is under construction... 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Nature does not discriminate

This knol is 2nd part of the "Pure rationalism is destined to failure"

I guess, almost all know something about Dinosaurs, some know about Trilobites and few know about Archaeopteris trees. These were majestic and hegemonic organisms of their environments and  have left impressive imprints of their existence in the rocks records but went extinct. There could be disagreements on the causes of their extinction but no one can disagree that, they no more exist. Nature has laws and do not discriminate no matter how majestic, beautiful and great is a creature. When organs worn out, Nature has one solution for all and that is death either they are great Scientist like Einstein, Newton or Geber (Jabir ibn Hayyan) , great Philosophers like Socrates, Plato or Mulla Sadra, great Kings like Cyrus, Alexander or Genghis Khan, great Prophets like Abraham (P.B.U.H), Moses (P.B.U.H) or Muhammad (P.B.U.H) or just an ordinary person. My purpose, from bringing the names of the few extinct  organisms and the names of  few historical figures are to stress that yes, men and man-made systems have impacted greatly on their environments but so are the creature before them and at the end, it is the nature that decides, which one has to continue and which one has to go into fossil records. 

"Nothing in Biology makes sense except in the light of Evolution",  Theodosius Dobzhansky... I agree with Dobzhansky except that, the traditional definitions of the evolution by Darwin and Modern evolutionary synthesis are reductionist and give a sense that evolution is an alien system (Natural Selections keep house in order) that does not follow general laws . So, we need an extensional definition to make them compatible with other systems. In the the introduction of his book,'Terrestrial Paleoecology and Global Change'1Krassilove writes, 

"Evolution of functional systems is governed by general system laws, which, for closed systems, are the classical thermodynamic laws. Closed systems evolve in the direction of a maximal entropy production. Conversely, an open system minimizes its entropy production by drawing matter and energy from external sources and by exporting wastes. Each open system thus affects the neighboring systems and is in turn affected by them. Any talk of biotic evolution going on independently of any environmental change is therefore meaningless."

As a rational creature, all human systems have their rationales but it appears that almost all of them have a common fate. Initially, when they arise, they are open systems and hence revolutionary to previous closed systems but once they grow to become dominant, they slowly grow xenophobic and turn into closed systems. If we look to the movements that began among weak and ordinary people and spread so rapidly  due to their revolutionary appeals that, we can confidently categorize them as punctuated equilibrium  in universal  human culture. I count Christianity, Islam, Mongolian campaigns and Western modernity in this category. It would be a repetition but again just to clear my point; when Christianity appeared, it was revolutionary to both earlier religious systems and to secular Roman empire. Because it was a liberating force to masses, it spread so fast that Roman emperors could not ignore it and adapted it to embed into power structure of Roman empire. Ruling classes have their own mechanisms; they need identity more than  revolutionary forces. Islam was also appeared as a revolutionary movement with promises of equality to oppressed masses and it spread so rapidly that almost ran over Persian and Byzantine empires. Soon the caliphates adapted the power structures of Persian and Byzantine empires and identity replaced the teachings.  Although, Mongols came out as a secular force just to conquer other nations but their openness  and eagerness to learn and respect for learning was in itself a revolutionary attitude that broke the chains of identities for a while and let the learning of Middle East, Central Asia, Far East and West interact with each other. South Asia, Central Asia and Europe were the beneficiaries of these conquests. As the Mongols didn't have a cultural movements of their own, these fusion couldn't evolve further. The Scientific and cultural movements of the modern West was however, the first revolutionary movement that were based on public participation and it really swept across the cultures. It is an open system and hence have a liberating appeal to masses. Again, there is no exception to natural laws as it is evident from the fate of communism. Communism was part of modern western scientific and cultural movement. It rose as a popular movement with a revolutionary ideology but it also couldn't survive once it reduced to a confrontational and reactionary force. Currently, libertarianism is the only force that still have public appeal and spreading but the economic meltdown of US and Europe and hegemonic attitudes are revealing some big cracks in it. These cracks are serious because once people lose hope in a system and they do not have alternatives, they turn into their roots and create their own version of fascist movements. I think, it is better that I define, what I mean by fascism to reduce the risk of confusion. I recognize a fascist movement by its three basic characteristics; xenophobia, fundamentalism and supremacist appeals. I think, there can't be clash of civilizations without spread of fascism. Unfortunately, due to poverty, ill education systems and failure to catch with rest of world, Islamic world was hopeless and Salafism as a religious fascist movement are spreading fast to turn most of Muslim countries into hell. Nationalistic fascism is also growing and I don't see these fires will soon extinguish without widespread destruction. I hope and pray that my judgments prove to be wrong, but all indicators appear to me, pointing to not a  promising future.

Again, it is quite rational to have a strong identity but it is equally rational to have respect for identity of others. It is only open systems that are able to take energy from outside, grow and take waste out of system. When the doors are shut and a system becomes a closed one, it die out in its poisonous accumulating wastes. Evolution is always at work and closed systems that lose the evolvability go extinct and nature does not discriminate. 

End of Part 2


1. Krassilov, V.A, 2003. Terrestrial Paleoecology. 1st ed. Sofia, Moscow: pensoft publishers. p. xiii.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Pure Rationalism is destined to failure

If you learn that, something will kill your confidence in yourself, what would be your reaction to it? The reason, that I am asking this question is to question what we usually do not question; The Logic. While logic has been the cornerstone of the human understanding and the progress of Sciences but the fundamental flaw in it have turned many of human successes into historical failures. I will give examples to support my argument but first let me illustrate the fundamental flaw in logic;

- Logic basically talks about "relationship" of things based on their properties not "nature" of things... (A)

- Causes and effects are endless chains that limit predictability.... (B)

- Cause and effects are non-linear on long run.... (C)

- Competing rationalities are deleterious.... (D)

Why these assumptions are fundamental flaws in logic?

Before, I go into details, I like to define "Failure" first, so it becomes clear, what I mean by failure and why pure rationalism is destined to failure.

"Anything that promises certain outcomes/results or certain goals to be accomplished and it fails to achieve those goals, it is simply failure. Yes, there are a lot of rooms for rationalizing the failures by excuses but excuses do not improve anything. One of the frequently used excuse is a "future promise (s)".

Some may argue that, by this measure everything is destined to failure as nothing is perfect and everything grows. Yes, that is a totally different thing and definition and that is not something "purely rational". Constant growth and leaning from failures are something organic not rational.

Let me explain it by an example from population growth;

Everyone knows that the resources are limited and the populations are growing exponentially. So, it is a common sense's logic that population growth is not sustainable forever. It is going to reach its limits. So what logic asks for? Population control, right?

Population control has now a history to see the results in some countries like China. The gender disparity (preference of male over female child) has outbalanced the population with increasing ratio of male to female population. The ratio of young have reduced to old people and even in countries with no population control but simply better life expectancy the uneven aging (population of old people are growing and young people are reducing)  and it is becoming a bigger issue in areas that fail to maintain economic attraction for young population and young population are migrating to cosmopolitan cities. The uneven aging are putting more pressure on younger generation. There is no need to detail the social and economic outcome of this as everybody knows, what it means.

Winner in Egypt

Winner in Saudi Arabia
Just for contrast; Egypt wasn't resourceful so the dictator had to step down and the Saudi Arabia was resourceful and she killed "Arab Spring" in the bud.

On other hand, countries that have not controlled the population, the outburst of young population with not as much job opportunities have become politically and economically unstable. The "Arab Spring" and the spread of instability in the Middle East are an illustration of outcome of unbalanced population.


We know, three dominant systems that revolves around distinct entities; Libertarianism around Man (individual), Socialism around State and Religion around God. The rest are either offshoots of these or composite of them. If one reads their literature and listens and watches their scholars, each of these three systems speak of rationalism and logic and promises humans certain things. Have they been successful to accomplish their promises? None of these three systems have been successful to accomplish any of their promises and their promises are still for future.

Socialism came as the most rational system with sound philosophical and historical reasoning (historical dialectic) and promised classless societies. Although, I don't believe in its fundamentals but I have respect for this system because right in times when communism movements were strong and spreading, Marxist intellectuals and philosophers accepted its failures and started to revise its fundamentals. The Frankfurt school is well known Philosophical movement. Both China and Russia have revised their systems. Although, they haven't found an alternative but they didn't insist on the absolutism of their systems. This is an attitude of growth.

Religions in general promises brotherhood, equality of humans and paradise in return for good deeds. Ironically, the more religious a place or a country is, the deeper are the hatred, prejudices and discrimination of all kinds and all these are justified by name of God. When passengers, laborers and students are killed because they were infidel to God, shrines are destroyed because they are signs of infidelity, historical statues are bombed because they challenge the status of God then no doubt, everybody understands, what they mean when they shout "God is the greatest". All those stories of brotherhood, equality and justice appear no more than fairy tales as everyday we watch on our screens slaughtering of people, hate speeches, insults and offensive attacks on each other beliefs and determinations to cleanse the earth of infidels. The absence of brotherhood and equality are clear failure of religion but I know, it doesn't makes difference as there is no room for thinking and there are endless excuses and justifications.

Libertarianism, although relatively more humane but still have failed. It has failed because it assumes that all individuals have equal capabilities and out-competing others are fair enough.  The results are amassing of excessive wealth, political power, control on information (main stream media) and privacy of people in the hands of top competitors that are small percentage of society. These have hindered effectively the economic mobility, health, education and active participation of majority. The excessive amassing of wealth and political power have been used more for destructive purposes than constructive purposes (The World is over-armed and peace is underfunded.. Ban Ki-Moon) and this have affected millions of civilians across the globe who don't care about politics at all and their lives revolve around their ordinary joys. The increasing limitation of freedoms and powerlessness of billions of people over their fates are nothing but the failure of this system.

Each of this systems are assumed to be based on some fundamental truths and ask for submission to them. When one submits, he/she put his/her confidence to the thing he/she has submitted and he/she no more speaks for himself/herself but rather rationalizes and provides explanations for what he/she has submitted to.

End of Part I 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

They do not mince their words

If it is true that, higher rate of saying words per second increase the Freudian slip (Parapraxis/ slip of the tongue)   then we should expect more Freudian slips from dwellers of larger cities compared to small towns and villages as people of larger cities tend to speak faster than relaxed and sit back towns, where people enjoy detailed chats. I don't have any statistics to either confirm or reject it  but one thing, I can tell with confidence and that is, the drivers in the crowded cities curse more frequently than drivers of less crowded towns. Unlike, the rest of society where it is emphasized to think before saying anything (means to keep a constant check on unconscious mind) drivers in large do not mince their words. Perhaps one of the reasons is that, they meet people of different attitudes on daily basis, deal and talk to them and it makes them more open but opinionated.

If you let water to flow freely or round objects to roll freely, they rest in the lowest area. That is the nature of gravity. The nature of conceptions and beliefs are 180 degree in the opposite. Humans in general tend to have the highest of the concepts/worldviews/beliefs, that is packed in a single word; Truth. Very BIG events, very radical set of concepts and practices that challenge the very basic fundamentals of the world views/beliefs  that have been perceived as truth come as shocks. If you are conditioned by your situations to experience it again and again like drivers do, you will become more open but very opinionated. I call this phenomenon as "driver's condition". Two popular philosophers of the previous century, Ayn Rand and Jean Paul Sartre gave the world very rebellious philosophies after their experiences of their "driver's condition". Frankly, they are driver's condition philosophers. Ayn Rand was born in Russia, had witnessed the Bolshevik Revolution and bitter outcomes of it in the form of confiscation of her father's pharmacy by communists and near starvation periods. Writers have sensitive souls and if they discover the tendency to write very early, that is the indication of the super-sensitive souls. Ayn Rand is said to have decided to become a novelist at age 9. Bolshevik Revolution was her "driver condition" and it made her to become an extreme individualist  thinker and develop her philosophy of "Objectivism" that, if put in one phrase is best expressed as, "Man is an end in itself".

Jean Paul Sartre was born almost at the same time as Ayn Rand but things went smooth for him and he got opportunity to study philosophy at Germany besides his own country, France. His early works were mostly on psychological topics like emotions and imaginations. The bitter experiences of Second World War in general and occupation of his country, France by Nazi Germany particularly became his "driver's condition" with a big change in his thinking. He became obsessed with freedom and wanted to let men free from all kinds of social constructs and that is basically what "Existentialism"; it rejects all sorts of determinism (Existence precedes essence). Freedom and taking responsibility for one's own fate was his core idea, "As far as men go, it is not what they are that interests me, but what they can become".

In the current century, confidence on both religious and secular values are deeply shaken. It is shaken because the world have been witnessing again and again, the violations of the very basic Human Rights by secular forces and the violations of the basic Islamic principles by Jihaddists and Salafists. What have become a trend is "winning at all costs" and as it is known popularly ;  "values" are the first victims of war. This is definitely a driver's condition for any thinking mind, that has the ability of thinking and have the courage of expressing them in a coherent manner. It is possible that a Rand might escape from heart of Salafism or Sartre escape from prison of occupation to voice for "neo-objectivism" and "neo-existentialism"...