Author Topic: The Idiot versus The Swan  (Read 2567 times)

Cramulus

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The Idiot versus The Swan
« on: December 22, 2020, 03:39:08 pm »



The Idiot versus the Swan
by Professor Cramulus

There are so many different truths out there. How do we select one?

If you choose wrong, you become some soggy middle aged prick who hides in a reality tunnel from decades ago, and is angry at anything that doesn’t belong in it. We watched our parent’s generation become the exact thing they rebelled against. Mark my words: this process has already begun in you.

If you choose the option that feels right, you will find confirmation of your own assumptions. In the attention economy, preference is a magnet. You can become trapped by the gravitational pull of Confirmation Bias. The Law of Fives is never wrong.

If you choose the option that is the most reasonable, intelligent, well researched -- there emerges a blind spot hiding the world’s emotional realities. You will come up with solutions which people hate. You will gnash and weep that people do not behave the way they “should”, and this disharmony can lead you to a place of toxic cynicism. You may end up in an emotional reality anyway, one in which everyone is dumb (but you, of course.. you know better).

If you believe that all swans are white, when you see a picture of a black swan, your preference is to say “that’s not a swan”, instead of “I misunderstood what swans are”. The Black Swan dwells outside of our reality tunnel, it brings disorder to our internal map of the world. It is concealed by our assumptions and our ignorance of our own ignorance.

The Black Swan is Eris’ pet. Swans are vicious creatures. They bite. They are pissed about the original snub--that is--they were not included in your map of the universe, and for this, they seek REVENGE.

Old Bob knew how to make friends with the black swan. He knew that Eris is a prankster, and that in the comedy-bit which is everyday life, his role was to slip on the banana peel and get a big laugh. The universe has trained us wrong, on purpose, as a joke. Maybe the only way to stop being the butt of the joke is to accept this. We are all Cosmic Shmucks.

This openness -- to seeing yourself as wrong -- is also one of the only things that can save us in the post-truth era. We need to be in a state of doubt and able to learn & accept new info. We can't do that from a place of complete certainty and confidence.

The post-truth era is in full swing because the lie feels differently than the truth--it's attractive, seductive, "feels" right. Our intuition and our intellect are both running for election but the district is heavily gerrymandered.

And this is part of why the Discordians celebrate Confusion. The Confused mind is trying to make sense of reality -- and that’s the best mind, most active & engaged. It can be unattached, free. It can learn. The Beginner Mind dwells in confusion. Thrives in it, even!

Let us become the Ordinary Idiot again. We have been pretending we are more advanced forms of idiots--the square idiot, the zigzag idiot, the enlightened idiot--but in truth we are the same kind of stupid as everybody else. Let’s go home to this place of mundane stupidity, where everything has to be taken in small pieces because we are very dumb and the world is very complex. Let us taste each bite individually, perceiving but reluctant to pass judgment, because we do not have all the data.

If (as St. Gulik suggests on the Emerald Tablet of Hermes) the little universe (the inner world) and the big universe (the outer world) are really the same thing at different levels of magnification, then we have a secret key -- the study of ourselves can lead to the realization of those fundamental laws that make the world go round. Maybe we can be momentarily free of the Cosmic Shmuck principle by seeing our own Shmuckitude. One day, we may even become an advanced form of idiot, reaching heights of idiocy only theoretical--until now.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2020, 08:28:33 pm by Cramulus »

Doktor Howl

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Re: The Swan Versus The Idiot
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2020, 04:27:28 pm »
Quote
If you believe that all swans are white, when you see a picture of a black swan, your preference is to say “that’s not a swan”, instead of “I misunderstood what swans are”. The Black Swan dwells outside of our reality tunnel, it brings disorder to our internal map of the world. It is concealed by our assumptions and our ignorance of our own ignorance.

This has never been more true than today.

"That black swan is fake news."

"George Soros painted the swan black."

"The swan is black because of a vaccine injury."

"That black swan should have complied."


Also, a somewhat interesting Scottish Science Fiction author wrote a series of books based on an "out of context event," which is another word for a kind of black swan event, one that in his stories often led to the complete destruction of a species that had one...Either because they *could* not see it coming, or they *would* not see it coming. 

A person or culture with their heads up their asses has no advantage over a people who honestly cannot see a problem developing.

Molon Lube

Cramulus

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Re: The Swan Versus The Idiot
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2020, 06:17:22 pm »
Also, a somewhat interesting Scottish Science Fiction author wrote a series of books based on an "out of context event," which is another word for a kind of black swan event, one that in his stories often led to the complete destruction of a species that had one...Either because they *could* not see it coming, or they *would* not see it coming.

I have a feeling I'm about to slap my head and go "oh, duh!" but who are you talking about?

Doktor Howl

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Re: The Swan Versus The Idiot
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2020, 06:21:46 pm »
Also, a somewhat interesting Scottish Science Fiction author wrote a series of books based on an "out of context event," which is another word for a kind of black swan event, one that in his stories often led to the complete destruction of a species that had one...Either because they *could* not see it coming, or they *would* not see it coming.

I have a feeling I'm about to slap my head and go "oh, duh!" but who are you talking about?

It's actually kind of obscure.  Iain Banks, The Culture series, book 5 "Excession".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Excession#Outside_Context_Problem

The concept has since been incorporated into the workplace jargon of nerds such as myself.
Molon Lube

Doktor Howl

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Re: The Swan Versus The Idiot
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2020, 06:24:05 pm »
Also, take if from me, the series isn't that great as fiction.  It falls into many of the classic pitfalls (exotic names replacing the need for characters, excessive complexity at the expense of the story, etc), but he does bring up a lot of good concepts about what life and conflict would be like in a post-scarcity environment.
Molon Lube

Q. G. Pennyworth

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Re: The Swan Versus The Idiot
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2020, 07:09:56 pm »
Can I Holy Nonsense this one?

LMNO

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Re: The Swan Versus The Idiot
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2020, 07:23:07 pm »
Also, a somewhat interesting Scottish Science Fiction author wrote a series of books based on an "out of context event," which is another word for a kind of black swan event, one that in his stories often led to the complete destruction of a species that had one...Either because they *could* not see it coming, or they *would* not see it coming.

I have a feeling I'm about to slap my head and go "oh, duh!" but who are you talking about?

It's actually kind of obscure.  Iain Banks, The Culture series, book 5 "Excession".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Excession#Outside_Context_Problem

The concept has since been incorporated into the workplace jargon of nerds such as myself.

I thought you were referencing Asimov's "Foundation" series, when they introduced "The Mule".

Cramulus

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Re: The Swan Versus The Idiot
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2020, 07:39:37 pm »

Doktor Howl

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Re: The Swan Versus The Idiot
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2020, 11:28:07 pm »
Molon Lube

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Re: The Swan Versus The Idiot
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2020, 02:27:48 am »

"If you do not expect the unexpected you will not find it, for it is not to be reached by search or trail."
-Heraclitus

The people that have the least dynamic relationship with reality, its been argued, is psychotic people; there is no place for doubt or questioning in their system, they see things that no one else can see or perceive or understand, so surely it means EVERYONE ELSE is wrong.

Accepting reality on its own terms, being capable of perceiving the unexpected and having doubt, requires a certain level of emotional fortitude - and good luck trying to teach or transmit that to someone.
<<My image in some places, is of a monster of some kind who wants to pull a string and manipulate people. Nothing could be further from the truth. People are manipulated; I just want them to be manipulated more effectively.>>

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Drake75

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Re: The Swan Versus The Idiot
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2021, 11:43:56 am »
Accepting reality on its own terms, being capable of perceiving the unexpected and having doubt, requires a certain level of emotional fortitude - and good luck trying to teach or transmit that to someone.

Ante up?