What Do the Words Communism and Socialism Mean?

I am sort of a Commie. I am definitely a Socialist. Commie, not sure. Sort of almost kind of just about barely maybe a Commie. I still believe in market. I actually think that what the Chinese are doing is the best implementation of Communism or Socialism or whatever you wish to call it that has ever been done. And there are quite a few Marxists and open Communists out there who support what the Chinese are doing very much. I think any future implementation of Communism or Socialism will have to have some sort of a market. There are a lot of us out there who call ourselves Market Socialists. We don’t want the state running everything. We want a market also.
Communism or Socialism themselves are words that don’t have much meaning. They mean whatever meaning we humans decide to give to them. They have no inherent meaning in and of themselves. Check out Heidegger if you do not believe me. He makes it quite clear that the real meaning of objects is whatever we humans have decided are the meaning of those objects.
Words don’t mean much. They are just sort of “tags” that we stick on objects when we try to explain and give meaning to them. So there is no real meaning of any object. Any object means whatever you, I and the rest of us say it means. Meanings of objects are created by man. A search for the real meaning of objects will lead you down a rabbit hole you will never emerge from because you are looking for something that is not even there. You can’t find something that’s not there in the first place.
Anyway, enough philosophy.

An Approach towards a Unified Theory

What is the world made of?

  1. Matter
  2. Antimatter
  3. ?

What are the principal force(s) in the world?

  1. Energy
  2. ?

How do these forces manifest?

  1. Electricity
  2. Magnetism
  3. Chemical/molecular bonding
  4. ?

What is the direction of these forces?

  1. Heirarchical evolution/building blocks
  2. Entropy

What are the purposes of these forces?

  1. Bonding
  2. Persistence
  3. Chaos
  4. Disintegration
  5. ?

What are the central laws of existence?

  1. Thermodynamics
  2. ?

Commentary: The world’s ingredients can only be matter and antimatter, no? What else do you need?
The force of the world is energy and nothing else. Other than energy, there is no force at all.
The force manifests as electric current, magnetic pull and especially bonding of elements. Like Einstein said, everything’s a force field.
The purposes of the force are creation/progression (hierarchical evolution), attachment (bonding), scattering (chaos), and annihilation (disintegration).
Casting all distraction aside and boiling what’s left all down, the underlying rule of existence seems to be thermodynamics. Getting down to brass tacks, what else do you need other than thermodynamics? It’s the base law of them all. Strip it all way, and only thermodynamics remains. All else is dross.
Now that we have solved some of the major problems of the universe, I think I will go lie down for a bit.

Heidegger, Feynman and a Bird

You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you’re finished, you’ll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird…So let’s look at the bird and see what it’s doing – that’s what counts.
– Richard Feynman

Sounds like Feynman is channeling Heidegger here. Heidegger is pretty damn hard to understand, but I do understand some of his ideas.
In Being and Time, he talks a lot about meanings. He differentiates between surface meanings and deep meanings.
Surface meanings are like those 6,000 words for the bird. As a good general rule, the name or names of a thing (what we call it) tells us little or nothing about that thing. Imagine that we had no language, but we were as smart as we are now. We would see birds flying about and doing their thing all the time. We would observe those birds and we would form a lot of ideas about what that bird is and what it does. We would do this even if we had no word for the bird whatsoever. Follow?
So what we call the bird or object does not mean a whole lot or even tell us much if anything about what the object is. The name of the bird is the surface meaning of the object that is that bird. Surface meanings, as I mentioned, don’t mean a whole lot. They are more a means of classifying objects in our brains so we can think about them more easily and quickly and so we can communicate about them with other humans.
Many objects have more than one name and actually have many different definitions. Some of the definitions that we have of objects not only don’t tell us much important about the object, but in some sense, while they are technically correct, they are often wrong because they sort of give a false meaning to the object and distract us from the meaning that makes them important.
There is a difference between objects and what I call essences. Often we think of things not in terms of the names or (often lousy) definitions of them but instead we think of these objects in terms of what the essence of the object is. The true meaning of an object lies in its essence, not in any surface definition we give to it, which in a lot of cases is no more important than a “tag.”
We have objects that we can “tag” in all sorts of different ways according to whatever definitions the object has. But those definitions are just tags and some are even contradictory as an object can be two contradictory things at once when it has a surface definition or tag of one meaning but has a deep meaning or essence of the opposite meaning.
This is why definitions are inherently problematic. We studied Semantics a bit in my Linguistics studies. One of the main principles of Semantics is that the definitions we give to words are in many cases incomplete. In other words, it is often impossible to give a full definition of a word that describes the meaning of the word perfectly.
Getting back to Feynman here, all of those words for that bird probably do not tell us a whole lot about the bird. They are just “tags” or surface meanings so to speak that we use to categorize that bird in our brains so we can store information about that bird in our brains better. In other words, Feynman says, who cares what the damn bird is called! It’s got 6,000 different names all over the world world! As I noted, objects can have more than one surface meaning or tag. In the case of this bird, it has 6,000 different tags on it, none of which tell us much about the bird!
If we wish to understand the bird, Feynman notes, we forget about whatever it is called (its surface meaning) and instead focus on what it is doing – let’s observe the behavior of the bird. By observing the actions of the bird, we can come to understand it better by uncovering its deep meaning, or essence. This is what the bird really means and what it is really all about.
This seems a bit long-winded, but this is very important to know. Don’t pay a whole lot of attention to what something is named. Particularly in politics, things are often given names that are the exact opposite of what they are. Forget about what surface definitions people give to objects, actions or events because they are often misleading and even flat-out wrong. Instead, pretend that you have no word for the object, action or event and try to understand the deep meaning or essence or what something is or what happened. If you put these Deep Meaning googles on, the world starts to look like a very different place, and you can think about the world in a completely different, and better way.
I will have a bit more on this later on. This should be plenty for now. This was a bit of a mouthful here.

Four Stages of Love and Personal Development

You will often see in mythology various things centered around the number four – four of this, four of that, four times four, etc.

Carl Jung states that the nucleus of the Psyche or Self works as a fourfold structure. We will looks at this structure first as it relates to personal development and then as it relates to love.

Four Levels of the Psyche

Psyche Level 1: Purely instinctive and biological relations – man as an animal, the Id.

Psyche Level 2: Romantic or aesthetic pleasure, the appreciation of beauty and the higher senses.

Psyche Level 3: The spiritual level, man as a spiritual animal, the appreciation of the ineffable or indeterminate.

Psyche Level 4: A super-wisdom transcending even the most holy and pure. This is something like the state of satori that the Zen monks talk about. It can also be seen in higher states of consciousness by Indian yogis accessed via yoga and whatnot. This may refer to what Nietzsche was talking about when he discussed the Ubermensch, the man who has transcended all base and earthly passions and has risen above it all.

I am thinking that most people in the West never reach Psyche Level 4 in their lives.

Now we will look at the same structure as it refers to love:

Four Levels of Love

Love Level 1: Sexual love. Pure sex and animalism, sex without love, a biological and primitive yet enjoyable act.

Love Level 2: Romantic love. A step above pure sexual love in that it rises above to the level of romance and passion to where one actually feels an almost religious-like devotion to the other person. However, this is still considered to be “tainted” somewhat by base and primitive passion, as there is usually still quite a bit of animalistic sexual passion here.

Love Level 3: Spiritual love. Here we see love at one of its highest levels – the love of God or the spiritual realm. This rises above even romantic love; it is more all-encompassing, and it is not even grounded on the Earth or in one other person as romantic love is. It can extend to the love of many or all and to love beyond the simple Earthly plane.

Love Level 4: Love raised to its highest level, even beyond spiritual love. Here we are dealing with a type of “Love” or “Passion” that may better be termed something like “Wisdom” that transcends even the most holy and pure spiritual love. In this sense, “wisdom” is the ultimate form of love or passion.

As with Psyche Level 4, I believe that most people in the West never reach Love Level 4 in their lives.

"The Taoist Influence on Japanese Martial Arts," by Dota

New essay from Dota. Very nice!

The Taoist Influence on Japanese Martial Arts

By Dota

The Japanese Samurai Miyamoto Musashi acknowledged a number of influences on Japanese thought, chief among which were Confucianism and Buddhism. Yet not once does he directly mention the Old Master whose philosophy is so entrenched in the martial arts that the Samurai once pursued with inexhaustible zeal. Yet despite this seeming negligence, Mushashi’s epic martial arts treatise, “A Book of 5 Rings“, is laden with Taoist ideas and analogies. Indeed the very nature of the Japanese martial arts has been shaped and molded by Taoist thinking.
In the interest of brevity one can sum up Taoist thought as being primarily concerned with conforming to nature by finding “the way.” According to the very first verse of the Tao te Ching (the poem attributed to Lao Tzu): “The Tao (way) that can be described is not the real Tao.” Indeed, Lao Tzu devoted considerable energy into conveying the indescribable nature of the way. One could not describe the way, one merely walked it or one didn’t. Could one verbally instruct another on how to ride a bicycle? One either knew how to or didn’t.
Philosopher Arthur Danto astutely observed that the Taoists had a deep mistrust of prepositional knowledge, or what one would refer to as the discursive intellect. Taoism isn’t concerned with the knowledge of the scholar, but rather, with what we would refer to as “intuitive knowledge.” Those that knew the way were able to execute the perfect brush stroke or carve a pumpkin with exceptional ability.
To further illustrate this point, Chuang Tzu narrates the story of the old wheel maker. The latter approached a King and told him that reading his book was a waste of time. He explained to the King that true knowledge couldn’t be expressed in words but could only be grasped. He illustrated this point by describing his own trade as thus:

The other secret of my trade has to do with the roundness of the wheel. If I chisel away at the wheel too quickly, I may be able to complete the work in a short time, but the wheel won’t be perfectly round. Even though it may look quite acceptable upon casual inspection, in actual usage it will cause excessive shaking of the carriage…In order to create the best wheels possible in a timely manner, I must chisel at just the right speed – not too fast and not too slow. This speed is also guided by a feeling, which again can only be acquired through many years of experience.

He then concluded his lesson with the following observation:

Your Majesty, the ancient sages possessed the feelings that were at the heart of their mastery. Using words, they could set down the mechanics of their mastery in the form of books, but just as it is impossible for me to pass on my experience to anyone else, it is equally impossible for them to transmit their essence of wisdom to you. Their feelings died when they passed away. The only things they left behind were their words. This is why I said Your Majesty was reading the leftovers of a dead man.

Karate is taught via instruction and perfected through rigorous practice. Form, movement, and balance can be learned by executing a sequence of gestures and movements known as Kata. The master guides the student to the way but the student is tasked with walking on it and not deviating from it. In the first Karate Kid film Mr Miyagi scoffs at Daniel Larusso’s attempt to “learn Karate from book.” Musashi similarly stated in his treatise that “Language does not extend to explaining the Way in detail, but it can be grasped intuitively,” (Water Book).
But what is the difference between those men that follow the way and those that don’t? Those that follow the way properly are able to execute actions with minimal effort. But while effort is minimized the outcome of their actions is maximized.
This is known as the principle of WuWei (literally non doing). WuWei is also often understood as carefully calibrated action. Consider for example, a perfectly executed Karate shoulder throw. By using a lunging opponents force against him, one can disable an opponent with a shoulder throw; a move that would ordinarily require considerable effort to execute. Actions become effortless for those that know the way.
Musashi’s duels typically lasted only a few seconds. Consider his duel with Kojiro for example. He charged at his opponent and provoked Kojiro into making the first attack. Musashi effortlessly dodged the attack and decisively struck his opponent on the head killing him in a single blow. Musashi almost echoes Lao Tzu when he urges martial artists to be like water which is gentle yet destructive. It is the principle of WuWei that gives the Japanese martial arts their characteristic finesse that many have come to admire. The ancient masters would be repulsed by the drawn out UFC slug fests and would dismiss these fighters as not truly knowing the way.
The Japanese word for way is michi, which literally refers to a path through the Cosmos. The Way has no destination, and simply finding the way is an end in itself. Since Taoism is primarily concerned with each pursuing his own way, it stands to reason that every one of us is (potentially) a wanderer. The wanderer is also a common motif in Taoist art – he who walks a path without apparent destination.
I must point out that many of Japan’s cherished heroes were wanderers too, such as Musashi and Yagyu Jubei. Both of these individuals refused to hang up their swords and become artisans during the largely peaceful Tokugawa Period of Japanese history. They wandered the countryside (the Samurai had no restrictions on travel) and dueled several opponents that crossed their paths.
Musashi is said to have won 80 duels during his lifetime. So entrenched is the image of the wandering martial artist that it has left its imprint on contemporary Japanese pop culture as well. The characters Ryu and Akuma of the Street Fighter franchise are wanderers pursuing the way of the martial artist. In a statement saturated with Taoist overtones Akuma proclaims: “For some, it is the path, not the goal,” (Street Fighter Alpha 1).
Ultimately, while the spirit of the Japanese martial arts is obviously Japanese, their character is clearly Chinese.

What Is the Definition of Time?

Most places mentioned in old poetry can never be exactly located. Mountains crumble through time, landslides change the river’s course, floods wash out roads, hardly anything remains where it was for long. Thus faced with this monument of nearly a thousand years, I felt such a powerful link with the past, so connected at the heart with men of old, I forgot the aches and pains of the journey, and, in gratitude for such a traveler’s blessing, wept for joy.
Matsuo Bashō, The Narrow Road to the Deep North (Oku no Hosomichi)

Well, there is one definition for you.
By the way, the Japanese work above, written around Shakespeare’s time in the late 1600’s, is one of the greatest books ever written by anyone anywhere in the last 500 years.

There Were No Beginnings, There Will Be No Endings

“Science has found that nothing can disappear without a trace. Nature does not know extinction; all it knows is transformation…” Werner Von Braun (Nichols 1962).

“This entire globe, this star, not being subject to death, and dissolution and annihilation being impossible anywhere in Nature, from time to time renews itself by changing and altering all its parts.” Giordano Bruno.

“It never starts it never stops it just goes it never zeroes.”  Robert Lindsay, 1979, from an unpublished work of fiction.

As you can see, the notion of beginnings and endings, of births and deaths, is illusory. As something may not come out of nothing (story of my life), yet something may not turn into nothing either. Nothingness may not birth any something, and something may not turn into nothing. It seems that this is occurring all the time, but this is mere illusion.

Instead births or beginnings are simply one form of energy and matter transforming into other, usually more salient one. Endings, deaths, dissolutions, are nothing of the sort. Something has merely transformed into something else, as we saw with beginnings.

Bruno, burned at the stake for heresy by the Inquisition in 1600 as a martyr to science, in part for upholding Copernican astronomy, was ahead of his time. The universe was infinite, as he put it, “many worlds.” All matter was made of atoms. Our world was not the center of the universe or of anything but that it only seems that way.

No position, not up or down or this way or that, is set, as all is relative to the positions of other entities. Life was probably not unique here, and had probably sprung up in many other places in the universe. Comets were the remains of stars, not messages from the Gods. In a sense, everything is connected to everything, prefiguring particle physics. Space was infinite (Bruno is almost the father of infinity) and if Space was infinite, than so must be Time.

And logically, if all of this is true, then Christianity is “wholly false.”

Although he did believe in God, it was a diminished God. This from a Dominican friar who spent most of his time in monasteries!

For the logical cul de sac in italics above, he burned with fire. 13 years later, Galileo barely saved his own skin from similar holy heat.

If space is infinite, then so must be time.

Here we look to the early Jewish Kabbalists, studying in the 1300s-1400s. After centuries of study, they determined that God was “endless bright White Light, extending as far as one can see in every direction.” Or infinitival White Light. Furthermore, God is “that which cannot be known.” Going beyond that, God was “that thought of which man may not even properly entertain.” In other words, God is beyond our mental grasp. He is the Inconceivable.

It is now the hour for a brief discussion about Time. I haven’t read Kant yet, and maybe I can’t, but we will dabble anyway.

First of all, the future simply does not exist. You are all aware of this, right? Quit shaking your heads. The. Future. Does. Not. Exist. Say it until you are blue in the face. What is fascinating about the future is that we all know it doesn’t exist, yet we spend all of our lives pretending that it does exist.

Tomorrow I will…In the future I will…Pretty soon I’m going to…I have an appointment on the…I will be graduating on the…I’ll meet you at the restaurant at two…I’m looking forward to the future.

For something that doesn’t exist, we sure spend a lot of time thinking and talking about it! Worst of all, we prepare for it!

Now we have hopefully established the nonexistence of the future. At some point, sure, the future will exist. For instance, it will probably be 11 PM here in 31 minutes, assuming the world does not blow up. But at exactly that moment 31 minutes from now that the future supposedly exists, it won’t even be the future anymore! It will be another present moment. Follow? Of course you do.

What follows after the end of the last paragraph is that the present does indeed exist. You’d be hard to find a philosopher to disagree with that statement. A poststructuralist might, but they disagree with everything. Ah, so the present exists! But the future does not? Surely not. So we are left with only half of time. Every present moment, plus all of the past.

The next thing we need to ask is if the past exists. This is a very important question. I always figured it did, but a friend told me recently that the past does not exist. It used to exist, but it doesn’t anymore! But of course. He must be correct, no? At one time the past existed, but now it no longer does. How does it exist?

In memories, movies, books, etc. Which are merely objects in the present that made recordings of the past when the past was happening. Now we have eliminated the other half of time, and all we have left are second hands slamming on the clock, beginning and ending so quickly, nearly simultaneously, that we can scarcely put our finger on any moment and call it NOW.

Which now brings us to a rather carpe diem moment, eh? To live logically, we should all act like 80 IQ ghetto types, living for each second and nothing before or after existing. Thank God we don’t all think like philosophers.

There is another view, which is also very present-centric. This one holds once again that the present moment is salient, but that the past and future both exist, but they only exist as part of the present and of each other.

In other words, what has brought us to this present moment? Think about it. The entirety of the weight of the past, tumbling onto our hour like a rock slide, has brought us here, to this most auspicious of bright moments. The past made the present, so it is here with us as the vehicle that brought us here and also as the sculptor which made the present moment what it is.

As the future will in part be determined by the present, and hence also the past, the future also exists in the present, as a potentiality. The past also exists in the future, as the past and present vehicles drive towards the future and create it. Whether or not the present or future exist in the past is more problematic, but perhaps they do, as the earlier seeds that grew the trees of today and tomorrow.

One notion, popularized by Time Theorist Guy Murchie, is that all of the past that has already happened and all of the future that will occur, is, at this moment, all simultaneously present in this, our present moment. The Eternal Now. That’s a bit hard to swallow, but I like the mouth feel.

And that will be it for now, as we are out of Time.


Bruno, Giordano. 1584. On Cause, Principle, and Unity (De la causa, principio, et Uno).

Murchie, Guy. 1961. Music of the Spheres: The Material Universe from Atom to Quasar, Simply Explained. Cambridge: Riverside Press.

Nichols, William, ed. 1962. The Third Book of Words to Live By (pp.119-120). New York: Simon and Schuster.

“Road to Nowhere” Talking Heads


One of my all-time favorite bands.

Saw them at UCLA in February 1979 at the beginning of the punk explosion, when punk was truly cutting edge. The Talking Heads were the shit then. No one had heard of them, and anyone who had was hip.

They did “Psycho Killer” and it brought down the house, except it was outdoors.

There were UCLA students in the crowd. Some sat behind us. Guys who looked stoned and were already feminized and pacified, warm, floppy shells of men, though feminism was hardly even born yet, but they were students, and college will turn the best of men to school pusses.

The women were sort of masculine, as they must be when the males are feminized, otherwise you have a half-filled whole, and nature abhors a vacuum. To complete the circle, the female must become masculine to the very degree that the male has become feminine.

A guy named Lao Tzu figured this out 2000 years before, but even he was too late. It’s so obvious. It’s the way of the circle. A half is never whole. The male and the female are each halves, broken humans. Only through linkage can we fill in the colors and make the circle whole to set the wheel spinning so the cycle can go on. A male is empty without a female, and vice versa. Joined, each is made whole and the emptiness is filled in again.

Heard this in a coffee shop the other day, Starfucks. Well, at least they play good music.

The guys working there were feminized, as they always are in such places. The chicks dig the feminized guys, but the probably never fuck them, the danger necessary for sex that the female requires being lacking. Once again, an unfilled whole. Feminine plus feminine doesn’t fill in the circle with the Number 2 pencil. It just makes a half moon.

I was listening to the song. I was sure I’d heard it before. Some guy my age was in there bobbing his head, along with his daughter. She couldn’t have been much more than 13 or 14, but she was looking at me in that way, half hate, half stare can’t stop, so I knew she was a woman-in-girl, true girls having no sexual world. The guy was a square, but he was bobbing his head. I was moving to where the sound was coming from, where they lurked. We were all bobbing our heads to the music, but no one said a word.

I thought it was Talking Heads, but I wasn’t sure.

Googled it and there it was. 1985, a bad year, but there was lots of sex and tons of drugs, so really, no matter how fucked of a year it was, the palliatives always alchemize it somehow golden, which is all you can do to a shitty year. 1985, in three years David Byrne’s band would break up, true genius being a flash in the pan of youth, as Weininger notes.

The real geniuses are always young, and the greatest bands flash and burn Roman candle-like and smash to bits pretty quick, the Super Collider Reactor of multiple geniuses being too much for the temporal universe of flesh and blood, so they go out in fire not ice, but they are kind enough to leave us the greatness flashes, like those human images burned into walls after Hiroshima, daguerreotypes of genius before they go.

We’re on the road to nowhere, says the song. Well sure we are.

David Byrne says its meaningless and silly, the song.

Like Hell it is. Bout as vapid as the trails of life. Where do they lead? To the bones, or increasingly, the urn and if you’re lucky, a hole in a rock.

We’re on the road to nowhere.

Where are we headed? To nowhere, to death, to a personal Black Hole sucking away whole universes in a pinpoint, at Warp Speed, faster than light.

Well, of course.

Meaningless, my ass, David.

What’s left to do? All there is to do is dance. Get up and dance to the music, fools. For too soon we drop our last.