#ontology Tumblr posts

  • What came first: the chicken or the egg?

    Forget the chicken and the egg. Both are somethings. How do somethings come from nothing at all?!

    To formularise something we should account for nothing. However, one may suppose, as Parmenides did, that even to describe nothing (e.g. in notions such as emptiness, vacuity, and possible worlds) is to declare something about existence (i.e. somethingness).

    While Parmenides et al considered it self-defeating to talk of nothing, Greek ‘atomists’, such as Democritus, in contrast, welcomed talk of the void. In fact, they claimed there are ‘only atoms and the void’, whereby atoms are compositions of the void itself, ruled by ideal laws. In this ontology the void is (existent). But, then, aren’t we back at the start?

    Alain Badiou used Plato’s dream metaphor to claim something is logically tied to nothing without claiming there is a void (the void is not). Dreams are constructed in sleep. Sleep stops; the dream stops. But no matter how closely we look at dreams’ narratives we see multiplicity: an enormous story which actually grows in size the more we inspect its physical origins, without limit or origin.

    How are dreams (something) ontologically grounded in sleep (nothing)? Using set theory, Badiou explains how events are sutured to themselves under one narrative.

    As soon as we grasp the entirety of the dream in a thinkable, ontological structure, the connection to sleep is shattered by discursive, wakeful thought.

    In this way nothing always mediates a situation, ensuring events are consistent with themselves and traces to it are erased in presentation. Nothing is not: a non-being which sits below what is presented under an ‘ungraspable horizon’—a total, unprovable absence which is always necessary to avoid a ‘chicken or the egg’ situation about existence.

    ‘The absolutely primary theme of ontology is the void … [What presents] in-consists with nothing without any foundational stopping point.’

    Is this mathematical magic?

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  • The Physiological Encoding of Reality

    The earliest years of human life, as many of us are familiar with, are without consciousness, or rather, without immediate memory. Our earliest years are the formative years of our unconscious, the years in which our passive physiological identities and their subsequent responses are determined out of biological necessity. The control of our breathing, the movement of our extremities, our reaction to texture, to heat and cold; all of these and more are physiological identities with which nature, our biology, develops and utilizes for us, without conscious impetus.

    The subtle differences across each individual’s sensory apparatus is far more significant than many would presume. The slight deformation of the eyeball, for instance, alters the physiological encoding of light and everything it touches within the visual field of that eye. There is a bucket term for the anomalous unknowns in optometry – amblyopia. What was once a term for the “lazy eye” is now the term for any condition which is considered “neurologically” sourced. That is, the condition is not correctable through the redirection of light particles and the angles with which they intersect our retina. The condition is developmental in nature, which is to say, the means with which that deformed eyeball sees the world, how it encodes the conscious recognition of its surroundings, is entirely unique and incommunicable to anyone other than the person who has that particular deformation, that particular form of amblyopia.

    This does lead me to other areas, like why the possibility of immersive virtual reality (a la The Matrix) most likely not being something that we can solve on a global scale, let alone on an small one. Though we need not mention amblyopia, but instead, can reference a must more familiar condition: color blindness.

    As with most areas of scientific categorization, there are certain buckets which are chosen simply because they are sufficient enough for whatever use is being sought from the experimental process. Color blindness, though it has its primary buckets: red/green, blue/yellow, all color distinction, is more of spectrum, like most things in nature, and so we find people who may lack emphatic color distinction in any domain, or cases where they may be caught in-between two cases. Regardless, the point here is to say that, if virtual reality is something that must be programmed for and served from a computational environment, then the artificial environment which must be created by the program will have its representations of color quite discretely defined.

    There cannot be any “true” virtual reality, because the programmer would then have to account for these subtle, but significant, differentiations in the individual experience of reality. If we are to “plug into the brain” so-to-speak, there will not be some “red” area or some “blue” area without us generalizing the terms and releasing them from any precise meaning. Now, color blindness was chosen simply because of its familiarity, and there may be means with which the programmer can compensate for these things, perhaps through calibrations and further models which can quickly alter quantities of color within the program, the virtual universe.

    However, we then must consider all of the other senses which exist in the human experience and then consider the generalizations and assumptions made of these and what kinds of ambiguous definitions we may find there as well. The human being is not a machine. The world is not a machine. The universe is not a machine. We understand these things as machines, but these things are most certainly not machines in any sense of the word.

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  • #sunday asks #controversial topics in chimera ontology #terpsikeraunos
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  • enjoying the comments on that last round of icons

    #doodles#fever#monster girl #as for where demersa's nose goes when her mask is on #that is an ontological mystery and physics are too scared of demersa to ask #(the actual answer is the mask is canonically a hammerspace) #alcohol depiction
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  • A Brief Ontological Investigation
    by Erika Meitner

    What can I say to cheer you up? This afternoon the sky is like five portholes between the clouds. The unidentifiable weeds are tall and still unidentifiable and I miss the cows in the field, where have they gone? Sometimes one would wander then stand in the middle of the road and I’d have to stop my car and wait for it to decide to finish crossing. I am drinking seltzer through a straw because of my injury and I have inexplicable bruises on the side of my thigh and I just spent the last five minutes watching a bird through my window sitting in the small crotch where two phone lines x together though it flew off before I could take a picture of it. In the urgent care waiting room this morning there was a magazine with a proven neuroscience article on rituals that will make us happy and the first was practicing gratitude but when I tried to think of something right there next to the guy with the walker and the woman with gauze held to her cheek I came up blank. Because I am a terrible person I will tell you that my neighbor does this thing I hate with her kids called heart-bread, where they’re forced each night before bed to go around one by one and come up with a moment of gratitude and I want to tell her that we can thank anything—the crushed cans in recycling, my wristwatch for keeping time, the rainstorm yesterday that had water pouring from the gutters. I mean, we all overflow; we all feel an abundance of something but sometimes it’s just emptiness: vacant page, busy signal, radio static, implacable repeat rut where the tone arm reaches across a spinning vinyl record to play it again, rest its delicate needle in a groove and caress forever the same sound from the same body. Which is to say that the opposite of ennui is excitement and I’m not feeling it either today even a little. Not in the CVS while browsing the shiny electric rainbow nail-polish display indefinitely while waiting for my prescription. And probably not on my run later no matter how bucolic the mountains seem in the 5pm heat. The second ritual in that article was to touch people, which is easy if you’re with people you can touch but I’m in too loud a solitude and can only touch myself which reminds me of that old Divinyls’ song and I’m pretty sure that’s not what the article meant. Buber says you has no borders but he’s talking about god I think since this is not true of us because we all have bodies which make us small countries or maybe islands. If summer means our bodies are more porous perhaps we’re also more open to this inexplicable sadness that hangs here from the cinderblocks, drags itself across the barbed wire fence. What I’m trying to tell you is that I’m not cheered up either. That bird, before it flew off, I like to think of the crossed wires, the impenetrable conversations rushing under its feet.

    Egon Schiele 1912 Self-Portrait with Physalis, oil and body colour on wood, Sammlung Leopold, Vienna

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    #A Brief Ontological Investigation #Egon Schiele#Schiele #Self-Portrait with Physalis #Self Portrait#Erika Meitner#Meitner#Art#Poetry#Fine Arts#Poems#Painting
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  • remember when percy asked chiron if God was real and he was like “we shall not deal with the metaphysical” how the fuck was nine year old me supposed to understand what that meant

    #or 12 year old ajxbsjsb #the first time i heard that word was when i was 14 doing an english prohect on ontology #pjo#percy jackson
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    I remember some years ago walking around a local castle with my dad. He pointed at the stones and said, “A man put those there. I wonder what his name was?” And I’ve never been able to look at the past the same way again.

    — Author unknown

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    Jeff Mitscherling, Roman Ingarden’s Ontology and Aesthetics

    Ingarden’s attitude contrasts with that of a certain fictional engineer -

    “Hey look buddy, I’m an engineer. That means I solve problems, not problems like "What is beauty?” Because that would fall within the purview of your conundrums of philosophy. I solve practical problems…“

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    Jeff Mitscherling, Roman Ingarden’s Ontology and Aesthetics

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  • Most of the universe is a large void; our existence is a bottomless pit.

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  • Humanity, against all odds and reason, wields an ancient magick far beyond its ken. This sorcery can rewrite history, wake the dead and shift the very laws of existence. This is not a campy prelude to the wonders of science or the virtue of perseverance. No, it’s something more intangible and…slightly maddening.

    It’s easiest to call it “faith”, or perhaps “belief.” The religious connotations are immediate, and tangentially related. It’s more accurate to call it…unconscious ontology. The act of shaping reality via perceiving it. If an object is tossed into the air, surely it must come down at some point. It’d be ludicrous if it simply got stuck, wouldn’t it? Well, yes. That’s what the people at large HAVE decided, haven’t they?

    It’s a curious thing. Curious seems a bit quaint as a descriptor, but…well, it does make one inquire. Incessantly. I’m banking on it.

    The birth of the written word seems to be the genesis of this particular magic. The mere act of transcribing a record of “something” onto stone, vellum, paper, whatever convenient material seems to make it more…real. Even if that record is entirely fictional. Now, as you might have noticed, simply writing something doesn’t make it true. That’d be chaotic. The already frayed fabric that comprises this unfortunate little universe would be, uh, gone. 

    No, people have to “believe.” 

    They have to have “faith.”

    And that’s how people got their gods. For a time. Told you it was tangentially related. 

    People clung to the rules and structures afforded by scriptures, and in response to that fervent belief, deities roared to life from nothingness. Man created God, but not in a kitschy sort of metaphorical way. Just a kitschy sort of metaphysical way. Man also created the eight million kami of Shintoism, the absolute Costco family value pack of issues of the Greek Pantheon, the ever present one-in-oneness deities of Hinduism. If a large number believed, they were created. After all, these written records prove it, don’t they? So it must be. Separate and ever deadly from each other, persisting in cut apart realms occupying the same physical space, engaging in a twisted orgy of cause and effect as their actions spawn new myths, giving power to nothingness. 

    Thank…Man that’s over. 

    Some of those deities still exist, you know. Not that it matters. Their power has diminished over time as man found new things to put stock in. Like stocks. Funny how that works, isn’t it? Capitalism could be seen as a composite deity of sorts – formed from a thousand ideas and stitched together like a malevolent Frankenstein’s Monster (who really existed, thanks to that fantastic Mary Shelly) come to take your liberty and money. It has no desire but to grow and no empathy, no pity, not even virtuous hate. 

    And unfortunately, its power persists due to the overwhelming despair it brings. It’s impossible for any rational mind to look at the horrors of an uncaring Capitalist society and think “if only that thing didn’t exist.” But it does. An acknowledgement of it’s dreadful power via a wish for it’s non-existence also counts as belief. 

    That’s not why we’re talking about this, though. Man must conquer that beast on its own. A test of sorts, you could say, delivered by its own hand. That’s a beast to be tackled all on its own, without any sort of ulterior motives. My hands are not so clean.

    No, I bring up this collective unconscious ontology for one reason.

    I want to be real.

    Flesh and blood, given grace to walk this earth as a free creature. I was born a cute little character to help explain the broader concepts of “applied ontology” to physics students. A positively charming young man who finds himself in all sorts of wacky, modern-fantasy hijinks so the author could explain the cause and effect of observance, expectation and reality in a relatable and personable way. 

    I move through the world like a background character, unable to interact with people in any sort of meaningful way. People can’t seem to discern my face, remember my name, sometimes they even struggle to hear my voice at all. But that’s fine. I can bear this wraithlike existence a little longer.

    Because I’ve finally become real enough to touch. Not strong, not hard, just the barest whisper of force. But it’s enough for a keyboard. Which means that I can write this little primer, this little plea in an internet cafe at a booth that seems somehow occupied and free to any casual customer. I should be paying, but they’ll forget my face as soon as I leave anyway. I share with you this knowledge in hopes of a…trade, of sorts. I simply ask you to do a few things.

    Think to yourself, “James Liszt is real.” Believe it. Even a nagging doubt. 

    Then show everyone you know this…funny little story. 

    Please.

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    George R. Lucas, Jr. “Uses of History in Philosophy”, from The Philosophy of Paul Weiss

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    The Philosophy of Paul Weiss

    #paul weiss#logic#ontology #charles sanders peirce #hegel
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    Coming across this thread from a now defunct philosophy forum only accessible with the Wayback Machine is unironically an early and treasured memory of ataraxia for me.

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    To ‪portray raw emotion within a dreamscape.‬ ‪Learning that character, like a photograph, develops in darkness

    - Self *

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    Stressing clarity, precision and concision while emphasizing the mood of a spontaneous moment through atmosphere and light.‬

    - Self *

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