RE: virus: maxims and ground rules

TheHermit (
Wed, 12 May 1999 19:52:23 -0500

Thanks man. I could be wrong (I haven't checked) but I suspect that "blue" at 475nm is pretty universal as that is the color of the Hgamma line - which by a curious coincedence (Not!) just happens to be the color of the sky. I tend to agree re attributes and boundaries. Attributes are how we split things up into sets. People with an inadequate grasp of set theory seem to assume that because something falls into a particular set, that it is precluded from being in other sets.... set boundaries are only world-boundaries for the petty minded.

Spengler is amazing. He had a broad sweep of vision that encompassed all of history with an eye to the relevant. He also had a warning for the authors of maxims "No great Greek ever wrote down any recollections that would serve to fix a phase of experience for his inner eye." But he did say that we are the product of a slow and halting progression away from the primitive modes of the classical and towards a better Western future. Temporary though he believed it would be. For example:

"In all history, so far, there is no second example of one Culture paying to another Cuture long extinguished such reverence and submission in matters of science as ours has paid to the Classical. It was very long before we found courage to think our proper thought. ...The history of Western knowledge is thus one of progressive emancipation from Classical thought, an emancipation never willed but enforced in the depths of the unconscious. And so the development of the new mathematics consists of a long, secret and finally victorious battle against the notion of magnitude."

"The separate sciences - epistemology, physics, chemistry, mathematics, astronomy - are approaching one another with acceleration, converging towards a complete identity of results. The issue will be a fusion of the form-worlds, which will present on the one hand a system of numbers, functional in nature and reduced to a few ground-formulae, and on the other a small group theories, denominators to those numerators, which in the end will be seen to be myths of the springtime under modern veils...."

He also proclaimed, as I mentioned that Nietsche did:

"In this very century, I prophesy, the century of scientific-critical Alexandrianism, of the great harvests, of the final formulations, a new element of inwardness will arise to overthrow the will-to-victory of science. Exact science must presently fall upon its own keen sword. First, in the 18th century, its methods were tried out, then, in the 19th, its powers, and now its historical role is critically reviewed. But from Skepsis there is a path to "second religiousness," which is the sequel and not the preface of the Culture. Men dispense with proof, desire only to believe and not to dissect."

Is that what some of us here are engaged in?

TheHermit < Let me not to the union of two sets impediment admit. >

"And I can only hope that men of the new generation may be moved by this book to devote themselves to technics instead of lyrics, the sea instead of the paint-brush, and politics instead of epistemology. Better they could not do." I'd disagree a little. I like art and would rather see a balance. But if we have to come down on one side or the other, I suspect I would agree with this excerpt and with the meaning of: "Suppose that, in future generations, the most gifted minds were to find their souls health more important than all the powers of this world; suppose that...the very elite of intellect that is now concerned with the machine comes to be overpowered by a growing sense of its Satanism (it is the step from Roger Bacon to Bernard of Clairvaux) - then nothing can hinder the end of this grand drama that has been a play of intellects, with hands as mere auxiliaries." I also suspect that this would offend Prof. Tim to the very depths of his being.... :-)

> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> []On Behalf
> Of psypher
> Sent: Tuesday, May 11, 1999 9:46 PM
> To:
> Subject: Re: virus: maxims and ground rules
> ...good [metaphorical]lord man! I have new respect for the legend!

...also, cultures which do not recognize the colour range including
> blue (ie. this colour range is not linked to a symbolic referent in
> their conceptualization of the world) would not identify light at a
> wavelength of 475 nm as blue - they do not have a concept of
> "blueness" to begin with.


> ...also, the categorization of light by wavelength makes assumptions
> about the role of number and measurement in describing the universe
> which is not compatible with some conceptualizations of number (I'm
> thinking of certain ancient systems, Oswald Spenler in "Decline of
> the West" goes into greater detail than I can here.)
> ...and I'd most definitely class "attributes" as "boundaries"
> -psypher
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