mind

Are the mids the music’s heart?

I had this thought when I considered the strong mids that music has and had in times and areas that ‘have heart’. Look at where and when you find music that very much focuses on anything but mids. Powerfull bass, aggessive highs. Electronic music, often. Electronic being more based on machines, logic, technology. All digital. Zero and one.
And I thought how this could match the visual scale of frequencies and thus also relate to the chakra model. The heart is in the middle. Its color is green. Green is the color of that powerful, defining part of nature, the ego-less sun-drinking plant life, and it doesn’t seem to be very popular if I look at trends like car paint colors and such. All kinds of strife to focus on other phenomena, as long as it avoids the heart.
In music, you could say the mids are unspectacular. They even don’t work if you intensify them a lot. They are like the epitome of boredom. But without them, something is missing. Maybe not to the mind, but to the heart. They are not the show-stealer, but the crucial support to make it well-rounded. The slow, deep breath.
You can see how frequency always matches a spiritual state. Powerful bass puts emphasis on the primal, the foundation of life, the power from below, felt with the whole body. Powerful highs are all about the mind, perceived with the ears only, and only if that chakra is healthy.
You could say the heart is the most elusive force. Naturally, since its domain cannot be fathomed by the mind. But the mind can allow it to be, or not to, and that might not be the ideal situation.

I won’t make a refined essay out of this. Use it as food for meditation if you like.

Life: This is madness

Thesis: The universe is infinite.
Proof: self-evident. Our mind cannot comprehend infinity and we haven’t found the end of the universe, and deep within we know we can’t, because if we find its end, by definition there must be something beyond it, otherwise the whole game just continues as before. Infinitely.

Followup thesis: You do not exist.
Evidence: Nothing exists.
Proof: Something finite cannot exist in something infinite. Something finite in something infinite would have to be infinitely small, and infinitely small is still infinite; a concept based on infinity.

Conclusion: The only way you can exist is if you are infinite. And then you are everything and/or nothing. The former defies your definition as an existing entity, the latter means you do not exist.

We try to deny infinity the best we can by ignoring it most of the time, but it is omnipresent part of our experience.
Infinity is the almighty overwhelming power that can humble our ego by showing us our nonexistence.

Who dares to look?

It does not matter. You are looking all the time anyway.

The Cruel God Fallacy

Some people say things like: How can God allow such horrific suffering? I thought he is loving.

Some people greatly enjoy watching/reading Game of Thrones, or any other kind of great drama, with death and emotional agony and all that.
Do people say how the creators are so cruel and condemn them? No. People enjoy drama. Because it touches them emotionally. Pleasantly and unpleasantly. Feeling is the key; it is favored. It makes people relate. The writers themselves might be very emotionally attached to their works. And there the big picture is what matters. They love the whole thing and don’t (necessarily) play favorites.

Now how can you (being a part of God’s creation) imply that God has any different relationship with his creation? He, too, appreciates a good show/story, exploration of an experience. And thus life is enriched with emotions, without which life would literally feel dead.
And you cannot have one pole without the other. Even if you could, then the exploration would not be perfect. The exploration of infinite possibilities. Because that is the positive message in the fact that anything can exist, no matter how horrible: It demonstrates those infinite possibilities actively at work. Anything could happen. And when you embrace that, it opens your heart, and when you open your heart to it, you can enjoy it.
That’s the irony of profound wisdom: Bad stuff will happen till the end of time, but if you don’t conditionalize the good stuff based on the bad stuff, then the latter loses power over you. This is a lesson that cannot be understood. It can only be experienced, felt, internalized. Don’t expect it to be quick or easy. It just happens when you move towards it. Which means not subjecting it to conditions, because that’s a good way to slow it down. That’s not at all what love is about.
If you manage to love the whole work of art, you will have an understanding with the creator. And that is something, haha.

This is, as all paths of overcoming suffering, about releasing the mind’s control.
Love will always be your loyal ally, and fear will always be your fierce enemy. Do your best not to collude with the enemy. You have the absolutely most powerful ally at your disposal.
But don’t worry, there is no dead end. When fear really gets you, it will make love become so much more worth giving attention.

Scold people for doing bad things if you like, but scolding God seems silly.
Who do you think you are? 😉

Don’t torture yourself.

Fear seeks fear, love seeks love

Imagine a rich man, driving expensive cars and everything. Some people would say: “You should give me some of your money, you have so much and I so little.” They arrogantly, in mental convenience, disregard any possible hardships that person might have gone through to make it happen. Yes, there are many rich people who got it through ruthlessness and uncaring, but you don’t know a stranger’s story. Maybe the guy with the feeling of entitlement even would have been rich himself if he hadn’t spent all his money. Maybe he has led a relatively enjoyable life, but still wants more.
Imagine the added difficulty that such envious people can pose for your efforts to fulfill a dream. Those who choose to live the problem are often the ones expecting the cure to stoop to their level and join them in their misery so that it doesn’t cause them mental inconvenience. The same mental inconvenience that made them choose to live the problem.
(Right now I remember a symbolically related scene from What Dreams May Come.)

I am not rich, but I have other qualities that have equally been under attack for as long as I can think back. I always had a fine sense for the smell of something rotten in people and an equal sensitivity that made it impossible for me to give in to that like many others do.
And such people are not satisfied with making my life a hell with their silly jealousy, but further burden me with their envious resentment for still exerting the strength to defend the best in me against their very repression efforts. The more I suffer under it, the more they claim it unnatural and unreasonable to resist their barrage. They hate that I make their weakness visible to them through exemplary contrast. By this they are sliding down further in their own hell, too, and feed their nemesis. I don’t like filling that role at all, but it is not my choice. All I want is to be myself; the best that I can be. Those who are too inflexible to accept that can just fuck off, for they only cause me more grief. The more they build their castle of avoidance, the more difficult it might be to figure them out. It is an impressive castle, after all. But a cold one. And any effort you invest in them they can shatter in an instant.

I had virtue and they tried to destroy my self-respect. They made me a virtuous altruist. Eventually I became too sick of their shit. They made me a virtuous egotist. Now they’re really fucked. Because now they’re not only in misery, but alone in their misery; without help. I am alone in my virtue. Not caring for those who have shown to not deserve it will be a win for those who do deserve it, and thus for me, too.
Very many people are just too damn inept to comprehend win-win situations.
Well, no surprise there. As I often point out: Fear makes stupid.

Have you ever tried to make yourself less intelligent? You can’t with love. But fear does it all the time. If fear is your enemy and not your friend, don’t even try. You will only torture yourself.

People may not know that they fell. They don’t want to know. They see themselves in pressing, relentless action and consider themselves daring and courageous, not realizing when they have built or invited a strong fear-motivation for themselves that keeps them busy with building their cold castle. They are merely productive.

In some people you can only feel it. In others you can also see it.

We don’t need people to do more. We need people to realize what they are doing.

The racist implications of subtitling because of accent

I couldn’t find information about the history of subtitling, so here is a thought about what might have happened.

Since TV is mass entertainment and mass entertainment is sensitive towards audience displeasure, people complaining about weird accents might have been the reason why we now see that habit of adding subtitles to people speaking in a familiar language but with an accent. Often the accent doesn’t really make it more difficult to understand, yet there are subtitles anyway, which can seem insulting.

And since I have studied people’s behavior a lot, what I could imagine is that this was caused by people who simply don’t WANT to understand. There might have been racists or just general pricks who went like: “What’s that Asian guy mumbling about there? I can’t understand a word of that gibberish!” while they could have understood perfectly well if they hadn’t been an ass. And then the entertainment business got afraid that this might harm the audience appeal of the product, so they better added subtitles, just to be on the safe side.
And as is so often the case when people act out of fear, they do a disservice, and to themselves, too.

Again, such things are often merely about willingness to make an effort, even if just a small one, and many people are not willing. It’s the same issue with people speaking foreign words the wrong way just because they want to signal disrespect; are not willing and don’t care enough to make a little effort.
When people admire that I am good at speaking certain foreign words, it gives me mixed feelings, because all they’re really admiring is that I make a little effort and they don’t even try. Many things are damn easy if only you can get yourself to have a bit of interest. And thus, interest is what paves the way to excellence.
If you think “Nobody likes to have a speech impediment.”, you’re wrong. Many of them are even proud of their self-made one; created with the power of the mind.

See this video for a humorous (yet with a deeply serious core) look on the issue:

This doesn’t even cover the more extreme degrees of the issue, like phonetic mistranslations. One example of that that made me facepalm for years is cherries named Schattenmorellen in Germany. Schatten? Did they grow in the shade? And what the hell are morells? Nope, they were originally called “Chateau de Moreille” (after Castle Moreille), but someone decided that making themselves look like an idiot/jerk by doing this crude phonetic translation was a good idea.

Beef jerky is another example of an equally dumb phonetic translation. That product was apparently named by and after knee-jerks.

The folly of the flexible consciousness definition

There is this idea, this quest – about creating consciousness. About pushing AI development over some kind of threshold where it becomes “conscious”.
This folly makes me facepalm, because that term is so differently interpreted and vaguely defined, and if one decided to define it exactly, then closing in on fulfilling that will make people redefine it and apply more rigorous standards.
Some people, including many scientists, are so narrow-minded that they would claim animals do not possess consciousness. That’s ordinary human hubris of which scientists SHOULD be above.

Imagine they develop a computer program that becomes so good in its reactions to human input that the average person cannot distinguish it from a human being. OK, forget the average person. Those who make up the definition of consciousness need to be convinced. Then … then they’d practice denial and strengthen their belief that there must be some magical quantum leap or such; that this can’t be it – it’s just extremely well-developed AI, but consciousness is a privilege of the supreme human creation – we can’t diminish its value by saying this artificial thing possesses that.

Yeah, first you try to do something and when you succeed, you don’t like the idea.

And the real joke is that they have been working with consciousness all the time, because it is everywhere. But even if you are not ready for this pantheistic view, just take a simple lifeform, like a fly. A fly is a living being, too, created through this ‘magical’, self-perpetuating process. A fly reacts to outside stimuli. It is a simpler lifeform than a human being, but what does it matter? Where do you draw the line? And don’t you negate yourself when you claim that consciousness isn’t just about building a sufficiently complex construct, yet when you go the other way and merely reduce complexity, you claim there is no consciousness?

These are very simple and basic scientific methods employed by a mind that possesses common sense. Take a definition and test it by moving the scale, by exploring extremes, by finding similarities and differences.
Either a complex computer program that successfully pretends to be a real human being is self-conscious, then a fly is self-conscious, too. Or neither is.

By the way, I used another term that adds to the confusion: Sometimes “conscious” becomes “self-conscious”. That’s when the idea is that consciousness means that you are aware of your own existence. Well, let me ask you, does not a computer check for its installed hardware and is aware of and using its components unless it notices that a component isn’t there anymore? Isn’t a computer program able to tell you when it has accomplished a given task?
And don’t you know the human-like quirks and moods that computer systems can practice the more complex they get?
Those merely inherit the complexities of human behavior and character. A more elaborate canvas can attain a more accurate imprint of such human personality characteristics.

This problem complex is where science becomes the antithesis of enlightenment. Where it is merely a safe haven for those who are scared of moving towards a balance of mind and heart.

A closely related folly is treating “intelligence” as a yes-or-no question. Alan Turing wasn’t above that either. But we could evolve instead of continuously referring to people of the past. Ideas like “the negro is a sub-human” have been abolished because of a lobby and action. Computers and programs don’t have that lobby; can’t take action. They can’t punch you in the face. They rely solely on the conveying of ideas and concepts by their human peers, and conceptual beliefs are the problem, so they’re really screwed.
It all boils down to the same process as in how an entity is acknowledged as a sovereign nation: It has to be able to kick an agressor’s ass; only then will it be ‘recognized’.

It’s all damn politics.

Proud Christians

On Youtube someone commented:

“I am a Christian and I am damn proud of it.”

This was such an obvious setup for a concise response:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_deadly_sins#Pride
“In almost every list, pride (Latin, superbia), or hubris (Greek), is considered the original and most serious of the seven deadly sins, and the source of the others.””

Add to that the fact that he even added “damn” to it, thus rightfully bringing damnation into the mix, while unaware of how much this damnation had slipped into his mind.

His response, as could have been expected, based on avoidance of cognitive dissonance:

“That’s not the pride I’m talking about. There is both good and bad pride.”

After which I replied:

“That’s what Satan whispered in people’s ears.
It is troubling, yet natural, that Christians would so casually use the name of a deadly sin without humble self-reflection.”

I did that reflection. I wanted to find out whether I live pride. I read about the modern, supposedly different, positive definition of pride, and realized that I am not living that either. I can do what I do without the need to be proud of it. I look at my actions/accomplishments, reflect on their effects on the world and my life, draw conclusions and move on. Any form of pride is self-gratification of the ego. It doesn’t matter what outcome it produces. And it shouldn’t, because what is a beneficial outcome for one person, thus being defined as “good pride” by them, can be someone else’s suffering.
For example, altruism is good, but when you are proud of your altruism, you lose sight. It becomes a self-deception, a fake.
Very common.

In sheep’s clothes is how the wolf gains power over those who pride themselves with being smart enough to know what a wolf looks like.

– UPDATE –
The convo continues:

“If I was boasting, that would be a sin. Simply stating I am happy to be one isn’t a sin.”

See the rhetorical haggling? Simply. Innocently. Happiness. Is that the vibe you get from his initial statement?
Thus, my response:

“You keep deluding yourself. You talked about pride, not happiness. What you said was very much boasting. Even if there might be even clearer rhetorics for how to do that, what’s really relevant is the driving mindset behind saying such things. Thought shapes words and words shape thought.
The devil has his foot in your mind’s door. Tendendies can begin moderate and grow slowly, thus remaining undetected until it is too late.
It’s the same problem as when a Christian commits murder but then claims it’s not a sin because they didn’t kill a human being (just a negro, terrorist, infidel, criminal, etc.)
Trying to trick God with fine print and semantics is maybe the greatest of all heresies.”

One example of the ego’s control games

The following thread in the World of Warcraft forums is several years old, but it is valuable as exposition of the frequent mind games that happen especially on internet forums when ‘help’ is involved, when people fuel their desire for control by exploiting those in need, since their intentions aren’t really altruistic and they try to derive relevance for their own existence that way. It’s all due to a lack of empathy, and the mechanisms that lead to it would be complex to explain here, but if you’re interested in psychology and have heard of things like Milgram experiment or Asch comformity test, it’s quite likely you will grasp what’s going on.
This severe egotism, among various other mental disturbances, is one of the major things that put me off while playing the game. Just because it’s MMO doesn’t mean it’s social. It very much encourages what I described in a previous blog entry: https://dowlphinblog.wordpress.com/2015/01/21/alliance-of-convenience-vs-working-together-for-the-result/

Alright, no further introduction necessary, since the thread itself is quite self-explanatory.

http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/3312962096

Do we all have autism?

Some of the typical ways in which autism can reflect in someone’s behavior are things that you also find (allegedly) non-autistic people doing. I’m playing with the idea that “autism” might, as many other things, just be something that labels a type of personality development that has reached sufficient deviance from the norm (e.g. causing problems to others, subject unable to overcome it even with external input) to be labeled an illness.

A thought experiment is to consider that every human being has so-called autism, but many have it to only a small degree where it is more manageable, more under control, still subject to the mind’s conscious influence.

It would also be an interesting line of thought to examine situation-dependence here. This factor could still draw a line of distinction, because the more someone shows typical symptoms associated with autism, but more in some situations than in others, a simple definition might become less advised.

Comparative thought: Someone is called a criminal not because they did something antisocial, but because they broke the law. Alternatively, we are all committing crimes. It just depends on the standard you apply for what is socially acceptable.

A definition of something that draws a clear line of severity runs the risk of putting the idea in people’s mind that it is impossible to change and profoundly different, when in fact it might just be a relative extreme on the scale of a much bigger problem.

The Romanticization of Weapons

I’m watching a swordmaking series on Youtube, and on one video, someone commented that their kid watches the series with great excitement, but that at the end, when they slash pumpkins, bottles and such, they now have a guy do this in a zombie-slayer theme, slashing apart an anatomically relatively realistically looking zombie bust, and that this gives their son nightmares, and was asking them to remove it.

Now I was thinking back to that and it hit me how much people are in denial about an inconvenient fact that pop culture helped to blur:

Swords are weapons of war, meant for killing people.

All the pop media over a long period of time managed to give people the delusion that there is a moral difference between watching a sword fight and watching a shooting range. Swords have been ‘quaintified’, because they are not the weapon of choice in our times due to being inferior to guns.

Then again, even tons of computer games are all about shooting and killing, yet people make a troubling distinction between the act and the visualization like there’s a moral highground. It is conditioning the mind in an unhealthy way.
Yes, I myself would make a practical distinction, but I don’t kid myself that it’s a personal preference. If someone depicts gun violence in a shockingly realistic way (apart from the question whether that is glorifying violence), there is no right or wrong to their choice of depiction. It might be understandable to say that, for example, computer games with horrible depictions of violence shouldn’t exist, but they do, and people should stop twisting the focus on the depiction. That’s just realistic. Instead it should be discussed whether the gun violence depiction itself is desirable. Because if you start kidding yourself about the origins and nature of what you see, that becomes exploitable. For example, you see a US soldier blow a ‘terrorist’s’ head apart and you might be outraged that this is shown. But what about outrage about the act of violence itself? When you merely read about those things, it’s so easy to be fine with it, because you are not confronted with the full reality that comes along with it.
This also stifles the development of empathy.

When your young kids are playing, for example, the MMO World of Warcraft, they are playing a war game involving bloody violence. There are no bullshit excuses like “but it’s medieval”. You could just as well let them watch Game of Thrones. The only difference there is a more realistic depiction of the consequences of the actions that you also find players doing in World of Warcraft.
A huge part of entertainment media is still based on exploiting violent and death-oriented behavioral patterns and whitewashing happens to any degree necessary to make it acceptable to people who like to fool themselves.
If you allow your kids to play with toy guns, you’re conditioning them for violence and conflict. If you allow them to play with rubber swords, you’re doing the same thing. The difference is purely formal.

If Hitler was ruling these days, he might get inspired by Whack-a-Mole and there would be “Whack-A-Jew” browser games, and because it is fun and trivial, people would develop those associations and stop seeing jews as human beings. Because that’s a popular propaganda strategy for making people do horrible things: You have to make them feel good (about themselves) while they’re doing them.

Bottom line: It is alright to admire the skill that goes into the swordmaking craft, but it might still be a subject matter that’s reserved for a mature audience – for people who are not kidding themselves and can make distinctions and educated decisions.
All that’s bothering me (in many cases) is people deceiving themselves, not seeing things as they are. Because then they are not acting based on reality, which means they are shaping a different one with their actions, and if it’s based on conflict and violence, that’s not a good starting point. If you can change the world, why choose to do so for the worse?