Dissolving the fear of logic and clarity
Yesterday someone mentioned to me the idea of “being logical” as being one of many “functional qualities.” I consider it not just one quality among many but the essential foundation of functionality. Let me give you a short but striking example that can demonstrate what I mean by the importance of logic.
“The sunlight is never the sunlight including when she subtracted seven from a button of slowly hudteshged.”
The above sequence of letters and words is not logically consistent. It is not coherent. Without logic, there is little other functionality possible.
Even to just walk, the brain and muscles perform a specific “logical” (neurological) sequence of actions. Toddlers are training their nerves and muscles to perform the useful sequence of muscular actions to be able to walk instead of crawl. They use conscious attention to “logically” determine (through trial and error) how to balance as they move, exactly which muscles to exert when, and also how to stop their momentum and come to a motionless standing position.
Let’s not confuse “logical” with “requiring conscious attention.” I can walk without conscious attention on exactly how I walk, as I instead focus on where I am going, but that does not mean that the neurological activity of walking is “illogical.” Unconscious logic is still logic. Everything that is neurological is logical. Even the way that proteins are manufactured has a certain “logic” (pattern of functionality) to it.
This reminds me of the root of the word logic as having the same root as the word “Logos.” Logic could just mean a particular pattern of functionality, a certain way of doing something, of producing a particular result. Logic ultimately means a certain way of doing something, like the logical process of an engineer will be distinct from the logical process of a chemist, though all patterns of logic are logical.
Even the “logic” of a “religious fanatic” or “political fanatic” will be predictable as in consistent internally. All anti-abortion protestors will focus on that issue even if it means ignoring anti-war protesting. All anti-war protestors will fixate or pre-occupy themselves on their favorite issue even if it means ignoring anti-abortion protesting.
Hysterical protestors of all kinds may all be hysterical, but even the hysteria is logical. Even someone who goes in to a panic whenever they ride an elevator does so though a very specific sequence. If, for some reason, someone who is hysterically terrified of elevators does not know that they are riding an elevator, they will not panic. Logic is absolutely required to produce hysteria. It is not the riding of the elevator, but a reactive belief about riding an elevator, that produces hysteria. If someone is tricked in to believing that they are riding an elevator when they are not, the perception or belief is enough to trigger the hysteria. (Note: perception = belief.)
Hysteria is not total the absence of logic. Hysteria is evidence of a particular logical presumption. Any presumption may be false. Any instance of logic may be faulty. Some interpretation may be a misinterpretation. However, can there be an absence of logic?
In fact, can there be an absence of presumption? Presumptions do not replace logic. Logic requires presumptions.
Presumptions are are created through logic. Induction is the name for the logical process of creating premises or presumptions based on a series of observations and the construction of conceptual patterns (called presumptions or premises).
Deductive logic is the use of the induced premises in order to formulate predictions. Whenever a particular logical deduction does not predict an actual observed result, scientific logic involves a rejecting of the premise or presumption or hypothesis, which has been established as false by the observed results.
Hysteria or mental illness may correspond to people maintaining their disproved premise (their sacred ideology or idolatry) while rejecting their experience or trying to fix their experience to fit their premise (“how it should be”). Why would someone reject their experience in favor of maintaining a particular false premise? In some cases, that is actually the “only logical” alternative that they perceive. The limited perception (or even delusion) has to do with blind faith (blindspots), which is actually just mere belief, not faith at all.
Beliefs may lead us to “mislabel” things- to confuse one thing for something else. Such “misinterpretation” is still interpretative, logical, and presumptive. All interpretation is presumptive. All logic is interpretive. The distress of the hysteria or mental illness (anxiety, paranoia, panic, rage, etc) has a very rigid logic (often accompanied by neuro-muscular rigidity or tension)- not the complete absence of logic, but a certain particular level of logical development (or intellectual development AKA intelligence).
Logic is essential (foundational). Clarity and precision and rigor and reliability are qualities that are possible through logic. They are refinements of logic. Everyone has logic, allowing for various degrees of development of any particular perceptiveness or sensitivity or clarity.
Logic is like visual focus in that logic allows us to focus on a particular issue. How quickly can logic identify the factors relevant to a particular possibility, priority, or circumstance? That is the issue of varying degrees of functionality. How quickly can someone identify the relevant conceptual presumptions or logical premises? In dealing with hysteria, how quickly can someone recognize the logic of the hysteria and interrupt or deconstruct it?
So, how important is logic? In exploring this issue, I cannot emphasize enough that “the sunlight is never the sunlight including when she subtracted seven from a button of slowly hudteshged.”
Even if the above sequence of words conformed to the standard rules of syntax, there is still the issue of the conceptual functionality of “subtracting seven from a button.” We could call that “nonsense.”
Further, the last “word” (hudteshged) was not an actual word. I could have simply finished the sentence with an obscure foreign word or some foreign lettering, or even some shapes that kind of look like letters, but are not, such as an astrological symbol that was later borrowed by herbalists and pharmacists and other “witch doctors”:
Could the above sequence of words be useful? Yes, of course, nonsense phrases can be useful for confusing people or distracting them. It is also valuable to recognize that language has only one logical function: to influence. Producing confusion can be a very effective method for arousing in people a mild state of anxiety or panic, allowing for them to be directed to “solutions” that they might otherwise avoid or resist if they were relying on their own direct experience and logical evaluation.
Further, inserting unfamiliar information might also be “distracting,” such as my reference to the Rx symbol. It happens to be an accurate reference, but accuracy is not required for a distraction to be effective. In fact, statements of obviously questionable accuracy or logic can be some of the most effective at distracting people. Note that right before the series of visual symbols, I presented a sequence of verbal categorizing that implied that “witch doctors” is a broader verbal category than “herbalists” and “pharmacists” which includes those two groups as subcategories. Typically, some people might question how appropriate it is to present pharmacists as a type of witch doctor, but by changing from words to unfamiliar visual symbols that present obscure information, one could call it a technique of distracting someone from the actual logic of the “witch doctor” categorization.
Why? Because people tend to use the term witch doctor to refer to “methods that do not work reliably” such as placebos. In the case of pharmaceutical drugs, they might “work” 80% of the time or even only 40% and yet still be considered quite valuable. We are indoctrinated to use the term “witch doctor” to refer to practices that are ridiculed by the “opinion leaders” of a particular culture.
When European physicians insisted that there was such a thing as scurvy and it was incurable, “witch doctors” offered foods that relieve the symptoms of a deficiency in Vitamin C. Because the information came from “witch doctors” (or because it was received by arrogantly ignorant “civilized physicians”), the information may have been dismissed or even ridiculed, criminalized, and so on.
I will come back to the subject of criminalizing the methods of witch doctors. Let’s return to the subject of language as an instrument of influence and the use of “illogical, confusing, nonsense” language as an especially effective method of influence.
I think of political language as a great example. “We need to raise taxes so that the public will be wealthier.” How logical is that?
Of course, most political communications are not so plainly ironic as the above statement. One may need to spread their analysis across a few sentences (or even a few years of time) to notice the various ironies (logical contradictions).
However, the idea that ANY government program or intervention is going to contribute to the net wealth of a nation rests on the basic presumption that “we should impose taxes to spend that money to increase the wealth of the public.” It is the basic justification of ALL government spending, right? It is never concisely stated, but it is presumed and implied extensively. By merely presuming it and implying it, again, the normal process of logical reasoning may be bypassed.
Consider a government program which requires all people to spend money (such as on health insurance). Technically, the total increase in public spending forced by that program could be much higher than the government’s cost in spending taxpayer money to produce the rest of the forced spending. That means a greatly increased amount of total consumer spending (and thus GDP), though spending is not wealth. Forcing people to spend money on something does not increase net wealth. Forcing people to spend money on a particular set of things merely redistributes wealth.
The wealth of private citizens will be reduced and the wealth will increase of the particular commercial group that successfully lobbied for the “rescue intervention.” While a particular group of beneficiaries of a government program (such as first-time home buyers) may benefit from a government program, there is no way for an increase in the spending of taxpayer-funded programs to produce an increase in the wealth of taxpayers. Taxpayer-funded spending cannot increase overall taxpayer wealth. Taxpayer-funded spending MUST reduce overall taxpayer wealth, though the tax revenues may come from a specific tax, like property taxes or fuel taxes or voting poll tax.
I recognize that there are other forms of government revenue besides taxes, such as fines, fees, and confiscation. However, citizen-funded government spending MUST reduce the overall private wealth of the citizenry as a whole. It is a logical or mathematical absolute.
I’m not saying that public schools do not benefit citizens. Of course government spending such as on public schools benefits many citizens. However, public schools will benefit some citizens more than others, such as the staff of those public schools.
All public spending will benefit some parties more than others. That is why lobbying exists. Sometimes a particular government program will benefit many people a little or a few people immensely. If there were not massive benefits available through lobbying, there would be no lobbying. To put it another way, if there were not massive benefits available through bribery, there would be no bribery.
Next, I want to clarify something about the nature of governments and their function. I’d like to emphasize that none of the following is a criticism of governments in general or of any particular government (nor of the activities of lobbying or bribery). For people who are willing to simply notice what is clear and obvious about governments, the following could be immediately recognizable as “the most logical analysis of government that I have ever read,” even if at first challenging to your presumptions.
Governments are inherently systems of commercial favoritism. They take from some groups to give to others. They systematically redistribute wealth inequitably. Some governments favor particular industries through direct purchases by the government and of course with their regulatory favoritism (outlawing certain practices while authorizing and subsidizing others): missile manufacturers, public education, homeowners, licensed medical practitioners, etc….
For instance, witch doctors are not penalized (and ridiculed) because they cannot “cure incurable scurvy,” but because when witch doctors routinely cure “incurable scurvy,” that can be very bad for someone else’s business and reputation. In fact, the entire linguistic premise of “incurable disease” is just a presumption, and one that has been established as being at least occasionally inaccurate if not always false. So, a group like licensed medical doctors may form a group (AMA) to lobby for programs that benefit their industry, especially to protect them from free market competition.
Likewise, homeowners may be favored by governments through a large set of factors, including tax regulations that favor homeowners as well as bail-outs explicitly designed to raise the price of housing. Government programs to prevent massive waves of foreclosure also maintain “artificially” high real estate prices. In some cases like these, the obvious favoritism of government to particular commercial interests is quite explicit.
Why might renters not support government programs that raise rents and redistribute wealth from renters to owners? Why might owners of concentrated amounts of real estate spend millions of dollars to lobby governments to take actions to keep purchase prices rising (or flat) and to keep lease and rent prices high? Because if governments stopped pumping taxpayer money in to programs that promote high prices, prices might fall dramatically.
So, how is it that so many renters and people who lease commercial space would passionately promote government programs that raise rents and leases (costing them money)? Government propaganda can be extremely effective!
The masses typically do not see the obvious, thanks to the loyal influence of mainstream media. Further, homeowners may not want to admit that their past unearned capital gains may be largely due to government programs to redistribute wealth toward people who buy homes. Given that those government intervention programs also have a history of suddenly collapsing like a house of cards, homeowners may be especially afraid to recognize the simplicity of the unsustainability of government interventions to raise real estate prices.
Governments systematically redistribute wealth from certain groups to other groups. Obviously, without governments, there is not a big consumer demand for combat helicopters and nuclear weapons and aircraft carriers. It is also obvious that governments would want to be very intent on keeping those kinds of manufactured goods away from the open market. Governments may want to be the sole buyer of aircraft carriers. They may want a monopoly. They do not want just any nation or private party having a bunch of them, right?
That is because governments are not just any system of commercial favoritism, but systems of organized violence or organized coercion. They involuntarily redistribute wealth from particular groups (the involuntary underwriters) to other particular groups (such as the manufacturers of military technology).
Tax systems are systems of authorized extortion or racketeering. Those who do not participate are subject to various forms of punishment. Fines and the systems to collect fines are also systems of authorized extortion or racketeering. Governments are systems of extortion and racketeering that authorize or license certain programs of extortion and racketeering and criminalize unauthorized systems as “unwelcome competition.”
When a crime syndicate offers “protection,” most of the protection is from other crime syndicates. In the case of governments, they protect citizens from foreign governments (some of which have nuclear weapons and aircraft carriers and so on) as well as “domestic threats” (such as unauthorized extortion rackets).
So, I have jokingly asked in the past questions like “should governments be violent?” It is like asking “should rabbits be mammals?”
Rabbits are mammals. Governments are violent.
Many governments have added to their effectiveness and efficiency by conducting programs of propaganda, such as public education systems, which promote particular presumptions and patterns of interpretation (perception). Through such “mind control” programming, governments not only influence perception, but action and results.
Governments influence (program, govern, dictate) how people experience reality, how they interpret reality, how they react to their interpretations, and what actions or behaviors the population (herd) manifests. Some governing systems (such as thugs and gangs and tribes) may rely primarily on violence. Other systems use language more than violence, but with the threat of violence always present and however frequently reminded.
Further, governments are not especially distinctive in their use of violence and language to influence. Every individual and every social group influences others (even within the same species).
Mothers influence children, such as a mother rabbit influencing baby rabbits. Farmers influence the activity of crops. Hunters influence their prey. Influence is essential.
When people use currency, they do so in cooperation with a government which creates the purchasing power of the currency. The foundation of the purchasing power of every currency is that the currency is accepted for the payment of taxes and any other court-ordered obligations.
Governments declare tax liability in to existence. Then governments declare a particular form of payment as the only acceptable form of payment (“legal tender for the discharge of debt claims”). Then, governments enforce their declarations through organized coercion.
A currency is a unit of the organized coercion of the system of forced wealth redistribution (the government) that enforces the purchasing power of that currency. Currency has power because of the mercenaries of organized coercion (sheriff deputies, KGB, USAF) that enforce the value of that currency. In the absence of an effective military to enforce the value of a currency, the currency ceases to have any functional value, such as when the Confederacy was defeated by the USA and confederate dollars instantly became worthless (or even illegal).
Hysteria is not inherently evil. Violence is not inherently evil (including the violence of a plant as it spreads its roots in to the soil). In fact, hysteria and violence and evil are all just categories in language. Evil just means “extremely discouraged” as in something “subject to produce very unfavorable results, including through penalties and punishments.”
Language organizes perception. In other words, language governs perception. Because language governs perception, language also governs behavior and results.
The issue of Logos is important. We can relabel it as logic or language. Logic governs perception. The Logos governs perception. The Word has authority over perception. Labels govern perception.
The word organizes the world (perception), which organizes behavioral response (reflex), producing the results of the reactive activity. Labeling is interpretative. Perceiving is interpreting. Labeling is perceiving.
Perceiving is the organizing of attention. Language organizes attention.
However, why take my word for it? After all, I might just be trying to influence you through the use of language, right?
Instead of asking me if language can influence attention, perception, and behavior, I invite you to ask Santa Claus. I was told by sources I trust that he is an authority on such matters.
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