Monday, April 29, 2013

What's the engine, what's the deed?

  I am pondering the relationship, sethren, but I’ll be brief, between act and concept.  Which is at the heart of human behaviour?  Like, among human beings, ordinary human beings, us, not great leaders like — I traverse the contemporary horizon, nobody comes to mind — like Babur or Justinian; among ordinary human beings, what is the effective working group?
  It’s like some real problem comes up, a public meeting is called, at first there’s a keynote speech, then come the ranting idiots who you get at any public meeting, they say the same thing each time, regardless of the context, the obsessives, the monomaniacs, genuine victims who have no theatre in which to fight back, sterile ideologues, racists and Decent People Like Us.  When they’ve all calmed down, or become exhausted, or flounced out, people stand up and say sensible things, give useful information, outline possible solutions.  You too thought you might say something once or twice, but you were a bit undecided and the moment passed, the focus had shifted, somebody more decisive and with a clear and practiced delivery was already on their feet.
  By the end, two or three sensible but mutually exclusive conclusions have been reached and resultant courses  of action outlined.  First you go with one, then with another.  Like most sensible people, you are undecided.  No solution is perfect, and none without its good points.  The meeting is adjourned, to be reconvened the following week when a decision has to be taken.
  You are an active citizen and want to see the right thing done.  What do you want to do next?  What you want to do, and what most people want to do, is to get together with the nucleus of your social environment, friends at the school gate, workmates, drinking mates; a small rabble of probably homeless probably druggy probably alcoholic certainly scruffy and unkempt scroungers who congregate in the hour before midday in a layby on the Huddersfield ring-road.  You know who they are, you know what they think, how they talk, what they want out of life, how they think things should be.  They’re not all alike, by no means, an odd and even some might say eccentric bunch, but you can work together, bees in bonnets are permitted but it’s easy to stop their buzzing with a joke, you’re good enough friends that nobody’s going to flounce out, even if they get angry, and by the end of the day, or the evening, or by the time the kids get tired of playing and want to go home for their tea, a consensus has been reached.  It’s provisional, it’s not bound by a vow of unity, when the next public meeting is convened minds might be changed, but by and large it is in this kind of group that work gets done.  Variation arises, selection takes place.  Acts ensue, in the metaverse certainly, and probably in the world.  A hand is raised, or not raised, in assent, to be counted.
  Clearly, the variation is only initiated, whenever it occurs, in each ideoverse.  But each ideoverse, when you are within the nucleus of your social environment, is wide open to the local zone of the metaverse, through eyes and ears, watching faces, expressions, registering tone of voice, emotion, and receptive and retentive of the demons, acts, concepts flying between you.  Your own ideoverse can reflect on the same things when you are alone, and indeed the evolutionary process may work much faster.  But the result may not be effective as an act.  You mention it to a mate in passing, at the water cooler (there’s a concept upon which a whole analysis of civilisations could be built.  Which the fuck of us has ever seen a water cooler?  Do we even have them outside the US conclave, Londinium?) or in the queue for MeatyBits, for which I hear we will soon be able to swap Big society food vouchers.  You outline you lucubrations to your mate in passing, and he observes, that’s fucking garbage, you daft twat.  Think on.  Or possibly, think on’t.  And you do.  And you realise that it is possible that, untrammelled by social context, your what we used to call the mind has run away with what we used to call itself, and it’s a good thing you mentioned it first to your mate rather than standing up on your hind legs in a public meeting and making a complete dick of yourself.
  It’s only an analogy, sethren, and we know that analogies are usually worse than useless.  But I am looking for the grouping in which demons get most evolutionary work done, and I have concluded, for the moment, that it is the act.  An act is not only a kinetic four dimensional amplification of a sequence of alliances of demons.  It is also:
  an established network of demons that provides its members with a functional pattern that does work, in the ideoverse, the metaverse and/or the world, and this work gives its constituent demons a bigger chance of being selected and so surviving.
  You know, sethren, when Richard Dawkins appeared to me on the road to Damascus all those decades ago, and I brooded upon logical certainty that in any area of knowledge, assumption, belief, if a fraction of Homo sapiens is correct about what is the case, then the vast majority must be in error, and questioned how this could be, given that we are a species blessed with the capacity to reason; and I began to realise that it might be because human culture is an evolutionary process, and cares little for truth (as we humans care little for truth) and pits everything on survival (pathetic fallacy is debilitating but tempting when discussing evolution); at that time I thought of the dominant collective of culture as the apparatus, as in intellectual apparatus.  That the ability to produce thought, ideas (my thinking was primitive, atavistic then) depended not only on the processing power of the brain, but on the apparatuses that worked within it.  And in my thinking here, the apparatus was the key unit.  An apparatus was:
  an established network of demons that provides its members with a functional pattern that does work, in the ideoverse, the metaverse and/or the world, and this work gives its constituent demons a bigger chance of being selected and so surviving.
  It could even be shortened to app..  But sadly that is already taken.
  Sethren, this was meant to be the briefest footnote.  But as usual I have wondered.  When the intellectual infirmities of age become too apparent, just hit me over the head with a hammer.

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