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  • A Course in Mind-Bending And/Vs. Mind-Binding: Bending not breaking metaphors renews social systems in the curious way the Blind Brain1/ “Predictive Process2” model causes consciousness to emerge. Nothing delusional about that.

    Daniel J. McKaughan's info-packed paper From Ugly Duckling to Swan: Charles Sanders Peirce https://muse.jhu.edu/article/252833 well summarizes the life and work of a now revered logician, mathematician, cognitive scientist as well as a founder of semiotics & precursor of post-modern philosophy. In From Ugly Duckling, Kepler's “Aha!'s” are offered as examples of abductive rea- soning; as contrasted with deduction and induction, “abduction” being the very curious way that when confronted with often conflicting observations, our potentially enormously creative mind- ing and re-minding processes can often end up with reasonable hypotheses worthy of exploration. In McKaughan's paper, a step-by-step case is proposed that abductive reasoning was utilized by Kepler to solve the hugely complex riddle of the harmony of the spheres. Whether or not Kepler's above lyrical outburst about the sun of enlightenment gradually bursting through the darkness of ignorance was appropriate, such a prophet of science might well be excused for what seems to us to be merely a light show of pure ego. In any case, Kepler did not let Tycho Brahe's Gordian Knot treasure trove of planetary wendings get in the way of elegantly cutting through and then past many seemingly antagonistic planetary motion conflicts, once thought of as inherent within the age-old harmony of the spheres. His Three Laws: 1) The orbit of each planet is an ellipse with the Sun at one of each ellipse's two foci (this first law repeating Copernicus' paradigm-changing hypothesis to concoct a world-view dangerously counter to prevailing common sense); 2) A line segment joining a planet and the Sun sweeps out equal areas during equal intervals of time (this second law very similar to Ptolemy's “equant” – as well as Copernicus' use of an extra epicycle/ circle circling a circle); and 3) The square of the orbital period of a planet being proportional to the cube of the semi-axis of the major axis of its orbit (this last “Aha!” being the lever/key which enab- led Newton to unlock the door to his own Three Laws of Motion and Universal Gravitation.)

    Though not the kind of “miracles” hoped for when many folks use A Course In Miracles, cannot a case be made that all such abductive guesses which are based on observations that foster more and closer looks, are a variety of miracle? If so, can't a case be made our cups runneth over with “miracles”; major non-linear scientific and mathematical “Aha!'s” that cause us to exclaim joy- ful awe with utterances such as “Oh God!”& “Oh Lordie!” & “Mira, Mira, Look. Look!”, when

    https://muse.jhu.edu/article/252833 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Focus_(geometry)

  • our minds boldly face up to monumental mind-blowers; versus more linear smaller road bump curiosities when we just yawn upon coming upon oddities like this: the Hebrew “Yah”, meaning “The Lord”, is usually taken to mean “God”, even if it is the Hebrew “El” that means “God”. All such “God sends” -- unlike dreams which come true -- are, of course, as scientifically real and as truly logical as the discovery by Copernicus that the stationary earth revolves around the sun; surely one of the greatest discoveries of human history. Another pair are the discoveries of Kepler and Newton per why and how the earth revolves around the sun. However, all that said, perhaps an even greater miracle is that of the more post-modern prophet of science, Einstein, who did not let Isaac Newton’s paradigm stop him from looking even further, until one day first seeing special relativity and then later general relativity. So in today's world of nanotechnology, 3D printing, 5g .., only God knows what next “Look! Look!” miracle of science too will soon be emerging, pulled down from Heaven or pulled up from Hell, and either way, simply by looking around the corner rather than seeing what is straight ahead? Either way, as we seek to predict the future, although Kepler might now be seen as delusional for thinking the planets matched up with Platonic Solids, as he was able to look at all of the facts and see through and beyond the conventional wisdom of his “burn heretics at the stake at the drop of a hat” times, should we not at least tip our hats with hip, hip, hooray sentiments per one of the most mind-changing scientists in science's history!

    As this is a mind-bending course about the scientific miracle called “predictive minding” we focus below on how to use hyperbolic thinking; that is, we show how gestalt processes can enable us to become more accustomed to predicting what is needed to better negotiate a kind of “hyperbolic” problem and solution space akin to Minkowski's mathematical one: our core hypothesis is that the more you habitually look at more possibilities, the more you can see and profit from making more and better decisions and predictions. Topics from several areas of life will be grist for our mind-bending & mending mills, from politics and religion to math and science – and beyond. Neither this course, nor its accompanying textbook below in the form of a pamphlet, are typical linear presentations of topics and facts. We often use non-linear ebbs & flows herein so as enable you to vigorously practice recursive minding as a way of breaking out of one's current cognitive prisons, so as to rise to new & more expansive predictive process cognitive clouds. You are about to be inundated with all sorts of information crafted to “show-er” you with insights not usually grasped and wrestled with, let alone prevailed over. For example, it is worth noting here that even though the Copernican Revolution changed our view of our place in the solar system, our bodies have never changed theirs. Our circadian body clocks still regulate our organs, cells and more than twenty-five percent of our genes, based upon where our bodies and minds think we are in the passage of real day and night, as per the rising & setting of the sun (and moon.) Indeed, the new science of chronobiology has for many years been teaching us that, depending on the cancer and chemo medicines, the natural times when patients are given chemo can greatly reduce the effects of very bad side-effects, as well as greatly increase effectiveness; in both cases by as much as twenty-five percent. What a shame most doctors do not have any time to mind that “Aha!” See https://www.chronobiology.com/how-chronobiology-is-affecting-cancer-treatment/ for more details.

    1The Blind Brain as a Predictive Process which gives rise to consciousness is well described in R. Scott Bakker's paper The Last Magic show: A Blind Brain Theory of the Appearance of Consciousness. That paper is discussed at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._Scott_Bakker within the larger context of his various works of both fiction and non-fiction. Our course features a “from bottom up, x, to top-down, y, “predictive process” model context for both. We hope that it will be intriguing and thought-provoking. 2tFor more context, see http://theskepticalzone.com/wp/philosophy-in-an-age-of-cognitive-science/. 3See also Prof. Link R. Swanson's The Predictive Processing Paradigm Has Roots in Kant, as found at Fontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnsys.2016.00079/full

    https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnsys.2016.00079/full http://theskepticalzone.com/wp/philosophy-in-an-age-of-cognitive-science/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._Scott_Bakker https://www.chronobiology.com/how-chronobiology-is-affecting-cancer-treatment/

  • Uncommon Common Sense: Shallow Vs. Deep Curiosity.

    by Yale S.Y. Landsberg; M.S. Operations Research As

    Using Uncommon

    Common Sense Can Be Very Challenging,


    I took a leap and missed. And fell and hurt myself.

    Extremely badly. But not enough And because I hurt, to stop me. Because

    I will not try again. Heaven's gift of Not even blessed Thriving is both

    Arriving is worth prize and price the blood of Striving for Living. Either you accept now utter defeat. Or you decide once more to try.

    Whiners clothe their lowly cowardice with lofty “explanations”; Winners seek to stand up again, almost learning how to fly,

    Using both sticks & stones to climb up towards the Sky! From the Urn of

    Ammonius Saccas* – Hieronomus Anonymous. *Ammonius Saccas is known only because

    he had two famous disciples: Plotinus, founder of Neo-Platonism, the last

    Pagan philosophy & Origin, an early Doctor of the Christian

    Church. How Curious? Copyright (c) 2018, Sticks & Stones Press, Lake Monticello, VA USA.

    We start with two examples of good and/or bad “mind-bending” depending on your perspectives about re-minding: 1) “These aren't the droids you're looking for,”; and 2) I pledge allegiance to my

    Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

    The Pledge was written by socialist minister Francis Bellamy in 1892. 126 years later, are we in an uncivil war? If so, is there a way to heal our house divided as well as make ourselves more “at one” in many others ways too? For us, th