Thursday, August 27, 2009

Kaupthinking, music and girls

I essentially wrote this post a couple months ago or so, thinking I would add a few more paragraphs about why not infrequently girls like the particular often twisted sounding music they do, but bother, I don't seem to be coming back to it, so I'll post it now as it is.

This commercial, which was linked to from the finance blog I read, nakedcapitalism (whch got it from brontecapital), is one of the funniest things I have ever encountered. For those who don't know, Icelandic banks were arguably the most reckless banks in the world. The UK, for instance, last fall became so concerned about British depositors getting their money back after the financial crisis hit that they used anti-terrorism laws to seize the assets of the British subsidiary of Kaupthing, likening Iceland (or at least their banking operations) to a terrorist state just to protect their citizens from the consequences of the Icelandic banks' shenanigans.

Our world could use a good deal more normal thinking. Moral philosophy, in particular, is mostly just taking the time and bother to patiently consider the consequences of various behaviors via "normal" thinking.

The poohbahs in business and (more particularly, it seems) the financial world are forever praising enthusiasm. One should see why they do this. Enthusiasm is a short-term emotion. After someone has worn herself out with it, the company who employs her can just say, "we're sorry, we no longer believe you are a good fit with us, goodbye". They've got her to work years for them at the mad dog pace depicted of Kaupthing employees, and now she's a worn out shell or about to go into the looney bin, bother, time for a new employee.

I am, I'd say, mostly a patient person who doesn't like to get too worked up about things. And yet, I am still not patient enough, mostly, probably, in a lot of ways. I'm attracted to youth, though, which some might wonder whether it yields a conflict. I don't think it is quite as much my problem as it is the girls' problem, though. Enthusiasm, determination, resolve, are those the right emotions that encourage relationships to take place when females are still young in the right way? I'm skeptical. Take music. I think the main reason girls like music is that it enables them to play with adult feelings about sex and romance. It is not like females magically become enlightened about such matters. If girls don't explore feelings about sex until they become adults, sure, they will be older when they have sex, but age won't have brought increased wisdom when it comes making right choices in their sexual relationships because they won't have felt or played about the emotions surrounding it. But if one takes a long-term approach, music and similar more-or-less purely emotional influences should just be a part of what has developed one's sense of self. A more long-term approach demands more rational thought. Music is OK, I guess, but ideally it shouldn't be taken too seriously.

One might think that music could encourage females to have sex early in the right way, but mostly, as regards music as it is, this would be a mistaken belief--certainly it would appear at best half-right. Music, and more particularly music with rhythm and dance-inducing aspects that encourages movement is by its very nature rather contrary to the quite peaceful stillness associated with the more tantric sexual attitudes that are appropriate for young-female sex if the sex is worth much. As I have mentioned before, imo the significance of females being young during sex is that intraejaculate sperm selection selects for a different sort of sperm if the female is young. Movement is like shaking up a die before tossing it--it makes things more (undesirably) random. Of course, there is the legitimate objection that total stillness makes expression more difficult, and maybe there could be a more, idk, still sort of music based more on melody or poetry that could in fact be something suited to girls believing in having sex early like girls need to have sex when they have sex early for the right reasons, but I doubt whether such music exists. Most music girls listen to is more about playing with the sort of sexual and romantic emotions that they might have as adults than with the sort of emotions they might feel when young if they really wanted sex presently.

What is the deal, then, with music that (some) girls seem to take very seriously? One reason, of course, a girl might take music very seriously is that music is what she is interested in because her talents more lie in the musical sphere. She might be considering going into music as a profession. But mostly to lopsidedly explore art and more particularly the musical arts at the expense of more logic-oriented endeavors doesn't really make sense except in the short term. One's innate feelings and tendencies only go so far. They are not sufficient to guide one very well in life because life is too complicated to have innate feelings about everything. One must abstract (using logic) from these feelings and an understanding of reality an understanding of these feelings. Doing this, one develops new, abstracted feelings, and grows as a person. Moreover, when one has a better understanding of oneself, one knows better what to observe and remember in order most easily to improve one's understanding. And because understanding yourself well encourages the sort of behavior that is natural for you, and since behavior that is natural for you is more likely to be something you are likely to have interesting unexplored feelings about, understanding can lead to more profound experiences. Having lots of feelings about what you are interested in, observing them well and going by what they more-or-less immediately make you feel like doing might be a reasonable approach in the short run, because it is quick, but more long term it is more reasonable to balance feeling and observation with rational thought. I really am inclined to think that mostly the girls who seem obsessed with music are that way because they want to have sex soon rather than later and so feel they need to mature fassssst; this would appear to be the simplest explanation.

But what is the point really? Why should a girl rush to have a sort of sex at 18 that she could have just as well at 35? Why don't they listen to music that is about the more immature feelings more appropriate to immature females having sex? I think it is frustration more than anything. Mostly girls would like males to dance, play, etc., with them more often so them they can explore their adult feelings more, which can make them better prepared when they become adult. Getting angry about it, they can sometimes fall into a fanaticism that leads them to view the music they listen to as more than just something to play with. They sometimes instead make the mistake that their obsession with music is on account of art being higher than thought, and that the feelings in the music apply to them now in a not-just-for-exploration way, at least if for some male they have some natural (or unnatural) feelings for wanting sex sooner than latter

Thursday, August 20, 2009


It occurs to me, I haven't talked much about my progress with the logic paper I have mostly written. Today I had an interesting dream that I think was about it, so I'll say something about it. I finished a first draft of it last year. But there are errors. The few very significant errors I have corrected very easily. (Since I am not much of an example-oriented person, I have a tendency not to notice much when I prove something ridiculous if error causes me to do that.) That's not the problem, though—these were easily corrected. What I most hope to do in the current draft (which I hope to make public) is give the paper polish. In particular, the part of logic that most bothers me is model theory. Mostly, I think the subject should be done away with. But there are necessary bits and pieces there that I need. How to present these bits and pieces in the right way has proved more difficult than I had anticipated.

Everything came to an impasse in early May, I think it was. I was sputtering along steadily typesetting the paper and polishing it up, but then a little less than half way through, I realized that there must be some general result that allows one in certain circumstances to replace entailment with implication (in the context of the silly logic). One of my professors at North Carolina had taught me that entailment ought to be distinct from implication, and indeed I believe it. The formula A implies B should be thought of as the most general formula whose conjunction with A entails B, and the entailment relation should be thought of as the same thing as the "less general than" relation (where "less" is not interpreted strictly, in fact any formula should be considered less general than itself). Annnywayyy, though it may be true that entailments and implications tend to hold in similar circumstances, they really are different. For instance, in my silly logic, A entails B precisely if not B entails not A; but it turns out that if A implies B is silly, then not B implies not A is just plain false. Still, though, it was intuitively clear to me that there must be a metatheorem allowing one in a certain natural subset of inference rules to replace entailment with implication (replacing metalogical connectives with ordinary logical connectives) to yield theorems. In other words, I could sense the existence of a (for me) advanced applied logic theorem that would enable me in one giant swoop to prove about, idk, maybe 20% of the basic logic theorems that I otherwise would have to prove separately. In the course of about a week or two in March or April I guess it was, I really went at it, (metaphorically) engaging in much banging my forehead against the wall, and came up with two cute similar little results that gave what I was looking for. The problem is that the whole structure of the results was very demanding of the little bits and pieces of what is called model theory. And when thinking about it, I couldn't at all easily separate all the nonsense I had learned about model theory from the essence of the matter. Somehow where my brain had previously been fairly clear-headed, I now became confused; even though I felt the problem was just making a few very simple definitions, my mind became so much like a tornado full of irrelevant flying debris, logic became hard. I guess I felt I had to just get away from logic for a while to let things settle or I would be unable to sense what these definitions were. And clearly it was very important for elegance (and even usefulness) that the right definitions be made. At any rate, the clarity was just not there. I haven't thought about logic since May.

Mostly, I have been blaming myself for having been too applied. But the dream I had this morning makes me think I'm taking the wrong outlook about it. I dreamed I had just showed up at Michigan (the University in Ann Arbor) again, and I was just about to move into a dorm room or efficiency or something when there outside on a sidewalk someone was selling a sturdy utilitarian and attractive antique dresser. Wow! I thought. I bought it right away, good deal. Then it occurred to me: I will need to put this in my room. It might be a tight fit and I have no truck (or even car) to get it there. Somehow this dresser represented my advanced applied logic theorem. It first appeared very useful to me, but then on second thought, it wasn't as useful as it seemed, making life difficult for me. The wood was interesting. It seemed some kind of very high quality wood, but wasn't quite as dark I think as black walnut, which made me afeared 'twas the dreaded white walnut, but mostly I didn't think it was that either. It looked kind of like Oak but without the open grain. And then a kindly-looking black (he wouldn't have been black if it was made of white walnut) man saw me in my quandary standing in front of the dresser I had bought, and offered to help me put it beneath an awning while I had to go away to prepare to put it in its proper place. And as he was doing that it turned out (it became revealed) that there were two little diorama cabinets that you had to get (free) with the dresser. The sorts of things which if presentable you might expect to find ensconcing a very small nativity scene or surrounding a show-and-tell presentation if kids could afford that sort of thing and the teacher wanted to keep it on display. But the thing is, they were covered in peeley green paint. Perhaps some would have claimed the effect antiquesy looking, but it was hideous. These hideous things, I figure, do represent the necessary parts akin to model theory that I need to find or keep. But first I have to remove the awful paint, which represents all the rubbish in that subject. The best I can figure, the moral of the dream is that I should appreciate the theorem for what it is made of, which is a fine wood easy to underappreciate from its ad hoc quality. The insights the theorem may cast on what is called model theory may be more important than the applications. In fact, probably, I have been thinking, I should prove its applications separately anyway, only introducing the theorem after I have proven the results in the normal way. It is too big and particular and advanced a result to present early. But instead of looking at it as something that introduces ugliness I should more see it as something that, if enough light is cast upon it, can be stripped of its ugliness, revealing fine wood perfect for displaying beauty and truth.

I dream quite a bit about going back to university, and mostly it is always wrong. When I have dreams about going back to Michigan, I typically end up having to study a bunch of stuff too fast I am not interested in, which I probably can't or won't do anymore, and I always do things in more insane ways not good for efficiency, ruining everything (like buying the dresser). And I'm similar when I dream of going to UNC, except it's worse inasmuch as also I frequently am just wandering about hiding from my math professors because I don't want to have to tell them I didn't get my Ph.D. from Michigan like I had hoped. So, typically (in my dreams), I end up going there with enthusiasm but never go to a class, and each day I'll think to myself, I should really show up to class, but I don't, and then the tuition bill comes and of course I've missed the drop deadline because I was obsessed with understanding why I'm not going to class, and everything (my scholastic record and savings) gets ruined. And with my roommates, in my dreams I never fit in with them.

I used to dream a lot about going back to high school. Similarly, that would always turn out wrong. I'd dream that I'd catch the bus and show up, but then think, now wait a second, I forgot, I'm 30 or 40 or whatever, and people that old are not allowed to go to school--I wouldn't be on the homeroom roster. And then I'd realize I have to go, and so I'd sneak out (without trying to be too obvious that I am an older person a sneaking out), and then after leaving the building I'd have to walk home because I'd remember I was too old to take the bus, but Needwood Road somehow in my dream becomes like some sort of transcontinental highway full of drawbridges, fords, lakes that have to be rowed across (after finding the hidden rowboat), etc., with distracting museums along it. But now I more often instead dream of college, and that goes wrong too, but not so much because of my age (except when it comes to relating to roommates).

I need to be intellectual and practical, but not probably in a university setting. That's what I mostly feel, and my dreams seem to support that. I guess the internet offfers opportunities, and if I can become wise enough, I figure I won't have to make much enlightened effort at selling myself. I can't really imagine how it will work, but eventually, if I keep becoming wiser (what I'm most convinced I am skilled at doing), I'll become so preposterously wise eventually it will become obvious to people (if I maintain openness and don't get considered an enemy by the search engines) that I am extraordinarilly wise, whereupon, something good might happen. That's about the extent of my plan as to how to be practical in life.