There is a good chance these musings are nonsense. Well, not no sense at all. But they may be pure artifice. Like Leibniz’s monads may be. I have been reading his work again but I do not fully understand his imagining. This may take years. I am slow witted. I do understand what he describes as ‘monads’ fits well in the growing meme philosophy. I would be pleased to be corrected, but it seems that he conceives the world as comprised of active conceptual units, some of which are conscious and some not. The whole of the world is a manifestation of coherent intelligences actively relating to each other. But each monad is selfcontained; ‘windowless’; nothing going in or out. I can’t remember, and I am too lazy to reread the whole paper to find out before posting, if Leibniz provides a mechanism for the combination of monads into composites: For according to his theory all that we see and even ourselves are combinations of monads. What strange indestructible substantial animations of wisdom. As a conception of the world, Leibniz’s Monadology is at least a beautifully ordered madness. But madness is always deranged and chaotic. The Monadology is an ordered reverie.
We might be tempted to say Leibniz is anticipating atomic theory. He is certainly proposing an atomized structure to the World. He applies more imagination than we PoMos are inclined to entertain, or even trust as sane. But Leibniz is a druid, a speculative metaphysicist, a rational mystic. While, like Spinoza, subscribing to a very pure form of mechanics as well. This is very much in line with these meditations on memes. I am not yet sure where I agree or disagree with him more than this so far; we share a view of a World as the manifestation of conceptions. To make this solid, we both understand a quartz crystal as the incarnation of the tenacious thought of a quartz crystal. Or more correctly, the collection of a myriad of instances of the thought ‘quartz’ in concord.
Crystals totally like have power dude.
Leibniz interchanges the Greek Entelechy with Monad. Monad denoting its singularity and Entelechy denoting its existence I suppose. The word is new to me, so I am not confident in my understanding. There seems to be something active implied in this existence though. This may just be my wishful hearing. For Leibniz though, the Monad is ever changing, always in motion. Whenever an author gives more than one word to describe the central theme of his theory, he, at least tacitly, confesses that the object cannot easily be contained by words. The words only point to it. This is of course true of language very generally.
There was much nihilistic zeal for this ‘discovery’ in the Cathedral of the late 20th century. It is mere dogma now. In the 80s it had all the sex in the alleys of the war torn city romanticism of their socialist coup. They lusted after meaninglessness. Unfecund lust. Upon this emptiness they managed to prop up their categorical imperative: endless revolt against the last vestiges of the European Noble Ideal. These days they can only kick pathetically at the dying corps of its great grandchild, Conservatism. Yet, though language always fails to capture its objects completely, it is often quite sufficiently concrete to feel safe around again. When I say, “That’s my dog” only a stoner would find this statement uncertain, “Dude, what even is a dog, man?” A hardcore Animal Rights activist might find me oppressively possessive of my ‘non-human companion’, but they would understand my meaning.
Even when language does not equate point by point with the material world, this is not its weakness. A Philosophical Materialist finds this a pejorative state for language. They worship matter, and say all else is void. But language is far more than a short description of dead matter, more than a mere emergent property or structure. Language: logic grammar and memes, are active forces in the World. At least this is where we are first able to converse with the the very causal codes that unfold into the universe. It is this reason the ancients felt they were writing the language of the gods, when they inscribed runes.
_ __ _____________ _ ________ ___ _ _ _
Diagram of the meme Modus Ponens
Or is logic memetic? Isn’t it more a law of Nature, even the Idea of Nature itself? Logic is something, whole or broken, that is present in all memes, Therefore it is the framework of meaning while memes are the conveyors of meaning, or are meaning in active being running its logical course. So much has been lost in our post Enlightenment world of just matter. I think this is the Great Forgetting the theologians write of. Ironically it is an immaterial memetic wall that keeps Moderns from looking through to the other side. In this case the memes of Philosophical Materialism and Logical Positivism are logically coherent, rigidly so, but limited and thus false when applied outside their purview. Their error is taking an intellectually honest ethic for the laboratory and trying to make the whole world live under its stupefying limitations.
There are folk memes within this memeplex of Philosophical Materialism and Logical Positivism. The radical materialism of our time generally to start. I do not mean buying a bunch of stuff, this is a symptom, a behavioral manifestation of people who live under a materialist worldview in a time of relative ease and plenty. When we suffer through MSM analysis of news events we find they do not have the intellectual tools to probe beneath the surface. It is literally at times a discussion of the clothing of their subjects. Or how they will be seen as ‘mean’ or ‘misogynistic’. At the source of this there are a myriad of materialist memes at the folk level that, once possessed, continuously direct the thinker away from the possibility of something beyond sense perceptions. The mood of these memes are quite derisive of a robust metaphysical realm. These are the sour but snobbish memes of the spiritually resentful.
The Featured image is an engraving by Camille Flammarion, Paris 1888. It depicts a guy becoming Woke, but not to political realities, to natural ones. This shows an Enlightenment epiphany not a mystical one. There is beauty in order but no consciousness though the veil, apart from the observer’s consciousness that is. On the normie side of the veil of stars, even the sun and moon are persons. The World Tree or Tree of Life occupies centre stage. For the metaphysical side of the illustration Flammarion borrows mostly from the observed world. Only in the upper right corner we see a wheel within a wheel. This depicts both an abstract form of a machine but also implies a vision of Ezekiel (Ch 1 16-21)
The Philosophical Materialist’s vision is much less clear, purposeless; more mechanical, and dogmatically anti mystical. For, now we live in a world, conjured in the cathedral, which is comprised of machines for which there is no Mysterious undergirding; cause and effect without meaning or purpose apart form animal utility.
_ __ _____________ _ ________ ___ _ _ _
I have been intrigued by the nature of programming language. We think of it as such a common thing really. It is just work some guys do. We tend to apply a sophisticated ho hum to the most startling scientific discoveries after a short while. As insights into purely random material events these discoveries are nothing more than tautologies I suppose. True, we don’t tend to denigrate the complexity or the patience in the practice of coding, naturally, it is difficult not to value the rigor of the discipline. But this is mere human praise, if worthy at times. the focus is on the one learning and practicing, rather than the thing learned and practiced. It is just this logical rigor in programming language which gives it theoretical interest . (I had a very quick and shameful semester in computer science and dropped out when I couldn’t make an asterisk Christmas tree using Pascal after 20 hours work .) When I saw first what computer programming code was, I was baffled that it was analogous to the symbolic logic I was studying .
Modus Ponens of the Machine.
On further thought this is not what is baffling, but rather that these logical statements are ‘read’ by a machine. Who was I writing this for? Spergis Maximus, Lord in the machine? These code lines effectively denote ‘truth gates’ as we said of memes earlier. There is, further down, the machine’s language underlying the typed-in code of the programmer. The writer doesn’t even need to know of the existence of this sub metarational layer. Like I do not need to understand code to type this on WordPress. The logical statements merely evoke the zeros and ones to line up in these or those columns and rows. It seems obvious that logic be chosen as the structure for code, It follows strict rules and produces identical results. It seems to have chosen itself, or at least it had no competitors.
But I have probably revealed my rather dire ignorance about the nature of computing. I’ve tried asking computer guys how computers work inside, and they tend to talk about the language as if it were the deepest layer. When asked, “No, what’s happening inside?” I get shrug and an “I don’t know, computer stuff”. Like in most realms these days it is only surface, we can be quite clever on the surface but have no curiosity even for what undergirds these phenomena. We are trained to believe there is some physical explanation for everything, and so normally treat everything as dull and brutish at its core. We fail to recognize that even material explanations are full of mystery. For computing seems to me a kind of sacred act, and not just some mechanical process. Communicating in pure logic to a machine who cannot bear falsehood, that’s a trip man.
Meme magic is real
Well if the memetic conception of spirit and matter is artifice, it is not only artifice. Nothing befits the philosophical tradition of our people more than a philosophical ramble that is both rational and speculative. The conceptions and frameworks we make up, even something as fundamentally material as the periodic table, do not quite capture their objects. The Table is good at what it does but only corresponds to part of what it points to.
This point is illustrated in Theodor Benfey’s spiral periodic table. I don’t have sufficient means to critique his table. But I am sure if it were misguided, and someone pointed it out, Theo would perfect it. Likely, as a child Theodor found the standard periodic table failed to communicate important relationships between the elements. He’s my kinda guy, for at some point in this agitation he set to making his own table to move toward filling this lack. Looking at it I wonder if a 3D depiction would be closer to the memes.
The fact that as we move closer to truth with language while realizing it is further away should not leave us in despair. It does not in anyway render our meditations meaningless, nor the endeavor vain. It promises of a life full of wonder, magnificent discoveries along the way with no end in sight.