Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Great Minds, Middling Minds, and Little Minds

"Blessed is the mind too small for doubt."

The greater the mind, the greater it encompasses reality. But what is reality? Reality is one's perceptions, one's memories, the present, the past, the future, the alternate futures, the sea of possibilities (called the Astral for reasons that totally make sense if you bother thinking about it ... for a few years), and the realm of pure knowledge (which has no special name and never could for equally good reasons).

Little minds are concerned with their own perceptions, and nothing else. Everything else they dismiss as "not real" and thus not a concern. Narcissists believe only "the evidence of their own eyes". Because everything else is unreal. Right-wing authoritarians like Brian Wang over at NBF don't believe in the past as a physical reality, only in their memories of the past. What they CALL the past isn't a physical reality, they merely pretend it is because it's part of modern convention and they're conventionalists.

Conventionalists believe that reality, and thought, and everything else, is a mere construct of human minds ... a convention. They believe that physics is a convention, that mathematics is a convention, that all of these are ARBITRARY. Brian Wang once argued in a post many years ago that the speed of light was an arbitrary convention which would be overturned just like the speed of sound. The best part is he justified his belief in the overturning of that convention using the blessed power of humanity's present ignorance, whatever can happen WILL happen. And unquestioning faith of course, whatever we want to happen CAN happen, the very purest kind.

His right-wing authoritarianism is also why he's obsessed with the lifeless void that is space. But I digress, let's forget that pathetic fuck. The reason I brought that pathetic necron-worshiping worm up is to highlight how RWAs have no sense of physical reality at all. To them, reality is just myths and stories leavened with the direct impressions from their senses, nothing more and nothing less.

For middling minds, reality is far more extensive as it definitely includes a physical present and a physical past. Hell, Realism is the middling-mind philosophy that "physical reality", aka the present and past, are real. Middling minds may even stretch to believing that one single future, the "true future", is real. But that's pretty much where they're stuck. Everything else is about as real as fiction.

To great minds, it's all real. Even fiction might or might not be real. Or at least SHOULD be real. To great minds, possibilities are real. Futures, plural, are definitely real. And ideas are real too. And they are real whether or not they interact with, are connected to, are useful to, or benefit people. Something the so-called "thinkers" and philosophers in academia do not actually believe, though they do pretend to believe it at least, something the overwhelming majority of middling-minds are simply incapable of.

Middling minds, even those of intellectuals who value pure ideas, do not natively nor habitually operate in the realm of pure knowledge. They operate in the realm of "people will like this" and "this will give me status". The reason why philosophers care about pure ideas is not because they value pure ideas, but because they found it necessary to value SOME small amount of pure ideas in order to pursue their preoccupation with organizing society under the most complex, most general, and most exigent conditions possible. Pure ideas are an occupational hazard to Thinkers which they are willing to accept or tolerate.

Greatness of mind is not predicated on necessity, ease, success or failure. It is only middling minds that believe a great mind is one who preoccupies itself with great things. Because of course, that's the closest they can get to greatness. And it is only little minds that believe a great mind is one that operates quickly or has high memory capacity (ie, high intelligence), because again that's the closest they'll ever get to greatness. The truth is that greatness of mind is a personality trait, and no amount of ease or preoccupation will ever make a lesser mind WANT to encompass all of reality.

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